Monday, March 2, 2009

  • Aboriginal high school students get DIRECTIONS
  • Funding announced for new grad students
  • A world of things happening
  • Editor:
  • Chris Redmond
  • Communications and Public Affairs

Alumni and other friends of Peter Russell (left) will gather at a cocktail reception in Toronto this evening "to celebrate his 65th birthday and honour his outstanding contributions to science outreach and education," says the poster. "For over 30 years, Peter has been the curator of the Earth Sciences Museum. He has authored several books and has championed countless volunteer outreach activities across Canada. His efforts have been recognized by several organizations.”

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Aboriginal high school students get DIRECTIONS

UW Media Relations

Aboriginal Grade 11 students from across Ontario will be attending a University of Waterloo high school enrichment conference this week aimed at encouraging them to pursue higher learning.

The UW DIRECTIONS conference, which runs from Tuesday to Saturday, is one of three First Nations high school enrichment conferences hosted each year by UW Aboriginal Services at St. Paul's College. The 30 high school students will gain pre-postsecondary enrichment education experiences.

The conference will feature influential Inuit leader Mary Simon, president of Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami (ITK), at its opening ceremonies, which begin at 6:30 p.m. on Tuesday in MacKirdy Hall, St. Paul's College. Simon, who has brought Inuit issues to the attention of Canada and the world, is the author of Inuit: One Arctic -- One Future. She will give a public talk entitled “Inuit and the Canadian Arctic: Sovereignty Begins at Home.”
ITK is the national Inuit organization in Canada. Simon’s lecture is sponsored by UW Aboriginal Services, the Faculty of Arts, and Canadian International Council.

"Our conference's theme, Imagine Yourself Here, is aimed at providing Aboriginal high school students with a vision of themselves pursuing any form of post-secondary from university to college to apprenticeship and training," said Emerance Baker, co-ordinator of UW Aboriginal Services. "While at Waterloo, they will take part in a program that is centred on, but not limited to, a career in an applied health-care profession."

They will spend five days living in a St. Paul's residence while attending a conference focused on spiritual, emotional, mental, and physical health. Community Elders Dan and Mary Lou Smoke will officiate during the conference.

The students will participate in hands-on workshops and sit in on special university-level lectures. They will also tour the UW campus, including the faculties of applied health sciences and environment, as well as the School of Pharmacy.

The enrichment program seeks to boost the students' motivation to complete high school, enhance their self-confidence in a successful post-secondary experience, and encourage them to consider a health-related career.

DIRECTIONS stands for Developing Indigenous Readiness (for) Education (and) Career Training (using) Innovative Opportunities 'N Strategies.

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Funding announced for new grad students

"It's terrific news," was the reaction of Alan George, dean of graduate studies, after the Ontario government announced it will be spending $51.6 million to fund 3,300 new spaces for graduate students across the province over the next three years. John Milloy, the minister of training, colleges and universities and the MPP for Kitchener Centre, made the announcement on Friday.

“Ontario's seven largest research universities will receive about 75 per cent of the new spaces,” says the ministry’s news release. “The new spaces will enable more students to study for careers in high-demand sectors such as engineering and environmental studies.” The University of Waterloo’s share is 461 spaces, the third largest allotment following the University of Toronto, which received 588, and the University of Western Ontario, with 504.

"We're delighted to have been allocated as many spots as we have," George told the Waterloo Region Record on Saturday, adding that “the continued commitment is timely, because economic turmoil is expected to increase applications to graduate programs as students delay entering a weak job market.”

The new funding will help Waterloo achieve its long-term goal, as set out in the Sixth Decade Plan, of increasing enrolment in grad programs to 8,000 by 2017. Last June, President Johnston announced an interim goal of enrolling 4,000 by 2010. The fall 2008 count from Institutional Analysis and Planning was already 3,992, including 3,315 full-time grad students.

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Happening on campus: a world of things to do

One Waterloo, the diversity group, will be “Bringing the World to UW” during International Celebrations Week (ICW). Events to celebrate diversity on campus begin today with a “Taste of the Week” featuring the Water Boys, 3 to 5 p.m. in the Student Life Centre Lower Atrium. Other events during the week include “Country Presentations,” a film, a hypnotist, a world café, a chance to make your own sushi, and Cultural Caravan evening on Thursday with cultural performances, displays and food in the SLC Great Hall. It all winds up Friday evening in the SLC Great Hall. Details here.

Registration opens today for the 2009 UW Staff Conference, “2 More Full Days Just For You,” which will take place April 6 and 7. From the Organizational and Human Development Team: “2009 promises to build on the success of last year’s conference, with five keynote speakers, 10 interactive workshops, a staff lunch and dinner. Listen to a variety of speakers on leadership, cultural differences and stress management. Share expertise, experiences and best practices for your professional and personal development. Participate in workshops on event planning, personal finance, new campus technology, and much more. Registration runs March 2 – 31.” Information here.

On Tuesday, you’re invited to help the Food Action Collective, a student group, brainstorm ways to 'green' the ENV Coffee Shop. The event takes place in the coffee shop, EV 1 room 139, 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. “Find out where our food comes from and what's happening on other campuses! Thinking local? Fresh? Organic? Vegan? Vegetarian? We want your thoughts and opinions on what works, what doesn't, and what you would like to see offered in the Coffee Shop.” While brainstorming, for a small donation you can lunch on seasonal soup, local buns, local apple cider, and apples. Bring your own mug and/or bowl. RSVP and information here. Drop-ins welcome.

The March and April 2009 Skills for the Electronic Workplace (SEW) registration brochure from IST and Organizational & Human Development (OHD) is out and can be downloaded as a pdf from this link. (You’ll need Adobe Acrobat to do this.) The brochure includes a registration form that can be filled out and emailed, or printed and sent through campus mail. Hard copies have been mailed to staff without access to email, and are available on request from ext. 38257. More information on the OHD website.

See, listen, think: Talks and lectures on campus

In 1982 the photographer Peter Frischmuth documented the Kreuzberg neighbourhood of Berlin, when the Berlin Wall was on its doorstep. In 2006 he returned to the same neighbourhood to document the changes. Sponsored by the Waterloo Centre for German Studies and the Department of Germanic and Slavic Studies, Martin Düspohl, director of the Kreuzberg Museum, gives an illustrated introduction to Frischmuth’s project in a talk, “Berlin-Kreuzberg: 1982 and today” on Tuesday at 4 p.m. in the Tatham Centre room 2218.

Sponsored by the UW Religious Studies Student Society, religious studies and East Asian studies professor Jeff Wilson marks the release of his book, Mourning the Unborn Dead: A Buddhist Ritual Comes to America (Oxford) with a talk on Wednesday at 2:30 p.m. in Renison’s Great Hall Extension. From the flyer: “Mizuko kuyo is a Japanese Buddhist ceremony for aborted and miscarried fetuses. … In Japan, mizuko kuyo is performed to placate the spirit of the angry fetus. In North America, however, it has come to be seen as a way for others to mourn and receive solace for their loss.” Book details.

One of North America's leading experts on climate change, Mark Serreze, will speak on Cranking up the Arctic Heat, Wednesday 7 to 8 p.m. in Federation Hall. An expert panel discussion follows his lecture. One of Al Gore's key environmental advisers, Serreze is the senior research scientist and Arctic specialist at the National Snow and Ice Data Center, based at the University of Colorado in Boulder. He will discuss the Arctic's rapidly shrinking sea ice cover, perhaps the most visible sign of global climate change. Concerns are growing that a tipping point is near, beyond which there is rapid transition to an ice-free Arctic Ocean in summer. To attend, please register on-line by today at latest.

This image is from UW Art Gallery curator-in-residence Barbara Hobot’s exhibition of videos by artists Manuel Saiz, Rachel Scott, and Lyntje Vorsteveld, Break it Down, now on view in East Campus Hall until March 21. “Collectively, their works use popular music and dance to playfully critique notions of celebrity,” Hobot says. “The videos use aspects of vulnerability, humility and introspection as vehicles for celebrating the pathetic and strange - characteristics that are often rejected by contemporary culture. … The videos in this exhibition clear a little room for the far-from-cool parts of life: the instances of embarrassment, irrepressible honesty, and downright pathos we all come to experience.” More here.

CPA staff

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When and where

Application deadline for spring 2009 undergraduate admission today. Details.

Application deadline for fall 2009 engineering year one admission today. Details.

Pre-enrolment course selection week for fall term courses, March 2-8.

UW Sustainability Project offers free coffee, tea and hot chocolate. Bring your own mug to lower amount of trash in the SLC. 11 am to 2 p.m., Student Life Centre, Vendors' Lane.

Students for Palestinian Rights at UW and WLU: protest march, 12:30 to 2:00, starts near Arts Lecture Hall, ends at Laurier.

Career workshop: “Interview Skills, Preparing for Questions” today 4:30, Tatham Centre room 1208. Details.

Math alumni event: Robert L. Brown, statistics and actuarial science, special lecture on the Ontario Expert Commission on Pensions; reception follows. Register by March 3. Event is Tuesday, March 10, 3 - 4:30 p.m., Davis Centre room 1302.

Innovation and Sustainable Community Change workshop sponsored by Social Innovation Generation Waterloo, Tuesday, 8:30 to 5:30, book launch 4 p.m., St. George’s Hall, 655 King Street North. Details.

UW Directions, Aboriginal High School Enrichment Conference, March 3-7, St. Paul’s College. Details.

‘Interactive Teaching and Learning Strategies’ three-day workshop sponsored by Centre for Teaching Excellence, March 3, 5 and 10. Details.

UW Recreation Committee presents Mary Ann Vanden Elzen, author of Your Money or Your Life, “Money or You: Who’s the Boss?” Tuesday, 12:00, Math and Computer room 5158.

Free term abroad at Haifa information session (open to all undergraduates) Tuesday, 4:00, Math and Computer room 5158. Details.

The HAPN Great Race: teams of two compete to reach checkpoints across campus, Tuesday, 6:00 to 8:00 p.m. Sponsored by Healthy Active Promotion Network; details.

Engineering Shadow Day for Grade 11 and 12 students, Wednesday. Details.

Free noon concert: Carol Ann Weaver, Rebecca Campbell and others, “Remembering Africa Again” Wednesday, 12:30 p.m., Conrad Grebel UC chapel.

Career workshop: “Interview Skills, Selling Your Skills” Wednesday, 3:30, Tatham Centre room 1208. Details.

Career workshops Thursday: “Writing CVs and Cover Letters” 12:00, Tatham Centre room 2218. Details. “Are You Thinking About Teaching?” 3:30, TC room 1208. Details.

Surplus sale of UW furnishings and equipment Thursday, 12:30 to 2:00, East Campus Hall.

International Women’s Day dinner with speaker Yan Li (Confucius Institute, Renison UC), Thursday, 5:00 for 6:00, University Club, tickets $32 at Humanities box office. Details.

Cultural Caravan Thursday, 6:00 p.m., details to be announced.

German film series: “My Father Is Coming” (1991), Thursday, 6:00, East Campus Hall room 1220.

Craig Cardiff fund-raising concert in support of Engineers Without Borders and Mennonite Central Committee, Thursday, 8:00, Humanities Theatre.

‘Living Large’ symposium on “Sustainable Design of Big Buildings” March 6-7, School of Architecture, Cambridge. Details.

Healthy Active Promotion Network yoga class Friday, 2:30 to 4:00, Physical Activities Complex studio 2. Details.

Faculty of Arts Dean’s Honours List reception Friday, 4:00 p.m., Festival Room, South Campus Hall, by invitation.

Arriscraft Lecture: Rupert Soar, Freeform Engineering Ltd. Leicestershire, “Recent Work”, Friday, 6:30 p.m., Architecture lecture hall, Cambridge.

St. Jerome’s University presents Carolyn Whitney-Brown, “Celebrating the Life and Work of Jean Vanier” Friday, 7:30 p.m., Siegfried Hall.

Arriscraft Lecture: Michelle Addington, Yale University school of architecture, Recent Work”, Saturday, March 7, 4:00 p.m. Architecture lecture hall, Cambridge.

DaCapo Chamber Choir, based at Conrad Grebel UC, spring concert, “Water”, Saturday, March 7, 8:00 p.m., St. John the Evangelist Anglican Church, Kitchener, tickets $20 (students $15).

Friday's Daily Bulletin