Negotiation: What an Argos linebacker learned through a panda exercise

Two and a half months after Jason Pottinger won his second Grey Cup, the Argonauts linebacker found himself in another contest – fighting for pandas in a York University classroom. The Toronto CFL player was assuming the role of a Chinese zoologist this past February in a mock negotiation to bring pandas to the Toronto and Calgary zoos. If this situation sounds familiar, it’s because it’s already unfolded in real life: the real, decades-long negotiations to bring two giant pandas to Canadian soil. Stephen Weiss, a professor at York’s Schulich School of Business, carefully constructed the role-play for his international business negotiations course with full access to the documents and major players behind the panda loan….“It gave us a great perspective on just how much goes into a negotiation,” said Pottinger in The Globe and Mail May 15. Read full story.

The greening of commencement ceremonies
York University in Toronto, Canada, has made its convocation more sustainable by introducing collapsible, refillable water bottles, according to Sheelagh Atkinson, manager, ceremonials and institutional events at York, Canada’s third-largest university. The logo-branded bottles, in York red, are complemented by strategically placed hydration stations situated across campus….York has taken other steps to reduce the environmental impact of commencement ceremonies by transitioning to virtually all-electronic commencement communications. “Most universities send out a printed commencement invitation package to graduating students,” said Atkinson in American School & University May 14. “We provide that information, of course, but now everything is electronic.” Read full story.

Basking in the glow of Northern Scene success
York University Professor Anna Hudson has been studying the evolution from visual to performing arts in Nunavut and says traditional carvers and printmakers sold their art to southern markets and many never saw them again, as collectors, galleries and auction houses resold them for thousands of dollars. Performance art, on the other hand, gives artists more freedom of expression and more control over the message….“They owned it, shaped it, performed it the way they wanted. It’s an Inuit production, produced by Inuit that rose out of a colonial structure,” said Hudson in Nunatsiaq News May 13. “This generation of artists coming up, they’re going to be leaders. They’ll take Inuit art into the international, contemporary sphere. They will finally control their own destiny with the ambition of making art for Inuit first.” Read full story.

Canada commits cash to Global Fund against AIDS, tuberculosis, malaria
After Ottawa announced a merger between the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA) and the Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade (DFAIT) in March, some feared the government would scale back its foreign aid work and instead focus on business interests. So far, it is too early to tell how the forthcoming merger will affect aid dollars, said York University Professor Gregory Chin, formerly of CIDA, in the Toronto Star May 14. “Even with this merger, the tracking of the aid dollars to ensure effectiveness, that type of skill has never resided in foreign affairs, it has always been CIDA. The people trained to be diplomats inside DFAIT aren’t really interested in this type of thing on a consistent day-to-day basis,” Chin said. Read full story.

Parkdale dancer becomes Toronto Argonauts cheerleader
Paula, a York University dance major, set to graduate with a bachelor of fine arts in October, had no experience as a cheerleader when she decided to try out for the Toronto Argonauts cheerleading team (the Argos have a policy of not releasing the cheerleaders’ last names)….With her optimism and ambition to back her up, the 23 year old decided to attend an open audition in March. After two auditions and an interview, she was chosen for the team…. Although she didn’t cheer in high school or have any training, Paula, who studies ballet and modern dance, suspects it is her dance training that landed her on the team, reported the Parkdale Villager May 14. Read full story.

Pioneering geophysicist Lawrence Morley broke new ground
Lawrence Morley, who died near Owen Sound, Ont., on April 22 (fittingly, Earth Day) at 93, was a globally acclaimed geophysicist who laid much of the groundwork for geological advances in Canada, reported The Globe and Mail May 14….In 1986, Morley became founding executive director of the Institute for Space and Terrestrial Science at York University, one of seven “Centres of Excellence” established by the Ontario government to fund research. It was later folded into the Centre for Research in Earth and Space Technology. The author of 65 scientific and technical papers on mineral exploration and remote sensing, he received the Royal Canadian Geographical Society’s Gold Medal in 1995, and in 1999, he was made an Officer of the Order of Canada. Read full story.

Advice for Toronto Maple Leafs fans: Don’t let Game 7 loss to Boston Bruins affect your lives and ‘move forward’
Fans should definitely avoid the scenario where negative thoughts prompt a once positive, cheering individual towards feelings of being victimized by the loss. “The biggest thing is, don’t be a victim,” said York University Professor Paul Dennis, a former Leafs sports psychologist, in the Toronto Star May 14. “Why let any negative thoughts enter your brain, why do that? Why do I want to rent space in my brain for negative thoughts? Be the landlord of your brain; don’t allow negative thoughts to rent any space there.” Read full story.