Wednesday, January 10, 2018

Strategic planning process builds a Bridge to 2020

A message from President Feridun Hamdullahpur.

As our current Strategic Plan enters its final year, I am pleased to announce that the University of Waterloo is launching a process to develop a new plan for the period of 2020-2025.

Over the next 12 months we will examine our achievements on the current plan, develop transition strategies to ensure that we stay on course with our achievements so far and begin to prepare for the new plan. Two foundational stages of the development process will be taking place. These stages are:

Evidence Gathering

This is a reflective, self-study stage geared toward identifying and providing evidence about strategic issues facing the University (Fall 2017 – Summer 2018)


This stage will be a broad and robust opportunity to engage with the University community (May/June 2018 – December 2018).

With respect to the evidence-gathering phase, the Deans have worked together with executive leadership to identify vital areas for exploration such as: undergraduate learning; graduate studies; student environment; research excellence and crossing disciplines and institutional boundaries; internationalization; empowering people through advancing equity, diversity, inclusion, indigenization and organizational development; and finding new ways of leveraging our resources.  

Six advisory groups have been formed composed of students, faculty, and staff. These groups will provide vital guidance on the development of corresponding issue papers that will explore current thinking, evidence and strategic opportunities.  

I want to thank the issue paper members in advance for their valuable leadership during this process. I look forward to learning how each of these issue papers will inform the development of our Strategic Plan.

In the coming months we will keep you informed on the progress of our evidence gathering phase and further preparations in the lead up to the consultation. We are also preparing a dedicated internal website, Bridge to 2020, which will be used to provide details on our progress in developing the new strategic plan.

Starting in May/June of 2018 we will invite you to participate in a series of consultations where we will evaluate the collected evidence and begin to develop our goals and priorities. We are looking forward to this exciting, broad campus initiative and encourage you to continue to stay informed about this essential work.

I appreciate your time and dedication during the planning of the University of Waterloo’s future. If you have any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to contact me or Daniela Seskar-Hencic, Director, Strategic Planning and Evaluation, who will be facilitating the development of the next Strategic Plan.

Co-op student embraces work terms in the North

Baffinland surveyors take readings on the shore of a lake.

by Jacqueline Gergal.

Co-op students who consider travelling for their work terms often picture themselves in a warm and sunny location. That wasn’t the case for University of Waterloo Biology alumnus Andrew Vermeer (BSc ’12), who decided to venture up to Nunavut’s Baffin Island.

“I never travelled much before co-op,” says Vermeer. “What surprised me about working up in Baffin Island was how isolated the mine site was. We were in a very remote location where I saw a lot of wildlife, including a polar bear and cubs.”

In 2010, Vermeer was hired as an environmental technician at Baffinland, a Canadian mining company based out of Toronto, Ontario at the time. His responsibilities included conducting freshwater monitoring programs in local lakes and streams, collecting water samples for onsite water treatment systems and inspecting fuel and waste management facilities. His work, along with others, ensured Baffinland remained in compliance with its multiple permits and applicable regulations.

He returned for a second co-op term with the company in 2011. With more experience, Vermeer became a senior environmental technician and led additional freshwater monitoring programs near the Project on Baffin Island.

Vermeer completed his degree with his last academic semester in the winter of 2012. After travelling for a few months, he was ready to start looking for a career.

“In summer of 2013, I had graduated was looking for a full time job”, he says. “I decided to return to Baffinland because I knew there was a possibility of being hired on full time and I really enjoyed that line of work.”

Vermeer credits Waterloo’s co-op program with providing him the chance to explore new job opportunities and believes that such a rare and intriguing experience wouldn’t have been presented otherwise. He now works out of Baffinland’s corporate office in Oakville, Ontario but still returns frequently to Baffin Island for work. 

“It’s great to see that there are so many job possibilities out there for biology students where what we learn in the classroom can be applied in real world situations,” he says. “My best advice to today’s students would be to be open to different career possibilities when applying for co-op jobs, even if it means travelling and being away from your friends for the work term.”

School of Pharmacy welcomes Rx2021 at White Coat Ceremony

Pharmacy students react to receiving their white coats.

This article was originally posted on the School of Pharmacy's website.

On January 6, the University of Waterloo School of Pharmacy welcomed friends and family to celebrate Rx2021, the newest class of pharmacy students.

The White Coat Ceremony is a tradition of many healthcare professionals. New students are inducted into their field of study by practicing professionals. At Waterloo Pharmacy’s ceremony, practicing pharmacists who are faculty, staff, or alumni at the School helped the 119 new students into their white coats.

Putting on the white coat is a symbol of the professionalism, knowledge, and trust that pharmacists embody in their communities. As Naushin Hooda, Rx2019 student and president of the Society of Pharmacy Students, said:

“The transforming moment of putting the white coat on will get you once step closer to your dreams. The white coat gives you the power to make a difference.”

The ceremony’s other speakers also shared wisdom and advice with the incoming class. Anne Resnick, Deputy Registrar of the Ontario College of Pharmacists, reminded Rx2021 that as pharmacists they will need to blend both the technical skills of pharmacology and the soft skills of teamwork and communication.

“Wear your passion on your sleeve and show it to every patient you serve,” said Allan Malek, Executive Vice President and Chief Pharmacy Officer at the Ontario Pharmacists Association. Malek encouraged students to respect the responsibility the white coat represents and to never forget why they chose to study pharmacy.

“Receiving my white coat was one of the proudest moments of my life,” says Vivian Tran, one of the Rx2021 students inducted at the ceremony. "I'm thrilled that I've made it here and excited to be starting my journey at Waterloo Pharmacy."

The School of Pharmacy's Class of 2021 poses together with their new white coats.

2018 is a special year for Waterloo Pharmacy, as it marks ten years since the school opened. The White Coat Ceremony was the first of many events in 2018 where the School will be celebrating its 10th anniversary. 

The School of Pharmacy is grateful to the sponsors that support this year’s event: Scotiabank and the Ontario Pharmacists Association who generously provided the white coats for students.

Sovereign Acts and other notes

A collage of images from Sovereign Acts featuring Indigenous performers in red outfits.

The University of Waterloo Art Gallery (UWAG) is staging its latest exhibition on January 11, entitled Sovereign Acts. 

"The history of Indigenous Peoples performing cultural dances and practices for international and colonial audiences is an important part of Indigenous art generally, and performance art specifically," says a statement from the gallery. "The Indigenous performers known as ‘Indians’ faced the conundrum of maintaining traditional cultural practices by performing them on stage while also having that performance fulfill the desires of a colonial imaginary. In Sovereign Acts, the artists Rebecca Belmore, Lori Blondeau, Dayna Danger, James Luna, Shelley Niro, Adrian Stimson, and Jeff Thomas, contend with the legacy of colonial representations. Drawing on the depiction of the imaginary Indian–the ahistorical, pre-contact 'primitivism' in popular and mass culture–they recover and construct new ways of performing the complexity of Indigenous cultures for a contemporary art audience. Their work returns to the multi-leveled history of ‘Performing Indian’ to recuperate the erased and objectified performer as an ancestor, an artist, and an Indigenous subject."

Curated by Wanda Nanibush, the exhibition runs at UWAG until March 10.

The opening reception takes place on Thursday, January 11 from 5:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. in East Campus Hall. The curator's talk is scheduled for Wednesday, February 7 at 12:00 p.m. in ECH 1219.

The exhibition is free and open to the public.

The University of Waterloo leather jacket.The Waterloo Store's Leather Jacket Day takes place on Wednesday, January 17 in South Campus Hall. This is an opportunity for students of all faculties to show their uWaterloo pride, while saving $60 off the regular price of a custom leather jacket. Mens and ladies sizing and faux leather options are available.

The event runs from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.

Employers on campus next week hosting employer information sessions include Dealer FX, Indigo Fair, Kiewit, ecobee, Lyft, Clearbanc, Flipp, General Dynamics Systems Canada, AdeptMind Inc., Amazon, Aviva Canada, Lightspeed Ventures, Loblaw Companies Ltd., GroupBy, Qualcomm, Spin Master Ltd., Loblaw Digital, Uber Technologies, Pacific Life, Bloomberg LP, and Bazaarvoice. Visit the employer information sessions calendar for more details.

Upcoming office closure

The Centre for Extended Learning will be closing on Thursday January 11 at 1:15 p.m. for their annual holiday gathering. The office will reopen Friday morning at 8:30 a.m.

Link of the day

15 years ago: North Korea withdraws from NPT

When and where

Winter Welcome Week, Monday, January 8 to Friday, January 12.

Instrumental Chamber Ensemble audition, Wednesday, January 10, 9:30 a.m. to noon, Grebel Room 1209.

Campus Life Fair, Wednesday, January 10, 11:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m., Student Life Centre Great Hall.

NEW - Information Session for Graduating Students, Wednesday, January 10, 11:30 a.m. to 12:20 p.m., HH 1101.

CTE759 Designing Teaching and Learning Research, Wednesday, January 10, 12:00 to 1:30 p.m., FLEX Lab, Dana Porter Library.

Philosophy Colloquium Series 2018 features Dr. Frank Zenker, “From Discovery to Justification: Outline of an Ideal Research Program in Empirical Psychology,” Wednesday January 10, 2:30 p.m., HH 373.

Master of Business, Entrepreneurship and Technology Information Session webinar, Wednesday, January 10, 5:00 p.m., 5:30 p.m.

Clubs and Societies Days, Thursday, January 11 and Friday, January 12, Student Life Centre Great Hall.

Getting it done: Productive writing strategies for big projects, Thursday, January 11, 10:00 a.m.

Centre for Career Action workshop, "Planning for Employment and Success with a Disability: Panel Discussion and Q&A," Thursday, January 11, 12:00 p.m., TC 2218.

Improve your lab report writing, Thursday, January 11, 12:30 p.m.

NEW - Personal Statement/ Letter of Intent - Undergraduate, Graduate students & alumni only, Thursday, January 11, 1:30 p.m. to 3:00 p.m., TC 1112.

Chemistry Seminar Series:  Diacylglycerol kinase and the phosphatidylinositol cycle, Thursday, January 11, 2:00 p.m., C2-361

WaterTalk: “Exploration of the Earth’s Deep Hydrogeosphere and Subsurface Microbial Life,”presented by University Professor Barbara Sherwood Lollar, Thursday, January 11, 2:30 to 3:30 p.m., DC 1302. Please register as seating is limited.

orchestra@uwaterloo audition, Thursday, January 11, 8:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m., Ron Eydt Village.

NEW - Résumé Tips: Thinking Like an Employer, Friday, January 12, 10:30 a.m. to 12:00 p.m., TC 1208.

Chemistry Seminar Series:  Recent advances in characterization of thermoelectric materials, Friday, January 12, 2:00 p.m., C2-361.

Knowledge Integration Seminar: Sustainability & Business Decisions in the Built Environment, Friday, January 12, 2:30 p.m., EV3 1408.

Biology Seminar: Redox proteomics and cell biology, Friday, January 12, 3:30 p.m., EIT 3142.

Warriors Summer Sport Camps Registration Opens, Monday, January 15.

NEW - World’s Challenge Challenge applications open, “Do you have a solution to a major global problem?,” Monday, January 15, 2018

University Senate meeting, Monday, January 15, 3:30 p.m., NH 3407.

NEW - Volunteer Fair, Tuesday, January 16, 11:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m., SLC.

NEW - IP Series, “IP 101 and Commercialization,” Tuesday, January 16, 12:30 p.m. to 2:30 p.m., DC 1304.

NEW - Get a Job using LinkedIn, Tuesday, January 16, 5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m., TC 1208.

Clarity in scientific writing, Wednesday, January 17, 10:00 a.m.

NEW - Leather Jacket Day, Wednesday, January 17, 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., Waterloo Store, South Campus Hall.

NEW - Noon Hour Concert: Hamilton & Durand: Pub & Parlour, Wednesday, January 17, 12:30 p.m., Conrad Grebel University College Chapel.

NEW - Exploring Career Pathways, Wednesday, January 17, 12:30 p.m. to 2:30 p.m., TC 1112.

GMOs: Facts and Misconceptions, documentary with director in attendance, followed by panel discussion, Wednesday, January 17, 7:00 p.m., Humanities Theatre.

Warrior Men's Hockey vs Windsor, Wednesday, January 17, 7:00 p.m., CIF.

NEW - Interviews: Preparing for Questions, Thursday, January 18, 10:30 a.m. to 12:00 p.m., TC 1208.

NEW - CBB Biomedical Discussion Group "Non-invasive fall detection using 3D Deep Convolutional Autoencoder" featuring Dr. S.Khan, University of Toronto, Thursday, January 18, 3:00 p.m., EC4 2101a.

Beyond Essays: Approaching Peace Education Differently opening reception, Thursday, January 18, 4:00 p.m., Conrad Grebel Gallery. 

Research Matters: Getting Published, Friday, January 19, 9:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., Balsillie School of International Affairs.

Knowledge Integration Seminar, "The Web as Infinite Archive: Why we Turned to Machine Learning, Distributed Computing, and Interdisciplinary Collaboration to understand the Recent Past," Friday, January 19, 2:30 p.m., EV3 1408.

Biology Seminar: Bacterial Phages shaping the gut microbiome, Friday, January 19, 3:30 p.m., EIT 3142.

Warriors Volleyball vs McMaster Warrior Night, Alumni Big Ticket, Bell Let’s Talk, Saturday, January 20, (W) 6:00 p.m., (M) 8:00 p.m., PAC.

Warrior Women’s Hockey vs. Laurier Minor League, Residence Day, Staff and Faculty Appreciation Day, Sunday, January 21, 2:30 p.m., CIF.

NEW - Problem Pitch Competition applications close, “Apply to pitch important industry problems for a share of $7,500,” Sunday, January 21, 11:59 p.m.

Grammar studio series: Workshop 1, Monday, January 22, 10:00 a.m.

HeForShe Ideathon, Tuesday, January 23, STC 2002.

Grammar studio series: Workshop 2, Wednesday, January 24, 10:00 a.m.

NEW - Résumé Tips (for employees only), Wednesday, January 24, 12:00 p.m., TC1208.

NEW - Noon Hour Concert: Schubert Trout Quintet, Wednesday, January 24, 12:30 p.m., Conrad Grebel University College Chapel.

Chemistry Seminar: Pushpull Alternating and Hypercoordinate Asymmetrical Architectures for Light and Moisture Stable Polystannanes, Wednesday, January 24, 2:30 p.m., C2-361.

NEW - Vision Science Research Seminar Series featuring Dr. Mitchell M. Scheiman, Salus University, “Objective Assessment of Disparity Vergence after Treatment of Symptomatic Convergence Insufficiency,” Wednesday, January 24, 4:30 p.m., OPT 347.

NEW - Velocity Start: What’s Your Problem? Wednesday, January 24, 7:30 p.m., Velocity Start, SCH 2nd Floor.

Getting organized: tools for resisting racism and white supremacy, Thursday, January 25 to Saturday, January 28.

NEW - Lectures in Catholic Experience featuring Austen Iverveigh, “Communicating the Church in the Age of Francis,” Friday, January 26, 7:30 p.m., St. Jerome’s University, Academic Centre Vanstone Lecture Hall.

WIMIN: Waterloo Women: Ideas, Makers, Innovators, Friday, January 26 to Saturday, January 27, Applied Health Sciences expansion.

Positions available

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

  • Job ID# 2017-1968 - Academic Integrity Coordinator - Associate VP Academic Programs, USG 7
  • Job ID# 2018-2307 - Building Operator II - Plant Operations-Mechanical, USG 9
  • Job ID# 2017-2272 - Director of Equity - AVP Human Rights, Equity & Inclusion, USG 13
  • Job ID# 2018-2311 - Mechanic I – Plumber - Plant Operations-Mechanical, USG 13
  • Job ID# 2018-2305 - Online Technologies Consultant - Centre for Extended Learning, USG 8 – 10
  • Job ID# 2017-1967 - Quality Assurance Coordinator - Associate VP Academic Programs - USG 7
  • Job ID# 2018-2301 - Records Assistant – Registrar, USG 5 – 7
  • Job ID# 2017-2233 - Senior/Development Officer - Dean of Engineering Office-Dev, USG 9 – 11
  • Job ID# 2017-2041 - Technical Support Specialist – Chemistry, USG 7
  • Job ID# 2017-2105 - Technologist - Architectural Engineering - Civil and Environmental Engineering, USG 8
  • Job ID# 2017-2132 - Undergraduate Coordinator & Administrative Assistant, Architectural Engineering - Civil and Environmental Engineering, USG 6
  • Job ID# 2017-2042 - Technical Support Specialist- Chemistry, USG 7

Internal secondment opportunities:

  • Job ID# 2018-2306 - Admissions Officer – Registrar, USG 8 – 9
  • Job ID# 2017-2290 - Corporate Research Partnerships Manager - Office of Research, USG 14
  • Job ID# 2018-2300 - Records Assistant – Registrar, USG 5 - 7