York student wins achievement award

Keshia Khan is one of two recipients of the Rev. John C. Holland Youth Achievement Award, reported the Hamilton Spectator Feb. 2. The 19-year-old York University business administration student has a blockbuster resumé with numerous achievements and volunteer contributions, including work with the United Way. Two years ago, she was sent to Ottawa as the youth citizen representative for Hamilton and has been recognized for volunteerism both in the community and the United Nations. Presented by the Hamilton Black History Committee, the awards honour individuals who exemplify the life and values of the Rev. John C. Holland, former minister of Stewart Memorial Church.

Artist blossomed at York

Winnipeg painter and York University alumna Megan Vun Wong is living proof that success is all about hard work and a healthy attitude, reported the Winnipeg Free Press Feb. 1. “I’m multi-tasking all the time,” exclaimed the irrepressible artist, whose solo exhibition opened Feb. 2 at the Pavilion Gallery in Assiniboine Park. With a creative streak that displayed itself in calligraphy, she enrolled in fine arts at York University, where she discovered an aptitude for painting. “I was good at other things, too,” she said. “But my professors told me I had talent.” She graduated from York with a master of fine arts in visual arts in 1985.

The pride of her parents

Twenty years ago when her mother died suddenly, Rosemary Gauci was taken in by Jim and Wanda Kelly, reported the The Toronto Sun Feb. 1 in a feature about what happened to the orphaned teenager. Gauci is 34 now and, along with the Kellys’ two children, and their subsequent three grandchildren, she is the pride of their lives, said the Sun. After graduating from high school with honours, Gauci got an honours bachelor of arts degree from the University of Toronto, then a bachelor of social work in 1999 from York University. Then it was off to Halifax and Dalhousie University, where she attained her master’s degree.

Laxer’s border trek a call to difference

In a Toronto Star review Feb. 1 of James Laxer’s book The Border: Canada, The U.S. And Dispatches From The 49th Parallel, Alex Bozikovic says the York University political science professor is passionate that Canada should follow its own course, and resist the fearsome “hard-right assault” from those who favour Canadian “harmonization” with US policies. But it’s not enough simply to say that Canada is profoundly different from the US, argues the reviewer. The ominous abstractions of missile defense and homeland security have to be measured against the often mundane realities of life on the border. After travelling many miles and kilometres to do so, not even Laxer can make the threat real.

On air

  • Paul Delaney, astronomy professor in York’s Faculty of Pure & Applied Science, commented on the first anniversary of the destruction of the space shuttle Columbia, in a feature aired on CBC Newsworld’s “Sunday Report” and CBC TV’s “CBC News and Current Affairs” Feb. 1. He said, “They had so much faith in the vehicle, the space shuttle itself, it was an overbuilt vehicle, they figured it could sustain almost any measure of small little irregularities and still pull through. As a consequence, NASA just simply wasn’t listening to those nay-sayers who said we’ve got problems.”
  • Diane Michelangeli, a space scientist in York’s Faculty of Pure & Applied Science, was interviewed about Mars and the Phoenix Mars mission scheduled for 2007, on CBC French Radio Jan. 28.
  • Debra Pepler, psychology professor in York’s Faculty of Arts, was interviewed about a conference in Ottawa on anti-bullying and how to fight back against school violence, on “News 6 at 6” (CHRO-TV), Nepean, Jan. 30.
  • Saeed Rahnema, political science professor, and Haideh Moghissi, a social science professor, in York’s Atkinson Faculty of Liberal & Professional Studies, reflected on the 25th anniversary of the Iranian revolution and how the revolution has affected the country, on CBC Newsworld’s “Foreign Assignment” Feb. 1.
  • Penelope Reed Doob, Chair of the Dance Department in York’s Faculty of Fine Arts, discussed Robert Altman’s movie The Company, on TVO’s “Studio 2” Jan. 30.