New Academic Staff Orientation


August 14-18, 2023

Dalhousie University welcomes new colleagues to the academic community with our annual New Academic Staff Orientation (NASO). This year's orientation will be held partly online and partly in person. 

Newly hired academic staff will be invited to enter the NASO Brightspace site on Monday, August 14th, where each participant can access information, various resources, links to the online sessions, and links to a variety of information pages. The site will remain open, allowing participants to continue to exploring on their own schedules.

During the week, in-person sessions will be held in the Kenneth C Rowe Management Building. Most of the synchronous, virtual sessions will take place using Microsoft Teams, and a full day of Brightspace Bootcamp will be offered on Friday. The session topics are not duplicated, so most participants will attend some sessions in person and other sessions online.

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

NASO 2023 Schedule 

In person sessions - Kenneth C Rowe Management Building, Room 1020
Online sessions - Microsoft Teams, except Friday's Brightspace Bootcamp


August 14

3:30 - 5:00 pm Online

Supporting Dalhousie Students

Presenters: Dr. Rick Ezekiel (Vice-Provost, Student Affairs), Melissa MacKay (Assistant Vice-Provost, Campus Living and Student Wellbeing), Quenta Adams (Assistant Vice-Provost, Student Engagement and Success), Dr. Marty Leonard (Dean, Faculty of Graduate Studies), Dr. Mabel Ho (Director, Professional Development and Student Engagement), and Dr. Lisa Goldberg (Nursing & Assistant Dean, Student Supervisor Relations, Faculty of Graduate Studies).

*Please access the materials and resources available in the Supporting Your Students module of the New Academic Staff Orientation (NASO) Brightspace site. 

Familiarity with Dalhousie students' demographics will provide new faculty with the context in which our diverse students live and learn. Awareness of the backgrounds, interests, and needs of students, as well as possible barriers and enablers to student success will help you situate your teaching and consider student success from an informed perspective. Creating a welcoming and inclusive classroom fosters a learning environment where students thrive and are engaged in meaningful dialogue. As a faculty member, we know that you are often the first point of contact for students in distress. In this session, we will provide you with an overview of who our students are, as well as discuss the resources that are available for our Undergraduate and Graduate students.


August 15

10:45 - 12:00 pm
In person

Welcome to Mi'kma'ki
Elder Thomas Christmas

Welcome to Dalhousie from the President and Colleagues
Dr. Kim Brooks (President), Dr. Leslie Phillmore (Associate Vice-President Academic), and Dr. Rick Ezekiel (Vice-Provost, Student Affairs)

2:00 - 3:00 pm

Health and Mental Health

Presenters: Janice MacInnis (Manager, Organizational Health) and Dr. David Pilon (Director of Counselling and Psychological Services, Dalhousie Student Health & Wellness)

While faculty roles are often characterized as autonomous and flexible, once competing demands start coming in, it might not feel that way. The ability to nurture your well-being AND excel in your career is tricky business. This session will explore how new faculty can participate in, and find support for, their own health and wellness, as well as locate and connect wit the supports Dalhousie can offer for students’ health and wellness.


August 16

11:00 - 12:00 pm
In person

Exploring Dalhousie's Teaching and Learning Culture

Presenters: Dr. Suzanne Le-May Sheffield, Executive Director, Centre for Learning and Teaching, Dr. Susan Joudrey (Associate Director, Centre for Learning and Teaching, Dr. Tom Ue (Adjunct Professor, Department of English), Dr. Jennifer MacDonald (Chemistry Lab and TA Coordinator), Dr. Becky Feicht (Senior Instructor in Health Promotion, The School of Health and Human Performance), Dr. Amy Mui (Senior Instructor, Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences)

Every university has its own academic culture and unique ways of approaching and supporting teaching and learning. At Dalhousie, there are numerous ways in which faculty can engage in the professional development of their teaching within a community of interested colleagues. In this session, you’ll hear from faculty members across a number of disciplines about their experiences working with the Centre for Learning and Teaching (CLT) to enhance their teaching and student learning.  Members of the CLT team will also be on hand to answer questions as they arise. 

12:00 - 1:00 pm

Lunch, Kenneth C Rowe Management Building, Atrium

1:00 - 3:00 pm
In person

Teaching Policies at Dalhousie: Fostering Effective Student-Professor Relationships

Presenters: Tereigh Ewert, Senior Educational Developer (Anti-oppressive and Transformative Education), Centre for Learning and Teaching, Quenta Adams (Assistant Vice-Provost), Lyndsay Anderson (Advisor, Sexualized Violence),  Dr. Christian Blouin (Associate Dean (Academic), Janice MacDonald Eddington (Coordinator of Operations, Writing Advisor), Patricia Laws (Assistant Dean, Student Affairs), Hazel Ling (Social Worker, Student Health & Wellness), Karen McCrank (Director of Student Success), and Dr. David Pilon (Director of Counselling and Psychological Services, Dalhousie Student Health & Wellness) 

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


August 17

9:30 - 11:30 am

Libraries, Copyright, and the Writing Centre for Faculty and Students

Presenters: Lindsay McNiff (Learning and Instruction Librarian), Jaclyn Chambers Page (Copyright Librarian + Faculty of Agriculture Library Liaison), Lachlan MacLeod (Intellectual Property Officer) and Scott MacPherson (Copyright and Research Data Management Specialist), and Janice MacDonald Eddington (Writing Centre Coordinator and Writing Advisor)  

In this session, Dalhousie librarians will introduce you to the ways that we support faculty research and teaching and student learning. We will discuss key services provided by the library, including research and instructional support, document delivery, and support for scholarly publishing and research data management. We will also reflect on some of the key challenges students face when doing research and how we can help students succeed.

Copyright can affect your research and teaching activities at Dalhousie. We will provide basic training on copyright exceptions, freely available resources, managing copyright in your own work (including teaching materials and research publications), and when to seek permission to use copyrighted works. Participants will come away with tools to manage and use copyrighted material, as well as an understanding of recent trends related to copyright in academic publishing. 

Writing Centre
The Writing Centre supports student writing through one-one sessions and through faculty and course supports including workshops, class visits, and dedicated supplemental classes. In this session, we’ll introduce you to the Writing Centre services available to faculty and their students. We offer writing support and academic integrity support for students in undergraduate, graduate, and professional programs in all fields of study, from first-year assignments to final reports and dissertations, in effort to support students to write independently.

2:00 - 4:30 pm
In person

Research Services

Presenters: Dr. Shelley Brown (Director, Strategic Initiatives and Programs), Dr. David Spurrell (Manager, Grants and Contracts), Veronica Bacher (Manager, Institutional and International Programs), Danielle Andres, (Manager, Post-Award), Catherine Connors (Director, Research Ethics), Stephen Hartlen (Assistant Vice President Industry Relations), Jeff Larsen (Assistant Vice President Innovation and Entrepreneurship), Spencer Giffin (Director, Dal Innovates), and Dr. Marlies Rise, (Assistant Vice President Research Services)

*Prior to this session, please access the materials and resources available in the Research and Innovation module of the New Academic Orientation (NASO) Brightspace site. 

For this Question-and-Answer session, we’ve gathered a breadth of expertise from across the Vice-President Research and Innovation’s (VPRI) team, as well as from members past and present from the Dalhousie Research Advisory Committee (DRAC). The VPRI team works collaboratively with the University’s Deans/ADRs, technical and administrative staff, our research institutes and centres, and our innovation and entrepreneurship focus—so all researchers at Dalhousie can achieve excellence in their chosen area of research and innovation.


August 18 - Brightspace Bootcamp

9:00 - 10:00 am

Brightspace Refresher

Presenter: Michelle McDonald (Instructional Support Technician, Academic Technology Services)

Do you need help finding your course space? Maybe you need to add a TA. Come to our Brightspace Refresher hour to get set up for your Fall courses.

10:00 - 11:00 am


Learn all the tips and tricks on running a successful webinar, record it and add it to your course space.

Learn how to create a Teams meeting in your course space for students. 

11:00 - 12:00 pm

Top Hat

Presenters: Simon Gordon (VP of Marketing and Business Development, Nexlgnite) and Erin Vaianisi (Customer Success Manager, Top Hat)

Top Hat will be on hand to talk to Instructors about using the Student Response System.

12:00 - 1:00 pm


1:00 - 2:00 pm


Do you want to start recording your lectures? Are you in a Panopto enabled classroom? If so, start recording lectures and add them to your course space. Going to miss a class due to a conference, record it prior to and leave it for the students to watch while you’re away.

2:00 - 3:00 pm

New Features in Brightspace/Questions

New features for Brightspace Tools - Quizzes, Assignments, Discussions, etc.