YFile’s Year in Review: Top headlines at York University, October to December 2015

Vari Hall at night
Vari Hall at night

As a new year emerges, YFile would like to take the opportunity to look back on 2015 and share with readers a snapshot of the year’s highlights. “Year in Review” will run as a four-part series, featuring a random selection of top news stories published in YFile. Part four features the stories and highlights for October to December 2015, as chosen by YFile editors.


York President and Vice-Chancellor Mamdouh Shoukri and Faculty of Liberal Arts & Professional Studies student Sayjon Ariyarathnam

“President for a Day” Sayjon Ariyarathnam learns about the complexities of running the University
Experiential learning was the order of the day Sept. 29 for both York University President and Vice-Chancellor Mamdouh Shoukri and Sayjon Ariyarathnam, a fourth-year honours student who is pursuing a double major in criminology and human rights & equity studies. Ariyarathnam, the winner of the fourth President for a Day contest, is a student senator and president of the Student Council of Liberal Arts & Professional Studies (SCOLAPS).

Town Hall 2015_evite

President’s Town Hall considers the present and future state of the University
Through a proactive approach to planning and resource integration, York University will be well-positioned to navigate a triple threat of changing government policy, flattening enrolment and reduced funding. That was the central message of the President’s Town Hall meeting.

Schulich School of Business

The Economist ranks Schulich School of Business No. 1 in Canada
The Economist ranked the MBA program at York University’s Schulich School of Business No. 1 in Canada in the magazine’s annual survey of the world’s top 100 MBA programs. This marked the 13th consecutive year that Schulich placed No. 1 in Canada and among the world’s top 50 in The Economist ranking. In addition to finishing first among Canadian business schools, Schulich ranked 46th overall and was the only Canadian school to be ranked among the world’s top 50.

Paul Sych

York design prof Paul Sych named one of the world’s top 10 typographers
York U design Professor Paul Sych was named one of the “Ten Masters of Typography” in the world by Graphis, a premiere international design journal, in its hardcover issue “Graphic Typography 3, 2015.” Sych’s work also garnered multiple nominations in the 2015 Advertising & Design Club of Canada competition.

Above: From left, Mona Dahdaleh, Victor Phillip Dahdaleh, Canadian High Commissioner in the United Kingdom Gordon Campbell, York University President and Vice-Chancellor Mamdouh Shoukri

Business leader and philanthropist Victor Phillip Dahdaleh donates $20 million to York University
York University alumnus Victor Phillip Dahdaleh, a Canadian business magnate based in the United Kingdom, made a transformational donation of $20 million for the expansion of the University’s global health initiatives. This is the largest donation by a York graduate in the University’s 56-year history.


Graphic showing different research terms

Six York graduate students awarded Vanier scholarships
Samantha Fashler, Jolin Joseph, Kyo Maclear, Noa Nohmia, Christopher Vanden Berg and Dessi Zaharieva were named recipients of the 2015 Vanier Scholarships. The award is a signature achievement in part due to its immense research support, providing the doctoral students with $50,000 annually for up to three years to support their work.

Amro Zayed

Genomics project gets $7.3M to breed Canadian winter-hardy honeybees
Amro Zayed, a biology professor and researcher in the Faculty of Science at York University, and Leonard Foster, a professor of biochemistry and molecular biology at the University of British Columbia, are leading a project to protect Canada’s honeybees by developing a winter-hardy, disease-resistant breed.

CIS CHAMPFEATURED JPC versionLions win second straight national soccer title with victory over Varsity Reds
The York University Lions hoisted the Sam Davidson Memorial Trophy for the second year in a row after a 2-0 victory over the University of New Brunswick Varsity Reds in the final match of the 2015 CIS men’s soccer national championship at York Stadium in Toronto. The win gives the Lions their fifth CIS title in program history (also 2014, 2010, 2008 and 1977) and marks the first time they have won back-to-back championships.

NGC 3344 is a glorious spiral galaxy around half the size of the Milky Way, which lies 25 million light-years distant. We are fortunate enough to see NGC 3344 face-on, allowing us to study its structure in detail. The galaxy features an outer ring swirling around an inner ring with a subtle bar structure in the centre. The central regions of the galaxy are predominately populated by young stars, with the galactic fringes also featuring areas of active star formation. Central bars are found in around two thirds of spiral galaxies. NGC 3344’s is clearly visible here, although it is not as dramatic as some (see for example heic1202). The high density of stars in galaxies’ central regions gives them enough gravitational influence to affect the movement of other stars in their galaxy. However, NGC 3344’s outer stars are moving in an unusual manner, although the presence of the bar cannot entirely account for this, leaving astronomers puzzled. It is possible that in its past NGC 3344 passed close by another galaxy and accreted stars from it, but more research is needed to state this with confidence. The image is a combination of exposures taken in visible and near-infrared light, using Hubble’s Advanced Camera for Surveys. The field of view is around 3.4 by 3.4 arcminutes, or around a tenth of the diameter of the full Moon. Credit: ESA/Hubble & NASA

Why do galaxies spin? York U researcher earns award for groundbreaking discovery
A York University astrophysics researcher received an award for furthering the understanding of the universe, including the discovery of outer-lying groupings of galaxies similar to ours and the reason why they spin. George Conidis has identified galaxies in groupings like that of our own cosmic neighbourhood and measured how they spin.

Glendon-VGlendon announces the recipients of the 2015 Principal’s Research Excellence Awards
Two Glendon researchers were honoured with 2015 Principal’s Research Excellence Awards. Professor Joanna Robinson from the Department of Sociology has been selected as the recipient in the emerging scholar category, while psychology Professor Anne Russon has received the award in the established scholar category. The Principal’s Research Excellence Awards are given annually to recognize full-time faculty members who have made an outstanding contribution to research in the past three years.


Samina Sami

York University appoints executive director of community safety
York University appointed a leader with a deep commitment to safety initiatives to the position of executive director, community safety. Samina Sami will lead York’s Department of Community Safety. She will support the University on matters related to campus safety, one of the University’s key institutional priorities.

Glendon College featured imageGlendon celebrates 50 years of bilingual academic excellence with a landmark conference
In 2015-16, York University’s Glendon campus marks a significant milestone by celebrating 50 years of academic excellence, research and innovation. Glendon launched its 50th anniversary celebrations on Dec. 3 with a conference of the Glendon Chairs of Quebec Studies.

Victor Phillip Dahdaleh

York University establishes The Dahdaleh Institute for Global Health
The Victor Phillip Dahdaleh Building was named in recognition of a transformational $20-million donation. The University also announced the establishment of The Dahdaleh Institute for Global Health, which will address some of the most pressing issues of our time. The institute will be a leader and a catalyst in addressing global health issues. It will provide a robust context for students involved in York’s Global Health program, as well as for academics and researchers working in the field at the University and around the world.

Solar Charging StationEnvironmentally friendly vehicles get a “charge” out of York University
Faculty of Environmental Studies Professor Jose Etcheverry and his research team developed and built a smart grid solar-powered charging station that can store solar electricity and withstand the bitter cold of a Canadian winter. The York University initiative is in line with a recent provincial decision to invest in electric-vehicle charging stations and a global push toward tackling climate change.

spring and arnaudFEATUREDPanel presentation on AMPD eLearning highlights York as a leader
Instructors of York University’s AMPD eLearning programs came together on Nov. 27 for a panel presentation to share their trailblazing efforts in this quickly evolving arena From expanding options for working with images in Moodle to managing information flow for a fully online film course with 800 students, faculty members in the School of the Arts, Media, Performance & Design (AMPD) have creative approaches to adapting eLearning for the arts.

This concludes YFile’s Year in Review: Top headlines at York University for 2015.