Monday, May 16, 2022

Donna Strickland inducted into the National Academy of Sciences

Professor Donna Strickland.

Donna Strickland, professor in the Department of Physics and Astronomy at the University of Waterloo and Nobel laureate in physics, was inducted into the National Academy of Sciences, considered the most prestigious honorary scientific society in the United States.

NAS, based in Washington, is a non-governmental organization. It is part of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine, known as the National Academies, advising to the U.S. government on science and technology. Members are elected by their peers.

“I’m thrilled to join the National Academy of Sciences, a long-standing and respected organization,” says Strickland. “Its mandate of providing objective, pro-bono advice to government on matters of science and technology resonates with me, and I’m excited to contribute.”

Strickland was elected to NAS back in 2020, however induction ceremonies were delayed until an in-person event was possible. This ceremony took place April 29 and included the 146 new inductees from 2020 signing their names to the official Registry of Members.

There are nearly 2,500 members of NAS, with about 500 of them coming from outside the U.S. President Abraham Lincoln approved the creation of NAS in 1863.

Elevating the optometric profession with new Advanced Procedures Program

Instructor Dr. C. Lisa Prokopich (left) instructs participants on laser peripheral iridotomy techniques

Instructor Dr. C. Lisa Prokopich (left) instructs participants on laser peripheral iridotomy techniques.

This article was originally published on the School of Optometry and Vision Science website.

As the contemporary practice of optometry evolves, the University of Waterloo’s School of Optometry & Vision Science (UWOVS) continues to be at the forefront of education for all Canadian optometrists with the introduction of a new Advanced Procedures Program.

Led by faculty members Drs. Sarah MacIver and C. Lisa Prokopich, UWOVS’ certificate program is a uniquely Canadian training opportunity designed for Doctors of Optometry to enhance their knowledge and skills to North America’s highest scope of optometric practice. Over the course of four weeks, optometrists participated in a robust 36-hour program - including the completion of virtual self-study modules, didactic lectures, and a series of in-person workshops.

"We are pleased to serve as a contemporary resource for optometric professional development in Canada and are even more thrilled to now offer a Canadian designed advanced procedures program,” says Dr. MacIver. “We’re looking forward to running this program twice annually, and hope optometrists recognize the value this program can offer them in their practices now and in the future.”

On April 8-10, the School of Optometry & Vision Science capped off its inaugural offering of the Advanced Procedures Certificate Program with an on-campus weekend of in-person instruction and hands-on workshops. During the three-day weekend, over thirty Canadian optometrists learned about and practiced laser treatment for anterior segment disease, and the fundamentals of minor ophthalmic procedures – including eyelid lesion management, intravenous and intramuscular injection techniques, and suturing.

Self-study modules, didactic lectures and in-person workshops were taught by Northeastern State University’s Dr. Richard Castillo, UWOVS Drs. MacIver, Andre Stanberry, Nadine Furtado, and C. Lisa Prokopich, and visiting clinical optometrists Drs. Sophia Leung, Martin McDowell, Josh Smith, and Rachel Amaral.

Instructor Dr. Richard Castillo (middle) offers instruction on radiosurgical techniques.

Instructor Dr. Richard Castillo (middle) offers instruction on radiosurgical techniques.

Dr. Bronwyn Mulherin, a practicing optometrist in New Brunswick and inaugural program participant, recommends this program to all Canadian optometrists – regardless of whether these skills are included in their respective provincial scope of practice. “UWaterloo’s teaching team, organizational team, facilities, and equipment throughout the program were all top-notch. It might seem intimidating to take courses on these advanced practice topics, but it is well within our abilities as optometrists - and the pre-study modules prepare you well for the hands-on workshops,” she says. “I feel much more confident in my advanced skills and realize I am capable of so much more as a practitioner.”

As Dr. MacIver prepares for the next Advanced Procedures program set to be in the fall, she believes keeping up with the latest trends in North American optometry will be crucial for preparing Canadian optometrists to continue delivering contemporary patient-centred care.

“Our goal is to continually evolve our program to ensure we’re delivering an evidenced-informed program with exposure to the latest instrumentation and techniques,” says Dr. MacIver.

“As the demand for treatment and management of eye disease increases with an aging population, it is critical for optometry as a primary care health profession to continue to improve access to care and expand the scope of practice. With more optometrists trained in advanced procedures, our profession will be better positioned to meet this need."

The Advanced Procedures Program is accredited by the Council on Optometric Practioner Education (COPE) and endorsed by the Alberta College of Optometrists and Optometry Association of Louisana. UWOVS is pleased to be ramping up our offerings of continuing education programs, including certifications courses for glaucoma, oral TPAs and lab testing.

For more information on all of UWOVS' continuing education programs, please visit our website.

Waterloo Centre for German Studies announces diversity and inclusion grant winners

Waterloo Centre for German Studies Diversity grant banner.

A message from the Waterloo Centre for German Studies.

The Waterloo Centre for German Studies is pleased to announce the recipients of our Diversity and Inclusion Grants. These grants have been created to support scholars and programs in their efforts to diversify German studies in Canada. For 2022 - 2023, we are funding three Graduate Research Grants and four Curriculum and Programming Grants:

Graduate Research Grants

  • Jordyn Bailey, PhD Candidate in History, University of New Brunswick, The Intimacy Frontline: Female Sexuality and the East German Ministry of State Security, 1950-1989
  • Maike Isaac, PhD Candidate in Sociology, McGill University, The Recruitment and Training of Refugees as Elder Care Workers in Germany
  • Kate McGregor, PhD Candidate in History, University of New Brunswick, “There is only one way to be pretty!” Racialized Beauty Norms in the Global German Empire, 1884 - 1939

Curriculum and Programming Grants

  • Claudia Dueck and Sofia Bach, German-Canadian Studies, University of Winnipeg, What They Can Teach Us: Stories from German-Canadian Women, 1950-1993
  • Markus Hallensleben, Department of Central, Eastern, and Northern European Studies, University of British Columbia, Decolonizing and Indigenizing German, European and Migration Studies
  • JA Marrow, Wirth Centre for Austrian and European Studies, University of Alberta, The Uses of Convivial Tools for Equitable Urban Planning: Stadt Wien and the Practicalities of Gender Mainstreaming
  • Matt Pollard, Department of Germanic and Slavic Studies, University of Victoria, Developing Inclusive Teaching Materials and Assessment Tools for First-Year German

$16,986.56 in total has been awarded. The award holders will be making the results of their work public, and the Waterloo Centre for German Studies will publicize this information as it comes available. Please join us in congratulating these colleagues on the work they're doing to make German studies in Canada more inclusive.

To learn more about each project, please click here and visit our website.

Senate meets today and other notes

The University's Senate meets today at 3:30 p.m. Among the agenda items:

  • A motion to approve a number of Faculty research programs joining the Collaborative Aeronautics Program (CAP), effective 1 September 2022;
  • A motion to approve the proposed English – Creative and Professional Writing program, effective 1 September 2023; and
  • A motion to delegate Senate's approval of the Roster of Graduands for the upcoming Convocation ceremonies to its Executive Committee for its 6 June 2022 meeting.

Additionally, as part of the President's Update, Senate will receive a presentation on the President's Anti-Racism Taskforce report as well a sustainability update.

The names of the 2022 University Research Chairs will also be officially announced.

The next talk in the CrySP Speaker Series on Privacy will feature Pamela Wisniewski of the University of Central Florida. "Risk and Resilience: Promoting Adolescent Online Safety and Privacy through Human-Centered Computing" will take place Tuesday, May 17 at 1:30 p.m. on Zoom.

"Privacy is a social mechanism that helps people regulate their interpersonal boundaries in a way that facilitates more meaningful connections and safer online interactions with others," says the talk's abstract. "Dr. Wisniewski’s research focuses on 1) community-based approaches for helping people (adults and teens) co-manage their online privacy with people they trust, 2) teen-centric approaches to online safety that promote self-regulation and empower teens to effectively manage online risks, and 3) online safety interventions that protect our most vulnerable youth from severe online risks, such as sexual predation. Through her research trajectories above, she has become a leading HCI scholar at the intersections of adolescent online safety, developmental science, interaction design, and human-centered computing."

Dr. Wisniewski is an Associate Professor in the Department of Computer Science at the University of Central Florida. She is a Human-Computer Interaction (HCI) scholar whose research lies at the intersection of Social Computing and Privacy. Dr. Wisniewski is an expert in the interplay between social media, privacy, and online safety for adolescents.

Velocity What's Your Problem with Larry Smith banner.

Velocity will be hosting What’s Your Problem with Larry Smith on Tuesday, May 17 in a hybrid event taking place in South Campus Hall and live on Zoom from 5:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m.

"In this must-see workshop, the legendary Professor Larry Smith will discuss what makes an important problem, why pursuing important problems is advantageous for start-up founders and business owners, and how students can uncover important problems," says a note from Velocity. "
Larry will share students’ success stories and mistakes that he observed while teaching at UWaterloo for over 40 years."

You Don't Know What You Don't Know banner featuring Ela Smith.

The Office of Indigenous Relations is hosting You Don't Know What You Don't Know Part 1 online on Wednesday, May 25 from 1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m.

"This is part one of a two-part workshop that journeys through First Nations, Inuit, and Metis relations with settlers," says a note from Indigenous Relations. "As the title indicates, you don't know, what you don't know so everyone is welcome. You will be introduced to the concept of Miskasowin (wholistic self-evaluation) that will define content, context, and relationship promoting further action, accountability, and responsibilities as a treaty person in this land now known as Canada."

Ela Smith, who teaches in the MSW, BSW, and Social Development Studies programs at the University, will be hosting the virtual workshop. Register now.

A man uses a torch on an item held in a vise.

The University of Waterloo is hiring: Are you or someone you know a skilled tradesperson, groundsperson or custodian? #UWaterloo has full-time positions currently available for millwrights, plumbers, electricians, painters and carpenters among many more. Apply today:

A redtail hawk swoops in for a landing in a nest with baby birds and its mate looking on.Watching birds like a hawk: Kim Tremblay, Graduate Studies Supervisor in the Faculty of Mathematics, has been keeping tabs on a nest of red-tailed hawks in a tree outside of MC and has snapped some perfectly-timed images of the mated pair and their fledglings. I have it on good authority that mama hawk is named Henrietta. 

Also, birds of prey are so cute when they're tiny, aren't they? 

Upcoming office closure

Finance and Student Financial Services will be closed for in-person service today while EC5 undergoes building maintenance.

Link of the day

Fred Ward, 1942-2022

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):

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 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 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., 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: 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.

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 Tuesday 11:30 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. and Wednesday to Friday 11:30 a.m. to 9:00 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. We’re adding new items to the menu. 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 website or app. #ItsInYouToGive

Equity and inclusion in industry sponsored contract research and commercialization consultations for researchers, Monday, May 9 to Friday, May 27. Sign up for an interview timeslot.

UW Staff Board Foundations workshop via MS Teams Session 001, Monday, May 16, 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Session 001 registration link.

University Senate meeting, Monday, May 16, 3:30 p.m.

NEW - CrySP Speaker Series on Privacy, "Risk and Resilience: Promoting Adolescent Online Safety and Privacy through Human-Centered Computing," featuring Pamela Wisniewski, University of Central Florida, Tuesday, May 17, 1:30 p.m., Zoom.

Physics at the End of the Universe” public lecture by Dr. Katie Mack, hosted by Waterloo Centre for Astrophysics, Followed by Q&A and book signing. In-person or online, registration required. Wednesday, May 18, 7:00 p.m., QNC 1011 or Zoom.

President's Forum on PART report, Thursday, May 19, 10:00 a.m., Microsoft Teams.

NEW - Discovery lab and world café, “The Future of Sustainable Transportation”, Tuesday, May 24, 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., STP 201 (Alumni Hall).

NEW - Master of Taxation, Virtual Information Session, full-time virtual info session, Tuesday May 24, 3:00 p.m., part-time virtual info session, Tuesday, May 24, 4:00 p.m.

PhD oral defences

Geography and Environmental Management. Esra Alkim Karaagac, “In Debt to the State: Lived Experiences of Indebtedness in State-led Housing Projects in Istanbul”. Supervisor, Nancy Worth. Available upon request from the Faculty of Environment, Administrator, Graduate Studies. Oral defence Tuesday, May 17, 9:30 a.m.

Psychology. Emma Green, "What do you think? Associations between social anxiety, mentalizing, and social competence in middle childhood." Supervisor, Heather Henderson. Available upon request from the Faculty of Arts, Graduate Studies and Research Officer. Oral defence Tuesday, May 17, 1:00 p.m.

School of Planning. Jonathan Woodside, “Not Just Along for the Ride: Work, Justice, and Municipal Regulation of Ridehailing Platforms”. Supervisors, Markus Moos, Tara Vinodrai. Available upon request from the Faculty of Environment, Administrator, Graduate Studies. Oral defence Wednesday, May 18, 1:00 p.m.

School of Public Health Sciences. Oluwakemi Aderibigbe, "Substance Use and Marginalization Among Youth Living with Mental Health Conditions in Ontario." Supervisor, Chris Perlman. Email Health Graduate Administration for a copy. Oral defence Wednesday, May 25, 9:00 a.m.

Applied Mathematics. Brydon Eastman, "Machine Learning Techniques and Stochastic Modeling in Mathematical Oncology." Supervisor, Mohammad Kohandel. Thesis available from MGO - Oral defence Monday, May 30, 1:30 p.m.