Friday, February 2, 2007

  • 'Teaching' offices are reorganized
  • Kinesiology professor is mourned
  • Flash! and other Friday factoids
  • Editor:
  • Chris Redmond
  • Communications and Public Affairs


Climate research at UW gets a temporary boost today from the efforts of Waldo the Groundhog, who pops out to see his shadow and determine whether we'll experience six more weeks of global warming.

Link of the day

Superb owl

When and where

Blood donor clinic 10:00 to 3:00, Student Life Centre; next clinic February 14-15.

Federation of Students election forum 11:30 to 1:30, Carl Pollock Hall foyer.

Graduate Student Research Conference deadline for abstracts today; conference takes place April 23-26, details online.

Distinguished Teacher Awards for 2007, nomination deadline today, details online.

Treat-a-grams for delivery on Valentine's Day, in support of Keystone Campaign, $3, order deadline today, details online.

Warrior sports: volleyball vs. Western tonight and vs. Western Saturday, both days women at 6 p.m. and men at 8 p.m., Physical Activities Complex. • Basketball vs. Guelph, women 1 p.m. Saturday, men 3 p.m., PAC. • Women's hockey vs. Guelph 7:30 Saturday, Columbia Icefield. • Track and field at York Classic tomorrow. • Curling in OUA tournament at Queen's, Saturday and Sunday. • Nordic skiing at Queen's, Saturday and Sunday.

History Society MacKinnon Dinner for students and faculty; guest speaker, historian and biographer John English; 6 p.m., Caesar Martini's restaurant, tickets from History Society office, Humanities room 122.

UpStart festival of innovative theatre continues: selections of short plays tonight at 7, Saturday at 2 and 7, Studio 180, Humanities building; continues February 8-10; details online.

FASS 2007: "The Seven Silly Sins", performances Thursday at 8 p.m., Friday at 7 and 10, Saturday at 8 p.m., Humanities Theatre, tickets at Humanities box office.

PrizeFighter at the Bombshelter pub tonight, cover $6, doors open 9:00.

Perimeter Institute presents a Black Hole Session: Sundance Bilson-Thompson, "The Quest for Quantum Gravity", Saturday 10 a.m. to noon, 31 Caroline Street North, all welcome.

FASS Theatre Company 45th anniversary dinner Saturday 5 p.m., Graduate House, immediately before final performance of FASS 2007; tickets $5 at Humanities box office.

Engineering student exchange programs information session, Tuesday 11:30 a.m., Carl Pollock Hall room 3386, details online.

UW Genocide Action Group presents movie "The Pianist" and documentary"Defying Genocide", Monday 7 p.m., Arts Lecture Hall room 116, donations accepted for Oxfam Canadian Students for Darfur.

UW board of governors Tuesday 2:30 p.m., Fireplace Lounge, Sweeney Hall, St. Jerome's University.

Bank of Canada deputy governor David Longworth, "Inflation Targeting: The Canadian Experience", Tuesday 2:30, Humanities Theatre.

Greenpeace co-founder Michael M‘Gonigle, "The Planetary University as a Catalyst for Local/Regional Sustainability", Tuesday 7 p.m., Festival Room, South Campus Hall, information ext. 3-2440.

2007 Job Fair co-sponsored by UW and other institutions, Wednesday 10:00 to 3:30, RIM Park, Waterloo, shuttle bus from campus, details online.

David Suzuki's "If You Were Prime Minister" Tour, February 13, 11:30 a.m., Humanities Theatre, tickets $5 from Humanities box office or Waterloo Public Interest Research Group.

One click away

Looking back at 45 years of FASS
Ice dancing medalist is UW science student
IT Business reports on Microsoft 'innovation centre'
Muslim student 'so glad' to be at Waterloo
Nobel laureate makes debut as UW physics prof (Record)
McGill calls for end to Quebec tuition fee freeze
Minister foresees 'bright' summer job market

'Teaching' offices are reorganized

Three administrative units that help to support and recognize the quality of teaching at UW will be merged into one Centre for Teaching Excellence as of May 1, the provost has announced.

"Plans are in place to consolidate resources dedicated to supporting teaching and learning at the University of Waterloo," says a campus-wide memo issued by provost Amit Chakma, who says the three units — Teaching Resources (TRACE), Learning and Teaching through Technology (LT3), and the Learning Resources and Innovation (LRI) office — will form the new centre.

Says Chakma: "Reflecting one of the major priorities of the 6th Decade Plan, the Centre for Teaching Excellence will provide leadership in the promotion, development, and advancement of excellence in teaching and learning at the University of Waterloo. By integrating the resources present in the current units, the Centre will offer instructors improved opportunities to access research-based resources, activities, and tools to enhance teaching and learning practices, course design, and curriculum renewal. The CTE will further contribute to the development of teaching excellence by fostering and evaluating research and disseminating results related to innovative practices including new learning tools and technologies."

[Schryer]The new centre will be headed by Catherine Schryer (right), currently director of TRACE, one of the three units that are being combined. A professor of English and a former president of UW's faculty association, she was co-director of the office through 2006 and become sole director as of September.

The provost's memo said Donna Ellis, currently associate director of TRACE, and Liwana Bringelson, systems design engineering professor and director of LT3, will be associate directors of the new centre.

All three units have been reporting to the associate vice-president (learning resources and innovation), a position that's being held on an interim basis by Gail Cuthbert Brandt (also associate vice-president, academic) since the departure of previous associate VP Tom Carey. The LRI unit, responsible for such activities as the Teaching-Based Research Group, represents the associate VP's office in Needles Hall. TRACE is in the Math and Computer building and LT3 is in the Dana Porter Library, with outposts at the distance and continuing education office on Gage Avenue.

"Consultation with staff members directly affected by the consolidation will continue as the new Centre emerges," said Chakma's memo this week.

Back to top

Kinesiology professor is mourned

[Patla]A memorial service will be held tomorrow for Aftab Patla (left), professor in UW's kinesiology department since 1982, who died Monday aged 54. He had been ill for some time.

Patla was a teacher and researcher in such fields as quality of life for the elderly, gait and balance, and neural control of movement. "How does development and aging influence the expression of locomotor behaviour?" he asked on his web site. "What does it take to be independently mobile in a community?"

Says the official death notice: "He earned a BTech in Electrical Engineering from the Indian Institute of Technology (1975) and a PhD in Kinesiology from Simon Fraser University (1982). During his academic career he served as Executive Editor of the Journal of Motor Behaviour, Associate Editor of the journal Gait and Posture, President of the Canadian Society of Biomechanics and the International Society of Posture and Gait Research and on the Grant Selection Committees of NSERC and MRC. He traveled extensively around the world to talk about his research and was a Visiting Scholar at the University of Otago, NZ and Pennsylvania State University. His passion for and creativity in research will live on through the many students he mentored including 22 MSc, 25 PhD and 4 postdoctoral fellows.

"Loving and devoted husband to Guilda Lavoie Patla, dear brother to Shabbir and his wife Zohra and their children Tasneem and Alisia and Duraiya and her husband Salim Pacha and their children Nurtuza and Akil, all of Pune, India. Predeceased by his parents Esoof and Rubab Patla."

Saturday's memorial service will be held at 1:00 at the Ratz-Bechtel Funeral Home, 621 King Street West in Kitchener. Memorial donations to UW Well-Fit are suggested.

Back to top

Flash! and other Friday factoids

It starts with a picture of Gerry Hagey, UW's founding president, and ends with a thank-you from current president David Johnston. In between, triumphant music accompanies pictures of cheerleaders, buildings, students, a ground-breaking. It's the brief Flash animation that was e-mailed in December to everybody who donated to UW during 2006, or volunteered in connection with alumni programs (and that's available online now for those who might have missed it). Besides the generic version, there are several customized versions produced by individual faculties and colleges, says Kathy Prpic, manager of annual giving in UW's development office. She reports that it drew a good response: "The overall average click-through rate for this Flash was 19%, well above the industry standard."

Latest achievement by UW accounting students, as reported by Patty Mah of the school of accountancy: "The second annual CMA Ontario Case Competition was held on Saturday, January 20, to which UW entered two mixed-year teams from our Accounting and Financial Management program. The CMA Ontario Case Competition is an interactive computer based simulation game where teams create and are evaluated on their strategies to help a company become more socially responsible in the global marketplace. The two teams that entered this year included David Ha, Keith Chan, Edmond Lung and Milan Shah (Team 4 Fusion) and David Lin, Jody Grewal, Simon Kwan and Paul Lee (Team Strategic Equity). The UW teams placed 3rd and 4th overall. This is the second year UW has participated in this event, having placed 1st last year."

A retired UW faculty member died January 4, the human resources department reports: Tamara Sommer was a faculty member in what's now the Germanic and Slavic studies department from September 1970 to her retirement in September 1990.

Need-to-know stuff from the registrar's office: "The last day to file an Intention to Graduate form is March 1, 2007 for students expecting to graduate at spring convocation. Forms are available online for undergraduate and graduate students. The home address will be used for mailing diplomas to students who do not attend the convocation ceremony. Spring 2007 Convocation is June 13-16. All you need to know about Convocation is available online. This web page has been designed as a reference to all matters concerning convocation activities. It should answer all convocation related questions or provide links to the proper source for specific inquiries."

A new issue of the UW-published environmental journal Alternatives is available now, and it should be good reading, according to a bouncy e-mail memo sent out this week: "Our Creative Communities issue is bursting with inspiring stories of eco-art and action. In Homer The Tree-Hugger, Simpsons writer George Meyer leads an open call for folks to save our planet. Meanwhile, Anita Krajnc stirs up a discussion of eco-flicks in her article Epocalypse Now. Join the discussion of protest art in our forum. . . . Sarah Harmer is coming to Alternatives with some protest art of her own. Join us on March 8 at the Princess Cinema in Waterloo for a benefit screening of Escarpment Blues and a Q&A with Sarah herself. Call before February to reserve your spot. All proceeds of this benefit screening go to Alternatives Journal. Our last issue, Thought for Food, has inspired a broadcast of Jon Steinman‘s Deconstructing Dinner. From dumpster diving to world grain prices to local food, three of our authors and a subject-specific guest explore a potluck of issues and ideas. Listen on our website." And so on. The message also announces that Alternatives has struck a deal with another journal published on this campus, the literary magazine The New Quarterly: "Subscribe to both magazines for the one-time price of $39.95."

The continuing education office will offer its one-day course on "Delivering Dynamite Presentations" on February 14 at a cost of $310 (or $155 for full-time UW staff). • The women's basketball Warriors "pulled off the upset of the year" with their 61-55 defeat of McMaster on Wednesday night, the athletics department boasts in a news bulletin issued yesterday. • In spite of what I said in yesterday's Daily Bulletin, which was based on an out-of-date listing, there is no professional development seminar in the Information Systems and Technology department today.


Back to top

Yesterday's Daily Bulletin