Professors Emeriti in our School
Dr. Jerome Singleton
A native of Kitchener, Ont., Dr. Singleton did his undergrad degree at the University of Waterloo, then went to the U.S. for a master’s at Penn State. His early work centered around children’s camps and playgrounds for kids with disabilities, before he moved on to focus on aging. He completed his PhD in leisure and doctorate certificate in gerontology at the University of Maryland. Dr. Singleton came to Dalhousie in 1981 for a three-year tour of duty, and stayed for 37.
Dr. Singleton found the right mix of people at Dal to collaborate with in his main area of research: leisure and aging, specifically with people with Alzheimer’s. Connecting with them has allowed him to broaden the scope of his work. “I was lucky enough to find people to work with in social work, nursing, dentistry and economics—as well as my colleagues in Kinesiology and Health Promotion,” he says. “It’s allowed me to understand the role of multidisciplinary research, and that we have to understand and respect the perspectives of each profession. I don’t know everything, but as a group we become more cohesive.”
He encouraged his students to think differently about aging and told them each generation needs to understand the generation before. We create these stereotypes of aging individuals, and every younger generation thinks the older one doesn’t know as much as them. I told my students that they’re going to be that generation, so what are they going to do now to help improve their own lives when they’re older?”
His research may focus on the elderly, but it’s obvious that Dr. Singleton is passionate about students. His favourite course to teach was Foundations of Recreation (LEIS 1127), in which he took his first-year students to a residential camp for a two-day orientation. He said it was essential for transitioning them into university and connecting with their peers.
With more than 45 years of experience teaching in therapeutic recreation and after 37 years of service to the School of Health and Human Performance, Dr. Singleton retired in 2018, and we are honoured to have him as Professor Emeritus within our School.
Dr. Ed Belzer
In 1969, Dr. Ed Belzer joined Dalhousie's School of Physical Education, in the Faculty of Health Professions. He was responsible for developing a proposal that would result in Dal's preparing school health educators. While that work was in its early stages, his workload included teaching Biostatistics and Epidemiology for undergraduate Nursing students.
During his more than 25 years at Dal, he was appointed to several Administrative responsibilities, including Head of the School's Health Education Division; Acting Director of the School; Assistant Dean of the Faculty of Health Professions; and Acting Dean of the Faculty of Health Professions.
Dr. Ed Belzer inspired and influenced generations of students to contribute to improving health and preventing disease in Nova Scotia, Canada, and internationally. His passion for teaching, his commitment to advancing the field, and his ethical standards, opened up avenues for students both personally and professionally. His legacy to Nova Scotia schools around Comprehensive School Health, and his openness to LGBTQ issues, when others were closed to the conversations, changed generations of future leaders. He also contributed to Dal's responsibility for community service by serving as: Commissioner, Nova Scotia Commission on Drug Dependency; Chair, National Health Research Development Programme, Health Canada; Chair, National Health and Community Services Committee, Canadian Red Cross Society.
Upon his retirement, Dr. Belzer was awarded the honour of our School's first Professor Emeritus. He was so pleased that he continued for a year or so to work gratis as a Research Supervisor for a few of the School's graduate students.
Dr. Renee Lyons
I am very honoured to have received a Professor Emeritus distinction within the School of Health and Human Performance, Faculty of Health Professions, at Dalhousie! Thanks so much to all who contributed to making this happen. I am excited to work again with the School, Faculty, and Healthy Populations Institute to enrich research, research training, and the use of research to improve health, especially here in Nova Scotia.
I was a faculty member at Dal for over 30 years, beginning in 1981, with my primary appointment in the School of Health and Human Performance and a cross appointment in the Department of Psychology. My career has focused on chronic disease and disability with work spanning social life and coping to health systems and policy. I was Director and Senior Scientist at the Atlantic Health Promotion Research Centre (www.ahprc.dal.ca) for over 10 years and held a Tier 1 Canada Research Chair. I generated over $25M in health research funding while at Dal, mostly from the national granting agencies such as CIHR, SSHRC, CFI, Canadian Stroke Network, and the Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada. In 2009, I left Dal to become the first Bridgepoint Chair in Complex Chronic Disease and Scientific Director of the Collaboratory for Research and Innovation, University of Toronto, Faculty of Medicine and Bridgepoint Health (now part of the Sinai Health System and the Lunenfeld-Tanenbaum Research Institute).
While at Dalhousie, I was a member of Industry Canada’s Science Advisory Board and Health Canada’s Science Advisory Board, and was inducted as a Fellow of the Canadian Academy of Health Sciences. During three years at Dalhousie I was Special Advisor (full time -paid) to the President of the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (Alan Bernstein). For 4 years I was a member of the Governing Board of the Dalhousie-based NCE-KT, Children and Youth in Challenging Contexts and recently was the expert advisor to the Alberta Auditor General’s review of chronic disease services in Alberta.
I continue to be engaged in research and writing and this year was guest editor of a special issue of Longwoods Healthcare Quarterly on multi-morbidity and complex care. I am a Board Member of the Ottawa-based Social Research and Demonstration Corporation, an advisor on several health systems and research initiatives in Scotland on reforming primary care in the context of chronic disease and multi-morbidity, and I am eager to support scientists at Dal and U of T to advance their health research careers.