Wednesday, February 14, 2007

  • Even sweeter on campus today
  • Student's work with Guyanese kids
  • Messages taken from the e-mail
  • Editor:
  • Chris Redmond
  • Communications and Public Affairs

Library survey starts today

All faculty members and graduate students, and a sample of undergraduate students, will receive an email invitation from the Library today to take part in an online survey conducted by the Association of Research Libraries. The Library Service Quality Survey (LibQUAL+) is part of "an international effort to develop effective measures of library service quality and identify best practices," an announcement explains. "All libraries belonging to the Canadian Association of Research Libraries will participate.

"LibQUAL+ is a standardized survey for measuring library users' perceptions of service quality. It is designed to identify gaps between desired, perceived, and minimum expectations of service. The UW Library was one of the first university libraries in Canada to participate in the pilot launch of the LibQUAL survey in 2001.

"The survey is confidential and should take approximately 10 minutes to complete online. Participants also have the option to enter in a draw to win one of eight $50 UW Retail Services gift cards. For more information, contact the survey coordinator, Shabiran Rahman (ext. 3-2882). More information about the survey is also available from the Library Service Quality Survey 2007 website."

Link of the day

Canadian Valentine artifacts

When and where

Federation of Students and UW senate election continues; polls open online 24 hours until 8 p.m. tomorrow, on campus 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., information online.

UW Apprentice competition begins today, sponsored by Entrepreneurs Association of UW, details online.

Blood donor clinic today and Thursday 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., Student Life Centre, make appointments now at turnkey desk.

Career workshops: "Business Etiquette and Professionalism" 10:30, "Career Exploration and Decision-Making" 3:30, Tatham Centre room 1208, registration online.

'Enhanced Podcasting' presentation by Alan Kirker, Centre for Learning and Teaching Through Technology, 11 a.m., Flex Lab, Dana Porter Library.

Free noon concert: Dan Lichti (baritone) and Heidi Gallas (piano), "Music for a While", 12:30, Conrad Grebel University College chapel.

Travel slide show sponsored by environmental studies: Roger Suffling, Costa Rica, 12:10 p.m., ES I room 221.

Poet Lorna Crozier reads from her work ("spend Valentine's Day with the author of The Sex Lives of Vegetables) 4 p.m., St. Jerome's University room 2017.

Warrior basketball (men and women) at McMaster tonight (maybe; Mac is closed this morning).

'The Vagina Monologues' tonight 8 p.m. Theatre of the Arts, Thursday 8 p.m. Bombshelter pub, Friday 8 p.m. Humanities Theatre, details online.

'E-merging Learning Workshop' introductory session for faculty members exploring online learning technology, Thursday 12 noon, Flex Lab, Dana Porter Library, details online.

'Healthy Weights' seminar series winds up, Thursday 12 noon, details online.

'Mandarin Lunarfest' Thursday 7 p.m., Humanities Theatre.

Women's studies, social work and other programs present Luz María de la Torre Amaguana, "Women's Participation in the Indigenous Uprising in Ecuador", Thursday 7:30 p.m., PAS room 2083.

Archbishop of Toronto Thomas Collins gives the St. Jerome's University Graduates' Association Lecture, "The Apocalypse of John: A Great Book of Hope", Friday 7:30 p.m., Siegfried Hall.

Fantastic Alumni, Faculty and Staff Day at Warrior men's basketball game vs. Laurier, Saturday 4 p.m., Physical Activities Complex, free ticket information online.

Quest unavailable to students from 12:01 a.m. Sunday, February 18, to 8 a.m. Wednesday, February 21, for system upgrade.

Reading week in all faculties February 19-23, no classes.

Conrad Grebel University College presents sociologist Reginald Bibby, "The Elusiveness of Paradise: The Legacy of Canada's Baby Boomers", February 21, 7 p.m., Grebel great hall.

Arts alumni "Appreciation Night" at Brick Brewing Company, February 22, 7 to 9 p.m., $10, registration online.

Pick Your Plan Week for undergraduate students February 26 to March 2, details online.

International Women's Day dinner March 8, 5:00 p.m., South Campus Hall, tickets $30 from Humanities box office, details online.

Positions available

On this week’s list from the human resources department:

• Communications operator, police services, USG 4
• Off-campus housing specialist, housing and residences, USG 6
• International student advisor/ program coordinator, international student office, USG 6
• Network technician, information systems and technology, USG 6
• Admissions specialist, office of the registrar, USG 8
• Maintenance project coordinator/ designer/ inspector, plant operations, USG 10
• Electrician, plant operations
• Custodian I, plant operations
• Custodian II, plant operations
• Administrative secretary, anthropology, USG 4/5
• Records assistant II, development and alumni affairs, USG 4/5
• Alumni officer (e-services), alumni affairs, USG 8-10

Longer descriptions are available on the HR web site.

[Heart]Even sweeter on campus today

On this snowy Valentine's day, some lucky faculty, staff, and students will be receiving special chocolate Valentine’s treats, as "treat-a-grams" sold as a Keystone Campaign fund-raiser are being delivered. It was the best year ever for the program, with 1,850 treat-a-grams sold, the organizers say. The treat-a-grams this year consisted of two chocolate brownie cupcakes with chocolate icing and gold sprinkles. A new treat was selected to help the campus celebrate the university’s 50th anniversary.

Senders were also invited to include a donation to the campaign, and 46 donations were made, Shelley Rudd reports from the development office. Last year, 1,180 chocolate chip cookies on a stick were sold, with 43 donations received.

Proceeds from the treat-a-grams will be designated to undergraduate and graduate scholarships and will qualify for the university's matching gift opportunities, similar to last year. Treat-a-grams were originally the idea of the Keystone Campaign Communications Working Group, but members from all four Keystone Campaign Working Groups and many Keystone departmental reps helped out with order taking, assembly, and delivery, Rudd says.

“The support of the campus community for this program, and for Keystone in general, has been fantastic,” says Jennifer Lorette, manager of the campaign. “Now that we have reached both our campaign dollars raised goal and participation goal for Keystone, it is important that we maintain this tremendous level of support that faculty, staff, and retirees have given Keystone and UW students since May 2000.”

The Keystone Campaign has raised more than $6.4 million during the campaign period and acquired 2,100 new donors since May 2000, which marked the beginning of the university’s Campaign Waterloo.

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Student's work with Guyanese kids

from the UW media relations office

Underprivileged children in Guyana and people caring for them will benefit from Annika Allman's adoption recommendations in a landmark draft policy paper for the government of the South American country.

[Guyana, on north coast of South America]The fourth-year UW arts student enjoyed her experience working for the Guyana Red Cross Society so much that she would like to return after graduating this spring. The Red Cross praised Allman for her invaluable contribution in preparing the draft adoption policy paper.

Majoring in social development studies, Allman spent her co-op fall term as administrator of the Children's Convalescent Home, operated by the Red Cross in the capital city of Georgetown. Over the past 55 years, the home has provided residential care and support for abandoned, abused and neglected children. It faces many challenges because of the decline of Guyana's economy and the ensuing migration of skilled people to other countries.

"The kids aren't just kept clean and fed but participate in an enriching program of educational activities and field trips for a good start in life," says Allman, adding that the home was caring for 27 children last fall. "We were able to provide more frequent outings for the children by approaching a local department store for funding."

Allman examined and compared adoption and foster care regulations in Ontario and Guyana for her senior thesis. "We can learn from the Guyanese and the Guyanese can learn from us," she says. The comparison study helped her prepare the draft policy paper, in which she lays out specific roles for government officers and children's home staff. She also reviewed current practices and what works best, interviewing people who have adopted from the home and lawyers who handled adoptions.

'My report seeks to eliminate confusion and frustrations for parents and children," she says, adding that it will serve as a guide for prospective adopting parents. Once finalized, the adoption policy paper will be attached as an appendix to a memorandum of understanding between the Guyana Red Cross Society and the Ministry of Labour, Human Services and Social Security concerning the adoption of children under Red Cross care. "The ministry is responsible for regular social work with the children, as well as fostering and adoption, but understaffing and an unclear division of labour mean that much of the process ends up shifted to us at the Convalescent Home," Allman says.

Among her proposals, she outlines procedures on determining a child's eligibility for adoption and how applicants seeking to adopt will initially come into contact with a prospective child. She calls for in-home familiarization time to allow the applicant and child to grow accustomed to each other without becoming attached. Allman also recommends that home studies occur earlier in the adoption process to ensure that applicants are well prepared to welcome a child.

It was Allman's second term working with the Red Cross in Guyana, which has attracted other UW co-op students over the years. She was one of the more than 1,500 UW students studying, working or volunteering abroad last year.

Her stay was paid for by the Students for Development program, funded by the Canadian International Development Agency and administered by the Association of Universities and Colleges of Canada. The program allows Canadians to collaborate with partners in developing countries to promote good governance.

"I've always had a keen interest in working in other countries," says Allman, who takes international studies as part of her academic program. "My experiences have strengthened my desire to work in the field of international social services after I graduate." Her SDS program, administered by Renison College, encourages students to find placements as volunteers in social agencies.

Says Allman : "I found it refreshing not being part of a minority when I arrived in Guyana. It was a chance to return to my culture. I was born in Jamaica and the culture in Guyana is quite similar." Her time in Guyana was so rewarding that she hopes to go back after graduation: "I was quite taken with how happy and well adjusted the children are. I was also touched by the dedication of the staff, who work for only a small stipend, and by the generosity of Guyanese donors from all walks of life."

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Messages taken from the e-mail

Helen Hannusch in UW's finance office: "The upgraded financial system is up and running. Finance and Procurement Services is expecting to have the backlog processed by February month end. Accounts Payable will process the first payment run on Wednesday, February 14. The upgrade of the Oracle database used for FORE reports was completed today and users were notified that FORE is available for use. We would like to thank the UW community for their patience."

Political science student Emilie Smith: "Karen So and I are planning a celebration for this year's graduating class, called GradFest 2007. In conjunction with the Student Life Office and the Office of Alumni Affairs, it will provide a transitional program for graduating students that will help alleviate any fears or issues that students may have about entering the 'Real World'. GradFest will take place on Wednesday, March 7, and Thursday, March 8, in the Davis Centre lobby, corporate lounge ('fishbowl' DC 1301) and lecture hall (room 1302). The two day information expo will include booths from departments and services across campus that will be geared towards graduating students. Information sessions will occur in the lecture hall. Departments from across campus will showcase their services at the expo and join in the celebration. GradFest will finish with a wine-and-cheese with the President (unconfirmed at the moment) giving an address to the students. This year is the first GradFest, but we are planning on making this an annual event. Karen and I are also pleased to announce a special feature at this year's celebration. The UW Chinese Students' Association, the UW Chinese Drama Club, the UW Dimensions Publications & Productions and the Laurier Chinese Students' Association in conjunction with the Hong Kong Economic and Trade Office will be showcasing information on employment and entrepreneurship in Hong Kong."

Kim Jernigan, editor of The New Quarterly: "TNQ is pleased to have a contender for the $10,000 Journey Prize, given annually to a new and developing writer of distinction for a short story published in a Canadian literary publication. The award is made possible by James A. Michener's generous donation of his Canadian royalties from his novel Journey, published by McClelland & Stewart in 1988. It is the most significant monetary award given in Canada to a writer at the beginning of his or her career for a short story or excerpt from a fiction work-in-progress. This is the fourth time the magazine has had a contender for the big prize. The short-listed writer is Heather Birrell for her story "BriannaSusannaAlana," also short-listed for a National Magazine Award in 2006. It's the story of three sisters, each of whom reconstructs what she was up to on the day a murder was discovered in their neighbourhood. Heather is a wonderful writer, her stories both stylistically inventive and deeply felt. We've published her often in the last few years and each story feels like a gift to our readers. The winner will be announced at the Writers' Trust Awards gala on March 7. The winning magazine receives $2,000 as well towards keeping the door open to other young writers.

David Clausi of systems design engineering: "I too have a direct link to the International Polar Year. I am one of many investigators on a proposal entitled 'Variability and Change in the Canadian Cryosphere', and I am making a contribution in my core research area of automated computer vision interpretation of sea ice remote sensing images."

Jason Coolman in alumni affairs: "I want to mention the second round of seed funding that will be available for 50th anniversary event planners. The deadline is March 2. Full details are available online."


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