Celebrating the Class of 2021: an update on Convocation
Convocation ceremonies will be taking place in online formats in June, and invitations are being sent to the graduands via email today. President Feridun Hamdullahpur is providing an update for employees about the University's plans for Spring convocation.
"Convocation is a monumental occasion in the life of our students and we look forward to celebrating the University of Waterloo graduating Class of 2021," President Hamdullahpur writes. "Many of you, our staff and faculty, work behind the scenes to make sure convocation is a ceremony to remember."
"The decision to not host in-person convocation ceremonies was a very difficult one to make. Not being able to celebrate in person is a disappointment for our spring 2021 graduates and our campus community. As we continue to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic, the well-being of our students, their families and our campus community remains our top priority."
"We have a dedicated team of staff and faculty across the campus working to ensure our students have a memorable experience. Alumni from around the world are supporting these efforts and are eager to congratulate our newest alumni."
"Though we can’t gather in person, let’s come together to celebrate our students’ achievements virtually with photos, remarks and videos. Here’s how you can support and celebrate convocation this June."
"Based on student feedback, the format of our ceremonies will closely resemble a traditional in-person convocation. We will have live, online remarks and speeches to make our graduates feel special and recognized. There will be six ceremonies, one per faculty as well as a PhD reception event."
"You are welcome to attend convocation ceremonies. If you are interested in attending, please register on the convocation website."
"You can also participate on social media. The Class of 2021 will be celebrated the week of convocation (June 14 to 20) on our Waterloo social channels and home page. We ask you to join us in this celebration using #UWaterlooGrad in your posts."
Deans will participate live in the online ceremony on June 18 and 19. They will share messages on behalf of their faculty, introduce the valedictorians, honorary doctorates (for relevant faculties) and special student awards.
We encourage faculty members to attend a ceremony as part of the virtual audience. You can participate in live chats and wish graduates well as they start their next chapter. Faculty should watch for invitations being delivered today and learn how faculty can share advice to our graduating class.
Keeping students informed
Students who may be eligible to graduate this spring are receiving a bi-weekly newsletter with information and resources for spring convocation. Our convocation website is updated accordingly.
Over the past year, we have witnessed the resiliency and compassion of our community in the face of unprecedented challenges. Thanks to each of you for working together to ensure the best academic experience for our students.
Up-to-date information is available on the University's convocation website and you can send questions to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Waterloo students bring home silver in Solar Decathlon event
The University of Waterloo's Warrior Home team brought home a number of trophies as part of the 2020 U.S. Department of Energy's Solar Decathlon Build Challenge, an international competition that challenges university students to design and build highly-efficient buildings. The event, which took place from April 15 to 18, was the culmination of three years of hard work for the design team.
Over the last several years, the Warrior Home Team designed and built a net-zero energy building on the Chippewas of Nawash Unceded First Nation’s Neyaashiinigmiing Reserve in southwestern Ontario. During the Solar Decathlon competition, the Warrior Home Team won a total of six trophies for their design and build:
- 1st in Financial Feasibility & Affordability
- 2nd for the 2020 Build Challenge
- 2nd for Comfort and Environmental Quality
- 2nd in Resilience
- 3rd in Market Potential
- 3rd in Innovation
The University of Waterloo was the only Canadian University competing in the Solar Decathlon Build Challenge, and worked with Habitat for Humanity Grey-Bruce to complete the project, which was recently profiled in the Daily Bulletin.
You can check out the award ceremony, including the announcement of the University of Waterloo's second-place finish.
"We would like to acknowledge and congratulate the following students who competed in the seven presentations at the Solar Decathlon: Gabrielle Tuck, Jeffrey Ren, Darren Sheh, Nancy Zhou, Jessica Dulku, Dana Usaty, Ankit Shah, Kashifah Ahmed, Sara Turner, Michael Wong, Galen Fernandes, Nicole Politis, Rebecca Wong, Matea Ceric, Pierre Roy, Sharon Emmanuel, Anastasia Jaffray, Dilroz Rana, Ryan Charlinski, Asjad Khan and Kyle MacDonald," wrote Professor Daniel LaCroix and Lecturer Andrea Atkins, both of Civil and Environmental Engineering, in a letter to colleagues. "Also, congratulations to the numerous students involved in the Team throughout the last few years. Finally, thank you to the following Faculty members who have mentored and helped the Warrior Home Team: Professors Cory Zurell, David Mather, and Costa Kapsis."
A collection of recollections and reminders
Human Resources is reminding employees that employee benefit plan provider Canada Life will be hosting two more public information sessions this month about what the recent changes to the benefit plan means for faculty, staff, and their dependents.
If you attend a session, you can expect to hear about benefits changes for:
- in vitro fertilization (IVF),
- continuous glucose monitors,
- vision care,
- age for dependent children,
- enhanced paramedical and out-of-country coverage, and
- prescription drug management programs.
Following the presentation, representatives from Canada Life and Human Resources will be available to answer questions.
The sessions are scheduled as follows:
- Monday, May 17, 11:00 a.m. to 12 noon;
- Thursday, May 20, 3:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m.
Also as a reminder, the Co-operative Education Council is requesting proposals for the re-development of a PD course that focuses on critical reflection and workplace success. Development will take place August 2021 to July 2022.
This course will be the second core PD course that students in the faculties of Arts, Environment, and Health take and is typically completed during their first work term. A major reflective report will serve as the final assignment and counts as the first work term report for these students. The course is also available as a PD elective to co-op students in other faculties.
The proposed objectives for the course are:
- Provide strategies to help students make the most of workplace opportunities and challenges
- Introduce the value of professional development and work-integrated learning
- Demonstrate the value of critical reflection for personal and professional growth
- Reinforce the importance of planning for the future of work, through integration of Waterloo’s Future Ready Talent Framework
Authoring a PD course means participating in the development of an innovative online course and gaining experience with work-integrated learning. It also offers members of the University community a unique opportunity to reach thousands of co-op students across multiple faculties each term. Since this course is typically completed during the students’ first work term, its instructor can make a positive impact on student learning and workplace success at a critical juncture in their co-op journey.
Additional information can be found in the Request for Proposals on WatPD’s website. In advance of submitting a proposal, interested applicants are strongly encouraged to contact Natalie Clifford, Manager of Academic Programs, by sending an email to email@example.com.
Proposals need to be submitted to Natalie Clifford by May 23, 2021.
Longtime Food Services employee Wayne Whetstone is retiring after 47 years at the University.
"We are wishing Wayne Whetstone a happy retirement and we know that many more on campus have gotten to know Wayne and would like to wish him well," writes Wayne's colleague Amanda Liebeck. "We have created a Kudo board for people to send him a farewell message."