Wednesday, October 21, 2020

Celebrating our convocation award winners

The University mace.

As the University community counts down to its live virtual fall convocation ceremonies on Saturday, October 24, we recognize special award winners in each faculty who will be recognized for their outstanding accomplishments.

Faculty of Applied Health Sciences

Eric Thomas Hedge will be recognized with the Alumni Gold Medal in recognition of outstanding academic achievement in a master's program.

Amanda Rafka Raffoul will be named a University Finalist for Alumni Gold Medal at the doctoral level.

Faculty of Arts

Tianjia Huang will be awarded the Accounting Alumni Award for Excellence in Accounting, given to the student graduating from the Master of Accounting program, who has the highest marks in all required and elective accounting courses.

Houman Mehrabian will be recognized with the Amit and Meena Chakma Award for Exceptional Teaching by a Student, awarded to a graduating student who has had a formal teaching role at the University and shown intellectual vigour and strong communication.

Tanya Michelle Tomasin will receive the Renison University College - President's Special Award for Academic Achievement.

Katelynn Alida Folkerts and Melissa Meade will both be named University Finalist for the Alumni Gold Medal

Faculty of Engineering

Jason Lars Deglint and Linda Yunzhi Wang are University Finalists for the Alumni Gold Medal.

Faculty of Environment

Simar Kaur and Nichola Mercer will be recognized as University Finalists for the Alumni Gold Medal.

Faculty of Mathematics

Nashid Shahriar will be awarded the University of Waterloo Alumni Gold Medal in recognition of his outstanding academic achievement in a doctoral program.

Ishan Bansal will be recognized as University Finalist for Alumni Gold Medal.

Yuyu Duan will be named winner of the James D. Leslie Undergraduate Prize, awarded to a student who has achieved a first-class standing and has earned at least half of the credits for their undergraduate degree through online courses.

Nicholas Joseph Emile Richardson will be recognized with the K. D. Fryer Gold Medal, awarded to a graduating Faculty of Mathematics student who best exemplifies academic excellence and good citizenship.

Faculty of Science

Mohammad Roostaie and Shawna Leigh-Ann Semple will be recognized as University Finalists for the Alumni Gold Medal.

Congratulations to all of our special award winners. You can share a message of congratulations to our graduating students by engaging with our hashtag #UWaterlooGrad and leaving a note on one of the virtual message boards below:

University provides update on anti-racism activities

President Feridun Hamdullahpur and Vice-President, Research and International Charmaine Dean have provided the campus community with an update on the latest activities of the President’s Anti-Racism Taskforce, or PART.

Hamdullahpur and Dean have held additional discussions with BIPOC members of the community and have heard from more than 40 BIPOC individuals who have expressed interest in participating in anti-racism work.

"We have brought these individuals together to create a forum, called the Community Collaborative, for broad consultation on the initiation and development of PART," write the president and vice-president in a memo circulated to employees yesterday. "On September 29, we were pleased to host the first official meeting of this Community Collaborative. The meeting was an opportunity for members to share ideas and to discuss how our anti-racism work should be shaped."

"Our discussions with our Community Collaborative members have revealed six thematic areas for our anti-racism work, that will be considered by PART: 

  1. Safety
  2. Race, culture & ethnicity education
  3. Campus representation (faculty, staff, students)
  4. Professional and academic development & mentorship
  5. Pedagogy & the psychological development of learners
  6. Health and mental health strategy

"We encourage you to provide feedback on the proposed thematic areas above, and on our entire anti-racism efforts. It will be helpful to hear from you by Tuesday, October 27," the memo continues. "We have updated our anti-racism website to keep you informed on the consultations we have held over the last two months. We will be sharing a list of community members that are engaged in this work and we thank them for their time and commitment."

"We remain both grateful and inspired by the level of open engagement and dialogue that members of our community have demonstrated," write President Hamdullahpur and Vice-President Dean.

Speaking out against contract cheating

International Day of Action Against Contract Cheating banner image.

A message from the Office of Academic Integrity.

Today marks the 5th Annual International Day of Action Against Contract Cheating. Institutions around the world, including the University of Waterloo, raise awareness by speaking out against contract cheating. 

Contract cheating is an academic offence occurring when someone else, such as a friend or online service, completes academic work on the student’s behalf.

Visit the Office of Academic Integrity website for academic integrity resources for students and for instructors and TAs, and follow us on Instagram @uwacademicintegrity or Twitter @WaterlooAI to hear our students speak out against contract cheating.

Remembering Distinguished Professor Emeritus Arnold Ages

Professor Arnold Ages.The Department of French Studies has reported that Distinguished Professor Emeritus Arnold Ages died on Friday, October 9.

Ages studied French History at Carleton University and received his MA and PhD from Ohio State University in Romance Languages. He also studied at Jerusalem's Hebrew University. His research foci and areas of interest included 18th century French Literature, Old French Literature, Contemporary French Literature, problems of biculturalism, the French Canadian, Hebrew language and culture, Jewish religion, Israel and Zionism.

Ages started working at the University of Waterloo in September 1963 and was promoted to associate professor in 1966. He was named a full professor in 1969.

Professor Ages was a regular contributor to The Jewish Tribune. He was also a longtime scholar-in-residence at Toronto’s Beth Tzedec Congregation.

In 2004 Ages was granted the title Distinguished Professor Emeritus.

A private memorial service has taken place.

Wednesday's notes

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

Wednesday, October 21:

Thursday, October 22:

You can view CCA’s full offering of virtual programming online. Students can register on WaterlooWorks.  

CCA virtual drop-in advising hours for October:

  • Résumé, cover letter, and interview drop-ins for undergraduate and Masters students are offered 9:00 a.m. - 10:00 a.m. and 12:00 p.m. - 1:00 p.m. EST Monday - Friday and 5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. EST, Monday to Thursday.
  • Career Consult and work search drop-ins for undergraduate and Masters students are offered 9:00 a.m. - 10:00 a.m. and 12:00 p.m. - 1:00 p.m. EST, Monday to Friday
  • Further Education drop-ins are offered 1:30 p.m. - 3:30 p.m. EST, Monday to Friday
  • PhD and Postdoc drop-ins are offered 12:00 p.m. - 1:00 p.m. EST, Monday to Friday

Students can book all virtual drop-ins through WaterlooWorks. Online registration begins at 8:00 a.m. daily.

The Library is hosting an Open Education Resources Workshop on Friday, October 23, from 1:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. on Zoom. This introductory workshop covers copyright, licensing, sourcing, and selection of OERs and participants will learn how to search for and ethically use open educational resources in their course materials.

Contact or to register by October 21

There's a battle going on: the annual Warriors vs. Laurier Blood Donation Battle. From now until December, you can join your fellow Warriors by donating blood and helping Waterloo win the Blood Battle against Laurier for a second year in a row. Set up a profile or add the PFL code: UNIV960995 to your account if you have a account already. If you have questions, you can contact for more information.

Link of the day

International Day Against Contract Cheating

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 Tuesday, October 13.

Remote Course Design Essentials, beginning August 26.

Independent Remote Course Design Essentials. Self-directed, continuous self-enrollment course in LEARN.

Getting Ready to Facilitate Online Courses: TA Training, Tuesday, October 13 to November 10.

Supporting Student Mental Health (for Instructors): self-directed, continuous self-enrollment course in LEARN.

PebblePad Users Group, Wednesday, October 21, 1:00 p.m. to 2:00 p.m.

Thirty Minute Thursdays – PebblePad, Thursday, October 22, 12:00 p.m. to 12:30 p.m.

Integrative and Experiential Learning Session, Wednesday, October 28, 2:00 p.m. to 4:00 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

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 1-833-628-5589.

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.

Renison English Language Institute continues to offer virtual events and workshops to help students practice their English language skills.

Portage-Global Water Futures Research Data Management webinar seriesLook Before You Leap: Adventures in Curating and Preserving Research Data, Tuesday, October 20, 1:00 p.m. Registration details are available here.

Arriscraft Speaker Series: What is Solidarity? | Breaking the Code: Designing for Non-Conforming Bodies, Tuesday, October 20, 6:30 p.m.

Free Yoga on Warrior FieldWednesday, October 21, 12:00 p.m. Class free for all Students, Staff and Faculty. Register today.

Noon Hour Concert: Duo Tubello, Wednesday, October 21, 12:30 p.m., online, free.

Workplace Harassment Prevention Workshop, hosted and facilitated by the Conflict Management and Human Rights Office, Wednesday, October 21, 1:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m.

QPR Mental Health Training for Faculty and Staff , Wednesday, October 21, 1:30 p.m., Online – Register on GoSignMeUp.

Concept Intro Session: Metrics 101, Wednesday, October 21, 5:00 p.m., Virtual Event.

Equity 101, hosted and facilitated by the Equity Office, Thursday, October 22, 1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m.

Grad Student Community and Conversation Circle, Thursday, October 22, 3:30 p.m., Online – Register on GoSignMeUp.

OER Workshop (Copyright, Licensing, Searching, and Selection), Friday, October 23, 1:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m., Zoom. Register by October 21. Contact or to register.

What's Next/What Now - Women in Engineering Conference, Friday, October 23 and Saturday, October 24.

Positions available

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

  • Job ID# 2020-5823 - Executive Director, Research Strategic Initiatives - Office of Research, USG 15
  • Job ID# 2020-5839 – Recruitment and Admissions Coordinator – Stratford School, USG 7

Internal secondment opportunities:

  • Job ID# 2020-5834 - Equipment Operator - Plant Operations – Grounds, CUPE
  • Job ID# 2020-5832 - Grants & Contracts Manager - Office of Research, USG 9 – 11
  • Job ID# 2020-5744 - Manager, Research Program Development and Partnerships, Anti-Racism - University Research, USG 10
  • Job ID# 2020-5745 - Manager, Research Program Development and Partnerships, Indigenous Initiatives - University Research, USG 10