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Friday, March 9, 2012

  • Reception honours Loran Award winners
  • Seminar focuses on cross-campus research
  • Juggling festival tomorrow; other notes
  • Editor:
  • Brandon Sweet
  • Communications and Public Affairs

Loran Award recipients.
Reception honours Loran Award winners

The University of Waterloo hosted a recognition event on Tuesday for recipients of the Loran awards," writes Beverly Hershey, Associate Director, Corporation and Foundation Relations. "Currently, Waterloo has twelve recipients across campus. Recipients of this prestigious award shared their award experiences as Loran Scholars, including 1990 Waterloo Loran Scholar and Executive Director and CEO of The Canadian Merit Scholarship Foundation Ms. Franca Gucciardi."

The Loran Awards, established in 1990 through a partnership with the Canadian Merit Scholarship Foundation and funded with the support of the university and the W. Garfield Weston Foundation, include an $8,000 living stipend and a tuition waver from the partnering university, and also include a mentorship element which helps the growth and development of the recipient "by challenging them, expanding the students' experiences and networks and by offering the mentors' own perspectives," writes Hershey. "These awards recognize qualities which Waterloo holds dear for all its students: character, service, and leadership."

Many current mentors and volunteers attended the reception. Also present was Steven Wiegand (Social Work '10) of the Wiegand Family Foundation which has been a strong uWaterloo supporter of the Loran Awards since the mid-1990s.

Pictured are: (back row, left to right) Kevin Shahbazi (Nanotech), Robert Sparrow (Systems Design), Stephen Lake (Mechatronics), Zachary Young (Nanotech), Mike Rolfe (Chem Eng), Steven Wiegand (Wiegand Family Foundation), (front row left to right) Diana Wong (Chem Eng), Sylvia Wu (Mechatronics), Ben Carr (Knowledge Integration), Tushar Dhoot (Computer Science), and Franca Gucciardi (CEO, Canadian Merit Scholarship Foundation, UW Loran alumna).

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Seminar focuses on cross-campus research

by Tanya Sood, Communications Officer, Propel Centre for Population Health Impact

On March 5, 75 researchers from 19 departments within all six faculties across campus met for the first time to address how Waterloo can work together across disciplines to help reduce the burden of chronic disease in Canada and beyond. Chronic diseases such as diabetes, cancer and heart disease, have similar risk factors and are responsible for about 90 per cent of deaths in Canada, most of which are preventable.

The afternoon workshop entitled, ‘Accelerating cross-campus research ideas, initiatives and impact: a focus on preventing chronic disease and promoting health and wellness,’ was hosted by the Propel Centre for Population Health Impact, within Applied Health Sciences (AHS). Last year, Waterloo’s Office of Research made a sizable commitment to develop a centre of excellence in chronic disease prevention, pledging $200,000 a year over four years. Propel, an entity formed in 2009 but with a 34-year history on campus under different names, is providing leadership on the initiative, which AHS Dean Susan Elliott says is a natural fit.

In her opening remarks, Elliott referred to Waterloo as a “formidable force” with its breadth and depth of talent and perspectives that can make a real difference in chronic disease prevention. She kicked off Monday’s event with enthusiasm and “Waterloo’s strong commitment to help tackle the global tragedy of chronic disease.”

Barbara Riley, Propel’s Executive Director, was thrilled with Waterloo’s level of interest and commitment to working together across disciplines.

“This workshop reinforces the passion and pulse at Waterloo,” Riley said. “It’s about innovation, excellence and impact. And when researchers from 19 different disciplines come to explore how their interests might line up or complement the work of others – all in the service of reducing the unconscionable burden from chronic diseases – it’s both impressive and inspiring.”

The afternoon included a presentation by Jon Kerner, Primary Prevention, Senior Scientific Advisor for Cancer Control and Knowledge Translation at the Canadian Partnership Against Cancer. His insight was both relevant and inclusive of an international perspective. Borrowing a quote from Mahatma Gandhi, Kerner challenged Waterloo researchers to “be the change you want to see in the world.”

A breakout session followed, where researchers self-organized into groups of related interest, including: youth health, tobacco control, environment and health, social determinants of health/poverty, cancer prevention, nutrition/food safety/food supply and many more. This is where the magic happened.

“Sometimes it’s just about taking a person to lunch,” Kerner said, urging researchers to talk to colleagues from other disciplines to understand how seemingly different areas of research need to work together to solve complex problems.

One of Monday’s 75 workshop participants was Geoff Fong, Professor and Director, Health Psychology Lab, and Founder and Chief Principal Investigator of the International Tobacco Control Policy Evaluation Project (the ITC Project). Fong says the number of participants and the diversity of their backgrounds were clear signs of the considerable interest for a multidisciplinary centre for chronic disease prevention.

“At the University of Waterloo, strong, internationally recognized research on chronic disease prevention already exists,” Fong said. “The evolving Centre for Chronic Disease Prevention has the potential to bring together these research programs and give them greater visibility and opportunities for linkages to policymakers and practitioners to promote stronger evidence-based approaches to reducing chronic diseases in Canada and throughout the world.”

Monday’s event was the first of many of these types of collaborations. Researchers interested in contributing their strengths to chronic disease prevention are invited to e-mail majolin@

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Juggling festival tomorrow; other notes

The UW Juggling Festival is holding its 20th annual festival on Saturday, March 10 in the Student Life Centre from 9:00 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. The festival includes free workshops, activities, and contests, with a closing show in the Humanities Theatre at 7:00 p.m. Details are available online.

Here's the latest "myth vs. truth" nutrition tip in support of Nutrition Month, provided by Health Services dietician Sandra Ace, who can be contacted if you have any questions or comments:

"Myth": A detox diet is a good way to clean out the toxins in your body.
"Truth": Don’t believe the hype: keep your body healthy with good-for-you-foods. Detox diets claim to “cleanse” your system of toxins, but your liver, kidneys and intestines already do that for you. Some detox diets might actually be harmful.

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Link of the day

South by Southwest

When and where

Warrior Sports this weekend: Campus Recreation March Madness basketball tournament Friday, March 9, Saturday, March 10.

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

Knowledge Integration seminar featuring IQC's Krister Shalm, “Explaining the Quantum World”, Friday March 9, 2:30 p.m., St. Paul’s University College, room 105. Details.

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

The Global Pro-Justice Movement featuring activist Frank Barat, Friday, March 9, 6:30 p.m., CPH 3607. Presented by Students for Palestinian Rights. Details.

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.

Undergraduate Council Tuesday, March 13, 12:00 p.m., NH 3004.

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.

Nanotechnology for Cancer chemo and immunotherapy seminar, Wednesday March 14, 2:00 p.m., School of Pharmacy.

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.

Waterloo Institute for Hellenistic Studies presents Meagan Ayer, SUNY Buffalo, "Traces in Stone: Refugees in the Epigraphic Record," Wednesday, March 14, 4:30 p.m., ML 246.

Medieval Studies presents Sweet Pastries and Marital Bliss featuring Dr. Elizabeth Cohen, York University, "Despite the Council of Trent: Marriage Troubles in Rome, circa 1600," Wednesday, March 14, 4:30 p.m., St. Jerome's room 2011.

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

Pension & Benefits Committee Friday, March 16, 8:30 a.m., NH 3004.

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.

Waterloo Research Institute in Insurance, Securities and Quantitative Finance (WatRISQ) presents Tong Yu, associate professor of finance, College of Business Administration, "By Force of Habitat? On the Dynamics of Insurers' Government Bond Portfolio Durations," Tuesday, March 20, 4:00 p.m., M3 3127.


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