A welcome back message for students from Dean Lisa Henderson

Photo of Lisa HendersonJanuary 20, 2021

Dear FIMS Students,

Hello, and how is your second week of the Winter 2021 term going? I write to welcome you back and wish you a peaceful new year. Here’s hoping you and your friends and family are healthy and safe and that you got a holiday break. We miss FIMS students fiercely—your thinking, creativity, and work, your opinions, voices, groups, and company in FNB. It is an upside-down world and faculty and staff have been doing everything humanly possible to keep our programs up and running with the attention and engagement you expect. I know from conversations with your teachers how much they have appreciated your work in online courses and the contributions you have made. It isn’t easy and your participation means everything. We all look forward to an accelerated vaccination program and the prospect of teaching and learning together in the classroom next September. For those of you graduating this year, we will find the best possible way to celebrate with you.

Beyond greeting you, I wanted to send a reminder about where to go for up-to-date information. Until February 22 (after reading week), all FIMS courses and tutorials will be convened online. If you have queries about your tutorials and courses, start with your Teaching Assistants (for tutorials) and Instructors (for courses). If you have queries about anything else, please see the contact guide below. You can always find information about COVID-related campus changes at the University’s COVID update page. An update about in-person classes was posted on January 8 that you can read here.

There are resources available to help you persevere this semester. If you need help, if you’re struggling (and who isn’t, at least some of the time), if you aren’t sure what you need and want to figure that out, there are academic advisors, counsellors, teachers, and TAs here to assist. Please be in touch. Staff at the Student Services addresses below can provide academic guidance and can route you other resources you may need.

  • FIMS Undergraduate Student Services: fims@uwo.ca, (519) 661-3542 (Phone and zoom appointments available)
  • FIMS Graduate Student Services: fims-gradservices@uwo.ca, (519) 661-4017 (Phone and zoom appointments available)
  • Visit here for Western Student FAQs, Crisis Support, and COVID Testing on Campus
  • Visit here for Western’s Digital Student Experience, featuring online academic learning support, financial support, health, social connection, sport and fitness, and many more resources.
  • Jennifer Massey, Associate Vice-President, Student Experience, also recently sent a message to students with important information and resources that you can read here.

When I wrote to students last Spring, early in the pandemic, I closed with the Playing for Change video of Indigenous Canadian songwriter Robbie Robertson’s The Weight. Thanks to students who let me know you enjoyed it! Here for Winter 2021 is the Playing for Change video for Bill Withers’ beautiful Lean On Me. The song is old, the message matters now more than ever.

Hang in everyone.

Lisa Henderson
Dean, FIMS