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Friday, December 9, 2011

  • Gallery highlights the art of microbiology
  • Interim football head coach announced
  • Editor:
  • Brandon Sweet
  • Communications and Public Affairs

Bacteriophage meet the iPod dance
Gallery highlights the art of microbiology

By adding some art to his “Fundamentals of Microbiology” science course, professor Josh Neufeld has found a way to engage his students with the topic in a fun and creative way.

BIOL 140, explains Neufeld, is a large introductory course divided across three sections, with more than 750 students gaining basic knowledge of the world of microorganisms. “I work hard to engage students despite the large class size,” said Neufeld, who incorporates clickers, a current events blog, movies, and in-class demonstrations to keep his course engaging. He was inspired to go a step further this year while watching his own kids, Jamie (5) and Justin (3), drawing pictures of bacteria for his office.

“It occurred to me that art and creativity are not usually part of a Science student’s undergraduate experience,” Neufeld says, “but I suspected there was hidden artistic talent in my BIOL 140 class.”

Thus the “Microbiology Art Gallery” was born. Neufeld encouraged his students to submit original artwork inspired by the concepts they were learning in class, and received nearly two dozen submission over the course of the term using varied media, from pencil to acrylic to digital, which he would then project on screen in class. At the end of the course, the class used their clickers to vote for the “Student Favourite.”

The Periodic Table of Microbiology

The first runner-up, pictured above, is "Periodic Table of Microbiology" by Emily Li (digital graphic design).

“I wondered if one way of helping students engage with complex course material was to let them be creative within the context of microbiology,” said Neufeld, “uniting the left and right sides of their brain around this topic.” According to Neufeld, it worked: the class enjoyed seeing submissions on the big screen, and student artists appreciated the opportunity to showcase their creative abilities.

NeStromatolites: Stepping Stones to Lifeufeld also wonders about possible learning outcomes: “one submission showed bacteria exchanging plasmids like CCG playing cards, which was a clever way of visually reinforcing a microbiological phenomenon.”

The second runner-up, pictured at right, is "Stromatolites: Stepping Stones to Life," by Chitrita Chakko (acrylic on poster board).

The piece that captured the Student Favourite award appears as the headline photo and is entitled “Bacteriophage meet the iPod dance,” by Lauren Singray (Correction: Singroy) (acrylic on canvas).

The winning submissions are on display in Neufeld’s office (B1-275) and all submissions will become incorporated into lecture slides for BIOL 140 in 2012.

And if that mustachioed bacteriophage in the lower left corner of the winning image looks familiar, that’s because it is in fact a “viral” portrait of Neufeld, who led the UW Biology Movember team, which raised more than $2,000 for prostate cancer research last month.

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Interim football head coach announced

a news release from the Athletics department

Joe PaopaoThe University of Waterloo’s Department of Athletics today announced that Joe Paopao (right) has been selected as the interim head coach of the Waterloo Warriors football program. Paopao takes over the reins after serving as offensive coordinator and assistant head coach for the past five years. Longtime assistant coach Marshall Bingeman moves into the role of interim assistant head coach and director of football operations.

“We are enormously grateful to have Joe in this role,” said Warriors athletic director Bob Copeland. “Joe commands respect from his staff and players and is a superb mentor and teacher whose influence will benefit our student-athletes and overall program. The return of coach Paopao, coach Bingeman, and the nucleus of the coaching staff from last year provides important consistency for our program and the development of our student-athletes”.

In addition to serving as interim head coach, Paopao will take on the role as the lead football consultant in developing a sustainable plan to build a program of excellence, and he is well qualified to take on this assignment.

"Our focus is on today and building for the future,” commented coach Paopao. “We have tremendous character and emerging talent in our locker room and it is a privilege for me to lead these fine young men. What we need is more depth and experience and this will come with time and a solid plan and that is part of my mandate,” added Paopao. “Our job as coaches is to ensure our players achieve their full potential – as players, students, and members of our community”.

Paopao has an extensive Canadian Football League (CFL) coaching resume on top of his illustrious CFL playing career. Most recently, in 2006, he was the offensive coordinator for the Hamilton Tiger-Cats. From 2001-2005 Joe served as head coach of the Ottawa Renegades. He has also coached with Edmonton, British Columbia, and Winnipeg in the CFL. In 2001, Paopao was the offensive coordinator for the (now defunct) San Francisco Demons of the XFL. He is a member of the B.C. Lions Wall of Fame (2007) and has also been inducted into the Long Beach State Hall of Fame (2006).

Paopao’s playing career began in B.C. where he was the quarterback for the Lions in 1978. There, he led the Lions in passing for the next three seasons and set a CFL record in 1979 for most pass completions in a single game. Paopao enjoyed a 12 year CFL career before becoming a highly respected CFL coach and subsequently a coach with the Waterloo Warriors in 2007.

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Teaching award nominations open

The annual deadlines for the Distinguished Teacher Award and the Amit and Meena Chakma Award for Exceptional Teaching by a student are coming  up - the DTA deadline is Friday, February 3, 2012, and the Amit and Meena Chakma Award deadline is February 10, 2012.

Tips on crafting effective nominations are available on the CTE blog.

Link of the day

The birth of frozen food

When and where

Christmas luncheon buffet at University Club, Monday-Friday, November 28 through December 23, 11:30 to 2:00.

Kinesiology Lab Days, December 7 to 16. Student visits begin at 10:15 a.m. each day in LHI and BMH.

Fall term examinations December 8-22 (online courses, December 9-10). Unofficial grades begin to appear in Quest December 23; official grades available January 23.

IT Professional Development Seminar, featuring Daniel Legault and Jason Testart, Friday, December 9, 9:00 a.m., MC 2009

Annual exhibition of 2011 University of Waterloo Rome Programme, Friday, December 9, 6:00 p.m., Waterloo Studio, Piazza S. Apollonia 3, Trastevere.

Winterfest, annual staff association family event, Sunday, December 11, 1:00 to 3:00, Columbia Icefield. Details.

Senate Graduate and Research Council Monday, December 12, 10:30, Needles Hall room 3004. Note: there is no meeting.

Getting Started in Desire2Learn workshop for instructors, organized by Centre for Teaching Excellence, Tuesday, December 13 at 1:30, Wednesday, December 14, at 9:30, and other dates, Flex Lab, Dana Porter Library. Details.

Undergraduate Council meeting, Tuesday December 13, 12:00 p.m. – 2:00 p.m., NH 3004.

University Club Christmas dinner buffet, Wednesday, December 14, 5 to 8 p.m.

Digital Media Series - Gamification. Public lecture by Games Institute director Neil Randall on what gamification is and how it is affecting the world in terms of marketing, buying decisions and just plain fun. Stratford Campus, Wednesday, December 14, 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. Free admission. Details.

Getting Started in Desire2Learn workshop for instructors, organized by Centre for Teaching Excellence, Wednesday, December 14, 9:30 a.m. to 11:30. a.m. Details.

Systems Design Engineering seminar featuring John McPhee, "(Multibody) Systems Theory: From Cars to Humans," Wednesday, December 14, 11:30 a.m., E5 6004.

Getting Started in Desire2Learn workshop for instructors, organized by Centre for Teaching Excellence, Thursday, December 15, 1:30, and other dates, Flex Lab, Dana Porter Library. Details.

Retirement reception for Susan Sykes, Thursday, December 15, 3:30 p.m. at the University Club. RSVP ASAP to ccyee@

St. Jerome’s University president’s Christmas gala, Thursday, December 15, 6 p.m., by invitation.

Pension and benefits committee Friday, December 16, 8:30, Needles Hall room 3004.

Fees due for winter term courses December 19 (certified cheque, money order, promissory note) or December 28 (bank payment, wire transfer).

Getting Started in Desire2Learn workshop for instructors, organized by Centre for Teaching Excellence, Monday, December 19, 10:30, and other dates, Flex Lab, Dana Porter Library. Details.

UWRC Book Club: The Lacuna by Barbara Kingsolver, Wednesday, December 21, 12:00, Dana Porter Library room 407.

Christmas and New Year’s break Saturday, December 24, through Monday, January 2, university closed, reopening January 3, 2012.

Winter term classes begin Tuesday, January 3.

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