Celebrating staff across the Faculty of Science

This month, we celebrate the incredible efforts of all staff in the Faculty of Science as our community rises to the challenge of social distancing.

News Staff - 03 April 2020

The past few weeks have presented unprecedented challenges for our Faculty of Science community—from the shift of classes to remote delivery, to advising and supporting students through successfully completing the winter term, preparing for next semester or graduation, and many more. Students, faculty, and staff have been collectively rising to these challenges, adapting to new information daily. For our April Celebrating Staff feature, we’re taking this opportunity to thank all of our staff for their exceptional work in keeping the Faculty of Science operational.

Working and teaching remotely

As we all work together to protect public health, the switch to remote delivery has been a period of adjustment for our students and instructors both, and we want to thank not only those teaching and learning in remotely and adopting new tools like Zoom and Google Meet to keep their day-to-day work functioning, but the staff that made this switch possible.

Such a significant change would not have been possible without the efforts of our technology support specialists, and the remote delivery of classes has also required our instructors to rapidly adapt their course material and adopt new strategies.

A phenomenal culture of collaboration has been on display in the Faculty as lecturers, sessional instructors, and faculty members share best practices and techniques to keep students engaged and learning. Jillian Buriak, professor in the Department of Chemistry, Vincent Bouchard, associate professor in the Department of Mathematical and Statistical Sciences, and Sean Graves, faculty lecturer and coordinator for the Decima Robinson Support Centre, are just a few examples of members of our community who have been instrumental in assisting their colleagues with this move.

Student Services

With the many changes on campus, our students have had questions and needed advice as they plan for their next courses, prepare to graduate, and seek academic advice. Our Student Services team has been instrumental in guiding students through this period, and we want to thank all of our academic advisors and recruitment staff for their efforts. 

For many of our staff, working remotely has also meant balancing child care and unexpected “home schooling” in an already busy time. With K-12 schools across Alberta closed, many staff members are not only putting in incredible effort to ensure that the Faculty of Science continues to support our students and faculty, but doing so while looking after their children at home.

As people across Alberta look to keep themselves and their family members learning at home amid these closures, the University of Alberta’s massive open online courses (MOOCs) have been a great resource. The efforts of staff including Gavin Bradley, Science MOOC coordinator, and Cody Steinke, engagement associate (camps & outreach), have helped update these online courses with curriculum alignment information, supporting fellow colleagues and lifelong learning alike.

Thank you to all of our staff—as well as students and faculty—for your incredible efforts and for your support of our community.

We look forward to seeing you all on campus again sooner than later. Thank you.