UWindsor Together: Student Mental Health and Remote Learning Services
copies of Kingsville Reporter and Lakeshore News newspapersThe Leddy Library is home to an archive of the now-defunct Kingsville Reporter and Lakeshore News newspapers.

Historic community newspapers find new home in Leddy archives

When Postmedia suddenly closed 15 Canadian community newspapers in May of last year, five local weekly papers were removed from Windsor-Essex communities: the Kingsville Reporter, the Lakeshore News, the LaSalle Post, the Tecumseh Shoreline Week, and the Tilbury Times.

Newspaper profitability has been in decline for decades, but the media company, like other businesses, had been hit hard by the economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic and suffered further declines in revenue.

Following the closure announcement, Leddy Library archivist Sarah Glassford reached out to all five local newspapers with an offer to rehouse back issues in the library’s Archives and Special Collections.

“Local newspapers offer a rich snapshot of our communities’ histories by chronicling important events and issues,” said Dr. Glassford. “When the closures were announced, many community members wanted to ensure that these unique records would be saved."

Editors from two of the five papers responded to the offer, happy to secure new homes for a rich historical legacy that may have otherwise ended up in a recycling bin.

“Archival rescue missions like this are not uncommon,” said Glassford. “We often have to act quickly to ensure that valuable records are not permanently lost. Completing the transfer under pandemic conditions added to the challenge in this case.”

Masked and socially-distanced volunteers from the Kingsville-Gosfield Heritage Society, Kingsville Reporter, and Leddy Library co-ordinated the packing, transportation, and unpacking of the newspaper’s archive from Kingsville to Leddy Library. Shortly after, the archives also received a small delivery of back issues from the Lakeshore News.

The Lakeshore News and Kingsville Reporter newspapers, a collection of issues going back roughly 125 years, are now safely stored in the archive’s climate-controlled, secure vault. As pandemic conditions permit, staff are cataloguing the papers and taking emergency conservation steps.

Glassford intends to eventually digitize some of the older fragile issues that will allow the library to better preserve them. Digitization will also increase public access to the collection by sharing through online initiatives such as Our Digital World, a newspaper database supported in part by Leddy Library.

“Much of the detail found in newspapers — from local events to obituaries — is not captured anywhere else, particularly when we're talking about newspapers from small communities,” said Glassford.

“We’re happy to preserve this piece of Windsor-Essex history.”

Learn more about the Library’s Archives and Special Collections during Archives Awareness Week, April 5 to 9, on the library website.

—Marcie Demmans

still from "Fight to the Finish"The Second World War feature Fight to the Finish is nominated for a Canadian Screen Award as Best History Documentary.

Professors honoured with documentary award nomination

Film professors Kim Nelson and Nick Hector are honoured that a feature they worked on was nominated for an award as Best History Documentary last week by the Academy of Canadian Cinema and Television.

Dr. Nelson story edited and Prof. Hector co-produced and edited Fight to the Finish, which shares the memories and thoughts of more than 50 Canadian Second World War veterans, while viewers watch footage of the war itself, much of it in colour.

The film aired on the History Channel on Nov. 11, 2020, as part of its coverage of the 75th anniversary of the close of the war.

“It was a moving experience to work with the raw and honest testimony of these WWII veterans and a pleasure to be part of a filmmaking team that approached the topic with such depth and nuance,” says Nelson.

Hector says the creative challenge was extraordinary.

“Crafting a coherent and engaging national narrative of six years of war from more than 50 personal testimonies was extremely difficult,” he says.

He notes that the lived experience of war is very different from what is seen in the movies.

“War is horrific, confusing, and senseless. It’s also often intensely myopic,” says Hector. “Soldiers are fighting for their lives, for their comrades’ lives. They rarely have the luxury of being able to see the shape of history. Our task was to find the grand narrative in these personal stories. I’m very happy with the result. I hope that we have honoured this extraordinary material.”

The film was reviewed in the Globe & Mail by television critic John Doyle, who wrote: “Fight to the Finish is essential viewing, an exceptional and profoundly meaningful hour of plain talk about that war.”

The Canadian Screen Awards are scheduled for virtual ceremonies in the week of May 17. The other nominees in the Best History Documentary category are: Cheating Hitler: Surviving the Holocaust; Samuel L. Jackson’s Enslaved: The Lost History of the Transatlantic Slave Trade; and Unabomber: In His Own Words.

“It’s a thrill being in competition with Samuel L. Jackson’s Enslaved,” says Hector. “He’s a truly gifted artist and has made a very important film. I hope he wins!”

—Susan McKee

Watch a clip from Fight to the Finish on YouTube:

Clinton BeckfordEducation professor Clinton Beckford will take up an appointment as acting vice-president, equity, diversity, and inclusion, effective June 1.

Education prof takes on role of acting VP for equity, diversity, and inclusion

Education professor Clinton Beckford has accepted a two-year appointment as acting vice-president, equity, diversity, and inclusion, UWindsor president Robert Gordon announced last week.

This appointment will provide guidance, advocacy, insight, and leadership as the University works toward a Senate-governed leadership role at the vice-president level. Dr. Beckford will lead a process to establish bylaws for the permanent position.

In this role as a member of the executive leadership team of the University of Windsor, he will lead and support efforts to address racism and discrimination on campus and provide guidance to ensure that equity, diversity, and inclusion priorities thoughtfully inform decision making.

Beckford is the associate dean, teacher education, in the Faculty of Education. Dr. Gordon praised his depth of experience as a highly respected advocate for social and environmental justice, as an agent of change in the ongoing work of dismantling systemic oppression on this campus and beyond, and as an educational and administrative leader.

“Dr. Beckford brings extensive research, knowledge, and experience working with racialized, marginalized, and Indigenous communities locally and internationally to this role, as well as a deep knowledge of our campus community,” Gordon wrote.

birds on power linesOnline engagement is the focus of a free online course for UWindsor instructors from the Office of Open Learning.

Engaging students online the subject of course for UWindsor instructors

In its ongoing efforts to support faculty and students with best practices and approaches to online learning and teaching, the Office of Open Learning has opened registration for a free online course for UWindsor instructors, focused on supporting student engagement online.

The first offering of “Engagement in the Online Classroom” runs from April 12 to 16 and will be facilitated by Dave Cormier and Ashlyne O’Neil, learning specialists in the Office of Open Learning.

O’Neil describes the course as providing “a supported pathway for both instructors who are new to online teaching, and those who have now had some experience, but are looking for ways to meaningfully engage their students.”

Participants will engage in a combination of live online collaborative sessions, self-paced activities, and ongoing discussions. Throughout the week, they will have access to help from the Open Learning facilitators and resources to help them develop effective practices for keeping their students engaged online.

“One of the first questions we get from many faculty is ‘how do I keep students engaged in learning when they have so many other alternatives?’” says Cormier. “The course is designed to be a pragmatic discussion of some of the key factors surrounding engagement with some practical advice for using the Internet to help.”

Registration is open now through the Office of Open Learning workshop database, alongside a collection of additional workshops offered by learning specialists. This course, and all additional workshops, are available for all University of Windsor instructors who are looking for support and guidance in building their online courses.

Beth Daly and dogAnthrozoology program co-ordinator Beth Daly with friend Grasshopper.

Anthrozoology is no joke

While April Fool’s Day is an opportunity to have some fun, it is also a day to think creatively about our interests and hopes. Readers ready to enrol their furry friends at the University of Windsor based on a hoax story last week can still enrol themselves in its anthrozoology program.

“UWindsor is the only university in Canada offering programs in human-animal interactions,” says program co-ordinator Beth Daly. “Widely interdisciplinary, anthroozologists study pet-keeping, farming, animal research, conservation, zoos, animals in sports, vegetarianism, companion animals, and more.”

Students can pursue a certificate or a minor alongside their selected major. The anthrozoology program includes such courses such Animals in Sport & Entertainment, Animals and Humans in Society, and The Canine Impact: Exploring the Dog-Human Relationship.

Students can learn more about the program online. https://www.uwindsor.ca/anthrozoology/.

Bingo4Health logoThe Dubious Dabbers from the Leddy Library won a luncheon as the top team in the Bingo4Health health and wellness engagement challenge.

Library team shouts Bingo! for the win

The Dubious Dabbers from the Leddy Library: Sue Fader, Jennifer Soutter, Christina Olsen, Angela Sullivan, and Sharon Munro, won a luncheon as the top team in the Bingo4Health health and wellness engagement challenge.

They were drawn at random from among the entrants tied atop the standings of 26 competing teams to claim the prize, compliments of the Office of the President. The quintet will enjoy their meal upon returning to campus.

The challenge involved 130 UWindsor employees in activities over four weeks to promote physical and emotional well-being.

The Social Virtual Connections Working Committee invites ideas for future ways to foster holistic health among faculty and staff. Submit suggestions to special events manager Mary Ann Rennie at mrennie@uwindsor.ca.