Friday, June 27, 2008

  • Canada Day forecast: fun all day
  • Shads arrive, organizational notes . . .
  • . . . more news at the year's middle
  • Editor:
  • Chris Redmond
  • Communications and Public Affairs

[Canada Day logo]Canada Day forecast: fun all day

The dumpsters and garbage cans were in place yesterday on the fields north of Columbia Street — a vital first step in preparing for Tuesday’s Canada Day celebration, which is expected to bring 70,000 visitors to help mark the country’s birthday.

Soon they’ll be joined by porta-potties (and handwashing stations), tents for food and crafts, equipment for children’s games, a stage and loudspeakers for performers, the trucks from which fireworks are launched, and everything else that’s needed to support the biggest party of the year.

The student-led event, now in its 24th year, promises a wide range of fun activities for all ages, thanks to volunteers — more than 90 of them at last count, with more still welcome — and just a couple of core staff.

This year has seen one complication that hasn’t hit since 2003: July 1 falls on a Tuesday, at the end of a four-day weekend for the university. Many UW departments are contributing to the arrangements from Canada Day, such as plant operations and central stores, and since most of their staff will be off work Saturday, Sunday and Monday, all sorts of tasks have to be completed by the end of the day today.

Administrative coordinator Sarah Sales (an arts student in her other life) and event manager Laura McQuinn are glued to their cellphones making last-minute arrangements and troubleshooting. Sales was able to pause for a few seconds yesterday to brief me on the food that will be available beside Columbia Lake on Tuesday: a UW concessions tent with pizza, burgers and so on, plus seven outside food vendors, “from Greek food to health food”.

She also had the word on traffic, which has traditionally been a challenge, especially as the massive crowds head home at the end of the fireworks show. The only roadway to be closed on account of Canada Day will be Columbia Street between Hagey Boulevard and Westmount Road, directly in front of the party’s lakeside site. “Accessible” parking (for those with handicapped stickers) will be off Hagey Boulevard, the street that runs north-south through the Research and Technology Park. Other visitors can park in lot X, behind the Optometry building, or UW’s many south campus lots, all of which will be open and free for the day. In other words, to avoid traffic jams, come and leave by University Avenue.

Admission to the day is free, though there will be many opportunities to spend money: not just the food tents but also the arts-and-crafts fair and some souvenir sales. In addition, donation boxes will be available throughout the day, collecting funds to help with the cost of fireworks for next year’s event.

The big onstage attractions for the day include Kreesha Turner, whose debut album “Passion” blends soul, jazz and rhythm and blues, Chad Hatcher, who mixes folk, soul and hip-hop, and The Guys, selected by Billboard magazine as a top emerging rock band.

The public is invited to attend the Canada Day events, which begin at 2 p.m. and continue throughout the day, wrapping up at 10 p.m. with the grand finale of fireworks. The celebration also features live musical entertainment throughout the day and evening.

Versatile pop star Alisha Nauth opens the day's live entertainment at 2 p.m., followed by the rocking Neil Murray Band at 3 p.m., and jazz singer Allister Bradley at 4 p.m. The Guys perform at 5 p.m., and then there’s a children's live show with Jack Grunsky on the main stage at 6 p.m. An opening ceremony takes place at 6:45 p.m., complete with a birthday party and free cupcakes for the community. The music resumes: indie-pop band Knock Knock Ginger at 7 p.m., Chad Hatcher at 8 p.m., and headliner Kreesha Turner at 9 p.m. Then come the fireworks, followed by alt-rock band Breaching Vista with a late night performance.

Elsewhere on the field, families can enjoy jugglers, an obstacle course and a mad science magic show as well as the arts and crafts fair with a wide selection of hand-made goods and kid-friendly products. While most of the children's activities wrap up at 8 p.m., the main stage performances and the arts and crafts fair continue until 11 p.m.

And the volunteers will be back on Columbia Field on Wednesday morning to clean up.

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Shads arrive, organizational notes . . .

This year's month-long Shad Valley program gets started Sunday afternoon with the arrival of 48 high school students from across Canada. Coming from the furthest away to Waterloo is a student from Baker Lake, Nunavut, says Betty Bax of the Centre for Knowledge Integration, which is knowledgeably integrated with Shad affairs. "Waterloo was the first University campus to host this award-winning program in 1983 and remains the flagship program for the now 12 host university campuses across Canada,” says Ed Jernigan, the systems design engineering professor who serves as Shad Waterloo director. Shad Valley is an enrichment program for teenagers with strong interests and potential in sciences, technology, engineering and entrepreneurship and involves as many as 600 high school students each summer. They'll hold an open house to show off their achievements on Thursday afternoon, July 24, in the great hall at Conrad Grebel University College, where they'll be staying for the month.

A couple of changes in the housing and residences department were announced this week by Chris Read, who heads the whole operation with the title of “university housing officer”. In particular, Pam Charbonneau, a long-time housing staff member, takes on the new position of “director, student development and residence life”. Says Read: “This position will have Pam oversee Living/Learning, Residence Life and Front Desk Services. This is a new portfolio of responsibilities, and puts us in a good position to continue to integrate Living/Learning with Residence Life. Pam has established many positive working relationships in Housing, around campus, and in the industry, and we look forward to Pam’s expertise in evolving student learning and community development.” The previous director of residence life, Leanne O’Donnell, left UW last year. Read notes that “in the next few months, a Manager, Desk Services, will be hired to oversee this area, and this group will transition from Facilities after that individual is in place.” On another front, Jennifer Ferguson, director of admissions and marketing, “will report to me with all admissions and marketing responsibilities, including the web.” Keeping their existing titles are Gail Clarke, director of housing and residence administration, and Bill Baer, director of information systems and technology in housing. “As a result,” says Read, “several staff will be moving office locations in the coming weeks. We will keep you posted as these events unfold.”

Zina Gimpelevich of UW’s Germanic and Slavic studies department is the new president of the Canadian Association of Slavists. Gimpelevich, who already headed the Belarusan Institute of Arts and Sciences, Canada, was chosen for the Slavists post at the association’s annual meeting during the Congress of Humanities and Social Sciences held this month in Vancouver. She’ll serve a two-year term. At the same time, the association named Robert Karpiak, a retired faculty member from the Germanic and Slavic department, to be its honorary president for 2008-09.

Two students who are visiting UW from Chile were in the audience earlier this month when Canadian officials and Chilean president Michelle Bachelet announced “a new era in Chilean-Canadian academic relations”. Bachelet and Canadian prime minister Stephen Harper signed a Memorandum of Understanding aimed at “a wider exchange of knowledge and professional talents through educational activities”. The program will bring up to 100 Chilean graduate students to Canadian universities each year, with the focus on “disciplines that respond to Chile’s needs to enhance its capacity in scientific and technological research and innovation, thus improving its global competitiveness.” Thirteen exchange students were at the Ottawa ceremony on June 10, including Gonzalo Andres Carvajal Barrera, a visiting graduate student in Sebastian Fischmeister's lab in electrical and computer engineering, and Guillermo Azocar, a senior undergrad working in Alexander Brenning's lab in geography. The Graduate Student Exchange Program involves other countries as well, and UW currently has three visitors from Chile, one from Malaysia, and two from Ghana, according to Kristin Snell of Waterloo International. “There is currently a call for proposals for students from the Caribbean,” she says. “The UW supervising faculty member must apply on behalf of the student.”

[Michael]Esther Michael (right, in 1983) was a well-known staff member in UW’s library from the university’s earliest days (she joined the university in 1958) until her retirement in the spring of 1986. At that time she was listed as a library assistant in the “gifts and exchanges” function. Michael died Monday, aged 85, and a funeral service was held yesterday at Redeemer Lutheran Church, of which she was a long-time member.

Some notes from the engineering faculty’s e-newsletter in its most recent issue: Management sciences professor Rod McNaughton, the Eyton Chair for Entrepreneurship, was recently awarded a Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada strategic cluster grant of $1.95 million. The title of McNaughton’s grant application is International Entrepreneurship Strategic Knowledge Cluster. Mechanical and mechatronics professors Behrad Khamesee and Farid Golnaraghi and PhD student Babak Ebrahimi won the best paper award in the Biomedical and Smart Machine Track at the ASME Annual Conference on Information Storage and Processing Systems held in Santa Clara, California, last week. And Hamidreza Alemohammad, a mechanical and mechatronics PhD candidate, won the best paper student award at the International Symposium on Laser Precision Microfabrication held in Québec City. Alemohammad's supervisor, Ehsan Toyserkani, co-authored the paper, entitled “Modification of the optical performance of fiber Bragg gratings using Femtosecond laser micromachining.”

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. . . more news at the year's middle

UW president David Johnston is in Israel this week, taking part in an “Academic Delegation of University Presidents Mission” organized by the Canada-Israel Committee. The group has been meeting government and university officials, everybody from the nation’s president, Shimon Peres, to Mohammed Dajani, director of the American Studies Institute at Al-Quds University in Jerusalem. The tour also included Haifa University, the Dead Sea, archaeological sites, and the Technion-Israel Institute of Technology.

“The fall term is almost here,” writes Sarah Bunte, copyright coordinator in UW Graphics, “and Graphics Courseware strongly recommends that you place your courseware order before the July 31 deadline. Orders submitted before this date will be available to the students before the first day of classes.” Anyone needing to learn more about courseware, or to place an order, can call Bunte at ext. 33996, or e-mail “Place courseware orders now,” she reiterates, “to eliminate the stress of fall term preparation!”

[Pudifin]There was a big turnout Wednesday for a retirement party honouring Bill Pudifin (left), who’s leaving after 33 years at UW, most recently as executive assistant to the dean of engineering. (His successor, with the title of “executive officer” in the faculty, is Linda Kenyon.) “We have a book of well-wishes,” says a note from the dean’s office, and friends of Pudifin from across the university community are invited to drop in (Carl Pollock Hall room 4301) and sign it.

A large contingent of architecture students is in Toronto today, interviewing for fall term co-op jobs. It’s a regular fixture on the calendar: rather than ask the big-city architectural firms to come out to UW’s Cambridge campus, the students are taken by bus to where the action is. • “There is no longer a User Services department in the Library,” supervisor Alex McCulloch writes, presumably because I used that phrase here the other day. “It was renamed some time ago to Circulation Services.” • Linda Parsons officially retired from UW’s staff on June 1. She had been an assistant in the food services department since 1995.

Finally, here’s a reminder of some administrative changes, already announced, that take effect on July 1. Bruce Mitchell, associate provost (academic and student affairs), adds the role of interim vice-president (international) as Gail Cuthbert Brandt ends her term. Leo Rothenburg of civil and environmental engineering becomes acting dean of engineering, as Adel Sedra begins a sabbatical leave to work on the sixth edition of his classic textbook Microelectronic Circuits. Bob Copeland moves from the position of associate vice-president (annual giving and alumni affairs) to become UW’s director of athletics, as Judy McCrae prepares to retire.


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Link of the day

Friendship across the border

Four-day weekend

Canada Day brings a four-day weekend: on both Monday and Tuesday there are no classes, and UW offices and most services are closed. That includes the Bookstore and other retail services outlets.

Mudies cafeteria, in Village I, will be open as usual, but all other food outlets, including Tim Hortons in the Student Life Centre, will be closed for the four days. The Dana Porter and Davis Centre libraries will be open their usual hours on Saturday and Sunday, and from noon to 6 p.m. on Monday and Tuesday.

Key services continue: UW police, 519-888-4911 (ext. 22222 on campus); Student Life Centre, turnkey desk 519-888–4434 (ext. 84434 on campus); maintenance emergencies ext. 33793; to report computer network outages, ext. 34357.

When and where

Dropping courses: last day to receive a WD grade for spring term courses dropped is today.

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.

California alumni: UW Day at Padres baseball game, Friday. UW Day at Dodgers baseball game, Saturday. Digital Moose Lounge Canada Day Picnic, Sunday, Huddard Park East, Woodside, details online.

Bojangles dance recital Friday-Saturday, Humanities Theatre.

Campus Crusade for Cheese weekly meeting and tasting ($2) 4:30 p.m., Math and Computer room 4020.

Bookstore, UW Shop and TechWorx closed on Saturdays until September.

GLOW (“the queer and questioning community centre”) contingent takes part in Toronto Pride Parade, Sunday, information online.

Canoeing the Grand River: outing organized by International Student Office and Federation of Students, Monday, $32 for UW students, tickets at Fed office, Student Life Centre.

Surplus sale of UW furnishings and equipment July 3, 12:30 to 2:00 p.m., Central Stores, East Campus Hall.

Teaching and Learning ePortfolio conference, July 7-8, St. Jerome’s University, details online.

Institute for Computer Research presents Eric Sutherland, TD Securities, “The Emergence of Data Governance in the Financial Industry”, Wednesday, July 9, 2:30 p.m., Davis Centre room 1302.

Judy McCrae, director of athletics since 1994, retirement reception Tuesday, July 15, 3:30 to 5:30 p.m., Festival Room, South Campus Hall, RSVP ext. 33156 by July 8.

Student Life 101 open house for September’s new students, Saturday, July 19, information online. Bookstore, UW Shop, TechWorx and Campus TechShop open 8:30 to 4:30.

Rogers Cup men’s tennis tournament, July 19-27 at York University, details available online about UW alumni tickets (also for students, faculty, staff).

Blood donor clinic July 21-24 (10:00 to 3:00) and 25 (9:00 to 2:00), Student Life Centre multipurpose room, appointments phone 1-888-236-6283.

PhD oral defences

Physics and astronomy. Marcus Silva, “Suppression and Characterization of Decoherence in Practical Quantum Information Processing Devices.” Supervisors, R. Laflamme and F. Wilhelm-Mauch. On display in the faculty of science, ESC 254A. Oral defence Monday, July 14, 2:00 p.m., Physics room 352.

Geography. Daniel H. Olsen, “Contesting Identity, Space, and Sacred Site Management at Temple Square in Salt Lake City, Utah.” Supervisor, G. Wall. On display in the faculty of environmental studies, ES1 335. Oral defence Wednesday, July 17, 9:00 a.m., Environmental Studies I room 221.

Electrical and computer engineering. Atef Abdrabou, “Network-Layer Resource Allocation for Wireless Ad Hoc Networks.” Supervisor, Weihua Zhuang. On display in the faculty of engineering, PHY 3004. Oral defence Monday, July 21, 10:00 a.m., CEIT room 3142.

Chemical engineering. Luis Albert Ricardez Sandoval, “Simultaneous Design and Control of Chemical Plants: A Robust Modelling Approach.” Supervisors, Hector Budman and Peter L. Douglas. On display in the faculty of engineering, PHY 3004. Oral defence Thursday, July 24, 9:30 a.m., Doug Wright Engineering room 2534.

Electrical and computer engineering. Naghmeh Mansouri, “On a New Approach to Model Reference Adaptive Control.” Supervisor, Daniel Miller. On display in the faculty of engineering, PHY 3004. Oral defence Thursday, July 24, 1:00 p.m., CEIT room 3142.

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