Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Fall Break pilot project set for 2016

Last week the University’s Senate voted to modify the academic calendar guidelines to include a two-day Fall Break following Thanksgiving Monday in October 2016.

"In order to facilitate this change, classes will start two days earlier than usual on the Thursday of Orientation Week," says a memo by Vice-President, Academic & Provost Ian Orchard.

"This decision is the latest development in the Fall Break initiative that began in 2014 with the establishment of a Fall Break Task Force, an undergraduate student referendum, and extensive consultation with University stakeholders."

The task force’s report’s recommendations included making a Fall Break two days in length, considering a 3-year trial with annual assessment, and consulting widely to understand the potential obstacles and complications with implementation.

Last month, the University’s Senate formalized the objectives and scope of mid-term breaks, including the February Reading Week.

"Mid-term breaks are intended to act as a pause for students in an academic term, for them to reflect upon and catch up on their term’s work to date and, as necessary, prepare for any upcoming mid-term assignments and assessments," says the provost's memo.

Student success was an important factor in the decision-making process, the provost states, noting that currently 16 out of 20 Ontario universities have a fall term break of varying lengths.

"This break will slightly reduce the time span between the Spring and Fall terms by having classes start on the Thursday after Labour Day," says the memo. "In recognition of this, instructors who teach in both the Spring and Fall terms and who are concerned about the slight reduction in time off between terms should request an early Spring exam time by “pre-slotting” their final exams."

These calendar changes will be annually assessed with a final evaluation after 3 years to decide on whether the Fall Break will continue.

Gairdner Laureate visits campus to talk RNA

Dr. Lynne Maquat.

2015 Gairdner Laureate Dr. Lynne Maquat will be giving a research talk on campus today and a public lecture in the evening.

Dr. Maquat and is a professor of biochemistry and biophysics and professor of oncology in the School of Medicine and Dentistry at Rochester University in Rochester, New York, USA.

Her research has furthered our understanding of the molecular basis of human disease and provides valuable information to help physicians implement “personalized” or “precision” medicine by treating the disease mutation that is specific to each individual patient.

The afternoon talk, at 3:30 p.m. (EIT, room 3142), will focus on nonsense-mediated mRNA decay, which causes one-third of inherited disorders, such as cystic fibrosis, and one-third of acquired diseases, including many forms of cancer.

The evening public lecture will highlight her scientific journey and possible careers in the field of science. Registration is required for this lecture.

Maquat is one of this year's recipients of the Gairdner International Award, regarded as Canada's most prestigious medical research prize. As part of the Gairdner's mandate to communicate the work of medical researchers to others, Gairdner awardees visit universities across Canada to provide lectures on their areas of expertise.

This week, a talk on Matrons and Madams

There's still time to register for an on-campus author event featuring Her Excellency Mrs. Sharon Johnston, who will read excerpts from her first work of fiction Matron and Madams on Friday, Oct. 30 at 3:00 p.m. in Federation Hall.

Johnston's novel spans the decade following the Great War, detailing the lives of two women as they struggle to provide care to wounded soldiers and heal from the effects of the war, all the while being in the thick of a growing public health issue in the town of Lethbridge, Alberta.

Matrons and Madams cover photo."Clara Durling, a British widow of the First World War, arrives in Canada as the new superintendent of the Lethbridge Hospital just as wounded soldiers stream home. Lily Parsons is a young, widowed schoolteacher from Nova Scotia who ends up in the same city, managing a brothel called The Last Post." 

"Set against the backdrop of love, union organizers, amorous bachelors, gamblers, drinkers, and prostitutes, the lives of these two women unexpectedly intertwine when Clara, in the heat of local politics and responding to the highest incidence of venereal disease in the province, establishes the first venereal disease clinic in the province, with Lily’s help. In this sprawling saga, Lily and Clara must confront the city’s conservative thinkers to bring help and compassion to wounded veterans."

A book signing will follow the event; copies will be on sale at the venue.

New digs for the Board of Governors; other notes

The University's Board of Governors has its final meeting of 2015 today, and it will be the first time the body meets in its new surroundings - Room 3407 of the Needles Hall expansion. 

The new Board and Senate Room in the Needles Hall expansion.Occupying a corner of the new Needles Hall building overlooking the Ring Road, the Board and Senate Room has high ceilings, increased space for both representatives and members of the public, and, in contrast to NH 3001, clear sightlines unmarred by structural supports in the centre of the room. It's really quite nice.

Agenda items for the Board's meeting include:

  • A motion to approve a change in the name of the Department of Environment and Resource Studies to the School of Environment, Resources, and Sustainability effective January 2016;
  • Motions to approve increases to the Graduate Student Association compulsory and GSA-administered fees;
  • A report on the progress and outcomes of the Strategic Plan for 2015;
  • A discussion on risk identification and mitigation;
  • A report on international ranking performance;
  • A presentation on Co-operative Education and Career Action (CECA) by Acting Executive Director Rocco Fondacaro;
  • A motion to reappoint Ernst & Young as the University's external auditors for the fiscal year ending April 30, 2016;
  • A motion to award a price contract for $65,200,000 plus HST to EllisDon Corporation for the construction of the Engineering 7 building;
  • A motion to approve revisions to the University's endowment fund investment guidelines; and
  • A motion to approve the January 1, 2015 version of the University of Waterloo Pension Plan Statement of Investment Policies and Procedures (the "SIPP").

“The Glow Centre for Sexual and Gender Diversity, a Federation of Students’ service, is hosting “Wear Your Purple” on October 28, 2015," writes the Federation of Students' Jacqueline Martinz. "The special event is a part of Coming Out Week for the centre, and is meant to be an opportunity for people to show support for the LGBTQ community. Staff, faculty, and students are encouraged to don the colour and join in the effort! Coming Out Week is from October 26-30. More information about the events is available online.”

UW Fitness, located in the Manulife Wellness Centre and Lyle Hallman Institute for Health Promotion, offers small group personal training sessions for UW staff and faculty (these sessions are not open to students). These twice-per-week exercise sessions include cardiovascular exercise, resistance/weight training, and flexibility exercises under the certified exercise physiologist in a private and encouraging environment right here on campus. To sign up for a 7 week session or for more information, please visit the UW Fitness website. You can also contact UW Fitness by e-mailing fitness@uwaterloo.ca or by calling extension 36841. There are limited spaces available so sign up soon if you are interested.

Finally, here's a video that captures the spirit of last week's Convocation ceremony:

Link of the day

World Day for Audiovisual Heritage

When and where

High Risk Flu Clinics and Community ClinicsTuesday, October 27 to Thursday, October 29, 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m., Student Life Centre Multipurpose Room.

2015 Fall Symposium on Aging Research, Tuesday, October 27, 11:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., University Club.

Board of Governors Meeting, Tuesday, October 27, 1:30 p.m., NH 3407.

Gairdner Research Lecture 2015: Nonsense-mediated mRNA decay and human diseaseTuesday, October 27, 3:30 p.m., EIT 3142.

“Generics Don’t Essentialise People; People Essentialise People,” public lecture by Jennifer Saul, University of Sheffield, UK, Wednesday, October 28, 10:00 a.m., HH 373.

Velocity Alpha: How To Find Your Customers Online, Wednesday, October 28, 7:30 p.m., Environment 3 room 4412. 

UWSA Annual General MeetingThursday, October 29, 9:00 a.m., DC 1302.

“Misleading and Morality,” public lecture by Jennifer Saul, University of Sheffield, UK, Thursday, October 29, 10:00 a.m., HH 373.

CBB Biomedical Discussion Group featuring Alfred C. H. Yu, Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, “Ultrasound imaging innovations for live monitoring of complex flow dynamics,” Thursday, October 29, 10:30 a.m., EIT 3142.

Soup and Bannock Thursdays at Aboriginal Education Centre, Thursday, October 29, 12:00 p.m., STP 228.

Water Institute WaterTalks Lecture Series featuring Dr. Dustin Garrick, McMaster University, “Pathways to Water Security for Rivers under Pressure: Water Markets and Transboundary Governance in Australia and Western North America.” Thursday, October 29, 2:30 p.m., DC 1304.

Arriscraft Lecture Series featuring Buerger Katsota Architects, “de un re: Recent Works 2010-2015,” Thursday, October 29, 6:00 p.m., MLH-1001, School of Architecture.

“Implicit Bias, Stereotype Threat and Women in Academia,”
 public lecture by Jennifer Saul, University of Sheffield, UK, Friday, October 30, 11:00 a.m., HH 373.

Hallowe'en Luncheon Buffet, Friday, October 30, 11:30 a.m. to 2:00 p.m., University Club.

2015 Farvolden Lecture featuring David Rudolph, Professor, Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences, and founding Executive Director of the Water Institute, University of Waterloo, “A Renaissance in RegionalHydrogeology: In the Footsteps of Farvolden.” Friday, October 30, 2:30 p.m., Humanities Theatre.

Noon Hour Concert: Attacca Quartet plays Haydn, Friday, October 30, 12:30 p.m., Conrad Grebel Chapel.

President's Town Hall Meeting, Tuesday, November 3, 10:30 a.m., Humanities Theatre.

ECU Lunch ‘n Learn featuring Eva Englehutt, CFP – Wealth Management, “Retirement: Are you ready!” Tuesday, November 3, 12:00 p.m., DC 1302. RSVP to Janet Redman by Tuesday, October 27 by e-mailing janetr@ecusolutions.com or calling 519-742-3500, ext. 2221.

Ecosystem and Resource Management in Protected/Natural Areas Guest Lecture Series featuring Josh Shea, Ecosystem Management, City of Kitchener, Wednesday, November 4, 1:00 to 2:20 p.m., AL 105.

Velocity Alpha: Pitch Like A Pro, Wednesday, November 4, 7:30 p.m., EV3 4412.

Soup and Bannock Thursdays at Aboriginal Education Centre, Thursday, November 5, 12:00 p.m., STP 228.

Post-Conflict Columbia: Writing trauma and the challenges of translating it, Friday, November 6, 11:00 a.m., HH 1108.

CBB Bioinnovations Seminar featuring Charles Cooney, Robert T. Haslam (1911) Professor of Chemical Engineering Emeritus, and Faculty Director, Emeritus Deshpande Center for Technological Innovation, MIT, “Accelerating Academic Research into Commercial Impact,” Friday, November 6, 11:00 a.m., DC 1302.

Ecosystem and Resource Management in Protected/Natural Areas Guest Lecture Series featuring Kristyn Ferguson, Program Director, Nature Conservancy of Canada, Friday, November 6, 1:00 p.m. to 2:20 p.m., AL 105.

Remembrance Day, Wednesday, November 11.

Remembrance Day interfaith service, 10:45 a.m., Student Life Centre Great Hall. 

Research Talks featuring Professor Susan Tighe, "Roads of the future: environmentally-friendly and resilient pavement," Friday, November 11, 12:00 p.m., DC 1302.

Noon Hour Concert: Songs My Mother Never Taught Me, Wednesday, November 11, 12:30 p.m., Conrad Grebel University Chapel.

Velocity Fund $5K Qualifier – Night 1, Wednesday, November 11, 7:00 p.m., Quantum-Nano Centre room 0101.

"The Terrible Truth about Canadian Crime: No Justice for Women" featuring visiting lecturer Professor Kim Pate, Wednesday, November 11, 7:00 p.m., Alumni Hall, St. Paul’s University College.

Soup and Bannock Thursdays at Aboriginal Education Centre, Thursday, November 12, 12:00 p.m., STP 228.

Velocity Fund $5K Qualifier – Night 2, Thursday, November 12, 7:00 p.m., Quantum-Nano Centre room 0101.

TEDxUW 2015, Saturday, November 14, CIGI Campus.

WISE Lecture Series presents Professor Doris Sáez Hueichapan, associate professor, Department of Electrical Engineering, Universidad de Chile, “Design of a Participatory Model/Microgrid/Smartfarm system for Mapuche Indigenous Communities,” Tuesday, November 17, 10:30 a.m., DC 1304. 

Velocity Science: Brainstorming, Tuesday, November 17, 7:30 p.m., QNC room 1506.

Velocity Alpha: How Not To Run Your Company Into The Ground (From People Who Did), Wednesday, November 18, 7:30 p.m., EV3 4412.

CBB Biomedical Discussion Group featuring Thomas Willett, PhD, Assistant Professor, Biomedical Engineering Program, “A tissue mechanist found in translation,” Thursday, November 19, 2:30 p.m., E5 2167.

Ecosystem and Resource Management in Protected/Natural Areas Guest Lecture Series featuring Leonardo Cabrera, Ecologist Team Lead, Rouge National Urban Park Initiative, Parks Canada, Wednesday, November 25, 1:00 p.m. to 2:20 p.m., AL 105.

Velocity Fund Finals, Thursday, November 26, 11:00 a.m., Student Life Centre Great Hall.

WaterTalks Lecture featuring John Reynolds, Professor of Aquatic Ecology and Conservation, Tom Buell BC Leadership Chair in Aquatic Conservation, Simon Fraser University, “Salmon-fuelled ecosystems of the Great Bear Rainforest.” Thursday, November 26, 2:30 p.m., DC 1304.