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Monday, March 7, 2005

  • Pinball's speech promotes WPIRG
  • The history of technology transfer
  • The scores and the lowdown
Chris Redmond

No hurry to check out this link

Fire in engineering: The ring road on the east (engineering) side of campus is blocked off, and fire engines are still on the scene, following a fire that started about 4:00 this morning in Carl Pollock Hall. Al MacKenzie, UW's police chief, told me just now that the fire seems to have begun in a lab; no information is available yet about the extent of the damage.

CPH is closed for the day, the dean of engineering office announces. Students with classes in CPH today "should be prepared for their classes to be moved, rescheduled, or cancelled". Staff based in CPH have been advised not to report to work. Other engineering buildings are not affected.

Pinball's speech promotes WPIRG -- from the Waterloo Public Interest Research Group

Michael "Pinball" Clemons, head coach of the Toronto Argonauts, will speak at the Humanities Theatre tonight from 7 to 9 p.m. His talk, "Youth, Leadership, and Community", will inspire students to get involved and to take leadership on community issues.

[Clemons] Clemons (right) is renowned as one of pro football's most electrifying players. He retired his playing career as the CFL's all-time all-purpose yardage leader, and the holder of a dozen Argo records. He was also the first Black president of a professional football team in North America. His 2004 Grey Cup win as coach comes on top of three Grey Cups he won as a player for Toronto, and he was a nominee for the 2004 CFL Coach of the Year.

Described as a man of unquestionable character and spirit, he is renowned for his numerous achievements on the football field and his passionate commitment to community. He has received many awards including the prestigious Order of Ontario in recognition of his dedication and work with charities throughout Ontario and across Canada. His presentations are well-received, at once captivating and empowering. He exemplifies the capabilities of teamwork, while demonstrating what it means to beat the odds.

Since the early 1990s he has been a positive force in the promotion of race relations in the City of Toronto, culminating in an annual award named in his honour for Torontonians of African heritage that are dedicated to advancing community diversity through their community leadership.

This event will promote various leadership initiatives of the Waterloo Public Interest Research Group, a campus organization dedicated to involving students in community issues. "Leadership isn't about getting people to do what you want, it's about learning how to create conditions where everyone's abilities can emerge" says Sharmila Setaram, a 4th year environmental studies and speech communications student and WPIRG board member. "WPIRG aims to support the development and practice of this 'facilitative' approach to leadership through extra-curricular training, internships, and networking."

Currently, WPIRG offers lunch-and-learn training and a library of leadership resources. Over the coming year, WPIRG will introduce new opportunities for students to develop facilitative leadership skills, including "Leadership Camps", certificate courses in leadership, and internships with local non-profits. "We want to prepare youth now for the important and pivotal leadership roles they'll be taking on in their future communities," says Daryl Novak, WPIRG staff person. "Our community non-profit partners say this training is crucial -- as they struggle to train their own volunteer boards we can try and get ahead of the game."

Additionally, WPIRG has launched a "Change the World" campaign and network. It's a campaign to encourage students to show leadership to take action in any way to change the world "for health, justice, and diversity". "Change the World" is also a network for student groups to cross-promote their initiatives, share skills, and collaborate where possible.

Tonight's event is co-sponsored by the Federation of Students and UW Student Services. Tickets are available at WPIRG, the Federation office, and the Humanities box office (888-4908). Admission is free to UW undergraduates and $8 for others.

[Smiles and a trophy]

The president of UW, David Johnston, wasn't actually a member of the team that won the recent Hagey Bonspiel, or "funspiel", but he stopped by the Ayr Curling Club to present the trophy and pose (second from left) with three-quarters of the rink: Ted Jacobs, Syd Millet (skip), and Neil Stewart. Not in the photo: Michael LePage. "The bonspiel was a success," committee member Mary Thompson (of institutional analysis and planning) reports, "and the committee would like to thank the sponsors who donated prizes and the university for their support."

The history of technology transfer -- from the UW library's electronic 'News at Your Library'

Recently, the UW Library and the Faculty of Arts jointly received a grant worth $50,000 from the J. W. Graham Information Technology Trust Fund. This grant will help fund a cross-disciplinary research project that aims to understand the process and development of technology transfer. Also researched will be how spin-off companies effect the UW community, the Waterloo Region, plus their impact on other universities world-wide.

Workshop on getting tenure

Faculty members who don't have tenure are invited to a special event at midday Wednesday, sponsored by the associate vice-presidents. The title: "Documenting Your Teaching for Tenure and Promotion". Moderator will be Tom Carey, associate VP (learning resources and innovation), and speakers include Donna Ellis of the teaching resource office, Monica Leoni of Spanish and Latin American studies, Susan Tighe of civil engineering, and dean of science George Dixon.

Some background: "Tenure and promotion are critical milestones in a faculty member's career. You need to collect evidence and document your successes in research, teaching, and service for various individuals and committees to assess. While many faculty are well prepared to document their research and even service, evidence of good teaching can be more difficult to provide. At this session, you will hear the experiences of two recently tenured faculty members regarding documenting their teaching, as well as the experiences of one Dean in reviewing tenure files. You will also learn about best practices used at other institutions primarily the teaching dossier for you to use or adapt in relation to the criteria identified by your Department Chair or School Director. There will be time for questions throughout the session.

"Join us for lunch and a chance to find out how others have been successful at documenting their teaching as part of being granted tenure at Waterloo. And network with your colleagues to help build a community that can help support you to your successful tenure application and beyond!"

Wednesday's event runs from 11:45 to 1:15 in Math & Computer Building room 5158. Registration is online.

Under the administration of the Special Collections Librarian, Susan Saunders Bellingham, and the direction of University Historian, Dr. Kenneth McLaughlin, graduate students will begin conducting a series of oral history interviews researching the process and development of technology transfer at UW. Additionally, these students will examine the personal and professional papers of J. Wesley Graham, which are archived in the Dana Porter Library; these papers provide important historical evidence on activities that took place at UW during its early years.

The next process of the project will make the research electronically accessible to future scholars via typed transcripts and an interactive web site containing video and audio interviews that are linked to searchable annotated transcripts and primary documents.

Professor J. Wesley (Wes) Graham, who died on August 23, 1999, was a major and influential contributor to both the academic and business communities through his dedicated research and teachings in the fields of Math and Computer Science. Graham began his career at UW in 1959 as an assistant professor of mathematics. Aside from helping to make UW well-known for its reputable Math and Computer Science programs, Graham was best known for his teaching and research in information technology.

Other contributions from Graham include the development of computer software and hardware that helped initiate several "spin-off" companies, such as WATCOM (a division of Sybase Inc.), Waterloo Maple Inc. (now Maplesoft), and Open Text Corporation.

On January 23, 2001, the J. W. Graham Information Technology Trust Fund was established at the University of Waterloo by a group of Graham's former colleagues, students, and friends.

The scores and the lowdown

The Warrior men tied up the OUA west hockey playoff series on Saturday night with a 3-0 victory over Western, but that was as far as it went. Western won the deciding game 4-1 last night, and goes on to face Lakehead in the next round of OUA play. Meanwhile, the men's basketball Warriors were defeated by Brock 71-65 in the OUA West final on Saturday, but are still headed for Halifax later this month for the national championship tournament.

Sandford Fleming Foundation Debates in the faculty of engineering, today through Wednesday, 11:30, Engineering II room 3324.

Research and technology park presentation by business manager Carol Stewart, 12 noon, Kitchener Public Library main branch.

Computational mathematics seminar: Dr. Clinton Groth, University of Toronto, Institute for Aerospace Studies, Monday March 7, "A Parallel Adaptive Mesh Refinement (AMR) Computational Framework for Physically Complex Flows", 3:30, Math and Computer room 5158.

Career workshops: "Interview Skills: The Basics" 4:30, "Preparing for Questions" 5:30, Tatham Centre room 1208.

Engineers Without Borders workshop about the Scala Program (computer training centres in the Philippines), 5:30, Engineering II room 1307G.

'The DaVinci Code: Truth or Hoax?' Logos and Youth for Christ present Rev. William Slattery, 7:30 p.m., Student Life Centre.

Microsoft seminar: Gordon Mangione, Microsoft USA, "Building Trust in Computing", Tuesday 3 p.m., Davis Centre room 1302.

Calgary alumni event: pub night at the Bow River Barley Mill, Tuesday 5:30.

'Defining Your Financial Future' workshop sponsored by staff training and development, all day Thursday, register with Carolyn Vincent, human resources.

International Women's Week is at hand, with "a week full of amazing events", according to Meagan Dilworth of the student-run Womyn's Centre. Today emphasizes information booths in the Student Life Centre, "promoting the week and promoting services available to women on campus (Health Services, Counselling Services, Zonta International, EWB development with women, and possibly Wellness Centre and GLOW)". They'll be in operation from 10:00 to 3:00.

A group of graduate students will be presenting research papers today as they continue to meet the requirements for the Certificate in University Teaching. Details are online. Speakers are Neel Aluru ("Large Classroom Discussions"), Carmen Balian ("Learning Styles"), Jason Grove ("Creativity in Engineering Education"), and Renee MacPhee ("Adult Learners: Can You Teach Old Dogs New Tricks?"). The presentations start at 3 p.m. in Math and Computer room 5136.

Some 14,000 parents of current UW students recently received postcards from UW's development office, and follow-up phone calls have been under way for the past few days. It's the annual "parents' appeal" for special financial support, says Shelley Rudd in development, noting that last year almost $350,000 was raised. "Parents supported such important projects as lab and teaching equipment, library books, journals, electronic resource, and innovative academic programs." Cards individually signed by UW president David Johnston went to the parents of some 5,000 first-year students; other cards have gone to parents of students in upper years. The program has been running since 1995, and parents' gifts are part of Campaign Waterloo, Rudd noted.

The Campus TechShop (in the Student Life Centre) is running a "Bring In Spring Event" this week, with specials on the Apple iPod Mini. . . . The UW Recreation Committee has discount tickets for the Harlem Globetrotters game in Kitchener on April 15. . . . Students from Conrad Grebel University College will put on "You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown" March 16-19 at the Registry Theatre in downtown Kitchener. . . .


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