The Augustana campus of the University of Alberta is mourning the passing of a dear friend, respected colleague and valued professor. On November 10, 2011, Dr. Robert Kell passed away as the result of a vehicle accident. The news of his death came as a shock to faculty, staff and students, with the tragedy affecting everyone across the small campus. Dr Kell is survived by his wife and two young daughters.
“Augustana is a tight-knit community, so the collective grief on campus today is palpable,” says Dean Allen Berger. “Along with his colleagues, I will remember Rob as a passionate advocate for students and an exceptionally talented instructor and scholar. I believe his students will remember him as a wonderfully caring teacher and mentor.”
“Rob was a strong presence on our campus, as teacher, friend and colleague,” says Dr. Jeremy Mouat, professor of history and Chair of the Social Sciences department. “We’ll miss his easy smile and his ready laugh so very much.”
The social sciences department is currently finding a professor who will be able to instruct Robert’s students, and a grief counsellor will be in classes if the need arises.
The Canadian flag on campus has been lowered in honour of Dr. Kell. The University of Alberta’s North Campus in Edmonton has also lowered its flag for the next two days. Please see bit.ly/qbtje9.
Students, colleagues and others whose lives have been touched by Dr. Robert Kell are welcomed to visit the shrine growing on the steps of Founders’ Hall. Those with comments or memories to share are invited to post them below or visit the Faith & Life Lounge where a book of memories is available, which will be passed on to Rob’s family. In addition, there will be a basket there to collect condolence cards for Mrs. Kell. An online book of memories is also available through Park Memorial, at bit.ly/s5p77b, where visitors can light a candle or give a donation as well.
Those in distress are encouraged to visit Augustana’s personal counselling centre with Barry Vall (780-679-1511) or Dawn Kilarski (780-679-1512), or contact our campus chaplain Craig Wentland at 780-679-1535.
A celebration of Robert’s life will be held at Park Memorial Chapel in Edmonton at 10 am on Thursday, November 17. Donations may be made to the charity of one’s choice.
Dr. Robert Kell
Bachelor of Physical Activity Study (University of Regina, 1991)
M.Sc. (Central Washington University, 1996)
Ph.D. (University of Alberta, 2005)
Dr. Kell joined the University of Alberta’s Augustana Campus in the Fall of 2007 and was both a tenured Associate Professor in Work Physiology and an Adjunct Assistant Professor with the Department of Physical Therapy in the Faculty of Rehabilitation Medicine.
He taught courses in exercise and human physiology, and his research involved musculoskeletal rehabilitation as well as athlete training and conditioning. Dr. Kell worked with amateur and professional athletes, as well as injured athletes, and those with chronic pain. He regularly presented at national and international conferences, and published and presented over 50 research papers. Dr. Kell’s work has been acknowledged by Men’s Health, Women’s Health, USA Today, the LA Times, and Arthritis Today magazine and he was identified as an expert in several online journals, the Edmonton Journal and the Globe and Mail. He co-authored an introductory university text on Human Physiology, which saw its first edition published in 2010.