[University of Waterloo]


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About the DB

Wednesday, March 9, 2005

  • Pharmacy admissions likely in 2007
  • Co-op job in Magic kingdom
  • After the fire, and other notes
Chris Redmond

Kidney Health Month

[Arms around her from behind]

Sadism: That's Steve Ryder as the Marquis de Sade, with Jen Scullion as Charlotte Corday, in the drama department's production of "Marat/Sade". The play -- about life in the lunatic asylum at Charenton following the French Revolution -- hits the Theatre of the Arts stage starting a week from tonight. Tickets: 888-4908.

Pharmacy admissions likely in 2007

Plans are moving ahead for UW's "health sciences complex" and school of pharmacy in downtown Kitchener, but it's looking unlikely that they can move fast enough for the first group of students to hit the classrooms in September 2006.

[Thiessen] "Increasingly, I am sceptical about us being able to achieve a goal that requires everything to fall into place perfectly," says Jake Thiessen (right), founding director of the pharmacy school. He said a definite decision doesn't have to be made until May -- when the first steps would have to be taken to recruit students if they're going to arrive for study in 2006 -- but "my feeling now is, it's unrealistically stretching the dream."

If first-year students do start next year, they'll have to be on UW's main campus, Thiessen said, while work continues on the planned pharmacy building, with a target date of September 2007. As things stand, "there's no home, there's no library" for pharmacy students. (Thiessen's temporary office will be ready soon at 195 Columbia Street, the "B. F. Goodrich" building.)

The school of pharmacy itself was formally created by UW's board of governors at its February meeting as a part of the faculty of science. So far there are also no faculty members other than Thiessen himself, who is an associate dean of the University of Toronto Leslie Dan Faculty of Pharmacy, appointed to the UW position for 80 per cent of his working time.

He's working closely with George Dixon, the dean of science, and a steering committee within the science faculty. The pharmacy curriculum has been approved by undergraduate council and is on its way to UW's senate for approval this month.

"Soon," Thiessen says, he'll face the challenge of recruiting faculty members, and he's determined to get not just good people but "excellent" ones. Officially plans are for about 25 professors in pharmacy, but he's hoping that with some funding from sponsored chairs, the figure could reach 30. Some of the faculty could well come from existing pharmacy schools -- there are nine across Canada, including Toronto's -- but Thiessen says he also has his eye on some top people in the pharmaceutical industry.

He describes a relationship between UW and Toronto's pharmacy school as "not so much competitive as complementary", with some areas of emphasis at Waterloo different from what existing pharmacy schools are doing. At least at the beginning, he added, the two schools will handle admissions in a joint process.

Meanwhile, he's looking forward to working with architects on the Kitchener building, which is sketched out in "phase 1" as about 100,000 square feet. Possible clinical facilities for a family medicine teaching centre and an optometry clinic would increase the total size. A selection committee has made its choice of an architectural firm, he said, and will bring the name to UW's board of governors for approval in the first week of April.

[Five young people at courtside table]

Jeremy Cross and his "Healthy Living Squad", with game show host Otis Smith, at a Reading Rally at Union Park Middle School in Orlando

Co-op job in Magic kingdom -- by Esther Chen, from the Inside Scoop newsletter for co-op students

Imagine being able to being able to meet the top players and work in one of the hottest sports around, while enjoying warm tropical weather. Jeremy Cross, a third-year recreation and leisure studies student, is doing exactly that by working as community relations intern for the Orlando Magic of the National Basketball Association.

This is exactly where he wants to be. "I have always enjoyed basketball and wanted to be involved with an NBA franchise," says Cross. "I never made a decision as to what function or capacity I would work for a team because I did not want to limit myself."

In previous co-op terms, he worked for the Toronto Raptors and UW athletics and recreational services. These experiences made him a strong candidate for the internship with the Magic. However, Cross had to do his own research. "I found the posting on NBA.com and mailed my resumé and cover letter. I went through a series of screenings, interviews, and drug tests. After all that I was offered the job on my birthday and headed to Florida a month later to find a place to live and begin my training program."

Since the start of his internship in August, it has been an incredible experience for which he is grateful. Cross writes: "This team is a great example of teamwork." As community relations intern, he is involved with all types of program and event planning, including Read to Achieve events, reading rallies, holiday events, Black History Month and Hispanic Awareness Month events, ticket programs and player ticket programs, partner school events, appearance and donation requests, game night duties, and autograph sessions. "We target the literacy issue of youth and teens in the Central Florida school districts," he says.

Organizing and implementing these events and programs has allowed Cross to develop and practice skills such as leadership, written and oral communication, and budget management. "I am learning a lot about initiative because with this job unlike any other thus far I do not report to anyone to have things checked or reviewed. This encourages creativity when we are planning a new event and want it to be interactive and fun. . . . There are so many tasks that keep me busy on a day to day basis. I sometimes feel overwhelmed on game days, but when we return to work the next day and we won the night before the environment in the office is incredible and it makes all the stress worthwhile. . . .

"RDV Sportsplex is a state of the art fitness centre and is where the offices are at, and I receive a complimentary membership. It was interesting to see Vince Carter shooting around on the public courts during preseason."

So what's it like living in Orlando? "I live in a decent area, not too expensive but safe. In Orlando, one side of the street can be mansions and expensive condos and the other side of the street could be the ghetto (quite scary)." He adds: "The weather is unbelievable and the majority of people are so nice. Customer service is amazing in Orlando, due to the fact that Universal, Disney, and Seaworld are a 15 minute drive from my office." In terms of the nightlife, "Downtown here is insane. It is one of the biggest differences of all. No lines, no coat check, and each bar has an outdoor patio the size of the Bomber. After games, staff and interns usually head downtown to a few places to cap off a victory."

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

'Documenting Your Teaching for Tenure and Promotion' workshop for untenured faculty, 11:45, Math and Computer room 5158, details online.

'The Millennial Generation' presentation by Julie Kalbfleisch and Julie Hummel, undergraduate recruitment and marketing office, 12 noon, Davis Centre room 1302.

International Women's Day events: jewellery workshop 2:00, "celebration of women's menstruation and bodies" 6:00, both in Student Life Centre multi-purpose room.

Health informatics seminar: Pascal Poupart, computer science, "An Automated System to Assist Elderly Persons with Memory Deficiency", 3:30, Davis Centre room 1304.

Career workshop: "Successfully Negotiating Job Offers", Wednesday 4:30, Tatham Centre room 1208.

Society of International Students movie night: "Hero" (China, 2004), 6:00, Coutts Hall room 308.

West coast alumni events: Vancouver pub night tonight at Steamworks Brewing Company; Victoria pub night Thursday, Canoe Brew Pub; Seattle pub night Thursday, Rock Bottom Brewery, all 6 to 8 p.m.

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

Health informatics and bioengineering career day Thursday 4:30 to 7:30, Davis Centre lounge.

'Women in Prison'. Rosemary Redshaw, chaplain, Grand Valley Institute for Women, Thursday 5 p.m., Student Life Centre multi-purpose room.

Public Anthropology lecture: Roxanne Mykitiuk, York University, "Reading the Past and Interpreting the Future: On Regulating Prenatal Genetic Testing and Preimplantation Genetic Diagnosis", Thursday 5:00, Arts Lecture Hall room 124.

Maclean's magazine universities editor Ann Dowsett Johnston speaks Thursday 7 p.m., Coutts Hall room 101, free to all. Provost Amit Chakma will introduce the speaker.

Arriscraft lecture: James Wines, New York, "Identity in Density: Dangerous Ideas", Thursday 7 p.m., Architecture lecture room.

'Where Refugees Are Neighbours' lecture by Mary Jo Leddy, frequent speaker at St. Jerome's University, Thursday 7 p.m., Stirling Avenue Mennonite Church.

'From Science to Business' student-organized conference Saturday, Davis Centre, details online.

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

  • Administrative assistant, dean of mathematics, USG 5.
  • Orientation/special events manager, Federation of Students, USG 6.
  • Computer acquisitions co-ordinator, retail services, Campus TechShop, USG 6.
  • Systems support specialist, information systems and technology, USG 10-12.

    Longer descriptions are available on the HR web site.

  • After the fire, and other notes

    I strolled through Carl Pollock Hall yesterday, about 30 hours after the fire that destroyed the high voltage laboratory in electrical and computer engineering, and life was almost back to normal everywhere except the fire site itself (which I didn't try to visit). People were scurrying to class, or studying, or buying muffins from the engineering C-and-D stand. Oh, and dozens of them were working mops, rags and buckets, cleaning the soot off every square angstrom of floor and wall, while huge portable fans continued to process the smoke out of the air.

    Paul McKone of engineering computing kindly sent me a brief retrospective on how his department coped with the fire and Monday's closing of CPH: "It's business as usual this morning for us," he wrote yesterday, "although the air is still heavy with the smell of smoke and cleaning supplies. Power shutdowns within CPH were kept localized, so our main servers were up throughout the day. That was of some concern to us; we didn't want to lose service, but at the same time worried about smoke and soot being drawn through each of the machines by their highly efficient fans. Happily, the deposits appear to be minimal. Cleaning crews have been through, and we're leaving doors open to air the place out.

    "The multimedia lab, across the hall from the high-voltage lab, has been cleaned, and may be back in use for this afternoon's scheduled class. Apart from a couple of popped circuit breakers -- a side effect of some temporary heavy-duty air cleaners -- things appear normal.

    "After using a machine in one of our public labs to update some informational Messages of the Day, I spent the day up in my Waterloo Unlimited office in BFG, remotely accessing our servers, and trying to keep up with the spam. All in all, same old, same old."

    Now about some other matters: there are two updates to information I provided yesterday about coming events. First, I was told that today's presentation on ePortfolios, in the Flex Lab in the Dana Porter Library, would be starting at 10:00. However, Liwana Bringelson of the Centre for Learning and Teaching Through Technology says it'll be 11:00, and since she is helping to lead the presentation, I think what she says goes. Second, I announced a noon-hour concert today at Conrad Grebel University College; that event, "New Songs & Soundscapes in the Land", has been postponed to March 30.

    Tomorrow is the announced deadline for comments from the campus at large, as the nominating committee for vice-president (academic) and provost considers the possible reappointment of Amit Chakma to that position when his term ends in the summer of 2006. Details are on the university secretariat's web site.

    Larry Smith of UW's economics department is a much-admired speaker, and can be heard today in a seminar sponsored by the Computer-Human Interaction group. Title of the talk is "Larry on Revolution: The Power of a Multi-Disciplinary Approach". Says an abstract: "The increasing complexity of the problems in the world can no longer be handled from a single perspective. Corporations are starting to form multi-disciplinary teams with the individuals able to form the synergistic relationships needed to achieve success. Larry Smith, one of UW's best-known professors, will explain how individuals can prepare for the changing job demands. . . . Come hear how Larry's insight and experience can prepare you to meet the demands of the changing economy." The talk starts at 4:30 in Coutts Hall room 101.

    And . . . publicity is well under way for the annual Graduate Student Research Conference, this year to be held April 4-7. The keynote speaker will be ambassador and barn-burning orator Stephen Lewis. Watch for much more about this event in the coming days.


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