President's Town Hall Meeting today
The President's Town Hall Meeting will take place today at 10:30 a.m. in Federation Hall.
This year's town hall meeting, which is held every fall term, will feature opening remarks by Vice-President, University Relations Sandra Banks and a presentation by President Feridun Hamdullahpur that will include his reflections on the University’s accomplishments this past year and opportunities in the year ahead.
President Hamdullahpur will speak about the first of the two-volume State of the University Report, the President's Report, which outlines the key initiatives the University will pursue to ensure Waterloo's bright future.
Copies will be distributed to attendees at the President's Town Hall.
The second volume, scheduled for release in early 2018, is entitled Global Impact that will highlight how Waterloo students, faculty, staff and alumni are engaged in solving some of the world's most pressing problems.
The centrepiece of the event is the question and answer period with the President, moderated by Vice-President Banks.
In addition to the President's presentation, the winning student design in the Celebration 2017 Legacy Project will be announced and unveiled at the meeting.
Members of the University community can share their thoughts and ideas about where Waterloo is heading in a number of ways:
- Questions can be sent in via e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org;
- Questions can be sent in via Twitter both before and during the President's Town Hall Meeting by using the hashtag #uwth; and
- Members of the audience can ask questions from the floor during the Town Hall.
The event will conclude with a complimentary light lunch, served in Fed Hall's Columbia Rooms, from 12:00 p.m. to 1:00 p.m.
Finding common ground on foreign soil
By Michelle Pressé. Waterloo is celebrating International Education Week with a variety of on-campus activities, as well as a series of stories showcasing some of the international experiences of our students, faculty, and staff.
Peter Deadman’s passion for understanding environmental and human interactions has taken him places.
The Faculty of Environment professor’s research focuses on using advanced geographic information technologies to model land cover change in response to socio-environmental forces. For more than a decade, Peter explored the application of agent based models to understand the land use strategies of multi-sited forest farmers in the Amazon estuary.
Peter’s research has provided a deeper understanding of the challenges facing the communities that live near Marajó, a Brazilian coastal island bordered by the mouth of the Amazon River to the west and northwest, and the Atlantic Ocean to the northeast.
“My main interest has always been trying to understand environmental problems, and how human decision making affects the environment,” says Peter. “The interaction between humans and the environment might vary from one country to another, but the challenges are often the same.”
The Amazon estuary has a large population of Brazil’s Caboclo persons, who are a mix of Indigenous Brazilian and European ancestry. Peter has met with many of the island’s residents to learn about how they are able to thrive despite the environmental factors they face.
One of the recent environmental changes in the estuary is the influx of farming açaí berries as a result of market demand. The berries are considered a top superfood for their antioxidant properties and other health benefits. Grown in large clusters at the top of palm trees in the Amazon rain forests, the clusters need to be cut and brought down manually in order to preserve the fruit and pulp.
“The resiliency of the people who live in these communities is incredible,” says Peter. “It’s a unique learning experience to be able to immerse yourself in their daily routine and witness firsthand how they live. It puts everything into perspective.”
Due to the estuary’s tides, yards flood daily, which has resulted in homes being built on stilts. Throughout his research in the Amazon, Peter has had several graduate students travel to the estuary. One student, Yue Dou, travelled to 600 homes to conduct household surveys in order to look at strategies for coping with the environment.
“When students are given the opportunity to learn from the world’s leading researchers in their field and conduct research abroad, they internationalize their education,” says Ian Rowlands, Associate Vice-President, International. “Experiential education is more than our philosophy – it’s our practice. We want to equip our students with the means to become globally-literate and world-ready citizens, which wouldn’t be possible without professors like Peter.”
In addition to his work in the Amazon, Peter has also examined the application of 3-D models to explore the response of wetland vegetation communities to water level changes in Great Lakes coastal wetlands.
“Environmental problems exist everywhere,” says Peter. “Some of the biggest challenges we face have to do with human and natural systems interactions. People in Canada might think they have nothing in common with people who live in Marajó, but despite having different languages, environments, and cultures, we all worry about the same things – our children’s education, our livelihood, coping with unexpected changes. Our similarities are far more surprising than our differences.”
UW Rocks for UW
Live rock'n'roll will take cover at The Bombshelter this Saturday when two bands and a DJ, all with campus connections, will perform at a benefit show in support of The United Way.
"UW rocks for UW" is the brainchild of drummer Lawrence Folland, an IT manager in the Computer Science Computing Facility (CSCF). His band Radio Memories, which also includes CSCF staff member Dan Hergott, will open the show with their mix of classic rock songs by artists such as Elton John, Burton Cummings, CCR, and Chuck Berry.
"We were brainstorming ideas of ways to help contribute to the United Wayand thought - why not a rock concert?", says Folland, adding "We've been wanting to play a local gig so that friends at work can hear us play, so this seems a perfect match."
Also on the playbill is the band Hitch A Ride, with event co-organizer Robyn Landers of the Math Faculty Computing Facility on guitar. "We perform the music of the band Boston whose string of hits includes More Than A Feeling, Peace of Mind, Don't Look Back, and Amanda", says Landers. "When Lawrence suggested this event to me, I thought it was a great idea. The band all agreed and we're excited about playing at the Bomber for a UW audience, and for such a good cause."
UW United Way campaign co-chairs Kim Gingerich and James Skidmore are enthused about the concert. "United Way volunteers plan the best events! They bring so much life and energy to campus. We hope people will attend. It will be fun, and the money raised stays right here in the region, helping many people in many ways."
"There's no fixed admission charge", Folland says, "just pay what you can at the door. Proceeds go to UW's United Way campaign".
DJ Dancin' Dave Tompkins from Computer Science is also on deck (and on the decks) for music before and after the bands.
The event takes place on Saturday, November 18. Doors open at 6:30, with Radio Memories taking the stage at 7:30 and Hitch A Ride starting around 9:30.
You're Already Home campaign launches; other notes
As part of its commitment to students’ personal and academic success, Waterloo Residences opens the fall 2018 Upper-Year application today. In addition to the First-Year Guarantee which guarantees accommodations for all our first-year students, Waterloo Residences also offers great benefits for upper-year students.
The “You’re Already Home” campaign highlights the residence advantage and gives upper-year students access to support and resources including:
- Staff & peer support
- Job & leadership opportunities
- Get Ready for: Life after Graduation upper-year programming
- Utilities & amenities all included
- Live in the brand new Claudette Millar Hall residence in UW Place
- Opportunity to get their top choice residence building and room-style
On Thursday, November 16, the Waterloo chapter of jack.org is hosting a Jack Talk event from 4:30 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. in EV3 4408. Two trained speakers will be coming to campus to share tools, tips, and experiences to help shift the way students think about mental health. "Please join us for this incredible talk!" says a statement from the event organizers. "Take a break from studying to educate yourself on mental health, hear incredible stories, learn what you can do if you or someone you know needs help, and learn how we can all work together to break down the barriers surrounding mental health." Find out more about the event and RSVP on the Jack.org UWaterloo Facebook page. Space is limited.