Ariana smiling with her hands in her pocketIt is with great sadness that we share the news of the passing of Ariana Kolenda, a 2nd-year Physics students in the Faculty of Science. Ariana passed away on May 1st in a hit and run on the Trans-Canada Highway.

On her 20th birthday Ariana was struck and killed by a driver near Canmore, Alberta’s Visitor Information Centre. The driver of the vehicle that struck Ariana has still not been located.

Ariana, known as Ari to her friends and family came to the University of Waterloo to pursue a degree in Physics in the Faculty of Waterloo. “We were beyond proud of her taking on Physics Honours at Waterloo,” said Jodi Blackwood, Ariana’s mother, who described Ariana as having “an incredible mind.”

She was also known to love gymnastics, cadets, and biathlon. Ariana always had time for those who reached out her — no matter what they needed.

“Ari was a kind, gentle, loving, intelligent friend to all who were lucky enough to know her. She always made time for everyone who reached out no matter what they needed. Her beautiful heart and incredible mind made her such an amazing human being,” said her mother on social media following her tragic death.

As a lover of physics, and Albert Einstein in particular, one quotation attributed to him is particularly important to understand Ariana’s impact. "Energy cannot be created or destroyed, it can only be changed from one form to another."

Our thoughts and support are with Ariana’s family and friends at this time.

If you are affected by this news and need support and if you wish to speak to a professional, please contact any of the following resources:

Counselling Services - 519-888-4567 ext. 32655
Here 24/7 - 1-844-437-3247
Health Services - Student Medical Clinic - 519-888-4096
Grand River Hospital - 519-749-4300
St. Mary's Hospital - 519-744-3311
Good2Talk - 1-866-925-5454
Crisis Services Canada - 1-833-456-4566 or by text 45645  
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