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Wednesday, March 19, 2003

  • $900,000 for environment scholarships
  • Arts co-op program to be reborn
  • Most senators chosen by acclamation
  • Other notes and today's events
Editor:
Chris Redmond
credmond@uwaterloo.ca

The swallows return today


[Off-shoulder dress; Superman]

Mary Magdalene and Jesus are impersonated by Victoria Grant and Jared Penner in this week's production of "Godspell", staged by students from Conrad Grebel University College, at Kitchener's Registry Theatre. Performances are at 8:00 tonight through Saturday; tickets are $10 and $8. (By the way, one of my colleagues saw the dress rehearsal preview last night and pronounces it "fantastic . . . riveting".)

$900,000 for environment scholarships -- from the UW media relations office

Canada's future experts in environmental teaching and research have received a big boost in support with the TD Bank Financial Group's $900,000 endowment at the University of Waterloo.

The TD Bank Graduate Scholarships in the Environment will be awarded annually to graduate students enrolled in the UW faculties of engineering, environmental studies and science whose areas of study have a strong environmental focus.

Six awards valued at $5,000 each will be given annually and will be double-matched through an Ontario Graduate Scholarship or an Ontario Graduate Scholarship in Science and Technology, making the combined value of each award total $15,000.

"TD Bank Financial Group is a strong supporter of community-based initiatives aimed at improving the environment, including the TD Friends of the Environment Foundation," said John Capozzolo, senior vice-president of TD Canada Trust's Ontario Central Region in Kitchener. "The TD Bank Graduate Scholarships in the Environment are a perfect complement to the TD Friends of the Environment Foundation, as they are both dedicated to protecting and preserving the environment through grassroots initiatives and education."

"There is an urgent need for new knowledge and technologies that will help us understand and manage the delicate balance between human activity and nature," said David Johnston, UW president. "We are thankful for this generous gift that will help enable UW's most talented environmental researchers to develop innovative solutions for the future."

The scholarship endowment was announced before a UW public lecture given by Kelly Thambimuthu, a leading international authority on climate change and fossil fuels. Thambimuthu is the 2003 TD Canada Trust/Walter Bean Visiting Professor in the Environment, based at UW.

TD Friends of the Environment Foundation is a non-profit foundation involving customers, employees and TD Bank Financial Group in support of local environmental initiatives. Since its inception in 1990, the TD Friends of the Environment Foundation has provided more than $29 million to some 12,485 environmental projects. In Kitchener-Waterloo, the foundation has funded 382 projects, totalling more than $800,000.

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  • Arts co-op program to be reborn

    The "applied studies" program, which at one time was the pride of UW's faculty of arts, is set to disappear, as the students entering the program this fall will be the last to claim that name. Next year applied studies will be reborn as "honours arts and business co-op", under changes that have been approved by the arts faculty council and the UW senate.

    There's already an "arts and business" program in the regular stream, and its requirements have been very similar to the requirements for applied studies, senate was told -- except that applied studies is a co-op program, while arts and business isn't.

    Applied studies was created two decades ago to combine academic rigour with employment skills, at a time when that seemed like a novelty for an arts faculty, and attracted many of the top students in arts. Besides a complete honours program in a field such as history, fine arts or economics, a student was required to meet requirements in accountancy, computer science, a language, Canadian history or politics, science, writing, "critical thinking" (in philosophy), and public speaking. And, of course, they had to do five or six co-op work terms. Students in applied studies can specialize in cultural management, international trade, human resources management, or management studies.

    As interest in job-related programs in arts grew, the "regular" arts-and-business program came along as a non-co-op alternative to applied studies. "Adding a co-operative version now," senate was told, "reflects a decision by the Faculty to inactivate the Applied Studies Co-operative plan in response to a decline in the number of applicants, and secondary school students associating 'applied' with a college degree."

    "The two programs will be integrated," explains Emanuel Carvalho, associate dean (special programs) for the arts faculty, "with the same set of requirements for both the co-op and regular streams." Those requirements will include two courses from the accountancy school -- "Accounting Information for Managers" and "Management" -- as well as two from economics, "Introduction to Microeconomics" and "Marketing". A statistics course is also required.

    Carvalho says the more straightforward name, arts and business, "will better portray the intended scope and direction of the program to both students and co-op employers".

    Students will be applying for admission to first year in the new co-op program in time to begin their studies in September 2004, and some will go out on the first work term in January 2005.

    Turtle talk is today

    How embarrassing: I announced a chelonian event a day early. It's actually today that the Sierra Club of Canada and the UW Sustainability Project are co-hosting a slide presentation -- "Gentle Giants: Sea Turtles of the South" -- about the future of sea turtles in the waters of Central America. The speaker is Enriqueta Ramierez of CESTA Friends of the Earth El Salvador, whose efforts to protect declining turtle populations have broken new ground. Her talk and slide presentation will start at 12:30 in Arts Lecture Hall room 113. Afterwards, UWSP holds an open house about its work in solar technology, alternative transportation and other areas.

    Most senators chosen by acclamation -- from the university secretariat

    The call for nominations of faculty members to Senate closed at 3:00 p.m., Wednesday, March 12 2003, and the results are as follows (all terms are May 1, 2003 to April 30, 2006):

    Faculty: Acclaimed are

    Two by-elections will be called for the Faculty of Mathematics and for the St. Paul's United College seats.

    An election will be held for the Faculty of Science seat. The candidates are Robert Mann, Physics, and Ralph Smith, Biology.

    Faculty At-Large: Acclaimed are

    St. Jerome's University: Kieran Bonner was acclaimed.

    [Sax]

    The joy of sax will come to Conrad Grebel University College at noontime -- at least, the music department sure hopes so. A concert of saxophone music by Daniel Rubinoff, cancelled twice before, is now on the schedule for today (12:30 in the chapel).

    Other notes and today's events

    One thing I didn't mention, in yesterday's report on the planned 2003-04 budget, is what UW will do with the funding that will come from the federal government for "indirect costs of research". Provost Amit Chakma is estimating that grant at $6.1 million this year, and says it will go for much the same things that the past year's grant helped pay for. In other words, some will go to the faculties for their various needs, and some for "academic support infrastructure", including information technology and the library. "We know that support for the library will be a significant component," Chakma told the senate finance committee on Monday, saying that's why no extra library funding is included in the university's regular operating budget for the coming year.

    There's a revised title for one of the Canada Research Chairs at UW that were announced earlier this week. Thank goodness, I say, when a revision makes the title of something shorter rather than longer. Khaled Soudki of the civil engineering department will now be "Canada Research Chair in Innovative Structural Rehabilitation".

    A flyer is out from UW's staff association: nominations are now being accepted for positions on the executive for the coming year (which starts, for some reason, on June 2). Positions open: vice-president, secretary, treasurer, two directors, and president-elect. Moving into the job of president of the staff association for 2003-04 will be the current year's president-elect, Chris Henderson of the purchasing department.

    A new art exhibition today opens at the chapel lounge at Renison College. It consists of watercolours and prints by Marc Bauer-Maison, under the title "Harbingers of Spring". There's a meet-the-artist reception at 7:00 tonight, and the show will run until April 4.

    March is Nutrition Month, and Tammy Hoffmann of UW's health services has an offer you can't refuse: "Drop by Health Services for a healthy snack /O/ between 2 and 4 p.m. and speak to a nurse about any nutrition-related questions such as vitamins, fats, calcium, and eating for energy. Enter a draw for a chance to win a great prize!"

    The computer store will hold a lunch-and-learn session today (12:00, Davis Centre room 1302) about Macintosh laptops. . . . No more space is available at today's lunch-hour session on "Complementary Planting in the Perennial Garden", sponsored by the Employee Assistance Program. . . . The faculty of arts will hold an information session tonight (7:00, Arts Lecture Hall room 116) aimed at future students and their parents. . . . The Muslim Students Association will show the video "Make It Plain", about the life of Malcolm X, at 7:00 tonight in the great hall of the Student Life Centre. . . .

    The smarter health seminar series today presents "Electronic Healthcare Record Solutions", a talk by Trevor Hodge of Sierra Systems Group and Sarah Graham of Orion Systems International. They "will discuss how software from different vendors brought together by Sierra Systems works to meet the information needs of clinicians and healthcare management". Time: 3:00. Place: Davis Centre room 1302.

    This week's "evening of discussion", sponsored by the Civics Research Group, deals with "Communities in Conservation: What Role Can Communities Play in Managing Our Natural Resources?" The discussion will be led by graduate student Tanya McGregor, and will start at 7:30 at 70 King Street East in Kitchener.

    "Singing, instrumental ensembles, hip-hop stepping, stand-up comedy, and lots more" are promised at TalEng tonight -- and the "more" will include an announcement of Engineering Society election results. At the end of the evening's show, the newly-elected EngSoc leadership will take the stage for, I don't know, maybe more hip-hop. The once-a-term engineering talent show starts at 8:30 at Loose Change Louie's, just east of campus.

    The Arts Student Union is also in the process of electing a new executive. . . . All graphics copy centres will be closed tomorrow until 9:15 a.m. for a staff meeting. . . . Paul Langan of Transport 2000 will speak about Ontario's "smart growth plan" tomorrow at noon in the Student Life Centre. . . . Chemical engineering graduate Gary Blau will speak tomorrow at 3:30 (Rod Coutts Hall room 307) on "Bayes, Bias and Balderdash: New Tools for New Product Portfolio Decision Making". . . . The "interdisciplinary coffee talk society" presents Brian Ingalls of applied mathematics, tomorrow at 5:00 at the Graduate House. . . . And later tomorrow evening, "Jazz-Fest 2003" gets under way at the Grad House. . . .

    CAR


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