Tuesday, April 24, 2007

  • Health executive gives an overview
  • History volume launched tomorrow
  • And now, the rest of the story
  • Editor:
  • Chris Redmond
  • Communications and Public Affairs
  • credmond@uwaterloo.ca

Fire drills today

Annual fire drills will be held this morning in a number of main campus buildings. Scheduled for drills between 8:30 and 10 a.m.: Health Services, Optometry, the PAC, "BFG" on Columbia Street, Environmental Studies I and II, Carl Pollock Hall, PAS and Humanities.

Then between 10:00 and 11:30: the Dana Porter Library, Needles Hall, CEIT, Physics, Chemistry II, GSC and Commissary, and East Campus Hall.

Lunch for faculty and staff

Staff and faculty members are invited to an "appreciation" lunch hosted by members of UW's executive council today from 12:00 to 1:30 in the central complex of Village I. The official word is that "offices are expected to be closed over this period; departments providing essential services and thus obligated to remain open are urged to make arrangements so as many staff as possible can attend."

People should enter Village I from the ring road side ("there will be direction signs"), where they'll be greeted and invited to head upstairs to the great hall and other areas for the meal. Tickets for the 50th anniversary lottery will be on sale at the event, with a draw scheduled for about 1:15. As part of the day's program, president David Johnston and provost Amit Chakma will be saying a few words at about 12:45, and there will be a Reach for the Top competition at 1:00. For staff who work off campus, parking for the lunch will be available in lots J, S and V off Columbia Street.

Night shift staff are not forgotten in the planning of the appreciation lunch: there's a evening event aimed at them, to be held at 10:00 tonight in the Davis Centre great hall.

Link of the day

Open Ears Festival in Kitchener

When and where

Graduate Student Research Conference continues: presentations daily in Davis Centre room 1302 and 1304; seminar on SSHRC fellowships Thursday 11:15; awards reception Thursday 4:30, Graduate House; details online.

Spring term fee payments due today by cheque or Friday by bank payment, details online.

Centre for Family Business, based at Conrad Grebel University College, workshop: "Conflict, It's Always There", Wednesday in St. Jacobs, details online.

Waterloo Wellington Local Health Integration Network workshop, "Implementing the IHPS, Managing the Change", hot breakfast, keynote speaker and discussion, Wednesday 8 a.m. to noon, Bingemans Conference Centre, Kitchener, information and registration e-mail sonal.garach@lhins.on.ca.

Distinguished Nanotechnology Seminar: Meyya Meyyappan, NASA Ames Research Centre, "Novel One Dimensional Nonstructural, Wednesday 10 a.m., CEIT room 1015.

Smarter Health lecture: Tom Closson, management consultant who studied the emergency room crisis in Waterloo Region hospitals, "Why Not Create the Ideal Health System Through Health Informatics?" Wednesday 3:00, Davis Centre room 130

Rienzi Crusz, retired UW librarian, reads from his poetry Wednesday 7 p.m., Kitchener Public Library main branch.

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

Surplus sale of UW furniture and equipment, Thursday 12:30 to 2:00, central stores, East Campus Hall.

'Aging, Health and Well-Being' lecture: Len Gray, University of Queensland, Australia, "Express Lanes and Collectors: Using Decision-Making to Ease Traffic Congestion in Acute Care", Thursday 3:30, Lyle Hallman Institute room 1621.

Alumni networking workshop Thursday 6:00 to 9:30 p.m., details online.

Centre for Theoretical Neuroscience "Waterloo Brain Day" Friday: seminars by four visiting researchers, followed by a reception, PAS room 2083, details online.

Different Perspectives on Canadian Federalism: "Retrospective and Prospective." Conference Friday and Saturday, Arts Lecture Hall, details online.

Guelph-Waterloo Centre for Graduate Work in Chemistry and Biochemistry: annual meeting, seminar, poster session and awards presentations, Friday from 1 p.m., University of Guelph New Science Complex.

Fiscal year 2006-07 ends April 30; requests for payment and accounting transactions should be submitted to finance office as soon as possible, last transactions must be received by May 11.

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.

'E-Merging Learning Workshop' introduction to professional development for instructors in online learning, to be followed by online modules and face-to-face coaching, Wednesday, May 2, 10:30 to 11:15, Flex Lab, Dana Porter Library, details and registration online.

Health executive gives an overview

by Brandon Sweet

[McKillop]Ian McKillop (left), who took on the newly created post of Executive Director, University Health Research, last year, gave an overview presentation to UW's Senate April 16 under the title “Advancing the Health Research Agenda at Waterloo: Building on our Strengths”.

“One of the exciting things about health is that if we say ‘we do health’ everyone sees that through their own glasses,” McKillop told the senate at its monthly meeting. “It could mean keeping people from getting sick, helping them get better, or it could mean something like developing safer vehicles to reduce injuries. At UW we have an interest in all of those.”

He highlighted a number of challenges and opportunities UW faces as it continues to build a health presence. He began by reiterating the old saying that one of UW’s strengths is that it does not have a medical school — “on the other hand, it means we don’t have a medical school!” This leaves UW vulnerable to being eclipsed by other organizations that have a greater reputational presence in health research, he observed.

However, this university does have significant health activities: “We don’t have a medical school, fair enough, but we have a health sciences campus. We can use that as an opportunity.” Another challenge is UW’s lack of a strong connection to ‘big pharma,’ but again McKillop pointed out "our exciting new pharmacy school” with an innovative agenda. Waterloo’s distance from established centres of health science research is a recognized challenge, and the opportunity arising from that is the need to lever partnerships with organizations that complement UW’s strengths, he said.

UW ’s reputation as being focused on computer science and engineering is another challenge, McKillop went on, telling Senate that while those are very strong features of UW’s history, they can be used to build a reputation in the health sciences as well. Such challenges-turned-opportunities are being supported by investments in infrastructure, including improved animal care facilities, the “beachhead” that is UW@MaRS, which will provide mathematical expertise to the health sector, and the activities housed in Lyle Hallman Institute North, what McKillop called the first “physical footprint” for health informatics research at the university.

He provided updates on some new initiatives coming out of the Office of Research, including a joint proposal for the creation of a world-class centre for infectious disease research along with McMaster University and the University of Guelph, which would have rapid response capacity in the event of a pandemic. UW is working with Cancer Care Ontario to undertake the biggest longitudinal study in Canadian history, he said, and is nurturing a relationship with the University of Toronto in health informatics graduate programs.

He pointed out how UW is already having an impact in the area of health sciences, using as an example the fact that the Council of Faculties of Medicine has been recently inviting UW to sit at the table even though there's no actual faculty of medicine. “This says to me that we’re making a difference,” McKillop said. “I’m convinced we will be able to cement a reputation as a centre of excellence in this field."

The job description for the Executive Director, reporting to the vice-president (university research), says he "helps coordinate the university’s internal and external health research portfolio” and “serves as UW’s liaison and spokesperson on matters related to health research.”

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History volume launched tomorrow

from the UW media relations office

[McLaughlin]The University of Waterloo's official historian, Ken McLaughlin (right), will launch his new book on UW and give a talk on the university's 50-year success at the Friends of the Library lecture and authors event tomorrow.

McLaughlin's public lecture will touch on the university's past, present and future, as well as what differentiates Waterloo from other universities and what contributes to its success. It takes place Wednesday, beginning at 3:30 p.m. in the Theatre of the Arts in the Modern Languages building.

This year's lecture is based on McLaughlin's long-awaited new book, Out of the Shadow of Orthodoxy: Waterloo @ 50, which is being published to help celebrate UW's 50th anniversary and will be officially launched at the event. With archival research and more than 300 oral history interviews, the book is richly illustrated with historical and contemporary images of the university and its people.

"It celebrates Waterloo's history and brings alive the challenges facing the university in the present as it plans for the next 50 years and the hurdles that it has overcome in the past half century," McLaughlin says.

The annual Friends of the Library event traditionally includes not just a lecture but a display of creative work by UW-related authors, artists and composers. "We're excited to be showcasing the fine work of over 60 talented members from the UW community," says Mary Stanley, manager of library communications and development. The theatre lobby will be packed with books, musical scores, photography and art produced by faculty, staff, students and alumni.

Since his arrival as a student in 1961 and hiring as a faculty member in 1970, McLaughlin has been part of the university for most of its five decades. A former dean of St. Jerome's University, he is currently the chair of its history department. Besides being UW's official historian, he has served as director of public history and the director of the tri-university graduate program in history for UW, Wilfrid Laurier University and the University of Guelph.

He has also developed a website on the history of computing and information technology achievements at UW. The project, funded by a grant from the J. W. Graham Information Technology Fund, conducted a series of oral history interviews with key members linked with Waterloo's history of computing and technology transfer. The project, entitled "Unbundling Computing at Waterloo", will be launched shortly on a website hosted by UW's David R. Cheriton School of Computer Science.

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And now, the rest of the story

Nominations "are trickling in" for this year's Staff Recognition Program, says Trenny Canning, who serves as secretary of the staff compensation committee and administers the program. However, she adds, there's a problem: "nominations that do not have nearly enough information to allow a decision to be made — three and four liners, without examples. It would be a shame if someone's nominee was deserving and didn't get it because of a lack of information." She reports that she has put together "some tips on how to put forward a nomination", and they can now be viewed online. The program is meant to reward "staff who consistently make a positive contribution to the success of the University and/or have a positive impact on the working lives of their colleagues, customers, etc."

Canadian Blood Services held a recognition event in Kitchener the other day for some of their long-time donors — people who have bled 50, 100, 200 or more times in a good cause — and included some acknowledgement of the many blood donors at UW. Some of what was said: “Since 1999 the UW students, staff and faculty have donated over 7,000 units of blood at their on- campus clinics. They have basically saved or at least improved the lives of over 21,000 Canadians who needed blood or blood products. What an outstanding achievement. This year marks the 50th anniversary of the University. It also marks the year where we increased the frequency of our blood donor clinics from once a term, to once a month, resulting in a 20 per cent increase in units collected so far. I cannot think of a more fitting moment to celebrate and honour those responsible at the University of Waterloo for their assistance and support of our blood donor clinics. I don’t think we’ve ever held a clinic at UW where someone wasn’t in the middle of exams or some other stressful time, yet they still take the time out of their hectic schedules to donate blood. The Student Life Centre is our home during blood donor clinics and is the hub of most student activity. We camp out in the Multi-Purpose Room for anywhere from one to five days and are well looked after. Also located in the Student Life Centre is the Turnkey Desk. You need to know anything, including where you are or where you should be – they’ll tell you, and always with a smile. They continue to be our saviours, especially this year when we had to cancel some clinics due to weather.”

[Red wood and sleek design]"Through a Campaign Waterloo leadership gift from Peter and Betty Sims, Dana Porter Library's third floor has 56 new individual study carrels" (left), the library's e-newsletter reports. • The bookstore, the UW Shop, and TechWorx in South Campus Hall will be closed for inventory this Friday and Saturday. • Minutes of the engineering faculty council mention a report from Dwight Aplevich, associate dean for co-op education and professional affairs, who says "there is a need to increase the number of faculty in Engineering who have their PEng" and the faculty is prepared to pay the fees for anyone eligible who chooses to enrol in the PEng course.

A memo went out to departments yesterday explaining the opportunity that's presented by the International Undergraduate Work-Study Program for the coming term. "You could employ an international student on a part-time basis for one-quarter the normal cost," writes Joanne Wade, director of student awards and financial aid. "International students are not eligible for provincial government financial aid (OSAP)," she explains, and "obtaining other financing or part-time employment that fits the student's schedule is very difficult." Hence the program, financed 75 per cent from "a central university fund", to subsidize up to 25 part-time jobs (up to 10 hours a week) in UW departments. "Jobs that tend to receive the most interest are those that create meaningful work experience for the students," Wade notes, inviting faculty or staff members to submit job proposals by May 4 for the May-to-August term. More information: ext. 3-5726.

"The deadline for nominations to the Staff Association Executive Committee has passed," says a memo received by association members yesterday."Not enough nominations for the new Executive beginning in June were received. The nomination deadline has been extended to April 30. This is your Staff Association. Please don't sit back and think that someone else will come forward. We need you to make a difference. Please join the Staff Associate Executive today by completing and sending your nomination form. If you have any questions please contact the Staff Association Office by e-mail to staffasc@uwaterloo.ca or by calling ext. 3-3566."

And . . . the football Warriors are hitting the field for the first time under their new head coach, Dennis McPhee, and assistant coach Joe Paopao as they hold their annual spring training camp. The first session was Friday afternoon, on the north campus practice field; the team worked intensively on the weekend and will be out daily this week, 4:30 to 6:30, winding up with a scrimmage — an informal intrasquad game — on Friday. Football season this year will begin on Labour Day, September 3, when the Warriors play at Toronto. Meanwhile, the athletics department reports that Tom Bruce, Peter Guglielmi, and Kyle Faulkner have been selected to represent Waterloo at the fifth annual East West Bowl taking place in Université Laval's PEPS Stadium in Québec City on May 12. The East West Bowl showcases CIS players who will be eligible for the 2008 Canadian Football League draft.


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