Tuesday, January 26, 2010

  • Map and bookmark show Waterloo's identity
  • Scientists add perspective on Haiti's quake
  • Flakes flagged in the daily flurry
  • Editor:
  • Chris Redmond
  • Communications and Public Affairs
  • bulletin@uwaterloo.ca

[Word cloud' on UW bookmark]Map and bookmark show Waterloo's identity

The latest versions of three University of Waterloo information publications are now ready for distribution. They’ve all been designed in the new visual identity, using the Gotham font wordmark (pictured below) and other elements, from colour to lines, that first appeared around campus on street banners last July.

The first publication is the campus map, which is updated in both look and content. For instance, there are more hard hat symbols to mark new construction sites in the Research and Technology Park, including building 2 of the Research Advancement Centre. The GO Transit icon has also been added, showing its campus stop location at the Davis Centre. The back page of the campus map, which shows the satellite campuses, also recognizes the name change of Distance and Continuing Education (at its Gage Avenue location in Kitchener) to its new name: the Centre for Extended Learning.

The second is a one-page, two-sided fact sheet that gives information about Waterloo — everything from a locator map to brag points about the university’s first-place rankings in 2009 in Maclean’s. “This one-pager is very much an introduction to Waterloo to people who know little about us,” says Kelley Teahen, associate director of communications. “It’s a handshake, and an ideal piece to include along with other items that are more faculty, department, or institute specific.” 

The back of the sheet gives introductions to eight unique and distinctive Waterloo stories: everything from the innovative VeloCity student residence and “incubator” to the collaborative work being done by water researchers.

The third piece is a two-sided bookmark (pictured at top): one side featuring numbers about Waterloo and the other featuring words about Waterloo designed in a “word cloud”. “This is a great piece to hand out to alumni, to potential students visiting campus, to anyone who already knows a bit about Waterloo, and wants an up-to-date snapshot of characteristics of Waterloo today,” Teahen says. 

[Wordmark]Previously, the university has produced a folded brochure for “facts and figures”, but users have reported two distinct needs, she says: a fun handout, and something with more information that can be useful to those promoting Waterloo nationally and internationally. Ryan Jacobs, of the office of development, has been working with the faculties to create one-page information sheets on various faculty initiatives, and the overall university one-page information sheet complements that series.

Copies of the fact sheet, map, and bookmark are available for UWaterloo community use by emailing Karen Mason (k3mason@ uwaterloo.ca) in Communications and Public Affairs.

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Scientists add perspective on Haiti's quake

With the whole world still talking about the catastrophic earthquake in Haiti two weeks ago — and world leaders meeting in Montréal to discuss the future of the devastated Caribbean nation — UW’s department of earth and environmental sciences will provide its own angle on the experience on Thursday evening.

The department has announced a free public lecture — “The Geoscience of the Haiti Disaster” — to help the community understand more about the earthquake, which measured 7.0 Mw on the moment magnitude scale. The International Red Cross estimates that approximately three million people were affected by the quake and the disaster has claimed 150,000 lives.

The earth and environmental sciences department is known for its study of the geosciences, which focuses on all sciences related to Earth. At Thursday’s event, Steve Evans, a professor with geosciences expertise, will explore why the Haiti earthquake happened. “I will be focusing on the tectonic zone known for major earthquake events in the region since the mid-1500s,” said Evans. “I will also look at previous earthquakes that occurred before this current disaster.”

Keith Delaney, a PhD student in the same department, will present before-and-after satellite images of the region. “Satellite imagery indicates that the damage was greatest in the high density urban regions of Port-au-Prince,” he advises.

The lecture, hosted by the faculty of science, will start at 7 p.m. Thursday in J.R. Coutts Engineering Lecture Hall room 301. Admission to this lecture is free, but attendees are encouraged to make a charitable contribution to support the relief efforts in Haiti. Donations will be accepted at the lecture and will be given to various Haiti relief organizations.

Other Haiti-related developments this week:

• Lisa Weber and Bonnie Fretz, both of the faculty of science office, who were in Haiti on a church-related service trip when the earthquake struck, are home safely along with family members and friends. The Record newspaper published a long story yesterday describing their experiences treating injured people after the earthquake, then being evacuated on a Canadian Forces flight back to Canada.

• A number of people on campus are helping to collect “Haiti relief kits” for the Mennonite Central Committee. Jan Weber in UW Graphics (Commissary building, near the smokestack) is one person who will accept hygiene kits as well as comforters and sheets to be shipped to the stricken country.

• Waterloo International has identified just one student on the UW campus whose home is in Haiti. First-year arts student Max Louis-Juste reports that he lost a cousin in the disaster and that a nephew is missing.

• Annika Allman, who was known on campus three years ago for her work in Guyana while she was a social development studies student, is now a graduate student at Columbia University's School of International and Public Affairs and was at work in Haiti when the quake hit. She was airlifted home by the United Nations three days later.`

• Details should be announced shortly for a coffeehouse and fund-raising event for Haitian relief, to be held Saturday night at Conrad Grebel University College.

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Flakes flagged in the daily flurry

It hasn't exactly been a fierce winter so far, and although a few flakes of snow are in the forecast for the rest of this week, I wouldn't bet heavily on a storm closing day any time soon. However, on the assumption that it could happen sooner or later, here's a reminder that, as announced in October, UW will be making its own decisions about storm closing this year. That's a change from past practice in which UW has followed the lead of the local public school board. Said a memo from provost Feridun Hamdullahpur: “We understand the concerns that severe weather conditions can cause for members of our community and would stress that these new guidelines do not mean UW will never close due to such conditions. Our decisions will be informed by the first sentence of these guidelines: 'UW (and its Federated University and Affiliated Colleges) will close because of severe weather when normal operation would pose a significant danger to students, staff or faculty, or would prevent large numbers of them from coming to campus or returning safely to their homes.’” The storm closing guidelines are online, and indicate that notice of a campus closing will be posted on UW's web site, normally by 7:00 a.m. on a storm day. Local radio stations will be asked to carry the announcement.

Back to the topic of typefaces, and in particular the Gotham font that UW is adopting for its public image, as in the map and other print pieces mentioned earlier in this Daily Bulletin. The font has been licensed through UW Graphics for use across the university, but at this point some people have it and some don't. Registrar Ken Lavigne has it, for one; the laptop used for PowerPoint presentations in the Needles Hall board and senate room, not so much. Which explains why, when Lavigne stood up to report to the university senate last week on the state of applications and admissions for this September, his headlines didn't exactly appear on the screen in sober Gotham. Opinions seem to vary about exactly what font was substituted, but one observer called it a "hilarious comic book style", not altogether suited to news that applications have dropped by a few per cent from last year's record levels.

[W] Weekly report on Warrior sports

Athletes of the Week

Donna Ellis, interim director of the Centre for Teaching Excellence, writes in the latest issue of CTE’s Teaching Matters newsletter that “Life at UW is really very good. We may be faced with another round of budget cuts for this coming year, but at least we have a say in what gets cut and how we restructure our units and/or services to serve our stakeholders as best we can. I appreciate how difficult it is to  let anything go, but our resources  are always finite even when budgets aren’t so tight. It is hard, though, when we see how many good programs and services we could provide and know that we can’t do it all.  This situation can be detrimental to the energy and enthusiasm of our staff members, but not everything  has to go. Good ideas can be saved for a later opportunity. Old ideas  can be rethought in light of newer ways of doing things. New faculty and staff, including coop students, can ask good questions that get you rethinking why you do what you do. Every day comes with the chance to learn something new. Change — regardless of whether it happens in support units or academic departments — is largely about how you talk about it and how much choice the individuals involved have. Words significantly define our reality, and choice provides a sense of ownership and control when our  daily routines become uncertain.”

In the same newsletter issue, the CTE's Ellis reports on a talk by Karen Cummings, a teaching expert from Southern Connecticut State University who visited the Waterloo physics and astronomy department in December. She writes: "Students can struggle because they may only have fragments of the principles or math required, have misunderstandings or misconceptions about key principles, lack an understanding of how to create meaningful frameworks, and/or lack the skills to reflect on or question their decisions and solutions. Expert problem solvers do not have such difficulties, and are typically comfortable even when they are not sure of the next step to take in a solution. Much discussion ensued, though, about whether it is helpful to flounder in front of students when solving a problem."

The school of optometry has proudly announced that a leading American academic is coming to Waterloo as a faculty member and to take the newly created position of Associate Director for Clinical Affairs. Timothy McMahon “will also serve as Optometrist-in-Chief of the UW Optometry Clinic System”, the announcement says. A graduate of the University of Wisconsin and the Illinois College of Optometry, he has spent his entire academic and clinical career in the department of ophthalmology and visual sciences of the University of Illinois College of Medicine, with medical staff appointments at four hospitals. “His principal research interest has been the pathobiology, genetics and clinical management of keratoconus, a degenerative disease of the cornea,” the announcement notes. “He has published over 80 original research papers and 11 chapters and has served on the Editorial Boards of the journals Cornea and also Eye and Contact Lens . . . Dr. McMahon has served on the Ophthalmic Devices Panel of the US Food and Drug Administration and, in 2006, he was elected to the Board of Directors of the American Academy of Optometry. Dr. McMahon will take up his new position on June 1, 2010.”


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Link of the day

Australia and India celebrate

When and where

Federation of Students annual elections campaign period, January 26 through February 8. Polls open January 9 at 10 a.m., close February 11 at 8 p.m.

RefWorks introductory workshop presented by UW library, today 10:00, February 2 at 1:30, February 25 at 10:00, or March 2 at 11:30, Flex Lab, Dana Porter Library. Details.

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

Engineering exchange programs information session 11:30, Carl Pollock Hall room 3602.

Feng shui discussion group sponsored by UW Recreation Committee, 12:00, Math and Computer room 5136.

Education Credit Union guest speaker: Eva Englehutt, “RRSP, Evaluating Your Options” 12:15, Davis Centre room 1302. RSVP janinew@ ecusolutions.com.

Career workshops today: “Interview Skills: Selling Your Skills” 2:30, Tatham Centre room 2218; “Professional School Interviews” 3:00, Tatham 1208. Details.

‘Find books and more’ workshop on doing research in the UW library, offered today 3:00, February 3 or 11 at 10:00, February 22 at 1:30, March 1 at 10:30, Flex Lab, Dana Porter Library. Details.

Smarter Health seminar: Doug Tessier, eHealth Ontario, “The Magical Vanishing EHR” 3:00, Davis Centre room 1302.

Graduate Studies Awards Reception honouring scholarship recipients, 3:00 to 4:30, Festival Room, South Campus Hall, by invitation.

Biochemistry and molecular biology seminar: Dawn Bowdish, McMaster University, “The Class A Scavenger Receptors” 3:30, Chemistry II room 361.

Computer Science Club presents Geoffrey Hinton, University of Toronto, “Deep Learning with Multiplicative Interactions” 5:00, Davis Centre room 1302. Details.

Waterloo Space Society general meeting, speaker Mike Fich, department of physics and astronomy, “Far-Infrared and Submillimeter Astronomy”, 5:30, Rod Coutts Hall room 307.

Centre for Family Business, based at Conrad Grebel UC, half-day workshop, “Employment Contracts and How to Use Them” Wednesday, Bingemans Conference Centre. Details.

‘Better searching, better marks’ workshop on doing research in the UW library, offered Wednesday 10:00,  February 11 at 1:30, March 15 at 1:30, Flex Lab, Dana Porter Library. Details.

Career workshops Wednesday: “Leaving Academia” 12:00, Tatham Centre room 2218; “Basics of Starting a Business” 4:30, Tatham 1112; “Business Etiquette and Professionalism” 4:30, Tatham 1208; “Careers in Digital Media” 4:30, Tatham 2218; “Thinking About Dentistry?” 5:30, Tatham 1208. Details.

Water Environment Association student chapter presents “Carbon Footprint Implications from Biosolids Management Practices” Wednesday 2:00, Environment 2 room 2002.

Bruce Lennox, information systems and technology, retirement reception Wednesday 3:30 to 5:00, Laurel Room, South Campus Hall, RSVP elmartin@ uwaterloo.ca.

Dana Porter Library hot water shut off Wednesday 4 p.m. to Thursday 7:30 a.m.

Computer Help and Information Place (CHIP) will close at 4 p.m. Wednesday.

Town hall forum organized by Federation of Students, discussion of the first-year experience, Wednesday 5:00 to 7:00, Student Life Centre.

Columbia Lake Health Club lifestyle learning: “RSPs, RESPs, TFSAs and the Road to Retirement” Wednesday 5:30, 340 Hagey Boulevard.

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

Tim Hortons Hockey Day in Canada concert by Randy Bachman, Wednesday 8:00, Festival Theatre, Stratford. Details.

Employer interviews for spring term co-op jobs begin January 28.

Waterloo Centre for the Advancement of Cooperative Education seminar: Maureen Drysdale, St. Jerome’s University, on research about school-to-work transitions, Thursday 12:30, Tatham Centre room 2218.

Surplus sale of UW furnishings and equipment, Thursday 12:30 to 2:00, central stores, East Campus Hall, off Phillip Street.

International Spouses group: Ruth Kropf, health services, “Navigating Ontario’s Health Care System” Thursday 12:45, Columbia Lake Village community centre. Details.

Flu shots (H1N1 and seasonal) available at health services Thursday 2:30 to 4:00.

Last day to register and pay fees for winter term, January 29.

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

‘Orientation 2.0’ at Federation Hall, music by Waterboys, motivational speaker Andy Thibodeau, booths for student services, dance party, Friday, doors open 6 p.m., free.

Fantastic Alumni, Faculty and Staff Day Saturday, basketball games in Physical Activities Complex (women’s game 2:00, men 4:00); registration online.

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