All courses for every first-year Science student will be delivered online this fall. A limited number of students in their second, third and fourth years will return to campus for part of the semester.

Welcoming New Staff Members

Along with the hiring of 16 faculty members, staff are being recruited for key roles in the Faculty of Science. Sarah Robinson is taking over as Assistant Dean, Academic from soon-to-retire Joanne (Joey) Smith while Alice O'Carroll is the new Director of Career Development and Cooperative Education and Meagan Kinsella joins the Faculty as Academic Review Administrator.

Sarah Robinson
Assistant Dean, Academic

Sarah Robinson

Sarah moved into the role of Assistant Dean (Academic) on Nov. 2, taking over for Joanne (Joey) Smith who is retiring after 37 years with McMaster. Reporting to the Associate Dean (Academic) Michael Farquharson, Sarah will be the primary staff authority on undergraduate education and help determine the Faculty's annual domestic and international strategy and enrollment targets. Sarah will also manage the Office of the Associate Dean (Academic) in academic advising, curriculum and policy spheres in coordination and consultation with units, programs and partners within the Faculty and across the University. Sarah was previously the Administrator of the School of Interdisciplinary Science and joined McMaster in 2007 as the Manager of the McMaster Child Health Research Institute. Sarah earned her Honours Bachelor of Kinesiology from McMaster in 2002 and a Master of Science in Health Studies and Gerontology from the University of Waterloo.

What are you most looking forward to in your new role?
"I'm looking forward to working with a broad representation of faculty, students and staff from across the Faculty of Science. I’m especially looking forward to getting back to my roots of working more closely with students."

What career achievement are you most proud of?
"I'm most proud of helping to build and support the School of Interdisciplinary Science since its creation in 2016. Helping to design and put into practice the policies, procedures and processes needed to support our students, faculty and staff has been very rewarding. Our interdisciplinary programs are unique and the lessons we’ve learned and the processes we’ve created have been shared across the Faculty of Science to help all of us do our work better."

Who's made a real difference in your career?
"I’ve been so fortunate to have amazing mentors in my career. I got to work closely with Maureen (MacDonald) while we were both the School of Interdisciplinary Science and Joey is mentoring me until the end of the term. Maureen and Joey have taught me how to think strategically, stay resilient, see a project or idea through to its completion and to identify priorities in such a way that I can enjoy and thrive in my job without being consumed by it.

What do you enjoy doing outside of work?
I’m constantly active. Two young kids and two dogs really help. We spend our free time hiking, biking, skating, running, you name it. Being active has always helped me keep balance in my life (go Mac Kin!!) and I’m finding that more important than ever now as we continue to work remotely.


Alice O'Carroll 
Director, Career Development and Cooperative Education

Alice joined the Faculty of Science on Sept. 14 to lead the Science Career and Cooperative Education Office. With a vision of seeing every student reach their career potential and have a meaningful impact on the scientific community, the SCCE team supports cooperative education, experiential learning, employer recruitment and career development for students.

Alice has a long history of connecting job seekers with career opportunities and building strong partnerships with employers and industry. Prior to moving to Canada in 2012, Alice led an employment service in Ireland that was recognized for its excellence in supporting equity-seeking job seekers. Alice was the Project Manager of Employer Relations for Sheridan College's inaugural Work-Integrated Learning Hub. Alice holds a Masters in Human Resource Management from De Montfort University.

What are you most looking forward to in your new role?
The Science Career and Cooperative Education (SCCE) team is a fantastic group of career education professionals driven by the desire to see our students succeed. I’m excited to partner with students, listen to their perspectives and learn more about their needs. I want to engage with students to raise awareness of the many ways our team can inform and support them on their journey from education to career.  

Having collaborated with employers across all sectors for nearly two decades, I recognize the tremendous value SCCE brings. I look forward to growing and developing our employer relations and creating new and novel ways to connect our students with their industries throughout their programs.

What career achievement are you most proud of? 
On a personal note, like many people, I completed my Masters while juggling a career and a young family. The day my Masters arrived in the mail, I was leaving for the hospital to give birth to my youngest son, so that has to go down as a day in my life when I achieved a lot!

Professional, while leading an employment service in Ireland that supported job seekers with disabilities, the 2007-2008 financial crisis struck and unemployment shot from 4% to 15%. All around, people were losing their jobs! We still had employment targets to meet if we were to ensure continued funding.  Facing the biggest challenge of my career,  I led our team to develop and implement a strategy that would allow us to survive and thrive, despite the crisis unfolding around us. We leveraged every possible opportunity and worked creatively, and amazingly we maintained our employment outcomes. I always draw inspiration and hope from that particular time as I learned that we are all so much more capable than we know.

Who's made a difference in your career?
Early on, I had a manager who made a massive difference in my career. She created the space for me to push myself further than I ever thought I could. Looking back, I realize she believed in me long before I came to believe in myself!  She taught me so much about pushing the boundaries of what was possible and always left me with the feeling that I would succeed in whatever I was working on. I try to pass this on to others.

What do you enjoy doing outside of work?
I always joke that I run marathons to relax! Running has been my sanctuary during this pandemic as it’s a tonic to get outside before or after my day for a run. I’ve signed up for a challenge to run and walk 215 km in November so that should encourage me to get out each day!

Academic Review Administrator

Meagan joins the Faculty of Science Nov. 16 in the new role as Academic Review Administrator. Reporting to the Dean, Meagan will coordinate and support the academic and quality assurance review processes across all Schools and Departments and serve as both as the lead point of contact for all academic and quality assurance reviews and our connection with the MacPherson Institute, Meagan joins the Faculty of Science from the University of Guelph where she was an Online Learning Quality Assurance Specialist. Meagan completed an Honours Bachelor of Social Sciences from the University of Ottawa and a Master's in International Relations from McMaster.

What are you most looking forward to in your new role?
"I'm most looking forward to building collaborative and enduring relationships across the Faculty of Science, with the MacPherson Institute and with other stakeholders so I can support academic and quality assurance activities, program enhancement and educational development."

What career achievement are you most proud of?
"Looking back, I'm proud of my work to support student pathway initiatives such as Prior Learning and Recognition (PLAR) at Humber College. I revamped the Social Service Worker diploma part-time program’s portfolio-style recognition of prior learning process. This led to its adoption as a college best practice and contributed to my department’s efforts to improve pathway opportunities. With this revamped process, students could more easily navigate the PLAR process and assemble the documentation they needed to provide as part of their application. By 2018, students had submitted over 240 courses annually for PLAR consideration as part of their program requirements."

Who's made a difference in your career?
"I've been fortunate to receive mentorship from seasoned curriculum developers, instructional designers and academic managers that have been instrumental in my career development. I have added several tips, tricks and approaches to my toolbox through such mentorship that I am continually going back to."

What do you enjoy doing outside of work?
"I enjoy hiking along the Niagara escarpment, catching up with family and friends, and spending time with my cat, Peony."

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