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About the DB

Wednesday, May 4, 2005

  • Grants to help curriculum change
  • TA in kinesiology is 'role model'
  • Thesis defences in the coming days
  • Corrections and daily notes
Chris Redmond

Kent State University, 1970

[Jolly Chef and Chopsticks]

Renovations are expected to take most of the summer in the Davis Centre cafeteria, where "the new and improved Bon Appetit" will open in late August, according to Jeannie Watt of the food services department. "The look will be much brighter," she writes, "traffic flow improved, a window to look through into the kitchen, a window to look through into Tim Horton's from the Bon Appetit servery. Chopsticks will be 50% larger and will feature an expanded menu of fantastic Chinese food, plus customers will be able to watch our cooks in action. Jolly Chef will still offer its great selection of old favourites. . . . Tim Horton's will be expanded and will start to offer toasted bagels." Progress is being displayed on the food services web site.

Grants to help curriculum change

Academic departments are being invited to apply for grants that will help make curriculum changes and improve teaching. Here are the details, as set out by Tom Carey, associate vice-president (learning resources and innovation):

"The University of Waterloo is committed to enhancing the quality of the learning experience for our students and to continuing our history of innovative approaches to learning and teaching. The Program Initiatives Fund assists departments, schools and Faculties in projects that enhance student learning and support the strategic plans of the academic units.

"Project proposals are requested from faculty, departments and schools to support instructional changes that are linked to formal undergraduate academic program reviews. The objective is to enrich the learning experiences of students in programs whose curriculum is being revised significantly as a result of such reviews.

"Priority will be given to proposals that will provide benefits to as many undergraduates as possible, and that assist academic units in implementing recommendations related to their academic program review. Applicants should indicate how their project relates to their academic unit's official strategic plan. They should also specify what they believe will be the outcome(s) of their project and how they propose to evaluate the outcome(s). Projects must be completed within two years, and applicants may request up to a total of $20,000 support from the Program Initiatives Fund."

Applications are due by June 10, and Carey says he hopes nobody is confused that the process overlaps with one that has a similar name: the Learning Initiatives Fund. On the Program Initiatives Fund, he says, "We anticipate announcing awards by June 24, with projects to commence as early as July 1."

He notes that similar grants in past years "have been used to good effect, e.g. by peace and conflict studies to develop its program major for a degree, and by environment and resource studies to integrate online learning across a number of courses to support development of critical thinking and research skills."

[In powdered wig, at laptop]

Antique but wired is Jim Parrott, acting head of the Davis Centre library's information services and resources department. He marked his 35th anniversary on the library staff this week, and dressed in what must be the costume of his younger days for a Monday afternoon celebration hosted by colleagues.

TA in kinesiology is 'role model'

One of the winners of this year's Distinguished Teaching by a Registered Student Awards is Michael Cinelli, a graduate student in the kinesiology department. This citation is provided by the teaching resource office, which helps to administer the awards.

Michael Cinelli has been a teaching assistant and instructor as a graduate student in the kinesiology department for more than five years. Currently, he is pursuing his doctoral degree as well as a Certificate in University Teaching.

His students say he "is an admirable person, teacher and role model" and "possesses impressive communication skills, powerful leadership qualities, and a tremendously supportive personality." The kinesiology courses that he teaches require a lot of memorization and understanding of complex ideas by the students, so he teaches the class study strategies and effective memorization aids. He also possesses a remarkable ability to simplify and clarify an explanation. To help his students further, Michael uses charts and diagrams that are easy to follow.

His battle with cancer did not stop his passion for teaching. He continued to teach almost every class even with his illness. A student commented that his "determination and courage in facing his own personal health challenges has shown many students the value of hard work and dedication."

Michael expands his influence outside of the classroom. A student described him as "a person willing to reach out and benefit others." He spends time coaching the women's varsity hockey team and a local peewee travel hockey team.

Thesis defences in the coming days

More doctoral students are coming to the end of their labours and will defend theses in the next few days. Some oral defences that have been announced by the faculty graduate offices:

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

  • Development and alumni officer (faculty of environmental studies), development and alumni affairs, USG 9-11
  • Supervisor, annual giving call program, development and alumni affairs, USG 8

    Longer descriptions are available on the HR web site.

  • Embassy religious group no longer a UW club (uwstudent.org)
  • April weather: summary from the UW weather station
  • Ontario budget set for May 11
  • 'Blog rebellion' at major US nuclear lab
  • 'BlackBerry users feel thumb-struck'
  • CAUT calls for end to McMaster policy | . . . and denounces Carleton action
  • McMaster hooks future engineering students with podcasts
  • 'Top 40 Under 40' from the Globe and Mail
  • McMaster plans honorary degree for Lazaridis
  • 'How not to dress for work' (USA Today)
  • Earth sciences. Sung-Wook Jeen, "Effects of Mineral Precipitation on Long-Term Performance of Granular Iron Permeable Reactive Barriers: Column Experiments and Numerical Simulation." Supervisors, R. W. Gillham and D. Bowes. On deposit in the faculty of science, ESC 254A. Oral defence Wednesday May 11, 9 a.m., J. R. Coutts Engineering Lecture Hall room 308.

    Psychology. Jelena King, "Vision System Indicators of Anomalous Function Brain Organization among Patients with Schizophrenia: Selective Dorsal Pathway Impairment." Supervisors, B. Christensen and M. Dixon. On deposit in the faculty of arts, HH 317. Oral defence Thursday, May 12, 10 a.m., PAS building room 3026.

    Geography. Patricia Fitzpatrick, "In It Together: Organizational Learning Through Participation in Environmental Assessment." Supervisors, B. Mitchell and J. Sinclair. On deposit in the faculty of environmental studies. Oral defence Monday, May 16, 10:30 a.m., Engineering II room 1307G.

    Optometry. Mitra Sehi, "Diurnal Variation of Intraocular Pressure, Mean Ocular Perfusion Pressure, Optic Nerve Head Topography and Capillary Blood Flow in Untreated Early Primary Open Angle Glaucoma." Supervisor, J. G. Flanagan. On deposit in the faculty of science. Oral defence Tuesday, May 17, 9:30 a.m., Optometry room 347.

    Psychology. Geneviève Desmarais, "A Role for Action Knowledge in Visual Object Identification." Supervisor, M. Dixon. On deposit in the faculty of arts, HH 317. Oral defence Tuesday, May 17, 10 a.m., PAS building room 3026.

    Psychology. Paula Cerveny, "Developmental Pathways to High Worry." Supervisor, Christine Purdon. On deposit in the faculty of arts, HH 317. Oral defence Wednesday, May 25, PAS building room 3026.

    Planning. John Dinh Chuong Pham, "Integrating Planning Design for Optimization of Advanced Thermal Electrical Generation in Developing Economies: Designs for Vietnam." Supervisor, Ross Newkirk. On deposit in the faculty of environmental studies. Oral defence Tuesday, May 31, 9:30 a.m., Environmental Studies I room 221.

    Corrections and daily notes

    Writing yesterday about UW's international research links, I managed to put not one faculty member but two of them in the wrong departments. Geoffrey Fong, whose work touches on tobacco policy, is in the psychology department, not health studies. Barry Warner, leading a major project on rehabilitation of Iraq's wetlands, is in geography, not environment and resource studies.

    Flex lab open house for faculty interested in technology for teaching and learning, today 2 to 3 and Thursday 11 to 12, Dana Porter Library room 329.

    Computational mathematics seminar: Kees Oosterlee, Delft University of Technology, "Evaluation of European and American Options with Grid Stretching and Accurate Discretization", 3:30, Math and Computer room 5158.

    Waterloo Aerial Robotics Group recruitment meeting 6 p.m., Davis Centre room 1304.

    Perimeter Institute public lecture: panel discussion on "Einstein, Relativity and Beyond", 7 p.m., Waterloo Collegiate Institute, details online.

    Language Teaching Colloquium Thursday at Renison College, details online.

    Sir Isaac Newton (SIN) Exam for high school students, administered by UW department of physics, tomorrow.

    Faculty Saturday welcomes prospective students and their parent, Saturday 12:30 to 4:00, Student Life Centre.

    International student orientation and luncheon, Saturday 10:00 to 1:00, Graduate House -- information e-mail mjibarra@uwaterloo.ca.

    We're in Mental Health Week, says Kathy Winter of the counselling services. To mark the occasion, her department along with health services and the office for persons with disabilities will offer a "Wellness and Health" display in the Student Life Centre today and tomorrow -- including resources of interest to students, staff and faculty.

    The latest issue of WatTimes, the newsletter of the UW retirees association, offers former staff and faculty members an opportunity to volunteer in the co-op and career services department. Wanted are some people to "host" employer representatives as they visit the Tatham Centre during interview season -- showing them around, running errands, explaining the co-op process. "A training session and written guidelines will be provided," says Olaf Naese of CECS, who invites inquiries.

    As I mentioned last week, Joy Read Canada is a campaign "to invite Canadians to read for fun, to try something new, and to reach new readers". It's spearheaded by the Literary Press Group of Canada, says Mari-Beth Davis of the UW retail services department: "The goal of the project is to increase awareness of diverse and original books, and to reach new readers by offering a greater selection of titles in the marketplace from Canada's esteemed literary presses. The UW Bookstore is now featuring titles from the Joy Read program on our main web page and in-store. The Bookstore will be updating these titles throughout the year to showcase the latest offerings from Canadian presses."

    The latest "Research Update" e-newsletter from the faculty of arts includes an item about Labyrinth, which has been published for three decades by UW's department of classical studies -- mostly in paper form, but for the past three years online. "Reaching out to high schools," says department chair Leonard Curchin, "is part of our departmental mission. It is a way of disseminating knowledge from classics that students might not have access to in their school libraries. It also makes students aware of classics as a potential university discipline for future study."

    A specialization in medicinal chemistry" within the honours co-op chemistry program is on its way to the UW senate for approval, to start in the fall of 2006. . . . A "shopping weekend" in Erie, Pennsylvania, in November is announced in a flyer distributed this week to members of the UW staff association. . . . Grade 9 and 10 students will be visiting campus on Saturday of next week (May 14) for "Computer Science for You" Day. . . .


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