Tuesday, October 17, 2006

  • Arts campus proposed for Stratford
  • 'Professional and post-degree' fair
  • Snakes, journalists and the rest
  • Editor:
  • Chris Redmond
  • Communications and Public Affairs
  • credmond@uwaterloo.ca

Link of the day

Population clock

When and where

Used book sale sponsored by Mature Student Services, 9 a.m. to 2 p.m., Modern Languages building foyer: fiction, textbooks, language texts, CDs; proceeds to bursary fund.

Warrior golf (men and women) OUA championship tournament winds up today, St. Catharines Golf Club.

Federation of Students monthly forum: municipal election, universal bus pass, other concerns, 4:30, Student Life Centre great hall.

Stress relaxation session sponsored by Employee Assistance Program, "Progressive Relaxation", Wednesday 12 noon, Math and Computer room 5158.

'Does God Exist?' Debate sponsored by Campus for Christ, Wednesday 3:30, Humanities Theatre.

Spiritual Heritage Education Network presents Jim Profit, Ignatius Jesuit Centre, Guelph, "Spirituality of the Earth," Wednesday 7:30 p.m., Math and Computer room 4020.

Employee Assistance Program presents "The Cycle of Change", psychotherapist and trainer Liz White, Thursday 12 noon, Math and Computer room 5136.

Theologian Gregory Baum, launching new edition of Religion and Alienation, Friday 7:30 p.m., Siegfried Hall, St. Jerome's University.

Warrior Weekend activities in the Student Life Centre: Friday night crafts, pizza, "psychic consultant", movies "Beetlejuice" and "The Omen"); Saturday crafts, candy apples, costumes, "The Devil Wears Prada", details online.

Fall convocation Saturday, October 21, Physical Activities Complex: applied health sciences, arts, independent studies, social work 10 a.m.; engineering, MBET, environmental studies, math, science, 2 p.m.

One click away

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Co-op student meets flight simulator
Preparing for the election on US campuses
Conestoga College discusses its finances
Progress toward McMaster campus in Burlington
U of Phoenix president answers questions
Germany names three 'elite' universities

Arts campus proposed for Stratford

[Ornate brick building is Stratford landmark]UW is entering discussions about the possibility of opening a liberal arts college in the small city of Stratford, half an hour west of Waterloo, president David Johnston said last night at the monthly meeting of UW’s senate.

At the same time, the city council in Stratford was authorizing the mayor to sign a memorandum of agreement with UW and a third partner, the Stratford Festival of Canada. At right, mayor Dan Mathieson poses with UW dean of arts Ken Coates outside Stratford City Hall after the council meeting. He had just sent an e-mail message to Johnston, who read it on his BlackBerry during the senate meeting, to report that councillors had given an "enthusiastic" okay to moving ahead.

Senators had received a confidential e-mail briefing about the proposal last week, but Johnston said Stratford officials had been keen to "bring the discussions into the public realm as part of the municipal election", scheduled for mid-November. Making it public also allows UW committees, in particular the senate undergraduate council, to talk openly about planning an academic program for the site, he added.

Most of the details, including the number of students, have yet to be determined. A news release distributed last night explains that the satellite campus would operate as a liberal arts college, offering co-op and regular programs in academic and professional fields that are still to be determined. Johnston commented on the assumption that because the Festival is involved, UW would be building a drama program in Stratford: "Certainly we'd have an interest in theatre arts, but we'd by no means be limited to theatre arts." In the news release he added that “My own vision includes an international student body attracted by a unique liberal arts curriculum with its roots in culture.”

The release said the partners will spend the next six months looking for ways to acquire land in Stratford and find funds for construction; investigate options to fund and mount academic programs; and draft a business plan. At the senate meeting, Johnston said the project would have to work much like the arrival of architecture in Cambridge or pharmacy in Kitchener: local partners need to provide land and building, with UW creating the academic program. Provost Amit Chakma stressed that the university won't divert resources from its existing activities for the sake of a Stratford campus.

[Area map]

Work on the agreement began in May during the Southwest Economic Assembly, when Mathieson approached Johnston about exploring the possibility of a UW presence in Stratford. The city, as part of its economic development plans, wants to partner with a post-secondary institution and assist in creating a satellite campus. “We need to diversify our economic development portfolio in Stratford,” says Mathieson. “With an aging population, we need to attract and retain young, great minds. A liberal arts college would be a wonderful addition in a city where culture is an important part of our economic mix.”

In early June, Chakma and Antoni Cimolino, general director of the Stratford Festival, joined Mathieson and Johnston to discuss possibilities and options. “The Stratford Festival and the University of Waterloo have a long history of collaboration over the nearly 50 years we have been neighbours,” says Cimolino. “Both our festival and the university aspire to excellence, and both enrich the lives of those who live in Southern Ontario.”

Coates, who became dean of arts in July, joined the discussions to explore what kind of liberal arts course offerings might complement the university’s current strengths on a distinct Stratford campus. In the 1990s, Coates was founding vice-president (academic) of the University of Northern British Columbia, the first university built from the ground up in Canada since the 1970s.

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'Professional and post-degree' fair

"Professional & Post-degree Days" are plural this year, with so many institutions wanting to tell UW students about future education opportunities that there wasn't room for all the displays at the same time.

"Whatever your reasons for considering graduate or professional school or post-degree programs," a flyer says, "Career Services has an event for you." The annual PPD Day program will be held tomorrow and Thursday in the great hall of the Student Life Centre from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. The change will "accommodate the strong demand by universities and colleges as well as by students", the announcement says.

Students will have the opportunity to speak with representatives from 90 institutions from North America, Europe and Australia. "This once-a-year event," they're told, "allows students to find out more about career options, graduate school admission requirements, program specifics, and the procedures/deadlines for applications."

Some of the fields of study offered tomorrow include: chiropractic, education, health sciences, naturopathic medicine, pharmacy, social work, "and a large variety of college post–degree programs". Then on Friday: graduate programs, veterinary medicine, environmental sciences, engineering/technologies, law, MBA/finance, rehabilitation sciences.

"In addition to organizing PPD Day," Career Services notes, the department "also offers individual appointments to provide information about the grad application process, review of applications, and mock grad/professional school interviews on an ongoing basis. Book your appointment early — the easy way, online. If you are just starting to think about the next steps after your undergrad degree, you may also consider checking out the relevant electronic resources online." More information: phone ext. 3-2590.

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Snakes, journalists and the rest

[Hargens]A former NASA scientist will explain how humans can counteract the physiological effects of weightlessness during a lecture today entitled “Snakes in Space”. Alan R. Hargens (left), now a professor of orthopaedic surgery at the University of California, San Diego, will speak at 3:30 p.m. in room 1621 of the Lyle S. Hallman Institute for Health Promotion. Hargens has been studying various models and species — including snakes — to help understand the possible benefits of centrifuge systems for maintaining cardiovascular and skeletal function in space. He is a leader in examining different types of exercise and environmental countermeasures to keep astronauts healthy during long stays on the International Space Station and on future trips to the moon and Mars. He “has an excellent perspective on how to translate research from human space travel into applications that could benefit all of us on Earth," says Richard Hughson, a UW professor of kinesiology. "He works directly with orthopaedic surgeons using what he has learned about the heart, muscles and bones to develop better rehabilitation programs." The lecture is part of the Hallman Visiting Professorship Lecture Series organized by the faculty of applied health sciences.

The faculty association has announced the speaker for this year's Hagey Lecture — traditionally said to be the most distinguished public lecture on UW's annual calendar. Pulitzer Prize winner Seymour Hersh, "widely acknowledged as the most influential and acclaimed investigative reporter of the past 35 years", will be here on November 8, speaking in the Humanities Theatre on "US Foreign Policy in the Middle East: The Road from 9/11 to Abu Ghraib to Today". Admission is free, and the announcement says tickets won't be used for admission this year. Earlier on the 8th, Hersh will give a student colloquium on "National Security and Investigative Journalism".

At last night's meeting of the university senate, provost Amit Chakma reported briefly about progress on the proposal to create a UW academic base in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. He said former engineering dean Bill Lennox, who headed a delegation visiting Abu Dhabi to look into the matter a few weeks ago, has now produced a report that's being examined by the faculties — particularly engineering — that might be interested. "It's really a work in progress," said Chakma, but noted that a "2-plus-2" model, by which students would take the first two years of university work in Abu Dhabi and then come to Waterloo to finish a degree, seems the most likely outcome. One concern, he said, had been the size of the pool of applicants, but it now seems clear that plenty of qualified students would be available.

A few days ago, reporting on the invitation for staff and faculty members to be involved in creating new "professional development" courses for co-op students, the Daily Bulletin mentioned that such courses are "starting this year in two more faculties". That would in addition to engineering, where the "PDEng" program is now in full operation. The topic came up briefly at last night's senate meeting, as associate provost Bruce Mitchell reminded members what the non-credit courses are all about. "These are all soft skills," he said, "that employers are saying Waterloo students, and other co-op students, often don't have and badly need." One group of students is taking the first in the series right now: first-year math students in the A stream, who will be on co-op work terms starting in January, are completing "PD1", successor to the old "Co-op 101" series of basic training about approaching the workplace. The first arts students will face the same course during the winter term. Soon to follow PD1 are courses on Critical Reflection and Report Writing, Workplace Communication, Teamwork, and other topics.

The weekly farm market sponsored by UW's food services — plus a host of student volunteers — will be held again tomorrow morning. Heather Kelly writes from veggie heaven: "There are only two Wednesday markets left! It would be great to go out with the same intensity that we have enjoyed so far. I am concerned that many folks will think there is not a lot of fresh produce available; however, there is still a great selection of fresh picked, local produce. Last week, for example, we were able to buy romaine lettuce, Spanish onions, red onions, carrots, potatoes, acorn and butternut squash, zucchini, green beans, beets, corn, tomatoes (large and cherry), cauliflower, broccoli, apples, pears, peppers (green, yellow and red), and cucumbers. In addition, there are still locally made jams and preserves, apple butter, apple sauce, honey and fresh baked goodies from our own UW Village Bakery! This has proved to be a most successful endeavour on many levels: raising awareness for local produce from local farmers (sustainability) and in effect building a partnership/connection between the local farmers and our UW community and providing healthy and fresh food for students, staff and faculty." The farm market runs from 9:00 to 1:30 tomorrow (and October 25) in the Environmental Studies I courtyard.

And a note from Ken Hull, chair of the music department at Conrad Grebel University College: "The Music Department is offering the UW community an opportunity to show its support for the Kitchener-Waterloo Symphony. This week’s noon hour concert is being offered for the benefit of the K-W Symphony’s Save Our Symphony campaign. The concert remains free, but KWS staff will be present from 12 noon to receive pledges and donations. The concert takes place in the Conrad Grebel chapel from 12:30 to 1:15 p.m. this Wednesday, October 18, and features works by Mozart and Bruch for clarinet, viola and piano performed by Elaine Sweeney, clarinet, Christine Vlajk, viola, and Lorin Shalanko, piano. All three are instructors in the Music Department. The Music Department relies on the availability of KWS players as Studio instructors for Music majors and Minors. We also regularly offer a course called 'The Symphony' which takes students to three KWS concerts during the term." In other news this morning, the cities of Waterloo and Kitchener, plus Waterloo Region, have promised a total of $500,000 in taxpayer support for the symphony, which gives a big boost in wiping out the orchestra's crisis deficit.


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