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Thursday, June 7, 2012

  • Social Development Studies profs win awards
  • VeloCity Venture Fund disbursed today
  • WCMS migration continues
  • Pension Plan info sessions coming
  • Copyright clearance arrangement statement
  • Editor:
  • Brandon Sweet
  • Communications and Public Affairs

Students on the BMH green.

Blinded by the light: or at least, they would have been, without their nifty protective eyewear. Physics student Melanie Chanona and Civil Engineering grad Marius Hexan were among the hundreds of stargazers (sungazers? planetwatchers?) who took in the rare Transit of Venus on Tuesday.

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Social Development Studies profs win awards

A news release from Renison University College

May was a great month for Social Development Studies professors, with three two of them receiving awards or grants.

Kristina Llewellyn.Professor Kristina R. Llewellyn (right) received the Outstanding Publication in Curriculum Studies Award for her article, Educating for active compliance: discursive constructions in citizenship education. This annual award recognizes an outstanding publication related to scholarly insights and advances made in Curriculum Studies in Canada, and is given out by The Canadian Association for Curriculum Studies (CACS).

[Note: due to an embargo, one of the award recipients cannot be named at this time. My apologies for any confusion]

JC Blokhuis.Professor J.C. Blokhuis (left) has received a research grant of $37,400 from the Spencer Foundation for a comparative legal study entitled, “Public Educational Authority and Children’s Rights from a Parens Patriae Perspective.” The Spencer Foundation, established in 1962 by Lyle M. Spencer, founder of Science Research Associates (SRA), awards grants to applicants whose research about education will ultimately improve students’ lives and enrich society.

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VeloCity Venture Fund disbursed today

"The VeloCity Venture Fund is happening today in the SLC Great Hall from 2:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m.," writes VeloCity marketing and communications manager Kim Ho. "We are thrilled to be giving away $100K to support 4 start up teams at $25K each."

The pitches will take place from 2:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. followed by the announcement of the winning teams and networking at 3:00 p.m. with light refreshments served.

The VeloCity Venture Fund was created in March of 2011, inspired by Kik Interactive Inc. founder Ted Livingston's $1 million donation as well as his personal success story. Livingston created his mobile messaging app while living in the VeloCity residence. The fund awards up to four $25,000 prizes to student-run startups to help them become established in their related industry.

"We are honoured to welcome our special guest, Vice-President, Academic and Provost Dr. Sallie Ann Keller in addition to our judges Michael Stork, Karamdeep Jinar, and Tim Ellis to this unique event," concludes Ho.

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WCMS migration continues

Here's a note from Pat Lafranier of Information Systems and Technology (IST): "We are pleased to report that as of today we now have 70 websites in the Waterloo Content Management System (WCMS) including Applied Health Sciences, Environment, Science, and Engineering. To see a complete list of sites in the WCMS and sites in the progress of being migrated check out the WCMS migration schedule on the Web Resources site. Working with areas across the university has helped to guide us with functionality requirements and given us constructive feedback and we appreciate their continued input. Migration meetings, training, support, and adding new functionality (e.g. forms, social media widgets, OFIS integration) continues to keep the WCMS team very busy. WCMS information is available from the Web Resources website."

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Pension plan info sessions coming

"The Pension and Benefits Committee (P&B) will be hosting public information sessions for members of the University of Waterloo pension plan on June 12, 2012 and June 26, 2012," reads a memo circulated yesterday.

"The information sessions will provide an overview of the pension plan, its financial position, how it compares relative to other public sector plans, steps taken in recent years to improve the position of the plan, as well as changes P&B intends to recommend to the Board to maintain the long-term health of the plan. The recommended changes include:

  • Increasing university and member contribution rates
  • Extending the averaging period for calculating final average earnings (used for the pension calculation)
  • Decreasing guaranteed indexing of pensions to 75% of CPI
  • Increasing the pension plan cap

"The above changes will be explained in more detail during the presentation. After the presentation, the actuary and members of P&B will be available to answer questions."

Pension plan members are encouraged to attend. Managers are requested to allow employees to take time to attend these meetings during work hours. The meetings will each be 1.5 hours in length and will be held in J.R. Coutts Engineering Lecture Hall (RCH). The meeting dates, times and room numbers in RCH are:

  • June 12: 2:15 p.m. to 3:45 p.m., RCH301 and 5:45 p.m. to 7:15 p.m., RCH307
  • June 26: 12:45 p.m. to 2:15 p.m., RCH301, 2:15 p.m. to 3:45 p.m., RCH301, and 5:45 p.m. to 7:15 p.m., RCH307.

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Copyright clearance agreement statement

a message from the Vice-President, Academic and Provost

The University of Waterloo has decided not to sign the copyright license negotiated by Access Copyright and the Association of Universities and Colleges of Canada.

The University will work with its internal stakeholders to ensure copyright regulations are respected, required permissions are obtained, necessary costs are covered, and appropriate transparency and accountability exist.

Further information will be provided as more specific details are available. In the interim, should you have any questions please do not hesitate to contact Bruce Mitchell, Associate Provost, Resources, or Mark Haslett, University Librarian.

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Link of the day

Betamax, we hardly knew ye

CHIP closes at 3:30 p.m. today

The Computing Help and Information Place (CHIP) in MC 1052 will close on Thursday, June 7th at 3:30pm so staff can attend a departmental function. This closure will include all CHIP services, helpdesk, software distribution, hardware repairs as well as ITMS services for media resources and equipment loans.

The CHIP will reopen on Friday at 8:00 a.m.

From to with Larry Smith

Having his November 2011 TEDxUW talk featured on TED's main webpage was just the beginning for economics professor Larry Smith.

Since it went online, the talk, entitled "Why You Will Fail to Have a Great Career," has amassed more than 1.026 million views on the site.

This spurred CNN to publish a feature article, written by Smith, that expands on the theme introduced in his lecture.

The article "allows him to elaborate and touch upon several of the contentious debates that his talk set off in the online corridors of TED and beyond," writes TEDxUW organizer Prashanth Gopalan. "And from the public's response to it, it has been well-received, racking up 1800+ likes, shares, and views on Facebook already!"

When and where

Waterloo Region Commuter Challenge, June 3 to 9. Details.

uW Chanchlani India Policy Centre presents Dr. Sucha Singh Gill, Director of the Centre for Rural and Industrial Development in Chandigarh, India, "Functioning of Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (MNREGS) in India: A Case Study of Punjab," Thursday, June 7, 2:00 p.m., Balsillie School of International Affairs room 143.

Chemical Engineering seminar featuring Laura A. Palomares, Insituto de Biotecnologia, Unversidad Nacional Autonoma de Mexico (UNAM), “Viral Structural Proteins: From Vaccines to Nanotechnology,” Thursday, June 7, 3:30 p.m., E6-4022.

Keystone picnic event for evening staff, Friday, June 8, 6:00 p.m., Bombshelter Pub, Student Life Centre.

22nd Annual Matthews Golf Classic, Monday, June 11, 2012, Grand Valley Golf Course, Cambridge
Volunteers needed for this sold out event. Contact Sheila Hurley at Ext. 33587 for further information.

Science awards luncheon, Tuesday, June 12, 12:00 p.m., University Club.

Master of Digital Experience Innovation student showcase, Tuesday, June 12, 5:00 p.m., Waterloo Stratford Campus. Register today.

2012 J.W. Graham Lecture, featuring Stephen M. Watt, Distinguished University Professor, University of Western Ontario / Lead Director, Descartes Systems Group, "Leading Flying Objects," Thursday, June 14, 1:30 p.m., DC 1302. Reception to follow in DC 1304.

Cheriton School of Computer Science Distinguished Lecture Series featuring Zvi Galil, Georgia Institute of Technology, "Real-Time Streaming String-Matching," Thursday, June 14, 3:30 p.m., DC 1302.

Chemical Engineering seminar featuring Xingcheng Xiao, Chemical Sciences and Materials Systems Laboratory
General Motors Global R&D Center, Warren, MI, “Advanced Electrode Materials for Lithium Ion Batteries,” Thursday, June 14, 3:30 p.m., E6-4022. Coffee and donuts will be served at 3:20 p.m.

The Institute for Computer Research presents Professor Amir Khandani, RIM-NSERC Industrial Research Chair, Canada Research Chair
Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, University of Waterloo, “Shaping the Future of Wireless: Two-way Connectivity,” Friday, June 15, 2012, 2:00 p.m. DC 1302.

University senate Monday, June 18, 3:30, Needles Hall room 3001.

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