University of Windsor President Dr. Alan Wildeman listens to speakers during his farewell dinner at the St. Clair Centre for the Arts on Tuesday, May 8, 2018. Wildeman will be retiring on June 30, 2018.University of Windsor President Dr. Alan Wildeman listens to speakers during his farewell dinner at the St. Clair Centre for the Arts on Tuesday, May 8, 2018. Wildeman will be retiring on June 30, 2018.

Farewell dinner honours president's lasting contributions

Alan Wildeman’s legacy of transformation will forever live on at the University of Windsor.

The outgoing president was honoured during a farewell dinner Tuesday night, where more than 500 people gathered to pay tribute to his contributions throughout his decade-long tenure.

Chancellor Ed Lumley announced on behalf of the Board of Governors that the new Freedom Way building will be renamed the Alan Wildeman Centre for Creative Arts and Windsor Mayor Drew Dilkens presented Dr. Wildeman with a key to the city.

“In my opinion, Alan is a great credit to his family, his home, his adopted city, his university and his country,” Lumley said. “Throughout his presidency, Alan has never wavered from his core values and his commitment to the student and public good.”

Penny Allen, chair of the University's Board of Governors, also announced that Wildeman will be given the title President and Vice-Chancellor Emeritus on July 1. Wildeman will retire from the University of Windsor on June 30.

“I am moved beyond words,” he said following the dinner at the St. Clair Centre for the Arts.

“I have been moved this entire evening by the recognition I have been bestowed by the city, by the University, and the privilege in this great community to have my name on a building.

“I wish my parents could see me now.”

The Alan Wildeman Centre for Creative Arts boasts film production studios, editing suites, a sonic art studio, and making studio for sculpture, metal, and woodworking; it stands on the site of the former Tunnel Bar-B-Q restaurant.

The room on Tuesday swelled with commendations and melody, as colleagues and family reflected on Wildeman’s transformation of the University of Windsor and the city’s downtown core.

“He was always aiming to put students first,” said Tiffany Gooch, former University of Windsor Students' Alliance president.

“You have done so much more than change the face of our campus. You have changed the community of our campus.”

Gooch capped off her salute with a winsome rendition of “When I’m Sixty-Four” by the Beatles.

Wildeman’s brother Raymond painted a picture of an older brother growing up in rural Saskatchewan whose drive led to educational pursuits around the world while never forgetting his roots.

“Alan the botanist, or the geneticist, or the president of the University of Windsor, has proved that humble beginnings - not just origins of privilege - are very fertile ground for leaders with vision and expectation,” Raymond said.

“Alan’s vision here at the University will truly shape its future.”

Windsor Mayor Drew Dilkens presents University of Windsor President Alan Wildeman with a key to the city during the president's farewell dinner on Tuesday, May 8, 2018.

Windsor Mayor Drew Dilkens presents University of Windsor President Alan Wildeman with a key to the city during the president's farewell dinner on Tuesday, May 8, 2018. Click here to see more photos from the event.

The music motif drifted in and out of tributes throughout the evening, reaching a crescendo with UWindsor voice instructor Shahida Nurullah and School of Creative Arts' students singing an original song by Wildeman, “Stonehenge.”

Wildeman said he fell in love with Windsor-Essex because it reminded him of home. He said it’s a place often overlooked but “filled with complexity and passion, but not distorted by pretence.”

Wildeman’s parting words for those in attendance came from Nobel laureate Bob Dylan: “May your hands always be busy, May your feet always be swift. May you have a strong foundation, When the winds of changes shift. May your heart always be joyful, And may your song always be sung. May you stay forever young.”

Dylan Kristy

Dan Mennill holding tropical wrenBiology professor Dan Mennill with a rufous-and-white wren. He led a 15-year study showing that warm temperatures reduce survival of this tropical bird. (Photo by Dale Morris.)

Hot climate reduces survival of tropical birds, study finds

A 15-year study led by University of Windsor researchers shows that a hot climate reduces survival in tropical birds. The new study, which appears today in the journal Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences, asks the question: How do temperatures and rainfall influence survival of male and female tropical songbirds?

“Most of Earth’s birds, and most of Earth’s biodiversity, are concentrated in the tropics,” says Dan Mennill, a professor in the Department of Biological Sciences and the senior author of the study. “But studies of how climate influences animal survival have focused primarily on migratory birds or birds that live in temperate environments.”

The research team, made up of biologists from both University of Windsor and University of Guelph, studied a population of rufous-and-white wrens living in the Guanacaste Conservation Area in Costa Rica. Each year, for a decade-and-a-half, team members captured birds in mist nets, gave each animal a distinctive combination of coloured leg bands, and then surveyed the population to see which birds were still alive and which had perished.

“When we related wren survival to climate, we found that the survival did indeed vary with climate,” says Brad Woodworth from the University of Guelph, co-author of the study. “Most notably, when temperatures were high, the wrens suffered higher mortality.”

The forests of northwestern Costa Rica experience two seasons: a dry season between December and May of each year when rain is absent, and a wet season between May and December when as much as 3.0 meters of rain falls.

“Survival was particularly sensitive to conditions during the dry season, and it was particularly pronounced for males,” says Dr. Woodworth. “Females showed lower survival than males overall, but female survival was not heavily influenced by temperature variation the way it was for males.”

Dr. Mennill calls it an exciting finding.

“It is important to develop a better understanding about how climate influences survival of many different types of animals,” he says. “Our research shows that local climate has a direct effect on survival of tropical birds, and that the effect varies for males and females.”

toddlers playing Twister on a periodic table of elementsScience Rendezvous, Saturday at the University of Windsor, uses fun and games to teach scientific principles.

Family festival to explore frontiers of discovery

Hands-on activities, demonstrations, and experiments await budding scientists at Science Rendezvous, Saturday, May 12, at the University of Windsor. The free annual festival of discovery uses fun and games to teach scientific principles and approaches.

Events run from 10 a.m. to 4 the CAW Student Centre and adjacent Education Gym. Among the highlights are the Chemistry Magic Show at 11 a.m. and the Phunky Physics Show at 1 p.m.

The Science Chase invites students in Grades 8 to 12 to compete for a $100 gift card from Windsor Crossing Mall. Visitors who complete passports by visiting booths are eligible to win raffle prizes.

Find details and a pass for free parking for the day on the Science Rendezvous website.

Jeremiah Bowers, Ahmed Abdallah, Sheldon Harrison, Admira KonjicThe 2018-19 executive of the University of Windsor Students’ Alliance: president Jeremiah Bowers with vice-presidents Ahmed Abdallah, Sheldon Harrison, and Admira Konjic for student services, finance and operations, and student advocacy, respectively.

Student executive sets outreach as priority

Communication and outreach will be top priorities for the University of Windsor Students’ Alliance, says its incoming executive.

The alliance is the student government representing full-time undergraduates. Three of four executive members returned to office for a second year-long term which began at the start of May: president Jeremiah Bowers, vice-president student advocacy Admira Konjic, and vice-president finance and operations Sheldon Harrison. Only Ahmed Abdallah, vice-president student services, is new to his position.

“Our primary focus is people,” says Bowers. “Our top priority is bringing the UWSA to our student membership and not expecting them to come to us.”

He says this means making an effort to connect with members across campus, including those located downtown.

“We can and must do more to engage with our entire Lancer family and live up to our three-pillar mandate — to serve, represent and advocate,” says Bowers.

The team is currently preparing strategic plans for each portfolio and maintains office hours for the summer of 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Thursday, and 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Friday.

Bus passes to be made available for summer months

The U-Pass, which provides Transit Windsor bus service for a fee paid with tuition, will offer optional summer coverage.

Passes valid in Winter 2018 will be accepted by drivers through May 18; pass-holders may purchase an extension for the summer months. Watch for details on the UWSA website as they become available.

Lekan IdowuThe Montreal Alouettes selected Lancer defensive back Lekan Idowu in Thursday’s Canadian Football League draft.

Lancer jumps into CFL draft

Lancer alumnus Lekan Idowu jumped into the Canadian Football League draft Thursday, going at the top of the eighth round, 61st overall, to the Montreal Alouettes.

A defensive back for Windsor, Idowu garnered notice when he finished first in both the broad and high jumps before scouts at the Ontario regional combine in March. The five-foot-nine business major notched a vertical of 39.5-inches and broad jump of 10-feet, 10.25 inches and had averaged three tackles per game through his 2017 season with the Lancers.

See the full draft on the CFL website.

UWindsor welcoming students of African diaspora

More than 200 students from high schools in Windsor-Essex, Detroit, and Toronto will experience inspiration and education attending the 15th annual African Diaspora Youth Conference, May 10 to 12 on the University of Windsor campus.

With a theme this year of “Ubuntu: I Am Because We Are,” the conference is hosted by the Faculty of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences, designed for secondary school students interested in learning about the African diaspora and how it has played a role in their development of self.

Conference chair Andrew Allen, an associate professor in the Faculty of Education, says the conference gives attendees first-hand experience of the university environment and encourages them to consider higher education.

“Each year, several high school students choose to come to the University of Windsor because of their positive experience at the conference,” he says. “I am proud of the work we have done over the years and how we continue to inspire students to come to UWindsor who may not have ever thought about doing a university degree before.”

Third-year aeronautics major Crystal Bryan is the conference co-ordinator for a second straight year. She says the student volunteers help to make a connection to the high schoolers.

“Students really enjoy talking to current UWindsor students to learn about their university experience,” she says. “Some of our volunteers came to the conference when they were in high school.”

Conferees will enjoy a keynote address by advocate and activist Larissa Crawford, a student of international development and communication studies at York University; a tour of historic sites related to the Underground Railroad; and workshops led by UWindsor faculty, staff, and alumni.

Attendance also qualifies students to receive a $1,000 bursary towards tuition in any UWindsor academic program to which they win admission.

Registration open for Campus Technology Day

With the theme “Taking U Forward,” Campus Technology Day 2018 will include interactive presentations discussing the impact of technology in enhancing learning, teaching, research, and building community. The conference will take place Thursday, June 7, in the CAW Student Centre.

Registration is free and includes a complimentary lunch as well as a wine and cheese reception for the first 170 registrants.

The conference agenda is currently being finalized and will be available May 14. In the interim, reserve your spot by visiting and clicking the Register Now link.

steam from kettle

Maintenance to shut down campus electrical and steam services weekend of July 6

Annual preventative maintenance will require an outage of electrical and steam services to campus on the weekend of July 6, reports Facility Services.

The electrical power outage will also disable card access and is scheduled for 12 hours starting at 6 a.m. Saturday, July 7. The following buildings will be inaccessible for this period: Leddy Library, CAW Student Centre, Energy Conversion Centre, and Dillon, Memorial, Assumption, Macdonald and Alumni halls. Find details in this document: Campus Wide Power Outage, July 7, 2018, 6:00am - 6:00pm.

The steam outage will also disable hot water and heating and cooling systems. It is scheduled to begin at noon Friday, July 6, and run through 6 p.m. Sunday, July 8. The shutdown will disrupt most campus buildings, with the exceptions of the Centre for Automotive Research and Education, Great Lakes Institute for Environmental Research, Centre for English Language Development, maintenance and grounds buildings, Pitt-Ferry Building, Armouries, and Freedom Way. Find details in this document: Campus Wide Steam Outage, July 6 - 8, 2018, 12:00pm - 6:00pm.