Skip to the content of the web site.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

  • Former Governor General speaks Thursday
  • Study measures Aboriginals' tobacco risk
  • Editor:
  • Chris Redmond
  • Communications and Public Affairs

[Either side of the open door]

The School of Accounting and Finance officially opened its "Directors' Gallery" on May 2 — a display of portraits of the five people who have headed the school since its inception. Donors Andrew Dunn (MAcc 1987) and Shawn Porter (MAcc 1988) were invited to a cut a ribbon as guests celebrated the new feature with a ceremony, reception and dinner.

Back to top

Former Governor General speaks Thursday

a news release from the media relations office

Canada's former Governor General, Michaëlle Jean, will discuss national and international issues during a public talk hosted by St. Paul’s University College on Thursday. Jean, the UNESCO Special Envoy for Haiti, will give the 2011 Stanley Knowles Humanitarian Service Lecture, an annual St. Paul's event.

The talk will take place in the Theatre of the Arts, Modern Languages building, beginning at 7:30 p.m. Admission is free but pre-registration was required, and at last report all tickets were spoken for.

An award-winning journalist, Jean will share her perspective on national and international issues through the prism of cultural diplomacy, philanthropy, good governance, deep diversity and global solidarity — issues of interest to St. Paul's, which partners with Waterloo's faculty of environment in offering students a Bachelor of Environment degree in international development.

"The unique skill set and hands-on training proposed by Waterloo’s international development program will provide an opportunity to impact human development at the community project level in many countries," Jean says.

According to Larry Swatuk, director of the international development program, "This is a wonderful occasion for students to hear from such an accomplished person as the Right Honourable Michaëlle Jean, who has a strong sense of social commitment and interest in national and international politics. Highly regarded for her life-long dedication to improve  the lives of the disadvantaged, especially women and children who are victims of domestic violence, she has also reached out to Canadian youth."

Jean, who served as Canada's 27th Governor General up to last September, was born in Port-au-Prince, Haiti. She immigrated to Canada with her family in 1968, fleeing the dictatorial regime of the time.

After earning a Bachelor of Arts degree in Italian and Hispanic languages and literature at the Université de Montréal, she pursued her master's studies in comparative literature and taught at U de M. Three scholarships allowed her to pursue her studies at the University of Perugia, the University of Florence and the Catholic University of Milan. She is fluent in five languages — French, English, Italian, Spanish and Haitian Creole — and reads Portuguese.

During her studies, Jean worked for eight years with Québec shelters for battered women, while contributing to the establishment of a network of emergency shelters throughout Québec and elsewhere in Canada. Afterward, she entered journalism and became respected in the field, anchoring information programs at Radio-Canada and CBC Newsworld. She also took part in documentary films produced by her husband, filmmaker Jean-Daniel Lafond.

Jean has won many awards, including the Prix Mireille-Lanctôt for a report on spousal violence; the Prix Anik for best information reporting in Canada for her investigation of the power of money in Haitian society; and the inaugural Amnesty International Canada Journalism Award.

In 2010, she was appointed as the UNESCO Special Envoy for Haiti with an aim to fight poverty and illiteracy and raise international funds. She has launched the Michaëlle Jean Foundation to focus on promoting education, culture and creativity among youth from rural, northern, and poor communities in Canada.

The Stanley Knowles Humanitarian Service Lecture honours the late Stanley Knowles, who served 41 years as a federal parliamentarian and was known as “the conscience of the House of Commons."

Back to top

Study measures Aboriginals' tobacco risk

Aboriginal-youth living off-reserve in Canada use tobacco, alcohol and drugs significantly more than non-Aboriginal youth and have higher health risks, according to an article by Waterloo researchers published yesterday in the Canadian Medical Association Journal.

[Elton-Marshall]The lead author of the article is Tara Elton-Marshall (left) of the Propel Centre for Population Health Impact. Her co-authors are Robin Burkhalter, also of Propel, and Scott T. Leatherdale of Cancer Care Ontario.

"Despite the high prevalence of smoking among Aboriginal youth in Canada," says a news release summarizing the paper, "there is a lack of information on their patterns of tobacco use, especially among people living off-reserve. Most Aboriginals in Canada live off-reserve, and those 15 years of age and older are more likely than non-Aboriginals to have chronic health conditions, to drink heavily and to smoke. Aboriginal youth also have higher rates of marijuana use. Researchers compared smoking habits, use of other tobacco products, alcohol and drugs as well as second-hand smoke exposure in 2,620 off-reserve Aboriginal youth and 26,223 non-Aboriginal youth. All youth were in grades 9–12 and had participated in the 2008–2009 Youth Smoking Survey."

In the study, it says, 24.9 per cent of the Aboriginal respondents reported they were current smokers, 2.6 per cent were previous smokers, and 72.4 per cent were nonsmokers. In the non-Aboriginal youth, 10.4 per cent were current smokers, 1.5 per cent former smokers and 88.0 per cent nonsmokers. Exposure to second-hand smoke was more common for Aboriginal respondents than non-Aboriginal respondents.

"Most of the respondents reported having tried alcohol (88.5% of Aboriginal and 84.2% of non-Aboriginal youth)," the release says. "The average age at which they first tried alcohol was considerably lower among Aboriginal youth. Among those who had tried alcohol, Aboriginal youth were more likely to engage in binge drinking (91.9% compared to 85.2% of non-Aboriginals). Aboriginal youth also used marijuana (62.0%) and other illicit drugs (34.8%) more frequently compared with non-Aboriginal youth (41.0% and 20.6% respectively)."

Says Elton-Marshall: “The high prevalence of smoking and use of other substances among Aboriginal youth living off-reserve highlights the need for culturally appropriate smoking cessation and substance prevention programs that target Aboriginal youth."

Aboriginal females had higher rates of smoking, marijuana and other illicit drug use than male aboriginals. “Most of the Aboriginal youth who identified themselves as current smokers, particularly females, reported that they had tried to quit at least once previously,” the authors write. “This finding suggests that Aboriginal youth are interested in quitting but have not been successful and that they may require additional support to stop smoking. Our findings highlight the need for culturally appropriate prevention and cessation policies and programs for this at-risk population."


Back to top

Link of the day

Vesak, birthday of the Buddha

When and where

Employee Assistance Program sponsors UW Campus Walk, May 9 to June 5, individuals and teams welcome. Details.

Census of Canada Tuesday, May 10. Details.

Class enrolment appointments for fall term undergraduate courses posted in Quest, today; appointments for continuing students, June 6-11; for first-time students, July 11-24; open class enrolment, July 25.

Ontario Association of International Educators and Ontario region of Canadian Bureau for International Education, meeting at Waterloo Tuesday-Thursday, hosted by international student office. Details.

Charity golf tournament sponsored by Centre for Business, Entrepreneurship and Technology, 12:00, Whistle Bear Golf Club. Details.

Senate undergraduate council 12:00, Needles Hall room 3004.

Student team recruitment fair seeking newcomers for 10 student teams, 3:00 to 6:00, Student Design Centre, Engineering 5.

Career workshop: “Networking 101” 4:30, Tatham Centre room 1208. Details.

Waterloo Public Interest Research Group information session about indigenous communities affected by gold mining, 5:00, Student Life Centre great hall.

Calgary alumni reception 5:30 to 7:30, Metropolitan Conference Centre, speaker Alan Morgan, earth and environmental sciences. Details.

Alumni networking event with speaker Tom Chau, pediatric rehabilitation researcher, 6:00, The Carlu, Toronto. Details.

Gauss Contest for grade 7 and 8 mathematics students, organized by Centre for Education in Mathematics and Computing , Wednesday.

Biomedical Discussion Group: Joanne Nash, University of Toronto at Scarborough, “Understanding  Cellular and Molecular Changes in Synaptic Dynamics in the Parkinsonian Striatum” Wednesday 2:30, Biology 1 room 266. Details.

Science Society first general meeting of the term Wednesday 5:30, Biology 1 room 271.

School of Accounting and Finance Leadership Dinner, by invitation, Wednesday 5:30, National Club, Toronto.

Clubs, Services and Societies Days showing off volunteer and extracurricular opportunities, Thursday-Friday 10:00 to 3:00, Student Life Centre great hall.

Open class enrolment for spring term courses ends May 13.

Co-op job posting for spring term (main group and pharmacy students) appears on JobMine May 14.

Spring into Motion including traditional “UW Blooms” gardening event with new clothing swap, Monday 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., Student Life Centre multipurpose room. Details.

Education Credit Union seminar: Stephen P. Haller, lawyer, “Wills and Powers of Attorney” May 19, 12:05, Davis Centre room 1302, RSVP janinew@ by May 13.

Victoria Day Monday, May 23, university closed.

Retirees Association annual general meeting May 26, 3:30, Sunshine Centre, Luther Village.

You @ Waterloo Day open house for future students, May 28. Details.

Equinox Summit: Energy 2030 sponsored by Waterloo Global Science Initiative, June 5-9.

Keystone Campaign picnic, Tuesday, June 7.

Board of governors meeting rescheduled for June 14, 2:30 p.m., Needles Hall room 3001.

Spring Convocation: Wednesday, June 15, 10 a.m. (AHS and environment) and 2:30 p.m. (science). Thursday, June 16, 10 a.m. and 2:30 p.m. (arts). Friday, June 17, 10 a.m. and 2:30 p.m. (mathematics); Saturday, June 18, 10 a.m. and 2:30 p.m. (engineering), all ceremonies in Physical Activities Complex. Details.

25-Year Club annual reception June 21, 6:00, Physical Activities Complex, information ext. 32078.

Yesterday's Daily Bulletin