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Monday, May 7, 2012

  • Local Early Researcher Award winners named
  • Greg Francis hired as Warrior basketball coach
  • Celebrating Nursing Week on campus
  • Editor:
  • Brandon Sweet
  • Communications and Public Affairs

Waterloo-area Early Researcher Award winners.
Local Early Researcher Award winners named

with material from a media relations office news release

Eight University of Waterloo researchers have received prestigious Early Researcher Awards.

On Friday, May 4, the Hon. John Milloy, MPP for Kitchener Centre, announced the 11 Waterloo-area researchers and their projects from uWaterloo, Wilfrid Laurier University and Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics that this provincial initiative will help support. Pictured above are (back row, l to r) Michael Duschenes, Chief Operating Officer, Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics, Lucy Lee, Chair and Professor, Department of Biology, Wilfrid Laurier University, Boxin Zhao, University of Waterloo, John Milloy, Minister of Community and Social Services, Feridun Hamdullahpur, Laurie J. Barclay, Wilfrid Laurier University, Andrew Faulkner, University of Waterloo, and (front row, l to r) Alexander Wong, University of Waterloo, Zhongwei Chen, University of Waterloo, Jennifer Baltzer, Wilfrid Laurier University, Pedro Vieira, Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics, and Ricardo Fukasawa, University of Waterloo.

The total amount of the funding announced was $1.5 million.

“The province, the country and the world continue to learn more about the world-class research taking place here,” said president Feridun Hamdullahpur. “The funding we receive today will increase the ability of our faculty and students to anticipate, address and overcome some of the key challenges of tomorrow.”

Each uWaterloo researcher will receive $140,000 to support his or her project, for a total of $1.12 million. In addition to Professor Wong, the Ontario government is recognizing the following uWaterloo researchers and their projects:

  • Professor Alexander Wong is developing advanced computer-aided systems for the early diagnosis of prostate cancer.
  • Professor Zhongwei Chen is working on a long-term solution to reducing our dependence on fossil fuels by developing nanomaterials that could improve fuel-cell performance and reduce their cost.
  • Professor Andrew Thomas Faulkner is examining Greek literature to learn how the cultural interaction of the Late Antiquity, a time of much political and cultural change, informs our current understanding of multicultural interaction in Ontario.
  • Professor Ricardo Fukasawa is studying Mixed-Integer Programming (MIP), a mathematical technique that uses data to improve an organization’s decision-making process.
  • Professor Roxane J. Itier aims to improve diagnosis and treatment of people with autism and other mental disorders by using leading-edge technologies to examine how gaze, emotions and social skills are connected.
  • Professor John Edward Turri is investigating speech and cognition to determine how social factors affect how we interpret verbal behaviour and the role it plays in how we communicate through speech.
  • Professor Shawn Wettig is working to develop a system of delivering DNA in gene therapy to certain parts of the body, specifically for the treatment of ovarian cancer.
  • Professor Boxin Zhao is developing new adhesion technologies, based on geckos’ foot pads, that will help increase the province’s profile in the biotechnology industry.

“These researchers are emerging talents and the Early Researcher Awards recognize the value of their work already evident at this stage of their careers,” said D. George Dixon, vice-president, university research. “This funding will provide the means for each researcher to further their individual projects as well as their contribution to university research as a whole.”

The Early Researcher Award program assists promising, recently appointed researchers in Ontario to build their research teams. This year, 62 researchers at 19 institutions received funding through this program. Each researcher will receive up to $140,000 to hire graduate students and postdoctoral fellows to build their research teams. More detailed descriptions of their projects are available at the Ministry's website.

Photograph by Jessica Lynn, Jessica Lynn Photography.

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Waterloo basketball coach Greg Francis.
Greg Francis hired as Warrior b-ball coach

a media release from the athletics department

The Waterloo Warriors are pleased to announce the hiring of Greg Francis as head coach of the men’s basketball program. Francis is just the sixth-coach in the program’s 54-year history.

Francis brings with him impressive international basketball credentials including head coach the University of Alberta Bears the past four seasons (2009-12). As bench boss of Alberta, Francis led his team to a Canada West final four appearance in 2011 and a Canadian Interuniversity Sport (CIS) silver medal earlier this year.

On top of his CIS coaching experience, Francis has also been the head coach of the Canadian Junior Men’s National Team (2005-11) and National Elite Development Academy (NEDA) from 2007-09. He is also currently the assistant coach of the Senior Men’s National Team.

On the court, the 6’3 guard played in the NCAA as well as part of team Canada in the Summer Olympics (2000) hosted by Sydney alongside NBA star Steve Nash.

As part of the Fairfield University Stags, Francis scored 1,570 career points, which puts him fifth all-time in Stags’ scoring history. He still holds the school record for career three-point field goals made (230) and was inducted into their Athletics Hall of Fame in 2003.

During his senior season in 1997, Francis and the Stags held a half-time lead over the then #1-ranked North Carolina Tar-Heels during their “Round of 64” game at the annual NCAA basketball championship tournament. The Tar-Heels rebounded to win the game 82-74, but Francis finished with 26 points and eight three-pointers.

He then moved to the British Basketball League and played for the Worthing Bears in 1997-98, and the Chester Jets in 1999-2000, twice being named a UK All-Star. He spent the 1998-99 season playing professionally in Lebanon.

After his playing days, Francis was a head coach for a high school in Lebanon and Mid-Cheshire College in England. He then returned to North America as a full-time assistant coach with the Monmouth University Hawks in New Jersey. At Monmouth, Francis helped lead the university into the NCAA Tournament where they lost to Duke in the opening round in 2001.

Associate Director, Christine Stapleton who played a key role in the search and hiring of Francis is both excited and eager to see the Waterloo men’s basketball program develop under his leadership.

“Today is a great day for the Warrior men’s basketball program, the Department of Athletics and the University of Waterloo,” commented Stapleton. “This is a transformative hire for our program and we look forward to welcoming Greg’s pursuit of excellence to our men’s basketball team.”

The hiring of Francis speaks volumes to the direction of the Department of Athletics at Waterloo in advancing their strategic plan focused on pursuing excellence and competing for championships.

Francis is looking forward to turning the Warriors into a perennial CIS contender. “I can’t put into words how excited I am to be a part of the Waterloo Warriors and the Waterloo community,” expressed Francis. “There is a solid plan in place to support this team into becoming a CIS powerhouse and I am keen to take on the lead role.”

Francis concluded by stating that the institutional vision and dedication is there and has high hopes his skills and expertise can translate that into team success.

The 38-year old will be searching for a home in the area in the next coming months along with his finance, Julie. He begins his duties immediately with a busy summer of recruiting and planning ahead.

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Celebrating Nursing Week on campus

May 7 to 13 has been designated as Nursing Week, a time to celebrate the contribution and impact made by nurses in the healthcare system. Celebrated internationally, in Ontario the theme of this year's Nursing Week is Nursing: The Health of our Nation.

"Nurses impact students, faculty and staff at the University in a variety of settings," writes Rosalind Stroh of Health Services. "Nurses work within Health Services, the Lab, and Occupational Health Services. They provide health education, counselling, immunizations/ injections, in addition to promoting health and being an advocate for interdisciplinary care."

Health Services is encouraging members of the university community to share how nurses have impacted their lives by stopping in and completing a card that will be added to a bulletin board.

Nursing is a regulated profession that requires theoretical education and practical skills.

"This week, as the nation recognizes ‘Nursing Week’, take time to celebrate nurses," writes Stroh. "Nurses work in diverse settings and touch many lives. Celebrate their skills, knowledge, dedication, and compassion."

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Countdown to Congress: 18 days remaining

Sign up to volunteer at Congress!

University of Waterloo and Wilfrid Laurier University are looking for a variety of volunteers to help elevate and enrich the Congress conference experience. Anyone can volunteer – training will be provided. Be a part of this extraordinary event, register to volunteer today.

Factoid: Five Presidents’ Receptions are attended by upwards of 1000 delegates each. Delegates get one free drink-hence the high attendance.

Link of the day

Melanoma Monday

When and where

Unofficial grades begin to appear in Quest April 23, standings and official grades available May 22.

Co-op return to campus interviews begin Wednesday, May 2 to Friday, May 4 (except Architecture).

International Development "Shape The World" conference, Wednesday, May 2, all day, St. Paul's University College. Hear presentations by the first graduating class of international development students on their international field placements. Details.

All About U Fair, Wednesday, May 2, 11:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m., Student Life Centre Great Hall. Details.

Centre for Career Action workshop (staff only) "Discovering Your Skills," Wednesday, May 2, 3:30 p.m., TC 2218.

OCUFA Status of Women workshop, "Navigating the Academy: Lessons and Strategies for More Equitable Universities," featuring a keynote address by University of Waterloo Professor Carla Fehr, Friday, May 4, 8:45 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., OBA Conference Centre, Toronto. Details.

Warrior Football Spring Camp, May 4-6 for kids ages 10-15, and Coaches Clinic, May 4-5. Details.

DaCapo Chamber Choir, based at Conrad Grebel U College, “Celebrating Home” concert Saturday, May 5 (8 p.m.) and 6 (3 p.m.), St. John the Evangelist Church, Kitchener. Details.

Senate Executive Committee meeting, Monday, May 7, 3:30 p.m., NH 3004.

UW Retirees Association Spring Luncheon, Tuesday, May 8, 11:30 a.m. (cash bar), 12:00 (lunch), tickets $27; presentation by retired French professor Ray Dugan, Bayeux Tapestry. Information 519-888-0334. Details.

The Institute of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology (I.B.M.B.) Seminar Series featuring Prof. Todd Holyoak, Department of Biology, University of Waterloo, "The Coupling of Conformational Equilibria and Enzyme Function in Phosphoenolpyruvate Carboxykinase," Tuesday, May 8, 3:30 p.m., C2-361.

Systems Design Engineering seminar featuring Keith Hipel, "Tackling Climate Change: A System of Systems Engineering Perspective," Wednesday, May 9, 11:30 a.m., E5 6004.

Centre for Career Action webinar (staff only), "Writing an A+ Résumé," Wednesday, May 9, 12:00 p.m. Details.

Undergraduate Council meeting, Wednesday May 9, 12:00 p.m., NH 3004.

Spring Town Hall, Wednesday, May 9, 3:00 p.m., Humanities Theatre.

Alumni reception at the 2012 Ontario Association of Architects Annual Conference, Thursday, May 10, 5:30 p.m., Westin Ottawa. Details.

Graduate Leisure Research Symposium, May 10 - 11. Details.

Waterloo Engineering Alumni and Friends reception, Thursday, May 10, 5:30 p.m., Daly's, Westin Ottawa, Ottawa ON. Register online.

Co-op Job Posting for main group and Pharmacy opens Saturday, May 12, 7:00 a.m. Closes 11:59 p.m. on May 15.

PhD Oral defences

Mechanical and Mechatronics Engineering. Ibrahim Alaefour, “Temperature Distributions in Proton Exchange Membrane Fuel Cells (PEMFCs). Supervisor, D. Xianguo Li. On deposit in the Engineering Graduate Office, PHY 3004. Oral defence Thursday, May 10, 8:30 a.m., ERC 3012.

Chemical Engineering. Lijuan Yang, “Supercritical Fluid Assisted Recovery of Organometallic Catalysts from Polymers.” Supervisors, Garry L. Rempel, Qinmin Pan. This thesis is restricted but on display in the Engineering Graduate Studies Office, PHY 3004. Oral defence Thursday, May 10, 9:00 a.m., E6 2022.

Chemical Engineering. Yin Liu, “Versatile Routes for Acrylonitrile-Butadiene Rubber Latex Hydrogenation.” Supervisors, Garry L. Rempel, Qinmin Pan. This thesis is restricted but on display in the Engineering Graduate Studies Office, PHY 3004. Oral defence Friday, May 11, 1:00 p.m., E6 2022.

Mechanical and Mechatronics Engineering. “Development of a New Fully Flexible Hydraulic Variable Valve Actuation System.” Supervisor, Amir Khajepour. On deposit in the Engineering Graduate Office, PHY 3004. Oral defence Monday, May 14, 9:30 a.m., E3 4117.

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