Wednesday, April 7, 2010

  • Entrepreneurship centre adds donor's name
  • It's fee season, and no cheques accepted
  • Other notes on a grey Wednesday
  • Editor:
  • Chris Redmond
  • Communications and Public Affairs

Entrepreneurship centre adds donor's name

[Conrad]The Centre for Business, Entrepreneurship and Technology will now be the Conrad Centre for Business, Entrepreneurship and Technology, as the university yesterday honoured local philanthropist Manfred Conrad (left) and his family by renaming that academic and outreach unit.

CBET, a part of the faculty of engineering, “graduates the country's next top entrepreneurs”, a news release from the university’s media relations office boasted. A celebration yesterday morning at CBET’s headquarters in the Accelerator Centre building on Hagey Boulevard marked a $3 million donation from Conrad, who is founder of the Cora Group and developer of three buildings in the north campus Research and Technology Park, including the Accelerator Centre.

The Conrad donation — "in addition to a previous $2 million gift to CBET from Manfred and Adrian Conrad", the release says — will allow the centre to expand its entrepreneurial academic, research and outreach activities in Canada and around the world.

"Thanks to Manfred Conrad's far-sighted gifts, CBET has achieved a combination of talent and expertise that is quickly gaining us the reputation as one of Canada's most needed, and most unique, graduate business programs," said UW president David Johnston. "CBET now is a magnet as it draws high-quality entrepreneurial students, university and government support, and the engagement of local and national business leaders."

CBET offers a Master of Business, Entrepreneurship and Technology program aimed at creative and innovative students with demonstrated skills to excel as entrepreneurs. “MBET fills a crucial national need for individuals with the business acumen to successfully move ideas and innovations into commercial practice,” says the news release.

“For example, 75 per cent of CBET's alumni have been linked with a start-up in various capacities and more than 30 companies have been successfully created by MBET grads since 2003. The majority of those start-ups are in Ontario, mostly within the Greater Toronto Area and Waterloo Region.”

Also, it noted, CBET's global reputation grows as a result of the fact that 36 per cent of MBET students are international students.

"We are incredibly fortunate to benefit from the Conrad family's continued support. With their backing, CBET is on track to become the nation's premier graduate business school focusing on entrepreneurship," said Howard Armitage, executive director of CBET.

Conrad, born and raised in Germany, came to Canada in 1963. He established the Cora Group in 1978 and spearheaded it to become one of Waterloo Region's largest commercial real estate development companies.

"We're thrilled to see the evident impact our initial contribution made," said Conrad. "CBET is such a critical element of the University of Waterloo's entrepreneurial climate. We whole-heartedly support building the culture of entrepreneurship and expanding the Centre's reach globally."

In June 2009, Conrad received an honorary degree to recognize his business and philanthropic community leadership and his partnership with the university. As well, he was awarded a business leadership award for contributions to downtown Kitchener by the Downtown Kitchener Business Association in 2001.

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It's fee season, and no cheques accepted

As thousands of students get ready to write winter term exams beginning this Friday, thousands more are getting ready to return to the classroom for the spring term that starts May 3. And that means — guess what — paying their tuition and incidental fees, and in some cases also fees for residence.

“Fees for the Spring 2010 term have been posted to your student account,” says a memo sent the other day to the students who are preregistered for the spring. In most cases those are co-op students who are finishing up a work term right now, although there are always some students taking two academic terms in a row, and there might even be a few students who are entirely new to Waterloo.

The place to see the size of the fee hit is Quest, the online student system. (Click Finances, then “My Account”, then “Account Inquiry” and then “Spring 2010”, says the memo, sent out by the university’s finance office. It adds the note that “Housing deposits made specifically for the Spring 2010 term will be posted to your student account in mid-May.”)

Fees are higher in the spring than they were for the winter term, as the annual increases, averaging 4 per cent, go into effect. The per-term tuition fee could be as low as $2,577 for a Canadian student in fourth-year arts, or more than $16,000 for international students in some professional fields.

“The University of Waterloo assesses fees on a per-term basis,” says the memo. “You need to ‘arrange your fees’ (submit payment and/or Promissory Note to fully cover the fees posted to your student account at the due date) each and every academic term.

“Your account balance may change as a result of housing or meal plan adjustments, or changes to your course load.  Fees are recalculated nightly. Check your student financial account on Quest frequently for updates. The entire balance posted to your student account must be covered by payment in full or by a Promissory Note indicating a combination of payment and approved financial assistance which fully covers the balance.”

The finance office doesn’t accept cash payment of tuition fees at the cashiers’ counter in Needles Hall, and also doesn’t accept personal cheques. Over-the-counter and mail payments should be by certified cheque, money order or bank draft, and are due by April 26. The deadline is three days later, April 29, for bank payments (such as online transfers) and international wire transfers.

“Documents sent via regular mail are subject to uncertain delivery,” the memo from the finance office warns. “Pay your fees via bank payment, and submit the online promissory note, to expedite processing. If you must submit payment and/or a Promissory Note by mail, we recommend using express post or courier to ensure delivery.

“Submit your documents together! We will not match them up for you.

“Promissory notes and certified cheques/ money orders/ bank drafts are date stamped upon receipt in our office and are processed in the order received. Note that processing may take up to a week from the received date, particularly if you submit during the week prior to the due date. Please continue to check your Quest account to see your registered status change from ‘Enrol Request’ to ‘Fees Arranged’.”

Because the university deals with each student on an adult-to-adult basis, but the reality is that some students do have backing from their parents, the memo adds this vital request: “If you are not paying your own fees, be sure to forward this email along with a copy of your Quest account for Spring 2010 to the person who will be making the payment.”

There’s also a special note for UW employees and children of employees: “Your Tuition Benefit form must be submitted with a Promissory Note. Tuition Benefit forms submitted without a Promissory Note will be discarded.”

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[Nursery schoolers in

Junior kindergarten children from UW's Early Childhood Education Centre performed "The Forgotten Princess of the Kingdom" on the Humanities Theatre stage last Wednesday. "The play went well and was enjoyed by all," teacher Melissa Bowman reports.

Other notes on a grey Wednesday

Technology and art, put together, make t'art — at least that's how it works for the instructors and students in Fine Arts 392, the "Technology Art Studio". Rob Gorbet of electrical and computer engineering, and the Centre for Knowledge Integration, has been involved with 392 since it was first taught in 2004, and is currently partnered with fine arts professor Lois Andison, herself a sculptor specializing in kinetic artwork. The course "combines upper-year engineering and sculpture students in interdisciplinary pairs to work on technology-mediated sculpture", says Gorbet, and "has spawned research interest in how students with widely differing backgrounds learn from one another, and what profs can do to facilitate that learning." As this year's course comes to an end, work by nine engineers and eight sculpture students will be on display at the university's Critical Media Lab in downtown Kitchener. An opening event is scheduled for tonight, 5 to 7 p.m., and the show continues through the weekend.

[Staff conference logo]Today is the concluding day of the annual two-day Staff Conference, with activities mostly in Hagey Hall, although a few sessions spill out into surrounding buildings. Two sets of “concurrent” sessions are on today's agenda, some of them repeated from yesterday and others new, including “Creativity: Solo or Team Sport?” and “Reduce, Renew, Retire”. At noontime there's a “Passport to Health” concourse-style event, and the afternoon brings two keynote addresses. Jeremy Gutsche, an innovation enthusiast, will speak on “Creating a Culture of Innovation and Customer Obsession”, and Steve Uzzell, described as a “photographer and problem-solver”, will speak on “Open Roads, Open Minds”.

More than 35 Waterloo faculty and staff are involved today in judging student projects at the Waterloo-Wellington Science and Engineering Fair; Stefan Idziak of the physics and astronomy department is serving as chief judge. WWSEF is an annual event that brings together "the best of the young scientific minds of the region", says Jody Berringer of the undergraduate recruitment office. "ESQ will be present throughout the day with demonstrations and activities to engage the students. In the afternoon some of the students will come onto Waterloo’s campus to learn about this year’s theme, which is 'No Time to Waste', all about engineering landfills, and recycling." The public is invited to see the fair exhibits from 5:30 to 7:00 tonight at Bingemans in Kitchener.

Saleh Elnabolsy, a fourth-year civil engineering student, sends news of an achievement: "The Waterloo Integrated Design Engineering team has won the first place award in the 20th IEE/WERC Environmental Design Contest (Task 1) held at New Mexico State University for the Institute of Energy & the Environment. The team is composed of Saleh Elnabolsy (4B Civil), Alex Chik, Emily Vance, Jane Ho (4B Environmental), William Rea, Matthew Chan, and Jack Ng (4B Systems Design) under the technical supervision of Professor Monica Emelko (Civil and Environmental Engineering). The team designed a portable system that samples and concentrates microorganisms from agricultural waters. The team is grateful to the Civil and Environmental Engineering Department, Sandford Fleming Foundation, and WEEF for providing the support and funding necessary to win the contest."

An announcement from the university secretariat: "Voting is to begin Thursday, April 8, as Faculty of Arts staff elect a representative on the Dean of Arts Nominating Committee. Brief campaign statements are available online for the candidates who are contesting the positions: Sharon Adams (Psychology) and Nancy Mattes (Arts Advancement). All regular full-time and part-time staff of the Faculty of Arts are eligible to vote online. The election runs through April 14, 2010."

And . . . yesterday's Daily Bulletin referred to Alzheimer researcher Sherry Dupuis as a member of the health studies and gerontology department; in fact she's in the department of recreation and leisure studies.


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Downtown building officially opens

Today brings the grand opening of "10B Victoria Street South", the second building at UW's health sciences campus in downtown Kitchener. This building is the permanent home for the Waterloo Regional Campus of McMaster University's DeGroote School of Medicine, so Mac is a partner in the celebration along with UW administrators and people from the School of Optometry, which has a clinic on the building's ground floor. It also houses the Centre for Family Medicine, operated by local physicians and other professionals, and they'll be represented at today's celebration too, along with political leaders from the federal, provincial, regional and municipal levels. The celebration, in a tent beside the existing Pharmacy building, starts at 1:00. Attendance is by invitation.

Link of the day

World Health Day

When and where

Euclid Mathematics Competition for grade 12 students, organized by Centre for Education in Mathematics and Computing, Wednesday. Details.

Computer Science Club: Colin Melia, “Windows Azure Lab” 1:00, Math and Computer room 2037.

St. Jerome’s University Sweeney Lecture in Current Issues in Healthcare: panel on “Aging at Home, the Challenge of a Generation” 7:00 p.m., St. Mary’s General Hospital, Kitchener.

Perimeter Institute lecturer: Chris Lintott, University of Oxford, “The Science of Galaxy Zoo”, 7:00 p.m., Waterloo Collegiate Institute. Details.

Observatory night with brief talk on astronomy, tour of UW observatory and chance to look through telescope, 9:00, Physics room 308.

English Language Proficiency Examination Thursday.

UW-ACE Instructor Group meets Thursday 10:30, Flex Lab, Dana Porter Library. Details.

Weight Watchers at Work information session and sign-up Thursday 12:15, Humanities room 373, information ext. 32218.

Centre for Teaching Excellence workshop: “Using NSSE Data for Your Teaching and Learning Research” Thursday 1:00,  Flex Lab, Dana Porter Library. Details.

Shine Dance recitals in Humanities Theatre: Thursday 1:00, Friday-Sunday all day.

Sociology seminar: Tina Fetner, McMaster University, “Religious Right in Canada and the United States” Thursday 1:00, PAS building room 2438.

Town hall meeting with UW executives for faculty and staff, Thursday 3:00, Theatre of the Arts. Submit questions to townhall@

Winter term examinations April 9-23 (distance courses, April 9-10). Schedule.

Fryer, Galois and Hypatia mathematics contests for grade 9-11 students, organized by Centre for Education in Mathematics and Computing, Friday. Details.

Accounting and Finance Admissions Assignment test for future students, with information sessions for parents, Saturday 11:00 to 4:00, accounting wing of Hagey Hall (and other buildings).

Stratford lecture: Brendon Larson, environment and resource studies, “Biodiversity of the Future” Tuesday 7 p.m., Stratford Public Library.

Education Credit Union seminar: “Financing and Purchasing a Vehicle” April 14, 12:10 p.m., Davis Centre room 1302, RSVP janinew@ by April 7.

Doug Payne, information systems and technology, retirement reception April 15, 3:30, Laurel Room, South Campus Hall, RSVP elmartin@

University senate monthly meeting April 19, 4:00, Needles Hall room 3001.

Unofficial grades for winter term courses begin appearing on Quest April 26. Grades become official May 25.

‘Making Assessment Meaningful’ annual symposium on “learning about teaching”, April 26-27: Monday, Presidents’ Colloquium, address by Catherine Wehlburg, Texas Christian University, 2:00, Humanities Theatre, reception follows; Tuesday, faculty workshops 9:00 and 2:00, Flex Lab, Dana Porter Library. Details.

Graduate Student Research Conference April 26-29, Davis Centre. Details.

Positions available

On this week's list from the human resources department:

• Residence life coordinator, single graduate students and families, housing and residences, USG 7
• Job evaluation analyst, human resources, USG 7-9
• Undergraduate marketing and recruitment coordinator, dean of engineering, USG 9 (13.5-month secondment or contract)
• Instructional digital media coordinator, Centre for Extended Learning, USG 8/9 (12-month secondment or contract)

Yesterday's Daily Bulletin