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Thursday, March 19, 2015

  • The co-op life: one student reflects
  • Exhibit showcases Mennonite community
  • UWAG hosts year-end show, other notes

Victoria Stacey.
The co-op life: one student reflects

by Victoria Stacey. This story is the latest in a series of stories in support of National Co-op Education Week.

With graduation around the corner, I’ve begun to reflect on my university experience. Co-op has been, without a doubt, one of the best parts of attending the University of Waterloo for the past five years. Here are my top reflections from my 20 months of co-op experience.


It’s not all about making money


Having a full-time paid co-op opportunity allowed me to gain some extra money while facing real-life situations. But it also taught me the importance of budgeting, saving, and splurging well before the anxiety of graduation hit. I’m better prepared for my financial future - even if it’s just knowing how much rent costs in Toronto, how much a subway pass will cost, and how and when to live off soup.


Experiencing the real world


The experiences I gained through co-op have been some of the best I’ve ever had. Whether they’re positive or negative, I get to bring each experience forward with me to apply to my new opportunities: professional, social, academic, or otherwise. These experiences have boosted my résumé, and have made me stand out from the crowd. Even if co-op jobs don’t always relate to your end career path, you’ve still got something under your belt and that’s important!


Networking is key


This one is less obvious than the top two, mostly because so many young professionals don’t understand the necessity and importance of networking. The people you meet during co-op work terms know another 100+ people. Those numbers don’t lie. The network effect is crazy, especially when you start to meet people who are in the network of people in your network and they already know who you are before you even introduce yourself.


Leveraging connections to get hired post-grad


A lot of students, especially at the University of Waterloo, expect to leverage their last co-op term as a way of getting a step into the real world post-graduation. But, even if there is not a formal offer on the table when April comes around, don’t fret! Just by networking you’ve got your foot in the door. Just because the company can’t hire you, or doesn’t know if it can hire you, doesn’t mean they don’t want to. But having these people in your network is key - if you made an impression on them, they’ll be rooting for you. Whether that’s at their company or by helping you find your way into another.


A better understanding of your future


Whether your job was disappointing or exhilarating, co-op allows for you to find out exactly what works for you. If you loved your job, you may have found your calling. If you didn’t love it so much, now you know what not to waste your time on. You always gain valuable experiences from every opportunity, sometimes you just have to look a little bit harder to find that value. I’ve had jobs I’ve loved more than others, but each brought its own opportunities, successes, failures, and realizations. The key is to learn from the bad, not just the good.


Making new friends


Co-op is an excellent opportunity to meet people outside your normal friend circle. Whether that’s a group of people from your program, or friends you’ve had since high school, co-op gives you the opportunity to mix and mingle with people from different schools, regions, and other walks of life. These people may have skills you’re looking to learn, interests you find fascinating, or maybe they’re just like you and you’ve found your new best friend. It also helps build that little thing called “a network” that I’ve been talking about.


Trying new things


Other than making new friends, co-op allows you the opportunity to try new things. And I don’t just mean new software, career paths, or new skills. I mean living in a new city, trying new foods, and going on new adventures. Co-op is an excuse to leave your school routine behind and try something new, while getting paid for it!


Testing myself


I saved this one for last because I think it’s the most important. Co-op isn’t about making money, co-op is about figuring out your place in the world beyond what you’ve known for the last 20ish years of your life. It makes easing into the “real world” a bit easier, but it really gives you an opportunity to figure things out for yourself and about yourself. You’ll learn what you don’t want to do, what kind of companies you like, and what kind of people should be in your life You’ll face and overcome challenges that you never thought you’d encounter, which will help you discover skills, ambitions, and passions you never knew you had.


Victoria Stacey is a 4B Speech Communications student with experience in marketing, communications, and digital storytelling. Victoria is graduating this spring and can be reached at If you’re interested in hearing more from Victoria, visit her web site at


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A Mennonite barn raising.
Exhibit showcases Mennonite community

“Advancing peace requires many hands. It requires shoulders to lean on, and to stand on. It is sustained by the mundane tasks that make daily life possible,” says Paul Heidebrecht, director of Conrad Grebel University College’s MSCU Centre for Peace Advancement. “Peace becomes possible when we experience genuine community.”


David Hunsberger.Glimpses of this sort of peaceful community experiences are evident in many of David L. Hunsberger’s iconic photos. Focused on Ontario Mennonites in the 1950s and 1960s, his photos speak to more than Mennonites.


Partnering with the Hunsberger family, the Mennonite Archives of Ontario, the Institute of Anabaptist Mennonite Studies, and the MSCU Centre for Peace Advancement at Conrad Grebel University College in Waterloo have created a photo exhibit featuring a select number of Hunsberger’s iconic photos entitled "Taking Community from the Farm to the World."


For example, there is a photo of a barn raising, an iconic image of mutual aid that has come to define the essence of community for many, including Canada’s current Governor General (and former University of Waterloo President) David Johnston.


There are photos of family and friends sharing food, fellowship, and fun.


It is important to note that these photographs were taken during a time of transition for Mennonites in Ontario; a time when more and more Mennonites pursued their vocational callings in towns and cities. This was also a time when new institutions such as Conrad Grebel University College and the Mennonite Savings and Credit Union were first envisioned. And a time when there was a new awareness of the diversity of the global Mennonite church community.


No doubt this transformed context brought with it many challenges, but it also carried the blessings of a new understanding of just how far the bonds of community could be stretched. It includes a renewed commitment to peace and to sharing the gifts of the Mennonite community with the world.


Almost 5,700 of Hunsberger’s images were donated to the Archives in 2005 and many of these images are available to be viewed online through the archives database. Archivist Laureen Harder-Gissing says that “for 40 years, David Hunsberger’s camera was present at special occasions and ordinary days in the lives of Waterloo Region Mennonites. His love of his craft and of his subjects comes through in every frame. His collection continues to be a source of discovery and delight for anyone seeking a window into our shared local history.”


Born in Kitchener, Hunsberger was a self-taught photographer, inspired by photo journalism he learned from books and magazines. His years as a professional photographer coincided with many debates among Mennonites as to what was appropriate for Mennonite dress, and what sort of technology was acceptable in Mennonite homes.


"Taking Community from the Farm to the World" runs until the end of April at Conrad Grebel University College, with a partial exhibit continuing until August.


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UWAG hosts year-end show, other notes

YES! The Year End Show 2015 logo.Fine Arts is presenting YES! The 41st Annual Senior Undergraduate Exhibition from March 19 to April 4. An opening reception kicks things off tonight in ECH from 5:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.

The show features recent work by fourth-year honours students completing the Fine Arts undergraduate program. Representing a broad spectrum of materials, themes, media and concepts, the exhibition reflects the diversity of the program and its students.


The show will feature artwork by Shannon Alicia, Lorena Almaraz De La Garza, Shannon Andeel, Alexandria Birch, Stephanie Blackwell, Rachel Brown, Holly Burchat, Caralynn Chambers, Nashid Chowdhury, Amber Cronin, Jessica Dash, Sara Deeming, Christina Di Paola, Lauren Duffy, Sherilyn Edwards, Xenia Fortune, Eleanor Rees Howell, Alexander Kean, Milan Kozomora, Žana Kozomora, Erin Leach, Krystyna Maresch, Mary Murphy, Caitlin O'Brien, Kayla Marie Oliveira, Amara Pope, Lorna Qin, Stephanie, Madeline Samms, Alexandra Sehl, Colleen Shaver, Alison Shaw, Laura Sidoruk, Katrina Snider, Jessica Stickel, Réka Szepesvári, Christopher Tari, Vickie Vainionpaa, Kelcie Vouk, and Christine Yang.


President Feridun Hamdullahpur and Bud Walker with a poster for Bud Walker Commons.

Friends and colleagues both past and present attended a thank-you celebration for Bud Walker on Tuesday, March 17 in the Village 1 Great Hall. Speakers included President Feridun Hamdullahpur, Vice-President, Academic & Provost Ian Orchard, Associate Provost, Students Chris Read, Professor Larry Smith, and Christian Provenzano, who was president of the Federation of Students in 1998 and is currently the mayor of Sault Ste. Marie.


Other special guests on the invite list included former University president Jim Downey, former registrars Trevor Boyes and Ken Lavigne, and former provost Geoff McBoyle.


"It was an event that was appropriately Bud - unique and creative, featuring a mashed potato bar dubbed Bud's Spuds by Food Service," writes Chris Read.


To commemorate Walker's 44 year-career at the University of Waterloo, the Velocity residence's Great Hall has been renamed Bud Walker Commons. A plaque, to be mounted in the commons, reads as follows: "Bud Walker's passion for student life drove a career that spanned 44 years with the University of Waterloo. Of his many contributions, championing the creation of Velocity stands out as a leading, innovative achievement. On March 17, 2015 this space was named in his honour to celebrate his retirement and dedication to the University and its students."


Human Resources has reported that retiree Heinz Birkenhauer died January 27. Heinz started working at Waterloo in May 1979 as a Technician in the Engineering Machine Shops and retired in October 1987 from his position of Technician Machinist. Heinz was predeceased by his wife, Marianne on January 11.


Here's today's Nutrition Month "myth vs. fact" supplied by Health Services Dietician Sandra Ace:


Myth:  Gluten-free foods are healthier for you and will help you to lose weight.


Fact:  Gluten is a type of protein found in certain grains- wheat, barley, rye and oats or any foods made with these grains. Commercial oats are usually contaminated with gluten-containing grains unless they are certified as pure and gluten-free. A gluten-free diet is the only healthy way of eating for people with celiac disease, a lifelong medical condition in which the intestine is damaged by gluten. Unless you have celiac disease, have been diagnosed with gluten sensitivity or are allergic to one of the above grains, you don’t need to avoid them. In fact, if you do, you may be giving up some valuable sources of nutrients and fibre.


Gluten free products are often made with low fibre flours and starches from white rice, tapioca, potatoes and corn. There is no evidence that eating gluten-free will help you to lose weight; in fact substituting breads, cereals and crackers made from starches and low fibre flours instead of eating whole grain products (such as 100% whole grain whole wheat bread or pasta) may leave you hungrier and more likely to overeat or snack. Don’t be fooled by the label “multigrain.” This simply means the product contains more than one grain, it doesn’t mean the grains are necessarily “whole” and contain the outer nutrient- and fibre-rich germ and bran layers. If you do choose gluten free foods, look for whole grains that are gluten free. If you are buying a packaged food like crackers or bread, read the Ingredient List and chose products that include whole grains rather that starches as the main ingredients. Use the Nutrition Facts to compare the fibre, protein, sugar and % daily value of nutrients like iron so you can pick the most nutritious foods. If you have celiac disease or need to follow a special diet for other reasons, a Registered Dietitian can help you to plan healthy, balanced and delicious meals.


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WCMS upgrade Friday

What is happening? WCMS Production and feeds sites are being upgraded to version 1.10.

Why is this happening? This upgrade includes new features and functionality, bug fixes, and updates to the generic theme. A complete list of changes can be viewed online.

When is this happening? Friday, March 20 from 9:00 p.m. until 6:00 a.m. Sunday, March 22. Please note that the end time is an approximation. A message will be sent when the upgrade is complete and you are able to log in and work on your site.

What you need to do before the upgrade begins: Please log out of your site and do not work on your site during this upgrade window.

Issues or concerns? Please submit to or the IST Service Desk, ext. 84357.

After the upgrade: When opening an unpublished draft for the first time after the upgrade the heading field will be blank. You will need to enter a heading before the draft can be saved.


Link of the day

130 years ago: Louis Riel sets up provisional government

When and where

National Co-op Education Week, Monday, March 16 to Friday, March 20.


Drama and Speech Communication presents Eugene Ionesco’s Rhinoceros, Wednesday, March 18 to Saturday, March 21, Theatre of the Arts, Modern Languages. Details.


FIRST Robotics Waterloo Regional Competition, Wednesday, March 18 to Saturday, March 21, Physical Activities Complex. Details.


Business Etiquette and Professionalism, Friday, March 20, 10:30 a.m. to 12:00 p.m., Tatham Centre room 1208.


2015 Fusion Conference, Friday, March 20 to Saturday, March 21. Details.


Knowledge Integration seminar: “Driving Software Innovation in Healthcare”, featuring Bill Tatham, founder and Chief Executive Officer of NexJ Systems Inc., Friday, March 20, 2:30 p.m., EV3 room 1408. Details.


Public Lecture featuring Bryan Smith, Arizona State University, “What Do Language Learners Do, Exactly?” Friday, March 20, 4:00 p.m., ML 245.


Gender and Equity Scholarship Series featuring Professor Patricia Mariano, Philosophy, “Sexual Objectification and Social Autonomy,” Monday, March 23, 11:30 a.m., HH 373. Details.


University Senate meeting, Monday, March 23, 3:30 p.m., NH 3001.


Drama and Speech Communication Lecture featuring Professor Rinaldo Walcott, "In This Moment: Thoughts on Anti-Racism, Social Justice, Decoloniality and Radical Collectivities", Monday, March 23, 5:00 p.m., AL 113. Reception from 4:15 to 5:00 p.m. in AL 211.


Human Resources Pension Lunch and Learn session, "Planning to Retire: Where do I start?" Tuesday, March 24, 12:00 p.m., DC 1302.


Environment and Resource Studies Research Seminar featuring Steven Alexander, “The Ties that Bind: Connections, patterns, and possibilities for Marine Protected Areas,” Tuesday, March 24, 12:00 p.m., EV1-221.


Management Consulting as a Career Option, Tuesday, March 24, 2:30 p.m. to 4:00 p.m., Tatham Centre room 2218.


Innovations in Stormwater Management featuring Cheryl Evans from REEP Green Solutions, Wednesday, March 25, 12:00 p.m. to 1:00 p.m., EV1 221.  Details.


Success on the Job, Thursday, March 26, 10:30 a.m. to 12:00 p.m., TC 1208.


The Waterloo Institute for Sustainable Energy and the Centre for Computational Mathematics in Industry and Commerce present Professor Anthony Peirce, Department of Mathematics, University of British Columbia, “Modeling Multi-Scale Processes in Hydraulic Fracture Propagation Using the Implicit Level set Algorithm (ILSA)”, Thursday, March 26, 2:30 p.m., CPH 4333. Details.


Institute of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology (I.B.M.B.) Seminar Series featuring Dr. Attiq Rehman, Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC), Guelph, “High Resolution Subtyping of Salmonella Enteritidis Based on Single Nucleotide Polymorphisms” Thursday, March 26, 3:30 p.m., RCH 103. Details.


Practice Your Presentation Skills, Friday, March 27, 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., Tatham Centre room 2218.


Research Talks featuring Eric Helleiner, "Legacies of the 2008 global financial crisis," Friday, March 27, 12:00 p.m., DC 1302. Please register – seating is limited.


David R. Cheriton School of Computer Science Lecture Series featuring Laurie Hendren, McGill University, "Compiler Tools and Techniques for MATLAB," Friday, March 27, 3:30 p.m., DC 1302. Details.


Centre for Bioengineering and Biotechnology (CBB) Guest Seminar featuring Donald Gerson, CEO, PnuVax, "A Wide-Angle View of Vaccine R&D and Manufacturing," Friday, March 27, 2:30 p.m., E6 2024. Registration required. Details.


Getting a U.S. Work Permit, Monday, March 30, 12:00 p.m. to 1:00 p.m., Tatham Centre room 1208.


Ignite Waterloo, Monday, March 30, 5:00 p.m., Modern Languages. Details.


The Widow; a portrait of love and upheaval in Iraq, Tuesday, March 31, 6:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m., Theatre of the Arts. Details.

Noon Hour Concert, The Western Collective, Penderecki, Sextet, Wednesday, April 1, 12:30 p.m., Conrad Grebel University College Chapel. Free admission.


Philosophy Colloquium featuring Heidi Grasswick, Middlebury University, “Scientists as Experts: Understanding Trustworthiness Across Communities,” Wednesday, April 1, 3:30 p.m., HH 373. Details.


Gustav Bakos Observatory Tour, Wednesday, April 1, 8:00 p.m., PHY 308. Details.


Biomedical Discussion Group Lecture featuring Dr. Dirk Duncker, “Exercise Training in Adverse Cardiac Remodeling,” Thursday, April 2, 2:30 p.m., DC 1304. Details.


Examination period begins, Friday, April 10. Details.


Online examination days, Friday, April 10 and Saturday, April 11.

PhD Oral Defences

Electrical & Computer Engineering. Augusto Oliveira, "Measuring and Predicting Computer Software Performance: Tools and Approaches." Supervisor, Sebastian Fischmeister. On deposit in the Engineering graduate office, PHY 3004. Oral defence Monday, March 30, 1:00 p.m., EIT 3142.

Biology. Fanxing Zeng, "Use of rainbow trout cell lines to delineate the roles of p53 in fish and to evaluate the toxicity of emerging environmental contaminants, benzotriazoles and benzothiazoles." Supervisor, Niels Bols. on deposit in the Science graduate office, PHY 2008. Oral defence Tuesday, March 31, 10:00 a.m., B1 266.

Management Sciences. Mohammad Ali Batouk, "Towards Increasing Understanding of Innovation Intermediaries." Supervisor, Paul Guild. On deposit in the Engineering graduate office, PHY 3004. Oral defence Tuesday, March 31, 1:00 p.m., CPH 3623.

Recreation & Leisure Studies. Jennifer Carson, "Working Together to Put Living First: A Culture Change Process in a Long-Term Care and Retirement Living Organization Guided by Critical Participatory Action Research." Supervisor, Sherry Dupuis. On display in the Faculty of Applied Health Sciences, BMH 3110. Oral defence Wednesday, April 1, 1:00 p.m., BMH 3119.

Combinatorics & Optimization. Abbas Mehrabian, "Diameter and Rumour Spreading in Real-World Network Models." Supervisor, Joseph Cheriyan. On display in the Mathematics graduate office, MC 5204. Oral defence Thursday, April 2, 10:00 a.m., MC 6482.


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