Robert AguirreRobert Aguirre will become the University of Windsor’s next provost and vice-president, academic.

Accomplished scholar to take up appointment as next Provost and Vice-President, Academic

Following a highly competitive search process, Robert Aguirre will take up an appointment as provost and vice-president, academic, effective July 17.

Reporting to the president, Dr. Aguirre will be the University’s chief academic leader, providing direction and vision for its academic planning and administration. With oversight that includes student experience, faculty relations and support, continuing education, information and learning technologies, library services, strategic enrolment management, academic accountability, and international development, Aguirre will enhance the University’s academic mission, inspiring academic excellence and empowering positive change through regionally and globally engaged inquiry, learning, scholarship, creative activity, and research.

Aguirre (PhD, Harvard) comes to the University of Windsor from James Madison University in Virginia, a public, research-intensive university of 22,000 students where he has served as professor of English and dean of the College of Arts and Letters since 2018. Between 1997 and 2018, he was a faculty member at Wayne State University in Detroit, serving for six years as associate dean in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences.

An interdisciplinary scholar of literary transnationalism with a special focus on the Atlantic world, Aguirre is the author of Informal Empire and Mobility and Modernity, as well as many articles on material and visual culture, museum studies, travel and transport, and Latinx literature. His work has been supported by year-long research fellowships at the University of Michigan and Brown University.

At James Madison University, he introduced the model of cohort hiring to the academic affairs division, increased funding and infrastructure for research in arts and letters, established the office of student professional development, and increased the number and scope of centres and institutes.

Aguirre takes on the role following a two-year interim term from Patti Weir. President Robert Gordon says he is pleased to welcome Aguirre back to the Windsor-Essex region and thanks Dr. Weir for her years of leadership and dedication to the role.

“Dr. Aguirre’s commitment to diversity and inclusion initiatives on US campuses will translate well to the Canadian context,” Dr. Gordon said. “With an impressive administrative and scholarly career, Dr. Aguirre’s experience will build on the strong foundation that Dr. Weir established.”

Aguirre said he is looking forward to playing a central role in defining the University of Windsor’s academic directions.

“I am honored to serve the University of Windsor community at this exciting, forward-looking moment,” he said. “Over these past months, I have been deeply impressed by the University’s aspirations to be a leader in research and teaching excellence, to embrace innovation for the public good, to be an anchor institution in the Windsor-Essex region, and to create an inclusive community of deep belonging and common cause. I am excited to work with university and community partners to carry on this important work.”

Catherine Febria in fieldCatherine Febria will present “Harnessing Diversity in Freshwater Restoration Science” on Wednesday, May 17.

Harnessing diversity in science subject of lecture

In the face of a global climate and biodiversity crisis, it is critical to mobilize science into actions that include stewardship, education, and policy, says Catherine Febria.

Canada Research Chair in Freshwater Restoration Ecology and director of the Healthy Headwaters Lab at the University of Windsor, she will explore ways in which diversity and inclusion are critical to advancing and accelerating inclusive solutions for a more sustainable planet in a free online lecture Wednesday, May 17.

“Diversity is a critical attribute of both ecological and social systems that can be a key lever to addressing and overcoming negative resilience mechanisms that cause delays and disappointment in restoration,” Dr. Febria says. “To this end I will discuss varied ways in which diversity is an important factor the creation of science teams as well as an attribute of social and ecological systems.”

Reflecting on the positionality of the lab as an interdisciplinary and community-engaged team, and Febria as a Filipina immigrant settler to Turtle Island/North America, “Harnessing Diversity in Freshwater Restoration Science” will be facilitated by education professor Shijing Xu and doctoral candidate Chenkai Chi.

The event will begin at 7 p.m. on the Microsoft Teams videoconference platform; register here to attend. Click here to join the session in Teams.

Ben Kuo leaning against door labelled Multicultural Clinical and Counseeling Research LabThe Canadian Psychological Association has conferred its Award for Public, Community Service and Human Rights and Social Justice in Psychology on UWindsor professor Ben Kuo.

Psychology professor wins recognition for public service

An award from the Canadian Psychological Association has left UWindsor psychology professor Ben Kuo “deeply honoured.”

The association selected him for its 2023 Award for Public, Community Service and Human Rights and Social Justice in Psychology in recognition of his commitment to increasing the provision of mental health services for refugees, immigrant newcomers, and racialized populations.

Dr. Kuo notes the annual awards are considered the highest academic honour and professional distinction for psychologists.

His expertise on culture, mental health, and diversity issues lends naturally to his active engagement with the larger communities in Canada and elsewhere.

“I consider community service and social advocacy an integral part of my academic and professional identity as a psychologist, an educator, a researcher, and a communicator,” he says.

In nominating Kuo, professor emeritus Shelagh Towson cited his service, teaching, clinical training, and knowledge dissemination as worthy of notice.

She described his partnership with the Multicultural Council of Windsor and Essex County to develop a doctoral-level practicum course that has provided counselling and psychotherapy to more than 120 refugees, while giving experience in cultural clinical practice to students.

In addition, Kuo created and taught an undergraduate course on “Culture and Psychology” and a graduate course on “Multicultural Issues in Clinical Practice,” contributing to raising the cultural awareness, knowledge, and skills of students, and sensitizing them towards issues of cultural diversity, multicultural clinical competence, and inequality, pertaining to race, ethnicity, religion, sexual and gender identity, and more.

Dr. Towson concluded “Dr. Kuo’s professional record indicates that his service to the discipline and to members of marginalized communities and his commitment to human rights and advocacy extends well beyond Windsor’s to Canada and internationally.”

collage of photographs of people in Costa Rican rainforestFaculty members accompanied Chris Houser on his annual study-abroad trip to Costa Rica to learn how to develop international experiences for their own students.

Shadow experiences for faculty to foster study-abroad opportunities

This year four faculty members from arts, humanities, and social sciences and the Odette School of Business accompanied Chris Houser, interim vice-president for research and innovation, on his annual study-abroad trip to the rainforests of Costa Rica.

It was an opportunity for these instructors to learn how to build and run an effective international experience for undergraduate students, says Dr. Houser.

“Through these shadow experiences, we are growing a community of practice that will ensure that study abroad and international experiences continue to expand across the University of Windsor,” he says. “It will be important to continue building and supporting this community of practice moving forward.”

History professor Gregg French says he will apply what he learned: “While observing Houser’s study-abroad trip, I acquired a diverse range of effective pedagogical practices which I will undoubtably employ in my own forthcoming study-abroad course.”

It’s a sentiment shared by Kent Walker from the Odette School of Business.

“Shadowing Chris in Costa Rica I was able to witness the unique value to students that a study abroad offers,” he says. “Interacting with the students and local organizations helped me understand where this value was, and could be, created in my own study-abroad course focused on local social entrepreneurship.”

Their forthcoming trips will add to an increasing number of study-abroad experiences across campus, from the glaciers of Iceland to the soundscapes of Paris and the financial district of Sao Paulo, Brazil.

Chantal Vallée participated in the shadow experience last year and drew on it in developing her own class for students in human kinetics.

“The opportunity to shadow Dr. Houser was exactly what I needed to be able to prepare an entire new class and develop a curriculum specific for our HK students for a study-abroad experience,” she said.

Vallée was shadowed this year by kinesiology professor Sarah Woodruff, who is planning to offer a study-abroad course related to nutrition, health, and wellness.

person sprinkling glitter on temporary tattoo that reads "Hope"The June 17 Windsor Brain Tumour Walk will raise funds for research, support programs, information, advocacy, awareness, and hope.

Lab tour fuels hope for brain tumour research

More than 65 brain tumour researchers, doctors, survivors, volunteers, and their family members gathered on May 11 at the Centre for Research Excellence (CORe) to tour the tumour research laboratory.

The tours were led by adjunct professor Dorota Lubanska, research associate in the biomedical sciences lab of Lisa Porter.

Master’s candidate Alexandra Sorge said connecting with those affected by brain tumours has made an impact on her work researching glioblastoma.

“As any researcher would agree, it is easy to get caught up In the logistics of the science we do each day but events like these where we are able to connect with survivors — and those impacted by this life-altering illness — is a reminder of the real reason why we love the work we do,” she said.

May is Brain Tumour Awareness Month in Canada, which aims to raise awareness about brain tumours, promote research, and support those affected by the disease.

Karen Metcalfe, assistant director of the WE-Spark Health Institute whose daughter Mckenna is a brain tumour survivor, volunteers her time to co-ordinate a walk in support of the Brain Tumour Foundation of Canada.

“This gathering and lab tour was an important opportunity to support all those affected by the disease, to show what research is taking place locally, and how national organizations help our local community,” she said.

“Over the years, Brain Tumour Foundation of Canada has supported students and research projects in Windsor-Essex in the amount of $140,000. This gives tremendous hope to our local families.”

The annual Windsor Brain Tumour Walk will take place on Saturday, June 17, at the WFCU Centre. More information can be found here.

Victoria Paraschak leans against railing in HK buildingVictoria Paraschak, professor emerita in the Faculty of Human Kinetics, will be honoured Tuesday at the YMCA of Southwestern Ontario’s Women of Excellence gala in London for her contributions to sport, fitness, and recreation.

Professor emerita to be honoured at Women of Excellence gala

When the YMCA of Southwestern Ontario recognizes trailblazing women tomorrow night, UWindsor’s Victoria Paraschak will be among them.

Dr. Paraschak, professor emerita in the Faculty of Human Kinetics, is being honoured at the biennial Women of Excellence gala in London. Paraschak is being recognized for her contributions to sport, fitness, and recreation.

“Vicky champions changes to policies and practices to transform culture in sport and education, creating more equity and inclusivity for women and marginalized communities,” the YMCA said in announcing her recognition.

“She never takes the easy way out.”

Paraschak joined the faculty in 1984 and became a leader in teaching a feminist perspective of history and sociology in sport. She advocates for her students and for young women in the community as a champion for Leadership Advancement for Women and Sport (LAWS) and by helping create an outdoor recreation program that drew on kinesiology students as mentors for high-school aged youth at risk. She also works to ensure the achievements of Indigenous athletes are recognized, be it in Wikipedia or in Sports Hall of Fame institutions.

Paraschak was nominated for the Women of Excellence award by colleague Margery Holman, who earned the same recognition from the YMCA of Southwestern Ontario in 2021. Dr. Holman, also a professor emerita in the Faculty of Human Kinetics, collaborated with Paraschak in LAWS and other initiatives.

“When I learned about the award two years ago, I knew Vicky was a perfect candidate,” Holman said. “She always goes above and beyond…. This is a good way to say, “You may not have been recognized every step of the way, but we acknowledge and appreciate everything you’ve done.’”

Paraschak’s advocacy has not slowed down in her retirement. She recently spearheaded a petition tabled in the House of Commons calling for an independent judicial inquiry into widespread instances of physical, sexual, and psychological abuse in Canadian sport.

“This shows that Vicky’s contributions are not just a passing moment,” Holman said. “She is still working to make society a better place.”

Paraschak said she is honoured to be receiving the recognition.

“I’m humbled to be nominated by my friend, colleague, and mentor, Dr. Holman, who exemplifies advocacy on behalf of women and girls in sport, and to be recognized for this award alongside seven other amazing women who all demonstrate leadership and advocacy as they strive, daily, to improve the world around them.”

Paraschak will receive her award at a gala Tuesday at RBC Place London. Proceeds from the event support the YMCA’s Community Starts Here campaign.

—Sarah Sacheli

visitors listening to guide speak in engineering labTours of the Centre for Engineering Innovation showing student projects in progress were a highlight of the May 6 Engineering Academic Open House.

Academic open house welcomes visitors to Windsor Engineering

Faculty, staff, and current students welcomed prospective students and their guests at the Engineering Academic Open House on Saturday, May 6.

Visitors were provided with a brief overview of academic programs, supports, awards, and scholarships available in the Faculty of Engineering. Afterwards, prospective students mingled with current students and performed hands-on activities while parents and champions participated in a panel discussion that focused on student support services.

Panellists included:

  • Bill Van Heyst, dean of engineering
  • Jennifer Johrendt, associate dean student affairs, WINONE First Year Office
  • Giselle St. Louis, clinical therapist, and Winnie the therapy dog
  • Lisa Fransen, employer relations co-op co-ordinator
  • Jen Sears, cornerstone design first-year course instructor
  • Simon Du Toit, recruitment officer

Highlights of the day included tours of the engineering labs as well as the courtyard, where student competition projects, like a concrete canoe, formula electric race car, and the rocket team were on display. Students could also meet with members of student clubs, including Engineers Without Borders.

The hosts were happy to welcome visitors from southwestern Ontario and as far afield as Toronto, said Dr. Johrendt.

“As we approach the first deadline for applicants to accept their university offers on June 1, it’s so important that they have a fulsome picture of what it would be like to be a part of our engineering community at UWindsor,” she said. “The event also provided prospective students with an opportunity to meet each other and hear what is important to them during this exciting part of their decision-making process.”

To learn more about WINONE office for First-Year Engineering, contact For more information about Engineering’s Outreach programs, contact Mike Konstantino at

—Naomi Pelkey

hands on keyboard of computer displaying Drupal screenWeb accessibility basic training will take place on Thursday, May 18.

Drupal training session a chance to develop skills

University employees interested in becoming content editors and being responsible for maintaining content on the University's official website are invited to enhance their Drupal skills with virtual training on Thursday, May 18.

The training is designed to help web editors enhance the website’s user experience and ensure that it meets the standards of accessibility, usability, and functionality. Essential topics covered include page creation fundamentals, uploading graphics, effective menu organization, and creating accessible content.

Participants will have the opportunity to learn from Rob Aitkens, web development team leader, who will also field their Drupal questions.

The Drupal 7 + Web Accessibility Basic Training will take place on Thursday, May 18, from 1 to 3:30 p.m. It is open to all members of the campus community regardless of their experience level.

Interested faculty and staff, including student employees, can register on the IT Services Booking page to attend the online training session through the University's website and take the opportunity to improve the user experience of the University’s official website.

Lee Anna Osei standing before players bench at St. FXLee Anna Osei is joining the Lancer women’s basketball program as a full-time assistant coach.

Lancers add assistant coach for women’s basketball

A grant from the Coaches Association of Ontario has supported the Lancer women’s basketball team in hiring Lee Anna Osei to a three-year term as a full-time assistant coach.

Osei comes to Windsor from the Toronto Raptors Development Academy, where she is a basketball coach clinician and skills trainer. She served as head coach of the St. Francis Xavier University women's basketball team for four seasons and as an all-star player during her studies at Wilfrid Laurier University.

“Lee Anna and I have known each other for years and have a deep mutual respect for one another,” says head coach Chantal Vallée. “I have always admired her resiliency as a player, coach, and as a person.

“I was thrilled at the possibility to invest in her and help her reach new successes in life.”

Read the full story at