Wednesday, July 25, 2007

  • Blog seeks to be 'legitimate media'
  • July 1 retirements are noted
  • Honk if you're holding up traffic
  • Editor:
  • Chris Redmond
  • Communications and Public Affairs

Link of the day

Guelph's Hillside Festival this weekend

When and where

Summer book sale of UW bookstore merchandise, South Campus Hall concourse, Wednesday-Friday.

Snow Put competition
("like shot put, but with snow") 11:30 to 1:30, Biology green, organized by UW residences to draw attention to winter residence application season. Students, faculty, staff welcome; chance to win Bombshelter lunch or Blue Jays tickets.

Music student recitals continue today 12:30 p.m., Conrad Grebel University College chapel.

University Choir spring concert with Haydn's "The Creation", 8 p.m., The Cedars, 543 Beechwood Drive, Waterloo.

Computational Methods in Finance conference hosted by Institute for Quantitative Finance and Insurance, Thursday-Friday, details online.

Guest rooms at St. Paul's College graduate apartment building (suitable for visiting faculty, conference participants, friends or family), open house Thursday 12 noon to 2 p.m., sign up by e-mail:

Last day of classes for spring term Friday, July 27. Exams begin August 2.

Open enrolment for fall term undergraduate courses begins July 30 on Quest.

Blood donor clinic Monday, 10 to 4, Student Life Centre multi-purpose room; sign up at turnkey desk.

Summer Jazz concert by UW Stage Band and Accent Choir, Monday 6:00 p.m., Village I lounge, admission free.

Book club at the UW bookstore discusses Smoke by Elizabeth Ruth, August 2, 12:00 noon, details online.

Civic Holiday Monday, August 6 (no exams, UW offices and most services closed; libraries open usual hours).

Tennis Canada Rogers Cup at York University, August 11-19. UW event alumni event Thursday, August 16: social gathering at Corona Pub, then tennis at Rexall Centre. Alumni ticket discounts available for every day of the tournament, also open to all students, faculty and staff, details online.

Positions available

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

• Associate director (distance education), Distance and Continuing Education, USG 14
• Manager, finance and operations, dean of arts, office, USG 13/14
• Communications and alumni officer, Centre for Business, Entrepreneurship and Technology, USG 5
• Assistant buyer, procurement and contract services, USG 5
• Manager, customer services, office of the registrar, USG 9
• Faculty receptionist/ secretary, dean of mathematics, USG 4
• Continuing education program coordinator, Distance and Continuing Education, USG 7
• Secondment opportunity: records coordinator, office of the registrar, August 2007 to July 2008

Longer descriptions are available on the HR web site.

[Three men on green, one waving]

Among the 115 golfers in last week's Research and Technology Park charity tournament were Herb Epp (former Waterloo mayor, now of CB Richard Ellis real estate), Jay Aisa of Jays Fencing, and Joel Doherty of Giffels. "The park now has approximately 37 companies and over 1,000 employees, so 2007 is the year to kick off our community-building," says Carol Stewart, marketing manager for the park, who explains that an R+T Park Activities Committee is now at work to organize "social and charity oriented events". The July 19 tournament was held at Conestoga Golf and Country Club (despite a brief downpour shortly after the start) and raised funds for KidsAbility and the Kitchener-Waterloo Community Foundation.

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Blog seeks to be 'legitimate media'

Attentive readers might have noticed a fair number of links from the Daily Bulletin to the “@UW” blog since it was launched in late April. Mostly they show up in the “One click away” column, but I’ve also drawn on the blog’s coverage for news items occasionally, and even borrowed the use of one photo.

I wrote in May that “judging from the first few days' postings, it's going to be valuable reading, a welcome successor to '' and ''.” So far this spring term, that has certainly proven to be true, as nearly every day there are notes, and sometimes more substantial stories, that add to my knowledge of what’s happening at Waterloo. “@UW” is particularly strong on student life stories, such as what’s happening with clubs and in and around the Student Life Centre.

[Alamenciak]Editor of the blog, and until recently its sole writer, is Tim Alamenciak (left), who served last year as editor-in-chief of the student newspaper Imprint. “Prior to that,” he writes, “I was a student volunteer and a staff writer for several other publications. Some people have asked me why I’m spending hours of my days blogging about UW. There are two reasons: I like blogging. It’s fun, it’s journalism, and it’s endlessly exciting. [And] it will benefit the community.”

He also writes on the blog’s information page: “Expect a freight train full of posts every day, all relevant to UW students. It’s got all that hip tagging stuff you people love so much, some Facebook functions, and even the ability for you to participate in the mediasphere through comments.” Then for the techies, not including me: “This blog uses Wordpress 2.something combined with a ridiculously modified Pool theme. Most of the features and functionality were loosely cobbled together using bits and pieces found floating around the internet. There was, of course, some programming skill involved.”

Alamenciak announced in June that “@UW” has been accepted for a one-year “trial membership” in Canadian University Press, becoming the first blog to join what’s hitherto been a national association of student newspapers. It would also, I think, be the first one-man band to achieve CUP membership. It will, he wrote, “hopefully set a precedent nationally for student blogs being recognized as legitimate media outlets.”

Recently Alamenciak has been joined by Ashley Csanady, with whom he worked at Imprint, and she’s now writing some of the blog items, including what is apparently going to be a regular Friday feature, “Things to do in the ‘loo”. “@UW” is also strong on photos, as apparently Alamenciak carries a digital camera with him wherever he goes. And just as I check regularly to see what the blog is reporting, it’s become clear that Alamenciak reads the Daily Bulletin and (quite rightly) doesn’t hesitate to pick up stories that appear here first.

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July 1 retirements are noted

A number of staff and faculty members officially retired on July 1, the human resources department reports. Some names and details:

[Wetmore]June Rainville, who joined the UW staff in July 1971, was a physiology lab technician in the biology department. Andrea Wetmore (right) was administrative assistant for the Guelph-Waterloo Centre for Graduate Work in Chemistry and Biochemistry, and had been working at UW (and sometimes the University of Guelph) since August 1978. Kathleen Clarke came to UW in July 1984, and was a storeskeeper in the biology department.

Diana Brohman left her job as manager of gift processing in the office of development and alumni affairs. She had been on UW's staff since September 1987. Antonio Rosa was a residence attendant at UW Place who had been working at UW since January 1976. Irene Majer was administrative assistant to the department chair and graduate studies officer in the department of history; she'd been working at UW since October 1977.

[Tang]Wei-Pai Tang (left) was a faculty member in the school of computer science. Originally from Shanghai, he did his graduate work at Stanford University before joining UW's ranks in July 1987, working in such areas as numerical analysis and parallel computation. HR shows his retirement address as Redmond, Washington, known as the headquarters of the Microsoft Corporation.

Patricia McDonald was supervisor of customer service in the registrar's office, and had been working at UW since January 1991. Ruth Lamb was a librarian in the special collections department of the UW library, and came to the university originally in July 1977.

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Honk if you're holding up traffic

The circle of the Ring Road is not exactly unbroken these days. Parts of the road (which is actually more kidney-shaped than circular) have been closed for some time along the campus's eastern edge, for pavement and sewer work, and now the Columbia Street entrance is closed entirely (for about two weeks, plant operations says). In addition, a brief repair job is slowing things down in the vicinity of the PAS building in the southwest quadrant of campus. [Goose]On top of all that, traffic had ground to a halt when I arrived at the University Avenue entrance about 8:00 this morning. Turned out that drivers were patiently waiting for a walking tour of some 25 geese who were making their leisurely way along the pavement, crossing six lanes of traffic in the process. They were last seen ambling in the direction of the Doug Wright Engineering building.

The Graduate Student Association issued a statement yesterday noting that it "welcomes" the appointment of Alan George to be interim dean of graduate studies when the current dean, Ranjana Bird, leaves UW this fall. "The GSA has enjoyed a productive relationship with Dean Bird, characterized by open communication between students and the administration," the statement said. "GSA President Ian W. MacKinnon anticipates that the same level of cooperation will continue under Professor George." It quotes MacKinnon: "This won't be the first time I've been worked as a student executive with Dr. George in a Dean's chair. During his tenure as Dean of Math I was the VP Academic of the Math Society and regularly interacted with the Dean's office. I'm really looking forward to working with Dean George again, now focusing on the needs of our expanding graduate student population."

Students in Mackenzie King Village raised more than $1,500 to support cancer research in a “Shave for the Cure” event on June 8. A male student volunteered his buzzer and carried out the haircuts, which included heads, legs, and at least one chin. “I shaved my goatee, having never shaved it before,” says Marlon Rodrigues, the don who organized the event. “The money has been collected, and we are ready to present it to the local chapter of the Canadian Cancer Society.”

Monna Zentner, human rights activist and former faculty member at Renison College, died June 6, aged 70. Zentner — a psychotherapist by training — came to Waterloo from the Philadelphia area, and taught at Renison from 1974 to her retirement in June 2002. She is survived by two sons.

You have just a few days left — whether you're a student, a staff or faculty member, an alumnus or retiree, or someone who deals with the university from outside — to turn good intentions into paperwork. July 31 is the deadline for nominations for this year's Special Recognition Award Program for UW staff; the awards will be announced in the fall, after nominations are screened by the university's top executives. The awards are meant to honour "staff members’ dedication, hard work and continued commitment to excellence in the performance of their jobs . . . 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." Details have been described more than once in the Daily Bulletin, and the program has a web site with full information and nomination forms.


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