The outstanding achievements of 70 York University faculty members were recognized on April 12 during the 2023 Research Awards Celebration. The annual event, hosted by the Office of the Vice-President Research & Innovation, celebrates the research contributions from York’s community of changemakers over the last year.
“Universities continue to play an oversized role in undertaking the research, creative activities and innovation needed to address the complex, global problems we face. Through the dedication and hard work of York’s community of researchers, scholars, creators and knowledge mobilizers, we are driving positive change and strengthening our impact on the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals,” said President and Vice-Chancellor Rhonda Lenton. “I congratulate all the honorees and their teams for their efforts in building a brighter, more equitable, and sustainable world.”
Faculty were recognized for their wide-ranging work, including studies to advance greener chemistry, documenting Indigenous resurgence, and for the mathematical modelling of zoonotic threats, in addition to their prestigious appointments, such as being inducted into the Royal Society of Canada, or the Order of Ontario.
“The honourees’ contributions to purposeful research and scholarly activity at York enriches the University greatly,” said Vice-President Research and Innovation Amir Asif. “They have all made their mark in their respective fields and this event is an opportunity to recognize so many of the brilliant minds, gifted artists and imaginative thinkers that call York University home. The University is proud of them.”
The achievements span 10 categories, including the President’s Research Awards.
The recipients of this year’s President’s Research Awards are:
Karen Burke, associate professor, School of the Arts, Media, Performance & Design, was recognized with the President’s Research Impact Award (PRIA). The PRIA recognizes full-time, active faculty members whose body of research or scholarship has translated into a notable impact on communities, individuals, public policies or practice beyond academe, or translated successfully into impactful commercial or other applications, while significantly and positively contributing to the University’s research culture and reputation.
Burke is a singer, music director, choral conductor and composer in the field of African-American vocal music. Her expertise is in the history and performance practices of Gospel music and has worked with major choral ensembles, organizations, schools, and church congregations. She is the cofounder of the Juno Award-winning Toronto Mass Choir and the founding director of the York University Gospel Choir.
Jude Kong, assistant professor, Faculty of Science, and Taien-Ng Chan, assistant professor, School of the Arts, Performance, Media & Design, were recognized with the President’s Emerging Research Leadership Award (PERLA). The PERLA recognizes two full-time faculty members – one in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) and one in the social sciences, humanities and arts (SSHA) – within 10 years of their first academic appointment, who have had a notable impact on their field and made a significant contribution to advancing the University’s international reputation for research excellence while significantly and positively contributing to one or more aspects of the York community’s intellectual life.
Kong is a mathematician and is the founding executive director of the Africa-Canada Artificial Intelligence and Data Innovation Consortium (ACADIC). He is also the executive director of the Global South Artificial Intelligence for Pandemic and Epidemic Preparedness and Response Network (AI4PEP). His research focuses on the use of AI, data science, mathematical models and system thinking to improve decision-making in global health and clinical public health.
Ng-Chan is a writer and media artist whose research explores experimental processes of urban mapping and sound art, “object-oriented storytelling,” and futurist imaginings of everyday life in the Asian diaspora through immersive cinema, both in VR headset and dome projection modes. Her writing ranges from scholarly work to books and anthologies of creative writing, to collaborative multimedia arts websites, and drama for stage, screen and CBC Radio.
Linda Peake, professor in the Faculty of Environmental and Urban Change, was recognized with the President’s Research Excellence Award (PREA). The PREA recognizes senior established, full-time, active faculty members at the rank of Professor, with distinguished scholarly achievements, who have had a notable impact on their field(s) and made a significant contribution to advancing the University’s international reputation for research excellence while significantly and positively contributing to one or more aspects of the York community’s intellectual life.
Peake is the director of the City Institute at York University, and a feminist geographer with research interests in the co-construction of subjectivities and urban places, particularly pertaining to marginalized communities in the urban global south, and specifically Guyana. Peake is also co-chair of the American Association of Geographers (AAG) Affinity Group on Mental Health, and a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada.
For more information about the award winners and the full list of categories, visit the Research Awards Celebration website.
View a gallery of photos from the event.