Biography & Accomplishments

About Joy

As SFU's president and vice-chancellor, Joy is committed to carrying out SFU's vision to be a leading research university advancing an inclusive and sustainable future, as outlined in What's Next: The SFU Strategy.

Joy is widely respected in academic and research communities. Prior to her appointment as president, Joy served as SFU’s vice-president, research and international from 2014 to 2020. Under her strong leadership, SFU’s research income grew from $103 million in 2014 to $161 million in 2020—the fastest growth in research income of any Canadian university.

Before joining SFU, Joy had a distinguished career in academics and research, completing her PhD in nursing at the University of Alberta before joining the University of British Columbia as a professor in the School of Nursing. Her commitment to research led her to take on the role of scientific director with the Canadian Institutes of Health Research's Institute of Gender and Health, setting the institute’s strategy and building opportunities for researchers. Joy’s many accomplishments reflect her dedication to operational excellence and her ability to align institutional policy and priorities to achieve success.

Commitment to education, learning and growth

Joy is a passionate advocate for higher education and its power to transform lives and impact communities. As president, she plans to build upon the outstanding teaching and learning initiatives at SFU and develop new experiential learning opportunities for students. She understands that some of the most important educational experiences happen outside of the classroom, where students engage with communities and confront real world issues. Joy is committed to academic excellence and creating learning environments where everyone thrives and fulfills their potential.

Highlights of accomplishments

Joy's dedication to academic and research excellence is marked throughout her career by many accomplishments and achievements. She is the co-author of more than 180 peer-reviewed articles and has led several initiatives that mobilized research insights to influence practice and policy. As vice-president, research and international at SFU, Joy enhanced supports and services for SFU’s research community, secured two Canada 150 Chairs, hosted Canada’s most powerful academic supercomputer, launched the cross-cutting big data initiative, and established a unifying innovation strategy. Joy is an elected Fellow of the Canadian Academy of Health Sciences and a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada.  


Joy grew SFU’s research income from $103 million in 2014 to $161 million in 2020—the fastest growth of any major Canadian research university.


In 2019, Joy was recognized for shaping Canada’s health research landscape to better represent women.


Joy is the co-author of more than 180 peer-reviewed articles.