Friday, November 29, 2019

Andrey, Lemieux reappointed as deans

Two deans have been reappointed to second terms at their respective faculties after recent votes at Senate and the Board of Governors’ Executive Committee.

Senate voted on November 20 to recommend that the President recommend the reappointments to the Board Executive Committee. After the Board’s Executive Committee met to consider the President’s recommendations, Professor Jean Andrey has been reappointed as Dean of Environment, and Professor Bob Lemieux has been reappointed as Dean of Science.

Dean of Envrionment Jean Andrey.Jean Andrey has been reappointed to a two-year term as Dean of Environment from July 1, 2020 to June 30, 2022.

Professor Andrey completed her BA (1977) at Wilfrid Laurier University, her MSc in physical geography (1980) at University of Calgary, and her PhD (1989) in geography at University of Waterloo. A faculty member at Waterloo for nearly 30 years, she held the position of professor in the Department of Geography and Environmental Management before her appointment as Dean in 2015.

Andrey’s past administrative service included her appointment as interim dean (August 2014 to June 2015), associate dean of graduate studies (2006-08, 2012-14), associate dean of graduate studies and research (2005-06), director of the joint graduate program in geography (2008-10), and graduate officer and associate chair of the department of geography (1991, 1998-2002).

Andrey’s research expertise spans a variety of fields including climate resilience, weather-transport interactions, natural hazards and risk assessment, and sustainable transportation. Her work has been recognized with her election as fellow of the Royal Canadian Geographical Society in 2011, the university’s Outstanding Performance Award which she received in 2006 and 2007, and numerous teaching awards.

Over the past five and a half years, under Andrey’s leadership the Faculty has:

  • emerged as a national hub for climate resilience and flood mitigation
  • taken a leadership role on sustainability at Waterloo and internationally as host of the Canadian chapter of the United Nations Sustainable Development Solutions Network,
  • launched Entrepreneurship@Environment in partnerships with Waterloo’s Velocity and St. Paul’s University College Greenhouse, and
  • become a powerhouse of environmental research with a doubling of Canada Research Chairs, a 40 per cent increase in research funding, and a 25 per cent increase in graduate student enrolment.

“It is the unanimous view of the nominating committee that the results of the consultation together with the results of respective ballots affirm the general acceptability of Professor Andrey’s reappointment,” said a report from James Rush, chair of the nominating committee. “As such, the nominating committee recommends that Jean Andrey be invited to accept a second term as Dean of Environment.”

Robert Lemieux has been reappointed to a three-year term as Dean of Science, running from July 1, 2020 to June 30, 2023.

Dean of Science Bob Lemieux.Professor Lemieux completed his BA (1984) at the Colgate University, Hamilton, New York, and his PhD (1989) at the University of Illinois, Urbana, Illinois. He was a faculty member at Queen’s University from 1992 to 2015, holding the position of professor in the Department of Chemistry and serving as associate dean (research) in the Faculty of Arts and Science. His past administrative service included a one-year term as acting associate dean in the Faculty of Arts and Science and a five-year term as head of the Department of Chemistry.

As a scientist, Lemieux established a multi-disciplinary research program in the chemistry of organic materials that is recognized internationally for its innovative approaches to the design of compounds that form or induce ferroelectric liquid crystal phases found in high-performance microdisplay applications. His contributions to the field of liquid crystals research were recognized by the International Liquid Crystal Society with the 2012 Samsung Mid-Career Award and, earlier in his career, by an Ontario Premier’s Research Excellence Award (2000) and one of the inaugural Queen’s Chancellor’s Research Awards (1999). His NSERC Discovery Grant was renewed in 2011 at $85K/year, and he served as project lead on two successful CFI applications totaling over $1.3M in infrastructure funding.

In his first term as Dean of Science, Lemieux initiated a modernization master plan for the Science building infrastructure on South Campus, and the design of a new Science Centre for Innovation and Physics Complex. He created a Dean's Undergraduate Teaching Innovation Fund to support the development of active-learning strategies, and simulation or VR teaching and learning tools. He more than tripled the Faculty of Science annual fundraising intake, and oversaw the installation of the new Mike and Ophelia Lazaridis Chair in Astrophysics. He also contributed to a strategic agreement with Hong Kong Polytechnic University that will form the basis of a joint partnership in ocular and vision research in Hong Kong.

“It is the unanimous view of the nominating committee that the results of the consultation together with the results of the respective ballots affirm the general acceptability of Professor Lemieux’s reappointment,” said a report from James Rush, chair of the nominating committee. “As such, the nominating committee recommends that Robert Lemieux be invited to accept a second term as Dean of Science.”

In both cases, a nomination committee was struck and solicited the opinions of “faculty members and other persons affected” with respect to the incumbents’ reappointment. General invitations to provide feedback were sent to all students, faculty and staff in Environment and Science, were highlighted in the Daily Bulletin, and interviews were conducted with certain faculty, staff, students and senior administrators within each faculty. The nominating committees also arranged for an electronic ballot to be sent to all regular faculty and staff to solicit their positions on the possible reappointment.

The appointments were made under the provisions of Policy 45, The Dean of a Faculty.

Course considers mathematics as a force for good and for evil

Professor Lowell Ewert speaks to students during a seminar.

Peace and Conflict Studies Professor Lowell Ewert weighs math in the balance for students.

by Katrina Steckle.

The newest course offered by the Peace and Conflict Studies (PACS) program at Grebel may seem more like a math course, but in fact, it is open to students from all faculties regardless of a student’s comfort (or discomfort) with math. The creators of the course believe that Math for Good and Evil is the first course designed through the collaboration of the Math and PACS departments at the University of Waterloo, and maybe the first Math and Peace course in Canada.

PACS professor Lowell Ewert and Math lecturer Judith Koeller co-teach the course, occasionally inviting guest speakers who work in the intersecting fields of math and peace. “We explore the peace implications of topics like democracy, social change, health, and environment,” Judith explained. “In each topic there are many places that math and computer science play a role: election models that best reflect the popular vote, how killer drones interact with the laws of war, the ethics of predatory loans and misleading casino games, the racialization of search results” and the list goes on.

“The challenges and problems that the world faces today are far more complex and intertwined than we have seen before. The ‘silo’ approach to education, in which each discipline independently pursues excellence and assumes that collectively this will add up to a good society, is being tested,” Lowell remarked. Math for Good and Evil was created to more broadly and thoughtfully explore the peace implications of math-based initiatives. This is vital for students in every program, as an understanding of the role that math plays in society leads to an appreciation of its role in creating a more just world.

The course also encourages Math students to consider ethical implications in their field. “There are many math graduates from the University of Waterloo who never have any ethical training as part of their degree. This course gets students thinking about what kind of ethical issues they might face in their careers,” Judith explained.

Lowell noted that the course has been teaching him, too. “Before creating this course, I had no clue how math and peace intersected, but I’ve quickly learned how instrumental math is to peace. All my teaching has changed as a result of interactions with our math colleagues, as I now see math connections all over the place that I had not recognized before.”

Teaching and Learning Conference seeks proposals

Teaching and Learning Conference banner.

A message from the Centre for Teaching Excellence (CTE).

Submit a proposal for the University of Waterloo’s 12th annual Teaching and Learning Conference: Learning through Assessment. The conference will be held on April 29, 2020.

During our sixth annual Teaching and Learning Conference, held in 2014, we grappled with the concept of assessment of learning and started to rethink how assessment could do more than just evaluate what a learner has accomplished. Now, six years later, we return to the concept of assessment, aware of the powerful learning opportunities that come with thoughtful, well-designed, student-centered assessment practices. As such, we question assessment’s underlying purpose andfocus on the concept of assessment for learning – assessment that is learner-centered, encourages interaction and participatory learningand provides opportunities for meaningful feedback and self-evaluation. Done well, such assessments give students more control of their learning. As educators, we too benefit from assessment practices that best support our students in their educational journeys.

We invite proposals for presentations, panel discussions, workshops, poster presentations, and an assessment showcase (new!) that share your practices and research. 

For more information check out the Call for Proposals website.

'Tis the season for holiday charity drives

It's that time of year again as various units on campus take the opportunity to help others.

Parking Services has its annual Gifts for Tickets program starting on December 1 that will run until December 17. Now in its fifth year, the program allows those who have received a parking citation to donate an unwrapped item valued at $10 or more (receipt required) instead of paying their ticket. Donations can be dropped off to Parking Services' new office in the GSC during the first two weeks of December. Parking Services will donate the gifts to the Tree of Angels, UW Food Bank, and the Humane Society depending on the type of gift donated.

The University Christmas Project is up and running again this year. Run out of Co-operative and Experiential Education, the project involves departments and units across campus taking on families to sponsor for the holidays. Home Care Services has provided a list of 243 children from across Waterloo Region living in low-income families, and for each child, the project co-ordinators are given a list of clothing that is needed and toys they would like. There are still more than 51 children without a sponsor this year. Anyone interested in sponsoring a child is invited to contact Shannon Taylor at Typically the cost of sponsoring a child is about $100, with wish lists including toys and articles of clothing. Donations will be accepted at the Tatham Centre until Friday, December 13.

If you are aware of any other holiday charity projects happening across the University, send me an email and the Daily Bulletin will feature the initiative in an upcoming issue before the holidays.

Beyond the Bulletin Podcast banner featuring two vintage microphones.

Beyond the Bulletin Episode 25

The latest episode of the Beyond the Bulletin Podcast is now live. In this episode, Joyce Barlow, workplace accessibility specialist, tells us about mandatory new accessibility training for all UWaterloo employees.

Also this week, details of the University’s economic impact, a Toasty Toes tally, and you will soon be able to use a preferred name on campus.

Upcoming office closures

The Human Resource office will be closed on Monday, December 2 from 8:30 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. for a full staff meeting. The HR reception desk will be closed during this time. Normal operations will resume at 10:30 a.m.

Finance will be closed on Tuesday, December 3 from 11:45 p.m. to 1:45 p.m. for a special holiday event. The front counter will be closed during this time. Normal operations will resume at 1:30 p. m.

Link of the day

Etaoin Shrdlu

When and Where

16 Days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence, Monday, November 25 to Tuesday, December 10.

NEW - 2019 President’s Town Hall survey, open until Friday, December 20.

safeTALK training for faculty and staff, Friday, November 29, 9:00 a.m., NH 2447. Register on Workday.

26th Annual UWSA Craft Show and Sale, Friday, November 29, 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m., Davis Centre Fishbowl.

FAUW Indigenization Reading Circle, Friday, November 29, 10:30 a.m. to 11:45 a.m. in EV1-221. Everyone welcome.

Wellness Days: Free Massages, Friday, November 29, 1:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m., Student Life Centre Great Hall.

Warrior Basketball vs. Algoma Think Pink, Residence Challenge, Rec League Night, Alumni Day Friday, November 29, (W) 6:00 p.m., (M) 8:00 p.m., PAC main gym.

University of Waterloo Department of Music concert, University of Waterloo Balinese Gamelan Ensemble, Saturday, November 30, 7:30 p.m., Humanities Theatre.

University of Waterloo Department of Music - That’s How We Roll: UW Jazz Ensemble, Sunday, December 1, 2:00 p.m., Conrad Grebel Great Hall.

University of Waterloo Department of Music - Instrumental Chamber Ensembles, Sunday, December 1, 7:30 p.m., Conrad Grebel Chapel.

Free Exam Fitness, Monday, December 2 to Sunday, December 29.

Student Life Centre Housing Office closed, Monday, December 2 to Friday, December 6, SLC 0134 lower atrium.

Preventing Depression Relapse: A Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy Group, Monday, December 2, 10:30 a.m., NH 2447 – Register on LEADS.

Coping Skills Seminar – Cultivating Resiliency, Monday, December 2, 3:30 p.m., HS 2302 – Register on LEADS.

Conrad Connect: Founders Roundtable, Monday, December 2, 6:30 p.m., Engineering 7 Conrad School Hub.

Waterloo Institute for Complexity and Innovation (WICI)’s Fall 2019 Visioning Session, Tuesday, December 3, 10:30 a.m. to 12 noon, EV3 4327.

Skill Development Plan for Graduate Students, Tuesday, December 3, 1:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m., TC 2218.

Retirement celebration for Bill Chesney, Tuesday, December 3, 2:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. (speeches at 4:00 p.m.,) Theatre of the Arts.

Coping Skills Seminar - Challenging Thinking, Tuesday, December 3, 4:00 p.m., HS 2302 – Register on LEADS.

Research Ethics drop-in session for faculty and students, Wednesday, December 4, 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m., Dana Porter Library (study booth on the main floor).

Coping Skills Seminar – Thriving With Emotions, Wednesday, December 4, 6:00 p.m., HS 2302 – Register on LEADS.

Faculty Association General Meeting, Thursday, December 5, 12:00 p.m. to 2:00 p.m., QNC 1502.

QPR Mental Health Training for Faculty and Staff, Thursday, December 5, 1:30 p.m., NH 2447 – Register on Workday.

Seminar: Towards Fair and Accurate Peer Review, featuring Ivan Stelmakh, School of Computer Science, Carnegie Mellon University, Thursday, December 5, 2:30 p.m., DC 1302.

Social Impact Showcase, Thursday, December 5, 4:00 p.m. to 5:30 p.m., STP 164.

Ecohydrology Research Symposium, Friday, December 6, 8:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., DC 1302.

National Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence Against Women memorial event, Friday, December 6, 10:30 a.m., Engineering 7 Second Floor Atrium.

Make-A-Difference Market, Saturday, December 7, 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., Conrad Grebel atrium.

Preventing Depression Relapse: A Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy Group, Monday, December 9, 10:30 a.m., NH 2447 – Register on LEADS.

Eating Disorder Support Group, Monday, December 9, 4:30 p.m., NH 3308 – Register on LEADS.

Research Ethics drop-in session for faculty and students, Wednesday, December 11, 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m., Dana Porter Library (study booth on the main floor).

Webinar: Copyright for Teaching, Wednesday, December 11, 2:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m.

Brown Bag Lunch: Let's chat about Healthy Relationships, Thursday, December 12, 12:00 p.m., HH 373.

CBB and the Games Institute present: UWaterloo Intellectual Property Workshop Series, “Trademarks,” Thursday, December 12, 12:30 p.m., DC 1304. Registration required. Please note: this event has been cancelled.

NEW - Deadline to get "Fees Arranged," Tuesday, December 12.

Alleviating Anxiety Seminar, Tuesday, December 12, 5:00 p.m., HS 2302 – Register on LEADS.

NEW - President's Holiday Luncheon, Wednesday, December 13, 12:00 p.m., Federation Hall.

NEW - Research Ethics drop-in session for faculty and students, Wednesday, December 18, 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m., Dana Porter Library (study booth on the main floor).

NEW - Retirement celebration for Phil Knipe, Wednesday, December 18, 3:30 p.m. to 5:00 p.m., Graduate House green room. RSVP to

PhD oral defences

Electrical & Computer Engineering. Nigar Sultana, "Single-photon detectors for satellite-based quantum communications." Supervisors, Thomas Jennewein and Guo-Xing Miao. On display in the Engineering graduate office E7 7402. Oral defence Wednesday December 4, 1:00 p.m., EIT 3142.

School of Environment, Resources and Sustainability. Sajida Sultana, "The role of knowledge co-production in climate smart agriculture in Pakistan." Supervisor, Derek Armitage. On display in the Faculty of Environment, EV1 335. Oral defence Wednesday December 4, 1:00 p.m., EV3 1408.  New date and location: Oral defence Tuesday December 3, 1:00 p.m., EV1 221.

English Language and Literature. David Thiessen, "The Flesh Made Mind: Language and Embodiment in Fourteenth-Century Middle English Literature." Supervisor, Sarah Tolmie. On deposit in the Arts graduate office, PAS 2428. Oral defence Wednesday December 4, 10:00 a.m., HH 232. Please note: this defence has been postponed and will be rescheduled.

Physics & Astronomy. Marvellous Onuma-Kalu, "Exploring new routes to decoherence-free quantum computing and quantum thermodynamics." Supervisor, Robert Mann. On deposit in the Science graduate office, PHY 2013. Oral defence Wednesday December 4, 2:00 p.m., QNC 1201.