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Wednesday, August 24, 2005

  • Drum corps 'sport' helps teens' health
  • Profs on sabbatical this fall
  • Coach leaves as Warrior season nears
Chris Redmond

St. Bartholomew's Day Massacre

  • Project Ploughshares names director early, succeeding Regehr
  • The Internet may be bad, not good, for education
  • Estimated value of a university degree: $1 million
  • New chief of staff for local hospitals
  • This year's college rankings from US News and World Report
  • One grad's journey from computer science to modelling
  • The James Martin 21st Century School at Oxford
  • $50 million for engineering at the U of Calgary
  • Canada Research Chair in hydrology at WLU
  • Librarians Without Borders launched in Ontario
  • Many Canadian students steal software, survey finds
  • Ontario high school dropout rate 'surges'
  • Concordia president moves his office to where it's accessible
  • 'Asking what your college can do for your country'
  • Proposed ban on 'Indian' team names in US athletics | But Florida State is okay
  • Drum corps 'sport' helps teens' health -- based on a Wilfrid Laurier University news release

    A UW researcher is part of a new study of teenagers -- based at Wilfrid Laurier University -- that is demonstrating the health benefits of participating in "musical sport".

    The research initiative involves Kitchener's Dutch Boy Drum and Bugle Corps, which finished eighth in the Division III category at the 2005 Drum Corps International World Championships. It's the first Canadian study to research the health effects of drum corps involvement, which combines complex musical performance with vigorous physical activity as the participants play and march.

    "The preliminary results are very impressive," said Paula Fletcher, a kinesiology professor at Laurier and the study's principal investigator. "The kids in Dutch Boy have shown significant improvements in several areas, including noticeable reductions in body fat."

    The study began in June as Dutch Boy prepared for a six-week tour of 12 North American cities. Before the tour left, four students gathered data from the participants (average age 15) on body composition, fitness, cardio-respiratory function, psychosocial well-being and subjective health. The participants were tested again shortly after their performance at Centennial Stadium in Kitchener on August 2.

    Three months after the initial assessment, 90 percent of the corps members showed improvements in their body mass index, which is a measure of obesity. The preliminary results indicate an average reduction of about five pounds in weight, as well as lower heart rates with exertion and better fitness levels.

    "The knowledge that we gained from this study will help us to continue improving our program to make drum corps an all around positive experience for kids," says Deb Schertzer, the Dutch Boy interim director. In addition to participating in parades across Ontario, the corps practice about four hours a week in schools in Waterloo Region, with an intensive two-day "camp" every month. By spring, they prepare for the tour season with full-day practices on weekends. While touring in July and August, corps members are outdoors practicing or performing for up to 12 hours a day.

    "In light of the high rate of obesity and low fitness levels of Canadian youth, drum corps might be an interesting alternative to increasing physical activity among kids who are not attracted to conventional sports," says John Hirdes, a UW professor in the department of health studies and gerontology and a member of the research team.

    Hirdes became involved with Dutch Boy through his son Daniel, 13, who plays third bass in the drum line. After reading a 10-year-old American study of an adult drum corps that found the physical demands on a tenor drummer during a performance are comparable to those experienced by marathon runners, he wondered if similar health effects could be found in younger players.

    The study involves Laurier researchers Mark Babcock, Dawn Dalby and Margaret Schneider of the department of kinesiology and physical education, as well as Kevin Swinden of the faculty of music. The team has expertise in exercise physiology, health behaviour, epidemiology, recreation, music and social sciences.

    On this week's list from the human resources department:

  • Receptionist, health services, USG 4
  • Research technologist, electrical and computer engineering, USG 8
  • Technical support person, atmospheric chemistry group, USG 10
  • Kitchen porter, food services

  • Food services assistant (regular recurring), food services

    Longer descriptions are available on the HR web site.

  • Profs on sabbatical this fall

    Here's a list of some UW faculty members who will be going on sabbatical leave as of September 1. The summaries of their sabbatical plans are taken from reports brought to UW's board of governors, which has to approve all sabbaticals.

    Patricia C. O'Brien of the accountancy school has a twelve-month sabbatical "to maintain and expand my research on financial analysis and corporate financial reporting, including continuing to work with Waterloo doctoral students; spend three months as an unpaid visiting scholar at Stanford University; perhaps visit the Ontario Securities Commission, to learn about Canadian regulation of financial reporting."

    Thomas Devereaux of physics has a six-month leave "to collaborate with researchers at three different locations. The main outcome of the leave is to establish new collaborations in the field of nanoscience and optical spectroscopy, and to write an article for Review of Modern Physics."

    Susan A. Andrews of the civil engineering department will be on sabbatical for twelve months: "This sabbatical is essential to the timely completion of several manuscripts in progress, and to the successful initiation of research in new directions. Except for short periods to network at major conferences, plans are to remain on campus to complete manuscripts for publication and proposals for future research."

    Linda Warley of the English department has a six-month leave: "I will be conducting original research and creating a book about 20th century Canadian life writing. The aim of the book is to broaden the field of study so as to include works written by so-called 'ordinary' Canadians, and to analyze how non-professional authors construct their identities in relation to literary models of autobiographical writing as well as culturally specific models of the 'self'."

    Brent Hall of the school of planning is going on sabbatical for a year: "I plan to work with colleagues at the University of Canterbury, New Zealand, on developing open source web-based software tools and implementing new methods of spatial analysis for assessing local variations in education quality; and to assess health data in New Zealand using spatial segregation statistics. I will also continue work on a book; write and publish a number of paper; and attend numerous conferences in New Zealand and abroad."

    B. Doug Park of pure mathematics has a six-month leave: "I plan to use my leave time to develop new research projects and to broaden my research expertise. In particular, I plan to spend some of my sabbatical time visiting my research collaborators in Korea, Turkey and the US."

    London, Ontario alumni reception, 6 p.m., Kish Studio, 485 Richmond Street, details online. Correction: Thursday night, not Wednesday

    Ontario Mennonite Music Camp closing performance, Friday 7:30, Breslau Mennonite Church.

    Fall term fees due August 29 if paid by cheque, September 7 if paid by bank transfer; details online.

    UW Recreation Committee dinner outing to Jack Astor's Bar and Grill, Monday, details online.

    Engineering alumni reunion for classes of 1965, 1970 and 1975, September 10-11, preregistration online with a September 2 deadline. Faculty members who have taught engineers are very welcome.


    Coach leaves as Warrior season nears

    The athletics department is looking for a new men's hockey coach, after Karl Taylor (right), coach for the past two years, took a new job in the world of professional hockey. He'll serve as head coach and director of hockey operations for the Reading Royals, an affiliate of the Los Angeles Kings that plays in the East Coast Hockey League.

    "Karl has had two very successful seasons with the Warriors and lifted the program to be a contender in the OUA," says a news release from athletics. Judy McCrae, director of the department, thanked Taylor for "the work and dedicated attitude he brought to the Warrior hockey program. He has a special bond with the players, and although they will be disappointed to see him leave, all Canadian hockey players strive to be more successful in the professional ranks. The players will want him to continue his career path. This is a great opportunity in the career of a hockey coach."

    Said McCrae: "Karl insisted on dedication to academics and hockey excellence. He understood the Waterloo environment and attracted players that wanted to learn under his philosophy. We are going to miss him."

    Taylor left this statement: "I am indebted to the University of Waterloo for the opportunity to coach and develop as a coach. I am leaving with a heavy heart and a fondness for the players, and the University-wide staff that have made my stay productive. The support of this Athletic Department staff have been an integral part of the overall hockey program success. We can all celebrate. I am confident that the extended Warrior staff and players will continue to be the best they can be."

    Athletics said a new head coach and coaching staff will be announced "in the very near future". The new coach will have only a short time to bond with the team before 2005-06 play starts: the Warriors are scheduled to appear in a tournament October 1 and 2 at Brock University. League competition begins in late October and the Warriors play their first home game October 29.

    Meanwhile, the athletics department has started the sale of season tickets for this year's football, hockey and basketball action. Comprehensive tickets are $40, with a student price of $30 and a senior price of $25. Full-time UW students get into the games at no charge. Tickets are for sale at the athletics office in the Physical Activities Complex.

    Sports action for this year starts in just five days, as the men's and women's soccer teams play exhibition games on Sunday at McMaster University. And the training camp for the Warrior football squad begins today in Ron Eydt Village, in preparation for an opening game September 5 (Labour Day) at York.


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