Friday, March 2, 2007

  • March arrives like a lion: UW closed
  • Looking beyond JobMine (and more)
  • Faculty members move into retirement
  • Editor:
  • Chris Redmond
  • Communications and Public Affairs

Link of the day

World Day of Prayer

When and where

Events may be postponed or cancelled because of today's storm closing.

Columbia Lake Health Club, Techtown building, north campus, open house today 9:00 to 8:00, Saturday and Sunday 9 to 6, more information online.

Forum for Independent Thought student think-tank 12:00 noon, multi-purpose room, Student Life Centre.

Department of English presents Michael Ryan, Northeastern University, "A Prolegomenon to the Cultural Sciences", 2 p.m., Environmental Studies room 221.

Department of philosophy presents Janna Thompson, visiting Humphrey Professor in Feminist Philosophy, "Gratitude and Justice in a Multi-Generational Society", 3:30, Humanities room 373.

International Development Student Conference opens 6 p.m., Rod Coutts Hall; keynote address by Paul Samson, Canadian International Development Agency, 7 p.m. Conference continues all day Saturday, schedule online.

Warrior men's hockey playoff vs. Laurier, second game tonight 7:30 p.m., Columbia Icefield; tickets $9 (students $7) at athletics office, Physical Activities Complex; WatCard not good for admission; broadcast on CKMS. Third game if necessary, Sunday 7:30 p.m. Waterloo Memorial Recreation Centre (WLU home game).

K-W Chinese Lantern Fest, sponsored by UW Chinese Scholars and Students Association, 7:30, Federation Hall: entertainment, dancing, cash bar, details online.

Warrior Weekend activities in the Student Life Centre: St. Patrick's tonight, Casino Night on Saturday, free movies both nights, details online.

Dance Dance Dance recital all day Saturday and Sunday, Humanities Theatre.

31st annual bus push organized by Engineering Society, this year in support of Canadian Heart and Stroke Foundation, Saturday, leaving Carl Pollock Hall 10 a.m. en route to downtown Kitchener.

Dinosaur mural by Peter Etril Snyder completion and presentation to UW earth sciences museum, Saturday at Waterloo Town Square: children's activities 10:00 to 3:00, presentation event 2:00, with dinosaur cake.

Lunar eclipse special event Saturday 6 to 8 p.m. at Gus Bakos Observatory, Physics building, details online.

DaCapo Chamber Choir, based at Conrad Grebel University College, "Midnight: Darkness and Wonder", Saturday 8 p.m., St. John's Church, Kitchener, tickets $20, students and seniors $15.

Bedouin Soundclash (with Social Code) plays Federation Hall Sunday, doors open 8 p.m.

'Working through conflict' presentation sponsored by Employee Assistance Program, Monday 12:00 noon, Davis Centre room 1302.

Women in Prison: Waterloo Public Interest Research Group presents speakers from Grand Valley Institute, Monday 12 noon, Student Life Centre room 2143.

Institute for Computer Research presents Ron Baecker, University of Toronto, "User Experience Research Challenges in Highly Interactive Webcasting", Monday 2:30 p.m., Davis Centre room 1302.

Waterloo Institute for Health Informatics Research presents Nikos Chrisochoides, College of William and Mary, "Real-Time Non-Rigid Registration for IGNS", Monday 3:30, Davis Centre room 1304.

Justin Trudeau, environment and youth advocate, Liberal candidate, speaks Monday 7 p.m., Humanities Theatre, tickets $15 (undergraduate students $5) at Humanities box office.

Staff association "town hall" meeting Tuesday 4:30, Physics room 145, postponed from Thursday afternoon because of weather.

Multi-media performance linking UW drama department with Bradley University and University of Central Florida in Elmer Rice's drama "The Adding Machine", March 6-10 at 9 p.m., March 11 at 3:30, Modern Languages room 117 (note change of location), free admission, details online.

Income tax information session for international students, March 7, 10:00 to 12 noon, Needles Hall room 3001.

Gradfest celebration, information for graduating students from UW departments, reception with UW president, "HK Expo" with information about opportunities in Hong Kong, March 7-8, Davis Centre, details online.

Communitech and Industry Canada event: "Business, Science, Technology and You", briefing about government programs to support research and international growth, Wednesday 4 to 6 p.m., Accelerator Centre, north campus, free registration online.

St. Paul's College Klassen-Harvey Annual Lectureship in Bible and Culture: Major Steven Moore, Royal Military College, "Seeding Reconciliation: Military Chaplains as Agents of Peace", March 7, 7:30 p.m., MacKirdy Hall, no tickets required.

International Women's Day dinner March 8, 5:00 p.m., South Campus Hall, tickets $30 from Humanities box office, details online.

Explorations open house for grade 6-8 students, sponsored by UW faculty of engineering, March 12, tours at 5:00 and 6:45, registration and information online.

'The Caucasian Chalk Circle' drama department major production, March 15-17 and 22-24, Theatre of the Arts, tickets at Humanities box office.

Business and technology conference organized by Science and Business Students Association, March 17, Davis Centre, details and registration online.

Accountancy building ground-breaking ceremony March 27, 11:00 a.m., northeast corner of Hagey Hall.

50th Anniversary Dance sponsored by UW Recreation Committee, Saturday, May 5, Federation Hall, tickets $20 at Humanities box office.

March arrives like a lion: UW closed

UW closed in midafternoon yesterday as heavy snow fell on Kitchener-Waterloo, and remains closed today after the snow was followed by an overnight ice storm.

The closing means that classes, as well as other events and midterm exams, are cancelled at the Waterloo and Cambridge campuses. Libraries and other services are closed, and staff, except a few who are designated "essential", will not be at work. UW police remain on duty (519-888-4911) and the Student Life Centre is open.

"I shouldn't have pulled an all-nighter doing assignments that are no longer due today," one student lamented on LiveJournal at a very early hour this morning.

The co-op job match will open as 1 p.m. as scheduled, says Dave Thomas of the co-op and career services department, adding that students should plan to check the listings a second time before rankings close on Monday, in case any late changes by employers don't get added in today's confusion.

"We are attempting" to go ahead with the hockey playoff game between the Warriors and Wilfrid Laurier University's Golden Hawks tonight, Chris Gilbert of the athletics department says.

A memo from the registrar says instructors wishing to make up their classes that were scheduled yesterday after 3:30 "can do so at the same time next Friday, March 9. Make-up classes for today should occur at the same time on Saturday, March 10. Instructors who schedule a make-up class must confirm the classroom booking with scheduling as events may have already been booked into the classroom normally used for the class at its original time. Students should contact their instructor regarding the scheduling of mid term tests that were scheduled for last night or today. Assignments that were due last night or today are now due on Monday, March 5 at the same time and location as originally specified."

Closing during the workday is a rarity, but the provost made the decision in the prescribed way yesterday, consulting senior staff about weather and road conditions and then announcing that UW would close at 3:30 p.m., bringing the cancellation of evening classes, meetings and midterm exams. Libraries shut down and custodians didn't report for the evening and night shifts.

By that time local schools had said they were cancelling evening activities, Wilfrid Laurier University had closed its Waterloo and Brantford campuses, and even some local businesses were packing it in for the day. After a cloudy morning, the snow had begun around noon, and freezing rain was known to be moving across southern Ontario with K-W squarely in its path. Most staff and students headed home — producing major traffic jams on nearby streets — although I'm told that a number of people, stuck on campus, spent the night in the Student Life Centre.

The betting last night was that things would be fine by this morning, but instead the freezing rain was heavy, coating trees (beautiful) and pavements (scary). Local school boards and other organizations, including WLU and the University of Guelph, made an early decision to stay closed today. By policy, UW follows the lead of the public school board and shuts down when all local schools are closed.

Further east, Toronto was hit by the same storm last night, and I'm waiting to hear how things went at the Faculty of Engineering 50th anniversary dinner, being held at the venerable Royal York Hotel.

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Looking beyond JobMine (and more)

Speaking of job rankings, a new computer system is coming to the co-op and career services department, and a new leader in information systems and technology is to help make it happen. “Effective May 1,” says a memo from Alan George, the associate provost responsible for IST, “Dr. Ken McKay, a Professor in Management Sciences, will begin a three year secondment to IST. Ken's research expertise is in the area of integration of operations management, information systems, and human judgment used in decision making. He has extensive experience in the private sector, both as a consultant and as a software development project leader." For more than a year, McKay and a colleague, Miguel Anjos, have been doing a detailed study of all aspects of the co-op employment process. "The result of this review," says George, includes plans for major changes in the business practices within CECS, with a collateral need for IT services substantially different from those provided by JobMine. Given that the Oracle/PeopleSoft merger will dictate a major reimplementation of JobMine in the not-too-distant future anyway, development of a new CECS system at this time is fortuitous. Ken will serve as Director, Special Projects, and will lead the development of a new CECS information system.”

[Square with city hall, skaters]UW planning professor Karen Hammond sends word that "The School of Planning, together with the UW School of Architecture and the University of Guelph School of Landscape Architecture, has organized an international student design competition to gather ideas for the revitalization of Nathan Phillips Square (right).  The square is the most important civic space in Toronto." The project has been much in the news, with four finalists still in the running for the design that will actually be used to reinvent Toronto's civic square.  "This student competition was organized because the current professional competition did not allow for student entries," Hammond says. "To date the competition has attracted over 110 registered teams, from schools across Canada (from UBC to Dalhousie), across the US, Japan, Korea, and England.   Each team is require to submit two  24" x 36" illustrated panels, which will be displayed in Toronto.   An independent jury of professional designers will select the winners." The entry deadline has been set at March 29, and awards of $1,500, $1,000 and $500 are at stake.

"Heterosexual, married couples” are being sought to participate in a study on couple communication and functioning supervised by Jennifer La Guardia and Mike Ross of the psychology department. Says the graduate student running the project, Carolina Pansera: “The study involves an initial screening to determine eligibility (approximately 15 minutes), sharing experiences of positive and negative partner events and responding to these experiences in brief structured interviews which will be videotaped. Participants will also complete questionnaires about their attitudes, their relationship and the events of the study session. The study lasts approximately 2 hours and 30 minutes and each couple will receive $35, a free movie pass each and a chance to win one of two $50 gift certificates in appreciation of their time.” For more information, she can be reached at ext 3-8112 or by email at

Four members of the Dean's Staff Advisory Committee have been added to the membership of the engineering faculty council, including the committee's chair, Ralph Dickhout of chemical engineering. • Monday brings the deadline for nominations as the UW faculty association seeks to elect a 2007-08 president and fill four positions on its board of directors. • Three teams from UW's earth sciences department are entered in Sunday's Hopespring Cancer Support Centre Curling Fundraiser, which is a memorial to Gail Bendig, a staff member in earth sciences who died in 1997.

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Faculty members move into retirement

[Elmitt at his desk]Michael Elmitt (left) is just one of a sizeable number of UW faculty members who have retired over the past few months. Elmitt was a professor in the school of architecture, well known for his design work in everything from graphics to furniture and small boats. He served at UW from 1971 until his official retirement date of March 1, 2007.

Here’s a brief list of some of the other professors who have recently retired:

Ross Newkirk, school of planning, who was a pioneer in simulations, computing and geographic information systems, and served as director of the school and associate dean (computing) in environmental studies, retired September 1, 2006, ending a UW career that began in 1976.

M. Darrol Bryant, religious studies, Renison College, retired February 1, 2007. He came to the college in 1973, and has listed his specialty as “dialogue in the world’s religions”, with publications that touch on “contemporary practices and controversies” and Muslim-Christian encounters.

[Peterson]Carol Peterson (right) retired November 1, ending a career in UW’s biology department that began in 1976. She has specialized in such areas as plant anatomy, nutrient uptake and seed coatings, and drew publicity several years ago for developing new microscopy techniques for student use.

Robert Gillham of the earth sciences department retired September 1, 2006. After coming to Waterloo in 1974, he was a pioneer of UW’s now extensive research in groundwater, and was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada in 1997 to recognize "the most important advance in groundwater contamination science of the past two decades”. Gillham served for a time as chair of the department.

Several more faculty retirements will be acknowledged in the Daily Bulletin next week.


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