Batool Yahya paints a mural of a dog in a chef hatBatool Yahya puts some finishing touches on a mural she designed with art student Andrea Niven for the space outside the Feeding Windsor Essex Pet Food Bank.

Student mural to grace public space

Andrea Niven, a third-year BFA visual arts student in the School of Creative Arts, has just completed a mural project near the intersection of Drouillard Road and Whelpton Street to benefit the Feeding Windsor Essex Pet Food Bank and its Good Deed Grill.

Niven worked collaboratively with local artist Batool Yahya, who helped to secure a Windsor Arts and Heritage grant for 2024. The duo designed and planned the mural which helps to make the charity’s barbecue and outdoor fundraiser space more inviting. With assistance from local artists Anne Rino and Rachel (Maiingan) Edgerton, they completed the mural on May 1. It will be publicly celebrated on Sunday, May 26, during the Drouillard Vintage Flea Market.

“There was so much support from the community and kind words of praise and encouragement from those who passed by,” says Niven. “One gentleman on a motorcycle said he’d be back for a photo op with his dog.

Niven proposed and completed the project as an assignment for her third-year class in Art in Public Spaces.

“There are many fantastic proposals that come from this course but few that have the timing, funding, and enthusiasm needed to bring them to completion in such a short time,” says professor Lee Rodney. “This was an exceptionally generous project that Andrea has devoted her time and energies toward, and it demonstrates what can happen when artists collaborate within the community.”

Kaitlyn Karns, a secretary in the School of Creative Arts and executive director of the Ford City Business Improvement Association, extended congratulations to Niven and the other artists involved.

“We love to see this amazing work that adds vibrancy to the neighbourhood,” Karns says. “I have heard nothing but positive comments from the surrounding businesses in the area.”

North Star resourcesA new resource of the Leddy Library provides a gateway to materials of local Black history.

Black history portal showcases local resources

The Leddy Library is launching a new resource that provides a single-entry point to a host of existing Black history resources. “North Star: A Portal for Black History in Windsor-Essex and Chatham-Kent” serves as a gateway to exhibits, historic local landmarks, published works, archival materials, and educational resources, consolidating decades of collaborative research efforts into a single, user-friendly platform.

“Over the past decade or so, the team at Leddy Library has collaborated with historians and Black community members on several grant-funded digital exhibit projects that showcase Black history in Windsor-Essex and Chatham-Kent, and we created this portal to make them more accessible to the community,” said the library’s archivist, Sarah Glassford.

The portal brings together existing Black history projects such as Breaking the Colour Barrier: Wilfred “Boomer” Harding & the Chatham Coloured All-Stars, The North was Our Canaan: Exploring Sandwich Town's Underground Railroad History, Across the River to Freedom: Early Black History in Sandwich, Ontario and We Were Here: Recovering the Stories of Windsor's McDougall Street Corridor. It also points to rare books and archival materials that are housed in Leddy Library’s Archives & Special Collections as well as local areas of historic significance.

In collaboration with the Essex County Black Historical Research Society, the library began the development of the portal in 2023 and was supported by the University of Windsor SSHRC Explore grant which provided funds to hire a graduate student.

Willow Key, a researcher completing her final year of master’s studies in history, was selected to help conceive the portal, specifically its design and purpose. In addition, she compiled research and resources to create a detailed annotated bibliography for students, community members, and researchers to locate resources related to Black history and community in Southwestern Ontario.

“A portal such as this will hopefully encourage residents, researchers, and students to explore the many digital and in-person resources that are currently available to the public and spark interest in the amazing work being done to preserve and promote Black history in the region,” said Key. “I hope this portal serves the community as a tool to further support family genealogical projects, independent research, or planning a day to visit important museums and sites.”

The title “North Star” was chosen as it pays homage to the region’s role as a terminus on the Underground Railroad, when 19th-century African-American freedom-seekers followed the star Polaris on their perilous journey north to freedom from slavery.

“We envision North Star as not only a repository of past narratives but also as a catalyst for ongoing dialogue and discovery,” added librarian Heidi Jacobs. “By spotlighting the remarkable efforts of local historians, educators, and community activists, we aim to ignite a renewed sense of appreciation for our shared heritage and encourage future generations to champion inclusivity and social justice.”

Glassford hopes the portal will help direct users to the existing collection of Black history resources and learning opportunities in Windsor-Essex and Chatham-Kent and showcase the wide array of people, places, and resources that tell the stories of African-descended peoples in the region.

“We want to support and highlight the great work that has already been done, make it easy for people to find it, and encourage ongoing research and engagement with these stories in the future.”

Explore “North Star: A Portal for Black History in Windsor-Essex and Chatham-Kent” online.

marimba with images of klezmer musicians superimposedMusic professor Nicholas Papador will discuss and demonstrate klezmer in a free public presentation May 28.

Klezmer music subject of discussion and performance

Klezmer music is not just a genre, says professor Nicholas Papador, it’s a living history that continues to evolve and inspire.

In a free public presentation Tuesday, May 28, he will discuss its history and offer a sampling of the melodies he published in his recent book, Vessels of Song: A Collection of Klezmer Suites for Mallet Ensemble.

The term klezmer is Yiddish, derived from the Hebrew words klei, meaning vessel or instrument, and zemer, meaning song, together signifying “vessel of song” or “musical instrument.”

The traditional folk music of the Ashkenazi Jewish people of the shtetls of Central and Eastern Europe, it began in the Middle Ages as a form of dance music at weddings. After evolving, absorbing elements of other musical traditions, and being widely and popularly performed throughout the continent in subsequent centuries, it declined by the mid-20th century after the devastation of Jewish communities in the Holocaust. Since the 1970s, klezmer has experienced a revival.

Dr. Papador’s presentation, entitled “Vessels of Song: Origins, Decline, and Renaissance of Klezmer Music,” is presented by the Windsor University Retirees’ Association at 2:30 p.m. Tuesday both online and in person in the Performance Hall, SoCA Armouries.

Find more detail and a link to the Zoom stream on the association’s web site.

Connor Sykes and Elisa Mitton holding trophiesConnor Sykes and Elisa Mitton were honoured by Ontario University Athletics at its awards ceremony for sports promotions.

Athletics promotions team honoured by provincial peers

The athletics department has been recognized by Ontario University Athletics for successes off the playing field, winning awards for Best Social Media Account and Best Video Feature during the 2023-24 CHAMP Awards (Celebrating and Honouring Achievements in Marketing and Promotions), May 15 in Niagara-on-the-Lake.

The Lancer Instagram account, @WindsorLancers, grew by 230 per cent over the past year, thanks to a plan that kept fans, teams, and community engaged and involved throughout the season, says sports information co-ordinator Elisa Mitton.

“Our social media team is very proud of the content that we produced each and every week for our Lancer family,” Mitton says. “I, personally, am so proud of our student team who showed so much dedication to our department and our goals by putting in countless hours every weekend so that we could produce and release the amazing content that we did.”

The story of a Lancer women’s hockey player overcoming thyroid cancer, Maggie Mitani: Battling Through Adversity, was named best video feature. Produced by Connor Sykes, the profile captured the hearts of everyone in the league, pulled at viewers’ heartstrings, and provided perspective into how precious life is.

Students from the University of Windsor and Western University pose in front of the European Commission’s Berlaymont buildingStudents from the University of Windsor and Western University pose in front of the European Commission’s Berlaymont building, in the heart of the European quarter in Brussels, Belgium.

Trip to Brussels sprouts insight into European Union

A trip to Brussels to learn about the European Union surpassed the expectations of fourth-year political science major Taylor Lafontaine.

He was one of 14 UWindsor students accompanying six from Western University on EU Study Abroad, a political science course taught by Stephen Brooks. The trip earlier this month was the 14th led by Dr. Brooks.

“The experience has been amazing in all respects,” Lafontaine said. “Although there was certainly a novelty to being in Europe, my trip was truly informative and worthwhile in ways that I did not expect.”

For two weeks, students were involved in the experiential learning program and immersed in the culture of EU politics, where they participated in briefings from policy-makers, administrators, diplomats, journalists, and non-governmental organization researchers at their places of work.

Overall, the students took part in approximately 40 hours of educational and cultural activities, including meetings with officials of all the major EU institutions and NATO; the United Kingdom, Chinese, German, and Turkish missions to the EU; and spokespersons for NGOs including International Crisis Group, Human Rights Watch, and the anti-human trafficking group Payoke; and Matina Stevis-Gridneff, the New York Times EU bureau chief.

Cultural activities included tours of Leuven and Antwerp, a visit to the House of European History, hiking in the Flemish countryside immortalized by landscape painter Pieter Bruegel, a tour of the Stella Artois brewery in its original location, and a sobering visit to the Nazi transit camp Fort Breendonk that drove home the original and continuing reason for the European integration project.

Misha Gagnidze, entering his fourth year in international relations and development studies, recommends the experience to future students.

“The program was an amazing experience which opened me up to new perspectives and insight into the workings of international relations,” he said. “It was great to meet new people and those who play a part on the global political landscape.”

Students received scholarships from the University of Windsor’s Go Global STEPs program to participate in this opportunity. Go Global STEPs is a Global Skills Opportunity project that is funded by Employment and Social Development Canada and administered jointly by Universities Canada and Colleges and Institutes Canada.

hands clasped in meditationThe Student Counselling Centre presents a Midweek Mindfulness Hour each summer Wednesday.

Weekly session to promote mindfulness

The Student Counselling Centre presents the Midweek Mindfulness Hour in room 240 of the CAW Student Centre every Wednesday from 2:30 to 3:30 p.m. This offers students a space to disconnect for an hour each week to participate in a mindfulness activity.

Mindfulness and meditation practices are a good way to relieve stress and focus on what is happening in the moment, says group therapy co-ordinator Brianna Valenzuela.

“Our hope is that students take the skills they learn and apply it in their everyday lives to manage their stress levels during busy semesters,” she says.

Each week will feature different mindfulness and meditation activities.

Students are welcome to sign up for all sessions or choose those of most interest to them. Register through the Student Counselling Centre in the student centre’s room, email, or phone 519-255-3000, ext. 4616.

The summer schedule is:

  • May 29, Mindfulness Walk
  • June 5, Gratitude Journalling
  • June 12, Progressive muscle relaxation
  • June 26, Mindful Art
  • July 3, Mindfulness Walk
  • July 10, Gratitude Journalling
  • July 17, Body Scan
  • July 24, Mindful Art
  • July 31, Mindfulness Walk
  • Aug. 7, Gratitude Journalling
  • Aug. 14, Mindfulness Kit
  • Aug. 21, Mindful Art
  • Aug. 28, Mindfulness in the school year
tour group outside Leddy LibraryNew students in the Master of Engineering program tour campus as part of orientation activities May 3.

Summer orientation welcomes a new cohort of Master of Engineering students

Peter Frise, associate dean of engineering for professional programs, welcomed Master of Engineering students at an orientation session on Friday, May 3.

The day included presentations on academic policies, course requirements, faculty advising, students’ rights, peer support, and mentorship, followed by a campus tour provided by the representatives of the Engineering Society and lunch at the campus Whamburg location.

Students finished the orientation with a bingo game run by alumni development co-ordinator RJ Sivanesan as an icebreaker to help people get to know each other and have a little fun as they build their community at the University of Windsor.

“Windsor Engineering is delighted to welcome our incoming Master of Engineering students who have chosen Canada from many countries all over the world,” Dr. Frise says.

“The MEng program is a gateway to advanced engineering excellence. It is a great example of higher education and provides a strong foundation for students to expand their technical expertise and develop professional skills.”

He calls the program more than simply an academic pursuit: “the MEng degree is a life-changing opportunity that gives students the knowledge and abilities to succeed in the engineering industry in Canada.”

The orientation sessions demonstrate the University’s commitment to student achievement, paving the way for a successful future for all MEng candidates, says Frise.

“Through its demanding academic program, state-of-the-art resources, and nurturing campus community, students are equipped to tackle the challenges posed by the dynamic environment in industry.”

The next cohort of students will be welcomed in September for the fall 2024 term. Learn more about the Master of Engineering program.

Canterbury College takes on new principal

Rev. Jennifer Boyes-Garbin has accepted the position of principal of Canterbury College, effective May 6.

Dr. Boyes-Garbin recently retired from the position of national pastor and regional minister for Canada with the Christian Church, Disciples of Christ. She comes to Canterbury with a wealth of experience, a strong background in leading community engagement, and a passion for higher education.

Interim principal Bruce Tucker will stay on until the end of May to assist with the transition. The Board of Directors and staff express gratitude for his time and dedication over the last nine months and look forward to the exciting things that lie ahead with Boyes-Garbin’s acceptance of this role.

A reception to welcome Boyes-Garbin and introduce her to members of the Deanery of Essex and the broader University of Windsor community is being planned for September when the new school year begins. Details will be provided at a later date.