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Remembering Fran Allard

Friday, March 24, 2017

Fran Allard.With sadness, the Faculty of Applied Health Sciences announces that Fran Allard, retired professor in the Department of Kinesiology, died on Tuesday, March 21.

Allard completed four degrees at University of Waterloo, including a Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Physical Education prior to graduate studies. She was a member of UWaterloo's first female basketball team and captain of the team for two years. She played for the university’s first field hockey team for two years and was inducted in the Waterloo Warriors Hall of Fame in 1984 in recognition of outstanding contributions to the athletic program.

She joined faculty in 1975 as assistant professor in psychology, moving full-time to the Department of Kinesiology in 1980. A specialist in psychomotor behavior, Allard’s research focused on information processing in learning and performing motor skills, and social psychological variables that facilitate or impede learning and performance. 

Her intimate understanding of the learning process and her caring nature translated to the classroom, where Allard shone. A recipient of the Distinguished Teacher Award (1983), she encouraged her students to work at the limits of their abilities then guided them in extending those limits. An undergraduate student proclaimed she approached teaching “with a conviction that it is possible to be casual, informative, humorous, and demanding all at once.” In graduate classes, she “knew and enjoyed her subject matter, had little tolerance for those who evade the issues, and was an astute and penetrating critic.”

An active member of the academic community, Allard also served as associate chair in kinesiology, for both undergraduate and graduate studies, and associate dean, undergraduate studies in the Faculty of Applied Health Sciences for more than a decade. David Johnston, former president of the University, praised Allard for excelling in these roles as a “compassionate, fair and even-handed advocate, and up-holder of the rules."

Allard retired in 2010. Says a former colleague, “Fran was an inspirational female leader when I arrived on campus as an undergrad and continued that inspiration and mentorship as a colleague and friend. She will be missed.”

Visitation is scheduled for Monday, March 27, 7:00 to 9:00 p.m. and memorial service Tuesday, March 28 at 2:00 p.m. at Erb and Good Family Funeral home, 171 King Street South, Waterloo.

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