Convocation will be turned up to 111
The University of Waterloo's 111th Convocation will take place today and tomorrow, with 2,334 graduands receiving their undergraduate and graduate degrees at four ceremonies.
At 10:00 a.m. this morning, 206 students from Applied Health Sciences and 342 students from Science will cross the stage.
The Honorable Roy J. Romanow will receive an honorary doctorate and address Convocation.
Romanow is Senior Policy Fellow at the University of Saskatchewan. He was first elected to the Legislative Assembly of Saskatchewan in 1967 and from 1991 to 2001 was Premier of Saskatchewan. He served as Deputy Premier, Attorney General, and Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs, where he played a key role in federal-provincial negotiations that would bring about the patriation of the Constitution. In 1991 he was elected as Premier of Saskatchewan and led the province until 2001. He then chaired the influential Commission on the Future of Health Care in Canada in 2001. He was invested as an Officer of the Order of Canada in 2003.
Jessica Ashbourne and Alanna McEneny will receive the Outstanding Achievement in Graduate Studies award at the Master's level, and Andrew Achkar and Jennifer McWhirter will receive it at the Doctoral level.
At 2:30 p.m. this afternoon, 180 students from Environment and 575 students from Mathematics will receive their degrees. Students in the Software Engineering program will graduate with the Faculty of Mathematics.
Robert Tarjan will receive an honorary Doctor of Mathematics and address Convocation. Tarjan is the James S. McDonnell Distinguished University Professor of Computer Science at Princeton University, and also a Senior Fellow at Hewlett-Packard. His research is in the field of algorithms and data structures, that is how to represent and process data in the most efficient manner possible. He is the recipient of many major awards, most notably the Turing Award which is the most prestigious in Computer Science. He earned a BS degree in Mathematics from the California Institute of Technology, and MS and PhD degrees in Computer Science from Stanford University. He has held academic positions at Cornell University, the University of California at Berkeley, Stanford University, New York University, MIT, and Princeton University.
Josephine Tay will be awarded the KD Fryer Medal.
Han Zhao will receive the Alumni Gold Medal.
Shuntaro Yamagishi will receive the Amit and Meena Chakma Award for Exceptional Teaching by a Student.
Omid Ardakanian and Marie Claire Brisbois will receive the Outstanding Achievement in Graduate Studies award at the Doctoral level.
On Saturday, October 24 at 10:00 a.m., 707 students from Arts will cross the stage.
James Walker is the featured speaker and will address Convocation. Walker is a professor in the Department of History at Waterloo, and a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada. He has an intense interest in the areas of race relations and human rights, and his work has won him many accolades and awards.
Receiving the Alumni Gold Medal is Tanya Renee Jonker.
Alumnus Rob MacIsaac (BA 1984) will receive the Arts Alumni Achievement Award, which recognizes Waterloo Arts alumni who have made "outstanding contributions to their professional field and in community and/or public service."
After receiving his degree from Waterloo and a Bachelor of Laws from the University of Western Ontario (now Western University), he practiced law before dedicating his career to public service, providing strategic leadership in municipal government, regional transportation, post-secondary education, and healthcare. In February 2014, he became the President and CEO of Hamilton Health Sciences, one of the largest and most comprehensive research hospital systems in Ontario. Prior to that, he served as President of Mohawk College from 2009 to 2014, leading the largest campus renewal project in their history.
In 2006, Rob was appointed the first executive Chair for Metrolinx, the Greater Toronto and Hamilton area transportation authority. During his three-year tenure, he led the development of “The Big Move” – the most extensive transit expansion plan in Ontario’s history. From 1997 to 2006, he served two terms as Councillor and three consecutive terms as Mayor of the City of Burlington. During that time, he helped redevelop Burlington’s waterfront, and led the development of Ontario’s Greenbelt.
Receiving the Accounting Alumni Award for Excellence in Accounting, which is granted for outstanding academic performance in the Master of Accounting Program will be Benjamin Ahier.
Charlotte Whalen will be awarded the James D. Leslie Prize for outstanding performance in studies by distance education.
Melissa Meade will receive the Outstanding Achievement in Graduate Studies award at the Master's level.
At 2:30 p.m. on Saturday, 366 Engineering students will receive their degrees.
Addressing Convocation will be Lionel Oyahon. A graduate of Waterloo's architecture program, Oyahon is founder and CEO of iCRAVE Design, an architecture and design firm. His internationally renowned studio reimagines built and digital environments into groundbreaking and award-winning concepts including at John F. Kennedy International Airport and in mixed-use developments set to transform Lower Manhattan.
Mohit Singh Verma will receive the Outstanding Achievement in Graduate Studies award at the Doctoral level.
All ceremonies take place in the Physical Activities Complex.
The United Way: supporting mental health wellness
by Nadine Collins, co-chair, UWaterloo United Way Campaign.
When you think about the word “healthy” what comes to mind? A muscular body? A plate of broccoli?
Today, the University of Waterloo is working to ensure you that when you think about your health, you include your mental health.
This is the seventh time the University has set aside a day as Mental Health Wellness Day to acknowledge the importance of mental health. One in five Canadians will be affected by mental illness in their lifetime so this is an important issue that affects many of us.
But what does this have to do with the campaign to support the United Way of KW & Area?
Increasing the emotional wellbeing of our community members, adults and children alike, is one of the major initiatives of the United Way. They support various programs in our Region that offer education about mental health like the Mental Health Promotion and Education Services of the local branch of the Canadian Mental Health Association. They also support programs that offer direct help such as the Distress Centre of Waterloo Region and various counselling services.
The United Way and the University understand that a strong and vibrant community means supporting the mental health of everyone who is part of that community and making sure resources are available for those who need it.
The United Way organizing committee will be doing our part to help foster a social and academic environment that is conducive to mental health wellness.
Waterloo celebrates Mole Day this Friday
When it comes to numbers the mathies have pi and the chemists have the mole.
A mole is a unit in the International System of Units and represents an amount of substance. One mole is equal to 6.02 x 1023 of particles, or of anything that can be counted.
To conclude National Chemistry Week Waterloo’s Chemistry Department is celebrating Mole Day this Friday. This annual event commemorates Avogadro’s Number (6.022141 x 1023) and is celebrated from 6:02 a.m. to 6:02 p.m. on Friday October (10th month) 23rd.
The Chemistry Department has a series of fun activities to celebrate Mole Day. There will be a Periodic Table of Rice Krispies squares at the Periodic Table Project wall mural in EIT at noon. The first 114 people will get to pick their own element.
Free posters of the Periodic Table Project and 3D printed blue mole keychains will also be available. Keep an eye out for Avogadro himself and take a selfie using the hashtag #selfiewithAvo.
Show your Mole Day pride by picking up an Avogadro T-shirt or beaker mug from Retail Services in SCH. You can also get your very own furry mole good luck charm for midterms.
Queer gears, Fine Arts in Flux; other Friday notes
The English Language and Literature Speaker Series continues today with Professor Lisa Hager of the University of Wisconsin-Waukesha, who will be delivering a talk entitled “Towards a Queer Literary History of Gender Identity: Steampunk, Gender Nonconformity, and Victorian Studies.”
"As an alternate history genre, steampunk literature builds its worlds by answering the “what if?” question of science fiction and fantasy with a re-imagining of nineteenth-century history and literature and engaging with cultural discourses of the day," says the talk's abstract. "Indeed, one of the primary methods by which steampunk enacts and revises the Victorian is through its deployment of period aesthetics and its thematisation of the relationship between aesthetics and technology. Through a reading of comingled aesthetics and technology in Scott Westerfeld’s Leviathan trilogy, this talk will consider how the series suggests a more trans- and nonbinary-inclusive vision of how Victorian studies might conceptualise nineteenth-century gender identities and, in so doing, will contend that such a critical approach ultimately provides the field with provocative and productive methodological questions."
(I'd argue that the Leviathan trilogy is more dieselpunk than steampunk, but that's not what they pay me for.)
Professor Hager’s talk will take place at 1:00 pm in PAS 2438, and is free and open to the public.
The Department of Fine Arts is presenting its fourth year exhibition entitled "Flux" that is taking place from Monday, October 26 to Friday, October 30 in the Artery Gallery in Kitchener. The opening reception takes place at 12:30 p.m. on Monday at the Artery. The exhibition features the work of students Jennifer Byrnes, Aleksander Cupovic, Rachel Dang, Teghan Dodds, Margaret Gissing, Zofia Glab, Cynthia Kaczala, Cheryl Keyes, Brittany Law, Madzia McCutcheon, Laurie-Lynn McGlynn, Caren Roy, Sofia Roy, Alyana Versolatto, Anastasia Zaiats, and Michelle Zarytshansky.