Lassonde dean earns honorary doctorate for dedication to accessible education

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York University Lassonde School of Engineering Dean Jane Goodyer received an honorary doctor of technology degree from her alma mater, Coventry University in the United Kingdom, in recognition of her outstanding contributions to engineering education and her dedication to promoting women in engineering.

“I am deeply honoured,” said Goodyer. “While it was very challenging for me, as a first-generation learner who faced many personal struggles, to first earn my BEng (Hons.) in production engineering and to return to complete a PhD, my education has completely changed my life. The doors it opened have driven me to make education more accessible for other women and underrepresented groups in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM).”

Dean Jane Goodyer receiving honorary degree
Jane Goodyer receiving her honorary degree

The honorary doctorate marked an occasion to celebrate not just Goodyer’s dedication to making education more accessible at York, but over the course of her career, such as her 12 years at Massey University, New Zealand, in various leadership roles, including head of the School of Engineering and Advanced Technology. While in New Zealand she also launched engineering outreach programs for girls across the country, as well as a Degree Apprenticeship pilot program and a fully work-integrated Digital Technologies degree program that is a uniquely flexible, cost-effective alternative to traditional university study, allowing learners to be fully employed and gain a qualification without going into debt.

Goodyer continues this work at Lassonde with initiatives like the k2i (kindergarten to industry) academy, engaging youth and Kindergaten to Grade 12 educators in hands-on, free STEM programs. Since 2020, k2i has reached 6,000-plus individuals in 175,000-plus hours of engagement and generated more than $5 million in funding. In Fall 2023, Goodyer will also be introducing the Degree Apprenticeship pilot program at York, the first of its kind in Canada.

In her role as Lassonde’s chief academic and administrative officer, Goodyer also leads an inclusive community of engineers, scientists and entrepreneurs towards achieving Lassonde’s strategic academic goals. Goodyer is driven to make education more accessible, advancing women and other underrepresented groups in engineering.

“I’m passionate about collaborating with others to dismantle barriers and contribute to a more inclusive and equitable future in which every aspiring engineer is empowered to thrive,” said Goodyer.