Friday, June 4, 2021

2020 Outstanding Performance Award recipients named

"I am very pleased to announce the Outstanding Performance Award recipients for 2020 and would like to take this opportunity to congratulate them for their outstanding contributions to the University of Waterloo," writes James Rush, vice-president, academic & provost.

The 2020 Outstanding Performance Award winners are:

Faculty of Arts

Dillon Browne; Angela Carter; Valerie Cecile Dusaillant-Fernandes; Andrew Faulkner; Jean Guillaume Forand; Doreen Fraser; Jonathan Fugelsang; Owen Gallupe; Jasmin Habib; Dorothy Hadfield; Logan MacDonald; Ian Milligan; Adam Molnar; Aimee Morrison; Lennart Nacke; Marcel O’Gorman; Evan Risko; Susan Roy; Jennifer Schulenberg; Mikal Skuterud; Christopher Taylor; Kanstantsin Tsedryk; Bojana Videkanic; Katherine White; Dinghai Xu.


Lisa Aultman-Hall; Anne Bordeleau; Kyle Daun; Daniel Davison; Cecile Devaud; Ramadan El Shatshat; Vijay Ganesh; Wojciech Golab; Jason Grove; Jean-Pierre Hickey; Christopher Holt; Jennifer Howcroft; Nadine Ibrahim; Fiona Lim Tung; David Mather; Robert McKillop; Tizazu Mekonnen; Andrew Morton; Kshirasagar Naik; Muhammad Shah; Chao Tan; Bryan Tolson; William Wong.


Jennifer Clapp; Amelia Clarke; Christopher Fletcher; Heather Mary Hall; Merrin Macrae; Prateep Nayak; Erin O’Connell; Katie Plaisance.


Leeann Ferries; Lora Giangregorio; Bryan Grimwood; Scott Leatherdale; Carrie McAiney; Samantha Meyer; Chris Vigna.


Byron Becker; Jason Bell; Eric Blais; Raouf Boutaba; Lori Case; Jan Marius Hofert; Ihab Ilyas; Mohammad Kohandel; Pengfei Li; Anna Lubiw; Kirsten Morris; Alexander Peter Nelson; Jennifer Nelson; Pascal Poupart; William Slofstra; Nathaniel Stevens; Ian VanderBurgh; Chengguo Weng; Dan Wolczuk; Peter Wood; Karen Yeats.


Michael Balogh; David Blowes; Lisa Christian; Vivian Dayeh; Andrew Charles Doxey; David Edwards; Steven Forsey; Tammy Labreche; Brenda Lee; Richard Marta; Elizabeth Meiering; Linda Nazar; Marcel Pinheiro; Colby Michael Steelman; Nancy Waite.

Effective May 1, 2005, in accordance with the 2003 Faculty Salary Settlement, the University of Waterloo established an Outstanding Performance Fund to reward faculty members for outstanding contribution in teaching and scholarship.

Jeff Casello reappointed AVP Graduate Studies and Postdoctoral Affairs

"I am pleased to announce the re-appointment of Professor Jeff Casello as Associate Vice-President, Graduate Studies and Postdoctoral Affairs for a three-year term commencing 1 July 2021," wrote James Rush, vice-president, academic & provost in a memo circulated to employees, graduate students and postdoctoral fellows yesterday afternoon.

Jeff Casello."In considering Professor Casello’s reappointment, the nominating committee consulted widely with members of the University community and received input from students, postdoctoral fellows, staff, faculty, Faculty deans and associate deans, members of Executive Council and other senior administrators," writes Rush. "There was very strong support for Professor Casello’s re-appointment from stakeholders. Jeff’s leadership of GSPA during his first term was recognized as transformational including shepharding the transformation of the former Graduate Studies Office into the Graduates Studies and Postdoctoral Affairs  portfolio. His leadership has focused on greater coordination across campus, and on the development of a number of programs, processes, and resources in support of graduate students, postdoctoral fellows, their advisors and programs. The re-appointment of Jeff Casello received very strong support from the stakeholder consultations and from the nominating committee."

"I wish to add my own support for Professor Casello’s appointment, to congratulate him, and to thank him for agreeing to serve in this important role," Rush's memo continues. "I would also like to thank the members of the nominating committee: Sheila Ager, David Billedeau, David DeVidi, Adam Kolkiewicz, Lili Liu, Cathy Newell Kelly, Chris Read, Marianne Simm, and Mary Wells."

Casello is Professor in the School of Planning and Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, and previously to assuming his current role also served as Associate Dean in the Faculty of Environment.

Waterloo introduces Canada's first degree to merge sustainability and financial management

A woman stands in a field with wind turbines as the sun sets.

The University of Waterloo is offering Canada’s first Sustainability and Financial Management degree to prepare a new generation of accounting and finance professionals to lead businesses through an era of environmental sustainability.

The program brings together teaching and research expertise from Waterloo’s world-class School of Accounting and Finance and its pioneering Faculty of Environment.

“Companies globally have established sustainability goals and targets to minimize their environmental impacts,” said Blake Phillips, deputy director of the School of Accounting and Finance. “However, despite this progress, win-win processes and strategies for both the firm’s bottom line and the environment are needed. This program is designed to fill the talent gap of sustainability leaders who have the expertise to quantify, report and integrate sustainability considerations — natural system and social — into the firm’s long-term business strategy and decision-making process.”

In earning their degree, students will not only master the practices of accounting and financial management, but also delve into environmental law, social equality, carbon emissions and ecosystem science. The first cohort of students will begin classes in fall, 2022.

The Sustainability and Financial Management program is also part of Waterloo’s leading co-operative learning program, giving students up to 20 months of paid on-the-job experience working for some of Canada’s top companies. Credits earned count towards Chartered Professional Accountant or Chartered Financial Analyst accreditation.

“Sustainable finance may seem like a new concept for some, but almost overnight we’ve seen an explosion in demand for professionals with this kind of experience,” said Jean Andrey, Dean of Waterloo’s Faculty of Environment. “Our graduates will be among the first to apply a new standard of measuring success in a way that protects the planet and its people.”

Putting his trauma to work for others

Harrison Oakes.

By Beth Gallagher. This article was originally published in the Fall 2020 issue of Waterloo Magazine.

Harrison Oakes (MA ’16, PhD ’20) found his purpose in a social psychology course that gave him language to understand his experiences of mental illness, attempted suicide and the bullying he endured for being gay.

Once Oakes had the language, he committed to using his talents to empower others. “I’ve always had a really strong desire to help other people and to do something that really matters so I’ve taken my own experiences of suffering and trauma and tried to make something positive out of them,” says Oakes, a recent recipient of the Governor General’s Gold Medal, one of Canada’s highest academic honours. “I’ve tried to put them to work – to prevent other people from experiencing the same things.”

Oakes’ doctoral research shows how homophobic environments harm all students, not just those who identify as LGBTQ+. His work has enriched psychological theory while also making an impact on the lives of high school students.

Oakes’ doctoral research was inspired by an experience he had while still an undergraduate student. He sat in on hearings for Bill 18, Manitoba’s proposed anti-bullying legislation. While listening to community members’ arguments, he noticed many detractors couldn’t see how protecting LGBTQ+ students would benefit their straight children.

To promote awareness of the bill’s necessity, Oakes publicly shared his own story about the difficulty of growing up gay and being bullied for it in high school. He discussed living through depression and a suicide attempt at 15 before dropping out of high school for a year-and-a-half. His story attracted support from people across Canada. Later that year, in partnership with PREVNet and Family Channel, Oakes authored a teachers’ guide on creating anti-bullying environments. It was disseminated to schools across Canada.

Today, Oakes is considering developing another resource, this time for religious parents who are struggling with understanding their children who identify as LGBTQ+. “A lot of resources for religious parents are outdated and they paint queer life with a doom-and-gloom narrative heavily influenced by the AIDS epidemic,” says Oakes. “We need resources that reflect today’s realities for LGBTQ+ folks, and that provide both parents and children with hope.”

Oakes, who hopes to become a professor, says he draws inspiration from his late brother, Steve Wall, who died in a plane crash last year leaving behind a young family and vocation as a Christian minister. Oakes says his brother always challenged people to ask the big existential questions: "Instead of living from a to-do list, take some time to step away from that list and ask yourself: ‘Why am I here? Why am I doing what I’m doing? Is this the life I want to live?"

Friday's notes

Opinions wanted on Natural Areas Management Survey: "Do you maintain or manage natural or semi-natural areas (e.g., garden or greenspace) on campus?" ask a group of graduate students from the Faculty of Environment. "If so, you are invited to participate in a voluntary, 10-minute Natural Areas Management Survey as part of the Stewardship UW: Campus EcoMap initiative."

This survey is delivered through Qualtrics and is available until June 18, 2021, though early participation is encouraged. You can find it at Natural Areas Management Survey – Campus EcoMap

"The purpose of the Natural Areas Management Survey is to gather opinions about the management of natural and semi-natural areas on campus. The team will use the survey results to build an interactive web map to inform project-based learning and advance the campus as a Living Lab. This interactive map will help with planning, documenting, and archiving research and projects on campus ecosystems. The Campus EcoMap project is funded by the Sustainability Office’s Sustainability Action Fund."

Human Rights, Equity and Inclusion has announced some workshops for next week:

  • 2Spirit, Queer & Trans Futures Panel, Wednesday, June 9, 12 noon to 1:00 p.m. The panel features Amy Smoke, Danielle Araya, and Maddie Kathleen Resmer in discussion with Sarah Grzincic. The conversation centres around issues 2Spirit, trans and queer racialized people experience when it comes to navigating different systems in and out of academia and how these experiences are shaped by colonization.
  • Happy Pride: Steps towards creating and maintaining healthy queer positive relationships, Wednesday, June 9, 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. Relationships are unique. The connections we form take work and this session is a space for queer identified individuals to come together, alone or with partner(s), to explore how we can have healthier relationships, healthy communication and healthy boundaries for the respect and benefit of ourselves and others.

Beyond the Bulletin Podcast Episode 90

 Beyond the Bulletin podcast logo featuring two vintage microphones.

The latest episode of Beyond the Bulletin is now live. With the discovery of the remains of 215 children buried in a mass grave at the site of the Kamloops Indian Residential School, Jean Becker of Indigenous Initiatives and HREI discusses the effects on truth and reconciliation. The UWaterloo community held two farewell events in honour of Feridun Hamdullahpur, our sixth president and vice-chancellor. The Sustainability Office is running its annual Bike Month event. And the School of Public Health and Health Systems changes its name.

Link of the day

International Day of Innocent Children Victims of Aggression

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.

The Writing and Communication Centre has virtual services and programs to help undergrads, grad students, postdocs and faculty members with academic writing.

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 – Open via Appointments and Rentals

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

Bike Month, Tuesday, June 1 to Wednesday, June 30.

Alumni Weekend, Friday, June 4 to Saturday, June 5.

Concept Intro Session: Conversing with Confidence, Tuesday, June 8, 5:30 p.m., virtual event.

W4: Waterloo Womxn + Nonbinary Wednesdays Workshops, Wednesday, June 9.

More Feet on the Ground Mental Health Training, Wednesday, June 9, 9:30 a.m. to 12 noon.

NEW - 2Spirit, Queer & Trans Futures Panel, Wednesday, June 9, 12 noon to 1:00 p.m. 

Concept Working Session: Customer Validation Practice, Wednesday, June 9, 5:30 p.m., virtual event.

Conrad School, Part-time Master of Business, Entrepreneurship and Technology (MBET) Info.Session, “Meet the Part-time MBETs” Online information session and Q&A with current part-time MBET students and alumni, Wednesday, June 9, 5:30 to 6:30 p.m.

NEW - Happy Pride: Steps towards creating and maintaining healthy queer positive relationships, Wednesday, June 9, 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.

NEW - Lectures in Catholic Experience presents No Power Higher: 12-step Recovery without God, Friday, June 11, 7:30 p.m. featuring Zachary Munro, doctoral candidate, University of Waterloo / Researcher for Non-religion in a Complex Future.