"Improve Life" Webinar Series: Growing through Challenges & Change

Join U of G alumni and friends for this "Improve Life" Webinar Series: Growing through Challenges & Change! 

  Date: 15 October -  December  2020
  Time: 12 pm
  Location: Virtual - From the comfort of your own home!
  Price: Free for alumni!

Want to hear how U of G researchers and alumni experts are improving life? Our Improve Life Webinar series features a range of topics and ideas from some of the University of Guelph’s top faculty and reputable alumni. Hear and learn about our institutional research priorities, cutting edge innovations, and collect knowledge and tools for your day to day. All sessions take place at 12 PM EST.

Registration Closed 

Title Canaries in a Coal Mine: Lyme Disease, COVID-19, and the Uncalculated Cost of Infectious Diseases 

HostDr. Melanie Wills, Director, G. Magnotta Lyme Disease Research Lab

Description: Lyme disease is the most common vector-borne infection in the northern hemisphere, where it poses an escalating threat to the health of Canadians. Despite over four decades of investigation into the disease and the causative pathogen, Borrelia burgdorferi, fundamental knowledge gaps remain that impact diagnostic testing, treatment, and patient outcome. Although Lyme has been one of the most polarized and politicized diseases of the 21st century, the world is now grappling with a new infectious foe. This talk will examine the unanswered questions and roadblocks to progress in Lyme disease, and how this might translate to COVID-19. Ultimately, we will explore how the development of an interdisciplinary research program can confront the modern challenges of biology and medicine.

Title: Boosting to Beat Burnout 

Date: October 27, 2020 

Time: 12 pm EST

Host: Dr. Jamie Gruman, Professor, Senior Research Fellow, and Graduate Coordinator 

Description: These days people feel increasingly drained, exhausted, and burned out. About 30% of employees report being tired every day, and 42% of them say that fatigue compromises their performance. People are so tired in general that 40% of them fall asleep unintentionally during the day, and 5% do so while driving! This situation is made even worse by the stressors produced by the coronavirus. In this talk, Dr. Gruman will discuss his latest book entitled Boost: The Science of Recharging Yourself in an Age of Unrelenting Demands, which summarizes the research on how we can use our leisure time to most successfully recharge our batteries and get back to our best. He will present his ReNU model of effective recovery, and provide specific, actionable steps we can all take to promote our health, happiness, enhance our performance, and overcome the fatigue that plagues contemporary society.

Registration Deadline: October 23, 2020

Title: How to Cope with Constant Change and Have Fun Along the Way

Date: November 10, 2020

Time: 12 pm EST

Host: Jay Reid, Founder of The Making-Box (BAS '15)

Description: Scientific research shows that practicing improvisation can foster our uncertainty tolerance. This is because practicing improvisation strengthens our relationship with change by exposing us to unpredictability in a lighthearted context. Additionally, improvisation offers us practical principles for navigating the great unknown. This session is for those wishing to strengthen their relationship with uncertainty and have a ton of fun connecting with other alumni. This is a highly interactive learn-by-doing experience, not a data-dump. 

Registration Deadline: November 6, 2020

Title: Understanding How Natural Health Products Improve Life

Date: November 24, 2020

Time: 12 pm EST

Host: Dr. Steve Newmaster, Professor, Centre for Biodiversity Genomics, College of Biological Science 

Description: We all want to be healthy. And, sometimes, we look to the shelves of our local health store for some help. The benefits of natural health products have been well-documented for decades, but little is known about how products from different geographic locations or with different growing conditions vary in impact. In this talk, we’ll share how technology is being used as a tool for identification and authentication of ingredients within natural health products, like coffee, botanicals, and cannabis, and share insights into the efficacy of natural health products to support healthy lifestyles.

Registration Deadline: November 20, 2020

Title: The Science of Gratitude

Date: December 3, 2020

Time: 12 pm EST 

Host: Andria Jones-Bitton, DVM, PhD

Description: With everything going on in the world right now, including a global pandemic, social and racial inequities, and civil unrest, it may be easy for us to get trapped in a sense of despair. Yet, there remains much to be grateful for and research shows that gratitude practices have myriad benefits personally, professionally, and pro-socially. Join us in this interactive webinar to prioritize positivity, learn about the science of gratitude and its many positive impacts, and engage in simple gratitude practices that will leave you smiling and feeling uplifted. 

Registration Deadline: December 1, 2020

  • You must be a U of G alumnus to register
  • Instructions on how to join the Zoom link will be emailed out to registrants prior to each webinar 

For more information please email Annie Benko, Associate Director, Alumni Advancement at abenko@uoguelph.ca

Register for October Webinars here!

Register for November Webinars here!


27 Oct 2020 - 12:00pm
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