{ $refs.searchfield.focus(); });" >
Coming to campus? Visit this page for important information.
Iulia NiculescuMaster’s student Iulia Niculescu is studying how our moods affect what’s called prospective memory — the ability to remember and carry out in the future an intention formed in the past.

Study delves into why we forget to do things

The scenario is a common one.

As you leave work you make a mental note to pick up milk on your way home. The next thing you know, you are in your driveway having forgotten to stop.

Why we fail to remember to do things is the subject of a research project by Iulia Niculescu, a Master’s student in UWindsor’s clinical neuropsychology program. She is studying what’s called prospective memory — the ability to remember and carry out in the future an intention you formed in the past.

“Prospective memory is important because a big part of our lives is planning,” Niculescu said. “It underlies everything we do in daily life and it affects our productivity.”

Niculescu is working under the supervision of UWindsor neuropsychology professor Kristoffer Romero to study the effect mood has on prospective memory.

“I’m looking specifically at rumination: overthinking things and repetitively going over it in your mind, and how it can impact how we remember to do other things in the future,” she says.

She is hoping to recruit 200 participants — 100 of them 60 years or older and 100 younger adults. Comparing results from the two groups will add another dimension to the study.

Niculescu’s study will take place in real time. Four times over a single week, she will ask participants what they are thinking about in the present moment. She will also ask them to do a task in the future related to the study, and then she will check to see if the participants remembered to do it.

The entire research study is done online, so participants can complete the experiment wherever they are.

Called a longitudinal study because it involves repeated observations of the same variables over time, it’s a new approach to studying prospective memory, Niculescu said. Past studies have asked participants about their experience with prospective memory rather than testing it in real time as she is doing.

“We will be gauging mood and testing memory at the same time, in real time.”

The project is the basis of Niculescu’s Master’s thesis. Originally from Toronto, Niculescu did her undergrad at York University. She hopes to stay in Windsor for doctoral studies.

The research project is funded through a $17,500 scholarship from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada. Niculescu hopes to complete the project by June, then present her research findings at conferences and in academic journals.

Click here to learn more about the study on mood and prospective memory.

—Sarah Sacheli

woman consulting smart phoneStudent Health, Counselling, and Wellness Services has a new website detailing its medical services, counselling options, and wellness programming.

Resources available to help students cope with stress

Student Health, Counselling, and Wellness Services has unveiled a new website that details its medical services, counselling options, and wellness programming all in one online location.

Among the new features are:

It has been a difficult year but for those struggling to cope, nothing shows strength like reaching out for support, says Katie Chauvin, mental health and wellness co-ordinator in the Student Counselling Centre.

“As we move into the stress of final exam season, the impact of the pandemic and the challenges of navigating ongoing uncertainty and change continue to take a toll,” she says.

“It makes sense if you’re struggling right now. Reaching out for support is always strong and resilient, and there are many free and confidential resources available, including several 24/7 helplines. What you’re experiencing matters. You don’t have to face this alone.”

Chauvin adds that staff and faculty play critical roles in promoting student well-being.

“Every time faculty and staff integrate conversations into their interactions with students that normalize help-seeking and validate that reaching out for support is strong, they are creating conditions that challenge stigma, increase psychological safety, and reduce barriers to care,” she says. “All it takes is one person to be that difference.”

Student Health, Counselling, and Wellness Services encourages faculty and staff to visit the Supporting Students webpage for information on responding to student mental health concerns. The page also offers updated PowerPoint slides and a BlackBoard post template instructors can share with students, listing mental health resources.

Roman De AngelisUWindsor engineering student Roman De Angelis competes on the grand prix racing circuit.

Engineering student has a racing heart

Your hands tightly clench the wheel; your ears flood with engines roaring. You’re seconds away from thrusting your foot on the pedal, but your mind? For Roman De Angelis, it’s completely still.

“It's almost blank,” says De Angelis, a professional driver who has spent more than half of his life on the raceway.

“The second you begin rolling to the start line, everything clears and it’s really quiet and calm. Then, when the race starts, that’s kind of when all the chaos breaks loose.”

De Angelis is a third-year mechanical engineering student who’s managed to find time to clinch first-place finishes in the Detroit Grand Prix, Northeast Grand Prix, and in both the U.S. and Canadian Porsche GT3 Cup Challenges, all while studying full-time at the University of Windsor.

His team, the Heart of Racing, competes internationally with an Aston Martin Vantage GT3 and uses its platform to raise funds for children’s hospitals. They’ve raised more than $8 million to date.

“We put out commercials and videos just trying to support the kids. That's our big drive,” he says.

De Angelis’s interest in engineering was piqued at a young age by the engineers who surrounded him in his motorsports career. They’d perform a data analysis on everything from his suspension to speed and sit with him to explain how to use it to improve his performance.

“I grew really fond of what they were doing and their level of knowledge,” he says.

De Angelis says his racing experience gave him a practical understanding beyond the pages of his textbooks, while his university education has given him a slight edge on the track.

“There's a lot of technical components in motorsports. I find I’m able to better relay information to our team of engineers.”

His humble beginnings go-karting on a small track in Leamington propelled him to a Canadian Karting Championship in 2014. From there, he wrote history at the age of 16 as the Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge’s youngest driver and gold class champion in Canada. Two years later, in 2019, he again broke records by winning 18 of 24 GT3 races entered and becoming the first driver to claim both the Canadian and US platinum division championships.

From his Belle-River home, De Angelis is able to train for upcoming races using a driver simulator equipped with monitors, a steering wheel, pedals, and laser-scanned versions of the racetracks he’ll face.

“There's a lot on the line and not a big margin for error,” says De Angelis. “It's definitely more mind based. It's a mental sport in general.”

With a middle name like Senna, a nod to famous race driver, Ayrton Senna, it’s only fitting De Angelis dreams of carrying the momentum of his prolific racing career for years to come, however, his education is just as paramount.

He hopes to join the Faculty of Engineering’s SAE Formula Team and cap his third year of study with an internship at an engineering firm.

“My team is very happy that I'm in school and getting my education, so they're really supportive when I’m doing my homework. I have a lot of open textbooks on flights and on the road,” he says.

“The nice thing about this program is that you can really move in any direction. I'm trying to find a place where I feel grounded and enjoy what I’m doing and then I'll stick there.”

—Kristie Pearce

This article was featured in the latest issue of WE, the Faculty of Engineering’s annual magazine. To receive WE and UWindsor Engineering’s quarterly e-newsletters, join the faculty’s mailing list.

cartoon image of baby YodaThe musical comedy “The Pantolorian” combines British pantomime traditions with references to Star Wars.

First-time playwrights bringing Star Wars spoof to stage

UWindsor grads Maggie Pinsonneault (BA 2021) and Andrew Perciballi (BComm 2017, MBA 2020) are excited to see their vision come to fruition as KordaTheatre Productions stages The Pantolorian just in time for the holidays.

The two wrote the book and lyrics for the play, a musical set in Windsor’s Devonshire Mall and ComiCon, and featuring spoofs of characters from the Star Wars universe and other cosplay favourites.

Another UWindsor alum, Karen Tompkins (BA 1989), directs, and Tracey Atin (MA 1988, BMus 1990) joins Pinsonneault as a producer.

Performances are Dec. 9, 10, 11, 16, 17, and 18 at 7 p.m. with 2 p.m. matinees Dec. 12 and 19 in the KordaTheatre, 2520 Seminole St. Find ticket information and details of the company’s COVID-19 policy at www.kordazone.com.

greeting card designsAn e-greeting card designed by public affairs means one less thing to worry about during the most wonderful time of the year.

Final week to order free custom e-card

Friday, Dec. 10, is the deadline to order a custom-made electronic greeting card for delivery before the holiday break, free for UWindsor faculty and staff, courtesy of the Office of Public Affairs and Communications.

Graphic designer Marnie Robillard has created a selection of seasonal imagery and text greetings, featuring a choice of winter scenes along with suggested verses — or the option for clients to provide individual customized messages.

Order e-cards via the online Holiday Cards request form.

Kyle Robinson crosses the finish lineKyle Robinson and other Lancer grads will join the Alumni Sports Hall of Fame tonight.

Hall of Fame induction celebration to launch tonight

The video commemorating this year’s University of Windsor Alumni Sports Hall of Fame will drop at 7 p.m. tonight — Wednesday, Dec. 8.

The ceremony will induct hurdler Kyle Robinson (BSc 1998), thrower Tanya Sawyers (BA 2002), middle distance runner Richard Tremain (BComm 1998), and basketball forward Iva Peklova (BSc 2010, MSc 2012), as athletes and confer the Alumni Sport Achievement award on Jeff May (BA 2001). Read more on each of these honorees at goLancers.ca.

Tune in to the premiere on YouTube: https://youtu.be/p1_tl0uj0E0.