logo reading StartUP Theatre FestivalThe StartUP Theatre Festival will feature 20-minute performance pieces by each of the 16 graduating BFA acting students.

Online theatre festival to showcase drama student works

Theatre spaces may have gone dark, but the world of online performance has lit up laptops and televisions, bringing the world of theatre into homes as the pandemic persists. University Players has taken the opportunity to reimagine live theatre, discovering new methods of delivering first-class semi-professional entertainment consistent with the longstanding reputation of the school and with UP.

The fall season brought audiences “The Stream You Step In,” a partnership with Outside the March, which provided students an opportunity to connect with playwrights and directors across Canada to create cutting-edge theatre in response to the pandemic. Now the winter semester will culminate in a similarly innovative project, this time focused on student works: the StartUP Theatre Festival.

Each of the 16 graduating BFA in Acting students will write and perform a 20-minute piece that showcases their talents. These short plays will be directed by professors Lee Wilson and Marc Bondy, and supported by the designers of the University Players staff.

“The StartUP festival gives each of our graduating BFA Acting students a chance to explore their voices as artists and creators,” says University Players marketing co-ordinator Kristen Siapas. “Our audiences will get the unique opportunity to see these emerging artists in their first digital plays, in a format that’s accessible to everyone.”

The StartUP Theatre Festival opens May 5 with a premiere of the first show at 7 p.m. on YouTube. Each show runs approximately 20 minutes. Recommended for ages 14+. Tickets are pay-what-you-can with a recommended price of $5 per show. Tickets are on sale now and can be purchased at www.universityplayers.com.
Charlene SennUWindsor professor Charlene Senn will present on the topic “Empowering young women to resist: An evidence-based intervention to reduce sexual violence” at Psychology Day at the United Nations on Thursday, April 15.

Prof to address world body on empowering young women to resist and reduce sexual violence

UWindsor researcher Charlene Senn will represent the discipline of social psychology at the 14th annual Psychology Day at the United Nations on Thursday, April 15.

Professor of women’s and gender studies as well as psychology and the Canada Research Chair in Sexual Violence, Dr. Senn will present a lecture entitled “Empowering young women to resist: An evidence-based intervention to reduce sexual violence” as one of five global experts providing recommendations using evidence-based research from different spheres of the discipline.

The title of this year’s event, “Psychological Contributions to Building Back Better in a Post-Pandemic World,” responds to a call from UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres to resist the temptation to return to the way the world was prior to the pandemic, and rather work to build a better world.

Senn endorses that goal: “I am committed to the belief that high-quality theory and research evidence can be used not only to understand our world but also applied to make it better.”

Her research centres on men’s violence against women and girls, and since 2005, has focused on sexual violence prevention. She developed the “Enhanced Assess, Acknowledge, Act” sexual assault resistance education program Flip the Script for women in the first year of university. It has been found to reduce the sexual violence women experience by 50 per cent across the next two years while reducing woman-blaming and self-blame.

Thursday’s event will be held live via Zoom at 11 a.m.; register here to attend.

—Susan McKee

student working at laptop computerThe Student Success and Leadership Centre is developing a re-orientation program for upper-year students.

Re-orientation program to support upper-year undergraduate students

While planning is underway for Fall 2021 with the goal of maximizing opportunities for on-campus experiences, the Student Success and Leadership Centre is working to develop a re-orientation program for upper-year students.

“In many ways, this year will feel just as new for our returning students as it will for our incoming first-year students, and we are being proactive to implement supports to help ease the transition,” says Cindy Crump, director of the Student Success and Leadership Centre.

The re-orientation program will focus on helping students answer their questions while providing the tools and resources they need to be supported and successful in University.

A survey distributed recently to all first-year students asked them to identify common struggles they have faced over the last year and concerns they have for the fall semester. Their feedback will be used to help structure the program.

“The progressive stages within our return to campus framework comes with new uncharted territory,” says Tracy Beemer, who is leading the charge on the re-orientation program. “We expect that many our students will have questions about services, supports, and resources, especially our first-year students who are familiar only with remote learning and online services.”

The goal is to have a program in place by the summer, helping to smooth the transition to the Fall semester.

Questions about the re-orientation program can be directed to Beemer at Tracy.Beemer@uwindsor.ca.

—Sarah Hébert

Lancer Devynn Dion and actress Taegen BurnsLancer Devynn Dion and actress Taegen Burns share the job of portraying Maya in the Disney television series “The Mighty Ducks: Game Changers.”

Lancer hits ice and screen for Disney show

Lancer women’s hockey player Devynn Dion is having no ordinary off-season. The rookie defender, unable to suit up for university competition due to COVID-19 restrictions, is a stunt double for the television series The Mighty Ducks: Game Changers, which premiered in March on Disney+.

Currently based in her family’s Surrey, B.C. home, Dion performs on-ice action for the character Maya, portrayed off-ice by Taegen Burns. The role came with one unusual challenge.

“Maya (is) the girly girl of the team. She started off as a figure skater who eventually transitioned into a hockey player,” Dion says. “I had to learn how to skate on figure skates, which was something I had never done before.”

Read a full profile written by Andrew Papadopoulos at goLancers.ca.

re-usable face masksThe Liberty Project was recognized at the Enactus Canada Regional Competition for its work to create face masks and employ women who have overcome human trafficking, addiction, and trauma.

Social enterprise earns plaudits for student team

A social enterprise that produced reusable face masks won notice at the Enactus Canada Regional Competition, finishing as a runner-up for financial education.

The Liberty Project is a venture of Enactus Windsor, supported by the Odette School of Business and Libro Credit Union, that provides consultation and transitional employment to women who have overcome human trafficking, addiction, and trauma.

Previously, its clients sewed reusable menstrual pads for distribution to women in developing countries. With the pandemic, its operations shifted to masks, a product easier to teach participants over Zoom and that filled a need in the local community.

Staff at the House of Sophrosyne delivered materials and sewing machines to participants, who produced some 350 masks, a large portion of which were donated to three non-profit agencies: the House of Sophrosyne, the Welcome Centre Shelter for Women and Children, and the Aboriginal Children Centre. Three of the clients found full time employment following the program.

The student team has also launched an e-commerce platform to sell Liberty-branded merchandise, re-investing the proceeds into the project. Shop the collection.

mountain with shooting starThe move to virtual mode challenged but did not defeat organizers of the 2021 UWill Discover student research conference.

Conference comes off with flying colours

The move to virtual mode challenged but did not defeat organizers of the 2021 UWill Discover Conference.

Held March 29 to April 1, it featured presentations, performances, demonstrations, and prototypes by undergraduate and graduate students from more than a dozen disciplines: science, engineering, business, human kinetics, law, arts, humanities, social sciences, nursing, and medicine.

“Special thanks are due to the students and staff who managed this year’s conference,” said staff advisor Simon du Toit. “There was need for some excellent crisis management, but the team came through with flying colours!”

The conference received more than 70 submissions and offered asynchronous and synchronous components on the ForagerOne Symposium platform.

“We’re so grateful for the broad participation of our sponsors this year, which allowed us to sustain the conference in these challenging circumstances,” Dr. du Toit said.

Top presentations received awards and cash prizes.

The annual conference is led by a student-run steering committee, already looking forward to next year. To indicate an interest in joining, email uwilldiscover@uwindsor.ca.

Danielle Younge-UllmanAuthor Danielle Younge-Ullman will join two UWindsor alumnae Thursday in a virtual meeting hosted by Literary Arts Windsor.

Alumnae to introduce young-adult author

Two UWindsor grads will host a reading in cyberspace for Literary Arts Windsor on Thursday, April 15.

Vanessa Shields (BA 2002) will introduce author Danielle Younge-Ullman to read from her latest novel, He Must Like You, and discuss it with Emily Anderson (BA 2018). Younge-Ullman’s previous young adult works include Lola Carlyle’s 12 Step Romance, Everything Beautiful is not Ruined, and Falling Under.

The event will begin at 7 p.m. over Zoom. Admission is free but requires registration in advance. Find more details in the Facebook event listing.