Dean's Update - February 2020


Lili LiuDear staff, faculty, and graduate students,

When I was in my 20s and growing up Quebec, I used to get the February blues. I would feel nostalgic, sad and low in energy. This immediately changed when I moved to Alberta in my 30s. Despite the colder temperature and shorter daylight, the bright sun completely eliminated my February blues. This is one personal example of how our moods can be affected by our environment.

Other factors that affect our mental health this time of year may include debts from the holidays, accumulated stresses related to research and teaching deadlines, and strains in our relationships. Antidotes to these stresses can be activities that help us connect with life. For example, my family members have set up grow lights in their rooms where they seed plants to be moved into the garden in the spring. The succulent plant sale in the Faculty of Arts was a welcomed opportunity. In this way, they nurture life during a time of hibernation and darkness.

We can also nurture each other. This month, I learned about the valuable services that our student advisors provide quietly behind the scenes. I would like to thank them for their support in bridging our students as learners with us as instructors.

I hope that each of you will seek out activities that help you connect with people you love, as well as life in general, such as a visit to an indoor garden, taking care of pets, working out in the gym and mindfulness meditation.

Lili Liu

AHS this monthEvents I Tips and reminders


Monica Maly receives funding for new arthritis study

Monica MalyKinesiology Professor Monica Maly has received a $450,000 Arthritis Society Stars Career Development Award, funded by the CIHR-Institute of Musculoskeletal Health and Arthritis, for a project to address the most common form of arthritis. Titled Move Well Live Well: Using the science of movement to promote better living with osteoarthritis, it will use a combination of exercise, diet and a strategy for long-term engagement. See the Arthritis Society's announcement for information about the project and award.

Scott Leatherdale recognized for graduate supervison

Scott LeatherdaleScott Leatherdale from the School of Public Health and Health Systems has received a University of Waterloo Award of Excellence in Graduate Supervision. The award recognizes faculty members who have demonstrated "excellence through being a mentor, advisor, role model, humanist and a strategist who exemplifies a high level of energy and ingenuity." The award will be presented at spring convocation.

Heather Mair awarded interdisciplinary Trailblazer grant

Heather MairHeather Mair from Recreation and Leisure Studies and Feng Chang from the School of Pharmacy received a grant from the University of Waterloo Interdisciplinary Trailblazer Fund so they can launch "Community Conversations," a research project that will help create health advocates for people at risk in rural southwestern Ontario communities.


'Beyond Crisis' screening: March 5

Beyond Crisis posterAHS and the Interdisciplinary Centre on Climate Change (IC3) invite all students, faculty and staff to a screening of 'Beyond Crisis,' a film about what it means to be living in a new era of climate change, as told by diverse voices across the country and beyond. Following the screening, engage with the film's director, Kai Reimer-Watts, and attend the reception. Please register in advance on the Beyond Crisis event page.

AHS Three Minute Thesis heat: March 12

3MT graphicCome support our grad students who will be participating in the AHS Three Minute Thesis (3MT) heat of this popular event, and vote for the People's Choice. Students have only one static slide and three minutes to explain the breadth and significance of their research to a non-specialist audience. The event starts at 2:30 p.m. in LHS 1621. Lancaster Smokehouse and Seven Shores will be catering.

AHS Grad Formal: March 14

Students in formal wearGrad Formal will be taking place on March 14 at THEMUSEUM. Thank you to everyone who has claimed a complimentary ticket for the event – having a staff and faculty presence helps demonstrate our pride in our students’ hard work and accomplishments. Please direct any questions about the event to Becca Cordick.

AMTD postdoctoral opportunity: Apply by March 16

The University of Waterloo has received a $3 million donation to support exceptional postdoctoral scholars through the AMTD Waterloo Global Talent Postdoctoral Fellowship program. The Fellowship includes an annual salary of $75,000, an engagement fund of $7,500, plus access to a pool of additional funds to create research dissemination opportunities. Faculty members are encouraged to invite exceptional scholars to join the University. Deadline for application is March 16. Please see details on the Graduate Studies and Postdoctoral Affairs AMTD fellowship page.

Grad Class Send-off: March 19

Faculty and staff are invited to celebrate the Class of 2020 at our annual send-off event on March 19 at 5 p.m. in the AHS Expansion. Mingle with graduating students and other special guests, and enjoy celebratory remarks and a champagne toast to the graduating class. If you plan to attend, please complete the Grad Class Send-off RSVP form by March 6.

March Break Open House: March 21

Open House sign with balloonsProspective undergraduate students and their families are invited to March Break Open House on Saturday, March 21 from 10 a.m. - 4 p.m. This campus-wide event features academic sessions, information fairs, tours and more. Know someone who is interested? Have them register for March Break Open House and check out the full schedule.

Recognition Reception: March 25

Have you received your invitation to this year's Recognition Reception? Faculty and staff are encouraged to celebrate with student award recipients at Federation Hall. Networking and hors d'oeuvres start at 4 p.m., with remarks and the award presentations at 4:30 p.m., and reception to follow. Please contact Molly Furness if you have any questions.

Neil Charness on technology and longevity: April 9

Neil CharnessThe Network for Aging Research (NAR) invites you to a lecture by Neil Charness from Florida State University on “The Promise and Limits of Technology To Promote Successful Longevity.” The event also features a dance presentation by the Baycrest National Ballet School Sharing Dance Seniors, an art display by seniors from Button Factory Arts and posters by NAR researchers. This lecture is the third annual event in honour of Professor William F. Forbes, who was the founding director of the Gerontology program at the University. It will take place from 9 a.m. to noon in OPT 1129. Please register on the NAR website.


Need an Emergency Ride Home?

TravelWise logoThis TravelWise support exists for anyone who has walked, biked, carpooled or bused to work but needs to leave for unforeseen or emergency reasons, such as a sick child or family emergency. TravelWise will reimburse your taxi, bus or other cost, for up to $75, four times per year. Get details and access the form in this Emergency Ride Home PDF.

Electronic IP disclosure form

The Office of Research would like to remind faculty to complete the Electronic IP disclosure form to disclose intellectual property and commercialization activity in accordance with the requirements of Policy 73. The form should be completed by March 31.

Hazardous waste disposal procedure change

All researchers and lab users who dispose of waste at the Environmental Safety Facility, ENV or AHS should know that the procedure for preparing hazardous waste has changed. If you would like more information about this change, please contact Emma Dare.

Do you have a news item to share? Please email it to Eugenia Xenos Anderson.