Year in Review 2018: Top headlines for York University, October to December

Year in Review 2018

As a new year emerges, YFile takes a look back on 2018 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 October to December 2018, as chosen by YFile editors.

Carla Lipsig-Mummé

York U Professor Carla Lipsig-Mummé recognized with prestigious SSHRC Impact Award
York University Professor Carla Lipsig-Mummé, of the Faculty of Liberal Arts & Professional Studies, was recognized for excellence in research by the Social Sciences & Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC). Lipsig-Mummé, a professor of work and labour studies, is the recipient of the SSHRC’s prestigious Impact Award (Partnership Category). She is currently principal investigator of the Adapting Canadian Work and Workplaces to Respond to Climate Change project, which brings together 56 individual researchers and 25 partner organizations and unions in seven countries. Its groundbreaking work has been recognized by the Secretariat of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change.

Schulich celebrates completion of campus expansion project
The Schulich School of Business community came together on Sunday, Oct. 21 to celebrate the official completion of the Rob and Cheryl McEwen Graduate Study & Research Building. This campus expansion was one of the five major pillars of Leading Change, Schulich’s most comprehensive fundraising and alumni engagement campaign to date. The ceremony was attended by more than 300 guests, including students, faculty, staff, alumni and friends of the University.

York University English Language Institute named World Language School of the Year
The York University English Language Institute (YUELI) was recognized as the 2018-19 World Language School of the Year – North America by iStudy Guide. The award is the highest recognition for a language institution. YUELI provides English-language instruction for academic and professional purposes and serves approximately 3,000 students from more than 50 different countries every year.

Lassonde School of Engineering graduate students Zhongpan Wu and Karim Hammad at Innovation 360
Lassonde School of Engineering graduate students Zhongpan Wu and Karim Hammad at Innovation 360

Lassonde graduate students win awards for work in DNA sequencing
Graduate students from the Department of Electrical Engineering & Computer Science in the Lassonde School of Engineering won two industry awards for their work on custom computers that are helping to propel DNA sequencing into a low-cost mobile activity. Lassonde grad students Zhongpan Wu, Karim Hammad and Yunus Dawji, along with Assistant Professor Ebrahim Ghafar-Zadeh and Associate Professor Sebastian Magierowski, are making significant contributions in the field of DNA sequencing by developing specially designed hardware intended to increase the rate at which DNA measurements can be processed and decrease the power consumption required to do so.


Chemistry prof receives Petro-Canada Young Innovator Award
Darwinian evolution in a lab. That’s how this year’s winner of the Petro-Canada Young Innovator Award, Assistant Professor Ryan Hili, concisely describes what he does in his chemistry lab in the Faculty of Science. It’s also what won him the Petro-Canada Young Innovator Award, a distinction that recognizes outstanding early career faculty. The award program is a commitment by Petro-Canada (now Suncor Energy Inc.) and York University to encourage excellence in teaching and research that will enrich the learning environment and contribute to society.

Leading thinkers gather at York University to discuss countdown to Canadian climate action
To understand how climate change already impacts human health in Canada and around the world, leading scientific and civil society organizations gathered at York University on Nov. 29. The day-long event focused on findings contained in the Lancet Countdown: Tracking Progress on Health and Climate Change, a Lancet-led yearly review of the world’s response to climate change and how it affects human health globally.

Passion for Indigenous pedagogy fuels Professor Ruth Koleszar-Green’s work
Koleszar-Green’s application of Indigenous pedagogy to her teaching has earned her a 2018 President’s University-wide Teaching Award. She was one of five people selected by the Senate Committee on Awards for their imaginative and significant contributions to enhancing the quality of learning for students enrolled at York University.

Laurence Harris
Laurence Harris

York University research to start with Canadian astronaut in space
Canadian Space Agency astronaut David Saint-Jacques launched to the International Space Station (ISS) on Dec. 3. Soon after his arrival, some important research from York University Professor Laurence Harris began. This effort could one day help research in the areas of Parkinson’s disease, stroke recovery, damaged organs, aging and remote robots used for surgery. Harris is leading a virtual reality experiment, some equipment for which recently travelled to the ISS on NASA’s Northrop Grumman’s commercial resupply mission. While Harris will remain on Earth, his research will investigate the effects of microgravity on astronauts’ perception of their motion. 


York-led research results in breakthrough discovery for obesity-related health issues
New research led by York University Faculty of Health Professor Tara Haas could be considered a breakthrough discovery in understanding obesity-associated events that worsen an individual’s health. Haas and a multidisciplinary team of scientists investigated the cause of a vascular dysfunction that links obesity with undesirable health outcomes, such as inflammation and diabetes, and made a novel finding that blood vessels may participate in the control of whole-body energy balance.

Professor Emeritus Neil Brooks receives Canadian Tax Foundation Lifetime Contribution Award
York University Professor Emeritus Neil Brooks was named the recipient of the Canadian Tax Foundation (CTF) Lifetime Contribution Award. The most prestigious award given out by the foundation, it honours individuals who, over their careers, have made substantial contributions to the CTF and its purposes through their volunteer efforts and body of work. Brooks was a professor at Osgoode Hall Law School, where he taught tax law and policy for more than 35 years.

Rob Bowman
Rob Bowman

York University music Professor Rob Bowman receives Grammy nomination for Best Historical Album
York University’s famous “rock ‘n’ roll professor,” Rob Bowman, was nominated for a Grammy Award in the Best Historical Album category as co-producer of the Numero Group’s 2017 two-disc compilation Jackie Shane: Any Other Way. This is Bowman’s sixth Grammy nomination and second as producer. In 1996, he won the Grammy for Best Album Notes for his 47,000-word monograph accompanying the 10-CD boxed set of The Complete Stax/Volt Soul Singles, Vol. 3: 1972-1975.

New online portal details how climate change will impact Ontario
York University’s Laboratory of Mathematical Parallel Systems (LAMPS) is exploring how climate change will affect Ontario in a new online portal containing hundreds of thousands of data points, maps, graphs and predictions. The Ontario Climate Data Portal, led by Huaiping Zhu, a professor of mathematics and statistics and director of LAMPS in the Faculty of Science, based calculations on the greenhouse gas concentration trajectories adopted by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.

This concludes the four-part YFile series for Year in Review 2018: Top headlines at York University.