York students with Asperger’s thrive in mentorship program

York University has taken an innovative approach with its Asperger mentorship program, which is winning praise from both students and experts, reported the Toronto Star Nov. 17. The program is the brainchild of psychology Professor James Bebko, who came up with the idea five years ago while helping the university’s disability office set up peer support for students with Asperger syndrome, a relatively mild form of autism. Read full story.

Study links breast cancer, auto plastics industry
“What’s the average worker really exposed to — what’s in their bodies? We don’t know,” said Bob DeMatteo, who is now a research associate at York University for the National Network on the Environment and Women’s Health, in the Hamilton Spectator Nov. 19. “Nobody is doing that testing.” He said that some of the chemicals present in these plants can be dangerous if they get into the body even at extremely low levels of exposures — “like a key in a keyhole, click, they turn on.” Read full story.

Telecommuting is one solution to gridlock
With all the political hot air surrounding the GTA’s Great Transit Debate, you’d think Rob Ford, Karen Stintz, Tim Hudak and the rest would at least mention how telecommuting could be a cost-effective part of the solution.[…]We’re not saying transit infrastructure should be ignored, but let’s make the greenest and cheapest commute possible for GTA residents, namely telecommuting, part of the transit discussion, co-wrote Paul Barter, who teaches technology strategy in the MBA program at York University’s Schulich School of Business, in the Toronto Star Nov. 17.  Read full story.

More B-schools making ethics a focus
Meanwhile, York University’s Schulich School of Business this fall introduced a new undergraduate specialization in “responsible business,” in addition to required courses in ethics and sustainability. “Many of our students come in to business school having devoted quite a lot of attention to social justice issues in high school and in the course of their business degree that is something that can be lost,” observed Andrew Crane, director of the Schulich Centre for Excellence in Responsible Business and a professor of business ethics in The Globe and Mail Nov. 16. “What we want to do with the specialization is bring that back into the foreground for students so they are not just getting a job, they are getting a job that makes a difference.” Read full story.

York U student Jacqueline Tran, wins year’s free tuition
Eighty-eight letters. That’s all it took York University student Jacqueline Tran to come up with a winning slogan in a contest that awarded her a year’s free tuition, worth about $6,200. Part of the university’s This is My Time campaign, the contest challenged students to use no more than 140 characters to describe how their York degrees will help them achieve their goals and impact society, reported InsideToronto.com. Read full story.

On reverse takeovers, OSC is behind the times
“The exchange is clearly conflicted,” said Ed Waitzer, a prominent securities lawyer and former OSC chairman. “It is no longer a public interest entity.” Because it’s a private company which is accountable to its shareholders, he says, “they don’t owe duties to the public at large.” Mr. Waitzer said it’s “curious” the commission is ignoring the issue, including the role of the TMX in “facilitating” risky reverse takeovers, reported  The Globe and Mail Nov. 18. Read full story.

Jake Eberts, co-founder of Goldcrest Films brought out the best in people
The late Jake Eberts was the epitome of an independent producer whose organization was “small enough to do interesting things and big enough to both attract big-name talent and convince the studios to distribute their product,” says York University film professor Seth Feldman in The Globe and Mail Nov. 16. Read full story.