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Monday, January 7, 2013



  • "Passion and commitment" produced gateway
  • Students invited to launch questions into space
  • Senate nominations; Frost Week


  • Editor:
  • Brandon Sweet
  • Communications and Public Affairs


The new University of Waterloo sign at the south campus entrance.
"Passion and commitment" produced gateway

Students walk under the cedar arches at the redesigned campus gateway.First impressions are everything.

Questions about the kind of impressions given by the university's south campus gateway (that area around South Campus Hall, the flagpoles, and the entrance road that leads to Seagram Drive) created an opportunity to engage students in the redesign, which has been turning heads since work was completed in the fall of 2012.

The project, dubbed I3 (for Innovate, Integrate, and Implement), got its start in July 2010 when Jeff Casello, faculty member in the School of Planning and associate dean (undergraduate students) met with Tina Roberts, director of undergraduate marketing and recruitment, and Meg Beckel, then-vice president, external relations, met to discuss the state of the University Avenue entrance.

"Jeff came up with the idea and it was his vision to engage faculties, students, and departments on campus, to not only create an opportunity for student engagement, but to give people from a variety of areas that opportunity to work together," writes Tina Roberts.

Support was sought from the university's senior administration for the project, and it was granted, to the tune of $100,000 towards the construction of the winning design. The Faculty of Environment, followed by the Region of Waterloo, also agreed to support the project financially. The I3 Project was officially launched in November 2010, with approximately 100 students attending the opening event at the Bombshelter Pub. More than 150 students attended a second information session in January 2011, and more than 200 students from all six faculties registered on the project's website.

This interdisciplinary interest was a key feature of the project - the "Integrate" component of the challenge, according to Casello, included the condition that in order for a team's proposal to be considered, the team's membership had to draw from more than one faculty. "We were trying to get cross-campus activity," he said.

By February 2011, 22 teams representing 98 students had either submitted draft proposals or other expressions of interest. The proposals were reviewed by the I3 Project's organizing committee (which included representatives from the Faculty of Environment and Marketing and Undergraduate Recruitment) narrowed the field down to ten. In March, the ten teams that had been advanced to the second phase submitted their proposals, and members of the President's Advisory Committee on Design, as well as Tina Roberts, selected six proposals to advance to the final phase. The final student submissions were received in June 2011. On June 29, Members of PACOD and the School of Planning's Karen Hammond (director of design in the Faculty of Environment and a former PACOD member) participated in the judging and selected the top three teams, who made their pitches at a final event held at South Campus Hall in July 2011.

The winning design came from "Team Inove," made up of Amer Abu-Khajil and Jacqueline Doucet, who were both third-year civil engineering students at the time, and Nader Alkadri and Joshua Layton, who were fourth-year urban planning students. Their proposal envisioned a "grand pedestrian concourse" to be located on the northwest corner of Seagram Drive and University Avenue.

"Josh, Nader and I were all Housing and Residence Dons," wrote Abu-Khajil. "I got in touch with Jackie, one of my classmates that had approached me about being interested in the competition. After meeting for a quick coffee at William's to make sure we clicked as a team, we had our first meeting at one of the study rooms in REV and drew out our vision for the project on a blackboard."

The team developed 3D renderings, detailed cost estimates, and "plenty of text to put our message across," Abu-Khajil writes.

The design was then finalized with the help of the Director, Design & Construction Services and University Architect Dan Parent and consultants from Walter Fedy, who worked with the members of Team Inove in early 2012 to bring the proposal within the parameters of the original approved project budget. The students were consulted throughout the refinement process, participating by Skype as their co-op work terms took them abroad. Construction on the new sign began in September 2012, and the cedar arches were installed soon after.

"The sign and arches were part of our initial vision back in January 2011 and it's amazing to see that part of our vision came through in every phase until construction!" writes


Construction was completed in October 2012, and Casello hopes to get lighting installed to illuminate the sign at night and some form of recognition that students were responsible for the gateway redesign. "Getting them engaged in that process was really important," he says.

"I am very proud to have been involved in this initiative, and the thing that impressed me the most were the people involved - our faculty, staff, and students," writes Roberts. "In particular, the passion and commitment that these people put towards this initiative."


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Students invited to launch questions into space

Canadian astronaut Chris Hadfield is currently aboard the International Space Station for a five-month mission, during which he will assume command of the space station after members of the current expedition depart in March. When he's not trading tweets with William Shatner or snapping pictures of a snow-covered Kitchener-Waterloo, Hadfield, who once studied at the University of Waterloo, is working with Waterloo researchers in the Faculty of Applied Health Sciences on two experiments running during his time on the station that focus on how prolonged stints in zero-gravity affects the human circulatory system. He will also become the first Canadian to command the International Space Station, which has been orbiting some 370 km above the Earth since its initial components were launched in 1998.

But that's not all. Students at the University of Waterloo will have the opportunity to communicate directly with Hadfield next month, when a downlink is established between the International Space Station and the University of Waterloo during the week of February 11. The downlink, held in partnership with the Canadian Space Agency, is a 20-minute verbal and visual connection, and undergraduate and graduate students from all faculties are being encouraged to submit their questions using this online form. Students whose questions are selected will have the opportunity to speak directly to Hadfield. Questions will be collected until Monday, January 14.

Once students have submitted their questions through the online form, they will be sent to representatives from each of the six faculties, who will each bring the top questions forward to an organizing committee, which will narrow the final number of questions down to a manageable number given the time constraints of the downlink.

The downlink event will also be webcast, and details will be available on the university’s homepage closer to the date of the downlink, the exact time of which, if you'll excuse the pun, is up in the air.


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Senate nominations and other notes

Some notes as the campus welcomes students back for the start of the Winter 2013 term:

The Secretariat is putting out the call for nominations for four undergraduate student seats on the university's Senate, in Applied Health Sciences, Engineering, Mathematics, and one At-large seat, open to any full-time undergraduate student. The senators will serve a term starting May 1, 2013 to April 30, 2015. Nomination forms are available on the Secretariat's website, and at least five nominators are required in each case. The completed forms should be submitted to the Chief Returning Officer, Secretariat, Needles Hall Room 3060, no later than 3:30 p.m. on Friday, January 18. Elections, if necessary, will coincide with the annual Federation of Students elections.

"Undergraduate student senators completing their terms of office as of 30 April 2013 are: Brad Henry (applied health sciences), Benjamin Selby (engineering), Jesse McGinnis (mathematics), and Sean Hunt (at large)," reads the note from the Secretariat. "All are eligible for re-election (members of Senate shall be eligible for re-election save that an elected member shall serve for no more than two consecutive terms)."

Frost Week 2013 is being held from January 14 to 18. Organized by Waterloo Team Feds, which is the special events division of the Federation of Students, it offers undergraduates at the University of Waterloo much to be excited about! The most anticipated event of the week is a concert featuring Canadian band Dragonette. Tickets for the show are available online and at the Feds Main Office in SLC 1102. Other highlights include Sex Toy Bingo at The Bombshelter Pub, lunch with the President and Senior Leadership, Winter Carnival with free loose leaf tea from Campus Bubble, and a free comedy show. The full schedule is available on


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Waterloo, McMaster to celebrate collaborations

University of Waterloo president and vice-chancellor Feridun Hamdullahpur and McMaster President Patrick Deane will appear together at an event at the Downtown Kitchener Health Sciences Campus tomorrow to celebrate the ongoing collaboration between the two institutions.

The latest joint effort is the construction of a $1.3M, 2,300 square foot anatomy lab and adjoining meeting room, which will be used by the medical students and residents from the Michael G. DeGroote School of Medicine and students from the University of Waterloo School of Pharmacy.

The lab will feature a high-definition histology setup, HD anatomy videos, e-learning modules, and all sorts of anatomy-related study materials.

The event gets underway at 4:00 p.m. at the Waterloo Regional Campus of the Michael G. DeGroote School of Medicine at the Downtown Kitchener Health Sciences Campus of the University of Waterloo on Tuesday, January 8.

Link of the day


When and where


Winter term classes begin Monday, January 7.

Winter orientation campus tours, Monday, January 7. Student Life Centre Great Hall.

Exchange Student Information Session, Monday, January 7, NH 3001.

Senate Executive Committee meeting, Monday, January 7, 3:30 p.m., NH 3001.

Senate Undergraduate Council meeting, Tuesday, January 8, 12:00 p.m., NH 3001.

Interstate Relations in Antiquity Study Day, Tuesday, January 8, 1:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m., ML 245. Details.

University of Waterloo and McMaster University Collaboration Event, Tuesday, January 8, 4:00 p.m., Waterloo Regional Campus of the Michael G. DeGroote School of Medicine, Downtown Kitchener Health Sciences Campus.

Athletics Open House, Wednesday January 9, 10:00 a.m., SLC Great Hall.

FASS auditions, Wednesday, January 9 to Friday, January 11. Details.

Building & Properties Committee meeting, Thursday, January 10, 3:00 p.m., NH 3004.

Nethermind Art Exhibition, Thursday, January 10 to Wednesday, March 13, University of Waterloo Art Gallery. Details.

Open online class enrolment ends, Friday, January 11.

Philosophy Colloquium featuring Anita Superson, University of Kentucky, visiting professor at the University of Waterloo, "Moral Bindingness," Friday, January 11, 3:30 p.m., HH334. Co-hosted by Women's Studies. Details.

FIRST LEGO League’s West Ontario Provincials Sunday, January 13, 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., Physical Activities Complex. Details.

Frost Week 2013, Monday, January 14 to Friday, January 18. Details.

Feds Get Involved Fair, Tuesday, January 15, 11:00 a.m., SLC Great Hall.

Leadership Lunch event, Wednesday, January 16, Student Life Centre Great Hall.

Grade 10 Family Night, Wednesday, January 16, 6:30 p.m., Theatre of the Arts. Details.

Retirement reception for Dawn McCutcheon, celebrating 27 years of service, Thursday, January 17, 3:30 p.m. to 5:00 p.m., Burt Matthews Hall Fireplace Lounge. RSVP to Christina Yee.

PhD Oral Defences

Electrical and Computer Engineering. Ayad Kejry Ayad Barsoum, "Replication, Security, and Integrity of Outsourced Data in Cloud Computing Systems." Supervisor, Anwarul Hasan. On deposit in the Faculty of Engineering Graduate Office, PHY 3004. Oral defence Monday, January 14, 1:00 p.m., EIT 3142.

Psychology. Nadia Martin, "Exploring the Mechanisms Underlying Gender Differences in Statistical Reasoning: A Multipronged Approach." Supervisors, Jonathan Fugelsang, Derek Koehler. On deposit in the Faculty of Arts Graduate Office, PAS 2434. Oral defence Monday, January 14, 2:00 p.m., PAS 3026.

Pure Math. Elcim Elgun, "The Eberlein Compactification of Locally Compact Groups." Supervisors, Nico Spronk, Brian Forrest. On display in the Faculty of Mathematics Graduate Office, MC 5090. Oral defence Tuesday, January 15, 9:30 a.m., MC 5136B.

English. Alexis McQuigge. "Resisting Transculturation: The European Woman in English Travel Writing." Supervisor, Fraser Easton. On deposit in the Faculty of Arts Graduate Office, PAS 2434. Oral defence Tuesday, January 15, 1:30 p.m., HH 373.

Electrical and Computer Engineering. Hany Essa Zidan Farag, "Assessment, Planning and Control of Voltage and Reactive Power in Active Distribution Networks." Supervisor, Ehab El-Saadany. On deposit in the Faculty of Engineering Graduate Office, PHY 3004. Oral defence Wednesday, January 16, 2:00 p.m., EIT 3142.


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