Tuesday, September 20, 2022

Waterloo launches new initiative to accelerate a sustainable future

Sustainable Futures banner image.

A new University of Waterloo initiative aims to shape the future of sustainability for the benefit of the environment, economy, and society.

The Sustainable Futures initiative is a collaboration that brings together the Waterloo Climate Institute, the Waterloo Institute for Sustainable Energy and the Water Institute to accelerate holistic approaches to advance the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals with a focus on the interconnections between energy, climate and water. The Initiative aligns strongly with the Futures Framework under Waterloo at 100, a visioning exercise underway to address Waterloo’s aspirations by its 100th anniversary in 2057. The Futures Framework helps coordinate the University’s efforts in education, research, and innovation as it strives to address global challenges. The Sustainable Futures Initiative is, therefore, a leading example given its emphasis on collaboration enabling greater impact.

“Advancing sustainable futures for the world is a complex problem that links climate, water, energy, alongside societal needs, and inequities, and is driven by global challenges such as extreme weather events, food insecurity and poverty, and endangered ecosystems,” said Charmaine B. Dean, Vice-President, Research and International, University of Waterloo.  “The Sustainable Futures initiative is a unique approach that draws upon Waterloo’s expertise in interdisciplinary research to provide innovative solutions to address these challenges for a better world.” 

The three institutes have a strong history of collaboration and an enriched partnership within the Sustainable Futures Initiative, allowing for increased impact of research and the ability to pursue a more comprehensive approach to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals in Canada. With strength in both interdisciplinary and transdisciplinary research and expertise, the Sustainable Futures initiative is uniquely positioned to further Waterloo’s strong reputation for leadership in sustainability.

“By sharing a common pool of world-class scholars and students working at the interface of climate change and sustainable water management and energy systems, their collective efforts will catalyze sustainability thinking and collaboration in Ontario, Canada, and the world,” said Vivek Goel, President and Vice-Chancellor. “Sustainable Futures is not only part of the University’s sustainability ecosystem, but also an emerging culture of environmental action in Waterloo Region.”

More than 100 of Waterloo’s key collaborators, including government, industry partners, community organizations, researchers, and students, celebrated the launch of the Sustainable Futures initiative yesterday.

Registration opens today for Keeping Well at Work

Keeping Well at Work banner

A message from Organizational & Human Development (OHD).

As we hit the refresh button on a new academic year at Waterloo, what if we also hit the refresh button on our health and well-being as employees? What if we set aside a day to invest in how we keep well? What if we could know about all the employee benefits and resources available to support us in this pursuit?

Well, that’s exactly what the Keeping Well at Work (KW@W) annual conference on Thursday, October 13, 2022 is all about: it’s a day for employee connection and expert-level learning with exposure to fresh perspectives and innovative tools to support and bolster employee health—and this year, we get to do it in-person! Hosted by Organizational and Human Development in partnership with the Healthy Workplace Committee, the 6th annual event includes an in-person morning* event at Federation Hall and an afternoon of virtual workshops.

Registration opens today at noon. (*For those unable to attend in-person, all talks and presentations will be livestreamed. Simply select that option when you register.)

“We are delighted to be able to return to in-person conference elements,” says Melanie Will, Director, Organizational and Human Development. “The timing of the event, following Mental Illness Awareness Week in Canada and World Mental Health Day in October, is ideal to foster community connection and be reminded of wellness practices and resources that support our well-being. I encourage all employees to set aside October 13 to join in whatever capacity they can.”

2022 Keynote: Practicing fiscal fitness

Melissa Leong

At a time when most Canadians are thinking more critically about our financial situation, we welcome Melissa Leong, one of Canada’s best-loved authorities on personal finance and bestselling author of the book Happy Go Money, as this year’s KW@W Keynote speaker. 

In her frank, funny, and empowering way, this award-winning journalist will break down the some of the science that connects money to our happiness, will speak to her own journey towards wealth and wellness, and will outline strategic steps to grow happiness and manage money with a healthy spin. 

Join your colleagues for this day if wellness insights, register starting at noon! Interested in becoming more involved? Volunteer for the conference.

Thrive and United in October

Thrive logoThe KW@W conference marks the start of Thrive 2022, a series of events and activities from October 13-22 that focus on our university community’s well-being. On Monday, October 17 at 11:30 am, we are excited to join in on another annual event: the University of Waterloo Thrive Walk where members of the University community make their way along the event route together in support, promotion, and solidarity of emotional and mental health to foster an inclusive community of well-being.

United Way goes red imageDirectly following the Thrive Walk, warm up and enjoy a delicious bowl of soup at the United Way Soup Day in the Science Teaching Complex (STC) Atrium in support of Waterloo’s difference-making United Way campaign

October is filled with events for Waterloo employees, so speak to your manager and team today about how you’ll participate.

Founding Director of the Conrad School retires

A message from the Conrad School of Entrepreneurship and Business.

Howard Armitage in his office.After 41 years of exemplary service to the University of Waterloo, Howard Armitage, the founding director of the Conrad School of Entrepreneurship and Business (previously known as the Centre for Business, Entrepreneurship and Technology or CBET), retired on July 1, 2022.

Howard’s University of Waterloo journey began in 1981 when he was appointed as an Associate Professor in the School of Accounting and Finance. He was later appointed as the Director of Waterloo’s School of Accounting and Finance in 1996. A passionate, dedicated and revered professor throughout his time at the University of Waterloo, Howard won the Distinguished Teaching Award (1997), the LS Rosen Outstanding Canadian Accounting Educator Award from the Canadian Academic Accounting Association (2000), the prestigious 3M National Teaching Fellowship for Educational Excellence (2004) and Ontario’s Top Entrepreneurial Educator Award (2014).

During a president’s breakfast in 1999, Howard approached David Johnston, at the time the newly appointed president of the University of Waterloo, with an idea and a challenge. “We have a region known for technology, a university renowned for its great entrepreneurial spirit, a supportive business community and an outstanding student body. However, nowhere on campus do we have an academic unit with a specific focus on business, entrepreneurship and technology. Shouldn’t we do something about that? What prevents us from doing it?” 

This conversation was just the start of Howard being a champion for entrepreneurship education at Waterloo. In 2002, with Johnston’s support and backing from academic and business colleagues, Howard founded the Centre for Business, Entrepreneurship and Technology, which would later become the Conrad School of Entrepreneurship and Business. Its mission was to support and expand on Waterloo’s culture of entrepreneurship with high-impact programs that built on the university’s tradition of excellence in experiential education. Armitage’s approach to identifying business opportunities by solving important problems remains central to the Conrad School’s approach today.

First cohort of the Master of Business, Entrepreneurship and Technology program

The first cohort of the Master of Business, Entrepreneurship and Technology program.

After stepping down as Executive Director of CBET in 2011, Armitage continued to show leadership within the University, the Conrad School and the wider community. In 2013, Armitage was appointed as Special Advisor, Entrepreneurship by Feridun Hamdullaphur, former president of the University of Waterloo. While continuing to teach his “seductive” accounting course in the Master of Business, Entrepreneurship and Technology (MBET) program at the Conrad School, he also worked towards greater integration of academic and non-academic entrepreneurship activities. Along with campus and community partners, he advised on policies and activities that have laid the groundwork for creating Canada’s most dynamic and successful campus-wide entrepreneurship ecosystem.

“While I celebrate Howard’s peerless career and his many accomplishments, I confess to being pained by his retirement. I had hoped he might stay on forever,” says Mark Weber, current Conrad School Director. “In my time as director it has become so very clear to me that founders matter. And Howard was an amazing founder for the Conrad School. He imbued the Conrad School with unfailing commitment to student success and experience, with positive energy, with a sense of purpose and an entrepreneurial spirit. Howard has never stopped looking for new opportunities or asking ‘why not?’. What a gift to his students, his colleagues and to this University!”  

A high performer not only in the University but also in the community and beyond, Howard also received the City of Waterloo’s highest honour – the Waterloo Award – in 2017 and won the Canadian and World Squash championships in his age bracket in 2018.

Howard has been very clear that he is not retiring ‘from’ something, he’s retiring ‘to’ do other things. His retirement plans include more travel with wife Phyllis; continuing his work with selected NFP organizations, biking and hiking new trails and doing everything he can to stay on top of the squash ladder. 

The Conrad School wishes Howard continued adventure in retirement and hopes he will return regularly to check on what he created.

Celebrate Howard Armitage’s retirement during the Conrad School’s 20th Anniversary Celebration on October 15. Register by September 23 to join.

Dean of Science nominating committee seeks feedback

The nominating committee constituted under the terms of Policy 45 is now in place and has begun the process of identifying Dean Bob Lemieux’s successor, according to a memo circulated by Vice-President, Academic & Provost James Rush to students, faculty and staff in the Faculty of Science last week.

The nominating committee is seeking feedback from the University community as part of its search. "Over the coming weeks, committee members intend to consult broadly," writes the provost. "Your input and feedback will be very important in shaping the position profile and informing the direction of the search."

The committee especially invites you to consider the following questions, and seeks your input and feedback:

  1. What are the issues, challenges and opportunities facing the Faculty of Science?
  2. What are your aspirations for the Faculty in the next five years?
  3. What advice do you have for the search committee as to the background, credentials, qualifications and leadership style that should be sought in the next dean?
  4. Do you have any suggestions as to individuals to whom the committee should speak about this opportunity?

"You are encouraged to convey your views on matters concerning the deanship in writing to Mike Grivicic, associate university secretary (mgrivicic@uwaterloo.ca) or to any member of the nominating committee," the provost's memo continues.

Comments are requested no later than 23 September 2022 and will be held in confidence within the committee.

Dean of Science Nominating Committee members

Postdoctoral fellows will have extended access to email and other systems

A message from Graduate Studies and Postdoctoral Affairs (GSPA) and Information Systems & Technology (IST) 

Earlier this term, a project was launched, sponsored by the Associate Vice-President, Graduate Studies and Postdoctoral Affairs and Chief Information Officer, to investigate opportunities to enhance the reliability and inclusivity of postdoctoral fellows at the University of Waterloo. Considered contract employees, postdoctoral fellows lose access to their University email and systems once their employment with the University ends. This can cause a sudden interruption to their work and connections throughout the University of Waterloo, and other, academic communities.  

We are excited to announce that as of September 19, 2022, all postdoctoral fellows will automatically receive extended access to their University of Waterloo email address and other University systems, including Microsoft 365, OneDrive, and Eduroam, for a period of 16 months after their employment with the University ends. After this 16-month period, former postdoctoral fellows will retain access to their University email account only. This change will also be retroactively applied to accounts of postdoctoral fellows employed with the University between July 1, 2021, and September 18, 2022. 

You are invited to direct questions or concerns about this initiative to postdocs@uwaterloo.ca

Undergraduate award opportunities and other notes

Student Awards and Financial Aid banner featuring a piggy bank.

Student Awards and Financial Aid is getting the word out about hundreds of scholarship, award and bursary opportunities based on a variety of criteria. You can search the database for the student assistance opportunities, with the first set of awards due October 1. Deadlines for many of the awards vary.

Apply for undergraduate awards

Here's today's National Postdoc Appreciation Week fact of the day: Postdocs have access to many services

There is a misconception that, because postdocs are not students nor permanent ongoing staff, they don’t have access to many resources or services. In fact, postdocs at University of Waterloo have access to lots of great campus services, from career advising through the Centre for Career Action, to writing support from the Writing and Communication Centre, to teaching development through the Centre for Teaching Excellence, and much more.

Graduate Studies and Postdoctoral Affairs works with campus partners to continue to promote and expand services and resources for postdocs, including, most recently, extending postdoctoral fellow access to University email and systems. Learn more in today’s Daily Bulletin announcement from GSPA and IST.

Link of the day

M*A*S*H at 50

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 KL team (CTE, CEL, ITMS, LIB) offers workshops, webinars and events.

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

Students with permanent, temporary and suspected disabilities and disabling conditions (medical conditions, injuries, or trauma from discrimination, violence, or oppression) can register with AccessAbility Services for academic accommodations (classroom accommodations, testing accommodations, milestone accommodations).

Instructors can visit AccessAbility Services' Faculty and Staff web page for information about the Instructor/Faculty role in the accommodation process. Instructors/ Faculty members are legally required to accommodate students with disabilities. AccessAbility Services (AAS) is here to help you understand your obligations, and to offer services and resources to help you facilitate accommodations.

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 in-person Warrior Study Halls on Thursdays from 5:00 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. in DC and DP. Join a Peer Success Coach 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 here to help, both in person and online. Our spaces are open for access to book stacks, study space, computers and printers, and the IST Help Desk. For in-depth support, meet one-to-one with Librarians, Special Collections & Archives and Geospatial Centre staff. Access our resources online for anywhere, anytime learning and research. 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 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.

Organ Donor Awareness with Eric Celentano (BSc ’79), drop by to hear from a lung transplant recipient and how you can register to give the gift of life, Tuesday, September 20, 12 noon to 4:0 p.m., Health Expansion (EXP) foyer.

The Next 100 Symposium, Wednesday, September 21 to Friday, September 23. Find out more.

WaterLeadership: Evolution of Science Communications, presented by David Janzen, Tuesday, September 20, 3:00 p.m., DC 1304.

Applied and Computational Mathematics Distinguished Lecture, “High Order Numerical Methods for Hyperbolic Equations,” Dr. Chi-Wang Shu, Theodore B. Stowell Professor, Brown University, Wednesday, September 21, 11:30 a.m., MC 5501.

Waterloo Institute for Complexity and Innovation (WICI) Open House, Wednesday, September 21, 1:00 p.m. to 2:30 p.m.

Safeguarding Science workshop, Wednesday, September 21, 1:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. Public Safety Canada invites faculty, staff and students to attend this virtual event via MS Teams. Register to receive a link.

Indigenous Commitment Sunrise Ceremony, Thursday, September 22, 7:30 a.m., United College ceremonial grounds.

Unlearning the Binary: Fostering a Truly Trans-Inclusive Campus, Thursday, September, 22, 10:00 a.m. to 12 noon, online.

Farm Market Arts Quad Toonie Picnic, Thursday, September 22, 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m., Arts quad.

Indigenous Commitment Ceremony and feast, Thursday, September 22, 10:30 a.m., BMH Green.

David Sprott Distinguished Lecture featuring Stephen Senn, Thursday, September 22, 4:00 p.m.

Douglas Wright Celebration of Life event, Friday, September 23, 11:00 a.m., livestreamed on YouTube.

NEW – You Don’t Know What You Don’t Know Part I, Friday, September 23, 1:00 p.m. to 2:30 p.m.

NEW - National Postdoc Appreciation Week (NPAW) event, Friday, September 23, 2:30 p.m., Grad House.

Welcome Back Lunch Friday, Friday, September 23, 12:00 p.m. to 2:00 p.m. on the BMH Green. Free for the campus community. RSVP not required but let us know if you plan to attend.

University of Graz x University of Waterloo Erasmus+ Staff Mobilities 2022 application deadline, September 30.

PhD oral defences

Computer Science. Daniel Gabric, "On the Properties and Structure of Bordered Words and Generalizations." Supervisor, Jeffrey Shallit. Thesis available from MGO - mgo@uwaterloo.ca. Oral defence Wednesday, September 21, 10:00 a.m.

Applied Mathematics. James Petrie, "Decentralized contact tracing protocols and a risk analysis approach to pandemic control." Supervisor, Stephen Vavasis. Thesis available from MGO - mgo@uwaterloo.ca. Oral defence Wednesday, September 21, 12 noon.

School of Public Health Sciences. Fathima Fataar, "Cannabis use, retail availability and legal sanctions in Canada: Differences by Neighbourhood Deprivation, Individual Socioeconomic Factors, and Race/Ethnicity." Supervisor, David Hammond. Email Health Graduate Administration for a copy. Oral defence Thursday, September 22, 10:00 a.m.

English Language and Literature. Robert Travis Morton, "Alone, Together: Convergence Culture and the Slender Man Phenomenon." Supervisor, John Savarese. Available upon request from the Faculty of Arts, Graduate Studies and Research Officer. Oral defence Monday, September 26, 1:00 p.m., PAS 2464.