Thursday, January 14, 2010

  • More than 80 videos on YouTube channel
  • Frost, flu, Feds and fast changes
  • Research on co-op; mango for dessert
  • Editor:
  • Chris Redmond
  • Communications and Public Affairs

[Screen capture from YouTube site shows Johnston]
More than 80 videos on YouTube channel

The university has launched its own channel on YouTube and is inviting submissions from faculty, students, and staff to enrich the Waterloo video experience. The site, which currently has more than 80 videos, is at

The advantages of having an education channel on YouTube are that videos related to the university are gathered in one spot, and that longer videos – such as those of hour-long lectures – can be posted in one file, says Sarah Forgrave, web manager for Communications and Public Affairs. “If you try to post a longer video in regular YouTube world, you have to break it into shorter chunks.” As well, videos are stored externally to Waterloo’s servers, removing storage demands. Videos an be embedded locally (via a link) in websites while being housed by YouTube.

Current videos feature everything from a night flight undertaken by students in the geography and aviation program in the environment faculty, to president David Johnston being interviewed about Waterloo’s co-op program by the Toronto Region Research Alliance.

Faculty, staff, and students are encouraged to contribute videos to the channel by going through a submission form. “We are seeking video contributions that reflect the university's attributes and share our research, stories, and innovations with the world,” says Forgrave. “These may include, but are not limited to, lectures, interviews, promotional material, and features on the activities of Waterloo. All contributions will be reviewed for suitability and videos from Waterloo students are welcomed, and encouraged.”

This webpage directs you to an authentication site first:. Submitters need to have a Waterloo ID in order to access the Waterloo YouTube Uploader application. The submission page, which appears after login, gives technical requirements and guidelines. It asks for required information, such as the video title, a description, and any keywords that should be attached to it. There is an option to add upload a closed captioning file, as well.

Submitters then attach the video, which cannot exceed 400 MB in size and must be in one of three formats: WMV (Windows Media Video), mp-4 (MPEG-4), or avi (Audio Video Interleave).

The video file and the descriptions are then submitted to Communications and Public Affairs and will be posted to YouTube. “If we get a rush of submissions at any point, it may take us a bit longer to complete postings,” Forgrave says. Future enhancements will include the ability for point people from each faculty or unit to approve videos for use in their playlist on the Waterloo YouTube channel.

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Frost, flu, Feds and fast changes

It’s another mild winter day, and should be perfect for the late-afternoon “traybogganing” party on the north campus, organized by the Engineering Society as part of Frost Week. I do not know — maybe I don’t want to know — exactly where they’ll be getting the trays they use. Surely it’s not from the new Subway outlet in the Student Life Centre, which had its official opening celebrations yesterday, complete with free cookies and a visit from the Subway chain’s mascot.

[Hypodermic needle]With winter in Ontario comes the prospect of flu, and if the H1N1 influenza didn’t get you, possibly the “seasonal” flu will. To protect against that danger, UW’s health services is offering a vaccination clinic today and Friday (10:00 to 4:30 in Student Life Centre rooms 2134-2135). Shots for both strains of flu are available, and the clinic is open to “all students, UW employees, visitors and family members”.

At 4:00, nominations close for a number of key positions: members of the Federation of Students executive (a president and three vice-presidents), seats on students’ council, and positions on the UW senate. Campaigning will be under way as of January 26, and voting takes place online February 9-11, just before reading week. I was struck by Mark Rowley’s opinion piece in Imprint this past Friday, stressing the importance of elected student leadership in the university: “Feds, theoretically, represents the undergraduate student body to the university administration, and are our strongest advocate for the changes we want to see.”

One of this term’s major lectures is scheduled for 7:00 tonight, at the Centre for International Governance Innovation, 57 Erb Street West. CIGI is sponsoring the event along with UW’s faculty of environment and the university bookstore. The star of the night is journalist Cleo Paskal, speaking from her new book, under the title “Global Warring: How Environmental, Economic, and Political Crises Will Redraw the World Map”. The bookstore’s author event page explains the background: “With the world watching the UN conference on climate change in Copenhagen, geo-political expert Cleo Paskal looks at how environmental changes will affect more than just the weather. We live in interesting times. The biggest Western economic institutions are crumbling, what were once marginalized voices are now dominating international negotiations, and touchstone climate events are failing. Everywhere you look economic, geopolitical and environmental assumptions are being shaken to the core. The world is changing. Fast.” Admission tonight is free, but RSVP’s are being invited online.

And speaking of the bookstore, the retail services department has announced that this week marks the last time the store will have regular hours on a Saturday. “Effective January 18, 2010,” a memo says, “all Retail Services stores will be open Monday to Friday only, 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Our online stores are open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.” Saturday hours (noon to 4 p.m.) have been customary for the bookstore in the fall and winter terms for quite some years now.

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Research on co-op; mango for dessert

WatCACE, the Waterloo Centre for the Advancement of Co-operative Education, has announced a new series of monthly seminars about research on co-operative education. The goals, a memo says, “are to share research results and their possible implications with the broader community, to raise awareness that co-operative education is a pedagogical model that is a suitable target for both theoretical and empirical work, and to highlight the best of research on co-op. At each session an individual from UW or elsewhere will present her/his research work on co-op. At each session there will be time available for questions and discussion. The first sessions in this winter term will feature work being done at UW. Subsequent sessions will feature speakers from other places as well as local speakers.” The series starts January 28 (12:30, Tatham Centre room 2218) with words from Maureen Drysdale, psychology professor at St. Jerome’s University. “She, with colleagues, has done extensive SSHRC-funded work on school-to-work transitions and, more recently on the psychological consequences of the co-op experience. She also is currently the leader of a large, international project (fourteen universities in eight countries) on entering and exiting characteristics of both co-op and regular students.” Later speakers: February 25, Kerry Mahoney of career services; March 30, Nancy Waite of the pharmacy school; April 20, Judene Pretti, director of the WatPD professional development program for co-op students.

“It’s time again,” Christine Jewell writes from the Dana Porter Library, “to consider nominating individuals for the electronic thesis and dissertation awards, sponsored by the Networked Digital Library of Theses and Dissertations. There are three categories of awards: Innovative ETDs, Innovative Learning Through ETDs, and ETD Leadership. Winners of the first two of these awards will each receive a cash prize of $1,000 US. The call for nominations appears on the NDLTD site. Waterloo had an award winner in 2008. Richard Schippling was awarded the Innovative ETD Award for his e-thesis “Public Housing Redevelopment”. Appended to the thesis is his video documenting phase 1 of Toronto's Regent Park revitalization and residents' experiences with relocation. Rick traveled to Scotland to receive his award, presented to him at the ETD 2008 symposium. The thesis and documentary can be viewed in UWSpace, Waterloo’s institutional repository. This year’s awards will be presented at the ETD 2010 Symposium, to be held June 16-19, at the University of Texas in Austin.” Questions? Jewell, who is co-chair of the NDLTD Awards Committee, can be reached at cjewell@

Stress management; study skills; "managing anxiety and panic"; "re-claiming yourself" — those are among the headings as the counselling services department announces its workshop series for this term. The program, summarized on a canary-yellow folder that's available in Needles Hall and elsewhere on campus, also includes a number of writing skills workshops, from "understanding punctuation" to essay-writing. And there's the "QPR" (that's "question, persuade, refer") series "designed to help you assist someone who may be considering suicide". In addition, there are a pair of eight-session workshops on "mindfulness based stress reduction", one for staff members (it starts January 26) and one for students (January 27). Details on all these opportunities are on the counselling web site.

Alternatives journal, published in UW's faculty of environment, has issued a call for story ideas for its next annual "education" issue. "How has environmental education changed in today’s increasingly accessible world?" asks Marcia Ruby, the magazine's production coordinator. "What should be a part of every person’s educational background, but currently isn’t? How do applied skills such as farming, gardening, and building complement more theoretical environmental learning methods? Story ideas could answer these questions, or they could involve a critique of the current education system in Canada, and propose ways to improve it. However, we’re also looking for stories that involve a looser definition of education." There's more online.

Finally, food. "Chef Richard [Cramm] has created three themed lunches to take us around the culinary world," says a note from the direction of the University Club. "On Friday, January 15, he'll serve up Indian cuisine, on Friday, January 22, it will be French Fare and on Friday, February 29, he delivers a unique Eastern European menu; all served with the University Club flair!" So the "Themed Fridays" start tomorrow, and for $6.95 we can all find out what mulligatawny soup is. (Same price for mango rice pudding with pistachios.)


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Link of the day


When and where

Change of coverage period for student health and dental plan continues through January 22. Details.

Housing information sessions about options for upper-year housing, through January 21 in the residences. Details.

Campus recreation registration for instructional programs, final day, athletics office, Physical Activities Complex. Details.

On-campus recruitment information session organized by career services, 12:30, AL room 116 (note time and room changes). Details.

Department of English presents Daniel M. Gross, University of California at Irvine, “Defending the Humanities Through Charles Darwin’s The Expression of Emotion”, 4:00, Humanities room 373.

Water Environment Association student chapter presents Don Holland, CH2M Hill, “Water and Waste Water Treatment Planning” 6:00, Engineering II room 2348.

Orchestra @ UWaterloo rehearsal 7 p.m., Ron Eydt Village great hall. Players still wanted (strings, bassoon, trombone) for winter term. Details.

Open class enrolment ends January 15; drop, no penalty period ends January 22 (last day to withdraw with 100 per cent fee refund). Last day to register and pay fees, January 29.

Science alumni ski day Friday, Osler Bluff Ski Club, Collingwood. Details.

Information systems and technology professional development seminar: “IT’s Going to Be Busy” preview of 2010 projects, Friday 9 a.m., IST seminar room.

EpCon, “a fun way for students with a passion for technology to interact with their peers, industry and academia” Friday-Saturday, Waterloo Inn. Details.

Knowledge Integration seminar: Paul Thagard, philosophy, “Who Are You? The Self as a Complex System” Friday 1:30, Math and Computer room 4061.

Co-op job postings for spring term job begin January 16 on JobMine.

Heritage Resources Centre annual general meeting Monday 12:00, Environment I room 221.

UW senate Monday 4:00, Needles Hall room 3001.

Cultural Encounters, Encountering Cultures series: Sheila Ager, classical studies, “Greeks, Persians, and the Birth of Orientalism” Monday 4:30, Arts Lecture Hall room 113.

Waterloo Public Interest Research Group presents Sam Trosow, “The Copyright Debate: Finding the Right Balance for Teaching, Research and Cultural Expression” Monday 5:30, Rod Coutts Hall room 301.

Banff Festival of Mountain Films Monday 7:00, Humanities Theatre.

Teaching-Based Research Group drop-in session for faculty and staff interested in research about teaching and learning, Tuesday 10:00, Flex Lab, Dana Porter Library.

‘Bridging the Gap to Retirement’ workshop presented by Employee Assistance Program, Tuesday 12:00, Davis Centre room 1302.

New faculty and grad students workshop on research tools and library services, Tuesday 1:30, Davis Centre room 1568, or Wednesday 10:00, Flex Lab, Dana Porter Library. Details.

Blood donor clinic January 21 (10:00 to 4:00) and January 22 (9:00 to 3:00), Student Life Centre. Appointments 1-888-236-6283.

Payday for faculty and monthly-paid staff Friday, January 22.

Fall term grades become official January 25.

Volunteer and Internship Fair January 26, 11:00 to 2:30, Student Life Centre. Details.

Social Innovation Generation lecture: Adam Kahane, Reos Partners, “Power and Love” January 27, 7 p.m., CIGI, 57 Erb Street West, admission $25 includes copy of book, registration e-mail siglecture@

Ontario Engineering Competition hosted by UW this year, including displays, debates, career and graduate studies fair, keynote address by Larry Smith (economics), January 29-31. Details.

UW board of governors February 2, 2:30 p.m., Needles Hall room 3001.

Job Fair sponsored by UW and other post-secondary institutions, February 3, 10:00 to 3:30, RIM Park, Waterloo. Details.

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