Windsor HallWindsor Hall has been chosen by the University of Windsor as the official name of the downtown building that houses the School of Social Work and Centre for Executive and Professional Education.

Pitt-Ferry building to bear name Windsor Hall

The official name of the downtown building that houses the School of Social Work and Centre for Executive and Professional Education — Windsor Hall —recognizes the longstanding significance of the site at Pitt and Ferry streets to the city as well as the University’s commitment to the downtown, says UWindsor President Alan Wildeman.

“The name Windsor Hall has a resonance with the name of the former Windsor Star building, and it is a name that is consistent with the naming of other buildings at the University of Windsor,” said Dr. Wildeman. “It is also nice to resurrect the name that was lost when what is now Chrysler Hall was renamed.”

Windsor Hall retains the original facades of the former Windsor Star newspaper building which opened on June 17, 1927. Earlier this year, the University of Windsor received a heritage designation plaque from the City of Windsor for preserving the Pitt-Ferry site.

Sculpture honouring pioneering publisher to grace site

conceptual sketch for Shadd tribute sculptureAs the final step in completing the grounds and landscaping at Windsor Hall, the University has commissioned local artist Donna Mayne to create a sculpture that will honour Mary Ann Shadd, an African-Canadian/American, anti-slavery activist, journalist, publisher, teacher, and lawyer. (See Mayne’s conceptual sketch at right.)

Shadd was the first Black woman to publish and edit a newspaper — the Provincial Freeman — in North America and the first woman publisher in Canada. The Provincial Freeman was published from March 1853 to September 1857 in Windsor, then in Toronto and after that in Chatham. The newspaper advocated equality, integration, and self-reliance for Black people in Canada and the United States.

“Mary Ann Shadd was a remarkable woman,” Wildeman said. “During her life she was a role model for many and a powerful advocate to end enslavement. This sculpture will remind us of her legacy both locally and internationally.”

Shadd was born in Wilmington, Delaware, in 1823, the eldest of 13 children. The Canadian Encyclopedia says that Shadd followed in the footsteps of her activist parents, who were part of the Underground Railroad and pursued the path taken by those heading north to freedom in Canada.

Settling in Windsor, she wrote educational booklets outlining the advantages of Canada. She also set up an integrated school in Windsor.

Shadd’s father, Abraham Doras Shadd, settled in North Buxton, near Chatham, in the late 1850s and became the first Black man elected to political office in Canada when he was voted to the position of Raleigh Township counselor. A.D. Shadd Road in Chatham-Kent still bears his name today.

Prior to returning to the U.S., Mary Ann Shadd obtained Canadian citizenship. In Washington, D.C., she taught, then pursued law studies and became the first Black woman to complete this degree at Howard University. She joined efforts to gain women’s suffrage and was herself the first Black woman to vote in a national election. Earlier this month, Shadd was profiled in a New York Times article, “Overlooked No More: How One Woman Shook Up the Abolitionist Movement.”

Shadd died in Washington in 1893; the Canadian government designated her a Person of National Historic Significance in 1994.

Chemistry professors Simon Rondeau-Gagné, Tricia Carmichael, and John TrantChemistry professors Simon Rondeau-Gagné, Tricia Carmichael, and John Trant will head up a new Functional Organic Materials Research Centre.

Chemistry research centre to build on strengths in organic materials

Three researchers will head up a new Functional Organic Materials Research Centre with grants totaling $700,000 from the Canada Foundation for Innovation (CFI), the Ontario Research Fund and contributions from industry partners.

The centre will allow chemistry and biochemistry professors Tricia Carmichael, John Trant, and Simon Rondeau-Gagné to expand on their current research into designing and synthesizing new organic materials to create wearable electronics, stretchable transistors, and highly specified drug delivery methods.

“This supports the infrastructure we already have in place, and provides new and essential instrumentation that will bolster our ability to do leading edge research,” says Dr. Trant.

Dr. Carmichael is a leader in stretchable electronic devices. This centre will give her new tools to characterize electrically functional materials and devices for stretchable and wearable electronics applications, and she says this new infrastructure will create a world-class interdisciplinary facility.

“The research we can now pursue will lead to new innovative materials for use in the rapidly growing wearable electronics market, ‘smart’ drug-delivery technologies and biomedical devices, as well as new self-healing materials,” says Carmichael.

Synthetic chemist Trant investigates triggerable drug delivery devices to help fight cancer and certain autoimmune diseases. He says this infrastructure is necessary to move forward on this research, which includes designing chemotherapy drug delivery methods that would target cancer cells and avoid healthy cells.

“I will get a custom-built peptide synthesizer — which is essentially a robot that makes peptides,” says Trant. “This made-to-order robot will be designed specifically to work with unnatural, high-value amino acids and allow ready recovery of them and will be the first of its type in the world.”

Dr. Rondeau-Gagne’s lab uses materials to build new types of transistors needed for innovative bio-electronics. He requires specialized tools to measure difficult-to-define polymers.

“We are designing the centre to be able to create new biomaterials and polymers to go from design, to preparation at large scale, and get to the final application in electronics,” says Rondeau-Gagné.

“The centre is the connection between all our capabilities and this is about delivering innovative, final applications with state-of-the-art materials. It is why we call it functional materials, because it won’t give us just the capabilities of working with our research program, but also to expand and really get that materials expertise.”

Dean of science Chris Houser says with recent strategic research hires, the University of Windsor has attained a critical mass of researchers focusing on organic materials, which makes it one of the strongest departments in Canada in this field. Together with this new research centre, they can start training the next generation of materials scientists.

“This builds momentum with research, but with Science UWindsor’s commitment to undergraduate training, we are also going to have undergrads working with this state-of-the-art equipment so that when they graduate, they will have worked with the absolute top line in equipment and materials science methods,” says Dr. Houser.

“This also makes us highly competitive, with researchers around the province, the country, and even from Michigan, wanting to come and use this equipment.”

The centre will be housed in the Faculty of Science’s new research facility and will be divided into two major biomaterials and bioelectronics platforms, and includes advanced instrumentation such as a custom-built peptide synthesizer, an ultra-high-temperature gel permeation chromatography system, and a cutting-edge transistor fabrication station.

Sara Elliott

Alan Wildeman, Cody Weldon, Melanie Paul TanovichUWindsor president Alan Wildeman (left) and Orchestra Breva director Melanie Paul Tanovich (right) congratulate Cody Weldon, recipient of the Common Ground Scholarship.

Scholarship establishes common ground with community orchestra

The recipient of a scholarship rewarding cross-discipline cultural endeavours to promote peace said the money came at a good time for him.

Recent grad Cody Weldon (BMus 2018) was between part-time jobs when he received the “Common Ground Scholarship,” drawn from funds raised during a special concert in May 2017 celebrating the history of the University of Windsor and Assumption University.

“This really helped me through a hard time,” he said Monday as he met with Melanie Paul Tanovich, director of Orchestra Breva, which presented the fundraising concert.

Tanovich called Weldon a “worthy recipient” of the award, which she said honoured UWindsor president Alan Wildeman’s leadership, inspiration, and service to the University of Windsor and the communities of Windsor-Essex.

“How fitting that this year’s beneficiary of the Common Ground Scholarship is a student of the new School of Creative Arts, where unity is promoted through cross-disciplinary exchange among all arts,” she said.

The scholarship’s name refers to a lyric from Dr. Wildeman’s song Hidden from View.

“It is our hope that this honour will instill in its recipients the spirit of his professionalism, breadth of perspective, and commitment,” said Tanovich.

She said her orchestra looks forward to partnering with the University to cultivate the creativity of future generations.

Rupp Carriveau UWindsor professor Rupp Carriveau leads a workshop designed for developers, utilities, service providers, and researchers.

Symposium examines studies of sustainability

Nearly 100 local and international scientists, engineers, policy makers, industry leaders, and entrepreneurs gathered June 20 to 22 in the Ed Lumley Centre for Engineering Innovation to discuss recent advances in renewable energy generation, transmission, storage, and consumption.

The Energy and Sustainability 2018 Summit examined studies on climate change, waste and recycling, green buildings, green economy, and social sustainability and featured an electric conversion performance vehicle.

The event kicked off with the CLEEN2040 Shift Energy Academy, a three-hour workshop examining how the ways in which we purchase and sell energy are changing — specifically, how corporate power procurement and peer-to-peer energy trading are driving radical modification of future energy system architectures.

Conference chairs included UWindsor engineering professors David Ting and Rupp Carriveau. Graham Reader, a UWindsor mechanical engineering professor, delivered a keynote lecture titled “Energy Sustainability: Policy, Politics and Practice.”

View photos from the event on the UWindsor Engineering Facebook page.

Kristie Pearce

Nihar BiswasUWindsor engineering professor Nihar Biswas receives an honorary doctorate from the University of Guelph and its chancellor, Martha Billes.

Engineering prof honoured for work on clean water

UWindsor professor Nihar Biswas received an honorary degree from the University of Guelph in recognition for his contributions to environmental engineering education and to clean water technology that has improved the lives of people worldwide.

Dr. Biswas, a former acting vice president-research, former senior associate dean of engineering, and a faculty member since 1981, told graduands at the June 12 Convocation celebration that continued access to safe clean water continues to pose a challenge in countries across the globe.

“You will of course face challenges in your work, in your life,” he said in his formal address acknowledging his honour. “Innovation could be the key to solve those challenges.”

Watch a video of the Guelph Convocation, including Biswas’ honorary degree.

multilink design of front suspension for motorcyclesEngineering professor Bruce Minaker is seeking a patent on a multilink design of front suspension for motorcycles.

Clinic aids mechanical engineering faculty in patent for improving motorcycle steering

When Bruce Minaker, associate professor and acting department head in Mechanical, Automotive, and Materials Engineering at the University of Windsor, began initially exploring routes to patent his invention, he recalled a previous mechanical engineering student he had taught — now the director of the International Intellectual Property Law Clinic. Dr. Minaker reached out to clinic director Wissam Aoun, who responded with interest.

Minaker’s invention is a new style of front suspension for motorcycles. His idea sprouted from his time as a motorcycle rider and enthusiast, and after working with engineering students for many years as a project advisor for the senior capstone design course.

Minaker explains: “For many years, the telescopic fork has been the standard for motorcycle front suspensions, despite the fact that it has some well-known weaknesses. These include fork bending deflection under braking forces, the associated sliding friction that results when that bending occurs, and the reinforcement needed in the frame to counter the large bending loads near the steering head bearing.”

His invention aims to eliminate these weaknesses by replacing the telescopic fork with a novel multilink. This unique linkage arrangement offers many advantages over a traditional fork suspension, both in the dynamic behaviour, and potential weight savings in the frame. An initial prototype was produced last year by University of Windsor engineering students in their senior design class, and a second round is scheduled to take place this year.

Minaker describes his overall experience with the clinic as fantastic.

“It was a pleasure working with them,” he says. “The opportunity to see student involvement, both from the law students at the clinic and from the engineering students in the project class in Windsor, has been a positive experience.”

He also felt that he benefited not only from the completion of the patent application, but also through the advice he received along the way.

“It was much more complicated than I had anticipated, and in retrospect, I certainly would have been lost had I tried to complete it on my own.”

Aoun says the collaboration has been an awesome experience.

“Clinic and faculty collaborations of this sort are very new for IP clinics generally, and this really is a first for Canada,” he says.

Aoun believes that these sorts of collaborations may lead to new forms of technology transfer processes, one that values IP protection but also situates it within the overall University mission of dissemination of knowledge.

“Working with professor Minaker and his students has been such an incredible experience, as he has placed so much value on having all of our students involved throughout the process, so that students not only learn about IP protection, but also the values of technical writing, collaboration and different perspectives on technology.”

Minaker’s patent application is currently pending.

Potential clients interested in working with the clinic can complete an online application on its website: Find more information on the interesting work going on in the International Intellectual Property Law Clinic in its Summer 2018 newsletter.

The Iona Campus Food Bank is open on Tuesdays from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. during the summer. The Iona Campus Food Bank is open on Tuesdays from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. during the summer.

Student food bank serves up healthy, delicious options

Sandi Rose credits the success of the Iona Campus Food Bank to its donors and volunteers.

The food bank is open one day a week during the summer, but even with reduced hours, she said more than 80 students utilize the service.

“Money is tight for students and even if you have enough for tuition and books, you may not have enough for food,” Rose said, director of the Iona Campus Food Bank. “It’s so important for their education and their brain to be well fed.”

During the summer, the food bank is open on Tuesdays from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Located in the basement of Canterbury College, the food bank provides basics and essential items to registered University of Windsor students free of cost.

Rose said student and community volunteers like Sandi LaPorte, Caron Firsht and Charlie Kobryn are the heart of the food bank: volunteering to pick up donations, staffing the food bank, and working to create nutritious meals.

Those making use of the food bank have had a special treat this summer.

“As the executive chef of food services, I felt like I needed to somehow be a part of this,” said Paolo Vasapolli. “For me, this is about the well-being of our students and I’m just a small part of this.”

Using ingredients donated to the food bank, Vasapolli created dishes of chana masala and samosas served over a bed of basmati rice with an edible flower.

“My ultimate goal is to provide them with a meal similar to one they would get in a nice restaurant, even if it’s in a microwavable container,” he said.

Along with his time, Vasapolli also coordinated the donation of a large number of microwavable containers from the University’s food services.

During the Fall and Winter semesters, the food bank is open Mondays and Wednesdays from 12 to 2 p.m., Tuesdays from 2 to 4 p.m. and Thursdays from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Despite the reduced hours, Rose said the demand is still great and donations are always appreciated.

“Street Help has been tremendously helpful with lending us food and we’ll share with them when we have extra,” Rose said. “We are grateful for their support and from the help we receive from the many departments and individuals at the University of Windsor and other local community organizations.”

To make a contribution or to volunteer, contact her at

The Iona Campus Food Bank is located in the basement of Canterbury College at 2500 University Avenue West.

Dylan Kristy

stock market graphTwo UWindsor instructors are calling for tax incentives for lower-income Canadians to invest in capital markets.

Lower-income Canadians need to invest in stocks: professors

Modify Canadian tax policy to encourage more lower-income people to participate in corporate growth through capital markets rather than employment markets, suggests an opinion piece by UWindsor professors Imran Abdool and Richard Douglass-Chin, published Monday in the Globe and Mail newspaper.

Abdool, an instructor in economics and for the Odette School of Business, and Dr. Douglass-Chin, a professor of English, along with collaborator Kal Juman of IndustryLabs, argue that the corporate shift from manufacturing to technology limits job opportunities for workers.

“Poorer households in Canada often live paycheque to paycheque, making investment in capital markets a hard choice,” they write. “Participation in capital markets is unlikely for these households; therefore, strong incentives such as increasing the dividend tax credit … should be considered.”

Read the entire article, “We need to steer lower-income Canadians toward capital markets.”

Paolo VasapolliExecutive chef Paolo Vasapolli says a good stock and short-grain rice are the keys to making risotto.

Chef’s perfect risotto owes its success to science

Turns out at that the heavenly mouth-feel and rich deliciousness of classic risotto is all about amylopectin — a starch that readily breaks down when cooked — giving this comfort food naturally occurring creaminess without adding any cream, says Paolo Vasapolli, executive chef in Food Services.

The key to success is using a short-grain rice like arborio, the most common type found in North American grocery stores. The very ambitious can also hunt down carnaroli, vialone, or other similar types of Italian rice.

Make sure to use a very good stock or broth, since the rice will be infused with its essence. Make it from scratch if you can manage it, Vasapolli advises, but even canned stock will do. Parmigiano-Reggiano — the king of Parmesan cheeses — will also bring out the best in any risotto, though you can also use a grocery store brand with good results.

Paolo’s Perfect Risotto


  • 1 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 medium shallot or white onion
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1 ½ cups arborio, carnaroli, vialone, or similar rice
  • Salt to taste
  • Kale, salmon, fresh mushrooms, beets, spinach, or other flavour ingredient of choice
  • 4 cups chicken or vegetable stock
  • ½ cup white wine (a budget wine is fine)
  • ¼ cup parmigiano cheese
  • Fresh black pepper to taste


  1. Bring broth (Vasapolli likes to use chicken stock) to a simmer in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Reduce the heat so the broth remains steaming, but is not simmering.
  2. Heat oil in a pan on medium-low heat. Add small fine diced shallots or white onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened and translucent, about two minutes. Add garlic and cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add rice and salt and stir to coat. At this point you can add kale, smoked salmon, fresh mushrooms, beets, spinach, whatever kind of risotto you would like to make.
  3. Stir 1/2 cup of the hot broth and a splash of wine into the rice. Cook, stirring frequently, until the liquid has been absorbed. Continue to cook on medium-low, adding broth in 1/2-cup increments followed by a splash of wine, and stirring frequently after each addition, until most of the liquid is absorbed. The risotto is done when you’ve used all the broth and wine and the rice is creamy and just tender, 25 to 35 minutes total.
  4. Remove from the heat; stir in some fresh parmigiano cheese and fresh pepper and serve right away.