Friday, October 22, 2021

2,668 degrees of Convocation

The ceremonial mace is carried into Convocation.

The University of Waterloo's Fall 2021 Convocation ceremonies will take place in online formats on today and tomorrow. These events represent the pinnacle of the University’s academic calendar, and Convocation is a time of immense pride and celebration across campus.

You can join in on the online celebration by using and following the hashtags #UWaterlooProud and #UWaterlooGrad.

At each of the six virtual ceremonies, the proceedings will open with an Indigenous welcome featuring hand drummer John Somosi and remarks from Associate Vice-President, Indigenous Relations Jean Becker. President and Vice-Chancellor Vivek Goel will provide opening remarks and His Excellency Chancellor Dominic Barton will address Convocation. The Dean of the Faculty will then provide congratulatory remarks. University Registrar Catherine Newell Kelly presents special awards and honours and introduces the class valedictorian, who addresses convocation. 

Following the valedictory address, Vice-President Academic & Provost James Rush will presents the graduating class and will deliver the official conferral as follows:

Mr. President and Vice-Chancellor, I present to you those scholars who have fulfilled the statutory requirements laid down by the Senate of the University, that they may be admitted to their various and several degrees.

President Vivek Goel will give the official reply:

By virtue of the authority vested in me, and in the University, I hereby admit you to your various and several degrees, with all the rights, privileges, and responsibilities thereto appertaining.

President Goel will then provide closing remarks. The ceremonies will adjourn with a virtual slideshow of graduate photos.

Here are the fall convocation facts and figures by the numbers:


The Faculty of Arts Convocation ceremony takes place on Saturday, October 23 at 1:00 p.m. More than 775 graduating students are being celebrated, with 403 undergraduate degrees and diplomas, 356 Master's, and 16 PhDs awarded.

Bearing the University mace will be Emanuel Carvalho, associate professor and acting director, Stratford School of Interaction Design and Business.

Valedictorian Kyle Eric Rowe will address convocation.

Kathryn Ann Morrison will be recognized as a University Finalist for the Alumni Gold Medal at the doctoral level.

Krenare Recaj will be recognized as a University Finalist for the Alumni Gold Medal at the master's level.

Mariangela Crystal Rogers will be recognized as the winner of the James D. Leslie Undergraduate Prize, which is granted to a student for academic excellence while earning half of their degree through online courses.

Adsaran Vithiyananthan will receive the Accounting Alumni Award for excellence in accounting.


The Faculty of Engineering Convocation ceremony takes place on Saturday, October 23 at 7:00 p.m. 382 graduating students are being celebrated, with 105 undergraduate degrees, 222 Master's, and 55 PhDs awarded.

Bearing the University mace will be Robert McKillop, lecturer, Civil and Environmental Engineering.

Valedictorian Jonathan Logarta-Chin will address convocation.

Mushu Li will be recognized as a University Finalist for the Alumni Gold Medal at the doctoral level.

Khaled Younes will be recognized as University Finalist for the Alumni Gold Medal at the master's level.


The Faculty of Environment Convocation ceremony takes place on Friday, October 22 at 4:00 p.m. 195 graduating students are being celebrated, with 95 undergraduate degrees, 92 Master's, and 8 PhDs awarded.

Bearing the University mace will be Neil Craik, professor, School of Environment, Enterprise and Development.

Valedictorian Lauren Adrianna Petropoulos will address convocation.

Tahnee Lisa Prior will be recognized as a University Finalist for the Alumni Gold Medal at the doctoral level.

Gayathri Valappil will be recognized as a University Finalist for the Alumni Gold Medal at the master's level.

Charlotte Thorpe will recieve an award for Distinguished Academic Achievement in International Development.


The Faculty of Health Convocation ceremony takes place on Friday, October 22 at 1:00 p.m. 274 graduating students are being celebrated, with 70 undergraduate degress, 196 Master's, and 8 PhDs awarded.

Bearing the University mace will be Brian Laird, associate professor and associate dean, graduate studies.

Valedictorian Rithvika Ramesh will address convocation.

Sara Leanne Wyngaarden will be recognized as the winner of the University of Waterloo Alumni Gold Medal for outstanding academic achievement in a Master's program.

Michael Tyler Paris will be recognized as University Finalist for the Alumni Gold Medal at the doctoral level.


The Faculty of Mathematics Convocation ceremony takes place on Friday, October 22 at 7:00 p.m. 594 graduating students are being celebrated, with 413 undergraduate degrees, 152 Master's, and 29 PhDs awarded.

Bearing the University mace will be Anita T. Layton, Canada 150 Research Chair, professor, and associate dean, research and international.

Shihabur Rahman Chowdhury will be recognized as the winner of the University of Waterloo Alumni Gold Medal for outstanding academic achievement in a Doctoral program.

Valedictorian Victoria Novakovskaya will address convocation.

Sarah Marie Chan will be recognized as the recipient of the James D. Leslie Graduate Award for academic excellence in an online graduate degree program.

Jordan Mark Zister Long will be recognized as the winner of the K.D. Fryer Gold Medal for academic excellence and good citizenship.


The Faculty of Science Convocation ceremony takes place on Saturday, October 23 at 4:00 p.m. 424 graduating students are being celebrated, with 339 undergraduate degrees, 54 Master's, and 31 PhDs awarded.

Bearing the University mace will be Stefan Idziak, associate professor, associate dean of science, computing and co-operative education and undergraduate advisor.

Valedictorian Chinonso Uchechi Ekeanyanwu will address convocation.

Yannick Léandre Traoré will be recognized as University Finalist for the Alumni Gold Medal at the doctoral level.

Graduation-related gifts at W Store.

W Store has a wide range of graduation-related gifts available.

Congratulations to all our graduates this fall.

Shihab Chowdhury awarded 2021 Alumni Gold Medal

Shihab Chowdhury and Raouf Boutaba, Professor and Director at the Cheriton School of Computer Science.

Shihab Chowdhury and Raouf Boutaba, Professor and Director at the Cheriton School of Computer Science.

This is an excerpt of an article originally published on the Cheriton School of Computer Science website.

Shihabur R. Chowdhury has received the 2021 Alumni Gold Medal for outstanding academic performance in a doctoral program. Conferred by Alumni Relations, the prestigious institutional award, which consists of an individually crafted 24-carat gold-plated medal embossed with the University’s seal on the front, has honoured top graduating students at convocation since 1970.

Shihab is a senior data engineer at Apple. He completed his PhD at the Cheriton School of Computer Science, and his BSc in computer science and engineering from the Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology. During his graduate studies Shihab interned at Google and IBM Research. His PhD research spanned several areas of systems and networking, focusing specifically on network function virtualization, network virtualization, software-defined networking, and cloud computing.

Shihab began his doctoral studies in the Systems and Networking group at the Cheriton School of Computer Science in September 2013. His PhD thesis titled Resource Management in Softwarized Networks was defended successfully in February 2021

“Shihab began his graduate studies as my master’s student in May 2012,” said Raouf Boutaba, Professor and Director of the Cheriton School of Computer Science. “His research potential was abundantly clear early on, so he was fast-tracked from the master’s to the PhD program, during which he completed all eight required courses with an overall average of 93 percent. But Shihab was not only interested in mastering course content, he also immediately saw the research potential of his course projects, so he turned them into publications. His course project in CS848 was published in the Peer-to-Peer Networking and Applications journal, his project in CS854 was presented at the 9th International Conference on Network and Service Management in 2013, where it was nominated for a best paper award, and his project in CS856 was presented at a later edition of the same conference.”

Shihab’s PhD research also made many outstanding and significant contributions to resource management in softwarized communication networks, Professor Boutaba adds. “He has established himself as a leading expert in this emerging area of computer science. Shihab has a rare combination of skills. His strengths in building systems are coupled with his mastery of its mathematical foundations, thereby bringing rigorous computational theory to systems implementation.”

Shihab’s research has been highly influential in academia and industry alike. He has contributed an exceptional number of publications in top venues and his body of research has received more than 2,700 citations with an h-index of 17 on Google Scholar as of October 2021. His involvement in industry collaborations resulted in eight US patent applications of which five have been granted and are already used in production.

Shihab’s PhD research: advancing the state of the art in network softwarization

Network softwarization is an emerging paradigm where software — rather than dedicated hardware — controls the treatment of network flows, adds value to these flows by software processing, and orchestrates the on-demand creation of customized networks to meet the needs of various applications. In short, network softwarization facilitates the programmability of network equipment, allowing multiple virtual networks to function on top of a single physical network structure. 

Read the rest of the article on the Cheriton School of Computer Science website.

Anti-racism book club looks at the Fourth World

This article was originally published in the Catalyst e-newsletter.

 An Indian Reality.PART continues its anti-racism book club series on November 16, 2021, at noon with a review of The Fourth World: An Indian Reality by George Manuel and Michael Posluns. Originally published in 1974, The Fourth World is a critical work of Indigenous political activism that has long been out of print. The newly updated edition in 2018 includes an introduction by Glen Sean Coulthard (Yellowknives Dene) and an afterword by Doreen Manuel (Secwepemc/Ktunaxa), a daughter of George Manuel.

George Manuel (Secwepemc), a leader in the North American Indian movement at that time, with co-author journalist Michael Posluns, presents a rich historical document that traces the struggle for Indigenous survival as a nation, a culture, and a reality.

The authors shed light on alternatives for coexistence that would take place in the Fourth World - an alternative to the new world, the old world, and the Third World. Manuel was the first to develop this concept of the “fourth world” to describe the place occupied by Indigenous nations within colonial nation-states.

Sara Anderson, manager, research program development and partnerships, indigenous initiatives in the Office of Research will facilitate this book club. She looks forward to a spirited discussion about the genesis of the Indigenous rights movement, and the legacy of this work today

“I am honoured to facilitate a discussion on George Manuel’s vitally important book,” said Anderson. “Despite being first published over 40 years ago, The Fourth World is one of the foundational texts in the ongoing work of recognizing Indigenous rights, not just in Canada, but across the globe.”

Register for PART’s anti-racism book club.

Don't forget to sign up to receive the Catalyst e-newsletter.

Your Daily Inspiration continues

Keeping Well at Work Daily Inspiration banner.

Today's Daily Inspiration

Need a good stretch and a way to have fun with your colleagues?

We all do! Invite some colleagues to try some lunchtime yoga or a 3 o'clock stretch.

Who knows? You may start a healthy workplace habit that adds fun, endurance and wonderful new connections to your workday.

(P.S. The Unwind Flow Yoga featured in the link is by UWaterloo's very own Amanda Brown) 

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

Beyond the Bulletin Episode 106

Beyond the Bulletin podcast banner featuring two vintage microphones.

The latest episode of the Beyond the Bulletin podcast is now live. Norah McRae, the associate provost, co-operative and experiential education, discusses ways to develop talent for a complex future post-pandemic, and useful information for workers at any stage of their career. The University responded to recommendations regarding the office of Human Rights, Equity and Inclusion and have created two new organizational units with associate vice-presidents leading them. The high-risk flu clinic for those students, staff and faculty is open as of October 12. And Fall convocation ceremonies get underway this week.

University Relations hosts Silent Auction for United Way

Get your holiday shopping done early or treat yourself at the University Relations silent auction.

Online bidding opens Monday, October 25 at 8:30 a.m. The hammer falls Friday, October 29 at noon.

Link of the day

Wombat 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 Office of Indigenous Relations is a central hub that provides guidance, support, and resources to all Indigenous and non-Indigenous campus community members and oversees the University's 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.

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.

Stratford School of Interaction Design and Business Work-in-Progress Seminar series, Monday, October 25, 1:30 p.m.

NEW - University Relations Silent Auction for the United Way, Monday, October 25, 8:30 a.m. to Friday, October 29, 12 noon.

W Store Essentials MC Grand Opening, Tuesday, October 26 and Wednesday, October 27 from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. each day. Mathematics and Computing building, room 3009.

NEW - Indigenous Research & Indigenous Environmental Justice, Tuesday, October 26, 12 noon.

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.

NEW - Noon Hour Concert: The Heart of a Woman, Wednesday, October 27, 12:30 p.m.

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

NEW - IQC Alum Lecture Series: Juan Miguel Arrazola, Thursday, October 28, 2:30 p.m.

NEW - Arriscraft Speaker Series: Abolishing property as architectural care featuring Rinaldo Walcott & Thandi Loewenson, moderated by Ella den Elzen, Thursday, October 28, 6:00 p.m. Register for this event.

NEW - Warriors Football vs. Laurier, Saturday, October 30, 1:00 p.m. Purchase tickets or watch online at OUA.TV. CONTEST: What was the score of the Warriors Football Home Opener vs. Windsor on September 18, 2021? Email with the correct answer for a chance to win $100 box from truLOCAL and a pair of tickets to cheer on the Warriors vs. Laurier at Warrior Field. Winner to be selected by random draw on October 25 at noon.

NEW - IQC presents Chanda Prescod-Weinstein, “The Disordered Cosmos: A Journey into Dark Matter, Spacetime, & Dreams Deferred,” Monday, November 1, virtual talk, details and a link to the virtual talk will be sent to those who register.