Three faculty members to receive honorific professorships

Tossing colorful paper confetti from the hands of young people.

York University will honour three esteemed faculty members during 2024 Spring Convocation with Distinguished Research Professor and University Professor recognitions.

Distinguished Research Professor is a designation reflecting a member of faculty who has made outstanding contributions to the York U community through research and whose work is recognized within and outside of the University.

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

This year’s winners are:

Distinguished Research Professor

Roger Keil, Faculty of Environmental & Urban Change

Roger Keil
Roger Keil

Professor Keil’s research and teaching has focused on health in cities and suburbs, societal relationships with nature and how people govern themselves. His most extensive contributions have been in the fields of urban political ecology, global suburbanization, as well as cities and infectious disease. Recently, he has demonstrated research leadership in studying the ongoing impact of COVID-19.

At York U, Keil has occupied several important roles, including founding director of York University’s City Institute (made up of interdisciplinary urban scholars) and York Research Chair in Global Sub/Urban Studies.

Throughout his career, Keil has published over 10 books and 150 articles, in addition to overseeing others’ work as editor of the International Journal of Urban and Regional Research, a premier journal in his field. He has also earned several awards, including being named a Fellow of the Canadian Institute for Advanced Research and receiving a York University President’s Research Excellence Award.

“I am extremely honoured to receive this prestigious award,” says Keil. “I am fortunate to have worked alongside supportive colleagues and brilliant students at the Faculty of Environmental & Urban Change and the City Institute.”

Distinguished Research Professor

Leah Vosko, Faculty of Liberal Arts & Professional Studies

Leah Vosko
Leah Vosko

A professor and Canada Research Chair (Tier 1) in the Political Economy of Gender and Work, Vosko has become a leader in the study of gender and politics, citizenship, migration and labour markets. Her research has a frequent focus on part-time, seasonal and contract workers, and the question, “What can be done to mitigate labour market insecurity?”

An author and editor of numerous scholarly books, volumes and articles, her work has been driven by the aim of protecting precarious workers by shaping better policies and understanding around the labour market.

For those efforts, Vosko has received several prestigious recognitions, including the Social Sciences & Humanities Research Council of Canada’s Impact Award (Insight Category), an election to the Royal Society of Canada, a Fulbright Fellowship, the Charles Taylor Prize for Excellence in Policy Research and a Premier’s Research Excellence Award.

“I feel extremely fortunate to have received this recognition and to have spent so much of my career in the highly collaborative and critical interdisciplinary environment at York,” says Vosko.

University Professorship

Aleksander Czekanski, Department of Mechanical Engineering

Aleksander Czekanski
Aleksander Czekanski

Since joining York University in 2014, Czekanski has specialized in cutting-edge engineering principles, including additive manufacturing, bioprinting and soft tissue mechanics, with applications ranging from biomedical science to materials manufacturing. His research has been awarded more than $10 million in external grants as a principal or co-applicant.

In addition to holding the role of Natural Sciences & Research Council of Canada (NSERC) Chair in Design Engineering, Czekanski has filled several roles at Lassonde and the University, in particular as founder or co-founder of: the Integrated Design & Engineering Analysis Laboratory, which supports high-calibre research, student learning experiences and the development of innovative engineering solutions; the Additive Manufacturing in Engineering Design & Global Entrepreneurship program, which provides students with technical and entrepreneurial training as part of the NSERC Collaborative Research & Training Experience; and the Manufacturing, Technology & Entrepreneurship Centre, which aims to bring innovative technologies to market.

Over the past decade, Czekanski has received awards recognizing his excellence in teaching and research, including the President’s University-Wide Teaching Award, the Lassonde Innovation Award – Established Researcher, the Engineering Medal for Engineering Excellence in Industry from the Ontario Society of Professional Engineers, as well as multiple industry fellowships. He has also served on the board of directors of the Canadian Society for Mechanical Engineering and is currently its president.

“Receiving this University Professorship is both an honour and a profound responsibility. It signifies recognition by peers and the academic community for my contributions to scholarship, education and community engagement, and it catalyzes my commitment to continue pushing the boundaries of knowledge and pedagogy,” he says. “As I embrace this role, I am inspired to further cultivate a legacy of intellectual curiosity and academic excellence that extends beyond the classroom, impacting our community and the broader world.”

For a full list of ceremonies, visit the Convocation website.