Friday, April 20, 2018

Volunteers needed for Spring Convocation

A man smiles in his convocation robes with the words "volunteer at Convocation June 12-16."This week we celebrate the contributions volunteers make in our community through National Volunteer Week. The University of Waterloo has many staff, faculty, and students who support our community by donating their time - thank you for all you do!

There are many volunteer opportunities to get involved with on campus, with a large one right around the corner. Join the already growing group of Convocation volunteers! This is a momentous occasion on campus and a time of celebration for graduands, honorary guests, award winners and their friends and families. Convocation is one of the largest events on campus and requires assistance from many volunteers – over 100 volunteers are needed to make it a success!

Staff and faculty are encouraged to get involved and volunteer their time at the various Convocation ceremonies. There is a diversity of roles available to staff members, providing new professional development opportunities.

If interested, visit the Convocation Volunteer website to view all the roles available to choose from and submit your application today.

Attendees gather for Generation SDG summit

The Waterloo Global Science Initiative (WGSI) Generation SDG Summit kicks off on Sunday, April 22 with a focus on Sustainable Development.

The Waterloo Global Science Initiative is a partnership between the University of Waterloo and the Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics. The initiative was founded in 2009, and has organized three previous summits - Energy 2030 in 2011, Learning 2030 in 2013, and OpenAccess Energy in 2016.  

This time around, the Summit will be focused on exploring and building out a framework to reach the United Nations 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

WGSI's mandate is to promote dialogue around complex global issues and long-range thinking to advance ideas, opportunities and strategies for a secure and sustainable future. WGSI Summits bring together a multidisciplinary, multinational and multigenerational group for four days of intensive working sessions. Summit attendees include Canada’s sharpest leaders, ideators, and emerging minds – a multi-disciplinary, multi-sectoral and multi-generational group of people working on SDGs in Canada to build a robust ecosystem for implementation at home and abroad.

In 2015, the UN established the 17 SDGs to end poverty, protect planet and ensure prosperity for all by 2030. 

Organizers have developed a Generation SDG brief to kickstart discussions at the Summit. As the conversations and contributions take place over four days, the Summit produces a Communiqué to be released at the close of the event that summarizes the vision of the attendees and contributors. This work informs the WGSI's Blueprints, which are released to support the recommendations made at each Summit by collating relevant research and case studies and by providing a clear roadmap to implementation. 

There will be a series of events hosted at the Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics, most of them invite-only, including the Summit's launch at 4:00 p.m. on Sunday, April 22, which is followed by a reception. Speaking at the launch will be WGSI Chair Feridun Hamdullahpur and Perimeter Institute Director Neil Turok, with the keynote delivered by Dr. Katharine Wilkinson of Project Drawdown.

The event will be livestreamed.

A public event will take place at the Perimeter Institute on Tuesday, April 24 at 7:00 p.m., a public lecture by Dr. Ingrid Waldron of Dalhousie University on environmental racism and the politics of waste. Dr. Waldron will be available after the lecture to sign copies of her book, There's Something In The Waterwhich will be available for purchase onsite from Wordsworth Books.

The summit's closing event will take place on Wednesday, April 25 at 11:00 a.m. Watch for the livestream link in Wednesday's Daily Bulletin.

Rae speaks about pursuing peace at home and abroad

The Honourable Bob Rae.In celebration of the Peace and Conflict Studies department's 40th anniversary, Conrad Grebel University College is hosting a gala fundraising dinner tonight featuring the Honourable Bob Rae as keynote speaker. Under the theme of "Pursuing Peace: Stories from Home and Abroad," Rae will share stories of his work in Canada's Indigenous issues and his recent work in Myanmar. Rae is a Canadian lawyer, negotiator, public speaker, and former Premier of Ontario.

“I always find hope in the resilience of the Rohingya people — in their dignity in the face of incredible abuse,” said Rae in a CBC interview in early March. Currently working as Canada’s Special Envoy to Myanmar, Rae has spent four months traveling to Indonesia, Bangladesh, Myanmar, Vietnam, and the UN in New York. Tasked with investigating the humanitarian crisis, Rae is actively assessing efforts required to ensure the secure return of refugees to their homes, and gathering evidence of breaches of law and human rights. He reports that Canada has been “publicly associated with the peace process, with the dialogue on governance and pluralism, and with a number of other critical issues, and this engagement needs to continue.”

“When receiving news about our world, we often miss out on initiatives and efforts that give hope,” said Nathan Funk, director of the Peace and Conflict Studies (PACS) program at Conrad Grebel. “Sharing stories of the pursuit of peace, and about the strengths of people who are experiencing conflict, is vital to the peacebuilding process. It brings awareness of hidden resources, and of dynamics we can engage and support. Likewise, storytelling is a way that we can celebrate the impact our graduates have at home and abroad, as they use their skills and knowledge as well as their personal qualities and visions to make a difference in the world.”

Guests at the gala, which takes place at Federation Hall, will meet alumni, supporters, and current students who are passionate about peace. The evening includes a PACS alumni networking opportunity at 5:30 p.m., dinner at 6:30 p.m., remarks from PACS representatives, keynote speaker Bob Rae, alumni profiles, and a group sing-along led by Rae. Proceeds from the dinner go to the Master of Peace and Conflict Studies Student Support Fund.

 40 years strong.For over 40 years, the PACS program has helped students to widen their perspectives and build a multi-faceted view of the world. As the first undergraduate peace program in Canada, PACS continues to be a leader in peace education, providing a vibrant, interdisciplinary learning experience at an undergraduate, master’s, and certificate level.

Nominations open for staff seat on Board of Governors

The Secretariat has put out a call for nominations for a staff representative on the University's Board of Governors, for a term ending on April 30, 2021.

"Jeremy Steffler will complete his term as staff representative on the Board of Governors as of April 30, 2018," says a note from the Secretariat. "Nominations open today for one member of the full-time staff to be elected to the Board of Governors by the full-time staff members of the University."

The call for nominations closes at 4:00 p.m. on Thursday, May 3.

Completed nomination forms should be submitted to Emily Schroeder in the Secretariat, Needles Hall, room 3060. At least five nominators are required for each nominee.

An election will follow if necessary. A brief candidate statement (100 words maximum) should accompany all nomination forms to appear with the ballot, and should be sent to Emily Schroeder,

The election campaign period will run from Friday, May 4, 2018 to Tuesday May 15, 2018. The voting period for regular, full-time staff will run from Wednesday, May 16, 2018 to Wednesday, May 23, 2018 (electronic ballot). The voting period for union, full-time staff will run from Wednesday, May 16, 2018 to Wednesday, May 30, 2018 (paper ballot).

For more information, see the Board of Governors - Staff Election Guidelines, or contact Emily Schroeder, ext. 32749.

Waterloo tops at job prep and other notes

Maclean’s magazine recently asked nearly 24,000 students across the country whether their university education is preparing them for a job. The University of Waterloo landed in top spot as the institution students believe is most likely to prepare them for employment.

Well, if Maclean's can do it, why can't we? University Communications set out yesterday to talk to Waterloo students about their thoughts on the subject:

On Sunday, April 22 at 4:00 p.m., Spiritus Ensemble, conducted by Conrad Grebel music professor Kenneth Hull, closes its 2017-18 season with a performance of Mozart’s most popular choral work, his Requiem.   Because Mozart left the work incomplete at the time of his death, it now exists in several versions. "We will be performing the more familiar, traditional version completed shortly after Mozart’s death," writes Hull. "We will open the concert with two choruses from the Trauermusik (funeral music) of Johann Ludwig Bach, a 2nd cousin of Johann Sebastian’s. JSB performed several of his cousin’s cantatas during his tenure as Thomaskantor in Leipzig. Johann Ludwig Bach’s Trauermusik has—so far as we can tell—never been performed in Canada, and certainly not in this part of the country." The concert takes place at St. John's Lutheran Church at 22 Willow Street. General admission is $30, with seniors paying $25, post-secondary students paying $15 and high schoolers paying $5. Tickets will be available at the door and also online through

The Federation of Students has announced the winners of the 2017/2018 Feds Leadership Awards. Award winners "will have demonstrated exemplary leadership skills in various ways at the University of Waterloo and/or in the surrounding community." Check out the winners on the Feds website and learn more about how to nominate a student leader for the award.

Vote for your Strategic Plan Advisory Committee representative by 4:30 today

This is YOUR strategic plan! Vote between now and Friday, April 20, 2018 to choose your representative for the Strategic Plan Advisory Committee.

Look for the email with your electronic ballot, or, for unionized staff, your ballot through campus mail. You can read candidates’ statements online. Unionized staff can also find them posted on bulletin boards in common areas.

Questions and concerns can be sent to

Link of the day

UNESCO Chinese Language Day

When and where 

Earth Month 2018 challenge, runs to Sunday, April 22.

Strategic Plan Advisory Committee voting period, Wednesday, April 11 to Friday, April 20.

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

UWAG presents MFA Thesis One, Thursday, April 12 to Saturday, April 28, East Campus Hall.

2017 Science Alumni Achievement Awards, Friday, April 20, 2:30 p.m., EIT Main Level.

Pursuing Peace: Stories from Home and Abroad, Friday, April 20, 6:00 p.m., Fed Hall. 

Spiritus Ensemble presents Mozart’s Requiem, Sunday, April 22, 4:00 p.m., St. John’s Lutheran Church, 22 Willow Street, Waterloo.

Waterloo Global Science Initiative: Generation SDG, Sunday, April 22 to Wednesday, April 25.

Generation SDG Opening Keynote featuring Katharine Wilkinson, Sunday, April 22, 4:00 p.m.

Vision Science Graduate Research Conference 2018Monday, April 23 and Tuesday, April 24, School of Optometry and Vision Science.

Waterloo Centre for Microbial Research presents "OMAFRA Information Session", Monday, April 23, 2:00 p.m. to 2:30 p.m., QNC 1506.

25-50 Year Dinner, Monday, April 23, 6:00 p.m., Federation Hall.

Deadline to get Fees Arranged for Spring 2018 term, Tuesday, April 24.

Generation SDG public lecture featuring Ingrid Waldron, "Environmental Racism and the Politics of Waste," Tuesday, April 24, 7:00 p.m., Perimeter Institute.

WICI Workshop: Leveraging Systems Approaches to Improve Human & Planetary health, Wednesday, April 25 and Thursday, April 26.

Staff Appreciation Luncheon, Wednesday, April 25 to Friday, April 27, 11:30 a.m. to 2:00 p.m., University Club.

Symposium on Aging Research (SoAR) Third Annual Conference, Wednesday, April 25, 8:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., AHS 1689. Register by Friday, April 20.

GRADventure presents a Non-academic career conference, Wednesday, April 25, STC 0020.

Pharmacy Research Day 2018School of Pharmacy, University of Waterloo. Wednesday, April 25, 9:00 3:00 p.m., School of Pharmacy.

Master of Business, Entrepreneurship and Technology (MBET) Information Session, Wednesday, April 25 10:30 a.m., Online Webinar.

Waterloo Women’s Wednesdays: A Conversation with Amanda Cook, UWaterloo’s Sexual Violence Response Coordinator. Wednesday, April 25, 4:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m., M3 3103.

10th Annual Teaching and Learning Conference, "Motivating Students and Ourselves", Thursday, April 26, Science Teaching Complex.

25th Graduate Student Recreation Leisure Research Symposium, Thursday, April 26, 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. and Friday, April 27, 9:00 a.m. to 1:30 p.m., LHN 1621.

Hallman Lecture Series featuring Ron Zernicke, PhD, DSc, University of Michigan - Skeletal Adaptation: Synthesis and Beyond, Friday, April 27, 9:00 a.m., AHS 1689.

CBB Seminar: Mobile Keyboard as an example of large scale novel interface based on both classic human factors and modern machine intelligence: Dr. Shumin Zhai, Google Inc., Friday, April 27, 1:30 p.m, E5 3102. 

Research Talks: Driving the future of autonomous vehicles and responsible innovation featuring Heather Douglas, Sebastian Fischmeister, a legal expert in the field of technology, and an innovation expert from General Motors. Tuesday, May 1, 11:45 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. Please register as seating is limited.

Education Credit Union Rental Properties Seminar for University of Waterloo Staff Association members, Wednesday, May 2, 12:00 p.m. to 12:45 p.m., DC 1302. Register online.

UWRC presents DIY Beeswax Wraps, Wednesday, May 2, 12:00 noon, Ecology Lab. Space limited; register by emailing

SERS PhD seminar featuring Meaghan Wilton, “A multimethod approach to characterize corn-soybean intercropping as a sustainable-intensive cropping practice,” Thursday, May 3, 1:00 p.m., EV2-2006.

NEW - Computer science PhD seminar featuring Daniel Recoskie, David R. Cheriton School of Computer Science, “Learning filters for the 2D wavelet transform,” Thursday, May 3, 2:00 p.m., DC 2310.

Engineering Explorations, Thursday, May 3, 6:00 p.m., Engineering 5.

The Role of the Imagination in German Educational Thought, Friday, May 4 and Saturday, May 5, Federation Hall.

ASA DataFest 2018, Friday, May 4 to Sunday, May 6, Mathematics 3.

Human Resources Lean seminar, Wednesday, May 9, 1:00 p.m. to 4:30 p.m., EC5-1111.

Waterloo Datathon, Saturday, May 12, 8:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m., M3 1006.

UW Blooms, Monday, May 14, 11:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m., Student Life Centre.

NEW - UWRC Book Club, featuring  "It’s All Relative: Adventures Up and Down the World’s Family Tree," by A.J. Jacobs, Wednesday, May 16, 12:00 p.m., LIB 407.

Say it in your own words: Paraphrase & summary for graduate students, Thursday, May 17, 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.