A new year and new possibilities for students at University of Waterloo
This is the latest post on President Feridun Hamdullahpur's blog.
Happy New Year and welcome back to the thousands of you who start classes this week. The start of a new year and a new term offers an ideal opportunity to frame how and where you want to succeed.
We want to start the year with a number of exciting, new support services for our students and I am proud to be offering the highest level of support seen at our University to date.
“The Centre” Opens in Needles Hall
Needles Hall has recently gone through extensive renovations to create The Centre that will transform the student experience at Waterloo. The Centre consolidates the student-facing services of the Registrar’s Office, Graduate Studies & Postdoctoral Affairs and Student Awards & Financial Aid into one space.
The streamlining of services will also include the addition of the Student Success Office, WatPD/EDGE and Service Canada services soon - vastly improving the student experience of accessing these vital services at one location.
We made these changes after listening to our undergraduate and graduate students to learn and understand how we can better serve you and make your experience less stressful and seamless.
The Centre is currently open with Grand Opening events scheduled for January 30, 2019.
Campus Wellness and Student Mental Health Developments
As I am sure you heard last year, the University continues to take steps to improve our student mental health supports and services through the implementation of the Committee on Student Mental Health’s (CoSMH) 36 recommendations. Fifty percent of the recommendations are now either completed or in the process of being implemented showing strong progress in less than a year.
We know that it is not possible to fully eliminate the stresses in our lives, but we can build an environment that removes undue barriers and provide services to our students and training for our faculty and staff to create a supportive and attentive community that puts the success of our students first. I am glad to see that we are close to building such an environment every day.
This past year was filled with so many significant milestones for the University of Waterloo, but what makes the year a positive one is the continued growth and success of our students. This year will be no different. The progress we’ve made is only the beginning. We can and will do more to support our students every step of the way.
Donna Strickland to deliver President's Lecture
Donna Strickland, Nobel laureate and professor of physics at the University of Waterloo, will deliver the President's Lecture later this month.
Professor Strickland is co-winner of the Nobel Prize in Physics 2018 for the development of chirped pulse amplification (CPA), which enables the shortest and most intense laser pulses created. She and Gérard Mourou, French physicist, published a revolutionary article in 1985. It was the basis of Strickland’s doctoral thesis.
In her remarks, Strickland will discuss the research that led to her Nobel Prize, CPA’s implications for high intensity laser physics, and current and future applications. She will also touch on her recent experience surrounding the award.
The lecture will be followed by a fireside chat moderated by Kate Lunau. Lunau is an award-winning science journalist and is currently senior editor of Motherboard, VICE’s science and technology publication.
The President’s Lecture takes place on Wednesday, January 30 from 7 to 9 p.m. in the J. G. Hagey Hall of the Humanities. Doors open at 6:30 p.m. Admission is free. Register on Ticketfi.
Watch and see: A Dragon's Den pitch and other notes
If cutting back on Netflix is one of your new year’s resolutions, here are some alternatives for your viewing pleasure.
A Waterloo student will be featured on CBC’s Dragon’s Den this week. Thomas Shin, in his first year of Accounting and Financial Management, pitches his company, The Fone Guys, a traveling phone repair service.
The episode was recorded in May 2018 when Shin was still in high school. In the episode promo, the dragons disagree on advice to Shin about whether or not he should continue his education immediately after graduation or take time off to focus on business ventures. (We’re glad he chose to come to Waterloo, where being a student and being an entrepreneur are not mutually exclusive!)
Will he tempt the dragons into investing? You’ll have to watch to find out. The episode will air on Thursday, January 10 at 8:00 p.m.
Graduate Studies and Postdoctoral Affairs is rolling out the red carpet for its GRADflix showcase on January 10 from 3:30 to 6:30 p.m. in Needles Hall 3407. For this competition, graduate students submitted a 60-second video, moving slide show, or animation that describes their research. The showcase will screen the top 15 submissions. Winners will be announced after a short deliberation by the judges. Bring your smartphone for the opportunity to participate in a live vote for the people's choice award.
The showcase will be followed by a wine and cheese (photo ID is required). View this year’s finalists on the GRADflix website.
For a viewing experience not mediated by a screen, visit the opening of two exhibitions at the University of Waterloo Art Gallery. Shake-n-Make specializes in the mash-up of art and craft. Linked by the use of modular design and labour-intensive production, Once More, With Feeling brings together several large sculptural installations. In Extraordinary Measures, Kristiina Lahde turns her attention to tools for measurement by systematically reformatting a series of readymade measuring devices.
Both exhibitions open January 10 at 5 p.m. and run until March 2, 2019.