Daryl StephensonRecord-setting running back Daryl Stephenson of Lancer football is one of four inductees who will join the Alumni Sports Hall of Fame on September 30.

Lancer grads headed to alumni Hall of Fame

Star athletes from the track, court, and gridiron will join the Alumni Sports Hall of Fame during an induction ceremony September 30.

This year’s class of inductees includes:

Melissa Bishop competing in Rio Olympics 800-metre raceMelissa Bishop (BHK 2010, B.Ed 2011), a four-time Ontario University Athletics all-star and all-Canadian for the Lancer track and field team. She received the Banner Shield as the Lancers’ female athlete of the year in 2010, when she turned in gold medal performances in the 600m, 1000m and 4x800m at the national championships — her Lancer records in all three events still stand. She has twice competed for Canada in the Olympic Games: in London in 2012 and Rio de Janeiro in 2016.

Charles Pearsall (BComm 1978), who twice led the Lancer men’s basketball team to the Canadian Interuniversity Athletics Union championship tournament. A two-time all-Canadian and a provincial first-team all-star, he captured the Olympic Shield as the University of Windsor male athlete of the year in 1977.

Ryan Steer (BHK 2007, B.Ed 2008), a guard on the 2007 OUA champion Lancer men’s basketball squad. A two-time provincial all-star, Steer led the nation in assists in 2008 and was named the male DeMarco Award winner that year as the University of Windsor’s top overall male student-athlete. His career totals in assists and steals place him second overall in Lancer history.

Daryl Stephenson (BHK 2008, MHK 2011), a running back whose 5,163 career rushing yards are the Canadian university football record. In 2006, he received the Hec Crighton Trophy as the most outstanding player in Canadian university football. Stephenson was a four-time OUA all-star and two-time all-Canadian.

Award-winning swim coach Reg Chappell (BA 1979) will be honoured for his contributions to sport beyond the University of Windsor campus, and members of the 1997-98 Lancer men’s hockey squad will receive the Team Achievement Award.

Read more at goLancers.ca.

Mitchell DiPasquale and Michael H.L. NguyenMitchell DiPasquale and Michael H.L. Nguyen will conduct an experiment next month in the National Institute of Standards and Technology Center for Neutron Research in Gaithersburg, Maryland.

Neutron research centre to open doors for UWindsor chemistry grad students

As the summer heat builds, four UWindsor chemistry and biochemistry students are planning a unique August trip. Instead of a typical beach holiday, the small research team, led by professor Drew Marquardt, will head to one of the two North American neutron research facilities to carry out first-of-its-kind research into neutron scattering.

Masters students Mitchell DiPasquale and Michael H.L. Nguyen submitted the successful proposal to use the Neutron Spin Echo (NSE) at the National Institute of Standards and Technology Center for Neutron Research in Gaithersburg, Maryland. Their project is called “Measuring the bending rigidity of a eukaryotic (asymmetric) plasma membrane mimic with Neutron Spin Echo.” They will be joined by fellow graduate researchers Brett Rickeard and Jacqueline Gemus.

Neutron scattering allows scientists to explore the structure and dynamics of materials, down to atomic length scales, as an alternative and compliment to X-rays. Neutrons carry no charge and are magnetic and can be used to advance scientific research in drastic and unique ways, including medical advancements in drug delivery, cancer treatments or even to discover a new class of magnetic material for faster and safer storage of data in cell phones.

“We were a little baffled that our slightly obscure project was one of the few accepted by the academic peer reviewed panel,” says DiPasquale. “In fact, the panel said we were the only suitable candidates to perform this experiment on the latest equipment, based on what we’ve already accomplished in Dr. Marquardt’s lab — it is a real confidence boost.”

The researchers are looking at model mammalian plasma membranes, with a lab-designed asymmetrical membrane. DiPasquale says the neutron beam will help them measure performance down to a width of 50 or 60 atoms and will give them information on how native cell membranes behave.

DiPasquale says their study has implications in all biological interactions.

“We know proteins associate with membranes but how and why that actually occurs is unknown — this is a foundational experiment about processes we know happen, without knowing how they actually happen,” he says.

“The data we’ll gather from using the NSE would be unattainable by other methods, and this is a relatively new method of using neutrons, so it gives us an opportunity to explore something we didn’t think we’d ever get to investigate. That is exciting science.”

The group will receive 11 days of access to the Neutron Spin Echo, which is worth about $5,000 a day. Marquardt says the only Canadian neutron scattering facility was permanently shut down earlier in 2018 and the United States has two facilities, but one is on a one-year scheduled maintenance shutdown, making the success of their proposal extremely impressive.

“We’ll have access to the most complex neutron scattering instruments in the world that can produce non-destructive, highly penetrative beams that are powerful enough look into an engine block without cutting the block in half,” says Dr. Marquardt.

“The incredible part is that hundreds of research projects wanting to use the facility are turned down each year because there is simply not enough beam time to go around, and our project was accepted based on the application that my two grad students submitted as a graduate course assignment.”

Nguyen is looking forward to the opportunity.

“Not many Canadian university students have the opportunity to go on a trip of this calibre,” he says. “This will no doubt allow us to further apply our skills in a more meaningful way.” 

The group plans to produce an academic paper with the data collected. Watch this video to better understand the possible scientific applications of neutron scattering.

Sara Elliott

Youshaa El-AbedYoushaa El-Abed will explain his idea for a platform to match patients with clinical trials that may offer treatments during Founders Pitch Day, August 1 at EPICentre.

Network aims to match subjects to treatment trials

His extracurricular activities drew biology student Youshaa El-Abed into his latest venture: a start-up called Clinical Trial Network Inc., which hopes to help recruit subjects for biomedical research.

“I spent most of my undergraduate working in professor Lisa Porter’s cancer research lab,” El-Abed says. “That led me to taking on the role as president of UWindsor’s chapter for Friends of Doctors Without Borders. This experience led me to work with the Essex County Medical Society, which allowed me to gain further understanding of how the healthcare system operates within the local community.”

He saw there is no mechanism directing potential subjects to thousands of clinical trials looking to improve treatments, which is where he hopes to come in.

“The objective of our project is to develop a software platform that serves as a tool to match patients with clinical trials,” he says. “The software will take general health information, input by patients, and run an algorithm that sifts through the criteria of available clinical trials using public databases. Based on the patient’s medical conditions, they are then matched with potentially eligible clinical trials.”

He is working with the Summer Founders Program of the Entrepreneurship Practice and Innovation Centre (EPICentre) to develop his product, and will be one of those pitching a business idea to a panel of judges, hoping to qualify for a $3,500 award.

The RBC EPIC Founders Pitch Day — Wednesday, August 1, on the second floor of the Joyce Entrepreneurship Centre — is open to the public. Find details and an online registration form on the EPICentre website.

Eyob WoldemichaelEyob Woldemichael of IT Services won a $50 Amazon gift card in a random draw for all respondents to a survey on the Annual Giving Program.

Giving survey draws hundreds of responses

Hundreds of UWindsor faculty, staff, and retirees responded to an email questionnaire about their views of the University’s Annual Giving Program, which will help shape its work in raising support for students and campus projects, says co-ordinator Nicole Broderick.

“I am really grateful to everyone who took the time to fill in our survey,” she says. “We heard from so many: those who give to the campaign and those who don’t. That feedback will help us to improve our efforts.”

Broderick says she was particularly heartened by two results.

“We learned that our contributors are motivated by a desire to help our students,” she says. “And many respondents expressed a wish to learn more about the Annual Giving Program and the impact it makes on student success.”

Her office will use the survey results to better address the interests of campus employees.

Eyob Woldemichael, an application programmer in Information Technology Services, won a $50 Amazon gift card in a random draw for all respondents.

For more information on the Annual Giving Program, contact Broderick at 519-253-3000, ext. 4279, or Nicole.Broderick@uwindsor.ca.

University community mourns death of engineering technologist

UWindsor employee Lucian Pop, who died July 27, is remembered for his contributions to the educational mission of the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering.

“Lucian touched the lives of many students, faculty, and staff on campus,” said department head Paul Henshaw. “Our condolences go out to his family.”

Pop began his employment with the University in 1998 as a technologist and held that position for the remainder of his career.

A private family service was held on July 30. Campus flags will be lowered in his memory on Wednesday, August 1.