Thursday, January 9, 2020


University issues statement on Iran plane crash

A message from the University of Waterloo.

With deep sadness, the University of Waterloo confirms that it is aware that two students are among the people who died in the crash of Ukrainian International Airlines Flight PS752 in Iran last night. 

Marzieh (Mari) Foroutan was a PhD student in geography and Mansour Esnaashary Esfahani was a PhD student in civil engineering.

“Everyone at Waterloo is shocked and saddened to learn of the death of Mari Foroutan and Mansour Esfahani,” said Feridun Hamdullahpur. “Our hearts ache for them, their friends and family with whom we all mourn together. Mari and Mansour were part of a close-knit community of researchers here at Waterloo who will need our care and support. We are united with the Canadian academic community and all Canadian-Iranians in grieving the loss of Mari and Mansour and the loss of so many other students and researchers from across Canada. As we grieve, we will support the family, friends and co-workers of those who have died and keep them in our thoughts at this most difficult of times.”

If you are grieving or need any support, there are people who can help you. Please contact any of the following resources:

Digital storytelling for truth and reconciliation

A screenshot from one of the Truth and Reconciliation videos.

This article was originally published on the Faculty of Arts website.

Students in a fall 2019 Digital Arts Communication course on digital storytelling produced three beautiful and compelling short documentaries around the theme of Truth and Reconciliation on Turtle Island.Guided by Professor Aynur Kadir, the students developed their skills in creating reality-based digital narratives, collaborative production, and post-production analysis.

“The films not only represent strong technical quality, but they are also a very good example of Indigenizing curriculum and decolonizing classrooms,” says Kadir, who is a new faculty member in the Department of Communication Arts. “This course is designed to empower students to engage with this content through a creative project that provides them with a deliverable they can include in their portfolio for years to come.” 

As a key part of the learning experience, the students in DAC 302 were asked to work in collaboration with a local cultural or community organization to produce their documentaries. These organizations were the Waterloo Indigenous Student Centre and the Games Institute, which generously volunteered time and resources for this process.

“The process of the filmmaking is an important learning and collaboration experience. Not only were the students getting involved with real world projects, but they also worked closely with Indigenous scholars and artists who are at the front line of decolonization," says Professor Aynur Kadir.

Kadir’s research interests and pedagogical practice center on producing multimedia for social justice and decolonizing digital technologies. This work includes collaborations Indigenous communities internationally to develop digital media that document, manage, safeguard, and represent Indigenous cultural heritage.  Inspired by the land she lives on, Kadir’s recent work in British Columbia was built on collaboration with the Stó: Nation and Haida nation. Since the summer, she is developing a collaborative relationship with Six Nations of the Grand River.

Visit the showcase page to view all three videos from the three DAC 302 production teams: Truth and AccessDecolonization through Art, and qCollaborative. Below is the first of these created by Samantha Lim, Anna Chow, and Manuel Calvino, about the life and work of Heather George, a Waterloo PhD candidate in History.

Waterloo alumnus receives Barnraiser Award

Mike Farwell.Waterloo alumnus Mike Farwell (BA ’97) is the most recent recipient of the Waterloo Region Record Barnraiser Award. The annual award recognizes individuals and organizations for their selfless and often courageous community work. The award was created in 2008 and originated as a challenge from former University of Waterloo president David Johnston.

Farwell, a broadcaster on 570 News and Kitchener Rangers play-by-play host, was chosen unanimously by a panel of four judges assembled by The Record. A recommendation letter from alumni relations says “Mike has tirelessly promoted philanthropy in our region, raising money for a variety of charities and initiatives including Women’s Crisis Services of Waterloo Region and his own Farwell4Hire campaign in support of cystic fibrosis research.”

During the annual Farwell4Hire campaign, Mike hires himself out for odd jobs throughout the month of May and donates the money to cystic fibrosis research, a cause near his heart since he lost two sisters to the fatal disease at a young age. He has raised almost $500,000 for cystic fibrosis over the past six years and is an altruistic community leader who can be seen at many local events, often as a host or emcee.

Farwell is also an ongoing champion of the University of Waterloo. He often shares career advice or connects with alumni at special events. He was the Grand Marshal of the 2018 Fun Run and has emceed at the President’s Charity Golf Tournament for the last few years.

Farwell will receive the award on February 5 at a luncheon at the Ken Seiling Waterloo Region Museum.

FASS auditions and other notes

The cast and crew of FASS vamping it up at a rehearsal.

Auditions for FASS 2020: Nothing Beats Rock! will be held on January 9 and 10 from 7:00 to 10:00 p.m. in HH 123. Anyone wishing to be involved with the show (onstage, backstage, or helping with production) can drop in for approximately an hour on any of the nights.

Retiree Bruce Logan passed away on December 28, 2019. Logan worked in Plant Operations' Grounds department for 26 years before retiring as foreperson in 1996.

Here's an update to yesterday's piece about the Order of Canada recipients with Waterloo connections. New Member of the Order of Canada Paul Born, in addition to being the co-founder of the Tamarack Institute, is also a Waterloo alumnus (BA '86) and 20-year donor to the University.

The Warriors Basketball team will be squaring off against the Guelph Gryphons on Saturday, January 11 as part of Youth Basketball Day and Staff and Faculty Appreciation Day. The women's team plays at 1:00 p.m., with the men's team playing at 3:00 p.m., with both games taking place in the PAC main gym. Staff and faculty and email warriorstickets@uwaterloo.ca for free ticket details sponsored by Campus Dentist.

Link of the day

The joke's over: College Humor lays off nearly its entire staff

When and Where

Music Ensemble auditions for Winter 2020 open for registration, December 2019 to Friday, January 24.

Free Fitness Week, Monday, January 6 to Sunday, January 12.

Workday Support, Thursday, January 9, 9:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. to 4:00 p.m., EC1 1021. No registration required.

More Feet on the Ground Mental Health Training for Faculty and Staff, Thursday, January 9, 9:30 a.m., HS 2302 – Register on GoSignMeUp. ​​​​

Warriors Athletics and Recreation Open House, Thursday, January 9, 9:30 a.m. to 2:00 p.m., SLC Great Hall.

School of Pharmacy White Coat Ceremony, Thursday, January 9, 5:30 p.m., Humanities Theatre.

Knowledge Integration seminar: “Summer off? No — summer on!”, KI student summer experiences, Friday, January 10, 1:00 p.m., EV2-2002.

NEW - Warriors Basketball Vs Guelph, Youth Basketball Day, Staff and Faculty Appreciation Day, Saturday, January 11 (W) 1:00 p.m., (M) 3:00 p.m. PAC main gym. Staff and Faculty can email warriorstickets@uwaterloo.ca for free ticket details sponsored by Campus Dentist.

Student Leadership Program – Communication Styles. Saturday, January 11, 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m., NH 1110. Register on UWaterloo Portal.

Student Leadership Program – New to a Team. Saturday, January 11, 12:30 p.m. to 2:30 p.m., NH 1110. Register on UWaterloo Portal.

NEW - Intramural Registration Deadline, Monday, January 13.

NEW - Free Instructional Dance and Martial Arts Week, Monday, January 13 to Friday, January 17.

Chemistry Seminar: "Entropy engineering of SnTe towards high-entropy thermoelectrics.", Monday, January 13, 10:00 a.m., C2 361.

QPR Mental Health Training for Students, Monday, January 13, 1:30 p.m., NH 2447 – Register on GoSignMeUp.

Coping Skills Seminar – Thriving With Emotions, Monday, January 13, 3:30 p.m., HS 2302 – Register on GoSignMeUp.

Workday Support, Tuesday, January 14, 9:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. to 4:00 p.m., EC1 1021. No registration required.

Volunteer Fair, Tuesday, January 14, 11:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m., SLC Great Hall.

Student Leadership Program – Motivating Others. Tuesday, January 14, 12:30 p.m. to 2:30 p.m., NH 1110. Register on UWaterloo Portal.

Alleviating Anxiety Seminar, Tuesday, January 14, 1:30 p.m., HS 2302 – Register on GoSignMeUp.

WaterTalk: Redeploying existing wastewater treatment infrastructure for process intensification, resource management and energy neutrality, presented by Sudhir Murthy, Tuesday, January 14, 2:30 p.m., DC 1302.

Study Skills – Get this term started! Tuesday, January 14, 3:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m., NH 1110. Register on UWaterloo Portal.

Coping Skills Seminar – Cultivating Resiliency, Tuesday, January 14, 4:00 p.m., HS 2302 – Register on GoSignMeUp.

Portfolio & Project Management Community of Practice (PPM CoP) session, "2020 Retrospective and Planning for 2020 (and beyond)" Wednesday, January 15, 9:00 a.m. to 10:00 a.m., East Campus 5 (EC5), 1111. 

Research Ethics drop-in session for faculty and students, Wednesday, January 15, 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m., Dana Porter Library (study booth on the main floor).

Chemistry Seminar featuring Kevin Kittilstved, ​​​​​Department of Chemistry, University of Massachusetts Amherst, “Emergent Phenomena in Old Materials”, Tuesday, January 15, 10:00 a.m., C2-361 (Reading Room).

Campus Life Fair, Wednesday, January 15, 11:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m., Student Life Centre.

Conrad School of Entrepreneurship and Business MBET information session, Wednesday, January 15, 12:00 p.m. to 1:00 p.m., E7 2324-2328.

Chemistry Seminar featuring Jakob Magolan, Department of Chemistry and Chemical Biology, McMaster University, “A new ortho-allylation of phenols, enabled by alumina and inspired by antibiotic cannabinoids,” Wednesday, January 15, 2:30 p.m., C2-361 (Reading Room).

Concept by Velocity - Intro Session: What’s Your Problem? “Larry Smith’s legendary talk on how to find and solve killer problems,” Wednesday, January 15, 6:30 p.m., South Campus Hall 2nd Floor.

Coping Skills Seminar - Empowering Habit Change, Wednesday, January 15, 6:00 p.m., HS 2302 – Register on  GoSignMeUp.

Student Leadership Program – Building Your Credibility, Thursday, January 16, 12:30 p.m. to 2:30 p.m., NH 1110. Register on UWaterloo Portal.

Grad Student Community and Conversation Circle, Thursday, January 16, 3:30 p.m., HS 1106 – Register on GoSignMeUp.

Student Leadership Program – Conflict ManagementThursday, January 16, 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m., NH 1110. Register on UWaterloo Portal.

Concept by Velocity - Winter Term Kickoff, “Great resources, snacks, and swag? What a Concept!” Thursday, January 16, 5:30 p.m., Claudette Millar Hall Great Hall.

Seminar: Waterloo AI Institute, “Emotion-cognition Interactions as Deep Active Inference, featuring Ryan Smith, Associate investigator, Laureate Institute for Brain Research, Friday, January 17, 10:30 a.m. DC 1302.

PhD oral defenses

School of Environment, Resources and Sustainability. Bereket Negasi Isaac, "Assessing the Role of Discourse in Influencing Water Quality Policy in Lake Erie Basin." Supervisor, Rob de Loe. On display in the faculty of Environment, EV1 335. Oral defence Friday January 10, 9:30 a.m., EV1 221.

Chemistry. Yixuan SHI, "Investigation of Thermoelectric Thallium Chalcogenides." Supervisor, Holger Kleinke. On deposit in the Faculty of Science graduate office, PHY 2013. Oral defence Monday January 13, 2:30 p.m., C2 361.

Computer Science. Alex Williams, "Systems for Managing Work-Related Transitions." Supervisors, Edith Law and Edward Lank. Thesis available from MGO - mgo@uwaterloo.ca. Oral defence Monday January 13, 10:30 a.m., DC 2314.

Electrical & Computer Engineering. Seyed Hossein Mirjahanmardi, "Microwave Near Field Imaging and Material Characterization." Supervisor, Omar Ramahi. On display in the Engineering graduate office, E7 7402. Oral defence Tuesday January 14, 9:30 a.m., EIT 3142.