Tuesday, June 22, 2010

  • Newcomers of 1985 are feted tonight
  • Lecture Wednesday on 'synthetic biology'
  • Editor:
  • Chris Redmond
  • Communications and Public Affairs
  • bulletin@uwaterloo.ca

[Arms in the air, sun in the sky]

Some 80 people turned up at noontime last Tuesday for “Yoga on the Green”, led by Sandra Gibson of health services. The workout was sponsored by the Employee Assistance Program, the UW Recreation Committee, Occupational Health and the Staff Initiative Fund. SPF lip balm, hand towels and granola bars were handed out, and several people went home with draw prizes as well. A number of the participants expressed an interest in weekly outdoor summer yoga, weather permitting, says Linda Brogden of occupational health: “If you are interested in participating in outdoor summer yoga classes, please contact sandra.gibson@ uwaterloo.ca. Signing up will allow you to exercise, reduce stress, enjoy fresh air and feel great.”

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Newcomers of 1985 are feted tonight

Tonight the university celebrates a crowd of staff and faculty members who started work here in 1985, and ended up making a career out of it.

It’s the annual gathering of the 25-Year Club, at which 65 people — including the president of the faculty association, a former union president, computer consultants, engineering faculty members, a custodian and financial administrators — will be congratulated and presented with gifts. They join hundreds of other long-service employees who will also attend tonight’s party.

The 25-Year Club was launched in 1982, when the university reached its own quarter-century mark and honoured the employees who had arrived in the birth year of 1957 and were still on hand. Others have been added to the Club each year since then.

Now it’s the turn of the 1985 arrivals, those who were hired in the year of “We Are the World” and Rick Hansen’s “Man in Motion” tour, the year of New Coke and the Air India explosion, the year laptop computers came into general use. At Waterloo, 1985 saw the beginning of construction on the Davis Centre (and the consequent move of many faculty and staff parking spaces into the new “B lot” off Phillip Street). It’s also remembered as the first year that there was a general cut to departmental budgets, 2.5 per cent off the top as a new fiscal year began.

[Moo-Young in 1985, in black and white]The glamour field of study in 1985 was biotechnology; left, Murray Moo-Young, director of the new Guelph-Waterloo Biotechnology Institute, shows off a pilot fermentation plant in a building that was still called “Engineering I”.

And 1985 was the year of yuppiedom, which touched Waterloo directly when this university’s turn came up in a series the Toronto Star published about Ontario’s universities. Waterloo is "the suitcase university", reporter Jack Cahill wrote on the Saturday of the Canada Day weekend. "There's not much joy to all of this and there's not much spirit either on a campus where the first loyalty is to 'me' and a hopefully prosperous future. Loneliness is one of Waterloo's big lessons."

The student response was a mixture of outrage and a sort of ironic pride. "Whiz kids at computers without any time for fun," the headline had said; the comeback was to hold a Yuppie Pub in Federation Hall, which had recently acquired its liquor licence. Another creative answer to the "Yuppie" label was the organization of the Varsity Briefcase Drill Team, a dozen young professionals in the crispest of blue suits, swinging their attaché cases in unsmiling, well-rehearsed unison. "Let's do lunch!" they cried at the end of their routine.

That was then, this is now, and the 25-Year Club members will gather at the Physical Activities Complex at 6:00 tonight (it’s an invitation-only gala event). Here are the arrivals of 1985, the newest members of UW's 25-Year Club:

Ramon Aravena, earth and environmental sciences
Sharon Bissonnette, library
Eric Boyd, library
Mary Burden, mapping, analysis and design
Michael Chong, chemistry
Janet Coulter, kinesiology
Linda Davis, co-op education and career services
Sandy De Visser, recreation and leisure studies
Yvonne Ertel, graphics
Pierre Filion, planning
John Flanagan, optometry
Steven Forsey, chemistry
Catharine Fraser, development and alumni affairs
George Freeman, electrical and computer engineering
Adrienne Gilbert, recreation and leisure studies
Kelly Gordon, central stores
Mike Gore, computer science computing facility
Gwenyth Graper, registrar's office
Fraser Gunn, computer science computing facility
Brenda Hebner, office of research
Andrew Heunis, electrical and computer engineering
Murray Hill, plant operations (mechanical)
Vicki Houley, library

Ruth Huard, office for persons with disabilities
Robert Ingleton, earth sciences
Peter Jordan, residences (Ron Eydt Village)
Mohamed Kamel, electrical and computer engineering
Cheryl Kieswetter, library
Agnes Kolic, dean of science office
Sharon Lamont, library
Michael LeBlanc, plant operations (electrical)
Danny Lee, food services
Raymond Legge, chemical engineering
Wayne Loucks, electrical and computer engineering
Monica Lynch, communications and public affairs (graphics)
Heather MacDougall, history
Alan Macnaughton, school of accounting and finance
Pamela Martin, co-op education and career services
Donna McCracken, plant operations
Wendy Mitchinson, history
Gracia Murase, biology
Olga Nagy, plant operations (custodial)
Dianne Naughton, information systems and technology
Bonnie Oberle, development and alumni affairs

Jeanette O'Hara-Hines, statistics and actuarial science
Neil Randall, English
Valerio Rynnimeri, architecture Ryszard Sliwka, architecture
Bryan Smale, recreation and leisure studies
Tom Smith, plant operations (buildings)
Marlee Spafford, optometry
Neil Stewart, plant operations
Edward Sudicky, earth and environmental sciences
Jacek Szubra, science technical services
Karen Trevors, dean of science office
Michael Ulmer, Federation of Students
Barry Warner, earth and environmental sciences
Keith Warriner, sociology and legal studies
Janice Weber, communications and public affairs (graphics)
Lisa Weber, dean of science office
James Wedge, plant operations (mechanical)
Glenn Welch, housing and residences (UW Place)
Doreen White, office of research
Ruth Witmer, co-op education and career services
Nancy Yoworski, optometry (eye care centre)

Tonight’s gala event, which starts at 6:00, will also honour the 35-year veterans who came to Waterloo in 1975 and are still serving as staff or faculty. Their names:

Frances Allard, kinesiology
Regis Bauer, central stores
Daniel Beaupre, co-op education and career services
Jo Ann Chesher, finance
Karen Cressman, finance
Karen Critchley, engineering computing
Geale De Vries, plant operations (grounds)
Douglas Dudycha, geography and environmental management
Keith Hipel, systems design engineering

Catherine Jardine, graduate studies office
Anne Jenson, electrical and computer engineering
Jock MacKay, statistics and actuarial science
Larry Marks, housing and residences (UW Place)
James Marshall, information systems and technology
David Matthews, statistics and actuarial science
Esther Pinnock, library
Wendell Prime, kinesiology

Rhonda Ryman, recreation and leisure studies
Jim Stockie, information systems and technology
Roger Suffling, planning
Jonathan Sykes, civil and environmental engineering
Marsha Wendell, English language proficiency
Kenneth Westhues, sociology and legal studies
Johnny Wong, computer science
Mark Zanna, psychology
Frank Zorzitto, pure mathematics

The 25-Year Club event is organized by the human resources department (information, ext. 32078).

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Lecture Wednesday on 'synthetic biology'

a news release from the media relations office

Recent advancements in synthetic biology will be explored in a free public lecture and panel discussion on Wednesday.

In May of 2010, biologist Craig Venter and his team of researchers produced the first synthetic cell controlled by an artificially created chromosome. The synthetic cell is being hailed as the first step in producing artificial life forms that could one day generate biological fuels, pharmaceuticals and even food. The breakthrough has also triggered concern over the ethics of creating artificial life and what other potential threats may arise, affecting the environment and living beings, like humans.

Trevor Charles, a professor in Waterloo’s department of biology, will explore this groundbreaking achievement in a lecture entitled "Building Life: The Science of Synthetic Biology".

“I will be examining why this synthetic cell was created and how it is different from conventional genetic engineering,” Charles said. “I will also look at the ethical and safety implications of this research.”

After the lecture, attendees will have the opportunity to ask questions of an expert panel. Panel members include Andre Masella, member of the iGEM synthetic biology team at Waterloo; Kathryn Plaisance, assistant professor in the faculty of environment’s Centre for Knowledge Integration; and Maria Trainer, program director at the Council of Canadian Academies.

“We look forward to welcoming the community to this event and hope it will generate some thought-provoking discussions about synthetic biology,” said David Rose, chair of biology.

The lecture is hosted by the faculty of science and will be held on Wednesday at 7 p.m. in J.R. Coutts Engineering Lecture Hall room 302. RSPS should go to scienceevents@ uwaterloo.ca or ext. 38804.


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Link of the day

Look out for the cars

When and where

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

Career workshop: “Success on the Job” 2:30, Tatham Centre room 1208. Details.

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

Wilfrid Laurier University convocation Wednesday (two ceremonies in Brantford). Details.

Centre for Teaching Excellence open classroom session for AFM 331, Wednesday 11:30, Hagey Hall room 1104 (note corrected location). Details.

QPR suicide prevention program training session Wednesday 12:00, Math and Computer room 4068, register ext. 33528.

Career workshops Wednesday: “Career Exploration and Decision Making” 2:00, Tatham Centre room 1112; “Interview Skills, Preparing for Questions” 3:30, Tatham 1208. Details.

Jake Thiessen, school of pharmacy, retirement reception Wednesday 3:00 to 5:00, Pharmacy building 7th floor, RSVP ext. 84499.

Lorraine Nesbitt, counselling services, retirement reception Wednesday 3:30 to 6:00, University Club, RSVSP cbernard@ uwaterloo.ca.

Centre for International Governance Innovation dinner followed by panel discussion, “Danger, Disaster and Deadlines: Canadians Reporting from Abroad” Wednesday 5:30, 57 Erb Street West. Details.

Queen Street Conservatory dance recital Wednesday 7:00, Humanities Theatre.

Innovators in Action speaker series sponsored by Social Innovation Generation: Bruce MacDonald, Big Brothers Big Sisters Canada, Wednesday 7:00, Canadian Clay and Glass Gallery. Details.

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

‘Healthy You’ barbecue supporting K-W Community Foundation, Thursday 11:30 to 1:00, TechTown, 340 Hagey Boulevard.

Surplus sale of university furnishings and equipment, Thursday 12:30 to 2:00, East Campus Hall. Details.

International spouses monthly gathering, tour of Brubacher House museum, Thursday 12:45 p.m., meet at community centre, Columbia Lake Village. Details.

Waterloo Institute for Nanotechology presents Sir Michael Pepper, University College London, “Semiconductor Nanostructures” Thursday 3:30, CEIT room 1015.

Female faculty networking opportunity sponsored by faculty association Status of Women and Equity Committee, Thursday 4:00 to 6:00, Graduate House upstairs lounge, information ext. 33468.

‘Drop, penalty 1’ period for spring term courses ends June 25.

Warrior Weekend with food, activities, crafts, movies, performance by Engineering Jazz Band, scavenger hunt, Friday and Saturday from 9 p.m., Student Life Centre. Details.

Canadian Undergraduate Mathematics Conference hosted by Waterloo July 6-10. Details.

‘Be Engaged’ lunch-and-learn presentation for staff about student engagement, July 7, 12:00, Arts Lecture Hall room 208.

The Impact of Canada’s Oil Sands, forum with Marcel Coutu, Waterloo graduate, president of Canadian Oil Sands Limited, sponsored by faculties of engineering and science, July 8, 4:00, CEIT room 1015. Details.

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.

Postdoctoral fellows social gathering in Waterloo Park, July 16, 5:00 to 7:00, vegetarian and halal hot dogs at 5:30, other food welcome. Details.

PhD oral defences

Optometry. Krithika Nandakumar, “Bifocals in Children with Down Syndrome (BiDS).” Supervisor, Susan J. Leat. On display in the faculty of science, ESC 254A. Oral defence Wednesday, July 7, 9:30 a.m., Optometry room 1129.

Computer science. Wei Jiang, “The Completeness Problem of Ordered Relational Databases.” Supervisor, David Toman. On display in the faculty of mathematics, MC 5090. Oral defence Wednesday, July 7, 1:30 p.m., Davis Centre room 2314.

Systems design engineering. Akshaya Kumar Mishra, “Decoupled Deformable Model for 2D/3D Boundary Identification.” Supervisors, Paul Fieguth and David Clausi. On display in the faculty of engineering, PHY 3004. Oral defence Thursday, July 8, 9:00 a.m., Engineering II room 1307C.

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