University issues COVID-19 update on travel and event suspension
President Feridun Hamdullahpur sent out two messages to the campus community yesterday that provided an update on the ongoing COVID-19 situation and how the University is responding.
Second, the University is suspending all events that are not vital to its academic mission. Classes, labs, courses and final exams are vital to the academic mission of the University and will continue.
These memos were circulated to employees, undergraduate students, graduate students and postdoctoral fellows. A technical issue with the University's mailing list software prevented the memos from reaching all employees at the University and efforts are underway to correct the issue. The full memos can be read on the University's COVID-19 website.
Further email guidance will be sent out this afternoon.
Mary Wells named Dean of Engineering
"It is my pleasure to announce the appointment of Professor Mary Wells as dean of the Faculty of Engineering for a five-year term commencing 1 July 2020," wrote Jim Rush, vice-president, academic & provost in a memo circulated to the engineering faculty. "The appointment was unanimously recommended for consideration by the nominating committee established under Policy 45 and has been approved by Senate and the Board of Governors. Wells will also be appointed professor, with tenure, in the department of Mechanical and Mechatronics Engineering."
Wells completed a B.Eng (Metallurgical Engineering) in 1987 at McGill University, and, following four years in industry, a PhD (Metals and Materials Engineering) in 1996 at the University of British Columbia. In 1996, Professor Wells joined the department of Metals and Materials Engineering at the University of British Columbia, where she progressed through the ranks from assistant to associate professor and held the Alcan Chair in Materials Process Engineering. Professor Wells joined the University of Waterloo as an associate professor in the department of Mechanical and Mechatronics Engineering in 2007, and was promoted to full professor in 2011. Wells became dean of the University of Guelph’s College of Engineering and Physical Sciences in November 2017, where she was responsible for five academic units: the School of Engineering, School of Computer Science, and the Departments of Physics, Chemistry and Mathematics and Statistics.
"While at Waterloo, Wells served as associate dean of outreach, chaired the Women in Engineering committee, and was involved in numerous programs for girls and women, teachers and parents, and also served as chair of the Ontario Network of Women in Engineering (ONWiE)," says the provost's memo. "She was the President of the Metallurgy and Materials Society of the Canadian Institute of Mining, Metallurgy and Petroleum from 2015 to 2016, the chair for the public policy committee for the National Council of Deans of Engineering and Applied Science (NCDEAS), and the vice-chair of the Council of Ontario Deans of Engineering (CODE)."
Professor Wells is the author of over 100 archival publications and books and is best known for her contributions to the science and processing of advanced metallic materials and understanding the intersection between materials microstructure, properties and how they are made. This includes applications to the lightweight design of automotive applications using aluminum, high strength steel and magnesium alloys. In 2017, Wells received the Faculty of Engineering and University of Waterloo award of excellence in graduate supervision.
Professor Wells is a Fellow of Engineers Canada and was inducted into the Canadian Academy of Engineering in 2018.
"Professor Wells’ experience as an administrator is combined with a track record of distinguished scholarship and service," the provost writes. "Her interest in interdisciplinary research and furthering equity, diversity and inclusion in Engineering education and practice is aligned with the vision, values and strategic direction of the university and will enable her to provide inspirational leadership to the Faculty of Engineering. Please join me in welcoming Professor Wells back to Waterloo."
French embassy honours President Hamdullahpur
A message from the Office of the President.
University of Waterloo President Feridun Hamdullahpur was honoured by the French government with the Knight (Chevalier) order of the l’Order des Palmes Académiques ("Order of Academic Palms") on the evening of February 25 at the French Embassy in Ottawa. President Hamdullahpur was recognized for his accomplishments by the French Ambassador to Canada Kareen Rispal. The l’Order des Palmes Académiques is a national order bestowed by the French Republic to distinguished Academics and figures in the world of culture and education.
Collaboration has been an integral part of the University of Waterloo’s development as a global institution. President Hamdullahpur has been an avid proponent of Waterloo’s partnerships including with several French universities, institutions and research colleagues for decades, leveraging our unique expertise and working on joint projects. This work includes the wide-ranging partnership with the Université de Bordeaux that on artificial intelligence and bio-based chemistry that recently celebrated its 10th anniversary and the President’s role as an active member of the Sorbonne Université Strategic Orientation Committee since 2014.
#RethinkPharmacists: Supporting patients across the health care system
Each March Pharmacist Awareness Month (PAM) celebrates the contributions that pharmacists make to our health care system. This month, the School of Pharmacy is showcasing how our alumni go beyond dispensing pills and play a pivotal role in the health of Canadians as part of the #RethinkPharmacists campaign.
Alumni Sheri and Matt DiGiovanni met in pharmacy school as members of the School of Pharmacy’s first cohort. Today, they’re married with two kids and are making a difference for patients in the Listowel, Wingham, North Huron and North Perth area.
Sheri is a pharmacy coordinator who manages pharmacy teams at the hospitals in the Listowel Wingham Hospitals Alliance. In that role, she’s responsible for anything pharmacy related: verifying orders, managing staff, delivering projects and more.
Matt opened his own community pharmacy in Wingham in 2017, and his pharmacy offers services like diabetes assessment, injections and naloxone counselling. Despite the different focuses of their careers, Sheri and Matt often see the same patients at different stages in their health care journey.
“Matt’s pharmacy is right outside the Wingham hospital,” says Sheri. “So we’ve had the opportunity to work together with patients because of the close proximity of our practices. Our ability to communicate well about our mutual patients has helped smooth the transitions of care between the hospital and the community.”
Math rounds down for Pi Day and other notes
The University's Pi Day celebrations have come early with events taking place in the Faculty of Mathematics today instead of tomorrow.
The festivities, organized by the Mathematics Society (MathSoc), are usually held on March 14 to acknowledge the mathematical constant Pi, which is (approximately) 3.14, but the event was moved to allow the entire University community to participate.
The hosts have ordered 150 pies to serve 1,200 people. The afternoon’s event will include Mathematics professors and most of the MathSoc executives getting pied, and a new feature to this year’s activities – the Pi meme contest. The winners of the Pi Meme Contest, Pie eating contest and Pi recital will all receive prizes. The festivities take place in the Mathematics and Computer building on the third floor beginning at, you guessed it, 1:59.
Please note: on-campus Pi Day events today have been cancelled. "We appreciate the annual enthusiasm of our campus pi lovers, but in response to the University’s most recent COVID-19 update, Pi Day events will not be taking place as scheduled today," says a note from Mathematics.
“Thank you for your interest in the Waste Management Lunch and Learn," says a note from Plant Operations. "Due to an unforeseen circumstance the event on March 19 will be cancelled and rescheduled for a later date. Thank you again for your interest and we apologize for any inconvenience this may have caused."
Here's today's Nutrition Month "myth vs. fact" supplied by Health Services Dietitian Sandra Ace:
Drinking coffee is an unhealthy habit.
Canadians love their coffee. In fact, according to the Coffee Association of Canada, 2/3 of Canadian adults enjoy at least one cup per day and average about 3.2 cups daily. While it’s often thought of as a “guilty pleasure,” the opposite may be true. Research shows that coffee might provide more than just a caffeine jolt. Plant chemicals in the coffee bean may actually be protective against some diseases. For example, coffee consumption has been linked to a lower incidence of certain cancers as well as a lowered risk of Parkinson’s disease and heart disease.
Coffee contains caffeine, a stimulant which can help to temporarily boost energy. Consuming up to 400 mg of caffeine per day is not associated with adverse health effects in most adults. This is the equivalent of 3 or 4 cups (8 oz/250 mL) per day. Keep in mind that coffee shop portions are much larger than a standard cup. A large coffee (563mL) at Tim Hortons has about 270 mg of caffeine while a Starbucks grande (473mL) may have up to 380 mg of caffeine, depending on the type of coffee. Too much caffeine can increase anxiety, aggravate heartburn and irritable bowel disease and may cause heart palpitations and insomnia. In this case, consider changing to a decaffeinated brew.
The potential health benefits of coffee are negated when you add lots of sugar and cream so be aware of hidden calories in many specialty coffees and teas. If you enjoy these beverages frequently, you can check the company website for nutrition information. A large, double-double coffee has about 270 calories, so you might try substituting milk for the cream, changing to a “regular,” choosing a smaller size or opting for a walk outside instead of going to the closest coffee shop.