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Announcements – December 2020


Vivek Goel was named the next president and vice-chancellor of the University of Waterloo for a five-year term that begins on July 1. Dr. Goel is currently helping to guide the University of Toronto’s COVID-19 planning efforts as a special advisor to the president and provost, and is a professor at the Dalla Lana School of Public Health. He joined U of T in 1991 as an assistant professor of preventative medicine and biostatistics and later served as the university’s vice-president, academic, and provost. He left U of T to become the founding head of Public Health Ontario and returned to the university in 2015 to take on the role of vice-president, research and innovation.

The University of Ottawa announced Stéphane Brutus as the next dean of the Telfer School of Management. Presently, Dr. Brutus is a professor in motivation and employee performance at Concordia University’s John Molson School of Business, where he previously served as interim dean and associate dean of graduate professional programs. He was chair of the department of management at Concordia from 2009 to 2012 and director of the Bell Research Centre for Business Process Innovations from 2006 to 2009. While at Concordia, Dr. Brutus also served as co-chair of the president’s task force on anti-Black racism.

Airini, currently dean of the faculty of education and social work at Thompson Rivers University, is joining the University of Saskatchewan on Feb. 1 as its next provost and vice-president, academic, for a five-year term. Before her time at TRU, she held a variety of positions in the faculty of education at the University of Auckland in New Zealand, including head of the interdisciplinary school of critical studies in education and associate dean of equity. Dr. Airini’s research looks at how education can help build a more equitable society.

Jeff Wichtel has been reappointed dean of the Ontario Veterinary College at the University of Guelph for another five-year term. His first term as dean began in 2015. Before joining U of Guelph, Dr. Wichtel was associate dean, graduate studies and research, at the Atlantic Veterinary College at the University of Prince Edward Island.

Gitta Kulczycki, Dalhousie University’s new vice-president, finance and administration, began her term on Nov. 2. Before coming to Dalhousie, she held the same position at the University of Alberta for four years. She entered the postsecondary sector in 2004 when she took on the role of vice-president, resources and operations, at Western University. Previous to that, Ms. Kulczycki oversaw finances and corporate services at a regional health care corporation in Moncton.

Wilfrid Laurier University appointed Lloyd Noronha vice-president, finance and administration, for a fiveyear term that begins on Jan. 1. Mr. Noronha, a chartered professional accountant, comes to Laurier from the Toronto Catholic District School Board, where he was the chief financial officer and associate director of education, facilities, business and community development. Before working for the school board, he held positions at the City of Brampton and later served in several senior positions with the City of Vaughan. 

On May 1, Corinne Haigh will begin her new role as dean of Acadia University’s faculty of professional studies. Currently, Dr. Haigh is dean of the school of education at Bishop’s Universitywhere her research focuses on how the languages of a bilingual person interact when the person is listening, speaking, reading and writing. She has held leadership and administration roles at Bishop’s, including department chair and graduate program coordinator within the school of education 

NSCAD University appointed Isabelle Nault as the university’s new associate vice-president, operations, as of Nov. 9Ms. Nault joins NSCAD U from Queen’s University, where she served as manager of architecture and design, and oversaw work on heritage buildings across the Queen’s campus. Ms. Nault earned an undergraduate degree in architecture from Université de Montréal and a graduate degree in architecture from Athabasca University. 

Molly Shoichet was awarded the 2020 Gerhard Herzberg Canada Gold Medal for Science and Engineering by the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council. The prize is worth up to $1 million. Dr. Shoichet is a professor at the University of Toronto, where she holds the Canada Research Chair in Tissue Engineering and leads the Shoichet Lab. She was awarded the prize for her invention of hydrogels, which enable researchers to grow human cells in three-dimensional environments.  

The National Sciences and Engineering Research Council’s 2020 John C. Polanyi Award has been given to Karen Maxwell for her contributions to the field of biochemistry. Dr. Maxwell, a professor at the University of Toronto, studies bacteriophages, which are viruses that infect bacteria. She and her team discovered a soil-dwelling bacteria called Streptomyces that produces molecules that put a halt to viruses and prevents fast replication.

Western University has named Donna Kotsopoulos the new dean of its faculty of education, starting Jan. 1Dr. Kotsopoulos is currently a professor of management and organizational studies at Huron University College, affiliated with Western. She also holds adjunct research faculty appointments in Western’s departments of psychology, and statistical and actuarial sciences. Before coming to Huron, she was a professor of education at Wilfrid Laurier University, where she held various roles, including associate dean, education, and acting associate vice-president, research.  

Nick Harney has been appointed the next dean of the faculty of social science at Western University for a five-year term that begins on Aug. 1, 2021. Dr. Harney will join Western from the University of Windsor, where he is the head of the department of sociology, anthropology and criminology. Prior to that, he held various positions at the University of Western Australia, including chair of anthropology and sociology, and associate dean, international, for the faculty of arts. Dr. Harney is a graduate of Harvard University and the University of Toronto.  

Athabasca University announced Simon Sigué as the new associate dean of the university’s faculty of graduate studies. Dr. Sigué joined Athabasca U’s faculty of business in 2001. His research covers franchising, customer relationship management, game theory, corruption and international marketing and trade. He is the president of the Academy of African Business and Development, an external member of the advisory board of the graduate school of business leadership of the University of South Africa and a former editor of the  Journal of African Business 

Maureen Armstrong was appointed the interim ombudsperson at York University. This is not Ms. Armstrong’s first time working at York: she served as university secretary and general counsel from 2014 to 2019, and provided strategic advice on governance and legal matters. She has also held senior positions at the Canadian Human Rights Commission, Legal Aid Ontario and the Criminal Injuries Compensation Board.  

Ontario Tech University has a new vice-president, administrationBrad MacIsaac, previously the institution’s assistant vice-president, planning and analysis, since 2008, assumed his new role on Nov. 16. He joined Ontario Tech in 2003 as the first budget and planning officer in the faculty of health sciences. Before this, he held administrative and teaching roles at York University and the University of New Brunswick.  

The University of Manitoba welcomes Marcia Friesen as the new dean of the Price Faculty of Engineering, effective Jan. 1, for a five-year term. While in her new position, Dr. Friesen, a U of Manitoba alumna, will continue to hold the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council Chair in Design Engineering. She has been a U of M faculty member since 2003 and most recently served as associate dean, design education, engineering. Dr. Friesen is the university’s first female dean of engineering.

Rahim Somani began his new role on Nov. 2 as vice-president, finance and administration, at the University of Northern British Columbia. Mr. Somani joins UNBC from the University of Central Asia, where he spent 12 years overseeing the finance and operations of the university. Before this, he was the interim chief executive officer at the Aga Khan Education Service in Pakistan. He is a graduate of the University of Karachi and University College London.

The University of Guelph welcomes Mazyar Fallah as the new dean of the college of biological science on Jan. 1 for a five-year term. Dr. Fallah joins U of Guelph from York University, where he has served as associate dean, research and innovation, in the faculty of health science since 2015. In his time at York, Dr. Fallah facilitated research partnerships and increased external research funding.

Starting on Jan. 4, Sharilee Fossum becomes MacEwan University’s next vice-president, finance and administration, and chief financial officer. Most recently, Ms. Fossum served as chief financial and corporate officer with the Association of Professional Engineers and Geoscientists of Alberta. Before that, she held senior positions at the Alberta Urban Municipalities Association, the Alberta Environmental Monitoring, Evaluation and Reporting Agency, and Edmonton Northlands.

The University of Toronto announced the appointment of Leah Cohen as its first associate vice-president, research. Dr. Cowen is the chair of the department of molecular genetics in the Temerty Faculty of Medicine at U of T, where she holds the Canada Research Chair in Microbial Genomics. She was also co-founder and chief scientific officer of biotechnology firm Bright Angel Therapeutics.

Angela Maltese was appointed chair of Lakehead University’s board of governors. Ms. Maltese, a chartered professional accountant and certified financial planner, is the director of finance and operations for Bingwi Neyaashi Anishinaabek First Nation. She joined Lakehead’s board of governors in 2014 and has been its vice-chair since 2016.

The University of New Brunswick has named Michael Marin the new dean of its faculty of law. Mr. Marin was appointed associate dean of the faculty in 2018 and, this past July, took on the role of acting dean. Before coming to UNB in 2016, he spent four years at the University of Ottawa. Mr. Marin is a vice-chair of the New Brunswick Workers’ Compensation Appeals Tribunal and a member of the Atlantic Regional Committee of the Supreme Court Advocacy Institute. His five-year term as dean begins on July 1.

On Nov. 9, Kristina Öhrvall began a new role at McGill University as assistant vice-principal, research development. Previously, Ms. Öhrvall was McGill’s director of strategic initiatives, research and innovation. In this new position, she will work to raise the overall level of McGill’s research activities and improve how the university develops, proposes and supports large-scale strategic research initiatives. Ms. Öhrvall was trained as an environmental engineer and holds a master of science from Luleå University of Technology in Sweden.

Jane Vessey began a five-year term as director of athletics and recreation at the University of Prince Edward Island on Nov. 23. Before this, she was UPEI’s manager of ceremonies and events, and served as project lead for the development of the university’s COVID-19 operational plan. Before joining UPEI, she was the special projects operations consultant, national flag tour, for the Invictus Games Toronto 2017.

The new chair of Dalhousie University’s board of governors is Bob Hanf. Mr. Hanf has been a member of the board since 2013 and previously served as chair of the academic student affairs committee and the community affairs committee. He is a Dalhousie alumni and former speaker of the Dalhousie Student Union council. After 20 years working in the energy sector, including as president and CEO of Nova Scotia Power, Mr. Hanf retired in 2020.

Michelle Pidgeon has been named Simon Fraser University’s inaugural associate dean, Indigeneity. Dr. Pigeon, who has Mi’kmaq ancestry, is an associate professor in the university’s faculty of education and director of the Centre for the Study of Educational Leadership and Policy. In her research, Dr. Pidgeon focuses on higher education and Indigenization. She is also passionate about expanding Indigenous research processes and ethical protocols in research.

Lars Hallström was named the new director of the Prentice Institute for Global Population and Economy at the University of Lethbridge, effective Jan. 1. He will also be joining U of L’s political science department as a faculty member. Dr. Hallström was previously the director of the Alberta Centre for Sustainable Rural Communities, a joint program of the Augustana faculty and the faculty of agricultural, life and environmental sciences at the University of Alberta.

Simon Fraser University alumnus Erin Morantz is the university’s next vice-president, advancement and alumni engagement, effective Jan. 18. She is the former director of advancement in SFU’s faculty of applied sciences and is currently serving as vice-president, leadership giving, at the Canadian Cancer Society.

Marco Fiola is the new principal of York University’s Glendon campus as of Jan. 1 for a term that runs until mid-2026. He comes to York from the department of languages, literatures and cultures at Ryerson University, where he held the position of chair for eight years. From 2001 to 2006, Dr. Fiola taught at the Université du Québec en Outaouais. Prior to his academic career, he was a senior translator for the Government of Yukon.

Lakehead University named Janusz Koziński the next dean of the faculty of engineering for a five-year term that begins on Jan. 1. Prior to joining Lakehead, Dr. Koziński was the founding president of the New Model Institute for Technology & Engineering in the U.K. and served as founding dean of York University’s Lassonde School of Engineering. He was also formerly the dean of the college of engineering at the University of Saskatchewan. Educated in Kraków, Poland at the AGH University of Science and Technology, Dr. Koziński received his postdoctoral training at Massachusetts Institute of Technology and spent much of his academic career at McGill University, where he was a Sir William Dawson Scholar and associate vice-principal of research and international relations.

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