Tuesday, March 22, 2022

VP Finance and Administration Nominating Committee to begin consultations

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

As previously announced, Dennis Huber will be retiring at the end of this calendar year. A nominating committee has been constituted to begin the process of selecting a Vice-President, Finance and Administration. The committee’s work will be comprehensive in scope, and they are considering the scope and mandate of this role. An integral portion of the process is a consultation with the community.

Your assistance is sought as the committee gathers information to support its work. Members of the University community are invited to complete a brief questionnaire being done by Laverne Smith & Associates, the executive search consultant assisting the committee with its work. All responses will be held in strict confidence by Laverne Smith, and the inclusion of your name is optional.

This role will provide leadership in the development and implementation of long-term plans and transformational change to move the University ahead and enhance organizational results. Your input is critical and it is asked that you please take the few minutes required to help us in this important undertaking. Please complete your questionnaire by March 31, 2022.

Vice-President, Finance and Administration Nominating Committee members:

  • Vivek Goel, President; Chair
  • Sandra Banks, Vice-President, University Relations
  • Stepanka Elias, Executive Director, Plant Operations
  • Steve Fortin, Associate Professor, School of Accounting and Finance; Director, School of Accounting and Financ
  • Murray Gamble, former Governor
  • Sheryl Kennedy, Governor
  • Glaucia Melo, interim President & CEO, Graduate Student Association
  • Jack Rehder, Executive Officer, Faculty of Mathematics
  • Matthew Schwarze, Vice-President, Operations & Finance, Waterloo Undergraduate Student Association
  • Christopher Taylor, Assistant Professor, Department of History; Associate Vice-President, Equity, Diversity, Inclusion and Anti-Racism
  • Mary Wells, Professor, Department of Mechanical and Mechatronics Engineering ; Dean, Faculty of Engineering
  • Karen Jack, Secretary
  • Laverne Smith, Executive Search Consultant

World Water Day panel events to focus on groundwater

World Water Day 2022 banner image showing an illustration of grass, soil and groundwater.

Today is World Water Day, and this year, the United Nations has chosen the theme Groundwater: Making the Invisible, Visible

Learn more about this critical resource and join the Water Institute today for World Water Day virtual celebrations. 

A collage of two World Water Day session images.

A Cross-Country Checkup on Canada’s Groundwater: Perspectives on the Future of one of Canada’s most Valuable Resources

Join the Water Institute as we explore the vast diversity of Canada’s groundwater resources from coast to coast to coast from 1:00 p.m. to 2:30 p.m. today with a panel of leading hydrogeologists from across the country. We will explore current and future challenges facing one of Canada’s most critical, yet underappreciated natural resources with a view towards sustainable management in a changing world. 

The Legacy of Environmental Racism in North America: Perspectives from Canada and the United States

This event, scheduled for 4:00 p.m. to 5:30 p.m., will feature presentations from two high-profile advocates who are leading community-level resistance movements against environmental racism followed by an interactive, student-led discussion.

World Water Day celebrations will conclude with an in-person evening social at the Huether Hotel in UpTown Waterloo from 6:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m.

Additional details and registration information can be found on Waterloo’s World Water Day homepage

Q and A with the experts: current and future challenges facing Canada's groundwater supply

Professor David Rudolph.World Water Day, annually observed by the United Nations on March 22, celebrates water and raises awareness to the billions of people living without access to safe water. This year’s theme is groundwater: making the invisible visible. But what are the current and future challenges facing this natural resource in Canada? University of Waterloo’s Earth and environmental sciences professor and groundwater expert David Rudolph answers this and other questions. 

What’s considered to be groundwater?

Groundwater is the water that exists and flows within the pores, fissures and fractures in subsurface soils and geologic materials. It is a vast freshwater resource renewed annually through natural replenishment from rain and snowmelt. Groundwater is an enormous reservoir of water, essentially hidden from view beneath the land surface, that represents a critical component in Earth’s water cycle.

Why should we care about groundwater?

Groundwater is one of the largest sources of drinking water throughout the world and is vitally depended upon for agricultural irrigation and industrial water supply. It maintains streamflow, lake levels and wetlands, providing water and nutrients year-round. The groundwater reservoir represents a buffered source of water during dry periods or droughts when surface water sources reduce in size or disappear altogether. As surface water becomes heavily allocated and the challenging impacts of climate change become more evident, groundwater resources will be even more critical in sustaining increasing water demands and the health of natural aquatic ecosystems.

What are some of the current and future challenges facing Canada’s groundwater?

Canada’s groundwater resources are critical to societal health and economic growth from coast to coast to coast. In urban centres where water demand continues to grow with population and development, local groundwater extraction rates may exceed natural replenishment resulting in a progressive reduction in water levels and reservoir storage. This can lead to significant reductions in the water flows to streams and wetlands and threatens the long-term sustainability of the urban water supplies. The slow release of excess agricultural nutrients and chemicals from cultivated regions threatens the quality of regional groundwater resources within the rural landscape, as does the legacy impacts of road salt de-icers applied to roadways within urban areas. Groundwater contamination from historical industrial sites, landfills and leakage from subsurface infrastructure like sewer systems have also led to contamination of groundwater at a more local scale, which has proven to be challenging to remediate once contamination has occurred. Changes in the hydrologic cycle resulting from a changing climate may also change the natural rate and location of groundwater replenishment, influencing its distribution and availability.

What can we do to help keep our groundwater safe and flowing?

The most important step we can take to protect and preserve our invaluable groundwater resources is to raise awareness of its critical importance within our society through education at all levels. Groundwater is a tremendously resilient resource; however, to ensure sustainable subsurface reservoir levels and fresh quality, an enhanced understanding of the processes and causes of contamination and overuse is required to provide the insight needed to mitigate past effects and avoid future impacts. There is a significant lack of a regulatory focus on Canada’s groundwater supplies compared to surface water, for example, and the sustainability of this natural resource, which will become more critical over time, requires careful governance and management. 

David Rudolph is a Professor in Earth and Environmental Sciences. He carries out research in groundwater management with a focus on innovative ways to monitor water resources in the face of changing land use and climate. Professor Rudolph was named the 2013 Henry Darcy Distinguished Lecturer in Ground Water Science by the US National Groundwater Association, one of the most prestigious career awards in this field.

Concept $5K finalists named

Concept $5K banner showing the names of the finalists.

Eight entrepreneurial teams will be competing in the Concept $5k Finals this term, pitching for a chance to win 1 of 4 prize funds of $5,000.

22 student teams competed at the semifinals on March 16 and 17, presenting their pitches to a panel of judges including Mila Banerjee, Business Advisor at Velocity, Shoma Sinha, Concept Coach and Moazam Khan, Business Advisor at Velocity. 

 The finalists are:

  • Aura Air, which is is democratizing access to air-quality data, using cutting edge AI and sensor technology to give people personalized, hyperlocal, and predictive air-quality information.

  • Cauchy Analytics, a real-time, non-invasive, continuous monitoring system for cardiac hemodynamics in hospital intensive care units;
  • Elpis, a passive walking and exercising support exoskeleton system for people with incomplete paraplegic spinal cord injury(SCI), that is affordable and accessible.; 

  • Formify, which builds a perfectly fitted gaming mouse based on a picture of the user’s hand;

  • Herma Print; whose mission is to lower the barrier to entry for high speed FDM 3D printing for companies leveraging the technology for rapid prototyping in product development and micro-factory manufacturers;

  • Moonlight Haptics, a wearable haptic device mimicking vision through the sense of touch to allow for independent and safe mobility for individuals with visual impairment, wherever they want, whenever they want;

  • Retinex, a system for monitoring and controlling high temperature manufacturing processes such as metal 3D printing and welding; and

  • Tulay, a virtual insurance brokerage dedicated to helping international students understand health insurance in Canada and connecting them to the right insurance coverage that suits their unique needs.

Members of the University community are invited to join in the virtual audience of the Winter 2022 Concept $5K Finals on March 31. By attending, you will have the opportunity to win audience prizes including a Concept prize pack.

Read the latest entry on the Concept blog for more information about the upcoming $5K finals.

Tuesday's notes

In-person Warrior Recreation banner.Athletics and Recreation has announced that they are moving to in-person Warrior Recreation effective this week. What does this mean? According to Athletics:

  • You no longer need to reserve your spot for most activities. Reservations still needed for climbing wall and aquatics;
  • All you need to enter is your Watcard and a rec membership.

"Ensure you check our drop-in rec schedules which can be found on the website as well as the Warrior Rec app," says a note from Athletics. Check out the Warrior Recreation schedule.

This is a reminder of the upcoming XChanges Conference being organized by the Waterloo Undergraduate Students Association student-led racial advocacy service, RAISE (the Racial Advocacy for Inclusion, Solidarity and Equity). The conference will be held Saturday, March 26 from 9:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. virtually through Zoom. 

"Join Raise and fellow community members as they gather and learn about the importance of community from their amazing lineup of speakers," says a note from Raise.

  1. Cultivating Community: Nourishing One Another - Presented by: KW Community Fridge & Uplift Kitchen Toronto 
  2. Cultivating Community: Reclaiming Culture, Space and Land - Presented by: O:se Kenhionhata:tie – Land Back Camp 
  3. Cultivating Community: Healing Hand in Hand - Presented by: Gillian Wells 
  4. Cultivating Community: Bringing Words to Life - Presented by: Graham J. Edwards 
  5. Keynote: Dialectic 

For tickets, visit the XChanges website at https://bit.ly/XChanges2022For inquiries about the conference, please feel free to reach out to the Raise team at raise@wusa.ca.

Link of the day

World Water Day

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 (uwaterloo.ca).

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):

Supports are available for employees returning to campus. Visit IST’s Hybrid Work and Technology guidelines and workplace protocols to assist with the transition.

The Writing and Communication Centre has virtual services and programs to help undergradsgrad 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) has virtual services and programs to support undergrads, grad students, postdocs, alumni and employees in figuring out what they value, what they’re good at, and how to access meaningful work, co-op, volunteer, or graduate/professional school opportunities. Questions about CCA's services? Live chat, call 519-888-4047, or stop by our front desk in the Tatham Centre between 8:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. EST, Monday to Friday.

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's English Language Institute continues to offer virtual events and workshops to help students practice their English language skills.

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 is open with expanded hours for access to book stacks, drop-in individual study space, bookable group study rooms, drop-in access to computers and printers, book pick-up services and IST Help Desk support. Librarian consultations, Special Collections & Archives and the Geospatial Centre are available by appointment. 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: svpro@uwaterloo.ca 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 https://wusa.ca/peersupport 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 https://wusa.ca 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.

GSA-UW supports for graduate students: 

The Graduate Student Association (GSA-UW) supports students’ academic and social experience and promotes their well-being.

Advising and Support - The GSA advises graduate students experiencing challenges and can help with navigating university policies & filing a grievance, appeal, or petition.

Mental Health covered by the Health Plan - The GSA Health Plan now has an 80 per cent coverage rate (up to $800/year) for Mental Health Practitioners. Your plan includes coverage for psychologists, registered social workers, psychotherapists, and clinical counselors.

Dental Care - The GSA Dental Plan covers 60 to 70 per cent of your dental costs and by visiting dental professionals who are members of the Studentcare Networks, you can receive an additional 20 to 30 per cent coverage.

Student Legal Protection Program - Your GSA fees give you access to unlimited legal advice, accessible via a toll-free helpline: +1-833-202-4571. This advice covers topics including housing disputes, employment disputes, and disputes with an academic institution.

The Graduate House: Open Monday to Friday 11:30 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. We’re open to all students, faculty, staff, and community members. The Graduate House is a community space run by the GSA-UW. Vaccination Records and Government ID continue to be required for all dine-in guests. Graduate students who paid their fees can get discounts and free coffee.

When and Where (but mostly when)

Warriors vs. Laurier Blood Donation Battle. Join our “Waterloo Warriors” team on the Blood.ca website or app. #ItsInYouToGive

Half Price Fitness Memberships and Rock Climbing Memberships. Only $25 for the remainder of the term. Purchase your membership now.

Shohini Ghose – A framework for promoting excellence in science through Inclusion, Diversity, Equity and Accessibility, Monday, March 21, 2:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. 

NEW - Warriors truLOCAL Kickback Program, Tuesday, March 22 to April 22. Purchase high quality locally sourced meat and fish while supporting your favourite Waterloo Warriors varsity team. Find out more.

World Water Day 2022A Cross-Country Checkup on Canada’s Groundwater: Perspectives on the Future of one of Canada’s most Valuable Resources, Tuesday, March 22, 1:00 p.m. to 2:30 p.m.

GEDI Exchange Webinar - A 30 Minute Exchange with Hyivy and Cosm MedicalTuesday March 22, 1:00 p.m.

World Water Day 2022: The Legacy of Environmental Racism in North America: Perspectives from Canada and the United States, Tuesday, March 22, 4:00 p.m. to 5:30 p.m.

Noon Hour Concert: Carnatic Violin, Wednesday, March 23, 12:30 p.m., online premiere.

NEW - Theatre and Performance program presents Mustard, Thursday, March 24 to Saturday, March 26, 7:30 p.m.

Sawatsky Lecture, Resistance Strategies: Equipping Ourselves and Our Communities for Long Term Justice Work featuring Professor Regina Shands Stoltzfus, Thursday, March 24, 7:30 p.m. 

NEW - Master of Taxation, Virtual Information Session, part-time info session, Thursday March 31, 1:00 p.m., full-time info session, Thursday March 31, 2:00 p.m. To register visit, www.mtax.ca.