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Daily Bulletin

University of Waterloo | Waterloo, Ontario, Canada

Friday, April 16, 1999

  • The grandeur that was Rome
  • UW third in grad scholarships
  • Of diversity in the classroom
  • Two art exhibitions open
  • Now, the rest of the story
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[Roma poster]

The grandeur that was Rome

Roma XX, the 20th anniversary exhibition of work by fourth year architecture students inspired by a term in Rome, will be held tonight in Federation Hall, starting at 8 p.m.

The "annual extravaganza", celebrating student projects from the previous term in Rome, addresses contemporary culture in the context of the 3000-year architectural heritage of the city. Included in the exhibition will be "museums for the display of classical statuary, multi-media arts, the history of the city, and novecento art" -- Italian art produced during the 20th century.

As well, projects from the current Berlin studio -- a student computer exercise to design the new Canadian embassy in Berlin -- will be on display. Wine and hors d'oeuvres will be served, and tickets are $6 in advance, $8 at the door. For more information, contact Paul Kulig at ext. 2676.

UW third in grad scholarships

Ontario Graduate Scholarships have been awarded to 180 UW students for 1999-2000 -- up from 170 a year ago -- placing the university third in the number of the scholarships and second in the percentage of successful applicants among universities across the province.

At UW, 38 per cent of applicants were awarded the OGS, compared to 33 per cent at the University of Toronto (total of 563 awards) and University of Western Ontario (199 awards). The University of Ottawa had a 40 per cent success rate, with 137 scholarships presented.

The scholarships, worth nearly $12,000 each were given to 44 UW students in arts, 12 in applied health sciences, 53 in engineering, 12 in environmental studies, 31 in mathematics, and 28 in science. An additional 31 reversion scholarships were approved. Students will receive these awards if they become available through cancellations.

The OGS program "is designed to encourage excellence in graduate studies at the master's and doctoral levels." OGS decisions are based on a student's academic record, letters of reference from professors, and departmental and provincial ranking processes.

Of diversity in the classroom

A mixture of races and ethnic backgrounds in the classroom is good for students, says a report from the University of Michigan:
College students who experience the most racial and ethnic diversity in classrooms and during interactions on campus become better learners and more effective citizens. . . .

Also from the USA

A foundation operated by Microsoft mogul Bill Gates is donating $20 million for a new Laboratory for Computer Science at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, MIT announced on Wednesday. The William H. Gates Building, as the new LCS home will be known, is being designed by architect Frank O. Gehry and should be ready by 2003, MIT said. "I feel very privileged to be able to contribute in this way," Gates said. "When people talk about the United States as a leader in advancing the use of the Internet, it will be because of institutions like MIT."
In one of the most broad and extensive empirical studies of college students in relation to diversity, psychology Prof. Patricia Gurin has shown what educators have long believed: All students, non-minority and minority alike, learn better when the learning takes place in a setting where they are confronted with others who are different than themselves.

"A racially and ethnically diverse university student body has far-ranging and significant benefits for all students," Gurin said. "In fact, patterns of racial segregation and separation historically rooted in our national life can be broken by diversity experiences in higher education."

Gurin, who prepared the study as part of her testimony as an expert defense witness in the lawsuits brought against the University's admission policies, examined national information as well as data gathered at the University of Michigan.

She found that when young people are placed in racially and ethnically diverse classrooms and are exposed to classes that deal with cultural differences, they blossom intellectually when long-held beliefs and ideas are challenged.

In addition, these students develop the ability to understand the ideas and feelings of others, which in later life makes them more likely to live in racially diverse communities, maintain friendships with people of different races and able to function more effectively in an increasingly diverse workplace. . . .

"Being with others of different races actually seems to make young people more receptive to new knowledge," Gurin said. "This is precisely why the diversity of the student body is essential to fulfilling higher education's mission to enhance learning and encourage democratic outcomes and values."

Two art exhibitions open

Two exhibits by UW Master of Fine Arts graduating students open on Sunday in East Campus Hall: It's a Long Walk Home by Mary-Lynne Snedden in Artspace Gallery, and Modern Icon/False Idol by Melissa Gordon in the Front Gallery.

Snedden's thesis exhibition "is an installation containing monumental ceramic sculpture, tile, and audio," focusing on three areas: "the personification of the house by its inhabitants, the body as architecture, and the role of memory in creating a sense of home".

In her exhibition of sculpture and installation, Gordon "uses consumerism, singles ads and computers" to encourage viewers "to question some of the most cherished elements of contemporary Western society". Among the groups of aesthetically distinct works is the installation, "Vending Art Project", an actual vending machine which sells limited edition art works for 85 cents.

Opening receptions for the exhibitions run from 2 to 5 p.m. on Sunday. Both shows continue until May 7.

Now, the rest of the story

St. Jerome's University has reached to a Lutheran college in Alberta to find its new vice-president and academic dean. Kieran Bonner, an Irish-born sociologist, arrives July 1 for a four-year term, the college has just announced. Bonner will succeed Michael Higgins, the current dean, who becomes president of St. Jerome's on that date. Bonner is currently a faculty member and administrator at Augustana University College in Camrose, Alberta.

Volunteer opportunities

Listed this week by the local Volunteer Action Centre: a chance to help St. John Ambulance with its marathon race May 23, and registration and a pasta dinner the previous day; positions on the VAC's own board of directors; and people to help staff the Safe Haven Shelter for street youth, aged 12-15, day or night. "Open-minded, caring, assertive volunteers are invited to call for more details," and the VAC, at 742-0559, can also provide information about many other ways to help in the community.
A workshop for teaching assistants, on "Preparing CVs and Cover Letters", runs from 12:00 to 1:30 today in Math and Computer room 4059. Last-minute information should be available from the teaching resource office, phone ext. 3132.

The Kiwanis "travel and adventure series" returns to the Humanities Theatre tonight with a slide show on "Britain's Offshore Islands" by Rick Rosefield. Showtime is 8 p.m.; tickets are $5.75 (kids $3.75).

Staff in plant operations and food services, represented by Canadian Union of Public Employees local 793, will hold their spring dance Saturday night in South Campus Hall. The bar opens at 6 p.m. and dinner is at 7:00.

"Would you like to give to support multiple sclerosis?" Well, no; quite the contrary; better to give to oppose MS. The "Super Cities Walk", a fund-raiser for the Multiple Sclerosis Society, is scheduled for Sunday morning. Check-in is at 8:30 at Federation Hall, and the walk -- on a 10-kilometre route, or a 5-km wheelchair route -- begins at 10 a.m.

And . . . even before Victoria Day, even before the spring term starts, it's worth looking ahead to Canada Day, which this year falls on a Thursday. The annual north campus celebrations will take place on that day, leading up to fireworks in the evening. But no, for those who were wondering, they don't lead up to a four-day weekend. Friday, July 2, is a normal working day at UW this year.


Editor of the Daily Bulletin: Chris Redmond
Information and Public Affairs, University of Waterloo
credmond@uwaterloo.ca | (519) 888-4567 ext. 3004
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Copyright © 1999 University of Waterloo