The challenge of having it all

The Nov. 12 edition of the Toronto Sun featured York President and Vice-Chancellor Lorna R. Marsden and alumna Colleen Johnston (BBA ’82), executive vice-president of finance operations at TD Bank Financial Group. The pair were among a group of seven women with connections to the University who were honoured at a luncheon celebrating Canada’s Most Powerful Women: Top 100, chosen by the Women’s Executive Network. Both women told the Sun that the challenge of having it all, work and family, is an issue that is widespread among today’s women. “My generation fought hard to get women in the workforce, now the big barrier is childcare,” said Marsden. The president holds a degree in sociology from the University of Toronto and a PhD from Princeton University and said she chose not to have children. “In my era you made a choice,” she said.

Johnston said while many workplaces are making positive advances in supporting childcare initiatives and other family support programs, “making a strong contribution to business, community and family is a challenge lots of people face.” In addition to her professional success, Johnston chairs the board of directors at Bridgepoint Health, a 500-bed hospital that offers care and rehabilitation for complex diseases and disability.

Argos sports therapist studied at York

Football is a man’s game played exclusively by men, coached exclusively by men and run (almost) exclusively by men, said the National Post Nov. 12. But an exception is York alumna Erin Brooks (BA ’99), who planned to be with the Toronto Argonauts Sunday when they faced the Montreal Alouettes in the Canadian Football League’s East Division final. She might need to have the game explained to her, the article said, if she is not too busy making sure that an Argo or two can make it on to the field. “I’m getting better,” says Brook, the Argos’ head athletic therapist. “Every once in a while, if there’s something that happens on the field and there’s one of the guys who isn’t dressing or something, I’ll kind of say ‘What happened there?’ And they’ll explain what the call was or why that happened. So I pick up things as I go. I know a lot more now than I did when I started.” It was a position the now 29-year-old Toronto native coveted since she was a student in York University’s sports therapy program in the late 1990s, the Post said.

Urge to update Canada’s military started with end of Cold War

As Canada joins the global race to modernize its military, analysts say the country and its allies have been forced to examine the business case for defence-related IT systems. How do governments afford them and which are relevant to their needs?, asked The Daily News (Halifax) Nov. 12. Although revolutionizing the military has been discussed at “various junctures in history,” the concept achieved particular currency as the Cold War ended and began to appear in military and scholarly literature, explained Martin Shadwick, a defence analyst with the York Centre for International and Security Studies. Shadwick also commented on Canada’s defence funding. “I don’t think there’d be a defence analyst in the country who would tell you that the capital share of the defence budget is adequate to modernize the armed forces,” he said. 

York alum’s acting plans tipped 

Gemini award nominee and former York fine arts student Shawn Doyle, of television’s “The Eleventh Hour”, is apparently leaving for the greener pastures of HBO, reported the trade publication Playback Nov. 8. It said Doyle, who played righteous story producer Dennis Langley in the first two seasons of the TV journo-drama, may be written off in “dramatic fashion” in the series’ third season. Born in Newfoundland, the 36-year-old actor honed his performing skills at York University. He has been nominated twice before: for his supporting role in the series “The City” in 1999 and for his lead role in the mystery “A Killing Spring” in 2002. Doyle recently appeared on an episode of “CSI: Crime Scene Investigation”, the article noted.

On air

  • David Dewitt, director of the York Centre for International and Security Studies at York, was interviewed about Yasser Arafat successor Mahmoud Abbas on Toronto’s 680 News radio Nov. 11.