Year in Review 2020: Top headlines at York University, September to December

Typewriter with paper that reads 2020

As a new year emerges, YFile takes a look back on 2020 to share with readers a snapshot of the year’s highlights. “Year in Review” will run as a three-part series and will feature a selection of top news stories published in YFile. Here are the stories and highlights for September to December, as chosen by YFile editors.


The Faculty of Environmental and Urban Change (EUC) is ready to take up the challenges of the climate crisis, biodiversity loss and increased urbanization, and their impact on people and the planet

New Faculty at York University to create climate crisis changemakers
As of Aug. 31, York University has had a new and dynamic Faculty – the Faculty of Environmental and Urban Change (EUC) – ready to take up the challenges of the climate crisis, biodiversity loss and increased urbanization, and their impact on people and the planet.

Six York University faculty members appointed to the Royal Society of Canada
Recognition by The Royal Society of Canada is the highest honour an individual can achieve in the Arts, Social Sciences and Sciences. Elected to The Royal Society for 2020 were York Professors Molly Ladd-Taylor, William Wicken, John Greyson, Rui Wang, Benjamin Berger and Mark Terry.

Investigating connections between COVID-19 and long-term care facilities
York University sociology Professor Pat Armstrong has done extensive research on the shortcomings of long-term care in Canada, with many recent articles revealing details which help to paint the picture of the unique relationship between this facet of healthcare and COVID-19.


The power of education: York University celebrates Bratty Family’s $10M gift to Markham Centre Campus
On Oct. 16, York University announced the latest and most significant gift from the R. P. Bratty Family Foundation, a $10-million donation towards the construction of the Markham Centre Campus. To honour the contributions of the Bratty Family, York University is naming the new atrium in the Markham Centre Campus “The Bratty Family Atrium.”

York’s Glendon Campus

York University’s Glendon Campus stepping up to help address shortage of FSL teachers
The Glendon Accelerator for Innovation and Best Practices in French Teaching is leading several new initiatives to help recruit and retain French language teachers for extended, core and immersion teaching and address the shortage of FSL teachers in Ontario and Canada.

York University was recognized with awards for work related to the pandemic. York faculty members earned Awards of Excellence for their commitment to guiding Ontario through the pandemic; and York University’s ELLA Altitude won the COVID-19 Support Award in the 2020 Canada Innovation and Entrepreneurship Awards.


New Project Commons showcases depth of experiential education at York University
The Project Commons is a pan-University, open-access resource built with support from York University’s Academic Innovation Fund and the York University Faculty Association (YUFA) Teaching and Learning Development Grant.

PhD student develops tool for improved symptom management in oncology patients
Collaborating with a team from Sunnybrook and U of T, Khadijeh Saednia, a grad student in the Lassonde School of Engineering, leverages artificial intelligence to develop a new tool for symptom management in the breast radiation oncology clinic. It could have wide application in cancer treatment.

social distance covid FEATURED
York-led research related to COVID-19 was a highlight in November

York researchers continued to undertake important studies related to COVID-19 through November, including: funding to develop critical innovations for detection of the COVID-19 virus; a study on unequal impacts of COVID-19 on racialized communities; a paper on how sex, age and estrogens may play a role in who contracts COVID-19; the creation of an AI simulation app to help with logistics of mass vaccinations for COVID-19; and the York-led Research Roadmap for COVID-19 Recovery released by the UN.


York undergraduate students recognized for achievements in emergency management
Disaster & Emergency Management undergraduate students Mahmood Khan and Tiana Putric were recognized with awards from the Ontario Association of Emergency Managers (OAEM).

Artwork by Métis (Otipemisiwak) artist Christi Belcourt
Artwork by Métis (Otipemisiwak) artist Christi Belcourt

Championing Indigenous voices and inclusion
‘Lighting the Fire: Experiences of Indigenous Faculty in Ontario Universities’ is a new report on a survey conducted by the Council of Ontario Universities. It is an important document and includes input from Indigenous faculty at York University.

Educators at York finished the year strong, with innovative approaches to teaching and learning. A Glendon instructor livestreamed field trips to provide experiential education throughout the pandemic, and a Lassonde professor turned to the the Lassonde Education and Innovation Studio (LEIS) to adapt her third-year course into a successful online experience.

This concludes YFile‘s Year in Review 2020: Top headlines at York University. For part one, covering January to April, go here; for part two, covering May to August, go here.