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Monday, March 27, 2000

  • Innovation funds and lab tour
  • Ontario money for summer jobs
  • The talk of the campus
  • The last full week of classes

Innovation funds and lab tour

Visitors from the provincial and federal governments will hand over some money today for UW research, and then tour one of the laboratories that will benefit -- the molecular biology lab headed by Patricia Schulte of UW's biology department.

The visit begins with ceremonies in the Laurel Room of South Campus Hall at 10:00 this morning, as the Ontario Innovation Trust (OIT) will announce 11 awards, supported by the federal Canadian Foundation for Innovation (CFI). Speakers are expected to include Elizabeth Witmer, Ontario health minister and MPP for Waterloo; Wayne Wettlaufer, MPP for Kitchener; David Bogart, executive director of OIT; Andrew Telegdi, MP for Waterloo and parliamentary secretary to the minister of citizenship and immigration, on behalf of CFI; Carolyn Hansson, UW's vice-president (university research); Pu Chen, chemical engineering professor and one of the award recipients; and Schulte.

[Mummichog] As first announced last fall, the majority of the OIT grant money is going to six major projects, include Schulte's molecular biology laboratory. Smaller grants are going to five individual young faculty members, including Chen.

After the ceremonies comes the lab tour, starting about 10:30 on the first floor of Biology I. Among other things, Schulte's lab is using fish (the species Fundulus heteroclitus, pictured above) to study an organism's response to stressors in the physical environment.

"Our research," says her web page, "focuses on the importance of changes in gene expression as a means of responding to these stressors. We use a combination of molecular, biochemical and physiological methods to being to understand how changes in the amounts of one or more gene products can have profound effects on the functioning of the whole organism.

"We are currently investigating the effects of four different variables on gene expression." They include temperature, hypoxia (low oxygen), behavioural stress, and "xenobiotic" compounds such as PCBs and dioxins.

Ontario money for summer jobs

The Ontario government announced last week that it "will help more than 57,000 young people find work this year through the Ontario Summer Jobs program".

Said Dianne Cunningham, minister of training, colleges and universities: "Ontario's growing economy is benefiting young people. Each year, the government has set progressively higher goals for its summer jobs strategy, and each year the goal has been exceeded. This year, we're encouraging more employers to participate in Ontario Summer Jobs to provide opportunities for young people to expand their job horizons, especially in industries anticipating shortages of skilled workers. Since 1995, we have doubled the number of successful job searches through the Ontario Summer Jobs program."

The announcement said the province will spend $50.8 million on the Ontario Summer Jobs Program, described as "the most extensive youth employment programs in Canada. Our investment is almost triple what the Federal government will spend on youth programs in Ontario this year."

"Summer jobs help students experience the workplace which helps them make decisions about their future education, training and careers, " said Don Smales, president of one company that's involved in the program -- the Evergreen Canoe and Kayak Company, where Cunningham visited for the announcement and a photo opportunity. "Ontario Summer Jobs gave me the incentive to hire students because the support encourages employers to take the time to train a young employee."

Ontario Summer Jobs 2000 is to help young people ages 15 and up find work, and will run from April to September. It combines programs offered by TCU and five other Ontario ministries. The program offers a range of services including an incentive for businesses and community organizations to hire young people for up to 16 weeks, and loans to encourage self-employment. Jobs are also available in Ontario government ministries and agencies.

The government emphasizes that summer job information is available on a web site and by phone at (888) JOB-GROW.

The talk of the campus

First of all, I was sorry to learn that the Arts Formal, which I mentioned in Friday's Bulletin, had been cancelled by the time the Bulletin appeared. Only a handful of tickets were sold, a voice from the Arts Student Union tells me.

And I wrote Friday about a pre-graduation wine and cheese party, saying it was sponsored by the computer science department. In fact it was an event for the whole faculty of mathematics, sponsored by the Math Grad Committee.

Steve Cook, one of the staff representatives on UW's pension and benefits committee, provided a brief report last week on progress towards an early retirement provision in UW's pension plan, which has been under discussion for a long, long time. "We had a meeting on Monday, March 20," he wrote, "in which we agreed on a proposal which has an early retirement feature. . . . The early retirement component is not a 'Magic Number' approach, but it is a tangible early retirement component within the pension plan. . . . I think most folks will be pleased. . . . We haven't tried to communicate to date as this proposal is subject to Board of Governors approval. We would gladly discuss the details, but honestly feel it would be unfair to create expectations that could be dispelled should the Board not approve, or amend the proposal before them."

Imprint reported Friday that the Bombshelter pub and Federation Hall are soon to be entirely smoke-free. "Although the Feds tried to accommodate smokers by applying for the exemption and providing smoking sections," Susan Bubak writes in a page 3 news story, "the majority of students supported a smoking ban at both establishments. By the end of the month, UW will have a 100 per cent smoke-free campus." And on Wednesday, the Graduate Student Association will hold its annual general meeting on Wednesday (6 p.m., Needles Hall room 3001). The agenda includes the usual year-end reports, and a proposal for a new section to one of the GSA bylaws: "Members are prohibited from smoking inside the Club House. The upstairs patio is excluded from this smoking ban since it is considered to be outside the Club House."

The last full week of classes

[Brubakers] Brubakers eatery in the Student Life Centre is marking its fifth birthday today. "Come by," Joanne Buchholzer of the food services department invites everybody, "for a piece of cake and some ice cream, compliments of UW Bakery and Nestle Ice Cream."

Contractors will be replacing glass in the Davis Centre starting today and taking, probably, all this week, says Peter Fulcher of the plant operations department. "Please use caution in these areas."

Graham Strong of UW's school of optometry is the speaker today at the Kitchener Public Library noon-hour lecture series (12 noon at the KPL downtown branch). He'll be talking about his much-publicized work in forensic optometry.

The physics department presents a seminar today by Jan Kycia of the Berkeley and Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, who will speak on "Effects of Dissipation on a Superconducting Single Electron Transistor" (Physics room 308, 2:30 p.m.).

Playwright Sharon Pollock was scheduled to read from her work today at St. Jerome's University, but the reading was cancelled Friday. "Given the lateness of the term, it will not be rescheduled," says St. Jerome's English professor Gary Draper.

The UW senate will meet at 4:30 this afternoon in Needles Hall room 3001. A number of academic program changes are being held over for next month's meeting because provost Jim Kalbfleisch is away this week, but president David Johnston is around, back from his trip to east Asia, and will presumably report on government funding and tuition fee issues. Also on the agenda: a report from the dean of engineering, the Federation of Students study of student income and accessibility to higher education, and announcement of this year's winners of the Distinguished Teacher Awards and "teaching by a registered student" awards.

The weekly religious presentation "The Embassy" takes place at 7:30 tonight in the Humanities Theatre.

Students in Environment and Resource Studies 285, generally known as the "greening the campus" course, will present their projects tomorrow for anyone interested. Topics this time around focus on building design, in such areas as windows, building materials and "community habitat". (Previous WatGreen projects have deal with everything from vegetation to recycling.) The presentations tomorrow will run from 12:30 to 2:30 p.m. in Arts Lecture room 124.

Tomorrow also brings a public lecture by Margaret Norrie McCain, co-author of The Early Years Study, described as "a comprehensive report designed to improve early child development and parenting in Ontario". She'll speak at 1:30 tomorrow in the Renison College chapel lounge.

Something called "Super Puppets" comes to the studio theatre in the Humanities building ("Studio 180") Wednesday through Saturday, with evening performances all four nights and matinees on Wednesday and Thursday. The show consists of three one-act plays presented by a trio of UW drama students for their third-year project. (I'll say more about these shows in Wednesday's Bulletin.)

Also Wednesday, the InfraNet Project presents a talk by John Sheridan, vice-chair of Bell Canada, under the title "Getting Smarter -- Speed and Growth in the Internet Economy" (2:30 p.m., Davis Centre room 1302).

CAR


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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