Thursday, May 24, 2007

  • Canada Research Chairs now total 50
  • Keystone features 'enthusiastic' duo
  • Family business centre 10 years old
  • Editor:
  • Chris Redmond
  • Communications and Public Affairs

[Book cover with picture of baby]

The latest book by Erin Noteboom (also known as Erin Bow, writer in UW's faculty of engineering) will be launched Saturday afternoon with an event at the Waterloo Public Library, 2 to 4 p.m. The Mongoose Diaries "is my first book of prose," she says, "and is based on my journal of my first year as a mother. It's a joint launch with my husband, James Bow, who is launching his latest novel for young adults, Fathom Five. The mongoose herself, our daughter Vivian, promises an appearance."

Link of the day

Buddha's birthday

When and where

Charity bake sale sponsored by Teaching Students' Association in support of ROOF, today 9:00 to 4:30, Math and Computer building third floor.

Monthly book sale of UW bookstore merchandise, continuing through Friday, South Campus Hall concourse.

Safety Awareness Day with sessions on gas cylinder safety, inspecting the workplace, lab safety and other topics; exhibits and vendors 10:30 to 2:00, Davis Centre lounge; details and registration online.

Research and innovation announcement by John Milloy, MPP for Kitchener Centre and parliamentary assistant to the Minister of Training, Colleges and Universities, scheduled for this morning, postponed to June 1.

Fund-raising barbecue for Udai 11:00 to 3:00, Biology green.

[Stanton]Faculty of Mathematics presents founder Ralph Stanton (right), wearer of the original Pink Tie, talking about the history of the faculty, 3:30, Davis Centre room 1350, reception follows.

Department of English language and literature presents Caroline Bassett, University of Sussex, "Not Fade Away: Narrative and Digital Culture", 4:15, Humanities room 373.

Toronto 50th anniversary alumni celebration with chancellor Mike Lazaridis, president David Johnston, co-op director Peggy Jarvie, 6 to 8 p.m., Liberty Grand, Exhibition Place, details online.

Centre Stage Dance performances last day, 6:30 p.m., Humanities Theatre.

Pension and benefits committee Friday 8:30, Needles Hall room 3004.

Waterloo Math@40 anniversary celebration, dinner at Federation Hall, remarks by founding chair Ralph Stanton, Friday 6:00 p.m., Federation Hall, tickets $67, registration online.

Conrad Grebel University College sleepover for alumni from the first decade, Friday-Saturday, evening reception, then single or shared rooms available, information ext. 2–4381.

Warrior Weekend with free activities in the Student Life Centre, Friday and Saturday evenings, including movies (Friday " Catch and Release", "Perfume", Saturday "Wild Hogs"), crafts, pizza, cotton candy, face painting, details online.

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

Mennonite Relief Sale in New Hamburg, outing from Columbia Lake Village, bus leaves 9 a.m. Saturday, $3 per person, tickets at CLV community centre.

City of Waterloo 150th anniversary parade Sunday 1:00 p.m., King Street from William to Central, followed by afternoon picnic in Waterloo Park, details online. Family activities at Centre for International Governance Innovation, 1:00 to 5:00.

CanHEIT 2007: Canadian Higher Education and Information Technology conference, May 27-30, organized by UW and held on the Wilfrid Laurier University campus, details online.

Computer science information session on third-year and fourth-year courses, Tuesday, May 29, 4:30 p.m., Math and Computer room 1085.

Money management workshop sponsored by UW Recreation Committee, Thursday, May 31, 12 noon, Davis Centre room 1302.

Toronto Blue Jays vs. Chicago Cubs, trip organized by Columbia Lake Village, June 2, bus leaves 10:30 a.m., admission and bus $25 per person, tickets at CLV community centre.

Keystone Campaign annual summer event, Wednesday, June 6, 11:30 to 1:30, rock garden and Biology green, plus evening event 10:00 p.m., South Campus Hall, details online.

Faculty of Science 50th anniversary picnic and group photo for faculty and staff, Thursday, June 7, 11:30 to 1:30, Optometry west lawn.

Christine Ledbury, university secretariat, retirement open house Thursday, June 7, 3:00 p.m., Needles Hall third floor patio, RSVP ext. 3-2749.

Matthews Golf Classic annual event June 18, Grand Valley Golf Course, details online.

One click away

'The next year of the UWSA' from staff president-elect
Beer bottle service: 'you drink, we do the work'
Federation of Students leaders after two weeks in office (Imprint)
Appreciation of Jack Hagey, son of UW founder
Canadian Jewish News reports on UW-based project
'Waterloo ranked tops in world for its high-tech intelligence' (Globe)
Western will sell $190 million in bonds
Federal government to privatize some labs
'Higher education sees rise in dishonesty'
Canada Student Loan program called 'broken'
'Colleges must return to vocational role, BC report says'

Canada Research Chairs now total 50

from the UW media relations office

UW has received three new Canada Research Chairs, and a fourth chair has been renewed, a federal official announced yesterday at the University of Western Ontario.

There are two levels of CRCs: seven-year chairs (Tier 1, valued at $200,000 a year) for experienced researchers widely acknowledged as world leaders in their fields; and five-year chairs (Tier 2, valued at $100,000 a year) for researchers considered by their peers as having the most potential to lead in their fields. The positions allow faculty members to focus on research and on training the next generation of scientists, although UW expects all faculty members, including CRCs, to do some teaching as well.

The federal funding includes payments for associated infrastructure — such as laboratories, computers and equipment — from the Canada Foundation for Innovation.

"These appointments bring the total number of Canada Research Chairs established at Waterloo to 50," said Alan George, UW's vice-president (university research). "UW will continue to attract leading researchers to explore new directions for scholarship that will benefit the entire nation."

At Western, Colin Carrie, parliamentary secretary to the minister of industry, announced an investment of $83.7 million for 98 chairs across the country. The funding includes $10.4 million from CFI to pay for research infrastructure.

At UW, Karen Collins, professor of drama and speech communication, becomes Canada Research Chair in Communication and Technology. CFI infrastructure funding for her work totals $109,548.

Collins will conduct theoretical research into the production, consumption and social implications of audio in contemporary multimedia. Compared with the work done in visual media, the area of audio media has received surprisingly little scholarly and commercial attention. Audio is a new terrain for academic researchers, with software developers lagging in the development of user-based interactive audio.

Collins will apply current research to develop a sophisticated software engine capable of composing real-time audio for interactive media to use in educational software, video games and interactive museums.Her principal area of research is the semiology (signs and symbols) and practice of digital interactive games audio in a rapidly changing media technology world.

Gregor Weihs, professor of physics and astronomy, becomes Canada Research Chair in Quantum Photonics. Weihs will develop enabling technology for application in quantum computing and communication, such as efficient sources of entangled photon pairs — a key resource in quantum optics. He will also build a quantum cryptography system for secure communication that links three buildings in Waterloo by distributing entangled photon pairs to two remote sites using optical telescopes.

The free-space quantum cryptography system is part of a worldwide effort to perform quantum cryptography using satellites in the future. Weihs heads the photonic entanglement group at UW's Institute for Quantum Computing. The quantum world holds the promise of an unparalleled revolution of technology with enormous impact on cryptography and secure communications.

Marianna Foldvari, professor in the school of pharmacy, becomes Canada Research Chair in Bionanotechnology and Nanomedicine. CFI associated infrastructure funding is worth $125,000.

Foldvari's research program explores the development of intelligent drug delivery systems and biomolecular devices. These delivery systems and devices will provide effective, non-invasive and targeted technologies for administering macromolecular therapeutic agents — such as proteins, DNA and vaccines — into the body. Foldvari will apply novel nanomedicines in the areas of regenerative (skin and neural) medicine, immunology (vaccines), dermatology, diabetes and cancer. Her internationally recognized research focuses on advanced strategies for improved needle-free delivery systems for drugs.

A funding renewal was announced for Michele Mosca, professor of combinatorics and optimization, who has already served a term as Canada Research Chair in Quantum Computation. Mosca's research involves reformulating the theory and practice of information processing in a quantum mechanical framework. He seeks to develop the capabilities as well as understand the limitations of information processing in the quantum world, including computation, communication and information security.

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Keystone features 'enthusiastic' duo

[Two Oberles]“Their enthusiasm is infectious,” says the Keystone Campaign’s profile of a high-profile Waterloo couple, Bonnie and Kevin Oberle (left), who are featured this month on the fund-raising program’s web site. “The fun-loving and energetic couple appreciate the many opportunities at UW which enable individuals to develop, whether as staff or students.”

Kevin Oberle, of information systems and technology, has been at UW since 1981. Bonnie Oberle, who came in 1985, is in UW’s development and alumni affairs office, and has played a central role in the Keystone Campaign itself.

Says the profile: “As staff members who are also working on their degrees (Kevin is working on a non-major BSc and Bonnie a BA in religious studies), they value the importance of a university education as well as the role staff play in supporting the university's goals.

“In her role as a senior development office, Bonnie builds relationships with donors who typically give more than $1,000 a year to support UW. She also works on fundraising campaigns which involve UW alumni who are employees in a company working together to raise money for Waterloo.

“In his role as PeopleSoft applications administrator in IST, Kevin supports the software that staff use to admit students and record their progress toward graduation, pay faculty and staff each month, and ensure the co-op process runs smoothly for thousands of students and employers each term.”

What are your special memories of the university? Says Kevin: My parents lived on Albert Street. As a kid, I played on campus and watched the university grow over the years. My family ran the concession booth in Waterloo Park and we'd get a lot of the university community coming to the park. During a grade 7 field trip, I saw people managing the IBM mainframes in the Red Room and thought how cool it would be to work at UW. Within 10 years, I was working here!”

And Bonnie: For me, two things stand out. I really enjoyed my roles as Student Alumni Association advisor in the 1990s (my most inspirational role directly related to UW's talented students) and as manager of the Keystone Campaign, seeing how the generosity of UW faculty, staff, and retirees supports UW and its students.”

What project do you support with your donations? “We designate our gifts to the Neufeld-Oberle Memorial Award, which we established in 2004 in memory of our fathers, Henry Neufeld and Thomas Oberle. The award assists undergraduate students with travel and tuition expenses as they learn through international exchanges. A student in third-year Honours Science received the first $1,000 award in winter 2006 and she used the money to help pay for a study term at the University of Singapore.”

What makes you proud to work at UW? Says Bonnie: “Being around students and in an environment of great thinkers. And Kevin: The university has given so much to us and we recognize the value of what it provides, including educating Canada's future leaders.”

What do you enjoy in your spare time? “Spending time with family and friends is really important to us. Kevin has weekly poker nights, we often travel to Myrtle Beach with our extended families, and we do winter trips north. The courses for our degrees also take a fair bit of time, but are very rewarding.”

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Family business centre 10 years old

The Centre for Family Business, based at Conrad Grebel University College, will celebrate “10 years of supporting, educating and energizing family businesses” with a “gala awards night” May 31 at Grebel.

Local businesses such as Dare Foods, 115 years in operation, and Beingessner Home Exteriors, marking its 50th anniversary, will be part of the celebration, CFFB has announced.

Says a news release: “In 1997, a dedicated group of family business owners got together to discuss how they could support one another’s businesses in such areas as human resources, administration and professional development. From these initial meetings and with the support of Conrad Grebel University College, the Centre for Family Business was founded with 15 original members in Waterloo Region.

“By filling a need in society, the Centre for Family Business has grown and expanded over this 10-year period. The Centre has added value to its members by supporting, educating and energizing their organizations.”

The CFFB states its goal as “to help business families achieve profound measures of success by delivering relevant educational programs and providing the necessary support allowing families to achieve their enterprising goals, fulfill their dreams, and strengthen their families”. That means an emphasis on issues that affect family businesses particularly, such as succession planning and “sibling and intergenerational rivalry”, as well as management skills in general.

Offerings include breakfast meetings at which one family business member shares their story and a guest speaker shares insights; confidential roundtable groups of 8 to 10 members who meet monthly to present real-life business scenarios and work through self-discovery exercises; and skills workshops that allow members to delve more deeply into topics.

In the year that just finished, there were six breakfast seminars on such topics as “Family Councils: Creating a shared vision” and “Employee Conflict: How to resolve it”, while there [Schnarr]were one-day workshops on ”Learn to develop your emotional intelligence”, “Conflict: it’s always there”, and “Powerful presentations”. The 2007-08 program will be announced around the end of this month, says CFFB executive director Dave Schnarr (left).

The centre’s news release explains that “Since many of the Centre for Family Business members are not large organizations, membership allows them to reap the benefits of professional development for management and employees at affordable rates.” Currently 67 businesses, “from start-up micro to large multi-generational businesses”, are members, and there are also sponsors and advisors who assist financially and with guidance. “The Centre also has developed some very valuable affiliations with supportive organizations in the Kitchener-Waterloo area.”

The May 31 gala not only celebrates a decade of service for the CFFB itself, but will recognize 13 member businesses who have reached milestones, from Dare’s 115 years down to some 25-year and 20-year companies. Several honours will be presented, including the Peter Hallman Mentor Award for “an individual who has made a significant contribution in helping their peers and families in business”.


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