Skip to the content of the web site.

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

  • Stopping minerals from feeding conflict
  • Students compete in Walmart challenge
  • "Book of Awesome" author to visit campus
  • International Student Barometer reading
  • Bidding farewell to Chris Redmond
  • Editor:
  • Brandon Sweet
  • Communications and Public Affairs

Stopping minerals from feeding conflict

by Karen Kawawada, Communication Officer, Faculty of Science

It’s not hard to get fair trade coffee from Kenya, organic tomatoes from Mexico, or Indonesian wood certified by the Forest Stewardship Council. But it’s harder to track where metals come from.

Steven Young.Steven B. Young (right), associate professor at the School of Environment, Enterprise and Development, is playing a part in changing that.

Ores are mined at hundreds of different mines and fed into a common smelter. The smelter may sell metal to hundreds of different buyers, then there might be five or 10 “layers of trading” before the metals end up in everything from electronics to cars to jewelry, says Young.

Problem is, in some parts of the world, such as the Democratic Republic of the Congo, mines have been seized by militias that use forced labour and children forced to work under deplorable conditions. The minerals are smuggled out and the proceeds used to buy weapons, says Young.

Not only is this obviously bad for the victims of conflict, it’s bad for the companies that use metals and end up fueling, or being accused of fueling, war and human rights abuses.

Young has a background in metallurgy, sustainable materials management, and corporate social responsibility. In 2006, he started working with electronics industry associations to do a report on social and environmental responsibility in the electronics supply chain.

The electronics industry later put together the Conflict-Free Smelter program []. Young describes it as “an industry-led, voluntary effort toward corporate social responsibility” that’s “trying to certify the absence of conflict minerals and metals” in end-use products.

Young now sits on the program’s audit review committee. The committee reviews the work of auditors who investigate mines.

The program tracks tantalum, tin, tungsten, and gold, all of which have been identified by U.S. legislation as potential conflict minerals. Companies involved include Waterloo’s Research In Motion, as well as many other big names such as Bell, Best Buy, Apple, Microsoft, and Sony.

The program is new and untested, but it’s “a large effort that’s being developed by the goodwill of these industries,” says Young. Though it’s hard to evaluate, “there are indications that changes have happened.”

Back to top

Students compete in Walmart challenge

with material from a Walmart Canada media release

Five semi-finalist student teams will be competing in front of a panel of top Canadian CEOs today today with $100,000 in prize money on the line.

Waterloo students Arthur Yip, Jake Yeung, and Alan Thai will compete against teams from the University of Calgary, Western University, York University, and Cape Breton University in the Walmart Green Student Challenge finals in Toronto tomorrow at the TMX Broadcast Centre.

In September of 2011, Walmart Canada invited post-secondary students to participate in the Walmart Green Student Challenge by submitting ideas for more sustainable business practices that also deliver to the bottom line. More than 80 submissions were received by Walmart Canada. "We are thrilled to have this level of interest from across Canada and to have five excellent semi-finalists to present to our CEO panel," says Shelley Broader, president and CEO of Walmart Canada.

“The Walmart Green Student Challenge is all about engaging the next wave of business leaders,” said Broader. “I am very impressed with the caliber of submissions we have received. It is clear that the students understand the importance of imbedding business sustainability into the core of a company’s operations.”

Broader said that the submissions received from coast-to-coast were reviewed by an evaluation panel of six sustainable business specialists from the five CEO panel companies. The five semi-finalist submissions were chosen for their creativity, ease of implementation and potential impact.

“Semi-finalists will have just a few minutes to convince the panel that their idea is the best,” said Broader of the contest finale at the TMX in downtown Toronto on February 29. “It should be a good show.”

Full contest details and information about the live webcast are available online.

Back to top

"Book of Awesome" author to visit campus

The annual Arts Student Union speaker event is taking place on Friday, March 2, and this year's speaker is Neil Pasricha, author of the New York Times bestseller "Book of Awesome," and the blog

According to the Arts Student Union, Pasricha will share "his personal story of how, after graduating from Harvard Business School and Queen's School of Business, he began working for Proctor & Gamble only to realize life's too short to save your dreams for tomorrow so he quit his job and opened a restaurant, began writing comedy material and started his blog."

Pasricha will be speaking on his "3 A's of Awesome" to motivate and inspire leadership. Tickets are on sale at the Hagey Hall Box Office and are $15 for Arts students, faculty, and staff, and $25 for all other students, faculty, and staff. The event gets underway at 7:30 in the Humanities Theatre.

In addition, the ASU has a contest going on to promote the awesomeness of the Faculty of Arts. Participants should come to the ASU office located in AL 120 and tell them "what is AWESOME about Arts at UW!" Ballots are 25 cents, and all proceeds go to the Colour Me Educated campaign. All contributors are entered into a draw for a chance to win one of three copies of the Book of Awesome.

Back to top

International Student Barometer reading

Marketing and Undergraduate Recruitment's Andrew Smith writes that "Pamela Barrett from iGraduate in the UK will be presenting this year's results from the International Student Barometer (ISB) survey at an event tomorrow, March 1, from 10:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. in Needles Hall room 3001."

"The International Student Barometer (ISB) survey is the world's largest survey of international students and measures student expectations and satisfaction about various aspects of admissions and student services," writes Smith. "The survey measures dozens of factors relating to student satisfaction in four major categories: arrival, learning, living, and support."

"Last year, Waterloo ranked near the top of the 203 participating institutions in areas such as earning money, work experience, employability, gaining career advice from faculty members, housing, and meeting Canadian students. New this year are a Canadian benchmark and results for grad students at Waterloo."

Anyone interested in attending should RSVP to murassoc

Back to top

Chris Redmond
Bidding farewell to Chris Redmond

Today is Chris Redmond's last day with the university, a sort of final edition in a 38-year career in print and online journalism at the University of Waterloo.

Friends and colleagues past and present didn't let him go quietly, however, as they gathered at the University Club yesterday afternoon for a celebration that included a lot of laughter and heartfelt remarks from Associate Vice-President, Communications and Public Affairs Ellen Réthoré, Senior Director, Government Relations and Strategic Initiatives Martin van Nierop, a longtime colleague of Redmond's, Vice-President, Academic and Provost Geoff McBoyle, who recalled that there were many in the university's administration who would tremble at the thought of what Chris would write about in the pages of the Gazette, and Vice-President, External Relations Tim Jackson, who noted that as a student he felt as though he'd finally "made it" at the university the day he was featured in the newspaper in 1990.

The speakers all highlighted the approach that Chris took to communications - open, honest, and with integrity - and his impact on campus, helping to build a shared sense of community and identity.

As a parting gift, Chris was given a framed caricature, seen above, drawn by Waterloo Region Record staff illustrator Diane Shantz, with Sara Leblanc from Creative Services filling in the background, with the requisite geese.

I have had the pleasure of working closely with Chris for the last five years, and before that I was a regular Daily Bulletin and Gazette reader going back to my days as a graduate student more than a decade ago. But that's only a fraction of Chris's time spent on campus: as Tim Jackson indicated at the farewell party, Chris has been around for 70 per cent of this university's lifetime.

He was hired in 1973 as the editor for the Gazette, the university's weekly newspaper, which had started publishing in 1969 as a way of getting the university's official word out ahead of the student newspaper, The Chevron. That said, the Gazette maintained a considerable amount of editorial independence from the university administration.

Redmond joined the university at a time when desktop publishing meant an actual desktop: a massive slanted linoleum worktable that pencils would routinely roll off of until he asked Plant Operations to install a length of half-round moulding along the edge. And publishing in those days did involve the web, but not in the contemporary sense. Rather, web offset printing, which involved a cantankerous typeseDaily Bulletin founding editor Chris Redmond.tting machine affectionately referred to as "Igor." Chris's experience with printing technology goes back even further; he worked in a print shop that used hot lead type machines while working at the student newspaper at Queen's University in the mid 1960s.

Redmond stayed at the helm of the Gazette until 2004, when that publication was wound down.

The Daily Bulletin debuted on May 11, 1993, and its publication was at first erratic, but by August 12 of that year it truly earned the "daily" part of its moniker, with issues appearing every working day since, with between 246 and 248 issues published annually. Over the years, this has added up to more than 4,500 issues.

At first, the Bulletin was text-based, fed to the network of dumb terminals across campus through a system called gopher, but in 1995, the first Web versions went online, as he experimented with then-newfangled hypertext, and in 1996, the first .gif images began to appear alongside article text, some animated, but most, thankfully, not. (remember, this was the era of Hampster Dance). JPEGs and other web mainstays like embedded video would come in due time. The current layout dates from about 2006. The Daily Bulletin joined Twitter in September 2009.

Chris Redmond.Throughout his career in institutional communications, Chris has been witness to great technological changes, from typewriters to dumb terminals to Communication and Public Affairs' current Macintosh working environment, and from the gopher protocol, Gandalf modems, and the Campus Wide Information System to the World Wide Web and mobile communications. As he told the attendees at his farewell party yesterday (left), 38 years ago he couldn't have foreseen that print newspapers would have been pushed aside by electrons chasing one another around.

More importantly, Chris has also chronicled the great changes undergone by this university over four decades, as it has grown in size, in reputation, and in complexity. His exhaustive reportage has provided a unique perspective on this institution's history, and as a master storyteller he has, as speaker after after speaker indicated yesterday, helped this university understand itself, issue by issue, and day by day.

Chris told the crowd that he is ready for a new set of adventures come March 1. First on the agenda? A long nap.

I am not alone in saying that Chris Redmond will be greatly missed on this campus. His colleagues in Communications and Public Affairs wish him all the best. Somewhere, Simon the Troll is probably raising a glass in salute.

Back to top

Power outages reported

Reports are coming in that a few buildings on campus have lost power, including Needles Hall, ESC, PAS, UW Place, and the Minota Hagey residence, to name just a few, and that the outage has hit the Research In Motion campus, UW Plaza and beyond.

Stay tuned for more information, or follow the university's official Twitter account (@uwaterloo) for updates.

Link of the day

Leap Year Day

When and where

Mid-Cycle Review Campus Update, Wednesday, February 29, 3:30 p.m., Humanities Theatre.

Mexican Night at REVelation, Wednesday, February 29, 4:30 p.m.

Survey Research Centre open house and ribbon-cutting, Thursday, March 1, M3 2102, 1:00 p.m. Ribbon-cutting at 1:30 p.m.

Chemical engineering seminar featuring Allison Graham, "Profitable Networking Made Easy", Thursday, March 1, 4:00 p.m., E6-2024.

uWaterloo Sun Life lecture series featuring Kathy Bardswick, President and CEO of The Co-operators Group Limited, "Managing Risk in an Increasingly Unmanageable World," Thursday, March 1, 4:30 p.m., SAF Hagey Hall Room 1108.

University of Waterloo's Materials Research Society (MRS) Student Chapter inter-departmental mixer, Friday, March 2, 11:00 a.m., E6-2024. RSVP online.

Centre for Career Action workshop, "Re-frame your retirement," Friday, March 2, 2:00 p.m., TC 2218. Details.

Knowledge Integration Seminar featuring David Goodwin, Research Entrepreneurship Acceleration Program (REAP), Friday, March 2, 2:30 p.m., St. Paul's room 105.

19th Annual Philosophy Graduate Student Conference, featuring a keynote address by Dr. Helen Longino of Stanford University, "The Sociality of Scientific Knowledge: not just an Academic Question", Friday, March 2, 3:30 p.m., HH 373.

I2E Startathon, Friday, March 2, 5:00 p.m., Mathematics 3. Details.

The Arts Student Union presents "The Three A's of Awesome" featuring author and blogger Neil Pasricha, Friday, March 2, 7:30 p.m., Humanities Theatre.

Waterloo Region Macintosh Users' Group workshop, Saturday, March 3, St. Jerome's room 3014, 10:00 a.m. Contact rcrispin for more info.

Propel Centre for Population Impact research seminar, Accelerating Cross-Campus Research Ideas, Initiatives and Impact: A focus on preventing chronic disease and promoting health and wellness, Monday, March 5, 1:00 p.m., Village 1 Great Hall, RSVP to dbrick

Noon hour concert at Conrad Grebel featuring traditional music of Newfoundland and Labrador, with Daniel Payne (fiddle, accordion, mandolin, flute, whistle, and bodhran), Wednesday, March 7, 12:30 p.m., Conrad Grebel chapel.

Asian Night at REVelation, Wednesday, March 7, 4:30 p.m.

International Women's Day (IWD) celebration, Wednesday, March 7, 5:30 p.m., Walper Terrace Hotel. Kitchener. For tickets and details call Jan Meier at 519-579-5051. Details.

Alumni Theatre Night featuring "Scenes from an Execution," Wednesday, March 7, 7:00 p.m., Theatre of the Arts, presented by the Department of Drama and Speech Communication. Details.

Weight Watchers at Work registration session, Thursday, March 8, 12:00 p.m., PAS 2438.

Public lecture in celebration of 50 years of Philosophy at Waterloo, Thursday, March 8, 2:00 p.m., Siegfried Hall, St. Jerome's University.

Reading at St. Jerome’s University: poet Julia McCarthy, Thursday, March 8, 4:30, StJ room 3014.

Fusion Science and Business conference, March 9 and 10. Details.

Philosophy Colloquium in celebration of 50 years of Philosophy at Waterloo, Friday, March 9, 3:30 p.m., HH 373.

Drop, Penalty 1 Period ends March 12.

Waterloo Unlimited Grade 11 Design Program, Monday, March 12 to Friday, March 16.

KI-X 2012: Capstone Design Project on display at the University of Waterloo Art Gallery, Monday, March 12, 12:00-4:00, Tuesday, March 13, 12:00-7:00, Wednesday, March 14, 12:00-6:00, 263 Phillip Street. Details.

Vision 2015 Town Hall for engineering graduate students, Monday, March 12, 3:00 p.m., DC 1304.

Drop, Penalty 2 Period begins March 13.

Noon hour concert at Conrad Grebel featuring Brass Essentials, Debra and Martin Lacoste (trumpets), Trevor Wagler (french horn), Carolyn Culp (trombone), Susan Follows (bass trombone), Wednesday, March 14, 12:30 p.m.

Department of Spanish and Latin American Studies lecture series ‘Testimony and Human Rights’, featuring a presentation by Professor Marjorie Ratcliffe (University of Western Ontario), “Solos en Ameríca: Children of the Spanish Civil War”. Wednesday, March 14, 3:30 p.m., HH 373. Reception follows at 4:30 p.m.

Center for Career Action workshop "Setting Work And Life Goals," Thursday, March 15, 3:30 p.m., TC 1208. Details.

Systems Design Symposium 2012, Friday, March 16, 10:00 a.m., Davis Centre foyer.

Knowledge Integration seminar, Luigi Ferrera, "Systems of Sharing: The Next Economy," Friday, March 16, 2:30 p.m. St. Paul's room 105.

Bechtel Lecture with Professor John D. Roth Thursday March 15 and Friday March 16, 7:30 p.m., Conrad Grebel Chapel. Details.

The UW Cabaret Club presents La Vie Du Cabaret, Friday, March 16, 9:00 p.m., Federation Hall.

Engineering Shadow Days, Monday, March 19 to Friday, March 30.

Vision 2015 Town Hall for engineering faculty, Tuesday, March 20, 2:30 p.m., EIT 3142.

Centre for Career Action Webinar: Writing an A+ resume, Wednesday, March 21, 4:30 p.m. Details.

ECE Design symposium, Wednesday, March 21, 9:30 a.m. Davis Centre.

Street party at Mudie's, Wednesday, March 21, 4:30 p.m.

Vision 2015 town hall for engineering undergraduates, Wednesday, March 21, 5:30 p.m., RCH 301.

Waterloo Lecture: Homer, the Brain, and Rhetoric, hosted by the Waterloo Stratford Campus, Wednesday, March 21, 7:00 p.m., Stratford Public Library.

Co-op Student of the Year Awards, Thursday, March 22.

World Water Day Graduate Research Fair and Water Celebration, Thursday, March 22, 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., Federation Hall.

Vision 2015 Town Hall for engineering staff, Thursday, March 22, 12:00 p.m., EIT 3142.

First annual Management Engineering Design Symposium, Friday, March 23, 10:00 a.m., Davis Centre foyer. Details.

University senate Monday, March 26, 3:30, Needles Hall room 3001.


Positions available

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

• Manager, Data Analytics & Reporting – Institutional Analysis & Planning, USG 13
• Manager, Institutional Evaluation & Accountability – Institutional Analysis & Planning , USG 14
• Alumni Advancement Officer, Faculty of Environment – Dean of Environment Office, USG 8-9
• Research Finance, Training and Compliance Officer-Office of Research, USG 8
• Manager, Resource Sharing & Reserves – Library, USG 9
• Web & E-Communications Officer – Dean of Engineering Office, USG 9
• Admissions & Recruitment Officer – Registrar’s Office, USG 8 (2 positions)
• Admissions Assistant – Registrar’s Office, USG 5
• Manager, College Pathways Development – Registrar’s Office, USG 11
• Recruitment & Communication Specialist – Registrar’s Office, USG 9
• Clinic Cashier/Receptionist – Optometry Clinic, USG 3
• Manager Faculty of Science Infrastructure – Dean of Science Office, USG 13

Internal Secondment Opportunities:

• Records Assistant – Registrar’s Office, USG 5 (2 positions)

Yesterday's Daily Bulletin