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Chancellor Mary Jo Haddad and registrar Alice MillerChancellor Mary Jo Haddad and registrar Alice Miller send congratulations to UWindsor grads as they record video messages on a stage outside Dillon Hall.

University prepares to walk grads across virtual stage

Convocation ceremonies, Oct. 14 to 17, will mimic the traditional observance as closely as possible given the strictures demanded by the COVID-19 pandemic, says registrar Alice Miller.

“All the elements will be there, albeit in cyberspace rather than the St. Denis Centre,” she says. “The chancellor and president will address the graduands, we’ll hear greetings from the deans and the winners of special awards, and every grad who submitted their information will have their name called and their slide displayed during their specific session.”

The event will be presented in 13 sessions recognizing the achievements of those who completed their requirements for graduation in either Spring or Fall 2020.

  • On Wednesday, Oct. 14, graduands of programs in the Faculty of Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences will be honoured in sessions streaming at 3, 5, and 7 p.m.
  • On Thursday, Oct. 15, graduands of programs in the Faculty of Engineering will be honoured in sessions streaming at 3, 5, and 7 p.m.
  • On Friday, Oct. 16, graduands of programs in the Faculty of Nursing will be honoured in a session streaming at 3 p.m.; and those in the Faculty of Science in sessions at 5 and 7 p.m.
  • On Saturday, Oct. 17, graduands of programs in the Faculty of Education will be honoured in a session streaming at 1 p.m.; in the Odette School of Business at 3 p.m., in the Faculty of Human Kinetics at 5 p.m., and in the Faculty of Law at 7 p.m.

A team from the Office of the Registrar, public affairs, and enrolment management staff have been working for more than a month to create video elements that will grace the ceremonies.

“People on campus may have wondered what was going on, but we were careful to observe all safety protocols with the help of Campus Police and the co-operation of all the presenters,” Miller says. “It really took a village to pull all this together.”

Graduands will each receive a kit containing a note of congratulations as well as accoutrements of convocation: their diplomas, a printed program, tassels, and gifts to show their continuing pride in accomplishment. See a sample unboxing in a video by digital media producer Naomi Pelkey:

Frederik Ehlen in the Ottawa Senators' arenaMHK grad Frederik Ehlen says the program gave him invaluable experience leading to his work with the National Hockey League’s Ottawa Senators.

Master of Human Kinetics in Sport Management tops global survey for quality of teaching

A recent survey of graduate students places the University of Windsor’s Master of Human Kinetics in Sport Management as the overall number one program in Canada, and best in the world for quality of teaching.

The rankings were recently released by SportBusiness, a consulting and research group renowned for its global intelligence in the business of sport.

The annual rankings place graduate-level sport management programs from around the world in various categories, and the University of Windsor’s MHK achieved several top 10 scores. Along with being the top-ranked Canadian program in the list, the MHK was listed as:

  • number one for quality of teaching,
  • third for the number of female students in the program,
  • seventh for job support, and
  • seventh in student satisfaction.

Alumni of the program were not surprised by the results and are encouraged by the continuing success of the program.

Recent graduate Frederik Ehlen currently works for the Ottawa Senators and made his way from Germany to be a part of the program.

“The program really challenged me to be self-motivated and gave me the opportunity to gain project experience that has been invaluable to my career,” he said. “I had never been to Canada before, but after connecting with a faculty member I was confident in my choice to come.”

Jorden Bagley, another recent graduate, said instructors taught her that it’s not enough just to think something, you need to prove it.

“The sport industry is really trying to improve in the area of gender equality,” Bagley said. “In the rankings, I was proud to see that our program is a leader in helping to change the culture.”

All the graduates interviewed valued the connections they were able to make with fellow students and some of the top sport organizations they were engaged with throughout their time at the University of Windsor.

“I had never worked with such a dedicated group of faculty, staff, and students. The connections we made, both personally and professionally, will serve us for a lifetime,” said Bami Ogunlana, who has gone on to work as a project co-ordinator in Toronto.

Peter Baldwin, communications and events specialist with the Essex Region Conservation Authority, said he valued the way faculty gave him support and encouragement: “The program set me up for success in my professional life. The faculty are second to none and I had a great experience in my time in the Faculty of Human Kinetics.”

Baldwin relocated to Windsor from Nova Scotia as a mature student and after interacting with faculty, decided that the University of Windsor would be the best venue for him to pursue his passion for sport.

The rankings are a welcome boost to the Faculty of Human Kinetics as it moves toward the first year of direct entry into the undergraduate sport management and leadership program in the fall of 2021.

Acting dean Jess Dixon couldn’t be more pleased.

“We pride ourselves on hiring faculty who are not only excellent researchers but also engaging and passionate in the classroom,” he said. “Our placement in this year’s rankings reaffirms what we have always known and strive to accomplish in the Faculty of Human Kinetics. I wish to thank our alumni for their time and input on this process, and for helping our vision of delivering a world class program become a reality.”

View the rankings at https://www.sportbusiness.com/postgraduate-rankings-2020/.

—Martin Vaughan

representation of Centre for Engineering Innovation rendered in MinecraftVolunteers with the Engineering Students’ Society have created a replica of the University of Windsor campus in the video game Minecraft.

Students replicate campus in Minecraft

The Engineering Students’ Society is bringing the University of Windsor campus to the screens of students learning from home. The society has created a replica of the University of Windsor campus on Minecraft — a video game that allows players to create a virtual world with Java programming.

Students can explore each floor of the Ed Lumley Centre for Engineering Innovation and take a stroll through UWindsor’s campus peppered with lush trees, flower beds, and even its Promise campaign billboards.

“Since we are all stuck inside on our computers for the remainder of the semester, it’s important to keep the sense of campus community,” says Theo Sancartier, president of the Engineering Students’ Society.

“With this Minecraft server, we hope to have students interacting in a way no one thought of before.”

Sancartier says the society’s executive committee and other volunteers spent the entire summer creating the server to ensure incoming students had a memorable experience and felt connected to campus.

The server was built specifically for Orientation Week, but Sancartier says an overwhelming response from the university community encouraged the team to share the interactive server campus-wide.

Once in the server, participants have the opportunity to choose whether they would like to roam the creative world — which contains the replica of campus — or join under a survival mode, where they can build their own homes and create an alternate, virtual community while interacting with other players.

Sancartier says new game features will continue to be added throughout the semester.

How to play

The server is open to all UWindsor students and can be accessed through the Java Minecraft version available only for desktop platforms (Windows, MacOS or Linux).

To join, students must complete a student verification form and are required to sign up with their UWindsor email address (alternate email addresses will not be permitted).

  1. Open Minecraft Java Edition or purchase and download from the Minecraft website.
  2. Once signed in, run the game.
  3. Click on the ‘Multiplayer’ button on the main screen.
  4. In the bottom right of the interface, select ‘Add Server.’
  5. On the next screen, select the ‘Server Address’ text box and type in engsoc.apexmc.co
  6. Now hit ‘Enter’ and you will be brought back to the Server List page, click on the EngSoc Server selection and log in.
  7. You should be logged in and free to explore!

—Kristie Pearce

UWindsor president Robert GordonUWindsor president Robert Gordon released a video Thanksgiving message Thursday.

President extends Thanksgiving greeting through video

The past few months have shown members of the University community how much they depend on each other, UWindsor president Robert Gordon says in a video Thanksgiving message released Thursday.

“We've all been facing challenges and uncertainty for a very long time now,” he says. “So take a well-deserved break, and kick back a little.”

Dr. Gordon notes that the holiday always seems to come at just the right time.

“It certainly marks a passing of seasons, and the onset of shorter days and colder weather. It also provides a time to enjoy the company of those who are closest to us, and to just take a deep breath.”

He continues that Reading Week presents a chance to reflect on the work to deal with the “great challenges” posed by the pandemic.

“Our students, staff, and faculty are doing everything they can to adapt and follow the measures that need to be taken to protect their health and the health of others,” Gordon says. “Maintaining appropriate social distancing, smaller gatherings, wearing masks, washing our hands as frequently as possible are not just a way of life, but something we know is working in the battle against COVID-19.”

Given that the virus continues to infect people, there is no rush to have everyone return to work on campus, he concludes.

“It will take a long time to have everyone back,” he told staff and faculty. “If you are working effectively and efficiently at home right now, you will likely be doing so for the foreseeable future.”

Watch the entire video message:

Thanksgiving wishes were also extended by Ryan Flannagan, associate vice president of student experience, sending greetings to students near and far:

The presidents of the three student unions — Christopher Baillargeon of the Organization of Part-time University Students, Sathish Pichika of the Graduate Student Society, and Herman Dayal of the University of Windsor Students’ Alliance — created a message for their members:

Political science professor Lydia MiljanPolitical science professor Lydia Miljan will open this year’s Martin Wesley Lecture series with her Oct. 13 presentation “Primate Politics.”

Primal nature of political power subject of lecture

It may be easy to dismiss Donald Trump’s path to the White House as a fluke or accident of history. However, to do so would be to miss an opportunity, says political science professor Lydia Miljan — a chance to examine the nature of why some people are successful at gaining power, while others are not.

“To provide some context into the electoral success of Trump, as well as current Canadian politicians and leaders, we need to go beyond public opinion polls, policy analysis, and traditional electoral politics,” Dr. Miljan says.

She will examine the underlying attributes of what makes a successful leader in a free public lecture entitled “Primate Politics,” on Zoom at 7 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 13.

Using Frans de Waal’s 2007 book Chimpanzee Politics: Power and Sex among Apes as inspiration, Miljan aims to identify the similarities of chimpanzee hierarchy and human political campaigns. She merges feminist theory and anthropology to seek understanding of why some individuals are more successful than others in attaining and maintaining leadership.

Miljan has published four books. She edited Counting Votes: Essays on Electoral Reform, wrote Public Policy in Canada, and co-authored Hidden Agendas: How Journalists Influence the News and Cross-Media Ownership and Democratic Practice in Canada.

This address is presented by the Humanities Research Group as part of its Martin Wesley Lecture series and will be followed by a question-and-answer period. Attendance is free but registration is required to receive a link to the event.

thumbnail image writing tutorial videoA series of video tutorials from the Writing Support Desk covers topics from essay structure to perfecting punctuation.

Tutorials address issues in academic writing

Nowadays, learning often takes place via instructional videos instead of textbooks, says academic writing advisor Jason Horn. A series of video tutorials from the Writing Support Desk is geared toward these visual learners.

“While sites like OWL Purdue might provide clear text instruction on citing and refencing, our videos on APA and MLA provide video instruction on how to construct specific citations and references with engaging use of PowerPoint animations,” Horn says.

“For students who want to invest a little more time learning about the nuances of academic integrity, citation, and references, we have some longer videos, and for those who are in a rush, we have short videos on more specific topics.”

The tutorials cover everything from essay structure to editing for conciseness and perfecting punctuation.

“The fact that students can access them online any time makes them a very convenient resource,” says Horn. “We hope that faculty members and instructors will recommend them to their students.”

There are currently 36 videos posted to the site with more to come. Find them on the Writing Support Desk website.

cake decorated in blue icingYoustina Assad’s layer cake won the student prize in the Great UWindsor Bake Off.

Contest winners demonstrate Lancer pride and knowledge

Communications student Matthew Dupuis knows his UWindsor trivia, and put that knowledge to use Wednesday to win a fancy temperature-controlled mug in the UWin Proud contest sponsored by the Office of Student Experience on Wednesday.

Dupuis correctly responded that

  • Ross Paul began his tenure as UWindsor president in 1998;
  • Windsor Law first welcomed students to its dual-JD program in 1980;
  • In 1988, women made up 12 per cent of faculty;
  • In 1998, the University enrolled 313 international students;
  • Alistair Macleod joined the faculty in 1969;
  • Campus has never hosted a building named Leamington Hall;
  • The St. Denis Centre opened in 1981; and
  • The double cohort brought first-year enrolment in 2003 to 4,571.

In the Great UWindsor Bake Off, residence life team lead Lynn Charron took top honours among employees and political science major Youstina Assad in the student category.

Mike Fisher of Information Technology Services won the “Show your spirit” social media contest.

graphic from DevFestUWindsor students are helping to organize a conference bringing together tech industry professionals and students from across Canada and Michigan.

UWindsor students help lead cross-border tech conference

Members of the UWindsor Google Developer Student Club are helping organize the first Great North DevFest, a conference bringing together tech industry professionals and students from across Canada and Michigan.

The club is collaborating with Google Developer Groups in Detroit and Ann Arbor to create a virtual conference featuring skill-building technical workshops and networking opportunities on Saturday, Oct. 17.

One of the event organizers, biochemistry and computer science student Aislyn Laurent, is Google’s Women Techmaker Ambassador for the Windsor-Essex region.

“It’s the one chance this year students will meet with professionals from Vancouver to Halifax,” says Laurent. “Working with the GDGs has been an incredible experience, and we’re thrilled to bring the same networking opportunities to students across campus.”

Proceedings will take place online and admission is free. Topics include machine learning, cross platform development, and cloud computing.

Spencer Briguglio, vice president of research development for Enactus and student-in-tech for the Entrepreneurship Practice and Innovation Centre, will volunteer on the day to help run things behind the scenes and says students in all faculties should consider participating.

“This isn’t something just for computer science students,” he says. “Having completed a degree in biochemistry, I can tell you these technical skills have major cross-disciplinary applications.”

Registration for the event is now open. Find more information and reserve a ticket on the Great North DevFest website.

young woman working on computer

Digest lists top questions

Campus partners are working to maintain a robust set of Winter 2021 Knowledge Base Articles (KBAs).

The team will continue to compile a Weekly Digest of the most-referenced KBAs to streamline student-focused questions to ask.UWindsor to support consistent communication with current and future students.

These are this week's top-five referenced KBAs:

Find Winter 2021 KBA's by clicking here:

You can submit common questions or make suggestions to the KBA Team at askkba@uwindsor.ca.