ROB’s top 40 achievers include York grad

Report on Business magazine, published by The Globe and Mail, named York University graduate James O’Sullivan in its eighth annual selection of Canada’s Top 40 Under 40, the country’s brightest younger achievers. O’Sullivan, 40, is managing director and head of Canadian Relationship Management, Scotia Capital Inc., Toronto. He has a degree in law and business from York University’s Osgoode Hall Law School and Schulich School of Business. O’Sullivan, who joined Scotia McLeod in 1990, was a leader in the formation of Scotia Capital in 1999, an amalgamation of the bank’s corporate banking and investment banking divisions. Honourees were selected by a panel of 29 business and community leaders assembled by The Caldwell Partners International, an executive search firm.

Research on bullies funded

A group of York University researchers working to end bullying in schoolyards across the nation has received a $600,000 boost for their work, reported The Toronto Star on Saturday. York’s LaMarsh Centre for Research on Violence and Conflict Resolution was among the recipients of more than $8 million in federal crime-prevention grants to 119 Ontario community programs, announced by federal Solicitor-General Wayne Easter May 2 at the centre. Debra Pepler, lead researcher on the LaMarsh project, said her research shows bullying – physical, verbal or indirect such as gossip – occurs once every seven minutes in the schoolyard. Children aged 11 to 12 report it most often. “Our research suggests that the lessons on the playground are lessons for life,” she said. “The problem doesn’t go away in adulthood and could also lead to marital and elder abuse.”

Room for 8,180 of double cohort at York

As thousands of high school students wait for university acceptance letters, the province has announced confidence in Ontario universities’ ability to accommodate 70,000 first-year students this fall, reported Toronto and regional newspapers and wire services May 2 and 3. The Council of Ontario Universities, which met May 2 with Dianne Cunningham, Minister of Training, Colleges and Universities, to confirm the numbers, is basing the predictions on historical trends. Of the 102,000 high school graduates in Ontario who are expected to apply and qualify for university entrance in September, York can accommodate 8,180.

Seasonal investing pays off for York prof

On May 3, The Globe and Mail profiled York University economist Perry Sadorsky, who finds merit in the old saw “Sell in May and go away” and adjusts his portfolio according to the calendar. An economics professor at York University’s Schulich School of Business, Sadorsky has long had an interest in modeling and simulations. Couple that with investing, along with the stock market’s mounds of historical data, and he had a natural research topic: seasonal portfolio switching. According to Sadorsky’s historical charts, someone who invested fully in the Canadian market from November to April, then moved fully into three-month T-bills for May through October, would have reaped an average annual return of 12.55 per cent, a 20- per-cent improvement over the buy-and-hold approach.

Law grad captures Canadian squash title

The Winnipeg Sunsaid Monday that York law grad Marnie Baizley put her law career off just a bit longer in order to first capture the women’s singles title at the Canadian squash championship in Edmonton Saturday. Baizley, who graduated from York University’s Osgoode Hall Law School May 2 and begins work as a lawyer today, downed three-time national champion Melanie Jans of Toronto 9-6, 5-9, 3-9, 9-6, 9-4, said the Sun.

Phonics wars reignites

When the provincial government vowed in its throne speech last week to make phonics tools available to all schools, some called it a right-wing vote grab, others claimed it does not go far enough, reported The Toronto Star May 5. Clearly phonics is still a hot-button term. But whether you use the loaded term “phonics” or the newer politically correct term “sound-symbol analysis,” all teachers teach children to decode words by recognizing letters, said Sharon Murphy, professor at York University’s Faculty of Education. In the end, though, “our goal is to teach reading, not phonics,” said Murphy.

York prof is fairness adviser in Calgary development

A York professor, who helped Calgary clean up after its East Village development debacle, will be used to ensure history isn’t repeated with a major Bridgeland redevelopment, reported Calgary dailies over the weekend. When eight properties in the first phase of redevelopment of the prime Calgary General Hospital site go on sale Tuesday, Prof. James McKellar, director of the Real Property Development Program at York University’s Schulich School of Business, will be used as a fairness adviser.

Biology is the new computer science

Biology has become the most sought-after subject on university campuses, surpassing computer science as the first choice of professionally minded students, reported the National Post Saturday. The vanished dream of dot-com riches has dampened student interest in computer science and drawn them instead to biology and its arcane sub-specialties: biochemistry, biophysics, biomedicine, cellular and molecular biology. Even obscure programs such as bioinformatics, the marriage of biology and computer science, are full. ”It used to be we couldn’t add computer science sections fast enough,” said Sheila Embleton, York University’s vice-president academic. These days, she is scrambling to make sure the Toronto university is equipped with enough biology labs, equipment and professors to deal with the unprecedented demand. Biology applications at York have shot up 124 per cent this year compared to last, to 2,505 students from 1,118, more than twice the effect of the double cohort. York’s biology degree is as competitive as its prestigious, undergraduate business program, Embleton said.

Not all biz caught up in Web, study shows

Canadian businesses are taking advantage of the Internet to improve their operations, but several still refuse to join the online revolution, according to a report issued by the Canadian e-Business Initiative May 1. The Ottawa Sun and The Globe and Mail said the initiative found that Canada’s small and medium-sized firms are making good use of the Internet, but there is room for improvement. Ron McClean, a professor at York University’s Schulich School of Business affiliated with the initiative, told the Sun the biggest obstacle for these firms is cost. The e-business initiative was launched by a group of six prominent Canadians, including York University President and Vice-Chancellor Lorna R. Marsden.