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Tuesday, February 15, 2011

  • Profiles of two who give to Waterloo
  • Notes from a 54-year-old university
  • Editor:
  • Chris Redmond
  • Communications and Public Affairs

[Four upon a mattress]

Ideas start here, and clearly it's never too soon. Sporting the university's promotional buttons are four little investments in the future, all born during December: Priya, daughter of Kari Pasick Stewart of Renison University College and Mark Stewart of the Centre for Extended Learning; Dexter, son of Chantel Franklin of alumni affairs and Mark Byerley of development; Leah, daughter of Julie Kalbfleisch of marketing and undergraduate recruitment; and Logan, son of Jody Berringer, also of MUR.

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Profiles of two who give to Waterloo

The name of a scholarship… the impact of a modest bequest… those are two of the topics addressed in online features aimed at Waterloo’s thousands of individual donors. The stories, on the university’s “giving” web site, are briefly announced in various editions of the stakeholder report that was distributed to 14,000 supporters in December, either with the latest issue of the alumni magazine or on its own.

The editions focus on different kinds of giving — for student support, for buildings and programs, and so on — but all the feature articles are available online to anyone interested, and will be used in other ways by Waterloo’s development staff, says Ryan Jacobs, communications officer for the development office. (The report also includes a “year in review” summary of the university’s 2009-10 finances, including funds from 16,424 donors.)

Here are two of those feature stories:

Scholarship naming: When Adam Cooper recently decided to create a scholarship at the University of Waterloo, he took some time to consider whom it should be named for. Within minutes it came to him.

Linda Behnke, his old high school calculus and finite math teacher from Bluevale Collegiate in Waterloo, was the perfect fit. Not only was she incredibly patient when Cooper visited her in the mornings before class to work out math problems, she also wrote his Waterloo recommendation letter. "She was always willing to help students. I made a lot of use of that," Cooper says with a laugh.

Cooper received his BMath in computer science in 1999. Today he's a software developer for Research In Motion in Ottawa.

Now that the first student has received an installment of the Linda Behnke Entrance Scholarship in Mathematics, her teaching legacy continues. Describing herself as "touched and overwhelmed" by Cooper's request to name a scholarship after her, Behnke, a Waterloo math grad herself, is still helping students learn the difference between integrals and derivatives.

"What a treat to know that my teaching had a positive impact on Adam's future," she says. "That he would even think of me after 16 years is incredible." Or maybe not so incredible, says Cooper, who is keen to inspire other people to give back too and to make a difference for today's generation of students. "Everyone has people in their lives who really helped them out and influenced them," he says. "This investment is going to pay dividends."

A question of legacy: What would make a lawyer only six years out of law school dump his profession and turn to a life of teaching teens? Why not just ask John MacLeod, a long-time high school English teacher from Cambridge, Ontario? For 24 years he's been dishing out Shakespeare and Canadian lit to students who want to hone their reading and writing skills.

"I left law in a fit of youthful optimism that I failed to curb properly," he jokes now from his office at Glenview Park Secondary School. In reality, MacLeod had a passion for learning that never quite went away, particularly for languages and English. So it's little wonder that he went back to school to earn a Master of Arts in English from Waterloo in 1992.

That respect for education — and the institutions that provide it — still remains. MacLeod has been known to inspire and steer students toward university, including a couple who have gone on to Waterloo. He has also made monthly donations to Waterloo for over a decade and just recently revised his will to include the university. He hopes his bequest, which his family fully supports, will eventually make a difference for students studying the humanities.

Although MacLeod is the first to say he's impressed whenever anyone makes large gifts to the university, he's certain that cumulative smaller amounts are important too. "I'm a teacher. I'm not contributing astronomical sums of money, but nonetheless, it's a question of legacy and passing the torch along," he says. "If we all give in our own modest way, we can make a contribution toward advancing a cause we consider important."

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Notes from a 54-year-old university

You read it here first: Waterloo is on the way to having a Seventh Decade Plan. The January 4 meeting of the senate executive committee turned to discussion of what the senate's Long-Range Planning committee is expected to do these days, and the minutes tell the outcome: "The focus of its activities would be the Stratford satellite campus, mid-term review of the 6th Decade Plan and initiation of the next decade plan." Since Waterloo was founded in 1957, the current Sixth Decade runs from 2007 to 2017, and what follows would be the Seventh Decade, 2017 to 2027. The university's development has been guided by a series of such ten-year plans, starting with the Third Decade Plan that was commissioned by vice-president (academic) Tom Brzustowski in 1975.

News from the athletics department’s Warrior Xtra newsletter: “The Post Secondary Golf Coaches Association of Canada has recently announced that they will be naming the University/ College Coach of the Year Award [Pearse]after current University of Waterloo assistant golf coach, Jack Pearse (right). The award is a well deserved honour for a long serving ambassador of post-secondary golf in Canada. Pearse, described by family and friends as a loveable teddy bear, has been surrounded by golf his entire life and has seven OUA Championship coaching titles to prove it. Pearse has been the driving force behind the Waterloo Warriors golf program which was established in 1968. He coached the program for eight years (1968-1976) developing them into one of the top university/ college programs in the country. Pearse was the founder of the uWaterloo golf school and was the first person to teach golf in the kinesiology skills program on campus. Pearse was inducted into the Waterloo Athletics Hall of Fame in March 2000 and returned to assist current head coach Dave Hollinger in 2003. The emeritus at age 84 years young continues to teach Warrior golfers the skills necessary to not only succeed in golf but to be a superb student-athlete and person.”

Waterloo engineering students and students from a local secondary school will be working together in Engineering 5 building, starting tomorrow, to test a newly built robot. Daniel Delattre of the engineering computing service explains that their robot, “the Hoff”, will be competing at this year's FIRST Robotics Competition to be held on campus March 24-26. “With the opening of the Faculty of Engineering Student Design Centre in E5,” he says, “the possible links between high schools and the University of Waterloo have increased dramatically. So when St. David Catholic Secondary School started their rookie team, they automatically looked for current and alumni student mentors from the Faculty of Engineering, as well as for a connection with the Student Design Centre. St. David’s FRC team is currently the only team in the City of Waterloo. They have seven mentors who are enrolled in engineering, as well as two alumni.” Two local firms, Demaiter Engineering and Aeryon Labs, are also supporting the project.

In last week’s voting by undergraduate students, three new members were elected to the university senate: Ben Selby representing engineering, Jesse McGinnis representing mathematics, and Jeffrey Bunn to an at-large seat. Ten positions on students’ council were also filled. And students in applied health sciences said no, by 81 votes to 77, to a proposal to raise the per-term fee for their student society, AHSUM, from $3.00 to $4.50. Full voting results are on the Federation of Students web site.

A recent news release from Conrad Grebel University College describes the work of Sarah Freeman, a student at the Grebel-affiliated Toronto Mennonite Theological Centre. "Beginning her studies in pastoral theology and specializing in homiletics," says the release, "there were few opportunities to connect at TMTC. However during [Freeman]Sarah’s second year of study, students began meeting on a regular basis, planning activities, and organized a conference." Freeman (left) compares those two years of school: "My second year was filled with new friendships, support from wiser students, a women’s group to discuss academic life, roundtable discussions about Mennonite perspectives on various academic topics, and the opportunity to present at a conference for the first time.” The release announces that Freeman's "academic achievement, her zeal for preaching, and her enthusiastic participation at TMTC earned her Conrad Grebel’s highest valued academic award —the A. James Reimer Award," named for a Grebel professor who died in 2010.

Last week's Daily Bulletin article about property owned or leased by the university referred to the Architecture building as being on "Grad Avenue" in Cambridge; of course that's Grand Avenue. • The staff association has invited its membership to apply for a vacant position as staff representative on the university's pivotal Pension and Benefits Committee. • A highlight of today's events on campus will be a presentation by Maurice Dusseault and Steve Evans, both of the department of earth and environmental sciences, about last fall's dramatic rescue of 33 Chilean miners (7:00, Physics room 145).

Deaths of several retired Waterloo staff members have been reported in recent days. Ruth Lloyd, who died December 7, was secretary in the department of history from 1968 to 1979. Dorothea (Thea) Hughes, who died December 11, worked from 1974 to 1996 in the department of chemical engineering, winding up as departmental administrative assistant. Roberta (Robbie) Moskal, who died January 15, worked in the accounts receivable section of the finance office from 1974 to 1991, retiring as the unit's supervisor.


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Link of the day

The flag of Canada

When and where

Employer interviews for spring term co-op jobs continue. Ranking opens Wednesday 1 p.m., closes Friday 2 p.m., results available 4 p.m. Details.

Library workshop: “Find Books and More” today, February 23 and March 1 at 10:00, Flex Lab, Dana Porter Library. Details.

Queer Sexuality Week: workshops on self-defence (10:00), “Kink” with Stacy Jacobs of Planned Parenthood 11:30, “sexual communication” 1:00, “brain-safe sex” 2:30, Student Life Centre. Details.

‘Life After the U’ panel of retirees, sponsored by UW Recreation Committee, 12:00, Math and Computer room 5158.

Staff career seminar: “Exploring Your Personality Type” 3:00, Tatham Centre room 1112. Details.

Propel Centre for Population Health Impact presents “Advancing Public Health: Science and Innovation in Tobacco Control”, talk by researchers from Harvard School of Public Health, 3:30, Sun Life Financial Auditorium, Lyle Hallman Institute, reception follows.

WatPD elective course information session, 4:00, Tatham Centre room 1208. Details.

Ballroom Dance Club lecture-demonstration by Vanessa Lawson, Royal Winnipeg Ballet, 4:30, Lyle Hallman Institute room 1621, admission free.

Author reading: Gregory Scofield, Canadian poet, 4:30, St. Jerome’s University room 3014.

School of Accounting and Finance Sun Life Financial Lecture: Deborah Moor, president, Lloyd’s Canada, “The Aftermath of the Financial Crisis” 4:30, Hagey Hall room 1101, reception follows. Register.

International development event: Emily Pittman, returned from CIDA internship at Dzaleka refugee camp, Malawi, describes her work; networking with groups and faculty working in development, 4:30, Needles Hall room 1116.

Career workshops Wednesday: “Career Interest Assessment” 10:00, Tatham Centre room 1112; “Multiple-Mini Interview Practice Session” 4:30, Tatham room 1214. Details.

‘Sex with Sue’ talk by Sue Johanson, sponsored by Federation of Students, Wednesday 12:00, Student Life Centre.

UWRC Book Club: The Swallows of Kabul by Yasmina Khadra, Wednesday 12:00, Dana Porter Library room 407.

Free noon concert: Trout Quintet with violin, viola, cello, bass, piano, Wednesday 12:30, Conrad Grebel UC chapel.

Waterloo Institute for Complexity and Innovation presents Eric Lambin, University of Louvain, and Peter Deadman, Waterloo geography and environmental management, Wednesday 1:30, Physics room 150.

Biomedical discussion group: Shana Kelley, University of Toronto, “Nanostructure-Enabled Electronic Diagnostic Devices” Wednesday 2:30, Davis Centre room 1302. Details.

German Research Today: Christine Lehleiter, University of Toronto, “Heredity: Determinism and Creativity in German Romanticism” Wednesday 4:00, Modern Languages room 245.

Waterloo Institute for Sustainable Energy presents Stephen Carpenter, Enermodal Energy, “The Making of Canada’s Greenest Office Building” Wednesday 5:00, CEIT room 3142.

‘Showcase of student-led global health projects’ presented by Waterloo International and Black Association for Student Expression, Wednesday 7:30 p.m., Student Life Centre room 2143.

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

[Claxton]Lois Claxton, secretary of the university, farewell reception Thursday 4:00, University Club, RSVP ext. 36125.

Senate finance committee Friday 1:30, Needles Hall room 3004. Agenda.

[W]Warrior sports

Weekly report, February 14

PhD oral defences

Computer science. Vlad Ciubotariu, previously announced, oral defence changed to Thursday, February 17, 1:30 p.m., Engineering 5 room 5106.

Statistics and actuarial science. Muhamad Rashid Ahmed, “An Investigation of Methods for Missing Data in Hierarchical Models for Discrete Data.” Supervisor, K. S. Brown. On display in the faculty of mathematics, MC 5090. Oral defence Friday, February 18, 10:00 a.m., Mathematics and Computer room 6027.

Civil and environmental engineering. Noran Mohamed Magdy Abdel Wahab, “Bond Behaviour of Beams with Near Surface Mounted Carbon Fiber Reinforced Polymer Bars Under Fatigue Loading.” Supervisors, Khaled Soudki and Timothy Topper. On display in the faculty of engineering, PHY 3004. Oral defence Tuesday, February 22, 9:30 a.m., Engineering 2 room 3324.

Statistics and actuarial science. Bin Dong, “Empirical Likelihood Method for Ratio Estimation.” Supervisor, David Matthews. On display in the faculty of mathematics, MC 5090. Oral defence Tuesday, February 22, 2:00 p.m., Mathematics and Computer room 6027.

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