Wednesday, June 21, 2017

University names new board chair, vice-chair

The University of Waterloo has appointed a respected financial executive and Waterloo alumnus as chair of its Board of Governors, and a leader in the field of wireless technology as vice-chair.

Chair of the Board of Governors Cindy Forbes.Cindy Forbes is now chair of Waterloo’s Board of Governors. She is a fellow of the Society of Actuaries and the Canadian Institute of Actuaries. Forbes has held various positions at Manulife Financial. In 1991, she became vice-president and CFO of the company’s U.S. group and pensions business. After serving in a number of roles in North America, she became senior vice-president and CFO for Manulife Japan and later moved to Hong Kong to assume responsibility for the financial activities of the company’s entire Asia region. As executive vice-president and chief analytics officer, she currently oversees Manulife global advanced analytics function. A Waterloo alumnus, Forbes graduated with an honours bachelor of mathematics. She joined Waterloo’s Board of Governors in 2012, and is its first female chair. Forbes succeeds Bill Watson, a lawyer and partner at Baker McKenzie LLP.

Board Vice-Chair Thorsten Heins.Thorsten Heins is now vice-chair of the Board of Governors. Heins has extensive international experience and knowledge developed through executive roles in the communication technology sector. Heins held several leadership positions in Siemens’ communication division, including CTO and executive board member. He served as an advisor to the European Union Commission and as board member on international industry groups. He has held a number of roles at Research in Motion, now BlackBerry, including CEO and president. He is an investor, board member and advisor for technology startups. Heins is chairman of the board for the Canadian German Chamber of Industry and Commerce and has served on Waterloo’s Board of Governors since 2013. Heins succeeds Catherine Booth, president and owner of Booth Advisory Inc.

“These distinguished individuals bring a wealth of knowledge and experience that is particularly valuable to the University of Waterloo,” said Feridun Hamdullahpur, president and vice-chancellor of Waterloo. “Their insights as members of our campus and broader communities plus their career successes on a global scale will support Waterloo as we continue to strive to be recognized as one of the top innovation universities in the world.”

Forbes’ is a three-year term, and Heins’ is two years.

Bednarski wins teaching innovation award

This article was originally published on the History department's news site.

Professor Steven Bednarski has won the Society for Teaching and Learning in Higher Education’s prestigious D2L Innovation Award in Teaching and Learning. This is the second year in a row that the Society has bestowed this prize upon a faculty member from the University of Waterloo.

Steven Bednarski is a social historian of late medieval crime, gender, and natural environment at St. Jerome’s University, a public Roman Catholic university federated within the University of Waterloo, where he also Co-Directs the Medieval Studies Program.

In 2012, Bednarski developed a student-driven process that led to the production of his second book, A Poisoned Past: The Life and Times of Margarida de Portu, a Fourteenth-Century Accused Poisoner (University of Toronto Press, 2014). This book proposed and pioneered a new genre of historical writing, pedagogical microhistory: gripping historical narrative, grounded in rigorous academic research, written with the learner and reader in mind.

In 2013, he applied for and obtained a large Partnership Development Grant from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC), which formed a dynamic research partnership between St. Jerome’s, uWaterloo, Queen’s University (Kingston), and the Bader International Study Centre (BISC) at Herstmonceux Castle, East Sussex.

Through this research Partnership, Bednarski has funded about fifty trips for Canadian students to Herstmonceux Castle, where they learn about the past by doing. These “junior research partners” acquire important skills working on a live archaeological site and training in local archives.

Bednarski and his team’s goal is to understand how medieval climate change affected the ways in which people lived six centuries ago.

To ensure that students continue to learn once they return to Canada, Bednarski, with the support of St. Jerome’s University, designed and launched the Medieval D.R.A.G.E.N. Lab (Digital Research in Arts and Graphical Environmental Networks) last September.

In the D.R.A.G.E.N. Lab, a team of undergraduate research interns works alongside MA and PhD candidates. They are supervised by faculty members on a variety of advanced research projects.

This is the first of its kind digital research lab for Medieval Studies and Medieval Environmental History. Lab members, including young undergraduate students, collaborate in teams; they apply for grants and deliver public conferences (they hosted a two-day Climates of Change Symposium with SSHRC support last October at the Delta Hotel, Waterloo and delivered the keynote address last month at Sir Wilfrid Laurier’s Forward into the Past conference). Most importantly, Bednarski’s students also contribute to the writing process, working on teams to co-author print and digital publications.

Bednarski’s approach is revolutionizing the teaching and learning of history. It adopts a Science model, which underscores that people learn best by doing. This means going out into the world, encountering the past, and sharing it with others.

In recognition for his work, Bednarski is the recipient of a 2017 D2L Teaching Innovation Award. He will receive the award at a ceremony hosted by the Society for Teaching and Learning in Halifax, on 21 June 2017. Previously, Bednarski won the University of Waterloo’s Distinguished Teacher Award in 2011.

Two leaders in experiential education recognized by Waterloo Pharmacy

Hallman Director David Edwards with Outstanding Preceptor winner Joanna Ditouras and Outstanding Co-op Supervisor winner Jeff Rodrigues with Experiential Coordinator Anthony Miller

Hallman Director David Edwards with Outstanding Preceptor winner Joanna Ditouras and Outstanding Co-op Supervisor winner Jeff Rodrigues with Experiential Coordinator Anthony Miller

By Alana Rigby

At the Waterloo Pharmacy alumni reception, held during the Ontario Pharmacists Association conference, the School’s experiential team presented two awards to pharmacists who are outstanding in their support of pharmacy student education. The first was the 2016 Outstanding Co-op Supervisor Award which celebrates an exceptional mentor to students completing work terms. The second was the 2016 Outstanding Preceptor Award which acknowledges a preceptor who provides excellent guidance for students in their final clinical rotations.

The co-op supervisor award winner this year is Jeff Rodrigues, a pharmacist at a Costco Pharmacy in Etobicoke. Rodrigues’ students describe him as an exemplary pharmacist who excels in providing patient-centered and therapeutically accurate care in a fast-paced work environment. His professionalism and enthusiasm for pharmacy practice is an inspiration to his colleagues and his positive attitude and kind demeanour ensure that he forms effective bonds with coworkers, trainees, and patients. As a co-op supervisor, Rodrigues was quick to share clinical tips and vital therapeutic knowledge with his students.  Co-op terms provide opportunities for Waterloo Pharmacy students to translate classroom learning into practice, and Jeff always ensured that his students had many opportunities to do exactly that.

The preceptor award was received by Joanna Ditouras, a pharmacist at the Windsor Regional Hospital with expertise in pediatrics. Ditouras is the first ever recipient of this award as it is new this year. As a preceptor, she guided Waterloo Pharmacy students in working with patients and identifying and solving drug therapy issues. Most importantly, Ditouras cultivated independent learning in her students, ensuring that they understood how to find the best possible answers through analyzing primary evidence. She involved her students in integral clinical decisions and gave them opportunities for collaboration in multidisciplinary teams. Ditouras balances her wide clinical knowledge with effective interpersonal skills, and her students expressed how much they valued learning to empathetically interview and counsel patients.

Both Rodrigues and Ditouras are strong advocates for the pharmacy profession which was an inspiration to their students. Experiential learning in diverse settings like fast-paced retail pharmacies or pediatric hospital units are invaluable learning opportunities for students. To deliver these opportunities, the Waterloo Pharmacy program relies on the support and leadership of co-op supervisors and preceptors like Rodrigues and Ditouras. Congratulations to both award winners!

Wednesday's notes

A turtle near the path between Columbia Street and Open Text.

James French of Information Systems and Technology snapped this pic of a turtle on the trail leading from Columbia Lake to Open Text. He's lucky it didn't snap back.

In honour of National Aboriginal Day, the University of Waterloo Stratford Campus and Stratford Public Library are presenting a community dialogues event entitled “Uncomfortable is OK: how Truth and Reconciliation Affects Us all.”

The event promises “insight into the Indigenous experience” and invitees will “learn how community education provides opportunity for positive impact.”

Speaking will be Lori Campbell, director of the Waterloo Aboriginal Education Centre. The lecture will follow the same format of the recent Autonomous Cars lecture held in Stratford back in March, with a frank discussion on Truth and Reconciliation, the future of Indigenous cultures in Stratford and Canada, and an informal question and answer period. Former CBC host Judy Maddren will moderate the discussion.

All are welcome to this free event.

University employees, undergraduates, graduate students and guests are warmly invited to march in this year’s Pride Parade with The Glow Centre for Sexual and Gender Diversity and, for the first time ever, President Feridun Hamdullahpur. Tickets are available now.

The American Filtration & Separations Society is looking for abstracts for its September conference. Learn more and submit your abstract.

A reminder that today is the final day to vote in the Vice-President, Academic Nominating Committee electronic elections. There are four separate electronic elections, each closing today at 4:30 p.m.:

  • Two regular staff members, elected from and by the regular staff of the University
  • Two regular faculty members, elected from and by the faculty-at-large of the University
  • A senator of professorial rank from the Faculty of Engineering
  • A senator of professorial rank from the Faculty of Environment

If you are eligible to vote in any of these elections, you were emailed an electronic ballot on Thursday, June 15, 2017. Paper ballots mailed to regular union staff must be received in Needles Hall, room 3060 by 3:00 p.m. on Wednesday, June 28, 2017. Any questions may be directed to Emily Schroeder in the Secretariat.

FemPhys, Women in Science, Women in Computer Science and Women in Engineering invite you to their Spring 2017 Women in STEM Grad BBQ at Waterloo Park. Come enjoy a barbecue and meet fellow grad students and post docs in STEM fields! All are welcome. There will be lightly structured conversation and games. Bring your friends or come to make some new ones, and feel free to bring some snacks and/or picnic games to share! Free burgers and veggie burgers will be provided.

Meet in Picnic Area #1, which is #18 on this map - just head for the petting zoo! 

RSVP today using the Eventbrite to receive food (and rain-related updates), and share the Facebook event with your networks. 

Link of the day

National Aboriginal Day

When and where

Canadian Society of Microbiologists 67th Annual Conference, Tuesday, June 20 to Friday, June 23.

Procurement Trade Show, Tuesday, June 20 and Wednesday, June 21, 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m., DC 1301.

Bike Day, Wednesday, June 21, 8:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m., Arts Quad.

Make Networking Count, Wednesday, June 21, 2:30 p.m., TC - William M. Tatham Centre room 1208.

Free Yoga Class for Staff, Students and Faculty to Celebrate International Yoga Day, Wednesday, June 21, 4:00 p.m.  to 5:00 p.m., Warrior Field.

AquaHacking Semi-Final Pitch Competition, Wednesday, June 21, 5-9 p.m., Centre for International Governance Innovation (CIGI). FREE event (food and drinks provided).

STEM Employer Panel- for Graduate & Postdocs only, Wednesday, June 21, 5:30 p.m., TC - William M. Tatham Centre room 2218.

Community Dialogue event, “Uncomfortable is OK: How Truth and Reconciliation Shapes Us All,” Wednesday, June 21, 6:00 p.m., University of Waterloo Stratford Campus.

Velocity Start: How to Find Your Customers Online, “Using online platforms to find potential customers,” Wednesday, June 21, 7:30 p.m., Velocity Start, SCH 2ndFloor.

Seminar, Efficient discrete optimization for binary energies with applications to image segmentation,” Professor Olga Veksler, Computer Science Department, Western University, Thursday, June 22, 10:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m., DC 1304.

Successfully Negotiating Job Offers, Thursday, June 22, 1:30 p.m., TC - William M. Tatham Centre room 1208

Retirement Celebration for Linda Youngblut, Thursday, June 22, 2:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m., EV3 third floor. RSVP to

Women in STEM Grad Mixer BBQ, Thursday, June 22, 4:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m., Waterloo Park.

MBET Part-time Program Information Session, Thursday, June 22, 5:30 p.m., Communitech.

Velocity Fund $25K applications close, Saturday, June 24.

Second International Conference on Amphibious Architecture, Design and Engineering, Sunday, June 25 to Wednesday, June 28, St. Jerome’s University.

Network for Aging Research Spring 2017 Symposium, “Engagement in Innovation,” Monday, June 26, 8:00 a.m. to 1:15 p.m.

NEW - Project Management as a Career Option, Monday, June 26, 10:30 a.m., TC 2218.

WISE Public Lecture Series - Smarter Cities: New Services, New Applications for Control, Monday, June 26, 11:00 a.m., CPH 4333.

NEW - Exploring Your Personality Type (Myers-Briggs Type Indicator) Part II, Monday, June 26, 1:30 p.m., TC 1112

NEW - The Arts Research Office presents—Writing Successful Grant Proposals, Wednesday, June 28, 10:00 a.m., TC 1208

NEW - Work Search Strategies, June 28, 1:30 p.m., TC  1208

Algorithms and complexity seminar, “Settling the query complexity of non-adaptive junta testing,” Erik Waingarten, Columbia University, Wednesday, June 28, 1:30 p.m. to 2:30 p.m., DC 1304.

 Waterloo Women’s Wednesdays – Territorial Acknowledgment, Wednesday, June 28, 4:00 p.m., DC 1301.

Velocity Start: Pitch Like A Pro, “Perfecting your pitch,” Wednesday, June 28, 7:30 p.m., Velocity Start, SCH 2nd Floor.

UW Farm Market, Thursday, June 29, 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m., Student Life Centre Lower Atrium.

NEW - Computer science seminar, “ETR, or the real logic of drawing graphs,” Marcus Schaefer, DePaul University, Chicago, Thursday, June 29, 11:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m., DC 1304.

University of Waterloo Canada Day Celebration 2017, Saturday, July 1, 4:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m., Columbia Lake Field.

Canada Day holiday, Monday, July 3, most University operations closed.

University of Waterloo Blood Donor Clinics, Tuesday, July 4 to Thursday, July 6, 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. Walk-ins accepted. 

NEW - Public lecture, “Evolution by Association: Symbiosis in a Neo-Darwinian World,” Jan Sapp, Tuesday, July 4 at 8 p.m., Laurier N1001.

NEW - WISE Public Lecture Series - "Directional Drilling and Magnetic Ranging Services for Geothermal Energy Development," Clinton Moss, President, Marksman Ranging Technologies, Scientific Drilling,
Wednesday, July 5 10:30am to 11:30am, CPH 3681.


CPH 3681

Discover your interests, Wednesday, July 5, 12:00 p.m., TC 1113.

Velocity Fund $5K Qualifiers – Night 1, “3-minute pitches in front of a panel of judges,” Wednesday, July 5, 7:00 p.m., Quantum-Nano Centre Room 0101.

NEW - Public Lecture, "Some fungi we thought we knew," Greg Thorn, Wednesday, July 5, 8:00-9:00 p.m., Lauier, N1001

Velocity Fund $5K Qualifiers – Night 2, “3-minute pitches in front of a panel of judges,” Thursday, July 6, 7:00 p.m., Quantum-Nano Centre Room 0101.

UW Farm Market, Thursday, July 6, 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m., Student Life Centre Lower Atrium.

Writing Centre workshop, “Say it in your own words: paraphrase and summary,” Thursday, July 6, 4:00 p.m.

Engineering 101, Saturday, July 8, 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

Applied Health Sciences 101, Saturday, July 8, 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

Conrad Grebel Concert: University of Waterloo Balinese Gamelan Ensemble, Saturday, July 8, 2:00 p.m., Victoria Park, Kitchener.

LGBTQ+ Making Spaces Workshop, Monday, July 10, 12:30 p.m., NH 3308.

Science 101, Wednesday, July 12, 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

Velocity Start: The Startup Rollercoaster, “Panel of entrepreneurs talking about the mistakes made during the startup journey,” Wednesday, July 12, 7:30 p.m., Velocity Start, SCH 2nd Floor.

UW Farm Market, Thursday, July 13, 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m., Student Life Centre Lower Atrium.

More Feet on the Ground Mental Health Training, Thursday, July 13, 1:30 p.m. to 4:00 p.m., Counselling Services.

Conrad Grebel Concert – University Choir, “Island Music,” Saturday, July 15, 7:30 p.m., Cedars Worship Centre, Waterloo.

Arts 101, Monday, July 17, 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

Test Preparation & Test Anxiety, Monday, July 17, 3:00 p.m., SCH 108A.

Coping Skills Seminar – Strengthening Motivation, Tuesday, July 18, 4:00 p.m., HS 2302.

Calming the Panic: Practical Skills to Reduce Anxiety, Wednesday, July 19, 2:30 p.m., Counselling Services.

Organize your time for midterms and exams, Wednesday, July 19, 4:30 p.m., SCH 108A.

Banting postdoctoral fellowship final application deadline at Waterloo, Wednesday, July 19, 8:00 p.m.

Positions available

On this week's list from the human resources department, viewable on the UWaterloo Talent Acquisition System (iCIMS):

Job ID#2017-1731 - Communications Operator (Dispatcher) - Police Services, USG 5

Job ID#2017-1707 - HR Administrator - Client Services - Human Resources, USG 6

Job ID# 2017-1724 - Information Technology Specialist - School of Computer Science - CSCF, USG 12

Job ID# 2017-1595 - Plant Growth Facility Manager - Biology, USG 8

Job ID# 2017-1728 - Recruitment Coordinator - School of Computer Science, USG 8

Job ID# 2017-1732 - Undergraduate Studies Administrative Coordinator -  School of Computer Science, USG 5   

Job ID# 2017-1643 - Digital Media Manager - Dean of Engineering, USG 10

Job ID# 2017-1709 - Alumni Development Officer - School of Accounting & Finance, USG 10-11

Internal secondment opportunity:

Job ID# 2017-1730 - HR Business Analyst - Human Resources, USG 8-9

Job ID# 2017-1718 - Manager - Research Operations - Office of Research, USG 9

Jo ID# 2017-1723 - Instructional Support Coordinator - School of Computer Science, USG 8-12