YFile’s Year in Review: Top headlines at York University, January to March 2016

As a new year emerges, YFile takes a look back on 2016 to share with readers a snapshot of the year’s highlights. “Year in Review” will run as a four-part series, and will feature a random selection of top news stories published in YFile. Here are the stories and highlights for January to March 2016, as chosen by YFile editors.


Ice sheet
Above: An image of the coast of Greenland showing the ice sheet. Image: Wikimedia Commons

Climate change altering Greenland ice sheet and accelerating sea level rise, says York U prof
The Greenland ice sheet has traditionally been pictured as a bit of a sponge for glacier meltwater, but new research has found it is rapidly losing the ability to buffer its contribution to rising sea levels, says  York University researcher William Colgan.

Ten individuals with connections to York University appointed to the Order of Canada
York University honorary governor Helen Vari (LLD [Hons.] ’03), honorary degree recipients Lloyd Axworthy (LLD [Hons.] ’15), Jack Cockwell (LLD [Hons.] ’01), Wade Davis (LLD [Hons.] ’14) and Rohinton Mistry (DLitt [Hons.] ’03), and York alumni Joseph Boyden (BA ’91), Rudy Buttignol (BFA ’82), Barbara Hall (LLB ’78), Fiona Amaryllis Sampson (DJur ’05) and Faye Thomson (BFA ’77) are among the 69 Canadians to be honoured with Canada’s highest civilian honour – the Order of Canada.

Bilateral articulation agreement promotes accessibility to postsecondary study programs in French
York University’s Glendon College and College Boreal have signed a bilateral articulation agreement with a view to promoting excellence in learning and expanding training opportunities. The agreement also seeks to enhance accessibility to postsecondary study programs in French and mobility between their two institutions.

Myles Lamont, "Canada's New Noah" for 2013, with an echo parakeet chick. The echo parakeet is an endemic Mauritian species, which Wildlife Preservation Canada helped save from extinction in the 1980s and 1990s.
Myles Lamont, “Canada’s New Noah” for 2013, with an echo parakeet chick

FES partners with Wildlife Preservation Canada to provide experiential learning in species recovery
A new partnership between the Faculty of Environmental Studies and Wildlife Preservation Canada provides experiential learning opportunities in species recovery programs for at-risk animals. York U students gain hands-on experience working with at-risk birds, reptiles, amphibians and pollinators.

YU Experience Hub created as a nexus for experiential education at York University
The new YU Experience Hub will support experiential education initiatives by identifying opportunities for collaboration and offering services to address common needs, including engaging with stakeholders, offering shared services and workshops as needed, and developing new community partnerships.

York U biology professor awarded prestigious research medal
York University biology Professor Carol Bucking has been awarded the the Society for Experimental Biology President’s Medal for her research and developments in animal biology and physiology. The prestigious medal is awarded annually to young scientists for outstanding research. 


York U researchers help create first map of Greenland ice sheet movement
York U researchers are among a team of scientists that has created the first map showing how the Greenland ice sheet has flowed over time. The map shows that ice in the interior is  moving more slowly toward the edges now than it has, on average, over the past 9,000 years.

From camps to campuses: Students changing students’ lives through WUSC
Students at York University are making positive contributions to the global refugee crisis through the on-campus chapter of the World University Service of Canada (WUSC). WUSC supports and sponsors student refugees, and this fall will assist five new students with their resettlement in Canada and at York U.

Curiosity is a car-sized robotic rover exploring Gale Crater on Mars as part of NASA's Mars Science Laboratory mission (MSL).[3] As of February 16, 2016, Curiosity has been on Mars for 1255 sols (1289 total days) since landing on August 6, 2012. Image: NASA
Curiosity is a car-sized robotic rover exploring Gale Crater on Mars as part of NASA’s Mars Science Laboratory mission
Lassonde research team selected by NASA to provide support to the Curiosity mission
Lassonde professor John Moores and his research team have been selected by NASA to provide Scientific and Operations support to the Mars Science Laboratory Mission (Curiosity). The Lassonde team will be part of the mission through 2020 as they help plan out what the $2.5 billion Mars Rover will do each day.

York University gains six new and two renewed Canada Research Chairs
York Professors Peter Backx, Rosemary Coombe, Christopher Kyriakides, Deborah McGregor, Doug Van Nort, Sean Tulin, Graham Wakefield and Jianhong Wu are among the 305 new and renewed Canada Research Chairs at 53 Canadian degree-granting postsecondary institutions announced by Minister of Science Kristy Duncan on Feb. 9.

York University research leaders recognized at annual celebration
York University research leaders were recognized on Feb. 24 for their outstanding achievements during the fourth annual York U Research Leaders celebration. The evening was dedicated in memory of Lassonde Professor Nick Cercone, who was posthumously recognized for his research achievements.


From left: Minister
Minister Responsible for Francophone Affairs Madeleine Meilleur, York President and Vice-Chancellor Mamdouh Shoukri, York Vice-President Academic and Provost Rhonda Lenton and Glendon Principal Donald Ipperciel

Glendon celebrates its 50th anniversary with a special designation under the French Language Services Act
The Province of Ontario has designated the Glendon campus as a French-language service provider through a partial designation of York University under the French Language Services Act. The move reaffirms Glendon’s role as a distinct faculty dedicated to Francophone and bilingual programming.

York U political science students recognized for top achievement at Model Arctic Council
Samantha Craig-Curnow, Veronica Guido, Val Muzik and Darren Zanussi are all fourth-year students in the Department of Political Science in the Faculty of Liberal Arts & Professional Studies at York University. They recently came away with accolades for their standout performances at the recent Model Arctic Council at the University of Alaska Fairbanks.

Professor Sandra Whitworth receives the ISA-Canada 2016 Distinguished Scholar Award
The International Studies Association (ISA) – Canada Distinguished Scholar Award committee has nominated York University political science Professor Sandra Whitworth as the ISA-Canada 2016 Distinguished Scholar.

Faculty of Graduate Studies Dean Barbara Crow’s place in Canadian history
For Barbara Crow, dean of the Faculty of Graduate Studies at York University, the opportunity to make history arrived with her appointment as an expert panel member to facilitate public consultation for nominations for a new banknote featuring an iconic Canadian woman that will be issued in 2018.

Philip Hoffman shooting at the Berlin Wall, 1987

York Professor Philip Hoffman named a Governor General’s Award laureate
Professor Philip Hoffman is among eight winners of the 2016 Governor General’s Awards in Visual and Media Arts. The award recognizes outstanding career achievement in categories including artistic achievement in visual and media arts, fine craft, and outstanding contribution.

York U team receives close to $1M in funding for mental-health care virtual community for students
A York University research team will receive funding and in-kind contributions from the Canadian Institutes of Health Research and industry partners to research and develop support for the mental health needs of students through a Mindfulness Virtual Community.

Check back in the next edition of YFile for Year in Review: Top headlines at York University, April to June 2016.