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New facility and expanded opportunities for Faculty of Kinesiology funded by $20 million donation from the Taylor Family Foundation

By Kimberly Taylor, May 11 2024—

A recent donation of 20 million from the Taylor Family Foundation will be used to build a new research facility for the Faculty of Kinesiology, as well as renovations to existing kinesiology buildings. 

In an interview with the Gauntlet, Dr. Nick Holt, dean of the Faculty of Kinesiology, spoke about how the donation will develop the faculty.

“That [research] building is primarily going to be used to support research activities. The donation also includes money for research equipment and for renovation to our existing facilities. We’re hoping to improve our academic spaces for teaching and research so we can better serve the students,” said Holt.

According to Holt the new building as well as renovations to the existing buildings will open more opportunities for research for graduate and undergraduate students.

“It’s not just the new building we’ve got some renovation money, and the renovation money might be able to expand the size of the labs — short term definitely graduate students and postdoctoral fellows. Longer term, it creates more potential for increasing the number of undergraduate students, and more opportunities for them to engage in research,” said Holt.

Holt highlighted the new building will also enable multidisciplinary and more ecologically valid research, where the research matches real world situations more closely.

“We’ve reached the limit of our capacity, so what we’re planning is something that will be parallel to the best facilities in the world if not better and will enable us to expand the next for kinesiology research.  Kinesiology is a multidisciplinary faculty, and what we’re going to see is more ecologically valid types of research, so more realistic, more relevant to real life types of situations,” said Holt.

The new research facility is intended to welcome a wide spectrum of people, and from the community, as kinesiology research is not just about athletes and sport, but also longevity and mobility.

“The way kinesiology research is done, you need to welcome the community onto campus,” said Holt. “You need to have a welcoming environment so we expect to be welcoming tens of thousands of people a year, a lot of community members to Kinesiology to participate in our research studies. We’ve designed it so community members are central to how we’ll do our research.”

Holt highlighted that this new investment will further establish the Kinesiology department at the University of Calgary as a cutting edge research facility and the opportunities that will bring to students.

“Kinesiology students often look at physiotherapy and medicine as potential career pathways, but there’s also lots of work wearable devices [and] sport companies have a lot more research and development now,” said Holt. 

“By having cutting edge research facilities and being able to give students the opportunity to engage in research and to learn from research we do, I think we’re going to be able to prepare the best graduates in the country,” Holt continued. 

More information about the Taylor family donation can be found on the U of C website.

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