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Dillon Hall
Dillon Hall

November 2016

What we asked:

What new, innovative, experiential/work-integrated learning types of programs would you like to see developed here at the University of Windsor? Or to put that another way, what programs do you wish UWindsor had had when you were applying to come here?

And the winner is...

Liza-Anastasia DiCecco (BAS Mech. Eng. 2017) proposed degrees in biomechanical and biomedical engineering. An Outstanding Scholar, she’s been involved in research using 3D printers to design and implement prosthetics, exoskeletons, and other tools. Given the University’s strengths in engineering, human kinetics, and biology, she sees this as a cross-disciplinary opportunity for the university and for students.

As a fourth-year undergraduate mechanical engineering student specializing in the materials option, I would love to see a bio-medical engineering and a bio-mechanical engineering program at the University of Windsor. As an Outstanding Scholar, I conduct research with a group on campus that has done innovative 3D printing work for prosthetic design and exoskeleton design, as well as for a wide variety of other projects. I see a huge potential for interdisciplinary projects in this field involving the engineering program, human kinetics, and biology. Even if it is deemed unfeasible to pull resources together to establish an undergraduate program, I believe a master’s level program with a joint research project between two of these three programs would be well received.

What others said:

Many of you proposed new or extended interdisciplinary programs, like Shreya Patki, who suggested a degree that integrates art, design, and engineering – “like industrial design, but with more in depth engineering than other industrial design programs offer” -- and Michele Noveletto who suggested a Master’s in Disability Studies that would enable students to become board-certified behaviour analysts.

There was also a lot of interest in programs (or changes to programs) with a more applied focus or including more specific technologies.  Caitlynne Lucier and Matt Laidlaw both suggested Occupational Therapy as a possibility, and numerous people suggested more specific or combined streams in engineering, like mechatronics or electrical engineering (Renewable Energy Option). Anarug Shukla suggested the addition of “realistic subjects” like CNC programming, designing and analysis programs at the M. Eng. Level. Kartikey Manchanda suggested the development of a GIS focus or more GIS courses in Environmental Science, which would enhance experiential learning and appeal to many students. 

There were a number of suggestions for new kinds of health care programs, from the Occupational Therapy programs suggested above, to a certificate program for international doctors (Sumar Ghizan) , to nutrition or dietetics programs or extended course offerings (Arisha Shaikh, Amanda LaFrance, Jenna Chaykowski).

Some of you also advocated for more or more extended internship or experiential learning opportunities across a variety of programs, both at home and internationally (Jillian Lacasse, Percy Saka Owuku, Kaustubh Gaikwad).

Finally, many of you wished that the University offered a wider range of electives, from courses in marine biology to history courses on music, sports and entertainment, the supernatural, and war; to fitness, mindfulness and spirituality; automobile racing; and…brewing!  Seriously! A number of you suggested electives suitable for non-majors in a discipline, and others wanted more experiential opportunities, either through physical activity or through community- and leadership-related service courses.

 

What We’re Doing

  • Undertaking a top-to-bottom review of programs, recruitment, student success, and admissions to look at what’s working, where we need to head next, and how we can get there.
  • Consulting with community members, students, and faculty to learn more about what they see as the most important skills and expertise students need to acquire.
  • Working with your professors, department heads, and deans to explore new program and course possibilities, and to help get those off the ground as efficiently as possible. 
  • Setting the stage for the creation of cutting-edge, signature interdisciplinary programs that inspire students, foster new learning and research, and meet the needs of our communities.

As always, I look forward to hearing more from you!