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Thursday, March 8, 2001

  • VP (university relations) coming from Ottawa
  • Engineers triumph on national stage
  • Killam fellowships for two
  • Canadian studies lecture tonight
  • GLOW marks its 30th, and more

[Screen shot]
UWinfo, the university's web presence, has a new face. The new "interim" home page at www.uwaterloo.ca was introduced at 8:00 this morning Now comes the challenging part for the UWinfo operations team: collecting comments and advice (e-mail to uwinfofb@admmail, please) as we start a full-scale redesign project that involves more than just the look of the home page. A "text" version of the home page is available at www.uwaterloo.ca/text.html. An "About UWinfo" web page tells more.

VP (university relations) coming from Ottawa

Laura Talbot-Allan will be UW's next vice-president (university relations), coming to Waterloo from a long career in business (Manitoba Telephone and Bank One International), the non-profit sector (the Canadian Red Cross Society), and the federal government.

She was assistant deputy minister of Environment Canada 1993-97 and secretary-general of the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission 1997-98. Most recently she's headed her own consulting firm in Ottawa.

Talbot-Allan was appointed yesterday at a special meeting of the UW board of governors. She will take over as of April 2 from James Downey, former president of the university, who has been acting VP (university relations) for almost a year.

UW president David Johnston will be issuing a memo to departments this morning introducing Talbot-Allan as the new vice-president.

In Downey's words, she has had an "impressive career". A biographical summary describes her as "a bilingual professional with extensive leadership experience in complex public, private and non-profit settings. She has a solid record of achievements as both a senior executive and volunteer, often acting as an ambassador and spokesperson. Her reputation is one of integrity, openness, a willingness to take on 'corporate' responsibilities, and delivering results with her team of staff and colleagues. She has earned high credibility with her extensive business and public sector network, and also with academics who share her professional interests.

"Laura has been a long-term active participant in her professional association and community, balancing her many interests with her role as a mother and continued participation in music and sports."

It goes on to list some of what she's done in a succession of government posts: "Her leadership in Environment Canada was evident in reshaping its mandate when Parks moved to a newly formed department, and . . . in developing with her colleagues and other stakeholders an appropriate strategy to downsize 35% and rebuild Environment's Vision, Business Plan and team. Environment's strategic model balancing 'science, policy, and service/operations' was achieved in a complex and collegial governance structure quite analogous to that of university faculties. . . .

"Laura was also the responsible Assistant Deputy Minister for developing innovative Green Government environmental policies and products, and facilitating implementation across all government departments, as well as reaching out to other levels of government domestically and internationally. She demonstrated similar leadership capabilities . . . at the CRTC during a time of significant public policy change."

Among many other government roles, she chaired a Learning Advisory Panel, "impacting professional development for approximately 49,000 employees".

Her volunteer involvement includes the Society of Management Accountants of Canada, the Civil Service Co-operative Credit Society, and the government's United Way campaign. She's currently involved with fund-raising for the National Capital Commission.

She holds a BSc from the University of Manitoba and an MBA from the University of Ottawa, and is a Certified Management Accountant.

Concrete toboggan award

image 19 Members of UW's concrete toboggan team will be guests of honour at a meeting of the civil engineering department this afternoon (3:30, Engineering II room 2348). The team came home from January's Great Northern Concrete Toboggan Race (right)in Kingston with the Read Jones Christoffersen Award for Engineering Excellence, and a $2,000 cheque to support student research into concrete technology.

Engineers triumph on national stage

UW's entrants in the Canadian Engineering Competition are back from Victoria with a glow of victory. Waterloo had "an outstanding showing" at the Ontario Engineering Competition in Guelph in mid-February, says coach Fakhri Karray of the systems design engineering department, and results from the national event in Victoria were "equally impressive".

The CEC, held March 1 through 4, involved teams who had triumphed in regional contests across Canada. Says Karray: "Major companies usually attend the event for the purposes of making lucrative offers to winning designers or to support patenting processes of potential invention emanating from the displayed projects. Many such designs have gone to become world-wide patented inventions."

UW entries brought home first-place trophies from the hotly contested "corporate design" and "entrepreneurial design", as well as several other awards:

Calendar is available

The 2001-02 undergraduate calendar is now available on the web. Printed copies will be distributed at the registrar's office late next week, before "course enrolment" for the fall term begins.

Killam fellowships for two

Two UW researchers are among 17 people across Canada who are winners this year of the Killam Research Fellowships, described as "among Canada's most distinguished research awards".

They support "research projects of outstanding merit" in all fields, and are administered by the Canada Council. Killam Research Fellowships "enable Canada's best scientists and scholars to devote two years to full-time research and writing". The winners for 2001 will be working on everything from ancient history to glaciology.

The two winners from Waterloo:

Keith Hipel, systems design engineering, for work on "conflict resolution in sustainable development".

Ming Li, computer science, for work on "conquering randomness".

The Canada Council news release shows a third UW winner, but that's a typographical error: English professor Heather Jackson is actually based at the University of Toronto, not at Waterloo.

Canadian studies lecture tonight

[McQuaig] "In my most recent book, I refute the popular notion that governments are powerless in the global economy to deliver full employment and well-funded social programs," says journalist Linda McQuaig (left). On the other hand, Conrad Black once suggested on national radio that she should be "horsewhipped" for her left-wing views.

McQuaig will bring her populist perspective to campus tonight, as she gives the Kerr- Saltsman Lecture at 7:30 p.m. in the Humanities Theatre.

Titled "The Challenge Ahead in the Post-Deficit Era: Reviving the Notion of the Common Good," McQuaig's talk is part of the Stanley Knowles Visiting Professorship in Canadian Studies, based at St. Paul's United College.

"Civil society or common good policies promote real equality and greater freedom for all by focusing on economic democracy aspects of equality of citizenship that will prove to be the political struggle of the 21st century," said Robert Needham, director of the Canadian studies program at St. Paul's. "This is the crux of McQuaig's talk."

McQuaig is the winner of a National Newspaper Award for uncovering the Patti Starr affair in 1989. She has been a staff writer for the Globe and Mail, Maclean's magazine and the Toronto Star. Currently she writes a biweekly column for the National Post.

And she has written five books that have attracted national critical attention; some topped bestseller lists for months. They include The Quick and the Dead: Brian Mulroney, Big Business and the Seduction of Canada, and her most recent, The Cult of Impotence: Selling the Myth of Powerlessness in the Global Economy. Her 1995 best seller, Shooting the Hippo: Death by Deficit and Other Canadian Myths, traced the real story behind the federal deficit and argued that social spending has been falsely blamed.

The professorship and lectureship that are bringing McQuaig to UW are named for long-time parliamentarian Stanley Knowles, industrialist and donor Robert Kerr, and former Waterloo County MP Max Saltsman.

Admission to the lecture is free, if there are any tickets still available. A reception follows at which the public is invited to meet and talk with the author.

GLOW marks its 30th, and more

The Gays and Lesbians of Waterloo organization marks its 30th anniversary today. As the organization's web site notes, the first meeting of "Waterloo Universities' Gay Liberation Movement" was held March 8, 1971 -- and things have come a long way since then. "We have some things planned for next week to mark the anniversary," says Nigel Flear of GLOW, "including the second Boyz & Boys & Girls & Grrls Night, on Friday, March 16, at the Bomber."

The Centre for Behavioural Research and Program Evaluation offers a seminar this morning by Jose Arocha of McGill University. He'll speak at 10 a.m. (Clarica Auditorium, Lyle Hallman Institute) on "Applied Research Methods for the Study of Decision Making in the Design, Delivery, and Use of Health Information".

A series of noon-hour lectures marking International Women's Week winds up today with words from Barbara Jenkins of the women's studies program: "Gender, Markets, Culture", at 12 noon in Humanities room 373.

A seminar series sponsored by the survey research centre presents a panel at 3:30 this afternoon on PAS (Psychology) room 2030. Three people from various regional health departments will speak on "Development and Evaluation of a Binge Drinking Media Campaign: Highlighting Findings and Lessons Learned from a Web-based Survey of Post-secondary Students".

Pundit and personality Michael Coren -- inevitably described as "glabrous", or worse, by Frank magazine -- will be on campus today to speak on "The Abortion Bias in the Media". His talk, sponsored by Students for Life, will start at 5 p.m. in the great hall of the Student Life Centre.

The merry Jewish festival of Purim is upon us. To mark Erev Purim -- the evening when things get going -- members of the Jewish Students Association will get together tonight for a trip to Beth Jacob Synagogue in Kitchener "to hear the megillah reading, and then back to our house for some hamantaschen (yum) and drama games".

The city of Waterloo will hold an open house tonight for discussion of proposed "improvements" to Columbia Street, from Weber Street through the King Street area and as far west as the railway tracks -- almost to campus, in other words. Says a municipal announcement: "Given the heavy use of this transportation facility in the City, the number of mid-block turning movements, the relatively high level of pedestrian and bicycle activity, and future plans for additional technology campus developments near the University of Waterloo, . . . the preferred design provides for four traffic lanes plus cycling lanes (on each side of the road). Separate left turn lanes are also proposed on Columbia Street at major intersecting streets." The open house will be held tonight from 6:30 to 8:30 at the Waterloo Pentecostal Assembly church, 395 King Street North.

Coming tomorrow: the Federation of Students has announced a free noontime concert in the Humanities Theatre. "Come out and see controversial Canadian fiddler Ashley MacIsaac . . . help stock the Feds Food Bank. Bring a canned or non-perishable food good." The music starts at 12:00.

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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