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Thursday, January 12, 2006

  • 'Two degrees' show opens at gallery
  • What profs are doing on sabbatical
  • In the classroom, and way beyond
  • Reasons to give blood next week
Chris Redmond

Washing day in Brazil

[Detritus and orange skull in suitcases]

Found objects are the vehicle for "Travel Advisory, 2002-2004" by Hamilton-based artist Ivan Jurakic, part of the show that opens today.

'Two degrees' show opens at gallery -- by Barbara Elve

The relationships between culture and nature and between the curator and the artist are the subject of Two Degrees of Separation, an exhibition which opens today at the UW Art Gallery in East Campus Hall.

For students in gallery curator Carol Podedworny's History and Discourse of the Museum course (Fine Arts 330), the exhibition presented an opportunity to apply curatorial theory they learned in class. Ten regional artists were selected to fit into the theme, "the multifaceted dialogue between nature and culture," and each student was assigned an artist. Students interviewed the artists, became familiar with the artist's production, selected works for the show, and assisted with installation, publicity, signage, catalogue preparation and the opening event today.

"The shared theme is explored in a range of media," says Podedworny, "including photography, drawing, fibres, installation, sculpture and video." Participating artists are Ernest Daetwyler, Susan Detwiler, Melissa Doherty, Simon Frank, Dave Hind, Kirtley Jarvis, Ivan Jurakic, Tor Lukasik-Foss, Aidan Urquhart and Andrew Wright. Doherty is a Waterloo alumna and Wright has taught in the fine arts department.

Two Degrees of Separation opens with a reception from 5 to 7 p.m. today, and the show continues through February 9. Admission is free. Gallery hours are noon to 4 on Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday; noon to 7 p.m. on Thursday; and 1 to 4 p.m. on Saturday.

What profs are doing on sabbatical

Here's the latest list of faculty members who are on sabbatical leave this year, and a peek at how they're spending their time, as summarized in reports to UW's board of governors. All the sabbaticals listed began January 1, 2006.

Pierre Fillion of the school of planning has a six-month leave: "Over the last few years I have accumulated considerable material on both downtown and peripheral areas of metropolitan regions. I will use this sabbatical to write articles from this material. Some papers will centre on the revitalization strategies used in downtown areas of middle-sized cities; others will discuss factors accounting for present forms of peripheral development. Together, these two themes will provide reflection on possible strategies apt to reduce the environmental impact of urban development."

Roland Hall of biology also has a six-month sabbatical, "used to undertake research to assess effects of climatic and hydrological variability on ecological conditions in lakes of northern Canada and Ghana".

Peter J. Carrington of sociology is taking a twelve-month "split" sabbatical, half now and half in 2007, for "research on criminal careers and criminal networks".

Paul Socken of French studies has a year-long sabbatical: "I will complete an edition of the Gabrielle Roy/ Margaret Laurence correspondence, prepare a revised edition of my 2002 book The French They Never Taught You, do research on a project concerning truth in fiction, and continue my fundraising activities for French Studies and Jewish Studies."

Patricia Wainwright of health studies and gerontology has a six-month sabbatical: "Leave will be spent reading and writing, including working with graduate students on finishing theses for submission to journals. Will also include course/revision for teaching 2006-07."

Kenneth Westhues of sociology is on sabbatical for six months: "My research since 1991 has focused on workplace mobbing, especially in universities. Three books summarize it: Eliminating Professors (1998), Administrative Mobbing at the University of Toronto (2004), and Workplace Mobbing in Academe (edited, 2004). My plan is to continue this scholarship: editing foundational literature for English-language publication, writing up case studies, and pursuing basic theoretical questions."

In the classroom, and way beyond

"Professors open their classrooms to colleagues," says a headline in the new issue of Teaching Matters, the newsletter published by UW's teaching resource office. It explains: "We reported in our last issue that the Teaching Excellence Council was arranging opportunities for faculty members to sit in on exemplary teachers' classrooms to gain insight into how different professors engage their students. We were successful in arranging a pilot project in which two professors, Tom Yoder Neufeld (Religious Studies) and Kirsten Müller (Biology), opened their classrooms in November to members of the Teaching Excellence Council. These events consisted of a half-hour pre-observation meeting between the hosting professor and the participants to discuss the plan for the class to be observed, observation of a lecture, and then a post-observation discussion of the event and what was observed. Participant observers noted that the most valuable part of the experience for them was the discussion." Such sessions will be open to more faculty members this term -- registration to take part is through the TRACE web site.

The Canadian Undergraduate Technology Conference is under way at a Toronto hotel (it lasts through Saturday), and I imagine both organizers and participants are on a high by now from the sheer number of people and ideas surrounding them. Toay's agenda includes a keynote talk by Bradley Horowitz, director of technology development for Yahoo, a lunch talk by Hanna Cho of the communication and culture program at Ryerson University, and an afternoon keynote by Mel Thompson, vice-president (global services) of Xerox. In between, there will be a tour of the Telus Mobility development lab, seminars, and the TechShow, "modeled after a late night talk show", with interviews of industry stars.

The Kitchener and Waterloo Community Foundation -- one of the distinctive organizations that make K-W what it is -- recently issued a listing of the grants it made during 2005, a total of some $4.4 million. They cover a broad range, everything from hospital renovations to community theatre. Among the recipients of grants from the various KWCF funds (amounts aren't stated) is UW itself, as well as some specific units and projects -- including the Canadian Centre for Arts and Technology, UW Innovate, the Walter Bean Scholarship, Klemmer day care, the faculties of applied health sciences and environmental studies, and Orchestra@UWaterloo. The university is even listed as a recipient of a grant from the "Kids to Camp Fund".

Clubs Days today and Friday 10 to 4, Student Life Centre.

'Touch the Sound': Film about deaf percussionist Evelyn Glennie, presented by WPIRG and office for persons with disabilities, 5:30, Davis Centre room 1302.

Forum for Independent Thought "election extravaganza" and in-depth look at government ethics, 5:00, Student Life Centre room 2133.

'New Year's Eve Reunion' at Federation Hall tonight, semi-formal, doors open at 9, free until 10.

Information systems and technology professional development seminar: "Apache Conference highlights", Dawn Keenan, IST, Friday 8:45, IST seminar room.

Warrior Weekend with activities in the Student Life Centre both Friday and Saturday nights, details online.

Presidents' Colloquium on Teaching and Learning featuring George Kuh, Indiana University, creator of National Survey of Student Engagement, Tuesday 4 p.m., Humanities Theatre, details online.

The human resources department reports the retirement of several staff members as of January 1: Elke Schummer, a custodian in plant operations, on UW's staff since 1985; Jane Siemon, employer advisor in co-op education and career services, at UW since 1984; Jim Fox, manager of media relations in communications and public affairs, at UW since 1990; and William Baumbach, also a plant operations custodian, on the UW staff since 1982.

A memo from Doug Dye of the UW safety office reminds the campus that "As part of UW providing a safe, healthy work and educational environment under UW Policy #34 (Health, Safety and Environment), and to comply with government regulations, the Safety Office is presenting WHMIS and Employee Safety Orientation Sessions. UW's Health Safety and Environment Program requires that all UW employees, that have not previously attended, attend one of the following sessions." Workplace Hazardous Materials Information System training, including safety orientation, takes an hour and a half and is for "employees who work in proximity to, or handle, hazardous materials routinely as part of their duties". Sessions are January 24 (a Tuesday) at 10 a.m. or January 26 (a Thursday) at 2:00, in Davis Centre room 1304. Hour-long Employee Safety Orientation Sessions are for "employees who do not handle hazardous materials on a daily basis (such as office workers)". They're scheduled for the 24th at 2 p.m. or the 26th at 10 a.m., again in Davis 1304. Dye notes that more information about WHMIS and Employee Safety Orientation training is available on the safety office web site ("follow the training link"). For questions, he can be reached at ext. 5613 or ddye@uwaterloo.ca.

Liam McHugh-Russell, who was a vice-president of the Federation of Students in 2003-04 and is now a University of Toronto law student, is the New Democratic Party candidate for Parliament in the Etobicoke-Lakeshore riding in the January 23 election. . . . Fourth-year electrical and computer engineering students are getting psyched for the design project symposium that will show off their work next Wednesday in the Davis Centre. . . . Steve Paul-Ambrose, the UW student who won $1.4 million (US) in a major poker tournament in the Bahamas earlier this week, is featured on the front page of this morning's Star. . . .

Reasons to give blood next week

"Your blood might be the type we need most," says Sharr Cairns, recruitment coordinator for Canadian Blood Services, as the agency gets ready for a week-long blood donor clinic in the Student Life Centre, starting Monday.

Appointments can be made now at the turnkey desk in the SLC. The clinic will operate from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday to Thursday, 9 to 3 on Friday. CBS will be back on campus three weeks later for a one-day clinic on February 13, Cairns notes.

"In case anyone needed encouragement to take up blood donation as a worthwhile cause," she writes, "here are the top ten reasons Canadians should resolve to donate blood in 2006:

  • "We have treats. After your donation, you will retire to our refreshment area where you will find a special treat. You also don't have to feel guilty about your diet because . . .
  • "You will weigh less after your donation. On average, the human body contains five litres of blood, or approximately 10.5 pints. During the blood donation process, approximately 450 ml of blood is removed, temporarily reducing your overall weight and allowing you to enjoy your refreshments guilt-free.
  • "There is an increasing demand for blood. On average, every minute of every day, a blood product is needed by someone in Canada. Your donation can help ensure that blood is available year-round to those who need it. We estimate that we will need 80,000 new donors this year to meet the demand for blood and blood products.
  • "There is no substitute. Blood cannot be manufactured and different people require different blood types. Our inventory must contain a variety of blood types at all times.
  • "You will leave feeling taller. Your simple act to help others, by sharing your health and vitality, will give you a sense of pride and satisfaction that will have you leave the clinic walking tall.
  • "You can help ensure an adequate supply. An Ipsos-Reid poll showed 52 per cent of Canadians said they or family members need blood or blood products, but only four per cent of eligible Canadians donate.
  • "You have what it takes. Patients are depending on the generosity of their fellow Canadians. It takes about 50 donors to collect enough blood for the victim of a car accident, about 100 donors to collect enough blood for a liver transplant and it takes about eight donors per week to collect enough blood for one cancer patient.
  • "Blood and blood products have a limited shelf life. The blood supply must be replaced regularly to keep a current inventory of fresh blood and blood products. Blood products are refrigerated and have a shelf-life of five days for platelets, 35 days for whole blood, 42 days for red blood cells, one-year for fresh frozen plasma and 10 years for source plasma.
  • "It is easy to do. Visit the turnkey desk to sign up for your appointment, or call 1 888 2DONATE ( 1 888 236-6283) to book an appointment at a clinic in your area. The procedure is safe and you will get a mini-physical with a test of your heart rate, blood pressure and iron level. All it takes is a little bit of your time and you can have a direct impact on the health of someone in need.
  • "You can save lives. The best reason of all to donate blood is that one donation has the power to save or improve up to three lives."
  • CAR

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