University of Windsor President Alan Wildeman, Marilyn Racotivis, Helena Ventrella and Drew Dilkens cut the ribbon at the grand opening of the School of Creative Arts' Freedom Way Building on March 22, 2018.University of Windsor President Alan Wildeman, Marilyn Racotivis, Helena Ventrella and Drew Dilkens cut the ribbon at the grand opening of the School of Creative Arts' Freedom Way Building on March 22, 2018.

School of Creative Arts 'one of the most exciting creative spaces in Canada'

UWindsor president Alan Wildeman was joined by faculty, staff, students, and University supporters today as he cut the ribbons on the new School of Creative Arts (SoCA) buildings, located on downtown Windsor’s Freedom Way.

The president also announced that the Armouries main lobby will be named Veterans Hall to honour the building's military heritage.

The new creativity precinct, located between Park Street and University Avenue, saw the conversion of the 46,000 square-foot former Armouries Building, constructed in 1900, into a 66,000-square-foot arts hub. The adjacent Freedom Way Building on the former site of the Tunnel Bar-B-Q provides an additional 20,000 square-feet of arts space.

“The Armouries building will now serve an entirely new generation and has been joined by the Freedom Way building as spaces where academic creativity is nurtured and developed with an eye to the future,” Dr. Wildeman said.

“We know that creative arts are an essential part of a community’s well-being. The new teaching and creative work spaces, and the synergy that is being created by more closely connecting our students, faculty and staff with community musicians and artists, will benefit our region for generations to come.”

The Armouries Building houses 12 practice rooms for musicians, a performance and practice hall, a library, classrooms, offices, a keyboard and computer lab, photography and painting studios, and the Visual Arts and the Built Environment (VABE) studio. The Freedom Way building houses film production studios, editing suites, a sonic art studio and making studio for sculpture, metal and woodworking.

Approximately 500 students, faculty and staff began the January semester in the new SoCA buildings, designed by CS&P Architects’ Craig Goodman and his team.

Goodman’s group was tasked with transforming the heavy, late-19th century Romanesque style Armouries Building — designed to provide a training ground for soldiers heading off to war — into light, lofty spaces intended to foster creativity.

The architect says every square inch of the Armouries was carefully considered, to pay homage to the building’s historic past, right down to the last brick — nearly all of which were repointed.

One hundred years of paint was removed from the bricks lining the Armouries interior walls, while 12,000 bricks from the 1935 south addition were dismantled, cleaned, and re-installed in the new recital hall.

New windows were custom-built to match the original look of the building, and the grand oak doors at both entrances were restored and have been repurposed.

Goodman said the original doors were too large and heavy for everyday use, so were installed to be permanently open within the building, while the entrance openings were enclosed with glass vestibules.

Wildeman says today’s grand opening marks a new chapter in UWindsor history: “It’s a fabulous place that we think is one of the most exciting creative spaces in Canada.”

a sunrise over waterBruce Kotowich will direct the UWindsor Chamber Choir and University Singers in the spring choral concert "Sunrise," Sunday, March 25.

Choral concert promises heavenly sounds

Works by living composers Eric Whitacre, Ēriks Ešenvalds, John Estacio, and Ola Gjeilo are on the program for the University of Windsor Choirs’ Spring Concert, alongside Joseph Haydn’s The Heavens are Telling, Sunday, March 25, in Assumption Hall’s Heritage Auditorium.

Bruce Kotowich will direct the UWindsor Chamber Choir and University Singers and featured soloists: sopranos Jael Hernandez and Vivian Alcantara, tenor Cody Weldon, and baritone Aaron Beaudette, through the concert, entitled “Sunrise.”

The performance begins at 2:30 p.m. Admission is $15, with a student rate of $5.

Find more information, including a full program and list of performers, on the concert website.

stopwatch displaying three minutes

Heats set for Three Minute Thesis competition

Competitors have been assigned to two initial heats for the UWindsor Three Minute Thesis contest in the CAW Student Centre on Monday, March 26.

The competition challenges graduate students to offer a presentation on their dissertation, thesis, or major research paper to a non-specialist audience in just three minutes. At stake are cash prizes of $1,000 for first place, $500 for second place, and $250 for a People’s Choice award selected by audience vote.

The event will get underway in the Alumni Auditorium at 2 p.m. with the first heat:

  • Robert Gombar, Chemistry and Biochemistry
    “The future of personalized medicine revealed by our proteins”
  • Dhwani Shah, Civil and Environmental Engineering
    “Driving near trucks: safe or not?”
  • Nic Caruana, Faculty of Human Kinetics
    “The ultimate handgrip showdown”
  • Ingrid Qemo, Biological Sciences
    “Brain stem cells: is too much or too little of a good thing, a bad thing?”
  • Dylan Verburg, Civil and Environmental Engineering
    “Bubbles — the solution to a stinky situation”
  • Tanya Fendler, Great Lakes Institute for Environmental Research
    “New menu item: invasive species”
  • Esrafil Jedari Sefidgari, Electrical and Computer Engineering
    “How to find health records from the timing footprints”
  • Jonathan Valencia, Human Kinetics
    “With great power(tools) comes great (workplace safety) responsibility”
  • Julia Borsatto, Psychology
    “Breaking barriers: communication without words”
  • Umair Durrani, Civil and Environmental Engineering
    “You drive like you order pizza and the results are not always delicious”

Going head-to-head in the second heat are:

  • Kassandra Korcsog, Biological Sciences
    “What would it take for me to change your mind?”
  • Liza-Anastasia DiCecco, Mechanical, Automotive and Materials Engineering
    “Move over plastic, we’re 3D printing titanium”
  • Daniella Mlinarevic, Biological Sciences
    “Brain buckets: function over fashion”
  • Nadia Stephaniuk, Chemistry and Biochemistry
    “Making sense of chemical sensors”
  • Darko Milenkovic, Communication, Media and Film
    “The ‘innovative and strategic’ idea of sponsored news: when journalism becomes advertising”
  • Lucas Chauvin, Mechanical, Automotive and Materials Engineering
    “The future is clear when gas isn’t a fear”
  • Ian Thomas, Biological Sciences
    “Birdsong and the roots of human language”
  • Celine Perron, Sociology, Anthropology, and Criminology
    “The end of adulthood as we know it”
  • Jordan Deneau, Human Kinetics
    “Don't let aging catch you: ‘you gotta keep moving!’”
  • Celso Sakuraba, Law
    “There's no such thing as a bicycle accident”

The top six contestants from each heat will present again in the final round, starting at about 4 p.m.

The UWindsor champion will go on to the Ontario provincial final at York University on April 19.

Triyambak Tripathy describes his co-op work experience with automotive parts supplier the Narmco Group to junior students, Thursday in the Centre for Engineering Innovation.Triyambak Tripathy describes his co-op work experience with automotive parts supplier the Narmco Group to junior students, Thursday in the Centre for Engineering Innovation.

Engineering students discuss benefits of co-op placements

Students from the course-based Master of Mechanical Engineering - Automotive program bring valuable skills with them into the workplace, says Gordon Leslie.

Corporate engineering manager at automotive parts supplier the Narmco Group, he was in attendance Wednesday at the Centre for Engineering Innovation for poster presentations by students on their experiences with co-operative education placements.

The Narmco Group was one of those co-op employers, and Leslie said engineering grads make a good fit for the industry.

“We used to promote toolmakers but we now we’re looking at hiring people with an engineering background,” he said. “Engineering students are learning to tackle problems.”

He was impressed with contributions by Triyambak Tripathy, who completed a co-op work term but has continued in a part-time job with the firm while he completes his degree.

“(Tripathy) is a very quick study and good at paying attention to details,” Leslie said. “He was able to communicate and get his message across to different levels of employees, from the shop floor to the executives.”

Tripathy’s poster described his time working to analyze a wheelhouse reinforcement assembly on the Jeep Cherokee. An improvement he suggested will save the automaker hundreds of thousands of dollars over alternatives.

He said he hopes to turn the opportunity into a full-time job when he graduates.

“This was an incredible experience because it exposed me to a real-time industrial environment,” Tripathy said. “Co-op gives you an idea of the hands-on skills of the job.”

He was one of 14 students discussing their experiences with faculty, industry partners, and students considering experiential learning opportunities.

It’s a wonderful showcase of the benefits of co-operative education, said Soula Serra, team lead for academic partnerships in the Centre for Executive and Professional Education.

“The students get experience, they get networking opportunities, and for international students, they get a taste of the Canadian workplace culture,” she said.

Event to provide introduction to Métis peoples

Most Canadians understand that the term Indigenous represents First Nations, Inuit, and Métis people, says Kat Pasquach, but they don’t necessarily know anything more about Métis culture.

Aboriginal outreach co-ordinator for the Turtle Island Aboriginal Education Centre, she has partnered with the Southwest Ontario Aboriginal Health Access Centre to present a crash course, “Métis 101,” from 1 to 3 p.m. Friday, March 23, in the Rose Room, Vanier Hall.

Donna Grayer, president of the Windsor Essex Métis Council, will speak about who the Métis people are, sharing personal stories and historical documentation.

“This event is the perfect opportunity to come out and learn about Métis people,” Pasquach says. “We’re very excited have Donna come in and share with the campus community and are looking forward to an engaging and dynamic discussion.”

For more information, contact her at or 519-253-3000, ext. 3481.

Alan Wildeman, Takako ItoUWindsor president Alan Wildeman welcomes Takako Ito, the consul-general of Japan in Toronto, to campus Thursday.

Campus opens doors to Japanese diplomat

The University of Windsor welcomed Takako Ito, the consul-general of Japan in Toronto, to campus Thursday.

She delivered a presentation to MBA students in the Odette School of Business on foreign policy and the Canada-Japan relationship.

Ito noted that this year marks the 90th anniversary of formal diplomatic relations between Canada and Japan and said she intends to promote understanding of her homeland among Canadians and facilitate greater exchange between the two countries.

UWindsor president Alan Wildeman and a delegation of university officials and faculty welcomed her to a luncheon before she toured the campus.

Homing image

Visiting speaker to discuss meaning of home in context of extended mobility

“Home” is a noun while “homing” is a verb. Sociology professor Paolo Boccagni of the University of Trento heads an interdisciplinary team investigating the home experience and its determinants as affected, constrained, and redefined by international migration.

“Home is to be understood both as a bounded place — hence a matter of living and housing conditions, affected by structural variables and inequalities; and as a meaningful and emotionalized kind of relationship with place — an experience that should be based on a sense of security, familiarity, and control,” Dr. Boccagni says.

He will discuss his multi-year European Research Council project in a free public lecture entitled “Homing as an Everyday Optic on Migrant Trajectories of Local Integration: Beyond Assimilation vs. Transnationalism,” Monday, March 26, in room 162, Chrysler Hall South.

Sponsored by the Department of Sociology, Anthropology, and Criminology, the event will begin with a light lunch at 12:30 p.m. followed by the talk at 1 p.m. Find details on the department’s website.

legal texts

Law library to extend weekend hours for exam study

The Paul Martin Law Library will extend its weekend hours of operation to accommodate end-of-semester study beginning March 24, opening:

  • 11 a.m. to 5:50 p.m. Saturday, March 24, and 11 a.m. to 10:50 p.m. Sunday, March 25;
  • closed Friday, March 30, in observance of Good Friday;
  • 11 a.m. to 5:50 p.m. Saturday, March 31, and 1 to 10:50 p.m. Sunday, April 1;
  • 8:30 a.m. to 10:50 p.m. Fridays, April 7 and 13;
  • 11 a.m. to 10:50 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays, April 8, 9, 13, and 15;
  • 8:30 a.m. to 4:50 p.m. Friday, April 20;
  • 8:30 a.m. to 8:50 p.m. Saturday, April 21, and 1 to 10:50 p.m. Sunday, April 22.

Its hours Monday to Thursday remain 8:30 a.m. to 10:50 p.m. through this period.

The law library will open 8:30 a.m. to 10:50 p.m. Monday and Tuesday, April 23 and 24, and 8:30 a.m. to 4:50 p.m., Wednesday through Friday, April 25 to 27, closing Saturday and Sunday April 28 and 29, and commencing summer hours on Monday, April 30:

Find more information on the website of the law library.

Operating hours of the Leddy Library, the University of Windsor’s main library, are available on its website.