Thursday, October 13, 2022

    Brandon Sweet
    University Communications

    See Beyond on World Sight Day

    An elderly man smiles on the World Sight Day banner

    A message from the School of Optometry and Vision Science.

    The second Thursday of every October is World Sight Day. The focus of this day is to make the public aware about the importance of prioritising eye care and to push for “leaders to ensure eye care is accessible, inclusive and affordable to everyone, everywhere.”

    There is a significant connection between eye care and our overall health. Routine comprehensive eye exams can detect high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes, stroke risk, and help identify those who are at increased risk of developing cognitive dysfunction or dementia.

    “Vision is the most valued of our senses and the real impact of vision loss is difficult to quantify,” says Andre Stanberry, clinic director and associate clinical professor at the School of Optometry.

    The main objective of the campaign is to #LoveYourEye and work together making pledges to get five million eye exams administered. The goal is in getting your eyes examined and encourage others to do so as well, creating a social challenge focused on vision and eye care.

    “Access to regular comprehensive eye care is perhaps the most essential tool to combat blindness and vision impairment. Where access is not a barrier, let’s provide timely education regarding the importance to seeking regular care. Where access to eye care is absent or limited, let’s encourage and empower local, regional, and global agencies to prioritize its provision,” says Stanberry.

    Learn more on how you can help by getting involved in making a commitment to #LoveYourEyes: Make A Pledge.

    You can also support the advancement of vision care by donating to the Seeing Beyond 2020 campaign, that will go to help build the new Waterloo Eye Institute.

    The Library and W Store present Anti-Racism Reads

    Two people holding books.

    A message from the Library and Print + Retail Solutions.

    Growing out of the PART Book Club, Anti-Racism Reads now has a permanent home within the Library and the W Store. Our community will be able to continue engaging with the complexities of several relevant and important subjects, such as white fragility, anti-Black and anti-Indigenous racism in Canada, the Indian Act, and the equity myth through reading, discussions and sharing lived experiences. A working group comprised of staff from the Library and the W Store will work closely with the Offices of Equity, Diversity, Inclusion and Anti-racism (EDI-R) and Indigenous Relations to develop the reading list and select facilitators for this reading series.

    “As the PART Book Club transitions into a continuing program, we are committed to the core objective of promoting education, awareness and a deeper understanding of race, culture and ethnicity across the University of Waterloo campus,” says Beth Sandore Namachchivaya, university librarian.

    Meeting virtually on a bi-monthly basis, each session of Anti-Racism Reads will feature a discussion facilitated by a local community member or the University of Waterloo campus, and they will select a particular book to review.

    “I am pleased that the W Store is able to support the University’s effort to build on the very successful PART Book Club,” says Ryan Jacobs, director, Print + Retail Solutions. “These are important conversations that we need to have as a community. If the University is to make meaningful progress toward decolonization and Indigenization, all of us must be willing to learn from one another and be challenged by one another. Anti-Racism Reads is the perfect venue for these types of conversations.”

    We are pleased to announce that Kelly Laurila, PhD, a Lecturer from the School of Social Work at Renison University College, will facilitate the first session. She has selected Unreconciled: Family, Truth and Indigenous Resistance by Jesse Wente. Penguin Random House Canada describes this book as follows: "A prominent Indigenous voice uncovers the lies and myths that affect relations between white and Indigenous peoples and the power of narrative to emphasize truth over comfort." This book quickly became a National Best-seller, a winner of the 2022 Rakuten Kobo Emerging Writer Prize for Non-Fiction and a Globe and Mail Best Book of the Year.  

    This event is scheduled for November 2 from noon until 1 pm and will be held virtually. To register for this event, please visit the Library’s website.

    Copies of Unreconciled: Family, Truth and Indigenous Resistance are available through the Library's reserve system or for purchase through the W Store.

    Soup's on for the United Way

    A message from the University of Waterloo United Way Campaign.

    Soup Day banner image featuring a cartoon bowl of soup.A reminder that on Monday, October 17, the United Way Workplace Committee will be hosting its annual Soup Day in support of United Way Waterloo Region Communities.

    From noon until 1:30 p.m., celebrity chefs from across campus will be spooning out soup, freshly prepared by Campus Food Services, in the Science Teaching Complex (STC) atrium. A suggested donation of $5 per bowl will be payable by cash or by credit/debit at the event. Alternatively, you can skip the line by reserving your soup in advance by ordering through the online donation portal.

    What’s on the menu?

    • Loaded baked potato soup
    • Mushroom thyme soup
    • Coconut carrot soup

    Come one and come all (and bring a friend) to this annual event. It’s going to be a 'souper' day.

    Want to support this year’s campaign but can’t make Soup Day? Consider giving online instead.

    Did you know?

    Each year, our Faculty Deans challenge their peers at Senate to help meet our fundraising goals. They do this in a very creative way - but shh, it's a big secret and won’t be revealed until this afternoon’s meeting. Stay tuned for a follow-up next week about what they did and the impact it had.

    Performance brings humour, insights into STEM gender inequality

    Gioia de Cari
    By Melodie Roschman. This article was originally featured on Waterloo News.

    In Truth Values: One Girl’s Romp Through M.I.T.’s Male Math Maze, Gioia de Cari explores the persistent sexism and isolation she faced as a Mathematics PhD student at MIT in the 1980s.

    As de Cari explains in the prologue to the show, she decided to tell her story decades after leaving MIT, in response to remarks by then-Harvard University president Lawrence H. Summers in which he claimed that the underrepresentation of women in math and science careers was due to innate biological differences.

    In the 75-minute performance there are no costume changes, save for the donning and removing of de Cari’s blazer and leopard-print heels. There are no complicated set changes, big musical numbers or even scene partners allowing her to take a breath.

    Decades of history and more than thirty characters flow in a non-stop rush from de Cari alone as she guides the audience from her childhood as a self-described weird kid through pranks at the University of Berkeley, her time as a PhD student in mathematics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and into her career beyond academia as a performer and advocate for gender equality in STEM.

    Gioia de Cari stands in the centre of a single spotlight on the Theatre of the Arts stage, barefoot, looking at the audience with a level, unyielding gaze. The staging is minimal: a simple chair, a low table that holds a spiral-bound book and her discarded blazer and a set of five fabric panels hanging behind her, on which images and videos are projected throughout the show.

    Performing personal history

    Truth Values premiered at the New York International Fringe Festival in 2009, where it won an Overall Excellence Award for Best Solo Show. Since then, de Cari has performed Truth Values more than one hundred times, including in a homecoming performance on MIT’s campus.

    On Saturday, September 24, she performed to a nearly sold-out house at the University of Waterloo’s Theatre of the Arts, as part of a free event sponsored by Women in Math, the Faculty of Mathematics and the Faculty of Engineering. The performance was the last one in a Canadian tour of Truth Values, which took de Cari from Ottawa to Toronto and then to the University of Waterloo.

    De Cari’s comedic impressions of the eccentric characters she encountered at MIT are where Truth Values really shines. She drew huge laughs from the audience as she introduced them to the graduate students and professors who made her time at MIT alternately inspiring and miserable, including a cluelessly amorous officemate, a fellow researcher with nihilistic dreams of nuclear destruction and a Gilbert and Sullivan-loving professor who mentored her through both her research and her fledgling performing arts career.

    The play does not shy away, however, from the darker side of de Cari’s time at MIT: struggles with mental health and family tragedy, imposter syndrome and difficulty connecting with her peers and the soul-crushing weight of persistent dismissal and discrimination from the professors who were supposed to be her mentors.

    Read the full story on Waterloo News.

    Going green with Nfinite

    A pile of empty cardboard boxes

    By Brian Caldwell. This article was originally published on Waterloo News.

    A startup company founded by a Waterloo Engineering professor and two of his graduate students has won US $250,000 to expand and commercialize green technology for the packaging industry.

    Nfinite Nanotechnology was launched on Earth Day in 2021 by Kevin Musselman, a professor of mechanical and mechatronics engineering, and Chee Hau Teoh (MASc ’20) and Jhi Yong Loke (MASc ’21), who earned master’s degrees while developing the technology in his lab.

    Based in Waterloo, Nfinite was recently announced as one of two winners of seed funding from Amcor, an international packaging company with US $15 billion in annual sales in 43 countries.

    Chee Hau Teoh

    Chee Hau Teoh is CEO of nanotechnology startup Nfinite, a spinoff from Waterloo Engineering.

    “We are excited to work with industry leaders the calibre of Amcor to rethink and redefine packaging for a circular economy,” Teoh, the chief executive officer, said in a media release.

    Nfinite is developing nanocoating technology to keep products fresh and enable the use of sustainable packaging.

    Its vapor-deposited nanocoating, applied at low temperature in the open air without a vacuum chamber, is described as eco-friendly, solvent-free, ultrathin and multifunctional.

    'Rooted in a culture of innovation'

    Amcor launched its seed funding initiative, called Amcor Lift-Off, to “target breakthrough, state-of-the-art technologies” and make the future of packaging more sustainable.

    The other winner, Bloom Biorenewables, converts plant waste into chemicals that are used in packaging. It is based in Switzerland.

    “Both start-ups are rooted in a culture of innovation and creativity, looking to break boundaries and disrupt the packaging industry as we know it,” Frank Lehmann, a vice president at Amcor, said in the media release.

    Photo by SHVETS productions.

    Thursday's notes

    Keeping Well at Work banner image

    Here's today's Keeping Well at Work Daily Inspiration:

    It's Keeping Well at Work day!

    Don't miss: 

    • KW@W’s Keynote, Melissa Leong speaks on the topic of Happy Go Money from 10:30 – 11:15.
    • An in-person wellness fair
    • Many virtual workshops in the afternoon

    Registration is still open.

     the cover of the book The Forbidden Body, and the movie poster for the Brian De Palma film "Carrie."

    From Renison University Colleges comes an invitation to join Thom Ernst, former host of TVO’s Saturday Night at the Movies, and Professor Doug Cowan, as they explore how religious taboos are portrayed and reinforced through horror film tropes. This special event, Carrie and The Forbidden Body, will be held on October 20, 7:00 p.m. at The Bookshelf in Guelph, and includes a screening of the classic horror movie Carrie, followed by a discussion and Q&A. Find out more.

    Link of the day

    World Sight 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 (

    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: 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 United 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

    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 

    Warriors vs. Laurier Blood Donation Battle. Join our “Waterloo Warriors” team on the 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.

    Fall Reading Break, Saturday, October 8 to Sunday, October 16.

    OHD presents the sixth annual Keeping Well at Work conference for UWaterloo employees, Thursday, October 13.  

    Warrior Basketball (Men’s/Women’s), Friday, October 14 to Sunday, October 16, Carl Totzke Court, PAC, Naismith Classic. Purchase Tickets. 

    NEW - FREE Academic Career Conference, Thursday, October 13 and Friday, October 14

    See It Like A Student, Friday, October 14, drop-in tours between 10:00 a.m. to  3:00 p.m.

    Waterloo at 100 faculty consultation, Friday October 14, 2:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m., virtual meeting (registration required)

    Intellectual Property Presentation Series: IP101 & Commercialization, Friday, October 14, 2022, 1 to 3 p.m. Register to receive a Zoom link. Waterloo Faculty, staff and students are welcome.

    Warriors Men’s Hockey Home Opener vs Brock, Friday, October 14, 7:00 p.m., CIF Arena. Camps and Minor League Day (free tickets for youth wearing their hockey jerseys), The Alliance “We Are One” Game. Purchase Tickets. 

    NEW - Quest will be down and unavailable for scheduled maintenance on Saturday, October 15 from 6:45 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. and Sunday, October 16 from 6:45 a.m. to 11:00 a.m.

    Conrad School 20th Anniversary Celebration. Saturday, October 15, full day, in-person at Engineering 7, second floor. Events are scheduled throughout the entire day, and you can join for some or all. Registration required.

    Vigil in Memory of Sarah Inam, Sunday, October 16, 2:00 p.m., Arts Quad.

    NEW - 2022 Hagey Lecture featuring Antoni Cimolino, Wednesday, October 19, 8:00 p.m., Theatre of the Arts. 

    Future Cities Initiative Wednesday, October 19, 4:30pm by Colin Ellard entitled The Urban Brain.

    WaterTalk: Challenges and opportunities for moving from the linear to the circular water cycle, presented by William A. Mitch, Stanford University. Thursday, October 20, 11:30 a.m. in DC 1302.

    Quantum Opportunities and Showcase, Thursday, October 20, 2022, 9:00 a.m. - 4:30 p.m., Research Advancement Centre 2 (RAC 2).