Wednesday, October 20, 2021

    Brandon Sweet
    University Communications

    The President's Forum in focus

    A screenshot of the President's Forum video featuring Vivek Goel.

    More than 928 people attended the virtual President’s Forum for a conversation with President Vivek Goel on Wednesday, October 6. 

    This forum was the first of three sessions that will explore themes from the University’s strategic plan. President Goel was joined by a panel of Waterloo’s senior leaders including Jeff Casello, associate vice-president, graduate studies and postdoctoral affairs, David DeVidi, associate vice-president, academic, Sanjeev Gill, associate vice-president, innovation and Norah McRae, associate provost, co-operative and experiential education to explore the future of work and how the University develops talent for a complex future. 

    "As institutions of higher learning, we have an important role to play in preparing our students not only for a complex job landscape but for their role in civil society as we build back after the pandemic," said President Goel. "I’m joined by some of my colleagues today to explore what the next 10 years look like for the university in terms of how we develop talent for this complex future ahead."

    Topics at hand included WatSPEED, a new unit that aims to transform lifelong learning and professional education to support the workforce of the future, as well as work-integrated learning, upskilling talent, and teaching and learning spaces, to name just a few.

    Following the discussion, Provost James Rush gave an operational update on the fall term and discussed the University’s plans for the Winter term and beyond. Associate Provost, Human Resources Marilyn Thompson also fielded operational question.

    Attendees asked questions about work from home, student support, vaccinations, and equity, among others.

    Questions and answers as well as a complete forum transcript are available on the Office of the President's website.

    New AVP roles for Jean Becker and Christopher Taylor

    In a memo circulated to University employees last Friday, President Vivek Goel and Vice-President, Academic & Provost James Rush announced that they have acted on recommendations from the Human Rights, Equity and Inclusion office review team to create two new organizational units led by Associate Vice-Presidents that will report to the Vice-President, Academic & Provost. These units replace two of the functions of the former Office of Human Rights, Equity and Inclusion. Both appointments are effective immediately.

    The new Office of Indigenous Relations will be led by Jean Becker, who will take on the new title of Associate Vice-President, Indigenous Relations.

    Jean Becker.Jean Becker joined the University of Waterloo in January 2020 in the newly-created Senior Director, Indigenous Initiatives position, providing strategic leadership to articulate a University of Waterloo-specific response to the Truth and Reconciliation Calls to Action, and identifying systemic and systematic changes that move beyond the Calls to Action by creating a long-term vision for the University. She took on the role of interim associate vice-president of Human Rights, Equity and Inclusion in August 2020.

    Becker, known for her work locally, provincially, and nationally, was Senior Advisor for Indigenous Initiatives at Wilfrid Laurier University prior to her appointment at Waterloo. Becker is Inuk and a member of the Nunatsiavut Territory of Labrador, and has a Master’s degree in Sociology and Anthropology from the University of Guelph.

    “I am delighted that the university has demonstrated the strength of the commitment to de-colonization, Indigenization, equity, diversity, inclusion and anti-racism with this action,” says Jean Becker. “I am confident that this is just the beginning of creating a more just, inclusive institution.”

    The new Office of Equity, Diversity, Inclusion and Anti-Racism will be led by Dr. Christopher Taylor in the new role of Associate Vice-President, Equity, Diversity, Inclusion and Anti-Racism.

    Professor Christopher Taylor.Dr. Christopher Taylor is a Black equity strategist, anti-racism advisor, and assistant professor in the Department of History and the Arts First program. His previous administrative roles at the University of Waterloo include serving as the Confronting Anti-Black Racism Advisor for the University’s Equity Office, and acting as the Faculty of Arts’ Black Equity Strategist & Anti-Racism Advisor. He is a facilitator with the City of Toronto’s Confronting Anti-Black Racism Unit and an Equity, Diversity, Inclusion, and Anti-Racism (EDI-R) consultant.

    His book, Flying Fish in the Great White North: The Autonomous Migration of Black Barbadians, is available from Fernwood Publishing. Taylor is also the author of the e-learning module Confronting Anti-Black Racism, based on his ARTS 130 course.

    Taylor also worked in the Ontario Public Service (OPS) and began his career as a Policy Coordinator Intern in the Deputy Minister's Office at the Ministry of Labour. He was the Diversity and Inclusion Coordinator in the Ministry of the Attorney General's Diversity, Inclusion & Accessibility Office; a Senior Policy Advisor at Ontario's Anti-Racism Directorate; and Manager of Social Justice & Change Cluster at the Ontario Correctional Services College.

    “I am pleased and grateful for the support from the UWaterloo community on this appointment as the new AVP, EDI-R,” says Dr. Taylor. “In this role, I will lead with empathy, grace, and courage as an innovative changemaker. I will do this by embodying, and actively demonstrating, the principles of an Inclusive Leader: introspection, intention, and implementation."

    “I am thankful and inspired by Jean’s and Christopher’s willingness to take on these important roles at this important time,” says James W.E. Rush, vice-president, academic & provost. “I very much look forward to working with them as the University builds on our achievements by fulsomely responding to the recommendations of this review, and realigning our structures, resources and mandates to ensure that the work of Indigenous reconciliation, anti-racism, equity, diversity, and inclusion is implementation and impact focussed and clearly serves the needs of our students, faculty, staff and community.”

    Illness-and death-related messages found to be significant motivators for exercise

    An aerobics class in progress.

    Fitness apps that emphasize illness- or death-related messaging are more likely to be effective in motivating participation than are social stigma, obesity or financial cost messaging, according to a recent study.

    Previous studies, especially on smoking cessation and risky sexual behaviour, found that messages related to mortality could be a barrier to acknowledging health risks, but the study found this is the opposite for fitness apps.

    The study asked 669 research participants to indicate how persuasive these five types of messages were in terms of motivating them to work out at home with a fitness app, to uncover their effectiveness, connection with social-cognitive beliefs such as self-regulation (goal setting), self-efficacy and outcome expectation, and seeing what role male/female gender played.

    “I did not expect only illness- and death-related messages to be significant and motivational,” said Kiemute Oyibo, a postdoctoral fellow at the University of Waterloo’s School of Public Health Sciences. “Not only were illness- and death-related messages motivational, they had a significant relationship with self-regulatory belief and outcome expectation, and there was no significant difference between males and females.”

    Oyibo said he had expected obesity-related messages (such as “one in four Canadians has clinical obesity”) to be motivational and have a significant relationship with self-regulatory belief, given that obesity is associated with the leading causes of global mortality.

    “This study is important because it helps us – especially designers of health apps – understand the types of messages that individuals, regardless of gender, are likely to be motivated by in persuasive health communication, and that are likely to influence individuals’ social-cognitive beliefs about exercise,” Oyibo said.

    Oyibo said future studies should consider other demographic characteristics besides gender, such as age, culture, race and education, to uncover the role they play in persuasive health communication.

    The study, “The Relationship between Perceived Health Message Motivation and Social Cognitive Beliefs in Persuasive Health Communication”, was published in MDPI. It was authored by Oyibo, with Julita Vassileva, a Persuasive System Design professor at the University of Saskatchewan, assisting with the data collection.

    WCMS 3 training now available through LEARN

    A message from Information Systems & Technology (IST).

    What is happening? Waterloo Content Management System (WCMS) 3 training course, WCMS 3 Fundamentals, is now available for self-registration through LEARN.  

    How to register: Individuals will self-register for the WCMS 3 training course. 

    1. Log in to LEARN  

    2. From the administration toolbar, select Self Registration. 

    3. From the Self Registering Course Offerings list, select the link WCMS 3 Fundamentals in the Course Offering Name column. 

    4. Select Register. 

    5. Select Submit. 

    6. Select Done to complete your registration. 

    Next steps: Send an email to WCMS Support ( with the following information (Note: Your username is a combination of your initials and surname - not your student number): 

    • Subject: WCMS 3 Fundamentals LEARN registration 

    • Name: 

    • Username: 

    • Department you are working for: 

    • Co-op (yes or no): 

    You will receive a confirmation email with further instructions, required materials, and a link to your training site within one business day. The training site will be available for approximately four months. If the site is required beyond this timeframe, please contact the WCMS Training and Support team

    Note: Training and how-to documents will be continually updated as features and functionality are added to WCMS 3. 

    Your Daily Inspiration continues and other notes

    Keeping Well at Work Daily Inspiration logo

    Today's Daily Inspiration

    Did you know faculty and staff have access to incredible fitness classes and training at UWaterloo?

    Through the Centre for Community, Clinical and Applied Research Excellence (CCCARE), staff and faculty have access to small group training sessions and specialized fitness programs from UW Fitness Services? 

    The next session of live stream classes start in early November. (Bonus: Staff are eligible for a 50 per cent subsidy for these already very affordable classes.

    See all Daily Inspirations on the Keeping Well at Work conference site. Questions and contest entries can be sent to or tweet @OHDuwaterloo.

    Trichy SankaranThe latest Noon Hour Concert series event, Music of South India, takes place online today at 12:30 p.m. and will feature world-renowned musician and scholar Trichy Sankaran, along with Suba Sankaran and Dylan Bell - well renowned musicians in their own right who have appeared at Grebel before with Autorickshaw.

    "Indian classical music is the art music of the Indian subcontinent," says a note from Conrad Grebel. "The origins of this music can be found in the Vedas, which are the oldest scriptures in the Hindu tradition dating back to 1500 BCE. The salient elements of Indian classical music are raga (melody) and tala (rhythm) as well as solkattu (south Indian rhythmic solfege language, not dissimilar to western beatboxing or vocal percussion). Today’s concert features improvised solos, traditional classical compositions and contemporary original works." 

    Arriscraft Speaker Series banner image.

    Waterloo Architecture's Fall 2021 Arriscraft Speaker Series kicks off Thursday, October 21 with Designing relations with land featuring speakers Brian Porter, Two Row Architects, and artist Tiffany Shaw-Collinge in conversation moderated by Mkomose (Andrew Judge) of Algoma University.

    Designing relations with land is the first of five conversations on the theme of attention, according to the speaker series background information. "Paying attention is the initial step of the caring process. Western technoscience theorists, Aryn Martin, Natasha Myers, and Ana Viseu, describe attention as “a mode of inquiry mediated by hesitations, questions, and observations: it is a practice of not knowing what to do even as one wants to respond.”"

    The event takes place Thursday at 6:00 p.m. Register for this event.

    General member recruitment for the Integrated Natural Sciences & Computer Sciences Club in the Faculty of Engineering is now open and runs until Wednesday, October 27. 

    "The University of Waterloo Integrated Natural Sciences & Computer Sciences Club aims to foster collaboration between natural sciences and computer sciences," says a note from the club. "From bioinformatics to protein prediction to genome analysis, the collaboration of the two fields became increasingly important. The club aims to provide opportunities for niche learning opportunities including seminars, hackathons and conferences. Furthermore, the club aims to form a team to compete in international competitions such as Critical Assessment of Techniques for Protein Structure Prediction (CASP) and iDASH Secure Genome Analysis Competition." You can register for the club online.

    Vikram Patel.Finally, this is a reminder that the 2021 Gairdner LectureActing Early: From Developmental Science to Scalable Prevention, will take place on Friday, October 22 from 2:30 to 3:15 p.m. The lecture features keynote speaker and Gairdner Global Health Award winner Vikram Patel, a world-leading researcher in global mental health. 

    Every year, recipients of the Gairdner Award visit universities across Canada to give academic lectures on their areas of expertise. The award is conferred annually to a researcher who has improved the health and well-being of those facing health inequities worldwide.

    Please register in advance.

    Upcoming office closure

    Campus Wellness will be closed on Thursday, October 21 from 8:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. for a staff meeting.

    Link of the day

    World Osteoporosis 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 looking for targeted support for developing online components for blended learning courses, transitioning remote to fully online courses, revising current online courses, and more please visit Agile Development | Centre for Extended Learning | University of Waterloo (

    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 (CCA) is offering some in-person services for fall 2021. The Tatham Centre is open with front-desk support, limited in-person appointments and co-op consults. Services are also available virtually. Book an appointment online or Live Chat with our Client Support Team. The CCA is here to help.

    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.

    While the Library continues to focus on digital resources and consultations, our spaces are open for the fall term. Dana Porter Library is open Monday to Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Davis Centre Library is open Monday to Friday, 9 a.m. to 11 p.m., and Saturday and Sunday, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. for drop-in individual study space, bookable individual study rooms, drop-in access to computers and printers, book pick-up services and IST Help Desk support. Special Collections & Archives and the Geospatial Centre will be accessible by appointment. Library staff are available for questions via Ask us. Full details on current services and hours are available on the Library’s COVID-19 Update webpage

    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 Sexual Violence Prevention and Response Office (SVPRO) supports all members of the University of Waterloo campus community who have experienced, or been impacted, by sexual violence. This includes all students, staff, faculty and visitors on the main campus, the satellite campuses, and at the affiliated and federated Waterloo Institutes and Colleges. For support, email: or visit the SVPRO website.

    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 either in person or online for the Fall term!

    Food Support Service food hampers are currently available from the Turnkey Desk 24/7 in the Student Life Centre. Drop off locations are also open again in SLC, DC, DP, SCH and all residences.

    Co-op Connection all available online. Check for more details.

    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 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)

    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

    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.

    Women's Entrepreneurship Week 2021, Monday, October 18 to Friday, October 22, Virtual Speaker Series, details and a link to the virtual talk will be sent to those who register through Zoom.

    Portfolio & Project Management Community of Practice (PPM CoP) session, "Expect the best, plan for the worst and prepare to be surprised" Wednesday, October 20, 9:00 a.m. to 10:00 a.m. Register for this event.

    Noon Hour Concert: Music of South India, Wednesday, October 20 at 12:30 p.m., online.

    WaterTalk: Water Resources and Food Supply Chains, Presented by Megan Konar, Thursday, October 21, 10:00 a.m.

    THRIVE: Shadowboxing, Thursday, October 21, 12:00 noon (Warrior Field). Free for students, staff and faculty. Register now.

    Problem Lab and Faculty of Environment event, “Finding Your Triple Bottom Line,” Thursday, October 21, 5:30 p.m., Zoom.

    Arriscraft Speaker Series: Designing relations with land featuring Brian Porter & Tiffany Shaw-Collinge, moderated by Mkomose (Andrew Judge), Thursday, October 21, 6:00 p.m. Register for this event 

    Fall Convocation PhD reception, Thursday, October 21, 7:00 p.m.

    2021 Benjamin Eby Lecture, “Composing Louis Riel's Dream: Exploring the history of the Red River Settlement through family stories and music”, Thursday, October 21, 7:30 p.m., Conrad Grebel University College. Virtual event.

    Fall Convocation ceremonies, Friday, October 22 and Saturday, October 23.

    2021 Gairdner Lecture, Acting Early: From Developmental Science to Scalable Prevention, Friday, October 22, 2:30 p.m. to 3:15 p.m. Please register in advance.

    Lectures in Catholic Experience, "Religion and Vaccine Hesitancy in the Age of Anxiety," Friday, October 22, 7:30 p.m.

    Warriors Football vs. Western, Saturday October 23, 1:00 p.m. Think Pink in support of the Breast Cancer Cause at the Canadian Cancer Society, Donor Appreciation Day. Purchase tickets.

    WaterLeadership training seminar: Create engaging virtual presentations, Presented by Elise Vist, Tuesday, October 26, 1:00 p.m.

    Board of Governors Meeting, Tuesday, October 26, 1:30 p.m.

    Pivot-RP Training Session for Waterloo faculty and staff who support research proposal development. Tuesday, October 26, 2:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. Please register to receive a link to this session on Teams.

    Emergency: The Citizen’s Guide to Climate Success – The 2021 Hagey Lecture, Wednesday, October 27, 8:00 p.m. Register to watch the livestream.

    Positions available

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

    • Job ID# 2021-7369 - Manager, Intact Centre - Dean of Environment Office, USG 9
    • Job ID# 2021-7266 - Senior Development Officer - Science - Advancement, USG 10 - 11
    • Job ID# 2021-7323 - Student Advisor - Toronto East - CEE - Co-operative Education, USG 8 - 9
    • Job ID# 2021-7344 - Chemistry Instructor - Chemistry, USG 11
    • Job ID# 2021-7064 - Specialist, Content Strategy - Office of the Registrar, USG 9
    • Job ID# 2021-7377 - Program Coordinator, Faculty Programs - Centre for Teaching Excellence, USG 7
    • Job ID# 2021-7270 - Graduate Awards Payments and Records Specialist - Graduate Studies and Postdoctoral Affairs, USG 7
    • Job ID# 2021-7328 - Graduate Business System Analyst - Graduate Studies and Postdoctoral Affairs, USG 8
    • Job ID# 2021-7341 - Administrative Coordinator, Graduate Studies - Systems Design Engineering, USG 6
    • Job ID# 2021-7336 - Baker - Food Services, CUPE
    • Job ID# 2021-7373 - Mechanical Repairperson - Plant Operations, CUPE

    Secondments/Internal temporary opportunities

    • Job ID# 2021-7376 - Manager Employee Development - Organizational and Human Development, USG 12
    • Job ID# 2021-6804 - Career Programming and Events Specialist - CEE - Centre for Career Action, USG 6
    • Job ID# 2021-7361 - Senior Manager, Curriculum Development - Work Integrated Learning Programs, USG 11
    • Job ID# 2021-7295 - Coordinator, Experiential Learning Initiatives and CPAO/CPMRE - School of Accounting and Finance, USG 5 – 5
    • Job ID# 2021-7128 - Project Coordinator - Office of Research, USG 8
    • Job ID# 2021-7289 - Coordinator, Master of Engineering Program and Research Communications - Civil & Environmental Engineering, USG 6
    • Job ID# 2021-7331 - Administrative Officer - Systems Design Engineering, USG 11

    Affiliated and Federated Institutions of Waterloo opportunities

    PhD oral defences

    Computer Science. Mustafa Abualsaud, "Users, Queries, and Bad Abandonment in Web Search." Supervisor, Mark D. Smucker. Thesis available from MGO - Oral defence Thursday, October 21, 8:00 a.m.