Nabila Sharieff, Matthew Steckle and Daniel TaradeNabila Sharieff, Matthew Steckle and Daniel Tarade were among the graduating Outstanding Scholars attending a luncheon in their honour Friday.

Luncheon honours Outstanding Scholars graduates

“The program is invaluable, I received firsthand training, gained relevant work experience, and made exceptional connections,” explained Matthew Steckle, a chemistry student.

Arts and sciences majors Steckle and Daniel Tarade are two graduates in this year’s class of Outstanding Scholars. The program gives top students scholarship support and an opportunity to work directly with faculty on academic projects, from research to administrative functions.

Steckle and Tarade worked with biochemistry professor Siyaram Pandey, evaluating synthetic analogues of the anti-cancer compound combretastatin. The experience has geared them with practical hands-on experience, away from mere theory and traditional classrooms.

The program has inspired engineering student Nabila Sharieff to seek a professional future in the energy sector, and to continue her career as a project manager.

“Aside from the academic knowledge and having the chance to work with capable mentors, I learned many new skills, like technical writing and project management skills,” said Sharieff.

Barbara Niewitecka, coordinator of the Outstanding Scholars program, explained the program’s uniqueness by emphasizing the ability for students to choose the program they desire from any of the university’s faculties. It also gives students the opportunity to discover their potential and passion.

The luncheon gave instructors and administrators an opportunity to congratulate the graduates and to hear their future plans. Learn more on the program’s website.

Clayton Smith, Jessica Tetreault, Ibukunoluwa Adekoya, Karen BenzingerDean of students Clayton Smith (left) and Karen Benzinger (right), acting executive director of student affairs, congratulate student GEM awardees Jessica Tetreault and Ibukunoluwa Adekoya.

Students win recognition for going the extra mile

Creating a support group club, tutoring students going through difficult times, and escorting blind students from the university to their home and back every day, are just a few of the great deeds that Going the Extra Mile (GEM) award winners generously offered.

The awards are granted annually to three students, celebrating their sincere demonstration of empathy and support for one or more students during difficult times—including mental health stress, financial difficulties or academic challenges.

Ibukunoluwa Adekoya, Jessica Tetreault and Rana Allawnha are the three special students for this year. The students’ nominators had wonderful experiences to share and warm words to offer.

Tetreault’s nominators described the experience as a member of the support group club, UWindsor, as a big help in the journey to recovery. “For the first time in a long time, I feel like I belong to something important. For the first time, I feel like I am valued. For the first time, I have hope.”

Allawnha’s nominator said: “Rana is the reason I was successfully able to complete my undergraduate degree, and Rana has continued to support me in my academic, career-related, and personal goals.”

Adekoya, who goes out of her way to help the blind students, get them food and cater to their every inquiry, said she was not expecting to be nominated, yet is extremely honored by the award.

Both Tetreault and Adekoya expressed how overwhelmed they are to receive the award, and are now more eager to continue their exceptional activities.

The student awards are part of a series given in support of the student affairs “going the extra mile” approach to supporting students throughout their experience, Learn more about GEM awards on the division’s website.

Spring weather renews campus construction

With the change in seasons, construction will recommence today on Sunset Avenue beside the new cul-de-sac, reports Facility Services.

The cul-de-sac, the first stage of a project to remake the corridor, opened in November 2014 as a pick-up and drop-off area at the north end of Chrysler Hall. Its signage will be completed this month and a top coat of asphalt and street painting added in October.

The remainder of construction on Sunset Avenue will feature road, walkway and landscape upgrades, as well as a number of comfortable seating areas for students, staff and the surrounding community to enjoy, says John Regier, manager of environmental services.

“The construction of Sunset Avenue is scheduled to be complete by August 31 if the weather cooperates, and the new space will be open for use shortly afterwards in time for the fall semester,” he says.

To ensure minimal disruptions to students and staff, crews will install safety fencing prior to the start of construction, and post signs to mark clearly the pedestrian walkways. Barriers closing Sunset Avenue at Wyandotte Street maintain access for emergency and construction vehicles, while minimizing any confusion for motorists.

The Campus Master Plan website provides detailed timelines and diagrams of the revitalization project.

Site plan
Click on the diagram above for a map explaining the planned construction.

The GoldfinchDonna Tartt’s Pulitzer Prize-winning novel the Goldfinch is Book of the Week at the Campus Bookstore.

Pulitzer Prize winner listed as Book of the Week

The Campus Bookstore has selected the international bestseller the Goldfinch as its Book of the Week.

Winner of the 2014 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction, Donna Tartt’s novel is only now available in paperback. Despite its list price of $22, the Campus Bookstore will sell it this week for $14.25.

Marketing coordinator Martin Deck reminds patrons that the store now matches the price of all books, including trade—also known as general reading—books with and Read more on the Campus Bookstore website.

Organization of Part-Time University Students board holds its annual general meeting

The Organization of Part-Time University Students (OPUS) held its annual general meeting on April 8, presenting the organization’s achievements, its strategies and action plan items for the year 2015-16.

Attended by dean of students Clayton Smith, the meeting included a raffle draw for five special door prizes presented to part-time undergraduate students.

OPUS has also announced the full results of its Board of Directors election, including the votes cast in each position for all candidates. The meeting has provided members with the opportunity to review reports from the OPUS board of directors and staff, and inquire about them for more details.

The meeting also included presentations regarding the board and staff annual reports, and a presentation on financial reports and OPUS’ constitution bylaws and policies.

More information is available on OPUS’ website page.

OPUS holds its annual general meeting for the year 2015.
OPUS holds its annual general meeting for the year 2015.

Hana ArafatHana Arafat will edit the University’s e-newsletter, DailyNews, through August 2015.

New editor takes reins of DailyNews

DailyNews, the University’s e-newsletter, has a new editor-in-chief. Hana Arafat will head the publication effective today, April 13.

She has 10 years’ experience in marketing in increasingly responsible roles managing internal and external communications. In her most recent position, Arafat managed the website, social media, brand and media presence of the British Council in Jordan, a cultural and educational organization.

“We are excited to welcome someone with Hana’s breadth of experience to this job,” said John Coleman, executive director of the Department of Public Affairs and Communications. “We are sure the campus community will enjoy working with her to promote the wonderful stories of our students, faculty and alumni.”

Arafat replaces Kevin Johnson, who has begun a temporary assignment as the University’s social media coordinator. She said she is looking forward to meeting colleagues across the University in the course of her duties as team leader for web communications. She invites staff, faculty and students to send her story ideas at