Prof helps rebuild medical services in Rwanda

A team of university experts flew to Rwanda July 5 to work on a $1.5-million six-year plan to train more doctors and nurses in the central African country, reported The London Free Press July 6. The team’s Rebuilding Health in Rwanda partnership with the Rwandan institutions would help the country with two major problems – HIV/AIDS and lingering trauma from the 1994 genocide during which 800,000 minority Tutsis and politically moderate Hutus were murdered, said team leader Dr. David Cechetto, a researcher in cell biology at the University of Western Ontario. Mental health specialist Susan McGrath, a professor in York’s Atkinson School of Social Work, will help with programs aimed at women and children traumatized by violence.

Laxer praises new NDP chief of staff

James Laxer, a political science professor in York’s Atkinson Faculty of Liberal & Professional Studies and former New Democratic Party research director, says the party must be frustrated with the election’s outcome, reported The Globe and Mail July 6. “They had a huge head of steam going on during the campaign and most of the polls showed them doing better than they ended up doing,” Laxer said. He said he has no inside knowledge of the reasons behind chief of staff Donne Flanagan’s exit from the NDP inner circle, but praised the appointment to the post of Dick Proctor, who lost his Saskatchewan seat by 124 votes. “Dick Proctor is a very shrewd and smart person, both as an MP and as a guy who understands party strategy and understands the party from a long-term perspective,” he said. “So I think he’s a terrific guy to get in that kind of position.”

On air

  • CBC Radio hosts Bernard St. Laurent and Jian Ghomeshi (BA ’95) asked music experts like York’s Rob Bowman to identify the best songs from the period 1900 to 1929, as part of a list of the 50 best songs of the 20th century, on “Sounds like Canada” July 5. Bowman, a musicology professor in York’s Faculty of Fine Arts and a Grammy award winner for liner notes, recommended St. Louis Blues, written by W.C. Handy and recorded by Bessie Smith in 1925.