Honours abound for members of the Faculty of Health

The Faculty of Health has seen a number of its members win awards and honours over the 2008-2009 academic year. The following is a sampling of some of the accolades:

Sue Coffey, a nursing professor, received the Excellence in Teaching Award from the Council of Ontario University Programs in Nursing (COUPN) in April, in recognition of her holistic approach to teaching as well as her coordination of the Bachelor of Science in Nursing for Internationally Educated Nurses Program. The COUPN Excellence in Teaching Award recognizes a faculty member’s excellence in teaching and caring for student learning and student well-being, as well as the ability to motivate students to exceed their own expectations. COUPN is an affiliate of the Council of Ontario Universities. Coffey’s research interests relate to the themes of clinical excellence and understanding nurses’ experiences in practice. 

Right: Sue Coffey and Charles Anyinam

Professor Elsabeth Jensen and lecturer Charles Anyinam of York’s School of Nursing are on this year’s Nightingale Honour Roll as presented by the Toronto Star during Nursing Week in May. Jensen’s professional career has been predominantly in mental health nursing practice. She has practised as a staff nurse, nurse manager, clinical nurse specialist and consultant. Her career has included institutional, community and independent practice. Her clinical and research interests are in mental health, interpersonal violence, program evaluation, knowledge integration/translation, models of discharge care, homelessness/housing and health, and health policy.

In addition to the Nightingale award, Anyinam also received the HUB Fellowship from the Registered Nurses’ Association of Ontario (RNAO) this year. The award is given to those who have made outstanding contributions to the nursing profession in Ontario. Anyinam was selected for this award because he is passionate about nursing leadership, committed to bringing about positive change for nursing and health care in Ontario, dedicated to the education of nursing students and strongly believes mentors and technology are excellent teaching tools. He is co-creator, along with Coffey, of Ontario Nursing Connection, an innovative Web site that matches more than 100 nurses and nursing students in short-term mentor relationships. The Web site focuses on leadership and interprofessional practice. Anyinam was presented with the award at the RNAO Annual General Meeting in April.

Martin Steinbach (left), Distinguished Research Professor of Psychology & Biology at York, an ophthalmology professor and director of research at the University of Toronto, as well as the head of Vision Science Research Program at Toronto Western, has won the prestigious 2009 Kupfer Award, given by the Association for Research in Vision & Ophthalmology. It honours those who have demonstrated distinguished public service on behalf of eye and vision research.

Ira Jacobs (right), chair of the School of Kinesiology & Health Science, is the new president-elect of the Canadian Council of University Physical Education & Kinesiology Administrators (CCUPEKA). This will require a four-year commitment with CCUPEKA on their executive – two years as president-elect, one year as president in 2010-2011 and a year as past president. Jacobs also has an internationally recognized research record. His work focuses on the health implications of nutritional and pharmacological interactions with physical exertion, physiological responses to environmental challenges and skeletal muscle metabolism. Jacobs has had more than 100 articles published in peer-reviewed journals, along with a range of book chapters, conference proceedings, reports and international presentations.

Jason Vescovi, a postdoctoral fellow in York’s School of Kinesiology & Health Science, has been awarded the 2009-2010 Ontario Council on Graduate Studies Postdoctoral Ontario Women’s Health Scholar Award. Vescovi is a postdoctoral fellow with Jacobs and this $40,000 award is on the basis of his research application, “Effects of Acute Aerobic Exercise on the Pharmacokinetics of the Transdermal Patch in Premenopausal Physical Active Women.” This is the first time that anyone at York has received the OCGS Postdoctoral Ontario Women’s Health Scholar Award.

Kinesiology and health science Professor Denise Henriques has been awarded a 2009 Alfred P. Sloan Foundation Research Fellowship. Henriques is studying two central aspects of sensorimotor function – how the brain represents and processes spatial information at different stages of an action and how the brain integrates and interprets data from multiple senses to drive motor learning. The Sloan Research Fellowships, which seek to stimulate fundamental research by early-career scientists and scholars of outstanding promise, give researchers $50,000 over two years to pursue their research of interest. These fellowships are awarded in recognition of distinguished performance and a unique potential to make substantial contributions to their field.

David Rennie (left) and York’s Department of Psychology were recipients of the Charlotte & Karl Bühler Award given by the Society of Humanistic Psychology, a division of the American Psychological Association. The award goes to an institution and an individual who have made an outstanding and lasting contribution to humanistic psychology. It is the first time since the year 2000 that the award is being given out.

Psychology Professor Rebecca Pillai Riddell won the Canadian Pain Society’s 2009 Early Career Award (see YFile, March 4) for her research into infant pain.

In addition, six Faculty of Health members are recipients of the recently announced 2008-2009 York Faculty of Health Awards. They include Pillai Riddell for the Psychology Research Award – Early Career; kinesiology and health science Professor David Hood for the Research Award – Established Career; Anyinam for the Teaching Award – Early Career; nursing Professor Beryl Pilkington for the Teaching Award – Established Career; psychology Professor Yvonne Bohr for the Service Award – Early Career; and psychology Professor Laurence Harris, chair of the Department of Psychology, for the Service Award – Established Career.