smiling students using computerProspective students from around the world can learn about the University of Windsor from their homes on Spring Virtual Open Day, Thursday, May 16.

Online event to open campus to prospective students

Spring Virtual Open Day, Thursday, May 16, is an excellent way for prospective and admitted students from Windsor-Essex, across Canada, and around the world to learn about programs they are interested in from the comfort of their home, says Chris Busch, associate vice-president of enrolment management.

This year, the event will feature sessions in the morning and in the evening to accommodate future Lancers currently attending high school and living in different time zones.

Participants can attend a guided virtual tour of campus, watch presentations conducted by faculty members, and engage directly with professional staff and current students through video and text chat. Plus, they will have the chance to be entered to win a $1,000 tuition voucher and an entry into the grand prize draw of two semesters’ tuition fees.

Future students can sign up here to attend.

aerial image of campusThe University of Windsor has proven a refuge for a scholar at risk in his home country.

Scholar finds refuge and voice at University of Windsor

It was a long journey for one scholar to return to a university lecture hall — from facing persecution for speaking out against his government to delivering food upon seeking refuge in Canada.

A professor in his home country, the scholar, who requested not to have his name included due to safety concerns, voiced his opinions about oppression in his classroom and the media, facing dire consequences as a result.

“I was threatened, abducted, beaten. And then I had to beg for my life, and I just told them that I would just shut up,” he shared.

With encouragement from his wife, he left the country in 2020, eventually making his way to Canada where he delivered food for an app service company.

While working on a post-doctoral proposal on human rights, the scholar connected with another Canadian professor who suggested he apply for the Scholars at Risk (SAR) program, a coalition of academic institutions dedicated to safeguarding academic freedom and championing the rights of scholars worldwide. Locally, a working group was formed under the auspices of the provost’s office, comprising representatives from various campus community stakeholders.

About a year later, the scholar found out the University of Windsor was interested in hosting him through the program with a position available in the Department of Political Science.

“When I heard they wanted to meet with me, I was out of this world excited. I had been yearning for this, I wanted to be back in the classroom, I wanted to be in the office, talking with professors,” the scholar said.

He packed his bags and headed to Windsor ready to fulfill that desire. He settled into the area with help from Canterbury College, which provided him with a place to stay in July 2023 while he looked for housing.

Law professor Chris Waters, chair of the University’s SAR working group, said members were happy to welcome the colleague to campus.

“We have been incredibly impressed with his insights into the strategic studies field as well as his commitment — at real personal cost — to academic freedom,” Dr. Waters said.

Since settling at UWindsor, the scholar has taught courses on war and terrorism, populism, and comparative politics.

“The best part is that the University of Windsor lets you be who you are,” he said. “It’s wonderful. I hold progressive views which are controversial in certain contexts and for some people. The beauty of being at University of Windsor and in a progressive country is that you can hold and express those views that you think can change our society and world, a shared place for humanity for better without feeling threatened.”

While having taught in many countries around the world, with students in more than 70, the scholar said so far, the University of Windsor has been the best workplace.

He credits that to the support he’s received from staff, colleagues, and his students. He beamed with pride and appreciation while sharing a video of his students gifting him a signed Canadian flag at the end of the semester.

“I’ll keep it with me forever,” he said. “The students gave me a standing ovation after finishing my course this semester. It’s amazing, you know, I’m away from my wife and kids but I have some very good reasons to be happy and smile.”

The SAR working group welcomed a second scholar to the Faculty of Science in January. To learn more about the program, visit

baby holding bags of coffeeJack — the son of UWindsor alumni Daniel Peck and Paula van Wyk — displays samples of coffee sold to benefit research into cystic fibrosis.

Partnership brews up front in campaign against disease

Three UWindsor alumni have joined forces to give the breath of life.

Daniel Peck (BCS 2003) and kinesiology professor Paula van Wyk (MHK 2008) have been working to build awareness and fundraise on behalf of their youngest son, Jack, who lives with cystic fibrosis, a genetic condition which can hamper lung function.

Together they created Jack’s Journey, a family team supporting research into the disease. They registered last year when Jack was less than one year old as participants in the Windsor-LaSalle Walk to Make Cystic Fibrosis History, but Peck found the fundraising a challenge.

“It can be uncomfortable to just ask people to give money,” he says. “That is when I wondered if it would be possible to sell coffee with proceeds going to charity.”

And the idea for “Jack’s Java” was born.

Jake Rondot (BHK 2001) and long-time friend Dustin Stewart have a deep appreciation of the Windsor community and for coffee. Wanting to enrich the coffee drinking experience with flavours from around the globe with a proudly local brand, the two formed the RŌ_ST Coffee Company, which offers more than 20 different locally-roasted coffees for purchase online.

Although Dr. van Wyk has known Rondot for years as a sessional lecturer in the Department of Kinesiology, a member of the University of Windsor Alumni Association Board of Directors, and a supporter of the Faculty of Human Kinetics, it took one more link to complete the chain.

“My colleague Jess Dixon (MHK 2003) let me know in the fall of 2023 about RŌ_ST and until then I had no idea Jake had a coffee business,” van Wyk recalls. “I reached out to see if this idea was possible.”

Dr. Dixon is pleased to have played the role of matchmaker: “I love seeing the HK family reach beyond the classroom and make a difference in each other’s lives and the broader community.”

Once they connected with Rondot, Peck and van Wyk sampled different coffee beans and roast types from RŌ_ST, inviting friends and family for taste testing, until they landed on a favourite: a medium roast of Columbian arabica beans described as having “a soft aroma, complex sweet notes of caramel and hazelnut, and subtle hints of a fruity finish.”

Jack’s Java is available in one-pound bags in a variety of grinds; order here. Proceeds from every sale go towards the Jack’s Journey team in the Walk to Make Cystic Fibrosis History. This year’s walk is scheduled for May 26 at LaSalle’s Vollmer Complex. Learn more or donate through the charity’s website.

Rondot says his company is proud to participate: “Dustin and I are incredibly honoured to be asked and able to support Jack’s Journey and the CF community with this simple extension of work we already love doing.”

Cystic fibrosis is the most common fatal genetic disease among Canadian children and youth and there is no cure. Jack must undergo at least one hour of therapy each day, and more when he is sick — ranging from chest physiotherapy to nebulizer treatments, nasal rinses, and sprays.

He also takes nutritional supplements and medicines to compensate for his pancreas working insufficiently.

“It is not uncommon for the pharmacist to ask to confirm Jack’s med order with us because the prescriptions he has, and the dosages, are not typical for a one-year-old,” says van Wyk. “Research has already helped identify new treatments and extend life expectancies, but much more is needed to end CF.”

A celebration of Asian HeritageA networking event May 16 in the Entrepreneurship Practice and Innovation Centre will celebrate the cultural heritage of Asian communities in Canada.

Networking event to showcase Asian-owned businesses

A networking event May 16 in the Entrepreneurship Practice and Innovation Centre (EPICentre) will celebrate the cultural heritage of Asian communities in Canada and to honour the achievements and contributions of individuals of Asian origin who have played a pivotal role in shaping the nation’s identity.

“Connect For: a Celebration of Asian Heritage” will showcase entrepreneurs of Asian descent, in partnership with the Small Business and Entrepreneurship Centre and the Middle Eastern Student Association, highlighting the ingenuity, creativity, and entrepreneurial spirit of Asian innovators within the community.

It will run 4 to 6 p.m. Thursday in the EPICentre offices on the second floor of the Joyce Entrepreneurship Centre. Admission is free; register here to reserve your spot.

Kelvin Slaughter holds ginger ale and ketchup potato chipsFor his first trip to Canada, Kelvin Slaughter shows off a typical Canadian snack: ginger ale and ketchup potato chips, Friday during the African Diaspora Youth Conference.

Youth conference bridges way to future

The African Diaspora Youth Conference, May 9 to 11, opens doors for students who attend, says Larissa Turizeye.

Just finished her first year of studies in nursing, she was one of the student co-ordinators of the annual event, which brought more than 300 high school students to the UWindsor campus from across southeast Michigan and southern Ontario.

“I attended last year and I enjoyed it so much, I wanted to help out this year,” Turizeye says.

She hopes this year’s cohort will be inspired as she was to pursue higher education.

“This conference can help them get the knowledge they need to get into university,” says Turizeye.

Gabriel Lolita Peart, a Grade 11 student at West Hill Collegiate Institute in Scarborough, certainly hopes so. She wore a “Future Lancer” T-shirt during her second day in Windsor and says she was curious to learn what the University has to offer.

“I came down because I wanted to know about programs in the arts,” she says. “I got offered a chance because I am active in the Black Student Union, and the idea of a $1,000 scholarship sounds good.”

Karlo Cabrera, a principal with the Toronto District School Board responsible for equity, anti-racism, and anti-oppression, says the taste of a university experience is a draw for the conference.

“We want students to see there is a place for you here,” he says. “The fact that you have students coming from all different boards, even a different country, allows them to engage and let go of their uncertainties of how to interact with others.”

He calls the emphasis on learning about the African diaspora and the contributions of Black Canadians “identity-affirming,” adding “it provides an opportunity for the students to shine.”

One of those shining students was Kelvin Slaughter.

A senior at Detroit’s University Prep Art and Design High School, he was named among the region’s “Brightest and Best” by WXYZ television station for academic excellence.

He has looked across the river to Windsor all his life, but this conference is his first time outside the United States.

“I came because I wanted to meet people who look like me but come from a different place,” Slaughter says. “Today’s presentations taught me that if you put your dreams and aspirations into it, you’ll be successful.

“It’s all about finding the tools to build the bridge.”

Licence plate and vehicle keysCampus Parking Services will soon recognize vehicle licence plates as parking permits, eliminating the need for dashboard permits or hangtags.

Licence plate recognition to transform campus parking experience

The introduction of Licence Plate Recognition technology by Campus Parking Services will streamline parking procedures by utilizing vehicle licence plates as parking permits, eliminating the need for traditional dashboard paper permits or hangtags.

“We’ve been hard at work on this upgrade and are excited to introduce it to the UWindsor community,” says parking services administrator Laurie Butler-Grondin.

The phased rollout of the system will commence shortly. Parking Services will email clients when additional steps are required, and appreciates their co-operation during this transition.