Waterloo International AVP returns from Sabbatical

Wednesday, January 27, 2021

Waterloo International welcomes the return of Ian Rowlands, PhD, associate vice-president, International.

Dr. Rowlands’ scholarly activities during his 2020 sabbatical focused on energy sustainability and internationalization in higher education; for the latter part of this work, he had an affiliation with the Association of Commonwealth Universities (ACU) as a Special Advisor.

In this capacity, he was able to further his understanding of the internationalization of higher education during the COVID-19 pandemic through his engagement in the ACU’s emerging pattern of regular virtual engagement with member universities and a convening of the ACU’s contribution to a pan-commonwealth programme for early career researchers.  He was also able to build on his interests in sustainability through his involvement with the Commonwealth Climate Resilience Network and participation in a sustainable urbanization initiative

Based in the United Kingdom for the first three months of 2020, Dr. Rowlands returned to Canada last March, due to the global pandemic, but continued collaboration with his London-based colleagues virtually for the rest of that year. He resumed AVP duties effective 2021-01-01.

“It was fascinating – and instructive – to participate in the international higher education ecosystem from another vantage point,” said Dr. Rowlands. “New people, new perspectives, and new issues all contributed to my learning.  And given that I was ‘remote’ for more than two-thirds of the year, I also got the opportunity to experience virtual internationalization.”

Dr. Rowlands is excited to be back at Waterloo International and plans to leverage his newly gained knowledge, skills, perspectives, and connections to work collaboratively to advance strategic priorities at the University of Waterloo.

Sincere thanks are extended to Drs. Bessma Momani and Christine McWebb, who together had oversight over the Waterloo International portfolio.