January 2023 KI update
- KI is 15 years old! We’d love for you to contribute to our alumni post-it note wall. We’ll be using these post-its to showcase KI alumni on our website and in other material to celebrate KI.
- Our KI alumni panel will take place this year Friday, February 3, at 2:30pm, with presentations by Cayley MacArthur (BKI’13), Cynthia Zhou (BKI’14), Matt Gerrits (BKI’21), and Dinesh Moro (BKI’21). As is tradition, there will be a social from 4pm-5:30pm in the EV1 courtyard. In the evening, alumni are planning a dinner in Uptown Waterloo.
- The theme for KIX 2023 is once again the United Nations' Sustainable Development Goals, and the five exhibits teach about profit motives behind machine learning algorithms, and their impact on polarization; art and social activism; the use of psychedelics in mental health treatment; humour and its relationship to wellness; and brain health. We’d love to see you at the exhibits March 13-18; watch your email for a special invite to the opening reception on the evening of March 15th!
- After a COVID-induced pause, we’re excited to have returned to field trips. The second-years visited Copenhagen in 2022 and we’re heading to Barcelona this year.
- Thanks again to those who responded to our alumni survey. We used your experiences and feedback to create our departmental 7-year program review self-study report, including action items for continuing enhancements of the program.
- August 2022 saw the retirement of Paul McKone, but not before his dedication to his students and experiential teaching was recognized with the University’s Distinguished Teacher Award! Paul was also awarded the inaugural Faculty of Environment Teaching Award. This annual award is for “excellence in teaching, mentorship or educational development; Positive impact on students or on education more broadly; Creation of an environment conducive to learning; and Innovation in teaching.” Paul’s citation acknowledges his excellent innovative, creativity-driven, and hands-on teaching and his indispensable contributions to building and delivering the Knowledge Integration program. While the department is learning to manage without him, he’s left a big gap in our community. Thanks for all of your inspiring work for the KI students, Paul! We wish you all the best in your retirement.
- We’re excited to have Solène Jollivet (BKI’20) working with us for a year, covering advising for a leave and developing a KI Marketing strategy. We would like to benefit from your unique perspective on how we might increase awareness amongst high school students. If you’re interested in joining a virtual Marketing focus group in the end of February/early March 2023, please contact Solène.
- Vanessa Schweizer is leading a project on the role of direct air capture in achieving net-zero emissions by 2050. This new project has a budget of over a million dollars in funding, with $480,000 funded by Environment and Climate Change Canada’s Climate Awareness and Action Fund.
- John McLevey’s 4th book, The Sage Handbook of Social Network Analysis, co-edited with John Scott and Peter Carrington, goes into production by the end of January and will be in print later this year. He is currently on sabbatical, which he will spend working with collaborators across Canada, the US, UK, Europe, and Australia on his Insight Grant project Disinformation, Deliberation, and Political Polarization.
- Rob Gorbet returned from sabbatical, teaching INTEG 321 which culminated very successfully in the largest KIX ever. In August, he and collaborator Philip Beesley were invited to the Domaine de Boisbuchet in France where they ran a workshop where 15 designers from all over the world collaborated to produce an interactive, electronic sound and shadow-play performance. Back at Waterloo, he’s helping to lead the development of a new hub for testing institutional and pedagogical innovations to foster student learning.
- Mathieu Feagan, who joined the Faculty of Environment and the Department of Knowledge Integration as an Assistant Professor last January, continues to be a valuable part of our department and community. In 2022 he taught Creative Thinking and mentored the Anti-Oppression Knowledge Integrators working group, and is currently leading the Senior Honours Projects. He has been collaborating with the Visualizing Future Cities project to answer the question: "How do we plan our cities in an equitable and just way for a future affected by the massive upheavals of climate change?". He also recently published a paper in The Lancet Planetary Health about transformative learning for a sustainable and healthy future through ecosystem approaches to health.
- Mary Stewart, an author, visual artist, retired university professor, and expert in creativity and teaching creative thinking visited us in September and October as a Fulbright Scholar. She participated in KI classes, especially INTEG 251: Creative Thinking, offered creativity workshops, interviewed KI students, faculty, and alumni, and continued research for her new book on creativity.
- The Anti-Oppression Knowledge Integrators (AOK) continued their work, including hosting a KI seminar on Indigenous knowledge.
- For the classes of Berlin I and Copenhagen II, this year is a milestone reunion! Whether you travelled with this cohort, graduated with them, or just otherwise feel connected, check out the ENV reunion website to see how we’re celebrating. We rely heavily on Class Champions to organize and connect the cohorts for Reunion. If you are excited about Reunion, please consider volunteering as a Class Champion before the deadline on January 30. I look forward to seeing you in the KI studio!
- The Knowledge Integration Community Slack workspace is active and continues to grow with over 180 members! To join us talking about #connections, #careers, and #community, contact Kim for the invite link.
Keep connected and engaged!
Many great ways to get involved.