Our Faculty Leadership
Scroll to read biographies for our Dean, Vice-Dean, and Associate Deans
Bernhard Mayer, Interim Dean
Dr. Bernhard Mayer is serving as interim dean of the Faculty of Science, effective June 1, 2020. Dr. Mayer will serve in this role until June 30, 2021.
Research and Teaching
Dr. Mayer is an internationally known isotope geochemist. His research uses geochemical approaches to determine the sources and the fate of nutrients and contaminants in surface and subsurface systems on the continents. He has been an author/co-author of more than 170 papers in international refereed journals and 16 book chapters on a wide variety of topics including the quality of groundwater and surface waters on several continents, and the environmental impact of fossil fuel development, including shale gas exploitation, geologic CO2 sequestration, and oilsands recovery. He has also an excellent track record in teaching and mentoring on the undergraduate and graduate levels. Dr. Mayer was awarded an Annual Killam Professorship in 2017-18, based on his scholarly activities such as teaching, research, publications, as well as service to the community beyond the university.
Dr. Mayer received his PhD in Geochemistry in 1993 from the Ludwig-Maximilians University of Munich (Germany) and after 18 months as a postdoctoral fellow at UCalgary’s Department of Physics and Astronomy, he returned to Germany as an Assistant in the Department of Sedimentary and Isotope Geology at the Ruhr-University Bochum. In September 1997, Dr. Mayer returned to UCalgary as an Associate Professor.
Dr. Mayer was named Head of the Department of Geoscience in January 2016. Previously, he has served as assistant scientific director of Carbon Management Canada Inc. (2009-2013) and was appointed to a national scientific review panel on shale gas extraction coordinated by the Council of Canadian Academies (2012-2014).
Cindy Graham, Vice-Dean
Dr. Cindy Graham has over 12 years experience working at the University of Calgary. She was appointed Vice-Dean of the Faculty of Science in 2017. Prior to that, she served as Associate Dean, Undergraduate, from 2012-2017, with a portfolio dedicated to teaching, learning and student initiatives within the Faculty of Science. She is joint appointed as teaching professor in the Department of Biological Sciences and the interdisciplinary Natural Sciences Program at the University of Calgary. Her dedication to the student experience has been recognized with the receipt of the Killam Prize for Educational Leadership in 2014 and the Faculty of Science Teaching Award in 2011.
Dr. Graham is a plant physiologist specializing in plant responses to environmental stress. She earned a bachelor’s degree in Botany and Ecology, as well as a PhD in Plant Physiology from the University of Calgary. Graham has completed post-doctoral fellowships at the University of Glasgow and the Plant Biotechnology Institute of the National Research Council in Saskatoon, Canada.
Her scholarship focuses on the development and evaluation of effective instructional strategies and curriculum that promote student learning, engagement and advancement of foundational skills. She is actively engaged in the teaching and learning mission of the Faculty of Science and the University of Calgary, and regularly works with colleagues to develop assignments, in-class activities and laboratories that actively engage students and encourage the development of foundational skills.
Nancy Chibry, Associate Dean - Undergraduate Programs and Student Affairs
Nancy Chibry has been an educator for over 19 years at the University of Calgary, and has taken on many roles that have allowed her to counsel and support students.
She holds a Bachelor of Science (Biol-Math) from the University of New Brunswick and a Master of Science (Statistics) from the University of Calgary. Her passion for teaching started when she was a graduate student, and further developed when she became a sessional instructor. Her dedication to enhancing the student experience in and out of the classroom have led to her being nominated for several teaching awards and becoming a senior instructor in the Department of Mathematics and Statistics.
Her commitment to students was recognized in 2011, when she was appointed Undergraduate Director in the Department of Mathematics and Statistics. Prior to her current role, she served as the Interim Associate Dean - Undergraduate (2017) and Assistant Dean - Student Affairs (2016).
In her current role as Associate Dean, she provides leadership in the advancement and academic success of undergraduate programs, and is responsible for providing direction and ensuring quality advising under the purview of the Undergraduate Science Centre (USC).
Wendy Benoit, Associate Dean - Teaching, Learning, and Student Engagement
Dr. Wendy Benoit is a well-respected educator known for building and using creative strategies for active learning in large enrolment courses.
Having earned a Bachelor of Science with honours from Memorial University of Newfoundland, Wendy completed her PhD with a specialization in synthetic organic chemistry at the University of Calgary. As a senior instructor, she holds a joint appointment between the Natural Sciences Program and the Department of Chemistry. In 2015, she became the director of the Natural Sciences program until 2018 when she was appointed Associate Dean – Teaching, Learning, and Student Engagement in the Faculty of Science.
The cornerstones of Wendy’s approach to teaching have been reflection, problem-solving, and collaboration. Her teaching has been recognized with the 2012 Faculty of Science Award for Excellence in Teaching and a 2015 Students’ Union Teaching Excellence Award. Wendy is passionate about building robust mentorship networks for both faculty and students.
Her scholarly work includes the co-development and research on improving and extending training and mentorships opportunities in the Department of Chemistry for graduate student teaching assistants. She has also collaborated on research into the effectiveness of using historic case studies to help students understand scientific concepts.
In her current role as Associate Dean – Teaching, Learning, and Student Engagement, Wendy forges connections across disciplines in Science as well as with other Faculties. She supports both formal and informal paths for both academic staff and students to reflect on and share their experiences.
Frank Maurer, Associate Dean - Innovation and Strategic Partnerships
Dr. Frank Maurer is the Associate Dean, Innovation and Strategic Partnerships, in the Faculty of Science and the head of the Agile Surface Engineering (ASE) group at the University of Calgary.
His research interests are immersive analytics, multi-surface systems, engineering analytics applications and agile software methodologies.
Frank served as the principal investigator of the NSERC SurfNet strategic network and held a substantial number of NSERC ENGAGE, NSERC CRD and MITACS grants to support his collaborations with industry partners. He also served as Associate Vice-President (Research) and Special Advisor for Entrepreneurship and Innovation for the University of Calgary.
Frank is co-founder, CTO, and board member at VizworX.
Cathy Ryan, Associate Dean - Research and Graduate Education
Dr. Cathy Ryan is a professor in the Department of Geoscience and her research interests focus on technical and remediation solutions related to groundwater and surface water quality. She earned a Master of Science (Earth Sciences) and Doctor of Philosophy (Earth Sciences) from the University of Waterloo.
From 2010 to 2016, Cathy worked with the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA) and was the Director, Water Management in Nicaragua and Central America.
Cathy was appointed for a four-year term as Associate Dean, Research and Graduate Education, beginning January 2019. Cathy has served numerous administrative roles across the faculty and will provide a critical leadership role within the University.