The University of Waterloo community is home to countless students, faculty, staff and alumni who consistently go above and beyond. Staff are providing exceptional customer service, students are volunteering their time to help others, faculty members are showing genuine care and mentorship for their students, and these positive actions are all happening every day. The President’s Accolades aims to celebrate these stories of dedication, passion and contribution. If you know of a member or group making our University proud, be sure to submit their story today!
IST Hosts a Cutest Pet Contest and more in the name of helping the United Way
There is no shortage of fun over in IST for the month of October! IST staff gather over the course of the month for delicious events like their Bake sale, Pizza lunch and sale of donut-grams to share a sweet note and an even sweeter treat with co-workers. One of their key events for 2019 is their ‘Cutest Pet Contest’. Votes are cast with donations in the associated pet’s jar and whichever pet receives the most donations is crowned IST’s Cutest Pet. Their campaign is successful as a result of the many people who donate, bake, and participate in their activities. Thank you, IST, for the creativity and enthusiasm you bring to your United Way campaign!
The range of United Way fundraisers never stops for Advancement
As fundraisers by trade, this department pulls out all the stops for their internal fundraising campaign to benefit United Way. Each year, Advancement runs a series of weekly department events throughout October like Jersey/Casual Day and a book sale leading up to their most popular event at the end of the month: the Silent Auction and Crockpot Cook-off. This event brings together the whole Advancement team in competition and comradery. For the last 2 years, Advancement’s events have contributed more than 7% of the total dollars raised by United Way events on campus. Thank you, Advancement, for your passionate commitment to supporting United Way!
AHS team brings the carnival to campus for United Way
The Faculty of Applied Health Sciences is spreading joy and building awareness through their United Way campaign. They kicked off their October United Way campaign with a Pancake breakfast (an AHS staple!) and ended the month with a new event, their AHS Carnival. The timing of the Carnival coincided with midterm season and students flocked to the event as a way to de-stress with Halloween activities and treats. Admission to the AHS Carnival was by donation. As students learned about the impact of United Way, they were generous in their giving. Thank you, AHS, for sharing the wonderful work of United Way and supporting our student community.
Registrar's Office uses bake sale to give back for United Way
The Registrar's Office gets a ‘ra ra’ for their fantastic efforts as a team to support the University of Waterloo’s United Way campaign. They are an enthusiastic group, known for their annual bake sale filled with an array of delicious treats. The Registrar’s Office sees their United Way campaign as a great team builder as they work in teams to raise the most money through events like raffles, amazing gift baskets and Oktoberfest prize packages. Many thanks to this spirited team for coming together to give back to United Way Waterloo Region Communities.
Library United Way Ambassadors demonstrate commitment in countless ways
Our campus has incredible enthusiasm for our United Way campaign that results in amazing events, passionate Ambassadors and generous giving. One department on campus in particular has demonstrated their commitment year over year. The Library consistently supports the United Way campaign through creative events like large-scale bake sales, silent auctions, therapy dog visits, and a staff favourite; Social Art Lunches. As a team, they also represent the University of Waterloo in community events, like the annual United Way WRC Umbrella March. Many thanks to the Library for all you do to support the University’s United Way Campaign.
United Way volunteers step up with their communications talents
The University of Waterloo’s United Way campaign involves participation from all corners of campus to achieve one big goal. An integral part of this is the creation of each year’s annual report and campaign video. Robert Laurin (IST), Claire Mastrangelo (Support Waterloo) and Elizabeth Rogers (Faculty of Arts) worked over and above their roles to contribute these stellar communication pieces that celebrate the commitment of our campus community to building a better Waterloo Region.
United Way mystery online auction in Engineering making a difference
Karen Dubois, in the Faculty of Engineering, has managed the Mystery Online Auction for the past four years to raise money for the United Way. With the help of colleagues, Karen receives items to wrap, take a photo of and post online. However, since the item is wrapped the bidder doesn't know what it is until after they've bought it! Sometimes the clues are helpful, but it's always a fun surprise. Karen's dedication to this fun auction has helped to raise more than $1,750 for the University's United Way campaign this year.
Campus pianists spreading joy of music
Thank you to the hundreds of University of Waterloo pianists who have spread the joy of music by playing one of the “Open Pianos in University Spaces” this past summer. Having the pianos on campus was a wonderful addition, but they are merely silent instruments if not for the many students, faculty, and staff who have taken to playing them at nearly every time of the day. They have uplifted us at the start of the day, in between classes and meetings, and on the way home at the end of the day. Our campus is a better place with them sharing their skill and love of music.
Waterloo student raises mental health awareness with Bridges of Hope
University of Waterloo Social Development Studies student Olivia Miller and her friend Gretta Dotzert kicked off the second edition of the Bridges of Hope campaign in Waterloo Region after being inspired by a similar event in the United Kingdom. Bridges of Hope aims to raise mental health awareness in our community through the decoration of bridges in Kitchener, Waterloo and New Hamburg with messages of positivity and love that are submitted by people across the Region. This tremendous campaign and accompanying fundraiser are spreading much needed awareness in the community and raising money to support local mental health support organizations.
The Return of the Pickle Forks
After more than four years in storage, a piece of the University of Waterloo campus landscape returned July 27 as artist Ron Baird's "Pickle Forks" was re-installed in a new location in front of PAS. The sculptures were removed from their original location prior to the construction of the Hagey Hub. The welcome return of this popular art display was a team effort that included Kathryn MacDonald in the Faculty of Arts, Plant Ops, Fine Arts and the artist himself, and their efforts to return a piece of our campus history should be recognized.
Centre for Extended Learning earns multiple national awards
The Centre for Extended Learning (CEL) received multiple awards at the Canadian Association for University Continuing Education (CAUCE) annual conference. The outstanding work of the CEL brought home three distinct awards: two Design Awards and one Program Award.
Convocation Volunteers Help Create a Day to Remember
Spring 2019 Convocation was a week of celebration that recognized the accomplishments of more than 6,500 new graduates. The ceremonies were a true success for the University and it is important to recognize the contributions of the 160 staff, faculty and alumni volunteers who helped make the week-long convocation possible. From ushers to hooders and even our distinguished mace bearers all played a vital role in a flawless event execution that has received a great deal of praise from graduates and family and friends alike.
New Podcast Brings Campus News to a New Medium
Brandon Sweet, Associate Director, Internal and Leadership Communications, and co-host Pamela Smyth, Media Relations Manager kicked off a new podcast in June bringing the much read Daily Bulletin into a new format. The interviews, discussion and friendly banter between Sweet and Smyth brings a new era for the Bulletin, which for more than 25 years has chronicled campus life, first as a print edition and later online. It is a wonderful initiative that will surely reach a new and bigger audience for the important news and updates happening at the University.
Making Space Milestones and New Visual Indicator
The Making Spaces team is celebrating Pride month with some milestones and a new visual indicator. Since Making Spaces was developed in November 2016, the program has trained more than 300 people. The program has also seen a steady increase in demand from the community resulting in the number of trained facilitators rise to 10. Also, there will be a Making Spaces contingent walking with Glow in the Toronto Pride Parade on June 23.
Award winning PhD research
Jason Deglint competed in the first Future Engineers for Water and Environmental Safety (FEWES) International Student Competition which took place in Tianjin, China. This competition focused on low-cost water technology with environmental and/or public health benefits and was hosted by the Sino-Canada Joint R&D Center on Water and Environmental Safety (SCWE). Jason was awarded 2nd place for his research in algae identification using machine learning.
Community Outreach from Warriors Staff
Waterloo Warriors Staff put their gardening clothes on and went to work at Community Support Connections in Breslau to build their community garden and plant some seeds. The vegetables that will grow will then be used for their Meals on Wheels program that distributed 350 meals a day to those who are unable to leave their homes for a meal.
Pharmacy alumnus and grad student provides care in rural Uganda
Heidi Fernandes is a MSc student at the School of Pharmacy with a passion for global health. She heard about the Canada-Africa Community Health Alliance (CACHA) through a family physician on her thesis advisory committee – the Alliance works with local partners to provide disease prevention, treatment, support, and education for vulnerable people in four African countries. Heidi’s interest in global health has already taken her to Guatemala and Peru on volunteer missions. Excited for more travel health opportunities, she volunteered for a CACHA mission to Uganda in March. Heidi, who is a graduate of UWaterloo’s pharmacy program and a practicing pharmacist, joined a team of physicians, nurses, and health care students to travel to Kammengo, a rural village about an hour outside of Kampala, Uganda’s capital. Heidi and her colleagues set up a clinic and treated more than 400 patients a day over the course of two and a half weeks. As a pharmacist, Heidi worked with nurses and physicians to counsel patients on medication and also mentored other pharmacy students on the trip.
Professor James Skidmore and His Informative Senate Digest
In addition to being a long-standing and award-winning professor in the Faculty of Arts' department of Germanic & Slavic Studies, Dr. James Skidmore has served as a diligent member of the University of Waterloo Senate whose term ended this past April. What began as a concise report of Senate activities for the Faulty of Arts by James has blossomed into an insightful email newsletter called the "Senate Digest". Time and time again "Senator Skid" breathed life into the Senate agenda and activities with humour unique to this dedicated member of our community. He performed a selfless service to so many in the Faculty of Arts, and across campus, as a University Senator and his Digest will be missed my countless people.
Creating Community and Easing the Transition of International Students
The International Peer Community (IPC) is a peer-supported program offered through the Student Success Office’s International Student Experience team. This program would not be possible without the assistance of 53 upper-year peers who have helped create a memorable and supportive experience for first-year international students. Over the last year, the IPC has helped more than 900 participants connect with their upper-year peers through events such as bonfires, outdoor skating, Halloween “Extravaganzas”, excursions to Uptown Waterloo, picnics in Waterloo Park, and a variety of other activities. These enthusiastic upper-year peers continue to dedicate their time to building meaningful connections with first-year students and ease their transition to a new school, city, and culture, through intercultural opportunities, and should be recognized for their service to the University community.
Waterloo Student Helping to Build a Sustainable World After Earning Internship
Prashant Bagga always dreamed of interning at Microsoft. He had the opportunity to make that dream a reality in July 2018 as Microsoft hosted a hackathon at the University of Waterloo with the winner getting the opportunity to intern at Microsoft. Motivated by this prize, along with the help from his team, Phashant built a chatbot, won the hackathon, received the interview and, finally, landed his dream internship. This was a significant opportunity that Prashant took advantage of as he was able to contribute towards the Discover AI Challenge as one of his projects. With a team of two other UWaterloo students - Carter Kirilenko and Madhav Shukla, they built the entire website that urges students from across Canada to develop a sustainability solution by leveraging Microsoft AI.
PhD candidate and business ethics instructor makes a difference for her students
With a handwritten card at the end of the Winter 2019 term, PhD Candidate and instructor in business ethics, Vanessa Lam, made a big difference in the lives of her students. One particular student posted the homemade card that Vanessa had made for each of her students on Reddit. The student said in the post how much the card and the gesture meant to him during a stressful time. The post attracted widespread praise from hundreds of fellow students on Reddit and CBC News recognized her efforts as well. Vanessa deserves to be recognized for her kind gesture to students that seem small but can have a profound impact.
Waterloo Staff Member Gives Back with Service Dog Training
For the past three years, Andrew Scheifele from the Safety Office has had the pleasure of bringing a dog to work - not just any dog, a puppy training to become a service dog. He and his family serve as a foster family for dogs bred to be career service dogs. These dogs spend the first year of their lives living with a foster family before receiving formal service training. The first year is a crucial learning period where the dogs learn basic obedience skills, and how to socialize with people. The puppies experience the routines and places a future handler may take them when they are in service as a working animal. Chayse is the most recent dog to be part of Andrew's daily life at home and at work at the University of Waterloo. On graduation, Chayse will be assigned to a person in need at absolutely no cost. Andrew's dedication to fostering future service dogs is a testament to his dedication to making the lives of others better through volunteer work.
Pharmacy student gives back to KW Community
Ryan Pelletier, an ambitious Pharmacy student dedicated to making a change in the KW community, has been an active volunteer with Sanguen Health for several years. Sanguen Health is a health organization serving the Waterloo, Wellington, Dufferin, and Guelph regions which focus on supporting people living with or at risk of Hepatitis C. Ryan is a regular volunteer on their community health van, a mobile health unit that drives around to connect with people in their neighbourhood, providing essentials so that they can be prepared to focus on their health. Ryan’s commitment to giving back and improving our community is accompanied by extensive involvement in pharmacy student clubs – his dedication demonstrates his exceptional passion for improving lives in our community.
Registrar's Office Spirit Crew: Raising funds and spirits
The Registrar’s Office Spirit Crew was created 15 years ago to inspire fun and fundraising within our large, busy, deadline-focused department. The Spirit Crew organizes raffles, games, treat days, holiday themed events, and dress down days—helping to create a fun, positive and engaged environment within our office. RO staff rally around the University Christmas Project each year, purchasing toys and food vouchers for families in our community who might otherwise go without Christmas morning. Fundraising activities throughout the year support this Project as well as the United Way and other worthy causes that arise, such as the Humboldt Bronco’s GoFundMe initiative last year. Our enthusiastic Spirit Crew members include: Binah Straker, Maureen Jones, Mat Brown, Elysia Gallinaro, Michelle Coulombe, Anuja Bajaj, Amanda Vos, and Kelly Wilker-Draves.
UWaterloo students win NASA Award
A team of University of Waterloo students (Alex McVittie, Colin Tuen Muk, Corina Kwong, and Janet Hu) were one of six winners at NASA’s 2018 International Space Apps Challenge, winning in the “Most Inspirational” category for their app SongSAT. SongSAT is a tool to share the beauty of the world in different mediums, expressing the wonders of satellite imagery through audio. This allows the beauty of satellite imagery to communicate to an audience with visual impairments to enjoy the wonders of the world from above too, or to be used by musicians to aid with musical writing blocks.