Dean's Update - September 2020


Lili LiuDear colleagues,

This month we made progress on the implementation of our 2020-25 strategic plan. To oversee and coordinate our efforts, we set up a Strategic Plan Implementation Advisory Committee (SPIAC), which held its inaugural meeting to review the terms of reference, establish its membership and timeline.
I am grateful to the following individuals who agreed to co-chair one of the four strategic priorities: 1) Leeann Ferries and Brian Laird (Meaningful education); 2) Rich Staines and Heather Keller (Impactful research); 3) Mark Ferro and Monica Maly (Culture of health and well-being); and 4) Katie Misener, who will co-chair this priority with me (Internal and external community engagement). The co-chairs are recruiting volunteers, including staff, faculty, students and alumni to engage in the development of actions for the goals. This task is scheduled to be completed in the next 4-6 months.
Part of this strategic plan, of course, is to change our Faculty name to “Faculty of Health,” which is more inclusive of our programs and reflects who we are and where we are going. There is an update about that in the section below.

Cover image from magazineThe fall issue of News to You, the AHS alumni magazine, is now available online, and it, too, is themed around our new strategic plan. Its focus is on capturing our values (Equity, Community, Work-life balance, Integrity, Creativity, Impact) through stories about our alumni and students. I hope that you are inspired as I am when you read this issue.

I look forward to working with many of you as we bring our strategic plan to life so that it can serve as a road map for us in the next five years. The future is being shaped by our current challenges with the pandemic. I hope that you are adjusting to the return to the new academic year and that you are able to stay healthy under the circumstances.

All the best,
Lili Liu

AHS this monthEvents I Tips and reminders


Faculty name change

After many months of consultation and discussion, the proposed name change for Applied Health Sciences (to Faculty of Health) was approved at Senate. The proposal will now make its way to the October Board of Governors meeting for approval. If passed, it will be implemented beginning in January, in a staged approach. There may be select elements, like outdoor signage that is being installed this fall by the University, that pre-date the rollout in January.

Academic unit name changes

Two academic units within the Faculty are also proposing name changes: Kinesiology to Kinesiology and Health Sciences, and the School of Public Health and Health Systems to the School of Public Health Sciences. Both proposals were approved unanimously at this month's Faculty Council meeting and will be going to Senate next. The changes are part of a coordinated effort to showcase that both these units house degrees related to health sciences. Also proposed, but going through the undergraduate curriculum process, is a name change for the BSc in Health Studies to BSc in Health Sciences.

Sue Horton named Royal Society Fellow

Sue HortonSue Horton, a professor in the School of Public Health and Health Systems, was one of two University of Waterloo researchers to be named a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada (RSC). Horton is jointly appointed with the Department of Economics and is known for her research ;on global health economics. Congratulations to Sue on this prestigious honour!

New funding for mental health research

Barb RileyAHS researcher Barb Riley received federal funding for a new Knowledge Development and Exchange (KDE) Hub at Renison University College. The KDE Hub, a cross-Canada collaborative team, supports and amplifies the work of 20 diverse projects and others with shared interests in optimizing mental health and its promotion among young Canadians. The funding is provided by the Public Health Agency of Canada through the Mental Health Promotion Innovation Fund and was announced on September 10.

Postdoc receives AGE-WELL award

Noelannah NeubauerNoelannah Neubauer, a postdoctoral fellow in the School of Public Health and Health Systems, received an AGE-WELL Postdoctoral Award in Technology and Aging. The award provides funding to highly qualified candidates to access training and opportunities as early professionals. Neubauer will be continuing her PhD research, in which she developed and evaluated an interactive version of the Canadian Guideline for Safe Wandering.

AHS in top three at postdoc pitch competition

Noelannah Neubauer was also one of two AHS postdoctoral fellows who placed in the top three in Postdoc Lightning Talks, a pitch competition last week that marked the end of National Postdoc Appreciation Week. Her presentation, “From bookshelf to use in the real world: mobilizing the Canadian Guideline for Safe Wandering,” came in second. Jonathan Petrychyn from Recreation and Leisure Studies came in third with “Swipe, Woof, or Tap? Making Connections on Dating Apps.” They were the only two AHS entries among 18 campus competitors.


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

Waterloo Virtual Fair: October 3

Waterloo Virtual Fair posterDo you know someone thinking about university next year? We're bringing Waterloo and AHS to prospective students this fall at our Waterloo Virtual Fair, since the Ontario Universities' Fair is not taking place. Have them register today at the Waterloo Virtual Fair event page.

Graduate Studies Information Week: October 5-8

Three students looking at a laptopThe Faculty is offering a series of sessions to help students learn more about graduate school and the comprehensive programs available in AHS. If you know students who are interested in continuing their academic careers, please ask them to register for Graduate Studies Information Week.

Thrive Week call for abstracts: October 9

Thrive Week will take place the week of November 5 this term and, as part of those activities, the University's Committee on Student Mental Health will host a virtual conference on student mental health research. Students, faculty and staff are invited to present at the conference; the call for abstracts is open until October 9.

24-hour Movement Guidelines launch: October 15

24-Hour Movement Guidelines for Adults bannerKinesiology Professor Lora Giangregorio and her team worked on Canada's first 24-hour Movement Guidelines for adults, which will be launched in a live webcast on October 15. Join them by registering on the Canadian 24-hour Movement Guidelines page.

UWaterloo maceAHS Convocation: October 23-24

Fall Convocation will be virtual again this term, with a personalized email to be delivered to AHS graduands on October 23, and a short live celebration at 3:30 p.m. on October 24. PhD graduands are also invited to a separate live celebration at noon on October 23, and all graduating students will have the option of attending an in-person ceremony when it is safe to do so. For details, see the Convocation website.


Remote teaching guidelines

If you are looking for best practices to help guide your remote teaching strategy, please see the Faculty's Remote teaching guidelines, now available online. 

Set up your two-factor authorization now

Duo logoIt is important to set up two-factor authentication by November 3 so you can access UWaterloo systems such as Office 365, Workday, LEARN and Quest. For instructions, check your inbox for an email that was sent September 21. Two-factor authentication means that two forms of authentication are required as part of the login process, and the Duo Mobile app will allow you to do this while helping to prevent your accounts from being hacked.

Dean's Office staffing change

April TannerKarry KwanThe Dean's Office would like to wish April Tanner all the best as her contract as Alumni Advancement Officer comes to an end. Karry Kwan returns to her former position from secondment on October 19, but there will be a few weeks of overlap for continuity. Thanks for your service, April, and welcome back, Karry.

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