Friday, October 21, 2016
Today and tomorrow, it's the 113th Convocation
The University of Waterloo's 113thConvocation will take place today and tomorrow, with more than 2,170 graduands receiving their undergraduate and graduate degrees at four ceremonies.
This morning at 10:00 a.m., 157 students from Applied Health Sciences and 377 Science students will receive their degrees.
Bearing the University's ceremonial mace will be Rhona Hanning, the associate dean, graduate studies in Applied Health Sciences.
Julie-Anne Desrochers will sing the national anthem.
Brant E. Fries will receive an Honorary Doctor of Laws. Fries is professor of internal medicine and professor of health management and policy at the School of Public Health at the University of Michigan. His accomplishments in developing classification systems for nursing homes have significantly influenced global health systems for more than 40 years. Professor Fries is considered a pioneer in developing classification systems and grouping methodologies for nursing home residents. He is also the founder and president of interRAI, a collaborative network of researchers working in more than 30 countries worldwide to promote evidence-informed clinical practice and policy decision-making through the collection and interpretation of high-quality data. Fries is an adjunct professor of the School of Public Health and Health Systems at the University of Waterloo.
Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi will receive an Honorary Doctor of Laws and address Convocation. Csikszentmihalyi is considered the 'Father of positive psychology'- which focuses on human strengths such as optimism, creativity, intrinsic motivation and responsibility. As a psychologist and educator, he is one of the pioneers of the scientific study of optimal experience. Formerly chair of psychology at the University of Chicago, Professor Csikszentmihalyi is presently the distinguished professor of psychology at Claremont Graduate Department of Sociology and Psychology. He has dedicated his life's work to the study of happiness, creativity, human fulfillment and the notion of flow. He is the author of fourteen books, including his highly successful book, Flow: The Psychology of Optimal Experience (1990), as well more than 225 research articles. In the 1990s and 2000s, his research was read far beyond the academic discipline of psychology: Csikszentimihalyi's greatest appeal was to the business community, which applied his ideas toward the goal of maximizing employee productivity. He is currently the director of the Quality of Life Research Centre.
Robert Broom and Sara Scharoun will receive the award for Outstanding Achievement in Graduate Studies at the Doctoral level.
In the afternoon ceremony at 2:00 p.m., 123 students from Environment and 514 students from Mathematics, including Computing and Financial Management, will receive their degrees.
Bearing the mace will be Jean Andrey, Dean of the Faculty of Environment.
Birgit Moscinski will sing the national anthem.
David L. Donoho will receive an Honorary Doctor of Mathematics and address Convocation. Donoho is the Anne T. and Robert M. Bass Professor of the Humanities and Sciences and a Professor of Statistics at the University of California, Berkeley, and is widely regarded as being one of the greatest statisticians of his generation. His pioneering work has contributed to the development of many fields such as statistics, applied mathematics, and signal processing. His contributions include the modern theory of statistics by developing optimal statistical estimation methods in the presence of noise, and efficient techniques for sparse representation and recovery in large and high-dimensional data-sets, which have had a deep impact on the field. He is one of the most cited mathematicians and statisticians of our time, having published more than 250 high quality journal papers with the top ten papers having been cited more than 50,000 times. In 2012, he became a member of the United States National Academy of Sciences and also Fellow of the American Mathematical Society. In 2013, he became a Shaw Prize Laureate.
David DeVries will receive the K.D. Fryer Gold Medal, which is given for high academic standing in mathematics together with good student citizenship.
John Doucette and Hadi Hosseini will receive the Amit and Meena Chakma Awards for Exceptional Teaching by a Student.
Doucette, a doctoral candidate at the David R. Cheriton School of Computer Science at the University of Waterloo, is recognized for being approachable, thorough, and passionate about teaching. When ranking Doucette’s teaching on a scale from 1 (unsatisfactory) to 4 (outstanding), one student asked, “Can I give John a 5? Because he deserves one. John is phenomenal!” And another student remarked that “even though it was an 8:30 a.m. lecture, his classes were always full.”
Hosseini is a highly-motivated PhD candidate at the David R. Cheriton School of Computer Science. He is able to get his students actively involved in the classroom and encourages them to answer (and ask) questions. He shows students that he is genuinely interested in them by learning their names and entertaining “tangential conversations about Computer Science after lectures.” This personal engagement is reflected in Hosseini’s high course evaluations. One undergraduate student commented that “he clearly showed that he cared about his students and their success.” Along with his studies and teaching, Hosseini works at the Centre for Teaching Excellence as a Teaching Assistant Workshop Facilitator to help guide other Waterloo graduate students in advancing their knowledge, techniques, and skills as instructors.
Seung Hamm will receive the award for Outstanding Achievement in Graduate Studies at the Master's level, and Tapan Dhar and John Doucette will receive it at at Doctoral level.
On Saturday, October 22, students from the Faculty of Arts will cross the stage at the morning ceremony, while Engineering's graduands receive their degrees in the afternoon.
At 10:00 a.m. on Saturday, 618 Arts students will receive their degrees.
Bearing the mace will be Katherine Acheson, Associate Dean, Undergraduate Students.
Distinguished Professor Emeritus Reinhold Schuster will sing the national anthem.
Cindy Blackstock will receive an honorary Doctor of Laws and address Convocation. Blackstock is a member of the Gitxsan First Nation of Northern British Columbia, an advocate on behalf of First Nations children in Canada, a social worker, and a scholar whose activism has had significant impact on the legal and social discourses of Aboriginal youth rights in Canada. She is executive director and founder of the First Nations Child and Family Caring Society, and is a passionate advocate of research of First Nations communities, and of research collaborations with First Nations community members who understand Indigenous traditions and knowledge as an unrecognized core of much scholarship in Canada. She has been awarded an Atkinson Charitable Foundation's Economic Justice fellowship (2009) and a National Aboriginal Achievement Award (2011). She has also been appointed a Trudeau Mentor as part of the Trudeau Scholarship Program (2012).
Tanya Montebello will receive the James D. Leslie Prize. The prize is given for outstanding performance in studies by distance education.
Danielle Rice will receive the Arts Young Alumni Award.
Gordon Pennycook will receive the Alumni Gold Medal, which is given out for outstanding academic performance in a doctoral program.
Mark Ceolin will receive the Arts Alumni Achievement award.
Anson Ho Wai Lee and Xin Yi Shi will receive the Accounting Alumni Award for Excellence in Accounting, which is given for outstanding academic performance in the Master of Accounting program.
Siobhan Sutherland will receive the Outstanding Achievement in Graduate Studies award at the Master's level.
At 2:00 p.m. on Saturday, October 22, 388 Engineering students will receive their degrees.
Bearing the mace will be Jonathan Sykes of the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering.
Reinhold Schuster will sing the national anthem.
Jonathan Sykes will be given the title Distinguished Professor Emeritus. Sykes retired from the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering in 2014, following a long and distinguished career as a highly respected administrator, educator, researcher and engineer. He has served as department chair for six years and twice as associate chair. He joined the university after receiving his doctorate at Waterloo in 1975 and would go on to become an internationally-respected researcher in the area of groundwater flow and transport modelling. He has more than 170 conference proceedings and 64 reports, has authored or coauthored more than 50 scholarly papers and two book chapters, and has edited two books. He has supervised 44 MASc and 17 PhD students, and many of his doctoral students have gone on to have successful academic careers. His skill as an administrator can be seen in his guiding of the department through a recovery and rebuilding phase following the wave of early retirements in the mid-1990s.
James Cooper will receive an honorary Doctor of Engineering. Cooper is the CEO and President of Maplesoft, and under his leadership since 2000 the company has been built to be the world’s premier provider of mathematics and engineering modeling and simulation software. A graduate of Waterloo (BASc Mechanical Engineering, '80), he was the driving force behind the propagation of MapleSim software into the global engineering marketplace and the company today has evolved into a full engineering solutions provider, combining superior system-level modeling and analysis tools with extensive expertise in model-based design. He was instrumental in bringing the NSERC/TOYOTA/Maplesoft Industrial Research Chair in Mathematics-Based Modelling and Design to Waterloo. In addition, he has long been a strong supporter of engineering research and education at the University of Waterloo, and many Waterloo graduates have gone on to enjoy successful careers at Maplesoft in addition to the 25+ Waterloo co-op students hired each year by the company.
Audrey Chung will receive the Alumni Gold Medal for outstanding academic performance in a Master’s program.
Stanislav Sokolenko will receive the Outstanding Achievement in Graduate Studies award at the Doctoral level.
Choral Day extends overtures to high school students
The Music Department at Conrad Grebel University College is warming up for a full day of musical immersion with 275 high school students from across Waterloo Region. Choral Day, taking place today, is orchestrated by the University of Waterloo’s Music Department at Grebel and brings together grade 11 and 12 vocal music students and school choir members.
Led by Music Professor Mark Vuorinen, students will spend the morning in a large group choral workshop to practice group vocal techniques and learn some new music - including an African American spiritual, and African rainforest chant, and a 16th century madrigal. The afternoon includes a break-out session in vocal techniques, a workshop and performance with the UW Balinese Gamelan Ensemble, UWaterloo student performances, and a panel discussion with Music faculty and residence life staff - all accompanied by student ambassadors.
Choral Day demonstrates how university students can remain involved in musical activities after high school, in harmony with any Waterloo program. Students will hear about the ways in which they can participate in music ensembles, courses, and programs whether as a major, minor, or while studying in a completely different faculty.
Human Resources is reporting that retiree Betty Jean Collicott died on October 14. Betty joined Waterloo in 1974 as a Custodian in Plant Operations. In August 1981, she transferred to Village One as Housekeeper where she worked until her retirement in June 2007. She was predeceased by her husband Manus in 1999.
Here's the final Invisible Disabilities Week myth vs. fact:
Myth: Disability is something we should never talk about, and it’s something we should hide so we don’t run into problems.
Fact: Like other diversities (cultural, social, even educational), disability is an essential part of a person’s identity. AccessAbility Services protects people’s privacy; students can seek accommodations without the fear of stigmatization. But disability is something no one should be ashamed of. The more people who understand that disability is a valuable form of human diversity, the better!
When unexpected challenges arise, there is always hope and help. Today's clip explores the options available to students when life does not go according to plan.