man in ballcap holding bird of preyPhil Roberts holds an American kestrel. The naturalist will present on “Attracting the winged and wild to your backyard” June 21.

Backyard conservation subject of presentation

A presentation Wednesday, June 21, promises a crash course in backyard ecology.

Naturalist Phil Roberts will speak on “Attracting the winged and wild to your backyard” as 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.

An accomplished wildlife control specialist, ecologist, and avian researcher, Roberts sits on the boards of the Citizens Environment Alliance and Detroit River Canadian Cleanup - Public Advisory Council, and formerly those of the Essex County Field Naturalists’ Club and Jack Miner Migratory Bird Foundation.

His talk will discuss how backyard conservation efforts can help pollinating insects, hummingbirds, butterflies, moths, nesting birds, and bats. He will also touch on bird feeding and how to attract more birds to your property.

The event 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 bookshop at 67 Richmond St. in Amherstburg.

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

Jasmine Knight smiling seated at computerStudent Jasmine Knight has worked for women’s and gender studies as a recruitment and outreach assistant through the Ignite program.

Job proposals open for fall and winter Ignite work-study program

Funding applications for the fall 2023 and winter 2024 Ignite work-study program are now open to UWindsor faculty and staff. Supervisors motivated to provide students with the opportunity to gain career-ready skills through experiential learning in the form of on-campus employment are encouraged to apply.

Job proposals can be submitted through Qualtrics with an application deadline of July 5: late applications will not be accepted. Applicants whose positions receive funding will be notified by Aug. 2.

“Hiring a student through the Ignite program not only benefits the student by providing valuable work experience, but also benefits the University by bringing in motivated and innovative individuals eager to contribute to the campus community,” says Ronak Doowd, Ignite program co-ordinator.

Supervisors approved for Ignite funding will be reimbursed up to $2,000 for a two-term position or $1,000 for a single-term position. Students currently working in the summer 2023 semester may remain in the same role if they continue to meet the eligibility criteria listed on the Ignite website. Employers must still submit a job proposal and be approved if they intend to extend a student’s position into the fall and winter terms.

If you are new to Ignite, join one of the Ignite proposal sessions on Friday, June 15, at 10 a.m. or Wednesday, June 28, at 2 p.m. for a 20-minute presentation about the program and a 40-minute question-and-answer period.

The Ignite work-study program is co-ordinated by Career Development and Experiential Learning, part of the Office of Experiential Learning unit, in partnership with Student Awards and Financial Aid for the fall and winter semesters.

Doowd welcomes questions at

journal cover: Canadian Review of SociologyUWindsor professsors Ronjon Paul Datta and Reza Nakhaie have won the 2023 award for best journal article from the Canadian Sociological Association.

Exploration of social factors in suicide ideation wins recognition for sociology scholars

Regular social interaction can help prevent suicidal thoughts, say two UWindsor sociology professors.

“There is a widespread consensus that suicide and the prevalence of thoughts about suicide in the population are worrisome problems in Canadian society,” Ronjon Paul Datta and Reza Nakhaie write in an article published in the Canadian Review of Sociology. “This makes suicide and suicidal ideation a pathological social fact characterized by its generality throughout society, one that cannot be reduced to individual psychopathology.”

Using publicly available survey data, the authors explore whether social support and a sense of belonging — factors often conflated — affect suicide ideation differently. Their findings? A higher level of social support had the largest effect, while that of a sense of belonging disappeared once measures of social support are accounted for.

In addition, they showed that immigrants, racialized, and food-insecure Canadians were significantly more prone to suicidal ideations than their counterparts. However, higher social support among the former groups helped decrease their level of suicidal ideation. Drs. Datta and Nakhaie stressed that policy makers must grasp that socially healthy and vibrant citizenship depends on social support, particularly among immigrants, racialized, and food-insecure Canadians.

Their analysis won recognition from the Canadian Sociological Association, which conferred its 2023 award for best journal article on their study, “Suicidal ideation and social integration in three Canadian provinces: The importance of social support and community belonging.”

In a citation, the awards committee wrote it was “especially impressed by the theoretical foundations of this study as well as its potential to appeal to a broad, interdisciplinary audience. It succeeds in reinforcing the value of sociological scholarship and sociology as a discipline by drawing from foundations, applied to contemporary social problems.”

Charu Chandrasekera behind microphoneCharu Chandrasekera, executive director of the Canadian Centre for Alternatives to Animal Methods, testifies before the House of Commons committee on Environment and Sustainable Development.

Push from UWindsor centre contributes to shift towards non-animal toxicity testing

Advocacy from the University of Windsor’s Canadian Centre for Alternatives to Animal Methods (CCAAM) has helped shape a bill that received royal assent Tuesday.

Bill S-5, an act to amend the Canadian Environmental Protection Act, includes revisions requiring the federal government to replace and reduce animals in chemical toxicity testing and to publish a plan within the next two years promoting the development and timely incorporation of alternative strategies for toxicity testing.

CCAAM executive director Charu Chandrasekera was invited to testify as an expert witness in front of the House of Commons’ Environment and Sustainable Development committee and contributed language that was adopted in the final version of the Bill.

“Our current reliance on animal toxicity testing is based on techniques developed decades ago,” said Dr. Chandrasekera, one of the 71 witnesses who spoke at the Standing Committee.

“Fortunately, the world is witnessing a global shift, embracing a versatile toolbox full of 21st-century technologies like organ-on-a-chip, 3D bioprinted tissue, and computational models to emulate human biology in a petri dish.

“With this landmark legislation, Canada now stands on the cusp of transformation, ready to leap forward into a new era of research and innovation to better protect human health and the environment.”

The amendments to the Canadian Environmental Protection Act require the government to support the development and incorporation of scientifically justified alternative methods to replace, reduce, or refine (minimize pain and distress) the use of vertebrate animals in chemical substance testing and assessment. 

They also restrict the generation of data or investigations using vertebrate animals for assessing toxicity or the need to control substances unless it is not reasonably possible to obtain the data or conduct the investigation by other means, and it is necessary to protect the environment or human health.

Chris Houser, interim UWindsor vice-president of research and innovation, said the amendments also include provisions to promote the development and implementation of non-animal methods that provide sufficient information for assessing risks posed by substances.

“The amendments to Bill S-5 will position the Canadian Centre for Alternatives to Animal Methods at the forefront of Canada’s transformation towards modernized toxicity testing, shifting from animal-based methods to cutting-edge approaches based on human biology,” Dr. Houser said.

poster "Steps for Sue" with image of Sue SkrobiakA July 15 walkathon will benefit the Hospice of Windsor and Essex County.

MBA students plan fundraising walk

The Odette School of Business’ MBA Society will hold its third annual Steps for Sue fundraising walk in honour of the late MBA secretary Sue Skrobiak on July 15.

The event will raise funds to benefit the Hospice of Windsor and Essex County, an organization that is important to the Skrobiak family. Skrobiak died in November 2018 after an almost 40-year career as a secretary in the Odette School of Business.

Event organizer Mikayla Paesano says she is still beloved and remembered at Odette: “We are looking forward to honouring Sue’s memory again this year with her family, friends, and MBA alumni that had the chance to know her.”

Steps for Sue will be held at Malden Park on Saturday at 10 a.m., starting at the visitor’s centre. The walk will last approximately one hour, followed by a social hour honouring Skrobiak with stories, refreshments, and snacks. All alumni, faculty, staff, and students are welcome to participate and can register or donate on the Steps for Sue website.

Vigil to remember late student Sahra Bulle

A vigil on Saturday, June 17, will commemorate UWindsor student Sahra Bulle.

Family, friends, and members of the local and campus communities will gather on the riverfront to mourn the death of the 36-year-old sociology major and speak out against femicide.

Hosted by the Department of Sociology and Criminology, the Black Studies Institute, and the Women’s and Gender Studies program, Saturday’s event will begin at 7:30 p.m. at the foot of Ouellette Avenue. Find more information and RSVP here.

Supports are available for those experiencing distress. Find a list of mental health resources for students here and for faculty and staff here.

Jimmy El-Turk wearing Lancer volleyball T-shirtJimmy El-Turk is joining the Lancer men’s volleyball program as an assistant coach for the 2023-24 campaign.

Lancer alum rejoins men’s volleyball

The new assistant coach of Lancer men’s volleyball is no stranger to the blue and gold: Jimmy El-Turk (BHK 2012, MHK 2014) is a former player with the team, served as an assistant coach from 2013 to 2015, and co-founded the Sky Volley club with UWindsor head coach James Gravelle, helping direct local recruits to the university program.

El-Turk has coached the St. Clair Saints women, and youth teams for Ontario and Canada.

“Jimmy returns to the blue and gold as a very successful and experienced coach and well-connected recruiter,” says Gravelle. “We will rely on Jimmy’s expertise at developing players at every position, his strong game planning, and he will spearhead our recruiting efforts.”

Saying he is honoured to be returning to the University, El-Turk hopes to help players become champions: “James, his staff, and the players have built the program into a perennial OUA contender.”

Read the full story at

collage of athletes competing in Loaring ClassicStudent volunteers are needed to help host the Johnny Loaring Classic track and field meet, June 24 at Alumni Stadium.

Track meet seeking volunteers

Organizers of the Johnny Loaring Classic track and field meet are seeking student volunteers to help host the event, June 24 at Alumni Stadium.

Part of the Athletics Canada national track and field tour, the tournament will feature competition in almost 50 events.

Convenor Brett Lumley notes that he especially needs help from 3 to 9 p.m. and each volunteer will receive a free T-shirt. Sign up online to indicate interest and availability.

Samsung Galaxy Tab A7 tabletThe University is offering 25 Samsung Galaxy Tab A7 tablet computers for sale by bid.

University offers tablet computers for sale

The University has declared 25 Samsung Galaxy Tab A7 tablet computers for sale by bid as Disposal File 2001.

Each comes with a power cable and power cube. Click here for details.