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Tuesday, January 18, 2011

  • Corrections, and diverse other notes
  • Psychology lab doing study of ADHD kids
  • Editor:
  • Chris Redmond
  • Communications and Public Affairs

[Bracketed by police car and fire truck]

A collision at Seagram Drive and University Avenue late yesterday afternoon snarled traffic at the main entrance to campus, but the "spectacular" crash caused no injuries, according to police services director Dan Anderson. Photo by computer engineering student Mike Soares.

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Corrections, and diverse other notes

Better start, on this wet and wintry morning, with a few corrections to items that have appeared in the Daily Bulletin lately. Friday’s edition included a photo of Waterloo students and staff at "Toronto Financial Services Day" in New York, and one of the students in the [Petlu]group (left) was wrongly identified. He is Vasanth Petlu, a computer engineering student, not Amr Karim, who was at the New York event but wasn’t in that particular photo.

Friday’s Daily Bulletin also talked about a couple of graduate programs that were said to “complement” the new Master of Digital Innovation program to be based at Waterloo’s Stratford campus. One of them, the MA in Experimental Digital Media, was said to be “proposed”, and indeed that’s what a report to the university senate said — but the report is out of date. The program admitted its first students last September, says Ken Hirschkop, graduate officer in the department of English, which operates the “XDM” master’s along with master’s programs in “literary studies” and “rhetoric and communication design”. Says Hirschkop: “The MA in Experimental Digital Media is a unique program, combining the best traditions of humanities research and critical media analysis with a hands-on, lab-based approach to digital media. Rather than merely analyse the products of existing digital media, or create new media for already defined goals, students on the course explore the creation of digital objects and practices that are themselves informed by critical and theoretical perspectives.”

And on January 11, the Daily Bulletin gave credit to student Jasmine Choi as designer of the holiday card sent out this year by the co-op education and career services department. She did a small part of the artwork, a note from CECS clarifies, but the primary design of the cards was done by Jacky Au Duong, an arts student who worked in marketing for CECS as her fall term co-op job.

On to other matters . . . Central Stores sent a memo across campus yesterday reminding departments that Canada Post raised its rates as of January 17 (first-class letters now cost 59 cents). • The staff association is looking for a volunteer from among its members to hold a staff seat on the Joint Health and Safety Committee for the main campus. • The Dispensary, a student-operated coffee shop, has opened for business in the lobby of the Pharmacy building in downtown Kitchener; I'm hoping to have a photo of it soon.

The Federation of Students’ diversity initiative, One Waterloo, is calling for performers for “Showcase Your Roots”, a celebration of black culture, to be held during Black History Month in February under the banner title of “One Seed. Many Roots”. A  news release says the show is looking for performers from all genres — singers, musicians, dancers and actors. “We’re hoping for a variety of acts by a diverse group of performers,” said Nicole Joron, student program coordinator for the Feds. “We invite all members of the community to actively participate in Black History Month events, to learn about and celebrate the contributions of black history and black culture in Canada.” Acts from both the university and greater Kitchener-Waterloo communities are invited to audition. Interested performers should email base.uw@  no later than this Friday. On-campus auditions will take place on January 28 or by special arrangement. The showcase event will take place on Sunday, February 13, at 6 p.m. in the Humanities Theatre. It’s organized by One Waterloo in partnership with clubs including the Black Association for Student Expression, the African Students’ Association, and the Association of Caribbean Students.

Also from the One Waterloo diversity program comes an exhibition that opens today in the Student Life Centre, with the first round of visual answers to the question: “What does diversity mean to you?” In response to that invitation, photo submissions came in from across campus exploring a range of themes and ideas relating to diversity. Each photo was required to be accompanied by a short write-up explaining the photographer’s choice of photo. “Some photos,” [Sunset spectacular]says the Feds’ Kirsty Budd, “chose to explore diversity in nature, like the submission from Mike Vlascov a student in Nanotechnology Engineering at Waterloo (right)." Vlascov explains his photo choice: “Nothing says diversity louder than nature itself, with all its colours and shapes which have us humans puzzled and intrigued at times. Often amazing and usually impossible to replicate, nature gives us an understanding of things possible and the ability to see its versatility.” Vlascov took the photo in Pickering, Ontario, during the fall of 2010. A gallery showcasing all the diversity photos will be in the Student Life Centre great hall today and tomorrow from 10:00 to 5:00.

A memo was e-mailed to "approximately 24,344 undergraduate students" yesterday, the registrar's office says. “Did you know,” it asks, “your academic standing determines if you can proceed to the next term of study?” Some explanation:An ‘academic standing’ is an evaluation of your academic performance, determined at the end of each academic term. Official academic standings and final grades for fall 2010 are available January 24, 2011.” To check it, “You must look at your unofficial transcript in Quest; log in; click My Academics; click Unofficial Transcript.” What does it mean? “This decision may affect current or future terms. Go to the Academic Standing page for clarification of your standing. Check your email for possible updates regarding academic standing and options. Refer to Student Awards & Financial Aid to ensure eligibility for financial aid is not impacted. See advisor for questions.”

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Psychology lab doing study of ADHD kids

a news release from the media relations office

University of Waterloo researchers are seeking local children aged six to 12 with attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) to participate in a major study investigating the communicative difficulties that often co-occur with the disorder.

Individuals diagnosed with ADHD experience inappropriate degrees of inattention, impulsiveness and hyperactivity that lead to difficulties in many aspects of daily life. Also, the interpersonal struggles faced by children with ADHD can be one of the most challenging aspects of the disorder.

[Nilsen]"Many children have trouble focusing and regulating their behaviour from time to time," said psychology professor Elizabeth Nilsen (left), director of the cognitive development laboratory in the Centre for Mental Health Research. "However, some children experience these problems more frequently and do not ‘grow out’ of these behaviours resulting in difficulties at home, at school and with friends. Children who persistently struggle with these challenges are often diagnosed with ADHD."

In Ontario, nine per cent of boys and three per cent of girls are estimated to have ADHD. Fifty to 80 per cent of these diagnosed children continue to struggle with the disorder into their adult lives.

Nilsen, who studies cognitive development in the preschool and school years, said that communication is one facet of daily life that can be affected by ADHD. "Many children and adults with ADHD frequently struggle to communicate effectively with others and as a consequence, experience numerous difficulties in their interpersonal relationships." 

While it's not yet known what causes communication difficulties in individuals with ADHD, the Waterloo researchers aim to find out. They are probing the communicative and interpersonal challenges associated with ADHD. 

"Successful communication is a remarkably involved process, requiring communicators to simultaneously track social, linguistic and contextual information, while rapidly managing the flow of this information between themselves and their conversational partners," said Nilsen, who has a special interest in children’s communication skills.  

The researchers are investigating whether the cognitive demands involved in communicating pose a greater challenge for children with ADHD than for their same-aged peers. The studies will be structured like games so that children can have fun while helping researchers answer important questions about child development. During their visit to the cognitive development laboratory, parents are able to view their children at all times and will be provided with ample opportunity to ask questions.

The cognitive development laboratory draws together researchers and psychology students whose work involves communication and language development. The ADHD communication study, funded by a grant from the Ontario Mental Health Foundation, is being co-ordinated by Nilsen, who investigates the developmental course of communicative behaviours underlying cognitive skills necessary for children to successfully navigate their social world. 

She is assisted by research co-ordinator Agnieszka Fecica, who holds a PhD in psychology and is an expert in cognitive and language development. Fecica investigates children’s language and perspective-taking skills in the preschool and school years.

The cognitive development lab is currently recruiting children between the ages of six and 12 from the community who have been diagnosed with ADHD and are willing to participate in a study. The lab is primarily research-oriented and does not conduct clinical assessments. Parents interested in having their children participate in the research can call ext. 38542 (confidential voicemail) or e-mail childresearch@ All studies conducted by the cognitive development laboratory have been reviewed and received ethics clearance through the university’s office of research ethics.


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Link of the day

Winnie the Pooh

When and where

Used book sale continuing through Thursday, Renison University College, hallway outside Lusi Wong Library, proceeds to library accessibility enhancement.

Architecture co-op student return-to-campus interviews in Cambridge, today.

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

Engineering exchange programs information session 11:30, Rod Coutts Hall room 206, to be repeated January 25, 11:30.

Career workshops today: “Thinking About an International Experience?” 2:00, Tatham Centre room 1208. “International Work Term Procedures” 3:30, Tatham room 1208. Details.

Graduate studies in the faculty of mathematics information session for third and fourth-year undergraduates, 4:00, Davis Centre room 1302.

City of Waterloo rental housing licensing review, open house sessions today 6:30 to 8:30, Thursday 3 to 5, Waterloo Memorial Recreation Complex. Details.

‘The Shape of Inner Space’ by Shing-Tung Yau, Harvard University, lecture sponsored by bookstore and faculty of mathematics, 7:00, Theatre of the Arts.

Housing information sessions focusing on fall term residence for upper-year students: 10 p.m., MKV multipurpose room; UW Place Waterloo Court lounge.

Career workshops Wednesday: “Business Etiquette and Professionalism” 10:30, Tatham Centre room 1208; “The Big Guide to Working and Living Overseas” 12:30, Tatham 1208; “Exploring Your Personality Type”, first session, 2:30, Tatham room 1112 (second session January 26). Details.

UWRC Book Club: Gourmet Rhapsody by Muriel Barbery, Wednesday 12:00, Dana Porter Library room 407.

Free noon concert San Agustin Duo, Emma Banfield (violin) and Diana Dumlavwalla (piano), Wednesday 12:30, Conrad Grebel UC chapel.

Engineering exchange programs student panel Wednesday 4:30, Rod Coutts Hall room 208.

Political hip-hop trio Rebel Diaz, presented by Students for Palestinian Rights and other groups, Wednesday, from 8:00, Federation Hall.

‘Reading Scripture Through Other Eyes’ online lectures co-sponsored by Conrad Grebel University College, Thursday-Friday, lectures 9 a.m. and 2 p.m. each day, discussion following, lunch available, information ext. 24249.

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

PhD oral defences

Mechanical and mechatronics engineering. Isaac Keeheon Ye, “Investigation of the Scalar Variance and Scalar Dissipation Rate in URANS and LES.” Supervisors, Fue-Sang Lien and Eddy Chui. On display in the faculty of engineering, PHY 3004. Oral defence Friday, January 21, 11:00 a.m., Energy Research Centre room 3012.

English language and literature. Diana Lobb, “Canadian Literatures Beyond the Colour Line: Re-Reading the Category of South Asian-Canadian Literature.” Supervisor, Linda Warley. On display in the faculty of arts, PAS 2434. Oral defence Friday, January 21, 1:00 p.m., Hagey Hall room 232.

Kinesiology. Andrew Levy, “Influence of Acute and Chronic Glutathione Manipulations on Coronary Vascular Resistance and Endothelium Dependent Dilation in Isolated Perfused Rat Hearts.” Supervisor, James Rush. On display in the faculty of applied health sciences, BMH 3110. Oral defence Friday, January 21, 3:00 p.m., Matthews Hall room 3119.

[Team-Up graphic]

The Waterloo Warrior Team-Up program “has established a solid partnership with Education Credit Union, who provides support to make the program possible,” says the new issue of the athletics department’s Warrior Xtra newsletter. It says the credit union “provides materials, signage, athlete gear, handout materials to enhance the overall experience.” The Team-Up program brings student-athletes into the community to speak to elementary school children about “the six keys to success”. In the fall team more than 35 athletes from 11 Warrior teams took part.

Warrior weekly sports report, January 17

Yesterday's Daily Bulletin