Thursday, April 29, 2021

Hallman Lecture will talk COVID and Indigenous communities

Perry Bellegarde

A message from the School of Public Health and Health Systems.

Please join the School of Public Health and Health Systems for a Hallman lecture and panel discussion on COVID-19 and Indigenous communities on May 19, from 1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. with keynote speaker Perry Bellegarde, national chief of the Assembly of First Nations.

The pandemic has had devastating and unique impacts on First Nation communities, particularly with the loss of respected Elders and Knowledge Holders. These impacts have been experienced differently across jurisdictions within Canada and bring to light critical opportunities for learning and advocating for a wide diversity of First Nation families and communities.

This Hallman lecture will include a discussion of the COVID-19 response from the perspective of Bellegarde, followed by a panel discussion on other national as well as regional successes and challenges.

Please register for COVID-19 and Indigneous communities in advance.

Larry Smith stepping down as Problem Lab director

The iconic Larry Smith is ironically stepping away from a start-up. He is stepping away from his director role in The Problem Lab student innovation program. Smith founded The Problem Lab in 2018 and has served as its director ever since.

Larry Smith giving a lecture.“Larry’s passion for economics and entrepreneurship has paved his long Waterloo career as being one of the University’s most sought-after instructors, guest speakers and leaders,” writes Chris Read, associate provost, students. “The Problem Lab, the first of its kind in Canada, has helped many student innovators learn how to examine a problem. Through Larry’s leadership, the Problem Lab has supported thousands of students and entrenched Waterloo’s reputation for being the home to the most creative, energetic and determined students in the world. This creation was born out of Larry’s passion to ensure our students were dreaming big, thinking big, and readied to make their impact.”

The Problem Lab helps students find and understand important problems—the critical, but often overlooked, first step of entrepreneurial innovation. The Problem Lab was established with $300,000 in seed funding from Mike Lazaridis and Doug Fregin, principals of Quantum Valley Investments® and founders of Blackberry.

Smith is a Waterloo alumnus, holding a BA and MA from the University as well as an honorary degree from Conestoga College. His specialty is in the economics of innovation and forecasting. He received the University of Waterloo’s Distinguished Teaching Award in 1993. Smith made a splash on the world stage when his 2011 Tedx talk, Why you will fail to have a great career, went viral with more than 7 million views to date. His book, No Fears, No Excuses: What You Need to Do to Have a Great Career, was published in 2016.

“Larry’s work with UWaterloo will continue in his ongoing appointments with the Conrad School of Entrepreneurship and Business and the Department of Economics as an Adjunct Associate Professor,” Read writes.

Smith wraps up his term as director of the Problem Lab on Friday, April 30.

Waterloo co-op leader set to present at WIL conference

A message from Co-operative and Experiential Education (CEE).

Judene Pretti.A key figure in University of Waterloo Co-operative and Experiential Education (CEE) is set to present at an international book launch conference this week.

Judene Pretti, director of the Waterloo Work-Learn Institute (WxL), will present a chapter of Applications of Work-Integrated Learning among Gen Z and Gen Y students as part of the Work Integrated Learning Among Gen Y and Z Conference on April 29. The chapter is written by Pretti and associate provost of CEE, Norah McRae.  

Pretti and McRae’s chapter in the work-integrated learning (WIL) book includes a case study of Waterloo’s world-leading Co-operative Education program.

Read about the conference here.

Celebrating 25 years of tax research impact

This article was originally published on the School of Accounting and Finance website.

Ken Klassen.The Waterloo Centre for Taxation in a Global Economy (Tax Centre) has taken a significant role in advancing and supporting tax research and education, not only at the University of Waterloo, but across Canada. As the Tax Centre enters its 25th year, Ken Klassen (MAcc ’89), Director of the Tax Centre and professor with the School of Accounting and Finance (SAF), sits down for a conversation about the Tax Centre's accomplishments and the influence that it has had on the accounting profession and the SAF curriculum.

Recognizing the Tax Centre’s initiative to enhance research and teaching in tax, Ken has been involved with the Centre since its beginnings. Ken remembers, “I’ve always been involved and worked towards the betterment of the Centre because I think it’s a really important initiative, both for tax in Canada and as well as for the School.” Naturally, Ken agreed to take over as director of the Tax Centre when asked back in 2011.

Reflecting on the success of the past 25 years, one outstanding accomplishment that the Tax Centre has contributed to is the development of the Master of Taxation (MTax) program. Ken expresses the significance of the MTax program at University of Waterloo and in Canada, “we now have many, many alumni [who] are in all areas of tax practice and that impact cannot be understated”. The high employer demand for both MTax graduates and co-op students in the professional world highlights the impact that the program has made to the profession.

The Annual Tax Policy Symposium, composed of a tax policy discussion panel and a presentation session of current research papers, is another significant component that has continued to be successful to both researchers as well as practitioners. Through the Symposium, accounting, economics and law researchers in tax are brought together to discuss tax policy issues across Canada. It is important to tax practice to have a mix of researchers and tax practitioners at the annual symposium. “That integration of the 3 groups as well as engaging the tax policy makers has [had a] beneficial outcome for the tax policy discussion in Canada more broadly,” states Ken.

In support of moving the research environment forward within Canada, the Tax Centre has successfully added more PhD alumni to tax faculty compliments across the country. “We have the most researching tax faculty members of any university in Canada. We have the most publications that have come out of our group of any other group in Canada, and we have by far the most tax PhD students [who] have graduated over the years,” states Ken.

Additionally, the Tax Centre has a significant impact in the development of the tax curriculum and instruction, particularly across Ontario, but also more broadly across the country. Ken reflects that “we tend to not only develop new curriculum but then share [it] with other colleagues and other universities for the improvement of education throughout the province and throughout the country.”

Continuously evolving as a Centre

Although the pandemic has created many disruptions in the industry, the Tax Centre has been evolving and will continue to do so, with its activities changing over time to follow the dynamic nature of tax. “We wouldn’t be around for 25 years if we hadn’t done that,” expresses Ken of the reason why the Tax Centre has been successful.

The Tax Centre is developing and facilitating the interchange between tax researchers and tax policy makers and encouraging these interactions for the improvement of research and instruction in tax. Moving forward, Ken shares that the Tax Centre is also conducting “original research that contributes directly to tax policy issues,” specifically targeted at commenting on developing tax policy and tax administration in Canada.

The pandemic has also created opportunities for the Tax Centre to develop original research on the fiscal challenge that has been created due to the government’s response. Ken reflects that “they spent billions of dollars, and probably rightly so to keep the economy going and support people in this difficult time, but the next step is… what is the response going to be?”

Once Canada has significantly emerged from the pandemic, Ken is hopeful that the Tax Centre will continue to make meaningful contributions to the discussion.

Recognition for distinguished contribution

As the Director of the Tax Centre and professor at SAF, Ken is recognized for his excellence in scholarly achievement and has been awarded the 2021 Haim Falk Award for Distinguished Contribution to Accounting Thought. “His insights on tax issues are highly sought after, and valued, by academics (many wrote of how much they valued his discussant comments), tax professionals and government regulators”, commented by members of the Award Committee. The Haim Falk Award also credits Ken for his work to build engagement in the tax professional community through the annual symposium and by serving on student PhD committees at the School. Congratulations Ken Klassen for this outstanding achievement.

May is Sexual Violence Awareness Month

Sexual Violence Awareness Month banner image.

A message from Human Rights, Equity and Inclusion (HREI).

May is Sexual Violence Awareness month, and it provides the opportunity to not only increase awareness about sexual violence, but also to build and strengthen capacity to end sexual violence on our campuses and broader communities. 

The Sexual Violence Prevention and Response Office, along with partners like Campus Wellness and the Sexual Assault Support Centre of Waterloo Region (SASC), has created opportunities this month for all campus community members to work individually and collectively to end sexual violence. 

Please share these workshops, events, and resources widely within your networks. There is power in standing with survivors, and in normalizing important conversations about consent, healthy sexual relationships, being an upstander and ally, and supporting survivors in our lives.

Browse workshops, events and resources

Honk if you miss Waterloo and other notes

Two t-shirts from the "honk if you miss Waterloo" collection."Each year, W Store releases a goose-inspired collection to celebrate the University’s iconic geese during the beginning of nesting season in April," says a note from Print + Retail Solutions. "This year’s “Nesting Season” line reflects on our current campus reality, with most of the University community continuing to study and work remotely."

The “Honk If You Miss UWaterloo” collection allows University students, staff and faculty to take home a piece of campus life – goose included. The collection includes a tee shirt, mug and postcard alongside other goose-inspired campus favourites. The full collection is now available online at

Flags on the University of Waterloo campus were lowered yesterday to mark the National Day of Mourning, which remembers workers who have died, been injured, or become ill from their job.

The University's flag-lowering guidelines state that campus flags are lowered "to mark the death of a national or provincial figure, or to join in national mourning, the University will lower its flags if the Government of Canada orders flags lowered on federal buildings throughout Canada or throughout Ontario."

Link of the day

International Dance 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.

Course templates are 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):

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  - MATES, Glow Centre, RAISE, Women’s Centre - Visit to book an appointment

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)

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.

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

Bibliometrics and Research Impact Community Conference, Tuesday, April 27 to Thursday, April 29, 11:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Register for this online event.

NEW - IT Seminar: Computer Science Computing Facility (CSCF) Update, Friday April 30, 9:00 a.m. to 9:45 a.m. Join online.

Copyright and Software, Friday, April 30, 1:00 p.m. to 2:30 p.m. Please register to receive a link to this event on WebEx.

Rupi Kaur Live, Friday, April 30, 9:00 p.m.

English Conversation Circles, Monday, May 3.

Dissertation Boot Camp, Friday, May 7.

NEW - Return to Campus Virtual Town Hall, Tuesday, May 11, 1:30 p.m.

NEW - Breaking Free From Low Mood, Tuesday, May 11, 2:30 p.m.

NEW - 36th Annual Meeting of the Canadian Biomaterials Society, Thursday, May 13 to Saturday, May 15. Hosted by the University of Waterloo.

NEW - Indigenous-Mennonite Encounters: Conference Preview, Thursday, May 13, 10:00 a.m.