McLaughlin Lunch Talk Series puts focus on student success in October

Four events are on the calendar for the popular McLaughlin Lunch Talk Series this October, turning some of the focus to best practices for student success.

McLaughlin College invites the York University community to come and listen to interesting speakers as they share their knowledge on a variety of topics, and enjoy a free lunch.

Students who attend six or more Lunch Talks throughout the year will receive a Certificate of Participation, while those who attend 10 or more will receive a Certificate of Honour.

The talks take place in the Senior Common Room, 140 McLaughlin College, Keele Campus.

Here’s what’s on the menu for October:

Oct. 8 – Well-being: The Key to Student Success

Shaila Khan

Presented by Shaila Khan, a health educator and training specialist working in Student Success Strategies at York University, this talk looks at the importance of well-being in a student’s life.

Part lecture and part workshop, it will provide a high-level overview of and emphasis on the significance of making well-being a high priority and how it relates to physical health, mental health and student success. An overview of campus supports, services, tips and resources are provided with encouragement to take a proactive approach to become familiar with and to access supports needed. Students will understand how wellness plays into their personal success, whether that is securing better grades or accessing new opportunities to build their careers during their time at York.

This event runs from noon to 1 p.m.

Oct. 9 – The Opera Llandovery Castle: Research-creation and the Creative Process

Stephanie Martin
Stephanie Martin

Presented by Stephanie Martin, graduate program director for music, this talk explores Martin’s 2018 opera Llandovery Castle.

Martin teaches composition, historical ensembles and music history in York University’s School of the Arts, Media, Performance & Design (AMPD), and her opera Llandovery Castle recounts the forgotten story of 14 Canadian nurses who were killed on their hospital ship during the First World War. Creative work continues with librettist Paul Cuifo for an oratorio based on Aesop’s fable The Sun, the Wind, and the Man with the Cloak, premiering in Toronto on Nov. 2. Recent commissions include works for the Victoria Cathedral (B.C.), the Saskatoon Chamber Choir and the Halifax Camerata. Martin was recently appointed a Fellow of McLaughlin College, York University.

A complete list of Martin’s works can be found at

This presentation runs from noon to 1:30 p.m.

Oct. 10 – Improper Influence of Office: Laws, Codes and Cases

Greg Levine

This presentation will look at how improper influence of office is an abuse of power that demeans democracy. It is presented by Greg Levine, who practices administrative, municipal and government ethics law, and has spent part of his career as an integrity commissioner for several Ontario municipalities.

It is reasonable to expect that elected officials and public servants will be influential in terms of promotion of ideas and ideals that will enhance government and administration. It is also reasonable to expect that influence will not be used to advance non-meritorious and illegal decisions and actions. This presentation explores the concept of improper influence and how it is defined and regulated in statutes and codes of ethics as well as some contemporary examples. The view that rules about improper influence should not only reflect concerns respecting conflict of interest, but concerns about inappropriate governance and administration more generally will also be outlined.

Levine is a member of the Law Societies of Upper Canada and British Columbia, with an LLB from the University of Toronto and a PhD in cultural geography from Queen’s University. He is also a member of the Canadian Academy of Independent Scholars, based in Vancouver. The author of three books – The Law of Government Ethics: Federal, Ontario and British Columbia; Municipal Ethics Regimes; and Ombudsman Legislation in Canada: An Annotation and Appraisal – and numerous articles, Levine has been involved in government ethics law work in various contexts for many years.

This presentation takes place from noon to 1:30 p.m.

Oct. 23 – Common Read: Skills for Success at University, Work and Life

Thomas Klassen
Thomas Klassen

This talk is presented by Thomas Klassen, a York University professor and author who teaches about, and writes on, public policy and public administration and how to ensure students succeed.

Klassen has taught in a variety of programs at York, including the School of Public Policy & Administration, the IMBA at the Schulich School of Business, the Department of Political Science and the Faculty of Health. He has also taught university courses in South Korea and Germany. More information on Klassen is available online at

In this session, attendees will learn the four skills needed to succeed at university: communication, problem solving, teamwork and adaptability. Learn how to avoid the mistakes that first-year students make, and discover how to mobilize professors to boost success.

This talk takes place from noon to 1:30 p.m.