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Friday, January 7, 2011

  • Stratford campus signs link with Japan
  • Good reviews for staff career services
  • Editor:
  • Chris Redmond
  • Communications and Public Affairs

[Campus gateway, lots of trees]
Stratford campus signs link with Japan

The university’s Stratford campus announced yesterday that it has signed an agreement for “academic exchange and cooperation” with Japan’s Chiba University — a 130-year-old institution (campus entrance, above) with about 13,000 students.

The two universities have agreed to establish liaison offices at each campus next year, a news release from the new digital media campus in Stratford said. The agreement makes Waterloo the first university in North America to establish an overseas office for Chiba University.

According to Paul Doherty, director of international entrepreneurship for the Waterloo Stratford campus, “Japan is often ahead of us in developing new innovations, so this is an excellent opportunity for us. In Japan, this is a government funded program and will allow for a more robust exchange system for students, faculty and ideas.”

The release said the agreement allows the two universities to cooperate in promoting academic research and enhancing educational opportunities for post-doctoral and doctoral students. “The collaboration could include everything from the exchange of faculty members, researchers and students, joint research projects and conferences and meetings. The agreement also includes the exchange of information and publications.”

And more: “The partnership gives students the opportunity to go abroad to learn and experience digital media in a more global sense. Several Chiba students have already visited the region as part of an exchange. Collaboration between the universities will help each to learn how to foster entrepreneurial job growth and innovation. Chiba University’s Multi-Career Training Program encourages graduate students and postdoctoral researchers to innovatively manage businesses from a broad international perspective.”

According to Masani Gomita, director of Chiba’s International Affairs Division, “The University of Waterloo is known for having the largest cooperative education program in the world and for having many spin off companies. Therefore the Multi-Career Training Program will send postdoc and graduate students for internships at the University of Waterloo and to nearby companies.”

Currently, Chiba has 45 sister universities in Europe and 22 in North America, most of which provide academic and student exchanges aimed at increasing international cooperation. Waterloo and Chiba first partnered in a symposium at Chiba in May 2010: First International Symposium on Entrepreneurship, sponsored by the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology and the Japan Science and Technology Agency. Doherty spoke at that symposium and says, “We will definitely see more international agreements like this moving forward.”

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Good reviews for staff career services

Career advising for University of Waterloo staff has reached its one-year anniversary, meaning it’s half way through a two-year pilot project funded by the Staff Excellence Fund and managed by the Centre for Career Action. 

Neil Murray, director of staff and labour relations, says career advising for staff reflects the growth of the university itself: “As the University of Waterloo continues to grow and change, the need for career development information and assistance for staff will be critical in their personal growth and readiness for new challenges. The staff career advisor in the Centre for Career Action has proven to be an invaluable asset in meeting the needs of staff by providing assessments, and advice and guidance with respect to career options and development strategies that really work.”

Staff association president Trevor Grove also says staff should prepare themselves in advance for career growth: “Ongoing career development is destined to become an integral part of every UW employee's responsibilities. But for those of us who haven't thought about our own careers, it might seem like an overwhelming task. So the services offered by our staff career advisor help us navigate our way though the ever-changing career landscape.”

[Koblyk]That advisor is Liz Koblyk (right), who came to the university a year ago this week. She says staff members are using the services primarily for career growth, but the details are varied: “People use the services for a whole range of reasons. Many who book appointments are happy with their jobs. They’re just putting thought into how they want to develop their skills for the future, or they’re using a tool like the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator to become more aware of what brings them career satisfaction.” Other clients, Koblyk goes on to say, are exploring career changes, updating resumé and interview skills, planning professional development or searching for a job either within Waterloo or elsewhere.

Beyond individual appointments, services for staff include access to the award-winning Career Development eManual, the Tatham Centre resource area, and staff-only workshops. Asked about workshop trends for staff, Koblyk notes that, as with appointments, most staff members are proactive: “They’re coming for workshops on career advancement, or on networking tools like LinkedIn. Of course, we offer workshops on job search techniques, but the workshops on managing and developing one’s career and network are more popular.”

Feedback on the services so far is reported as positive.  Kerry Mahoney, director of the Centre for Career Action, says staff “are obviously pleased with the services — literally 99 per cent of Liz’s clients who responded to our survey said they would refer colleagues. Plus, I think the comments staff have made about the services speak for themselves.”

Some managers on campus have been bringing staff career advising out of the Tatham Centre and into the office.  One such manager is Jack Rehder, executive officer for the Faculty of Mathematics. He has actively encouraged his staff to take advantage of career advising: “I was of the opinion that many people are not informed about what ‘career advancement’ actually entails, so I invited Liz to come to the Faculty of Mathematics and give a talk about the many services that are available to staff members. Liz spoke about the services that were available; she also spent some time talking about some of the skills and behaviours that distinguish people who advance in their career. There was very positive feedback.”

Not all staff members can access all services, however. Because of the funding structure of the services (based partly on an “excellence fund” that was originally part of the staff salary package), regular USG staff and postdoctoral fellows can access a full range of services, including individual appointments and workshops. Regular staff and postdocs can schedule confidential appointments and register for workshops online.

Faculty, unionized staff, and staff on contracts of less than two years in length have access to the Career Development eManual and the print and multimedia resources in the Centre for Career Action (TC room 1214), as well as career counselling through Counselling Services.


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Four buildings closed Saturday

Four main campus buildings "will not be accessible" between 6 a.m. and 4 p.m. tomorrow, the plant operations department warns. Environment 1 and 2, Arts Lecture and the PAS (Psychology) building will be locked during an electrical shutdown that's necessary so crews can connect power for the almost-finished Environment 3 building.

Link of the day

Orthodox Christmas

When and where

Bookstore, E-Smart, Waterloo Store and Write Stuff, South Campus Hall, open 9 to 5 Friday; 12 to 4 Saturday.

Feds Used Books, Student Life Centre, open 8:30 to 5:30 Monday-Friday this week and next; Saturday 9 to 5.

Return-to-campus interviews for co-op students (except architecture), final day today.

Knowledge Integration seminar: Tim Brodhead, J. W. McConnell Family Foundation, “To Change a System, Change Your Thinking” 2:30, Environment 2 room 2002.

Warrior sports this weekend: Volleyball vs. Guelph on Friday, vs. McMaster on Saturday, women 6 p.m., men 8 p.m. both days, PAC. • Women’s hockey vs. Queen’s on Saturday, vs. UOIT on Sunday, both games 2:00, Icefield. • Men’s hockey vs. Guelph, Saturday 7:30, Icefield; at York on Sunday. • Basketball at Laurier on Saturday, women 12:00, men 2:00. • Track and field at Sharon Anderson Meet, Toronto, Saturday.

FASS 2011 (“FASS of the Titans”) open rehearsal 7 to 9 p.m., Humanities room 336, actors and techies wanted for this year’s show.

School of pharmacy application deadline for January 2012 is January 9, 2011. Details.

Internet Explorer 8 will be released from the Windows patching server on Monday. Details.

Senate graduate and research council Monday 10:30 a.m., Needles Hall room 3004.

Work reports due for most returning co-op students, Tuesday, January 11.

Frost Week welcome-back events sponsored by Federation of Students: breakfast treats at Student Life Centre and Grad House,  Tuesday 8 a.m.; comedy at Bombshelter pub, Tuesday 8:30 p.m.; “Sex with Sue Johanson” Wednesday 12:00, SLC; Frostfest at SLC and Grad House, Wednesday 8 p.m.; free concert Thursday at Federation Hall, details to be announced.

Games Institute gathering to discuss collaborations Tuesday, Communitech Hub, Kitchener; demonstrations also planned. Details.

‘BlackBerry 101’ “trainer-to-go” program at Waterloo Stratford Campus, Tuesday 12:00 noon. Details.

Application deadline for Ontario secondary school students to apply for September admission, January 12 (other deadlines pertain to some programs). Details.

Library books borrowed on term loan before mid-December are due January 15; return or renew online.

Co-op job postings for spring work term begin on JobMine January 15, 7:00 a.m.

Open class enrolment for winter term ends January 17.

Library workshop: “New Faculty and Grad Students Research Tools and Library Services” January 18, 10:00, Davis Centre room 1568. Details.

 ‘The Shape of Inner Space’ by Shing-Tung Yau, Harvard University, lecture sponsored by bookstore and faculty of mathematics, January 18, 7:00, Rod Coutts Engineering Lecture Hall room 101.

Grade 10 family night for parents and university-bound students, information about application process, finances and choices, January 20, 6:30, Humanities Theatre. Details.

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