Life Sciences Program

July 2009 to January 2011  Director, Life Sciences Program

January 2011 to January 2014 Associate Director, Life Sciences Program

An interdisciplinary Life Sciences program was first offered by the Faculty of Science in 1991 to serve a small number of 3-year B.Sc (BSc) students (about 40 initially) that were not admissible into departmental programs or who wished to graduate without an honours degree because they had been accepted into professional schools.  The Honours Life Science (HLS) program came on line in 1996, with an enrolment at all levels of approximately 200.   It is generally recognized that the HLS program  from 1996 to Fall 2009 served two main constituents: 1) students who liked the flexibility of a program that allowed them to choose from a large number of Biology and Psychology offerings and which had few required courses, and 2) those who were shadowing a departmental program that they wanted to enter but did not meet the minimum cumulative average. Enrolment for the HLS was fairly stable at about 150 until 2004, when both the BSc and the HLS programs increased sharply (with a combined total enrolment of >600).  Since 2007-8, total enrolment for these programs and the HLS (Origins Specialization) have stayed above 1000 students.   Currently for Fall 2015, we have about 1200 student registered across levels 2 through 4.

As Director of the program in 2009 and instructor of the core Life Sciences course (Life Science 2A03: Research Methods) and two of the core Biology courses (Biology 2B03: Cell Biology and Biology 2C03: Genetics), I was the primary contact for most students in the program.  The program was very much dependent upon the counselling and administrative  assistance of the Associate Dean’s office.  In January 2010, we shared an office administrator with the two other interdisciplinary science programs on campus (iSci and Origins).  As Director, I was responsible for the burgeoning program with over 400 students entering into level 2.  Administrative duties included counselling, recruitment, and  Faculty of Science meetings including the Academic Planning and Policy Committee (APPC).

In Spring 2012 the program graduated their first cohort of students. As of Fall 2012, the program offers interdisciplinary courses to the more than 1000 students across three levels

As Associate Director (Winter 2011 to Fall 2014) administrative responsibilities included the Life Sciences Executive meetings (biweekly), Life Sciences Council (monthly), and attendance at APPC.   In addition, in Winter and Spring 2013 I was on three search committees for two Teaching Professors (appointed to Psychology, Neuroscience, and Behaviour with 50% teaching in Life Sciences) and one Contractually Limited Appointment (CLA) to a Faculty position (appointed to Biology with 50% teaching in Life Sciences).

In addition to the formal administrative duties of the Associate Director, there were a number of informal responsibilities.  These included advising students on thesis and academic placement  selection and career counselling.