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Wednesday, July 18, 2001

  • Wes Graham awards fund 'teaching innovation'
  • Watcard system upgrades this week
  • Events for a Wednesday

Midnight Sun update:
UW's solar car team finished yesterday's racing in third place overall in the American Solar Challenge.

[David John]
David John

Wes Graham awards fund 'teaching innovation'

The first recipients of the J. W. Graham Teaching Innovation Awards, worth $25,000 each, are Colin Mayfield of biology and David John on behalf of the department of Germanic and Slavic languages and literatures.

In making the announcement, acting provost Alan George noted "there were numerous very strong proposals. I am pleased that so many UW faculty demonstrated the spirit of innovative teaching that characterized Wes Graham's distinguished career here."

George, along with associate provost (academic and student affairs) Gary Waller, and director of the Centre for Learning and Teaching through Technology, Tom Carey, served on an advisory committee recommending candidates for the award to the J. W. Graham Information Technology Trust.

[Colin Mayfield]
Colin Mayfield

The announcement noted that the award to the department of Germanic and Slavic languages and literatures "reflects its ongoing innovations in learning technology as a strategic direction for the department. The department already has several faculty leaders in Learning and Teaching through Technology -- Grit Liebscher, James Skidmore, Paul Malone and new faculty member Mathias Schulze joining in September -- and several online courses. In addition, graduate students in the department have a strong interest in developing knowledge in this area, and GSLL is one of the departments working with the LT3 Centre on a pilot offering of a graduate course in this area in Winter 2002. The award funds will be used to support further innovations in the department such as the online version of German 101/2, as the department continues to develop a leadership position within the discipline in Canada and internationally."

The award to Colin Mayfield "will support development of customized student views and navigation paths for online learning materials, such as those used in Mayfield's BIOL 447 course in Environmental Microbiology. The key advance proposed is the automatic generation of information about the content of the materials, technically 'metadata expressed as XML tags.' If this innovation is successful, it will greatly reduce the effort required for instructors to produce learning activities tailored to individual needs, and allow students to organize their own annotated versions of the course content with personalized structures."

[John Cunningham]

Watcard system upgrades this week

A major upgrade of the Watcard software and operating system this week means Watcard holders can spend their Watcard dollars, but can't add money to their accounts at campus cash registers.

The system is migrating from a Novell server to a Windows 2000 server -- with the help of a software engineer from Halifax, and two from Colorado Springs, Colorado.

Among the advantages of the upgraded system, says Watcard manager John Cunningham, are colour ID photos on Watcards, a web server which allows students to check their Watcard history online, dramatically increased capacity and "other new and enhanced features."

While most Watcard users are happy to see their money flowing in only one direction, the situation is only temporary. By the end of the week Cunningham expects the system will be up and running again and it will be payback time for users with a deficit.

He anticipates 99 per cent of the campus community to make good on their debt. And those who don't? "I'll deal with them personally," he laughs. In the meantime, accounts can be topped up at the Watcard office in the Student Life Centre.

Events for a Wednesday

Positions available this week: More extensive descriptions for each job can be seen on the HR web site.

Extended library hours are in place until August 10:

Davis Centre Library

Dana Porter Library Today's surplus sale at central stores in East Campus Hall will run from 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. and at noon today Theresa Casteels-Reis -- psychologist with counselling services -- will give a talk entitled "Understanding Your Child's Transition to College or University". She will explore the developmental issues for both students and their families as students leave home and make the transition to post-secondary education. This talk may be of interest whether you're "'launching' your own child from the nest, or simply interested in understanding more about the students with whom your work" says the EAP flyer. The talk is sponsored by the Employee Assistance Program, and will be given in Davis Centre room 1302.

From 12:30 to 1:30 p.m. today the faculty of AHS and the Centre for Applied Health Research are co-sponsoring a seminar called "Where should we be going in tobacco regulation?" Ron Borland -- visiting Hallman professor -- will be presenting in the Clarica Auditorium (LHI 1621).

This just in!

Linda Carson writes: "Shad Valley has a gate-crasher over here at Conrad Grebel College. Tuesday evening we spotted a tropical bird on the chapel roof. It's clearly someone's lovely pet that's wandered from home. Intrepid Shad staff member Paul McKone coaxed it into custody -- after 40 minutes of chirping 'what a pretty bird' and other avian pleasantries.

"It's about the size of a burlie budgie: green, blue, and peach-faced, with a parroty bill. If someone on campus knows what it is or who owns it, they can call us at the Shad Valley Waterloo office, 725-8184, or email lindacarson@myblackberry.net."

Avvey Peters

[UW logo] Editor of the Daily Bulletin: Chris Redmond
Information and Public Affairs, University of Waterloo
credmond@uwaterloo.ca | (519) 888-4567 ext. 3004
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