Friday, December 8, 2023

New Vice-President, University Relations appointed

The University today named Eleanor McMahon, CEO of Trans Canada Trail and former MPP for Burlington, as Vice-President, University Relations.  

Eleanor McMahon.“Eleanor is a passionate advocate, skilled communicator and consensus-builder who brings key experience as a Cabinet Minister to the University Relations portfolio,” said Vivek Goel, President and Vice-Chancellor. “I’m pleased to welcome Eleanor to our senior leadership team and look forward to working with her to support our goals to expand our outreach, deepen our public impact and proactively develop and sustain partnerships all to the benefit of the University community.” 

McMahon joins Waterloo from Trans Canada Trail, the national not for profit that stewards Canada’s national trail. As CEO since 2019, Eleanor led the development of a new long-term vision for the organization, secured $55M in federal funding, revitalized the trail’s brand and digital strategy and led the development of Canada’s first national Trails Tourism strategy.  

Eleanor spent the early years of her career on Parliament Hill, including as press secretary to the Rt. Honourable Jean Chrétien. She also served as Director of Public Affairs at the Canadian Advisory Council on the Status of Women, Vice-President at the Canadian Chamber of Commerce and Vice-President at United Way Ottawa.  

She was elected the MPP for Burlington from 2014 to 2018, and served in Cabinet as Ontario’s Minister of Tourism, Culture and Sport, as well as President of the Treasury Board and Minister Responsible for Digital Government.  

Eleanor has a Bachelor of Arts (French Language and Literature Honours) degree from the University of Windsor, and participated in the University of Waterloo’s Third Year Abroad program in Nantes, France. She is bilingual.

A passionate advocate for the safety of cyclists, Eleanor founded the Share the Road Cycling Coalition in 2007, following the death of her husband, OPP Sergeant Greg Stobbart who was killed while on a training ride on his bicycle. Under her leadership, this grassroots organization united cycling groups across Ontario to make communities more bicycle-friendly, and pressed the Ontario government to toughen the law regarding individuals who drive while suspended. That legislative change, Greg’s Law, passed in 2009.  

“I am thrilled to be joining the University of Waterloo, and I look forward to working with an incredible team of talented individuals in support of a highly regarded brand that is recognized globally for its innovative approach to education and research,” McMahon said.  

McMahon’s term as Vice-President, University Relations begins on March 4, 2024. She succeeds Sandra G. Banks who left the position in July 2023. 

Maureen Stafford retires after 32 years on campus

Maureen Stafford stands in front of Hagey Hall.

A message from the Department of Economics.

After 32 years at UWaterloo, Maureen Stafford is retiring at the end of December 2023. Her last on campus day was December 6!

Maureen is a proud UWaterloo alumna, having graduated with a degree in Honours Psychology in 1991. She started working as a temp in WATCOM soon after graduation, then was offered a contract role in CSG (Computer Systems Group) in 1994. Maureen was hired permanently to CSG the following year and later went on to enjoy roles in Computer Science then Electrical and Computer Engineering.

In 2007, Maureen landed her ‘dream job’ in Psychology where she felt she could apply what she had studied. Maureen stayed in the role of Administrative Coordinator in Clinical Psychology, working at the Centre for Mental health Research and Treatment and supporting graduate students for 14 years. Wanting a change and a new challenge, Maureen became the Graduate Coordinator in the Department of Economics in 2021.

It’s been an impressive career for someone who said early on that she was “…just going to stay at UWaterloo for a little bit until I figured out what I really wanted to do with my life…..”. Maureen volunteered for many committees over the years as well as the UW Staff Association, lending her talents and support wherever she could. Maureen’s dedication and service to the students, staff and faculty are an inspiration and her shining smile will be sorely missed.

Congratulations, Maureen, and we wish you well on your next adventure!

Nominations open for awards recognizing teaching excellence

A message from the Centre for Teaching Excellence (CTE).

Nominations are now open for two annual teaching awards. We are encouraging students to nominate their instructors for the Distinguished Teaching Awards and the Amit and Meena Chakma Award for Exceptional Teaching by a Student.

Distinguished Teaching Award banner featuring an instructor wearing a headset.

Distinguished Teaching Awards 2024

Do you know of an instructor on campus that made a favorable and lasting influence on your learning? Nominate your favourite instructor for the 2023-2024 Distinguished Teaching Award (DTA) today!

Visit the Centre for Teaching Excellence’s webpage today and see if your nominee meets the criteria to be awarded the DTA! Submit your nomination form to and nominate your favourite instructor for this year’s DTA. Nomination forms are due the first Friday of February 2024.

Amit and Meena Chakma Award banner featuring a student teacher.

Amit and Meena Chakma Award 2024

The Amit & Meena Chakma Award (AETS) is presented to students who have demonstrated excellence in teaching. Do you know of a teaching assistant, lab demonstrator, or instructor who has shown a commitment to excellence in teaching on campus? You can nominate them for the 2023-2024 AETS award! Nominations are now open and due the first Friday of February.

Visit the Centre for Teaching Excellence’s webpage today and see if your nominee meets the criteria to be awarded the AETS! Submit your nomination form to and nominate your favourite student instructor for this year’s AETS award. Nomination forms are due the first Friday of February 2024.

Contact Sarah Seabrook for more information about either of these two awards.

Menorah will be lit on campus Monday and other notes

The third-annual UWaterloo menorah lighting event will take place on Monday, December 11 from 4:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. on the SLC patio. The event celebrates Hanukkah, the Jewish festival of lights, which began on the evening of December 7 and runs until the evening of Friday, December 15.

Rabbi Moshe Goldman from the Rohr Chabad Centre for Jewish Life will be conducting the lighting ceremony.

The event is supported by the Office of the President, WUSA, Special Constable Service and Plant Operations, and colleagues from across campus. The menorah will be set up for the duration of Hanukkah.

Are you a Black graduate student registered full-time in a doctoral program at UWaterloo? The Office of Equity, Diversity, Inclusion & Anti-Racism is accepting applications for the “Black Graduate Students EDI-RO Award” until January 15, 2024. To access the application and for details on eligibility please visit the Black Graduate Students EDI-RO Award websiteYou can also forward your questions to

A woman works out with exercise bands.The Metabolism, Exercise Training and Sex Differences (METS) lab in the Department of Kinesiology and Health Sciences at the University of Waterloo is seeking sedentary, overweight males and females aged 18 to 45 years for a research study investigating whether the addition of two nutritional supplements to an exercise regime can improve the effects of exercise training on ‘high-quality weight loss’.

For more information, read the full Daily Bulletin article from August 8, 2022 regarding the launch of this ongoing research study. If you are interested in participating in this study or have any questions, please contact Thabie Lechesa, Department of Kinesiology at 519-498-2151 or

Students write exams at wooden tables in the PAC.Finally, the final examination period begins today for students writing exams, and will run until Thursday, December 21. Good luck, exam writers.

Beyond the Bulletin episode 165

Beyond the Bulletin banner featuring two vintage microphones.

The latest episode of the Beyond the Bulletin podcast is now live. Dr. Jenna Gilchrist, a postdoctoral fellow in psychology, discusses her study researching students' transition to first year of university. Get a recap of Giving Tuesday by the numbers. And the Keeping Well at Work Committee organizes a lunchtime jam session for people on campus to get together for musical collaboration.

Upcoming office closures

The Office of Indigenous Relations will be closed for the week of December 4 (December 4 to December 8) for construction being done in the office. All staff will be working remotely and are available by email.

The Arts Undergraduate Office will be closed for an event from 12 noon to 2:00 p.m. on Friday, December 8.

The Writing and Communication Centre offices and The Write Spot will be closed on Friday, December 8 due to office painting. Staff are working remotely and will be available by email. Additional in-person drop-ins will be available in Dana Porter Library from 11:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. that day.

All Campus Wellness locations will be closed all day Monday, December 11, due to a Staff Education Day. Locations will reopen Tuesday, December 12.

The Office of Indigenous Relations will be closed on Tuesday, December 12 from 11:30 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. for a staff meeting. 

Link of the day

It no longer pays to increase your word power: Reader's Digest Canada to cease publishing

When and Where 

Warriors Game Day Tickets: Season Passes, Black and Gold Alumni Passes and Single Game Tickets now available for the 2023-24 varsity season. Purchase your tickets today!

Waterloo Warriors Youth Camps. Winter, March Break and PD Day camps available for boys and girls ages 5-18. Baseball, Basketball, Football and Multi-Sport and Games camps available. Register today!

The Student Health Pharmacy (located in the lower level of the Student Life Centre) is offering flu shots with no appointments needed daily from 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Call 519-746-4500 or extension 33784 for more info. COVID shots will be available beginning October 23. You can register online at

Employee Engagement Survey deadline, Friday, December 8.

Final examination period, Friday, December 8 to Thursday, December 21.

Retirement Open House for Scott Nicoll, Friday, December 8, 3:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m., SLC Black & Gold room. RSVP by Friday, November 24 to Amy Bender,

UWAG closing reception: José Luis Torres | Sharl G. Smith, Saturday, December 9, 3:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m., University of Waterloo Art Gallery. Refreshments will be served and admission is free.

Staff Salary Discussions Town Hall Meeting, Monday, December 11, 12:30 p.m. to 1:50 p.m., AL 116 and online.

What is GBA+ Anyways? (Virtual), Monday, December 11, 2:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m., Zoom. Please register to receive the Zoom link to participate.

NEW - Third annual UWaterloo Menorah lighting, Monday, December 11, 4:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m., SLC patio.

GRADnavigate Workshop Series, "Demystifying Comprehensive and Qualifying Exams," Tuesday, December 12, 12 noon to 1:30 p.m., Zoom. Please register on Portal.

Chemistry Seminar: "Exploring new synthesis pathways to optical and magnetic lanthanide-based nanoparticles," presented by Dr. Eva Hemmer, Associate Professor, Department of Chemistry and Biomolecular Sciences, University of Ottawa, Tuesday, December 12, 2:30 p.m., C2-361 Reading Room.

Retirement celebration for Laurie Hanley, Tuesday, December 12, 3:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m., Grad House upstairs lounge.

TQT Quantum Opportunities and Showcase 2023, Thursday, December 14, 12 noon to 3:30 p.m., RAC 2.

Keeping Well at Work Lunchtime Jam: Bringing People Together Through Music, Thursday, December 14, 12:30 p.m. to 1:30 p.m., United College UTD 118.

NEW - Balsillie School of International Affairs film screening: Peace by Chocolate, Thursday, December 14, 7:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m., CIGI Auditorium.

Upcoming Quest scheduled maintenance, Saturday, December 16, 4:45 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. and Sunday, December 17 , 6:45 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. Quest will be down and unavailable during this maintenance window.

Holiday lunch buffet, Monday, December 18, Tuesday, December 19, Thursday, December 21 and Friday, December 22, 11:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m., Federation Hall. Book today by calling 519-888-4700 or emailing your request to

ICES Data Information Webinar, Tuesday, December 19, 10:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m., online via Microsoft Teams. Open to faculty members, postdocs, students and staff. Contact Grace Gomashie or register to receive the event link.

Fall co-operative work term ends, Friday, December 22.

University holiday closure, Saturday December 23 to Monday, January 1, 2024. Regular operations resume Tuesday, January 2, 2024.

When and Where to get support 

Check out the support listings for faculty, staff and students.

PhD oral defences

Systems Design Engineering. Abubakr Shafique, "Representation Learning for Image Search in Histopathology." Supervisors, Dr. Hamid Tizhoosh, Dr. Morteza Babaie. Thesis available via SharePoint. To request a link reach out to the Administrative Coordinator, PhD at Oral defence Tuesday, January 9, 2024, 2:00 p.m., remote.

Global Governance. Choyon Saha, "Restricting fossil fuel supply: Examining and amplifying the role of the Least Developed Countries’ Group in the United Nations Climate Negotiations." Supervisor, Dr. Angela Carter. Available upon request from the Faculty of Arts, Graduate Studies and Research Officer. Oral defence Thursday, January 11, 2024, 9:00 a.m., remote participation.

Electrical & Computer Engineering. Zishuo Ding, "Assisting Software Engineering Tasks beyond Natural Language Processing." Supervisor, Dr. Christopher Nielsen. Thesis available via SharePoint. To request a link reach out to the Administrative Coordinator, PhD at Oral defence Thursday, January 11, 2024, 9:00 a.m., EIT 3142.

Electrical & Computer Engineering. Ahmed Sayed, "UAV Detection based on Adaptive Radar Signal Processing." Supervisors, Dr. Omar Ramahi, Dr. George Shaker. Thesis available via SharePoint. To request a link reach out to the Administrative Coordinator, PhD at Oral defence Thursday, January 11, 2:00 p.m., EIT 3142.