Monday, June 15, 2009

  • New role for Lazaridis at last convocation
  • Student services conference held at Waterloo
  • Emergency alert tested tomorrow
  • Editor:
  • Chris Redmond
  • Communications and Public Affairs

[Big smiles from Chakma, Lazaridis, Johnston]

Chancellor emeritus Mike Lazaridis embraces provost Amit Chakma (attending his last convocation before leaving UW for the University of Western Ontario) and president David Johnston.

New role for Lazaridis at last convocation

Mike Lazaridis began a new chapter of his relationship with UW at the last of eight spring convocation ceremonies Saturday afternoon. He was installed as chancellor emeritus, following a six-year term in which he presided over the awarding of some 30,000 degrees from Waterloo. Lazaridis was the university's eighth chancellor, serving from 2003 to April 30, 2009, and at last week's events financier Prem Watsa was installed as his successor. Lazaridis was also recognized this month as UW's largest-ever donor, as he and his wife, Ophelia, have given $101 million to the university's Institute for Quantum Computing. He is co-CEO of Waterloo-based Research In Motion Ltd.

A few honours were presented at Saturday’s convocation ceremonies that didn’t make it into the Daily Bulletin on Friday morning. Among them: Curtis Woodford, graduating with a BASc in chemical engineering, received the alumni gold medal as the top graduating engineering student of the year. Phillip Nadeau, receiving his BASc in electrical engineering, received a Governor General’s Silver Medal. (See clarification published June 19.) Nicholas Armstrong (computer engineering) was winner of the Albert Sherwood Barber Medal for best overall work term and academic performance. Thilan Costa (computer eng) received the George Dufault Medal for excellence in communication. And Mohammad Fakharzadeh Jahromi was cited for “outstanding achievement in graduate studies” while receiving a PhD in electrical and computer engineering.

The UW senate, the university's academic governing body, will hold its monthly meeting tonight, starting at 4:30, in Needles Hall room 3001. Agenda items include the usual reports from the president and provost; a proposed Waterloo Research Institute in Insurance, Securities and Quantitative Finance, or WatRISQ, replacing two existing institutes; a joint program with Wilfrid Laurier University that would let students earn a Bachelor of Computer Science degree from UW and a Bachelor of Business Administration degree from Laurier at the same time; and a proposal to create time slots Friday evening and Saturday (up to 6 p.m.) in which midterm tests could be officially scheduled.

“New features and a new look” are promised as Quest, the online student information system, emerges today from a major upgrade. Changes range “from streamlined navigation to clearer academic reports”, the registrar’s office told thousands of students, faculty and staff in recent e-mail messages. Key features: “A new Student Center brings together tools and information concerning finance, academics, personal information, and admissions. The information you need is available with fewer clicks. The format of the new unofficial undergraduate transcript has been significantly improved. The new transcript consolidates all relevant program information. Major averages will now display on the new unofficial undergraduate transcript, in addition to term and cumulative averages. Class enrolment changes are simplified.” Now about that “Student Center” thing: yes, it’s spelt the American way. “The vendor of Quest (PeopleSoft) is a US-based organization, and the use of Student Center is coded throughout the software,” assistant registrar Mary Lynn Benninger explains.

There’s a new advisory memo on the H1N1 flu from Waterloo Region's health unit, commenting on the Level 6 alert issued by the World Health Organization last week. It basically reassures residents of the region that this does not mean the flu has become more dangerous or threatening — just more widespread around the world. Previous advisories from the university's Health Services still apply, that is, with any flu or virus, to take the usual precautions of washing hands, coughing into one’s sleeve, and staying home when ill.

A team of student researchers from UW placed second (and collected a $3,500 prize) in the recent Auto 21 Highly Qualified People poster competition. Auto 21 is the national automotive research program, supporting more than 200 researchers and 500 graduate students across the country. More than 80 teams took part in this year’s competition, and 20 semifinalists were asked to give an oral defence of their research project before five finalists were selected. The top award went to a University of Calgary entry for the “Teen and Novice Driver Network”; UW’s second-place entry was focused on “Dynamic Collaborative Driving”, based on a continuing project in the department of mechanical and mechatronics engineering.

Deaths of several retired UW staff members have been reported by the human resources department. Jiri Sklenar, who was an electronics technician in the audio-visual centre (now part of IST) from 1969 to his retirement in 1992, died April 22. Werner Sternberg, who worked from 1979 until his retirement in 1991 as a custodian in plant operations, died May 22. And Nina Lipskie, who was a secretary in the faculty of science from 1971 until retiring in 1979, died May 29.

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Student services conference held at Waterloo

The annual conference of the Canadian Association of College and University Student Services, being held in Waterloo this week, will explore such topics as sex education for today's students and campus response to emergencies.

The CACUSS conference, hosted by UW, Wilfrid Laurier University and Conestoga College from June 14 to 17, will draw about 500 professionals who work in student affairs and services. The conference will focus on learning communities and how to foster innovation, encourage integration and build intelligence on campuses.

Its sessions will feature such topics as "Establishing Institutional Responses to Safety Threats," "Sex Ed for You Tube Generation," "AlcoholEdu — How to Reduce High Risk Drinking on Campus," and "Understanding the Experiences of Distinct Groups of Students."

Keynote speakers include Larry Smith, entrepreneurship expert and a UW economics professor, on "Why Innovation is Becoming Urgent for Educational Institutions"; Roger Martin, dean of the Rotman School of Management at the University of Toronto, on "Integrative Thinking and the Opposable Mind"; Corey A. Goldman, associate chair of U of T's new department ecology and evolutionary biology, on "Learning Communities"; and Lisa Glithero, environmental educator, youth advocate and community innovator, on "Bringing a Sustainability Imperative into Educational Pedagogy and practice".

Last night UW presented a performance of the award-winning Single and Sexy. The play, created 21 years ago at UW, raises issues ranging from sex to social responsibility.

CACUSS is composed of six divisions, representing the Canadian Academic Integrity and Student Judicial Affairs, Canadian Association of Disability Service Providers in Post-Secondary Education, Canadian Organization of University College Health, Canadian University and College Counselling Association, National Aboriginal Student Services Association, and Student Affairs and Services Association.

The conference chairs are David McMurray, Laurier's dean of students; Mike Dinning, Conestoga College's vice-president, student affairs; and Catharine Scott, UW's associate provost (human resources and student services).

The majority of conference sessions are being held at WLU, but participants came to the UW campus yesterday for "Single and Sexy" and will be back tonight for a "Razzle Dazzle Dinner" in South Campus Hall, and most of tomorrow's working sessions are on the UW campus as well.

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Emergency alert tested tomorrow

an announcement from the emergency planning steering committee

There will be a second campus test of the university’s Emergency Warning System tomorrow (Tuesday, June 16) at 10 a.m. This is a test of the system that will be conducted each term.

No action is required. The test will involve notifying campus that this is “a test of the Emergency Communication System — Go to the Home Page for information.” It will be seen on many computer screens across campus as a pop-up message activated by the university’s emergency planning steering committee. A link on the pop-up page will lead to a special emergency web page that in a real emergency will also be activated taking the place of Waterloo’s regular home page.

The same warning notification will also appear as a text message on cell phones listed with the university. Students can do this through the Quest info system, while faculty and staff can list their phones using the HR info system.

As well, the university now has an infoline number (1-888-470-0910) that will be engaged during genuine emergencies. In coming months a number of reminders to campus will advertise the number’s existence. This special number will help manage the flow of incoming calls to UW’s main campus in time of emergency.


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Link of the day

Magna Carta

When and where

Co-op employer interviews (main group) June 1-18.

Matthews Golf Classic for students, staff, faculty, retirees and guests, 12:00 noon, Grand Valley Golf Course. Sold out. Details.

UW Recreation Committee presents “Home Health Care: Making the Right choice”, Marie Graham of Bayshore Home Health, 12:00 noon, Dana Porter Library room 329.

Social work seminar: "Spirituality, Social Work and Transformation." 4:30 p.m., chapel lounge, Renison University College. Free. Details.

Staff association Golf Social Tuesday, Conestoga Golf and Country Club, tee-off 4:00, fee $40. Details.

Waterloo Institute for Nanotechnology Distinguished Lecture: Yuan T. Lee, Nobel prize winner in chemistry, “Ionization Processes of Molecular Clusters” Tuesday 3:00, CEIT room 1015.

Regional Transportation Master Plan public workshop Tuesday 6:15 p.m., First United Church, Waterloo. Details.

Alternatives Journal launches its new issue, “The New Ecology”, with performer Bob Wiseman, Tuesday 8:30 p.m., Princess Café, 46 King Street North.

Applied Health Informatics Bootcamp, June 17-19, Davis Centre. Details.

Library workshop: “Mapping Census Data” Wednesday 10:30, Flex Lab, Dana Porter Library. Details.

UW Book Club. Sparrow by Mary Doria Russell, Wednesday 12:05 p.m., Dana Porter Library room 407. Details on UWRC webpage.

‘Clickers in the classroom’ workshop sponsored by Centre for Teaching Excellence, Wednesday 1:00, Flex Lab, Dana Porter Library. Details.

Amnesty International Action Group of WPIRG presents Adil Charkaoui, “suspected terrorist” imprisoned under an immigration security certificate, Wednesday 7 p.m., Math and Computer room 2066.

Ministry of Citizenship and Immigration information session about the Provincial Nominee Program, aimed at helping international students and foreign workers stay permanently in Ontario, remarks by minister Michael Chan, Thursday 10:00, Laurel Room, South Campus Hall, register online.

Renison University College 1950s carnival and barbecue to celebrate the college’s 50th anniversary, Thursday 11:30 to 1:00, Academic Building, all welcome.

Surplus sale of UW furnishings and equipment Thursday 12:30 to 2 p.m., East Campus Hall.

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

Last day for 50 per cent fee refund for dropped courses, June 19.

Canada’s Wonderland trip Friday, buses leave Davis Centre 9:30 a.m., tickets $45 at Federation of Students office.

Co-op job ranking for fall term opens Friday 1:00 p.m., closes Monday 2:00 p.m.; match results available Monday 4:00 p.m.

Class enrolment appointments for fall term courses; appointments June 22-27 for continuing students, July 13-26 for new students; open enrolment begins July 27.

Larry Lamb, Faculty of Environment ecology lab, retirement open house Monday, June 22, 3:30 to 5:00, Environment I courtyard, RSVP ext. 33463.

Joanne Wade, retired from office of student awards, recognition reception Monday, June 22, 4:00 to 6:00, University Club, RSVP bdenomme@

Canada Day holiday Wednesday, July 1, UW offices and most services closed; classes cancelled; annual celebrations and fireworks on the north campus 2:00 to 11:00.

Swing2Cure Charity Golf Tournament sponsored by Centre for Business, Entrepreneurship and Technology, Wednesday, July 8, 12:00, Rebel Creek Golf Club. Details.

Festival International de Jazz de Montréal bus trip sponsored by International Student Connection, July 10-12, tickets starting at $149 from Federation of Students office.

Homecoming 2009 Saturday, September 26. Includes AHS fun run, East Asian Festival, engineering and math reunions, Aboriginal Pow-Wow, Conrad Grebel University College 1990-95 era alumni reunion. Details.

Friday's Daily Bulletin