gloved hands holding medical swabAn on-campus clinic to test for exposure to COVID-19 is the result of collaboration across the community.

Campus COVID testing to help ensure student safety

An on-campus clinic to test for exposure to COVID-19 is the result of collaboration across the community.

The tests are available to international students arriving at the University and students arriving for campus residence — only those who are asymptomatic — in the Education Gym from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Friday and Saturday, Jan. 15 and 16.

“We are going above and beyond our student intake protocols by offering on-site testing for the coronavirus,” says Mohsan Beg, executive director of Student Health, Counselling and Wellness. “We want to take every possible step to mitigate the risk of spreading this disease on campus and in the community.”

He credits a number of partners with pulling together to bring the project to fruition: Ontario Health for providing logistical support, training, and providing personal protective and testing equipment, Windsor Regional Hospital, Faculty of Nursing, Facility Services, Information Technology Services, and health and safety staff.

Students who are eligible have booked on-line and screened prior to attending their appointment. Patrons must complete a self-assessment on the Safe Lancer app and bring either an OHIP card for domestic students or their Greenshield insurance no. for international students.

The results of their tests will be communicated in three to five days; Student Health Services will contact those who test positive and provide instructions on what to do.

Psychology professor Jill Singleton-JacksonPsychology professor Jill Singleton-Jackson says communication with students is vital to success in teaching asynchronously.

Psych prof learning to teach asynchronously

In professor Jill Singleton-Jackson’s first-year Intro to Psychology classes, she has focused on using an asynchronous format to create an atmosphere where she can best connect with students.

Normally the first semester of the Introduction to Psychology course combines a lecture and small group breakout time with upper-year psychology mentors. When taking place in person, the switch between the two parts is simple — it takes place partway through the class. In an online setting it becomes necessary to separate the two and requires asynchronous lectures and synchronous mentorship get-togethers.

A course entirely taught asynchronously raises many issues: How are lectures effectively organized? How is student communication prioritized and managed without it being overwhelming for the students? How do you measure the computer skills of students? These are all questions Dr. Singleton-Jackson had in mind while creating her classes.

She finds organizing online courses is incredibly time-consuming. Creating lectures that are easy to follow and fit within the time restraints of a normal lecture is very challenging and often takes multiple attempts. Working to measure student engagement and understanding is problematic when you can’t view students faces, and as a result, instructors have to find other ways to settle students’ nerves and assess comprehension.

During these times, communication becomes even more important. Singleton-Jackson has noticed a significant increase in communication with her students and stresses the importance of having enough communication to inform students, but not so much as to overwhelm them.

What has made this semester successful for her is not simply the opportunity to modify her teaching methods but how willing and determined students are to get through COVID-19 and adapt to online learning. Student willingness has been key in making her classes successful and has created a situation that makes the best of COVID-19.

—Bridget Heuvel

Faculty of Science logo over rainbow flagA research team will collect and analyze data with a goal of improving equity, diversity, and inclusion within science.

Research aimed at boosting inclusion in science

A research team in the Faculty of Science is speaking with students, staff, and faculty to create a better picture and develop a deeper understanding of the academic climate. Through a series of research studies, members will collect and analyze data with an end goal of improving equity, diversity, and inclusion (EDI) within science.

Postdoctoral fellow Michael Godfrey (BHK 2014) started the research series in Fall 2020 by conducting semi-structured interviews with faculty, staff, and students from within science with the project called “Exploring the academic climate for LGBTQ2S+ students in science.”

“The volunteer interviewees shared their personal perspectives of the atmosphere that they feel exists for LGBTQ2S+ science students — and ultimately how this climate may influence a student’s career aspirations,” says Dr. Godfrey.

“We will be using the findings from the interviews to educate students, faculty, and staff, as well as administration, about the current climate within the Faculty of Science and inform interventions to maximize LGBTQ2S+ students’ comfort and persistence within STEM fields.”

Participation was completely voluntary and responses confidential. Godfrey created the interview with colleagues Tricia Carmichael, chemistry and biochemistry professor, and psychology assistant professor Dana Menard. Together they recruited volunteers through email and social media campaigns.

“We interviewed individuals who belong to the LGBTQ2S+ community, as well and those who do not, because we understand the importance of gaining multiple perspectives to garner a more holistic understanding of the current climate,” Godfrey says.

After finishing his human kinetics degree at UWindsor, Godfrey went on to complete Masters and doctoral studies with a focus on sports psychology, looking at how cultural diversity affects the cohesiveness of teams and group dynamics.

He says he explored how cultural diversity, specifically ethnic diversity, influenced cohesion and he found that with university teams, the more diverse the team, the more united the team was in practice and game situations. With this post-doctoral position, Godfrey will carry over his research expertise to explore EDI in science, as he discovered there is a minimal amount of Canadian research into the effects of diversity in academia.

“Our research results will not only be used to educate and inform interventions to maximize LGBTQ2S+ students’ comfort and persistence within STEM fields at UWindsor from the administration down, but we plan to expand our research to a nation-wide platform, so we can compare academic climates across Canada,” he says.

“We’ve already made some strong steps forward towards positive EDI progress with efforts like the annual LGBTQ2S+ in STEM conference organized by the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, and we want to capitalize on the momentum to continue raising awareness for this under-represented community.”

The team is currently preparing a second study, “Ethnic Diversity in Science Research Group/Lab Contexts,” with plans to look at diversity in research labs, how the ethnic and cultural make-up affects cohesion of the lab team.

Dr. Carmichael says the postdoctoral research position arose from an EDI working group, which recently turned into a task force.

“There is a deep need for this type of open discussion accompanied by the ability to adapt and change — to successfully create an inclusive climate where everyone on campus feels comfortable,” says Carmichael, who leads the task force.

“We are providing a space to encourage everyone in science ­— the interviews have been very successful and we will continue this research.”

The EDI taskforce is now actively recruiting members for the taskforce. Interested students, staff, and faculty may email Carmichael at To volunteer for an interview, contact Godfrey at

Godfrey notes it is important to make changes at the departmental and administration levels, but there are also simple gestures we can all make.

“Hanging rainbow stickers on our office door or adding pronouns to our email signatures identify us as an open-minded community of allies,” he says. “Don’t underestimate the power of micro-support to set new norms.”

—Sara Elliott

Luc Quenneville, Scott Thorpe, and Jen Almeida accept certificates from president Robert Gordon.The Print Shop team received a service excellence award in January 2020. From left: Luc Quenneville, Scott Thorpe, and Jen Almeida accept certificates from president Robert Gordon.

Faculty and staff invited to join online celebration of Employee Recognition Awards

The Department of Human Resources invites the campus community to the virtual presentation of the Employee Recognition Awards to be held on Feb. 25 from 3 to 4:30 p.m.

This live online event will confer the following honours:

  • Excellence in Leadership Award – James Yaworsky, review counsel, Community Legal Aid
  • Excellence in Health and Safety Award (Individual) - Michelle Bondy, learning specialist, Faculty of Science
  • Excellence in Health & Safety Award (Team) - Research Safety Committee (view the list of team members)
  • Impact Award (Individual) - Nargis Ismail, organic analysis lab co-ordinator, Great Lakes Institute for Environmental Research
  • Impact Award (Team) - Centre of Teaching and Learning & Office of Open Learning (view the list of team members)
  • Service Excellence Award (Individual) – Alison Samson, director of graduate academic services (retired), Faculty of Graduate Studies; and Nick Keren, systems analyst, Information Technology Services
  • Service Excellence Award (the First Five Years of Employment) – Sarah Hebert, communications assistant in the Office of the Vice-President, Student Experience
  • Service Excellence Award (Team) – Faculty of Education Pre-Service Team (view the list of team members)

RSVP online at Registrants will receive the link to join the live virtual event via e-mail the week prior.

New guide to help minimize risk in experiential learning

Experiential learning activities in the workplace, on campus, or at home, all involve some risk that can range from mismatched expectations to an industrial accident, but using the new Guide to Risk Management can help ensure a safe and successful educational experience for students.

Career Development and Experiential Learning, in consultation with Legal Services and other stakeholders, developed this guide of handy tips and useful checklists to lead faculty and staff through the most common risk management questions as well as those that are often missed.

Judy Bornais, executive director of the Office of Experiential Learning, encourages faculty and staff to take advantage of the expertise and resources available to them.

“The University of Windsor has a wealth of experience and knowledge in supporting successful experiential learning,” she says. “We have developed the Risk Management Guide as one more tool to consider when developing experiential learning experiences.”

Two other new resources are also available. Using feedback from across faculties and the criteria provided by the Ministry of Colleges and Universities, the curricular experiential learning categories and definitions have been adjusted, revised, and clarified to better describe experiential learning at the University of Windsor.

The new Curricular EL Categories and definitions can be found on the Office of Experiential Learning website. Accompanying the new definitions is a Rubric for Curricular EL Categories to help faculty determine if their courses qualify to be labelled as experiential. In order to meet requirements under the current strategic mandate agreements, all three criteria within the rubric must be met for the course to be tagged for inclusion in reporting to the ministry.

For questions and support related to experiential learning course tagging, contact experiential education co-ordinator Anna Galka.

Golf ball on teeThe 2021 Alumni & Friends Golf Tournament is scheduled for Monday, July 26, at Ambassador Golf Club.

Organizers ask golfers to save date for alumni and friends tournament

Organizers of the Alumni & Friends Golf Tournament have announced a date of July 26 for the 2021 edition of the annual event.

The tournament is slated for the Ambassador Golf Club, with details still to follow on registration, sponsorship opportunities, and more.

“To ensure the safety of our guests and supporters, the organizing committee is working to finalize the tournament format, start times, and other details,” says Rob Janisse, co-ordinator of special projects in the Office of Alumni Relations. “At this time, we just want to share with our many supporters the date itself.”

Watch for additional information on the event website as it becomes available.

Tech Talk logoA Tech Talk video delves into Microsoft Forms set-up options.

Video instruction offers more about Microsoft Forms

Microsoft Forms is best used for the creation of simple surveys, quizzes, and polls. It does, however, offer some more advanced functionality such as display logic and branching, anonymous response collection, and access control.

Watch Office of Open Learning’s student online learning assistant Tariq Al-Rfouh as he delves a little deeper into Microsoft Forms set-up options in this 150-second video.

Tech Talk is a presentation of Information Technology Services. More Tech Talks are available at

Sujith Xavier, Tess SheldonLaw professors Sujith Xavier and Tess Sheldon received Partnership Engage Grants from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council.

Federal grants to support legal research projects

Two UWindsor law professors have won support from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC) for research collaborations exploring issues of public concern.

Sujith Xavier is co-investigator alongside University College London political science professor Kate Cronin-Furman on “Paths to Justice: International Legal Strategies for Accountability,” which will investigate legal strategies for paths to international accountability in post-conflict jurisdictions.

“We are thrilled to embark on this project with the help of two students from Windsor Law’s JD and LLM program," says Prof. Xavier.

Tess Sheldon will investigate the experience of persons with disabilities during the pandemic in a study entitled “COVID-19 and Access to Justice for People with Disabilities: A Multidisciplinary Legal Analysis of the Barriers, Risks and Responses in Ontario's Congregate Care Settings,” with law professor Ruby Dhand of Thompson Rivers University.

“We are delighted to contribute to the creation of disability-informed policy and law reform recommendations to COVID-19,” says Prof. Sheldon.

Both projects received Partnership Engage Grants, which are meant to respond to immediate needs and time constraints facing organizations in non-academic sectors. They provide short-term and timely support for partnered research activities that will inform decision-making at a single partner organization from the public, private, or not-for-profit sector.

In addressing an organization-specific need, challenge, or opportunity, these partnerships let non-academic organizations and postsecondary researchers access each other’s unique knowledge, expertise, and capabilities on topics of mutual interest.