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Tuesday, December 21, 2010

  • 'Pride' at meeting future students
  • The first offers of September admission
  • Editor:
  • Chris Redmond
  • Communications and Public Affairs

[Yen Ho]'Pride' at meeting future students

In the latest issue of the alumni e-newsletter, Yen Ho (right), a co-op student (third-year French) working in the alumni affairs office, tells what it's like to be the person answering future students' questions about Waterloo

My Waterloo adventure began three years ago, and all the experiences and knowledge I'd gained in those three years would come into play at the Post-Secondary Information Night in November in Markham. I must admit that I was kind of nervous heading into the event. As the Alumni Affairs co-op student this term, I was given the task of managing this important event, and the perfectionist in me wanted everything to run smoothly.

Since there were student speakers on hand to assist guests with their questions, I never anticipated having high school students ask me questions. But I was more than delighted when they asked me about academics, extra-curricular activities, the co-op program, and if Waterloo had a "poor social environment."

My answer? "Don't listen to those rumours. Unless you've experienced being a student at Waterloo, I can tell you that it's not representative of Waterloo. Your social life will depend on what you make of your experience and how you choose to take advantage of what the school and city has to offer."

I felt a real sense of Warrior pride as I described Waterloo's unique programs, shared my own experiences and listened to parents share their experiences with their children.

As a student who is actively involved with organizing special events on campus (and with Alumni Affairs through two co-op terms), I can honestly say that this event really hit me on an emotional level. The events I've been involved with throughout my undergrad career include networking events, silent auctions, concerts, and Canada Day; what made this event extra special to me was what a large impact it has on high-school students and their parents — and the fact that I used to be in that same position. I remember going to university open houses with my parents in 2006 and being one of those nervous, but curious, students who ask every question imaginable.

While there haven't been many changes in the application process since I applied, I learned from alumni how much the application system and residence and student life have evolved over the past decades. Were you among those students who submitted paper applications in high school? One parent remembered mailing in his package over 25 years ago and joked about it with his daughter at the event.

Waterloo's innovation remains a strong fixture in our alumni's mind. Isabelle Henderson (who completed a Bachelor's, Master's and PhD at Waterloo) attended the event with her son and his friend and noted, "In my day, Waterloo was progressive and it continues to be progressive. Professors go into industry and come back, and that's what I love about it. We have ideas for the future."

Alumni have the strongest testimonials about Waterloo and experiences they can pass on to prospective students and even their own children when it's time for them to start researching potential schools. Upon graduation (countdown: one year and five months!), I hope to pass along the Waterloo story to others.

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[Waterboys on the stairs]

A cappella music from the student Waterboys ensemble was a feature of the Christmas party held last week for staff in the university's external relations division. "The boys", as they call themselves, are seen on the main stairway in Engineering 5; their repertoire ranged from Christmas classics to Kings of Leon covers. Johnny Trinh, who manages the ensemble, is now working in the alumni affairs office, part of external relations. He said the opportunity to join the party was a real boost as the Waterboys start fund-raising to get to an international a cappella championship at Penn State in a few weeks. Photo by Kayleigh Platz.

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The first offers of September admission

Staff in the registrar's office have sent out the first of what will eventually be more than 21,000 offers of admission to first year at Waterloo next September. Associate registrar (admissions) Nancy Weiner says that as of Friday, 1,160 offers had been issued — more than half of them in science and most of the rest in arts. All but about 125 of those receiving the first offers of admission are Ontario high school students with impressive marks: "626 have current grades that indicate 90% or higher and 410 have grades between 85 and 89.9%," says Weiner. Nearly all are being offered entrance scholarships. "We will continue to make rolling offers of admission," she said in a memo at the end of the week. She also reported that the first five offers of admission to the United Arab Emirates campus next fall have been sent out.

The Christmas and New Year's holiday will be starting any minute now — well, let's say 55 hours from the time this Daily Bulletin goes live — and will bring an almost complete shutdown of the university for 11 consecutive days, December 24 through January 3. Thursday's Daily Bulletin will have a complete roundup of closing and opening hours, special activities, security advisories and other useful information for the holiday. Meanwhile, it's not too soon to report that the safety office has issued its annual advice to managers of laboratories about precautions they should take before they lock the doors and head out for a holiday break. A web page dealing with the Christmas and New Year's shutdown warns that, among other things, labs have to be prepared for the power going off during the holidays: "Due to winter weather conditions utilities, especially electricity, may be affected. It is a general rule that all laboratory processes be designed to safely survive a service failure. During the holiday shutdown this is particularly important." Emergencies can be reported to ext. 33793. The site also notes that today is the last day for hazardous waste pickup, or for dropoffs at the Environmental Safety Facility.

The office of organizational and human development is encouraging staff members to mark February 11 on the calendar with a big red circle. "Save the date for another exciting speaker series keynote," writes Mark Lisetto-Smith of OHD. "There won’t come a day when change is no longer important. And that’s why people need a way of thinking about change that will guide them throughout their careers. They need a framework that shapes their thinking, regardless of the change being contemplated. That’s where the tools in Switch come in." Switch, it appears, "is the latest book by the Heath brothers", including Dan Heath, who will be on campus on that February Friday to speak on "How to Change Things When Change Is Hard". Organizers promise "a compelling, story-driven narrative" — and promise to announce details of the February 11 event, including time and location, soon after the holidays.

Chemistry professor Janusz Pawliszyn — no stranger to honours and awards — has received anther one. Pawliszyn is the winner of one of "10 prestigious awards honoring scientists who have made outstanding contributions to analytical chemistry and applied spectroscopy", all presented by Pittcon, more formally the Pittsburgh Conference on Analytical Chemistry and Applied Spectroscopy, known as "the world's largest annual conference and exposition for laboratory science". This year's event will be held in Atlanta in March, when Pawliszyn will be presented with the "Chromatography Forum of the Delaware Valley Dal Nogare Award".

Two staff members officially retired as of December 1, the human resources department reports. Delbert Whetstone was a member of the plant operations grounds crew, who came to the university in May 1969. Teresa Walker had been at the university since May 1977 (with a gap in 1979-80) in the registrar's office, the library, and most recently human resources, where she was a staff relations coordinator.

The interuniversity soccer season concluded round about the time the snow started flying, and officials at Ontario University Athletics have announced the year's award winners among players of both sexes. Mohammad Aborig, who scored five goals for the Warrior men's team this season, was named to the Ontario all-star "first team"; Tara Chadwick of the Warrior women's team was named to the all-star "second team".


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Link of the day

The winter solstice

When and where

Fall term examinations December 9-22. Fall term grades begin to appear on Quest December 23; grades become official January 24.

Library exam time extended hours: Dana Porter open 8 a.m. to 2 a.m. daily, Davis Centre library open 24 hours (except Sunday 2-8 a.m.), November 28 through December 22. Details.

Christmas lunch buffet at University Club through Wednesday, 11:30 to 2:00, reservations ext. 33801.

Engineering Science Quest holiday day camp for children in grades 2 to 5, December 20, 21, 22. Details.

Biology 2 building heating and ventilation shut down 4 to 8 p.m.

Christmas and New Year’s holiday: last day of work Thursday, December 23; UW closed December 24 through January 3; first day of work in 2011 is Tuesday, January 4.

Winter term fees due December 29 by bank transfer. Details.

Winter term classes begin Tuesday, January 4.

New student orientation Wednesday, January 5: campus tours depart 10:30 and 1:30 from visitors centre, South Campus Hall; reception and “services fair” 4:30 to 7:00, lower atrium, Student Life Centre. Details.

New international student orientation January 5, 12:30 to 4:00, location to be announced.

Return-to-campus interviews for co-op students (except architecture), January 5-7.

Weight Watchers at Work January 6, 13, 20 and 27, 12:15 p.m., Hagey Hall room 373; information ext. 32218.

School of pharmacy application deadline for January 2012 is January 9, 2011. Details.

Work reports due for most returning co-op students, Tuesday, January 11.

Application deadline for Ontario secondary school students to apply for September admission, January 12 (other deadlines pertain to some programs). Details.

Science alumni and friends Ski Day at Osler Bluff near Collingwood, January 14. Details.

Grade 10 family night for parents and university-bound students, information about application process, finances and choices, January 20, 6:30, Humanities Theatre.

Engineering alumni ski day at Osler Bluff near Collingwood, January 21. Details.

Waterloo Summit Centre for the Environment, Huntsville, Ontario, grand opening January 21, 4:00, reception 6:00, panel discussion 7:00, by invitation.

Employer interviews for spring term co-op jobs (“main” group of students) January 25 through February 16; pharmacy students, January 28. Details.

Distinguished Teacher Award nominations due Friday, February 4. Details.

Award for Exceptional Teaching by a Registered Student (Amit and Meena Chakma Award) nominations due Friday, February 11. Details.

PhD oral defences

Electrical and computer engineering. Emad Sharifi-Ghazvini, “Analysis of Electrical and Thermal Stresses in the Stress-Relief System of Inverter Fed Medium Voltage Induction Motors.” Supervisors, Sheshakamal Jayaram and Edward A. Cherney. On display in the faculty of engineering, PHY 3004. Oral defence Monday, January 10, 1:00 p.m., Davis Centre room 1304.

Electrical and computer engineering. Zhijun Li, “Efficient Authentication, Node Clone Detection and Secure Data Aggregation for Sensor Networks.” Supervisor, Guang Gong. On display in the faculty of engineering, PHY 3004. Oral defence Monday, January 10, 2:30 p.m., CEIT building room 3142.

Sociology. Joel Thiessen, “Active and Marginal Religious Affiliates in Canada: Describing the Difference and the Difference It Makes.” Supervisor, Lorne Dawson. On display in the faculty of arts, PAS 2434. Oral defence Tuesday, January 11, 1:30 p.m., PAS building room 2030.

Physics and astronomy. Rolf Horn, “Waveguide Sources of Photon Pairs.” Supervisors, Gregor Weihs and Thomas Jennewein. On display in the faculty of science, ESC 254A. Oral defence Tuesday, January 11, 2:00 p.m., Research Advancement Centre room 2004.

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