Jeremy Pittman appointed to National Advisory Committee for climate change
This article was originally published on Waterloo News.
Jeremy Pittman, a professor of Planning in the Faculty of Environment at the University of Waterloo, was recently appointed as a member of new federal Nature Advisory Committee (NAC), created by Environment and Climate Change Canada to foster ways for Canadians to engage positively with our natural environment.
The health, well-being, and economic security of Canadians depend on having healthy ecosystems that supports a world rich in biodiversity. Professor Pittman will bring his experience working on climate change adaptation, sustainability, and environmental policy issues with both federal and provincial governments in Canada. His areas of expertise include species at risk and biodiversity conservation, sustainable natural resource practices in the agricultural industry, nature-based climate solutions, and ecosystem services.
Helping to advance the development of Canada’s post-2020 biodiversity strategy and working as a part of a team of 21 members, Pittman will collaborate with his colleagues to increase levels of engagement in nature. This will be done by providing innovative new solutions and advancements under the department’s nature mandate priorities. This consists of offering strategic advice to fit Canada's objectives, identifying opportunities, strengthening partnerships, and finding innovative solutions to cross-cutting nature conservation priorities, such as protecting at-risk areas and species.
Selection for this post positions Pittman alongside a new generation of environmental thought leaders, as the Government of Canada expands on its commitment to work toward halting and reversing nature loss by 2030 in Canada and achieving a full recovery for nature by 2050.
More about the NAC appointment can be found on the Government of Canada website.
Live-streamed event with President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelenskyy today
Select groups of students from Waterloo and Wilfrid Laurier have been invited to attend an exclusive in-person, live-streamed event today with Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelenskyy. Guests include the 34 Ukrainian students studying at Waterloo as part of the Students-At-Risk program, our Ukrainian-Canadian student community, along with those studying in fields such as political science, global governance and international relations.
This free event, hosted by the University of Toronto’s Munk School of Global Affairs & Public Policy, will take place from 10:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. in Hagey Hall’s room 1101.
For those not attending the in-person viewing, the address by president Zelenskyy will also be live streamed on YouTube and will be available at 10:00 a.m. EST.
The event will feature opening remarks by U of T President Meric Gertler. Deputy Prime Minister of Canada, the Hon. Chrystia Freeland, will introduce President Zelenskyy, who will be joining virtually from Ukraine.
President Zelenskyy will deliver an address to students attending in-person at U of T and virtually at gatherings being held at universities across Canada. Following his address, Munk School Director Peter Loewen will moderate a Q&A session where students from across Canada will pose questions to President Zelenskyy.
Because of limited seating, advance registration is required to attend. Guests are asked to arrive at Hagey Hall at 9:30am to be seated and for a brief introduction by the special guest host.
James W.E. Rush reappointed as Vice-President, Academic & Provost
A message from Vivek Goel, President and Vice-Chancellor and Chair of the Vice-President, Academic & Provost Nominating Committee.
I am pleased to announce the reappointment of Professor James W.E. Rush as Vice-President, Academic & Provost for a second five-year term commencing July 1, 2023. The nominating committee, established under Policy 48, recommended the appointment, which has been approved by the Senate and the Board of Governors.
Rush holds a Bachelor and Master of Science from the University of Guelph, a Ph.D. in medical physiology from the State University of New York Medical Centre at Syracuse, and completed post-doctoral studies at the University of Missouri-Columbia Dalton Cardiovascular Research Centre. A faculty member at Waterloo since 2000, Rush served as Dean of the Faculty of Applied Health Sciences (now the Faculty of Health) from 2014 to 2018. Jim was appointed to his first term as Vice-President, Academic & Provost in July 2018; his first term ends 30 June 2023.
Per the provisions of Policy 48, the nominating committee solicited opinions from the community regarding Dr. Rush’s potential reappointment. In considering Professor Rush’s reappointment, the nominating committee consulted with members of the University community and conducted interviews with certain faculty, staff and students, Faculty deans, members of Executive Council and other senior administrators.
On behalf of the Senate and Board of Governors, I would like to congratulate Jim and thank him for agreeing to continue to serve in this important role.
I would also like to thank the members of the nominating committee: John Abraham; Nasser Mohieddin Abukhdeir; Joyce Barlow; Alan Binns; Neil Craik; Catherine Dong; Cindy Forbes; Christiane Lemieux; Lili Liu; Kirsten Muller; Douglas Peers; Jennifer Reid; Siv Sivaloganathan; and Stan Woo for a job well done. The committee was assisted by University Secretary Karen Jack and Associate University Secretary Mike Grivicic.
Canada lags behind other countries in providing school food programs to children in need
This article was originally published on Waterloo News.
A University of Waterloo-led international study of more than 10,000 children in six different countries found that approximately half of all students received breakfast or lunch at school in countries such as the United States or Chile. However, only five per cent of students in Canada participated in a school meal program.
Canadian schools also fell short for the most vulnerable students, with only 27 per cent of students with the highest level of food insecurity participating in school meal programs in Canada. This is compared to more than two-thirds in the United States and Chile, both of which have national school nutrition policies.
“Schools are important places to provide meals for children, especially among low-income students who may not have reliable access to healthy foods at home,” said David Hammond, principal investigator and a professor in the School of Public Health Sciences at Waterloo.
Most countries around the world offer some form of school meal program aimed at providing nutritious food to students. “Across all countries surveyed, we found that participating in a free school meal program was associated with higher fruit and vegetable intake during school lunch. Children participating in school meal programs also reported eating less unhealthy food in the countries with the most comprehensive policies,” Hammond said.
Researchers surveyed 10,565 youth aged 10-17 from Canada, Australia, Chile, Mexico, the United Kingdom and the U.S. through the 2019 International Food Policy Study.
“In countries without national school nutrition guidelines, such as Canada and Australia, the responsibility for school meal programs falls to individual school boards, community organizations, or charities. Despite their best efforts, this approach is no match for comprehensive provincial or national programs when it comes to feeding children with the great need.”
Karen Hock, a Waterloo Public Health Sciences doctoral student and first author of the paper, said the COVID-19 pandemic has also demonstrated the importance of school meal programs, especially among disadvantaged students.
“Countries such as the United Kingdom and New Zealand have recently expanded their school meal programs in response to the pandemic to ensure that students in need can continue to access adequate nutrition, which is fundamental for their long-term health and well-being,” Hock said.
Hock believes school meal programs are a valuable way to promote healthy dietary intake in children and support those in need. “It’s unfortunate that Canada is the only G7 country without a national school meal program.”
The study, Awareness of and participation in school food programs among youth from six countries, co-authored by Hammond and Hock, alongside other investigators from the International Food Policy Study, was published in the Journal of Nutrition. Funding for the study was provided through the Public Health Agency of Canada and Canadian Institutes of Health Research.
The Alliance runs Learn to Swim program in the PAC pool
This article was originally published on the Athletics and Recreation website.
The University of Waterloo Warriors Alliance group is extremely proud to be hosting weekly swim lessons at the Physical Activities Complex (PAC) Pool for women and children ranging from ages 7 to 41 years old. The program is designed to promote and encourage swimming lessons to local racialized women and girls from the Kitchener-Waterloo community who have never had the opportunity to learn to swim.
"I am very proud of this program and teaching those in our community that have not had an opportunity to learn the valuable life skill of swimming," said Alliance Co-Founder and Swimming Head Coach, Jacky Beckford-Henriques. "The smiles on the faces of each individual have made this program incredibly rewarding and I am delighted by the work of The Alliance to make it all possible."
The program was made possible in support of the Alliance, the Warriors Varsity Swimming program, the University of Waterloo and Adventure4Change, an organization striving to provide accessible education and learning opportunities within communities. The biggest support of the program came from a large donation from the Astley Family Foundation made possible through an application with the Kitchener Waterloo Community Foundation (KWCF) Racial Equity Fund as well as an equipment donation (caps and goggles) by Team Aquatics and the Region of Waterloo Swim Club.
The following are a few uplifting comments from adults and children who have had the opportunity to take part in the program:
"This is the best day of my 17 years in Canada, I had never been in a pool before today."
"After just two classes I have learnt so much and I can now glide and kick my feet. I have gained so much confidence in the water in a short period of time."
"I am enjoying swimming at the same time as my girls who are 16 and 10; it's been so wonderful to do this as a family."
"This is so much fun! I have learnt how to float on my back."
"I really love being in in the water and learning to swim."
Receive 50 per cent off select WatSPEED courses until the end of the year
A message from WatSPEED.
Until the end of the year, University of Waterloo staff members can receive 50 per cent off select WatSPEED courses.
Register for virtual-instructor led courses in the following certificate programs to receive a 50 per cent staff discount on your course fees: Leadership, Advanced Leadership, Essentials of Supervision, Project Management, or Advanced Project Management. The offer is valid for full-time, permanent, Waterloo staff members who register for any of the applicable courses before December 31, 2022. View eligibility requirements.
In early 2023, staff discounts will be updated to cover a broader variety of WatSPEED courses on a course-by-course basis. This change comes as WatSPEED continues to build new professional education offerings to enable working professionals to adapt and thrive in today’s marketplace.