Talk of the Campus Fall 2016

The latest campus happenings

Waterloo turns 60 in 2017 … And we want YOU!

60 years of innovation University of WaterlooThe University of Waterloo will celebrate its 60th anniversary in 2017 and we’ll mark the occasion with special events throughout the year, including the official kickoff in January featuring a high-profile guest speaker. But first, we want to hear from you. Help us celebrate 60 years of innovation and share your vision for the next 60 years by sending us your own ideas, favourite photos, memories and milestones.

Find out more by visiting the 60 Years of Innovation website or following the hashtag #UWaterloo60 on social media.

$91 million for cutting-edge quantum, water research

Minister of Science Kirsty Duncan with University of Waterloo FROSH science studentsSeptember started off on a high note as Canada’s Minister of Science Kirsty Duncan visited campus to announce $91 million in new funding for research projects led by Waterloo’s Canada Excellence Research Chairs. David Cory of the Institute for Quantum Computing will receive $76.3 million, and Philippe van Cappellen of the Water Institute will receive $15 million, both from the Canada First Research Excellence Fund. While on campus, Duncan had the opportunity to connect for a photo with enthusiastic students, and was officially initiated into the Waterloo Science family.

Waterloo leads transgender application initiative

Prospective students who don’t identify as either male or female can now check “another gender identity” on common application forms thanks to a province-wide change led by the University of Waterloo. The change, which comes into effect for students applying for the fall of 2017, is happening as transgender Canadians cheer the introduction of legislation that would make it unlawful to discriminate on the basis of gender identity.

“This is an important first step that allows universities to start identifying, connecting and building bridges with transgender students,” says Jeremy Steffler, a member of this University’s Working Group on Sexual and Gender Diversity.

Former YMCA head to lead Alumni Council

John HaddockCommunity leader John Haddock (BA ’78) is the new president of the University of Waterloo Alumni Council. The council was established in 1997 and represents more than 190,000 alumni, providing an active alumni perspective to the University, and enhancing alumni engagement. Haddock is the former chief executive officer of the YMCAs in Cambridge and Kitchener-Waterloo, and replaces Paul Salvini (BMath ’92). Salvini, who served as president for six years, is the chief executive officer of the Accelerator Centre and associate vice-president of research commercialization at the University.

Waterloo welcomes new VP of Advancement

Joanne ShovellerEffective January 1, 2017, there will be a new face leading Advancement efforts at the University of Waterloo. Joanne Shoveller, a graduate of Wilfrid Laurier University and Western University’s Ivey Business School, joins Waterloo as vice-president of advancement after four years with INSEAD, the Business School for the World. Prior to that, Shoveller was vice-president of advancement at the University of Guelph, where, among other things, she designed and initiated the BetterPlanet Project campaign to celebrate Guelph’s 50th anniversary. At Waterloo, Shoveller will lead the development, principal gifts, alumni relations and advancement services, along with the faculty advancement and alumni relations teams.


Grad House mystery: The case of the disappearing hill

Students lounging at the new patio areaEver wonder what happened to the hill behind Graduate House? Thanks to the South Commons landscaping redevelopment project, it’s become a room with a view. Covering the area from the raised stone wall near the east side of the Dana Porter Library across to Grad House, the project will allow for unobstructed views of Biology 1, Chemistry and Physics. A large seating area features bright umbrellas and tables with charging ports for laptops and mobile phones.

Silicon Valley: Waterloo grads are owning it

The global profile of this University continues to climb, with news that Waterloo graduates are now the second-most frequently hired in Silicon Valley after those from the University of California, Berkeley. Citing statistics from a Startup Compass report, the Wall Street Journal says Waterloo graduates are being quickly snapped up by some of the world’s most desirable companies. “If you go to Silicon Valley, they are hiring from Stanford, Berkeley and Waterloo,” Concordia University’s Graham Carr told Times Higher Education World University Rankings. “It’s unbelievable.”

Introducing Reading Week 2.0

Waterloo students got their first fall mid-term break in 2016, with the addition of two days off after the Thanksgiving long weekend. The three-year pilot project began this year after a student referendum showed almost 75 per cent of students were in favour of the break. Fall breaks are becoming more common for Ontario college and university students, in addition to the long-standing winter reading week in February.

Awards and honours

Recent recognition for University of Waterloo researchers and graduate students includes:

  • Jean Andrey (Environment) — Canadian Association of Geographers’ President’s Award for Outstanding Service
  • Zhongwei Chen (Engineering) — Member, Royal Society of Canada College of New Scholars, Artists and Scientists
  • John Cherry (Science) — Singapore’s Lee Kuan Yew Water Prize
  • Jennifer Clapp (Environment) — Named to the Royal Society of Canada
  • Thomas Coleman (Mathematics) — Fellow of the Society for Industrial and Applied Mathematics
  • John English (Arts) — Officer of the Order of Canada
  • Alan George (Mathematics) — Lifetime Achievement in Computer Science Award, Canadian Association for Computer Science
  • Carol Hulls (Engineering) — Brightspace Award for Innovation in Teaching and Learning, Society for Teaching and Learning in Higher Education
  • Kate Larson (Mathematics) — Outstanding Young Computer Science Researcher Prize, Canadian Association of Computer Science
  • John McLevey (Environment) — Early Researcher Award, Ontario Ministry of Research, Innovation and Science
  • Roger Melko (Science) — Canadian Association of Physicists Herzberg Medal
  • Matthew Morison (Environment) — W. Garfield Weston Award for Northern Research
  • Marcel Nooijen (Science) — Member of the International Academy of Quantum Molecular Sciences
  • Derek Robinson (Environment) — Early Researcher Award, Ontario Ministry of Research, Innovation and Science
  • Winfried Siemerling (Arts) — Gabrielle Roy Prize for The Black Atlantic Reconsidered: Black Canadian Writing, Cultural History, and the Presence of the Past
  • Chad Thackeray (Environment) — W. Garfield Weston Award for Northern Research
  • Frank Tompa (Mathematics) — Lifetime Achievement in Computer Science Award, Canadian Association for Computer Science
  • John Turri (Arts) — Member, Royal Society of Canada College of New Scholars, Artists and Scientists
  • Ian VanderBurgh (Mathematics) — Canadian Mathematical Society Excellence in Teaching Award
  • James Walker (Arts) — Member
  • of the Order of Canada
  • John Yeow (Engineering) — Member, Royal Society of Canada College of New Scholars, Artists and Scientists
  • Grace Yi (Mathematics) — Canadian Journal of Statistics Award
  • Yujie Zhong (Mathematics) — Pierre Robillard Award, Statistical Society of Canada