In the role of Associate Dean, Dr. Harnish leads, promotes and develops undergraduate education specifically related to the non-health professional programs within the FHS in concert with the other academic objectives of the faculty.
Dr. Harnish earned both bachelor and master degrees in biology from Queen’s University. After receiving his PhD in biology from McMaster University in 1982, he did post-doctoral work at the University of Alberta and Harvard University. He joined the faculty at McMaster in 1984 in the department of pathology and molecular medicine.
He played a key role in developing the innovative and popular B.H.Sc. program, which was designed to offer students an understanding of health from biological, behavioural and population-based perspectives, with a foundation in science.
In 1998, Dr. Harnish won the 3m National Teaching Fellowship Award. He was also part of the team of instructors who took the 2005 President’s Award for Excellence in Teaching (Course or Resource Design), as well as the national Alan Blizzard award for collaborative course development and contributions to teaching from the society for teaching and learning in higher education.
Dr. Harnish has served on McMaster University’s Senate and Board of Governors, and also as a special advisor (academic affairs) to the office of the provost. Other roles have included academic director of McMaster’s Centre for Leadership in Learning (now McMaster Institute for Innovation & Excellence in Teaching & Learning (MIIETL) and academic director of the Learning Technologies Resource Centre. He has also consulted nationally and internationally on various aspects of university education.