[University of Waterloo]

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About the Bulletin

Tuesday, August 9, 2005

  • Grants help internationalize courses
  • St. Paul’s plans global program
  • $5,000 gift for staff enhancement fund

Chris Redmond

E-mail announcements to bulletin@uwaterloo.ca

Grants help 'internationalize' courses

Bringing the world into the classroom -- and producing "globally literate graduates" -- is the goal of UW course internationalization grants.
"While we have been proactive in expanding opportunities for UW students to participate in international exchange programs, co-op work terms, and volunteer activities, only a small percentage are able to take advantage of them," says Gail Cuthbert Brandt, associate vice-president (academic), who oversees the grants.

"For those who remain at home, it is essential that they have ample opportunity to develop their knowledge of international issues and their intercultural skills. The course internationalization grants are designed to encourage faculty members to be more intentional about incorporating teaching strategies and materials that will enable our students to become knowledgeable global citizens."

While the $1,500 awards have, in the past, helped to bring international perspectives to courses like geography, tourism policy, and planning, this year's grants have been awarded to profs who have shown the global potential in such diverse areas as Eastern religions, peace and conflict studies, recreation, even statistics.

[Mair]Heather Mair (left), a recently-hired faculty member in recreation and leisure studies, has chosen to use an internationalization grant in support of a new module on "community development in an international context" in her Recreation and Community Development (Rec 356) course.

The module "provides space within the course to consider in greater depth the role of recreation and leisure as a mechanism for community development world-wide," she explains. With the grant, Mair plans to enrich the course by making students aware of "efforts across campus to draw attention to issues of development outside of Canada, as well as the contributions they themselves might make in the future."

The course, which will be offered in the fall, will bring into the classroom people who have worked in development projects overseas and representatives of groups such as the UW Society of International Students, Engineers Without Borders and the UW International Health Development Association. Students will also have an opportunity to get involved in some of the activities of these organizations.

"As well as helping to broaden the current approach taken in the course to include international considerations, access to these organizations and individuals will help inform students about the wealth of opportunities for careers in international development," says Mair.

Some of the grant funds will be used to access films and other materials that will provide "provocative fodder" for in-class discussions and case studies.

The bulk of the funds will go toward hiring an undergraduate student to help contact organizations and speakers, to source films and other resource materials, develop scenarios for case studies, and conduct a short literature review to identify relevant course readings.

St. Paul's plans global program

Big things are happening at St. Paul's United College, says a memo issued late last week by its principal, Graham Brown. Among the plans: a new academic program in "international development".

Brown writes: "In 2000 St. Paul's identified six priorities for its role in helping the University of Waterloo thrive. A key priority was a new academic program that would educate UW students to contribute effectively to global problem solving and fit with existing College commitments in religious studies and Aboriginal services.

"On behalf of the Board of Governors of the College, I am pleased to announce that St. Paul's will work with partners in several UW faculties to propose a new academic plan in the area of International Development. This plan is expected to go to the Board of Governors for approval this fall and to UW Senate following Board approval."

Brown adds: "Another key priority was to expand residence space for UW graduate and undergraduate students in ways that would attract more international students and to upgrade our food services and common areas to enhance student life. Both academic plan development and planning for upgraded food services will proceed now with vigor. The Board has directed the Principal to focus on these priorities and the fund raising that will be required for success.

[Restagno]"Success requires that management of College operations be delegated. To effect this change, a new senior leadership position has been created with the title Director of Operations. The College is fortunate to have someone on staff with the necessary qualifications for this critically important senior role."

He announced that Lindsay Restagno (right), currently the manager of marketing, communications and recruitment at St. Paul's, takes on the new duties, effective immediately. The principal writes: "She has made an outstanding contribution to the re-profiling process at St. Paul's that has been integral to refining our mission, values and academic role at the University. . . .

"In her new role as Director of Operations, Ms Restagno will provide leadership and overall management to all non-academic operations of the College including residences and food, finance and facilities, marketing and recruitment, conference and guest services."

St. Paul's also announced another apopintment, as Rob McAllister becomes dean of students at the college. Says Brown: "Rob is a University of Waterloo alumnus with an Honours Bachelor of Arts, Recreation and Leisure Studies. He also holds a Bachelor of Education from Western. Rob's background includes extensive experience with students in his roles as program director at Muskoka Woods Sports Resort and associate director and adjunct professor at Tyndale University College. Rob's energetic leadership will be a welcome addition when he joins St. Paul's on August 15."

$5,000 gift for 'staff enhancement' fund

The UW staff association has announced a $5,000 donation is being made to help start the fund for the new Staff Enhancement Grant, and is issuing a challenge for others to match the donation.

Creation of the fund marks the retirement of Bruce Lumsden, one of UW's longest-serving staff members. Rather than receive gifts to commemorate his 41 years of service at UW, including a decade as director of co-operative education and career services, Lumsden suggested contributions to a new "staff enhancement" fund with the hope that over time others will keep the fund growing so it can be "a source of ongoing support from one group of UW employees to another".

Staff will be able to apply for funding to support activities that will broaden their experience either professionally or personally. Funds granted need not be for activity directly related to a staff member's current position at UW. The staff association will administer the grant.

"In order to get the things off to a healthy start," says an announcement this week, "the UW Staff Association is donating $5,000. Our hope is that our appreciation of Bruce Lumsden's generosity of spirit, will be met with equal generosity throughout the UW community."

What’s in the air

On Monday the Ontario Ministry of the Environment issued a smog advisory for much of southwestern Ontario, including Waterloo – Wellington, and our area’s air quality is still listed as poor. According to the Air Quality website, “A smog advisory means that there is a strong likelihood that there may be poor air quality within the next 24 hours due to ground-level ozone and/or fine particulate matter.” The website lists things people can do to “help spare the air,” for example: “tele-conference instead of driving to meetings; limit car trips by doing all your errands at once, and do not let your engine idle… save electricity at home by setting your air conditioner temperature a few degrees higher… restrict the use of gasoline-powered equipment.”

Josef Paldus, applied mathematics, has been awarded the Gold Medal of Prague’s Charles University, the highest honour the university can award to an alumnus. Paldus came to UW from Czechoslovakia in 1968 and is now distinguished professor emeritus. “Although I have received a number of honors in the past,” he writes (including a Killam Research Fellowship and election as a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada), “this is the one that I treasure most.”

Some 200 participants in the 16U Provincial Elite Centre of the Ontario Volleyball Association are staying in the Ron Eydt Village conference centre, today through August 14.

Today is the deadline for experienced young teachers ("those who have taught a minimum of three university-level courses independently") to register in a workshop named "Reflecting on Your Teaching" to be held Thursday 9:30 – 12:30 p.m., in MC 4042, sponsored by the teaching resource office.