Velocity Pitch Competition heads to Toronto today
The Velocity Fund Pitch Competition takes place today in downtown Toronto at the Toronto Reference Library's Bram & Bluma Appel Salon. The top 10 finalists will have the chance to win a $50,000 investment from the Velocity Fund as they compete for four investment opportunities worth $200,000 in total. A panel of judges will select the four winners.
This is the first time the event is being held in the evening and outside of Waterloo Region, allowing easier access to working professionals and pre-seed investors in 'the corridor' and in the GTA. The Toronto event is sold out, but you can come out to the viewing party on the second floor of South Campus Hall. The free event, put on by Velocity, takes place from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. and includes pizza. Please register if you plan on attending.
More than basic shelter
This article was originally published on Waterloo Stories.
The torn, colourful fabric sheets of Somali huts deeply moved Amal Dirie when she visited her mother’s homeland last year.
The School of Architecture master’s student was so emotionally taken by the nomadic dwellings that she featured them in an award-winning essay titled The Idea of Home and Belonging. Dirie’s illustrated piece won a Certificate of High Merit in the 2019 Royal Architectural Institute of Canada (RAIC) International Prize Scholarship competition.
“The poetics of discarded materials, an amalgamation of found objects that created the collage-like nature of the exterior was simply profound,” Dirie describes in her essay for which she will be formally recognized at the RAIC’s International Prize Gala taking place in Toronto next month.
Dirie, a 2017 alumnus of Waterloo’s undergraduate architecture program, says it took a number of years to save up enough money to travel to the country where her mother was raised and “her heart and mind remain.”
Before her trip to Somalia last summer, Canadian-born Dirie says she had never really explored her African roots.
“I was very curious to know about this country I’d never been to,” she says. “I had no concept of it. I would just tell people that’s my background, but I don’t know much about it.”
Unique sense of beauty
It was the nomadic huts and dwellings that first captured her attention when she arrived. Despite being built by internally displaced people within the city out of anything including scraps of fabric, plastic sheets, tree saplings and scavenged wood, each has its own unique sense of beauty from decorative hand-woven mats to fabric exteriors produced to provide natural ventilation.
What Dirie found intriguing is that the huts are both designed and built solely by women.
“From the initial phase of setting up the armature to adorning the facade, the entire process illustrated the genuine strength and close-knit ties between the tribal women and ultimately provided them with the ability to withstand the toughest adversities,” Dirie says.
She also learned about the importance of the seasons and weather, which directly ties into the nomadic nature of the huts and their owners. Whenever there is a drought, the owners shift locations and the same happens when it rains heavily.
Dirie returned to Somalia for a second visit this summer to expand on what she discovered during her previous trip for her master’s thesis.
Reminder: MySharePoint sites shut down October 1
A message from Information Systems & Technology (IST).
We'd like to remind campus that MySharePoint will no longer be supported as of October 1. On July 17, MySharePoint sites became read-only, and users have until October 1 to transfer any files they wish to keep.
Why is this happening? Currently, MySharePoint sites only provide 1 GB of OneDrive storage and limited functionality. Furthermore, these sites are not being used by most of the campus community. The cloud-hosted Office 365 OneDrive provides 5 TB of storage and is better supported by OneDrive desktop and mobile clients. In addition, moving to the cloud-based service provides a better user experience.
MySharePoint users have been contacted and advised to move content they wish to keep to a location of their choice, such as an N: drive or Office 365. Instructions on moving documents, OneNote Notebooks and Site folders (bookmarks) are available online. If you require assistance, please submit an RT to rt-IST-SharePoint@rt.uwaterloo.ca with the subject ‘MySharePoint Assistance’.
If you have questions or concerns, please email the IST Service Desk or call extension 44357.
National postdoc appreciation week continues; other notes
As National Postdoc Appreciation Week continues, we’d now like to introduce Samantha Goodman. Samantha is a postdoc in the School of Public Health and Health Systems in the Faculty of Applied Health Sciences. She works with David Hammond and has been a postdoc at Waterloo for almost two years.
Goodman completed her master’s program at the University of Waterloo with Professor Hammond before moving on and completing her PhD in Human Health and Nutritional Sciences at the University of Guelph. After graduation, she moved to France for two years where she spent time improving her French, teaching and taking a step away from academia. When she returned to Canada, Samantha contacted her masters’ advisor because, “I really liked the current work he was doing and how his research had evolved.”
She ultimately chose Waterloo because she wanted to continue working with Professor Hammond. “He does really cutting-edge research and… the actual research environment in this specific department is great and has lots of opportunity… so I wanted to come back and I knew it would lead to good things.”
Postdoc fun fact of the day: postdoc services and resources
There is a misconception that, because postdocs are not students nor permanent ongoing staff, they don’t have access to many resources or services. In fact, postdocs at University of Waterloo have access to lots of great campus services. Waterloo offers postdoc career advising services through the Centre for Career Action, Writing support through the Writing and Communication Centre, teaching development through Centre for Teaching Excellence, and lots more.
The next edition of the UW Farm Market is happening today from 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. in the Arts quad. The market is open to all students, staff, faculty and to the public. The market boasts 100 percent local produce as well as other products from the area, sourced mainly from the Elmira Produce Auction Cooperative.This fall, the market will continue to feature UW Village Bakery, local honey and preserves and seasonal locally grown produce.
It’s that time of year again: time to be kind to yourself while donating to worthy causes. How do you do that? By buying a cookie. Food Services is proud to participate in Tim Hortons’ Smile Cookie Campaign for the fourth year in a row. From September 16 to 22, when you purchase a cookie at any Tim Hortons location on campus, you’ll be donating the full $1.00 cost to one of two worthy causes. The SLC location will be allocating funds to United Way Waterloo Region Communities. Tim Hortons in Modern Languages and South Campus Hall will be donating their funds to .
Shake off those September blues and get a smile that does good. James Skidmore, Associate Professor and Director, Waterloo Centre for German Studies, United Way Champion and SmileCookie Connoisseur notes, “Thanks to the generosity of Food Services, your cookie goes further than just your waistline.”