Tales of a Teacher: Wayne Chang
By Lisa Kabesh. This excerpt is the third of three Centre for Teaching Excellence Teaching Stories that will be featured in the Daily Bulletin this week.
When asked about Dr. Wayne Chang, Lecturer and Enterprise Co-op Program Coordinator at the Conrad Business, Entrepreneurship and Technology Centre, a former student offered exceptional commentary: “You become so driven to build something successful,” he explained, “that you learn much more, much faster, and in ways that expand beyond the classroom.” I had met Chang the week prior and was not surprised. He is a fast-talker who is remarkably clear considering the pace and energy with which he discusses his course. At the same time, he exudes friendliness and support by checking in with those he meets to see how he can be of help. It’s easy to imagine this energy and engagement pervading a classroom and inspiring students.
But Chang’s energy doesn’t confine itself to the classroom—his Business, Entrepreneurship, and Technology (BET) 300 students are accustomed to fieldtrips. Classes have been held at the Communitech Hub, Velocity Garage, St Paul’s GreenHouse, and the Stratford Digital Media Campus to allow students to become familiar with key elements in Waterloo’s entrepreneurial ecosystem. And Wayne’s not the only source of inspiration available to them. A focus on group work means that students have ample opportunity to learn from and with one another, and a mini-visiting speakers’ series gives students the chance to learn from former students and successful entrepreneurs (including many who are both, as is the case with the CEOs and founders of Medella Health, LightBot, and Sesame). So painting Chang as a charismatic “sage on the stage” is misleading. To get a better sense of why students are so engaged in his class, it’s important to look at its design.
I honestly think I learned more through Foundations of Venture Creation (BET 300) and Enterprise Co-op than I did through my entire undergrad up to that point. Instead of learning theory in a lecture hall to prepare for a test, Wayne enables students to discover utility in their existing knowledge by creating a venture. You become so driven to build something successful you learn much more, much faster, and in ways that expand beyond the classroom.
— Andrew Leest, former BET 300 student, AHS grad ’16
In BET 300, Chang seeks to introduce students to the processes involved in moving a start-up idea from concept to launch. That’s the advertising on the package (I’ve drawn that language directly from the course description), and it certainly reflects what students will get out of the course. Students learn about business plans, value propositions, customer discovery processes, and much more in the context of their own venture ideas. But they learn about these methods in a way that models the start-up process itself. In other words, Chang has calibrated in-class activities, course expectations, assignments, and assessments in such a way that students work collaboratively, build networks, refine entrepreneurial communication skills, and test and re-test their work.
Noting that as an elective, BET 300 has no “reluctant students,” Chang is the first to acknowledge that students’ internal motivation plays an important role in the class’s success. In order to enrol in the course, students must come prepared with a start-up idea ready for development. So when Chang says that “this course is not about marks,” students can really believe him—they are focused on finishing the course that much closer to a successful launch.
Read the rest of the Teaching Story on the CTE's website.
Thanks for making Treat-a-Gram 2018 our best one yet!
By Jennifer Jantzi, Chair of the Keystone Treat-a-Gram committee
Treat-a-Grams have a way of making smiles happen, and this past Wednesday, more than 4,000 treats brought smiles to the faces of Waterloo faculty and staff.
Treat-a-Gram is a popular annual event organized by volunteers through the Keystone Campaign. This year, the treats took the form of a variety of Esta chocolates, or a postcard, both of which could be personalized with a special message to the recipient.
Thank you to everyone who supported Treat-a-Gram — from the volunteers who promoted the event, to those who helped assemble the treats, and deliver them, and especially to those who bought a treat or made a donation. You crushed it this year, raising a total of $16,616 in support of Student Wellness. It was our most successful Treat-a-Gram ever!
Board approves executive compensation program
The Board of Governors approved the University of Waterloo’s Executive Compensation Program at its meeting on Tuesday, February 6.
This program is subject to the approval by the Minister of Advanced Education and Skills Development (MASED).
Associate Provost, Human Resources Marilyn Thompson gave background on the motion and the program itself at the Board meeting.
The Executive Compensation program has been designed to support Waterloo’s strategic goal of being recognized as one of the top innovation universities in the world, and is compliant with the Broader Public Sector Executive Compensation Act. The program outlines the compensation arrangements for the designated executives of the University, specifically the President and Vice-Chancellor, as well as the five Vice-Presidents.
As a public institution, the overall policy of the University is to pay competitive salaries to employees within the limits of our financial situation.
In this context, the program is intended to:
- Attract, retain and motivate high caliber senior executives;
- Maintain internal pay equity;
- Compensate employees fairly relative to their responsibilities;
- Encourage high performance as a team;
- Provide an appropriate balance between cash compensation and non-cash compensation, including pension benefits, group insurance benefits, paid time off, work/life balance, and personal development opportunities;
- Take into account the value of the security provided to faculty members who accept administrative positions when setting compensation for non-faculty member executives;
- Be transparent, both internally and externally;
- and comply with the applicable federal and provincial government legislation.
“These practices are governed by our desire to provide competitive and fair compensation, while considering the University’s current financial requirements and longer term goals,” says the program.
Under the program, each executive’s remuneration will be administered within a set of compensation frameworks based on a careful assessment of the hiring and pay practices of a number of comparator institutions. The frameworks will be subject to annual maximums or caps that will not exceed the 50th percentile of comparators.
The public consultation period ended in late January, and Thompson told Board members that the feedback that was sent in via email was either complimentary of the process or consisted of questions about the process. Thompson reported that the feedback received did not result in any changes to the framework as it was originally published.
The University’s final submission of the program has gone to MASED for final approval, along with a summary of the feedback gathered during the consultation period, and a description of the public consultation process.
It is intended for finalization with the Ministry to occur by February 28, in which case the program will be considered effective as of September 1, 2017. Thompson noted that Waterloo is on track to be one of only three Ontario universities that will have published its approved program by the February deadline.
The program will continue to be in effect for three full pay years, ending on April 30, 2021, at which time the Board of Governors will review the program.
Abstracts almost due for Symposium on Aging Research conference
The Symposium on Aging Research (SoAR) is an interdisciplinary graduate student conference that aims to showcase aging research across all faculties at the University of Waterloo and provide opportunities for collaborations on projects related to aging. Graduate students, aging researchers and community members with an interest in the health and well-being of older adults are invited to register for our third annual conference on Wednesday April 25, 2018!
Graduate students and post-doctoral fellows conducting aging-related research are invited to submit an abstract for a poster or podium-presentation. Abstracts should focus on completed or on-going research projects. Research presented at past conferences or workshops are welcome as well. Submit your abstract by March 7th, 2018!
We are excited to announce that our speaker will be Dick Moore, co-founder of the Toronto Senior PRIDE Network, who will be sharing his knowledge on LGBTQ2+ experiences of aging. Mr. Moore is a long-time advocate for the growing community of LGBTQ2+ seniors, and has been award the Pride Award from the City of Toronto and the Ontario Seniors Achievement Award for his leadership in the field. This year we are excited to expand our network by extending a special invite to our Keynote address to all those engaged in the LGBTQ2+ community.
What you need to know:
When: Wednesday April 25, 2018, from 8:30 AM – 4:00 PM
Keynote: 2:30 – 3:30 pm
Location: AHS Expansion Building, University of Waterloo
Registration: Register by April 20th using the link provided below (*note: registration to the full conference not required to attend the keynote address)
To register, submit an abstract, and learn more about SoAR and our keynote speaker, please visit our website.