Monday, March 27, 2023

Register for tomorrow's Research Talks on Sustainable Urban Environments

Research Talks featuring an artist's conception of sustainable architecture.

A message from the Office of Research.

How will environmental sustainability and innovative sustainable design shape our future?

Register to attend Research Talks, a community event open to all Waterloo faculty, staff, students, and the general public on Tuesday evening (March 28) at Four Fathers Brewing Co. in Cambridge.

Join experts on the future of sustainable urban environments for a panel discussion and Q&A featuring:

  • Mohamad T. Araji, School of Architecture, University of Waterloo (High performance architecture: Towards a zero-carbon mandate for environmental sustainability);
  • Amelia Clarke, School of Environment, Enterprise and Development (SEED), University of Waterloo (Reaching net-zero: Climate mitigation at the city scale);
  • Matthew Day, WR Community Energy (Energy in the built environment); and
  • Alex Tedesco, LGA Architectural Partners (What is the future of “building” communities and where we are now?).

GSPA presents a Wicked Problem of Climate Change Symposium

The Wicked Problem of Climate Change banner image showing the planet Earth.

Graduate Studies and Postdoctoral Affairs (GSPA) will be hosting a Wicked Problem of Climate Change Symposium on Tuesday, March 28.

"In winter 2023, a pilot interdisciplinary undergraduate course was co-taught by six doctoral students, representing all six faculties at the University of Waterloo," says a note from GSPA. "The Wicked Problem of Climate Change brings the disciplinary expertise of both doctoral and undergraduate students together, as they tackle one of the world's biggest and most complex problems."

"This interdisciplinary course provides a comprehensive overview of the wicked problem of climate change," says the course information page. "Unlike ordinary problems, which are well-defined, self-contained, and come with a limited set of potential solutions, wicked problems resist definition, are mixed up with other problems, and cannot be solved in a way that is simple or final. As the pace of climate change accelerates and environmental and social impacts are increasingly being felt at the individual, community, and global level, there is a growing need for responses and solutions that crosscut disciplinary boundaries. This course approaches the wicked problem of climate change from diverse disciplinary perspectives (i.e., applied sciences, humanities, social sciences, and health sciences) to investigate the various dimensions of this global challenge."

Tuesday's event will showcase the final projects of the undergraduate students as they propose solutions to a chosen climate change problem. The event will include poster presentations, special guests and food and drink.

The event takes place on Tuesday, March 28 at 6:30 p.m. in the Student Life Centre's Black and Gold Room. Register for the event.

Nutrition Month: how to find the right Registered Dietitian for you

March is Nutrition Month! This month is a time to celebrate the diverse field of nutrition and the many ways that Registered Dietitians (RDs) strive to help Canadians understand the connections between food, nutrition, and health. The theme of this year’s campaign is ‘Unlocking the potential of food: Find a Dietitian.”

Over the past four weeks, we have explored the role of RDs, what they do, how they offer support to Canadians, and how you can go about seeking out RD services. We have also celebrated the diverse RD roles that are present right here on the UWaterloo campus! Miss any of these? Not to worry - you can catch up on this year’s Nutrition Month posts here:

Last week, we looked at various ways that you can seek out RD support for yourself and/or your family. If you do not have access to an RD through your family doctor, family health team, or a local community health centre – or if you have needs that would best be met by an RD with specific expertise - a private practice RD may be the best fit for you. Remember that RD services are often included in many health insurance plans, including that offered to UWaterloo employees by Green Shield Canada. Be sure to check out what your coverage includes and what reimbursement you may be eligible for.

Now how do you go about finding a person with the right fit?

To make things easy for you, we’ve compiled some tips to assist you in your search for the right RD match:

  • When doing a web search, be as specific as possible in what you are looking for and what your needs are (if you know what they are!). For example, use terms like “Gut health dietitian in Kitchener” or “Pediatric dietitian in Cambridge” or “Sports dietitian in Oakville” etc. Private practice RDs will note their areas of expertise on their websites. Being specific in your search parameters will help to bring RDs with an appropriate skill set to the top of your search
  • Databases exist that can help you find the right fit:
  • Be critical in your search! Remember that RDs are the only regulated health professionals with advanced training in nutrition. This means that you can feel safe knowing that RDs are only going to provide you with advice and recommendations that are based in the best available evidence and science – no fads or gimmicks!
    • Look for the credentials of the practitioner you are considering. Among them, you want to see RD or PDt (DtP in French). These titles are specific to RDs in Canada. If you are accessing information from the United States, you may see titles such as RDN, LDN, or others. Be critical and ensure they are a dietitian registered with an appropriate college based on their location
  • Do your research! If there’s more than one RD in your area that offers what you are looking for, explore their websites. Many private practice RDs offer free brief consultations and/or discovery calls. Explore your options to determine which feels like the best fit for you
  • Did you find a good fit but they aren’t close to you? Virtual counselling options are often available and can connect you to experts across the province. Take some time to reflect on how you’d like to meet and what would provide the most value to you. *Note: Provincial college regulations in Ontario mandate that to work with an RD licensed in Ontario, you must reside in Ontario during the time of your interactions. These regulations can vary by province.

For more information on Registered Dietitians or on Nutrition Month, check out the following links:

Waterloo students collaborate on sustainable solutions at SDG Impact Challenge

SDG Challenge participants pose for a group photo.

A message from Co-operative and Experiential Education.

Proposing environmental and upskilling solutions to help scale the efforts of India-based Avani Bio Energy was the focus of the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) Impact Challenge. 

The third annual hackathon-styled competition invited Waterloo undergraduate and graduate students across all faculties to design sustainable solutions to impact communities in the Uttarakhand villages (Avani’s headquarters). The challenge took place on Friday, March 10 and Saturday March 11, 2023, in Alumni Hall at Waterloo’s United College. 

The SDG impact challenge is a collaboration between Waterloo’s Co-operative and Experiential Education unit, the Waterloo Institute for Sustainable Energy (WISE) and Impact Alliance.

Learn more about the intent of the challenge and the solutions presented by reading the full article on the CEE website.

A sure sign of spring: the 2022 sunshine list is now available

The University of Waterloo sign.

The University of Waterloo has released a list of the 1,903 employees who were paid more than $100,000 in 2022.

Public-sector employers in Ontario are required to publish the list every March since the Public Sector Salary Disclosure Act was passed in 1996. Other universities, school boards, hospitals, colleges, municipalities, and the government itself are now making similar information for last year public.

The $100,000 list includes most of Waterloo's professors, and a number of staff members and senior administrators. It includes people employed by Conrad Grebel University College, Renison University College, and United College. St. Jerome’s University reports its salary disclosure list separately.

In addition to the salary, a figure is given for taxable benefits received by each individual, for such extras as employer-paid life insurance.

Last year's salary disclosure is also available online.

Eagle Staff welcome ceremony; Senate meets today; other notes

The Sunrise Ceremony participants inside Fed Hall.

A scene from the sunrise ceremony taking place inside Fed Hall this morning.

An Eagle Staff will be presented to the University of Waterloo in a ceremony at Federation Hall at 10:00 a.m. this morning. The entire University community is invited to participate in this ceremony, which is expected to take up to 90 minutes, including an opportunity for refreshments afterwards.

The University's Senate meets at 3:30 p.m. today in NH 3407. Among the agenda items:

  • A motion to approve a new course-based Master of Future Cities (MFC) offered by the Faculty of Environment, effective 1 September 2023;
  • A motion to approve adding a direct entry Co-operative program/option to the MEng in Chemical Engineering, effective 1 May 2023;
  • A motion to approve updating the MEng in Chemical Engineering degree requirements to include one new Graduate Specialization in Entrepreneurship, effective 1 May 2023;
  • A motion to approve updating the MKin degree requirements in the Faculty of Health to include two new Graduate Specialization in Human Factors and Ergonomics (HFE) and Movement and Exercise Sciences (MES), effective 1 May 2023.

President Vivek Goel will give a presentation on the draft Waterloo at 100 vision paper, and Senate will then consider a motion to recommend that the University of Waterloo’s Board of Governors endorse the draft vision document, Waterloo at 100, dated March 17, 2023.

Vice-President, Academic & Provost James Rush will give an operating budget presentation as Senate considers a motion to recommend that the Board of Governors approve the 2023-24 Operating Budget.

Senate will also consider a motion to approve amendments to Policy 3 – Sabbatical and Other Leaves for Faculty Members, and recommend the amendments to the Board of Governors for approval.

Also on the agenda are a pair of proposals that make changes to the schedule of Senate meetings, as well as changes to Senate's membership:

The first proposal is to amend the annual meeting schedule of Senate, and the formats for meetings of Senate, reducing the normal number of general Senate meetings from 10 to 8 annually and adding provision for holding meetings electronically as well as in hybrid format (e.g. with simultaneous in-person and electronic participation). Senate will be asked to give first reading to amendments to Senate Bylaw 1, and endorse the guidelines for the annual schedule of meetings, and approve the changes to the annual work plan.

The second proposal is to amend the ex-officio membership of Senate to provide for the appointment of five members of University administration by the president, reflecting requirements for Senate operations and considerations for equity, diversity, and inclusion in the membership of Senate. Specifically, the amendments to Senate Bylaw 4 will see the removal of five (5) named ex-officio members, namely the Vice-President, Advancement, the Vice-President, University Relations, the Vice-President, Research and International, the Associate Vice-President, Acdemic, and the Deputy Provost, Integrated Planning and Budgeting, and the addition of a section that will see five ex-officio members drawn from the University administration as designated by the president. Senate will consider a motion to give first reading to the amendments to Senate Bylaw 4 as presented in this report, with said amendments to effect: a. Removal of five (5) named ex-officio members, items (a)-(e) in the bylaw b. Addition of five ex-officio members drawn from the university administration, as designated by the president and that Senate endorse the “Note to Reader on Presidential Ex-Officio Appointments”, to be included as a statement separate from Senate Bylaw 4.

President Vivek Goel will also make official the Open Call for Nominations for Honorary Degrees.

Among the items to be passed as part of the Consent Agenda is a motion that Senate approve the proposed academic regulation revision of the invalid combination of the Diploma of Sustainability with the Environment, Resources and Sustainability Honours and Joint degrees for the Faculty of Environment, effective 1 September 2024. Other items in the Consent Agenda include updates on the University Professor Designation and a report from Vice-President, Research and International on Research outputs and outcomes: Awards, Distinctions, Successful Grants, and Waterloo International Engagements.

Link of the day

After 25 years, Teletoon says that's all, folks

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.

Waterloo Warriors Youth Camps. Spring and Summer camps available for Boys and Girls ages 5-18. Baseball, Basketball, Football, Volleyball, Hockey and Multi-Sport and Games. Register today.

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.

Eagle Staff welcome ceremony, Monday, March 27, sunrise ceremony at 7:00 a.m., welcome ceremony at 10:00 a.m., Federation Hall. Register now.

University Senate meeting, Monday, March 27, 3:30 p.m., NH 3407.

Introduction to Disability Justice – Debrief Session, Tuesday, March 28, 11:00 a.m. to 12 noon, online. 

Research Talks – “Sustainable Urban Environments,” Tuesday, March 28, 6:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m., Four Fathers Brewing Co., Cambridge. Please register as seating is limited.

The Wicked Problem of Climate Change Symposium, Tuesday, March 28, 6:30 p.m., SLC Black and Gold Room.

NEW - Designing for Disability and Accessibility, Thursday, March 30, 2:00 p.m. to 3:15 p.m., the Games Institute, EC1.