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Monday, June 24, 2013



  • Introducing 'Guarding Minds @ Work'
  • Campus Canada Day Celebration coming
  • Notes as June heats up


  • Editor:
  • Brandon Sweet
  • Communications and Public Affairs


Introducing 'Guarding Minds@Work'

by Linda Brogden, Occupational Health.

Given that most people spend approximately 60 percent of their waking hours at work, understanding the financial and human costs of workplace mental health is essential to helping employers develop an action plan for improving both the bottom line and employee well-being.

On January 16, 2013 the Mental Health Commission of Canada (MHCC) released the Standard for Psychological Health and Safety in the Workplace. Also in January, the University of Waterloo took the opportunity to lead the way by becoming an early adopter of the voluntary Standard.

As part of this goal, President Feridun Hamdullahpur, in partnership and consultation with CUPE, the university's faculty and staff associations, and Occupational Health enthusiastically announce that the University of Waterloo will be implementing Guarding Minds @ Work (GM@W).

Like many organizations, the University of Waterloo began this journey years ago with initiatives, such as our annual OHD staff conference, brown bag lunch sessions and employee seminars. The Standard provides us with a framework to guide further improvement.

Our researchers at the University of Waterloo are tackling some of the biggest problems facing the world such as aging and energy.  Our goal at Waterloo is to attract the best and the brightest from around the world to help achieve our research and teaching agendas.  Offering work/life balance is something prospective employees are looking for so having programs that actually demonstrate these qualities are strategic in attracting the best.

GM@W is a unique, evidence-based, comprehensive set of resources designed to effectively assess and address psychological health and safety in the workplace. A psychologically healthy and safe workplace is one that promotes employees’ psychological well-being and actively works to prevent harm to employee psychological health due to negligent, reckless or intentional acts. The focus is not on individual employees’ health status but rather on organizational factors. 

The Standard lists 13 workplace factors which are known to impact psychological health.

  • Psychological support
  • Organizational culture
  • Clear leadership and expectations
  • Civility and respect
  • Psychological job fit
  • Growth and development
  • Recognition and reward
  • Involvement and influence
  • Workload management
  • Engagement
  • Balance
  • Psychological protection
  • Supportive physical environment

Tomorrow morning, Tuesday, June 25th, you will receive a link via email to participate in a 6-question survey which will take less than 5 minutes of your time.  You will be asked to respond between 10:30 a.m. and 12:30 p.m. and instructions will be provided on how to fill it out.  Please note that this survey is separate from the staff engagement survey that is currently running.

In addition, the survey is anonymous: no one will be able to identify that you completed the survey (Note: If you experience concern or stress as a result of the survey questions, please contact Linda Brogden at extension 36264).

Employee participation will be part of the process to develop action plans to improve psychological health and safety in our workplace.  Focus groups and work teams will choose from among evidence-based recommendations and customize an approach that will work in our unique environment. 

The actions selected will follow from the results of the employee participation and the GM@W Online Survey and will be aimed at making our workplace healthier.  We will evaluate the undertaken interventions over time to ensure they are effective and create improvements where needed.

Over the next few weeks you will receive more information on implementing GM@W and details on how you can become involved.  Please do not hesitate to contact me by email or at extension 36264 if you have any questions. 


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Campus Canada Day Celebration coming

Canada Day in Waterloo is set to be bigger than ever as the University of Waterloo and the Federation of Students unveil new plans to mark the national holiday at Columbia Lake.

Top Canadian bands Spirit of the West and Hollerado headline the free event, which will feature performances on the main stage from internationally acclaimed children's singer-songwriter Ronno, a performance of the classic children's book Stellaluna, and Wij the Magician.

An estimated 40,000 guests are expected to attend the celebration, which will provide an improved stage and sound experience thanks to a new partnership with Palmer Audio. Beyond the main stage, children of all ages can experience hands-on fun including new activities such as golfing with the LPGA and hockey with the Kitchener Rangers.

“With great artists, improved sound, amazing food and drink, and more, we’ve worked hard to build on the tradition of community celebration here and make it an experience to remember,” said President Feridun Hamdullahpur. “We want to make sure that people know that Waterloo isn’t just a world-class place to study, it’s a place that proudly contributes to our region making it a vibrant place to live, study and work.”

Favourite attractions such as fireworks, kids’ inflatables and the water slide remain a fixture of the event, which will also feature several new top-notch food vendors including Smoke’s Poutinerie, S.W.A.T. Truck, Papa’s Gourmet Grill and S.O.S BBQ.

For the first time, adults can escape from the heat and enjoy a cold one in the licensed refreshment area, in partnership with the Brick Brewing Company.

“For 28 years, students have welcomed the community to the Columbia Lake fields on Canada Day for a day of celebration,“ said David Collins, president of the Federation of Students. “The Feds and the University really doubled down on their efforts to create an even bigger and better celebration for our community.”

To celebrate local talent, Waterloo launched its first-ever national anthem singing competition. Clarissa Diokno, a psychology student and winner of Waterloo’s Campus Idol, submitted the winning entry on YouTube. She will perform O Canada to kick off the fireworks at 10:00 p.m.

The event also features performances by the Warriors band, and appearances by City of Waterloo Mayor Brenda Halloran, MP Peter Braid, and Region of Waterloo Regional Chair Ken Seiling.

Visitors to Canada Day at the University of Waterloo will be able to celebrate the experience with friends across Canada thanks to digital activations from the Smile Epidemic who will be on site to help guests share their "true patriot love” as well as a photo booth to share pictures through social media.

All University of Waterloo campus parking lots are available and free of charge on Canada Day. Accessible parking is available off of Frank Tompa Drive within the OpenText parking lot. Columbia Street West from Westmount Road to Hagey Boulevard will be closed on July 1.

More information about the event can be found on the University of Waterloo website. Social media followers can join in the community spirit on Twitter and Facebook, using the hashtag #uwcanadaday.


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Notes as June heats up

The next Waterloo Women's Wednesday (W3), the informal monthly drop-in social and networking event for female grad students, post-docs, staff and faculty members, will take place on Wednesday, June 26, from 4:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. at the Grad House. Typically the group mingles for the first hour, and then convenes for a group discussion around 5:00 p.m.

A number of new Centre for Career Action workshops are now open for registration, including:

  • Successfully Negotiating Academic Job Offers (Thursday, July 4, 10:00-11:30 a.m., TC 1208)

  • Your Social Media Strategy (Tuesday, July 9, 2:00 - 4:00 p.m., TC 1208)
  • Foundations of Project Management - Level 1 (Wednesday, July 31, 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Laurel Room)
  • Careers Beyond Academia (Tuesday, July 23, and Wednesday, July 23, 10:00-11:30 a.m., TC 1208)
  • Non-academic Work Search and Networking (Tuesday, July 30, 10:00-11:30 a.m., TC 1208)

If you are one of the 20,000 Region of Waterloo residents who recently received an invitation in the mail to fill out the Waterloo Region Community Wellbeing Survey, the Canadian Index of Wellbeing (located at the University of Waterloo) would like to remind you to fill it out soon. If you have any questions, please contact Lisa Wenger.


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Link of the day

The Berlin Airlift at 65

When and where

Feds Used Books sidewalk sale, Monday, June 24 to Wednesday, June 26, 11:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m., SLC Vendor's Alley.

First interview cycle ranking (main), Monday, June 24, closes at 2:00 p.m.

Cheriton School of Computer Science Distinguished Lecture Series featuring David Sankoff, University of Ottawa, "Computational Genomics of Flowering Plant Evolution," Monday, June 24, 3:30 p.m., DC 1302. Details.

Lunch and Learn Pension session, “Retirement Planning Tools: myPENSIONinfo/Annual Pension Statement”, Tuesday, June 25, DC 1302, 12:00 to 1:00 p.m. Details.

Postdoctoral event - Fun in the Park, Tuesday, June 25, 4:30 p.m., Waterloo Park Picnic Shelter. Details.

Job post (main) opens Wednesday, June 26, closes Thursday at 11:59 p.m.

Centre for Career Action presents Work Search Strategies, Wednesday, June 26, 10:30 a.m., TC 1208.

Student Life 101, Thursday, June 27.

UW Farm Market, Thursday, June 27, Student Life Centre lower level, 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.

Petition to the Registrar to register late form required to become Fees Arranged after Sunday, June 30.

Canada Day Celebrations, Monday, July 1, Columbia Lake.

Canada Day Holiday, Monday, July 1, university closed.

Student Consultation Group - uWaterloo Student Portal, Wednesday, July 3, 12:00 p.m., SSO multipurpose room. Details.

Environment Lecture Series featuring Sven E. Jørgensen, University of Copenhagen, "Samsø , a Danish Island based on renewable energy," Wednesday, July 3, Waterloo Summit Centre for the Environment, Huntsville. Details.

UW Farm Market, Thursday, July 11, Student Life Centre lower level, 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.

Student Consultation Group - uWaterloo Student Portal, Tuesday, July 16, 12:00 p.m., SSO multipurpose room. Details.

UW Farm Market, Thursday, July 18, SLC lower level, 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.

ChemEd 2013 conference, Sunday, July 28 to Thursday, August 1. Details.

Spring Term lectures end, Tuesday, July 30 (which is a Monday class schedule).

Pre-examination study days, Wednesday, July 31 to Monday, August 5.

Civic Holiday, Monday, August 5, university closed.

Drop, Penalty 2 Period ends, Monday, August 5.

3rd Annual Conference on Quantum Cryptography, Monday, August 5 to Friday, August 9, Institute for Quantum Computing. Details.

On-campus examinations begin, Tuesday, August 6.

Online class examination days, Friday, August 9 and Saturday, August 10.

PhD Oral Defences

Psychology. Omid Fotuhi, "Implicit Processes in Smoking Interventions." Supervisor, Geoff Fong. On deposit in the Arts Graduate Office, PAS 2434. Oral defence Monday, July 8, 9:00 a.m., PAS 3026.

Mechanical & Mechatronics Engineering. Seyed Shameli, "Development of Microfluidic Chips for High Performance Electrophoresis Separations for Biochemical Applications." Supervisor, Carolyn Ren. On deposit in the Engineering Graduate Office, PHY 3004. Oral defence Monday, July 8, 1:30 p.m. E5 3052.

Earth and Environmental Science. Marcelo Sousa, "Using Numerical Models for Managing Water Quality in Public Supply Wells." Supervisors, David Rudolph, Emil Frind. On deposit in the Faculty of Science Graduate Office, ESC-254A. Oral defence Tuesday, July 9, 10:00 a.m., EIT 2053.

Civil & Environmental Engineering. Ahmet Kirlangiç, "Condition Assessment of Concrete Beams Using Ultrasonic Surface Waves." Supervisors, Maria Anna Polak, Giovanni Cascante. On deposit in the Engineering Graduate Office, PHY 3004. Oral defence Wednesday, July 10, 2:00 p.m. E2 3324.

Actuarial Science. Wei Wei, "Notions of Dependence with Applications in Insurance and Finance." Supervisor, Jun Cai. On display in the Mathematics Faculty Graduate Office, MC 5090. Oral defence Friday, July 12, 9:00 a.m., M3 3127.

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