Tuesday, May 20, 2008

  • Prof mines Latin America's literary riches
  • Bike-sharing idea wins national prize
  • Experts wanted, and other notes
  • Editor:
  • Chris Redmond
  • Communications and Public Affairs
  • bulletin@uwaterloo.ca

Prof mines Latin America's literary riches

the latest online profile from UW’s Keystone Campaign

Maria del Carmen SillatoBorn in the city of Rosario, Argentina, María del Carmen Sillato (left) "moved to Canada in 1983, due to political persecution during the last dictatorship in her country." She received her first university degree, Licentiate in Letters, at the National University of Rosario, and later graduated from the University of Toronto with her MA and PhD.

She came to UW in 1992, guided by the university's good name. She is an associate professor in the Department of Spanish and Latin American Studies, where she has served as chair for the past three years. She teaches language, literature, and translation, while continuing her research on contemporary Latin American poetry and testimonial literature. "I also serve on a number of committees, but even though sometimes I am extremely busy, I really enjoy what I do," says Sillato.

What makes you proud to work at UW? “I am very proud to be a part of UW. It is a dynamic university that offers a high-quality education and is always exploring new ways to acquire distinctiveness. Coming from a different environment, a different language, being away from family members and childhood friends, I feel that in many ways UW has become a second family to me. People are friendly and approachable, and always willing to lend a helping hand.”

Do you have a favourite book that you've read recently? “As a literature professor, I have read many books in my life and many of them have been among my favourite ones. Perhaps, I could mention Los ríos profundos (Deep Rivers) by Peruvian novelist and poet José María Arguedas because of the impact it had on me when I was 18 years old. The novel explores the clash between the European tradition of the colonizers and the traditions of the indigenous people in the American continent. This novel connected me with the suffering of the Native Americans and their continuous struggle to keep their culture and their language alive.”

What motivates you to give to the Keystone Campaign? “I am glad to contribute my knowledge and experience, and I feel very honoured to be able to give back and help people become part of the UW community. I firmly believe in education and I strongly support the idea that education should be available to everyone. As a humanist, I normally designate my gift to the Faculty of Arts for scholarships and more jobs for Arts students. But, I would never restrict my gift to Arts students if there were a need for financial aid in other places.”

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Bike-sharing idea wins national prize

from FES News and Events

A team of graduate students from the School of Planning has won a national prize worth $25,000 from the TD Friends of the Environment Foundation. The team is one of four winning teams chosen from more than 85 entries representing 40 universities from across Canada.

Finkleman, Lee, and ClareJeremy Finkleman, Matthew Lee, and Ben Clare (pictured left to right) developed a proposal, “Velo,” which involves an innovative and environmentally friendly bike-sharing program for Kitchener-Waterloo Region, modeled after programs in Paris and Barcelona.

The intention of their design is to facilitate the use of more sustainable and healthy transportation alternatives in the community as an example for cities throughout Canada.

The students explain that cycling is simple, efficient, environmentally sustainable, and a cost-effective addition to the region’s transportation network.

“Projects such as this have had tremendous success in Europe, where Barcelona’s system was used 2.7 million times in its first eight months,” adds Lee.

Through the Go Green Challenge, TD provides the students with $12,500 and the Faculty of Environmental Studies (FES) with the other half of the $25,000 award. The faculty’s portion will support ongoing work in the FES Transportation Research Group, managed by professors Clarence Woudsma and Jeff Casello.

Earlier in the year, the students also won the inaugural Jack Rosen Memorial Award for Environmental Innovation. The award honours Jack Rosen, a successful entrepreneur and waste management professional in Waterloo Region who developed and introduced the world’s first Blue Box recycling program. The Blue Box has been adopted across Canada and internationally and is widely viewed as one of the most successful community-based environmental conservation projects of the 20th century.

The award, sponsored by the Jack and Honey Rosen Charitable Foundation, is intended to reward and encourage innovative, ‘outside-the-box’ ideas aimed at solving environmental challenges and issues.

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Experts wanted, and other notes

From nanotechnology to Northern history and on to nutrition, academics across campus have been listing their areas of expertise in a new database for media or community groups. A quick update from my colleague Michael Strickland, assistant director of UW media relations, indicates work is progressing. "There was an initial flurry in the days after an invitation to join was sent by the faculty deans, and others have trickled in since," he says. "The goal is to fill the database over the summer, ask a few of our local media to test it, then launch nationally in the fall." Professors interested in sharing their expertise in this way are invited to fill in the form found at http://experts.uwaterloo.ca/ or contact Michael at ext. 84777.

Call to all grads working on campus: Are you one of the 838 UW alumni working on campus? If so, the Office of Alumni Affairs wants to hear from you. Alumni Affairs has just launched a survey to gather alumni feedback on their UW experience. The results will help the university evaluate its programs and services. Complete the survey by June 30 and you’ll be eligible to win the grand prize (a Macbook Air) or UW gear. “As an alumnus, your relationship with UW is a two-way street,” says Jason Coolman, director of alumni affairs. “We know about the university’s side of the street, but we want your viewpoint. You have a unique perspective we’d like to learn more about. Please consider sharing your experience with us.”

A workshop today from the Centre for Teaching Excellence introduces the "concept maps" tool for instructors. "Upon completion of their studies," the centre explains, "University of Waterloo graduates are expected to have a thorough and comprehensive understanding of their chosen discipline, an appreciation of the interdisciplinary context of their studies and critical thinking skills. Nonetheless students often perceive their courses as a series of unrelated, disconnected pieces that have little or no relation to each other. Faculty members find that many students fail to connect information that was learned in one course to concepts that are being built upon in another.

"In an attempt to address this problem, we have introduced the use of concept maps into the instructional design of a sequence of three courses required by students in the Kinesiology Program (Biol 130, Biol 273, and Kin 105). Creating concept maps and answering reflective questions help students actively engage with the course content; placing the concepts maps in the ePortfolios and referring to them in subsequent courses encourages students to take responsibility for making connections between their courses. This presentation will outline how we introduced concept maps into the courses and are evaluating the impact of their use on student understanding and retention of key concepts." Collaborating between faculties: helping students make connections using concept maps and e-portfolios, 2 – 3 p.m., FLEX Lab, Dana Porter room 329. Registration online.

‘Warming climate, melting ice’ is the topic of a lecture tomorrow by this year’s TD Canada Trust Walter Bean visiting professor in the environment. The speaker is Tavi Murray, professor of glaciology at Swansea University, Wales, and an internationally known expert on climate change and glacier stability. She’ll speak Wednesday at 3:30 p.m. in the Humanities Theatre, Hagey Hall. Admission is free, and a reception follows.

A reminder that the deadline is May 26 for to apply for funding from the Learning Initiatives Fund and Program Initiatives Fund, both administered through the Centre for Teaching Excellence. More information here, and on the CTE website.

CPA Staff

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Link of the day

May 20, 1927: Charles Lindbergh began the first solo nonstop transatlantic flight.

When and where

Class enrolment appointments for fall term undergraduate courses now listed on Quest. Appointments for continuing students, June 9-14; new students, July 14-27; open enrolment begins July 28.

Elections for Senate and Board of Governors May 20 – 22. Information is online.

Career workshop: “Exploring Your Personality Type”, first of two sessions, today at 2, Tatham Centre room 1112, registration online.

UW Retirees Association annual general meeting Wednesday, 1:30 p.m., Ron Eydt Village room 102.

Communitech workshop: “Delivering Successful Agile Projects: A Team Approach” Wednesday, 4:30 to 7:00 p.m., Accelerator building, 295 Hagey Boulevard, free registration online.

Columbia Lake Health Club lunch-and-learn session: “Elder-Care” Wednesday, 5:30, boardroom at TechTown, 340 Hagey Boulevard.

Pension and benefits committee Thursday, 8:30 to 12:00, Needles Hall room 3004.

Surplus sale of UW equipment at central stores, East Campus Hall, Thursday, 12:30 to 2:00 p.m.

John Bullen, university secretariat, retirement open house Thursday, 4:00 to 6:00, University Club, RSVP ext. 32749.

Book launch and discussion: Robert Pahhlke, founding editor of Alternatives journal, published at UW, Some Like It Cold, moderated by present editor Nicola Ross, Thursday, 5:30 to 7:00, 215 Spadina Avenue, Toronto.

Dropping courses: no-penalty period ends (last day to withdraw with 100 per cent fee refund) Friday.

Retirement party for Bill Futher, IST, after 38 years at UW, RSVP to pjpenk@uwaterloo.ca by this Friday. Event is June 5, 3:30 – 5:30 p.m., South Campus Hall, Laurel Room.

Bike Maintenance 101 workshop (bring your own bike) Friday, 1:00 to 6:00, Student Life Centre room 101A, $15 deposit, information ext. 84882.

Centre Stage Dance May 23-24, Humanities Theatre.

You @ Waterloo Day open house for students considering offers of admission from UW, Saturday, May 24, displays and booths in Student Life Centre 10:00 to 2:00.

Spring into Song fundraiser for UW Well-Fit, with the Twin City Harmonizers and Grand Harmony, Sunday, May 25, 2 p.m., Humanities Theatre, details online.

‘The Basics of Starting a Business’ organized by co-op and career services, Monday, May 26, 4:30 to 6:30 p.m., Centre for Business, Entrepreneurship and Technology outreach room, Accelerator Centre building.

Symposium on GPU and CELL computing hosted by Sharcnet, Tuesday, May 27, information online.

Joint Health and Safety Committee Tuesday, May 27, 1:30, Commissary building room 112D.

Mathematics alumni reception at Statistical Society of Canada annual meeting, Tuesday, May 27, Ottawa, details online.

Master of Business, Entrepreneurship and Technology program information session Tuesday, May 27, 4:00, Tatham Centre room 2218.

“It’s the World, Stupid!” free lecture by Paul Heinbecker of the Centre for International Governance Innovation, May 28, 7:30 p.m., Maureen Forrester Recital Hall, Wilfrid Laurier. Refreshments follow lecture; details online; first come, first served.

Matthews Golf Classic for students, staff, faculty, retirees and friends, registration deadline May 29 (event is June 16), details online.

UW Safety Awareness Day, sessions on safety at work, details online. May 29, 10 a.m. – 3 p.m., Davis Centre Room 1302.

Early Childhood Education Centre family picnic at Waterloo Park Tuesday, June 3, 5:30 to 7:00.

Conrad Grebel University College Lebold fund-raising banquet, speaker April Yamisaki, Tuesday, June 3, 6:30 p.m., Grebel dining room, information e-mail clichti@uwaterloo.ca.

Annual Child Care Festival linking four child care centres on campus, guest performer Erick Traplin, Friday, June 6, 9:45 to 10:30 a.m., Village green.

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