Professors Avi Cohen and Kim Michasiw honoured with University Professorships

the convocation stage

York University has honoured two distinguished faculty members with 2019 University Professorships. The title of University Professor was awarded to Faculty of Liberal Arts & Professional Studies (LA&PS) professors Avi Cohen and Kim Michasiw.

A University Professor is a member of faculty recognized for extraordinary contributions to scholarship and teaching and participation in university life.

University Professorships

Professor Avi Cohen, Department of Economics, Faculty of Liberal Arts & Professional Studies

Avi Cohen receives university professorship
From left: Faculty of Liberal Arts & Professional Studies Interim Dean JJ McMurtry, Professor Avi Cohen and Chancellor Greg Sorbara

Over the course of his 35 years at York University, Cohen has achieved an impressive record of scholarship and service, particularly in stimulating teaching innovation among colleagues and enhancing the educational experience of students. A renowned scholar on the history of economic thought, Cohen has uncovered and unified competing theories of economic capital, publishing dozens of chapters and articles in prestigious journals and co-editing four volumes.

Cohen has held numerous positions within the Department of Economics, including Chair; in the Faculty of Graduate Studies, as a member of Faculty Council; and at the university level, as a member of various working groups and committees devoted to teaching and learning and technology-enhanced learning.

Cohen’s greatest impact has been to raise the profile of teaching and learning and advance the use of technology-enhanced learning within the University. He adopted technology in his teaching from an early stage and developed resources for faculty colleagues to support the incorporation of technology into their courses. He extended his expertise to an Academic Innovation Fund project to develop an e-learning strategy for the Faculties of Health and Liberal Arts & Professional Studies, a project that greatly influenced the development and support of online learning at York University.

Cohen was honoured during convocation ceremonies on Wednesday, June 19.

Professor Kim Michasiw, Department of English and the Writing Department, Faculty of Liberal Arts & Professional Studies

From left: Chancellor Greg Sorbara, Professor Kim Michasiw, and President and Vice-Chancellor Rhonda L. Lenton

Michasiw has made an extraordinary contribution to the University, most notably through his extensive record of service at the department, Faculty and pan-University levels. He has served as the Chair of the English and Writing departments, associate dean programs and vice-dean in LA&PS, Chair of the Senate Academic Standards, Curriculum & Pedagogy Committee, and as a member of the Senate of York University for close to 20 years. In his posts as associate dean programs and vice-dean in LA&PS, Michasiw played a critical leadership role in launching and managing LA&PS following the amalgamation of the former Faculty of Arts and the Joseph E. Atkinson Faculty of Liberal & Professional Studies. This was displayed through his efforts to advance academic planning, a governance model and a distinctive culture for the new Faculty, as well as his oversight of the more than 100 academic programs housed in LA&PS and mentorship of its academic leadership.

Michasiw also has been deeply engaged in curricular transformations, spearheading two major changes to the undergraduate content and teaching models in the English Department and the creation of a new joint Professional Writing program with Seneca College, which incorporated applied and experiential studies into a theoretical-based curriculum. The joint delivery of the program and experiential learning component were atypical at the time it was established 20 years ago, demonstrating his foresight with respect to pedagogical innovation and commitment to serving the needs of students.

Michasiw was honoured during convocation ceremonies on Tuesday, June 18.