Toronto school board allows prayer service for Muslims inside school

Toronto’s public school board says it was approached by a group of parents at Valley Park Middle School, at Don Mills Road and Overlea Boulevard, about allowing [Muslim] students to take part in Friday prayers at the school, bringing in an imam, instead of them trekking to a nearby mosque wrote the Toronto Star July 6, in a story about controversy over the decision.

Board spokesperson Shari Schwartz-Maltz said the sheer number of students leaving the school – some 300 to 400 out of 1,200 – was a factor in the decision, as well as the amount of class time they lost making the trip. Safety was also a concern.

Alice Pitt, dean of education at York University, said it sounds like the school has come up with a good way to make sure students don’t miss as much instructional time. "It’s still a public school and a secular system," she said. "The religious instruction has not infiltrated the curriculum."

York PhD from the Sault is close to cancer breakthrough

Five years ago, [York biology grad] Amadeo Parissenti [PhD ’89], a scientist with Sudbury Regional Hospital, and a research associate, co-discovered a medical diagnostic tool that some believe could "revolutionize" cancer care, wrote The Sault Star July 6.

"We are excited about the potential of the discovery," said Parissenti, 51, in regards to the discovery known as RNA Disruption Assay. "It’s a promising tool after limited clinical trials…. I might consider it a significant breakthrough (in cancer care) if the results hold up at the end of large-scale trials."

The diagnostic tool monitors the response of breast cancer tumours to chemotherapy, specifically the degree of degradation of RNA (ribonucleic acid) by chemotherapy drugs. 

York student tops in Canada in the 100m hurdles

Out on the track, Ingvar Moseley understands better than anyone else that the blink of an eye can mean the difference between winning gold and settling for silver, wrote July 5.

Having experienced that scenario during the indoor season, he wasn’t about to have a repeat performance at the Canadian Track and Field Championships held outdoors in Calgary recently.

The Pickering resident was the fastest on the track in the 110m men’s hurdles, besting the rest of the field with a time of 14.26 to win the gold medal. It was sweet redemption for the 19-year-old, who was making his debut at the senior level.

"It was great because at the CIS indoor championships, I came second by a thousandth of a second," he said of the university championships he competed in representing York University. "So just to know I was racing the same guys and to cross the line ahead them it was a great feeling to make my family proud, my school proud and my coaches proud."

His coach at Elite Edge, Anthony McCleary, knows a thing or two about success and the hurdles. He coaches Whitby’s Priscilla Lopes-Schliep, who has an Olympic and World Championship medal on her list of credits. It was McCleary who convinced Moseley to stay closer to home to train rather than pack up and leave to go to an NCAA school in the United States.

"He convinced me that it would be better in the years to come," said Moseley, who enrolled in the psychology program at York for his freshman year in 2010-11.

At this point, he’s undecided about returning to York in the fall, considering taking a year off to train full-time for the 2012 Olympics in London.

Investors pay too much attention to hedge fund positions, says Schulich prof

When US investment fund Wellington Management Co. announced that it acquired control over 11.52 per cent of Sino-Forest Corp. shares on Monday, it raised at least a little suspicion about the motivation beyond the trade, wrote the Financial Post July 6.

According to Douglas Cumming, a finance professor at York University’s Schulich School of Business, recent academic work shows hedge and other investment funds frequently insider trade on positions that they establish. "They establish a holding, report it knowing others will try to replicate, and then trade against their reported positions," he said. "I can’t say whether or not that is the case here, but it does suggest at a general level that folks pay too much attention to positions reported and funds take advantage of this fact."

Aboriginal lawyers are few and far between

A study of 2006 data by York University’s Michael Ornstein [director, Institute for Social Research, and sociology professor, Faculty of Liberal Arts & Professional Studies] showed only one per cent of Ontario lawyers were Aboriginal, though that number had nearly doubled since 2001, wrote The Globe and Mail July 6, in a story about Ontario’s approval of plans for a new law school at Lakehead University that will specialize in Aboriginal issues.