Monday, June 17, 2019

Convocation considerations

Professor Donna Strickland carries the mace at the Science Convocation ceremony on Thursday, June 13.

Nobel Laureate and Physics and Astronomy Professor Donna Strickland carries the University's mace at a Faculty of Science Convocation ceremony on Thursday, June 13.

A message from Community Relations and Events.

A huge thank you to everyone who played a role in making spring convocation a memorable experience for close to 6,500 students and an estimated 25,000 guests.

It takes about 90 staff and 160 volunteers from all across campus to deliver convocation! 40 percent of our volunteers who were first timers, and new volunteers for future ceremonies are always welcome.  More information can be found online.

Faculty celebrated alongside our students; 165 faculty and special guests joined President Hamdullahpur, Provost Jim Rush, and Chancellor Dominic Barton in the Chancellor’s parties, and participated as mace bearers, hooders, graduand readers, and diploma presenters. Another 189 faculty took part in the academic processions throughout the week.

As part of convocation, 134 different awards were presented. Thank you to all faculty partners who assisted with the coordination of awards and valedictorians, and to those who hosted our honorary doctorate winners from around the world.

The collaboration behind the scenes to deliver a professional, seamless experience for convocation cannot be understated. Some of the many partners who each play a critical role in the convocation experience include:

  • The Registrar and the team in the Registrar’s office;
  • Graduate Studies & Postdoctoral Affairs;
  • Plant Operations;
  • AccessAbility Services;
  • Catering and Event Services;
  • Central Stores;
  • FEDS catering;
  • Health Services; 
  • ITMS;
  • Parking Services;
  • Police Services;
  • Retail Services;
  • Secretariat and the Honorary Doctorate committee; and
  • Staff from the PAC and the Student Life Centre;

It is important to note that convocation is not just about the ceremonies.  Convocation week is a time of deepening relationships with our newest alumni. If you have ever visited the Student Life Centre after a ceremony, you can appreciate the commitment of the Alumni team to hosting twelve receptions, selling frames and making sure that families enjoy their time on campus with their graduates. Social media also plays a key role for Alumni, as new alumni are welcomed to “the club”!  Students and their families loved the Instagram-worthy photo activations created this year, as well!

For more information on convocation, including access to recordings of the 12 ceremonies later this week, please visit; and visit our social media channels to revisit the smiles and celebrations at #UWaterlooGrad – we were even trending across Canada during some of the ceremonies.

If you participated in convocation and have feedback to share, we would love to hear from you!  Please contact Colleen Fitzpatrick, Director, Convocation.

Community dialogue event aims to create change

A diverse crowd of demonstrators.

In dramatic political climates it can be difficult to effect change. Join the Stratford School of Interaction Design and Business for a Community Dialogue on Creating Effective Activism and Change on Tuesday, June 18 at 7:00 p.m. At the event, expert panelists will examine how involvement can transform a landscape and inspire others to action.

Speaking will be:

  • Anna DrakeAssistant Professor, Political Science;
  • Fiqir Mequanent Worku, founder of RAISE (Racial Advocacy for Inclusion, Solidarity and Equity);
  • Heather Smyth, Professor, English Language and Literature; and
  • Shana MacDonald, Assistant Professor, Communication Arts.

Associate Professor Shannon Dea of Philosophy will be moderating the panel.

This is the second Community Dialogue lecture of 2019. The Community Dialogue series is put on in collaboration between the Stratford Public Library and the University of Waterloo Stratford School of Interaction Design and Business.

Senate meets today and other notes

The University's Senate meets today at 3:30 p.m. in NH 3407. As it is the last meeting before a summer break that resumes in September, the agenda is chock full of items for decision. Among them:

  • Motions to make academic plan changes in the Faculty of Mathematics including options in Computer Science and the Computing Option;
  • A motion to approve clarifications to the regulations around scheduled pauses such that public holidays and statutory holidays are included in the definition of scheduled pauses, and that the definition of reading week includes the weekends on both ends;
  • A motion to approve harmonized rules around the double counting of courses;
  • A motion from the Registrar's Office to approve a standardized approach for students who do not have the necessary prerequisite for a course to request permission from the instructor;
  • A motion to appoint Kareem Tarek Mostafa as the graduate student representative from the Faculty of Engineering to Senate Graduate & Research Council with a term ending April 30, 2021;
  • A motion receive proposed bylaw changes to bylaws 1, 2, and 4 in light of restructuring and title changes in the Office of Research, and the office of the Associate Vice-President, Graduate Studies and Postdoctoral Affairs for second reading;
  • A motion to approve curricular modifications and adjustments to the length of the Master of Public Health (MPH), effective September 1, 2019
  • A motion to approve Graduate Studies Academic Calendar changes pertaining to add/drop regulations for graduate students, effective September 2019; and
  • A motion to approve the dissolution of the Propel Centre for Population Health Impact.

A number of senior administrators will deliver reports including the President, the Vice-President, Academic & Provost; and the Vice-President, University Research and International.

Pour out a double-double on the curb for the Tim Hortons in DC, as it is closing for renovations effective Thursday, June 20. "Currently, we are working hard on renovations in all of our Davis Centre locations to serve you better with wonderful new offerings due to open in September," says a note from Food Services. "Please visit CEIT Café in the EIT building, Starbucks in STC, and Tim Hortons and Brubakers in the SLC. For construction and renovation updates, follow us at @UWaterlooFood. Thank you for your patience and understanding!" The location will be closed for approximately 6 to 8 weeks. 

Watitis banner.

The WatITis submission deadline is just 3 days away on Thursday, June 20. There is still an opportunity for you to contribute to this year’s conference as a speaker, panel participant or poster presenter. To participate, simply submit a brief synopsis of your topic or idea to the WatITis program committee at

"After 38 years of employment, 14,000 days, hundreds of problems solved, countless projects, lots of meetings, unforgettable friendships and everlasting memories," says a note from the Faculty of Environment, "the best is yet to come for one happy retiree." Friends and colleagues of Marko Dumancic are invited to a retirement celebration in his honour on Thursday, June 20 from 2:00 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. at the Grad House. Dumancic is the director of Mapping, Analysis & Design (MAD) in the Faculty of Environment.

Speeches will begin at 3:00 p.m.

Thrive Logo.Wednesday is Spring Thrive Day. Thrive is a series of events focused on building positive mental health for University of Waterloo students, faculty, and staff. Thrive is also a mindset that encourages you to flourish. We all have mental health, and we can each strengthen our mental health by learning about it, thinking about it, talking about it, and discovering new skills and resources to help us Thrive all year long. Be sure to wear your Thrive t-shirts on Wednesday and take part in the series of Thrive events across campus.

Upcoming office closures

The Centre for Teaching Excellence will be closed on Tuesday, June 18 for a professional development day and will reopen at regular University hours on Wednesday, June 19.

 Campus Wellness will be closed on Tuesday June 18 from 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. due to a staff event.

Link of the day

Toronto Raptors victory parade

When and Where

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

Bike Challenge, Saturday, June 1 to Sunday, June 30, across campus.

How to be an Exceptional Employee, Monday, June 17, 1:30 p.m. to 3:00 p.m., TC 1208.

University senate meeting, Monday, June 17, 3:30 p.m., NH 3407.

Waterloo Alumni Cybersecurity Panel and Networking Event, Monday, June 17, 6:30 p.m., Akamai Technologies, London, UK.

Forbes Lecture - Technology and aging: Supporting our current and future selves, Tuesday, June 18, 1:00 p.m., OPT 1129.

Résumé Tips: Thinking Like an Employer, Tuesday, June 18, 2:30 p.m. to 4:00 p.m., TC 1208.

“Pipelines, Tar Sands and the Climate” - Hosted by KW Chapter of Council of Canadians, Divest Waterloo, UW Interdisciplinary Centre on Climate Change (IC3) and the Faculty of Environment, Tuesday, June 18, 7:00 p.m., EV3 1408.

Community Dialogues | Creating Effective Activism and Change, Tuesday, June 18, 7:00 p.m. (doors open at 6:30 p.m.), Stratford School of Interaction Design and Business.

Portfolio & Project Management Community of Practice (PPM CoP) session, "Engaging Stakeholders," Wednesday, June 19, 9:00 a.m. to 10:30 a.m., East Campus 5 (EC5), 1111. 

Continuous Improvement Workshop for employees, Wednesday, June 19, 10:00 a.m., STC 1012.

Spring 2019 Thrive Day, Wednesday, June 19, 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m., Student Life Centre Great Hall.

Journey to Leadership, Wednesday, June 19, 1:00 p.m. to 2:30 p.m., Federation Hall. RSVP by June 12.

CBB- Symposium: Smart Aging and Rehabilitation Technologies (Netherlands and Canada), Wednesday June 19, 1:00 p.m. to 4:30 p.m., Engineering 7, E7-2317. This event is open to Faculty, Staff, Students, and postdocs. Register today.

More Feet on the Ground - Mental Health Training for Students, Wednesday, June 19, 1:30 p.m., HS 2302.

Business Etiquette and Professionalism, Wednesday, June 19, 2:30 p.m. to 4:00 p.m., TC 1208

Thank-you event for Mario Coniglio, Wednesday, June 19, 4:00 p.m., University Club.

Ethical AI - Separating the Fact from Fad, Wednesday, June 19, 5:30 p.m., DC 1302.

Green New Deal Canada Town Hall - Kitchener, Wednesday, June 19, 7:00 p.m., St. Andrew’s Presbyterian Church (Elizabeth Room), 54 Queen St. N , Kitchener.

Velocity Start: Pitch to Win, “Perfect your 3-minute business pitch at this interactive workshop,” Wednesday, June 19, 7:30 p.m., Velocity Start, SCH 2nd Floor.

NEW - Retirement celebration for Marko Dumancic, Thursday, June 20, 2:00 p.m., Grad House.

NEW - CBB-Biomedical Discussion Group featuring Dr. Francesco Negro, University of Brescia, Italy: “The high-density Electromyography (EMG) technology and its applications in rehabilitation research,” Thursday, June 20, 2:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m., EC4-2101A. This event is open to faculty, staff, students, and postdocs. Register online.

Waterloo Institute for Complexity and Innovation (WICI)’s Conversations on Complex Systems, Thursday, June 20, 3:00 p.m. to 4:30 p.m., STC 1019.

Graduate Student Stress Management Group, Thursday, June 20, 3:30 p.m., HS 2302.

Interviews: Preparing for Questions, Thursday, June 20, 3:30 p.m. to 5:00 p.m., TC 1208.

Waterloo Institute for Complexity and Innovation (WICI)’s Graduate Student Complexity Seminar, Thursday, June 20, 4:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m., STC 1019.

NSERC Alliance Grants Introductory Workshop, Friday, June 21, 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m., East Campus 5, Enterprise Theatre, Room 1111. Please register to attend in person or via livestream.

Can we scale tobacco control intervention research with school teachers in india?,” Friday, June 21, 11:00 a.m., AHS 1621.

Farewell celebration for Jason Coolman, Friday, June 21, 3:00 p.m., E7 second floor event space.

NEW - Int’l Spouses Spring Term Potluck, Saturday, June 22, 5:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m., Knox Presbyterian Church, Waterloo.

Glow Goes to Toronto Pride 2019, Sunday, June 23.

Getting Published for Graduate Students, Monday, June 24, 1:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m., SCH 228F.

Coping Skills Seminar - Thriving With Emotions, Monday, June 24, 3:00 p.m., HS 2302.

Wellness Collaborative Launch Event, Tuesday, June 25, 8:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m., Federation Hall. Register on Ticketfi.

Retirement celebration for Anne Wagland, Tuesday, June 25, 3:00 p.m., University Club. RSVP to Jaime Fohkens by June 14.

Talking Careers with Your Kids (for employees only), Wednesday, June 26, 12:00 p.m. to 1:00 p.m., TC 2218.

Waterloo Women's Wednesdays: Pilates Class, Wednesday, June 26, 12:00 p.m., EIT 3142.

QPR Mental Health Training for Faculty and Staff, Wednesday, June 26, 1:30 p.m., HS 2302.

Retirement celebration for Sergeant Patrick Ulett, Wednesday, June 26, 3:00 p.m., University Club.

NEW - WISE Public Lecture: The Road to Reliable and Economically Feasible Electricity for Remote Communities in Developing and Developed Economies, Wednesday, June 26, 3:00 p.m., CPH 4335.

Eating Disorder Support Group, Wednesday, June 26, 4:00 p.m., NH 3308.

Coping Skills Seminar - Cultivating Resiliency, Wednesday, June 26, 4:00 p.m., HS 2302.

Velocity Start: BYSB (Building Your Startup Brand), “The basics of setting up your brand and the online platforms available to help you,” Wednesday, June 26, 7:30 p.m., Velocity Start, SCH 2nd Floor.