SERVICE

WCYDIn both work and life, Truzaar has committed himself to societal wellbeing and environmental stewardship. He maintains that in this crucial time of climate action, being an academic must also mean being an activist; that we have a moral responsibility to provide informed, workable, and inclusive solutions. With this ethos in mind, Truzaar now serves as the Vice President for the Canadian Society for Ecological Economics and served as an expert advisor to the Responsible Investing Advisory Group, who, following over six years of advocacy, adopted one of the most ambitious and pragmatic net-zero investment recommendations of any Canadian institution. His initiatives often have direct and profound implications for the academy, his region, and its constituents. 

 

Service to the University

Truzaar has been committed to improving the student experience at the University of Waterloo during his tenure, advocating for graduate students both within the department and the University. He has sat on the faculty council, departmental council, and the Graduate Student Association, where he represented the student body. This included voicing student concerns at meetings, hosting town halls for faculty and students, and disseminating important information regarding the governance of the institution. Truzaar has also served on the School Advisory Committee on Appointments, where he participated in the interview and deliberation process for three candidates applying for a tenure track position at the School of Environment, Enterprise, and Development. Informally, he established and moderates the ‘SEEDlings’ Facebook group of nearly 150 student members, where graduate students and alumni frequently share personal and professional developments. Prior to the Covid pandemic, he also regularly organized the SEED student holiday social, including managing invitations, catering, and hosting activities like Trivia night. 

Perhaps most notable, however, is Truzaar’s contribution to the fossil fuel divestment movement.  His five-year commitment to the campus movement culminated in June 2021, with the University's landmark divestment and decarbonization strategy; one of the most ambitious of any Canadian post-secondary institution. With his guidance, the University of Waterloo commits to fossil fuel divestment by 2025, and full carbon neutrality in their pensions and endowments by 2040. During his tenure, Truzaar worked closely in partnership with the board-appointed Responsible Investment Working Group to mandate environmental, social, and governance indicators into the University's investment decisions and become a signatory of the United Nations Principles for Responsible Investment. He advised the working group on topics related to financial losses incurred from fossil fuel investments, the legal repercussions of fiduciary duty in the context of climate risk, and addressed the University’s Board of Governors urging them to vote in favour of improved environmental, social, and governance factors in their financial decisions. Thereafter, Truzaar was invited to serve as an expert member on the President's Responsible Investing Advisory Group, where he contributed to the development of a landmark report which commits the University to divest from fossil fuels by 2025 and decarbonize its investments as early as 2040. He is also a co-author of the 'Investing to Address Climate Change' report. This initiative exemplifies Truzaar’s record of translating his research on fossil fuel divestment to measurable action, bridging academic research with on-the-ground activism to contribute to the campaign’s success in mandating sustainability into the financial decisions at the University of Waterloo.

 

Service to the Profession

Truzaar is actively affiliated with several prominent national and international societies, including the Academy of Management, the Administrative Sciences Association of Canada, the Global Research Alliance for Sustainable Finance and Investment, and the Canadian Society for Ecological Economics, among others. Beyond annually attending and presenting at these conferences, Truzaar is a trusted reviewer and session facilitator. In 2021, Truzaar was recognized among one of the best peer reviewers for the Organization and Natural Environment division at the Academy of Management. Additionally, he has proven to be a trusted session chair for the Social Responsibility division at Administrative Sciences Association of Canada and keynote moderator for the Canadian Society for Ecological Economics. Truzaar also co-organized and hosted a well-received professional development workshop at the 2021 Administrative Sciences Association of Canada conference, which brought senior faculty across Canada to support emerging researchers with one-on-one mentorship to develop their works for publication.

Truzaar is also an avid peer reviewer for a range of interdisciplinary journals. Truzaar has contributed to a total of 15 manuscript revisions, for the Journal of Sustainable Finance & Investment, Regional Studies, Business & Society, Energy Research & Social Science, and Business, Strategy, & the Environment.

Finally, Truzaar has been actively involved with the governance of the Canadian Society for Ecological Economics, a national nonprofit that strives to build research and political capacity to address the systemic vulnerabilities of our current economic system with intensity, urgency, and creativity. In 2018, Truzaar joined the society as the External Partnerships Chair, where he built valuable regional partnerships with practitioners, academics, and community members for the CANSEE 2019 national conference in Waterloo. Truzaar facilitated meaningful partnerships between the society and the University of Waterloo, the Center for International Governance Innovation, Waterloo Global Science Initiative, Waterloo Public Library, and the Uptown Business Improvement Area. He also managed a team of seven volunteers responsible for social media presence at the conference. Thereafter, Truzaar served as the Vice President of Communications, where he managed internal and external communications as well as conference logistics in preparation for and during the CANSEE 2021 national conference. In 2021, Truzaar was re-elected to serve a two-year term as the Vice President of the society, where he now provides strategic foresight and leadership, in addition to insights on communications, partnerships, and logistics.

 

Service to the Community

Truzaar prides himself on the partnerships he has nurtured both within the academic and local community and finds immense fulfillment in fostering collaborations within his networks. His initiatives often have direct and profound implications for the region and its constituents. 

His passion for youth engagement began in 2014 as the co-founder and regional director of Sustainable Youth Canada Waterloo chapter, where he worked with a team of thirteen members leading youth engagement initiatives in the region of Waterloo. Over his tenure, SYC Waterloo raised over $3000 to host two free “What Can YOUth Do” sustainability conferences, connecting over 300 community members and 30 local organizations who share a common passion for environmental sustainability. The common theme for the “What Can YOUth Do” series was to educate and mobilize youth about the environmental concerns that impact the region of Waterloo, by introducing them to the range of existing community initiatives, and opening doors for greater involvement in pursuing their passions. In partnership with the Waterloo Region Environmental Network, these events were among the largest sustainability-themed networking events for youth in the Waterloo region.

He thereafter served on the steering committee of the Sierra Youth organization, where he was the point of contact for budgeting and financial accountability. He was also involved with strategizing a rebranding and relaunching initiative, to build awareness about the organization through increased social media presence and revitalized benefits for student members. He later sat on the succession committee for the recruitment of three new members at the end of his tenure.

Finally, Truzaar is deeply involved with the Trails Youth Initiatives organization, which he attests to be an exceptionally significant and meaningful part of his development. As an alumnus of the Trails program, he continues to volunteer with the organization, through sharing his story at fundraising events and speaking to current participants about climate change and sustainability. In partnership with Trails Youth Initiatives, he has also provided direct mentorship for six high school students through their transition to post-secondary institutions. His responsibilities included arranging individual meetings with each mentee, reporting on their developments, revising post-secondary applications, and making referrals where appropriate. He is immensely proud that his mentees have gone on to successful careers in law enforcement, healthcare, and the nonprofit sector, and feels incredibly fortunate to continue to celebrate in their successes. In 2021, Truzaar was awarded the Hurst Legacy Award for alumni who personify the Trails mission - the capacity to give back, no matter your age, background, or abilities.