masks made by the Windsor Essex Sewing ForceProperly made cotton masks, like these made by the Windsor Essex Sewing Force, can be as effective as surgical medical masks.

Research shows effectiveness of homemade masks

A research project led by Ken Drouillard of the Great Lakes Institute for Environmental Research has concluded that certain simple two-ply cotton masks can be as effective as some surgical medical masks — or more so.

Dr. Drouillard, along with along with UWindsor health sciences professors Lisa Porter and Dora Cavallo-Medved and Catherine Clase of McMaster University, worked in partnership with the Windsor Essex Sewing Force, a grass-roots organization of volunteers who have sewn thousands of cloth masks for local members of vulnerable groups. The research was funded by the University of Windsor’s Office of Research and Innovation and WE-Spark Health Institute.

“The COVID-19 pandemic caused shortages for certified personal protective equipment everywhere in our community,” says Drouillard. “When our local hospitals put out a call for homemade masks that could be used by visitors to the hospital, the sewing force partnered with GLIER to implement a testing and quality control program to optimize the production of high-quality homemade masks for donation to local healthcare institutions.”

The test results showed that the two-ply cotton masks, which use ties to hold the mask to the face, have a better fit than surgical-style masks that use integrated ear loops. The better fit makes the performance of these masks equal to medical masks.

The one caution the researchers have is that not all homemade masks are alike. The team fully supports moving towards better standards for cloth masks as proposed in guidelines from ASTM, an international organization that develops technical specifications.

“One reason this research is timely today is that many governments in western Europe are moving to ban cloth masks in public spaces,” Drouillard says. “However, our research casts doubt about the legitimacy of such a policy.

“Our research shows that cloth masks that follow specific standards are a safe option for the general public. In a pandemic world, it’s important to make informed decisions … we now know that properly made cloth masks have a role to play in public spaces.”

Drouillard presented the research findings — currently undergoing peer review in the journal Plos One — during a presentation on Oct. 6. Watch a recording of the presentation here.

rainbow walkway outside Dillon HallMembership in Pride at Work Canada makes its resources available to all UWindsor students, staff, and faculty.

Partnership promoting pride at work

The Office of Human Rights, Equity and Accessibility (OHREA) has taken out an institutional membership for the University of Windsor in Pride at Work Canada. This resource is opened to all University students, staff, and faculty.

Pride at Work Canada offers institutional education and guidance to organizations that make a commitment to supporting LGBTQ2+ inclusion. Employees and students at the University are invited to take advantage of the membership benefits.

Membership offers a range of services for employees, including lunch and learns, facilitated discussions, workshops and webinars, as well as practical tools and frameworks to help adopt a strategic approach to drive strategy forward. Pride at Work also customizes its programs and services to fit the needs of partnered members.

In addition to sessions for staff and faculty, it has designed workshops, webinars, discussions, and presentations that are open to student participation, on topics as varied as:

  • LGBTQ2+ Inclusion in the campuses,
  • Identifying and being an effective LGBTQ2+ Ally,
  • Intersectionality with the LGBTQ2+ community,
  • Importance of an effective GSA Group in the campus, and more.

Use your UWindsor email to access the membership benefits by visiting

Should you have any questions, contact employment equity manager Diane Luu-Hoang at

Make Your Mark! text next to woman holding booksThe Alumni Association is hosting a contest to design a bookmark.

Design contest a chance to make your mark

The Alumni Association is hosting a contest to design a bookmark for readers in the Alumni Book Club.

Artists (one student, one alumnus) whose designs are judged to be the best will each win a $500 cash prize. Judges welcome inspiring images or witty text-based solutions that reflect the idea of a bookmark. The winning designs will be printed two-sided with the artist’s work on one side, credit and Alumni Association branding on the other.

The work must be newly created for the contest. Deadline to submit a design is Nov. 15. More information and contest rules.

Class Action Clinic logoThe settlement of a securities class action lawsuit included an award of $90,000 to the Class Action Clinic at Windsor Law.

Law clinic to receive settlement fund from class action suit

Judge Edward M. Morgan of the Superior Court of Justice has approved the settlement of a securities class action lawsuit, and in doing so, approved an award of $90,000 to the Class Action Clinic at Windsor Law in leftover or cy près funds.

In his decision, Justice Morgan wrote: “The clinic provides research support for class actions, works on law reform initiatives in the field, and serves a valuable educational role for law students. It is a worthy cause and an appropriate recipient of a cy près award.”

Clinic director and Windsor Law professor Jasminka Kalajdzic says the clinic will use the funds to assist class members with settlement claims and to provide other legal advice, as well as to research ways to improve dissemination of settlement notices.

“I am really grateful for another judicial endorsement of the clinic’s mission,” says Prof. Kalajdzic, referencing the decision of Justice Edward Belobaba in MacDonald et al v. BMO Trust Company et al which resulted in the clinic being awarded $250,000 in cy près funds earlier this year.

Dean of law Reem Bahdi says the clinic exemplifies the faculty’s justice-seeking, community-engaged, and people-centred ethos.

“The cy près funds represent the highest endorsement of the research, teaching, and service undertaken at the clinic under Professor Kalajdzic’s extraordinary leadership,” she says.

To learn more about the Class Action Clinic, visit its website.

man cowering behind computer screenCybersecurity should be an important part of your computer care routine.

Make computer care part of your routine: IT Services

Your most important work tool is your computer or laptop, notes Kevin Macnaughton, team lead security, Information Technology Services, so cybersecurity should be an important part of your care routine.

Macnaughton calls it essential to ensure your device is running optimally with the latest updates and kept secure to protect your work.

“Basic computer care and hygiene should not be overlooked,” he says. “Follow daily or weekly restart practices and enable updates to keep your devices working and secure.”

Top systems care basics include:

  • Closing work applications and browsers at the end of the day
  • Shutting down and starting your computer weekly
  • Enabling automatic updates for your operating system
  • Activating and maintaining up to date antivirus and firewall software

To keep your applications up to date and secure, IT Services recommends:

For more computer care basics as well as ways to supercharge your workstation see

To highlight the global cybersecurity efforts, consult New Zealand’s campaign “Cyber up with CERT NZ.”

Led by IT Services, Cybersecurity Awareness Month efforts highlight cybersecurity issues relevant to the UWindsor community. More information can be found at





treasure chest​The next faculty-staff trivia night will weigh anchor Friday, Oct. 22.

Set sail on treasure hunt for faculty-staff trivia

Time for UWindsor faculty and staff to batten down the hatches; another round of trivia will set sail Oct. 22.

At the helm are the Great Lakes Invaders: Shelby Mackie, Sharon Lackie, Melissa Price, Nia Khuong, and Kendra Thompson-Kumar, promising waves of fun, facts, and prizes courtesy of UWindsor Proud.

Teams of up to six people are invited to join, and the hosts will assign individual registrants to a crew. To register, send your team’s name and a list of members to Thompson-Kumar at The event will launch Friday at 8 p.m. and is free to all UWindsor faculty and staff.

person clutching pillowHuman Resources offers tips to perfect your sleep habits.

Suggestions offer ways to improve sleep

Just like any other habit that you practise throughout the day, sleep hygiene should be something that remains consistent as well.

In a message sent Monday to UWindsor faculty and staff, Human Resources shares tips to help improve your sleep quality and duration:

  • Modify your bedroom. Make your room dark and cool prior to sleep.
  • Shut it down. Turning off televisions, computers, and mobile devices at night will help you doze off quicker and stay asleep longer.
  • No caffeine after 2 p.m. If you have an afternoon coffee at 4 p.m., half of it is likely still in your system by 9 p.m. when you should start trying to wind down for the night.
  • Eat an early dinner. Eating your last big meal early means your body has more time to digest it before bedtime.
  • Make your bedtime and waketime a habit. Set a consistent time for when you go to bed and wake up each day, allowing for at least seven hours of sleep.

These tips are courtesy of Lancer fitness and sport conditioning co-ordinator Mike McMahon. Read the entire Wellness Tip of the Week.