Schulich professor helps unveil the real face of Arab women

How Qatari male(s) and female(s) are occupying their personal space in their homes is the focus of a new gender study being launched by an expert at Qatar University [with the help of a York University marketing expert], wrote The Peninsula (Qatar), an English-language daily, in its online edition Jan. 9. Rana Sobh, who is credited with a series of internationally acclaimed behavioural studies, told The Peninsula that her latest venture is part of her mission to present a more accurate, normal and human face for Arab Muslim women.

Professor Russell Belk, a highly reputable academic from York University’s Schulich School of Business in Toronto, is her research partner, said the newspaper. "I held several discussions with my co-researcher. We wanted to do something original that fosters a better international understanding of Arab Muslim culture and stimulate beneficial research streams about home, identity, culture, consumption and gender. Finally, we were zeroing in on this topic," Sobh said.

"There is a lot of prejudice and misunderstandings of Middle Eastern women in the West. Middle Eastern women are depicted in the Western media as oppressed and ignorant. We rarely see normal Arab women at home with their families, in the office or workplace, or occupying professional positions as professors, engineers, or doctors," Sobh explained.

Osgoode team places second in The Hague

A team of third-year Osgoode Hall Law School of York University students placed second in the first International Criminal Court Justice competition in The Hague recently.

Students Josh Scheinert, Subhi Barakat and Sarah Boyd were part of the only Canadian team in the competition. The three were named Best Prosecutor and Best Judge.The team was sponsored by Friends of Simon Wiesenthal Center For Holocaust Studies.

Carleton’s new leader welcomes return to Canada

Roseann Runte, the US-born French-language scholar chosen as Carleton University’s next leader, says she always planned to return to Canada, where she has spent most of her career, after a stint of "training" as president of a US school, wrote The Globe and Mail Jan. 9.

"That was part of my career plan, as much as one has a career plan," Runte said after her widely anticipated selection was made official at a news conference. "It’s nice to come home," said Runte, 59, who became a Canadian citizen decades ago after landing a job at Dalhousie University in Halifax, the first of many Canadian stops in her career.

Making the journey north with Runte this summer will be her mother, her constant companion on the hopscotch tour from Dalhousie to York University’s Glendon College to the president’s job at Victoria University at the University of Toronto.

  • Carleton University introduced Runte as the first woman to lead the school amid unprecedented fanfare and a high sense of mission, wrote the Ottawa Citizen Jan. 9.

"I think that universities play an important role educating students," said Runte. "They play an important role in the community, teaching people to be good citizens. But they also contribute to the economy."

It’s full steam ahead for AcceleRide

AcceleRide just made another stop on the road to reality yesterday when federal Finance Minister Jim Flaherty came to Brampton to sign a $53-million funding agreement, wrote the Brampton Guardian Jan. 9.

The first phase of AcceleRide involves uniquely branded, enhanced services on Queen Street and Main Street, connecting to the Vaughan Corporate Centre, York University, GO Transit in Mississauga and York Region’s VIVA. AcceleRide involves ways of giving buses priority over other vehicles in terms of travel time, through-traffic signal priority and/or design features of the roadway including, in some cases, provision of separate bus ways. AcceleRide will also offer enhanced passenger facilities, information, and transit vehicles. The first phase is expected to be complete by 2010, with the final phase completed by 2021.

York prof says Orillia’s development plan is heading in right direction

Orillia, on a few fronts, seems to be moving in the right direction to avoid becoming just another bedroom community outside the "booming" Greater Golden Horseshoe, said Mark Winfield, professor in York University’s Faculty of Environmental Studies, in a story in the Orillia Packet and Times Jan. 9.

Protecting a heritage feel in its active downtown, nurturing the city’s budding university, and expanding recreational facilities can only lead to good things as long as further big-box retail halts on the periphery, said Winfield, who directed a community sustainability study of 27 Ontario municipalities for the Pembina Institute. "Those all help. Those are all very useful things," he said.

York Central Hospital offers first of its kind mentorship program in Canada

Through an innovative partnership with York University’s School of Nursing in the Faculty of Health, Patient Focused Care, mentors and new staff at Toronto’s York Central Hospital are given the opportunity to learn together building their relationships with each other and with patients and families,wrote the Hospital News in its January 2008 issue. An added bonus reported by those who took this class was that their learnings could be applied to their professional relationships with staff across the organization.

Oscar Peterson’s life to be celebrated in concert Saturday

The life of renowned Canadian jazz pianist Oscar Peterson, a former York University chancellor who died Dec. 23 at the age of 82, will be celebrated with a free concert Saturday, Jan. 12, wrote Inside Toronto (online) Jan. 8.

"York University is blessed that the greatest jazz pianist of our time was also the most generous when it came to sharing his talent," said York President and Vice-chancellor Mamdouh Shoukri in a media release.

The concert, which is open to the public, titled Oscar Peterson – Simply the Best, will take place Saturday, Jan. 12 at 4pm at Roy Thomson Hall in Toronto.

Stuttering Foundation of America uses York study to promote education

A newly released survey by Professor Marshall Rice of the Schulich School of Business at York University found 51 per cent of respondents – all of whom stutter – believe they would have a better job if they didn’t have the disorder, writes the Stuttering Foundation of America in Memphis, Tenn., on its Web site. Sixty-eight percent of those surveyed agreed with the statement: “I believe my capabilities, at times, have been misjudged by my supervisors because of my stuttering.”

“The results point to the need to further educate employers about stuttering,” Rice said. “Clearly, some employers do not understand stuttering and make incorrect assumptions about the abilities of their employees who stutter. This misunderstanding results in reduced employment and promotion opportunities.”

For this reason, the foundation offers an updated brochure, “Stuttering: Answers for Employers.”