Dean's Update - May 2019

Paul StoleeNot everyone goes to their convocation ceremony. I didn’t make it to my BA (didn’t want to take time off from my $5/hour summer job) or my MPA (couldn’t afford to travel back to Kingston) convocations, but I do have two other degrees, and I went to those.

There may be a number of reasons why faculty members might choose not to attend convocation. You might feel that it takes you away from work that needs doing (like the critical work I was doing in my summer job, of which I have no recollection), or perhaps you feel like you’ve already done this before and you won’t be missed.

But you will be. The students who go to convocation are excited to be there; even the cynical are swept up in the communal celebration. Some take pleasure in the formalities associated with the event: the robing, the speeches and processions. Others are unfamiliar or uncomfortable with these traditions, but they are still there because it signals a turning point in their lives.

They have spent many years studying and sweating and memorizing and writing, and finally they have accomplished this enormous goal. It is an honour for us to be there to see them accept their degrees, and it is evident on their faces that they are thrilled to share this happiness with us. It may be cliché, but it is indeed a big day for them, their parents and loved ones. As faculty, we owe it to our students to be there to witness the culmination of their achievements and to wish them well in the next phase of their lives. I hope you make the commitment to be there with me for our graduating students on June 11.


Paul Stolee, PhD
Professor and Interim Dean 
Faculty of Applied Health Sciences

AHS this monthEvents I Tips for you


Alumni lecture series in Toronto

Toronto skylineAs mentioned in last month’s Update, we are working with the Faculty of Science to plan the next alumni lecture series with a future of health theme. The first event is November 7 in Toronto. We are looking for a space that will accommodate 400-500 people. If you know of a space like that (no cost preferred), please contact Director of Advancement Sherri Sutherland, Also, if you are available, please plan to join us for the series and to connect with AHS alumni. Sherri will be booking meetings with individuals and groups of AHS alumni on November 7 and 8. If there are alumni you believe can support AHS with their time, talent or treasure, please let her know.

Teaching Fellow announce award recipients

The three outstanding TAsIt is with great pleasure that the AHS Teaching Fellows announce that Michelle Loo (KIN), Megan Muir (RLS) and Saad Ahmad (SPHHS) were the recipients of the AHS Teaching Assistant Awards for the winter 2019 term. These three graduate students exceeded the expectations of their course supervisor and the expectations of the undergraduate students they interacted with. Congratulations and thank you for your hard work and dedication!

Tamara MacielThe Fellows would like to congratulate Tamara Maciel on being the recipient of the 2019 AHS Teaching Award. Tamara has proven to be a perennial innovator and leader in the classroom. Tamara’s nominations accounted for nearly 20 percent of the entire Faculty pool of nominations!

Kinesiology PhD candidate named 2019 Vanier Scholar

Steven PrettyKinesiology PhD candidate Steven Pretty is one of three UWaterloo students who has been named a Vanier Canada Graduate Scholar. His research will lead to a greater understanding of how falls affect soft tissue on the hip as he investigates the interaction between hip protectors and underlying soft tissues.

Waterloo Strategic Plan

The University's Strategic Plan is now in the development phase of the process. We invite staff, faculty, students and alumni to consider using a strategic plan slide deck at relevant meetings to provide an update on the core components and development. You can get more information and resources by logging onto the Bridge to 2020 website. When the plan is endorsed, Institutional Analysis and Planning (IAP) will provide us with additional resources to support the implementation of the strategic plan.

Propel Centre to wind down

Following a review of Propel’s goals, structure and funding sources, the Advisory Committee on the Propel Centre for Population Health Impact regretfully made the recommendation to wind down the Centre’s operations at the end of June. The Centre, which has made important contributions over the years in partnership with the Canadian Cancer Society (CCS), is structured differently than other research centres at the University. Until January, the CCS provided core funding to Propel, helping make it financially sustainable. Waterloo will provide support to current Propel staff, helping them find employment elsewhere on campus and offering career counselling services. Arrangements are being made for current ongoing Propel project obligations to be met, even those that extend past June 30.


Alumni Weekend: June 1

Two alumni wavingThis year’s Alumni Weekend is taking place this Saturday, June 1, reuniting alumni and their families and celebrating milestone anniversaries. There will be games, trivia, snacks, student-led tours, an anniversary luncheon with President Feridun Hamdullahpur for those celebrating 25th, 50th, or 55th anniversaries, and more!

NSERC Discovery Grant information: June 7

NSERC will be on campus Friday, June 7, hosting a Discovery Grant information session for faculty. Please see the details on the Discovery Grant information page. Note that the registration deadline is June 3.

Keystone Picnic: June 7

Keystone Campaign leaf motifA reminder that all faculty, staff and retirees are invited to the annual Keystone Picnic on Friday, June 7 from 11:30 to 1:30 in the DC Quad for entertainment, a fabulous lunch menu, popcorn, cupcakes, cotton candy and more. This is an opportunity to recognize the tremendous support of our donors and volunteers and the impact they have on our students. If you have any questions, please contact

AHS Convocation: June 11

Mace and June 11 dateCome celebrate AHS Convocation with all our graduands and award recipients at 10 a.m. in the Physical Activities Complex.
Toby Jenkins - Honorary Doctorate
Celia Laur (Health Studies and Gerontology)Outstanding Achievement in Graduate Studies Award
David Uponi (Recreation and Sport Business) - Valedictorian
Tasha McFarland, (Kinesiology) - President’s Award of Excellence, awarded to top graduating student in AHS, based on highest GPA
Matuiri Sithganesan (Kinesiology) - AHS Alumni Gold Medal, awarded to next top graduating student in AHS, based on academic achievement, contributions to the academic program, and other contributions

Highest Academic Achievement, awarded to top graduating student in each unit, based on highest GPA:
Tasha McFarland, Department of Kinesiology
Roslyn Fried, Department of Recreation and Leisure Studies
Sarah Brubacher, School of Public Health and Health Systems

Second annual Forbes Lecture: June 18

Alex MihailidisJoin the Network for Aging Research for the second annual Forbes Lecture in honour of Professor William Forbes, founding director of the gerontology program at UWaterloo. Alex Mihailidis, the Barbara G. Stymiest Chair in Rehabilitation Technology at the University of Toronto and Toronto Rehab Institute, will be speaking on “Technology and Aging: Supporting our Current and Future Selves." Please register at the Forbes Lecture Event page by June 4.

Tobacco Control in India: June 21

Mangesh PednekarMangesh Pednekar, Director of the Healis-Sekhsaria Institute for Public Health in India, will present a lecture titled "Can we scale tobacco control intervention research with school teachers in India?" on June 21, 11 a.m., in LHS 1621. The talk will discuss the case of Bihar, one of the highest tobacco-using regions among adults and children in India. Sponsored by the International Tobacco Control (ITC) Policy Evaluation Project, the Department of Psychology and the School of Public Health and Health Systems.

Wellness Collaborative: June 25

As leaders in wellness, we urge everyone — especially faculty — to attend the launch of the Wellness Collaborative, a cross-campus partnership to move the Okanagan Charter and Healthy Workplace Statement into action. Keynote speaker Matt Dolf, director, strategic support, UBC Wellbeing, will share the story of UBC's adoption of the Okanagan Charter, including tangible actions, critical success factors and the how various campus stakeholders have contributed. Please register at the Wellness Collaborative launch event site.


Access to off-campus counselling

Profile with tree graphic insideIn addition to on-campus counselling services, did you know that grad students (and undergrads) have some financial access to external counselling services through their health plans? Organizations like KW Counselling, Carizon, and Cardinal Counselling provide drop-in and scheduled services. Spread the word!

Beginning of term health and safety training

As it is the start of the new term, please remember that any new students, staff and faculty are required to complete several safety training courses. Supervisors should check the list to determine if any are required for you or your students. Hazard-specific courses are available for those working in hazardous situations. Please check the Safety Office’s Training Programs page to access the required courses. If you have any health- or safety-related questions, please contact Emma Dare at ext. 36703 or

Do you have a wellness tip or a news item to share? Please email it to Eugenia Xenos Anderson.