McMaster University

One of McMaster University’s goals over the next decade is to enhance the connections between McMaster and the communities we serve, locally, provincially, nationally, and around the globe. The Office of Community Engagement is responsible for supporting this goal locally was we work together with our partners for an inclusive, sustainable greater Hamilton.

Participants and sponsors

Patrick Deane, President & Vice Chancellor, McMaster University

Patrick Deane

President & Vice Chancellor

Patrick Deane is the seventh President and Vice-Chancellor of McMaster University, a position he has held since 2010. As President, Dr. Deane is focused on promoting and supporting research, strengthening the connections between the University and the local and global communities that we serve and ensuring a distinctive, personalized and engaging experience for McMaster’s students.

David Farrar

Provost and Vice President Academic

Dr. Farrar has held several roles in University senior administration. From 2007 to 2015, he served as the Provost and Vice-President Academic at the University of British Colombia (UBC).During university presidential transition at UBC from 2015 to 2016, he served first as Advisor to the Interim President and then as Interim President and Vice-Chancellor of UBC.

David Farrar, Provost and Vice President Academic, McMaster University
Susan Searls Giroux, Vice Provost Faculty, McMaster University

Susan Searls Giroux

Vice Provost Faculty

Susan Searls Giroux is Associate Vice-President (Faculty) and Professor of English and Cultural Studies at McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario. Her administrative role entails, among other responsibilities, oversight of the undergraduate curriculum across McMaster’s six faculties,faculty professional and leadership development with specific attention to issues of equity, diversity and inclusion and community engagement. Susan has championed the concept and development of CityLAB Hamilton as one of McMaster’s flagship community engagement initiatives.

Kim Dej 

Associate Vice-Provost, Faculty

Kim Dej is associate professor and associate director (curriculum and pedagogy) in the School of Interdisciplinary Science at McMaster. In January 2019, Kim began a part-time role as associate vice-provost, faculty, providing assistance to faculties and faculty members in their efforts to improve the undergraduate academic experience, particularly in areas advancing interdisciplinary studies, community engagement, experiential learning, educational access, equity and inclusion, and academic integrity. Kim co-developed McMaster’s first official community engagement course—Foundations of Community Engagement—and continues to serve as a co-instructor on the course.

Kim Dej, Associate Vice-Provost, Faculty, McMaster University
Sheila Sammon, Director, Office of Community Engagement, McMaster University

Sheila Sammon 

Director, Office of Community Engagement

In June of 2014, Sheila Sammon was appointed the first Director of Community Engagement for McMaster University. Together with her colleagues in the Office of Community Engagement and with the Network for Community Campus Partnerships, she has encouraged and supported principled community engagement for students, faculty and staff. Sheila co-developed McMaster’s first official community engagement course—Foundations of Community Engagement. As professor emerita in the School of Social Work, Sheila brings years of community-based experience to the role. Throughout her academic career she focused her teaching and research on experiential education and curriculum development including models of field education, social sciences inquiry and community based education.

Dave Heidebrecht 

Manager, Office of Community Engagement

Dave Heidebrecht is the manager for the Office of Community Engagement at McMaster University. He supports community-campus partnerships, coordinates a network of interdisciplinary colleagues, and leads the implementa"on of McMaster’s community engagement strategic plan. Dave also began serving as a co-instructor of McMasters Foundations of Community Engagement course in Fall 2018.

Dave Heidebrecht, Manager, Office of Community Engagement, McMaster University

Jeff Wingard 

Community Development Coordinator

Jeff Wingard brings over twenty years of experience in local poverty reduction and social policy analysis to his current role of Co-Director (Community) in the Office of Community Engagement. For the last decade, Jeff worked as an independent consultant with a variety of community partners including McMaster University, the City of Hamilton, Mohawk College, and the Hamilton Community Foundation, primarily focused on access to education, health inequities, and poverty reduction. Prior to his consulting practice, Jeff served as a senior social planner for the Social Planning and Research Council of Hamilton for 10 years specializing in poverty reduction and affordable housing.