Thursday, January 30, 2020

Executive actions at Davos and beyond

President Feridun Hamdullahpur with Hong Kong University of Science and Technology President Wei

President Feridun Hamdullahpur with Hong Kong University of Science and Technology President Wei Shyy at Davos.

It’s Thursday, January 30. Do you know what your president is up to?

The start of 2020 has been busy for President Hamdullahpur with a number of events and meetings taking place on and off campus. Here is a non-exhaustive list of the President’s recent activities and a look ahead at what's on his calendar.

The President met with newly elected and re-elected Members of Parliament on Friday, January 10 for a productive lunch meeting. It was an excellent opportunity to meet with the new MPs in our community and reconnect with those MPs returning to their posts on Parliament Hill to discuss the state of the University and our goals in the short and long-term.

It was a somber day for the University of Waterloo community on Wednesday, January 15 as we gathered at Federation Hall to honour and pay our respects to the victims of the tragic downing of Ukrainian International Airlines Flight PS752 on January 9. President Hamdullahpur was part of the speakers who paid their respects to Waterloo PhD students Marzieh (Mari) Foroutan and Mansour Esnaashary Esfahani, alumnus Mojgan Daneshmand (PhD ’06), her husband Pedram Moussavi (a former Waterloo postdoctoral fellow) and their two young children, Daria and Dorina, as well as former student Dr. Neda Saddighi who died. It was a moving and reflective event with hundreds gathering on campus and more watching the livestream from around the world. Scholarships have been created to honour the victims of the crash. More information on the new scholarships can be found on the University website.

The President returned to Davos, Switzerland to attend the 50th World Economic Forum (WEF) from January 20 to 23. The WEF is a gathering of global heads of state, business leaders and representatives from NGOs, universities and more to discuss the current and future challenges facing the world, with the theme of this year’s summit being centred around sustainability.

Feridun Hamdullahpur speaks at a Davos session.President Hamdullahpur took part in several WEF sessions and meetings that included topics like the future of quantum computing from IBM and the era of misinformation from Reuters. The President also had the honour of speaking at a number of events including the UN Women Event on Technology, Education & Realizing Women's Rights for an Equal Life, he was part of an panel discussion hosted by Times Higher Education with other global post-secondary leaders as they discussed “The Point of Place” and the future of universities, and addressed the Caspian Week Conference about his thoughts on “The Role of Global Universities in Promoting Sustainable Futures”. Read more about the President’s recent trip to the WEF on his blog.

Conrad Grebel University College hosts a monthly supper that brings together students, faculty and staff for a night of discussion and community building. President Hamdullahpur was invited to speak at the most recent Community Supper on January 29 as he talked about his career path that led him to become President of Waterloo and what he looks forward to about his role day in and day out.

What’s coming up?

President Hamdullahpur will be in Ottawa January 31 for a series of meeting with federal Deputy Ministers and other government leaders.

The President will be meeting with future Waterloo alumni for a special Café event on February 3, along with other university leaders to hear about their experiences at Waterloo and their future hopes.

The next edition of the President’s Pop-up Café with undergraduate and graduate students will be taking place on February 13, providing students with the opportunity to speak with university leaders about anything and everything.

The University of Waterloo Staff Association will be hosting the President on February 13 for a luncheon where he will provide a brief set of remarks and have a discussion with the group on the current state and future of the university.

Waterloo PhD candidate wins journal award

Headshot of Preston Arens in a suit and tieWaterloo PhD candidate Preston Arens has won the Peter Lyon prize for his article “’Strictly Non-committal’: British Economic Policy and the Commonwealth”, published in The Round Table: The Commonwealth Journal of International Affairs in October of 2018. The annual prize by Routledge, the publishers of The Round Table, is awarded to the best policy-oriented article on a theme of significance for the contemporary Commonwealth. Arens' article looks at how economic ideas from the Commonwealth of the 1920s and '30s resurfaced in discussions leading up to Brexit. The persistence of those ideas and their ability to shape contemporary international relations is one of the main foci of Arens' research, which examines the evolution of the Commonwealth.

"My research in the history of international relations has benefitted from the wealth of expertise available in the Faculty of Arts, and through Waterloo’s strong institutional connections with Laurier, Guelph, and the Balsillie School of International Affairs," says Arens. "I owe many thanks to my colleagues in the History Department for their ongoing mentorship and I am proud to recognize the University’s support." 

Preston came from Kamloops B.C. to Waterloo to do his Master's six years ago and is now approaching the completion of his PhD in history. His current research on the formation of the Commonwealth Secretariat explores how the Commonwealth became a modern international organisation both in conceptual and practical terms. He has presented widely on intellectual history and historiography, and teaches British and Commonwealth history, as well as special topics in decolonisation and international relations.

Grade 10 Family Night coming up in February

A volunteer liaison assists a Grade 10 Family Night patron.

Grade 10 students and parents are invited to the annual Grade 10 Family Night information session to learn about applying to university and finding the right program.

The event will help younger students and their parents learn about actions they can take now to prepare for university.

Current Waterloo students will offer tips about what they wish they knew about university while still in high school. Attendees will have the opportunity to learn about finding the right program and university, admissions, and financing their education.

Grade 10 may seem like an early time to be talking to students about their future plans, but they’ll soon be selecting their courses for Grade 11, which will greatly influence their pre-requisites for university. A question and answer period will follow and a live webcast will be available.

Grade 10 Family Night takes place on Thursday, February 20 from 6:00 to 8:30 p.m. at Hagey Hall. Registration is available online and will remain open until the day of the event.

Link of the day

Remembering the tunnel to our neon future

When and Where

#ConsentWeekUW, campus-wide events and workshops for Consent Week, Monday January 27 to Friday, January 31.

Consent Week Book Display, Monday, January 27 to Friday, January 31, W Store | Course Materials + Supplies, South Campus Hall.

University Club Lunar New Year Luncheon, Monday, January 27 to Friday, January 31, 11:30 a.m. to 2:00 p.m., University Club.

Canadian Blood Services Clinic, Thursday, January 30, 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m., Student Life Centre multipurpose room.

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

Alleviating Anxiety Seminar, Thursday, January 30, 5:00 p.m., HS 2302 – Register on GoSignMeUp.

Concept by Velocity - Co-op at a Startup: Info Session, “Hear from previous startup co-ops as they share their past work experiences”, Thursday, January 30, 7:00 p.m., South Campus Hall, 2nd Floor.

Designing Teamwork/Group Work in your Course: Collaboration and Teamwork Community of Practice, Friday, January 31, 10:30 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.

Office of Research drop-in Q&A session with CIHR Project Grant reviewers, Friday, January 31, 10:30 a.m. to 12:00 p.m., Engineering 5, Room 5128.

Opt-in closes for Concept's new Graduate Student Stream, a four-month program built to help graduate students and postdocs think about their research as a potential business venture, Friday, January 31. – Opt-in form.

IT Seminar: Highlights from VueConf, Friday, January 31, 9:00 a.m. to 9:45 a.m., East Campus 5 room 1111.

Canadian Blood Services Clinic, Friday, January 31, 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m., Student Life Centre multipurpose room.

Knowledge Integration alumni panel on “Life after KI”, Friday, January 31, 1:00 p.m., EV2-2002.

Philosophy Colloquium Series presents Dr. Tim Kenyon, “Accepting Testimony and Believing Testimony,” Friday, January 31, 3:30 p.m. to 5:00 p.m., HH 373.

Food & Faith: Mennonites Farming Locally and Globally: Seven Points on Earth Film Screening“Screening and discussion on agriculture and faith with film maker Paul Plett”, Friday, January 31, 7:30 p.m., CGUC.

Farmers Breakfast Panel: Breakfast and discussion with Ontario Mennonites in Agriculture, Panel discussion of the way farming, food, family and faith come together in our various lives”, Saturday, February 1, 9:00 a.m. CGUC.

Coping Skills Seminar - Empowering Habit Change, Monday, February 3, 3:30 p.m., HS 2302 – Register on GoSignMeUp.

Research Talks: Designing smart and climate savvy cities. A public event and panel discussion examining smart infrastructure and sustainability, Monday, February 3, 6:30 to 8:15 p.m., THEMUSEUM. Register as seating is limited.

Akindi training session, Tuesday, February 4, 11:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.

NEW - Concept by Velocity - Intro Session: Speed Coaching, “Quick chats with Concept Coaches (former or current KW startup founders.” Tuesday, February 4, 11:30am, QNC, Main Atrium

NEW - Coping Skills Seminar – Thriving With Emotions, Tuesday, February 4, 4:00 p.m., HS 2302 – Register on GoSignMeUp.

NEW - Waterloo ExL Symposium, Wednesday, February 5, 9:00 a.m., Fed Hall.

NEW - Writing and Communication Centre Workshop, “Grammar Studio I: The most common grammar trouble spots,” Wednesday, February 05, 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m., SCH 228F.

NEW - Storytelling in Design Lunch & Learn, Wednesday, February 5, 12:00 p.m., DC 1301.

NEW - CBB and the Office of Research Ethics, “Clinical Trials Ontario Information Session” Wednesday February 5, 2:30 p.m., EC5-1111.

NEW - 2020 Latin American Film Festival screening, Delicate Balance, Wednesday, February 5, 6:30 p.m., Kitchener Public Library Main Branch. Admission is free.