Thursday, June 1, 2006

  • Student wins 'Global Trader Award'
  • Mastodon bones given to museum
  • Staff association leader, and more
  • Editor:
  • Chris Redmond
  • Communications and Public Affairs

Yes, you're reading the Daily Bulletin

The Daily Bulletin has a new dress today, thanks to the work of Jesse Rodgers, web communications manager here in the office of communications and public affairs. It's designed to be compatible with the web look that's now in use across campus -- perhaps even breaking a little new ground -- and to make some technical aspects of daily production a little easier. There may still be a few bugs to be fixed, but it seems to me we're a long way ahead of where things were, say, five years ago today:

[2001 Daily Bulletin with Mondriaan layout]

Link of the day

National Sun Awareness Week

When and where

Bookstore book sale continues 10:30 to 4:00, South Campus Hall concourse.

Career workshop: "Interview Skills: Selling Your Skills" 3:30, Tatham Centre room 1208, registration online.

Microsoft tech talk: "CAF Programming Platform", Thursday 7 p.m., Davis Centre room 1302.

School of architecture presents Steven Vogel, Duke University zoologist, speaking on "Natural Design", 7 p.m., Architecture lecture hall.

UW alumni in Ottawa social and networking evening, with speaker Eva Kmiecic of United Way of Canada, Friday at Market's Empire Grill, details online.

You @ Waterloo Day open house for students considering coming to UW this fall, Saturday 10:00 to 2:00.

Carousel Dance Centre spring performance: "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory", Saturday 1:00 and 6;30, Sunday 12:30 and 5:00, Humanities Theatare, tickets $14 (children $10) at Humanities box office.

Annual trade show sponsored by Procurement and Contract Services: computer suppliers June 6, office supplies June 7, Davis Centre lounge.

In case you missed them

The welcomer in the D lot kiosk
Prominent curator will head UW art gallery
Benefits continue for employees after age 65
Relationship in the classroom 'like buyers and sellers'


Student wins 'Global Trader Award'

by Michael Strickland

[Baxter]When Rebecca Baxter (left) took her seat at an award ceremony in Toronto last night, she already knew she was leaving with the top prize.

Organizers of the eighth annual Ontario Global Traders Award may have wanted to maintain an air of mystery when they handed out regional awards for southwestern Ontario last month in Cambridge. But they wanted all winners present when they announced the province-wide results.

Baxter, in her four-year of the science and business program, won the Student Achievement Award for her work with Apotex Inc. She completed three workterms with the company. During the last two, which ran back to back in one eight-month term, she helped Apotex launch a subsidiary in Sydney, Australia.

“The opportunity to work in Sydney for a leading Canadian global pharmaceutical company such as Apotex, while still in university, is an award in itself,” said Baxter. “Being recognized with a gold Ontario Traders award by the government of Ontario is more than I could have hoped for.”

Baxter beat three other students to win the southwest award, presented during a luncheon in Cambridge on April 20. A student from Western won the silver award. Two others from Windsor tied for bronze.

The four regional winners then competed for the top prize. Baxter beat contenders from Queen’s University, the University of Ontario Institute of Technology, and Canadore College in North Bay.

Guests expected at last night’s ceremony included Amit Chakma, UW’s provost, and Owen Ward, director of the science and business program. "Rebecca’s achievement underlines her outstanding personal capacity to be successful in a Canadian pharmaceutical company working at the interface between science, business and international marketing, which represents a key employment target for our very talented science and business graduates,” said Ward. “Rebecca competed against other undergraduates and against graduate students, including MBAs. In acknowledging Rebecca's award we also greatly appreciate the support and reputation of our co-op program that provides these excellent opportunities for our students."

The Student Achievement Award is one of five given by the provincial ministry of economic development and trade. First introduced in 1998, the awards recognize the outstanding export achievements of the most innovative and successful small and medium-sized enterprises, involving leaders or students in Ontario.

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Mastodon bones given to museum

[Piece of bone in her cupped hands]The woman who found several pieces of mastodon bone in the attic of her parents' home in a village near London, and donated them to UW's earth sciences museum, is Shirley Fenton (right), a staff member in the Computer Systems Group and the Institute for Health Informatics.

The discovery of the relics, and the detective work that's trying to trace their origin, were described at length in a story in Monday's issue of the Record, but the donor wasn't identified. Peter Russell, curator of the museum, says Fenton deserves credit for bringing the bones to Waterloo for identification and then for offering them to the museum, which is housed in UW's Centre for Environmental and Information Technology. They're now on display in the CEIT lobby.

They turned up last summer as Fenton was helping to clear out her parents' house in Highgate, a community with an official population of 488 in western Ontario dairy-farming country. "They were so unusual," Russell recalls, but when he visited her Davis Centre office he was quickly able to identify them as two teeth and a tusk from the lower jaw of a mastodon. "Mastodons," he reminds non-specialists, "were hairy, elephant-like creatures which lived in soutehrn Ontario until 10,000 years ago and fed on spruce trees."

Brief research revealed that the most complete mastodon skeleton ever found was excavated on a farm near Highgate in 1890. At the turn of the century it found its way to the University of North Dakota, where it is now on display. Russell and Paul Karrow, a retired earth sciences professor who visited the Highgate site with him recently, are assuming that Fenton's finds are from the same creature, although it's not clear how three pieces of bone got separated from the other and wound up in someone's attic.

His imagination fired by the discovery, Russell says he has hopes of writing a children's book about the Highgate mastodon -- and, perhaps, its Waterloo teeth.

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[Like an unfolded box, with coloured patches]
Paintings on paper by Robert Linsley, of UW's department of fine arts, are on display -- opening today and running to late July -- at the Felix Ringel Gallery in Düsseldorf, Germany. The show is titled "Island Folds".

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Staff association leader, and more

[Szalai]Joe Szalai (left) of the library's circulation department becomes president of the staff association today, taking over that role from Stephen Markan of information systems and technology as the association holds its annual general meeting. The event starts at 9 a.m. in Davis Centre room 1302. Szalai, who has worked at UW since 1988, previously ran for president of the association in 2000, and was elected unopposed for the 2006-07 term. "The fact that no one was nominated for the position of President-Elect, during the normal nomination process, for two years in a row, speaks volumes about the need for significant changes in the structure and makeup of the University of Waterloo Staff Association," he writes in a candidate statement. "With your help, during the next few years, I will attempt to bring about those changes. My goal is to make Waterloo an even better place to work."

Phone extension numbers in offices and workshops across UW's sprawling campus have been four digits long for forty years, but there's now such a demand for numbers that they'll have to go to five digits, information systems and technology announced recently. The date for the conversion has been set as Tuesday, August 8, the day after the Civic Holiday long weekend. "In preparation," a memo from IST now says, "there will be a restriction of moves, adds and changes to telephone extensions on campus as of Monday, June 26, 2006 until the conversion has been completed. Please submit any upcoming request for the embargo time period well in advance to allow us to accommodate your needs." There's more information online, and inquiries about the embargo on telephone changes can be directed to Ginny Polai of telephone services at ext. 2745 (soon to be 3-2745).

June 8, a week from today, will be the big day for Keystone Campaign organizers, volunteers, donors, and staff and faculty members who enjoy a noon-hour party. That'll be the day for the annual outdoor celebration, this year with the theme "Camp Keystone". A recent memo sent across campus from the president's office encourages all staff and faculty to attend: "We have designated the 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. period as paid work time. . . . For those departments providing essential services and thus obligated to remain open during this two-hour period, please try to make arrangements so that everyone may participate. It is imperative that everyone has the opportunity to celebrate in the campaign's incredible success to date." Camp Keystone organizers are still inviting six-member teams to join in the scavenger hunt that will be held that day; details are available at ext. 7747.

“Looking at natural design can free us from the strait-jacket of our own tradition,” according to Duke University zoologist Steven Vogel, who will speak tonight at the School of Architecture in Cambridge (7:00 in the main lecture hall). Vogel’s textbooks Life in Moving Fluids and Life’s Devices are described fundamental references in life-science disciplines. In such research, Vogel asks how organisms contend with their physical worlds. The intimate understanding he offers of bending and tensile forces has the potential for application in dynamic and active structures in contemporary architecture. In his own words: ‘Life builds more often to a criterion of strength than stiffness, and its consequent mechanical flexibility is multidimensional in ways we rarely consider, much less capitalize upon. Thus the relative resistance of flower stems and wing feathers to bending and twisting might provide hints for making cheaper and less obtrusive towers.’ His lecture will be followed by a discussion with Michelle Addington of the Graduate School of Design, Harvard University, who an architect and engineer whose teaching and research explore the re-conceptualization of the human thermal environment. The lecture and discussion are funded by Arriscraft International and forms part of the 2006 Subtle Technologies conference, co-sponsored by the Canadian Design Research Network and the Faculty of Architecture, Landscape and Design at the University of Toronto.

The Bookends coffee stall inside the bookstore in South Campus Hall is closing for renovations (and conversion to a Tim Horton's outlet) starting today. . . . Alternatives Journal, published in UW's faculty of environmental studies, has issued a call for proposed articles for a special issue on "heritage and sustainability". . . . In tomorrow morning's professional development seminar in information systems and technology, staff who attended the Ontario Universities Computing Conference in Guelph earlier this week will report on what they learned (8:45 in the IST seminar room). . . .


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