From the Dean’s Office

Returning to FHASS this semester was like going for a first run in a familiar neighborhood:  exhilarating, essential, just right.  It was hardly a surprise to find that creative and scholarly engagement are alive and well amongst faculty and students, and that there continues to be no shortage of imagination and personality all around. FHASS has been buzzing with constant activity, having established a reputation for distinct cultural and public engagement initiatives, for unique academic programming, and for authentic collaborations with a growing roster of community partners.  Many of our faculty delivered workshops, roundtables and presentations at Sheridan’s inaugural Conference of Scholars and Creators, and many contributed to a spectrum of creative initiatives such as the Roots of Freedom festival and the ongoing Film for Thought series. FHASS organized outstanding Remembrance Day exhibits featuring public history posters, and has developed its own social media presence. Perhaps most resounding were the voices of our returning graduates in the recent General Arts and Science Homecoming Alumni Reunion; we celebrated 40 years of excellence by listening to the success stories of our alumni, absorbing their energy, marveling at their wisdom.

I had the great privilege these past few weeks of connecting with faculty to learn about research and teaching initiatives, and about a wide array of emerging ideas in Humanities and Social Sciences. In the area of Creative Writing & Publishing the extraordinary talent, passion and creative investment of the FHASS team resulted in true curricular innovation. Congratulations to everyone on your exceptional work!

Photo: Yael Katz

Photo: Yael Katz

Having recently attended the World Business Forum in New York City – this year’s theme was “Story Makers” – I listened to Jim Collins, renowned leadership expert, talk about greatness in turbulent times.  He spoke of the importance of preserving the core essence of an organizational team, while at the same time stimulating progress, consistent and emphatic progress. He spoke of the importance of making and telling the story, consistently, powerfully. “A true sign of mediocrity is chronic inconsistency,” he said. As Alchemy attests one semester after another, FHASS is anything but mediocre – may the story thrive and continue.

Yael Katz

Acting Dean, Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences