Monday, March 19, 2018

Campus mourns death of student

Our university community is tremendously saddened by the sudden loss of one of our students who died on campus on March 16. The cause of death is being investigated by the coroner’s office.

The University has been in contact with the student’s family to offer our support. We are unable to release any further details at this time pending further discussion with the student’s family regarding their wishes.

Support is available on and off campus and we encourage any students who feel they need assistance to contact counselling services or other community resources available.

Are you in crisis, feeling unsafe, or worried you might hurt yourself or others? Contact any of the providers below to get the help you need.

Counselling Services - 519-888-4567 ext. 32655
Here 24/7 - 1-844-437-3247
Health Services - Student Medical Clinic - 519-888-4096
Grand River Hospital - 519-749-4300
St. Mary's Hospital - 519-744-3311
Good2Talk - 1-866-925-5454
Crisis Services Canada - 1-833-456-4566 or by text 45645  
Kitchener-Waterloo Sexual Assault Support Centre - 519-741-8633

Have an idea to internationalize campus? This fund's for you!

A person points to a spot on a map.

Do you have an idea to internationalize campus?

Individuals and groups across campus are encouraged to establish exemplary internationalization projects and apply to the Internationalization Fund; an initiative that will help the University community move ‘beyond ideas’, catalyze latent interest, and generate new actions. Eligible projects will be selected for implementation in early spring 2018 and could include:

  • A collaborative course between Waterloo and a foreign university;
  • A series of staff development seminars promoting international awareness;
  • An international awareness initiative.

Applications are due April 30, 2018. To find out more, join Waterloo International for their Lunch & Learn on March 26 at 12:00 p.m. in DC 1302. Bring your lunch and your questions!

Changes for employee recognition events coming

Recognizing staff and faculty years of service, and those who have retired from service at the University, is an important part of how the University of Waterloo thanks its employees. Each year we ask those being recognized and those attending the events for feedback. That feedback from attendees has resulted in opportunities to improve and refine our recognition practices. Beginning in 2018, a pilot with changes to employee recognition events will take place. The recognition events will be structured as follows:

  1. The “25-50 Year Dinner” (previously called the “University of Waterloo 25 Year Club”) will happen in April and be attended only by those celebrating 25, 30, 35, 40, 45 and 50 years of service to the University of Waterloo. Previously, those achieving 30, 40 and 50 years of service were not recognized at this event. This will be a buffet dinner for honourees and their guests.
  2. A new “Retiree Reception” will be held in May, celebrating all new Waterloo retirees from the previous calendar year and held in partnership with the University of Waterloo Retiree Association. All retirees and their guests are invited to this reception.
  3. The “Years of Loyal Service” event held in November will only be attended by those celebrating 5, 10, 15 or 20 years of service.

The below table summarizes the 2018 Waterloo employee recognition events:





25-50 Year Dinner

Those celebrating 25, 30, 35, 40, 45 or 50 years of service

Federation Hall

April 23

New Retiree Reception

New retirees from the previous calendar year, and all other retirees

Federation Hall

May 9

Years of Loyal Service Reception

Those celebrating 5, 10, 15 or 20 years of service



These changes are intended to allow for an exceptional experience to those being recognized. At the end of the year, feedback will be gathered from attendees to determine whether these changes met the needs of the campus community. If you’re part of any of the groups being recognized in 2018, you will be sent additional information. If you have any questions regarding the recognition events, please contact Human Resources.

New funding supports fall prevention technology

This article originally appeared on the Applied Health Sciences news site.

An interdisciplinary research team from University of Waterloo Faculties of Engineering and Applied Health Sciences and the Schlegel-University of Waterloo Research Institute for Aging will be testing a method to help prevent falls in older adults, enabled by a $50,000 Spark Program grant from the Centre for Aging + Brain Health Innovation (CABHI).

The funding allows the interdisciplinary team to test the effectiveness of a promising new technology developed by Richard Hughson, a Kinesiology professor and Schlegel Research Chair in Vascular Aging and Brain Health, and Engineering Professor Sean Peterson. The technology is currently being commercialized by Pression Inc.

The project, called “The Second Heart: Active compression for the maintenance of blood pressure and brain blood flow in the elderly,” is led by James Milligan of the Centre for Family Medicine and Schlegel Specialist in Mobility and Falls. 

"Falls are a significant concern in older adults,” Milligan said. “We suspect that many are caused by light-headedness when standing up, due to decreased blood flow to the brain. New technology developed by Dr. Peterson and Dr. Hughson use individually tailored, intermittent compression to the lower legs to increase the return of blood from the legs to the heart and brain. This can reduce risk of dizziness, falls and maybe even enhance brain function.”

The team is hoping to have initial results ready in 12 months. 

Nutrition Month "myth vs. fact" for March 19

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

Myth:  Drinking kombucha tea has proven health benefits.

Fact:  This trendy, effervescent, fermented drink is made with black tea, sugar, yeast and bacteria. Kombucha tea enthusiasts claim that it has a wide range of health benefits such as aiding digestion, improving energy, strengthening immunity, preventing cancer and improving liver function. It is available commercially or can be brewed at home using a kombucha culture which is added to tea and allowed to ferment. 

The authors of a 2014 review on kombucha tea noted that the biological effects underlying health claims have only been studied in animal and cell cultures. To date, there is no scientific evidence to support similar beneficial effects in humans. The reviewers concluded that, while more research is needed, kombucha tea can be part of a healthy diet. Given the potential beneficial health properties and the current interest in the effects of fermented foods (yogurt, kefir, miso, tempeh, kimchi, etc.) on health, human studies involving kombucha tea are anticipated in the future.

Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database (link accessible only those who have access to University of Waterloo Library) advises of numerous safety concerns, especially the potential fungal and bacterial contamination of homebrewed kombucha tea. Bottled kombucha tea has been found to contain trace amounts of alcohol formed as a result of the fermentation process. Kombucha tea should not be consumed by women who are pregnant or breastfeeding and may be unsafe for people who are immune compromised or with other medical conditions such as diabetes or liver disease. Keep in mind that a product labelled ‘natural’ is not an assurance that it works or that it is safe. Kombucha tea should not be used in place of conventional medical care to treat illnesses.

Link of the day

170 years ago: Wyatt Earp born

When and where 

NEW - Book Store 30-40-50 Sale,
Monday, March 19, Tuesday, March 20, and Thursday, March 21, 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., SCH concourse. 

Systems Design Engineering Capstone Design Symposium, Monday, March 19, 1:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m., DC.

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.

Ecohydrology Seminar Series featuring Professor David Depew, "Coastal eutrophication in the lower Great Lakes – amelioration of nuisance blooms of benthic algae may be more challenging than we think," Tuesday, March 20, 2:00 p.m., DC 1302.

EDGE – Skill Identification and Articulation - undergraduate students only, Tuesday, March 20, 5:30 p.m., TC 2218.  

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

Successfully Negotiating Job Offers, Wednesday, March 21, 10:30 a.m., TC 1208.

Federation of Students March General Meeting, Wednesday, March 21, 12:00 p.m., SLC Great Hall.

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

Getting a US Work Permit, Wednesday, March 21, 1:00 p.m., TC 1208.

Career Interest Assessment (Strong Interest Inventory), Wednesday, March 21, 2:30 p.m., TC 1112.

New Faculty Conversation Café, Wednesday, March 21, 2:30 p.m. to 4:00 p.m., The Grad House.

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.

World Water Day: The Answer is in Nature, Thursday, March 22, STC main atrium.

Civil, Environmental, Geological Engineering Capstone Design Symposium, Thursday, March 22, 12:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m., DC.

Mechanical Engineering Capstone Design Symposium, Thursday, March 22, 1:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m., E5.

“Never Forget the Victims: Prosecuting Charles Taylor, President of Liberia, for War Crimes,” Thursday, March 22, 7:00 p.m., CIGI auditorium, 67 Erb Street West.

Balinese Gamelan Ensemble, Thursday, March 22, 7:30 p.m., Humanities Theatre. Free admission.

FIRST Robotics competition, Friday, March 23 and Saturday, March 24, Physical Activities Complex.

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

Mechatronics Engineering Capstone Design Symposium, Friday, March 23, 1:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m., DC.

University Choir: Gloria!, Saturday, March 24, 7:30 p.m., St. John’s Lutheran Church, 22 Willow St, Waterloo. $10/$5 Students & Seniors.

Jazz @UWaterloo Concert,  Sunday, March 25, 2:00 p.m., Conrad Grebel University College Great Hall (Room 1111). $10/$5 students & seniors.

Instrumental Chamber Ensemble Concert, Sunday, March 25, 7:30 p.m., Conrad Grebel University College Chapel. Free admission, reception to follow.

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.

NEW - Waterloo International Lunch & Learn, Monday, March 26, 12:00 p.m., DC 1302.

University Senate meeting, Monday, March 26, 3:30 p.m., NH 3407.

CryptoWorks21 Distinguished lecture featuring Tajinder (Taj) Manku, founder and CEO at Cognitive Systems Corp, "Tech startups: The Ride of Your Life," Monday, March 26, 7:00 p.m., QNC 0101. Register online.

Better Now Community Dialogues, “Six Big Ideas To Improve Health Care For All Canadians,” Tuesday, March 27, 6:00 p.m., Stratford Campus.

EURAXESS information session: European funding and networking opportunities, Wednesday, March 28, 10:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m., QNC 1501.

University Club Easter Lunch Buffet, Wednesday, March 28 and Thursday, March 29, 11:30 a.m. to 2:00 p.m., University Club.

Vision Science Research Seminar Series featuring Dr. Christian Casanova, Université de Montréal, “Neurodegenerative diseases,” Wednesday, March 28, 4:30 p.m., OPT 347.

Global Populism and Democratic Futures Summit, Wednesday, March 28, 7:00 p.m. to Thursday, March 29, 8:00 p.m., Balsillie School of International Affairs.

Velocity Fund Finals, “20 startups compete for $125,000,” Wednesday, March 28, 11:00 a.m., SLC Great Hall. 

NEW - Retirement celebration for Freddie Swainston, Thursday, March 29, 3:30 p.m., University Club. RSVP on the HR Events page.

Good Friday holiday, Friday, March 30, most university buildings and operations closed.

UWaterloo Chamber Choir: Bach’s St. John Passion, Friday, March 30, 7:30 p.m., Centre in the Square, 101 Queen St. Kitchener. $30 to $82.

Free Exam Fitness, Monday, April 2 to April 20.

Voices for Gender Justice in Education, Tuesday, April 3, 12:00 p.m., Dunker Family Lounge, Renison University College.

Stratford Campus presents 2018 Project Showcase and Reception, Tuesday, April 3, 3:30 p.m., Stratford Campus.

NEW - Lectures and classes end, Wednesday, April 4.

NEW - Turn Your Research Into a Startup, 'Panel with local founders and UWaterloo professors,' Wednesday, April 4, 6:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m., The Graduate House.

NEW - Pre-examination study days, Thursday, April 5 and Friday, April 6.

NEW - Faculty Tenure and Promotion Workshops, Thursday, April 5 and Friday, April 6.

NEW - Faculty Association Spring General Meeting, Thursday, April 5, 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m., QNC 2502.

Research Talks: Contemporary Indigenous issues in Canada featuring Lori Campbell, Jasmin Habib, Dan McCarthy, and Susan Roy, Thursday, April 5, 11:45 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. Please register as seating is limited.