Dean's Update - November 2020


Lili LiuDear colleagues,

As we move into the end of the fall term, many of us are feeling fatigue and emotional strain that have accumulated since the beginning of the pandemic shutdown in mid-March. The realization that winter 2021 may be more of the same for remote teaching and learning might seem daunting. I hope that the postponement of classes by a week in January and the addition of two class-free days in March, as well as two “thank-you” days for staff, will help in a small way. 

Although it may not feel like we are making progress, I try to remind myself that at the end of the pandemic, I hope to look back and recognize accomplishments for the better that may not have occurred were it not for the challenges currently posed on us. 
There are three that I can name. The first is a sense of community on campus. I see this in the weekly, sometimes daily, meetings where administrators hear and try to respond to concerns and experiences of our students, staff and faculty. The policies and contingency plans developed during the pandemic will serve us well into the future. 
A second observation is the creativity among students, staff and faculty in the ways that we have been connecting using social media platforms. Peers are checking in on each other through creative and fun ways, which heartens me. 
Finally, we have adjusted to the pandemic in ways that allow us to continue the University’s mission. We are implementing our University and Faculty strategic plans, and we even have a president-designate to look forward to next July. Dr. Vivek Goel, a public health physician with expertise on COVID-19, is a welcome and timely addition to the University of Waterloo.

We are learning so much as the months unfold, both in terms of this virus, and how adaptable we are as humans. As we head into December, the days may get shorter, and the weather colder, but I hope we can pause to ‘zoom out’ and see this period for what it is: a difficult experience that made us stronger and more focused about what matters. Stay safe, everyone.

All the best,
Lili Liu

AHS this monthEvents I Tips and reminders


New Faculty of Health logos and assets

Staff working in Dean's Office communications have access to the new Faculty of Health logos, as well as new co-branded department/Faculty logos. If you are preparing materials for the new year, please contact Eugenia Xenos Anderson or anyone in recruitment for the new assets. The University Brand website will be updated with them as well in late December. New Faculty e-letterhead and greeting cards have been ordered, and if you still use them, we suggest that you continue with your current AHS business cards until Fall 2021 so they are not wasted.

Future students continue to apply to AHS

Since we are in the middle of recruiting students who will begin in September 2021, the undergraduate recruitment team will continue to reach out to future students from the Faculty of Applied Health Sciences, while the rest of us will begin to see the new name starting in January, and being implemented over several months. Once the admissions cycle is complete in June, the new cohort of prospective students – who will begin in September 2022 – will apply to the Faculty of Health. Here is a video the recruitment team produced for future students; they have a Faculty of Health version ready to roll for the next cycle!

What undergrads are doing post-university

Want to know where members of our undergraduate class of 2019 have landed? Every year, the Advancement and Recruitment teams collaborate to track down our recent graduates and share their pursuits on the graduation statistics website.

Share 10KC networking platform with students

Student with a cup of coffeeFive months after its launch, the Ten Thousand Coffees (10KC) online networking platform is pacing well with 239 alumni members – that’s 1.6 per cent of the Faculty’s alumni base, which is a strong number compared to some other Faculties. Student membership totals 187, comprising 114 undergrads and 73 grad students. Help reach our goal of 300 alumni and 300 student members in our first year: Share 10KC with students and encourage them to join the AHS Hub. Faculty and staff who are AHS alumni are also welcome to sign up to connect with students and start inspiring career-related conversations with them. Register at 10KC and ensure that you turn ‘Introductions’ on when creating your profile to get matched monthly.

Speed Networking moves online

Speed Networking logoSpeed Networking went virtual this year with a week of events connecting students with alumni for career-related discussions. Each academic unit hosted an evening involving three Speed Networking rounds lasting 15 minutes each. Across the three events, we had 17 alumni participate; many appreciated that the events still went ahead despite not being able to meet with students in person. Special thanks to Lowell Williamson and Trevor Bain for their IT support with the breakout rooms on Cisco WebEx. If you're interested in volunteering for future career-related events for students, please contact Karry Kwan, Alumni Advancement Officer.

Silver Green Office award for Dean's Office

Green Office program logoThe AHS Dean's Office received a silver Green Office award from the Sustainability Office this year at the seventh annual Eco Summit on Thursday, November 26. The award recognizes the efforts of staff and faculty in bringing about the change they want to see.


Please note that all in-person events have been cancelled or postponed until further notice.

Hallman Undergraduate Research Fellowships open: December 1

Faculty members are invited to check out the Hallman Undergraduate Research Fellowship award, which offers up to a maximum of $10,000 in funding for projects that both focus on health promotion and education and offer experiences to steward students toward graduate studies. For the spring 2021 term, approximately $50,000 in total will be available. The funding application form opens tomorrow, December 1. The deadline to apply is January 1, 2021.

Shaw-Mannell Lecture with Rasul Mowatt: December 4

Rasul MowattYou are invited to join the Department of Recreation and Leisure Studies' annual Shaw-Mannell Lecture, with guest speaker Rasul Mowatt from Indiana University Bloomington on December 4 from 1-2:30 p.m. Mowatt will be speaking on 'Geographies of Threat, Cities of Violence.' Please register on the Shaw-Mannell event page.

Research Talks with Peter Hall: December 15

Peter HallPeter Hall (SPHHS) will be one of the panelists on the next Research Talks series, hosted by the Office of Research. 'Mapping the Human Brain: A Closer Look at Cognition, Behaviour, and Degenerative Disease' takes place December 15 at 11:45 a.m. - 1:15 p.m. Please register on the Research Talks web page.


Survey on global governance

Waterloo International is asking the University community to fill out an anonymous UN75 survey to gather your perspectives about the state of global governance on behalf of the United Nations. Your responses will help provide insight into how well we can handle pressing challenges like climate crisis, pandemics, inequalities, new forms of violence and rapid changes in technology. The deadline to participate is December 31. If you have any questions, please contact Aisha Shibli.

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