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People on the Move

Announcements – September 7, 2021


Rene Van Acker has been reappointed dean of the Ontario Agricultural College at the University of Guelph for a five-year term, effective Sept. 1. During Dr. Van Acker’s first term as dean, he led the creation of a new bachelor of Indigenous environmental science and practice program and course-based master’s programs in food safety and quality assurance, and dairy technology and management. He also developed a new strategic plan, infrastructure master plan and the first experiential learning strategy for the college. Dr. Van Acker previously served as the college’s associate dean, external relations, and as the chair of the department of plant agriculture from 2006 to 2009. Before joining the U of Guelph, he was an assistant professor in the department of plant science at the University of Manitoba.

Saint Mary’s University announced the appointment of Lori Francis as dean of its faculty of science. Dr. Francis began her time at Saint Mary’s in 2002 when she joined the department of psychology as an assistant professor. In 2017, she became associate dean of science, student affairs and later served as acting dean of science. Dr. Francis earned a BSc from St. Francis Xavier University, an MSc from McMaster University and a PhD in industrial/organizational psychology from the university of Guelph.

Gina Sylvestre is the new director of the Institute of Urban Studies at the University of Winnipeg. She began a one-year term in August. Dr. Sylvestre is an environmental gerontologist with a research focus on the environmental factors that facilitate and limit healthy aging. She first joined the institute in 2005 on a short-term project that turned into a permanent role. In 2012, she joined the U of Winnipeg’s department of geography where she teaches health geography, urban geography and sustainable tourism.

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