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Monday, April 10, 2006

  • French teaching link with North Bay
  • UW entrepreneurs win second prize
  • And a little of this and that
Chris Redmond

Christians mark Holy Week

[Older man, two younger people with plaques]

Athletes in UW's campus recreation program each year are honoured by the Jud Whiteside Leadership Award, which commemorates the athletic and charitable involvement of Whiteside (centre), a 1970 UW graduate who is now CEO of a major law firm. The award was handed out along with other trophies and honours at Campus Recognition Night on March 30. Whiteside poses with two of the winners: Kim Saunders, recreation and business (spring 2005) and Adrian Wong, kinesiology (winter 2006). The other winner on hand to receive the award was Jeremy Cross (fall 2005). Eleven students were recognized as Outstanding Graduating Seniors.

French teaching link with North Bay

Students in the French teaching specialization -- which leads to a BA in French studies from UW plus a teaching degree -- will get their professional training in North Bay, not St. Catharines, starting in 2008.

"The last class attending Brock University will be in Fall 2007, after which the partnership between Waterloo and Brock will be terminated," UW's senate was told last month. "Effective Fall 2008, the French Department will partner with the Faculty of Education at Nipissing University."

The reason is simple enough, says François Paré chair of the French studies department: "Because our long-time partner, Brock University, created its own FTS program modelled on UW, a partnership with us was no longer in their interest.

"With Nipissing, we found a partner willing to re-energize this very successful program in response to a very significant and constant demand for qualified French teachers in Ontario and Canada as a whole. In return, Nipissing joins what was the first French Teaching concurrent program in Ontario, a program that has boasted a 100% employment rate upon graduation for its 15-year existence."

He said there will be some changes in the details of the program, particularly a shift to training teachers for the primary-junior level, rather than the secondary level as in the past. "The reason for this is the Province's emphasis on lowering class sizes at the elementary school level. The Ministry of Education has been urging Ontario faculties of education to train more teachers at the primary-junior level."

Senate approved some minor changes in the program requirements, but the outline is the same: four years of study at UW followed by one in a faculty of education -- in this case, at Nipissing. Two other key parts of the program are unchanged, Paré stressed. "This program continues to have a very important experiential learning component. FTS students are required to complete 160 hours of teaching-related work in Kitchener-Waterloo area schools. We have created a network of partner schools that is quite unique, linking current UW students with hundreds of FTS alumni."

And second, students in the French teaching specialization will still be expected to spend their third year of study in a French-speaking university -- usually either Nantes or Paris in France, or Chicoutimi in Québec. "We value very much this international component. The Université de Nantes program is considered one of the best such programs in Canada."

Nipissing's faculty of education also offers its own BEd programs, both stand-alone and concurrent, as well as an MEd, and has an outpost in Brantford. "Although most graduates obtain positions in southern Ontario," its web site says, "the Faculty of Education at Nipissing University has a northern outlook. Northern Ontario's biculturalism is reflected in an option course in the teaching of French to English-speaking pupils. In addition, many students are attracted to the option course in the education of Native Canadians. This northern ambience maintains the loyalty of students from Northern Ontario and brings students from elsewhere who are attracted to the North."

  • Text of federal Throne Speech | Nothing about higher education, students note
  • Survey about architecture school and life in downtown Cambridge
  • Wikipedia asking for help with UW pages
  • Snipe Networks expands research work at UW
  • New Aboriginal Learning Knowledge Centre
  • Alberta researchers say visible minorities value education
  • The book David Johnston has been giving away lately
  • Study finds education more affordable in the US
  • Conestoga ranked top college in Ontario again
  • Laurier faculty happy with teaching technology
  • How can you study the natural world if you don't go outside?
  • Small universities embrace globalization (University Affairs)
  • U of Guelph signs link with Royal Botanical Gardens
  • Catholic universities 'grappling with identity questions'
  • UW entrepreneurs win second prize

    A student team representing the Master of Business, Entrepreneurship and Technology program won second prize at the prestigious national Ivey IBK-Capital Business Plan Competition held recently at the University of Western Ontario. Liam Gore and Ryan Bentley competed on behalf of Cellugen, a Toronto-based company with a cell-based immunotherapy which has the potential to provide a novel, more effective and less invasive way of treating leukemia.

    In the finals, the pair were up against 10 other universities from across Canada. For their second-place finish, they received a $10,000 prize, along with business plan coaching from Ventures West and a feature in the National Post. A team from Western's Ivey School of Business won the event, which was held March 23-24.

    The judges said they were impressed with the scope of the Cellugen business plan and how well the Cellugen team performed during the question period. Questions ranged from where the idea for the company originated, to what Cellugen plans to do to minimize the risk associated with protracted clinical trials.

    At the same time, their Cellugen teammates, Diana Low and Sabrina Perry, were competing at the University of San Francisco international business plan competition. The USF competition hosted 20 teams from various countries, including Canada, the United States and England. The Cellugen team received an honourable mention in the competition and a cash prize of $500 US.

    "Our participation at Ivey and at the University of San Francisco helped Cellugen make excellent business contacts and provided the Cellugen team with insightful and invaluable feedback from judges," said Gore. "This experience will help propel Cellugen forward faster and with a higher chance of success."

    Low credited the intensive course work and the training provided by professional staff at the Centre for Business, Entrepreneurship and Technology for enabling her team to compete effectively. "We were able to incorporate the tools and methodologies gained from MBET into our business plan. This was fundamental to our success in bridging the gap between theory and practice."

    Since the MBET program's launch in 2004, student teams have been highly successful in business plan competition: wins include a first-place finish in the Licensing Executives Society competition in 2004 and a second-place finish in the inaugural LaunchPad $50K competition in 2005. Another MBET team will be competing at the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology 2006 International Business Plan Competition May 4 to 6. Earlier this year, the team won the $1K Pitch Competition, part of the LaunchPad $50K Business Plan competition.

    Centre for International Governance Innovation presents Samina Yasmeen, University of Western Australia, "Interfaith Dialogue and Diplomacy: The Cartoon Controversy", 11:45, 57 Erb Street West, reservations rsvp@cigionline.ca.

    Weight Watchers information and registration meeting 12 noon, Math and Computer room 5136B. Ten-week program starts April 17; information ggoodfel@math.uwaterloo.ca.

    Centre for Learning and Teaching Through Technology presents Alan Cattier and Kim Braxton, Emory University, "Adventures in Space Design: Building and Supporting a Collaborative Computing Lab", 1 p.m., Flex Lab, Dana Porter Library, registration online.

    Free barbecue for graduate students, promoting Columbia Lake Village, Tuesday 11:30 to 1:30, Graduate House.

    Waterloo Region public meeting about proposed financing for McMaster University medical school at UW Kitchener campus, Tuesday, 7 p.m., Waterloo Region administration building, 150 Frederick Street.

    Author Rudy Wiebe reads from his new memoir Of This Earth: A Mennonite Boyhood in the Boreal Forest, Tuesday 7:30 p.m., Conrad Grebel University College chapel, admission free, co-sponsored by Words Worth Books.

    Easter luncheon buffet at the University Club, Wednesday and Thursday 11:30 to 2:00, reservations ext. 3801.

    Waterloo Institute for Health Informatics Research presents director Dominic Covvey, "Dealing with Dynamic Workflow in Healthcare", Wednesday 12 noon, Davis Centre room 1304.

    Good Friday holiday April 14: UW offices and services closed. No exams April 14 or 15.


    The religious studies department has a new chair, as of April 1. David Seljak of St. Jerome's University takes on that role, succeeding Lorne Dawson of the faculty of arts.

    And a little of this and that

    A UW team is off to Texas this week for the world finals of the ACM Intercollegiate Programming Contest, an annual event in which UW traditionally scores at or near the top. This year's competition is being hosted by Baylor University at a major hotel in San Antonio. The "Waterloo Black" team, consisting of Tor Myklebust (combinatorics and optimization), David Pritchard (C&O graduate student) and Kats Gupta (software engineering), came first in the "East Central North America" regional competition in November, and will now face some 75 teams from other parts of the world. Heading south with them will be coach Gordon Cormack, of the school of computer science, and the members of the Waterloo Gold team that placed second in the regionals and would be competing this week if it weren't for a rule that limits each university to one team.

    Three graduate students in the Certificate in University Teaching program will give presentations of their research today, starting at 12 noon in Math and Computer room 5136. They're Iryna Pavlova ("Educational Goals and Fink's Taxonomy of Higher-Level Learning"), Fatima Kakal ("Multidisciplinary Graduate Courses"), and Jenny Shuta ("Communicative Approach in Teaching a Foreign Language Class").

    A note from the earth sciences department -- which I've delayed rather too long in publishing -- reports on the results of the HopeSpring Cancer Support Centre fund-raiser that was held March 5. "Many thanks to those who participated, donated or assisted," writes Chris Hanton-Fong. "We raised more than $9,000. Fourteen teams participated in the event, including 3 teams from the Earth Sciences Department. Congratulations to our very own UW Granitic Intruders (Jeff Bain (skip), Will Robertson, Rob McLaren and Scott Piggott), who defeated Team Golder in the final. UW prof Bob Linnen won the Draw-to-the-Button event and Dave Rudolph had the Spill of the Day. Best dressed team went to the UW Prairie Dogs (Ed Cey, Claus Haslauer and Loren Bekeris, Stefano Marconetto, Dave Rudolph) with their colour coordinated hockey shirts and hard hats." Over nine years, the annual event has raised more than $60,000, and the tenth anniversary fund-raiser is set for next spring.

    [Boritz] A Waterloo faculty member is the winner of yet another professional award. Efrim Boritz (right) of the school of accounting has received this year's L. S. Rosen Outstanding Educator Award from the Canadian Academic Accounting association. "Competition for the award comes from the hundreds of accounting professors at universities across Canada," says Alister Mason, dirctor of the school. "In the ten years since 1997, five of the recipients have been from Waterloo. This is a notable achievement, and a testament to the quality and reputation of our faculty."

    Lisa Chiu and the other coordinators of the Federation of Students Food Bank send this last-minute appeal: "As the end of the term is approaching and students are moving out, the Foodbank is encouraging students to donate any excess non-perishable food items." There are donation bins in many campus buildings. "We are currently experiencing a shortage of food," their message notes.

    And . . . with May 1 salary increases for UW faculty and staff members settled and announced, that leaves one other group of full-time employees: the roughly 300 members of Canadian Union of Public Employees local 793. They work in the plant operations and food services departments, and they're coming to the end of a two-year contract as of April 30. Negotiations for a new contract will start when everybody's free to schedule meetings, says Neil Murray, director of staff and labour relations in the UW human resources department. "The bargaining committee has been struck." Meanwhile, he notes, the terms of the current contract are expected to continue in effect after May 1.


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