Wednesday, January 9, 2019

A new year and new possibilities for students at University of Waterloo

students walking over a bridge

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.

Welcome back!

Donna Strickland to deliver President's Lecture

Professor Donna Strickland

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.

Thomas Shin and his business partner wearing Fone Guys shirts and hatsA 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.

GradflixGraduate 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.

purple textilesFor 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.

Link of the day

20 years ago: Shakespeare in Love

When and where

Chamber Music Ensembles Winter 2019 Auditions open, Monday, January 7 to January 19. See for details.

safeTALK Mental Health Training, Wednesday, January 9, 1 p.m., NH 2447.

Women in Insurance STEM Information Session, Wednesday, January 9, 2019, 2:30 p.m., TC 2218.

Coping Skills Seminar - Cultivating Resiliency, Wednesday, January 9, 6:00 p.m., HS 2302. 

Research Ethics drop-in training session, Wednesday, January 9, 10 a.m. to 12 p.m., Dana Porter Library.

UWaterloo Intellectual Property Workshop Series, Thursday, January 10, 12:30 p.m. to 2:30 p.m. – IP 101 and Commercialization, DC 1304.

CBB Annual General Meeting presentation and networking reception, Thursday, January 10, 2:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m., DC Fishbowl. Please register if you plan on attending.

GRADflix showcase, Thursday, January 10, 3:30 p.m., Needles Hall 3407.

Opening of Shake-n-Make and Kristiina Lahde exhibitions. Thursday, January 10, 5 p.m., University of Waterloo Art Gallery (East Campus Hall).

Winter 2019 Orientation, Friday, January 11.

Uberland: How Algorithms Are Rewriting the Rules of Work, Friday, January 11, 1:00 p.m., HH 1106.

NEW - Knowledge Integration seminar, featuring Melanie Goodchild, Research Associate & Fellow at the Waterloo Institute for Social Innovation and Resilience,  “Anishinaabewin & Anishinaabemowin; Social Innovation as Indigenous Resistance,” Friday, January 11, 2:30 p.m, EV3-1408.

Clarity in scientific writing, Monday, January 14, 1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m., SCH 228F.

Alleviating Anxiety Seminar, Monday, January 14, 1:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m., HS 2302.

Coping Skills Seminar - Challenging Thinking, Monday, January 14, 4:00 p.m., HS 2302.

Communication for the workplace, Wednesday, January 16 and Thursday, January 17, SCH 228F.

Research Ethics drop-in training session, Wednesday, January 16, 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m., Dana Porter Library.

Noon Hour Concert: Wie Melodien, Wednesday, January 16, 12:30 p.m., Conrad Grebel University College Chapel.

QPR Mental Health Training, Wednesday, January 16, 1:30 p.m., NH second floor.

Gallery launch for Gichitwaawizi'igewin: Honouring, Thursday, January 17, 4:00 p.m., Kindred Credit Union Centre for Peace Advancement at Conrad Grebel University College.

Book launch — Atomic Assurance: The Alliance Politics of Nuclear Proliferation. Thursday, January 17, noon. Balsillie School of International Affairs.

Knowledge Integration Seminar: Building a grassroots coalition for the green economy, Friday, January 18, 2:30 p.m., EV3 1408.

Velocity Graduate Student Startup Fund applications close, “Win $20,000 in funding for a startup and acceptance into the Velocity Garage incubator program,” Sunday, January 20, 11:59 p.m.

Literature reviews for grads (Part A): Organizing research, Monday, January 21, 2:00 p.m., SCH 228F.

Coping Skills Seminar - Thriving With Emotions, Monday, January 21, 4:00 p.m., HS 2302.

NEW - CBB/WIN Lecture featuring Dr. Alessandro Olivo, University College London, “Origins, state-of-the-art and application perspectives of incoherent x-ray phase contrast imaging methods,” Tuesday January 22, 1:00 p.m. to 2:00 p.m., QNC 1501. [Registration] This event is supported by the Centre for Bioengineering and Biotechnology (CBB) and the Waterloo Institute for Nanotechnology.

NEW - The Body Project, Tuesday, January 22, 5:00 p.m., HS 2302.

NEW - Waterloo Centre for Microbial Research seminar, “UW, Intellectual Property & You,” Tuesday, January 22, 10:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m., QNC 1506.

NEW - The legal, business, and moral duty to design hardware, software, and human-computer interfaces to be fully accessible to people with disabilities — Why and how, David Lepofsky, Chair, Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act Alliance, Tuesday, January 22, 2:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m., DC 1350.

NEW - President's Lecture, featuring Donna Strickland, Nobel laureate, Wednesday, January 30, 7 to 9 p.m., J. G. Hagey Hall of the Humanities.

Positions available

On this week's list from the human resources department, viewable on the UWaterloo Talent Acquisition System (iCIMS):

  • Job ID# 2019-3759 - Administrative & Faculty Exchange Coordinator - Dean of Environment Office, USG 5
  • Job ID# 2018-3755 - Custodian I - Plant Operations - Custodial, CUPE
  • Job ID# 2018-3646 - Director, Climate Resilence - Dean of Environment Office, USG 13
  • Job ID# 2018-3578 - Immigration Consultant - Student Success Office, USG 8 – 9
  • Job ID# 2019-3761 - Instructional Support Coordinator  WatPD, USG 8 – 10
  • Job ID# 2018-3172 - Manager, International Relations, VP University Research, USG 10
  • Job ID# 2018-3746 - Residence Attendant, Housing & Residence - USG 2
  • Job ID# 2019-3764  - Undergraduate Operations Coordinator, School of Computer Science, USG 10

Internal secondment opportunities:

  • Job ID# 2019-3762 - ​​Co-ordinator, Administration - Housing & Residence, USG 6