Physics professor Dan Xiao is experimenting with an electromagnet to develop a portable Magnetic Resonance device.Physics professor Dan Xiao is experimenting with an electromagnet to develop a portable Magnetic Resonance device.

UWindsor initiative promotes women in science

With International Women’s Day celebrated across the globe on March 8, the Faculty of Science reflects upon the scientific advancements made by women and its own Women in Science (WinS) project. WinS originated this past year, in part by a group of female science students who were inspired after attending a Women in Science and Engineering conference in Toronto.

Third-year physics major Layale Bazzi returned from the conference motivated to explore gender ratios in UWindsor science programs, with the goal of using the information to create resources that promote and support women at all stages of their scientific careers.

With funding from a Promoters of Experiential and Active Research-based Learning (PEARL) grant, Bazzi, along with science undergraduates Yucca Albano and Kiruthika Baskaran, discovered that, although women are still underrepresented in some science programs, the gender gap across the Faculty of Science has been declining over the last decade.

In Bazzi’s home department of physics, which historically has been male dominated, the percentage of undergraduate female students has increased from a range of 22-28 to 33-34 over the last decade. Greater increases are observed at the graduate level. The most successful recruiter of female students remains the Medical Physics program, which in recent years boasts similar numbers of female and male students.

According to Statistics Canada’s 2017 Women in Canada: A Gender-based Statistical Report, UWindsor’s trend aligns with national statistics on females in STEM, which shows that 39 per cent of 25 to 34 year-year-old STEM degree holders are women, compared to just 23 per cent of 55 to 64 year-old STEM degree holders.

An increase in women representation provides more diversity to the field, which translates into new and different scientific ideas and better economic outcomes. Diversity also challenges old stereotypes, breaks down barriers and creates more support for women as they advance in their careers.

Physics professor Dan Xiao joined the faculty in July 2017 with research expertise in designing a portable Magnetic Resonance device that could provide more inexpensive and accessible diagnostic options. She says it is also beneficial for young women to have role models in the field.

“Sometimes the challenge in attracting women to physics is that they are too cautious and may not feel they are not good enough,” she says. “I have spoken to brilliant female students, from various levels, who do not feel confident.”

Bazzi says outreach and awareness helps to empower and recruit the next generation of female physicists. In the fall 2017 semester, she visited a local high school physics club and spoke with students about physics. She also was a panelist at the Build a Dream conference.

She suggests that to move forward, we must also acknowledge the past and celebrate the advancements women have made to science.

“Before the 20th century, it was rare for a woman to participate in scientific discussion, let alone win prizes for their discoveries, but now women have sailed the seas and the stars and have helped humanity advance in their quest to decipher nature,” says Bazzi. “It is time to tap into that reservoir of talent.

“In 1903, Marie Curie was the first woman to ever win a Nobel Prize. That prize was for physics, but she also went on to be the only person to win a Nobel Prize in two different fields of sciences.”

Taylor Tracey Kyryliuk is a fourth-year physics major and the Physics Club president. She says she chose to study physics because she wanted to be challenged in life.

“The fact that I am female has rarely, if ever, been a consideration when making decisions, especially academic ones. I am just glad that I am living in an era where I have the freedom to choose to study and to choose what I want to study,” Kyryliuk says.

Bazzi, Albano, and Baskaran will present their findings on status of women in science at UWindsor on March 22 at UWill Discover 2018, the campus undergraduate conference where students present their original work in their field of study.

Elsie Inselman, Rachel Inselman Mezzo-soprano Elsie Inselman and soprano Rachel Inselman team up for a mother-daughter performance of tunes from the American songbook, Friday in the SoCA Armouries.

Standards to grace voice recital Friday

Familiar tunes from George Gershwin, Cole Porter, Irving Berlin and more are on the program for a mother-daughter recital Friday, March 9, in the SoCA Armouries’ Performance Hall.

Mezzo-soprano Elsie Inselman, a pianist and long-time voice instructor at the University of Windsor will join soprano Rachel Inselman, her daughter and a professor of voice at the University of Minnesota Duluth, for a concert of “Favourites from the American Songbook.”

The SoCA Armouries is located at 37 University Avenue East. The show will start at 7:30 p.m. Admission is $20 with a student rate of $5. Purchase tickets in advance online or for cash payment only at the door.

Explore the complete program and performer profiles on the event website.

Rachel Inselman will also lead a masterclass for voice students on Saturday, March 10. Attendance is free and open to the public. It gets underway at 2 p.m. in room 132, SoCA Armouries.

sprinters crossing finish lineThe Windsor Lancers host the U Sports national track and field championships this weekend in the Dennis Fairall Fieldhouse.

Lancer women MVPs to lead team in national track meet

Three Lancer athletes will bring provincial honours with them to the U Sports national track and field championship meet this weekend in the Dennis Fairall Fieldhouse.

Ontario University Athletics named sprinter Kelsey Balkwill and thrower Sarah Mitton its most valuable female performers in track and field events, respectively. The awards follow double-gold performances by both at the provincial meet — Balkwill in the 300m and 600m events, Mitton in shotput and weight throw.

Distance runner Stefanie Smith won the female Student-Athlete Community Service Award in recognition of her contributions on and off the track. She has combined her passion for physical activity with her drive to support others by volunteering with the Adapted Physical Exercise Research Group, where provides fitness training to participants with autism spectrum disorder and an intellectual disability.

Read the full article, “Three Lancers win OUA Major Awards.”

The U Sports tournament opens Thursday with events through Saturday, March 8 to 10. Find a competition preview at

Tina TarpgaardArtist Tina Tarpgaard will perform and discuss her choreographic work “Mass-Bloom” Thursday in the SoCA Armouries.

Visiting artist to perform choreographic installation

Danish choreographer Tina Tarpgaard will perform her installation “Mass-Bloom” and discuss the work in a free public presentation at noon Thursday, March 8, in the SoCA Armouries’ Performance Hall.

Tarpgaard is currently visiting the Incubator bio-art lab. Her “Mass-Bloom” is a choreographic installation dealing with the issues of decay, decomposition, and death. It is experienced as a durational performance for worms, plastic, and a human conducting an unusual co-creation of space and time.

In her talk to follow, Tarpgaard will introduce the human and non-human performers of the work and discuss the interrelations between them. She will discuss the materiality and immateriality of death though the creation of ritual and the tangible experience of remains.

Marium Tolson-Murtty, Krisha CarononganMarium Tolson-Murtty congratulates education student Krisha Caronongan on her win of an additional qualification course.

Education student looking forward to professional development

As she prepares to enter the workforce, Krisha Caronongan wants to set herself apart from her peers.

That’s why the teacher candidate was so excited to win free registration in an Additional Qualification course through the UWindsor Faculty of Education offered in collaboration with the Centre for Executive and Professional Education.

Her entry was the winner in a free draw at a career fair for education students. Caronongan plans to use the voucher towards a specialized course in math instruction.

“I know how important it is to take AQ courses,” she says. “It’s an extra added step to improving what you know.”

Earning additional qualifications can help give teachers and aspiring teachers advance their careers, says Marium Tolson-Murtty, continuing education program co-ordinator at the Centre for Executive and Professional Education.

“Additional qualification sets them above their cohort,” she says. “A lot of courses are offered online, so students can participate no matter where they are.”

The University of Windsor offers more than 80 such courses, geared to helping educators reach their professional goals, says Tolson-Murtty.

“Our courses are designed and delivered by experienced instructors, teaching the latest pedagogical techniques in each subject area,” she says. “They will help open doors to opportunities for employment and advancement.”

Registration is now open for spring and summer courses. Find additional information on the program website.

Donna WellingtonAlumna Donna Wellington will deliver a keynote address at an International Women’s Day gala hosted by Women’s Enterprise Skills Training of Windsor.

Nursing grad to speak to women’s gala

UWindsor alumna Donna Wellington (BScN 1994, MBA 2004), chief operating officer for the Behavioral Health Service of Henry Ford Health System, is the keynote speaker at an event tonight celebrating more than 30 years of service by Women’s Enterprise Skills Training of Windsor (WEST).

Its annual International Women’s Day Gala and Journey towards Success Awards is set for 6 p.m. Thursday March 8, at the St. Clair Centre for the Arts. This year’s theme is “Bringing Together Our Voices to Press for Progress.”

For tickets or more information, visit the WEST of Windsor website.