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Thursday, May 26, 2005

  • UW shows itself green with innovation
  • Staff member feels 'part of history'
  • Finally, a few nanonotes
Chris Redmond

Australia marks Sorry Day

[Green brain on black background]

UW shows itself green with innovation

An award-winning poster (right) and a new web site have been developed to promote UW as a leader in environmental education and research -- to audiences as diverse as high school students, prospective graduate students, employers and elementary school children.

Point man in creating the "Green with Innovation" campaign is Andrew Smith, recruitment and publications coordinator for the faculty of environmental studies. He explains: "UW is correctly perceived as a leader in engineering, mathematics, and information technology. However, UW's leadership in environmental initiatives is not as widely known." Environmental research and teaching, he says, take place in all six faculties including undergraduate and graduate programs concentrated in engineering, ES, and science.

"The goal of the poster, which builds on UW's reputation for innovation, is to create awareness of UW as an environmental leader," says Smith. "The website provides details of academic programs, research centres, student groups, opportunities to hire students, and UW as an environmental university."

Those three key faculties were involved in creating "Green with Innovation", along with the marketing and undergraduate recruitment office -- the unit in the registrar's office that's responsible for attracting undergraduate students to Waterloo. Funding also came from the associate provost (academic and student affairs), Smith adds.

"The project was developed by Andraya Gillen (Science), Kim Boucher (Engineering), Julie Hummel (Marketing and Undergraduate Recruitment) and myself. The poster was designed by Betty Winge of Graphics and the website by Matt Regehr, also of Graphics." (More recently, Devon Hutchinson and Richard Vollans have taken over the engineering and science positions on the Green with Innovation management team.)

Web site links include the environmental studies "cool jobs" site, the "What on Earth" newsletter produced by earth sciences, and information on environmental activities at UW. A page on "opportunities to get involved" lists ten student groups, and the site notes that UW was "the first university in Canada to adopt Greening the Campus, the philosophy that university campuses should reflect the world students seek to create".

The Green with Innovation poster won the gold award for Best Poster in the national Prix d'Excellence competition conducted by the Canadian Council for the Advancement of Education. Judges spoke of its "creative, eye-catching, striking design", says Smith, noting that "so much [is] said with few words" and the poster leaves a lasting impression.

"We have also printed postcards using the same design," he reports. "They have been mailed to co-op employers and will be used to recruit new co-op employers.

"It's great to be able to work with the other faculties, Marketing and Undergraduate Recruitment, and Graphics on such an exciting project. . . .

"I had a teacher last week ask for nine more posters because he said he and the other teachers were fighting over which classroom would get the poster we had mailed. They wanted to put the posters in all of the school's science classrooms. I gladly sent a package of posters along to him!"

He suggests that if UW staff, faculty, or students are going to conferences, high schools, or competitions where it would make sense to highlight UW's environmental research and teaching, "I would appreciate if they could take some posters or postcards along. We all stand to benefit from attracting new undergrad and grad students, faculty, research projects, co-op employers, donors, etc."


Staff member feels 'part of history'

You could say that Liz Vinnicombe (left) has had a lifelong connection with higher education. For the first year of her life, her family home faced onto the parade square at the Royal Military College in [Cail Vinnicombe] Kingston. Later her father, Cail Vinnicombe (right), retired from the air force and was hired at UW, serving in the 1970s as director of housing. Following in his footsteps, his daughter came to work at UW and is celebrating her 25th year of service this year. (The gala reception for 25-Year Club members is scheduled for June 21.)

Vinnicombe is featured in this month's profile from the Keystone Campaign, which reports that "Nearly every Friday, you can find Liz at the University Club. Her lunch partner is Wendy Cooper from the UW Place office. The pair met in 1966 when Liz was a high school student and she worked part-time for her dad, who was then Manager of Village I. They've been having lunch together every Friday for several years, missing only when one or the other is on holiday."

Then it describes her job: "As Manager of Research Grants in the Office of Research, Liz plays an important part in helping faculty members prepare successful grant applications. She reviews proposals to make sure they fit the granting agency criteria and ensures that University policies are followed. Liz also arranges new accounts, making sure paperwork and agreements are in place, and then monitoring the progress of grants."

What makes you proud to work at UW? "It's being part of the history of UW that makes me proud. The University has done things a little differently than other universities and has done so well in such a short time."

Bookstore remainder sale, South Campus Hall concourse, continues today and tomorrow.

Centre for International Governance Innovation presents Rahul Sen, Institute of Southeast Asian Studies, Singapore, "ASEAN: Challenges Towards Economic Integration", 11:45, 57 Erb Street West.

Teaching workshop: "Implementing Active Learning Activities", 12 noon, Math and Computer room 5158, information online.

Art Gallery of Ontario: trip to see the "Massive Change" exhibition, organized by Engineers Without Borders, leaving campus 2:30.

Career development workshop: "Interview Skills: Selling Your Skills", 3:30, Tatham Centre room 2218.

Forum for Independent Thought: new student think tank "to tackle the world's most pressing problems", regular meeting 5:00, Student Life Centre room 2134.

International Development Student Conference scheduled for February -- meeting for interested students 5:30 today, Student Life Centre room 3103.

Arriscraft Lecture: Richard Kroeker, Dalhousie University, "Rock, Scissors, Paper", on green building technology and community development, 7:00, Architecture lecture hall.

Orchestra@UWaterloo spring rehearsals begin tonight, details online; new oboe, brass, lower strings especially welcome.

Spiritual Heritage Education Network presents Steven Henson, "How Does God Become Conscious of Himself?" 7:30, CEIT room 1015.

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

'Choosing a Linux Distribution' -- weekly professional development seminar, information systems and technology, Friday 8:45, Math and Computer room 2009.

Warrior Weekend Friday and Saturday evenings, Student Life Centre, activities and movies organized by student life office volunteers.

Staff association annual general meeting Wednesday, June 1, 9 a.m., Davis Centre room 1302.

What do you like best about working at UW? "The people I work with in the Office of Research are wonderful. They're so cheerful and helpful. It's the same across campus. The departmental staff and faculty members I work with are great. I enjoy the sense of community we have at the University."

To what projects have you designated your gift? "I split my donations between the UW Library and Distance Education. Libraries are so important to a university and I love books. I value Distance Education because it provides access to university for people who can't attend because of location or because they can't afford full-time studies.

What motivates you to give back to UW? "The Keystone Campaign has done a great job of showing that by giving back, we can do more. It's important that people outside the University know that we value UW and support it."

Finally, a few nanonotes

Chemistry researchers happily report that they have received UW's first-ever grant under a new program of the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council -- the Nano Innovation Platform Research Awards, intended to help "gain a better understanding of the basic physicochemical properties of nanomaterials and nanoparticles". It offers grants of $50,000 a year for two years, and one of them has come to UW's Tong Leung and John Honek for work on "Recognition and Physicochemical Characterization of Nanomaterial-Peptide Interactions". Leung says the project "promises new insights into building the world's first nano-biomachine interface involving among other things fullerenes and carbon nanotubes".

The Canadian Biomaterials Society will hold its annual conference at UW over the next couple of days, starting with a reception tonight and continuing with lectures and panels all day tomorrow and Saturday, as well as a Friday night banquet at St. Jerome's University. Headquarters for the event is the Ron Eydt Village conference centre. The local organizer for the CBS conference, which is expected to bring about 100 researchers to Waterloo, is John Medley of the mechanical engineering department, whose own research is in the area of tribology (lubrication), including the wear that metal hip implants experience.

The human resources department sends word of half a dozen staff members who will officially retire June 1: Ina McMahon, housekeeper at Renison College, at UW since March 1998; Sharon Fronchak, Ron Eydt Village housekeeper, since February 1988; Jana Otruba, lab technician in chemical engineering, since April 1982; Robert McGarrie, mechanic in plant operations, since March 1989; Moiya Jalsevac, library assistant in the Dana Porter Library, since August 1980; and Leni Koehler, housekeeper in Village I, since September 1992.

Jeremy Fisher plays the Bombshelter pub tonight (cover charge $10 at the door). . . . Players are still invited to sign up for the Matthews Golf Classic, scheduled for June 20 at Grand Valley Golf Course. . . . The annual Commuter Challenge, calling on people to get to campus without driving cars, is coming up June 5-11. . . .

And . . . they're going to try again tonight to make that upgrade to the campus voicemail system that was unsuccessful earlier in the week. Bruce Uttley of information systems and technology says voicemail will be unavailable after 6 p.m. for the evening. "All stored messages, greetings and passwords will be retained on the new system."


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