Friday, January 18, 2008

  • Another boom year for applications
  • Golfer's book supports Warrior award
  • To every thing there is a season
  • Editor:
  • Chris Redmond
  • Communications and Public Affairs


Well, hello, cupcake. The Keystone Campaign will be running its treat-a-gram program again this February, organizers are announcing today — and sweetening the news by delivering samples of the treat to 50 selected people across campus. Again this year, the treat-a-gram will consist of two chocolate brownie cupcakes with chocolate icing. The treat-a-grams cost $3 and will be delivered anywhere on campus on Valentine's Day, February 14. Order forms are online, and the deadline is February 1.

Link of the day

Pooh Day

When and where

Clubs, Services and Societies Days introducing student organizations for this term, 10:00 to 3:00, Student Life Centre great hall.

Let's Make a Deal stop-smoking contest, organized by the Leave the Pack Behind program, registration booth in the Student Life Centre daily from 11:00 to 3:00.

Class enrolment for winter term ends today; deadline for dropping courses with no penalty, and a 100 per cent tuition fee refund, January 25.

'Pancake engineering' competition as part of Engineering Society's Frost Week, 11:30, Poets Pub, Carl Pollock Hall.

Health informatics research seminar: Anne Pidduck, school of computer science, "Electronic Social Networks and Dementia Prevention", 12:00, Davis Centre room 1304.

Philosophy colloquium: John Sarnecki, University of Toledo, "Developmental Objections to Evolutionary Modularity", 3:30, Humanities room 373.

Warrior sports: Volleyball (men and women) at Guelph tonight, at McMaster Saturday. • Curling, west sectional at Western, today and Saturday. • Men's hockey at Laurier 7:30 tonight (Waterloo Memorial Recreation Complex). • Swimming at Laurier, Saturday 12:00. • Basketball at Laurier Saturday, women 1:00, men 3:00. • Women's hockey vs. Western, Saturday and Sunday 2:00, Icefield.

Warrior Weekend "Snowed-In" activities in the Student Life Centre Friday and Saturday evenings, including Pillow Bash, "games by the fire" sponsored by UW Gamers, crafts, cookies and apple fritters, details online.

Waterloo Region rapid transit "public consultation centre" Saturday 10:00 to 5:00, Conestoga Mall, more information online.

Green Party leader Elizabeth May speaks Saturday 7:30 p.m., Wilfrid Laurier University, Bricker building room 101, admission $10.

QPR suicide prevention training available January 21 (12:00 to 1:30), February 11 (11:30), March 7 (12:00), April 11 (11:30), call ext. 33528 to register.

Nominations close Monday for the 2008-09 Federation of Students executive and student positions on the UW senate, details online.

UW senate monthly meeting Monday 4:30, Needles Hall room 3001.

Environmentalist Larry Lohmann, author of Carbon Trading, speaks on greenhouse gas reduction, Monday 7 p.m., Arts Lecture Hall room 116.

Volunteer/Internship Fair with information about opportunities with local agencies, Tuesday 11:00 to 2:00, Student Life Centre great hall.

Federation of Students referendum on CKMS fee: meeting to form "Yes" and "No" committees Tuesday 3:00, Student Life Centre room 2134.

Electrical and computer engineering fourth-year design project symposium, Wednesday 9:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m., Davis Centre.

Cognos Cubes training for users of statistical data from Institutional Analysis and Planning office: beginner sessions January 23 and 25 (10:00), March 19, May 21, September 24; advanced sessions February 13, April 23, June 11, October 15, details online.

Author Tamas Dobozy reads at St. Jerome's University, Wednesday 4:00, SJU room 3012, admission free.

'Alice (Experiments) in Wonderland' drama department multi-point telematic performance for children and adults, January 25 and February 1 (10:30 a.m.), January 24-26 and 31 plus February 2 (8 p.m.), January 26-27 and February 2-3 (2:00), Theatre of the Arts, tickets $12 general, $10 students, $5 children, details online.

CD release concert: "Every 3 Children", Carol Ann Weaver and other performers from Conrad Grebel University College, January 26, 8:00 p.m., Grebel chapel, tickets $10, call ext. 24226.

Centre for Teaching Excellence workshop: "Getting the Most out of Multiple-Choice Questions" led by David DiBattista, Brock University, January 28, 9:30 a.m., Flex Lab, Dana Porter Library, registration online.

Montréal alumni networking event January 30, 6:30 to 8:30 p.m., Ecomusée du fier monde, register online by January 25.

Ottawa alumni networking event Thursday, January 31, 6:30 to 8:30, Canada Aviation Museum, guest speaker Peter Harder (BA 1975), former federal deputy minister, details online.

Class enrolment for spring term courses: appointments on Quest February 11-16, open enrolment begins February 19.

PhD oral defences

Mechanical and mechatronics engineering. Jan-Mels Brandt, “Wear and Boundary Lubrication in Modular Total Knee Replacements.” Supervisor, John B. Medley. Oral defence was held December 20, 2007 (thesis restricted by non-disclosure agreement).

Systems design engineering. Nezamoddin Nezamoddini-Kachouie, “Bayesian Model Based Tracking with Application to Cell Segmentation and Tracking.” Supervisor, Paul Fieguth. On display in the faculty of engineering, PHY 3004. Oral defence Tuesday, January 22, 9:30 a.m., Davis Centre room 2634.

Chemical engineering. Muhammad Mujiburohman, “Studies on Pervaporation for Aroma Compound Recovery from Aqueous Solutions.” Supervisor, Xianshe Feng. On display in the faculty of engineering, PHY 3004. Oral defence Wednesday, January 23, 2:30 p.m., Engineering II room 3324.

Another boom year for applications

Waterloo is hearing from more than its share of the would-be students who are hoping to get into Ontario universities this fall, numbers being made public today show.

It's the scheduled day for the Ontario Universities Application Centre to make some numbers public, a week after the official deadline for grade 12 students to file applications for September admission. But many of the province's institutions have already let their own numbers out, and the Globe and Mail reported yesterday that the province as a whole is facing "the highest demand for first-year spots since the double cohort", with a 5 per cent increase in applicants from last year.

"It's a good problem to have," Paul Genest, president of the Council of Ontario Universities, told the Globe. "At the same time, we have to find faculty to teach these students and places for them."

Nancy Weiner, UW's associate registrar (admissions), says the increase in applications to this university is "significant" — up 15 per cent in total, and 13 per cent in first-choice applicants. In other words, about 7,700 Ontario high schoolers have listed Waterloo as their first choice for next fall. "UW continues to have one of the highest proportions of first-choice applications," says Weiner in a memo.

"The total number of applicants to UW has increased 10.7% (22,594 in 2008 versus 20,417 in 2007)."

All UW's faculties are seeing an increase in the number of applications, she said, with one exception: science, which was deluged with applications last year and has receded just a hair from that level (applications down 0.6 per cent). The increase in total applications is 62 per cent in environmental studies, 50 per cent in math, 10 per cent in arts, 8 per cent in engineering and 7 per cent in applied health sciences. All the faculties are showing more first-choice applications than last year.

"The increase in overall and particularly the first-choice applications in the Faculties of Environmental Studies and Mathematics at UW are impressive when compared to the system totals," Weiner writes. "A large portion of the increase is due to the two new programs of International Development and Knowledge Integration in Environmental Studies and the new Financial Analysis and Risk Management in Mathematics."

There are no statistics yet for "non-OSS" applications — those coming from students in other provinces and countries, and students coming to university from colleges or the working world rather than from high school. Numbers are expected in March, Weiner said. Meanwhile, some of the high school applicants have already been admitted, with 640 offers sent so far and more scheduled to go out next week.

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Golfer's book supports Warrior award

“Athletic scholarships” aren’t as verboten in Ontario as they used to be, and some results are being seen — including news that a former Warrior varsity golfer is donating the profits from his recent book to fund a student golf award.

The latest issue UW’s Gold and Black newsletter for athletics alumni tells its readers that athletic talent-driven financial awards “are now allowable to all student athletes in the universities in Canada. There are some differences between the four conferences but these awards resemble the American athletic scholarships.

“In Ontario, there is a ceiling of $3,500 per academic year, which can be given to the student athlete in athletic money. Incoming student athletes must carry an 80% average, and returning student athletes must achieve a 70% average to be eligible. The award is placed with their student financial account with the University.

“The recruitment of student athletes now has a greater competitive challenge as the universities must raise the funds for these awards. In Canada, we are nowhere near the fullness of athletic awards and the fundraising is on! In Warrior Athletics, we are developing a number of ways to create these awards for our student athletes. It will take a concerted effort on many fronts to be successful.”

Which brings in the former Warrior golfer, Bob Skura (BA '72), who spent a lot of time on the links as a member of the varsity golf team and the Ontario junior team. “For five years after graduation,” Jude Doble of UW’s alumni affairs office writes in an online profile, “Skura taught and played professional golf and in the ensuing years, built himself a reputation as top-flight, amateur golfer, reaching an impressive 63 as his best score. Now retired from a career in manufacturing sales, Skura can be found with a club in hand six times a week during the golf season.”

Doble’s article goes on: “Now, Skura has taken his love of the game to a new level. He has written a book, How Great Golfers Think: Perfecting Your Mental Game, getting into the minds of great golfers and formulating their key principles of successful playing. ‘Every sport has a set of technical principles most people can relate to even if they can't execute them,’ says Skura. ‘However, no sport psychologist has laid out a parallel set of principles for mental skill development that are plain and simple.’

“Exploring high-achievers in sports and business, Skura saw common themes to their success and formulated them into three key categories for success in golf: how to think, how to talk, and how to play. By presenting these theories in a story format rather than a list of how-to's, Skura believes the reader will enjoy the learning process more while still absorbing the information.”

As an engaged alumnus, the article reports, Skura says UW has played a special role in his life, from his experiences as a student, relationships with the Warrior golf team coaches and students, and colleagues who helped shape the formation of his book. In appreciation, he will donate a portion of the sale of each book purchased through UW channels, to help the Warrior varsity golf team. There’s more information on his website, and to order a copy $21.50 plus GST) and support Waterloo athletes, UW people can call 1-877-748-1135.

Meanwhile, the Gold and Black summarizes what UW is doing to develop other sources of funding:

Warrior Excellence Awards: “As a result of very successful fundraising and alumni donations, we created an endowment that will glean awards annually for our student athletes.”

Named Circle Scholarships: “These are annual leadership awards from $1,000 to $5,000, given over four years, which a donor can set up in a person’s name. These can be directed at a sport team.”

Sport Specific Awards: “These are set up in conjunction with the varsity teams for their team only. The award may be named after someone, and could be one time money or set up as an endowment. The department is raising funds for these in a number of different ways that you will hear about and see in our materials over time. Sport camps, clinics, tournaments, golf tournaments, dinners, etc. are all the new activities that we are pursuing.”

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To every thing there is a season

The cycle begins again: one cohort of co-op students is two weeks into the work term, and another is about to look for jobs. Postings will start appearing on JobMine tomorrow in preparation for employer interviews (January 30 through February 28 for the "main" stream of students) and the spring work term. "You may carry a maximum of 50 active job applications," regulations from the co-op department tell students. More advice: "Increase your employment opportunities; complete or update your Skills Inventory right away; you can make changes anytime. To access your Skills Inventory, locate your Profile in JobMine."

Other seasonal notes for students: Counselling services and writing clinic workshops for winter term are continuing. Library tours and workshops are also scheduled. Applications for fall 2008 residence from upper-year students are due January 28; information sessions continue through January 23. Applications for positions as don in the residences close January 31.

A memo from the human resources department went to staff and faculty members yesterday advising them that "all employment related forms are now available in electronic format on the Human Resources website. Please destroy any old, out of date forms you may have and bookmark this url for quick access to current versions of all forty-three forms. Please also be advised that Central Stores will no longer supply hard copies of these forms. This change has been made in conjunction with Central Stores in a continuing effort by both departments to deliver service and information more effectively and in the most cost effective manner."

[Kenyon]Linda Kenyon (right) has been appointed Executive Officer in UW's faculty of engineering — a successor to long-time executive assistant Bill Pudifin, who will be retiring at the end of March. The transition started this week and will continue until the end of June, says a memo issued by dean of engineering Adel Sedra. "We have restructured to increase efficiency and make more effective use of our resources as we work to realize the goals of our Vision 2010 plan," he wrote, adding that Kenyon "will be accountable to me for financial management, human resource administration, student relations and other administrative functions in the Faculty." At one time a colleague here in Communications and Public Affairs, and for many years active in UW alumni activities, Kenyon has most recently been filling a temporary role in the engineering faculty, as director of communications and planning to cover a maternity leave. "Before coming to the university," Sedra's memo adds, "she owned and operated a very successful business in the community."

The student life office is advertising a job opportunity: "Join the Student Life Training Team . . . responsible for delivering the Orientation Leader Training Program. In addition, trainers will present a series of interactive educational programs including where to find housing, and budgeting. The pay rate is $10/hour. Successful team members will also be paid for training hours. First, Second, and Third year students are encouraged to apply!" Deadline to submit a resumé and cover letter is January 22, at the student life office on the first floor of Needles Hall.

The Arts Endowment Fund is now soliciting proposals for the winter term, says a memo from its board. Forms may be downloaded from the AEF web site, and the deadline is February 4. The AEF granted a total of $18,500 in the fall term, for projects ranging from the second annual UW Environment & Business Conference to The Boar magazine. The AEF was established in February 2006 by the results of a student referendum in which arts students agreed to a refundable fee of $12 on their fee statements every term. The money raised through this Voluntary Student Contribution will be pooled, and a portion of the money set aside to gather interest. The rest can be used immediately to fund student initiatives. This fee was collected for the first time in September 2006 from all students in the Faculty of Arts — including those registered through St. Jerome's and Renison, but excluding those in the School of Accountancy, who have their own endowment fund.

And . . . the January issue of the Teaching Matters newsletter from UW’s Centre for Teaching Excellence includes a report on two “open classroom” sessions held last fall, in which faculty members allowed colleagues to see a little of how they teach. One of the two was Barb Moffatt of the biology department. Says the newsletter in part: “In a larger class of more than 280 students, Barb provides partial notes that the students fill in during the lecture. She began her open class with an overview and then a lead-in review question to help students see how the current week’s material connected to previous sessions. Barb reinforced the idea of connectedness by relating new content to past knowledge, saying things like, ‘We’ve seen this word before’, and ‘Remember I told you about…’. During the class, Barb walked around the lecture hall, actively engaging students in her lecture through questions that tested their ability to think about and apply the lecture content. ‘Engage your brain,’ she exhorted students. ‘No need to write down the question, just engage your brain.’ Barb supported the process by asking questions throughout the lecture and making eye contact with individual students, giving the strong impression that they were engaged in a conversation rather than a lecture.”


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