Dean's update - September 2016


The past month marked several notable milestones for the Faculty, including the release of our Applied Health Sciences impact report, Health in 3D and the soft launch of the AHS Expansion Building.  This momentum will continue throughout October with several important events and initiatives:  

  • As part of our graduate student recruitment strategy, updates and enhancements are being made to each faculty member’s online profile page. The changes include a standardized format for content and videos highlighting research and teaching interests. The first eight videos are now live, with plans to build a complete library of profile videos over time. To view the first set of videos, visit the profiles of: Heather Keller, Bill McIlroy, Marina Mourtzakis, Bryan Grimwood, Diana Parry, Suzanne Tyas, Dave Hammond and John Hirdes. For any questions around this project, please contact Jasmin English.
  • A reminder to join us for the AHS Fun Run and the grand opening of the AHS Expansion Building on October 1. The program, which includes a ribbon cutting ceremony, will begin at 1:15 in the foyer of the new building, and will be followed by refreshments and tours of the facility.
  • This year, 56 of our Faculty’s varsity athletes will be recognized at the President’s Athlete Academic Honour Roll Reception on October 4. These students maintained an average of over 80 per cent while competing in a varsity sport during the 2015-2016 season. I am proud to share that AHS students make up more than a quarter of the Waterloo varsity athletes being honoured at the reception.
  • On October 11, we will officially open the Toby Jenkins Applied Health Research Building (formerly known as Tech Town) in the David Johnston Research & Technology Park. All are welcome for the grand opening, beginning at 11 a.m. Please RSVP online if you plan to attend.
  • On October 12, several of our graduate students will present their work at the AHS grad research day. Participating students will compete in a Mad Minute oral presentation in AHS 1686 followed by poster sessions in the expansion building foyer. The event begins at 1 p.m. For more information please contact Rebecca Lintaman.
  • Fall convocation is set for October 21. In addition to our 77 undergraduate and 157 graduate students convocating, we will present honorary doctorates to Brant Fries and Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi. Professor Fries is founder and president of interRAI, an international research network that develops comprehensive assessment tools for vulnerable populations. Professor Csikszentmihalyi is known as “the father of positive psychology” and his work on flow, a metaphorical description of mental states associated with optimal satisfaction and fulfillment, is key to the study of recreation and leisure. On the note of honorary doctorates, congratulations are extended to former honorary DSc recipient Professor Lawrence Green, who will be recognized by the American Public Health Association with the Sedgwick Memorial Medal for Distinguished Service in Public Health.
  • Earlier this month the Faculty hosted a delegation from the Hong Kong Science and Technology Park. Interested in our work on aging and health, the delegation toured our facilities and met researchers from Kinesiology and the School of Public Health and Health Systems. Future academic partnerships are being discussed.
  • Congratulations to Joon Lee on receiving an Ontario Early Researcher Award. These highly competitive awards recognize promising new researchers within 10 years of receiving their doctoral degree, and are designated to build the research team by funding HQP.
  • Six deans dressed as Winnie the Pooh characters.In the spirit of raising funds for the United Way campaign, which officially launches on Oct 4, each Waterloo dean agreed to dress as a character from Winnie the Pooh if every member of Executive Council pledged towards the campaign. So anxious to see us in costume, we received 100 per cent participation before the campaign even launched. Here is photographic evidence of the bet:
  • I would like to thank all the individuals who helped make Orientation 2016 a success. From the 123 students who volunteered as Orientation leaders to the faculty and staff who helped serve at the Dean’s lunch, thank you for welcoming this year’s incoming class with such enthusiasm. Thanks are also extended to those involved in graduate studies welcome activities.
  • Around the same time we welcomed our incoming class at Orientation, our undergraduate recruitment team was preparing for the Ontario Universities’ Fair.  Held last weekend, the event drew a record of 135,945 visitors. Our AHS team collected contact information for 756 prospective students, giving us the third highest number of leads from all Faculties at Waterloo. A special thank you to the 56 faculty, staff and students who took time out of their weekend to attended the event and represent AHS.
  • The next major recruitment event is the Fall Open House on Saturday, November 5. This year prospective students will be able to tour our new labs, study spaces and lecture hall as part of the day. If staff or faculty members are interested in helping out for a few hours between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m., please contact Pamela Hurvid.
  • Thank you for all who came out to the corn roast on Wednesday— and special recognition to Julie Cassaubon, Catherine Maine, Rebecca Lintaman, Ryan McGuinness, Bernice Ma and Jasmin English, who organized the event.

Faculty and students eating corn.

Faculty, staff, students and family enjoying corn roast on BMH Green.


Jim Rush.

Looking forward to seeing many of you at this weekend’s Fun Run and Reunion celebrations,


James W.E. Rush, PhD
Professor and Dean 
Faculty of Applied Health Sciences