[University of Waterloo]


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About the DB

Friday, May 12, 2006

  • Grants to help curriculum change
  • New marketing and media leaders
  • Health and dental premiums are stable
  • Co-op job took her to Grey Cup
Chris Redmond


[Waving from behind their laptops]

Beyond the library: Librarian Christy Branston (left) and intern Barbara Menich of the Dana Porter staff have laptops, will travel, as part of the "Bibliographic Instruction Beyond the Library" project. Throughout May and June, library staff will offer research and information services at various campus locations -- answering questions and distributing "bookmarks, business cards, and other treats". Scheduled times include midday on Mondays in the arts quadrangle (as pictured, on a day when there was no rain); Wednesdays 9 to 11 a.m. near the Student Life Centre turnkey desk; and Thursday afternoons, 2 to 3, in the PAS computer labs. More information: call ext. 2891.

Grants to help curriculum change

Academic departments are being invited to apply for grants that will help make curriculum changes and improve teaching, says a memo from the teaching resource office. Applications are due by May 25.

"The University of Waterloo is committed to enhancing the quality of the learning experience for our students and to continuing our history of innovative approaches to learning and teaching," says the memo. "Proposals are requested from faculty, departments and schools to enhance current learning outcomes in UW undergraduate courses through changes in instructional methods, learning resources, and curricula."

There are two categories of grant -- LIF and PIF:

The Learning Initiatives Fund offers grants of $5,000 to $15,000. "Priority will be given to proposals with a research-based approach to enhancing learning outcomes in the proposed project, and/or with potential for application in other departments and schools. For example, a department may request funds to develop a new instructional resource -- a course manual or exercise, an interactive online tutorial, a repository of case studies -- to address a specific course topic or a skill common to several undergraduate courses. . . . Requests for new course development are not eligible under this grant program."

Grants from the Program Initiatives Fund can go as high as $20,000. "Project proposals are requested from faculty, departments and schools to support instructional changes that are linked to formal undergraduate academic program reviews. The objective is to enrich the learning experiences of students in programs whose curriculum is being revised significantly as a result of such reviews. Priority will be given to proposals that will provide benefits to as many undergraduates as possible, and that assist academic units in implementing recommendations related to their academic program review.

"Applicants should identify the rationale for the project, as well as the objectives to be achieved, the proposed activities, and how the project relates to recommendations related to academic program reviews/strategic plans."

The proposals go to a committee chaired by the associate vice-president (learning resources and innovation), with funding results expected to be announced by June 15.

"Assistance on educational objectives, innovations in learning, and evaluation of learning outcomes" is available from the teaching resource office or faculty liaisons in the Centre for Learning and Teaching Through Technology.

A list of last year's successful projects is available online. Among the titles: "Building Computer-based Laboratory Practices into Psychology Research Method Courses", "Evolution: Finch and Nut. A Galápagos Island Population Simulation", and "An Internet Support Structure for the Continuum and Fluid Mechanics Stream in Applied Mathematics".

New marketing and media leaders

I have a couple of new colleagues here in the Communications and Public Affairs office, staff members who will be helping to tell the university's story to the world. They are Kelley Teahen, Associate Director (Marketing and Communications), and Michael Strickland, Assistant Director (Media Relations).

"Both have excellent backgrounds for these important positions within the communications and marketing group that help to service the whole campus," says Martin Van Nierop, who is director of C&PA. "Together they will add a lot of experience in helping us achieve a higher level of outreach and recognition for UW. This is especially important in view of the challenges ahead relating to our expanding roles as a national and international level university."

One of the first items on the agenda is for the two to meet with the deans and colleges heads, and as many department leaders as possible over the next few months, Van Nierop added.

[Strickland] [Teahen] Teahen (right), who will also act as deputy director of C&PA, is a veteran journalist and public relations practitioner who spent 14 years at the London Free Press and most recently ran the media office for the Stratford Festival of Canada, where she was part of the marketing management team. She has extensive volunteer experience, including recent stints as publicist for events raising money for cancer and AIDS charities. She developed, and teaches, a course in writing for public relations at the University of Western Ontario.

In C&PA, she will have primary responsibility for publications, web content improvements, and strategic planning. Kelley graduated from St. Jerome's (Hon BA, English major, music minor), Dalhousie (MA, English) and King's College, Halifax (BJournalism).

Strickland (left) arrives from Wilfrid Laurier University, where he worked in media relations for eight years. Says Van Nierop: "He established excellent relations with journalists in the print and electronic media, and increased the quantity and quality of Laurier's coverage. He brings expertise in promoting stories about university research and experience in crisis communications."

Before joining Laurier, he worked in TV and print news, starting at a northern Ontario weekly newspaper and working his way up to CTV's National newsroom. He completed a community college program in journalism, before earning a BA from UW's rhetoric and professional writing program and then an MA. He is on the board of directors for the Ontario chapter of the Canadian Council for the Advancement of Education, a member of the Canadian Science Writers' Association and a volunteer with the local United Way.

C&PA is the department that produces the Daily Bulletin, as well as publications such as the recent "Connected" annual report. It's responsible for UW's central marketing activities, the content of the university's main web pages, media relations, and many special events, among other activities.

Enrolment appointments for fall term undergraduate courses begin June 12; appointments listed in Quest as of today.

Master of Fine Arts graduating student exhibition, work by Rick Nixon and François Saint-Pierre, UW art gallery, East Campus Hall, last day today.

Pentecostal Assemblies of Canada Western Ontario District youth convention, Friday-Sunday, Ron Eydt Village.

'Catholic Voices in the Media and the Public Square', third Catholics in Public Life conference hosted by St. Jerome's University and the Waterloo Catholic District School Board, tonight and Saturday. Opening panel with Catholic journalists, 7:30, Siegfried Hall, admission free. Details online.

Spring yard sale at Columbia Lake Village, Saturday 8:00 to 11:00.

Shine Dance recital Saturday and Sunday, Humanities Theatre.

Used book store, Student Life Centre, special hours: open Saturday 10 to 5. From May 15, open 9 to 5 Monday to Friday only, except Saturday, July 22, for Student Life 101.

Non-Violence Fair and Concert in Waterloo Park, Saturday: peace walk 12 noon, fair (games, merchandise, speakers, food) 12:00 to 4:00, concert by local bands (Jen, Bad Pickle, Cuchama, others) 5:00 to 10:00, details online.

Columbia Lake Village South community barbecue Sunday 7 p.m., Community Centre.

Combustion Institute, Canadian Section spring technical meeting Sunday-Wednesday, including reception Sunday evening (CEIT building), technical papers in Davis Centre, tour of Live Fire Research Centre on Wednesday.

Health and dental premiums are stable

Premiums for three key staff and faculty benefit programs are unchanged from the 2005-06 fiscal year, in what David Dietrich, director of pension and benefits in the human resources department, says is "relatively good news".

He writes: "Good claims experience means no changes are required on May 1 in the premiums for the Extended Health, Dental and Long Term Disability insurance plans." Premiums generally change annually, as the fiscal year begins, and the major factor is the past year's "experience" or volume of claims against the insurance plan.

Health and dental premiums are paid by the university as the employer of faculty and staff members, and are a major factor in UW's operating budget, to the tune of $8 million last year. LTD premiums are paid by the individual employee.

Claims experience on the group life insurance plan was different, says Dietrich, and the insurance company has said premiums had to go up by 10 per cent as of May 1. He explains the basics of that plan: "UW pays the entire premium on a life insurance choice of 1 x salary. If employees have 2 or 3 times their base salary in life insurance coverage, UW pays two thirds of the premium on this additional coverage; the employee pays the remaining one third. This means an employee at $40,000 per year salary with 3 x salary in life insurance will pay $7.48 per month compared to $6.80 previously, a premium increase of 10%. There is no change in the premiums for life insurance coverage held beyond 3 x salary. These premiums are based on age related, smoking/non smoking rates."

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  • Co-op job took her to Grey Cup -- by Adam McGuire, from the Black and Gold newsletter for athletics alumni

    UW student Kim Saunders recently enjoyed a co-op placement she will not soon forget. Saunders, a recreation and business student and league coordinator for Campus Recreation, served as Coordinator of Partnership Marketing at the Toronto offices of the Canadian Football League last fall. And while a job in professional sport is exciting on its own, Saunders was even more fortunate to be with the CFL during its premier event -- the 93rd Grey Cup in Vancouver last November.

    "It was incredible," said Saunders of working with the CFL and during Grey Cup festivities. "It was definitely more than I expected. They were great in letting me learn on the job." In addition to working directly with the league's corporate partners and sponsors, she was also responsible for the coordination of two VIP sponsorship events on Grey Cup week one on the Friday preceding the game, and one on Grey Cup Sunday. "We did a lot of entertaining," Saunders said. "But we worked hard too!"

    She said her co-workers at the CFL offices were a tight-knit group, as the 22-person offices housed everyone from marketing co-op students to senior Vice Presidents to Commissioner Tom Wright.

    Throughout her co-op placement and in the weeks leading up to the Grey Cup, she was able to meet a number of prominent figures in the league, including Calgary head coach Tom Higgins, Toronto head coach Mike "Pinball" Clemons and quarterbacks Danny McManus and Damon Allen. As an added bonus, she was also able to meet the Black Eyed Peas, who performed the halftime show at the Grey Cup.


    Communications and Public Affairs, University of Waterloo
    200 University Avenue West, Waterloo, Ontario N2L 3G1
    (519) 888-4567 ext. 3004
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