Universities urged to aid skilled immigrant workers

Universities could be doing more to help new immigrants join the Ontario labour market, from providing better advice before enrolment to encouraging entrepreneurship and building more work placements and language training into the curriculum, reported the Toronto Star June 29. Those were some of the suggestions made at a forum that recently brought together academics, administrators, employers and public-sector workers at Ryerson University to talk about the role universities can play in addressing the institutional and social barriers immigrants face. Part of the solution is to increase the number and availability of such programs, said Rhonda Lenton, dean of the Atkinson Faculty of Liberal & Professional Studies at York University. “The majority of immigrants who are coming into the country have an increasingly high educational set of skills,” she said. It’s hard to expect people with years of experience in a particular field to start over. “In many cases, individuals are only missing specific types of skills or courses.”

Pioneering teacher Karen Weiss’s kindergarten was a haven of play

They are the lessons that last a lifetime: How to get in line, where to find the bathroom, how to hold a pencil, tidy your toys and count to 10. Over 44 years, hundreds of Toronto children learned those lessons from kindergarten teacher Karen Weiss, a former professor in York’s Faculty of Education, wrote the Toronto Star June 29. The teacher who began her career when John F. Kennedy was president and Wayne Gretzky was still wearing diapers has gone from mimeographs to e-mail. “I moved from film projectors to DVDs,” she recalled. Students and their parents say Weiss’s retirement marks the end of an era at Sunnylea Junior School in Etobicoke, where she has taught since 1989. Weiss says she knew she was born to be a teacher the day she started school herself in Windsor. In Grade 1, she was helping her teachers and classmates. By 1980 she was an adjunct professor at York University, where for about 20 years she helped teach other teachers.

Foley might hitch a flight with Argos to make brother’s wedding

Lions rookie defensive lineman Ricky Foley could be sleeping (or dozing) with the enemy after Friday’s Canadian Football League game, reported The Vancouver Sun June 29. The fourth pick in the 2006 CFL draft is trying to hitch a post-game ride back to Toronto on the Argos’ charter flight so he can be best man at his older brother’s wedding in Ontario on July 1. Since the game likely won’t end until just before 11pm, Foley doesn’t have a lot of regular flight options. York University’s male athlete of the year spent five weeks with the Baltimore Ravens before his release and will make his CFL baptism Friday on special teams. “Neil [McEvoy, the Lions’ assistant GM] and Mr. Rita [Argos’ GM Adam] are trying to work it out,” Foley says. “He’s very, very conscientious and he picks up things quickly,” Buono says of the decision to activate Foley.

Traves keeps position as Dalhousie president

Tom Traves has been unanimously reappointed to serve a third term as president and vice-chancellor of Dalhousie University, reported the Chronicle Herald (Halifax) in its online edition June 29. Traves was first appointed to the position in July 1995. He has served as vice-president of the University of New Brunswick and dean of arts at York University, and he serves on the boards of directors of Clearwater Seafood Holdings Trust, Innovacorp and the Greater Halifax Partnership.

Brantford baseball player looking to York for business degree

Prior to the start of the Intercounty Baseball League season, Brantford Red Sox assistant general manager Len Hannam said the team’s plan was to add talented players who were also quality individuals. That description fits third baseman Hyung Cho, reported Brantford Expositor June 29. What makes him stand out even more, at least among those in the Red Sox organization, is that the 23-year-old Etobicoke resident puts the team first. “During the last few years, I missed that college atmosphere where everything is win, win, win,” said Cho, who hopes to complete his business degree at York University in the future.