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Ofelia Jianu, Mary Jo Haddad, Robert Gordon, Alice MillerThe show must go on: Beadle Ofelia Jianu leads chancellor Mary Jo Haddad, president Robert Gordon, and registrar Alice Miller in a convocation procession through the heart of the UWindsor campus.

Pandemic powerless to prevent pomp and pride

The University of Windsor’s 114th Convocation will feature pomp in unprecedented circumstances, says registrar Alice Miller.

After pandemic restrictions made it necessary to cancel the spring celebration, organizers prepared for a double cohort to participate in the first-ever virtual celebration of graduation.

“This year, as a result of COVID-19, our celebratory approach had to turn to cyberspace,” Miller says. “Our goal has been to update our long-standing traditions in a way that ensures the safety of our honoured grads and their families and guests.”

Almost 4,800 eligible graduands each received an emailed invitation to create a personalized slide that will be shown when their name is read during one of the 13 sessions that will be live-streamed Oct. 14 to 17.

Chancellor Mary Jo Haddad, president Robert Gordon, academic deans, and student leaders have been preparing messages to share as the Class of 2020 joins an alumni family of more than 145,000 around the world.

Knowing how important it is for faculty and staff to share in this celebration, Miller invites the campus community to join in celebrating the graduating class of 2020. Find a list of sessions and links to the live streams at

Can’t make the scheduled time? No worries: the webcasts will be housed on the UWindsor website for viewing any time.

man frustrated by computer -- perhaps the victiom of a phishing scamWatch for the hook dangled by phishing scams, warns IT Services.

IT Services warns: don’t get hooked

Since COVID-19 struck in March, Interpol reports that phishing attacks have increased by 59 per cent. Ninety-three per cent of IT security breaches are now a direct result of phishing.

Phishing is a form of attack that depends on tricking or fooling a victim into doing what the attacker wants. The attack begins with the attacker sending a message to the victim. It is a success if the victim reacts to the message.

“It is the technique of using a message as bait to lure or hook the victim that gives phishing its name,” says Kevin Macnaughton, team leader security in IT Service. “And it’s important to remember phishing messages can be sent by email, text (smishing), and voicemail (vishing).”

IT Services’ top four tips for spotting — and ultimately avoiding — phishing are:

  1. Consider the request in detail.
  • Is it an unusual or unexpected ask from the sender?
  • Is there an odd sense of urgency?
  • Does it ask you to open an attachment you were not expecting?
  • Does the message ask you to log in or provide personal information to a website?
  1. Examine the sender’s name and email address carefully. Do they look peculiar?
  1. Review the message. Does it contain spelling errors, bad grammar, odd formatting, or missing signatures?
  1. Check any links in the message. When you hover over them, are the web addresses suspicious?

If you answer ‘yes’ to any of the questions above, do not react to the message. Instead, if you think the message may be legitimate, contact the sender through a different communication channel to verify it.

Otherwise, report the message by forwarding it as an attachment to or contacting the IT Service Desk at 519-253-3000, ext. 4440.

To learn more ways to spot a phishing hook, see’t-take-bait.

Led by IT Services, Cybersecurity Awareness Month efforts highlight cybersecurity issues relevant to the UWindsor community. More information, along with how you can protect yourself, is available at

graphic reading Healthy Eating, Healthy Life Virtual Workplace ChallengeThe Workplace Wellness Committee invites UWindsor employees to win prizes in the Healthy Eating, Healthy Life Virtual Workplace Challenge.

Workplace challenge encourages employees to eat healthier

UWindsor faculty and staff are being challenged to replace unhealthy eating habits with healthier ones for a chance to win prizes.

From Oct. 19 to Nov. 15, the Workplace Wellness Committee invites employees to participate in the Healthy Eating, Healthy Life Virtual Workplace Challenge as individuals or organize in teams of two to six people.

“Eating a healthy, balanced diet along with being physically active can help us maintain a healthy weight and reduce our risk of developing chronic diseases such as heart disease and stroke,” says Marcela Ciampa, director of Organizational Development & Training and chair of the Workplace Wellness Committee.

Each week, the challenge introduces a new theme in the form of a healthy eating habit, encouraging employees to replace unhealthy habits.

Points are earned each day (Monday to Sunday) by incorporating a healthy habit, specific to the week’s theme. Prizes will be awarded weekly for submitting tracking sheets and at the end of the challenge to the individual and the team with most points earned.

Participants have the option to join the challenge Microsoft Teams Group to stay connected virtually with colleagues, share ideas and recipes, and more.

Find details, including the online registration, tracking sheets, and the weekly information sheets, on the challenge website at

Athena wearing helmetApplications for the Humanities Research Group fellowship are open until Nov. 30.

Humanities Research Group invites fellowship applications

A fellowship designed to provide a UWindsor faculty member with the time to complete major research or creative projects is accepting applications through Nov. 30.

The Humanities Research Group invites interest from full-time faculty with projects in the arts, humanities, or theoretical, historical, or philosophical aspects of the social sciences. HRG Fellows earn a one-term release from teaching, during which they are expected to engage in full-time research and deliver a public lecture presenting their work.

The fellowship is specifically geared toward tenure-track faculty who will benefit most from the time to prepare an ambitious project for publication, presentation, or performance. Find more information on the group’s website.

computer chip with lock on itAn upgrade to firewalls disabled some online services for two hours starting at 6 a.m. Tuesday, Oct. 13.

University invests in work-from-home security

Information Technology Services upgraded the University’s firewall this morning, adding new features and capabilities, including better administration and management of VPN connections.

“This upgrade is an investment in the University’s work-from-home infrastructure,” says Kevin Macnaughton, team lead security, IT Services. “It improves security for those of us working remotely.”

The firewall upgrade occurred today between 6 and 8 a.m. Blackboard was the only major service deliberately brought down as a safeguard, while brief, one-to-two-minute interruptions affected Computer Science servers and VPN services.

If, however, you are experiencing problems after 8 a.m. today, please contact the IT Service Desk at 519-253-3000, ext. 4440.

IT Services also reminds campus community members to check for system statuses and service notifications.