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The Faculty of Science hosted sessions for high school teachers to ease the transition of current grade 12 students into university this fall.The Faculty of Science hosted sessions for high school teachers to ease the transition of current grade 12 students into university this fall.

Science faculty host info sessions to build partnerships with high school teachers

In early April, high school students across Ontario went online in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. This transition has created a unique challenge for grade 12 students who are in their final semester before heading to college and university, and their teachers are concerned whether they are covering the most important concepts that will ensure their students’ success.

In response, professors from the Faculty of Science have been hosting a week-long series of virtual information sessions with local and regional high school science and math teachers called A Preview of Tomorrow. The sessions are designed to inform teachers about first-year undergraduate classes in math, chemistry, biology and physics, in an effort to ease the transition of current grade 12 students into university this fall.

Dora Cavallo-Medved, a professor in Biomedical Sciences who organized the week-long event as part of the USci Network in the Faculty of Science, calls it an important opportunity to connect with grade 12 science and math teachers.

“We’re having conversations about how we can work together to best support students,” says Dr. Cavallo-Medved. “We’re also offering resources as they continue remote learning with their students. It’s essential that we are pro-active and collaborative, with a common goal of ensuring success for our students.”

Participating teachers from across the Windsor-Essex region — and as far away as Sarnia — appreciated the opportunity to build a stronger connection between high schools and the University of Windsor.

One teacher who participated in the biology session was thankful for the informative presentation, saying: “it’s so helpful to have this type of dialogue between high schools and universities. I appreciated the overview of topics of study in first year, as well knowing the topics that are typically a struggle will help guide our teaching of those units.”

Teachers who were unable to attend the webinars can contact Cavallo-Medved at to receive a copy of the presentations.

Varun Kumar Yacham and Rebecca Burkoski are this year’s recipients of the Alumni Spirit Award.Varun Kumar Yacham and Rebecca Burkoski are this year’s recipients of the Alumni Spirit Award.

Graduating students recognized for dedication to campus volunteering

Each year a graduating student from the International Student Centre and the LEAD volunteer program are selected to receive the Alumni Spirit Award, sponsored by Alumni Affairs and Donor Communications, recognizing their dedication to their volunteer roles at the university. This year’s recipients are Varun Kumar Yacham and Rebecca Burkoski.

During his time with the International Student Centre, Yacham demonstrated leadership and dedication to supporting the transition of international students to the University, to student life and to Canadian culture. He has been very much connected to International students through student clubs and in his role as assistant co-ordinator of Volunteer International Students Assistance (VISA). He is also past vice-president events for the Indian Student Association and was the international liaison for UWindsor Relay for Life.

“Varun continues to be a strong advocate for international students,” says Beth Oakley, director of the International Student Centre. “He is responsible and accountable and represents international students and the University of Windsor in a very positive way.”

Burkoski displayed exemplary dedication to the LEAD program while maintaining excellent academic standing throughout her four years. Since her first year at the University of Windsor, she has been a vital part of LEAD and very quickly became a role model for other LEAD volunteers. She has been an exceptional asset to LEAD, displaying tremendous initiative and leadership to ensure all programs were run smoothly and efficiently.

“Rebecca has a remarkable ability to see a vision through to completion and has a tremendous sense of community-building that empowers others to let their leadership skills shine,” says Cindy Crump, director of the Student Success and Leadership Centre.

—Sarah Racinsky

We are not amused? Try your hand at some trivia to get you in the Victoria Day mood.We are not amused? Try your hand at some trivia to get you in the Victoria Day mood.

Trivia quiz a test of Victorian knowledge

Did the Victoria Day long weekend sneak up on you this year? The holiday falls on May 18 this year, the earliest possible date.

DailyNews will not publish an edition Monday and will resume publication Tuesday, May 19. In the meantime, here are a few trivia questions related to the monarch, celebrated in Canada as “the mother of Confederation.”

  1. What was Victoria’s given name?
  2. Which famous piece of White House furniture was a gift from Victoria to U.S. president Rutherford B. Hayes?
  3. Victoria was the last British monarch to belong to which royal house?
  4. Which Canadian provincial capital is named in honour of Queen Victoria?
  5. In the 1974 Monty Python sketch, who finishes first in the Queen Victoria Handicap race at Epsom?

See answers below.

Musicologist Sally Bick recommends the Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra’s response to social distancing.Musicologist Sally Bick recommends the Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra’s response to social distancing.

Music professors suggest some long weekend listening

What music are you listening to? Music faculty in the School of Creative Arts share what they have been taking in while working from home.

Nicholas Papador is a percussionist and composer who specializes in contemporary music. He offers us two listening suggestions, one performed by the New York Philharmonic and the other by a jazz drummer.

Jacob Druckman – Prism (1980)
“Druckman is one of my favourite American composers of the late 20th Century. His neo-impressionist language bears the influence of Debussy and Stravinsky and features large dramatic orchestral flourishes. In Prism, Druckman used quotations from early music by Charpentier, Cavalli, and Cherubini. Druckman’s kinetic gestures act as sonic ‘time portals’ that connect his musical world and that of the past. The music Druckman quotes are all from operas telling different narratives of the Greek Medea tragedy.

Jim Black AlasNoAxis – Tars and Vanish
“Experimental jazz drummer Jim Black’s AlasNoAxis combines both an indie rock and avant-garde jazz sensibility. Tars and Vanish simmers in an unusual time signature of 17/16 (3/4 + 5/16) while saxophonist Chris Speed delivers long and haunting melodic fragments. The piece eventually arrives at a rising, more harmonically active passage in a regular common time. When the original 17/16 meter reappears, the music begins escalating in turbulence with a menacing guitar riff, Speed’s increasingly agitated sax squeals, and Black’s dazzling drum soloing. Visceral and sophisticated.”

Bruce Kotowich, director of the University’s choirs, curated a “Choral Listening Guide.”

Carl Orff: Carmina Burana: Prologue
“O Forunta is one of the most popular choral works. By German composer Carl Orff, it is based on the book of poems of the same name. The prologue tells of the ever changing mood of Lady Fortune.”

Gergorio Allegri: Miserere mei
“A singer in the Sistine Chapel Choir, Gergorio Allegri wrote this psalm setting in 1638. Its effusive mood was only heard when sung by the Sistine Chapel Choir during Holy Week and no transcriptions of the work was allowed to be shared, as ordered by papal decree. In 1770, 14-year old W.A. Mozart heard the work and transcribed it. Later in 1830, F. Mendelssohn also produced a transcription. Finally, in 1880, the papal decree was cancelled and the work was shared worldwide, ending its mystery.”

Lightfoot/Salkeld: Song for A Winter’s Night
“One of Gordon Lightfoot’s most popular ballads is set for mixed chorus. We hear the finger picking style of Lightfoot’s guitar playing set in three voices while the melody is sung in the fourth.”

Guiseppe Verdi: Requiem, Dies Irae
“Guiseppe Verdi wrote his Requiem setting in memory of Alessandro Manzoni; it was premiered in 1874. The second movement, Dies Irae, ‘Day of Wrath,’ depicts hellfire and the horrors of eternal hopelessness. The storm scene in his opera Rigoletto was the inspiration for the Dies Irae.”

Jaakko Mantynarvi: 4 Shakespearean Songs: Double, Double Toil and Trouble
“Jaakko Mäntyjärvi is a Finnish composer born in 1963. He set four Shakespeare texts in 1984. This third movement from the Witches scene in Macbeth captures them conjuring the potion to predict Macbeth’s future.”

Wade Hemsworth: The Blackfly Song
“The unofficial provincial anthem of Ontario tells of the rugged life of the great northern expanse of our province. Fun to hear but more fun to sing.”

Musicologist Sally Bick drew her selections from recent postings on YouTube and FaceBook.

“Some people may enjoy the array of performances by National Arts Centre Orchestra members, which they've designed out of the COVID situation (several of the performers are personal friends).

“One of the most moving performances for me came from members of the Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra. They performed a segment from Beethoven’s ninth, the well-known Ode to Joy. What made this performance so moving was not only the response to social distancing, but also the high quality of the performance itself.

“Each member, beginning with the bassist, displayed tremendous control, ability, and musical restraint — a signature of the highest level of orchestral playing or group interaction. It showed on multiple levels how separate elements (individual performers, individual lines of music) can build together collectively and participate in the complexity of such a piece, all of this becoming a metaphor of the day; individuals can come together in strength no matter the hurdles and struggles of our separation.

“Finally, the selection of this piece helped to make this so fitting: an iconic work that most people knew, even if they had no experience in the classical musical environment. The Ode has been performed in a multitude of contexts — appropriated as the anthem for the European Union — a piece that speaks to the humanity and strength of man. This, combined with the performance strategy made for a unique, and for me, emotional experience. I ended up integrating it into my final exam for the Music History and Literature class, as we too had to shift our efforts online as well as our critical dispositions towards online musical culture.

“The Rotterdam performance became the model for other groups that followed a similar path — but not at the same musical or technical level, nor thought-provoking way, see for example the TSO performance of Copland's Appalachian Spring.

“TSO bass player Jeffery Beecher, who organized their performance, said that the Rotterdam performance was released while the TSO was organizing theirs. But I would also mention that the choice to use Copland's iconic work speaks strongly to Americanism, religiosity, not collective humanism — Beecher, by the way, is American.”

—Susan McKee

Choosing your own toppings suits hummus to your own preferences, says Mary Ann Rennie.Choosing your own toppings suits hummus to your own preferences, says Mary Ann Rennie.

Summer dish adaptable to individual tastes

With the season about to unofficially change to summer, it’s time for some lighter fare, says Mary Ann Rennie.

Special events manager in the Office of the President, she has shared her recipe for loaded hummus, which dresses up the Mediterranean dip as the centrepiece for a family dinner or picnic.

Loaded Hummus

Spread a serving platter with hummus, prepared to your favourite recipe or purchased from a store or restaurant.

Top with any or all of:

  • crumbled feta cheese (omit to make vegan)
  • kalamata or green olives
  • roasted red peppers, diced
  • tomatoes, diced or cut into wedges
  • chopped fresh parsley or basil
  • whole chickpeas
  • smoked paprika

Drizzle with extra virgin olive oil and serve with an assortment of pita wedges, crostini, and crackers.

Find more recipes — as well as a place to submit your own — on the Healthy Eating website.

The Queen Victoria Handicap race at Epsom; “Monty Python’s Flying Circus,” season 4, episode 4.The Queen Victoria Handicap race at Epsom; “Monty Python’s Flying Circus,” season 4, episode 4.

Victoria theme trivia answers

  1. Queen Victoria was named Alexandrina Victoria after her godfather Tsar Alexander I of Russia.
  2. The Resolute desk, used in the Oval Office by Donald Trump and many of his predecessors, was built of oak originally used in the British Arctic exploration ship HMS Resolute.
  3. Victoria was the last in the line of Hanover.
  4. Victoria, B.C., and Regina, Sask., are both named in honour of Queen Victoria.
  5. No winner is shown in the Monty Python race. You might remember that the lead was held at times by Queen Victoria, Queen Victoria, Queen Victoria, Queen Victoria, and Queen Victoria, but the program cut away before the finish.