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Wednesday, March 23, 2011

  • Top co-op students are honoured today
  • Town hall meeting set for April 11
  • Police describe man seen with posters
  • More notes, robotic and otherwise
  • Editor:
  • Chris Redmond
  • Communications and Public Affairs


Among the Co-op Student of the Year winners: Adrian Morun of math, Katie Meredith of arts, Shaelyn Culleton of science.

Top co-op students are honoured today

The University of Waterloo, which pioneered co-operative education in Canada in 1957, will honour six top students today as part of celebrations for National Co-op Education Week.

Six students will receive the Co-op Student of the Year Award at a ceremony at 1:00 in the Tatham Centre. They will be recognized for "exemplary workplace performance" on a 2010 work term, along with such factors as community involvement, academic excellence and contribution to co-op education.

"The winners are just some of the many exceptional students enrolled in co-op," says Peggy Jarvie, executive director of co-operative education. "Their successes exemplify the determination and passion for learning that the University of Waterloo represents. It is with great pleasure that we recognize their accomplishments and thank them for their dedication." The six winners and the citations issued for them:

• Applied health sciences: Joel Brooks, 3B therapeutic recreation. "As part of his co-op experience, Joel Brooks lived in a remote Cree community in northern Québec for eight months. He worked at the Gaul Youth Development Institute. His duties included designing and implementing a daily athletics program for youths aged three to nine. His most impressive feat was planning and fundraising $10,000 for a team trip to Toronto, which he chaperoned, providing the Cree youth with an opportunity to see and experience life in a big city. Brooks did more than work at Wemindji — he actively sought out opportunities to invest in the community."

• Arts: Katie Meredith, 4B political science. "Katie Meredith lived for eight months on another continent as part of her co-op adventure. She was a research assistant at the National University of Singapore Institute of Systems Science. She was tasked with nine challenging projects, all of which she completed successfully. Her varied duties included composing a report that was presented at the institute's Innovation update seminar, researching and designing an online survey, conducting interviews and collating data. Another impressive accomplishment resulted from collaboration with a colleague: together they developed materials for the United Nations University to use in course development."

• Engineering: Jean-Samuel Rancourt, 4A mechanical engineering. "Jean-Samuel Rancourt has worked in regions across North America, from Longueuil, Québec, to San Antonio, Texas. His most recent term at Deloitte took him to the heart of Toronto’s financial district. Initially his duties were fairly standard, but the sudden leave-of-absence of a senior manager provided Rancourt with an opportunity to take on additional responsibilities. He met the job head-on and dealt directly with Deloitte’s biggest Canadian client. He helped in identifying mistakes and areas for improvement in cost models and developed a solid business case."

• Environment: Victoria Alleyne, 3B environment and business. "Government funding was recently cut from park interpretation programs in British Columbia. During her work term with BC Nature, Victoria Alleyne wanted to demonstrate the ramifications of this cut. She designed feedback forms to measure the effectiveness of interpretation programs, particularly assessing how much they affect the choice of campers to stay longer at parks. She published her findings in a 92-page report that was presented to BC’s minister of environment. Alleyne also co-ordinated naturalists across the province and ran programs for camp visitors."

• Mathematics: Adrian Morun, 4B business and math double degree. "Adrian Morun worked for several prominent companies, the most recent of which was Microsoft. While there, he collaborated with a team to develop a nationwide audience-satisfaction marketing campaign. More impressively, he assisted in refining the financial forecasting process, generating results with less that 0.1 per cent variance. He also facilitated the launch of Microsoft’s student brand, a job that necessitated flying across the country to speak at various universities."

• Science: Shaelyn Culleton, 4A biology. "Shaelyn Culleton is an experienced learner, both in the classroom and workplace. She has completed all five of her work terms with Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre, specifically the Odette Cancer Centre. This has provided her with the opportunity to write five book chapters (on four she is listed as first author) and 11 published or accepted journal articles. She’s also engaged in hands-on work, conducting a long-term quality of life study and analyzing results. As well, she has delivered presentations at two medical conferences. After 20 months of successful co-op work experiences, Culleton is ready to pursue medical school."

Thursday, the co-op department will be doing something new to mark National Co-op Week: hosting a lecture and networking luncheon at the Sheraton Toronto Airport Hotel in Mississauga. It’s aimed at new-to-Waterloo employers in the Greater Toronto Area, particularly those in the field of engineering.

The event’s theme is "Hiring for Tomorrow, Today", says Olaf Naese of the co-op department. It features Jarvie as well as two guest speakers, Michelle Manglai-Lan of Samsung (winner of the 2011 HRPA Overall Talent Management Award) and Tom Kotsopoulos of Apotex, who "will join Ms. Jarvie in discussing talent management strategies and the future of the workplace. Of course, a prime goal is to encourage co-op, summer, graduating, and alumni hiring and strengthen already established employer relationships in the GTA."

He said the department "hopes to use the occasion as another opportunity to enhance awareness of Waterloo’s range of co-op programs, appeal to senior HR managers by demonstrating Waterloo as a strategic business advantage, highlighting Waterloo’s innovative hiring practices and the availability of students."

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Town hall meeting set for April 11

Invitations went out yesterday for the next in the series of twice-a-year "town hall" meetings with the university's top officials, aimed at faculty and staff members. This one will be held Monday, April 11, starting at 3:00, in the Humanities Theatre.

Speaking and answering questions will be the newly appointed president, Feridun Hamdullahpur; provost Geoff McBoyle; and vice-president (external relations) Meg Beckel.

The invitation says Hamdullahpur will speak on "What Does It Mean to be a Global Top 100 University? Opportunity and Obligation”.

In the same way that's been used for past town hall meetings, faculty and staff can submit "confidential campus-related questions" by e-mail (townhall@ no later than April 4 to get them on the priority list — "or, time permitting, ask your question at the meeting.

An informal reception will follow the town hall meeting.

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Police describe man seen with posters

University police say they are looking for a man who was seen in Biology 2 building around 10 p.m. on March 9 (two weeks ago today) and could be connected to the anti-women posters that have preoccupied the campus this winter.

Says a statement issued yesterday morning: “UW Police are continuing the investigation into the offensive posters that have been distributed around campus and emailed to many of our campus community members. Many parking lots have now been opened in the evening allowing people to park closer to their destination.

“We encourage people to take personal safety precautions. Those working alone at night can call UW Police and let us know where they will be. Our officers will make patrols in the area and stop in to check on their wellbeing. The on and off campus shuttles are available to safely move students to their destination from 7 p.m. to 2 a.m.

“Last week a male, distributing posters in Biology 2, was confronted by a student. The male left the area, but is described as having olive skin, no accent, brown eyes and eyebrows, 5’9” to 5’11” and a slim build, wearing a black ski mask only with eye holes, black puffy jacket, possible goose down or feathers, black dress pants that appeared too long, black shoes and black gloves. He was carrying what appeared to be a laptop computer sleeve.

“Anyone with information is encouraged to call UW Police at extension 22222 or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS (8477).”

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More notes, robotic and otherwise

The Federation of Students, representing all Waterloo undergraduates, will hold its annual general meeting today at noon in the great hall of the Student Life Centre. Some of the agenda is routine, and some involves substantive changes to Federation structure. The largest proposed amendment is creation of a fifth position on the Feds' executive, joining the president and vice-presidents for administration and finance, education, and internal. The portfolio of the new VP (student affairs) would, says Kirsty Budd of the Feds' staff, "This portfolio would include responsibility for the promotion of the Federation of Students across campus, overseeing diversity programming and ensuring that students' views are represented to the Department of Co-operative Education and Career Services."

Some of Ontario and Michigan's brightest high school students will converge on Waterloo's campus Thursday through Saturday for the FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) Robotics Waterloo Regional Competition. This free event welcomes adults and children of all ages and is open to the public. The FIRST Robotics Competition is a series of short games played by remote-controlled robots that are designed and built within six weeks, from a common set of basic parts, by a team of students and engineer-mentors. The competition has grown to more than 2,000 teams from nine countries competing in 49 regional events, and culminates in the championship event, this year in St. Louis, with more than 10,000 student participants. Action at the Waterloo regional takes place in the Physical Activities Complex main gym, with practice rounds tomorrow from 10 to 5; seeding matches all day Friday and Saturday morning; and the final rounds from 1 to 4 p.m. on Saturday.

[Massive display in yellow and purple]Eighteen tons of food and 13 teams of builders arrived at Conestoga Mall on March 12, and ten hour later the “Canstruction” displays were ready, including the Yellow Submarine (left) created by Kevin Ling, Melanie Snow, Ahmed Mezil, Kirusha Srimohanarajah, Yasser Al-Khder, Michael Seliske and Nizar Hisan on behalf of Waterloo’s Engineering Society. “With a generous donation of $2,500 from Research In Motion,” Michael Seliske of EngSoc reports, “the team used over 2,000 cans to construct a submarine out of no-name tuna, soup, sardines, turkey and pasta.” Canstruction is an annual event that encourages members of the community to collect and raise donations of food, in order to build a piece of art and support the local food bank.

Future observatories on the moon that will allow researchers to examine problems in astrophysics will be explored in a free public lecture tomorrow. The talk, entitled “Exploring the Cosmos from the Moon”, will be given (7 p.m. Thursday in Optometry room 1129) by Jack Burns, a professor in the department of astrophysical and planetary sciences at the University of Colorado, Boulder. "The moon is a unique platform for astrophysical measurements of gravitation, the sun and the universe," says Burns. "In my lecture, I will show how plans for a giant radio telescope on the moon will be used to study the early universe." Burns also serves as chair of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration Advisory Council's Science Committee and chair of the American Astronomical Society’s committee on science and public policy. The lecture is hosted by the Guelph-Waterloo Physics Institute and Waterloo's faculty of science. "We would like to welcome the community for what should be a fascinating talk on space," says Brian McNamara, physics and astronomy professor and director of GWPI. "Jack Burns is a very distinguished scientist and we are delighted to welcome him to our campus." RSVPs should go by e-mail to scienceevents@ The event is preceded by coffee and dessert at 6:30 p.m.


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Japan club raising relief funds today

The Konnichiwa Japan Club will have a booth in "vendors' alley" in the Student Life Centre today, collecting funds for disaster relief in Japan. "As news of the earthquake and tsunami broke," says club president Tian Lei, "it moved me to see the enduring strength of the people of Japan. This donation drive is the least we as a club could do to show our support."

Federal budget

Ministry of finance
National Post
Education provisions
$50 million for Perimeter
Possible election date

Link of the day

National Puppy Day

When and where

Architecture student co-op job interviews in Cambridge conclude today. Rankings open March 24-25, match results March 29.

Health services and other departments present David Wright, psychiatrist on staff, “Impact of Trauma: PTSD and Other Consequences” 8:30 a.m., Math and Computer room 4061, RSVP ext. 36274. Health services will be closed until 10:10 a.m.

Engineering Design Symposium Week: electrical and computer engineering, today 9:30 to 8:00; nanotechnology engineering and software engineering, Friday 9:30 to 6:00; systems design engineering, March 28, 10:30 to 5:00, Davis Centre.

Free noon concert: “Prokofiev Quartet No. 2 and Other Russian Gems” (violins, viola, cello) 12:30, Conrad Grebel UC chapel.

Waterloo Institute for Complexity and Innovation seminar: Steve Purdey, University of Toronto, “Steady State Economics” 2:00, Rod Coutts Hall room 208.

Waterloo Public Interest Research Group film showing: “Dirt! The Movie” 7:00, Student Life Centre room 2139.

Pink Day coffee break fund-raiser for breast cancer research, Thursday 10:00, Needles Hall room 1021, with raffle on gift basket.

Recitals by music students March 24, 28, 29 and 30, 12:30 p.m., Conrad Grebel UC chapel, free admission.

Water Institute seminar: Steve Hrudey, University of Alberta, “The Environmental and Health Impacts of Canada’s Oil Sands” Thursday 1:30, Rod Coutts Hall room 112.

Religious studies lecture: Jacob Wright, Emory University, “Heroic Death in the Ancient Near East and the Hebrew Bible” Thursday 2:00, PAS building room 2438.

School of Computer Science Distinguished Lecture: Joe Marks, Disney Research, “Research at the Walt Disney Company” Thursday 4:15, Theatre of the Arts.

German Research Today: Magda Stroinska, McMaster University, “The Second Displacement: L2 Attrition and Loss in Aging Immigrants” Thursday 5:00, Tatham Centre room 2218.

Fourth-year fine arts students graduation show at East Campus Hall art gallery, opening reception Thursday 5 to 8 p.m.

‘Exploring the Cosmos from the Moon’ Faculty of Science lecture by Jack Burns, Dark Ages Radio Explorer telescope project, Thursday 6:30, Optometry room 1129.

Cooking Show event with David Evans, executive chef at Gordon Food Service, sponsored by food services, Thursday 7:00, Student Life Centre great hall, registration through dons.

Fine Arts Film Society showing of “The Tit and the Moon” (Spain, 1994) Thursday 7:00, East Campus Hall room 1220.

Jewish Studies lecture: Jacob Wright, Emory University, and David Novak, University of Toronto, “Must a Jew Be a Zionist to Be a Good Jew?” Thursday 7:30 p.m., Siegfried Hall, St. Jerome’s University.

‘Gasland’ free film screening Thursday 7:30, Princess Café, Waterloo, sponsored by WPIRG’s Cinema Politica.

FeFe Dobson at the Bombshelter pub, Student Life Centre, Thursday, doors open 8 p.m., advance tickets at Federation of Students office.

Centre for Family Business, based at Conrad Grebel UC, breakfast seminar, “The Story of Cox Creek Cellars and Kamil Juices” Friday, March 25, 7 a.m., Bingemans Conference Centre.

Student Conference on International Development: “Taking More than Pictures: Conversations About Volunteerism” Friday 10:00 to 4:00, St. Paul’s U College, keynote speaker Christal Earle of Absolute Leadership Development Inc., free. Register.

A cappella end-of-term concerts featuring AcaBellas, Unaccompanied Minors, Water Boys, UW Ensemble, Friday and Saturday 7:30, Theatre of the Arts, tickets $5 at Federation of Students office or at the door.

Earth Hour “turn it off” observations Saturday 6 to 10 p.m., Student Life Centre (lights off 8:30 to 9:30).

Athletics Banquet April 1, St. George Banquet Hall,  Waterloo, tickets $35 from athletics department office.

Last day of classes for the winter term Monday, April 4.

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