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Monday, May 14, 2012

  • Study highlights prevalence of vision loss
  • Waterloo student wins Vale scholarship
  • Geospatial Centre now open
  • Monday's notes
  • Editor:
  • Brandon Sweet
  • Communications and Public Affairs

Study highlights prevalence of vision loss

a news release from the media relations office

A study released on May 8 by CNIB and the University of Waterloo’s School of Optometry and Vision Science as part of Vision Health Month indicates that one in seven Canadian adults may be living with some form of vision loss, much of which could be corrected. Meanwhile, other results from the study indicate that more than one-third of Canadians over age 40 could actually have eye disease, despite having normal vision.

The Canadian Uncorrected Refractive Error Study (CURES) is the first population-based estimate of the prevalence of vision loss and blindness in Canada. A group of 768 Brantford, Ontario residents between the ages of 39 and 94 attended a vision screening by an eye doctor at the local CNIB office. The study found that participants who had a longer time lapse since their last eye exam were more likely to have vision loss.

“The results are concerning,” said Dr. Barbara Robinson, an optometrist and epidemiologist at the University of Waterloo’s School of Optometry and Vision Science and the study’s principal investigator. “Firstly, many people aren’t seeing as well as they could be due to uncorrected refractive error. In fact, 70 per cent of study participants who had reduced vision could correct the problem by simply wearing the right glasses or contact lenses.”

Refractive error is a condition that occurs when the eye’s focusing system isn’t working properly, resulting in blurry vision. Refractive errors are usually correctable with glasses or contact lenses.

“More worrisome, however, is the fact that many serious eye diseases, such as glaucoma, have no symptoms in the early stages. So if people aren’t getting their eyes examined, they probably aren’t getting early treatment that could potentially save their sight,” said Robinson.

“Vision loss can seriously affect quality of life,” commented Professor Keith Gordon, vice-president, research of CNIB. “People with vision loss are more likely to fall, have a higher risk of fractures and other injuries and they may be more likely to limit or stop driving. Vision loss is also an independent risk factor for increased mortality in older persons.”

“This study really drives home the importance of getting regular eye exams,” said Dr. Lillian Linton, president of the Canadian Association of Optometrists. “We know that 75 per cent of vision loss can be prevented or treated. A complete eye exam from a doctor of optometry can detect both sight loss due to uncorrected refractive error and eye diseases that can lead to permanent blindness.”

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Waterloo student wins Vale scholarship

a news release from the Canadian Engineering Memorial Foundation

She is bright, ambitious and an inspiration for women in engineering, and is now the newest $10,000 Vale Master’s in Engineering Scholarship winner. Rana Tehrani Yekta, a civil engineering graduate student at the University of Waterloo, joins the list of impressive women who represent the Canadian Engineering Memorial Foundation (CEMF) and Vale encouraging youth and promoting engineering as a profession to women across Canada.

The prestigious $10,000 scholarship is awarded annually to the most promising woman in a graduate engineering program at the master’s level in Canada and comes with an invaluable work place opportunity with Vale.

Rana was selected as the 2012 scholarship recipient for her volunteer and leadership work in the community. She has encouraged women recruitment in engineering through programs such as Go-Eng-Girl, and via her position as one of the director's of Canadian Association for Girls In Science (CAGIS). In 2006, she began volunteering for Women in Engineering (WIE) and in 2011 was selected as the graduate representative for the organization. She is also a tutor for high school and university students.

Rana’s current research project as a MA Sc. student at University of Waterloo is “Acceptance Criteria for Ultrasonic Impact Treatment (UIT) of Highway Steel Bridges” and as part of her work, she will be developing a specification manual for the Ministry of Transportation of Ontario. She also holds a BA Sc. in civil engineering with management sciences option from the University of Waterloo.

“I moved from the Middle East to Canada when I was 16-years old. For me, Canada was the country where I believed I could make my dreams come true…not only did I want to become a successful engineer but I also wanted to stand out as a female role model for young girls around me.”

“Vale is honoured to support Rana as an incredible ambassador for women in engineering. Having overcome adversity including cultural and language barriers to achieve her goals, Rana truly exemplifies the traits that we look for in representatives of both Vale and the Foundation. She will be a great addition to the faces that represent the future of engineering and our team at Vale,” says Michael Gribe, Director of Workforce Planning and Talent Acquisition for Vale.

Since 1990, the Foundation has been promoting engineering as a career choice for young Canadian women through its extensive scholarship program, a website that attracts thousands for new visitors a month, social media programming, and scholarship winner presentations to high school students.

“In our many years of running our scholarship program, we continue to receive an unprecedented number of quality applicants. Rana is an impressive candidate who will assist CEMF in being a driving force in encouraging youth and promoting women in engineering through the Foundation and its initiatives,” says Huntley O’Connor, CEMF president.

The Foundation has awarded nine other scholarships this year, including three $10,000 Vale Undergraduate Engineering Scholarships. All scholarship recipients will receive their scholarship certificates at the CEMF annual Awards Ceremony held in Niagara Falls in a celebration sponsored by Vale including a luncheon hosted by Engineers Canada as part of its AGM. The ceremony will take place this June.

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The Geospatial Centre space in the Dana Porter Library.
Geospatial Centre now open

this article appears in the latest News @ Your Library newsletter

The University Map Library closed its doors in mid-April after many years in the Environment 1 building. With its move to the Dana Porter Library, it remains committed to providing “great cartographic and GIS services for campus,” but under a new name and with expanded resources.

Library staff have been busy with the move and planning for services and resources in the new location.

“The move is an extremely exciting time for us,” says Eva Dodsworth, the Library’s Geospatial Data Services Librarian and Coordinator of the new Geospatial Centre. “The Geospatial Centre brings our most valued collections closer together. We will be offering a better service – more GIS computer stations, and even a break-out room specifically for group instruction. Once we’re settled in the Centre, we envision a warm and inviting map and GIS hub – a place for historical map lovers, air photo analysts, visual researchers, and for students, faculty, and staff who wish to learn and use digital maps and GIS technology.”

Dodsworth and other Geospatial Centre staff look forward to serving the campus community from their new location starting the spring term. They will be planning an open house of the Geospatial Centre for the campus community in the fall term.

The Geospatial Centre is open this term from 8:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday to Friday on the third floor of the Dana Porter Library, room 328, extension 32795.

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Monday's notes

The nomination period for the vacant staff position on the university's Board of Governors closes on Wednesday, May 16, at 3:00 p.m. Nominations have been requested for one member of the university's full-time staff to be elected for a term of 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.

And the following is a note sent Friday to staff from Human Resources: "Human Resources would like to notify you that your Staff Salary Increase Advice is now available on myHRinfo. Sign-in as normal and select Salary Increase Advice and click on 'Details'. Hard copy advices will be mailed to staff members who have elected to receive hard copy pay advices. If you have queries or need assistant please contact Peggy Karitsiotis pkaritsi, ext. 36645. Your Annual Increase is effective May 1 For those staff members with irregular work schedules, i.e. varying hours at different times of the year, you will receive a hard copy advice through the campus mail."

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Countdown to Congress: 12 days remaining

Factoid: Congress Expo 2012 is North America’s largest interdisciplinary book and trade show.

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.

Link of the day

The Famine Ships at Grosse Isle

When and where

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

Waterloo Unlimited Grade 10 "Change" program, Sunday, May 13 to Thursday, May 17.

Senate Graduate and Research Council meeting, Monday, May 14, 10:30 a.m., NH 3004.

Senate Finance Committee meeting Monday May 14, 3:00 p.m., NH 3004

WIN Seminar series features Professor Guillaume Wantz, Bordeaux Institute of Technology, France, "Organic Photovoltaic Research at Bordeaux University: A Focus on Advanced Materials for Efficient and Stable Solar Cells." Tuesday, May 15, 11:00 a.m., DC 1304.

The Institute of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology (I.B.M.B.) Seminar Series, featuring Prof. Brian Shilton, Department of Biochemistry, Western University, "ABC Transporter Mechanism from an Enzymologist’s Perspective," Tuesday, May 15, 3:30p.m., room C2-361.

Alumni event in Calgary, Tuesday, May 15, 6:00 p.m. Details.

The Chemistry Department Seminar Series features Prof. Boniface Fokwa, Institute of Inorganic Chemistry, RWTH Aachen University, Germany, "Understanding and Designing New Magnetic Materials," Wednesday, May 16, 2:30 p.m., room C2-361.

Student Team Open House, Wednesday, May 16, 3:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m., Student Design Centre, Engineering 5 first floor. Refreshments provided.

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.

Chemistry Department Seminar Series featuring Prof. Venkataraman Thangadurai, Department of Chemistry, University of Calgary, "Solid State Materials for Lithium Ion Batteries and Solid Oxide Fuel Cells," Thursday, May 17, 10:00 a.m., C2-361.

Warriors band practice, Thursday, May 17, 5:30 p.m., PAC 1001.

Chemistry Department Seminar Series featuring Prof. Stephanie Brock, Department of Chemistry, Wayne State University, "The Role of Synthetic Levers for Control of Phase, Size and Morphology in Nanoscale Transition Metal Pnictides: Consequences for Catalytic and Magnetic Properties," Friday, May 18, 10:00 a.m., C2-361.

UW International Spouses presents "Cooking Risotto Italian-style," Friday, May 18, 12:45 p.m., CLW Community Centre. To pre-register email elena.cecchetto@

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.

Farewell reception for Alan George, Thursday, May 24, 3:30 p.m., Festival Room, South Campus Hall. RSVP by May 18 to Michelle Mank, ext. 36448 or mank@

Warriors band practice, Thursday, May 24, 5:30 p.m., PAC 1001.

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

PhD Oral Defences

Chemistry. Bryan Kuropatwa, "Exploration and Optimization of Tellurium-Based Thermoelectrics." Supervisor, Dr. Holger Kleinke. On deposit in the Faculty of Science graduate office, ESC-254A. Oral defence Thursday, May 17, 2:00 p.m., C2 361.

Chemistry. Savitree Bangarigadu-Sanasy, "Thermoelectric Properties of Thallium Lanthanoid Tellurides, T110-xLnxTe6, 0.25 ≤ x ≤ 1.32, Ln = La, Ce, Pr, Nd, Sm, Gd, Tb, Dy, Ho and Er." Supervisor, Dr. Holger Kleinke. On deposit in the Faculty of Science graduate office, ESC-254A. Oral defence Friday, May 18, 3:00 p.m., C2 361.

Friday's Daily Bulletin