New initiatives to help co-op students thrive
Co-operative and Experiential Education (CEE) has made several enhancements to the co-op process to better support students. These include a new interview relief process for students feeling overwhelmed by their interview schedule, an increased number of “Not Interested” rankings and additional training around mental health for staff.
“All of the work we’re doing is geared toward helping students thrive and be successful throughout their co-op experience,” says Ross Johnston, executive director of Co-operative Education. “Co-op can put additional pressures on students. Many of the initiatives we have underway are being approached from a lens of enhancing student wellness.”
The new request for interview relief process allows students who are feeling overwhelmed by their interview schedule to be removed from interviews of their choosing after consulting with a co-op advisor. In addition, the number of “Not Interested” rankings that students can use to guarantee that they won’t be matched with a particular co-op job is increasing from one to three per term. Both changes are a direct result of student feedback received as part of the ongoing Co-op Student Experience Project.
“We’ve been listening very closely to student feedback on how we can improve our process,” says Richard Wikkerink, director, student and faculty relations in Co-operative Education. “Our hope is that these changes will improve the student experience by providing more support and student choice at key moments of the co-op employment process.”
CEE has co-op student advisors based in cities across Canada (including Vancouver, Calgary, Edmonton, Toronto, Ottawa and Waterloo) in order to provide on-the-ground support for students on their co-op work terms. All co-op student advisors receive mental health training through Counselling Services, and each regional team has a designated student mental health advisors with expertise in mental health resources and supports.
The department is also working to improve how it communicates with students. The co-op student-facing website was recently revamped to provide a better user experience and more supportive tone around its content. Work is also underway to improve how information is shared through WaterlooWorks.
In addition, Rate My Work Term response data is on track to be available in the winter term, which will allow students to see a summary of how co-op jobs were rated by their peers to help guide their application strategy.
“This is just a handful of the improved services and resources that our staff continue to work on,” Johnston says. “I’m excited by the direction we’re headed in and how it will benefit our students’ overall co-op experience.”
New workshop for women and careers
A message from the Centre for Career Action.
They're coming to get you, Barbara, and here's how - lecture does the math behind zombie outbreaks
The next instalment of the Bridges Lecture Series will unearth new information and dig up some fearsome facts about ghouls and the undead on Friday, November 8.
Zombies: Monsters with Meaning will feature remarks by zombie scholar (yes, you read that right), podcaster and author Arnold T. Blumberg and mathematics professor Robert Smith? of the University of Ottawa.
"Before 1968, zombies began their pop culture career as living human beings controlled by a Voodoo master," says the lecture announcement. "Then, in one of the most tumultuous years in modern American history, a low budget horror film shocked the world with its tale of the reanimated dead shambling forth to feast on the flesh of the living. Night of the Living Dead redefined the concept of the zombie forever and gave us a new and indelible vision of horror: the greatest monster of all – us."
In the lecture, Blumberg will present a whirlwind look back at 100 years of cinematic zombies and their evolution into a modern pop culture icon, paying special attention to the ways in which Night of the Living Dead permanently impacted the media landscape. Smith? looks at zombies as a popular figure in pop culture/entertainment usually portrayed as being brought about through an outbreak or epidemic. Modelling a zombie attack, using biological assumptions based on popular zombie movies, he will introduce a basic model for zombie infection, determine equilibria and their stability, and illustrate the outcome with numerical solutions.
Blumberg is the “Doctor of the Dead,” a world-renowned zombie scholar, co-author of Zombiemania: 80 Movies to Die For (one of the first exhaustive guides to zombie cinema that helped to define the parameters of what qualifies as a zombie movie), and author of Journey of the Living Dead: A Tribute to Fifty Years of Flesh Eaters, a comprehensive survey of 100 years of zombie cinema and the ways in which the genre has impacted the modern media landscape.
Smith? is a professor of disease modelling at the University of Ottawa. Using mathematics, he studies infectious diseases such as HIV, malaria, human papillomavirus, neglected tropical diseases and zombies. He has published 15 books on academia and pop culture; is the author of almost 100 academic publications; is a winner of a Guinness World Record for his work on modelling a zombie invasion; was the winner of the 2015 Mathematics Ambassador award, given by Canada's Partners in Research association; and won the 2018 Society for Mathematical Biology Distinguished Service Award for exceptional contribution to the field of mathematical biology and its advancement outside of research.
Keep your machetes sharp and your windows boarded up for this one.
Putting your kids to work and other notes
It is never too early to begin talking with your kids about careers. At the Talking Careers With Your Kids seminar taking place today as part of Take Our Kids to Work Day, Employee Career Advisors Sue Fraser will explore ways you can start important conversations about careers with young kids and teens. You will leave this workshop with practical and fun ideas on how to inspire your kids to explore who they are and what they can become. Save your seat by registering online.
The Student Mental Health Forum takes place today at 1:30 p.m. in Federation Hall. Learn how the Committee on Student Mental Health (CoSMH) has been implementing the President’s Advisory Committee on Student Mental Health (PAC-SMH) recommendations. You will have the opportunity to hear about the progress made, and next steps on the committee’s activities as they begin to wrap up. Campus and community experts will be available after the event to answer questions and share more about mental health and well-being. If you can't make it in person be sure to watch the livestream.