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Thursday, March 8, 2018


Student mental health forum takes place March 14

President Feridun Hamdullahpur has received the report of the President’s Advisory Committee on Student Mental Health (PAC-SMH) and will share the recommendations on how to strengthen student mental health at a public forum next week.

"I invite you to join me, Director of Campus Wellness, Walter Mittelstaedt, and the PAC-SMH committee members at the upcoming President’s Advisory Committee on Student Mental Health Forum on March 14," the president wrote in a memo distributed to students, faculty, and staff on Tuesday. "I encourage you to register and attend the Forum and have the opportunity to discover each of the recommendations put forward by the committee and also hear about our next steps to achieve positive change on campus."

Attendees are invited to take time to explore, ask questions, and provide feedback to committee members as the University community continues to work together to improve student wellness and support across campus.

The student mental health forum will take place from 2:00 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. on Wednesday, March 14 at Federation Hall.

Register online.

Waterloo celebrates International Women's Day

The 2018 International Women's Day Dinner at Fed Hall.

Attendees gather at the University's 13th annual International Women's Day Dinner at Fed.

By Sabrina Khandakar.

Around the world, March 8 marks International Women’s Day, a global initiative celebrating the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women. The day also marks a call to action for accelerating gender parity.

On Friday, March 2, the University of Waterloo celebrated its 13th annual International Women’s Day Dinner, an event that hosted 320 guests to acknowledge the important role women have in our society. In attendance were the 2018 HeForShe STEM Scholarship recipients in addition to the HeForShe writing contest winners, including high school students from Waterloo Regional District School Board.

Waterloo’s Vice-President, University Research Charmaine Dean addressed the crowd as the keynote speaker and noted, “It’s important to recognize how far women have come in obtaining equity and stature and to recognize there’s still a long way to go.”

In the three years since Waterloo was invited to join the UN Women’s HeForShe campaign, the number of girls and women in STEM outreach experiences and activities have increased to 35 per cent, exceeding the University’s original goal. Waterloo is on track to raise the overall female faculty representation to 30 percent by 2020, with a current representation of 29 per cent. 

To mark International Women’s Day, there will be a screening tonight of the movie Wonder Woman at the Princess Twin Cinema, located at 46 King St. N. Waterloo. Doors open at 6:30 p.m. for a Popcorn and Mocktail Hour, followed by a Women in Engineering panel discussion, keynote address and the highly acclaimed movie. 

Open to everyone, the evening is jointly sponsored by the University’s Women in Engineering and HeforShe programs. Although the event is free, people are encouraged to bring a small donation for the YWCA of KW. The money collected will go toward local shelters and girls’ programs.  Registration is required.

HeForShe Writing Contest winners named

By Natalie Quinlan.

The front cover of the 2018 HeForShe anthology.The winners of the 2018 HeForShe writing contest have been selected, and their work has been published in a special anthology presented by the Book Store and Writing Centre in support of the HeForShe 10x10x10 IMPACT framework.

President Feridun Hamdullahpur made the announcement at the International Women's Day dinner at Federation Hall on Friday, March 2.

For the first time, content was provided by not only Waterloo students, faculty, staff, and alumni, but also by high school students from the Waterloo Regional District School Board (WRDSB). In total, 97 secondary students entered the HeForShe writing contest.  Participants were asked to consider how gender equity fits into a larger equity story, and explore where there are overlaps and connections between gender and race, ethnicity, age, ability, class, faith and/or sexuality.

“Our commitment to gender equity is not something we take lightly,” wrote Feridun Hamdullahpur. “This collection of poetry, fiction and non-fiction prose from students, faculty, staff and alumni strengthens our resolve to focus on equity in general and gender equity. Each of the submissions focuses on the themes of intersections and reflects on how gender equity fits into the larger equity story.”

Each entry was reviewed by a panel of judges from both the University and WRDSB.

Category winners included:

UWaterloo Creative Non-Fiction Winner - Michelle Pressé (Office of Research) - “The Inherent Uncoolness of Girl”

WRDSB Creative Non-Fiction Winner - Kaleigh Wiens* - “Asexuality: Not Just for Flowers and Snowflakes”

UWaterloo Poetry Winner - Eleanor Sudak - “Today We Say Thailand”

WRDSB Poetry Winner - Lama Abdallah* - “Fluent in Excuses”

UWaterloo Fiction Winner - Sanjay Veerasammy - Untitled

WRDSB Fiction Winner - Rose Danen* - “The Broken Road”

*high school entrant

Along with the six winning entries, 35 other pieces were also selected for inclusion in the anthology.

University judges in the creative non-fiction category included Professor Corey Johnson (Recreation & Leisure, Faculty of Applied Health Sciences), Cheryl Maksymyk (Indigenous Student Services Co-ordinator, St. Paul’s University College), Professor Melanie Campbell (Director (GWPI), Department of Physics and School of Optometry).

WRDSB creative non-fiction judges included James Bond, Victoria Ford, and Nick Manning.

University judges in the poetry category included Professor Sarah Tolmie (English Language and Literature, Faculty of Arts), Tommy Mayberry (Instructional Developer, Centre of Teaching Excellence), Professor Sorouja Moll (Drama and Speech Communication, Faculty of Arts), and undergraduate student Beck Mallozzi (Glow Centre for Sexual and Gender Diversity).

WRDSB poetry judges included Courtney Waterfall, Ted Martin, Dionne Maxwell, Kylie Penticost, and Nick Manning.

University judges in the fiction category included Professor Marlee Spafford (Associate Dean of Science, Undergraduate Studies), undergraduate student Marisa Benjamin (Imprint), undergraduate student Emily West (Operations Co-ordinator, Games Institute), and undergraduate student Patricia Balbon (iGem).

WRDSB fiction judges included Lila Read, Stephanie Longeway, and Nick Manning.

Thank you as well to panel co-ordinators including Clare Bermingham, Amy Greene, Valerie Walker and Dr. Nadine Fladd, all from the Writing and Communication Centre.

Here is a video of high school student Lama Abdallah reading her winning poem "Fluent in Excuses."

Nutrition Month "myth vs. fact" for March 8

Here's the latest Nutrition Month "myth vs. fact" provided by Health Services Dietitian Sandra Ace:

Myth: People with arthritis should avoid foods in the nightshade family.

Fact: Nightshades are a botanical grouping of plants, including potatoes, tomatoes, eggplants and all varieties of peppers, which contain a chemical compound blamed for causing joint pain. It is theorized that the glycoalkaloid solanine, a chemical in nightshades that protects these plants from insects or other predators, has inflammatory properties in some individuals.  

An online search brings up a great deal of anecdotal testimony linking nightshades to arthritis symptoms. Anecdotal testimony is not backed by scientific research but relies on the experience of someone who makes a change and experiences a perceived change in health. While future research may reveal a link between nightshades and inflammatory conditions such as arthritis, there is currently no research-based reason to eliminate these foods.

Teasing out a connection between food and arthritis symptoms is difficult because many factors impact this broad group of inflammatory conditions. If you strongly suspect that eating a certain food is triggering a reaction, avoid the food completely for one or two weeks then add it back in, keeping track of symptoms in a food diary. If a specific food seems to increase symptoms and you decide to eliminate it, replace it with a food containing similar nutrients. Most of the foods in the nightshade family are good sources of vitamin C, so if you avoid them be sure to include other vitamin C rich vegetables and fruits. The Arthritis Society’s Good Food Guide maintains that arthritis can’t be cured with diet, but encourages individuals to “maximize nutrients and minimize extra calories by choosing nutrient-rich foods like whole grains, fruits, vegetables, lean protein and lower-fat dairy products.”

Office closures

The Arts Undergraduate Office will be closed today from 2:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. on Thursday, March 8 for a staff meeting.

The University Relations office will be closed today from 2:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. for a staff meeting.

Link of the day

HeForShe arts week

When and where 

NEW - 25th Annual Philosophy Graduate Student Conference, Thursday, March 8, 1:00 p.m. to 5:00 pm, HH 373 and Friday, March 9, 10:45 p.m. - 5:00 p.m., HH 373. 

NEW - WaterTalk: “Wetland Water Storage: Drivers and Functions at Varying Spatial Scales” – Thursday, March 8, 1:00 p.m., Davis Centre 1302. 

NEW - Philosophy Graduate Student Conference keynote address featuring Dr. Serife Tekin, “Scientific Research in Psychiatry: Moving Beyond Natural Kinds,” , Friday, March 9, 3:30 p.m., HH 345.

Résumés, Careers and Personal Branding - Part 2ThursdayMarch 8, 4:30 p.m., TC 2218.

NEW - International Women's Day film screening of Wonder Woman, Thursday, March 8, 6:30 p.m., 6:30 p.m., Princess Twin cinema.

Austrian Sounds of Spring with renowned Austrian musicians Elena Denisova and Alexei Kornienko, Friday, March 9, 7:30 p.m., Conrad Grebel University College Chapel. Free admission, no RSVP required. Reception to follow.

Master Your Job Search - undergraduate students, graduate students & post-docs only, Friday, March 9, 10:30 a.m., TC 1208.

NEW - March Break Open House 2018, Saturday, March 10.

Knowledge Integration Exhibition “KI-X 2018,” Monday, March 12, 12:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m., St. Jerome’s University, Siegfried Hall Residence Wellness Centre.

Lecture - LGBTQ+ Studies and Disability Studies in Conversation with Dr. Margaret Gibson - Monday, March 12, 9:00 a.m. to 10:00 a.m., Dunker Family Lounge (REN 1303), Renison University College.

Warriors Recreation March Madness 3-on-3 Basketball Tournament, Saturday, March 10, 2:00 p.m., PAC.

Lecture - Embracing Hope: Strengths-Based Research as a Pathway to Change with Dr. Elizabeth Cooper,  Tuesday, March 13, 9:00 a.m. to 10:00 a.m., Dunker Family Lounge (REN 1303), Renison University College.

PhD seminarIncremental difficulty in platformer games,”Rina Wehbe, David R. Cheriton School of Computer Science, Tuesday, March 13, 10:00 a.m., DC 3317.

Student Housing Showcase 2018, Tuesday, March 13, 12:00 p.m., Stratford Campus.

Knowledge Integration Exhibition “KI-X 2018,”, Tuesday, March 13, 12:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m., St. Jerome’s University, Siegfried Hall Residence Wellness Centre.

Intellectual Property Workshop Series, “Copyright and Software,” Tuesday, March 13, 12:30 p.m., DC 1304. Supported by the Centre for Bioengineering and Biotechnology (CBB) and the Games Institute.

NEW - Professional School Interviews (Standard & MMI) Q&A, Tuesday, March 13, 12:30 p.m., TC 1112.

NEW - Challenge Yourself: International Co-op Work Term Opportunitiesundergraduate students only, Tuesday, March 13, 1:30 p.m., TC 1208.

NEW - Law School Admissions, March 13, 5:30 p.m., TC 2218.

Velocity Fund $5K Qualifiers – Night 1, “3-minute pitches in front of a panel of judges,” Tuesday, March 13, 7:00 p.m., Location TBD.

Public lecture, "The Impacts of Neoliberalism on Social Work, Social Services and Communities" with Dr. Ousmane Bâ - Wednesday, March 14, 9:00 a.m. to 10:00 a.m., Dunker Family Lounge (REN 1303), Renison University College.

Pi Day 2018 Scratch and Save Event, Wednesday, March 14, 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., SCH Concourse.

NEW - Exploring Your Personality Type (Myers-Briggs Type Indicator) Part 2, Wednesday, March 14, 10:30 a.m., TC 1112

Knowledge Integration Exhibition “KI-X 2018,”, Wednesday, March 14, 12:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m., St. Jerome’s University, Siegfried Hall Residence Wellness Centre.

Noon Hour Concert: Love Lies Sleeping, Wednesday, March 14, 12:30 p.m., Conrad Grebel University College Chapel. 

NEW - Multiple-Mini Interview (MMI) Practice Session, Wednesday, March 14, 5:30 p.m., TC 1214

Velocity Fund $5K Qualifiers – Night 2, “3-minute pitches in front of a panel of judges,” Wednesday, March 14, 7:00 p.m., Location TBD.

NEW - Drama and Speech Communications presents UpStart '18 - Festival of Student Work, Wednesday, March 14, 7:30 p.m., Theatre of the Arts.

NEW - Science - Résumé Tipsundergraduate & graduate students only, Thursday, March 15, 5:00 p.m., STC 0040

44th Annual Senior Undergraduate Exhibition, Thursday, March 15, 5:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m., East Campus Hall.

NEW - XDM Call for Projects, “Codes of Conduct” Exhibition – digital media, technology, art, and interaction collide! Proposals due Friday, March 16.

NEW - Knowledge Integration seminar: “Crime and Victimhood in a Digital Era”, featuring Caitlyn McGeer, PhD candidate, Centre for Criminology, Faculty of Law, University of Oxford, Friday, March 16, 2:30 p.m., EV3-1408.

Knowledge Integration Exhibition “KI-X 2018,”, Saturday, March 17, 11:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., St. Jerome’s University, Siegfried Hall Residence Wellness Centre.

PhD seminarLeft them 4 dead: Perception of humans versus non-player character teammates in cooperative gameplay,” Rina Wehbe, David R. Cheriton School of Computer Science, Tuesday, March 20, 10:00 a.m., DC 3317.

NEW - Electrical and Computer Engineering Capstone Design Symposium, Wednesday, March 21,  9:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., DC building atrium.

Noon Hour Concert: Green Earth Suite, Wednesday, March 21, 12:30 p.m., Conrad Grebel University College Chapel. 

Bridges Lecture Series featuring J. Andrew Deman (PhD, English)/Naomi Nishimura (Computer Scientist)/Josh Neufeld (Microbiologist), “Recursion: the loops that make the world go round,” Wednesday, March 21, 7:30 p.m., St. Jerome’s University, Academic Centre Vanstone Lecture Hall.

Velocity Start: The Startup Rollercoaster, “Panel of entrepreneurs talking about the mistakes made during the startup journey,” Wednesday, March 21, 7:30 p.m., Velocity Start, SCH 2nd Floor.

NEW - World Water Day: The Answer is in Nature – Friday, March 22, STC main atrium.

NEW - LGBTQ+ Making Spaces workshop, Friday, March 23, 9:00 a.m., EV3 3408.

Lecture - Challenging Assumptions: Using Research to Evaluate Child Welfare Worker Qualifications with Dr. Kristen Lwin, Monday, March 26, 9:00 a.m. to 10:00 a.m., Dunker Family Lounge (REN 1303), Renison University College.

PhD oral defences

Electrical & Computer Engineering. Hasan Alsiraji, "Operational, Control and Analysis of a Hybrid AC/DC Microgrid." Supervisor, Ramadan El-Shatshat. On display in the Engineering graduate office, DWE 3520C. Oral defence Wednesday, March 14, 1:00 p.m., EIT 3145.

Kinesiology. Laura Fitzgibbon-Collins, "Cerebrovascular Hemodynamics, Postural Stability, Gait Dynamics and Falls in Older Adults." Supervisor, Richard Hughson. On display in the Faculty of Applied Health Sciences, BMH 3110. Oral defence Monday, March 19, 2:00 p.m., AHS 1686.

School of Planning. James Huebner, "Organizational strategy technology and public participation in municipal planning." Supervisors, Robert Feick, Brent Hall. On display in the Faculty of Environment, EV1 335. Oral defence Thursday, March 22, 10:00 a.m., EV1 353.

Electrical & Computer Engineering. Hua Fan, "Building Scalable and Consistent Distributed Databases under Conflicts." Supervisor, Wojciech Golab. On display in the Engineering graduate studies office, DWE 3520C. Oral defence Thursday, March 22, 1:30 p.m., EIT 3142.