York grad lands her dream job: refereeing Olympic hockey

For four years, Burlington referee Mary Anne Gage (BEd ’99) has been dreaming of winning the assignment to do women’s hockey games at the Olympics, wrote the Hamilton Spectator Dec. 17 in a story about her being selected to officiate at the Vancouver Olympics. Only six women in the whole world get the chance every four years. Only one from Canada. Getting the call means you are the best of the best. Getting to do it on your home turf? There are no words.

Ever since she’d picked up the whistle for the first time at York University to make a few bucks doing recreational games 11 years ago, she loved the job. Along the way, she started to wonder about the Olympics. Setting her sights on it as a target, she began seriously preparing for the possibility.

By last year, she was doing the world championships in Finland. That’s just one step below where she wanted to be, so she knew there was a possibility the Olympic folks might come calling.

Let the markets decide, says York business professor

President Obama noted in his inaugural address that the power of markets “to generate wealth and expand freedom is unmatched, but this crisis has reminded us that without a watchful eye, the market can spin out of control and that a nation cannot prosper long when it favours only the prosperous,” wrote Ed Waitzer, Jarislowsky Dimma Mooney Chair in Coprorate Governance, in the Schulich School of Business at York University, in the National Post Dec. 17. Debates as to how to tweak the markets’ “watchful eye” tend to run aground when (and to the extent) they are disconnected from effective legal frameworks.

The challenge will not be resolved by facile judicial reasoning. Unfettered corporate intervention in political markets isn’t likely to be tolerated for long. Likewise, in the current environment, we should be encouraging restraint in the manner in which political (and judicial) motivations are injected into the performance of markets and market actors. Globalization’s progress is at stake.

Charities explore idea of going it alone

The idea of non-profit organizations going out into the community with a business plan to support a social service has been gaining steam during the past decade and a half, wrote the Barrie Examiner Dec. 17. In parts of both the United Kingdom and the United States there is legislation defining and governing social enterprise.

That doesn’t yet exist in Canada, but it’s only a matter of time, says Brenda Gainer, professor of marketing and director of the Nonprofit Management & Leadership Program in the Schulich School of Business at York University. “I think we’re seeing all new and different ways for non-profits to go into business,” she said. “The goal here is sustainability. That’s what all non-profits are after.”

Auto-industry specialist gazes into crystal ball

Perhaps no one in Canada knows better how to figure out the economics of the international auto industry than Carlos Gomes (BA ’82, BA Hons. ’83, MA ’84) , wrote the St. Catharines Standard Dec. 17.

“One of the things that’s interesting to me is just how quickly small changes in the economy can manifest in the auto sector,” says Gomes, Scotiabank’s auto industry specialist. “Being able to gauge how key indicators will influence the industry is what I enjoy.”

Gomes is the author of Scotiabank’s Global Auto Report, a monthly analysis of trends in North American and worldwide auto production and sales. The only report of its kind published monthly by a Canadian bank, it is a must read for industry execs and analysts wanting a comprehensive sense of how the industry is doing, and where it’s likely going.

A chartered financial analyst with a master’s degree in economics from York University, Gomes, a 22-year Scotiabank economist, has been covering the Canadian and US auto markets since 1993, and the global auto market since 2005. In addition to his monthly report, he also puts out Auto News Flash, a monthly one-page review of the latest Canadian and US vehicle sales.

Local singer prepares for cross-country tour

It’s now or never for local singer/songwriter Ashlea Jonesmith (BA ’09), who has decided that this point in her life is the perfect time to dedicate herself to her music, wrote the Bracebridge Examiner Dec. 16.

“Choosing a career in songwriting and performing original music is a choice of love,” said Jonesmith. “I won’t feel complete unless I devote some real time and effort to it.”

The 26-year-old Bracebridge native, who many will remember as Ashlea Smith, picked up a guitar at age 13 and hasn’t missed a beat. Jonesmith attended York University’s Faculty of Fine Arts where she earned a BA in visual arts.

Turgeon receives Townshend medal

Robyn Turgeon (BA Comb. Hons. & BEd ’95) was pleased to accept the 2009 Townshend Gold Medal in Education, wrote the Woodstock Sentinel-Review Dec. 17. She just wasn’t prepared to brag about it.

“Just as long as it doesn’t come across as ‘Hey, look at me – I won,’” she smiled last Wednesday afternoon at South Ridge Public School.

Turgeon was born and raised in Tillsonburg, graduating from Glendale High School before earning bachelor’s degrees in arts and education at York University.

Performers coming back to the valley

Two musical talents from the Bulkley Valley will be returning to town this weekend to showcase their growth as artists since leaving the valley behind, wrote BC’s Smithers Interior News Dec. 16.

Emilyn Stam and Lisa Conway were born and raised in the shadows of the Bulkley mountains but after graduating (Conway first, then Stam later) they moved to the big city of Toronto and studied music at York University.

Conway shares a similar belief with Stam that the Bulkley Valley provides a special sort of musical inspiration. However being in Canada’s largest city does open her eyes (and ears) to new styles, wrote the News.

College students rally online as teacher strike looms

As 24 community colleges [including Seneca @ York] brace for a possible teachers’ walkout in January, more than 11,500 students are expressing their fear and anger via the Facebook Web site, as York University students did last year during their 12-week shutdown, wrote the Toronto Star Dec. 17.

Two days of talks ended Tuesday between Colleges Ontario and the Ontario Public Service Employees Union, with no plans to resume. The union, which acts for 9,000 full-time teachers, counsellors and librarians, has set a strike vote for Jan. 13. The same union led a 2006 strike that shut down Ontario colleges for 21 days.

On air

  • Perry Sadorsky, economics professor in the Schulich School of Business at York University, spoke about a review and possible sale of Ontario’s Crown corporation assets on CBC Radio’s “Here & Now” Dec. 16.
  • York grad John Criswick (MSc ’94) spoke about his upcoming $200,000 trip into space with Virgin Galactic, on Ottawa’s CFRA Radio Dec. 16.
  • York Professor Roger Keil, director of the City Institute at York University, spoke about pandemics, on CPAC-TV’s “Question Period” Dec. 16.
  • Gordon Flett, psychology professor in York’s Faculty of Health, spoke about perfectionism at Christmas, on Global TV News in Saskatoon, Sask. Dec. 16.