Dean's Update - October 2019


Lili LiuDear AHS staff, faculty, and graduate students,

This month, I see generosity all around, and this has caused me to reflect on the meaning of philanthropy and the many iterations it can take.

The deans in Sesame Street costumesOn October 1, the University of Waterloo launched its United Way Campaign, pledging to raise $250,000 to help vulnerable people and families in our communities. To this end, the six deans dressed up as Sesame Street characters and paraded through campus (I was Cookie Monster!). I hope that when students and staff turned their attention from work to us, they were reminded of the campaign to help others. According to Doug Peers, former dean of Arts, this tradition began four years ago when the deans came up with the idea that if there was 100 per cent participation from members of Executive Council, the deans would appear in costume in Senate. Since then, they have been good sports in raising awareness in this way for the United Way effort.
President Hamdullahpur with Sandra OlneyThe night before convocation, I was honoured to host a reception to celebrate with Sandra Olney (PhD ’82), who just received an Alumni Achievement Award. In addition to her numerous international contributions, she has been a long-standing supporter of the Faculty.
Finally, last Saturday, our alumna, Jessica Bondy (MA ’13), who is director of Housing Services at the House of Friendship, announced the launch of ShelterCare, an initiative that brings health care to shelters to better meet the health needs of vulnerable people who are homeless. The Faculty was proud to participate in the 24th Annual Friendship Dinner, where 650 people attended in the spirit of philanthropy.
As October wraps up, I hope that each of us continues to give what we can, in ways that are meaningful.
Lili Liu

AHS this monthEvents I Tips and reminders


Media experts update

Experts in studioIf you're a faculty member who is willing to provide information, analysis, or an opinion in your area of expertise to the media, please verify that your information is correct in the Waterloo Media Experts database. If there is an error, update, or you'd like to be added or removed from the database, please contact Eugenia Xenos Anderson.

TA Award nominations

The AHS Teaching Fellows encourage you to reflect on the TAs who have been assisting you this term. If you worked with an exceptional TA, consider nominating them for the AHS Teaching Assistant Award by going to this Teaching Fellows website and completing the form.

Walkabout Wednesdays, rain or shine

Wade and Robyn imitating a W shapeTwo AHS "walkabout enthusiasts" are leading a community-building walk around Ring Road every Wednesday to "test" research that says you will likely see increased productivity from physical and social activity. Meet Wade Wilson and Robyn Ibey outside room 1689 every Wednesday at noon until December 11, although they may not always be in fancy dress, like they were yesterday.

Mentorship award to Craig Janes

Craig JanesCongratulations to Craig Janes, director of the School of Public Health and Health Systems, who received the Vic Neufeld Mentorship Award in Global Health Research for his dedicated work with students. The award was presented this month by the Canadian Coalition for Global Health Research. Craig has mentored more than 38 students and fellows, including many from low- to middle-income countries. 

Health behaviour fellowship for Scott Leatherdale

Scott LeatherdaleCongratulations as well to Scott Leatherdale, who leads the COMPASS research group, for being named a Fellow of the American Academy of Health Behavior. Fellowships are granted in recognition of significant contributions to the field of health behaviour research.

New AHS LinkedIn showcase page

LinkedIn logoThe Faculty has started up its own LinkedIn showcase page, which is designed to share professional opportunities such as research and post-doc positions, provide updates on alumni stories, and keep you informed on AHS-related news stories and research. Follow the page to start engaging, or if you have any ideas or thoughts on content, please contact Krystal Kowalski.


Fall Open House: November 2

Fallen leaf on AHS decalThis Saturday, campus will be bustling as high school students visit us to find out if our programs are a good fit for them. If you know anyone who is interested, have them register for Fall Open House. They can come for specific sessions, or make a day of it (10 a.m. to 4 p.m.).

Take Our Kids to Work Day: November 6

If you have a child in Grade 9, the University is participating in the Learning Partnership’s national Take Our Kids to Work Day. A variety of workshops and hands-on opportunities are scheduled to showcase UWaterloo to this age group, including in kinesiology and public health topics. Online registration is open. 

Thriving in a climate emergency: November 7

Thrive logoWhat does it mean to thrive in the face of climate crisis? How can we find optimism and hope? The AHS Health and Well-being Advisory Committee has organized a talk and networking event on this issue for AHS students, faculty and staff as part of Thrive Week (November 4-8). All are welcome to the Sun Life Auditorium, November 7, 11:30 a.m.

Health Innovation Series: November 7

Window to the Brain graphicOver the next five months, the University, AHS and the Faculty of Science will co-host three panels focused on health. The first panel discussion, Window to the Brain, is on November 7 in Toronto. AHS’ own Richard Staines will discuss his research interests, focused on understanding how the brain interprets, adapts to and integrates sensory inputs to guide motor behaviour, and how these processes are affected by and can contribute to recovery from brain injury. Alumni are invited to attend with a guest and may register on the Health Innovation Series website.

Grad Studies Info Night: November 12

Please let your undergraduate students know about Grad Studies Info Night, taking place November 12 from 6 to 8 p.m. in the AHS Expansion. They will learn more about pursuing a graduate degree and receive important information about applications, admissions, careers and programs. Department-specific breakout sessions will follow, where undergraduates can speak with faculty and current grad students. Information and registration is available on the Grad Studies Info Night event page.

Waterloo West Neighbourhood Fest: November 23

Children at table, drawingRecreation and Leisure Studies students organize and deliver a community outreach program at the Stork Family YMCA every year geared to young children. If you have children aged 2 to 12 looking for fun-filled activities, check out this free, drop-in event which takes place between 8 a.m. and 6 p.m. on November 23 this year.

Teaching Fellows' Teaching Fair: December 5

Teaching Fair posterThe AHS Teaching Fair is designed to showcase novel, innovative, creative and engaging pedagogical tools that instructors in our Faculty are using to enhance the learning of our undergraduate and graduate students. The keynote this year is "Everyday Resiliency Through Optimal Stress, Personal Alignment and Purpose: How to Show Up and Make it Work for You." Sun Life Auditorium, 9:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Watch for your Outlook calendar invitation.


Research ethics questions

Question mark in chalkA reminder that Research Ethics is offering drop-in sessions every Wednesday until December 18 to answer questions related to the ethics process, including submitting, renewing and amending an application. All sessions will be held from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. in the Dana Porter Library (study booth on the main floor). Come prepared with your questions and a laptop.

Wellness tip: Set limits on checking email

Stylized envelopeIt's been reported that the average worker spends 28 per cent of their week on email, and most university staff likely spend more than that. How can you manage email so that it doesn't manage you? Here are some tips on how to Limit the Time You Spend on Email from the Harvard Business Review. Also, if you are the one sending email, ask yourself whether it's really needed.

Safety training for graduate students

Hazard signWe are halfway through the fall term, but there are still some new graduate students who have not yet completed their mandatory health and safety training. Please check the Safety Office’s Training Programs page to identify and access the required courses. Supervisors should check with new students to ensure they have completed all of the mandatory requirements. If you have any health- or safety-related questions, please contact Emma Dare at ext. 36703 or

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