Tuesday, June 12, 2007

  • Silver symbol at a golden anniversary
  • Bringing the world's students to UW
  • Also happening on a warm Tuesday
  • Editor:
  • Chris Redmond
  • Communications and Public Affairs
  • bulletin@uwaterloo.ca

Link of the day

Canada was 90 as UW was born

When and where

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

Career workshops: "Interview Skills, Selling Your Skills" 2:30, Tatham Centre room 1208; "Networking 101" 4:30, Tatham 1208; registration online.

Dance Adventure recitals continue today and Wednesday 7 p.m., Humanities Theatre.

School of Planning Ring Ceremony Wednesday 12 noon, Festival Room, South Campus Hall.

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 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.

International spouses group visit to Woodside National Historic Site. Meet Thursday 12:45 at Columbia Lake Village community centre, cost $2 to $4 per adult, children welcome (must have appropriate car seat). Extra cars and drivers very welcome. E-mail lighthousenm@gmail.com to reserve a place.

J. W. Graham Medal in Computing and Innovation 2007 winner Ricardo Baeza-Yates, Yahoo Research, "From Games to Algorithms and the Difference Between Theory and Practice", Thursday 2:00 p.m., Davis Centre room 1304, reception follows, register by e-mail to mathalumni@uwaterloo.ca.

Risk Management and Insurance conference sponsored by Institute for Quantitative Finance and Insurance, Saturday, Math and Computer building room 2065, details online.

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

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

Staff association annual general meeting June 19, 9:00 a.m., Math and Computer room 2017.

George Dixon, dean of science, reception as his term ends, Tuesday, June 19, 4:00 to 5:30, University Club, RSVP ext. 3-3363; contributions being accepted to Faculty of Science Scholarship Fund.

Open Classroom session featuring Carey Bissonnette, department of chemistry, using clicker technology in Chem 123, advance briefing and after-class discussion for faculty members interested in the techniques, June 20, details online.

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

The fine print

The exhibition of student work and projects from UW's school of architecture, on display since mid-April in the Design at Riverside gallery, is scheduled to close as of Friday.

There's a revised time for the scheduled oral defence of a PhD thesis by Siu Hang Li of the department of statistics and actuarial science, already announced. It will take place June 18 (next Monday) at 12:30 p.m. in Math and Computer room 6027.

The Faculty of Engineering Dean's Advisory Council held its semi-annual meeting June 1 at the Accelerator Centre. Council members are drawn from alumni, industry and academic leaders and acts as a bridge to the engineering and business community.

Honours are being showered on Bob Rosehart as he winds up his term as president of Wilfrid Laurier University (and UW's David Johnston will be speaking at a tribute event next week). Rosehart is scheduled to receive an honorary degree from Nipissing University tomorrow in Brantford.

"Walk the Line", "Ray", and "Dreamgirls" are the scheduled films for today's noontime showing in POETS pub in Carl Pollock Hall. The free movies are a daily feature in the Engineering Society pub.

I reported yesterday that in a Sunday evening incident, a man had driven an SUV into "the main doors" of St. Paul's College. In fact a smaller door at one end of the building was involved; the blog site @UW published photos yesterday.

The Friday Daily Bulletin referred optimistically to "a $30 building and maintenance fund" for UW's proposed Stratford campus. As literal-minded readers noted, that's a rather small capital budget; make it "$30 million".

[With President Hagey][With President Johnston]

The Mace was a gift to the university from the family of Stanley F. Leavine, local physician and an early member of the UW board of governors. In the 1965 photo, president Gerry Hagey accepts it from Leavine's daughters, Desta (left), also a physician, and Pauline. (Photo: Personal Studio, from UW Archives.) At right, Desta Leavine is seen with current president David Johnston at the Friends of the Library reception held earlier this year to help launch Ken McLaughlin's history of the university — which pictures the Mace on its cover. (Photo: UW Graphics.)

Silver symbol at a golden anniversary

[Mace on black banner]UW's silver-and-ebony Mace will be front and centre at this week's Convocation ceremonies as it has been in every convocation since 1965, but it will get an extra measure of attention this time because of the exposure it's been receiving as the symbol of the university's 50th anniversary (left).

Tradition underlies the proceedings of Convocation, the continuity of this university with centuries of academic experience. And one longstanding custom is the use of a Mace to represent the powers of the university. Several faculty and staff members will share the honour of carrying it in as the ceremonies begin, starting with recreation and leisure studies professor Paul Eagles at tomorrow morning's session.

Designed and made by Toronto artist Eric Aldwinckle, the Mace is said to symbolize the university as it was in the mid-1960s. It bears the institution’s coat of arms, with the lions of the Duke of Wellington (victor at the Battle of Waterloo) and the chevrons of Lord Kitchener of Khartum, and also the shield of the Province of Ontario, from which the university holds its charter to grant degrees.

Tomorrow morning brings the first ceremony of eight that are scheduled this week. Here are the highlights, with the warning that not every award or detail of the program has been made public yet.

When and where: Wednesday, June 13, 10:00 a.m., Physical Activities Complex.
Faculties of applied health sciences, environmental studies
Valedictorian: to be announced
Honorary degrees: Norman Ashton (former UW professor of kinesiology); Terry Prowse (University of Victoria geographer, who will give the convocation address)
Honorary Member of the University: Bruce Lumsden, former UW administrator
Governor General’s Gold Medal: Nora Doerr-MacEwen, PhD in planning
Governor General’s Silver Medal: Devin Hall, BSc in kinesiology
Social notes: Applied health sciences pre-convocation reception 8:30 a.m., Matthews Hall. General reception after the ceremony, Student Life Centre.

Still to come: Faculty of science, Wednesday afternoon; arts, two ceremonies Thursday; mathematics, two ceremonies Friday; engineering, two ceremonies Saturday.

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Bringing the world's students to UW

by Herb Shoveller — excerpts from an article on UW ‘going global’ that appears in the spring issue of the UW Magazine

After two police officers, guns drawn and aimed, ordered him and his guide from their car, André Jardin could have been excused for reconsidering his career choice.

After all, as international recruitment and admissions co-ordinator for the Faculty of Mathematics at the University of Waterloo, Jardin is bound for an endless number of exotic locales. Reconsidering such opportunity, however, was not in the cards.

“It helped that I am usually pretty calm in most situations,” he explains in recounting one of many unique adventures he is experiencing as he trots the globe representing Waterloo. In the end, the incident was part routine police procedure and part sloppiness on the part of his driver/guide, who had tried to go the wrong way up a one-way street, and it concluded with an amicable parting of ways.

Jardin is but one in a substantial team of faculty and staff at Waterloo dedicated to building the school’s international presence. Already formidable, the university’s ambitious global commitment, led by associate vice-president academic Gail Cuthbert Brandt, reaches strategically in two directions. It takes Waterloo out into the world, in search of relationships with other educational institutions that enhance the university’s global presence. It also brings the world home to Waterloo, as UW seeks to strengthen its roster of top international students at both the undergraduate and graduate levels.

Why? As the world flattens in the era of connected communications — where people in Bangalore, Bali and Boston can pass work back-and-forth in the blink of a fibre-optic cable — Canadian students need a global perspective, says Cuthbert Brandt. “We want to be a university that champions diversity, where people from many nations learn and work together.” As well, international students — who pay the full cost of their education — allow the university to expand programs even when government subsidies for domestic students don’t increase.

This strategy is central to the university’s Sixth Decade Plan, launched as UW celebrates its 50th anniversary.

“We need to operate internationally to provide opportunities for our students, faculty and staff,” says Cuthbert Brandt. “Education is a global service and Waterloo can provide a very attractive source of training and development.” Overall, UW has signed about 290 agreements with international organizations to pursue collaborative research, exchange, training and development initiatives in 54 countries. There is hardly a corner of the world that UW doesn’t touch.

While Cuthbert Brandt can provide extensive arguments for the benefits of UW’s international initiative for the university’s direct stakeholders, as well as for the province and country, she acknowledges doubts and concerns are raised on occasion about the global strategy. But it’s similar to investing your money: those who are successful are usually the ones who are patient and have a long-term vision.

“We don’t have detractors,” she explains, “but there have been some reservations about how aggressively we should move on our international initiative. There are so many challenges we are dealing with. For example, when a professor develops a course, we want them to think about how they can make it appeal to an international audience.”

Waterloo’s international recruiters say they need to make a concerted effort at branding, both the university in particular and Canada in general. “When we have visited other countries, people often don’t know all Canada has to offer, so we partner with other Canadian universities,” says Virginia McLellan, manager of international marketing and recruitment. “In international recruiting, Canada is behind places such as the U.S., Britain and Australia, so our Canadian universities work together in a large group, which allows us to illustrate all the options Canada provides.”

McLellan and her colleagues monitor inquiries to help identify new markets to seek out students. For instance, there has been a surge of interest from Brazil recently, so that is an area for exploration. Last fall, there was a recruiting mission to Turkey. When such new areas are being explored, Waterloo considers the quality of the country’s educational system, the language skills of candidates, and their ability to afford an education abroad.

She notes that students’ interest in courses of study can vary from region to region. For instance, math and computer science tend to be popular subjects on visits to Asia while, in the Middle East, engineering and technology attract more attention.

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Also happening on a warm Tuesday

Some 20 nanotechnology experts — some from Ontario and some from India — are on campus this week for a workshop being held to strengthen research ties between Ontario and Indian engineers and scientists, with the long-term goal of creating collaborative international research projects that include industry partnerships. The workshop, funded by Ontario's Ministry of Research and Innovation, is a result of Ontario premier Dalton McGuinty's mission to India last January, during which UW president David Johnston signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Indian Institute of Technology Bombay for advancing research and scholarship in nanotech. The agreement includes research internships for six Waterloo graduate or senior undergraduate nanotechnology students at IITB, located in Mumbai, formerly Bombay, and fellowships for six IITB students to study in Waterloo. Alain Francq, director of industry and government relations in the electrical and computer engineering department, says the workshop involves top researchers from universities and industry across the province and is the first step in developing significant collaborations with India in nanotechnology.

Very soon now, little people will be in evidence on many parts of the campus as UW's summer programs for children get rolling. The various levels of Engineering Science Quest mostly begin operation on July 2, and Arts Computer Experience on July 3. There's a particular level of excitement at ACE, which is marking its 25th year, says coordinator Marsha Wendell. "ACE started in 1983 at a time when there were very few day camps around. Its unique blend of computer classes, drama, music and art, along with camp games, outdoor activities and a daily swim, made ACE an instant success. In the early years, the children of UW faculty and staff enjoyed ACE, but it soon became a positive link between the university and the K-W community." She says registration for this summer is filling up nicely, but there's still space available, and an online chart from ESQ shows many sessions that also still have spaces.

"Labour charge-out rates in Information Systems and Technology (IST) will change on July 1, 2007," says a memo from Bill Futher, IST's director of administrative services. "IST will be changing to a single rate of $45.00 per hour for most services. After a study of our services for which we recover partial costs, some current service labour rates will be reduced and others will increase. In the case of some IST fees, the rate has remained the same for over 20 years and the update to the new current rate is more realistic for our cost recoveries. In other cases, our costs have decreased or the rates for such services have decreased, and the new rate reflects that trend. Services included are telephone moves, adds, and changes, network voice/data installations, computer hardware repairs, security installations and audio visual technician services. The rate is consistent with fees charged for similar services by other departments on the UW campus."

And here's some old news that may still be news: a number of people with UW links were winners of this year's Kitchener-Waterloo Arts Awards, presented at the end of April. Among them is Ann Roberts, retired faculty member in the fine arts department, who was given a "Lifetime Achievement Award" and recognized as "a ceramic sculptor whose work has been exhibited in 18 solo, and 126 invitational or juried exhibitions in Canada and internationally" . Also on the list of award winners: Erna van Daele, local musician who serves as the conductor of Orchestra @ UWaterloo, and Wallace Wu, a second-year electrical engineering student (and graduate of a local high school) who performed Tchaikovsky's violin concerto with that orchestra this spring. And blacksmith Sandra Dunn, who received the visual arts award, is a UW fine arts graduate. A full list of the winners, with citations, is available on the web.


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