DailyNews Issue for Thursday, Apr 17th, 2014

Documentary explores fascination with mug shot photos

Julie SandoVisual arts instructor Julie Sando is shown here in the Leddy Library holding a copy of "Least Wanted" by Mark Michaelson. A collection of of various mug shots, it plays a central role in the film.

When people get arrested and step in front of that camera for their mug shots, they may be at one of the lowest, most vulnerable points of their lives. So what is it about those images that make some people want to collect them, and perhaps even think about them as art objects?

That’s one of the central questions posed by a new documentary that a University of Windsor art instructor helped create.

“The film will definitely get people to ask those very questions,” Julie Sando says of Mugshot, a film produced and directed by former Windsorite Dennis Mohr. “In fact, it presents a whole series of social, cultural, and ethical questions.”

According to its promotional material, the film “explores the bewildering world of iconic photos of suspects and criminals,” examining their cultural value and questioning their worth to contemporary society. These photos have become highly sought after by collectors, and the film focuses on those “whose lives have been transformed by the strange power of the mug shot.”

A sessional instructor who also works as an information officer for the School for Arts and Creative Innovation, Sando is listed in the film’s credits as a researcher, but actually played multiple roles. She wrote and edited proposals, worked as a still photographer and videographer, lugged lots of gear, fact checked, consulted art history databases, scouted locations, and helped manage the talent.

Sando said she was actually with Mohr when the idea for the film first sprouted. The two were driving through Arkansas when he was finishing his last film, and they stopped for gas. She said Mohr came out of the convenience story with some beef jerky and a copy of The Slammer, a small weekly, but now defunct publication that prints mug shots of area people when they’re arrested. They were both fascinated by the publication.

“Mohr was thinking of doing a number of different films at the time, but I’d like to think that my efforts and enthusiasm helped to keep this project moving. Apparently I brought ‘half the magic’ to the film,” she said with a laugh.

The film will be screened for the first time near the end of this month at the Hot Docs film festival in Toronto, and will also be shown on TVO in May.

Sando will appear today on Research Matters, a weekly talk show that focuses on the work of University of Windsor researchers and airs every Thursday at 4:30 p.m. on CJAM 99.1 FM.

Acting students adopt personas for solo performances

students in characterCharacter Study promises a theatre experience.

Graduating students in the BFA acting program will present their final character study projects in a two-day festival of original solo performances, Thursday and Friday, April 17 and 18, in the Jackman Dramatic Art Centre.

The 20 fourth-year drama students act as writer, director and performer, showing the full range of creative skills they have developed. Each presentation is about 20 minutes and includes full costume, lights and music.

Admission is free and open to the public; the festival runs 2 to 7 p.m. each day.

Posters present practicum experiences and psychology research

Jessica FontaineJessica Fontaine presents some of what she learned during a placement with the Alzheimer Society of Windsor and Essex County.

People with dementia or Alzheimer’s disease sometimes wander; a UWindsor student was pleased to be able to work on a program to help get them home.

“They forget where they are, they’ll leave and no one will know where they’ve gone,” says Jessica Fontaine, a fourth-year double major in disability studies and psychology. “Meanwhile, their families are freaking out.”

She served a practicum placement with the Alzheimer Society, helping to design materials for its “Finding Your Way” program, which educates families, caregivers and first responders on how to recognize people with dementia who are lost.

“We give families tips on how to keep their members from wandering, as well as first steps to locating them,” says Fontaine. “It’s about remaining independent and staying safe.”

A poster presentation detailing her experiences was one of dozens displayed Tuesday in Vanier Hall by seniors in disability studies and psychology, explaining their practicum placements and thesis research projects.

Mary Harper, who supervised Fontaine for the course “Community Orientation to Disability Issues,” says the projects are very educational for the students.

“They learned so much and gained skills in terms of working with people and advocacy,” she says. “Nothing compares to real-world engagement with these community partner organizations.”

Fontaine agrees, noting that she had volunteered for the Alzheimer Society, but developed a much deeper appreciation for its work by being behind the scenes.

“You see a different side—how much work is done with caregivers,” she says. “It’s not just people with dementia who need support, it’s their families.”

Psychology professor Kathryn Lafreniere oversaw fourth-year thesis research projects. She says the poster presentations are themselves a valuable learning experience.

“Most of these students will go on to graduate study, and so a day like this is part of their professional training,” she says. “It prepares them for academic presentations at conferences.”

She says the quality of project exceeded her expectations, “and I have high expectations.”

Students in Marcia Gragg’s class “Practicum in Developmental Psychology” and Ted Vokes’ class “Practicum in Psychology” were also among Tuesday’s presenters.

Monday deadline to purchase tickets for Clark Awards dinner

Phil Alexander, Sheila Cameron, Arthur Kidd, and Kathleen McCronePhil Alexander, Sheila Cameron, Arthur Kidd, and Kathleen McCrone will receive Clark Awards at a dinner in their honour on May 1.

Monday, April 21, is the deadline to purchase tickets to the Clark Awards dinner on Thursday, May 1, at 6:30 p.m. in the Ambassador Auditorium, CAW Student Centre.

The awards honour outstanding personal service of both alumni volunteers and friends of the University. This year’s recipients include former associate dean of engineering Philip Alexander (BASc 1963, MASc 1964); nursing professor emeritus Sheila Cameron; physician and hospital administrator Arthur Kidd; and longtime UWindsor faculty member Kathleen McCrone.

Tickets for the May 1 dinner are priced at $75 each and available by contacting Mary-Ann Rennie by April 21 at mrennie@uwindsor.ca or 519-973-7059.

Tim Horton’s outlet to add to menu for summer

The Tim Horton’s outlet in the CAW Student CentreThe Tim Horton’s outlet in the CAW Student Centre will add sandwiches, salads and other grab-and-go items to its menu for the summer.

Starting next week and running through the summer, the Tim Horton’s outlet in the CAW Student Centre will add sandwiches, salads and other grab-and-go items to its usual offerings of beverages and pastries, says Food Services department head Dave McEwen.

It will operate Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. as the only campus food outlet.

“We are pleased to be able to re-open Tim Horton’s again this summer as we know it is very popular with our customers,” McEwen says.

Staff and faculty may also use the payroll deduction with their UwinCARDs to purchase meals from off-campus partners, including:

  • Bean’s Ladle, 2440 University Avenue West
  • Harvey’s, 2830 Wyandotte Street West
  • Pizza Pizza, 2203 Wyandotte Street West
  • Swiss Chalet, 1690 Huron Church Road
  • Applebee’s, 2187 Huron Church Road

Learn more about the payroll deduction plan on the UwinCARD website.

Excavation begins on Welcome Centre site

Backhoes digging through concreteContractors conduct an excavation Wednesday on the site of the new Welcome Centre.

Construction crews have begun preparing the site of the Welcome Centre, on the north-east corner of Patricia and Wyandotte streets, for the building’s foundation.

The team of Amico Design Build and Hariri Pontarini Architects/Architecttura Inc. Architects are undertaking the project of creating a gateway to the campus. The 18,000 square foot, two-storey building is slated to open in summer 2015, and will house the offices of Student Recruitment, Alumni Affairs and Donor Communications, the University Campaign, Public Affairs and Communications, and Alumni and Donor Records.

Green space will surround the centre, which will occupy space that had held the former drama building and the visitor parking lot D. Find architectural renderings of the new building on the project website, www.uwindsor.ca/welcome-centre.

Expanded session choices open to tech conference registrants

Campus Technology Day 2014 imageRegistrants for Campus Technology Day will have the option of also attending April 29 sessions of the Ontario Universities Computing Conference.

Free registration for Campus Technology Day 2014 opens more doors than usual this year.

Because it is being held in conjunction with the Ontario Universities Computing Conference, attendees will be able to choose from a variety of sessions prior to the opening keynote on the morning of Tuesday, April 29, in the Toldo Health Education Centre.

The OUCC will feature a student panel as well as a series of presentations, including:

With a theme of “Let’s Talk Technology,” Campus Technology Day presents a day-long program of sharing and celebrating the ways technology impacts and enhances learning, teaching, research and building community.

Registration is free for UWindsor faculty, staff and students. Those who register online by noon April 24 qualify to receive a complimentary lunch and wine and cheese reception. Find more, including a full program and online registration, on the conference website.