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Meet Tim Brooke, executive chef, meal planner and all-round foodie at Laurier’s Waterloo campus.

Wilfrid Laurier University • May 2008 VOL. 1 | NO. 1 | APRIL 7,2008


CAMPUS | COMMUNITY | CONNECTIONS Dr. Tony Tang teaches Investment Management, and the value of lifelong learning.

Campuses spring into bloom


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VOL. 1 | NO. 1 | APRIL 7,2008 Learn about the Laurier Herbarium’s quest to discover new plant species.

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Laurier grounds crew is busy helping the university look its best to the existing vegetation, and clean out the flower beds and gardens. Spring is finally here, and “We’ll be planting about 70 Larry Cooper, a member of the flats of new flowers and plants,” Physical Plant and Planning says Cooper, who has worked at grounds crew on the Waterloo Laurier for 25 years, the last 15 campus, has cause to celebrate. | CAMPUS CONNECTIONS | COMMUNITY with the grounds crew. “We’ll use “Winter is so unpredictable,” about eight tons of new topsoil he says. “From one day to the and between 20 and 30 tons of next, you have no idea how mulch. And we’ll aerate and much work will be needed to fertilize the entire campus once in keep the grounds accessible the spring and again in the fall.” and safe. Every time there’s snow, we have to clear and salt Cooper and his team do most the paths and entranceways to of the new planting during the 77 buildings and more than 100 second and third weeks of May flights of stairs. Spring makes to ensure everything is blooming me happy.” and healthy for the thousands of After one of the worst winters students and visitors who will on record, Cooper and the rest of be on campus for convocation the crew are now hard at work the first week of June. bringing the Waterloo campus This year they will also back to life. Similar efforts are over-seed the grass to give also underway at the Brantford the existing turf new life. campus. The crew does not use any pesticide sprays on the grass. In Waterloo, the seven-person Instead, they manage weeds crew starts by collecting all the the old-fashioned way and pull garbage that was frozen under five months of snow and ice. Then them out by hand. And if they encounter a particularly unruly they will survey the gardens and patch, they spray the area with a pathways to assess any damage By Tiffany Bradley

Photo: Tomasz Adamski

VOL. 1 | NO. 1 | APRIL 7,2008 Photo captions can go in here

Members of the Laurier grounds crew (from left clockwise) Larry Cooper, Ben Broughton, Matt McCutcheon and Dina Simmons get to work planting outside of Alumni Hall on the Waterloo campus.

vinegar solution. In the spring and summer months, extra help is required, especially when it comes to cutting the grass. It takes four people more than two days to mow all the grass on Laurier’s 70-acre Waterloo campus. “We hire about 10 students to help,” says Cooper. “We love working with the students because we learn so much about them and their courses. We are one big family when we are out there working.”

All of the grounds crew employees have formal training in landscape maintenance and turf management, and many come from backgrounds in landscaping or farming. “We really take pride in what we do out there,” says Cooper. “We want staff, faculty, students and visitors to appreciate the green spaces on our compact campus, so we try to ensure it’s free from garbage and always looking its best.”

Unearthing the facts Number of flowers:


Tons of mulch:


Tons of topsoil:


Time to cut the grass:

2.5 days

Time to aerate:

1.5 weeks

Laurier athletics director going to China

Peter Baxter will lead Canadian contingent to university games in 2009 By Ari Grossman

Peter Baxter, Laurier’s director of recreation and athletics, was recently named chef de mission for the 24th Winter Universiade in China. Also making the trip will be Laurier’s men’s and women’s curling teams.

Peter Baxter, Laurier’s director of athletics and recreation, has been appointed the Canadian chef de mission for the 24th Winter Universiade in Harbin, China, taking place in January 2009. Canadian Interuniversity Sport (CIS), as the Canadian representative of Fédération Internationale du Sport Universitaire (FISU), made the announcement on May 1. Also travelling to China for the international event will be Laurier’s men’s and women’s curling teams. Both teams secured spots in the Universiade by winning the inaugural CIS curling championships in March. Baxter has been head of

Laurier’s Athletics department since 1998, and previously occupied a similar position at the University of Toronto in Mississauga from 1991-1998. In his 10 years with the purple-and-gold program, Baxter has been part of many interuniversity and recreation successes, including 20 of the university’s 50 provincial championships and six of the school’s 10 national championships. He has also led the renewal of Laurier’s athletic facilities, which have seen a significant growth in recreation, intramural and fitness activities. “Peter will be an exceptional chef de mission,” says Joe Morissette, CIS International and Sport Programs Services. “He has experience and leadership

qualities that are key to the position. I’m confident Peter will be an outstanding ambassador for Canada and will greatly enhance the student-athlete experience.” Baxter’s international experience includes serving as a team manager with the Canadian national canoe team, founding the only Olympic Weightlifting Centre in the metro Toronto area, and hosting the 1995 Pan American weightlifting championships. In 2003, Wilfrid Laurier’s women’s hockey team hosted Team China for an exhibition game, and last year Baxter helped secure an exchange program with Nanjing University in China for Wilfrid Laurier coaches and student-athletes.

“It’s an honour to be a part of the team that will support our Canadian university studentathletes at this Universiade,” says Baxter. “It’s even more special to be with our own Wilfrid Laurier athletes as they compete, representing Canada in addition to the Golden Hawk program.” The biannual Universiade takes place every two years in countries around the world. The 2009 Winter Universiade in China will feature over 50 events in 12 sports: alpine skiing, cross-country skiing, ski jumping, Nordic combined, biathlon, freestyle skiing, ice hockey, short track speed skating, long track speed skating, figure skating, snowboarding and curling.


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May 2008

Laurier professors win Updates: budget, law school, Milton teaching awards president’s message

Spring is here and, as the seasons change, so do the rhythms of campus life: classes end, exams run their hectic course, students move out for the summer, and suddenly there is a change of focus and a change of pace. As you enjoy the delights of May, allow me to share a few thoughts about some recent developments at Laurier. The Board of Governors has approved Laurier’s 2008/2009 budget. The story of university budgets in Ontario is one in which the lead characters are tuition fees, provincial funding and personnel costs. Like in all good stories, there is tension between the main characters. In the case of our 2008/2009 operating budget, revenues (mostly tuition fees and provincial funding) are expected to rise five percent while expenses go up seven percent. The result is an operating deficit. In the past the province has usually come to the rescue with one-time funding at the end of the fiscal year. We then appropriate these funds into the next year to balance revenue and expenses. It is not an ideal situation because it injects a significant degree of uncertainty into the budgeting process. Laurier, along with other Ontario universities, continues to lobby the provincial government for a more stable approach to university funding, one that would see a larger increase in annual operating grants and less reliance on one-time funding announcements. In the meantime, I assure you that we are taking a proactive

Two faculty members, teaching assistant honoured with Awards of Teaching Excellence By Tiffany Bradley

Dr. Max Blouw says farewell to Scott Hayter, who is leaving his position as vice-president: university advancement to join St. Andrew’s College in Aurora.

and responsible approach to keeping Laurier on track for a balanced operating budget. Another issue that continues to percolate, and one that has attracted considerable media attention, is Laurier’s desire to establish a law school in Waterloo. As you may know, Laurier submitted a proposal to the Ontario Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities in 2007. We feel there is a need to provide an innovative approach to training lawyers, one that would include co-op work terms rather than a traditional postdegree articling period. Laurier is well-positioned to offer such an innovative program. However, Ontario has not had a new law school for nearly 40 years, so the province has put our proposal on hold until after the Law Society of Upper Canada and the Federation of Law Societies of Canada review the accreditation criteria for law programs. Meanwhile, it has been

suggested that a law school in Waterloo could be integrated with the Balsillie School for International Affairs, in which Laurier is a partner. It is an interesting idea, one that would likely complement and strengthen Laurier’s proposal. We are pleased to have the backing of the Waterloo Law Association. The creation of a law school is a complex and lengthy process, but we continue to investigate ways to move it forward. Another significant project is the possibility of a Laurier campus in Milton. We continue to work with the Town of Milton to explore this opportunity. No commitment has been made but we are working with the town, the region, and other parties to develop a conceptual master plan. We have just begun this work and I plan to keep you abreast of significant developments as they come together. Dr. Max Blouw President and Vice-Chancellor

Volunteers needed for convocation Next month, more than 2,000 students will officially graduate at Laurier’s spring convocation. With seven ceremonies scheduled, the largest of which will have upwards of 700 graduates, plus families and friends in attendance, planning begins well in advance. And to ensure everything goes off without a hitch, organizers rely on the help of staff and

faculty volunteers. “Those who have volunteered in the past have told us that it is such a rewarding experience to be part of what is in fact the happiest day of a student’s academic career,” says university secretary Jennifer Casey. Faculty members are usually recruited to serve in officer roles such as marshals and vice-marshals, and are also

encouraged to participate in the academic procession. Other volunteer positions include helping with student robing, parking and reception assistance. The various roles require a 90-minute time commitment and training will be provided. If you are interested in volunteering at Laurier’s spring convocation visit the secretariat’s website at

InsideLaurier is published by The Department of Public Affairs Wilfrid Laurier University 75 University Avenue West, Waterloo, Ontario N2L 3C5

InsideLaurier | Volume 1, Number 2, May 2008

InsideLaurier welcomes your comments and suggestions for stories. Tel: (519) 884-0710 ext. 3341 | Fax: (519) 884-8848 Email:

Editor: Stacey Morrison Assistant Editor: Lori Chalmers Morrison Design: Erin Steed Contributors: Tomasz Adamski, Tiffany Bradley, Kevin Crowley, Ari Grossman, Jim Hertel, Mallory O’Brien


InsideLaurier (circ. 2,000) is published nine times a year by the Department of Public Affairs. Opinions expressed in InsideLaurier do not necessarily reflect those of the editor or the university’s administration. Printed on recycled paper.

Three members of the Laurier community are being recognized for their outstanding commitment to teaching with a 2008 Award for Teaching Excellence. Dr. Mary-Louise Byrne, an associate professor and chair of the Department of Geography and Environmental Studies, is known as a dedicated instructor with an ability to capture the attention of her students through her knowledge and her passion for the subject. She recently co-authored the Canadian volume of an international textbook and accompanying instructor’s manual on physical geography called Geosystems: An introduction to physical geography. Camie Condon, a part-time professor in the Department of Psychology, is widely regarded as an approachable and organized instructor. Condon consistently receives above-

average scores on course evaluations. She believes that it is her responsibility as a teacher to “light a fire” within each student. Dr. Stephen Connor, a teaching assistant in the Department of History, has been a lecturer, marker and tutorial leader for 10 different history classes over the last seven years. This is the first year a teaching assistant has been recognized with this award. “The awards program that celebrates exceptional instructors at Laurier emphasizes the importance we place on the highest quality instruction,” said Dr. Max Blouw, president of Wilfrid Laurier University. “Skilled and knowledgeable teachers enhance the learning environment for our students. They are at the foundation of the outstanding experience that students enjoy at this university.” All three recipients will receive their awards at Laurier’s spring convocation in June.

From left: Dr. Mary-Louise Byrne, Camie Condon and Dr. Stephen Connor.

Send us your news, events & stories


All submissions are appreciated, however not all submissions will be published. We reserve the right to edit all copy for accuracy, content and length.


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May 2008 coffee with a co-worker


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A look at staff and faculty across campus

Cooking for thousands Name: Tim Brooke Job: Executive chef, Food Services. Laurier employee since 2001.

Photo: Jim Hertel

Where you can find him: Usually in his office in the Fresh Food Co. dining hall. On this day he’s in the kitchen whipping up Huevos Rancheros, Dijon cheddar and bacon dip, and fruit salad with vinaigrette and fresh mint to tantalize my taste buds. How he takes his coffee: Three Splenda, double cream.

What’s involved in being Laurier’s executive chef? I develop the recipes and menus (we have a five-week rotating menu), monitor portioning, make daily production lists, look after health and safety, oversee employees, determine costing to give a fair price to students, help with purchasing and cater university functions. We serve at least 2,000 people each day. How did you become a chef? I began as a dishwasher, then a short-order cook. After learning as much as I could

coming Events

Grand National Quilt Exhibition When: May 9 - July 16 Where: Kitchener-Waterloo Art Gallery Cost: $6 adults, $2 children This show celebrates the beauty and creativity of quilting from across Canada, with more than 50 works on display. This year’s theme, Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow, challenges quilters to reveal their thoughts on time and its meaning in their lives. Communication for Service Excellence Certificate: Developing a Service Culture When: May 20, 2008 (with follow-up session on June 10) 9 a.m. - 12 p.m. Where: Paul Martin Centre To register: Learn how to provide quality service, promote healthy working relations and develop a team focus to service. This is one of four workshops that participants must attend to earn a certificate. Innovation & Entrepreneurship Speaker Series: Avoiding Big Mistakes When: May 21, 2008 5:30 p.m. Where: Senate & Board Chamber Cost: Free A 20-year industry veteran, Jeff Braun is known for his

Executive chef Tim Brooke develops the recipes and menus for the Fresh Food Co. dining hall.

through an apprenticeship with the Widemans (owners of the Charcoal Group) in their different restaurants, I worked for Bingeman’s to learn catering. I’ve also co-owned a pizza store, managed many in-town restaurants and had my own cake business. What do you enjoy most about your job? Being hands-on, creating recipes and menus, and doing something that I love. I’m passionate about what I do. It’s so important to love your job. We’re here to meet the students’ needs.

What do you find most challenging ?

Where do you get your ingredients?

Trying to educate students about healthy food choices. We don’t serve pizza every day because students would eat it every day. And there are more than chicken fingers and fries (the dining hall’s biggest seller – made with trans-fat free oil) and perogies (they serve more than 350 orders every Thursday!). My menus are ever changing, and I add more and more healthy choices all the time. Health Services does a nutritional analysis on our menu items, and it’s posted on our website at www.mylaurier. ca/foodsvcs.

We try to get as much locally grown food as possible, and we bring in fresh produce daily. Next year we’ll start posting where our food items were grown. What about organic food? I can see an all-organic section down the road. We use cage-free eggs, and are waiting for our suppliers to offer cage-free liquid eggs. I’d also like to use sea salt and eliminate bleached flour. It’s only going to get fresher! We also offer fair-trade coffee. Our

other green efforts include using biodegradable plastics, and we’re starting to compost. What do you eat for lunch? Salad with fresh fruit, sunflower seeds, dried cranberries and raspberry vinaigrette with whatever protein is on the menu that day. What do you cook at home? Kraft Dinner. You’re laughing? No, it’s different all the time. My wife and I like to marinade meat and seafood, and I barbecue year-round. By Lori Chalmers Morrison

For a complete list of events visit

leadership as chairman and CEO of Maxis, the company that created the Sim-branded video games. Join us as Jeff discusses his entrepreneurial experiences and how he avoided big mistakes. 8th Annual Laurier MBA Alumni Golf Tournament When: May 30, 2008 8 a.m. shotgun start Where: Century Pines Golf Club, Flamborough Cost: $115/person To register: Registration fee includes one round of golf, a shared cart, snacks, dinner and prizes. Sign up as an individual or as a foursome. 2008 STLHE Conference: A World of Learning When: June 18 - 21, 2008 Where: University of Windsor The 28th annual STLHE conference will explore the assumptions, practices, challenges and possibilities of internationalization, broadened world-views and the impact of globalization trends in post-secondary settings. For more information visit www. Fred Nichols Charity Golf Tournament When: June 19, 2008 11 a.m. registration 6 p.m. reception at the Turret

Where: Rebel Creek Golf Club, Petersburg Cost: $110/person To register: events This annual tournament brings together students, staff, faculty, alumni and friends of the university community for a fun round of golf. Proceeds from the tournament help fund two student bursaries in honour of former Dean of Students Fred Nichols. Space is limited to 144 participants, so register early! WLU Pension Plan & Retirement Planning Information Sessions When: July 7, 2008 9 a.m. Where: TBD Learn about the features of the Laurier pension plan, important decisions you will face in retirement and the basics of retirement planning. OWL Whitewater Rafting Weekend When: July 11-13 Where: Foresters Falls, Ontario Cost: $165-$215, early bird pricing still available. All staff, faculty and friends are invited to attend an unforgettable weekend rafting the legendary 12-km Rocher Fendu rapids of the Ottawa River. For more information visit www. 3


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May 2008

In the classroom

A look inside the lecture hall

Investing in learning Professor: Dr. Tony Tang Class: Investment Management, School Of Business & Economics Description: An introduction to the theory and practice of security analysis and portfolio management. It provides for a broad understanding of security markets. Considerable attention is given to the analysis and valuation of bonds, common stock, options and futures.

An assistant professor of finance, Dr. Tony Tang taught at the University of Hawaii before coming to Laurier in 2005. “For a group of unique individuals to experience effective learning together in one classroom, it is critically important for a teacher to be flexible in both teaching methods and teaching objectives,” says Tang, whose ultimate goal is to help his students acquire lifelong learning skills. Tang frequently relates lectures to real world situations and asks questions that require students to apply their knowledge and common sense. He also likes to assign group projects to encourage team spirit, competition and leadership. By Mallory O’Brien Photo: Dean Palmer

Blossoming biodiversity research Laurier Herbarium houses more than 15,000 preserved plant specimens By Lori Chalmers Morrison The Laurier Herbarium is in a race against time. Over the next century, according to herbarium curator Dr. Mihai Costea, half of

the plant species on our planet will become extinct, along with their potential benefits. The herbarium, with its 15,000 preserved plant specimens, has joined forces with much larger

herbaria worldwide in a quest to discover the remaining 50,000 or so flowering plant species that are thought to be undescribed before they vanish forever. Much different than a green-

Slides from the Laurier Herbarium (from top clockwise), show increasing levels of detail in an unknown species of Cuscuta — ­ a group of parasitic plants — collected from Peru. The final image, bottom left, is pollen at 3,000-times magnification.


house, the herbarium is more like a library of preserved plants. “In the same way books in a library contain information, the dried flowers, leaves, fruit and seeds of plant specimens in the herbarium collections contain a huge amount of information waiting to be read,” says Costea, who is also an assistant biology professor at Laurier. Pressing and drying plants, and then storing them at cool temperatures preserves the specimens indefinitely. This allows researchers like Costea and his students to extract DNA or examine infinitesimal features such as pollen grains at more than 50,000-times magnification using a scanning electron microscope. “These specimens are the ultimate tool to study biodiversity,” says Costea, who has examined historical specimens such as those collected by Charles Darwin and Linnaeus. Research coming from the Laurier Herbarium helps to describe and classify new species, understand how plants have evolved, conserve rare species, warn against incoming invasive weeds, and study how vegetation is changing in different geographical areas. It

is a member of a global network called Index Herbariorum, and it exchanges specimens and knowledge with more than 150 herbaria from 60 countries. The Laurier Herbarium also contributes to international projects such as Flora of North America and Flora Neotropica. Established in 1967, the herbarium also houses one of the most complete holdings of flowering plants and mosses from Southern Ontario flora. Costea’s current research on Cuscuta (a group of parasitic plants that take their nutrients from other plants) and ethnobotany takes him to unspoiled locations in Mexico and South America. His research is also putting the Laurier Herbarium on the world map. Costea used a unique photography technique to create the Digital Atlas of Cuscuta — the only existing source of microphotographs of the parasitic plants. His atlas is used by researchers at the U.S. Department of Agriculture and other institutions. For more information about the Laurier Herbarium visit and click on the “Centres and Institutes” link.

May 2008 insideLaurier  

May 2008 issue of Wilfrid Laurier University's internal newsletter, insideLaurier.

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