Slain woman helped newcomers

York alumna Rispah Adala (BA ’00) believed that charity begins at home, wrote The Toronto Star March 30. That’s why the 32-year-old bank manager always found time in her busy schedule to mentor new immigrants, raise funds for AIDS eradication and to volunteer with an organization committed to promoting the settlement of people from her native Kenya. "She had a passion for helping out," recalled Ben Ondoro, president of the Kenyan Community in Ontario, to which Adala had volunteered her time for the past five years.

On March 28, that tireless passion was cut short. Her body was discovered in the high-rise condo she shared with her husband, Julios Okiria Otukol, 34, who was charged with second-degree murder and appeared in court March 29.

  • A beautiful young woman is dead, her newlywed husband is charged with murder, and a community is in mourning following a domestic dispute at a North York highrise this week, wrote The Toronto Sun March 30. Rispah Adala, 32, a well-educated and highly respected member of Toronto’s Kenyan community, was found lifeless and suffering from "obvious signs of trauma" around 3pm Wednesday in her eighth-floor apartment at 35 Finch Ave. E. after her husband called 911 and reported his wife was not breathing. Ben Ondoro, president of the Kenyan Community in Ontario, said KCO has been flooded with e-mails from grief-stricken Kenyans around the world who have spent time in Canada and knew Adala.

North York residents – and York profs – in the news

A finance professor from the Schulich School of Business at York University has won a prestigious international award for excellence in financial research writing, wrote the North York Mirror March 27 in its People column. Schulich associate professor of finance Moshe Milevsky will receive a Graham and Dodd Scroll Award of Excellence for 2006 for a research paper that he co-authored together with Peng Chen, Roger G. Ibbotson, and Kevin X. Zhu, a Schulich PhD graduate. The Graham and Dodd awards were established by the Financial Analysts Journal in 1960 to recognize excellence in financial writing.

After 10 seasons and three Ontario University Athletics East Coach of the Year awards, York University women’s volleyball head coach Hernan Humana is retiring from university coaching, wrote the North York Mirror. The School of Kinesiology & Health Science professor will continue his teaching duties and serve as an academic adviser for the volleyball program.

Renovations planned for York teacher training site

The Durham Catholic District School Board’s Giffard Centre is about to get more than $500,000 in renovations, none of which it’s paying for, wrote Oshawa-Whitby-Clarington This Week March 29. York University’s Faculty of Education has some new plans for the centre, located in Whitby, which it leases from the board as one of its off-campus teacher education sites. The project includes changes to the existing school building to better accommodate its existing students and the addition of Ajax students, which will increase its student population from the current 70 to 120, according to a school board report.

Former top planner sees plenty of housing space

Paul Bedford isn’t just a man with a plan – he wrote Toronto’s official plan. And Toronto’s former chief planner doesn’t blink an eye when I ask if he eats, breathes and sleeps urban planning, wrote The Globe and Mail March 30. Since retiring in 2004 after 31 years with the city, he’s been imparting his ideas to students at York University and the University of Toronto. One of Bedford’s biggest ideas is that Toronto can accommodate all of its new people without paving over another acre of farmland, since there’s plenty of space in the old city of Toronto and the inner-ring suburbs of Etobicoke, North York and Scarborough.