- Musical study trip to Africa changed lives
- Co-op news: more students, more employed
- New floors in the SLC, and other notes
- Chris Redmond
- Communications and Public Affairs
Musical study trip to Africa changed lives
In the days before the 2010 World Cup, a group of 15 Canadian students traveled into Durban, South Africa with the “Music and Culture” study course offered by Conrad Grebel University College.
This course is one of the several travel courses offered at the college, with this being the third trip for this particular course. Thirteen students from a variety of programs were enrolled in this course, which was led by music professor, composer and pianist Carol Ann Weaver and Canadian vocalist Rebecca Campbell.
(Pictured above, from left: Campbell and Weaver with student Katie Honek, South African vocalist and teacher Thandeka Mazibuko, jazz guitarist and professor Mageshen Naidoo, and student Kyle Skillman.)
On this trip students experienced music in a way like never before. Durban is a centre of Zulu culture with bonds among other indigenous groups which have yielded some of the most exciting musical and artistic creations of the entire continent. Students witnessed exotic wildlife, experienced six lectures on African music and culture at the University of KwaZulu, heard concerts of traditional African music, and saw a side of the city that most North American tourists don’t see as they shied away from typical tourist sites.
The study course was also cross-registered with peace and conflict studies. “This trip was by far the most memorable trip I have ever been on,” said PACS student Amber Azlitawi. “The energy of the Zulus is absolutely incredible.”
Students performed Paraguay Primeval
Another musical aspect of the trip involved performing Weaver’s recent composition “Paraguay Primeval” with some of the students. This included Katie Honek playing the flute and Kyle Skillman on the drums, participating in the concert with South African performers.
“I formed a band in 1999 with whom I recorded my album, Dancing Rivers (2001) with musicians there,” says Weaver, “and I have returned to South Africa to perform with my African band and to continue my studies of their music.” This type of cross-fertilization in musical performance is something that cannot be found in a classroom.
Music is more than a part of the Zulu culture; it’s their way of life, the sudents found. “Africans don’t just listen to music like we do,” history student Alanah Morin comments. “It consumes them.” Other students recalled it being the most memorable trip with the music of the Zulu people pumping through their veins.
Music wasn’t the only focus on this trip, however, as students underwent life-changing experiences.
“This trip has changed the way I see myself in relation to the world, and in relation to other people," says Elise Brisson, a social development studies student. "I’ve never been so sure of my own beliefs than after this trip. I feel like I now know how I fit into the world.”
Another student, Sarah Rogalla, said, “I will remember this trip for the rest of my life.”
Co-op news: more students, more employed
A memo from Peggy Jarvie, CECS executive director, brings good news about the spring co-op employment rate. “I am pleased to report that our final spring term employment rate is 94.2 per cent, a full percentage point better than the previous term."
The employment rate is fairly even across the faculties, ranging between 92.3 per cent in math and 96.3 per cent in applied health sciences and environment.
“Considering the record number of students for this spring term, and the still-uncertain economy, this is a notable achievement performed by the participating students and CECS staff.”
This spring there were 4,921 students scheduled to work, eight per cent more than in spring 2009. Of those, 4,404 found employment, which is 405 more than last spring; and 285 students this spring were still unemployed as of July 6, which is 27 fewer than this time last year.
The numbers include 514 visa students this spring (387 last spring), a group that have an employment rate “slightly lower than the experience of non-visa students,” the memo says. Also included are 412 students on work terms outside Canada as compared to 361 in spring 2009.
The numbers for fall 2010, as of July 6, are of course well short of what they will be in September, but they look promising.
There are 4,579 students scheduled to work this fall, which is again eight per cent more than in fall 2009. Right now, 62.3 per cent have found employment — 2.6 per cent better than this time last year.
Jarvie’s memo notes that the number of students scheduled to work has jumped steeply over the last few years. In 2009 and 2008 there were approximately 4,100 students, and in 2007 and 2006 there were about 3,800.
“We expect the trend of significant increases in co-op students to continue in 2011.”
New floors in the SLC, and other notes
They'll be ripping up the floors in the Student Life Centre starting today, writes Ann Simpson, who manages the SLC. "We are replacing the flooring in the corridors around the Great Hall of the SLC and then the carpet will be replaced. Signs will indicate areas which will not be accessible, but be assured that access to Tim Hortons and Bombshelter Pub will be arranged! We expect work to be completed by the end of August.” She explains that the old flooring will be taken up and replaced in sections, so that people will have access to most of the area at any time, including the Turnkey Desk. The new flooring will be of the non-skid safety type, “and we will have designs cut into it. We think it will look really nice.”
Nominations for MathSoc executive positions are open now and are due by Friday, July 16, at 4:30 p.m., writes Joseph Collins, MathSoc's chief returning officer. The positions, for the winter and fall 2011 terms, are: president; vice president, academic; vice president, activities and services; vice president, finance. Nomination forms are available outside MC 3038; to be valid, nominations need signatures of 10 math students. "For those not on campus, a second round of nominations will be opening during the fall term."
Waterloo SOS: Students Offering Support is the University of Waterloo’s chapter of the national charitable association, Students Offering Support. Waterloo SOS is dedicated to “raising money to raise roofs through raising marks.” This is accomplished through ‘Exam-AIDs’, where student volunteers run group review sessions before exams for a $20 donation. Proceeds go toward sustainable education projects in Latin America which are built by SOS volunteers. Since September 2009, Waterloo SOS alone has raised more than $38,000 towards an August 2010 outreach trip to Cusco, Peru, where 22 volunteers will be building a kindergarten classroom, sewing room, and English language training classroom. The chapter is now hiring volunteers for the fall term for a long list of positions. Applications are due by Saturday, July 31. Details are on the website.
Hildy Ross of the psychology department reired September 1, 2009. A specialist in child development — and often quoted about sibling rivalries and conflicts — she came to Waterloo in 1975 after finishing a PhD at the University of North Carolina. “For over 30 years,” says the website of the Family Studies Lab, “Hildy Ross and her students have been conducting research with families in the Kitchener-Waterloo community. A symposium honouring her retirement was held at Carleton University in May.
Delbert Russell of the French department, who joined Waterloo in 1978, retired January 1, 2010. A University of Toronto graduate, he taught at what is now Nipissing University for half a dozen years before coming to Waterloo, where he worked in fields as varying as French Canadian literature and medieval French manuscripts. He also collaborated on a bibliography of the works of Lucy Maud Montgomery, who did not write in French. He chaired the French department for a time and served as associate dean (graduate affairs and research) in the arts faculty, and in 1998 helped organize a lecture series, “Arts Talks Back”, to demonstrate the social value of liberal arts research.
Jacob Sivak of the School of Optometry retired July 1, 2009. He came to Waterloo in 1972 with an optometry degree from Montréal and a doctorate from Cornell, and went on to win honours including an honorary degree from his alma mater and a Fellowship of the Royal Society of Canada. Although the mascot of his research lab was a penguin, representing his interest in avian eyes, his best-known work involved developing a replacement for live-animal product testing using the lenses of previously slaughtered cows. He served for a time as director of the optometry school, and was the university’s dean of graduate studies 1999-2002.
Death of a retiree
Herschel (Joe) Beer died July 2, 2010. Joe began his career at UW in Police Services as an officer in June 1977. He retired in July 1989. He is survived by his spouse, Ruth. The Waterloo Region Record's obituary is here.
Link of the day
When and where
Ring road closure between PAS building and Needles Hall has been extended to July 19.
Pedestrian bridge over Laurel Creek at Health Services closed for repairs, July 12 to 16.
Class enrolment on Quest for fall term courses: students enrolling for the first time, July 12-25; open enrolment begins July 26.
Women’s volleyball “maximum performance positional camp” for girls 15-18, July 12-16, Physical Activities Complex. Details.
Environment 2 closed for overhead steel construction July 13 all day, July 14-16, 6:30 a.m. - 5 p.m.
Career workshop: “Business Etiquette and Professionalism” Tuesday, July 13, 3:30, Tatham Centre room 1208. Details.
Golf Social sponsored by staff association, Tuesday, July 13, 4:00, Foxwood Country Club. Details.
Communitech Tech Leadership Conference 2010, Wednesday, July 14, Bingemans Conference Centre, Kitchener. Details.
Career workshop: “Success on the Job” Wednesday, July 14, 3:30, Tatham Centre room 1208. Details.
StartupCamp Waterloo9 networking event Wednesday, July 14, 6:00 to 9:00 p.m., Accelerator Centre, 295 Hagey Boulevard.
Research and Technology Park charity golf tournament (4th annual) Thursday, July 15, Conestoga Golf Club. (Sold out.) Details.
Farm market Thursday, July 15, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., Student Life Centre lower atrium.
Blood donor clinic July 15 (10:00 to 4:00) and July 16 (9:00 to 3:00), Student Life Centre, call 1-888-236-6283 for appointment.
Institute for Computer Research presents Don Batory, University of Texas at Austin, “Stepwise Parallelization of Streaming Architecture” Thursday, July 15, 11:00, Davis Centre room 1304.
Architecture lecture: Craig Dykers, Snøhetta architects, Norway, Thursday, July 15, 6:30 p.m., Design at Riverside gallery, Architecture building, Cambridge.
Engineering alumni golf tournament Friday, July 16, 4:00, Cambridge Golf Cluib, dinner follows, tickets $30 from Engineering Society office. Details.
University Choir spring concert Friday, July 16, 7:30 p.m., The Cedars, 543 Beechwood Drive, tickets $10 (students $8).
MC-DC bridge, upper level, between fourth-floor MC and third-floor DC, will be closed July 19 to May 31, 2010, for construction tie-in.
‘Be Engaged’ roundtable discussion for staff about student engagement, Monday, July 19, 12:00, Davis Centre room 1568.
Beyond the Ring lecture series: Peter Smith, “Engineering to Leadership: An Accidental Journey” Monday, July 19, 1:30, Physics room 150.
Last day of classes for spring term Wednesday, July 28. (Note: Thursday schedule on July 27, Friday schedule on July 28.)
PhD oral defences
Computer science. Wei Li, “Exploiting Structure in Backtracking Algorithms for Propositional and Probabilistic Reasoning.” Supervisor, Peter Van Beek. On display in the Faculty of Mathematics, MC 5090. Oral defence Thursday, July 22, 10 a.m., Davis Centre room 2314.
Civil and environmental engineering. Budhaditya Hazra, “Hybrid Time and Time-Frequency Blind Source Separation Towards Ambient System Indentification of Structures.” Supervisors, Sriram Narasimhan and Mahesh Pandey. On display in the Faculty of Engineering, PHY 3004. Oral defence Thursday, July 22, 1 p.m., Engineering 2 room 2348.
Kinesiology. Heather Edgell. “Cardiovascular Responses of Women to Orthostatic Stress, the Effects of the Menstrual Cycle and Age, and a Comparison to Men.” Supervisor, Richard Hughson. On display in the Faculty of Applied Health Sciences, BMH 3110. Oral defence Friday, July 23, 9 a.m., BMH room 3119.
Systems design engineering. Alexander Wong. “Multimodal Image Registration Using Probabilistic Complex Phase Representations.” Supervisors, David Clausi and Paul Fieguth. On display in the Faculty of Engineering, PHY 3004. Oral defence Monday, July 26, 9:30 a.m., Davis Centre room 2634.
Electrical and computer engineering. Ahmed Elmogy. “Market-based Framework for Mobile Surveillance Systems.” Supervisor, Fakhreddine Karray. On display in the Faculty of Engineering, PHY 3004. Oral defence Monday, July 26, 10:30 a.m., EIT 3142.
Economics. Mahdiyeh Entezarkheir, “Essays on Innovation, Patents, and Econometrics.” Supervisor, Lutz-Alexander Busch. On display in the Faculty of Arts, PAS 2434. Oral defence Monday, July 26, 11:00 a.m., Hagey Hall room 334.