Randal Dooley lives on in bursary

“On a sunny day in October 1998, I watched a community in grief take turns shovelling dirt onto the polished casket of 7-year-old Randal Dooley,” wrote The Toronto Sun’s Thane Burnett April 13. “A victim of a cruel father, an evil stepmother, and the failings of institutions which found reasons they couldn’t help the tortured boy in his short existence.

“Then yesterday, I sat in an auditorium at Westview Centennial Secondary School and was given a slight reprieve from dismal and pessimistic notions. It was when 18-year-old Alanna Clarke walked to a microphone to explain about her beginning, at the expense of Randal’s end. That she was given the opportunity robbed of the little boy in 1998. That she was – thank you – making the most of it. Exams this week and next will finish Alanna’s first year at York University’s Faculty of Arts. Last year, while at Westview, she was given a Randal Dooley Memorial Bursary. The grant, started in 2002 in Randal’s name, gives kids in the Jane-Finch community financial help in studying at York University. These are students who, normally, may have a hard time swinging the first year of university.

“‘I’ve thought about him (Randal) a lot lately,’ said Alanna, after the gathering. ‘That something good came out of something so bad.’ Alanna’s parents are everything Randal’s were not – supportive and proud. Her younger sister now dreams of being a doctor. Alanna wants to graduate on the honour roll. One day open her own business. Randal – sadly and happily – is helping that happen.”

The commemoration at Westview and the York bursary were also mentioned on CBC Radio’s “Metro Morning” April 12.

Some driven to sharing the wheels

For Kimberley Glaze and two of her York University co-workers, who commute from Angus, southwest of Barrie, every day to the northwest Toronto campus, the price of gas is a major incentive to car pool, reported the Toronto Star April 13. Cheerfully recounting her arduous daily travels, Glaze, 35, says car pooling is all about “communication and consideration,” starting with a round of 6:30am phone calls each day to work out who will drive. “The driver picks the radio station,” Glaze said, but admitted, “we all have very different taste in music. One of our riders doesn’t like Rush. Most of the times, you just live through it. If you need to sleep, you sleep and the other two talk.”

The Star noted that York University, fearing a parking shortage, has reduced the number of single-occupancy vehicles on campus to 40 per cent from 60 per cent of all passenger vehicles, while the student body has increased 10,000, over the past three years. University officials cite more buses on campus, a new GO train stop nearby, a ride-matching program and a van pool for a few staff members in Barrie.

The Star story also featured a photo of Glaze, manager of employee development and communications in York’s Facilities Services, Rhonda Doucette, accounting assistant in York’s Faculty of Graduate Studies, and Angele Desjardins, payroll clerk in York’s Human Resources and Employee Relations Department, making a Tim Hortons toast to their car-pooled weekday trip from Angus.

Glaze and Desjardins were also interviewed about car pooling on CBC Radio’s “Metro Morning” April 12.

Course harnesses talents of middle managers

In the course of her day-to-day responsibilities as a manager in the consumer card group at American Express Canada Inc., Noella de Souza rarely has the luxury of stepping back and contemplating ”the big picture.” So when Amex hand-picked de Souza and two dozen other high-potential middle managers from its 3,500 employees to participate in its customized “distinguished leadership university” at York University’s Schulich School of Business, she embraced the opportunity, reported The Globe and Mail April 12. At regular intervals over the past six months, de Souza and her cohorts, drawn from all functions of the company’s business, have immersed themselves in sessions on negotiation, business finance, project management, strategic planning, business communication, and leading and managing change. The course will conclude with the program’s graduates making their own recommendations on actual business strategies currently under consideration by Amex Canada’s senior executives. “It’s pretty intense and rewarding,” de Souza said during a break between classes in an airy lecture theatre at York. “It enables us to have a more strategic view of the company.”

On air

  • Dr. Joel Lexchin, professor in York’s School of Health Policy & Management and emergency doctor with University Health Network, was the guest on CBC Radio’s phone-in show “Ontario Today” April 12. The phone-in question was: How confident are you in the safety of prescription drugs?
  • Chen Kupperman, a 14-year-old math whiz in his first year at York, his mother Sara Kupperman, and Robert Tiffin, acting vice-president students at York, were interviewed about Chen attending the University, April 12 on Global TV’s “Global News” and City-tv’s “CityPulse Tonight.”
  • Prof. Andrea O’Reilly, coordinator of York’s Women’s Studies Bridging Program, talked about the program as it is offered through the Bradford Adult Centre, on Barrie’s “VR Land News” April 12.
  • Thabit Abdullah Sam, professor of Middle East history in York’s Faculty of Arts, joined academics and a journalist for a discussion of the impact of the election in Iraq, on “Michael Coren Live” on CTS-TV April 12.