Grade schoolers work at activity table stringing beads on bracelets.Grade 7 and 8 students bead bracelets using binary code during A Scientist Like Her, June 3 at the University of Windsor.

Grade school girls gain science experience

Young female scientists spent the day with the Faculty of Science for the annual A Scientist Like Her event on June 3.

The summer event gave 42 girls in Grades 7 and 8 an opportunity to engage in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) activities and interact with undergraduates in various fields. This year focused on biology, computer science, and environmental science subjects.

The event is hosted by the Women in Science (WinS) initiative under the faculty’s Usci Network along with experiential learning specialist Michelle Bondy. WinS co-lead Rabia Ali is a biological science undergraduate who plans to graduate in Fall 2023.

“I think it’s a great way for girls at this age to learn about the sciences so they can see if anything piques their interest,” says Ali. “That way, they know if they want to pursue the subject in high school.”

To highlight computer science, the students used a binary code to bead bracelets, used cryptography wheels to send coded messages to friends, and explored how coding is used for a self-driving car to operate.

Hadia Malik is also a WinS co-lead. She heads into her fourth year of medical physics this fall.

She says the event allows girls to explore science concepts that they may not have the opportunity to learn about in their elementary schools.

“Additionally, it provides a lot of hands-on engagement with the various activities that allows them to see science in action,” says Malik.

“I especially think it is a great way for girls to be exposed to the variety of different things they can learn if they pursue science further, and we strive to encourage them to take science classes once they get to high school.”

Environmental science activities involved applying practical skills in an environment focused situation. Using a compass to complete a campus scavenger hunt, participants followed specific compass bearings and used clues to bring them to different outdoor landmarks.

Incoming WinS co-lead neuroscience major Gabriella Agostino says the event was a huge success.

Our 42 attendees enjoyed a jam-packed day of learning, friendship, collaboration, and most importantly, fun!” says Agostino.

“The event could not have gone as well as it did if it weren't for the help of our faculty members and volunteers — our faculty members helped to make sure that every activity was perfectly planned, and our volunteers ensured that all went smoothly the day of the event.”

Finally, the biology activities were led by professors Kenneth Ng and Isabelle Barrett-Ng, from separating DNA fragments using a gel electrophoresis machine, to creating yogurt smear samples to look at under a microscope, to filtering squished strawberries to extract DNA.

Ali says the eager students seemed to enjoy all the day’s activities and it was great seeing them have fun while learning.

“The girls who were interested in science asked the teachers and undergraduates a lot of questions, so I believe they all learned at least one new thing,” says Ali.

A Scientist Like Her is sponsored by Better Blinds and Drapery. WinS volunteers are: Tayeba Azeem, Salma Ahmida, Lauren Pandolfi, Adina Dasa, Sarah Duque, Vanessa Riolo, Selena Grado, Rachel Chevalier, Nour Elhoda Elharake, and Mariam-Nadeem Akram.

headshots of Huda Manfoukh and Brett ParentNursing students Huda Manfoukh and Brett Parent joined an international team to collect and process stories of how the pandemic impacted the profession for an upcoming ebook.

International undergraduate nursing research project subject of ebook

For recent nursing graduates Huda Manfoukh and Brett Parent, the opportunity to work on an research assignment while undergrads was even more exciting since the project was part of an international collaboration.

Funded through University of Windsor’s Outstanding Scholars program and International Family Nursing Association (IFNA), the pair were involved in co-ordinating, collecting, and processing stories shared by nurses around the world, focusing on the shift in clinical practices driven by the pandemic. The stories will be featured in an ebook and highlighted by dean of nursing Debbie Sheppard-LeMoine at the 16th bi-annual IFNA conference in Dublin, Ireland, on June 21.

“By publicizing the stories, our hope is to generate more conversation about the global work of nurses with families,” says Dr. Sheppard-LeMoine. “Exchanging information and experiences would enable family nursing interventions and practices to be responsive, while providing nurses with support to effectively navigate through an ever-changing and challenging world.”

The stories were collected from around the world, including Canada, U.S.A., Spain, Brazil, Portugal, South Africa, Japan, Thailand, and France.

For Manfoukh and Parent, the opportunity presented many benefits.

“This is an extra-curricular project I undertook and for me, it felt great to make life-long global contacts,” says Manfoukh. “The idea of being able to grow my network, and to add this international experience to my professional portfolio, is something special considering opportunities like this don’t happen often at the undergraduate level.”

Parent adds: “In addition to hearing stories that provide different perspectives that could help advance nursing, I’m very grateful to be given the chance to connect with nurses on other continents and for me personally, to learn things that could benefit my own career.”

Team member Javier Castro Serrano from Spain’s University of Huelva valued overcoming challenges inherent of overseas collaboration.

“Certainly, there were obstacles we encountered along the way such as language barriers and odd meeting times because of multiple time zones,” says Serrano. “But the personal enrichment and my development of intercultural skills helped broaden my viewpoint of nursing. Thanks to Huda, Brett, and others, we were able to compare positive and negative points and improve our methodology.”

His professor Maria do Céu Barbieri-Figueiredo says the project, entitled “A Global Shift in Family Nursing Practice: Family Nursing Practice and the impact of COVID-19 pandemic,” raised issues of family nursing development worldwide.

“It was an excellent opportunity to include nursing students from Canada and Spain in these debates,” she said.

Currently, there are 20 stories collected for the ebook, with another five or so slated to complete the publication.

Madelyn Stein in harsh blue light.Music and education student Madelyn Stein will perform at the first event in the Summer Concert Series on Tuesday, June 27.

Student singer-songwriter to open Summer Concert Series

In summertime, the living is easy — or so the Gershwin standard would have you believe. Mona Sleiman, event and community relations manager in the Office of the President, is hoping the Summer Concert Series will help make that vision a reality.

“It’s meant as a chance for members of the campus community to get out of our offices and take a break,” she says. “We’ll come together to share a little time and a little music.”

The series of free lunchtime concerts will open Tuesday, June 27, with a performance by concurrent music and education student Madelyn Stein, a pop singer-songwriter.

Head over to the River Commons on Turtle Island Walk north of Lambton Tower at noon. In addition to music and social connection, the event promises attendees a free serving of gelato.

Summary: Music and education student Madelyn Stein will perform at the first event in the Summer Concert Series on Tuesday, June 27.

Freakonomics logo: a green apple sliced to reveal inside is an orange.Freakonomics Radio called on philosophy professor Christopher Tindale to discuss the validity of slippery slope arguments.

Professor lends expertise on argumentation to discussion of slippery slopes

His appearance on Freakonomics Radio, a show that purports to explore “the hidden side of everything,” impressed philosophy professor Christopher Tindale.

Producers called on Dr. Tindale, director of the Centre for Research in Reasoning, Argumentation, and Rhetoric, for an episode entitled “Enough with the Slippery Slopes,” exploring whether claims of dire consequences inevitably following actions constitute a valid logical construction.

In their interview, Tindale found the host, Stephen Dubner, had done his research.

“It was good that he was taking the issue — and argumentation generally — seriously,” Tindale said. “I am also pleased that they chose to include some of the discussion around the importance of teaching argumentation studies and what it contributes to society.”

The professor added that he has been surprised by the positive reaction from people across the U.S. who listen to the show, either as a podcast or weekly broadcast on National Public Radio.

Tindale told listeners that slippery-slope arguments are usually phrased in terms of freedoms.

“You take away some freedoms, that’s going to lead to the erosion of freedoms, and ultimately the imposition of government control over all areas of life, which is obviously undesirable,” he said. “The questions we have to raise here are, will A lead to B? Will B lead to C? … furthermore, is there no way to stop the slope, as it were — stop on the slope and go back? Is it indeed slippery?”

He said that education can help to forestall the misuse of these types of arguments.

“When we’re teaching critical thinking, or teaching argumentation, we’re encouraging people to develop certain kinds of habits of thought so that in the future, they will think in similar kinds of ways, they will resist thinking in other kinds of ways,” Tindale said. “And they become disposed to think appropriately.”

The entire episode is available on the Freakonomics website.

Students play a beanbag toss game during orientation.Planning a social activity for UWindsor Welcome Week? Submit an event information form to the orientation organizing committee.

Organizers must register welcome week social activities

With a goal of easing the transition of first-year undergraduate students to campus life and post-secondary studies, orientation activities planned for UWindsor Welcome Week will align with the values set out in the University’s strategic plan, says Amber Norman.

Student development specialist in the Student Success and Leadership Centre, she is hoping events from Sept. 3 to 9 will foster a connection among newcomers and upper-year students.

“Doing so will help to develop their sense of belonging inside their new learning community, which will translate into better retention and educational outcomes over the long term,” Norman says.

Find more information about its goals on the orientation program website.

The organizing committee requires anyone — campus partners, clubs, societies, or faculty — planning to host a social activity during UWindsor Welcome Week to submit an event information form for it to be included in schedule and promotional materials. The forms are due no later than Wednesday, June 28.

Management professor to helm Odette School of Business

Ashish Mahajan has accepted an appointment as acting dean of the Odette School of Business beginning July 1 for a term of up to two years, interim provost Patti Weir announced Friday.

Dr. Mahajan joined the Odette School of Business in 2009, has served as chair of its management area, and spent two years as acting associate dean academic. His research interests are in the areas of cross-cultural management, leadership, employee behaviour, international human resource management, and the expatriate experience.

Dr. Weir anticipates a new decanal search will commence in spring 2024.