Waterloo community members receive Order of Canada
On December 28, Her Excellency the Right Honourable Julie Payette, Governor General of Canada announced 120 new appointments to the Order of Canada. The new member list included Donna Strickland, Paul Born, Anne Dagg and Stuart McGill, who are all affiliated with the University of Waterloo. They were appointed for outstanding contributions in their field and for enriching the lives of others.
Companion of the Order of Canada
Donna Strickland is a professor in the Department of Physics and Astronomy. She was awarded the 2018 Nobel Prize in Physics for her invention of chirped pulse amplification. It has several applications, including the cutting of a patient’s cornea during laser eye surgery. Professor Strickland is being recognized for her work in high-intensity laser physics.
Member of the Order of Canada
Anne Dagg has had a distinguished career in the field of animal biology and has been a tireless advocate for gender equality in academia. She pioneered the study of animal behaviour in the wild of Africa and is credited with being the first person to study wild giraffes. Dagg worked as a part-time lecturer at Waterloo Lutheran University in anatomy and physiology from 1962 to 1965, and then as an anatomy demonstrator at the University of Waterloo in 1966. In 1967, she received her PhD from the University of Waterloo.
Professor Emeritus Stuart McGill was a professor in Waterloo’s Department of Kinesiology for 32 years. His laboratory and experimental research clinic investigated issues related to the causal mechanisms of back pain, how to rehabilitate those with back-pain and enhance injury resilience and performance. He is the Chief Scientific Officer for BackFitPro Inc. a resource centre with evidence-based information to help prevent and rehabilitate back pain.
Paul Born (BA '86) is co-founder and co-CEO of the Tamarack Institute, a non-profit organization that develops and supports collaborative strategies that engage citizens and institutions in solving major community issues. Based at Conrad Grebel University College, the Tamarack Institute conducts training and coaching sessions for communities globally on poverty reduction, creating better communities, tackling health problems, or improving emergency management. Paul is a 20-year donor to the University.
The Order of Canada is one of the highest honours in Canada. It recognizes those individuals whose service shapes our society; whose innovations ignite our imaginations and whose compassion unites our communities. The induction ceremony for new members will be held in Ottawa at Rideau Hall this year. Read the press release for more information and a list of all the new recipients.
Jay Shah achieves escape velocity
Velocity's Director of Startups Jay Shah will be departing the University's flagship entrepreneurship program this year.
Shah's departure comes after Velocity established a new leadership structure in August 2019 that split the original Director of Velocity position into three separate roles: Executive Director of Velocity, Director of Startups (Velocity Incubator), and Director of Student Entrepreneurship (Concept).
"With this new structure in place and the recruitment of a soon-to-be announced Executive Director of Velocity, I will be leaving Velocity in early 2020," Shah wrote in a blog post on the Velocity website. I have reached my planned obsolescence date :) I will be taking time to recharge and figure out what’s next."
A search has begun for the next director of the Velocity Incubator and Velocity will be announcing the name of its new Executive Director shortly.
"With the retooling of the leadership structure, the Director of Velocity Incubator will be able to focus more time on building the strongest and most differentiated incubator supports," Shah writes. "Whoever takes on this role will have an opportunity to identify, support and influence startups that will become some of Canada’s highest-performing companies."
"I’m certain I’ll be reflecting on my time as Director of Velocity over the coming months, but I must say now how excited and proud I am of how much Velocity has accomplished in the past 3.5 years."
Under Shah's leadership, Velocity:
- Launched 47 poised-for-high-growth companies from the Velocity Incubator (and supported 125 more that didn’t launch with another 70 currently being supported pre-launch)
- Had more than 24,000 meaningful student engagements via on-campus workshops, pitch competitions, talks, etc.
- Doubled down on advanced research-based companies via its expanded product development infrastructure; notably including BSL-2 space and the state of the art PerkinElmer lab
- Retooled its flagship pitch competition to make investments, funded out of its very own pre-seed VC Fund
- Launched Concept, giving renewed focus, attention, and resources to formative entrepreneurship activities happening on the University of Waterloo campus
- Co-founded and co-hosted Corridor Demo Day in Toronto, SF, NY, and Waterloo
While pursuing a degree in Mechatronics Engineering at Waterloo, Shah co-founded BufferBox, an automated, self-serve kiosk startup. The company would go on to work out of the University’s Accelerator Centre before moving into the Velocity Garage, winning the Velocity Fund Finals and attending Y Combinator, before ultimately being acquired by Google. After working at BufferBox for more than three years, Jay joined the Velocity team in 2016 as its director.
It’s not too late to hire co-op students for the winter work term, says a note from Co-operative and Experiential Education. "Students are available to begin work right away; act now! Submit your job posting using WaterlooWorks and within a few business days, you’ll have some great candidates. *NEW* The Student Work Placement Program (SWPP) provides a 50 to 70 percent wage subsidy now available for on-campus co-op student hires and is available for the winter work term."
Please contact Carol Ann Olheiser for application/eligibility details and for any other co-op hiring questions.
Run, don't walk: Athletics and Recreation is running Free Fitness Week from January 6 to 12. In addition, the Warriors Athletics and Recreation Open House takes place on Thursday, January 9 from 9:30 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. in the Student Life Centre Great Hall. "Come learn everything there is to know about recreation and varsity athletics," says a note from Athletics. "Lots of prizes to be won including a $100 gift certificate from Boston Pizza. Most recreation clubs will be on-site for the open house as well.