Friday, June 5, 2009

  • Stratford digital forum has a public side
  • Grad studies head will start July 1
  • The Keystone party, and other notes
  • Editor:
  • Chris Redmond
  • Communications and Public Affairs

Stratford digital forum has a public side

A free “boot camp” for members of the public who want to find out something about digital media will be a feature of the Canada 3.0 forum being sponsored by UW and other agencies in Stratford next week.

Organizers are promising “the rare opportunity to experience advanced digital media technologies and hear the provincial government’s perspective on the digital economy”. The Boot Camp was first announced for Tuesday morning, but there was so much demand that it's now available for Monday as well, according to Tobi Day-Hamilton, director of advancement for UW’s faculty of arts.

The forum as a whole is also sold out, Day-Hamilton said yesterday. It runs Monday and Tuesday, with involvement by senior politicians, policy-makers such as Konrad von Finckenstein, chairman of the Canadian Radio-television and Communications Commission, and people from high-tech industry and academe.

Participants in the forum, who are paying a $445 fee, are expected to be “visionaries, strategists, and entrepreneurs from the private sector, all levels of government, and universities and colleges”, the forum web site says.

Sessions will deal with such topics as “mobility and media”, “enterprise information management”, “talent attraction and retention”, and “digital shovels”.

Stratford mayor Dan Mathieson is among the dignitaries who will speak to forum participants in the city’s Festival Theatre on Monday evening. “Hosting the Canada 3.0 digital media conference in Stratford makes a great fit with a community noted for its heritage in the arts,” he says. “Digital media will be all about bridging geographic boundaries, connecting minds and communities across the country and around the world. I’d encourage anyone who can attend the Community Digital Boot Camp to take advantage of the opportunity for insight into what the digital economy can bring to our community and the country.”

Day-Hamilton says that boot camp participants essentially get to visit the displays that are provided for forum registrants, and hear the keynote talks. “We plan to make the Boot Camp a great experience for everyone who attends by having leading edge, cool digital technologies there for hands-on experience as well as interaction with the fascinating people who are involved in bringing these technologies to life. And government representatives will be sharing their perspective on what this all means for an economy in transition.”

UW’s Stratford Institute, with two partners — the Canadian Digital Media Network and Open Text Corporation — are hosting Canada 3.0 and say they intend to attract “thought leaders from the fields of industry, government, research and education, and content and entertainment.”

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Grad studies head will start July 1

A former vice-president of Wilfrid Laurier University will be the next administrator in charge of UW’s graduate programs — the position formerly known as dean of graduate studies.

[Horton]Sue Horton (left), an economist whose specialty is health issues, will come to UW as of July 1, according to a memo issued yesterday by provost Amit Chakma.

She’ll serve as associate provost (graduate studies), a new title recommended by a task force last year.

Says Chakma’s memo: “I am pleased to announce the appointment of Dr. Sue Horton as the Associate Provost, Graduate Studies for a five year term effective July 1, 2009. Dr. Horton brings a wealth of administrative experience and distinguished academic credentials and accomplishment to the University of Waterloo. She will be appointed as the Centre for Global Innovation Chair in Global Health Economics in the Balsillie School of International Affairs with a cross appointment to the Department of Health Studies and Gerontology.

“Dr. Horton is currently a Professor of Economics at Wilfrid Laurier University. From 2004 to 2008 she served as WLU’s Vice President Academic, and prior to that she was Interim Vice Principal and Dean at the University of Toronto at Scarborough. Dr. Horton received her MA degree from Cambridge and Ph.D. from Harvard.

“Please join David [Johnston, president of UW] and me in welcoming Sue to the University of Waterloo. We look forward to her leadership in expanding UW's graduate activities.

“Let me take this opportunity to thank Alan George for serving as Interim Dean of Graduate Studies since October 2007.”

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The Keystone party, and other notes

"Close to 2,000" staff, faculty and retirees showed up for the Keystone Campaign carnival event at noontime on Wednesday, says Julia Wegenast of UW's development office, who sends thanks to the sponsors and volunteers involved in the celebration. There was food, there were games [Four winners with leis](those are the Ravishing Ravens, winners of the scavenger hunt event, at right), there were door prizes (grand prize went to Michele Laing of the library) and there were a few remarks from the stage. "Emcee Steve Brown, introduced his fellow Keystone Campaign co-chairs, Pamela Helmes-Hayes and Bob Norman, who shared their sincere gratitude to Keystone donors," says Wegenast. "Event co-chairs Sarah Dee and Pat Mihm also expressed their appreciation to event sponsors and participants. Katrina Di Gravio and Ian Taylor let the good times roll with their toe-tapping tunes. And Waterloo’s very own “Shawnathan” (fourth year drama student Shawn Desouza-Coelho) wasn’t clowning around when he captivated the crowd with a little magic. A second celebration was held later in the day for evening staff. Stewart Forrest (plant operations) shared a few words, and attendees had the chance to win fabulous prizes and socialize over coffee and refreshments. The two events launch the annual Keystone Campaign June appeal program. Throughout the coming weeks, close to 5,000 appeal and thank-you packages will be sent to staff, faculty, and retirees."

A funeral service will be held today for John "Starr" Hamel, faculty member in electrical and computer engineering, who died this week at the age of 49. Says the official obituary notice: "Born in Tillsonburg, Starr graduated from Kingsville High School. He then graduated in 1982 with a degree in Electrical Engineering from R.M.C., Kingston. Starr served with distinction for the following five years in the Canadian Air Force in active duty including the U.N. Peacekeeping in the Middle East — Sinai. In 1986 through to 1990, he achieved his Masters Degree and PhD Degree through the University of Waterloo. He went on to work as Prof of Engineering at Canterbury University, Christchurch, N.Z. and at Southampton University, England. In 2000, Dr. Hamel returned to Canada. . . . Much loved son of John Starr Hamel Sr. and Mary Elizabeth Fardella-Hamel of Tillsonburg. Loved father of Michael Hamel of Waterloo, loved brother of Jackie and her husband Steve Cousins of St. Marys, Lynn and her husband Ron Tiessen of Pelee Island, and David Hamel of Vernon, B.C. Also survived by several nieces and nephews, aunts, uncles, and cousins. In keeping with Dr. Hamel's wishes, cremation has taken place. Friends and relatives will be received at St. Mary's R.C. Church, 51 Venison St. W., Tillsonburg, where a Funeral Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated by Rev. Father Matthew George on Friday, June 5 at 11 a.m. Memorial donations to the Oxford Alzheimers Society can be arranged through the Verhoeve Funeral Home, 262 Broadway Street, Tillsonburg."

Finding it chilly in recent days? “The temperature in May was pretty much average for the entire month,” says Frank Seglenieks of the UW weather station. “The final overall average temperature was half a degree below average, but this is not enough below the average to put it outside of the average range.” The average daily high was 18.1 Celsius and the average daily low was 6.2, he says, adding, “I really don't want to jinx it, but the last time the temperature was below zero was on the morning of May 18 (the Monday of the Victoria Day long weekend). Assuming this holds, it will be the second latest last frost day in the 11 year history of the UW weather station. Back in 2002 the last frost day was May 21.” As for precipitation, “up until the 26th it looked like it was going to be a dry month, but in the last five days an impressive 42.2 mm came down. As only January had below average precipitation, the first five months of 2009 collectively have come in as far above average.”

Peter Fisher, who worked for UW's department of earth sciences for some 30 years up to his retirement in 1996, died Tuesday, aged 74, at Freeport Health Centre in Kitchener. "Friends are invited," says a note from one of them, "to the Fireside Room at Erb & Good Funeral Home on Saturday, from 2 to 4 p.m."


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Link of the day

World Environment Day

When and where

[Sound in the Lands logo]

Sound in the Lands, conference exploring Mennonite music, through Monday, Conrad Grebel University College. Concerts: Chamber music ($10, students $5) Friday 8:00, Grebel chapel; World Music Collaborative Concert ($10 and $5) Saturday 8:30, Grebel great hall; Choral concert ($10 and $5) Sunday 8:00, First United Church, Waterloo. Details.

Wilfrid Laurier University spring convocation ceremonies continue: today 10:00, Waterloo Memorial Recreation Complex; June 10, 10:00, Sanderson Centre for the Performing Arts, Brantford. Details.

[Portion of new building]

School of Optometry continuing education weekend: official opening of Optometry building expansion, today 11:30 a.m., by invitation; Woodruff Lecture by Judith West-Mays, McMaster University, today 4:45; Clair Bobier lecture by William Bobier, UW optometry, Saturday 4:45; reunion dinner Saturday; optometric assistants’ program. Details. Dedication of Witer Learning Resource Centre, scheduled for today 5:00, has been postponed because the donor is recovering from an injury.

Waterloo Space Society presents Robert McNees, Perimeter Institute, speaking on string theory, 5:30, Rod Coutts Hall room 306.

Let’s Dance performance Saturday and Sunday 1:30 p.m., Humanities Theatre.

‘The Impostor Phenomenon in Academia’ workshop sponsored by Centre for Teaching Excellence, Monday 1:00, Flex Lab, Dana Porter Library. Details.

School of Architecture dedication ceremony for Stantec Architecture Gallery, building atrium, 7 Melville Street South, Cambridge, Tuesday 4:30 p.m., information ext. 84900.

Ninety-Eighth Convocation: applied health sciences and environment, and installation of Chancellor, Wednesday, June 10, 10:00; science, Wednesday 2:30; arts, Thursday, June 11, 10:00 and 2:30; mathematics, Friday, June 12, 10:00 and 2:30; engineering, Saturday, June 13, 10:00 and 2:30; all ceremonies in Physical Activities Complex. Details.

Waterloo Region rapid transit public meeting of Regional Council, Wednesday 5 p.m., 150 Frederick Street, Kitchener. Details.

Graham Medal Seminar: Craig Eisler, Microsoft, “Software and Innovation: A 20-Year Perspective” Thursday 2 p.m., Davis Centre room 1302. Reception follows. Register ext. 37747.

School of Computer Science Distinguished Lecture: Andrew Chi-Chih Yao, Tsinghua University, “Communication Complexity and Its Applications” Thursday 4:30, Davis Centre room 1302.

Lebold Endowment Fundraising Banquet at Conrad Grebel University College, Thursday 6:30 p.m., speaker Ron Mathies, “Becoming a Global Community of Faith”, ticket information ext. 24223.

Autism Update professional development session with expert panel, organized by UW school of pharmacy and KidsAbility centre, Friday, June 12, 9:00 to noon, Bingemans Conference Centre, information 519-886-8886 ext. 206.

Brubacher House Museum 30th anniversary celebration, with speaker Ken McLaughlin, UW historian, “Saving the John E. Brubacher House: Giving the Past a Future”, Saturday, June 13, 1:30, Conrad Grebel University College great hall.

UW Senate meets Monday, June 15, 4:30 p.m., Needles Hall room 3001.

Waterloo Institute for Nanotechnology Distinguished Lecture: Yuan T. Lee, Nobel prize winner in chemistry, “Ionization Processes of Molecular Clusters” Tuesday, June 16, 3:00, CEIT room 1015.

25-Year Club annual reception Thursday, June 18, 6:00 p.m., Physical Activities Complex, by invitation, information ext. 32078.

Last day for 50 per cent fee refund for dropped courses, June 19.

Co-op job ranking for fall term opens June 19, 1:00 p.m., closes June 22, 2:00 p.m.; match results available June 22, 4:00 p.m.

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