Tuesday, July 25, 2006

  • Nanotech student makes the Top 20
  • Young prof will teach Old Testament
  • The end of the term is nigh
  • Editor:
  • Chris Redmond
  • Communications and Public Affairs
  • credmond@uwaterloo.ca

Link of the day

Andrea Doria, 50 years ago

When and where

Biomedical engineering lecture: Ted Dixon of Biomedical Photometrics Inc., professor emeritus of physics, "Wide Field-of-View Scanning Laser Imaging System for Tissue", Wednesday 5 p.m., Rod Coutts Hall room 302, sponsored by IEEE Engineering in Medicine and Biology group.

Shad Valley summer program for young people holds open house Thursday 1:30 to 4:30, Conrad Grebel University College great hall, all welcome.

Young alumni networking reception Thursday 6 to 8 p.m., Accelerator Centre, 295 Hagey Boulevard, details and registration online.

Civic Holiday Monday, August 7; UW offices and most services closed, no exams.

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[Cardboard igloo in front of sunny lawn]
Snow wonder:
Mariusz Karczewski (left) and Mike Iley of the housing and residences staff were chilling out behind the Student Life Centre yesterday, reminding students that winter is coming and they'll need a place to live — so why not the Villages? Those who stopped to see the icy tableau were given reminder cards to let them know that limited rooms in Village I are available for the winter 2007 term .

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Nanotech student makes the Top 20

A nanotechnology engineering student is one of Canada’s “Top 20 Under 20” young people, as adjudged by Youth in Motion earlier this summer.

Keith Peiris, now in first year at UW, was just 11 years old when he started his company, Cyberteks Design, providing “web development, e-commerce and multimedia solutions”.

What started out as a one-person operation has now grown to include three full time and two part-time employees. Since its founding in 1999, the company has attracted many high profile clients across North America. Some of his major customers include the Atlanta Thrashers, McDonalds Restaurants of Canada, Rogers Television, Amtelecom, Siskinds Sports Management and Siskind’s Franchise Law.

[Peiris]Cyberteks was listed in the “Top 100 IT companies in Canada” by the National Post Business Magazine. Peiris (left) has represented Canada as one of the 10 under 40 CEO’s of Canada at the APEC Young Leaders and Entrepreneurs Forum and was a member of the Team Canada Trade Mission to China in 2001. He was a keynote speaker at the Nanhai IT City Forum, held in Nanhai, China in June 2002. Still a high schooler, he won the Gold Medal for web design at the Skills Ontario contest in May 2005.

Entering UW, he received the University of Waterloo President’s Scholarship, Special Nanotechnology Engineering Scholarship, and Leslie Klein Engineering Entrance Scholarship, and collected a federal Canadian Millennium Scholarship this year.

The Top 20 Under 20 Awards, sponsored by ING, Bell Canada and other companies, were presented June 6 at a breakfast event at a Toronto hotel. The awards are given “for outstanding innovation, leadership and achievement”, with recipients chosen from thousands of nominees across Canada.

“Youth in Motion is extremely proud and honoured to be able to showcase, from coast to coast, young Canadians from all walks of life, who are committed to innovation, leadership and achievement.” says Akela Peoples, president and CEO of Youth in Motion. “The 2006 recipients are an impressive group of young Canadians, entrepreneurs, scientists, social activists, environmentalists and inventors.”

Says Claude Dussault, president of ING Canada: “Innovation is the key to Canada’s future economic and social success. We are glad to see so many up and coming leaders and innovators. ING Canada and ING Foundation are proud to partner with Youth in Motion in recognizing and rewarding the very attributes that have led to our global success.”

Each recipient receives a financial award up to $2,000 to be directed towards their area of study or training, participation in a Four Day Leadership Summit designed to further enhance their leadership and innovative capabilities, and mentoring by a Canadian leader for a period of eight months.

Youth in Motion is described as “a national, not-for-profit organization focused on developing the employability and life skills of today's youth to prepare them effectively for success in life and work. Our programs are designed to provide access to career information and increase awareness about opportunities for youth and those impacting the career decisions of youth.”

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Young prof will teach Old Testament

from Jennifer Konkle of Conrad Grebel University College

[Suderman]There’s a new generation of professors at Conrad Grebel University College, with several current professors approaching retirement. Derek Suderman (right), the most recent appointment from the new generation, will teach religious studies, specializing in the Old Testament, and fill the gap left when John Miller retired in 1993, the only Old Testament professor at UW.

No stranger to Grebel, Suderman lived at the college in 1990-91 and studied there as an undergraduate (BA 1996 in history, with a peace and conflict studies option), as a Master of Theological Studies student (MTS 2000), and as a doctoral student at the Toronto Mennonite Theological Centre, an affiliate of the Toronto School of Theology. “I am very excited to return to Grebel,” Suderman commented. “I was challenged and inspired by professors there, and hope to do the same.”

"We are delighted to welcome Derek to our faculty,” said Jim Pankratz, Grebel’s Academic Dean. “His enthusiasm for teaching the Old Testament and his wide experience in the university, the global church and the justice and peace-making systems of our world, make him an excellent addition to our academic program and the Grebel community.”

Suderman expects his PhD this from St. Michael’s University College at the University of Toronto. His areas of specialization include Psalms and Hebrew poetry, wisdom literature, pre-exilic prophecy, and the synoptic gospels. His thesis is entitled “The Social ‘You’ of the Psalter: Second Person Address in Individual Lament Psalms”. Suderman has already published in the Catholic Biblical Quarterly, the Canadian Mennonite and the Canadian Mennonite Encyclopedia On-Line, and has taught at Emmanuel College as well as in Grebel’s MTS program.

Beyond his scholarly achievements, Suderman has been a mediation trainer for JustaPaz in Bogota, Colombia, a community service worker for the John Howard Society in Manitoba, a Youth Conflict Resolution Trainer in Waterloo, and a Peace Evangelist for the Mennonite Church; he currently serves on the editorial Council of the Believer's Church Bible Commentary Series.

As a student, Suderman thoroughly enjoyed the interdisciplinary aspect of living and studying at Grebel and wants to continue such interaction with students as well as other faculty. He is particularly excited about the peace and conflict studies program: “It provides a unique opportunity to link elements of ‘religious studies’ to concrete justice/peace issues.” He is also attracted to Grebel’s commitment to providing learning opportunities abroad. Having grown up in Bolivia, volunteered with a Colombian justice and peace organization and attended the Mennonite Seminary there, he knows the value of international experiences and will encourage students to look for such possibilities.

He’s also excited to teach in the MTS program. “I have personally experienced the academic strength of this program, which provided a solid base and broad perspective for my own doctoral work. More importantly, I believe the most essential element for a healthy church is its people, and I look forward to participating in the task of developing leaders to resource the church. While committed to an Anabaptist/Mennonite perspective, I have also benefited significantly from inter-denominational discussion and welcome this aspect of the graduate program.”

“In short,” says Suderman, “Grebel’s setting as a denominational college on the campus of a rigorous research university reflects the important task of relating church and academy. I look forward to teaching the Bible in both a non-confessional ‘religious studies’ vein as well as in a setting where this is explicitly recognized as an essential aspect of church life. Both approaches have their place, and Grebel provides a unique opportunity for maintaining this constructive tension without collapsing either one into the other. I really couldn’t imagine a better place to be.”

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The end of the term is nigh

Suddenly the spring term, which stretched ahead endlessly in the first week of May, is at an end. The Engineering Society's EOT pub was held Friday, today's the last day of classes, and on-campus exams will run from July 31 through August 12. (Exams for distance education courses come sooner, this Friday and Saturday.) To help with intense study in this stressful season, the Davis Centre library is open 24 hours a day (except Sundays from 2 to 8 a.m.) from now through August 12; the Dana Porter library will be open 8 a.m. to 2 a.m. daily through that period.

Serious work is now under way on the trunk sewer that the city of Waterloo is installing near and through the east side of the campus. Fibre optic cables to serve UW and the Research and Technology Park are being laid in the same trench, since the sewer replacement had to be done anyway, city officials said. Crews started at the south end of the new pipe, near Silver Lake in Waterloo Park, and have now reached Seagram Drive, with the result that the street is currently closed in the middle. Access to the park (and the Seagram Drive section of UW Place) is available only from the Albert Street end of Seagram, while access to UW parking lots A and C is available only from University Avenue. There are no plans to close University Avenue itself for the job — it's been enough of a mess lately with street widening work continuing — but a tunnel will go underneath, and the sewer will then run north on UW property near the railway line, all the way to Columbia Street. Work on the campus section of the job is tentatively scheduled to begin next week, but some tree removal has already been done. Restoration work including tree planting and trail reconstruction will take the job into the fall, with some of it delayed until next spring, the city advises.

Today brings a second day of hearings into the proposal to make the Fed Bus service lawful. It's been running for decades, linking the campus to Toronto, London, Hamilton, "and occasionally Ottawa", Federation of Students vice-president Renjie Butalid points out. And it's popular: "On weekends such as Thanksgiving last yeaar, we have had to use 28 buses to bring students home!" However, Greyhound Canada, which has the exclusive right to run scheduled bus services on some of those routes, complained to the Ontario Highway Transport Board. The outcome is a licence application by Student Transportation of Canada, the bus firm that operates the buses for the Feds. Butalid has urged students to show up at the licence hearings today just to demonstrate how many people care about the service. How to get to the hearing, at Kitchener city hall? By bus, of course; it leaves the Student Life Centre at 9:15, 11:15, 12:15, 1:15, 2:15 and 3:15.

With hot war under way in south Lebanon and northern Israel, one concern for UW is any co-op students who may be in that part of the world and at risk. Associate provost Bruce Mitchell said yesterday he's been assured by the co-op department that there are no Waterloo students at jobs in Lebanon this term. However, there are two in Israel; one has just finished the job anyway and has headed home, while the other, based in Jerusalem, says life there is as safe as it was before, and is staying until term's end.

Last Tuesday's Daily Bulletin included a brief item about what the Centre for Learning and Teaching Through Technology, or LT3, does. A previous Daily Bulletin had described the centre's work as "research", and Tom Carey, founding director of LT3, wanted to clarify. He says the job is better summed up as "exemplary practice and innovation in e-learning". The item identified Carey as associate vice-president (learning resources and innovation), but he no longer holds that position, which is now being filled by Gail Cuthbert Brandt, also the associate VP (academic).

And . . . I returned to campus yesterday after a week away, with much to catch up on, from the new Centre for Mental Health Research to the success of Saturday's Student Life 101 event. My thanks to colleagues here in Communications and Public Affairs who issued the Daily Bulletin in my absence (they'll get another chance next month).


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