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Friday, June 28, 2002

  • Long weekend will bring fireworks
  • Two named to Royal Society of Canada
  • Poli sci profs leave for Queen's
  • And a few final notes
Chris Redmond

Windsor-Detroit festival celebrates freedom

Long weekend will bring fireworks

Monday is the Canada Day holiday, and one of the largest Canada Day celebrations in southwestern Ontario will take place on UW's north campus to mark the country's 135th birthday.

[Maple leaf flag]

To state the obvious

Monday, July 1, is a university holiday. Offices and most services will be closed, and classes will not be held.
The university and its Federation of Students are presenting the 18th annual UW Canada Day festivities, kicking off at 2 p.m. on the fields above Columbia Street and ending with the now-traditional fireworks over Columbia Lake after dark. Besides celebrating the country's birthday, the event will mark UW's 45th anniversary with free cake at 4 p.m.

In previous years, the Canada Day party has attracted more than 50,000 people to enjoy children's games, browse at a crafts fair, listen to music, eat hot dogs and finally surrender to the lights and noises of the fireworks overhead.

Stone museum welcomes visitors

The Brubacher House Museum on the north campus will be having an open house from 2 to 8 p.m. on Monday. "Visitors are welcome to stop in and take a look through the 'big house by the lake', an authentic Pennsylvania-German Mennonite farmhouse," writes Jennie Wiebe, who with her husband Colin looks after the house. "They can see what life was like in 1850 and learn about the history of Waterloo County (like why the Mennonites ended up here anyway, and about the near-scandal surrounding the land purchase 200 years ago!). Knowledgeable tour guides will be available all afternoon, so stop by."
Staff and student organizers say the day's popularity is due to a wide range of free activities for families and friends. To satisfy healthy appetites, there are affordable meals from a variety of vendors. Proceeds from the UW food tent -- selling hot dogs, hamburgers, pizza and soft drinks -- go to support the fireworks and festivities.

"It is amazing to see what students working together can accomplish," said student event manager Anna Dikaliotis, referring to the many UW volunteers who help make the Canada Day Celebrations a success. "It's wonderful to work with such a dedicated team, who are so committed to improving the celebrations each year."

The daytime activities begin at 2:00 with games, children's activities and live entertainment on the main stage. At 6 p.m., welcoming ceremonies will be held with local dignitaries bringing their well wishes. Entertainment will continue from 2:00 until 10 p.m., when closing ceremonies will be held as the crowds gather to watch the musically enhanced fireworks show.

Free parking is available in most campus lots. Much of Columbia Street will be closed, so access to the campus is by University Avenue.

Two students are mourned

Two UW students died last week, according to information from the university police:

Willis Au, a second-year civil engineering student, died Sunday evening in Toronto, his home city. Visitation is this Saturday at 10 a.m., followed by the funeral at 11 a.m., at the Toronto Chinese Mennonite Church, 1038 Woodbine Avenue (corner of Danforth).

Sunir Sharman, a second-year recreation and leisure studies student, was killed in a motor vehicle accident Monday afternoon near Conestogo, northeast of Waterloo. Sharman, from Regina, was the only occupant of a car that collided with a recycling truck on regional road 17.

Two named to Royal Society of Canada

The Royal Society of Canada -- the Canadian Academy of the Sciences and Humanities -- has elected 64 new Fellows, including two professors from UW.

Vidyadhar Godambe, distinguished professor emeritus in the department of statistics and actuarial science, and Jacob Sivak, optometry professor and dean of graduate studies, are on the list for this year. Fellowship in the Royal Society of Canada is considered Canada's most prestigious academic accolade to which scholars and scientists aspire.

"These distinguished individuals have accomplished work of truly outstanding quality," said Howard Alper, society president. "They add enormous value to the extraordinary resource of talent and experience that constitutes the society."

Godambe, says the society's citation, "is internationally recognized as a major influence on the development of statistics over the past five decades. His pioneering and continuing work in the foundations of inference in survey sampling has provided deep insight into the characterization of optimal procedures and the role of randomization in statistics. He has also made outstanding and innovative contributions to the theory of estimation, formulating the methodology of estimating functions, leading and stimulating its further development, and promoting its application to diverse areas. His work has attracted many other researchers and students to fundamental problems in the theory of estimation and statistics generally."

And Sivak "has published over 200 articles on the refractive components, optical aberrations and accommodative (focussing) mechanisms of the vertebrate eye. He has contributed significantly to an understanding of how the eye develops, with recent emphasis on the effect of the early visual environment on eye development and on the relationship between lens development and optical function. He has also developed and patented a novel lens organ culture and scanning optical system designed to use abattoir-supplied tissue to measure toxicological ocular sensitivity as an alternative to the use of live animals. He has received a number of awards and distinctions as a result of his work."

As well, Sivak has added another honour as he has been selected to receive the Proctor Medal for "outstanding contributions to visual science and ophthalmology." This is only the second time a Canadian has won the medal awarded by the U.S.-based Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology.

This year's new Fellows of the Royal Society of Canada will be inducted in a ceremony at Ottawa's Rideau Hall on November 22.

Poli sci profs leave for Queen's

Two members of UW's political science department are leaving for posts at Queen's University, as Queen's announced this week that it has named John McGarry from Waterloo to a Canada Research Chair in "Nationalism and Democracy".

He will leave Waterloo to take up the new post in Kingston as of July 1. Also making the move to the faculty at Queen's is his wife and colleague Margaret Moore.

McGarry will hold a chair at the upper level of the Canada Research Chairs program, with funding of $200,000 a year over seven years.

A Queen's news release said McGarry "has established a global reputation as a scholar in the field of nationalism. At Queen's Dr. McGarry will study the phenomenon of minority nationalism and its relationship to globalization, and will research methods in which these minority nationalisms can be managed, both fairly and democratically, to reduce conflict.

"A central aim of the Chair, in conjunction with three interdisciplinary research centers at Queen's, is to establish the University as a national centre for the graduate and post-doctoral study of minority nationalism and its management in the changing international environment."

"Queen's is the only university in Canada that I would consider moving to," McGarry said yesterday. "It has an excellent tradition of supporting research in the arts, and in political science in particular. Queen's wants to use me, I understand, to build research strength in the study of nationalism and conflict regulation, and I'm excited by that project."

Established in 2000, the Canada Research Chairs program is a $900 million initiative intended to help Canadian universities attract and retain the best researchers and achieve research excellence in health, natural sciences, technology, social sciences, and humanities. Queen's is expecting to receive a total of 57 chairs during the five-year program. UW is looking for 52 Canada Research Chairs.

Moore, meanwhile, has been appointed as a Queen's National Scholar, a tenured faculty position. "Queen's has four of these positions annually," McGarry explains. They are in the gift of the senior administration and departments must compete for them by nominating a suitably qualified candidate. The political studies department at Queen's nominated Margaret and she won."

Souvenir of 1937

I haven't yet received a correct answer to yesterday's trivia question. What object on public display on the UW campus is directly associated with the 1937 world's fair? Several people wrongly guessed Porcellino, and a couple suggested "Walking Girl", the sculpture in the Modern Languages reflecting pool. I'll leave the competition open over the weekend. The first correct answer, by e-mail to credmond@uwaterloo.ca, wins a Warrior T-shirt provided by the UW athletics department.

And a few final notes

Co-op students who are still seeking work for the fall term should drop of their resumé package and "continuous phase registration form" in Needles Hall today, the co-op department says.

Also from co-op: winter term work reports that were marked by coordinators are available for pickup today.

A Maple Summer Workshop, sponsored by the UW spinoff company Waterloo Maple Inc., is being held on campus over the weekend. ("With a focus on Maple applications in education and industry, the workshop will provide a venue where innovative techniques are learned and shared.")

Apparently Canada Day comes a little early in Silicon Valley. Tonight, not Monday, brings the annual gathering of Canadians in the San Francisco area, this year at Kelly's Mission Rock at 817 China Basin. Jude Doble in UW's alumni affairs office says lots of Waterloo alumni are expected.

A bit closer to home, UW alumni will also be gathering at this year's conference of the Canadian Institute of Actuaries, being held in Halifax. There's an alumni breakfast this morning at the World Trade and Convention Centre.

Four dozen "high-achieving teens" are on their way to Waterloo for the annual Shad Valley program, running for the month of July and based at Conrad Grebel University College. "There should be some inventive madness Monday afternoon," says Linda Carson, one of the Shad staff. "We'll be trying to build something amazing with too little time, materials on hand, and just the instructions we can transmit on a BlackBerry."

And looking ahead to next week, Chris Strome of health services asks me to mention that the clinic will be closed all day on Wednesday for in-service training.



June 28, 1979: Long closed because of a fire, the Brubacher farmhouse on the north campus is reopened as a museum.

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