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Friday, March 2, 2001

  • Grant supports study of peacemaking
  • History prof is off to Princeton
  • Portrait of an environmental eng student
  • Marching into the weekend

When you phone human resources

UW's human resources department has a new telephone "menu" that's intended "to provide better service to our customers", according to David Dietrich of HR.

He says: "You can listen to the menu by phoning ext. 2524 during business hours. After business hours and on university paid holidays there is a different, appropriate message."

Here are the choices during business hours:

Press 2 for benefits: calls go to Nellie Gomes, ext. 3134.

Press 3 for payroll issues: calls go to Dianne Llewellyn, ext. 6682.

Press 4 for pension matters: calls go to Wanda Speek, ext 3573.

Press 5 for all other HR matters, including positions available: calls go to Neime Cahit, who was formerly at ext. 2524 and is now the proud owner of a new number, 5935.

Grant supports study of peacemaking -- from the UW news bureau

A research team involving two Waterloo political scientists has received a Carnegie Foundation grant to study peaceful solutions to world conflicts caused by self-determination claims.

The $265,000 grant went to John McGarry and Margaret Moore and to Michael Keating of the European University Institute in Florence. The grant was awarded as part of the New York-based Foundation's "Implications of Globalization" initiative.

The researchers are to examine the ways in which changing notions of state sovereignty, revolutionary advances in information technology, and increased global financial and economic changes affect national self-determination movements. In particular, they will focus on the search for peaceful and practical solutions to conflicts arising from self-determination claims.

Much of the research will be conducted in Europe, where the team will examine conflicts in Spain's Basque country, Northern Ireland, the Balkans and Turkey. It is expected, however, that the research will also have relevance for self-determination conflicts elsewhere, including the non-violent case of Québec.

The research team brings together considerable experience on the subject, having collectively written or edited more than 20 books on related questions. McGarry's research interests lie in nationalism, ethnicity, national and ethnic conflict, the politics of Northern Ireland and the politics of divided societies. Moore does research in nationalism, minority rights, international ethics and liberal theory.

History prof is off to Princeton -- by Bob Whitton

Karin MacHardy, a UW history professor specializing in European history, has been offered a membership and a stipend which, pending approval of a leave of absence, will enable her to spend next fall, and possibly the winter, at the Institute for Advanced Study at Princeton.

It may be the first time a UW faculty member has been honoured with an invitation to the IAS.

The IAS is a prestigious research institute, formed early in the post-World War II era. Its faculty and members have included important scholars and scientists such as Albert Einstein, John von Neumann, and J. Robert Oppenheimer. Institute members are not just those doing research in mathematics and natural sciences, but also researchers in historical studies and the social sciences. Each year more than 1,500 scholars from across the world apply to work at the Institute; a small fraction is selected by the entire faculty of the four schools from among young applicants with outstanding promise as well as senior scholars whose reputations are already well-established.

MacHardy's scholarship in Princeton will focus on the writing of a book she has been asked to do for Cambridge University Press on the formation of the Habsburg monarchy and problems of state building up to the eighteenth century. Deadline for her manuscript to be submitted to Cambridge is 2003.

MacHardy expects her time spent at the Institute will enable her to make considerable progress with the new book, freeing her from teaching and administrative duties. She says she has been "desperately looking for funding" to make this possible, and the IAS is one of only a few sources of such support in North America.

She says the Institute and Princeton University, in the village of Princeton in northern New Jersey, can provide rich sources of research material (including several hundred thousand volumes in the IAS's historical and social science libraries). While in Princeton, she also will be in close proximity to a number of major East Coast universities with substantial library holdings.

MacHardy is also looking forward to being able to attend weekly colloquia on different areas of history, and in other disciplines, at the IAS and Princeton University.

[Out standing in his field]
Paul Nicholson, on the site of the planned recreation centre

Portrait of an environmental eng student
-- by Tiffany Murray, from the UW Recruiter newsletter for co-op employers

Every so often you come across a student who will surpass all goals, surprising you in various ways. These are the students that every co-op employer hopes to retain. Students like Paul Nicholson, presently a 2A Enviro-Chemical Engineering student, prove that older isn't necessarily wiser.

Paul was ahead of the game when he decided in high school that a co-op job might answer some of his questions about which type of engineering he should pursue. When he began at ESG International, an Environmental Consulting firm, employer Ken Buck was impressed. He claimed that Paul jumped into the work with ease, "as if he'd been doing it all his life." The experience left him with an answer to those questions, and he chose to study Environmental-Chemical Engineering at the University of Waterloo. When it was time for Paul to look for his first UW co-op work term, he knew what kind of company he wanted to work for. As a result he returned to ESG International for even more experience.

Under the direction of intermediate and senior landscape architects, Paul was assigned to work on a needs assessment for the City of Guelph. Paul remembers, "the city was proposing to build a recreation centre and they needed to know what to put in it." So he visited all outside facilities and playing fields to complete an inventory analysis and evaluate their status, quality, and usefulness. He examined all statistics and completed trend analyses of which sports were increasingly popular with different age groups. After meeting with city officials and analyzing the data, a report was written including long term recommendations for the City of Guelph.

When Ken realized how flexible and keen Paul was in a multitude of disciplines, he decided to invest in Paul for the future by arranging for him to work in the ecotoxicity lab, where effluent is tested for short and long-term affects on the ecosystem. Operating next to employees with masters and/or doctoral degrees, Paul participated in water effluent testing and witnessed first-hand how lab practices and standards are regulated and audited by the government.

Ken was extremely pleased with Paul's capabilities. "When Paul does something, he does it with panache. When something came up on Friday he'd roll with the punches, it already being well past five o'clock. We just knew we could count on him." Paul in turn credits Ken for such a successful work experience. He confirms that "Ken made the biggest difference."

Coffee house promises 'the vibe of people'

The 29th Annual Blackforest Coffeehouse is scheduled for tonight and tomorrow night at St. Paul's United College, with the entertainment starting at 8 p.m. Tickets are $4 (or $6 for both nights) at the door.

Organizer Aly Valli, a political science student, says this year's Blackforest "will feature such well-known acts as Matt Osborne and Craig Cardiff as well as many other budding talents. The night plays host to many genres of music including folk, rock, punk, jazz and even some tribal beats. The night is pulled together by hosts indulging the audience in comic interludes and the vibe of people sitting down to enjoy a live jam session.

"For many performers, the annual coffeehouse has become a tradition that they look forward to as the winter starts to thaw into spring. Not surprisingly, talent from last year's Blackforest will be reprising their performances. Look out for Abe Froman and the Other Side. Several performers from recent Turnkey Coffeehouses will also be performing this weekend, including Matt & Chad, Punim, Mark D. and Robin C., Frank & His Amazing Sheep-Shrinking Grateful Airplanes, Erica and Flying Buttresses. Newcomers slated to perform include Antigen and Justin Falardeau.

"Students at St. Paul's College have been holding this coffeehouse for the last 28 years, bringing students, alumni and townsfolk together to jump-start the weekend with good coffee and great music."

Marching into the weekend

A one-day conference on Native issues is being held at Renison College, and began at 7:30 this morning with a "sunrise ceremony". It's co-sponsored by Wilfrid Laurier University's faculty of social work and several other groups, including the UW human resources department. "We are trying to encourage more First Nations participation in our work force as part of employment equity," Freddie Swainston of HR explains about the department's role. "This is a first step."

Architecture students head off to Toronto by bus today, for spring term job interviews. It's a once-a-term outing, arranged for the convenience of Toronto-based firms who hire most of UW's architecture students for their co-op jobs.

Today brings the first in a series of Learning Technology Faculty Institute sessions. Roger Suffling of UW's school of planning will talk about his development of a CD-ROM of "The Life Table", described as "an accounting device for keeping track of a population of organisms . . . primarily a self-study tool". His presentation will start at 1 p.m. in Engineering II room 1307G (and people who want to be sure there's room for them should preregister at ext. 3851).

An "informal get-together" about graduate study in engineering is planned for today, from 3 to 6 at the University Club. "Each department in engineering will briefly present an overview of its program," I'm told, "followed by informal discussions over refreshments. All students are welcome, but especially those in engineering, science and mathematics who are thinking of pursuing graduate studies in engineering."

The Association of Graduate Planners is running a lecture series under the title "Four Fridays and a Thursday: A Little Planning for the Weekend", and one of the events is scheduled for today (3:30 in Environmental Studies II room 173). A couple of professional planners and a reporter -- Christian Aagaard of the Record -- will speak on "Getting the Word Out: Planning and the Media".

The hockey Warriors will face Western tonight at the Columbia Icefield, and things are getting serious: Western took a 1-0 lead in the best-of-three playoff series on Wednesday night, defeating the Warriors 3-2 in a game played in London. Tonight's game starts at 7:30. If Western should win again, well, that's it for the Warrior season; if the Warriors come back to tie, then the deciding game will be played Saturday night back in London.

The indoor hockey Warriors will host the OUA championship tournament in that sport over the weekend in the Physical Activities Complex.

Electrical power and heating will be shut off in two buildings tomorrow -- in East Campus Hall from 7 a.m. to 11 a.m., in Modern Languages from 6 a.m. to 9 at night. "Computer equipment should be shut down in an orderly fashion," the plant operations department advises.

Tomorrow brings the Bernoulli Trials math competition, starting at 9 a.m. in Math and Computer room 4041. "We are at maximum capacity or close to it," says statistics professor Christopher Small, who runs the annual event. But he says spectators are welcome. "We should finish by noon or a bit later," he says. "The laws of probability admit no assurance of this, however."

An "Indy Media Gathering and Fair" is scheduled for tomorrow from 10:00 to 4:30 in the Davis Centre. Sponsored by the Waterloo Public Interest Research Group, it's a festival of "radical, alternative and independent" media, with speakers, workshops, and sales. Everyone is welcome.

Trout Lily Press, based at St. Jerome's University, will launch two new books of poetry on Sunday. One is Chainletter, by Douglas Burnet Smith, described as "a sinuous investigation of chance's entanglement in life, love and language", and the other is Emergency Roadside Assistance, by Michael Crummey, who writes "with an astonishing fusion of delicacy and strength". The launch event starts at 3:00 Sunday afternoon in the common room at St. Jerome's, with readings starting at 3:30; everyone is welcome.

The Canadian Association of University Teachers is holding a workshop in Ottawa this weekend about legal issues surrounding the status of faculty members. One presentation, by arbitrator Kenneth Swan, is titled "Dealing with the Difficult Professor", and that idea has Ken Westhues, of UW's sociology department, more than a little annoyed. He's published a broadside to describe the very phrase as "a pernicious concept", arguing that it's not an individual professor who's difficult, it's a particular working situation. "Less time, skill, and energy are required to write off a persistent critic as a 'difficult professor'," he writes, "than to rebut the critic's arguments."


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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