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!
Waterloo teaching experts helping others make the move to online teaching
Amidst the transition to online learning across the University, remote teaching authority Professor James Skidmore and Victoria Feth, Faculty of Arts Liason for the Centre for Teaching Excellence teamed up for a webinar to help other instructors make the important to online teaching. This webinar helped more than 200 people during its live session and through the recording learn more about online teaching best practices and also share questions, challenges and solutions from those who attended. Professor Skidmore and Victoria continue to host regular webinars to share new insights for our teaching community.
Staff Member Creates Visual Representation of President's Town Hall
University of Waterloo staff member Dilce Ferrera attended her first President's Town Hall event and after listening to the discussion from the President and the series of questions and answers that followed, was inspired to create a visual representation of what was spoken about, the mission of the University, the community we foster and the ongoing needs to be the most innovative university in Canada. It is a lovely display of what was discussed at the Town Hall and so many of the values the University of Waterloo strives to represent. The piece can be viewed within the Office of the President.
Community Honours the Victims of Flight PS752 Together
The University of Waterloo community and the Canadian academic community as a whole were devastated to hear about the downing of the Ukrainian International Airlines Flight PS 752. Our community took many instances to mourn together for Waterloo PhD students Marzieh (Mari) Foroutan of the Faculty of Environment and Mansour Esnaashary Esfahani of the Faculty of Engineering as well as Engineering alumnus Mojgan Daneshmand, her husband Pedram Moussavi, a former post-doctoral fellow in the Faculty of Engineering, and their children, and School of Optometry and Vision Science alumnus Dr. Neda Saddighi. Thank you to everyone who helped organize the University memorial and all of the vigils and gathers to help honour and remember those we lost on that tragic flight.
UWaterloo Student Programming Group Supporting Non-Profits with Website Develop Help
UW Blueprint is a student-driven group of computer programmers and designers who take time out of their busy schedules to provide free website and coding support for non-profit groups looking to make a different in the community and the world. UW Blueprint is currently set to work with the local Business & Education Partnership Waterloo Region on the development of a new website, but their projects have included tools to help foster sustainability and platforms for gain insights into games designed to empower individuals with Down syndrome to develop independent living skills. Blueprints efforts are helping those in need and making our community a better place.
Supporting International Students During the Holidays
A big congratulations is due to the staff and student volunteers who helped make the annual December International Student Stay Program a success once again. This program is a great way for our international students staying in Canada and on campus during the holiday break to not be displaced during the holiday shut down of campus. The effort of all our staff and students who make this transition period as seamless as possible make a tremendous difference for our international students and should be recognized for all they do.
Hey students...good luck on exams! We are here for ya!
Staff across campus, in all departments and faculties, want to let the students know that WE CARE and want to wish them good luck on their final exams. The displays across campus are a cross staff and faculty initiative that hopes to let students know they are not alone during exams and what can be a very stressful time.
University Relations delivers smoothies with a smile for a good cause
A group of bold, out-of-the-box entrepreneurs in University Relations launched a one-day startup known as “Smoober,” delivering handcrafted smoothies direct to people’s desks. The EC-5 exclusive initiative was created to support Waterloo’s United Way campaign and raised $252.80 from nearly 60 orders. Staff in EC-5 could order one of three delectable smoothies (Green Zen, Funky Monkey or Berry Blast) online and had them delivered (with a smile). Supporting team members who made this initiative a reality included Laura Bossenberry, Madison Cox, Rob Esselment, Tony Frost, Nick Manning, Beth Palmer, Taline Tashjian and Jeannie Watt.
Legal & Immigration Services host Trivia Wednesdays for United Way
Legal & Immigration Services hosted Trivia Wednesdays to raise money for United Way. Every Wednesday people could pay to participate in a fast paced trivia game with the winners getting a chance at some amazing prizes, including gift certificates, a floral arrangement, free memberships, and gift baskets. The office is currently holding a silent auction, to raise further money for United Way and further information on the auction can be found at Legal and Immigration Services website.
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.