Myrna KicknoswayMyrna Kicknosway, Windsor Law elder-in-residence, will receive one of four honorary doctorates during the University’s 119th Convocation.

UWindsor to graduate more than 5,200 at Spring Convocation ceremonies

The University of Windsor will confer degrees on 5,234 graduating students during 11 sessions of the University’s 119th Convocation ceremonies May 30 through June 2 at the Toldo Lancer Centre.

The University will also award honorary degrees to four individuals who have made outstanding contributions in the areas of athletics and advocacy, law and politics, education and Indigeneity, and youth empowerment and mobilization.

Receiving honorary degrees are: Danielle Campo McLeod, Joseph Comartin, Cheryl Perera, and Myrna Kicknosway.

Danielle Campo McLeodDanielle Campo McLeod (BSW 2013) is the mental health lead for the Windsor-Essex Catholic District School Board. She is a social worker, coach, motivational speaker, and former Paralympic gold medallist and world record-holding swimmer.

Campo McLeod represented Canada at two Paralympic Games, winning seven medals including three gold, and setting eight world records. Today she inspires others with her story of courage in the face of seemingly insurmountable odds. She is a champion of resilience, wellness, and empowerment.

Her memoir, Resurrections: My Will to Survive is Olympian, documents how competitive sport helped her overcome the crippling effects of muscular dystrophy, her rise to elite international status, learning of a misdiagnosis and overcoming a life-threatening medical condition following the birth of her third child.

Campo McLeod is among the youngest-ever recipients of an honorary doctorate from the University of Windsor. In 2001, she was the youngest-ever recipient of the Order of Ontario, and four years later she was honoured with the Terry Fox Humanitarian Award.

She will receive a Doctor of Laws degree honoris causa at the first session of Convocation, 9:30 a.m. Tuesday, May 30.

Joe ComartinJoseph Comartin (BA 1968, LLB 1971) is a former litigator, educator, politician, and diplomat.

He began his legal career in criminal, family, and personal injury law and was instrumental in founding the Canadian Autoworkers Legal Services Plan. He also helped establish co-operative housing and the union’s child-care centre.

On entering federal politics, he represented the riding of Windsor-Tecumseh from 2000 to 2015, also serving in such leadership positions as Opposition House Leader and Deputy Speaker of the House of Commons. Highly regarded by fellow MPs from all parties, he was thrice recognized as Canada’s most knowledgeable parliamentarian.

Upon leaving elected office, Comartin took up an appointment as distinguished political scientist in residence at the University of Windsor, where he taught ethics and reform in Canadian Parliament and a constitutional law course from 2016 to 2018.

From 2018 to 2022, he served as the Consul General of Canada in Detroit, representing Canada in Indiana, Kentucky, Michigan, and Ohio.

Comartin will receive a Doctor of Laws degree honoris causa at the second session of Convocation, 2 p.m. Tuesday, May 30.

Cheryl PereraCheryl Perera is the founder and president of OneChild, the first organization in the world empowering children and youth to combat the sexual exploitation of children through prevention education, advocacy, and mobilization, survivor care, and survivor empowerment.

At the age of 16, Perera learned in high school about the sexual exploitation of children and was filled with anger and passion to eradicate this crime. At 17, she embarked on a solo, fact-finding mission to Sri Lanka where she visited the streets, slums, and brothels to meet with child victims, non-governmental agency workers, and law enforcement to learn how she could help. She partnered with the National Child Protection Authority and acted as a decoy — a 15-year-old victim of the sex trade — in a high-risk sting operation that resulted in the successful apprehension of a child sex perpetrator.

Today, her career spans 23 countries, where she has interviewed children in red-light districts and brothels; joined law enforcement surveillance missions; pioneered Canada’s first prevention education program directed at schools; and has provided shelter and long-term comprehensive care to hundreds of child victims in Asia.

Perera will receive a Doctor of Laws degree honoris causa at the fifth session of Convocation, 2 p.m. Wednesday, May 31.

Myrna Kicknosway is elder-in-residence at Windsor Law. Her Anishinaabe Nozwin is Ishkode Makazin Kwe — Fire Moccasin Woman — and she is a Bodawatomi/Odawa Anishinaabe Kwe of the Loon Clan, residing at Walpole Island First Nation.

Her background and skills have led her to work professionally and voluntarily in the fields of education, counselling, economic and employment planning, federal corrections, environmental activism, and community development.

In her role as Elder-in-Residence, Kicknosway acts as a surrogate grandmother and is available to counsel students, faculty, and staff for mental, spiritual, emotional, and physical health needs from a holistic Indigenous perspective. She shares her expertise in Indigenous culture and traditions with younger generations.

Her life journey has led Kicknosway towards recognition of the inter connectedness of all humans, the significance of culture, language, traditions, and all those elements that help sustain life here, this place we call home.

In addition to her position at Windsor Law, Kicknosway is a visiting elder at Western University and Midewiwin of the Three Fires Midewiwin Lodge.

She will receive a Doctor of Laws degree honoris causa at the 11th session of Convocation, 2 p.m. Friday, June 2.

Convocation Schedule

Tuesday, May 30

Session 1: 9:30 a.m.

Faculty of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences (undergraduate and graduate studies)

  • Psychology
  • Social Work
  • Women’s and Gender Studies

Session 2: 2 p.m.

Faculty of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences (undergraduate and graduate studies)

  • All other Faculty of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences programs not included in Session 1

Session 3: 6:30 p.m.

Faculty of Science (undergraduate and graduate studies)

  • All Faculty of Science programs not included in Sessions 4 or 5

Wednesday, May 31

Session 4: 9:30 a.m.

Faculty of Science (graduate studies)

  • Computer Science

Session 5: 2 p.m.

Faculty of Science (undergraduate studies)

  • Computer Science

Odette School of Business (undergraduate studies)

Session 6: 6:30 p.m.

Odette School of Business (graduate studies)

Faculty of Engineering (undergraduate and graduate studies)

  • Civil Engineering
  • Environmental Engineering

Thursday, June 1

Session 7: 9:30 a.m.

Faculty of Nursing (undergraduate and graduate studies)

Session 8: 2 p.m.

Faculty of Engineering (undergraduate and graduate studies)

  • Electrical Engineering
  • General Engineering

Session 9: 6:30 p.m.

Faculty of Engineering (undergraduate and graduate studies)

  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Material Engineering

Friday, June 2

Session 10: 9:30 a.m.

Faculty of Education (undergraduate and graduate studies)

Faculty of Human Kinetics (undergraduate and graduate studies)

Session 11: 2 p.m.

Faculty of Law (undergraduate and graduate studies)

Every session will be livestreamed on the UWindsor YouTube channel.

Kylie Slogan and Alex AgostinisKylie Slogan and Alex Agostinis were selected as one of the top 40 teams to present at the IgNITE Medical Case Competition.

Students win recognition in medical case competition

Kylie Slogan and Alex Agostinis, second-year students in professor Yufeng Tong’s protein biochemistry lab, were selected as one of the top 40 teams of more than 200 from across North America to present at the IgNITE Medical Case Competition. This marks the first time a UWindsor undergraduate team participated in this competition and made it into the final round.

The competition invites students to submit their proposals beginning with an abstract and elevator pitch video. Slogan and Agostinis progressed to the final round and presented a video of their novel research proposal to experts in the field. They were both drawn to seeing how eyes from the chemistry and biological fields offer different interpretations.

“Cardio Respiratory Diseases” was the theme for this year. After reading recent articles and studies related to the topic, the UWindsor team decided to focus on allergic asthma, as current treatment options are not satisfactory. Bronchodilators lead to buildup of scar tissue, and corticosteroids have concerning side effects.

Their experience in the lab with ubiquitin, a regulatory protein, led them to focus on two types of T cells regulated by ubiquitin in their project: the T helper cells that elicit an immune response, and T regulatory cells that dial back the immune response.

“We left with a million more questions that we can’t wait to answer,” Agostinis said. They learned how to construct a proposal, write an abstract, and make clear the relevance of their proposed research, stepping stones to carrying out cutting-edge research and writing their own grant applications in the future.

Agostinis was a mixed martial arts fighter who suffered nerve damage. Bedridden, he read scientific literature looking for his options, which were limited. A paper of Dr. Tong’s caught his eye, and he became drawn to the field of research. Later, he attended a “meet the professors night” through the Outstanding Scholars program with the intention of meeting Tong.

Slogan’s interest in this field came about for an entirely different reason. A co-worker who volunteered in Tong’s lab ignited her interest in a research career.

Tong says he takes pride in their work and the success they enjoyed in the medical case study.

“This competition is an excellent opportunity for undergraduate students to learn and understand how research ideas are formulated and how experiments are designed and implemented,” he said. “Science serves as the driving force behind all the technological advancement in the world, and I hope to see an increasing number of UWindsor students express their interest in pursuing highly rewarding scientific careers.”

The team’s abstract will soon be published in the Undergraduate Research in Natural and Clinical Science and Technology with the 40 other teams that presented at the conference. Their video presentation is listed on the IgNITE website and hosted on YouTube.

—Lynn McLaughlin

journal coverUWindsor computer science professor Hossein Fani is a part of a research group exploring the use of artificial intelligence to assemble ideal teams of experts.

Researchers apply artificial intelligence to forming teams of human collaborators

Whether conducting ground-breaking research in behavioural ecology or making the next blockbuster science fiction movie, success likely depends on assembling the right team.

A University of Windsor computer science professor has collaborated on a project to use artificial intelligence (AI) to assemble ideal teams of experts.

Hossein Fani says traditionally people form teams based on their instincts and their own experience, but this limits the possible combinations.

“You can only collect few years of team-building experience and even with your knowledge of candidates or experts, you can only pick from maybe a pool of 100 experts,” he says. “But right now, in LinkedIn or on, we have millions of experts we can hire to do a task, and this is too overwhelming for a human to pick from.”

Dr. Fani and academic and industrial researchers from Toronto Metropolitan University, York University, and AT&T Lab built AI models to represent three fields of expertise: researchers, movie makers, and inventors, and trained them to use existing successful teams to recommend a new team.

For the AI model looking at forming a team of researchers, Fani and his colleagues assumed if someone had published work in journals, then they are experts. Then they assumed authors of papers are successful teams and the key words of the paper represented the skillset of the experts.

He says they used similar AI training for teams of movie makers and looked at data of patent holders to create teams of inventors. Their codebase has been open sourced and can be found here.

They published their findings in the ACM Transactions on Information Systems (TOIS) in April 2023.

“We are thrilled to see our team formation work accepted into one of the best journals in computer science,” says Fani. “We’ve shown it is possible to build an AI model to form a team whose success can be almost surely guaranteed.”

He says he wants to continue to explore another advantage of using AI to form teams — the possibility of eliminating prejudice.

“We know in history there is a huge human bias towards female researchers, as an example, or towards the race of an actor or actress and these biases will be reflected in existing teams we are using to train the AI model.”

The team is exploring ways to mitigate bias in the training data set and has launched a project on fairness-aware team formation called Adila, an Arabic name meaning just and fair.\

—Sara Elliott

Anna Lanoszka, Barbara Thomas, Tricia Carmichael, Rajesh SethHonouring champions of equity: WUFA president Anna Lanoszka and vice-president of the Status of Women, Diversity and Equity Action Rajesh Seth flank Mary Lou Dietz Equity Leadership Award recipients Barbara Thomas and Tricia Carmichael.

Faculty association honours champions of equity and diversity

Friends and colleagues came together on Wednesday, May 10, to honour Tricia Carmichael and Barbara Thomas, the 2023 recipients of the Mary Lou Dietz Equity Leadership Award.

The award was established by the Windsor University Faculty Association’s Status of Women, Diversity and Equity Action Committee in memory of Mary Lou Dietz — a late UWindsor faculty member and former head of the Department of Sociology, Anthropology, and Criminology. It honours members who demonstrate the spirit of leadership through their contributions to creating an equity culture on campus.

Dr. Carmichael, professor in the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, was nominated by Lisa Porter. Their colleague Simon Rondeau-Gagne spoke of Carmichael’s outstanding achievements in pursuing and promoting equity, and advocacy and support for mental health in the workplace.

Dr. Thomas, professor emeritus in the Faculty of Nursing, was nominated by Kathleen McCrone on behalf of the Windsor University Retirees’ Association. Dr. McCrone spoke to Thomas’s many contributions to equity and diversity throughout her academic career.

The reception at Freed-Orman was an opportunity to celebrate Carmichael and Thomas as advocates and leaders for equity. Adding to the special occasion was the presence of members of Dietz’s family: her daughters Evanne Dietz and Niki Lorenz, son Leif Lorenz and his spouse Patti Lorenz.

Susan Holloway stands at lectern in from of display screenEducation professor Susan Holloway addresses a May 5 colloquium hosted by the Multiliteracies Project.

Colloquium explores teaching strategies

A colloquium hosted May 5 by the Multiliteracies Project brought together adult, higher education, and secondary school educators to share research and resources, foster professional networking, and explore exceptional teaching strategies.

The Multiliteracies Project studies expanded forms of literacy with adolescents and adults, embracing cultural and linguistic plurality, technology, and multimodalities, says principal investigator Susan Holloway, an associate professor in the Faculty of Education.

The colloquium presentations focused on cultural and linguistic diversity in teaching, workplace learning and literacy, and multiliteracies theory.

“In turn, the presentations provided prompts for interactive conversations to connect research to practice in a wide variety of educational settings,” Dr. Holloway says.

“Just in terms of social media, there were over 660 visits on Twitter two days following the MLP colloquium, and much of the information shared was then retweeted by international professors in the field of multiliteracies.”

Acknowledging funding support from the Faculty of Education, the Office of Research & Innovation Services, and the Greater Essex County District School Board, she adds the event also celebrated the contributions participating educators have made to the study by sharing their insights. The modelling of many of their pedagogical practices in classrooms can be found on the project web platform.

students in science lobbyA reception April 27 celebrated graduates of a program to give science students experience in teaching.

Program shares skills in teaching science

A reception April 27 in the Essex Centre of Research building (CORe) celebrated science students who completed the SAGES program: Scholarship of teaching and learning Advancing Graduate Education in Science, technology, engineering, and math.

Designed for graduate students in STEM to learn how to teach, the program combines a theory course where students develop evidence-based teaching practices, with a teaching practicum where they are paired with a faculty mentor and given the opportunity to redesign and teach a unit of an actual undergraduate course.

Isabelle Barrette-Ng, head of the Department of Integrative Biology, initially designed the program in 2016 when she was working at the University of Calgary. Since then it has been implemented at institutions across North America; she launched it in Windsor in fall 2020.

At the ceremony, each graduate received a certificate of completion.

“Because of the pandemic this is the first chance we’ve had to celebrate in person the accomplishments of the SAGES scholars through graduation from the program,” Dr. Barrette-Ng says.

“SAGES offers graduate students an authentic opportunity to teach a class at the university level where they can actually stand up in front of a class of students and gain experience with implementing active learning strategies and collecting feedback.”

Ehsan Ur Rahman Mohammed (MSc 2023) just graduated with a masters in computer science.

“For my unit, I redesigned the slides and added humour, I added all of the things that were taught to us in the first course of the SAGES program,” says Mohammed.

“It was an amazing experience being in front of the room because as a student you observe the teacher but being in the teacher’s place you get an entirely new perspective and I got to teach a class of more than 130 students.”

PhD student Rachel Pieniazek (BSc 2018, MSc 2020) says she took the SAGES program after being a sessional and says she found it extremely beneficial.

“I didn’t realize how much you could learn about teaching, that it was such a large discipline, and this course opened up my eyes to all the different techniques you can use and what is beneficial in different aspects and in different scenarios,” says Pieniazek.

“I enjoy teaching and I will use these skills in the future whether I become a professor or instructor.”

Barrette-Ng says SAGES prepares students with transferrable skills like communications and self-confidence from speaking in front of groups of people.

“Mentors get a lot out of it too because they get new ideas for their courses,” she says.

“It is nice to see how they work together and get excited about teaching science — it gets students excited about learning and teachers excited about teaching.”

—Sara Elliott

computer keyboard "Apply Now"Prospective students have until June 30 to apply for undergraduate entrance awards.

Deadline extended for undergraduate entrance award applications

The entrance award application deadline for select entrance awards has been extended to June 30.

To apply for these awards, sign into UWinsite Student, click on the Award Profile tile and fill out 2023-24 application.

Students returning to the Award Profile will need to start a new 2023-24 award profile form without skipping profile questions and click on the refresh button in the Academic Data Section that will display up to date information on their program.

The Student Awards & Financial Aid Office offers drop-in sessions to assist students with the application questions twice a week:

  • Tuesdays 10:45 a.m. to noon
  • Thursdays 2:45 to 4 p.m.

More information on drop-in sessions and reference materials is available here.

Helpful tips with navigating the Award Profile application can be viewed here.

Additional information about awards, bursaries, scholarships, and financial aid opportunities for entering students can be found here.

soccer game on Alumni FieldRegister now for summer intramural sports through Lancer Recreation.

Registration open for summer intramural leagues

Registration for the Lancer Recreation intramural sports leagues is open through Thursday, June 1. The eight-week season will run in June and July and offers four sports:

  • Flag football (Sunday morning and afternoon)
  • Basketball (Monday evening)
  • Co-ed volleyball (Wednesday evening)
  • Co-ed soccer (Saturday morning and afternoon)

Both students and members of the community are welcome to join. To sign up your team, visit the website and sign in with your UWin ID and password — community members will have to create or sign in to their account. Payment can then be made at the Toldo Lancer Centre front desk or online.

“Enjoy the beautiful weather and get active with friends this summer!” says convenor Giulia Barile Bernabo.

Find more information on the intramurals website and email questions to

Clothing items marked "20% off"Save 20 per cent on clothing and accessories at the Campus Bookstore, May 19 to 22.

Bookstore offering savings on apparel and accessories

Save 20 per cent on clothing and accessories during the Campus Bookstore’s May Four-Day Sale, May 19 to 22.

The discount applies to online purchases as well as those made in the store, located on the lower level of the student centre.