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Thursday November 20th, 2014

Posted at 2:00pm

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Several awards will be handled out this evening to honour the accomplishments of UWindsor Alumni.

Former automotive executive Frank Ewasyshyn and broadcaster Anna Maria Tremonti are this year’s recipients of the Alumni Award of Merit.

The award is presented to UWindsor graduates for distinguished accomplishments which have brought honour to the university, for contributions to the community, or for outstanding personal service to the university.

Also to be honoured tonight with the ‘Odyssey Award’ will be Chris Gelinas, Vincent Georgie, Navin Ramaswaran, and Vanessa Shields.   As well, Dr. Dragana Martinovic of the Faculty of Education will receive the Alumni Association’s Excellence in Mentoring Award.

The Odyssey Award recognizes alumni in the early years of their careers who have distinguished themselves through successes in career endeavours, notable achievements in their local community or the University, or through a significant or innovative achievement in their professional or personal life.

A bit about each award winner:

Frank Ewasyshyn is a Windsor native who spent his entire professional life at Chrysler, beginning as a Maintenance Foreman in 1976. Throughout his career he held a number of positions in the company, including Production Manager; Director of Advanced Manufacturing Engineering; General Manager of Large and Small Car Platform Assembly; Vice-President of Advance Manufacturing Engineering, and Executive Vice President of Manufacturing, a position he held until his retirement in 2009. He is credited as a leader in the manufacturing technology field and notably led the Chrysler Group’s ambitious plan to improve the flexibility of its manufacturing operations.

Anna Maria Tremonti started her journalistic career at the University of Windsor as a reporter with the Lance. She served as a foreign correspondent based in Berlin, London, Jerusalem and Washington from 1991 through 2000, has been a political reporter on Parliament Hill and has covered local and political news across the country for both radio and television. Tremonti has been the host of CBC Radio’s current affairs program The Current since its creation in 2002.

Chris Gelinas is a fashion designer who finished his education at the Parsons School of Design. He refined his technical skills at such fashion houses as Marc Jacobs; Proenza Schouler; Balenciaga and most recently as first assistant to Olivier Theyskens at Theyskens’ Theory. Following the debut of his first collection for Spring 2014, Gelinas won the Made for Peroni Young Designer Award, which included a $40,000 prize and secured him a spot at Made Fashion Week to present his Fall 2014 collection.

Vincent Georgie is an assistant professor of Marketing at UWindsor’s Odette School of Business and Marketing Director of the Windsor International Film Festival. He was named University-wide Teacher of the Year in 2010 and has held the title of Marketing Professor of the Year each year since 2008. His areas of academic interest include the marketing of arts and culture; implications of decision-making for voting and consumer purchases; consumerism and materialism; social marketing and business education.

Navin Ramaswaran is an independent filmmaker who began his career at Windsor’s Media Street Productions Inc. He is currently a director and editor with Toronto’s Studio M Digital Productions Inc. in Toronto. Ramaswaran has been the creative lead on various TV commercials, corporate videos and music videos and received the Antistatic Film Festival’s Best Fictional Narrative Award for his first short film, My Performance Art. Since then he has written, directed and/or edited several more films including 2014’s Chasing Valentine and Late Night Double Feature.

Vanessa Shields is a Windsor author and poet. Her first book, Laughing Through A Second Pregnancy – A Memoir, was published by Black Moss Press in 2011 to rave reviews. In April 2013, Shields edited a poetry anthology entitled, Whisky Sour City (Black Moss Press). I Am That Woman, her first book of poetry, was published in January 2014, also by Black Moss Press. Her poetry, short stories and photography have been published in various literary magazines. She offers mentorship, guest speaks and teaches creative writing. She also does Poetry On Demand, on-the-spot poetry that helps make poetry fun and accessible for all.

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