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Wednesday, June 22, 2011

  • Next steps for Stratford, and for dean
  • Announcements: VP, phone rates and more
  • Video in psych thesis brings award
  • Editor:
  • Chris Redmond
  • Communications and Public Affairs

Next steps for Stratford, and for dean

Tim Jackson, the associate vice-president (commercialization) who took over this month as interim vice-president (university relations), has an additional duty, the president has announced in a campus-wide memo: “In addition to overseeing the entire portfolio of vice-president, external relations, I have asked Tim to be the senior university officer to oversee the Stratford project on behalf of the University.

“As you know,” president Feridun Hamdullahpur wrote, “under Ken Coates, Dean of Arts, we have made great progress to get the Stratford Institute and both the building and academic program structuring off the ground. However, there remains a great deal of work to be accomplished over the next little while and, as Ken Coates’ term as dean comes to an end at the end of this month, we need an individual who can take over this initiative under a broader institutional responsibility and oversight. I believe Tim Jackson is the ideal person for this.

“Tim will be working very closely with the incoming dean of arts, Dr. Douglas Peers, to ensure continuity and uninterrupted progress in Stratford.” Peers, currently dean of graduate studies at York University, arrives July 1 as dean of Waterloo’s faculty of arts and a professor of history.

[Coates]Coates (right), also a historian, has been dean of arts since 2006. He will go on “administrative leave” starting July 1, as deans often do when their terms end. He said this week: “My work on the Stratford campus, digital media and national innovation has sparked a strong interest in how non-metropolitan areas (small town and rural communities) are responding to the challenges of the 21st century.

“In general, the new economy has a built in bias toward large metropolitan areas, which are attracting the highly qualified personnel, investment capital and research funding. New technologies and the S-and-T-based economy appear to be undermining the stability of many smaller cities and rural areas.”

So he’s launching a research study that will involve “visiting approximately 25 small cities and regional centres in 10 countries in Europe, the Middle East, North America and Asia. I am hoping to identify a set of communities in remote and non-metropolitan regions that are searching for construction solutions to the disruptions and challenges of the technological age.”

Meanwhile, on the heels of the announcement about administrative responsibility for the Stratford campus came news about the new campus’s flagship academic program. Previously being called the Master of Digital Innovation program, it’s received final approval from the Ontario Council on Graduate Studies as the Master of Digital Experience Innovation.

The program will admit students in the coming weeks to start classes this September,” says a news release from the Stratford campus. It says the program “combines creativity, technology and business in an interdisciplinary degree. The 12-month program will give students an opportunity to build their team building, project management and leadership skills, develop an ability to navigate in a fast-moving and complex industry, and experience the technical process of digital product development. Graduates of the program can follow careers as technology officers, marketing strategists, interaction designers, interface designers, market researchers, product managers, entrepreneurs, and innovation specialists, as well as newly emerging jobs in digital industry.”

Says Sue Horton, the university’s associate provost (graduate studies): “We’re very excited about this innovative new program launching the Stratford campus. The digital economy will create new knowledge and future jobs, and increase Canada’s competitiveness in this very important sector.”

As for the change in name, “the word ‘experience’ came into the equation to reflect the hands-on experience the students will have as part of the program, and it reflects the understanding of how technology changes and affects society and our user experience,” says Gray Graffam, director of the MDEI program. The deadline for applicants this year is August 31.

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Announcements: VP, phone rates and more

An official memo from the university secretariat notes that "George Dixon’s term as vice-president, university research expires June 30, 2012 and, as required by Policy 68, Vice-President, University Research, the process for constituting the nominating committee is under way. Nominations are requested for the following seats on the nominating committee (at least three nominators are required in each case): One senator of professorial rank from each Faculty, elected by a vote within that Faculty. One staff member elected by and from the regular staff in the Office of Research. Completed nomination forms are to be sent to the Chief Returning Officer, Secretariat, Needles Hall, Room 3060, no later than 3:00 p.m., Wednesday, July 6, 2011.  Elections will follow if necessary."

Long distance phone rates for university departments are going down, says a memo from the telecommunications unit in IST. "Effective June 1," it says, "charges for long distance calls made from campus will be 2 cents per minute for all calls within North America. International calls will be billed according to the attached rate table," which lists China at 12 cents a minute, for example, and the United Arab Emirates at 95 cents. Questions: ext. 36609.

The day after last night's 25-Year Club celebration, there will be another round of reminiscing today, as the department of co-operative education and career services holds a staff reunion — "its first since its inception in 1957," according to Olaf Naese of CECS. "Invitations have been sent, and all CECS retirees and former CECS staff are welcome to join us." That might include people from the days when the department was known as "coordination and placement" and squeezed into space in the Math and Computer building, as well as the years when it was in Needles Hall before the Tatham Centre was opened in 2003. The reunion will take place in Tatham from 3 to 6 p.m. today (and the building will be closed to other uses during that time). Information: ext. 33926.

Tom Galloway of the plant operations department sends word that as part of the current construction project on Westmount Road at University Avenue, the campus is getting "a new bicycle access point that will make it easier for cyclists to access the campus at this location. The other three corners to the South Campus already have relatively easy bicycle access." The university is paying for the work on campus property, he notes, but taking advantage of the crew hired by Waterloo Region for the Westmount Road improvements.

And . . . yes, the Quest student information system is down this morning; the registrar's office says it'll be back in operation at noon.

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Video in psych thesis brings award

[Kennedy]An innovative use of technology as part of a PhD thesis has brought an international prize to Ryan Kennedy, who earned his doctorate from Waterloo’s psychology department last year and is now a staff scientist at the university’s Propel Centre for Population Health Impact (not to mention a research fellow at the Center for Global Tobacco Control at the Harvard School of Public Health).

Christine Jewell, who manages the Electronic Thesis Project as part of her work in the Dana Porter Library, sends word of the honour, released by an agency called the Networked Digital Library of Theses and Dissertations. “One of the three categories of electronic thesis/ dissertation awards,” she explains, “the Innovative Learning Through ETDs award recognizes a graduate whose professional life has been enhanced by the ETD process.”

Kennedy’s thesis, “Evaluation of the City of Woodstock’s Outdoor Smoking By-law: A Longitudinal Study of Smokers and Non-Smokers”, includes a public health advocacy video as a supplementary file. “Distributing it widely through networks such as the Canadian Cancer Society and the World Health Organization,” says Jewell, “Ryan has made effective use of the video in his work with public health and community leaders to advance public health policy.”

Kennedy will receive a cash prize and the opportunity to apply for funding to travel to the ETD 2011 conference to receive his award in person. This year’s conference will be held in Cape Town, South Africa.

The study that forms the basis of Kennedy’s thesis “focused on a ground-breaking municipal ban on smoking in outdoor spaces in a community in the Ontario, Canada region,” a citation for his award explains. “It was designed to provide other jurisdictions with the evidence needed to make the case for, and to implement, such a ban.

To promulgate the policy, he created a high quality video — despite a very modest budget. The video was carefully designed to support advocacy and political decision making. To ensure it would reach advocates and public health officials in Canada, Ryan distributed the video through networks linked to the Canadian Cancer Society and other influential tobacco control organizations. He also disseminated it internationally through the World Health Organization, using channels that reach 171 countries implementing the WHO Framework Convention for Tobacco Control.

“To supplement this, Ryan has conferred with public health leaders contemplating implementation of outdoor bans in jurisdictions beyond Canada (e.g., New York City, Australia). In Canada, he has worked with community leaders (e.g., in Ottawa, Ontario) to conduct outdoor air quality monitoring on patios at pubs.

“This work has documented the need for bans to protect the public against exposure to second hand smoke, using local data that has triggered media stories and support for such bans. This dissertation provides a model for other students who are seeking to do studies that not only advance knowledge, but provide societal betterment.”


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Link of the day


When and where

Pre-enrolment for winter 2012 undergraduate courses, June 20-26 on Quest. Details.

‘Experience Meditation’ introductory seminar sponsored by Sahaja Yoga Meditation Club, today or Thursday 9:00, 1:00 or 7:00, Student Life Centre multipurpose room.

UW Recreation Committee presents introductory session on Feldenkrais method yoga, 12:00, Student Life Centre multipurpose room.

Career workshop: Interview Skills: Preparing for Questions, 3:30 p.m., Hagey Hall room 150. Details.

In Motion dance performance, “Seasons of Love” 7 p.m., Humanities Theatre.

Physics building shutdown of de-ionized water  Thursday 8 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Farm market Thursday 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., Environment I courtyard (also July 7, 14 and 21).

Innovation showcase and commercialization competition featuring students in Master of Business, Entrepreneurship and Technology program, Thursday 10:00 to 5:00, Davis Centre foyer and lounge; keynote talk by Kunal Gupta, Polar Mobile, 12:00; competition finals 2:00.

Student accounts office, Needles Hall, will close for the day at 1:30 p.m. Thursday.

Career workshop: Interview Skills: Selling Your Skills, Thursday, June 23, 3:00 p.m., Tatham Centre room 1208. Details.

‘Oriental Carpets: Mystique, Patterns and Elements’ (Studies in Islam workshop series) Thursday 7 p.m., Dunker Family Lounge, Renison U College, RSVP j3miller@

 ‘Managing Your Personal Brand as a Woman Engineer’ talk by Sandy Kemsley, 1984 systems design graduate, sponsored by Women in Engineering, Friday 12:30, Carl Pollock Hall room 3604, RSVP rwittke@

Canada’s Wonderland trip organized by Federation of Students, Saturday, $54 in advance at Feds office, Student Life Centre.

4-on-4 beach volleyball tournament organized by Campus Recreation, Saturday, Federation Hall courts, registration ($40 per team) at athletics office, PAC.

Canada Day in California: Waterloo and Canada’s Technology Triangle are among the sponsors of Digital Moose Lounge picnic Saturday 1:30 to 5:00, Huddart Park East, Woodside, California. Details.

Campus Ministry second annual picnic, Sunday 1:00 to 5:00, Finn Green, St. Jerome’s University, all welcome. Details.

‘Yoga in the Village’ free yoga and relaxation class sponsored by Employee Assistance Program, June 29, 12:05, Village I great hall, reservations e-mail sandra.gibson@

Positions available

On this week's list from the human resources department, viewable through myHRinfo:

• Industrial liaison officer, office of research, USG 14
• Graduate scholarship administrator/ records assistant, electrical and computer engineering, USG 5
• Accounts payable and inventory assistant, food services, USG 4/5
• Research officer, development and alumni affairs (advancement services), USG 7
• Sustainable food coordinator, food services, USG 8 (8-month secondment or contract)

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