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Wanda Thomas Bernard at Convocation lecternWanda Thomas Bernard received an honorary degree at UWindsor Convocation ceremonies.

School celebrates success in social work

At a Convocation social June 4 in Windsor Hall, the School of Social Work honoured outstanding alumni, field instructors, graduate assistants, and student representatives with its inaugural awards.

Recipients included:

Wanda Thomas Bernard, Inspirational Leader Award
Dr. Thomas Bernard has been a strong advocate in combating racism and has led numerous School of Social Work events with faculty, students, community members, and staff. In addition to receiving the Inspirational Leader Award, Thomas Bernard received an honorary degree from the University of Windsor at Convocation.

Anica Butters, Outstanding Graduate Assistant Award
Butters was recognized for her demonstrated dedication to understanding the course content and motivation to engaging students in learning.

Alexandra Dermansky, Outstanding Field Instructor
Dermansky just completed her first year as a field instructor. Her nominators mentioned that she set “realistic, achievable, yet challenging goals;” helped students “improve and expand their skills;” and provided a “unique, enriching placement experience.”

Shelley Gilbert and Anya Gross, Distinguished Alumni Awards
Gilbert has worked at Legal Assistance of Windsor since 1993. She was the co-ordinator of social work services at Legal Assistance of Windsor for many years before her current role as interim executive director of the agency. She is a seasoned field instructor to many students and a frequent guest speaker on various topics at the School of Social Work.

Gilbert is a founder and co-chair of the Windsor-Essex Counter Exploitation Network. She also co-founded the Windsor Essex Sex Worker Action Group, is the co-chair and long-standing member of the Canadian Council for Refugees Anti-Human Trafficking Committee, and co-chairs the Windsor-Essex Violence Against Women Co-ordinating Committee.

The MSW for Working Professionals field team nominated Gross because of her outstanding commitment to student support. Since graduating, she has supervised more than 15 students and continues to offer additional placement opportunities each semester. She provides MSW students with learning experiences that are challenging, innovative, and responsive to community needs.

Cynthia Kandi, Outstanding Field Instructor Award
Kandi is a seasoned social worker who currently works with Hamilton Health Sciences in its Special Immunology Services Clinic. The clinic provides outpatient care for children and adults who are HIV-positive. Before joining Hamilton Health Sciences, she worked in the violence against women sector as a counsellor and transitional support worker.

Under secondment from Good Shepherd Women’s Services, she worked with in the Domestic Violence Response Team of the Catholic Children’s Aid Society in Hamilton. In addition to this, Kandi had the opportunity to work with Wesley Urban Ministries as a street outreach worker and Native Women’s Centre as a relief crisis intervention worker.

Find more information in the School of Social Work newsletter.

team members hold concrete canoeMembers of the UWindsor concrete canoe team show off their entry in a national competition.

Concrete canoe team buoyed by competition results

A lighter design helped a team of UWindsor engineering students find success in the Canadian National Concrete Canoe Competition, May 8 to 11 in Quebec.

An award for best quality canoe that could be mass-produced led the team to an overall showing of third among Ontario universities after an evaluation on academic, technical, and sports elements.

This year’s entry weighed just 250 pounds, a significant reduction from last year’s 800 pounds.

“The improvements to the design made the canoe hydrodynamic,” said fourth-year civil engineering major Jocelyn Boisimer, part of the geometric design team. “It was easier to control in the water and that was because of the different casting method compared to last year.”

The team parlayed that into success in the perimeter races, finishing sixth with women paddlers and seventh in the men’s race.

Sponsored by the Canadian Society for Civil Engineering, the competition challenges students from across the country to test their design prowess, shaping the dense material into a fully functional canoe ready to race in the water. More than 200 students from 16 Canadian universities participated.

Beyond the technical experience, the experience gave participants a chance to interact with peers from other schools, exchange ideas and learning, and bond over social activities.

Luca Quenneville, a fourth-year civil engineering student who helped determine the concrete mix, enjoyed this aspect of the event.

“The competition was fierce yet inclusive, spanning three days and culminating in a race day,” he said. “The atmosphere was charged with energy and camaraderie, as teams from various schools cheered each other on, fostering a supportive environment.”

Tricia CarmichaelChemistry professor Tricia Carmichael has been elected the Canadian Society for Chemistry’s director of equity, diversity, and inclusion.

Professor called upon to promote inclusion in chemistry

Chemistry professor Tricia Carmichael has been elected director of equity, diversity, and inclusion for the board of the Canadian Society for Chemistry.

A national, not-for-profit professional organization under the umbrella of the Chemical Institute of Canada, the society is the technical organization for Canadian chemists, bringing together professionals and students from across the country. It plays an important role in the careers of Canadian chemists by providing access to career, educational, and networking opportunities; celebrating the achievements of the membership; and advocating on behalf of the membership to the federal and provincial governments.

As director of EDI, Dr. Carmichael will chair the Working for Inclusion, Diversity, and Equity (WIDE) committee, on which she has served since 2021.

“We work on embedding EDI principles into CSC policies, and providing education, videos and other forms of outreach to the membership,” Carmichael says. “I have an amazing team of people, students and faculty from across Canada, who are all volunteering their time for this because we are passionate about it.”

Along with bringing in inclusive policies, her role will ensure EDI is a consideration throughout the society, especially focusing on the annual national conference to ensure it is accessible and inclusive to allow everyone to participate, she says.

As a member of WIDE, Carmichael chaired a subcommittee which produced documents that embed EDI principals into different policies.

She says she will continue to champion collecting self-identification information as a method to ensure a science-based approach to EDI.

“We really need data, so we know who makes up our community,” says Carmichael. “Then we can use a research-based approach to advocate for different changes to ensure the chemistry community is reflected in different activities.

“It is needed, especially for students, to show them that they belong and so that they can see representation at all levels of the chemistry community.”

CJAM CD libraryCJAM presents the Listening Room and a free album art activity, Saturday at the Artspeak Gallery.

Album art activity to highlight Walkerville walk

UWindsor alum Meaghan Sweeney (BFA 2021) will engage all comers in a fun album art activity as part of the “Listening Room,” hosted by campus community radio CJAM on Saturday, July 20.

The event, in partnership with Arts Council Windsor & Region, will run 1 to 3 p.m. at Artspeak Gallery, 1942 Wyandotte St. East.

The gallery is currently displaying “Windsor Heat,” the summer exhibition and sale by council members, featuring paintings, drawings, prints, fine crafts, CDs, books, and more.

Running in conjunction is the Walkerville Art Walk, July 19 and 20 along Wyandotte Street between Gladstone Avenue and Argyle Road. Enjoy local vendors, contests, art displays, and live entertainment.