Virtual Convocation dates and times announced
The University has announced the dates and times for this spring's virtual convocation ceremonies in June. Upcoming graduates will celebrate their respective virtual convocation on the following dates:
- Thursday, June 17 | 7 p.m. – PhD virtual celebration
- Friday, June 18 | 1 p.m. – Faculty of Health
- Friday, June 18 | 4 p.m. – Faculty of Environment
- Friday, June 18 | 7 p.m. – Faculty of Mathematics
- Saturday, June 19 | 1 p.m. – Faculty of Arts
- Saturday, June 19 | 4 p.m. – Faculty of Science
- Saturday, June 19 | 7 p.m. – Faculty of Engineering
Based on student feedback, virtual convocations will more closely resemble the traditional components of an in-person convocation. All will be welcome to attend the free online events and support the success of our graduating students.
Upcoming graduates are set to receive a convocation communication every two weeks, providing them with more information and resources related to convocation.
Co-op connections for a stronger community
By Adriann Kennedy. This article was originally published on Waterloo News.
The coronavirus pandemic has placed a bright spotlight on the need to collaborate and work together to meet community needs.
It’s also presented a unique set of challenges for Waterloo’s co-operative education students, who set out each term to apply their skills and education to solve real-world problems.
To tackle these issues, Co-operative Education and Experiential Learning launched Co-op for Community for the Winter 2021 work term. The program, largely funded by donor dollars, creates jobs for Waterloo co-op students in not-for-profit organizations struggling to afford talent.
The idea came to life on Giving Tuesday 2020 when Waterloo challenged its alumni and friends to make a donation to an area they’re passionate about. The response was overwhelmingly positive: with the generous support of Waterloo donors, including the Menich Family Challenge Champions, and funding from the Federal government, three co-op students joined the United Way Waterloo Region Communities earlier this year, at no cost to the organization. United Way hired another group of students for the spring term and with continued donor support, the program continues to grow.
For Norah McRae, associate provost, co-operative and experiential education at the University of Waterloo, using experiential learning to give back to the community was a no-brainer.
“Co-op for Community is a way for students to take their skills and energy and apply it to the challenges facing the communities where they live and study,” says McRae. “Regardless of a student’s career path, having the opportunity to work in a not-for-profit can be life changing and help to develop key competencies for the world of work. We’re grateful to the donors who stepped up to get this program off the ground.”
Making an impact in Waterloo Region
With 129 agencies that have received funding across the region, United Way has been putting the students to work in a variety of ways.
“We have students working on a wide range of things,” says Nancy Bird, senior director, community investment and engagement for United Way Waterloo Region Communities.
“It's not just that more hands are doing the work. It's actually allowing us to get to things we wouldn't otherwise be able to get to. And especially for a small not-for-profit staff, that's a huge benefit, and it just makes such a difference.”
The program is just getting started, but there is an excitement building about what the future can bring. With a diversity of skill sets, Waterloo students bring endless possibilities to local organizations in need.
“In our last agency call, we talked to them about the Co-op for Community program, and they just lit up,” says Joan Fisk, chief executive officer of United Way Waterloo Region Communities. “We talked about what they need and where we can collectively create projects that are impactful for everyone. It might be in web development; it could be in communications, it could be community engagement – it could be many things where staff just don't have the bandwidth inside their organization to make it work.”
Learning from giving back
It’s not just about what the students can give to the community and learn more about the non-profit world. Both Fisk and Bird are hoping that the co-op terms bring value to the students as well.
Co-op student Delina Temelso, a fourth-year Honors Arts & Business student, reflects on her time with United Way: “This is the first time I’ve worked in a not-for-profit and I feel like I’m finally able to put my skills into action to make a real difference. It’s been shocking how many people are in need.”
Fisk has already reached out to her cohorts in neighbouring regions to talk about the potential for expansion down the road, but for now, she’s looking forward to the day when students can see the impact of their efforts.
“Co-op for me is all about taking diverse and different learning opportunities,” reflects co-op student Kissor Nithiananthan from Brampton. “This experience has given me a new lens to look at things and I’m really appreciative to those who want to fund student experiences like this.”
Join the Indigenous Speaker Series online
A message from the Indigenous Speaker Series.
The COVID-19 pandemic may have disrupted our ability to host on-campus events, but the Faculty of Arts’ Indigenous Speakers Series has successfully carried on! On March 16, the Series welcomed Dr. Evan Adams, an actor and physician from the Tla’amin First Nation in British Columbia, and Deputy Chief Medical Officer for Indigenous Services Canada. Adams offered personal stories about his work as an actor, including portraying Thomas Builds-the-Fire in the well-loved film Smoke Signals, and now as a physician working on the response to the pandemic in Indigenous communities. In his medical work, Adams stressed the value of “two-eyed seeing,” a term first developed by Mi’kmaw Elder Albert Marshall that refers to learning to see Indigenous knowledges with one eye, Western knowledges with the other, and using both eyes together to benefit everyone.
Evan Adams was joined by Lori Campbell, Director of Waterloo’s Indigenous Student Centre, and Stephanie Marr, a Waterloo alumni now in medical school. Together, they discussed the unique challenges Indigenous students face at university and in medical school and they called for enhanced attention to making programs culturally safe. Thanks to Dr. Adams for joining us.
A recording of the talk will be soon available on the Faculty of Arts Youtube page.
On April 8, 2021 from 12:00 p.m. to 1:00 p.m., the Series is proud to present Logan MacDonald, professor in Waterloo’s Department of Fine Arts and Canada Research Chair in Indigenous Art. MacDonald is a visual artist of mixed European and Mi’kmaq ancestry, and belongs to the Elmastukwek people of Ktaqmkuk territory (Bay of Islands, Newfoundland). His interdisciplinary and multi-media practice explores notions of belonging in contexts of cultural erasure, queer and disability experiences. MacDonald has exhibited his work throughout Canada and the world, and in 2019 he was longlisted for the prestigious Sobey Art Award. Logan McDonald will be joined by Lori Campbell and history graduate student and artist Emma Smith.
This event is free and open to all. No event registration is required and ASL Interpretation will be available.
For more information, visit the Indigenous Speaker Series website.
The Indigenous Speakers Series is co-presented by the Waterloo Indigenous Student Centre and the Faculty of Arts. The Series highlights the voices of Indigenous artists, writers, activists, and leaders from across Turtle Island, offering UWaterloo students, faculty and staff opportunities to learn from, understand, and engage with Indigenous issues.
Board of Governors meets today and other notes
The University's Board of Governors meets this afternoon at 1:30 p.m. Among the agenda items:
- The Board will grant a number of sabbaticals and administrative leaves to University faculty members;
- The Board will receive a report on the granting of University Professor designations to two active faculty members;
- a motion to change the name of the Department of Kinesiology to the Department of Kinesiology and Health Sciences;
- a motion to change the name of the School of Public Health and Health Systems to the School of Public Health Sciences;
- a motion to approve incidental fee changes for 2021;
- a motion to delegate the Board's authority to approve the university’s audited financial statements for the fiscal year ended 30 April 2021 to the Board Executive Committee;
- a motion to approve the new Policy 14 – Pregnancy and Parental Leaves (including Adoption) and the Return to Work;
- a motion to approve the terms and conditions of the three-year compensation agreement with University staff;
- a motion approve the appointment of Diamond Schmitt Architects (together with their sub-consultants) for the $30 million renovation to the Joseph Street Warehouse on the Health Sciences Campus;
- a motion to approve a $45.25 million total project budget for the Waterloo Eye Institute and appoint HOK architects as prime consultant;
- a motion to approve Mirova Global Equity Fund and RBC Global Equity Focus Fund as investment funds/managers for both the registered pension plan and the University endowment;
- a motion to approve the 2021/22 Operating Budget; and
- a motion to approve amendments to the extended health benefit to add a basic vision care plan to reimburse $85 for eye exams every two years for eligible University of Waterloo employees, retirees, and their eligible dependents as described in this report and effective 1 May 2021.
"The last day to register for Employee Wellness Session: COVID-19 – Calming Your Mind During these Challenging Times is today," says a note from the Healthy Workplace Committee. "The workshop is offered on Wednesday, April 7 from 1:00 p.m. to 2:00 p.m., and does not conflict with any of the Staff Conference sessions." In addition, the last day to register for Employee Wellness Session: Beyond Stigma – Increasing Our Understanding of Mental Health in the Workplace is today. The workshop takes place on Friday, April 9 from 1:00 p.m. to 2:00 p.m. and does not conflict with any of the Staff Conference sessions.
Both employee wellness sessions are offered by Homewood Health and the Employee and Family Assistance Plan.