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Updated: 17 hours 12 min ago

Student documentary shortlisted for prize

Thu, 09/05/2019 - 00:28

Braunte Petric hasn’t even begun her graduate studies in filmmaking and she’s already making her mark — TV Ontario has named her work Defender among the 10 finalists in its Short Doc Contest.

The film is an interview with Windsor Law professor Julie Macfarlane, founder of the National Self-Represented Litigants Project, which advocates for access to justice.

Petric first became aware of the project as an intern during her undergraduate studies in communication, media, and film, which she completed this spring. This semester, she has begun pursuit of an MFA in film studies.

“My film is about bringing awareness to the world of law,” she says. “Unless you are suing someone, have been sued, or know someone involved in a lawsuit, you would have no knowledge of how our court system is changing.”

While people struggle to afford legal representation, Petric notes Macfarlane is fighting for them.

“She is an amazing interviewee,” says Petric. “I really enjoyed making a powerful story about this group advocating for others.”

She was “overwhelmed” to learn her piece was selected to the top 10 and shares credit with cinematographer Armend Bajrami.

“No matter what, even if our entry doesn’t win, it will always be on the TVO website,” Petric says. “I’m so grateful it has even made it this far.”

Judges will award first, second, and third prizes, but the public will determine the People’s Choice winner. Voting is open through Sept. 16; watch all entries and cast a ballot on the contest website.

Braunte PetricJulie MacfarlaneStrategic Priority: Pursue strengths in research and graduate educationAlumniAcademic Area: Arts, Humanities and Social SciencesCommunications, Media & FilmCreative ArtsLawResearch

Alumni Sports Hall of Fame to welcome new inductees

Thu, 09/05/2019 - 00:25

Former Lancer stars from track and field, football, and volleyball will join the University of Windsor Alumni Sports Hall of Fame at an induction ceremony Sunday, Oct. 6.

Decathlete Jamie Adjetey-Nelson (BA 2007, B.Ed 2009), jumper Stephanie Gouin (BHK 1999), wide receiver Arjei Franklin (BHK 2005, B.Ed 2006), and men’s volleyball MVP Steve Ray (BASc 1996) will be honoured as part of Alumni Weekend celebrations.

Adjetey-Nelson was an all-star in track and field and helped lead the blue and gold to five provincial and three national championships. He received the Olympic Shield as Lancer male athlete of the year in 2009. A gold medalist in the decathlon at the 2010 Commonwealth Games, he continues to hold the University of Windsor record in pentathlon.

Gouin was a four-time all-Canadian and provincial first team all-star in long jump and a member of the Lancer 4x200m relay team. She led the Lancer women to two Canadian track and field championships, earning team MVP honours in 1997 and 1998. Her 6.10m mark remains the Lancer record in the women’s long jump.

Franklin received the Olympic Shield in 2005, and still holds the Lancer records in career receiving yards and total punt returns. A two-time OUA all-star and CIS all-Canadian, he was drafted by the Winnipeg Blue Bombers and enjoyed a seven-year career in the Canadian Football League.

Ray is one of very few student-athletes to capture both the Olympic Shield and DeMarco Award, combining athletic and academic excellence. A four-time OUA all-star, he led Windsor squads to an OUA silver medal in 1995 and 1996, becoming the first Lancer ever selected to the Canadian national team.

To be inducted in the Builder/Coach category are track and field assistant coach Don Garrod (BA 1996) and the late Gary Malloy (BA 1983, B.Ed 1984), head coach of Lancer cross country.

The Sport Achievement award, recognizing contributions to sport beyond the University of Windsor campus, is being presented to major league baseball player and Toronto Blue Jays broadcaster Joe Siddall (BHK 2007). The 1995-96 national champion women’s cross country team will receive the Team Achievement award.

Find more information on all the honorees at

Register to attend the awards presentation on the event website.

Jamie Adjetey-NelsonStephanie GouinArjei FranklinSteve RayDon GarrodGary MalloyJoe SiddallAlumni

Cheers greet incoming students

Thu, 09/05/2019 - 00:24

Kayla Jakobszen had a “stunning” welcome to the University of Windsor, winning a semester’s tuition free Wednesday in the Dennis Fairall Fieldhouse.

“This is the best way I can imagine starting my time at the University,” said the first-year student of English and business. “I can’t believe I won. My parents are going to be so excited.”

The annual prize draw — worth up to $4,000 — is sponsored by the University of Windsor Alumni Association and held during the Welcoming Celebration, a pep rally that forms part of orientation activities for new students.

Nursing major Tala Abdallah said the event drew her in after the more serious presentations on academic expectations.

“I just wanted to stay longer and bond,” she said. “It’s so hype!”

Her friend Lina Mekawi, starting classes today in human kinetics, agreed.

“It’s like a family, so you don’t want to leave in case you miss anything,” she said. “Even if you’re normally quiet, you’re screaming.”

UWindsor Welcome Week programming continues across campus. Classes in most programs begin today — Thursday, Sept. 5. The week will culminate in the Lancer varsity football game at 1 p.m. Saturday on Alumni Field.

Find more information on UWindsor Welcome Week activities on the program website.

Kayla JakobszenBeth Ann PrinceTala AbdallahLina MekawiAlumni AssociationStrategic Priority: Provide an exceptional undergraduate experienceAlumni

Book promises to help student reach goals

Mon, 08/26/2019 - 00:46

Is there a secret to achieving success at university?

There is, says UWindsor computer science grad Franklin Ezenwa (BSc 2015), and he promises to share it in his recently-published book, Be a High Achiever: Achieving All-round Success in College & University.

“The content of the book was squarely directed by a survey done on current students in colleges and universities to learn about their needs, fears, concerns, and desires,” Ezenwa says.

“I garnered priceless success tips from high-achieving students.”

His tips include:

  • planning a successful school journey;
  • selecting the right courses and program;
  • setting goals and formulating plans to bring them to fruition;
  • maintaining balance at school;
  • succeeding in the major areas of school life; and
  • getting ready for life after graduation.

In addition to earning high grades while at university, Ezenwa participated in extracurricular activities, including more than three years mentoring peers in the Connecting4Success program. Within a week following his graduation, he was hired by IBM Canada, where he currently works as a cloud developer.

Franklin EzenwaAlumni

Stanley Cup win makes adjustment to Windsor alumnus’ resumé

Mon, 06/17/2019 - 00:15

A UWindsor alumnus had a once-in-a-lifetime experience Wednesday, hoisting the Stanley Cup after the St. Louis Blues won its first-ever National Hockey League championship.

Michael Murphy (BHK 1991) has been the team’s chiropractor since 1996 and shared its victory over the Boston Bruins. The Blues had been the oldest NHL team never to have won the cup.

Murphy is also an alumni speaker, sharing his achievements and career-related journey with students in the Faculty of Human Kinetics — this moment will probably feature in his future speeches!

—Dana Roe

Michael MurphyDana RoeAlumniAcademic Area: Human Kinetics

Industrial Research Chair to develop new materials

Thu, 06/13/2019 - 00:50

A new $3.7 million research partnership between the University of Windsor and a local company that develops scientific testing instruments aims to create new research tools and advanced materials the world has never before seen.

Nicholas Vukotic, principal scientist at Proto Mfg., is UWindsor’s new Industrial Research Chair in X-ray Diffraction and Crystalline Materials. He will join the Advanced Materials Centre of Research (AMCORe) in UWindsor’s Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, where he will work with researchers with complementary interests in synthetic chemistry, catalysis, materials chemistry, materials characterization, and materials applications.

“I am thrilled about joining the exceptional group of researchers within AMCORe at the University of Windsor,” Dr. Vukotic said. “This research partnership is all about synergy and brings together two great organizations, which I am proud to be part of.”

Vukotic’s five-year position is funded jointly by the University, the Natural Science and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC), and Proto Mfg., a multinational company headquartered locally that manufactures X-ray diffraction instrumentation and provides laboratory services to companies around the globe.

The position comes with nearly $3.7 million of funding, of which $2,354,000 is cash provided by NSERC, Proto Mfg., and the University. In addition to the cash contribution, Proto Mfg. is providing $1 million of in-kind support towards the development of advanced scientific instrumentation, and the university is contributing in-kind support of nearly $284,000.

Proto has a long-standing relationship with the University of Windsor, said company president Michael Brauss.

“Over the past several years, we have significantly benefited from working with several professors from the University of Windsor, and many of their graduates have become employees of our company,” he said.

“Proto prides itself on its innovative products, quality, customer service, and pursuit of excellence, and these traits will only be strengthened by having an Industrial Research Chair at our local university with a close proximity to our base of operations.”

Industrial research chairs are designed to create mutually beneficial collaborations between Canadian universities and partners outside academia. The idea is to develop research in new fields of science and engineering, making advancements that will benefit Canadian society. Graduate students and postdoctoral fellows get the chance to do ground-breaking research and develop expertise that will help their careers.

Vukotic specializes in X-ray diffraction (XRD) and the development of advanced crystalline materials. XRD is a non-destructive method to get information about materials, including their chemical make-up and molecular structure. It has applications in the pharmaceutical industry, mining and geology, and in construction and manufacturing. It can be used not only to identify and test the purity of materials, but to test the structural integrity of materials used in the manufacturing of cars, airplanes, power turbines, and in the construction of bridges and buildings.

“To spur the development of new commercial products — allowing Canada to retain a competitive advantage in the global market and an increased quality of life for all Canadians — new technologies and materials are required,” NSERC said in announcing Vukotic as UWindsor’s latest industrial research chair.

“This research partnership between Proto and the University of Windsor will create an environment that fosters the pursuit of knowledge, innovation, and the development of new technologies and materials within Canada.”

Vukotic is a UWindsor grad with a doctorate in chemistry and biochemistry. He has brought numerous patented XRD products to market. The position will give him the opportunity to develop new scientific research tools and create new advanced crystalline materials with industrial applications as nanoporous adsorbents, chemical sensors, and drug-releasing biomaterials.

K.W. Michael Siu, UWindsor’s vice-president, research and innovation, said Vukotic’s Industrial Research Chair holds great promise.

“I am absolutely delighted that NSERC and Proto have chosen to invest in an Industrial Research Chair position at the University of Windsor,” Dr. Siu said.

“Congratulations to Dr. Vukotic for his success, and I certainly look forward to hearing and reading the wonderful and innovative research results that he and his team will produce in the not-too-distant future."

UWindsor currently has one other Industrial Research Chair — Ming Zheng from the Department of Mechanical, Automotive and Metals Engineering. Dr. Zheng is the NSERC/Ford Industrial Research Chair in Clean Combustion Engine Innovations.

Vukotic said he wants to create a high-energy and diverse research group. He is recruiting four graduate students, three post-doctoral fellows, and senior undergraduate researchers to join his lab in September. Interested candidates can learn more at

—Sarah Sacheli

Nick VukoticK.W. Michael SiuStrategic Priority: Pursue strengths in research and graduate educationAlumniAcademic Area: ResearchScienceChemistry & Biochemistry

Creative writing grad finalist in literary contest

Thu, 06/06/2019 - 00:43

A recent graduate from the UWindsor creative writing program was a finalist in a short prose contest held by the Writers’ Union of Canada.

Chloe Moore (BA 2019) saw her story “The Clay Child” listed among a dozen finalists chosen from 580 submissions. Newfoundland author Sheilagh Guy Murphy claimed the $2,500 cash prize.

The Writers’ Union of Canada is a national organization representing professional authors of books. It is dedicated to fostering writing in Canada, and promoting the rights, freedoms, and economic well-being of all writers.

It established the Short Prose Competition in 1993 in honour of the union’s 20th anniversary, to provide opportunity and exposure to developing writers. The union will submit Moore’s story and all the shortlisted entries to three Canadian magazine publishers for their consideration.

Noting that the contest attracted national and international entrants, including professional authors, English professor Karl Jirgens expressed pride in Moore’s accomplishment: “We’re delighted to hear of our students’ ongoing successes!”

Chloe MooreKarl JirgensAlumniAcademic Area: Arts, Humanities and Social SciencesEnglish

Career-inspiring coffees on order for mentoring program

Tue, 05/28/2019 - 00:25

Having a diverse network of contacts accelerates careers, builds community, and helps individuals benefit from the knowledge and experience of others, says Rob Janisse, co-ordinator of special projects in the office of Alumni Affairs and Donor Communications.

He is the leader of a team spearheading the launch today — Tuesday, May 28 — of a new networking and mentoring platform to introduce graduates and students based on their specific career interests and goals.

UWindsor Ten Thousand Coffees, powered by RBC Future Launch, which funds programs to prepare youth for the changing world of work, will provide participants with simple, step-by-step instructions on how to network and mentor effectively. Registrants can receive LinkedIn certificates to help in their job search and support them during professional development.

“It’s about connecting students with alumni to identify career opportunities,” says Janisse. “We’re building an easy-to-use platform that links generations of Lancers.”

He encourages staff and faculty not only to share this new platform with students they interact with, but to sign up as mentors. Find more information, including details on how to sign up, on the program website.

Rob JanisseEPICentreCareer Development and Experiential LearningCo-operative Education and Workplace PartnershipsAlumni OfficeOffice of Student ExperienceStrategic Priority: Engage in community partnershipsAlumniAcademic Area: Business

Contact the UWindsor Alumni Association

Alumni Affairs and Donor Communications
Welcome Centre, University of Windsor

Wyandotte at Patricia
Windsor, ON  N9B 3P4