Centre for Extended Learning celebrates 50 years
The Centre for Extended Learning is celebrating 50 years of education at a distance in an up-close and personal way in 2018.
The Centre for Extended Learning (CEL) grew out of the innovative Distance Education/Correspondence program that was started in 1968. The program was the brainchild of physics professor James D. Leslie.
The first courses offered were astronomy, analogue electronics, electricity and magnetism, and atomic and nuclear physics. Instructors were asked to prepare four lectures at a time, with both a set of notes and a recording (on reel-to-reel tape), and deliver them every two weeks.
There were 130 student that first year.
Over the decades, Waterloo's Distance Education efforts moved from paper-based courses, to audio tapes to CDs and DVDs and now most of the courses are fully online.
In January 2010, the department was renamed the Centre for Extended Learning. Today there are more than 44,000 enrolments annually, in more than 525 online courses, in more than 40 subjects. There are also 25 fully online programs, making Waterloo one of the largest providers of online post-secondary education in Canada.
For more information about the Centre for Extended Learning's history, including an interactive timeline of distance education at Waterloo, check out the CEL website.
Info session outlines health funding opportunities
Faculty members conducting research in reproductive, maternal, newborn or child health, sexual and reproductive health and rights, gender equality, and/or safe water and sanitation are invited to join the Grand Challenges Canada: Bold ideas with big impact® information session on Wednesday, June 27 at 10:00 a.m.
Information will be provided for faculty members with ideas and products in global health who are looking to scale their innovation to market.
This one-hour presentation will introduce Grand Challenges Canada, a supporter of innovators in Canada as well as low- and middle-income countries, funding bold ideas that integrate science and technology, and social and business innovation. The session will also provide information on the following funding opportunities:
- Transition-to-Scale Program (grants up to $1 million)
- Stars in Global Health: Round 10 - Gender Equality (soon to be announced with estimated grants of up to $100,000)
- Global Mental Health
- Humanitarian Grand Challenges
- Saving Lives at Birth
- Saving Brains
There is no cost but please register to attend.
If you have questions, please email Tim Weber-Kraljevski, Administrator, International Research & Partnerships.
Waterloo student wins Facebook Emerging Scholar Award
This article originally appeared on the Cheriton School of Computer Science website.
PhD student Michael Abebe is one of six recipients worldwide and the only recipient from Canada to receive a prestigious 2018 Facebook Emerging Scholar Award.
Launched in 2017, Facebook’s Emerging Scholar Awards support talented students from under-represented groups in the technology sector to encourage them to continue their PhD studies, pursue innovative research, and engage with the broader research community.
“This year we received over 800 applications from promising and talented PhD students from around the world,” said Sharon Ayalde, Fellowship Program Manager at Facebook. “We are pleased and excited to award 17 Fellows and six Emerging Scholars — a significant increase from last year.”
Supervised by Khuzaima Daudjee, Abebe is a member of the David R. Cheriton School of Computer Science’s Data Systems Group. His research interests are at the intersection of distributed systems, data systems and machine learning, specifically designing and building large-scale data systems that are elastic, scalable and self-managing.
“I’m delighted to see Facebook recognize Michael’s contributions to distributed data systems and for the organization to support his research and studies through this significant award,” said Khuzaima Daudjee.
In addition to receiving a 2018 Facebook Emerging Scholar Award, Abebe is currently supported by an NSERC Alexander Graham Bell Canada Graduate Scholarship.
National Indigenous Peoples Day and other notes
Today is National Indigenous Peoples Day and to celebrate the Shatitsirótha’ Waterloo Indigenous Student Centre (WISC) will be hosting a celebration event outside St. Paul's University College at the newly-established ceremonial fire ground area. This free public event takes place from 12:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m.
The ceremonial fire grounds and medicine garden was designed and constructed to support WISC's cultural and educational outreach programs. The fire pit is shaped like a traditional medicine wheel.
Come and learn about the sacred fire, enjoy a free barbecue at noon, and enjoy our line-up of entertainment, featuring a presentation by an Inuk alumnus, Métis jigging lessons, a Haudenosaunee dance demonstration, and a community hand drum circle. A handful of vendors and information booths will be present and children’s activities have been planned.
Friends and colleagues of Peggy Day are inviting you to join them for a retirement party in her honour on Thursday, July 12 at Fed Hall's multipurpose room from 3:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. Speeches will begin at 4:15 p.m. The stalwart Manager of IST's service desks, Day is celebrating more than 41 years of service to the University. RSVP to firstname.lastname@example.org.
While we're on the subject of retirements: John Vardon celebrated his retirement from the University and the Writing and Communication Centre last week. In 1976, he began working at what was then the newly-created Writing Clinic, and he has spent the last 42 years working side by side with students to support them in their writing.
"John has always had a passion for language, and he has loved working with students and seeing them grow and succeed," writes Writing Centre Director Clare Birmingham. "John has been a valuable member of the University of Waterloo community for many years."
Two years ago, he retired from Renison University College where he also spent years working as an instructor.