Atkinson community celebrates research and teaching excellence

The Atkinson Faculty of Liberal & Professional Studies will celebrate research and teaching excellence today during a special event that brings together researchers and faculty members with community and industry partners. The event will be held in the CIBC Lobby and Tribute Communities Recital Hall in the Accolade East Building – all members of the York community are welcome to attend.

From 10am to 2pm Atkinson will showcase some of the innovative and collaborative research projects faculty members are engaged in. It will be followed by a special afternoon session on teaching innovations from 2 to 6:30pm.

Last year, the Faculty held a research celebration that brought together more than 200 researchers, stakeholders and community partners. This year, Atkinson wanted to emphasize the link between research and teaching and make teaching a formal part of the celebration.

“Atkinson faculty are bringing their research out into the community and into their classrooms in exciting and innovative ways,” says Kelly Thomson (right), associate dean of research & faculty development, and key organizer of the event. “The celebration is an ideal way for us to share these innovations with community and business leaders, and to highlight the ways in which they can be of benefit to individuals and organizations.” 

This year’s research event is the last that will be held before the launch on July 1 of the new Faculty of Liberal Arts & Professional Studies, which will succeed Atkinson and the Faculty of Arts, combining the strengths of both.

During the Atkinson session, attendees will discover the latest in cutting-edge research in their field, participate in round-table discussions with researchers and partners, as well as network with top-tier industry and community professionals. Chancellor Roy McMurtry will chair a session on social justice, featuring the following Atkinson researchers:

  • Jelena Zikic, School of Administrative Studies, will discuss immigrants and un/underemployment.
  • Merle Jacobs, School of Social Sciences, will explore the role of social and economic justice in health care.
  • David Etkin, School of Administrative Studies, will examine the perspectives emergency managers have in Ontario.
  • Brenda Spotton Visano, Department of Economics and the School of Public Policy & Administration, will present on capacity building in the Black Creek community.

“The celebration is a wonderful opportunity to showcase our researchers and to cultivate ideas that may lead to the development of new research partnerships within the community,” says Kay Li, Atkinson’s research officer. “Our special session on social justice will really outline the ways in which Atkinson research is being used to make a positive footprint.”

The afternoon session on teaching will explore some of the University-community projects Atkinson is currently involved in. Attendees will hear from community partners, students and faculty about the Experiential Education Office’s partnership with State Farm Insurance on disaster preparedness in the Black Creek community; the Knowledge Exchange Project (KNOWLEX) student/faculty community exchange; and The Ontario Research & Innovation Optical Network (ORION) projects, which help to provide new resources for schools and researchers.

The session will be followed by a question-and-answer period led by Public Policy Professor James Simeon, round-table discussions and a celebration of part-time faculty.

Throughout the day the Atkinson community will also honour winners of this year’s Dean’s Award for Excellence in Research and the Dean’s Award for Excellence in Teaching.

For more information, e-mail Those interested in attending can RSVP for the event online.