Skip to the content of the web site.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

  • Congress is a group effort
  • New members to join the 25-Year club...
  • ...and the 35-year club too
  • Editor:
  • Brandon Sweet
  • Communications and Public Affairs

VeloCity Open House invite

The VeloCity Garage will be holding an open house on Thursday, May 31 from 3:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. inside its newly-expanded space at the Tannery on 151 Charles Street in Kitchener. The event is open to all members of the university community and light refreshments will be served.

The Garage expansion, announced in February, increases the total space for VeloCity at the Tannery from 600 to 6,500 square feet. There are 25 active student and alumni startups in the Garage space.

Back to top

Congress is a group effort

There is an awful lot of activity going on behind the scenes on campus to make sure the nation's largest largest annual multidisciplinary academic gathering runs smoothly. Co-convenor James Skidmore has provided an overview that gives an idea of the work involved:

"Charlene Schumm and her team at the Scheduling Office have had their hands full figuring out how to house classes during Congress. They’ve done a fantastic job of freeing up space for Congress while still finding alternate locations for courses that still want to have a class during Congress week.

The folks at Food Services have been managing a deluge of catering requests. On a typical day they might have 10 catering orders. During Congress that number jumps to 60! Extra equipment is being rented to handle the volume. Food Services is also managing the Beer Tent, and that has to be built from the ground up: the tent, tables, chairs, etc - all of that has to be brought in and set up.

Plant Operations also has its hands full. They’re installing all the special signage for Congress. Over 1300 signs have been ordered for both campuses, so there’s enough to do in addition to their usual jobs at this time of year (e.g. sprucing up campus and whatnot). Custodial services will be adjusting their shifts to maintain the cleanliness of the buildings.

UW Police Services have been preparing for the influx of rowdy humanists. Parking Services has been getting ready to help direct delegates to the appropriate parking spots.

Instructional Technology and Media Services (ITMS) is handling the audio-visual needs of the associations meeting on our campus. And since we live in the age of PowerPoint and YouTube, you can imagine that they have a lot to do as well. ITMS will have student operators available in all Congress locations on campus to help with any audio-visual emergencies.

The good folks at the Student Success Office have offered a lot of support for Congress preparations. They’re training and organizing the hundreds of volunteers who will help Congress run smoothly. They’re also working to transform the PAC into a lovely reception area for the two Presidents’ receptions where upwards of 800 delegates are expected on Monday and Tuesday evenings. Other members of this office have lent a hand in organizing ConnecTent, the evening festival bringing together delegates and Waterloo region citizens for a celebration of local food, drink and entertainment (28-30 May)."

And as for yesterday? "Monday was the busiest – and hottest! – day at Congress yet," Skidmore. "Food Services had to make 61 drops (that’s food service lingo for dropping off catering orders) in addition to mounting the first of two President’s Receptions at the PAC. The reception was well attended, the PAC looked wonderful, and the food was superb. (Most interesting item on the menu: gazpacho soup served in a glass with a drop or two of vodka. Genius!) The organizers Jane Kolb, Gabrielle Smith, Rob Sexton, Wilma Balvert, and Rex Coffin and their teams can be very proud of how they hosted Congress delegates.

Front and centre in today's Congress activities are the Big Thinking lectures featuring author Margaret Atwood at 12:15 in the Humanities Theatre, and author and business exec Don Tapscott, which gets underway at 7:00 p.m. in the Theatre of the Arts at the Modern Languages building.

And the ConnecTent at the corner of Father David Bauer Drive and Erb Street, where you can sample local foods, beverages, and entertainment, is now free! The tent is active from 6:30 p.m. to 11:30 p.m. tonight and tomorrow, with Canada's "Polka King" Walter Ostanek providing the musical entertainment this evening. Tickets can be secured online, and anyone who has already bought a ticket will be reimbursed with a food voucher at the event.

As well, here's today's "Skid @ Congress" roundup:

Tuesday, May 29

"I still have to go to the daily Congress operations meeting at 7:00 a.m. This is a humanities conference, but where’s the humanity in having to meet at such an early hour? Still, I’m struck at how chipper and upbeat everyone is. I’m convinced that they put something in the coffee at Laurier to make otherwise rational people think they’re happy to be at such an early meeting.

After that meeting Eleanor Ty (Laurier’s Academic Convenor) and I are meeting Andrew Rippin, the Academic Convenor of Congress 2013 in Victoria. He’s at Congress 2012 with a whole slew of Victorians to find out about Congress 2012 to find out how we put together Congress. I hope they’ll be able to copy our successes and avoid our mistakes.

Today SSHRC is sponsoring two panels on Canada’s future, and I’ll be going to both. The morning panel is “Imagining Canada’s Future”, and Don Tapscott (a leading authority on innovation), Dan Gardner (Ottawa Citizen columnist), and Diana Carney (Vice-President, Projects at the think tank Canada 2020) will do the imagining. The afternoon panel, “Thinking Ahead – What Canada Will Look Like in 2030” is being moderated by John Macfarlane, editor of The Walrus, and features four Canada Research Chairs.

At noon I’ll try to find a seat in Waterloo’s Humanities Theatre for one of the biggest events of Congress: Margaret Atwood’s lecture “Bedtime Stories.” She’s going to talk about the importance of story in understanding humanity. A lot of the lecture will centre on her 1972 book Survival, her defence of Canadian literature that marked a turning point in how CanLit was received and studied at universities.

After Maggie’s talk I have a couple of options. I can head over to Waterloo’s beer tent and chat with Aaron Miller. He’s staffing Waterloo’s Twitter wall there and is such a friendly, amiable guy that it’s always nice to have a chance to talk to him. (To follow Congress happenings on Twitter search the hashtag #congress2012.) I could also drop in on the Canada Population Society’s panel on why we still need a census or I could take in the one-hour concert of Scandinavian music by Ensemble Polaris.

My sense of duty will probably get the best of me, however, and I’ll end up going to the annual general meeting of my own association, the Canadian Association of University Teachers of German. We’re celebrating our 50th anniversary with a huge gala banquet at the Clay and Glass Gallery. David John of Waterloo’s German program will be giving an after-dinner talk outlining the history of the association.

The unfortunate delegates who aren’t Germanists still have some great options for the evening: the second of Waterloo’s two President’s Receptions is being held in the PAC, and ConnecTent, the Experience Waterloo festival of local food and entertainment will be going strong."

Back to top

New members to join the 25-year clubs...

The 25-Year Club Reception will be held on Tuesday June 19, 2012 between 6:00 - 9:00 p.m. in the Physical Activities Complex (PAC). The new 25-Year Club members and the 35-Year employees will be presented with an award for their dedication and years of service. Attendees must RSVP by May 31, but it helps to know who's being honoured before doing so.

The new members of the 25-Year Club, who began working at the university in 1987, are:

  • Sheila Ager, Classical Studies
  • Rosemary Anderson, Chemical Engineering
  • David Barton, Biology
  • Sanjeev Bedi, Mechanical & Mechatronics Engineering
  • Jan Blackburn, Bookstore
  • William Bobier, School of Optometry
  • Deborah Brown, Math Faculty Computing Facility
  • Julie Cassaubon, Dean of AHS Office
  • Edward Chan, School of Computer Science
  • Christine Dietrich, ODAA-Advancement Services
  • Ron Feeney, Plant Operations
  • Brian Forler, Central Stores
  • Peter Forsyth, School of Computer Science
  • Peter Fulcher, Plant Operations
  • Cindy Futher, Office of Research
  • Jeff Gardiner, Physics and Astronomy
  • Christopher Godsil, Combinatorics & Optimization
  • David Goodwin, Drama & Speech Communication
  • Yvonne Gostel, ODAA
  • Wendy Grant, Finance
  • Gail Hansen, Cunningham Housing Administration
  • Lisa Hendel, Electrical & Computer Engineering
  • William Henderson, Plant Operations-Grounds
  • Christine Henderson, Procurement Services
  • Miriam Heynen, Centre for Contact Lens Research
  • Patricia Hrynchak, School of Optometry
  • John Jaworsky, Political Science
  • Elizabeth Jewkes, Management Sciences
  • Donna Kellendonk, Mechanical & Mechatronics Engineering
  • Linda Kelly, Physics and Astronomy
  • Joanne Kursikowski, Dean of Math Office
  • Kam Tong Leung, Chemistry
  • Anna Lubiw, School of Computer Science
  • Kerry Mahoney, Centre for Career Action
  • Robert Mann, Physics and Astronomy
  • William Mark, IGR-Isotope Testing Lab
  • William Mccormick, Plant Operations
  • Judith McDonnell, Physics and Astronomy
  • Barbara Moffatt, Biology
  • Roland Mueller, Plant Operations
  • Neil Murray, Human Resources
  • Linda Nazar, Chemistry
  • Flora Ng, Chemical Engineering
  • Andrew Nowinski, School of Optometry
  • Donald Pastway, Plant Operations
  • Nancy Poole, Public Health & Health Systems
  • Lucia Power, Plant Operations
  • ck Rehder, Dean of Math Office
  • Dani Roloson, Math Faculty Computing Facility
  • Sherry Schiff, Earth & Environmental Sciences
  • Susan Seabrook, Library
  • Chettypalayam Selvakumar, Electrical & Computer Engineering
  • Lucy Simpson, Statistics & Actuarial Science
  • Ralph Smith, Biology
  • Iris Strickler, Dean of Engineering Office
  • Anton Suliman, Plant Operations
  • Neil Thomson, Civil and Environmental Engineering
  • Robert Van Pelt, School of Architecture
  • Shelley Vossen, Management Sciences
  • Bruce Vowles, Central Stores
  • Owen Ward, Biology
  • Grant Weddell, School of Computer Science
  • Heather Wey, Information Systems and Technology
  • Paula-Ann Zahra, New Media Services
  • Wendy Zehr, Dean of Math Office
  • Reinhard Zeidler, Plant Operations

Congratulations to those whose names appear on the list.

Back to top

...and the 35-Year club too

The newest members of the 35-Year club began work here back in 1977:

  • Mary Ellen Acorn, Office of Research
  • Niels Bols, Biology
  • Peter Carette, UW Theatre Centre
  • Sujeet Chaudhuri, Electrical & Computer Engineering
  • Peggy Day, Information Systems and Technology
  • Orest Dorkowsky, Information Systems and Technology
  • Ruth Gooding, Kinesiology
  • Susan Gooding, Dean of Engineering Office
  • Harvey Hiebert, IST
  • Richard Hughson, Kinesiology
  • Paul Johnson, Earth & Environmental Sciences
  • Linda Kieswetter, ODAA
  • Susan Koebel, Human Resources
  • Ellsworth LeDrew, Geography
  • Don Lorentz, Plant Operations
  • R. Stephen McColl, Public Health & Health Systems
  • Ann Naese, Library
  • Sandra Olheiser, Co-op Education & Career Action
  • Denise Paquette, Library
  • Darlene Ryan, International Student Office
  • Gerald Schneider, Mechanical & Mechatronics Engineering
  • Gregory Stoeser, Plant Operations
  • David Taylor, School of Computer Science
  • Barbara Tracey-Poll, Centre for Extended Learning
  • Anne Wagland, Dean of Environment Office
  • Betty Warden, Communications & Public Affairs
  • Ann M Wendt, Registrar
  • Margaret Yuen, Library

A big congratulations to the new club members!

Back to top

Congress 2012 Daily Update Videos

uWaterloo's Congress organizers have put together daily update videos:

Video Update - Day One

Video Update - Day Two

Video Update - Day Three

Video Update - Day Four

Made you look!

REEP house open for tours during Congress

The REEP House for Sustainable Living, a "super-insulated, water-wise century brick home and education centre," has extended its hours of operation to accommodate Congress delegates.

Located at 20 Mill Street in Kitchener, the REEP House for Sustainable Living is an "interactive community resource" that takes the form of a 100 year-old home that has been completely renovated to exceed modern building standards while maintaining heritage value.

The house is open for tours on Wednesday, May 30 from 5:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m., and on Saturday, June 2, from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. The open house and tours are free and open to all Congress delegates and members of the public. For more information visit REEP's website or call 519-744-9799. REEP was founded in 1999 as a joint initiative of uWaterloo's Faculty of Environment and the Elora Centre for Environmental Excellence.

Link of the day

International Day of United Nations Peacekeepers

When and where

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.

The University of Waterloo Art Gallery presents An Uncertain World, Saturday, May 26 to Saturday, June 2, open daily 12:00–5:00 p.m., East Campus Hall. Held in conjunction with Congress 2012.

Canadian Association for Social Work Education (CASWE) Conference, Monday, May 28 to Thursday, May 31, Renison University College. Details. Held in conjunction with Congress 2012.

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.

VeloCity Garage Open House, Thursday, May 31, 3:00 to 6:00 p.m., The Tannery, 151 Charles Street, Kitchener. Light refreshments will be served.

Centre for Career Action presents a Social Media Presentation featuring Lisa Kramer, Thursday, May 31, 5:00 p.m., TC 2218.

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.

Transit of Venus viewing event, Tuesday, June 5, 5:00 p.m., BMH green. RSVP online or by emailing scienceevents@ Special transit viewing eyewear required (limited supply).

"Observing the Transits of Venus: Why and How Astronomers Risked Their Lives", Professor Gretchen Harris, Department of Physics & Astronomy, MC 2066, 5:00-5:45 p.m.

Keystone Picnic "Waterloo World," Wednesday, June 6, 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. on the Burt Matthews Hall green, lunch served at 11:45 to 1:00 p.m.

Waterloo Institute for Sustainable Energy (WISE) lecture series featuring Dr. S. Murthy Indian Institute of Technology, Delhi, India, Wednesday, June 6, 5:00 p.m., CPH 4333. Refreshments served.

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

Keystone picnic event for evening staff, Friday, June 8, 6:00 p.m., Bombshelter Pub, Student Life Centre.

Science awards luncheon, Tuesday, June 12, 12:00 p.m., University Club.

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

University senate Monday, June 18, 3:30, Needles Hall room 3001.

Professor Bruce Muirhead.
Associate VP External Research named

"I am pleased to announce the appointment of Dr. Bruce Muirhead as Associate Vice-President, External Research for a three-year term beginning July 1, 2012," wrote Vice President, University Research George Dixon in a memo circulated earlier this month. "In this new position, he will be responsible for the development and management of Waterloo's external research endeavours. He will also contribute to the development of research strengths and expertise across the campus."

Muirhead (above) is a Professor of History and is currently the Associate Dean of Arts, Graduate Studies and Research. His research interests, include post Second World War Canadian economic and political history and the history of the International Development Research Centre. His expertise also encompasses the history of the Bank of Canada, Canadian trade policy in the 20th century and international finance. His latest work, as part of a team funded by the Norwegian Research Council, is focused on international agricultural policy regimes.

"Bruce will work closely with the Vice-President, University Research, Associate Vice-President, International and the Director, Global Alliances, as well as with the Associate Vice-President, Internal Research and Directors within the Office of Research," the memo continues. "He may also chair committees arising out of research initiatives from time to time."

"I look forward to working with Bruce, and am confident that he will have your full cooperation and support," concluded Dixon.

Yesterday's Daily Bulletin