Monday, May 5, 2008

  • All in our places, bright shiny faces
  • Web site shows 12 new researchers
  • Profs comment on cigarette law
  • Editor:
  • Chris Redmond
  • Communications and Public Affairs

[Lilfesize and lifelike on the study room windows]

‘Beautiful things can happen,’ says the UW library’s e-newsletter, “when science and art collide. The Davis Centre Science and Engineering Library recently hosted an art exhibit featuring artwork by Fine Arts students. The display consisted of individual works submitted as final term projects for this term's Fine Arts ‘Introduction to Drawing’ class (FINE 225). The pieces expressed, through humour and satire, the UW students’ psychological and emotional states during the examination period. Library staff were initially approached by Fine Arts student Kristina Foster about mounting the display. The final exhibit showcased the work of five students: Erin McLaughlin, Kristina Foster, Paul McKellar, Carmen Peters, and Ivana Vukov.”

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All in our places, bright shiny faces

Welcome back to campus, for those who have been away, either for a winter work term or for a few days of post-exam travel. Welcome to Waterloo if you’ve just arrived, perhaps as an exchange student or a newcomer to graduate study. (There are orientation sessions available today for newcomers — see the “When and where” listings at right.) And for everybody else, welcome back from the weekend as the spring term begins.

For the convenience of those who haven’t been in touch with the campus through April, the column at right includes links to some of the major stories that have appeared in the Daily Bulletin since the end of winter term classes.

The news of April also included a proposal, brought to the campus by the Presidential Nominating Committee, to reappoint current president David Johnston, keeping him at the university’s helm until June 2011. I’ve been asked to pass this note along today: “On behalf of the Presidential Nominating Committee, a reminder that comment re: the reappointment of the President for third term of two years is to be received by the Committee no later than Friday, May 9. The initial invitation to faculty and staff was sent by e-mail during the week of April 7. If you have already responded to the first invitation, the Committee thanks you. If you have yet to respond, please accept this reminder.”

And speaking of David Johnston . . . he is, another memo says, “calling on all students, staff and faculty to put their best feet forward and take part in the Third Annual President’s Run for Health this Wednesday. The run is one of three Ring Road runs held annually which help to raise awareness for mental and physical health, and community excellence.” Event organiser Johan Reis of UW’s counselling services describes the run as “a fantastic opportunity for students, staff, and faculty to get active, and to help show their support and raise awareness for those living with mental health issues in our school community.” Johnston himself, a notoriously energetic walker and runner, will be taking part (it’s the first time he’s been able to be on hand). The 5-kilometre running route and 2.5-km walking route will begin at Needles Hall at 4:30 p.m. on Wednesday. Refreshments and a reception will follow the race, and there are prizes for various age categories among male and female entrants. Says Reis: “The overall support and number of participants are growing with each event we have held , and this year, we would like to encourage more novice runners, walkers, and relay teams to take part!" Entry is free but requires preregistration (forms are online, or call Reis at ext. 35418).

[Kilbride]A memorial service will be held today for Helen (Bensusan) Kilbride (right, pictured in 1978), who was named an Honorary Member of the University after her retirement from UW’s staff in 1990. She died April 29, aged 83. Helen Bensusan came to UW in 1965, working in the faculty of environmental studies and eventually, as of 1976, serving in Needles Hall as associate registrar (graduate studies). Along the way she was the first woman president of UW's staff association (1975-76), and chaired the President's Advisory Committee on Equal Rights for Women and Men. After retirement she was active in leading UW's United Way campaign, and in 1999 she received the Honorary Member accolade. Today's service will begin at 11:00 a.m. at Notre Dame Chapel, St. Jerome's University, with a reception following at the University Club. Pledge forms for a Helen J. Kilbride-Bensusan Memorial Fund at UW will be available today (information: ext. 35924), with the goal of planting a tree on campus in her honour.

Finally, here’s a note from Mark Lisetto-Smith of UW’s office of organizational and human development: “Thank you to those who attended OHD’s first annual UW Staff Conference, ‘2 Full Days Just for You’. We believe the event truly exemplified the University of Waterloo's goals for staff training and development and demonstrated the enthusiasm and energy of the UW staff. While the conference has closed, there are a few items of note: A special discount is available for Helice Bridges's book Who I Am Makes A Difference. Several handouts and presentations of the keynote speakers and session facilitators are available online in PDF format. A list of the prize winners and the prizes that were generously donated for our conference is now available. As well, the OHD office would like to thank the volunteers who helped make the first annual UW staff conference a success.”

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Web site shows 12 new researchers

Regular visitors to the UW home page have noticed the appearance of research “profiles” highlighting the work of selected faculty members. Those who have read them all will want to know that a new batch of 12 profiles is posted today, this time focusing on research underway in the schools of accounting and finance, architecture, computer science, optometry, pharmacy, and planning.

While one of these 12 new profiles will randomly load onto the home page each time is visited over the spring term, the previous 24 profiles from the university’s six faculties — 12 posted in January and 12 posted in March — can be read in the research story archives. New sets of profiles will be coming in early September, and again in early November, creating an eventual volume of 60 up-to-date, easily accessible research stories.

This project is being co-ordinated by Barbara Elve here in the Communications and Public Affairs office. In many instances, she’s the one who interviews the professors about their latest research projects, from nanotech drug delivery to effective methods of reducing household energy consumption, and then creates stories that explain the work to non-specialists. Other writers contributing so far to the project have been Pat Bow of CPA and Angela Roorda of the arts faculty research office. Simon Wilson, a freelance photographer based in southwestern Ontario, is creating portraits that help to illustrate each researcher’s focus, although a few of the pictures — such as one of history professor Whitney Lackenbauer on the DEW Line in the Arctic — are provided by the researchers themselves.

“We’ve called this section of the home page ‘Building Knowledge,’ and that is a continuation of our ‘Building the Future’ report published earlier this year,” says Kelley Teahen, associate director for marketing and communications. “In fact, six of the first research profiles featured at the beginning of the year online come from that report.” During 2007, the home page featured “UW Discoveries”, which recounted inventions and innovations created from Waterloo’s history. “It seemed natural,” says Teahen, “to move into the present and the future, exploring what research is ongoing now that will lead to the inventions and innovations of tomorrow.”

The research profiles are also helpful introductions to people considering graduate studies at Waterloo: the short profiles can pique interest in the topic or the researcher’s approach, and the profiles then provide links to more detailed information from the professor’s own web page, or from a research institute or academic department.

What’s been the most surprising side-effect has been the number of people on campus who are discovering what their colleagues are up to, says Teahen. “The single most common comment we’re getting from professors who are profiled is that they’re being contacted by others on campus who say, I didn’t know that’s what you were working on!”

Just how do researchers get selected? The CPA team consults closely with communications specialists working through the deans’ offices to get recommendations, Teahen says. “We also want to present a diverse view of what’s happening in research, making sure we represent all faculties and all stages of a professor’s research career.”

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Profs comment on cigarette law

Two UW experts on smoking cessation say the pending provincial ban on cigarette displays in Ontario's convenience stores will result in improved health among children and adults. They're being pointed out by UW's media relations office as suitable sources for comment as the province prepares for the new law, which goes into effect May 31.

Says a media advisory: "One of them, psychology professor Geoffrey Fong, is the principal investigator of a project that is evaluating tobacco control policies in 15 countries, inhabited by over half of the world's smokers. The other, health studies professor Paul McDonald, is a public health expert on smoking cessation.

"The two professors say that the provincial ban on cigarette displays will have a potentially huge impact on the health of children. They say that restricting point of purchase advertising is an important and positive public policy to improve health among youth and adults.

"They say the ban will also assist current smokers to quit smoking and help prevent former smokers from starting again. As well, emerging data suggests that, other than reductions in cigarettes sales, the impact on store owners is less than expected. Professors Fong and McDonald are available to comment on the ban and its impact."


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Link of the day

Melanoma Monday

News you might have missed during April

Departments need to write ‘expectations’ for student learning
Three departments move to new building on north campus
Progress report on plans for Abu Dhabi campus
Honours listed for presentation at June convocation
UW sets up endowment to boost social sciences, humanities research
Former president of India shows route to ‘harmony’
Ontario government sends $13.4 million for renovations
Associate VP named to be next director of athletics

When and where

Senate executive committee 3:30 p.m., Needles Hall room 3004.

Welcome reception for new students 4:30 p.m., Student Life Centre multipurpose room, with information about UW services and a chance to meet other new students, information ext. 35643.

Graduate Student Association reception for graduate students to meet new GSA executive, 6:30 to 8:00 p.m., Graduate House.

Jewish studies lecture: Menachem Kellner, University of Haifa, Israel, “The New Face of Anti-Semitism: Anti-Israel Obsession and Academic Boycotts” 7:30 p.m., Siegfried Hall, St. Jerome’s University.

Cisco ‘careers and certifications’ open house Tuesday 10:00 to 2:00, Davis Centre rooms 1301 and 1304, details online.

Centre for Family Business, based at Conrad Grebel University College, one-day workshop on “Coaching for Success”, Wednesday, details online.

Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics lecture: Gerard ’t Hooft, Utrecht University, Netherlands, “Science Fiction and Reality”, Wednesday 7:00 p.m., Waterloo Collegiate Institute, ticket information 519-883-4480.

Pension and benefits committee Thursday 8:30 to 12:00, Needles Hall room 3004.

Surplus sale of UW equipment at central stores, East Campus Hall, Thursday 12:30 to 2:00 p.m.

Math alumni reception at Ontario Association of Mathematics Educators convention, Thursday 5:00, Sheraton Parkway North, Richmond Hill.

Last day to add a spring term course: May 9 (distance education), May 16 (on campus).

Graduate Student Leisure Research Symposium (16th annual) Friday, Lyle Hallman Institute auditorium, details online.

Leadership expert and author Robin Sharma speaks at Wilfrid Laurier University, Friday 1:30 to 4:30 p.m., Theatre Auditorium, tickets $40 online.

Carousel Dance Centre spring performance, “The Wizard of Oz”, May 9-11, Humanities Theatre, details online.

CBC radio broadcasts the Wintermeyer Lecture by UW dean of arts Ken Coates, “Losing the Arctic? The Role of the North in Canada’s Future”, given in November at St. Jerome’s University, Friday 9:05 p.m. on Radio One.

Da Capo Chamber Choir, based at Conrad Grebel University College, concert “Three Reaching Beyond”, including premiere of “Moonset” by Jeff Enns, Saturday 8:00 p.m., St. John the Evangelist Anglican Church, Kitchener, tickets $20 (students and seniors $15).

Fiscal year end for 2007-08: deadline for accounting transactions before April 30, 2008, to be submitted to finance office, East Campus Hall, is May 12.

Engineering alumni and friends reception Tuesday, May 13, 5:30 to 7:30, Accelerator Centre, 295 Hagey Boulevard, details online.

Book Club meeting at UW bookstore, to discuss Philippa Gregory’s The Boleyn Inheritance, Wednesday, May 14, 12:00, details online.

Rev. Graham Morbey, Christian Reformed chaplain to UW for 28 years, retirement reception and celebration Wednesday, May 14, 4:30 to 6:30 p.m., Paul Martin Centre, Wilfrid Laurier University.

Victoria Day holiday Monday, May 19: classes cancelled, UW offices and most services closed.

You @ Waterloo Day open house for students considering offers of admission from UW, Saturday, May 24, displays and booths in Student Life Centre 10:00 to 2:00.

Spring into Song fundraiser for UW Well-Fit, with the Twin City Harmonizers and Grand Harmony, Sunday, May 25, 2 p.m., Humanities Theatre, details online.

Matthews Golf Classic for staff and faculty, retirees and friends, Monday, June 16, Grand Valley Golf Course, details online.

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

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

Student Life 101 open house for September’s new students, Saturday, July 19, information online.

Friday's Daily Bulletin