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SIS Director Announcement

The Faculty of Science and the Dean of Science welcome Dr. Maureen MacDonald, Department of Kinesiology, as the inaugural Director of the School of Interdisciplinary Science. The School of Interdisciplinary Science was formally approved by the Board of Governors on October 22, 2015, and will open officially on January 1, 2016.

Dr. MacDonald brings a wealth of administrative experience to the task of establishing the new School. She is currently the Director of the McMaster Physical Activity Centre of Excellence (PACE), and has held numerous academic administrative appointments, including Acting Chair of the Department of Kinesiology from 2014-2015 and Chair of the McMaster University Board-Senate Hearing Panel for Sexual Harassment and Anti-Discrimination from 2009 to 2013.

Her research program focuses on exercise physiology, cardiovascular physiology, blood flow regulation, arterial compliance, spinal cord injury, aging, hypertension, and adaptations to exercise training. She received her Honours BSc in Chemistry from Acadia University, Canada, in 1991, and her MSc (1993) and PhD (1998) in Kinesiology from the University of Waterloo, Canada. She joined McMaster in 2000. Dr. MacDonald directs the Vascular Dynamics Laboratory and is an active member of the Exercise Metabolism Research Group in the Department of Kinesiology at McMaster. She has directly supervised 45 undergraduate and graduate students since her appointment. She has been continually funded by the Natural Sciences and Engineering Council of Canada (NERSC) since 2001, and also currently holds funding from Canadian Institutes for Health Research and the Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada. Dr. MacDonald is a co-chair of the Biological Systems and Functions NSERC Discovery Grant Scientific Review Panel for 2015/16. She is a member of the Canadian Society for Exercise Physiology, the American College of Sports Medicine and the American Physiological Society and is an Associate Editor for Applied Physiology, Nutrition and Metabolism.

We congratulate Dr. MacDonald on this new role and believe that the School’s anticipated goals and objectives will be achieved under her leadership.

Scheduled to open January 1, 2016, the School aims to be a national and international centre for interdisciplinary science education. It will foster exploration and discovery while emphasizing experiential, collaborative and student-centred learning. The School will be home to the Life Sciences Program, the Faculty’s largest with approximately 1200 students, and the award-winning Honours Integrated Science Program (iSci). Other interdisciplinary programs and courses may be added to the School’s umbrella in the future.

Creating the School was a key recommendation of the Faculty of Science Academic Planning Committee, which was struck in fall 2013 and reported in the fall of 2014. The Committee recommended the creation of the School as a way to strengthen interdisciplinary undergraduate programs, and spread effective new pedagogical techniques and classroom approaches throughout the Faculty.