Accomplished researcher and senior administrator, Dr. Michelle Helstein, was appointed Provost and Vice-President (Academic) by the University of Lethbridge’s Board of Governors for the term September 1st, 2023 – June 30, 2029.
Dr. Helstein, who most recently served as ULethbridge’s Interim Deputy Provost, will be a key voice on President and Vice-Chancellor Dr. Digvir Jayas’s senior leadership team. Dr. Helstein has explored multiple administrative opportunities from her first days at ULethbridge and been eager to lend her voice to the institutional narrative. She has taken on several significant roles characterized by increasing levels of scope, complexity and responsibility. These include oversight of Academic Advising, the Indigenous Student Success Cohort and Cooperative Education, as well as serving as co-Chair in the Department of Kinesiology & Physical Education and as both Associate Dean and Acting Dean of the Faculty of Arts & Science.
Dr. Helstein earned a Bachelor of Arts from Augustana University College and a PhD in Physical Education and Recreation from the University of Alberta. She began her ULethbridge academic career in 2003, focusing her research on breaking down the notion of sport and popular culture as simply innocent, playful, and not worthy of study by highlighting the significant impact and use of popular sporting culture within larger social, political and economic processes.
Dr. Helstein’s research has been recognized through funding support from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada, and a number of other internal and external research funds, allowing her to explore questions related to representations of female athletes, the complex intersection of public and private sector funding within Canadian sport, and most recently, perspectives of labour within the concussion crisis in sport. Through her research she has actively supported both undergraduate student research and graduate education at ULethbridge.