Wednesday, August 21, 2019

Meet Waterloo's new Schulich Leaders looking to make an impact

Four exceptionally talented students are making their way to Waterloo with a prestigious scholarship in tow.

First-years Evangeline Dryburgh, Jason Amri, Shahed Saleh and Zeel Patel are all winners of the Schulich Leader Scholarships, the largest STEM scholarship in Canada and valued at $80,000 or $100,000 for science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) programs. The incoming Schulich Leaders distinguished themselves with high grades, leadership roles within their communities and participation in entrepreneurial ventures.

Majoring in either mathematics, science or engineering, the four were selected from more than 1,400 nominees across Canada vying for one of only 50 scholarships.

Evangeline Dryburgh

Marmora, Ontario, Mechatronics Engineering — $100,000

Evangeline Dryburgh, Mechatronics Engineering, recipient of the Schulich Leader Scholarship

For Evangeline Dryburgh, the decision to attend the University of Waterloo was an easy one. With both her parents as Waterloo alumni, the 17-year-old grew up with Waterloo pegged as her number one choice. Dryburgh’s dreams were made reality the day she received her $100,000 Schulich Leaders scholarship.

“I was sitting at the lunch table with all of my friends when I got the notification… I was so excited, I threw my phone across the table and started crying,” says Dryburgh. “Everyone thought that something horrible had happened when it was really the opposite.”

Starting her studies of mechatronic engineering this fall (a large academic feat in and of itself), Dryburgh admits she’s most proud of her extra-curricular achievements. Having earned her black-belt in karate at the age of 13, volunteering at her local hospice centre for four hours every Monday and fencing at a national level, Dryburgh has a packed schedule outside of school. It’s a list of accomplishments she also juggles between playing rugby, badminton, participating in student council, the environmental club and diversity club. With her freshman year at Waterloo set to start in a couple of weeks, she’s anticipating to keep that busy schedule going.

“I am very excited for the co-op program and working with different companies and employers,” says Dryburgh. “In the future, I want to work in clean energy. I am interested in nuclear fusion and I would love to work with a team to create a safer, greener type of energy that could change the world for the better.”

Shahed Saleh

Windsor, Ontario, Mechatronics Engineering — $100,000

Shahed Saleeh, Mechatronics Engineering, recipient of the Schulich Leaders Scholarship

Shahed Saleh was studying for exams when she received notification of her Schulich win. Jumping out from under her textbooks, Saleh immediately shared the news with her family.

“I calmly told my family and they screamed for a few minutes — a reaction that consisted of happiness, relief and excitement,” says Saleh. “My family has been my greatest support through my many initiatives through high school and I thank them for being patient with my very stubborn, ambitious self.”

The 18-year-old says she sought out Waterloo for its balanced, yet ambitious environment and saw the University as the greatest way to develop herself as an innovator.

“The University of Waterloo represented this through its standards for academic excellence, entrepreneurial support and competitive design teams,” says Saleh. “The most attractive aspect, however, was the reality that the Faculty of Engineering at Waterloo is a family that looks to generate change in the world through a unique form of creativity that can only be achieved when many minds work together.”

Saleh credits her growth in leadership to the extracurriculars that continued to keep her busy during high school. With a passion for robotics, Saleh is already familiar with co-op placements, having completed one at St. Clair College where she designed, 3D-printed, coded and reported on mechanisms to be used for industrial robots at international manufacturing plants.

“Much of the inspiration I receive for my engineering projects comes from tinkering with old, usually broken electronics and my love for visual arts,” says Saleh. “I hope to lead a meaningful career in the field of robotics, but most of all, I wish to continue impacting and inspiring youth.”

Jason Amri

Ancaster, Ontario, Computer Science — $80,000

Jason Amri, Computer Science, recipient of the Schulich Leaders Scholarship

Jason Amri says he’s always had a passion for STEM. Even as a young child, the 18-year-old has been consumed with taking things apart just to put them back together again. It was through this every day experimenting that he discovered the opportunities associated with computer science — and he’s been hooked ever since. To harness this passion, coming to Waterloo seemed like the natural next step.

“I remember exploring the [University of Waterloo] on [Google] street-view when I was 12, dreaming that one day I’d be a student there,” says Amri. “I’ve always been drawn to Waterloo’s reputation. In my mind, no other Canadian university offers the same dedication to entrepreneurship and innovation.”

Having already started a business — Diy5, a site that helps anyone get the tools and parts they need to get started in hobby electronics — Amri continues to bring his extra-curricular passion to school by leading the math, coding and maker clubs. He was also the web administrator for his school’s newspaper, an executive on his school’s DECA team, founder of their economic debate club and an elected member of student council.

“Outside of school, I like to tinker with microcontrollers and design my own circuits,” says Amri. “I’ve built tons of apps and devices over the years, really anything to satisfy my curiosity. I also try to spend time at the gym or cycling if I can.”

While Amri aspires toward a career in technology, he’s keeping an open mind to various work opportunities.

“Right now, I’m drawn to the potential in the world of FinTech and interested by our growing need for information security,” says Amri. “I’d also like to continue to pursue entrepreneurship while in university and see where that takes me.”

Zeel Patel

Brandon, Manitoba, Physical Sciences (Astronomy/Physics) — $80,000

Zeel Patel, Physical Sciences, recipient of the Schulich Leaders Scholarship

For 18-year-old Zeel Patel, deciding between not one but two separate Schulich scholarships was a challenge. Having first received a notification from the University of Victoria, Patel says she ultimately turned-down a west-coast education to hold out for her dream school — the University of Waterloo. As fate would have it, Patel got the good news from Waterloo a few weeks later.

“The University of Waterloo struck me as being extremely resourceful and supportive towards its students’ initiatives and actively involved with creating a positive impact, not just in its direct community, but rather with reaches far beyond through its ambitious students,” says Patel.

A self-proclaimed “toddler at heart,” Patel’s innate curiosity for uncovering the world’s mysteries influenced her with dreams of one-day becoming an astronaut.

“As I’ve grown, I’ve seen people slowly stop asking the golden question of ‘why.’ Since I find it exciting to have my questions answered by more questions, I’ve never been afraid of asking,” says Patel. “I guess that both of my parents being engineers and implementing STEM into practically everything I’ve done since early childhood had a hand in developing my passion in this area of study as well.”

A member of Bochasanwasi Akshar Purushottam Sanstha (BAPS), a socio-spiritual Hindu organization, Patel credits her many successes to the guidance and teachings she’s received under her guru Mahant Swami Maharaj. As a result, Patel spends much of her spare time giving back to her community, whether it’s through charitable causes or educational pursuits.

“Something that might have helped me stand out as a Schulich Leader is an annual workshop I established called Exploring Careers in STEM for Girls,” says Patel. “My goal was to increase interests for females in the area of [STEM] and I consider it a success as I have been notified by my school that over 80 per cent of the girls that attended the workshop have signed up for STEM related courses that used to hold an average of one to two girls per class for the past couple of years.”

In the fall, Patel will be studying physical sciences, with an emphasis in astronomy and physics. To maintain a work-life balance, Patel enjoys listening to spiritual discourses, inspirational speeches and reading influential texts.

Co-op student works to support sustainable development goals in Indonesia

This story was originally written published on the co-op website by Amy U.

Third-year Architecture student Simone Delaney pursued an international co-op work term to gain new perspectives on the world. While working in Jakarta, Indonesia, she also gained life-changing experiences through the impactful work she did for, an organization that offers open-source mapping visualization software to help manage climate disasters. 

While on her work term, received the United Nations Public Service Award for ensuring integrated approaches in public sector institutions and helping to meet some of the UN's Sustainable Development Goals - especially those related to climate change.

Simone Delaney sits on a mountain-top in Jakarta, IndonesiaBy providing free, crowd-sourced information about disaster events to residents, first-responders and other services in real-time, Yayasan Peta Bencana is helping to foster equitable and collaborative resilience to climate change in Indonesia.

Simone was captivated by Jakarta’s density, rich diversity and stimulating environmental challenges. Not only is Jakarta home to over 10 million people, it’s also the fastest sinking city in the world. This is a massive concern knowing that an entire city could potentially be submerged underwater, putting millions at risk of being displaced from their homes.

Simone’s decision to work in a foreign country with so many challenges speaks to her awareness of environmental, infrastructural and social crises in the global context, and her desire to give back. Though she was aware of the realities of our rapidly-evolving world, Simone knew that she would have to step outside her comfort zone to better understand these changes.

“It’s impossible to develop new frameworks for thinking if you don’t challenge familiar notions you’ve held your entire life by leaving the safety of your typical environment.

As an undergraduate student from the other side of the world, I don’t necessarily have the best expertise to offer. But by working alongside people who do, I’d like to develop the necessary skills for solutions of this scale in the future.” 

Office closure

AccessAbility Services, including the Exam Centre, will be closed today all day for staff training. The office will reopen on Thursday, August 22.

Seek and ye shall find: campus web search back online

A message from Information Systems & Technology (IST).

The University’s web search tool has been updated and is now live.

There are some known temporary issues:

  • Search results may be incomplete until all data has been indexed.
  • Only web search has been enabled; People search is not available at this time.

The Web Development team will be working continually over the next several weeks to add more features to search. Also, look out soon for more information on how to optimize website content for improved search results.

Anyone with questions or concerns can contact the IST Service Desk by sending an email to or by calling ext. 44357.

Link of the day

After 25 years, the Internet's longest-running webcam will switch off

When and Where

Ontario Mennonite Music Camp, Sunday, August 11 to Friday, August 23, Conrad Grebel University College.

Quantum Key Distribution Summer School, Monday, August 19 to Friday, August 23.

Chemistry Seminar featuring Mikhail Zamkov, Professor, Department of Physics and Astronomy, Bowling Green State University, Ohio, “Colloidal Nanocrystals in Energy Transfer Reactions,” Wednesday, August 21, 2:30 p.m., C2-361 (reading room).

Pension Lunch and Learn session, Thursday, August 22, 12:00 p.m to 1:00 p.m., STC 1012.

Co-operative work term ends, Friday, August 23.

Warriors Football vs Toronto Home Opener, Minor League Day, First Responders and Military Appreciation Day, Alumni Day, Sunday, August 25, 7:00 p.m., Warrior Field.

QPR Mental Health Training for Faculty and Staff, Monday, August 26, 9:30 a.m. to 11:00 a.m., NH 2447.

Workday Drop-in Support, Tuesday, August 27,  9:00 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. to 4:00 p.m., EC1 1021.

Getting Started in LEARN, Wednesday, August 28.

Copyright for Teaching, Wednesday, August 28, 10:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m., LIB 329.

Waterloo Women's Wednesdays: How to Set and Crush Your Goals, Wednesday, August 28, 12:00 p.m., MC 5479.

Fall 2019 Orientation schedule, Thursday, August 29 to Saturday, September 7.

First-Year Orientation, Saturday, August 31 to Saturday, September 7.

International Orientation, Thursday, August 29 to Saturday, August 31.

Exchange and Study Abroad Orientation, Thursday, August 29 to Saturday, August 31.

NEW - Single & Sexy 2019, Friday, August 30, 1:45 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. (Doors open at 1:30 p.m.), Physical Activities Complex.

Parent and Family Orientation, Saturday, August 31 and Sunday, September 1.

Residence Move-In Days, Saturday, August 31 and Sunday, September 1.

Family Send-Off, Saturday, August 31, 2:30 p.m., Hagey Hub.

Transfer student orientation, Sunday, September 1.

NEW - Labour Day holiday, Monday, September 2, most University operations closed.

Co-operative work term begins, Tuesday, September 3.

Lectures begin, Wednesday, September 4.

Getting Started in LEARN, Thursday, September 5.

WUSA First-Year Fair, Thursday, September 5, 10:30 a.m., Student Life Centre Great Hall.

NEW - Applications for Green Residence Ambassadors due, Friday, September 6.

Communication for the Workplace, Friday, September 6, 1:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m., SCH 228F.

Graduate student orientation, Saturday, September 7.

NEW - Black and Gold Day Men’s Rugby vs. Guelph, Saturday, September 7, 1:00 p.m., Warrior Field.

Fall Welcome Week, Monday, September 9 to Thursday, September 12.

NEW - Free Fitness Week, Monday, September 9 to Sunday, September 15.

Fall Welcome Week: Warrior Breakfast, Monday, September 9, 8:00 a.m., Student Life Centre.

Fall Welcome Week: Sex Toy Bingo, Monday, September 9, 7:00 p.m.

NEW - Mental health and return-to-work coordination: a workshop on strategy, Tuesday, September 10, 1:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m., Oakham Lounge, 63 Gould Street, Toronto.

NEW – WPL Public Lecture featuring Professor Dale Martin, “Breaking Bad Proteins in Diseases of the Brain,” Tuesday, September 10, 7:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m., Waterloo Public Library Harper Branch community room.

Fall Welcome Week: Tinder Tales, Tuesday, September 10, 8:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m., Humanities Theatre.

NEW - Warriors Athletics and Recreation Open House, Wednesday, September 11, 9:30 a.m. to 2:00 p.m., SLC Great Hall.

NEW - Grammar Studio I: The most common grammar trouble spots, Thursday, September 12, 1:00 p.m., SCH 228F.

NEW - The Games Institute and IMMERSe present "Superheroes and Sexuality" with Anna Peppard, Thursday, September 12, 2:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m., Games Institute, EC1.

NEW - Conditioning Classes Registration Deadline, Friday, September 13, 1:00 p.m.

Positions available

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

  • Job ID# 2019-4583 - Talent Acquisition Specialist - Human Resources, USG 7 – 9
  • Job ID# 2019-4523 - Project Manager - Public Health & Health Systems, USG 8
  • Job ID# 2019-4111 - Custodian I - Plant Operations-Custodial, CUPE
  • Job ID# 2019-4587 - Records Coordinator – Registrar, USG 5 - 7

Internal secondment opportunities:

  • Job ID# 2019-4580 - Administrative Coordinator, Patient Care Rotations - School of Pharmacy, USG 7
  • Job ID# 2019-4567 - Events and Special Project Officer - Advancement-Principal Gifts, USG 8
  • Job ID# 2019-4577 - Assistant Supervisor - Food Services-Catering & Event, USG 5 - 6