COVID-19 vaccine clinics scheduled for June

A photo with a black backgroud that features two vials of COVID-19 vaccine and a syringe

York University’s Health, Safety and Employee Well-Being will host a series of COVID-19 vaccination clinics for the York community.

Clinics will be hosted at both the Keele and Glendon Campuses, beginning June 14.

Keele Campus clinic

Wednesday, June 14

  • Location: Central Square, East Bear Pit
  • Time: 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
  • How to access: walk-in only
  • Vaccines offered: COVID-19 Pfizer monovalent and bivalent, Moderna monovalent and bivalent

Mercredi 14 Juin

  • Emplacement : Central Square, East Bear Pit 
  • 10h00 à 14h00
  • Comment y accéder : Sans rendez-vous uniquement
  • Vaccins offerts : Vaccins Pfizer monovalent et bivalent contre la COVID-19, vaccins Moderna monovalent et bivalent contre la COVID-19

Glendon Campus clinic

Wednesday, June 28

  • Location: Lobby for the Centre of Excellence, Glendon
  • Time: 10:00 am – 2:00 pm
  • How to access: walk-in only
  • Vaccines offered: COVID-19 Pfizer monovalent and bivalent, Moderna monovalent and bivalent

Mercredi 28 Juin

  • Emplacement : Lobby for the Centre of Excellence, Glendon
  • 10h00 à 14h00
  • Comment y accéder : Sans rendez-vous uniquement
  • Vaccins offerts : Vaccins Pfizer monovalent et bivalent contre la COVID-19, vaccins Moderna monovalent et bivalent contre la COVID-19

Four projects receive funding through York’s Sustainability Innovation Fund


A selection committee from the President’s Sustainability Council identified projects that advance climate action at the University for the second round of funding from York’s Sustainability Innovation Fund (SIF). 

The Sustainability Innovation Fund provides funding to support campus sustainability projects that help build a culture and practice of sustainability at York University and advance the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). This round of funding awarded over $50,000 to projects that contribute to the University’s goal of reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 45 per cent by 2030 and achieving net zero and advancing SDG 13 (Climate Action).  

The winning projects reflect various ways to utilize the campus as a living lab and address direct or indirect emissions through activities such as commuting, energy use, food consumption, waste management, behaviour change, awareness and engagement, and nature-based solutions.  

“By supporting these projects, we are making significant strides towards creating a more sustainable community at York University and beyond,” said Mike Layton, chief sustainability officer. “We’re also breaking down financial barriers to empower students, staff and faculty to become agents of positive change and take meaningful steps to reduce our impact on the planet.” 

The four winning projects are:  

Living Learning Community – Sustainability  

  • Project team: ​Aaron Brown and Melanie Howard​, Residence Life, Division of Students ​  
  • Residence Life will pilot a Living Learning Community (LLC) specific to sustainability during the 2023-24 academic year. The program seeks to address SDG 12 (Ensure sustainable production and consumption patterns) and 13 (Take urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts).

York University Composting Centre  

  • Project lead: John Simoulidis 
  • Project team: Andrew Maxwell (Lassonde School of Engineering), Dean J.J. McMurtry (Faculty of Liberal Arts & Professional Studies (LA&PS)), Dean Alice Hovorka (Faculty of Environmental & Urban Change (EUC)), Tom Watt (Ancillary Services), Calvin Lakhan (EUC), Mark Winfield (EUC), Karl Karvonen (Facilities Services), Sabine Dreher (Glendon College), Nicolas Cabal (student), Ronon Smith (student), Sabrina de Losada Casab (student)  
  • This project began through the first round of SIF. It will continue to develop an on-site composting centre to divert organic waste away from landfills, process it on site and turn it into useful compost that can be applied at Maloca Garden (Keele) or Glendon Garden, two spaces well situated as ”living labs.” 

Green Career Fair: Exploring Climate Careers to Achieve Net Zero  

  • Project leads: Lauren Castelino, Joanne Huy and Rosanna Chowdury (EUC) 
  • This project will host an annual Green Career Fair at York University to engage students and GTA youth. The fair will lead discussions on transitioning to net-zero emissions and showcase green career paths and organizations championing initiatives towards this goal. It aims to prepare underrepresented youth for green careers through nurturing a stronger sense of connection, inclusion and well-being.  

Determining the merits of large battery electricity storage at York University  

  • Project lead: Tim Hampton (EUC) 
  • Project team: Mark Winfield (EUC), Hany Farag (Lassonde), Steven Prince (Facilities Services)  
  • This project will assess the desirability (environmental impact reduction), feasibility (fit with existing campus infrastructure and staffing) and viability (whether the system will reduce overall costs) of a large battery storage system at York University.   

The next round of SIF funding is planned for Fall 2023. To learn more about the Sustainability Innovation Fund, visit the Office of Sustainability website

Lassonde professor elected Fellow of the Canadian Academy of Engineering

View of the Earth from space

Jinjun Shan, a professor and Chair of the Earth and Space Science and Engineering Department at York University’s Lassonde School of Engineering, has been elected as a Fellow of the Canadian Academy of Engineering (CAE) in recognition of his outstanding work and research on space and autonomous systems.

Each year, the CAE invites a small number of highly accomplished individuals demonstrating extraordinary contributions in engineering to become Fellows of their organization.

Jinjun Shan
Jinjun Shan

An ambitious researcher, internationally recognized for his achievements on space and autonomous systems, Shan’s research extends across diverse areas including spacecraft dynamics, control and navigation, as well as space instrumentation, multi-agent systems and smart materials and structures. His ongoing research has resulted in over 200 publications, two books and two patents, as well as enabled many industrial applications and collaborations, addressing numerous challenges. He is also a Fellow of the American Astronautical Society (AAS) and Engineering Institute of Canada (EIC), as well as an associate Fellow of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA).

Among his many projects, Shan developed an imaging spectrometer to monitor and evaluate climate change through the measurement of greenhouse gases. This instrument has been validated through two high-altitude balloon flights organized by the Centre National d’Études Spatiales (CNES) and the Canadian Space Agency (CSA). Shan and his research team are currently working on a miniature version of this instrument that will provide long-term observations to help the world better prepare effective actions against global climate crises.

Among recent work, Shan is leading various projects focused on technologies for autonomous systems, including self-driving cars, with the support of over $2 million in research grants.

As a newly appointed CAE Fellow, Shan will contribute to the role’s commitment to shaping the future of engineering, exemplifying leadership, integrity and strategic applications of knowledge. Becoming a distinguished member of this organization also provides opportunities to form valuable partnerships with Fellows who share a unified goal of tackling complex and emerging challenges in engineering through collaborative work.

Luminato Festival features York event: Howard Adelman Lecture


York University’s Centre for Refugee Studies (CRS) will present its annual Howard Adelman Lecture, in collaboration with Luminato Festival – Illuminating Ideas and the Provocation Ideas Festival, on June 13 from 7 to 9 p.m. at York’s Keele Campus.

The event will feature special guest speaker and journalist Anna Lekas Miller and co-panelists Zahra Dhanani, lawyer and co-owner of Old’s Cool General store, and Jay Ramasubramanyam, assistant professor, Department of Social Science, York University. The event moderator will be Ruth Green, associate professor and special advisor to the Dean’s Office on Indigenous Issues, in the Faculty of Liberal Arts & Professional Studies, York University.

The event is free, but everyone must register:

About the speakers

Anna Lekas Miller

Miller will discuss and read from her newly published book Love Across Borders and a will lead a panel discussion from experts and artists with lived experience of forced migration. In her book, Miller spotlights couples around the world who confront frustrating immigration systems to be together – as she did to be with her husband.

Miller is a writer and journalist who covers stories on the ways that conflict and migration shape the lives of people around the world. She has reported from Palestine, Lebanon, Turkey and Iraq, covering the Israeli occupation, the Syrian civil war and exodus to Europe and the rise and fall of the Islamic State. Since moving to London, she has turned her attention to the rise of the far right in Europe and the United States, investigating immigration systems, white supremacist ideology and the ways that people are standing up to them. She is most interested in stories of love and healing in an unpredictable, and often unstable world.

Jay Ramasubramanya

Ramasubramanyam is an assistant professor in the Law and Society Program at York University. Ramasubramanyam obtained his BA in criminology from Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand. He received a postgraduate diploma and LLM in international human rights from Birmingham City University, United Kingdom and his PhD from the Department of Law and Legal Studies and the Institute of Political Economy, at Carleton University, Ottawa. 

He is a global south migration researcher. His research expertise includes forced migration, international refugee law, statelessness, third-world approaches to international law, human rights, race and racialization, postcolonial theory and South Asian studies. His research explores the asymmetries of power, knowledge production and the ostensible legitimacy of norms in the field of refugee studies and refugee law.

Zahra Dhanani

Dhanani is a lawyer, trainer, adjudicator, facilitator, consultant for non-profits and small business owner. With more than 25 years experience, she has extensive knowledge in the areas of anti-oppression, diversity, inclusion, organizational development, restorative justice, conflict resolution, social justice, gender violence, disability, sexual orientation and newcomer realities.

About the moderator

Ruth Green

Green is an associate professor in the School of Social Work at York University. She is an activist turned accidental academic and identifies as an urban Indigequeer woman. She is a citizen of the Haudenosaunee Confederacy. She is from the Kanien’keha:ka Nation and is a member of the Turtle Clan. She was born a Canadian but was half disenfranchised when she was 10 years old. By the time she was 34-and-a-half years old she was completely disenfranchised. She acknowledges the privileges she gets in a world of identity politics to be governed by legislation that is 100 years older than she is. She also acknowledges her paternal Celtic heritage. Green likes to think about Indigenous education and social issues that impact Indigenous communities.

A reception will be hosted by the Centre for Refugee Studies in the Gales Art Gallery, York University. The gallery will also host an art exhibit, Transmigrations. Artist Ryan Kelln will be on hand to provide a brief introduction to the art work at 6 p.m. 

York community celebrates Pride Month

Pride Month vari hall stickers 2023

A ceremony to celebrate Pride Month on June 7 at York University’s Vari Hall Rotunda was attended by staff, faculty, students and other University community members, who took part in the day’s events organized by the Centre for Human Rights, Equity and Inclusion (CHREI) in collaboration with the Office of Institutional Events and Student Community & Leadership Development.

Beginning with opening remarks, the event featured a flag unfurling ceremony and booths to share information about SLGBTQIA+ resources and services available at York. Attendees were also invited to enjoy free treats and snap a selfie with York’s mascot Yeo.

See a photo gallery of the event, below. Visit York’s Pride Month website to learn more.

York University Pride 2023 opening ceremony

Professor oversees new website exploring Portuguese diaspora

Porto, Portugal

A new website and travelling exhibit that explores the past and present of Canada’s Portuguese diaspora was developed by York University faculty member Gilberto Fernandes.

A former visiting professor in the Faculty Liberal Arts & Professional Studies’ (LA&PS) Department of History, Fernandes is currently a research associate in the Robarts Centre for Canadian Studies and was recruited by the Portuguese Embassy in Canada to create the project.

The website, titled “Movimento Perpétuo: The Portuguese Diaspora in Canada,” was officially launched on June 1, coinciding with the beginning of Portuguese Heritage Month in Canada and the upcoming 70th anniversaries of the establishing of Portugal Canada diplomatic relations (1952) and the beginning of Portuguese mass migration to Canada (1953).

Gilberto Fernandes
Gilberto Fernandes

The project contains over 70 profiles of Portuguese Canadian individuals and organizations in Ontario and Quebec; more than 80 digitized artifacts (some in 3D) crowdsourced from community members, most of them featuring audio commentary from the participants; 15 virtual tours of locations associated with the participants, featuring their audio commentary; 75 short documentaries from Rádio Televisão Portuguesa – Internacional (RTPi), National Film Board, and other sources; an illustrated timeline of Portuguese Canadian history with over 300 entries; an interactive business and service map of Toronto’s Little Portugal; videos made by community members; various selections of digitized historical records from public archives and personal collections; infographics, and more.

Participants were selected from among 100 short documentaries that Fernandes co-produced in 2015-17 for RTPi’s show Hora dos Portugueses. All of the artifacts and many of the photos, videos and records featured on the website were sourced from these participants. Many were also interviewed for the purpose of producing audio clips to accompany their materials.

A significant number of historical records featured on the website were selected from the archival holdings of the Clara Thomas Archives and Special Collections, including some of the community records donated with the help of the Portuguese Canadian History Project, of which Fernandes is the co-founder and lead director. The York University Libraries’ Digital Scholarship Infrastructure provided photographic equipment, technical training and a studio that helped develop many of the website’s immersive and interactive features.

Amanda Dinally, Ester-Judit-Flores, Madeline Ball and Rui Pascoal – undergraduate students in the Cross-Disciplinary Certificate in Public History at the LA&PS and Glendon College’s Departments of History – also made important contributions to this project during their experiential education placements in 2022-23.

The website is intended to become a community-sourced platform going forward, and a reference for researchers, teachers, students, artists, journalists and anyone interested in the Portuguese diaspora in Canada and around the world.

The exhibition with which the website is associated will be shown at the Toronto Metro Hall between Sept.11 and 22 and will be unveiled by a high-ranking official of the Portuguese government.

AMPD and its faculty look to global future

photo of a globe

By Elaine Smith

York University’s new Internationalization and Global Engagement Strategy has led the School of the Arts, Media, Performance and Design (AMPD) to focus on two avenues of globalization: expanding and re-activating partnerships, as well as promoting AMPD’s excellence abroad to engage both academics and students within a global arts network.

Sarah Bay-Cheng
Sarah Bay-Cheng

“If we do both of these well, it will lead to international engagement and presence on the York University campuses, which enriches everyone’s experience,” said Sarah Bay-Cheng, dean of AMPD.

“Cultural storytellers, artists, designers and scholars must be well-versed in the interconnected meanings of the stories they tell,” she said. “International experience and collaboration are among the most valuable experiences students can have, and it’s important that there can be an opportunity for everyone.”

Post-pandemic, Bay-Cheng says it is especially important to rebuild partnerships that may have languished during that time and to build new ones, which is why AMPD is reflecting on how the School can move forward.

“I’m interested in opportunities to collaborate through York-based initiatives, such as globally networked learning or our cross-campus capstone course (C4), as well as opportunities for travel and welcoming collaborators from around the world. If we enrich our teaching and research relationships by making them reciprocal and being responsive to our partners’ needs and goals, we will build networks that create and enhance shared experience globally.”

Currently, AMPD has several faculty engaged in international research collaborations reflective of the University’s internationalizations ambitions:

Laura Levin, associate dean, research, at AMPD, is principal investigator for Hemispheric Encounters: Developing Transborder Research-Creation Practices a seven-year, $2.5-million project that brings together a group of universities, community organizations, artists and activists across Canada, the United States and Latin America to study “hemispheric performance” as a research-creation methodology, a pedagogical strategy and a tool for social change. 

Moussa Djigo is an assistant professor and award-winning director, screenwriter and producer with a background in journalism and cinema studies. His research and filmmaking include a focus on Canadian Indigenous cinema, African American cinema, city symphony films, and space in cinema. His forthcoming third film is a personal meditation on fatherhood that is a tribute to his father who passed away last year. Djigo shot the film in Senegal, where he grew up, with York AMPD assistant professor of film, Manfred Becker, as his cinematographer.

Joel Ong is an assistant professor, media artist and’ “serial collaborator” whose works connect scientific and artistic approaches to the environment, particularly with respect to sound and physical space. His work has been shown at festivals and conferences around the world including Ars Electronica, Currents New Media Festival, the Ontario Science Centre, ISEA and Siggraph.

Ian Garrett, associate professor of ecological design for performance, focuses on design and sustainability in arts and culture. His designs have appeared at the Venice Biennale and at the Coachella festival, as well as locally at Harbourfront Centre. As a producer, he has worked on projects at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival and in Athens and Los Angeles. Currently, he teaches a course with a globally networked learning (GNL) aspect that connects his students with design students in Australian universities.

Patrick Alcedo, chair of the Department of Dance, is an award-winning performer, scholar and filmmaker with particular expertise in Philippine traditional dances. His work focuses on performance of gender, folklorization of religion, and world dance in the diaspora. His documentary film They Call Me Dax about a 15-year-old girl trying to survive as a high school student and ballet dancer won Best Short Documentary at the Cannes Indies Cinema Awards 2021 and Best Dance Short Documentary, Silk Road Film Festival Awards in Cannes, France. It was an Official Selection at the New York Independent Cinema Awards, and International Short Films Festival. Alcedo was awarded the Pamana Presidential Award from the Office of the President of the Republic of the Philippines for his work, among other honours.

These faculty are representative of the importance of connecting AMPD – and its artists – globally. “Ideas are always on the move across the globe and to be an artist, one needs to keep an openness to these ideas and the many places from which they emerge,” says Bay-Cheng.

At the same time, Bay-Cheng emphasizes the role Canada must play in internationalization efforts and storytelling. “Canada is a complex multilingual, multicultural, multinational state, and so is well positioned to address global problems that are also multinational,” Bay-Cheng said. “Our interdependence is so intricate and vast across the world and manifests itself in a variety of social, political and cultural contexts. We need to be aware at all time of global implications, even in our local contexts.

“All of our students benefit from understanding Canada’s complicated histories and place in the world whether they remain here or travel elsewhere.”

Faculty members interested in exploring global engagement possibilities are encouraged to contact Helen Balderama, York International’s director of global engagement programs and partnerships, at, for more information.

Schulich research links growth mindset training with entrepreneurs’ confidence

Group of diverse women entrepreneurs

New research from York University’s Schulich School of Business shows that “growth mindset training” – the motivating sense that abilities can improve through experimentation and failure – can make entrepreneurs more confident and action-oriented.

Geoffrey Kistruck
Geoffrey Kistruck

The findings are contained in an upcoming issue of Strategic Entrepreneurship Journal. The article, titled “The Impact of Growth Mindset Training on Entrepreneurial Action Among Necessity Entrepreneurs: Evidence from a Randomized Control Trial,” was co-authored by Geoffrey M. Kistruck, professor and RBC Chair in Social Innovation & Impact at the Schulich School of Business, together with Shad Morris, professor of management; and Chad Carlos, associate professor of management, both from the Marriott School of Business, Brigham Young University; as well as Robert B. Lount, junior professor of organizational behaviour at the Fisher College of Business, Ohio State University; and Tumsifu Elly Thomas, a senior lecturer at the University of Dar es Salaam.

According to the researchers, entrepreneurship training programs often fall short in translating knowledge into action – particularly with respect to so-called “necessity entrepreneurs,” mostly prevalent in developing economies, who often engage in small subsistence businesses due to a lack of formal employment opportunities. To address this issue, the researchers conducted an experiment with 165 entrepreneurs in rural Tanzania. All participants received technical skills training, but half were also exposed to growth mindset training. Those who received the growth mindset training were more willing to try new entrepreneurial actions to diversify and grow their business rather than remain “fixed” in the way they operate their business day-to-day.

“By using growth mindset training, which instills the value of persistence and the growth potential of continuous effort, we’ve shown that entrepreneurs can cultivate increased confidence in their abilities, leading to increased willingness to act on identified entrepreneurial opportunities,” says Kistruck. “Growth mindset training is a positive new intervention that, when combined with existing technical training programs, has been shown to positively affect key entrepreneurial outcomes – a hopeful sign when it comes to poverty alleviation in developing economies.”

Professor awarded access to NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope

James Webb Telescope (NASA/Chris Gunn)

Associate Professor in astronomy Adam Muzzin‘s successful application to use NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) to explore the depths of the universe was one of 1,600 project proposals submitted. He was also one of only 11 out of 54 applying Canadian principal investigators to receive approval, and his is the second-largest successful Canadian program in terms of time granted – 44 hours – with the telescope.

Adam Muzzin
Adam Muzzin

“We are very excited to receive such a big allocation on the world’s premier telescope,” said Muzzin, who will be collaborating with York graduate students Sunna Withers and Ghassan Sarrouh on the project. “JWST is the most powerful telescope of all time and is already revolutionizing how we study our universe. It was built to find the first stars and galaxies and to help us understand the origins of our universe. Our new program will explore something no one has ever been able to see before.”

Muzzin’s program is entitled “JWST in Technicolor: Finding and Mapping the Most Extreme Star Forming Galaxies in the Epoch of Reionization with Medium and Narrow Bands” and his team will be using JWST to search for very distant dwarf galaxies during the time when star formation was just “turning on” in the universe.  It is thought that much of the star formation in the universe occurred in these dwarf galaxies.

When distant galaxies were forming stars, much of their light came out at one wavelength (so-called “emission lines”), making them very bright in specific medium and narrow bands.  For the first time ever, his team will point the infrared filters of JWST, as well as of the Hubble Space Telescope, at a single piece of sky and capture a “technicolor” dataset.

“By getting pictures in a full suite of these filters, we can identify how many such galaxies are out there and what their contribution was to the star-formation budget of the universe,” said Muzzin.

Muzzin is a member of the Canadian instrument team that built the Near-Infrared Imager and Slitless Spectrograph (NIRISS) on JWST, and he leads one of the working groups on the large Canadian NIRISS Unbiased Cluster Survey project. Since the telescope launched into space in December 2021, he and his team have already used captured data to make exciting discoveries about stars and galaxies from the early universe.

The project includes collaborators from the University of Toronto (Canada), Kyoto University (Japan), University of Ljubljana (Slovenia), University of Copenhagen (Denmark), St. Mary’s University (Canada), Columbia University (USA), Tufts University (USA), Space Telescope Science Institute (USA), and NRC Herzberg Institute of Astrophysics (Canada).

Study finds bisexual women at higher risk of suicide

women depression mental health support

New research by York University and the Institute for Clinical Evaluative Sciences (ICES) finds that the risk of attempting suicide for women who identify as bisexual is more than three times higher compared to heterosexual women.

Published June 7 in the American Journal of Psychiatry, the study also finds that compared to heterosexual individuals, gay men and gay women/lesbians are twice as likely to attempt suicide – both fatal and non-fatal, which is referred to by researchers as a suicide-related behavior (SRB) event.

Antony Chum
Antony Chum

For this study, the research team looked at Ontario participants from the Canadian Community Health Survey, which was linked to anonymous administrative health data such as emergency room visits or hospitalizations for non-fatal self-harm and fatal suicide events between 2002 and 2019. It is the first study to link population-based survey data with health records for over 123,000 individuals.

The findings point to an urgent need for better mental health supports within the LGBTQ+ community.

“We wanted to better characterize the disparity in suicide-related behaviors across sexual orientations and gender,” says lead author Antony Chum, a Faculty of Health assistant professor and Canada Research Chair in Population Health Data Science at York University and adjunct scientist at ICES. “Prior research on suicide attempts has mostly relied on self-reported data from surveys, which means we don’t have information on people who are too sick to participate or have died by suicide.”

The researchers, who include York University postdoctoral Fellows Gabriel John Dusing and Chungah Kim, found:

  • Overall prevalence of one or more SRB events was around two per cent in heterosexual individuals, five per cent in gay/lesbian individuals, and eight per cent in bisexual individuals.
  • Sexual minority individuals were at higher risk of SRB events, ranging from 2.10 to 4.23 times more likely when compared to heterosexual people.
  • After adjusting for age and gender, the risk of a SRB event was more than three times greater among bisexual individuals, and this risk was most pronounced for bisexual women.

“The higher risk for bisexual women could be attributed to greater discrimination that bisexual people face within the LGBTQ+ community, as well as higher rates of violence, trauma and caregiving burden that bisexual women may experience in opposite-sex relationships,” says Chum.

One limitation of the study is that data was not available for non-binary individuals and other sexual orientations, such as asexual and queer. Nevertheless, this was the first study to use a large representative sample linked with medical records, which improves the generalizability of the findings for other regions and populations.

“The study shows a clear need for better funding, policy and programming to address LGBTQ+ suicide risk,” says Chum. “We also need increased training for health-care workers to address LGBTQ+ suicide risk. Further, we want to encourage hospitals and clinics to collect sexual orientation data as part of routine patient care.”

Chum also notes the increasing creep of health care privatization and that publicly funded mental health supports need to be increased not just for LGBTQ+ people, but across the board.

The findings align with the authors’ related study published in March in PLOS One, which found that both sexual minority status and residing in under-resourced neighbourhoods with poor access to health care, were independent risk factors for suicide-related behaviours. Future research needs to explore interventions that improve the mental health of LGBTQ+ people while addressing social determinants of health, such as neighbourhood-level disparities and barriers to health care.

Watch a video of Chum, Dusing and Kim explain the research.

Learn more at News @ York.