The University of Windsor is preparing for a safe return to campus. Learn More.
map of Windsor highlighting areas in varying shades of greenGeospatial data analyst Carina Luo mapped the walkability of Windsor neighbourhoods.

Geospatial analyst maps neighbourhood walkability

The Leddy Library invites patrons to explore Windsor’s Neighbourhood Walkability map application for GIS Day.

GIS Day is an annual event celebrating the technology of geographic information systems, which Leddy Library’s geospatial data analyst, Carina Luo, used to create a local walkability map application of Windsor neighbourhoods.

“Neighbourhood walkability is a measure of how well the built environment of a neighbourhood promotes walking,” said Luo. “For instance, a neighbourhood that has a variety of destinations within walking distance is considered highly walkable and can be determined through GIS research.”

Luo, who provides geospatial services to the campus community through the Academic Data Centre, is an expert in the field of GIS and was inspired to create the map application after her local gym closed due to the pandemic.

“I decided to explore other options to keep healthy during this time and after a few disappointing walks in some neighbourhoods, I opted to dig up some research on Windsor’s Walkability,” she said.

Although there were several existing studies investigating the walkability of other Canadian cities such as Toronto and Vancouver, little was known about the walkability of Windsor.

Luo reviewed literature on public health, urban design, and walkability to determine variables that represent individual aspects of the built environment influencing walkability and corresponding data sources. Using GIS and statistical analysis, she combined data on these variables into a composite value of overall walkability for each neighbourhood.

The final online application brings together a variety of information from population density, residential density, land-use mix, street connectivity, destination accessibility, transit availability, commuting behaviour, and socioeconomic characteristics to display the walkability indexes for Windsor neighbourhoods.

“GIS uses sophisticated software and methods to analyze data by location and then organizes various layers of information into visualizations using maps and 3D scenes,” said Luo. “This can reveal hidden patterns, relationships, and trends that may not be apparent in spreadsheets and texts.”

Luo’s early finding have shown that residents of neighbourhoods with greater walkability reported higher levels of walking, cycling, and use of public transit for transportation to work. She also discovered an interesting relationship between income and walkability, a correlation that she plans to research further.

With many public policies moving toward modifying neighbourhood-level built environment to support physical activity, she hopes her tool will help inform future research on the impacts of neighbourhood design on travel patterns, health, and environmental outcomes.

Researchers and students can reach out to the Academic Data Centre to learn how to use GIS in their research. The library’s team of data experts at the Academic Data Centre can advise on the best approaches for finding and accessing geospatial data, creating maps, and conducting spatial analysis with data.

View Luo’s complete methodology online or visit the library website to learn more about GIS.

Dillon HallThe University is set to welcome international students with a rigorous pandemic plan approved by federal, provincial, and local health agencies.

Rigorous plan to guide international students’ return this month

The University of Windsor is set to welcome international students with a rigorous pandemic plan approved by federal, provincial, and local health agencies.

International students new to the University or returning students who left after the last academic year are expected to start trickling into the city this month. Students will have to complete a comprehensive checklist before travelling to Canada and undergo a mandatory 14-day quarantine period upon arrival.

Among the details the University requires from students as part of its COVID-19 readiness plan is their date of arrival and the address where they will be staying during quarantine. Students must also detail what arrangements they’ve made to feed themselves and obtain other necessities during quarantine.

UWindsor’s International Student Centre will track the students and keep in contact with them.

The University’s plan is meticulous, right down to securing a COVID-compliant shuttle service to transport students from Toronto to Windsor, said Christopher Busch, associate vice-president, enrolment management.

“We’ve developed a comprehensive plan to ensure the safety and well-being of both our international students and the broader community,” Busch said. The plan helps students stay healthy and puts in place supports if they fall ill, he said.

International students last year made up nearly one-quarter of the University’s enrolment. Some have established residences in Canada or are enrolled in programs that require them to attend campus. Pursuing online studies is difficult for those whose home countries experience electricity outages or poor internet access, or are in different time zones making it difficult to attend online classes in real time.

Busch stressed international students are an important part of UWindsor and Windsor and Essex County’s fabric. Integrating an international or inter-cultural perspective is important to higher education and is one of Windsor’s key priorities.

“International students contribute actively to the community, both economically and culturally,” he said. “We are not whole without them.”

A recent study by KPMG showed non-local students contribute $133 million to the Windsor-Essex region’s economy.

The University is currently in an essential-services model where almost all classes are online, all but essential staff are working from home, and visits to campus are limited. Students in residence have been assigned single rooms and the university is prepared to offer quarantine housing to students who contract the virus while living in shared accommodations off-campus.

International students can find more information on the University’s AskUWindsor webpage.

—Sarah Sacheli

circle of moccasin-clad feetA film screening and discussion Thursday is tied to the celebration of Indigenous cultures, Rock Your Mocs.

Film and talk set to rock mocs

A virtual film screening Thursday, Nov. 19, will mark local observance of Rock Your Mocs, a social media event celebrating Aboriginal cultures. During Rock Your Mocs, people wear their moccasins, take a photo, and share them online with the hashtag #ROCKYOURMOCS.

Kat Pasquach, the University’s Aboriginal outreach and retention co-ordinator, will moderate a discussion with Jessica (Jaylyn) Atsye, a co-founder of Rock Your Mocs, and Charlene Moore, director of Moccasin Stories, one of the films available for viewing.

The “We are not a phase” series of screenings is a partnership of the Turtle Island Aboriginal Education Centre, St. Clair College Indigenous Student Services, VUCAVU and the Arts Council Windsor & Region. The organizers assert that in this time what comes to mind is the connection to the land and the responsibility to the past and future generations.

The films are grounded in the concerns of communities, pride, resiliency, and memory, and will be accessible free from 9 a.m. Nov. 19 to 9 a.m. Nov. 21.

The live discussion begins at 7 p.m. Thursday. Register on the Zoom platform.

As a special bonus, those who attend the panel session or who use the #RockYourMocs519 hashtag on Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram will be entered to win a pair of homemade sweetgrass mini-moccasins.

Pasquach adds: “You don’t need to have moccasins to enter. Slippers are fine too!”

Amy Natyshak, Katie Hirsch, and Hio Tong KuanAmy Natyshak, Katie Hirsch, and Hio Tong Kuan are 2020 recipients of GA/TA Awards.

Awards recognize excellence in teaching by graduate and teaching assistants

Three students from different fields claimed top honours in the awards for graduate and teaching assistants from the Centre for Teaching and Learning (CTL).

Hio Tong Kuan, doctoral candidate in applied social psychology, and Katie Hirsch, doctoral student in the Faculty of Human Kinetics, are the recipients of the GA/TA Award for Educational Practice. Amy Natyshak, a concurrent education and French Studies major in her fifth year of the program, is the recipient of the GA/TA Award for Educational Leadership.

Serving on the selection committee, Michelle Bondy, experiential learning specialist in the Faculty of Science, said this year’s winners demonstrated that there are many ways to have a positive impact as a graduate or teaching assistant.

Bondy said the selected winners demonstrated, among other things, a commitment to a learning-centred environment, dedication behind the scenes by mentoring and supporting fellow TAs, development of processes to achieve consistency and clear communication in a large course, and continued teaching development.

Elizabeth Ismail, digital outreach co-ordinator of the GATA Network, said GAs and TAs can benefit immensely from the experience of submitting a nomination and the committee received many applications from students in a variety of academic departments.

“Winning aside, the self-reflection required for the nomination process encourages GAs and TAs to view their teaching through a scholarly lens, which helps to promote professionalism and can guide future decision-making,” she said. “It also provides an opportunity for GAs and TAs to showcase their influence to the larger campus community.”

The Centre for Teaching and Learning will honour the three GA/TAs at its annual Celebration of Teaching Excellence, which will be held virtually Feb. 24, 2021.

Read more about the award winners.

Outlook symbolThe Cortana Daily Briefing is designed to help users stay in control of their calendars.

Cortana Daily Briefing email has arrived

Tuesday morning, you likely received your first Cortana Daily Briefing email. As highlighted previously in DailyNews, this new Microsoft feature is designed to help users stay in control of their calendars and be intentional about their days.

Within two hours of your workday (as set up in Outlook), you’ll receive a message highlighting outstanding commitments, documents for review for your day’s meetings, and suggested focus time to get independent work done.

A couple of important reminders about your daily briefing email:

  • This briefing email is completely private. It is seen only by you. For more information, see Microsoft’s Privacy Guide for Briefing Emails.
  • To stop receiving this briefing email, click the “Unsubscribe” link at the top of the message or in the footer.

For an overview of the Cortana Daily Briefing email, watch this 113-second Tech Talk video. If you want more information about Cortana Daily Briefing, click on the link in the Comments section below the video.

VPN graphicInformation Technology Services will upgrade the University’s VPN software the morning of Thursday, Nov. 19.

IT Services to upgrade virtual private network

Information Technology Services will be upgrading the University’s GlobalProtect Virtual Private Network (VPN) software the morning of Thursday, Nov. 19.

The current version of GlobalProtect client 5.0.5, will be replaced by version 5.1.7, which offers support for the latest versions of macOS 11.0 (Big Sur) and Windows 10.

This upgrade will result in existing VPN connections being disconnected; users will be prompted to upgrade the GlobalProtect VPN client when they connect. Configuration should be maintained. Users prompted to reboot or enter the configuration again can find instructions here.

VPN technology provides secure remote access and data transmission between devices that are not connected to the University’s networks and systems.

“Given our current remote work situation, all UWindsor community members are encouraged to install and use the GlobalProtect VPN,” says Kevin Macnaughton, team lead security, IT Services.

If you have any questions or need additional information, contact the IT Service Desk by opening a ticket, calling 519-253-3000, ext. 4440, or clicking the chat icon in the bottom right corner of www.uwindsor.ca/its or www.uwindsor.ca/itshelp.

Lancer Gaming logoLancer Gaming will play the University of Waterloo in Esports League of Legends on Thursday, Nov. 19.

Gamers to face Waterloo

Lancer Gaming will look to improve on its 1-4 start to its inaugural season in Ontario Post-Secondary Esports League of Legends’ action when the Windsor side meets a team from the University of Waterloo on Thursday, Nov. 19.

The Lancers lost a 2-1 nail-biter to York University on Nov. 12, with head coach Ali Abduelmula confident in his players’ ability.

“Despite the loss, the team played well and continues to develop well together,” he says. “We need to continue to work on our in-game communication and cohesiveness to both co-ordinate and execute our strategy.”

A detailed post-game summary is available on the program website.

Thursday’s match will be livestreamed starting at 8 p.m. at twitch.tv/opsesports.