York University to confer 10 honorary degrees during Spring Convocation

Convocation sign on Aviva Centre

Spring Convocation at York University will see graduates crossing the stage beginning June 9 at the Glendon Campus, and continuing with Keele Campus ceremonies running June 16 to 23. Throughout the 13 ceremonies, York will confer honorary degrees to nine changemakers who will receive an honorary doctor of laws (LLD), and one who will receive an honorary doctor of science (DSc).

Honorary degree recipients are recognized for their contributions to community building, their advocacy for social justice and their philanthropy, and will offer words of encouragement, motivation and congratulations to graduands.

Below are the honorary degree recipients in order of the Faculty ceremonies at which they will be honoured:

Joan Andrew
Joan Andrew

Friday, June 9 at 2 p.m. – Glendon College: Joan Andrew (to receive LLD)
Joan Andrew is a graduate of Glendon College, York University. She spent more than 35 years working for the federal and provincial governments, retiring in 2009 from the Ontario Public Service as the deputy minister of the Ministry of Citizenship and Immigration. Post-retirement, Andrew joined the now Toronto Metropolitan University as public service in residence in the Department of Politics and Public Administration. Andrew has also held volunteer roles with the United Way and the Toronto Region Immigrant Employee Council, and was the vice-chair of the Niagara Parks Commission until 2018.

Daniel Kahneman

Friday, June 16 at 10:30 a.m. – Faculty of Health: Daniel Kahneman (to recieve DSc)
Daniel Kahneman is professor emeritus of psychology and public affairs at Princeton University, and is best known for his work with Amos Tversky on human judgment and decision making, for which he was awarded the Nobel Prize in Economics in 2002. His book, Thinking, Fast and Slow, has sold more than seven million copies worldwide. He is also the recipient of the Presidential Medal of Freedom (2013), and the Distinguished Lifetime Career Contribution of the American Psychological Association.

Denis Mukwege
Denis Mukwege

Friday, June 16 at 3 p.m. – Faculty of Education: Dr. Denis Mikwege (to receive LLD)
Denis Mukwege is a world-renowned obstetrician/gynecologist and human rights activist who received the Nobel Peace Prize in 2018 for his efforts to end rape as a weapon of war. In 1999, he founded Panzi Hospital with the intention of it being a center of excellence for maternal health. Many of his first patients, however, were women and girls who had been raped with extreme brutality during armed conflicts. Panzi Hospital and Panzi Foundation have been recognized for their pioneering work in specialized responses to gender-based violence. He has received various awards worldwide for his dedication to peace and justice, including the United Nations Human Rights Award (2008); the European Union’s Sakharov Prize (2014), and more.

Cory Doctorow
Cory Doctorow

Tuesday, June 20 at 10:30 a.m. – Faculty of Liberal Arts & Professional Studies I: Cory Doctorow (to receive LLD)
Cory Doctorow is a science fiction author, activist and journalist. He has written about creative labour markets and monopoly, nonfiction about conspiracies and monopolies, science fiction for young adults and most recently, a technothriller about finance crime. He works for the Electronic Frontier Foundation, is a MIT Media Lab research affiliate, is a visiting professor of computer science at Open University, a visiting professor of practice at the University of North Carolina’s School of Library and Information Science and co-founded the UK Open Rights Group. In 2020, he was inducted into the Canadian Science Fiction and Fantasy Hall of Fame, and in 2022 earned the Sir Arthur Clarke Imagination in Service to Society Award for lifetime achievement.

Susur Lee
Susur Lee

Tuesday, June 20 at 3 p.m. – Faculty of Liberal Arts & Professional Studies II: Susur Lee (to receive LLD)
Praised as one of the “Ten Chefs of the Millennium” by Food & Wine magazine, Susur Lee is still at the top of his game. Chef Lee has made numerous television appearances on Chopped Canada, MasterChef Asia, Top Chef Canada, and has been a judge on Wall of Chefs, Top Chef Masters and Iron Chef Canada and America. His awards and achievements include being an ambassador for Canada’s 150th birthday celebrations, receiving the Lifetime Achievement Award by Canada’s 100 Best, and being named the first foreign chef to be granted The Red Chef’s Hat Award in Qing Dao, China. Lee cooks his signature French and Chinese fusion at his flagship restaurant, LEE.

Ruth Lor Malloy
Ruth Lor Malloy

Wednesday, June 21 at 10:30 a.m. – Faculty of Liberal Arts & Professional Studies III: Ruth Lor Malloy (to receive LLD)
Ruth Lor Malloy was brought up in a Chinese restaurant family in Brockville, Ont. There she was subjected to racist slurs and social rejection. College in Toronto opened her eyes to other victims of racial discrimination and she wanted to find solutions. This led to testing Black discrimination in Washington, D.C., a key test case of refusal of service to Black customers in a Dresden, Ont. restaurant and a delegation to Ottawa. She is the author of a dozen guide books on China and newspaper travel stories as she explored the world, collected old shoes for Canadian museums and continued to help relieve suffering and misinformation where possible. Her recently-released memoir Brightening My Corner relates her efforts to help, and her struggles with her own relationships and identity.

Shaun Loney
Shaun Loney

Wednesday, June 21 at 3 p.m. – Faculty of Liberal Arts & Professional Studies IV: Shaun Loney (to receive LLD)
Shaun Loney (MSc) is a Canadian leader in the social enterprise sector. Based in Winnipeg, where he’s heavily impacted by Indigenous wisdom, Loney has co-founded a dozen social enterprise non-profit businesses now operating in six Canadian cities and six First Nations. He has written five books about his journey modernizing relationships between government and non-profits, including An Army of Problem Solvers: Reconciliation and the Solutions Economy. His work has been recognized as having national importance by Ashoka Canada, Ernst and Young, and Canada Clean50.

Nancy Archibald
Nancy Archibald

Thursday, June 22 at 10:30 a.m. – Faculty of Science: Nancy Archibald (to receive LLD)
Nancy Archibald began her career as a public school teacher in Toronto and Niagara Falls, before starting a career at the CBC as a researcher working on documentaries for The Nature of Things. Later taking on roles as story editor and producer/director, Archibald was appointed executive producer of the show in 1972 and senior producer in 1979. She is the recipient of several awards and recognitions, including The Federation of Ontario Naturalist’s Distinguished Service Award (1985) in recognition of outstanding contributions toward maintaining a diverse and wholesome environment, and the Toronto Women in Film and TV’s Outstanding Achievement Award (1990).

Thomas Lee
Thomas Lee

Thursday, June 22 at 3 p.m. – Lassonde School of Engineering: Thomas Lee (to receive LLD)
Thomas Lee is the Walter Booth Chair in Engineering Innovation and Entrepreneurship at McMaster University. Prior to his role at McMaster, he was part of the leadership of several Canadian start-ups commercializing autonomous robotics, mathematical computation and cryptography. He was a pioneer in the introduction of smart digital technologies in engineering education and his work has influenced universities throughout North America, Europe, Middle East, India and Japan. His current research and teaching explore new ways to address complexity and uncertainty in modern engineering. In 2019, he was inducted into the Canadian Academy of Engineering for his contributions to engineering education and entrepreneurship.

The Honourable Michael H. Tulloch
Michael Tulloch

Friday, June 23 at 3 p.m. – Osgoode Hall Law School: Michael H. Tulloch (to receive LLD)
Justice Michael Tulloch was appointed Chief Justice of Ontario in December 2022, after serving 10 years as a judge of the Court of Appeal for Ontario, and nine years as a judge on the Superior Court of Justice in Ontario. He has a long and distinguished career of service as a member of the Canadian judiciary, a Crown prosecutor, a lawyer in private practice, and a renowned writer, speaker and professor. Tulloch has led systemic reviews of the justice system at various levels, provided leadership on legal and judicial committees, designed, and delivered international justice sector reform programs, and contributed to a myriad of civic, charitable, and community development initiatives. He holds a BA in economics and business from York University and graduated from Osgoode Hall Law School at York University with a law degree in 1989. He was called to the bar in Ontario in 1991.

The convocation website includes a full schedule of all ceremonies.

Spring Convocation set for 2023 graduands

File photo Convocation students

Beginning June 9, graduating students will experience the time-honoured tradition of crossing a stage to accept a diploma when York University’s 2023 Spring Convocation gets underway.

Running from June 9 to 23, this year’s spring convocation will feature 13 ceremonies at both the Keele and Glendon campuses, as well as new celebrations for Black and 2SLGBTQIA+ graduands.

This year’s events will reflect the first changes recommended by a working group assembled in August 2022 by York President and Vice-Chancellor, Rhonda Lenton, tasked with exploring updates to the University’s convocations that further embed decolonization, equity, diversity and inclusion principles, embody respect for Indigenous ways of knowing and being, and align with the institutional value of sustainability.

Among the changes taking effect this year will be clearer language around existing policies regarding First Nations, Métis or Inuit students, faculty and guests being encouraged to wear traditional ceremonial dress of their people and culture; the Canadian national anthem occurring after a land acknowledgement and, where possible, an Honour Song; and further reductions in plastic and paper waste and such as digital programs available via QR codes onsite.

New this year are special celebrations for Black and 2SLGBTQIA+ graduands that will take place on Wednesday, June 28 and Thursday, June 29 respectively. These events will celebrate and recognize the achievements of the Class of 2023 and the professors, staff, classmates, alumni, friends, family and allies who have supported their journey. The events are open to all members of the YorkU community.

As before, all Convocation ceremonies will be webcast live and a link to the feed, as well as a schedule of ceremonies, will be available on the Convocation website.

Osgoode grad hopes scholarship will help inspire Indigenous youth

Osgoode Hall Law School graduand Justin Thompson hopes a major scholarship he recently won will help inspire other Indigenous youth to reach for the stars.

Justin Thompson portrait
Justin Thompson

The member of Nipissing First Nation near North Bay, Ont., who officially graduates from York University’s Osgoode at Spring Convocation, was recently named a recipient of the $10,000 John Wesley Beaver Memorial Award. John Wesley Beaver was a former chief of the Alderville First Nation in eastern Ontario who served as a fighter pilot in the Second World War and rose to become a high-ranking executive at Ontario Power Generation. The scholarship is offered annually by Ontario Power Generation through Indspire, a national Indigenous charity that invests in the education of First Nations, Inuit and Métis people.

“Indigenous students want to see someone like themselves who is achieving things,” said Thompson. “So getting the award helps to show that anything is possible for Indigenous students and the sky is the limit.”

Thompson, who is the first in his immediate family to attend university, said the award also represents for him one more sign of hope that Indigenous youth and their communities can look forward to a brighter future after many generations of suffering under colonial oppression. His own great-grandmother, Agnes, was a residential school survivor.

In 2014, for example, his community enacted its own constitution, effectively supplanting the federal Indian Act. In addition, Nipissing First Nation is currently developing its own citizenship law, which will allow the community – not the federal government – to decide who is a citizen. Alongside these developments, he added, the community is enjoying better times economically and is eagerly awaiting the results of the Restoule case, a landmark case currently before the Supreme Court of Canada that could see members of the Anishinaabe Nation in northern Ontario win better compensation for the lands they agreed to share with the Crown under the 1850 Robinson Huron Treaty.

“We’ve seen all these exciting changes,” said Thompson. “So I want to play my part in helping my community become more sovereign and to exercise its rights of self-determination, loosening the grip of the Indian Act.”

Even as a teenager, he said, that desire drove his decision to become a lawyer. The scholarship has helped him to realize that dream, he added. In July, after completing his bar admission exams, he will begin articling in the Toronto office of Olthuis Kleer Townshend LLP, one of Canada’s leading Aboriginal law firms.

As an aspiring Indigenous lawyer, Thompson said, Osgoode was his first choice of law school after he completed undergraduate and graduate studies at Trent University in Canadian and Indigenous studies. His graduate research there focused on the issue of Indigenous over-incarceration and the lasting impacts of the Indian Act related to the criminalization of Indigenous individuals.

“I came to Osgoode specifically for the Indigenous Intensive,” he said. “And the Indigenous faculty here have been an amazing source of support.”

The only program of its kind in North America, the Intensive Program in Indigenous Lands, Resources, and Governments (IPILRG) explores the legal issues related to Indigenous Peoples and Indigenous rights through the combination of a rigorous academic experience with challenging placements in Indigenous, Aboriginal or environmental law.

“The Intensive was my favourite aspect of law school,” said Thompson. “It was a bit disrupted by COVID, but [Professors] Amar [Bhatia] and Jeff [Hewitt] made sure we had all the support we needed.”

As an Indigenous law student, Thompson said, other highlights of his Osgoode experience included participating in the Kawaskimhon National Aboriginal Moot and his leadership roles with the Osgoode Indigenous Students’ Association (OISA).

“We took on a lot of important initiatives,” he said, citing in his third year the association’s ReDress Week event, its Moose Hide Campaign against domestic and gender-based violence and its Orange Shirt Day, which featured guest speaker and Osgoode alumna Kimberley Murray, the federal government’s Independent Special Interlocutor for Missing Children and Unmarked Graves and Burial Sites associated with Indian Residential Schools.

Staff can volunteer for Spring Convocation

convocation students facing stage

York University’s Spring Convocation ceremonies will take place June 9 (Glendon) and from June 15 to 23 (Keele) and community members are invited to join the team of volunteers who help make these ceremonies memorable for graduates and their guests.

Volunteers will participate in the convocation key coordinator (CKC) role – a rewarding experience that will allows volunteers to be a part of supporting students as they cross the stage and become alumni. The CKC role entails working with the convocation team to support and supervise student-staff working in the guest services and graduand areas.

Volunteers in this role will receive: 

  • complimentary lunch and snacks on ceremony days;
  • training at the Sobeys Stadium for those who are new to the CKC roll on Wednesday, June 7; and
  • choice of various positions and shifts.

This invite can be shared with any full-time colleagues who may be interested in supporting convocation.

To volunteer, submit your availability herehttps://uecr.apps01.yorku.ca/machform3/view.php?id=500436. CKC roles are volunteer positions so please seek your manager’s approval to participate. This opportunity is not open to work-study students or student-staff as it is a supervisory role.

Call for stories from graduating students

Spring Convocation 2022 alumni ceremony

York University is looking for students who are graduating to share their story. Students who have overcome significant obstacles, have unique reasons for pursuing studies at York or who have found a new calling while completing their education, Convocation organizers want to celebrate these accomplishments at each ceremony on June 9 (Glendon) and from June 15 to 23 (Keele).

Faculty, course instructors and staff are also encouraged to invite outstanding graduating students to share their stories. Once selected, a member from the York University marketing team will reach out to the featured students. Their stories could be shared on York’s digital channels and with media to highlight student success during convocation. Click here to share your story.

Kathleen Taylor installed as York’s 14th chancellor in historic ceremony

Senate Chair Poonam Puri, Board of Governors Chair Paul Tsaparis, Chancellor Kathleen Taylor, President and Vice-Chancellor Rhonda Lenton

York alumna Kathleen Taylor was officially installed as the University’s first woman chancellor during a May 10 ceremony held on York’s Keele Campus.

Kathleen Taylor in chancellor's robe
Kathleen Taylor

“I have always been attracted to organizations that know they are part of something bigger than themselves; that dedicate their time, talent and treasure to advancing the ambitions of the individuals and communities they serve,” Taylor told the assembled audience, which included government and post-secondary officials, alumni and friends, and staff, faculty and students. “York is one such organization. Every person here is a changemaker, working toward a more just, sustainable and innovative world.”

A graduate of the JD/MBA program offered by Osgoode Hall Law School and the Schulich School of Business, Taylor became the first woman to Chair the board of one of Canada’s big five banks when she took the helm of the Royal Bank’s governing body a decade ago. She also served as the first president and CEO of the Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts chain following its iconic founder and was the first woman to lead a major branded international hotel company.

“Kathleen is well-positioned to lead in this prestigious capacity, to galvanize our community to realize its vision to providing students with access to a quality education at a research-intensive institution committed to the public good,” said Rhonda Lenton, York University president and vice-chancellor. “I am excited to see her continue to right the future in her new role, where she will be a champion for higher education.”

The event commenced with Knowledge Keeper Amy Desjarlais, Waabaakaakakzhe zhaashkeezhgokwe (White Raven Woman with Turquoise Eyes) Ojibway/Potowotomi from Wasauksing First Nation, performing an honour song.

Bringing greetings from staff at the ceremony was Stefanie Lamonaca Caputo, a student success and academic advisor in the Faculty of Liberal Arts & Professional Studies, while Lauren Sergio, professor in the Faculty of Health, spoke on behalf of York faculty.

Also delivering remarks were Board of Governors Chair Paul Tsaparis, Senate Chair Poonam Puri, Associate Vice-President Indigenous Initiatives Susan Dion and Chancellor Emeritus Gregory Sorbara, whose more than eight-year term as chancellor concluded in December.

Issa Abdi Jamaa, who recently completed his studies in the Faculty of Liberal Arts & Professional Studies, brought greetings to the new chancellor on behalf of York students.

“Kathleen, as chancellor, you will also meet thousands of students as they end their studies and walk the stage to receive their degrees at convocation,” said Jamaa. “For graduating students, shaking the chancellor’s hand to mark the transition to the next chapter of our lives is an experience we all strive for. Personally, I will be a part of the first cohort of students to cross the stage in about a month from now, I am excited to share this experience with you, Kathleen.”

Chancellor Taylor's Installation 6

Taylor’s first public act as chancellor will be conferring degrees on thousands of new graduates, including Jamaa, at Spring Convocation, June 9 to 23. She will also serve as a member of both Board and Senate, bringing her vast experience and knowledge to both of the University’s governing bodies.

“Our collective success relies on our common mission, inspired by the power of collaboration between and across faculty, staff, students, alumni, government and of course our friends in the broader community,” said Taylor. “That means standing side-by-side, seeing eye-to-eye, being truthful and transparent, building on commonalities while respecting differences, and placing each and every one of our stakeholders at the centre of our success.”

Taylor also spoke about her hopes for the future and her time as chancellor.

“I believe in the transformative power of a York education and York University’s resolve for constant renewal,” she said. “And I know by working alongside you and our broader community, we will forge a better future for our great institution, and for all of those we are here to serve.”

Be part of history – join ceremony to mark installation of York’s first female chancellor

Vari hall

Kathleen Taylor will be officially installed as York’s 14th chancellor on May 10 at 3 p.m. at the Tribute Communities Recital Hall in Accolade East Building.

Kathleen Taylor
Kathleen Taylor

The entire York community – students, faculty and staff – is invited to join in the celebration of this historic event. Taylor’s appointment, which was announced in October 2022, marks the first time a woman will serve as chancellor.

The chancellor is the top ceremonial position at York and serves as an inspiring leader and respected member of the community, as well as connector between the University and the community-at-large. Among the chancellor’s core responsibilities is presiding over the conferring of degrees on thousands of new graduates at convocation ceremonies every fall and spring.

York’s 2023 spring convocation will mark the first convocation for Taylor. She is a valued York alumna who holds a juris doctor from Osgoode Hall Law School and a master of business administration from the Schulich School of Business.

The chancellor’s installation offers a rare opportunity to witness an important institutional ceremony. It is the official moment where the chancellor is formally endowed with the powers and responsibilities of the office. It also provides an opportunity for the incoming chancellor to make a commitment to the people York serves and to share their vision for the University during their term of office. It’s a public declaration of the chancellor’s intention to uphold the responsibilities of this position.

All community members are encouraged to attend and bear witness to this important moment. Register here by May 8. A post-ceremony reception, with refreshments, will be held in the CIBC lobby.

Join us for the historic installation of Kathleen Taylor as York’s 14th chancellor

Vari hall

Dear York community,

I am pleased to invite you to the Chancellor’s Installation Ceremony on Wednesday, May 10.

The ceremony will celebrate the installation of York’s 14th chancellor, Kathleen Taylor – who makes history as the first woman to hold the position at York University. The chancellor is the titular head of the University, a member of the Board of Governors and Senate, and plays a vital role both representing the University and conferring degrees during convocation, celebrating our students during one of the most important moments of their education.

An esteemed York alumna, Taylor holds a juris doctor from Osgoode Hall Law School and a master of business administration from the Schulich School of Business (SSB). She also serves as a member of the SSB Dean’s Advisory Council.

As faculty, staff and instructors, I hope you will join the University community in celebrating the important role of the chancellor at our institution.

Faculty are also invited to join in the procession and can indicate their robe requirements through the RSVP form below.

Registration is required and limited due to capacity. A reception with light refreshments will follow.

Ceremony location:
Tribute Communities Recital Hall, Accolade East Building
Keele Campus

Date: Wednesday, May 10, 2023

Time: 3 to 4 p.m.

CIBC Lobby
Accolade East Building

RSVP by Monday, May 8:

Please email advevent@yorku.ca if you have any questions about this event.

I look forward to seeing you there.


Rhonda L. Lenton
President and Vice-Chancellor

Joignez-vous à nous pour l’investiture historique de Kathleen Taylor en tant que 14e chancelière de York.

Chers membres de la communauté de York,

J’ai le plaisir de vous inviter à la cérémonie d’investiture de la chancelière le mercredi 10 mai.

La cérémonie célébrera l’investiture de la 14e chancelière de l’Université York, Kathleen Taylor, qui entrera dans l’histoire en devenant la première femme à occuper ce poste à York. La chancelière est la chef en titre de l’Université, membre du conseil d’administration et du Sénat. Elle joue un rôle essentiel en représentant l’Université et en conférant des diplômes lors de la cérémonie de remise des diplômes, qui représente l’un des moments les plus importants du parcours de nos étudiantes et étudiants.

Diplômée de York, Mme Taylor détient un doctorat en jurisprudence de l’École de droit Osgoode Hall et une maîtrise en administration des affaires de l’École Schulich des hautes études commerciales (SSB). Elle siège également au conseil consultatif du doyen de la SSB.

En tant que membres des corps professoral et enseignant et du personnel, j’espère que vous vous joindrez à la communauté universitaire pour célébrer le rôle important de la chancelière au sein de notre établissement.

Les membres du corps professoral sont également invités à se joindre à la procession et peuvent indiquer leurs besoins en matière de robes en remplissant le formulaire ci-dessous.

L’inscription est obligatoire et limitée en raison de la capacité d’accueil. Une réception où seront servis des rafraîchissements légers suivra.

Lieu de la cérémonie :
Salle de concert Tribute Communities, édifice Accolade Est
Campus Keele

Date : Mercredi 10 mai 2023

Heure : 15 h à 16 h

Réception :
Édifice Accolade Est

RSVP avant le lundi 8 mai :
http : //go.yorku.ca/ceremony

Veuillez envoyer un courriel à advevent@yorku.ca si vous avez des questions sur cet événement.

J’ai hâte de vous y voir.

Sincères salutations,

Rhonda L. Lenton
Présidente et vice-chancelière

York student seeks to improve lives of refugees

By Elaine Smith

After graduating from York this spring, Tegan Hadisi, the daughter of Iranian refugees, will apply what she learned at the University to further study and assist migrants, contributing to a better future for them.

Hadisi’s academic pursuit of refugee studies is inspired, in part, by personal experience. She was born stateless in Turkey, after her parents left Iran, and came to Canada as a toddler. Growing up, she observed the challenges her parents faced learning a new language, finding employment and gaining financial security before finding their feet.

Tegan Hadisi
Tegan Hadisi

“I can only imagine what it is like to be successful in your own country, then be unable to translate your skills when you come somewhere new due to language and finances,” said Hadisi, who heads to the University of Oxford this fall.

Hadisi also struggled. Like many children of the diaspora, she felt stuck between two worlds, never feeling 100 per cent part of the community where she lived, and longing for her parents’ home country even though she never really knew it.

While earning her undergraduate degree at Western University in art history and museum studies, Hadisi’s understanding of the refugee experience led her to serve as president of Western’s chapter of World University Services Canada, an organization that provides refugee students scholarships to attend university in Canada. During the Syrian refugee crisis, “We had an influx of refugees to campus in one year. It was a really unique opportunity to connect to other lived histories,” she said.

“I realized the importance of higher education and access for historically oppressed and minoritized people. I thought about what I could do with this experience.”

Hadisi chose to enroll in York’s Centre for Refugee Studies, which, since its inception in 1988, has been recognized as an international leader in the creation, mobilization, and dissemination of new knowledge that addresses forced migration issues in local, national and global contexts. There she worked towards her second bachelor’s degree, with an honours specialization in human rights and equity studies and a certificate in migration and refugee studies.

During that time, Hadisi volunteered at Matthew House, an organization that offers a range of support services to help refugee claimants establish new lives in Canada. She supervised mock refugee hearings, preparing claimants for the experience. Her ultimate goal was to attend graduate school somewhere with a centre for refugee and migration studies that published solid research. Yvonne Su, an assistant professor in the Department of Equity Studies, encouraged her to apply to the University of Oxford to earn her MPhil in development studies, confident Hadisi would excel there.

“Tegan shows tremendous potential as a scholar,” said Su. “She has exemplary interdisciplinary research skills, strong critical thinking skills and strong academic writing capabilities. In addition, she is passionate about studying topics of displacement and refuge. She has what it takes to succeed at Oxford and I look forward to seeing where her studies will take her.”

Hadisi applied. “Sometimes, you need someone else to tell you just how capable you are,” she said.

While taking a morning walk in early March, she decided to take a quick look at her phone while standing at a street corner and noticed one from Oxford. She assumed it was simply spam until she opened it to find an acceptance letter.

“I was stunned,” Hadisi said. “It must have showed on my face, because a passerby came up to ask me if I was all right.”

Her two-year program at Oxford will begin with courses, followed by research and a thesis. Hadisi is not quite sure where she’s headed, but she is confident that she’ll discover many options. She loves research, but “My goal is to stay connected with the actual experiences of migrants and refugees, not to just sit behind a desk.”

One thing of which Hadisi is certain is that she’s committed to aiding refugees and migrants. Her passion reflects York’s vision of building a better future and creating positive change, as set forth in the University Academic Plan, along with its commitment to advancing global engagement.

“Refugees are so deeply connected to my own identity, and the work feels so important,” Hadisi said. “If I don’t do this, who will? Who is prioritizing these people? All the dehumanizing rhetoric is so inhumane and I can’t stand by and watch it happen.”

“Working with migrants and refugees is a mutual relationship and I feel so fortunate to be part of the process. What we get in return is just as important as what we give, and we have so much to learn from people who continue to be oppressed.”

As for her time at York, Hadisi is grateful. “York offered a fantastic opportunity to pursue the things I cared about and I knew I needed to take the leap,” she said. “I blinked and two years went by because I had such an incredible time at York. I made good friends and had incredibly inspiring professors; York will always have a special place in my heart.”

Call for nominations: 2023 Honorific Professorships

Award stock image banner from pexels

The Senate Committee on Awards is now accepting nominations for University Professorships and Distinguished Research Professorships.

University Professorships are conferred upon long-serving tenured faculty members who have demonstrated a commitment to participation in University life and/or contribution to the University as a community, as well as appropriate levels of scholarship and teaching success. 

The Distinguished Research Professorship is awarded to a member of the faculty who has made outstanding contributions to the University through research. The Distinguished Research Professor will have demonstrated scholarly achievement by sustained publication or other recognized and accepted demonstrations of sustained authoritative contributions to scholarship.

Nominations may be made by all tenured faculty members, who shall provide a complete nomination file, including the nominee’s c.v., a detailed letter of nomination explaining how the candidate’s achievements conform to the general criteria, along with three (3) letters of support from those in a position to comment on the nominee’s achievements and contributions.

Additional details about the criteria and nomination procedures are set out in the Senate Policy on Honorific Professorships. Nominations for Honorific Professorships should be submitted by Friday, March 17 at 4:30 p.m. Nominations may be submitted via the Distinguished Research Professor mach form, the University Professor mach form available on the Awards webpage, or by sending the PDF form to the committee secretary at awasser@yorku.ca.

York strongly values diversity and equity within its research community and encourages nominations of those who are under-represented in recent competitions.