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Monday, April 11, 2005

  • MBET available at a distance
  • The business of business cards
  • Profs can hire 150 research interns
  • A closing, a cancellation and more
Chris Redmond

National Poetry Month

[A trophy as big as the ritz]

Field hockey and indoor hockey star Jessa Jennings was named Female Athlete of the Year at UW at the recent year-end awards celebration. Jennings, who's graduating in economics this spring, has been an All-Canadian twice, team captain for two years, and an Academic All-Canadian five times. She mugs with Judy McCrae, UW director of athletics, after being presented with the Marsden Trophy. Male Athlete of the Year honours and the Totzke Trophy went to Justin Fluit, three-year captain of the Warrior golf team, all-star and three-time Academic All-Canadian. He's about to graduate in chemical engineering. Other year-end honours included "rookie of the year" awards -- to hockey goalie Curtis Darling and volleyballer Gaby Lesniak -- and a "coach of the year" citation for Karl Taylor of men's hockey.

MBET available at a distance

UW's innovative Master of Business, Entrepreneurship and Technology degree is to be offered part-time for students who can't get to the campus, and may begin as early as this fall, says its director.

Accountancy professor Howard Armitage, who heads the Centre for Business, Entrepreneurship and Technology, said he and his colleagues are scrambling to get course materials, instructors, arrangements and students so things can start in September with one local "chapter" of around 20 students.

The program, dubbed MBET@Distance, combines online distance education with face-to-face, personal interaction. Students will periodically meet for a day "to develop doing skills, practice capabilities, and further relationships". It's the equivalent of what goes on -- sometimes twelve hours a day -- in the Needles Hall seminar room where the on-campus MBET students make their headquarters.

Between the face-to-face "chapter" meetings, which will also include guest speakers and the successful business people that MBET calls "entre-nous participants", students will take their courses online.

Similar to the on-campus MBET program, MBET@Distance aims to provide aspiring business leaders with the practical experience, tailored business capabilities and network of stakeholders required to successfully commercialize new ventures within technology-based organizations -- or run their own companies. "While differing in delivery," says Armitage's publicity, "the two MBET programs share one goal: MBET will help you create Canada's next generation of successful businesses."

On-campus MBET students are full-time and finish their degree in a year. The Distance program is aimed at people who are already holding down jobs, and will take three years to finish. "We will offer the same 'learning-doing' educational experience, but on a part-time basis," Armitage says. And by the end of the program, participants will have gone through the same cycle that on-campus MBET students experience: from the concept or "seed" of an entrepreneurial business, to product development, to "market execution". If it's a real business, it'll be ready to go by graduation time.

The first "chapter" will be based in Kitchener-Waterloo and will be home to students in K-W, Cambridge, Guelph, Toronto and London, Armitage said. That's the one he hopes to have in operation this September. It's expected to meet in the board room of a local company that has offered its support for the program.

Future chapters would likely start with Ottawa and could extend to other parts of Canada -- and beyond, since MBET is a "full-cost recovery" program and students (or their employers) pay their own way. Armitage thinks the Seattle area, known for a concentration of high-tech business, could be promising for an MBET chapter.

He's estimating that participants will need to spend 15 hours a week to succeed in the program. To make the workload manageable for people who have jobs and lives, breaks have been built into the curriculum during July and August every year.

The business of business cards

Chris Read, director of UW Graphics, writes: "One of the more visible services provided by Graphics is printing the business cards for faculty, staff, students, departments and other interested areas on campus. The guidelines for producing business cards are determined by senior administration on campus, and are an important component of maintaining a consistent University image.

"The University recently reviewed the current guidelines for printing business cards, and while a few subtle changes were made, it's probably nothing you'll notice. What you will notice next time you submit an order for cards with Graphics, is that the price (and process) has changed.

"After looking at our internal process with a critical eye, we have a reworked job flow, and the result is a reduction in cost, to be passed on to campus.

"For example, the most common order is for 250 cards, and the pricing is going from $85 down to $59. In order to achieve this, cards will be printed weekly (at a minimum), meaning we will need some lead time if you're heading for a meeting or conference. The University has stipulated the type of stock and the number of colours on the cards, so this is a major factor in the pricing."

More information is available online.

Profs can hire 150 research interns

Money is available again this term for faculty members to hire students under the Undergraduate Research Internship program, which gives the researcher another assistant and the student a unique laboratory experience.

The URI program is funded from UW's central budget to encourage faculty to hire undergraduate students to work on research under faculty supervision. (Adjunct professors are also eligible.) Both co-op and regular students qualify as long as they are in good academic standing.

"The positions created by this program are expected to be beyond those currently in existence," the official terms of reference say.

The department of co-op education and career services says that since the URI started two years ago, 318 students have been hired under the program. In the time, AHS hired 31 students, arts 44, engineering 130, environmental studies 21, math 12, and science 80.

There will be 150 funded positions available for the 2005-2006 budget year. The university budget will provide up to 25 per cent of a student's salary -- $1,500 -- and the researcher finds the rest, so that the student earns, at a minimum, $6,000 for four months of full-time employment.

"The hope is that these students will become the researchers, teachers and innovators of the future," said a memo promoting the program last year. The aim is to find "challenging, research-intensive work term opportunities" for undergraduate students.

Interested faculty can get in touch with co-op and career services staff: Ruth Hawes (accounting and mathematics), ext. 2593; Diane McKelvie (science, applied health sciences, teaching, and visa students), ext. 2438; Shirley Thompson (arts and environmental studies), ext. 3698; Janet Metz (engineering), ext. 3373. "You will be asked to prepare a job description, which will be posted immediately."

Computational mathematics seminar: Ashwin Nayak, combinatorics and optimization and Perimeter Institute, "Algorithms Based on Quantum Walk", 3:30, Math and Computer room 5158.

Folk-pop at the Graduate House tonight: Elliot Brood and the Acorn, from Ottawa.

Interdisciplinary Coffee Talk Society presents Jennifer Quinn, University of Toronto, "Stem Cells: Where do they come from, what do they do?" Tuesday 5 p.m., Graduate House.

Mathematics alumni tour of the Perimeter Institute and presentation by Ashwin Nayak, combinatorics and optimization, Tuesday 6:45 p.m., information online.

Technology and learning: presentation on results of students' experiences as measured in a UW-ACE survey, Wednesday 11 a.m., Flex Lab, Dana Porter Library.

A closing, a cancellation and more

I wrote on Friday that "The Bon Appetit cafeteria and Tim Horton's outlet in the Davis Centre will be shut down April 16 through 21," leaving out the key word "August". That is to say, the place will be closed as of the end of this week, not reopening until the end of the summer, by which time major renovations will be complete. The Davis Centre was opened in 1987, and the "food fair" concept was edgy then, but food services has decided it's time for something new. We'll watch for the details, and meanwhile Davis will hold "a pre-renovation celebration" with specials and prizes this Thursday.

A lecture by journalist Robert Fisk that was to have been given tonight in the Humanities Theatre has been cancelled. The event was to be sponsored by St. Paul's College as the "Kerr-Saltsman Lecture on International Affairs" (the range has been broadened from the previous Kerr-Saltsman ambit of "Canadian studies"). "Because of tense conditions in Lebanon," says a note from St. Paul's, "Mr. Fisk's editor at the Independent will not permit him to be out of the country for the time the trip would require. . . . We hope to schedule him for a lecture in the fall." An alumni luncheon in Toronto tomorrow, at which Fisk was also to speak, has been cancelled as well.

More information is available about the Employee Wellness Fair that will be held in the Davis Centre during the last week of this month (April 25-27). "We have a very busy and fun-packed schedule," writes Linda Brogden of health services, one of the people organizing the fair on behalf of the Employee Assistance Program. She says posters and pamphlets will be out this week, but there's been some delay in the printing. Among the features of the week are a noontime walk around the ring road on the Monday (two weeks from today) and vendors of "wellness products" on hand in the Davis Centre lounge from 10 to 2 on the Tuesday and Wednesday. There are also seminars of various lengths, and a "heart healthy meal" available at the University Club. A Wellness Fair schedule is available online.

The Graduate Association for Recreation and Leisure Studies will be holding its 13th annual student leisure research symposium on April 28. "GARLS invites everyone interested in any aspect of leisure research to attend," writes grad student Tova Leveille on behalf of the association. Keynote speaker this year will be Bill Stewart of the University of Illinois. Details are online, and GARLS is asking anybody who wants to attend to register this week.

Manuel Machado, a custodian in UW's plant operations department since 1974, will retire officially May 1. . . . The Computing Help and Information Place (CHIP) in the Math and Computer building has moved to spring hours, 8:30 to 4:30 Monday to Friday. . . . The annual used book sale organized by the Canadian Federation of University Women is scheduled for this weekend, and the number to call with books to donate is 740-5249. . . .


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