Thursday, June 17, 2010

  • Two convocation sessions for arts
  • Why 'Waterloo' is no longer 'UW'
  • Event explains macular degeneration
  • Editor:
  • Chris Redmond
  • Communications and Public Affairs

[Panoramic view from bleachers]

Graduates and spectators listen as Robyn Sambrook gives the valedictory address at Wednesday afternoon's ceremony. Photo by Jonathan Cluett.

Two convocation sessions for arts

The second day of the university’s 100th Convocation brings two ceremonies to the Physical Activities Complex today. Both will see degrees presented in the faculty of arts, with some fields of study highlighted in the morning and the rest (as well as Renison University College and St. Jerome’s University) in the afternoon.

Some of the highlights of today’s morning ceremony:

  • Honorary degrees to Stephen Zeff, a noted professor of accounting at Rice University, and Pierre Nepveu, a Université de Montréal scholar of Québec literature and culture. Nepveu will give the Convocation address.
  • Distinguished Professor Emeritus status to James Brox, retired from the department of economics, and John English, retired from the department of history (and former director of the Centre for International Governance Innovation).
  • Presentation of Distinguished Teacher awards to Douglas Kirton of the fine arts department and Nancy Vanden Bosch of the school of accounting and finance.
  • Valedictory address from graduating student Moira LePage (speech communication).
  • Alumni gold medal to  Vicky Au (accounting and financial management), recognizing her as the top BA graduate from arts this year.

Among the highlights of the 2:30 p.m. ceremony:

  • Honorary degrees to Mary Bales, a Waterloo Region real estate agent who has served on the UW board of governors and founded the Heartwood Place affordable housing facility, and Karl Acham, noted social scientist at the University of Graz, Austria. (The Daily Bulletin erred on Monday in saying that Acham is from Germany.) Bales will give the Convocation address.
  • Remarks from Alexander Kozaris, receiving a degree in philosophy, who has been chosen as valedictorian on behalf of the graduating class.
  • Distinguished Teacher award to Tristanne Connolly of the department of French studies.
  • Governor General’s Silver Medal, recognizing one of the university’s top bachelor’s degree graduates of 2010, to Leanne Quigley, receiving a BA in psychology.
  • Presentation of the Arts Young Alumni Award to Mark Schaan, who received his BA in political science in 2002. At Waterloo, Schaan served as vice-president (education) of the Federation of Students, president of the Ontario Undergraduate Student Alliance, president of the Conrad Grebel student council, and a residence don. Schaan went to Oxford as a Rhodes Scholar, this year receiving a PhD in social policy. Meanwhile he is also working in the federal public service as a project leader for the Automotive and Transportation Industries Branch of Industry Canada, and coordinator of the Recruitment of Policy Leaders program, and he has been president of the Ten Oaks Project in Ottawa, aimed at children of “LGBTQ communities”.

The 100th Convocation will continue with one session Friday, at 2:30, for the faculty of science, and two sessions on Saturday, at 10:00 and 2:30, for engineering. A special session takes place Sunday at 9:45 a.m. in the Theatre of Ideas at the Perimeter Institute, for MSc (physics) graduates.

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Why 'Waterloo' is no longer 'UW'

Maybe you’ve noticed already: the University of Waterloo’s long-time informal name, “UW”, is fading away, as officials have declared that it isn’t to be used in materials that present the institution to the outside world.

The preferred name is “Waterloo” — partly because to many audiences, especially at the international level, the university, the city and the high-tech region around it are being presented as a package. “The World studies at Waterloo,” says a piece of the web site that’s aimed at potential students from other countries.

[U of Wisconsin logo]Besides, W is a pretty common letter of the alphabet, and “UW” could mean Windsor or Winnipeg, not to mention Wisconsin (right), Waikato, Warwick and various others. Somebody did a search of Twitter recently and found that the great majority of usernames starting with “uw” were from the University of Washington, which is also where the domain name “” will get you.

Here’s what the recently issued Positioning Guide says on the subject: “In the past we’ve been known as the University of Waterloo, UW, and Waterloo. But that was then and this is now. Please refrain from calling us UW in any marketing or communications material today. Why? Outside of our school, many people do not immediately recognize or connect UW to the University of Waterloo, and there are a dozen UW’s internationally. Instead, let’s keep it simple. Use Waterloo.”

The guide then introduces an alternative: “In some instances, you may need to use ‘uWaterloo’ for clarity’s sake. For example, if you’re writing about both our university and the city of Waterloo in one piece. In other words, there is some flexibility, but use common sense.” I’m told that there was intense discussion before “uWaterloo” was chosen in preference to “UWaterloo”. (The university’s web domain name is “”, and the hashtag on Twitter is #uwaterloo.)

The abbreviation “UW” is credited to Jack Adams, the university’s original director of what was then titled “information services”. He promoted it in the 1960s to avoid conflict with the University of Windsor, which at that time was well known as “U of W”, and it was eagerly adopted by the Record newspaper, among other users, because it fits well in headlines, where it’s still often seen.

“UW” is now used by many student organizations, and turns up in everything from casual e-mail to memos from senior administrators. It’s also likely to continue turning up from time to time in this Daily Bulletin, which is written to connect with an internal readership that won’t think first of Wyoming or Würzburg. But to repeat: the preferred name is “Waterloo”.

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Event explains macular degeneration

a release from the university's media relations office

The University of Waterloo's Centre for Sight Enhancement will hold a public event this Saturday to help people suffering from age-related macular degeneration — the leading cause of vision loss in older Canadians.

The information session on June 19 is aimed at everyone whose life is affected by age-related macular degeneration (ARMD), including people with ARMD, their families and friends.

The session, entitled Coping With Macular Degeneration: Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About Age-Related Macular Degeneration, But Didn't Know Who or What to Ask, will run from 1 to 4 p.m. at RIM Park in Waterloo. Seating is limited and reservations are required. To reserve a seat, call ext. 35258.

"The event will consist of a series of brief presentations that will describe macular degeneration and will review its potential prevention, medical treatment and rehabilitation," said professor Graham Strong, director of the centre. "We hope that following this information session, people with macular degeneration and their families may feel more comfortable in seeking out the kind of assistance they require, armed with good information."

The session will also feature an exhibit area where various associated agencies and companies will demonstrate the latest services, products and technologies available to help people with ARMD.

While there is considerable information available on ARMD, people experiencing this type of vision loss often have poor or outdated information. The incurable eye disease is caused by a gradual deterioration of the central portion of the retina, or macula, resulting in a central area of vision loss. This central vision is critical for such detailed tasks as reading, driving and recognizing faces.

The event involves Waterloo's community partners and industry supporters: Community Spirit Lions Club, Canadian National Institute for the Blind, Lions/Guide Dogs, the Checkered Eye, Waterloo Wellington Local Health Integration Network, Optelec, SESI, Humanware, Frontier Computing, Aroga, Access Vision and Microcomputer Science Centre.

The Centre for Sight Enhancement is a clinical, teaching (undergraduate and graduate) and research unit within the school of optometry at Waterloo. Its mission is to promote Canadian excellence in all facets of blindness and low-vision rehabilitation, particularly in the areas of clinical services and device technology.


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Link of the day

Desertification and Drought

The football controversy

Warrior football players have announced a news conference for 12:00 today at the Columbia Icefield. Facebook.

Football on the Record’s front page again Wednesday
Waterloo players allowed to transfer to other schools
Globe says coaches had 'suspicions' of drugs
Federation of Students statement on the decision to suspend
Imprint ‘community editorial’ and online comments

When and where

Ring road closed between PAS building and Needles Hall, because of Environment 3 construction work, June 10 to July 12.

Farm market 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., Student Life Centre lower atrium (also June 24, July 8, 15, 22).

J. W. Graham Medal Seminar: Steven G. Woods, Google Inc., “Reinventing the Way the World Works” 2:00, Davis Centre room 1302, reception follows.

Career workshop: “Successfully Negotiating Job Offers” 2:30, Tatham Centre room 1208. Details.

School of Computer Science Distinguished Lecture: Stuart Feldman, Google Inc., “Computing at the Extremes” 4:30, Davis Centre room 1302.

Snøhetta Architecture exhibition, opening reception 7 p.m., Design at Riverside gallery, Architecture building, Cambridge. Exhibition of work by Norwegian architectural firm continues through August 14.

Magnetic North theatre festival continues. Events on campus: “Elephant Wake” through Friday 7:00, Saturday 2:00; directing class Saturday 2:00. Details.

Last day for 50 per cent tuition refund for spring term courses, June 18; “drop, penalty 1” period ends June 25.

Pension and benefits committee Friday 8:30 a.m., Needles Hall room 3004.

Canada’s Wonderland bus trip organized by Federation of Students, Friday, bus leaves Davis Centre 8:30 a.m., tickets $54 at Federation office, Student Life Centre.

Information systems and technology professional development seminar: “International Olympiad in Informatics” Friday 9:00, IST seminar room.

Co-op job rankings for “main group” students open Friday 1 p.m., close June 21 at 2 p.m., results 4 p.m.

Club That Really Likes Anime weekend of shows, Friday from 4:30, Saturday from 2:30, Arts Lecture Hall room 116. Details.

Matthews Hall original section, electrical power shut down Saturday, 7 a.m. to noon.

Guelph Arboretum visit sponsored by Natural Landscaping Team, Saturday, bus leaves Davis Centre 11 a.m., tickets $7 from Federation of Students.

Mahler Conference 2010: “A Symphony Must Be Like the World” Saturday 2:00 to 7:00, Conrad Grebel UC. Details.

Perimeter Institute formal greetings event for Stephen Hawking, Sunday 4:00, by invitation.

Pre-enrolment for winter 2011 undergraduate courses, June 21-27 on Quest.

Organizational and Human Development speaker series launch: Garry Watanabe, “The Inside Edge: Mental  Fitness Skills for High Performance” Monday 3:00, Humanities Theatre. Details.

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

Deep Saini, dean of environment, farewell open house  Tuesday 2:30 to 4:00, Environment I room 347.

25-Year Club annual reception Tuesday 6:00, Physical Activities Complex, by invitation, information ext. 32078.

One click away

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Visualizing the exam schedule
Alumnus: ‘you should try indoor climbing’
Wanted: photos of Waterloo Region
‘Strategic engagement with India’ a priority for universities
‘Cheating is really pervasive in China’
‘Call to action’ on aboriginal education
Dividing Time Between Work and Study: Are Tuition Fees a Factor?
On a precipice: bilingual speech by McGill principal
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