Men are up to the challenge of nursing

York alumnus Steve Ackland (BScN ’06) spent 18 years leaping from aircraft, tending bloody plane crash survivors and rescuing people lost at sea, wrote the Toronto Star June 16. As a former search-and-rescue technician trained in the military, he was accustomed to carrying 90 kilograms of equipment on his back.

But he’d be the first one to tell you that strength and toughness was only part of the job requirement. "I think you nurture in any of those occupations," says Ackland, 45, now an ER nurse at Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre in Toronto. When it came time for a second career, nursing was a logical choice. It capitalized on his previous training. And the portable skills and demand for nurses fit with his footloose spirit. Ackland graduated from the 2nd Degree Entry Nursing Program, now offered by York University’s Faculty of Health.

Nursing is highly technical, practical and political. And it’s a field more men should consider – about 5 per cent of nurses are male, wrote the Star.

  • At York University, where Ackland finished his nursing degree last year, there was still no men’s washroom on the floor, wrote the Toronto Star in another story on Ackland June 16. Men can excel in the nurturing professions, he says. It’s "innate in all of us. Those who don’t have soft skills get themselves into trouble." But he also stresses that, as a man, he brings a different sensibility to the job. It’s hard to measure, but you can feel it in his laid-back but efficient approach, the wry sense of humour.

Hillel@York hockey team scores higher

York University’s Hillel hockey team played harder and better – and became more well-known – this season than ever before, wrote the Canadian Jewish News June 14. “We’re no longer looked at as an easy win,” said forward and alternate captain Brian Gerskup (BA ’06). “I think this year we won more games than we have any other year,” said Shawn Groyeski, centre, team captain and chair of Hillel sports at York. “That’s attributed to us going out and finding a good group of guys who want to play and want to win.”

With a $1,500 gift from Howard Sokolowski, CEO of the Tribute Communities building firm [and a member of the York University Foundation board of directors], the team was able to subsidize the cost of 40 jerseys, wrote the News. The uniform helped the team become recognized both on and off the ice, as people would wear the shirt on campus to show their support.

BMO takes life cycle for a spin

BMO Investments Inc. yesterday jumped on the trendy bandwagon of life-cycle funds, which package up investments so asset allocation gets more conservative with time, wrote the National Post June 18 . BC-based certified financial planner Fred Kirby says life-cycle funds help investors avoid the "sequence-of-return" risk described by Moshe Milevsky, finance professor in York’s Schulich School of Business. For those who suddenly find themselves managing their own portfolios, they may help them stick with long-term plans and avoid the behavioural biases of chasing performance or failing to rebalance.

Men and women function differently

The Toronto Star published an excerpt, on June 16 from Diane Goudie’s address at convocation ceremonies for graduates of the Atkinson Faculty of Liberal & Professional Studies held on June 13. Goudie is co-founder of girl-centred Linden School in Toronto.

Anthropology graduate makes film about Calgary’s housing crisis

"Calgary is really, deeply reflected in this film," says Brent Spiess (BA ’82), the director of Calgary’s Affordable Housing Crisis, an 85-minute film that screened on Sunday, June 17 at the Plaza Theatre, wrote The Calgary Herald June 16. Spiess studied anthropology and political science in York’s Faculty of Arts. "We’ve got the people in the streets, homeless people, we’ve got the wealthy and the downtown, the inner-city districts – Mission to Kensington to Inglewood – I think what we’re trying to do is reflect back the soul of the city," Spiess said.

Former Lion Corbin becomes an Alouette

Former York University linebacker Jarred Corbin has been added to the roster of the Canadian Football League’s Montreal Alouettes, wrote The Gazette (Montreal) June 16.

The resurrection of ‘Deadmonton’

Deadmonton. Edmonchuk. Canada’s Boiler Room. City of Chumpions. Edmonton Mayor Stephen Mandel has heard all the insults about the city he leads, and then some, wrote The Globe and Mail June 16. Alan Middleton, a marketing professor at York’s Schulich School of Business, said a city like Edmonton has a long road ahead in improving its reputation and raising its profile.

Not only is "place branding" one of the most competitive and fastest-growing areas of global marketing, Middleton said, but Edmonton also faces stiff competition within its own province. "It’s those darn Calgarians," he said with a chuckle. "They get all the attention."

New incarnations for houses of God

The Web site, Places of Worship in West Toronto, is the result of 10 years of research, on foot, in interviews and in archives by York Professor Roberto Perin, of Glendon’s History Department, and Gabe Scardellato, of the Department of Languages, Literatures & Linguistics in the Faculty of Arts, wrote the Toronto Star June 17. The Sunday Star wrote about their project two years ago, and they expressed their hope that a Web site or walking-tour guide might emerge from their research. The result is a clearly organized reference tool, with hundreds of photos and text on the social history of each building, which can be called up by clicking on a map.

About 35 people, mostly professors, students and a few clergymen, were at a celebration in Glendon’s York Hall to launch the site. Perin, who shares with Scardellato an interest in immigrant history, highlighted a half-dozen or so of the 240 places of worship they chronicled.

York grads’ work on interactive Web site generates international acclaim

From the fruit stands of Kensington Market, Xenophile Media founders Thomas Wallner (BFA ’91) and Patrick Crowe (BFA ’90) jetted to Cannes in April to pick up the award for their pioneering multimedia work on the television science fiction series “ReGenesis” – which combined interactivity to a degree never before seen in a TV series, wrote the Toronto Star June 18.

"You can’t just expect people to watch a show on Sunday and then come back again next week – the TV universe is too fragmented – you need to bring them into a more immersive world, so they will follow along with you," says Wallner, 40, co-founder and president of Xenophile Media in Toronto.

Wallner and Crowe met while studying film in York’s Faculty of Fine Arts. The two come from a traditional filmmaking background, but decided to take a chance in 2001 by starting their own production company looking at new media.

Jackets abuzz over new GM

New team general manager Scott Howson (BA ’87, LLB ’90) says he understands the frustration felt by fans of the Columbus Blue Jackets, whose first six seasons in the NHL have been losers, wrote the Kingston Whig-Standard June 16. "Every fan wants hope and that’s what we’re going to provide them. I think we’re headed in the right direction," said Howson, the former Kingston Canadians star who was formally introduced yesterday as the club’s new GM. "I have one simple goal: To build a championship team that consistently performs at the highest level," Howson said.

  • Howson will be on the stage at the Nationwide Arena in Columbus next Friday night posing for a picture with his Blue Jackets’ first draft pick while their fired GM Doug MacLean is in the building as a talking head for TSN, wrote The Edmonton Journal June 16.

That could be as uncomfortable as being at your ex girlfriend’s wedding for MacLean, but what’s also interesting is Howson will be sitting at the Columbus draft table, just 10 days after the former Edmonton Oilers assistant GM sat through intensive meetings with the Oilers scouts about what kids they have their eyes on draft day.

Howson, who only got into 18 NHL games with the Islanders because they were so deep at centre in the ’80s, quit playing and graduated from York’s Osgoode Hall Law School in 1990.

He was a practising lawyer until one day in 1994, he got up the nerve to write Edmonton Oilers GM Glen Sather to ask for a job, when there was an opening to run their farm team in Cape Breton. "I really had no interest in getting into hockey management when I quit playing and became a lawyer, but my passion for hockey got rekindled," said Howson.

Make way for the CEOs of summer

Lolly Herman (BA ’05, BEd ’06), owner of Under the Umbrella Tree Educational Services, Inc., was bitten by the entrepreneurial bug at her first job with a Toronto child-development centre, wrote The Globe and Mail June 16. "I wasn’t happy with the services they were providing, and that’s when I decided to branch out on my own, start my own school for autistic children and others with related disorders," she says.

At first, the York University grad was just providing weekend sessions in a strip mall on Sheppard Avenue near Bathurst, which included behavioural classes and tutoring for clients two to 18 years old. But one day a parent said to her, "You are making my son talk. I am coming back with him on Monday." Herman protested, but the dad’s desperation was so great that he just showed up. "He came with his kid, and my dad called me to come over and get him. That’s how I went full-time."

Alan Clarke steered Canada’s answer to the Peace Corps through rough water

Over the years, Alan Martin Clarke fought for many causes, both as an employee and as a citizen volunteer, wrote The Globe and Mail in an obituary June 16. Early in his career, he played a key role in the establishment of Toronto’s York University.

He first came to national prominence in the 1960s as head of the beleaguered Company of Young Canadians (CYC), [from which he eventually resigned after being forced to fire a person accused of separatist leanings], wrote the Globe.

He was employed during his university years, and immediately after, by the YMCA. In 1958, while serving as founder and first director of the Centre for Adult Education at the YMCA’s North Toronto branch, he was a member of the group that set up York University. York recognized his contribution in 1992 by awarding him an honorary degree.

On air

  • Bernie Wolf, economics professor in York’s Schulich School of Business, spoke about foreign ownership of Canadian companies on BNN-TV’s “Market Morning” June 18.