Doomed or lucky? Predicting the future of the Internet generation

“I don’t think there’s anything inherently bad or anti-social about smartphones, laptops or any other technology,” said David Ellis, instructor in the Communication Studies Program in York’s Faculty of Liberal Arts & Professional Studies, in a report on a study on the future of the Internet, cited by San Francisco, California, PBS station KQED online Feb. 29. “I do, however, believe we are entering an era in which young adults are placing an inordinately high priority on being unfailingly responsive and dedicated participants in the web of personal messaging that surrounds them in their daily lives. For now, it seems, addictive responses to peer pressure, boredom and social anxiety are playing a much bigger role in wiring Millennial brains than problem-solving or deep thinking.” Read full story.

PowerStream pumps $930k into York U’s sustainable energy program
PowerStream aims to spark cutting-edge research in sustainable energy with a high-voltage donation to York University, wrote and Feb. 29. “This transformative gift will help continue to shape environmental studies by allowing our students the ability to focus on their studies and research, and faculty the opportunity to enhance their leadership in the field of sustainable energy,” said President & Vice-Chancellor Mamdouh Shoukri. Read full story.

As engineers retire, schools struggle to replace them
At York University, they’re calling them “renaissance engineers”, wrote the Toronto Star in a special section on engineering. The new Lassonde School of Engineering – to be named after mining entrepreneur Pierre Lassonde, who donated $25 million to the school last fall – will be interdisciplinary, drawing on the University’s strengths in law, business and the humanities. “We want them to be known for being entrepreneurial engineers with a social conscience,” says Janusz Kozinski, dean of the Faculty of Science & Engineering. “Engineering students will be exposed to business education and legal education from the outset, from year one.” Over the coming years, York plans to add four new engineering programs – electrical, civil, mechanical and chemical – and hire up to 70 new professors, said the Star. (Article link not available.)

Showdown: Public versus private
Tamara Daly
, a professor in York’s School of Health Policy & Management, Faculty of Health, spoke about the long wait times for publicly funded space in Ontario nursing homes at the Beyond Acute Care conference in Edmonton, reported the Edmonton Examiner Feb. 29. “People are waiting, on average, over 100 days for a bed in a publicly funded space, and so they’re having to make choices,” said Daly. “Some (nursing) homes have huge waiting lists, some of them are years long.” Read full story.

North York music major takes lead in York U opera
North York resident Charlotte Gagnon will play the leading female role in York University’s Faculty of Fine Arts’ production of opera Dido and Aeneas, wrote Feb. 29. Gagnon, a fourth-year music major, recently won first prize at the Newmarket Voice Festival Senior Scholarship competition, along with several other singing awards. Read full story.

Energy, spirit infused in gospel concert
Karen Burke
, co-founder of the Toronto Mass Choir, Brampton native and York University music professor, has made it her life’s work to ensure gospel music isn’t lost, wrote the Brampton Guardian Feb. 29, in a preview of the Power Up finale gospel concert. Being a direct descendant, seventh generation, of one of the first black slaves to come to Canada, the power of gospel music resonates with her personally. Read full story.

New Brunswick Sports Hall of Fame welcomes York grad as inductee
Team Canada player Sarah Forbes (BA Spec. Hons. ’98) began her field hockey career at Fredericton High School, wrote the New Brunswick Telegraph-Journal March 1, in a story about her induction into the provincial sports hall of fame. While playing field hockey for York University, Forbes was named all-star, most valuable player and all-Canadian. Forbes now resides in Ontario and coaches the women’s field hockey team at the University of Guelph. (Article link not available.)

YRT numbers surprising
Despite a strike shutting down 60 per cent of its operations, York Region Transit ridership in January was down just 44 per cent compared to January 2011, wrote Feb. 29. Ridership on the Thornhill-York University bus was up 85 per cent. Read full story.