Tuesday, November 19, 2019

Experts explore climate change responses that build resilience on Thursday

Research Talks banner showing a gathering storm over a country road.

Communities across the globe are facing many climate driven challenges that range from catastrophic flooding to intense air pollution. These challenges are driving timely responses that help communities adapt and build climate resilience.

Learn how Waterloo researchers and experts in finance and insurance are shaping these responses at Thursday’s Research Talks. Registration is required to attend this panel presentation with Waterloo researchers Kathryn Bakos (Intact Centre on Climate Adaptation) and Rebecca Saari (Civil and Environmental Engineering). Kathryn will discuss advocacy for climate minded investment strategies and Professor Saari will share her research on the effects of air pollution on humans and health care.

They will be joined by industry experts Peter Johnson (Scotiabank) and Claudia Verno (Insurance Bureau of Canada). Both Peter and Claudia will outline their experience leading policy creation, developing sustainable products, and incorporating climate risks into everyday business practices.

Research Talks is a regular series hosted by the Office of Research and supported by the Research Support Fund to provide Waterloo staff, faculty, and students with an opportunity to learn about world-class research at Waterloo.

IEW 2019: an opportunity to be an ally to international students

Chris Read, Associate Provost, Students, talks with students during International Orientation 2019.

Chris Read, associate provost, students, talks with students during International Orientation 2019.

By Candace Brown and Chantal Vallis. This is the second article in the International Student Connection staff edition, a monthly series to help our University community support international students at Waterloo. It is written by staff at the Student Success Office.

From November 18 to 22, Waterloo highlights the merits of international education by celebrating International Education Week. In the Student Success Office, we see this week as an opportunity to celebrate diversity and to actively support international students at Waterloo.

In the 2018-19 school year, 21 percent of undergraduate students and 40 percent of graduate students at Waterloo were international students. These students come from approximately 100 different countries around the world. Our community is growing not only in size, but also in diversity of opinions, culture, and languages spoken. We have the opportunity to expand our worldview on a personal and institutional level, refine our perspectives, and champion inclusivity.

What does that look like for the Waterloo community?

James Nugent, a lecturer in the Faculty of Environment, provided this example from his own experience: “Listening to students with diverse world experiences (such as international students and international co-op students) has changed my approach to teaching. After I gave a lecture on environmental issues and recycling, a student came to my office hours and told me about their co-op job working in China with factories that processed recycled clothing. The clothing was broken down into different colours and she was able to tell me the price per tonne of different coloured clothing. She had a really good understanding and real-life experience with the concepts of the circular economy taught in class, and she was able to share these with her peers. Because of that interaction, I now provide more time for students to share their relevant experiences with the class.”         

Whether you’re new to intercultural interactions, or a seasoned pro, the following three suggestions can help you to connect with all members of our community and specifically with international students. Remember, no one expects you to be an expert on every culture but patience and respectful listening can go a long way.

  1. Reflect on your reactions – If you feel frustration or confusion communicating with someone from a different background, take that moment to pause and reflect on what's happening, reconsider your approach and ask thoughtful questions. Remember the person you’re connecting with is also working hard to be understood.
  2. Be curious and vulnerable - Don't let the fear of making mistakes or being misunderstood keep you from connecting. Most will appreciate the effort if you’re polite and come from a perspective of respectful inquiry. For example, taking the time to learn how to correctly pronounce the name of the person you’re interacting with can feel awkward, especially if you need a few tries to get it right, but admitting you need help shows respect and helps the person understand that they are valued. Shake off the nerves and use the opportunity to ask questions to learn more about the person.
  3. Be a referral expert - Consider what services, opportunities, or supports you might mention to a student that would be helpful to them. Also consider how you’re presenting that information – try to present it in a way that’s understandable and that opens the doors for clarification and further support.

These suggestions were presented in our Myths and Realities of the International Student Experience presentation (PDF) at last spring’s Staff Conference. Download the presentation or read these international student spotlights to learn more about what it’s like to be an international student at Waterloo. Enjoy celebrating diversity and International Education Week!

Working in Canada as an International Student

International Education Week banner.
By Pallavi Sodhi & Kathryn Fedy. International Education Week (IEW) runs from November 18 to 22. Working in Canada as an International Student panels are part of a series of activities, programs and events hosted by campus partners throughout the week highlighting the benefits of international education. Check out the IEW Events page to see the events happening around campus this week.  

For many international students, the transition to living, studying and working in Canada can be a major life change. While this is an exciting opportunity, many students might be feeling a little overwhelmed and wondering “What is it like to work in Canada?”

In celebration of International Education Week, the Centre for Career Action presents Working in Canada as an International Student. Questions about what it’s like finding a job and navigating the workplace will be answered by a panel of experienced international students and alumni, like Lal Sekercioglu. 

Sekercioglu is a third-year student from Turkey currently studying Arts & Business, majoring in Visual Culture at the University of Waterloo. She stepped foot in Canada in September 2017 – four days before she began her studies. Her very first paid job was as a residence tour guide. Since then, she has always had a part-time job while in school, and is currently on her first co-op work term.

“The understanding of ‘work’ is different in Canada than in Turkey. Moving to Canada made me jump into the job market a few years sooner than I would have back home,” said Sekercioglu. “I've learned a lot about the Canadian workplace and how to adjust to different situations. So far, I can genuinely say that working in Canada so far has been a rewarding experience for me.”

Sekercioglu shares her experience working in Canada as an international student as part of a panel discussion on Tuesday, November 19, followed by a graduate student focused panel on Wednesday, November 20.

Tuesday's notes

The WatPD program is inviting members of the University community to a design review for the redevelopment of PD1: Career Fundamentals on Friday, November 22, from 9:00 a.m. to 10:00 a.m. in TC 2218. "PD1 is the first core PD course that students in Arts, Applied Health Science, Environment, Mathematics, and Science take, providing them with tools to be competitive in their employment search and to help prepare them for a successful first work term," says a note from WatPD. "As part of the design review, participants will have the opportunity to ask questions about the course and provide feedback on the new course design. Faculty, staff, and students are all invited to attend. We look forward to hearing your feedback on this course redevelopment!"

An image from a German graphic novel.The Waterloo Centre for German Studies (WCGS) and Germanic and Slavic Studies (GSS) are running a poster exhibition entitled Legends and Dreams: Reinhard Kleist’s Graphic Narrative. You are invited to browse the halls of the Modern Languages building for an exclusive look at a poster exhibition of Reinhard Kleist's graphic novel Berliner Mythen. The exhibition is on now and runs until the end of the fall term.

Link of the day

Women's Entrepreneurship Day

When and Where

Akindi: It's as easy as 1-2-3! training session, Tuesday, November 19, 11:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m., DC Centre (DC), room 1304. Join in-person or join online.

Alleviating Anxiety Seminar, Tuesday, November 19, 1:00 p.m., HS 2302 – Register on LEADS.

Office 365 employee email staff consultations, Tuesday, November 19, 3:00 p.m. to 4:30 p.m., Davis Centre (DC) 1304.

Coping Skills Seminar – Thriving With Emotions, Tuesday, November 19, 4:00 p.m., HS 2302 – Register on LEADS.

Indigenous Speakers Series presents Songs in the Key of Cree, Tuesday, November 19, 4:00 p.m. to 5:30 p.m., Theatre of the Arts, ML.

Working in Canada as an International Student: Undergraduate Student Panel, Tuesday, November 19, 5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m., TC 2218.

Portfolio & Project Management Community of Practice (PPM CoP) session, "What is Business Analysis and Why Do We Need It?" Wednesday, November 20, 9:00 a.m. to 10:00 a.m., East Campus 5 (EC5), 1111. 

Research Ethics drop-in session for faculty and students, Wednesday, November 20, 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m., Dana Porter Library (study booth on the main floor).

Concept $5K Finals, “Previously known as the Velocity Fund Finals $5K. Find out which four student-teams will walk away with $5,000 grants.” Wednesday, November 20, 11:00 a.m., Student Life Centre, Great Hall.

Warriors Women’s Basketball vs. Western School Day Game, Wednesday, November 20, 11:00 a.m., PAC main gym.

Assessing Your Skills with SkillScan, Wednesday, November 20, 12:00 p.m. to 1:00 p.m., TC 2218.

Successfully Negotiating Job Offers, Wednesday, November 20, 2:30 p.m. to 4:00 p.m., TC 1208.

Working in Canada as an International Student: Graduate Student Panel, Wednesday, November 20, 5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m.

Coping Skills Seminar - Empowering Habit Change, Wednesday, November 20, 6:00 p.m., HS 2302 – Register on LEADS.

Waterloo Centre for German Studies presents “In the Children’s Best Interests,” featuring Lynne Taylor, Waterloo history professor, Wednesday, November 20, 7:00 p.m., Knox Presbyterian Church, Waterloo.

Concept by Velocity - Intro Session: Billion Dollar Briefing, “Get introduced to different billion-dollar problems that are waiting to be solved,” Wednesday, November 20, 7:30 p.m., South Campus Hall 2nd Floor.

QPR Mental Health Training for Students, Thursday, November 21, 9:30 a.m., NH 2447 – Register on LEADS.

Research Talks: A calm front: Building climate resilience, Thursday, November 21, 11:45 a.m. to 1:00 p.m., DC 1302.

CBB and the Games Institute present: UWaterloo Intellectual Property Workshop Series, “Copyright & Software”, Thursday, November 21, 12:30 p.m., EC5-1111. Registration required.

Getting a US Work Permit, Thursday, November 21, 1:00 p.m. to 2:30 p.m., TC 1208.

Grad Student Community and Conversation Circle, Thursday, November 21, 3:30 p.m., HS 1106 – Register is on LEADS.

Carey Bissonnette memorial event, Thursday, November 21, 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m., STC main atrium. RSVP.

NEW - University of Waterloo School of Architecture (UWSA) and Waterloo Institute for Complexity and Innovation (WICI)’s SYNERGIES: A Cross-Disciplinary Colloquium on Design, Thursday, November 21, 6:30 p.m., School of Architecture Main Lecture Hall (7 Melville St. S., Cambridge).

NEW - University of Waterloo Department of MusicFancy a Cuppa? orchestra@uwaterloo concert, Thursday, November 21, 7:30 p.m., First United Church, 16 William Street, Waterloo.

NEW - WatPD: PD1 Career Fundamentals Design Review, Friday, November 22, 9:00 a.m. to 10:00 a.m., TC 2218.

NEW - Chemistry and WIN joint seminar: Multiblock Nanofibers from Organic Electronic Materials featuring Zachary Hudson, Canada Research Chair in Sustainable Chemistry, University of British Columbia, Friday, November 22, 10:30 a.m., QNC-1501.

NEW - BIOSCAN: Progress Towards Planetary Biosurveillance featuring Paul Hebert, Centre for Biodiversity Genomics & Department of Integrative Biology, University of Guelph, Friday, November 22, 11:00 a.m., DC 1302.

PhD oral defences

Computer Science. Nabiha Asghar, "Emotion-Aware and Human-Like Autonomous Agents." Supervisor, Pascal Poupart. Thesis available from MGO - mgo@uwaterloo.ca. Oral defence Wednesday November 27, 10:00 a.m., DC 2306-C.

Civil & Environmental Engineering. Shenglin Wang, "Hydraulic Road Binder (HRB) and its use for Subgrade Stabilization in Ontario, Canada." Supervisor, Hassan Baaj. On display in the Engineering graduate office, E7 7402. Oral defence Thursday November 28, 9:00 a.m., E7 7363.

Electrical & Computer Engineering. Mehmet Yilmaz, "Novel Volt/VAR Control Strategy for Active Distribution Systems." Supervisor, Ramadan El Shatshat. Restricted thesis on display in the Engineering graduate office, E7 7402. Oral defence Thursday November 28, 10:30 a.m., EIT 3151.

English Lanuage and Literature. Judy Ehrentraut, "Disentangling the Posthuman: Broadening Perspectives of Human/Machine Mergers through Inter-relational Subjectivity." Supervisor, Marcel O'Gorman. On deposit in the Arts graduate office, PAS 2428. Oral defence Friday November 29, 10:00 a.m., HH 232.