Tuesday, November 24, 2020

    Brandon Sweet
    University Communications

    Will you rise to the challenge on Giving Tuesday?

    A message from the Office of Advancement.

    One week from now, on December 1, you can help unlock more than $100,000 in charitable support for Waterloo. It’s your one-day opportunity to make your giving the most powerful it can be all year — that’s especially important when the need for life-changing research and global solutions is more urgent than ever.

    We’ve assembled an impressive lineup of 21 challenges to inspire Waterloo faculty, staff, retirees, alumni, parents and friends to get involved, including challenges from some familiar faces on campus:

    A collage of eight Waterloo Giving Tuesday donors.

    Check out their challenges and others and decide where you want to direct your support. Then, on December 1, rise to the challenge and celebrate Giving Tuesday with Waterloo and the world.

    Using templates in LEARN: keeping it simple and engaging

    A screenshot of the LEARN template in action.

    A message from the Centre for Extended Learning (CEL).

    The Templates for Remote Teaching are now available in all LEARN courses. You will see the new option to select a document template when creating pages in LEARN. The Centre for Extended Learning, with support from ITMS and CTE, has designed a series of editable templates you can use to build your content and assignment pages. With these templates, you can add text, images, and videos. The weekly module structure and consistent design can help improve student navigation.

    We had a chance to speak with two instructors from the School of Pharmacy to hear how they’ve used the templates. Josephine Orso Simon, Pharmaceutics course/lab instructor, heard about the templates when preparing for her Spring 2020 course. She found the weekly introduction page template the most helpful. It had space for learning outcomes, content, activities, and assignments. She was largely able to use the templates “as is” to create her course.  She was pleasantly surprised when a student sent her this email: "I just wanted to say thank you for the way you have set up the online course. It has been the easiest setup to navigate and to figure out what is expected of us during this difficult transition."

    Preet Sian, adjunct clinical assistant professor, heard about Orso Simon’s well-designed course and decided to give the templates a try. Sian used the templates as a strategy to reduce stress for students who might be feeling overwhelmed by the switch to remote learning. She created her own workflow diagrams for students with three clear steps to complete each weekly module. Her students loved the look and feel of her course. It helped her students feel more engaged and curious about future modules.

    “Humans thrive on consistency, and these templates provide that," says Sian. "They make it easier for students to navigate a course and help instructors populate information they might have forgotten to add. I found it to be an enjoyable process.”

    To get started using the templates, visit the Course Templates page on Keep Learning.

    The 16 Days of Activism Against Gender-based Violence begin tomorrow

    The bridge over Laurel Creek adorned with red ribbons.

    Tomorrow is the start of the campaign, 16 Days of Activism Against Gender-based Violence. 16 Days was started almost forty years ago by the United Nations to link violence against all women with human rights - emphasizing that gender-based violence is a violation of human rights. The campaign runs between November 25, the International Day Against Violence Against Women, and December 10, International Human Rights Day.

    For many years, Waterloo has participated and supported this campaign through a variety of events and opportunities to engage, learn, and take action. This year, things will look different, but there remains many ways to participate and raise awareness.

    Through the Sexual Violence Prevention and Response Office, and with partners across campus and the Kitchener Waterloo community, there are ways to engage every day during the campaign. For a full listing of events and to register, visit uwaterloo.ca/16-days.

    Some highlights of the campaign include:

    • On currently, closing November 25: Bridge: Honouring the Lives of Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women, Girls, and Two Spirit People

    This has become an annual installation since 2016 for 16 Days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence at Waterloo. On currently, closing ceremonies take place November 25 at 2:00 p.m. with limited in-person attendance.

    • November 25, December 10: 16 Films for 16 Days

    Now in its third year, this open and accessible film festival calls on global women filmmakers to craft films no longer than 20 minutes, made using phones, cameras or whatever they have access to, and of any genre. All films explore themes inspired by the 16 Days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence campaign.

    • November 25, 7:00 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.: Deepfakes and Digital Harms: Emerging Technologies and Gender-Based Violence

    Soroptimist International of Kitchener-Waterloo and the Centre for International Governance Innovation (CIGI) invite you to join CIGI Senior Fellow Suzie Dunn, PhD Candidate, Faculty of Law, University of Ottawa for a virtual discussion on a form of violence many experience and often don’t recognize on a daily basis: online gender-based violence.

    • December 4, 10:30 a.m. to 11:00 a.m.: National Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence Against Women

    Canada changed forever on December 6, 1989 when 14 young women were murdered in a gender-based act of violence at l'École Polytechnique de Montréal. This year we will come together as a community, virtually, and honour the National Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence Against Women. The University of Waterloo, in partnership with the Canadian Federation of University Women Kitchener-Waterloo is hosting a special ceremony of remembrance.

    • December 8, 10:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m.: Male Allyship in the Workplace

    This workshop, hosted by Sexual Assault Support Centre of Waterloo Region, will look at ways that men can be allies in their workplace. We will learn about microaggressions, power and privilege, and what practical steps we as men can take to contribute to gender equity.

    • December 8, 5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m.: Responding to Disclosures of Sexual Violence

    In this interactive online workshop hosted by the Sexual Assault Centre of Waterloo Region, participants will learn how to respond when someone tells you about their experience of sexual violence and the first steps to supporting them.

    Virtual Conference on Student Mental Health Research in review

    Thrive Week buttons.

    A message from the Committee on Student Mental Health (CoSMH).

    During Thrive Week on November 5, the Committee on Student Mental Health (CoSMH) hosted the inaugural University of Waterloo Virtual Conference on Student Mental Health Research. This forum provided an opportunity to engage the community in a dialogue on student mental health, as well as to highlight the quality and variety of research being conducted in this field. Nearly 300 participants registered for the conference, which featured 18 presentations from students, staff, faculty, and community partners on the following topics:

    • Promotion of mental health-care strategies through education
    • Suicide prevention
    • Equity and wellness
    • Harm reduction approaches to substance use
    • Mental health impact of COVID-19
    • Access to data sources on student mental health
    • National Standard of Canada for Mental Health and Well-Being for Post-Secondary Students

    The conference also included 14 interactive poster sessions with researchers from UWaterloo and McGill University, who submitted 3-minute videos on a broad range of topics pertaining to student mental health. All posters are available on the CoSMH website.

    If you missed a session or you were unable to join the live event, you can watch the morning session here, and the afternoon session here.

    Academic Readiness Bursary returns and other notes

    The Academic Readiness Bursary (ARB), initially offered to nearly four thousand Waterloo undergraduate and graduate students, is available once again for the winter 2021 term to all students who will be registered in the winter 2021 term who have proven financial need as demonstrated through the assessment of a complete application.  Expenses related to studying remotely in the winter term, as a result of COVID-19, will be considered, up to a maximum of $500. These types of expenses could include:

    • computer upgrades, e.g., monitor, webcam, headset
    • quarantine-related expenses
    • internet access

    Students may also seek support for unanticipated expenses directly related to advancing their academic readiness and ability to engage meaningfully with the University remotely as a result of COVID-19. These expenses may include such things as study space set-up or childcare costs.

    Visit the Undergraduate or Graduate Student web pages for further details on eligibility and the application process.  The deadline to apply is January 30, 2021.

    A poster for the upcomg BRIDGE climate architecture workshop.50x30WR and BRIDGE are hosting a free online visualization workshop for a just, low-carbon Waterloo Region. 

    “In the next 10 years we will require transformative action to address the worsening impacts of the climate crisis both here in Waterloo Region and around the world,” says a note from the BRIDGE Centre for Architecture and Design. “But what will these changes look like?”

    At 3:00 p.m. on Saturday, November 28, the BRIDGE Centre for Architecture and Design and 50x30 Waterloo Region will host a 2-hour visualization workshop open to all. “Students and residents of the region will be empowered to imagine imperative changes to help us all move towards a more climate-friendly, socially just Waterloo Region,” the workshop organizers say. 50x30WR aims to inspire our communities to help reduce GHG emissions 50 per cent by 2030, in line with climate science, while centring community well-being and social justice,” the note from the workshop organizers continues. “Together, we can create a beautiful, thriving, climate-friendly Waterloo Region.”

    Please register for the workshop on Eventbrite. If you have any questions reach out to BRIDGE at bridge@uwaterloo.ca

    WatITis conference banner.

    Registration for this year’s WatITis Conference is closing soon: Wednesday November 25. "We are holding this event virtually this year and if you are interested to attend the conference, please feel free to register using the registration page," says a note from the conference organizers. "For more information on the conference, please visit: https://uwaterloo.ca/watitis. Join our mailing list so you don’t miss out on conference updates."

    Follow us on Twitter @WatITisConf.

    Link of the day

    Brian Eno's A Year with Swollen Appendices, 25 years later

    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):

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

    Remote Course Design Essentials, beginning Wednesday, November 11. 

    Introduction to Bongo Virtual Classroom (Technical Session), Wednesday, November 25, 1:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m

    ATLAS: Part 1, Thursday, November 26, 9:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.

    Authoring Content in Mobius, Thursday, November 26, 2:00 p.m. to 3:30 p.m.

    Introduction to Bongo Video Assignment (Technical Session), Friday, November 27, 1:00 p.m. to 2:00 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.

    Stay informed about COVID cases on campus by consulting the COVID case tracker.

    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.

    The Waterloo Indigenous Student Centre facilitates the sharing of Indigenous knowledge and provides culturally relevant information and support services for all members of the University of Waterloo community, including Indigenous and non-Indigenous students, staff, and faculty.

    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.

    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.

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

    Warriors vs. Laurier Blood Donation Battle, until December 2020. Join your fellow Warriors, donate blood and help us 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 blood.ca account already. Questions? Contact WarriorsInfo@uwaterloo.ca.

    University Christmas Project is seeking sponsors for clothing and gifts for children in need. Contact Christian Girodat at ceedco44@uwaterloo.ca for information on how to participate.

    Take the UN75 survey. Waterloo International is asking the Waterloo community to fill out a survey to gather your perspectives about the state of global governance and where it should be headed. If you have questions, contact Aisha Shibli.

    From Silos to Synergy, Tuesday, November 24, 2:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m., Webex event (registration via Eventbrite).

    Fireside chat with Professor David Gosset, Tuesday, November 24, 7:00 p.m.

    Noon Hour Concert: Music for Self-IsolationWednesday, November 25, 12:30 p.m., Online, Free.

    The Centre for Bioengineering and Biotechnology presents: “CBB presents: Quality Management Systems Webinar Series - Product Life Cycle with Abdul Khalfan, Wednesday, November 25, 1:00 p.m., Online via Webex. Please register to receive the link.

    NEW - Portage-Global Water Futures Research Data Management webinar series: An Introduction to the Compute Canada Federation,” Wednesday, November 25, 1:00 p.m. Registration details are available here.

    NEW - Concept IP Series: Trademarks, Wednesday, November 25, 3:00 p.m., virtual event.

    NEW - Concept IP Series: Copyright & Software, Wednesday, November 25, 3:00 p.m., virtual event.

    NEW - Concept Intro Session: Funding 101, Wednesday November 25, 5:00 p.m., virtual event.

    NEW - QPR Mental Health Training for Students, Thursday, November 26, 1:30 p.m., online – Register on GoSignMeUp.

    NEW - Grad Student Community and Conversation Circle, Thursday, November 26, 3:30 p.m., online – Register on GoSignMeUp.

    NEW - Balsillie School of International Affairs (BSIA) presents “Recent Developments in Ethiopia: A Conversation with Ambassador Nasise Jira,” Friday, November 27, 10:30 a.m.

    NEW - Giving Tuesday, Tuesday, December 1.