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Monday, May 13, 2013



  • Strategic plan discussed at Town Halls
  • The Daily Bulletin turns 20: Part Two
  • International student service transformed
  • Along the Cola Road and other notes


  • Editor:
  • Brandon Sweet
  • Communications and Public Affairs


Strategic plan discussed at Town Halls

by Matt Bondy, Communications and Public Affairs.

On Wednesday and Thursday last week, President Feridun Hamdullahpur and Vice-President, Academic & Provost Geoff McBoyle hosted back-to-back Town Hall meetings focused exclusively on the university’s strategic plan.

The Town Halls marked the conclusion of the strategic plan drafting process, facilitating a gradual pivot to the approval, implementation, and accountability phases. A detailed process timeline is available on the strategic plan website.

“I am truly energized about this plan, and about this university,” said President Hamdullahpur. “The participation from campus was fabulous.”

In reference to the broad-based consultation process leading up to the drafting of the Strategic Plan, and of the robust Q&A sessions in the Wednesday and Thursday gatherings, the president said, “There is a real awareness that this is not simply my strategic plan; it’s not Provost McBoyle’s strategic plan; it’s the university’s strategic plan. The entire university community has a stake in this document and has helped to shape the university’s future.”

The president, provost, and other senior leaders fielded questions from the floor, from emails, and from Twitter that ranged in topic from admissions standards, academic autonomy and institutional differentiation to internationalization, sustainability, and student space on campus.

The strategic plan, which essentially sets the vision for the university, will be accompanied by a detailed implementation and accountability plan to bring it to life. The vision-setting plan focuses on leveraging Waterloo’s unique strengths and characteristics and reapplying them in new, innovative ways to help Waterloo build a globally recognized identity. Ground-breaking research, experiential learning, and Waterloo’s entrepreneurial culture feature prominently in the document, along with other core strengths in scholarship, the student experience, and building a robust employer-staff relationship.

Livestream video of the Town Hall proceedings is available online.


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A collage of Daily Bulletins from 1993 to 2006, showing format changes
The Daily Bulletin Turns 20: Part Two

The Daily Bulletin turned 20 years old on May 11, 2013. To mark the occasion, here is part two of a three-part history of the Daily Bulletin, which will continue on Tuesday. Bring yourself up to speed by checking out part one.

So you might ask, what's in a name?

The earliest Daily Bulletins did not appear with a title or header, but according to Redmond, it was referred to as the Daily Bulletin from the very beginning, and that was the name that appeared on the main UWinfo menu. "There was never any conversation about alternative titles," he writes.

From May to July, the publication continued appear on a daily or near-daily basis.

“It caught on sufficiently that when I went on vacation that summer, and there was no Daily Bulletin, after about three days there was a such a clamour that Director of Information & Public Affairs Martin Van Nierop had to go in and create them, and that was the last time there was a big break in there being Daily Bulletins," says Redmond. "By the following summer, we had to make arrangements, because it was clear that people were going to demand it.”

The Daily Bulletin appeared every working day after Redmond returned from vacation on July 26, 1993, for a total of 4,567 issues by the time he stepped down as editor in November 2011.

A screenshot of the May 11, 1993 Daily Bulletin.In the early days, the Daily Bulletin was text-based, “which is always how I thought of the Daily Bulletin, as being essentially text,” Redmond says. That was as much a function of the limitations of Gopher as it was an editorial system. Gopher could have sub-menus, but little else. That began to change, however, as protocols like Gopher found themselves threatened by something new – the World Wide Web, in all its hypertext-linked glory.

By 1995, the same committee that had established UWinfo within Gopher was toying with the idea of putting the University of Waterloo on the web.

“At first, there wasn’t much to link to,” says Redmond. “Not many university departments had websites in 1995.”

A screenshot of the Daily Bulletin from May 1, 1995In late April 1995, an “experimental hypertext Bulletin” was posted, and as of Monday, May 1, the Web version of the Daily Bulletin became the default, though it was still pushing its content to UWinfo and the uw.general and uw.campus-news newsgroups.

“The Daily Bulletin was there and being what it was long before the concept of the blog,” Redmond says.

In the beginning, with few people having access to the Internet (remember the Mosaic browser?), the audience for the Daily Bulletin was largely captive, and mainly internal.

The Daily Bulletin’s online readership continued to grow as uptake of the Web continued both on campus and off, and within a few years, anyone with an internet connection could surf over and read the Daily Bulletin, whether they were inside the university or outside it.


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International student service transformed

by Jacqueline Martinz, Federation of Students.

The Federation of Students is transforming International Student Connection (ISC) from a service into a comprehensive program for undergraduates. For many years, ISC has served as a bridge for international students, helping to ease the transition to life in another country. The change will come into effect during the spring 2013 term and enable ISC to be more effective in fulfilling this purpose.

Devin Drury, the vice-president, internal for the Federation of Students, said this decision made sense because ISC isn’t advocacy based like the other services.

As a program, it will continue to be run by enthusiastic, caring student volunteers. “ISC will be overseen by the Feds Campus Life department, and a structure and plan will be developed with student input. These, along with any changes that come up as ISC evolves, will be shared on the Feds website,” he said. “ISC will have the flexibility to organize meetings throughout the Student Life Centre (SLC), and ensure more students are able to attend. The space currently allocated to it will be utilized by the Federation of Students for other initiatives, and a long-term decision on its use will be made following a full analysis of space within the SLC.”

Students are encouraged to share any ideas and feedback they have for ISC on FedsConnect. More information about ISC is available online.


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The Dean of Applied Health Sciences, Susan Elliott, Rohit Ramchandani, Rohit’s parents and the interim director of the School of Public Health and Health Systems, Steve McColl.
Along the Cola Road and other notes

On May 9, Alumni Affairs hosted more than 350 alumni at Capitol Event Theatre in Toronto for the first Canadian screening of The Cola Road, a documentary following the work of alumnus Rohit Ramchandani (BSc ’04 Health Studies) and the independent non-profit organization ColaLife as they develop new methods to distribute life-saving oral rehydration medication in Africa using the Coca-Cola distribution system. After the film, Ramchandani received a standing ovation for his work, which has quickly been garnering international attention for its innovative solution to a global health crisis. Pictured above (right to left) are Dean of Applied Health Sciences, Susan Elliott, Rohit Ramchandani, Rohit’s parents and the interim director of the School of Public Health and Health Systems, Steve McColl.

The University of Alberta is hosting this year’s Canada Excellence Research Chairs (CERC) Summit today, and Waterloo will be represented at the annual event by its two CERC chair holders Philippe Van Cappellen (hydrology) and David Cory (quantum information processing). The summit will provide a forum for chair holders from across the country to network and present updates on their research. The chair holders will speak about topics such as environmental sciences, natural resources, energy, health, life sciences, and information and communications technologies.

Looking ahead (well ahead!), the Registrar's Office has announced that a change has been approved for the Winter 2014 "drop/add period begins" date. The date has changed from October 14 to November 11.


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Stratford hosts Canada 3.0 Youth

The University of Waterloo Stratford Campus is hosting the Canada 3.0 Youth Program today.

Presented by the Waterloo Stratford Campus, the Stratford Festival and the Canadian Digital Media Network, the Canada 3.0 Youth Program gives Grade 10 and 11 students (and their teachers) insight into how they can contribute to Canada’s growing digital economy and ensure its continued success.

This one-day event also provides the 150 high school students a valuable glimpse of the post-secondary experience awaiting them and enables them to learn about the Waterloo Stratford Campus – its programs, facility, equipment and resources. The agenda includes a presentation by Elissa Horscroft, technical director for the Stratford Festival's upcoming production of Tommy, hands-on digital media workshops, and a poster session showcasing the top projects from the workshops, as selected by the students.

Activities from the Canada 3.0 Youth program will also be featured at the Canada 3.0 conference on May 14-15 in Toronto.

Link of the day

Canada's first major mining disaster, 140 years ago today

When and where

Feds Welcome Week 2013, Monday, May 13 to Friday, May 17.

Canada 3.0 Youth Program 2013, Monday, May 13, 9:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m., University of Waterloo Stratford Campus. Details.

Senate Graduate & Research Council meeting, Monday, May 13, 10:30 a .m., NH 3001.

Senate Long Range Planning committee meeting, Monday, May 13, 11:30 a.m., QNC 1201.

Cheriton School of Computer Science Distinguished Lecture featuring David Eppstein, University of California, Irvine, "From Information Visualization to Soap Bubbles," Monday, May 13, 3:30 p.m., DC 1302.

WIN Seminar Series featuring Professor Michael Chabinyc, University of California Santa Barbara, "Order and Charge Transport in Organic Solar Cells". Monday, May 13, 3:00 p.m., QNC 1501.

Canada 3.0 conference, Tuesday, May 14 and Wednesday, May 15, all day, Metro Toronto Convention Centre. Details.

Senate Undergraduate Council meeting, Tuesday, May 14, 12:00 p.m., NH 3001.

LabVIEW User Group Meeting, Tuesday, May 14, 4:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m., E5 4106-4128. Details.

uWaterloo Blooms, Wednesday, May 15, 2013, 10:00 am to 3:00 p.m., SLC Multi-Purpose Room.

UWRC Book Club featuring "419: A Novel" by Will Ferguson, Wednesday, May 15, 12:00 p.m., LIB 407.

The Balsillie School of International Affairs presents The Venerable Tenzin Priyadarshi, "Can values be transformative in international affairs?" Wednesday, May 15, 12:00 p.m., Seagram Room, CIGI. RSVP via email.

Campus Walk 2013, Tuesday, May 21 to Friday, June 14. Details.

Senate meeting, Tuesday, May 21, 3:30 p.m., NH 3001.

WISE Lecture Series featuring Dr. Jiujun Zhang, Principle Research Officer, National Research Council Canada, Vancouver, BC, "PEM Fuel Cell Catalysis and Supercapacitors at National Research Council of Canada," Thursday, May 23, 2:00 p.m., DC 1302.

Retirement celebration for Martin van Nierop, Wednesday, May 29, 4:00 p.m., University Club.

Board of Governors Meeting, Tuesday, June 4.

Keystone Picnic, Friday, June 7.

23rd Annual Matthews Golf Classic, Monday, June 10. Details.


PhD Oral Defences

Civil & Environmental Engineering. Leila Munla, "A Study of Fouling on Ceramic Ultrafiltration Membranes by Model Solutions and Natural Waters." Supervisors, Peter Huck, Sigrid Peldszus. On deposit in the Engineering Graduate Office, PHY 3004. Oral defence Friday, May 17, 9:00 a.m., E2 3324.

Applied Math. Minghua Lin, "Angles, Majorization, Widlandt Inequality and Applications." Supervisors, Hans De Sterck, Henry Wolkowicz. On display in the Mathematics graduate office, MC 5090. Oral defence Friday, May 17, 9:00 a.m., MC 5136.

Physics and Astronomy. Jeffrey Carter, "Electric Field Sensing Near the Surface Microstructure of an Atom Chip Using Cold Rydberg Atoms." Supervisor, James Martin. On deposit in the Faculty of Science Graduate Office, ESC-254A. Oral defence Friday, May 17, 1:30 p.m., PHY 352.

Chemical Engineering. Xuxian Hou, "Development of Spatially-Resolved FTIR-Gas Concentration Measurements Inside a Monolith-Supperted Selective Catalytic Reduction Catalyst." Supervisor, William Epling. On deposit in the Engineering Graduate Office, PHY 3004. Oral defence Tuesday, May 21, 9:00 a.m., E6 2022.

History. Jan Raska, "Freedom's Voices: Czech and Slovak Immigration to Canada during the Cold War." Supervisor, Marlene Epp. On deposit in the Arts Graduate Office, PAS 2434. Oral defence Wednesday, May 22, 1:00 p.m., HH 373.

Civil and Environmental Engineering. Abdelbaset Ali, "Integrated Performance Analysis and Optimum Fund Allocation for Capital Renewal of Healthcare Facilities." Supervisor, Tarek Hegazy. On deposit in the Faculty of Engineering Graduate Office, PHY 3004. Oral defence Thursday, May 23, 2:00 p.m., E2 3324.

Friday's Daily Bulletin