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Wednesday, March 16, 2011

  • Wellness, homelessness, two deanships
  • Lecturer will address 'treaty people'
  • Student reaches out to Jamaica, Kenya
  • Editor:
  • Chris Redmond
  • Communications and Public Affairs

Wellness, homelessness, two deanships

[Brochure shows a face in bliss]A dramatic brochure outlining "Wellness Tips for the Workplace" was distributed across campus this week, sponsored by the office of organizational and human development and the staff Special Initiatives Fund. It's the creation of Lesley Nevills, herself a staff member in OHD as well as a yoga instructor. "The idea," she writes, "came from a Desk De-Stress workshop presented at the 2010 Staff Conference. The experiential presentation was a blend of yoga, breathing exercises, guided meditation and muscle relaxation techniques for stress relief. The purpose of the workshop was to teach techniques and tips that staff that could use during their work day to help relieve stress or to 'de-stress'. Demand for the workshop was overwhelming and continued to gather momentum throughout the year with many staff requesting a physical reminder to show them things to do during the day to 'de-stress'." Now they have it: a glossy reference about stretching, "mindfulness", "visualizing", muscle relaxation, breathing and meditation.

Day and night this week, a group of students is taking shelter under the overpass that links the Biology and Chemistry buildings. Their purpose: to draw attention to the needs of those who live on the streets, as part of the Five Days for the Homeless campaign. The Federation of Students is sponsoring Waterloo's involvement. "The goal is to raise $1,000," says Heather Westmorland, director of the university's student life office, who explains that participants "will forgo their comforts and live outside on campus for five full days." (There's a careful set of rules set by the national campaign, designed to simulate urban conditions without jeopardizing health too much.) They're also expected to attend their classes, and to blog about what they're experiencing. Funds raised at the Waterloo location will go to a pair of local agencies: Argus Residence in Cambridge, and Reaching Our Outdoor Friends in Kitchener.

Two of the university's deans are approaching the end of their terms, and elaborate processes to find their successors (or reappoint the incumbents) are beginning. Hence these two announcements from the university secretariat:

  • "Adel Sedra’s term as Dean of Engineering expires on June 30, 2012 and, as required by Policy 45, The Dean of a Faculty, the process for constituting the nominating committee is under way. Nominations are requested for 'One staff member elected by and from the regular staff of the Faculty' (at least three nominators are required in each case). Completed nomination forms should be submitted to the Secretariat, Needles Hall, Room 3060, no later than 3:00 p.m., Friday, April 1. An election will follow if necessary."
  • "Terry McMahon’s term as Dean of Science expires on June 30, 2012 and, as required by Policy 45, The Dean of a Faculty, the process for constituting the nominating committee is under way. Nominations are requested for 'One staff member elected by and from the regular staff of the Faculty' (at least three nominators are required in each case). Completed nomination forms should be submitted to the Secretariat, Needles Hall, Room 3060, no later than 3:00 p.m., Friday, April 1. An election will follow if necessary."

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[KI-X banner graphic]

A banner points to the seven museum-style exhibits that make up "KI-X: Learn in 3D", open for its final day today in the university's art gallery in East Campus Hall. From the limitations of calculators to the creepiness of robots, the exhibits are the work of third-year students in the Knowledge Integration program. One of them has a current relevance that couldn't have been foreseen when a KI group started work on "Knocked Out", a study of concussion, months before Sidney Crosby's injury hit the news. "We hope," the KI-X brochure says, "that you will leave today with new knowledge, new perspectives, and an appreciation of the unique role that knowledge integrators have to play in today's society."

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Lecturer will address 'treaty people'

This year's Bechtel Lectures, to be given Thursday and Friday at Conrad Grebel University College, will draw on a key historical fact that most people in Waterloo Region don't know: this county is located almost entirely in a swath of land that was turned over to the Six Nations Indians "forever" in 1784.

[Epp]“For the descendants of Mennonite settlers in present-day Ontario and in the West, as for all Canadians, historical accounts rarely acknowledge the existence of aboriginal communities regardless of what is often close geographic proximity,” says the lecturer: Roger Epp (left), professor of political studies and the founding dean of the University of Alberta’s Augustana campus in Camrose.

“It matters what stories we tell,” says Epp, pointing out that Waterloo Region is situated almost completely on the Haldimand Tract — six miles of land on both sides of the entire Grand River. According to the Haldimand Proclamation of 1784, Six Nations people were given this land “which them and their posterity are to enjoy forever.”

Epp's 2011 Bechtel Lectures in Anabaptist-Mennonite Studies will argue that “We Are All Treaty People.” Within that theme, Epp’s Thursday lecture is entitled “What is the ‘Settler Problem’?” and on Friday he will focus on “The Stories We Tell Ourselves”. Both lectures will be held in Grebel's chapel beginning at 7:30 p.m. Admission is free. A reception will follow the Thursday evening presentation.

Says Epp: “The claim I want to advance in these lectures — that we are all treaty people, by inheritance, by virtue of living where we do — is both a provocative and a conservative one. It challenges the story that there was ‘nothing here when we came.’ It faces up to the ‘settler problem.’ It suggests real, enduring obligations. If Mennonites have any role in the important work of reconciliation and reciprocity, I argue, it is rooted not so much in our theology as in a capacity for careful listening, an attentiveness to place and story, and the courage to claim a complex inheritance.”

Epp’s research and writing have focused increasingly on what it means to live in the prairie West with a sense of memory, inheritance and care, especially for the future of farm communities. Like his parents and grandparents, he has lived most of his life on Treaty 6 land. He is the author, among other works, of We are All Treaty People: Prairie Essays (2008) and co-editor of Writing Off the Rural West (2001). He co-produced “The Canadian Clearances” for CBC Radio’s Ideas.

The Bechtel Lectures in Anabaptist-Mennonite Studies at Grebel were established in 2000 by Waterloo County businessman and farmer Lester Bechtel. The purpose of the lectureship is to foster interest in and understanding of Anabaptist-Mennonite faith and its relevance today by seeing it through the eyes of experts from a range of disciplines.

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[Young athletes in yellow Warrior shirts]
Student reaches out to Jamaica, Kenya

You might not expect to see Warrior soccer jerseys on the streets of Kingston, Jamaica, but that would be because you weren't aware of Bounce Across Jamaica — or of Waterloo kinesiology student Emma Glofcheski.

The men's soccer team have supported the Bounce organization by donating their used jerseys to young players who might not otherwise have team outfits for the game they love. Glofcheski, working with the athletics department, arranged for the shirts to get where they were going, and provided a picture (above)to show how much they're appreciated.

[Glofcheski]And that's by no means all that Glofcheski (right) has been doing lately, says a note from Stephanie Johnson in the faculty of applied health sciences, who notes that Glofcheski was recently named one of Waterloo Region's "Top 40 Under 40" young people.

"She was recognized," says Johnson, "for her work with Special Olympics Ontario in their snowshoeing and athletics programs, being a classroom facilitator and program developer with Team Up community outreach program, an executive and co-founding member of Right to Play at the University of Waterloo, and a member of the Warriors Think Pink campaign to raise money for the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation. In May Emma is starting a new adventure, traveling to Kariobangi, Kenya, for a three month volunteer placement with Beyond Borders. She will be assisting physiotherapists as part of a holistic medical team combating HIV/AIDS.

"Emma and other members of Beyond Borders will be holding a Garage Sale today, from 11 to 4, in the lower atrium of the Student Life Centre. They will be selling gently used goods, handmade cards and fair trade jewelry from Uganda. Money raised will go towards much needed medical supplies in the economically depressed region of Nairobi, Kenya Emma is [Spreitzer]travelling to. Any contributions from the Waterloo community are appreciated."

Another Waterloo athlete has been honoured for her service work: Nancy Spreitzer (left), a track and field athlete for the Warriors, who was named the recipient of the 2011 Student-Athlete Community Service Award by Ontario University Athletics. A therapeutic recreation student, she’s a member of the Interuniversity Council for Waterloo athletics, where she has helped organize several charity events including the “Trick or Eat” event held annually on Hallowe’en to support the Food Bank of Waterloo Region.  Spreitzer has also been a Team-Up speaker for Waterloo athletics since 2008, talking to elementary school students about the keys to success and the importance of balancing academics and athletics. On top of Spreitzer’s community involvement, she has been named a CIS Academic All-Canadian twice (2007-08, 2009-10) and qualified for the Waterloo President’s Athletic Academic Honour Roll. Athletically, Spreitzer is one of the top triple jumpers ever to have worn the black and gold colours.


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Link of the day

Canada Blooms

When and where

Oracle Financial System downtime scheduled to conclude this morning.

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 during March break, March 14-18. Details.

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

Country and region presentations at Waterloo International: “South Korea: The Small Peninsula with a Large Potential” 12:00, Needles Hall room 1101.

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

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

Special Initiatives Fund information session for staff members interested in submitting proposals, 1:15, Davis Centre room 1302. Details.

Career workshops today: “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, 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.

Fever International Dance Competition Thursday-Sunday, Humanities Theatre (ticketed finals Sunday 3:30).

Career workshops Thursday: “The Power of LinkedIn” 10:30,  Tatham Centre room 2218; “Career Interest Assessment” 2:00, Tatham room 1112.

Library workshop: “Better Searching, Better Marks” Thursday 1:30, Flex Lab, Dana Porter Library. Details.

St. Patrick’s Day dinner at Mudie’s cafeteria, Village I, Thursday 4:30 to 7:00.

International Spouses tour of K-W Art Gallery, Thursday 6:00, meet at Centre in the Square, 101 Queen Street North, free, details e-mail intlspouses@

‘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.

Architecture student co-op job interviews in Toronto March 18; in Cambridge March 21-23. Rankings open March 24-25, match results March 29.

Pension and benefits committee Friday 8:30 a.m., Needles Hall room 3004.

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

Co-op Students of the Year Award ceremony March 23, 1:00, Tatham Centre room 2218.

First Robotics Canada competition for high school students, March 24-26, Physical Activities Complex. Details.

Positions available

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

• Senior anatomy demonstrator, kinesiology, USG 9
• Director of advancement, dean of engineering office, USG 15/16
• Embedded software lab manager, electrical and computer engineering, USG 9

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