Dean's update - October 2018

Paul StoleeColleagues,

Is it time to "Think Bigger?"

A strategic planning process presents the opportunity to "Think Big" and to find exciting new ways to improve our teaching and research, as well as the well-being of our students, staff and faculty. But I believe that many of us would say that our Faculty has always “Thought Big” – and it was big thinking that led to its creation.

Knowing what we know about health, it was visionary to establish a Faculty of Applied Health Sciences that is not focused on medical care (perhaps a medical school is an example of “Thinking Small?”), but looks at all the factors that contribute to individual, community and population health.

So, given we have a long history of “Thinking Big,” maybe it’s time to “Think Bigger.” In terms of what that might be, I’m looking forward to hearing your thoughts, as we are now ready to begin consultations on our own Faculty’s priorities and directions for 2020-2025.

I appreciated the participation of nearly 60 students, staff and faculty members at a standing-room only session on October 10 to give input to the University's strategic plan. You brought forward many insights and suggestions that pertain to the Faculty’s future, and those discussions will be very valuable as part of our Faculty’s own Strategic Plan.

There will be several other opportunities to provide your thoughts and suggestions in the coming months. Here are the steps we envision for this process:

November 2018: AHS Strategic Plan Advisory committee set up to facilitate the process; this group will meet regularly until plan implementation.
October 2018-February 2019: Consultation phase (feedback from university sessions, online survey, suggestion cards at the Dean's office front desk, targeted focus groups, etc.)
February-July 2019: Goal- and priority-setting
August-December 2019: AHS Strategic Plan development
Winter 2020-AHS Strategic Plan approval 
Spring 2020-AHS Strategic Plan implementation

We will be publicizing consultation opportunities as they become available, so I urge you to “Think Bigger” and stay involved.


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

Highlights I Events I ...And more

Some highlights from this month

CRE-MSD develops new Ontario musculoskeletal guide

Work shouldn't hurt logoThe Centre of Research Expertise for the Prevention of Musculoskeletal Disorders (CRE-MSD) unveiled a new Ontario musculoskeletal disorder prevention guide early this month, in time for Global Ergonomics Month. The revised guideline provides updated content and resources for organizations of all sizes. Director Jack Callaghan said, "Primary prevention of work-related musculoskeletal disorders, the focus of the new guidelines, is about saving workers from injury in the first place, before they enter the compensation and medical systems. These disorders are preventable and the hazards can be mitigated, yet continue to account for more than one-third of all lost time workplace injuries in Ontario." The guide is available on the MSD Prevention Guideline website.

New graduate scholarship in mental health research

A new award, the John Christopher Toushan Graduate Scholarship, has been established for AHS graduate students focusing on mental health research that affects children, teenagers or young adults. Valued at $4,000, the award will be offered annually, and is made possible by a gift from John C. Janetos in memory of his nephew.

Rachel Thompson wins national AGE-WELL award

Rachel ThompsonCongratulations to Health Studies grad Rachel Thompson, whose app, designed to help people with later-stage dementia continue reading, won AGE-WELL's National Impact Challenge earlier this month. The Marlena Books app incorporates accessibility features such as graduated reading levels, audio support, and automatic page turning. Rachel competed with seven other finalists from across the country for the grand prize of $75,000 in cash and in-kind prizes at a live pitch event in Vancouver. 

Christina Hassan one of six Rotary People of Action

Christina HassanAnother SPHHS alumna with a social venture, Christina Hassan, now living in Calgary, continues to receive accolades for her work with FullSoul. Christina was named one of six Rotary People of Action: Young Innovators for her role in helping to improve maternal health in Uganda, and she and her husband, Hyder, were also named one of Avenue Magazine Calgary's Top 40 Under 40. Christina will present her work at Rotary Day at the United Nations in Nairobi on November 10. She has also received the YMCA International Peace Medallion and the Terry Fox Humanitarian Award. FullSoul's medical kits have helped in more than 65,000 births, and the organization provides resources and support for 10 hospitals.

Dean's Office earns Silver sustainability certification 

The Dean's Office at AHS has been working toward making a positive impact on campus sustainability, and has now earned a silver certification from the Sustainability Office at UWaterloo. If anyone else is interested in participating in the Green Office program, Kirstie Slaney can speak to what's involved.

Upcoming events

Sport Management Case Competition: November 2

The second annual University of Waterloo Sport Management Case Competition will bring together teams of undergraduate students enrolled in sport-related disciplines from across the province as they work together to find solutions to a “real life” managerial issue facing a provincially based sport organization. Details on the Recreation and Leisure Studies Event page.

Fall Open House: November 3

Student reps with teal balloonsProspective students are weighing their school and program options at this time, so the Faculty will be hosting tours and information sessions at Fall Open House. If you know of Grade 12 students interested in university, have them check out the Fall Open House schedule for a detailed list of activities.

Take Your Kid to Work Day: November 14

Marketing and Undergraduate Recruitment reports that the University will officially be participating in The Learning Partnership’s national Take Our Kids to Work program for the first time this year. If you know of a Grade 9 student, consider bringing them in for workshops and a career-guided day. Details on the Waterloo Events page.

Transgender Health and Wellness: November 17

HeForShe logoThis inaugural conference, a HeForShe sponsored event, will provide health and wellness practitioners, educators and students in Waterloo Region with the resources to deliver trans-affirming health care and education. See the Transgender Health and Wellness page for info and to register.

How to Win Grants and Influence Reviewers: November 22

Event posterThe Network for Aging Research (NAR) is hosting an expert panel that will provide information and tips on how to incorporate an interdisciplinary approach and knowledge translation methods into grant proposals. After the presentations, attendees will be invited to form groups and submit a research question and corresponding plan. The submission that most effectively demonstrates interdisciplinarity and knowledge translation strategies will receive $2,000. The event will take place November 22, but please register by November 2 on NAR's event page.

Teaching Fellows Monthly Meet-up: November 27

The November Monthly Meet-up will focus on graduate student, staff and faculty mental health and well-being. Please see details on the Teaching Fellows page. Also, funds are still available to try new and innovative activities in your lectures via the AHS Teaching Excellence Fund.

Gerard Kyle to deliver Shaw-Mannell lecture: November 30

Gerard KyleProfessor Gerard Kyle from Texas A&M University will deliver this year’s Shaw-Mannell Lecture and accept the 2018 Shaw-Mannell Leisure Research Award for innovative, creative and courageous research. Details will be posted soon on the Recreation and Leisure Studies Events page.

...And more

Green Tip of the Month

Do you have lots of old T-shirts? Why not turn them into reusable shopping bags? Find out how on the No Sew T-shirt tote blog.