Tuesday, November 22, 2022

Giving Tuesday is one week away

Giving Tuesday Banner showing that it is one week away.

A message from the Office of Advancement.

This Giving Tuesday, November 29, people around the world will come together in support of their communities and the causes they love, to create a better world for all.

Last year was a record-breaking year for Waterloo’s Giving Tuesday campaign, with just over 1,300 alumni, parents, faculty, staff, retirees and friends donating more than $597,000 to support our students. This year we want to smash that record with at least 1,500 people donating $650,000 or more.

With 43 challenges to choose from, are you up for the challenge?

Long-time Waterloo employees are giving back on Giving Tuesday

Scott and Linda Davis.

A message from Co-operative and Experiential Education.

Giving Tuesday is one week away. For the Co-operative and Experiential Education (CEE) team, the focus is on creating more donor-funded co-op jobs in the non-profit sector.

The Co-op for Community fund directly supports students. It funds meaningful co-op jobs for Waterloo students, from all disciplines, at non-profits. Scott (BES ‘84, MA ‘88) and Linda (BA ’81) Davis are both long-time CEE staff members and big believers in the cause.

As Giving Tuesday challenge champions, they’ve committed $5,000 to the Co-op for Community Fund. Once 70 individuals donate to the fund on Tuesday, November 29, it will unlock Scott and Linda’s $5,000 donation.  

To recognize Scott’s upcoming retirement, the couple encourages colleagues and friends to donate to the Co-op for Community Fund on Giving Tuesday. CEE is hosting a retirement celebration for Scott on Giving Tuesday (November 29) at Fed Hall.  

“I’d like to see our entire staff contribute to the Co-op for Community fund,” says Scott, faculty relations manager, CEE. “It's an opportunity for us to put our money where our mouth is.”    

Read and watch more about Scott and Linda Davis and the impact they’ve made at CEE. 

A community of builders

A banner from Waterloo magazine showing various cartoon activities relating to the magazine theme.

A message from Vivek Goel, President and Vice-Chancellor. This article originally appeared in the Fall 2022 issue of Waterloo Magazine.

In 1957, a group of local community leaders imagined a new university built to tackle the pressing challenges of our community and country in a period of intense global change. Integrating academic excellence with work-integrated learning, our institution’s founders laid the foundation for an unconventional university that continued to evolve into the research-intensive and world-class university we are today.     

The theme of this issue of the Waterloo Magazine — The Builders — is especially inspiring at a time when our institution is embarking on a visioning exercise to steer our evolution. Waterloo at 100 is an exercise to move us beyond five-year planning cycles toward a longer-term vision that will answer: What do we as an institution aspire to become by our 100th anniversary in 2057?  

Much like the original builders of the University of Waterloo, we face a rapidly changing world marked by complex global challenges, including exponential technological change, a global pandemic, the climate crisis, changing geopolitical dynamics and other global forces. We can honour the legacy of the generations before us by being unconventional again through imagining a bold future that addresses humanity’s most pressing challenges.   

Our people are the designers, connectors and builders of our future. Every day across our campuses, I see individuals and teams taking on challenges with enthusiasm and focus that inspires others along the way. Within the pages of this magazine, you’ll discover how Waterloo faculty, researchers, students, staff and alumni are changing lives and communities through creativity, unconventional thinking and collaboration. From saving lives through mathematical models to championing equity to help build a more just society, innovators within our University of Waterloo community exemplify the spirit and values needed to define the future we wish for humanity and help to propel us there.

Drawing on the unconventional spirit that has been at our core since the University of Waterloo’s founding, I invite you to contribute your bold ideas to help evolve our institution as we build a better future. 

Last call to endorse a scholar for a funded postdoc appointment

A banner showing multicoloured hexagonal designs with different surface patterns.

A message from Graduate Studies and Postdoctoral Affairs.

Applications are closing on December 1 for 2023 Waterloo postdoctoral funding programs. Prospective scholars must have support / endorsement from a University of Waterloo researcher well before this deadline to ensure reference letters and application forms are submitted by this date. If you have received a Letter of Intent form from a recent PhD graduate or have someone in mind for one of the three programs outlined below, please submit your endorsement form as soon as possible.

Please visit the University of Waterloo Postdoc Funding web page for more details on the application process and program requirements.

Save the date for Metaverse Safety Week: December 10 to 15

Metaverse Safety Week logo

By Gillian Dabrowski, Centre for Extended Learning.

Remember the 1990s, when we asked ourselves what the Internet was? Fast forward to 2022, and the question becomes “What is the metaverse?”

What is the metaverse?

The metaverse is a marketing term used to describe any Internet activity involving 3D. The metaverse advances the Internet into virtual worlds that can be used for human communication and services. Nike has a metaverse called Nikeland, for example, where people connect to have fun in a branded community. Over the next decade or so, virtual worlds could be linked together the way websites today are linked between servers.  

The building blocks of the metaverse include extended reality (XR) technologies like augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR), which are also referred to collectively as immersive technologies. You can access the metaverse on a mobile device, on a desktop, or with a VR headset. Using a headset to access a virtual world will make you feel like you are actually “there” inside the digital world. Sophisticated metaverse platforms will be accessed with devices like headsets in areas such as industrial training.

The Government of Barbados has an embassy in the metaverse. Speculators are buying digital land in virtual worlds in anticipation of a future gold rush. Fashion entities like Gucci are paving the way for digital fashion to explode as a commodity in the metaverse marketplace. Will people pay money for accessories for their avatars (the digital people users embody in virtual worlds)? What else will be bought and sold in the metaverse of the future?

The metaverse landscape is bustling with opportunity, and there is much for businesses, industries, educators, researchers, and students alike to discover. What will be the future workforce need of this burgeoning ecosystem? On the flip side, metaverse technologies are advancing rapidly, before policy-makers have had a chance to understand them fully. If you consider the challenges we face with privacy and security because of the last wave of emerging technologies such as social media, the prospect of new technologies where privacy and security challenges are exacerbated is scary.

How can we prepare for what’s to come? What does the metaverse mean for the advancement of equity, diversity, and inclusivity? If you want to talk about these questions or want an introduction to the metaverse, consider attending a session from a metaverse awareness raising campaign as part of Metaverse Safety Week from December 10 to 15. There may even be a session you would like to watch online with your students.

How can I learn more?

To learn more about metaverse technologies, visit the Extended Reality (XR) page of UW’s Centre for Extended Learning Open Resource Repository. If you have questions about the Metaverse Safety Week awareness campaign or want to become involved, please contact Gillian Dabrowski (gillian.dabrowski@uwaterloo.ca) from the Centre for Extended Learning.

End of Term concerts begin and other notes

The University orchestra performing on stage.

The Music Department's ensemble end-of-term concerts kick off tomorrow with Orchestra@uwaterloo: Music from the Cold.

Garnet Zhao, runner up in the last Orchestra Concerto & Aria competition, will be performing Rachmaninoff's Piano Concerto No. 2 in C minor, Op. 18 with the orchestra. Daniel Warren is the Music Director for the orchestra, which consists of students and staff from all six Faculties.

The concert takes place on Wednesday, November 23, at 7:30 p.m. at Knox Presbyterian in UpTown Waterloo. Admission is free.

A discussion on Games and Education banner image.Today, the Games Institute will be hosting a panel discussion on games and education with Drs. Jason Hawreliak (Brock University, Waterloo English Language and Literature Alum), Kristina R. Llewellyn (Social Development Studies), Jennifer R. Whitson (Sociology and Legal Studies and Stratford School of Interaction Design and Business) and Steve Wilcox (Wilfrid Laurier University, Waterloo English Language and Literature alumnus) entitled A Discussion on Games and Education.

"How can games and virtual reality be used to improve how we teach Canadian history and other complex topics?" asks a note from the Games Institute. "How is teaching game design different than teaching game studies? How are they the same? Are educators effectively preparing students to find roles in the highly competitive games industry? Are students who receive training to work in games finding jobs? Or are they leaving the games industry soon after they begin?"

These four experts will address these questions and more during this moderated panel discussion about the state of games and education.

The event is being held in-person in East Campus 1 at 1:00 p.m. as well as virtually via Teams. Masks will be required for in-person attendees.

Gender and Social Justice event banner.The Gender and Social Justice department is hosting Translating Policy into Practice: Sexual Violence Policies and the University on Thursday, November 24.

The event features Dr. Jen Chisholm, Faculty of Gender and Women’s Studies, Lakehead University, Dr. Rita Gardiner, Faculty of Education, Western University, Dr. Hayley Finn, Brescia University College, and Kasey Egan, Western University as well as Ravita Surajbali, Planning and Program Evaluation Specialist, Sexual Violence Prevention and Response Office.

The event takes place with refreshments from 11:30 a.m. to 11:50 a.m. in HH 335, with the event proper taking place from 12 noon to 1:00 p.m. in HH 373, or remotely via Zoom.

Eco Summit banner showing students walking between campus buildings.

The Sustainability Office will host its ninth-annual Eco Summit to showcase sustainability achievements, celebrate progress, and build connections for the year ahead with the campus community. This year, the summit will focus on ways we can work together to connect sustainability to our own skills, careers, and unique roles at Waterloo – whether that’s living, working, or learning.

This year’s event will feature remarks from Bruce Frayne, Dean of Environment and Vivek Goel, President and Vice-Chancellor and will see the launch of 2022 Environmental Sustainability Report. Additionally, there will be panel discussions with student and employee sustainability leaders, interactive activities and networking opportunities.

The event will take place on Wednesday, November 23 from 12 noon to 4:00 p.m. in Fed Hall. Lunch and refreshments will be provided. All members of the campus community are welcome and encouraged to attend.

United Way cooking show banner image.Virtual Cooking Show for United WayTired of making the same old meals? Want to try something new, but not sure how? Join Chef Mark Meinzinger for a one-hour virtual cooking show and learn how to make three delicious appetizers in time for the holiday season. Register here for the November 30 event.  

Office closure today

Finance (including Student Financial Services) will be closed Tuesday, November 22 from 1:00 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. for a retirement event. The front counter will be closed during this time. Normal operations will resume Wednesday, November 23 at 8:30 a.m.

Link of the day

25 years ago: the death of Michael Hutchence

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).

Faculty, staff, post-doc and graduate student instructors can find upcoming teaching and learning workshops, self-directed modules and recordings of previous events on Centre for Teaching Excellence Workshops and Events page.

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.  

Research Ethics: Find yourself with an ethical question, unsure if your work requires an ethics review, or need advice about putting together a research ethics application? Reach out to one of our friendly staff by booking a consultation or email us with your questions.

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.

Free Staff Workouts, Tuesdays and Thursdays until December 22, 12:15 p.m. to 12:45 p.m. Bootcamp-style classes in the CIF Field House and PAC. Open to all staff and supported by the Staff Excellence Fund. Find out more/register now.

Flu shots available at Student Health Pharmacy, Monday to Friday, 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., dial ext. 33784 for info.

Dean’s Distinguished Visiting Professor Lecture featuring Mostafa H. Ammar, School of Computer Science, Georgia Institute of Technology, "Riding Along with the Time-traveling Networking Researcher," Tuesday, November 22, 11:00 a.m., DC 1302 and online via Zoom.

WaterLeadership: Sharing Science | Effective Presentations, presented by Elise Vist, Tuesday, November 22, 12:30 p.m. in DC 1304.

The Games Institute presents A Panel Discussion on Games and Education, Tuesday, November 22, 1:00 p.m. to 2:30 p.m., EC1 and virtually on Teams.

Singapore information-sharing session, Tuesday, November 22, 2:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. (hybrid), location TBD. Email Waterloo International for meeting link and more details.

NEW - Theatre and Performance presents EVERYBODY, Tuesday, November 22 to Saturday, November 26, Theatre of the Arts.

CIHR Health Services Evaluation & Interventions Research virtual information session, Wednesday, November 23, 12:00 noon to 1:30 p.m., Zoom. Registration link.

NEW - Eco Summit, Wednesday, November 23, 12 noon to 4:00 p.m., Federation Hall.

Scholars at Risk membership meeting, Wednesday, November 23, 2:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. on Teams. Email Waterloo International for meeting link.

NEW - Orchestra@uwaterloo: Music from the Cold, Wednesday, November 23, 7:30 p.m., Knox Presbyterian, free admission.

NEW - Translating Policy into Practice: Sexual Violence and the University, Thursday, November 24, 11:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m., HH335 and HH373.