Recent news and stories from Arts

Becoming a renewable energy society

Workers on wind turbine“We are a fossil fuel society,” says Professor Imre Szeman who holds the University Research Chair in environmental communication. “Every element of our society, culture and politics has been shaped by fossil fuels. And if we’re going to make the transition to renewables that we hope for, it’ll have to be a social, cultural and political transition, too.” A faculty member in Communication Arts, Szeman helps us envision and engage with the critical social changes necessary for a successful transition to renewable energy.

Read about the social transition to renewable energy.

Franklin Expedition officer’s remains identified by DNA match

human skull and face reconstructionIn May the University of Waterloo shared the exciting news that a research team had identified the remains of a member of the 1845 Franklin Expedition by genealogical analysis and DNA match with a living direct descendant. The research team led by Anthropology professors Douglas Stenton and Robert Park identified Warrant Officer John Gregory, engineer aboard HMS Erebus, when DNA from bone and tooth fragments matched a sample provided by Gregory’s great-great-great grandson. The news was picked up worldwide, including by the New Your Times, and was tweeted by Margaret Atwood.

Read the Waterloo release about the discovery.
Listen to Professor Stenton describe the research on Waterloo’s Beyond the Bulletin podcast.

Making space for Indigenous artists to lead

gallery space with photo installationProfessor Logan MacDonald is creating more opportunities for Indigenous knowledge and leadership within educational and art institutions. As the Canada Research Chair in Indigenous Art and a practicing artist and curator, MacDonald leads the Longhouse Labs project which aims to integrate Indigenous knowledge, traditions, and leadership within education.The project will create opportunities for all students to learn from and engage with Indigenous practices and will play an important part in the University’s actions toward reconciliation.

Read about Professor MacDonald and the Longhouse Labs project.

Stratford School student design team is highly commended

students walking and gathering in Stratford School buildingRising to the challenge to design a product that provides underserved communities with cost-effective access to quality health services, a team of students in the Global Business and Digital Arts (GBDA) program designed Medley, an online platform that equips LGBTQ+ youth with clear and practical safe-sex education and resources. Their entry in theprestigious Royal Society of Arts Student Design Awards received “Highly Commended” and joins previous winning GBDA student teams in this international competition.

Read the full story about the Medley team.

Delivering lifelong learning

People walking across city street with WATSPEED logoOne skillset that often demands continuous learning is the management and analysis of big data. To address this and lead the University’s commitment to lifelong learning, the School of Accounting and Finance has partnered with the Chartered Professional Accountants of Ontario (CPA) and WatSPEED, a new unit at Waterloo that provides professional education positioned at the intersections of technology and business. 

Read about the Certificate in Predictive Analytics and WatSPEED

Strengthening actions to end tobacco use

Burning cigaretteThe International Tobacco Control (ITC) Project based in the Department of Psychology was awarded a Governor General’s Innovation Award in May, 2021. The honour is awarded to the interdisciplinary ITC team founded and led by Professor Geoffrey Fong (Psychology), with project founding partners Professor Mary Thompson (Statistics and Actuarial Science), and Professor David Hammond (Public Health and Health Systems) for their outstanding work to strengthen tobacco control efforts, improving the health of millions of people worldwide

Read about the global impact of the ITC Project.