Ivan Joseph is Dalhousie’s new Vice-Provost, Student Affairs. Born in Guyana, Dr. Joseph moved to a farm in Maple, Ontario at a young age. His dad had first come to Canada to study in Truro at the Nova Scotia Agricultural College, now Dal’s Faculty of Agriculture.
Dr. Joseph’s own journey to Dal had many more twists and turns, though: from considering a career in medicine and changing course towards higher education administration, to becoming an award-winning university soccer coach and completing a PhD in sports psychology.
Highlights: Dr. Joseph’s career has revolved around the student experience, including as residence life staff, faculty member, soccer coach and director of athletics at Ryerson University in Toronto. He is an in-demand speaker and consultant in the areas of self-confidence and high-performance teams.
In his new role, he helps oversee Dal’s student experience, including student life, student wellness services, academic supports and the Registrar’s Office. “People will blossom because of the experiences they have here,” he says. “We don’t do that by accident. We have to create intentional, educational experiences in every aspect of student life.”
Why he does it: While Dal is known for academic and research excellence, Dr. Joseph feels the extracurricular experience is just as important for students and yes, that’s about fun, but it’s about so much more. Dr. Joseph says he is inspired by the challenge of creating a university culture where every student feels they matter and belong “I firmly believe that exceptional student experiences arise from meaningful connections across our campus community.” For him, it’s the essential role of community, to make a big campus like Dalhousie feel small.