Monday, October 29, 2007

  • Student’s golden job in Nunavut
  • 'Honoured to give back,' donor says
  • A few other notes for a Monday
  • Editor:
  • Chris Redmond
  • Communications and Public Affairs

[Cover, largely purple]

Issue 31 of Dimensions, UW's Chinese-language student magazine, focuses on the Green Future, with an emphasis on places students can reach at no charge with the new Grand River Transit bus pass. Other features of the issue include a first-rate cheesecake recipe, Jackson Tsui of the editorial staff points out.

Link of the day

Black Monday

When and where

QPR suicide prevention training 9:30 to 11:00 (sessions also available November 5 and 12, December 10), information ext. 33528.

Applied health sciences guest lecture: leaders of Calgary Health Region speaking on “Electronic Patient Records: Can They Really Improve Patient Safety and Outcomes?” 11:30, Humanities room 159; seminar 2:30, Matthews Hall room 3119 (seminar registration

Career workshop: Work search strategies for international students 4:30, registration online.

Engineering alumni reception 5:30 to 7:30, Commerce Court West, Toronto, details online.

‘Monster sale’ of UW Shop merchandise, Tuesday and Wednesday, Student Life Centre multipurpose room.

Education Credit Union seminar: Stewart Duckworth, “Investments, Assessing Your Risk” Tuesday 12:15, Davis Centre room 1302.

Application deadline for winter term admission to UW is October 31; deadlines for September 2008 admission vary (January 9 for current Ontario secondary school students applying to most programs).

'Becoming Canada's Knowledge Capital' update for K-W Chamber of Commerce from UW president David Johnston, Wednesday 7:30 a.m., Delta K-W, details and tickets online.

'The Nightmare Before Christmas' Hallowe'en party to benefit the United Way, sponsored by Campus Recreation, Wednesday 11:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m., Physical Activities Complex room 2021, tickets $5 with costume or $8 without, information ext. 36340.

Arts Endowment Fund annual general meeting Wednesday 5:00, Arts Lecture Hall room 208.

Trick-or-Eat Hallowe'en canvassing on behalf of Food Bank, Wednesday, volunteers sign up now online.

Universities Art Association of Canada annual conference held at UW November 1-3; opening event Thursday 5:00, UW art gallery, East Campus Hall; details online.

Chinese ambassador to Canada, Shumin Lu, “Challenging Issues Facing Canada Today”, Thursday 11:45 a.m., Renison College chapel lounge, reservations ext. 28648.

One Waterloo presents Seung Bok Lee, former Korean Olympic candidate, now in a wheelchair, professor at Johns Hopkins University Hospital, Thursday 6:00, Student Life Centre great hall.

Human Rights Conference sponsored by Waterloo Public Interest Research Group, Friday-Saturday, details online.

Fall open house for prospective students and their families (formerly known as UW Day) Saturday, details online.

Safety Awareness Day Wednesday, November 7, sessions from 10:00 to 3:00, Davis Centre, details online.

'Celebrating Research Through People at UW' 50th anniversary event, November 8, 3:00 to 6:00, University Club.

Student’s golden job in Nunavut

by Sarah Uppal, from the Inside Scoop e-newsletter for co-op students

[Bodo inside aircraft]Andre Bodo (left), a 1B mechanical engineering student, had a unique position for his first work term. He worked in Goose Lake, Nunavut, mining for gold.

It was a work term he arranged on his own, with Dundee Precious Metals. Last year in August, before coming to UW, Bodo was given the opportunity to check out the Goose Lake operation, and this year he was invited back by a project manager. "Technically I was employed as a geotech assistant surveyor,” he says, “but I was involved with so many other projects and took on a lot more than just my initial position. I worked with carpentry, surveying, and even core sampling projects. I gained such a diverse array of skills."

One of his main tasks was helping with the soil sampling program —taking soil samples on a regular basis and sending the results back to a lab for analysis. These samples are analyzed for a mineral called arsenopyrite; traces of this chemical indicate that gold is present in the soil. Once it has been determined that enough gold is present to dig, the drilling process begins; the gold is extracted from the ground and exported by air to another location. This is a lengthy and costly decision process, Bodo points out. "Since we are up north, it costs a lot to export the rock and gravel to get the gold removed . . . it includes the cost of helicopters, as well as the chemical extraction costs. It really comes down to: Is the amount of gold you find going to be profitable?"

He also worked on core sampling, in which a sample of soil from the bedrock layer is extracted from the ground and turned into a fine dust, usually referred to as rock dust. Using this rock dust, geologists can reconstruct the area of drilling, and using GIS programs, they are able to develop a 3D view of the ground underneath the rock to see what kind of minerals can be found.

Working out on the sampling field can be a muddy job. "Although last month the weather was great,” Bodo says, “lately it’s been raining and storming, and when you are out in the field in full rain gear for eight to 10 hours a day, it can be taxing.”

Other than the rain, he really enjoys Nunavut."Everyone should come up north and experience it — it’s breathtaking! Walking outside your cabin to see the rolling hills which stretch on for miles is a big change when you’ve lived in Toronto." Parts of Nunavut are so far north that "around mid-July, we had close to 22 to 23 hours of daylight."

Bodo spent his term living on a campsite of 80 to 100 people, and as the youngest member and only UW co-op student, he still felt at home. "I help out around the camp and do my part. Everything runs smoother when you sustain a function in a company. I think that it reflects the whole as everyone is equally important."

He says he was initially drawn to UW because of its reputation for engineering and its competitive edge over other universities. . . . I like the whole idea of the problem solving aspect. It’s kind of like a puzzle; you have to put the pieces together to find the solution. Applying that theory to a co-op, it’s how a company runs and what makes it function — digging deeper into things and analyzing situations to come up with some kind of solution which can be useful to mankind."

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'Honoured to give back,' donor says

[Kelly]“I consider myself fortunate to be in a position to give back and I am honoured to do so,” says Catherine Newell Kelly (right), director of distance and continuing education since 2005 and a UW staff member since 1989.

She is a UW economics graduate who began working on campus as a co-op student, says a profile posted this month to the Keystone Campaign web site, where she’s the featured face for October. Her work term in the arts computing office turned into a full-time contract position, which led to her first distance education job in 1996 working as a course development co-ordinator. She then worked her way up in various positions as the department grew and evolved.

When not at work, her love of education “manifests itself in other ways,” she profile says. “She serves on the school council at her 10-year-old daughter’s school and chairs the Parent Involvement Committee for the Waterloo Catholic District School Board. She also enjoys scrapbooking and gardening.”

What do you like most about your job? “It’s been exciting to watch the technology for teaching and learning evolve and guide the growth of web-based courses since the first one went online in 1997. I have also enjoyed learning more about strategic planning at the university and the challenge of accomplishing all that we do so well, despite constrained resources.”

What motivated you to give to Waterloo? “The reality is there are lots of talented people with lots of innovative ideas, but only so many support dollars to go around. UW has developed a wonderful reputation because of its great people and ideas, and I hope that my contribution helps to advance both in some small way.”

To what area do you designate your gifts? “I give to Distance and Continuing Education because the stories I hear from our adult learners around the world are very motivating. We provide access to university education that would otherwise be unattainable for many people — from professional athletes to military personnel to single working parents. It isn’t easy studying while simultaneously juggling numerous other commitments and I have gained a great deal of respect for our students, many of whom must overcome great challenges to complete their education.”

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A few other notes for a Monday

Results of the co-op student job ranking process should be available at 4:00 this afternoon, and thousands of students will know whether they've been matched with employers for the winter term. (For those who haven't, more employer interviews will be happening in the Tatham Centre over the weeks ahead.) Also happening on a busy campus:

UW hosts the Tata Lecture today — a talk on India's emerging global trade interests, featuring a senior executive of the Tata Group, one of India's largest business enterprises. Alan Rosling will give the Tata Lecture at noon in the Laurel Room of South Campus Hall. In a by-invitation event (information, ext. 33580), Rosling will discuss India's internationalization efforts and how to do business with the world's second most populous country. "The Tata Group is at the forefront of establishing long-term mutually beneficial relationships with universities around the world for decades, including Waterloo," says UW president David Johnston. "Waterloo and the Tata family of companies share a common set of values, namely integrity, understanding, excellence, unity and responsibility." And: "We are pleased to be partnering with the University of Waterloo to bring Alan Rosling to speak as part of the ongoing Tata Lecture Series," says Mukesh Gupta, TCS director of strategic relations. "Our goal through the Tata Lecture Series is to further the understanding and education of UW students about India and the Tata Group."

UW is Campus of the Year, according to Bacchus Canada, a non-profit organization that promotes healthy use of alcohol. The actual award winners are UW Health Services’ health educator, Sandra Gibson, and its Alcohol and Drug Awareness Peer Health Education Team. The initiatives that contributed to this win, Gibson says, were “bulletin board campaigns, the Bridge to Health radio show, health promotion displays, involvement with Warrior Weekends, and the Matrix Impaired Driving Simulator.” The simulator, which allows you to experience what it’s like to drive while impaired, was developed by UW students. The next Matrix simulator event takes place tomorrow in the Student Life Centre great room, 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.

UW Library has begun a three-year membership with the Center for Research Libraries (CRL), “a consortium of libraries that provides its members with access to 1 million digital resources and more than 4.5 million print publications, archives, and collections,” says Jane Forgay, liaison librarian for history, independent studies, and political science. “The collection has a distinct emphasis on materials produced outside the United States, particularly those from developing nations. Holdings include newspapers, journals, dissertations, archives, and government publications.” Among the highlights: “Chinese pamphlets during the early period of the People’s Republic of China . . . pamphlets and periodicals of the French Revolution of 1848 . . . over 800,000 international doctoral dissertations (including those of Albert Einstein, Dag Hammarskjold and other nobel laureates)” and more. More than 600,000 items are fully searchable from the CRL’s catalogue, and the items can be borrowed on interlibrary loan through RACER.

The Record reports that Waterloo City Council is asking the Ontario government to increase the grant it gives municipalities to cover the cost of local services to universities and colleges, which has been stuck at $75 per student for two decades. • "We've just recently activated the UW Judo Club," arts student Szymon Wartak writes, noting that it holds training sessions every Tuesday, 8 to 10 p.m., in the Columbia Icefield studio. • Here's a reminder that the December final exam schedule is available online. • And, already thinking of spring: pre-enrolment for spring 2008 classes begins today and continues to Sunday. Quest shows a video on how to pre-enroll.


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