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Thursday, April 19, 2001

  • New president for the faculty association
  • Official opening for Bell Labs
  • Title for Kalbfleisch; convocation honours
  • UW connections with space shot
  • Students show off their work today


New president for the faculty association

Catherine Schryer (right) of UW's English department takes over today as president of the faculty association, at a "transitional" meeting of the association's board of directors.

Schryer is succeeding John Wilson of the political science department, who served as president for the past year. She was acclaimed to office in an election process leading up to the association's annual meeting on April 4.

She was vice-president of the faculty association for the past year and has been on its board of directors four years now. A faculty member at UW since 1991, she works in the English department's rhetoric and professional writing program. Her big current research project is a study of case presentations in medicine, optometry, social work, and dentistry, funded by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council.

"My first aim is to continue the tradition of effective governance that I have experienced since I joined the Board four years ago," Schryer says in an article prepared for this month's issue of the association newsletter, Forum.

"My second aim is to develop further the services and resources that the Board provides to faculty members. In particular, I will be working closely with the [academic freedom and tenure] committee to develop even more effective policies and procedures to deal with grievance cases.

"In my view, the role of the professoriate is coming under attack. The grievance cases at Toronto -- the Olivieri case, for example -- are symptoms of an increasing campaign to devalue academic freedom. It is no secret either that the current Provincial government would gladly dismantle tenure if it could. As a professoriate, we will continue to need strong policies and clearly laid out procedures to protect our interests.

"Thirdly, I hope to encourage the university administration to improve its policies regarding the hiring and treatment of women faculty members. This university has one of the lowest rates of hiring and retaining female faculty members of any university in Canada (at the bottom right next to the Royal Military College). I would like to see this situation change."

Schryer will be the 31st president of the faculty association, and the first woman to hold that office.

Official opening for Bell Labs

A ceremony and celebrations this morning will mark the official opening of the Bell University Laboratories -- a group of refurbished and upgraded labs to be used for computing, networking and communications research.

Things start at 10:30 in the Davis Centre lounge. Ceremonies there will be followed by tours of the database systems lab, headed by computer science professor Frank Tompa, and the software reliability lab, headed by Kostas Kontogiannis of electrical and computer engineering, where visitors will see how a palm pilot can receive a voice message through the Internet.

The Bell University Labs at UW are a $27.2-million program jointly funded by Bell Canada, the Ontario Research and Development Challenge Fund, the Canada Foundation for Innovation, the Ontario Innovation Trust and the university itself.

Launched in October 1998, BUL provides funding for UW research projects, upgrade of network infrastructure and research laboratories, scholarships for PhD students, and research, technical and administrative support staff members.

Title for Kalbfleisch; convocation honours

Jim Kalbfleisch, who retired at the end of December as UW's vice-president (academic) and provost, is to be given the new title of "provost emeritus".

It's one of several honours to be presented at convocation ceremonies in June. They were announced this week following approval by the UW senate.

One retired faculty member is to be named "distinguished professor emeritus": Paul Karrow of the department of earth sciences.

Seven people, including one who formerly worked at UW, are to receive honorary degrees:

Convocation will be held in five sessions, June 13 through 16.

UW connections with space shot

When the space shuttle Endeavor is launched this afternoon, it'll be carrying a former UW staff member -- astronaut Chris Hadfield, who's in line to be the first Canadian to walk in space.

Hadfield was employed in UW's mechanical engineering department for a few months in 1982, shortly after his graduation from the Royal Military College. He later did a graduate degree in aviation systems at the University of Tennessee, and is now a colonel in the Canadian Forces. He'll be making his second space flight today, assigned to operating the Canadarm robotic arm that Endeavor is delivering to the International Space Station.

Meanwhile, back on earth -- in Montréal -- a UW alumnus has a key role in the mission. Layi Oshinowo, the "flight lead", did his undergraduate degree at UW (systems design engineering, 1994) and then took a master's degree in SDE, working with John McPhee. He now works for MacDonald Dettwiler Space and Advanced Robotics, the company that bought out Spar, the creators of the Canadarm. (McPhee spent a sabbatical at MD in 1998-99, working with Oshinowo.)

The role of the "flight lead" is to stay on earth telling the astronauts exactly what to do with the equipment. "All operations in space are planned to every last detail," McPhee points out, "which is where Layi and his colleagues come in to make sure that everything works safely and smoothly." Or, as someone at the Canadian Space Agency puts it, "they tell the astronauts which screw to turn, how many times."

Also today

A new session of the Ontario Legislature begins today with a throne speech in which the Progressive Conservative government is promising to emphasize "accountability and efficiency in the use of taxpayers' dollars". Coming soon, if not today: some word on how many taxpayer dollars will be provided for university operations in the coming year.

The mature students group will be having its end-of-term lunch at the Mongolian Grill. Last-minute information: phone ext. 2429.

Working optometrists who signed up for this year's big continuing education program in the school of optometry, on Advanced Ocular Disease and Therapeutics, are back on campus for five days of intensive experience: "Patients with a wide variety of ocular disease conditions will be examined in small workshop groups. Participants will be encouraged to formulate therapeutic management plans and problem-solve clinical dilemmas encountered in patient managements." The course previously involved a week of lectures in mid-February.

Today's the deadline for nominations to the executive of the staff association for the coming year. Elections will follow, wherever there are multiple candidates for a job. The association has announced the timing of this year's annual meeting: noontime on Friday, June 1.

Students show off their work today

In three different places on campus, students will be making end-of-term presentations today. Some quick details:

Environmental (chemical) engineering students will present the projects done in Chem Eng 047 (Env Eng 483). Presentations run most of the day in Doug Wright Engineering rooms 2534 and 2517, and continue tomorrow until noon.

Topics include "Arsenic removal from drinking water", "Facilities for encapsulated pharmaceuticals", "Windpowered crematoria feasibility", "Fuel cell electrolyte purification", and "Wetlands hydraulics".

Tomorrow afternoon at 3:30, the program will wind up with a reception in the Laurel Room of South Campus Hall. Winners of the Sandford Fleming Foundation departmental awards for excellence in design will be announced at the reception.

Germanic and Slavic graduate students will hold a colloquium this morning in Humanities room 373, with six presentations on such topics as "Rozanov and the Last Reaches of Realism" and "A Comparison of Jurek Becker's Bronsteins Kinder with Rudy Wiebe's Peace Shall Destroy Many".

Graduate students taking part in the Certificate in University Teaching program have been giving end-of-term presentations on their work, and four more such presentations are scheduled for today. The talks start at 9:30 in Math and Computer room 5158.

Today's speakers are Donna Cooper on "Teaching Writing to University Students", Jonathon Fowles on "Using Technology to Enhance the Learning Experience in the Classroom", Janice Holley on "Problem-Based Learning in a Clinical Nutrition Internship Program", and Angela Loucks-Atkinson on "Experiential Learning Model: Proposed Application to Teaching Applied Therapeutic Recreation Research".


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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