Monday, February 22, 2016

Waterloo wins employee engagement award

The University of Waterloo won an award in the Employee Engagement category at the Greater Kitchener Waterloo Chamber of Commerce Business Excellence Awards held Thursday, February 18.

“Each week, we hear stories from the University of Waterloo profiling student success, faculty research and staff accomplishments," says Associate Provost, Human Resources Marilyn Thompson. "Behind each achievement is a group of talented, motivated and enthusiastic people working in ways that quite literally will change our world. It’s especially reassuring to be recognized for our efforts to make our faculty and staff feel valued and engaged.”

Key to the University's successful nomination was its commitment to celebrating diversity and promoting inclusivity within its workforce through initiatives including:

Other nominees included Axonify, Echosims, Miller Thomson LLP, and Traces Screen Printing.

For arts, a season to declare your major

by Stephanie Bromley.

For many Arts students, declaring a major is a rite of passage. All kinds of considerations go into choosing an Arts major—personal interests, future career prospects, opportunities for skills development both inside and outside of the classroom, to name a few. It's no surprise that the decision can be exciting and confusing.

Cue the annual "Declare Your Major" Information Sessions, coordinated by the advising team in the Arts Undergraduate Office.

These information sessions, taking place between February 23 and March 18, are intended to demystify the process of declaring a major for students in Honours Arts, Liberal Studies, and Arts and Business. The Arts Undergraduate Office's advisors present information and answer questions so that students know about the Arts Major reset and how it impacts them, what forms to fill out, what deadlines to meet, and how to set themselves up for success as they transition into their major.  In addition, all Arts major departments host major-specific information sessions or drop-in hours to support students in their decision making.

"I think that having my major down on paper helped me see my goal in black-and-white and know what I was really working towards," says Joel, a Social Development Studies student. "It helped to give me a sense of purpose when that midterm stress was setting in! Plus, declaring my major made it easier for me to enroll in required courses and helped my academic advisors steer me in the right direction."

Arts students who want to declare their major should submit their Plan Modification Form by Monday, April 11. More information, including session details, is available on the Faculty of Arts website.

Vice-President University Research committee seeks feedback

The Vice-President, University Research Nominating Committee is beginning the process of identifying an individual to hold the senior administrative position under the principles of Policy 68 - Vice-President, University Research, according to a memo circulated by the committee.

"The Vice-President, University Research will be responsible for institutional research (including research partnerships), research commercialization, research ethics, and Waterloo International," the memo reads. "S/he will have lead responsibility for seeing to the realization of institutional objectives as captured in the "Transformational Research" theme of the strategic plan, and for positioning the University as one of the great research institutions in the world."

The committee is inviting feedback from the community.

"Over the next month, committee members intend to consult broadly. You are encouraged to convey your views on matters concerning the position in writing to Logan Atkinson, university secretary & general counsel, at, or to Gerri Woodford, an executive search consultant from Odgers Berndtson at"

The committee is especially inviting community members to consider the following questions:

  • What are the issues, challenges and opportunities facing the vice-president, university research?
  • What advice do you have for the search committee as to the background, credentials, qualifications and leadership style that should be sought in the next vice-president, university research?
  • Do you have any suggestions as to individuals to whom the committee should speak about this opportunity?

If you prefer, you may also send feedback directly to any member of the nominating committee.

Feridun Hamdullahpur President
Christopher Pugh Graduate Student
Ryan Amos graduate student
Leslie Copp Staff, Office of Research

Tobi Day-Hamilton Staff Association Appointee
Marlene Epp AFIW faculty
Richard Staines Faculty Senator, AHS
Doug Peers Faculty Senator, Arts
EriCroiset Faculty Senator, Engineering
Rob Gorbet Faculty Senator, Environment
Paul Marriott Faculty Senator, Mathematics
Bernie Duncker Faculty Senator, Science

Comments are due by March 14 and will be held in the strictest of confidence within the committee.

"Your input and feedback will be very important in shaping the position profile and informing the direction of the search," the memo concludes.

WISE announces associate director appointments

Professor Heather Douglas.The Waterloo Institute for Sustainable Energy has announced that Professor Heather Douglas of the Department of Philosophy has accepted the position of Associate Director, Science and Energy Policy, WISE.

Douglas is an associate professor and the Waterloo Chair in Science and Society. Her research focuses on the interface between science and policy, including the use of science in policy-making and policies for science.

Professor Neil Craik.In addition, Professor Neil Craik of the School of Environment, Enterprise and Development, has accepted the position of Associate Director, Global Initiatives, WISE.

An associate professor of law in the School of Environment, Enterprise and Development, Craik teaches and researches in the fields of Canadian and international environmental law. His current research examines the role of procedural obligations in governance structures addressing transboundary and global commons environmental issues.

Both associate directors will serve for a one year term from February 1, 2016 to January 31, 2017.

Senate meets today and other notes

The University's Senate meets today at 3:30 p.m. in NH 3407. Among the agenda items:

  • Changes in academic programs including the minimum major average for combinatorics and optimization; changes to the English language requirements for 2017; approval of the Two-Year Report for Germanic and Slavic studies; and approval the Two-Year Report for Bachelor of Social Work;
  • Updates on the evolution of Senate membership;
  • A research presentation by Alex Wong, Canada Research Chair in Medical Imaging Systems, Director, Vision and Image Processing Research Group, Systems Design Engineering;
  • the second reading of proposed amendments to Bylaw 3 allowing the Board of Governors to elect from among its community-at-large members as many as four individuals to serve as members of Senate;
  • the presentation of the Working Group on Bibliometrics’ White Paper; and
  • an update on the 2015-2016 Operating Budget.

Professor Cesar Hidalgo.The Waterloo Institute for Complexity and Innovation (WICI) 2016 Speaker Series continues with a lecture by Professor César Hidalgo, author of Why Information Grows and Leader of the Macro Connections Group at MIT.

The lecture takes place Tuesday, February 23 from 2:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. in DC 1302.

Information Systems & Technology (IST) will be applying Microsoft patches to SharePoint servers beginning at 8:00 p.m. on Wednesday, February 24. During this time, SharePoint service will be briefly interrupted as servers are rebooted after the patches are applied. In some instances, users may be prompted to re-authenticate.

The Waterloo Warriors varsity teams have had a busy weekend. Check out the latest results on the Athletics website.

Link of the day

65 years ago: the Montgomery Bus Boycott

When and where

Senate Meeting, Monday, February 22, 3:30 p.m.

Pursue a part-time or on-line degree at Waterloo, Undergraduate programs, Tuesday, February 23, 12:00 p.m., TC1208.

WICI presents Professor César Hidalgo, “Why Information Grows,” Tuesday, February 23, 2:00 p.m., DC 1302.

Waterloo International presents a DAAD Faculty Information Session featuring Dr. Alexandra Gerstner, director, German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) Information Centre, Toronto Tuesday, February 23, 2:00 p.m., Quantum Nano Centre.

Author event featuring Marc Degens, "God's Busted Knee," Tuesday, February 23, 4:00 p.m., EV3 3406.

Noon Hour Concert: Timepoints: The Toronto Percussion Ensemble, Wednesday, February 24, 12:30 p.m., Conrad Grebel University College.

New Faculty Information Social Series: Copyright and Licensing, Wednesday, February 24, 2:30 p.m. to 4:00 p.m., EV1 241.

Hallman Lecture Series featuring Professor Sebastian Filep, University of Otego, New Zealand, “Vacations: Frivolity or Flourishing?” Wednesday, February 24, 2:30 p.m., Sun Life Financial Auditorium, LHS 1621.

Public Lecture featuring Professor Melanie Campbell, "The Eye, Window to the Brain," Wednesday, February 24, 7:00 p.m., THEMUSEUM.

Velocity Start presents Do People Want Your Sh*t?, Wednesday, February 24, 7:30 p.m., Velocity Start, SCH 2nd Floor.

UWSA Special General MeetingThursday, February 25, 9:00 a.m., DC 1302. Coffee and treats available at 8:45 a.m.

Declutter Your Life: The Physical & Visible, Thursday, February 25, 12:00 p.m., MC 5501.

WaterTalks Lecture featuring Dr. Susan Hubbard, Lawrence Berkeley National Labs, “Geophysical approaches for quantifying watershed structure and function”, Thursday, February 25, 2:30 p.m., DC 1302.

Waterloo Institute for Sustainable Energy presents Power Shift: Rethinking Design for Energy Access, Thursday, February 25, 3:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m.

Knowledge Integration seminar: “Trans-science and the Limits of Disciplinarity”, featuring Dr. Ashley Rose Kelly, Department of English Language and Literature, Friday, February 26, 2:30 p.m., AL 113.

Bridges Lecture Series - The Harmonograph, Friday, February 26, 7:30 p.m., Siegfried Hall, St. Jerome's University.

2016 Student Global Health Forum - Innovative Approaches to Global Health Challenges, Saturday, February 27, 8:00 a.m., Environment 3.

Master of Taxation Open House, Saturday, February 27, 10:00 a.m., Downtown Toronto.

Gender and Equity Scholarship Series, “Gendered or neutral? Considering the language of human-computer interaction,” Tuesday, March 1, 11:30 a.m., MC 5501.

Renison presents a guest lecture featuring Director-General Rong Chuan Wu, Taipei Economic and Cultural Office, Toronto, “Taiwan’s Foreign Policy,” Tuesday, March 1, 2:30 p.m., REN 2106.

WatRISQ Seminar featuring Motoh Tsujimura, Associate Professor of Operations Research, Faculty of Commerce, Doshisha University, Japan, “Assessing Capital Investment Strategy under Ambiguity,” Tuesday, March 1, 4:00 p.m., DC 1304.

The Pass System: film screening and speaker event, Tuesday, March 1,  7:00 p.m.

Sawatsky Lecture featuring Sir James MacMillan, “The Spiritual in Music,” Tuesday, March 1, 7:30 p.m., Conrad Grebel chapel.

Noon Hour Concert: Afternoon’s Night Music, Wednesday, March 2, 12:30 p.m., Conrad Grebel chapel.

Pursue a part-time or on-line degree at Waterloo, Graduate programs, Wednesday, March 2, 12:00 p.m., TC1208.

Velocity Start presents How To Find Your Customers Online, Wednesday, March 2, 7:30 p.m., Velocity Start, SCH 2nd Floor.

Pascal Lectures on Christianity and the University featuring Professor James Tour, Rice University, "The Nanotechnologist & God," Wednesday March 2, 7:30 p.m., STC 1012.

Pascal Lectures on Christianity and the University featuring Professor James Tour, Rice University, "The Origin of Life: An Inside Story," Thursday, March 3, 7:30 p.m., STC 1012.

WIMIn Ideathon, Saturday, March 5 and Sunday, March 6, Hagey Hall.

Conrad Grebel presents The Music of James MacMillan, Sunday, March 6, 3:00 p.m., St. Peter's Lutheran Church, Kitchener.

Velocity Start presents Science Brainstorming, Tuesday, March 8, 7:30 p.m., Velocity Start, SCH 2nd Floor.

Noon Hour Concert: Stealth in Concert, Wednesday, March 9, 12:30 p.m., Conrad Grebel chapel.

Velocity Start presents Pitch Like A Pro, Wednesday, March 9, 7:30 p.m., Velocity Start, SCH 2nd Floor.

James E. Curtis Memorial Lecture featuring Chief Wilton Littlechild, Thursday, March 10, 5:00 p.m., Theatre of the Arts.

East Asian Studies presents a guest lecture featuring Philip Seaton, Hokkaido University, “Pop Culture, History and “Contents Tourism” in Japan,” Thursday, March 10, 6:30 p.m., REN 2106.

Bridges Lecture - Mathematics, Music, and Visual Art, Friday, March 11, 7:30 p.m., Siegfried Hall, St. Jerome's University.

Student portal hackathon, Saturday, March 12, 10:00 a.m., STC 0060.

CV tips, Tuesday, March 15, 12:00 p.m., TC 1112.

Velocity Fund $5K Qualifier - Night 1, Wednesday, March 16, 7:00 p.m., Quantum-Nano Centre Room 0101.

Velocity Fund $5k Qualifier - Night 2, Thursday, March 17, 7:00 p.m., Quantum-Nano Centre 0101.

Noon Hour Concert: Haydn String Quartet, Friday, March 18, 12:30 p.m., Conrad Grebel chapel.

Noon Hour Concert: Immortal Beloved featuring Colin Ainsworth, tenor and William Aide, piano. Wednesday, March 23, 12:30 p.m., Conrad Grebel chapel.

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