Wednesday, June 11, 2008

  • The Ninety-Sixth Convocation begins
  • Citations for ‘distinguished’ teachers
  • Publications and events bring gold
  • Editor:
  • Chris Redmond
  • Communications and Public Affairs

The Ninety-Sixth Convocation begins

UW will present 4,378 earned degrees and 10 honorary degrees during the eight sessions of its Ninety-Sixth Convocation, which run today through Saturday in the Physical Activities Complex.

"Convocation marks the end of a long journey filled with hard work and is a proud moment for both the graduates and their families," says registrar Ken Lavigne, whose office organizes the ceremonies each June and October. A total of 3,821 undergraduate and 557 graduate students will receive their degrees and diplomas this week.

The week will see the first degrees presented in mechatronics engineering and in the accounting and financial management program, as well as the first 13 graduates in the Master of Theological Studies program offered jointly by UW and Conrad Grebel University College.

Today’s two ceremonies concentrate on the smaller faculties — environmental studies and applied health sciences this morning, science this afternoon. Then there will be two ceremonies on Thursday for arts, two on Friday for mathematics, and two on Saturday for engineering.

Some highlights of today’s 10:00 ceremony for ES and AHS:

• Caustan De Riggs, graduating with a BES in environment and business, will give the valedictory address on behalf of the 655 students receiving their degrees.

• Robert Sanson-Fisher of Australia’s University of Newcastle, a leader in the field of behavioural cancer control research, will receive a Doctor of Science degree and address convocation. Onkar Prasad Dwivedi of the University of Guelph, an internationally known scholar in public administration and environmental management policy, will receive a Doctor of Environmental Studies degree.

• UW will present Jane Irvine, professor of geography and environmental management, and Michael Sharratt, professor of kinesiology, with Distinguished Teacher Awards. The DTA, announced earlier this year, recognizes outstanding professors and instructors nominated by students, colleagues and alumni.

• Roy Cameron, of health studies and gerontology, will receive the University Professor designation — the highest academic honour given on campus. It recognizes exceptional scholarly achievement and international pre-eminence.

• The Alumni Association Gold Medal, for the highest-ranking bachelor’s degree graduate in each faculty, will go to Laurie Vandervoort (recreation and business) for AHS and John Casey (geography) for ES. Departmental awards for “distinguished academic achievement” will go to those two students and to Alysia Rovazzi (HS&G), Ryan Hogg (kinesiology), Emily Bourque (environment and resource studies), Tyler Peck (planning), and Drew Cosburn (environment and business).

• Lisa MacDonald, who received her degree last fall, will be presented with the Outstanding Achievement in Graduate Studies award.

Highlights of the 2:30 p.m. ceremony for the faculty of science:

• Samantha Brown, who's receiving a degree in psychology, will give the valedictory address on behalf of 677 graduating students.

• Retired biology professor Carol Peterson, who will be made a Distinguished Professor Emerita, will address convocation. Retired professor Robert Gillham, of earth and environmental sciences, will receive a similar award, becoming a Distinguished Professor Emeritus.

• See Leang Chin will receive a Doctor of Science degree. A Canada Research Chair at Université Laval, Chin pioneered ultra-fast intense laser science, which promises to revolutionize everything from communications to food preservation.

• Two Governor General's Medals will be awarded: a gold medal for "highest standing in a graduate degree program" to Edwin Cey (earth sciences) and one of UW's three silver medals for "highest standing in a bachelor's program" to Bradley Frew (biomedical sciences). The Alumni Association Gold Medal will be presented to Kathy Lam, graduating in biomedical sciences.

• The Dean of Science Award for “creative research” at the master’s degree level will go to Marcel Pinheiro, biology; Sanja Risticevic, chemistry; Steven Berg, earth and environmental sciences; Jessica Huber, optometry; and Ahmed Awadalla, physics and astronomy. The W. B. Pearson Medal for PhD research will go to Sairah Malkin, biology; Donald Spratt, chemistry; Edwin Cey, earth and environmental sciences; Alice Banh, optometry; and Rowan Thomson, physics and astronomy.

• Two previously announced awards will be presented: Julie Gauley, receiving a PhD in biology, the Exceptional Teaching by a Student Award; Urva Naik, receiving a BSc in biomedical sciences, the President's Circle Award for Volunteerism.

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[Sharratt in cardio laboratory]
Citations for ‘distinguished’ teachers

written by Christopher Vannabouathong for the Centre for Teaching Excellence

Michael Sharratt (top photo) has been a faculty member of the University of Waterloo since 1974. From 1998 to 2005, he held the title of Professor and Dean of the Faculty of Applied Health Sciences. His courses include the Physiology of Coronary Artery Disease, Physiological Adaptations to Physical Activity, and the Cardiac Rehabilitation Practicum.

Professor Sharratt developed the web-based electrocardiogram learning tool, which allowed students to read electrocardiographs at an advanced level. He also initiated both the Hardy Hearts and Well Fit programs in the Kitchener/Waterloo community. Students appreciate his passion for getting them to apply what they have learned in the classroom to real world settings. This provided students with both the confidence and expertise for the working world. He has also been a motivating factor for students in their careers after graduation.

[Irvine]For many students, Michael Sharratt sparked an interest in heart disease and heart disease research. His profound knowledge, the combination of his historical and contemporary lecture content, and his passion for helping people with heart disease has been described as “inspiring and impressive”. A former student of Michael’s stated that after writing a final exam for one of his courses, she left the exam room feeling “sad that a course had ended”.

Jane Irvine (left) joined the Faculty of Environmental Studies in 1989. As an Assistant Professor in the Geography Department, she has taught courses such as Geomorphology and Southern Ontario Environment, Coastal Geomorphology, and Physical Geography.

Professor Irvine has demonstrated a passion for teaching and mentoring her students. They enjoy her lectures because she uses many examples from her own field experience as a researcher. Jane has taken her students on many field trips, which have been very helpful in reinforcing the concepts that they learn in class. She has also been involved in the Waterloo Unlimited high school outreach program.

Professor Irvine encourages interactions among her students. She dedicates her time and energy to her students, and is genuinely engaged in a way that brings out the best in them. When other professors and colleagues of Jane’s ask her students about a geomorphological process, the students end their responses with, “Jane taught us that . . .”

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Publications and events bring gold

The 50th anniversary year has once again proven to be golden, as UW is the winner of 12 awards from Canadian and American “advancement” organizations, half of them anniversary-related. The honours include a sweep of all the gold medals awarded for alumni programs given this year by the Canadian Council for Advancement of Education.

"It's a huge achievement, and great recognition for our 50th anniversary team, including staff in UW graphics and in the alumni affairs office who produced some of the best work I've ever seen," says Bob Copeland, associate vice-president (development and alumni affairs). "As well it's testimony to many other people in departments across campus who contributed to make the 50th anniversary a success with their writing, planning and staging skills.”

The awards recognize work from marketing and undergraduate recruitment, graduate studies, housing, and communications and public affairs. The year-long 50th anniversary celebrations also brought home a silver medal from the US-based Council for the Advancement and Support of Education for best year-long special event.

CCAE is the Canada-wide umbrella organization for post-secondary departments involved in advancement activities, including development, alumni, public relations and communications units. CASE is even larger because it is the prime advancement organization representing most American post-secondary institutions, as well as international membership.

"Winning a handful of awards is usually a considerable achievement because of the formidable competition — but 12 awards, that's unheard of," Copeland says. Adds Sean Van Koughnett, director of UW Graphics: “This number of awards is unprecedented in our history. It's a strong indication that the quality and creativity of our work in the higher education sector is as good as you will find anywhere in the country and with regard to CASE, it covers all North America.” He adds that special thanks should go to all the "great clients who have a compelling story to tell, and who put their trust in us to tell that story."

Some of the judges’ comments on the award-winning UW entries give a sense of what professionals are looking for in university publications: “Gives the feeling that the university is a solid and innovative place . . . relevant and designed appropriately for the audience . . . uses space in an appealing manner . . . organized and classy text layout, photography very well done . . . very consistent with UW brand . . . excellent illustration of depth and breadth of UW programming."

UW’s awards from CASE this year included that silver medal for the 50th anniversary; a gold medal for the anniversary event in Hong Kong; and a silver medal for the residences’ “Right Fit" promotional campaign.

Awards from CCAE included two gold medals for Homecoming; two gold medals for the 50th Anniversary Alumni Award (“best alumni program” and “best alumni event”); a bronze medal for the alumni affairs Authors Website (“Best New Idea, Creativity on a Shoestring”; a gold medal for the case statement prepared for engineering’s Vision 2010 campaign; a gold medal for the VeloCity marketing program; a bronze medal for the recruitment office’s international viewbook; and a bronze medal for the graduate studies brochure.

A number of the award-winning publications designed by UW Graphics are on display on a special web site.


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Link of the day

Stroke Awareness Month

When and where

Co-op employer interviews for fall term jobs continue through June 20.

Class enrolment appointments for fall term undergraduate courses: continuing students, June 9-14; new students, July 14-27; open enrolment begins July 28.

School of Planning graduation reception and Ring Ceremony following Convocation, lunch 12:00, ceremony 1:00 p.m., South Campus Hall, information

‘Magic: Frontiers and Boundaries’ international conference hosted by department of classical studies, June 11-15. Keynote lecture by Marvin Meyer, Chapman University, "Magic and Miracle", 7:00 p.m., Ron Eydt Village. Details online.

Wilfrid Laurier University convocation ceremonies in Brantford today, details online.

Career workshop: “Interview skills, selling your skills” 3:30, Tatham Centre room 1208, registration online.

Lifestyle Learnings session at Columbia Lake Health Club, boardroom, 340 Hagey Boulevard: “20 essentials in the grocery store” 5:30 p.m.

Surplus sale of UW furnishings and equipment Thursday 12:30 to 2:00 p.m., Central Stores, East Campus Hall.

International spouses group: “Card-making” using stamping and embossing, Thursday 12:45, Columbia Lake Village community centre, children welcome, e-mail if attending.

J. W. Graham Medal Seminar by this year’s winner: Eric Veach, Google Inc., “Searching the World with Google Maps”, Thursday 2:00, Davis Centre room 1302, reception follows, details online.

Distinguished lecture: Alan Kay, Viewpoints Research Institute, inventor Smalltalk, “Steps Toward the Reinvention of Programming”, Thursday 4:30 p.m., Theatre of the Arts.

Career workshop: “Successfully negotiating job offers” Thursday 4:30, Tatham Centre room 1208, registration online.

Canadian Mathematical Society awards banquet, honours to high school students placing highest in the 40th Canadian Mathematical Olympiad, Thursday 5:30, South Campus Hall.

Late night picture show (“bike-in theatre”) sponsored by Waterloo Public Interest Research Group: “The Yes Men”, documentary about World Trade Organization pranksters, Thursday 9:00 p.m., Matthews Hall green.

Warrior football golf tournament Saturday, Rebel Creek Golf Course, Petersburg, $150, registration and information ext. 33149.

ACM-style programming contest open to all members of the UW community, will be used to select UW team for this fall’s ACM competition, Sunday 1:00 to 4:00 (practice competition 10:30 a.m.), Math and Computer room 2037, details and registration online.

Canadian Mental Health Association, Grand River Branch, “Leading a National Mental Health Strategy” presentation, discussion and annual meeting, Monday 3:00 p.m., Humanities Theatre, information 519-766-4450 ext. 371.

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

25-Year Club annual reception Tuesday, June 17, 6:00 p.m., Physical Activities Complex, by invitation, information ext. 32078.

UW Alternative Fuels Team recruitment and information meetings: business position Thursday, June 19, 5:00, Student Life Centre multipurpose room; technical position Thursday, June 26, 5:00, Doug Wright Engineering room 2536; information e-mail

Pre-enrolment for winter 2009 undergraduate courses, June 23-29 on Quest: choose courses now so preferences can be used in preparing the timetable, information online.

Bill Pudifin, faculty of engineering, retirement reception Wednesday, June 25, 3:00 to 5:00, Festival Room, South Campus Hall.

Long weekend: UW holidays Monday, June 30, and Tuesday, July 1, for Canada Day; classes cancelled, offices and most services closed.

Canada Day celebrations Tuesday, July 1, on the north campus: children’s fun-fest, arts and crafts fair, food, stage performances and other activities, 2 p.m. until evening; fireworks 10 p.m.; details and volunteer information online.

Positions available

On this week’s list from the human resources department:

• Research technician, kinesiology, USG 5
• Associate director of admissions, faculty of engineering, USG 9
• Mentor, Professional Development for Engineering Students, USG 5
• Academic assistant, undergraduate, health studies and gerontology, USG 5
• Chemistry storeskeeper and clerical assistant, chemistry, USG 5
• Financial aid customer service assistant, office of the registrar, USG 5
• Executive manager, staff association, USG 9
• Institutional programs coordinator, office of research, USG 8
• Business development officer, accounting and financial management, school of accounting and finance, USG 10
• Payroll benefits assistant, human resources, USG 4/5

Longer descriptions are available on the HR web site.

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