Town Hall Meeting a campus conversation
More than 300 students, faculty and staff joined President Feridun Hamdullahpur at Federation Hall yesterday morning for the Presidents' Town Hall Meeting, entitled "Beyond Innovation."
In addition, hundreds of viewers watched the livestream of the event.
In his opening remarks, President Feridun Hamdullahpur delivered an update on the University of Waterloo's progress over the past year and its outlook for the year ahead, covering aspects of the University's strategic plan, its achievement in being named one of Canada's Top 100 employers, and the upcoming 60th anniversary celebrations in 2017. President Hamdullahpur focused on four "I's" in his remarks - interdisciplinarity, innovation, internationalization, and impact.
“Our mission is not just limited to excellence in teaching and learning and research and discovery,” said Hamdullahpur. “It goes beyond that. There’s a very important values and service element of our existence.”
In the question and answer session that followed, a number of topics were raised, including how innovation at Waterloo applies to elements as diverse as campus infrastructure and inclusivity and diversity, how the University should respond to the recommendations of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, the accessibility of campus buildings, and opportunities for interdisciplinary education both within and across the faculties at the University.
The President's Town Hall Meeting livestream is available to watch online.
State of the University report goes beyond innovation
This is an excerpt of an article that appears on the Waterloo Stories page.
Great universities aren’t just bricks and mortar, they rise with the dreams and achievements of the people who pass through their doors.
In Beyond Innovation, the 2016-17 State of the University Report, Waterloo’s story comes to life through the journeys of 12 exceptional individuals. You can find it online starting today, or follow the conversation on social media, using the hashtag #UWaterlooBeyond.
From Rupi Kaur, a poet and Arts alumnus whose entrepreneurial drive and passion for the written word is helping propel her to the top of international bestseller lists, to Robert Jan van Pelt, an Architecture professor who gave rise to the groundbreaking field of forensic architecture, Beyond Innovation highlights a range of high-impact stories and outcomes spanning all six Faculties.
A co-op student's journey to Harvard and back
by Andreea Perescu
Jonathan Ranisau knows the secret to having a successful co-op work term –and he insists that it takes more than just raw talent alone. Having completed two work terms at Harvard University, Ranisau has some advice for his fellow co-op students: seek out jobs that help improve your individual skill-set.
“During co-op, you discover what abilities you need to develop and what knowledge you need to gain for your future goals. You become better at developing your skills, and you are more passionate about your work since you realize their importance,” explained Ranisau, who is in his fourth-year of chemical engineering at Waterloo.
During his first work term at Harvard, Ranisau was assigned tasks that tested his knowledge and allowed him to find ways to improve. “I did a lot of fundamental research investigating new areas, helping with some different publications and initiatives,” he said. “I think one huge aspect of co-op is that it allows me to work towards finding interesting solutions rather than just solving problems.” Ranisau’s passion for knowledge and research helped earn him a spot at the Ivy League school for a second work term.
To land a highly sought co-op position, Ranisau suggests that students come prepared during interview season. “Securing most of my positions involved a lot of online research on the companies I was interested in,” said Ranisau. “I always wanted to position myself as a knowledgeable candidate.” Other employers that Ranisau has worked with include Xerox Research Centre of Canada, Saint-Gobain Abrasives Canada Inc., Natural Resources Canada and AMBRI INC. He’s exceeded expectations in all of his previous roles and has been asked to return on multiple occasions.
Ranisau is excited about his future. He intends to continue learning and making a positive impact wherever he goes. “My ultimate goal is to start my own company,” he said, offering one last piece of advice: “Don’t sit back and let life toss you around - educate yourself enough to set a direction.”
Canadians’ wellbeing has not rebounded after recession
by Rachel Hammermueller.
Yesterday, the Canadian Index of Wellbeing (CIW), housed in the Faculty of Applied Health Sciences, launched its third national report: How are Canadians Really doing? The report found that while Canada’s economy has recovered from the 2008 recession, our wellbeing has not.
“There is a massive gap between Canadians’ wellbeing and GDP, and it has continued to grow since the 2008 recession. While the recession dealt a short term blow to the economy, it stole our leisure time, our volunteer time, our living standards, even our sleep – and we never got these things we value back,” said Bryan Smale, director of the CIW.
The report shatters the myth that economic growth translates into wellbeing. In some areas, we are worse off than we were in 1994. In 2014, household spending on culture and recreation was at its lowest point in over two decades. Canadians are spending less time away on vacation and participating in leisure and cultural activities.
The CIW tracks 64 indicators to provide a comprehensive analysis of eight domains of vital importance to our quality of life. The new report analyzes data from 1994 to 2014 to provide a picture of the evolution of Canadians’ wellbeing.
To encourage governments put the wellbeing of Canadians at the centre of decision making and policy development you can:
- Share the report on social using #CdnWellbeing or #AdoptCIW
- Send it to your provincial and federal elected officials
Remembering Elliott Avedon, Waterloo's game master
A message from the Faculty of Applied Health Sciences
Elliott Avedon, professor of recreation and leisure studies and founder of the University of Waterloo’s Museum and Archive of Games, died on Monday, November 21.
Avedon came to the University of Waterloo in 1971 from Columbia University Teacher’s College in New York. He was instrumental in the founding of the Department of Recreation and Leisure Studies and was the cornerstone and architect of the therapeutic recreation program. Through his many travels, he became interested in games and wrote the now seminal work, “The Study of Games.”
In 1972, he founded the Museum and Archive of Games, originally as a teaching aid for students. Over the three and a half decades that followed, the collection and its archives grew to include more than 5,000 objects and documents and was displayed in a physical exhibition space in B.C. Matthews Hall. In 2010 the collection was transferred to the Canadian Museum of History in Ottawa to protect the world-famous resource for future generations.
Displaying incredible academic range, Avedon edited and published the landmark collection of documents known as the Canadian Outdoor Recreation Demand Study– research that was distinctly ahead of its time. While carrying a full academic portfolio, he also established the Leisure Studies Data Bank – an international archive of recreation and leisure data. In 1975, he led the formation of the graduate studies program in recreation and leisure studies – the first of its kind in Canada. Always an early adopter of technology, he served as Associate Dean of Computing in the Faculty of Applied Health Sciences for eight years and contributed to the reputation of the University of Waterloo as a leading institution for information technology and computer science. He retired in 1995 as Professor Emeritus.
Avedon is survived by his two children, Roger and Madeline, and five grandchildren. There will be a private ceremony in the U.S. for family and close friends. Donations on behalf of Elliott Avedon may be made to the Sarasota Opera, one of his favourite local arts organizations.