Bilingualism helps fight off dementia, findings suggest

Bilingualism helps protect the aging brain and may even postpone signs of dementia, a new review of recent studies indicates, reported the Ottawa Citizen, CBC News and publications across Canada and around the world March 29 and 30. The paper by Canadian researchers led by York  psychology Professor Ellen Bialystok, suggests that bilingual people have higher cognitive reserves as they get older. Higher cognitive reserve is associated with a lower risk of Alzheimer’s and other dementias. Read full story.

The mystery woman behind the blockbuster MLSE deal
Jane Rowe (MBA ’82) is the unknown woman who is responsible for the surprise sale of a controlling stake in MLSE to Rogers and Bell for $1.32 billion. She’s head of Teachers’ private equity and very near the top of the power echelon on Bay Street. With luck, she may become the first woman to get to the peak, predicts Report on Business Magazine in its April issue. Read full story.

NBA jerseys: League contemplates using players as moving billboards
The National Basketball Association is considering placing ads on players’ jerseys but while they could pad owners’ bank accounts, they might also alienate fans and complicate players’ individual endorsements, reported the Toronto Star March 30. “Authenticity is such a big thing in sports,” says Vijay Setlur, a lecturer in sports business at York University’s Schulich School of Business. Read full story.

How universities are maximizing the impact of research on society
Connecting universities with policy and practice is not new, but it is increasingly important. David Phipps, director of York’s Office of Research Services, explores the history of knowledge mobilization in this March 29 essay, the second of a four-part series for the Guardian Higher Education Network. Read full story.

Pesticides can have devastating impact on bees: study
Potent pesticides that wipe out bugs on everything from potatoes to the family dog can also have subtle but devastating impacts on bees, according to new research that is prompting calls for reassessment of the chemicals widely used in Canada, reported the Ottawa Citizen and other major Canadian newspapers March 30. Bees are vital players in Canadian gardens, ecosystems and farmer’s fields. York bumblebee specialist Sheila Colla says, “We have to change the way we are testing and registering pesticides. Read full story.

We’ll bring peace to the Middle East (but first, York U)
A network of campus clubs called UofMosaic has been facilitating round-table discussions between religious and ethnic opponents at all three of Toronto’s big universities this past year, reported on its On Campus website March 29. The evidence so far suggests progress, however slow, toward more respectful campuses. Maxa Sawyer (BA/BEd ’08), a master of education candidate at York, says things are less tense now. Read full story.

York University launches world’s first MBA with a mining specialization
The mining industry applauds Schulich Business School’s new MBA program with a specialization in mining, reported Mining & Exploration  in its March issue. A surge in mining activity has created a looming shortage of executive talent. The cross-disciplinary York program, the first of its kind, launches this fall and addresses the need for people trained in human resources, sustainability, law and accounting. Read full story.

Exploring history one book at a time
A lot has been written about Christopher Columbus and John Cabot, but local history buff and author Douglas Hunter has taken a fresh look at what brought both explorers to the New World, reported March 29. The York doctoral student’s latest book, The Race to the New World, was just released in Canada. Read full story.