CECA unveils annual report
by Rocco Fondacaro.
A quarter-billion dollars in student earnings, flexible work terms, over 6,300 active employers, record-setting job application volume, and experiential education for all. These are just a few of the topics covered in the first-ever Co-operative Education & Career Action (CECA) 2014/15 Annual Report. The report confirms what all of us here at the University already know – that UWaterloo is the gold standard in co-operative education.
I often marvel at how an idea that began as a cheeky upstart has become a hallmark of global Canadian leadership in education. Back in the 1950s, co-op was a foreign concept when local business leaders proposed a form of education that blended academics with industry. Now, with over 120 accredited programs, more than 19,000 enrolled students, and a 96 per cent employment rate, we stand head and shoulders above the rest.
That growth and success doesn’t happen without a lot of hard work and collaboration. Partnerships and support with our world-renowned faculty, transformative researchers, incredible staff, and brilliant students, have benefited all of our stakeholders, especially our biggest asset – Waterloo students.
I’d be remiss if I didn’t also thank all CECA staff, both on and off campus, who play a vital role in the success of Waterloo’s co-op program. They are a fantastic group of people who make the co-op engine churn, and it’s an honour to lead such an outstanding team.
I hope you enjoy reading the report.
How an innovation university was born
by Ken McLaughlin. Join Ken today at 3:30 p.m. in QNC 0101 for the launch of his latest book, "Innovation and Entrepreneurship Are In The Waterloo Genome."
On an early autumn day in 1958 a massive plume of dust was created as a car followed a former farm lane to what had recently been the Schweitzer farmhouse at the City of Waterloo’s western boundary. As the driver removed his coat and started to clean the dust and mud from his car a construction worker approached, proudly telling him that one day this was going to be a university campus. The driver, Gerry Hagey, smiled to himself and quietly agreed. He, too, had begun to see the possibility of creating a university on this raw and rough farmland with its tattered hedgerows and small stream. In 1958 an intense debate swirled around the idea of a new and innovative approach to university education, that ultimately re-shaped Ontario’s university tradition.
A half century later the University of Waterloo is home to more than 35,000 students. They have come from Ontario, the other Canadian provinces and from countries worldwide. The Co-operative education program that Hagey first sought to create in 1956 in the field of “applied science” has developed into 140 separate programs in six faculties. Hard to believe in light of the prolonged battle that he faced to introduce a program that the Dean of Engineering at the University of Toronto described as “revolutionary.” 5,200 organizations around the world participate in Waterloo’s co-operative education programs with students in areas from arts and culture, to volunteer programs in developing countries, from health and environment to research in aging in outer space to the latest research in quantum computing and nano-technology.
Mike Brookes, a British-trained engineer newly hired as Superintendent of Buildings and Grounds, a somewhat pretentious title for a campus that comprised a farm house, one university building still under construction and originally designed for a different campus, along with two rough and ready temporary structures, often stood on the farm house veranda with Hagey. Over coffee Hagey confided that had he known what was involved in establishing a university, he doubted that he would have had the courage to proceed.
But proceed he did. It is a story worth the telling. This book takes us behind the scenes to discover the dramatic story of the University of Waterloo, a university that from its inception was destined to play a unique role among universities in Canada and abroad, a university born with innovation in its genome. This is the story and this is the entrepreneurial culture that unfolds in the pages of this new book.
The Waterloo story will interest all those who share in the delight of being part of a remarkable experiment in university education that continues to unfold into the 21st century.
Holiday giving at Waterloo
This is the latest in a series of #UWCommunity stories that feature Waterloo in the community.
Making a difference in our community is important to the University of Waterloo, and with the holiday season now in tow, Waterloo recognizes this vital and special time of year for giving back. Every December, our students, faculty and staff across several faculties and departments collaborate to support an array of festive initiatives.
Residing in a Canadian city during the winter months can bring about diverse challenges for families in need, such as a lack of warm clothing and appropriate winter gear, or facing the struggle of not having enough food or funds to buy toys for children.
Earlier this month, Renison University College students came together to assist many of these deserving people through their Bachelor of Social Work (BSW) Christmas Drive, calling for socks, mitts, hats, and toiletries for youth experiencing homelessness in our region. By donating all proceeds to local youth shelters, Argus and OneROOF, our students are actively helping to influence positive social change in our community.
UWaterloo Parking Services is doing their part by running their “Gifts for Tickets” program until December 14. Outstanding minor tickets at $25 will be waived with an unwrapped gift donation that will be passed on to Tree of Angels, the Feds Food Bank, or the Kitchener-Waterloo Humane Society. If you don’t have a parking ticket, but want to make your contribution, don’t think twice - head over to Parking Services.
Some more highlights of our annual holiday giving include the Children’s Christmas Project, which has been providing gifts for hundreds of community members for over 20 years. This season, more than 16 departments across the University are supporting 112 families with over 200 children ranging in age from 4 months to 16 years.
For the seventh consecutive year, the University Club is hosting their Giving Tree as a way for our campus community to give back through unwrapped toy donations. Anyone is welcome to contribute and can drop off toys until December 18. Waterloo Unlimited is also packing food hampers for the House of Friendship again this season.
We know these are just some of the great ways members of our University are giving back. What are you doing to make a difference?
We’d love to hear about it! Share your efforts with #UWCommunity.
Remembering Mohamed Kamel
The Faculty of Engineering has reported that retired professor Mohamed Kamel died December 4.
Kamel joined the University of Waterloo in January 1985 as an assistant professor in the department of Systems Design Engineering. He was named associate professor in 1990 and professor in 1995, joining the department of Electrical and Computer Engineering in 2004. Kamel retired in July 2015 and was named Professor Emeritus, continuing as an adjunct professor.
"Dr. Kamel’s work, publications and professional activities have benefited and influenced faculty members and students in Electrical and Computer Engineering, Systems Design Engineering and Computer Science Departments," says a statement prepared by his colleagues in Electrical and Computer Engineering Fakhri Karray, Otman Basir and Manoj Sachdev. "His graduates (more than 90 PhD and M.Sc candidates) are successful professional and making excellent contributions in academia and industry throughout the world.
A pioneer in the fields of pattern recognition and intelligent systems, Professor Kamel's contributions earned him international recognition and honours including being named a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada, an IEEE Fellow, EIC Fellow, CAE Fellow, IAPR Fellow, winning the IEEE Canada McNaughton Award, and membership on editorial boards of international journals.
"Dr. Kamel has cooperated with many professors from many departments at the University and was a co-founding member of the Center for Pattern Analysis and Machine Intelligence (CPAMI), which he directed till his passing. Dr. Kamel was very collegial, cooperative, supportive of others and has mentored several junior faculty members."
In 1986, Kamel co-founded Virtek Vision International with Tom King, Andrew Wong and Bob Nally. Virtek commercialized research developed in the Pattern Analysis and Machine Intelligence Laboratory and was acquired by Gerber Technology in 2008. Professor Kamel served on its board and as Chair of Virtek's Technology Advisory Group.
"He will be sorely missed by his current and former students, colleagues at the University and from around the world and by the research community at large. The passing of Dr. Kamel is a major loss to all those who have known him and to the scientific community at large."