UWindsor Together: Student Mental Health and Remote Learning Services
Paul Seguin and sonPaul Seguin won a $250 registered education savings plan and will dedicate to his 11-year-old son.

Lucky students win big on final day of class

A UWindsor class that prepares students to enter the working world ended the semester with an added bonus: $250 Registered Education Savings Plans (RESPs) for two lucky students.

John Sutcliffe, who teaches the course “From University to Work” in conjunction with the Office of Career Development and Experiential Learning, told students there would be an added incentive for attending the final class. Once in attendance virtually, students learned guest speaker Lori Atkinson, regional manager at the Libro Credit Union, was offering two RESPs as prizes.

Sabrina Thompson“I’ve already used a lot of what I’ve learned in class, but I was not expecting this,” said Sabrina Thompson, a psychology major who won one of the two prizes. “This will definitely come in handy.”

From University to Work is a new course, offered for the first time in the winter 2021 semester.

“It’s designed to get students thinking about what they will do after university and give them resources that will help them find a career,” Dr. Sutcliffe said.

The class includes workshops on topics such as resumé writing, interview techniques, and social media profiles. Sutcliffe brought in 25 UWindsor alumni with careers in the law, government, banking, and non-profit organizations as guest speakers. They talked about their professions and offered advice to students.

“The idea is to get students to think about what happens after university while they are still in university,” Sutcliffe said.

Paul Seguin, a mature student taking the class, won the second RESP. He put it in his 11-year-old son’s name.

A professional in the corporate world, Seguin recruits university graduates for his employer. He took the class “out of interest,” to see job searching from a student’s perspective.

“I wanted to get into the head of a 21-year-old,” Seguin said. “I want to be able to speak their language.”

He said the course offers skills you would normally have to seek out beyond your post-secondary education: “It’s a gift to students who take it.”

Atkinson (BA 1988) says she relishes the opportunity to return to campus — even virtually — to connect with students. She said Libro has a close relationship with the University of Windsor, offering co-op placements for students and employing many alumni in full-time jobs.

“Libro is passionate about supporting our key pillar of employment: increasing productive employment and decent work for all and reducing talent shortage,” Atkinson said. “We purposefully seek out opportunities to support initiatives in Southwestern Ontario that provide employment or pre-employment training and skills development for people, including youth and people with employment barriers. We feel that supporting these initiatives contributes to financial resilience in our communities and helps us achieve our mission of growing prosperity in Southwestern Ontario.”

In addition, since 2018, Libro has partnered with UWindsor’s Entrepreneurship Practice and Innovation Centre (EPICentre) on an accelerator program offering mentorship, training, and funding to start-ups that focus on social initiatives like employment, financial resilience, local food accessibility, and housing.

“I have had the pleasure of speaking at several events associated with this partnership,” Atkinson said.

—Sarah Sacheli

Hoda ElMaraghyHoda ElMaraghy, professor of Industrial and Manufacturing Systems Engineering, received an honorary degree last week from Aalborg University in Denmark.

Research in modern manufacturing earns honour for engineering professor

Calling her “an inspiration for women in research and engineering around the world,” Denmark’s Aalborg University conferred an honorary doctorate on UWindsor professor Hoda ElMaraghy in an online ceremony April 15.

Aalborg’s Faculty of Engineering and Science noted Dr. ElMaraghy’s contributions to the development of modern manufacturing systems. A distinguished university professor of industrial and manufacturing systems engineering and director of the Intelligent Manufacturing Systems Centre, she pioneered the use of “learning factories” in teaching and research. A “Smart Production Lab” at Aalborg University was inspired by her work.

ElMaraghy and four other honorees — women academics from France, Norway, and the United States — participated in a round-table discussion on the theme “Research collaborations in a changed world” before the awards ceremony.

This is the second honorary doctorate received by ElMaraghy; the first was in 2013 from Chalmers University in Sweden.

woman exhibiting Zoom fatigueRemote work — with its countless online meetings — is taking its toll on employees, says kinesiology professor Francesco Biondi.

Multitasking pressures underlie distracted driving and “Zoom fatigue,” says researcher

Four in 10 remote workers report suffering from a sense of physical and mental exhaustion that accompanies prolonged screen engagement and the lack of face-to-face interaction during the workday, says kinesiology professor Francesco Biondi.

Millions experience “Zoom fatigue,” named after the video-conferencing platform.

“With workplaces becoming increasingly virtual, my focus on understanding human cooperation with machines and systems contributes to understanding how human cognition responds to our increasingly virtual world,” Dr. Biondi writes in an article published Monday in the Conversation, which shares news and views from the academic and research community.

While teleworking has its advantages — for example, shorter commutes — it comes with a cost.

Biondi notes that the causes of Zoom fatigue remain a mystery, but a contributing factor is the impetus to multitask during video calls.

“This phenomenon, which is also common in distracted driving, is motivated by our tendency to stay active following boredom or perceived lulls in job performance,” he says. “Together, these circumstances lead to high levels of mental demand in the workplace which not only reduces productivity, but also leads to greater muscle exertion and poor task performance.”

Biondi concludes with a call for a cross-disciplinary approach to research into the mental and physical burden of COVID-19 on teleworkers.

Read the entire piece, “Zoom fatigue and distracted driving share a common problem: Multitasking,” in the Conversation.

Philosopher honoured for contributions to equity

The Windsor University Faculty Association has named philosophy professor Catherine Hundleby its 2020 recipient of the Mary Lou Dietz Equity Leadership Award.

The association’s Status of Women, Diversity and Equity Action Committee bestows the award to honour individuals who demonstrate leadership through their contributions to creating an equity culture on campus. The award is named after Mary Lou Dietz, a late UWindsor faculty member and head of the Department of Sociology, Anthropology, and Criminology, in recognition of her contributions to the advancement of women in Canadian universities and colleges.

Catherine HundlebyDr. Hundleby has been a champion of inclusion, diversity, and equity in the Department of Philosophy, the University of Windsor, and the discipline of philosophy across North America and Europe.

She works and has been a force for change in a discipline which is still male dominated. Within her own field of philosophy of science and argumentation studies, Hundlby has pioneered new directions to feminist epistemology and theories of argumentation.

A leading member of the Canadian Society for Women in Philosophy and the Association of Feminist Epistemologies, Methodologies, Metaphysics and Science Studies, Hundleby has been a mentor to generations of philosophy students.

Learn more about her achievements on the WUFA website.

The association will celebrate Hundleby’s outstanding commitment, contributions, and accomplishments to diversity and equity with a virtual award presentation at 3 p.m. on Wednesday, May 5, over Microsoft Teams. Guest speaker Carla Fehr holds the Wolfe Chair in Scientific and Technological Literacy at the University of Waterloo, is a co-founder and co-editor of Feminist Philosophy Quarterly, and a founder of the American Philosophical Association Committee on the Status of Women.

RSVP by e-mail at wufa@uwindsor.ca by May 1 to receive a link to the event.

Funding available for campus safety projects

The Campus Safety Grant Committee (formerly known as the Women’s Campus Safety Grant) provides funding for projects to promote safety focusing on addressing issues of sexual violence on campus. The committee is accepting applications for creative, innovative proposals from members of the university community, including faculty, staff, and student organizations.

The deadline for the next round of submissions for funding through the Campus Safety Grant is May 31.

In accordance with the parameters set by the Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities, submissions are required to support one of the following broad categories or objectives:

  • Awareness or education (e.g., workshops, websites, awareness campaigns)
  • Student services and supports (e.g., campus walk safe programs, sexual assault prevention initiatives, volunteer training, resource materials)
  • Facilities and equipment (e.g., lighting, mirrors, security cameras, emergency phones)

Funding requests are accepted on an ongoing basis by the Office of Human Rights, Equity and Accessibility at:

Projects funded in the current round must be completed — and invoices paid — by March 15, 2022.