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Acting deans and director announced across campus

August 24, 2020 — 

The University of Manitoba is pleased to announce the following acting dean and director appointments.


Dr. Karen Wilson Baptist
Acting Dean, Faculty of Architecture

Dr. Karen Wilson-Baptist

Dr. Karen Wilson-Baptist

The University of Manitoba is proud to announce that Dr. Karen Wilson Baptist, both an imaginative and practical thinker, has been named Acting Dean of the Faculty of Architecture, effective July 1, 2020.

Dr. Baptist will continue to carry her tenured professorial appointment in landscape architecture, a position she maintained while serving in various other administrative roles at UM, including Acting Head of landscape architecture, and Associate Dean (Academic), and chair of the environmental design program in the Faculty.

Dr. Baptist received her undergraduate degree in fine arts at UM, followed by a master of education, before earning her PhD in landscape architecture at Edinburgh College of Art/Heriot-Watt University.

UM looks forward to seeing its venerable Faculty of Architecture grow under her leadership.


Dr. Thomas Falkenberg
Acting Dean, Faculty of Education

Dr. Thomas Falkenberg

Dr. Thomas Falkenberg

Dr. Thomas Falkenberg, an innovative researcher and advocate for student well-being, has been named Acting Dean, Faculty of Education, effective August 1, 2020.

Dr. Falkenberg began his studies in education at the Free University of Berlin where he obtained a doctorate in linguistics before going on to earn a Post-Baccalaureate Diploma and doctorate in curriculum theory and implementation from Simon Fraser University.

Since joining UM, he has served as professor and Associate Dean, Graduate Programs & Research, in the Faculty of Education. He is currently leading numerous research projects on improving well-being and well-becoming in schools. He has been editor or co-editor of publications on the topic, including Indigenous perspectives on education for well-being in Canada and sustainable well-being: Concepts, issues, perspectives, and educational practices.

UM welcomes Dr. Falkenberg’s holistic approach to teaching in this new leadership role in the Faculty of Education.


Dr. Andrew Frederiksen
Acting Dean, Clayton H. Riddell Faculty of Environment, Earth, and Resources

Dr. Andrew Frederiksen

Dr. Andrew Frederiksen

Dr. Andrew Frederiksen, an exceptional researcher and educator, has been named Acting Dean, Clayton H. Riddell Faculty of Environment, Earth, and Resources effective July 1, 2020 until Dr. Plugmacher Lima, the new Dean, arrives.

Dr. Frederiksen began his geological studies at McGill University before earning his master’s and PhD in geophysics (seismology) at the University of British Columbia. He briefly taught at University of California, Santa Cruz before arriving to UM in 2002 as an assistant professor. He has since served as Acting Associate Dean in 2013, Associate Dean (Academic) in 2019, and on numerous occasions has served as Acting Department Head for brief periods.

The UM is again grateful for his willingness to assume a leadership role. 


Dr. Edward Jurkowski
Acting Director, School of Art

Dr. Edward Jurkowski

Dr. Edward Jurkowski

Dr. Edward Jurkowski, a strong leader and passionate advocate for music and the arts, has been appointed Acting Director of the School of Art, effective July 1, 2020.

Dr. Jurkowski received his undergraduate degree in musical composition from the University of Manitoba before earning his doctorate in music theory from the University of Rochester. Prior to returning to UM, he served as the Dean of the Faculty of Fine Arts at the University of Lethbridge, and he is currently the interim chair of the Canadian Association of Fine Arts Deans. Dr. Jurkowski will concurrently continue to serve as Dean of UM’s Desautels Faculty of Music, a role he has held since 2019.

The University of Manitoba thanks Dr. Jurkowski for his dedicated service to his alma mater.


Dr. Nariman Sepehri
Acting Dean, Price Faculty of Engineering

Dr. Nariman Sepehri

Dr. Nariman Sepehri

Dr. Nariman Sepehri, an engineering and education visionary, has been named Acting Dean of the Price Faculty of Engineering, effective July 1, 2020.

Professor Sepehri began his studies in mechanical engineering at Sharif University of Technology in Iran before earning his Master’s and PhD degrees in controls and tele-robotics at the University of British Columbia. He joined UM in 1991 and has served in key administrative roles including Associate Head of mechanical engineering (research and graduate studies) and Associate Dean of Engineering (undergraduate programs).

Dr. Sepehri’s exemplary contributions to advance all aspects of Canadian engineering have helped grow the Faculty and pave the way for the next generation of engineers in Manitoba. His role in creating a strong environment for collaborative research between engineering and health sciences, modernization of shared teaching laboratories, development of new courses in emerging areas, and outreach initiatives such as ‘Engineering is for Girls’, has aided the collective growth of the engineering community both at home and across the country.

UM thanks Dr. Sepehri for undertaking this important role and looks forward to seeing him enact further positive changes in the Price Faculty of Engineering.

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