ELIP students in classroomStudents in the English Language Improvement Program will receive training in data literacy, statistical analysis, and research data management.

English learners to gain training in data literacy

A partnership with the Academic Data Centre will provide students in the English Language Improvement Program with training in data literacy, statistical analysis, and research data management.

Starting this fall, the centre in the Leddy Library will conduct sessions for ELIP level III pathway students, led by Berenica Vejvoda, research data librarian, and Rong Luo, learning specialist and statistical analyst.

“It is always an exciting opportunity to provide data and statistical literacy training to students early on in their academic journeys: before they embark on graduate studies or post-university employment,” says Vejvoda. “We look forward to this series being the first of hopefully many opportunities to provide support for data to University of Windsor ELIP students.”

Anouchka Plumb, manager of language programs for Continuing Education, says ELIP is committed to equipping learners with necessary skills to fulfil their potential in academic study.

“We are thankful to have the ADC team on board in helping pathway students understand and identify data access, conversion, critical evaluation, and more to make informed decisions in their data use and management,” Dr. Plumb says.

The interactive sessions include:

  • Secondary Data Discovery and Statistical Literacy, focusing on how to find numeric data sources from major government agencies, including Statistics Canada and other open data portals. An emphasis will be placed on how to critically find and evaluate data sources.
  • Statistical Analysis, discussing the importance of statistics in real life and illustrating the powerful features Excel has to offer for statistical analysis.
  • Research Data Management, exploring the research data life cycle and providing tips on how to effectively manage research data. Key stages to be addressed include data collection, data processing, data analysis, data sharing and re-use.

The Academic Data Centre provides services to University of Windsor students and faculty across the research data life cycle, says Dr. Luo.

“We are here to support you to find secondary data sources in support of your assignments and research,” she says. “We also assist in teaching data and statistical literacy skills so that the sources you utilize are evaluated effectively and minimize reliance on mis- and dis-information.”

The centre also helps students choose, run, and interpret statistical tests for analysis.
Jean EchlinA series of lectures on palliative care will honour the legacy of former nursing professor Jean Echlin.

Palliative care focus of memorial lecture series

A lecture series focusing on the topic of palliative care will serve to commemorate the late nursing professor Jean Echlin, who died in July 2021.

A pioneer in the field, Echlin helped establish the Hospice of Windsor and Essex County and served as its executive director from 1985 to 1987, following a stint as director of nursing at Metropolitan Hospital (now Windsor Regional Hospital – Met Campus). She continued to provide palliative care clinical consultancy in her retirement.

The first event in the series is set for Wednesday, Oct. 5, at 5:30 p.m. in room 203, Toldo Health Education Centre.

Physician Sheri Bergeron and nurse practitioner Rita DiBiase will present “Palliative care: What it is, what it’s not, and why it matters.” A light meal and networking opportunity will follow the lecture, sponsored by the Faculty of Nursing and the Hospice.

All members of the community are welcome. Admission is free, but registration is required; fill out the form online.

students sitting in group discussionIt’s normal to feel nervous about returning to campus, but the “Be Here, Be Present” wellness group can help.

Group to help students reconnect with campus life

It’s normal to feel nervous about coming to campus after so many months of uncertainty and remote learning.

Student Health, Counselling and Wellness Services is offering an eight-week return to campus wellness group for students who would like to talk through how they’re feeling, connect with others, learn new skills for soothing worries, and find balance in the midst of ongoing change.

In the “Be Here, Be Present” group, you will have the opportunity to:

  • connect with other students and make new friends;
  • find comfort in community and reduce feelings of isolation;
  • explore how to worry less and engage more with the present moment; and
  • build new habits to support your well-being and care for yourself.

Based in acceptance and commitment therapy, the group will meet Thursdays from 10 to 11:30 a.m. starting Sept. 22 in room 240, CAW Student Centre.

Registration is required; email scc@uwindsor.ca or call 519-253-3000, ext. 4616, to sign up.

Madeleine Chang, Madeleine Chang, president of Outstanding Scholars Student Council, poses with a sign promoting United Nations Sustainability Development Goal 4 – quality education.

Outstanding Scholars orientation brimming with students looking to connect

Students in the Outstanding Scholars program were happy to join an in-person orientation session Saturday, Sept. 11.

More than 200 gathered an interactive session where students shared their concerns, anxieties, and aspirations for the academic year.

“We were excited to get the opportunity to meet other Outstanding Scholars students in person,” said Madeleine Chang, president of Outstanding Scholars Student Council. “We were highly successful in getting connected with students early in the semester.”

Tim Brunet, co-ordinator of Outstanding Scholars and Student Leadership, said that while the Outstanding Scholars program funds research and creative work, it is also centered about building important affiliations that students need for their success in conducting research and creative work while being engaged as leaders on campus.

Outstanding Scholars aim to inform on-campus networks about several United Nations priorities: its Sustainability Development Goals, the Declaration on the Rights for Indigenous Peoples, the International Decade for People of African Descent, and model United Nations activities on campus.

“The Outstanding Scholars curriculum aims to connect students with each other, the research and creative work being done on campus, and international frameworks about world issues,” said Dr. Brunet.

The orientation day featured initial meetings between mentors and more than 100 mentees.

Rebecca Misiasz, one of four co-ordinators of the mentorship program, said it provides first-year students the opportunity “to share success, concerns, and aspirations” with mentors.

The next event is Meet the Prof night, when Outstanding Scholars students connect with faculty to discuss research and creative work opportunities.

Shari ForbesProfessor Shari Forbes collects decomposition odour to identify the key compounds that cadaver dogs alert to.

UWindsor gains expertise in bats, brains, and body farms

The Faculty of Science continues to grow in research strength and reputation with the latest addition of superstar faculty members, says Chris Houser, dean of science, currently serving as interim vice president research and innovation.

Seven faculty members from various areas of expertise will join five departments.

“The strength and strategic importance of their research and scholarship helps to strengthen the reputation of the Faculty of Science as a leader in impactful research.” says Dr. Houser.

This January, the faculty will welcome four researchers.

Hannah ter Hofstede will be a new integrative biology assistant professor. Her research is in the field of sensory ecology, which investigates how animals gain and use information about their environment.

Dr. ter Hofstede is most interested in understanding how animals like bats and insects use sound to orient in their habitat, find food, or attract mates. She uses a combination of methods to address research questions in her studies, such as neurophysiological recordings from the ears of insects to determine what they can and can’t hear, controlled behavioral experiments in the lab to identify responses of animals to sounds, and observational field studies to document natural behavior in the wild.

Vijendra Sharma, assistant professor biomedical sciences intrigued by the brain’s functional complexity, focused his research on studying the biology of mRNA translation (protein synthesis) and its regulatory mechanisms in different cell types to uncover the molecular and cellular basis of learning and memory. He expertized in a wide array of cutting-edge techniques to investigate the molecular and cellular mechanisms underlying synaptic plasticity and memory formation.

Dr. Sharma’s research utilizes a combination of behavioral, electrophysiological, and biochemical approaches to dissect the role of different cell types and neural circuitry in health and disease. He also patented a gene therapy-based therapeutic approach to treat dementia associated with aging and Alzheimer's disease by correcting dysregulated translation in affected brain regions.

Brian DeVeale, assistant professor biomedical sciences, has a long-standing interest in the gene expression defining cell types. Through his studies, he acquired expertise in developmental biology, gene regulation, functional genomics, and bioinformatics. Moving forward, the goal of his research program is to understand how cell cycle pathways impact cell fate specification and function. To pursue this goal, Dr. DeVeale will develop molecular and computational approaches.

Shari Forbes joins the chemistry and biochemistry team as a full professor. The forensic chemist and taphonomist studies the biochemical processes of human decomposition. Her current research focuses on identifying an accurate chemical profile of decomposition odour using multidimensional chromatography.

Dr. Forbes’ research assists police canine units to improve their training protocols for cadaver-detection dogs deployed to forensic and mass disaster investigations. Her expertise is regularly requested to assist law enforcement with locating and recovering buried or concealed evidence, including human remains, drugs, weapons, and currency.

“I am excited to be joining a multidisciplinary team and to further enhance the reputation of the forensic science program at the University of Windsor,” says Forbes.

“With the support of the university, I am hoping to establish the first human decomposition facility in Ontario which will offer unique research and training opportunities for our students and partner law enforcement agencies.”

Three new faculty already joined the science team in July in economics and mathematics and statistics. Steven Ruoyu Chen joined the Department of Economics as an assistant professor in this summer after completing his Ph.D. in economics at the George Washington University in Washington, D.C.

As an applied microeconomist, Dr. Chen specializes in environmental and energy economics, with a keen interest in the effectiveness of policies in climate change mitigation and renewable energy adoption. His research primarily focuses on advancing our understanding of the effectiveness of carbon emissions trading in restricting power sector emissions.

Tom Grondin (BA 1992), learning specialist, AAS IV in mathematics and statistics, will be managing the department’s actuarial science programs. Grondin has nearly 30 years’ experience as a qualified actuary, including over 20 years at the executive level. The actuary is a consultant to the Aegon financial services group and a fellow of the Society of Actuaries and has an honours degree in mathematics from the University of Windsor.

Kevin Granville, assistant professor mathematics and statistics, has a variety of research interests that span areas of applied probability, stochastic processes, and environmetrics. He has expertise in queueing theory, which involves the modeling and analysis of complex queueing systems that describe the process of how customers wait to receive service.

Dr. Granville has also conducted much research in the field wildland fire science, including studies into the impacts of forestry regulations in Ontario on fire suppression effectiveness as well as the odds of forestry operations igniting fires.

—Sara Elliott