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Wednesday, May 2, 2001

  • Two top co-op students honoured
  • What happened at UW this winter
  • Gneiss plans for museum exhibits
  • The talk of the campus

[Three with certificates]
Distinguished student teachers were honoured with certificates and cheques at lunch at the University Club last week. From left, Owen Clements, (chemistry), Richard Hoshino (combinatorics and optimization), and Rudolf Michaeli (Germanic and Slavic languages and literatures), were winners of 2001 Distinguished Teaching by a Registered Student Awards. They were nominated by students and chosen by a selection committee of faculty and students. The fourth award winner, not pictured, is John Irving (combinatorics and optimization).

Two top co-op students honoured

Two students -- one in computer engineering and one in psychology -- were nominated by UW this year for the national "Co-op Student of the Year" award, and one of them has received an honourable mention from the agency that gives the award, the Canadian Association for Co-operative Education.

"Essentially, these are the two that we consider our top co-op students here at Waterloo this year," says Olaf Naese of the co-op and career services department. He said both students will be presented with plaques.

The student receiving a national "honourable mention" is Tennille Brown of computer engineering, who returns to campus this week after a work term at Nvidia Corporation in Santa Clara, California. She has consistently been on the dean's honours list in the engineering faculty and had work term ratings of "excellent" and "outstanding". In 1998 she won an award as the top female student in first-year engineering. "She is regarded as the quiet leader of her class," says Tony Vannelli, chair of the department of electrical and computer engineering.

Brown says she tends to be a cautious person, and co-op has given her great opportunities and new confidence. "During each of my job searches for co-op I have had multiple job offers. I am now confident that my skills learned through both school and co-op are valuable in the real world and I will be able to get a rewarding and challenging job upon graduation."

In fact, co-op has changed her career direction. "My first two work terms, which were with Ontario Hydro, were software-oriented," says Brown. "I enjoyed the work, and I could see myself doing similar work for the rest of my life. After taking a few hardware courses at school, I decided to try a hardware-oriented work term. I worked at Bayly Communications for two terms doing hardware design. From this experience, I decided that I preferred hardware to software and have chosen my fourth-year electives accordingly.

"My current term at Nvidia has cemented my decision to pursue a hardware-oriented career."

UW's other nominee for the national award was Jennifer Chu, who sits on the dean's honours list in the arts faculty and has come back from four work terms with "outstanding" ratings. "Jennifer is a triple threat," says psychology professor Mike Ross: "she thinks clearly, is wonderfully articulate, and writes superbly."

Two of her work terms were with the federal government, and two in the psychology department at the University of Saskatchewan, where she worked on research projects: "I took concepts and theories that we had learned in class, and used them to actually design and carry out studies with hundreds of participants." She has just finished a fifth work term, at Cognos Inc. in Ottawa, working on software usability testing.

Winner of CAFCE's national "Co-op Student of the Year" award for 2000 was Russell Goodman, a biochemistry student at the University of Lethbridge.

What happened at UW this winter

For those who may be returning to campus this week, here are some of the top stories carried by the Daily Bulletin during the winter term. And more: a number of Villagers were tested after one resident was diagnosed with a form of tuberculosis; staff and faculty prepared to pay more into the pension fund, as a reduction that's been in effect since 1997 is being phased out; an arbitrator ruled that the dean of mathematics did have the right to change the marks assigned by a professor in an advanced calculus course.

And still more: an "information technology trust" was set up as a memorial to computer science professor Wes Graham; the Record reported, based on federal documents, that the RCMP conducted surveillance on the UW campus between 1967 and 1983; Laura Talbot-Allan came from Ottawa to be UW's vice-president (university relations).

Oh, and in crime news, a man was charged following an incident in which a student was robbed at gunpoint on the ring road at 2 a.m., and gems were stolen in a smash-and-grab from UW's earth sciences museum.

All previous Daily Bulletins are available on the web -- although the Previous Days page is habitually out of date, so it may be necessary to use the bare-bones listings of files for January, February, March, or April.

Gneiss plans for museum exhibits -- from today's Gazette

Earth Sciences Museum curator Peter Russell can't wait to pack up the dinosaur models, fossils and mineral specimens that have been displayed in Biology I since the museum opened in 1968, and move into the new Centre for Environmental and Information Technology.

"After the museum being hidden on the third floor for all these years, it will be nice for it to be front and centre," says Russell, who has overseen the collection as curator since 1975.

The museum opened in 1968 as a cooperative Canadian centennial project between the earth sciences and biology departments, with Peter Fisher (earth sciences) and Paul Hartevelt (biology) as co-curators.

Plans, which were developed by Russell, along with Cheryl Atkinson of Steven Teeple Architects and Ion Luh of Crossley Engineering, call for specimens -- ranging from a cast of an Irish elk head to a slab of quartz crystals -- to be exhibited in the atrium of the new building.

Among the proposed features: a Great Lakes waterfall with the lakes carved into slabs of granite, gneiss or dolostone, and water flowing from Lake Superior through to the St. Lawrence; a "paleo pit" in which visitors will view audio-visual presentations on dinosaurs and other topics; a stairway from the first to the second floor illustrating a Paleozoic time line from 570 million years ago to the present; a simulation of a working mine tunnel in the basement; and a 30-foot gneiss monolith, weighing some 80,000 pounds, rising from the basement to the second floor.

Preparations for the new exhibits began in the early 1990s, said Russell, when the new building was originally planned, and were completed in 1995. "To actually see it finished after all these years, that's the most exciting part."

Between now and then, Russell will be adding a mastodon model and the gneiss monolith to the collection, and assisting the faculty of science in fundraising efforts to finance the move and installation of the exhibits.

The talk of the campus

It felt like summer last night: the roller-bladers were out, the plazas were humming with crowds of merry socializers, and a game was in progress on one of the north campus playing fields as I drove by in mid-evening. But the effect was rather spoiled by the look of Columbia Lake, which is still just a sea of mud, with the trickle of Laurel Creek winding through it. Tom Galloway, head of custodial and grounds services for UW, says it's been well into May in recent years before the Grand River Conservation Authority raises the dam and lets UW's lake fill up. That was a problem last year, he says, when it got to be time to soak the playing fields, and there was no water in the lake within reach of the pipe. But a plant operations crew has done some trenching, and the creek now runs a little closer to the intake at lake's edge, so all is well.

[Stone walls, big porch] Still on a north campus theme: the Brubacher House Museum (right)begins its summer hours today, and would welcome visitors. "We will be open Wednesday to Saturday, 2 to 5 p.m.," says a note from the Brubacher House hosts, Jennie and Colin Wiebe, "beginning this week and continuing through to the end of October. If these times don't suit, visitors are welcome to call ahead (886-3855) and book an appointment. Tours usually last 45-60 minutes. In a nutshell, it's an 1850 Mennonite farm house built by John E. Brubacher, where he, his wife and 14 children lived. In the late 60s it was renovated to become a museum as a tribute to the Mennonite people who first settled this land on which UW now stands. Admission is $2 per adult; any accompanying children under 12 are free. Tour groups are welcome (up to 40 per group) and we also have a room available for rental if anyone wishes a more rustic setting (stone walls and an open-hearth fireplace) for meetings and sessions."

E-mail this week announces the election of new officers for the Librarians' Association of UW. President for the coming year will be Carol Stephenson; treasurer, Erin Murphy; secretary, Christine Jewell; chair of the program committee, Sue Moskal; chair of the compensation committee, Amos Lakos.

Central stores will hold a sale of surplus UW property today at East Campus Hall, off Phillip Street, from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. I'd expect brisk business, as there are still apartments to be furnished.

Steve McColl of the health studies and gerontology department will give a noon-hour seminar today as part of the cancer control series sponsored by the Centre for Behavioural Research and Program Evaluation. His topic is "Primary Prevention of Environmental Cancer: Application of the Precautionary Principle in Risk Assessment of Chemicals". The talk starts at 12:30 in Matthews Hall room 3119.

A message from Ted Harms in the library, indefatigable volunteer for the UW bike centre: "The Bike Centre will be having an auction this Thursday, May 3. The auction begins at noon, with the bikes out for a preview starting around 11 a.m. There'll be about two dozen bikes in all sizes and styles up for grabs and they are all in good working order, having been fixed up by Bike Centre volunteers. Payment is by cash or cheque. If it's good weather, we'll be outside in the Student Life Centre courtyard, facing the MC building. If it's not so nice, we'll be inside the SLC, at the bottom of the Atrium. The auction will be presided over by Mr. Charity Auctioneer, Bill Hancock."

Finally . . . yesterday's Bulletin noted that the staff association is looking for someone to serve as a staff representative on the nominating committee for dean of environmental studies. I quoted Paul McKone, who deals with such matters for the staff association, as saying that applications were due by April 9. Of course, McKone assures me, he meant to say May 9. Possibly interested? He can be reached at pdmckone@engmail.


Editor of the Daily Bulletin: Chris Redmond
Information and Public Affairs, University of Waterloo
credmond@uwaterloo.ca | (519) 888-4567 ext. 3004
http://www.bulletin.uwaterloo.ca | Yesterday's Bulletin
Copyright © 2001 University of Waterloo