Monday, April 19, 2010

  • Ottawa funds Aboriginal centre at St. Paul's
  • New grads challenged to make $20.10 gift
  • Senate tonight, and other Monday notes
  • Editor:
  • Chris Redmond
  • Communications and Public Affairs

[Winners holding their certificates]

Lunch with the winners: Sue Horton, associate provost (graduate studies), is flanked by Terry Anderson and Belinda Kleinhans, this year’s winners of the Award for Exceptional Teaching by a Student. Winners’ names were announced in March, and Horton was host at a University Club lunch for them last Tuesday. Anderson, of the school of computer science, is cited as “a clear and concise communicator, making course concepts easy to understand. He is well organized and uses a variety of teaching methods such as ‘fun facts’ to engage students at the start of class.” Kleinhans, of Germanic and Slavic studies, “is acknowledged by her students as being willing to go the extra mile to help them learn and understand . . . encourages students to develop their own views and tailors the curriculum to fit student interests.”

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Ottawa funds Aboriginal centre at St. Paul's

The federal government will give St. Paul’s University College, an affiliate of UW, “up to $1,090,000” for a new Centre for Aboriginal Learning. Peter Braid, MP for Kitchener–Waterloo, made the announcement Friday. The money comes from Community Adjustment Fund, part of the federal economic stimulus program.

St. Paul’s says the financial support “makes it possible to build a Centre for Aboriginal Learning on the St. Paul’s campus and develop effective program evaluation methods. The new space allows St. Paul’s to expand a successful strategic initiative aimed at creating a significant, sustainable, annual increase in the number of educated Aboriginal youth who are in a position to enter the southern Ontario labour force. The development of effective program evaluation methods will make it possible to track program impact over the longer term, work with Aboriginal educators to identify innovations and mobilize knowledge of best practices.”

St. Paul’s is the home of the university’s aboriginal services office as well as the Native Studies academic program.

The capital amount that STP is receiving from the Community Adjustment Fund represents 80 per cent of project costs, the college said. St. Paul’s will provide the remaining 20 per cent through donations already received from alumni and friends. Total capital project cost is $1.2 million.

With operating funds from the Ontario Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities, and with “substantial annual contributions” from St. Paul’s and from the university, the new centre “will engage immediately” in activities directed to Aboriginal high school and postsecondary learners in southern Ontario and beyond. A news release from the college promises to “expand the delivery of successful high school retention and postsecondary enrolment preparation programs; expand program evaluation, develop innovations, and distribute research knowledge on best practices; conduct academic support programs; partner with the Department of Cooperative Education and Career Services at the University of Waterloo to develop employment preparation and transition programs for Aboriginal learners.”

It also says the Centre for Aboriginal Learning “will address the three key contributors to high Aboriginal unemployment”, namely high school completion, postsecondary participation and employment transition.

“Our government is proud to partner with St. Paul’s University College for this important project,” said Braid at a ceremony Friday morning announcing the grant. “This Centre will support Aboriginal students and improve their education and employment opportunities, resulting in both immediate and long-term social and economic benefits for our society.”

Said St. Paul’s principal Graham Brown: “The new Centre will house expanded programs that have proven effective at supporting Aboriginal students to complete high school and to pursue post-secondary opportunities. This funding makes a critical difference to our ability at St. Paul’s and Waterloo to increase the rates of Aboriginal high school retention and post-secondary education completion in Ontario.”  

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New grads challenged to make $20.10 gift

"It’s that time of year again!" writes Emily Huxley of the university's development office — meaning the time of year when students turn into alumni, and the time when they're invited to get started on a lifetime of financial support for their alma mater. The program is known as the Grad Class Challenge.

[Grad Challenge logo]Huxley calls it "a tradition at Waterloo since 1989", and notes that the Grad Class Challenge encompasses all six faculties, as well as Renison University College, St. Jerome’s University, and Conrad Grebel University College.

"In the past five years," she says, "more than 3,300 graduating students have left their mark on the university by pledging more than $1.8 million towards a variety of projects they are truly passionate about. Last year’s challenge set an all-time record with a participation rate of 69 per cent.

"Thanks to the generosity of graduating students, significant impact has been made on campus in areas such as the Math Tutorial Centre, Alumni Lane, the Next Generation Library, Science laboratory equipment, and the information display screen in Environment 1."

In keeping with tradition, she says, "this year’s Grad Class Challenge is offering spring and fall 2010 graduates the opportunity to leave their mark on the university with a gift of $20.10 (reflecting their graduating year). Their support can be directed to whichever Waterloo project they are passionate about, and can be made through the grad class online donation form.

"This year’s challenge also has an exciting new component – the opportunity for graduates to share a valuable lesson they learned while at uWaterloo for a chance to win a $500 prize pack! The prize pack includes a degree frame, a $300 gift card valid at Cadillac Fairview malls, convocation hood and gown rental, and a uWaterloo portfolio bag.

"Contest submissions can be made in the form of a post or video and will be accepted until 12 p.m. on June 30. We are encouraging everyone to become a fan of the page, so they can read the touching comments students are posting as they prepare to graduate from Waterloo."

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Senate tonight, and other Monday notes

The university senate will hold its monthly meeting today (4:00, Needles Hall room 3001) with an agenda of mostly routine items, including approval of new and changed academic programs. One proposal is for a joint program between Waterloo's Germanic and Slavic department and Germany's University of Mannheim, leading to a "Master of Arts in Intercultural German Studies" degree. Waterloo and Mannheim have operated exchange programs for nearly four decades, but the joint degree is a first. Also up for approval is a Master of Management Sciences program — already offered at the home campus — to be taught in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, to energy professionals there. Senate will also hear reports from the president and vice-presidents, give formal approval to June's graduates (subject to the results of final exams, of course), get a briefing on the state of co-op employment, and see a presentation on the shift to electronic publishing and how it affects things such as textbooks.

Rick Haldenby, director of the school of architecture, writes that starting today, "we celebrate the outstanding work of the students of Waterloo Architecture" in the school's annual Projects Review exhibition. It'll continue until the end of May in the Design at Riverside gallery on the main floor of the Architecture building on Melville Street in Cambridge. "The drawings, photographs, models, videos and constructions on display represent work by students at every level from first year through to graduate." The show is curated by architecture professor Dereck Revington and coordinated by Diana Zeft and Timae Jakab. There will be an opening reception tomorrow night at 6:30 in the gallery.

Waterloo city council meets at 6:30 tonight to look at "district plans" for much of UW's north campus, in preparation for official approval in June. One of the plans is an amendment to what's already in place for the Research and Technology Park, extending that region further north along Hagey Boulevard toward Bearinger Road. The other is a new plan for the "North West Campus District", the area bounded by Columbia Street, Fischer-Hallman Road, Bearinger Road and Westmount Road. Tom Galloway of the plant operations department says the general idea will be to divide most of the district into "five-acre blocks" for development that will one day look much like the R&T Park, apart from a region that will be set aside for new student housing near the existing Columbia Lake Village. The report contains nothing very controversial, he thinks — "the environmental impact statement is pretty benign" — and once council approval is given, work will go ahead, managed by the city, to put in main streets and sewers.

The Federation of Students has announced that "Chris Neal has resigned his position as Vice-President (Administration) for the remainder of April 2010." His term, and the term of the other Feds vice-presidents and the president, was due to run through April 30. Feds president Allan Babor said in a statement Wednesday that "The Executive team has taken on his respective duties. Mr. Neal has taken a position doing research into first year transition for the Student Life Office, and is transitioning his duties as the Vice President Administration and Finance to VPAF-Elect Sarah Cook. Mr. Neal has been a dedicated, hard working and committed member of the University of Waterloo, Federation of Students and has made many contributions, on behalf of students during his five years at UW."

Jeff Henry, a former student leader and now academic integrity officer in the Faculty of Mathematics, has announced that he'll run for Waterloo city council (in Ward 6, "Central-Columbia") in this fall's municipal election. • Christine Stapleton, the associate director of athletics, has been named to the Athletics Hall of Fame at the University of Regina, where she coached basketball from 1993 to 2002. • Sharon Adams of the psychology department has been elected to represent staff members on the Dean of Arts Nominating Committee, the university secretariat has announced.

Maggie Liang of the international student office reports that the ISO had its annual volunteer appreciation dinner on March 23. “Around 70 people attended,” she says. “There were volunteers from our Global Representatives, English Tutors, Shadows, English Classes and International Spouses Group. For details of how to be a volunteer at ISO, you can check online.”

And . . . I had dinner Friday night at a local eatery, and when the waitress brought the change, one of the coins on the little tray didn't look right. The size and shine of a quarter, yes, but I realized that the lettering was mostly in Arabic. It turned out to be a one-dirham coin of the United Arab Emirates, worth about 27 cents Canadian. I'd like to think that it might have been brought back to Waterloo by somebody who visited the Waterloo campus in Dubai.


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Link of the day

Boston Marathon

When and where

Extended library hours through Friday: Davis Centre library open 24 hours a day; Dana Porter Library open 8 a.m. to 2 a.m. daily. Details.

Waterloo Centre for the Advancement of Cooperative Education seminar: Judene Pretti, WatPD program, Tuesday 12:30, Tatham Centre room 2218.

Luv Lulu, Hate Cancer sale of used workout wear, to benefit Canadian Cancer Society, Tuesday 2:00 to 8:00, TechTown, 340 Hagey Boulevard. Donate items in advance at TechTown, get chance to win $500 Lululemon shopping spree.

Biochemistry and molecular biology seminar: John F. Dawson, University of Guelph, “Producing Polymerization-Deficient F-Actin to Understand Its Functions” Tuesday 3:30, Chemistry II room 361.

Book launch: Polish Orphans of Tengeru by Lynne Taylor, department of history, Tuesday 5:00 to 7:00, University Club, RSVP k4king@

Live and Learn Lecture: Geoff Fong, psychology, “How UW Is Working Towards a Smoke-Free Society” Tuesday 7:00, Waterloo Public Library main branch. founder Frank Warren speaks about his site and signs copies of his books, Tuesday 7:00, Humanities Theatre, sponsored by Arts Student Union, tickets $35 at Humanities box office.

Discovery Days in Health Sciences event for high schoolers, Wednesday. Details.

Workshop for postdoctoral fellows: “How to Apply Successfully for Academic Positions” Wednesday 12:00, to register e-mail marta@

‘Demystifying Investor Relations’ workshop by Greg Secord of Open Text, sponsored by International Association of Business Communicators, Wednesday 4:00, TechTown Café, 340 Hagey Boulevard.

Star Gazing Party organized by department of physics and astronomy, Wednesday 7 p.m., north campus.

Spiritual Heritage Education Network presents Peter van Driel, “The Unifying Teachings of Baha’u’llah” Wednesday 7:30 p.m., CEIT room 1015.

Centre for Family Business, based at Conrad Grebel UC, breakfast seminar: “Sibling Relationships and Family Business” Friday 7 a.m., Bingemans Conference Centre.

Annual used book sale sponsored by Canadian Federation of University Women, proceeds to scholarship funds, Friday (9 a.m. to 9 p.m.) and Saturday (9 a.m. to 1 p.m.), First United Church, King and William Streets. Details.

Bill Oldfield, library, retirement coffee break Friday 10:00, Dana Porter Library staff lounge, RSVP ajdandyk@

Earth Day Eco-Showcase co-sponsored by UW faculty of environment, Saturday 1:00 to 5:00, Kitchener city hall. Details.

Campus-wide utility shutdown Saturday at 4 p.m. to Sunday at 8 p.m.: all main campus buildings, no heat or hot water; buildings in north and east areas, including Villages, SLC, Optometry, Davis, DWE and  CPH, also no electrical power.

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

Fee payment deadline for spring term is April 26 (promissory note) or April 29 (bank transfer). Details.

‘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.

UW-ACE upgrade to Angel version 7.4: system will be down April 27, 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

Opportunities and New Directions conference on post-secondary teaching and learning, sponsored by Centre for Teaching Excellence, April 28. Details.

Canadian Undergraduate Technology Conference April 29-30, Ryerson University, Toronto. Details.

Friday's Daily Bulletin