Wednesday, July 22, 2020

    Brandon Sweet
    University Communications

    Masks mandatory on campus beginning July 27

    Welcome Back Waterloo image showing students physically distant while working on laptops.

    “Now that the Province of Ontario has entered Stage 3 of its reopening plan, I am sharing an important update on our plan to return to campuses,” wrote President Feridun Hamdullahpur in a memo circulated to employees and graduate students yesterday. “We are continuing to progress through our return to research labs, and are preparing for the next phase of a staged and safe return for some other functions later this summer.”

    “Effective Monday, July 27, all employees, students, visitors and contractors are required to wear a face covering in common use areas of University buildings,” the president’s memo continues. “This includes corridors, lobbies, washrooms, elevators and meeting rooms, or in any area where physical distancing is a challenge. Where you can establish and maintain a physical distance of two meters, you can remove your mask.”

    A face covering is defined as “a medical or non-medical mask or other covering, including a bandana, scarf or other fabric that covers the nose, mouth and chin to create a barrier to limit the transmission of respiratory droplets.”

    “This measure helps us align with the recent Waterloo Region bylaw making face coverings mandatory in indoor public spaces and follows evidence-based public health advice. We want to use all the tools at our disposal to minimize the risk to our community and protect the health of everyone on our campuses.”

    The requirement to wear a mask does not apply:  

    • to people who are unable to wear a mask due to a medical condition or disability,
    • to children under the age of five,
    • to people who are hearing impaired, or when communicating with a person who is hearing impaired and the ability to see the mouth is essential for communication, or
    • when wearing a face covering would create a risk to the wearer related to their work, as determined by workplace safety guidelines.

    Masks are also not required in situations where you can maintain a physical distance of two metres between you and other people. Additionally, in teaching environments, instructors can use their discretion to decide whether masks are needed based on the physical layout of the room, course activities and their own comfort level. In work settings, managers will set the expectation with their teams based on physical setup and work activities. 

    Managers and researchers can order cloth face masks from Central Stores using the  online stores requisition form (item code 33-0989).  While an account number must be provided on the requisition form, departments and units will not be charged for these items.

    You can also bring your own mask or face covering as long as it covers your nose, mouth and chin. Waterloo-branded cloth masks are available for purchase at W Store

    If you cannot wear a face mask for any of the reasons listed above and would like an alternative, contact Occupational Health

    "For your safety and the safety of those around you, please wear a mask or other face covering where required," the president writes. "Please also remember in your interactions with your colleagues that not everyone is able to safely wear a face covering."

    “Though I hope to be able to say “Welcome back, Waterloo” as soon as it is safe to do so, I ask that you continue to work from home until you are given further direction or unless your supervisor has approved your work on campus,” the president’s memo says.

    Learn more and find answers to Frequently Asked Questions on the University COVID-19 website.

    Contact if you have any questions about face coverings.  

    Get set to reset, rebuild, and rebound at today's Waterloo Innovation Summit

    Reset. Rebuild. Rebound. Banner for Waterloo Innovation Summit.

    The COVID crisis exposed the critical need of a resilient and adaptable workforce in the face of disruption. The digital revolution was well underway when the global pandemic hit, accelerating the need for change. With no sector or industry immune to its impact, most organizations now look to reset, rebuild and rebound.

    Attracting trailblazers in industry, government and research, today's virtual Waterloo Innovation Summit offers a no-holds barred immersion into technology, disruption and emerging trends.

    Entitled "Reset. Rebuild. Rebound. | The talent imperative," this first-ever virtual Waterloo Innovation Summit continues the speaker series that was relaunched earlier this year. The event got underway at 9:00 a.m. this morning.

    Delivering the keynote address and moderating the panel discussion will be Randall Lane, CCO and editor of Forbes. Lane will sit down with top leaders, and Forbes 30 under 30 connectors, to hear about the innovative strategies leading to their organizations' success.

    Speakers at the summit include:

    • Martin Basiri, Co-Founder and CEO, ApplyBoard, and Deloitte 2019 Technology Fast 50 winner
    • Michael Litt, Co-Founder and CEO, Vidyard, and Canada’s Top 40 Under 40 2019
    • Norah McRae,  Associate Provost, Co-operative and Experiential Education, University of Waterloo

    Delivering introductory and wecloming remarks will be Sandra Banks, vice-president, university relations and Charmaine Dean, vice-president, research and international.

    Today's event is the first installment in a two-part series. The second virtual Waterloo Innovation Summit, scheduled for August 19, is entitled Reset. Rebuild. Rebound. | The innovation imperative and will also feature Randall Lane as keynote speaker and moderator.

    Both events are free, but registration is required.

    Meet the finalists for the Concept $5K competition

    A young woman makes her pitch.

    The Spring 2020 Concept $5K Finalists have been announced. Ten student led teams working on projects they hope to turn into the next big startup out of UWaterloo have been selected and now they will compete for early stage funding. These students were selected from a pool of over 80 applicants and impressed a panel of judges at the Concept $5K Semi-Finals to secure their place in the Finals. Each team will produce a 3-minute pitch video outlining what they are working on, why they show great promise with this idea, and prove they are deserving of the $5K grant.

    The finalists are:

    • Aqua-Cell Energy, which is developing large scale batteries to store renewable energy for continuous solar and wind power;
    • Citrus, which is solving the technological inadequacies of Lyme disease diagnostic tools;
    • CloudSafari Inc., which is automating the travel-booking process for local tour operators in Africa;
    • Eight Stories of Modesty, a Hijab brand that aims to create a meaningful journey for customers by bringing to light the experiences of women that wear the headscarf;
    • Lumos, which is building light therapy wearables;
    • Mox Health, which is a convenient and easy to use transdermal patch to detect female ovulation;
    • Ottofollo, which is developing an Intelligent iPhone User-Tracking Video Stand;
    • Scribble, a web-based platform for remote software development teams to collaborate on technical diagrams in real time;
    • Waitless, which provides an easy approach for customers to reach phone support; and 
    • VidarDB, which is creating the next generation database system. 

    This term's Concept $5K Finals will once again be held online. The finalists' three-minute pitch videos will be uploaded to Concept's YouTube channel. The panel of judges will gather and view each team’s pitch videos before ultimately selecting the top four and crowning winners of the Spring 2020 Concept $5K Finals. Follow Concept's social media accounts to remain part of the pitch competition's virtual audience and vote for the People's Champ award.

    Read more about the teams and competition.

    St. Paul's offers self-quarantine spaces; other notes

    A St. Paul's residence room.St. Paul’s is offering short-term self-quarantine accommodations for international students returning to the University of Waterloo campus for the Fall 2020 term. The rooms include:

    • 1 double bed
    • 1 desk
    • Ensuite private washroom
    • Mini fridge
    • Free Wi-Fi
    • Linens and towels
    • Free parking
    • Care package

    To book your stay, fill out the formRooms and rates are available from August 10 until September 1, 2020.

    Anyone with questions is invited to contact

    Here's what’s coming up at the Centre for Career Action (CCA) this week:

    The Centre for Career Action virtual drop-in advising hours for July are as follows:

    • Online résumé, cover letter and interview support, Career consults, and Work search drop-ins running 12:00 to 1:00 p.m., Monday through Friday. PhD student and postdoc drop-ins are running 12:00 to 1:00 p.m. on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Students can book virtual drop-ins on WaterlooWorks.

    Link of the day

    Pi Approximation Day

    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):

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

    Active Learning Online Part 1, Tuesday, July 21, 10:00 a.m.

    Akindi Training Session, Wednesday, July 22, 1:00 p.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. You can also contact the University's Centre for Mental Health Research and Treatment.

    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)

    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.

    NEW - Waterloo Warriors Online Hockey Skills Camps. Designed to provide a fun, inclusive and safe atmosphere where youth can take part in skill development and team building. Age 7-9 and 10-12. Only $50/week and includes 5 x 1 hour sessions. Register today.

    Warriors Big 6 Summer ChallengeWeekly challenges from July 13 to August 23 focusing on Movement, Sleep, Hydration, Nutrition, Apps and Choose your own adventure.  Post your photo and tag @WlooRec on Instagram for a chance to win a $100 box from truLOCAL each week as well as $100 from Mel’s Diner for our grand prize winner. Stay healthy Warriors!

    Clarity in scientific writingMonday, July 20, 2020, 1:00 p.m., Live Q & A on LEARN.

    AHS Live Chat, Tuesday, July 21, 11:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.

    Waterloo Innovation Summit, Wednesday, July 22, 9:00 a.m.

    Akindi Live Training (Webinar), Wednesday, July 22, from 1:00 p.m. to 1:45 p.m.

    Say it in your own words: Paraphrase & summary for graduate students, Thursday, July 23, 9:00 a.m., Live Q & A on LEARN.

    Taking Action Against Online HarassmentLearn how to communicate in virtual spaces, through text and social media, in a supportive and safe manner. Discussion includes how online violence - including sexual harassment, happens, and participants will gain tools and skills for negotiating respectful communication. Thursday, July 23, 1:00 p.m. to 2:30 p.m.

    New Faculty Online Social, Thursday, July 23, 2:30 p.m.

    Alumni Family Day, Saturday, July 25, 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., online.

    Human Rights, Equity and Inclusion seminar, Equitable Recruitment & Selection (Faculty only, offered anytime through Learn), Monday, July 27, 1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. 

    Environment Live Chat, Wednesday, July 29, 11:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.

    Science Innovation Hub Skills Development Workshop: Figure Making 101, Wednesday July 29, 3:00 p.m. 

    Positions available

    On this week's list from the human resources department, viewable on the UWaterloo Talent Acquisition System (iCIMS):

    Regular full-time positions

    • Job ID# 2020-5435 - Academic Advisor - Arts Undergraduate Office, USG 8
    • Job ID# 2020-5445 - Academic Advisor (Undergraduate Calendar) - Mathematics Undergraduate Office, USG 7 – 8
    • Job ID# 2020-5517 - Director, Velocity Campus – Velocity, USG 13
    • Job ID# 2020-5464 - Faculty Relations Manager - Student Success Office (SSO), USG 10
    • Job ID# 2020-5443 - Financial Manager - School of Optometry and Vision Science (SOVS), USG 7
    • Job ID# 2020-5243 - Laboratory Manager, Environmental Isotope Lab (uwEILAB) - Earth and Environmental Sciences, USG 12

    Regular part-time positions

    • Job ID# 2020-5543 - Undergraduate Advisor - Environment - Department of Knowledge Integration, USG 6

    Irregular part-time positions

    • Job ID# 2020-5539 - Preschool Teacher – Psychology, USG 7

    Internal secondment positions

    • Job ID# 2020-5425 - Entrepreneurship Experience Coordinator - Velocity - Student Innovation, USG 6
    • Job ID# 2020-5511 - Administrative Manager - Religious Studies, USG 6