McMaster University

McMaster University

Faculty of
Health Sciences

Faculty's academic leadership renewed

Published: July 5, 2010
Alan Neville
Alan Neville, associate dean, education; professor, Department of Oncology and Department of Medicine; and medical oncologist at the Juravinski Cancer Centre
Susan Denburg
Susan Denburg, associate vice-president, academic; and professor, Department of Psychiatry and Behavioural Neurosciences and the Michael G. DeGroote School of Medicine

As a result of the Faculty of Health Sciences doubling enrolment during the past decade, two senior academic roles have been divided into two positions.

Susan Denburg has been both the associate vice-president academic and associate dean, education for the Faculty of Health Sciences. She has been re-appointed as associate vice-president, academic and Alan Neville, who has been assistant dean for the undergraduate program of the Michael G. DeGroote School of Medicine, has become the associate dean, education. Both took the five-year appointments on July 1.

As associate vice-president, academic, Susan Denburg will continue to assist the dean and vice-president with the academic and operational functions of the Faculty including long range planning, strategic decision making and resource allocation. She will work with the associate deans and department chairs to best position the Faculty to deliver its mission and she will continue her work in developing emerging community partnerships.

As associate dean, education, Alan Neville will oversee the education mandate of the Faculty, including its educational programs and resources.

"This is the appointment of two excellent academics into the important work of supporting and growing our academic mission," said John Kelton, dean and vice-president of the Faculty.

"Susan and Alan will provide dynamic leadership."

Associate Vice President (Academic)

Susan Denburg, PhD, is a professor in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioural Neurosciences, of the Michael G. DeGroote School of Medicine. Trained at McGill University, Cornell University and the University of Toronto, Denburg is a registered clinical psychologist who became a faculty member in 1978.

As associate dean, education for the past decade, she helped guide the expansion of the medical program and establish the distributed campuses of the medical school in Waterloo and Niagara, as well as the physician assistant program. She launched the Program for Interprofessional Practice, Education and Research (PIPER), the Interprofessional Student Council (IPSC) and the Aboriginal Students Health Sciences Office.

Facilities developed under her guidance have included renovations to the Health Sciences Library and the anatomy lab, the establishment of the Clinical Learning Centre/Centre for Simulation Based Learning; and planning of parts of the Michael G. DeGroote Centre for Learning and Discovery.

As associate vice president, academic for the past five years, Denburg's responsibilities have included the health sciences library, information and learning technologies, and faculty affairs. She is director of Collaborations for Health, a university initiative to identify and enhance innovative interdisciplinary health-related research and education across McMaster.


Associate Dean (Education)

Alan Neville has just finished 13 years as the assistant dean for the undergraduate medical program, while it has doubled in size to 203 first-year students. He is a professor in the Department of Oncology and the Department of Medicine and a medical oncologist at the Juravinski Cancer Centre, where he specializes in lung cancer and genitourinary cancers.

He received his medical education from the University of Aberdeen in Scotland, followed by medical residency training there and at McMaster and his training in medical oncology at the University of Wisconsin, before joining McMaster in 1984. Neville obtained his M.Ed from the University of Toronto (OISE) in 1998.

His research interests lie in medical education; he has chaired a number of educational working groups of the Association of Faculties of Medicine of Canada (AFMC). He has been actively involved in the development of national collaborative undergraduate medical school curricula in aboriginal health, gender health, complementary and alternative medicine and palliative and end-of-life care. He is also actively involved in faculty development in the areas of problem-based learning (PBL) tutoring and inter-professional education.

Alan Neville and professor Geoff Norman led a group of educators and students in the development of the COMPASS curriculum for the undergraduate medical program. Introduced in August 2005, the new curriculum maintains the principles of PBL established in the medical school but incorporates developments in understanding of the cognition of learning and expertise.

Earlier this year Neville received three awards for his educational leadership: From the AFMC, the President's Award for Exemplary National Leadership in Academic Medicine; from McMaster University, the President's Award for Excellence in Educational Leadership; from the graduating medical students, the Ari Shali Teaching Award.


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