GSPA 2022 - our year in review

GSPA staff teams image - Happy holidays from your friends in GSPA

Our year in review

Looking back now, it’s hard to believe that 2022 started remotely, with learning and work happening primarily online until January 24. We continued to pivot, and hosted the GRADflix 2022 Showcase online on January 31, with a virtual viewing party of the top 25 GRADflix submissions by Waterloo’s graduate students.

Eugenia Dadzie was the winner of the 2022 GRADflix competition. Register to attend the 2023 virtual GRADflix Showcase on Jan 31.

February saw the launch of the Graduate Studies and Postdoctoral Affairs resources website and we are continuing to build out the content. We hope you find this website a good source of information for all things GSPA.
March kept us busy with the promotion of the Canadian Graduate and Professional Student Survey (CGPSS). The survey is administered every three years and asks graduate students to evaluate the overall quality of their student experience including questions on coursework, the availability of financial support, university resources, student life, support from faculty members, and overall satisfaction with their program. Survey results will be shared in the winter 2023 term. We also launched GRADstory to get to know our students and GRADblog to let our students get to know us!

Future students had their housing questions addressed with a webinar in April: At Home at UWaterloo: Addressing your graduate housing questions and we supported our current students through the Graduate Professional Skills Conference from April 19-21.

The PhD celebrations continued for spring and fall convocations, with a virtual event in May, and an in-person dinner reception at Fed Hall in October. The Fed-Hall event included a photo booth with take-away pictures for guests. It was a big hit!

Phd celebration photos - 2022

Recruitment for the new, interdisciplinary pilot course being team taught by six PhD candidates began in July. The Wicked Problem of Climate Change course will run this winter term 2023, with two more courses on the horizon in 2024.

Postdocs were in the spotlight once again, during the National Postdoc Appreciation Week from September 19-23. Speaking of postdocs, new funding opportunities in addition to AMTD were introduced, to help Waterloo recruit the brightest and the best.

Graduate Studies and Postdoctoral Affairs by the numbers

The Graduate Recruitment and Admission Transformation Project (GRATP) continues to make good progress, with updates to the look and feel of the online application in October 2022. The next phase of the project is in progress with a target launch date of April 2023.

GSPA, in partnership with the Centre for Teaching Excellence (CTE), continues with its delivery of the Graduate Supervision Series, with the welcomed return to in-person elements where new faculty can come together with their peers.President Vivek Goel had the opportunity to engage with graduate students this fall at the Waterloo at 100 – Graduate student consultations with the President, creating a vision for what they believe Waterloo should look like in 2057.

In the same way that Vivek is looking towards the future of Waterloo, I am looking towards the future of graduate studies. In September I launched Towards a Proposed Vision: Graduate Studies at Waterloo and invited campus partners to provide feedback. Work continues to advance on the implementation of the vision, with a focus on offering “student-centric academic pathways with exceptional academic and professional outcomes.”

A working group comprised of the Co-op and Experiential Education (CEE) and GSPA is making good progress on developing and expanding Graduate Work-Integrated Learning (GradWIL) at WaterlooStay tuned for more information in 2023 about this initiative.

As the year draws to a close, I would like to sincerely thank you for your contributions in making the University of Waterloo the best and most sought-after place to be a graduate student and postdoc in Canada, and among the top destinations in the world. On behalf of all of us in GSPA, we wish you and your loved ones the very best of the holidays – and a healthy 2023.

Jeff Casello,
Associate Vice-President
Graduate Studies and Postdoctoral Affairs