Tuesday, April 18, 2023

Distinguished Teacher Award winners named

The winners of the Distinguished Teacher Award (DTA) and the Amit and Meena Chakma Award for Exceptional Teaching by a Student (AETS Award) were announced at yesterday's meeting of the University's Senate. Four instructors have been named recipients of the Distinguished Teacher Award for 2023:

Zara Rafferty

Zara RaffertyZara Rafferty is a Continuing Lecturer in the Department of Recreation and Leisure Studies within the Faculty of Health. She is described as charismatic, passionate, and engaging. She builds great rapport with her students, evidenced by the number of students who stay after her lectures to greet and interact with her. One student says, “you can effortlessly see Zara’s charisma through her pedagogy; she communicates the subject matter with passion and transparency. Zara focuses on ensuring quality education is accessible to all students by completing many mental health-related training programs”. Zara dedicates time and effort into accommodating student needs and ensuring her courses are designed with inclusion in mind. One student describes how Zara creates a supportive classroom culture: “Zara’s impact on student learning is that she is personable, making her approachable when you have a question or a concern”. Zara makes an effort to promote engagement and deep learning through strategies such as gamification, simulation, case-based learning, and interactive prompts. Students offer glowing endorsements and a tremendous amount of affection when discussing her teaching: “Zara has shown me what passion for teaching really looks like and that when you love what you do you never work a day in your life”.

Nardine Nakhla

Nardine NakhlaNardine Nakhla is a Continuing Clinical Lecturer at the School of Pharmacy within the Faculty of Science. She is described by her students as energetic, positive and engaging. A former student of Nardine says, “Dr. Nakhla has a gift… she can explain even the most complicated topics in a very simple yet detailed manner”. Nardine is known to go above and beyond for her students, providing opportunities for extra practice and application of their knowledge. Some of her former students (who are now practicing pharmacists) will even review her lectures from time to time to refresh their memory on clinical topics. This demonstrates not only the quality of her course material, but also the effort that Nardine makes to keep her content relevant to real-world scenarios. Another student mentions how, “the energy and charisma that she brought to every class motivated myself and fellow classmates to be excited to learn and become excellent pharmacists”. Nardine is also very inclusive in her course delivery; she provides information in a variety of different formats such as lectures, infographics, articles, and textbooks, to accommodate diverse learning styles and needs. Nardine also regularly advocates for the importance of self-care, not only for patients, but for pharmacists and pharmacy students as well. One of Nardine’s former students says, “I can confidently say that my professional success can be directly linked to the shining example of female leadership that Dr. Nakhla demonstrated in her role as a professor at the University of Waterloo School of Pharmacy”.

Diana Skrzydlo

Diana SkrzydloDiana Skrzydlo is the Director of the MActSc Program, the Math Teaching Fellow, and a Continuing Lecturer for the department of Statistics and Actuarial Science within the Faculty of Mathematics. She is described as an outstanding, dedicated, and passionate educator. Diana has demonstrated great effort in motivating her students and facilitating engagement. She puts a great deal of planning into her lectures and explains concepts with clarity. She presents material in a way that is understandable and flows well. If anyone ever feels lost, Diana does an excellent job answering any questions and clarifying concepts. One student indicated that there was a notoriously difficult course in their program, but with Diana as the instructor, the students were guided to success. As noted by a student, “I have had the great pleasure of having Diana both as an instructor and as a colleague; I have benefited tremendously in both respects from being taught by and working with an exemplary educator such as herself”. A past student from several years ago mentioned “Fifteen years later, I fondly remember her bubbly, cheerful personality, and her teaching style distinctly. From my perspective, Diana was one of the most engaging, most enthusiastic instructors I had during my time at UW”. Diana is notable for providing students with a comfortable learning environment: “Professor Skrzydlo also patiently answers students' questions with a very approachable and friendly manner, both during class and office hours”. Overall, Diana has had a lasting impact on her students, having dedicated admirable time and effort toward her students’ success.

Keith Delaney

Keith DelaneyKeith Delaney is a Continuing Lecturer in the department of Earth and Environmental Sciences within the Faculty of Science. He is described as passionate, motivational, engaging, and encourages collaborative work. Of his teaching style, one student says, “He excels in relating his teachings to the real world, which I think is a great way to teach as it makes concepts not only more understandable but also easier to remember as there are real life examples to relate it to”. Another student mentions: “His enthusiasm and openness to help in those classes made the learning curve of entering a new field of science that much less intimidating”. Students enjoy his courses because of how engaging he makes them, noting: “He always makes the course content fun, interesting, and engaging on a daily basis which has helped form my new interest in earth science.” Keith’s pedagogical methods create a lasting influence on his students’ lives; many comment on Keith’s ability to build an excellent rapport with his students and that they get to know him very well, a rarity for a first-year course. A colleague sums up Keith’s teaching philosophy and methods by saying, “Keith is one of the most caring, accomplished, and productive instructors I have observed or worked with in my academic career. He works tirelessly to inspire and improve the learning experience for students”.

Since its inception in 1975, over 160 Distinguished Teacher Awards (DTAs) have been awarded to exemplary instructors at the University of Waterloo. The DTA is awarded annually.

Check out tomorrow's Daily Bulletin for the names and citations of the Amit and Meena Chakma Award for Exceptional Teaching by a Student (AETS) winners. 

Inclusive Physical Space Framework Survey closes on April 21

An illustration of a woman using a flatscreen display to fill out a survey.

A message from Human Resources.

A reminder that Waterloo is conducting a survey of our physical campus environment – grounds, buildings, infrastructure, and experiences of the Waterloo community. The survey is closing on midnight on April 21, 2023.

We would like to understand your views on how you experience the UWaterloo campus and how we might improve its physical accessibility, how it can be designed to promote health and well-being, and how sustainable development continues on campus. You also have the opportunity to be included in a draw for $50.00 on a WatCard.

Your feedback will help to develop an Inclusive Physical Space Framework, a performance-based, open-resource document used to guide and empower post-secondary institutions to plan and build physical spaces on campus, address accessibility needs, environmental sustainability, and well-being.

If you have any questions about this project, please contact us at inclusive.space@uwaterloo.ca.

W Store ecommerce platform experiences security breach

A message from the University of Waterloo.

The University has experienced a security breach on the W Store ecommerce platform. 

We were notified of a potential payment card breach by University of Waterloo Special Constable Services on April 4 and began an investigation shortly after. The University disabled the W Store’s ecommerce platform and engaged a third-party cybersecurity firm to assist with the investigation. The breach was also reported to the University Privacy Officer and the Information and Privacy Commissioner of Ontario (IPC).   

The W Store ecommerce platform will remain disabled until a thorough security review is completed.  

Those affected have been contacted directly, by email. In-store purchases were not affected by this breach. 

If you input any payment card information through the W Store ecommerce checkout process between January 17, 2023 and March 30, 2023, we strongly recommend that you contact your payment card company and bank to advise them of this breach, report suspicious transactions, and seek any additional guidance that they may have for you such as contacting 

Equifax 1-800-465-7166 or TransUnion 1-800-663-9980 for a credit report or placement of a fraud alert on your credit files. 

If you have questions, please contact wstore@uwaterloo.ca, the University Privacy Officer, or IPC complaints. 

Flying the environmentally friendly skies

Dr. Suzanne Kearns stands in an airplane hangar next to an aircraft.

By Sam Toman. This is an excerpt of an article originally published on Waterloo News.

For as long as she can remember University of Waterloo Aviation professor Suzanne Kearns dreamed of flying, and at the age of 15, she began training for a career as a pilot. On her 16th birthday — the first day she could legally drive a car — she flew solo for the first time.   

If it could fly, Kearns was determined to master it.

At 17 she slept for months in a Toronto hangar just to get her helicopter license, becoming a wunderkind in her hometown of Wiarton, Ontario. The local paper joked, “Imagine that, flying helicopters and still wearing braces,” she says.  

Back then Kearns could never have imagined doubting her dream job. But as she, and the world, woke up to the fact that air transport is a key contributor to climate change, an unsettling truth began to sink in.   

“Given that relatively few people on Earth have the opportunity to fly, aviation’s outsized impact on the planet is unacceptable,” she says. “But, despite its drawbacks, I truly believe that aeronautics is a force for good. So, I have a new dream, and that’s to support aviation's movement towards sustainability.”  

In fall 2021 that new dream came one step closer with the launch of the Waterloo Institute for Sustainable Aeronautics (WISA), making Waterloo, and Canada, a pioneer in reforming an industry currently accounting for more than 2 per cent of global carbon emissions.   

“Unlike the auto-industry, research being done around the globe on how we can reform the sustainability of the aeronautics sector is still an emerging area,” Kearns says.   

But what exactly is sustainable aeronautics?   

Social Sustainability 

“Sustainability goes beyond environmental considerations to include social and economic factors,” says Kearns, who first began exploring how sustainability-related to aviation several years ago when she created an Aviation Sustainability course in Waterloo’s Faculty of Environment.  

Social sustainability is possible when the aviation industry has a competent and efficient workforce – a challenge pre-pandemic as the sector was facing global shortages of pilots, air traffic controllers, and maintenance engineers. This shortage was exacerbated by the lack of diversity in the sector, with only about five per cent of pilots being female and fewer People-of-Colour.  

“I remember what it feels like to be the only woman in the classroom, and to feel like your dream profession doesn’t have a place for you,” Kearns says. “Supporting equity, diversity and a sense of belonging in the industry is a critical sustainability consideration, supporting the viability of the future workforce.”  

For Kearns, interdisciplinary collaboration is key to WISA “I have been continually inspired by the passion and talent of my academic colleagues, uniting across disciplines to identify impactful research.”  WISA-affiliated researchers include social scientists and psychologists working in tandem with its engineers, technologists and environmentalists.  

“Social sustainability also includes professional competency which supports safe and efficient operations,” she says. “Today, 70-80 per cent of aviation accidents are caused by human error. WISA’s psychologists, vision scientists and kinesiologists examine factors, such as eyesight, fatigue and decision-making to build a comprehensive foundation of interdisciplinary research with the goal of passenger safety.”  

WISA brings together close to 75 researchers from all six University faculties. Its advisory committee includes Chris Hadfield, decorated astronaut, author, and pilot and industry experts from organizations including Transport Canada, NAVBLUE, an Airbus company, and the National Research Council among others.  

WISA researchers are targeting outcomes that apply the latest technology and social science in ways that will have an impact on policy, manufacturing, and training.  

Read the rest of the article on Waterloo News

Tuesday's notes

WaterLeadership logo - the dotted "i" in leadership is a droplet of water.

The next entry in the Water Institute's WaterLeadership training series takes place today. Nancy Goucher, Knowledge Mobilization Specialist at the Water Institute, presents Impact Pathways: Strategies for promoting the uptake of water research.

"Increasingly, funders in Canada and more broadly expect research to be applied in a way that will promote social good, such as through policies, programs and processes," says the event abstract. "In this session, participants will learn how knowledge mobilization tools and strategies can be applied to promote the uptake of research outputs. There will be a specific focus on identifying various pathways for research uptake that researchers can identify to create effective knowledge mobilization plans."

This session is developed for researchers at any stage in their career who want to learn how to utilize impact pathways to promote research uptake. While researchers from any discipline are welcome, the presenter draws on stories and examples from water-related topics.

The event takes place at 12:30 p.m. today in DC 1304. Registration is required.

The Changing Same event banner featuring an illustration of two people holding game controllers and cheering.The Games Institute is hosting an online watch event on Wednesday entitled "The Changing Same: Blackness, Representation, and Video Games" that will feature Dr. Andre Brock from Georgia Tech.

The event, which is part of the ADE for Game Communities: Enculturating Anti-Racism, Decolonization, Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion (ADE) in Games Research and Creation bills itself as "a discussion of the promise and peril of POC video game character voice acting, focusing primarily on the connections of Black male anger and Black fatherhood in God of War through the voice work of TC Carson and Christopher Judge, contextualized against the audio Brownface of two voice POC women characters in Uncharted: Legacy of Thieves."

Dr. Brock is an associate professor at Georgia Tech that has expertise on racial representation in video games. His research focuses on the representations of black women and weblogs, whiteness, blackness, and digital techno culture. He is also well-known for his recent work on Black Twitter and has challenged social science and communication research to confront the ways in which the field has preserved a colour-blind perspective.

His book "Distributed Blackness: African American Cybercultures” highlights issues of race and ethnicity from contemporary digital culture, and discusses how blackness gets worked out in various technological domains. By creating important discourse on black relationships alongside technology, Dr. Brock brings about a sense of community in being black online in today’s age of social media and technology.

Registration is required.

Link of the day

International Day for Monuments and Sites

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.

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.

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

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.

Vision Science Graduate Student Conference 2023, Tuesday, April 18, 8:15 a.m. to 7:30 p.m., OPT 347.

WISE Public Lecture, The Grid of the Future: How smart grids, decentralized energy resources, and new business models can help us reach a Net Zero Grid by 2035” by Faisal Kazi,  President and CEO, Siemens Canada, Tuesday, April 18, 11:00 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., Engineering 7, E7 Room no. 7303/7363 (Faculty Hall).

WaterLeadership  Impact Pathways: Strategies for promoting the uptake of water research, presented by Nancy Goucher, Tuesday, April 18, 12:30 p.m., DC 1304.

Master of Taxation, Virtual Information Session, Tuesday, April 18, 4:00 p.m. To register visit www.uwaterloo.ca/mtax.

Workshop: Building Belonging in Hiring Processes, Wednesday, April 19, 12 noon to 1:00 p.m.;

The Changing Same: Blackness, Representation, and Video Games, Wednesday, April 19, 1:00 p.m. to 2:15 p.m., EC1 1323.

Earth Day Teaching with Lotunt Honyust and Myeengun Henry, Wednesday, April 19, 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m., AHS EXP 1689.

NEW - Waterloo Innovation Summit, Friday, April 21.

SWORDC presentation featuring Dr. Ian Colman from the University of Ottawa "Predictors and consequences of poor mental health: Evidence from several Statistics Canada population health surveys", Friday, April 21, 2:30 p.m. to 4:00 p.m., EV3 3412.