Friday, May 4, 2007

  • New leaders for staff association
  • Renewed funding for cancer research
  • Here, stick this in your bandwidth
  • Editor:
  • Chris Redmond
  • Communications and Public Affairs

Emergency policy under review

Says a memo issued yesterday by provost Amit Chakma: "University of Waterloo Emergency Response, Policy 60, has been in place for some years and has served UW well.

"Consistent with good practice, however, such policies need to be reviewed from time to time and I have convened a small group to do so. Lois Claxton (chair), Alan George and Dennis Huber have agreed to undertake this review task, consulting as necessary, and to recommend any changes to our procedures taking into account best practices and cost effectiveness. I have asked the Committee to report to me by the end of the summer."

Link of the day

Kent State University, 1970

When and where

Ontario Federation of School Athletic Associations badminton championships in UW athletic facilities and elsewhere in Waterloo continue through Saturday.

UW Alternative Fuels Team gets a send-off to this year's Challenge X competition, 10 a.m., Hydrogenics Inc., Mississauga.

The Lost Faculties (classic rock) play for tonight's dance celebrating UW's 50th anniversary and supporting Lutherwood Child and Family Foundation, 8:00, Federation Hall, $10 at the door.

DaCapo Chamber Choir concert, "Daybreak", Saturday 8 p.m., St. John's Anglican Church, Kitchener, admission $20 (students and seniors $15).

Canadian Clay and Glass Gallery "green garden party" with experts including Larry Lamb of UW's environmental studies, Sunday 1:30 to 4:30, 25 Caroline Street North, details online.

Campus recreation instructional registration starts Monday, details online.

Jewellery and art glass show Tuesday and Wednesday, 9:30 to 4:00, South Campus Hall concourse, sponsored by UW Shop.

UW Blooms garden exchange and flower arranging competition, organized by UW Recreation Committee, Tuesday 10:00 to 4:00, Student Life Centre.

UW Retirees Association spring luncheon Tuesday 11:30 a.m., great hall, Luther Village, speaker is UW historian Ken McLaughlin, tickets $24, information 519-886-0138.

'Aging, Health and Well-being' lecture series: Susan Kirkland, Dalhousie University, "Healthy Aging in the 21st Century", Tuesday 3:30 p.m., Lyle Hallman Institute room 1621.

Mathematics and Society Lecture, sponsored by Fields Institute: Joel E. Cohen, Rockefeller University, "How Many People Can the Earth Support?" Tuesday 6:00 p.m., Koffler Institute, 569 Spadina Avenue, Toronto.

Conrad Grebel University College presents Charles Webel, University of Rome, "Does Non-Violence Work in an Age of Terrorism?" Tuesday 7 p.m., Grebel room 1111.

Term loan books borrowed from UW libraries before the beginning of April are due Wednesday, May 9; return or renew online.

Office of Organizational and Human Development open house, Humanities room 161, Wednesday 3:30 to 5:00 p.m.

Waterloo Public Interest Research Group volunteer meeting Wednesday 5 p.m., Student Life Centre multi-purpose room, details online.

Graduate Association for Recreation and Leisure Studies research symposium Thursday, May 10, details online.

Communitech Tech Leadership Conference: "The Evolution of Innovation", Thursday, May 10, all day, Bingemans, details online.

'Spring gardening' presentation by David Hobson, sponsored by Employee Assistance Program, Thursday, May 10, 12:00, Davis Centre room 1302, no preregistration needed.

Carousel Dance Centre spring performance, "Mary Poppins" and "A Night at the Met", May11 (7 p.m.), May 12 (1:00 and 7:00), May 13 (12:30), Humanities Theatre, details online.

Staff association barbecue Tuesday, May 15, 11:30 to 1:30, outside Federation Hall; registration has officially closed.

Ladies' car care clinic sponsored by UW Recreation Committee, Saturday, May 19, details online.

Victoria Day holiday Monday, May 21, classes cancelled, UW offices closed.

You @ Waterloo Day open house for future students Saturday, May 26, details online.

25-Year Club annual reception and recognition of 25-year and 35-year staff and faculty, June 19, 6:00 p.m., Physical Activities Complex, information ext. 3-2078.

One click away

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Progress report on disabled architecture student, top skier
First Nations University placed on probation
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WLU joins Canadian Alliance of Student Associations
NY official confuses 'entrepreneurship' with fraud
'Must act on auditor-general's report,' student group says
Now 92 members of national universities' association
Ontario College of Art and Design looking corporate (Globe)
Some grads paid off loans within five years (Stats Canada)
Laurier boasts unique master's in 'integrative biology'
U of Saskatchewan ready for Congress of 6,000 academics
OISE marks a century (Star)

New leaders for staff association

The UW staff association will have a full executive and make a solid new start after its annual general meeting next month, its new leaders were saying yesterday after president Joe Szalai sent out word that he was resigning.

In his letter of resignation, sent by e-mail to staff across the campus yesterday, Szalai cited his support for the Ontario Secondary School Teachers Federation, which is seeking to unionize UW staff members.

Less than a day earlier, the association had announced the results of the nomination process for the 2007-08 executive: a complete slate of acclamations, just enough to fill the positions that are open. The new leaders will take office at the general meeting, which has been rescheduled for June 19 from the original date earlier in the month.


Even before that, they'll be meeting next week to start making plans, said the man who will become president for the coming year: Jesse Rodgers (left) of the communications and public affairs office. He was acclaimed to the presidency, being the only candidate nominated for the job. Rodgers was in my office yesterday saying firmly that he and his colleagues will be ready to start work when their terms begin, putting the emphasis on representing staff members in the UW decision-making structure.

Acclaimed to the executive with him were Martin Wonta of math and business, as president-elect (president for 2008-09); Greg Cummings of IST and Doug Dye of the safety office, as directors for a one-year term; and Trevor Grove of computer science computing, Dawn McCutcheon of health studies and gerontology, Shannon Wagner of the registrar's office and Jean Zadilsky of the research office, as directors for a two-year term. Two current directors, Cathy Jardine of the graduate studies office and Nelson Carrillos of plant operations, have a second year to serve on the executive.

Usually the staff association president serves a year as president-elect before moving into the job, but the person originally chosen for that role, Carrie Howells, resigned in March, saying her allegiance was with the Ontario Secondary School Teachers Federation in its effort to unionize staff members. That leaves Rodgers just the six weeks between now and the annual meeting to get geared up for his year as president.

Meanwhile, Sue Fraser of the department of kinesiology, vice-president of the association since last summer, will serve as president for the next few weeks. The association also has a secretary, a treasurer, four directors, and a past president, Chris Henderson, who stepped into the role in March following another executive resignation. An e-mail memo late yesterday stated that the remaining executive "deeply regrets" Szalai's message endorsing the OSSTF, which it said does not represent the executive's views.

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Renewed funding for cancer research

based on news releases from the Centre for Behavioural Research and Program Evaluation

The Canadian Cancer Society, through its research partner the National Cancer Institute of Canada, has renewed its commitment to the UW Centre for Behavioural Research and Program Evaluation for three years. Over the next three years, CBRPE will receive $7.8 million to continue its internationally recognized work in cancer prevention and cancer care.

"CBRPE is grateful to the Canadian Cancer Society for its support," says Roy Cameron, health studies professor and the executive director of CBRPE. "Because of the Society's vision, we have been able to create a program that is unique in the world. CBRPE is working to make a difference, whether it is helping youth lead healthier lives or finding ways to support people living with cancer and cancer survivors."

The centre's work includes studies into the needs of cancer survivors; supporting youth behaviours such as tobacco use, eating and exercise habits; research on Canada's health prevention system; and conducting evaluations for Canadian Cancer Society programs. During the next three-year funding period, CBRPE will also work closely with its partner organizations to align its work with the Canadian Strategy for Cancer Control and the Canadian Partnership Against Cancer.

In 2005, the National Cancer Institute of Canada identified CBRPE as a core program in its 10-year strategic plan, NCIC 2015: Driving Excellent Research to Improve Cancer Control. The newly announced funding for CBRPE is part of $47.2 million that the Cancer Society will spend on research in the current year.

In April CBRPE announced progress on one of its research fronts, as concern builds about obesity in young people and the need to prevent chronic diseases. “We need ways to understand current behaviours and evaluate programs designed to create change,” an announcement said. “Research conducted with the support of the Canadian Cancer Society and the National Cancer Institute of Canada is allowing the collection of that information, one school at a time.”

The School Health Action, Planning and Evaluation System, or SHAPES, is a survey system used to diagnose the health of individual schools while providing information to detect regional or national trends. The system uses machine-readable questionnaires to collect data from elementary or high schools to gauge students’ smoking, eating and physical activity habits. It returns a tailored, computer-generated report containing an analysis of the school-specific data collected to each participating school.

“The reports create a clear picture or a health profile of a school’s students,” says CBRPE scientist Steve Manske. “They stimulate a closer look at priorities and suggest ways to help students lead healthier lives based on the specific profile of the school.” SHAPES works through local groups, such as public health units, to promote the use of the school profiles.

In an article published in the American Journal of Public Health, lead author Roy Cameron and colleagues from CBRPE and the Population Health Research Group describe the development of SHAPES. Also included in the school report are comparisons with provincial or national averages to give schools an idea of where they stand. Researchers can combine results from schools to detect trends across regions, provinces or countries. For instance, the 2004-2005 Youth Smoking Survey, a nationwide study funded by Health Canada on the smoking trends of young Canadians, used SHAPES to gather data. Health Canada is again using SHAPES for its 2006-2007 survey.

Groups or communities can also add customized items to investigate attitudes and behaviours, such as opinions about the tobacco industry to evaluate campaigns that “denormalize” tobacco, as Ottawa Public Health did with its exposé campaign. By the end of the current school year, June 2007, approximately 430,000 students in more than 1,500 schools across Canada will have completed surveys.

SHAPES grew out of research that found smoking prevention programs were more effective in high-risk schools than in schools with students at lower risk of starting to smoke. Researchers noted that having a rapid, cost-effective system to determine high-risk schools could help target resources where they would do the most good and produce better overall results. Initially developed to study tobacco programs, SHAPES now has modules for physical activity and healthy eating. In addition, complementary questionnaires can assess school programs and policies in these areas and generate a parallel report.

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Here, stick this in your bandwidth

At the weekly professional development seminar for Information Systems and Technology this morning, the speaker is Sean Van Koughnett, director of UW Graphics, who's heading the "Media and Mobility Network Project" for the housing and residences department. (It's one of those projects that cross departmental boundaries, to say the least, as Van Koughnett can list 25 staff members from at least a dozen units who have been involved already.) The idea is to replace old-fashioned technology, such as landline telephones, in the residences, instead giving students cellphone ("mobility") service and massive broadband, including television over the Internet, all to UW's own specifications. If everything goes well, such services could eventually extend to everybody else in the university. Providing "inexpensive, robust, unlimited bandwidth" to students wherever they are in campus is "an ambitious new initiative", says Van Koughnett. He'll be reporting today on some small-scale pilot efforts conducted in the winter, what they found and what's likely to happen next, starting with slightly larger tests this summer.

The second annual UW Accounting Conference begins today and runs through the weekend. "As a student initiative started one year ago," organizers explain on their web site, "the UWAC Committee intends to enrich the academic experience of the student body by bringing prominent business leaders from diverse backgrounds and top business students from universities across Canada to network and compete. The conference strives to broaden the perspectives of accounting and business students with regards to today’s changing business environment and to empower delegates to become tomorrow’s business leaders." Key speakers over the three days will include Lawrence Rosen, founder and principal of Rosen & Associates Ltd; John Hughes, creator of "Canada's 50 Best Managed Companies"; and Claude Lamoreaux, CEO of the Ontario Teachers' Pension Plan. Workshops, social events and a case competition are also on the program.

Tim Alamenciak, former edit of Imprint, is back: "I've decided to go back to school," he writes, "and start a news blog for UW." It's online as @UW, and judging from the first few days' postings, it's going to be valuable reading, a welcome successor to '' and ''. One story that Alamenciak had first: "The Grillzebo — a project to put an outdoor grill on the Bomber patio — has been delayed until the long weekend, according to vice-president administration and finance Del Pereira’s staff report. Del cites 'logistical and safety issues' as the reason. The Grillzebo will bring new items to Bomber’s summer menu. Also in Del’s report, Bomber will be extending its hours. The pub will now be open at 5:00 p.m. on Saturdays (as opposed to 9:00 p.m.) and open until 2:00 a.m. on Fridays."

A note of interest from the engineering faculty’s electronic newsletter: “A one-day workshop provided the optimal opportunity for about 50 engineering faculty, students and others to exchange ideas and find out about one another's research. The first annual Faculty of Engineering Optimization Day held in the Arts Lecture Hall last week was attended by engineering professors and grad students and members of the combinatorics and optimization department. Presentations by professors and graduate students ranged from inventory and queuing systems to bridge maintenance and landscape ecology planning. Management Sciences Associate Professor Samir Elhedhli, who organized the day, expects next year's workshop to be held in late April or early May. 'It was great to see the grad students and faculty from other departments talk about how optimization is used in their discipline,' said Beth Jewkes, chair of management sciences. The workshop was sponsored by the dean of engineering, the associate dean research and external partnerships, and management sciences.”

Workshops to be offered this term by UW's counselling services will get going next week and the week after, with three titles noted on their cheerful yellow flyer: Writing Skills, Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction for Students, and Study Skills Workshops. Details are, of course, on the web. Also about to get rolling are workshops offered by the career services office: Networking 101, Career Interest Assessment, Working Effectively in Another Culture, Business Etiquette and Professionalism, and so on. They're listed online too, and with a little bit of luck they'll be announced day by day in this Daily Bulletin.

The following message is brought to us by Corinne Carter in the department of psychology: "We are looking for individuals who are married to complete questionnaires on their motivations in their marriages. As a participant, you would be asked to provide personal information about you and your marriage. The questionnaires will take approximately one hour to complete. In appreciation of your time, you will receive two movie passes to Cineplex Odeon Theatres. If you are interested in participating, please email Thank you! This study has been reviewed by, and has received ethics clearance through, the Office of Research Ethics, University of Waterloo."

The two electrical engineering students who are biking across Canada, drawing attention to green technology, are expected to visit students at Golden Secondary School in Golden, British Columbia, today. • Women faculty members in engineering have been invited to lunch Monday (at the University Club) by the Women in Engineering Committee. •  And now that the season of sun has arrived, the UW weather station has issued a retrospective reminding us that "it was the coldest April we have ever had," with highs averaging 1.4 degrees Celsius below normal levels.


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