Wednesday, April 7, 2021

From 5 to 50 years, Waterloo celebrates employee milestones

Employee Recognition 2021 banner image.

Employees who have served between 5 and 50 years at the University of Waterloo will be honoured across a series of virtual events today, recognizing the dedicated contributions and tireless efforts which have shaped the success of the university. These virtual celebrations will honour 501 employees who started between 1971 and 2016 and have reached major landmarks in their time at the University of Waterloo.

Marilyn Thompson, associate provost, human resources will host the events, with welcoming congratulations and thanks provided by President Feridun Hamdullahpur. The 5 and 10 Year Recognition Reception will take place from 9:30 a.m. to 10:00 a.m., the 15 and 20 Year Recognition Reception from 12:30 p.m. to 1:00 p.m., and the 25 to 50 Year Recognition Reception will be celebrated from 4:00 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. At the end of each event, employees and guests will have the opportunity to join a networking session on the Hopin platform, to share their stories and congratulate each other.

Everyone is encouraged to view the list of milestone recipients and send a message of congratulations directly to anyone you may know. Thank you to the supervisors and colleagues who have already shared messages on the celebration board.

Congratulations to all recipients. We wish you continued success.

Together at the top

Brigitte Shim and A. Howard Sutcliffe

By Brian Caldwell. This article was originally featured on the Faculty of Engineering website.

Two architects who have compiled a long list of accomplishments since graduating from the University of Waterloo added to it last week with a prestigious award from a national organization.

Brigitte Shim and A. Howard Sutcliffe, who met at Waterloo and graduated together from the School of Architecture in 1983, were named the winners of the 2021 Gold Medal by the Royal Architecture Institute of Canada (RAIC).

Awarded annually by the RAIC, a not-for-profit group that has represented architects and architecture for more than 100 years, the medal is its highest honour, recognizing a significant and lasting contribution to Canadian architecture.

“Brigitte and Howard are architect’s architects,” architect Brian MacKay-Lyons wrote in a media release. “In my view, theirs is one of the few Canadian architectural firms whose work consistently enjoys the respect of the architectural community worldwide.”

Personal and professional partners

A couple as well as the founding partners of Shim-Sutcliffe Architects in Toronto, they both earned degrees at Waterloo in environmental studies in 1981 before going on to study architecture. They have been professional collaborators ever since.

Shim and Sutcliffe have won 15 Governor General’s Medals for Architecture, made the Order of Canada together in 2013 and received the Team Alumni Achievement Medal from Waterloo Engineering in 2011.

Celebrated projects by the duo include their own residence, the Laneway House, and the Robertson Davies Library in Toronto. They are currently working on projects in North America, Russia and Hong Kong.

In addition to other qualities, their work is distinguished by meticulous attention to detail.

“By their relentless pursuit of excellence, Brigitte Shim and Howard Sutcliffe have produced a significant body of exceptional design works covering architecture, landscape, interior, furniture and hardware—all developed to an incredibly high standard, with craft, rigour, sense of place, and mastery of proportions,” commented one of the award judges.

Winter 2021 LITE Seed Grant recipients named

A person writes on a whiteboard while two other people look on.

Since 2012, over 120 Learning Innovation and Teaching Enhancement (LITE) Grants have been awarded to instructors and staff investigating innovative approaches to enhancing teaching and learning at Waterloo. The Office of the Associate Vice-President, Academic, and the Centre for Teaching Excellence have announced the recipients of the Winter 2021 round of LITE Seed Grants.

A complete list of funded LITE Grant projects is available on the CTE website.

LITE Seed Grants can help you investigate small-scale teaching and learning research projects and attend activities to develop your instructional skills. Please get in touch with Kyle Scholz ( or Kristen Archbell ( to discuss your LITE Seed Grant idea. The next deadline for LITE Seed Grants is June 1.

Applications for Campus Wellness Student Advisory Committee are now open

Four people sit at a table.

A message from Campus Wellness.

Campus Wellness is excited to open applications for the new Student Advisory Committee.

The Student Advisory Committee will enhance client engagement and improve the quality of programs and services at Campus Wellness by:

  • Providing input on/recommendations for improving or enhancing CW services, initiatives, procedures, processes, practices etc.
  • Representing client perspectives about theirs and others experiences at CW, including undergraduate and graduate students.
  • Supporting CW to enhance its client engagement and client-centred care practices.
  • Strengthening communication and collaboration between CW clients, and students not engaging services.

There are 12 paid positions available to current undergraduate and graduate students. Interested applicants can apply by filling out the Application webform.

Banning menthol cigarettes led to a reduction in smoking, study finds

A person dumps a package of cigarettes out into a wastebasket.

This article was originally featured on Waterloo News.

Bans on menthol cigarettes across Canada from 2016 to 2017 led to a significant increase in the number of smokers who attempted to quit, smokers who quit successfully, and lower rates of relapse among former smokers, according to a new research study from the International Tobacco Control Policy Evaluation Project (the ITC Project) at the University of Waterloo.

Menthol is the most common flavoring for cigarettes in many countries. Menthol creates a cooling sensation, which reduces the harshness of cigarette smoke. Because of this, menthol leads to increased experimentation and progression to regular smoking among new smokers, especially among youth.

“Our study demonstrates the substantial benefits of banning menthol cigarettes,” said Geoffrey T. Fong, Professor of Psychology and Public Health and Health Systems at Waterloo, and principal investigator of the ITC Project. “The enormous success of the Canadian menthol ban makes it even clearer now that the U.S. should finally ban menthol, which the tobacco industry has used for decades to attract new smokers and to keep many of them as customers, especially among the African-American community.

“The positive effects of the Canada menthol ban suggest that a U.S. menthol ban would lead to greater benefits since menthol cigarettes are much more popular in the U.S. From our findings, we estimate that banning menthol cigarettes in the U.S. would lead an additional 923,000 smokers to quit, including 230,000 African-American smokers.”

The study conducted by Fong and his team examined the impact of menthol bans across seven Canadian provinces, covering 83 per cent of the Canadian population, which saw menthol cigarettes banned between August 2016 and October 2017. Canada was the one of the first countries to implement a ban on menthol cigarettes, and the first country where a menthol ban has been evaluated.

“The Canadian menthol ban did not lead to a high level of illicit menthol cigarette purchasing, which has been a concern by regulators considering a menthol ban,” said Fong. “Fewer than 10 per cent of menthol smokers reported still smoking a menthol brand after the ban.”

Scientific reviews conducted by the Tobacco Products Scientific Advisory Committee to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the FDA itself, and the World Health Organization have also concluded that banning menthol would have significant public health benefits. 

The harms of menthol cigarettes in the U.S. have been much greater among African-Americans. Menthol cigarettes are smoked by 85 per cent of African-American smokers, over 2.8 times the percentage of menthols among white smokers.

A national sample of 1,098 non-menthol and 138 menthol smokers participating in the ITC Canada Smoking and Vaping Survey were surveyed both before the menthol ban (in 2016) and after the menthol ban (in 2018).

The survey demonstrated three benefits of the Canadian menthol ban. Menthol smokers were significantly more likely than non-menthol smokers to attempt to quit after the menthol ban (58.7 per cent vs. 49 per cent). 

Daily menthol smokers were almost twice as likely than daily non-menthol smokers to quit after the menthol ban (21 per cent vs. 11.6 per cent). 

Finally, those menthol smokers who had quit smoking before the menthol ban were significantly less likely than non-menthol smokers who had quit smoking to have relapsed back to smoking.

The study, Evaluating the impact of menthol cigarette bans on cessation and smoking behaviours in Canada: longitudinal findings from the Canadian arm of the 2016–2018 ITC Four Country Smoking and Vaping Surveys, was published yesterday in the journal Tobacco Control.

Link of the day

International Day of Reflection on the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi in Rwanda

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.

Updated Course templates are now available within your course in LEARN to help you build and edit your content and assignment pages quickly.

The following workshops, webinars, and events are offered by the KL team (CTE, CEL, ITMS, LIB):

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

Introduction to PebblePlus (CTE7527), Wednesday, April 7, 1:00 p.m. to 3:00 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.

Whether you’re a student or faculty member, the Writing and Communication Centre has virtual services and programs to help you with all of your academic writing needs. This term we have added evening and weekend one-to-one appointments with our peer tutors, and our NEW one-to-one workshops, where you can learn the content directly from one of our writing advisors.

  • Undergraduates: Work with us to brainstorm, draft, revise, and polish your assignments in one-to-one appointments. Ask questions and learn writing tips at our Instagram Live Q&A sessions, and beat isolation while improving your writing skills at the weekly PJ-friendly writing groups.
  • Graduates: Meet with our advisors in one-to-one appointments. Join the online writing community at the Virtual Writing Cafés, learn how to present your work at Speak Like a Scholar, or get moving on your dissertation at Dissertation Boot Camp.
  • Faculty and Instructors: Request custom workshops for your courses, join the Waterloo writing community at the Virtual Writing Cafés, or make progress on your article, book, or chapter in one-to-one meetings with our faculty specialist.

Co-op students can get help finding a job and find supports to successfully work remotely, develop new skills, access wellness and career information, and contact a co-op or career advisor.

The Centre for Career Action assists undergraduates, graduate students, postdocs, staff, faculty, and alumni through navigating career services that are right for them. You can attend a one-on-one appointment or same day drop-in session at the CCA for assistance with cover letter writing, career planning and much more. You can also book an appointment online or visit our Live Chat to connect with our Client Support Team. The CCA is here to help you.

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 TreatmentGood2Talk is a post-secondary student helpline available to all students.

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 Indigenous Initiatives Office is a central hub that provides guidance, support, and resources to all Indigenous and non-Indigenous campus community members and oversees the university Indigenization strategy.

The Waterloo Indigenous Student Centre, based at St. Paul’s University College, provides support and resources for Indigenous students, and educational outreach programs for the broader community, including lectures, and events.

WUSA supports for students:

Peer support (Visit to book an appointment):

  • MATES – Available Monday to Friday, 10:30 a.m. to 9:30 p.m.; Saturday and Sunday, 10:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. (online only)
    • Support sessions available in the following languages: Cantonese, English, Hindi, Mandarin, Portuguese, Punjabi, Spanish, and Urdu.
  • Glow Centre – Available Monday to Friday,  4:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. (online only)
  • RAISE – Available Monday to Friday – Varied hours (online only)
  • Women’s Centre – Available Monday to Friday, 2:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. (online only)

Bike Centre – Will be reopening soon

Campus Response Team, ICSN, Off Campus Community and Co-op Connection all available online. Check for more details.

Food Support Service food hampers are currently available from the Turnkey Desk on weekdays from 7:30 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. in the Student Life Centre. If you have any questions please email us at

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.caMore information is available.

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 (Online Fitness)

Free Exam Fitness Classes (April 6 – 16). Tuesday - Kickboxing, Wednesday- Zumba & Friday-Yoga. All classes are online at 5:00 p.m.

Drop-in to Warrior Virtual Study Halls on Wednesdays from 5:30 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. Come together in this virtual space to set goals and work independently or in groups each week.

Livestream Exercises for Waterloo staff: Join us for an energy boosting Bootcamp or a fast and effective Express Home Workout! Open to UW Staff and subsidized by the Staff Excellence Fund.

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. 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 account already. Questions? Contact

Waterloo Staff Conference, Tuesday, April 6 to Friday, April 9.

Global Engagement Summit: Pandemic, Wednesday, April 7, from 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. Register online to attend.

Living Dialogs webinar, Wednesday, April 7, 12 noon.

COVID-19: Calming Your Mind in Challenging Times, Wednesday, April 7, 1:00 p.m. to 2:00 p.m.

Solve Climate by 2030: 4 key steps for climate action, Wednesday, April 7, 1:30 p.m.

Indigenous Speakers Series presents Logan MacDonald, Thursday, April 8, 12 noon to 1:00 p.m.

Beyond Stigma: Increasing Our Understanding of Mental Health in the Workplace, Friday, April 9, 1:00 p.m. to 2:00 p.m.

QPR Mental Health Training for Faculty and Staff, Monday, April 12, 9:30 a.m.

Conrad School Connect: Ask-Me-Anything with Cassie Myers, Thursday, April 15, 1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m.

Positions available

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

  • Job# 2021-6207 - Partnerships Manager - Math Innovation Office, USG 10
  • Job ID# 2021-6322 – Optician - Optometry Clinic, USG 8
  • Job ID# 2021-6327 - Patient Care Coordinator – Optometry, USG 5
  • Job ID# 2021-6383 - Communications Associate, AVPA Office – AVPA, USG 9
  • Job ID# 2020-6061 - Donor Relations Officer - Office of Advancement, USG 9
  • Job ID# 2021-6378 – Groundsperson - Plant Operations, CUPE
  • Job ID# 2021-6381 - Controls Technologist - Plant Operations, CUPE
  • Job ID# 2021-6240 - Manager, Finance & Budgets - Plant Operations, USG 12

Secondments/Internal temporary opportunities

  • Job ID# 2021-6375 - Manager, Internal and Leadership Communications - University Communications, USG 10
  • Job ID# 2021-6382 - Resource Sharing Associate, Borrowing – Library, USG 6
  • Job ID# 2021-6386 - Online Learning Consultant - Centre for Extended Learning, USG 10 – 11
  • Job ID# 2021-6234 - Associate Director, Infrastructure Development - Plant Operations, USG 13 - 14