Tuesday, June 15, 2021

    Brandon Sweet
    University Communications

    President's Town Hall Meeting today

    Feridun Hamdullahpur sits with a cup of coffee.

    President Feridun Hamdullahpur will be hosting a virtual President's Town Hall Meeting this morning on Microsoft Teams.

    President Hamdullahpur and senior leaders will provide an update on key issues and about how the University plans to expand in-person experiences for our students and staff in the fall and beyond, from operational changes and safety concerns to progress on vaccinations and beyond.

    Sandra Banks, vice-president, university relations, will host and moderate the town hall event.

    Attendees can take part in a live Q&A following the president’s presentation.

    The event will be held from 11:00 a.m. to 12 noon on Microsoft Teams.

    Equity survey distribution begins

    A woman sits with a computer.

    Students, faculty and staff will begin to receive invitations to participate in the University of Waterloo's equity survey today. Some 48,000 undergraduate and graduate students, faculty, staff, postdoctoral fellows and unionized employees will receive an email invitation over the next two days.

    The purpose of this survey is to understand the makeup of our community in order to identify equity gaps in our programs, services and policies. Your responses are important to help us do this work.

    Look for your unique survey invitation in your @uwaterloo email inbox. For more information, visit the equity survey website.

    Campus prepares for 6,887 degrees of Convocation

    A banner image saying "Congratulations #UWaterloo Grad" featuring the University mace.

    6,887 students will be crossing the virtual stage in six ceremonies later this week as final preparations are in progress for the 2021 spring Convocation celebration.

    At this point, we’re no stranger to celebrating convocation virtually, however this spring the University will be celebrating its graduands with online ceremonies rather than via targeted emails.

    There will be 7,251 credentials, such as degrees, diplomas, and certificates, distributed among the more than 6,800 graduands, who hail from more than 60 countries including Canada, China, India, South Korea, Pakistan, Nigeria and Malaysia.

    The six ceremonies will take place on Friday, June 18 and Saturday, June 19. All graduands, faculty, their families and the UWaterloo community are invited to faculty-specific virtual ceremonies on the following dates on Eastern Standard Time:

    • June 18 — Health (1:00 p.m.), Environment (4:00 p.m.) and Mathematics (7:00 p.m.)
    • June 19 — Arts (1:00 p.m.), Science (4:00 p.m.) and Engineering (7:00 p.m.)  

    During the week of convocation (June 14 to 20), the University social channels will see a “takeover” of convocation-themed assets and content, including sharing messages of pride, student-generated content and student stories from our faculties. Channels will amplify stories and news presented by University Communications and faculty communicators.

    The UWaterloo community are asked to share photos and congratulatory remarks to honour the Class of 2021. Please use the hashtag #UWaterlooGrad when sharing your content on social media.

    By Saturday's end, the graduands will have joined an alumni family of more than 220,000 Waterloo Warriors.

    For more information visit the convocation website. 

    Turning research into commerce, one fish at a time

    A school of fish backlit by several lights.

    A Waterloo Engineering alumnus who parlayed his graduate research into a startup company that is out to solve worldwide water problems has been recognized by a national innovation organization.

    Jason Deglint, a co-founder of Blue Lion Labs, is one of five winners of Mitacs Entrepreneur Awards for turning research into businesses that impact the lives of Canadians.

    The honour in the global impact category comes a month after Blue Lion, which was launched in 2018, teamed up with a leading marine technology company in the United Kingdom to develop an imaging system to warn fish farmers of harmful plankton and algae blooms.

    OTAQ announced it is investing $300,000 for an approximate 10-per-cent stake in the Waterloo-based company. The partners are aiming to commercialize the technology within the next 18 months.

    Deglint (MASc ’16, systems design engineering, PhD ’19, systems design engineering) was described by Mitacs, a non-profit organization backed by federal and provincial governments, as “an up-and-coming entrepreneur” who is advancing “first-of-its-kind technology.”

    The system based on his doctoral research combines artificial intelligence (AI) software with a custom digital microscope to automatically detect harmful algae in water.

    Current testing methods rely primarily on analysis of water samples at off-site labs and results can take up to a week to obtain.

    The technology being developed by Deglint and Blue Lion co-founder Katie Thomas, who has a doctorate in biology from the University of Waterloo, would yield results in minutes and effectively function as an early warning system.

    “Essentially, if fish farms want to know what types of organisms are in their water today, the sample ends up on a slide with a human looking at it,” Deglint said in a media release. “It’s a tedious, time-consuming task that’s prone to human error.”

    A growing industry, aquaculture represents about a third of the total fisheries value in Canada. Harmful algae blooms are a major source of damage and losses.

    Deglint, who worked at Waterloo Engineering as a Mitacs postdoctoral researcher, was scheduled to receive his award during an online ceremony today.

    “Supporting innovation is essential to help Canada rebound from the repercussions of the global pandemic, and Mitacs is extremely proud of the remarkable accomplishments achieved by our network of talented entrepreneurs,” John Hepburn, the CEO and scientific director of Mitacs, said in the release.

    Indigenous artist performs with the K-W Symphony; other notes

    Performance artist iskwē peforms.

    As part of the National Indigenous History Month events across campus, the Indigenous Initiatives Office is offering campus community members a chance to stream artist, musician, and creator iskwē in her performance with the Kitchener Waterloo Symphony.

    "This collaboration features music from her latest award-winning album, acākosīk, and previous acclaimed releases," says a message from the Indigenous Initiatives Office. "The performance tips a cap to modern innovators like Florence + The Machine and FKA twigs while simultaneously borrowing sounds accumulated over centuries by iskwē’s Cree and Métis ancestors. A limited number of registrations are available during the month of June for campus members to stream this performance for free in your home. To avoid missing out, register for your promotional code as soon as you can."

    The video stream must be watched by June 30. Because there are only a limited number of spots, please only register if you are able to view the performance within this time period. Learn more and register.

    Register for Summer Youth Campus banner image.While we're on the subject of registering, registration is now open for Waterloo Warriors Youth Camps, including multi-sport and games, baseball, basketball, soccer, football, hockey and volleyball day camps. "The Department of Athletics and Recreation’s number one priority is the health and safety of all campers and staff, while creating a fun and enjoyable atmosphere," says a note from Athletics. "All of our camp protocols and policies follow the guidelines put in place by the Public Health Services of Waterloo." For more information or to register, visit www.gowarriorsgo.ca/camps.

    Plant Operations is advising that Key Control and Parking Services will be closed on Wednesday, June 16 due to a planned power outage at GSC that day. "We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause," says a note from Rex Coffin, director of business operations for Plant Ops. "Please note that calls to Plant Operations maintenance and service line (x43793) will still be monitored through the day."

    Indigenous SCI Workshop banner featuring a man playing wheelchair basketball.

    The Centre for Bioengineering and Biotechnology (CBB) will be hosting a workshop in collaboration with the Praxis Spinal Cord Institute on Friday, June 18.

    The Indigenous Spinal Cord Injury (SCI) workshop "will feature talks on best practices in research methodology involving Indigenous peoples and the challenges of those with spinal cord injury, particularly in Indigenous communities. It will also have small breakout rooms to discuss basics of entrepreneurship, Indigenous identity, the ideation process, and a Q&A on the program."

    This workshop is the kick-off event to the CBB's Indigenous SCI Grant Competition. Workshop participants are eligible to apply for one of eight $2,250 awards to develop a solution that will improve the lives of individuals with spinal cord injury with an Indigenous lens. "With this event we hope to set context for Stage Two of the competition, with awards of $17,500 and $10,000," says a note from CBB. "Please visit the program site for more information."

    The event takes place from 1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. Friday. Indigenous SCI Workshop Registration.

    Upcoming office closures

    Campus Wellness locations will be closed today from 8:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. for an all-staff meeting.

    Key Control and Parking Services will be closed on Wednesday, June 16 due to a planned GSC power outage.

    Link of the day

    Global Wind 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.

    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 https://wusa.ca/peersupport 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 https://wusa.ca 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 foodsupport@wusa.ca.

    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)

    Fitness Classes on Warrior Field. Starting June 14. Power Yoga, HIIT and Zumba. Only $4/class. Advanced registration required.

    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 blood.ca account already. Questions? Contact WarriorsInfo@uwaterloo.ca.

    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.

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

    International Conference on Games and Narrative, Friday, June 11 to Wednesday, June 16.

    President's Town Hall meeting, Tuesday, June 15, 11:00 a.m.

    Concept Intro Session:  Design Thinking, Tuesday, June 15, 5:30 p.m., virtual event.

    Portfolio & Project Management Community of Practice (PPM CoP) session, "Integrating EDI with Stakeholder Management in Projects," Wednesday, June 16, 9:00 a.m. to 10:00 a.m. Register for this event.

    Indigenous Business and Leadership, Wednesday, June 16, 2:00 p.m. Register.

    A Year of COVID-19: Teaching and Learning, the final event in a three-part series, Thursday, June 17, 11:45 a.m. to 1:15 p.m. Please register to receive a link to this online event.

    PhD virtual reception, Thursday, June 17, 7:00 p.m.

    NEW - Indigenous Spinal Cord Injury (SCI) Workshop, Friday, June 18, 1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. Register for the opportunity for one of eight $2,250 awards.

    Spring Convocation virtual ceremonies, Friday, June 18 and Saturday, June 19.

    Dissertation Boot Camp, Monday, June 24 to Thursday, June 24.

    University Senate Meeting, Monday, June 21, 3:30 p.m.

    Social Justice Wednesdays - Virtual Talk with Dr. Kim Hong Nguyen, “Mean Girl Feminism: White Feminist Outrage and Salvation”, Wednesday, June 23, 2:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m.