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Friday, October 24, 2014



  • Convocation will see 2,268 degrees conferred
  • St. Paul's installs first Chancellor today
  • Co-op student is campaign co-ordinator
  • Friday's notes



Convocation will see 2,268 degrees conferred

The University of Waterloo mace.The University of Waterloo's 109th Convocation will take place today and tomorrow, with 2,268 graduates receiving their diplomas in four ceremonies in the Physical Activities Complex.

At 10:00 a.m. today, 198 students from the Faculty of Applied Health Sciences and 338 students from the Faculty of Science will cross the stage.

Receiving an Honorary Doctor of Science is Alain Aspect, a senior scientist at Laboratoire Charles Fabry at the Institut d’Optique in France and also professor at the École Polytechnique. He obtained his PhD in 1983 from Université d’Orsay, and during his studies he performed his famous Bell’s inequalities experiments demonstrating the existence of quantum entanglement. His work has been recognized by many prestigious awards, including the gold medal from Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique in 2005, the highest scientific award in France, and the 2010 Wolf Prize which is arguably the most prestigious award after the Nobel Prize. He is a knight in the Legion of Honour and is an officer of National Order of Merit in France. Professor Aspect will address Convocation after receiving his honorary doctorate.

Keith Brian Delaney will receive the Amit and Meena Chakma Award for Exceptional Teaching by a Student.

Matthew Schmidt will receive the Outstanding Achievement in Graduate Studies award at the Master's level, and Lital Sever will receive it at the doctoral level.

This afternoon will see 132 Faculty of Environment students and 509 students from the Faculty of Mathematics receive their degrees at the 2:30 p.m. ceremony.

At the ceremony, Lloyd Axworthy will receive an Honorary Doctor of Letters. A member of the Order of Canada, Axworthy is a graduate of United College, Winnipeg, and obtained his doctorate from Princeton University in 1972. His life in public service is highlighted by the many ministerial posts he has held as a Member of Parliament, including as Minister of Foreign Affairs from 1996 to 2000. He led the development of the Ottawa Treaty banning the use of anti-personnel land mines, for which he was nominated for a Nobel Peace Prize and was honoured with the North-South Prize. He initiated the commission which would develop the doctrine of the Responsibility to Protect, which was adopted by the United Nations. A champion for Aboriginal youth and families, he was president and vice-chancellor at the University of Winnipeg and he is the first chancellor of St. Paul’s University College. Axworthy will address convocation.

Frank Tompa will receive the title Distinguished Professor Emeritus. Tompa earned his PhD at the University of Toronto and was a professor for 40 years at the University of Waterloo where he was the founding director of the David R. Cheriton School of Computer Science. His research is epitomized in the New Oxford English Dictionary
(OED) project which would lead to his co-founding of OpenText, and he has held numerous visiting professor and visiting researcher positions. He is a fellow of the Association for Computing Machinery, was awarded the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal, and he received the degree Doctor of Laws honoris causa from Dalhousie University in 2013. His achievements are publicly recognized in the naming of the road in front of OpenText as “Frank Tompa Drive”.

Steve Brown will be named an Honorary Member of the University. Brown entered the University of Waterloo as an undergraduate and earned his doctorate in 1974, thereupon joining Waterloo and beginning a distinguished 40 year career. Leading by example, he is a researcher committed to the development and application of statistical methods in public health research as well as a dedicated and engaging teacher and an effective senior administrator in the faculty. He was recognized for his commitment to secondary school mathematics education in 2009 when he was awarded a medal by the Society of Descartes Medallists, and played a pivotal leadership role in the formation of the Health Behaviour Research Group and helped form the Propel Centre for Population Health Impact.

Ahmad Abdi will receive the University of Waterloo Alumni Gold Medal for outstanding academic performance in a Master's program.

Emily Kozlowski will receive the KD Fryer Gold Medal for High Academic Standing in Mathematics together with Good Student Citizenship.

Ryan Henry will receive the Outstanding Achievement in Graduate Studies award at the doctoral level.

Tomorrow at 10:00 a.m., 732 students from the Faculty of Arts will cross the stage.

Elizabeth Bloomfield will receive an Honorary Doctor of Laws. Bloomfield received her PhD in history from the University of Guelph in 1981, and is an award-winning scholar. Since the birth of her son who is diagnosed with classic autism, she has been at the forefront of many important social innovations, including: pioneering day camps open to all children, including those with disabilities; a housing trust that gives people with disabilities control over their own homes; individualized funding and person-directed planning that allow persons with disabilities to lead their own lives; and augmented communication methods for people who do not speak with their voices. A social innovator and community builder, her work has enabled people with developmental disabilities to lead, as she says, “good, whole lives in the community.”

Susan Sykes will be named an Honorary Member of the University. Sykes began her career at the University of Waterloo in 1982 as coordinator in the Office of Human Research and would advance to become the director of the Office of Research Ethics. Her teaching excellence is recognized in her dual adjunct assistant professor appointments to the departments of Psychology and Health Studies. She was a member of the founding board of directors for the Canadian Association of Research Ethics Boards and was integral in the establishment of Waterloo’s Central Animal Facility before her retirement in 2012.

Receiving the University of Waterloo Alumni Gold Medal for outstanding academic performance in a Doctoral program is Dubravka Gavric.

Sheila Noel will receive the James D. Leslie Prize for Outstanding Performance in Studies by Distance Education.

Nathanial Barr will receive the Amit and Meena Chakma Awards for Exceptional Teaching by a Student.

Akash Kapoor will receive the Accounting Alumni Award for Excellence in Accounting for outstanding academic performance in the Master of Accounting program.

On Saturday afternoon at 2:30 p.m., 359 Faculty of Engineering students will receive their degrees.

Adel Sedra will be named Distinguished Professor Emeritus. Sedra received his BSc Degree from Cairo University in 1964 and MSc and PhD degrees from the University of Toronto in 1968 and 1969 respectively, all in electrical engineering. Having joined the faculty at the University of Toronto in 1969, he served as chair of the Department of Electrical Engineering from 1986-1993 until becoming Vice-President, Provost and Chief Academic Officer, a role he would serve in for nine years. He joined the University of Waterloo as Dean of Engineering in 2003 and oversaw a massive expansion of the faculty’s programs, complement, research funding and building activity. He has received numerous honorary degrees, is the recipient of many honours and awards, holds a number of patents, and is the author of textbooks used at hundreds of universities worldwide.

Timothy Leonard Lasswell will receive the Albert Sherwood Barber Medal for best overall work term and academic performance.

Dorothy Lui will receive the Outstanding Achievement in Graduate Studies award for the Master's level.


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St. Paul's installs first Chancellor today

Lloyd Axworthy.Humanitarian and former parliamentarian Lloyd Axworthy will be installed as the first chancellor of St. Paul’s University College at the University of Waterloo on Friday. As part of his duties, Axworthy will sit on the St. Paul’s Board of Governors and provide leadership to the College.

Axworthy retired last June as president and vice-chancellor of the University of Winnipeg. His work at the University of Winnipeg has focused on campus renewal and expanded the university’s outreach in the areas of Aboriginal education, environmental studies, and human rights – work which, according to a statement, "aligns nicely with the vision, mission, and programs offered at St. Paul’s University College."

The private installation ceremony begins at 7:30 p.m. in Alumni Hall.

Photograph by Cory Aronec.


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Madison LeBlanc is on the left, and a United Way staff member is on the right.
Co-op student is campaign co-ordinator

by Jacqueline Martinz.

Madison LeBlanc is working to create positive change. The third year honours arts and business student (pictured above left) is completing a co-op placement at the United Way Kitchener Waterloo and Area. 

“I started working for United Way KW as a workplace campaign coordinator at the beginning of September and my placement ends on December 23,” she said. “On some days I am giving presentations, on other days I am helping out with a pancake breakfast. This position is constantly keeping me on my toes. No matter what the day consists of, I am always checking and replying to emails, meeting with companies that are running campaigns and assisting them with whatever is needed. I help companies run a successful and engaged campaign that in turn creates positive change within the Waterloo Region.”

LeBlanc is proud of the campaign run annually at the University of Waterloo, and is excited to see how much is raised this year. She has seen the incredible impact the donations make in the lives of local residents in need of support. One of LeBlanc's responsibilities is to work with the Resource Development team and help to successfully run their employee campaign season. 

“I am in charge of 46 organizations. This means I am their direct contact at United Way KW,” she said. “I support employees at each organization by meeting with them, coming up with strategies to help grow their campaign, and supporting them in their events.”

According to LeBlanc, she applied to the United Way KW to have a role that truly made a difference. More information about how to contribute and make a difference yourself is available online.

Photograph by Madison LeBlanc.


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Friday's notes

The 20th annual Science Open House and Gem and Mineral Show takes place this weekend.

There's a bit more information available about this Sunday's upcoming shutdown of water services in the Optometry building. A backflow preventer valve is set to be installed in the mechanical room near the building's loading dock. The building's water system will be drained beginning at 4:00 a.m., with the installation work beginning at 7:00 a.m. The work requires a full day shutdown of the water services.

Here are today's two Get Up And Go Passport Challenge clues:

  • You can find a lot of “pi” in this faculty
  • In April each year, this department offers free sessions which helps an employee to grow  

Here's how to play: register your team, download your passport and head out to the two sites you think the clues match. Get a date/time/signature by someone from that area on your passport, and follow the same procedure each working day until the contest ends on October 31.


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Send in your questions for the President's Town Hall Meeting

The President's Town Hall Meeting is scheduled to take place at 10:30 a.m. on Thursday, October 30.

As with all town halls, your questions are most welcome. Feel free to send them in via email or on Twitter by sending tweets to @UWaterlooLIVE.

There will be opportunities for attendees to ask questions in person at the event as well.

Don't forget to register for the town hall and the luncheon that immediately follows the meeting.

Link of the day

Muharram tomorrow

When and where

Open Access Week, Monday, October 20 to Sunday, October 26. Details.

Quantitative Biology Seminar Series featuring Jane Heffernan, Centre for Disease Modelling Mathematics & Statistics, York University,
Friday, October 24, 2:30 p.m. QNC 1501.

Fall 2014 Convocation, Friday, October 24 and Saturday, October 25.

University of Waterloo Gem and Mineral Show, Friday, October 24, 12:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m., Saturday, October 25, 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., Earth Sciences Museum. Details.

Knowledge Integration poster conference: design in museums, Friday October 24, 2:30 p.m. to 4:00 p.m., Environment 3 (EV3) atrium. Details.

Science Open House, Saturday, October 25, 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., EIT. Don’t miss this extravaganza of science discovery for school-aged kids! Details.

Municipal Election Day, Monday, October 27.

University Relations Grilled Cheese Lunch, Monday, October 27, 11:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m., Arts quad. Proceeds in support of the United Way Campaign.

The Gairdner Research Lecture featuring Dr. Titia de Lange, 2014 Gairdner Laureate and a Leon Hess Professor, Rockefeller University,
“How shelterin protects the ends of telomeres” Monday, October 27, 3:30 p.m. DC1302. Details.

Public Lecture, "Public transit best practices from Germany: Free lecture on The Karlsruhe Model," Monday, October 27, 6:30 p.m., School of Pharmacy. Details.

The Gairdner Public Lecture featuring Dr. Titia de Lange, 2014 Gairdner Laureate and a Leon Hess Professor, Rockefeller University.
“A Career in Science” Monday, October 27, 7:00 p.m., QNC 0101.Please register for this free event - Complimentary parking provided in Lot X. Details.

Board of Governors meeting, Tuesday, October 28, 1:50 p.m., NH 3001.

Engineering Teaching event, “Influencing Student Motivation to Learn Through Course Design and Operation,” Tuesday, October 28, 2:30 p.m., EIT 3142. Details.

Institute of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology (I.B.M.B.) Seminar Series featuring Dr. Wenjing Wang, PDF, Department of Chemistry, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, “Tool Design for Color Vision Study and Brain Imaging” Tuesday, October 28, 3:30pm, C2-361. Details.

The Waterloo Centre for German Studies presents “100 Years Since World War I: Dictatorship and Democracy in an Age of Extremes” panel discussion, Tuesday, October 28, 5:00 p.m., AL 113.

Retirement celebration for Lynn Crema, Wednesday, October 29, 11:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m., E5 3106.

Velocity Alpha presents “Finding Your Customers Online,” Wednesday, October 29, 7:30 p.m., EV3 4412. Registration details.

President's Town Hall meeting, Thursday, October 30, 10:30 a.m., Humanities Theatre. Luncheon to follow at 12:00 p.m.

UWRA Fall Luncheon, Thursday, October 30, 11:30 a.m., Luther Village Great Hall featuring Susan Mavor, "Westmount - The Tie That Binds the Twin Cities: An Illustrated History of Westmount's 100 Years." For tickets call 519-888-0334. Details.

Bookstore Author Event featuring Vanessa Ricci-Thode, "After the Dragon Raid," (costume launch party), Thursday, October 30, 6:00 p.m., Bookstore, SCH.

Arriscraft Fall Lecture Series featuring Joel Sanders, “Immersive Environments: Media, Architecture and Landscape,” Thursday, October 30, 7:00 p.m., Cummings Lecture Theatre, School of Architecture. Details.

Waterloo International Halloween Bake Sale, Friday, October 31, 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m., Needles Hall.

Biology Seminar Series featuring Turlough Finan, Department of Biology, McMaster University," Functional and evolutionary insights gained by reducing a complex bacterial genome by half," Friday, October 31, 2:30 p.m. QNC 1501.

Knowledge Integration seminar: “Summer off? No – summer on!” Friday October 31, 2:30 p.m., Environment 3 (EV3), room 1408. Details.

Successful Aging seminar featuring Dr. Lynn Hasher, University of Toronto, Monday, November 3, 1:30 p.m. to 3:00 p.m., DWE 3522.

Retirement celebration for Ray Butterworth, Monday, November 3, 3:30 p.m., DC 1301. RSVP by Monday, October 27.

Optometry & Vision Science Class of 2018 White Coat Ceremony, Monday, November 3, 6:00 p.m., Location TBA. Details.

2014 Hagey Lecture featuring Professor Sir Michael Marmot, "Fair Society, Healthy Lives," Monday, November 3, 8:00 p.m., Humanities Theatre, Hagey Hall.

10th annual UWSA Shopping Trip Weekend, Friday, November 7 to Sunday, November 9, Erie, Pennsylvania. Details.

PeaceQuest: Remembering for Peace featuring Jamie Swift, co-author, Warrior Nation: Rebranding Canada in an Age of Anxiety, Monday, November 10, 7:00 p.m., Conrad Grebel University College chapel. Details.

Centre for Bioengineering and Biotechnology Visionary Lecture Series seminar featuring Suneet Singh Tull, "The Next 3 Billion." Tuesday, November 11, 2:30 p.m., DC 1302. Details.

Waterloo Unlimited Grade 12 Road Map to Research, Wednesday, November 12 to Friday, November 14. Details.

Keystone Campaign presents Bridges to Prosperity, Wednesday, November 12, 12:00 p.m., DC1302. Details.


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