York University breaks social media campaign

York University of Toronto has begun a social media campaign called "Choose York”, wrote Adnews June 29.

The campaign consists of videos on YouTube, Facebook, Twitter and the York website featuring students describing why York was their first choice for a university. New videos will be added as the campaign continues, focusing on new, returning, transfer and mature students, and highlighting the programs offered by the school.

"At York’s recent convocation we witnessed a groundswell of pride and support by students for the University and this is something we want students to be able to share within the broader York community and their friends," said Rob Tiffin, York’s vice-president students. "Students are using their own words with video clips that will be sent out via Facebook, YouTube and Twitter this summer. I look forward to all the comments, videos and tweets leading up to the fall school year."

Menard receives honorary degree from York

Jacques Ménard, president of BMO Quebec, received an honorary degree from York University, wrote Le Journal de Montréal June 29, in a story about his appearance at convocation ceremonies for Glendon College June 18. The story noted remarks by Ken McRoberts, Glendon principal, Mamdouh Shoukri, York president & vice-chancellor, Menard and Roy McMurtry, York chancellor.

US launch delay won’t impact Canadian weather forecasts

An anticipated delay in the launch of a new US weather satellite will have a "severe" impact on five-day weather forecasting in the United States, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, wrote Postmedia News June 29, in a story that mentioned Canadian weather services would not be seriously affected.

York University professor of atmospheric science Jack McConnell said the absence of US orbiters would not leave weather services without data altogether. "With two suites of satellites, they’d be separated in time and then you’d begin to fill in more detail," McConnell said.

York prof is a member of cancelled Yale antisemitism program

[The Yale Initiative for the Interdisciplinary Study of Antisemitism] had a strong Canadian connection, wrote the Canadian Jewish News June 30, in a story about the program’s controversial cancellation. Montreal Member of Parliament and McGill University law professor Irwin Cotler chaired its academic committee. Irving Abella of York University [Faculty of Liberal Arts & Professional Studies], Catherine Chatterley of the University of Manitoba, and, from McGill, Gil Troy, Morton Weinfeld and Raphael Fischler are listed as members of the international academic board of directors.

Former Osgoode prof becomes head of UIAFC

Marc Gold, the new president of United Israel Appeal Federations Canada (UIAFC), has the challenge of making Jews even in the smallest communities feel part of the national whole while streamlining the organization’s top-heavy administration, wrote the Canadian Jewish News June 29.

Gold taught at York University’s Osgoode Hall [Law School] from 1979 to 1991.

York professor started ‘Grandmothers for Gilad’ petition

Liberal MP Irwin Cotler last week retabled a petition in Parliament on behalf of “Grandmothers for Gilad Schalit” as the Israel Defence Forces (IDF) soldier’s fifth anniversary as a Hamas captive in Gaza was to be marked June 25, wrote the Canadian Jewish News June 30.

First tabled last Oct. 27, the petition, conceived by York University Professor Emeritus Sally Zerker, calls on the Canadian government to help secure the release and repatriation of Schalit, who turns 25 at the end of August.

York grad makes lessons interesting and interactive

When pressed, Karen Sitnik [BA ’97/BEd ’97, MEd ’08] will admit that finding time to do everything she wants to do with her students can be challenging, wrote the Canadian Jewish News June 30.

But, as a rule, the middle school Torah and Navi teacher at Associated Hebrew Schools says she tries to be “very proactive, so I don’t have the challenges [that often come with the job].” To that end, she works at making her lessons “interesting and creative,” incorporating games, technology and interactive activities.

An alumna of York University’s Jewish teacher education program, Sitnik, 37, also completed her MEd there a couple of years ago, working on the degree part-time. Her thesis topic was “Teaching Tanach in elementary grades.” Currently, she’s working on a new Torah curriculum for the school, leading a group of colleagues in the project.

On air

  • Dr. Joel Lexchin, professor in York’s School of Health Management & Policy, Faculty of Health, spoke about opposition to an advertising campaign for the drug Androgel, on CBC Radio’s “As It Happens” June 28.
  • Paul Delaney, professor of physics & astronomy in York’s Faculty of Science & Engineering, spoke about a close call with a piece of space junk for the six astronauts on the International Space Station, on CTV  News June 28.
  • Victoria Alarcon, York student and features and opinions editor for Excalibur, spoke about the upcoming visit by the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and youth attitudes towards the monarchy, on CTV News Channel’s “Power Play” June 28.
  • York grad Omar Alghabra [MBA ’00], a former MP, spoke about his life in Canada on Rogers Television Mississauga June 28.