Message de la présidente

York U letters in Vari Hall

Chère communauté de York,

En date du vendredi 19 avril, le syndicat SCFP (CUPE) 3903, qui représente les auxiliaires d’enseignement, le corps professoral contractuel et les auxiliaires de cycles supérieurs a ratifié les ententes provisoires conclues avec l’Université, après plusieurs mois de négociations collectives, mettant ainsi fin au conflit de travail.

Je souhaite exprimer toute ma gratitude aux équipes de négociation des deux parties prenantes pour leurs efforts visant à renouveler pour trois ans des conventions collectives qui prennent également en compte les ajustements salariaux rétroactifs liés à la Loi 124, dans le contexte budgétaire difficile où se trouve l’Université.

Maintenant que nous nous apprêtons à reprendre toutes nos activités universitaires, nous devons bien évidemment porter notre attention sur notre population étudiante et appuyer ses ambitions, qu’il s’agisse de terminer le trimestre de printemps, de commencer le trimestre d’été ou encore d’obtenir un diplôme de fin d’études, que ce soit au premier cycle ou aux cycles supérieurs.

Le succès étudiant est au cœur de la réalisation du plan académique de York, qui consiste notamment à bâtir sur notre solide réputation d’excellence pédagogique, sur l’excellente qualité de nos programmes, sur l’interdisciplinarité et l’innovation en recherche, sur des partenariats locaux et internationaux sous le signe de l’engagement, et sur une expérience universitaire chaleureuse et inclusive.

Bien que le secteur postsecondaire ontarien continue d’être confronté à des défis considérables, l’Université York est bien placée pour saisir les occasions qui se présentent à elle pour continuer d’investir dans son avenir.

Ensemble, nous avons accompli tant de choses, et nous avons raison d’être fiers de nos réalisations, comme en témoigne notre ascension régulière dans les classements mondiaux. Publié récemment, le classement mondial QS plaçait l’Université York parmi les 100 meilleures universités au monde dans trois disciplines, soit l’éducation, la langue anglaise et sa littérature, et la philosophie. Nous avons obtenu l’approbation du Gouvernement pour la création d’une école de médecine, ce qui permettra une fois de plus de réaffirmer notre engagement à répondre aux besoins en santé de l’Ontario. Par ailleurs, notre campus de Markham ouvrira ses portes cet automne pour ainsi créer davantage de possibilités pour plusieurs Facultés de faire fleurir le talent nécessaire dans de nouveaux domaines en émergence, au carrefour de l’entrepreneuriat et de la technologie.

Je suis certaine que vous vous réjouirez comme moi de la reprise de toutes les activités universitaires et que vous souhaiterez que l’on s’unisse en tant que communauté pour continuer de travailler à la réalisation de notre vision, qui consiste à offrir aux étudiants et étudiantes de tous les horizons une expérience universitaire positive.

Veuillez agréer mes sincères salutations, 

Rhonda Lenton
Présidente et vice-chancelière

A Message from the President

York U letters in Vari Hall

Voir la version francaise

Dear York community,

As of Friday, April 19, CUPE 3903 – the union representing teaching assistants, contract instructors and graduate assistants – and the University ratified the tentative agreements reached after many months of collective bargaining, ending the labour disruption.

I would like to express my thanks to the bargaining teams for both parties for their efforts to successfully achieve the three-year renewal collective agreements that also address Bill 124 retroactive payments with consideration to the pressing financial challenges faced by the University.

As we resume full academic operations our attention must necessarily be focused on our students and supporting their learning goals – whether they are completing the spring term, beginning the summer term, or graduating. This goal includes both our undergraduate and graduate students.

Ensuring their success is central to the realization of the University’s Academic Plan, which includes building on our well-established reputation for teaching excellence, high-quality academic programs, leading interdisciplinary research and innovation, engaged local and international collaboration, and a welcoming and inclusive campus experience.

While the higher education sector in Ontario continues to navigate significant challenges, York is well-positioned to seize the opportunities before us to continue investing in our future.

We have achieved so much together and have a great deal to be proud of as reflected in our steadily improving world rankings. The recently released 2024 QS World Rankings placed York among the top 100 in the world in three subject areas: education, English language and literature, and philosophy.

We have government approval to create a School of Medicine as a further extension of York’s commitment to meet the health care needs of Ontario and our Markham Campus opens this fall creating more opportunities for multiple Faculties to provide much needed talent in newly emerging fields being reshaped by entrepreneurship and technology.

I trust you will join me in welcoming the return to full academic operations and in coming together as a community to further the realization of our vision to provide our diverse students with a positive learning experience for all.

Sincerely,

Rhonda Lenton
President and Vice-Chancellor

York scholars collaborate on Indigenous-led climate report

York University plays a pivotal role in a groundbreaking report entitled “For Our Future: Indigenous Resilience Report,” which underscores the vital contribution of Indigenous communities in tackling climate change.

The report, a cornerstone of Canada’s National Knowledge Assessment, is co-authored by an almost entirely Indigenous team comprised of Indigenous authors, Elders, wisdom keepers and youth from across the country.

Key figures from York include Professor Deborah McGregor, who is Anishinaabe from Whitefish River First Nation, Birch Island, Ont., and holds the Canada Research Chair in Indigenous Environmental Justice, and former postdoctoral fellow Graeme Reed, now a strategic adviser with the Assembly of First Nations.

Deborah McGregor
Deborah McGregor

“Dr. Reed was lead author, along with Dr. Shari Fox, and coordinated a primarily Indigenous author team for the report,” says McGregor, who has prior experience with climate assessments, notably the “Health of Canadians in a Changing Climate Report,” released in 2022. 

“Natural Resources Canada has coordinated Canada’s climate assessment reports for over a decade. Yet the climate change reports, although important, did not reflect the climate realities and experiences of Indigenous Peoples in Canada,” McGregor continues. 

“To advance the experience, perspectives and realities of Indigenous Peoples in Canada about climate change, it was important to ensure Indigenous Peoples have their voice and conduct their assessment.”

Graeme Reed
Graeme Reed

Organized according to five key themes, the report highlights Indigenous Peoples’ unique strengths in responding to environmental and climate challenges, positioning them as active agents of resilience and leadership.

Within the research framework, the report underscores the essential role of Indigenous knowledge systems and lived experiences in shaping effective climate action, particularly within the context of food, water and ecosystem interrelationships, and emphasizes the significance of self-determination in Indigenous-led climate initiatives.

At the core of York involvement in the report is the recognition of colonialism’s historical impact, including its role in shaping societal attitudes toward the environment. While acknowledging the multi-faceted nature of climate change and the need to address systemic injustices and historical legacies contributing to environmental degradation, the report also reframes Indigenous Peoples as active agents of resilience and leadership, challenging perceptions of them as passive victims of climate change.

“Drs. McGregor and Reed showcase through this collaborative report their continued national leadership in the discussions of why Indigenous Peoples and our knowledge must be at the forefront of the response to climate change. This continues to demonstrate how Centre for Indigenous Knowledges and Languages (CIKL) researchers are making positive impacts not only at the policy level but also through community-led and driven environmental and climate-based research,” says Sean Hillier, director of the CIKL at York University. 

By amplifying Indigenous voices and perspectives, the report seeks to influence broader climate governance, policy development and decision-making processes, paving the way for meaningful Indigenous climate leadership.

“Climate assessments are intended to influence climate governance, policy development and decisions. We hope that this report influences the broader climate policy landscape to truly reflect the potential of Indigenous climate leadership,” says McGregor.

“Ideally, this report can form the foundation for Indigenous governments, organizations and communities to formulate their own climate policies, strategies and plans.”

York invites community to participate in Safety and Health Week

two york students smiling and talking on campus BANNER

Safety and Health Week, which runs from May 6 to 10, 2024, spotlights the critical importance of health and safety in all facets of life — be it at work, home or within the community.

Throughout the week, York University will host webinars, activities and promotions related to workplace safety, health and connection. Faculty and staff are encouraged to participate individually or as a team to strengthen their sense of community and a shared commitment to health and safety.

“These events aim to increase awareness and share valuable resources for personal and communal health within the workplace,” said Mary Catherine Masciangelo, assistant vice-president of Human Resources and CHRO.

Safety and Health Week at York University is more than just a series of events—it’s a part of our ongoing commitment to ensuring a safer and healthier environment for our community,” said Laina Bay-Cheng, interim vice-president, Equity, People and Culture. “We look forward to seeing you participate and thank you in advance for your engagement. We truly are better – in all senses of the word – together.”

Events and Activities

Health, Safety and Employee Well Being (HSEWB) invites all employees to take part in a variety of virtual events and downloadable activities designed to foster a culture of safety and good health.

EventDescriptionDetails
Living Well With Stress

Led by TELUS Health
This seminar will teach participants how to effectively manage stress for optimal health, well-being, and workplace productivity.Date: Mon., May 6
Time: 1 – 2 p.m.
Format: virtual session
Who can participate? Staff, faculty and instructors
Register
Championing Trans Inclusive Workplaces

Led by the Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety
Join us for an enlightening and educational session with Dani Gomez-Ortega, a renowned diversity and inclusion champion.Date: Tues., May 7
Time: 11 a.m. – noon
Format: virtual session
Who can participate? Staff, faculty and instructors
Register
Introduction to Psychological Safety in the Workplace for Employees

Led by TELUS Health
This seminar introduces the meaning and significance of psychological safety at work and explores actions employees can take to contribute towards a psychologically safe workplace for themselves and their teams.Date: Tues., May 7
Time: 1 – 2 p.m.
Format: virtual session
Who can participate? Staff, faculty and instructors
Register
Plain Language Helps Workplace Health and Safety

Led by Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety
Join writing and design expert Jocelyn Pletz, as she demonstrates how plain language and design principles connect with effective health and safety communication.Date: Wed., May 8
Time: 11 a.m. – noon
Format: virtual session
Who can participate? Staff, faculty and instructors
Register
Posture Do’s and Don’ts – Chair Setup

Led by Health, Safety and Employee Well-being
A 30-minute interactive demonstration on how to understand and adjust your ergonomic chair. No equipment required.Date: Wed., May 8
Time: 1 – 1:30 p.m.
Format: In-person drop-in, York Lanes Room 280A
Who can participate? Staff, faculty and instructors
Register to receive a credit on YU Learn
Posture Do’s and Don’ts

Led by Health, Safety and Employee Well-being
A 30-minute seminar to learn the do’s and don’ts of neutral posture at your workstation.Date: Thu., May 9
Time: 1 – 1:30 p.m.
Format: virtual session
Who can participate? Staff, faculty and instructors
Register
Crucial Conversations for Managers

Led by Organizational Learning and People Excellence.
This course examines various communication models to help move individuals from disagreement to dialogue.Date: Fri., May 10
Time: 10 a.m. – noon
Format: virtual session
Who can participate? Managers
Register
B-Well BingoIt is important for our mental health and well-being to maintain social connections with colleagues. To help facilitate this, HSEWB has created a B-WELL Bingo that you can do as a team, or individually.Download Bingo card

For additional resources on ways to promote and sustain mental health and well-being, visit the Employee and Family Assistance Program (EFAP), HSEWB or Well-being at York.

To see more activities, or to learn more about the history of Safety and Health week, visit Safety and Health Week.

York University to mark National Day of Mourning

Vari Hall Plaza

Flags on York University campuses will be lowered to half-mast from April 26 to 29 in recognition of the National Day of Mourning, which honours individuals who have died, been injured, or suffered illness in the workplace.  

As the National Day of Mourning falls on a weekend this year, York University will recognize the event on Friday, April 26 with flags lowered to half-mast.

“On the National Day of Mourning, we remember those who lost their lives and those who became injured or ill in their workplace.  We reflect on the ways in which we can prevent future incidents and we reaffirm our commitment to developing and fostering a healthy and safe working environment for all York community members. Colleagues are invited to pause at 11 a.m. on April 26 to observe a moment of silence,” said Mary Catherine Masciangelo, assistant vice-president Human Resources and CHRO.

The National Day of Mourning was enacted on February 1, 1991, by an act of parliament. April 28 was selected because it coincides with the date of Ontario’s first Workers’ Compensation Act, approved by government in 1914. Canadian flags on Parliament Hill and at Queen’s Park will fly at half-mast on April 28. A minute of silence will be observed at 11 a.m.

To learn more about the National Day of Mourning, please visit: 

Employee Resources and Support

As a reminder, all York University employees and their immediate family members have access to confidential counselling 24 hours a day, seven days a week from the Employee and Family Assistance Program (EFAP), available at one.telushealth.com, or by telephone at 1-844-880-9142 (English), 1-844-880-9143 (French) and 1-877-338-0275 (TTY). There is also an online portal with 24-7 access and resources. Please visit yu link for additional information.

Urban Studies students advance learning with Montreal field trip

Montreal skyline

Living in the Greater Toronto Area, it’s not complicated for students in the Cities, Regions, Planning program at the Faculty of Environmental & Urban Change (EUC) to assess Toronto’s strengths and weakness, but an annual field trip to Montreal allows them to apply their analytical skills elsewhere.

For five years, Teresa Abbruzzese, an assistant professor and urban geographer, organized a field school – a short-term academic program consisting of mentored field research – in the fall for third-year Urban Studies students in her research methods course in the Department of Social Science in the Faculty of Liberal Arts & Professional Studies.  

She was excited to bring this experiential learning opportunity to her new home in the Cities, Regions, Planning program for her third-year course, Doing Urban Research: Theory & Practice, for the Fall 2024 term. 

The initiative gives students a chance to experience another city, using participant observation while taking notes and photos and having conversations with local citizens. The trip is mandatory and the costs are low, but there is a day trip to Hamilton, Ont., for a cheaper alternative. 

“The trip enables our students see the historical and contemporary issues facing Montreal and to develop a comparative understanding of cities,” said Abbruzzese. “It’s also important to give them the opportunity to do preliminary fieldwork.” 

“The point of the trip is to prepare them to work on their own individualized research project,” she said. “It trains them to be social scientists and allows them to hone their academic skills, such as critical analysis, research and writing.” 

Members of the Montreal field trip
At City Hall, (Front Row, L to R): Prof. Doug Young,  Prof. Teresa Abbruzzese, Councillor Sterling Downey, Prof. Silvano de la Llata (Concordia University), and Prof. Mike Cado right (Music, York); other rows: third-year students in Urban Studies/Cities, Regions, Planning 

The Montreal field school emerged from a political moment in history when Donald Trump assumed the American presidency in 2017. Abbruzzese and her colleagues in Urban Studies at the time decided to halt the field school to Buffalo – the original international location of the field school for many years – and instead they chose Montreal as the setting.  

Once the Canadian city was decided, Abbruzzese thoroughly enjoyed the creative process of putting together a new field school.  

“Logistically, it’s never easy to execute, but I strive to enhance the field school experience each year,” she said. “All the guest speakers make this field school special and welcome our urban group from York University back each year.” 

She, her students, and other professors boarded a Megabus for the ride east and followed a packed itinerary that included historian/expert-led walking tours of neighbourhoods such as Saint-Henri, Montreal North, Little Burgundy and Mile End; a visit with City Councillor Sterling Hall – who has experienced homelessness – and a tour of City Hall; and talks by professors from Concordia University.  

The students packed a lot into the trip, getting a sense of the richness and diversity of Montreal. They saw poverty and affluence, arts and industry. They gained an understanding of some of the city’s challenges with issues such as housing, transportation, socioeconomic disparities, public spaces and heritage as well as the French-English divide, said Abbruzzese. 

“All of this sparks comparative analysis in their heads and they begin to ask a lot of questions,” she said. “They’ll use all of this to create a manuscript – a fieldwork diary organized around themes. They’ll organize, reflect, and analyze their empirical notes and contextualize their observations with broader scholarly conversations in Urban Studies.” 

Just as important, noted Abbruzzese, is that the trip serves to transform the class from individual students into a community.  

“It is a tradition for professors from the program to join this field school, so that students have an opportunity to get to know the other professors in the program, and professors get to know the students,” she said. “Professor Doug Young from the Urban Studies program has joined me on this field school from Buffalo to Montreal for the last eight years. Students have always appreciated sharing this experience with other professors from the program, which made the experience more memorable.” 

“In addition, students become a support network for each other and become more connected after this field school,” she said. “They’re all friends afterward.” 

Vanessa Reynolds
Vanessa Reynolds

Vanessa Reynolds, a third-year geography and urban studies major, confirms that. “This was a group that hadn’t talked to each other in class, but we all bonded and, now, we’re really friends,” she said. “It was such a great experience; I’d recommend that anyone do it.” 

She found the trip eye-opening in many ways, and changed her perspectives. 

“I’m so Toronto-centric, but seeing Montreal gave me deeper insights into how a city runs, and seeing different parts of the city that people often don’t was amazing,” Reynolds said. Furthermore, she added, “I want to travel more. It makes you want to see the world. It was an experience that made university different.” 

Shazde Mir, a fourth-year urban studies major who plans to pursue a career in policy development or community planning, said Abbruzzese’s passion for Montreal made her glad she took the trip, as she got to know the city and gain insights into city planning. 

“I saw a different perspective of what it means to be an equitable city,” Mir said. “You can’t treat people as less than.” 

After visiting a working-class neighbourhood with prominent community initiatives that reminded her of Toronto’s Jane and Finch area, Mir wondered why cities have areas where a lack of investment from the government is visible. 

“I’ve started looking into tours here in Toronto to get to know the history of the city’s development,” she said. “I want to go back to Montreal and I’d like to visit other cities to see how different governments went about developing them, what the priorities were. 

“The trip solidified my love for Toronto. I want to see more progressive policies so we can create a more equitable city.” 

Ultimately, said Abbruzzese, “our objective is to produce graduates who are informed, critically engaged, and sensitive to issues of sustainability, social justice, equity and diversity.” 

Given the feedback, it is apparent she is meeting that goal. 

Professor Christina Sharpe named 2024 Guggenheim Fellow

3d golden star golden with lighting effect on black background. Template luxury premium award design. Vector illustration

The John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation has awarded its prestigious fellowship to Christina Sharpe, a professor in York University’s Faculty of Liberal Arts & Professional Studies (LA&PS) and Tier 1 Canada Research Chair in the Department of Humanities.

Christina Sharpe close-up portrait
Christina Sharpe

The Guggenheim Foundation is a beacon of excellence in supporting scholars, artists, and researchers in their endeavours to push the boundaries of knowledge and creativity. This year, 188 culture creators working across 52 disciplines were named Guggenheim Fellows, selected on the basis of prior career achievement and exceptional promise, and rewarded with both recognition and monetary prizes.

This honour is a testament to Sharpe’s contributions to the field of Black studies and her innovative approach to research and writing. Her trailblazing work has resonated with scholars and readers alike, shedding light on important issues related to what she calls the “ordinary extraordinary matter of Black life.”

“As a member of our faculty, we are truly delighted and honoured to witness her exceptional achievements,” says J.J. McMurtry, dean of LA&PS. “She is not simply being acknowledged for her outstanding contributions but is being rightly celebrated on a global scale. Her outstanding success serves as a source of inspiration and pride for our entire academic community, highlighting the calibre of talent and dedication that thrives within our Faculty.”

Sharpe’s recent works have garnered significant acclaim, with her book Ordinary Notes (Penguin Random House Canada, 2023) earning her the Hilary Weston Writer’s Trust Prize for Nonfiction and being selected as a finalist for the National Book Award for Nonfiction. Ordinary Notes was further recognized as a best book of the year by esteemed publications such as the New York Times, The Atlantic, The New Yorker, the Globe and Mail, the Toronto Star, NPR, New York Magazine and literary magazine Granta. This month, Sharpe was also awarded a Windham-Campbell Prize for nonfiction.

Beyond the many recent accolades, Sharpe remains immersed in her upcoming projects – What Could a Vessel Be? and Black. Still. Life. – showcasing her ongoing commitment to exploring and engaging with important themes through her writing.

“I am very glad for the support of the Guggenheim Foundation toward completing What Could a Vessel Be? and to be among so many writers, artists and thinkers whose work I respect,” says Sharpe.

Psychology professor brings community to the classroom

Students collaborating around table

York University psychology Professor Lesley Zannella changed things up in her recent Critical Thinking in Psychology course by offering students the opportunity to bridge the gap between classroom and community.  

In a year-long, fourth-year psychology capstone course of approximately 60 students, Zannella first helped students build the foundational skills of critical thinking during the fall term, and then allowed them to translate those skills into real-world scenarios in the winter term, through a community-based project. By engaging with community organizations, students were encouraged to critically analyze psychological research, apply theoretical knowledge to practical situations and develop creative solutions to challenges as they arose.

Lesley Zannella
Lesley Zannella

“It is important to me that students in this course not only develop the ability to be critical consumers of research in psychology but that they also develop the ability to communicate that research in an accessible way,” said Zannella.    

Working alongside Sophie Koch and Paola Calderon-Valdivia, the Faculty of Health’s experiential education co-ordinators, Zannella partnered with five local community organizations dedicated to supporting various underserved communities: the Writers Collective of Canada (WCC), Innocence Canada, the Remedy Institute, the Haven Mental Health Wellness Centre and Progress Place.

“By fostering partnerships with organizations that support underserved populations,” Zannella explained, “I sought to facilitate a collaboration between academia and the community with the shared goal to promote empathy and social change.”

Zannella divided students into 10 groups and assigned each community partner to two of the groups. In advance of the student involvement, the professor worked with each community partner to design and develop a project that responded to the needs of the organization and aligned with the learning outcomes of the course.

“One of my teaching strategies is to facilitate opportunities for students to strengthen employer-valued skills such as critical thinking, communication and collaboration” said Zannella.

Each week, students collectively worked on the community-based projects within the classroom. They also participated in three touchpoint meetings with their community partners throughout the term.

Working with Lisa Endersby, an educational developer at York’s Teaching Commons, Zannella developed an assessment structure that would provide students with the opportunity to reflect on their experience. Their reflections were overwhelmingly positive, and many indicated interest in pursuing future studies or career paths related to their community organization.

“I love the experiential learning opportunity that this project has provided me. I am applying the theoretical concepts and research processes I’ve learned within the academic space to a practical challenge,” wrote psychology honours student Megalai Thavakugathasalingam, who believes every psychology student should participate in a program like this one. “I have also been stretched to critically reflect and creatively develop a solution on behalf of the organization, which has provided me with a real chance to consider how academic research can be disseminated and benefit everyone.”

Psychology honours student Blake Haig echoed those sentiments: “This experience showed me the transformative potential of collaborative learning environments,” he said. “This class not only challenged my preconceived notions about group work but also instilled in me a new-found appreciation for the power of community in academic pursuits.” 

Shelley Lepp, CEO of collaboration partner WCC, who worked with York students to identify best practices in training for volunteer facilitators of community writing workshops, sees the value of this initiative for both parties – to help establish relationships that will lay the groundwork for future progress.

“As a charitable arts-health organization deeply committed to alleviating isolation and loneliness for those most vulnerable, we know these students will one day be our partners on the front lines,” she said. “Connecting with them in this context and in this moment empowers us both to understand how clinical and community supports can work together to improve mental well-being for all.”

York research projects receive over $3.1M in provincial funding

innovation image

Eighteen York University researchers have received more than $3 million in combined funding from the government of Ontario in support of their innovative research projects designed to bring new products, ideas and technologies to the market.

The funding for York, totaling $3,166,842, comes from the Ontario Research Fund and the Early Researcher Awards. The funds are intended to help institutions attract and retain top research talent and to help grow Ontario’s innovation sector.

“York University makes innovation its tradition and we are grateful to the provincial government’s support of the ingenuity of our pioneering researchers,” said Amir Asif, vice-president research and innovation. “Their projects hold the promise to stimulate growth, ignite creativity and fuel invention across a variety of industries in Ontario.” 

Some of the York projects to receive funding include the creation of a new class of micro-mobility vehicles ($995,881), led by mechanical engineer Andrew Maxwell; the opening of a research apiary on campus to conduct cutting-edge studies on the genetics of bees ($212,990), led by biologist Amro Zayed; and the development of a new research field called global legal epidemiology to improve the equity and effectiveness of international law and to better prepare Ontario for global health threats ($200,000), led by health scientist and legal epidemiologist Steven Hoffman.

The York projects were among 406 projects to receive the new funding at universities, colleges, research institutes and research hospitals across Ontario.  

“By investing in cutting-edge research, we are safeguarding Ontario’s position at the forefront of innovation that continues to be competitive on a global scale and has the ability to attract the best and brightest talent to our province,” said Jill Dunlop, minister of colleges and universities. “This will help ensure the social and economic opportunities that result from discoveries made in Ontario benefit Ontarians and the Ontario economy.”  

The York projects to receive funding include:

Ontario Research Fund – Research Excellence

Andrew Maxwell, associate professor, Department of Mechanical Engineering, Lassonde School of Engineering
Creating a new category of micro-mobility electric vehicles for local and last mile fleet applications
$995,881

Ontario Research Fund – Research Infrastructure

Jennifer Pybus, assistant professor, Department of Politics, Faculty of Liberal Arts & Professional Studies
The Centre for Public AI (CPAI)
$69,385

Deborah Harris, professor, Department of Physics & Astronomy, Faculty of Science
Next generation of neutrino detector for the Deep Underground Neutrino Experiment
$125,000

Shital Desai, assistant professor, Department of Computational Arts, School of the Arts, Performance, Media & Design
Social and Technological Systems (SaTS) lab
$50,000

Ozzy Mermut, associate professor, Department of Physics & Astronomy, Faculty of Science
Biophotonics Diagnosis, Treatment and Dosimetry in Age-Related Disorders and Human Diseases
$160,000

Matthew Keough, associate professor, Department of Psychology, Faculty of Health
Centre for Research on Addiction Vulnerability in Early Life (CRAVE Lab)
$50,000

Taylor Cleworth, assistant professor, School of Kinesiology & Health Science, Faculty of Health
Neuromechanics of Balance Deficits during Dynamic Stance
$125,000

Andrea Josse, assistant professor, School of Kinesiology & Health Science, Faculty of Health
Novel Targets of Whole-food Dairy Products for Human Muscoloskeletal and Cardiometabolic Health
$125,000

Steven Hoffman, professor, School of Health Policy & Management, Faculty of Health and Osgoode Hall Law School, Dahdaleh Distinguished Chair in Global Governance & Legal Epidemiology
Building infostructure for quasi-experimental analysis in global legal epidemiology
$200,000

Amro Zayed, Department of Biology, Faculty of Science
Research apiary to study honey bee behaviour, genetics and health
$212,990

Thomas Cooper, associate professor, Department of Mechanical Engineering, Lassonde School of Engineering
Multifunctional aerogel innovation platform
$140,000

Jaclyn Hurley, assistant professor, School of Kinesiology & Health Science, Faculty of Health
Exploring Variability in Musculoskeletal Anatomy and Biomechanics Related to Shoulder Movement and Health
$140,000

Andrée-Ann Cyr, associate professor, Department of Psychology, Glendon College
Effects of aging and curiosity-states on learning and memory
$75,001

Shayna Rosenbaum, professor, Department of Psychology, Faculty of Health
REIL: Realistic Environment Interaction Logistics
$140,000

Ali Abdul Sater, associate professor, School of Kinesiology & Health Science, Faculty of Health
Targeting TRAF1 to devise novel therapies for inflammatory arthritis
$140,000

Arash Habibi Lashkari, associate professor, School of Information Technology, Faculty of Liberal Arts & Professional Studies
Behaviour-Centric Cybersecurity Research Lab
$140,000

Reza Rizvi, assistant professor, Department of Mechanical Engineering, Lassonde School of Engineering
Raman Microscopy Facility for Nanomaterials Characterization in Clean Energy and Environmental Research
$138,585

Early Researcher Awards

Hossein Kassiri, associate professor, Department of Electrical Engineering & Computer Science, Lassonde School of Engineering
Next Generation Wireless and Battery-Less mm-Scale Implantable Optogenetic Neurostimulators
$140,000

For further information, read the government’s full announcement.

York receives $300K boost for research commercialization

Concept of idea and innovation with paper ball

York University’s Office of the Vice-President Research & Innovation (VPRI) and the IP Innovation Clinic have received a second instalment – the first was received in 2023 – of $300,000 from the government of Ontario to advance its commercialization services, particularly for research and innovation related to artificial intelligence, automotive and medical technology.

The funding, announced on April 8 by Jill Dunlop, minister of colleges and universities, is from Intellectual Property Ontario (IPON), a provincial agency that provides IP support for Ontario businesses and researchers.

This marks the second year in a row the initiative has received $300,000 from the government as it works towards increasing patent filings, outreach and consultation.

“IPON’s continued and valued investment in York helps advance the University’s commitment to helping our researchers realize the full potential of their innovative work and amplify their community impact,” said Amir Asif, vice-president research and innovation. “Strengthening commercialization efforts at York and supporting entrepreneurs in the province through education and training create positive change for the people of Ontario and the province.”

The funding will enable the collaborating units to continue to provide a suite of intellectual property and commercialization services to researchers and their partners, with the goal of taking more of the University community’s great ideas from the lab to market. 

“Together with countless law students and our industry partners, we have saved over $2 million in legal fees to resource-scarce innovators seeking to commercialize their IP and grow Canadian companies. We look forward to fostering the success of many more,” said Pina D’Agostino, associate professor at York’s Osgoode Hall Law School and the founder of the IP Innovation Clinic. “We are grateful to Minister Dunlop and Intellectual Property Ontario for supporting the IP Innovation Clinic for a second year.”

D’Agostino continued: “Ultimately, this is also a big win for our students who can continue to get access to first-rate experiential learning to make them job-ready while helping those who do not have access to legal resources.”

York was one of 10 universities with an existing program to receive the renewed funding, totalling $1.7 million. IPON also announced a new investment of $2.9 million to help commercialize research at 10 institutions across Canada.

“This funding will help institutions across the province more effectively translate research into commercializable innovations, while ensuring the IP at their foundation is appropriately developed and protected,” said IPON CEO Dan Herman.

“Through the province’s support of IPON, our government is ensuring the social and economic benefits of publicly funded research stay in our province, so that Ontarians and the Ontario economy benefit from these new discoveries and innovations,” said Dunlop.

For the full announcement, visit the IPON website.