Tuesday, May 26, 2009

  • Italian actors to perform puppet Pulcinella
  • UW statement on theft of water samples
  • Call for learning research proposals
  • Sing, eat, listen, learn
  • Editor:
  • Chris Redmond
  • Communications and Public Affairs
  • bulletin@uwaterloo.ca

Italian actors to perform puppet Pulcinella

UW drama students in Calabria 2009A group of Waterloo drama students (pictured in Italy with Prof. Andy Houston in the front row) are back from their cultural/academic exchange to Cosenza, in Calabria. While in Italy, the UW students staged two well-received performances of the UW student-written play, Differ/End: The Caledonia Project, at the Teatro dell'Acquario in Cosenza on May 7 and 8 "to a wide range of audiences," says cast member Karen So.

The Italian members of Teatro Dell'Acquario who are now in Waterloo as the other half of the exchange are exploring Kitchener-Waterloo, Stratford, Niagara-on-the-Lake, and Toronto. They will also be performing a comedia del arte puppetry production, Le avventure di Pulcinella, today, starting from the Student Life Centre and proceeding to the Arts Quad outside Modern Languages about 5 p.m. All are welcome.

The exchange received support, So adds, from the dean of arts, Office of the Provost, Arts Endowment Fund, Arts Student Union, various UW departments, and the KW Cortina Club.

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UW statement on theft of water samples

A statement from George Dixon, Vice-President, University Research, the University of Waterloo

After a thorough review conducted Monday morning, the University of Waterloo can confirm:

A graduate student of biology and two undergraduate student assistants, working under the supervision of professors William Taylor and Sherry Schiff from the Faculty of Science, were collecting water samples from the Grand River at Moyer’s Landing Park in Cambridge. The students arrived at the site at 3 a.m. Saturday, to collect samples hourly from the river.

At 9 a.m., the students went to a cooler containing the water samples and discovered 14 bottles missing, along with several other items, including a shovel and pairs of rubber gloves. They immediately searched the area and, determining the bottles were not within view, phoned their laboratory supervisor, who in turn alerted Waterloo Regional Police.

These clear glass bottles are 13 cm high and each contains a 150 mL sample of water from the Grand River. Also in each bottle, dissolved, is sodium azide, a preservative commonly used in laboratory work both at the university and in other research and medical settings around the world. The concentration in each bottle of the sodium azide is .26 (one quarter of one) per cent.

At this dilution, the contents of each bottle would be harmful to human health if consumed but there would be no reaction or risk if the liquid were poured down a drain.

The sample bottles are prepared in advance in a secure laboratory setting by university staff on the campus. The .4 grams of sodium azide is measured into each bottle and each bottle is then sealed: a rubber seal is ringed by metal, which is crimped in place. In order to open the bottle, one needs to use tools such as pliers.

The water samples are then injected into the sealed bottle, through the rubber seal, by syringe. A sample number is then added to the bottle.

Both the lab staff and student researchers followed proper procedure in the care, collecting, and handling of these sample bottles.

If anyone finds these bottles, they should contact the Waterloo Regional Police, who will ensure their safe disposal. Because the samples were stolen, and this is a criminal investigation, the university is unable to provide further comment at this time.

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Call for learning research proposals

Centre for Teaching Excellence logoThe Centre for Teaching Excellence has put out a call for faculty and staff to submit research proposals to the 2009/2010 Learning Initiatives Fund (LIF) and Program Initiatives Fund (PIF). The object is to encourage and support research “designed to enhance students’ learning processes and outcomes in undergraduate and graduate courses through instructional initiatives and/or the creation of new learning resources.” Researchers whose projects are approved will receive $5,000 to $15,000 over a two-year period.

Priority for LIF funding will be given to proposals that address one of two key areas: “student engagement” or “perspectives on technology for learning and teaching.” Priority for PIF funding will be given to proposals that address “evaluating program outcomes” or “learning spaces.”

For both the LIF and PIF projects, proposals are due by July 15, results will be announced the week of July 30, and funding for projects will be available as of September 1. Details here.

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Sing, eat, listen, learn

UW Canada Day logoGot a great singing voice? Want to share it with 60,000 listeners? The UW Canada Day Celebration needs a volunteer to sing "O Canada" on the main stage on July 1. Anyone interested in auditioning, please contact Lisa Willan, UW Canada Day administrative co-ordinator, at canadaday@uwaterloo.ca.

The Federation of Students is promoting "Teacher Tuesdays" at the Bombshelter. "Invite your undergraduate students to the Bombshelter on any Tuesday this term and receive a 15 per cent discount for the entire table! (This promotion applies to tables of four or more patrons, and does not apply to alcohol sales.)" The goal, says FEDS president Allan Babor, is not just to get more people eating at the Bomber, but also to "promote out-of-the-classroom learning and facilitate stronger relationships between our faculty and undergraduate students."

"Development and the Role of Values" is the topic of a talk by Jennifer Ball, a recent Guelph doctoral grad and a land use and community development planner, presented by Engineers Without Borders. Ball speaks today at 5:30 p.m. in Coutts Hall room 308. Her thesis research, on the role of women in peacebuilding in Uganda, "took her back to the African continent where she was born and where she spent over 13 years living and working." She hopes to turn the Ugandan women's stories into a book and she plans further research on the role that spirituality plays in women's peace-building.

Carolyn McGregor, UOITIt appears that more babies are born prematurely these days, and these early births are responsible for 75 per cent of all infant deaths in Canada, according to an abstract of a talk to be delivered Wednesday, 3 - 4:40 p.m., in Davis Centre room 1302. "Neonatal Health Informatics: Uncharted Discovery" is the latest event in the Waterloo Institute for Health Informatics Smarter Health seminar series. Carolyn McGregor (left), Canada Research Chair in Health Informatics at the University of Ontario Institute of Technology, "is pioneering new ways to improve outcomes for premature infants.... This presentation overviews several research projects that aim to increase survival and quality of life rates for neonates, [including:] the first on-demand virtual neonatal intensive care units supporting rural, remote and urban neonatal care..." For further details and to register, go here.

And here's a reminder that the Health and Healing lecture series launches this Thursday at 7 p.m., with a talk by School of Pharmacy director Jake Thiessen: "Building a Healthier Future: Discovery and Innovation at the Health Sciences Campus." Event takes place at the School of Pharmacy, 10 Victoria Street South, Kitchener. Free, with parking available next to the building. RSVP by email or 519-888-4499.

CPA staff

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Link of the day

Dunkirk evacuation begins, 1940

When and where

International Conference on Urban Drainage and Road Salt Management in Cold Climates, hosted by UW school of planning, May 25-27, Arts Lecture Hall. Details.

Canadian Health Economics Study Group annual conference May 26-27, Arts Lecture Hall. Details.

Library workshop: “GIS for Grads” Tuesday, 10:30, Map Library, Environment I. Details.

Waterloo Region rapid transit public consultation centre Tuesday, 2 to 8 p.m., First United Church, Waterloo. Details.

Career workshop: “Networking 101” Tuesday, 4:30 p.m., Tatham Centre room 1208. Details.

WPIRG presents: Gardens, Local Food and Communities, with Candace Worsbecker of the Community Gardening Council of Waterloo Region, Tuesday, 5:30 p.m., Math and Computer Building room 2034. Details.

‘Understanding the Learner’ workshop sponsored by Centre for Teaching Excellence, Wednesday, 12:30, Davis Centre room 1302. Details.

UW Retirees Association annual general meeting Wednesday, 3:30 p.m., Sunshine Centre, Luther Village.

Career workshops Wednesday, “Interview Skills, Preparing for Questions” 2:30, “Basics of Starting a Business” 4:30 p.m., both in Tatham Centre room 1208. Details.

Sprinkler system shut down in Biology I and II and ESC building, May 28 at 8 a.m. to May 29 at 4:00 p.m.

‘Learning from Ontario’s Best Lecturers’ workshop sponsored by Centre for Teaching Excellence, Thursday, 10:30 a.m., Flex Lab, Dana Porter Library. Details.

Relaxation sessions presented by the Employee Assistance Program. The healing light, Thursday, 12:15-12:45, Math and Computing room 5136.

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

International Spouses “Grow Your Own Herb Garden” presentation by Samm McKay, Thursday, May 28, 12:45, Columbia Lake Village community centre. Details.

‘University-Industry Connection: Win-Win Strategies’ sponsored by engineering research office, Thursday, 1:30 p.m., Davis Centre room 1304.

Library workshop: “Google Earth 5.0” Thursday, 2 p.m., Flex Lab, Dana Porter Library. Details.

Career workshops Thursday: “Are You Thinking About an International Experience?” 3:00, Tatham Centre room 1208; “Interview Skills, Selling Your Skills” 3:30 p.m., Tatham room 2218; “Basics of Starting a Business” 4:30, Accelerator Centre, 295 Hagey Boulevard. Details.

Centre for Family Business, based at Conrad Grebel University College, gala awards night Thursday, 6 p.m., Waterloo Inn. Details.

Engineering Society Genius Bowl Trivia Competition, Thursday, May 28, 7 - 10 p.m. Sign up outside the EngSoc Office door (CPH room 1327) or by emailing in your team name and members.

Final day for fee arrangements for spring term, Friday.

Pension and benefits committee Friday, 8:30 a.m., Needles Hall room 3004.

Transition Town Culture: lecture by Jane Buchan of Hardwick Area Transition Towns, presented by WPIRG and UW's Local Economic Development program, Friday, 3 - 4:30 p.m., Environment II, room 2002. Details.

Retirement party for Marie Schmidt of Finance, after 31 years at UW. Friday, 3 - 5 p.m., presentation at 4 p.m., Davis Centre room 1301. RSVP by May 26.

‘Black Holes: A Ninety-Year Journey’ International Year of Astronomy lecture by Laura Ferrarese, University of Victoria, Friday, 7:30 p.m., CEIT room 1015. Observatory tour follows.

ACM-style programming contest to help select UW’s teams for next year’s international competition, Saturday, June 13. Details.

Matthews Golf Classic for students, staff, faculty, retirees and guests, Monday, June 15, 12:00 noon, Grand Valley Golf Course. Registration closes May 29. Details.

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