Biology students look on as teaching assistant Paul Bahnam conducts a tour through the human body.Biology students look on as teaching assistant Paul Bahnam conducts a tour through the human body.

Lab experience puts the human in human anatomy course

UWindsor undergraduates are offered an uncommon opportunity to view, touch, and learn from real human cadavers at the Schulich School of Medicine & Dentistry – Windsor Campus.

Each semester, Human Anatomy course instructor and laboratory demonstrator Sara McNorton takes students enrolled in the second-year course to the medical school for a hands-on tour.

“Most universities don’t have access to a medical school, so this is a unique opportunity for undergraduates to visually and physically examine muscles, organs, and blood vessels on a human specimen,” she says.  “It really puts the human in Human Anatomy.”

Charlotte Sivitter graduated with a bachelor of human kinetics in May 2017, and returned this semester to take physiotherapy school prerequisites.

“I work in a physiotherapy clinic and this was a great opportunity to get a good look without hurting anybody. It is like putting a face to the name, you are putting the muscle to the injury,” says Sivitter.

“To come in here and actually see the muscles that patients may have injured, and to see the nerves and be able to visualize what is happening beneath the skin is incredibly valuable.”

Joining the tour is optional for students and has been offered since the medical school opened in Windsor. On the most recent tour, McNorton showed students a half head as well as a brain intact with its spinal cord.  She was assisted by two students: doctoral candidate Kyle Stokes, who demonstrated human limbs, and fourth-year biology major Paul Bahnam, who led a learning station with a full cadaver.

Bahnam took the course in his second year. Now a teaching assistant, he says the bodies are donated specifically to the medical school for this kind of learning opportunity, and students are respectful of that.

“Today I talked about gallstones, and then students got to see and feel what a gallbladder with gallstones was like; I also showed them two lungs and asked them to tell me which one was cancerous and which one was not — and they always get it right,” he says.

“This is a good teaching tool that allows students to question things and come up with their own solution. Since we would generally work on other specimens in the lab, this gives the students a much better perspective of human anatomy.”

Princess Vergara, a third-year behaviour, cognition and neuroscience major, says it was an invaluable lesson.

“This was a surreal experience but I took full advantage because I wasn’t sure when I would get another opportunity like it,” says Vergara. “Some organs were squishy but the bone felt hard. I just think I would not be able to learn about human anatomy nearly as well without getting this live demonstration.”

McNorton says the course is usually fully subscribed and around 230 students each year will get to participate in the tour if they so choose.

See more photos from the cadaver lab tour on the Faculty of Science Facebook page.

UWindsor writer-in-residence Donato Mancini will be reciting poems he has written during his time on campus at a year-end reading and celebration on Monday, Dec. 4 at 4 p.m.UWindsor writer-in-residence Donato Mancini will be reciting poems he has written during his time on campus at a year-end reading and celebration on Monday, Dec. 4 at 4 p.m.

Writer-in-residence reflects on time at UWindsor

Donato Mancini’s time at the University of Windsor provided him with something many writers yearn for — the opportunity to focus exclusively on his craft.

“That’s what everybody craves and wishes for,” the writer-in-residence said. “It’s why people take themselves off the grid and unplug for weeks at a time.

“The amount of progress you can make in a few really focused weeks is so much more than a whole year of working in fits and starts and in time off.”

Dr. Mancini is nearing the end of his tenure as UWindsor’s writer-in-residence and will recite some of the poems he wrote during his time on campus at a year-end reading and celebration today at 4 p.m.

Self-described as an “exploratory” poet, Mancini creates visual poetry, procedural poetry, and visual art.

His focus centres around nonfiction and poetry, but he said working with various writers over the past four months has helped him to grow.

“I don’t think I would have known for sure before starting this that I could actually teach people how to write fiction but I found it perfectly interesting and fun,” Mancini said.

Over the course of this semester, Mancini has worked with more than 40 writers to help them perfect their style and find their voice.

One thing he said surprised him was the number of people from outside the University who utilized his time in Windsor.

“It’s been a pretty even split between students and members of the community,” Mancini said.

“Basically, it’s all people under 22 or over 65 and quite a few on both sides of that huge gap. That gap is your work life, career, family, and so once they get to the other side they have time to focus on writing.”

He said a challenge for every writer is identifying what drives them to write.

“Everyone wants something from their writing, through writing, and it’s more than just their written work,” Mancini said. “In order to really help people, you need to try and grasp that as well, to understand what they believe writing will add to their lives.”

The poet is moving on from his post in Windsor to Baltimore in January for postdoctoral work at Johns Hopkins University.

The year-end reading and celebration will be held from 4 to 5:30 p.m. at McPherson Lounge, Alumni Hall. The free public event will also celebrate the release of Nicole Markotić’s new young adult novel Rough Patch and Daphne Marlatt’s Intertidal: The Collected Earlier Poems, 1968-2008 edited by Susan Holbrook.

Kiefer WrightBusiness student Kiefer Wright recounts his co-op experience in one of the videos promoting experiential learning produced by students of film professor Mike Stasko.

Video projects give students valuable hands-on learning

The Office of Experiential Learning is proud to lead by example, says employer engagement specialist Meagan Haugh.

“Any given term, the Offices of Career Development and Experiential Learning as well as Co-operative Education and Workplace Partnerships have students working in the Career Peer Advising program, the Ignite work-study program, on co-op work terms, and in part-time student roles,” she says. “Providing experiential learning opportunities to students is our purpose, and our practice.”

So it was a natural fit for the office to engage with students in professor Mike Stasko’s fourth-year course “Advanced Non-Fiction Media Production” to produce a series of short promotional videos.

“It’s a very hands-on class,” says Stasko, an instructor in the Department of Communication, Media and Film. “I have business and community groups come in during the first week of class and pitch the work they want done by our students. The students vie for the gig they want, and they set out to create a very high-quality product for their client by the end of the semester, under my supervision.”

As the client, Haugh gave the groups her vision for the different themes of each video and consulted throughout the creative process.

“We wanted the content to speak to students and thought — who better to tell the story?” she says.

Each group came up with unique and innovative ideas and then used their skills and talents to create original, comical and inspirational products. See the Office of Experiential Learning videos here.

Haugh encourages faculty and staff to consider working with Stasko’s students.

“It is a cost-effective, creative way to provide work-integrated learning opportunities and have some top-quality products completed,” she says.

The class will be offered again in January and Stasko already has a lineup of partners looking to work with his students. To partner on a project with his students, contact him at

Student Success and Leadership Centre staff sit around a tableStaff in the Student Success and Leadership Centre are looking forward to having lunch delivered by student volunteers next week.

Delivered catered lunch a smart choice for office parties

Staff in the Student Success and Leadership Centre are extra-excited about their departmental holiday luncheon this year, says secretary Shelby Marchand, knowing that it will benefit student participants in the 2018 Alternative Spring Break program.

“We get to enjoy a festive meal together and know that we’re helping them raise funds for their Reading Week activities,” Marchand says. “It seemed like a real win-win to us.”

About two dozen volunteers have partnered with Catering Services to deliver to any campus office a fresh, hot lunch on Tuesday, December 12. Each meal costs only $12 + tax, with half the proceeds going to the ASB program.

Menu options are:

  • Turkey with gravy, mashed potatoes, and corn;
  • Quarter barbecued chicken with mashed potatoes, and corn;
  • Quarter honey-garlic chicken with mashed potatoes, and corn; or
  • Veggie jambalaya on rice, which is vegan and gluten-free.

Marchand’s department has blocked noon-hour in its Dillon Hall office for a collegial luncheon.

“We are getting together to celebrate the season, and contributing to a student cause,” she says. “It’s a perfect match for our mission in support of experiential education.”

To have lunch delivered to your office on December 12, place your order on the ASB website no later than Wednesday, December 6.

chocolate-dipped pretzelsMake your own chocolate-dipped pretzels and meet Santa Claus on Tuesday, December 5, in the CAW Student Centre Commons.

Here comes Santa Claus: student centre sharing seasonal spirit

The CAW Student Centre is hoping to put patrons in a festive mood with several activities this week.

A Pop-up Holiday Art Shop will feature a chance to check out some original creations or to try your hand at painting by numbers. It runs 10:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday, December 4, in the Commons.

The free activities continue Tuesday, December 5, as Santa drops in for a visit. Students can join him for breakfast starting at 10:30 a.m., hang around for a photo with the big guy, and even make some holiday treats. Starting at noon the centre will supply everything you need to produce chocolate-dipped pretzels.

Lancer plush pillowStudents who spend $150 in the Campus Bookstore will receive a free Lancer plush pillow Tuesday, December 5.

Store says thanks to students with scratch-and-save sale

As a Student Appreciation Day gesture, the Campus Bookstore will offer a “scratch-and-save” discount to all UWindsor students on Tuesday, December 5.

Student patrons will scratch cards to earn discounts of between 10 and 25 per cent on their purchases, excluding textbooks and course materials, computers, gift cards, special orders, and already-discounted merchandise.

And marketing co-ordinator Martin Deck promises a special bonus for those with the “Bookstore plan” on their UwinCARDS: students spending more than $150 will receive a free Lancers plush pillow. A $22.95 value, the item is blue and gold embroidered with the Lancer shield.

“These are about the softest pillows I have ever felt,” Deck says. “You have to come in and give one a squeeze!”

tree made of starsThe faculty association’s winter solstice celebration is set for Thursday, December 14.

Faculty to get festive for solstice celebration

The Windsor University Faculty Association’s winter solstice celebration will run 3:30 to 6 p.m. on Thursday, December 14, at Kerr House, 366 Sunset Avenue.

RSVP by December 8 to the faculty association office, 519-253-3000, ext. 3365, or email

The association’s Status of Women, Diversity and Equity Action Committee is collecting donations for the Welcome Centre Shelter for Women. Items currently in high demand include plastic bags, oatmeal and prepared cereals, canned fruit and soups, peanut butter, juice, packaged side dishes, snacks, and new undergarments. Contributions will be accepted at the Faculty Association office, weekdays through December 14.

holiday cards strung over mantleOrder holiday cards by Friday, December 8, to ensure their completion for delivery before semester’s end.

Deadline approaching for greeting card orders

Friday, December 8, is the deadline to order holiday cards through the University Print Shop in time for delivery before the break.

The print shop has teamed up with the Office of Public Affairs and Communications to make it easier to send holiday greetings on campus. UWindsor departments can order cards bearing a selection of seasonal imagery and text greetings for use as printed cards, e-cards, or both.

The cards feature a choice of winter scenes and suggested verses, as well as the option for clients to supply their own messages. The completed form will submit the order and set the design process in motion. Upon the client’s approval, Public Affairs will send it for printing by the University Print Shop or provide a jpeg image for the client to use in an e-card.

View the online Holiday Cards Order Request form.

Jaz Zanier places an ornament on a Christmas treeThird-year communications student Jaz Zanier places an ornament on the seasonal tree in the Welcome Centre.

Wellness newsletter offers tips to survive the holidays

Holidays are a wonderful time to bring people together, and feasting on food is often a focal point.

The December 2017 edition of Workplace Wellness E-Digest, published by the Department of Human Resources’ Office of Employee Engagement and Development, offers tips on surviving the holidays: guides to help you and your family make healthy eating choices, strategies on coping with stress, and ways to avoid debt regret.

Read the Workplace Wellness E-Digest.