Welcome to the first issue of Innovatus for the 2017-18 academic year


To all returning faculty, welcome back! To all new faculty, welcome to York University!

A warm welcome to York University’s eighth president and vice-chancellor Rhonda Lenton. The former provost and vice-president academic, President Lenton is an ardent advocate of teaching, learning and the student experience.

For those of you who have just joined York University, Innovatus is a special issue of YFile (York University’s Journal of Record) that is published the third Friday of every month during the academic year. It is devoted to teaching and learning (and coincidently was given its name by President Lenton).

In this issue of Innovatus, we hear about how York faculty are redefining teaching and learning through their innovative and interesting approaches to experiential education, eLearning and student experience. Here is an introduction to the stories:

Will Gage
  • The weather is unseasonably warm for late September and in keeping with the balmy weather, York University offered a warm welcome to 66 new faculty during the New Faculty Orientation co-hosted by the Office of the Vice-Provost Academic and my office. It was a wonderful two days for new faculty and for those of us who led the workshops. I appreciate and thank everyone who completed the survey of the event, your comments will help us continue to refine and enhance what we offer at the orientation.
  • Social Work Professor Soma Chatterjee has re-designed an existing course titled Social Work with Immigrants and Refugees to foster a deeper understanding of immigration and immigrant/refugee protection, settlement and integration. Read about the experience of students taking her course.
  • The EdTech Sandbox, along with Open Textbook, are eCampus Ontario initiatives that advance educational technology and postsecondary learning. Learn more about how faculty are making the most of their exposure to this innovative digital learning initiative.
  • The vibrant and very successful YU Experience Hub is celebrating its second birthday. The hub’s director, Kathleen Winningham, is now pursuing a share of $73 million in funding from the federal government. She is spreading the word about this terrific opportunity to all students and faculty. Don’t miss out!
  • Disco, is a new communique focused on learning and teaching in the Faculty of Health. Early in her term as the associate dean of teaching and learning in the faculty, Professor Susan Murtha began sending out emails containing interesting information to faculty. Professor Parissa Safai, the faculty’s new associate dean of teaching and learning has continued Murtha’s legacy with Disco: The Faculty of Health Learning and Teaching Communiqué.

I hope you enjoy this issue of Innovatus, which is produced by the Office of the Associate Vice-President Teaching & Learning in partnership with Communications & Public Affairs.

I extend a personal invitation to you to share your experiences in teaching, learning and the student experience through the Innovatus story form, which is available at http://tl.apps01.yorku.ca/machform/view.php?id=16573/.


Will Gage
Associate Vice-President Teaching & Learning