Glendon bids farewell to Professor Evelyne Corcos

A large assembly of faculty, staff and students joined members of the Corcos family for a farewell tribute to Glendon psychology Professor Evelyne Corcos, who died on July 8 at the age of 62, after a lengthy illness.

Corcos had taught at Glendon since 1991 and worked part time as a disabilities counsellor for several years at the Glendon Counselling & Career Centre.

Right: Tim Moore

“Evelyne was an ambassador for the discipline and a role model for the students,” said Tim Moore, chair of the Department of Psychology at Glendon. “Students reported that she epitomized the word ‘teacher’ and personified the type of educator they were hoping to become.” Moore added that, over the years, Professor Corcos participated in numerous University committees, including as faculty liaison on Glendon’s information technology committee. “She took part in so many University committees with grace, tact and humour, which qualified her for sainthood. Evelyne was collegial, with a strong work ethic and commitment to students and scholarship. We were the better for her presence in the department and diminished by her passing.”

Left: Albert Corcos, Evelyne Corcos’ brother

Glendon Principal Kenneth McRoberts said that “…in every community there are outstanding people who work with commitment and energy. We have lost a critical individual from our midst and are left with a sense of great loss. I can’t imagine Glendon, the Senior Common Room [Glendon’s faculty club] or committees without Evelyne. She had a deep commitment to teaching, research and students’ welfare.” McRoberts confirmed that Corcos’ innovative research will continue through the participation of her research associates.

“Evelyne was a great asset, someone who was passionate about and sincerely interested in the students,” said Pamela Broley, director of Glendon Counselling & Disability Services (formerly the Glendon Counselling & Career Centre).

Right: Pam Broley, director of Glendon Counselling & Disability Services

Corcos established the peer tutoring program at the centre, in collaboration with career counsellor Sharon Tarshis. She also created In-Genius, bilingual, interactive software, completed in 2000, which functioned as an excellent study skills improvement tool. “Evelyne was a great friend to all of us at the centre,” said Broley. “She handled adversity with resilience, dignity and a wonderful sense of humour. Her stories about her beloved pets, her voice and her laughter surround us still and it is hard to believe that she is gone.”

Right: Glendon alumna Emilie Lavoie

Corcos’ brother, Albert Corcos, spoke on behalf of the family, thanking all those present for remembering her with them. “Everyone Evelyne cared for most in her life is present in this room,” he said. “She knew early on that she wanted to teach, but being a professor was the fourth career she had held. Starting as an elementary school teacher, she next undertook an enterprise – the Hamilton Learning Centre – and later went back to school in her mid-30s. She even drove a school bus to help support herself. Once she completed her PhD, she came to work at York University. Evelyne always lived her best life. And she always completed what she set out to do.”

Left: Glendon alumna Ameeta Dudani

Several other former colleagues paid tribute to Corcos, among them Glendon psychology Professor James Alcock; Sabine Lauffer, director of Glendon Information Technology Services; Vivienne Monty, a librarian at Glendon’s Leslie Frost Library; and Marika Kemeny, Glendon communications officer.

They all had memories to share about their friendships with Corcos, as well as about their motivating, innovative projects and collaborations with her. Among these was her Web-based intervention for social communication for at-risk adolescents (presented at the Third Annual Hawaii International Conference on Education in 2005); the use of the personal response system (clickers) in the classroom; her research on cartoons as tools for changing behaviour patterns; as well as her most recent and ongoing research project developing templates and content for a Web-based social skills intervention for at-risk adolescents, supported by a major Social Sciences & Humanities Research Council of Canada grant in 2008.

Left: Some of the people gathered for the memorial

Three of her former students spoke about her influence on them and her tireless efforts in helping students succeed. “Professor Corcos was most passionate about helping students grasp the material,” said Ameeta Dudani (BA Spec. Hons. ’04, MSc ’09). “She was my mentor, who guided me in choosing graduate programs, provided me with references and always had her door open. She was an inspiration to us all.”

Emilie Lavoie (BA Spec. Hons. ’08), said: “Dr. Corcos had a profound effect on me and her classes seemed to go by too fast. She always pushed us to do more, to do better. She changed my life by encouraging me to continue my studies and, thanks to her, I have gone on to graduate school.”

Right: Members of the Corcos family. Evelyne Corcos’ brother Albert Corcos (left), her sister Diane Howarth-Corcos, Lawrence Corson, her cousin Monique Corson, her aunt Georgette Benhaim and her mother Denise Corcos.

Currently completing her PhD in psychology at the University of Ottawa, Patricia Poulin (BA Spec. Hons. ’02) travelled to Toronto for the memorial. “Professor Corcos was a remarkable teacher and mentor,” said Poulin. “I can still hear her coming down the hallway, rattling her enormous set of keys. Those keys are a good metaphor for the many different activities she was involved with and for unlocking the students’ minds and hearts.”

A scholarship fund for Glendon students has been established in memory of Professor Evelyne Corcos. To contribute to the Evelyne Corcos Memorial Scholarship fund, contact the Glendon Office of Advancement, Alumni & External Relations at 416-487-6824 or Marie-Thérèse Chaput, director of Advancement, Alumni & External Relations at Glendon, at

Submitted by Glendon communications officer Marika Kemeny