New Academic Staff Orientation

Dalhousie University welcomes new colleagues to the academic community with our annual New Academic Staff Orientation (NASO). This year's orientation will be held from August 17-21, 2020. It will be fully online, using Dalhousie-supported platforms.  A variety of presenters will hold five different synchronous (“live”) events, one each afternoon. New asynchronous information will be added each day of the week: highlighting resources, featured videos, and helpful links that participants can review on their own time during the week. 

Newly-hired academic staff will visit the new NASO site in Brightspace (our D2L learning management system), and they’ll join synchronous events in MS Teams, Teams “Live Events,” and Collaborate Ultra. By making use of three different synchronous platforms, the orientation will give participants a sense of how each platform works, as well as their different purposes and strengths.

Both the synchronous “live” events and the asynchronous videos available in NASO this year feature a large cast of senior administrators, support personnel, teaching and research specialists, and award-winning faculty members.

If you are a new academic member of the Dalhousie community, and you haven’t received an invitation, please contact Michelle Soucy Rankin at

Schedule of Synchronous (“live”) Events: New Academic Staff Orientation 2020

Monday, August 17 1:00-2:00 pm (ADT)

Going Online Together: Some Faculty Perspectives

Platform: Teams “Live Events"

This session focuses on the transition to online teaching. A Panel of experienced, award-winning Instructors—who usually teach face-to-face—will describe their experiences of making the transition to online teaching. They’ll share some hard-won tips, describe a few of the challenges they encountered, and offer some advice. Participants will be invited to ask questions.

Host Moderator

Dr. Vivian Howard, Associate Vice-president Academic


Dr. Ann Marie Ryan, University Teaching Fellow, Earth and Environmental Sciences
Dr. Rohan Maitzen, Associate Professor, Department of English
Dr. Rebecca Spencer, Instructor, School of Health and Human Performance

Tuesday, August 18 2:30-4:00 pm (ADT)

The eLearning Landscape at Dalhousie

Platform: Teams “Live Events”

In this session, members of the two teams dedicated to supporting eLearning at Dalhousie— Academic Technology Services (ATS) and Centre for Learning and Teaching (CLT)—will describe the various educational technologies, tools, and supports available to faculty. You will meet representatives from both teams, receive an overview of the services each unit provides, be introduced to the learning technologies available for teaching and learning, and learn how to access resources and support. During the latter half of the session, ATS and CLT representatives will field any questions you have related to eLearning. Please join us prepared to share your thoughts and questions on technology-enabled teaching and learning.

Host Moderator

Dr. Kate Thompson, Educational Developer (eLearning), Centre for Learning and Teaching


Dr. Les T. Johnson, Educational Developer (eLearning), Centre for Learning and Teaching
Michelle McDonald, Faculty Support Specialist, Academic Technology Services

Wednesday, August 19 4:00-5:00 pm (ADT)

Academic Success: In and Out of the Classroom

Platform: Teams “Live Events”

Dr. Ivan Joseph, Vice Provost of Student Affairs, will lead this session about the diverse body of students who call Dalhousie University home.  We’ll discuss how we can support student success by assuring students that they matter, and that they are connected to each other in this virtual world.  Dr. Joseph will also discuss the Student Affairs portfolio and how it contributes to the academic success of students. The session will include time for your questions and answers about the student experience at Dalhousie.

Host Moderator

Brad Wuetherick, Executive Director, Centre for Learning and Teaching


Dr. Ivan Joseph, Vice Provost, Student Affairs

Thursday, August 20 1:00-3:00 (ADT)

Fostering Effective Student-Professor Relationships

Platform: Teams Meeting

As a new-to-Dalhousie academic, you will find that becoming knowledgeable about the various policies (and relevant updates) at Dalhousie University will be immediately relevant and helpful in your work.  In this interactive MS Teams session, we will explore these policies by applying them to various scenarios, and engaging in rich group discussions. 

Host Moderator and Facilitator

Tereigh Ewert, Senior Educational Developer (Diversity & Inclusivity), Centre for Learning and Teaching


Quenta Adams, Director, Student Academic Success
Dr. Glenn Andrea, Director, Student Health and Wellness
Dr. Christian Blouin, Associate Dean, Academic, Computer Science
Dr. Margie Clow Bohan, Manager, Writing Centre
Lisa DeLong, Director, Human Rights and Equity Services
Patricia Laws, Assistant Dean, Student Affairs, Science
Karen McCrank, Director of Careers and Advising, Bissett Student Success Centre
Cynthia Murphy, Director, Student Life
Dr. David Pilon, Director of Counselling & Psychological Services, Student Health and Wellness

Friday, August 21 2:00-3:00 pm (ADT)

Informal Q&A Session

Platform: Collaborate Ultra

This informal drop-in session gives participants the opportunity to ask questions and share experiences related to any aspect of the week’s events and Brightspace resources.

Host Moderator

Dr. Suzanne Le-May Sheffield, Director, Centre for Learning and Teaching


Educational Developers from the CLT
Dr. Christian Blouin, Assoc. Dean Academic, Faculty of Computer Science, Professor, Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
Dr. Margie Clow Bohan
, Manager, Writing Centre
Dr. Graham Gagnon, University Research Professor, Associate Vice-President Research
Chris Hattie, Employee Relations, Human Resources
Melissa Helwig, Instruction and Research Librarian, Dalhousie Libraries
Dr. Ivan Joseph, Vice Provost, Student Affairs
Michelle McDonald, Faculty Support Specialist, Academic Technology Services (ATS)
Dr. Ann Marie Ryan, University Teaching Fellow, Earth and Environmental Sciences