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Fatema DadaFatema Dada models a T-shirt sold by Conquer COVID-19 to raise funds for personal protective equipment to front-line workers across Canada.

Windsor Law grads apply skills to pandemic fight

Guri Pannu (JD 2007) never expected his law degree would take him to a place where he was conducting media appearances on TSN and Sporstnet, creating a makeshift distribution centre for millions of items of personal protective equipment (PPE), and designing apparel with Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment.

He and fellow alum Fatema Dada (JD 2007) have been key players in the establishment of the cross-country organization Conquer COVID-19, helping communities during the coronavirus pandemic. Both are board members; Pannu is also chief operating officer and chief legal officer, and Dada plays multiple roles in legal and distribution.

In mid-March, events were being cancelled, workplaces were being shut down, financial markets were tumbling. Compounding the lockdown was a fear that hospitals would be unable to handle the surge in COVID patients and protect their workers. Instead of allowing fear and inertia to set in, a network of six friends set out to just do something about curbing the spread of the virus to help save lives.

“Windsor Law taught us to not only to think critically but also encouraged its students to contribute to community,” Pannu says. “The social justice and community feel of the school allows you not to take yourself to seriously and focus on contributing to society.”

Within a week of lockdown, the team created Conquer COVID-19: a group of physicians, business leaders, entrepreneurs, lawyers, medical students, and other volunteers dedicated to ensuring front-line workers responsible for the health and wellbeing of Canadians have access to masks, gloves, and other supplies essential to treat patients and minimize the spread of the virus.

Dada says participating reconnected her with Pannu, a long-lost law school friend, and mdae a contribution: “It has also given me the opportunity to work with a dedicated and talented group of individuals who are sacrificing their own personal time to work together to help Canada through this pandemic.”

With the help of its 120 volunteers, Conquer COVID-19 has raised $2.36 million and delivered more than 1.1 million items of personal protective equipment to six provinces and 94 cities across Canada. The group is now focusing on distributing what has been collected, and has created a playbook to show Canadians how to organize a grassroots non-profit in a global pandemic.

This is one in a series of stories by Windsor Law on how its grads are helping their communities amid COVID-19. Read the entire article, written by alumni and fund development co-ordinator Karen Momotiuk Chapman, on the Faculty of Law website.

decal reading “Congratulations Graduates” placed in windowA message of congratulations to the class of 2020 is one of three decals posted in the windows of UWindsor buildings.

Alumni welcome newest class

Members of the class of 2020 may not have celebrated graduation as they traditionally would, but their accomplishments did not go unnoticed. The University of Windsor Alumni Association has been working to make sure its newest members know they’re appreciated.

It has placed decals reading “Congratulations Graduates” in windows in three locations: the main campus Welcome Centre, Windsor Hall on Ferry Street, and the Alan Wildeman Centre for the Creative Arts on Freedom Way.

The alumni office published an electronic newsletter specially dedicated to celebrating the class of 2020. Read it here.

woman with face in handsWomen may delay leaving an abusive partner if they co-own a pet, say the authors of an article published this week.

Researchers issue call to fund spots for pets in domestic violence shelters

Decisive action must be taken to remove the barriers to leaving abusive relationships — and one of those barriers is companion animals, says a team of researchers.

UWindsor professors Amy Fitzgerald, Betty Jo Barrett, and Patti Timmons Fritz, along with Deborah McPhee of Brock University and Rochelle Stevenson of Thompson Rivers University, wrote an opinion piece on the topic published Tuesday in the Conversation, which shares news and views from the academic and research community.

“Companion animals, or pets, aren’t generally thought of as barriers, yet they often are in the context of intimate partner violence,” they write. “Most domestic violence shelters in Canada … don’t accommodate pets.

“Many Canadians must decide whether to remain with their abuser or flee and leave their pets behind.”

Their research indicates that individuals whose pets are abused and who delay leaving abusive relationships are particularly at risk — as are their pets. They call for federal funding for domestic violence shelters to create pet programs.

“The love between pets and people can be a great source of support, particularly in the midst of a pandemic, an abusive relationship, or both,” the article states. “Now is the time to take decisive action to remove it as an obstacle to leaving an abusive relationship.”

Read the entire piece, “People in abusive relationships face many barriers to leaving — pets should not be one,” in the Conversation.

Filet of halibut surrounded with balsamic glazeChef Paolo Vasapolli served his baked fish over baby bok choy sautéed with garlic and little chili peppers.

Tapenade a crisp topping for baked fish

You can do more with halibut than slather it in batter and drop it into a deep fryer, says Paolo Vasapolli, executive chef in Food and Catering Services.

His recipe for baked halibut tops it with an olive tapenade, making it free of dairy and gluten.

Baked Halibut with Olive Tapenade Crust

Ingredients

  • 4 filets of halibut or cod
  • 20 kalamata olives, pitted
  • 2 tablespoons capers
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1 lemon, zested
  • ¼ teaspoon red chili flakes
  • chopped parsley (optional)

Instructions

  1. Heat oven to 350°F.
  2. Chop the olives and capers and put into a bowl.
  3. Add the minced garlic, onion, chili flakes, and the zest from the lemon and stir.
  4. Using a wooden spoon, mix the ingredients until they begin to form a paste.
  5. Heat a frying pan with a little oil. Season the fish on both sides with salt and pepper.
  6. Place the fish in the hot pan skin side up first and sear the top for a minute or less, until it’s light brown in colour.
  7. Remove the fish filets and place on a baking sheet. Top with the tapenade.
  8. Bake for 10-15 minutes until the fish is done and flaky. The time required to cook will depend on the thickness of the fish.

Vasapolli suggests a balsamic glaze garnish, “You can buy one or make your own.” He provides this recipe: In a small pot reduce balsamic vinegar with brown sugar until it coats the back of the spoon, season with salt and pepper and let cool; it will thicken.

“If you have glaze left over, store it at room temperature,” says Vasapolli. “It will last for a long time and goes great with sandwiches like turkey or beef.”

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

Campus Bookstore logoThe Campus Bookstore continues to operate online, shipping course materials and its full catalogue of products.

Bookstore shipping course materials and merchandise

The Campus Bookstore continues to ship materials for summer and fall courses, as well as its full stock of merchandise, advises general manager Cathy Ladouceur.

“We’re open online 24/7 and process and ship out orders on Tuesdays and Thursdays,” she says. “From textbooks to Lancer gear, we are ready to help patrons make the most of their UWindsor experience.”

Ladouceur asks faculty members to inform students that the bookstore is available, and to share the link to information about delivery of their course materials during the essential services model of operations: www.uwindsor.ca/bookstore/286/faq-online-orders-covid-19.