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Dr. Jesse Salah Ovadia receives SSHRC Connection Grant

Dr. Ovadia’s SSHRC Connection Grant will be used for a workshop called “Mobilizing Canadian Knowledge on Natural Resource-Based Development in Africa” and follow-up knowledge sharing activities.  Dr. Ovadia is the Principal Investigator for the project, which also includes two Co-Investigators, Dr. J. Andrew Grant and Dr. Nathan Andrews, both from Queen’s University.  This workshop will take place at the University of Windsor on September 8, 2017. It will include contributions from four senior scholars, 25 academics non-academic practitioners from Engineers Without Borders and the Diamond Development Initiative.  More information to follow.

 

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Dr. Cheryl Collier and Dr. Jon Malloy attend the official book launch of their new edited book "The Politics of Ontario", University of Toronto Press, which launched at Queen's Park in Toronto on May 17, 2017.

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Wide range of enthusiasms earns notice for graduandLogan Carmichael

Logan Carmichael’s record of community service, campus engagement and academic achievement have earned her the 2017 President’s Medal.

Working on a research project with professor Jamey Essex inspired Logan Carmichael to set a new course for her career. As she prepares for her graduation from the University of Windsor, the political science major plans to pursue a life in diplomacy.

Carmichael will collect the 2017 President’s Medal during Friday’s 10 a.m. session of Convocation. The award recognizes a graduand who has made significant contributions to campus and community activities while maintaining a superior academic record.

Carmichael coupled classroom success — culminating in this year’s Board of Governors medal for top standing among graduates of political science — with achievement across a number of fields.

A middle-distance runner for the Lancer track program, she was named an academic all-Canadian in 2014 and 2015. She has worked with the Annual Giving Program phonathon throughout her UWindsor career, and mentored several first-year students through the Connecting4Success program.

Her philanthropic activities include planning benefit dinners to sponsor refugee families through Project Syria, and founding the charity Knit One, Purl One, Give One, which donates knitted goods to the needy.

“Over two years, we have donated well over 100 pieces — mittens, hats, and scarves,” Carmichael says. “I am so excited that we have people committed to taking it over for next year.”

An additional project that she describes as “a work in progress” is Another Mile Sneakers, which seeks to pass on gently-used athletic footwear to aspiring athletes in needy countries.

“As a Lancer runner, I could go through a pair of shoes every two months,” she says.

Still, she describes her experience with Dr. Essex as the best of her time at UWindsor. An academic appointment as an Outstanding Scholar grew into a term as a research assistant on a project exploring the 2013 creation of Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development Canada.

Seeing the resulting paper published in the Canadian Geographer was “very exciting,” says Carmichael, and nurtured her enthusiasm for Canada’s foreign service.

She is currently waiting to learn whether she will receive a scholarship to pursue graduate study at the Russian International Olympic University in Sochi, allowing her to combine her interests in sports, diplomacy and Eastern Europe.

Whatever the future holds, she will continue to rely on her primary support system: her family.

“My mom and my brother — they are in my corner no matter what!” Carmichael says.

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TIFFANY GOOCH

Don Meredith should have quit a long time ago

 

Tiffany Gooch is a political strategist at public affairs firms Enterprise and Ensight, secretary of the Ontario Liberal Party Executive Council, and an advocate for increased cultural and gender diversity in Canadian politics.

In February, the Black Business and Professional Association (BBPA) invited me to host its Black History Month event in Toronto, awarding political leaders from the black community.

I was honoured. I am a fifth-generation black Canadian from Windsor – the descendent of a resilient people who sought their freedom through the Underground Railroad, settling and building vibrant communities in southwestern Ontario.

 

As an artist and a political strategist now living in Toronto, this event was a combination of my favourite things: the celebration of black excellence and a recounting of progress, with a call to action for increased co-ordination and political power within our community.

Related: Disgraced Senator Don Meredith to resign

I was ecstatic to have an opportunity to encourage more black Canadians to join our growing political movement. My heart sank when I learned that one of the award recipients for the BBPA event was Don Meredith.

A week before the event, I worked alongside black leaders from across Canada to hold a lobbying day on Parliament Hill. We met with more than 60 members of Parliament and talked about everything – policing, border security, corrections, economic development, education, health equity, immigration and diversity in public appointments.

We discussed the exposure of anti-black racism in the United States in recent events. We explained that our Canadian institutions and communities are not immune. We applauded the Liberal government’s commitment to multiculturalism, Indigenous reconciliation, refugees and women’s issues, and noted that general diversity and inclusion policies are, at times, inadequate in addressing the unique challenges faced by African-Canadians.

Defence of Don Meredith on the basis of race is a disservice to the tireless work being carried out by Canadians across the country combatting anti-black racism. His actions were indefensible. His is not an issue of race.

With his family present and hundreds in the live audience, I struggled to follow my script. I remembered my grandmother’s advice: If I didn’t have anything nice to say I shouldn’t say anything at all. Unable to carry out my function in good conscience, I sat down and asked the president of the BBPA to take over the program and returned to the stage after the awards were distributed.

There are thousands of remarkable black Canadians – women and men – who would excel at carrying out the functions of a senator without abusing their power. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has an embarrassment of options to ensure black Canadians are represented in future Senate appointments.

Just after the BBPA event, I moderated a panel at the Equal Voice ‘Daughters of the Vote’ conference in Ottawa. The topic of our panel was “Finding Courage”. We laughed, we cried, and we shared stories carrying out constructive dialogue about the barriers facing young women in politics and how to overcome them. Sexual harassment, sexual assault, and a culture that protects powerful men over girls became prevalent in our discussions over the course of the week.

It is difficult enough for young women – and young women of colour in particular – to enter and navigate political spaces. The future of our country depends on our ability to cultivate a culture of safety and inclusion for young women entering and navigating the Canadian political arena.

Protecting girls (and black girls in particular) seeking to bring their talents to politics greatly outweighs the need to protect black men in leadership who prove themselves unfit.

Don Meredith needed to resign. He should have resigned a long time ago.

It’s not enough just to believe it. It’s not enough just to tweet about it.

I hope Canadians will take up our collective responsibility to our children. We need to roll up our sleeves and do the difficult work necessary to eradicate this kind of behaviour (and the culture that perpetuates it) within our political institutions.

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Arianne Rodriguez Saltron revels in her experience while on exchange in Chile.

Chilean experience enhances University education for international relations student

The support she received both in preparing for her exchange and once she arrived in Chile made for a smooth experience, says Arianne Rodriguez Saltron. A student of international relations with a minor in Spanish, she spent a semester at the Universidad de Santiago de Chile, and calls it the best decision she ever made.

“Living in Chile definitely improved my Spanish fluency,” she says. “And the campus is in the heart of (the Chilean capital) Santiago, so there are always cultural events happening, many museums to visit and so many cool neighborhoods to discover.”

Rodriguez Saltron says she felt well-supported both by the UWindsor exchange office and her Chilean hosts.

“The exchange staff at both universities are helpful and attentive, making sure that you are not thrown in the dark and answering any questions you may have along the way,” she says.

Faculty were accommodating and her courses in history and comparative politics gave her a broader perspective on world affairs. She even had opportunities to travel through the region.

In short, says Rodriguez Saltron: “Living in Chile was amazing!”

The University of Windsor has joined the Canadian Bureau for International Education’s (CBIE) Learning Beyond Borders initiative to get more Canadian students to take advantage of learning experiences in other countries. Despite reports from the students on the transformational nature of the experience, only about 3 per cent of Canadian undergraduate university students opt for international exchange.

“Arianne’s experience reflects that of most our students who go on exchange,” says Ryan Flannagan, associate vice-president, student experience. “Spending time abroad contributes to their academic and career achievements and enhances their communication skills, self-awareness and adaptability.”

He says the University aims to increase exchange participation in its students by 30 per cent over the next two years.

Find more information on the national campaign to inspire learning abroad on the CBIE website.