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Thursday, August 3, 2017

How Waterloo's green initiatives inspired food activist

Alumnus Darcy Higgins and Lisa Kates with vegetables.

by Darcy Higgins. This is an excerpt of an article originally published on the Innovation 60 blog.

Back when Canada’s Confederation had reached 100, and the University of Waterloo was just 10, a student government on campus formed which later became the Federation of Students or FEDS. At the 40th Anniversary of FEDS, I had just been elected its VP Internal, allowing me to put my four years being involved in campus to good use. I had the pleasure of attending its 50th anniversary a couple months ago, re-connecting with the campus where I’d learned so much.

Being back at my Waterloo home recently allowed me to see some great people I’d worked with, and reflect on the changes we had made. Ten years ago (time flies!) we students were working with staff and faculty to push for and create positive changes on campus. We wanted to see a sustainability office, a greater focus on equity and on mental health.

I’m still learning how positive change happens these days.

Institutional change-making was the topic of my honours thesis in Environment and Resource Studies. My visit back allowed me to reflect on the time it can take, and the resistance you can face. 

I recently learned about advancement on all these fronts. The University and Feds have created a number of new initiatives, making headway by creating new offices, objectives and programs in sustainability, equity and mental health.

There is more consideration now for understanding the needs of diverse groups of students. Institutions that excel need to stay progressive and move forward on all fronts, and it’s great to see a lot of this happening.

Within my program in the Faculty of Environment there was a belief in using the campus as a laboratory to allow students to experiment, innovate and learn environmental solutions. The practice was encouraged as part of the previous WatGreen program, and UWaterloo staff were asked to support student learning no matter their department.

I got to explore the idea of green roofs, long before they were common practice for new buildings. And then within FEDS, I was able to implement modest changes by working with staff who focused in human rights, counselling and Aboriginal issues.

Darcy Higgins on the cover of Imprint at the UW Farm Market.One initiative that helped me learn and prepare for future goals was the creation of the UWaterloo Farm Market, which is still going strong after ten years. Within a culture of local food thinking in Waterloo Region, UWaterloo Food Services staff as well as students from the UWaterloo Campus Greens were excited to bring local food to campus, and we innovated to create a unique type of market, borrowing from our strong local agriculture and Mennonite farmers.

The creation of the Market taught me the importance of partnerships, innovation and economics, while we addressed a need for students to access better healthy food (and recipes!) I took the lessons with me to Toronto as I created Food Forward, and more recently co-founded Building Roots with partner Lisa Kates.

Read the rest of the article on the Innovation 60 blog.

St. Paul’s names champion of Indigenous entrepreneurship its new chancellor

JP GladuSt. Paul’s University College at the University of Waterloo named JP Gladu its next chancellor. Gladu is the president and CEO of the Canadian Council for Aboriginal Business (CCAB), one of Canada’s premier organizations for Indigenous entrepreneurs.

“We are delighted to welcome such a distinguished leader to the St. Paul’s community,” said Brenda Simpson, chair of the St. Paul’s Board of Governors. “Given our strategic focus on both indigenous education and social entrepreneurship, he is a perfect fit with the mission of our college.”

Gladu is Anishinaabe from Thunder Bay, and has more than two decades of experience in the natural resource sector. His career path includes work with Indigenous communities and organizations, environmental non-government organizations, industry, and governments from across Canada. He currently serves on the boards of Ontario Power Generation and Noront Resources and is a member of the public advisory panel of the Canadian Electricity Association.  He holds an undergraduate degree in forestry and an MBA from Queen’s University.

“JP Gladu's dedication to the causes he believes in is boundless,” said Paul Martin, former prime minister of Canada. “I have worked with him for years and his understanding of the major issues facing Canada is exhaustive. What a wonderful appointment for St. Paul's."

Richard Myers, principal of St. Paul’s, believes Gladu’s appointment will significantly strengthen the college’s capacity to improve educational opportunities for Indigenous students at the University of Waterloo and beyond.

“The University of Waterloo is extraordinarily focused on entrepreneurship. Adding the lead voice for Canadian Indigenous entrepreneurs to our team is a terrific step in this period following the Truth and Reconciliation Commission,” he said.

Gladu’s appointment is effective immediately and continues through 2020. He replaces Lloyd Axworthy, former president of the University of Winnipeg and former federal cabinet minister.

Deadline to get "Fees Arranged" is approaching

A Message from Student Awards and Financial Aid.

The due date for students to submit their payment or Promissory Note to become Fees Arranged for Fall 2017 term without a late fee is August 23, 2017. This due date applies to any student with a balance on their account prior to August 23.

Students who are not Fees Arranged by October 31 will be unenrolled and lose access to assignments, exams and course material on LEARN. Co-op students on a recruiting term will find their active applications on WaterlooWorks also cancelled.

Students can view their bill for Fall 2017 by logging into Quest, going to Student Center, and then clicking Finances>Account Inquiry. 

There are two ways to become Fees Arranged:

If students do not submit the Promissory Note to become Fees Arranged, their financial aid will not be deducted from their balance owing. This includes scholarships, bursaries, and awards funding. Also, government student loan and grant funding will not be released unless a student is "Fees Arranged" for the term.

Fall OSAP amounts will be posted as “Anticipated Aid” on Quest and updated frequently. Students must complete a Promissory Note if they want to use their OSAP funding to pay their fees. If OSAP funding has not yet been posted, students can attach a screenshot of their approved OSAP assessment (not the estimate) to their Promissory Note. Student Awards & Financial Aid recommends that students apply early for OSAP and allow up to 4 weeks for processing.

In a new development for the Fall 2017 term, OSAP funding will be sent directly to the University to pay fees if the student has opted in to this service. Any remaining balance will be deposited in the student's bank account.

Anyone with questions can contact Student Financial Services at or find helpful information on the Student Financial Services website.

Link of the day

30 years ago: Appetite for Destruction

When and where

Conrad Grebel Peace Camp, Monday, July 31 to Friday, August 4.

PhD Defense, "Morphological, Blood Flow and Physiological Retinal Changes in a Rat Model of Glaucoma," Bingyao Tao, Friday, August 4, 11:00 a.m., PHY 308.

PhD Defense, "Free Space Quantum Key Distribution to Moving Platforms," Christopher Pugh, Tuesday, August 8, 9:30 a.m., QNC 0101.

New Faculty Teaching DaysWednesday, August 9 and Thursday, August 10.

PhD seminar, “Secure asymmetry and deployment for decoy routing systems,” Cecylia Bocovich, David R. Cheriton School of Computer Science, Thursday, August 10, 2:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m., DC 2310.

Ontario Mennonite Music CampWednesday, August 9 to Friday, August 25, Conrad Grebel University College.

Biomedical Discussion Group featuring Professor Patricia Trbovich, Academic Research Lead, UHN and Assistant Professor, U of T at University Health Network and University of Toronto, "Application of Human Factors to Quality Improvement and Patient Safety," Wednesday, August 9, 10:30 a.m., EC4-2101a. Register online.

Retirement celebration for Kevin Oberle and Marg Stephenson, Wednesday, August 9, 3:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m., Federation Hall. RSVP to Liz Doede -

Stargazing Party and Black Holes Lecture, Wednesday, August 9, 7:30 p.m. (lecture) to 10:30 p.m., OPT 347 and Columbia Fields 3 and 4. Register online.

Quantum Cryptography School for Young Students, Friday, August 11 to Friday, August 18.

PhD Defense, "Cosmological bean plasma instabilities," Mohamad Shalaby, Friday, August 11, 1:00 p.m., PHY 352.

PhD Defense, "Exploration of Higher-Order Quantum Interference Landscapes," Sascha Agne, Monday, August 14, 2:00 p.m., QNC 1201.

UWRC Book Club presents The Baker’s Daughter by Sarah McCoy, Wednesday, August 16, 12:00 p.m., LIB 407.

Partial Solar Eclipse Viewing, Monday August 21, 1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m., Village 1 Green. Registration required to get eclipse glasses.

Deadline for students to get “Fees Arranged,” Wednesday, August 23.

10th Annual St. Paul's Golf Tournament, Friday, August 25, 7:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., Glen Eagle Golf Club.

Fall Orientation, Sunday, September 3 to Saturday, September 9.

Fall Move-in begins, Sunday, September 3.

Labour Day, most University services and buildings closed, Monday, September 4.

Co-operative work term begins, Tuesday, September 5.

Lectures begin, Thursday, September 7.

Feds Welcome Week, Monday, September 11 to Friday, September 15.

President and Senior Staff Luncheon, Monday, September 11, 12:00 p.m., Davis Centre Quad.

The Water Institute RBC Distinguished Lecture 2017 featuring Quentin Grafton, “Innovation, Incentives and Infrastructure in the Blue Economy,” Monday, September 11, 3:40 p.m., Crowne Plaza Grand Ballroom, Kitchener.

UW Farm Market, Thursday, September 14, 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m., SLC lower atrium.

NEW - Deadline to submit nominations for the President's Community Impact Awards, Friday, September 15.

PhD oral defences

Chemical Engineering. Dong Un Lee, "Bi-functional Behaviour of Nanostructured Spinel Oxide-Based Electrocatalysts towards Oxygen Reduction and Oxygen Evolution Reactions for Rechargeable Metal-Air Batteries." Supervisor, Zhongwei Chen. On deposit in the Engineering graduate office, DWE 3520C. Oral defence Friday, August 4, 9:00 a.m., E6 2022.

Physics & Astronomy. Bingyao Tan, "Evaluation and Correlation of Morphological, Blood Flow and Physiological Retinal Changes in a Rat Model of Glaucoma with a Combined Optical Coherence Tomography and Electroretinography System." Supervisor, Kostadinka Bizheva. On deposit in the Science graduate office, PHY 2013. Oral defence Friday, August 4, 11:00 a.m., PHY 308.

Mechanical & Mechatronics Engineering. Mohammadmehdi Jalalmaab, "Model Predictive Control of Highway Emergency Maneuvering and Collision Avoidance." Supervisors, Baris Fidan, Soo Jeon. On deposit in the Engineering graduate office, DWE 3520C. Oral defence Friday, August 4, 2:30 p.m., E5 3052.

Physics & Astronomy. Christopher Pugh, "Free Space Quantum Key Distribution to Moving Platforms." Supervisor, Thomas Jennewein. On deposit in the Science graduate office, PHY 2013. Oral defence Tuesday, August 8, 9:30 a.m., QNC Mezzanine 0101.