Our Faculty Leadership
Scroll to read biographies for our Dean, Vice-Dean, and Associate Deans
Lesley Rigg, Dean
Dr. Lesley Rigg is an internationally recognized scholar with more than 25 years of experience working in postsecondary education.
Before coming to the University of Calgary in 2015, she was vice-president for Research and Innovation Partnerships at Northern Illinois University (NIU). During her time at NIU, Lesley had been associate dean for Research and Graduate Affairs in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, professor in the Department of Geography, a faculty associate in the Department of Biological Sciences and an active faculty associate in Women’s Studies.
Lesley is a forest ecologist, earning a bachelor’s degree in geography and environmental studies from York University in Toronto, a master’s degree in geography from the University of Colorado, and a doctorate degree in geography and environmental studies from the University of Melbourne in Australia.
A running theme in her research and teaching has been inclusivity. With several collaborators, she published a paper in the Journal of Women and Minorities in Science and Engineering, outlining the roles of gender and discipline in academic career satisfaction in which they found that respect and equity in the sciences is crucial for career satisfaction. Ultimately, she believes the way we enhance the learning environment is through inclusive and diverse modes of instruction and careful attention to the vocabulary we use.
Currently, Lesley sits on Boards for Trout Unlimited Canada and the international Council of Colleges of Arts and Sciences as a director. She is the first Dean from a Canadian post-secondary institution to serve in that capacity. The Council serves as a forum for the exchange of ideas and information among deans representing liberal arts and sciences at a policy-making level.
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).
Steven Vamosi, Associate Dean - Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion
Dr. Steven Vamosi is an evolutionary ecologist with interests in the origins, maintenance, and loss of biological diversity. He earned a Bachelor of Science (Marine Biology) from the University of Guelph, a Master of Science (Zoology) and Doctor of Philosophy (Zoology) from the University of British Columbia, and was an NSERC Postdoctoral Fellow at the University of Toronto.
Research in the lab focuses on conservation and adaptation in fish and amphibians, elucidating evolutionary relationships among predaceous diving beetles, and understanding the spread of non-native plants. Results from these and related studies have been published in over 50 papers and two book chapters. He also contributes to the field through his activities as associate editor for two leading journals (Journal of Applied Ecology and Ecology and Evolution).
Steve is a professor in the Department of Biological Sciences and was appointed Associate Dean (Diversity, Equity and Inclusion) for the Faculty of Sciences in 2016. In his role as associate dean, Steve aims to foster a diverse community at all levels of organization within the Faculty - a community that promotes equitable opportunities to persons from traditionally underrepresented groups and understands, promotes, and embraces this diversity. As chair of the Faculty of Science Awards Committee, Steve works with committee members to increase the diversity of award nominations. Steve is a member of the university-wide Indigenous Strategy committee, and has served on committees for the university's Mental Health Strategy, Prevention of Sexual Violence, and Employee Recognition committees.
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.