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Wednesday, May 21, 2003

  • Campaign's half way, newsletter says
  • Already the middle of the week
  • The talk of the campus
Chris Redmond

Huntington's Disease awareness month

[Outside Physics building]

Beside their baby are the members of the UW Alternative Fuels Team, who took two vehicles -- this truck, and a Malibu sedan with a Maple Leaf paint job -- to competitions in Washington over the weekend. "We did pretty well," reports mechanical engineering student Eric Duiker. "Fourth place overall with the Malibu, and awards for best range and reliability (both the car and the truck tied for first), and best acceleration (the truck blew the field away by over a second). The Malibu came together really well, achieving an astounding 38.4 miles per US gallon equivalent, or 46.1 mpg in Imperial. We ran a total of 600 miles the car without a hint of any problems. We also got the unofficial best-looking car award."

Campaign's half way, newsletter says

Campaign Waterloo is halfway to its $260 million goal, says the first issue of a campaign newsletter -- Talent Trust News -- that was distributed a few days ago. The front page, pictured below, includes a thermometer and the news that $133 million has been raised.

[Newsletter] The goal for the campaign is $260 million, and plans are to launch Campaign Waterloo publicly when gifts and pledges hit $170 million, the newsletter says.

More from the glossy four-pager: "We've made significant progress in each of the four priority areas of our campaign. In support of our commitment to attracting and rewarding talent, we've raised over $14 million towards undergraduate and graduate scholarships and $20 million for faculty chairs and fellowships. In the enabling talent area, we're received a gift of $1 million to create an Information Commons in our next-generation library. We've received a total of $27 million towards new buildings, which will go a long way towards making room for talent here at Waterloo. And our students have made generous contributions to expansions to the Student Life Centre and athletics facilities on campus, in support of creating a culture where talent will flourish.

"Our faculty, staff, students, and alumni are key to the early success of this campaign. To date, faculty, staff, and retirees have contributed $2.2 million, undergraduate students $4.8 million, and graduate students another $1 million. Our alumni have contributed an impressive $25.5 million.

"With such support, it won't be long until we reach our public launch goal of $170 million. Early 2004, is what we're predicting. The excitement is already starting to build."

Also on the front page, Bob Harding -- Brascan executive and chairman of the UW board of governors, who's also chairing Campaign Waterloo -- provides a few words: "As an alumnus, I am very proud to chair this campaign, which will enable the University of Waterloo to continue its tradition of innovation and excellence in teaching and research. I am very fortunate to be working with a strong team of volunteers, many of whom are also UW grads. . . . Campaign Waterloo would not have progressed without the influential and dynamic volunteers that have come together to turn this dream into a reality."

Articles inside the newsletter touch on the Bill Tatham gift for UW's new co-op and career services building; funding from students to support expansion of the Student Life Centre and the Columbia Icefield; the graduate student endowment fund; gifts from alumni who work at Microsoft; and environmental scholarships being funded by TD Bank Financial Group.

Meanwhile, the spring issue of the Keystone Fund newsletter, It's Our Waterloo, says the on-campus segment of Campaign Waterloo has reached 49 per cent of its goal -- $2.2 million towards the goal of $4.5 million from the people who work here. "We wish to thank all 1,277 faculty, staff and retirees who have already donated," says a letter from the three campaign co-chairs.

It also announces that the summer Keystone celebration is scheduled for June 18: "Have some fun! Have some good food! Learn about the impact UW has on the world and that the Keystone Campaign has on UW." Details will be along soon.

Already the middle of the week

Feels like Tuesday, but it's Wednesday, and that should mean the weekly "Positions Available" list from the human resources department. It's generally posted on the HR web site. (There's no Gazette issue this week.)

Steve Gombos of the Waterloo Region water services division will speak this morning about water conservation "and what we can do to be water efficient", says Patti Cook, UW's waste management coordinator. The talk will start at 11 a.m. in the great hall of the Student Life Centre; it's sponsored by the UW Sustainability Project.


Today's question -- at the request of the UW waste management office -- is aimed at staff and faculty members only.

Do you take the bus to work?

  Always or often


By the way, if you have a suggestion for a Quick Poll question, please drop me a note!
A day-long workshop on nanotechnology is taking place today in room 2218 of the new Tatham Centre. Organized by three academic departments (electrical and computer engineering, chemistry, and chemical engineering), it's aimed at discussion of a possible nanotechnology engineering program at UW. Danial Wayner of the National Institute of Nanotechnology is among the scheduled speakers.

[Short wavy blond hair]

Wanted: Waterloo Regional Police are looking for this man, thought to be 18 to 22 years old, in connection with a sexual assault on Regina Street North on May 6. He wore a "dark blue or black sweater with design very worn, stretched out of shape", and had a "very distinctive particular walk, military marching style". Anyone with information can call the Regionals at 653-7700 ext. 330, or UW police at 888-4911.

"Any questions?" That's a question instructors often ask, but its effectiveness is well, open to question. "Question Strategies" is the topic of a workshop today, aimed at teaching assistants and indeed any UW instructors. Organized by the teaching resource office, it starts at 12 noon in Math and Computer room 5158.

The annual general meeting of the UW retirees association is scheduled for 1:30 today in room West 102 of Ron Eydt Village -- and will be taking place, so far as I know, in spite of the death this week of the association's president, Steve Little, formerly of the registrar's office. "No formal presentation will be arranged," the meeting notice says. "Board members will report on various activities of the Association over the past year, and there will be plenty of opportunity to chat with old friends and make new acquaintances."

Roger Girard of the provincial government's Smart Systems for Health Agency will speak this afternoon in the "smarter health seminar" series. His talk -- an overview of the agency -- is scheduled for 3 p.m. in Davis Centre room 1302.

Some 600 soccer players from French-language high schools will be at the Ron Eydt Village conference centre today through Saturday for a tournament. . . . Society of Actuaries exams are continuing, also at Ron Eydt Village. . . . Two psychologists from Australia's University of Queensland will visit Wilfrid Laurier University today to talk about "a text mining program called Leximancer" (2 p.m. at the Paul Martin Centre). . . .

Today's sessions in the career development workshop series include "Interview Skills: The Basics" at 4:30, "Preparing for Questions" at 5:30, and "Job Search Strategies" specifically for international students at 4:30. Details and registration are on the career services web site.

And . . . Jude Doble in the office of development and alumni affairs sends word of "The Amazing Region Race II", based on the reality TV show "The Amazing Race", which is scheduled for this Saturday. Her colleague Karen Paquette is involved in organizing the thing: "UW students, staff, faculty and friends are welcome to get a team of 4 participants together for a frenetic scavenger hunt across the Region where participants decipher clues and riddles that lead them to their next stop. At each stop, teams will complete a challenge in order to receive the next clue. Challenges test both mental agility and physical coordination and are designed to be fun." There's more information on the web, or Paquette (klpaquet@admmail) can provide details.

The talk of the campus

Members of UW's Formula SAE team are home with word on how they did in competition with 140 other student-built cars in the Silverdome in Pontiac, Michigan. The UW entry took a few awards, says team member Vickie Ho, a graduate student in mech eng: first place for the Ricardo Powertrain Award, second for the SolidWorks Fastest Time, fourth in the skid pad event, and tied for 5th in design. "Unfortunately we did not finish the endurance event, which is worth 40% of the overall mark, due to a loose cooling hose. This led us to an overall placing of 27th," she writes, noting that only 34 of 90 cars that began the endurance race finished it. The eventual winning car was from Australia's University of Wollongong.

Things are squeezed at St. Jerome's University, according to a report presented to UW's senate last night: "Although St. Jerome's University registers about 1,000 students, because of our equity agreement and our teaching obligations we average approximately 9,000 student courses per annum. As a consequence, like all the other faculties at the University of Waterloo, we are concerned about the double cohort and the continued quality of our teaching, and keeping in mind our high reputation for teaching -- we currently have five University of Waterloo Distinguished Teachers -- we have expressed some alarm over our expanding class enrolments. We continue to face both office and teaching space challenges and our current renovation project of over $360,000 for the current fiscal year is designed to provide additional upgrades for teaching space as well as new offices for incoming faculty and sessionals."

The Waterloo Engineering Endowment Fund, which gets its money from a voluntary fee paid by engineering students, was able to spend $70,000 in support of undergraduate education during the winter term. A list of projects, and how much money they received, appeared in the last issue of Iron Warrior before exams. Among the two dozen grants: money to buy a Hach portable turbidimeter for civil engineering students, a numerically controlled milling machine in mechanical, and a tube cutter and notcher. There are also lump sums for half a dozen student project teams, including Midnight Sun, the "clean snowmobile" and the off-road mini-baja vehicle, or WOMBAT.

From the staff association the other day: "The Staff Association Executive Committee is pleased to announce that, beginning May 2003, the UWSA Award is increased to $500. Each term, an award of $500 is provided to a deserving full-or part-time undergraduate student in a degree program at the University of Waterloo. The student must be a member of the Staff Association or be the spouse, child, grandchild or dependent of a Staff Association member. The student must demonstrate involvement with (a) volunteer organization(s) or extra-curricular activities. The student must also have a good academic standing. Financial need may be considered. The student may only receive this award once within an academic year. This award may not be held in conjunction with another award valued at $500 or more for the same study period. As well, we are delighted that, for each of the next three terms, beginning Spring 2003, the Education Credit Union will match the $500 UWSA Award. The next three Award recipients will receive $1,000. Applications are available from the Staff Association Office, DC 3603, ext. 3566, or from the SA web site. Application deadline for Spring 2003 term: May 30, 2003."

The latest Teaching Matters newsletter from the teaching resource office includes an article summarizing good advice given at a workshop in March about academic publishing. It was aimed mostly at graduate students -- hence this nugget: "As you write, position yourself as a professional, even if you are a graduate student. Your purpose is not to convince your superiors how much you know but rather to dialogue with your peers, to interact with their ideas, and to introduce your own for feedback. This means, for example, that your journal submissions should not include lengthy explications of theory or lengthy rehearsals of what others have said -- two common elements in graduate-course papers."

News on the provincial level, from this month's report by Mary Thompson, who represents UW as "academic colleague" on the Council of Ontario Universities: "As had been hoped, applications this year show the same distributions of marks for the two parts of the double cohort. A minor issue has arisen concerning applicants from the new curriculum who have not fulfilled their community service requirement. The COU position is that secondary school graduation is required for university admission. . . . We learned that Ontario's position relative to other provinces and US states has improved over the last three years, partly because of the funding for the double cohort, and partly because of cutbacks in the US. Ontario is no longer at the bottom in terms of growth in public investment in universities. At the same time, there is still a large gap in revenue per student between Ontario universities and American peer institutions."


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