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Tuesday, March 15, 2011

  • Future students see campus in the sun
  • Wichita dean comes as Grebel president
  • Also noted in the March of events
  • Editor:
  • Chris Redmond
  • Communications and Public Affairs

Future students see campus in the sun

They're here by the thousand today — Waterloo's future students, and their parents and other family members — and for once, the annual March break open house is taking place under a clear blue sky.

"This campus-wide event," Kim McKee of the visitors centre reminds everybody, "gives applicants, parents, and school personnel the opportunity to participate in activities that will increase their interest in and level of commitment to the University of Waterloo. We also hope that this day will increase the number of applicants who confirm their offers of admission to Waterloo.

"The event runs from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. and the main venue will be the Student Life Centre." That's where 45-minute campus tours begin, and where a "student services fair" will tell visitors about athletics, food, health, libraries and other departments, and where information briefings will be given about residence life (9:00 and 2:00) and "financing your education" (11:00 and 1:00).

There will be an information briefing about co-op education in the Humanities Theatre at 12:00 and 2:00. Residence tours will be available in the various village locations. The four colleges will offer tours in their buildings, as will the athletics department.

And faculty information will be available across campus: in the Arts Lecture Hall for arts, in Coutts Engineering Lecture Hall for engineering, in Environment 1 for environment, in the Davis Centre for math, in the CEIT building for science, and in Matthews Hall and Optometry for applied health sciences.

More information about the open house event is online. Visitors are also being welcomed today at the Architecture building in Cambridge and the Pharmacy building in Kitchener.

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Wichita dean comes as Grebel president

[Huxman]Conrad Grebel University College, the Mennonite institution affiliated with Waterloo, yesterday announced the name of its seventh president. She is Susan Schultz Huxman (left), currently of Wichita State University in Kansas, who will succeed Henry Paetkau as Grebel’s leader on July 1. The appointment was approved by the college’s board unanimously at a meeting Thursday, a news release said.

Huxman has held various administrative posts at WSU since 1990, the release said, “balancing these responsibilities with her passion for teaching”. She is now completing her seventh year as director of the Elliott School of Communication.

“Huxman has also won numerous awards and recognition for her teaching while at WSU,” the release adds. “She continues to teach and mentor students in writing, speaking, and research-intensive courses. As an active scholar in the field of rhetoric, media literacy, and corporate communication, Dr. Huxman has published two dozen scholarly articles and book chapters.”

Her dissertation, “In the world but not of it: Mennonite rhetoric in World War I as an enactment of paradox”, has inspired several publications including a book in progress entitled Landmark Speeches in U.S. Pacifism.

“I am delighted to serve Conrad Grebel, where there is a clear connection between a world-class public university and Mennonite education,” says Huxman. “The Grebel academic model is forward-thinking and attractive. Opportunities for specialization combined with an Anabaptist faith overlay is `the best of both worlds’ that students today are seeking.

“In getting to know Conrad Grebel I have been most impressed with the authentic expression of its mission to seek wisdom, nurture faith, and pursue peace. This is indeed a wonderful opportunity to lead a vibrant university through a pivotal, pro-growth period in its history.”

She reports that “Mennonite education has been a significant part of my life, from my formative years of growing up at Bethel College [in Kansas] as the president’s daughter and attending as an undergrad to serving today in my congregation and on the executive board of Western District Conference.” In 2001, she began serving as chair of the College and University Committee at the newly formed Mennonite Education Agency. She helped create a vision statement and strategic plan for Mennonite higher education in the Mennonite Church USA.

Bert Lobe, Chair of the Grebel board, called the choice “a superb appointment . . . Dr. Huxman is a teacher at heart, a person of the church, a prolific scholar and a gifted leader who has demonstrated the capacity to both listen carefully and to be gently assertive. She is the leader we need as we engage the opportunities ahead.”

Debra Simpson, chair of the presidential search committee, notes that “the mandate of the seventh president is to provide inspired leadership at a pivotal time in Conrad Grebel’s history. Dr. Huxman has the vision, skills, gifts, and experience to lead Conrad Grebel into an exciting and bold future grounded in its historical traditions and strong Anabaptist values and faith principles. We are delighted with her appointment.”

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Also noted in the March of events

"It's report card time," says Kirsty Budd of the Federation of Students, meaning that the nearly 30,000 students whom Feds represents are being asked to say what they think about "our services, businesses and overall operations". E-mail went to everybody yesterday, pointing to an online survey that will be in place until March 25. "By completing this survey, you can help us identify what areas FedS can improve on and the issues students are concerned about so we can serve you better in the future. By completing this survey, you will be entered into a draw with a chance to win an iPad or one of three $100 gift cards to be used at the bookstore."

In addition to the co-op students on work term in Japan, mentioned here yesterday, Waterloo International has identified four students who are currently in Japan on academic exchanges — three at Kyoto University, one at Tottori University. All seem to be safe amid Japan's current emergencies.

"For the first time this year," writes Amy Aldous of the faculty of math, "a multidisciplinary team of Waterloo undergraduate students participated in the Rotman International Trading Competition. Seen from left to right are Joshua Wong (mechatronics engineering), [Five in pink shirts]Fred Yin (BMath/BBA double degree program), faculty coach Brent Matheson (financial analysis and risk management program director), Jack Fleming (accounting) and Andrew Bui (software engineering). The team placed 24th out of 50 teams and did very well in algorithmic trading." She notes that students from the Master of Quantitative Finance program have participated in this competition for the past six years, and this year’s team — made up of Bing Liu, Lei Wan, Wenjun Cai, Jit Seng Chen and Michal Propas — placed first in the BP Commodities section, fifth in the Quant Outcry section, and 13th overall.

Staff members have been invited to suggest projects that can be paid for through a Special Initiatives Fund, and tomorrow will bring an opportunity to hear more about it all. "Due to the number of questions the SIF committee has received," writes Liz Koblyk from the Centre for Career Action, "the committee has decided to host an information session for staff who would like to propose eligible projects. The information session will cover the purpose of the SIF, some success stories from last year, and what might derail an otherwise strong application. Staff members are invited to the session in Davis Centre room 1302, Wednesday from 1:15 to 1:45. Through the Special Initiatives Fund. staff are invited to submit proposals [At the Ayr Curling Club](by 4:30 p.m. on March 31) for projects that enhance staff morale, promote excellence through collaboration and innovation, support staff wellness, provide cultural, athletic or recreational events, enhance the campus, or otherwise enrich the working environment for staff."

Downtime for the Oracle Financial System is scheduled to continue until Wednesday morning. • Engineering Science Quest is holding one-day children's camps at both the Waterloo and Stratford campuses all this week. • Pat Lafranier, Ross Kuepfer Sheila Hurley and Denise Lachaine (right) made up the winning team at the 39th annual Hagey Bonspiel, held March 5 with an enthusiastic turnout of staff, retirees and others.

And . . . last Tuesday's Daily Bulletin reported briefly on a Monday demonstration by Students for Palestinian Rights, marking Israeli Apartheid Week. There's more to say, according to Rowland Robinson, a graduate student who is one of SFPR’s organizers. He takes exception to the statement that "Some demonstrators called for boycotts against Canadian businesses with Jewish owners who are thought to be supportive of Israel and its policies." Says Robinson: “It is true that we did call for a boycott of companies that are supportive of Israel; however, we neither called for a boycott of specifically Canadian companies or, much less, Jewish owned companies. While some of the companies may have CEOs, chairpersons or principal shareholders who may be in some way connected to the Jewish community, that is incidental, and, to repeat, the call on Monday was not for some kind of attack on Canadian Jews.” Under regulations for campus clubs, “both speeches had to be approved by Dave McDougall, clubs and services director for the Federation of Students. Dave would never have approved speeches calling for a boycott of Jewish owned Canadian business.”


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[Nugent with balloon]

Jeanette Nugent of the graduate studies office was feted by colleagues last week as she marked her 30th anniversary on the university's staff.

Link of the day

Ides of March

When and where

Waterloo Unlimited enrichment program for grade 11 students, March 14-18. Details.

Engineering Science Quest one-day camps at Stratford (grades 2-4) and Waterloo (grades 1-6) campuses March 14-18. Details.

‘LinkedIn for Success’ workshop sponsored by UW Recreation Committee, led by Liz Koblyk, Centre for Career Action, 12:00, Tatham Centre room 2218.

Country and region presentations at Waterloo International: “The Sugar Bush Season in Eastern Canada” 12:00, “South Korea: The Small Peninsula with a Large Potential” Wednesday 12:00, Needles Hall room 1101.

Federal minister of state (science and technology), Gary Goodyear, will speak briefly before touring Engineering 6 construction site, 1 p.m., Engineering 5, fifth floor (tour not open to public). Details.

Institute for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology seminar: Dyllan Pillai, University of Toronto, “Antimicrobial Resistance in the Clinical Microbiology Laboratory” 3:30, Chemistry 2 room 361.

Career workshop: “Dental School Interviews” 5:30, Tatham Centre room 1208. Details.

Wilfrid Laurier University March break open house, Wednesday at Brantford campus, Friday at Waterloo campus. Details.

Garage sale in support of Beyond Borders trip to Kenya: sales of used goods, handmade cards and Ugandan jewellery, Wednesday 11:00 to 4:00, Student Life Centre lower atrium.

UWRC Book Club: The Three Cups of Tea by Greg Mortenson, Wednesday 12:00, Dana Porter Library room 407.

Free noon concert: Amy Waller (soprano) and Jo Greenaway (piano), “Opera, Art Song and Lieder” Wednesday 12:30, Conrad Grebel UC chapel.

Career workshops Wednesday: “Success on the Job” 2:30, Tatham Centre room 1208; “Thinking About Dentistry?” 5:30, Tatham 1208. Details.

Environment Students Society and Waterloo Environment Student Endowment Fund annual general meetings, Wednesday 4:00, Environment 1 room 139.

Blood donor clinic Thursday 10:00 to 4:00 and Friday 9:00 to 3:00, Student Life Centre. Details.

‘An Experiment with an Air Pump’ by Shelagh Stephenson, production by department of drama, continues Thursday-Saturday at 8 p.m., Theatre of the Arts.

Pilot demonstration of new main website, Friday 9:00, Math and Computer room 5158. Prototype is online.

‘Food Justice: Our Food, Our Bodies’ symposium hosted by Waterloo Public Interest Research Group, March 18-20.

Senator Roméo Dallaire, presented by Arts Student Union, Friday 6:30 p.m., Humanities Theatre, tickets $35 (arts students $30) at Humanities box office.

PhD oral defences

Physics and astronomy. Ryan J. Murray, “Tunnel Ionization in Strong Fields in Atoms and Molecules and Its Applications.” Supervisors, Misha Y. Ivanov and Wing-Ki Liu. On display in the faculty of science, ESC 254A. Oral defence Tuesday, March 22, 9:30 a.m., J. R. Coutts Engineering Lecture Hall room 205.

Applied mathematics. Timothy Rees, “Internal Wave Generation and Near-Resonant Interactions: Theory and Applications.” Supervisors, Francis Poulin and Kevin Lamb. On display in the faculty of mathematics, MC 5090. Oral defence Friday, March 25, 8:30 a.m., Mathematics and Computer room 5158.

Applied mathematics. Vladimir Gerasik, “Energy Transport in Saturated Porous Media.” Supervisor, Marek Stastna. On display in the faculty of mathematics, MC 5090. Oral defence Monday, March 28, 1:30 p.m., Mathematics and Computer room 5136.

Electrical and computer engineering. Ehsanollah Fathi, “Thin Film Solar Cells on Transparent Plastic Foils.” Supervisor, Siva Sivoththaman. On display in the faculty of engineering, PHY 3004. Oral defence Friday, April 1, 10:00 a.m., CEIT building room 3142.

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