Friday, February 3, 2023

T-shirt campaign supports a new bursary for Black or Indigenous student-athletes

Purchase Your Alliance We Are One t-shirts today banner

A message from Athletics and Recreation.

A progressive group of University of Waterloo staff and students are using their voices and platforms to create change within the Waterloo network. The Alliance was established to create positive systemic changes for the University of Waterloo Black, Indigenous and Racialized community through recognition of, education towards, and action against racism. 

One way they’re striving for change is by supporting the new The Black or Indigenous Heritage Student-Athlete Bursary. This award recognizes the barriers that Black or Indigenous student-athletes can experience in sport and strive to assist in bridging financial gaps while pursuing academic degrees. The Alliance is seeking support by selling “We Are One” t-shirts. Shirts are available through the W Store for $29.99 plus tax. 20 per cent of the proceeds from sale of this shirt will support the Black or Indigenous Heritage Award. 

The artist, Trisha Abe, is a local KW artist and UWaterloo alumnus. Her works can be seen all across the province and the area including downtown Kitchener and St. Jacob’s market. Her work is influence by female portraiture and often represent people of diverse background. Trisha is a former student-athlete from UWaterloo. She studied science at UWaterloo and since graduation has delved into her creative outlets. 

T-shirts are available online from January 19 to February 19, 2023.

New discovery may be key to controlling chemical reactions

A close-up of a scientist using a dropper to drip orange liquid into a clear fluid in a pyrex flask.

A new study published February 1 in Nature is changing our understanding of chemical reactions and overturning previous theoretical models by finding an unexpected resonance frequency during the reaction of two molecules.

Resonance is when one object vibrating at the same natural frequency as a second object forces that second object into vibrational motion.

This ground-breaking finding is the first time a resonance has been observed between two ultracold molecules and is a stepping-stone for researchers to learn about and control the molecules that comprise our universe.

“Resonances occur when vibrations at a specific frequency get preferentially amplified. For example, when a piano string gets hit by the hammer, it vibrates at a specific frequency based on the length and thickness, creating a musical note unique to that string,” said Dr. Alan Jamison from the Institute for Quantum Computing (IQC) and the Department of Physics and Astronomy at the University of Waterloo. “Similar resonances occur in atoms, where very specific frequencies of energy create stronger than expected responses in the chemical systems.”

Previously predicted to be an impossibility, Jamison and his collaborators from the Massachusetts Institute for Technology (MIT) were able to observe resonant frequencies in a chemical reaction between two ultracold molecules. By cooling down sodium-lithium molecules to near-absolute zero temperatures, the team could control the reactions at a quantum level. Without such control, the unusual resonance would never have been noticed.

“These seemingly simple systems still have a lot of surprising complexity hiding inside – Schrödinger wrote down his equation 100 years ago, but we still can’t solve it for a four-atom system,” said Jamison. “We’re pushing the frontier of understanding complex quantum dynamics.”

The research team probed the four-atom transition state with a magnetic field over a range of one million milligauss, a unit of measurement for the magnetic field strength. Within this search region, the resonant frequency found was only 25 milligauss wide.

“It was like finding a needle in a haystack,” said Dr. Wolfgang Ketterle, a professor at MIT. “When the magnetic field was tuned to this specific frequency, the chemical reaction was dramatically sped up.”

The discovery of these resonances holds promise for future applications in controlling chemical reactions. For example, an enhanced resonance may one day steer a chemical reaction or promote the formation of a desired product which would be less favourably made under non-resonance conditions, opening a new avenue and investigation tool for guiding molecular reactions.

The study, A Feshbach resonance in collisions between triplet ground state molecules, by Jamison, Ketterle, Juliana Park, Yu-Kun Lu and Dr. Timur Tscherbul, was published in Nature on February 1, 2023.

Shaping the international student experience at Waterloo

International students at tables in Fed Hall for a holiday dinner.

A message from the International Student Experience (ISE) team.

What does it take to feel like a Warrior? According to Candace Brown, International Student Experience Manager in the Student Success Office (SSO), creating opportunities for international students to develop a strong sense of belonging at Waterloo is crucial.

"International students need ongoing support in navigating a new country, culture, processes and systems,” she says. “To feel like a Waterloo Warrior, students must have a strong community of peers, connect with supportive faculty and staff, develop a solid support system, and know where to go when they need help.”

To create these opportunities for connection, the ISE team in the SSO hosts a variety of events and workshops each term. Key events and accomplishments in 2022 include:

  • 800 (353 undergraduate, 447 graduate) participants in the International Peer Community program, a 48% increase from 2021, with over 300 attendees at the annual fall bonfire on September 29, 2022.
  • UWinterloo celebrating 13 years of connecting students during the month of December 2022 saw nearly 450 students, staff, and faculty registered for the pen pals program, a 9 per cent increase from 2021 and almost 400 (200 undergraduate, 182 graduate) students registered to receive weekly tips and tricks on thriving during a Canadian winter.
  • An evening of festive cheer at the International Student Holiday Dinner on December 10. Held in partnership with the Graduate Student Association at Fed Hall, 263 (102 undergraduate, 163 graduate) international students enjoyed an evening of holiday dining and a live DJ playing all the best hits from around the world.

So, what can international students look forward to from the ISE team in 2023?

If you’re interested in learning more about ISE programming, or want to collaborate on a future event or project, reach out to

Grade 10 Family Night coming up this month

Grade 10 Family Night banner featuring a woman looking through a Waterloo viewbook.

A message from the Registrar's Office.

Grade 10 students and their supporters are invited to learn more about applying to university and what they can do now to prepare. Our University experts will share information on topics like admissions and finances while current students will share what it was like to go from high school to university. Also sharing advice with these future university students is our keynote speaker, Professor Anita Layton from the Faculty of Mathematics. 

Grade 10 may seem a little early to be talking to students about their future plans, but they’ll soon be selecting courses for Grade 11 which will greatly influence their pre-requisites for university. This information will be helpful regardless of which universities or programs a student is interested in, and the main event will not focus on Waterloo’s faculties or academic programs, though students looking for this information will be able to connect with campus partners at our information fair or through a live Q&A if watching virtually. 

  • Presentation: 6:30 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. (Humanities Theatre and Virtual Livestream);
  • Information fair: 5:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. and 8:00 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. (In-person only, Hagey Hall Hub)

Grade 10 Family Night takes place on February 23, 2023. For details and to register, visit the Grade 10 Family Night website.

Nine students take top prizes in provincial contest

This article was originally published on the Engineering news site.

Waterloo Engineering students performed well at this year’s recent Ontario Engineering Competition (OEC) at Western University, with three first-place teams moving on to February's national contest.

Thirteen undergraduate engineering students placed within the top three in nine competitive categories. The first and second-place teams in each category will compete in the Canadian Engineering Competition, to be held at the University of Waterloo in February.

First place in the Senior Design category was won by mechatronics engineering students Melda Kiziltan, Shaheer Rana and Carson Bay.

Jacob Chateauneuf, Benjamin Beazley, Collin Bolt and Alexsa Laddaran, all mechanical engineering students, took first prize in the Innovative Design category.

And in the Re-Engineering category, management engineering students Omkaar Kamath and Omar Atwa finished first.

Third place was awarded to students Ella Uppal and Neil Kaus in Debate, and Anna Liebenberg and Shreshth Mehra in Innovative.

Each year, over 300 engineering students from universities across Ontario compete in OEC, a three-day event. Participating teams must first win their institution’s qualifying competitions to take part in OEC.

Friday's notes

The soundproofed studio setup with a microphone and dual monitor setup.

Information Systems and Technology (IST) has provided an update regarding the Waterloo Studio relocation. The studio will be moving from EC5 to MC1088. Effective February 2, 2023, the following Studio services can be requested via

  • Multimedia editing station.
  • Green/white and/or black screen studio recording. 
  • A sound booth with podcast space.
  • On-location bookings will continue to be available.

Anyone with questions or concerns is invited to contact Marcel David at

IST has also announced that Quest will be down for scheduled maintenance on Sunday, February 5 from 6:45 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. and will be unavailable during the maintenance window. Additional upcoming maintenance shutdowns include:

  • Saturday, February 11 from 4:45 a.m. to 11:00 a.m.;
  • Saturday, February 25 from 6:45 a.m. to 11:00 a.m.; and
  • Sunday, March 19 from 6:45 a.m. to 11:00 a.m.

Plant Operations reports that the construction fencing around the tunnel project between the University Club and the Lyle Hallman building is being fully removed this Friday.

Link of the day

"Well, it's Groundhog Day...again..." 30 years of Groundhog 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 (

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.

Did you know that the Writing and Communication Centre offers many in-person and virtual services to support you with any writing or communication project? This term we've added The Write Spot: a new student space in South Campus hall, complete with bookable workspaces, drop-ins with our peer tutors, and free coffee and tea. We also have one-to-one appointments with our writing and communication advisors and peer tutors, email tutoring for grads and undergrads, drop-ins at Dana Porter Libraryonline workshopswriting groupsEnglish conversation practice, and even custom in-class workshops. For any communication project, the Writing and Communication Centre is here to support you.

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 spaces, computers/printers, and the IST Help Desk. For in-depth support, meet one-to-one with Librarians, Special Collections & Archives and Geospatial Centre staff. Visit the Library’s home page to access our online resources for anywhere, anytime learning and research.

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 Office of Equity, Diversity, Inclusion & Anti-Racism (EDI-R) works with students, faculty and staff across campus to advance equity and Anti-racism through evidence-based policies, practices and programs. If you have a concern related to Anti-racism and/or equity, please complete our intake form.

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 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.

Fitness and Personal Training - Registrations opened January 5 this winter with Personal Training and Small Group Training as well as a Free Warrior Workout Program.

Student Health Pharmacy in the basement of the Student Life Centre is now offering Covid booster shots (Pfizer and Moderna) and flu shots. Call 519-746-4500 or extension 33784 for an appointment. Walk-ins always welcome.

UWAG presents Mobile Sweat, Thursday, February 2 and Friday, February 3, 12 noon to 5:00 p.m., East Campus Hall adjacent to UWAG entrance across from Parking Lot B.

FASS presents "The Other Side of the Story," Thursday, February 2, Friday, February 3, and Saturday, February 4, 8:00 p.m., Theatre of the Arts. Tickets are pay what you can Thursday, $12 Friday and Saturday.

Takin’ It To The Streets: La Cartonera ExhibitThursday, February 2 to February 13, Dana Porter Library lobby.

Quantum Today: Metamaterials for Broadband Light Absorption, with Professor Michael Reimer from the Institute for Quantum Computing and the Department of Electrical & Computer Engineering, Friday, February 3, 12:00 noon, live on YouTube.

Knowledge Integration Seminar: Life after KI, Friday, February 3, 2:30 p.m. to 4:00 p.m., EV3 1408.

Warrior Volleyball vs. Brock, Saturday, February 4, (W) 6:00 p.m., (M) 8:00 p.m., PAC. Employee Day (free tickets sponsored by Hilton. Email for free coupon code), Donor Appreciation Day. Buy your tickets today.

NEW - Quest will be unavailable for scheduled maintenance, Sunday, February 5, 6:45 a.m. to 11:00 a.m.