A First Response: Educating Paramedics to Identify Signs of Human Trafficking

Brianna Elaine Valenzuela Mrs., University of Windsor
Carly Charron Ms., University of Windsor
Elizabeth A. Donnelly Dr., University of Windsor
Karen Oehme, Florida State University

Introduction: Human trafficking (HT) affects approximately 21 million victims, representing a serious public health concern exacerbated by missed intervention opportunities. Targeted training has previously resulted in increased victim identification. While intervention with hospital staff increased HT awareness, less is known about prehospital personnel, specifically emergency medical services (EMS) personnel. This gap is problematic, as EMS personnel are uniquely positioned to conduct patient and environmental assessments that provide critical information for victim identification. This study evaluates a training module specifically designed for EMS professionals.

Methods: The online training module was developed in collaboration with Florida State University. Data were collected anonymously using voluntary pre- and post-tests. In total, 237 participants (majority American, n=224) completed at least 80% of the questions which asked about identification of HT indicators, previous training, frequency of suspected contact, and demographics. Data were analyzed using descriptive and bivariate statistics.

Results: Preliminary results suggest training effectively educates EMS personnel to recognize signs of HT. Paired-samples t-tests demonstrate increased suspicion for 26/27 indicators; the likelihood of suspecting HT before (m=107.23, SD=16.23) versus after training (m=118.61, SD=15.90) based on summed values of all indicators was statistically significant; t(208)=-9.129, p<.001.

Conclusions: This research falls under the Grand Theme of ‘Building Viable, Healthy, and Safe Communities’ by describing efforts to raise the visibility of HT among paramedics. Training may provide knowledge and confidence to report HT to resources equipped to effectively intervene. Training EMS personnel in HT will help fight modern day slavery and create healthier and safer communities

A retrospective single center study investigating the clinical significance of grade in triple negative breast cancer .

Sarang Upneja, Western University- Schulich School of Medicine & Dentistry
Abdulkadir Hussein Dr., University of Windsor
Devinderjit Moudgil, Windsor Cancer Research Group
Dr. Swati Kulkarni, Windsor Regional Cancer Center
Dr. Rasna Gupta, Windsor Regional Cancer Center
Dr. Amin Kay, Windsor Regional Cancer Center
Dr. John Mathews, Windsor Regional Cancer Center
Dr. Lisa Porter, University of Windsor
Bre-Anne Fifield, University of Windsor
Rosa-Maria Ferraiuolo, Department of Biological Sciences, University of Windsor
Dr. Caroline Hamm, University of Western Ontario and Windsor Regional Cancer Center

Background: Triple negative breast cancer (TNBC) is a heterogenous cancer type which lacks the receptors for estrogen (ER), progesterone (PR), and human epidermal growth factor receptor (HER-2) proteins. Comparatively, HER-2 positive cancers currently have a 7 year disease-free survival rate of 93% while in triple negative breast cancers, it can be as low as 77%.

Purpose: While histological tumor grade or the degree of similarity to normal cells is an important prognostic factor (overall outcome), there is limited information on its predictive value (effect of specific therapeutic intervention). This project aimed to investigate the predictive value of grade in triple negative breast cancer for clinical decision making regarding treatment.

Experimental Design: We reviewed 305 patient charts of triple negative breast cancer patients from 2004-2017 at Windsor Regional Cancer Center and the significance of grade with respect to oncological variables, survival-time, and time to relapse were explored.

Results: The overall survival rates were 90.12%, 64.4%, and 77.2%, for grade 1, 2, 3 respectively. Comparing only between grade 2 and grade 3, we found that after five years, grade 2 patients had a 5.5-fold increased risk of death (HR = 5.5; 95% CI 1.2-25.6) and 2-folds higher risk of relapse (HR= 1.9; 95% CI 1.1-3.2). Grade 3 does significantly better than grade 2 in time to relapse with relapse rates of 70%, 55.6 %, and 75.6%, respectively for grades 1, 2, and 3 (P= 0.04).

Conclusion: Grade can be shown to have positive predictive value in determining relapse with grade 2 showing poorest disease-free survival and faster time to relapse after the 5-year mark with implications in stratifying patients by grade in future clinical trials as further research elucidates more information about molecular differences between grades, as an explanation for these findings.

An Analysis of Intolerance in America

Rebecca Burkoski, University of Windsor
Katelynne Lamothe, University of Windsor

To assess changes to American’s intolerance to various groups based on age and sex, we used Waves 3 to 6 of the World Values Survey (1995-2014), which contains over 200 items/questions and is administered to over 80 countries. Approximately 1500 respondents in each wave indicated the extent to which they mentioned the following groups they would not want as neighbours: drug-users, immigrants, homosexuals, heavy drinkers, and people with AIDS or members of a different race. A multivariate analysis of variance (MONOVA) based on 4 waves of data; males and females; and young, medium, and old age groups revealed greater intolerance among early wave respondents, males, and older individuals. We further uncovered both a wave/age interaction and a sex/age interaction; we outline those specific results in detail. Implications for future research are discussed.

Anticancer Effects of Simarouba Glauca Extract in Combination with Chemotherapy

Christopher Raad
Michael Okoko

In 2019, over 26 000 Canadian women were diagnosed with breast cancer. Although conventional chemotherapies are effective, their mechanism of action is not specific to cancerous cells. Classic chemotherapeutics, such as taxol and cisplatin, have shown to target healthy cells, therefore they are not optimal for long-term usage. Natural health products (NHPs) are non-toxic, safe for consumption and are effective for a variety of different purposes, notably for their anti-cancer effects. Simarouba Glauca (SG), more commonly known as Paradise-Tree, is an NHP with a long history in herbal medicine in many countries. Previous studies suggest SG is effective against various cancers. We have studied whether SG can selectively induce cell death in MCF-7 and MDA-MB-231 breast cancer cell lines, as well as its ability to be used in conjunction with common chemotherapeutics. Through qualitative and quantitative analysis, we have demonstrated that SG exhibits selective anti-cancer activity. Combining plant-based extracts with established chemotherapeutics may not only provide more effective treatment but will also reduce the toxicity associated with the latter. We found that SG succeeded in enhancing the anticancer effectiveness of taxol and cisplatin. This work further evaluated the mechanism by which SG induces cell death in breast-cancers. The research is currently being extended to in-vivo trials, where the effects of SG are investigated on genetically modified mouse models. The findings provided have offered scientific validation in support of safe NHPs as well-tolerated and effective forms of cancer treatment.

Applying Fourier transform spectroscopy to ultrafast measurements

Chathurangani Dilrukshi Jayalath Arachchige B.Sc., University of Windsor
Thomas John Hammond Ph.D., University of Windsor
Nathan Gregory Drouillard, University of Windsor

This research involves understanding the effects of ultrashort laser pulses, which are generally of the order of femtoseconds (1 fs = 10-15 s) or attoseconds (1 as = 10-18 s), on a material and modeling light-material interaction. Attosecond time resolution is necessary to measure electron wave packet motion, with shorter pulses being important because they give us better temporal resolution. Ultrashort pulses can resolve electron motion and electronic transport properties, which have applications in telecommunications, quantum materials, and protein folding. We aim to create ultrashort laser pulses to excite and measure the electron wave packet motion in a femtosecond (or attosecond) time scale.

We perform the measurement with an experimental setup similar to Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR), a well-developed high-resolution spectroscopic technique. FTIR can measure weak absorption bands in materials; we will combine this idea with ultrashort laser pulses to measure transient absorption properties. We introduce a semiconductor material (or a metal) in to one arm of the Michelson Interferometer to measure the electronic motion inside or off the surface of the material. Measuring and controlling electronic properties at these timescales (which is 6 orders of magnitude faster than what is currently possible) is a crucial step in developing next generation technologies.

This research involves understanding the effects of ultrashort laser pulses, which are generally of the order of femtoseconds (1 fs = 10-15 s) or attoseconds (1 as = 10-18 s), on a material and modeling light-material interaction. Attosecond time resolution is necessary to measure electron wave packet motion, with shorter pulses being important because they give us better temporal resolution. Ultrashort pulses can resolve electron motion and electronic transport properties, which have applications in telecommunications, quantum materials, and protein folding. We aim to create ultrashort laser pulses to excite and measure the electron wave packet motion in a femtosecond (or attosecond) time scale.

We perform the measurement with an experimental setup similar to Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR), a well-developed high-resolution spectroscopic technique. FTIR can measure weak absorption bands in materials; we will combine this idea with ultrashort laser pulses to measure transient absorption properties. We introduce a semiconductor material (or a metal) in to one arm of the Michelson Interferometer to measure the electronic motion inside or off the surface of the material. Measuring and controlling electronic properties at these timescales (which is 6 orders of magnitude faster than what is currently possible) is a crucial step in developing next generation technologies.

Are carrion resources as scarce as we think?

Madison A. Laprise, University of Windsor
Sherah VanLaerhoven Dr., University of Windsor
Alice Grgicak-Mannion Ms., University of Windsor

As humans, we tend to focus on the greener, living aspects of the environment and often forget the other side filled with death and decay. Carrion, the decaying flesh of dead animals, is a nutrient-rich, spatially patchy ephemeral resource, relied upon as a food by a variety of organisms. As a patchy and finite resource, carrion's availability and distribution are unpredictable. Some factors that can influence the availability and production of carrion include predation, old age, and anthropogenic causes. Feeding on these resources are many scavengers, both facultative and obligate, vertebrate and arthropod. A primary consumer of carrion are blow flies (Diptera: Calliphoridae); often the first organisms to arrive at a decaying carcass. There are at least 11 blow fly species in SW Ontario, all requiring carrion resources for immature larval development yet manage to co-exist on what has been stated to be a rare, patchy ephemeral resource. My thesis will be testing the hypothesis that carrion resources are not as rare as previously considered and may be predicted using land-use attributes. Specifically, I will be using geospatial technology to model land-use attributes in the urban and rural areas of Essex County, Ontario. Some distinct elements of land-use being examined include farm, residential, commercial, and conservation. Following this, sites will be randomly chosen to trap blow flies across the gradient of land-use predicted to influence carrion availability, measuring blow fly species diversity along this gradient. This knowledge furthers our understanding of blow fly co-existence across a spatial and temporal landscape.

Arts element in engineering teaching

Xin Huang

In the first few years, I was an instructor of civil engineering courses at a university in Northwest China, my teaching focused on how to deliver the disciplinary-specific content, which could be perceived as a result of disciplinary egocentrism. With my professional development, I realized that in order to motivate my engineering students, focusing on the specific disciplinary content is not adequate, and inspired by the notion of STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Mathematics) education, which integrates an “Arts” element into the teaching and learning of STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) education. I started to explore ways to have arts-related items, such as drawings, models, sculptures, pictures, as an integral part of the civil engineering courses.

In my bridge design courses, I started with artistic appreciation of images of selected famous bridges around the world, followed by group discussions on the features of those bridges. In the next step, each group was asked to design their “ideal” bridge, and then use a special software program to analyze the mechanical property of their design, supported by relevant theories. Through this exercise, students learn how to keep a balance between the aesthetic and scientific components of a bridge model. During the practice, I found a significant rising attendance during the courses and with the interviews of some of my voluntary students, the positive feedback has also been reported, particularly in their interest’s improvement. This teaching approach, which creates a “fertile ground”, significantly improved student motivation and their learning achievement.

Avian grape predation at vineyards: Evaluating fruit preferences and non-invasive deterrent methods

Grace A. Bastien
Rick Simpson, University of Windsor
Stephanie Doucet, University of Windsor

Most fruit colours evolved to attract seed dispersers which causes problems in agricultural areas where bird predation costs growers thousands of dollars per hectare annually. My work quantified avian damage in local vineyards in Essex County, Ontario and determined whether intensity of avian grape predation corresponds to fruit colour and/or sugar content. In this study, we observed the amount of grapes taken and damaged by both bird and non-bird related sources (e.g. mold, insects), and we observed the change of numerous grape features, such as grape colour, size, sugar content, over the growing season. Our preliminary analyses indicate that grape colour and the habitats surrounding a given grape patch affect the level of avian predation, and that various grape types change differently in regards to hue, brightness, and chroma. My research has both evolutionary and agricultural components, in that it aids our understanding of what drives avian fruit colour preference and how particular fruits co-evolved to become more attractive to these species, while also helping lend insight to which grape cultivars are more at risk of avian predation and when the grapes will be most targeted by avian grape predators during ripening.

Behavioural Threshold and Management of Sea Lamprey (Petromyzon marinus) to Acoustic Stimuli

Victoria Heath, University of Windsor
Dennis Higgs, University of Windsor

Sea lamprey are an invasive species present in the Laurentian Great Lakes and parasitically feed on native species which affects the environment. The sea lamprey deplete important fishing species such as trout and salmon by preying on them leading to death. Many different control methods have been proposed for controlling and limiting lamprey such as barriers, pheromones and toxins. Sound has been used for deterring other invasive species and can be used to direct behaviour but has not been tested on sea lamprey. Experiments done in a field setting showed the effect of low frequency sound on the lamprey’s behaviour in a natural environment to show the efficiency of sound as a deterrent. Using PIT tagged sea lamprey and PIT tag arrays to track their movements, behaviour experiments were used to show the change in swimming behaviour away from sound. Results can lead to a wider knowledge of how to control lamprey’s behaviour and may lead new integrated strategies for preserving unaffected areas as well as help develop more effective methods of control.

Building Blocks for Better Babies: Examining the at-risk maternal-newborn populations in Windsor-Essex county

Jaime-Lee Nantais, University of Windsor


Building Blocks for Better Babies (BBBB) is a Canadian program offering prenatal nutrition, health classes, breastfeeding support, and other resources to at-risk childbearing populations in the Windsor-Essex region since 1996. Compared to the provincial average, the Windsor-Essex County Health Unit reports significantly lower levels of breastfeeding and higher rates of single parent families, child protective services involvement, and smoking during pregnancy. Currently, local prenatal services are needed to support this population.


The purpose of this study is to examine the socio-demographic factors of the maternal and newborn populations registered for BBBB program in Windsor-Essex county. Socio-demographic factors include age, income, education, marital status, birth country, childbearing status, healthcare provider, prenatal vitamins, food security, breastfeeding, alcohol and tobacco use.


BBBB intake registration data of approximately 5000 maternal-infant dyads over a 22-year period was obtained for secondary analysis. The data consisted of a 17-question self-reported maternal registration form, and a 3-question infant registration form. The data was de-identified by the BBBB staff prior to researcher access, was then entered into an electronic statistical database, and analyzed using descriptive statistics.


Data analysis is currently ongoing. The results are pending and will be available at the time of the conference.


The results of this study will contribute to the knowledge of the socio-demographic factors of the local at-risk childbearing population. This will help refine the services that are offered in the Windsor-Essex region, and in the broader health systems that care for at-risk childbearing populations.

Can a community save a species? Using community interactions to restore freshwater mussel species at risk in the Great Lakes

Roland Eveleens, University of Windsor
Catherine Febria Dr, University of Windsor

Conservation and restoration efforts are critical in addressing current declines in global biodiversity. However, delays in species recovery suggest that restoration approaches must be improved. One likely avenue is the use of positive species interactions to support the recovery of desired species, such as species at risk. Within the Great Lakes, 14 of 35 unionid mussel species in Southern Ontario are federally listed as being at risk. Unionids interact with multiple trophic levels, including relying on fish hosts to transport glochidia during parasitic juvenile stages, feeding on algae and organic matter, and mediating resource availability for other filter-feeding macroinvertebrate species. The extent to which multi-trophic interactions are considered in unionid restoration remains unclear, and yet may be critical to the recovery of critical species. Thus, here we present a systematic review of global literature to ask how successful current restoration efforts are, and the extent to which unionid restoration is a community effort. Preliminary results suggest that efforts utilising community interactions are few but reveal some success. Holistic efforts that address both abiotic and biotic conditions during restoration are limited but show great promise for improving restoration success if coordination is possible at the spatial and temporal scales required.

Can group membership and volunteering predict well-being in the World Values Survey: Correlates, sex differences, and age moderation

Evan Ripley-McNeil, University of Windsor
Kenneth M. Cramer, University of Windsor

The present study explores the relation between social interest and well-being, as measured by perceived group membership and volunteering. Three hypotheses predicted that: (a) group membership and volunteering would be positively correlated with well-being, (b) this correlation would differ by both sex, and (c) age. We analysed Wave-6 of the World Values Survey (2010-2014), consisting of 89 564 respondents from 60 nations distributed world-wide. Group membership and volunteering were correlated with measures of well-being (as measured by both perceived happiness and perceived health); notable sex differences are outlined. Finally, age acted as a significant moderator wherein the relation between group membership and well-being was stronger among older respondents. Our findings endorse future research of social interest through active measures such as group membership and volunteering. Older populations may benefit significantly from active participation in organizations; suggesting this behavior should be promoted in maintaining a happy and healthy lifestyle later in one's life. Interventions involving social interest based practices could be advantageous for clinical populations in conjunction with other modalities.

Keywords: social interest, group membership, volunteering, well-being, sex differences, age differences

Cannabis-Based Reductions in Opioid-Related Harms: Population-Based Observational Meta-Analysis

Isabella K. MacMillan Miss, School of Social Work
Kevin M. Gorey Dr, School of Social Work


Background: There is currently much debate around harms associated with easier access to cannabis. Yet, surveys of medical marijuana patients and recreational users in Canada and the USA observed that they prevalently (25% to 50%) substitute cannabis for alcohol, opioids, and other drugs, suggesting reduced harms. This synthetic study focused on arguably the most harmful substance opioids, as the growing toll of opioid-related morbidity and mortality requires harm reduction-based interventions.

Methods: Broad keyword searches of interdisciplinary research databases between 2010 and 2020 retrieved 11 studies. Their outcomes were synthesized with a sample-weighted meta-analysis that compared opioid-related outcomes before and after marijuana legalization in states that legalized marijuana versus those that had not.

Results: All but one of the primary study outcomes supported the harm reduction hypothesis. While controlling for typically 10 to 15 state-level differences, risks associated with opioid use diminished by 8% (RR = 0.92 [95% CI 0.91, 0.93] after legalization, 7% after medical marijuana legalization and 35% after recreational marijuana legalization (p < .05). Opioid prescriptions decreased by 8% and opioid overdose mortality diminished by 25% after medical marijuana legalization; both were even further diminished after recreational marijuana use was legalized.

Conclusion: The potential human and policy significances are clear, suggesting that such legislation profoundly affects tens of thousands to millions of physicians, patients and addicts in protective ways. All of the studies, thus far, have been state-level ecological analyses. Future individual-level analyses in Canada and the USA ought to be accomplished to replicate (or refute) this study’s estimates.

Case Study of NEDC and WLTP Driving Cycle Test Methods on Inverter Efficiency and Losses

Dante R. Bisetto, University of Windsor
Animesh Kundu, University of Windsor
Eshaan Ghosh, University of Windsor
Narayan Kar, University of Windsor

Charge Labs, University of Windsor

For performance verification of electric motors in vehicular application, they need to be tested using drive cycles which simulate real driving conditions. Previously, the drive cycle model for testing was the New European Driving Cycle (NEDC). Currently all automotive companies and OEMs are using the World Harmonized Light Vehicle Test Procedure (WLTP) method for testing drive cycles performance of electric motor. The WLTP method is the most accurate method for testing electric vehicles and their performance through its simulation of real world driving conditions considering both city and highway driving. The results from these tests allow for more precise data which is used to further enhance and develop electric motors for vehicular applications. One such component that benefits from this technique is the inverter. Inverters control the frequency of the AC power sent to the motor, which allows for speed and torque control of the motor. The inverter takes AC power, converts it to DC power, and then converts it back to AC power at the desired frequency and voltage. Inverter losses occur during the operation of the inverter. Improving the efficiency of an inverter is vital for better vehicle system efficiency. The electric motor with control was modelled in Simulink. The complete electrical system of the vehicle was operated through the drive cycle and the results were analyzed. The inverter losses are obtained so that the efficiency can be calculated. The goal was to reduce the operation losses and increase the efficiency of the inverter during operation. The preliminary tests for the WLTP have shown that the average inverter efficiency of 80.97%. The simulation will be repeated for NEDC too. Simulating the model will continue to provide the results for the NEDC method. Future work will involve more intensive testing of the motors under the different driving cycles.

Casus Irreducibilis in Atomic States

Zach Manson, University of Windsor

In Quantum Computing, one must switch between two quantum states called a 'qubit'. A well-known method for switching between quantum states is known as Stimulated Raman Adiabatic Passage (STIRAP). This method utilizes a specific atomic structure known as a 3-Level Lambda System (3LLS). A numerical investigation of these atomic structures led to the apparent result that the Hamiltonian describing the structure has eigenvalues that are complex-valued. This is problematic because the Hamiltonian that describes this atomic structure is self-adjoint and its eigenvalues can only be real-valued. In this project, these numerically-found, complex eigenvalues were found to be the result of the 'Casus irreducibilis'; a special case when trying to solve polynomials of degree 3 or higher, in which real solutions must be represented as complex numbers, proven by Pierre Wantzel in 1843. The impact of this discovery is that special care must be taken when theoretically & numerically modeling the dynamics of quantum systems.

Censorship and Regulation of Fat Women's Bodies: A Hypertextual Content Analysis of the Instagram Hashtag #FatIsNotAViolation

Micaela Grace Nimmo, University of Windsor

Changes in Lake State: Major state changes in an ancient tropical lake through geological time

Mariam Kamal Ageli
Doug Haffner, GLIER, University of Windsor
Paul Hamilton, Canadian Museum of Nature
Paul Weidman, GLIER, University of Windsor
Hendrik Vogel, Uninversitat Bern
James Russell, Brown University

Earth has been changing for millions of years, and these changes can even be felt in our freshwater systems, a vital resource influencing all forms of life, from algae to terrestrial mammals. Lake Towuti, Indonesia is one of very few lakes that have the potential to record changes over such long time spans. The pristine nature of this lake, with its low algal biomass and its ability to support a multitude of rare and endemic species, has led this lake to international interest. This study investigates whether the state of Lake Towuti has always been the same by studying the fossil record of deep sediment cores from two sites within Lake Towuti. We hypothesized that the composition of the fossilized algal diatom communities is the same throughout the cores, as it is unlikely that pristine lakes have encountered any major changes. Our methods include identifying diatom species and counting their abundance through microscopy, and measuring the concentrations and of select elements through spectroscopy. Our results to date show: (1) an array of novel endemic diatom species not yet described anywhere else; and (2) major long-term switches in the state of the lake. The complete shift in a lake’s algal community, dominated with species not seen today, shows the potential for lakes to continuously change between different algal states. This study also provides the identification of novel, endemic, and extinct diatom species. And lastly, the disappearance of a more algal lake state highlights the capacity for lakes to recover from extended periods of high productivity, an important finding in a time where we are struggling with harmful algal blooms in our own Great Lakes.

Changing gender roles among Pakistani Muslim immigrant working women

Manail Ghafoor Miss, University of Wiindsor

Pakistan has a patriarchal society system, presenting women as subordinate to men and men are considered as primary authority figures. It causes serious repercussions on women and men’s life scenarios. However, Pakistani women on migration to Canada experience changes in the gendered roles prescribed in their heritage society. Such changes result in a double workload for Pakistani women working in both the public and domestic sectors. Existing studies show that doing a second shift results in strains, stresses and extra work to cope with domestic chores and outside jobs. The main objective of the research is to explore the workloads and implications of life prospects in married Pakistani Muslim immigrant working-women residing in Toronto, Ontario, Canada.

The collection of data will start with participants reading and signing the consent forms- to participate and be audio-recorded. Following, a short socio-demographic questionnaire will be administered to garner background information. The questionnaire will include questions on age, level of education, occupation or work in Pakistan and Canada, income, number of children, years of marriage, years in Canada, number of persons living in household and immigration status. The researcher will personally conduct the interviews using pseudonyms for audio recording. Tapes will be transcribed verbatim and stored using the same pseudonyms. Finally, the thematic analysis will be used to analyze the data. Emerging themes and patterns will be identified and sorted. Those patterns will be catalogued into subthemes that will be interpreted within the context of relevant literature, in order to build a valid argument and description of the data.

Characterizing Microbial Communities of Chinook Salmon

Kristina Skurvidayte, University of Windsor
Javad Sadeghi, University of Windsor

Characterizing the Anti-Cancer Efficacy of Lakshmi Taru Extract on Human Melanoma Cells

Siddhartha Sood
Mansi Arora
Karthik Baskaran

Skin cancers such as melanoma are the most common form of cancer in the world. When treating patients, systemic therapy is traditionally used due to the limited success of radiation therapy and surgery. However, current chemotherapeutics have limited efficacy and high toxicity to healthy cells. Thus, there is a need to discover effective complementary therapies for use alongside standard chemotherapeutics. Natural extracts have been shown to have anti-cancer activity in the past. Lakshmi Taru extract from Simarouba glauca or “Paradise Tree” is one such extract that has been shown to possess anti-cancer activity. In other studies, it has been evaluated to show anti-cancer potential on leukaemic cancer cell lines. However, it has not been investigated for use to treat human melanoma. Thus, for the first time, we characterized Lakshmi Taru extract efficacy in human melanoma cell lines A375 and G361 and its selective induction of apoptosis. In addition, the mechanisms behind its anti-cancer activity were elucidated. Furthermore, the interaction of Lakshmi Taru extract with standard chemotherapeutics such as paclitaxel, cisplatin, and dacarbazine was evaluated, indicating that there is no negative interaction and instead, a slight enhancement of anti-cancer activity. These results indicate that Lakshmi Taru extract has the potential to be used as a selective and efficacious melanoma treatment either alone or in combination with current standards of care. Thus, our study on the use of Lakshmi Taru extract has the potential to build healthier communities by providing scientific evidence of its efficacy in treating one of the most deadly cancers in the world.

Chemical strategies towards the synthesis of 2-substituted calix[4]resorcinarenes for upper-rim functionalization

Lavleen Mader, University of Windsor
John Hayward, University of Windsor
Michael Reynolds, University of Windsor
John Trant, University of Windsor
N. Kodiah Beyeh, Oakland University

Supramolecular chemistry is the interdisciplinary study of the chemical, physical and biological properties of complex chemical species beyond individual molecules themselves. As of late, this field of study has become increasingly important due to the multifaceted applications of supramolecular complexes (hosts) for interacting with and transporting a variety of guest molecules within biological systems. A prime example of such host complexes are Calix[4]resorcinarenes; bowl-shaped macrocyclic compounds consisting of 4 phenolic units (a benzene ring with hydroxyl groups) linked together by methylene (single carbon containing) bridges. These macrocycles are involved in molecular recognition and are known to facilitate the solubility of hydrophobic compounds due to the presence of multiple hydroxyl groups. The controlled design and synthesis of these resorcinarenes can be used to invoke specific host-guest interactions depending on the substituent (chemical group) attached to the resorcinarene. However, this field remains limited to simpler compounds without reliable methods of synthesis that yield macrocycles with more diverse substitution patterns. For this reason, little is known about the specific effects of different substituents on the functionality of resorcinarenes. This project aims to develop and optimize unified chemical strategies to synthesize a variety of Calix[4]resorcinarenes with different substituents and study their functionalizing effects within host-guest chemistry (i.e. the types of guest molecules that can bind and the solubility of these host-guest complexes). Ultimately, this approach broadens the scope of potential applications of these macrocycles by introducing novel functionality.

Chinese Pre-Service Students’ Cross-Cultural Perceptions on Canadian Generalist Teachers Contextualized in Reciprocal Learning Program: A Narrative Inquiry

Chenkai Chi, University of Windsor
Shijing Xu Dr., University of Windsor

In Canadian elementary schools, teachers are under increasing pressure to be generalist practitioners in all subjects which are becoming more and more specialized and complex based on elementary curriculum (Pollock & Minszak, 2015) and at same time they are under pressure to be specialist teachers in certain subject areas such as math(Stokke, 2015). According to Ontario College of Teachers, “Ontario applicants who complete their application for a certificate of qualification and registration on or after March 31, 2020 must pass a Mathematics Proficiency Test in order to become certified, whether or not the application was started before that date”. How Chinese pre-service teachers from a different teaching tradition view a totally different teaching tradition can provide valuable insights to Canadian policy makers and educators, especially when high-risk test and accountability are highly stressed in Canada. This study is to explore Chinese pre-service teachers’ cross-cultural perceptions on generalist teachers in Canadian elementary schools when they did their cross-cultural placement through Reciprocal Learning Program with narrative inquiry as its methodology. Reciprocal Learning as Partnership (Xu & Connelly, 2017) shapes the theoretical framework. Chinese students’ weekly reflection, weekly debriefing and casual talks are the data of this study and thematic data analysis is the method of data analysis. The results show that from Chinese pre-service teachers’ cross-cultural understanding, generalist and specialist teachers have both advantages and disadvantages. Chinese teachers need to be cautioned to borrow this type of teaching method, and Canadian teachers need to be more specialized in some subjects such as math and science.

Cleaning Air with High Voltage

Jacob Ian McConnell, University of Windsor
Thomas John Hammond, University of Windsor

Electrical breakdown is an event in which current flows through an electrical insulator when a sufficient voltage is applied across it, known as the breakdown voltage. When this voltage is applied, the electrical insulator becomes partly, momentarily, electrically conductive. The Tesla coil is a large-scale electrical resonant transformer circuit designed to produce high-voltage, low-current, and high frequency alternating current electricity. This device wonderfully demonstrates electrical breakdown, leading to a bright spark as the electrons arc through the air.

The solid-state Tesla coil is designed with two solenoids (primary and secondary), each connected to a resonant circuit, which are loosely coupled to one another. Each solenoid is a hollow insulating tube wrapped in conducting wire; we control the voltage step through the ratio of the number of turns on each solenoid. Through the properties of electromagnetic induction and resonance, the two circuits charge and discharge at the same frequency and the voltage in the secondary coil resonates, leading to the breakdown voltage. Once the breakdown voltage is met, the air surrounding the secondary capacitance begins to ionize and conduct electricity.

The resulting high energy electrons fly through the hot air where they breakdown into a plasma of glowing ion filaments. The bright spark generated by the breakdown has a characteristic colour depending on the air molecules, such as oxygen, nitrogen, or even pollutants. We will perform careful spectroscopic analysis to determine the molecular species in the breakdown region, allowing for monitoring the air quality in our environment and communities.

Closing Borders on Sexual Slavery

Alison Mundle
Sara Williams
Charan Dhillon
Nancy Martinez
Melissa Pedro

Background: Human trafficking (HT) is a $150 billion industry impacting approximately 40.3 million internationally. The Windsor-Detroit border is the busiest in North America with over 20,000 vehicles crossing daily, making this a crucial corridor for human traffickers. Healthcare providers (HCP) are the first point of contact for sex trafficked victims seeking care and yet, HCPs have the least amount of specialized training compared to other stakeholders such as law enforcement.

Objective: To our knowledge this is the first academic statistical analysis of HT. Our aim is to inform the public of the concealed pandemic in our community and to propose the innovative integration of trauma informed care (TIC) within the healthcare profession to increase victim identification.

Method: We systematically reviewed multiple studies for current statistical analysis of HT and the implementation of TIC in other disciplines.

Results: Our statistical analysis indicates an alarming lack of precision and rigor in quantitative methods used for identifying HT victims. Due to the nature of the crime, the statistics available are significantly unreliable because HT is highly under-reported. We detected critical gaps in the identification of HT victims and a scarcity of Canadian studies.

Conclusion: We conclude the lack of attention with this emergent issue and inconsistencies in the data is detrimental to the safety of our border city community. Current knowledge of HT among HCPs hinders the identification of victims therefore, existing statistical data is inaccurate. Future studies should focus on incorporating TIC to identify victims, while also being statistically rigorous.

Coarse grain simulations to study Lipid domain behaviours under vitamin E exposure

Niya Vanganur, University of Windsor

Vitamin E is a biomolecule often used as a vitamin supplement and an antioxidant . There are two families of Vitamin E, tocopherols and tocotrienols, each of which comprise of four variants, (α, β, γ, and δ). Research promotes Vitamin E as an anti-cancer agent through the membrane raft destabilization mechanism. The primary focus of vitamin E research is to demonstrate the effects of vitamin E members on lipid domains and membrane organizations. Using phase separating unilamellar lipid vesicles, alongside small-angle scattering techniques and fluorescence microscopy, the LABR group was able to determine that lipid phase behaviour remains undisturbed even beyond physiological concentrations of vitamin E. The purpose of this research is to gain better understanding of Vitamin E supplementation by exploring further interactions of Vitamin E in lipid membranes and whether its behaviour is consistent with raft disrupting anti-cancer mechanisms. Current work focuses on analyzing effects of tocopherol in vitamin E on lipid domains using coarse grain simulations to compliment experimental values and understand domain behaviours.

Color Change in Neotropical Yellow Toads: Do Males Compete Based on their Breeding Coloration?

Patricia Rokitnicki
Katrina Switzer
Dan Mennill
Stephanie Doucet

Visual signals play a vital role in sexual selection in anurans. Females often use visual cues such as elaborate colors and patterns to select their ideal mate, however, male competition has shown to be the most prevalent evolutionary mechanism driving mate choice in animals. Neotropical Yellow Toad (Incilius luetkenii) males have been observed to express a dynamic visual signal during brief, explosive mating events. For just a few short hours, males display a vibrant yellow coloration until actively engaging in reproduction, after which they revert to a female-like cryptic brown color. Recent studies suggest that males use color as a sex identification signal during these explosive events, and that females do not selectively interact with males based on their coloration, but we have yet to determine whether this trait may function as an intrasexual signal during competitive interactions. If intrasexual selection is driving rapid color changes in male Yellow Toads, we hypothesize that males will differentially compete with other males based on their coloration. To test this, we placed a male Yellow Toad along with two hyper-realistic stimuli of amplectant pairs into the different apexes of a triangular arena. One stimulus male exhibited bright yellow coloration and the other a dull coloration. If color is an indicator of male quality, we predict that males will initiate physical competition with the duller male model more frequently than with the brighter, and potentially higher quality, male model. Our research will enhance our understanding of the function of conspicuous visual cues in anurans.

Comparison of ageism between Japan and America

Katelynne Lamothe F, University of Windsor
Rebecca Burkoski F, University of Windsor

Concentration of Cells and Elimination of Extraneous Background Signals in Laser-Induced Breakdown Spectroscopy to Identify, Differentiate and Detect Bacteria

Emma Jane Mary Blanchette
Sydney Sleiman
Haiqa Arain
Alayna Tieu
Archie Martinez

Our lab has been investigating the use of laser-induced breakdown spectroscopy (LIBS) for the rapid identification of bacteria in clinical specimens. The ability to rapidly identify harmful pathogens in such specimens is crucial for initiating appropriate treatment of infectious diseases that can kill within hours of the onset of symptoms. Current laboratory techniques can take as long as 24-72 hours for a positive identification. Our research program is attempting to reduce that time to minutes. Sample preparation methods utilized in our procedure include common materials and equipment that could be easily implemented in clinical settings. Our protocol involves the collection of bacteria using pathology swabs, centrifuging the suspension through a custom-fabricated cone device and concentrating the bacterial cells upon a nitrocellulose filter medium. A pulse of high-intensity laser light focused onto the deposition allows a sensitive measurement of the elemental composition of the cells, leading to the detection and identification of the bacteria. Laser ablation yields a non-zero background signal when a control experiment is performed in the absence of bacterial cells. This poster will present our efforts to identify exactly what the sources of this non-bacterial signal are, test other types of filter media which may contribute to reduced background signal and to add preparation steps to the protocol, which might reduce or eliminate this undesired background signal. In addition, the investigation of how chemometric algorithms can be used to differentiate between the LIBS emission spectra obtained from 4 different bacterial species will be discussed.

Conjugated Polymer Nanoparticles: A Novel Strategy to Combat Glioblastoma Multiforme

Fatima Nadeem, University of Windsor
Dorota Lubanska Dr, University of Windsor
Gage Mason, University of Windsor
Simon Rondeau-Gagné Dr, University of Windsor
Lisa A. Porter Dr, University of Windsor

The most aggressive type of brain tumour is Glioblastoma multiforme (GBM). GBM encompasses 17% of all brain tumours, and the median survival for patients does not exceed 15 months. The diffuse nature of the disease and the high level of heterogeneity leads to ineffective surgical resection and diminished success of established therapies. A novel therapeutic option includes utilizing nanoparticles. My project specifically focuses on the molecular properties of Conjugated Polymer Nanoparticles (CPNs), which are comprised of a Poly-Isoindigo polymer and a fluorescently labelled Hyaluronic Acid (HA) coating. I will first study the CPN concentration-dependent effects on glioma cells in vitro by studying the cell cycle phase accessibility, cell proliferation, death, and metabolic activity. I will investigate the selectivity of targeting CD44, a HA receptor, positive cells by CPNs, comparing CD44+ and CD44- cells, separated using Fluorescence-Activated Cell Sorting (FACS), or by using CD44 knockdown.Finally, the bioavailability of CPNs will be assessed using an in vivo Zebrafish system. I will first evaluate any potential toxicity of CPNs on the Zebrafish, and then I will determine the optimal concentration and timing of CPN treatments. I will then investigate the effects of CPNs on xenografted U251tumours in vivo. This project will enhance our understanding of the CPN-mediated effects not only on the GBM cells but also in an in vivo setting allowing for further development of this therapeutic approach to potentially improve clinical outcomes in patients with GBM.

Creation of an Undergraduate Peer Mentorship Program for First-Year Physics Labs

Steven Rehse PhD, University of Windsor
Alayna Tieu, University of Windsor
Sara Ibrahim, University of Windsor
Victoria Kotevski, University of Windsor

The Department of Physics is in the process of completely redeveloping First-Year Physics Laboratory delivery and assessment based on a very successful technology and pedagogical framework championed by the University of Illinois. As part of this new curriculum, a peer mentorship program will be created whereby past successful students in the course are engaged for credit in subsequent years to mentor the current students enrolled in the course. The peer-mentorship program is utilized to enhance the first-year student experience in the laboratory, and also to provide unique growth experiences for the peer-mentors. Also integral to this redevelopment is a program of ongoing assessment and evaluation by surveying students taking the labs. In this study, surveys with various questions on the quality of the lab, and whether or not students believe a peer mentor’s presence in the lab would have facilitated their learning, were administered to first-year students who had successfully completed a semester enrolled in a physics lab. Survey results were compiled, sorted, and analyzed. Information from journal articles, researchers at the University of Illinois, and faculty at the University of Windsor who have developed similar programs, was collected. All of this compiled information will be used during the development of a framework for a new peer-mentorship program to be initiated in the Fall of 2020 at the University of Windsor.

Cross-Border Cooperation and Trade in Post-Brexit Northern Ireland

Natalie Suzor, University of Windsor

The border between Northern Ireland (part of the United Kingdom) and the Republic of Ireland (an EU member) has been one of the most contested issues throughout the Brexit process. The possibility of reintroducing border checkpoints has reignited fears of sectarian conflict in the border region and presented serious obstacles to cross-border cooperation between Ireland, the UK, and the EU. This research provides a historical and institutional background on the border and the Good Friday Agreement, which was put in place in 1998 to bring peace to Northern Ireland and the border region. Explanations of the effects of Brexit on the Good Friday Agreement and cross-border cooperation are also examined, as well as current barriers to Brexit negotiations -- cross-border cooperation, trade and, customs agreements -- through a comparative study between the Irish border and the Swedish-Norwegian border. The likely conclusions drawn from this research will outline the problems to be faced throughout remaining Brexit negotiations and provide possible solutions and scenarios of trade regulation for the Irish border. This study relates to “Understanding and Optimizing Borders” as it seeks to provide a deeper understanding of logistical, economical, political, and trade issues associated with the Irish border, which are currently some of the most difficult issues to confront in world politics.

Crossing the #thinblueline: Surveillance and Self-Presentation by Police on TikTok

Kelsey Fischer, University of windsor

This research project is concerned with the large community of police officers actively creating content on the emerging social media platform of TikTok, which is a short-form video sharing social media platform. This proliferation of traditional figures of authority into the civilian sphere of social media presents an opportunity to examine how this police-created content consciously influences civilian perspectives on policing, as well as how police officers characterize themselves within these short narratives. Furthermore, the large contingent of visible police officers on TikTok has implications for surveillance practices and expectations on social media. The project’s research question will examine how police presence on TikTok may contribute to the complexity of surveillance relationships. Drawing from a sample of videos from the popular police-related hashtag #thinblueline, this project will engage in a multi-level Critical Discourse Analysis of the video content, the accompanying caption and a sample of the comments. This methodology has been adapted from Walkington et al. (2019)’s study of police-created Facebook content as a site of identity creation. Each video will be assessed using elements of CDA on three levels related to intended message in relation to policing, positioning of the content creator within this narrative, and how the content creator positions themselves within larger surveillance discourse. The analysis will also draw upon Michel Foucault’s concepts of panopticism and governmentality, as well as Erving Goffman’s presentation of self. The project aims to contribute to a more nuanced understanding of how social media narratives contribute to relationships of authority and surveillance through an emerging platform like TikTok.

Cultural Insensitivity within Canadian Post-Secondary Institutions: An Analysis of North Indian International Students Experiences

Gagneet Kaur, University of Windsor
Clayton Smith Dr, University of Windsor

“Cultural Insensitivity within Canadian Post-Secondary Institutions: An Analysis of North Indian International Students Experiences”

-Gagneet Kaur (104873407), B.A (Honours) Criminology & Sociology & Dr Clayton Smith; Faculty of Education, University of Windsor

In the recent times, Canada has seen an exponential rise in the number of international students enrolling in post-secondary institutions. As of 2018, over 300,000 foreign students were issued Canadian study permits, and more than half of them belonged to the Indian Subcontinent (Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada, 2018). While this number continues to rise, concerns over racial insensitivity against foreign students continues to be a cause of concern. A majority of Canadian universities are not representative of Canada’s growing multicultural population and adhere to a set of Eurocentric policies (Samuel & Burney, 2003). Despite a policy based adherence to equity, universities are not equipped to manage the needs of culturally diverse students, simply because they lack ‘cultural toolkit’ to deal with diversity issues (Henry & Tator, 2009).

A majority of Indians in Canada, belong to the North Indian state of Punjab, which has become the epicenter of Canadian immigration in India. Additionally, some North Indians tend to stand out because of their choice to wear a turban, thus increasing their likelihood of being racially profiled. Since university marks a crucial developmental phase in the life of a student, experiencing incidents of racial bias can have far reaching impacts on the mental well-being of victimised students. Through the purpose of my study, I want to conduct focus group discussions and interviews to understand the nuanced experiences of racial bias faced by North Indian international students on campus, and consequently highlight the need for cultural awareness initiatives for university personnel, that will help in making Canadian universities collaborative and inclusive spaces.

Design, Fabrication, and Test of a Single Rotor Modular Unmanned Aerial Vehicle for Algae Bloom Monitoring of Lake Erie

Marco Veliz Castro, University of Windsor
Afshin Rahimi, University of Windsor

Every summer, runoff pollution is causing algae in Lake Erie to grow out of control, impacting the health of the lake, suffocating fish, making water unsafe for swimming, deterring tourists, and damaging local economies. Given these facts, the current study proposed a swarm of single rotor unmanned aerial vehicles (SRUAV) for health monitoring of Lake Erie. Traditionally, for such a task, a single drone is designed with complicated structure and control modules resulting in high costs of design, construction and maintenance. A single unit design can be very vulnerable and costly to maintain. Robotic swarms can achieve the same ability through cooperation and have the advantage of reusability of the simple agents and the low cost of construction and maintenance. Robotic swarms also have the advantage of high parallelism, which is especially suitable for large scale tasks. In the present work, as the first phase of the overall project, design, fabrication and test of a single agent from the envisioned swarm is detailed. The simple agent will be equipped with a modular payload fitted with either a camera or sampling/dispenser device and will be responsible for the aerial photography and sampling of algae blooms in Lake Erie. The current practice for the research data collection is either relying on the US-based research centers data or conducting manual field investigations. The long-term goal of the proposed research is to provide an alternative low-cost solution for the health monitoring of Lake Erie, with other potential use cases, which could benefit local Canadian researchers including UWindsor’s Great Lakes Institute for Environmental Research and enhance the productivity and efficiency of the monitoring practices.

Design, synthesis and stress-testing of novel phytochemical nanoemulsions with augmented stability

Ryan Salama, University of Windsor
Abhinandan Banerjee
John Trant

Dictionary Learning for Automated Cell Tracking in Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI)

Mark Alan Armstrong, University of Windsor
Dan Xiao, University of Windsor
Cornelius Faber, University of Muenster

Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) is a powerful imaging modality with excellent soft tissue contrast. Contrast agents can be used to “label” cells creating signal voids, allowing individual cells to be imaged. Time-lapse MRI can be used to track the motion of tagged cells, providing insights in the studies of inflammatory diseases and metastasis of cancer. Counting cells manually is cumbersome, motivating the development of an automated technique.

A dictionary learning based method has been developed for this feature extraction problem. In dictionary learning, a set of “atoms”, representing features of an image, are “fit” to an image. A digital image is simply a set of values representing pixel brightness’s, an atom in dictionary learning is the set of values which create a certain feature. The “fit” is an optimization of parameters, which determine the weighting of each atom (feature), in a given patch of the image. Using the information from the fit parameters, the locations of features, such as signal voids, can be obtained. The method was tested on human brain images with simulated signal voids of various contrast. The signal to noise ratio (SNR) was also varied by adding gaussian noise. With sufficient contrast and SNR, the algorithm was able to extract the signal void features in simulated images with complex features. The method will be applied to process the images acquired in cell tracking MRI experiments, to release the burden of manual counting. The automatic image feature detection technique can also be translated to other systems.



Assessment is an integral part of learning. It provides a meaningful insight to educators and teachers about where students are in their learning process (Earl, 2003). For the purposes of effectively assessing students learning, the Ministry of Education (2009) prescribes ‘Differentiated Assessment’. The three types of assessment under such are diagnostic assessments (i.e.) the assessment before instruction, formative assessment (AfL, AaL) (the assessment during the instruction) and summative assessment (AoL) (the assessment that occurs after the instruction). The summative assessment is also referred to as ‘Evaluation’ by the Ministry. The Ministry’s document places special emphasis on the importance of formative assessments as a tool to monitor students’ progress as it is an effective tool to guide further instruction for the benefit of the student’s understanding. There exists substantial proof that recognizes formative assessments as the best kind of evaluation for improving students' learning. (Black and William 1998), (Assessment Reform Group, 2002) (Black , Harrison, Lee, Marshall, & William, 2003). However, there is also a case for differentiated assessments and according to (Chapman & King, 2005), managing an assortment of evaluations before learning reveals the student's earlier information and experiences, to decide the person's preparation level and to distinguish the fitting section point for guidance. Nevertheless, the importance of formative assessments continues to be reinstated in all educational reform and policy documents.

According to Hargreaves (2005), , the phrase ‘assessment for learning’ gained a lot of allegiance the classroom instructor , in middle as well as elementary school in England in the past few years.

Even though, there is huge emphasis on the importance of formative assessment for learning, it might not be used as an effective tool for assessing the students’ knowledge of a subject often as the teachers might rely only on summative assessments for assessing students’ understanding. Even the students might usually not take formative assessments seriously as they know that these assessments are not going to be marked and thus would not affect their final grades for a particular course. As a result, sometimes the teachers might have to deceive the students about marking these assessments in order to take them seriously so that they can use it to decipher students’ grasp of a concept during the instruction delivery. Thus, there might be varying perceptions in the minds of not only educators but also students as regrades to the formative assessment. (Hargreaves, 2005) This papers aims to throw light on these differences while also exploring the reasons of the existence of these differences about formative assessments in order to inform the education practice about the opinions/ misconceptions regarding formative assessments in the minds of all the stakeholders of education. This paper will serve as a useful insight for putting further reforms in place for the Ministry of Education in the K-12 system while administering assessments effectively.


Assessment Reform Group. (2002). Assessment for learning: 10 principles. London: Assessment Reform Group.

Black , P., Harrison, C., Lee, C., Marshall, B., & William, D. (2003). Assesment for learning Putting It Into Practice.Maidenhead: Open University Press.

Black, P., & William, D. (1998). Inside the Black Box: Raising Standards Through Classroom Assessment. London: King's College.

Chapman, C., & King, R. (2005). Differentiated Assessment Strategies: One Tool Doesn't Fit All. Thousand oaks: Corwin Press.

Earl, L. (2003). Assessment as Learning: Using Classroom Assessment to Maximise Student Learning. Thousand Oaks, California: Corwin Press.

Hargreaves, E. (2005, June). Assessment for learning? Thinking outside the (black) box. Cambridge Journal of Education, 35(2), 213-224.

Ministry of Education. (2009). Differentiated Instruction Educator’s Package Facilitator’s Guide – assessment For learning Getting to the core of teaching and learning. Retrieved from Edugains: http://www.edugains.ca/resourcesDI/D.I.%20Enhancement%20Package/Assessment%20for%20Learning/DI_Assessment_Gde_2009.pdf

Effect of Branched Polyethylene on the Mechanical and Electronic Properties of Semiconducting Polymers

Aleena Malik
Mariia Selivanova, University of Windsor
Simon Rondeau-Gagne Dr, University of Windsor

With the rise of portable and implantable electronics, where objects and human are constantly connected, there is a need for materials that can used in electronic devices that have a good charge transport and eco-friendly properties while also being stable in various conditions. Directly inspired by biological tissues, next generation electronics have to be capable of being molded in different shapes and forms and, more importantly, being utilized directly on (or inside) the human body to enhance our connectivity to the environment. This means that the components required to design and fabricate the next generation electronics need to be electronically and mechanically robust, while possessing properties similar to that of our body.

To address this challenge, our research exploits a combination of a DPP-based conjugated polymer with a low-molecular-weight and low boiling point branched polyethylene (BPE) that are physically blended to improve the mechanical properties of the semiconducting polymers. Using various characterization methods such as atomic-force microscopy, UV-vis spectroscopy and X-ray diffraction, we evaluated the effect of the branched polyethylene additive on the mechanical properties of the polymers. Interestingly, this additive was shown to reduce Young’s modulus, decrease crack propagation, reduce crystallinity, promote aggregation, and increase crack onset strain. Our new materials were used to fabricate organic field-effect transistors, critical components of modern circuits. This presentation will discuss the preparation and characterization of new conjugated polymer and soft materials blends, and will highlight the potential of our new materials for the preparation of next generation electronics and sensors.

Electrochemical Detection of Ethyl Carbamate Using a Modified Graphite Electrode

Brock Levac, University of Windsor
Jichang Wang, University of Windsor
Jun Li, University of Windsor
Jayna Paik, Hiram Walker & Sons Ltd.

Ethyl carbamate (EC) is a naturally occurring component in most fermented food/beverages. Since EC has been classified as a class 2A carcinogen by the World Health Organization, it’s important to closely monitor and eventually regulate EC levels in all fermented products. Unfortunately, EC concentrations are low and may fluctuate over a broad range as it’s formed through several precursors that arise naturally from maturing grain whiskey. The current EC detection protocol deployed by most distilleries such as Hiram Walker in Windsor requires several expensive instruments and tedious procedures, although the measurement is accurate. In an attempt to provide a more cost and time efficient detection method, we are exploring electroanalytical approaches. Electrochemical sensors are devices that operate by reacting with chemical solutions while producing electric signals proportional to the analyte concentration. Electrochemical sensors have been proven to have a very wide detection range; they possess extremely low power requirements and they can be very inexpensive. Our preliminary experimental data illustrate that a modified graphite electrode that was conveniently fabricated in an acidic solution was able to respond to ethyl carbamate at concentrations as low as 100ppb – Just below the Canadian legal limit, 150ppb. Further research is being conducted in order to optimize the modification of graphite electrodes, aiming of being used to improve current detection methods at distilleries like Hiram Walker.

Employment Discrimination Faced by Muslim Women Wearing the Hijab: Exploratory Meta-Analysis

Sofia Ahmed, Uwindsor
Kevin Gorey, University of Windsor


With the recent increase in global immigrant and refugees, there are many Muslim women seeking employment in Western countries. However, those who wear the hijab often struggle to secure work, which may be in part due to Islamophobic discrimination. However, there is limited research on this phenomenon. The current study tested the hypothesis that Muslim women who wear the hijab are disadvantaged in employment processes relative to their counterparts who do not wear the hijab. A meta-analysis synthesized the findings of seven studies published between 2010 and 2019. The estimate was sample-weighted and pooled among experimental studies that were deemed the most internally valid. The findings suggest that the chances of being hired and so gainfully employed were 40% lower among Muslim women wearing the hijab than they were among, otherwise similar, Muslim women not wearing the hijab: relative risk (RR) = 0.60 within a 95% confidence interval (CI) of 0.54, 0.67. This religion-based discrimination effect was deemed hugely significant in human, public health, and policy senses. Immigration trends suggest that millions of Muslim women in the West likely experienced such employment discrimination between 2010 and 2019, and millions will likely suffer in the same way if policy status quos are retained. Based on participants’ responses, much of the employment discrimination experienced by Muslim women who wear the hijab is due largely to potential employers’ prejudicial reactions to the hijab itself. Practice and policy implications and future research needs are discussed.

Keywords: Employment, discrimination, hijab, headscarf, Muslim women

Engendering Justice for Migrant Women Fleeing Violence in the Canadian Refugee Determination System

Jennifer Prashad Miss, University of Windsor, Faculty of Law

In Canadian refugee law, women asylum seekers experience significant evidentiary hurdles, specifically the assumption that most states are able and willing to protect women from private acts of violence carried out in the home. In situating Canada’s obligations towards women in search of international protection, I elucidate how the Safe Third Country Agreement between Canada and the U.S. serves as an exclusionary measure for women fleeing domestic violence in search of asylum, and aim to uncover how recent regulatory reform under the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act amounts to procedural unfairness. I closely examine how gendered asylum claims are determined in problematic ways by drawing on persuasive and legal jurisprudence at the UN level. In doing so, I critique secondary which reveals a pattern of ‘superficial state protection’ in the adjudication of asylum claims, whereby decision-makers fail to scrutinize the accessibility and adequacy of legislative measures and protective services in a woman’s home state. Notwithstanding these valid critiques, few academics have considered whether the Immigration and Refugee Board Guideline on Vulnerable Persons can be integrated along with the Gender Guidelines in order to create an alternative policy solution that remedies the numerous obstacles that migrant women experience. I propose a specific IRB directive which adjoins each existing guideline and recognizes the legal complexities surrounding claims of gendered asylum, specifically those founded on domestic violence. My proposed guideline has the capacity to attenuate the high evidentiary standards placed on claimants at the state protection stage in the refugee determination process.

English Optional: A Perspective on the Implications of Language Barriers Among Temporary Migrant Workers

Stephanie Goncalves, University of Windsor

The Seasonal Agricultural Worker Program (SAWP) and the Temporary Foreign Worker Program – Low-Skill Agricultural Stream (TFWP) are two Canadian federal vehicles that grant the agricultural industry the ability to hire temporary foreign workers (TFWs) to fill domestic labour shortages. Analysis of both programs and their policies show that TFWs are not provided settlement services like language and cultural training because of the nature of their temporary status (Basok 2004, p. 57). Although they are temporary, many migrants return to Canada, and often to the same farm, for many consecutive terms. Policy in both programs does not include integration training that allows for TFWs to lead integrated lives in Canada. The Universal Declaration of Human Rights of 1948 cites that all humans have the right to dignity, language, an adequate standard of living, and freedom of movement among other rights (Liebman et all, p. 979). To ease newcomer transition to Canadian society, language and cultural training services have been implemented into policy. Because of the exclusion of similar or comparable policy in both temporary migrant worker programs, TFWs often lack the necessary cultural and linguistic skills to function fully during their time in Canada. Widely reported, TFWs face a host of problems from health and safety concerns, isolation and segregation, difficulties in socialization, and an inherently problematic employer-employee relationship as a result of closed work permits (Basok 2004, Basok 2010, Gabriel & Macdonald 2011, Nakache & Kinoshita 2010, Perry 2018, Preibisch et al 2014). The ability to advocate for oneself, to exercise agency and to communicate in society are greatly hindered when language and culture skills are lacking. Because of the language barriers, some of the aforementioned problems include; not understanding their work contracts, how to access benefits, how to collect CPP after their work terms are complete, access to social services, communication barriers, isolation, and feeling like a citizen of no where. Does the exclusion of mandatory language and culture training to the Seasonal Agricultural Worker Program and the Temporary Foreign Worker Program policies accelerate some of the problems of agency and integration faced by temporary migrant workers? I propose ESL training for TFWs as a partial solution to some of the problems faced by TFWs.

Essex Hall – South Wing Revitalization

Kevin Francis

The renovation of an existing building, specifically an underutilized building, can bring much needed excitement and energy to an area that was once a cornerstone of the campus. In addition to correcting an aging structure, the opportunity arises to address current student needs, research needs, and scheduling needs. This makes the proposed redesign of the south wing of Essex Hall an investment into the university experience. Improving the pedagogical practice, enabling new research, and making a positive impact to every student’s experience is the framework of an exciting new vision. This vision must be grand. It must make a difference today and endure long into the future. Anything less is just that…. Less!

The redesign of Essex Hall includes the following design elements. First, additional student study space will be provided on all three floors. This will give the students additional options to find study spaces that match their studying styles. Second, two new larger classrooms and three new medium size classrooms will be created (all with state-of-the-art AV technologies). This will assist the Registrar’s Office with the scheduling of classes. Third, the Science Departments need new and updated lab / research space. This design will add 9 new spaces for this need. Finally, a collaborative team-building space will be provided for interdisciplinary group work, and it will be accessible from all three floors.

The removal of an underutilized section of campus will turn a forgotten corner of the University into the destination for research and learning.

Evaluating iNAGO’s Car Information Assistant to Improve User Experience and Driver Knowledge and Safety

Brian Taylor, University of Windsor
Francesco Biondi, University of Windsor

Research and development of autonomous vehicles and advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS) has steadily increased over the last decade and will continue grow in the coming years. Advances in driving technology are intended to increase driver safety, however, recent research suggests that drivers with limited knowledge of these systems such as Adaptive Cruise Control may actually demonstrate increased negative driving behaviors such as distracted driving and speeding. To address the growing concern about driver safety with new advanced and sometimes autonomous features being developed and implemented in vehicles, iNAGO, a software company in Toronto is developing a Car Information Assistant (CI), which is designed to provide information about vehicle features and ADAS functionalities to the driver. Through visual-vocal interaction, CI is intended to act as an in-vehicle personal assistant. This study was designed to test the CI and assess its ability to provide users information about their vehicle and improve their feeling of safety. Each participant (N=20) interacted with the CI and were able to ask it any question they wanted for 20 different vehicle features. After each feature, the participant completed a survey with questions about the effectiveness of CI and how safe they would feel with CI in their vehicle. It was found that 90% of users said they would feel more knowledgeable about the features in their vehicle after using CI, 70% said they would feel safer with this application included in their vehicle, and 90% would use this application compared to a written car manual.

Evaluating the Anti-Cancer Efficacy of White Tea Extract in Colon Cancer and its Interactions with Chemotherapeutic Agents for the Treatment of Colon Cancer

Jana Khanafer, University of Windsor

Colorectal cancer (CRC) is the second most commonly diagnosed cancer in Canada, and, at the latest stage of diagnosis, is a malignant tumour known as adenocarcinomas. The most commonly used conventional therapeutics for metastatic CRCs include FOLFOX and Taxol; however, these drugs exhibit serious side-effects due to their toxicity towards non-cancerous cells, thereby leading to poorer quality of life. Over many centuries, natural health products containing various bioactive compounds have shown to display anticancer activity. This occurs by targeting multiple pathways in cancer cells to selectively induce apoptosis, a form of programmed cell death. Our previous studies have shown that white tea extract, derived from the immature leaves of the Camellia sinensis plant species, is effective at inducing cell death and reducing tumour growth following oral administration in lymphoma and leukemia models, which are forms of blood cancer. However, the efficacy of this extract against human CRC has not been examined. The focus of this project is to investigate the anticancer effects in dose and time-dependent manners of white tea extract in colorectal cancer models. Our preliminary results have shown that white tea extract indeed reduced cell viability and induced apoptosis in colon cancer cells. Our next aim is to determine the efficacy of combining white tea extract with standard chemotherapeutics for colon cancer treatment. To do this, we will determine its interactions with FOLFOX and Taxol in cellular and animal models. If successful, these results will lead to the development of white tea extract as a supplemental therapy for CRC patients.

Evaluation of the Anti-Cancer Efficacy of Long Pepper Extract in Colorectal Cancer

Johan Pushani, University of Windsor

Current chemotherapies have proven effective in treating patients but have shown to cause severe toxic side effects, such as neurotoxicity, organ system disorders, hair and weight loss, and fatigue. Natural health products (NHPs), compounds derived from natural sources, offer a promising option compared to common treatments used today.

NHPs have been widely used in the development of current chemotherapeutics. In addition to having many health benefits such as reducing inflammation, improving respiration and digestion, many possess anti-cancer properties. Long pepper’s own anti-cancer properties, as well as its ability to enhance the bioavailability of drugs, make it a viable drug to be used in tandem with a common chemotherapeutic. This main focus of this project was to evaluate the ability of long pepper extract (LPE) to decrease the cell viability of two lines of colon cancer (HCT116 and HT29), compared to a normal cell line (NCM460), when used in combination with the most common chemotherapeutic for colon cancer, FOLFOX.

First, cytotoxicity of an ethanolic extract of long pepper was assessed on HCT116 cells, whereby LPE displayed anti-cancer activity in a dose-dependent manner. LPE was then used in combination with FOLFOX, in which it enhanced cancer cell death. Moreover, mechanisms of anti-cancer action of LPE alone and in combination with FOLFOX were investigated; LPE greatly induced oxidative stress and destabilized cancer cells' mitochondrial membrane. Cellular results will be confirmed in trials on immunodeficient mice.

Experiential Learning is the Key to Enriching Student Success and Advancing Cancer Research Education

Jake Frank, University of Windsor
Subidsa Srikantha, University of Windsor
Kaila Wilson, University of Windsor

Cancer is the leading cause of death in Canada, transcending all ages, genders, ethnicities, and socioeconomic status. However, many Canadians are unaware that cancer is a diverse set of diseases that require different diagnostic tools and treatment strategies. Thus, public education focusing on cancer research is critical to change the current conversation around the disease. The development of educational tools that engage and clearly illustrate the mechanisms of cancer research is a justified social need that requires proper training. It is hypothesized that university students immersed in cancer research and education through experiential learning become effective community educators. The Windsor Cancer Research Group (WCRG) offers many experiential learning opportunities for undergraduate and graduate students by connecting them to local researchers, health care professionals, patients and caretakers. To obtain an empirical measure of the program’s success and needs for improvement, a survey was developed that investigates how these opportunities enrich technical and transferable skills, reinforce interest in biomedical careers, encourage students to be community educators and build self-efficacy. The survey has been distributed to current and past student participants of WCRG’s experiential learning opportunities. After two weeks, results will be collected and assessed to obtain a better understanding of the effects of experiential learning while also demonstrating the impact of enhancing academic programs through experiential learning. Creating an accessible platform for the public to learn more about cancer research, and its impact on patient care also addresses a clear social need that promotes healthy and safe communities within Windsor-Essex.

Experiment in Ethical Listening #1

Derrick C. Biso, University of Windsor

I propose to curate and share artistic work that I developed through a research project during the winter semester of 2019 in PHIL2800: Indigenous Thought of the Americas. The work was inspired by my growing awareness of the housing crisis and ongoing Indigenous struggles against the various forms of genocide being enacted by the Canadian state both at ‘home’ and abroad. The aim being to help other settlers learn the real colonial history of Canada, the current material situation, and encourage us towards being better treaty people.

Inspired by experimental learning installations, I developed an experiment in spatial relation, ethical listening, and representation of statistics to explore a material reality that I found difficult to comprehend and appreciate. I played a CBC report, “This family of five lives in a laundry room, a sign of Nunavut's housing crisis” and projected images of the family in the laundry room on the wall. I used tape to mark the floor with the dimensions of the laundry room and confined myself to that space for the duration of the report.

I propose to remake the original experiment for participants to experience, inviting them to listen to the report and confine themselves to the space for the duration. This experience aims to enrich the understanding of participants of the ongoing colonial violence and struggle of First Nation, Metis, and Inuit communities and to foster relations based in understanding and respect and promote solidarity and mutual aid, helping to building viable, healthy, and safe communities for everyone.

Exploring the Characteristics of Spy1 Overexpression in Glioblastoma Multiforme

Maheen Arshad
Frank Stringer
Dorota Lubanska

Glioblastoma Multiforme (GBM) is a type of brain cancer that develops from glial cells which provide support to the nerve cells. It is highly malignant and common, accounting for more than 60% of all brain tumors in adults with an average prognosis of 15 months.(WHO, 2016) A cell cycle regulator protein, Spy1, has been found to be highly expressed in GBM. Spy1 is an unusual cell cycle protein because it can overpass the normal cell-cycle checkpoints. In cancers such as GBM it may contribute to runaway proliferation and tumour progression. Elevated levels of Spy1 have been implicated in poor prognosis in GBM patients. This study aims to characterise the role of Spy1 protein in GBM using a mouse model of glioma known as GL261. This cell line contains several molecular alterations characteristic of human gliomas. Prior to implantation, GL261 cells were infected with lentivirus to overexpress Spy1. We aim to compare the features of the Spy1 overexpressed tumors with control tumors to determine whether increased Spy1 expression correlates with more severe pathological features. In addition, we aim to perform drug trials on Spy1-manipulated GL261 cell lines in vitro in order to assay for connections between Spy1 status and therapy effectiveness. Together, the results will contribute to better understanding of Spy1 in established brain tumours in vivo and future identification of potential therapeutic strategies.

Facilitating International Students’ Academic and Social Success in Canada

Li Ji, University of Windsor

One of the most common challenges for the growing number of Ontario’s international students is the language barriers they encounter. Though local agencies offer language support services, these are reserved for immigrants and refugees; thus, international students must find other options, and one of the most common is information and communication technology (ICT). For example, some students use smartphone applications (apps) or online resources and courses. However, though many of these tools prove effective to some degree, they are not uniformly effective. Thus, to understand which approaches are most effective and develop recommendations that will serve the needs of international students, the current study proposes using an experimental model that assesses the development of students’ language proficiency to determine the effectiveness of different ICT language tools. By having students complete pre- and post-tests prior to and before using various ICTs, the study seeks to determine which are most effective. The study will likewise host a focus group among the participants to determine what elements of each ICT support their language learning and which proved ineffective.

Failed by Universities: A Class Action Proposal on Behalf of Survivors of Sexual Assault on or Around Ontario University Campuses

Cherlene Cheung

As #MeToo takes the world by storm, post-secondary institutions must take up the challenge of effectively preventing and handling sexual violence on Canadian campuses. In 2016, Ontario’s Bill 132 mandated the creation of sexual violence policies at all universities. Though the response was well-intentioned, recent research indicates that many of the resulting policies fall short because they are not comprehensive enough and they lack oversight. Legal avenues exist outside universities, but many argue that students may be no better served by a combative and ineffective criminal process (Bonnyman, 2017) (SFCC, 2019). As such, the presentation proposes a class action lawsuit as a measure to increase accountability for sexual violence. The focus of the allegations in such an action would concern the past and present policies and practices of universities in responding to reports of sexual assault, including the level and quality of support available to survivors. The presentation explores the potential of allegations on grounds of negligence, breaches of fiduciary duties, and breaches of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms. Post-secondary institutions owe their students a safe learning environment and must provide them with a robust and proper policy and procedures when violence does occur.

Follow the Money: A Study of Monetization and Compensation in Canadian Theatre Criticism

Avery MacDonald

Whether it be tweeting, posting on Instagram, or writing a blog post, theatre criticism — defined as the evaluation of a theatrical production by a knowledgeable industry professional — no longer simply exists in print. A concurrent reduction in arts coverage at many traditional media outlets has in turn cut jobs for theatre critics (Fricker, Poll, Radosacljevic). The SSHRC-funded project “Gender, Genre, and Power in the Theatre Blogosphere,” under the guidance of Dr. Michelle MacArthur, is studying the ways in which the blogosphere has changed the discourse surrounding Canadian theatre. In the most recent phase of the project, a national survey was conducted in order to understand the demographics of who is writing about theatre online, where, and why they are writing. This study found that many critics are compensated through complimentary tickets, while very few critics actually hold salaried positions at print publications or make a living through their writing. If anyone can ostensibly be a theatre critic, and if there is little financial compensation for writing theatre criticism, how can the field be sustained? With the emergence of the internet as the main venue for theatre criticism, will the field no longer be a viable profession?

Survey findings and case studies of the criticism websites of Intermission Magazine, Mooney on Theatre, and Vancouver critic Colin Thomas will be used in order to investigate how theatre criticism can continue to be a viable career in our constantly changing internet age. It will be hypothesized that public funding and new economic models are needed in order to sustain Canadian theatre criticism.

Works Cited

Fricker, Karen. “Blogging.” Contemporary Theatre Review, vol. 25, no. 1, 2015, pp. 39-45. Taylor and Francis Online.

Poll, Melissa. “Mapping the New Critical Terrain: Rules, Ethics, Hierarchies.” Canadian Theatre Review, no. 168, 2016, pp. 9-18.

Radosacljevic, Duska. Theatre Criticism: Changing Landscapes. Methuen Bloomsbury, 2016.

French-Speaking Minorities in Ontario and New Brunswick: Surviving or Thriving?

Émilie Aline Elisabeth Weidl, University of Windsor

When the Royal Commission on Bilingualism and Biculturalism recommended that both Ontario and New Brunswick become officially bilingual in 1967 to prevent inevitable linguistic assimilation, only the latter did so. My research question focuses on the effects of Ontario’s decision. Was the Commission right in maintaining that official bilingualism was necessary? Has Ontario created a language regime that is able to prevent assimilation without becoming fully bilingual?

I aim to explore whether Ontario’s decision not to adopt bilingualism has led to increased assimilation for Franco-Ontarians as compared to Acadians in New Brunswick. To do so, I examine the Speeches from the Throne and legislation in both provinces from 1967 to 1985 to investigate the level of commitment in each province to preventing assimilation. I use reports from both provinces in 1985 to determine whether there was a disparity in the level of access to French-language services between the two provinces. To study the possible effects of any disparities, I examine census data to measure linguistic assimilation rates in both provinces from 1971 to 2011. I expect to find that Ontario had a lower level of commitment to its French-speaking citizens’ needs than New Brunswick, and that this has translated into higher rates of assimilation for Franco-Ontarians.

Getting Ahead: Does Experiential Learning Affect Academic and Career Pathways?

Marissa Marie Bumanlag Miss, University of Windsor
Brandon Sabourin Mr., University of Windsor

Experiential learning (EL) is defined by Kolb (1984) as a process of addressing concepts, experimenting, as well as having deeper learning experiences. Many universities have created EL opportunities; for example, the Volunteer Internship Program, Ignite, practicum, and field placement at the University of Windsor. However, the effectiveness of specific programs remains uncertain due to a lack of research.

Our research project examines the impact of EL opportunities on the academic and career pathway decisions of upper-year undergraduate students in the Faculty of Arts, Humanities, & Social Sciences (FAHSS) at the University of Windsor. Through online survey research, we are looking at how University of Windsor EL opportunities can promote the transfer of knowledge, skills, and attitudes from the postsecondary classroom to the workplace. Our project is guided through the following research questions: What kinds of effects do EL opportunities have on 4th year FAHSS students? Which skills are improved in particular? How does EL impact these students’ future academic or career pathways? As EL programs at the University of Windsor are similar in design to many other institutions, this research will help decide what students need when it comes to hands on learning outside of the classroom.

Our project falls under the Open Challenge as it is unclear as to how the institutional designs of EL programs and other activities affect students’ academic and or career decision making after graduation. This type of research affects multiple disciplines and is not confined to any one of the other challenges or themes.

Harassment, Sexual Harassment and Provincial Legislatures – A comparison of policy approaches in Nova Scotia and Newfoundland and Labrador

Linda Coltman

In keeping with the Building Viable, Healthy and Safe Communities grand challenge, this presentation will attempt to explain the transfer of learning journey of comparative qualitative policy analysis, policy transfer and learning and feminist policy analysis through an exploration of 2014 and 2015 Canadian federal policies noting how such have proven to be relevant with respect to the 2016 and 2019 provincial policies of Nova Scotia and Newfoundland and Labrador. Specifically, in keeping with the grand challenge theme, discussion will provide an explanation and exploration of research conducted pertaining to sexual harassment and sexism in the Nova Scotia and Newfoundland and Labrador legislatures. Research questions guided an examination of the origins of the legislature-specific sexual harassment policies in each province; what (if anything) was learned from previous policy ‘failures’ and/or ‘successes’?; and what shortcomings remain in both cases. Said policy comparison took its inspiration from the 2018 federal lessons of Collier and Raney and undertook an in-depth content comparison of provincial legislative policies based on influences of: rape myths; party or independent investigation; type of sexual harassment training; public disclosure of perpetrators; policy review; parliamentary privilege protection; culture change; and other policy inputs - all of which will be explained as to their importance and prominence connected to how we can seek to understand socio-political aspects in order to advance knowledge about the lives of women working within Canadian legislatures.

How Political Parties Are Exploiting the Youth: Voter Demobilization and Information Gerrymandering

Sophia Lutfallah Ms., University of Windsor

The internet’s algorithmic structure of privatization promotes one-sided thinking, and youth’s dependency on the internet makes them more vulnerable to accepting only the information that makes it through their personalized algorithm. Political parties sometimes abuse algorithmic personalization by sending tailored ads to undecided voters with the goal of demobilization. Many undecided voters are young and first-time voters-- consisting mainly of those who are dependent on the internet for political news and candidate information. This effectively makes internet-dependent youth primary targets of online demobilization efforts-- directly undermining the democratic discourse of public participation. If tailored political advertising is, without disclosure, shaping our voting behaviour and how we think about politics, the result is information gerrymandering. This is defined by Jonathan Zittrain (2013) as “the selective presentation of information by an intermediary to meet its agenda rather than to serve its users.” Since current regulations cannot prevent young and first-time voters from being targeted by demobilization efforts, I seek to determine what kinds of voter mobilization and education efforts are possible to discourage information gerrymandering. I have administered a survey to first- and second-year classes across various disciplines to gather data about young and first-time voters. The data from the survey should help inform possible solutions to the issue of information gerrymandering.

“I can’t really explain how important that was to be considered a human being”: Outcomes and opportunities from a compassionate community approach that supports vulnerable persons

Felicia Varacalli, University of Windsor
Kathryn A Pfaff, University of Windsor
Jamie Crawley, University of Windsor
Heather Krohn, University of Windsor
Deborah Sattler, Windsor Essex Compassionate Care Community

Background: Population health approaches that comprehensively address the needs of vulnerable persons are desperately needed internationally. The experience of vulnerability is complex, and often linked with low-income, chronic disease, and disability. Compassionate Communities (CC) is a theory of practice that can be universally applied to meet the needs of vulnerable persons. CC interventions emphasize the responsibility of society to care ‘with’ and ‘for’ its citizens as a public health issue. Citizens are purposefully mobilized in partnership with health and social care entities to achieve holistic care.

Purpose: To understand the benefits of the CC intervention for vulnerable persons in Windsor, Ontario, as described by Windsor-Essex Compassionate Care Community (WECCC) stakeholders.

Methods: An applied qualitative approach. Focus group and interview data were collected from clients, care coordinators, and students. We iteratively reviewed transcripts individually and as a team. Data were compared and reduced to generate themes/categories.

Results: ‘A new set of eyes’ illuminated the true needs of people who are ‘invisible’ in the system. Program staff and volunteers ‘took the time to figure things out’. In many circumstances, the ‘little things’ had the biggest impact on client well-being and on the care system.

This research relates to the “Building Viable, Healthy and Safe Communities” Grand Challenge by bringing awareness to how Windsor-Essex is currently supporting its vulnerable population. WECCC is improving the physical and mental health and safety of their clients through social interactions which allow clients to overcome obstacles that they are experiencing in their everyday lives.

I Quit! An Integrative Review of Mentorship Programs & New Nurse Retention

Faith Fauteux, University of Windsor
Karlee Boersma, University of Windsor
Lacey Rivest, University of Windsor
Andres Curbelo-Novoa, University of Windsor
Sean Dufour, University of Windsor
Kate Kemplin, University of Windsor

Identifying Molecular Markers of Progression to Muscle Invasive Bladder Cancer

Benita Rangira
Bre-Anne Fifield
Lisa A. Porter

An estimated 9,000 Canadians are diagnosed with bladder cancer each year making it the 5th most common cancer in Canada, the 12th most common among women and the 4th among men. Most patients are initially diagnosed with non-muscle invasive bladder cancer (NMIBC), which in some cases can progress to muscle invasive bladder cancer (MIBC). MIBC is associated with significantly poorer prognosis than NMIBC, and it is unclear why some progress to MIBC while others do not. . A collaboration with the computer science department found that an increase in discoidin domain-containing receptor 2 (DDR2) is ninety percent specific for muscle invasion in bladder cancer and that DDR2 is overexpressed in MIBC compared to NMIBC. DDR2 is a tyrosine kinase that functions as a cell surface receptor for collagen and regulates cell differentiation, cell migration, invasion and proliferation. It is also involved in the molecular mechanism of disease progression in thirty six percent of MIBC patients. Furthermore, knockdown of DDR2 in vitro in bladder cancer cell lines decreased cell viability, migration and invasion. The mechanism by which DDR2 mediates progression to MIBC and increases invasion in bladder cancer is currently unknown, and may represent a new target to prevent progression from NMIBC to MIBC. This project will seek to demonstrate that DDR2 can be used as a prognostic indicator for the progression to MIBC and can be used as a therapeutic target preventing progression to MIBC.

Identity Formations in the Sinhala Transnational Community in Canada

Sankajaya Nanayakkara, Department of Sociology, Anthropology and Criminology, University of Windsor

Identity Formations in the Sinhala Transnational Community in Canada

In this paper, I will provide an overview of the Sinhala transnational community in Canada from a historical perspective. Thereafter, I will discuss the formations of transnational identities in the context of social, cultural and political life of the Sinhala community. The issue of racism experienced in the Canadian labor market is also addressed. The discussion is framed within the notion of nation as an ideological construct.

Participant observation, in-depth interviewing, and document analysis were used to collect data. Ethnographic research was mainly carried out in Toronto.

Immediate Feedback Assessment Technique (IF-AT) Testing in Undergraduate Political Science Education

Linda Coltman

Employing a poster format, student centered learning and learning centered teaching benefits of Immediate Feedback Assessment Technique (IF-AT) testing models will be showcased. Within University of Windsor undergraduate political science classes, as in all major disciplines and on college and university campuses elsewhere, multiple choice testing is a common form of student testing/assessment. While multiple choice testing holds an accepted place in academia, traditional multiple-choice testing has been found to be problematic and in some instances a contradiction to student learning. Research however reveals that IF-AT testing provides a learning centered teaching alternative that offers both the benefits of traditional multiple-choice testing without the negative aspects that can result from using such. This presentation aims to highlight how employing IF-AT testing methods can support instructors in creating courses that accommodate a student-centered learning perspective. An emphasis will be placed on showcasing and comparing the benefits and drawbacks of IF-AT testing relative to multiple choice testing techniques. Care will also be taken to detailing how the IF-AT model’s answer-until-correct format leads to: higher reported clarity and ease of completing response requirements, concentration and logical thinking during testing, perceived fairness of and learning during testing and retention of learning, and reduced perceived potential for academic dishonesty to the benefit of post-secondary students and faculty. How IF-AT testing has been effectively employed within UofW political science courses on campus will also be described.

Immunohistochemical investigation of innervation in Papilla regions of Petromyzon marinus

hasan Polat, University of Windsor


Sea Lampreys are an invasive species of the Great Lakes; they are responsible for declines in lake trout populations since their introduction, and pose an ecological and economic threat. Current sea lamprey control systems apply a combination of approaches including the use of barriers, traps and lamprey specific toxins, which have produced insufficient results. A strategy based on targeting chemical sensory systems can provide a more effective approach, with the overarching goal of using chemical signals to bring the spread of sea lampreys under control. Like other aquatic species, sea lampreys rely predominantly on chemical detection systems like smell and taste, to navigate their surroundings and behave in an adaptive fashion. One of the chemosensory systems, the diffuse chemosensory system, is comprised of solitary chemosensory cells (SCC), which are specialized epithelial cells that morphologically and biochemically resemble taste cells. Understanding the structural organization of nerve fibres in regions containing solitary chemosensory cells can provide new insights about their function, and allow the detection and recording of electrophysiological signals coming from papillae regions. Using markers for nerve fibres and solitary chemosensory cells, we were able to observe innervation in the epithelia of four identified SCC regions in the sea lamprey. We conclude that nerve fibres extend far into the epithelium, where the solitary chemosensory cells are located, in all four papilla-containing regions. Using this knowledge we can target the diffuse chemosensory system to manipulate lamprey behavior in favor of population control.

Immunohistological identification of crypt cells in differing freshwater fish

Kristyn Quenneville, University of Windsor
Barbara Zielinski, University of Windsor

In the Multitude of Counselors: Contrasting Israeli Reaction to the Rapidly Developing Security Outlook in the Periods Preceding both the Six Day War and the Yom Kippur War

Noah P. Berthiaume Mr., University of Windsor

In the Multitude of Counselors: Contrasting Israeli Reaction to the Rapidly Developing Security Outlook in the Periods Preceding both the Six Day War and the Yom Kippur War

Noah P. Berthiaume

Department of Political Science, University of Windsor

Understanding the challenge posed by international borders in the formulation of domestic security policy necessitates a critical examination of the profound importance of the exchange of strategic information (both intentional and otherwise) amongst regional actors, and the tendency of governments and their security establishments to rely upon conjecture in the absence of viable intelligence. The maintenance of sovereignty within a region both geographically confined and competitively defensive forces states to confront the challenge of weighing their obligation of proportionality against the necessity of immediacy in formulating comprehensive responses to developing threats. This paper endeavors to examine state approaches to cross-border intelligence gathering and analysis in contentious regions and concludes that the extent to which proportionality can reasonably be factored into the formulation of defense strategy correlates to the immediacy of an emerging threat, and that an imbalance in these two variables precipitates strategic failures. Much of this research focuses on the challenges inherent to managing cross-border security relationships, both diplomatic and military, in a region deeply divided and geographically confined. In identifying the intelligence handling procedures that lead the Israeli security establishment to a strategic victory in the Six Day War, and contrasting said practices with the reactionary mismanagement that lead the same establishment to an historic failure during the Yom Kippur War, this paper seeks to elucidate both best practices and common complacencies in the management of rapidly developing regional security dynamics, and in so doing expand the reader’s understanding of the intersections between international borders and national security.

Influences of parental attachment and sexual education on young adults’ sexuality

Rebecca Pacheco Ms

This study examines the relationship between young adults’ attachment styles, sexual socialization by parents, and school-based sex education and their sexual attitudes, sexual self-efficacy, and sexual satisfaction. 100 university students aged 17-25 answered an anonymous online survey including previously validated measures. We hypothesized that a secure attachment, a liberal socialization and a comprehensive education would be related to greater sexual confidence and more positive sexual outcomes. We also hypothesized that experiencing comprehensive sexual education will counteract any negative impact of having an insecure attachment. Responses were analysed using hierarchical regression. We discuss the limits and strengths of the findings in the context of social discomfort communicating about sex and the complex web of formal and informal influences on young adults’ sexual attitudes and sexual satisfaction.

Injecting New Knowledge: A Statistical Analysis of Safe Injection Sites and Harm Reduction

Shelby Lacey, University of Windsor
Aleksandra Ilievska, University of Windsor
Katrina Paty, University of Windsor
Natalie Opare, University of Windsor
Denise Ehi, University of Windsor


Safe injection sites (SIS) are proven to reduce overdoses, crime, and fatal blood-borne infections. Despite those benefits, no sites exist in Windsor, ON., likely due to the abundance of fear-mongering and misinformation. We critically analyzed statistical methods used in dozens of quantitative studies and found critical gaps in peer-reviewed literature worldwide, substantially affecting intravenous drug users and communities around them.


We systematically analyzed existing studies’ statistical methods to appraise investigations of SIS and harm reduction. To our knowledge, ours is the first academic analysis of statistical methods for SIS and harm-reduction. Statistical rigor in studies regarding SIS and harm reduction vary in methodology and conclusions, presenting a conundrum for government authorities and clinicians alike.


We found alarming methodological issues with SIS studies, such as poor precision and rigor, in addition to failure to adhere to research reporting standards. Such a dearth of attention to detail on this topic warrants more granular study, especially in the Windsor, ON., area. Our recommendations provide reliable basis for government decision-making based on facts, not fear, that will help foster healthy and safe communities.

Investigation of the Enhancement of Neuroprotective Efficacy of Water Soluble Ashwagandha Extract Alone and in Combination with Ubisol- Q10 for Parkinson’s Disease

Rachel Huggard
Sadia Almas

Parkinson’s disease (PD) is the second most common chronic and progressive neurodegenerative disease and the most common movement disorder. PD is characterized by the progressive loss of dopaminergic (DA) neurons in the substantia nigra pars compacta (SNpc), leading to symptoms such as tremors, bradykinesia, postural instability, and rigidity. Biochemical pathologies of PD include oxidative stress, autophagy and mitochondrial dysfunction, and neuroinflammation. Current treatments for PD provide only symptomatic relief and fail to halt progression of neurodegeneration. Prolonged treatment can result in adverse motor/behavioural side effects. Previous studies have shown that supplementary antioxidants such as coenzyme Q10 have neuroprotective abilities and can target mechanisms of oxidative stress and mitochondrial and autophagic dysfunction, however, it has limited bioavailability since it is lipophilic.A water-soluble formulation of CoQ10 (Ubisol-Q10) was created to increase bioavailability. Ubisol-Q10 was shown to protect cultured neurons from paraquat (PQ) (an environmental toxin known to cause PD) toxicity and DA neurons in PQ induced rodent models of PD. Ethanolic ashwagandha has also been shown to provide neuroprotective, anti-inflammatory, and even neuro-regenerative properties in PQ induced rodent models of PD. Similar to CoQ10, ashwagandha extract phytochemicals are lipophilic, resulting in poor bioavailability. The same technology used in Ubisol-Q10 was used to enhance solubility of ashwagandha extract. Previously, we investigated the efficacy of combined Ubisol-Q10 and ethanolic ashwagandha treatments and we have begun to test the enhanced efficacy of the combination of both water-soluble formulations. Both physiological and behavioral components of PD progression in response to treatment in rats will be studied in this project. We anticipate that this combinatorial treatment will halt the progression by reducing oxidative stress, stabilizing mitochondrial function and activating autophagy mechanisms.

Islamophobia: American and Canadian Media News Coverage of Muslims, Arabs, and Middle-Easterners

Maryam Wael Farag, University of Windsor - Department of Communication, Media and Film


This paper seeks to examine the topic of Islamophobia; how are Muslims/Islam portrayed in North American news outlets? How do depictions/portrayals of Muslims/Islam compare between American news and Canadian news? The literature review covers the following: sources of influence on the Western media and its connection to media’s portrayal of Islam; Western geopolitical and economic interests in the Middle East; ideological violence by Muslim versus non-Muslim perpetrators; and Western media portrayals of Muslim women. Islamophobia is defined as the fear, hatred of, or prejudice against the Islamic religion or Muslims, especially when seen as a geopolitical force or the source of terrorism. The meaning of the term continues to be debated, and some view it as problematic. Anti-Muslim sentiment can be found in almost any mainstream media outlet post-September 11. For the purpose of this paper, examples are drawn from two Canadian and two American print media within the framework of a new Orientalism that targets and demonizes Muslims and Islam. The case study includes the analysis of 20 articles, 10 from Canadian print media and 10 from American print media. The articles revolve around the Quebec mosque shooting which took place on January 29, 2017. Critical Discourse Analysis and Content Analysis are the methods used in the analysis. The findings support the idea that through the Western media there has been a new revival of Orientalism, defined as historical depictions of the ‘other’, and in this case of Islam and Muslims, in order to re-create the binary between ‘us’ and ‘them’.

Key words: Islamophobia, Orientalism, Quebec Mosque Shooting, Western Media, Critical Discourse Analysis.

It's My Story: The Healthcare Storytelling Project

Alexandra Zalewski BScN Student, University of Windsor
Laurie Freeman PhD, University of Windsor

Culture has been identified as a social condition that contributes to health disparities in communities. Nursing education, in an attempt to morph the current healthcare system into one that upholds cultural safety and maximizes the health of all members of the community, emphasizes cultural concepts. Research was initiated to explore ways to promote cultural safety through teaching cultural competence in nursing education. The goal was to equip the next generation of nurses with the knowledge and needed soft skills to create culturally sensitive environments that benefit patients, families, and communities. Digital storytelling, as an immersive and innovative way of educating the millennial student, was chosen to build emotional intelligence skills that would not otherwise be developed in traditional education delivery models. Two culturally diverse students were recruited from the University of Windsor to share their experiences with local healthcare services using this creative medium. Their stories revealed an epidemic of culturally incompetent care. Results through informal feedback from students, who watched the digital stories and completed multiple choice questions, revealed a consensus that the digital stories featured were the most positively impactful part of their learning experience. With an increasingly diverse population, it is imperative that cultural safety is embraced, as a part of the foundation of a safe, sustainable, and healthy community. The art of digital storytelling emerged as having immense potential, as a learning modality, to educate the leaders of tomorrow with benefits reaching beyond the scope of healthcare; the possibilities are presented here.


Afeson beyene, University of Windsor
Dr. John F. Trant, University of Windsor
Michael Reynolds, University of Windsor


KRN 7000 is a bioactive glycolipid extract from the Japanese marine sponge Agelas mauritianus, that has been the talk of the science community for over 20 years. It is a α-galacatosylceramide which is a complex made of fats and carbohydrates that can form a defense complex which it triggers a response from T cells that express an invariant aβ T-cell receptor and other surface molecules that are like natural killer cells and also in the innate immune response; to treat some types of cancer and autoimmune diseases. The behavior observed paved way for manufacture of more of the same glycolipid but with different components in order to increase the activity. One of these analogs increases the potential for chemicals to bind to bone tissue by nearly one hundred times in comparison to other analogs. These improvements show potential for clinical trials. This analogue increased molecular stability by removing the acetal functionality(R2C(OR’)2) in the polar head of the glycolipid after which a methylene group replaces the anomeric oxygen which are geometric variations found at oxygen in carbohydrate molecules. Through modification of the length of the linker, we are hoping to see promising results through further studies on the C-KRN. In order to understand the applications of this glycolipid, we are extending the linker by a single Carbon in order to make three C-KRN analogues. After manufacturing the molecule with an extended linker, the next step on the agenda is understanding the variety functions of the KRN 7000 and studying the bioactivity.

Laser Beam Characterization using Gaussian Functions

Madison Marie Hearn, University of Windsor
Jacob Stephen, University of Windsor

Living Heritage Approach and Impact of Not-for-profit Banking for Women Entrepreneurs

kritagya dhanda Mr, University of Windsor
Sneha Varghese Ms, Anant National University
Megha Shah Ms, Anant National University
Shreya Arora Ms, Anant National University

Women entrepreneurs face many grievances especially in developing countries in regard to their business operations, financial instruments, and literacy. Provision of which, can increase their sales and productivity within micro-economies of the tourism industry. Experiences and Learnings from application of UNESCO's (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization) Living Heritage Approach in developing countries such as India suggests that synergies between communities of place, practice and interest results in a resilient business forum for women entrepreneurs in regards to their financial capability, health conditions, bank loans, rent agreements, and overall future financial health. This is showcased in the research through data collection of financial literacy and on-ground initiatives for the education of sanitation and health. Moreover, collaboration with not-for-profit banks providing loans to women entrepreneurs and the scope of increasing productivity in small economies of the tourism industry leads to a healthy next-generation of women oligopolies that collaborate in market segmentation, price-fixing and increasing profits thereby reducing poverty around the vicinity and increase investments in family healthcare and sanitation. The research also points out social biases, patriarchy, and inequalities that women face in their daily lives that make them incapable of inducing entrepreneurial activities, which are suppressed by collective women empowerment groups made within the community.

Logistic Regression Model: The Effect of Chemotherapy on 10 Year Survival for Women with Colon Cancer

Mohamad EA Musa, University of Windsor


Colon cancer is a widespread form of treatable cancer common among many populations in the United States and Canada. In this particular logistic regression model, the database took place in California, United States and is part of a cancer registry-based colon cancer cohort which included 6300 people who resided in California between the years 1995 and 2000.

This data base was approved to be used for our quantitative data analysis course at the University of Windsor, School of Social Work, to students at the level of doctorate studies. This original logistic regression model will look at the effects of chemotherapy on ten year survival for women with colon cancer. This model will look at women in particular and if they are associated with shorter survival rates. The model also looks at age groups of women along with their stage of colon cancer. The model will finally test an interaction effect between being a black woman and poverty groups and also between the refusals of chemotherapy among black women with colon cancer. This secondary data analysis sample is restricted to 3012 participants which accounts for almost 92% of the women included in this sample. Results showed a strong relationship between chemotherapy treatment and 10 years survival of colon cancer. Women who received chemotherapy are almost ten times as likely to have a high survival rate for 10 years as those who did not receive chemotherapy treatment.

Benefits of early diagnoses, and the importance of chemotherapy care among different groups of poverty can negatively influence the survival time of women. Generalized findings towards bigger populations as the impact can apply to other minority groups in the United States and Canada.

Long-term Consequences of Cardiotoxin-induced Muscle Damage on ECM Remodelling

Sarah Angus

Long-term Consequences of Cardiotoxin-induced Muscle Damage on ECM Remodelling

S.A. Angus, F.A. Rahman & M.P. Krause

Department of Kinesiology, University of Windsor, ON N9B 3P4, Canada.

Primary author: anguss@uwindsor.ca

Introduction: Skeletal muscle regeneration is an essential process in returning muscle to its original function following damage. The accumulation of the extracellular matrix (ECM) is an important, yet often overlooked aspect during the regeneration process. With age, there is a decline in the regenerative capacity of skeletal muscle, partly attributed to the accumulation of the ECM, called fibrosis. Therefore, investigation into the contributors of fibrosis, namely plasminogen activator inhibitor-1 (PAI-1), is needed to better understand changes in the ECM during regeneration in aged muscle.

Methods: Young (3 month old) and aged (18 month old) male C57BL/6J mice were studied (n = 15). Muscle damage was induced via cardiotoxin (CTX) injection to the left tibialis anterior muscle. Mice were sacrificed at 3, 5, 7 and 50 days following damage and muscles were collected. Immunohistochemical (IHC) techniques were used to investigate regenerative capacity, macrophage density, and macrophage-derived PAI-1 expression.

Results: Myogenic potential of aged skeletal muscle was found to be significantly lower in the 7-day post-damage compared to young. In addition, a significant increase in macrophage count at 7-day post-damage in aged skeletal muscle was observed. There was a significant difference in macrophage-derived PAI-1 content throughout the regeneration process between groups.

Discussion: Aged skeletal muscle was observed to have a diminished regenerative capacity as well as an increase in prolonged necrosis following damage. These findings suggest that the implications of macrophage-derived PAI-1 may have a negative effect on the ECM and on the regenerative capacity of aged skeletal muscle.

Magnetic Field Mapping Using an Arduino

Jean-Marc Beneteau, University of Windsor
Dan Xiao, University of Windsor

Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) is a powerful non-invasive imaging modality, providing rich contrasts and molecular scale information. MRI utilizes strong magnetic fields to produce a signal. It is crucial to characterize the magnetic field to ensure image quality. This also enables more advanced analytical techniques to process the signal, such as in the development of low-cost MRI instruments. Mapping a magnetic field in a three-dimensional space, requires precise movement and positioning of a three-axis hall probe, as well as a high degree of repeatability. This motivates the use of a dedicated automatic mechanical system to perform the mapping.

A three-dimensional magnetic field mapper has been designed, constructed and optimized. An Arduino Uno R3 board (cost ~$50) has been employed as the controller. Serial port and custom python scripts have been developed for communication. The mapper’s gantry has been constructed with non-magnetic materials. A spatial resolution of 160µm (limited by probe size) has been achieved with a stepper motor and micro-stepping. The mapper has been constructed in house, at the cost of a fraction of the commercial mappers but has more flexibility. The custom scripts allow users to easily modify the trajectory, dimensions, speed and data density without the need of any proprietary software. This instrument empowers advanced MRI research. The gantry has been designed to allow quick transitions to other tasks such as 3D printing and computer numerical control machining.

Magnetic Resonance Signal Lifetime Spectra Analysis Using Artificial Neural Networks

Tristhal Parasram, University of Windsor
Rebecca Daoud, University of Windsor
Dan Xiao, University of Windsor

Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) is widely used as a non-invasive diagnostic technique to visualize the internal structure of biological systems. Quantitative analysis of magnetic resonance signal lifetime spectra will reveal molecular scale information, providing insights into medical diagnoses. Conventional methods to extract MR spectra are computationally intensive, requiring large amounts of data and generally lacking the spectrum peak widths information. A novel computationally efficient signal analysis method, based on artificial neural networks (ANN), has been developed to provide accurate real-time quantitative MR spectrum analysis.

Artificial neural networks are a series of densely connected, simple information processing nodes which cumulatively map a set of inputs to several features. ANN is a powerful tool to solve complex nonlinear problems and has been successfully employed in applications such as cancer classification, computer vision, and self-driving cars. The network structure and hyperparameters have been optimized to determine MR spectra. ANNs were trained on 400 000 simulated scans, with varying numbers of peaks, noise levels and input data sizes. The traditional inverse Laplace transform (ILT) method was employed as a comparison and the performance of both methods has been evaluated across a large parameter range. In addition to superior computation speed, higher accuracy was achieved compared to the traditional method and the width of the spectra could be determined within the noise limit.

This method could be easily translated to other areas with exponential analysis, such as fluorescence decay and radioactive decay. It could also be extended to solve ill-posed inversion problems in general.

Me or We? The Effect of Team and Individual Sports Activity on Executive Functioning

Alexander I. McKenzie, University of Windsor

Executive Function (EF) is an umbrella term for a set of mental skills that develop across childhood and adolescence, enabling us to accomplish tasks and goals, particularly in sport-specific settings (Best, 2010). There is limited research examining the processes by which open/closed motor skill sports optimize EFs. The present study analyzed the effects of motor sequencing (i.e., open motor skill) and repetitive movement (i.e., closed motor skill) in individual and team sports and their influence on EFs. 40 University students aged 17-29 were randomly assigned to a team and individual sports-specific intervention focused on either repetitive or variable motor sequential movement. To assess EF pre and post-intervention, a cognitive battery was administered to measure working memory, cognitive flexibility, and planning and problem solving; all of which are fundamental EFs (Diamond & Lee, 2011). It was predicted that participants in the variable motor sequencing and team condition would yield superior EF performance.

Results suggested a significant interaction effect of sex and type of sport (individual/team) on EF measures, as females and males performed significantly different on a team relative to the individual conditions. For performance on intervention, an overall main effect of type of sport was found, such that participants in the team conditions finished faster on the sports task relative to the individual conditions. There was also a significant main effect of sex, as males generally outperformed female participants. These findings have implications for optimizing athletic and EF performance between sexes and type of sport.

Mediated Ecologies Dominion House--A True Celebrities’ Cradle and a Landmark of the City of Windsor

Ada Walman, University of Windsor

As an urban site analysis, the Dominion House on Sandwich Street in the city of Windsor, Ontario, deserves a place of mention. The house’s history is longer than the city’s history; it was built in the 1850s while Windsor became an official city in 1892. The Dominion House is the oldest remaining continuously running tavern in the border region and one of the oldest in Ontario (Morgan,1994, p.25). The City Windsor By-law 11345 recognized its heritage value in 1992. (Dominion House Tavern,1992). Surrounded by the Windsor-Detroit border environment, near the bank of the Detroit River, the Dominion House witnessed the construction of the Ambassador Bridge. With many previous owners’ business run efforts, it housed and served many residents, travelers, and bridge workers. Also, numerous celebrities enjoyed this place; since then, it has been a popular inn crossed the century. What to be worth raising is not only about being the historic heritage but also how the effectiveness of the subjective involvement; in Windsor, local people approximately age fifty and up are still taking delight in how popular the old tavern was, and such popularity impacted its community so that the Dominion House lived up as a true celebrities’ cradle and a landmark of Windsor. Theoretically, by the human mind developing society and the subjectivity interacting within a natural environment, the Dominion House has been affecting by history, culture, economics, urban or region architecture, landscape, and media ecology studies, which are transdisciplinary approaches to the Ecosophy (Guattari, 2005), a philosophy of ecological harmony or equilibrium (Naess, 1994). All relationships in social-ecological systems are a kind of mediated relation; the flow of matter and energy exchange is the mediated ecological form in a material environment (Hroch et al, 2015). The social activity as the force shaped the well-known DH. We want to recognize many activities, rhythms, senses, and connections that make this location dynamic rather than static. Also, expounding through the history of the Dominion House and references of the impacted social involvement may urge preservation to all inherited urban sites or facilitate their community development.

Keywords: Dominion House, tavern, celebrities’ cradle, landmark, city Windsor,

'Megacities' and 'Burbclaves': Understanding Borders and Border-cruxes in Cyberpunk and Post-Modern Science Fiction

Logan McQueen, University of Windsor

From its inception in the 1980's, Cyberpunk has been analyzed and criticized for its speculative and satirical depictions of urban life in the future. Since it is by no means new - though it remains hugely influential both popularly and academically - scholars have done much to explore the urban make-up depicted in Cyberpunk media, viewing it through critical theories like geographical imagination. I narrow my research to explore how borders and border-cruxes are depicted, using pre-existing research that posits geographical imagination to both frame my argument and outline gaps in critical analysis thus far. I also use a multi-media content analysis approach that considers primary depictions in literature, films, television, comics, and video games ranging from proto-Cyberpunk in the 1960's to films of the last decade. My argument is that Cyberpunk seeks to classify and (over)-label territory while simultaneously blurring borders. Such examples lie in the “Districts” set out by Ghost in the Shell, the “Megacities” in Judge Dredd comics, “Burbclaves” or “Phyles” in Neil Stephenson’s works, or “The Sprawl” in William Gibson’s trilogy of the same name. I conclude that there is a contradiction between the way we classify or understand borders and our imagination of them that is reconciled by Cyberpunks’s both increased and decreased emphasis on borders. Cyberpunk illuminates the paradoxes between classifying and imagining borders that very much exists between those who control them and those who exist between or within them. My research relates to the Grand Challenge of "Understanding and Optimizing Borders" in that it seeks to explore how Cyberpunk makes sense of real-world borders and border-cruxes (Windsor itself being a border-crux) through the contradictions of classification and imagination.

Micro-dialects in Savannah Sparrow

Abby Hensel, University of Windsor
Daniel J. Mennill, University of Windsor
Kiirsti Owen, University of Windsor
Lauren Szucki, University of Windsor
Jayd Bodner, University of Windsor
Mikayla Bornais, University of Windsor

Song is an important communication signal used by birds and plays an essential role in their life history, including territorial defence and breeding activities. To facilitate this communication, it is common for bird song to vary geographically within a given species. Song dialects occur when geographic variation among song types has distinct boundaries. Research on song dialects has traditionally focused on macrogeographic scales. To determine if dialects can exist on a micro-scale in an isolated population, we recorded and measured characteristics, song structure, and the pattern of geographic variation of Savannah Sparrow (Passerculus sandwichensis) songs. Songs were recorded in May and June in 2017, 2018, and 2019 during the breeding season on Kent Island, New Brunswick. Our results suggest that bird populations are organized into regions of similar-sounding individuals. Birds were more likely to sound similar to their closest neighbour than individuals elsewhere on the island. Thus, significant song variation in Savannah Sparrows appears to occur at a population scale across small geographical distances, exhibiting a micro-dialect. This study provides evidence that dialect patterns, similar to those that occur on a large geographical scale, contribute to the expression of a micro-dialect. This research establishes a foundation for future studies on the function of micro-dialects and the maintenance of vocal learning throughout the animal kingdom.

Microbial Water Quality Modelling of the Detroit River to assess the source water quality in drinking water treatment plants of Windsor and Amherstburg

Monika Saha, University of Windsor
Mohammad Madani, University of Windsor
Rajesh Seth, University of Windsor
Tirupati Bolisetti, University of Windsor

Detroit River is an important part of the Great Lakes system that connects Lake St. Clair with Lake Erie. Studying microbial water quality of the Detroit will certainly contribute to the improvement of Great Lakes water quality. So this study fits in the grand challenge “Safeguarding Healthy Great Lakes”. In this study, a coupled hydrodynamic and microbial water quality model of the Detroit River has been developed. The three-dimensional hydrodynamic simulation was performed with TUFLOW-FV tool by using bathymetry, flow, water level and forcing data. The simulated model output was compared with the field observed data and the performance parameters were also calculated. The coefficient of determination, R2 values for the water level, flow and temperature were calculated 0.91, 0.6 and 0.7 respectively which shows satisfactory functionality of the model. The microbial module named Aquatic-Eco-dynamics was then coupled with the verified hydrodynamic model for microbial simulation. The hydrodynamic model provides velocity distribution of the entire system that being used in microbial module to simulate the fate and transport of E. coli with the consideration of decay rates and other ecological factors. Results show that the loadings from Little River and bypass from Little River wastewater treatment plant affect the microbial water quality of the Windsor Water Treatment Plant (WWTP). This model also simulated the impact of Canard River loadings in the Amherstburg Water Treatment Plant (AWTP) microbial water quality. This functional model can be used for supporting drinking water treatment and implementing water resources management decisions.

Millions of Dollars Wasted on Preventable Hospital Readmissions in Older Adults with Chronic Lung Disease

Audriana Di Ruzza, University of Windsor
Destiny Cadarette, University of Windsor
Heather Bucciachio, University of Windsor
Kuljeet Kalsi, University of Windsor

Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) exacerbations costs millions of dollars to healthcare systems, largely due to the cost of multiple hospital admissions. We analyzed multiple studies related to the impact of influenza vaccine on COPD exacerbations. We found that receiving the yearly influenza vaccine reduces the number of COPD exacerbations requiring hospital admissions in older adults. However, there are an alarming number of subjects who indicate that physicians rarely recommend influenza vaccine until later stages of disease. The Ontario Health Technology Advisory Committee recommends influenza vaccination for those with COPD during an acute episode of care and post acute episodes of care. Vaccinations would be appropriate for those without any pre-existing contraindications including those with allergies to the vaccination and history of Guillain-Barre syndrome. Careful consideration would have to be given to individuals meeting the following criteria when choosing the type of influenza vaccination: those with egg allergies, asthma, aged >50 years old, immunocompromised patients, or those in contact with immunocompromised individuals.In addition, previous studies demonstrate a surprising lack of methodological and statistical rigour. To our knowledge, our study is the first investigation of statistical methods within studies of the impact of influenza vaccine on COPD exacerbations. We will present crucial information for healthcare providers and caregivers in order to create a healthier community of elders.

Monitoring natural and anthropogenic influences on an ancient Chinese lake

Mariam Kamal Ageli
Hucai Zhang, Yunnan University
Doug Haffner, GLIER, University of Windsor

Among the most powerful influences on the state of our freshwater systems include global climate and human interference. We can measure the impact both natural and anthropogenic changes have on freshwater by studying deep sediment cores from ancient lakes. Lake Fuxian, China is one of the few ancient lakes in the world and serves as an important source of drinking water in China. This lake lies along the edge of the Indo-Pacific Warm Pool, home to the formation of El Nino and La Nina events. These events are major drivers of global climate, influencing temperature fluctuations, precipitation patterns, and natural disasters around the world. Recently, industrialization and urbanization in the Yunnan Provence is thought to have influenced the state of Lake Fuxian, increasing anthropogenic influences on the lake. We hypothesized that: (1) this lake could record changes caused by anthropogenic inputs and global climate; and (2) local anthropogenic inputs had a greater impact on the state of the lake than global climatic changes. We have measured the elemental composition of a 30-cm sediment core from this lake through spectroscopy at 1cm intervals, recording approximately 300 years of data. Results to date show cycling in conservative metals through the core, representing switches in global El Nino and La Nina events. An increase in heavy metal concentrations reveal changes caused by anthropogenic influences. Our results provide insight to the difference in severity that both natural and anthropogenic may cause to a freshwater system. The elemental changes of the highest magnitude were caused by global climatic variation, revealing how natural global phenomena can have a greater impact on lakes than local anthropogenic inputs, an important observation for lake management as the threat of the state of freshwater resources is globally on the rise.

Motherhood and the Gender Wage Gap

Samantha Bell, University of Windsor

The gender wage gap has been researched extensively; the argument around the wage gap has evolved from not if but why it persists while women in industrialized nations continue to be highly educated and society addresses gender-related issues. Recent research has argued that motherhood is one of the leading causes of gender wage disparity. This presentation aims to take a deeper look at the factors that influence the motherhood wage penalty. An in-depth literature review of academic articles and reports exploring how motherhood negatively impacts a woman’s career was completed. Factors covered include wage penalty due to employer bias, social norms, and discrimination. It was discovered that there is a substantial wage gap between women with children and women without children, even if a woman delays child-rearing until later in her career. This gap was especially pronounced for single mothers when compared to married mothers and single fathers. It was also found that the motherhood wage penalty increases with the number of children that a woman has. The motherhood penalty is a contributing factor to the overall gender wage gap. It was concluded that the reasons for the motherhood wage penalty are multi-faceted, but are faced by women across the world, emphasized by factors that are often out of their control, such as race, social status, and age.

MRI as a Complement to Solid-State NMR for Lateral Lipid Diffusion

Tristan Verschingel

Lipid membranes are an integral part of the human body; allowing for cell structure and stability, they are extremely difficult to study due to their complex organization and size. Researchers commonly study these structures by utilizing liposomes in their place. As such, a variety of techniques exist to study these complex structures in-depth. Solid-state nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) is the current tool most commonly used to measure lateral lipid diffusion. As more information is gathered from orthogonal techniques, more accurate and extensive simulations are produced to understand different interactions and properties of membranes, which can be applied to more complex cellular systems.

Diffusion Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) is a new technique being adapted to study the random motion of hydrogen nuclei in molecules. Fast and slow-moving particles can be differentiated according to their diffusion coefficients which correlate to the of these different sized molecules in space. In this experiment, high diffusion numbers correspond to faster molecular movement. In a complex structure consisting of various molecular species, identification of known values, such as water, allows for easier identification of interest lipids in samples. The diffusion coefficient provides information that allows scientists to calculate the rate of movement of a particle, particularly with the help of the modified Einstein relation. This technique can be used to simulate the lateral movement of lipids along the plane of the membrane, and define how they behave in more complex environments.

Using a homogenized mixture of phosphatidylcholine lipids from sunflowers and water, lipid movement was studied using a series of diffusion MRI experiments. The sensitivity to specific lipid diffusion was increased with each experiment to refine instrument parameters. The data was fitted to a biexponential curve which allowed for the separation of the slow and fast diffusion coefficients in 3 axes: x, y and z. Using information from the initial trials, a T2-Diffusion Correlation map was generated and allowed for more accurate results of other samples tested later on. As well, a sample was tested on a supported lipid bilayer, to produce a greater signal by limiting the planes the lipid could move in.

The information obtained was similar to previous measurement attempts using alternative methods and reinforces the current value of applying MRI as a novel method to study lipid dynamics in both free-floating liposomes and supported bilayers. With more testing, MRI may show promise to complement solid-state NMR and aid in better understanding these complex systems.

Multi-Echo Spin Echo MRI Signal Modulation Based on Slice Profiles

Layale Bazzi, University of Windsor
Mark Armstrong, University of Windsor
Dan Xiao, University of Windsor

Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) is a non-invasive imaging modality in which magnetic pulses are used to excite and produce signals from hydrogen nuclei in a target sample. The excitation produces a signal with a certain lifetime that is dependent on the molecular environments and structures around the hydrogen nuclei. In qualitative images, differences in the lifetime of a signal and proton density produce contrast to distinguish healthy tissue and tumours. In imaging experiments, a magnetic pulse coupled with a magnetic field gradient selects a desired cross-section (slice profile) of the hydrogen nuclei in the sample. The Multi-Echo Spin Echo (MESE) experiment is designed to isolate the signal lifetimes to construct a numerical map that is sensitive to features normally hidden by the combined weight of other parameters in a qualitative image. The data acquired by the MESE is fit to a decaying exponential function, where the calculated decay constant is the signal lifetime. However, in the case of non-ideal slice profiles, the data deviates from an exponential decay, which introduces error in the parameter calculation. This effect has been simulated numerically with various pulse types and verified in phantom measurements. The goal is to use the simulations to identify and correct improper fitting results for more accurate mapping. This can be used for analysis of disease progression to detect changes not typically detected via conventional imaging techniques.

No Nurses, No Healthcare

Aisha Al-Mahdi, University of Windsor
Kaitlyn Boundy, University of Windsor
Cameron Gray, University of Windsor
Cole Hicks, University of Windsor
Sheanee Lesley-Spence, University of Windsor
Allen Vo, University of Windsor

No Nurses, No Healthcare


Registered Nurses leave the workforce en masse: 57% leave nursing within their first year of graduating (Killian, 2016). To tourniquet this hemorrhage, hospital systems often offer pandering incentives to improve nurse retention. Despite Nursing Retention Programs (NRPs) implemented offering incentives, training, and awards, the World Health Organization (WHO, 2013), estimates current global nursing shortages of 7.2 million with 12.9 million by 2035. Nearly one-fourth of Canadian nurses leave their hospital jobs each year which costs approximately $25,000 per nurse (Canadian Nursing Association, 2009). To our knowledge, we performed the first academic analysis of statistical methods used to quantify NRPs in nursing retention and turnover rates. Through a rigorous analysis of the literature through our integrative review, we found investigations wholly ineffective in addressing nursing retention. Our preliminary analysis found a lack of efficacy and gaps in quantifiable measurements among research on NRPs on nurse retention and found inconsistencies among NRPs and retention research suggesting limited external validity. Our recommendations for immediate interventions could prevent a systemic break down of Canadian healthcare from the nursing shortage.

We will present a rigorous analysis of current research strategies and provide actionable recommendations for Windsor health authorities to implement locally and province-wide.

This submission reflects multiple pillars of building viable, healthy and safe communities Grand Challenge Theme.

Optimization of Keratinase production by Bacillus thuringeinsis strain Bt407 isolated from poultry soil .

Victoria Sibyl Uttangi Ms, University of Mumbai

Microbial keratinases have become biotechnologically important since they target the hydrolysis of highly rigid, strongly cross-linked structural polypeptide “keratin” which is recalcitrant to the commonly known proteolytic enzymes. Soil samples were collected from different poultry shops were enriched for keratinase producers on Whole feather agar containing whole feathers as a sole Carbon and Nitrogen source. Among 11 bacterial isolates, 6 isolates showed protease activity. The best keratinase producing bacterium K10 was selected and identified as Bacillus thuringiensis strain Bt407, based on morphological, cultural, biochemical characteristics and 16S rRNA sequence analysis. The isolate exhibited maximum keratinase production (94.52U/ml) in a optimized feather meal medium containing Feather meal (2%), Yeast extract (1%), Starch (1%), MgSO4 6H2O (0.003%), CaCl2 (0.5mM), KH2PO4 (0.5%), K2HPO4 (0.3%), NaCl (0.5%), pH 7, inoculated with 1% v/v pre-grown cell mass and incubated at 37°C on rotary shaker (120 rpm) for 48 hours. The optimum enzyme activity was observed at 55°C and pH 8. Metal ions like Ca+2 , Mg+2 , and Ba+2 were seen to enhance enzyme activity whereas Cd+2, Cu+2 , Fe+3, Hg+2 and Zn+2 were observed to inhibit enzyme activity. Inhibitors such as SDS helped to retain the activity of the enzyme while 2- mercaptoethanol, DMSO and EDTA were seen to inhibit the enzyme activity. The molecular weight of the keratinase was found to be 33kDa by SDS-PAGE method. Zymography was carried out to show protease activity of the keratinase. Depilatory action of keratinase on goat skin was also demonstrated. The applications of the enzyme as a detergent additive and enzyme hydrolyzed feather meal in bacteriological medium as nitrogen source were also studied. Of the tested keratinous materials used as substrates, the production of enzyme was seen to be greater in the presence of human nails than human hair.

Optimizing Radio-Frequency Coils for Low Cost Magnetic Resonance

Rebecca Daoud, University of Windsor
Dan Xiao, University of Windsor

Optimizing Radio-Frequency Coils for Low Cost Magnetic Resonance

Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) is a versatile and non-invasive imaging technique that produces images with rich contrast. Quantitative magnetic Resonance can also provide information on sample properties, such as composition, diffusion and solubility without altering the sample physically. Conventional MR systems are very expensive, requiring a large volume of space. The construction of a miniature, low-cost MR system will address these issues. Portable MRI instruments will dramatically increase the accessibility and enable point-of-care diagnosis.

The primary challenge with cost-effective MR is the low signal-to-noise ratio (SNR) arising from the low and largely inhomogeneous magnetic field. One solution to increase the SNR is to optimize the radio-frequency (RF) coils that are used to generate and detect signals. We propose to investigate the performance of different surface RF coil configurations to optimize the performance of our cost-effective MR scanner.

Overworked Nurses: More Fatal Than Coronavirus

Jaclynn Morgan, University of Windsor
Sahra Abdullahi, University of Windsor
Jennifer Tebbens, University of Windsor
Jessica Marton, University of Windsor
Joann Roupas, University of Windsor
Moamin Abujabal, University of Windsor

Nurses compose over one third of the healthcare workforce. This year, more than 250,000 people will die in North America from medical errors, making it the third leading cause of death. Fatigue and burnout contribute significantly to medical errors and patient safety, and nurses are front-line professionals who are best poised to prevent these fatal events. However, the impact of nurses’ shift lengths and workload measurements are poorly understood despite directly affecting patient safety and overall mortality. We conducted an analysis of the statistical methods that are used by researchers to examine connections between nurses’ shift lengths and patient safety. We found weaknesses in the research methodologies such as poor precision and inattention to statistical rigour. Our academic appraisal of the statistics regarding shift length and patient safety revealed that health care authorities may be following inaccurate recommendations. To help build viable and healthy communities for all, we will present recommendations for analyzing statistical methods that are robust and reliable. This will assist health authorities to critically evaluate research recommendations, ensuring nursing shift length related to patient safety is appropriately studied.

’Pataphysics and Paul Dutton: Paul Dutton’s Creation of “Phoenix”

Marisa Bordonaro, University of Windsor

This paper analyzes Paul Dutton’s concrete poem, “Phoenix,” and explores how visual and sonic elements of the text intertwine to create a distinct type of phoenix situated within the poem itself and within Canadian literary history. This paper examines “Phoenix” under the lens of Canadian concrete poet bpNichol’s theory of literary ’pataphysics. bpNichol’s ’pataphysics views individual letters, punctuation, and even space on the page as distinct signifiers that help to shape the meaning of the poem. Since concrete poetry relies on the visual appearance of text to depict meaning, bpNichol’s ’pataphysics is particularly relevant towards the analysis of concrete poetry. Using ’pataphysics, this paper examines how Dutton’s arrangements of linguistic, visual, and sonic signifiers on the page represent the phoenix’s eternal cycle of death and revival. These signifiers also influence the significance of the epitaph of the late bpNichol within the poem. While the epitaph represents bpNichol’s death, the poem also contradicts this notion through stylistic techniques that resemble and "renew" bpNichol’s poetic style. bpNichol specifically influenced the spread of concrete poetry throughout Canada in the 1960s and remains a significant figure within the genre. Although many scholars have analyzed bpNichol’s influence on Canadian concrete poetry, this paper explores the reciprocal relationship between bpNichol’s impact on Dutton’s poetics and Dutton’s resurrection of bpNichol through his own poetry after bpNichol’s death. “Phoenix” arranges various signifiers on the page to create a phoenix that signifies the endless renewal of the late bpNichol’s stylistic influence on Canadian concrete poetry.

Position Vagrant: A Social History of Carlsberg Special Brew

Nicholas Kinnish

For the fortunate among us, it would not be a stretch of the imagination to suggest that we mostly view our food as little more than consumables that offer nutritional sustenance. But examining the social history of food provides a fascinating insight into the social, political, and cultural implications of the products that we might, or might not, choose to consume. With this in mind, I chose to investigate Carlsberg’s infamous Special Brew beer, a product so stigmatized in the United Kingdom that it became a vehicle for policy change in the mid 2000s.

This presentation contextualizes the drink’s origins within Britain’s political elite and demonstrates the social impacts and legal outcomes that accompanied the product’s fall from grace, now synonymous with homelessness and anti-social behaviour. This talk also gives an account of my personal experiences with Special Brew while explaining how Britain’s changing awareness to social issues can be uniquely linked to the product.

Presenting International Prognostic Scoring System affects time to treatment: A retrospective single centre review

Sierra Sutcliffe, Schulich School of Medicine
Indryas Woldie, Schulich School of Medicine
Caroline Hamm, Schulich School of Medicine


Diffuse large B cell lymphoma (DLBCL) is an aggressive form of non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, which requires prompt initiation of chemotherapy to cure, as delays can result in worse outcomes. A recent study in Japan found that patients with an International Prognostic Index (IPI) score ≥3 had a worse prognosis if their diagnosis was delayed, whereas with an IPI score <3, there was no effect.

Research Question

How long do Windsor DLBCL patients wait to receive chemotherapy after diagnosis, and how does this affect relapse status?


A retrospective chart review was conducted, looking at all patients diagnosed with DLBCL who underwent treatment at the Windsor Regional Cancer Center from 2007 to 2018 (N=317).


Surprisingly, a longer time to initial treatment resulted in a decreased risk of relapse (p=0.038); however, these patients tended to have a lower stage (p=0.002), no family history of cancer (p<0.001), and lower IPI scores (p=0.004). When broken down by IPI score, the mean times to treatment after diagnosis were: IPI 0=40 days; IPI 1=35 days; IPI 2=38 days; IPI 3=29 days; IPI 4=22 days; IPI 5=29 days.


These results show that while DLBCL patients with worse prognostic measures are prioritized to receive treatment quicker, there is a large discrepancy in time to treatment, with a difference of over a week between the lowest and highest IPI scores. Further research should focus on identifying delays in the process, and if it can be streamlined to improve wait times for all patients, regardless of IPI score.

Properties of a leading sound can change our perception to a trailing sound

Sarah Tran, University of Windsor

Our perception of a sound can be affected by another sound in the natural acoustic environment. To understand this phenomenon, we studied the sound-driven neural activities present in the auditory midbrain. The auditory midbrain is a major central auditory processing center that receives inputs from both ears. Most of these neurons within the midbrain are excited by stimulations to the opposite-side ear, and inhibited by stimulations to the same-side ear. This neurophysiological characteristic is essential for the processing of directional information carried by the sounds. The goals of the project were to determine how a leading sound affects the neural responses in the auditory midbrain to a trailing sound, and whether the effect was dependent on the spatial-temporal relationship between the two sounds, as it has not yet been systematically characterized in literature. The experiment presented the trailing sound fixed at the opposite-side ear. The leading tone preceded the trailing tone at various time intervals and was presented at different angles within the horizontal plane. We found that the spatial-temporal relationships between the two sounds affected the responses to the trailing sound. Specifically, both spatial and temporal separation led to a less suppressed trailing tone response, especially neurons with onset and transient firing patterns. The project is important for understanding hearing mechanisms in a real-world situation, which includes sounds of different timings and locations. Results can be used by other researchers to further develop hearing devices, based on how properties of a sound affect another.

Pyrazine as Noncovalent Conformational Locks in Semiconducting Polymers for Enhanced Charge Transport and Stability in Thin Film Transistors

Mah-noor Malik, University of Windsor
Madhumitha Yadiki, University of Windsor
Michael Ocheje, University of Windsor
Simon Rondeau-Gagne, University of Windsor

Quantitative Magnetic Resonance Analysis of Diabetes Biomarker

Matthew Micsa, University of Windsor
Dan Xiao, University of Windsor

Quantitative Magnetic Resonance Analysis of Diabetes Biomarker

Matthew Micsa, Dr. Dan Xiao

Energy is required for the normal functioning of organs in the body. In energy metabolism, glucose is the most significant source of energy in all organisms. The pancreas produces insulin which helps control blood glucose levels by signalling the liver, muscle and fat cells to take in glucose. Diabetes is classified by increased levels of plasma glucose where blood plasma proteins are modified by a non-enzymatic reaction called glycation. Albumin, a protein produced by the liver, is one of the most abundant plasma proteins and heavily glycated in diabetes. It can be concluded that in higher glucose concentrations, albumin levels drop. Ovalbumin, a class of albumin, is the most abundant type of proteins found in egg whites.

Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) is a non-invasive medical imaging technique used in radiology to explore the anatomy and functions of the body. Quantitative analysis of magnetic resonance signal lifetimes could provide molecular scale information. Glucose glycation on ovalbumin proteins has been investigated by quantitative measurement of the multi-dimensional signal lifetime correlations. Initial results show that the addition of glucose influences the signal measurements of the proteins based on statistical behaviour. The results provide insights in designing an MRI experiment to diagnose patients with diabetes.

Quantitative Study of Tomatoes using MRI

Alexi Jankulovski, University of Windsor
Dan Xiao, University of Windsor

The study of vegetables using Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) is advantageous as the process is non-invasive and allows the produce to still be consumed afterwards. With approximately $100 million of tomatoes produced annually in Canada, preventing the spread of rot benefits farmers, the economy and the environment. Developing innovative ways to reduce produce waste fosters a sustainable food industry. Some fungus varieties can infect tomatoes long before symptoms of rot appear. Differences in internal structure or quantitative values may be used to identify non-infected and infected tomatoes, so the latter may be removed before rot spreads. A quantitative study was performed on post-harvest tomatoes to provide data for future experimentation.

MRI uses magnetic fields to produce signals from the hydrogen nuclei contained in the water molecules of a tomato. The lifetime of the signal was used to parameterize three different regions of the tomato. The signal lifetime varies due to differences in the structural and chemical environments around the hydrogen nuclei. Signal lifetimes are more sensitive in detecting subtle changes compared to a qualitative image or observation. These signal lifetimes were used directly to obtain information about the tomatoes and were also used to provide contrast on images. The contrast of an image was manipulated simply by changing the weighting of the signal lifetimes. This allows the image to be optimized for best visualization of certain tomato structures and/or abnormalities. The methodology developed in this work is general and can be applied to other organic systems.

Real-Time FTIR for Applications in Attoscience and Beyond

Nathan Gregory Drouillard, University of Windsor
Thomas John Hammond PhD., University of Windsor
Chathurangani Dilrukshi Jayalath Arachchige B.Sc., University of Windsor

Real-Time FTIR for Applications in Attoscience and Beyond

ACME Research Group

Nathan Drouillard, supervised by Dr. TJ Hammond

February 28th, 2020

Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR) is one of the most sensitive spectroscopic techniques, which is useful for measuring weak spectral signatures. This project involves developing the software for a home-built FTIR spectrometer and optimizing the device for attosecond (1 as = 1e-18 s) spectral changes. We convert the interferometric optical signal measured with a photodiode (light sensor) using an analog-to-digital converter (ADC), and store the data into memory using the Python programming language. This signal arises due to interference between two overlapping laser beams in the interferometer. Inherent limitations of this process are that it is relatively slow for large datasets and does not allow for signal analysis in real-time.

To overcome these limitations, we have adopted the Python library Bokeh to create a private web server that will allow for real-time observation of the signal in both time and frequency domains (through the Fourier transform). Python is a ubiquitous language, thus making this software quite versatile from a hardware implementation and collaboration point of view.

The development of such software is extremely valuable and will be applied to future experiments that involve extracting weak signals in the infrared regime. One possible application is chemical identification, for instance air and water pollutants. The hope is that this could be useful in cleanup efforts to identify water pollutants in the Great Lakes, even in very small quantities.

Reshaping Ultrashort Electromagnetic Pulses Using Nonlinear Optical Effects

Jake Stephen, Department of Physics

Restricted Diffusion Measurements with Magnetic Resonance

Layale Bazzi, University of Windsor
Dan Xiao, University of Windsor

In fluids, molecular movement is modelled as random translational motion, known as diffusion. The diffusion coefficient is a measure of the distance a particle travels within a certain amount of time and is related to the fluid property in an uninhibited environment. When the fluid is constrained in a space smaller than the distance it could travel, the inhibited diffusion coefficient, known also as the apparent diffusion coefficient (ADC), is lower. Therefore, the microscopic structure can be inferred by quantitatively analyzing the ADC of the fluid. Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) acquires signal from water in the human body. MRI is well known for its rich soft tissue contrast. It is less well known that quantitative diffusion information could be acquired with magnetic resonance. MR is also capable of measuring the apparent diffusion coefficient in any spatial direction non-invasively, providing insights into the water’s microscopic environment. The effect of the diffusion on the signal can be tuned to acquire a set of data points for different diffusion sensitivities. At higher ADC values, the signal amplitude is lower and vice versa. The ADC value can be calculated via data processing. The technique has been demonstrated with a phantom experiment, where restricted diffusion occurred. ADCs in different directions of the phantom were measured. With the knowledge of the ADC values in different directions, the dimensions of the phantom were estimated using Einstein’s simple particle diffusion model. This technique can be extended to other systems to non-invasively determine their internal microstructures.

Resumption of Autophagy by Ubisol-Q10 in Presenilin-1 Mutated Fibroblasts and Transgenic AD Mice: Implications for Inhibition of Senescence and Neuroprotection

Arpana Balachandar, University of Windsor
Eesha Bhagirath, University of Windsor

Alzheimer’s Disease (AD) is the most common neurodegenerative disorder associated with impaired memory effecting 48 million people worldwide. Currently, the only treatments available are for symptomatic relief, rather than inhibiting its progression. The possible biochemical reasons for AD pathologies are inflammation, mitochondrial dysfunction, increased oxidative stress, and inhibition of autophagy. Previous in vitro experiments have shown that a water-soluble formulation of coenzyme-Q10, Ubisol-Q10, can stabilize the mitochondria, prevent oxidative stress, and inhibit premature senescence in fibroblasts of AD patients. Since autophagy plays a critical role in maintenance and survival of neurons, we hypothesized that Ubisol-Q10 treatment could result in resumption of autophagy. This was observed as we found increased expression of autophagy-related genes beclin-1 and JNK1 following Ubisol-Q10 treatment of AD fibroblasts as well as in the brains of transgenic AD mice. These results were confirmed at the protein level by immunofluorescence and Western blotting. Currently, more Western blots are being conducted to look at expression of other proteins including P21 and LC3. Interestingly, despite reduction of oxidative stress in cells from Ubisol-Q10 treatment, autophagy inhibition leads to resumption of premature senescence in mutated AD fibroblasts indicating that autophagy is critical to prevent the senescence phenotype. Withdrawal of Ubisol-Q10 treatment also leads to the return of the senescence phenotype in AD fibroblasts indicating that constant supplementation is required. Additionally, Ubisol-Q10 supplementation in the drinking water of transgenic AD mice leads to increased expression of beclin-1 and JNK1 in the cortical region. Thus, the activation of autophagy by Ubisol-Q10 could be the mechanism for its ability to halt the progression of AD pathology in transgenic AD mice.

Revisiting Revitalization: How Municipalities Can Positively Impact Gentrification

Aadil Nathani

Gentrification of neighbourhoods is a consequence of revitalization projects and is aided by municipal practices and policies. This paper asks what the municipality can do within its legislative power to minimize the harsh impacts of gentrification such as displacement, lack of affordable housing, and the silencing of voices of marginalized people in community development or urban planning. This paper comes during an opportune time as cities across Canada continue to grow in population, are aging and grapple with their role in dealing with social issues. This paper discusses the nuanced relationship between sustainability of healthy communities and management of growth, while particularly focusing on the ignored voices of marginalized people in these processes. Using an in-depth literature review and focusing on examples from the City of Toronto, this paper proposes a solution which would mitigate the negative effects of gentrification. Municipalities in Ontario have tools at their disposal to provide a voice to marginalized communities in revitalization projects, yet they tend to favour the interests of developers and condo dwellers. This paper asserts that proper community consultation and the use of community land trusts can minimize the harm caused by gentrification in a manner where the interests of all parties involved in revitalization can be properly balanced.

SALing the OCEAN Blue: A Systematic Literature Review of Student Approaches to Learning and Big Five Personality Traits

Isabella Bobbie, University of Windsor
Brandon Sabourin, University of Windsor

Keywords: personality; approaches to learning; educational psychology; Big Five; R-SPQ-2F

Student approaches to learning (SAL) are a measure of a student’s perception of the learning environment (Biggs et al., 2001). Meanwhile in personality psychology, the Big Five personality traits (i.e., openness, conscientiousness, extroversion, agreeableness, and neuroticism) have been used extensively to characterize trends in human behavior (Costa & McRae, 1992). These two complementary measures can tell us a lot about a student, but together, are underexplored.

The purpose of our research is to understand the relationships between student approaches to learning and the Big Five personality traits. We conducted a systematic literature review (SLR) using keyword database searches of ProQuest and APA Psycnet, which after applying specific criteria, led to a pool of 26 studies for analysis. We tracked the relationships between SAL and Big Five in each of the 26 studies. We identified that openness, extraversion, and conscientiousness were significantly positively correlated with the deep approach, while neuroticism was significantly positively correlated with the surface approach. Conversely, neuroticism was significantly negatively correlated with the deep approach, and openness, agreeableness, and conscientiousness were significantly negatively correlated with the surface approach. In short, students may be partially drawn to a specific approach based on their personality.

This project fits the open challenge because it looks beyond specific designated groups of learners. SAL and Big Five are theories that affect human behavior beyond the context of the other grand challenges. We see this work as interdisciplinary and of importance to anyone interested in knowing more about how students approach their learning.

Sex; the elephant in the room?

Sahra Abdullahi Miss, University of Windsor

Simulation of Attosecond Experiments with Arduino-controlled LEDs

Travis Liam Kitching, University of Windsor

We have developed a time fountain – a water fountain that uses the stroboscopic effect to appear as though water is levitating – as a demonstration for ultrafast physics. A water pump situated at the top of the fountain produces water drops at a certain frequency, which is undetectable by the human eye under normal light and is perceived as a continuous stream. By carefully matching the water drop frequency with strobing lights, we can make individual droplets become visible and control their dynamics by modifying this strobe frequency to appear as though they are slowly falling, stationary, or rising. This works by the stroboscopic effect, a visual phenomenon that occurs when continuous motion is represented by a series of short or instantaneous samples. We can use computer-controlled RBG LED strips to dictate both the colour and apparent falling speed of the droplets, and by using multiple LED strips we can have multiple visible streams of different colours moving at different rates. We developed this system to serve as a demonstration to attosecond science (1 attosecond = 10-18 seconds), the study of electron dynamics in a material. In this area of research, intense ultrafast laser pulses excite an electron wave packet into a superposition of quantum states and measure the evolution of these states. The Time Fountain we have created is an introduction to attosecond science by substituting water droplets for electronic wave packets and computer-controlled LEDs for ultrafast laser pulses.

Social Support Among Refugee Youth in Windsor

sara Al-qasir, University of Windsor
Sally Polus, University of Windsor
Kindu Selemani
University of Windsor

Social Support Among Refugee Youth in Windsor

Lack of social support among newcomer refugee youth creates many challenges upon arriving in Canada. These challenges include navigating the system, being involved in the community, adapting to the new cultural environment, and finding employment. This impacts the wellbeing of youth and their confidence to be active members of the community. This study is using a qualitative design, with in-depth interviews that will be conducted from a sample of 16 respondents who had been in Canada between 1 - 4 years. The respondents are refugee youth whose ages are between 18 - 24 years of age. In addition, the social circle scale will be used to identify the care and support that these newcomer youth can benefit from, to measure their social wellbeing and their inclusion within Canadian society. Ultimately, newcomer youth experience uneven connections to social milieus, employment opportunities, and treatment in public spaces. Schools have become areas of inclusion and exclusion for newcomer youths. Whilst outside these institutions, their social participation experiences are regulated by participation to spaces that are migrant specific. Furthermore, these experiences are negatively impacting many young people’s successful transition to adulthood. This is an open challenge that has implications to social work practice.There is an urgent need for the government and social service organizations to work together to bridge the gaps and improve conditions for young newcomers who constitute a potential major force to fill the need of the aging Canadian population.

Spatially Resolved Magnetic Resonance Spectroscopy

Layale Bazzi, University of Windsor
Dan Xiao, University of Windsor

In nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR), the hydrogen 1H signal carries a certain frequency proportional to the static magnetic field strength. Each chemical bond induces a unique shift in the local magnetic field, which can be differentiated in the signal. This forms the basis behind NMR spectroscopy, which allows scientists to identify molecular compounds. A highly uniform static magnetic field is crucial so that the unique shifts can be purely attributed to the sample property. In a large and complicated biological system, such as a human brain, numerous chemical compounds exist. The various chemical shift peaks overlap in a bulk measurement, and individual components cannot be identified. It is also extremely challenging to achieve static magnetic field homogeneity for an extended sample size, which results in a broader spectrum, further confounding the results. To solve this, MR imaging techniques are used to acquire localized NMR spectra. Each individual pixel has less chemical complexity and the field inhomogeneity is less severe. Therefore, high quality spectra can be acquired. The broadened spectrum problem is tested and a solution in the form of MR spectroscopy is presented. Phantoms with multiple chemical shifts are also tested and compared using NMR and MR spectroscopy. Extending the capability of NMR spectroscopy to large biological systems will bring new insights in the study of biofunctions and diseases.

SPRITE MRI for Prosthetic Implant Imaging

Layale Bazzi, University of Windsor
Dan Xiao, University of Windsor

Arthroplasty is the process by which a damaged joint in the human body is repaired or replaced by non-magnetic metallic implants. Areas of repair include the knees, the hips and the shoulders. It involves the insertion of a metal ball to replace the joint and a plastic socket to fit to the bone for growth and acclimatization. Despite recent advances in arthroplasty technology, implants fail over time leading to pain, discomfort and possible further injury in patients. Diagnosing areas of failure in an implant is required for identification and reparation of the damaged site. Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) is an imaging modality that applies magnetic fields to non-invasively and safely image human anatomy. Metal implants distort the magnetic field, resulting in severe image artifacts. It is not possible to acquire diagnostic quality MRI images in the vicinity of metal implants with traditional methods. We propose to employ SPRITE MRI techniques, which are immune to the local magnetic field inhomogeneity, to acquire high quality distortion-free images. The method has been demonstrated in phantom measurements and compared to standard techniques. SPRITE MRI can be applied to other systems that are challenging for traditional MRI.

Spy1: A Potential Driving Force of the Breast Cancer Stem Cell (BCSC) Population

Nick Philbin, University of Windsor

Breast cancer is the most commonly diagnosed cancer in women, and the tremendous heterogeneity of the disease complicates treatment. Triple Negative Breast Cancer (TNBC) occurs in 10-15% of the breast cancer diagnoses and typically has poorer outcomes than other subtypes of breast cancer. This is largely due to lack of targeted therapies and the existence of a population of cells known as breast cancer stem cells (BCSCs). BCSCs are more resistant to therapy and capable of driving patient relapse. Cell cycle mediators may play a key role in driving expansion of this population of dangerous cells. Spy1, a cyclin-like protein, promotes cell cycle progression through the G1/S, and the G2/M phase of the cell cycle and has been shown to be elevated in TNBC patients. Additionally, Spy1 is known to expand the brain tumour initiating cell population in brain cancers. Using an in vitromodel of the TNBC (MDA-MB-231 cell line), the relative abundancy of the BCSC population can be assessed to determine if increased levels of Spy1 can expand the BCSC population resulting in more aggressive, invasive and fatal cancers. BCSCs can be identified using markers such as the CD44 high/CD24 low, CD133 and ALDH isoforms. This work seeks to determine if Spy1 is capable of regulating the BCSC population and may allow for a potential targeted therapy to increase the survival rate of those diagnosed with TNBC.

Standardized Testing in the Chinese School System

Thanh B. Tran, University of Windsor

The goal of this research project is to explore in-depth about an assessment tool that gives a tangible audit to education. Assessment is a key process in education, through assessment, one can determine whether the teaching instruction or methods has had its intended effect, because even the best-designed instruction cannot be guaranteed to be an effective methodology toward teaching students. The assessment tool that will be presented in this paper is standardized testing. The earliest form of standardized testing was founded in China, where the imperial examinations covered the six strands of recognized art, which included music, archery and horsemanship, arithmetic, writing, and knowledge of the ceremonies and rituals; the testing sections expanded with military strategies, civil law, revenue and taxation, agriculture, and geography. Standardized testing was then introduced to Europe in the early 19th century, following the Chinese model, and slowly made it around the world until this modern age. This study was accomplished during observation period in China as a guest within the Chinese classrooms. The Chinese teachers were observed in order to attain and compare the methodologies and practices that were used to prepare the students for the standardized tests, and whether these pedagogies could be beneficial to bring back into Canadian classrooms. The research project has been made possible by the partnership between Southwest University and the University of Windsor through the Reciprocal Learning Program (RLP) which was developed to learn about the different learning and education systems embedded with the two countries, which paves a scholarly link between Canada and China.

Survivor Guilt Related to Transplant Recipients: A Concept Analysis

Jennifer Tebbens

Survivor Guilt Related to Organ Transplant Recipients: A Concept Analysis

A concept analysis of survivor guilt (SG) related to organ transplant recipients was conducted to provide a clear description of this distressing phenomenon. Whether transplant recipients receive a cadaveric or living organ donation, there is inherent harm to the donor whereby the recipient may feel emotional anguish. Despite the hope of a second chance at life, SG can cause mental and/or physical symptoms such as depression, chronic anxiety, and insomnia. SG can lead to negative coping behaviours such as non-adherence to the post transplant regimen, avoidance behaviours or even self-harm, which may result in allograft rejection.

Walker & Avant’s eight-step concept analysis method was used to clarify the meaning of SG in relation to organ transplant recipients. The data sources for the electronic literature search included CINAHL, PubMed, and PsycINFO. Dictionary definitions, Google Scholar and related reference lists were also utilized. Four determining attributes of SG are: being saved from harm, the presence of loss or harm for someone else, self-perceived responsibility for the loss or harm, and emotional anguish. Advancing knowledge about the conceptual definition of SG related to transplant recipients empowers nurses, patients, and caregivers to assess and identify SG: the first steps toward better care. By exploring and understanding SG, we can help organ recipients and their families survive SG, thus contributing toward building healthy and safe communities for all.

Sustainable Industrial Growth Using Intelligent Models to Manage Complexity in Large Manufacturing Facilities

Abdelrahman Amer, University of Windsor

As industrial facilities expand, processes sometimes grow out of control. They develop into a multitude of interconnected elements and relationships, some obvious while others remain completely hidden. Moreover, the sheer size of the operations become extremely hard to comprehend, let alone, allow room for intelligent decisions.

For example, an aerospace manufacturer builds a product that requires more than 100 sub-components sourced from 30 suppliers located across North America. The manufacturer is responsible for managing and funding all shipping routes. The suppliers load their sub-components into special boxes for shipping and expect those boxes to be returned promptly in order for them to load the next batch. The manufacturer must integrate their return with their ordering using the same shipping resources, i.e. trucks. Moreover, the manufacturer has a limited storage space on site. Any more storage must be kept in external costly storage facilities. The mismanagement of shipping routes, shipping schedules, inventory space and even truck packing methods will lead to the waste of thousands of dollars or late deliveries, or both, on a weekly basis.

Process experts such as industrial engineers need to be hired to help manage this monstrosity developing a tailored solution relevant to the client’s needs, allowing them to continue to grow sustainably. These solutions come in the form of mathematical models, that represent real-life problems, that can be solved using intelligent search algorithms. This, coupled with a user interface, ultimately provides a decision support system that aids managers with their enormous responsibility.

Synthesis and evaluation of recently isolated immunologically active glycolipids

Khushali Shrenik Parikh Miss

Invariant natural killer T cells (iNKT), a subclass of white blood cells, are responsible for the production of non-specific cytokines which induce a systemic uncontrolled immune response. They are distinctive in having a specific T-cell receptor that recognizes glycolipid antigens. The natural antigen was not identified until quite recently, when targets were isolated from S. pneumoniae. A bioactive fraction was identified from the extract: a disaccharide moiety attached to diacylglycerol (DAG). The glycolipid antigen reportedly activated iNKT cells. However, these tests were carried out using very small amounts of isolated glycolipids, and as a result it is impossible to determine whether the activity was due to this compound or to some minor impurity. There was also insufficient evidence to conclusively confirm the proposed structure of the glycolipid. Consequently, we recently synthesized the glycolipid to both confirm the structural assignment and to provide a useful chemical probe for immunologists. This presentation will discuss this S. pneumoniae glycolipid, its total synthesis, and our surprising re-evaluation of their immunological activity.

Teaching and Learning arts in school: Perspectives of teachers and students in China

Yunxiao Zhang, University of Windsor

Teaching and Learning arts in school: Perspectives of teachers and students in China

The discipline-based art education (DBAE) was implemented in schools as art can improve learners’ expressiveness and elaboration, creative ability (Burton, Horowitz, & Abeles, 2000), critical thinking (Geahigan, 1997; Lampert, 2006), and their learning in other subjects (Barby & Catterall, 1994). Although the Chinese education system has undergone continuous reform, discipline-based art education (DBAE) does not match the 1) speed of economic development, 2) the blueprint of constructing the quality-oriented educational system, as well as 3) the learning needs of students (Niu, 2005). Additionally, the prosperous art education market on the school outside mirrors the dissatisfaction of students and parents for the art education provided by the school curriculum (Li, 2018).

This proposed qualitative case study aims to explore the learning experience of students enrolled in elementary schools in China to understand their perspectives and expectations of DBAE. The theoretical framework of this study is the environment and development of creativity.Eglinton (2003) proposes a theoretical model where art-making, encounters with art, and aesthetic experiences are integrated and equally weighted. Based on this model, The DBAE is important because schools can provide art aesthetic teaching, art-making experience, and an active learning atmosphere with students.

This study focuses on the following three research questions:

1) How do students and their parents perceive their learning in art classes in school?

2) What factors affect their evaluation of the DBAE?

3) What expectations do they have for discipline-based art education?

The participants in this study are elementary students who enrolled in elementary schools in Tianjin, China. All of these participants have experienced art instruction in school. Some of them have taken extra-curriculum art tutoring. Based on their experiences in terms of the time arrangement, course content, teaching pedagogy, and evaluation methods, a qualitative study for analyzing the deficiencies of DBAE will be conducted. The researcher will 1) survey participants to gather their demographic background and 2) interview them to obtain more in-depth information regarding their arts learning experience in school, including instructions they got, challenges they experienced, and expectations they have.

In Canada, the DBAE is also threatened because of the rising impact of neoliberalism. According to Statistic Canada, only 46% of elementary schools reported that they have a music teacher, either full time or part-time in 2018. Only 16% of elementary schools with grades 7 or 8 reports having a visual arts teacher, and just 8% of schools have access to a specialist drama teacher (Arts education, 2018). The role of education is to provide an equal educational opportunity for students no matter where they live and what economic background they have. When students are not free to learn what they want, and teachers cannot carry out new pedagogies, education is not what it should be. With the economic globalization nowadays, there is a need for educators and to communicate and share educational experiences across a range of cultures and countries. It is my hope that this poster presentation will benefit the audience and provide a stepping stone for my future comparative research between Canada and China within this field.

The Burden of Inclusion: The Case of Saron Gebresellassi and Women of Colour in Municipal Politics

Fatima Ahmed Ms., University of Windsor

Substantial media and academic attention have been given to the concept of diversity nowadays, namely the participation of migrants and minorities within Canadian politics. While there is some discussion about the representation of women in municipal government, there is even less dialogue about the inclusion of women of colour in local arenas. Indigenous, racialized, and immigrant women are underrepresented at all levels of the government. By using the frameworks of anti-racist feminism and intersectionality, this paper will analyze the barriers faced by women of colour in the duration of their municipal campaign. Specifically, this paper will analyze the 2018 campaign of Toronto mayoral candidate, Saron Gebresellassi, and provide an analysis of her struggles with the following barriers: lack of public and media recognition, lack of financial resources, and the refusal to recognize her leadership. In so doing, this paper will demonstrate that women of colour continue to face barriers in the local political arena as a result of their identity yet are expected to futilely assert themselves in such spaces.


Angela C. Cacanindin Miss, University of Windsor

The Effect of Exercise Training on Re-establishment of the Extracellular Matrix Following Muscle Damage

Aryan Kurniawan, University of Windsor
Matthew Krause, University of Windsor
Dylan Hian-Cheong, University of Windsor

Skeletal muscle is a highly versatile tissue that has the ability to move and perform a wide range of tasks, but through these movements, can be damaged. When skeletal muscle is damaged, it has the remarkable ability to regenerate back to its original function. The most important step in skeletal muscle regeneration involves the proliferation of satellite cells, which is the rapid increase in the number muscle stem cells. These cells fuse with the damaged muscle fibre and fuse with one another to repair the damage. Part of this regeneration process involves the remodelling of the extracellular matrix (ECM), which is the coating that surrounds each muscle fibre. The ECM is essential to the muscle fibre’s function, as it serves important structural and chemical signalling roles. Satellite cells also regulate the repair process of the ECM and several studies demonstrate exercise as a method to improve the remodelling of the ECM. Of the different components of the ECM, Collagen I, Collagen IV, Fibronectin, and Matrix Metalloporteinases (MMP) have been found to be the ECM proteins that respond to exercise the most. To look at these changes, 12-week-old mice were exercised for two weeks following cardiotoxin-induced damage. Changes in the ECM were be examined using immunohistochemistry techniques at several time points (3, 5, 7, and 14 days), and preliminary results reveal that a greater expression of Collagen 1 is evident in the exercise group. To date, no study has looked at how the ECM is remodelled following cardio-toxin induced damaged. Results from this study can help gain a better understanding of the effects of exercise training on regenerating skeletal muscle.

The Effect of Intramolecular Interactions on the Mechanical Properties of Organic -Conjugated Semiconducting Polymers

Renée B. Goodman, University of Windsor
Michael U. Ocheje, University of Windsor
Simon Rondeau-Gagné, University of Windsor

The next generation of electronics is heading towards the integration of devices onto the human person through wearable electronics on both skin and clothing. Classical electronics are traditionally built with silicon, since its highly crystalline and periodic morphology results in outstanding electronic properties. However, silicon is a brittle material and therefore its lack of mechanical compliance make it a poor candidate moving forward with wearable technology and bioelectronics. To address this challenge, the use of organic pi-conjugated semi-conducting polymers has shown a lot of promise for the development of next generation electronics and these materials are solution processable, mechanically compliant and synthetically tunable.

Recently, our group has been investigating the effect of intra-molecular interactions on the mechanical properties of semi-conducting polymers. Through the addition of dynamic hydrogen bonding to the polymer, we have been able to significantly impact the stretchability and flexibility of the material to more closely match the elastic modulus of human skin; a requirement for moving forward with the design and construction of wearable bioelectronics. Our design exploits the dynamic nature of hydrogen bonding to facilitate strain dissipation throughout the material. Interestingly, the introduction of hydrogen bonds can also improve the conductivity of the material by improving the crystallinity of the polymer chains, while maintaining good mechanical properties.

This presentation will cover our strategy for incorporating dynamic intra-molecular interactions into polymer backbones to increase the mechanical properties of semi-conducting materials. Design and characterization of the new materials will be discussed, as well as future applications in electronics.

The Flip Side of The Bread and Butter State: A Case Study of Television Advertisements within the Flipped Seats of Minnesota’s 1st, 2nd, 3rd, and 8th Congressional Districts.

Caley Hewitt, University of Windsor

This paper examines the practices of political branding that inform American election campaigns, deploying concepts such as ethical surplus, scripted messages, emotional appeal, and authenticity. Many politicians use such appeals to achieve the three goals of television campaign advertising: voter choice, voter mobilization, and voter acquisition. With reference to these concepts, my research question asks how candidates branded themselves in contrast to how their opponents branded them. This question was answered using the case study of Minnesota’s 1st, 2nd, 3rd, and 8th congressional districts because these four seats switched parties during the 2018 midterm election. I examined a total of 77 ads: 28 positive and 47 negative. Within these districts, there was one female candidate and seven male candidates. The findings showed that all the candidates, whether they won or lost, employed ethical surplus, scripted messages, emotional appeals and authenticity, trying to make themselves look better or their opponent look worse. All of these ads, positive or negative, attempted to address the three goals of television campaign advertising and spread their message through scripted emotional appeals while trying to create ethical surplus and authenticity with their constituents. This research shows the differences between political parties in television advertisements and the impact that these ads may have. With the 2020 United States Election coming up on November 3rd, 2020, this research can offer valuable insight into campaign tactics, and the branding of politicians in television advertisements for flipping seats.

The Implications of Issue Ownership and Political Partisanship on Twitter: A Case Study of 2018 United States Midterm Election in Relations to Flipped Seats.

Caley Hewitt, University of Windsor

This paper asks the research question: how are Issue Ownership and Political Partisanship implicated in campaign advertising on Twitter? Issue Ownership involves candidates choosing and committing to issues which best represent their ideologies and those of the voters. Political Partisanship is the ideology behind a candidate's devotion to the party and its values and is usually measured on a scale. To answer the research question, a content analysis on the Twitter feeds of candidates who use Twitter will be carried out, using posts from October 6th and November 6th, 2018. This study will specifically focus on the seats that switched party lines in the 2018 United States Midterm Election. This is a work in progress; however, the data will have been analyzed by the conference date and the research and conclusions will be ready to present at that time. At this time, it is projected that Democratic candidates will be shown to be less partisan than Republican candidates, but that the Democrats will have created a more effective campaign nonetheless because of having controlled the issues and having made voters think about their vote from the perspective of these issues. With the upcoming election on November 3rd, 2020, and the rise of social media in society, this research shows how politicians use their social media and the different tactics available to politicians. This research helps us to understand the current political culture and the need for critical thinking by the voters in our current digital culture.

The Influence of Canadian Pre-service Teachers' Chinese Language Learning on Understanding Teacher-Student Relationship Between Canada and China

Yuhan Deng, University of Windsor
Haojun Guo, Faculty of Education

Cross-cultural learning experience plays a very important role in the development of pre-service teachers. This research uses narrative inquiry as the methodology to explore the Canadian pre-service teachers’ Chinese language learning experience as well as its influence on their understanding of teacher-students relationship through their three-month reciprocal learning in China. This research is contextualized in Dr. Shijing Xu’s Reciprocal Learning Program between University of Windsor and Southwest University China and Xu and Connelly’s (2013-2020) larger SSHRC Partnership Grant Project. It could fit in the fourth theme of the Grand Challenges as it would improve the development of the teacher education of the two countries and help increase the mutual understanding between the two countries.

This research involves a lot of fieldwork includes daily participant observations, group debriefings, individual interviews, newsletters and portfolios. The major research question of the study is: how do the Canadian pre-service teacher’s Chinese learning help with their cross-cultural learning in China and how these experiences influence their understanding of teacher-student relationship while they were learning and teaching in China. The findings of this study show that the Canadian pre-service teachers’ Chinese language learning not only helped with their reflection on teacher-student relationship but also helped them redefine a good relationship between teachers and students. In addition, the reciprocal learning of the three months had a positive influence on the Canadian pre-service teachers’ future personal and academic development.

The Integration of the FAHSSMP and First Year AERO 1970 Research Project

Tapas Modi, University of Windsor

The purpose of this study is to examine the Faculty of Art, Humanities and Social Sciences Mentorship Program’s (FAHSSMP) impact of mentors in with the integration of Aeronautics Leadership program at the University of Windsor would be beneficial to current and future students in the program.

This study examines the potential impact of an in-class peer mentor program on first year students in the University of Windsor's Aeronautics Leadership program.

Since 2005, peer mentors in the University of Windsor’s FAHSSMP have facilitated active learning in first-year classrooms. Originally established in one interdisciplinary transitional course, each Fall, approximately 100 mentors in FAHSSMP now facilitate learning for approximately 900 students in first year History, Psychology, Sociology, Drama, Labor Studies and Political Science courses, as well as the undeclared course, Understanding the Contemporary World. This multi-disciplinary academically embedded peer-mentorship model was established to support first-year learning, but may also have significant benefits for student mentors, instructors, and institutional culture. There is tremendous potential for this model to be embedded into AERO-1970, which is the Aeronautics program’s first year required ground school course. Past research (Pugliese et al., 2015; Pugliese et al., 2012; Bolton, Pugliese, & Singleton-Jackson, 2009) has indicated that the model has significant benefits to first year students, course instructors, and the senior students who take on the mentor role.

The foundation of this study is based on one-on-one interviews targeted at currently involved students in the Aeronautics Leadership program.

The Man Who Stands Most Alone: How Henrik Ibsen’s An Enemy of the People Addresses Science Ethics

Justin Timbol

Henrik Ibsen’s 1882 play An Enemy of the People follows a recent discovery that reveals a contaminated water supply, threatening the economy and well-being of a small town. This play is one of many that work to create an open dialogue between Science and Art. As theatre director and theorist Anne Bogart argues, theatre and performance as a medium can open up a space to explore how society may discover and adjust to scientific breakthroughs. My research works to further illuminate the interconnection of Science and Art by examining how the theatre might engage with the questions and conflicts of Science Ethics.

My presentation will analyze both Ibsen’s play and an acclaimed production of it directed by Thomas Ostermeier (2012) by applying principles of Science Ethics to a close reading of both texts. Specifically, I will examine how Act Utilitarianism, an ethical principle that discerns moral rights from wrongs based on appeasing the greater good (Eggleston & Miller), is illustrated in these works. Ibsen uses this principle to reveal a conflict between public health and private interests, as the characters grapple with what exactly is the “right” thing to do regarding the water supply. Ostermeier’s staging of the play helps to highlight this conflict, using a chalkboard backdrop to mirror the ever-changing mindset of the townspeople. Both the play and Ostermeier’s production force the audience to consider the consequences of using Act Utilitarianism to guide our actions. Applications of this research will help to understand how theatre offers a new perspective to the open dialogue on the issues within science.

The Memeing of Millennial Theatre: Looking at Remix Culture and How It Is Used to Engage

Elissa Weir

From memes about University Players shows to fan fiction inspired by Shakespeare, millennials are using the new tools technology has provided for them in order to show appreciation and criticism of the theatre they have consumed. This has become their way of being an interactive audience, rather than a passive one. The adaptive content we are seeing today exists almost entirely in the digital space. Access to the internet and technology has made it incredibly easy for millennials to create and share without having to become a professional writer or photoshop editor. This creates something of a generational gap, where the content millennials are making online is often misunderstood. Three case studies will be given a close reading through the lens of Hutcheon’s Adaptation Theory and McLuhan’s Media Theory: the University of Windsor’s staged reading of Erin Shield’s “The Millennial Malcontent”, Shakespeare fan-fiction found on archiveofourown.org, and theatre memes made by drama students. Specifically, Hutcheon’s idea that adaptive works are not parasitic and deserve to be studied in their own right, and McLuhan’s idea that artists are the “antennae” of society, will be used to analyze the complex functions of millennial remix culture in the examples above. This presentation will argue that remix culture does not diminish works that inspire it, nor is it born out of a laziness and inability to make one’s own original work. Rather, it shows the desire to emulate a previous work and engage with others on the plays millennials feel passionately about.

The Representation of Dark-skinned Black Women in Popular Culture

Achol Bab

This research asks the question: how has popular culture portrayed dark-skinned women and what changes, if any, have been seen over several decades? The research focuses on the stereotypical roles dark-skinned women are given on television as well as the preference for light over dark skin in marketing products such as cosmetics with both television and advertising being important expressions of popular culture. This research will be conducted by examining the stereotypical roles dark-skinned women are given on television as well as the preference for light over dark skin in marketing ads such as cosmetics. This research will also be examining two television shows, one episode from a 1950s show and one from 2019. Quantitative Content Analysis will be used to assess whether or not there are significant changes in the ways dark-skinned black women are portrayed. The work uses Content Analysis to identify common stereotypes that are associated with dark-skinned women such as angry, undesired, loud, and underprivileged. This research will also examine foundation make-up ads from 1975 and 2019, by using qualitative Critical Discourse Analysis. The examination will be completed before the UWill Discover 2020 Conference and will be displayed in the form of a poster presentation. This topic is significant because if dark-skinned women see themselves represented in ads and television shows in ways that do not depict stereotypes, it will give them inspiration and aspiration to achieve success in life. Since the media is a significant contributor to how people see and interpret the world around them, improved media representations can contribute to fundamental social change.

The role of cooperating mutations in Spy1 mediated expansion of Brain Tumour Initiating Cells

Sami Alrashed, University of Windsor
Dorota Lubanska, University of Windsor
Lisa Porter, University of Windsor

Limitation in treatment of Glioblastoma multiforme (GBM), the most aggressive type of brain tumour, is characterized by the extreme genetic and phenotypic heterogeneity observed not only between individual patients, but also within a single tumour mass. It has been demonstrated that populations of very immature stem- like Brain Tumour Initiating Cells (BTICs), contribute not only to the heterogeneity but also to the therapy resistance of GBM. Speedy (SPY1; SPDYA) is an unusual cell cycle protein that has been shown to promote proliferation, stem cell self-renewal and expansion of TIC in GBM. Amplification of Spy1 locus was found to correlate with poor GBM patient prognosis. In our lab, we engineered a novel mouse model, termed NTA-Spy1, to overexpress Spy1 specifically in populations of normal neural stem cells. We demonstrated that NTA-Spy1 cells, in combination with inhibition of tumour suppressors such as p53 and/or PTEN, not only possess an increase in stem cell marker expression but also demonstrate oncogenic transformation in vitro. My project will investigate the biology of NTA-Spy1 cells upon tumour suppressor depletion in vivo using Zebrafish xenograft model. I will study and characterize potential tumour foci formation. BTIC composition and therapy resistance of manipulated NTA-Spy1 cells will be addressed in vitro. This project will aid in further understanding of the role of Spy1 in brain tumourigenesis which can be implemented into discovery of novel targeted therapies directed against GBM.

The Role of Newspapers in Environmental Policy Change: Media Framing of Climate Change Events in British Columbia and Alberta

Victoria Mahon, University of Windsor

How does the media frame wildfires in BC and Alberta? In two provinces with different climate change policies and economic concerns, does the media mirror political beliefs? Policy in Canada is determined by the opinions and beliefs of individuals, the information they access, and what people believe to be the causes of problems. The level of attention to policy problems, the framing strategies used, and the presented scope of possible policy solutions by the media is important for defining the problem policy makers will have to solve. The Narrative Policy Framework, created in America, identifies narrative framing strategies and measures the role of media in policy change. This research builds on the literature of existing case studies in the United States to test this framework on extreme weather incidents in BC and Alberta. In the Canadian context, the political landscape varies between provinces and over time, as eras of environmentalism tend to alternate with times of economic hardship.

By looking at British Columbia and Alberta wildfires, this research examines how the media frames these stories to determine whether they are seen as climate change incidents or not and contributes to the understanding of how media framing compares between Canadian jurisdictions and in contrast to the American state-level examples.

The Role of Spy1 During Mammary Involution

Isabelle Hinch
Bre-Anne Fifield Dr., University of Windsor
Lisa A. Porter Dr., University of Windsor

One in eight women will be diagnosed with breast cancer in her lifetime. From puberty to menopause, risk of breast cancer fluctuates with the natural development of the breasts. A period of increased breast cancer risk, metastatic potential, and mortality occurs following childbirth. Recent preliminary research suggests the propensity of postpartum breast cancer (PPBC) is enabled by the natural process of involution: when the mammary gland reverts to non-lactating tissue by balancing high rates of cell death regeneration via stem cells. This death and regeneration are controlled by the cell cycle; a particular cell cycle regulator, the atypical protein Spy1, is capable of enabling cell proliferation, protecting stem cells, and overriding cell death. Spy1 levels have been found to be elevated in all forms of breast cancers. Interestingly, levels of Spy1 are similarly elevated during involution. We hypothesize that Spy1 protects the stem cell population necessary for normal mammary gland reconstitution post involution. This project aims to establish Spy1 manipulated involution models by mimicking pregnancy-lactation-involution hormonal cues in vitro and investigate how Spy1 affects mammary gland changes during involution in vivo to determine the effect of Spy1 on mammary stem cells during involution. Understanding Spy1-involution dynamics may reveal how its alterations may potentially lead to aggressive PPBC – beginning the characterisation of this unique subtype and highlighting Spy1 as a target for screening, diagnostic, and treatment. Increasing the scope of postpartum maternal care to include breast cancer perspectives is crucial for improving the care and outcome of PPBC patients.


Zainab Taleb, University of Windsor
Kyle Stokes, University of Windsor
Huaqing Wang, McMaster University
Stephen Collins, McMaster University
Waliul Khan, McMaster University
Phillip Karpowicz, University of Windsor

The circadian clock is a highly conserved molecular system that drives the oscillation of biological rhythms with a 24 hour period. Disruption of the circadian clock has been shown to cause an increased risk of Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD). Patients with IBD experience chronic inflammation along with impaired regeneration of intestinal epithelial cells. Inflammation and regeneration have been shown to be closely linked. Based on previous literature, we can hypothesize that disruption in the circadian clock leads to an increase in IBD severity. In this study, we compared the regenerative response of intestinal epithelial cells in BMAL1+/+ mice (with a functional clock) and BMAL1-/- mice (without a functional clock) who have been given IBD. Dextran Sulfate Sodium (DSS) was applied to induce acute colitis in mice, acting as an effective model for ulcerative colitis: one of the two categories of IBD. We observe a drastic decrease in the survival of mice lacking functional BMAL1 that were treated with 4% DSS over 7 days. Disease activity and cytokine analyses reveal time-dependent severity in inflammatory response that is worse in BMAL1-/- mice. To test the circadian rhythm of IBD, we performed a 24 hour analysis comparing epithelial cell proliferation, cell death, and inflammation in colon tissue. Our results indicate a significant rhythmic expression of mitosis throughout the day in BMAL1+/+ mice while mitosis in BMAL1-/- mice is arrhythmic and at lower levels. Based on these results, poor regeneration during IBD is in part attributed to decreased and arrhythmic regeneration. These data provides insight into how the core clock affects the inflammatory and regenerative abilities of intestinal epithelial cells.

The role that translanguaging plays in bilingual children’s narrative competence

Haojun Guo, Faculty of Education

The advent of superdiverse settings in the 21st century has increasingly required classroom practices, curricula and policies to build on multiple repertoires of the learners and to acknowledge the linguistic fluidities that overlap into one another (e.g., Creese & Blackledge, 2010; Wei, 2011). However, not many studies focus on how bilingual children share their life experience through translanguaging (Otheguy, García & Reid, 2015). For bilinguals by their very nature, it is a way of being in the world and making sense of the world. This case study will focus on several Chinese EFL children’s expressing of learning experience in Windsor for one academic year, by collecting data through the observation, field notes and interview and analyzing data by grounded theory. The foci lie in the role of translanguaging that plays in bilingual children’s narrative ability and how that improves or impedes with their sharing of learning experience. The conceptual framework insists of translanguaging, bilingualism and narrative competence. The findings are expected to reveal how these young learners as bilinguals make sense of the world and construct knowledge in the process of sharing life experience and turing to translanguaging as a useful tool. This will shed light on the instruction in classroom by integrating students’ lived experience into learning content. In that way, students’ voice get heard and they feel more respect.

The Slot-Die Coating of Self-Healing Dielectric Materials for the Next Generation of Smart Sensors.

Kirsten F. Aasen, University of Windsor
Simon Rondeau-Gagne Dr, University of Windsor

Printed electronics (PEs) have attracted a lot of attention over the past decades. The ability to formulate inorganic or organic materials into functional inks with the capacity to be printed onto various substrates presents many advantages, including the capability to be stretchable and conformable, and the potential to be cheaper than current electronics. Therefore, PEs have an enormous promise for enabling novel technologies in a broad range of applications. In a short time, many major advances have been made in this field, including, through the synthesis of conductive polymers, preparation of materials with self-healing properties, and synthesis of stretchable conductors.

This project focuses on the printing of a new self-healing dielectric material, previously developed in our group, on a polyethylene terephthalate (PET) substrate through slot-die coating. By paying special attention to environmental impact and compatibility for industrial production, the deposition of this new electroactive material was performed through the control of numerous variables to develop a robust and reliable procedure for the printing of future electronics. Each parameter was individually adjusted, and the resulting films were completely characterized using multiple techniques. This paper will focus on the importance of printed electronics for the development of new technologies, and results from an in-depth characterization will be presented. Moreover, the utilization of the self-healing dielectric materials in fully printed sensors will also be discussed.

The Study of the Impact of Reflection Journal on Canadian Pre-service Teachers’ Professional Development

Haojun Guo, Faculty of Education

Teachers’ professional development relates to the quality of teaching and education. Previous research has found that teaching experience and reflection on teaching could lead to teachers’ development (Golombek & Johnson, 2017). Reciprocal Learning Program requires Canadian pre-service teachers to write weekly reflection during their three-month learning trip in China where they get the chance to teach Chinese students and observe classes. Although there are acumulating studies on teachers’ reflexive behavior as a way of developing profession, not much attention is paid to the role of reflection that plays in pre-service teachers’ professional development. The qualitative study will collect and analyze Canadian pre-service teachers’ weekly reflection journals, and interview the seven teachers who have been to China in 2019 from March to June. The interview will be audio-recorded and transcribed. The research questions will be about how Canadian pre-service teachers from Ontario re-construct their teaching and learning experience in China and develop their teaching knowledge and teacher identity through writing weekly reflection. This study will provide implications on teacher education programs for pre-service teachers and offer suggestions on how to use weekly reflection as an important tool to develop teachers’ profession.

The synthesis of acetal-free TF antigens for anti-cancer vaccine

Abdul Rahman Aljoudi, University of Windsor
Seyed Iraj Sadraei, University of Windsor

The Synthesis of Natural Tn Antigen Carbohydrate Vaccines

Aiyireti Dilinaer
Michael R. Reynolds
Seyed Iraj Sadraei
John F. Trant

The Synthesis of Natural Tn Antigen Carbohydrate Vaccines

Aiyireti (Dina) Dilinaer, Michael R. Reynolds, S. Iraj Sadraei, John F. Trant

The immune system plays an important role in defending the human body against diseases and invasion of pathogens. When the immune system fails to recognize and kill the pathogen or mutated cells, diseases such as cancer will develop and spread in the body. As an antigen that is produced by many types of cancer cells, the Tn antigen was discovered 60 years ago and has been of interest to synthetic organic chemists ever since. Despite the fact that it has never been found on healthy cells, the immune system does not detect it as foreign and therefore, does not trigger an immune response. Even though it has a simple structure of a monosaccharide linked to an amino acid, it is very difficult to isolate from biological systems and the present method of obtaining this natural antigen is extremely costly. The chemical structure of the Tn antigen also makes it unstable in the human body since it could be broken down by glycosidases, resulting in great difficulty studying it’s properties in vivo. Therefore, it is the Trant Team’s goal to synthesize two chemical derivatives of the Tn antigen which are more stable and will be able to elicit an immune response. Namely, we are working toward the development of immunotherapeutic cancer vaccines that could not only slow down the progression of diseases, but may inhibit the formation of certain carcinomas altogether. Once the derivatives are made on a larger scale, studies will be done both in vitro and in vivo to compare its stabilities and functionalities with the “acetal-free” analogues of the antigen.

Towards Educating Global Innovation Leaders

Victoria Hasegawa
Bharat Maheshwari Ph.D.; Associate Professor, University of Windsor


“… [S]olving modern problems requires teamwork that draws on a broad range of expertise and life experiences. Yet individuals receive little formal training to develop the skills that are vital to these collaborations.” Association for Psychological Science, December 3, 2018

Research concerning the influence of cultural diversity on team innovation outcomes has generated ambiguous results; however, research increasingly supports the impact of globally oriented team leadership on the dynamics and performance of culturally diverse innovation teams. Evidence of a unique global-leader persona led us to further explore the concepts of a superordinate global identity, cultural awareness, and openness to diversity. Existing research indicates that this set of interrelated characteristics effectively predicts innovation leadership; individually, however, these characteristics are constructs of a larger concept that merits investigation: intercultural competence (IC). Consensus exists that IC is both learnable and required by global-ready graduates in an increasingly global work environment. However, despite its ubiquity among postsecondary institutions as an essential learning outcome, consensus is lacking regarding the definition of IC, its relative norms, and its assessment. Without such consensus, the effective incorporation of IC into post-secondary curricula will remain an unresolved challenge. In an effort to address this, we endeavour to summarize the current IC landscape via a systematic literature review, and to identify questions that merit further exploration. We ultimately hope to further advance understanding of which specific types or combinations of educational experiences (both theoretical and practical components) are most impactful, specifically at the post-secondary level.

Towards the Synthesis of a C-glycoside Serine Tn Antigen

Thomson Ly, University Of Windsor

Towards the Synthesis of a C-glycoside Serine Tn Antigen

Thomson Ly, Advait Desai, Iraj Sadraei, John F. Trant

Many biological processes including bacterial and viral infections (notably HIV and the flu), immunogenic responses, and cancer pathogenesis/metastasis are mediated by carbohydrate interactions. An example of such a carbohydrate is the Tn antigen. The Tn antigen is particularly interesting as it shows up in a large number of different cancer cells including: gastric, colon, breast, lung, esophageal, prostate, and endometrial cancer. If the immune system could be trained to target this molecule, then the immune system could be used to help cure cancer. A key drawback to using this method is the inherent low in vivo half-lives of carbohydrate containing materials. This Trant Team project aims to remove the unstable acetal functionality of the Tn antigen by replacing the exocyclic anomeric oxygen with a methylene (C-glycoside) to make new acetal-free C-glycoside analogues of the Tn antigen. Removing the labile functionality should result in greatly enhanced lifetime, and bioavailability relative to the native system with no loss of activity as the exocyclic oxygen is not involved in the vast majority of molecular recognition events. This molecule is being made by total synthesis for its incorporation into new anti-cancer vaccines.

Treatment Timing of Triple-Negative Breast Cancer

Emily Mailloux, University of Windsor
Lisa Porter PhD, University of Windsor
Bre-Anne Fifield PhD, University of Windsor

Breast cancer is the second highest cause of death from cancer in Canada. Triple-negative breast cancer (TNBC) accounts for 10-15% of all cases and has a poorer prognosis than other breast cancer subtypes. TNBC lacks expression of the estrogen receptor, progesterone receptor, and the human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 (HER2), which are common therapeutic targets in breast cancer. The standard of care for treatment of TNBC instead consists of adriamycin (A), paclitaxel (T), carboplatin (Ca), and cyclophosphamide (C), to target various aspects of the cell cycle in order to induce cell cycle arrest. Timing of administration may affect cell cycle arrest, and alterations in cell cycle mediators may also influence the efficacy of treatment. The purpose of this study was to determine how the addition and timing of treatments influence the cell cycle and how this knowledge can be used to help determine more effective timing of treatment administrations. MDA-MB-231 TNBC cells were treated with AC, T, T+Ca, or Ca at various time points. Flow cytometry and Trypan Blue exclusion assay were used to determine cell cycle progression and proliferation rate. It was found that different combinations of drugs resulted in the arrest of cells at various phases of the cell cycle which may affect responsiveness to subsequent treatments. This information can be used to help determine the most effective timing of treatment and may help improve the 5-year survival rate of patients with TNBC.

Turtle Island’s Little People: Indigenous Oral Traditions

Stephanie R. Gusain

Western societies view borders as absolutes. And while these human-made dividers do have some benefits, the restriction of people to specific geographical areas that are often seen to be exceedingly arbitrary does more than just prevent the migration of peoples. When we stop humans, we also stop their ideas, cultures, technologies and stories. Across Turtle Island there over 590 tribes, but historically open boarders and communities make connections and transfer of ideas and information -as well as the people who share them- much easier. Indigenous tribes have geographical limits, but these are fluid, and make considerations for a variety of factors. By looking at stories of Little People we can see how these boarders functioned. These stories have many similarities, but are each unique to the community or group they belong to. In conjunction with my oral presentation I will show a map of these stories using ARCGIS software and show traditional tribal areas in comparison with each tribes little people story and how these are shared through the open boundary lines of these communities that have geographic proximity. Indigenous groups still have borders, but their open nature allows for information (such as these oral traditions) to spread between groups and be used and adapted by all. Exploring these stories not only keeps them alive for future generations, but can tell us much about who wrote them and what caused their creations, but also about how these ideas are spread and why. Little People are small but important figures in indigenous cultures, and their proliferation across Turtle Island speaks largely to shared experiences, thoughts and fears across large and potentially dissimilar groups of people. However, these stories are due to the structuring of indigenous communities and the borders that surround them, and point to solutions to the current issues with modern borders by opening them and creating fluidity for both the borders themselves and the people they contain.

Understanding lamprey reproduction by examining olfactory sensory neurons.

Zeenat Aurangzeb, University of Windsor
Gianfranco Grande, University of Windsor
Barbara Zielinski, University of Windsor

The sea lamprey is an invasive jawless fish species in the Great Lakes. Its voracious appetite for salmon and whitefish led to the collapse of fisheries in Lake Erie during the past century. Currently, sea lamprey populations are controlled by vigilant management strategies. One target is the disruption of lamprey spawning migration and reproduction. Both are guided by pheromones, odorants released by other lampreys. Lampreys have distinct behavioural responses to specific pheromones. The polyamine, spermine, stimulates reproductive behaviour, but spermidine (which has fewer hydrocarbons and amine groups less than spermine) does not stimulate a behavioural response. My study investigates if olfactory sensory neurons are narrowly tuned to spermine and spermidine or if these cells are broadly tuned (as we see in rodents and humans). Calcium imaging was used to observe the cellular responses to odorants. I observed that spermine and spermidine elicit a one-cell one-odorant response profile in sea lamprey olfactory sensory neurons. The concentration threshold for the cellular responses to spermine was lower than for spermidine. This study supports the idea of odorant fidelity to specific olfactory sensory neurons in the sea lamprey. The odorant activation of single olfactory sensory neurons by an odorant may contribute to the specific responses to specific lamprey pheromones. This knowledge of cellular activity behind sea lamprey biology contributes to ongoing research utilizing pheromone communication to disrupt sea lamprey reproduction.


Rebekah L. Harrison, University of Windsor

As a digital artist and teacher candidate in the Faculty of Education, I saw the need to incorporate the visual arts to assist students with learning disabilities. For many of our students who have a difficult time in committing multiplication facts to memory as well as having challenges with finding strategies for solving, conceptualizing etc. I decided to come up with discrete ways using digital art with curriculum materials to enhance their learning while preserving student dignity, as many students with exceptionalities are sensitive about being singled out as being the few that still need to use manipulatives. We solve this dilemma using digital arts by allowing students to access the manipulatives on their work pages, discretely, yet in plain sight. Made available for all students, as a digital overlay file or just simply splicing the teaching material the manual way, then copy and distribute. In addition to these overlay art pieces; I have digitally designed graphic organizers that are typically used for literacy purposes but now have been re-engineered for use in math. These graphic organizers are a way for our learners, to choose the strategy that is a best fit for them to assist understanding. By no means a total replacement of traditional plastic blocks and manipulatives, but as a meaningful accompaniment that helps to level the playing field for exceptional students, who “never want to be that special kid who needs these special tools” (Anonymous, 2019).


Rebekah Harrison

As a digital artist and teacher candidate in the Faculty of Education, I saw the need to incorporate the visual arts to assist students with learning disabilities. For many of our students who have a difficult time in committing multiplication facts to memory as well as having challenges with finding strategies for solving, conceptualizing etc. I decided to come up with discrete ways using digital art with curriculum materials to enhance their learning while preserving student dignity, as many students with exceptionalities are sensitive about being singled out as being the few that still need to use manipulatives. We solve this dilemma using digital arts by allowing students to access the manipulatives on their work pages, discretely, yet in plain sight. Made available for all students, as a digital overlay file or just simply splicing the teaching material the manual way, then copy and distribute. In addition to these overlay art pieces; I have digitally designed graphic organizers that are typically used for literacy purposes but now have been re-engineered for use in math. These graphic organizers are a way for our learners, to choose the strategy that is a best fit for them to assist understanding. By no means a total replacement of traditional plastic blocks and manipulatives, but as a meaningful accompaniment that helps to level the playing field for exceptional students, who “never want to be that special kid who needs these special tools” (Anonymous, 2019).

Using ubiquitin variants to understand the function of RFWD3 at the molecular level

Victoria Silvera, University of Windsor
Yufeng Tong, University of Windsor
Cody Caba, University of Windsor

Tagging of cellular proteins with marks, also known as post-translational modification, is a natural mechanism that controls the function of proteins and biological pathways. Among all protein modifications, ubiquitination is the second most abundant. It involves the attachment of ubiquitin, a small protein, unto a target protein. Once ubiquitinated, the structure of the target protein is drastically altered, resulting in a different fate. Ubiquitination is critical to DNA damage repair. Our research uses engineered ubiquitin mutants, known as ubiquitin variants (UbVs), to study the function of a ubiquitination enzyme, RFWD3, that is important for DNA damage repair. UbVs bind with the target protein they raised against tightly and specifically, thus perturb the activity of that enzyme and reveal its function. Heritable mutations that negatively affect the function of RFWD3 have been linked to a rare cancer known as Fanconi anemia (FA); making this a potential therapeutic target. Using UbVs specific for RFWD3 we aim to understand how it recognizes substrates and to elucidate the molecular details of its involvement in DNA damage repair. By screening a candidate library of UbVs engineered to bind the substrate-binding domain of RFWD3 we will identify the best binders for further analyses in cancer cells. Ultimately, the UbVs identified in this work have the potential to become a protein-based drug to treating DNA damage repair-related diseases.

Vampires of the Great Lakes: Neural Responses of Dermal Papillae to Bile Acid Metabolites

Ahsan Muhammad
Gianfranco Grande, University of Windsor
Zeenat Aurangzeb, University of Windsor
B. S. Zielinski, University of Windsor

The sea lamprey (Petromyzon marinus) is an ancient vertebrate that is an invasive species to the Great Lakes which potentially can cause >$6,000,000,000 damages to the fishing industry. Chemicals in the external environment are detected by the senses of smell and taste, as well as by specialized receptor cells called solitary chemosensory cells (SCCs) where they are connected to nerve fibers. In aquatic vertebrates, SCCs are located on the skin and are hypothesized to play a role in searching for food and predator avoidance. SCCs are located on the dermal papillae (nipple-like structure) of the mouth, nose, gills and fins of this animal, however, the function of these cells is still unknown. The water collected from thawed dead trout is a potent stimulus for neural responses in the dermal papillae. It is not known which molecules within this thawed dead trout water stimulate this chemosensory response. In this study synthetic analogues of bile acids isolated from dead trout water were tested for chemosensory potency through multi-unit electrophysiological recordings. We found stimulatory chemosensory responses in all skin regions of the sea lamprey to dead trout water and varying response profiles to the synthetic analogues of bile acids. Knowledge of specific molecules that stimulate SCC nerve fibers in the sea lamprey will contribute to an understanding of the functional role of the SCC system in the sea lamprey and vertebrates at large. Finally, this study contributes to the safeguarding the Great Lakes by managing sea lamprey populations through chemical attraction or avoidance strategies.

Vesicle Viewer – Data Analysis and Visualization Software

Aislyn Ann Laurent, University of Windsor
Drew Marquardt, University of Windsor
Fred Heberle, University of Tennessee, Knoxville

As progress is made toward more detailed methods of experimentation, larger volumes of data are generated. Much the critical information inside that data is inaccessible to researchers, who have limited time to analyze results by hand. Easy to use data visualization software can allow them to take full advantage of valuable data and maximize the use of limited resources. In this project, a web application is being developed to visualize data generated in the study of lipid bilayers. Small angle scattering (SAS) techniques are used to analyze the structure of generated bilayers. This data is then fitted to an appropriate model, after which it is visualized into various graphs. In this way composition, lipid volume and bilayer thickness can be determined and utilized in further study.

This application will primarily use Django, a python package specialized for the development of robust web applications. In addition, several other libraries are used to support the more technical aspects of the project – notable examples are MatPlotLib (for graphs), NumPy (for calculations) and Pandas (for advanced data structures). The decision was made to develop a web application to allow scientists all over the world to take advantage of this solution. Without the barrier of downloading and installing software, users can take advantage of the application regardless of which operating system they use. This also allows for a shorter development cycle by eliminating the need to push updates or prepare multiple versions.

“What do we value?” Does environmental health have to be a trade-off?

Jane E. McArthur, University of Windsor

This project explores women's understanding of breast cancer risks in relation to work and the environment, such as exposures to high levels of air pollution and shift work. Interviewed about their knowledge and strategies for control over breast cancer risk, women workers at the Ambassador Bridge described a sense of powerlessness. Women described barriers to action around breast cancer risk due to a lack of power. One woman asked: “What do we value? Do we value women's health and how much?” She conveyed that she felt trade and “pushing those trucks” felt more important to decision-makers than protecting women at risk. Bridge workers interviewed recognize they have less power than the Ambassador Bridge Company, the Federal Government, their union, and the wider public. The 25 narratives of the women interviewed provide a unique contribution to our understanding of breast cancer risk at work and in the environment. The women’s perspectives substantiate the need for improved policy and regulation. Analysis of the women’s narratives reveals that the pervasive idea of individual responsibility for health decisions, including for breast cancer risk, fails to account for power in health knowledge construction and strategies for risk mitigation. The findings of the research also suggest that cultural, political and systemic solutions are as important as scientific and medical ones.

Tuesday, March 31st
8:30 AM

Dissecting the Mechanism Behind Spy1-Mediated Expansion of Brain Tumour Initiating Cells

Jake Frank
Dorota Lubanska
Lisa Porter

8:30 AM - 8:30 AM

In the normal brain, tight regulation and balance between self-renewal and differentiation of neural stem cells is essential for the maintenance of homeostasis. Abrogation of that balance is characteristic for the populations of Brain Tumour Initiating Cells (BTICs), which share properties with neural stem cells, including the capacity to self-renew. Deviation from asymmetric division and differentiation results in symmetrically dividing BTICs driving progression, therapy resistance and relapse of patients with the most aggressive type of brain tumour, Glioblastoma multiforme (GBM). The cell cycle controls cellular fate decisions between self-renewal and differentiation. An atypical cell cycle regulator, Spy1, has been shown to induce acquisition of BTIC characteristics in neural stem cells in vitro and drive symmetric expansion of BTICs derived from GBM patients. The aim of this project is to determine the mechanism by which Spy1 promotes symmetry of division. We have utilized the shRNA and CRIPR/Cas9 system to deplete Spy1 in a panel of GBM patient lines to study the effects on proliferation and the mode of division. Although several lines demonstrated sensitivity to Spy1 depletion, we found lines which presented no change to proliferation rate or symmetry of division. We will utilize this panel to further study the cell cycle profile, expression and the localization of the cell cycle and checkpoint proteins and proteins implicated in symmetry of division. Immunocytochemistry, Western Blotting and qRT-PCR will be used to delineate differences between Spy1-“sensitive” and -“resistant” lines and determine key molecular players to further dissect the specific mechanism of Spy1 mediated effects in BTIC.