Tuesday, March 18, 2008

  • OCUFA quality campaign goes online
  • Student works to protect lake in Ghana
  • Awards won, events to come, doughnuts
  • Editor:
  • Chris Redmond
  • Communications and Public Affairs
  • bulletin@uwaterloo.ca

Link of the day

Agricultural safety

When and where

Blood donor clinic March 17-19 (10:00 to 4:00) and March 20 (9:00 to 3:00), Student Life Centre.

Pilot Provincial Nominee Program information sessions for international students, today 9:30 or 10:30 a.m., Davis Centre room 1302. Details online.

Academic Career Meets Life: lunch meeting for female grad students considering academic career. 11:30 to 1:30, Davis Centre 1301. Details and registration online: space is limited.

Biology brown-bag seminar: Jordan T. F. Young, “MicroRNAs: An Epigenetic Revolution” 12:30, Rod Coutts Hall room 305.

Career workshop: "Interview Skills: Selling Your Skills," 2:30, Tatham Centre room 2218, details online.

Centre for Teaching Excellence workshop: “You-biquity: What Every Instructor Needs to Know about Social Software,” 3:30, Flex lab, Dana Porter Library, details online.

Graduate Student Association deadline for nominations for position of vice-president (operations and finance), 4:30.

Career Services panel: “Hot Tips From the Pros!” 4:30, Tatham Centre room 2218. Register online.

Book launch: Pavilion Project, joint Architecture-UW Art Gallery event, 6 p.m, School of Architecture in Cambridge. Details online.

German Cinema screening in English or with subtitles, free: “Rosenstrasse,” 6:30 p.m., Coutts Hall room 301.

History professor Andrew Cooper speaks with Daiene Vernile, CTV, about his new book Celebrity Diplomacy, 7 p.m., Centre for International Governance Innovation atrium, admission free, reservations online.

Warrior Women’s Awards Breakfast to support the Women’s Sport Initiative Fund, Wednesday, 7:15 a.m., University Club, tickets $40, details online.

Easter luncheon buffet at the University Club March 19 and 20, 11:30 to 2, $18 per person, reservations ext. 33801.

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

Turnkey coffeehouse to benefit Amnesty International, organized by Student Life Centre turnkeys, Wednesday, 2 to 8 p.m., free admission, snacks for sale. Talent wanted (sign up at turnkey desk).

Global climate change public lecture by Edward Parson, University of Michigan, Wednesday, 12:30 p.m., Math and Computer room 2065, all welcome, reception follows.

Conference on Genocide Prevention hosted by Armenian Students Association and other groups, three speakers, Wednesday, 5:30 to 9, Davis Centre room 1350.

‘Flexibility and injury prevention’ lunch-and-learn session Wednesday, 5:30 p.m., TechTown board room, 340 Hagey Boulevard.

Graduate Student Association annual general meeting Wednesday, 6 p.m., Rod Coutts Hall room 302, agenda online.

‘Are You Thinking of an MBA?’ information session with a current student and a representative from the Wilfrid Laurier University MBA program, Wednesday, 5:30 to 7, Tatham Centre room 2218, registration online.

‘A Forensic Analysis of September 11, 2001,” speakers A. K. Dewdney and Graeme MacQueen, organized by UW Debating Society, Wednesday, 6:30 p.m., Humanities Theatre.

FIRST Robotics tournament for high school students March 20-22, Physical Activities Complex, information online.

New faculty lunch-and-learn panel (by invitation): “Documenting Your Teaching for Tenure and Promotion,” Thursday, 11:45 - 1:30 p.m., CEIT room 3124. Details online.

CHIP office (MC 1052) will be closed for a staff meeting Thursday, noon to 1 p.m.

Parking Services office will close for software upgrade and training Thursday at 3 p.m., reopening Tuesday, March 25.

Chemical engineering seminar: Richard Braatz, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, “Modeling and Design of Multiscale Chemical Systems,” Thursday, 3:30, Doug Wright Engineering room 2529.

Render (UW art gallery) closing concert for “Deaderer” exhibition with FightWithBears, five-piece hardcore band, Thursday, 7 p.m., East Campus Hall.

Alumni theatre evening in Toronto: “Stuff Happens”, Berkeley Street Theatre, Thursday, 8 p.m., details and registration online.

Good Friday holiday Friday, March 21, classes cancelled, UW offices and most services closed (libraries open noon – 6 p.m.).

PhD oral defences

Chemistry. Simon Ningsun Zhou, “Comparison of Microdialysis with Solid-Phase Microextraction for in vivo Study.” Supervisor, J. Pawliszyn. On display in the faculty of science, ESC 254A. Oral defence Thursday, April 3, 2:30 p.m., Biology I room 266.

Mechanical and mechatronics engineering. Seyed E. Shameli, “Design Implementation and Control of a Magnetic Levitation Device.” Supervisors, Behrad Khamesee and Jan Huissoon. On display in the faculty of engineering, PHY 3004. Oral defence Monday, April 7, 1:00 p.m., Engineering II room 1307G.

Electrical and computer engineering. Jennifer Bauman, “Advances in Fuel Cell Vehicle Design.” Supervisor, Mehrdad Kazerani. On display in the faculty of engineering, PHY 3004. Oral defence Monday, April 7, 1:30 p.m., CEIT room 3142.

Electrical and computer engineering. Ping Wang, “Distributed Medium Access Control for QOS Support in Wireless Networks.” Supervisor, Weihua Zhuang. On display in the faculty of engineering, PHY 3004. Oral defence Monday, April 7, 2:30 p.m., Davis Centre room 1331.

Kinesiology. Stephen Brown, “Examining the Neuromuscular and Mechanical Characteristics of the Abdominal Musculature and Connective Tissues: Implications for Stiffening the Lumbar Spine.” Supervisor, Stuart McGill. On display in the faculty of applied health sciences, BMH 3110. Oral defence Tuesday, April l8, 9:00 a.m., Matthews Hall room 3119.

award-winning photo by University Photographer Chris Hughes

This photo, "Glowing Ecoli," by university photographer Chris Hughes, was shot for UW's 2008 Alumni Calendar. The image won the top award for November in the Science and Research category of the University Photographers' Association of America monthly awards.

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Campaign for educational quality goes online

from an OCUFA news release

The Ontario Confederation of University Faculty Associations (OCUFA) has launched a new website to support its campaign “to let the government know that quality education matters to students, parents and faculty,” says Brian E. Brown, OCUFA president.

“Despite the Ontario government’s 2005 Reaching Higher program,” Brown says, “indicators show that threats to the quality of education in Ontario universities remain and students continue to suffer.”

OCUFA’s online campaign allows Ontarians to tell their MPPs about the importance of properly funding higher education. Visitors to www.quality-matters.ca will find background information and research, along with a draft letter that they are encouraged to amend to reflect their own experience.

“The Reaching Higher plan was a good beginning, but the government has not followed through. We need to tell government that much still needs to be done to ensure that students receive the high standard of educational experience they deserve,” said Professor Brown.

Just as in 2003, Ontario ranks last in Canada in funding of universities, per capita. Student-faculty ratios in Ontario continue to be the worst in the country at 26 students for every faculty member, compared with 22 students in the rest of Canada and 16 students in American peer institutions. Class sizes continue to increase. And tuition fees continue to rise significantly.

The full press release is online.

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Biology student works to protect Ghana lake

From an article by Kristin Snell, Students for Development

Megan Puchniak in GhanaMegan Puchniak (right) returned from Ghana last December with a new name and title, Nana Nyantakyiwaa Ababio II. Megan, a PhD student in UW’s biology department, spent the fall 2007 term working as a Students for Development intern with the Friends of Lake Bosomtwe (FLB) agency. FLB’s mandate is to protect the fragile ecosystem of Lake Bosomtwe through education and training of the surrounding population.

Lake Bosomtwe is a tropical lake found in the Bosomtwe Impact Crater in the West African country of Ghana. The lake is sacred to the Ashanti people and key to their cultural heritage. It is the only natural lake in the West African Sahel region and supports a population of approximately 20,000. However, farming practices and the over-dependence on fishing are harming the land and the lake; fish stock in the lake has been decreasing.

Cultural shock is to be expected in any international venture. Megan found herself honing her construction skills as she built a shower and repaired holes in the walls, ceiling and doors of her new home. Tradition dictated that Megan request formal permission and obtain approval from the village leaders in order to visit schools, so her teaching started a bit later than expected.

Through fun, interactive and educational activities, Megan introduced aquatic ecology during her school visits and stressed that everyone has the responsibility to protect the lake. She also met with village residents in community meetings and conducted interviews on local radio stations. Local residents are keen to get involved and organize themselves for protection of their environment, community education, health and well-being but have never had a facilitator.

Near the end of her time in Ghana, Megan was invited to a town meeting in Dompa where she was presented with a ram and plantains, offered citizenship and given her new name and title, Nana Nyantakyiwaa Ababio II, which means Queen Mother of Development. She is passionate about continuing the work around Lake Bosomtwe. She brought back letters written by Ghanaian schoolchildren to share with Canadian children and hopes to set up pen pals between Ghanaian teachers and Canadian teachers. She hopes to host a visit to Canada for Ghanaian scientists she worked with so they can collaborate and apply for grant funding to further work on the lake. She has completed a report on her work which has been circulated to the communities around Lake Bosomtwe to help continue the education and training.

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Awards we've won; events to come; doughnuts

Architecture building entranceThe UW School Of Architecture building (right) and its architect, Janna Levitt of Levitt Goodman Architects, have won one of 15 Design Excellence Awards from the Ontario Association of Architects (OAA). Levitt is also an adjunct professor of design at UW; the project architect was David Warne, a UW grad (BArch ’94). At least four other UW grads are named as architects on other projects that won the award: Victor Jaunkalns (BArch ’81), Stephen Teeple (BArch ’80), Martin Kohn (BArch ’79) and John Shnier (BArch ’80). Details on all 15 winners are online; all are short-listed for the People’s Choice Award, a new award that will be decided by public vote through a link on the OAA website. Two other award winners with UW connections are Johnathan Wong, an architecture grad student who won the Image Award of Excellence for his “Camera Obscura Image of a Church Inside a Room,” and Andrea Ling, a recent grad (MArch ‘07) who won the Artifact Award of Excellence for her installation, “The Girl in the Wood Frock.”

The Intellectual Property Management Group (IPMG), in the Office of Research, is hosting IPgentsia, a series of free seminars on intellectual property (IP). The first two are on Wednesday, 1:30 to 3:35 p.m., in the Davis Centre, room 1302. Seminar one, “IP Issues Impacting Commercialization,” covers the fundamentals of patents, with practical tips. Seminar two deals with “IP Strategy for Emerging Businesses.” All welcome; please register at zadilsky@waterloo.ca or phone 519-888-4567, ext. 33300.

Edward Parson. climate change profA reminder of events coming up Wednesday: Edward Parson (left), University of Michigan professor and author of The Science and Politics of Global Climate Change, will speak on the topic of his book at 12:30 p.m. in the Mathematics and Computer Building, room 2065. . . . The Armenian Students’ Association and the UW Genocide Action Group host a Conference on Genocide Prevention, 5:30 to 9 p.m. in Davis Centre room 1350. . . . Canadian academics A.K. Dewdney and Graeme MacQueen will supply “A Forensic Analysis of September 11, 2001: Questioning the Official Theory." Dewdney, a computer scientist, "is known for his experiments bearing on the alleged cell phone calls made by airline passengers on 9/11." MacQueen, a peace studies specialist, is known for "his investigation of the 9/11 testimony of members of the New York Fire Department." The event is organized by the UW Debate Society and takes place 6:30 to 9 p.m. in the Humanities Theatre, Hagey Hall.

The Arthritis Society designates March as Juvenile Arthritis Awareness Month. Michelle Banic, a staff member in Institutional Analysis and Planning whose daughter, Amanda, “like one in a thousand children in Canada,” was diagnosed with arthritis at an early age, raises funds for arthritis research every year with Two for Blue Day. This year it’s on March 28, a day to wear blue and pay a toonie in support of juvenile arthritis research. “Last year was a great year — we raised $803! That means since we started doing this in 2000, we’ve raised around $5,000! . . . But more than your money, I do this to spread awareness.” Banic can be reached at mbanic@uwaterloo.ca for information.

Krispy Kreme doughnutsThe WPIRG Free the Children Group are selling Krispy Kreme doughnuts as their third and last project of the term, aiming to raise as much as $5,000 for basic sanitation projects in Kenya through the Adopt a Village: Clean Water Campaign. All proceeds from the sale will go towards establishing basic sanitation facilities, such as safe drinking water and washrooms, for a village in Kenya. "The Krispy Kreme pre-sale will run until March 26. "Students, faculty members, campus societies and clubs are invited to purchase a box of donuts for $8 a dozen at our various pre-sale booths located in the Student Life Centre, Math and Computer Building, and Carl Pollock Hall. The pick-up date for the Krispy Kreme donuts is Thursday, March 27 in SLC. . . . For more information about Free the Children, visit www.freethechildren.com and our Krispy Kreme Facebook event which can be found at www.wpirg.org/freethechildren."

CPA Staff

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