Welcome to the May 2019 issue of Innovatus

The innovatus special issue header

Welcome to the May 2019 issue of Innovatus, a special issue of YFile that is devoted to teaching and learning innovation at York University.

Will Gage

This is the last issue of the 2018-19 academic year and it has been a pleasure to publish the wonderful stories that highlight your collective commitment to excellence in the classroom. I continue to be so impressed by the ingenuity, dedication and focus of York University’s faculty, teaching assistants, students and staff in the areas of teaching, learning, the scholarship of teaching, internationalization and the student experience. Nowhere is this more evident than in the superb submissions we received for the next phase of the Academic Innovation Fund. The announcement of the projects is contained in this issue of Innovatus.

Every spring, York University hosts its annual Teaching in Focus (TiF) Conference. This year’s conference took place on May 15 and 16 and it was inspiring to see the passion and commitment of participants. The range of presentations was simply amazing, and this issue offers an overview of the sage and welcome advice delivered by TiF keynote speaker and York University alumnus, Ryerson Professor of Economics Eric Kam.

The end of the winter semester is also “capstone” season and the pride, accomplishments and excellent presentations delivered by York University students offers an instant balm for the chilly spring weather and rain that we are experiencing. I hope you will take an opportunity to read about the capstone showcases featuring Lassonde School of Engineering students and Faculty of Liberal Arts & Professional Studies Professional Writing program students.

And finally, we profile a recent Faculty of Health grad and her placement experience in Toronto’s Afrocentric Alternative School. It is an inspiring story of how she put her learning into action to benefit a young student with special learning needs.

Featured in the May 2019 issue of Innovatus

Lassonde School of Engineering students showcase their end-of-year capstone projects
Lassonde School of Engineering students took over the hallways of the Life Sciences Building to showcase their hard work and ingenuity as part of their end-of-year capstone and design projects at Lassonde Exhibit ’19. The annual event, which took place on April 26, focused on four broad engineering themes: mobility, energy, sensors and systems, and agile software. Read the full story.

Technology, eLearning, internationalization, hallmarks of newest AIF projects
Eleven new projects will receive funds for the coming academic year under Category 1 of the program, which focuses on academic innovation endeavours. Six current projects are ongoing. In addition, six new Category 2 projects, focused on the scholarship of teaching and learning, have been approved. Read the full story.

Success with large classes the focus of TiF 2019 keynote address
“Tools of Mass Instruction” was the intriguing title of York alumnus Eric Kam’s presentation at this year’s Teaching in Focus (TiF) conference and he delivered in spades (pun intended). Kam, who is professor of economics at Ryerson University, is an award-winning teacher and was the invited keynote presenter at the two-day teaching conference at York University. Read the full story.

Professional Writing students showcase their work at inaugural capstone event
The event brought together students from various areas of specialization: Book Making & Publishing, Digital Authoring, Periodical Writing & Publishing, and Corporate & Organizational Writing. They showcased their experiential educational project outcomes, including community projects, writing, book editing and corporate communications activities. Read the full story.

Recent psychology grad reflects on her fourth-year placement experience
Eki Okungbowa’s university experience was a richer one, thanks to a placement she undertook as the result of a fourth-year class, Atypical Development. The course focused on children, youth and adolescents with learning disabilities and Okungbowa decided to obtain some hands-on experience by working with a youngster with special learning needs. She paired up with a Grade 8 student at Africentric Alternative School in Toronto. Read the full story.

Innovatus is produced by the Office of the Associate Vice-President Teaching & Learning in partnership with Communications & Public Affairs.

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


Will Gage
Associate Vice-President Teaching & Learning