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Tuesday, June 18, 2013



  • Joining the club: profiles of campus veterans
  • "Graduation Party" will honour Jack Kersell
  • Innovation showcase today and other notes


  • Editor:
  • Brandon Sweet
  • Communications and Public Affairs


Joining the club: profiles of campus veterans

by Kira Vermond

The annual reception that honours members of the university's 25- and 35-Year Club gets underway tonight at 6:00 p.m. in the Physical Activities Complex. Employees who joined the university in 1988 and 1978 will be presented with an award for their dedication and years of service. Nearly 100 employees, faculty and staff alike, will be officially welcomed tonight, and in honour of the celebration event, the Daily Bulletin has asked a few of them to reflect on their time at the university.

Laurie Strome

Laurie Strome.Well before most students on campus awaken for the day, you’ll likely find Laurie Strome either at the circulation desk or in her office at Dana Porter Library. It’s a quiet time for the patron accounts lending supervisor, who is celebrating her 25th anniversary with uWaterloo this year.

Strome, who began her career at the library shelving books, now heads library accounts, fines, and registrations. It has become an increasingly complex job as new categories of patrons visit the building each year. Students, professors, people from the community, visiting scholars and even high school students taking special month-long programs all require different levels of access.

The technology has come a long way too, from the days when there was one desktop computer in the whole facility. Today most correspondence happens over mobile email, while laptops and smart phones rule.

“You would think that things would get simpler, but they just get different. Keeping up with all that technology is exciting,” says Strome.

That positive attitude follows her into her private life too. In 2011 she received the prestigious Waterloo Award for her work in the community, including over 25 years as a volunteer leader with the Girl Guides of Canada.

Kenneth Davidson

Kenneth Davidson.Kenneth R. Davidson may have started his career with uWaterloo 35 years ago as a young professor in the pure mathematics department, but his relationship with the university goes back even further. He earned his undergraduate degree from Waterloo in 1972.

What a difference a few decades make. Davidson, a University Professor (the highest academic honour given at Waterloo) will attend convocation this year to receive the Award of Excellence in Graduate Supervision. It’s for his exemplary work supporting and guiding students.

Although he has seen the entire campus change substantially over the years, the way work is done in the mathematics faculty has perhaps gone through an even bigger transformation. He says he remembers students standing in line to run their computer programs through a massive machine that required a two-level room to cool it. And research papers? They were written out by hand and typed by secretaries who were pros at swapping out Greek letters and symbols. Today, the process is much faster and easier. 

What hasn’t changed for the professor, a former Fields Institute Fellow and recipient of a KILLAM Research Fellowship and E.W.R. STEACIE Fellowship? His commitment to Waterloo and its students.

“I enjoy my job. As a professor you have quite a lot of control over what you do. I also have an outstanding group of graduate students,” he says.

Gina Sorbara

Gina Sorbara.Gina Sorbara has her eye on 35 years at uWaterloo. As an associate professor of Optometry & Vision Science, she’s also the head of the university’s Contact Lens Clinic, a position she has held since 1984.

Sorbara, who started as a clinic lecturer, now conducts research into contact lens assessment, fitting and aftercare. Still, she says she’s most fascinated by developing new ways to fit patients with rigid lenses who suffer from a corneal degeneration disease, keratoconus. It’s precision work and the lenses are harder to fit so it requires high tech instruments. She’s working on finding ways to slow down the degeneration of the cornea as well.

Because optometry is a professional program, students are committed to learning and furthering their careers. It makes her job teaching them that much more enjoyable, she says.

“Everybody want to know everything so it pushes you deliver the best education you can and give them the most up-to-date information and instruments. We’re a profession that loves its instruments!” she says. “I get a lot of positive feedback from the students. I enjoy teaching them. They really want to learn.”

Tom Galloway

Tom Galloway.Ask Tom Galloway to rhyme off this job title and be prepared to give him some time.

“I’m director of custodial and ground services in the plant operations department and – wait, I’m not done yet – director of parking services in the parking services department,” he says, laughing.

Or to put it simply, Galloway, who is celebrating his big 2-5 anniversary at uWaterloo this year, keeps the campus and parking lots looking their best and running well.

Much of his time is spent on overseeing the planning and developing. With so many new buildings constructed each year for the growing academic population, he has his work cut out for him. It’s little wonder he oversees nearly 200 staff.

The work is also important and has a direct impact on Waterloo’s ability to draw the best students and professors from around the world. Research shows that while students primarily choose a university for its academic offerings and reputation, appearance is second on the list of what they look for. Landscaping, maintenance and an attractive campus can make the difference between deciding to spend the next four years at the university and going elsewhere.

“It might be subconscious, but how you experience the campus is important. I want everyone to feel this is an inviting place.”


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"Graduation Party" will honour Jack Kersell

Jack Kersell.Friends and colleagues of retired political science professor Jack Kersell (right), who died in February, will be celebrating his life at a special event on Saturday, June 22. Kersell requested that no funeral take place after his passing - instead calling for a "graduation party" in celebration of his life to take place at a later date.

The event will be held in the Great Hall of the Sunshine Centre at Luther Village on the Park on Father David Bauer Drive from 3:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. RSVP to Heather Kersell via email.

Kersell joined the university in July 1967 and worked in the Political Science department until his retirement in September 1996 under the university's Special Early Retirement Program. He was a mainstay in the political science department, attending departmental events long after his retirement and establishing two major awards - one at the undergraduate level and one at the graduate level.

His research interests included public management, team management, and the British West Indies.

He is survived by his spouse, Marjorie.


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Innovation showcase today and other notes

The Masters of Digital Experience Innovation Student Showcase takes place today at the University of Waterloo Stratford Campus. Highlights of the showcase include a website that brings the experience of eco-friendly living to life, a game that helps you develop a better understanding of your personality, and a digital brand audit that analyzes how a company’s social media campaign affects consumer attitudes.

More than ten months ago, 19 students began the Master of Digital Experience Innovation program at the Stratford Campus. Their first milestone was Bootcamp – an intensive 2-week workshop where students learned to work effectively in teams and tested out the hardware and software they would be using throughout their program. Since then, students have completed eight courses, submitted a wide range of assignments and worked on major projects with companies including Desire2Learn, CIBC and Marmot Labs Inc.

As students approach the end of the program they are ready to showcase the work they’ve accomplished. The event gets started at 5:00 p.m. at the University of Waterloo Stratford Campus on Patrick Street in Stratford.

Climate change articles dominate Waterloo Stories this week, with profiles on researchers Richard Kelly, Susan Elliott and Francesca Cardwell, and Sarah Burch.

University of Waterloo students will be among the performers at the 46th annual K-W Multicultural Festival, which will be held on Satuday, June 22 and Sunday, June 23 from 12:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. at Victoria Park in Kitchener. There will be music and dance, food from around the world will be served, and an international market will be set up as well.


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Reminder: Quest down tomorrow morning

The Quest system will be undergoing maintenance tomorrow, Wednesday, June 19.

The downtime is scheduled between 6:00 a.m. and 9:00 a.m., during which the system will be unavailable.

Link of the day

Evacuation Day

When and where

Course Selection Week, Monday, June 17 to Sunday, June 23.

Child Vision Research Society Conference 2013, Monday, June 17 and Tuesday, June 18, 8:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m., School of Optometry and Vision Science. Details.

Senate Undergraduate Council meeting, Tuesday, June 18, 12:00 p.m., NH 3001.

Retirement celebration for Steve McColl, Tuesday, June 18, 2:30 p.m. to 4:00 p.m., LHS 1656 (fireplace lounge).

25-Year and 35-Year Club Recognition Reception, Tuesday, June 18, 6:00 p.m. Physical Activities Complex.

UWRC Book Club, "Waiting for Sunrise" by William Boyd, Wednesday, June 19, 12:00 p.m., LIB 407.

Centre for Career Action presents Career Interest Assessment, Wednesday, June 19, 2:30 p.m., TC 1112. $10 registration fee required.

Chemistry Department Seminar Series featuring Prof. Mamata Mohapatra, Institute of Minerals and Materials Technology (CSIR-IMMT), India, “Simple Synthetic Approach for Shape Oriented Fe/Ti Oxide Nano Particles:  Application in Water Treatment Technology” Wednesday, June 19, 2:30 p.m., C2-361. Details.

VeloCity Campus event: "Design," featuring speaker Christopher Howlett. Wednesday, June 19, 7:30 p.m., EV3 4412. Free pizza. Register online.

UW Farm Market, Thursday, June 20, Student Life Centre lower level, 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.

Second interview cycle (Pharmacy), Thursday, June 20, 1:00 p.m.

Deadline for 50 per cent tuition refund, Friday, June 21.

National Aboriginal Day luncheon, Friday, June 21, 12:00 p.m., St. Paul's University College. Details.

First interview cycle ranking (main), Friday, June 21, 4:00 p.m.

Alumni and Friends reception at the Ontario Pharmacists' Association, Friday, June 21, 5:00 p.m., Metro Toronto Convention Centre. Details.

Job posting (architecture) open, Saturday, June 22, 7:00 a.m.

Contemporary School of Dance presents A Tribute to Disney, Saturday, June 22, and Sunday June 23, Humanities Theatre. Details.

46th Annual K-W Multicultural festival, Saturday, June 22 and Sunday, June 23, 12:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m., Victoria Park. Admission is free. Details.

Cheriton School of Computer Science Distinguished Lecture Series featuring David Sankoff, University of Ottawa, "Computational Genomics of Flowering Plant Evolution," Monday, June 24, 3:30 p.m., DC 1302. Details.

Lunch and Learn Pension session, “Retirement Planning Tools: myPENSIONinfo/Annual Pension Statement”, Tuesday, June 25, DC 1302, 12:00 to 1:00 p.m. Details.

Postdoctoral event - Fun in the Park, Tuesday, June 25, 4:30 p.m., Waterloo Park Picnic Shelter. Details.

Centre for Career Action presents Work Search Strategies, Wednesday, June 26, 10:30 a.m., TC 1208.

Student Life 101, Thursday, June 27.

UW Farm Market, Thursday, June 27, Student Life Centre lower level, 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.

Petition to the Registrar to register late form required to become Fees Arranged after Sunday, June 30.

Canada Day Celebrations, Monday, July 1, Columbia Lake.

Canada Day Holiday, Monday, July 1, university closed.

Student Consultation Group - uWaterloo Student Portal, Wednesday, July 3, 12:00 p.m., SSO multipurpose room. Details.

Environment Lecture Series featuring Sven E. Jørgensen, University of Copenhagen, "Samsø , a Danish Island based on renewable energy," Wednesday, July 3, Waterloo Summit Centre for the Environment, Huntsville. Details.

UW Farm Market, Thursday, July 11, Student Life Centre lower level, 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.

Student Consultation Group - uWaterloo Student Portal, Tuesday, July 16, 12:00 p.m., SSO multipurpose room. Details.

UW Farm Market, Thursday, July 18, SLC lower level, 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.

ChemEd 2013 conference, Sunday, July 28 to Thursday, August 1. Details.

Quantum Cryptography School for Young Students, Monday, August 12 to Friday, August 16, Institute for Quantum Computing. Details.


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