Tuesday, June 27, 2006

  • UW child care ‘could be another jewel’
  • Young dancers perform in Netherlands
  • Notes from across the university
  • Editor:
  • Chris Redmond
  • Communications and Public Affairs
  • credmond@uwaterloo.ca


Chair in AM: Kevin Lamb has been named chair of UW's department of applied mathematics, effective July 1. He takes over that post from John Wainwright.

Link of the day

Paul Laurence Dunbar

When and where

Career workshop: "Career Interest Assessment" 1:30, Tatham Centre room 1112, registration online.

City of Waterloo public meeting to discuss the proposed "West Side Part-nership" for constructing a public library and YMCA on UW-owned land, 6 to 9 p.m., Sir John A. MacDonald School, Laurelwood Drive, details online.

Centre for International Governance Innovation presents John Milloy, MPP for Kitchener Centre, "How the West Was Nearly One: Canada, NATO's Early Years and the Quest for an Atlantic Community," 7 p.m., 57 Erb Street West, free tickets rsvp@cigionline.org.

Grant writing seminar for arts faculty members (others also welcome), Wednesday 9 a.m., workshop 12 noon, Tatham Centre room 2218, details online.

Ice cream party and magic show for staff and faculty, sponsored by UW Recreation Committee, Wednesday 12 noon, details online.

'Celebrate Canada' luncheon buffet, University Club, Wednesday 11:00 to 2:00, reservations ext. 3801.

'From Burma to Canada:' Hser Ta Kay speaks on "A Student's Life from a Refugee Camp to Waterloo", Wednes-day 5:30, Student Life Centre great hall, sponsored by WUSC.

California alumni reception featuring Duffy Knox, BA 1986, technical director at Sony Imageworks, Wednesday 6 to 8 p.m., Avalon Hotel, Beverly Hills, details online.

Centre for Business, Entrepreneurship and Technology presents Liz Torlée, TerraNova Market Strategies, "Breaking Ground: Real-Life Research that Fuels Strategic Planning," Thursday 12 noon, Tatham Centre room 2218, reservations ext. 7167.

Alumni in San Francisco reception at Stanford University Faculty Club, in partnership with Toronto, Ottawa and Queen's, Thursday, details online.

Canada Day holiday observed Monday, July 3; UW offices and most services will be closed, classes cancelled.

One click away

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Largest building project ever undertaken by a Canadian university
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Photos from Mayor's Celebration of Culture at architecture school
Facebook 'a window to you', Cornell students warned
'Wise up to the web' when you use it for academic work
'State of the industry' in Waterloo Region, from Communitech
'Canada's research output drops in world ranking'
'Education and earnings, 1980 to 2005' (Stats Canada)

UW child care ‘could be another jewel’

More spaces in UW’s child care centres — and especially more spaces for infants and toddlers — would head the wish list, a report from a “visioning session on the future of childcare at UW” suggests.

The one-day event was held May 26, sponsored by the planning committee of one of the centres: the Hildegard Marsden Co-operative Day Nursery, which occupies a house on UW’s north campus. The key organizer was the committee’s chair, Troy Glover, a faculty member in the UW department of recreation and leisure studies and director of the Healthy Communities Research Network.

The meeting included people from Marsden, Paintin’ Place day care in UW Place, the Klemmer day care on the north campus, and the psychology department’s Early Childhood Education Centre, as well as representatives of faculty, staff and student associations, the Engineering Science Quest day camp, and UW’s human resources department.

“An ideal vision of childcare on campus in the future” was one goal, and the report says participants thought such an ideal would be “subsidized, affordable daycare available to the university community”, run as “a decentralized, centrally administered system”, with more spaces (especially for the youngest children) and “no wait lists”. Also part of the ideal: improved funding (from government and other sources), better awareness and communication about services available, and available transportation in cooperation with local schools.

Participants in the meeting also did a “SWOT” analysis, listing strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats for child care at UW. Among the strengths: recognized high standards, full enrolment (“demand is a sign of success”), strong volunteer support, good location and the availability of expertise at UW. Among the weaknesses: “Lack of action from administration… childcare not a priority”; insufficient spaces; a lack of flexible hours and drop-in care; “lack of access to technology”; poor public awareness.

The list of opportunities starts with the suggestion that the university could “demonstrate its leadership” by improving child care: “A vibrant and well-functioning childcare system could be another jewel for the administration to boast about.” And plans for the university’s growth, including the new campuses in Cambridge and Kitchener, mean “it’s time for the administration to act,” the report says. It adds that child care can help with recruitment and growth.

Threats? “University administration may continue to perceive childcare as a cost or a burden as opposed to an investment.… Childcare could be, and possibly is, framed as a narrow issue (limited to women or families).… Faculty affected by lack of available childcare may be less productive.… “Kids and Co., a for-profit organization, has arrived on campus. What if other, new state-of-the-art facilities open up in close proximity?”

A postscript to the report suggests that participants “use this document to facilitate discussion about the future of childcare at their respective organizations or groups. Our aim is to take further steps toward an action plan.… A fundamental, initial step, we believe, is to form a coordinated stakeholder group that can provide a unified voice on matters related to childcare.”

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Young dancers perform in Netherlands

[Dancers in leotards]Some 23 students from the UW-based Carousel Dance Centre (seen rehearsing at right) are on their way to the Netherlands this week to perform in the Dance and the Child International Conference, being held in The Hague.

The students, aged 12 to 18, make up the Carousel Dance Company, a youth performance group trained in modern dance, ballet and jazz, says Richelle Brown-Hirlehey, assistant director of Carousel and the creator of the piece they'll be performing.

She writes: “As part of the performance group, the dancers work with faculty and professional guest choreographers and with each other to create dances on and for their peers that are performed within the local community. In the past the Carousel Dance Company has attended the daCi conference in Regina (2000), Finland (1997), Utah (1994).”

She describes the July 2-8 Dance and the Child International Conference as “a children's dance conference combined with performances, workshops, forums, panels, keynote addresses, classes, and demonstrations for people of all ages. The daCi conference provides a unique global forum for all who care about dance for children and youth.…

“The aim of this conference is to create an international platform where dance for children is supported in every possible way. The theme of this year’s conference is Colouring Senses: Moving, Creating, Observing: the Three Dimensions of the Dancing Child. Scientists, teachers, choreographers and dancers of all ages will speak out during the many lectures, demonstrations, workshops and dance performances of Colouring Senses. Through central themes like The Young Artist, The Young Audience, Youth Culture and Community Art, Dance in School and The Future Dance Teacher participants will give and be given a colourful reflection of the versatility of dance for children.”

The Carousel ensemble will be performing "Big City: Small World", which “is inspired by sensing, both within and beyond our urban walls, the experiences of daily life. Daily our bodies absorb all of the stimuli around us. We are forced to sense our lives and we are coloured by these senses. After exploring our cityscape surroundings individually, with focus on listening to city sounds, feeling the space around us, inhaling the city smells and tasting the air, we have created a snapshot of our experiences.”

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Notes from across the university

The multiple stores operated by UW's retail services will be closed for the day today. That's the bookstore, UW Shop and TechWorx, all in South Campus Hall, and the Campus TechShop, on the lower level of the Student Life Centre. Reason for the closing, according to the department's Susy Kustra: "Every year, Retail Services holds a meeting for all full-time staff in late June, which is off-peak business time for our stores. The purpose of our meeting is to review and share relevant information with staff, conduct training and plan for the coming year." Stores will reopen at 8:30 (they're currently on summer hours) tomorrow.

Friday's Daily Bulletin reported on a new book by a trio from UW's earth sciences department: Manitoulin Rocks! Rocks, Fossils and Landforms of Manitoulin Island. A memo from Joan Venn of the department of biology draws attention to a book produced there half a dozen years ago which, she says, "has done for flowers what Manitoulin Rocks is now going to do for geology". It was No. 40 in the UW Biology Series, and appeared under the title The Flora of Manitoulin Island (third edition), by J. K. Morton and Joan M. Venn. There are 1,350 known vascular plants on Manitoulin, and the book has notes on them all, as well as 124 colour photos. Both spiral-bound and hard-bound editions are available. About the Rocks volume, meanwhile, I've been asked to mention that it's available for sale in the UW bookstore, as well as in shops on Manitoulin itself.

[Child getting Canadian flag painted on face]There’s still a welcome for volunteers to be involved in UW’s 22nd annual Canada Day celebrations, scheduled for this Saturday on the fields above Columbia Lake. Says student Natai Shelsen, who’s coordinating much of the project: “This not-for-profit event, which is run entirely by UW students, depends on the help of volunteers. There's something for everyone, from security to concessions to face painting. Come help out and you'll receive free food, a free T-shirt, and a memorable experience!” Details on how to volunteer are online, or Shelsen can be reached directly at ext. 3981.

As reported in the engineering faculty's electronic newsletter: "Nick Lawler, civil engineering, and Kayley Ma, systems design engineering, are this year's winners of the John Fisher Leadership Award, administered by the Sandford Fleming Foundation. The award, named for former foundation chair John Fisher, is presented to a student graduating from an undergraduate program who has shown outstanding leadership throughout his or her academic career in activities that relate to engineering education. . . . At the recent (Canadian Society for Mechanical Engineering Forum 2006 held in Kananaskis, Alberta, two Waterloo mechanical engineering graduate students received cash awards and certificates in the student paper competition. Adam McPhee placed second overall with his paper 'Experimental Heat Transfer and Flow Analysis of a Vented Brake Rotor.' Michael McWilliam placed third overall with his paper 'Effect of Blade Geometry Distribution on Overall Wind Turbine Performance in Varying Environments.' Over 120 students attended the conference and the competition included both PhD students and MASc students. Both McPhee and McWilliam are in their second term of their MASc degree and are supervised by David Johnson, mechanical engineering professor."

Retirements of a number of UW staff are reported by the human resources department. Leaving the university as of June 1, for example, was Helmut Schuster, who joined UW's staff in October 1991 as a custodian in plant operations. Also retired as of June 1 is Elizabeth (Betty) Millman, who worked at UW from 1968 to 1973, left briefly, then returned in 1974, joining the staff of the library's government publications department. Most recently she has been manager of prospect research in the office of development and alumni affairs. Retired as of May 1 is Jane Farley, who had been at UW since 1987 and was secretary-receptionist in counselling services.

World Cup soccer will be shown on the big screen in the Student Life Centre again today, with Brazil facing Ghana at 10:30 and Spain taking on France at 2:30. . . . The staff association is looking for a nominee to be an "alternate" representative of staff members on the Employee Assistance Program committee. . . . The latest monthly list of winners in the donor draw has been posted on the Keystone Campaign web site. . . .

Finally, let's talk a little more about the photo that headed yesterday's Daily Bulletin, showing some library staff members at the department's annual barbecue late last week. The remarkable, if not runcible, hat worn by Gladys Torres, second from right, is clearly a soccer ball, a couple of readers told me — which makes sense since the theme of Thursday's event was, naturally enough, the World Cup. And the same photo interpreters told me that what looks to be a monster, or muppet, smiling through the window is actually a reflection of the soccer ball.


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