Friday, October 3, 2008

  • George will continue as graduate dean
  • Engineering gives its annual awards
  • Somebody left you these messages
  • Editor:
  • Chris Redmond
  • Communications and Public Affairs

[An even an old-fashioned megaphone]

Warrior cheerleaders stirred up the crowd at last Saturday's Homecoming football game, though they couldn't prevent the Laurier Golden Hawks from taking home a victory. They'll be on hand at Warrior Field again tomorrow for the 1 p.m. game against Guelph. Photo by electrical engineering student Jason Lee Pack.

Back to top

George will continue as graduate dean

Provost Amit Chakma has announced that veteran administrator Alan George will serve another nine months as interim dean of graduate studies. His term had been scheduled to end September 30, 2008.

"As you may recall," says a memo from the provost, "a Task Force has been at work reviewing all aspects of the administration of graduate studies at the University of Waterloo. The report of the Task Force, which I expect to receive in the next few weeks, will contain various recommendations for change in the administration of graduate studies at UW. Time will be required to consider the implications and implementation of the recommendations by Deans Council and other bodies within the University.

[George]"Thus, I am pleased to report that Alan George, who has been serving as interim Dean of Graduate Studies for the past year, has agreed to continue to serve until June 30, 2009.

"Professor George (right) has served UW in many administrative leadership positions including Provost and Dean of Mathematics. He has been serving as the Associate Provost, IST since 2003, and has also recently served for 18 months as Interim Vice-President, University Research.

"I am personally grateful to Alan for his long standing commitment and dedication to UW and his willingness to serve as Interim Dean, Graduate Studies, along with the continuation of his IST responsibilities. President Johnston and I look forward to working with him, and we are confident that he will have your full cooperation and support."

Craig Sloss, president of the Graduate Student Association, issued a statement saying the GSA "is fully supportive" of George's reappointment. "Under his leadership," says Sloss, "extraordinary progress has been made in terms of addressing the concerns of graduate students. The most visible examples of reforms include a move to more uniform and transparent TA pay practices and the implementation of a grievance resolution process for TAs and RAs, with institution-wide minimum funding for doctoral students on track to be implemented in January, 2009. That so much has been accomplished in as little time as one year is a testament to his effectiveness in this role."

Back to top

Engineering gives its annual awards

The annual Faculty of Engineering Dinner was held last night at Golf’s Steak House — “an annual event,” says Carrie Stevenson of the faculty office, “that recognizes the achievements of Waterloo Engineering faculty, staff, alumni and supporters.”

Here’s a list of alumni, faculty and staff members who were presented with awards at the dinner, as provided by the dean’s office.

Alumni Achievement Medal: Hadi-Khan Mahabadi, MASc 1975 and PhD 1976, chemical engineering. “Mahabadi is a true innovator whose career has been marked by extraordinary professional achievements. In his 27 years with the Xerox Research Centre of Canada, he has garnered over 70 U.S. patents, introduced one of the first successful nanotechnology- based products into the marketplace and excelled as an esteemed researcher, manager and leader.”

Alumni Achievement Medal: John Saabas, BASc 1983 and MASc 1985, mechanical engineering. “Saabas, who holds a PhD from McGill University, has progressed to the top of Pratt & Whitney Canada in a relatively short period of time. Beginning as an analyst, he advanced steadily to become a manager and held vice-president positions in three different areas before commencing his current post as Executive Vice President in 2006. His advancement within Pratt & Whitney is a testament to Saabas's outstanding qualities and competencies as a visionary and leader.”

Friend of the Faculty Award: Toyota Motor Manufacturing Canada Inc. “Its collaboration on research endeavours, hiring of co-op students and alumni, as well as numerous financial contributions to student projects and awards, have been invaluable to the Faculty and will help ensure a productive future for both Toyota and Waterloo Engineering.”

Teaching Excellence Award: Robert Jan van Pelt, School of Architecture; Duane Cronin, Mechanical and Mechatronics Engineering; Ed Jernigan, Systems Design Engineering.

Outstanding Staff Award: Linda Lyman, Dean of Engineering Office; Terry Ridgway, Civil and Environmental Engineering.

Says the dean’s office: “The Alumni Achievement Medal and Friend of the Faculty Award winners are selected by a committee of alumni and faculty members. The Teaching Excellence Award winners are selected by Engineering's Chairs and Associate Deans committee following an annual assessment. The staff award winners are chosen by the Dean's Staff Advisory Council.”

Back to top

Somebody left you these messages

There’s been much publicity about the national “Do Not Call” list, protecting residents from telemarketers, that opened on Tuesday and received hundreds of thousands of listings within hours. Jason Coolman, acting associate vice-president (development and alumni affairs), reports that while calling on UW’s behalf is not barred under the new system, UW will face some restrictions: “Since the University of Waterloo is a registered charity we are classified as an ‘exempt telemarketer.’ As such, UW is allowed to make unsolicited telephone calls to current and potential donors, but must adhere to the rules set out by the CRTC. Primary among these is maintaining our own internal do-not-call list and respecting specific individual requests not to be called. This is already in place. Despite being ahead of the curve in many areas, our call centre is reviewing all practices against the new guidelines to ensure we are in full compliance. We will be updating our website to ensure that our alumni and donors are aware that we are in compliance with the new legislation. We have adjusted our calling hours: weekdays (Monday to Friday) from 9:00 a.m. to 9:30 p.m. and weekends (Saturday and Sunday) from 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. (The restricted hours refer to the time zone in which the individual receiving the telephone call resides.) We state the purpose of the call at the beginning of the call, and Identify on whose behalf the call is being made. We provide a 1-800 contact number to everyone at the end of each call, in case they have additional comments/questions.”

Hot news from Frank Seglenieks, coordinator of the UW weather station: “In the 10-year history of the station, the temperature in September has been the most above the average of any month, and this year is no different. In total, 8 of the last 11 Septembers have been above average and the other 3 have been average with none below average. (Looking back the Environment Canada archive, 1993 was the last time we had a cold September.) This year it was 1.6 degrees warmer than the standard average period of 1971-2000.” The average daily high was 21.7 Celsius, with the maximum reached during the month being 29.9. As for moisture, “we were on a torrid pace during the first half of the month,” he says, “with 107.6 mm of precipitation by the 15th; however, since then we have only had another 8.6 mm. This still puts us far above the average of 87.5 mm, but if we had doubled the first half total it would have been something to see. With 862.9 mm of precipitation at the end of September, this is now the 5th wettest first 9 months of the year since record keeping began back in 1915.” He also provides the results of his recent poll asking what people thought of the summer of ’08: “51% thought it was a great summer, 26% good, 7% just OK, 8% bad, and 5% had it down as a total washout.”

The Waterloo-based Centre for International Governance Innovation has released two papers outlining steps for Zimbabwe and the international community to get the country back on the road to national recovery and sustainable development. Zimbabwe in Crisis: Mugabe’s Policies and Failures argues that despite having become an economic and social trouble zone and a political liability to the rest of southern Africa, “Zimbabwe remains among the most hopeful places on the continent” given the inevitable future exit of President Robert Mugabe from political office. “The country has one of the best-educated populations on the continent,” says CIGI senior researcher Hany Besada, one of the co-authors of the paper. “Its well-developed infrastructure is the envy of its neighbours.” In addition to this working paper, CIGI is releasing a technical paper entitled Picking Up the Pieces of Zimbabwe’s Economy. Both papers are released as part of CIGI’s Fragile States program, which is hosting a workshop on Zimbabwe in Johannesburg, South Africa, that winds up today.

Finally . . . in spite of what you might read on brilliant orange flyers visible here and there, ♫ there will not be a lecture on campus ♫ today by Daniel Levitin, McGill University psychologist and author of the hugely popular This Is Your Brain on Music. ♫ An afternoon lecture had been scheduled on short notice, says Ken Hull of the UW music department at Conrad Grebel University College, ♫ but arrangements have fallen through. However, Levitin will be in Kitchener-Waterloo tonight and tomorrow, ♫ and will be heard "in conversation" with K-W Symphony conductor Edwin Outwater before both days' symphony concerts ♫ at Centre in the Square. Cheap rush tickets are available for students, Hull points out. ♫


Back to top

Link of the day

Community Parks Week

When and where

Employer interviews for winter term co-op jobs continue; ranking (main group) opens October 24 at 1 p.m.

‘ReThink Waterloo’ full-day environmental event with free seminars and lectures “for ages from 10 to 100”, Waterloo Memorial Recreation Complex. Keynote speaker Sheila Watt-Cloutier, human rights advocate, 10:00. Evening speaker (tickets $35, students $20) Robert Kennedy Jr., environmental activist, 7:30 p.m.

‘Italian Cuisine from the Middle Ages to the Renaissance’, Massimo Montanari, University of Bologna, 2:00, Wilfrid Laurier University senate and board chamber.

Knowledge Integration seminar: Andrew Hunter, UW gallery, “Art in Society,” 2:30, Environment II room 2002.

Philosophy colloquium: Christine Sypnowich, Queen’s University, “Human Flourishing: A New Approach to Equality,” 3:30 p.m., Humanities room 334.

Comic City Film Series linked to “Dominion City” exhibition: “American Splendor” (2003) with introductory comments by Peter Trinh, 6:00, East Campus Hall gallery.

Mandarin drama: Toronto Drama Troupe, “Online Love Affair”, 6:30 p.m., Humanities Theatre, tickets $15 at the door.

Warrior sports this weekend: Baseball vs. Brock, Saturday 1:00 and 3:30, Jack Couch Park, Kitchener • Football vs. Guelph Saturday 1:00, Warrior Field • Golf (men and women), Waterloo Invitational, Saturday and Sunday 1:30, Whistle Bear Golf Club • Men’s rugby vs. Windsor, Saturday 3:00, Columbia Fields • Women’s hockey vs. Laurier, Saturday 7:30, Icefield • Swimming (men and women) at Laurier Saturday; vs. Toronto and Guelph, Sunday 10 a.m., PAC •Badminton at York, Saturday • Cross-country at Queen’s Open, Saturday • Field hockey at Carleton, Saturday; vs. Toronto and Guelph at Carleton, Sunday • Women’s rugby at Western, Saturday • Soccer (men and women) at Windsor Saturday, at Western Sunday • Tennis (men and women) at York, Saturday.

Impact Expo(se) “student entrepreneurship event” Saturday 12:00 to 3:00, Student Life Centre. Details.

ACM-style programming contest Saturday 1:00 to 4:00, Math and Computer room 2037. Details.

CIBC Run for the Cure for Breast Cancer Sunday, Kitchener event starts at 10 a.m. at Bingemans, supported by CIBC branch in Student Life Centre. Details.

High Five training program, certification geared to fostering healthy development in children 6-12, Sunday 12:00 to 6:00, Matthews Hall, $32 per person, information ext. 32612.

Master of Social Work information session Monday 12:15, chapel lounge, Renison University College.

Career workshops Monday: “Exploring Your Personality Type, Part I” 2:30, Tatham Centre room 1112; "Networking 101" 4:30, Tatham 1208. Details.

Senate executive committee Monday 3:30, Needles Hall room 3004.

Bachelor of Social Work information session Monday 5:00, chapel lounge, Renison University College.

Religious studies awards presentation and reception Tuesday 2:30, Humanities room 373.

Centre for Family Business, based at Conrad Grebel UC, workshop on “Passing It On: Estate and Succession Planning”, October 8.

Blood donor clinic October 8 and 9 (10:00 to 4:00) and 10 (9:00 to 3:00), Student Life Centre, appointments at turnkey desk or 1-888-236-6283.

Keystone Run/Walk for Excellence around the ring road starting from Davis Centre, Wednesday 12:00 noon. Details.

City of Waterloo public open house about UW north campus district plan, Wednesday 6:30 to 8:30 p.m., Albert McCormick Community Centre. Details.

Jay Ingram, co-host and producer of “Daily Planet”, speaks about his Daily Planet Book of Cool Ideas, Wednesday 7:00, Federation Hall, tickets $3 at UW bookstore or at the door.

Thanksgiving Day Monday, October 13, UW holiday, classes cancelled, offices and most services closed.

Graduate studies fair October 14, 11:00 to 2:00, Student Life Centre great hall: information from UW academic departments about master’s and PhD programs.

Professional and Post-Degree Days, information on programs, requirements and funding at Canadian and international universities: October 15, focus on education, health, pharmacy, social work and college programs; Thursday, October 16, focus on MBA, veterinary, graduate studies, both days 11:00 to 2:00, Student Life Centre great hall.

Oktoberfest: “Universities Night” at Bingemans October 16, tickets $10 at Federation of Students office; UW engineering exclusive section at Concordia Club, October 17, from 6 p.m., information from engineering alumni affairs office; outing to Kitchener Auditorium, October 17, sponsored by Sigma Chi, details online.

Faculty promotions

Promoted to professor as of July 1, 2008, as reported by the president:

Trevor Charles, Biology
Pu Chen, Chemical Engineering
Michel Fich, Physics and Astronomy
Lee Fu, Civil and Environmental Engineering
Catherine Gebotys, Electrical and Computer Engineering
Srinivasan Keshav, Computer Science
Anne Marie Miraglia, French Studies
Barbara Moffatt, Biology
Robert Park, Anthropology
Omar Ramahi, Electrical and Computer Engineering
Ian Rowlands, Environment and Resource Studies
Steven Spencer, Psychology
Jennifer Stolz, Psychology
Matt Vijayan, Biology

Yesterday's Daily Bulletin