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Thursday, June 28, 2018


Alison Hitchens appointed Associate University Librarian

This article was originally featured on the Library's news site.

Alison Hitchens.Alison Hitchens has been appointed to the newly-redefined senior administrative portfolio of Associate University Librarian, Collections, Technology and Scholarly Communication at the University of Waterloo Library, effective June 25, 2018. In this role, Alison will provide leadership in the areas of collections, access, technology, assessment, bibliometrics, and scholarly communication.

Alison has been with the Library for 13 years, giving her extensive experience in library management and leadership—most notably as Acting Associate University Librarian, Research & Digital Discovery Services and member of the Library’s senior administrative team since 2016. Her academic career began at University of Waterloo, where she received the Department of Anthropology’s Silver Medal award, and she holds a Master’s degree in Information Studies from the University of Toronto.

In an email to Library staff, University Librarian Beth Namachchivaya detailed Alison’s combination of professional and academic qualifications:

“Alison’s twenty years of experience in the rapidly-evolving areas of cataloging and metadata, information discovery and delivery, digitization, digital preservation and curation, brings a critical perspective as we shape our future in a highly innovative, research-intensive university environment."

Beth goes on to say that "through Alison’s collaborative leadership, she has been instrumental in developing and deepening the University of Waterloo’s initiatives in research data management, bibliometrics and research impact, digital access and discovery, and academic technologies.”

Alison’s professional and community service is extensive, including leadership roles in several Ontario and North American library professional organizations, including Ex Libris Users of North America (ELUNA) and the Ontario Council of University Libraries (OCUL), and she has published and presented extensively on the topics of Linked Open Data in libraries, bibliometrics, and research impact. Currently, Alison is actively engaged in shaping our digital future through leadership roles on the Tri-University Group (TUG) Steering Committee and the OCUL Collaborative Futures (OCUL-CF) Procurement Committee.

Registration opens for fifth annual Eco-Summit

Two students walk along a path surrounded by campus greenery.

Join the Sustainability Office and Sustainable Campus Initiative on July 12 for Waterloo’s fifth-annual Eco-Summit! Each year the Eco-Summit brings together students, staff, faculty, and community partners with an interest in sustainability to build relationships, inspire action, and celebrate progress.

This year’s event will feature:

  • Opening remarks from James Rush, incoming Vice-President, Academic and Provost at the University of Waterloo;
  • Keynote presentation from Tom Ewart, Senior Manager, Sustainability at The Co-operators;
  • Case studies from students, staff, and faculty around campus;
  • Green Office certificate presentations and networking opportunities with groups across campus.

Please visit the registration page to confirm your attendance, view the schedule, and learn about the speakers.

SHAD Waterloo 2018 program about to commence

SHAD logo - with the words 'uncommon purpose' underneath.

This year's month-long SHAD program starts on Sunday, July 1 at the University of Waterloo with the arrival of 54 of the best and brightest high school students from across Canada.

In 1983, Waterloo became the first university campus to host this prestigious program that has helped Canada’s top youth find and reach their potential. The University has continued to play a crucial role ever since with SHAD’s national office based in the city and many of the students deciding to come back after SHAD to pursue their studies.

SHAD is an award-winning enrichment program for students with a strong interest and potential in in STEAM based subjects (sciences, technology, engineering, arts and math) and has helped serve as an incubator for entrepreneurship and innovation for the students who participate nation-wide. The SHAD Network now includes an impressive 17,000 alumni including 32 Rhodes Scholars.

During the month of July, lectures and workshops are offered by top faculty from across campus, and from visionary leaders in the community. Rob Gorbet, associate professor and Chair of the Department of Knowledge Integration, is the SHAD Waterloo Program Director. The University is now joined by a record 15 other universities hosting SHAD from coast to coast.

“By exposing close to 1,000 high achieving high school students this year to great ideas from leading faculty across Canada and some of the world’s biggest challenges, the students are inspired by the SHAD network to start making an impact now,” said Tim Jackson, SHAD’s President and Chief Executive Officer.

In one of the unique elements at SHAD, during the first week, youth are challenged to innovate on a specific theme, built around a current economic and social problem. SHAD youth, working in small teams, collaborate to design and engineer a new solution that addresses the problem. As part of this challenge, teams conduct market research, write business and marketing models, and design and build working prototypes.

SHADs will hold a public open house to show off their achievements, including creative ideas they have come up with to tackle this year’s design project theme, on the afternoon of Thursday July 26, in the Great Hall at Conrad Grebel University College.

Gearing up for the final week of Bike Month

A group of Bike Month participants hold signs and oversized novelty bike glasses.

As Waterloo wheels into the final stretch of Bike Month, the Sustainability Office would like to thank everyone for their participation so far. “We had a great turn out for our Bike Lunch event last week”, says Andrea Bale, Sustainability Engagement Coordinator. “It was fantastic to see so many students and employees coming together to celebrate biking. We already can’t wait for next year!”. Three students and three staff won prizes at Bike Lunch, including bike gear prize packs and a gift card to King Street Cycles.

Over the first three weeks of Bike Month, more than 735 bike trips have been logged by 100 cyclists on campus. Together, they have cycled over 4,250 km, saved a ton of CO2 and saved nearly $1,400! To take part in the Bike Challenge and log your trips for a chance to win prizes, visit the Bike Challenge webpage.

Lunch hour fitness boot camps and other notes

Get fit over your lunch break with free Outdoor Boot Camps. Local certified fitness instructor Tiny n Tuff Fitness will be holding free, lunchtime outdoor bootcamp sessions for Waterloo staff. All fitness levels are welcome. These sessions will be held on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 12:15 to 12:45 p.m. in July and August.

Space is limited – please register on Eventbrite. This project is funded by the Staff Excellence fund, administered by the Provost’s Advisory Committee on Staff Compensation.

Human Resources has added another job posting to the list of available positions this week:

  • Job ID# 2018-2956 - Assistant Supervisor - Food Services, USG 5/6

This position, along with the ones announced yesterday, are available for perusal on the UWaterloo Talent Acquisition System (iCIMS).

Institutional Analysis and Planning closure today

Institutional Analysis and Planning will be closing today at 10:45 a.m. for the remainder of the day for a team building exercise.

Link of the day

20 years ago: duelling asteroid movies smash the silver screen

When and where 

Bike Month, Friday, June 1 to Saturday, June 30, across campus.

Interviews: Preparing for Questions, Thursday, June 28, 10:30 a.m., TC 1208.

Learning the Basics of LinkedIn (for employees only), Thursday, June 28, 12:00 p.m. – 1:00 p.m., TC2218.

Super-happy censorship-resistant fun pages, featuring PhD candidate Cecylia Bocovich, David R. Cheriton School of Computer Science, Thursday, June 28, 2:30 p.m., DC 3317. DC 2585. Please note the new location.

Learning action selection parameters in a neural cognitive model, PhD candidate Sverrir Thorgeirsson, David R. Cheriton School of Computer Science, Friday, June 29, 1:00 p.m., PAS 2464 (CNRG lab).

Canada Day celebration, Sunday, July 1, Columbia Lake fields.

Canada Day holiday, Monday, July 2, most University buildings and offices closed.

Coping Skills Seminar - Cultivating Resiliency, Monday, July 2, 4:00 p.m., HS 2302.

Celebrate Canada's Diversity at the University Club, Tuesday, July 3 to Friday, August 10, 11:30 a.m. to 2:00 p.m., University Club.

Alleviating Anxiety Seminar, Wednesday, July 4, 1:00 p.m., HS 2302.

Velocity Fund $5K Qualifiers – Night 1, “3-minute pitches in front of a panel of judges,” Wednesday, July 4, 7:00 p.m., Location TBD.

Clarity in scientific writing, Thursday, July 5, 1:00 p.m., online webinar.

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

Engineering 101 Day, Saturday, July 7.

Applied Health Sciences 101 Day, Saturday, July 7.

CrySP Speaker Series on Privacy, “Where theory meets practice for privacy enhancing technologies” featuring Chelsea Komlo, HashiCorp, Monday, July 9, 2:30 p.m., DC 1304.

Coping Skills Seminar - Cultivating Resiliency, Monday, July 9, 4:00 p.m., HS 2302.

QPR Training, Tuesday, July 10, 1:30 p.m., Counselling Services, Needles Hall.

CrySP Speaker Series on Privacy, “Where's Waldo?” — Privacy in the age of Internet-connected mobile technology, featuring Matthew Finkel, The Tor Project, Tuesday, July 10, 2:30 p.m., DC 1304.

Coping Skills Seminar - Strengthening Motivation, Tuesday, July 10, 4:00 p.m., HS 2302.

Science 101 Day, Wednesday, July 11.

Childhood play spaces as What-If Worlds: The uncertainties of misogyny, racism, and classism, Wednesday, July 11, 2:30 p.m., QNC 1502.

Velocity Start: Setup Your Business Like A Boss, “A workshop that will address legal and accounting considerations that will affect your new business,” Wednesday, July 11, 2018, 7:30 p.m., Velocity Start, SCH 2nd Floor.

Getting published for grad students, Thursday, July 12, 1:00 p.m., online webinar.

Open House - Harnessing Quantum Technologies, Friday, July 13, 9:30 a.m. to 3:15 p.m., Mike and Ophelia Lazaridis Quantum-Nano Centre.

CS seminar: The prehistory and history of RE (+SE) as seen by me, featuring Dan Berry, David R. Cheriton School of Computer Science, Friday, July 13, 3:00 p.m., DC 2585.

The Promise of Living: University Choir, Saturday, July 14, 7:30 p.m., Cedars Worship Centre, Waterloo.

Arts 101 Day, Monday, July 16.

Coping Skills Seminar - Cultivating Resiliency, Monday, July 16, 4:00 p.m., HS 2302.

Say it in your own words: Paraphrase & summary, Tuesday, July 17, 1:00 p.m., SCH 228F.

Coping Skills Seminar - Strengthening Motivation, Tuesday, July 17, 4:00 p.m., HS 2302.

Getting it done: Productive writing strategies for big projects, Wednesday, July 18, 10:00 a.m., SCH 228F.

PhD oral defences

Electrical & Computer Engineering. Hani Aldhubaib, "Reliability Analysis of Power Systems Considering the Effect of Weather Variability." Supervisor, Magdy Salama. On display in the Engineering graduate office, DWE 3520C. Oral defence Tuesday, July 10, 1:30 p.m., EIT 3142.

Electrical & Computer Engineering. Alexandra Madeira, "Enhancing the Performance of Transparent Electrodes through the Design of New Silver Nanostructures." Supervisor, Irene Goldthorpe. On display in the Engineering graduate office, DWE 3520C. Oral defence Tuesday, July 10, 3:00 p.m., University of Bordeaux, France (UW location MC 2009 at 9:00 a.m.).

Physics and Astronomy. Robie Hennigar, "Explorations in black hole chemistry and higher curvature gravity." Supervisor, Robert Mann. On deposit in the Science graduate office, PHY 2013. Oral defence Thursday, July 12, 1:00 p.m., PHY 352.

Electrical & Computer Engineering. Mahmoud Ahmed Allam Sayed Alsanbawy, "Steady-State Analysis and Optimal Power Routing of Standalone Unbalanced Hybrid AC/DC Microgrids." Supervisor, Mehrdad Kazerani. On display in the Engineering graduate office, DWE 3520C. Oral defence Thursday, July 12, 3:00 p.m., EIT 3145.

Chemical Engineering. Gregory Lui, "Design of Novel Titanium Dioxide-based Multifunctional Electrochemical Cells." Supervisors, Aiping Yu, Michael Fowler. On display in the Engineering graduate office, DWE 3520C. Oral defence Friday, July 13, 10:00 a.m., E6-2022.

Pharmacy. Osama Madkhali, "Cationic gelatin/Pluronic-based Nanoparticles as Novel Non-Viral Delivery Systems for Gene Therapy." Supervisor, Shawn Wettig. On deposit in the Science graduate office, PHY 2013. Oral defence Monday, July 16, 10:00 a.m., PHR 7007.