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Jackie, Brigitte. Deanna, and Garret Fisher.Deanna Fisher (third from left) visited campus Saturday with her sister Jackie, mother Brigitte and father Garret.

Personal connection fuels excitement for open house visitors

Speaking directly with the dean of science helped confirm for Deanna Fisher that the University of Windsor is the place for her.

A senior at Ingersoll District Collegiate Institute, she was one of more than 1,600 guests to attend the University’s open house on Saturday, March 2.

She plans to begin studies in forensic sciences in the fall, and enjoyed a tour of campus facilities and an academic presentation, as well as a session on financial aid available. But the science information café proved a highlight of the trip, when she spoke with dean Chris Houser.

“I learned more about all the opportunities, all of the different things the University has to offer,” Fisher said. “I was already intending to come here, but this trip further cemented it in my mind.”

Chris Busch, associate vice-president, enrolment management, says the event helped to introduce hundreds of potential students to the campus experience.

“With the help of faculty, staff, and students from every program, we welcomed more than 700 high schoolers and their families,” he said. “Our departments really pulled out all the stops to build personal connections to our guests.”

Kayden Stammler, a Grade 11 student at Kingsville District High School, said the day’s activities showed him some career possibilities in his area of interest, botany.

“I know what I like but I don’t know what I can do with it,” he said. “Now I feel more confident and I don’t feel as nervous.”

He also appreciated the chance to hear personally from Dr. Houser.

“He told me that you can start on one path and choose a route as you figure out what you want,” said Stammler. “It set my mind at ease that I’m not blindly picking a course.”

Now, says Busch, his office must convert interest into applications and registration.

“We have had a great open house,” he says. “Our recruitment team will continue touring high schools across the province to encourage students to choose the University of Windsor.”

That won’t be a problem with Grace Kavanaugh. A Grade 12 student at Holy Names Catholic High School in Windsor, she is still choosing between a major in engineering or science, but is committed to UWindsor.

She has attended every open house event in the past two years. Her previous visits included campus tours and academic presentations. Saturday she dedicated to clearing up some details.

“I am focusing on learning about scholarships and bursaries, and especially liked the session about the Outstanding Scholars program,” Kavanaugh said. “It would be great to have a professor to work with on a research project.”

She said that two years’ worth of open houses gave her more time to consider many options.

“I would definitely recommend open house to anyone to learn more about what’s available.”