Tuesday, September 15, 2020

Peer Leader training open to all students

A message from the Student Success Office.

For the fall 2020 term, the Student Success Office is opening its Foundational Training Program (FTP) for Peer Leaders to all students. Established in 2018, this leadership development opportunity was previously only available to students who had been hired as mentors in existing campus peer programs. Now, students who are interested in developing or enhancing skills critical for successful mentorship can opt to participate in this free program at any time.

In the spring 2020 term, the FTP for Peer Leaders trained 639 current students, including 311 Waterloo Ready Peer Mentors. Program participants learned to:

  • broaden their knowledge of campus by learning how to refer mentees to the campus resources that fit their needs;
  • build on communication skills to know how to stay in conversation, engage mentees, and celebrate important milestones; and
  • connect with a network of mentors from peer groups across campus to understand how a mentorship role can lead to a successful transition into the workplace.

While the FTP for Peer Leaders is typically delivered in a combination of online modules and an in-person workshop, the program will be offered online only for the fall 2020 term. Registration for the FTP for Peer Leaders is open now in Portal.

Waterloo launches Work-Learn Institute – a living lab for talent

A young woman works on a laptop.

By Beth Gallagher. This article originally appeared on Waterloo Stories.

As the global pandemic forces students, businesses and entire industries to adapt to rapid change, the University of Waterloo is deepening its commitment to developing resilient talent for the future with the launch of the Work-Learn Institute (WxL).

norah mcrae“We have the greatest young talent database in the world to fuel our research into work-integrated learning,” says Norah McRae, associate provost, co-operative and experiential education. “The Work-Learn Institute will be instrumental in helping our employers, our students and our institution understand and respond to the complexity of today’s workplace.”

Waterloo’s globally renowned co-operative education program is the heart of the Work-Learn Institute’s vast young-talent database, but McRae points out that the institute is expanding its research focus beyond co-operative education to include all forms of work-integrated learning.

More than 70 per cent of Waterloo undergraduate students are in the co-op program, a form of work-integrated learning where students alternate between four-month terms of academic study and four-months of paid, full-time work. The University also has a program called EDGE which enables students to integrate learning with other types of experiences, such as community work.

McRae says evidence-based, high-quality programs are critical at a time when business leaders are looking for ways to to develop resilient, adaptable talent during this time of rapid change. The Government of Canada has invested more than $1 billion in the last five years in real-world learning opportunities to prepare the next generation of talent.

An incubator for new models of work-integrated learning

Judene Pretti

The Work-Learn Institute will serve as a living research lab and incubator, testing new models of work-integrated learning, to evolve programs that will meet the changing demands of the labour force. “With its vast employer network of more than 7,000 organizations in 65 countries around the world, Waterloo has an unprecedented opportunity to better understand and meet the talent needs of industry,” says Judene Pretti, director of the Work-Learn Institute.

Waterloo has demonstrated since 1957 that work-integrated learning can be a “win-win” for students and employers with every $1 a business invests in a Waterloo co-op student, there is a $2 economic gain.

Some of the Work-Learn Institute research projects and findings include:

Working together with the University’s Centre for Career Action and co-operative education and work-integrated learning units, McRae says the University wants the Work-Learn Institute to be the world’s leading research and development institute for co-operative education and work-integrated learning.

Register for the upcoming Work-Learn institute webinar.

Water Institute introduces WaterLeadership training series

WaterLeadership logo.

A message from the Water Institute.

WaterLeadership is a new program offered by the Water Institute that will help students and faculty develop applied research impact skills to help catalyze knowledge into action. The training sessions cover a range of topics related to Knowledge Mobilization (KM) and leadership development. 

Curated, developed and presented by our Knowledge Mobilization Specialist, the following modules are designed to meet the following learning objectives for participants:

  • Enhance understanding of knowledge mobilization to increase the credibility, salience and legitimacy of your science, thereby contributing to the building of a culture of trust in evidence-based science.
  • Learn how to build sustainable partnerships and collaborations that embed water sciences in public, private and nonprofit sector decision-making at local, regional, national and global levels.
  • Apply KM tools and techniques to co-create scientific knowledge with communities that use it to accelerate the advancement and impact of water science.

Upcoming WaterLeadership training

WUSA execs share action plans; other notes

WUSA Annual Plan banner featuring a lecture hall.

"The 2020-2021 Waterloo Undergraduate Student Association (WUSA) Executive are excited to share this year's action plan with University stakeholders," says a note from WUSA. "If you’re interested in learning what WUSA will be focusing on, where you might fit into the plan or how you can support and align with student efforts, we'd love to see you there!" 

"Please choose from one of the three available dates and provide us with your information. We will be following up in advance of the presentation with the meeting link. Don't forget to add the date and time to your calendars.

  • September 16, 2:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m.
  • September 23, 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.
  • September 29, 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.

The University's Senate meets on Monday, September 21 at 3:30 p.m. The agenda is posted on the Secretariat website. As always, guest observers are welcome. If you would like to attend the meeting as a guest observer, please contact Emily Schroeder to request to join the meeting. All requests must be received by Friday, September 18 at noon.

The Committee on Student Mental Health will be hosting the University of Waterloo's inaugural Virtual Conference on Student Mental Health Research on November 5 as part of Thrive Week. The goal of this event is to bring together members of the Waterloo community to share knowledge, connect researchers, and promote mental wellness. "We will be accepting submissions for presentations from UWaterloo students, faculty, and staff until 11:59 p.m. EDT on October 9," says a note from the conference organizers. "Visit our web page to submit your abstract today. If you have any questions or comments, please do not hesitate to contact our team at cosmh@uwaterloo.ca."  

Upcoming office closure

Campus Wellness locations will be closed today from 8:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. due to an all-staff meeting.

Link of the day

35 years ago: The Golden Girls

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.

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.

Remote Course Design Essentials, beginning August 26.

Independent Remote Course Design Essentials. Continuous self-enroll course in LEARN.

LEARN for TAs, Tuesday, September 15, 10:00 a.m.

LEARN for TAs, Wednesday, September 16, 2:00 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 is rolling out virtual services and programs for fall term: 

  • Undergrad students -- work with us to brainstorm, draft, revise, and polish assignments by meeting with our writing advisors in virtual appointments. Chat with our friendly and knowledgeable peer tutors in our virtual drop-ins and PJ-friendly writing groups. Or experience an online workshop at your own pace. 
  • First-year Warriors! Check out Waterloo Ready to Write to build your skills for writing success.
  • Graduate Students -- meet with an advisor in a virtual appointments, take an online workshop,  join the grad writing community at our Virtual Writing Cafés and #WaterlooWrites groups, develop your academic voice at Speak Like a Scholar, or make progress on your thesis at Dissertation Boot Camp.
  • Instructors and faculty -- Request and access WCC workshops for use in your courses, join a virtual writing group, or speak with a writing advisor about a writing project.

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 foodsupport@wusa.ca.

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: https://wusa.ca/bikecentre

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 caps@wusa.ca. More information at http://wusa.ca/caps

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 1-833-628-5589.

When and Where (but mostly when)

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

Warrior Rec Intramurals. 8 leagues for you to choose from (6v6 indoor soccer, 7v7 soccer, beach volleyball, disc golf, spikeball, ultimate indoor, ultimate outdoor, and volleyball). Registration is open now until Monday, September 14. Sign up today!

Esports Registration11 different esports to choose from (League of Legends, Overwatch, Rocket League, Fifa 20, Smash Ultimate, Smash Melee, Hearthstone, Catan, NHL 20, NBA 2k20, Madden 20). Registration is open now until Monday, September 14. Sign up today!

Warrior Rec Zumba for Grad Students. Free zumba class for all grad students happening Monday, September 14, 7:00 p.m.. Email gsa-wellness@uwaterloo.ca for more information.

WUSA Welcome Week, Monday, September 14 to Friday, September 18.

CBB-[CREATE Series]-Innovations and Challenges at a time of Pandemic by Professor Alexander Wong, Tuesday, September 15, 1:00 p.m. to 2:00 pm. Online via Webex.

Portage-Global Water Futures Research Data Management webinar series(Some) Research Data Management Best Practices!” Wednesday, September 16, 1:00 p.m. Registration details can be found here.

NEW - Concept IP Series: IP 101, Wednesday September 16, 3:00 p.m., Virtual Event.

NEW - 2020 Water Institute RBC Distinguished Lecture presented by Dr. Dianne Saxe, "How to Inform Policy with Science," Thursday, September 17, 10:00 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.

NEW - Work-Learn Institute webinar, The future of work and your talent pipeline - What is COVID-19 teaching us? Thursday, September 17, 1:00 p.m.

University Senate meeting, Monday, September 21, online.

More Feet on the Ground Mental Health Training for Faculty and Staff, Tuesday, September 22, 9:30 a.m., Online – Register on GoSignMeUp

Women in Math Virtual Welcome Event session 1, "What I Wish I Knew Then...", Tuesday, September 22, 12:00 p.m. to 1:00 p.m. RSVP.

NEW - WaterLeadership Training Program seminar, "Project Management Skills for Students," Tuesday, September 22, 12:00 p.m.

Women in Math Virtual Welcome Event session 2, "What I Wish I Knew Then...", Tuesday, September 22, 8:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. RSVP.

NEW - Concept Intro Session: What’s Your Problem, Wednesday, September 23, 5:00pm, Virtual Event.