Tuesday, October 18, 2022

President reflects on Waterloo's upcoming 125th convocation

The University of Waterloo's mace.

By Vivek Goel, President and Vice-Chancellor. This article was originally published on Waterloo News.

This fall, we welcome our graduands back to campus for the University of Waterloo’s 125th convocation. It is my honour, as president and vice-chancellor, to participate in these ceremonies. 

Convocation recognizes years of hard-work and commitment that launch graduands towards exciting ventures and careers. These graduands join an illustrious community of more than 200-thousand global thinkers who are making a lasting impact on the world around us. That impact reflects the original vision of the institution’s founders who sought to create a university that would help tackle some of the world’s most daunting challenges.  

Over the course of their studies, these graduands have demonstrated a resiliency that will serve them well in the next stages of their lives. They have persevered through a pandemic, and kept their focus when it could have easily been lost. The lessons they learned during their time at Waterloo whether in the lecture hall, lab or elsewhere will play an integral role in their on-going success.  

Our institution’s rich history and the success of our alumni is rooted in community. This year’s graduating class has left an indelible mark on our institution, and I am confident they will maintain a strong connection to Waterloo as a result. 

The University’s motto “Concordia cum veritate” means “in harmony with truth.” As our 2022 graduands begin the next chapter of their journey, I encourage them to think unconventionally. We live in a world mired in geo-political, environmental and health challenges. Regardless of one’s discipline, we all hold a unique opportunity to make a lasting difference in our community and in the world. I encourage our graduates to take what they’ve learned at Waterloo and shape our world’s future for the better.  

Of special note for those who graduated prior to fall 2022 (during the pandemic) and missed an opportunity to participate in an in-person convocation, we are excited to offer you an opportunity to attend a future convocation and participate in the ceremony by walking across the stage. Learn more about how to register at our convocation website.  

On behalf of the University of Waterloo, I wish the classes of 2022 all the best in the journey ahead.

Learn about student mental health work from campus and community researchers

Thrive Student Mental Health Conference banner.

A message from UWaterloolife.

Join us tomorrow at UWaterloo’s third Student Mental Health Research Conference through MS Teams on Wednesday, October 19 from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Topics broadly pertaining to student mental health will be explored with an emphasis on the following key themes:  

  • Promotion of mental health-care strategies; 
  • Impact of trauma;  
  • Equity and mental wellness e.g., effects of inequities on the mental health of equity-deserving groups such as Indigenous, Black and other People of Color, LGBTQAI2S+; 
  • Harm reduction approaches to substance use; and  
  • Impact of COVID-19 and mental health.  

We are excited to feature presentations by graduate students, postdocs, alumni and community members, and hope you will be able to join us. There is no cost to attend. Keep an eye on the event page as we add more details to our agenda. Please register here to receive the link to join.

If you are unable to attend, recordings will be made available online afterwards on the Thrive website.  

Electric plane lands in Waterloo

Volunteers roll the fuselage of the Velis Electro e-plane into an aircraft hangar.

A message from the Waterloo Institute for Sustainable Aeronautics (WISA).

The Sustainable Aeronautics Summit at Waterloo Region International Airport heralded the call by leaders in industry, government, and academia to create innovative sustainable aeronautics futures on Wednesday, 5 October 2022.

Two days later, the University of Waterloo demonstrated its commitment toward the sustainable aviation goal with the arrival of the first Pipistrel Velis Electro in Canada.

Dr. Paul Parker stands next to the Pipestrel Electro e-plane.

Dr. Paul Parker stands next to the Velis Electro e-plane's main fuselage.

The Velis Electro is the first, and currently only, type certified electric plane in the world with European Union (EASA) certification granted in 2020 and UK certification in 2022. Next, we want to see how it will perform under Canadian conditions. Principal Investigator, Paul Parker, and co-investigators, Suzanne Kearns and Mehrdad Pirnia, share the desire of industry partner, Bob Connors from Waterloo Wellington Flight Centre, to bring a new generation of innovative technologies to aviation and successfully applied for Canadian Foundation for Innovation funding to acquire the Velis Electro for testing. The Region of Waterloo contributed toward the charger as they support lower carbon emissions from airport activities.

Working in cooperation with Transport Canada and Pipistrel, the team hopes to provide test results to gain Canadian certification for the eplane so that commercial electric aviation will become a reality in Canada. Following a successful research program and certification, industry could adopt small eplanes widely across the country. Waterloo Aviation students could be among the first to benefit, both from lower emissions during their programs and the advanced skills essential for sustainable aviation futures.

The action on Friday began with Lance, an experienced handler of Solar Ships, and Darren, his truck driver, arriving at the airport with two forklifts in preparation to unload the container. The customs seal on the container was cut and the door opened to reveal all four pieces that we expected: charger, tailplane, wings, and fuselage. The straps were quickly removed and the charger easily unloaded.

The tailplane was very light and handed over to the steady hands of Bob Connors, WWFC general manager, for safe transfer to the hangar. The Velis was rolled to its new home in the hangar.

Next were the wings. Despite their size, they are amazingly light with their carbon fibre reinforced polymer (CFRP) sandwich shell construction. The strength and durability that can be achieved with such light structures is an essential manufacturing miracle for sustainable aviation.

Finally, the fuselage. It was well secured with straps and a small metal frame to hold each of the main wheels in place. Instead of picking the whole container up and off the truck, a large pallet was used so that we could roll the fuselage on and then gently lower it to the ground. 35 minutes after opening the cargo container, the Velis was rolled to its new home in the hangar.

A team of over 100 people have contributed to the project and process of bringing the Pipistrel Velis Electro to Waterloo. Thanks to all of them, it is safely stored at YKF, ready to start the next chapter of sustainable aviation in Canada.

WUSA hosts municipal candidate open house

WUSA candidate social banner image.

A message from the Waterloo Undergraduate Student Association (WUSA).

Are you ready to vote in the Municipal Election this October? Join us on Tuesday, October 18 from 4:30 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. in the SLC Multi-Purpose room (MPR) to meet and engage with Waterloo Mayoral and Ward 6 and 7 Councillor candidates running in the upcoming municipal election. 

This event is open to all undergraduates, graduates, faculty, and staff. Register at https://wusa.ca/event/wusa-candidate-social/ to attend the event. Refreshments will be served. We hope to see you there.

Hagey Lecture tomorrow and other notes

 "Holding the Mirror Up to Nature."

Antoni Cimolino, Artistic Director of the Stratford Festival will deliver the 2022 Hagey Lecture tomorrow at 8:00 p.m. in the Theatre of the Arts. There's still time to register.

In his talk, entitled "Holding the Mirror up to Nature", Cimolino will speak about the purpose—and necessity—of theatre.

The Hagey Lectures are co-hosted by the Faculty Association and the University.

 Anti-Racism and the Catholic Church."While we're on the subject of lectures, St. Jerome's University's Lectures in Catholic Experience kicks off its 2022-2023 series with a lecture by Dr. Tia Noelle Pratt entitled "Doing THE WORK: Anti-Racism and the Catholic Church," on Wednesday, October 19 at 7:30 p.m. Admission is free, but please register as seating is limited.

During her lecture, Dr. Pratt will discuss her research regarding systemic racism in the Catholic Church and its impact on African-American Catholics. She will also discuss ways to engage the Church in anti-racism efforts.

Dr. Pratt is Assistant Vice President for Mission Engagement and Strategic Initiatives, Courtesy Assistant Professor of Sociology, and Editor of the Journal of Catholic Social Thought at Villanova University in Pennsylvania.

Keeping Well at Work Daily Inspiration banner.

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

Hydration is critical to good health  

And dehydration can contribute to fatigue, headaches and dizziness. While individual fluid needs vary, most adults need about 2-3L of fluid a day. Keep water close to you all day – sip frequently or set reminders to help maximize hydration. Many free apps or downloadable water trackers exist through an easy Google search. Try jazzing up plain water with a slice of lemon, some fresh berries or cucumber and mint.

Link of the day

World Menopause 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 (uwaterloo.ca).

Instructors can access the EdTech Hub to find support on Waterloo’s centrally supported EdTech tools. The Hub is supported by members of IST’s Instructional Technologies and Media ServicesCentre for Teaching ExcellenceCentre for Extended Learning and subject matter experts from other campus areas.

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 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 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 

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.

Zero Waste Month campaign, Monday, October 17 to Monday, October 31.

WUSA municipal candidate social, Tuesday, October 18, 4:30 p.m. to 6:00 p.m., SLC Multipurpose Room.

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

Lectures in Catholic Experience featuring Dr. Tia Noelle Pratt, "Doing THE WORK: Anti-Racism and the Catholic Church," Wednesday, October 19, 7:30 p.m., Notre Dame Chapel, SJ1 Classrooms and Library Building.

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

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., DC 1302.

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

NEW - Fall 2022 Convocation, Friday, October 21 and Saturday, October 22.