Monday, March 22, 2010

  • Leadership program for students is ready
  • Faculty pay increases, a robbery, and more
  • Editor:
  • Chris Redmond
  • Communications and Public Affairs

[Dominated by the glowing screen]

Senate at work: At February's meeting of the university senate, it was Allan Babor, president of the Federation of Students, giving a briefing, while UW president David Johnston (centre) and provost Feridun Hamdullahpur (back of head) were among those listening. The senate holds its March meeting at 4:00 today in Needles Hall room 3001; discussion of the university's 2010-11 budget is on the agenda along with an announcement of this year's teaching award winners, a proposal to officially approve the Waterloo Institute for Complexity and Innovation, and reports from the president and vice-presidents. The photo was taken by student senator Reemah Khalid.

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Leadership program for students is ready

There’s a “launch party” this afternoon for a program that invites students to “explore your leadership potential” and earn a certificate for doing it.

Katrina Di Gravio, director of the university’s Organizational and Human Development office, says she and her colleagues are “excited and proud” to see the Student Leadership Certificate Program go public after two years of testing.

"The intent is to help UW students gain knowledge and develop skills to excel at leadership on campus and within the community," an OHD flyer said when the program’s 12 workshops were first being offered in 2008. Hundreds of students have taken them since then, and now they’re being offered to everyone who’s  interested.

Says an announcement now: “The SLP program is available to any current student (undergraduate and graduate) at UW. Key elements of the program are the experiential approach and the fact that one does not have to be in a leadership role currently to participate.  The idea is to develop and hone leadership skills so that students can use them in everyday life whether it is in a group project, at campus club meetings or in the broader community.

“There are 12 workshops offered year round which are free to any enrolled student. Upon completion of all 12 workshops students will receive an e-certificate signed by Dr Feridun Hamdullahpur, Vice-president, Academic and Provost.

“In designing and delivering the SLP program, OHD has taken a tri-mentorship approach to the facilitation of the workshops by using facilitation teams of student and UW staff members who in turn work with the OHD office to hone their own facilitation, coaching and mentorship skills.” Di Gravio adds that the whole project is “truly a win-win-win for all involved”.

Topics of the two-hour workshops include "Exploring the Principles of Leadership", "Components of a Cohesive Team", "Conflict Management Exploration", " Planning and Running an Effective Team Meeting", and "Building Your Credibility as a Student Leader".

Today’s launch event runs from 3:00 to 5:00 in the Humanities Theatre, just around the corner from the offices in the Humanities building where OHD is based. Hamdullahpur, the provost, will be on hand to say a few words.

There’s also a star keynote speaker from outside the university: adventurer Jean-François Carrey, who was the youngest Canadian to climb Mount Everest. OHD says he will speak with UW students “regarding leadership development, goal setting and the importance of pursuing one's dreams!”

The speeches in the theatre will be followed by a reception in the foyer. “All students of UW are welcome,” OHD says, but registrations are being taken online.

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Faculty pay increases, a robbery, and more

An arbitrator will be deciding the amount of the scale salary increase for faculty members this year, says a memo issued jointly by the provost and the president of the faculty association. Negotiations for the May 1, 2010, salary increase started in November, and the two negotiators for each side "have had regular meetings trying to find common ground," the memo says. "Both sides have agreed on a 1 year agreement. However no consensus has been reached beyond that point. Our positions are far enough apart that there is no apparent simple compromise. The main issue separating us is a fundamental disagreement regarding the nature of the current and future conditions in the wider economy and how the University should position its budget in anticipation of potential economic developments over the coming year. As a result, according to Article 10.8 of the MOA between FAUW and UW, we have agreed that an impasse has been reached and that we will go to arbitration for final offer selection."

University police and housing officials have confirmed that an armed robbery was reported last Thursday in the Beck Hall residence, one of the two towers at UW Place on the south side of University Avenue. The Record newspaper says that a gun was involved. Says a memo that police have sent to residents: “In the early hours of March 18, a home invasion robbery occurred in one of our residences. The suspect, described as a black male, stocky and about 5’8” tall, entered the residence building and then, through an unlocked door, gained access to an apartment unit. On behalf of UW Police and the Department of Housing and Residences, this is a reminder not to let unknown people into your residence building, either by holding the door or buzzing them in, and to keep your doors locked. Please report any suspicious activity to UW police. If you have information regarding this robbery you are encouraged to contact UW Police at 888-4911, Waterloo Regional Police at 653-7700, or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-TIPS (8477).”

It’s design symposium season — five classes of final-year engineering students will be showing off their projects this week and next — and things start today with students from mechatronics engineering. Their exhibition runs from 1 to 5 p.m. in the great hall of the Student Life Centre. Among the 28 projects that will draw oohs and aahs: “Auto-Assist Spare Tire Changer, 3D Computer Interface, Power Exoskeleton leg, First-Touch Trainer, Mobile Mapper, Tennis Ball Bot, Smart Speedbag, Washer to Go, Portable Autonomous Traffic Signal, Smart Orthotics, E-Waste Reuse, Automatic Guitar Tuner, Dynamic Deformable Airfoil, Autonomous Golf Caddy, Automated Towel Folding System, RoboShovel, Tennis Ball Collecting Robot.”  A panel of judges from industry and academia will evaluate the displays and exhibits, and ASME Northern Alberta has sponsored a $500 award and a $250 award for the best design presentations of the day.

[Yellow hard hats and pyramids of yellow cans]More about engineers: check out the crew that's pictured at left. "EngSoc sent a team of six students (Samantha Pinto, Dushanth Joshua Seevaratnam, Alex Wade, Michael Leung, Tim Sipkens, and Eric Cousineau) to build a structure out of canned food," says Cousineau, looking back on the recent Canstruction event organized by the Food Bank of Waterloo Region. "Tim Bandura deserves a mention for organizing the entire thing; unfortunately he was unable to attend due to his participation in the Canadian Engineering Competition at U of T. The hardhat is 'canstructed' from cans of corn, tuna, and cream of mushroom soup. The sponsors for our team were RIM, the Faculty of Engineering, Zehrs of the Laurentian Power Centre, and of course EngSoc. EngSoc does a ton of charity events for the community. On St. Patrick's Day we held a joint event with AHS at Philthy McNasty's to raise money for the Haiti Relief Fund. On Sunday we pulled a bus from campus to Kitchener Market Square and raised over $5,200 for the Heart and Stroke Foundation. We sold a Funny Bunny Rap CD by Sasha Avreline and Mike Seliske for the Canadian Cancer Society. We love giving back to the community!"

See that picture at the top of this page, showing the Federation of Students president giving a PowerPoint briefing to UW's senate? He's not using the official University of Waterloo design on his slides — but he could be, now that such a thing is available. Graphics announces that "We now have PowerPoint files available for download on the Graphics website." Other applications, graphic elements and design guidance will be along in the days ahead, as the university's new palette of colours and preferred fonts penetrate campus communications.

From PowerPoint to SharePoint, and this memo from Bob Hicks of information systems and technology: "Our SharePoint Services server is scheduled to be moved to a new server from 8 p.m. on Wednesday, March 24, to Thursday March 25, at 8 a.m. During most of this time you will be able to access your SharePoint site, but you should not save to it as the saved data won’t be restored from the backup. The SharePoint server will not be accessible for the last hour of the process, on Thursday from 7 to 8 a.m. Once the new SharePoint server comes online, everything should look and work the same. We are sorry for any inconvenience this may cause."

And . . . I said in Thursday's Daily Bulletin that the Warriors' Jason Goetz had come home from the national university track and field championships with a silver medal for his triple jump. I should have known better. "Jason won gold!" writes the Warriors' coach, Jason Dockendorff (and several other readers made the same point). "He won silver last year." The coach notes that previous gold medal winners — that is, national champions — from Waterloo were Daniella Carrington in 2003 for the 60-metre dash, and Jeff Millar in 1996 for the pole vault.


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Link of the day

It's spring, it's spring

When and where

Online voting for senate: Seven faculty at large positions and one St. Jerome’s University faculty position, polls open Monday-Friday, March 22-26. Details.

Dragons’ Den open auditions (looking for aspiring entrepreneurs to appear on CBC series) 11 a.m. to 6 p.m., CBET, 295 Hagey Boulevard. Details.

Kitchener Public Library presents Gary Bruce, UW department of history, “After Work I  Came Home and Did the Crossword: The Life and Times of East German Secret Police Officers” 12:00, KPL main branch.

Heritage Resources Centre lunch-and-learn session: Geoffrey Lewis, faculty of environment, “Urban Energy” 12:00, Environment I room 221.

Career workshops today: “Academic Interview Skills” 12:00, Tatham Centre room 2218; “Interview Skills, Preparing for Questions” 4:30, Tatham 1208; “Pharmacy School Interviews” 5:30, Tatham 2218. Details.

Waterloo Institute for Complexity and Innovation presents public lecture by Leigh Tesfatsion, University of Iowa, “Testing Institutional Arrangements via Agent-Based Modeling: A US Electricity Market” 3:00, Tatham Centre room 2218.

Cultural Encounters, Encountering Cultures series: Gerd Hauck, drama and speech communication, “Theatre at the Crossroads of Intermediality and Convention” 4:30, Arts Lecture Hall room 113.

Waterloo Centre for German Studies presents Alfred de Zayas, Geneva School of Diplomacy and International Relations, “Ethnic Cleansing 1945-1948” 7:30, Arts Lecture Hall room 113.

Women’s Centre presents “A Monologue, a Memory, a Rant, a Prayer: Writings to End Violence Against Women and Girls” today 8:00 (Arts Lecture Hall room 124) and Tuesday 8:00 (Hagey Hall room 180), tickets $10.

‘Turn off the TV and read’ monthly bookstore sale, Tuesday-Wednesday, South Campus Hall concourse.

‘Documenting Your Teaching for Tenure and Promotion’ workshop sponsored by associate vice-president (academic) Tuesday 11:45 a.m., Flex Lab, Dana Porter Library. Details.

‘Sweats to Suits’ style advice by Jas Banwait, Waterloo alumnus and owner of Toronto tailoring company, Tuesday, sessions 1:00 and 2:30, great hall, Student Life Centre. Details.

Career workshop: “Interview Skills, Selling Your Skills” Tuesday 2:30, Tatham Centre room 1208. Details.

Biochemistry and molecular biology seminar: Masoud Jelokhani-Niaraki, Wilfrid Laurier University, “Studies on Uncoupling Proteins” Tuesday 3:30, Chemistry II room 361.

Computer Science Club presents Peter Barfuss, “Memory-Corruption Security Holes” Tuesday 4:30, Math and Computer room 5158.

Alumni outing in Calgary to Flames vs. Ducks hockey, Tuesday, 5:00 reception preceding game. Details.

Speed networking career event for science students, Tuesday 5:30, CEIT foyer and room 1015.

Design symposium: Electrical and computer engineering student projects Wednesday 9:30 to 8:00, Davis Centre.

Silent auction in support of the Colour Me Educated campaign, Wednesday 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., Student Life Centre great hall.

Unaccompanied Minors a cappella chorus, free concert hosted by Pathways to Education, Conrad Centre for the Performing Arts, Kitchener, Wednesday 5:30. Details.

First Robotics Competition Waterloo regionals, competition for high school students, Thursday-Saturday, Physical Activities Complex. Details.

Disability Awareness Day sponsored by One Waterloo and office for persons with disabilities, simulations, panel discussion, 2:30 film, Thursday 11:00 to 4:30, Student Life Centre great hall.

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

Vancouver alumni reception Thursday 6 p.m., during GLOBE conference and trade fair. Details.

‘So You Think You Can Dance Waterloo’ final competition Saturday, Federation Hall.

Earth Hour Saturday: celebrations 7:30 p.m. to midnight, Student Life Centre; lights out 8:30 to 9:30.

UW Stage Band spring concert, “Time Flies” Sunday 2:00, Conrad Grebel UC great hall, admission $8 (students $5).

Friday's Daily Bulletin