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Monday, March 24, 2014



  • $1 million donation for student entrepreneurs
  • Longtime sheet metal mechanic retiring
  • Women alumni networking event a success
  • Colours of Hope and other notes



The surest sign of spring, Waterloo-style: That honking you hear? It's not cars backed up on the ring road, that's for sure. Heather Neufeld, outreach coordinator in the Faculty of Science, snapped this pic last Tuesday.


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$1 million donation for student entrepreneurs

Entrepreneur and angel investor Mike Stork is giving back to the Waterloo Region startup community with a generous donation of $1 million to Velocity.

The donation is a double win for student entrepreneurs. The gift has inspired the University to grow the Velocity Fund run by the University's startup incubator, to support entrepreneurs emerging from the University.

"We are tremendously grateful to Mike Stork for this generous investment. Mike is one of the most successful angel investors in Waterloo Region with close ties to the University of Waterloo and, in particular, Velocity," said Feridun Hamdullahpur. "We are delighted with this gift that will provide additional funds for young entrepreneurs and early-stage startups."

Stork, who was named “angel of the year” in 2013 by Golden Triangle Angelnet is a member of Waterloo’s Board of Governors and an active volunteer for Velocity. He has been active in the Waterloo Region business community for more than 30 years and has played an active role in a number of startups.

“The University of Waterloo has adopted an unconventional approach to entrepreneurship that I strongly support,” said Stork. “Velocity is one of the most exciting and important elements of the University’s vision for entrepreneurship and it’s produced businesses that Waterloo Region can be proud of. I’m proud to support it as a volunteer and donor.”

The Velocity Fund has awarded more than $750,000 in grants since its inception in 2011. It was first established following another $1 million donation from former Velocity resident and Kik founder Ted Livingston. The competitions take place three times a year. Velocity takes no intellectual property rights or equity in return. 

"Mike is a true mentor and a knowledgeable advisor to many startups at Velocity. We’re always grateful for his support," said Mike Kirkup, director of Velocity. "His donation helps assure the future of  Velocity and will allow the University to continue to incubate exciting businesses that have the potential to open up entirely new markets.”

Previous recipients of the Velocity Fund include BufferBoxKira TalentMappedInreebeeThalmic LabsVeticaVoltera and Weston Expressions

The most recent startups to receive funding include LightBotMetricWirePiinPoint, and uMentioned.

The Spring 2014 Velocity Fund Finals will be held on Thursday, March 27 in the Student Life Centre Great Hall.


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Longtime sheet metal mechanic retiring

Pat Mihm in full golf regalia.“If you want to learn how to appreciate an organization, do something to help.”

That’s been Pat Mihm’s philosophy for the 30 years he’s worked at the University of Waterloo as a mechanic (sheet metal) in Plant Operations.

Mihm is retiring at the end of this month, and friends and colleagues have organized a retirement drop-in event on Wednesday, March 26 from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. in the Safety Office’s Meeting Room in the Commissary Building. Anyone interested in attending should send an email to Sheila Hurley.

As the university’s resident sheet metal mechanic, Mihm has worked all over campus installing, retrofitting, and repairing almost anything that has anything to do with metal, be it ductwork, building flashing, siding, louvres, fire dampers, and supply, return, and exhaust ducting.

He’s also worked all over campus as a tireless volunteer, serving on the university’s Board of Governors from 1991 to 1994, as a union rep for the United Way campaign for 10 years, and as a member of a number of committees, including Pension & Benefits, Health and Safety, the Employee Assistance Program, the Keystone Treat-A-Gram committee, and the Keystone picnic committee. Mihm also served on the Campaign Waterloo community council and the Keystone Fund Committee, and was instrumental in establishing the CUPE Local 793 Bursary bursary for students who are family members of Waterloo CUPE members studying at Waterloo. He also served as shop steward for his union local.

He was part of the original organizing committee for the Downey Tennisfest, and was a regular participant in the Hagey Funspiel curling event.

An avid golfer, Mihm was a member of the Burt Matthews Golf Classic’s organizing committee for many years.

“Pat is a unique individual,” writes Sheila Hurley, who is organizing the retirement event. “He is a tireless volunteer giving a lot of his personal time to a lot of different causes. He has put his best foot forward for the betterment of the University of Waterloo.”

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Women alumni networking event a success

Last Wednesday, 70 current women students in computer science, from first-years to PhD grads, came out to network with and learn from a diverse panel of distinguished women alumni in the computer science industry.

The alumni graduated from 1986 to as recently as 2009 and brought a vast amount of experience and knowledge to the room. The alumni hold a number of senior titles such as Engineering Director, Senior Lead Developer, Software Engineer Manager and Technical Product Manager and represent companies such as Desire2Learn, Kaleidescape, BlackBerry, SAP and SunLife Financial.

Last Wednesday's event was the start of a series intended to bring together and engage CS women alumni and students.

Photograph by Kristine McGlynn, Alumni Program Assistant in the Faculty of Mathematics.

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Colours of Hope and other notes

The Office of Research is expanding its annual pink and yellow day "to cover all the colours of hope and support" at its Colours of Hope Coffee Break this Friday, March 28 at 10:00 a.m. in the Office of Research board room (NH 1021).

For a minimum donation of $2 you can add a ribbon, or some other kind of memento to a Tribute Tree that will be set up in the Office of Research's reception area to honour those who have battled cancer.

In addition to the tribute tree, there will be a slide show and raffle. Prior to March 28, you can submit pictures, digital or print, that are in memory, in celebration or support for inclusion in the slide show that will run during the event.

There will be a raffle, with the grand prize of 2 tickets to the Just for Laughs event at the Centre in the Square on Tuesday, April 8. The draw will be held at the coffee break event.

Tickets are $3 each, 2 for $5, or 5 for $10. All proceeds will be donated to the Grand River Regional Cancer Centre.

And there will be food. Colourful food.

To purchase ribbons, donate, submit your pictures or buy raffle tickets please contact
Christine Gillis Bilton, Mary Ellen Acorn, Dave Gorman or Jean Zadilsky.

The Federation of Students is hosting a March General Meeting today at 11:30 a.m. in the SLC Great Hall. As members of the Federation of Students, undergraduates can vote, ask questions, share thoughts, and have an impact on the organization by attending.

For undergraduates that can’t be at the meeting because of class or other commitments, Feds will launch a live stream. The General Meeting will be broadcast from start to finish, and undergraduates will be aware of any changes or initiatives for the upcoming year.

More information about the General Meeting is available online.

Human Resources has reported that Thyrza Little died March 3. Little worked at St. Paul's College (now St. Paul's University College) as a secretary from January 1965 until her retirement in October 1984. She was 94.

Here's today's Nutrition Month "myth vs. fact" supplied by Health Services dietician Sandra Ace:

Myth: Lean ground beef is a low fat choice.

Fact: Ground beef is a popular and versatile meat enjoyed by many Canadians. Ground beef is labeled as regular, medium, lean or extra lean, depending on how much fat, by weight, is present. Even in extra lean ground beef, 43% of the product’s total calories come from its fat content. This doesn’t mean that you need to avoid ground beef; limit your portion and choose extra lean or lean ground meat when you can. If regular or medium ground beef is a better fit for your budget, save it for recipes that allow for browning and draining the meat first, for example in chili or spaghetti sauce. Rinsing browned and drained regular or medium ground beef with a cup or two of very hot water can rinse away even a bit more fat. And with warmer weather just around the corner (at least we hope!), if you like to sink your teeth into a juicy hamburger now and then, by all means, enjoy. However you might consider eating a smaller patty and garnishing it with lower fat toppings such as lettuce, tomatoes, onion, pepper slices and mustard.


Ground beef type

2.5 ounces/

75grams cooked*

Maximum fat

by weight


Protein, grams



Fat, as % of total calories

Extra lean,

























*Nutrition information is from Nutritive Value of Some Common Foods and is based on one serving as defined by Canada’s Food Guide, 2.5 ounce or 75 grams.


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Link of the day

25 years ago today: Exxon Valdez disaster

When and where

Bookstore Concourse Sale, Monday, March 24, 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., South Campus Hall concourse.

Federation of Students general meeting, Monday, March 24, 11:30 a.m., SLC Great Hall.

Senate meeting, Monday, March 24, 3:15 p.m., NH 3001.

Waterloo Store MONSTER Sale, Tuesday, March 25 and Wednesday, March 26, 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., South Campus Hall concourse.

Centre for Teaching Excellence presents “Documenting Your Teaching for Tenure and Promotion (CTE908),” Tuesday, March 25, 11:45 a.m. to 1:15 p.m., NH 3001. Open to faculty, registration required.

Professor Profile: Susan Roy, "The history and politics of Indigenous heritage sites in Canada," Tuesday, March 25, 12:30 p.m., HH 117.

Bookstore author event featuring Morteza Dehghani, English department, Tuesday, March 25, 4:30 p.m., Bookstore, South Campus Hall.

Retirement Drop In for Pat Mihm, Wednesday, March 26, 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m., Safety Office Meeting Room 112D, Commissary Building. RSVP to Sheila Hurley.

Senate Long Range Planning committee meeting, Wednesday, March 26, 2:30 p.m. to 4:00 p.m., NH 3001.

Waterloo Arts Distinguished Lecture in Economics featuring Randall Wright, University of Wisconsin, “Innovation and Growth With Financial and Other Frictions”, Wednesday, March 26, 3:00 p.m. Biology 1, Room 271. Details.

Fine Arts Life Drawing Open Session, Wednesday, March 26, 6:30 p.m., ECH 1224A. Details.

Wednesday Night Discussion Group, Wednesday, March 26, 7:15 p.m., MC 5136. Details.

Environmental and Geological Engineering Capstone Design Symposium, Thursday, March 27, 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., location TBA. Details.

Velocity Fund Finals, Thursday, March 27, 11:00 a.m., SLC Great Hall.

Guest lecture featuring Ed Byrne, Vice-Chancellor and President of Monash University, Australia, Thursday, March 27, 2:00 p.m., QNC 0101. Details.

The Actuarial Science Distinguished Practitioner Series presents Neil Haynes, Senior Vice President of Finance at Sunlife Financial Corporate, "Sex, Drugs and Rock'n'Roll: Can We Live Forever?" Thursday, March 27, 4:00 p.m., EIT 1015. Details.

Waterloo Institute for Hellenistic Studies presents Olga Palagia, professor of Classical Archaeology, National and Kapodistrian University, Athens, Greece, “The Impact of Alexander The Great on the Arts in Greece,” Thursday, March 27, 7:00 p.m., Royal Ontario Museum, Toronto. Details.

Pension Lunch and Learn session, “UW Pension Plan – The Basics Every Employee Needs to Know,” Friday, March 28, 12:00 p.m. to 1:00 p.m., DC 1302.

Quantitative Biology seminar featuring Silvana Ilie, associate professor, Department of Mathematics, Ryerson University, "Efficient methods for stochastic simulations of biochemical systems," Friday, March 28, 2:30 p.m., EIT 1014.

SI Speaker Series: Fascism as a Temporary Default Setting in South Asia, Friday, March 28, 6:30-8:00 p.m., Dunker Family Lounge, Renison University College. Details.

Spiritus Ensemble presents Bach/Kaiser/Handel's St Mark Passion (1747), Sunday, March 30, 7:00 p.m., St. John The Evangelist Anglican Church, 23 Water Street, Kitchener. $20 adult/senior, $10 full-time students. Sponsored by Conrad Grebel University College and the Region of Waterloo Arts Fund. Details.

Housing presents Reminiscing Rez, Monday, March 31, 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m., Student Life Centre Great Hall.

St. Paul's GreenHouse presents Social Entrepreneurship Fest, Monday, March 31, 5:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m., St. Paul's University College. Details.

Board of Governors Meeting, Tuesday, April 1.

Mechanical Engineering Capstone Design Symposium, Wednesday, April 2, 3:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m., Sedra Student Design Centre, Engineering 5. Details.

Strategic Plan Mini-Town Hall - Internationalization, Wednesday, April 2, time and location TBA. Details.

History End-Of-Term Trivia Night, Thursday, April 3, 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m., Bombshelter Pub.

Germanic and Slavic Studies presents the 2014 Diefenbaker Lecture Series featuring Elisabeth Herrmann, University of Alberta, “How Does Transnationalism Redefine Contemporary Literature? An Investigation of Five German Authors,” Thursday, April 3, 7:00 p.m., HH 1102. Details.

Lectures end, Friday, April 4.

St. Jerome's Relay for Life, Friday, April 4, 7:00 p.m. to 7:00 a.m. Details.

Retirement celebration for Pam Van Allen, Wednesday, April 9, 3:30 p.m., University Club. RSVP to Lisa Weber by Friday, April 4.

Pre-examination study days, Friday, April 4 to Monday, April 7.

The Centre for Theoretical Neuroscience presents Waterloo Brain Day, Monday, April 7, 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., EV3 1408. Details.

On-campus examinations begin, Tuesday, April 8.

Germanic and Slavic Studies presents the 2014 Diefenbaker Lecture Series featuring Laurie Johnson, University of Illinois, “Forgotten Dreams: Werner Herzog’s Romantic Cinema,” Tuesday, April 8, 7:00 p.m., HH 1102. Details.

Fine Arts Life Drawing Open Session, Wednesday, April 9, 6:30 p.m., ECH 1224A. Details.

Wednesday Night Discussion Group, Wednesday, April 9, 7:15 p.m., MC 5136. Details.

Online class examination days, Friday, April 11 and Saturday, April 12.


Friday's Daily Bulletin