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Monday, January 13, 2003

  • Students speak with world perspective
  • Step on it: campus rec gets running
  • About the business programs in math
  • Other notes and events today
Chris Redmond

The American Music Awards

[Spinning globe] Students speak with world perspective

Everybody knows it doesn't snow like this in most other parts of the world. But there's a lot more to be said. And so foreign students, and Canadian students who have spent time in other countries, are being invited to join a roster of speakers who are available to share their international knowledge in classes.

The roster is a pilot project sponsored by the teaching resources and continuing education office, funded jointly by UW and the Canadian Bureau for International Education. The goal: to enrich and internationalize the curriculum.

Says graduate student Elise Ho, who's working part-time for TRACE: "This project stems from the recognition that there are many students presently on campus with a vast array of international experiences that could enrich the learning environments for all students."

She reports that in several focus groups held in November, students and faculty members proposed an idea to use international students and domestic students with international work or study experiences as guest speakers in courses. "These guest speaker events help by providing students with valuable presentation experience, and by bringing an international dimension to regular course material. Similar programs are presently being run at Oregon State University and the University of Alberta, in which students with international experiences serve as guest presenters in university and community settings."

So, she says, "We are currently seeking all interested international students and domestic students (graduate and undergraduate) with international work/study experiences to volunteer for this project.

"As participants, your name and information will be placed on a roster to be circulated amongst interested faculty members. From this, you might be asked to give a presentation to a class."

In return, students can get -- if they wish -- help with presentation skills, feedback on their performance, "a formal letter attesting to and thanking you for your participation in this project", and financial support for overheads or other presentation aids if they're needed.

"Not all student volunteers may present this semester," Ho notes. "This depends largely on the feedback we receive from faculty members and on the suitability of your presentations. However, there is also a possibility of a lecture series or wine and cheese, in which volunteers may have an opportunity to present to other students and invited faculty."

She said TRACE is also looking any course instructors who are interested in having an international student or a Canadian student with international experiences serve as a guest lecturer in one of their classes.

Anybody interested in the project, as student or as instructor, can reach Ho at ext. 3408 or e-mail e4ho@watserv1.


John Smith, a faculty member in the physics department since 1964, officially retired January 1. He's a specialist, his web site explains, in "synchronized chaos", and has worked on fields as varied as superconduction and instrumentation. He was the winner of a Distinguished Teacher Award in 1997.

Step on it: campus rec gets running

Tomorrow's the day to register for fitness, first aid, swimming, sports and dance classes as the campus recreation program gets going for the winter term.

You can get everything from squash lessons to a "Morning Rush" this term, not to mention "Women on Weights", hatha yoga, power skating and the basic techniques of cross-country skiing. Typically the fee is $25 to $35 for an hour-a-week class.

A new offering this term is a modern dance class that will be taught by health studies student Stephanie Borris, said campus rec manager Jane Varley in the department of athletics and recreational services. (That class will be held Mondays at 6 p.m., not at the earlier hour that's listed in the campus rec brochure.) There are also a couple of new titles in the list of 32 assorted fitness classes: "Muscle Plus" and "Step to the Max" now join "Ballet Blast" and "Saturday Splash In".

Varley said classes in power yoga and Pilates exercise were to be added to the program this term, and are listed in the campus rec brochure, but have been cancelled because the instructor won't be available. But water safety, CPR, bouldering and power skating are still on the list, and there's even a course in "breathing techniques".

The way to register is to pick up a time card (tomorrow morning between 8:15 and 11:00) from the athletics office in the PAC. Then you come back to the PAC on Wednesday at the time indicated on the card, hand in your paperwork and make your payment. (Registration for staff and faculty fitness courses is from noon to 1 p.m. tomorrow.) Registration for programs with space left is also possible on Thursday. Most classes begin next Monday.

In addition to the instructional program, campus recreation includes clubs (from badminton to martial arts), leagues (recreational or competitive, in soccer, volleyball, broomball, basketball, hockey and waterpolo), and tournaments (squash, volleyball and tennis).

About the business programs in math

I have a memo from Peter Wood, director of the business and accounting program in the math faculty, that deserves to be quoted at length. He's writing on behalf of himself and math dean Alan George:

"We would like to update the community on the information contained in the Wednesday, January 8, Daily Bulletin. The ad-hoc Committee formed to consider the External Review Report's recommendation to place the Mathematics Business programs in the Statistics department has concluded its work. The committee recommended that the programs remain operated centrally in the Dean's office with a Director appointed to oversee the operations. The Faculty accepted this recommendation and I was appointed last month as the first Director, Undergraduate Business and Accounting Programs.

"Regarding the Business and Mathematics Double Degree program, we are indeed very happy with this program. However, the Bulletin article seemed to imply that Waterloo might make enrolment changes unilaterally, which is not correct or possible. The program is jointly supported by the two Universities, and any change to the admission process, including admission targets, is something we would negotiate with WLU.

"As a final point, the Management Accounting plan has recently been deleted. Although the Math faculty would like to have a strong Management Accounting program to complement our current Chartered Accounting program, we are not in a position to offer an effective one at the moment.

"Hopefully this update will clear up any confusion that may have arisen."

Travel funds go into the bank

Staff and faculty who are being repaid for travel expenses and similar costs will get the money straight into their bank accounts, rather than by cheque, starting next week.

A memo from Jane Manson, director of finance, announces the change: "The University will pay employees for advances or out-of-pocket expenses electronically rather than by cheque. . . . The money will be deposited to the same bank account used by Human Resources for payroll deposits. In addition, the employee will receive a printed remittance advice indicating the purpose of the payment, amount and bank account used."

The policy applies to faculty and staff. Cheques will still be issued when money is due to "casual" employees and students.

Other notes and events today

The January issue of Teaching Matters, a newsletter from the teaching resources and continuing education office, has come out, with various features and announcements. Among the notes:
Sally Lerner, Professor Emerita in Environment and Resource Studies, will be joining TRACE on a part-time basis this term to help us help you. Sally will be preparing a very brief questionnaire to help us identify teaching problems you've solved, and those you might not have solved. Our thinking is that if we can put together a repository of solutions to teaching problems, it will be extremely useful as a supplement to our "Teaching Tips" collection. She will also be asking you for your opinion as to how best TRACE can serve you. You will receive a questionnaire by email that you can simply "reply" to in little time.
Also in the new issue is a report by TRACE director Barbara Bulman-Fleming on how she's spent her first year in that job.

Keystone Campaign organizers have posted a list of January winners in the monthly donor draw -- a continuing way to reward staff, faculty and retirees who contribute to UW's campaign.

Co-op students in most programs should note that work reports from their spring term jobs are due today. ("Some faculties differ," the co-op department notes. "Check with your undergrad office.") The deadline is the usual 4 p.m., but of course the dropoff spot is no longer in Needles Hall: reports should be handed in at the "information centre" on the ground level of the new CEC building.

A note from volunteer Ted Harms at the UW Bike Centre: "Even though there's snow outside, the Bike Centre will be open this term, and we're looking for volunteers. The main responsibility is a two-hour shift once a week, and you should know a little bit about bikes and hopefully interested in learning more. You don't have to be a mechanical whiz. If you're interested or have further questions, contact Ted at uwbikecentre@yahoo.com."

[Credit union logo] Some events aimed mostly at staff and faculty members are happening in the next little while:

The Waterloo Public Interest Research Group is bringing in a guest speaker today -- Nahla Abdo, sociology and anthropology professor at Carleton University:
In her talk, entitled "Women, Violence and the Middle East", Abdo will draw on her extensive knowledge of the conflict in the Palestine/Israel region and bring forth a feminist perspective of the militarization in the area.

The Palestinian academic is co-editor of the book Women and the Politics of Military Confrontation: Palestinian and Israeli Gendered Narratives of Dislocation and writes about how both Israeli and Palestinian women deal with the conflict in the Middle East. The (auto)biographical narratives in this volume focus on some of the most disturbing effects of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict: a sense of dislocation that goes well beyond the geographical meaning of the word; it involves social, cultural, national and gender dislocation, including alienation from one's own home, family, community, and society.

"We all know that the new, the different, and the unknown is almost always very threatening and causes real fear. It takes special courage and brave souls to take up the challenge and undergo the shakeup from within," says Dr. Abdo.

Her talk starts at 7 p.m. in Davis Centre room 1350.

A TOEFL ("Test of English as a Foreign Language") preparation course begins tomorrow and runs through March 20, the international students office says. "Classes are held every Tuesday and Thursday from 2 to 4:30 p.m. This 10-week course is designed for people taking the TOEFL exam. The course fee is $150, payable in cash." Students can register at the international students office in Needles Hall, or call ext. 2814 for more information.

Coming Wednesday: a panel on "careers in math and computer science", sponsored by the Women in Mathematics Committee, and starting at 4:30 p.m. in Math and Computer room 5158.


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