Winning student art on display at main Bookstore

RebeccaAdams1stPrizeThe second annual Bookstore Art Competition has inspired students to come up with some interesting pieces, the top three of which are now on display in the Bookstore’s front window.

The front of Brain and Mind by Rebecca Adams

Rebecca Adams won first prize, consisting of $500 worth of art supplies, for her artwork titled Brain and Mind. “My piece explores what makes up our realities in both the physical and the psychological sense. It uses these aspects to portray how they make up each person individually and as a whole in society,” says Adams.

Her piece is two sided with two heads in relief partially constructed of puzzle pieces on one side and a 3-D city on the other. “For each puzzle piece, I chose important topics RebeccaAdams1stPrizebackor events from various media sources that have an effect on the way we perceive the world or ourselves,” says Adams, of the Faculty of Health.

The back of Rebecca Adams’ winning piece, Brain and Mind

“I created the city on the opposite side to demonstrate the interconnectedness of our brains as physical systems, and the concrete environment we live in as a part of a much larger, but nevertheless connected, system. These mechanical and non-mechanical aspects are what make us who we are, working together to connect us to our environment and others, and vice versa.”

The second prize winner is Paulina Su for her piece Imagining the Possibilities. She won $100 toward art supplies. “My piece attempts to reignite ones’ love and PaulinaSu2ndPrizeexcitement of reading in the York community. Throughout the school year, I’ve observed students being bogged down by mandatory course readings. I feel many students have unfortunately lost their love for reading or find they no longer have time for it,” says Su, who is in both the Faculty of Education and the Faculty of Fine  Arts. “With this art piece I want to change this by reminding the wider York community, especially students, of the joy and adventures that come with the simple act of opening a book.”

Paulina Su’s second-place piece, Imagining the Possibilities

In third place with TTC Bus Sign is Angel Perez of the Faculty of Fine Arts. Directly adopting the design of the Toronto Transit Commission bus signs, the art piece re-works the former’s visual layout onto a flat surface, removed from its intended use as a post signifying a bus stop. The materials used (black vinyl on white acrylic) were shaped through both mechanical and automated digital processes. The simplicity of its design, accomplished by its minimal use of symbols and basic colour scheme, offers viewers a re-contextualization of each element.

Last year’s inaugural winners were: Ana Paula Gonzalez Urdaneta in first place for her acrylic on canvas piece, The Bibliothecary; Leo Krukowski in second spot for his Angel Perez3rd Prizehanging steel sheet with rust, titled Rust Painting; and Rija Ahsan in third with her acrylic on canvas piece, Myself as the Mona Lisa.

TTC Bus Sign by Angel Perez took third spot in the art competition

The art competition is organized by the Bookstore, along with York’s Department of Visual Arts, and the jury included visual arts faculty and Bookstore staff members.

The winning works will remain on display until the end of June.


Above: Last year’s first-place winner Ana Paula Gonzalez Urdaneta’s piece, titled The Bibliothecary, and third-place winner Rija Ahsan’s piece, titled Myself as the Mona Lisa


Two awarded title of University Professor

Two York professors will be awarded 2013 University Professorships for their scholarship, teaching and participation in University life or contribution to the University as a community.

Stan Shapson of the Faculty of Education and Paul Wilkinson of the Faculty of Environmental Studies (FES) were selected by York University’s Senate Committee on Awards to be given the honorific title – University Professor.

A University Professor is a long-serving, tenured faculty member who has made an extraordinary contribution to the University as a colleague, teacher and scholar, including significant long-term contribution to the development or growth of the University or its parts; significant participation in the collegium through mentorship, service and/or governance; sustained impact over time on the University’s teaching mission; and recognition as a scholar.

StanShapsonStan Shapson
In his years at York, Professor Stan Shapson has been dean of the Faculty of Education, associate vice-president of strategic academic initiatives and vice-president of research & innovation (VPRI). In all these roles, his goal has been to increase York’s reputation as a comprehensive, research-intensive University built on international standards of excellence.

His contribution to the teaching mission of the University was not in the classroom, but through the transformation of the Faculty of Education into a research Faculty with innovative programs for the diverse GTA population. Among his accomplishments as dean was the establishment of a PhD program that ended OISE’s long monopoly on doctoral programs in education in Ontario.

During Shapson’s tenure as VPRI, York’s research performance increased dramatically on almost every metric and York’s visibility in Canada and internationally was considerably enhanced. He built on relations developed while dean of education with York’s community– particularly York Region and Markham–establishing links with industrial and health organizations. He produced organizations that were useful for both the business and civic communities and for York students and faculty.

As a member of the Governing Council of the Social Sciences & Humanities Research Council of Canada from 2001 to 2007, and as interim president in 2005 to 2006, he provided leadership to universities across Canada in key areas such as knowledge mobilization, community engagement and social innovation.  In addition to internal support for research, as VPRI he also developed York’s Knowledge Mobilization unit– the first at a Canadian University– to better connect the impacts of social science and humanities research to policy makers and practitioners. In all his work, Shapson has demonstrated commitment to the University and to all its members.

PaulWilkinsonPaul Wilkinson
Wilkinson (BA ’70) joined the FES in 1973 as an instructor. In his almost 40 years as a faculty member, he has been an outstanding citizen and champion of the University. It is noted that he “lives and breathes York University”, wrote the Senate Committee on Awards.

His colleagues appreciate his integrity, dedication, enthusiasm and wisdom, and the persistent sense of humour he brings to all he does. His administrative and collegial service is exemplary in every respect. He has chaired every important committee and been associate dean, undergraduate and graduate program director, and PhD program coordinator, playing a pivotal role in expanding the Faculty’s academic programs. He has also been active in Senate, as a member for most of his time at York, with terms as vice-chair and chair, and on numerous Senate committees and sub-committees. He spent two terms representing Senate on the University Board of Governors.

Wilkinson is well-known and frequently sought out as a superb teacher and mentor. He has supervised almost 100 graduate students and has a network of former students around the world, many of whom he keeps in touch with. A highly productive and award-winning scholar, his research over the past two decades into the impacts of recreation and tourism on the carrying capacity and ecological integrity of natural areas, and environmental systems more broadly, is highly regarded.

He is a core member of a group in FES that has developed and implemented a string of highly successful linkages funded by Canadian International Development Agency beginning in the 1970s. For his extraordinary contributions to the University as a colleague, teacher and scholar, Wilkinson is truly worthy of the title of University Professor.

Leading Canadian scholars speak out about youth homelessness

York will host a panel experts on youth homelessness Friday as part of a celebratory launch of a free new e-book looking at how to effectively respond to youth in crisis and prevent them from turning to the streets.

Youth Homelessness in Canada: Implications for Policy and Practice will launch April 26, from 2 to 4pm, in the Harry Crowe Room, 109 Atkinson Building, Keele campus. HomlessnessEveryone is welcome to attend. The panel discussion will also be broadcast live via webinar. A limited number of print copies will be available for purchase for $22 at the event (cash only).

“The thought of ending youth homelessness can feel like an impossible task given the overwhelming scope of the problem and its apparent complexity. However, a lot is known about effectively responding to youth homelessness,” writes York education Professor Stephen Gaetz, director of the Canadian Homelessness Research Network (CHRN) and co-editor of Youth Homelessness in Canada, in the book’s concluding chapter.

A mature and developed response to homelessness ideally involves a stronger emphasis on prevention, strategies that move people quickly out of homelessness, as well as support by emergency services that bridge the gap, he says.

The e-book features leading Canadian scholars sharing key findings from their research on youth homelessness. It highlights the policy and practice implications of their research and how it can inform the efforts of those working on the frontlines of youth homelessness. The goal of Youth Homelessness in Canada is to fill a gap in the StephenGaetzinformation available about youth homelessness by providing an easily accessible collection of the best Canadian research and policy analysis in the field.

Stephen Gaetz

In addition to Gaetz, the book is co-edited by  Bill O’Grady of the University of Guelph, Kristy Buccieri of the University of Ontario Institute of Technology, Jeff Karabanow of Dalhousie University and Allyson Marsolais, project manager of the CHRN. Three of the book’s contributors will showcase their research at the launch.

Alex (Ilona) Abramovich, a doctoral candidate at the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education at the University of Toronto and contributor of the chapter “No Fixed Address: Young, Queer, & Restless”, will talk about how LGBTQ youth are disproportionately represented among homeless youth. Abramovich, who is investigating the changes that need to be implemented in Toronto’s shelter system to make it safer for LGBTQ youth, will address the additional stigma, discrimination and burdens these youth face while on the streets. Currently, there is no formal, mandatory anti-homophobia training for shelter staff. Youth who are subject to acts of hate/violence do not have a reliable, accessible channel in which to lodge for­mal complaints.

Val Tarasuk & Naomi Dachner, who wrote about “Homeless Youth, Nutritional Vulnerability, & Community Food Assistance Programs” for the book, will speak about how homeless youth face extreme nutritional vulnerability due to chronic food deprivation and poor quality of food. They will look at how this can impact not only their nutritional health, but also their social, psychological and emotional well-being. Tarasuk is a professor in the Department of Nutritional Sciences at the University of Toronto, where Dachner is a study coordinator. Their research looks at food security and access, and points to the need for food to be an integral part of any program for homeless youth.

Stephen Gaetz, author of the chapter, “Ending Youth Homelessness in Canada is Possible: The Role of Prevention”, will discuss how to prevent youth from becoming homeless in the first place. He will also address how to ensure that if they do end up on the streets it is only for a short time, so they do not become mired in homelessness or the street lifestyle.

Youth Homelessness in Canada will be available to the public on April 26. It can be downloaded in an eBook version for free from the Homeless Hub or, for a nominal cost, a print version can be ordered online.

Schulich profs take their e-teaching platform global with ClevrU Corp. deal

Gareth Morgan and Jean Adams head shots

Waterloo-based ClevrU Corporation has acquired NewMindsets Inc., a company founded on online pedagogy researched and developed by two Schulich School of Business professors that has provided leading-edge educational content and services to more than 10,000 Schulich students at York University over the past decade.

Gareth MorganGareth Morgan

Through the acquisition, ClevrU will fully integrate NewMindsets’ proven e-teaching pedagogy in leadership, researched and developed by Professors Gareth Morgan and Jean Adams, into its world-class e-teaching platform, to be presented to York as a pilot and then delivered to students worldwide. The two companies announced a partnership in October 2012 to establish a second-generation online learning standard for millions of students worldwide.

ClevrU had the mobile-friendly, multilingual, globally adaptive solution to create interactive learning environments; New Mindsets had spent 12 years developing and validating their pedagogy for an engaging, effective online learning experience with thousands of undergraduate and graduate leadership and management students at Schulich. “We created NewMindsets so universities and colleges could deliver online education in a meaningful way,” says Morgan, founder and chairman of NewMindsets. “Now that our pedagogy is being completely integrated into ClevrU’s platform, we have the perfect solution to help students learn in a responsive, interactive and user-friendly environment.”

Jean AdamsJean Adams

“ClevrU is excited to partner with New Mindsets and York University,” said Mark Arnason, president and CEO ClevrU Corporation. “As the online education market matures, universities are looking at superior forms of online and distance learning as new revenue opportunities. ClevrU will provide a solution for educational institutions wishing to develop and deliver effective online courses and effective learning outcomes to students in Canada and internationally. Together, we’re going to build a marketplace where students can use a flexible, fully-customizable learning system to gain valuable, personalized learning outcomes.”

MaRS Innovation— working in close collaboration with Innovation York, York University’s commercialization office — developed New Mindsets’ commercialization plan, arranged the initial introduction between the companies, structured the initial partnership and negotiated the resulting transaction.

“York University is pleased to partner with ClevrU and MaRs Innovation to support this innovative technology,” said Robert Haché, York’s Vice-President Research & Innovation.  “Professors Morgan and Adams have developed an e-teaching model and pedagogy that will be integrated into ClevrU’s e-teaching platform and made available to students around the world.   This initiative is a prime example of Innovation York’s role in working together with external organizations to help researchers maximize the social and economic impact of their intellectual property.”

“MaRS Innovation is enthusiastic about the commercial prospects represented by the marriage of ClevrU’s positioning in the e-learning market and content delivery system to the proven, highly engaging pedagogy methods and leadership training content developed by internationally recognized York University professors,” said Raphael Hofstein, president and CEO. “This transaction illustrates the effectiveness of MI’s commercialization process, our collaboration with our members and our contribution to strengthening of Ontario companies’ competitiveness on the world stage.”

Student paintings win Purple Day contest

PurpleDayCorridorThree students have won cash prizes for their artwork, created to help raise awareness of epilepsy.

The paintings were on display in Vari Hall during Purple Day at York in March.

Rija Ahsan’s winning painting

The three winning pieces, voted on by passing students, faculty and staff, were created by Rija Ahsan of the Faculty of Education, Giovanna Galuppo of the Faculty of Fine Arts and Michelle Le of the Faculty of Health. They will be showcased in August at the annual Scotiabank Busker Ball in support of Epilepsy Toronto.

The cash prizes were $150 for first place, $100 for second and $50 for third. Each artwork took Purple Day as its theme.

“I feel honoured to have won first place and I’m very glad I got to share my painting with others,” says Ahsan, whose painting depicts a long corridor with doors coming off of it.

She created it “…to represent the isolation and loneliness that comes with any mental disorder. But at the end of the hall there is an open door and light is seeping in,” says PurpleDaySecondPlaceAhsan. “I wanted to give the idea that there is a way out of the darkness and isolation; that people do care and are spreading awareness. There’s never a dead end, hope is always present.”

Giovanna Galuppo’s painting won second

Le, whose painting took third place, says she chose to include a butterfly in her painting as “many epilepsy support groups use the purple butterfly as the symbol for awareness, so I wanted to incorporate it in my painting.” The health studies student is aware of the stigma often associated with health conditions such as epilepsy.

In her painting, Le says, “The waves branching off towards the butterfly represent the large community that is aware and supports those with epilepsy.” She hopes the support community for those with epilepsy will continue to grow and eventually overcome the stigma attached to having the condition.

Epilepsy Toronto partnered with the Student Association of Health Management, PurpleDayButterflyPolicy & Informatics and Winters College Council to bring Purple Day – an international day to raise epilepsy awareness – to York’s Keele campus.

Michelle Le’s painting won the third-place prize

Purple Day was full of fun, interactive and educational games and quizzes, including epilepsy jeopardy, spin-the-wheel, ping pong, a seizure tile puzzle and a dartboard game. Students could also create purple origami flowers or leave inspirational messages on cutouts of brains to support people living with epilepsy. There was also a bake sale, popcorn and cotton candy, which helped raise funds for Epilepsy Toronto.

Some of the other students who had their work displayed were Nina Soyer, Sarah Di PurpleDayStudentsPaola, Radi Hilaneh and Denise De Marco.

Students volunteer to help run activities during Purple Day at York

The art competition was a partnership between Epilepsy Toronto, the Student Association of Health Management, Policy & Informatics and Winters College Council at York University.

To learn more about epilepsy, visit the Epilepsy Toronto website.

New website dedicated to contemplative education launched by LA&PS Professor Deborah Orr

Faculty of Liberal Arts & Professional Studies humanities Professor Deborah Orr has launched a new website dedicated to Contemplative Education.

“Contemplative education is rapidly emerging as the next major development in teaching and learning,” says Orr. “In contemplative education praxis the student is understood as a fully integrated individual and so teaching addresses the student’s body, mind, spirit and behaviour as an integrated whole. This pedagogical praxis facilitates the fulfillment of the aims of traditional humanistic education, to develop graduates who are not only technically proficient but who also function as informed and compassionate members of the broader community.”

deborah_orrDeborah Orr

Orr has recently published a paper that surveys the uses of mindfulness meditation, the most frequently employed contemplative practice in this burgeoning field. Mindfulness medification develops focus, concentration and creativity. For a fuller discussion on the role of mindfulness meditation in contemplative education, see Orr’s paper titled, “Thinking Outside the Academic Box: An Introduction to Mindfulness Meditation for Education” in Other Education: The Journal for Alternative Education.

The purpose of the Contemplative Education website, says Orr,  is to provide a virtual commons for scholars, researchers, teachers and students who are working in or interested in exploring the rapidly growing field of contemplative education. Orr’s goal for launching the website is to enable information sharing, collaboration or projects related to contemplative education, mentoring of students and a wide range of other activities.

“The site is designed so that you can register and post your information, including your CV, publications links, projects and much more,” says Orr. “You can search the site for colleagues and material that interest you. You can also post announcements for upcoming events, calls for papers and conference presentations and new publications. As well, it provides a source of information and contacts for those interested in exploring the possibilities of this new pedagogical methodology and research area, but who are not yet registered. Both registration and searching are free and so I urge you to register and become a part of the growing and exciting contemplative education community.

“While the site is now open to York University faculty and students, we urge you to share this information with those outside of the University, those who will be interested and may want to register.”

A “Contact us” link enables visitors to suggest ideas and suggestions on how to make the site more useful and user friendly. The site will be expanded to include content of interest to national and international educators and students researching or working in contemplative education. For more information, visit the Contemplative Education website. Sanja Begic, learning technology support specialist, and Kaziwa Salih, graduate assistant, worked with Orr to prepare the website.

Partnership between York U and Ryerson gives education students an academic boost


The School of Early Childhood Studies at Ryerson University and the Faculty of Education at York University have partnered to offer a concurrent bachelor of arts (BA) in early childhood studies and bachelor of education (BEd), available to first-year Ryerson students starting this fall. The program − the first of its kind in Canada − prepares students to have a thorough knowledge of education from preschool to age 12.

“These students will become leaders prepared to make a real difference in the lives of children and their families because of their in-depth knowledge of early childhood development and their extensive placement experience,” says Usha George, dean of Ryerson’s Faculty of Community Services. “Graduates of this concurrent program will be sought-after educators in the province’s public school system.”

The province’s education minister Liz Sandals was on hand to launch the program at Ryerson University with administrators from both universities in late March.

“We’ve developed a program that will create a new kind of professional with a powerful view of early learning that cuts across both care and education needs – a step that will support the Ontario government’s commitment to full-day kindergarten,” says Alice Pitt, vice-provost academic at York and former dean of the Faculty of Education. “Some students have in the past earned early childhood education diplomas prior to earning bachelor degrees, but this new program will kick it up a notch, creating a formal collaboration that is bound to push research, professional development and educational policy in completely new and positive directions.”

AlicPittAlice Pitt

First-year students enrolled in Ryerson’s BA in Early Childhood Studies degree program can apply during the winter semester for the BEd at York with concurrent courses beginning as early as the student’s second year. Graduates will earn two credentials (BA-ECS/BEd) through the five-year program, qualifying them to teach at the kindergarten, primary and junior levels. The program will be housed on the Ryerson campus with York faculty teaching courses on-site.

This joint program will also enhance career options for students as the province moves to complete its full-day kindergarten program by 2014, enabling graduates to work as early childhood educators or teachers in a collaboratively planned, play-based learning environment.

“In Toronto and other urban settings, we need graduates from our program who can work with diverse student populations, their families and communities,” says Rachel Langford, director of Ryerson’s School of Early Childhood Studies. “The program will teach them to be ready to take on working in inclusive settings and understanding how schools fit broadly in communities.”

Ryerson’s four-year early childhood studies degree program is known for preparing early childhood educators who are well-versed in the theory and application of child development, play-based curriculum instructional methods, special education and assessment in teaching young children in a variety of settings.

York University’s Bachelor of Education infuses its program with a combination of theory and practice, providing students the philosophical and social foundations of education, professional rights and responsibilities, theories of communication and human development, planning and pedagogy and curriculum development in an interdisciplinary environment.

Faculty of Education scholars to discuss the question: ‘Is institutional learning dead?’

Is institutional learning dead?

That provocative question and more will be debated by five leading education researchers on Wednesday, April 10, during a special panel discussion hosted by York University’s Faculty of Education.

The panel is part of an ongoing series of research celebrations showing the depth and breadth of research underway at York University that are held in conjunction with the Office of the Vice-President Research & Innovation. Wednesday’s panel will take place from 2 to 4pm, in room 519 York Research Tower, on the Keele campus. All are welcome to attend.

“The Faculty of Education’s research celebration provides members of the York community with an opportunity to engage in a compelling discussion about the many challenges and opportunities facing educators today,” said Robert Haché, vice-president research & innovation.

The five panellists will weigh in on the question in an open discussion that will be followed by a Q-and-A session. The discussion will be moderated by York education Professor Sharon Murphy.

“We welcome the opportunity to share our research successes with the rest of the York community. The event will showcase several of our colleagues engaging in a fascinating discussion about the future of formal education that is sure to interest all who attend,” said Ron Owston, dean of the Faculty of Education

Participating in the discussion are:

Negin Dahya is a fifth year doctoral student in the Faculty of Education and an alumna of the MEd program. Her master’s thesis explored video games for education and social change by examining representation and learning in digital games. She is a three-time Ontario Graduate Scholarship award winner whose doctoral research focuses on postcolonial feminist theory, digital media and learning by exploring the lives of Muslim girls, a community marginalized by intersecting factors including gender, race and religious discrimination.

Dahya-150x150Negin Dahya

Don Dippo is a University Professor of Education and a former elementary school teacher. His PhD is in the Sociology of Education with specialization in the sociology of knowledge. Current research interests include: the social and political organization of knowledge; environmental and sustainability education; global migration and settlement; university/community relations and teacher education. He is co-investigator on the Borderless Higher Education for Refugees project, which is funded by the Canadian International Development Agency and the Social Sciences & Humanities Research Foundation of Canada.

Yor-49-of-80-150x150Don Dippo

Roopa Desai Trilokekar‘s research interests include international and intercultural education. An assistant professor in the Faculty of Education, Desai Trilokekar (left) is interested in government policy on higher education and internationalization, as well as the student learning experience as it pertains to study abroad and internationalizing teacher education. She is co-editor of two books, Making Policy in Turbulent Times; Challenge and Prospects for Higher Education (to be published this year with York education Professor Paul Axelrod) and Canada’s Universities Go Global (2009).

Roopa-150x150Roopa Desai Trilokekar

Connie Mayer is a professor in the Faculty of Education. Her scholarly interests include language and literacy development in learners at risk (e.g. deaf and hard of hearing); emergent literacy; early intervention; bilingualism; the role of signed language in educating D/HH learners; sociocultural theory and its applications to educational practice and research; classroom discourse; and teacher education. Prior to coming to York, she worked for more than 20 years as a consultant, administrator and teacher of D/HH students from preschool through postsecondary.

CMayer-Photo-Colour-150x150Connie Mayer

Celia Popovic is the director of York University’s Teaching Commons, a community of practice for those engaged in all aspects teaching and learning whose aim is to enhance the student experience. She holds an EdD from the University of Birmingham and has more than 20 years of experience as an educational developer with universities in Great Britain. She is the co-author of Understanding Undergraduates: Challenging our preconceptions of student success (2012).

celiacropCelia Popovic

Jean Augustine will bring greetings and will welcome guests to the event. Augustine was appointed as the first Fairness Commissioner for Ontario in March 2007. She cares passionately about education and the challenges faced by newcomers to the province. Augustine has donated her archival and parliamentary materials to York University’s Faculty of Education, creating the opportunity to establish an innovative academic position, the Jean Augustine Chair in Education in the New Urban Environment.

commissioner_2010-08_lrg-150x150Jean Augustine

Recently published books and a slide show of research highlights will be on display. The Faculty will also be screening new research video bytes and will showcase a live demonstration of new software innovations.

To RSVP for this event, click here.

Faculty of Education student-teacher recognized for dedication to teaching

Livia Beqo, a student in the BEd French concurrent program in York University’s Faculty of Education, has won the 2013 Helen G. Mitchell Award from the Ontario Modern Language Teachers’ Association (OMLTA).

The award is granted to one graduating student in each Faculty of Education in Ontario who has achieved excellence in both the academic andLivia2-235x300 practicum program in the pre-service year. The recipient must demonstrate the attributes of a potentially outstanding French, musique and orthopedagogie student-teacher at the primary/junior level.

Livia Beqo

“For me, the art of teaching involves having an unquenchable thirst for learning. It is having the ability to see the world rearranged in different ways in an attempt to inspire creativity, innovation, interconnectedness and transformation grounded on social justice and human empathy,” says Beqo.  “I believe that teaching in a second language like French helps to further promote this interconnectedness and active political participation among students, especially in the Canadian context. I am grateful to the York Faculty of Education, my amazing professors, mentor teachers and colleagues for being such an inspiration to me, as well as further encouraging my love for learning. I am very humbled to have been selected as the recipient of this award.”

This year’s recipients will be acknowledged at an awards ceremony on March 23 at the DoubleTree International Plaza Hotel during the OMLTA Spring Conference.

“In the three years that I have supervised York Faculty of Education Students in their practicum placements, I have had only one mentor teacher contact me directly to praise the high calibre of a teacher candidate – more specifically, a teacher candidate in the Bachelor of Education (French) program,” says Stefanie Muhling, a course director in York University’s Bachelor of Education French concurrent program. “The teacher candidate who incited this response was Livia Beqo.”

Muhling says Beqo’s practicum experience with students in French as a Second Language programs in Canada and her volunteer work with schools in the developing world displayed a high standard of commitment and excellence. “She demonstrates a passion for teaching, learning, communicating and connecting, upheld by an exceptionally strong work ethic and commitment to social justice,” notes Muhling.

For further information on the award, visit the OMTLA website.

York’s inaugural Research Gala recognizes excellence

York’s leading researchers were recognized for their groundbreaking research achievements and thought leadership during an inaugural gala event, held Feb. 27.

More than 100 people attended the gala to celebrate York’s 2012-2013 research leaders. Hosted by York University’s President & Vice-Chancellor Mamdouh Shoukri and Vice-President Research & Innovation Robert Haché, the event provided an opportunity to recognize the outstanding research achievements of York’s researchers over the past year, including those who received such accolades as being named Fellows of the PresidentShoukriRoyal Society of Canada, Trudeau Fellow, Canada Research Chair and Canadian Institutes for Health Research Chairs, to name a few.

Mamdouh Shoukri

The depth and breadth of faculty and student research was showcased throughout the gala and an announcement of the recipient of the 2013 President’s Research Excellence Award was made.

“Our researchers continue to make great contributions to a vibrant teaching and learning environment, and provide a foundation for the continued development of exciting new and innovative discoveries here at York,” said Shoukri. “I would like to congratulate all of our leaders for their contributions to ensuring the continued success of York.”

“The work of York’s researchers and students is a source of utmost pride at the University and demonstrates our strength, our excellence in research and scholarship,” said Haché. “We plan to carry forward a tradition of celebrating the ShoukriKeilHacheexceptional work of York’s researchers and students – and recognizing the impact of their research on society.”

From left, Mamdouh Shoukri, Roger Keil and Robert Haché

The event opened with a slide show presentation, highlighting the achievements of a wide spectrum of faculty and student researchers across the University, including book prizes, awards from internal and external agencies, donations for research, grants from tri-council agencies and more.

Following the welcome remarks made by Shoukri and Haché, Jim Stanford, an economist with the Canadian Auto Workers, Canada’s largest private sector trade union, delivered an intriguing keynote speech addressing Canada’s Innovation Deficit: Private, Public and Community Roles. Stanford is the author of Economics for Everyone (2008). He is also a frequent contributor to CBC Television’s “The National”, JimStanfordappearing on the program’s The Bottom Line panel, and a columnist for The Globe and Mail newspaper.

Jim Stanford

Haché then announced the winners of York’s inaugural Undergraduate Research Fair, held earlier on the same day, followed by a recognition of graduate student research by Barbara Crow, dean and associate vice-president graduate studies.

During the gala, a number of researchers were invited to the stage to receive special recognition for their outstanding research achievements over the past year. Associate Vice-President Lisa Philipps delivered citations for each of the researchers as they were presented with personal recognition items by Shoukri and Haché. The complete list of researchers include:

  • Tamara Daly, School of Health Policy & Management, Faculty of Health
  • Don Dippo, Faculty of Education
  • William Gage, School of Kinesiology & Health Science, Faculty of Health
  • Wenona Giles, Department of Anthropology, Faculty of Liberal Arts & Professional Studies
  • Christian Haas, Department of Earth & Space Science, Faculty of Science
  • Laurence Harris, Department of Psychology, Faculty of Health
  • Carl James, Faculty of Education
  • Alison Macpherson, School of Kinesiology & Health Science, Faculty of Health
  • Janine Marchessault, Department of Film, Faculty of Fine Arts
  • Natasha Myers, Department of Anthropology, Faculty of Liberal Arts & Professional Studies
  • Arturo Orellana, Department of Chemistry, Faculty of Science
  • Debra Pepler, Department of Psychology, Faculty of Health
  • Marcia Rioux, School of Health Policy & Management, Faculty of Health
  • Catherine Robbin, Department of Music, Faculty of Fine Arts
  • Harvey Skinner, Faculty of Health
  • Jonathan Weiss, Department of Psychology, Faculty of Health
  • Thilo Womelsdorf, Department of Biology, Faculty of Science
  • Norman Yan, Department of Biology, Faculty of Science
  • Georg Zoidl, Department of Psychology, Faculty of Health and Department of Biology, Faculty of Science

Following the recognition of the 2012-2013 research leaders, the 2013 President’s Research Excellence Award was presented to Professor Roger Keil of the Faculty of Environmental Studies for his significant contributions to York’s research community.


Above: first row, from left, Norman Yan, Georg Zoidl, Janine Marchessault, Laurence Harris, Marcia Rioux, William Gage, Alison Macpherson. Second row, from left, Thilo Womelsdorf, Wenona Giles, Arturo Orellana, President and Vice-Chancellor Mamdouh Shoukri, Vice-President Research & Innovaton Robert Haché, Roger Keil, Tamara Daly, Jonathan Weiss, Debra Pepler, Don Dippo and Carl James

The Senate Committee on Awards selected Keil from the nine nominations for this year’s award – a $10,000 internal research grant – for his many achievements as an internationally renowned scholar who has shaped the interdisciplinary study of global urbanism.

Keil, who leads the $2.5 million Major Collaborative Research Initiative Global Suburbanisms: Governance, Land and Infrastructure in the 21st Century, has published 11 books and more than 150 articles, and was the editor of the International Journal of Urban and Regional Research, a premier journal in his field. He has also been a visiting scholar and professor at prestigious international institutions and he is the director of the City Institute at York University, an Organized Research Unit at the University.