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University of Waterloo -- Waterloo, Ontario, Canada
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Thursday, May 29, 1997

Convocation 1997, day two

Arts graduates get their day in the sun today (will it be sunny by 2 p.m.?) as spring convocation ceremonies continue. The arts session is always the biggest at spring convocation, and visitors have been asked to get tickets for the ceremony; seats that aren't claimed by 1:30, though, are available to anyone who arrives to occupy them.

An honorary degree will be awarded today to Polar explorer Laurie Dexter, who will give the convocation address. There will be a Distinguished Teacher award for Howard Armitage, school of accountancy, and Honorary Member of the University status to Robin Banks (retired psychology professor and associate provost), Dick Knight (retired academic counsellor in arts), and Russel Legge (retired dean of St. Paul's United College). Honoured as Distinguished Professor Emeritus will be Dorothy Counts (anthropology), Jack Hanna (accountancy), and Bill Scott (accountancy).

A highlight today will be presentation of the Governor-General's Gold Medal, for the top PhD graduate of the year, to Paul Rusnock, who received his doctorate in philosophy at last fall's convocation. The alumni gold medal as top-of-the-class in arts will go to Bonnie Klassen (psychology and peace and conflict studies).

Discoverer of the elements

"It is not easy to get someone with an element in the periodic table named after him to come to small-town Waterloo," says Tong Leung of UW's chemistry department. Perhaps he's forgetting that we used to have Joe Gold teaching English here?

More seriously: Glenn Seaborg (Seaborgium, element 106) is here today, and will talk about his work, which includes playing a role in the discovery of 15 of the currently known elements. (I seem to remember from high school chemistry that the discovery of element 103 was news, but they're way beyond that now: the periodic table currently goes up to 112, from hydrogen to something that hasn't been given a name yet.)

Along the way Seaborg served in the Manhattan Project, was chancellor of the University of California, developed the "Actinide Hypothesis" on how the periodic table is structured, developed many radioisotopes that are now used in medicine, wrote books on science and public policy, and won the 1951 Nobel prize for chemistry. He is receiving an honorary degree Friday afternoon, and will speak at 2:30 today, in Davis Centre room 1302, on "Discovery of the Elements, A Personal View".

Media library changes status

The UW "media library", with its collection of thousands of films and videos for classroom use, is being administered again by its former home, the audio-visual centre.

The media library was quietly transferred last year from the A-V centre to become a part of UW's library, reporting to Margaret Hendley, the head of arts reference and collections development. Now it's going back, says chief librarian Murray Shepherd in a memo to library staff:

With the appointment of Dominik Gratzer as Director of the UW Audio-Visual Centre, the Library has taken the opportunity to reassess its administrative responsibility for Media Library which,until a year ago, was part of the Audio-Visual Centre. After consultation with the appropriate library and audio-visual staff and with Gary Waller, Associate Provost, Academic and Student Affairs, it was agreed that the Audio-Visual Centre will resume responsibility for the resources and services of the Media Library effective immediately.

We look forward to the opportunity to develop partnerships with the Audio-Visual Centre regarding areas of mutual interest. We offer our congratulations to Dominik Gratzer and with him the best in his future work. We thank the two Media Library staff, Cheryl Petrie and Bonnie Curtis, for their initiative and dedication to service in the past year.

The staff and the films have physically remained with the A-V centre, in Engineering II, all the time.

Besides lending UW's films and videos (and making material available from the collections of other universities through an exchange arrangement) the media library offers advice on how to use audio-visual material in classes. For example:

Choosing a film can be a difficult task. It is unlikely that any film will precisely fit your course outline. There are two basic approaches to using film, the core-related and the enrichment/illustration. The core-related approach uses film that repeats and reinforces the lecture frequently using the same examples. This approach is sometimes difficult to achieve due to the fact that no two people will teach the same material the same way and the filmmaker is unlikely to have considered the classroom as his primary market. The enrichment/illustration approach takes a different tack that requires more work on the part of the teacher and the student. This approach uses materials that do not, on the surface, relate directly to the lecture but contain within themselves an illustration of the topic. Sometimes this illustration is quite close to the lecture but frequently a totally different situation can be found that expands the students awareness of the meaning of the lecture. A good example is the use of an example of feedback in a biological system when discussing control systems in electrical engineering. The media library staff will be happy to assist you in trying to locate materials for your courses.

The talk of the campus

With the warm weather comes the hot asphalt, with mysterious unannounced work on the potholes in nearby streets. Columbia west of Phillip was still closed last time I looked, and yesterday there was intensive work backing up traffic at the corner of Westmount and University. . . .

Chocolate almond coffee, one of my favourites from food services, is a thing of the past. Just wasn't a big seller, says the department's director, Mark Murdoch. Taking its place on the coffee menu, next to hazelnut, will be amaretto. . . .

George Woo, retired from UW's school of optometry and now based at the Hong Kong Polytechnic University (as dean of health and social sciences), will be guest of honour Monday for a retirement barbecue. Alison Zorian in optometry, phone ext. 3177, has details. . . .

Michael Smith, one of Canada's few Nobel prize winners, is receiving an honorary degree from UW tomorrow afternoon, and will also appear in the morning, at a seminar on "Synthetic DNA and Biology". He'll speak at 10:30 a.m. in Davis Centre room 1351. . . .

Friday is the deadline for people to sign up for the Matthews Golf Classic on June 25. Staff and faculty members received a yellow flyer about the event a while back, with a form for signing up; if you can't find yours, you should be able to get one from Hazel Austin in engineering computing, ext. 2756. . . .


May 29, 1984: Jon Dellandrea, director of development, is promoted to vice-president (development). May 29, 1987: Spring convocation ceremonies include presentation of diplomas in the name of UW to almost 300 people who graduated from the Ontario College of Optometry before it became part of UW in 1967.

Editor of the Daily Bulletin: Chris Redmond
Information and Public Affairs, University of Waterloo
credmond@watserv1.uwaterloo.ca -- (519) 888-4567 ext. 3004
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