Thursday, June 18, 2009

  • 25-Year Club welcomes the class of 1984
  • Researchers set standards for child speech
  • Editor:
  • Chris Redmond
  • Communications and Public Affairs

25-Year Club welcomes the class of 1984

Tonight the university celebrates a crowd of staff and faculty members who started work here in the ominous-sounding year of 1984, and ended up making a career out of it.

It’s the annual gathering of the 25-Year Club, at which 53 people — including a dean, two grounds crew foremen, and the secretaries to two vice-presidents — will be congratulated and presented with gifts. They join hundreds of other long-service employees who will also attend tonight’s party in the Physical Activities Complex.

The 25-Year Club was launched in 1982, when the university reached its own quarter-century mark and honoured the employees who had arrived in the birth year of 1957 and were still on hand. Others have been added to the Club each year since then.

Now it’s the turn of the 1984 arrivals, those who were hired in the year Canada had three prime ministers, the year of “Ghostbusters”, the year Edmonton won its first Stanley Cup, the year the Apple Macintosh was introduced.

At UW in 1984 — well, let Simon the Troll tell a little of the story: “UW's omnipresent Big Brother was the Institute for Computer Research, which reached into all parts of campus to distribute electronic largesse and enlist faculty, staff and students in the movement towards high-tech unison. Oldthinkers were swept along in the rush, as one faculty after another appointed its first ‘associate dean (computing)’, and even the library began marching in the same direction, with the news that it would soon close the ‘card’ catalogue, replacing it with electronic access to books.

[Handshake]“The excitement was highest in May, when big announcements kept coming, one on the heels of another. Oxford University Press had chosen Waterloo to manage the computerization of the Oxford English Dictionary — yes! Digital Equipment Corporation would give UW $25 million worth of computing hardware over four years, including some machinery that hadn't even been invented yet — yes! The Ontario government would provide millions of dollars toward the cost of a computer research building — yes! Hewlett-Packard would set up a major facility in the soon-to-be-a-reality research park on the north campus — yes! (Well, no, actually, as things turned out; that one never came true.)” And pictured above is president Doug Wright welcoming the launch of spinoff company Watcom.

Here are the arrivals of 1984, the newest members of UW's 25-Year Club:

Baleshta, James R., Mechanical Engineering
Ballantyne, Vivienne C., Information Systems and Technology
Beck, Margaret, Bookstore
Becker, Joyce C., Accounting and Finance
Beninger, Elizabeth M., Plant Operations
Campbell, Melanie C., Physics and Astronomy
Carrington, Peter J., Sociology
Cohen, Robin, Computer Science
Colussi, Beniamino, Library
Davies, Marian R., Library
Feeney, Margaret J., Statistics and Actuarial Science
Fry, Catherine A., Conflict Management and Human Rights
Gadsby, Wayne, Finance
Gibson, Robert B., Environment and Resource Studies
Gingerich, Kimberley A., Vice-President Academic & Provost Office
Harper, Donna L., Food Services (Brubakers)
Heikkila, John J., Biology
Herman, Dennis, Chemical Engineering

Hutten, Jerry J., Plant Operations
Jacobs, Kenneth W., Plant Operations (Grounds)
Johnson, Lynda A., Library
Kern, William T., Athletics and Recreational Services
Kosa, Ilona, Sociology
Lawrence, Vicky E., Systems Design Engineering
Lynch, Paula M., Engineering Computing
Marks, Janice, Food Services (Brubakers)
McCutchan, Walter C., Information Systems and Technology
McGowan, Keith C., Arts Computing
McMahon, Terrance B., Chemistry
Mihm, Patrick J., Plant Operations (Mechanical)
Mitchell, Catherine A., Police Services
Montag, Janice, Cooperative Education and Career Services
Murphy, Heather A., Office of Research
Nelson, Susan, Dean of Engineering Office
Nesbitt, Lorraine P., Counselling
Novak, Joseph A., Philosophy

Peters, Nell, Health Services
Plotkin, Ann D., Optometry
Poruban, Anthony, Plant Operations (Custodial)
Regier, Philip E., Electrical and Computer Engineering
Richardson, Catherine R., Cooperative Education and Career Services
Sabaryn, Thérèse, French Studies
Schell, Donna K., Vice-President Administration and Finance Office
Sloboda, Audrey M., Graduate Studies Office
Spaetzel, Susan E., Dean of Engineering Office
Strome, Christine A., Health Services
Taves, Tracy L., Dean of Applied Health Sciences Office
Tytko, Kathy M., Management Sciences
Van Dongen, Les P., Plant Operations
Van Nierop, Martin W., Communications and Public Affairs
Weppler, K. Yvonne, Psychology
White Woods, Christine, Arts Special Programs
Zorian, Alison, Dean of Mathematics Office

Tonight’s gala event, which starts at 6:00, will also honour the 35-year veterans who came to Waterloo in 1974 and are still serving as staff or faculty. Their names:

Anjaria, Chandrakanta, Information Systems and Technology
Bowyer, Dave, Plant Operations (Custodial)
Britton, Jane, Library
Brown, K. Stephen, Statistics and Actuarial Science
Cameron, Brian J., Information Systems and Technology
Costa, John M., Athletics and Recreational Services
Dandyk, Annette J., Library
Deighan, Connie M., Library
Goyder, John C., Sociology
Haight, Murray E., School of Planning
Heimpel, C. Joanne, Library

John, David, Germanic and Slavic Studies
Johnson, Ronald C. A., Recreation and Leisure Studies
Johnson, Jeanne C., Earth and Environmental Sciences
Jongerius, John J., Federation of Students
Lafranier, Patricia L., Information Systems and Technology
Morton, Douglas H., Library
Moul, William B., Political Science
O'Grady, Paulette P., Registrar
Payne, Douglas W., Information Systems and Technology
Rae-Schneider, Barbara, Pharmacy

Reardon, Eric J., Earth and Environmental Sciences
Ross, Hildy S., Psychology
Richmond, Lawrence B., Combinatorics and Optimization
Russell, Grant W., Accounting and Finance
Scott, Norman J., Biology
Semple, John C., Biology
Shantz, Karen A., Library
Smith, Velma, Library
Spencer, Garry C., Plant Operations (Central Plant)
Swainston, Alfrieda, Human Resources
Tompa, Frank W., Computer Science
Wall, Geoffrey, Geography
Whetstone, Wayne R., Food Services
Yan, May, Bookstore

The 25-Year Club event is organized by the human resources department (information, ext. 32078).

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Researchers set standards for child speech

a news release from the UW media relations office

A new parent questionnaire, developed at UW, will help health practitioners to more accurately gauge the acquisition of language skills in children with autism. The pioneering Language Use Inventory (LUI) is among a set of measures for evaluating spoken language development in children with autism spectrum disorders, recommended by an expert panel.

The experts' report, Defining Spoken Language Benchmarks and Selecting Measures of Expressive Language Development for Young Children with Autism Spectrum Disorders, appears in the June 2009 issue of the Journal of Speech, Language and Hearing Research. The report was commissioned by the National Institute of Deafness and Other Communication Disorders.

"This is very exciting news," said psychology professor Daniela O'Neill, who created the LUI. "This report will be of tremendous help to researchers, clinicians and speech-language professionals involved in intervention with young children with autism and we are very proud to see the LUI included among the measures recommended for evaluating the efficacy of interventions that target spoken language."

The LUI is a standardized questionnaire that asks parents about their child's use of language in many different kinds of settings. Research from the Centers for Disease Control in the U.S. suggests the prevalence of autism spectrum disorders to be one in 150 children.

"The LUI looks at pragmatic language development which has do with how young children are able to use their language effectively and successfully in everyday interactions with other people in ways that are age-appropriate and typical," O'Neill explained. "For example, to ask for help, comment about noticeable things, tease, tell stories and give others information they might need. The pragmatics of language can be an area of great difficulty for children with autism."

Difficulty with learning language and communicating with others is often one of the first things that parents become concerned about. Parents have much valuable information on their child's language use to share with professionals evaluating their child. "A parent has had the most experience watching their child try to use their language in a host of different settings and with many different people."

The LUI provides speech-language pathologists and researchers with a new tool to evaluate a young child's broad pragmatic use of language. As many as 14 per cent of preschool-age children in Canada and the U.S. may be at risk for language disorders.

The LUI is the product of more than eight years of research funded by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research. The development of the inventory included a large-scale study in which more than 3,500 parents from across Canada completed the questionnaire describing their child's language ability.

"This study will help us understand unexplored ways of identifying language skills in children with autism," said Michael Kramer, scientific director at the CIHR. "Our support for the development of the Language Use Inventory helps keep us on the forefront of research on autism in young children. This research will also provide unprecedented insight into language acquisition in typically developing Canadian children as well as those with communication disorders and other disabilities."

The LUI allows a comparison of a child's score with children of the same age — similar to height and weight charts used by family doctors. Family practitioners in the Kitchener-Waterloo area are involved in preliminary studies looking at its use in doctor's offices. "Both doctors and parents are enthusiastic about the possibility of learning more about how a child's language is progressing relative to peers of the same age through a friendly and easy-to-use questionnaire, such as the LUI," O'Neill said.

"The tremendous response we had from parents all across Canada has allowed us to provide norms for the LUI at every month from 18 to 47 months of age," she said. "We were amazed by how eager so many parents were to take part. I think the issue of how children learn language is just as fascinating to parents as to researchers and also many parents can relate to the anxiety of wondering if perhaps a child is experiencing language difficulties or may be falling significantly behind their peers."


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Link of the day

The battle of you-know-where

When and where

Canadian Society for Chemical Engineering Quebec-Ontario Biotechnology Division annual meeting Thursday-Friday, Siegfried Hall, St. Jerome’s University. Details.

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, 10:00, Laurel Room, South Campus Hall, register online.

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

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

Lectures in Quantum Information series by Anthony Leggett, “The physics of topological quantum computing: selected topics”, continues June 18, 23, 25 and 30, and July 2, 2 p.m., Research Advancement Centre room 2009. All welcome.

Kairos social justice ‘gathering’ continues. Public events in Theatre of the Arts: “The Faces of Climate Justice” Thursday 2:30; “Community Resistance and Corporate Accountability in Extractive Industries” Friday 2:30; “Word and the World: Biblical Activism” Saturday 2:00.

Iranian students protest repression following Iran's presidential election, support Mousavi: gathering in front of Math and Computer building 4:00, march to Wilfrid Laurier University and back, rally at MC 5:30.

Cambridge Galleries opening reception for “Architecture in Canada: Venice Biennale” exhibition, 6:30 p.m., Design at Riverside gallery, UW Architecture building, Cambridge. Details.

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

Pension and benefits committee Friday 8:30 a.m., Needles Hall room 3001.

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.

Bojangles Dance performances Saturday 12:00 and 6:00, Humanities Theatre.

The New Quarterly presents three storytellers (including Gail Corning, UW speech communication) as part of Latitudes Storytelling Festival, Saturday 3:00, Victoria Park, Kitchener.

Waterloo Classic road races (10-km, 5-km and 3-km) Sunday, leave University Stadium 9 a.m. Details.

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.

Waterloo Engineering Competition sponsored by Engineering Society and Sandford Fleming Foundation, opens Monday 10:00 a.m., continues through Saturday. Details.

Senate long-range planning committee Monday 3:00, Needles Hall room 3004.

Alzheimer Research and Education Program presents authors Heather Menzies and Richard Taylor, “Re-Connecting and Re-Learning How to Communicate with Persons with Dementia” Tuesday 1:00, Hallman Institute room 1621.

‘Wikis’ workshop organized by Centre for Teaching Excellence, Tuesday 3:00 p.m., Flex Lab, Dana Porter Library. Details.

Economic discussion: Waterloo Investment Research Exchange presents experts from business, UW and WLU speaking on “Where Is the Economy Headed?” Tuesday 6:00, Humanities Theatre. Details.

Farm market operated by UW food services and volunteers, June 25, 9:00 to 1:00, Environment I courtyard.

Liz Vinnicombe, office of research, retirement reception Thursday, June 25, 3:00, University Club, information ext. 33432.

Warrior Weekend events in Student Life Centre June 26 and 27 from 9 p.m., including salsa dancing, casino night, sundae and coffee bar, crafts, movies. Details.

PhD oral defences

Electrical and computer engineering. Safaa Zaman, “A Collaborative Architecture for Distributed Intrusion Detection System Based on Lightweight Modules.” Supervisor, Fakhreddine Karray. On display in the faculty of engineering, PHY 3004. Oral defence Monday, June 29, 1:00 p.m., Davis Centre room 1304.

Earth and environmental sciences. Soonyoung Yu, “An Optimal Framework of Investment Strategy in Brownfields Redevelopment by Integrating Site-Specific Hydrogeological and Financial Uncertainties.” Supervisor, André J. A. Unger. On display in the faculty of science, ESC 254A. Oral defence Monday, June 29, 1:00 p.m., CEIT room 2053.

Electrical and computer engineering. Nader Safavian, “Current Programmed Active Pixel Sensors for Large Area Diagnostic X-Ray Imaging.” Supervisors, Karim Karim and John A. Rowlands. On display in the faculty of engineering, PHY 3004. Oral defence Monday, July 6, 9:00 a.m., CEIT room 3142.

Biology. Kimmy J. Rattan, “Traditional and New Fluorometric Methods to Determine Phytoplankton Nutrient Status for Freshwater Ecosystems.” Supervisors, Ralph E. H. Smith and William D. Taylor. On display in the faculty of science, ESC 254A. Oral defence Tuesday, July 7, 1:00 p.m., CEIT building room 1014.

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