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Monday, January 16, 2006

  • 'Outstanding' status for 71 profs
  • Gallery curator leaves for McMaster
  • 'Student success' is teaching topic
  • Smoking, safety and such stuff
Chris Redmond

Americans remember Martin Luther King, Jr.

'Outstanding' status for 71 profs

"Outstanding performance awards" have been given to 71 professors in the second year of the program, which was first announced as part of the 2004-06 faculty salary settlement.

"I am very pleased to announce the award recipients," provost Amit Chakma says in a memo listing them, "and would like to take this opportunity to congratulate them for their outstanding contributions to the University of Waterloo."

The awards involve "special permanent salary increases" based on performance ratings for 2005.

Award winners include 5 faculty in applied health sciences, 17 in arts, 16 in engineering, 6 in environmental studies, 14 in mathematics and 13 in science. Last year a total of 64 faculty members received the awards.


Gallery curator leaves for McMaster -- by Barbara Elve

After six years at the helm of the UW Art Gallery, Carol Podedworny (left) is leaving Waterloo this month to become director of the McMaster Museum of Art in Hamilton.

During her time as director/curator at Waterloo, Podedworny has raised the profile of the UW galleries -- on campus, in the community, and across the province. "We're really sad to see her go," says fine arts department chair Bruce Taylor. "She's had a huge impact on the department and the university in terms of bringing in new and innovative artists and their works.

"She's an excellent curator," he adds, noting she has accomplished much with few financial resources.

Fine arts professor Art Green echoes his sentiments: "Carol brought a great professionalism to the gallery, and a tremendous commitment to combining exhibition work with teaching, enriching the experience of students."

The galleries now feature a consistent program of exhibitions with standardized hours, and are promoted through regular mailings, media releases and improved signage. Participation in the programming has been expanded to include areas outside of fine arts, with shows featuring works from the School of Architecture and the departments of Germanic and Slavic studies, English, geography and drama.

Podedworny has collaborated with curators across the province on exhibition production, and shows produced at Waterloo have toured other Canadian galleries. Such collaborations have put the UW gallery on the funding map, attracting grants from the Ontario Arts Council, Canada Council for the Arts, as well as the Kitchener and Waterloo Community Foundation, Region of Waterloo Arts Fund and the City of Waterloo.

Starting January 16, she'll be heading a staff of 13 at McMaster, with "a fabulous facility, a generous allotment from the university," and a collection of 6,000 objects valued at $48 million.

Landing the job at McMaster, says Green, is "a great coup . . . a testament to Carol's abilities and her reputation -- and the great job she has done at Waterloo. We're going to miss her a lot."

Until a new director/curator can be found, Barb Hobot, gallery assistant, is on the job and can be reached at bhobot@uwaterloo.ca or ext. 3575.

'Student success' is teaching topic

The education expert who introduced the well-known National Survey of Student Engagement will speak at UW tomorrow as the Teaching Excellence Council sponsors the "Presidents' Colloquium on Teaching and Learning".

The talk, titled "Taking Stock of What Matters to Student Success in University: Lessons for Waterloo," will be given by George Kuh, Chancellor's Professor of Higher Education at Indiana University Bloomington, where he directs the Center for Postsecondary Research, home to the NSSE. He'll speak at 4 p.m. tomorrow in the Humanities Theatre.

The event is hosted by UW president David Johnston and prof. Roydon Fraser, President of the UW Faculty Association. Faculty members and selected student leaders have been invited to attend.

Creating a campus atmosphere that enhances student learning and supports students in reaching their educational goals has never been more important, teaching experts maintain. Recent NSSE results for Waterloo and other major universities in Canada have led to discussions about how to further engage students in the academic life of the campus. The recent review of Co-operative Education and Career Services and the report of the Living-Learning Committee at Waterloo have also suggested that better integration of the various learning experiences of students needs to occur.

Kuh will discuss the importance of student engagement to student and institutional performance. As well, he will review some of the key features of high-performing universities that contribute to superior levels of student engagement and success.

He has written extensively about student engagement, assessment, institutional improvement, and college and university cultures. His most recent book is Student Success in College: Creating Conditions That Matter (Jossey-Bass 2005). In 2001, Kuh received Indiana University's prestigious Tracy Sonneborn Award for a distinguished career of teaching and research.

Blood donor clinic Monday-Thursday 10 to 4, Friday 9 to 3, Student Life Centre; appointments at turnkey desk.

UW Senate monthly meeting 4:30, Needles Hall room 3001. Agenda includes presentation on graduate studies, discussion of Sixth Decade report draft.

Doris Jakobsh, department of religious studies, "Women in World Religions", 7 p.m., Kitchener Public Library main branch.

Carnival Diablo sideshow performance at Federation Hall tonight, $12 at the door.

All-candidates' meeting for Kitchener-Waterloo riding, Tuesday 12 noon, Student Life Centre.

'Rethinking What Influences Student Learning': Pat Terenzini, Pennsylvania State University, Tuesday 2:00, Flex Lab, Dana Porter Library, registration online.

Student design symposium showing off projects of electrical and computer engineering students, Wednesday 8:30 a.m. to 8 p.m., Davis Centre.

Centre for Business, Entrepreneurship and Technology presents John Baker, Desire2Learn Inc., "The Early Challenges of Building a Global Technology Company from Just an Idea," Thursday 12 noon, Tatham Centre room 2218, preregister at ext. 7167 by Tuesday.

Master of Business, Entrepreneurship and Technology program information session Thursday 4 p.m., Needles Hall room 1101.

Graduate studies in mathematics information session Thursday 4:30, Math and Computer room 5158.

Smoking, safety and such stuff

Registration is open today, and all this week, for the "Let's Make a Deal" contest, designed to encourage people to stop smoking, but also open to those who don't start the bad habit. It's the third annual contest, part of the "Leave the Pack Behind" program, which in turn is operated by health services. "This contest is open to all UW students," says Rosanna Morales, a graduate student who's part of the organizing team, "and encourages them to make a commitment to: remain smoke-free; reduce the amount they smoke; break the tobacco-alcohol pairing by partying without the pack; or quit for good. These 4 'contest deals' have been designed to be inclusive of all students, not just smokers. Students that stick to their deal are eligible to win some great prizes." Registration is open today through Friday, 10:30 to 2:30, in the Student Life Centre, where "quit aids including a survival kit" are available; the actual contest opens a week from today.

The UW safety office, which in recent years has been housed in the white Health Services building, will move to its new home tomorrow: renovated space in the Commissary building, along the ring road near the smokestack. "We will endeavour to minimize disruption of our services," writes safety director Kevin Stewart, adding that everything should be settled in the new building by Wednesday. Phone numbers are not changing. Also not changing: medical care and occupational health services that are provided by the Health Services department, still in the white building.

The second annual Waterloo vs. Laurier Apprentice competition is under way (with a web site featuring one of the longest domain names anywhere). Sixteen candidates began the competition, and a couple have already been "fired" as a result of the first "task" in the series. Coming next: this Wednesday, I'm told, participants will be selling T-shirts in support of the Red Cross International Disaster Relief Fund. (Location: the WLU concourse and the UW Student Life Centre, 11:30 to 2:30.) "Donations will be accepted," says Melanie Roskell, systems design engineering student and one of the hopefuls.

The annual Hagey Bonspiel -- or "Funspiel" as the organizers prefer to call it -- is scheduled for Saturday, February 25, at the Ayr Curling Club. This event, aimed at staff, faculty, retirees and hangers-on, "is open to curlers of all levels," writes Meredith McGinnis from procurement and contract services, "and we encourage those who have never curled but always wanted to try to join us for this fun event. Lunch, dinner and prizes are included." Today's the deadline for "early-bird" registration, which carries a chance at special draw prizes. Information: ext. 3631.

Students at Conrad Grebel University College will be presenting the musical "Footloose" later this spring (performances are March 16-18 in the Humanities Theatre), but at this point they're short of musicians. "We're in dire need of a drummer and a guitarist who plays both electric and acoustic guitar, and ideally nylon as well," writes computer science student Mike Chase, one of the footloose crew who are rehearsing on Thursday nights (band) and Sundays (cast). Interested or curious: e-mail grebel.musical@gmail.com.

Katherine MacLean sends this note from the UW writing centre: "The Writing Centre, once again, is offering a series of Writing Skills Workshops. This term there are additional times, longer sessions, and new topics. You may register by contacting the front-line staff in Counselling Services, ext. 2655." There's more information online.

Friday's Imprint had a follow-up story on Raveel Afzaal, one of last year's Federation of Students vice-presidents, who went home to Pakistan on holiday and couldn't get back to Canada because of visa complications. Things have been straightened out, with help from UW administrators, the paper reports, and Afzeel is now here finishing his math degree.


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