Tuesday, April 11, 2023

The 15th annual Waterloo Staff Conference starts today

15th annual Waterloo Staff Conference banner image.

A message from Organizational and Human Development (OHD).

Today marks the opening of the 15th annual Waterloo Staff Conference (April 11-12), and we are proud to announce that over 1,500 employees have registered for this celebratory event! If you haven’t had a chance to register, there is still time to join your colleagues.

“We are absolutely delighted to welcome so many colleagues to the 15th annual Waterloo Staff Conference,” says Melanie Will, Director of Organizational and Human Development. “It is wonderful to see so many folks joining us in person, as well as virtually. We hope everyone finds time to reconnect with colleagues and leaves feeling inspired by the keynote speakers and workshops.”   

The event kicks off this morning at Hagey Hall with our opening keynote Neil Pasricha (8:45 a.m.), followed by an interactive session with Juice Inc. (10:30 a.m.). In the afternoon, President Vivek Goel takes the stage for the “President’s Forum: Waterloo at 100” (1:15 p.m.), where you’ll learn more about this remarkable project and long-term vision for our university. The final session of the day is hosted by Organizational and Human Development (2:45 p.m.) exploring the how employees can lead the vision of Waterloo at 100 at an individual level, contribute to the vision at a department level, and inform the vision at an institutional level.  

On Wednesday, April 12, we will continue virtually on MS Teams for day two of the conference, which will feature a variety of concurrent workshop sessions still open for registration, such as:  

  • The Power of Volunteerism at Waterloo: Get Involved!   

  • Do you write ANY academic papers? Zotero is our friend and can be your friend too!  

  • Am I copying right? How copyright comes into play as a staff member?  

  • You May Ask Yourself… (Re-introduction to Policy 55 Non-Academic Surveys)   

Our closing keynote Cassie Holmes, will share how to immediately improve your life by changing how you perceive and invest your time.  

Follow @OHDuwaterloo on Twitter for live updates. For more information, check out the agenda and our know before you go page. We hope you’ll take this opportunity to make new connections, learn and engage with your colleagues.  

See you there!

Join the conversation at the President's Forum today

Waterloo at 100 banner image.

The University is pleased to share its vision for Waterloo at 100.  

Everyone in the UWaterloo community is encouraged to read the vision to navigate the ideas and guiding principles that will lead this institution to a brighter future by 2057. 

To learn more about what’s next for Waterloo at 100, and how you can play a part in it, all faculty and staff are invited to the Humanities Theatre on April 11 at 1:15 p.m. for the President’s Forum: Waterloo at 100 Vision. You will have the opportunity to ask President Vivek Goel questions and offer comments during the forum’s Q&A session hosted by Sandra Banks, Vice-President, University Relations.  

This vision is the result of what was truly a community effort. Thank you to everyone who took part in the extensive consultations and who submitted ideas and feedback. This is something we all share, and while the vision document and website might be complete, our work to bring about the transformative change called for within this vision is just beginning.  

This is a free event, followed by refreshments in Hagey Hall. For those who cannot attend in person, the event will be livestreamed via Microsoft Teams.    

Watch the livestream beginning at 1:15 p.m.

Note: This Forum will be hosted as part of the Waterloo Staff Conference. For more information on the Conference please visit their website

Introducing 'Needles Wall' in Needles Hall

The UWaterloolife team poses for a group photograph in front of the new mural outside the Board and Senate chamber.

The UWaterloolife team poses for a group photograph in front of the new mural outside the Board and Senate chamber. Come visit the mural and take your own selfie!

A new mural recently installed in Ira Needles Hall outside the Senate and Board of Governor Chamber serves as a visible representation of the Waterloo at 100 visioning exercise.  

The concept art for the Waterloo at 100 mural installed outside the Board and Senate Chamber.

Designed by the team at Creative Studio (formerly Creative Services), the mural draws upon the unconventional spirit of the University’s founding while hinting at what lies ahead.  

Driven by a goal of establishing a long-term vision, Waterloo at 100 drew feedback from its community to develop ideas to reinvent the culture of the institution. 

The mural’s installation this month coincides with the Senate and Board of Governor approval of the Waterloo at 100 vision paper and the President’s Town Hall on April 11.

Come on up to the third floor of Needles Hall and take a selfie with the new corridor artwork. Use the hashtags #NeedlesWall and #PictureMeAtUWaterloo and you might just get featured on the University's main Instagram account.

Connecting with her Indigenous ancestry

Blair McCullough in cold weather gear on Moose Factory Island

Blair McCullough on Moose Factory Island.

This article was originally published on the School of Pharmacy website.

Blair McCullough (Rx2024) was attracted to the Waterloo School of Pharmacy program because of its innovative co-op program and in particular the opportunity to work with Indigenous Peoples.

Blair’s father is Algonquin First Nations and by accepting a co-op work term at Moose Factory Island, Blair learned more about her Indigenous background and heritage while working with an underserved population.

“Everyone deserves affordable, readily accessible healthcare and continuity of care. In the future, I want to work in the North as a pharmacist to help those most in need,” Blair says.

Journey to Moose Factory Island

Travelling to Moose Factory was a long trip for Blair, involving many different modes of transportation because no roads are connected to the island from the Ontario highway system. Blair travelled via bus to Cochrane, Ontario, on a train to the mainland of Moosonee, and on a boat to get to the island for a total of two days of travel.

“Experiencing this journey made me realize how difficult it is for the community to receive medical care, food and the things we take for granted in urban areas,” Blair says.

Resources for the Moose Cree First Nation community arrive by drop shipments from helicopters or by train.

Moose Factory Island residence building.

Blair stayed in hospital housing where all healthcare staff reside. Blair mentions that while her living conditions were great the same cannot be said for the living conditions for community residents. These conditions contribute to poor health outcomes among residents.

Immersing into the culture

“I always knew I wanted to work in Northern Ontario but I had so many questions,” Blair says. “My father’s stories about his experiences with the Algonquin culture in Mattawa were not as complex but they did give me a sense of familiarity.”

Moose Factory Ministik School

Moose Factory Ministik School.

Before deciding to complete her co-op work term at Moose Factory Island, Blair spoke to past students who previously worked there to get a sense of the working conditions.

During her spare time on the island, Blair watched documentaries with other residents and students at the hospital to learn about the community and its history.

“This was an incredible way for me to learn about my roots and the history of my ancestors,” Blair says. “I experienced what it means to be a part of a community and the importance of care.”

Blair also attended a social program and sewing classes twice a week that are led by an Indigenous elder and a community member.

A pair of fur-lined beaded gloves sewn by Blair.

A pair of gloves sewn by Blair.

“Engaging in sewing classes was the best experience I’ve ever had. It was a great way to talk to the locals and learn about their culture,” Blair says. “I learned words from the Cree language, their favourite recipes, the history of the residential schools and the current school system today in Moose Factory. It was important for me to see how the community is teaching their children to be in contact with their culture.”

Working in the community

“During my time at Moose Factory I worked at the hospital and completed home visits alongside a physician, personal support worker or nurse to help people who are unable to come to the clinic – those with mobility issues, cognitive disabilities and the elderly,” Blair says.

Weeneebayko General Hospital on Moose Factory Island.

Weeneebayko General Hospital on Moose Factory Island.

“It really put into perspective how a person’s living condition plays a big role in their ability to access healthcare.”

Blair also spent four weeks travelling by boat to Moosonee to work at the community pharmacy.

She wanted to experience how a community pharmacy operated in Northern Ontario compared to an urban area pharmacy.

Extending experiences to the future

At the beginning, I didn’t know if I’d last the four months, Blair reflects. She learned a lot about herself and about the kind of pharmacist she wants to be.

“This was a big step outside my comfort zone but as individual practitioners we need to be able to put ourselves in uncomfortable positions because our patients are in those positions,” Blair says.

Link of the day

World Parkinson'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 (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.

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: 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 

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.

Waterloo Staff Conference, Tuesday, April 11 and Wednesday, April 12.

Pre-examination study days, Tuesday, April 11 and Wednesday, April 12.

The Centre for Theoretical Neuroscience presents Brain Day 2023, Tuesday, April 11, 8:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., E7 3353. Coffee and light breakfast, 8:30 a.m. in E7 2472, reception to follow event in E7 2742.

President’s Forum: Waterloo at 100, Tuesday, April 11, 1:15 p.m. to 2:15 p.m., Humanities Theatre. Staff registration. Faculty registration.

Webinar: Disability Justice for 2SLGBTQIA+ Employees, Wednesday, April 12, 12 noon to 1:00 p.m.

NEW - Valuing the benefits from improving management of freshwater fish habitat: Reflections from two case studies in the Pacific Northwest, presented by Duncan Knowler. Part of the Water Institute's webinar series: The Value of Water in Canada, Wednesday, April 12, 12 noon.

Public Talk featuring Waterloo AI expert Pascal Poupart, “From AlphaGO to ChatGPT”, Wednesday, April 12, 1:30 p.m. to 3:00 p.m., DC 1350.

Recycling Battery Materials: Aiming for Net Zero, Wednesday, April 12, 3:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m., E7 7303-7663

Final examination period, Thursday, April 13 to Friday, April 28.

Creating Inclusive Excellence in Research through Inclusive Leadership, Thursday, April 13, 1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. Federation Hall, University of Waterloo. Waterloo researchers are invited to register for the workshop.

Share how you experience the UWaterloo campus in the Inclusive Physical Space Framework survey for a chance to win a $50.00 on a WatCard. Survey closes midnight on Friday, April 21.

Call for Expressions of Interest: Canada Biomedical Research Fund and Biosciences Research Infrastructure Fund (CBRF-BRIF), due Thursday, April 27. Learn more about the process.