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Friday, December 9, 2016


Charmaine Dean named Vice-President, University Research

Charmaine Dean.The University of Waterloo has announced the appointment of Charmaine B. Dean as vice-president, university research, beginning a five-year term on July 1, 2017. The appointment was approved by the Board of Governors following approval by and on the recommendation of Senate.

“Charmaine Dean brings to the University of Waterloo a distinguished academic career, deep relationships across faculties, industry and government, and an entrepreneurial mindset,” said Feridun Hamdullahpur.  “I am delighted to welcome her to the University’s leadership team. I’m confident she will build on our tremendous achievements and impacts across multiple disciplines to advance Waterloo’s reputation as a leader in world-changing research.”  

Dean, an alumnus of Waterloo, is currently professor and dean of Science at Western University. Prior to her role at Western, she played a major role in establishing the Faculty of Health Sciences at Simon Fraser University in her capacity as associate dean of that Faculty, where she was the founding chair of the Department of Statistics and Actuarial Science.

“I am honoured to join the University of Waterloo, which is known world-wide for innovation and transformational research,” said Dean. “I look forward to advancing the University’s research strengths and to working with Faculty and students to realize aspirations and to continually set the bar high for leading edge research.”

She has further served the academic community as president of the Statistical Society of Canada, as president of the International Biometrics Society (Western North American Region), as president of the Biostatistics Section of the Statistical Society of Canada, and has given over 15 years of service in numerous capacities to the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada, as well as service to CIHR, and various international granting councils. She is a fellow of the American Statistical Association and of the American Association for the Advancement of Science.

Dean earned her BSc (Honours) in mathematics at the University of Saskatchewan (1980) and later her master’s degree (1984) and PhD (1988) in statistics at the University of Waterloo. She is the recipient of many awards including the CRM-SSC prize, the University of Waterloo Alumni Achievement Medal and a Trinidad and Tobago High Commission Award.

Dean succeeds George Dixon, who has served as Waterloo’s vice-president, university research since 2007. “George has served the University of Waterloo with distinction and will ensure a smooth transition to Charmaine Dean,” said Hamdullahpur.

Social Impact Fund winners tackle sustainability, engagement

The three Social Impact Showcase winners.

Three St. Paul’s GreenHouse innovators received Social Impact Fund grants totaling $5,000 at the most recent GreenHouse Social Impact Showcase event, which highlights the progress of various social innovators every term.

Alumna Rachel Thompson, founder of Marlena Books, also spoke about making an impact through social entrepreneurship. Her social venture, which is producing specialized reading material for older adults with dementia, has been successful in winning support from long-term care homes and funding from several organizations.

The Social Impact Fund recipients, who pitched their ideas to a panel of reviewers, were:

Michael WidemanMichael Wideman, School of Planning (Eggplantr): $2,500

Michael’s venture will make it easier to grow food gardens using a digital tool to generate and print permaculture planting layouts on biodegradable weed barriers. He will be using the funding to incorporate his business and build and test his prototype.

Bailey JacobsBailey Jacobs, Environment, Resources and Sustainability (Green2Green): $1,500

Bailey is developing a platform to make it easy for home renovation contractors to access government incentives for environmental retrofits. She will be hiring UWaterloo students to design and build a wireframe for her application with this funding.

Pragya DawadiPragya Dawadi, Math, Statistics (The Dialogue Xchange): $1,000

Pragya’s work fosters engaging dialogue on pertinent social issues, such as gender equity and mental health. She will use the funds to pilot Dialogue Xchange events in Guelph, Waterloo and Ottawa.

A conversation about the online learning landscapeĀ 

David Porter speaks at the presentation.

On December 7, the Centre for Extended Learning (CEL) invited David Porter, eCampusOntario’s new CEO, and a number of on-campus partners to have a conversation about the vision for eCampusOntario and the learning landscape and how the University of Waterloo can both support and benefit from some of the initiatives on the horizon.

Some of our key discussions focused on rethinking teaching resources, rethinking the learning experience, and rethinking credentials.

The event coincided with the announcement of eCampus Ontario’s latest round of funding for collaborate and innovative new online projects. We are excited to announce that a joint proposal between University of Waterloo and Wilfrid Laurier to create a fully online Graduate Diploma in Climate Risk Management was one of the projects selected for funding. The program is designed to meet the needs of early to mid-career professionals who have been tasked with climate change risk management and climate change adaptation.

This day also represented an opportunity for CEL to showcase some of our exciting new projects, (such as open courseware for high school students and teachers) and demonstrate the outcomes from previous rounds of funding such as:

  • the TransED Project which helps health-care students provide high-quality care to transgender patients and
  • three Chemistry for Engineers online learning modules which allow for differentiated learning based on both a student’s interests and ability levels.

Upcoming Campus Wellness closure; other notes

“Campus Wellness services (Counselling Services and Health Services) will be closed for three hours on Tuesday, December 13 from 11:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.," says a note from Health Services. "This closure includes Counselling Services on the second floor of Needles Hall and Health Services."

During this time, if you require assistance with a Mental Health emergency, please call extension 31976. If you require assistance with a medical emergency please go to your nearest hospital or Urgent Care Clinic.

All services will resume at 2:00 p.m. on Tuesday, December 13.

And 'tis the season for holiday videos:

If you had to bring your most valued treasure,

To a time and place set, how would you measure?

It’s the theme for this year’s holiday greeting.

See if you can guess… and P.S., no cheating!

"In keeping with our holiday tradition, we hope you enjoy this year’s holiday video. It’s a bit of a riddle with a good dose of fun and a message that’s straight from the heart," says the message from Environment. "However you celebrate this festive time of year, we hope it’s full of good friends, family and all of the things that you hold dear."

On behalf of Dean Jean Andrey and everyone in the Faculty of Environment, Happy Holidays!

Take the President's Town Hall Meeting survey

If you attended the President's Town Hall Meeting (or even if you chose not to attend) on November 22, please take a few minutes to fill out the President's Town Hall survey

The annual President's Town Hall meetings are an opportunity for the university community to hear directly from the president and senior leaders, and engage in a discussion on matters that are important to the University. University Communications wishes to ensure that these events continue to meet the needs of the University community.

Whether you attended the President's Town Hall or not, your feedback on the meeting's format and content is greatly appreciated, and your ideas on how to enhance future President's Town Hall meetings is welcome.

The survey closes on Wednesday, December 14.

Holiday Office Closures

The Office of Research will be closed today from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. for its annual holiday lunch.

The Registrar’s Office and Student Awards & Financial Aid will be closing today at 11:45 for a holiday event. They will reopen at 1:30 pm but if you just need to drop something off, the drop box is available.

The Arts Undergraduate Office will be closed all day on Monday, December 12.

The Science Undergraduate Office will be closed on Monday, December 12, from 11:45 a.m. to 1:45 p.m. due to a staff event.

Link of the day

Viola Desmond will be on the $10 bill

When and where

University Club Christmas Lunch Buffet, Monday, November 28 to Friday, December 23, 11:30 a.m. to 2:00 p.m., University Club.

Computer Science Education Week, Monday, December 5 to Sunday, December 11.

Examination period, Thursday, December 8 to Thursday, December 22.

Online examination days, Friday, December 9 and Saturday, December 10.

The Office of Research will be closed on Friday, December 9, 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m., for its annual holiday lunch.

Retirement celebration for Janet Metz of CECA, Friday, December 9, 3:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m., TC 2218.

St. Jerome's Lectures in the Catholic Experience featuring Shane Claiborne, "The Scandal of Grace," Friday, December 9, 7:30 p.m., STJ 1004.

Workshop: Strategies and Stories of Resilience and Transformation, Sunday, December 11, 2:00 p.m., Dunker Family Lounge, Renison University College.

Engineering stress reduction drop-in session, Monday, December 12, 12:30 p.m., CPH 1320B.

Kinesiology Lab Days, Monday, December 12 to Friday, December 16.

German Studies Forum 2016, hosted by the Waterloo Centre for German Studies. Monday, December 12, 10:30 a.m. to 3:00 p.m., Registration required.

Deadline for students to be "Fees Arranged," Tuesday, December 13.

WISE Lecture Series featuring Daniela Roeper, Borealis Wind, “Experimental and Computational Optimization of a Wind Turbine Blade De-Icing System,” Tuesday, December 13, 10:30 a.m., CPH 4333.

Gender and Equity Scholarship Series featuring Madhur Anand, “A Sample Size of None: Creating Your Own Career Path,” Tuesday, December 13, 11:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m., MC 5501.

University Club Christmas Dinner Buffet, Wednesday, December 14, 5:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m., University Club.

WISE Public Lecture: Energy Economics - Towards Sustainable Development & a 'Green GDP', Thursday, December 15, 10:30 a.m., CPH 4333.

Network for Aging Research Public Lecture featuring Julie Robillard, Assistant Professor of Neurology, Faculty of Medicine, University of British Columbia, “Aging in a technological world: bridging disciplines to tackle the dementia epidemic,” Thursday, December 15, 10:30 a.m., AHS 1689. RSVP to sbodemer@uwaterloo.ca by noon on Monday, December 12.

The Writing Centre presents Dissertation Boot Camp, Monday, December 19 to Thursday, December 22. 

Master of Business, Entrepreneurship and Technology (MBET) Program Webinar, Tuesday, December 20, 10:30 a.m.

Waterloo Women's Wednesdays: Holiday Luncheon, Tuesday, December 20, 12:00 p.m., University Club.

Advent Jazz Vespers, Tuesday, December 20, 7:00 p.m., Conrad Grebel Chapel.

Final Grad Write-In event of the term, Friday, December 23, 9:00 a.m., SCH 228F.

Holiday season closure, Saturday, December 24 to Monday, January 2. Most university buildings and services closed.

PhD oral defences

Physics & Astronomy. Jeffrey Mason, "RF-QPC Charge Detector and S-T+ Qubit in a Lateral Double Quantum Dot Device." Supervisor, Jan Kycia. On deposit in the Faculty of Science graduate office, PHY 2013. Oral defence Monday, December 12, 10:00 a.m., PHY 308.

Physics & Astronomy. Matthew Graydon, "Conical Designs and Categorical Jordan Algebraic Post-Quantum Theories." Supervisors, Robert Spekkens, Kevin Resch. On deposit in the Faculty of Science graduate office, PHY 2013. Oral defence Monday, December 12, 2:30 p.m., PHY 352.

Statistics and Actuarial Science. Dongchen Li, "On Some Stochastic Optimal Control Problems in Actuarial Mathematics." Supervisors, David Landriault, Bin Li. Thesis available from MGO - mgo@uwaterloo.ca. Oral defence Tuesday, December 13, 2:00 p.m., M3 3127.

School of Public Health and Health Systems. Raquel Betini, "Caregivers in Distress: Using interRAI Assessments to Target and Evaluate Community Based Interventions." Supervisor, John Hirdes. On display in the Faculty of Applied Health Sciences, BMH 3110. Oral defence Wednesday, December 14, 9:00 a.m., AHS 1686.

Physics & Astronomy. Qinrong Zhang, "A Novel Combination Therapy of Cisplatin with a Molecular Promoter for Cancer Treatment." Supervisor, Qing-Bin Lu. On deposit in the Faculty of Science graduate office, PHY 2013. Oral defence Wednesday, December 14, 9:00 a.m., PHY 352.