New opportunities await York study abroad students

Map plane travel international world

By Elaine Smith

York University has a robust global learning program, and this fall, 31 York students will travel abroad to study at institutions in 15 countries outside Canada.

These exchange students embody York’s priority for advancing global engagement, as stated in University Academic Plan (UAP), and its commitment to expand inclusive global an intercultural learning, as set forth in the University’s new Internationalization and Global Engagement Strategy. “More than ever,” states the UAP, “universities have a responsibility to contribute to positive change through global co-operation and borderless education.”

Photo of Sarah Persaud (centre) shows Japanese exchange student at left and York student at right
Photo of Sarah Persaud (centre) with Japanese exchange student (left) and fellow York student (right)

Sarah Persaud and Anthony Chedid are among exchange students heading abroad this fall, and they are eager for the adventure. Persaud is off to Asia for the entire year to study art at Yamanashi Gakuin University in Japan, where she’ll focus on visual arts in the International College of Liberal Arts (iCLA). Chedid is going to England to spend a semester at the University of Leeds.

“Before I begin teaching, I want to do my final year of courses abroad,” said Persaud, a fifth-year student in the visual arts and concurrent education program. “Over the past couple of years, I took a lot of art history courses and focused on East Asian art, so this is a wonderful opportunity.”

Chedid has been dreaming of going abroad since high school.

“I read the blogs of a number of travel bloggers talking about travelling the globe,” said Chedid, a third-year student in the joint political science/Master’s of Management program, “and they all had the same origin story: they studied abroad and travelled while they were there. I want to travel, and York offers all these incredible opportunities.”

Both students attended the pre-departure training for exchange students run by York International and found it beneficial.

“It actually changed my plans,” said Persaud, who also took a York study-abroad course in South Korea this summer. “I met an exchange student from Japan and her friend who were in Japan all summer, so I stopped in Osaka to see them, and I’ll be able to connect with the Japanese student once I’m at the iCLA.”

Chedid was thrilled by the session.

Anthony Chedid
Anthony Chedid

“I got to meet exchange students from Britain and it was exciting to hear their experiences,” he said. “I was able to connect with a student who was here from Leeds and he gave me a lot of useful information about the city and the culture. It was also really helpful to get travel advice and information about health insurance.”

Both Persaud and Chedid have applied for bursaries and scholarships to help defray the costs of studying abroad. York International has bursaries available to students studying overseas, as does the Faculty of Liberal Arts & Professional Studies, and there are also external awards available – topics that are also discussed in the pre-departure training.

“The York International Safety Abroad office is committed to enhancing the safety of students’ experiences during their time abroad,” said Sara Jane Campbell, manager, safety abroad for York International. “As part of the pre-departure training, we support students in understanding and mitigating risks they may encounter. All students are also required to enrol in York University Safety Abroad Travel Registry to enable us to monitor travel advisories and safety/security concerns and provide help in case of an emergency overseas.”

Although her courses will be taught in English, Persaud took Elementary Modern Standard Japanese (JP 1000) in preparation and plans to continue learning Japanese while she’s at iCLA.

“You never stop learning kanji (written characters); there are always more of them to know,” she said.

In fact, she hopes to have the opportunity to tie language and art together through a course at iCLA called Calligraphy and Kanji Culture.

“I’m going to a whole new country, so I hope I’ll be inspired to try different things,” Persaud said. “I am excited about the new opportunities.

Chedid plans to  take courses in British politics. “Our system is based on theirs and it’s important to understand where our legal system originated,” he said. “It will also be interesting to see the effects of Brexit. This will be a great way to experience international politics, something for which I have a big passion.

“It will also be cool to explore a city that isn’t as widely known.”

Both students will experience the benefits of borderless intercultural education first-hand, and will be able to share their greater understanding of the global landscape with their York classmates upon return.

Welcome to YFile’s 2023 New Faces feature issue

apple on teachers desk

In this special issue, YFile introduces new faculty members joining the York University community and highlights those with new appointments.

This fall, York welcomes new faculty members in the School of the Arts, Media, Performance & Design; the Faculty of Education; the Faculty of Health; the Lassonde School of Engineering; the Faculty of Liberal Arts & Professional Studies; the Faculty of Science; the Schulich School of Business; and Glendon College.

Liberal Arts & Professional Studies welcomes 34 new faculty members

Faculty of Health professors bring new perspectives on well-being

New Faculty of Science members to further York’s scientific innovation, impact

AMPD professors to shape the future of art

Schulich welcomes four new faculty members

New Lassonde faculty to advance cybersecurity, artificial intelligence

Faculty of Education’s new faces to shape future of teaching, learning

Glendon welcomes faculty member focused on translation studies

Faculty of Education’s new faces to shape future of teaching, learning

student at chalkboard

This story is published in YFile’s New Faces feature issue 2023. Every September, YFile introduces and welcomes those joining the York University community, and those with new appointments.

The York University Faculty of Education welcomes two new faculty members this fall. 

“We are thrilled to welcome three new colleagues: Mary Ott, Stephanie Fearon and John Hupfield,” says Faculty of Education Dean Robert Savage. “Each are respected scholars and teachers in their particular fields of study. They bring a talented range of expertise to the Faculty of Education and we very much look forward to their new ideas, perspectives and contributions, as well as the actions they will take towards our ongoing mission of reinventing education for a diverse, complex world.”

Mary Ott
Mary Ott

Mary Ott
Mary Ott is an assistant professor in the Faculty of Education. An award-winning scholar of curriculum studies, Ott’s background as an elementary teacher and special education specialist brings a passion for helping learners and educators to thrive to her research. Drawing on sociomaterial and complexity orientations, she explores how curriculum design and pedagogy might expand possibilities for learner and teacher agency and well-being, and the roles that space, time and materials play in these processes.

Her current work investigates how teachers are adapting and innovating their pedagogies for early-reading instruction. Ott’s graduate work garnered a Social Sciences & Humanities Research Council (SSHRC) Bombardier Canada Doctoral Scholarship for critical work at the intersection of curriculum making and 21st-century literacies, while research on the effects of a curriculum innovation in medical education earned a best paper award at the International Conference for Residency Education and was featured on the PAPERs (Professionals & Academics Parsing Educational Research) podcast.

Ott’s expertise in qualitative methods and interdisciplinary research makes her a sought-after collaborator, from a project with bioethicists to improve informed consent for organ donation through multimodal communication strategies, to an SSHRC-funded study to develop equitable reading pedagogies. Ott completed her PhD in curriculum studies at Western University with a focus on multi-literacies, and postdoctoral work in health sciences education in the Schulich School of Medicine & Dentistry at Western University. She also holds an appointment as a centre researcher in the Centre for Education Research & Innovation at Western.

Stephanie Fearon
Stephanie Fearon

Stephanie Fearon
Stephanie Fearon joins York University’s Faculty of Education as the inaugural assistant professor of Black thriving and education. Her research draws on Black storytelling traditions to explore the ways that Black mothers and educational institutions partner to support Black student well-being. Fearon uses literary and visual arts to communicate – in a structured, creative and accessible form – insights gleaned from stories shared by Black mothers and their families. Her publications have appeared in several scholarly journals, including Canadian Journal for the Study of Adult Education, Canadian Review of Sociology/Revue canadienne de sociologie, and Journal of African American Women and Girls in Education.

Fearon has worked in public education systems for nearly 15 years, assuming teaching and leadership positions in France, Guadeloupe and Canada. Most recently, she was the program co-ordinator for the Equity, Anti-Racism and Anti-Oppression Team and the Model Schools for Inner Cities Department at the Toronto District School Board. In this role, she provided leadership to administrators and system leaders in implementing policies and practices that promote student academic achievement, well-being and belonging in schools.

John (Waaseyaabin) Hupfield
John (Waaseyaabin) Hupfield

John (Waaseyaabin) Hupfield
John (Waaseyaabin) Hupfield is Anishinaabe from Wasauksing First Nation. He has been grassdancing for over 15 years and travels the powwow trail extensively during summers with his family.

His research looks to centring lived-learned experiences and collective knowledge-generating practices through the Miikaans mobile research lab. The Miikaans lab is currently working to articulate the critical importance of Indigenous movement as method, processes of ethical relationality and kin-making, and Anishinaabeg places of teaching and learning in mapping life’s trails.

Government invests more than $15.5 million in York-led research projects

light bulb in front of colorful background

More than 30 projects led by York University researchers in the social sciences and humanities were awarded a combined total of $15,541,343 in federal funding from Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC) Partnership Grants, Partnership Development Grants and Insight Grants.

The funding, announced on Aug. 29 by the Randy Boissonnault, minister of employment, workforce development and official languages, on behalf of the François-Philippe Champagne, minister of innovation, science and industry, goes towards 33 projects, ranging from research on migrant labour and gender inequality in retirement to heritage design in Canada.

“This week’s funding announcement highlights the council’s faith in the high calibre of our researchers’ work, ranging from Indigenous circumpolar cultural sovereignty, ecological footprint, to renewable greener transition and policy gaps in international mobility, in collaboration with other local and international subject experts,” says Amir Asif, vice-president research and innovation at York. “I thank SHHRC for their support and I commend York’s research community for their ongoing commitment to creating positive change, both locally and globally.”

The new round of grants will support 605 social sciences and humanities research projects across Canada. Learn more about the York-led projects below.

Partnership Grants

SSHRC Partnership Grants support teams of researchers from post-secondary institutions working in new and existing formal partnerships with public, private or not-for-profit organizations. Through collaboration, sharing of intellectual leadership and resources by cash or in-kind contributions, the grants support work for four to seven years to advance research, training and knowledge mobilization in the social sciences and humanities.

Four York-led projects received a combined total of almost $10 million ($9,978,586) in funding.

Peter Victor, Faculty of Environmental & Urban Change
The International Ecological Footprint Learning Lab: Training, research and novel applications

Richard Saunders, Department of Politics, Faculty of Liberal Arts & Professional Studies
African Extractivism and the Green Transition

Leah Vosko, Department of Politics, Faculty of Liberal Arts & Professional Studies
Liberating Migrant Labour?: International Mobility Programs in Settler-Colonial Contexts

Anna Hudson, Department of Visual Art & Art History, School of the Arts, Media, Performance & Design
Curating Indigenous Circumpolar Cultural Sovereignty: advancing Inuit and Sami homelands, food, art, archives and worldviews

To learn more about the York-led projects, click here.

To view all Partnership Grant recipients, click here.

Partnership Development Grants

Partnership Development Grants support teams of researchers from post-secondary institutions working in a formal partnership with public, private or not-for-profit organizations for one to three years. The grants support research development, existing and new partnerships, knowledge mobilization, and related activities in the social sciences and humanities.

Eight York-led projects received a combined total of more than $1.5 million ($1,514,498) in funding.

Anna Agathangelou, Department of Politics, Faculty of Liberal Arts & Professional Studies
Building an International Partnership to Research and Address Reparative Justice in Post-Conflict Situations: Canada, Africa and Europe

Thi Viet Nga Dao, Department of Social Science, Faculty of Liberal Arts & Professional Studies
Slow violence and water (in)justice: Feminist political ecologies of intergenerational struggles in the Mekong region

Anne MacLennan, Department of Communication & Media Studies, Faculty of Liberal Arts & Professional Studies
Interrogating Canadian Identities/ L’identités canadiennes – une interrogation (ICI)

Jan Hadlaw, Department of Design, School of the Arts, Media, Performance & Design
The xDX Project: Documenting, Linking, and Interpreting Canada’s Design Heritage

Christopher Kyriakides, Department of Sociology, Faculty of Liberal Arts & Professional Studies
Refuge, Racisms, and Resistances: A Co-Created Analysis of the Experiences of Syrian and Ethiopian Refugees in Canada

To learn more about this project, click here.

Abigail Shabtay, Department of Humanities, Faculty of Liberal Arts & Professional Studies
Strengthening Participatory Drama-Based Research in Institutional, Community, and Educational Contexts

Susan Winton, Faculty of Education
The Public Education Exchange

Debra Pepler, Department of Psychology, Faculty of Health
Walking the Prevention Pathway for Indigenous Communities’ Journey of Change

To view all Partnership Development Grant recipients, click here.

Insight Grants

Insight Grants are awarded to emerging and established scholars in the social sciences and humanities to work on research projects of two to five years.

21 York-led projects received a combined total of more than $4 million ($4,048,259) in funding.

Tasso Adamopoulos, Department of Economics, Faculty of Liberal Arts & Professional Studies
Inequality and Productivity in Developing Countries

Kee-hong Bae, Department of Finance, Schulich School of Business
Incentive-focused corporate culture

Anh Nguyen, School of Administrative Studies, Faculty of Liberal Arts & Professional Studies
Labour force aging and business vibrancy: Evidence and solutions for businesses and workers in Canada and around the world

Thanujeni (Jeni) Pathman, Department of Psychology, Faculty of Health
How accurate is memory for time across childhood and adolescence? Theoretical and practical implications for forensic settings

Alexandra Rutherford, Department of Psychology, Faculty of Health
Intersecting difference: Gender, race and sexuality in 20th century U.S. psychology

Robert Savage, Faculty of Education
Tackling two of the most important unresolved tasks in reading intervention

Marlis Schweitzer, Department of Theatre, School of the Arts, Media, Performance & Design
Decoding the Lecture on Heads: Performing Objects and Satire on the 18th-Century Stage

Simon Adam, School of Nursing, Faculty of Health
Entangled identities: Exploring neurodiversity through social media expression

Kean Birch, Faculty of Environmental & Urban Change
Digital Data Value Paradox: An Empirical Investigation of Personal Data Valuation

Antony Chum, School of Kinesiology & Health Science, Faculty of Health
Social and policy determinants of self harm across gender identities in Canada

Julia M. Creet, Department of English, Faculty of Liberal Arts & Professional Studies
Digital Afterlives

Robert Cribbie, Department of Psychology, Faculty of Health
Extensions of Negligible Effect Statistical Testing

Ganaele Langlois, Department of Communication & Media Studies, Faculty of Liberal Arts & Professional Studies
The Art of Necessity: Making Sustainable and Just Worlds through Local Textiles

Brenda Longfellow, Department of Cinema & Media Arts, School of the Arts, Media, Performance & Design
Abolition Feminism: Collaborating Across Communities

Kinnon MacKinnon, School of Social Work, Faculty of Liberal Arts & Professional Studies
Detransition: Examining pathways and care needs

Jonathan Nitzan, Department of Politics, Faculty of Liberal Arts & Professional Studies
The capital-as-power fractal: toward a general theory of the capitalist mode of power

Yuval Deutsch, Schulich School of Business
Social capital, corporate social responsibility and corporate irresponsibility

Caitlin Fisher, Department of Cinema & Media Studies, School of the Arts, Media, Performance & Design
Mobilizing the arts for global health: a virtual museum of antimicrobial resistance

Kamila Kolpashnikova, Department of Design, School of the Arts, Media, Performance & Design
Gender Inequality in Retirement: Understanding Social Organization in Domestic Tasks

Palma Paciocco, Osgoode Hall Law School
The Gatekeeper and The Timekeeper: Regulating Expert Evidence and Trial Delay in Criminal Courts

Yan Shvartzshnaider, Department of Electrical Engineering & Computer Science, Lassonde School of Engineering
Virtual Classrooms Privacy

To view all Insight Grant recipients, click here.

York University announces 15 new York Research Chairs

man using tablet with graphic image of lightbulb

Fifteen York University researchers have been named new York Research Chairs (YRC), an internal program that mirrors the national Canada Research Chairs (CRC) program which recognizes world-leading researchers in a variety of fields.

“The York Research Chair program is an important complement to the Canada Research Chair program to advance our efforts to strengthen research and related creative activities across the University and enhance the well-being of the communities we serve,” says President and Vice-Chancellor Rhonda Lenton. “My warm congratulations to the newest recipients on this achievement.”

This year’s YRCs are the 10th cohort to be appointed as of July 1 since the program was first launched by the Office of the Vice President Research and Innovation in 2015.

“These new chair appointments are the latest example of research intensification at York University, a major priority of our new Strategic Research Plan,” said Amir Asif, vice-president research and innovation. “York Research Chairs receive institutional support that is on par with what their counterparts are provided by the national program. This internal program advances research excellence at York and enhances the research capabilities of our faculty to create positive change.”  

The new YRCs will conduct research in a variety of fields that range from human and computer vision to children’s musical cultures to the impacts of climate change on lakes.

The YRC program consists of two tiers. Tier 1 is open to established research leaders at the rank of full professor. Tier 2 is aimed at emerging research leaders within 15 years of their first academic appointment. The Chairs have five-year terms.

Tier 1 York Research Chairs
Rob Allison
Rob Allison

Robert Allison, Lassonde School of Engineering
York Research Chair in Stereoscopic Vision and Depth Perception
Allison’s work as a YRC will study human aspects of virtual and augmented reality. His research program asks: how do we share a common space that is partially or completely virtual? The research results will allow designers to determine whether collaborative experiences and applications are likely to be coherent, consistent and ultimately successful for users. This YRC is administered by York University’s VISTA (Vision: Science to Applications) program, first funded by the Canada First Research Excellence Fund (2016-23).

James Elder
James Elder

James Elder, Faculty of Health and Lassonde School of Engineering
York Research Chair in Human and Computer Vision
Elder’s YRC research program is deeply interdisciplinary, integrating studies of biological perception using behavioural and neuroscience methods, computational modelling of brain processes, statistical modelling of the visual environment, and computer vision algorithm and system design. While advancing fundamental knowledge in perception science and AI, this research has application to safer and more accessible urban mobility, social robotics and sports analytics. This YRC is administered by York University’s VISTA (Vision: Science to Applications) program.

Jimmy Huang
Jimmy Huang

Jimmy Huang, Faculty of Liberal Arts & Professional Studies
York Research Chair in Big Data Analytics
Huang’s research as a YRC will aim to overcome the limitations of the existing information retrieval (IR) methods for web search and develop a new retrieval paradigm called task-aware and context-sensitive information search for big data. This approach, similar to ChatGPT or GoogleBard, will leverage IR techniques to offer an interactive and dynamic search experience. The program’s research results are expected to provide a deeper understanding of user information needs and generate novel techniques and tools.

Lauren Sergio
Lauren Sergio

Lauren Sergio, Faculty of Health
York Research Chair in Brain Health and Gender in Action
Sergio’s research as YRC investigates the impact of gender on brain health, for which there is little study. The research program will aim to characterize the gender-related differences in an individual’s behavioural response to impaired brain health and design appropriately tailored interventions to optimize their return to work, duty or sport. The research results will provide medically relevant and fundamental knowledge necessary to develop targeted brain health assessments and interventions that account for gender. This YRC is administered by York University’s VISTA (Vision: Science to Applications) program, first funded by the Canada First Research Excellence Fund (2016-23).

Marie Christine Pioffet
Marie-Christine Pioffet

Marie-Christine Pioffet, Glendon College
York Research Chair in Franco-Indigenous Relations in the Americas
This YRC is dedicated to the study of texts from the French colonization in America with research focused on Indigenous history and cultural renaissance, European scriptural practices and Indigenous oral traditions, Franco Indigenous intercultural dialogues, and the Great Lakes region, missionary laboratory, and intercultural junction. Pioffet’s research as Chair will rethink Francophone and Indigenous identities and the cultural blending that inspired the writings of the period, while promoting a resurgence of First Nations culture and languages.

Poonam Puri
Poonam Puri

Poonam Puri, Osgoode Hall Law School
York Research Chair in Corporate Governance, Investor Protection and Financial Markets
Puri’s YRC explores the role of the corporation in society and the impact of legal rules, as well as market mechanisms and incentives on corporate behaviour in several key areas of environmental, social and corporate governance (ESG). These include racial justice, reconciliation with Indigenous peoples and climate change, as well as the role of the corporation and financial markets in times of disruptive technological change. Puri’s cutting-edge, empirical, and interdisciplinary research program charts a new course for the modern corporation, casting it not solely as a profit-maximizer for its shareholders, but as a responsible corporate citizen that genuinely considers the interests of a wider range of stakeholders and is accountable to society.

Tier 2 York Research Chairs
Jacob Beck close-up portrait
Jacob Beck

Jacob Beck, Faculty of Liberal Arts & Professional Studies
York Research Chair in Philosophy of Visual Perception
Beck’s work as YRC seeks to combine philosophy and vision science, suggesting new avenues for research in both disciplines. His research explores how longstanding philosophical puzzles about perception can be resolved or recast with the help of vision science. Beck also examines how scientific discussions can be illuminated by philosophy – for example, how numerical perception can be informed by philosophical theories about what numbers are. This YRC is administered by York University’s VISTA (Vision: Science to Applications) program, first funded by the Canada First Research Excellence Fund (2016-23).

Gene Cheung
Gene Cheung

Gene Cheung, Lassonde School of Engineering
York Research Chair in Graph Signal Processing
Cheung’s research as a YRC focuses on signal processing and machine learning. Cheung looks at the frequency analysis and processing of big data residing on irregular kernels described by graphs, in an emerging and fast-growing field called graph signal processing (GSP). His research program involves collaboration with both academic and industry partners to apply GSP theory to a wide range of applications including image/3D point cloud compression, denoising, super-resolution, video summarization, movie recommendation, and crop yield prediction. This YRC is administered by York University’s VISTA (Vision: Science to Applications) program, first funded by the Canada First Research Excellence Fund (2016-23).

andrea emberly
Andrea Emberly

Andrea Emberly, Faculty of Liberal Arts & Professional Studies
York Research Chair in Children’s Musical Cultures
As a YRC, Emberly will take a community-led approach to the study of children’s musical cultures that explores issues around sustaining endangered musical traditions by emphasizing the connection between music and wellbeing. The research program will focus on child-led and intergenerational collaborations that amplify the voices of equity-seeking children and young people who tell their own stories, in their own voices. The work will explore how children and young people are active social agents who locate and activate unique and meaningful pathways to sustain, change and transform musical traditions.

Sapna Sharma
Sapna Sharma

Sapna Sharma, Faculty of Science
York Research Chair in Global Change Biology
Sharma’s research as YRC will seek to gain a deeper understanding of the ecological impacts of climate change on freshwater availability and quality. Sharma’s research will capitalize on long-term climatic and ecological time series collected from thousands of lakes and apply cutting-edge statistical and machine learning analyses to forecast the impacts of global environmental change on freshwater security and help to explain macroecological patterns, drivers and impacts of worldwide lake responses to climate change. The research program will collaborate with researchers across disciplines to develop technological, natural, health and social solutions to water security.

Sue Winton 2022
Sue Winton

Sue Winton, Faculty of Education
York Research Chair in Policy Analysis for Democracy
Winton’s YRC research program will collaborate with multiple public sector organizations to understand the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on education privatization in Canada. Winton’s research will compare policy development, enactment, and effects during and after the pandemic across multiple scales. The research results will create knowledge about local, regional, national and international influences on education privatization and how this process impacts socially disadvantaged groups, teachers’ work and democracy. At York, Winton will establish and lead a cross-disciplinary Community of Practice for new and established researchers with an interest in critical policy research.

Hina Tabassum
Hina Tabassum

Hina Tabassum, Lassonde School of Engineering
York Research Chair in 5G/6G-enabled Wireless Mobility and Sensing Applications
Leveraging tools from statistics, optimization, game theory and machine learning, this YRC focuses on developing novel network deployment planning, radio access design and dimensioning, radio resource allocation and mobility management solutions to address challenges of higher frequencies like millimeter-wave in 5G and THz in 6G. Tabassum’s research will explore the feasibility of novel multi-band network architectures where THz and optical transmissions can complement the RF transmissions optimally. The research results could form a core for Canadian research on multi-band networks with the potential to connect the unconnected in a seamless, safe and resource efficient manner.

Taien Ng-Chan
Taien Ng-Chan

Taien Ng-Chan, School of the Arts, Media, Performance & Design
York Research Chair in Marginal & Emergent Media
Ng-Chan’s research explores questions of how emergent media (new technologies such as VR/AR) can aid in the development of original digital and immersive storytelling techniques, foster solidarity and community amongst marginalized groups, particularly from the Asian diaspora, and lead to better representation and inclusion of these groups in culture and society. The YRC program will allow for future long-term collaborations and creative activities that will contribute to more diversity and inclusion in the emergent media industries, a greater sense of community for marginalized groups and better cultural representation in storytelling.

Denielle Elliott

Denielle Elliott, Faculty of Liberal Arts & Professional Studies
York Research Chair in Injured Minds
Elliott’s work as YRC will explore how ethnographic experiments and transdisciplinary collaborations between arts, neuroscience and medical anthropology can contribute to a fuller understanding of conceptions of self, brain trauma and mental health. Her research program involves a multidisciplinary team that will explore the embodied experiences of people living with brain trauma and brain trauma knowledge-making practices in the clinic and laboratory, as well as their convergences. The research results will increase understandings of the effects of brain trauma, facilitate transdisciplinary collaborations between the arts, science and humanities and highlight how uniquely valuable ethnographic methods are to understanding urgent health priorities.

Cary Wu, professor of sociology at York University
Cary Wu

Cary Wu, Faculty of Liberal Arts & Professional Studies
York Research Chair in Political Sociology of Health
Wu’s YRC program will work to establish a transdisciplinary political sociology of health approach to investigate health inequalities and provide greater understanding of what forces maintain, increase and reduce health inequalities. The research includes theoretical and empirical illustrations that will focus on trust – the belief in the reliability of others and institutions. The program will seek to energize the field of political sociology by introducing a much-needed new research direction that focuses on trust and will advance a unifying theory of trust to explain health inequalities.

Faculty receive support to develop EDI-focused work

Two women chatting over coffee

The Equity, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI) Service Course Load Reduction Program is an annual fund in the amount of $100,000 for the purpose of providing a course load reduction to support service relating to EDI initiatives by faculty members who self-identify as Indigenous and/or members of racialized groups.

Course load reductions through this fund will provide recipients with additional time within normal workload to advance or implement aspects of York University’s Decolonizing, Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Strategy (DEDI) Strategy, the Indigenous Framework and the Addressing Anti-Black Racism: A Framework on Black Inclusion as well as other EDI initiatives that are specific to Faculties, Schools and/or departments.

The recipients’ proposed activities are expected to further develop critical EDI-focused work and to have broader impacts across the University.

The recipients and their service initiatives are:

Rachel da Silveira Gorman
School of Health Policy & Management: Health

Rachel Da Silveira Gorman
Rachel Da Silveira Gorman

Gorman is the lead faculty and creator of a newly proposed undergraduate program in Racialized Health and Disability Justice (RHDJ) and the founder of the Black, Transnational, and Indigenous Narratives of Disability (BTIND) Working Group. With their course load reduction, they will develop several critical EDI-focused aspects of the RHDJ program, including anti-oppressive pedagogies in assessment and delivery and land-based summer intensive courses, as well as provide weekly support meetings for the BTIND.

Monique Herbert
Department of Psychology: Health

Monique Herbert
Monique Herbert

Herbert will be offering oversight and guidance on the academic-related components of two experiential education initiatives for undergraduate BIPOC students in the Faculty of Health starting in July. The Work Integrated Learning for Black Students in Health will connect students with field placements in their area of interest and the York-MAP Health Equity Research Scholar Initiative for BIPOC students in psychology is expected to run for three years and provide health-related experiences where research, policy and decisions affect their communities.

Yuka Nakamura
School of Kinesiology: Health

Yuka Nakamura
Yuka Nakamura

Through an decolonization, equity, diversity and inclusion (DEDI) lens, Nakamura will be conducting a review of the School of Kinesiology’s tenure and promotion documents, policies, and procedures, as well as affirmative action plans. In consultation with relevant committees in the School, she will draft revised tenure and promotion documents and an affirmative action plan that will align with the Faculty of Health’s Final Report from the Working Group on Individual and Systemic Racism.

Rose Ndengue
Department of History: Glendon

Rose Ndengue
Rose Ndengue

With her course load reduction, Ndengue will be undertaking to enhance the bilingual program in African studies, Black Feminisms and Decolonial studies at Glendon College, a program which she founded by organizing a series of public lectures throughout the year featuring experts on anti-racist, decolonial and feminist issues. As an active member of Glendon’s race-equity caucus, Ndengue will also strengthen the work being done to bring institutional change, notably by enhancing the visibility and expertise of Black, Indigenous and racialized individuals on EDI issues.

Molade Osibodu

Molade Osibodu
Molade Osibodu

Osibodu will be using her course load reduction to revive the Baobab Diasporic Collective (BDC), a service activity that she piloted in the 2022-23 year. Recognizing the absence of opportunities to explore Black studies in the Faculty of Education with graduate scholars, the BDC centres Black scholarship and Black thought through the form of a reading group. In collaboration with the BDC participants, Osibodu will develop a course proposal that centers Black studies in education.

Tameka Samuels-Jones
School of Administrative Studies: Liberal Arts & Professional Studies

Tameka Samuels-Jones
Tameka Samuels-Jones

As associate director of the Centre for Research on Latin America and the Caribbean (CERLAC), Samuels-Jones will be promoting the mandate of an Equity Working Group, which aims to increase the membership of Black and Indigenous members of CERLAC with a view to increasing diversity within the centre. As head of the Equity Working Group, she will continue her work implementing the policy recommendations from the CERLAC Equity Action Plan.

Sapna Sharma
Department of Biology: Science

Sapna Sharma
Sapna Sharma

Sharma will build on the work she presented at the United Nations Water Conference in March 2023. Her transdisciplinary project aims to understand which Canadian communities are most vulnerable to inequitable access to clean drinking water, identifying strategies and policies to mitigate and protect those communities. With the course load reduction, she will continue to showcase the university’s commitment to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and EDI on a global stage.

Wendy Wong
Department of Design: Arts, Media, Performance & Design

Wendy Wong
Wendy Wong

Wong’s initiative focuses on decolonizing and supplementing the School of the Arts, Media, Performance and Design’s Euro-American centric curriculum through the theme of Transnational Asian Art (TAA). Wong aims to incorporate Asian-centric materials into existing courses, including through a guest lecture series in undergraduate courses, or proposing new courses with specific Asian content. She also hopes to organize an exhibition and symposium to discuss decolonizing strategies through TAA themes.

Two faculty members to receive honorific professorships

gold and red stars

York University will honour two esteemed faculty members during its 2023 Spring Convocation with a Distinguished Research Professorship and a University Professorship.

A Distinguished Research Professor is a member of faculty who has made outstanding contributions to the University through research and whose work is recognized within and outside of the University, and this year will recognize Professor Carl James. He will receive the honour during the Faculty of Education convocation ceremony on Friday, June 16.

A University Professor is a member of faculty recognized for extraordinary contributions to scholarship and teaching and participation in university life, and this year will celebrate the work of Professor Marcia Annisette. She will receive the honour during the Schulich School of Business convocation ceremony on Friday, June 23.

In accordance with the Senate Policy on Honorific Professorships, the committee may select up to two recipients each year up to a maximum of 30 active University Professors and 30 active Distinguished Research Professors.

Distinguished Research Professor – Carl James, Faculty of Education

Carl James
Carl James

Carl James is a professor in the Faculty of Education with cross-appointments in the graduate programs in sociology, social and political thought, and social work. He holds the Jean Augustine Chair in Education, Community and Diaspora and is also senior advisor on equity and representation in the Office of the Vice-President of Equity, People and Culture.

Nominator Lisa Farley, associate dean, research in the Faculty of Education, wrote that James is “an outstanding, highly sought-after scholar by a wide range of stakeholders inside and outside of York: national and international scholarly associations, community partners, graduate students, public media and universities that regard his expert knowledge as paramount to actioning their own objectives.”

James is widely recognized for his research contributions in the areas of intersectionality of race with ethnicity, gender, class and citizenship as they shape identification/identity; the ways in which accessible and equitable opportunities in education and employment account for the lived experiences of marginalized community members; and the complementary and contradictory nature of sports in the schooling and educational attainments of racialized students. In advocating on education for change, James documents the struggles, contradictions and paradoxes in the experiences of racialized students at all levels of the education system. In doing so, he seeks to address and move us beyond the essentialist, generalized and homogenizing discourses that account for the representation and achievements of racialized people – particularly Black Canadians – in educational institutions, workplaces, and society generally.

“I am very appreciative of this honour and for the recognition that all have shown – especially Lisa Farley – for my contributions over the years,” said James of receiving the honour. “And as I have always said, I am grateful to everyone – colleagues, students, family members, friends, research respondents and community members – for supporting me over the years. For afterall, through these supports, I have attained these accomplishments.”

His contributions to the field and the high quality of his work are underlined by his strong publication record, with 12 authored or co-authored books, 12 edited books, 81 book chapters, 40 referred journal articles, 32 reports, and a good number of policy interventions over the past 30 years. Many of these works are recognized as groundbreaking and continue to be relevant today. James has had immense success in securing external research funding from a diversity of funding agencies, and, in the last six years alone, he has secured over $6 million in funding as the principal investigator (PI), co-PI or project lead.

James is the recipient of numerous institutional, national and international awards, including the Killam Prize in the Social Sciences in 2022, the President’s Research Impact Award in 2021, and Fellow, Royal Society of Canada – Academy of Social Sciences in 2012. James has also been recognized with many community awards, including Outstanding Service to Canadian Black Scientists in 2023, Lifetime Achievement Award of Excellence from the Ontario Alliance of Black Educators in 2019, and the Professional Excellence Award, Harry Jerome Award from Black Business & Professional Association in 2013.

University Professor – Marcia Annisette, Schulich School of Business

Marcia Annisette

Marcia Annisette is a professor of accounting at York University’s Schulich School of Business. She previously served as associate dean, students and director of Schulich’s Master of Accounting program, and was previously the School’s associate dean, academic. Nominated by Schulich Dean Detlev Zwick, Annisette is noted for having made extraordinary contributions to the University through her service, teaching and research.

With contributions dating back more than 15 years, Annisette is noted for her role as area coordinator (equivalent to department Chair) in the accounting area from 2007 to 2010, where she played an active role in curriculum development, recruitment and mentoring of junior faculty and staffing of courses. Following her term as area coordinator, Annisette began to work on developing the Master of Accounting (MAcc) program and became its director in 2013 with the official launch of the program.

“Her effectiveness in leading and reshaping Schulich’s activities in accounting is one of the many reasons why I consider her so worthy of the University Professorship,” says Zwick in his nomination letter.

With respect to the service roles she has taken on at the faculty level – including associate dean, students and associate dean, academic – Zwick notes that Annisette “has demonstrated an ability to be a constructive and creative administrator who consistently goes well beyond the basic requirements of the role.”

“It is an honour to be awarded the University Professorship. Academic service has given me the privilege to work with the most talented and committed faculty and staff at Schulich and across the University,” says Annisette. “This rich variety of high-quality encounters has only served to enhance my own effectiveness as a teacher and as a scholar. I am particularly indebted to Schulich Dean Emeritus Dezso Horvath and Dean Detlev Zwick for giving me the opportunity and privilege to serve.”

The nomination was supported by Faculty of Education Professor Carl James, who noted her participation as a faculty associate of the Jean Augustine Chair in Education Community & Diaspora and as an administration representative of the Joint Committee of Affirmative Action (JCAA). She has also served as a senator and a member of the Senate Executive Committee.

Annisette regularly publishes in top-tier journals in her field and several of her papers have won awards. Her major research interest is in the social organization of the accountancy profession. In particular, her research seeks to understand the strategies deployed by professional accounting bodies to differentiate themselves and achieve monopoly or elite status in the market for expert accounting labour. Her research has an international breath and includes studies of the profession in Ireland, England, Trinidad and Tobago and Canada. Her research is also historically and sociological informed and specifically looks at the manner in which national bases of social exclusion such as religion, social class, race, nationality or immigration status, interact with professional structures to achieve professional closure.

In 2018 she was appointed editor-in-chief of Accounting Organizations and Society, the top tier academic journal for interdisciplinary research in accounting, and serves on the editorial board of 13 other academic accounting journals.

For a full list of convocation ceremonies, visit this website.

Professor receives funding to pursue equity in regenerative medicine

Operation table in hospital

Carl James, a professor and Jean Augustine Chair in Education, Community and Diaspora in the Faculty of Education at York University, received funding for “Bridging the gap in regenerative medicine for African, Caribbean and Black (ACB) communities,” a project which will promote greater equity in regenerative medicine research and clinical practice.

Carl James
Carl James

With Dr. Istvan Mucsi of University Health Network, James will lead a team that was among six that received a collective $1 million from Medicine by Design (MBD), a strategic hub for regenerative medicine research at the University of Toronto. The project sprung from a series of workshops organized by MBD’s Convergent Working Group, which aspires to gather diverse perspectives across the field of medicine.

The goal of James and Mucsi’s current project is to enable researchers and clinicians to build more trusting relationships and communication between African, Caribbean and Black (ACB) communities. It aims to do so by facilitating education, workshops and discussions, as well as modules focused on culture, race, ethnicity and anti-Black racism in the field of regenerative medicine.

The project is reflective of James’ interest throughout his extensive career, which has focused on the ways in which race intersects with ethnicity, gender, class and citizenship to mediate accessible and equitable opportunities in education and employment of racialized Canadians. Some of James’ previous work includes another project completed in collaboration with Mucsi, which resulted in the article “Psychosocial distress in patients with advanced CKD by racial group and immigrant status: A Canadian cross-sectional Study” published The American Journal of Kidney Diseases.

James’ work has earned him recognitions like the $100,000 Killam Prize in 2022; the title Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada – Academy of Social Sciences in 2012, and an honorary doctorate from the Uppsala University, Sweden in 2006.

New video series highlights Faculty of Education’s impact

Faculty of Education Decanal Message Innovatus Banner

York University’s Faculty of Education has unveiled a four-part series, called “Leaders Supporting Future Leaders in Education,” which showcases its efforts to innovate in education and create positive change through bold leadership and more just communities.

In particular, the four videos – which consider the Faculty’s impact and philosophy around students and alumni, community partners, as well as research and scholarship – highlight how the Faculty’s new Five-Year Strategic Plan (2023-2027), launched earlier this year, builds upon its long-running commitment to equity, diversity, inclusion and decolonization. The new strategic plan also aims to sharpen how the Faculty continues to deeply consider and respond to ways in which inequities play out in the 2020s.

Students, faculty, staff, alumni and partners appear in the series to reflect on the positive change that the Faculty has, and continues to, drive. The series is also a part of the Faculty’s efforts to commemorate its 50th anniversary.

“Meaningful education is ever-changing, engaging as it does, as it must, with society. As a Faculty, we are thinking holistically about this dynamism across all of the ideas, innovations, partnerships, sectors, and fields with whom we engage, to continue to provide transformative research, teaching and experiential learning experiences and environments for all our diverse students as they go on to become future leaders in all our communities,” says Dean of the Faculty of Education Robert Savage, who appears in the video series.

The videos can be watched individually below, or as a playlist here.

Students team with UNESCO for educational videos on sustainability

Featured image for stories related to sustainability

York University Bachelor of Arts (BA) Educational Studies students teamed up with the UNESCO Chair in Reorienting Education towards Sustainability to create educational videos covering current global education themes.

Students in their final year of the BA Educational Studies degree program are required to take a capstone course (EDST4999). In keeping with the program’s goal to look at all aspects of education, including policy, the psychology of education, teaching and adult education, seven students from the program met with the UNESCO team to understand the organization’s role within the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), and learn about the efforts in achieving quality education, in particular through the UNESCO Associated Schools Network of more than 12,500 schools worldwide.

Charles Hopkins
Charles Hopkins

The students worked in collaboration with York UNESCO Chair, Professor Charles Hopkins, and Executive Co-ordinator Katrin Kohl, as well as UNESCO Project Officer Katja Anger during the 2022/2023 York U Capstone Course in Educational Studies led by Celia Popovic, course director and Faculty of Education professor. They explored how to best explain sustainability, the SDGs, education for sustainable development (ESD) or global citizenship education (GCED) in video segments and created three educational videos – from conceptualizing, scripting, performing, shooting, editing and finalizing the video product.

“Participating students had been passionate about sustainable development, climate action and social justice before. Yet, with their new knowledge and an opportunity to have an impact beyond the classroom, they saw that their voice was important and felt empowered to make a difference now and in the future,” said Popovic, undergraduate program director, academic programs in the Faculty of Education.

The student videos will now be shared with UNESCO Associated Schools in Canada and beyond, and other young people will have the opportunity to engage with the perspectives and perceptions of their peers.

One of several videos created by the students and featured on UNESCO Chair at York University Toronto YouTube channel

“The videos present young voices to the discussion of our global challenges today and tomorrow,” said Hopkins. “This project is one example of York University’s Faculty of Education seeking ways to respond to the pressing challenge inherent in United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.”