Author Archives: jharris124

How to play critically?


On Wednesday, May 9th, join UWaterloo English’s Dr. Aimée Morrison, UWaterloo English PhD alumnus Dr. Steve Wilcox, and Dr. Leah Zhang-Kennedy at The Museum in Kitchener, for “INTERACTION Dialogue: Learning Through Play.” The event is presented in partnership with UWaterloo Games Institute, founded and headed by English’s Dr. Neil Randall. According to the event page:

“Experts in digital media and game studies as the discussion covers the cultural, educational, social and political role of games and gameplay in our lives. Topics include digital literacy skills, creating and playing games critically, and learning through play.”

More information, including how to pre-register, is here. The event will be moderated by current UWaterloo English PhD student Betsy Brey.


Awards for faculty and grad students

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Congratulations to PhD students Rebecca Anderson and Devon Moriarty, who have both received awards from the Social Science and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC) to fund their dissertation research.  The awards are on the national level. Rebecca and Devon are also very active in the graduate student society (SAGE) serving as President and Vice-President, respectively. SSHRC.

In faculty news, Drs. Dorothy Hadfield, Linda Warley, and Aimée Morrison have won outstanding performance awards from the University of Waterloo. Congratulations to all!

Amazing News x2 from Tommy Mayberry

UWaterloo English PhD candidate Tommy Mayberry is having a bumper April. First, he accepted a position as an Educational Developer, on the Educational Development team at the University of Guelph. And he has won an Innovation in Education Award, from The University of Pittsburgh’s Advisory Council on Instructional Excellence (ACIE) for “The Science Library Project.” Tommy shares the award with Dr. Sarah Ruffell , an Assistant Professor of Biology in the Division of Biological and Health Sciences at the University of Pittsburgh – Bradford, and a Waterloo alumna (PhD in Biology, 2017) as well as graduate of our Certificate in University Teaching (CUT) program at CTE.


A description of the project:

To emphasize the importance of public outreach and science communication within STEM, and to foster in students a greater appreciative understanding of the scientific content within their courses, the Science Library Project has students creating children’s books about key course content. At the end of this project, the student writer-publishers are able to display their critical and creative work as they collaborate with local teachers in a networked conversation about science and multimodal communication. This innovative pedagogical approach to assessment is important both inside and outside of the Sciences because it participates in High Impact Practice (HIP) pedagogy to have students invest a significant amount of time and effort over an extended period of time as they participate in frequent, timely, and constructive feedback and, most importantly, have the opportunity to discover the relevance of their learning through real-world applications in the public demonstration of their book projects. The Science Library Project activates written and visual communication modes to motivate Science learners to engage with course concepts in deeper and creative ways.

Images reproduced from student work with permission. Sarah and Tommy both are sharing this work as a poster presentation at our UWTL conference on campus today–stop by to learn more!

Mouthy badgers and alumnus Tom Cull

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Some of you may remember UWaterloo English alumnus Tom Cull from a previous interview on Words in Place; others may remember him as a classmate or student. He’s also the author of the chapbook, What the Badger Said (Baseline Press, 2013), and now, the just released book of poems, Bad Animals (Insomniac Press). As the press writes:

“Tom Cull’s debut collection is equal parts zoo, funhouse, and curio cabinet. A mouthy badger tells off a search committee, a family of beavers conspires to commit murder, a celebrity seal slips his cage. In these poems, human and animal spaces overlap, often marking moments of transgression, rebellion, escape, and capture. Home and habitat are flooded with invasive species, cute animal videos, and rising tides.”

Dr. John North: Fifty years at UWaterloo

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Today’s Daily Bulletin includes a piece on tonight’s annual reception welcoming new members of the UWaterloo community, where longstanding employees of our institution will also be recognized. This includes English’s Dr. John North, who has been in our department for fifty years now. At UWaterloo, Dr. North has won teaching awards, led the faculty association, and more. Notably, as the Bulletin tells us, “His own company, North Waterloo Academic Press, has published volumes by many scholars, as well as his own 69-volume Waterloo Directory of English Newspapers and Periodicals 1800-1900, reviewed as ‘the fourth great Humanities reference work of Great Britain, after Johnson’s English Dictionary, the Dictionary of National Biography and the Oxford English Dictionary.’” You can read the article for more information, or watch this video.

Award for Dr. Ashley Mehlenbacher


The spring awards announcements continue with news that Dr. Ashley Mehlenbacher has won the 2018 Distinguished Alumni Award from the Communication, Rhetoric, & Digital Media program at North Carolina State University. Congratulations!

How to prevent (or survive) a goose attack

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In case you were unaware of it, Goosewatch is an actual thing at UWaterloo. Nesting geese are mapped by campus volunteers–maybe you?–and the updated map is made available online. The purpose: providing information on how to get across campus without disturbing geese who are protecting their nests. As the site advises you: don’t act hostile or show fear. If the goose acts aggressively, calmly and slowly back away. Maintain direct eye contact and keep your chest and face pointed at the goose. If you should be messaging a friend and unwittingly stumble into a nest, back away quietly. And if you happen to shout in surprise, and the goose flies towards your face, “duck or move away at a 90 degree angle to the direction of the flight still facing the attacking goose” (Ohio Geese Control). Though if it gets that close, I think we’d all advise covering your eyes.

So far, none of this year’s geese have reached the national media, as with Hagey Hall’s 2015 Branta canadensis, nicknamed “Spawn of Satan.”

Image credit: Imgur