York students design astronauts’ insignia

York-Sheridan students have designed the patches for suits NASA astronauts will wear when they zoom into space in May, reports The Ottawa Citizen Nov. 7. Graham Huber, Peter Hui and Gigi Lui, third-year students in a joint design program run by York University and Sheridan College’s School of Animation Arts & Design, created the patches that will adorn the suits worn by the crew of Space Shuttle Mission 115 – a 10-day trip to attach solar “wings” to the International Space Station. NASA is mum on the patches’ specs, which will be revealed on Monday [at an event at York, Nov. 11], says the Citizen. The patches were commissioned by astronaut Steve MacLean, the sole Canadian on Mission 115 which launches on May 23. MacLean, an astrophysicist and York University alumnus, challenged students from his alma mater to design his personal patch. The winning team produced two: one for him, another to be worn by the entire crew. NASA accepted both.

How Avie Bennett tackled Austin Clarke’s agent

Three years ago, while he was still at the helm of McClelland & Stewart, York University Chancellor Avie Bennett was so exasperated by his legal wrangles with literary agent Denise Bukowski that he did what most publishers do only in their dreams, begins a story on Giller Prize winner Austin Clarke’s editors in the National Post Nov. 7. Bennett posted an advertisement in the Quill & Quire, the book industry’s trade magazine, announcing that McClelland & Stewart would no longer be accepting submissions from the Denise Bukowski agency.

Choreographer animates soulful Messiah

Stevie Wonder and Patti Austin are just two of the high-powered black artists who lent their considerable talents to a 1992 concept CD called Handel’s Messiah: A Soulful Celebration which has, in turn, inspired Patrick Parson to choreograph his new work Soulful Messiah. The piece debuts this week at the Premiere Dance Theatre, reports The Globe and Mail Nov. 7. The artistic director and founder of Toronto-based Ballet Creole completed his masters degree at York University in 1999, where he is a studio instructor in York’s School of Kinesiology and Health Science. Parson’s musicology thesis explored the Saraka festivals which are built around the arsota or big drum that is at the heart of African and Afro-Caribbean drumming. The Toronto Star also featured a story Nov. 7 on the launch of Ballet Creole’s second season and mentioned that one of the dancers, Kathleen Pyper, is a York grad (BFA 1979).

Soccer stadium at York?

York University could be one of the sites being considered for a new stadium in Toronto, suggests The Toronto Star Nov. 7. The Canadian Soccer Association has received a financial hand from FIFA, the ruling international body of soccer, to build a stadium in Toronto. Kevan Pipe, CSA chief operating officer, told the Star the CSA has identified central Toronto as its desire for a site. He did not identify locations, but the areas which routinely come into play for stadium discussions are the old Downsview Air Force base, Exhibition Stadium, York University and land near the Hershey Centre in Mississauga, the Star says.

Preparing for math olympiad

A Burnaby, BC, coach is urging students to try out for the mathematics camp held at York University in the winter, as a preliminary to choosing a Canadian math team to go to the math olympiad in Tokyo later this year, reports Burnaby Now Nov. 6.

A Savage battle of wards

This week, Larry Savage, a 25-year-old York University PhD student, has become the public face – and voice – of Niagara Falls Citizens for Democracy, the group challenging city council’s decision that future elections should require aldermen to run in citywide elections instead of soliciting votes in one of six wards, reports The Review (Niagara Falls) Nov. 7. Savage is working on a PhD in industrial relations and constitutional politics.

On air

In a Nov. 6 report on the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, CBC’s “Canada Now” in Toronto said noon prayers took place at York University and interviewed Ramy Issa, of York Muslim Students Association, about a food drive organized across the GTA…. CBC’s “The National” interviewed Margaret Beare, of York’s Nathanson Centre for the Study of Organized Crime and Corruption, about police raids in Quebec on the Jokers biker gang.