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Thursday, May 19, 2011

  • CANEU co-ops enjoy ‘cultural awakening'
  • Library tests faster, vaster search tool
  • Nano-sized notes, some academic
  • Editor:
  • Chris Redmond
  • Communications and Public Affairs

CANEU co-ops enjoy ‘cultural awakening'

by Andrea Banerjee, media and publications associate, CECS

Two students and two Austrian staff members related to CANEU Co-op

Part of a Canadian-European co-op experience: participating students Jason Voll of Waterloo and Markus Skergeth of FH Joanneum University flank two other people from Joanneum: Johannes Haas, head of the cooperative study program, and Angela Schopfer, English lecturer and international co-ordinator.

The University of Waterloo’s co-op students had the opportunity to participate in a new partnership program called CANEU CO-OP during the winter 2011 term, thanks to the support of Human Resources and Skills Development Canada (HRSDC). The program partners students from Canadian and European universities who alternately act as host, and work or study abroad, in an effort to improve the “cultural intelligence” of student participants.

Waterloo was one of eight institutions selected from 45 applicant schools for the HRSDC grant, awarded to Canadian universities as part of the Transatlantic Exchange Program. Given Waterloo’s long-standing mandate to cultivate professional connections for its working students, the school was a fitting candidate for the grant.

The very first cohort of CANEU co-op students from the University of Waterloo and the University of Victoria completed their first work term in partnership with Duale Hochschule Baden Wurttemberg in Germany and FH Joanneum University of Applied Sciences in Austria during the winter 2011 term.

The CANEU students worked alongside their European ambassadors, or “twins,” in various jobs in engineering and business. “Twinning” was an important feature of the CANEU program, pairing students with an international partner to work with them and act as a cultural guide.

CANEU participants were each given a $4,500 grant to fund their exchange. This was a major incentive, providing mobility to those who would otherwise be unable to afford it. “I wouldn’t have been able to go without the extra funding provided by CANEU,” says 3A electrical engineering student Natasha Neumann.

Co-op experience is different in Europe

Covering students’ living expenses and travel fees is especially important given the very different co-op environment in Austria and Germany, points out 4A software engineering student Jason Voll. Since education is largely subsidized, interns and co-ops are often paid less than they would be in Canada, and are sometimes treated as job-shadows rather than given significant responsibilities. CANEU sought to offer students the best international job opportunities the University of Waterloo could secure. In spite of the cultural difference in interns’ workplace roles, Voll says, “I lucked out, as did most of us, in that we got jobs where they actually really needed us and liked us.”

Paycheques aside, it seems that the CANEU experience is invaluable. Students found meaningful employment in welcoming work environments where they could practice the introductory German taught during their week-long orientation, but also comfortably engage in English conversation.

Thanks to the networking potential afforded by the institutional partnerships and twinning, students had plenty of opportunities to travel safely in groups on weekends and at the end of the term. Voll connected with other students from the universities of Waterloo and Victoria and together, he says, “We travelled pretty much every weekend to a different city or country.”

The first wave of CANEU exchange students have returned feeling culturally awakened and equipped for what lies ahead in their academic and professional lives. Would they do it all over again? Neumann gives a resounding yes. “Money aside, guaranteed, without thinking about it, in a heartbeat.”

As the recruiting term gets underway, co-op students in engineering and business are encouraged to consider CANEU, which will offer nine job openings for the winter 2012 term.

Interested students who are eligible to do their work term in January 2012 can apply on JobMine or contact Lisa ter Woort, CANEU COOP project coordinator, at

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Library tests faster, vaster search tool

Primo Central button image linkVisitors to the University Library’s homepage will note that a button (right) linking to something called the Primo Central Trial has replaced the “Journal Articles Quick Search” link. The search engine that supported the older search is being phased out. Primo Central is being road-tested as a faster and more comprehensive search alternative.

Here are some of the questions, and answers, from the FAQ on the library’s Primo Central website:

What is Primo Central?

Primo Central is a search engine that provides credible relevance-ranked results from the library’s online and print collections in a single search. It includes everything found in the library’s catalogue, plus a lot of the content available through the library's databases.

Try searching in Primo Central when you might otherwise search Google Scholar, Primo, Scholars Portal, or a research database like JSTOR. Primo Central is not intended to entirely replace these other search tools, but we hope that it will be a much-valued addition to your research toolkit.

What’s in Primo Central? What’s not in Primo Central?

Primo Central includes hundreds of millions of records for books, journal articles, e-books and e-journals, news articles, and much more. It includes everything found in Primo/Trellis, plus information usually found in research databases. … Some databases and journals allow full-text searching, others include only citation information (e.g., title, author, abstract, etc.), but may be accessible from Primo Central via SFX links.

Why is the library participating in this Primo Central trial?

Our users have told us that they want a way to search all of our resources simultaneously. Right now, web-scale indexes like Primo Central are the closest thing to making this possible. Our participation in this trial will give us an indication of how well this type of web-scale index meets your search needs.

The library will be running the Primo Central trial until the end of the fall term. “During this time,” says Nancy Collins, communications and liaison librarian, “we would like as much feedback from faculty, students, and staff as possible.” You are invited to submit feedback through the “feedback” link on the bottom of the Primo Central search page.

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Nano-sized notes, some academic

Head and shoulder photo of Prof. KataokaProfessor Kazunori Kataoka (right) of the University of Tokyo will deliver a lecture on “Self-assembled Nanodevices from Smart Block Copolymers for Gene and Drug Delivery” today, 3:30 - 4:30 pm, in Davis Centre room 1302. More information is here. The talk, part of the Waterloo Institute for Nanotechnology Distinguished Lecture Series, is free and open to all. A reception follows.

An IST Professional Development Seminar on the BlackBerry Playbook is being held Friday, 9-9:45 a.m., in Math and Computer building room 2009, with speakers Peggy Day and Tayfun Uzun. This from Bob Hicks, IST: "The BlackBerry PlayBook is starting to show up in the hands of faculty, staff, and students. In this seminar you will see a demonstration of PlayBook. Peggy will focus on supporting the PlayBook. Tayfun, a fourth year engineering student, will focus on the PlayBook from a student’s perspective. More and more apps are appearing for the PlayBook every day. Some of these apps will be demonstrated, and Tayfun will demonstrate a couple that he has written." All staff are welcome, no need to register.

Ron Champion, special projects manager at Renison’s English Language Institute, notes that some spaces are still available in the ESL Grammar and Writing for the Workplace 10-week course that’s set to start next week.  “The main advantage of this non-credit course is that the focus is on real writing in the workplace,” Champion says. “Students get lots of hands-on practice in common writing tasks and plenty of personal feedback from the instructor.” He adds that “early registration is advised and would be appreciated.”

Architecture professor Philip Beesley, leader of the headline-making Hylozoic Ground project, sends word that the project team has been nominated for a Katerva Award. “Hundreds of Waterloo students have been involved in this project during its development,” Beesley says. “New versions of this evolving project are slated for installation in Salt lake City, Moscow, Linz, and Sydney in the coming months.”

logo of Astronomical Society of IndiaNiayesh Afshordi, assistant professor in physics and astronomy and associate faculty member at the Perimeter Institute, has won the Professor M.K. Vainu Bappu Gold Medal from the Astronomical Society of India.

Correction: The statement in Wednesday’s Daily Bulletin that “[AHS dean] Susan Elliott raised the question of how well we are taking care of our international students” during a Senate meeting, was in error. The speaker was Susan Leat, a senator from the Faculty of Science.

And… the notion that a new nickname is needed for the annual executive retreat (replacing K Bay) has brought in another suggestion. “How about the O.R.?” writes a staff member who wishes not to be named. We think the Office of Research owns that one.

CPA staff

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Link of the day

Centenary of Parks Canada

When and where

Library workshop: "New Faculty and Grad Students: Research Tools and Library Services" 10:30, Flex Lab, Dana Porter Library. Details.

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

Gilbert and Sullivan Society production of “Princess Ida” May 19 and 21 at 2:00, May 19, 20 and 21 at 8:00, Humanities Theatre, tickets $35 (students $20) at Humanities box office.

Health Services closes today at 4 (normal closure is 5 p.m.)

Alumni reception during Ontario Association of Architects annual conference, 5:30, InterContinental Toronto Centre. Details.

Inderpal Grewal, Yale University, “Outsourcing Patriarchy: Media and Honour Killings in Contemporary India” 7:30 p.m., Siegfried Hall, St. Jerome’s University.

Drop, no penalty period ends Friday; deadline to withdraw from spring term courses with 100 per cent fee refund.

Royal Canadian Academy of Arts regional showcase exhibition and opening reception at University of Waterloo Art Gallery, Saturday, 6 - 8 p.m.

Victoria Day Monday, university closed.

Touring Players children’s performance: “Goldilocks and the Three Bears” May 24 (10:30 and 12:45), May 25 (10:00 and 12:30), Humanities Theatre.

Walking meditation led by Beth Bower and Linda Mackay of counselling services, Tuesday, May 24, 12:05, meet in front of Needles Hall.

WatRISQ seminar: Marc Henry, Université de Montréal, “Comonotone Measures of Multivariate Risks” Tuesday, May 24, 4:00, Davis Centre room 1304.

‘Old World, New Realities’ lecture by Warren Jestin, chief economist at Scotiabank, Wednesday, May 25, 11 a.m., LCAO Lecture Theatre, Accounting wing of Hagey Hall; to be followed by funding announcement.

Procurement and Contract Services Trade Show Wednesday, May 25 and Thursday, May 26, 10 a.m. - 2 p.m., Davis Centre room 1301 (fishbowl). Details.

Stratford Campus “Making the Future” dinner, presentation by dean of arts Ken Coates on the vision for Stratford, Waterloo and Canada, Wednesday, May 25, 7:00, Church Restaurant, tickets $90. Details.

Co-op employer interviews for fall work term begin May 26 (main group) and continue through June 16.

Water Institute Distinguished Lecture: Tony Allan, King’s College London, “Water Security and the Role of Trade” Thursday, May 26, 3:00, EIT room 1015 [NEW LOCATION]

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

Guelph-Waterloo Centre for Graduate Work in Chemistry and Biochemistry, annual general meeting Friday, May 27, 1:00, Thornborough bldg room 1200, University of Guelph. Seminar by Guy Guillemette, Waterloo, “Mapping the Binding and Calmodulin-Dependent Activation of Nitric Oxide Synthase Isozymes”, 3, followed by grad student poster session and awards.

Heritage Resourcs Centre workshop on “Architectural Styles” May 28-29, Oakville Central Library. Details.

Start-Up Chile program presentation by Nicolas Shea, Gov't of Chile advisor. Monday, May 30, 9:30 a.m. - noon, Needles Hall room 1101. RSVP to

Final date for fee arrangements, spring term, May 31.

Perimeter Institute lecture: Freeman Dyson, Institute for Advanced Study, “Living Through Four Revolutions” Wednesday, June 1, 7:00, Waterloo Collegiate Institute. Details.

Conrad Grebel University College presentation of building plans Wednesday, June 1, 7:30 p.m., Grebel great hall.

Warrior hockey PA Day camp for students aged 7-12, Friday, June 3, 8:30 to 4:00, Columbia Icefield, information ext. 32635.

Niagara wine tour sponsored by staff association Saturday, June 4, tickets $75 (members), $85 (non-members).

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

President’s Golf Tournament in support of Athletics Excellence and Awards Fund, Monday, June 6, Westmount Golf and Country Club. Details.

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