Wednesday, March 5, 2008

  • Top engineering students compete
  • Next steps toward UW's 'identity'
  • Staff conference is a month away
  • Editor:
  • Chris Redmond
  • Communications and Public Affairs

Link of the day

Rex Harrison 100 years

When and where

Rainbow Reels Queer Film Festival Wednesday-Sunday at King Street Theatre Centre, sponsors include Waterloo Public Interest Research Group, schedule online.

Career workshops: "Interview Skills, Preparing for Questions" 10:30, Tatham Centre room 2218; "Working Effectively in Another Culture" 4:30, Tatham room 1208; registration online.

International Celebrations Week continues: North American food 11:00 to 2:00, Brubakers, Student Life Centre; coffee and biscotti 2:00 to 3:00, Renison College ministry centre; film "Va, Vis et Deviens" 7:00, Math and Computer room 2066, sponsored by One Waterloo diversity campaign.

Mathematics Endowment Fund celebrates reaching Pi Million Dollars in its endowment, cake and presentation, 12:30 to 2:00, Math and Computer third floor.

Work permit information session for international students 1:00, Needles Hall room 1101.

‘From Danger to Dignity: The Fight for Safe Abortion’ documentary film sponsored by Women’s Centre, 1:00, Student Life Centre room 2134.

[Bricker]Larry Bricker, co-op education and career services, reception to mark retirement after 39 years, 3:30 to 5:30, Tatham Centre room 2218, RSVP ext. 36624.

Author Alayna Munce reads from her poetry and fiction 4:00, St. Jerome’s University room 3012.

'How to Read a Food Label' lunch-and-learn session 5:30, TechTown boardroom, 340 Hagey Boulevard.

Perimeter Institute presents Neil Turok, Cambridge University, “What Banged?” 7:00, Waterloo Collegiate Institute, ticket information online.

Gays and Lesbians of Waterloo Wednesday night discussion group 7:15, PAS building room 3005.

Introduction to Spanish brown-bag language lesson with Mario Boido to mark International Celebrations Week, Thursday 12:00, Environmental Studies I room 350.

International spouses group: Elisabeth Adrian, UW career services, “Working Effectively in Another Culture”, Thursday 12:45, Columbia Lake Village community centre, children welcome, information e-mail

Self-defence seminar for women, sponsored by Women’s Centre as part of International Women’s Week, Thursday 1:00, Physical Activities Complex.

Zerofootprint carbon calculator launch with competition between environmental studies and applied health sciences, Thursday 2:00, Student Life Centre great hall.

‘Religion and Sex’ with Rev. Megan Collings-Moore, Renison College, sponsored by Women’s Centre for International Women’s Week, Thursday 3:00, Student Life Centre room 2134.

International Women’s Day dinner: “Celebrate women mentoring women,” Thursday 5:00, University Club. Speakers are Emerance Baker (aboriginal services coordinator) and Susan Tighe (civil and environmental engineering); tickets $30 at Humanities box office.

Faculty of Arts presents strategist and entrepreneur David Nostbakken, “The Power of Peace in an Information Age”, Thursday 6:00, Arts Lecture Hall room 113.

Waterloo Unlimited public lecture by local designer Sunshine Chen on “how the city of Waterloo was transformed”, 7:00, Arts Lecture Hall room 124.

Arriscraft Lecture: Mario Saia, Saia Barbarese Topouzanov, Montréal, “Recent Work”, Thursday 7:00, Architecture lecture hall, Cambridge.

10th annual Financial Econometrics Conference hosted by Institute for Quantitative Finance and Insurance, Friday, details online.

Waterloo Unlimited open house winding up this week’s program on “design” for high schoolers, Friday 7:15 to 8:15 p.m., Festival Room, South Campus Hall.

The New Quarterly and Neruda Productions present Deseo, “an evening of warm words and hot music for a cold night”, Friday 8:00, Waterloo Entertainment Centre, 24 King Street North, tickets $25.

March break open house for future students (formerly Campus Day) Tuesday, March 11, details online.

Free tax clinic for students and lower-income families and individuals, organized by Accounting Students Education Contribution with support from Canada Revenue Agency, March 12-14, 8 a.m. to 6 p.m., Student Life Centre.

‘Are You Thinking of an MBA?’ information session with a current student and a representative from the Wilfrid Laurier University MBA program, Wednesday, March 19, 5:00 to 7:00, Tatham Centre room 2218, registration online.

Positions available

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

• Institutional analyst, Institutional Analysis and Planning, USG 8
• Communications coordinator, development, Office of Development, USG 6
• Library assistant, facilities, Library, USG 5
• Library associate, electronic resources support, Library, USG 7
• Instructor/finance officer, Earth and Environmental Sciences, USG 9
• Graduate studies administrative coordinator, Management Sciences, USG 5
• Undergraduate studies administrative coordinator, Management Sciences, USG 5
• Mechanic I (refrigeration), Plant Operations
• Coordinator, Living Learning programs, Housing and Residences, USG 7
• Learning strategist/advisor, Office for Persons with Disabilities, USG 8 (12-month contract or secondment)

Longer descriptions are available on the HR web site.

Top engineering students compete

[CEC logo]Canada’s “most innovative and creative” engineering students will be at UW this weekend, say organizers of the 24th annual Canadian Engineering Competition, which involves competitions Friday and Saturday in the six categories of consulting engineering, engineering communication, extemporaneous debate, innovative design, team design and senior team design.

“This prestigious national competition,” a news release explains, “invites winners from the four regional competitions held across Canada.” That would include the Ontario Engineering Competition, which was held at McMaster University last month. A team of four UW mechanical and mechatronics engineering students — Andrew Zwart, Matthew Rendall, Kenneth Lee and Simon Lancaster-Larocque — came home from that event with first place for innovative design, and will be competing at the CEC this weekend.

“Competitors,” says the news release, “are forced to develop innovative solutions which are mindful of social, economic and environmental factors. All the while, these designs make use of the engineering techniques learned in the classroom.”

About 150 participants are expected. Competition is based at the Waterloo Inn on Friday and in UW’s Davis Centre on Saturday. “The days,” says the release, “are filled with competition and recruitment events while the evenings have social activities that allow some of the brightest engineering students in the country to network and relax after a hard day of competing.

“This year’s theme, Designing Global Change, emphasizes that design is a proactive process: it is only by taking action that we can truly make change happen.”

With this year’s event, the CEC is making its first return visit to the campus where it began in 1985. “Throughout its history,” organizers say, “the event has provided a unique opportunity for students to demonstrate their range of professional and industry-based engineering skills. CEC continues to challenge Canada’s best engineering undergraduate students in a competitive environment, and simultaneously unites undergraduates with Canadian industry, government, and academia.”

The CEC is a division of the Canadian Federation of Engineering Students, an association of approximately 55,000 Canadian undergraduate students, including the members of UW’s Engineering Society.

This year’s CEC will be a carbon neutral event, organizers promise: “CEC is working with sponsor Loop Initiatives on the plan to make the competition more environmentally and socially sustainable.”

Says Kelly Henderson, a fourth-year civil engineering student who’s serving as vice-president (finance) for the competition: “We are really excited to expose 160 of the most innovative and creative engineering students in Canada to the serious environmental challenges we face, and the latest techniques to mitigate them. We are walking the walk of our theme, ‘Designing Global Change’, by making the competition environmentally and socially sustainable. We will be addressing both these topics throughout the competition.”

The competition will be carbon neutral by reducing consumption and waste, by sourcing products that are environmentally and socially responsible, and by offsetting any emissions which were not mitigated, organizers explain. “The organizing committee has partnered with a sustainable business consulting firm, Loop Initiatives, who are completing the carbon accounting for the event and recommending responsible offsetting practices. The organizing team has been working with the University of Waterloo, Waterloo Inn and other parties at every stage of the planning.”

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Next steps toward UW's 'identity'

From a memo issued by the vice-president (external relations)

After the 2007 UW planning meetings in Kempenfelt Bay in May, Provost Amit Chakma struck a number of ad hoc committees, including one on marketing and communications. Associate Vice-President Gail Cuthbert Brandt chairs the group, which includes University Secretary Lois Claxton, Associate Vice-President (Strategic Relations) David Fransen, Dean of Science Terry McMahon and Vice-President (External Relations) Meg Beckel. The group continues with its work but has already submitted an initial report and recommendations, which have been approved by Executive Council.

This first report indicates a strong level of consensus within both the academic and non-academic units at the university about the need for an agreed-upon, consistent institutional message to provide a framework within which these units can develop their own messaging.

To implement this recommendation, the group asked Meg Beckel to lead a UW identity task force. This task force has been encouraged to develop a set of general institutional marketing and communications standards that will be flexible enough to take into account the diversity, needs, and creativity of units across campus.

The task force has already worked with UW Graphics to update the university logo and introduced faculty and school wordmarks. New UW letterhead and business cards have been designed, as well as a new template for PowerPoint presentations.

As discussions broaden beyond an interim “refreshing” of the UW logo, the task force’s membership has also broadened to include a diverse representation of the campus. The members are Allan Bell (Library), Al Binns (UW Police), Elaine Brown (Housing), Steve Brown (Faculty of Mathematics), Mario Coniglio (Faculty of Science), Tobi Day-Hamilton (Faculty of Arts), Gwen Graper (Registrar’s Office), Martha Foulds (Faculty of Engineering), Sue Fraser (Applied Health Sciences), Mark Seasons (Faculty of Environment), Christine Goucher (UW Graphics), Lisa Grogan (ODAA), Fred Martin (Conrad Grebel College), Del Savio Pereira (Federation of Students), Tina Roberts (Undergraduate Recruitment), Kelley Teahen (Communications and Public Affairs) and Sean Van Koughnett (UW Graphics).

Based on the timeframe proposed in an RFP seeking a branding consultant to facilitate this larger group’s discussions, we should have an updated positioning statement and list of distinguishing attributes for UW reflecting our core strengths, a clear direction to UW Graphics to create any further updating of the UW visual identity, a comprehensive multi-level and multi-staged UW identity strategy, and an implementation schedule for the agreed-upon strategy that reflects the budgeted financial resources of UW. This should be complete by fall term 2008. The rollout would take place throughout 2009.

The next stage of this exercise will be an expansion of the UW identity beyond the rules for the use of any newly developed logo or faculty/unit specific wordmark. There will be a review of current publications and other mediums that use the UW logo or wordmarks and suggestions on how these publications and mediums can and should be adapted to support the attributes and positioning statement.

The other component of a follow-up stage is a complete review of UW websites. The university can use the new look and positioning statement and attributes as a platform for developing a new look, feel and focus for the university's web space.

Since work on these two projects would start immediately following the first phase, scheduled for completion by start of fall term, these follow-up stages would be executed through fall 2008 and be implemented, in stages, throughout 2009.

Our current year is the time to review, refresh and redesign. Next year – 2009 – we will roll out the new look and feel for marketing and communicating and presenting UW to our many important audiences.

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[Red and white poster]Staff conference is a month away

"Watch for posters," says Katrina DiGravio, director of the Organizational and Human Development office, as the dramatic red announcements (right) went out to departments yesterday with details on the first-ever "2 Days For You Staff Conference".

The conference will cover two full days, April 8 and 9, and the four main areas of focus will be the same "Educate, Develop, Grow and Experience (EDGE)" that's been the theme for programs all through OHD's first year of operation.

"The two days will be devoted to enriching the working lives of staff at UW," says DiGravio. "We have some terrific keynote speakers." Among them: Sunjay Nath ("The 10-80-10 Principle"), Helice Bridges ("Who You Are Makes a Difference"), Bill Williams ("Stephen Covey's 7th Habit: Sharpen The Saw"), and Judy Suke ("Create the Life You Want — Let Laughter Lighten the Load").

Also on the program is something called One World Music — "Transforming Organizations One Beat at a Time" and, she says, "fostering teamwork, leadership and innovation". And there will be about 10 other workshops and seminars on topics such as Diversity, Business Writing, Communication, Work-Life Balance, and Leadership.

There's more information online; registration for the conference will begin later this month.

In other news of interest to staff members, the staff association held its special general meeting yesterday and voted to approve a proposal from the executive to amend the constitution, effective as of today. New provisions mean that association presidents will now serve a two-year term rather than changing over every year.

The meeting also approved an increase in association dues from the current $5 a month. Staff in USG grades 1 through 6, and housekeeping staff, will pay $7 a month; those in grades 7 to 10, $11 a month; and those in grades 11 and above, $15 a month. The higher rate, I'm told, "will come into effect as soon as HR is able to update the payroll withdrawal." About 100 people attended the meeting and another 150 sent proxies, and estimates are that there were 200 votes in favour of the changes and 50 against.


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