Thursday, January 18, 2007

  • Applications up by 14 per cent
  • 'Self-growth' at the Houston Ballet
  • Of opt-outs, artwork and crocuses
  • Editor:
  • Chris Redmond
  • Communications and Public Affairs

[Cartoon muffins]

Well, hello, cupcake. "The Keystone Campaign will be running its treat-a-gram program again this February," Shelley Rudd of the development office tells us. "This year, the treat-a-gram will consist of two chocolate brownie cupcakes with chocolate icing and a golden anniversary flair. This new treat was chosen to help celebrate the university's 50th anniversary. The treat-a-grams cost $3 and will be delivered on Valentine's Day." A selected group of Keystone donors and volunteers got early treat-a-grams yesterday, to draw attention to the program just as order forms were mailed to staff and faculty members; there's also an order form online.

Link of the day


When and where

Blood donor clinic today 10 to 4, Friday 9 to 3, Student Life Centre, make appointments at turnkey desk.

Career workshop: "Career Exploration and Decision-Making" 2:30, Tatham Centre room 1208, registration online.

Graduate studies in mathematics: information session for third and fourth-year students, 4:30, Math and Computer room 5136.

Centre for International Governance Innovation lecture by Paul Rogers, delivered last year, broadcast 5 p.m. on CKMS.

Columbia Lake Village community potluck 7 p.m., bring a dish to share, reservations e-mail

Robert Munsch storytelling event at Centre in the Square, Kitchener, 7 p.m.; a group from the UW Recreation Committee is attending.

Housing information sessions about second-year life in residence: tonight 10 p.m. at great hall of Village I, North quad lounge of Ron Eydt Village, and Beck Hall community centre, UW Place.

Engineering Alumni Ski Day Friday, Osler Bluff Ski Club, Collingwood, details online.

Pension and benefits committee Friday 8:30 a.m., Needles Hall room 3004.

Information systems and technology professional development seminar: updates on BlackBerry, Vista and Canheit projects, Friday 9 a.m., IST seminar room.

'Hardscrabble Road' new musical by James Gordon, Kitchener debut Friday 8 p.m., Registry Theatre, 122 Frederick Street, sponsored by The New Quarterly and Alternatives.

Benefit concert for Amnesty International, sponsored by UW International Health Development Association, Friday 9 p.m., Bombshelter pub, $5 advance, $6 at door.

Christians in arts invited to "Connect", with music, games and food, Sunday 3 to 5 p.m., multipurpose room, Student Life Centre, sponsored by Campus for Christ.

Know Your Workplace sessions for staff on "Delivering Performance Appraisals", Monday at 11:30 and 12:30, Wednesday at 11:30 and 12:30, all in Davis Centre room 1302, no preregistration required.

Smarter Health lecture: Jake Thiessen, school of pharmacy, "Why Not Bring Medications and Their Uses Out of the Dark Ages?" Wednesday 3 p.m., Davis Centre room 1302.

Mathematics Faculty Awards Banquet Thursday, January 25, 5:30, South Campus Hall, details ext. 3-6757.

Polar Jam outdoor concert beside Federation Hall, "six bands in six hours", January 26, 5 to 11 p.m., details online.

One click away

Podcast of 50th anniversary launch
Bus pass debate resurfaces at UW (Imprint)
Nobel winner comes to physics department (Record coverage)
Student plans exhibit and concert Friday (Imprint)
Ontario kids 'eating junk', researcher says
Polar Jam (January 26) 'survives noise complaints' (Imprint)
Health research funding falls short, executive says | Globe coverage
New Brunswick hands out a tuition feerebate
Research funding rules to address possible conflicts of interest
Campaign for 'gender-blind' residence rooms
Harvard announces massive expansion
'100 years of studies in education' at U of T
India seeking to become 'knowledge hub'
See no evil at this Massachusetts college
U of California employees must take ethics test

Applications up by 14 per cent

UW "is proving to be a destination of choice among Ontario high-school students selecting their top universities", a release from the university's media relations office says.

Preliminary figures from the Ontario Universities Application Centre show that applications to most of UW's established programs are at or above last year's level. "Applications to newer programs and those that include a business component," said the release, "have left UW with the second highest increase in overall applications in Ontario.

Statement from WLU | Ryerson

"The number of students who have so far listed UW as their first choice grew from 6,001 in 2006 to 6,861 this year, increasing by 14.3 per cent, while students listing UW as one of their choices grew from 22,318 to 25,585, or 14.6 per cent. That places UW well ahead of the provincial average, which is seeing an increase of 5.2 per cent for first choice applications and 5.9 per cent for total applications."

Says Nancy Weiner, associate registrar (admissions): "These numbers, coming so very early in the application process, give us good reason to be confident about our enrolment next fall. We're seeing solid interest in our established, core programs, and our more recent innovations are attracting a great deal of interest." The figures include only students aiming to come to UW full-time starting in September 2007, and at this point numbers are available only for Ontario high school students.

She said UW has 8.6 percent of the total number of first-choice applications in the province. In recent years, this percentage has been 7.9 in 2006, 7.4 in 2005, 6.8 in 2004, and 7.2 in 2003.

The faculty of environmental studies is enjoying a 50.5-per-cent increase in first-choice applications and 41.5 per cent overall, largely thanks to two new offerings, a program in geography and aviation and one in geomatics.

Applications to the faculty of science, both first choice and overall, have increased by almost 27 per cent, largely because of new programs, the news release says. First-choice and total applications to honours science and life sciences programs — considered the best undergraduate programs for anyone interested in applying to pharmacy — have grown by close to 26 per cent.

A new program in management engineering has drawn 160 applications, with 61 of those first-choice applications. First-choice applications to all engineering programs have so far risen by 16.9 per cent and the overall applications by 14.2 per cent.

Applications to business-related programs in mathematics are helping the faculty achieve first-choice and total increases of almost 13 per cent.

The faculty of arts, with a 6.5-per-cent increase in first-choice and 6.9 per cent in all applications, is seeing an increase near 4.3 per cent for its first-choice and 10 per cent in overall applications to honours arts and business. Two accounting and financial management programs are experiencing double-digit increases in first-choice and overall applications.

Health studies is proving to be the most popular program in the faculty of applied health sciences, with a 7-per-cent increase in first-choice and 9.9 per cent for overall applications to the program. First-choice applications to the faculty barely dipped by 0.4 per cent, while total applications are up by 6.8 per cent.

Tina Roberts, director of marketing and undergraduate recruitment, says students are attracted by all that UW has to offer, but they regularly list five factors: "Our reputation for quality, the career success our graduates enjoy, our world-leading co-op program, the outstanding reputation of our student leaders and a strong sense of community — these are the things that our students consistently tell us impacted their decision to attend."

Says the news release:"The goal over the next eight months will be to admit as many promising students as possible without jeopardizing the quality of the education and experience they receive." Weiner says UW tends to hear from top-rank students: "In recent years, applicants have become much more aware of the relatively high admission standards of many of our year one programs and have self-selected when making their application choices."

The target for fall admissions includes students from outside the province as well as students coming direct from Ontario high schools, and is only one factor in determining fall enrolment, which also includes students repeating first year and has to take no-shows and early-fall dropouts into account. Last year the target was set at 5,467, and the eventual November 1 count was 5,354 first-year students.

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'Self-growth' at the Houston Ballet

from an article by Marianne Nguyen in the co-op student newsletter Inside Scoop

Working as a development intern with the Houston Ballet in Texas, Genevieve Millaire quickly learned to maximize the opportunities she was presented with during her fifth co-op work term.

"Houston's actually not that different from any big city in Ontario, but living here meant that I had to start from scratch: getting acquainted to new surroundings and new people, and finding a new place. The people are extremely friendly here, which makes it a lot easier, and it's always fun discovering a new city."

A fourth year Arts and Business student specializing in Cultural Management, Millaire learned of this job opportunity last summer through Dory Vanderhoof, a UW speech communication teacher and arts management consultant. "He gave me the contact information of the general managing director at the Houston Ballet and I arranged my own job."

Unlike most co-op students who go through the normal JobMine process, students with Cultural Management specializations are informed of available positions by Sylvia Hannigan of the Centre for Cultural Management, approach the organizations, and interview for jobs. As with everything else, this modified job search method has its pros and cons: "Not using JobMine, I feel like sometimes you have a little more say in the type of work or location you want. At the same time, if it doesn't work out you're kind of stuck because you don't have those other opportunities that are offered through JobMine."

At a university internationally applauded for its co-op system, arts students stand to benefit just as much as the engineers and computer programmers. "Co-op was one of the main reasons I chose UW because there's only so much you can learn in the classroom and from textbooks. Being in co-op, you get to learn everything else; you have to experience it before you can call it knowledge."

[Millaire at ballet headquarters]Millaire (left) spent her time at the Houston Ballet using development tools to target a list of people for a $90 million endowment campaign beginning in 2007. Once she narrowed down a sizeable group of possible financial donors, she completed more background research, created profiles and followed the development cycle: introducing people to the organization, getting them excited about the ballet, and finally asking them for a gift. In addition to learning more about development, she was exposed to the inner workings of a big arts organization. She remarks: "The job was quite exciting and interesting because I got to see and learn about a different aspect of the development cycle."

Simply having the means to achieve doesn't always ensure success. Millaire’s final advice to students is to "push yourself and go above and beyond any task you're given. Co-op allows you to get real-world experience in a field you want to be in; it's an opportunity for self-growth."

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Of opt-outs, artwork and crocuses

There's a change in the way refunds from the student dental plan are being handled, says this memo from the Federation of Students: "The Feds, Graduate Student Association, university administration and have been working together to make continued improvements. A new feature starting this winter term will be opt-out credits on student accounts for the Dental Plan portion. Previously students received credits on their student accounts when opting out of the Health Plan [and refunds by cheque, eventually, if they opted out of the dental portion] and now the same feature will exist for the Dental Plan as well. Also new this year was the introduction of annual opt-out and family enrolments which allows students to only request this change of coverage once per academic year, in their first term of enrolment. New winter term students are reminded that the Change-of-Coverage Period for family enrolments and opt outs is from January 3 to 23, 2007. They can be completed online or at the Health and Dental Plan Office, Student Life Centre room 1121A." And this background from Renjie Butalid, a Feds vice-president: "The newly combined Feds/GSA Health and Dental Plan is providing increased dental coverage for graduate students and new vision care coverage for undergraduate students. In addition, the Plan covers many important services not covered by basic health care (OHIP or UHIP), such as prescription drugs, travel health coverage, dental benefits, and more."

Registration for the fourth annual "Let's Make a Deal!" contest continues today (9:30 to 11:30 and 2:30 to 4:30) and tomorrow (10:30 to 2:30) in the Student Life Centre. The event is designed to encourage people to quit smoking, but is also open to those who don't want to start the bad habit. It's organized by the Leave the Pack Behind program, backed by UW students and the Health Services department. “This is a great opportunity for people with New Year’s resolutions. It’s much easier to kick the habit with incentives like cash and prizes!” says Lia Johnson of the Leave the Pack Behind team. The contest has four possible “deals” or categories to enter, and aims to include everyone. The Quit for Good deal encourages smokers to quit smoking for the eight-week duration of the contest and has a grand prize of $600 cash. There are also categories for smokers to reduce the amount they smoke by 50 per cent or to break the tobacco-alcohol pairing by "partying without the pack". Non-smokers can also enter and win by vowing to not start smoking for the duration of the contest. All deals last eight weeks and start this coming Monday. Students who stick to their deal are eligible to win prizes, and everyone who joins gets to do a carbon monoxide “Smokalyzer” test and receives a free "survival kit" to help them stick with the deal.

At the UW art gallery ("Render") in East Campus Hall, today brings the opening of three new exhibitions: Héloïse Audy and Julie Faubert, "The Hive Dress"; Allan Harding Mackay, "Somalia Yellow Vignettes"; and Chris Down, "Death to Everyone". A reception is scheduled for 5 to 8 p.m.; the exhibitions continue through February 24. I'll be saying a little about each of the three exhibitions in this space in the course of the next few days.

The Canadian National Institute for the Blind offers an appealing chance to think spring even if it's pretty chilly out there: "Help bring vision health, vision hope and the first sign of spring to your community. Join our energetic team as a CNIB Annual Crocus Sale volunteer and help raise awareness and valuable dollars to provide assistance to people with vision loss. Volunteers are needed February 14 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. to sell crocus plants inside the Student Life Centre. Call today to join the Crocus Sales team. Please contact the CNIB at 519-742-3536 ext. 5159 or e-mail"

Speaking of spring, postings for co-op jobs for the spring term begin today on JobMine. • The campus recreation program is offering a weekend-long first aid certification program this Saturday and Sunday; there are details online. • Information and application forms for student exchanges with universities in Paris and Rhône-Alpes, France, and Baden-Württemberg, Germany, are available from Maria Lango in UW's international programs office, phone ext. 3-3999.

For upper-year students who have applied to live in UW residences next fall, the first round of offers will be made today, the housing office says. • Nominations close tomorrow for the 2007-08 executive of the Federation of Students, a number of seats on students' council, and six student positions on the UW senate. • January 24 (next Wednesday) will be the "fully graded date" when any remaining suspense ends and undergraduate students can see their official fall term marks on Quest.


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