Michael K. Potter, Joey Ouellette, and Fay LynnMichael K. Potter, Joey Ouellette, and Fay Lynn are principals in the eight-episode comedy series (up)Staged, set to begin filming next month.

Project aims to demonstrate value of local artists

Art is labour and artists need to be paid for doing it, says Michael K. Potter.

A learning specialist in the Centre for Teaching and Learning, he is heading up a project to demonstrate the value of investing in local talent.

Potter is the executive producer of (up)Staged, an eight-episode mockumentary-style comedy series about the trials and tribulations of an independent regional theatre company. The production will employ a cast and crew of more than 50 people and is slated to start principal photography in June.

“When I first arrived in Windsor, I was amazed at the creative community here,” Potter says. “But there is this cultural assumption in Windsor that artists should work for free. If we want to realize the potential of the arts, we need to treat it as an industry worth investing in.”

He points to the graduates of arts programs in secondary schools as well as the University and St. Clair College, so many of whom feel they must relocate to make a living.

“We have to give our young people reasons to stay here,” says Potter. “There are economic benefits across the board. When we build up the arts, there are all sorts of ancillary industries that grow up around them.”

(up)Staged follows a fictionalized version of the Windsor-based theatre company Post Productions and its venue the Shadowbox Theatre, managed by Potter with partner Fay Lynn. The two created and wrote the series with Joey Ouellette, artistic director of the Purple Theatre Company, in 2021. The trio has spent the intervening three years strategizing, organizing, and networking.

Potter is especially pleased to have developed a partnership with the Windsor Centre for Film, Digital Media, and the Creative Arts and its president Amanda Gellman, who served as UWindsor vice-president for university advancement from 2004 to 2008.

“It represents an enormous vote of confidence in the project and a lot of trust from someone we greatly respect,” he says.

In addition to his behind-the-scenes roles, Potter plays a fictionalized version of himself: a blind double-amputee who directs, produces, and acts.

“Disabled people are human subjects, not objects of pity or inspiration,” he says. “Using disabled people for inspiration is just as dehumanizing and offensive because it also ignores the fact that disabled people are just trying to live their lives.”

Ultimately, he hopes that the show makes audiences laugh.

“First and foremost, we want to be funny,” says Potter. “We cram in every kind of comedy one can imagine — from the zany and silly to the whimsical, from slapstick and pratfalls to irony and wit, from situation comedy to sheer absurdism.”

And finally, he wants (up)Staged to jumpstart some investment.

“It’s showcasing what people in Windsor can do, demonstrating the potential for growth in this industry, and showing proof of concept for taking creative endeavour seriously.”

The company has launched a Kickstarter fundraising campaign to solicit public support, and is actively seeking grants, sponsorships, and investments from local business leaders. Learn more on the project website.

Collage of Kristen Thomasen, Ali Hammoudi, Daniel Del Gobbo, Joshua Sealy-Harrington, and Daniel Rohde.New law faculty (top) Kristen Thomasen, Ali Hammoudi, Daniel Del Gobbo, (bottom) Joshua Sealy-Harrington, and Daniel Rohde.

Windsor Law adds justice seekers to faculty

Five legal scholars are bringing their research and teaching experiences to tenured and tenure track positions in the Faculty of Law.

Taking up appointments July 1 are:

  • Kristen Thomasen, who explores the legal and social impacts of automated technologies with a particular focus on equity and anti-oppression;
  • Ali Hammoudi, an expert in labour rights and history with a particular interest in the Middle East;
  • Daniel Del Gobbo, an experienced litigator whose research borrows concepts from feminist and queer theory, critical race theory, law and emotions, and law and humanities;
  • Joshua Sealy-Harrington, whose career exemplifies a sophisticated approach to legal scholarship and an unparalleled commitment to social justice; and
  • Daniel Rohde, whose scholarly pursuits delve into the legal evolution and framework of Canadian currency and banking institutions.

Learn more about each of these faculty members on the Windsor Law website.

Roger RivardRoger Rivard first joined the UWindsor staff in May 1974.

Staffer marks half-century of service

Roger J. Rivard knows he’s here for a reason.

Project administrator in Facility Services, he has seen a lot of changes over his 50-year UWindsor career.

Rivard celebrated the 50th anniversary of his hiring on May 21. After completing studies in construction tech at St. Clair College, he joined the University’s staff in 1974 as an estimator, then a draftsman-estimator, contributing to the construction or renovation of a number of buildings added to campus since then.

“When you’re here long enough, you see the cycle of changes,” he says. “New deans and department heads want things set up in a new way, meaning I have been able to have an impact into a lot of designs.”

He has enjoyed the work and the collegiality he shares with co-workers: “We’re all here to help out one another.”

And although the campus culture has its ups and downs, Rivard notes his priorities have remained constant.

“I’m here for the students, then the faculty, then the staff.”

Colleagues extended congratulations on this milestone through an online group greeting card. Read the messages and add one here.

Motorcyclists in Thunder Road showroomA motorcycle tour of Essex County will raise funds for prostate cancer research Sunday, May 26.

Community support boosts prostate cancer research opportunities

The research team of biomedical sciences professor Lisa Porter will receive $30,000 from the Prostate Cancer Fight Foundation and the 2024 Ride for Dad for prostate cancer research.

“Quality research takes time and funding, and it is not possible without significant community effort,” says Dr. Porter, a core principal member of the WE-Spark Health Institute.

“Ride for Dad continues to invest in local research and the impact on improving patient outcomes is incredible.”

These funds will enable Porter’s lab to investigate prevention and treatment of an aggressive form of metastatic prostate cancer called neuroendocrine prostate cancer (NEPC).

“NEPC is resistant to all current therapies, but our lab has found a class of proteins that are elevated in NEPC, and we have exciting evidence to support that these proteins have the potential to drive progression to this drug-resistant form of disease,” says Porter.

“For the one-year project, we’ll test the hypothesis that repurposing drugs capable of blocking these proteins will prevent the progression of disease to NEPC and will be effective primary therapies against this aggressive disease.”

The Windsor Motorcycle Ride for Dad charity has raised over $1.1 million for the fight against prostate cancer. On Sunday, May 26, motorcyclists will tour Essex County to raise money and awareness of the disease.

“The proceeds from our annual events are invested in ground-breaking prostate cancer research and life-saving public awareness campaigns of the disease and the importance of early detection,” says Cori Miles, co-chair of the Windsor Motorcycle Ride for Dad.

The Windsor-Essex ride kicks off Sunday at Thunder Road Harley-Davidson. Registration is from 7 to 9:50 a.m. and kickstands up at 10 a.m. Projects across Canada fund ground-breaking prostate cancer research and life-saving awareness campaigns to benefit the area where the money is raised.

Director of Institutional Analysis to step down after nearly 35 years with University

After a long and distinguished career as the executive director of Institutional Analysis, Rose Zanutto will embark on a new chapter as she steps down from her role.

With nearly 35 years of dedicated service to the University, Zanutto will transition into retirement, effective July 1.

“Rose is a stalwart champion of the University, a great colleague, and a true expert when it comes to institutional data and the Ontario post-secondary context,” said Beverly Hamilton, chief of staff for the University of Windsor’s president. “We are all going to miss her knowledgeable guidance, but I hope this next phase of her life will be amazing!”

In addition to her administrative role, Zanutto also is an alumna, having graduated with a Bachelor of Commerce in 1983.

The Office of Institutional Analysis plays an important part in facilitating evidence-based decision-making and strategic planning by providing comprehensive analyses and data-driven insights on various aspects of the University’s operations, says provost Robert Aguirre.

“Rose’s portfolio is large and complex, involving data analysis for the University, a key role in budget and enrolment planning, and government relations, among many other important files,” Dr. Aguirre says. “Rose exemplifies the Office of Institutional Analysis’ mission of advancing the strategic goals of the University by providing leadership and direction for institutional data and analyses.”

Her team in the Office of Institutional Analysis likes to call Zanutto the “source of truth,” they wrote in a tribute to her expertise: “Her wisdom, mentorship, and keen ability to make sense of vast amounts of data and information will be profoundly missed yet will continue to inspire us all. Cheers to a richly deserved encore after a lifetime of tireless service.”

A celebration for Zanutto will take place on the afternoon of Wednesday, June 26.

Linda Alrefaee and Hanan ZahraLinda Alrefaee and Hanan Zahra display medals they received at the Outstanding Scholars gala May 3.

Outstanding Scholars gala honours student and faculty achievements

The first Outstanding Scholars Gala and Annual Awards Ceremony hosted family, friends, peers, and colleagues May 3 to celebrate the achievements of graduating students and award winners from the program, which provides undergraduate students with six paid research placements, peer mentorship initiatives, scholarship advising, social events, leadership curriculum, and publishing opportunities.

“I am delighted to see the work of the Outstanding Scholars students and faculty celebrated. They are the underpinning framework for much of the undergraduate research work at the University of Windsor,” says program lead Tim Brunet.

The gala was organized by the Outstanding Scholars Gala Committee and the Outstanding Scholars Student Council.

Council president Hannah Ferasol, an integrative biology major, says the ceremony is a new tradition she hopes to see grow.

“I am inspired every day by my peers and was so glad to be able to help plan an event that celebrated their achievements,” she says. “I look forward to the upcoming year to continue this new celebration of excellence.”

Awards conferred at the event include:

  • Outstanding Scholars candidate – Victorieuse Sambao
  • Second-year student – Nicole Vanier
  • Third-year student – Rohan Talukdar
  • Fourth-year student – Tim Igbokwe
  • Student research award – Eeesha Atikkuke
  • Leadership award – Jeannette Vanier
  • Alumni Recognition award – Anita Hu
  • Outstanding Principal investigator award – Rebecca Major
  • Research Mentor award – faculty member Ofelia Jianu and student Alan Cieslukowski
  • Peer Mentor award – Hanan Zahra
scrabble tiles spelling FundingApply now for awards through the University Diversity, Indigeneity, and Anti-Racism Professional Development Funds.

Applications open for funding in Indigeneity and anti-racist pedagogy

Applications are now open for the June 2024 disbursement of awards through the University Diversity, Indigeneity, and Anti-Racism Professional Development Funds.

Awards of up to $5,000 — and more, depending on availability — are open to UWindsor faculty and librarians. Applications are due by June 21.

Find more information, including the application form, on the Office of the Vice-President, Equity, Diversity & Inclusion website.

Cheryl PaglioneFriends and colleagues of Cheryl Paglione will celebrate her retirement at an open house reception on Friday, June 14.

Reception to celebrate retirement of Cheryl Paglione

An open house reception on Friday, June 14, will celebrate the retirement of Cheryl Paglione, executive director of pensions, benefits, and the Human Resources Information System.

Paglione started with the University of Windsor in 2002 and over the last 20 years has led the administration of the University’s pension and benefits plans and the Human Resources Information System. In addition, she oversaw the Office of Health & Safety for an eight-year period.

Friends and colleagues will gather to wish her well from 3 to 5 p.m. June 14 in room 4108, Leddy Library.

Sign an online card of congratulations here. To contribute towards a gift, e-transfer to Bridget Aguilar at bridget_brown@hotmail.com.