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About the DB

Thursday, December 15, 2005

  • Volunteering awards for ten
  • PhD orals are scheduled
  • Engineering planning, and other notes
Chris Redmond

'Twas in the moon of winter time

[Interview clothes and bright smiles]

Volunteering awards for ten

Ten students were honoured last week for "outstanding volunteer activities" and had a chance to pose (above) with UW president David Johnston as they received the President's Circle Awards for Volunteerism and had dinner at the University Club.

The Circle, representing high-level individual donors to UW, is marking its 25th anniversary this year. "It is through their generous support," an announcement from the student life office notes, "that the President's Circle Awards for Volunteerism were established and are funded, with each award worth $250."

Nominations for the awards were invited earlier this fall. The 2005 winners:

Emma Guild, third-year psychology, who has assisted the Kitchener and Waterloo Community Foundation in various roles over the past seven years, including chair of its Youth Advisory Council. She has also been involved in the province-wide Ontario Networking for the Canadian Volunteerism Initiative 40 Hours Community Service program.

Darcy Higgins, third-year environment and resource studies, who has been active in the ERS Student Association and Campus Greens, and in several organizations in his home city of Sarnia, including Peace Works and the Sarnia Urban Wildlife Committee.

Ashley Honsberger, fourth-year honours arts, who has been a volunteer for the Canadian Mental Health Association, working with children through the Friends Program.

Melissa Ireland, third-year English, whose volunteer work has been through the Aboriginal Student Services office and Anishnabeg Outreach, an Aboriginal employment and training organization.

Jackie Lee, fourth-year science, who has volunteered with Engineers Without Borders and the Impact entrepreneurial organization, as well as the Kitchener-Waterloo Friendship Group for Seniors.

Lisa Mackey, fourth-year social development studies, who has volunteered with local children through KidsAbility (including keyboarding camp and a coffee-hour early child education program) and Project Read.

Andrew A. Fuentes Martinez, second-year psychology and political science, whose work has been through such organizations as the Guatemala Community Network, K-W Counselling Services (starting a multicultural youth group to play soccer), and the Mennonite Central Committee.

Astha Ramaiya, third-year health studies, who has worked with the UW Hindu Students Association, the International Health Development Association, the Food Bank and health services.

Stephen Utz, master's student in planning who has worked with the student newspaper Imprint, the Environmental Studies Coffee Shop and the Curling Club; he's also been involved in curling in his home town of Welland.

Pandora Yee, fourth-year psychology, who has been treasurer of the Psychology Society and worked off campus with Planned Parenthood and the K-W Sexual Assault Support Centre.

PhD orals are scheduled

Here's the latest list of graduate students who have finished their doctoral theses and are about to face the oral defence, the final hurdle before the long-awaited degree.

Pure mathematics. Boza Tasic, "Partially Ordered Monoids of Operators on Classes of Algebras." Supervisor, R. W. Willard. On display in the faculty of mathematics, MC 5090; oral defence Thursday, January 5, 9 a.m., Math and Computer room 5158A.

Planning. Graham Whitelaw, "The Role of Environmental Movement Organizations in Land Use Planning: Case Studies of the Niagara Escarpment and Oak Ridges Moraine Processes." Supervisors, Paul Eagles and Mark Seasons. On display in the faculty of environmental studies, ES1-335; oral defence Friday, January 6, 10 a.m., Environmental Studies I room 221.

Electrical and computer engineering. Vahid Miraftab, "Computer-Aided Tuning and Design of Microwave Circuits Using Fuzzy Logic." Supervisor, R. Mansour. On display in the faculty of engineering, CPH 4305; oral defence Monday, January 9, 12:30 p.m., CEIT room 3142.

Electrical and computer engineering. Guixing Wu, "On the Design and Analysis of Quantization-Based Digital Watermarking Systems." Supervisor, E.-H. Yang. On display in the faculty of engineering, CPH 4305; oral defence Monday, January 9, 2 p.m., Davis Centre room 1304.

Mechanical engineering. Javad Gholipour Baradari, "Damage in Hydroforming of Pre-bent Aluminum Alloy Tubes." Supervisor, M. Worswick. On display in the faculty of engineering, CPH 4305; oral defence Tuesday, January 10, 10 a.m., Engineering III room 4117.

Psychology. Lena Quilty, "Approach and Avoidance Temperament and Goal Orientation." Supervisor, Jonathan Oakman. On display in the faculty of arts, HH 317; oral defence Friday, January 13, 9:30 a.m., PAS room 3026.

Chemical engineering. Sajjad Ahmed, "Integration of Emerging Technologies into Existing Mature Process to Improve Efficiency and Reduce Energy Consumption." Supervisor, P. L. Douglas. On display in the faculty of engineering, CPH 4305; oral defence Friday, January 13, 9:45 a.m., Doug Wright Engineering room 2534.

Chemistry. Florin M. Musteata, "Solid Phase Microextraction in Drug Discovery." Supervisor, J. Pawliszyn. On display in the faculty of science, ESC 254A; oral defence Friday, January 13, 2:30 p.m., Biology I room 266.

Pension and benefits committee Friday 8:30 to noon, Needles Hall room 3004.

Information systems and technology professional development seminar, "Lego Mindstorms Robotics Invention System", Friday 8:45, IST seminar room.

Carousel Dance Centre Christmas show "The Polar Express" Friday 10:00, 1:00 and 7:00, Humanities Theatre.

Winter term fees due December 19 if paid by cheque, December 28 by bank transfer. Details online.

Canadian Undergraduate Technology Conference January 12-14 in Toronto, details online.

Engineering planning, and other notes

This week's issue of the electronic newsletter in engineering, Eng-e-News, includes an update on the "Vision 2010" planning process in the faculty of engineering -- evidently the most extensive of many such projects going on in support of the university-wide Sixth Decade Plan. Says the update: "Each engineering department and each 'Faculty-wide unit' (undergraduate studies, graduate studies, research, computing, and advancement) has completed a self study and draft plan. Over the summer, a team of external assessors visited each department to review and provide input and feedback to the department's draft plan. . . . Each department is now working to develop a final plan implementation agreement for 2010. These agreements with the Dean will outline actions to be taken, resources to be allocated to each department, and how these resources will be used. . . . The three task forces on Faculty-wide issues (staff issues, faculty issues, and women in engineering) have all collected input from their various communities of interest across Engineering. Their reports were presented to the Dean this summer and fall. The Dean has recently prepared responses to the Faculty Issues Task Force and Women in Engineering Task Force final reports. The Faculty will be implementing many of the recommendations of these two groups -- notably, by committing a new staff position dedicated to women in engineering and faculty issues. . . . The Dean is currently reviewing and consulting on the final report of the Task Force on Staff Issues. These reports -- along with a more detailed update on the planning process and anticipated outcomes -- will be the subject of three information sessions being held early in the new year. Faculty members will hear an update at Engineering Faculty Assembly on January 17, a staff session will be held on January 19, and a student session will be held on January 31."

Also from engineering: the November 30 issue of the Iron Warrior included a report on how the Waterloo Engineering Endowment Fund spent $75,000 of student-generated money during the fall term -- parcelling out grants in response to requests that totalled more than three times as much as was available. "I want to thank all those on the Funding Council and the WEEF Board of Directors who are willing to sacrifice hours each term to deal with the policy or funding allocations of an endowment fund," writes Mike Spendlove, director of WEEF and a systems design student, admitting that it's "not the sexiest of causes". This term WEEF gave $7,000 for a laser cutter to be used by architecture students -- that'll be the first time architecture has been part of WEEF since joining the faculty of engineering -- as well as $3,200 for a conductivity meter in chemical engineering, $3,000 for electromagnetism equipment for nanotechnology students, $4,600 for the Formula SAE car, $4,200 for the concrete toboggan team, and on it goes. Maria Arshad, taking over from Spendlove in the director's role, says next term will feature a "WEEF Awareness Week" so engineering students understand more about where their money is going.

Grades from the recent English Language Proficiency Exam should be ready today, writes Ann Barrett of the Writing Centre. "Students are responsible for checking their results," she says, "as we do not send individual results to students." They'll be posted in undergraduate offices and outside the Writing Centre, PAS (Psychology) room 2082. "Those who did not pass," she adds, "should consult the Undergraduate Calendar, academic advisors, or us."

A yellow flyer arrived the other day announcing "Skills for the Electronic Workplace" courses to be offered, chiefly for staff members, during January and February. Among them is one that I haven't noticed before, although perhaps it's been around: "Group Collaboration Using SharePoint Services". Says the flyer: "SharePoint services is a web-based collaboration tool that groups/project teams may find useful for working together. Lists (announcements, contacts, events, common interest links, tasks), libraries of documents, discussion boards, surveys, and security (who has access). SharePoint Services runs on a server that is accessible from the web. You don't need any extra software on your workstation, and it's very easy to use." More information is online.

As exam season continues, interview rooms on the lower level of the Tatham Centre are available as study space until 11:00 each evening. . . . An open meeting for developers and landlords, to talk about creating a possible UW residence near the planned health sciences campus in downtown Kitchener, has been announced for January 11 (7:30 p.m. in South Campus Hall). . . . As the snow starts to fall, Christmas dinner is being served tonight in REVelation cafeteria in Ron Eydt Village. . . .


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