BFA acting grad AJ SimmonsBFA acting grad AJ Simmons is making Canadian history as part of the cast of the country’s largest Latinx stage production.

Acting alum making history with play premiere

A UWindsor acting grad reports she was “thrilled and honoured” to hit the stage in the world premiere of Carmen Aguirre’s play Anywhere But Here, which blends dark comedy and magical realism to tell a story about the universal quest for home.

“This show is making Canadian theatre history: an all-Latinx cast and creative core team of Latinx artists from across the Americas and the largest mainstage production of a Latinx story in Canadian history,” says AJ Simmons (BFA 2013). “It is truly an honour and privilege to be a part of bringing this ground-breaking play to life.”

The show, produced by the Electric Theatre Company at the Vancouver Playhouse as part of the Push International Arts Festival, opened Feb. 6 and will run through Feb. 15.

Simmons heads a cast of nine which travels across multiple timelines and space — from Trump’s America to 1970s Chile. She notes that for her, the journey started while still a student in the School of Dramatic Art:

“This is such an incredible full-circle experience to be a part of, after getting introduced to Carmen’s work and meeting her for the first time when I was in my fourth year investigating the thesis I wrote exploring the role of Latina Canadian theatre practitioners.”

Learn more about the play on the troupe’s website.

interior of Leddy LibraryThe Leddy Library invites students to participate in focus groups on its plans for transforming its space.

Leddy Library collecting feedback for future transformation

Consultations continue to ramp up for the Leddy Library Master Space Plan Transformation.

More than 50 guests shared ideas with associates from Hariri Pontarini Architects during the transformation consultation kick-off last month.

A video of the presentation is now available to view on the library website for campus partners and students who were unable to attend the event. In addition, ideas and suggestions can be shared until March 8 via an online form.

The library will host small focus groups over next few weeks. Students are invited to take part in one of the following sessions:

Food will be provided for participants; register in one of the above sessions to reserve your spot.

—Marcie Demmans

UWindsor students and officials cut a ribbon.UWindsor students and officials cut a ribbon to officially open the new campus Muslim chaplaincy.

New chaplaincy to serve campus Muslim community

A ribbon cutting Friday in the student centre served as a ceremonial opening of a chaplaincy service for campus Muslims.

Shaymaa Zantout, a master’s candidate in history, was one of a group of students who spearheaded the project. She said the chaplaincy will provide counselling and mental health referrals in addition to spiritual care.

“For many of us, it’s important to be able to talk to someone who really understands the lens of faith,” said Zantout.

The service’s first imam is Yousef Wahb, a master’s student at Windsor Law who has been serving in an educational capacity with the Windsor Islamic Association, which is supporting his new position.

UWindsor provost Douglas Kneale said the new office has its roots in the University’s founding: “It’s one more way that we are fulfilling the spiritual and moral mission of our university.”

The chaplaincy will occupy room B-102 on the lower level of the CAW Student Centre. Learn more about its principles and services on its website.

students walking by Odette BuildingThe Odette School of Business has received a five-year extension of its accreditation by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business.

Extension of accreditation a “milestone” for business school, says dean

A five-year extension of its accreditation by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business is a “milestone” achievement for the Odette School of Business, says dean Mitch Fields.

“This accreditation process is a rigorous evaluation of our excellence in learning and teaching, strategic management, and academic and professional engagement,” Dr. Fields says. “It has been earned by only five per cent of schools worldwide granting business degrees.”

Today, 862 institutions across 56 countries and territories have earned AACSB accreditation, says Stephanie M. Bryant, the association’s executive vice president and chief accreditation officer.

“Every AACSB-accredited school has demonstrated a focus on excellence in all areas, including teaching, research, curricula development, and student learning,” she says. “The intense peer-review process exemplifies their commitment to quality business education.”

Fields says the accreditation helps the Odette School of Business differentiate itself from competitors.

“This is a very respected designation that affirms our commitment to delivering a relevant and challenging curriculum, and providing valuable educational and career experiences,” he says. “Employers want quality business graduates from quality business schools. Our students understand that we provide an excellent return on their investment in choosing Odette.”

Sameeksha NairComputer science major Sameeksha Nair is one of 160 residence students honoured at a reception Friday for their top academic performance.

Reception recognizes residence student achievements

A record 160 students were honoured during the 10th annual residence celebration of academic achievement, Friday in Vanier Hall. The event recognizes residence students who earn a cumulative average of A- or higher, or at least B+ for those holding leadership positions.

“We treat residence as more than just a place to live,” Diane Rawlings, head of the residence services department, told the students and officials gathered for the ceremony. “It’s a space where we encourage personal growth outside of the classroom, which can lead to academic success.”

She said that the transition can be difficult for many students, and that is compounded for those far from their families.

“We put a great effort into ensuring students living on campus are connected to resources and services to support you,” Rawlings said.

Iris Asserlind, a first-year student majoring in sociology and communications, is one of the honours students who received a certificate of achievement and a Lancer scarf at the reception. She said living in residence helped her find success in her studies.

“You’re close to classes and just a few minutes from the library,” said the native of Surrey, B.C. “I’m really enjoying what I’m studying so it doesn’t feel like a chore.”

First-year computer science student Sameeksha Nair said the invitation to Friday’s event came as a surprise.

“I put my time in; I worked hard,” said the Mac Hall resident, originally from Chennai, India. “I didn’t really expect to get anything, so this show of appreciation really makes me feel good.”

panel discussion in Moot CourtA Jan. 22 panel discussion at Windsor Law explored the Supreme Court of Canada ruling in the case of R. v. Barton.

Windsor Law student groups co-host panel on Supreme Court case

A Jan. 22 panel discussion at Windsor Law explored a ruling by the Supreme Court of Canada that Bradley David Barton be re-tried in the death of Cindy Gladue.

The Windsor Law Shkawbewisag Student Law Society held the event in partnership with the Criminal Law Association of Windsor and the Sexual Assault Awareness Committee to discuss the R. v. Barton case and appeal, as well as the social and legal implications of the verdict on Indigenous communities and on Indigenous women in particular.

According to a case in brief release by the Supreme Court of Canada, a man found not guilty of killing an Indigenous woman eight years ago must be re-tried for manslaughter because trial rules for dealing with sexual history weren’t followed. A pre-trial began on Feb. 3 and a new trial is scheduled to be heard in November 2020.

The Jan. 22 panellists included:

  • Windsor Law professors Beverly Jacobs and David Tanovich;
  • Jonathan Rudin, program director for Aboriginal Legal Services of Toronto; and
  • third-year Windsor Law student Sara Little.

The panel challenged attendees to think about the unique circumstances faced by Indigenous peoples navigating the criminal legal system, and the additional barriers faced by Indigenous women and other individuals as victims of sexual violence who experience oppression in intersectional ways.

—Rachelle Prince

cauliflower “steak”Pan-seared cauliflower “steak” is one of the plant-based dishes on a special tasting menu Feb. 13 in the University Club.

Space still available for tasting of plant-based dishes

There is still space available for a special tasting menu of gourmet vegan dishes, Feb. 13 in the University Club.

The lunch, with seating from noon to 2 p.m. Thursday in the restaurant on the lower level of Vanier Hall, will feature these plant-based foods:

  • Pan fried “crab” cake with heirloom beet relish and micro greens $7
    Heart of palm, nori, beets, red bell peppers, garlic, micro greens
  • “Scallop” over sweet pea risotto and smoked romesco sauce $8.50
    Grilled king oyster mushroom, sweet peas, risotto, smoked tomato purée, micro greens
  • Carrot osso buco with creamy polenta $8.50
    Carrots, pearl onions, cremini mushrooms, red wine, curry powder, polenta, fresh chopped leaf parsley, soy milk
  • Sumac pan-seared “steak” with cilantro aquafaba meringue $5
    Fresh cauliflower, chopped cilantro, chickpea brine
  • Fries with roasted garlic aioli $5
    Fried yucca, roasted garlic cloves, vegan mayo
  • Vegan duo mochi (chocolate and mango) or chocolate bread pudding $5
    and a selection of local wines and beers $5 per serving

Seating and quantities of food are limited. To join executive chef Paolo Vasapolli for this special plant-based tasting menu, place a reservation with Catering Services at 519-253-3000, ext. 3276 or 3277.