York celebrates its leading researchers

Mamdouh Shoukri present a award to Laurence Harris

York University celebrated its leading researchers Tuesday for their outstanding achievements and leadership during the second annual York U Research Leaders celebration.

Hosted by York University’s President & Vice-Chancellor Mamdouh Shoukri and Vice-President Research & Innovation Robert Haché, and led by MC Lisa Philipps, the University celebrated the outstanding research achievements of faculty and students. Accolades from 2013-2014 include, but are not limited to, the Canada Prize, the Sir John A. MacDonald Prize and the John Porter Award from the Canadian Sociological Association, as well as fellowships in the American Society for Legal History, American Physical Society and the Royal Society of Canada.

Mamdouh Shoukri and Laurence Harris
Mamdouh Shoukri presents Laurence Harris with the 2014 President’s Research Excellence Award

Shoukri praised the researchers for their tremendous achievements, their dedication to excellence and innovation, and for the recognition that has brought both national and international renown to themselves and to York through awards and publication in prestigious journals, including Nature and Science.

“I am proud to say that today York’s researchers are among the world’s leading scholars and experts. From Fellows of the Royal Society of Canada to Distinguished Research Professors, Canada Research Chairs and more, our researchers are not only dedicated to the pursuit of new ideas and solutions to the most pressing local and global issues, but they are increasingly being recognized for their work,” said Shoukri. “This event is one important way that we at York can celebrate the research excellence all around us.”

“We are delighted to host our second annual event recognizing York’s research leaders,” added Haché. “What makes York truly special is the people – the dedicated community of faculty members, students, postdoctoral fellows and other researchers that conceive the ideas, carry out the research and translate the research product into impact.”

York's leading researchers celebrated Tuesday.
York’s leading researchers celebrated Tuesday

Several York researchers received special recognition for their outstanding research achievements. Philipps spoke about their individual accomplishments as they were presented with gifts by Shoukri and Haché. The complete list of researchers is as follows:

  • Rob Bowman, Department of Music, Faculty of Fine Arts;
  • Bettina Bradbury, Department of History and School of Gender, Sexuality and Women’s Studies, Faculty of Liberal Arts & Professional Studies;
  • Deborah Britzman, Faculty of Education;
  • James Carley, Department of English, Faculty of Liberal Arts & Professional Studies;
  • Qiuming Cheng, cross-appointed to the Faculty of Liberal Arts & Professional Studies and the Lassonde School of Engineering;
  • Douglas Crawford, Department of Psychology, Faculty of Health;
  • Tamara Daly, School of Health Policy & Management, Faculty of Health;
  • Shelley Gavigan, Osgoode Hall Law School;
  • Stephen Gaetz, Faculty of Education;
  • Douglas Hay, Osgoode Hall Law School;
  • David Hood, School of Kinesiology and Health Science, Faculty of Health;
  • Anna Hudson, Department of Visual Art and Art History, Faculty of Fine Arts;
  • Joel Katz, Department of Psychology, Faculty of Health;
  • Thomas Kirchner, Department of Physics & Astronomy, Faculty of Science;
  • Sergey Krylov, Department of Chemistry, Faculty of Science;
  • A.B.P. (Barry) Lever, Department of Chemistry, Faculty of Science;
  • Scott Menary, Department of Physics & Astronomy, Faculty of Science;
  • Arturo Orellana, Department of Chemistry, Faculty of Science;
  • Jean-Paul Paluzzi, Department of Biology, Faculty of Science;
  • Marcia Rioux, School of Health Policy & Management, Faculty of Health;
  • Shayna Rosenbaum, Department of Psychology, Faculty of Health;
  • Adrian Shubert, Department of History, Faculty of Liberal Arts & Professional Studies;
  • Lorne Sossin, dean, Osgoode Hall Law School;
  • Peter Victor, Faculty of Environmental Studies;
  • Leah Vosko, Department of Political Science, Faculty of Liberal Arts & Professional Studies;
  • Eleanor Westney, Schulich School of Business; and
  • Lesley Wood, Department of Sociology, Faculty of Liberal Arts & Professional Studies.

The celebration was preceded by recognition of the winning students and honourable mentions from the same day’s multidisciplinary Undergraduate Research Fair, held in Scott Library. “I’m thrilled to be invited here to share the passion of undergraduate researchers at York,” commented Catherine Davidson, associate university librarian.

“I’m so proud of the students starting their research careers here and being mentored by some of Canada’s, and the world’s, leading researchers,” Shoukri said later.

Barbara Crow, interim dean, Faculty of Graduate Studies, spoke about the high percentage of graduate students at York who are involved in research, and mentioned the more than 300 external awards they’ve received for their work. The 2014 President’s Research Excellence Award was presented to Professor Laurence Harris of the Department of Psychology in the Faculty of Health for his significant contributions to multi-sensory research and to York’s research community since 1990. “Professor Harris’s research on ‘how we see during movement’ has far reaching impact locally, nationally and internationally,” said Shoukri. “His strong achievements in research, his exceptional leadership at the Centre for Vision Research and his tireless mentoring of undergraduate and graduate students have enhanced York’s reputation for research excellence.”

The Senate Committee on Awards selected Harris from eight nominees to receive this year’s award – a $10,000 internal research grant – for his many achievements as an internationally renowned scholar.

Harris has published more than 20 book chapters and 100 peer-reviewed articles, has partnered with the Humboldt Foundation and the Canadian Space Agency, and is the director for York’s Centre for Vision Research. He also recently led a $1.9-million project funded by the Canadian Foundation for Innovation to investigate the role of peripheral vision in balance and self-motion to help reduce the risk of falling in at-risk populations.