Robin RichardsonDoctoral candidate Robin Richardson says experience in the neuropsychology assessment clinic allows students to see their textbooks come to life.

Neuropsychology assessment clinic open to adult clients

UWindsor’s neuropsychology assessment service has matured.

Launched a year ago to provide assessments for children and adolescents, the focus of the clinic will shift May 1 to serving adults and seniors. The new roster of clients could include adults who have suffered a stroke or brain injury, have brain cancer, or are living with Parkinson’s disease, dementia, multiple sclerosis or a learning disability.

Alternating yearly between offering services for children and adults is by design, explained psychology professor Carlin Miller, who led the move to add the clinical service to the university’s 30-year-old neuropsychology program. The clinic not only provides a timelier and less expensive service than clients could get elsewhere, it provides practical experience to graduate students in the neuropsychology track within the clinical psychology doctoral program.

“It’s such good training for them,” Dr. Miller said. “The students get training at both ends of the lifespan.”

Neuropsychology is the study of how the brain and the nervous system affects a person’s cognitive abilities and behaviours. A neuropsychological assessment evaluates the effects of things like brain damage and brain disease and can be used to recommend strategies, treatment, and services.

Doctoral student Robin Richardson came to Windsor from Vancouver specifically for the neuropsychology program. “It’s considered one of the best in Canada,” she said.

Experience in the clinic is like the training medical students get in a teaching hospital. Richardson said it allows students to see their textbooks come to life.

“It’s real people and real cases,” she said. “This is really solid training and we’re delivering a really good service to the community.”

The clinic is housed in the Psychological Services and Research Centre, also known as the House on Riverside, at the foot of Patricia Road. The historic home features lots of original woodwork and sweeping views of the Detroit River.

Richardson points out the one-way glass in the testing rooms that allows supervisors observe students’ interactions with clients and give meaningful feedback.

“The supervision is excellent and the facility is gorgeous.”

Of the 25 students in the doctoral program, six to eight work in the clinic at any one time. They are supervised by the five neuropsychologists on faculty, all of them clinicians registered with the College of Psychologists of Ontario. The fee charged for the assessment is based on income.

In the first year, the clinic provided assessments for 25 children ranging in age from 4 to their late teens.

This year, with the switch to adults, the search is on for clients. Miller said she has reached out to local neurologists, the geriatric clinic at Windsor Regional Hospital, and groups that provide services to people living with neurological diseases or the effects of brain injury or strokes.

Miller said the clinic will fill a deep void in neuropsychological services for adults. There is only one neuropsychologist in Windsor, and that professional sees only hospital patients.

“There are no adult neuropsychologists working in the community,” Miller said.

Performing neuropsychological assessments is but one psychological service offered by the University. Another clinical program offers therapy to UWindsor students and local adolescents and children.

“The university is providing a lot of really important services to the community,” Miller said.

─Sarah Sacheli

Anneke SmitLaw professor Anneke Smit is one of the presenters at an information session the University of Windsor’s participation in the Scholars at Risk program.

Session to share information on Scholars at Risk program

On Wednesday, April 17, Windsor Law will host an information session and lunch to raise awareness about the Scholars at Risk (SAR) Canada section and the University of Windsor’s participation in the program.

Scholars at Risk is an international network of academic institutions organized to support and protect threatened scholars around the world. SAR promotes academic freedom and works to protect scholars suffering grave threats to their lives, liberty, and well-being by arranging temporary research and teaching positions at institutions in its network as well as by providing advisory and referral services.

The SAR-Canada Section, comprising over 20 university members, including the University of Windsor, exists to promote the same values, aims, and activities here in Canada. This year, the University of Windsor is hosting its first SAR Scholar, co-sponsored by the University, the Department of Political Science, and Windsor Law.

The event aims to share information about the global SAR network, different models of engagement at other Canadian universities, efforts to build a more institutionalized national SAR program, and to consider next steps to build a campus-wide SAR presence at the University of Windsor.

The information session will include presentations by:

  • Melanie Adrian, associate professor at Carleton University, chair of Carleton’s Scholars at Risk Committee, and founding chair of the National Steering Committee for SAR-Canada;
  • Anneke Smit, associate professor at Windsor Law and founding member of the National Steering Committee for SAR-Canada; and
  • Zeyyat Bandeoglu, the University of Windsor’s first and current visiting scholar and adjunct professor at Windsor Law and in the Department of Political Science.

The event is open to all faculty, staff and students at the University of Windsor, but attendees are asked to RSVP by email to For more information, visit Windsor Law’s website. Those interested in becoming involved in SAR UWindsor but unable to attend the event may register their interest at the above email address.

—Rachelle Prince

Katia Benoit, Kara Kristof, Sheri Lowrie Katia Benoit, Kara Kristof, and Sheri Lowrie of the student recruitment office model the photo booth for future Lancers.

Student recruiters taking show on the road

The UWindsor student recruitment team will open a series of four receptions for applicants to the University with an event this evening — Tuesday, April 16 — at the Delta Armouries Hotel in London.

The events give prospective students a chance to connect with faculty, staff, and current students to:

  • learn more about their academic programs and financial aid;
  • meet other future Lancers; and
  • get information on next steps in the process, such as accepting an offer of admission, registering for classes, attending Head Start orientation, or arranging to pay fees.

In addition to group presentations and individual discussions, each reception will offer a draw for $500 in tuition remission, and a photo booth for future Lancers.

Following on London, receptions are scheduled next week for:

  • Delta Hotels by Marriott Toronto East on Tuesday, April 23
  • Mississauga’s Corporate Event Centre on Wednesday, April 24
  • Armoury Banquet and Conference Centre in Chatham on Thursday, April 25

Sign up now to attend.

Shervin ErfaniDean Mehrdad Saif (left) is joined by faculty and staff to honour the contributions of professor Shervin Erfani (right) to the Faculty of Engineering.

Engineering professor makes lasting impact at UWindsor

A University of Windsor engineering professor is helping students grasp more than complex electrical engineering concepts.

Shervin Erfani has made a six-figure dollar donation to the Faculty of Engineering to help students finance their educations and foster collaboration in the classroom.

“The greatest reward I have ever been given is the simple opportunity to teach generations of young people how to think in an ‘engineering way’ about the world around them,” Dr. Erfani said at a gathering of his immediate family and colleagues, April 5 in the Ed Lumley Centre for Engineering Innovation.

There, dean of engineering Mehrdad Saif unveiled the newly-named Dr. Shervin Erfani Learning Studio and recognized Erfani’s philanthropic investments to endow two scholarships in memory of his father Dr. Ibrahim Erfani. The scholarships will support undergraduate and graduate engineering students and are set to begin disbursing in 2020.

“These scholarships will empower our future engineering students for generations to come and showcase your life-long commitment to teaching and inspiring engineering students,” said Dr. Saif. “On behalf of the faculty and students, I’d like to thank you for your generosity.”

Reflecting those thanks are:

  • Dr. Shervin Erfani Learning Studio, room 2103 of the Ed Lumley Centre for Engineering Innovation. This 40-seat dynamic classroom is a space where students will learn, collaborate and discover.
  • Dr. Ibrahim Erfani Undergraduate Scholarship in Engineering, to be granted annually to a full-time undergraduate student in the Faculty of Engineering who has special needs or a disability. This award is intended to recognize a student's determination, perseverance and commitment to the advancement of their engineering education.
  • Dr. Ibrahim Erfani Graduate Scholarship in Engineering, to be granted annually to a full-time female graduate student in the Faculty of Engineering Electrical and Computer Engineering Department. This award is intended to recognize a female student with a strong track record of academic excellence.

Shervin Erfani has taught electrical engineering at the university since 2002 and has been an industry consultant for more than 35 years.

“I want to express my appreciation for this latest gift by Dr. Erfani in support of our students and programs,” said UWindsor interim president Douglas Kneale. “We have such committed friends and supporters of the University, and when those friends and supporters are our own faculty members, it is even more deeply appreciated. It sets such a fine example of philanthropic leadership when it begins at home.”

See an album of photos from the event on the Windsor Engineering Facebook page.

—Kristie Pearce

Barbara Cartwright, Charu ChandrasekeraHumane Canada CEO Barbara Cartwright conferred the Women for a Humane Canada award on Charu Chandrasekera, at the federation’s annual animal welfare conference Sunday in Montreal.

Researcher wins recognition for promoting animal welfare

UWindsor researcher Charu Chandrasekera received a national award from Humane Canada for her efforts in promoting scientific methods that don’t use animals as test subjects.

Dr. Chandrasekera, founder and executive director of the Canadian Centre for Alternatives to Animal Methods, said she was honoured to receive the Women for a Humane Canada award from the national federation of humane societies and Societies for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals. Chandrasekera received the award at Humane Canada’s annual national animal welfare conference held this past weekend in Montreal.

“We are exploiting animals at an unprecedented rate,” Chandrasekera said in her acceptance speech. As a medical researcher who used to use animals in her work, she said we need to shift toward a human biology-based paradigm since most of the drugs tested on animals fail in human clinical trials.

She said she encourages researchers to “think outside the cage.”

Her research centre, funded through a $1 million donation by the Eric S. Margolis Family Foundation, is the first and only centre of its kind in Canada dedicated exclusively to the development, validation, and promotion of animal-free methods to research human disease and predict human drug safety and risks posed by chemicals.

“My centre went from being a thought in my head to an internationally-recognized centre in less than two years,” said Chandrasekera. “Where there is a will, there is always a way.”

Chandrasekera spoke of her research at Humane Canada’s annual conference last year, where Laureen Harper, wife of former Prime Minister Stephen Harper and active supporter of animal-rights organizations, received the inaugural Women for a Humane Canada award.

“Women for Humane Canada is a cross-Canada giving circle of women who believe in the power of making meaningful change happen for animals,” said Barbara Cartwright, CEO of Humane Canada.

“This award was created to recognize those who show significant leadership in elevating animal welfare in Canada, and Dr. Chandrasekera is an amazing example of the exciting new possibilities in testing that will not involve animals.”

─ Sarah Sacheli

gloves, toques, scarvesFind savings on winter apparel and graduation gear through April 30 in the Campus Bookstore.

Winter is going: Bookstore sale welcomes spring

The Campus Bookstore is saying goodbye to winter and hello to Spring Convocation with several promotions through April 30.

Customers will receive:

  • 30 per cent off all winter apparel;
  • multiple sweatshirts discounted to $39.95; and
  • 10 per cent off grad frames and class rings.

Spring Convocation runs May 28 to 31 in the Dennis Fairall Fieldhouse.

The Campus Bookstore is located on the lower level of the CAW Student Centre.