On Sept. 20 Concordia’s Board of Governors finalized and approved the appointment of Paula Wood-Adams as the new Dean of Graduate Studies.
Wood-Adams started her career at Concordia in 2001 as an assistant professor in mechanical engineering. Her strong academic background includes a PhD and Masters in chemical engineering from McGill University and a Bachelors of Science in the same field from the University of Alberta.
“Paula’s experience and commitment will serve Concordia well in our efforts to foster an environment that promotes research, scholarship and creative work for our graduate students,” said Concordia President Alan Shepard.
Wood-Adams became the program director of mechanical and industrial engineering in 2006 and held this position until 2012. In 2006 she was also appointed Concordia University’s research chair and had the experience to travel to Bangkok, Thailand as a visiting professor.
In 2010 Wood-Adams became the associate dean of graduate studies until July of 2012 when she began her service as the interim dean. Her interim duties ended this September, after over a year of service when she was officially appointed to be the new dean. Her term is intended to last until September of 2018.
In addition to her strong academic background, Wood-Adams has been a fundamental member of Concordia throughout her 12 years at the university. She has been an active member of funding agencies and many committees including, the National Sciences and Engineering Council of Canada (NSERC) and the Fonds de Research du Quebec (FRSQ). She has also contributed numerous articles to scientific journals focusing on polymer science and rheology, and has received over $2.5 million dollars in both shared and individual grants from federal and provincial and some private funding agencies to advance her research. She is also a strong leader, supervising over 25 graduate students and postdoctoral researchers, and continuing to lead more students everyday.
“This is a critical juncture for graduate studies at Concordia as we seek to raise the profile of our programs and expand our research output and impact […] Paula is passionate about graduate education and, equally important, is well-versed in the global trends in this key area of higher education,” said Graham Carr, vice-president of research and graduate studies. “Successful universities will be those that find exciting new ways to train students both within individual disciplines, across disciplines, and through ambitious professional skills development programs, of which GradProSkills is a stellar example.”
As an administrator Paula Wood-Adams has provided strategic and operational direction to various functions of the graduate studies program, focusing her attention mainly on new curriculum and program support and recruiting new, promising graduate students. Wood-Adams has also been a working member of the group that developed Concordia’s academic plan. The current plan puts strong emphasis on the advancement of research and graduate studies.
Concordia University’s School of Graduate Studies is responsible for academic and administrative functions related to all graduate programs, graduate students and postdoctoral students. The school evaluates and oversees over 100 graduate programs leading to doctoral and masters degrees, graduate diplomas, and certificates for professionals who want to upgrade their skills and knowledge.
“Apart from administrative experience, Paula has a strong research record. She’s a Concordia University research chair,” said Carr. “While there is an increasing number of graduate programs at the Masters and Diploma levels that focus on providing students with professional credentials, the link between research, graduate and postdoctoral studies is fundamental in most fields and Paula embodies those connections through her work as a researcher and supervisor.”