All courses for every first-year Science student will be delivered online this fall. A limited number of students in their second, third and fourth years will return to campus for part of the semester.

Applications Open For Postdoc Teaching & Leadership Program

Dennis KolosovDennis Kolosov credits a made-at McMaster program for helping him make the move to the Golden State.

Dennis, an NSERC and McCall MacBain Postdoctoral Fellow in the Department of Biology, will join California State University in January. He was among the first group of postdoctoral fellows to participate in the McCall MacBain Postdoctoral Fellows in Teaching and Leadership Program that launched last fall.

“It was an amazing immersive experience,” Dennis says about the program. “I truly believe that my participation in this program can at least in part be credited with helping me land interviews and a tenure-track faculty position at California State University.”

The first-of-its-kind program, funded by John and Marcy McCall MacBain, helps postdoctoral fellows hone their skills as future educators and academic leaders.  The program was developed by Program Faculty Advisor Joe Kim and Program Manager and Research Coordinator Connie Imbault from the Department of Psychology, Neuroscience & Behavior. 

“Our inaugural group of Postdoctoral Fellows have already achieved amazing accomplishments, from publishing op-eds in national media outlets to securing tenure-track faculty positions,” says Connie. “We can’t wait to meet our second cohort and see the remarkable things they can do. Their success makes us so thankful to the McCall MacBain Foundation for their generous support in funding this program.”

Up to 10 Postdoctoral Fellows will participate in professional development workshops and journal club meetings, complete a discipline-based education research project and publish an op-ed about their research. Dennis was among the first-year Fellows to have an op-ed published in The Conversation Canada.

Open to all postdoctoral students in the Faculty of Science, the deadline to apply for the 2020-2021 program is Aug. 12. An online information session will be held on Aug. 5 at 11 am. The Faculty of Science will reimburse postdoctoral supervisors 20 percent of their postdoctoral fellows’ stipends during the fall and winter terms.

Here’s what other postdoctoral fellows had to say about the McCall MacBain Postdoctoral Fellows in Teaching and Leadership Program:

Emily Dunford“Without the support of this program, I would not have had the confidence to write an op-ed, let alone submit it to The Conversation Canada and have it published. I you are interested in a career in academia, where teaching is a requirement, this program is an excellent opportunity to learn critical teaching, learning and science communication skills.”

Emily Dunford
Department of Kinesiology

Pat Clancy


“I would strongly recommend the McCall MacBain program to any postdoc at McMaster who has an interest in teaching or educational research. It was a fantastic experience and a great introduction to the teaching and learning community here at Mac. I’ve started a new teaching-focused position in the Department of Physics & Astronomy and hope to be involved in the program again.”

Pat Clancy
Department of Physics & Astronomy



Oana Birceanu

“I had the opportunity to connect with post-doctoral fellows from other Departments, talk with them about teaching and their research and form a community that otherwise would not have been possible without the fellowship. The McCall MacBain program provided additional teaching tools that I will always carry with me. When I think about designing my lectures, I now have different perspectives of looking at the content and its delivery, at the assessments and at student engagement.”

Oana Birceanu
Department of Biology



Messages For The Classes Of 2020 And 2024

Graduating students received congratulations from Dean Maureen MacDonald while incoming students and future scientists were welcomed and received their first four-part university homework assignment.

Congratulations Class of 2020

Here's the transcript and the video message Maureen recorded in her living room for the Class of 2020 as part of their virtual Convocation ceremonies on June 11:

"I was supposed to put on a robe and give a Convocation speech from my living room.
But instead, I have a message for COVID-19.
Get ready.
The class of 2020 is coming for you.
And this won’t be a fair fight.
I’ve met this next generation of scientists.
They’ve done amazing work in our classrooms and labs, on the job, on campus and in our community.
I also know who’s taught, mentored and inspired them.
The Class of 2020 is smart, resilient and resourceful.
Solving problems is what they do. The bigger, the better and the harder they lean in.
The Class of 2020 has spent years working hard for a moment exactly like this.
They’re ready to step up and help out in a big way.
So get ready, COVID-19. You’ve disrupted the world.
But the Class of 2020... they’re the ones who are going to transform our world through science.
And we’ll always be in their corner.
Like I said, this won’t be a fair fight.
You’re on borrowed time COVID-19.
You will be defeated.
And long after you’re gone, the Class of 2020 will still be making a difference.
Solving whatever problems come next.
And doing their part to help build a brighter world."



Maureen sent a welcome letter to the incoming Class of 2024 and assigned their first university homework assignment. She also filmed a video message and Instagram story during an early morning social distancing run through campus.

"Dear Future Scientist:

Welcome to McMaster University and our Faculty of Science!

We’re thrilled that you have chosen to earn your science degree with us and we can’t wait to have you join our virtual campus in just a few months.

COVID-19 is disrupting our lives but it is the science that transforms our world. Now more than ever, we need smart, creative, resilient and resourceful students like you to become our next generation of scientists. I’m confident that you’ll prove equal to the task at hand.

Now that you have made it official and become a McMaster student, I would like to give your first university homework assignment. It’s a four-part assignment that you will need to complete before your classes begin in September.
  1. First and foremost, please continue to take good care of your physical health and mental well-being. Stay active and connected with family and friends. If you are struggling and feeling isolated and anxious, reach out for help. Also, give yourself permission to be upset or sad. Even if you have not lost someone to COVID-19, you have still lost something that matters to you, whether that’s your high school prom and graduation, your summer job, vacation plans or how you dreamed of beginning your first semester at McMaster. Please know that those losses will be more than offset by some amazing achievements, experiences and milestones that are waiting for you at our University.
  2. Please accept your invitation to join The Archway. This is a new program created specifically for you and all first-year McMaster students. As soon as you sign up, an entire team of professionals, including a coach and mentor, will begin working with you and a group of 29 other students. They’ll stay by your side all through your first year. They’ll be there to answer your questions, give advice, help build a community amongst the students in your group, and offer personalized support to ensure a strong start to your time with us at McMaster. Invitations are going out in early June. You can also email the team at
  3. Start following the McMaster Science Society on social media. The Society is led and run by student volunteers. They organize and host academic and social events throughout the year and offer services and resources for all undergraduate students in our Faculty of Science. I met with the student leaders a few weeks ago and they have exciting plans to connect with you online and introduce you to the other 7,000 undergraduate students in our Faculty. You can find out more about the McMaster Science Society at
  4. And finally, please thank whoever ignited your passion for science and inspired you to come to McMaster. Maybe this is a family member or friend or an outstanding teacher, coach or mentor. Send an email, drop a note in the mail, make a phone call or post your thank-you on social media. Having personally thanked my grade 11 science teacher, I guarantee that you’ll make their day (and quite possibly their entire year). Success in life, just as in science, is always a team effort. Please take the time to thank the person who helped you succeed on your journey to McMaster.
So that’s your first university homework assignment. Continue to take good care of yourself, connect with The Archway and the McMaster Science Society and thank whoever believed in the brilliant potential that our professors and staff will help you unlock during our time together.

Please check your inbox in the coming weeks for emails from our Associate Dean Academic Office. You will be receiving your New Student Guide and important information on your next steps for course planning and enrollment.

Thanks again for choosing McMaster. I had the privilege of joining the Faculty of Science more than 20 years ago as a professor. The best part of my job remains watching students learn, grow and become scientists who help transform our world. I can’t wait to be inspired by all that you will achieve and contribute to your time at McMaster.

While these are uncertain times, please know with absolute certainty that all of us here at McMaster’s Faculty of Science is 100 percent committed to your success and we are thrilled to have you join us."

Faculty And Staff Zoom In For Annual Retreat

It was a morning of firsts for the Faculty of Science.

Last month's retreat was the first to bring together faculty and staff. In previous years, faculty and staff attended separate events. It was the Faculty of Science's first virtual retreat, using Zoom and Google Jamboard. It was the first time many faculty and staff had gotten together since in-person classes ended March 13 to help slow the spread of COVID-19. While recapping the achievements of the past year, Dean Maureen MacDonald announced the first researchers to receive funding through the Faculty of Science's new Global Science Initiative.

David FarrarNearly 200 faculty and staff participated in the online and interactive May 21 retreat. The overnight transition to virtual learning in mid-March was the focus of conversations in the first breakout session, with faculty and staff sharing best practices and lessons learned. Following a plenary discussion, faculty and staff returned to breakout rooms to review and help refine measures and targets for the Faculty of Science's 2020-2025 strategic plan. Virtual notes posted to the Google Jamboard have since President David Farrarbeen consolidated into a report for the Dean.

McMaster President David Farrar closed out the retreat with a live appearance from his home office. David said he was grateful and impressed by the contributions, achievements and leadership of the Faculty of Science faculty and staff. David, who's a faculty member in the Department of Chemistry & Chemical Biology, asked faculty and staff to continue taking care of themselves physically and mentally and then reaffirmed McMaster's commitment to the health and safety of faculty, staff, students and the broader community. McMaster was among the first universities in Canada to announce an online fall term.

Faculty And Staff Share Racial Justice Statement

Black Lives MatterThank you to all faculty and staff who read and shared the Statement on the Killing of George Floyd and Racial Justice from the African-Caribbean Faculty Association of McMaster University. A number of Faculty of Science colleagues are members of the Association and put their names to the statement, including Juliet Daniel, Abeer Siddiqui and Alemu Gonsamo.

Dean Maureen MacDonald emailed a link to the Daily News story about the statement on June 4 to 947 faculty and staff. The email has been opened nearly 2,800 times with 200 clicks on the link to the Daily News story.

"Racism – whether overt, subtle or silent – has absolutely no place in our Faculty of Science," wrote Maureen in introducing the statement.

"Racism cannot take root if we stand united in advancing, championing and defending equity, diversity, inclusion and accessibility for all. Diversity leads to better science and diversity flourishes when everyone’s fundamental human rights, integrity and dignity are respected. Thank you for your continuing efforts to make our Faculty of Science an inclusive community for all learners, educators and researchers.

Here is the statement from the African-Caribbean Faculty Association of McMaster University:

Dear McMaster community,

We write this statement to express our sadness, frustration and anger in solidarity with those who stand against hatred, bigotry and anti-Black racism. The killing of George Floyd by Minnesota Police is a terrible injustice. So too are the recent killings of Ahmaud Arbery and Breonna Taylor. The needless death of Regis Korchinski-Paquet in Toronto as well as the 2003 wrongful arrest and imprisonment of Black trade-show exhibit assembler Michael Dixon by Hamilton police and the 2016 carding of Matthew Green remind us that anti-Blackness continues to be a local, pervasive threat to life in Canada as well. There have been so many lives lost to anti-Blackness.

Black Lives Matter.

We wish to express our respect, appreciation and support of Black students, staff and faculty at McMaster University and acknowledge your pain. As an association of staff and faculty with connections to Africa and the Caribbean, many of us are Black and are in pain and mourning ourselves. We acknowledge that this pain is intergenerational, perpetuated and repeatedly ignored.

While we recognize the current protest and calls for justice, we also recognize that these struggles of resistance have a long history. It is not the struggles that appear intermittent to some, it is our attention to systemic, structural, and historical racism, anti-Black racism, and colonialism that is intermittent. This is what must change.

If these moments evoke a renewed clarity for people, to appreciate and respond to the complexities of racism, we must do so by acknowledging our complicities and silences.

This cannot be approached by recognizing the values, contributions and worth of Black people only at times and in places and spaces deemed sufficient by non-Black people. It must be in every facet of what we do. It must be in our teaching, research, hiring, supporting, granting, chairing, leadership, resourcing, policies, and outcomes.

To do this, we must name white supremacy as a contemporary reality that perpetually obscures our aims for justice. This is beyond individual acts of hate and bigotry; this is insidious and systemic and we are all complicit. If the outcomes of our efforts are not experienced and lived as just, we need to do more. We must also recognize and support those who struggle, resist, and do this work everyday. This recognition and support must include valuing the contributions and leadership of those with lived experience.

Despite the dark times we find ourselves in, we are hopeful. Our world can be a better one, one where we treat each other with respect and that respect is institutionalized throughout our systems and structures as well. In the times ahead, if you would like to find meaningful ways to connect to and support this work or are in need of support, please reach out to the African-Caribbean Faculty Association of McMaster University.


The African-Caribbean Faculty Association of McMaster University (ACFAM)
  • Bonny Ibhawoh, Ph.D. – Professor, History/Peace Studies
  • Juliet Daniel, Ph.D. – Professor, Biology
  • Gary Warner, PhD. – Retired Associate Professor, French
  • Alpha Abebe, Ph.D – Assistant Professor, Humanities
  • Ameil J. Joseph, Ph.D. – Associate Professor, School of Social Work
  • Daniel Coleman, Ph.D – Professor, English and Cultural Studies
  • Lydia Kapiriri, PhD – Associate Professor, Health, Aging and Society
  • Rodrigo Narro Perez – R3 Co-Convener, Instructional Designer
  • Abeer Siddiqui – Science Librarian, University Library/Faculty of Science
  • Sashaina Singh, MPH – Knowledge Broker, Office of Community Engagement
  • Nayelli Perez – Career Development & Relationship Manager, Engineering Co-op & Career Services
  • Selina Mudavanhu, Ph.D. – Assistant Professor, Communication Studies & Multimedia
  • Janice Vital. Program Administrator, Communication and Multimedia
  • Bianca James. Administrative Coordinator, Faculty of Humanities
  • Eugenia Zuroski, PhD. – Associate Professor, English and Cultural Studies
  • Kojo Damptey. R3, PACBIC
  • Celeste Licorish, Access Program Manager, Office of Community Engagement
  • Omolajipe Sanwoolu, Immigration & Mobility Advisor, Student Success Centre
  • Alemu Gonsamo, Ph.D. Assistant professor, School of Geography and Earth Sciences
  • Faith Ogunkoya – Team Lead – Student Services, Office of the Registrar
  • Adeola Ojo – Communications Coordinator, Office of the Registrar
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