Convocation continues today with three Arts ceremonies
The Faculty of Arts takes centre stage with a record three Convocation ceremonies taking place today.
That's right. Three ceremonies! With more than 1,360 graduands expected to cross the stage, it's no wonder that a third ceremony, which will take place tonight at 6:30 p.m., was added to the agenda. The Convocation program is 51 pages long. Seriously.
Morning Ceremony Details
The morning ceremony takes place at 10:00 a.m. 443 undergraduates, 58 Master's, and 5 PhD candidates will receive their degrees. This ceremony includes a number of University of Waterloo Arts programs as well as programs from the affiliated and federated institutions of Waterloo.
Bearing the mace will be Wendy L. Fletcher, President and Vice-Chancellor, Renison University College. Michael Klein will sing the national anthem.
Denise St. Marie and Timothy Walker will both receive the Governor General's Gold Medal for the Highest Standing in a Master's Program. St. Marie and Walker share the award for their Fine Arts thesis, "The Re-Examined Life." In their research-creation project they created an interdisciplinary exhibition of contemplative and interactive artworks that used the expectations of conventional belief systems to question widespread perceptions and value judgments in our culture.
Their thesis work has been described as exceptional, making a significant contribution to Canadian contemporary art production because of its innovative, collaborative and interactive nature. Denise and Timothy’s excellence has also been recognized by various academic and artistic organizations. As a duo, and individually, they have received numerous grants and awards, such as the SSHRC graduate award during their studies at Waterloo, several Canada Council Grants, and most recently an Ontario Council Grant in 2017 among many others. They have an active artistic practice, and have had exhibitions across Canada and internationally, creating innovative though-provoking projects that aim to challenge contemporary art. Their supervisors have described their practice as “poetic and provocative” and “complex interactive work rooted in examination of human relations.” St. Marie and Walker have been working as coordinators of the Student Art Innovation Lab in Waterloo, have also been adjunct instructors in the Department of Fine Arts at Waterloo, and are working on a commissioned work for Open Sesame gallery in Kitchener.
St. Marie and Walker convocated in fall 2017 but are attending today to accept their joint medal.
Afternoon Ceremony Details
The afternoon ceremony takes place at 2:30 p.m. 410 undergraduates, 92 Master's, and 12 PhD candidates will cross the stage.The mace-bearer will be William Chesney, the Faculty of Arts' Associate Dean, Undergraduate Students. Julie-Anne Desrochers will sing the national anthem.
Setsuko Thurlow will receive an honorary Doctor of Laws and address Convocation. Thurlow is a leading advocate for peace and nuclear disarmament. Since surviving the atomic bombing of Hiroshima at the age of 13, Ms. Thurlow has spent a lifetime advocating for a ban on nuclear weapons. While studying in the United States in the 1950s, she actively opposed weapons testing in the south Pacific, despite receiving criticism and threats. After immigrating to Canada to study and practice as a social worker, she continued her advocacy regarding nuclear disarmament, founding the organization ‘Hiroshima Nagasaki Relived’, playing a central role in Hibakusha Stories Project, initiating Hiroshima Day in Toronto, and helping to establish the Peace Garden at Toronto City Hall. Thurlow has spoken in numerous international contexts, including the United Nations General Assembly, intergovernmental gatherings, and academic conferences. She has also been a leading figure in the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN) since its launch in 2007, and played a pivotal role in the adoption of the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons by the United Nations last year.
Thurlow has received numerous awards and honours for her activism and service: she became a member of the Order of Canada in 2006; she received the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Award in 2012; the city of Hiroshima designated her a peace ambassador in 2014; the Arms Control association named her “arms control person of the year” for 2015; and she received the Nuclear Age Peace Foundation’s Distinguished Peace Leadership Award in 2015. She also represented ICAN when it was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 2017.
Professor Shannon Dea will receive a Distinguished Teacher Award. Dea is an associate professor in the Department of Philosophy who has been called a “champion of the Women Studies program.” One of her graduate students noted, “I definitely feel like I’ve learned and still learn a lot from Prof Dea. Nearly every day I’ve left a class of hers, my head feels like it’s just buzzing and brimming with new information and ways of thinking about aspects of the world I hadn’t considered before.” Colleagues commented that, “in a nutshell, Shannon does the unexpected in her teaching. She uses the unexpected and untraditional for several reasons, including: it keeps the learning atmosphere interesting, and it allows her to personally model risk and innovation to her students.” Another colleague acknowledged that “risk-taking, of course, is only valuable if the risks are worthwhile, and all of Professor Dea’s risks both aim at improving student learning and the student experience, and are studiously informed by evidence and research.” Shannon Dea has previously been the proud recipient of the 2016 Arts Award for Excellence in Teaching and the 2012 Province of Ontario's Leading Women Building Communities Award.
Evening Ceremony Details
The new evening ceremony, a first for the Faculty of Arts, will take place at 6:30 p.m. 309 undergraduates, 32 Master's and 1 PhD candidate will receive their degrees. This ceremony will feature graduating students from Accounting, Accounting and Financial Management, and Taxation.
Bearing the mace will be John North, Professor in the Department of English Language and Literature. Michael Klein will sing the national anthem.
The evening ceremony will feature a special guest speaker, alumnus Upkar Arora. Arora is the co-founder and CEO of Illumina Partners, a boutique advisory firm which has specialized in strategy, operations, M&A and finance since 2002. In 2014, Arora also founded Illumina Social Impact Partners to advise and invest in enterprises committed to social impact and generating positive, scalable and sustainable change in our communities.
Arora, who holds the ICD.D designation from the Institute of Corporate Directors, has extensive experience chairing and as a member of corporate boards, including the University’s Board of Governors.
Arora is a FCPA, FCA and holds a master’s degree from Waterloo’s School of Accounting and Finance.
Kim Tran Nguyen will receive the Alumni Gold Medal.
Additional Awards and Honours for Arts today
A number of awards, medals and other honours will be presented during the Convocation proceedings today.
The University Finalist for the Governor General's Gold Medal (formerly known as Outstanding Achievement in Graduate Studies) at the doctoral level is Peter Blouw.
Receiving the Reginald Haney Award for outstanding academic achievement in the Legal Studies Program is Cecilia Allan.
The Amit and Meena Chakma Award for Exceptional Teaching by a Student will go to Quinlan Tsun-Hei Lee. Lee is an undergraduate student in the Department of Economics. Known by his students for his patience, Lee is recognized as “articulate, adept at breaking down difficult concepts and always adopt[ing] a genuine approach to guiding students toward a firm understanding of lecture material.” One student explained that “Quinlan provided a clear perspective on the material that goes beyond what was expected of a TA.” One faculty member noted that “the way he teaches the problems we agree that he will present and the way he explains how to tackle some problems are truly a complement to what I teach in class.”
More was definitely merrier at the Keystone Picnic
A message from the Office of Advancement
Despite the threat of rain, a crowd of more than 1,400 staff, faculty, and retirees turned out on Friday, June 1 for our annual Keystone Picnic. Just to be on the safe side, the event was moved indoors to the SLC, but that didn’t put a damper on the festivities, where guests enjoyed a barbecue lunch, cupcakes, candy floss and popcorn, plus lots of laughs with colleagues.
Congratulations to Dan Rodgers, Graduate Coordinator, School of Public Health and Health Systems, who won a day off with pay, and to Rossi Ivanova, Lab Instructor/Manager for Nanotechnology Engineering, who won lunch with the President and three friends.
The picnic is our thank you to more than 1,000 staff, faculty, and retirees each year who support the University with their time or money through the Keystone Campaign. Our sincere thanks to the senior leaders who rolled up their sleeves to serve food, to the army of volunteers who helped organize the event, and to everyone else who came out to celebrate our campus community.
See you next year!
Nukes and the Nobel and other notes
Conrad Grebel University College is hosting an event to celebrate honorary degree winner Setsuko Thurlow tonight. Nukes and the Nobel: A Conversation with Setsuko Thurlow will take place at 7:30 p.m. in Conrad Grebel's Great Hall, with a reception at 6:45 p.m. in the atrium.
Grebel is hosting the event alongside the Centre for Peace Advancement and Project Ploughshares and the full story can be found on the Conrad Grebel website.
Plant Operations is reporting that elevators in the Dana Porter Library and the Centre for Environmental and Information Technology will be temporarily shut down for maintenance on Thursday, June 14 at various times between 8:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m. Service will disrupt one elevator at a time for a period of 2 hours.
Employers on campus next week hosting employer information sessions include Lifion by ADP and Nanjing University of Aeronautics and Astronautics. Visit the Employer Information Calendar for more details.