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Monday, April 30, 2012

  • Students share international experiences
  • Joint statement on CAUT motion
  • Student puts pins in Kitchener history
  • Notes as a new term looms
  • Editor:
  • Brandon Sweet
  • Communications and Public Affairs

Students share international experiences

A news release from the media relations office

Students from the University of Waterloo’s first-ever graduating class in international development have returned from their eight-month field placements abroad. They will share what they learned at a one-day conference this week.

The Shape the World conference runs from 8:30 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. on Wednesday, May 2. Student presentations run from 9:00 a.m. to noon and 1:00 to 5:00 p.m. Prizes will be awarded to the best presentations.

The 23 students volunteered in Botswana, Burkina Faso, Ghana, Malawi, Peru and Vietnam. They worked on projects focused on issues such as delivering safe water to low-income urban communities, building environmentally sustainable businesses, and helping subsistence farmers combat drought and deforestation.

“These students have immersed themselves in the cultures and languages of their host communities to learn and contribute in profound ways,” said André Roy, dean of the Faculty of Environment. “They are creating positive change both in themselves and in the world.”

“Waterloo’s international development program is unique,” said Professor Larry Swatuk, the program’s director. “It’s heavy on practice. It’s not light on theory, but it’s one of the few that emphasizes skills and has an eight-month field placement.”

Because the lengthy placement comes at the end of their studies, students enter the field equipped with “real skills – entrepreneurial skills, environmental management skills,” said Swatuk. “They can actually make a valuable contribution right away.”

Waterloo’s is the only international development program located within a faculty of environment. The School of Environment, Enterprise and Development (SEED) runs it in partnership with St. Paul's University College. The program draws on the expertise of its three points of origin in environment, sustainable business, and social innovation.

The field placements, most of which relate to environment, business, or both, are organized in partnership with World University Service of Canada (WUSC), one of Canada’s leading development agencies. “Waterloo students make lasting positive impacts on their host communities through their placements,” said Chris Eaton, executive director of WUSC. “They also develop their own skills immensely.”

The free conference is aimed at development professionals, prospective students, and interested members of the community. Registration and schedule information is available, as always, online.

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Joint statement on CAUT motion

On Friday, April 27, at its national council meeting in Ottawa, the Canadian Association of University Teachers (CAUT) debated and approved the following motion: Unless Wilfrid Laurier University and the University of Waterloo amend the governance structure for the Balsillie School of International Affairs so that academic integrity is ensured, censure will be imposed on the administrations of those two universities at the next meeting of Council.

The following is a joint statement released by the two universities, released Friday.

Today, CAUT’s council approved a motion to initiate a process to censure the administrations of Wilfrid Laurier and the University of Waterloo, regarding their partnerships with CIGI.

Wilfrid Laurier University and the University of Waterloo are firmly committed to protecting academic freedom and are in strong disagreement with the position taken by the Canadian Association of University Teachers to initiate a motion of censure related to the universities’ partnership in The Balsillie School of International Affairs.

It should be made clear that the CAUT has not approved an immediate censure. Rather, it has initiated a process of discussion that we hope will lead to a clearer understanding of the facts and issues involved.

Nonetheless, we are obliged to state in the strongest terms possible that the allegations that prompted this recommendation have no basis in fact.

The University of Waterloo and Wilfrid Laurier University are firmly committed to protecting academic freedom and integrity. The Balsillie School of International Affairs’ governance document protects academic freedom, academic program governance, and faculty working conditions by keeping them completely within the universities and separate from third-party influence.

It is important to note that this governance document was developed through a rigorous process with full stakeholder engagement and significant faculty consultation. The document was approved by the University of Waterloo Senate and the Wilfrid Laurier University Senate, which are the bodies that govern the academic functioning and educational policies of the universities.

A disturbing amount of misinformation has circulated around this issue. We strongly encourage faculty members and other interested parties to read the governance document.

Academic freedom and integrity are fundamental principles at the University of Waterloo and Wilfrid Laurier University and will continue to remain front and centre in all current and future agreements and partnerships.

The Balsillie School of International Affairs is a highly respected research and educational institution that aims to develop new solutions to critical problems, improve global governance, and enhance the quality of people’s lives around the world. We are proud to be partners in this important initiative.

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Student puts pins in Kitchener history

this article appears in the latest News @ Your Library newsletter

Environment and Resource Studies student Mathure Sivananthan joined Special Collections for the winter term as a Special Collections Project Assistant to assist with some of the department’s latest digital projects.

One of Mathure’s key projects was the development of the digital collection “Kitchener: 100 Years of Cityhood” on Special Collections’ Historypin channel. Historypin works with GoogleMaps to overlay historical images of locations on the current Google streetview. This collection includes 100 images of structures, exteriors, and streetscapes of Kitchener to honour the City of Kitchener’s 100th anniversary of cityhood in 2012.

The images include public, commercial, and residential buildings over the years - mansions and tenements, factories, stores, and offices. The streetscapes give a taste of city life in the downtown, shady residential streets, and raw suburbs under construction.

Mathure has focused on the digital work of scanning photographs and negatives and “pinning” them onto Historypin. She and other Special Collections’ staff have used city directories and fire insurance plans to help determine the original locations of these images.

“I have gained a lot of insight into the history of the region working here,” Mathure says.

Mathure’s other projects this term have included preservation scanning of deteriorating negatives, checking the quality of film and documents, and assisting the Head of Collections, Susan Mavor, with presentations relating to her recently published book Westmount: The Tie that Binds the Twin Cities.

For more information on Special Collections’ Historypin channel, contact Jane Britton, Archivist, Special Collections, at extension 32445.

Photograph by Nancy Collins.

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Notes as a new term looms

After a somewhat quiet week after the end of exams, expect things to get a little hectic as the spring term gets underway tomorrow.

Today marks the last day of current student government regimes, undergraduate and graduate, as the new leaders take office tomorrow. The new Federation of Students executive includes president Andrew Noble, vice-president education Adam Garcia, vice-president internal Alexandra Russell, and vice-president administration and finance Prashant Patel, while Graduate Student Association leaders Hassan Nasir (president), Malwina Mencel (vice-president, communication and events), Mike Makahnouk (vice-president, external), Mahdi Safa (vice-president, internal), and Robbie Henderson (vice-president, student advocacy) also prepare for their new duties that officially commence tomorrow.

In addition, the university's fiscal year comes to an end today, with the new fiscal year beginning May 1.

The university's Housing website has details for new term move-ins for undergraduate and graduate students. Upper-year and exchange students may begin moving in on Monday, April 30, after 8:30 a.m. They have until the first day of lectures to move in. Graduate students may move in any time after Tuesday, May 1, and should arrive between 8:30 am - 12:00 a.m. to pick up their keys at the CLV front desk. Those students arriving from out of province or country, and those whose extenuating circumstances qualify them, were able to take advantage of the early move-in on Sunday, April 29.

The bookstore's extended hours kick in today. They are open from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. today, 9:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. tomorrow and Wednesday, with a return to regular store hours on Wednesday, May 3.

Intersession hours at the Library wrap up today.

Also today, the University of Waterloo hosts the Microsoft Canada Imagine Cup 2012 Canadian championships, where six teams of student innovators from across Canada will compete for the title of Canadian champions and continue on to the international competition in Australia. Six student teams will present their technology solutions to a panel of esteemed judges with one winning team selected in each of two categories: software design and Windows 7 phone game design. This year, the finalists include teams from the University of British Columbia, George Brown College, McGill University and Carleton University.

And finally, a note from the Secretariat: As of April 30, 2012 Walter McCutchan (Information Systems & Technology) will complete his term as staff representative to the Board of Governors. Nominations are requested for one member of the full-time staff to be elected by the full-time staff members of the university, term May 1, 2012 to April 30, 2015.

Nomination forms are available from the Secretariat (x36125) and from the Secretariat webpage. At least five nominators are required in each case. Nominations should be sent to the Secretariat, Needles Hall, Room 3060, no later than 3:00 p.m., Wednesday, May 16, 2012. An election will follow if necessary.

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Countdown to Congress: 25 days remaining

Congress 2012 takes place May 26-June 2, 2012, and is co-hosted by University of Waterloo, Wilfrid Laurier University and organized by the Canadian Federation of the Humanities and Social Sciences. Crossroads: Scholarship for an Uncertain World, the theme of Congress 2012, explores the real-world impact of the humanities and social sciences. Congress of the Humanities and Social Sciences is the largest annual multidisciplinary academic gathering in Canada.

Factoid: Also featured at Big Thinkers lectures are: Sidonie Smith, Mary Ebert, Jane Urquhart, Janine Brody, Thomas Homer-Dixon, and Chris Hedges.

Link of the day

Walpurgis Night

When and where

Grades due April 16 to May 1.

Unofficial grades begin to appear in Quest April 23, standings and official grades available May 22.

Microsoft Imagine Cup, Monday, April 30. Register today.

Spring term classes begin May 1.

WatRISQ presents Eike Brechmann, Department of Mathematics, Technische Universitat, Munchen, Germany, "Financial Risk Management with High-Dimensional Vine Copulas," Tuesday, May 1, 4:00 p.m., DC 1304.

The Institute of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology (I.B.M.B.) Seminar Series, featuring Prof. Peter Stathopulos, Department of Medical Biophysics, University of Toronto, "Structural Insights into the Mechanisms of Stromal Interaction Molecule Function Associated with Store Operated Calcium Entry," Tuesday, May 1, 3:30 p.m., C2-361.

David R. Cheriton School of Computer Science distinguished lecture series, featuring Jeannette Wing, Carnegie Mellon University, "Computational Thinking," Tuesday, May 1, 4:30 p.m., DC 1302. Details.

Co-op return to campus interviews begin Wednesday, May 2 to Friday, May 4 (except Architecture).

International Development "Shape The World" conference, Wednesday, May 2, all day, St. Paul's University College. Hear presentations by the first graduating class of international development students on their international field placements. Details.

Centre for Career Action workshop (staff only) "Discovering Your Skills," Wednesday, May 2, 3:30 p.m., TC 2218.

OCUFA Status of Women workshop, "Navigating the Academy: Lessons and Strategies for More Equitable Universities," featuring a keynote address by University of Waterloo Professor Carla Fehr, Friday, May 4, 8:45 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., OBA Conference Centre, Toronto. Details.

Warrior Football Spring Camp, May 4-6 for kids ages 10-15, and Coaches Clinic, May 4-5. Details.

DaCapo Chamber Choir, based at Conrad Grebel U College, “Celebrating Home” concert May 5 (8 p.m.) and 6 (3 p.m.), St. John the Evangelist Church, Kitchener. Details.

UW Retirees Association Spring Luncheon, Tuesday, May 8, 11:30 a.m. (cash bar), 12:00 (lunch), tickets $27; presentation by retired French professor Ray Dugan, Bayeux Tapestry. Information 519-888-0334. Details.

Systems Design Engineering seminar featuring Keith Hipel, "Tackling Climate Change: A System of Systems Engineering Perspective," Wednesday, May 9, 11:30 a.m., E5 6004.

Centre for Career Action webinar (staff only), "Writing an A+ Résumé," Wednesday, May 9, 12:00 p.m. Details.

Spring Town Hall, Wednesday, May 9, 3:00 p.m., Humanities Theatre.

Waterloo Engineering Alumni and Friends reception, Thursday, May 10, 5:30 p.m., Daly's, Westin Ottawa, Ottawa ON. Register online.

Co-op Job Posting for main group and Pharmacy opens Saturday, May 12, 7:00 a.m. Closes 11:59 p.m. on May 15.

David R. Cheriton School of Computer Science distinguished lecture series, featuring Cynthia Dwork, Microsoft Research, "Lipschitz Mappings, Differential Privacy, and Fairness Through Awareness," Wednesday, May 16, 4:30 p.m., DC 1302. Details.

Victoria Day holiday Monday, May 21, classes cancelled, university offices and most services closed.

University senate Tuesday, May 22, 3:30, Needles Hall room 3001.

Congress of the Humanities and Social Sciences hosted by Waterloo and Wilfrid Laurier University, May 26 through June 2. Details.

Board of governors Tuesday, June 5, 2:30 p.m., Needles Hall room 3001.

PhD Oral Defences

Psychology. Kristin Laurin, "Social Disadvantage and the Self-Regulatory Function of Justice Beliefs." Supervisor, Richard Eibach. On deposit in the Arts Graduate Office, PAS 2434. Oral defence Wednesday, May 2, 10:00 a.m., PAS 3026.

Psychology. Jennifer Tomaszczyk, "Mechanisms of the Aging-Related Positivity Effect in Memory and Attention." On deposit in the Arts Graduate Office, PAS 2434. Oral defence Friday. May 4, 10:00 a.m., PAS 3026.

Systems Design Engineering. Sean Glenn Walker, “Attitudes in Environmental Management and Brownfield Redevelopment.” Supervisor, Keith Hipel. On deposit in the Engineering Graduate Office, PHY 3004. Oral defence Monday, May 7, 9:30 a.m., E5 6002.

Pure Math. Adam Hanley Fuller, “Representations of Operator Algebras.” Supervisor, Kenneth R. Davidson. On display in the Mathematics Faculty Graduate Office, MC 5090. Oral defence Tuesday, May 8, 2:00 p.m., E2 1307G.

Friday's Daily Bulletin