DailyNews Issue for Thursday, May 28th, 2015

UWindsor named among greenest universities in North America

Green scene: The solar bench—which uses the sun’s rays to charge electronics—frames a recycling station, a bicycle rack and the Stewart Moore Carolinian Garden to point up the University of Windsor’s commitment to environmental responsibility.Green scene: The solar bench—which uses the sun’s rays to charge electronics—frames a recycling station, a bicycle rack and the Stewart Moore Carolinian Garden to point up the University of Windsor’s commitment to environmental responsibility.

UWindsor was among five Canadian universities ranked among the greenest in North America this week by the Princeton Review’s Guide to 353 Green Colleges.

Institutions were scored based on such factors as healthy, sustainable quality of student life on campus; environmentally responsible school policies; and how well students are being prepared for employment in an increasingly green economy.

Among specific areas of scrutiny were:

  • The percentage of food expenditures that go toward local, organic, or otherwise environmentally preferable food;
  •  The existence of a formal committee devoted to advancing sustainability on campus;
  • Construction or renovations within the past three years of LEED-certified buildings;
  • Overall waste-diversion rates;
  • The availability of at least one sustainability-focused undergraduate major, degree program or equivalent;
  • The opportunity for students to graduate from programs that include sustainability as a required learning outcome, or include multiple sustainability learning outcomes; and,
  • Percentage of the school’s energy resources derived from renewable sources.

Rankings were based on data points collected through Princeton Review’s Guide to 353 Green Colleges’ Green Rating system, as well as from student survey responses collected in 2013–2014.

The magazine says their survey data included student ratings of how sustainability issues influenced their education and life on campus; adminis­tration and student support for environmental awareness and conservation efforts; and the visibility and impact of student environmental groups.

“Issues of sustainability and environmental responsibility are important to everyone,” says UWindsor President Alan Wildeman.

“I congratulate the faculty, staff and students across the University of Windsor who have made this recognition possible.  It is also a reality that many of our students will have opportunities for future employment related to creating a more green economy that our society strives for.”

The full report is available at: http://az589735.vo.msecnd.net/pdf/greenguide2015.pdf

Lancers add local star Isaiah Osborne for 2015-16 season

Windsor Lancers Men's Basketball Head Coach Chris Oliver announced the commitment of local standout Isaiah Osborne for the 2015-16 season.Windsor Lancers Men's Basketball Head Coach Chris Oliver announced the commitment of local standout Isaiah Osborne for the 2015-16 season.

Windsor Lancers Men's Basketball has announced the commitment of local standout Isaiah Osborne to the team’s roster for the 2015-16 season.

“We are thrilled to welcome Isaiah to our Windsor Basketball program,” said Head Coach Chris Oliver.

“He is an outstanding fit for our team as he is a highly skilled and versatile guard who brings length, athleticism and a passion for working on his game. We believe Isaiah will be an impact player in the CIS for years to come.”

Oliver says the 6’5 guard from Kennedy Collegiate High School has tremendous versatility and runs the floor well. Osborne was widely considered to be one of the top high school players in the province this past season. 

Read more on the lancer’s webpage.

Seminar to explore new methods for manipulating genetics

Friday’s seminar will provide information on available tools for researchers exploring the frontiers of synthetic biology. Friday’s seminar will provide information on available tools for researchers exploring the frontiers of synthetic biology.

A seminar Friday will provide information on new tools available for researchers exploring the frontiers of synthetic biology—the field applying engineering principles to life sciences.

The Master of Medical Biotechnology program is hosting the free public event, conducted by Dante Cerullo, an account manager for Agilent Technologies, at 10:30 a.m. May 29 in room 254, Essex Hall.

Chemistry professor Tranum Kaur, coordinator of the program, says that synthetic biology has allowed scientists to revolutionize molecular biology, migrating from techniques established in the late 1970s to novel gene methods.  

“In the future, the technologies that emerge from synthetic biology will continue to challenge established techniques making it faster and easier to achieve ever-expanding research goals,” says Dr. Kaur.

Friday’s seminar will discuss how these new approaches have already begun to change the way researchers think about stem cells, cancer research and drug discovery. To register visit: tinyurl.com/Synthetic-Biology-Seminars.

Paving the way for student support

Employee donors to the University are invited to a reception acknowledging their support.Employee donors to the University are invited to a reception acknowledging their support.

It’s easy to convince colleagues to donate to the University through its Annual Giving Program, says Human Kinetics professor and volunteer canvasser Jess Dixon.

“I just remind them that there are lots of options they can give to - athletic programs, teams, clubs, or scholarships,” he says. “They can direct their gift to whatever they are passionate about.”

Dixon says he finds the Annual Giving Program to be a great opportunity to give back to the university that gave so much to everyone.

Now that the final paving stone will soon be placed – engraved with this year’s theme, Paving the Way for UWindsor Students, UWindsor will celebrate those generous supporters during the donor appreciation reception, says development officer Mona Dosen.

“We want to hold the event outdoors so that our supporters can see the benefits of their contributions,” says Dosen.

The reception also promises a draw for door prizes, including naming rights to a commemorative bench on campus and UWindsor cash gift cards.

The outdoor reception is set for Thursday, June 4 from 3 to 4 p.m., adjacent to the Stewart Moore Garden between Dillon Hall and Leddy Library West.

If you have received an invitation and did not yet RSVP, or if you made a donation between May 1, 2014 and April 30, 2015 and did not yet receive your invitation, please contact Mona at mona@uwindsor.ca or ext.4279.

Study looks at equitable transit for Detroiters

Masters graduand Sarah Cipkar’s study looks at equitable transit for Detroiters.Masters graduand Sarah Cipkar’s study looks at equitable transit for Detroiters.

As Detroit’s revitalization generates entrepreneurship and attracts new residents, it will need to boost its public transit system, says a UWindsor Masters graduand who observed and surveyed the burgeoning system.

 Sarah Cipkar, who also completed an honours degree in political science at UWindsor, was interested in finding whether citizens who use public transit in the city are getting a chance to speak up and voice their opinions in designing an equitable system for all riders.

“There’s a case to be made that in order to have a truly equitable and fair transit system, you must have high levels of citizen involvement, “she says.

“There are a lot of changes happening in public transit in Detroit right now and I wanted to investigate how the city is handling citizen input.”

Cipkar crossed the border to sit in on Citizens Advisory Committee (CAC) meetings. The committee is part of the larger Regional Transit Authority of Southeast Michigan (RTA), the body responsible for mass transit operations in metropolitan Detroit, including the counties of Macomb, Oakland, Washtenaw and Wayne Counties.

The CAC is just beginning its second year and Cipkar says she wanted to get a sense of whether the volunteers who make up the committee felt they were making substantial contributions.

“I found they are a passionate and engaged group of people but their influence is limited because of their structure within the RTA,” says Cipkar.

She says these limitations could prevent citizen transit advocates from feeling truly empowered as robust stakeholders within the public transit policy process. Another concern for Cipkar is that CAC members, though well-intentioned, are not true representatives of the full ridership community.

“The CAC members are passionate about building a safe and accessible transit system, especially for seniors and those with disabilities,” says Cipkar.

“But they didn’t talk a lot about low-income neighbourhoods and ensuring there are fair connections there.”

Cipkar says that because the majority of people who take transit are economically disadvantaged, evaluating fair and equitable transit cannot ignore Detroit’s racial and economic divide.

“I did find, that out of the survey respondents, 90 per cent had post graduate degrees and 80 per cent identified as white,” says Cipkar.

“You end up with a highly educated white group getting the strongest voice.  This leaves a marginalized group of people, the ones who need and use transit daily, largely getting left out of the discussion.”

Cipkar’s findings are part of her thesis, Moving Towards Equity? Citizen Participation in Public Transit Planning in the Detroit Metropolitan Region, which she completed under the supervision of political science professor Jamey Essex. She successfully defended her Master’s thesis in May, 2015 and plans to present her findings to the CAC.

“I’m hoping my research will inspire the CAC to continually seek out some of those marginalized voices,” says Cipkar.

“I think they are a great group of people and I hope they take my recommendations to become more inclusive, as well as bolder when advocating for equitable transit policy.”

Summer program promises insight into clinical health research

Professionals, academics, and graduate students from health and social sciences are invited to attend the Summer Institute of Clinical Health Research program, June 22 to 26. Professionals, academics, and graduate students from health and social sciences are invited to attend the Summer Institute of Clinical Health Research program, June 22 to 26.

The Faculty of Nursing in collaboration with the Schulich School of Medicine & Dentistry - Windsor Program is inviting professionals, academics, and graduate students from health and social sciences to attend the Summer Institute of Clinical Health Research program, June 22 to 26.

“The intensive course provides participants with the principles and applications of conducting clinical health research,” says Maher M. El-Masri, Professor and Research Chair in the Faculty of Nursing.

Upon completion of the program, Dr. El-Masri says participants will be able to make sound judgements on the merits of clinical health research that includes qualitative evaluation, case-control, cohort, and meta-analysis study designs.

“They will have a better understanding of issues such as clinical versus statistical significance, measures of clinical outcomes, confounding, and bias, effect moderation, and publication bias.”

For more information, including registration, please read the program’s brochure, or contact El-Masri at 519-253-3000, ext. 2400, e-mail: melmasri@uwindsor.ca.

Nursing alum wins award for healthcare app

Nursing alumna Kaitlyn Sheehan (m.) and team, at Windsor-Detroit Hacking Health event. Nursing alumna Kaitlyn Sheehan (m.) and team, at Windsor-Detroit Hacking Health event.

An innovative new idea to store emergency healthcare information recently won Faculty of Nursing alumna Kaitlyn Sheehan (BScN’12) the Highest Potential Design for Adoption award at the Windsor-Detroit Hacking Health event.

Sheehan’s StentTracker smartphone application was designed for cardiac patients to store information about their heart stents - small tubes used to help keep coronary arteries open and reduce the chance of heart attack.

StentTracker will help physicians quickly identify the type and size of previously placed stents to assist with important decisions,” says Sheehan.

Sheehan says information is typically stored on paper cards which are often lost or damaged, making it difficult for physicians to assess patients with urgent cardiac needs.

“There are so many snowbirds here in Windsor that travel south during the winter, they might experience a cardiac event and will ultimately end up at a hospital that does not have any of their previous cardiac history.”

Sheehan says the contacts she made during the Hacking Health event have helped her to form a supporting team that she hopes will allow her to combine her passion for healthcare with her interest in business.

“I am always coming up with ideas from problems I notice in the workplace, but have never really known how to develop them or the process to bring them to life,” says Sheehan.

“I think that winning at Hacking Health is now motivation to move forward with a company, further refine and commercialize StentTracker and bring my other ideas to life.” said Sheehan.

Read full story in the Windsor Star

New student orientations continue

Incoming UWindsor students enjoyed their time, and became oriented to campus during Head Start orientation program.Incoming UWindsor students enjoyed their time, and became oriented to campus during Head Start orientation program.

Hundreds of incoming UWindsor students attended the Head Start orientation program this past week, made new friends, enjoyed their time, and became oriented to campus. Students in Business, Engineering, Nursing, Science and inter-faculty programs can still attend May 28, 29 or June 1, as sessions continue. 

“Head start has got me so pumped to start classes in September,” tweeted incoming student Cheyenne McLaughlin.

Attendee Megan LeBlanc won a $500 tuition voucher during a Head Start daily prize draw which are held at 1:30 p.m. at the CAW Student Centre information desk.

Students who missed their assigned sessions and still wish to register can email orientation@uwindsor.ca.

Details, including the online sign-up form and a full schedule of activities are available at: www.uwindsor.ca/headstart.