Friday, July 3, 2020

Library launches Black Lives Matter Canadian reading list

A collage of book covers.

A message from the Library.

The University of Waterloo Library has compiled a Black Lives Matter — Canadian reading list, which is based on the Black Lives Canada Syllabus // #BlackLivesCDNSyllabus(BLCS). The list is designed to improve the discovery of books that expand and build on current understandings of the Black Lives Matter movement in Canada.

The BLCS began in 2016 as a Twitter hashtag created by lawyer and community activist, Anthony N. Morgan in response to actions taken by Black Lives Matter Toronto to raise awareness about anti-Black racism in Canada. It was later compiled as a web-based list by writer and researcher Huda Hassan

Scope of the list

Titles included in the list draw heavily from the BLCS, and are predominantly non-fiction and scholarly in nature. The list has been expanded by library staff to include additional titles about anti-Black racism in Canada and the lived experiences of Black Canadians, including members of the African Caribbean diaspora, not included in the initial list or published since the BLCS was compiled. The aim in doing so was to build on an existing resource while complementing more generalized Anti-Racism Resources, including ones for families with children and young adults, maintained by the Human Rights, Equity and Inclusion Office

Accessing titles

The Library is closed as part of the University of Waterloo’s response to the global pandemic. The closure has limited access to hard copies of the highlighted titles on the reading list. Several electronic books are included on the reading list and can be accessed online. The Library is working with campus partners to launch a phased approach to a new service called Print Pickup @ Porter.

Currently this service is available to faculty, graduate students and postdoctoral fellows who, for the purposes of research, require access to University-owned print materials not available electronically. In the meantime, you are encouraged to order copies of these titles from local public libraries currently offering curbside pick-up or from one of your favourite independent bookstores as an alternative means of access. You can also help library staff identify new titles to add to the Black Lives Matter reading list. Use the Library's Purchase request form and select Underrepresented voices from the Subject focus pull-down menu.

Share your thoughts online about what you’ve learned using #BlackLivesCDNSyllabus.


Along with Morgan and Hassan, the Library would like to thank Mita Williams, Scholarly Publication Librarian at the University of Windsor, for influencing this initiative through a series of blog posts (post one, post two, post three) regarding the creation of the Leddy Library’s Black Lives Matter — Canada reading list.

Math student vying to become Canada's first drag superstar

Waterloo math student Kyne Santos sits on a throne in costume.

by Ryon Jones. This is an excerpt of an article that originally appeared on Waterloo Stories.

University of Waterloo’s fourth-year student Kyne Santos will be a contestant on Canada’s Drag Race. The reality television competition series, which premiered Thursday, is based on the American series RuPaul’s Drag Race and tests the contestants on acting, dancing, branding, improv, performance, sewing and everything a drag queen does in their career.

Santos, the most followed Canada’s Drag Race contestant with 62K followers, has been doing drag for the past three years and is happy for the opportunity to showcase his talent to a global audience.

“I feel excited and nervous! TV is full of fans’ favourites and villains, and you never know how viewers are going to feel about the program. I hope people like me! I hope I can be memorable, entertaining, and make my fans proud,” Santos says. “I think I possess a really diverse skill set, because I’m a good dancer, singer, seamstress and I’m not afraid to make a fool out of myself.”

The 22-year-old is no stranger to performing for the camera. He has been posting on YouTube for the past seven years, treating his 110K subscribers to videos about sewing, wig styling and makeup with plans to diversify in the future.

Santos, a Mathematical Finance major, continues to grow in popularity online thanks to the TikTok math videos he has been posting in drag every day for the past two months, which Yahoo’s web page has featured.

“I’ve secretly wanted to make math videos for a long time on YouTube because I’m a nerd, and I’m passionate about math communication and getting the youth to love math as much as I do,” Santos reveals. “But most people are math-phobic, so I figured the short-form video format on TikTok was a good way to deliver it because it’s short and campy and most importantly forces me to be very concise with how I teach things, which people really appreciate.”

Santos, one of the winners of the prestigious Schulich Leader Scholarship in 2016, is enjoying his time at Waterloo where he is making new friends and learning from his professors.

“I love the friends I’ve made in my program because they’ve inspired me in my pursuit in math,” Santos says. “I also loved taking Linear Algebra, Combinatorics and Optimization, Game Theory and Measure Theory. Those courses challenged me and enriched me in the best way.”

Read the rest of the article on Waterloo Stories.

Waterloo helping to build national student credential network

Students working on a project in a classroom.

The University of Waterloo was recently chosen as one of 19 post-secondary institutions across the country, along with four application centres and hubs and World Education Services, to take part in a pilot program to build the Canadian National Network, an initiative of the Association of the Registrars of the Universities and Colleges of Canada (ARUCC).

This initiative means the Canadian higher education community is creating the very first online platform and national credential wallet for post-secondary students and alumni. Once fully operational, the Network will enable 3 million learners across the country to securely access and share their official digitized post-secondary transcripts and credentials online - anytime, anywhere.

The features of the Network, with the support of Digitary – the solution provider, include:

  • 24/7 access by learners.
  • Ability for learners to access, view and share their verified and official transcripts, credentials, and documents in a digitized format.
  • Ability for Canadian post-secondary institutions, application centres and hubs to work in partnership with the National Network to exchange official documents with permission of the learner and support their needs.
  • Password-encrypted environments for all users including automatic recovery of passwords for learners.
  • Bilingual service and support (French and English).
  • Canadian storage of student data.

“The University of Waterloo is excited to be part of this Canadian National Network pilot,” says Catherine Newell Kelly, University Registrar. “This opportunity will allow us to collaborate with other early adopters to enable national and international student mobility through secure data exchange among educational institutions. This initiative has been a few years in the making, and Waterloo has been engaged throughout. The Office of the Registrar, Information Systems & Technology, and other campus stakeholders will continue their strong partnership to support this work.”

Work to build the Network will begin in July 2020. The first phase of the pilot will involve receiving digital transcripts and international documents, as well as sending transcripts and confirmations of pending or actual graduation.

Register for the Continuous Improvement Virtual Workshop; other notes

"Human Resources and the Continuous Improvement (CI) Committee is dedicated to continuing the education and collaboration of CI especially during our current environment with changes in how we perform our everyday work," says a note from Human Resources. "We have put together a CI workshop series that will be open to campus via Microsoft Teams to support you in re-imagining your processes and to assist with increasing value-added work within your teams."

The first session will be held on Thursday, July 23 at 9:00 a.m. This session will focus on the basics of CI and how to get started. "We will go through tools and techniques that will help identify core processes (alignment with strategic plans and value to stakeholders) and also review key performance indicators related to these processes," says the note from HR. "The series will then continue into August with a second installment that builds on the first session. Please register for this event, and we will distribute the MS Teams Live link a week prior."

If you have any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to contact Raghda Sabry, HR project manager, or Kimberley Snage, director, HR projects, technology and analytics. 

Here's an addendum to yesterday's piece about new administrators beginning their terms: Professor Jochen Koenemann started as Chair, Combinatorics & Optimization on July 1

The deadline for the Internal Communications Survey has been extended until Wednesday, July 8. Staff and faculty can check their email inboxes for a link to the survey. Share your feedback on what's working and what isn't on the internal communications front. Additionally, you can still sign up to attend a virtual focus group to provide your thoughts on internal communications. If you are interested in participating, complete the sign-up form today. These focus groups will give us valuable feedback to help identify aspects of our internal communications activity that are meeting your needs and those that could use improvement.   

Beyond the Bulletin Podcast celebrates one year and 50 episodes

Beyond the Bulletin Podcast banner featuring two vintage microphones.

The latest Beyond the Bulletin Podcast episode is now live. Help celebrate as the podcast hits a pair of milestones: one year and 50 episodes! In this special, first-anniversary edition of the podcast, Jean Becker, senior director of Indigenous Initiatives, shares plans for Waterloo’s response to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s Calls to Action. We remember our first provost and a distinguished professor emeritus. The president outlines plans for a gradual return to campus. Several senior administrators start new terms. And the blooper reel sees the light of day. Thanks for listening.

Link of the day

40 years ago: Airplane!

When and Where to get support

Students can visit the Student Success Office online for supports including academic development, international student resources, leadership development, exchange and study abroad, and opportunities to get involved.

Award from GSEF-GSA-GSPA for thesis-based master’s and PhD students who have lost funding because of COVID-19.

Instructors can visit the Keep Learning website to get support on adapting their teaching and learning plans for an online environment. The following workshops are current offerings from the KL team (CTE, CEL, ITMS, LIB):

Introduction to OER Courses, Tuesday, July 7, 10:00 to 10:30 a.m. 

Teaching More Accessibly: Five easy improvements to our practice, Tuesday, July 7, 10:30 a.m.

Remote Course Design Essentials, Wednesday, July 8. 

Introduction to Best OER’s in STEMThursday, July 9, 2:30 to 3:00 p.m.

Getting Ready to Facilitate Online Courses: TA Training, beginning July 13.

Introduction to OER Data & Simulations, Thursday, July 16, 11:00 to 11:30 a.m.

Employees can access resources to help them work remotely, including managing University records and privacy of personal information

Interested in learning more about engaging your students in an online course? The Centre for Extended Learning has created a new resource for you called "Fostering Engagement: Facilitating Online Courses in Higher Education"

This Open Educational Resource was designed for post-secondary instructors and teaching assistants who would like to better understand the critical role of facilitation in online course delivery, and build practical skills and strategies that are relevant, effective, and authentic.

Here are some tips for staying healthy while working from home.

The Writing and Communication Centre has gone virtual. We have many online services to help you meet your goals, including: Virtual Pre-booked and Drop-in appointments, Online workshopsVirtual Grad and Faculty Writing CafésInstagram Live Q&A sessionsLive PJ-Friendly Write-insOnline learning resources, and Online programming for Master’s and PhD students. Whatever you’re working on, we’re here to help! Visit our website for more information.

We understand that these circumstances can be troubling, and you may need to speak with someone for emotional support. Good2Talk is a post-secondary student helpline based in Ontario, Canada that is available to all students.

If you feel overwhelmed or anxious and need to talk to somebody, please contact the University’s Campus Wellness services, either Health Services or  Counselling Services.

The Library has published a resource guide on how to avoid information overload.

The Faculty Association of the University of Waterloo (FAUW) continues to advocate for its members. Check out the FAUW blog for more information.

The University of Waterloo Staff Association (UWSA) continues to advocate for its members. Check out the UWSA blog for more information.

WUSA supports for students:

Food Support Service food hampers are currently available from the Turnkey Desk on weekdays from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. in the Student Life Centre. If you have any questions please email us at

MATES – Providing general online Peer Support via Skype to undergraduate students. To set up an appointment, please go to:

Glow Centre - Providing online Peer Support for the LGBTQ2+ community via Skype to Undergraduate students. To set up an appointment, please go to:

The Women’s Centre – Providing online Peer Support via Skype to undergraduate students. To set up an appointment, please go to:

RAISE – Providing online Peer Support via Google to undergraduate students. To set up an appointment, please go to:

The Bike Centre – Now open by appointment for your bicycle repair and rental needs in the Student Life Centre. For more information or to schedule an appointment, please go to:

Centre for Academic Policy Support - CAPS is here to assist Waterloo undergraduates throughout their experience in navigating academic policy in the instances of filing petitions, grievances and appeals. Please contact them at . More information at

WUSA Commissioners who can help in a variety of areas that students may be experiencing during this time:

WUSA Student Legal Protection Program - Seeking legal counsel can be intimidating, especially if it’s your first time facing a legal issue. The legal assistance helpline provides quick access to legal advice in any area of law, including criminal. Just call 1-833-202-4571

Empower Me is a confidential mental health and wellness service that connects students with qualified counsellors 24/7. They can be reached at 1-844-741-6389.

When and Where (but mostly when)

Warriors Coaching Clinics. Every Wednesday from June 3 to July 15. Free online sessions highlighting a wide range of topics featuring Warriors Coaches and staff. Register in advance for the zoom link.

Warriors Jump Into June Challenge. Weekly challenges from June 8 to July 4 (Movement, Sleep, Water and Nutrition). Post your photo for a chance to win a $100 box from truLOCAL each week. Stay healthy Warriors!

Healthy Warriors at Home. Free programming including Online Fitness, Personal Training, Health Webinars, Personalized Nutrition and more. Open to students, staff, faculty and alumni. Register today.

Waterloo Warriors Online Camps. Online youth experiences including basketball, hockey and multi-sport camps for a variety of ages. Starting at $48.00/week. Register today.

University of Waterloo internal communications survey deadline, Friday, July 3, Wednesday, July 8. Please note the extended deadline.

Design & deliver I: Structure and deliveryMonday, July 6, 10:00 am, Live Q & A on LEARN.

HREI201: Cultivating Consent Culture from an Intersectional Lens, Monday, July 6, 1:30 p.m. to 3:00 p.m.

International Live Chat #3 – Thriving in First Year, Tuesday, July 7, 9:00 to 10:00 a.m.

Leadership, Intersectionality, and Advancing in the Academy, Wednesday, July 8, 10:00 a.m to 11:30 a.m. 

Science Live Chat, Wednesday, July 8, 11:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.

NEW - CBB Student Showcase, Wednesday July 8, 2:00 p.m., Webex, Registration required.

Intro Session: Billion Dollar Briefing, Wednesday, July 8, 6:30 p.m.

Grammar studio II: Sentence structure and punctuation, Thursday, July 9, 2:00 pm, Live Q & A on LEARN.

Engineering Live Chat, Thursday, July 9, 3:30 to 4:30 p.m.

Ask Us Anything: Indigenous Initiatives, Friday, July 10, 1:00 p.m. to 1:45 p.m.

Design & deliver II: Slide design (live webinar only)Monday, July 13, 10:00 a.m., Live Q & A on LEARN.

Graduate literature reviews B: Writing it, Monday, July 13, 10:00 a.m., Live Q & A on LEARN.