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Thursday, May 24, 2012

  • Students win national evaluation competition
  • Building Stories preserves heritage online
  • Congress is coming and other notes
  • Editor:
  • Brandon Sweet
  • Communications and Public Affairs

Anum Irfan Khan, Renata Valaitis, Anita Myers (Coach), Sarah Sousa, Mary-Jean Costello
Students win national evaluation competition

a media release from the School of Public Health and Health Systems

A team of UW students returned home from Halifax this week as national champions of the Canadian Evaluation Society’s Student Case Competition. After the first round of nearly a hundred students across Canada, only three teams competed nationally on the east coast, and only one could bring home the title.

This year’s competition, hosted by the Nova Scotia Chapter as part of the 33rd annual national CES conference entitled “valuing difference”, had students develop a mock evaluation proposal for the Community-based Water Monitor program, and pitch it to a panel representing the senior management of the First Nations and Inuit Health Branch of Health Canada.

The three teams in the competition finals were Université Laval, the University of Ottawa and the University of Waterloo. Pictured above (l-r) are Waterloo team members Anum Irfan Khan, Renata Valaitis, coach Anita Myers, Sarah Sousa, and Mary-Jean Costello from the School of Public Health and Health Systems.

“We’re extremely proud of our team, our coaches and our school,” says team member Sarah Sousa. “We couldn’t have done this without their help and the support from the Canadian Evaluation Society Fund, SHERC, the judges and volunteers at the event.”

The competition helps students build their skills in evaluating public policies and programs. Using real life examples of public sector or community-based programs, the finalists develop recommendations for how to best go about evaluating whether the programs are “doing the right things right and making a difference” - all within the pressure of a team effort in a five hour window. Teams are judged by a panel of experienced evaluators.

Dr. Anita Myers and Dr. Mark Seasons have coached teams for several years and have a strong track record in the competition. Given the increasing emphasis on results and accountability in public policy and programs, the case competition is an important contribution by the Canadian Evaluation Society to the broader community.

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Building Stories preserves heritage online

a media release from the Heritage Resources Centre

Building Stories logoOn April 30, 2012, a new website and mobile application launched that enables Canadians to take a direct role in identifying important community heritage assets. Building Stories is an incredible new on-line resource making thousands of original documents, photos and historical records available online from a wide variety of communities.

Building Stories is a partnership between the University of Waterloo’s Heritage Resources Centre and the Computer Systems Group, both at the University of Waterloo and the Centre for Community Mapping (COMAP). The mission of the Heritage Resources Centre (HRC) is to promote a better understanding of natural and human heritage for the improvement of planning management and public policy through research, education, and extension work.

COMAP, a Canadian non-profit, is dedicated to research development and deployment of information and communications technology to strengthen the role of civil society in Canada. The Computer Systems Group (CSG) is a research group that specializes in document and software engineering, and software design and implementation.

The development of Building Stories adds significantly to the tools available to engage the public, explains the importance of heritage and builds community confidence. The tools in Building Stories can help communities identify properties to place on municipal registers, to identify areas as Heritage Conservation Districts and to expand the volunteer base of the conservation movement. Dr. Robert Shipley, Director of the Heritage Resources Centre, states: “Through being able to use the inventory tool in a web-based and interactive way, it will allow communities and individual citizens to take a direct and active role in identifying the significant and valued structures that make up such a vital part of the country’s heritage assets. There has never been anything like this and the result will be to magnify and expand both interest in, and understanding of our built environment.”

Sites added to the Building Stories inventory are mapped and require an address and at least one photo. Users can then add additional commentary about the history, design and context of the property. Entire Statements of Significance can be added if available. In addition, documentation such as photographs, audio files, video files or copies of important documents (e.g. drawings, leases) can be uploaded. Characteristics of specific buildings may be entered using the recognized Canadian Inventory of Historic Buildings Iconography depicting simple pictures of architectural and/or design features. Tours of heritage buildings can be created by selecting properties and can be shared with the community at large.

These sites can be accessed through a mobile application available for Android, iPhone and BlackBerry phones. Users will be able to select a tour of a desired destination using the mobile application, such as walking or driving tours and special events tours, such as Doors Open. In addition, the mobile application will allow the capture of a site with a picture and GPS coordinates, while additional details can be filled in online.

Currently, the website includes entries from every province and territory in Canada. However, Building Stories will continue to grow into new communities, as new collections and archives are added to the fully searchable database, and as individuals comment on existing listings and contribute their own sites with stories, memories, digital artifacts, and photographs.

Many different groups can use the site: volunteers and heritage supporters can identify and record sites of value to them; tourists visiting Canada can search sites and tours and are invited to provide digital photos; professionals and academics can add sites from their projects and use the website for research.

An impressive number and variety of communities have contributed to the development of Building Stories including: Town of Goderich, Municipality of Huron East, Doors Open Huron County 2012, Town of Grimsby, City of Brampton, City of Kingston, City of Hamilton, Town of Halton Hills, and the Town of St. Marys.

Building Stories was made possible with the support of the Department of Canadian Heritage through the Canada Interactive Fund and the Ministry of Tourism, Culture and Sports’ Cultural Strategic Investment Fund.

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Congress is coming and other notes

The University of Waterloo and Wilfrid Laurier University have been preparing to host the 2012 Congress of the Humanities and Social Sciences since it was announced that their joint bid to host the event was approved in the spring of 2007. Now that it is set to get underway with a kick-off event tomorrow, there are a few things you should probably be aware of.

Parking will likely be an issue on both campuses, with more than 2,400 parking spaces required. Congress delegates will have exclusive use of Parking Lot “C” during Congress as well as access to the parking in UWP. Students with permits for C Lot have been advised that during Congress they must relocate to Lots N and X. Parking Services is providing extra staffing to monitor C Lot and redirect traffic as necessary.

Waterloo's academic co-convenor James Skidmore told the university's senate Tuesday that members of the university community are welcome to attend the many events and lectures and, naturally, the beer tent, which will be located in the Arts quad and will be open from 11:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. Saturday through Thursday.

The University of Waterloo's Congress portal contains detailed information about the conference, and expect to see coverage of Congress in the next few issues of the Daily Bulletin.

Friends and colleagues of Alan George will be joining him in the Festival Room at South Campus Hall today at 3:30 p.m. for a farewell reception as he nears the end of his term as Associate Provost, Information Systems and Technology. George has collected administrative posts the way some kids collect Pokémon, serving as Dean of the Faculty of Mathematics in both interim and regular capacities, Vice-President, Academic and Provost (interim and regular), interim Vice-President, University Research, interim Dean of Graduate Studies, and most recently Associate Provost, Information Systems and Technology. For more information about the event contact Michelle Mank at ext. 36448 or mank@ All members of the campus community are invited. No need to RSVP, you can just show up.

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Countdown to Congress: 2 days remaining

Factoid: One of the associations is devoted to the work of one person: the Canadian Jacques Maritain Association.

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

Bismarck vs. Hood

When and where

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.

School of Public Health and Health Systems research seminar featuring Dr. Jennifer O'Loughlin, Université de Montréal, "Quit-It: New perspectives on youth cessation from NDIT," Thursday, May 24, 4:00 p.m., LHN 2703.

Pension and Benefits Committee meeting Friday, May 25, 8:30 a.m., NH 3004.

Building and Properties Committee meeting Friday, May 25, 3:00 p.m., NH 3004.

UWRC presents the 12th annual uWaterloo Blooms, Friday, May 25, 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., Student Life Centre Multi-Purpose Room.

You @ Waterloo Day, Saturday, May 26, 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.

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

Congress 2012 Big Thinking Lectures, May 26 - May 31. Details.

UW International Spouses presents "Movie and Coffee with Patty," featuring A Streetcar Named Desire, Sunday, May 27, 1:00 p.m., Galaxy Cinemas Waterloo. To register email patty91872@

Measuring Wellbeing: A Symposium on the Use of Wellbeing Indicators, Monday, May 28, 1:00 p.m., Paul Martin Prosperity Centre, Wilfrid Laurier University.

WatRISQ seminar featuring Mikhail Krayzler, Department of Mathematics, Technische Universitat, Munchen, Germany, "Pricing of Guaranteed Minimum Benefits in Variable Annuities." Tuesday, May 29, 4:00 p.m. DC 1304.

Retirement celebration for Adel Sedra, Wednesday, May 30. Details.

Geographers Without Borders: geography department's 50th anniversary, Thursday, May 31, 5:30 p.m. Details.

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

Master of Digital Experience Innovation brown bag lunch, Wednesday, June 6, 1:30 p.m., Communitech Hub Kitchener, P2P Meeting Room. Register today.

Master of Digital Experience Innovation student showcase, Tuesday, June 12, 5:00 p.m., Waterloo Stratford Campus. Register today.

PhD Oral Defences

Psychology. Kathy Smolewska, "Testing the Biosocial Theory of Borderline Personality Disorder: The Association of Temperament, Early Environment, Emotional Experience, Self-Regulation and Decision-Making." Supervisor, Dr. Jonathan Oakman. On deposit in the Arts Graduate Office, PAS 2434. Oral defence Wednesday, May 30, 9:00 a.m., PAS 3026.

Electrical and Computer Engineering. Mohamed Hassan Ahmed, "Models and Analytical Frameworks for Power Systems with Wind Generation Penetration." Supervisors, Magdy Salama, Kankar Bhattacharya. On deposit in the Engineering Graduate Office, PHY 3004. Oral defence Wednesday, May 30, 9:30 a.m., E5 5047.

Computer Science. Earl Oliver, "Enabling Censorship Tolerant Networking." Supervisor, Srinivasan Keshav. On display in the Mathematics Faculty Graduate Office, MC 5090. Oral defence Thursday, May 21, 1:00 p.m., DC 2310.

Actuarial Science. Bassam Aoun, "Funding Liquidity and Limits to Arbitrage." Supervisors Don McLeish, Phelim Boyle. On display in the Mathematics Faculty Graduate Office, MC 5090. Oral defence Thursday, May 31, 3:00 p.m. M3 4206.

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