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Wednesday, January 19, 2000

  • Alumni leaders gather today
  • More students from outside Ontario
  • Grad students find tools for learning
  • Happening today and soon

'Ask the presidents'

The leaders of UW, the faculty association and the Federation of Students are open for questions today, as the Federation hosts a forum in the great hall of the Student Life Centre from 12:00 to 1:30.

[Cheng] Christine Cheng of the Feds (right), Fred McCourt of the faculty association, and UW leader David Johnston "will be on hand to answer any question that you might have", a Federation announcement says. "A panel of three students will start off the questions: Yaacov Iland, Ryan Kennedy and Val Walker. After that, the floor is open to anyone who wants to ask about anything.

"Potential topics of discussion include tuition, athletics, publicizing course evaluations, faculty salary negotiations, student housing and the corporatization of universities.

"There will be a reception following the event (i.e. there will be food)."

Alumni leaders gather today

The UW "Alumni Council" will hold its inaugural meeting this afternoon, as representatives of the university's 100,000 graduates gather in Needles Hall. (The meeting starts at 3:30 in NH room 3001.)

It's a new attempt to have one body that represents all the university's alumni, from the grads of last October back to the members of the original engineering class, who received their degrees in 1962. (In fact, the listing of Waterloo alumni goes back even farther: to the handful who received graduate degrees at UW's first convocation in June 1960; to graduates from St. Jerome's College in the 1950s; to graduates of the College of Optometry of Ontario as early as the 1920s.)

UW president David Johnston will open this afternoon's meeting with "an overview of his vision for alumni involvement in UW", the agenda says. He'll be followed by Gwen Graper, manager of alumni affairs.

Peter Woolstencroft, political science professor and an associate dean in the arts faculty, will take the chair as the council elects its president and vice-president. Also on the agenda this afternoon are vice-president (university relations) Ian Lithgow, with an "overview of alumni activities, plans for the next five years", and Bruce Lumsden, director of co-operative education and career services, talking about "challenges and opportunities for future relationships".

The meeting will be followed by a reception and dinner at the University Club.

The new alumni body was originally scheduled to meet November 8, but Graper said then that the meeting had been postponed "to give us an opportunity to complete our recruitment of members". There are still two empty seats on the new 16-member council, she said yesterday, adding that the 14 members who have been chosen are "very evenly spread out" across graduating years, fields of study, geography and the kinds of work they now do.

The council is the first university-wide body of alumni leaders since the National Alumni Council stopped meeting in 1994.

More students from outside Ontario

The number of students at UW -- or hoping to enter UW -- from other provinces and other countries has been going up, says a report that's on its way to the UW board of governors. The report, from director of admissions Peter Burroughs, was presented to the board's executive committee yesterday.

"As one would expect," Burroughs writes, "Ontario continues to be the largest source of applicants to Waterloo but there have been significant increases in the number of applicants from other Canadian provinces and particularly from foreign countries." His figures show that the percentage of applicants whose home addresses are in Ontario was 84 per cent in 1997, 85 per cent in 1998 and 83 per cent in 1999:

  Ontario Other Canadian provinces Foreign
  1997 1998 1999 1997 1998 1999 1997 1998 1999
Applied 13948 17086 19745 2092 2421 2869 544 677 1212
Admitted 9284 10887 12512 674 831 938 138 205 321
Confirmed 3909 3732 4212 250 325 347 39 68 113

Also from Burroughs's report: "It is interesting to note that for all faculties except Environmental Studies the difference by gender is significant in all admission categories. Institutionally, the ratio of males to females is 54/46 applied, 48/52 admitted, and 53/47 confirmed." That is, more men than women apply, but more women than men are accepted -- and then more men than women actually come to Waterloo.

First-year students in applied health sciences are 74 per cent female; in arts, 69 per cent; in engineering, 23 per cent; in environmental studies, 48 per cent; in math, 25 per cent; in science, 62 per cent.

Grad students find tools for learning -- abridged from today's Gazette

A pilot project employing graduate teaching assistants to track down high tech teaching tools has been launched by the Centre for Learning and Teaching Through Technology (LT3).

The initiative is part of the LT3 "bottom-up, grassroots approach", says director Tom Carey. Rather than offer faculty "technology solutions in search of an instructional problem", they're starting with the learning objective to be achieved, and identifying technology that instructors can use to help students learn.

In the first project, Dianne Roberts, an MA student in environment and resource studies, is working with professor Mieke Delfgaauw to find interactive technology to help engage students in a planning theory course. The objective is to supplement lectures with more interactive learning experiences. With the help of liaison librarian Margaret Aquan-Yuen of the Dana Porter Library, Roberts will locate, evaluate and demonstrate "appropriate" technology for the project.

"No other university appears to be applying grad students this way," says Carey. TAs from the faculty involved bring with them "a deep knowledge of the discipline. They don't have to build the technology." The result, he believes, will support the faculty and strengthen the grad program.

"Finding teaching resources extends the liaison librarian's role, too," says Carey, who notes that both LT3 and the library are excited by this new collaboration. "We're inventing it as we go." Projects enlisting TAs from three other departments are expected to begin this month.

As director of the fledgling LT3, Carey has the job of helping faculties and departments use technology innovations more effectively to advance student learning. "We have a clear goal from the university that this institution have a stronger role as a national leader in learning technology. . . . One way we'll be leaders may be in not doing things other institutions are doing, because it may not be cost effective or learning effective."

Happening today and soon

Fraser Mustard, founder of the Canadian Institute for Advanced Research, will speak tonight on "Social Evolution and Technological Change" (Humanities Theatre, 7 p.m.). His talk is the first in a new series under the title "2020: Building the Future".
Marks from undergraduate fall term courses are available today. Full-time students who were on campus in the fall and are on campus again this term can pick up their marks in person on the second floor of Needles Hall -- except for engineering students, who instead can get them in their respective department offices. The NH wicket will be open from 10 to 4 today and tomorrow, and from 10 to 2:30 on Friday; marks that have not been picked up by 2:30 on Friday will go into the mail to students' home addresses. Students who are now away on co-op work terms, and all part-time students, will be getting their marks in the mail.

"Affordable Holidays" is the topic of a brown-bag session at 12 noon today, sponsored by the Employee Assistance Program. Kathy Schonenberger of Thomas Cook Travel, the agency with its storefront in South Campus Hall, will offer "an informal talk on sunny destinations", in Davis Centre room 1302. (Later this term, the EAP has two noon-hour sessions on heavier topics: "How to Put the Brakes on Depression", February 16, and "Emerging Masculinities", March 22. Details later.

The basketball Warriors, male version, will host Brock at 8:00 tonight in the Physical Activities Complex. At 7:30, the hockey Warriors face Laurier at the Waterloo Recreational Complex downtown (it's a Laurier home game). Or you could stay home and watch volleyball on television: UW's Warriors play at Guelph tonight -- the women's team at 6:00, the men's at 8:00 -- and there will be coverage on Rogers cable television, channel 20, starting at 8 p.m.

Looking ahead to tomorrow: The teaching resources and continuing education office presents a "skills-based workshop" under the title "From Presenting to Lecturing: Moving from Telling to Teaching". The facilitator is Tracy Light of TRACE, who says, "Most of us have experience giving presentations either as a student or at academic conferences where we 'tell' our audience about our research topic. But giving a lecture, despite some similarities to presentations in terms of delivery skills, should actually be planned and structured in quite a different way to facilitate students' learning of the material. In this workshop you will see firsthand the differences between telling and teaching. You will also be given some useful tips to help you make the transition from presentations to lectures." The workshop starts at 12 noon in Math and Computer room 5158. TRACE at ext. 3132 welcomes advance registrations.

Also tomorrow, Bruce Kuhn, formerly in the cast of "Les Miserables" on Broadway, will give an unusual one-man performance in the Theatre of the Arts. He's brought in by the Waterloo Christian Fellowship to do a 90-minute show "without props, sets or special effects", reciting and acting the story of Jesus as it's told in the gospel of Luke. By way of encore, he'll be back the next night doing the story of the early Christian church from the Biblical book of Acts. Tickets are $10, students $7; the shows start at 7:30 on Thursday and Friday respectively.

And a little further ahead: on January 25, which is next Tuesday, John Cleghorn, chief executive of the Royal Bank of Canada, will be in Waterloo as the featured speaker at the fourth Visionary Seminar organized by the Office for Partnerships for Advanced Skills, which is an agency of the Council of Ontario Universities. Cleghorn will discuss the implications of technology and globalization for the financial services sector with a specific focus on entrepreneurship. The noon-hour seminar will originate at will be participating in the noon-hour seminar, which will originate at Wilfrid Laurier University (science building courtyard) and be transmitted to other campuses by video. The OPAS Visionary Seminar series "enables senior students and faculty to learn about the future directions of a major industry, while providing universities with an opportunity to invite local business leaders to a business-relevant event on campus that showcases the respective university and its multi-faceted activities". Sue Gooding in the office of UW's dean of engineering, phone ext. 3137, has information about participating in the event.


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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