Sara CrannSara Crann is leading “Girl, you got this!” a program to help young women effectively resist sexual coercion and assault.

Federal funding to bring “Flip the Script” to a younger audience

Recognizing “red flags” and building skills to prioritize safety in dating relationships for girls in their early teens is the impetus behind a UWindsor research project newly funded by the Public Health Agency of Canada.

Girl, you got this! a program that will adapt, test, and deliver an intervention to focus on helping young women effectively resist sexual coercion and assault, is led by postdoctoral fellow Sara Crann under the direction of psychology and women’s studies professor Charlene Senn. $991,017 in research support was announced Monday by Maryam Monsef, minister of status of women.

The project is being conducted in partnership with community organizations and young women between 14 and 17 years old, who serve on a Girls’ Research and Advisory Committee. The committee will collaborate on adapting Dr. Senn’s Enhanced Assess, Acknowledge, Act (EAAA) Sexual Assault Resistance Program — also known to students as “Flip the Script.”

Flip the Script is currently aimed at university-aged women and is delivered in small group settings over several sessions. The program was previously evaluated with university women and found to significantly reduce rates of sexual assault. Dr. Crann plans to adapt the evidence-based success of the program for a younger audience and present it through organizations and groups serving girls and women, and through school boards across Ontario.

“Over the next five years our goal is to create a version of EAAA that resonates with teen girls with diverse identities and backgrounds,” says Crann. “High school is a critical period for sexual violence prevention because rates of coercion and assault are particularly high during adolescence.”

She says the funding gives researchers the opportunity to work with and for young women to produce an effective, empowering program that will help them build skills and confidence to resist sexual violence in dating and acquaintance relationships.

“I am absolutely delighted that this very important and timely initiative is receiving the support needed to make a real and lasting difference for our youth,” said K.W. Michael Siu, UWindsor’s vice-president, research and innovation.

Members of biology professor Phillip Karpowicz’s lab study the circadian rhythms of the intestine.Members of biology professor Phillip Karpowicz’s lab study the circadian rhythms of the intestine.

Biology lab uses bioengineered fruit flies to study how cells change through the day

Just about every living organism has adapted to a 24-hour internal cycle in response to the Earth’s 24-hour revolution. These circadian rhythms are caused by an internal clock running in all cells at daily intervals.

The circadian rhythms driven by this internal clock determine sleepiness and alertness, daily increases and decreases in body temperature, and even how many hormones are secreted.

Phillip Karpowicz, assistant professor and chair of the biology graduate program, and the members of the Karpowicz Lab, study the circadian rhythms of the intestine utilizing fruit flies to model the biological processes that happen in all animals.

For a recent publication, Dr. Karpowizc and his doctoral student Kathyani Parasram studied how circadian rhythms regulated the intestine stem cells.

They accomplished this by creating bioengineered fruit flies known as clock reporters, which would detect the circadian rhythms of the cells by producing florescent proteins that glowed in the dark.

“You could actually see the molecular process in real-time through the signal in these clock reporters,” says Karpowicz. “And these are living fruit flies that were used for the study. They have reporters in all the cells in their body that reflect the activity of circadian rhythms in the living animal.”

The goal was to build these clock reporters and use them to study all the different cells of the intestine, and to see how the circadian rhythms operated within these cells.

Parasram’s project utilized a variety of genetic tools to view the different cells, to then image them, and actually see what was happening in the tissue.

“Before we began studying this,” Parasram says, “it was generally thought that if a tissue had circadian rhythms, then all the cells in that tissue would have those rhythms present as well. But we found that this wasn’t the case.”

Their results indicated that only some cells in the tissue had circadian rhythms, while others did not. Surprisingly, the hormone-producing cells themselves had no ability to keep track of time, which meant that they must have been controlled by other cells that did to make 24-hour rhythms in hormone production.

“The stem cells of the system are also very sensitive to what is going on in the tissue,” says Karpowicz. “Some of the cells of the tissues of the body have a way to track time of day, and to behave according to that time of day, so that they do not do things at inappropriate times. But some cells don’t have that ability, and that opens up all these additional questions to why some cells would need that, and why other cells wouldn’t.”

This work to study circadian biology in Karpowicz Labs could also change the way medicine is practised.

“Circadian biology has been largely been ignored in medicine,” says Karpowicz. “But a lot of people are now discovering that the cells of all organisms on this planet have hard-wired 24-hour timing, and this has an impact on therapies and diagnosis, which are being done according to our work and life schedules rather than the circadian schedules of the cells in our bodies.”

—Darko Milenkovic

Green Bean waitstaff with customerThe Green Bean Café now accepts the UwinCARD as payment from employees that have activated payroll deduction.

Partnership extends payroll payment to off-campus café

UWindsor employees will be able to pay for food and drink at a popular off-campus eatery using the UwinCARD, under an agreement between Food Services and the Green Bean Café.

The partnership enables staff and faculty enrolled in the payroll deduction plan to settle a bill with a swipe of their ID.

Located at 2320 Wyandotte St. W., the café offers another option for diners, says Dave McEwen, acting executive director of Campus Services.

“Green Bean Café is popular with students, staff, and faculty who are looking for a casual place to hang out and get a great cup of coffee or a light lunch, just minutes away from campus,” McEwen says.

There is no cost to sign up for payroll deduction, which enables payment at campus food outlets, the Campus Bookstore, and off-campus restaurant partners. For more information on the program, contact the UwinCARD office.

T4 slipsT4 tax slips are now available to UWindsor employees through the myUWinfo portal.

T4 slips now available online to UWindsor employees

The UWindsor payroll department advises that T4 slips for the 2018 tax year have been processed and are available online on the myUWinfo employee portal.

This convenient and secure option will allow faculty, staff and student employees to print and re-print their tax slips wherever and whenever they like with no waiting, no time lost in the mail, says payroll supervisor Jessica Higgins: “It’s accessible 24 hours a day, seven days a week for as long as you have access to myUWinfo.”

Before users can view or print their tax slips, they must consent to accept their tax slips online.

“If you have not previously consented, your tax slip has been mailed to your home address,” Higgins says. “However, you can still view and print them online if you wish.”

Instructions on the myUWinfo > my PAY section will help users through the process.

Jet bomberTargeted Killings and International Humanitarian Law are the subject of a conference March 26 hosted by Windsor Law and the Canadian Red Cross.

Windsor Law to partner with Canadian Red Cross for conference

For the third time, Windsor Law will partner with the Canadian Red Cross to address international humanitarian law. On March 26, the co-organizers will host a half-day conference at Canterbury College to help uncover the role that international humanitarian law (IKL) plays in situations concerning targeted killings during armed conflict.

The conference will bring together experts, academics, practitioners, and representatives from the International Committee of the Red Cross and Canadian Red Cross. Windsor Law dean Christopher Waters will provide a welcome address and opening remarks. The conference will include commentators from the Canadian Armed Forces, and Craig Forcese, professor at the University of Ottawa Faculty of Law, will provide the keynote address.

The objective of the conference is not only to educate the public and bring awareness to the discussion surrounding IHL and the protection of people caught up in armed conflict, but also to engage academics and students alike in discussions on the application of IHL and the role of the Canadian Red Cross in promoting and safe-guarding these laws.

The Targeted Killings and International Humanitarian Law Conference is free and open to the public, but attendees are asked to register online or contact IHLConference@redcross.ca. The conference will take place in room 202, Canterbury College, from 1 to 5 p.m., with registration from 12:30 to 1 p.m. Space is limited and those who register will receive a registrant package upon arrival, however non-registrant walk-ins are also welcome.

—Rachelle Prince

Steve BurrowsSteve Burrows, author of the Birder Murder Mysteries, will speak at a fundraising dinner for the Pelee Island Bird Observatory on May 8.

Fundraising dinner to support bird observatory

A dinner May 8 to support the Pelee Island Bird Observatory will feature a reading by author Steve Burrows, who will publish the sixth entry in his series of Birder Murder Mysteries this summer.

The observatory is devoted to the study and conservation of wild birds and their habitats. Situated on Lake Erie and Canada’s southernmost settlement, Pelee Island hosts a tremendous variety of migratory and resident birds.

Burrows published his debut novel, A Siege of Bitterns, in 2014. The forthcoming A Dance of Cranes is his sixth novel featuring chief inspector Domenic Jejeune.

Admission to the dinner at Beach Grove Golf and Country Club is $125, including a charitable receipt for a portion of the cost. For tickets and more information, email info@pibo.ca.