Wednesday, November 24, 2021

Remembering Robert Sexton

Robert Sexton."It is with sadness we share with the UWaterloo community that Robert Sexton has passed away," says a statement from Food Services. He was 49 years old.

Rob started with Food Services in July 2011 and was promoted to Area Manager, Operation in December 2013. As part of his duties as Area Manager, Rob oversaw operations at Fed Hall, The University Club and many different units on campus. 

"He was a dedicated member of the Food Services team and will be greatly missed," says the Food Services statement.

You can share your condolences at and you are invited to join Rob's family for a Funeral Mass live-stream at The live-stream will start today at 10:15 a.m. with a video tribute followed by the funeral mass at 10:30 a.m.

In accordance with the University's flag-lowering guidelines, flags on campus will be lowered today in Rob's honour.

As an expression of sympathy, donations to Grand River Hospital Foundation or Waterloo Minor Hockey would be appreciated by the family.

Why I'm supporting student priorities this Giving Tuesday

President Vivek Goel.

A message from Dr. Vivek Goel, President and Vice-Chancellor.

Coming to the end of another challenging year marked by the pandemic, I am inspired by the resiliency of our University community. I also understand the toll that COVID-19 has had, especially on our students. This Giving Tuesday, I am personally supporting the Waterloo Fund because it offers the University the ability to quickly respond to the most pressing priorities, including supports for students.

As a university president and public health physician, I am acutely aware that learning within a pandemic environment has taken its toll on our students’ mental health, and it has affected their studies. Since COVID-19 lockdowns, young people aged 15 to 24 reported the greatest declines in mental health compared to all other age groups in Canada.

This coming year, supporting our students’ wellbeing and their university experience will be more important than ever. The most significant experiences in a student’s development can be participation in athletics, arts, student clubs and governments. At our institution in particular, co-operative education, with its placements in workplaces, forms an essential part of the post-secondary experience for many students. These experiences have all been impacted by the pandemic. As we seek to gradually return to “normal” operations, our students will need extra support.

Giving to the Waterloo Fund will support the University in priorities areas such as:

  • building a campus community where all students feel safe and empowered 
  • ensuring students feel supported as they continue to return to campus 
  • creating new ways to help students find meaningful work experiences 
  • making sure students have learning and research tools at their fingertips even when they can’t be on campus 
  • supporting our student-athletes as they continue to return to competition

As we continue to respond to the changing public health situation, the way we support our students will need to be flexible. If you have the ability to give, I would encourage you to support the Waterloo Fund as it has the built-in flexibility to redirect funding to emerging initiatives as they develop. 

These young people are our best hope for a sustainable, equitable future. Your generosity can help support the best-possible experiences for our students and enable them to thrive.

Visit the Giving Tuesday website to see all the challenges, and return November 30 to make your gift. 

Eco Summit begins today

Eco Summit 2021 banner showing young people holding signs at a climate protest.

A message from the Sustainability Office.

The Sustainability Office reminds all staff, students, and faculty to attend the 2021 Eco Summit: Youth Leading the Way for Climate Action both today and tomorrow.

Climate change is here, and it is young people who will face the worst impacts.

At the main event today from 10:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m., the Sustainability Office will highlight campus initiatives over the past year while launching the 2021 Sustainability Report.

We will further discuss the role of youth and climate action at the Youth & Climate Action Panel Discussion on November 25 from 11:00 a.m. to 12 noon with the University’s Youth & Innovation Project, alumni and current students to discuss research and experiences as youth leading the way for climate action.

Finally, the Sustainability Office will host a Youth Changemaker Speed Networking Session on November 25 from 12 noon to 1:00 p.m. This Speed Networking will bring together young people who are prominent change makers to discuss their experiences with other young people and how they can further support the Climate Action Community.

For those interested in more information and would like to sign up, please visit our website.

Teaching and Learning Conference issues call for proposals

Teaching and Learning Conference banner - Fostering Partnerships in Pedagogy.

A message from the Centre for Teaching Excellence (CTE).

Members of the University community are invited to submit a proposal for the University of Waterloo's 13thannual Teaching and Learning Conference, taking place April 27 and April 28, 2022. Our 2022 conference theme is “ Fostering Partnerships in Pedagogy”.

Partnerships can be student-centered, empowering the role of learners and connecting them with faculty for a more central role in their learning. Partnerships can exist in experiential learning environments or in cooperative education, providing learners with the opportunity to gain authentic experience and become valued members of a team. Partnerships can be cross-disciplinary in nature, drawing upon knowledge and experience of faculty from across the University to forge new ideas and innovative teaching practices. Partnerships can leverage the role of academic support units to help craft educational experiences that benefit all learners.

For our 13th annual Teaching and Learning Conference, we invite you to submit proposals for presentations, panel discussions, workshops, poster presentations, and a teaching and learning showcase.

For more information check out the Call for Proposals website.

WE Accelerate continues to be a first work term option this winter

A female student works at a laptop.

By Matthew King.

With a larger cohort of co-op students looking for work in the winter term, first work term students will once again have Waterloo Experience (WE) Accelerate as an option.

Initially offered in the 2021 spring term, WE Accelerate was created to help first work-term students struggling to find a co-op job. This optional program gives students the opportunity to gain in-demand skills and work experience, all while gaining a flexible work term credit.

“We are excited to continue to provide a quality work-integrated learning experience that differs from a traditional co-op work term to our first work-term students,” says Norah McRae, associate vice provost, Co-operative and Experiential Education. “First work term students often struggle to find a co-op job, so WE Accelerate gives them the opportunity to gain that valuable work experience in a supportive setting.”

The winter term will feature four skill streams with participation from industry collaborators Microsoft, Desire2Learn (D2L), Concept and Vidyard.

The skill streams offered in the Winter include:

  • Microsoft azure artificial intelligence
  • Innovation
  • Brightspace training
  • Digital bootcamp

The program features skills training, project experience working on a real-world problem, and career curriculum bookends.

The WE Accelerate pilot was funded in part by the Government of Canada’s Innovative Work-Integrated Learning program and CEWIL Canada's iHub, allowing students to receive a one-time award.

United Way Conversation for Change; Concept $5K; other notes

"On November 25, from 2:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m., the United Way is hosting the webinar How to Build Social Impact into Your Career as part of their United Voices series," says a note from the University's United Way campaign. "Hear from professionals and volunteers as they discuss building a resume through philanthropy and volunteering, and how you can build a commitment to social good in your career. We'll explore how dedicating a small portion of your time can give you a career advantage. Register on their website: United Way ("

Concept 5K Banner image

The Concept $5K finals are set for Thursday, November 25 at 5:00 p.m. Eight student teams will be delivering their pitches to a virtual panel of judges. Join the virtual audience and watch the student teams take the virtual stage and compete for their share of $25K in grant funding to help take their startup ideas to the next level.

You can register for the virtual event online.

Doreen KembabaziAs part of the History Speaker Series 2021-22, Dr. Doreen Kembabazi, postdoctoral researcher from Ghent University in Belgium will deliver an address entitled Austerity, Experimentation and Opposition: The Global and Local Politics of Biomedical Contraception in Uganda on Friday, November 26 at 10:00 a.m. on Zoom.

"This talk examines the establishment of the birth control project in Uganda by American physician and eugenicist Clarence Gamble as a biomedical endeavor driven by global concerns about the reproductive capacities of Ugandan women and global overpopulation," says the talk's promotional material. "It shows how these concerns clashed with local anxieties about demographic changes, social and political reproduction, and medical ethics. The talk examines the birth control project in Uganda as a form of reproductive exploitation of women. Dr. Kembabazi argues that Gamble’s experimentation on women, and refusal to engage the public and their detractors, legitimized the concerns of pronatalist groups who tapped into a global racialized rhetoric that birth control would exterminate the Black race."

Dr. Kembabazi holds a PhD in African History, from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor.

Register to receive a Zoom link for the talk.

Jo Ann Chesher"Jo Ann Chesher has ridden the waves of change at UWaterloo for close to 47 years, from collecting tuition in cash to being the first one on the Student Financial Services (SFS) team to go paperless," says a note from Student Financial Services. "She began her university career as a receptionist in Office of Research in January 1972 and joined the Student Financial Services team (known as the Cashier’s Office back then) in 1981. Very shortly, she will be embracing another big change. On Monday, November 29, Finance will be celebrating Jo Ann’s commitment, her contributions and her retirement. Student Financial Services will be unavailable for phone, email, Skype or Teams service between 10:30 a.m. and 1:00 p.m. on Monday, November 29 to ensure we all have a chance to mark this milestone with Jo.

"If you think an Extended Reality (XR) app or XR-based activity could enhance your students’ learning, join us on Friday, November 26 at noon to find out how the funding recently announced by the Ontario government can support such projects," says a note from the Centre for Extended Learning (CEL). "The funding is part of the government’s Virtual Learning Strategy (VLS), and it targets Extended Reality as one of four priority areas for the $8 million it’s making available."

The session, which is part of Waterloo’s XR Community of Practice, will start at 12:00 pm on Friday, November 26 in MS Teams. The Centre for Extended Learning is co-ordinating Waterloo’s applications for the VLS funding, and CEL’s Dina Meuniere will be in attendance to provide an overview of the funding and to respond to questions. If attendees are interested, time will also be allotted to discuss prospective projects in small groups.

"Please visit the event listing at the Centre for Teaching Excellence to register for the event."

Link of the day

50 years ago: D.B. Cooper jumps from a plane into history

When and Where to get support

Students can visit the Student Success Office online for supports including academic development, international student resources, immigration consulting, 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.

CrySP Speaker Series on Privacy featuring Wouter Lueks, EPFL, “Privacy-friendly presence and proximity tracing,” Wednesday, November 24, 11:00 a.m.

Registration deadline for 2021 WatITis conference, Thursday, November 25.

WaterTalk: Microplastics and Human Health: Moving the Field Forward, presented by Juliette Legler, Utrecht University, The Netherlands. Thursday, November 25, 10:00 a.m.

How I Got Into Quantum: A Graduate Student Perspective, Thursday, November 25, 4:00 p.m., Virtual Panel, streamed live to YouTube.

Concept $5K Finals, Thursday, November 25, 5:00 p.m.

Praxes of Care: Delineating nation state capital — Bonnie Devine & Luis Jacob, Thursday, November 25, 6:00 p.m. Virtual Speaker Series, details and a link to the virtual talk will be sent to those who register.

History Speaker Series presents Austerity, Experimentation and Opposition: The Global and Local Politics of Biomedical Contraception in Uganda, Friday, November 26, 10:00 a.m.

"Who doesn’t file a tax-return? Estimates of non-filing and implications for measuring and addressing poverty," featuring Dr. Jennifer Robson, Professor of Political Management, Carleton University, Friday, November 26, 2:00 p.m. to 3:30 p.m.

Women’s Hockey vs. Western, November 26, 7:00 p.m. Employee Day. Free tickets available for Staff and Faculty; email for the coupon code. Purchase your tickets today.

WaterLeadership: Improving Bibliometrics for Early Career Researchers, presented by Laura Bredahl, Tuesday, November 30, 1:00 p.m.

W3+ presents Shop & Plan Meals Like a Dietitian, Wednesday, December 1, 12 noon to 1:00 p.m., online. 

Positions available

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

  • ob ID# 2021-7367 - Outreach Activities Administrator - Centre for Education in Mathematics and Computing, USG 5
  • Job ID# 2021-7587 - Senior Manager, Evaluation and Accountability - University Research (IQC), USG 12
  • Job ID# 2021-7539 - Student Advisor (Central West Region) - CEE - Co-operative Education, USG 8 - 9
  • Job ID# 2021-7625 - Senior Manager - Institutional Research - Office of Research, USG 12
  • Job ID# 2021-7285 - Community Well-Being & Engagement Officer - Dean of Mathematics, USG 8
  • Job ID# 2021-7604 - Computing Consultant - IST, USG 9
  • Job ID# 2021-7335 - Senior Development Officer - Co-operative and Experiential Education - Co-operative and Experiential Education, USG 10 - 11
  • Job ID# 2021-7426 - Admissions Officer - Office of the Registrar, USG 8 - 9
  • Job ID# 2021-7267 - Community Wellbeing Officer - Dean of Engineering - Associate Dean, Teaching and Student Experience, USG 8
  • Job ID# 2021-7407 - Information Technology Specialist - Engineering Computing, USG 9 - 13
  • Job ID# 2021-7590 - Electrician - Plant Operations, CUPE
  • Job ID# 2021-7594 - Financial Officer - Food Services, USG 10
  • Job ID# 2021-7592 - Mechanic I - Insulator - Plant Operations, CUPE
  • Job ID# 2021-7591 - Mechanic I - Plumber - Plant Operations, CUPE
  • Job ID# 2021-7548 - Senior Parking Technician - Plant Operations, USG 6

Secondments/Internal temporary opportunities

  • Job ID# 2021-7540 - Communications Officer, Internationalization - Student Success Office, USG 7
  • Job ID# 2021-7544 - Special Events Coordinator - Waterloo Undergraduate Student Association, USG 6
  • Job ID# 2021-7345 - Program Development Specialist - Work-Integrated Learning Programs, USG 10
  • Job ID# 2021-7227 - Administrative Assistant - WatSPEED, USG 6
  • Job ID# 2021-7599 - Corporate Research Partnerships Manager - Office of Research, USG 14
  • Job ID# 2021-7585 - Undergraduate Administrative Coordinator - Systems Design Engineering, USG 6
  • Job ID# 2021-7553 - Undergraduate Advisor & Coordinator - Mechanical & Mechatronics Engineering, USG 6
  • Job ID# 2021-7401 - Facilities Project Coordinator - Food Services, USG 6
  • Job ID# 2021-7588 - Research and Operations Manager - Kinesiology and Health Sciences, USG 9

Affiliated and Federated Institutions of Waterloo opportunities