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Wednesday, November 12, 2014



  • Students vote in favour of a Fall Break
  • Grad credits co-op program for career success
  • Prof talks dietary supplements and cancer
  • Building a difference at home and abroad
  • Malala's father speaks on campus; other notes



The flags at the University's south campus are at half-mast for Remembrance Day.

We remember: The flags at the University's South Campus entrance stood at half-mast yesterday to mark Remembrance Day. Photograph by Mackenzie Jaklin-Graham.


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Students vote in favour of a Fall Break

More than 6,000 undergraduate students cast their electronic ballots from November 4 to 6 in the Fall Reading Break referendum, and the results were announced Monday: they like the idea.

“A total of 4,600 students or 73.8 percent voted in favour, and 1,586 or 20 percent voted against,” said Vice-President, Education Stephane Hamade at the results announcement event.

The referendum question was as follows: "Should classes start on the first Thursday after Labour Day to allow for two additional days off in the fall term?"

Overall voter turnout was in the neighbourhood of 20 per cent, according to tweets sent out during the announcement. The Federation of Students' bylaws state that referendum results "shall be binding on the Corporation, upon ratification by a General Meeting, only if the number of votes cast for the option that received the most votes is at least seven percent (7%) of the voting members of the Corporation."

According to a statement released by the Federation of Students, the next step is for the results to be presented to the University's Senate along with an explanation of the student perspective on this issue.

The University's Fall Break Task Force, chaired by Associate Vice-President, Academic Mario Coniglio, intends to consult openly and thoroughly with all stakeholder
groups on campus who might be affected by the establishment of a fall reading break.


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Grad credits co-op program for career success

by Julie Funk

The University of Waterloo has a long-standing reputation of providing students with an incubative environment for innovation, entrepreneurship, and professionalism. For Accounting and Financial Management (AFM) and co-operative education alumna Margarita Cargher, an entrepreneurial drive and a passion for business seem to be intuitive assets.

Margarita Cargher.Cargher began developing her business chops in co-op during her days as an undergrad.  As a recent graduate, she developed and sold her first initiative, PartnerConnection, through her Crystal Owl Consulting business; turned a $500 thousand investment proposal into a $3 million contract, and started hiring her own co-op students just months after graduating.

Cargher graduated from AFM in 2012, and attributes much of her success to Waterloo’s co-op program. In her second year, Cargher was already working in a senior-level co-op role at iDesign Solutions, and continued to gain relevant experiential education as a financial analyst with high-profile organizations such as Loblaws Companies.

After building a strong résumé through her co-op experiences as an undergraduate, Cargher spent a short stint in the workforce at a boutique tax firm before returning to Waterloo to pursue a Master’s in Accounting (MAcc).

Her experiences at this time, both inside and outside the classroom, shaped Cargher’s growth and goal development personally and professionally.  Starting off small, using resources like LinkedIn to find clients, Cargher began her entrepreneurial journey.  She built a business that eventually enabled her to partner with a friend. 

Together they created PartnerConnection, a database of firms that connects investors and wholesale partners in strategic business alliances. What Cargher found invaluable to her success in marketing the new business was the very program that enabled her to foster her own business drive as a student: Waterloo co-op.

“A lot of entrepreneurs rely on organic social media success, but I took no chances, and hired two co-op students to help me spread the word. We went to the library and took out books that had lists of categorized firms. Each co-op student was assigned a different list and their task was to email and convince the firms to join the database.”

Just eight months after her last co-op position, Cargher was already hiring on her own eager students.  She has since introduced her own customers to Waterloo’s co-op program, referring notable students to clients.

“They learn with the speed of light: anything and everything. You give them a task, the means to complete it, and it will be done. This is especially true for first year students. I've yet to have a student who didn't receive an outstanding evaluation. My previous co-op student helped me double the sales of one of our clients by estimating the most attractive sales option for customers.”

Find out more about the work that Margarita Cargher and her co-op students are doing at Crystal Owl Consulting.


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Prof talks dietary supplements and cancer

by Natalee Blagden.

 Cancer is the leading cause of death worldwide. Studies show that more than 70 per cent of Canadians use some form of natural health products regularly. As cancer rates continue to climb, patients need to know how dietary supplements will affect their health, especially during cancer treatment.

To address this pressing need, the public is invited to attend a free lecture by Paul Spagnuolo, Assistant Professor in University of Waterloo’s School of Pharmacy. Spagnuolo will share vital information about nutrition, nutraceuticals and alternative medicine, to help attendees make informed choices. The lecture is at 7pm on November 13.

Prof. Spagnuolo will also speak about the next stages in his pioneering work on nutraceuticals. He treats dietary supplements as drugs, applying a higher level of scrutiny than most over-the-counter supplements have received, especially in regards to cancer-specific uses. This changes the outlook for Canadians seeking to prevent or treat cancer, as Spagnuolo tests individual therapies and combination therapy – assessing how food-based supplements affect other common treatments, such as chemotherapy.

“Anyone who’s interested in their health should attend the public lecture, especially Kitchener-Waterloo residents,” Spagnuolo says. “This is a pretty big global problem that’s being solved in their backyards.”

The event is free, but registration is required. Sign up today.


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From Left to Right, Front row: Michelle Burlock, Jennifer Jantzi, Olivia Roth, Ralon Nazareth, Ann Kallin, Debika Burman.Back Row: Erin Smith, Mike Marshman, Barry Ferguson, Bev Marshman, Rod Smith (Absent: Angela Googh)
Building a difference at home and abroad

Condensed and updated from a story first published on the Community Relations blog July 24, 2014.

A group of Waterloo faculty, staff and alumni are making a difference one brick at a time.  On August 2, the group departed Waterloo for Whitehorse, Yukon to build a house as part of Habitat for Humanity’s Global Village program. Pictured above are (from left to right) Michelle Burlock, Jennifer Jantzi, Olivia Roth, Ralon Nazareth, Ann Kallin, Debika Burman in the front row, and Erin Smith, Mike Marshman, Barry Ferguson, Bev Marshman, Rod Smith in the back row.

The team, led by Michelle Burlock and co-leader, Erin Smith, are part of the first annual University of Waterloo Habitat for Humanity build.

Two members were supported by a University of Waterloo Staff Enhancement Grant (SEG). The fund was created in 2005 by donations made in honour of the retirement of Bruce Lumsden, a former director of Cooperative Education. The University of Waterloo Staff Association (UWSA) also contributed to the fund.

Michelle, Erin and Steve Krysak (who was not able to join the Yukon trip) have participated in various Habitat builds in the past and always meet people with affiliations to the University of Waterloo along the way.  It was this revelation that sparked the idea to organize a formal UWaterloo team.  “Over the past 10 years, we’ve met so many people – current students, staff, and alumni – that are involved in Habitat’s Global Village program. It seemed like a great opportunity to put all that enthusiasm and adventure into a special team to show how much Waterloo people care about having a lasting impact in the community" said Erin Smith. 

Check out some great photos of the Yukon adventure on the team’s blog.


The Habitat for Humanity Yukon project is just one of the initiatives we’re showcasing in celebration of National Philanthropy Day, which takes place on November 15. Check out Storify to see what else is going on.


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Malala's father speaks on campus; other notes

Ziauddin Yousafzai stands next to his daughter Malala as she receives the Nobel Peace Prize. Ziauddin Yousafzai, father of Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai, will share his experiences as a teacher in the Swat Valley of Pakistan in a public lecture in the Modern Languages theatre tonight at 7:30 p.m. In his remarks, "Teaching Peace in the Face of Danger," Yousafzai will speak about how Malala’s story has inspired girls to seek education and learn about the needs of peace curriculum in the context of unrest and injustice. Professor Lowell Ewert, director of peace and conflict studies, will facilitate a panel discussion featuring Ziauddin Yousafzai, Ahmad Shah, president of the Global Peace Council Pakistan, Nazia Zeb, a Waterloo student who was raised in Swat Valley, and Aly Ostrowski, a masters student at Waterloo and community activist. (Photograph by Claude Truong-Ngoc.)

BlackBerry Executive Chair and CEO John Chen will be visiting the University of Waterloo campus on Thursday, November 20 for an Interactive Conversation, when he will deliver a public lecture on the company's turnaround and future, sharing his insights on the future of the mobile communications industry before participating in an audience Q&A discussion.

Two Velocity Fund $5K Qualifiers are set to take place this week. In order to qualify for the Velocity Fund $5K event, held as part of the Velocity Fund Finals, students have to pitch in front of a panel of judges at one of the two qualifying events, held Wednesday, November 12 and Thursday, November 13 at 7:00 p.m. in QNC 0101.

The top teams from both nights are selected to participate in the Velocity Fund Finals $5K event, where they can compete for the People's Choice, Best Pitch, and Most Innovative Pitch awards. The Velocity Fund Finals event will take place on November 27.

From November 8 to 16, universities across Canada will open their doors to the community as part of a national university open house to showcase the important partnerships that benefit all Canadians. The theme for this year's Open Doors is "Big Ideas for Better Business," with a focus on universities partnering with small- and medium-sized businesses to help them innovate and succeed, while also preparing students for today’s labour market. The University of Waterloo will be partnering with Wilfrid Laurier University and the Greater Kitchener Waterloo Chamber of Commerce on Thursday, November 13 with a joint event that shines a spotlight on private-sector partnerships. This collaboration will demonstrate how small and medium sized businesses and our community can benefit from cutting-edge research and technology, innovation, knowledge transfer, and student talent. The event takes place at the Waterloo Inn from 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. Thursday.


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Link of the day

Hedy Lamarr, Godmother of Wi-Fi (also, she may have had another career)

When and where

Flu Clinic, Wednesday, November 12, 9:30 a.m. to 6:00 p.m., Student Life Centre multipurpose room.

R+T Park Lunch and Learn Event, Thursday, November 13, 12:15 p.m. to 12:45 p.m., TechTown Board Room. 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.

Conrad Grebel Concert, "Sanctuary in Song" featuring Daniel Cabena, countertenor, Stephen Runge, piano, Wednesday, November 12, 12:30 p.m., Conrad Grebel Chapel.

Propel Centre for Population Health Impact and CHNET-Works! present Influencing Youth: Flavoured Tobacco webinar, Wednesday, November 12, 1:00 p.m. Details.

Velocity Fund $5K Qualifier Night 1, Wednesday, November 12, 7:00 p.m., QNC 0101.

International Dialogue Institute public lecture featuring Professor Altay Coskuri, “Ancient Anatolia: The Cradle of Civilization & the Crossroads of Empires – An Overview from the Neolithic Period to the Later Roman Empire.” Wednesday, November 12, 7:00 p.m., Conrad Grebel Community Education Room.

Flu Clinic, Thursday, November 13, 9:30 a.m. to 6:00 p.m., Student Life Centre multipurpose room.

AUCC Open Doors Event, Thursday, November 13, 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m., Waterloo Inn.

Park and Veva Reilly Distinguished Seminar featuring Michael Pyne, Post-Doctoral Fellow, University of Waterloo, “Genetic and Metabolic Engineering of Clostridium Pasteurianum for Production of Butanol as a Renewable Biofuel,” Thursday, November 13, 3:30 p.m., E6-2024.

Dietary supplements as future cancer treatments: Is the cure already in the medicine cabinet? Free Pharmacy public lecture featuring professor Paul Spagnuolo. Thursday, November 13, 7:00 p.m., School of Pharmacy. Details.

Velocity Fund $5K Qualifier Night 2, Thursday, November 13, 7:00 p.m., QNC 0101.

Knowledge Integration seminar: Prof. Ian Rowlands, "Can Smart Homes be part of a Smart Future?", Friday, November 14, 2:30 p.m., EV3 1408. Details.

Drama and Speech Communication presents The Importance of Being Earnest by Oscar Wilde, directed by Stewart Arnott, Thursday, November 13 to Saturday, November 15, 7:30  p.m., Theatre of the Arts, ML. Tickets are $17 general, $13 students/seniors. Box Office - 519-888-4908. Details.

Flu Clinic, Friday, November 14, 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., Student Life Centre multipurpose room.

Department of Chemical Engineering Seminar featuring Edward Sykes, Institute of Biomaterials and Biomedical Engineering, University of Toronto, “Size Matters: Developing Design Rules to Engineer Nanoparticles for Solid Tumour Targeting,” Friday, November 14, 11:30 a.m., E6-2024.

Biology Seminar Series featuring Marten Koops, Great Lakes Laboratory for Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences Fishers and Oceans Canada, Government of Canada, “Examining Determinants of Population Viability and Implications for the Management of Threats to Freshwater Fish.” Friday, November 14, 2:30 p.m., QNC 1501. Details.

Pilgrimage and Sacred Space: Jewish, Christian, and Muslim Perspectives – Places of Pilgrimage, Saturday, November 15, 2:00-5:00 p.m., Dunker Family Lounge, Renison University College. Details

East Asian Festival – 20th Anniversary Gala, Saturday, November 15, 6:00 p.m., Alpine Club Kitchener. Tickets are $75. Details.

International Education Week, Sunday, November 16 to Saturday, November 22, various locations on campus.

Velocity Science Talk featuring Ryan Gerakopulos, founder of NanoQuan Inc., Tuesday, November 18, 7:30 p.m., EV3 4412. Details.

Conrad Grebel Concert, "The Madawaska Ensemble plays Brahms," Wednesday, November 19, 12:30 p.m., Conrad Grebel Chapel.

WE Innovate, Wednesday, November 19, 1:30 p.m. to 7:00 p.m., Engineering 5. Details.

SI Speaker Series: Computer-based design of Islamic geometric patterns, Wednesday, November 19, 6:30-8:00 p.m., Dunker Family Lounge, Renison University College. Details.

The Water Institute Lecture Series featuring Nigel Watson, Lancaster Environment Centre, UK, “Learning at Loweswater: An experiment in interdisciplinary water science and collaborative catchment management,”Thursday, November 20, 2:30 p.m., DC 1302. Details.

Women in Computer Science Public Lecture featuring Sarah Sharp, Intel Open Source Technology Center, on "Breaking into Open Source and Linux:
a USB 3.0 success story," Thursday, November 20, 5:30 p.m., Theatre of the Arts, ML. Tickets are free. Details.

Velocity Alpha workshop, “Set Up Your Business Like a Boss” featuring Alex Hardy, Partner, BDO Canada, Wednesday, November 19, 7:30 p.m., location TBA

Centre for Bioengineering & Biotechnology (CBB) seminar, Tracey Weiler, Mitacs, “Connecting Universities with Private Sector Opportunities,” Thursday, November 20. Details.

Chemical Engineering Seminar featuring Sidney Omelon, assistant professor, Chemical and Biological Engineering, University of Ottawa, “Biochemical Control of Phosphate Mineral Saturation: A Proposal for Polyphosphates.” Friday, November 21, 11:30 a.m., E6-2024.

Winter 2015 Drop/add period begins, November 24.

Velocity Fund Finals, Thursday, November 27.

Biomedical Discussion Group Lecture featuring Dr. Shawn Whitehead, Anatomy and Cell Biology Departments, Clinical Neurological Sciences at Western University, “Imaging Lipids in the Vulnerable Brain.” Thursday, November 27. Details.

Chemical Engineering seminar featuring Kyla Sask, PhD, “Surface Modification of Polymeric Biomaterials to Improve Interfacial Interactions.” Friday, November 28, 11:30 a.m., E6-2024.

Positions available

On this week's list from the human resources department, viewable through myHRinfo:

•  Job ID# 2651 – Freight and Mail Delivery Assistant – Central Stores, USG 4 – 3 positions
•  Job ID# 2648 – Laboratory Instructor/Hardware Specialist – Electrical & Computer Engineering, USG 8-10
•  Job ID# 2657 – Electrician – Plant Operations – 3 positions
•  Job ID# 2656 – Mechanic I – Control – Plant Operations – 2 positions
•  Job ID# 2655 – Building Serviceperson I – Carpenter – Plant Operations
•  Job ID# 2639 – Administrative Coordinator, Graduate Studies – Applied Mathematics, USG 5
•  Job ID# 2661 – Information Systems Specialist, EBI Analyst – Information Systems & Technology, USG 9-12
•  Job ID# 2660 – Resource Assistant – School of Architecture, USG 6

Internal secondment opportunity, viewable on myCareer@uWaterloo

• Undergraduate Recruitment and Admissions Officer, Undergraduate Admissions and Outreach – Faculty of Mathematics, USG 10


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