Sylwia BorawskiNursing student and Governor General Award recipient Sylwia Borawski credits personal experience for her academic journey.

Governor General’s Silver Medallist plans to pay it forward

At 13 years old, Sylwia Borawski received an unexpected diagnosis that would change her life.

As her doctor explained that she had Type 1 Diabetes, little did Borawski realize that the care she was to receive from an emergency room nurse and hospital staff would influence her scholarly journey and help fuel her drive for academic excellence.

Today, the BScN graduand will be honoured at Convocation with the Governor General Silver Medal, given annually to an outstanding graduating honours student on the basis of academic performance. In addition, Borawski is receiving the Board of Governors Medal in nursing, a feat she accomplished in 2021 and 2022.

“It comes as no surprise that Sylwia is receiving this recognition,” says Debbie Sheppard- LeMoine, dean of the Faculty of Nursing. “Over the years, Sylwia has demonstrated a passion for knowledge, leadership, and penchant for research. She’s beloved by her peers because she genuinely cares for others, and we are thrilled she is capping her undergraduate experience with these honours.”

Borawski humbly views her accomplishments as a combination of family encouragement, personal drive, the Faculty of Nursing’s support system, and that life-altering moment in the hospital in February 2014.

“The compassionate care I received by nurses during my hospital stay inspired me to pay it forward as a future nurse myself,” says Borawski. “I still remember how the ER nurse took the time to sit with my parents and draw on the bedsheets to explain how exogenous insulin would work in my body as I received a life-long treatment.”

A first-generation student, Borawski credits her parents with making significant personal and professional sacrifices, immigrating to Canada to provide the opportunities she was able to enjoy.

“They instilled a strong work ethic in me from a young age and always taught me to help others if I was able to, and nursing, in the simplest terms, is all about helping others through their most vulnerable times,” she adds.

Assistant professor and NP clinical placement co-ordinator Gina Pittman points out that Borawski, an Outstanding Scholar and student peer mentor, will be a welcome addition to the nursing profession because she is naturally composed, patient, caring, and compassionate.

For Borawski, her experience is coming full circle.

“In looking back at my journey personally and academically and applying it to the future, if I can make this kind of difference in even one patient’s life, I will feel like I have made meaningful impact,” says Borawski.

Convocation continues through Friday at the Toldo Lancer Centre; tune in to view the livestream of each session at

—Gam Macasaet

kits of decodable books and associated learning materialsDecodable books, like these added to the Essex County Library through the support of the Faculty of Education, foster literacy among emergent and struggling readers.

Faculty of Education aids county libraries in promoting literacy

Support from the Faculty of Education has helped the Essex County Library system add materials that will foster literacy among emergent and struggling readers.

The library had received a grant from the International Dyslexia Association to fund the purchase of decodable books: texts that have specific letter-sound relationships that have been directly taught and encourage children to sound out words. The Faculty of Education doubled the grant, allowing for the addition of hundreds of high-quality materials to their circulation.

The books will support the application of skills which are being taught, says education professor Kimberly Hillier, who teaches Language Arts Methodology.

“Having access to this resource is significant in that it provides families with resources that are accessible and directly support their learning,” Dr. Hillier says. “These books will give users further opportunities to practise and apply what they have been explicitly taught, beginning with foundational word reading skills and progressing to more complex reading skills.”

Manuela Denes, manager of community services at Essex County Library, expresses gratitude to the faculty for their generosity.

“Their donation enabled us to buy additional materials we would never have been able to otherwise,” she says. “Now we can offer these high-quality materials through our branches, making them accessible to families across the entire community.”

Denes adds that the library will be able to better support educators: “Teachers can send their kids here to borrow these valuable resources, reinforcing classroom instruction.”

action shots of people in Costa RicaAlumni from biology, physics, chemistry, and computer science visited Costa Rica to learn about study-abroad opportunities for UWindsor students.

Study abroad experience attracts alumni support

Participating in study abroad was a life-changing experience for biomedical sciences student Kaitlin Ferraro.

“I made unforgettable memories, met amazing people, and learned a lot about a new place,” she says. “I hope that more students have this amazing opportunity in the future.”

She was one of three students who helped lead a group of Faculty of Science alumni on a visit to the rainforests, volcanoes, and beaches of Costa Rica with Chris Houser, interim vice-president, research and innovation. Dr. Houser has been taking University of Windsor students to Costa Rica since 2017.

This trip educated alumni from biology, physics, chemistry, and computer science about the high-impact learning opportunities available to undergraduate students in the Faculty of Science and to reminisce on their own experiences at the University.

Besides Ferraro, guides on the first leg of the trip included chemistry major Deya’a Almasri and Anumita Jain, a student of behaviour, cognition, and neuroscience. The three recently completed their study abroad trip focused on the ecohydrology of the rainforest. The alumni experience was supported by biochemistry student Cameron Chevalier, who participated in the study-abroad trip in June 2022.

In 2023 alone, students from the Faculty of Science joined study-abroad programs in the Dominican Republic, Costa Rica, France, Iceland, and Scotland.

“Study abroad allowed me to gain unique perspectives by immersing myself in new cultures and learning from their people and environment,” Almasri says. “It truly is an experience that cannot be replicated in any classroom.”

Alumni on this trip donated to the Faculty of Science LEAD Fund, enabling more undergraduate students to study abroad next year. Houser welcomes their contributions.

“The generous support of our alumni has allowed us to provide current and future undergraduate students with exciting and unprecedented hands-on experiences: from the rainforests of Costa Rica to the icefields of Iceland and the urban bird sounds of Paris,” he says.

Francine Stadler wears visor and stares into distanceFrancine Stadler is returning to Lancer softball as head coach.

Founding coach returns to head Lancer softball

The new head coach of Lancer softball is a familiar face with the blue and gold: Francine Stadler played a key role in creating the program and was a member of the team’s original coaching staff back in 2003.

“We are so pleased to welcome Francine back into the Lancer family,” says director of athletics Stephanie White. “Her history with the program gives her a true understanding of what it means to be a Lancer, and her wealth of experience and knowledge is going to help elevate our program to the next level.”

Stadler served as assistant coach for infield and first base until 2007. During her tenure, the squad celebrated its best finish — a silver medal at the provincial championships in 2004.

She says she’s excited to be back with the team.

“I am passionate about the sport, and I look forward to leading this team as we begin the 2023 season,” says Stadler. “I was lucky to be a part of the original Lancer coaching staff, and on the 20th anniversary of the program, I am hoping that the community will come out to our games to support the athletes as we celebrate this milestone.”

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