Wednesday, October 28, 2020

Applied Health Sciences to become Faculty of Health

Students walk through the new BMH expansion.

The Faculty of Applied Health Sciences (AHS) will become the Faculty of Health as of January 1, 2021, with a full transition to the new name by September 2021.

The idea came out of the Faculty’s most recent strategic plan, which calls for more clarity regarding the name brand, especially to external stakeholders. The proposal passed at the October 27 Board of Governors meeting.

“While we built a community around the AHS acronym and love it, we also saw that externally, there was confusion about what we represented as a Faculty,” said Dean Lili Liu. “Rebranding as the Faculty of Health allows others to easily understand what we study and aim to achieve – which is a healthier world in all its dimensions.”

The name change is also more representative of the Faculty’s three academic units – Kinesiology, Recreation and Leisure Studies, and the School of Public Health and Health Systems – and the degrees they offer, which range from BSc, BA, BPH to MSc, MA, MPH, MHE, MHI and PhD. The three units conduct research and teach health from a variety of viewpoints: from physiology and neuroscience to community wellness, social justice and public health.

“The name does not change the culture of our Faculty,” said Dean Liu. “We will still be the same caring, welcoming community we have always been.”

The Faculty grew out of the School of Physical and Health Education with the establishment of the world’s first department of Kinesiology in 1967, and was renamed School of Physical Education and Recreation in 1968. The name changed to the Faculty of Human Kinetics and Leisure Studies in the early 1970s and became the Faculty of Applied Health Sciences in 1990.

The last University of Waterloo Faculty to undergo a name change was the Faculty of Environment in 2008.

A Waterloo legacy

Brooke McNeil using a large microscope.

By Megan Vander Woude. This article was originally published in Waterloo Stories.

When Brooke McNeil entered her first year at Waterloo, she wasn’t sure what to expect from her professors during classes or office hours. That year, one professor stood out.

“I’ve never met a lecturer who was as thorough and concerned about his students understanding the material,” she explains. “Professor Bissonnette had no problem with spending an extra class on a concept if students didn’t understand it—even if it was just one person. He was so kind.”

Carey Bissonnette.Carey Bissonnette was a lecturer in Waterloo’s Faculty of Science. He had a deep knowledge of chemistry and a firm understanding of how to pass that knowledge on to young scientists. Outside the classroom, he worked as an enthusiastic advisor and cheerleader for individual students and student groups. He was a beloved figure in our campus community.

In 2019, Carey lost his battle with cancer, and Waterloo lost one of its most dedicated teachers. His wife Kim created the Carey Bissonnette Memorial Scholarship to honour his work and continue his legacy.

“I had heard from students that they cherished his ways,” she says. “I think that he remembered how it was to be a student and he kept that in mind when he was teaching. It was very important to him and his door was always open for advising and questions from his students and colleagues.”

The scholarship is awarded to a graduating undergraduate student who demonstrates a commitment in teaching or research.

“Carey always wanted to help hardworking students,” Kim says. “So this award is meant for students with strong academic achievements and who are involved in the University community through volunteering or jobs.”

When Brooke learned that she was the first recipient of the Carey Bissonnette Memorial Scholarship, she was extremely honoured. Carey’s compassionate nature had stuck with her for the last four years and had inspired her to get involved. As an upper-year student, she became a teaching assistant and tried to emulate Carey’s thoughtful, patient style. She also employed that style as a student volunteer, sharing her experiences with prospective university students.

In September 2020, she began her doctorate degree at Simon Fraser University. She hopes to spend her career in academia, dedicating her life to research and teaching—just as Carey did.

 “I feel a personal responsibility to do my best research and provide the best teaching for my future students—to show the same passion that Professor Bissonnette had,” she says. “I want to make him proud.”

Read more in the Report on Giving.

Waterloo Magazine launches with stories of alumni working with purpose

An illustration of four people in profile with nimbus-like haloes around their heads.

The fall 2020 issue of the Waterloo Magazine is now online.

The alumni featured in this special Working on purpose issue highlights stories about alumni working with purpose to inspire and educate us during a time when the call to focus our talents has never been stronger. These stories challenge us all to find our purpose and show us a way forward. You’ll also be introduced to the University’s new Future-Ready Talent Framework. 

In this edition, we share the story of Sheldon Fernandez (BASc ’01), chief executive officer at DarwinAI, the company creating a screening device for COVID-19. You’ll also find out how Nafiseh Nafissi (MSc ’09, PhD ’13) vice-president of research and development at Mediphage Bioceuticals, is leading research on a new coronavirus vaccine. 

Ebele Mogo (BSc ’09) shares how she found her purpose as a global health expert and founder of the Engage Africa Foundation when her lifelong plan to become a medical doctor changed. 

These stories and more are available on the Waterloo Magazine website.

Registration open for WatITis conference

WatITis conference banner image.

A message from the WatITis committee.

On behalf of the WatITis Committee, we are pleased to announce that the 18th annual WatITis (Waterloo Information Technology and Information Systems) conference will take place on December 8, 2020. This year, due to the Covid-19 Pandemic, we are going to hold the conference online.

Registration is now open from Wednesday, October 28 until Wednesday, November 25.

We are also excited to announce this year we will have two Keynote speakers. In the morning, Lyndia Littel, B.Eng., M.Ed. project manager, strategic initiatives and assessment at the University will be speaking and David Gosset, PhD, associate professor, Quantum Computing (IQC) will be speaking in the afternoon.

For more information on the conference and to register, please visit Join our mailing list so you don’t miss out on conference updates.

Follow us on Twitter @WatITisConf.

President's Town Hall tomorrow and other notes

Autumn leaves on the ground on the green behind the Graduate House.

Joe Petrik of the School of Computer Science took this photo of a campus in the throes of fall, with the University of Waterloo sign in its new location near the Dana Porter Library.

The President's Virtual Town Hall Meeting is set to take place tomorrow online at 1:30 p.m. More than 800 students and employees have already registered to attend, and there's still time to register and submit a question. Check out the livestream tomorrow.

Two units on campus are hosting online auctions in support of the United Way:

Plant Operations has announced that there will be an elevator shutdown in Engineering 7 from Thursday, October 29 at 8:00 a.m. to Friday, October 30 at 4:00 p.m. Only one elevator will be offline for maintenance during this time.

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

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

The CCA virtual drop-in advising hours for October are as follows: 

Résumé, cover letter, and interview drop-ins for UG and Masters students are offered Monday to Friday from 9:00 a.m. to 10:00 a.m. and 12:00 p.m. to 1:00 p.m. as well as Monday to Thursday, 5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m.

Career Consult and work search drop-ins for UG and Masters students are offered Monday to Friday, 9:00 a.m. to 10:00 a.m. and 12 noon to 1:00 p.m.

Further Education drop-ins are offered Monday to Friday, 1:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. PhD and Postdoc drop-ins are offered Monday to Friday, 12 noon to 1:00 p.m.

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

Link of the day

International Animation 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.

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.

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.

NEW - Remote Course Design Essentials, beginning Wednesday, November 11. 

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.

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.

Design & Deliver II: Designing Visual Support Live Q&A, Thursday, October 29, 9:00 a.m.

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

Grad Student Community and Conversation Circle, Thursday, October 29, 3:30 p.m., Online – Register on GoSignMeUp.

Speak Like a Scholar, Friday, October 30, 5:00 p.m.

TEDxUW 2020, Saturday, October 31, 12 noon to 4:00 p.m.

Portage-Global Water Futures Research Data Management webinar series: “Using the Open Science Framework to Enhance Your Research Projects, Wednesday, November 3, 1:00 p.m. Registration details are available here.

WaterLeadership: Develop a Knowledge Mobilization Plan for Your Grant Proposals (Q&A with Nancy Goucher), Tuesday, November 3, 1:00 p.m. to 1:30 p.m.

Positions available

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

  • Job ID# 2020-5855 - Academic Advisor/Academic Integrity - Math Undergrad Office, USG 7 - 8
  • Job ID# 2020-5815 - Academic Services Coordinator - Electrical and Computer Engineering, USG 6
  • Job ID# 2020-5827 - Accounting Assistant, Accounts Receivable and Payable - Waterloo Undergraduate Student Association, USG 6
  • Job ID# 2020-5831 - Administrative Coordinator and Advisor, Undergraduate Studies - Economics, USG 6
  • Job ID# 2020-5880 - Analyst - CEE - CEE Business Services, USG 8 - 11
  • Job ID# 2020-5821 - Communications and Media Relations Manager - Waterloo Undergraduate Student Association (WUSA), USG 8
  • Job ID# 2020-5794 - Financial Coordinator - Mechanical and Mechatronics Engineering, USG 7
  • Job ID# 2020-5872 - Student Financial Services Associate - Finance, USG 6
  • Job ID# 2020-5870 - Administrative Assistant to the Associate Dean, Research and External Partnerships - Engineering Research Office, USG 7
  • Job ID# 2020-5793 - Executive Assistant to the Associate Provost, Co-operative and Experiential Education - Co-operative and Experiential Education, USG 7

Internal secondment opportunities:

  • Job ID# 2020-5830 - Communications Specialist - Waterloo Undergraduate Student Association (WUSA), USG 7
  • Job ID# 2020-5841 - Director of Planning, Engineering - Engineering Dean's Office, USG 13
  • Job ID# 2020-5819 - Specialist, Campus Engagement - Registrar's Office, Marketing and Undergraduate Recruitment, USG 9