Monday, May 12, 2008

  • New research chairs for seniors' health
  • Neil Turok named to lead Perimeter
  • Notes for a spring Monday
  • Editor:
  • Chris Redmond
  • Communications and Public Affairs

New research chairs for seniors' health and care

from UW Media Relations

The University of Waterloo and Conestoga College have announced a $4-million donation to establish five research chairs dedicated to enhancing the health and care of seniors in Ontario and across Canada.

The $4-million donation comes from former UW professor Ronald Schlegel, adding to his initial $2-million donation to found the Schlegel-UW Research Institute for Aging (RIA). Four of the research chairs on aging will be based at UW and a program chair for enhanced seniors' care will be located at Conestoga College.

“I am pleased to provide funding to promote research in aging that will improve the quality of life and quality of care for our seniors,” says Schlegel, president of Winston Park and Oakwood Retirement Communities. “Research and innovation lead the way in advancing other areas in society, and we must invest with equal or higher priority in our seniors as well. They are the ones who have built our communities which we all enjoy today, and we owe it to them to maximize their life enjoyment at this time in their lives.”

UW’s four new Schlegel research chairs will focus on neuroscience (functional abilities), dementia, optimal medication, and geriatric medicine, all key health areas in an aging population. The chairs will be based in the Faculty of Applied Health Sciences and UW's Kitchener health sciences campus.

One of the chairs has already been filled by Dr. Safa Elgamal, a physician from Egypt, who will study the impact of physical activity in slowing the progression of Alzheimer's disease in the early stages.

"This very generous gift from Dr. Schlegel will enable the University of Waterloo and Conestoga College to create a synergy that will generate timely advances in the health and care of our seniors," says UW president David Johnston.

The chair at Conestoga College is designed to improve the care of seniors in the local community. The chairholder, who will be named shortly, will take the lead in developing and setting up an innovative education and training program that will enhance the care provided for seniors by health-care and community service professionals.

The chair will play a guiding role in curriculum design and enhancement of seniors' care content across health-related disciplines at the college and will develop training programs for professionals already working in the field. The chair will also conduct applied research and develop evidence-informed practices in human health resources utilization for long-term care and home-based care for seniors.

"We need a workforce with the knowledge, skills and attitudes to meet the needs of an aging population that is growing rapidly," says John Tibbits, president of Conestoga College. "This partnership will help us meet that challenge and be leaders in the province and the country in that regard."

The RIA offers direct links to research and expertise on aging, along with access to eight seniors' residences across southwestern Ontario. These communities, housing about 3,000 seniors, provide a continuum of care, including independent living, retirement home living, assisted-living and long-term care. Research and program innovations developed here are then disseminated to all seniors’ care agencies across the province, once proven in these research and learning environments.

The RIA, created in 2005, and the five new research chairs are the product of a $6-million commitment from Schlegel. Each chair will receive approximately $100,000 per year, with matching funds from the home institutions, for the next 10 years. A portion of the funds will also fund scholarships and other support for students.

For more information on the RIA and the chairs, download backgrounders from

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Neil Turok named to lead Perimeter Institute

Neil TurokThe next executive director of the Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics (PI) is cosmologist and physicist Neil Turok (left), effective October 1. His appointment was announced on Friday. Mike Lazaridis, PI founder and chairman of the board, describes Turok as a “world-renowned scientist of the highest calibre.”

Turok holds the Chair of Mathematical Physics at Cambridge University, where he also directs the Centre for Theoretical Cosmology, according to a Perimeter press release. “... Turok has worked in a number of areas of theoretical physics and cosmology, focusing on observational tests of fundamental physics.

“In the early 1990s, his group showed how the polarization and temperature anisotropies of the cosmic background radiation would be correlated, a prediction which has been confirmed in detail by recent precision measurements. The team also developed a key test for the presence of the cosmological constant, also recently confirmed.

“With Stephen Hawking, he later developed the Hawking-Turok instanton solutions describing the birth of inflationary universes.

“Most recently, with Paul Steinhardt at Princeton, he has been developing a cyclic model for cosmology, according to which the Big Bang is explained as a collision between two ‘brane-worlds’ in M-theory. In 2006, Steinhardt and Turok showed how the model naturally allowed the cosmological constant to relax to very small values, consistent with current observations.”

Turok’s multimedia talk about cosmology, “What Banged?” may be viewed online.

The Perimeter Institute is an independent, non-profit, scientific research and educational outreach organization located in Waterloo. Participating scientists among them many based at or cross-appointed to the University of Waterloo study cosmology, particle physics, quantum foundations, quantum gravity, quantum information, superstring theory, and related areas of science.

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Notes for a spring Monday

new goslings"The goslings are starting to come out," writes Ian Goldberg, a professor in computer science. "These were spotted between St. Jerome's and the Ring Road." His wife, Kat Hanna, snapped them on her BlackBerry while out on a lunchtime stroll. "We spotted them on Monday (the 5th) as well, but they were too far away to get a good picture. Today they were right next to the path."

Learning About Teaching, an annual symposium organized by the Centre for Teaching Excellence, runs today through Wednesday, mainly in the FLEX Lab, Dana Porter Library. Faculty workshops on the 13th and 14th are Self-regulation and learning in the disciplines, Assessment as motivation for learning, Designing motivating assessments, and Motivating your large class. Some spots are still open in these workshops: details and registration online.

Get active! Register for spring term Campus Recreation programs today through Thursday at the PAC Athletics Office. To register, go online to find the classes, courses, or workshops you want, note their course codes (add codes for second choices), and take the codes to the PAC to register.

UW Blooms today. More exactly, the SLC Multi-Purpose Room will burgeon with free seeds, seedlings, and garden gear from 10:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. The annual event is organized by the UW Recreation Committee for UW students, staff, and faculty. “Although not necessary, visitors are encouraged to bring in any excess plants or garden items of their own.”

Students: stressed out? Counselling Services offers a six-session workshop for students on “Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction” Wednesdays, 2 – 4 p.m., starting May 12, in the Village I Great Hall. “Learn and practice the art and science of meditation, gentle yoga and body scanning to maximize personal, interpersonal, and academic coping skills.” There is a $15 materials fee. For more information visit Needles Hall room 2080, or call 519-888-4567, ext. 32655.

Eminent theologian Gregory Baum is to deliver the last lecture in the 2007-2008 St. Jerome’s Centre for Catholic Experience season. He will speak on “Diversity, Religion and the Limits of Multiculturalism” at St. Jerome’s University on Wednesday starting at 7:30 p.m. in Siegfried Hall. Baum’s theme: the discussion of multiculturalism involves issues of social justice as well as identity. He discusses the cultural and religious needs and the contribution of new Canadians, their influence on the dominant culture, and the structures that discriminate against them. Gregory Baum taught social ethics and the sociology of religion at the University of St. Michael’s College in the University of Toronto and at McGill University. He is the author of dozens of books on religion, culture and society, including the recently re-released classic Religion and Alienation. The lecture is free and open to all.

A reminder about courseware from Graphics: “Instructors who will be off campus for the spring term are encouraged to prepare their course packages for fall and submit them before they leave. You can place your order by phoning Sarah Bunte at extension 33996, emailing, dropping in to Graphics (COM Building) 8:30 ­­− 4:30, Monday − Friday, or ordering online. Eliminate the stress of fall term preparation by placing courseware orders now!”

Leslie Usher died on April 19. He began at UW in July 1967 and worked in the Purchasing Department (now Procurement and Contract Services) until he retired on March 1, 1986. He is survived by his wife, Ella May. … Ernestine (Erna) Freiberg died on April 20. She began at UW in May 1971 and held the position of audit clerk in Financial Services until she retired on May 1, 1982.

CPA staff

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When and where

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

FEDS Used Book Store hours this week: Monday to Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.

Class enrolment appointments for fall term undergraduate courses listed on Quest starting today. Appointments for continuing students, June 2-14; new students, July 14-27; open enrolment begins July 28.

Social Entrepreneurship Intensive ‘bootcamp’ organized by Laurel Centre, May 12-14, details online.

Waterloo Aerial Robotics Group recruitment meeting 4:00, Davis Centre fishbowl lounge.

Work reports from co-op students’ winter work term due 4:00 p.m. (most programs).

Career workshop: “Networking 101” 4:30, Tatham Centre room 1208, registration online.

Malcolm Gladwell, author and UW graduate, speaks on “Celebrating Our Heritage, Building Our Future”, in support of Parkwood Mennonite Home and Fairview Mennonite Home, 6:30 p.m. dinner followed by live auction and speaker, Bingeman Park, tickets $150, information 519-653-5719.

Tourplay children’s performance: “New Canadian Kid” Tuesday 10:00 and 1:00.

Senate undergraduate council Tuesday 12:00, Needles Hall room 3001.

Pension and benefits committee Tuesday 1:00, Needles Hall room 3004.

Engineering alumni and friends reception Tuesday 5:30 to 7:30, featuring alumnus Jim Estill (BASc ’80), CEO of Synnex Canada. Accelerator Centre, 295 Hagey Boulevard, pre-registration and details online.

Waterloo Unlimited public talk, “The Mystery of the Misplaced Spectacles," with Graham Strong, director, Centre for Sight Enhancement, Tuesday, 7 to 8:15 p.m., CEIT room 1015.

Gauss mathematics contest for grade 7 and 8 students, May 14, details online.

Physical Activities Complex main gym closed for repair work during the daytime May 14-16 (available in the evenings).

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

Career workshop: “Professional School Interviews” Wednesday, May 14, 4:30, Tatham Centre room 1208, registration 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.

Columbia Lake Health Club lunch-and-learn session: “A Proper Golf Warm-up” Wednesday, May 14, 5:30, boardroom at TechTown, 340 Hagey Boulevard.

W Retirees Association outing to Black Creek Pioneer Village, Thursday, May 15, $67 for members and guests, information 519-744-3246.

Spring Gardening ‘tips and tales’ with David Hobson, local garden columnist, presented by Employee Assistance Program, Thursday, May 15, 12:00 noon, Davis Centre room 1302.

Waterloo Unlimited public talk, “What We Know vs. What We See”, with Art Green, retired fine arts professor, Thursday 7 to 8 p.m., East Campus Hall room 1219.

Retirement party for Steve Breen, IST, after 37.5 years at UW. RSVP to Pavlina Penk,, ext. 38018, by May 16. Event is Wednesday, May 28, 3 – 5 p.m., University Club

Bicycle auction outside the Student Life Centre, Friday, May 16, 12:30 p.m., cash or cheque only.

Waterloo Unlimited open house, Friday May 16, 7:15 -- 8:15 p.m., South Campus Hall, Laurel Room.

First job posting for fall term co-op jobs opens Saturday, May 17, 7:00 a.m., on Jobmine.

The BookStore, UWShop, CampusTechshop, and TechWorx will be closed on Saturday, May 17 and Monday, May 19 for the Victoria Day long weekend.

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

IPgentsia: workshop on copyright and intellectual property management, Tuesday, May 20, 1:30 to 3:30, Tatham Centre room 2218, registration ext. 33300.

Elections for Senate and Board of Governors May 20 – 22. Information is online.

UW Retirees Association annual general meeting Wednesday, May 21, 1:30 p.m., Ron Eydt Village room 102.

TD Canada Trust Walter Bean Visiting Professor in the Environment: Tavi Murray, Swansea University, Wales, “Warming Climate, Melting Ice”, Wednesday, May 21, 3:30, Humanities Theatre, reception follows.

Dropping courses: no-penalty period ends (last day to withdraw with 100 per cent fee refund) May 23.

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.

Alumni reunion for mathematics graduates of 1968, 1973, 1978, 1983, 1988, 1993, Saturday, May 24, details online.

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.

Distance and Continuing Education office closes May 30 at 3 p.m. for a staff function.

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