Next big idea for Canada: An Asia strategy

At the higher end of the education food chain, India plans to ease restrictions on foreign universities and make India a major global centre of research, wrote columnist Haroon Siddiqui in the Toronto Star Nov. 15.

Some Ontario universities are already onto it. York University’s Schulich School of Business already offers an executive education program in Mumbai and New Delhi. It has also twinned with a well-known institute in Mumbai for a two-year MBA, starting in January. Ashwin Joshi, marketing professor, is there, heading Schulich’s outreach in India. Other faculty will rotate for teaching assignments and the students will come to York for their second year. This pioneering effort places York ahead of Harvard and other North American universities to eventually open its own campus there.

Collective shrug

Back in 1961, Friedrich A. Hayek was visiting Cornell, and he graciously accepted my invitation to speak to my political economy class, wrote Theodore J. Lowi, John L. Senior Professor of American Institutions at Cornell University, in a letter to The New York Times Nov. 15 that recounted a meeting between Hayek and writer Ayn Rand at a party.

The host eagerly brought the two together for the introduction, wrote Lowi. Here are the results, to the best of my memory: “We had a very brief exchange. She swelled in anger and spun away, remaining only long enough to say, ‘You are a compromiser.’” Twenty-five years later, Stephen Newman, a professor of political science at York University in Canada [in the Faculty of Liberal Arts & Professional Studies], innocently provided the explanation for Rand’s animosity with the title of his book: Liberalism at Wits’ End.

Water on moon

Frozen water that appears to be hidden in the shadows of the moon’s polar craters, likely billions of years old, was discovered after NASA launched a spacecraft and deliberately smacked part of it into the lunar surface, kicking up a plume of debris which was then looked at very closely, reported CTV News Nov. 13 in an item that included comments by Paul Delaney, physics and astronomy professor in York’s Faculty of Science & Engineering.

"And of course when you break down water it’s H2O," said Delaney in a clip. "When you break that down, you have oxygen, so you’re supplementing your air supply as well."

Effective boards more important than ever

It is during uncertain economic times when the value of a strong board of directors is most apparent, wrote Paul Marcus, president & CEO of York University Foundation, in an article written for Philanthropy in Action, a supplement to The Globe and Mail Nov. 14.

For organizations active in fundraising, naturally, this activity becomes ever more difficult, yet more critical, in tough times. Board members are invaluable at making connections and exploring new sectors, organizations and individuals that can support your mission. Additionally, if difficult decisions must be made in light of reduced resources, the input of a diverse and talented board offers important assistance.

Yet, with some 160,000 registered charities and non-profit organizations across Canada, one of the greatest challenges organizations face is attracting and retaining experienced and engaged board members. In fact, the last National Survey of Non-Profit and Voluntary Organizations found more than half reported having problems with planning for the future, recruiting the types of volunteers needed by the organization and obtaining board members.

York University Foundation exemplifies the importance of a board’s role in building organizational capacity. Having surpassed the $190-million mark toward our $200-million York to the Power of 50 fundraising campaign supporting the University’s 50th anniversary, we are grateful to have a board providing strong oversight and assistance and active in the execution of the campaign itself.

Author pens children’s book about healthy living

At age seven, Tina Powell (BAS Hons. ’89) knew she wanted to write children’s books, wrote The Mississauga News Nov. 13.

Recalling the day her Grade 2 teacher at Ellengale Public School asked her to read a story she’d written, Powell, now 47 and a graduate of York’s Faculty of Liberal Arts & Professional Studies, said it was an empowering experience.

“I gave all the characters funny voices as I read it,” said Powell, who moved to Vancouver two years ago after living in Mississauga for 34 years. “My teacher laughed, my classmates laughed, and I knew I had found my calling.”

Now an established children’s book author, Powell will be returning to Mississauga Nov. 26 to promote her latest book, Fernando’s Fun-tastic Friends. She’ll be at the Erin Meadows Branch Library, the last stop in her book tour around the GTA, which began on Nov. 16.

Powell, who got a business degree from York University and an English degree from McMaster, decided to start her own company, Big Fat Pen Publishing. She wrote several books inspired by her life.

Fifth in coffee chain opens in Petrolia

York grad Leo Stathakis (MBA ’96) loves a good cup of coffee, wrote The Sarnia Observer Nov. 14. “Don’t ask how much I drink every day,” he laughs.

It’s been nearly 10 years since he opened The Coffee Lodge on Exmouth Street. At the time, it was a new concept for Sarnia featuring specialty coffees and a cozy atmosphere that Stathakis calls “Rustic Canadian Lodge.” “I really wasn’t intending for it to become a chain,” said the 41-year-old Stathakis, whose family owns John’s Restaurant on London Line.

Having grown up in the restaurant business, he left Sarnia to earn a degree at the Richard Ivey School of Business in London and then an MBA at the Schulich School of Business at York University.

Names are music to father’s ears

First, the girls: Dakota, then Cadence. And, in February, a boy, Jamie. But what bonds the three D’Souza children goes beyond being siblings, wrote the Toronto Star Nov. 14.

“They all have the same middle name, which is the most interesting piece of the story,” says dad Chris D’Souza, an instructor seconded to York’s Faculty of Education from the Dufferin-Peel Catholic District School Board. He and wife Maria Ranieri decided they didn’t want their kids to have hyphenated last names but still wanted to pay homage to her family somehow. So D’Souza played with “Ranieri” a bit and came up with Raine.

D’Souza, an avid musician, managed to get musical references in his children’s names. Dakota, who’s now six, was named after the New York City building John Lennon lived in and died in front of. “I’m a huge John Lennon fan,” says D’Souza, who plays the piano, guitar and drums when he’s not teaching and researching at York.

Cadence, now four, was a name D’Souza thought of out of the blue, one that again “just fit with my mentality around music.” Ranieri liked the sound of Cadence Raine.

Finding a name for Jamie was a bit tougher. Ranieri knew the sex of the baby throughout her pregnancy, while D’Souza didn’t until one month before the baby was born. The name was gender-neutral. “’Jamie’ became very easy for me,” says Ranieri, who didn’t spill the beans to D’Souza. “A boy or girl, we would have gone with it.” And their son has another family tie: his second middle name, Alex, is D’Souza’s father’s middle name and D’Souza’s great-grandfather’s first name.

Retiring justice graduated from Osgoode

An honorary sheriff of Hamilton escorted Superior Court Justice Walter Stayshyn (LLB ’61) out of the courtroom yesterday for the last time after nearly 35 years on the bench, wrote the Hamilton Spectator Nov. 14.

Stayshyn, 75, who has been a supernumerary judge for the past decade, sat during a rarely held swearing-out ceremony beside by his one-time law partner and lifelong friend, Justice Nick Borkovich, and another esteemed colleague, Justice James Turnbull.

The ceremony was attended by family, friends, and many sitting and retired judges and lawyers who have appeared before Stayshyn throughout their careers.

Before graduating from Osgoode Hall Law School, Stayshyn attended McMaster University where he played basketball and football.

On air

  • Douglas Barrett , CTV Chair in Broadcast Management in the Schulich School of Business at York University, spoke about his proposal to cool the broadcast war between the networks and cable companies, on CFRB Radio Nov. 13.
  • Deszö Horváth, dean of the Schulich School of Business at York University, talked about the launch of Schulich’s MBA program in India, on CFTR Radio in Toronto Nov. 15.