Monday, June 18, 2007

  • Staff association will meet tomorrow
  • More honours noted at Convocation
  • News of the campus on a nano scale
  • Editor:
  • Chris Redmond
  • Communications and Public Affairs

Link of the day

The battle of you-know-where

Glimpses of Convocation

[He's in PhD gown, she's in civvies]
Associate registrar Mark Walker checks a list held by colleague Shannon Wagner

[About to place Mace on table]
University librarian Mark Haslett took a turn as mace-bearer on Thursday

[Claxton and Haney posing]
University secretary Lois Claxton poses with long-time UW lawyer Reg Haney, who was given an honorary degree

[Gladwell gestures]
Blink author Malcolm Gladwell spoke at Thursday afternoon's ceremony

[Valedictorian][Valedictorian speaks]
Anong the valedictorians: David Evans of applied health sciences, Natalie Mullin of mathematics

[Blue hood goes over her head]
Health studies student Suzie McCallum speaks with provost Amit Chakma as she receives her hood

[Hoods trimmed in red]
Happy graduates moments after receiving their engineering degrees on Saturday afternoon

When and where

Senate long-range planning committee 3:30, Needles Hall room 3004, agenda focuses on position paper about high school outreach programs.

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

25-Year Club annual reception and recognition of 25-year and 35-year staff and faculty, Tuesday 6:00 p.m., Physical Activities Complex, information ext. 3-2078.

Ralph and Eileen Lebold Endowment fund-raising banquet, Tuesday 6:30 p.m., Conrad Grebel University College dining room, information ext. 2-4381.

UW farm market organized by Food Services, first market of the season, Wednesday 9:00 to 1:00 (change from previously announced date), Student Life Centre.

John Westlake, co-operative education and career services, celebration of career-long contributions, Wednesday 4 to 6 p.m., University Club; RSVP ext. 3-3926; gift contributions being accepted.

Institute for Quantum Computing open house Wednesday 5:00 to 7:00, 195 Columbia Street West; panel discussion 7 p.m., four major scholars from the current "Taming the Quantum World" conference explaining the major advances in quantum information processing, details online.

Spiritual Heritage Education Network presents Sandy Milne, St. Aloysius Roman Catholic Church, "Compassion: the Golden Rule", Wednesday 7:30 p.m., CEIT room 1015.

Surplus sale of furniture and other UW property, Thursday 12:30 to 2:00, central stores, East Campus Hall.

Computer science distinguished lecture: Vint Cerf, Google Inc., on the future of the Web, Thursday 1:30 p.m., Humanities Theatre, admission free.

Waterloo Centre for German Studies Liederabend (songs in German, commentary in English), works by Bach, Liszt, Mozart, Schumann and others, Thursday 7:30 p.m., St. Paul's College, $10 (students $5) from WCGS, Modern Languages room 219.

Warrior football camp for youngsters entering grades 9 through 12, June 24 (1 to 5 p.m.) and 25-27 (6 to 8 p.m.) with Warrior coaches and players, fee $75, details online.

Staff association will meet tomorrow

The UW staff association will hold its annual general meeting tomorrow morning, with a new executive taking office after the turnover and attrition of the past few months.

Jesse Rodgers of communications and public affairs will become president of the association for 2007-08, having been acclaimed when elections were announced this spring. He takes over from acting president Sue Fraser of the kinesiology department.

Tomorrow's meeting will start at 9:00 in Math and Computer building room 2017. It's preceded by "a light breakfast" at 8:45, sponsored by Johnson Inc., the insurance agency that for many years has offered group rates on auto and home insurance for association members.

"In the best interest of UW," said a memo from Fraser late last week, "we would appreciate managers/supervisors granting time to those SA members who wish to attend, so that the UWSA can continue to function and act on behalf of staff."

The agenda will include a report from the president, approval of the minutes from last year's annual meeting, introduction of the new executive, and remarks from Rodgers. And a guest will speak briefly: former UW administrator Bruce Lumsden, whose parting gesture when he retired in 2005 was the creation of a "Staff Enhancement Fund". He'll talk about the fund, which recently made its first grant to help enrich the life and work of staff members.

There will also be an opportunity for questions about the association's annual report, which was made available on the group's web site recently. It includes 2006-07 summaries from the association's many committees as well as UW committees and governing bodies on which staff are represented.

The annual report indicates that the association had 1,403 members as of January 2007, representing 75 per cent of the 1,834 eligible staff. Revenue in 2006 was $112,248.

A key section of the report comes from the association's Members Advisory Committee, which says the past year was "extremely busy" with staff wanting assistance, advice or a listening ear. "There were a number of repeating themes," write the co-chairs, Maureen Stafford of electrical and computer engineering and Cathy Jardine of graduate studies. "Staff having difficulty with supervisors or managers" was the most frequent issue, they say, "and this is very unsettling. Perhaps this indicates the need for mandatory training and development programs for supervisors." Another repeating problem: "staff not receiving upgrades to their job descriptions."

A section about the association's council of area and department representatives, who have been meeting monthly, notes that they discussed issues ranging from training, pensions and vision care benefits to a desire by some staff for a biweekly pay schedule — and "the future of the Staff Association". The UWSA was rocked by resignations this year, and the representatives have talked about such measures as raising dues, improving the UW grievance policy, and "a desire for change".

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More honours noted at Convocation

Some honours and highlights from Convocation ceremonies that weren’t reported in last week’s Daily Bulletins:

Award for Excellence in Graduate Supervision: Rhona Hanning, health studies and gerontology (Wednesday morning); Jacob Sivak, optometry (Wednesday afternoon); Donald Cowan, computer science (Friday afternoon); Xuemin (Sherman) Shen, electrical and computer engineering (Saturday afternoon).

Exceptional Teaching by a Student Award: Mubarak Al-Mutairi.

Certificate in University Teaching: Sarah Atkinson, Nora Ann Doerr-MacEwen (Wednesday morning); Jennifer Hunter (Wednesday afternoon); Veronica Austen (Thursday morning); Marjan Maleki-Tehrani (Thursday afternoon); Bethany White (Friday morning); Shabnam Ivković, (Friday afternoon); Doris Tzu Lang Chen, Martin Hansen (Saturday afternoon).

President’s Circle Award for Volunteerism: Melissa Simoes, Richard Dong (Wednesday morning); Jiming Song (Wednesday afternoon); Lianna Harpley (Thursday morning); Heather Dabrowski, Amanda Hogle (Thursday afternoon).

Distinguished Academic Achievement, applied health sciences: Joel Emery (health studies), Devin Hall (kinesiology), Stephanie Cherevaty (recreation and leisure studies). Environmental studies: Laurel Pentelow (environment and business), Tanya Markvart (environment and resource studies), Rachel McQuail (geography), Vivian Leung (planning). Arts: Cynthia Lo (accountancy studies), Lesley Roswell (classical studies), Jonathan McKee (economics), Marco Cacciacarro (English), Lisa Nolan (fine arts), Rebecca Westgarth (French), Daniel Heidt (history), Margaret Pak (legal studies), Brenda Lauritzen (medieval studies), Trevor Moor (music), Simon Palamar (peace and conflict studies), Adam Jensen (philosophy), Warren Clarke (political science), Amanda Hogle (psychology), Sarah Johnson (religious studies), Laura Springate (Russian), Annika Allman (social development studies), Diana Miller (sociology), Rebecca Janzen (Spanish), Natai Shelsen (speech communication).

Samuel Eckler Medal for highest standing in actuarial science: Kevin Singh.

Engineering awards: Albert Sherwood Barber Award for work term and academic performance: Peter Hu. Canadian Society for Mechanical Engineering Gold Medal: Mattheus Ueckermann. George Dufault Medal for excellence in communication: Vikramaditya Yadav. John Fisher Award for leadership: Cameron Bruce, Rishi Lukka. Sir Casimir Stanislaus Gzowski Medal: Erin Jones. Ontario Professional Engineers Foundation for Education Gold Medal: Pok Man Clarence Chow.

Sandford Fleming Foundation Award for academic achievement: Rajat Suri, Vikramaditya Yadav, Jonathan Musser, Pok Man Clarence Chow, Brian Jia Lee Keng, Lisa Yun Chen, Heather Crone, Brian Seth Kates, Daniel Kadylak, Ying Du, Alain Boutros, Craig McEwen. For work term proficiency: Abhijat Kitchlu, Vikramaditya Yadav, Simon Zienkiewicz, Yibin Chen, Caitlin Sykes, Michael Bishop, Leif Falk, Yaron Friedman, Wen Xin Zhang.

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News of the campus on a nano scale

Ranking of fall term jobs is under way for co-op students, with the online process closing at 2:00 today. • The combinatorics and optimization department's 40th anniversary conference, C&O@40, opens today and runs through Saturday. • Class enrolment appointments for continuing students who will be on campus this fall are now under way, winding up this Saturday, after which new students get their turn to pick classes through Quest.

"The tent is up and we are ready to rock and roll," chemistry professor Tong Leung wrote late last night — which just shows the excited state he's in as NanoForum Canada gets started today with talks on science, medical and engineering-related topics. It runs Monday through Wednesday, in the Theatre of the Arts and other locations. “The deputy minister of the Ontario Ministry of Research and Innovation, Alastair Glass, is here to open the Forum — the first NanoForum to be held in Canada," says Leung. "He will then stay on campus for the day, and will visit a few labs, among them the core nano labs on campus, WATLab and the G2N lab. Participants come from nine province (PEI is the only missing one). The majority comes from southern Ontario schools, with strong participation from NINT and Québec. Part of the Indian ITT delegation are staying behind to attend. Before NanoForum, the Nanotech Graduate Student Workshop (focussing on nano-photonics) has just been completed. It was a good conference, with good speakers and great participation by the graduate students. Following NanoForum and starting Wednesday afternoon, there will be a nanomedicine workshop. NanoForum is the main show.” Details are online.

A few desks will be unattended across campus today, as the annual Matthews Golf Classic takes place at Grand Valley Golf and Country Club, on Roseville Road in Cambridge. It's the 18th annual event, organized for staff, faculty, retirees and friends, and after a slow start, registration was more than healthy this year. "We have 111 golfers," said Bill Futher of information systems and technology, one of the organizers, late last week. "Our prize donors were again generous, so everyone goes home with something," not to mention a full tummy from the buffet, memories of a good day's golfing — and, if they're not careful, a sunburn from today's "very high" levels of ultraviolet.

The UW senate will meet tonight (4:30, Needles Hall room 3001) in its last monthly meeting of 2006-07. Agenda items include the usual: an "environmental scan" from president David Johnston, a progress report on enrolment from the dean of graduate studies, routine changes to courses and academic programs, and a report on what's been happening at the Council of Ontario Universities. A report from the senate's undergraduate council proposes a new honours math program in "financial analysis and risk management". And associate registrar Nancy Weiner is sending forward a proposed new set of rules on transfer credits for students coming to UW from high school programs different from Ontario's: the International Baccalaureate, the US Advanced Placement structure, or the British General Certificate of Education.

[Spence]Renison College has announced the name of its new chancellor, who will succeed Michael Burns in that office as of May 1 next year. Taking the position, just as he retires as bishop of the Diocese of Niagara, is Rt. Rev. Ralph Spence (left), a high-profile and controversial figure in the Anglican Church of Canada. "In 1998," a Renison news release says, "Bishop Spence identified the diocese’s financial future and recruitment as his top priorities. His priorities for Renison will be much the same. Considered one of the leading visionaries of the Anglican Church, Bishop Spence is a passionate and powerful advocate for education. While he may be stepping down as chief liturgical officer and chief pastor for the clergy and laity of the diocese of Niagara, he is looking forward to his new role as Chancellor." It quotes Spence himself on the new role: "I am honoured to be named Chancellor of Renison College — a wonderful academic college and community that opens minds to higher education and strengthens individuals in their personal quests. This is a great community to be part of during these interesting days in our nation’s history.” And Renison principal John Crossley: "He is committed to the welfare of Renison College and will be a wonderful member of our community. His presence and leadership will enhance Renison for faculty, staff, and students. On a personal level, I know that I will benefit from his advice, wisdom, perspective, and humour."

Work by Phillip Beesley and Lola Sheppard of UW's school of architecture is on display through July 8 in "Twenty + Change", an exhibition of contemporary design at the Gladstone Hotel, 1214 Queen Street West in Toronto. • Word has gone out that July 18 is the submission deadline for academic posters to be presented at UW's "2017: The Workplace" conference this fall. • UW president David Johnston and university historian Ken McLaughlin appeared last night on "ProvinceWide", the local CTV station's weekly public affairs interview program, talking about what makes UW distinctive as its reaches its 50th anniversary.


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