Monday, March 5, 2007

  • Writing a plan for a Stratford campus
  • Co-op project grew into a company
  • First Monday in the long March
  • Editor:
  • Chris Redmond
  • Communications and Public Affairs

Link of the day

Happy Holi days

When and where

Co-op student ranking for spring term jobs closes 2 p.m.; coordinators available for consultation 10:00 to 2:00; match results available 7:00 tomorrow.

'Working through conflict' presentation sponsored by Employee Assistance Program, 12:00 noon, Davis Centre room 1302.

Women in Prison: Waterloo Public Interest Research Group presents speakers from Grand Valley Institute, 12 noon, Student Life Centre room 2143.

Institute for Computer Research presents Ron Baecker, University of Toronto, "User Experience Research Challenges in Highly Interactive Webcasting", 2:30 p.m., Davis Centre room 1302.

Waterloo Institute for Health Informatics Research presents Nikos Chrisochoides, College of William and Mary, "Real-Time Non-Rigid Registration for IGNS", 3:30, Davis Centre room 1304.

Justin Trudeau, environment and youth advocate, Liberal candidate, speaks 7 p.m., Humanities Theatre, tickets $15 (undergraduate students $5) at Humanities box office.

Staff association "town hall" meeting Tuesday 4:30, Physics room 145, postponed from Thursday because of weather.

Multi-media performance linking UW drama department with Bradley University and University of Central Florida in Elmer Rice's drama "The Adding Machine", Wednesday-Saturday at 9 p.m., Modern Languages room 117 (note change of location and schedule), free admission, details online.

Income tax information session for international students, Wednesday 10:00 to 12 noon, Needles Hall room 3001.

Gradfest celebration, information for graduating students from UW departments, reception with UW president, "HK Expo" with information about opportunities in Hong Kong, Wednesday-Thursday, Davis Centre, details online.

Communitech and Industry Canada event: "Business, Science, Technology and You", briefing about government programs to support research and international growth, Wednesday 4 to 6 p.m., Accelerator Centre, north campus, free registration online.

St. Paul's College Klassen-Harvey Annual Lectureship in Bible and Culture: Major Steven Moore, Royal Military College, "Seeding Reconciliation: Military Chaplains as Agents of Peace", Wednesday 7:30 p.m., MacKirdy Hall, no tickets required.

International Women's Day dinner Thursday 5:00 p.m., South Campus Hall, tickets $30 from Humanities box office, details online.

Explorations open house for grade 6-8 students, sponsored by UW faculty of engineering, March 12, tours at 5:00 and 6:45, registration and information online.

Campus Day open house for future students and family members, Tuesday, March 13, programming 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., details online.

'The Caucasian Chalk Circle' drama department major production, March 15-17 and 22-24, Theatre of the Arts, tickets at Humanities box office.

Business and technology conference organized by Science and Business Students Association, March 17, Davis Centre, details and registration online.

Accountancy building ground-breaking ceremony March 27, 11:00 a.m., northeast corner of Hagey Hall.

50th Anniversary Dance sponsored by UW Recreation Committee, Saturday, May 5, Federation Hall, tickets $20 at Humanities box office.

One click away

News release points out new UW scholarships, bursaries
Architecture student won't let health hold her back (Record)
UW and WLU student is champion entrepreneur
Kinesiologist quoted on abdominal muscle issue
'Academic discrimination still a factor for women'
'Vanity on the rise among students'
Massive cleaning for academe's tallest building
Duke U 'to make civic engagement integral'
Protest against possible funding cuts at Brock U

[The tuxes, the chandeliers, the paneling . . . ]

In the rococo hall, the silicon marvel: The student-built Midnight Sun solar car was among the attractions when the faculty of engineering held its black-tie 50th anniversary dinner on Thursday at Toronto's elegant Royal York. The snowstorm kept some participants away, and a busload travelling from the Waterloo campus didn't pull in to the hotel until 9 p.m., but dinner was served fashionably late, giving guests plenty of time to inspect the student vehicles on display and talk to members of the student teams. The headline speaker, astronaut Chris Hadfield, used an image of Wombat, Waterloo’s off-road Mini-Baja vehicle, superimposed on the surface of the moon to show the student teams that the work they do has applications well beyond the race circuit. Highlight of the evening was an announcement by Adel Sedra, dean of engineering, that the faculty will set aside student team design space in the first new building constructed as part of engineering’s Vision 2010 plan. “Our student teams are inspirational,” says Sedra. “So we will use them to inspire. We will put their new space front and centre in the new building, where students, faculty, and visitors can see them every day." A building proposal is to come to UW's board of governors this spring.

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Writing a plan for a Stratford campus

by Kelley Teahen

Work continues behind the scenes to determine if UW will open a liberal-arts campus in Stratford, a small city half an hour west of Waterloo that's best known for the Stratford Shakespearean Festival and the Ontario Pork Congress.

Last fall, the City of Stratford, the university and the Stratford Festival of Canada signed a memorandum of understanding to explore such a possibility. Since then, the city has made the campus project its No. 1 capital priority in recent budget deliberations and has engaged a firm to do an economic impact study measuring what effect a campus project would have on the city. UW officials have met with representatives from the festival, as well as other groups in Stratford, to see how this project might fit with, or enhance, their current operations.

At the end of 2006, dean of arts Ken Coates spoke at a public meeting at Stratford, and at a couple of events for UW alumni, to gauge interest in and support for the project. Since then, a team led by Coates has been working out details of a business plan for the proposed campus.

They're discussing a model that would see 1,000 undergraduate students at the campus five years after it opens. One-third to one-half of those would come from international sources, focused on two central areas of study: Global enterprise — studying business on the international stage from the perspective of arts disciplines such as political science, economics, history and culture — and New Media.

"We need to come up with a better name, as 'new media' isn't so new anymore," Coates says. "But we are talking about interactive, digital media: its effect on culture and how we think. I've often said that while the 20th century was about developing the technology to connect the world, the 21st century will belong to the content providers." This program would also be rooted in arts disciplines that would outfit graduates to imagine and create web content, rather than focus strictly on the kind of technical training available through other colleges. Coates believes that Stratford, as a locale, will be attractive to international students and their parents, and that the creative talent living in Stratford can be drawn upon to enrich the new media offerings.

Stratford mayor Dan Mathieson, leading a city that created the world-famous drama festival through local initiative half a century ago, says a post-secondary presence in the city would help diversify both the economy and the population. He's promising significant financial support for the project, although actual pledges have not yet been made. Early estimates set the cost of a campus build at $30 million, excluding land and residences.

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Co-op project grew into a company

by Marianne Nguyen, from the Inside Scoop newsletter for co-op students

[People conferring]After completing two work terms, German Studies student Jasmin Hofer (left) decided to take charge of her future and tailor her co-op advantage into an entrepreneurial venture. Working with UW's Enterprise Co-op program, Jasmin is now CEO of her own company, Energrow.

"Enterprise Co-op is definitely an excellent way to go for anyone who's thinking of starting up a business," she says. "Aside from creating the means to earn my way during my co-op work term, the best benefit is the amazing mentorship and the contacts I have made. There's always someone who has experience that I can go and talk to and if they don't know the answer, they can refer me to someone who does. Everyone is there to help you take the first few steps to make a business grow."

She was inspired to start her own company following a trip to Europe where she discovered a money-saving vegetable oil production system. "I thought it'd be something really great to bring over to Canada," she says. Energrow designs and builds custom vegetable oil production systems comprised of a press, sediment tanks, and a filtration system. Farmers use the system to convert diesel engines to run off of the oil produced as well as generate meal or protein supplements for their animals, thus saving money on their feed, electrical, and fuel bills.

Drawing on a wide variety of sources, Hofer financed Energrow's through savings and loans, private and family investment, and government grants. She selected a business name and logo that would "speak to people," and created a business plan which involved organizing a list of import items, establishing cost-effective measures, and narrowing down a market. Energrow expects full set-up will happen a year from now.

The stress of balancing a new business with school results in many sleepless nights for Hofer, but as she says, "It's worth it. I know that in a few years, you'll hear more of me."

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First Monday in the long March

There's "a new giving opportunity" for faculty and staff, alumni and friends, one that will benefit UW graduate students in particular. So says a memo from the graduate studies office: "The University of Waterloo in partnership with Aeroplan is pleased to announce a new giving opportunity . . . a gift at his/her discretion of Aeroplan miles to assist graduate students in enhancing their graduate experience nationally and internationally in the areas of research methodology, leadership and other study abroad programs." The memo explains: "Students pay the same tuition if they study abroad but they also have to pay for airfare and all accommodations. This cost restricts many students from being able to take part in this experience. This award recognizes the benefits of such travel and provides a unique opportunity for members and friends of the University community to support graduate education. With this program graduate students will have the opportunity of attending special international or national conferences. Preference will be given to exchanges as well as opportunities to discover and/or develop new concepts and methodology. This program will be open to graduate students university-wide." A pledge form is available online, and more information is available from Elaine Garner in the grad studies office.

The men's hockey Warriors have reached the end of their quest for hardware in the 2006-07 season, falling to Laurier 6-5 in Friday night's game to end their second-round playoff series. • And attention is already turning to Warrior football, as the program announced late last week that new head coach Dennis McPhee has brought former CFL player and coach Joe Paopao onto his brains trust as assistant head coach and offensive coordinator. • Jennifer Bell of the women Warriors is among track and field athletes from across Canada who can expect to be competing in the national championships in Montréal next weekend.

The men's rugby Warriors are holding a fund-raising raffle all this week to assist one of their own kind: Sean Corner, a member of the Hamilton Hornets rugby club, who was injured in a game last September and is currently paralyzed from the waist down. "We will be set up in the Student Life Centre, 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.," says Derek McCubbin of the Warriors, who points to some of the raffle prizes that have been donated: a $500 snowboard and bindings package (from Boardzone), a gift package from the new Columbia Lake Fitness Centre, gift certificates from Boston Pizza and the Bombshelter pub, and so on. Tickets are $2 apiece, three for $5, eight for $10, and the draw will be held at midnight Saturday night in the Bomber. More information: e-mail

Nominations for the annual Federation of Students Leadership Awards are due this Wednesday. • The Math Society office on the third floor of the Math and Computer building has a new look following a crash program of renovations over reading week. • Here's a reminder that the April exam schedule is now available online.

And now . . . it's about the weather we've been getting. The ground is snow-covered, but you'd hardly guess from this morning's clear blue sky that Friday was a storm day (to say nothing of Thursday night). Meanwhile, the UW weather station says in its monthly report that February 2007 was "the second coldest for any month that we have ever recorded", beat out only by January 2004. "On February 19 it got up to 2.9 Celsius, making it one of only 5 above-average days we saw during the month. . . . The 27.4 mm of precipitation in the month was the lowest amount for February we have seen."

Weather station coordinator Frank Seglenieks lingers "to answer a question I get all the time: Why is precipitation measured in millimetres in the winter? Shouldn’t it be centimetres of snowfall? In the winter the precipitation is still measured in mm. This number is referred to as the snow water equivalent. This is the number of mm of water that would result if the amount of snow that fell were melted into liquid water. We don’t report the total snowfall in cm (which is essentially a volume) because the density of snow can vary greatly. For example, the 15 cm of light fluffy snow we had on the 13-14th of February contained as much water as the 5.5 cm of heavy snow we got on the 25th."


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