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Tuesday, January 13, 2004

  • Former MP here as visiting professor
  • Developers interested in research park
  • Disability office celebrates 20 years
  • And a little of this and that
Chris Redmond

On the twentieth day of Christmas


Former MP here as visiting professor

Flora MacDonald (left), former Member of Parliament and cabinet minister, and a Companion of the Order of Canada, is on campus for the first of four weeks she'll spend here as the TD/Walter Bean Visiting Professor of the Environment for 2003-04.

She's available to talk to classes and to individual faculty members and students, says a memo from Geoff McBoyle, dean of environmental studies, whose faculty is providing a base for MacDonald while she's at UW.

She will give a public lecture on Tuesday, March 2, at 3:30 in the Humanities Theatre, the dean said.

Says his memo: "The. Hon. Flora MacDonald served 16 years as Member of Parliament for Kingston and the Islands during which time she held three Cabinet positions. Since leaving Parliament she has been Chairperson of the International Development Research Centre in Ottawa; Visiting Fellow at the Centre for Canadian Studies at the University of Edinburgh; and in 1999 she was CoChair for Canada of the UN International Year of Older Persons. She also presently serves on the Boards or Advisory Councils of many organizations including Canadian Council of Refugees and Partnerships Africa Canada.

"Ms. MacDonald's involvement with human rights, peace, security, social and international development are all issues that relate to the environment whether in Canada, Africa or elsewhere on the globe. . . .

"Ms. MacDonald has a wealth of experience that she is willing to share with all."

MacDonald will be at UW this week, next week, the week of February 9 and the week of March 1. The keeper of her calendar, while she's at UW, is Jane McGeoch in the ES dean's office, phone ext. 2883.

[ARCHITECTURE over the door]

An architect's view of an architecture building: this is how the main entrance of the former Riverside Silk Mills plant will look when it's renovated to be the home of the UW architecture school. Work has begun on the century-old building, beside the Grand River in the Galt section of Cambridge, and the school plans to move in this September. Design architect for the project is Stanley Saitowitz of San Francisco.

Developers interested in research park -- a release from the UW media relations office

More than 40 representatives of the development community attended a local meeting last week to learn about future plans for UW's "Research + Technology Park."

The research park has unveiled a Request for Expressions of Interest (REI) for its second building project, providing a neighbour to the key anchor tenant, iAnywhere Solutions, a subsidiary of Sybase Inc.

It is seeking a development team to design, finance, construct, own and lease a multi-tenant office facility. The building would provide space for research- and technology-based companies as well as a publicly funded and operated Accelerator Centre.

On Wednesday, a general information session on the project was held at the Waterloo City Centre. More than 40 members of the development community, including architects, developers, contractors, real estate agents, lawyers and consultants, attended the meeting where the information in the REI was reviewed, detailed and answers to questions were provided.

The interested development teams are required to have their submissions in by 4:30 p.m. January 30. It is anticipated that a preferred developer will be identified by the end of February by a formal review committee. It is hoped that construction of the facility will be underway within six to eight months after a developer is selected.

UW is committed to creating an innovative community-based Research and Technology Park on its north campus. The 120-acre research park is supported by a comprehensive partnership involving the university, the government of Canada, the province of Ontario, the Region of Waterloo, the city of Waterloo, Communitech, and Canada's Technology Triangle.

Disability office celebrates 20 years -- by Barbara Elve, from the Gazette

The office for persons with disabilities is celebrating its 20th anniversary in 2004 with a year-long series of monthly events.

Founded in 1984, the office provides information, academic accommodations and support services to students, faculty, staff and campus visitors with disabilities. Last fall the department moved to a new, roomier and more easily accessible location on the first floor of Needles Hall.

[At NH bulletin board]

The links between the disabilities office and the UW library are the focus for January, as part of the 20th anniversary celebrations. Intern Kristen Zehr, left, and consultant Heather Landells get the word out on the bulletin board on the first floor in Needles Hall.

To commemorate the anniversary, says director Rose Padacz, "we will be hosting a series of events over the year with a focus on a variety of issues." Among the plans so far:

  • January is library month, with a talk on Campus Resource Solutions by Janet Wason, a coordinator of library services for persons with disabilities, scheduled for Wednesday, January 21, at noon in NH room 1132. As well, the office for persons with disabilities Web page will feature books on a variety of disability-related topics available at UW libraries.

  • February is low vision awareness month, in conjunction with the Candian National Institute for the Blind and the UW school of optometry, and will feature vision awareness presentations and displays.

  • March is learning disabilities month, with a panel presentation featuring Alice Schmidt, the office's learning specialist, and other speakers.

  • April is tentatively cancer awareness month.

  • May coincides with national awareness months for mental health and arthritis. Clinicians from the community and a representative from the chronic pain group will put on a presentation. As well, Canadian National Hearing Society awareness month will be marked with a "Deaf for a Day" simulation experience and will offer basic sign language classes to the campus for the month.

  • June, July and August will promote accessibility on campus and throughout Waterloo Region in conjunction with national organizations such as the Independent Living Centre. The focus will be on spinal cord diseases/injuries and other medical conditions, and developments in spinal cord research. Panel presentations are planned, as well as a performance by a dancer, Spirit, who is a wheelchair athlete.

  • September will feature a celebration of the services the office provides. to coincide with orientation week.

  • October is National Disability Employment Awareness month, an opportunity to look at the accessibility on campus almost one year after the launch of the UW Accessibility Plan.

  • November, technology month, will feature the third annual UW Adaptive Technology Fair.

  • December will celebrate famous people who have a disability, and mark International Day of the Disabled Persons on December 3.

    Senate undergraduate council, 12 noon, Needles Hall room 3004.

    Arts faculty council, 3:30, Humanities room 373.

    Waterloo Space Society general meeting, 5:30, Physics room 145.

    Noon-hour concert, soprano Tannis Sprott and flautist Mark McDowell, Wednesday 12:30, Conrad Grebel University College chapel, free.

    MBET (Master of Business, Entrepreneurship and Technology) program information session, Thursday 4 p.m., Davis Centre room 1302.

    Planning Students Association and Association of Graduate Planners offer a session on the planning profession. Speakers include Don May, president of the Ontario Professional Planning Institute. Thursday 5:30 p.m., Environmental Studies I courtyard.

    Computer science Distinguished Lecture Series begins with Alfred Aho, Columbia University, Friday 4:30 p.m., Davis Centre room 1350.

    And a little of this and that

    The co-op cycle keeps rolling -- it's the second week of the term, and today the first posting of spring term jobs will go up in the Tatham Centre and online. (Interviews start January 28.) Sessions in the non-credit Co-op 101 program are under way now, for students who are about to go through the job application process for the first time, and career services workshops on such topics as letter-writing and resumé writing start tomorrow. Meanwhile, students who were out at jobs in the fall term should have their work reports completed; the deadline for submitting them is 4:00 today ("some faculties differ").

    Now that the former Married Student Apartment complex on University Avenue is "UW Place" and mostly in use as a regular undergraduate residence, it's home to hundreds of students who don't have much in the way of cooking facilities but still want to eat now and then. The result: there's been some talk of putting a residence cafeteria into UW Place, if only space were available. "The need for a dining facility and social space is clear," agrees Mark Murdoch, director of food services. "The solution isn't." He and Bud Walker -- UW's director of business operations, responsible for both food and housing -- say the issue is definitely on their agenda.

    I want to repeat a note that was in the Daily Bulletin shortly before Christmas, picked up from the UW library's electronic newsletter: "The UW @ UW pilot project, initiated last spring to explore the feasibility of expanding the book and article retrieval service, has been extended to the end of the Winter 2004 term. This expansion of service allows UW faculty, graduate students, and staff to place holds on books in the UW and UW affiliated library collections and choose any of the eight on-campus library sites for pick-up (Dana Porter, Davis Centre, UMD, Optometry, Renison, Conrad Grebel, St. Jerome's, and TRACE); to request photocopies of journal articles from these collections and have them delivered to an on-campus address. Article requests are subject to copyright regulations. This service will continue to be free of charge and continue to offer a 3-work-day turnaround."

    Another note is on hand about a faculty position for which applications are invited. This one is a job at Conrad Grebel University College for an assistant professor in peace and conflict studies. Wanted: "teaching and research expertise in one or more of the following areas: theories of peace and conflict; theories and practice of conflict resolution; international studies; global development; human rights. The candidate's ability to teach in another area of the humanities or social sciences is desirable. . . . Applicants should be sympathetic to the traditions and beliefs of the Mennonite church." Grebel dean Marlene Epp can provide more information.

    A local resident (and, I believe, UW graduate) named Pamela Harris writes that she's looking for anyone who may have witnessed a collision on Saturday afternoon, January 3. Harris, in her purple wheelchair, was crossing at the corner of Columbia and Weber Streets, east of campus, "when a car making a right-hand turn, also on the green light, hit me on the left side of my wheelchair. . . . The person only slowed the car down briefly, didn't stop to see if I was hurt or that my $11,000 wheelchair was damaged. Instead the driver continued down Weber Street. The car will have deep scratches on the right-hand side (the passenger side)." If anybody saw anything or knows anything, a call to Waterloo Regional Police at 650-8516 will be appreciated.

    I'm a bit late in reporting that the UW senate, at its November meeting, approved a proposed new stream in the department of psychology, a Master of Applied Science program specializing in developmental communication science. "This is a one-year program," the senate was told, "designed to provide an intensive, applied research experience for students who already have a strong background in developmental psychology or related field. . . . MASc DCS students will include those seeking careers in early childhood education, teaching, speech-language pathology", perhaps even law, journalism or marketing. The year's work includes not just courses but a research paper and two internship placings, likely including one in the psych department's Early Childhood Education Centre.

    Finally . . . an e-mail message yesterday told me that a UW student was triumphant in a non-university sports event over the weekend. Unfortunately the details have all vanished somewhere in cyberspace, before I could get them onto paper. I'd be grateful if whoever wrote to me yesterday would write to me again!


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