Friday, October 23, 2020

Virtual convocation celebrations begin today

The University's mace.

More than 2,600 of Waterloo's latest cohort of graduates will be recognized today and tomorrow through a series of virtual celebrations. In the process, these graduating students will receive more than 2,700 degrees, diplomas, and certificates.

Each graduand will receive an email from President Feridun Hamdullahpur with a personalized video featuring senior University leaders that marks this exceptional moment in the lives of each graduating student and their families.Personalized convocation emails will be sent to graduating students on October 23 and 24. These convocation emails will include messages from the President and from the valedictorians from each faculty.

A doctoral degree represents the culmination of years of hard work and dedication; seeing it through to the finish line is a tremendous achievement. Graduates, supervisors, and guests are welcome to attend the PhD virtual graduate celebration, happening today, from 12:00 to 1:00 p.m. Visit the event page for more information.

In addition, live virtual celebrations are being organized that will take place on Saturday, October 24.

Here are the fall convocation facts and figures by the numbers:

Applied Health Sciences

More than 250 AHS graduates are being celebrated this weekend. 55 undergraduates, 194 Master's, and 5 PhD candidates will receive their degrees.

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.

The Faculty of Applied Health Sciences live virtual celebration is scheduled for 3:30 p.m. ET on October 24.


More than 675 Arts graduates are being celebrated this weekend. 323 undergraduates, 342 Master's, and 14 PhD candidates will receive their degrees.

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

The Faculty of Arts live virtual celebration is scheduled for 11:00 a.m. ET on October 24.


More than 420 Engineering graduates are being celebrated this weekend. 112 undergraduates, 274 Master's, and 37 PhD candidates will receive their degrees.

Jason Lars Deglint and Linda Yunzhi Wang will be recognized as University Finalists for the Alumni Gold Medal.

The Faculty of Engineering live virtual celebration is scheduled for 2:00 p.m. ET on October 24.


More than 185 Environment graduates are being celebrated this weekend. 99 undergraduates, 82 Master's, and 6 PhD candidates will receive their degrees.

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

The Faculty of Environment live virtual celebration is scheduled for 12:30 p.m. ET on October 24.


More than 675 Mathematics graduates are being celebrated this weekend. 494 undergraduates, 157 Master's, and 28 PhD candidates will receive their degrees.

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.

The Faculty of Mathematics live virtual celebration is scheduled for 9:30 a.m. ET on October 24.


More than 400 Science graduates are being celebrated this weekend. 335 undergraduates, 55 Master's, and 15 PhD candidates will receive their degrees.

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

The Faculty of Science live virtual celebration is scheduled for 5:00 p.m. ET on October 24.

Family and friends of graduates, along with the entire UWaterloo community, are being asked to share their congratulatory messages online with stories, videos and social posts. Remember to share your UWaterloo pride on social media using #UWaterlooGrad or send a special message to our graduands on these virtual boards:

Though Convocation looks a little different this fall, it's worth remember that 20 years ago, in October 2000, the University of Waterloo broadcast its Convocation ceremonies online for the first time. 

Meet the valedictorians of 2020

Waterloo's six valedictorians.

With the fall convocation celebration here, students will be receiving their personalized emails, complete with virtual greetings from the 2020 valedictorians. Here is a sneak peek of their heartfelt messages of celebration and congratulation.

These six students have been selected by their peers, in recognitions of their social and academic contributions to the Waterloo community. Meet the speakers that inspired the Class of 2020.

Reflecting on the Haldimand Treaty

A message from the Indigenous Initiatives Office.

A map of Ontario showing the historical boundaries of the Haldimand Tract and the current Six Nations reserve.The Haldimand Treaty is significant and affects everyone working and living in communities along the Grand River, including the University of Waterloo campus community. The Treaty has, and continues to, inform the relationship between the Six Nations and Grand River communities. This Sunday marks its 236th anniversary.

On October 25, 1784 Frederick Haldimand, then Captain General and Governor in Chief of the province of Quebec and Territories, on behalf of the British Crown, issued and signed a decree known as The Haldimand Treaty. The Haldimand Treaty of 1784 was granted in recognition of the Six Nations allyship to the British Crown in the American Revolution. 

The history of events leading to and surrounding the Haldimand Treaty are well documented. The Six Nations of the Grand River have produced a number of booklets that includes a wealth of information, source documents, and listing of events surrounding the treaty and subsequent land claims. As we pass its 236th signing anniversary, become more familiar with the Haldimand Treaty of 1784 with this resource developed by Six Nations of the Grand River: Six Miles Deep: Land Rights of the Six Nations of the Grand River.

Treaties Recognition Week is scheduled for November 2 to 6, 2020; watch the Indigenous Initiatives Office website for events and resources planned each day.

Friday's notes

The University's Board of Governors meets on Tuesday, October 27. The meeting will be held via Microsoft Teams video-conference. Guests are welcome to join the open session of the meeting. 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 Monday, October 26 at 12:00 noon. The agenda is posted on the Board of Governors website.

Marketing and Undergraduate Recruitment (MUR) has put together a video that collects some facts and figures about the University into an engaging and entertaining experience:

Designed to give future students a highlight reel for the University, the facts range from the number of libraries on campus to the number of geese. And let's face it, geese are a key performance indicator at Waterloo.

No Beyond the Bulletin Podcast this week

Beyond the Bulletin Podcast logo featuring two vintage microphones.

The Beyond the Bulletin Podcast is on hiatus this week, but that means you can take the opportunity to peruse our archive of past episodes.

Link of the day

100 years ago: Tetsuya Fujita, "Mr. Tornado," born

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):

Remote Course Design Essentials, beginning August 26.

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

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

Open Educational Resources (OER) Workshop: Copyright, Licensing, Searching, and Selection, Friday, October 23, 1:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m.

Introduction to Bongo Virtual Classroom (Technical Session), Wednesday, October 28, 1:00 p.m. to 2:00 p.m.

Integrative and Experiential Learning Session (CTE7700), Wednesday, October 28, 2:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m.

Thirty Minute Thursdays - PebblePad, Thursday, October 29, 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. 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.

IT Seminar: Yoga for Office Workers, Friday October 23, 9:00 a.m. to 9:45 a.m. Join online.

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.

De-escalating difficult student situations for Faculty and Staff, Tuesday, October 27, 1:30 p.m., Online – Register on GoSignMeUp.

NEW - Board of Governors meeting, Tuesday, October 27, 1:30 p.m., Microsoft Teams.

Noon Hour Concert: The Road to Peace, Wednesday, October 28, 12:30 p.m., online, free.

Taking Action Against Online Harassment Workshop for Students, with Sexual Violence Prevention and Response Office & Sexual Assault Support Centre of Waterloo Region, Wednesday, October 28, 1:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m.

The Centre for Bioengineering and Biotechnology presents “Quality Management Systems Webinar Series – Basic Concepts of Quality, Wednesday, October 28, 1:00 p.m., online via Webex. Please register to receive the link.

Concept Intro Session: Pitch to Win, Wednesday October 28, 5:00 p.m., virtual event.

President's Virtual Town Hall Meeting, Thursday, October 29, 1:30 p.m.