Tuesday, September 22, 2020

School of Pharmacy launches new strategic plan

The Pharmacy building against a backdrop of blue sky and clouds.

A message from the School of Pharmacy.

Embracing change and finding innovative solutions to real world problems is embedded in our culture at the School of Pharmacy.

Though it wasn’t crafted with the specific circumstances of 2020 in mind, Beyond Expectations, our new strategic plan, is nonetheless a plan for our current times. In it, we discuss bold ways that we intend to lead change for a healthier world. We will do this by leveraging our strengths – in experience-based education, in research, in fostering partnerships – and by continuing to prepare our graduates to be change-agents in health-care.  

Check out our new strategic plan and see how we plan to go ‘beyond expectations.

Cheriton School of Computer Science's next Distinguished Lecture explores "An Ethical Crisis in Computing?"

Professor Moshe VardiThe Cheriton School of Computer science is kicking off this year's Distinguished Lecture Series, now in an all-online format. Their first speaker of the year is Moshe Vardi, a University Professor and the Karen Ostrum George Distinguished Service Professor in Computational Engineering at Rice University.

His talk, entitled “An Ethical Crisis in Computing?” explores technology’s impact on society. This free lecture will take place online via Zoom on Thursday, September 24 at 2:00 p.m. Eastern Time.

“Computer scientists think often of Ender’s Game these days,” writes Vardi in his lecture description. “In this award-winning 1985 science-fiction novel by Orson Scott Card, Ender is being trained at Battle School, an institution designed to make young children into military commanders against an unspecified enemy. Ender’s team engages in a series of computer-simulated battles, eventually destroying the enemy’s planet, only to learn then that the battles were very real and a real planet has been destroyed.”

“Many of us got involved in computing because programming was fun,” Vardi continues. “The benefits of computing seemed intuitive to us. We truly believe that computing yields tremendous societal benefits; for example, the life-saving potential of driverless cars is enormous! Like Ender, however, we realized recently that computing is not a game — it is real — and it brings with it not only societal benefits, but also significant societal costs, such as labour polarization, disinformation, and smart-phone addiction.

“The common reaction to this crisis is to label it as an ‘ethical crisis’ and the proposed response is to add courses in ethics to the academic computing curriculum. I will argue that the ethical lens is too narrow. The real issue is how to deal with technology’s impact on society. Technology is driving the future, but who is doing the steering?”

Learn more on the event page.

Remembering George Hill

George Hill, Wes Graham, and Joan Hill in June 1996.

George Hill, Wes Graham, and Joan Hill in June 1996.

Waterloo retiree George Hill died on Thursday, September 3 at the age of 92.

Born in 1927 in Nairn, a small seaside town in the north east of Scotland, George was the youngest of 7 children. After his education in Nairn at Millbank Public School and Nairn Academy, George followed his brothers into the British Army where he served in Germany, Malaya and the Middle East.  He was selected for the Malayan Scouts and became a member of the 22nd Special Air Service (SAS) Regiment where he spent several years parachuting into the Malayan jungle in search of insurgents. George ended his military career in British Military Intelligence in 1954 after serving in the Middle East during the Suez crisis. 

George emigrated to Canada where he worked for 8 years at the Woodbine Racetrack in Toronto, followed by 23 years at the University of Waterloo where he worked with Wes Graham and a team of accomplished academics to build the Computer Science department (now the David R. Cheriton School of Computer Science) to international acclaim. 

George Hill, Wes Graham, and Joan Hill in June 1996.

George Hill with the University of Waterloo’s IBM 360 mainframe in October 1967.

George retired from the University of Waterloo in 1991, but maintained many deep friendships from his time there. George was known by friends and colleagues equally for his dependability, and his wicked sense of humour. He loved most sport with a particular passion for horses, golf, and sailing. George is survived by his beloved wife of 63 years, Joan (Maygers), his sons Duncan and James, and his grandchildren.

Private cremation has taken place and will be followed by a Celebration of Life once it is safe to hold public gatherings. As expressions of sympathy, donations to The Special Air Service Regimental Association would be appreciated. A link to make a donation via Paypal can be found at: https://www.marsandminerva.co.uk/

Thanks to the family of George Hill for providing the text of this tribute.

International Agreements advance Waterloo on the global stage

Illustration of people interacting with a map of the world.

A message from Waterloo International.

The University of Waterloo has built a strong international profile, which is supported by over 200 international collaboration agreements with governments, universities, and other organizations located in more than 50 countries.

Waterloo International works with Faculties and academic support units as well as various partners worldwide to develop global talent through innovative teaching, learning and research, to deliver impactful research that is aligned with global challenges and promotes diversity on campus and beyond.

International Agreements, at Waterloo International, is a central resource that helps to enhance international presence by establishing formal partnership agreements with global institutions of excellence. Institutional-level international agreements are University-approved arrangements between educational institutions that facilitate student exchange, work integrated learning, joint academic programs, research collaborations, and other international opportunities.  

These agreements help Waterloo to stay abreast of academic trends and global innovations, to strengthen international experiences abroad and on Waterloo’s campuses and to enhance waterloo global impact and reputation. These formal arrangements facilitate a wide variety of activities, such as student, staff and faculty mobility, development of research connections, provision of training programs, and other international initiatives. 

Manager of International Agreements, Jennifer Morgan leads an experienced team, which assists Waterloo in developing and signing formal international agreements to support the various Faculties’ internationalization interests, as well as Waterloo’s Strategic Plan on Global Prominence and Internationalization.

“Our experienced team members utilize their international and contracts expertise to guide all stakeholders through the process of developing, implementing, and renewing agreements,” says Morgan. “We’ve recently increased capacity to facilitate the process of assessing and drafting international agreements, in turn, clearing up a back log and supporting new initiatives.”

“Waterloo International is pleased to support the University community to establish meaningful relationships with international institutions, which benefit thousands of students, faculty, and staff annually,” says Christine McWebb, Assistant Vice-President, International Operations.

The International Agreements team at Waterloo International looks forward to the continued collaboration with Faculties and academic support units to build meaningful formal relationships with international institutions, which offer a wide range of intercultural and international educational opportunities for students, staff and faculty.

To learn more about Waterloo’s international agreements please visit: https://uwaterloo.ca/international/international-agreements

A new digital publication platform and other notes

An animation showcasing the digital publication platform.

Don't just communicate your message. Let your audience experience it. Creative Services is now offering a new way to share digital publications. If you’re looking to level-up your digital marketing efforts contact creative services or learn more about digital publications and how they might fit into your current marketing efforts.

The Balsillie School of International Affairs, in partnership with the Ditchley Foundation, cordially invites you to the first in a three-part series of "Critical Conversations." The series serves as a forum which brings global thought leaders together to bridge important perspectives on intersectional issues currently challenging the global policy world. 

This inaugural event, entitled “Building Resilient Futures: Covid, Climate and the Economy,” will take place on September 23 from 11:00 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. and will explore the possible measures to shape a future for global resilience that is economically sustainable and capable of meeting the twin threats of climate stress and the health burdens of COVID-19.

The event organizers are delighted to bring together the following global thought leaders who will lead the discussion: 

  • Diana Fox-Carney, Climate Policy Expert
  • John Hancock, Senior Policy Adviser to the Director-General, World Trade Organization
  • William White, former Chairman of the OECD Economic and Development Review Committee, Head of the Monetary and Economic Department at the Bank for International Settlements, and Deputy Governor of the Bank of Canada
  • The panel will be moderated by Jatin Nathwani, Professor and STEM for Global Resilience Lead (BSIA/UW), Executive Director, Waterloo Institute for Sustainable Energy

Registration is through Eventbrite. A Zoom link to the webinar will be posted on the BSIA event page in the morning of the event on the event.

Link of the day

Hack the Planet! Hackers at 25

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.

Online Instructional Skills Workshop. Approximately six hours per week for six weeks: 8:00 am Monday, September 21 to 4:00 pm Friday, October 30.

Drop-in Q&A with the Keep Learning Team, Wednesday, September 23, 11:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.

Thirty Minute Thursdays – PebblePad, Thursday, September 24, 12:00 p.m. to 12:30 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.

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.

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

Waterloo Institute for Complexity and Innovation (WICI) Webinar: Dr. Raja Sengupta from McGill University  “It's Complex: Future of Modelling and Simulation in a Changing Geospatial Data Environment"Tuesday, September 22, 1:00 p.m. to 2:30 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.

Free Yoga on Warrior Field, Tuesday, September 22, 12:00 p.m. Class free for all Students, Staff and Faculty. Register today.

Zen Out: Mindfulness Based Cognitive Therapy for Students, Wednesday, September 23, 2:00 p.m., Online – Register on GoSignMeUp.

Skills for Safer Living – Suicide Ideation Group for Students, Wednesday, September 23, 3:00 p.m., Online – Register on GoSignMeUp.

Concept Intro Session: What’s Your Problem, Wednesday, September 23, 5:00 p.m., Virtual Event.

Building Resilient Futures: Covid, Climate and the Economy, Wednesday, September 23, 11:00 a.m. to 12:30 p.m, online.

Global Insights: “The Future of Peace and Conflict: Nuclear Arms, Space and Killer Robots”, featuring Jessica West, Senior Researcher, Project Ploughshares, moderated by Ann Fitz-Gerald, Director, BSIA, Thursday, September 24, 11:00 a.m. to 12 noon.

Global climate connections: How changes to our environment, food systems, and health will shape our future, Thursday, September 24, 12 noon to 1:30 p.m.

Unhook from Anxiety: Learning Skills from CBT for Students, Thursday, September 24, 1:30 p.m., Online – Register on GoSignMeUp.

School of Computer Science Distinguished Lecture Series, Moshe Y. Vardi — An Ethical Crisis in Computing? Thursday, September 24, 2:00 p.m.

Knowledge Integration seminar: “Veiled Muslim Women: Challenging patriarchy in the Canadian legal system”, speaker: Zainab Ramahi, Friday, September 25, 1:00 p.m.