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School of Social Work April 2022 Newsletter

We acknowledge that The University of Windsor sits on the traditional territory of the Three Fires Confederacy of First Nations, comprised of the Ojibwa, the Odawa, and the Potawatomi. We respect the longstanding relationships with First Nations People in this place in the 100-mile Windsor-Essex Peninsula and the straits - les détroits of Detroit.
In Memoriam: Kristin Legault Donkers
A Message from Dr. Robin Wright, Director
It is with deep sadness that the University of Windsor, School of Social Work, learned of the unexpected death of one of our students, Kristin Legault Donkers. Some students were able to share that Kristin was a strong advocate for mental health and systemic change. Students remembered her courage and her drive, some called her a warrior.

We know that the time ahead may be difficult, and an event like this can affect us all differently. Please know there are supports available and they are listed here: 

As we continue our journey in social work may we remember Kristin in our advocacy, and our work for system change.

Please also see additional supports available to students below:

  • Student Counselling Centre
  • Free 24/7 mental health support through mySSP is available to students if you need urgent support. They offer professional counselling in a variety of languages.

In Kristin's memory, the University of Windsor's campus flags were lowered on Monday, April 4th.
Upcoming Important UWindsor Dates
Apr 20th, 2022 to Apr 29th, 2022: Final Exams for Winter 2022

Spring 2022 graduation: The School of Social Work's convocation date has been announced! Our Spring convocation will be held on Tuesday, June 14th at 9:00 AM. This includes all undergraduate and graduate students. Convocation will be in person at the WFCU Centre Please refer to the Convocation website for further information.

For more UWindsor important dates, please visit Important Academic Dates | Office of the Registrar ( For course timetable information, please visit Timetable Information | Office of the Registrar (
Faculty News
Dr. Merrick Pilling

Congratulations to Dr. Pilling for the publication of his latest book, Queer and Trans Madness: Struggles for Social Justice. It can be purchased at

"Queer and Trans Madness: Struggles for Social Justice urges those invested in social justice for 2SLGBTQ people to interrogate the biomedical model of mental illness beyond the diagnoses that specifically target gender and sexual dissidence".

Read more about Dr. Pilling's work on his faculty profile page at Merrick Pilling | Women's and Gender Studies (

Milena Sanson
Dr. Wayne
Naomi Levitz
Milena Sanson, Dr. Wayne Ambrose-Miller & Naomi Levitz

Congratulations to Milena Sanson (Learning Specialist), Dr. Wayne Ambrose-Miller (Faculty) and Naomi Levitz (Ph.D. Candidate) on their recent publication.

“Is this REALLY Social Work?” Facilitating Practicums in a Pandemic is published in the Practice Digest section of the Field Educator Simmons School of Social Work journal.

Congratulations team on your wonderful and insightful work! This is Milena's first publication! Milena started in The School of Social Work in 2019. She has been a wonderful addition to the MSWwp team!

Student News
Nicole Canzoneri,
B.S.W. and Disability Studies Student

I chose Social Work and Disability Studies after I ventured into fields that view disability in a scientific and found I did not fundamentally agree with their perceptions of disability.

After my undergrad, I plan on pursuing law as a disability advocate. Currently I work as a respite worker and for OHREA (Office of Human Rights, Equity and Accessibility) as an Accessibility Initiatives Coordinator. I volunteer as the chair of Community Living’s Ontario Youth Council, Re:Action4Inclusion.

I have worked on projects involving accessibility, inclusion, and institutionalization. As part of my job with OHREA I assisted in creating 2022’s Accessibility Awareness Days. I got to meet with and appreciate all the things the University does regarding accessibility both virtually and physically. I helped plan the event, and hosted week three of the event. I was able to bring a youth and student perspective to the events and feel like I brought a unique perspective. 

Nicole did a wonderful job as the moderator for the March 15th Awareness Days event titled "Accessible Spaces and Places". Congratulations, Nicole!
Mohamad Musa,
Ph.D. Candidate

Moe is a PhD Candidate at the University of Windsor, School of Social Work. He completed his Honours Bachelor of Social Work and Master of Social Work at the University of Windsor.

Moe is presently the Clinical Therapist for the Faculty of Law. To view Moe's profile there, please follow this link:

He is also a Sessional Instructor at the School of Social Work.

Moe has an enormous passion for research in the area of mental health and mental illness. He is especially interested in understanding how migrant populations from the Middle East understand mental health and mental illness.

His qualitative dissertation explores mental illness perceptions amongst Iraqi migrants in Ontario, Canada. Moe is specifically exploring how Iraqi migrants perceive mental illness, the impact of religion on accessing mental health support, and how the existing mental health services fit in with Iraqi migrants’ needs in Ontario.

Moe has extensive practice experience in the field working as a Clinical Supervisor, Consulting Clinical Therapist, and Clinical Therapist for non-profit youth justice, youth health, and youth mental health agencies across Ontario. His practice experience in the field consists of clinical management and staff supervision; clinical consultations; clinical counselling; sexuality and sexual health education; sexual violence prevention; and poverty law advocacy.

To read more about Moe's publications and presentations, please view his Ph.D. profile at Current Students | School of Social Work (

Naomi G. Williams,
Ph.D. Candidate

Naomi G. Williams is an AnishinaabeKwe from Walpole Island First Nation, Bkejwanong Territory. Naomi has a Bachelor of Social Work and a Masters in Social Work from the University of Windsor, and she is currently a student in the university’s PhD Social Work Program.
Naomi worked as the Aboriginal Outreach Coordinator for the University of Windsor’s Aboriginal Education Centre. Her role was to support students from First Nation communities in pursuing a postsecondary degree, and to ensure their success in their new academic and social environment.

She has worked in the field of early childhood education, post-secondary education, child welfare, and prevention of family violence. Naomi started her career in the social support of her community as a Teacher’s Assistant at Bkejwanong Children’s Centre on Walpole Island. She served as the Lead Teacher at the Ska:na Family Learning Centre in Windsor, and she was the Associate Head Start Teacher at the Windsor Aboriginal Head Start Program. She has volunteered with the Can-Am Indian Friendship Centre and Can-Am Urban Native Homes in Windsor.
Naomi has been involved in several research projects, which engage Indigenous Communities in community-based research that addresses health and social issues. Naomi’s dissertation research will focus on the strengths of First Nations, Inuit, and Métis Communities in challenging Canada’s social structures. 

To read more about Naomi, please view her Ph.D. profile at Current Students | School of Social Work (
Student Group Updates
D.S.S.A. ,
Disability Studies Student Assocation
DSSA’s 2nd Annual Disability Inclusion Webinar

We are so happy to announce that our 2nd Annual Disability Inclusion Webinar went very well! There were just over 20 participants that ranged from students to faculty to alumni. The response from everyone was amazing!
We were able to make it through all our content, which we were so happy about! We wanted to start everyone’s journeys with disability with as much information as possible, but even then, it’s just the tip of the iceberg! As we have been saying, we hope that people take what they learn with us and continue to educate and familiarize themselves with the disability community. It seems like we were able to accomplish this with the crowd we had. After the presentation, the comments section was flooded with compliments and gratitude for educating others on this topic.
On top of the content DSSA had created, we were also lucky enough to have features from several community organizations that we have had the please of working with over the years. The community organizations involved include Roots 2 Wings, Sharing a Purpose (SAP), Noah’s House, Up About Down, and Family Respite Services. We are so grateful for the connections we have made with all these groups and to have them be a part of our Webinar was so special. Shoutout to Zoe Dumouchelle (Social Work & Disability Studies Rep) for creating the video!
We were also able to draw three winners for our giveaway! Congrats Mikala, Monica, and Xiaohong!
Kelly and I would also like to send a special thanks to the members who presented at the Webinar – Sara Harper (Disability Studies Rep), Ailish O’Connor (Secretary), Mia Ennis (3rd Year Rep), Christina Pacitti (General Member), and Megan Koski (General Member). You all did an incredible job, and your help was much appreciated!
All in all, the Webinar was a huge success! We can’t wait to see where the students take this next year, hopefully it will be in person!

Read more about D.S.S.A. and their exciting initiatives at D.S.S.A.'s Spring 2022 Updates | Disability Studies (
Updates from Sharon Munro,
Social Work Librarian
Walksafe services are coming to the Leddy Library! As of March 28th and through the month of April, Walksafe volunteers will have space in the library cafeteria area. Their services will be available from Monday to Friday from 7 p.m. to 11 p.m. and they can be contacted at Walksafe’s 3504 telephone extension number. Walksafe volunteers are available to walk students, faculty, employees and visitors to their cars or homes. This is a free service provided by the University of Windsor Students’ Alliance. For more information see: Walksafe
Leddy Library hours of opening are being extended to accommodate the exam period. The library is also providing a wide range of study areas as outlined on the library’s Spaces and Bookings web page
Leddy Library honours National Indigenous Languages Day and International Transgender Day of Visibility with two curated collections of Leddy Library materials put together by Jennifer Soutter, Librarian for Indigenous Outreach and Women’s and Gender Studies.
Jennifer describes National Indigenous Languages Day as:
“Celebrated since 1993, this day is an opportunity for Indigenous and non-Indigenous peoples to honour Turtle Island’s extensive linguistic legacy. Despite the diversity of Indigenous languages (12 language families) in the colonial framework of Canada, three languages (the Cree languages, Inuktitut and Ojibway) accounted for almost two-thirds of the population having an Indigenous language as mother tongue. This is a curated subset of book/e-book titles found in Leddy Library’s collection”. 
March 31st is also the International Transgender Day of Visibility and Jennifer notes:
“Transgender Day of Visibility is dedicated to recognizing the resilience and accomplishments of the transgender community. The following list of materials, available at Leddy Library, were selected to profile transgender community voices and experiences”.  
For more information and to get access to both of these curated collections, see:  National Indigenous Languages Day and International Transgender Day of Visibility, March 31st
Upcoming O.A.S.W. Events for Students

All events below take place online and are available to students across the province!

Who Are You? A Talk with the Hon. Dr. Vivienne Poy
Time: Tuesday, April 26 from 6:30 to 8 p.m. ET
Cost: Free for everyone!

OASW 101 and Network Meeting for Kenora & Area
Time: Wednesday, April 27 from 8 to 9 p.m. ET
Cost: Free for everyone!

Ever wondered about the difference between the Ontario Association of Social Workers (OASW) and the Ontario College of Social Workers and Social Service Workers (OCSWSSW)? Join this evening and learn about OASW and what the Association has to offer you as a student and as you transition to the field. This event will include a presentation on OASW membership and benefits followed by local networking and event planning in Kenora led by OASW Kenora & Area’s Ambassador, Regan. All are welcome to drop by for either the OASW session and/or the local networking.
Equity Is Not the Icing, It’s the Cake: Breaking Down Silos
Time: Monday, May 9 from 6 to 7:30 p.m. ET
Cost: Free for everyone!

Panelists will discuss the intentionally collaborative work between the departments of Social Work and Equity to ensure the dignity of all students. Dufferin-Peel Catholic District School Board staff will share through examples and information, their work to break down barriers, work with community members, and uplift student voice from a join approach.

School of Social Work
167 Ferry Street, Room 205
Windsor, Ontario N9A 0C5
519-253-3000 ext. 3064