What’s stressing our kids?

“Something quite remarkable is happening across Canada today: suddenly everyone is talking about self-regulation,” wrote York University Professor Stuart Shanker in the Hamilton Spectator April 30. “They’re not always sure they know what it means, let alone what to do about it. But there is a widespread awareness that self-regulation is one of those scientific breakthroughs that heralds a turning point in how we see and help children.” Read full story.

Teaching empathy as important as academics, says bullying expert
With bullying of Canadian teens rarely far from the headlines, so goes the work of York University Professor Debra Pepler, reported the Vancouver Sun April 30. Pepler is a co-director of PREVNet, a federally funded research network focused on preventing bullying in Canada. She is speaking in Vancouver on May 7 about what parents and teachers can do to help at an event hosted by the Children’s Health Policy Centre at Simon Fraser University. Read full story.

Researchers learn about communicating with others
The Science Leadership Program was conceived of and designed by Ray Jayawardhana, professor of observational astrophysics at the University of Toronto who will soon take up a new position as dean of science at York University. Its aim is to provide academics from across Canada with the skills to communicate with media professionals, potential donors, government officials and the public. “As academic scientists, we focus so tightly and strongly on what we do,” says Jayawardhana in University Affairs April 30. “But we don’t always find ways to communicate why we are so excited about what we do to a broader audience.” Read full story.

Why postal banking may save Canada Post
Rob Fiedler, a graduate student in geography studying at York University in Toronto, mapped the spread of pay-day loan lenders in Canada at the request of the Canadian Union of Postal Workers (CUPW). In the greater Toronto and Hamilton area, he noted that the pattern he found was easily identifiable to an urban geographer like himself – the pay-day loan lenders had set up shop in low-income areas. CUPW argues that with the existing infrastructure of Canada Post, they can extend services to more people without charging the high interest rates that are found at the fringe financial institutions, reported Rabble.ca May 1. Read full story.

Bilingualism can help close learning gaps for immigrant students
Studies show that the brain does indeed gain cognitive benefits from being bilingual, regardless of one’s socioeconomic status, reported National Journal April 30. And that has potentially significant implications in the United States, where native bilinguals tend to be poorer than the general population. It helps to understand what, exactly, you gain from speaking more than one language. The benefit is quite specific to a very important aspect of our brain’s functioning, says Ellen Bialystok, a cognitive neuroscientist at York University in Toronto who has been examining bilingualism’s effects on the mind for decades. Read full story.

Entertainment education: film school programs overseas
A standout program of York University’s Department of Film and Video is its James Beveridge Guest Lecture Series (named for the co-founder of the National Film Board of Canada), which features presentations by industry guest speakers and offers aspiring filmmakers a unique, inside look at the working world of film and television, reported the Orlando Sentinel April 30. Read full story.

Number of aboriginal Canadians finishing high school is up, report says
This week Queen’s Park announced a partnership in programs in entrepreneurship for aboriginal students with the Paul Martin Foundation. The Toronto District School Board has launched a number of programs to boost aboriginal achievement, and faculties of education at universities including the University of Toronto and York University now have specialist programs where future teachers can become more aware of aboriginal culture and issues, reported Metro April 30. Read full story.

Former Vaughan MPP Sorbara appointed York University’s 13th chancellor
Former Vaughan Liberal MPP Greg Sorbara is heading back to university, but this time he’s going to be the one handing out degrees instead of receiving them, reported the Vaughan Citizen April 30. The 67-year-old former finance minister has been appointed as York University’s 13th chancellor, an honorary role that will see him preside over all convocation ceremonies and confer degrees. Read full story.

University bid learning experience for Newmarket, Aurora: Van Bynen
York University’s short list announcement for a possible satellite campus last week left northern municipalities out in the cold. Newmarket Mayor Tony Van Bynen said York University clearly wanted a campus closer to the heart of the Greater Toronto Area, reported the Newmarket Era April 30. Read full story.