Friday, November 5, 2010

  • 'Ideas' slogan meant to boost the brand
  • Morning talk about (mostly) coffee
  • Editor:
  • Chris Redmond
  • Communications and Public Affairs

[Buttons in a jar]'Ideas' slogan meant to boost the brand

“Ideas start here” say the brochures and websites that beckon future students to Waterloo, the buttons and banners that will greet them at tomorrow’s open house — even a new series of feature stories that are to be launched on the university’s home page today.

The slogan is a new way of talking about that old Waterloo standby, “innovation”, particularly to an audience of young people and their parents. “The goal,” says Julie Kalbfleisch, “is to spread the word about Waterloo’s brand identity — that ideas and innovations start and grow here.” Kalbfleisch is assistant director of the office of marketing and undergraduate recruitment — although, as she begins a maternity leave this month, her job will be carried for the coming year by Nancy Heide, hitherto in the communications and public affairs office.

The “ideas” slogan grew out of a process that started a year ago, Kalbfleisch says. “Because of the new visual identity we knew that we would be updating all of the recruitment publications and strategies and that it was time to come up with a new concept,” she says. “Through the process of brainstorming we looked at the words that we know Waterloo owns —  specifically ‘innovation’. We also looked at the brand promise of ‘building the future through innovation and experience’ and used these concepts along with the other attributes as jumping-off points.

“We see words like innovative, experience, best, first, being used across the board in university marketing materials and we really wanted to go in a different direction to ensure that we stand out from the competition. This is when we landed on the word ‘idea’. We feel that ‘idea’ as a concept encompasses everything that we’re about at Waterloo, whether it’s a start-up company, a new electronic device, or a student club — they all start from an idea. We think ‘idea’ is a friendly and more accessible word for our audience of high school students who may not yet seen themselves as innovative but do see themselves as having good ideas.”

The “idea” or “innovation” theme is a powerful one in attracting students to Waterloo, says Tina Roberts, the director of MUR, who reports that a survey of students who turned down offers from Waterloo shows they’re less familiar with this university’s innovative reputation than the students who did choose to come here.

“From a creative concept point of view this ‘idea’ can be taken in many directions,” says Kalbfleisch. “From the word idea we came up with some tag-lines or approaches that Creative Services was able to translate into a design.” More surveys and face-to-face conversations with current students and high school students, “and even some parents”, drew good response, she says, and that has led to using the tagline in a variety of ways from web to print.

And then there are the buttons, thousands of them, “available to anyone and everyone with the hope that our message will spread far and wide.” Orientation leaders helped spread them across campus in early September, and they can be picked up at locations such as the Student Life Centre (headquarters for tomorrow’s open house), the visitor centre in South Campus Hall, the Tatham Centre, the registrar’s office and the Dana Porter Library. Departments who need buttons in quantity can request them from the visitor centre.

“You should have seen at orientation week,” one first-year student told a marketing official. “There were leaders with buttons all over their shirts! It was awesome, and that is where I got the ones for my backpack and for my room in rez. Now I need more to send home to my brothers and friends in high school!”

Plenty more will likely be heading to high schools after tomorrow’s open house, as some 5,000 students and parents are expected to drop by the campus (and the university’s Kitchener and Cambridge locations) for presentations and tours.

As for the university’s home page, starting today it’ll be presenting eight stories about “ideas that started at the University of Waterloo”. Says Kelley Teahen, director of external relations: “These match the topics currently featured on banners along University Avenue and part of Phillip Street that name an innovation, invention, or area of study.

“Each faculty has chosen an idea to highlight: The euro for arts (through former economics chair Robert Mundell); the BlackBerry for engineering (which began as an idea by then engineering student Mike Lazaridis); the disciplines of stream ecology (science), kinesiology (applied health sciences) and quantum cryptography (mathematics); and (for environment) the concept of biosphere reserves, special areas of land — there are 15 in Canada — that combine environmental protection and sustainable jobs.

“Rounding out the stories are a couple of more recent Waterloo innovations: the VeloCity dormcubator, and the now-annual Canada 3.0 conference held in Stratford, begun by Waterloo in 2009 in partnership with others from the region's digital media world.”

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[Panorama in EV1 courtyard]

More than 150 people gathered for a "town hall meeting" at noontime Tuesday, hosted by the Environment Student Society. The meeting was organized to hear about plans for Faculty of Environment buildings, including the rapidly rising EV3 building. Dean Mark Seasons, along with student representatives, building committee members and several administrators spoke about the opportunities for input from various stakeholders and answered questions. Key issues: a plan to move the University Map Library out of EV1 (into the Dana Porter Library), and the decision to negotiate with Starbucks to open an outlet — the first one on campus — in EV3. Photo by Joe Bevan, faculty of environment.

Morning talk about (mostly) coffee

A new café in the Pharmacy building in downtown Kitchener will open in January, according to an announcement yesterday from the Federation of Students. "The café, which is a joint venture between the University’s Federation of Students and the Society of Pharmacy Students, will be similar to Federation Xpress in the Student Life Centre and include a mix of fresh hot and cold lunch items," says Sarah Cook, Federation vice-president (administration and finance). Hours of operation will be from be 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., "and FedS is also looking into a fresh vending machine to have snacks, drinks and light meals for the evening hours."

[Coffee]Said Cook: "We are excited for this opportunity to better serve Pharmacy students. We are in the process of surveying students to determine what they would like to see in the café, as well as holding a contest for those students to choose the name for the café space. We truly want this café to be a source of pride for Pharmacy students." She said the Federation believes that the initiative will create a stronger connection between the satellite campus in Kitchener and the Federation. “Students have told us that they would like to see more of a FedS presence on their satellite campuses and we saw this as a way to start serving these students more effectively,” said her announcement. “This is not only a chance for us to serve food and beverages, but also to provide a platform to offer services and resources to our students at this campus.” The university has waived rent on the space, which is in the building's lobby area off Victoria Street.

Meanwhile, on the main campus, the Iron Warrior newspaper reports that the Engineering C-and-D ("coffee and doughnut") stand in Carl Pollock Hall will be closed for several weeks, starting November 15, along with the engineers' beloved POETS Pub. "The engineering home base will be closed for foyer renovation and asbestos removal," writes IW reporter Lydia Terisno. "The good news is that you will have a better engineering lounge when it is reopened in January 2011."

Now, moving off the subject of coffee (and other drinks), let's talk about the weather. Frank Seglenieks of the university’s weather station describes October as “another hot month with above average precipitation”. Some details: “There was a warm stretch at the beginning of the month and one at the end, but no prolonged cold streaks. Thus the overall temperature for October was 1.4 degrees higher than average. This continues the streak of above average temperatures for each month of the year. However, I compared this year to 1998 (which was the hottest year in the region) and even if the last two months were both 6 degrees above average it still wouldn’t be enough to be warmer than it was in 1998. Note that in the last 10 years, only one time has a month been 6 degrees above average.” October also brought the first frost of the season, at 3:30 a.m. on the 13th: “The 155 frost days this year was about the average for the past decade. The precipitation was on the high end of average for most of the month. A couple of wet months in a row means that we are now at 770.1 mm of precipitation for the year, a little above the average for this time of year.”

President Feridun Hamdullahpur sent this memo across campus yesterday: "As you may know, the K-W United Way Campaign is in full swing and is relying on its many community partners to help them reach their three-year goal of $21 million. Our campaign is one of the largest in the region — without our support, many local charities will not receive the adequate funding they need to implement their programs, which are designed to bring about long-term positive, sustainable change. Currently, we are $50,000 short of our $200,000 goal. I am asking that anyone who has not donated yet to consider giving a gift or renewing your gift from previous years. Remember, all donations of any size will make a difference! To those of you on campus who have already sent in your pledge form, please accept my heartfelt thanks and appreciation. As a special incentive, I will be hosting a breakfast for five donors who submit their pledge form by Friday, November 12. All donors to the campaign will be entered into the draw, and winners will be notified by the end of November. I will keep my eye on the campaign, having every confidence that we will meet our goal, and in turn help those in our community less fortunate than ourselves.”

Finally . . . in a low-key by-election, undergraduate students are in the process of choosing two of their representatives to the university senate. (The academic governing body includes a total of eight undergraduate seats.) Candidates for a position representing environment students are Nelson Shang, Karim Rahemtulla, Sean McCann, and Mariam Gill. Candidates for a position representing students at large are Sean Christopher Sherwood Hunt, Heather Mawhinney, and Mehak Sheraz.


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Links of the day

DiwaliGuy Fawkes Standard time

When and where

Doug Wright Engineering building elevator shut down for renovation, October 18 through December 10.

Co-op work reports marked by field coordinators available for pickup at information desk, Tatham Centre, as of Friday.

Centre for Teaching Excellence presents “The Best of Both Worlds: A Day-Long Workshop on Designing Blended Courses”, Flex Lab, Dana Porter Library. Details.

Institute for Computer Research presents Jochen Kuester, IBM Research, “Process Model Change Management” 10:00, Davis Centre room 1304.

Laurier Day open house for future students, Wilfrid Laurier University: Waterloo campus today; Brantford campus, Friday, November 12. Details.

Knowledge Integration seminar: Peter Russell, “Evolution of the Earth Sciences Museum” 2:30, Environment II room 2002.

Career workshop: “Interview Skills, Selling Your Skills” 2:30, Tatham Centre room 1208. Details.

Waterloo Engineering Competition in categories of Senior Design, Junior Design, and Consulting Engineering, Friday evening and Saturday morning, Rod Coutts Hall and Doug Wright Engineering building. Details.

Warrior sports this weekend: Men’s volleyball vs. Queen’s Friday 7:00, vs. RMC Saturday 6:00, PAC. • Men’s hockey vs. York Friday 7:30, Icefield; at Western, Saturday. • Women’s hockey vs. Laurier Saturday 2:00, Icefield. • Women’s volleyball vs. Toronto Saturday 8:00, PAC. •  Field hockey CIS championship tournament continues, Guelph. • Basketball (men and women) at RMC Friday, at Queen’s Saturday. • Men’s tennis, OUA championships, York, Friday-Sunday. • Cheerleading, Alliance Fall Classic, Mississauga, Saturday.

Computer Science Club “Hackathon” 7 p.m., Math and Computer room 3002.

DaCapo Chamber Choir, based at Conrad Grebel University College, performs with K-W Symphony Friday 8:00, Saturday 8:00, Sunday 2:30, Centre in the Square.

Beyond Borders pancake breakfast and information session about student travel and service programs, donation $5 (family $15), Sunday 10:30 to 1:30, St. Jerome’s University community centre.

Entrepreneur Week sponsored by Communitech, November 8-12. Details.

Apple seminar on mobile technology in education, best practices for iPad, iPhone and iPod, Monday 10:00 to 2:00, Needles Hall room 1116. Register.

Career workshops Monday: “Careers Beyond Academia” 12:00, Tatham Centre room 2218. “Exploring Your Personality Type” 2:30, Tatham room 1112. Details.

White Coat Ceremony for induction of new optometry students, Monday 6:00, Optometry building student commons.

Alumni in Singapore: networking reception Monday 7:00, Screening Room. Details.

Centre for Teaching Excellence new faculty lunch-and-learn: “Creating and Using Rubrics” Tuesday 11:45, Flex Lab, Dana Porter Library. Details.

School of Computer Science distinguished lecture: Susan Landau, Harvard University, “Surveillance or Security? The Risks Posed by New Wiretapping Technologies” Tuesday 4:30, Davis Centre room 1302.

Co-op job postings for architecture students open Wednesday, November 10, 9:00 a.m., in new WaterlooWorks system; close Friday 9 a.m.; employer interviews begin November 23; interviews in Toronto November 26; rankings November 29-30.

Retirees’ Association fall luncheon with presentation by Larry Martin, “Enriching Our Hobbies and Pastimes Through Photography”, Wednesday, cash bar 11:30, lunch 12:00, Luther Village, 139 Father David Bauer Drive, tickets $25, information 519-888-0334.

‘The Comedy of Errors’ by William Shakespeare, drama department production, preview (by invitation) Wednesday 7:00; public performances November 11-13 and 18-20, 8 p.m. Theatre of the Arts, tickets 519-888-4908.

Alumni in Beijing: networking reception Wednesday 7:00, Contempio Cafe and Bar. Details.

Engineering Remembrance Day ceremony Thursday 10:40 a.m., Carl Pollock Hall foyer.

Staff recognition reception honouring staff members with 5th, 10th, 15th, 20th, 30th, 40th or 45th anniversary at UW, Thursday 4 to 6 p.m., South Campus Hall, by invitation, information ext. 32078.

Engineering Student Awards Dinner Thursday 5:00, St. George’s Hall, Waterloo, by invitation. Details.

Think Pink weekend presented by athletics and recreational services, November 12-14, with events and promotions at Warrior and campus recreation events. Details.

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