conceptual drawing of ramp leading to entrance of HK buildingA ramp structure now under construction will make the front entrance of the Human Kinetics Building more accessible.

Construction begins on inclusive entrance for Human Kinetics Building

Work is underway to transform the front entrance of the Human Kinetics Building into an inclusive and welcoming space for all.

The project was boosted by $722,800 from the Government of Canada’s Enabling Accessibility Fund, which supports projects that make Canadian communities and workplaces more accessible for persons with disabilities, says Kaye Johnson, executive director of the UWindsor Office of Human Rights, Equity and Accessibility.

“This support has allowed us to embark on a remarkable journey towards creating an entrance that not only grants access to all individuals, but also enhances their overall experience arriving on campus,” she says.

“It will serve as a visible testament to our unwavering dedication to fostering a welcoming and inclusive environment for our students, staff, faculty, visitors, guests, and the entire community.”

The total cost of the project, expected to be complete this fall, is estimated at $2 million.

Its features include an accessible ramp structure with resting areas, benches, recessed lighting, light posts, and a snow melting system to keep the surfaces safe during inclement weather. New stairs will meet accessibility standards and provide options for users. The entrance will have four new doors equipped with push button actuators and guardrails

Linda Rohr, dean of the Faculty of Human Kinetics, calls it “a difference maker” for students and the community: “I rarely like to comment on behalf of everyone, but I am confident everyone is beyond excited about this project.”

strategic plan, Aspire: Together for Tomorrow.The Aspire strategic plan is now available online or in print.

Aspire strategic plan available for download or pickup

Earlier this spring, the University of Windsor's Board of Governors and Senate approved the institution’s next strategic plan, Aspire: Together for Tomorrow.

The Aspire strategic plan is now available on the project website for viewing and download. Printed copies of the document will be available for pickup in the CAW Student Centre atrium between 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. from Tuesday to Friday, May 23 to 26.

President Robert Gordon describes the plan as being built on a commitment to better celebrate, support, and recognize people so that they can lead, learn, serve, and thrive.

“Continuing to build on the institution’s transformative potential is key to the University of Windsor’s future,” said Dr. Gordon. “In the months to come, there will be opportunities to further this work together through the various cascading plans and strategies development. Thank you to everyone who engaged with the Aspire strategic planning process.”

For more details, visit the website.

two young women in convocation robes raising hands in celebrationVolunteer at Convocation to make the occasion memorable for graduands and their guests.

Volunteers to make Convocation special for grads and guests

Convocation is a special time for graduates, their families and friends, and the entire University community.

The Volunteer at Convocation program invites UWindsor faculty and staff to help make graduation ceremonies memorable for alumni in the making. A joint project of the Department of Human Resources and the Office of the Registrar, it recruits employees to welcome guests, usher them to their seats, and answer any questions.

The 119th University of Windsor Convocation will be held at the Toldo Lancer Centre over 11 sessions from May 30 to June 2.

To sign up as a volunteer, complete the online Volunteer at Convocation form by Wednesday, May 24.

book cover: Heritage Buildings of AmherstburgMeg Reiner, author of Heritage Buildings of Amherstburg, is one of the featured presenters for “Heritage Preservation in your Community,” the latest entry in the Alumni Meet-ups series, Wednesday, May 24.

Alumni Meet-up to focus on heritage preservation

How and why to protect buildings and objects that contribute to historical understanding and appreciation is the subject of a panel discussion Wednesday, May 24.

Moderated by Amherstburg mayor Michael Prue, the panel will feature:

  • Meg Reiner, author of Heritage Buildings of Amherstburg;
  • Dorian Moore, sessional instructor in the UWindsor Visual Arts and the Built Environment program;
  • Adam Coates, senior planner for heritage, urban design, and community improvement for the Town of Amherstburg; and
  • Richard Peddie, local community builder and owner of the River Bookshop.

Part of the Alumni Meet-ups series of monthly chats on interesting topics organized by the University of Windsor Alumni Association in partnership with the River Bookshop, “Heritage Preservation in your Community” is free and open to all. It will begin at 6:30 p.m. in the Hole in the Wall, the community space above the shop at 67 Richmond St. in Amherstburg.

Find more details and register to attend on the event website.

Welcome CentreThe University of Windsor will work with the Windsor-Essex County Health Unit in pursuing three new Canada Research Chairs focused on public health.

Health unit a partner in Canada Research Chair applications

The University of Windsor will work with the Windsor-Essex County Health Unit in pursuing three new Canada Research Chairs focused on public health.

It’s an example of the commitment to leveraging their collective strengths the two institutions announced in August 2022, says Chris Houser, UWindsor interim vice-president for research and innovation.

“Our partnership with the health unit is already presenting exciting research opportunities on campus and for the region,” Dr. Houser says. “This will bring leading experts in health disparities, biostatistics, and environmental genomics to make us leaders in public health in Canada.”

The positions are to be embedded in the faculties of science, human kinetics, and arts, humanities, and social sciences.

“Prioritizing three Canada Research Chairs to better understand important areas of public health concern will provide our team of professionals enhanced opportunities to support better health for all,” says health unit chief executive officer Ken Blanchette.

The Canada Research Chairs program centres a national strategy to make Canada one of the world’s top countries in research and development. It invests approximately $311 million per year to attract and retain talent in engineering and the natural sciences, health sciences, humanities, and social sciences.

UWindsor degree mapped out alumna’s future

Larisa JohnstoneSelf-described “map geek” Larisa Johnstone (BA 1998) says her time studying geographic information system (GIS) courses at the University of Windsor led to a lifetime love of all things map related.

“The GIS came from my interest in maps and remote sensing and satellite imaging,” says Johnstone. “I found it amazing that you could discover your world using satellites and photographs.”

GIS connects data to a map by incorporating the location of things or data with descriptive information. What is GIS to Johnstone? To describe the field, she starts with a saying from leading mapping and spatial analytics software company Esri: “GIS is the science of where,” and expands from there.

“You are taking the world around you, and you are relating it to everything else around you,” Johnstone says. “Where you are — how is that related to everything else and what relationships can you build with that? It can be anything, like how is me sitting here now affecting our water supply, our electrical supply, or our food consumption? All of these things are relative to each other.”

Her former geography professor, Placido La Valle, knew Johnstone loved field work and pushed her toward GIS courses.

“I took every course they offered,” she says.

“I found it really interesting that I could use it to study real world problems. I saw the power of GIS. With all the data that we had I could create scenarios to determine the best place to plant trees, best place to invest money for a business development, and everything in between. I think it was pivotal for me taking those GIS courses to get to where I am right now.”

Johnstone is currently a GIS data analyst with the City of Windsor. She has also served as a parks operation asset analyst with the city, a junior draftsperson at a land surveyors, and a GIS tech with Essex Region Conservation Authority digitizing watersheds, and mapping flood lines.

Because of Science“My career now is 100 per cent related to my education and I’m so grateful my education got me to where I am right now,” she says. “My GIS training at UWindsor was essential in me getting this position and that’s because of Science at UWindsor.”

In her current role, she says draws on her ecology background as well as her GIS knowledge.

“I’ve taken my training and knowledge in GIS and I’ve put it to in use because we do projects here that help the snake population. I’m involved in creating those apps and maps; that is my contribution.”

Johnstone completed an environmental resource management degree with a specialization in aquatic ecology and GIS. Now the University of Windsor’s School of Environment in the Faculty of Science offers a GIS certificate.

Johnstone is also a GIS ambassador for Esri.

“I go into high schools and colleges to talk about my career and experiences. My goal is to get women more involved in the science, especially GIS.”

—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.

Vanessa Pidutti taking measurements of vial of yellow liquidVanessa Pidutti, a fourth-year movement science major, collects and analyzes urine samples during a research project in Costa Rica.

Study abroad experience includes research component

Kinesiology students on a study abroad course in Costa Rica led by instructor Chantal Vallée started the second half of their trip in the Faculty of Human Movement at the National University of Costa Rica.

The students applied their knowledge of kinesiology and sport by developing and facilitating a four-hour education program targeting physical literacy in children aged 6 to 12, as well as individuals from teenagers to adults with disabilities.

Six members of the UWindsor delegation participated in a community aquathlon as a relay team that completed five rounds of 200m swim and 1.5km run. Fourth-year student Natalie Adam placed first overall as a solo participant.

During the aquathlon, UWindsor students collected heart rate and urine samples for a research project on dehydration that will compare Canadian and Costa Rican physical output.

The trip concluded with a few days of fun as students visited the Poas volcano, Jaco beach, and the rainforest for a hike alongside a class of science students led by Chris Houser.

Rabbi Elizabeth GoldsteinRabbi Elizabeth Goldstein will present “From Purity and Impurity to Us and Them” at Congregation Beth El on Saturday, May 27.

Search for justice subject of presentation

There was a time in ancient Jewish history when non-Jews were considered “impure,” says Rabbi Elizabeth Goldstein, although this belief died out before the first century CE.

“Today the boundary between Jew and non-Jew is pretty clearly defined, even as we love our non-Jewish neighbours,” she says. “Yet new issues constantly emerge that challenge the careful balance we strive to create.”

Dr. Goldstein is an associate professor of religious studies at Gonzaga University, specializing in Hebrew Bible and Jewish women’s studies. She draws on biblical teaching in her presentation “From Purity and Impurity to Us and Them” at Congregation Beth El on Saturday, May 27.

“What can the Torah’s ancient system teach us about the contemporary categories of ‘us’ and ‘them’?” says Goldstein. “How should we use this wisdom to achieve what is just and right?”

The “Shavuot Study with the Scholar” event, sponsored by the Stephen Jarislowsky Chair in Religion and Conflict at Assumption University, the Jewish Community Endowment Fund of Windsor, and Congregation Beth El, begins at 1:30 p.m.

Congregation Beth El is located at 2525 Mark Ave. Attendance via the Zoom videoconference platform is available to registrants. Click here to register online.

Najee Brown-Henderson makes play in Lancer uniformFans can watch Najee Brown-Henderson debut with the Brampton Honey Badgers when the Canadian League Basketball League team opens its 2023 campaign Wednesday.

Lancer basketball player to make pro debut

Saying he is “excited and happy” to be playing for the Brampton Honey Badgers, Lancer basketball star Najee Brown-Henderson will open his professional career with the defending Canadian League Basketball League champions on Wednesday, May 24.

The team will travel to Ottawa to take on the BlackJacks in their season opener, which will be televised nationally on TSN 4 and 5. Game time is 7:30 p.m.

glute-hamstring developerA glute-hamstring developer is one of the fitness items offered for sale by bid.

University offers fitness equipment for sale

The University has declared fitness equipment items for sale by bid as Disposal File 1099.

The available items include: a weight tree and a kettle bell rack, both from Life Fitness, and a decline bench, a squat rack, a weight plate holder, a glute-hamstring raiser/developer, and a flat bench — all from Hammer Strength. Click here for details.