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Thursday, May 5, 2005

  • New chair for UW board of governors
  • Awards for graduate supervisors
  • Prof edits letters of Canadian authors
  • Notes in the lusty month of May
Chris Redmond

Carnation Campaign

Location for new building

[Map of west side of campus] A planned new academic building "will be situated in the centre of the university's campus", an announcement said this week. But where exactly?

"The proposed site under consideration is the area between Math and Biology," provost Amit Chakma replied. University architect Daniel Parent added that the building is to be west of the Peter Russell Rock Garden, which sits directly between Math and Computer and Biology II.

The building -- to house activities in quantum computing and nanotechnology engineering -- got a big boost this week with a multi-million-dollar gift from Research In Motion founder Mike Lazaridis.

New chair for UW board of governors -- from the media relations office

Paul Koenderman, chief executive officer of the Aecon Industrial Group, is the new chair of the UW board of governors, as of May 1.

The board is always chaired by one of its "community-at-large" members, who are business leaders and other people from outside the university selected by the board to take a share in governing the institution. Koenderman was elected in the confidential session of last month's board meeting to replace Bob Harding, chairman of Brascan Ltd., who has served since May 2001.

"We are very fortunate to have someone of Mr. Koenderman's calibre and experience serve as our chair," said UW president David Johnston. "As a seasoned business executive as well as a Waterloo graduate, he brings a wide range of insight and knowledge to the university community."

On behalf of the university, Johnston thanked Harding for his service as chair of the board. Harding has agreed to continue as chair of Campaign Waterloo. "Bob Harding's vision, energy and splendid leadership are fundamental to Waterloo's ambitious campaign, and we are very fortunate that he has agreed to stay on as chair of the campaign," Johnston said.

[Koenderman] Koenderman (right), who has been serving as vice-chair since May 2004, will preside over meetings of the board and its executive committee, and represent the university in some of its dealings with the government.

UW's 36-member board includes representatives from the students, staff and faculty, as well as government appointees, municipal leaders and the community-at-large members.

Koenderman received his Bachelor of Applied Science degree in mechanical engineering in 1971 and completed several master's degree courses. Koenderman is also a graduate of the Executive MBA program at Northeastern University in Boston in 1981. In September 1998, he was the recipient of UW's Faculty of Engineering Alumni Achievement Medal for his accomplishments in the power generation industry.

Koenderman was appointed CEO of the Aecon Industrial Group, headquartered in Cambridge, Ontario, on April 1, 2003. Aecon is Canada's largest infrastructure construction and development contractor, having notable projects such as Toronto's CN Tower and Ontario's Highway 407 in its history.

Previously, he was president of Babcock & Wilcox Canada, also based in Cambridge, from August 1996, retiring early from that position on December 31, 2002. Having joined B&W Canada in 1969 (while he was still a student), Koenderman held a series of senior positions. From 1988 to 1990, he served as chairman of the Canadian Exporters Association; from 1990 to 1991 was chairman of the Canadian Nuclear Association, and he has been on the boards of several foreign B&W joint venture companies.

Koenderman also served as the 1998 general campaign chairman for the United Way of Cambridge and North Dumfries, and has served on the board of Cambridge and North Dumfries Hydro. The Canadian Nuclear Society and the Canadian Nuclear Association awarded the 2003 Ian McRae Award of Merit to Koenderman for his major business accomplishments in the Canadian nuclear field.

He and his wife, Suzanne, also a UW graduate (English 1975), have two children, both engineers.

Awards for graduate supervisors

A new award has been created to honour a kind of achievement by faculty members that often doesn't get recognized: "excellence in graduate student supervision".

Nominations are due by June 15 for the first annual awards, after the program was approved by the UW senate at its April meeting.

The awards are sponsored by the graduate studies office and the Graduate Student Association "to recognize exemplary faculty members", a maximum of three each year. "Recipients will be honored with $1,000 and a plaque. This honor will be conferred once."

Says the document that came to senate for approval: "Graduate student supervision requires complex interaction between graduate students and the graduate supervisor. An outstanding graduate supervisor is a mentor, an advisor, a role model, a humanist and a strategist. A caring and effective supervisor possesses a high level of energy and ingenuity."

Nominations have to come from current or former graduate students, "supported by one or more senior academic colleagues who are familiar with the nominee's supervisory record", such as a department chair or associate dean. "A nomination . . . may also be supported by other graduate students who have had the opportunity to receive guidance or informal mentoring from the nominee."

Factors to be considered include such things as "effective guidance and planning of graduate research for his/her students . . . established mechanism for ongoing interaction with graduate students . . . timely reading and provision of feedback on students' work . . . maintaining his/her role as an advisor while instilling independence in students . . . fostering and facilitating students' skills for problem solving, critical thinking, self-directed learning and effective communicating . . . promoting dissemination and presentation of students' research results".

In addition, there are the skills a supervisor shows "as a humanist/mentor", such as " provision of caring atmosphere to the students . . . willingness to provide guidance which may not be related to academic matters or to a student's career goals".

The dean of graduate studies will chair the award committee, and winners "will be recognized at an annual Graduate Studies Award Reception". A nomination form is available online.

Prof edits letters of Canadian authors

A UW French studies professor has published for the first time the letters of two major Canadian novelists: Margaret Laurence and Gabrielle Roy.

Says a release from the French department: "The seven-year correspondence between Margaret Laurence and Gabrielle Roy exposes the private lives of two of Canada's greatest writers at the height of their careers. Although both writers grew up in Manitoba, they met at a conference in Calgary in 1978. Their subsequent letters reveal a deep friendship and mutual admiration."

[Socken] "Reading these letters, one can understand why Laurence and Roy reached out to one another in these final years," says Paul Socken (right), editor of the correspondence, which has now been published by the University of Manitoba Press. "They were kindred spirits, both in failing health, concerned about their legacy, and worried about their country, and social justice."

Roy and Laurence discuss important issues of the day; the censorship of Laurence's The Diviners, the 1976 Parti Québécois election, Canadian immigration, the Governor General's Awards. "These are fascinating glimpses at a rapidly transforming bilingual and multicultural Canada," says the release.

Socken is a prominent scholar on Gabrielle Roy and on 20th-century Canadian fiction. This is his seventh book.

Notes in the lusty month of May

It's a gorgeous morning out there, with the sun bouncing off the plate-glass windows (makes the grass grow faster on parts of the campus, somebody was telling me yesterday) and a pair of geese shouting endearments from the top of the Tatham Centre. The grounds crew has been augmented by the usual summer students, who are around campus clearing up the trash and spreading mulch. And gardening season is approaching on the home front too, which is why the UW Recreation Committee will host the annual "UW Blooms" event next Wednesday -- an exchange opportunity for plants, seeds and related supplies. Details are on the web site.

Work on a larger scale is under way on the north campus. Says a recent note from Tom Galloway of plant operations: "Steed and Evans has commenced the final servicing phase for the Research and Technology Park. Currently they are installing various underground services to the final leg of Hagey Boulevard and Wes Graham Way out to Bearinger Road. The Storm Ponds will be reconfigured and expanded and the Park will be completed. Additionally the parking area around the newly clad Bauer Maintenance building will be completed. All construction and landscaping is scheduled to be completed in August/September. At the end of this final servicing phase all infrastructure will be in place for all building lots in the R&T Park."

Language Teaching Colloquium at Renison College, details online.

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

Electrical and computer engineering seminar: Yu Ying, "The burstiness behavior of regulated flows in networks", 10 a.m., Arts Lecture Hall room 211.

Flex lab open house for faculty interested in technology for teaching and learning, 11:00 to 12:00, Dana Porter Library room 329.

MathNews "disorganizational meeting" 4:30, Math and Computer room 4040 -- new writers welcome.

'Revelations', short plays by Kenneth Emberly, presented by Poor Tom Productions, tonight through Saturday, Studio 180, Humanities building, tickets 743-7102.

Pension and benefits committee Friday 8:30, Needles Hall room 3004.

'Communicating on the Web' IST professional development seminar, Friday 8;45, Math and Computer room 2009.

Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council announcement of grants, fellowships and scholarships, Friday 11:30, Davis Centre lounge.

Centre for Business, Entrepreneurship and Technology presents Eugene Roman, Bell Systems, "Innovation: What Else Is New?" Friday 12 noon, Needles Hall room 1101, RSVP ext. 7167.

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.

Two events involving UW's school of architecture are taking place this week. In Toronto, it's "Stealing Beauty", an exhibition that "explores functional and attractive architecture achieved on frugal budgets", including Waterloo's recycled Architecture building in downtown Cambridge. The show opens today and runs through June 12. Then right in Cambridge, the school will play host tomorrow and Saturday to a "Healthy Buildings Conference", co-chaired by architecture professor John Straube and practising architect David McAuley. "This event," an announcement says, "is the first ever holistic venue for environmental physicians, indoor air quality engineers, architects, researchers and suppliers of systems and materials."

The UW Bike Centre is up and rolling, as we enter peak bicycling season. "The Centre should be open starting next week," writes Ted Harms of the UW library staff, a long-time stalwart of campus biking. It's on the north side of the Student Life Centre, at ground level. Volunteers are welcome, Harms notes. Also: "The Yellow Bikes are up and running for the spring term. This is a service that provides the day-long loan of a bicycle. Cost is $25 per term; get details and sign up at the turnkey desk in the SLC." And: "There will be a bike auction Friday -- all styles and sizes. The bikes will be out by noon and the auction will get under way at 12:30. The good-weather location is the SLC courtyard. Sales are by cash or cheque only; please bring some UW ID if you plan on buying a bike."

As noted a few days ago, a new doctoral thesis completion award is available for full-time PhD students. The one-term-only award of $5,000 is intended to give students some financial relief while they complete their thesis writing and defence. The award "may be used in lieu of a Teaching Assistantship, and can be held by the student award holder in addition to a Research Assistantship," according to a description from the graduate studies office. A student must have "proven high level of productivity and excellence as a doctoral student" and show that "significant barriers/constraints hamper progress". Twenty awards are available in 2005-06. The application deadline is the first day of each term, which was May 1, although the grad office said it would accept applications a little late since it's the first time for the new program.

A "Wellness and Health" display, marking Mental Health Week, should be continuing today in the Student Life Centre, sponsored by counselling services and other groups. . . . Some 75 young participants in the Rotary Club's "Camp Enterprise" are checking out of the Ron Eydt Village conference centre today, and as they depart, 125 participants in a Vision Ministries Canada conference are arriving. . . . "A personal and professional development day" hosted by faculty and alumni will be held tomorrow at Wilfrid Laurier University. . . .


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