Planned education Chair named after former MP and York board member

Former MP Jean Augustine, the first black woman elected to the House of Commons, will see her legacy live on in the form of a Chair in her honour in York’s Faculty of Education, wrote The Toronto Sun Sept. 3. This coming Sunday the former member of York’s Board of Governors (1991 to 1994) is being feted at a birthday brunch in honour of her 70th birthday. The brunch is also serving as a fundraiser for the newly formed Jean Augustine Chair in Education in the New Urban Environment, in York’s Faculty of Education.

How to get a glowing reference letter

The right place to look for a reference letter, wrote The Toronto Sun Sept. 5, is among soon-to-be former instructors, the experts say. So, having picked out the instructor most likely to remember you and, you hope, give you a good reference, what next? Cathy Boyd-Withers, a learning skills counsellor in York’s Counselling & Development Centre, suggests some common sense courtesy. A student who wants a reference needs to be considerate, says Boyd-Withers, so asking by e-mail doesn’t cut it. A phone call will do, she says, but a personal visit is preferable; and offer the prof some reminders about who you are and which courses you took.

When many careers are better than one

People who wear several career hats, wrote the The Globe and Mail Sept. 5, are also part of a generation that recognizes working for one company for life – as their parents often did – is not the road to career success, experts say. "There has been a shift from being loyal to a company to being loyal to yourself," says Stephen Friedman, whose own career portfolio includes being an executive career coach, part-time professor in York University’s Schulich School of Business, newspaper columnist and volunteer at his Toronto synagogue. "These people get meaning and passion out of their work. At the end of the day they can say…I did what I want to do and that got me excited’,’" Friedman says. "These people are redefining success: it is not about money in the bank but what they do and what they accomplish."

Osgoode’s Tory apologizes for U of O crack

Ontario Progressive Conservative leader John Tory (LLB ’78) has apologized for the crack he made in which he referred to the U of O (University of Ottawa) as the U of zero, wrote the Ottawa Citizen Sept. 5. Tory, who went to the University of Toronto and completed his law degree at York’s Osgoode Hall Law School, said it’s common to hear students tease each other about their schools. "Students poked fun at their rival universities in my era and still do today," said Tory.

Right to Play marketer chose York for a partnership

In 2005, Warren Spires joined the non-profit organization Right to Play – which uses sports to improve health, build life skills and foster peace in countries affected by war, poverty and disease – when it expanded into Canada, wrote Strategy magazine Sept. 1. With a minimal marketing budget, Spires came up with ideas like partnering with York University‘s Sport Administration Program, encouraging students to dream up ways to raise funds for Right to Play.

Former student plans a China trip to help women

Former York student and Cobourg, Ont., resident Joanna Biggs – who now lives in Surrey, England – is planning a trip to the Great Wall of China next April in support of that country’s Women’s Aid National 24 Hour Domestic Violence Helpline, wrote the Port Hope Evening Guide Sept. 5. She credits her travels for her interest in women’s and children’s issues. "My husband has inspired me to take on this challenge – he has completed charity cycle rides in Morocco and the Himalayas in Nepal, and it’s a great way to raise funds and awareness for a great cause while challenging yourself physically and mentally," she said. In her quest to raise $2,000 for the cause, she will be hiking more than 65 kilometres of the demanding terrain of the Great Wall, starting in Beijing.