Thursday, January 11, 2007

  • UW's 50 years live in memories
  • Library explains 'smart' searching
  • January jottings in the jubilee year
  • Editor:
  • Chris Redmond
  • Communications and Public Affairs

[Black balloon]

The balloon goes up at 11:30 today, when a two-hour launch party for UW's 50th anniversary celebrations gets under way. The venue is the Physical Activities Complex. Students, staff, faculty and retirees are all invited for food, 1950s music and games, souvenirs, a chance to meet Marilyn and Elvis, and a sophisticated stage show produced by Bill Chesney of UW's drama department. A smaller version of the party, aimed at night-shift staff, is scheduled for 10:00 tonight in South Campus Hall.

An official memo defines the two-hour midday period as "paid work time for all UW staff and faculty", which could mean reduced services in some parts of campus. The Computer Help and Information Place will be closed from 11:30 to 1:30.

Link of the day

Birthday of the first prime minister

When and where

Campus recreation instructional program registration continues today 9:00 to 4:00, athletics office, Physical Activities Complex.

Clubs, Feds Services and Societies Days, information about student organizations, today and Friday 10:00 to 4:00, Student Life Centre great hall.

Canadian Undergraduate Technology Conference Thursday-Saturday, Toronto Hilton, details online.

[Purple faces and hands]Engineering Society Frost Week activities continue: snowman building from 11:30 a.m., Carl Pollock Hall courtyard; "Bigger, Better, Best" (red paper clip trade-up) begins at 4:30, judging Friday noon. Left: EngSoc executive in engineering purple on Monday.

Surplus sale at central stores, East Campus Hall, Phillip Street, 12:30 to 2 p.m.

International Spouses Group "winter walk" starting at Columbia Lake Village community centre, 12:45 p.m. Wear warm clothes and boots; children welcome. For information e-mail

Learning Object presentation on the "Monty Hall problem" by David DiBattista, Brock University, sponsored by LT3, scheduled for today, postponed to March 8, 2:00, details online.

International students open house sponsored by Federation of Students' new International Student Connection, to introduce its programming, 5 p.m., Student Life Centre room 3107.

Children's craft and game activities, with parents' briefing about Canadian education and children's safety, 5 p.m., Columbia Lake Village community centre.

City of Waterloo open house with information about proposed sports field project and changes to UW north campus environmental reserve, 5 to 8 p.m., Waterloo Memorial Recreation Complex, information 519-747-8642.

'Empowering Women Through Consciousness' talk, 7 p.m., 24 Regina Street, registration $25, call 519-725-2681.

'Mint Thursdays' at Federation Hall, no cover, age 19-plus, official launch tonight.

Housing information sessions about second-year life in residence: 10 p.m., at Ron Eydt Village north quad lounge, Village I great hall, and Beck Hall community centre, UW Place. Other sessions over the week ahead.

Information technology and systems professional development seminar: "IST Administration", Friday 9 a.m., IST seminar room.

Healthy Weight brown-bag series sponsored by Employee Assistance Program, second talk Friday 12 noon, Davis Centre room 1302.

Utilities shutdown (electrical power and heating) in Village I, PAS and Biology I, for about 15 minutes between 7:00 and 8:30 a.m. Saturday; shut off computing equipment in advance; check alarm clocks for backup batteries.

Canadian Clay and Glass Gallery exhibition of ceramic sculpture by UW fine arts students, opening celebration Sunday 2 to 5 p.m., 25 Caroline Street North.

Renison College Founders' Day evensong and convocation, Sunday 3 p.m., St. John the Evangelist Church, Kitchener; tea reception follows; dinner by invitation, 6:30, Renison great hall.

Blood donor clinic January 15-19, Student Life Centre, make appointments now at turnkey desk.

UW's 50 years live in memories

As UW moves into its 50th anniversary year with today’s launch party, there are people around who have seen the university’s whole story unfold, from 1957 onwards. One of them is Chris Matulewicz, who was interviewed by student writer Neal Moogk-Soulis for the most recent issue of the UW retirees association newsletter, the WatTimes.

"I'm always busy," she told Moogk-Soulis as they began an interview at her Kitchener home in early November. She took a chance to show off her huge garden, noting that a sprig of ivy from the beds around the Physics building, where Matulewicz worked for two decades, has fostered offspring to cover many corners of the yard.

Chris Cooper, as she then was, had already been in the working world for ten years before she came to the brand-new university in 1957. She’d spent time with a temporary help agency, where in one notable year she had 21 different jobs, and at a law office. UW looked like “a wonderful place to go”, she says, and it must have worked out, since she stayed for 30 years.

Among her first tasks at UW, Moogk-Soulis writes, was helping sort through hundreds of letters responding to the co-op system proposal. "Dr. Hagey [Gerry Hagey, UW’s founding president] had sent out letters to lots of companies asking them about the co-op system. My job was to read the letters and sort them into several categories."

Her first office was in the back shed attached to a house at the corner of Albert Street and University Avenue (now the site of Wilfrid Laurier University's Paul Martin Centre). The house had staff on the main floor and student offices upstairs. "It was a busy place,” she recalls. “There was a lot of work and we all helped to get the place going. UW was small at the time and you knew everybody." She remembers the early years as exciting and "you were always busy." She never knew what might need to be done to keep things running smoothly. She recalls one day, not too long after the university moved to its new campus with a then primitive road system, having to help sort out a traffic jam.

She was approached by Bruce Gellatly, then business manager and later UW’s vice-president (finance and operations), who asked if she would help organize the UW telephone system. At the time, UW was fielding perhaps 100 phone calls a day. She agreed to work as switchboard operator until a replacement was found. It took a while, and the job grew: when she left the switchboard, then on the second floor of Physics, in 1978 to work for the dean of environmental studies office, she and other operators were answering more than 6,000 calls a day.

Matulewicz characterizes herself as the mothering type, which suited her well in the early days at UW. She recalls that she and Fred "Cookie" Cook, the first security officer, sometimes collaborated to get urgent messages to faculty and staff members in what she calls “a family atmosphere”. There was, for instance, one emergency call from the children of a UW faculty member whose record player wouldn't stop playing.

Since retiring in 1987, she and her husband, Alex, have done much travelling — to more than 50 countries — and she’s active in the K-W Knitters Guild. She and her husband are both honorary members of the Bruce Trail Association, but they don't hike the way they used to. When they were younger, they would walk 20 or 30 miles at a time, but "that was a lot of wear and tear on the body!” They have three children, seven grandchildren and one great-grandchild.

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Library explains ‘smart’ searching

From an "orientation" session aimed at new faculty and graduate students to a specialized session on applying Flickr, Bloglines and MySpace to research projects, the library is offering a range of workshops over the days ahead.

Says Rachel Caldwell of the library's communications office: "The winter term typically provides course assignments and projects requiring a few trips to the Library. You’re not alone if you find navigating the Library and its myriad of resources overwhelming. To help alleviate library jitters and develop research skills, the UW Library offers a range of informative hands-on workshops."

“The Library’s series of winter workshops are beneficial for anyone wanting to learn how to conduct effective and efficient research,” explains Sandra Keys, a liaison librarian who's the new chair of the Library Instruction Committee. “Typically, the information literacy skills obtained at these sessions are universal and transferable whether you’re conducting research for a literary essay or science report. The specific resources and information collected will be different, but the types of tools used and search strategies applied remain the same.”

She says this winter’s roster of workshops provides "an increased selection" of general sessions teaching basic research strategies, as well as specialized sessions. “We’re offering workshops for all interests and abilities,” Keys says. “Whether you want to learn how to use the Library’s catalogue (Trellis) to find books or access Geographical Information System data, I encourage you to attend a workshop.”

Among the highlights are two-hour sessions (January 16, February 15 or March 13) on "Smart Searching: Trellis, Journal Articles and the Internet"; orientation for new faculty and grads on January 17 or 23; "Keep Current Digitally" on February 6; workshops about the Refworks software on February 5 and 12; a GIS data briefing on January 16; "Applying Social Web Tools to Your Research" on January 15 or 232; "CSA Databases" on March 5; "SciFinder Scholar, Advanced" on March 7; and "Web of Science and Scopus" on February 15.

There's a detailed schedule online, and in a brochure that's available at any of UW's libraries. Presentation materials from most workshops that have been offered in the past are also available on the web.

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January jottings in the jubilee year

UW’s David Johnston will be one of seven university presidents going along with Ontario premier Dalton McGuinty on his much-publicized trip to India and Pakistan, which begins this weekend. For McGuinty and the business representatives accompanying him, the principal goal is making South Asian government and business more aware of trade opportunities with Ontario; for the university leaders, the issues are research links, academic exchanges and the possibility of attracting Asian students to Canadian campuses. For Johnston in particular, a major agenda item is actuarial science. India is suffering from a severe shortage of actuaries, after a generation in which the insurance industry was nationalized and the profession almost disappeared. He’ll hope to come home with an agreement with an Indian educational institution to make UW’s expertise available to bring actuarial science back to life in the subcontinent. In other fields, UW already has several links with the Indian Institutes of Technology, and the president has expressed interest in adding to them.

Internet Explorer version 7 is now a go for computers across the campus. Experts in information systems and technology had called for a delay in November after it turned out that the new browser had major issues with Quest, myHRinfo and other UW information systems, and especially with Angel, the commercial software that’s the foundation of the UW-ACE course management system. The problems have been worked out, says Bob Hicks of IST, who says IST “has been testing the new version of IE7 for a while and is now ready to deploy it. Managed computers in academic support departments will be receiving IE7 sometime during the week of January 15. As well, any XP computer using the campus WSUS server will receive IE7 during the week of January 15. This new release contains many new features including tabbed browsing and improved security. Please contact your IST liaison or the CHIP if anyone has questions or has problems with IE7.”

[Black with gold braid]A theft that hit UW the night before convocation last October, but has been kept pretty quiet since then, will be very public on Monday when it’s featured on the Crimestoppers segment of CKCO television news. Missing are six ornate convocation robes, including a set of vestments for the university’s chancellor (left), which somebody removed overnight from an area in the Student Life Centre that had been set up as a dressing-room for dignitaries. “They were supposedly locked away,” says registrar Ken Lavigne, but something went wrong with the procedures, and on the morning of convocation day, there they weren’t. “We have spares,” says Lavigne, but he’d certainly like to recover the stolen robes (four black, one red and one blue), which have a total replacement value of about $10,000. Anybody with information is invited to get in touch with the UW police at 519-888-4911.

The Federation of Students is asking for applications from students to be a member of the Provost's Advisory Committee on Student Fees. • Grant McVey, who worked at UW from 1972 to 1983 and was manager of financial systems in what's now the finance office by the time of his retirement, died October 30, 2006, the human resources department reports. • Ibrahim Inayatali has been named director of development and alumni affairs for the faculty of engineering.

SAW is Skills for the Academic Workplace, meaning the skills that are useful to staff, graduate students and faculty members using technology for their work in areas related to teaching and research. Each season a number of SAW courses are offered, and a listing for January and February is now available, together with an online registration form. Current offerings include "Data Analysis Using SAS", "Word and PowerPoint Equations", "On-Line Thesis Submissions", "Creating Theses with Microsoft Word", and "Statistical Analysis with SPSS".


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