Friday, November 13, 2015

Celebrating philanthropy at Waterloo

Members of the UWaterloo Habitat for Humanity Build Team pose in front of a foundation.

by Erin Sargeant Greenwood.

Each year on November 15, Canadians celebrate National Philanthropy Day® — an occasion to showcase the role that philanthropy plays in our lives and communities.  

My heartfelt thanks go out to everyone who gives their time, talent and resources to the University and our Affiliated and Federated Institutions. Your generosity provides inspiration and encouragement, and enables the wonderful work of our students, faculty and staff.

Led by a team of dedicated volunteers, our Keystone Campaign is an outstanding example of philanthropy at Waterloo. Last year alone, faculty, staff and retirees contributed more than $1.35 million to scholarships and awards, academic programs, equipment, library acquisitions and student space. Your gifts not only benefit the people and projects that are important to you, but also inspire others to support our University.  

Our undergraduate and graduate students also deserve special recognition as philanthropists. Each year, their contributions through voluntary fees have an extraordinary impact on Waterloo, providing resources for their peers and the students who follow them.

The Office of Advancement is privileged to shine a spotlight on the projects and experiences made possible by our donors. If you haven’t had a chance, I’d encourage you to visit Storify to see how charitable giving shapes our University.

Recognizing the impact of our supporters is only one part of our National Philanthropy Day story. Our Keystone Campaign also presents an annual event dedicated to volunteer work beyond our campus. This year’s talk, “Celebrating Our Caring Community,” featured Waterloo’s Habitat for Humanity Build Team. We are truly fortunate to be able to showcase the philanthropic work of our faculty, staff, retirees and students, and I know that all who attended the event are richer for it.

I hope you will join us in celebrating the contributions that philanthropy has made to Waterloo and, through your work, to the world around us. Thank you again for your generous gifts of time, talent and financial support. We’re grateful for your trust and continued commitment, and we are proud to celebrate you on National Philanthropy Day and every day throughout the year. 

Unity (1918) brings the war home this fall

 Sam Beuerle, a central character in the play, walks in his Army uniform along the railway tracks, his eyes bandaged.

With a new curriculum this fall, the Department of Drama and Speech Communication's drama program has changed its name to Theatre and Performance and heads into its 24th year with the production of Kevin Kerr's Unity (1918), directed by faculty director Andy Houston.

"This Governor General’s award-winning script tells a Canadian story that is worse than the recent Ebola and SARS outbreaks combined," says the note from Theatre and Performance. "In the fall of 1918, as soldiers return to Canada from distant battlefields, a world devastated by four years of war is suddenly hit by a mysterious and deadly plague – the “Spanish flu”. The illness strikes anyone, even people in the prime of life. The rapid progression toward mortality brings home the terror, the panic, and the sense of helplessness of World War I; more people die of this epidemic than are killed in battle throughout the war."

A Unity (1918) card showing gravestones.Unity (1918) offers a "moving and revealing examination of what happens when a deadly virus arrives in a town in the middle of Saskatchewan, a place thought to be too distant, too remote from an epidemic devastating populations elsewhere." Playwright Kevin Kerr revisits this moment in Canadian history and places the unthinkable threat of a deadly virus in a community's midst. In a town where familiar things become deadly, Kerr turns his focus on those with the most to lose, the youth, and how they find the strength to face illness, isolation, and death.

Director and professor of theatre and performance Andy Houston explores this moment in Canadian history with the help of an exemplary student cast, and a remarkable team of professional collaborators including Arun Srinivasan (lighting design), Colin Labadie (sound design), and featuring costume design by Mark Haasnoot and set design by Madeline Samms.

Performances run from Wednesday, November 18 to Saturday, November 21 at 8:00 p.m. in the Theatre of the Arts, with matinees on November 18 and 20 at 12:00 p.m. General admission is $17, with students and seniors paying $13 at the Theatre Centre Box Office.

Photograph by Mark Haasnoot.

TEDxUW goes live this weekend and other notes

You're Invited TEDxUW logo.

TEDxUW, the event billed as Waterloo’s official TEDx experience and a key player in the global TED movement, is set to take place on Saturday, November 14. The day will consist of a line-up of 12 TEDx speakers from various walks of life, topnotch performers, cutting-edge break out activities and an opportunity to mingle with the brightest minds and game changers of Waterloo. Visit the TEDxUW website to tune in to the live stream online or join the official TEDxUW live stream event in the  Student Life Centre's Great Hall at 1:00 p.m. on Saturday, November 14.

Are you a staff member pursuing a personal development opportunity for which you would like funding assistance? As a member of the University of Waterloo Staff Association (UWSA) you are eligible to apply for the Staff Enhancement Grant.

"The purpose of the Staff Enhancement Grant (SEG) is to help cover the costs associated with the pursuit of personal development for staff for initiatives, not directly related to job duties," says a note from the UWSA. "The UWSA Staff Enhancement Grant Committee reviews applications and recommends recipients for a Staff Enhancement Grant to the UWSA Board of Directors. Applications will be judged on the basis of the overall merit of the objectives, activities, and benefits to the individual, and the community. All UWSA members are eligible to apply for a SEG."  

For an application form and terms of reference please visit the UWSA website. Please direct any questions to Catherine in the UWSA office by calling extension 33566 or by sending an e-mail to The next application deadline is December 1, 2015.

Link of the day

Sunday is National Philanthropy Day

When and where

Knowledge Integration seminar: You - and the planet - are what you eat: How our dietary patterns contribute to “unhealthy people and an unhealthy planet”, featuring Dr. Goretty Dias, School of Environment, Enterprise and Development, Friday, November 13, 2:30 p.m., EV3 1408.

TEDxUW 2015, Saturday, November 14, CIGI Campus.

International Education Week, Monday, November 16 to Friday, November 20.

Management Sciences Seminar: Sila Cetinkaya, Monday, November 16, 12:00 p.m., CPH 4333.

Preparing to write an essay exam (webinar), Monday, November 16, 1:00 p.m.

Citing Properly With RefWorks, Monday, November 16, 2:00 p.m., LIB 329.

"Religious Freedom at Risk? Islam, Europe and the Right to Act on Faith," Monday, November 16, 3:30 p.m., RCH 309.

WISE Lecture Series presents Professor Doris Sáez Hueichapan, associate professor, Department of Electrical Engineering, Universidad de Chile, “Design of a Participatory Model/Microgrid/Smartfarm system for Mapuche Indigenous Communities,” Tuesday, November 17, 10:30 a.m., DC 1304.

2015 Hagey Lecture featuring Thomas King, "Love in the Time of Cholera: Canadian Edition," Tuesday, November 17, 8:00 p.m., Federation Hall.

Velocity Science: Brainstorming, Tuesday, November 17, 7:30 p.m., QNC room 1506.

Theatre and Performance Program presents Unity (1918), Wednesday, November 18 to Saturday, November 21, Theatre of the Arts.

Imaginus Poster Sale, Wednesday, November 18, 10:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m., Student Life Centre Great Hall.

International Research Partnership Grant Information Session, Wednesday, November 18, 1:30 p.m., QNC 1501.

Velocity Alpha: How Not To Run Your Company Into The Ground (From People Who Did), Wednesday, November 18, 7:30 p.m., EV3 4412.

UWSA Craft Sale, Thursday, November 19 and Friday, November 20, 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m., DC fishbowl.

Imaginus Poster Sale, Thursday, November 19, 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., Student Life Centre Great Hall.

CBB Biomedical Discussion Group featuring Thomas Willett, PhD, Assistant Professor, Biomedical Engineering Program, “A tissue mechanist found in translation,” Thursday, November 19, 2:30 p.m., E5 2167.

Chemistry Department Seminar Series featuring Prof. Liang Li, Department of Chemistry, University of Alberta, “Comprehensive and quantitative metabolomic analysis using high-performance chemical isotope labeling LC-MS”, Friday, November 20 at 10:30 a.m., C2-361.

The Department of Sexuality, Marriage, and Family Studies presents a book launch, “Feminist Pedagogy in Higher Education,” featuring Associate Professor Jane Nicholas and co-editors Tracy Penny Light and Renée Bondy, Tuesday, November 24, 4:00 p.m., St. Jerome’s University Library.

Ecosystem and Resource Management in Protected/Natural Areas Guest Lecture Series featuring Leonardo Cabrera, Ecologist Team Lead, Rouge National Urban Park Initiative, Parks Canada, Wednesday, November 25, 1:00 p.m. to 2:20 p.m., AL 105.

Velocity Fund Finals, Thursday, November 26, 11:00 a.m., Student Life Centre Great Hall.

WaterTalks Lecture featuring John ReynoldsProfessor of Aquatic Ecology and Conservation, Tom Buell BC Leadership Chair in Aquatic Conservation, Simon Fraser University, “Salmon-fuelled ecosystems of the Great Bear Rainforest.” Thursday, November 26, 2:30 p.m., DC 1304.

University of Waterloo Staff Association presents Winterfest 2015, Sunday, December 6, 1:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m., Columbia Icefield.

PhD oral defences

Kinesiology. Chris Vigna, "NADPH Oxidase-dependent ROS Production and Impaired CA2+ Regulation are Associated with Exercise-induced Cardiac Fatigue in the Rat." Supervisors, James Rush, Russell Tupling. On deposit in the Faculty of Applied Health Sciences, BMH 3110. Oral defence Thursday, November 19, 9:00 a.m., BMH 3119.

Systems Design Engineering. Mohamed Aly, "Antibacterial Porous Polymeric Monolith for On-Chip Cell Lysis." Supervisor, John Yeow. On deposit in the Engineering graduate office, PHY 3003. Oral defence Friday, November 20, 1:00 p.m., E5 6002.

English Language and Literature. Michael Hancock, "Games with words: Textual representation in the wake of graphic realism in video games." Supervisor, Marcel O'Gorman. On deposit in the Arts graduate office, PAS 2428. Oral defence Friday, November 20, 1:00 p.m., MC 2009.

Chemistry. Afsoon Birjandi, "Application of Solid Phase Microextraction for Lipid Analysis and Lipidomics." Supervisor, Janusz Pawliszyn. On deposit in the Faculty of Science graduate office, PHY 2008. Oral defence Friday, November 20, 2:00 p.m., C2 361.

Chemistry. Dao Truong, "Thermoelectric properties of Higher Manganese Silicides." Supervisors, Holger Kleinke, Franck Gascoin. On deposit in the Faculty of Science graduate office, PHY 2008. Oral defence Monday, November 23, 10:00 a.m., C2 361.

Computer Science. Khalid Alsubhi, "Security Configuration Management in Intrusion Detection and Prevention Systems." Supervisor, Raouf Boutaba. Thesis available from MGO - Oral defence Monday, November 3, 2:00 p.m., DC 2310.

Environment and Resource Studies. Steven Alexander, "The ties that bind: Connections, patterns, and possibilities for Marine Protected Areas." Supervisor, Derek Armitage. On display in the Faculty of Environment, EV1 335. Oral defence Tuesday, November 24, 9:30 a.m., EV1 221.