Summer 2023 issue

Inside Arts logo banner with pride flag crosswalk colours in the letter ARTS

newsletter for faculty and staff | summer 2023

In this issue of Inside Arts we're sharing statements and messages of support and solidarity received after the June 28 attack on our colleague and students of Gender Issues, GSJ 222. We're also celebrating the significant achievements and contributions of Arts members who are receiving a 2023 Arts Award for Excellence. 

Dean Sheila Ager's remarks at the Community Gathering in the Arts Quad, June 29

All of us are here to support one another

Hello everyone. I would like to begin by acknowledging how dreadful yesterday's assault was for those who experienced the trauma firsthand, both the injured and those who witnessed the attack. And these events have, of course, also caused deep distress to everyone throughout our faculty and university community and beyond. This was a profoundly dreadful and deeply traumatizing event. I thank God no lives were lost, but the impact is still terrible. […]

It is hard to understand this level of hate and violence. A campus is meant to be a safe place for our students, faculty and staff. And yesterday, that sense of safety was violated. So, thank you for being here to stand up in solidarity, to denounce any form of hate, discrimination or violence. As we collectively process this hate-motivated attack, I know you may be experiencing a lot of anger, sadness and feelings of despair. Personally, I am shocked and grieved by what happened, and I also acknowledge that I am angry, even enraged, at what appears to have been a hate crime.

I know that anger will not go away easily, but I will have to move it into more productive channels that will challenge the kind of hate and discrimination that results in such actions. Right now, I do believe that the most important action for all of us is to join with each other in providing our care and support, not only for those directly impacted but for our community as a whole.

I am grateful for the immediate action of first responders and the IMPACT mental health crisis team who arrived to support the students in the class very soon after the incident. If you are feeling overwhelmed or anxious and need to talk to somebody, please contact counselling services. If you need to step away from your work or your studies temporarily, as the president remarked, that's okay, especially to those in our community who are disproportionately impacted by this attack.

And we also urge all members of the community, especially our leadership team and faculty members, to be considerate, understanding and supportive of the individuals involved as they navigate through this traumatic event. I am also so grateful to our students who have come together to support each other in this difficult time. Thank you for the care and compassion you have shown to each other.

Please do not stop reaching out and speaking out when you need help. We all need to lean on each other right now. And as I look across the crowd today, I see colleagues from every faculty, students and members of our wider community. We collectively represent shared values and resiliency, and all of us are here to support one another.

Watch the video recording of Sheila's remarks.

The Arts Quad featuring a bright rainbow coloured walkway in front of the Dana Porter Library

July 27 Student Solidarity Festival in Arts Quad

Students of the Gender and Social Justice (GSJ/ENGL) 309 class have planned a Student Solidarity Festival on Thursday, July 27 from 1 to 3 p.m. in the Arts Quad. The festival is a student-led, instructor-supported response to the June 28 attack. The event will include queer poetry reading, free food, and BYOP (bring your own pet).

The university community is invited to join together to stand against campus violence and show solidarity for diversity and inclusion – and of course, to pat the pets and enjoy some free food!

A team of campus safety allies will be there to ensure a safe and fun event for everyone.

Messages of support and solidarity from colleagues in Canada and beyond

From Memorial University of Newfoundland:

Dear Dean Ager,

I’m writing on behalf of the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences at Memorial University to offer solidarity and to share our deep concern and dismay for what has happened at your university and within the teaching space of your faculty. 

As someone who teaches and researches in the fields of gender studies, queer studies and intersectionality, I am personally alarmed and professionally anxious by the stabbing in a Philosophy of Gender studies classroom. We are committing to respond to this event on our own campus to support the kind of work being targeted by this violence and to develop responsive protocols. 

I know you must be reeling and inundated by messages right now. So please know I do not expect a response. I just wanted to reach out and say how sorry I am. Memorial will post a public statement as well and I can share that with you when it is posted. 

Sending all my very best to you, your faculty members, students, and staff at this challenging time. 


Dr. Natasha Hurley (she/her, they/them)
Dean / Professor of English
Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences
Memorial University of Newfoundland

From the University of Alberta:

Dear Dr. Ager,

All of us in the Faculty of Arts at the University of Alberta are thinking of the University of Waterloo community at this time, and particularly students, colleagues, and staff in the U of W Faculty of Arts.  Please know we stand in solidarity with you, and we are shocked and saddened to learn of the targeted and violent hate crime that has been perpetrated against members of your community.  I extend my unequivocal commitment of support, and I hope you will please feel free to reach out to me directly if there's anything I can do.   

Yours sincerely and collegially,


Robert Wood, PhD (he/him)

Faculty of Arts
College of Social Sciences and Humanities

University of Alberta

From the University of Lethbridge:

SNAC+ solidarity statement for the University of Waterloo

The Support Network for Academics of Colour Plus (SNAC+) works for students, staff, faculty, and the community at the University of Lethbridge and beyond. We condemn any form of violence, particularly hate-motivated based on race and gender whether committed by individuals, groups, or states. We stand in solidarity with the University of Waterloo as the community grapples with the horrific stabbing attack that occurred on campus on June 29, 2023. Violence can never be justified on account of ideologies, politics, and differences. We remain fervent in our shared ideals of equity, equality, and social justice premised on the fundamental affirmation of human rights, safe spaces, and peace.

Glenda Tibe Bonifacio, PhD (she/her) 
Professor, Department of Women & Gender Studies 
University of Lethbridge, Alberta
Treaty 7 Territory (Niitsitapi, Nakoda, Tsuut'ina) and Metis Nation Region 3 

From Ontario Tech University:

Hi Sheila

On behalf of my Faculty please see the attached and please share with colleagues if inclined. I’m so sorry you experienced this at UW.


Dr. Peter Stoett, Dean
Faculty of Social Science & Humanities
Ontario Tech University


Dear Colleagues,

It was with profound sadness that we learned of events at the University of Waterloo this week. Please accept this statement of solidarity with the Faculty Arts and the Gender and Social Justice program. Any form of violence in a classroom is unacceptable and this horrible event serves only to reinforce the obvious need for progressive programs such as Gender and Social Justice. While the perpetrator intended to silence conversations about the fluidity of gender, we remain committed to ensuring that such issues are embedded in our curricula. We are proud to offer related courses and to host the UNESCO Chair on Hate Studies at the Faculty of Social Science and Humanities here at Ontario Tech University and this event only strengthens our determination to contribute to solutions toward ending the scourge of hate-fueled violence. Misogyny, transphobia and homophobia must be met with a determination to counter the fear and hatred that inform them. Wishing you healing time as you move forward,

In solidarity,

The Faculty of Social Science and Humanities
Ontario Tech University, Oshawa, Ontario

From The University of Strathclyde(Scotland):

Dear Dean Ager,

I read of the awful attack upon one of your colleagues and two students today, and I wanted to reach out to offer my heartfelt best wishes to you, your colleagues, and the students of the University of Waterloo. I hope that [the professor] and the two students in her class make a speedy recovery. Although we have not met yet, I hope that our shared belief in inclusion and diversity can further strengthen the relationship between Strathclyde and Waterloo. 

Please do let me know if there is anything I can do, no matter how small.

With very best wishes,


Professor Ian Rivers, FRSE, FBPsS, FAcSS  (pronoun: he/him)
Associate Principal and Executive Dean, Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences
The University of Strathclyde

Solidarity tweets

Many post-secondary and other institutions from all over Canada and internationally posted messages of support and solidarity in the days following the June 28 attack. Here are just a few examples.

Polytechnique Montréal

Screenshot of text in both French and English expressing solidarity for Waterloo

Text from the tweet reads: Polytechnique Montréal exprime sa solidarité envers les membres de la communauté de l'Université de Waterloo @UWaterloo, à la suite d'une attaque motivée par la haine qui a été perpétrée hier par un individu envers un membre du corps professoral et deux membres de la communauté étudiante, durant un cours d'études sur le genre.

Notre communauté dénonce toute forme de haine, de violence et de discrimination. Les campus universitaires doivent être ouverts, sécuritaires et accueillants pour toutes les personnes, sans exception.

La diversité, qu'elle soit de genre, d'origine, de croyance, de culture, de capacité, d'orientation sexuelle ou d'âge, constitue une richesse de la vie d'une société démocratique.

Queen's University

Screenshot of tweet from Queen's University with their logo

Text from the tweet reads: In solidarity with our colleagues at the University of Waterloo, the #queensu community condemns gender-based violence and all other forms of hatred and bigotry. Our thoughts are with the students, faculty, and staff. Read the full statement.

Read the full statement from Queen's University

University of British Columbia

Screenshot of tweet by University of British Columbia with logo and text announcing their statement

Text from the tweet reads: "Reflecting on the shocking stabbing at @UWaterloo , we wish a speedy recovery to the injured professor & students & reaffirm our commitments to safety, inclusion of 2SLGBTQIA+ students, faculty & staff & those who work and learn in solidarity w/ them."

Read the full statement from UBC

Congratulations to the 2023 Arts Award recipients!

Read excerpts from the nomination letters for this year's recipients of the Arts Awards for Excellence in Service, Teaching, and Research.

Excellence in Service

Adam Glover, Manager, Media and Studios, Sessional instructor (Fine Arts)

Adam Glover

Adam (MFA) played a pivotal role throughout the COVID crisis and continues to show exceptional dedication to everyone and everything in the Department of Fine Arts. We have always known that without Adam we would be lost, but the pandemic made it clear that, were it not for his herculean efforts over the last several years, Fine Arts faculty and students would have been locked out of their studios and ECH shuttered … (we) maintained a level of activity that was the envy of other Fine Arts programs across Canada … None of this could have been achieved without Adam.

Emily Hudson, Curriculum Manager and Academic Integrity Co-ordinator (Arts Undergraduate Office) 

Emily Hudson

Emily has provided outstanding service to our students, Faculty, and University for nearly ten years. She is thorough, organized, and accurate, but also enterprising, imaginative and thoughtful. She manages a very large workload in two areas that have complex requirements and processes … Without her compassionate, timely, and informative communications with students and with instructors, our approach to academic integrity would not complement, as it should, the University’s central mission, which is to teach people good things and help them contribute to the world in which they live.

Ranjini Jha, Professor (School of Accounting and Finance) 

Ranjini Jha

Ranjini has a long history of service excellence … including service related to experiential learning, tenure and promotion, advocating for women in professional ranks, recruiting, strategic planning, pension and benefits, and doctoral committee supervision. Ranjini’s tireless efforts to serve have created tremendous opportunity for students, huge reputational gains for SAF, Arts, and UW within the experiential finance space, and unheralded confidence in the stewardship of UW’s pension assets. Ranjini’s efforts have been of high impact and have gone substantially beyond the usual standard of excellence.

Janelle Rainville, Director of Production & Theatre Operations (Communication Arts) 

Janelle Rainville

Her work ethic is outstanding, and her diplomacy and positivity contributes to a positive atmosphere in the department. The amount of time and effort Janelle has put into (the Humanities Theatre retrofit) project is inconceivable. The acquisition of the Theatre has been made possible, to a large extent, because of Janelle's openness to and excellence in taking over this big project. It is an indication of the outstanding work she has been doing and the trust that the Faculty of Arts has put in Janelle.

Excellence in Teaching

Owen Gallupe, Associate Professor  (Sociology & Legal Studies)

Owen Gallupe

Dr. Gallupe shines as an instructor. He is extraordinarily adept at conveying rigorous methodological, statistical, and other discipline-specific content and concepts in a way that is intelligible and accessible to students … Since the start of his teaching career, Dr. Gallupe has integrated novel technologies into his lectures to promote engagement and to address different learning styles. He has also taken approaches such as instituting a live, in-class chat system to allow students who may be hesitant to ask questions in a large class to do so without raising their hand. He centres student wellness in his teaching, particularly since the onset of the pandemic.

Andrew Hunt, Professor (History)

Andrew Hunt

Student comments encapsulate Dr. Hunt’s amazing ability to inspire and instruct students, to share his love of history with them, to deliver on his well-constructed course learning outcomes, and to create welcoming and inclusive teaching environments for students from a wide variety of backgrounds and academic programs … He has served as a mentor for generations of graduate students, many of whom spoke in glowing terms about the influence Dr. Hunt had on their studies and subsequent careers … Colleagues stress how important Dr. Hunt’s mentorship and advice was to them when they joined the department and continues to be today.

Carter Neal, Continuing Lecturer (English Language & Literature)

Carter Neal

Dr. Neal’s teaching demonstrates a strong commitment to experiential learning and concrete learning experiences that centre ethical concerns while developing communication and writing skills. He creates fictional co-op employers and tasks students with learning the communication skills and practices that the employer requires. For three years, his students have worked for "AccessTech," a start-up developing digital technologies to address disabilities and impairments. In addition to his creative work in the classroom, Dr. Neal demonstrates a deep commitment to rethinking pedagogical practice and curricula from an antiracist lens.

Maša Torbica, PhD candidate (English Language & Literature)

Masa Torbica

Maša exemplifies the best qualities of teaching in Arts… Her transdisciplinary pedagogy, commitment to authentic learning, exceptional mentoring abilities, inclusive classroom practices, and supportive administration of peer tutors, have made her a strong contributor to teaching in Arts and across the University in her many roles within the Writing and Communication Centre and the Department of English … Her teaching strengths lie in her respect for, and confidence in, students’ abilities; her thorough preparation and deep intellectual grasp of her material; and her skills in presenting that depth of knowledge in ways that draw from students their best work.

Excellence in Research

Lai-Tze Fan, Assistant Professor (Sociology & Legal Studies)

Lai-Tze Fan

She is an interdisciplinary researcher who combines science and technology studies, media studies, interactive storytelling, critical design, and research-creation. A rising star in her field … Dr. Fan also seeks multidisciplinary research collaborations. At Waterloo, she was the PI for a tri-agency-funded project with the Institute for Quantum Computing, which used digital storytelling tools to teach the public about quantum technologies (2021-2023) … Most recently, she was invited to be the only non-tenured member of the Board of Directors of the new Trust in Research Undertaken in Science and Technology (TRuST) network at Waterloo … By any measure, Dr. Fan’s scholarly achievements are outstanding.

Ori Friedman, Professor (Psychology)

Ori Friedman

Professor Friedman is a highly accomplished senior career researcher who is making exceptional contributions to developmental and cognitive psychology. His exceptional performance is evidenced by the quality and quantity, and most impressively, the incredible breadth of his research outputs and stature in the field … Professor Friedman (pioneered) the study of children’s understanding of ownership and property rights … This work has been influential across sub-disciplines of psychology such as developmental, cognitive, social, and clinical psychology. But more impressive is the reach it has had, particularly in recent years, in disciplines such as philosophy, business, and law.

Randy Harris, Professor (English Language and Literature)

Randy Harris

His ground-breaking monograph The Linguistics Wars did more than make Professor Harris's name globally recognized in the fields of rhetoric and the history of linguistics. It put Waterloo’s English Language and Literature on the map as a department with a serious, progressive linguistics component in its members’ scholarship and teaching. (His) Voice Interaction Design is simultaneously conceptual and practical, anchoring its focus on speech-user interfaces in research on computational and cognitive linguistics and then applying that research to the practical challenges of designing the comprehensive speech interfaces that, in 2023, have become part of everyday life for hundreds of millions of people. Recent advances in AI have put these developments in the news, but Dr. Harris was studying these interfaces decades ago, and laying the groundwork.

The great (web) migration continues: Faculty of Arts website

» by Elizabeth Rogers, communication officer

You might notice something a little different about the Faculty of Arts website. On July 20, it made it's official debut in WCMS 3 – our updated web content management system. It's the latest website migration to happen in Arts, with many more to come!

What's involved in a website migration? Think of it as being a little like moving your home.

First, you're going to clean things up and get rid of what you don't need. And you'll likely find a few surprises – like boxes you didn't deal with in your last move.

Next, the movers (IST, in this case), transfer your things from one place to another and put stuff roughly where it's supposed to go.

Then, you're going to set up your new space. Maybe how you set up your living room in your old home doesn't work in your new home, for instance. WCMS 3 has a lot more space than WCMS 2, so there are going to be some adjustments. 

Finally, as you live in your new space for a while, you're going to continue to decorate and rearrange it. A website is never really "done" – we'll continue to make improvements as more functionality becomes available.

Sounds like a lot of work? We'd like to extend our thanks and kudos to everyone involved in the ongoing migration of websites within Arts. Whether it's cleaning up old content, answering questions, or changing layouts – it really is a team effort.

Keep your eyes open for more changes coming to an Arts website near you. If you want to learn more about migrations, see the Arts website migration Q&A.

A desktop computer showing the new Arts website homepage is surrounded by an eerie orange glow

ICYMI: Recent student stories

Emily Radcliffe

No closed doors 

From performing to directing to storytelling, Emily Radcliffe’s undergraduate experience demonstrates her desire “to do all the things”

Mackenzie Leclair

Graduate explores interdisciplinary approaches to restorative justice

Mackenzie Leclaire (MA ’23) challenges misconceptions and brings humanity to the forefront of her graduate research

cartoon avatar of Guiesppe Femia

Redefining gaming through an inclusive lens

Championing equity and connection, PhD student Giuseppe Femia demonstrates the power of self-representation in Dungeons & Dragons

Charlie Star

Recomposing music and identity

MFA student Charlie Star's journey through art and activism highlights Black innovation, resiliency, and joy

Mark your calendar for fall events

  • September 15 — Faculty of Arts Distinguished Lecture in Economics, with speaker Dr. Rohini Pande, the Henry J. Heinz II Professor of Economics, Director of the Economic Growth Center, and Director of Inclusion Economics at Yale University
  • October 3 — Celebration of Arts
  • October 5 — Hagey Lecture with speaker Dr. Nalini Nadkarni, Professor of Biology at the University of Utah
  • October 17 — Indigenous Speakers Series with speaker Dr. Niigaan Sinclair, Faculty of Arts Professorship in Indigenous Knowledge and Aesthetics, University of Manitoba, and journalist
  • November 21-25 — Theatre and Performance production She Kills Monsters by Qui Nguyen 


Inside Arts is published several times each year. Comments, ideas, and submissions are always welcome. Please email Wendy Philpott.

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