Thursday, May 31, 2007

  • Architecture prize and other honours
  • Notes from Toronto and home again
  • Novelist hopes for intelligent readers
  • Editor:
  • Chris Redmond
  • Communications and Public Affairs

[Warrior 50th anniversary logo]

More than 1,000 former Warriors (and Athenas, and associated staff and friends) are expected June 22-24 as the athletics department holds the biggest event of UW's 50th Anniversary year. A Saturday night gala in the Physical Activities Complex will be surrounded by 21 individual sport reunions, the latest announcements say.

Link of the day


When and where

'Statistical Science: Present Position and Future Prospects' conference continues, Clarica Auditorium, Lyle Hallman Institute.

St. Jerome's University Graduate Association barbecue to sponsor Habitat for Humanity volunteers, 12 noon outside SJU community centre, $10 for outdoor buffet, information ext. 2-8277 (ticket deadline was yesterday).

Money management workshop sponsored by UW Recreation Committee, lifestyle coach Diane Matyas and financial advisor Stacy Aarssen, 12 noon, Math and Computer room 5136, registration ext. 3–7028.

Surplus sale of UW furnishings and property, 12:30 to 2:00, Central Stores, East Campus Hall.

International spouses group visits Joseph Schneider Haus museum; meet at Columbia Lake Village community centre 12:45. $1.50 per person; space limited, extra drivers welcome, children must have car seats; information e-mail

Career workshop: "Career Exploration and Decision Making" 2:30, Tatham Centre room 1208, registration online.

Diana Brohman, office of development and alumni affairs, retirement reception 3:00 to 4:30, Laurel Room, South Campus Hall.

University of Toronto marks centennial of Convocation Hall: convocation ceremony for U of T grads who missed graduation because of World War II, followed by reception, 4:30 today.

Research and innovation announcement by John Milloy, MPP for Kitchener Centre and parliamentary assistant to the Minister of Training, Colleges and Universities, Friday 9:30 a.m., Microwave Integrated System Lab, Engineering III.

Café-rencontre du département d'études françaises: étudiants de maîtrise, vendredi 13h à 15h, Humanities salle 373, ouvert à tous.

Technical speaker competition for engineering students, sponsored by Sandford Fleming Foundation, faculty competition Friday 10:00 a.m., Doug Wright Engineering room 2534.

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.

Charlottetown alumni event sponsored by UW and University of Guelph: family skate with Olympic medalist Cassie Campbell, followed by reception, Saturday 4:00 to 6:30 p.m., details online.

5-km run and family walk raising funds for a new facility for Hildegard Marsden Cooperative Day Nursery, Sunday 10:30 a.m., details and registration online, donations welcome.

Climate change briefing marking National Environment Week, by Patti Edwards and Linda Mortsch, Environment Canada, on Canadian participation in the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, Monday 3:00 p.m., Arts Lecture Hall room 113.

Valentine O'Donovan Memorial Garden dedication ceremonies Tuesday, June 5, 1:00 p.m., Physical Activities Complex quadrangle.

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.

'The Great Homeless Count' film showing sponsored by Waterloo Public Interest Research Group, June 7, 5:00, Student Life Centre multipurpose room.

One click away

Report and video from Grebel demonstration (@ UW)Blog argument over Mennonite-Muslim conference
School of accountancy launches online news site
Report on May 17 'Design Camp'
More about the launch of the books by Bow and Bow
Brantford high schoolers do well in UW math contest
Bibliography software and academic integrity at UW
The story behind the Ohio University security breaches
Photo from latest SLC fire alarm (@ UW)
Europe's 'Bologna Process' for higher education, seen from North America
This year's OCUFA teaching and librarianship awards
'Science and technology strategy a missed opportunity' (Geist, Star)
Tax credits for education are 'bad policy' (Globe)
St. F. X. professor defends Iran visit, blasts president (Globe)
Commuter Challenge next week; WLU signs on
Dalsa and RIM will 'jointly develop' land in east Waterloo
'Social Networking Websites and Teens: An Overview'
Ontario government supports university exchanges with India
New president for Council of Ontario Universities

[Smiling students]Architecture prize and other honours

"Please join me," writes Rick Haldenby, director of the school of architecture, "in congratulating Sara Navradny and Erica Moore (left) of the 4B class, who have won first place in the ninth annual Berkeley Prize for architectural essay writing. This is the second time students from UW have won the prestigious award. Thomas-Bernard Kenniff won in 2002. We have had semi-finalists and finalists since, but no winners. The topic for this year's contest was 'Making Social Architecture.' Sara and Erica will share the prize of $3,500 US." Each year, a Prize Committee at the University of California at Berkeley selects "a topic important to the understanding of the interaction of people and the built world" that becomes the focus of the Essay Competition — this year, "Making Social Architecture". The competition starts with 500-word essays, which a number of semifinalists then expand to 2,500 words. The winning text is available online.

News came in January that Dawn Roussel, long-time staff member of the Early Childhood Education Centre in UW's department of psychology, had been awarded one of 15 national certificates of achievement in early childhood education as part of the prime minister's annual awards for teaching excellence. Tomorrow comes the celebration: a presentation ceremony followed by tours of the ECEC and opportunities to congratulate a nationally recognized teacher. "This well deserved award sheds light on the stellar contributions of Dawn Roussel, as well as the entire staff of the Centre," says psychology chair Mike Dixon. Nomination for the award was led by Patricia Shaw, a parent of one of the many children whom Roussel has nurtured at a key stage of early life, and Shaw says there are many other such parents on campus who may want to be on hand tomorrow. Kitchener Member of Parliament Karen Redman is expected to present the award on behalf of the prime minister, and senior UW officials will also attend. The event will start at 2:30 Friday in the ECEC suite on the first floor of the PAS building.

Jacob Sivak (right) of UW's school of optometry — [Sivak]former dean of graduate studies, University Professor, and winner of an Award of Excellence in Graduate Supervision — will receive an honorary degree on Sunday from the State University of New York, as SUNY's College of Optometry holds its Commencement ceremonies. The honorary degree citation calls him "Canada’s premier vision scientist" and acknowledges "major contributions to comparative optics, developmental refractive changes, and environmental effects on eye development and lens refractive state", as well as "a critical academic role in the development of optometry and vision science programs". Sunday's ceremony will be held at the historic Hudson Theater in New York, a short distance from the 18-storey building on 42nd Street that is home to SUNY-Optometry.

Here's an excited memo to her colleagues from Jennifer Lorette, manager of the Keystone Campaign in the development and alumni affairs office: "It is with great pride in the Keystone Campaign and our fantastic team of volunteers that I announce the Keystone Campaign has won a 2007 CCAE Prix D'Excellence Gold Medal for Best Development Program. This award recognizes the Keystone Campaign as 'a model community campaign, that while requiring significant effort, resulted in industry standard-setting gains in both donors and dollars'. You should feel extremely proud of the role you have played in this success! All of our Keystone volunteers have had a tremendous impact on our campaign and I am truly honoured to work alongside each of you." CCAE is the Canadian Council for the Advancement of Education, an umbrella organization for fund-raising, alumni, recruitment and communications staff in universities and colleges.

The UW-published New Quarterly “is thrilled to announce”, a memo says, “that two of its contributors have been short-listed for the 30th Anniversary National Magazine Awards, to be held June 15. The National Magazine Awards celebrate the diversity of written and verbal communication in Canada. Over 2,300 submissions are reviewed each year from magazines across the country, with approximately ten short-listed in each category. Richard Cumyn, who has a close and enduring relationship with TNQ, has been short-listed for Essay of the Year for his work, "That's Hermes, Baby, and I Don't Mean the Scarf". Cumyn's essay extols the magical properties of the manual typewriter, and explains how his passion for the outmoded technology serves his writing. Carmine Starnino's suite "Eight from Rome", published as part of a piece about occasional verse in honour of the magazine's 100th issue, has been short-listed for Poetry. In addition to Cumyn and Starnino's National Magazine Award nominations, TNQ is celebrating the inclusion of Nicole Dixon's short story "High Water Mark" in the 2007 Journey Prize Anthology. The Anthology is published annually in the fall, with one story chosen as the winner of the $10,000 Journey Prize.”

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[The crowd at the reception]
Notes from Toronto and home again

Mary Joy Aitken of the faculty of mathematics took the photo Tuesday evening at the MaRS Discovery District in downtown Toronto, where UW celebrated the opening of an outpost that will link Waterloo expertise, particularly from math, with medical and biological researchers at other institutions. Some familiar faces are easy to spot — dean of science George Dixon at lower right, for instance — and that's the back of president David Johnston's silver head at centre. Johnston was among Tuesday's speakers along with dean of math Tom Coleman and John Evans, chair of the MaRS board of directors. "It was a great launch," Aitken reports, "and what a wonderful facility!" The UW outpost, available as a landing spot for UW staff and faculty when they're in Toronto, includes a private office, a number of workstations and a conference room.

Kathryn King writes from UW's retail services department: "Retail Services has adopted a new line of batteries: Pure Energy, 'The World’s Most Economical & Environmentally Responsible Battery', now available at TechWorx and Campus Techshop. Eventually, disposable batteries will be phased out of the product selection. This initiative is part of Retail Services' move to become more environmentally responsible, and to provide the UW community with more environmentally responsible choices on campus." There's more information online.

Groundbreaking is scheduled for Sunday (5:00 on Roseview Avenue) for the student housing project that's to be built, within travel distance of UW's Architecture building, by the specially formed Grand House Student Co-operative Inc. • There had been plans for a ceremony next week to open a memorial garden near the Tatham Centre honouring the late Bert Barber, one of the pioneers of co-op education at Waterloo, but the celebration has now been postponed until later this year. • The Canadian university/college golf championship is under way this week in Fredericton, and after the first day of competition UW's team stood in fifth place, with Victor Ciesielki holding the overall lead.

Fruit-and-vegetable season is about to begin, and the word from UW's food services is that the program of on-campus farm markets that was tried out last year will be repeated and expanded this year. Heather Kelly of food services says there will be four markets during the summer, on June 21, July 5 and 19, and August 2, all held at the Student Life Centre. "We will also be running weekly markets starting in September until Thanksgiving," with the location not definite yet but likely to be the Environmental Studies I courtyard, same as last year. "I loved being involved in bringing a local market to the campus last fall," says Kelly, who wrote at the time about "the smells of freshly picked basil, ripe field tomatoes and plump cantaloupes" — joys that lie ahead once again.

Meanwhile, Kelly writes, "Brubakers, Student Life Centre, is celebrating UW's 50th anniversary today. We are planning a huge party in conjunction with Pillers Meats (also their 50th anniversary) from 11:30 to 2:00. There will be great prizes to win! Weather permitting, we will be holding a hula hoop contest and a hopscotch contest — that brings back childhood memories! For those who come for lunch, Brubakers will be selling hot dogs, sausage on a bun, deli sandwiches, pizza and pasta for the very 50's price of $1.50 each. we'll be playing classic rock 'n' roll hits from the 50s to get everyone in the mood!"

The continuing education office is offering a one-day course next Wednesday (June 6) on "Delivering Dynamite Presentations". •  Young participants in the Canadian Computing Competition and a "quantum student conference" sponsored by the Perimeter Institute are among residents of Ron Eydt Village this week. •  Residents in Columbia Lake Village South are promised a "laundry party" today at which the dons will help get the duds washed and dried.

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[Cover of book]Novelist hopes for intelligent readers

I’ve just started reading Dead Man’s Float, a novel by Nicholas Maes that was published a few months ago by Vehicule Press in Montréal. Maes is a part-time faculty member in UW’s department of classical studies who also teaches history at a Toronto high school.

On his web site, Maes explains the book: “I didn’t want to write your conventional Holocaust tale — there are so many excellent ones in existence and, given my removal from the horrendous suffering, I thought a reconstruction of the camps, for example, would be artificial and (dare I say) exploitative. My own interest was more a matter of exploring the implications of this disaster on our popular culture now — hence the collision between Nathan Gelder, an aging half-Jew who has lost his parents back in Holland, and Leonard Barvis, a rock star of enormous proportions. What starts off as your traditional Holocaust tale — pre-war innocence, the impending storm, disaster — moves off on a different (and I’d like to think a very interesting) trajectory.

I wanted a narrative device that would enable my main character to move credibly between the past and the present. As a result, Nathan Gelder has experienced a stroke and is convinced that he is swimming in his memories. At the same time, while he himself is paralyzed, he can hear the exchanges taking place around his bed – in this part of the narrative it dawns on his family, and society at large, that this senior was possibly responsible for the death of rock star Leonard Barvis.”

He ventures that the situation “should stir the curiosity of your typical, intelligent reader”. Or, to quote the publisher’s promotional site, “Dead Man's Float is a poignant, riveting juxtaposition of western history's darkest chapter and contemporary popular culture.”

It’s Maes’s first published novel, although his stories have appeared in such journals as Fiddlehead and the Dalhousie Review. The book, in trade paperback format, lists for $17.95 and is available online and in major bookstores.


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