Inaugural President’s Community Impact Award winners named
by Colleen Fitzpatrick.
In honour of the University’s 60th anniversary, the President’s Community Impact Awards were established to recognize those who embody the University’s spirit of innovation and contribute to making Waterloo Region strong and prosperous.
Nominations were reviewed by representatives from the Federation of Students, Graduate Student Association, Staff Association, Faculty Association, and Human Resources.
At the President’s 60th Gala on Saturday December 2, four recipients were recognized for community excellence. Each recipient received a hand-crafted commemorative art piece by Ontario artist Tara Marsh, designed with swirls of black and gold illustrating the interconnectedness of the university with our community.
There were two awards honouring community leaders, who are current University of Waterloo students, faculty or staff making a difference, and two awards for university champions, local residents or organizations championing the impact of the university in our community:
Sally Gunz, Professor in the School of Accounting and Finance, University of Waterloo
Sally has advocated for neighbourhood improvements such as changes to parks and property standards, lobbied against school closures, and tackled drugs, prostitution, and violence by leading a 100-person volunteer Citizens on Patrol program in partnership with Waterloo Regional Police.
Idrisa Pandit, Associate Professor and Director of Studies in Islam at Renison University College, University of Waterloo
Idrisa founded Muslim Social Services, an organization that for the past 10 years has served a wide range of needs for families, particularly in light of the influx of Syrian refugees in recent years. A founding member of Interfaith Grand River, her work has been instrumental in breaking barriers to address policy and procedural gaps in service.
Mary Jane Patterson (MES ’01)
Mary Jane is a longstanding champion of the University of Waterloo, in her role as the Executive Director of the Residential Energy Efficiency Project (REEP), and beyond. She is passionate about supporting Waterloo students who are following in her footsteps as environmental stewards and advocates.
By partnering with UWaterloo in its programs and exhibitions, such as Quantum: The Exhibition and A Case of Celebration with the Waterloo Aboriginal Education Centre, THEMUSEUM aims to inspire the next generation of Innovators and leaders. THEMUSEUM CEO David Marskell accepted the award on behalf of the organization.
"Congratulations to all the nominees of the President’s Community Impact Awards," says a statement from Community Relations and Events. "Your contributions to the University and our wider community are valued."
Nominations for the next year’s awards will be posted on the Office of the President website in Spring 2018.
Nanotech wins big at 20th Velocity Fund Finals
Founded by two graduates of nanotechnology engineering who earned their PhDs at Waterloo, NanoCnet has been working out of the Velocity Science discovery lab on campus to develop highly flexible, conductive and cost effective nanomaterials. They are used in conductive thin films in all electronics, including touch panels, displays, and wearables. In addition to winning one of the grand prizes of $25,000, NanoCnet also won the top hardware prize, worth $10,000.
“The current flexible electronics industry is facing major changes. Traditional conductive materials, which are the building blocks of electronics, have serious problems. They are either expensive, non-flexible, or degrade quickly, which limits the performance and form factors of future electronic devices,” said Hadi Hosseinzadeh Khaligh, co-founder and CEO of NanoCnet. “We’re developing a fundamentally different approach using nanotechnology to create a new generation of conductive materials that are easy to fabricate, flexible and 20 times more durable than existing materials on the market.”
During the competition, 10 companies pitched their businesses to a panel of judges representing the investment, startup and business communities. Judges considered innovation, market potential, market viability and overall pitch.
The following three companies were also grand-prize winners of $25,000. They will be admitted to the Velocity Garage startup incubator.
- Envoi offers retailers infrastructure for same-day delivery in order to meet consumer demand that is not currently fulfilled by traditional courier services.
- ShiftRide is an on-demand mobility platform, giving people access to cars shared by car owners nearby.
- Tabnex helps businesses make smarter and faster hiring decisions, by providing real-time data and predictive intelligence on candidates who have applied to job opportunities.
“The Waterloo-Toronto Corridor is punching way above its weight at producing globally competitive, high-growth companies. We’re delighted that so many of the top startups in the corridor have roots here at the University of Waterloo,” said Jay Shah, director of Velocity. “This is the twentieth time we have run the Velocity Fund Finals, awarding more than $2 million in grants to help startups accelerate growth and achieve the biggest impact possible. Term after term we witness those companies go faster, be bolder, and attack their problem with more ambition, in part, thanks to the funding and subsequent incubation this competition offers.”
An additional 10 teams of University of Waterloo students competed for three prizes of $5,000. The winners of the Velocity $5K are:
- SannTek is developing a nanotechnology-based sensor to quantify marijuana intoxication.
- QALM is a smart stream trap monitoring solution that makes invisible leaks visible.
- GreenSorbs is designing a sorbent boom to clean up oil spills using a material made from landfill waste.
A video of the event is available online.
Deadline to get "Fees Arranged" is approaching
Student Financial Services has announced that the due date for students to submit their payment or Promissory Note to become Fees Arranged for Winter 2018 term without a late fee is December 12, 2017.
This due date applied to any student with a balance on their account.
Students can view their bill for Winter 2018 by logging in to Quest, going to Student Center, a then clicking Finances>Account Inquiry. For some programs, tuition may not be calculated until you enroll in courses.
There are two ways to become Fees Arranged:
- Payment of the entire Term Balance - bank payment, Western Union Global Pay for Students or a certified cheque, money order or bank draft originating from a Canadian or US bank. Students can also use Aeroplan miles or TD Travel Rewards points to pay tuition.
- Promissory Note - Students who want to leave a balance owing on their student account equal to approved financial aid (including funding showing as Anticipated Aid on the student account) and only pay the remaining balance, they must submit the Promissory Note (keep clicking “next” until you see the “Submit” button). Follow the step-by-step instructions.
Student Financial Services notes that OVGS, IVGS, graduate students on a co-op work term, Wilfrid Laurier University students enrolled in Waterloo courses, and undergraduate students on a co-op work term only enrolled in PD courses do not need to have Fees Arranged status.