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Friday, October 22, 2004

  • Architecture school opens today
  • Tomorrow's forecast: 1,225 degrees
  • Elsewhere on a busy campus
Chris Redmond

Oktoberfish show and auction

[A river runs through it]

Aerial view of the new architecture building, Queen's Square and some of the limestone churches that stud downtown Cambridge. Photo by Chris Hughes, UW Graphics.

Architecture school opens today -- by Martin Van Nierop

After more than two years of intensive work and planning, UW's school of architecture officially throws its doors open today in the renovated former Riverside Silk Mill, new home to the school and new Cambridge campus for the university.

It's a day the school's director, Rick Haldenby, thought at times would never come. "When I returned from Rome (where UW has a teaching facility) last week I had to drive down Melville Street just to check if the building was really there. Frankly, I sometimes cannot believe it," Haldenby said in a recent interview. He said he had been giving tours for a couple of years since the plan was developed. "I have been telling people what it was going to be like. In fact, every space that is now finished is better than I imagined."

Official opening: Ceremonies for invited guests, 10:30 this morning, with tours and lunch to follow.

Open house: Saturday and Sunday, noon to 5 p.m., with tours, exhibitions and other presentations.

UW news release

The Riverside Silk Mill, originally built in 1919, has been the object of a transformation that will cost $14.7 million when completely finished. Another $12.5 million in endowments will support the operation of the architecture school. The City of Cambridge has pitched in $5 million, federal and provincial governments $4.1 million each, and a group of Cambridge business leaders, dubbed the Cambridge Consortium, is helping the university raise the rest of the $27.2 million total.

Students, faculty and staff are still going through an adjustment period in their bright, spacious digs on the banks of the Grand River (more on that in the Daily Bulletin next week) in downtown Cambridge (Galt). But Haldenby can barely contain his wonder at the 85,000-square-foot transformed facility.

"The main improvement is in the quality of space, and the tremendous amount of natural light." he said. "We certainly have more room, but the main difference is in the way the building works. Before we were in dull spaces, all cut off one from another. Now the building is not only full of activity, but visibly so.

He added: "One can see the Studio from the Atrium and our 'loft' teaching space. The loft is a multi-purpose 3,000-square-foot room that can hold lectures, drawing classes, design reviews, school meetings, informal seminars -- all under beautiful skylights. It is the heart of the activity of the school, and the life it supports is evident to anyone in the building." There are informal spaces for gathering, meeting and relaxing throughout the building, and the views both inside and outside are spectacular.

The project is up for several architecture awards and will be featured in a number of publications in months ahead, including Azure, Canada's leading design magazine, he noted. Project architect is Levitt Goodman Architects, Toronto; design consultant is Stanley Saitowitz, Natoma Architects, San Francisco; and construction manager is Alberici Constructors, Cambridge.

As for community reaction, he said the people of Cambridge have been outstanding. "There is wonderful and constant evidence of welcome from the people. Citizens stop the students on the street to welcome them and ask how they like their new home. The business community has been welcoming as well."

Tomorrow's forecast: 1,225 degrees

Pieter Verburg of the biology department will be honoured tomorrow as UW's top doctoral graduate of the past year, and Elin Moorlag of sociology will be honoured as top master's degree graduate. They'll be among the VIPs when UW holds its Eighty-Ninth Convocation in two sessions: at 10 a.m. for the faculties of arts and applied health sciences, and at 2 p.m. for engineering, math, science and environmental studies.

Verburg received his PhD last spring and is now working at the University of California at Santa Barbara. His thesis -- "Climate Effects on Lake Circulation and Its Importance to the Pelgic Ecosystem in Lake Tanganyika, East Africa" -- included material that ended up as an article in the prominent journal Science, where it was cited as "contributing to the ten top scientific breakthroughs of 2003". His work was supervised by R. E. Hecky and R. E. H. Smith.

Moorlag, who is receiving her degree tomorrow, was supervised by Kieran Bonner of St. Jerome's University. Bonner calls her "an exceptionally bright student, who is uniquely accomplished in both quantitative and statistical techniques". She's now entering the PhD program in sociology.

A total of 1,225 students are expected to receive graduate and undergraduate degrees at tomorrow's two ceremonies, being held in the Physical Activities Complex.

In addition, four UW faculty members will receive "Excellence in Research" awards: Michael Ross of psychology (morning) and Peter Bernath of chemistry, John Cherry of earth sciences and Scott Vanstone of combinatorics and optimization (afternoon). And Tom Fahidy, retired from the department of chemical engineering, will be honoured as a Distinguished Professor Emeritus.

There will be three honorary degrees. In the morning, William Marras of the Ohio State University, an authority in ergonomics, will receive an honorary DSc and give the convocation address. In the afternoon, the speaker is Ross Prentice of the University of Washington, an authority on statistics and public health. Also receiving an honorary degree is Brian Tighe, a contact lens expert at Britain's Aston University.

Among other honours at convocation tomorrow, Heather Nelson, who began her studies in 1984 and lives in a cabin in the mountains of Alberta, will be awarded this year's top prize for distance education students. Nelson will be named as winner of the James D. Leslie Prize for academic excellence. Her BA was conferred at last spring's convocation ceremony.

Nelson, a neo-natal nurse in Calgary, completed her entire degree via distance education. She began her studies in the winter term of 1984 and completed her last course in the winter term of 2004. Fond of her home's setting among the "coyotes and the bears", she lives in a cabin in the mountains, outside of Calgary in the Bow Valley.

[Table of cellophane and ribbon]

These baskets are being raffled off as a United Way fund-raiser in the human resources department, where Nellie Gomes (left) and Glenda Rutledge check them out. The contents vary; one basket has wine and a dinner gift certificate, while another includes a massage certificate and aromatherapy supplies. Tickets are $2 (three for $5) until next Friday. A raffle is also under way in the statistics and actuarial science department, and information systems and technology has held a series of 50-50 draws in support of the United Way. The campaign has just passed $100,000 in gifts and pledges, en route to this year's $165,000 goal.

Elsewhere on a busy campus

It's job ranking day; co-op students could start seeing their winter term options on JobMine at 6:00 this morning, if any of them were awake at that hour, and they have until 11:59 p.m. on Sunday to make their choices. (Coordinators will be available in the Tatham Centre today from 10:30 to noon and 1 to 4 "to provide ranking advice", the co-op department says.) Job match results will be available Tuesday morning. The current process includes students in nearly all programs, but those in teaching, accounting and architecture live in a world of their own, with different deadlines. For architecture students, the key event today is the once-a-term bus trip to Toronto for a blitz of interviews in the headquarters of the city's architectural firms. Their job rankings will come later in the month.

An e-mail message went out this week to some 28,000 Waterloo alumni across Ontario, urging them to be aware of the Rae review of post-secondary education in the province. The message comes from Laura Talbot-Allan, UW vice-president (university relations), and Gwen Graper, director of alumni affairs. "We urge you," it says, "to access a copy of the report and to review the broad range of initiatives proposed, and if you wish, to complete the workbook and submit your thoughts directly to the Rae Review." It adds that alumni might want to attend one of the "town hall meetings" Rae will be holding, such as the one in Kitchener-Waterloo on November 25.

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    'Teaching Dossiers' workshop, of interest to students in the Certificate in University Teaching Program, 1:30 to 3:30, Arts Lecture Hall room 211, details online.

    Planet Simpson author Chris Turner, pop culture reporter for Shift, speaks 7 p.m., Arts Lecture Hall, tickets $2 at the bookstore.

    Alumni career planning workshop all day Saturday, Tatham Centre (workshop is full).

    Programming contest sponsored by Computer Science Club, Saturday from 11 a.m., Math and Computer room 2037. "Design and implement an artificial intelligence for a simple game."

    Toronto engineering alumni dinner at Planet Hollywood and "Red Green Show" at CBC, Saturday night, details online.

    Pilate plays Federation Hall Saturday night.

    Registered Education Savings Plans seminar sponsored by Education Credit Union, Monday 12:15, Davis Centre room 1302, RSVP ext. 3574.

    Centre for International Governance Innovation lecture, Anne Marie Slaughter, Princeton University, "A New Approach to the War on Terrorism", Monday 5 p.m., 57 Erb Street West, free.

    Pancake breakfast for faculty and staff, Tuesday 7:30 to 9:30 a.m., Student Life Centre. ("Supervisors should expect their staff in at a later time than normal," says associate provost Catharine Scott.) Ice cream social 10 p.m. for night shift staff.

    Adaptive Technology Fair Thursday, October 28, 9:30 to 4:30, Davis Centre lounge: displays and seminars on technology and disabilities.

    The faculty of engineering has a planning exercise under way -- one of the many such projects across campus, big and small, that will feed into the university's Sixth Decade Plan. "This exercise will allow us," the engineering e-newsletter explained the other day, "to plan for our future in a more systematic way and to measure our accomplishments in an objective manner. . . . Undergraduate and graduate students, staff, and faculty will participate in the planning process since we are all stakeholders in the Faculty of Engineering. The planning process is broken down into several stages including a self-study, draft plan, external assessment, final plan and annual benchmarking. The first step, however, is to prepare, collect data and strike committees." Information sessions for staff and faculty were held this past Tuesday; sessions for students are to be held in November, the newsletter says.

    Bad news from below ground at St. Jerome's University: "The fibre feed that enters SJC must be moved," says a memo from information systems and technology. "Water is entering the building through the existing conduit. This work is scheduled for Saturday, October 23. The work will start at 8 a.m. and continue until finished. It is expected to take from 8 to 10 hours. During this time all networking will be down. This includes ResNet in Conrad Grebel, St. Paul's and Renison."

    A total of 1,050 UW students received money from the Canada Millennium Scholarship Foundation last year, says a letter to UW's president from the federally funded agency. Their total take: $3,258,345 in scholarships and bursaries. "Of these students," says the letter, "76 received a millennium excellence award, a scholarship the Foundation awards to students whose academic performance and contributions to the betterment of their communities place them among the very best Canada has to offer."

    There's a change to one of the PhD oral defence announcements that were published here recently. The student is Zeny Feng of statistics and actuarial science. The thesis is "Statistical Methods in Affected Sib Pairs Analysis". The oral defence will be held this Monday, October 25, at 9:30 a.m., but now in Davis Centre room 1331 rather than the previously announced location.

    Marilyn Malton at Renison College is coordinating a "Beads of Hope Badges" fund-raising effort for an HIV/AIDS program in Brown's Farm near Cape Town, South Africa, and has badges for sale. . . . Maria del Carmen Sillato is acting chair of the department of Spanish and Latin American studies from September 1 through December 31. . . . Today's the deadline for applications for the vacant position of president-elect of the staff association, as announced a few days ago. . . .

    Sports this weekend: Men's hockey vs. Lakehead, tonight at 7:30 and tomorrow at 2:00, Columbia Icefield. Men's rugby, OUA finals vs. Carleton, Saturday 1 p.m., Columbia Field. Football vs. Windsor, Saturday 7 p.m., University Stadium.

    Correction: Soccer games are today and Saturday, not Saturday and Sunday.
    Soccer, on Saturday at Laurier, on Sunday vs. Windsor at Columbia Field, both days men at 1 p.m., women at 3 p.m. Women's basketball at Laval for a tournament all weekend; badminton at Toronto tomorrow; cross-country at Brock tomorrow; swimming at McGill tomorrow, at Carleton and Ottawa on Sunday; women's volleyball at Guelph Saturday afternoon. And the men's basketball Warriors are on a west coast tour; they faced Simon Fraser last night and will play Trinity Western today and UBC tomorrow.


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