Friday, June 8, 2007

  • Optometry expansion breaks ground
  • Director of commercialization is named
  • A bridge too familiar, and other notes
  • Editor:
  • Chris Redmond
  • Communications and Public Affairs

Link of the day

Dilbert creator is 50

When and where

Annual child care festival involving Early Childhood Education Centre, Hildegard Marsden Day Nursery, Klemmer Farmhouse Day Nursery and Paintin' Place, 9:45, Village green, guest performer Erick Traplin.

Waterloo Symposium in Undergraduate Mathematics (WatSUM) Friday-Saturday, details online.

Let's Dance recital Saturday afternoon and evening, Sunday afternoon, Humanities Theatre.

Garage sale (9:00 to 3:00) and barbecue (from 11:00), Sunday, Columbia Lake Village community centre; all welcome from inside or outside CLV; sign up for garage sale table by e-mail,

Class enrolment appointments for continuing students to choose fall term courses on Quest, June 11-23.

UW retirees' association wineries tour to Niagara Peninsula Tuesday, sold out, information 519-699-4015.

Ninety-fourth Convocation in eight sessions June 13-16, Physical Activities Complex, details online.

Bruce Lumsden, former UW administrator, director of co-op education and career services, reception marking his award as Honorary Member of the University, Wednesday 3:00 to 5:00 p.m., Laurel Room, South Campus Hall, RSVP ext. 3–3926.

'Africa: Not as Seen on TV' multi-media presentation by Greg John, returned from development work in Tanzania, as well as art exhibition, African goods for sale and other features, Wednesday, June 13, 6:30 p.m. (cash bar) for 7:15, St. Paul's United College; repeat showing June 28 at Ontario College of Art and Design, Toronto, tickets $10 from St. Paul's, 519-885-1465.

'Vision' conference, "Tomorrow's Health Leaders Together Today", Saturday, June 16, Davis Centre, details online.

Toronto Blue Jays Saturday, Saturday, June 16, trip organized by Graduate Student Association, tickets (game $7, bus $10) on sale at Grad House.

Canada Day celebrations on the north campus Sunday, July 1. UW holiday Monday, July 2 (no classes; offices and services closed).

PhD oral defences

Civil and environmental engineering. Suresh V. Datla, “Probabilistic Models for LIfe Cycle Management of Energy Infrastructure System.” Supervisor, M. D. Pandey. On display in the faculty of engineering, PHY 3004. Oral defence Wednesday, July 4, 8:30 a.m., Engineering II room 3324.

Statistics and actuarial science. Norberto Pantoja Galicia, “Interval Censoring and Longitudinal Survey Data.” Supervisor, Mary E. Thompson. On display in the faculty of mathematics, MC 5090. Oral defence Wednesday, July 4, 1:30 p.m., Math and Computer room 5136B.

Recreation and leisure studies. Elaine Wiersma, “Making Institutional Bodies: Socialization into the Nursing Home.” Supervisor, Sherry Dupuis. On display in the faculty of applied health sciences, BMH 3110. Oral defence Thursday, July 5, 10:00 a.m., Lyle Hallman Institute room 3701.

Management sciences. “Empirical Analysis of Algorithms for Block-Angular Linear Programs.” Supervisors, R. P. Sundarraj and J. David Fuller. On display in the faculty of engineering, PHY 3004. Oral defence Friday, July 6, 9:30 a.m., Engineering II room 3324.

Computer science. Stefan Büttcher, “Multi-User File System Search.” Supervisor, Charles Clarke. On display in the faculty of mathematics, MC 5090. Oral defence Friday, July 20, 11:00 a.m., Davis Centre room 1304.

[Shows connection to existing brick building]
Optometry expansion breaks ground

The school of optometry, Canada's only English-speaking optometric training institution, will hold a ceremonial groundbreaking this morning for a new addition (pictured) to expand its teaching and research program in vision care. The event starts at 11:15 on the lawn west of the building, just north of Columbia Street, where a tent pavilion marks the spot.

The school will also recognize a special gift of $500,000 from philanthropists Dr. Marta Witer and Ian Ihnatowycz to support the project. The gift is the largest donation the school has ever received from an alumnus.

"Marta and Ian's passion and commitment to the school and the profession of optometry will not only enhance optometric education, but better prepare us to embrace growth and change in optometry practices across Canada," says Thomas Freddo, director of the school. "The school is truly grateful to have Marta and Ian among our top donors, volunteers and friends."

Their leadership gift toward the school's expansion and renovation project will be celebrated in the naming of the Witer Learning Resource Centre, to be located on the second floor of the 40,000-square-foot addition.

"The profession of optometry has given me a fulfilling and dynamic career that has allowed me to work with patients to address the eye care needs of my community," says Witer, a 1979 graduate. "By giving back to my alma mater, I am acknowledging the meaningful educational experience I had here as a student, but am also investing in the education of Canada's future optometrists."

The addition will accommodate the school's surge in enrolment to meet the high demand for eye care professionals across the country. UW is moving towards admitting 90 students, up from the previous 60, in each year's optometry class.

Featuring a large atrium, the two-storey building expansion will enhance the profile of the school while providing additional teaching space and essential student resources. Construction will begin this fall and is scheduled to be finished in 2009. It will include a 125-seat lecture theatre, the Witer Learning Resource Centre, a new home for the Museum of Vision Science, as well as student study rooms and computer areas. It will also provide expanded space for the TLC laser centre and a new Founders' Hall.

More than 400 alumni and friends, faculty and staff and UW officials are expected to attend the ceremonial groundbreaking. The event will showcase the architectural drawings of the new addition, as well as old photos of the Optometry building's original groundbreaking in 1972.

[Optometry 40 logo]In 1967, a group of optometrists from the College of Optometrists of Ontario signed the deed that launched the school at UW. The event will celebrate both the 40th anniversary of the optometry school and UW's 50th anniversary. "The UW school of optometry is a source of great pride to the university," says UW president David Johnston. "The school is a research and education leader and through its increased student enrolment and expanded facilities will be better able to prepare optometrists to practice in an evolving profession and embrace their expanding role in family health care."

To cope with the rise in enrolment, the school embarked on a $7.2-million fundraising campaign to support the expansion and renovation project. To date, $6.5 million has been raised through the support of alumni like Witer, friends and corporate partners. "It is through their passion and commitment toward the profession and education that the school continues to expand its profile and impact on the North American stage," Freddo says.

With a little less than a million dollars left to raise in the existing campaign and with the reality of higher construction costs, the school plans to extend its fundraising target to $12.4 million by 2011, to support the expansion and renovation of current facilities while ensuring critical funding for the costly clinical program, the basis of optometric education.

The groundbreaking comes during the optometry school's annual continuing education weekend, which sees optometrists from across Canada return to Waterloo for short courses and lectures on professional topics. Course topics will include the likes of "Steroids and Other Anti-inflammatory Agents in Ocular Disease" and "Diagnosis and Management of Anterior Uveitis", as well as a training workshop for optometrists on how to write prescriptions, something they haven't been legally permitted to do until recently in most jurisdictions.

The Dr. Clair Bobier Lecture is scheduled for 4:45 today, with Graham Strong of the optometry school speaking on "Optometric Co-Management of Partially Cured Ophthalmic Patients". Tomorrow brings the Dr. Emerson Woodruff Lecture, with Ross Ethier speaking (again at 4:45) on "The Biomechanics of Glaucoma". The weekend also includes two days of continuing education aimed at optometric assistants and staff, as well as a wine and cheese reception tonight, a trade show, and a dinner Saturday night.

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Director of commercialization is named

[Inwood]The UW office of research has named Scott Inwood (right) of its staff to the new position of Director of Commercialization, “responsible for leading a growing group of professionals responsible for providing commercialization services to the faculty and students at the University”.

An announcement from Tom Corr, associate vice-president (commercialization), says Inwood’s new position was effective June 1. In part he’s a successor to the late Jerry Gray, director of what was called the office of technology transfer and licensing, who retired in 2005. Corr arrived in Waterloo earlier this year, and spends half his time with the UW research office and half with the Accelerator Centre.

Says Corr’s announcement: “Scott has successfully served in the Office of Research for the past 10 years as a Technology Manager, assisting University researchers in the protection and commercialization of their intellectual property.

“The Commercialization group at the University of Waterloo is responsible for the identification of opportunities for commercialization, collaboratively developing plans to maximize the economic and social impact of the opportunities, and overseeing the commercialization plans with other University staff, industry, and financial and government partners.

“Scott will also be responsible for the C4 initiative which sees the sharing of the of 8 new Technology Managers located at the University of Waterloo, University of Guelph, University of Western Ontario, and McMaster University, bringing a level of commercialization resources and expertise not previously available at the University of Waterloo.”

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A bridge too familiar, and other notes

A “multi-media installation” on the Main Street bridge in downtown Cambridge will be officially opened tonight, the work of nine graduate students in UW’s nearby school of architecture. “Since it moved to Cambridge in 2004,” says architecture director Rick Haldenby, the school “has been a creative catalyst, housing the Design at Riverside Gallery, hosting the Mayor’s Festival of the Arts for the last two years and involving itself in civic life on a day-to-day basis. One year ago a group of graduate students marvelously remade the courtyard [Bridge and church]at the School of Architecture into an instant green space known as ‘Pocket Park.’ This year a new group will transform the Main Street Bridge (left) from a mere river crossing into a thought-provoking experience, changing the way people see both the river and the city. The installation builds within the iconic arches and uses a variety of screens, seating, lighting, sound and projection to inject energy into this potential public space and provoke the collective imagination. ‘Intersect’ is free and open to the public.” Tonight’s official opening starts at 7:00, with a presentation at 9:30. The students involved are Kyle Anderson, Erik Boyko, Christina Carydis, Melodie Coneybeare, Natalie Jackson, Holly Saplamaeff, Tiffany Tosheff, Brian Urbanik and Alana Young; instructors are Mike Elmitt and Jeff Lederer.

At Tuesday's meeting of the UW board of governors, provost Amit Chakma reported briefly on the progress of planning for a Stratford campus, emphasizing programs from the faculty of arts. Right now it's up to the city of Stratford to find some resources for the project, estimated as a $30 building and maintenance fund plus land, the provost said. "The capital funding side is beyond our control," he said, but noted that "we have started a detailed academic planning exercise," which will issue in proposals to the faculty councils, committees and university senate in due course.

Also at Tuesday's meeting, the board of governors approved a $10,000-a-term fee for international students in the Master of Business, Entrepreneurship and Technology program (Canadian students currently pay $8,666). • On the recommendation of the pension and benefits committee, the board approved a change in the rules of the pension plan, taking away indexation on money left in the UW plan by employees who leave the university before early retirement age (55) unless they've worked here for at least 20 years. • And the board approved a construction contract for the planned Research Accelerator building on the north campus, after being reminded that UW has to be out of the "BFG" building on Columbia Street by next April 30, when Research In Motion takes possession of it.

The Arts Research Update newsletter reports that Roopa Ravikumar, professor of sociology at Lady Doak College in Madurai, India, paid a month-long visit to UW earlier this year as part of a teaching/research exchange program funded by the Learning Initiatives Fund program. “During her stay, Dr. Ravikumar met with undergraduate students in a variety of social work, religious studies, and development studies courses. The trip was organized by UW Religious Studies professor Dr. Doris Jakobsh and Renison’s Social Work professor Dr. Linda Snyder. Jakobsh has worked with Dr. Ravikumar in the past, most recently during a research trip she made to Lady Doak College in November 2006. Students of both Ravikumar and Jakobsh participated this past term in an exchange of ideas and perspectives in an innovative new online course called ‘Women in Religion: Indian and Canadian Parallels.’ While here, Ravikumar was also able to establish research links with numerous UW and WLU faculty and further her own research on aging, recreation, and spirituality.”

Among the hundreds of former Warriors and Athenas returning to campus for the athletics reunion weekend June 22-24 will be Jan Roorda-Ferguson, a five-year member of both the volleyball and track and field teams. A release from the athletics department this week notes that she was a three-time MVP for the Athenas, was an integral part of the OQWCIA championship volleyball teams in 1966-67 and 1970-71, and accumulated nine medals in track and field (1 gold, 7 silver, and 1 bronze). She graduated in kinesiology in 1972, and was inducted into the Athletics Hall of Fame in 1984. One key memory: "I think my most life-changing work term was my first work term. Pat Davis (volleyball head coach) invited me to work at her summer camp for girls, Camp Wikwetonee, near Norland, Ontario. Here I learned canoeing, teaching canoeing, sailing, campfire building, leading trips, archery, and leading singing with guitar. Besides this, I developed confidence in myself and my ability to teach and lead. I loved the camp environment and experience. As a result, in following years, I worked at many different camps in Ontario, one on the west coast off Vancouver Island, and one in Wisconsin. Eventually I was led to take a graduate program at Wheaton College in Christian Ministries with a concentration in camping. It was here that I met my husband on a wilderness trip.”


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