Fall 2018 issue

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newsletter for faculty and staff | fall 2018

Notes from the desk of Yoda (Difficult to see. Always in motion is the future.)

» Doug Peers, Dean of Arts

Yoda (character from Star Wars)

In 2011, when news that I had been appointed Dean of Arts at Waterloo reached friends out west, one of them (a fellow dean) quipped that they did not know Waterloo had Arts. No doubt many of you have experienced similar ribbing. For the most part these are well intentioned jests but they do serve as a reminder of how Arts has come to be understood in a seemingly STEM-obsessed world. Likely you have responded much the same way that I did, pointing for example to our SSHRC success rate, the size of our faculty, the success enjoyed by our students, the innovative programming, etc.

To this I would add a number of other measures of which I am very proud. First, the turnout and participation at the Bridge to 2020 Faculty of Arts consultation meeting which the president attended, and which he has pointed to on a number of occasions as a means of challenging other Faculties to engage as enthusiastically (to the point where Kathy Acheson’s exuberant table top performance has set new standards in presentation skills). And second the fact that our philanthropic participation rates by faculty, staff, and students have continued to surpass the other faculties.

These two factoids signal the strong sense of community and, even more importantly, engagement with the wider community that distinguishes our Faculty. The president was struck not only by the energetic participation by an impressive slice of staff and scholars from across the Faculty, but also the stress placed in the meeting on community, interdisciplinarity, internationalization, and engagement, and the appetite to do more on all four fronts.

Interdisciplinarity, internationalization, and community engagement will likely emerge as central planks in future strategic plans. I am hopeful that Arts will not only be positioned to benefit from these, but in many ways to provide the leadership to sustain momentum. The Global Engagement Seminar, first offered last year, is an example of innovative academic programming that criss-crosses the university and could become a model for future programming spanning the university. This winter term’s course topic of artificial intelligence speaks to a huge issue facing universities everywhere: more importantly, it is one for which the University of Waterloo is uniquely positioned to respond.

The critical role of many Arts disciplines in any discussion of AI is also the feature of our forthcoming expert panel at the Kitchener Public Library. Along with daily media appearances of our scholars (this week it's all about pot and Saudi Arabia), I can think of no better testimony to public interest in our insights than to look at the success of our public lecture series over the past years. We have very deliberately chosen to host these events off campus to build awareness that, yes, Waterloo has Arts – and every one of these lectures has sold out since they were launched. Closer to home, I was delighted to see the great turnout to hear Lee Maracle and Bill Coleman at our Indigenous Speaker Series a few weeks ago. There are few topics so timely and so critical in Canada as responding to the recommendations of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, and here again Arts is in the lead.

I hope you share that sense of pride in the relevance and impact of all the work we do here in Waterloo Arts.

groups of six deans dressed up as Star Wars characters

Yoda, Dean of Arts, with Jedi and Sith colleagues. Just getting ready for the usual battle of Senate. (In a dark place we find ourselves, and a little more knowledge lights our way.)

Welcome to our newest faculty and staff members

It's become a fall tradition to welcome and introduce the faculty and staff who joined Arts over the past year.

Accounting and Finance | Anthropology| Dean of Arts Office | Communication Arts | Economics | English Language & Literature | Faculty of Arts | French Studies | Germanic and Slavic | History | Philosophy | Political Science | Psychology | Religious Studies  | Spanish & Latin American Studies |

Accounting and Finance

Tim Bauer | Assistant Professor | has research interests in judgment and decision-making in accounting, assurance and taxation. He contributes to the School of Accounting and Finance by strengthening research and teaching in the assurance area.

Stephanie Cooper | MAcc Graduate Coordinator

Kanchan Dhiman | Course Management Coordinator

Vivian Diec | Communications and Media Coordinator

Robert Ducharme | Lecturer | has twenty-five years work experience with the Chartered Professional Accountants firm of Vodden, Bender & Seebach LLP. He has been an adjunct with the School since 2005 and has taught financial and managerial accounting courses.

Jonathan Fischbach | Performance Measurement Analyst

Steve Fortin | Associate Professor and Director | returns to Waterloo as the Director of the School of Accounting & Finance. His research is interdisciplinary, in auditing and finance, tax and finance, and other combinations. He comes from the Desautels Faculty of Management at McGill University, where he held a variety of administrative roles, most recently Associate Dean of Graduate Programs.

Tracy Hilpert | Lecturer| worked as the Chief Financial Officer for Sarona Asset Management Inc. from 2011 to 2015 and was recently an Experiential Learning and Career Development Coach in SAF. She brings extensive experience in all aspects of accounting to our students.

Xin (Daniel) Jiang, |Assistant Professor | researches informed traders’ disclosure, corporate investment, earnings management, and debt contracting. He contributes to the School by strengthening research and teaching in management accounting.

Adam Presslee | Assistant Professor | joins the accounting area of the School. His research and teaching interests include topics related to managerial accounting.

Kaishu Wu | Assistant Professor | his research interests include incentives and opportunities of corporate tax avoidance. His teaching interests include undergraduate courses in taxation.

Hua Ye | Assistant Professor | has research interests including innovation in mobile data services applications, crowdsourcing and open innovation, and user generated content and social media. His teaching interests include management information systems.


Jennifer Doucet | Administrative Assistant, Undergraduate and Graduate Coordinator | provides department support to faculty and students. She came to Anthropology from the Faculty of Mathematics, Centre for Education in Mathematics and Computing, and has been at UWaterloo since 2006. She enjoys quality ;time with her daughters and loves any and all outdoors activities – for all seasons.

Dean of Arts Office

Kaitlin O’Brien | Graduate Recruitment Officer| supports graduate recruitment initiatives for all Faculty of Arts programs. She has worked on campus for several years in communications/marketing roles. In her spare time, she enjoys experimenting with new recipes.

Elizabeth Rogers | Communications Officer| helps share all the great things we do in our Faculty. She joined Arts after five years in University Relations, and previously worked in technology and online media. She enjoys helping people with web and social media, outsmarting the WCMS, and learning guitar.

Communication Arts

Anders Bergstrom | Lecturer |studies film, communication, memory, and media history, and he brings extensive experience teaching a range of communication studies courses. He helps to develop and teach communication courses for students in the faculties of Science and Engineering.

David Janzen | Lecturer| analyzes how crises are communicated in political, rhetorical, and artistic terms. He has extensive experience teaching a range of communication studies courses, and is developing and teaching communication courses for students in the faculties of Science and Engineering.

Sarah Klein |Assistant Professor| is an ethnographer focused on how cognitive scientists design, perform, transmit, and understand their experiments. She also brings expertise in performance studies and communication studies and is developing communication courses for students in the Faculty of Science.

Henry Svec | Assistant Professor | focuses on digital culture, media, sound, and performance. His teaching experience ranges from sound production to first year writing and public speaking courses.


Barbara Bloemhof | Lecturer | is an instructional research consultant and a researcher in the scholarship of higher education. She is teaching “Information and Analysis” in the Arts First program this fall under the topic “How to Win a Trade War”.

English Language and Literature

Jennifer Clary-Lemon | Associate Professor | joins English from the University of Winnipeg. She brings expertise in communication, materialist rhetoric, and rhetorical approaches to ecological problems, and plays a key role in the University Communication Outcomes Initiative (UCOI).

Stacy Denton | Lecturer | has extensive interdisciplinary teaching experience in first-year, post-secondary courses, She is a welcome addition to the Arts First program and this fall teaches in the “Inquiry and Communication” course under the topic “Intersecting Identity and Image”.

Maha Eid | Support Services Coordinator | provides support to the department, its staff, students, and academic officials in a range of administrative tasks. She recently moved to the KW area and is currently working at the English Language and Literature department after 12 years of education administration experience within an international IB school abroad.

Heather Love | Assistant Professor | joins us from the University of South Dakota. Her research focuses on cybernetics and modernism; she plays an integral part in the University Communication Outcomes Initiative (UCOI).

Carter Neal | Lecturer | has expertise in professional, technical, and business communication, and plays an integral role in the Department's involvement with the University Communication Outcomes Initiative (UCOI).

Brad Mehlenbacher| Associate Professor | joins us from NC State University bringing expertise in technical communication, online education, and curriculum design and plays a key role in the University Communication Outcomes Initiative (UCOI).

Lai-Tze Fan | Assistant Professor | works in locative media, games design, media archaeology, and computational literary studies. She teaches in diverse areas including digital rhetoric, writing, and publication, the critical and creative digital humanities, and adds a special strength to the Experimental Digital Media (XDM) MA degree.

Megan Selinger | Lecturer | has expertise in professional, technical, and business communication and has been an instructor at Conestoga College for the past two years. She will be integral to the Department's involvement with the University Communication Outcomes Initiative (UCOI).

Faculty of Arts

Laura Fong | Lecturer | has experience in curriculum design and brings solid industry experience as a photojournalist and documentary film producer of award-winning documentaries. In her teaching, she covers video production, photography, issues in contemporary media, and visual storytelling.

French Studies

Agata Jagielska | Administrative and Graduate Studies Coordinator| completed her undergrad and master’s degrees in French at Waterloo, and is thrilled to be back as the Administrative and Graduate Studies Coordinator of French Studies. She is a mom of two (3 years and 11 months) and in her spare time, she likes to work on her novel (in French) which she hope to publish one day.

Germanic and Slavic

Misty Matthews-Roper | Administrative Assistant, Waterloo Centre for German Studies| has worked as a language teacher in Canada and abroad over the course of her career. She has also dabbled in retail. In her new role at WCGS, she organizes events and helps to promote German research and culture.


Christopher Taylor | Lecturer| has worked with Ontario’s Ministry of the Attorney General in roles with the Indigenous Justice Division and as Diversity and Inclusion Coordinator, and most recently as Senior Policy Advisor in the Anti-Racism Directorate. He is teaching “Inquiry and Communication” to Arts First students this term under the topic “Taking B[L]ack History”.


Tawnessa Carter | Undergraduate Coordinator | is a graduate of Waterloo in English Language and Literature. She worked in the book industry and with public libraries for more than 12 years before joining the philosophy department in 2017.

Nicholas Ray | Assistant Professor | focuses on the intersection of the Philosophy of Science, Philosophy of Mind, and Cognitive Science. He is an award-winning teacher; he teaches courses in the interdisciplinary Cognitive Science and the Arts First program.

Political Science

Christopher Bennett | Lecturer | focuses his research on politics and the environment and has extensive knowledge of pedagogical practices for contributing to Arts First program. This fall he is teaching in the “Inquiry and Communication” course under the topic “Climate Change and Denial”.

Julia Jones | Undergraduate Administrative Coordinator & Advisor | has over ten years of on campus administrative experience through her positions in the Registrar’s Office with Academic Records for the Faculties Engineering and Science, and with Marketing and Undergraduate Recruitment leading the Campus Student Ambassador team. She enjoys working with so many great students, faculty, and staff in Arts!

Alexander Lanoszka | Assistant Professor | is an expert in the field of International Relations, focusing on international security, alliance politics, and theories of war; his research interests also include Russian politics. His past positions include a Stanton Nuclear Security Fellow at MIT. He teaches Global Politics as well as several of the core courses in International Relations and Global Governance.


Dillon Browne | Assistant Professor| is a clinical psychologist whose research focuses on mental health outcomes in families at higher risk for psychological disorders due to social disadvantage.

Megan McCarthy | Lecturer |recently developed a multi-disciplinary seminar on Race and Gender Equity, and is passionate about developing materials and methods for teaching that actively engage students in the learning process. She is teaching “Information and Analysis” within the Arts First program this fall, under the topic “Myths of Sex and Love.”

Marjory Phillips | Director, Centre for Mental Health Research and Treatment | is a registered clinical psychologist who is returning to her alma mater after 25 years. She has held positions as Clinical Director and Executive Director in children’s mental health agencies in Toronto. She has been cross appointed as an Adjunct Assistant Professor at Queen’s University, York University and has held adjunct status at the University of Toronto.

Kathy Przednowek | Preschool Teacher, Early Childhood Education Centre

Religious Studies

Carry Derome | Administrative Assistant

Spanish and Latin American Studies

Jacqueline McGann | Administrative Assistant | provides department support to both faculty and staff. Prior to this role, she spent the last 10 years in Corporate Marketing at EY (Ernst & Young). When she is not working, she enjoys running around after her two young boys and playing soccer.

colourful quilt made of UW t-shirts, with staff member Kaitlin.

Kaitlin O'Brien (mentioned above under 'Dean of Arts Office') has a spectacular quilt on her office wall, created from her extensive collection of UW volunteer T-shirts accumulated over her undergrad, grad, and staff years on campus. It's practically a tourist attraction in the DAO.

Arts Staff Advisory Council making a healthier community

» Rita Cherkewski, Administrative Coordinator, Graduate Studies and Research |ASAC Vice Chair

Staff members in the Faculty of Arts continue to work hard to provide exceptional service. At the same time, we need to ensure that staff can take some time for themselves. ASAC’s proposal to the Staff Excellence Fund to continue offering yoga classes to Arts staff was approved for another year and classes are underway each Friday at noon. As well, during the last few months, staff were offered other opportunities that encouraged them to leave their offices and meet new people.

In July, ASAC organized the Faculty of Arts Staff Barbeque for the first time and although it proved to be a hot day, it was great to see so many people come and enjoy the time with their colleagues. The Arts Staff Coffee Break, which happens once per term, was held later in July and was well attended. Staff also had the opportunity to participate in a Postural Pain workshop and a De-Stressing Colouring lunch event.

ASAC members are working on some upcoming events, including a Mental Health workshop, a potluck lunch, and our Holiday Cookie Exchange in December. ASAC encourages all staff to come out to meet their colleagues and to continue building connections and community in the Faculty of Arts.

We are committed to developing initiatives that directly benefit staff in the Faculty of Arts. Learn more about us on the ASAC webpage. If you want to be included in the weekly yoga email list, or have ideas and suggestions on how we can better serve the Arts community, feel free to reach out to us at asac@uwaterloo.ca.

staff gathered at tables in the garden for a summer barbeque

Remember summer? When the living was easy and staff gathered to enjoy a BBQ in the garden?

Every gift counts, and the Arts numbers don't lie

» Arts Advancement

Did you know that staff and faculty members in Faculty of Arts are the most consistent donors to this University? It’s true. In the last fiscal year Arts had a 25.5% participation rate in the Waterloo Keystone Campaign (of that, 21% were staff and 27.1% were faculty). Arts has the highest level of participation among all six Faculties. The closest faculty is Applied Health Sciences with Keystone donor participation rate of 18.2%.

What does this mean? We should feel good and even a bit proud. The numbers suggest that many of us feel motivated to support our institution in whatever amount we choose, directing our funds to whatever area of need resonates most.

As we say, every gift counts. The Arts Advancement team invites all members of our community to contribute. You choose where your gift is directed - any project, program, department, or faculty that has special meaning to you.

I give back to UW because this is my community and its members are my peeps. I’ve been here half my life (strange to say!), and I feel very attached to the University and to its mission, especially when it comes to the students. And there are so many ways of contributing to UW that I can pick and choose the causes that mean the most to me, whether it’s student scholarships, travel bursaries, or a research institute.


Arts priority funds

Arts 360

This fund provides undergraduate students with the extra financial support they need to take advantage of diverse experiential learning opportunities, such as internships, non-profit volunteering, fieldwork, workshops, and more.

International Experience Fund

This fund helps Arts students develop global awareness, a sensitivity to cultural differences, and a broad and flexible skill set while they study, work, and live abroad.

Connect 4 Success

This fund gives graduate students financial support to access applied learning, research and professionalization opportunities, including travel for archival work, conference participation, fieldwork, and internships.


Scholarships and awards recognize student achievements and provide financial support to enable them to get the most out of their educational experiences at Waterloo.

SAF Student Venture Fund

This fund provides students with an experiential learning opportunity to invest in early-stage companies with angel investors from the KW region and Toronto.

SAF International Travel Fund

This fund supports student travel to an international business center to meet with and learn from people and organizations directly involved with international finance and accounting, including major firms, international businesses, and international investment firms.

When I started my undergraduate degree at the University of Waterloo, my parents were unable to financially support me, as I was one of four children. During my four years as an undergraduate, I was very fortunate to receive financial support from donors and alumni who believed in providing funding to students. Throughout my undergraduate and graduate career at Waterloo, I saw how the generous support of donors helped to enrich the lives of students. Once I graduated, I decided that I would give back and provide support to students in the way that I had received support. I wanted to make sure that students who needed financial support had a means to obtain it. Giving is my way of saying ‘Thank You’ to everyone who helped me along the way.



Inside Arts is published each term. Comments, ideas, and submissions are always welcome. Please contact Wendy Philpott.

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