Tuesday, January 14, 2020

Transit strike averted for now

A late-night tentative agreement between the Region of Waterloo and Grand River Transit workers has put the brakes on transit disruptions for the time being. Members of UNIFOR Local 4304 will ratify the agreement on January 19.

Yesterday, with the possibility of a Grand River Transit strike looming, the University and the Waterloo Undergraduate Student Association (WUSA) sent out messages to the campus community to provide information about what to do in the event of a labour action.

"I advise students, faculty and staff to consider alternative transportation arrangements in the event that transit service is unavailable," wrote Vice-President, Academic & Provost Jim Rush in a memo circulated to students, faculty and staff late yesterday afternoon. "We know that a significant number of our students and employees rely on public transit to attend school and work, and a transit disruption requires them to seek alternative solutions. I encourage instructors and managers to take this into account when managing expectations about student and staff attendance during the transit disruption, and to explore what specific adjustments might be appropriate if the strike makes attendance impossible."

Acting in its capacity as the provider of the Universal Transit Pass Program (UPass), WUSA informed pass holders that "we are working with the University of Waterloo administration to send out communication to all instructors, making them aware of a potential strike, but recommend you contact them directly should this affect your ability to get to class. WUSA continues to advocate that transit be considered an essential service to help prevent future disruptions during labour disputes. We will be reviewing our existing policy and debating how service disruptions impact our currently on-going UPass renegotiations at the Students’ Council this Sunday, January 19. If you’re interested in joining that discussion, you can find us in the SLC MPR from 12:30-4:30 p.m." 

"The GRT strike may prevent some students with permanent and temporary disabilities from being able to get to and from campus," WUSA's memo continues. "As such, students who live in the Region of Waterloo, and who are unable to drive or walk to and from campus as a result of their permanent or temporary disability may be reimbursed for the cost of taking a cab to and from home to campus (including the Kitchener and Cambridge satellite campuses). Students who are registered with AccessAbility Services who are approved riders for the Student Access Van and the accessible transportation services (city cab) can submit their City Cabs taxi receipts to AccessAbility Services for reimbursement during the strike. Students with permanent or temporary disabilities (e.g., broken leg) who are not registered with AccessAbility Services may contact AccessAblity Services as soon as possible to register with the office and become eligible for this reimbursement."  

The provost's memo outlines a number of available campus transportation resources, including:

The University has access to free carpool matching software through its membership in the Region of Waterloo TravelWise program, which can help employees and students share rides to campus.

If you drive to campus, consider offering a ride to a peer or colleague. Drivers and people seeking rides can use TravelWise to get matched, and can carpool with people from neighbouring organizations like Wilfrid Laurier University and OpenText.

Click on these links to register:

Take a trip down memory lane with the new archives database

A screenshot from the Archive Database with photos of the Schneider Strike.

A message from the Library.

Special Collections & Archives (SCA) is pleased to announce the launch of our new ArchivesDatabase, an online resource for searching our collections.

Available descriptive records can be browsed by thematic areaacademic disciplines or via keyword search (basic and advanced options are available), and the hierarchical nature of those descriptions can be viewed using the navigation tree at the top of each fonds or collection page. The ArchivesDatabase runs on AtoM, a popular archival descriptive platform used by archives across the country.

The Archives Database provides web-based access to descriptive records that were previously only accessible via PDF finding aids or through mediated assistance from SCA staff. A long-term work-in-progress, record clean up, (re)description and the introduction of new descriptive records are on-going as SCA transitions to using the site as its primary descriptive database.

Don't know where to start? Try checking out some of the new archives open for research this fall.

The Archives Database project was made possible through the ongoing partnership between SCA staff, and the Library Digital Initiatives and Cataloguing departments.

Tell us what you think

We would love to hear from you about your overall experience using the Archives Database. Although the changes that can be made to the design and functionality of the site are limited, we know there is room for improvement and we know that you may be able to assist with the improvement of biographical sketches or collection descriptions – please let us know one way or another.

Workshop will help women move their careers forward

Two women sit at a table having a discussion using a laptop and notebook

A message from the Centre for Career Action.

Putting your job before your career. Reluctance to claim your achievements. Trying to be perfect. These habits are among the top 12 that keep women from reaching their career goals, according to How Women Rise authors Sally Helgesen and Marshall Goldsmith. “Simply being aware of these habits is the first step in being mindful about changing them,” said Sue Fraser.

 Fraser, the Employee Career Advisor and Learning Specialist at the Centre for Career Action, developed the Career Advancement for Women workshop based on How Women Rise to promote positive career growth and help employees curb the habits that might be preventing career movement. An interest in building a community of practice for career support and development on campus emerged from the workshop discussion attended by more than 55 enthusiastic employees. 

 “There was such a strong response from participants to come together and form a community of practice focused on supporting each other in our careers,” commented Fraser. “We’re going to keep this conversation going.” Fraser invites those interested in contributing to the conversation, including women, allies and non-binary members of the UW community, to join the Moving careers forward community of practice for women.

The Career Advancement for Women workshop will run again on January 22.

Refresher training for Faculty Professional Expense Reimbursement Plan available

A message from Finance.

Due in part to the changes in the Faculty Professional Expense Reimbursement Plan (FPER) program this year, as well as reports of a lack of clarity around the rules of the program, Finance will be holding three learning sessions in January 2020.  The sessions will cover policies and rules around the program, including changes in deadlines, as well as how to code expenses in Concur.

These sessions are geared towards administrative staff who support the FPER program by assisting with or preparing submissions for Faculty members. 

Those who may be asked questions about the program within your Faculties may also find the refresher helpful.

The following sessions are scheduled:




January 17, 2020


EC5-1111 (Enterprise Theatre)

January 21, 2020


ARTS ML-259 (Theatre of the Arts)

January 29, 2020


EC5-1111 (Enterprise Theatre)

You do not have to pre-register for these sessions.  If you have any questions about whether you should attend, please reach out to your Faculty Financial Officer or aschatz@uwaterloo.ca.

Link of the day

30 years ago: U Can't Touch This

When and Where

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

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

Akindi training session, Tuesday, January 14, 9:30 to 10:30 a.m., Davis Centre (DC) 1302.

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.

UWaterloo Custom Jacket Day, Tuesday, January 14, 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., South Campus Hall concourse.

Chemistry Seminar featuring Kevin Kittilstved, ​​​​​Department of Chemistry, University of Massachusetts Amherst, “Emergent Phenomena in Old Materials”, Tuesday, January 14, 10:00 a.m., C2-361 (Reading Room).

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).

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

Legal and Immigration Services Lunch n’ Learn, “Foreign Visitors, including IVGS,” Wednesday, January 15, 12:00 p.m. to 1:00 p.m.,  NH 3308 and NH 3318. Please note: this event has been cancelled.

Noon Hour Concert: From the Prairies, Wednesday, January 15, 12:30 p.m., Conrad Grebel University College Chapel.

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.

Chemistry Seminar featuring Robert Batey, Department of Chemistry, University of Toronto, “Natural Product Inspired Synthetic Methods Development: Targetting Macrocycles and Alkaloids,” Thursday, January 16, 2:30 p.m., C2-361 (Reading Room).

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.

NEW - Conditioning Classes Registration Deadline, Friday, January 17.

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.

Knowledge Integration seminar: “Conflict Transformation with Contemplative Spiritualities and Mindfulness”, featuring speaker Betty Pries, co-founder and CEO, Credence & Co., Friday, January 17, 1:00 p.m., EV2-2002.

NEW - Philosophy Colloquium Series presents Dr. Dave DeVidi, “Bottom-Up Logical Pluralism,” Friday, January 17, 3:30 p.m. to 5:00 p.m., Hagey Hall 336,

NEW - Men’s Hockey vs. Guelph, Camp and Minor League Day, Friday, January 17, 7:00 p.m., CIF Arena.

PhD oral defences

Kinesiology. Alan Cudlip, "A Combined in vivo and in vitro Approach to Assess Supraspinatus Activation and Tissue Respnses to Arm Elevation Demands." Supervisor, Clark Dickerson. On display in the Faculty of Applied Health Sciences BMH 2212. Oral defence Wednesday January 15, 8:00 a.m., AHS 1686.

Chemical Engineering. Jun Geun Um, "Development of Highly Anti-Corrosive and Mechanically Improved Graphene-Based Polyurethane Nano-Composites for the Application of Pipeliner in Oil-Sand Transportation." Supervisor, Aiping Yu. On display in the Engineering graduate office E7 7402. Oral defence Wednesday January 15, 9:00 a.m., E6 2022.

Psychology. Dana Bernier, "Listening to their peers: An assessment of toddlers' processing of other children's speech." Supervisor, Katherine White. On deposit in the Arts graduate office PAS 2428. Oral defence Wednesday January 15, 2:30 p.m., PAS 2464HH 373. Please note the new location.

Mechanical & Mechatronics Engineering. Khalid Noah, "Numerical Prediction of Jet Noise Using Compressible Lattice Boltzmann Method." Supervisor, Fue-Sang Lien. On display in the Engineering graduate office E7 7402. Oral defence Wednesday January 15, 10:00 a.m., E5 3052.