MacLean looks back fondly on year as interim dean

Joanne MacLean

Joanne MacLean

It’s been a busier year than most for Joanne MacLean, who was already widely experienced as a teacher, researcher and coach.

The associate professor spent from September to July as Interim Dean of Applied Health Sciences, a time that was challenging, rewarding and never presenting the same day twice.

Moving back in to her old office in the Walker Complex, MacLean has had some time to reflect on the year where she stepped in to replace John Corlett, who went on to become Vice-President Academic at the University of Winnipeg.

“There is a whole other layer of administration at an institution that I had my eyes opened to. I experienced the complexities of a modern university,” she said. “It was a neat experience.”

MacLean has held several senior positions in her 25-year career, including director of Athletics at the University of Windsor, where she coached women’s basketball and was named Ontario coach of the year three times. As Chef de Mission of Team Canada, she led more than 200 team members to the 2003 World University Games in Korea. From 2007 to 2010, she also served as Sport Management chair at Brock, where she has worked since 2001.

A highlight of her year, she said, has been watching the Cairns Family Health and Bioscience Research Complex come to fruition. The complex, which includes labs for Applied Health Sciences and Mathematics and Science researchers, will help put Brock on the map.

“We have a group of faculty members and graduate students who are hugely excited about moving into the complex,” she said. “That building is pivotal in creating opportunities for a number of our scholars.”

MacLean returns to teaching this fall, and “I definitely missed the day-to-day contact with students,” she said. She will also focus more on her research. She is studying the stated values of sporting organizations – such as those found in mission statements – and whether those values are present in the organization’s actual day-to-day operations.

She returns with a new appreciation of a Faculty that is “complex and multidimensional,” she said. The work done in Applied Health Sciences ranges from teaching physical education in developing countries to how blood is carried to muscle tissue. It touches on history, sociology, psychology and the science of the body.

“The work we’re doing here is really important to today’s society,” she said. “We have a very committed and effective group of scholars. A lot of them are young and early in their careers, and they’ve got a lot of good stories to tell.”

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