Waterloo raises Two-Spirit flag on campus for the first time
By Emily Brant, Office of Indigenous Relations. This is an excerpt of an article originally published on Waterloo News.
For the first time on our campus, the Two-Spirit Pride flag is being flown alongside the Intersex-Inclusive Pride Progress flag, during the month of June as part of Pride Month activities. Flying the Two-Spirit Pride flag represents the intersection of National Indigenous History Month and Pride Month and signifies the University’s ongoing commitment towards indigenization across our campuses.
“We trust that by raising this flag we are signalling that the University of Waterloo stands for inclusion, belonging and acceptance,” says Melissa Star Ireland, who was recently appointed as the new director of the Office of Indigenous Relations. “Let us all come together in a supportive campus environment where 2SLGBTQQIA+ relations can thrive.”
Two-Spirit is a term that refers to an Indigenous person who identifies as having both a masculine and feminine spirit. While some use it to describe sexual or gender identity, many Indigenous folx see it as a spiritual identity and how they relate to Creation.
There is a Two-Spirit Intersex-Inclusive Pride Progress flag, but some members of the Two-Spirit community feel that it is important to celebrate Indigenous identity by flying two separate flags.
Alumni return to campus for nostalgia, reunions and hope for the future
By Megan Vander Woude, Office of Advancement. This is an excerpt of an article originally published on Waterloo News.
This past weekend, more than 1,000 people flooded the University of Waterloo campus to meet with old friends, celebrate milestone anniversaries and see how our institution has changed. The weekend included multiple events, hosted by Alumni Relations, Faculties, Schools, University Colleges and alumni volunteers.
Alumni know how to rock
The events kicked off Friday, June 2 with a special screening of the documentary Rock This Town, produced by Betty Anne Keller (BA ’69). The film follows the rich and surprising history of live music in the Waterloo Region, largely initiated by Joe Recchia (BASc ’68, MASc ’71), who became a local music promoter after hosting successful dances for students and community members. The film and post-screening chat brought more than 300 alumni and friends to Federation Hall.
Winning videos push student research into the spotlight
By Angie Docking, Faculty of Engineering. This article was originally published on Waterloo News
Two chemical engineering graduate students have topped a national video competition for their research related to the United Nations’ sustainable development goals (SDGs).
Carlo Cunanan and Kiyoumars Zarshenas, master’s and PhD students respectively, are two of six Science, Action! video contest winners, a joint initiative organized by the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC) and the Fonds de recherche du Québec – Nature et technologies (FRQNT). Winning videos were selected for their ability to showcase the benefits of their natural sciences and engineering research and its impact on the SDGs.
Cunanan’s pursuit of greener ammonia production aims to combat climate change by reducing greenhouse gas emissions, while Zarshenas’ research focuses on membrane-based water purification to address the world’s water crisis.
“NSERC is proud to showcase some of the remarkable research that Canadian universities are doing in the basic sciences to find solutions to the most urgent problems that our society is facing, such as climate change,” said NSERC’s president Alejandro Adem in a media release. “These important research efforts not only will lead to the development of tools to facilitate better decision-making, but also provide unique opportunities to train the highly qualified personnel of tomorrow in the essential skills that they will need to ensure a better, sustainable future.”
WatSPEED hosted executive dinner to discuss trust in health data
On May 4, WatSPEED hosted an executive dinner and roundtable discussion in partnership with Statistics Canada, the Canadian Institute for Health Information (CIHI), and the Institute of Public Administration of Canada (IPAC). Leaders from government, private sector, and academia gathered in Ottawa to address the critical issue of trust in the complex world of health data.
The event featured presentations from David O’Toole, president and CEO of CIHI; Maura R. Grossman, a research professor at the David R. Cheriton School of Computer Science; and Anil Arora, Chief Statistician of Canada. The presentations and resulting discussion included a call for a principles-based approach to the gathering, usage, and linkage of health data that spans the public and private sectors; the benefits and risks of using synthetic data to enable trust; the need for transparency and a clear value proposition; and the need for a patient-centric approach to utilizing health data.
Following these presentations, Vivek Goel, President and Vice-Chancellor, and Chair of the Pan-Canadian Health Data Expert Advisory Group, led a guided discussion centered on building trust as a central component to the advancement of a modernized health data strategy.
"It was my pleasure to moderate a frank and illuminating discussion on the potential of Canadian health data to transform patient care in this country,” said Goel. "Building trust is critical for ensuring the long-term success of Canada's health data strategy, and we are committed to advancing Canada’s health data ecosystem and improving health for all Canadians.”
Over the last year, WatSPEED has taken a leadership role in bringing together senior government and business leaders for meaningful conversations. One clear theme that has emerged from these discussions is the need to build an alliance between industry, academia, and government to address the need for upskilling and reskilling the Canadian workforce to navigate ongoing disruption.
"Do you have an innovative idea waiting to be fueled by early-stage funding?" Velocity asks. "The deadline for the Velocity $5K is rapidly approaching on June 11. Seize this opportunity by submitting an online application and embark on your journey towards the finals." There is $20,000 up for grabs in awards at the event.
The Waterloo Institute for Sustainable Energy (WISE) is hosting a public lecture by Dr. Daniel Eduardo Olivares Quero entitled “Understanding the potential and challenges of DERs in Chile” on Tuesday, June 20, from 2:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m., in room 3142 of EIT. The event will be held in-person and on Zoom. This lecture will include discussion on the growing penetration of Distributed Energy Resources (DERs) that has raised great interest in electricity network planners, regulators and policy makers.
Daniel Olivares Quero is an Associate Professor at the Faculty of Engineering and Sciences of the Adolfo Ibañez University (UAI), and Director of the UAI Center for Energy Transition (CENTRA). He has more than 15 years of experience in scientific studies and technical-economic analysis of the electricity sector in the national and international context.