Thursday, April 19, 2007

  • More than 10,000 offers made already
  • Keystone profiles scholarship recipient
  • Notes as exam season winds down
  • Editor:
  • Chris Redmond
  • Communications and Public Affairs

[Carrying black bag with anniversary logo]

A Bag o'Books is, well, a bag of books, the monthly prize in a "giveaway" promotion at UW's bookstore on the first Thursday of every month during 50th Anniversary year. The first 50 customers on that day are entered into a draw for the prize. Happy winner on the first Thursday in March, pictured, was science student Leroy Ka Shing Chiu.

Link of the day

Primrose Day and much more

When and where

Terpsichore Dance Competition continues all day, Humanities Theatre.

International spouses group potluck lunch ("bring some food to share; something from your own country would be nice") 12:45, Columbia Lake Village community centre; children welcome. Questions:

Alumni in Calgary, reception at Art Gallery of Calgary, 6 to 8 p.m., details online.

Centre for Family Business, Conrad Grebel University College, breakfast seminar: Lowell Ewert, "Social Responsibility of Businesses", Friday 7 a.m., Westmount Golf and Country Club.

Germanic and Slavic studies 5th departmental conference, sessions on applied linguistics, German and Russian literature, and sociolinguistics, Friday, details online.

43rd annual used book sale sponsored by Canadian Federation of University Women, Friday (9:00 to 9:00) and Saturday (9:00 to 1:00), First United Church, details online.

Women's studies 35th anniversary colloquium continues: Carla Rice, Trent University, "How Big Girls Become Fat Girls: The Cultural Production of Problem Eating And Physical Inactivity", Friday 1:30 p.m., Lyle Hallman Institute room 2703.

Department of psychology presents Gordon Redding, Illinois State University, "Prism Adaptation and Unilateral Neglect", Friday 3 p.m., PAS room 3026.

Graduate Student Research Conference April 23-26: presentations in Davis Centre room 1302 and 1304; seminar on NSERC postgraduate scholarships Monday 11:15, Davis room 1351; seminar on SSHRC fellowships Thursday 11:15, Davis 1351; keynote address by Roberta Jamieson, National Aboriginal Achievement Foundation, Monday 8 p.m., Theatre of the Arts (note corrected location), tickets $3 at Humanities box office; awards reception Thursday 4:30, Graduate House; details online.

Faculty of arts lecture series, panel of three researchers funded by Canadian Institutes of Health Research on their work in "the grey zone": Alan Blum (faculty of arts), Kieran Bonner (St. Jerome's), Tristanne Connolly (St. Jerome's), Monday 3:00 p.m., Tatham Centre room 2218.

Spring term fee payments due April 24 by cheque or April 27 by bank payment, details online.

Staff and faculty lunch hosted by Executive Council, Tuesday 12 noon to 1:30 p.m., Village I central complex; night shift event 10:00 p.m., Davis Centre great hall.

Friends of the Library authors' event: lecture by history professor Ken McLaughlin, launch of his book Out of the Shadow of Orthodoxy, and display of work by UW authors, Wednesday, April 25, 3:30 p.m., Theatre of the Arts.

'Passport to Health' Fair for staff and faculty, Thursday, April 26, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., Student Life Centre; stations include blood pressure reading, ergonomics, "reading your stress level".

President David Johnston Run for Health Monday, April 30, 12:00, around the ring road starting at Needles Hall, register with Johan Reis, ext. 3-5418, pledge forms available, T-shirts $20.

'Learning about Teaching' symposium, including Presidents' Colloquium on Teaching and Learning, speaker Ken Bain, April 30, 2 p.m., Humanities Theatre; workshops and discussions May 1-2, details online.

50th Anniversary Dance sponsored by UW Recreation Committee, DJ, prizes, Saturday, May 5, Federation Hall, tickets $20 at Humanities box office

More than 10,000 offers made already

More than half the students who will be invited to enter first year at UW this fall now have their offers of admission, says a memo from Nancy Weiner, associate registrar (admissions). She says that as of April 11, UW had made 10,400 offers of admission, up from 9,509 at the same time a year ago.

“Institutionally, we have approximately 54% of total projected offers," Weiner said. In other words, it takes almost 20,000 offers of admission to fill a 5,000-student first-year class, since thousands of those potential students are getting offers from Toronto, McMaster and other institutions at the same time.

Students in the OSS (Ontario Secondary School) category have received 8,718 of the offers, while 1,682 offers went to “non-OSS” students — those from other provinces and other countries, or entering from the workforce rather than straight from high school. “The number of Visa admits for 2007 is 682 compared to 553 in 2006 (increase of 23%),” Weiner writes.

Of the students who have been offered admission, 6,670 will also get one of the three entrance scholarships if they come to Waterloo: the Merit Scholarship (minimum marks of 85%), the President’s Scholarship (minimum 90%) and the President’s Scholarship of Distinction (minimum 95%).

Weiner says engineering has made an estimated 52 per cent of its offers; arts 56 per cent; applied health sciences 42 per cent; environmental studies 68 per cent; math 53 per cent; and science 57 per cent. “There have been significant increases in the number of OSS and non-OSS offers in Engineering. The other Faculties have made a substantial number of OSS early offers over the last few years that explain the current ‘status quo’ position. . . .

“Although the Faculties will continue to make offers of admission to non-OSS on a rolling basis, the remaining OSS applicants without decisions will be receiving offers in mid-May. These May offers will also include admission to alternate programs.”

The offers go to students who applied to UW through the Ontario Universities Application Centre, where volume is up by 5.4 per cent this year from a year ago. “The total number of OSS applications system wide at this point is 361,160 which is an increase of 6.3% compared to last year’s 339,881. UW has experienced a significant increase of 14.8% in applications." Faculty by faculty, applications are up 44.2% in Environmental Studies, 27.5% in Science, 13.5% in Engineering, 9.6% in Arts, 7.4% in Mathematics, and 7.2% in Applied Health Sciences.

“For UW, we have experienced an increase of 13.1% in first choice applications compared to the system at 5.2%," says Weiner. "Furthermore, the percentage of UW second, third and higher than third choice applications is up 15.6%, 17.3%, and 14.2% respectively, well above the provincial averages.

The number of non-OSS applicants across the province is also up, reaching 36,648, or 5.6 per cent more than last year. UW has experienced an increase of 2.2 per cent in first-choice applications from that group, Weiner says, with environmental studies showing the biggest jump.

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[Malkin in lab]
Keystone profiles scholarship recipient

Sairah Malkin (pictured) arrived at UW in 2002 as a graduate student "and was drawn to the campus because of the strength of the aquatic ecology program in the Department of Biology," says a profile posted this month on the Keystone Campaign web site. She's featured as a recipient of one of the scholarships made possible by staff, faculty and retiree donations to Keystone.

Malkin's research for a master's degree investigated the food web structure of fishless lakes, the article goes on. “Specifically, I examined one of the least understood, but one of the most important forces that structure zooplankton communities,” she says.

The profile continues: "Now Sairah’s PhD research is directed towards understanding the ecology of an attached macroalgae that is a notorious public nuisance in the late summer. This macroalgae sloughs in large masses and is fouling the shorelines of the lower Laurentian Great Lakes. Her research has led her to many interesting experiences including flying in a Turbo-Beaver to access remote, fishless lakes in Algonquin Park; scuba diving in Lake Ontario at sunrise; and getting bumped by a group of mating carp while conducting a snorkeling survey for macroalgae.

"In addition to her research, Sairah has started the Biology Graduate Student Association to co-ordinate and represent the needs of graduate students in departmental affairs and serve as a social organization for new graduate students."

How did the scholarship you received help you? "I would like to express my sincere gratitude to scholarship donors. The Sharon & David Johnston Graduate Scholarship that I received contributes one-third of my funding and is matched by an Ontario Graduate Scholarship. Combined, these contribute to the bulk of my income. I am grateful because these scholarships have allowed me to focus on my research and dedicate my energies to innovation rather than to the potential financial stress of graduate school."

What do you enjoy in your spare time? "For the past few years, whenever I haven’t been working, I’ve usually been trying to get outside: sea kayaking, playing Ultimate, canoeing, running, and cross-country skiing (Schneider’s Woods is my favourite!)."

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Notes as exam season winds down

The last winter term exams won't be written until Saturday night, but things are definitely slowing down across the campus. Hallways are quiet, sidewalks are empty (except for geese and construction equipment), and — sure sign of spring — food services outlets are starting to shut down for lack of business. The Modern Languages coffee shop won't reopen now until May; the PAS coffee shop closed yesterday; and today is the last day there will be dinner in Brubakers in the Student Life Centre (it'll be open until 3:30 tomorrow, then closed all next week). Here's a reminder that unofficial winter term grades will start appearing on Quest this weekend, as soon as exams finish, and that grades become official on May 22.

Speaking of quiet, there hasn't been a whole lot of activity on the UW Opinion web site since we launched it last month in response to perceived demand for a place where staff, faculty and students could express their views, letter-to-the-editor style. A few articles have appeared, including one yesterday about the creation of the Centre for Teaching Excellence, but there's room for lots more, and I can certainly imagine some issues about which people might have views. The campus looks forward to hearing from you.

While you have cursor in hand, please take a look (especially if you work in a UW administrative department) at the online list of "University officers and administrators", and drop me a note if there are corrections or updates. This list is the successor to the one that used to appear in the undergraduate calendar, and is maintained here in Communications and Public Affairs with some assistance from the University Secretariat. However, accuracy depends on people letting us know of changes, and no doubt there's always room for improvement.

On other matters . . . Ranjana Bird, the dean of graduate studies, reported briefly at Monday's meeting of the UW senate, noting that the application and admission process for next fall's new graduate students is in high gear. The target, based on funding incentives from the Ontario government, is for UW to grow to 1,515 master's students and 715 doctoral students by this fall (those numbers are full-time equivalent and count Canadian students only). "I feel very confident that we will meet the target," said Bird, noting that UW has made roughly twice as many offers of graduate admission for this fall as in 2006. "Some faculties have done amazingly well," she said, but added that hundreds more offers still need to be made, with the assumption that 70 per cent of students who are invited to come to UW will actually do so.

Minutes from the January and February meetings of UW's joint health and safety committee are now posted online for inspection. • With the term winding down, tomorrow's the last day the Bombshelter pub in the Student Life Centre will be offering "Bomber Breakfast" (8 to 11 a.m.). • Information is still online about the photography and fine arts competition, "Capturing the Beauty of Physics", that the UW department of physics and astronomy is running all year as a 50th anniversary celebration.

And . . . students who wrote the English Language Proficiency Examination in the Physical Activities Complex two weeks ago today "can now find the results posted in their undergraduate offices or outside the Writing Centre in PAS 2082," Ann Barrett of the Writing Centre advises. "Students should note that the ELPE results are not posted on line. Congratulations to those who passed; students who were not successful can explore their options by consulting the undergraduate calendar, their academic advisors, or us."


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