Tuesday, August 12, 2008

  • UW heritage team marks milestone
  • Textbook grant web portal coming
  • UW professors out and about
  • Editor:
  • Chris Redmond
  • Communications and Public Affairs
  • bulletin@uwaterloo.ca

Sparkly red Homecoming shoesHomecoming's coming! August is moving along, which means fall will be here before we know it. And fall means Homecoming. A special invitation to Homecoming 2008 will soon be arriving in the mailboxes of on-campus alumni. Once again the red sparkly shoes (pumps, crocs, oxfords, flip-flops, and wellies) take centre stage, as the Homecoming Committee reminds everyone that 'There's No Place Like Homecoming.' The annual event features something for everyone as the campus opens up for alumni, students, faculty, staff and the community for a day of fun. Highlights of this year's event include the 23rd Annual AHS Fun Run, the Homecoming Family Carnival and the Battle of Waterloo (football, UW vs Laurier) on the new Warrior Field. Check out homecoming.uwaterloo.ca for up-to-date information.

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UW heritage team marks milestone

Beatrice Tam, UW Historic Places Initiative

The Historic Places Initiative (HPI) Team at the University of Waterloo has just achieved an important milestone. Since its inception in January 2007, the team has drafted 500 nominations to the Canadian Register of Historic Places.

The HPI Team, set up by the Heritage Resources Centre at UW in collaboration with the Ministry of Culture and funded by Parks Canada, aids municipalities in drafting nominations for designated heritage properties. Once approved, the properties are listed on the Canadian Register, an online register of historic places from across Canada. The register does not put any further restrictions on the property, and is primarily intended to serve as a tool to promote and celebrate the historic places in Canada. The UW HPI team has most recently been working with the municipalities of Caledon, Guelph, Kitchener, Halton Hills, Markham and Mississauga.

West Montrose covered bridgeA number of nominations that the HPI team has written are now listed on the Canadian Register, seven of which are located in the Region of Waterloo. Among these is the West Montrose Covered Bridge (left) in the Township of Woolwich, the only remaining covered bridge in Ontario and the second oldest bridge in the Region of Waterloo.

“The HPI’s current goals are to continue to increase the number of properties in Ontario nominated for inclusion on the Canadian Register and to continue to engage heritage stakeholders by holding workshops and attending conferences and events,” says Paul Dubniak, the current HPI team leader.

The Heritage Resources Centre and the School of Planning are offering a Heritage Planning Workshop for interested citizens, professionals and students on October 25 and 26, and November 8 and 9, 2008 in Goderich, Ontario. More information can be found online.

In cooperation with Community Heritage Ontario and the Ministry of Culture, the HPI team was able to hire a Summer Experience Program student for a second year in a row. In the seven-week placement, the student fully participates in the workings of the HPI team including drafting nominations. “Just in my first few weeks, I have come to appreciate the importance of the Historic Places Initiative,” says Beatrice Tam, this year’s SEP student and a first-year planning student at UW. “I am happy to have this opportunity to gain a fuller understanding of why heritage sites add diversity and value to a community.”

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Textbook grant web portal coming

from a Council of Ontario Universities notice

The Council of Ontario Universities is sending out a reminder about the new Textbook and Technology Grant for full-time university and college students that was introduced by the 2008 Ontario Budget — a commitment of $385 million over three years.

Later this summer, "the Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities (MTCU) will re-introduce the grant through a promotional campaign that will include media releases and the launch of the portal where students can apply online for the grant.

"A stand-alone Textbook and Technology Grant online application will be added to the OSAP portal for students applying for the grant (September operational date still to be determined). Students who are applying for OSAP will automatically be considered for the grant once their full-time enrolment has been confirmed by their institutions.

"To be eligible, students have to be Canadian residents; international students are not eligible. For Canadian residents, the eligibility threshold to receive the grant is 60% of a full course load for students who do not have a permanent disability. For students who have a permanent disability, the eligibility threshold is 40% of a full course load."

More details will be released in late August.

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UW professors out and about

"Texting thumb" study first of its kind

The first-ever research study on "texting thumb" and other kinds of discomfort stemming from the overuse of hand-held devices is being carried out, appropriately, by researchers at UW. Richard WellsProfessor Richard Wells, kinesiology (right), in collaboration with Ben Amick, scientific director of the Institute for Work and Health in Toronto, is surveying thousands of Canadian workers to find out whether using hand-held devices such as BlackBerrys, iPods, personal digital assistants, or cell phones that combine multiple functions, results in thumb, arm, shoulder and neck pain.

Most of these devices include a mini-keyboard, stylus or thumb wheel/pad as the primary input interface. Heavy use of such hand-held devices has been linked in the media to pain and disability in the hand, mainly the thumb, and variously named "texting tenosynovitis," "texting thumb," or "text messenger's thumb."

Researchers will perform an internet-based questionnaire study in large organizations to determine the prevalence of hand and thumb troubles in people who use hand-held devices. As well, the study will assess any relationships between people's use of hand-held devices and any hand, arm and shoulder troubles they may have. The information will help shed light on the emerging problem and gain insight into the prevalence of hand and arm troubles in the workforce. Also, it will lay the foundation for possible preventive activities such as recommendations on use or the design of devices.

The original, uncut article was prepared by UW's Media Relations Office and appeared in the Waterloo Region Record on July 26.

Heritage districts not to be feared

Robert Shipley, planningAn editorial that appeared in the Waterloo Region Record on July 24 mentioned the work of Robert Shipley (left), a UW planning professor. To help answer homeowners' questions about the impact on their property value when their homes are placed within a heritage district, "Parks Canada is studying heritage districts and compiling information provided by the residents who live within them. In Kitchener, Robert Shipley . . . is leading a team that is studying the Upper Doon Heritage Conservation District. The team is looking into the Upper Doon district because it is the oldest of the four heritage districts in Kitchener. . . . Shipley said the team's research shows there is little validity to the concerns that are often raised when a city considers imposing a heritage designation on a neighbourhood. A majority of the people in the Upper Doon district who were interviewed expressed satisfaction with the heritage designation. . . . The survey didn't find that the homeowners who had sold their properties had lost financially."

CPA staff

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Link of the day

International Youth Day

When and where

Library hours extended for exam season, through August 16: Dana Porter Library, 8 a.m. to 2 a.m. daily; Davis Centre library, 24 hours a day except Sundays 2 a.m. to 8 a.m.

Spring term exams August 5-16 (schedule online).

Kitchener-Waterloo Little Theatre auditions for “Twelve Angry Men” (male actors, technical and production staff) August 11-13, 6 to 9 p.m., Humanities room 334 (production opens October 23, information e-mail ep@kwlt.org).

Retail services outlets (bookstore, UW Shop, TechWorx, Campus TechShop) closed all day today for staff general meeting.

Laughter Yoga: event for all UW employees through the UW Recreation Committee, Wednesday, 6 to 6:45 p.m., Waterloo Park at Albert Street. Will be cancelled in the event of rain or lightning.

Hot water will run cold in UW Place on Thursday, 8 a.m. - 4 p.m., while gas supply stations are relocated.

Student Life Centre will have no electrical power on Friday, 5 to 7 a.m., to allow installation of a breaker for the QNC construction site. Computer equipment should be shut down beforehand.

Math Undergraduate Office (MC 4022) will be closed to walk-in traffic, August 15-22, for construction work. Staff will answer phones and emails.

Library hours from August 16: On the 16th Dana Porter closes at 11 p.m., Davis Centre Library at midnight. From August 17 to September 7, both are open Monday to Friday 8 a.m. - 5 p.m., Saturday and Sunday noon - 5 p.m.

Warrior football tryouts and team meeting Monday, August 18, 8:30 a.m., Columbia Icefield football room.

Warrior men’s golf fundraising tournament Tuesday, August 19 (note date change), Whistle Bear Golf Club, Cambridge, for information e-mail davehollinger@rogers.com.

Warrior soccer tryouts and team meetings Tuesday, August 19, women 4 p.m., men 6 p.m., Columbia Icefield soccer fields.

Warrior women’s field hockey tryouts and team meeting Saturday, August 23, 10 a.m., Columbia Icefield meeting room.

Warrior men’s baseball tryouts and team meeting Saturday, August 23, 1 p.m., Columbia Icefield diamonds.

Fee payment deadline for fall term is August 25 (cheque, money order, fee arrangement) or September 3 (bank transfer), details online.

Warrior rugby tryouts and team meetings Monday, August 25, men 9 a.m., women 5 p.m., Columbia Icefield rugby field.

Single and Sexy’ preview performance Thursday, August 28, 1 p.m., Humanities Theatre, admission free, all staff and faculty, family, friends and community members welcome. Followed by reception at 2:30 marking 20th anniversary of the play. RSVP by August 15 to sc2gibso@uwaterloo.ca

Labour Day Monday, September 1, UW offices and most services closed (move-in day for residences).

Orientation Week September 1-6.

Warrior men’s volleyball tryouts and team meeting Tuesday, September 2, noon, Columbia Icefield meeting room.

Warrior men’s golf tryouts and team meeting Tuesday, September 2, 4 p.m., Physical Activities Complex room 2021.

Warrior tennis tryouts and team meeting, Tuesday, September 2, 4:30 p.m., Waterloo Tennis Club.

English Language Proficiency Examination September 3, Physical Activities Complex, details online.

Fall term classes begin Monday, September 8.

Fed 101 beginning-of-term party Monday, September 8, Federation Hall, doors open 10 p.m.

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