York takes new path in mental health for students

York University is flipping its intervention strategy by positioning student leaders as their first line of defence in getting people help. “We want to provide upstream prevention,” said Leah State, the university’s health educator and co-organizer of York’s newest campaign. The two-week event kicked off Wednesday with a conference attended by more than 200 students active in the York community. State said she hopes the conference taught them how to raise awareness about mental health issues on campus and where to direct those in need. “We need to invest in these students who are a link in the chain. The students are not there to solve all the problems,” she said. “But the students are a key link in that chain.” That is because it is most likely that distressed students will reach out to their peers first, said State, as reported by Metro news Nov. 4.  Read full story.

Autism research chair will look at bullying
A Toronto researcher has been awarded a $2-million chair in autism research to address the lopsided rates of mental health problems among children and adults with autism, including the effects of bullying. Jonathan Weiss, a professor in York’s department of psychology, has been awarded the new five-year research chair position, funded through the Canadian Institutes of Health Research, reported the Toronto Star Nov. 4. “Targeting mental health means being able to help with a person’s quality of life,” said Weiss, 35. He noted that between 40 and 70 per cent of those with autism are also grappling with mental health issues, on top of living with a developmental disorder that affects social interactions and communication, among other traits. “What we aim to do is first focus on understanding why those rates are so high. What are the risk factors?” Weiss asked. Read full story.

Spy versus CI
Andrew Crane, a business ethics professor at the York’s Schulich School of Business in Toronto, says few business schools deal with intelligence gathering, because it’s not one of the major issues on the radar. “We’re not always necessarily preparing our students that well,” reported The Globe and Mail Nov. 5. Read full story.

Global business programs have students living out of suitcases
York University’s Schulich School of Business, the Toronto institution which pioneered the international MBA in Canada 20 years ago, is constantly evolving to keep pace with the growing demand for business school graduates who can operate in a global context, IMBA director Atipol Bhanich Supapol says. Schulich requires IMBA applicants to demonstrate strong functional proficiency in a second language – testing at the intermediate level as a minimum – with the condition that those who are not up to snuff will bolster those skills during their studies, reported The globe and Mail Nov. 2. Read full story.

In hard times, soft skills more in need
Business ethics have also experienced a revival since the economic crisis. And while it’s an element of business education that has been around for years, such events as the Enron scandal and the Bernie Madoff Ponzi scheme have brought this discipline to the forefront. “Scandals are good for business when it comes to business ethics,” explains Andrew Crane, director of the Centre of Excellence in Responsible Business at York’s Schulich School of Business in Toronto. And thanks to scandals and the economic meltdown, even the fight to get ethics onto the syllabus has changed, he explains. “A number of years ago it was something that we had to make more of argument to have included on the curriculum or we had to convince students of the necessity of it,” Dr. Crane says. “The last few years that’s very much not the case,” reported The Globe and Mail Nov. 5. Read full story.

Executive training with a twist
Companies increasingly need to put a global spin on their training needs, says Alan Middleton, executive director of the Executive Education Centre at York’s Schulich School of Business in Toronto, reported The Globe and Mail Nov. 5 in an article about flexibility and brevity in executive training. His centre’s focus is on Brazil, India, Russia and China, with programs for managers of Canadian and overseas firms. “More and more organizations have to think globally about how the international environment affects their business,” he says. Read full story.

When cash is no longer king
First, lose no money. That’s a common investing philosophy these days. Not a good one in some cases, because only by taking on risk can most people achieve the returns needed to reach their financial goals. First, though, let’s check in with Moshe Milevsky, finance professor at York University’s Schulich School of Business, on the role of cash in an investment portfolio. “Every dollar in cash is a waste,” said the author of such investing books as The 7 Most Important Equations for Your Retirement. “Back in the day when cash was earning 4 or 5 per cent, cash was an asset class. Today, cash isn’t even an asset class.” One argument for holding cash is that it’s a very good inflation hedge. Prof. Milevsky said rates on government-issued Treasury bills, the standard measure of cash returns, have historically exceeded the inflation rate for the most part. Today, the 12-month T-bill yield is about 1 per cent and inflation is at 1.2 per cent, reported The Globe and Mail Nov. 4. Read full story.

iPad mini out today: Diehards line up at Eaton Centre
It was the type of thing most companies would be delighted by when launching a product: One hundred eager fans, lining up for hours while chanting, singing sales people worked them into a frenzy, with journalists there to cover the whole crazy scene. In the hype-filled world of Apple, however, the Canadian launch of the iPad mini on Friday morning was a little underwhelming. The smaller crowd comes as no surprise to Alan Middleton, a marketing professor at York’s Schulich School of Business. “This was a launch of something that’s an evolution, not a revolution,” said Middleton. It could also, Middleton says, be the start of a more worrisome trend for Apple – the loss of its status as an icon of coolness, reported the Toronto Star Nov. 2. Read full story.

Passion connects Athena Scholarship fund winners
Passion and dedication are the common themes which connect this year’s three Athena Scholarship fund winners, one of which is Suzanne Robinson, who is currently enrolled in a master’s/PhD program in clinical development psychology at York University. In addition to their academic achievements, all three winners are active in their communities through mentorship and volunteer activities. Robinson’s volunteer activities include working with undergrad students at York in an Asperger’s program which matches clinical grads with younger students in a weekly problem-solving program, reported the Windsor Star Nov. 3. Read full story.

Campus life at York University
A photographic tour of York’s main Toronto campus is featured by Macleans.ca, along with 48 other institutions. Read full story.