Wednesday, March 8, 2023

Six women, six reasons why WISA's a game-changer

Waterloo Institute for Sustainable Aeronautics "International Women's Day" banner featuring six Waterloo researchers.

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

As Canada’s aviation sector struggles through post-pandemic turbulence, a major University of Waterloo initiative has taken off to offer it stability — and even clearer skies ahead. Since its founding in late 2021, the Waterloo Institute for Sustainable Aeronautics (WISA) has assembled a diverse, multidisciplinary team of more than 100 academics pooling world-class talents to deal with the challenges facing this vital industry, all while mentoring a new generation who will continue the job.

“There’s a crisis in the industry,” explains Dr. Suzanne Kearns, WISA’s founding and current director, and a renowned aviation academic. Among the existential problems confronting the aviation sector, she lists a chronic shortage of professionals and “the negative environmental impact of the industry,” mainly due to its role in driving climate change. She also cites the “rapid evolution of global technology that challenges the safety and integrity of the industry.” These weaknesses existed before COVID-19, but years of pandemic disruptions exacerbated them.

In Kearns’ words WISA’s response and mandate is “to be in service to the industry, to mobilize the research, technology and talent that exist at this University.” Just as the threats to aviation are multi-faceted and complex, so must be the innovative solutions that will save it. That’s why, to ensure the industry’s future, WISA aims to make it sustainable — socially, environmentally and economically. And to do this, it’s enlisting the expertise of academics from every faculty at Waterloo.

To understand how this cross-faculty, multidisciplinary strategy works, look at the six Waterloo academics who are helping WISA meet its goal.

Read the rest of the article on the University's homepage.

Waterloo's School of Pharmacy is changing the flow

A woman passes a sanitary pad to another woman.

By Milana Madzarac. This article was orginally published in Waterloo News.

Around the world it is estimated that 1.8 billion people menstruate every month according to UNICEF. Yet menstrual equality, period poverty and the stigma surrounding periods continues to create barriers for those who bleed.

The University of Waterloo School of Pharmacy has partnered with Changing the Flow, an organization that provides a period inclusion program through a subscription model-based box, to provide menstrual products for their students, faculty and staff.

Changing the Flow was co-founded by Waterloo alumnus Kate Elliott (MA ’20) and Kevin Hiebert. They first volunteered together to collect period products from the community and donated them to local organizations who help marginalized communities. Their period inclusion boxes are the next step to helping those who may not have access to menstrual products.

“Partnering with the School of Pharmacy has been a great experience. For us it validates our program and the importance of providing menstrual products to the broader post-secondary world,” Hiebert says.

Changing the Flow boxJoy Harris, administrative co-ordinator in Centre for Work-Integrated Learning (WIL), was the first to bring Changing the Flow to the University.

“Working closely with students, I am aware of the financial struggles many experience — having to make the choice between tampons or a meal is something no one should have to do,” Harris says.

Students at the School express that having menstrual products available to them for free in the bathrooms makes them feel reassured and cared for.

“There have been several times where I forgot to bring my own supply of menstrual products to school. Without these products being provided in the bathrooms, it would have been very uncomfortable and stressful. All in all, I am very thankful for the School of Pharmacy decision to include these products in the bathrooms," says a current student.

The School of Pharmacy building was designed with single-person washrooms on most of its floors. Its senior leadership recognized that funding the cost of menstrual products in all bathrooms is important to the well-being of all members of the School.

Learn more about Changing the Flow.

Voices 2023 launches this Friday

Voices 2023 with a collage of historical note writing objects

Did you know that Voices has been an annual project of the Women’s Centre since 1995?  

Launching on Friday, March 10, Voices recognizes different artistic expressions and experiences of Waterloo undergraduates. It’s a space of celebration and mourning where students voice their beliefs and share their heartfelt feelings in creative and artistic ways.  We hope the publication will inspire you to see the world from an intersectional perspective.   

View this year’s publication or contact the Women’s Centre to get your copy.

Learn more about Voices and view past publications.

Advancement celebrates International Women's Day

A collage of women involved with the University of Waterloo.

A message from the Office of Advancement. 

The Office of Advancement is proud to celebrate the contributions and achievements of women in our University community on International Women’s Day and throughout the year.  

We invite you to learn about the important work of women alumni, donors and partners. From smashing glass ceilings to supporting today’s parents, these Warriors are driving meaningful change at Waterloo and around the world.  

Discover more on our International Women's Day page.  

Artificial wombs: the disobedient future of birth

 The Disobedient Future of Birth"

Join the fifth installment of Critical Tech Talk (CTT), the conversation series that takes an honest look at tech innovation. Co-hosted by the Faculty of Health, this instalment features Dr. Claire Horn, Killam postdoctoral research fellow from Dalhousie University with Alana Cattapan (Waterloo) and Margaret Mutumba (Waterloo).

"Since 2017, researchers have made significant progress toward developing a liquid environment to mimic the conditions of the uterus and allow fetuses to gestate outside the body from as early as 21-23 weeks," says a statement about the event. "Bioethical and liberal feminist commentators have anticipated that artificial wombs (ectogenesis) will benefit all pregnant people. Contemporary ectogenesis technologies, however, are costly projects intended for well-equipped emergency neonatal facilities. Introduced into a world where globalised and racialized inequity in neonatal and perinatal mortality and morbidity are pronounced, rather than proffering universal improvements to care, these technologies are likely to increase existing stratification. This talk explores how the design, implementation, and regulation of artificial wombs may shape the technology’s impact and considers how artificial wombs and reproductive technologies more broadly might be altered if they were disentangled from the spheres of both healthcare and the commercial market." 

Exploring how existing technologies (such as medication abortion and artificial insemination) have travelled within heavily regulated medical settings and through networks of home care, medical knowledge sharing, and mutual aid, Dr. Claire Horn will consider the possible future paths an artificial womb might take.

Please come out and show your support on Monday, March 13 from 5:00 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. for a cross-section of speakers who reflect critically on “the future of birth.”

Learn more about the talk.

Waterloo set to launch new PhD in entrepreneurship

Nadia Basir with a student

In another Waterloo first, the Conrad School of Entrepreneurship and Business (Conrad) will launch Canada’s first PhD program in Entrepreneurship and Organization this fall. Conrad has long been a programmatic innovator in entrepreneurship education, having launched the country’s first immersive entrepreneurship graduate program 20 years ago, and a suite of undergraduate entrepreneurship courses and programs.

Unlike traditional business school doctoral programs that focus on management and organizations, Conrad’s new PhD takes a different approach. Instead, it offers students the opportunity to rigorously study human behaviour and organization with a focus on entrepreneurial contexts. “Faculty at Conrad know those contexts both matter and can differ in important ways from the traditional view,” says Mark Weber, Director of the Conrad School. “This new approach to a doctoral program in this domain is both novel and exciting.”

Waterloo is by far the most successful entrepreneurship university in Canada. We have the biggest university incubator, one of the most successful accelerators in the world. It just makes sense that scholars of entrepreneurship should be trained in this ecosystem, studying what UW does so well,” adds Shavin Malhotra, the first Director for the new program.

This new doctoral program, and the scholars it will train, will further cement Waterloo’s position as Canada’s leading innovation university. “Building upon Waterloo’s rich history of entrepreneurship and its growing start-up ecosystem, the PhD in Entrepreneurship and Organization is another important step towards empowering our community to uncover innovative solutions that will change the world for the better.” says Vivek Goel, Waterloo’s President and Vice-Chancellor.

Students help to redefine Canadian politics

// Used under CC BY 4.0.

By RJ McArthur, Centre for Extended Learning. This article is one of a series celebrating Open Education Week. It is brought to you by the Open Scholarship Committee 

Who determines what constitutes Canadian politics? This is one of the questions Dr. Alana Cattapan hopes to explore in developing Welcome To Canadian Politics, a collaboratively generated open educational resource (OER). She is Assistant Professor in the Department of Political Science.

By inviting students to select their own topics related to Canadian politics and then draft articles on these topics, Cattapan offers them a chance to “contest what counts as Canadian politics.” Inclusion of articles in the OER provides some students the opportunity to contribute to a resource for others to use in the future.

Canadian Rangers base in the Arctic with tents.

An article on the Canadian Rangers is included in the OER Welcome To Canadian Politics.  Note. From Canadian Rangers Training Camp in Alert, Nunavut [Photograph], by U.S. Embassy and Consulates in Canada, 2010, ( CC PD.

Student-suggested topics not found in conventional textbooks include the Canadian Rangers (pictured), the razing of Africville, and the Komagata Maru affair.

Although students have the option to ask that their work not be included in the OER, so far no one has declined (some have asked to remain anonymous). Cattapan states that she has been very pleased with the student input and is “really proud of them.”

The OER began as an assignment in an introductory Canadian politics course in the Winter term of 2020 and continues to be an assignment both at Waterloo and in courses offered by Dr. Heather Millar at the University of New Brunswick.


The development of both assignment and OER has been partially funded by two grants: first, a Learning Innovation and Teaching Enhancement (LITE) Seed Grant from the Centre for Teaching Excellence in 2020; and second, an OER Fellows Grant sponsored by the University of Waterloo Library in 2022 (this grant is now the Staebler Insurance OER Fellows Grant). As Cattapan notes, the LITE Grant allowed the team to make the resource available to other teachers, students, and TAs each year, while the OER Fellows Grant has enabled the development of the resource itself.

The three major areas addressed through the OER Fellows Grant have been “accessibility, scope, and legitimacy to the scholarly community,” as Cattapan notes. The grant enabled her to contract a designer to make the website more accessible. The grant also enabled the hiring of a Research Assistant, Ryan Catney, a PhD student in the Department of Political Science. Catney has been working to solicit, compile, and edit section introductions written by experts in the field. As Cattapan notes, however, these introductions also provided further opportunities for interrogation: some of the contributors remarked that the suggested section divisions “replicated the exclusions [they] were trying to contest.” These critiques will be integrated into the project moving forward.

Work in Progress

Cattapan plans to present the completed introductions at the Canadian Political Science Association Annual Conference this year but points out that more introductions will be needed. She sees the development of the project occurring over the long term. Ultimately, it is “a community project,” so its further development will also be a site of collaboration, “wherever the community wants to take it.”

WUSA's Cultural Caravan returns next week and other notes

WUSA cultural caravan banner featuring various cultural activities.

WUSA’s Cultural Caravan will be returning on Thursday, March 16. It will be held in the Student Life Centre (SLC) Great Hall from 5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. and will feature popular dishes and cuisines from around the world and cultural-themed performances from various WUSA clubs. More details about this event can be found on the WUSA website.

A side and front view of an oud, a Middle Eastern stringed instrument.Conrad Grebel University College's Noon Hour Concert series continues this week with Arab and Iraqi Classical Music. In this concert, the Maqamat International Academy of Arts and Heritage presents Iraqi traditional Maqam, featuring music and songs from the south, the middle, and the north of Iraq. Iraqi Maqam is a genre of traditional Classical Arabic music that dates back to the Abbasid era (750–1258 CE). The instruments in this ensemble include oud (pictured at right), joze, ney, santur, qanun, table, daf and riq.

Musicians featured in the concert include Anwar Abudragh, Khazaal Alkhazal, Moneer Alward, James Freeman, and Madiana Torosyan.

The event takes place today, March 8 at 12:30 p.m. in Conrad Grebel University College's chapel. Admission is free.

AFSA tax clinic poster.Tax season is here and Waterloo's Accounting and Finance Student Association (AFSA) is back with its free Tax Clinic for 2023. "A group of trained volunteers will provide free tax return services for low-income individuals and families," says a note from AFSA. "To see if you qualify for our free services, please visit today."

The tax clinics are offered on March 25 and 26 and April 1 and 2 from 10:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. in SLC 1012.

"The link also includes information on how to receive our tax-filing service."

Employers hosting Virtual Employer Information Sessions (VEIS) this week and next week include OpenText – Black Excellence Internship Opportunities. Make sure to register through WaterlooWorks and check the calendar for any updates.

Link of the day

International Women's 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 

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.

Pathways for addressing (with care) Disclosures of Racism, Wednesday, March 8, 9:00 a.m. to 12 noon, online. 

CBB 2023 Conference, “Waterloo for Health, Technology and Society,” Wednesday, March 8 and Thursday, March 9, 1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m., SLC 2144. Registration closes Tuesday, March 7.

Pivot-RP virtual training workshop for Faculty and graduate students, Thursday, March 9 from from 1:30 – 2:30 p.m., via MS Teams.

MSW10: Collective Care, Solidarity & Justice Doing, Wednesday, March 8, 12:30 p.m., online.

NEW - Noon Hour Concert: Arab and Iraqi Classical Music, Wednesday, March 8, 12:30 p.m., Conrad Grebel University College Chapel, free admission.

In Health Care Accessible to All, Dr. Jan Jukema (Saxion University of Applied Sciences, Netherlands) will address how citizens, researchers, professionals, government and organizations can collaborate for better access to health care for vulnerable people. Thursday, March 9, 12:00 p.m. to 1:00 p.m., hybrid format.

Things we want you to Know: A Panel Discussion about the experiences of Black, Indigenous, and Racialized Students at Renison, Thursday, March 9, 11:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m., REN 3106.

“Researching Disability and Play – Where’s the fun in that?” with Dr. Katta Spiel, Thursday, March 9, 2:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m., EC1.

You Don't Know What You Don't Know Part 1, a two-part workshop that journeys through First Nations, Inuit, and Metis relations with settlers. Friday, March 10, 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m., online.

No Visible Trauma: Film Discussion and Q&A, Friday, March 10, 12:10 p.m. to 1:00 p.m., online.

Information session on NSERC programs (for faculty), Friday, March 10, 1:15 p.m. to 2:15 p.m., East Campus 5, Enterprise Theatre.

NEW - Master of Taxation Virtual Information Session, Tuesday, March 14, 5:00 p.m. To register visit

Quantum Shorts Film Festival Public Screening, Tuesday, March 15, 7:00 p.m., Apollo Cinema.

Positions available

On this week's list from the human resources department, viewable on the UWaterloo Talent Acquisition System (iCIMS):

  • Job ID# 2022-9542 - Community Relations & Events Specialist - Community Relations & Events, University Relations, USG 9
  • Job ID# 2023-10022 - Financial Coordinator - Cheriton School of Computer Science, USG 6-7
  • Job ID# 2023-10004 - Outreach Events Specialist - Centre for Education in Mathematics and Computing (CEMC), USG 6
  • Job ID# 2023-9987 - Data Management Coordinator - Centre for Ocular Research & Education, USG 5
  • Job ID# 2023-10007 - Admissions Officer - Office of the Registrar, USG 8 – 9
  • Job ID# 2023-9972 - Data Analyst - School of Accounting and Finance, USG 8
  • Job ID# 2023-10012 - Manager, Insights and Digital Sales – WatSPEED, USG 11
  • Job ID# 2023-10002 - Student Service Specialist - Office of the Registrar, USG 5 – 6
  • Job ID# 2023-10018 - Student Services Support Coordinator - The Stratford School of Interaction Design and Business, USG 5
  • Job ID# 2023-10006 - Account Coordinator - CEE - Co-operative Education, USG 5 – 8
  • Job ID# 2023-9999 - Digital Communications Officer – Advancement, USG 8 - 10

Secondments/Internal temporary opportunities

  • Job ID# 2023-9963 - Coordinator, Administrative Operations - Campus Housing, USG 7
  • Job ID# 2023-9996 - Data Analyst and Evaluation Specialist - Student Success Office, USG 8
  • Job ID# 2023-9986 - Graduate Coordinator - Part Time - Cheriton School of Computer Science, USG 5 – 6
  • Job ID# 2023-10000 - Graduate Program Coordinator and Advisor - English Language and Literature, USG 6
  • Job ID# 2023-9991 - Information Systems Analyst - Centre for Extended Learning, USG 9
  • Job ID# 2023-9952 - Technical Business Analyst - Office of Advancement, USG 10

Affiliated and Federated Institutions of Waterloo opportunities