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Updated: 22 hours 22 min ago

Homecoming events to welcome Black alumni

Mon, 09/18/2023 - 00:51

The inaugural Black Alumni Weekend, with events running Sept. 22 to 24, will kick off UWindsor Alumni Week.

This is an excellent opportunity for the University to foster an even deeper sense of belonging for our Black alumni,” says Marium Tolson-Murtty (BA 1996, B.Ed 2003, M.Ed 2008), director of anti-racism organizational change in the Office of the Vice-President, People, Equity, and Inclusion and a member of the informal UWindsor Black Alumni and Planning Committee.

The weekend will open Friday with the Back in Black: Black Homecoming Weekend Networking Mixer starting at 6:30 p.m. in the student centre commons. All black attire is encouraged — RSVP required to attend.

The Black to the Future panel discussion and mini-summit will take place Saturday in the Odette Building. Breakfast starts at 8:30 a.m. with the formal program running from 9:30 a.m. to noon. Again, those intending to join must RSVP.

Saturday night starting at 8 p.m., food, drinks, and music are on offer at the Saila Vibes restaurant and bar, 110 Chatham St. West, site of the Black Homecoming Party.

Self-guided tours of the campus, Sandwich Town, and the McDougall Street Corridor are available, as well as the alumni tailgate party and Lancer football game. wTo find details on these activities, additional gathering opportunities, and a list of on-campus partners, visit the event website.

“This is an exciting time for the University of Windsor as we continue to transform the campus by creating safer, more inclusive spaces where faculty, students, staff, and alumni feel that this is truly a place they belong,” Tolson-Murtty says.

The Alumni Week website lists events Sept. 22 to 29.

Marium Tolson-MurttyUniversity of Windsor Alumni AssociationAlumni

Hands-on education helps prep grad for anchor job

Tue, 08/01/2023 - 00:15

Hosting the 6 p.m. newscast on CBC TV Windsor is a dream come true for alumna Meg Roberts (BA 2017), who credits her experiences at the University of Windsor with helping her make her way to the anchor desk.

Roberts, who began filling in for Katerina Georgieva on July 10, says her studies in digital journalism provided practical training.

“My instructors were all people who worked in the industry,” she recalls. “I was getting hands-on experience in the media.”

A class project she produced on ducks dying of malnutrition after being fed bread and other unsuitable foods by visitors to city parks generated interest in local news outlets and led to a summer job at CBC.

“When I started this gig I was so young — still a student,” Roberts says.

After graduating, she worked as a reporter for CBC in St. John’s, Toronto, and covering the 2020 and 2022 Olympic Games. She says she welcomed the chance to return to Windsor.

“To be able to tell stories in a city that has invested in me is really rewarding,” she says.

“CBC Windsor was always on in my house and in my grandparents’ house when I was growing up. As a kid, I thought: that could be me one day.”

She spent her childhood in Gesto, an unincorporated hamlet southwest of the Essex town centre, and calls herself “a small-town kind of girl,” adding that she benefits from familiarity with the community.

“I thrive from working with hyper-local connections,” says Roberts. “Unique stories come my way because I have such a network here.”

She still runs into instructors from her undergraduate days: “I’ll go into a scrum or press conference and see some of my professors there,” and remains grateful for the support she has received in many aspects of her education and career.

“Being able to be a warm face in people’s homes every night — that’s something I will never take for granted.”

Meg RobertsAlumniAcademic Area: Arts, Humanities and Social SciencesCommunications, Media & Film

Alumni to hear from pioneering grad

Mon, 07/31/2023 - 00:11

The time she spent at the University of Windsor was transformative, says Rechie Valdez (BCS 2003).

Member of Parliament for Mississauga-Streetsville and Minister of Small Business, Valdez is the first Filipino-Canadian woman to be elected to the House of Commons, and the first to serve in the federal cabinet. She will discuss her role and how her UWindsor education helped set her on the path to Parliament in a presentation to alumni and friends Wednesday, Aug. 2.

Valdez says she values all aspects of her university experience.

“From living in residence in my first year, the education taught by my professors, the various social clubs, and student assistance that were provided, the University of Windsor prepared me for the real world,” she recalls. “I will always look back with fond memories of my time there.”

The summer social will begin at 6:30 p.m. at the Glenerin Inn and Spa, located at 1695 the Collegeway in Mississauga. Admission is free and open to all alumni; register here to attend.

Rechie ValdezUniversity of Windsor Alumni AssociationAlumniAcademic Area: ScienceComputer Science

Alum to share life lessons learned

Thu, 07/13/2023 - 00:28

Richard Peddie (BComm 1970, honorary LLD 2001) will lead a conversation about big dreams, lessons learned, and not giving up as the July entry in the Alumni Meet-Ups series of monthly chats on relevant and interesting topics, a partnership between the University of Windsor Alumni Association and Peddie’s River Bookshop.

Based on his 41 years in business and a more recent 10 years of community building, Dr. Peddie will discuss “Life: the Rule of Three” at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday, July 19, in the “Art Alley” behind the bookshop, located at 67 Richmond St. in Amherstburg.

The event promises a catered ice cream bar. Attendance is free but registration in advance is required. Fill in the online form here to save your spot.

Richard PeddieUniversity of Windsor Alumni AssociationStrategic Priority: Engage in community partnershipsAlumni

Concert to showcase grad’s jazz compositions

Thu, 07/13/2023 - 00:16

A concert in the Armouries Performance Hall on Friday, July 14, will feature original jazz compositions by trumpeter and UWindsor grad Austin Di Pietro (BMus 2018).

Titled “Borders,” the program explores the influence of residing in a border region and the power of art and music to transcend physical and metaphorical boundaries.

Besides Di Pietro, performers include music faculty member Mike Karloff on piano, drummer Vanessa Harnish (BMus 2008, B.Ed 2009), bassist Alex Leite, saxophonist Ryan Bills, and guitarist Ian Blunden.

The show gets underway at 7:30 p.m. in the Armouries, 353 Freedom Way. Tickets are $15 at the door or $10 in advance, available here.

Austin Di PietroAlex LeiteVanessa HarnishMike KarloffAlumniAcademic Area: Arts, Humanities and Social SciencesCreative Arts

Alum to chair micromobility company board

Tue, 07/11/2023 - 00:37

UWindsor alumnus John BItove (LLB 1984, LLD h.c. 2022) has accepted an appointment as chair of the board of directors of Bird Global, which provides on-demand rental of electric vehicles.

The company offers e-scooters and e-bikes in communities around the world, including Windsor. Bitove has served on its board since January, and is the chair and co-founder of Bird Canada.

“I am excited to step into this new role as chairperson and continue working with my fellow board members and the Bird leadership team during the company’s next chapter of growth. The energy and enthusiasm of the Board has been incredible since I joined early this year,” Bitove said.

“We’re all passionate about Bird’s prospects and supporting the company in its mission to provide clean, equitable transportation alternatives in cities around the world.”

Among the organizations Bitove founded are the Toronto Raptors Basketball Club, 2019 NBA champions; Canadian Satellite Radio, now SiriusXM Canada; PointNorth Capital, a joint venture with Ontario Municipal Employees Retirement System; the retail property owner KEYreit; and wireless operator Mobilicity. He received an honorary doctor of laws degree from the University of Windsor in 2022.

John BitoveAlumniAcademic Area: Law

Toldo Lancer Centre offers summer membership deal for UWindsor employees and alumni

Tue, 06/27/2023 - 00:14

Lauryn Rogers works out at the Toldo Lancer Centre four to five times a week.

She swims. She kickboxes. She works out in the gym.

“It has everything I could possibly need in one location,” said Rogers, a UWindsor employee and recent grad. “And I pretty much use the whole thing.”

The University’s new fitness facility is offering a special deal for employees and alumni this summer, with a two-month membership for July and August priced at $79. If you sign up for a full year during that time, $79 will be deducted from the cost. And employees and alumni enjoy 15 per cent off the regular price of one-year memberships.

“It’s definitely a great deal,” said Rogers. “When you compare the cost to other gyms, this is definitely a bargain, and the Toldo Lancer Centre offers so much more.”

The $73 million Toldo Lancer Centre includes a state-of-the-art fitness centre that spans two floors, a 25-metre pool that is fully accessible, a suspended track overlooking a new triple gymnasium with open hours for basketball and volleyball, a spin studio, a martial arts studio, and multipurpose rooms for a variety of fitness classes. The Dennis Fairall Fieldhouse is part of the Toldo Lancer Centre, with its schedule of daily activities including pickleball and badminton.

Summer members can sign up online here or in person 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. Mondays to Fridays, 9 a.m. to 10 p.m. on Saturdays, and 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Sundays. Tours are included with all new memberships.

—Sarah Sacheli

Lancer CentreLauryn RogersAlumniFacultyStaff

Forensics launches career of teaching fellow

Thu, 06/22/2023 - 00:39

Nadia Stephaniuk (BSc 2017, MSc 2019) chose the University of Windsor specifically for its four-year Forensic Science undergraduate program, but she ended up on a serendipitous journey that led her to the United Kingdom.

Early on in Stephaniuk’s undergrad, she took on a part-time role as a campus tour guide for the enrolment management team, which led to her working in varying student recruitment capacities with developing leadership roles over the next nine years. Along the way she also discovered undergraduate research opportunities in a new discipline.

“In high school I was interested in the idea that you could use physical science and apply scientific knowledge and skills in the evidence, court, and crime scene realms,” says Stephaniuk.

In her second undergraduate year, Stephaniuk started volunteering in chemistry and biochemistry professor Jeremy Rawson’s lab.

“Volunteering escalated to a fourth-year thesis, opening my eyes to what research within academia looks like” she says. “From there, I stayed on to do to my master’s degree in chemistry with Dr. Rawson — it was a domino effect.”

After completing master’s studies, Stephaniuk was approached to design and teach an online chemistry course for upper-year forensic science majors.

“I was working full-time in recruitment when I began developing this new course, special topics in forensic chemistry. I was able to use my knowledge and experience from my degrees and research background to design a course from the ground up, with lectures, assessments, and tests,” she says.

“I then designed a secondary complimentary forensic chemistry course to my first one, adding an in-person lab component to the course. It was a phenomenal experience to be a part of this course design and implementation from the ground up.”

In addition to other commitments, Stephaniuk was heavily involved in science extracurriculars including tutoring, involvement in the Forensic Student Association, the graduate chemistry club, students offering support, and working with chemistry department head James Gauld to found a UWindsor chapter of Women in Chemistry.

All of these experiences culminated into her flying across the Atlantic Ocean in the summer of 2022 to work as a teaching fellow in forensic science and toxicology at King’s College London. She teaches in two MSc programs within the forensics department and delivers lectures in chemistry and forensic science, runs analytical laboratory sessions, provides mentorship to students, co-ordinates the logistics of a summer project term, and helps to co-supervise a few master’s students.

“I think it is entirely because of Science at UWindsor that I got the job at King’s,” says Stephaniuk.

“The combined degrees, plus research experience and involvement I was able to get within the university: I feel like everything combined allowed me to be here.”

Stephaniuk took it upon herself to revamp the established forensic science and chemistry courses she teaches to masters’ students in the U.K. by introducing new experiments and lectures to her courses, incorporating her teaching and education experience from Windsor into her current post.

“It keeps me busy, on my toes — that is something I picked up at UWindsor because I was involved in science and recruitment simultaneously for nine years, so I’m used to always having many things on the go.”

—Sara Elliott

Because of Science at UWindsor is a series designed to showcase Faculty of Science alumni and the impact of their journey through science.

Nadia StephaniukJames GauldJeremy RawsonAlumniAcademic Area: ScienceForensics

Members of BComm Class of 1970 reunite

Tue, 06/20/2023 - 00:00

On June 15 and 16, University of Windsor alumni from the Bachelor of Commerce class of 1970 celebrated their 50-year reunion, postponed from gathering in person in 2020 due to the pandemic.

Dean of business Mitchell Fields says the class eagerly awaited the first opportunity to celebrate.

“I am so pleased this group of alumni could finally reunite for this milestone,” says Dr. Fields. “It was heartwarming to see so many of them gathered together again in fellowship.”

Reunion activities included golf, lunch, a celebratory toast to the class, and a tour of the Odette Building, concluding with dinner at Fourteen Restaurant and Sky Lounge.

The activities were organized by the Class of 1970 Reunion Committee, including alumni Terrence Connoy, Neil Donnelly, Richard Peddie, Mike Mueller, and Gus Mumby, and supported by the Odette School of Business.

Connoy says the class is a very special one and reunites every five years.

“It’s been an absolutely wonderful experience, we’ve made so many friends, and we’ve stayed in each other’s lives. It’s hard to express the joy of being with these people all these years.”

He says this will probably be the group’s last meeting but hopes that a future class will follow in their footsteps and remain as connected as they have.

“We are all grateful we had the opportunity to go to the University of Windsor,” Connoy says. “It’s been a delight.”

—Sienna Ducharme

Mitch FieldsTerrence ConnoyNeil DonnellyRichard PeddieMike MuellerGus MumbyAlumniAcademic Area: Business

Alumna honoured as community activist

Mon, 06/12/2023 - 00:38

UWindsor alumna Antonella Ciampa (BA 1989, B.Ed 1990, M.Ed 2008) is among the community leaders who will be recognized by the Windsor and District Labour Council at an awards reception Thursday, June 15.

The Gary L. Parent Labour Activist Awards, named for the council’s former president, honour volunteer work promoting environmental, social justice, human rights, and other causes.

Ciampa, an elementary teacher with the Greater Essex County District School Board, serves as first vice-president of the Greater Essex Elementary Teachers’ Federation of Ontario and chaired the council’s organizing committee for local commemoration of the Day of Mourning for workers killed or injured on the job.

“One of my favourite quotes is ‘Inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more, and become more’,” Ciampa says. “This holds true for the students I have taught and the teachers that I have guided in their education journey.”

She is being honoured in the category for advocacy for women and will receive her award at a celebratory reception Thursday, June 15.

Also earning recognition is Kevin Johnson, team lead for web communications in Public Affairs and Communications and secretary-treasurer of Local 1393 of the Canadian Union of Public Employees, for advocacy in public services.

Antonella CiampaKevin JohnsonCUPE 1393Strategic Priority: Engage in community partnershipsAlumniAcademic Area: Arts, Humanities and Social SciencesPolitical ScienceEducation