Tuesday, August 16, 2022

Volunteer with the University of Waterloo's United Way Campaign

The University of Waterloo sign wrapped in red with the Dana Porter Library in the background.

A message from the University of Waterloo United Way Campaign.

Looking for an opportunity to make a difference in your community, enhance your skills, or have something to boast about on your performance evaluation? And maybe have a bit of fun while helping to make your community a stronger, more resilient, and happier place? There’s no better way to do this than through volunteering for the United Way Campaigna cause that reaches those who need it most and fosters autonomy and dignity.

For those who don’t know, our university hosts a fund-raising campaign every October for the United Way Waterloo Region Communities. The money raised is distributed to various charities across the KW area – such as the Literacy Group, Sexual Assault Support Centre, KW Access-Ability, Kitchener-Waterloo Counselling Services, and dozens more.

Two ways to volunteer

Planning and administering the campaign is the effort of several dedicated Core Committee members who work throughout the year to ensure our workplace campaign connects with our strong campus community to raise donations.

Planning and administering fun department and campus events that raise awareness and money for the United Way is done by Ambassador Volunteers, who work in the month of October during peak campaign time.

We’re looking for creative, resourceful, and enthusiastic people, just like you, to help us make this year’s campaign a massive success. Volunteer to be a Core Committee Member (form) or an Ambassador Volunteer (form). The time you dedicate to the cause is up to you – and it looks great on a resume.  

Learn how you can make a difference in your community while building upon key skills in areas like leadership, communications, event planning, and administration. Volunteer today.

Cash may not be the most effective way to motivate employees, says study

A woman receives a bouqet of flowers from her supportive colleagues.

Tangible rewards motivate employees when they’re easy to use, pleasurable, unexpected, and distinct from salary, a new study found. 

A recent survey of firms in the United States revealed that 84 per cent spent more than $90 billion annually on tangible employee rewards, such as gift cards, recreation trips and merchandise in hopes of increasing productivity. 

“We found that there is, at best, mixed evidence regarding the motivational efficacy of tangible rewards versus cash rewards,” said Adam Presslee, an associate professor at the University of Waterloo’s School of Accounting and Finance. “It is somewhat puzzling why so many companies go to the trouble of tangible rewards when cash rewards also lead to motivational differences.”

Presslee and his co-author, University of Wisconsin-Madison’s Willie Choi, used four experiments to investigate the factors driving the preference between cash and tangible rewards. The attributes examined include ease of use of the reward (fungibility), hedonic nature of the reward (want vs. need), the novelty of the reward, and how the reward is presented. 

“Rewards are constellations of attributes, and firms should focus more on the motivational effects of the attributes associated with a reward rather than the reward type itself,” Presslee said. “Results confirmed that each of these attributes – individually and in combination – increases employee effort and performance.”

The researchers recommend managers interested in motivating employees using tangible rewards would be best served to offer tangible rewards that incorporate these four attributes.

“If for whatever reason tangible rewards are the only tool available, our results show compelling evidence that employees are motivated by rewards that are perceived as distinct from salary,” Presslee said. “Therefore, firms looking to get the most out of their reward programs should emphasize the distinctiveness of those rewards, and the attributes above are four ways firms can do that.”

The study, authored by Presslee and Choi, was recently published in the journal Accounting, Organizations, and Society.

A passion to help others

Darren Harry Baine with children in Uganda.

This article was originally published on the Faculty of Science website.

An end of year project sparked Science and Business 2B student Darren Harry Baine's passion to help youth in his home country of Uganda. His drive to create change and be part of the solution led him to create a non-profit foundation and an youth-focused YouTube series before joining Waterloo. 

The Homeland Project

During his final year of high school, Baine and his classmates were challenged to develop a self-initiative project to help those less fortunate. He chose Medina Pre-Nursery School in Bombo, located in south-central Uganda. His grandmother had volunteered with the school for refugee Nubian children and suggested they could use his help.

Baine visited the kindergarten class in August 2019. He ran a situational analysis to analyze the school's internal and external environment to better understand the needs and abilities of the school. He identified two issues that made it hard for the school to sustainably run their operations - limited resources and access to skilled labour.

Students didn't have the essential resources they needed for learning, which included textbooks, pens, pencils, paper and chalk. Teachers didn't have the training to teach effectively with little to no resources. 

Baine gathered fellow well-wishers and partnered with different organizations to gather supplies and essential resources for the school to run sustainably. The scholastic resources enable sustainable and effective learning for the students. They also provided a teacher training session for the school staff to teach them how to effectively manage and use limited resources for the long-term.

"From this experience, I realized the huge impact the smallest act can have," said Baine. "It sparked a passion to help youth development."

This initiative called the Homeland Project led to the development of Ever Elm Foundation, an organization designed to facilitate the growth of youth communities across Uganda. The term Ever Elm was coined in 2021 to symbolize the sustainable and equitable growth of the youth society that Baine envisioned.

Ever Elm continues to support Medina Pre-Nursery School and is actively trying to help implement strategies on how the school can sustainably run while simultaneously creating a warm learning environment.

Remand Joy

The Remand Joy Project is the second initiative from the Ever Elm Foundation, where they partnered with the Naguru Remand Home. There are approximately one hundred children in the juvenile centre, from 11 to 18 years old. Baine did a situational analysis and worked with local organizations to make a large donation of necessities including: food, sanitary pads, cleaning agents and dishware to the home on his first visit.

Harry David Baine with the members of Remand Joy.

He also met with the Probation and Welfare Officer. She told him the children needed to develop market-ready skills to be able to pursue a vocation after their time at the home. It was difficult to find a skill that all the children could participate in and that was financially viable for Baine's charity. Ever Elm came up with the brilliant solution of running a skill program on hair braiding and nails.

"You know this is a skill they can learn and grow over time," says Baine. "They can do more complex things, but it's something that everybody can do."

Hair care and the beauty industries are one of the most lucrative informal, popular and fastest-growing industries in Uganda. The versatility of hair in Uganda provides massive opportunities for this industry. The cost of setting up is relatively low, and services can even be provided at home. 

Ever Elm hired a skilled hairstylist to train the children for four months from this past January to May. The children were very interested in learning how to braid hair, do nails and how to  dress hair. 

"This will help them develop a skill that gives them confidence and the potential to earn money, changing the citizens of Uganda for the better," said Baine. 

Currently, Baine is working with other partners and organizations to determine how to continue so the children can increase their skill and scope.

Ever Elm hopes to spread its influence to other Remand Homes across Uganda - namely Fort Portal, Gulu, Mbale and the Kampiringisa Rehabilitation Centre.

The Young Eye

Youth in Uganda are the youngest population in the world, with 77 per cent of its population being under 25 years of age. There are currently more than 7.3 million youth between the ages of 15 to 24 years old living in Uganda.

Baine's second non-profit foundation is called the The Young Eye. It's an YouTube video series that interviews experienced individuals in multiple industries about their stories and the advice they have for the youth. It highlights and celebrates young Ugandans actively involved in forging paths to their careers.

The first season has a total of 13 episodes, ranging from 10 to 20 minutes. Each episode features a different career and follows the career trajectory of an Ugandan youth. Some of the careers highlighted include: poet, musician, entrepreneur, model, doctor, athlete, actress and farmer. Baine is currently working on a second season that will see more audience engagement and showcase other careers.

The goal of the series is to positively impact the lives and change mindsets of their peers through discussions with policy makers, leaders and individuals from a variety of sectors. The Younge Eye is a social entrepreneurial venture, aimed at providing Ever Elm Foundation with a sustainable source of finance.

Baine was also profiled on Uganda's Top 40 under 40, which was published this past May.

Advice from Baine,“I believe at the core of a system are the people running it, and to ensure its effectiveness, we should learn the essence of leadership and the technical skills of business, supported by a focused mindset, vision of the goals you want to achieve and clarity on how to achieve them.”

Link of the day

25 years ago: Event Horizon

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 in-person and virtual services to support grad and undergrad students, postdocs and faculty with any writing or communication project. Services include one-to-one appointmentsdrop-ins at Dana Porter Libraryonline workshopswriting groupsEnglish conversation practice, and custom in-class workshops.  

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: 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 - MATESGlow CentreRAISEWomen’s Centre - Click on one of the links to book an appointment either in person or online for the 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. 

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.ca.

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 Blood.ca website or app. #ItsInYouToGive

Warriors Youth Summer Day Camps, July 4 to September 2. Open to boys and girls age 5-18. Baseball, Basketball, Football, Hockey, Multi-Sport and Games & Volleyball. Register today.

Warriors Game Day Tickets and Season Passes, on sale now. Cheer on your Warriors W/M Basketball, Football W/M Hockey and W/M Volleyball teams at home during the 2022-23 season. Purchase today.

Part-Time Master of Business, Entrepreneurship and Technology Information Session, Tuesday, August 16, 4:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m., Zoom. Registration required.

NEW - Deadline to register for Centre for Extended Learning (CEL) "Getting Ready to Facilitate Online CoursesTA Training – Fall 2022" course, Sunday, September 11.