Award honours work advancing knowledge of Slovak history

glasses and pen resting on notebook

York University Professor Emeritus Stanislav Kirschbaum has been honoured for his contributions to advancing knowledge of Slovak history.

Stanislav Kirschbaum
Stanislav Kirschbaum

On Sept. 20 via Zoom link with Slovakia, Kirschbaum of the Department of International Studies at Glendon College was awarded the Daniel Rapant Prize at the conclusion of an academic conference organized in Bratislava by Matica Slovenská.

Matica Slovenská is a historic Slovak cultural institution founded in 1863, which, since 1995, awards this medal to persons recognized for their contributions to the development of the historical sciences and their efforts to make Slovak history and the life of Slovaks known at home and abroad. It is named after Daniel Rapant, a professor at Slovak (now Comenius) University in Bratislava, who was the most outstanding Slovak historian of the 20th century, and is considered generally to be the father of Slovak history.

Kirschaum, who taught at Glendon College from 1970 to 2022, is recognized internationally as a leading expert on Slovak politics and history. His book History of Slovakia: The Struggle for Survival (2nd edition, 2005) is the first comprehensive history of the Slovak people, not just in English but in any non-Slovak language, as is his Historical Dictionary of Slovakia (3rd edition, 2014).

In addition, he has published 60 scholarly articles in English, French, German and Slovak on various aspects of Slovak history and politics. For his overall scholarship in international studies, Kirschaum was made a chevalier dans l’Ordre des Palmes académiques de France in 1994, promoted to the rank of officier in 2015 and elected Fellow of Royal Society of Canada in 2002.

The Daniel Rapant Prize is considered one of the most prestigious awards in Slovakia.

Spirit Day – sun, fun and a celebration of York pride

Students and Yeo in front of the York U letters in Vari Hall

York University students, staff, faculty members and course instructors were invited to partake in a day of celebration and festivities dedicated to York University’s community excellence during Spirit Day on Oct. 4. The event was held at both the Keele and Glendon campuses.

Participants were encouraged to exhibit their York U pride by wearing the University’s colours – red, white or blue. The day featured various activities, treats, and giveaways to commemorate and acknowledge the contributions of York community members who have consistently worked towards positive change.

Community members participated in a giant flag drone photo and community tree planting at both campuses, as well as bubble soccer, food pop-up shops, club fairs, photo booths, a community art mural, yoga sessions, pop-up games and more.

For information about Spirit Day, visit To view a video capturing the day’s events, visit

View a gallery of photos from the celebration below.

YU Spirit Day (Oct 2023)-76

Upskill digital storytelling through new course at Glendon


By Elaine Smith

Raiman Dilag, director of information technology services (ITS) at York University’s Glendon College, and his team are working to ensure their students have access to the most current technology to enhance their storytelling capabilities.

They will make this possible through an Academic Innovation Fund grant that allowed them to create a new eight-week extracurricular course – XR Storytelling in Extended Reality / XR Accroche Narrative en Réalité Étendue – that will provide interested Glendon students and faculty, with an introduction to virtual reality (VR), augmented reality (AR), 360-degree cameras, podcasting and 3D printing. The course is not for credit, but those who complete it will earn a microcredential and a digital badge that can be affixed to their resumes and LinkedIn profiles.

Glendon 360 video screenshot
Glendon College offers a new course for all students that allows them to upskill digital storytelling. This photo is a screenshot from a video showing 360-degree photoraphy. For another example, go here.

“While it’s expected for STEM students to be exposed to technological tools, at Glendon, we are deeply rooted in the liberal arts tradition,” Dilag said. “I saw the opportunity to complement resources currently in place, and enhance our students’ access to these and other new tools. Our students have stories to tell, and they benefit from sharing them using new media.”

For those on the outside looking in, the idea of using these tools can be confusing and/or daunting. VR and its sleek headsets can immerse users in another space, such as the Notre-Dame Cathedral in Paris before and after the fire. Fans of Pokémon Go know that AR allows users to employ a device to interact digitally with the real world, bringing images to life. 360-degree photography brings the viewer into the space, letting them experience that moment from all of the photographer’s points of view. Podcasts stream on digital devices and are excellent audio/video tools for storytelling, while 3D printing enables the creation, and customization, of 3D objects crafted in one’s imagination or modified from previous designs.

Each of these technologies, independently or in combination, are valuable for storytelling in a digital era.

The eight-week course created by the ITS team will familiarize students with these key tools and require them to work on a group project to show their facility with one or more of them. The project will also reinforce teamwork skills, and in true Glendon nature, is conducted in English or French by the bilingual XR technology co-ordinator.

“I’d like students to think about the stories they want to tell,” said Dilag. “These are just tools; however, a course like this can open doors, because opportunities following graduation may be influenced by things beyond academics, such as exposure to any or all of these XR technologies.

“We’re all about the student experience, recruitment and retention. If this course helps them graduate more career-ready, it’s a great way for us to add value to their university, and post-graduation, experience.”

The in-person course is open to all Glendon students and will be offered during both the Fall and Winter terms. Dilag hopes the success of the course will lead to expansion for all York students.

The team has been planning the course since February: designing the curriculum, writing the proposal, purchasing necessary equipment and making the space attractive. The course will be conducted by the XR technology co-ordinator with oversight from Dilag.

“Let’s get technology in the hands of this dynamic generation and see what they can do,” Dilag said. “I think they’ll impress us.”

He is proud of his team’s work and reminds the larger community that the ITS department “is about more than resetting passwords,” he said. “We aim to humanize technology, and to use it to enable the telling of great stories.”

XR Storytelling in Extended Reality / XR Accroche Narrative en Réalité Étendue begins the week of Oct. 16. Glendon students can register online.

Faculty who may be interested in the course can contact to discuss their needs and learning objectives.

Watching mushrooms grow: a new lesson in communications

oyster mushrooms

By Ashley Goodfellow Craig, editor, YFile

A cohort of Glendon College students will explore digital innovations in the context of interpersonal and mobile communications through an unexpected pedagogy – a living art installation containing a variety of mushrooms.

Students enrolled this fall in Dreaming of Electric Sheep: Emerging Practices in Communication, a course led by Glendon faculty member Roberta Buiani, will document and care for the installation as part of their curriculum.

The art project, titled Mycosymbiosis and designed by Chinese-Canadian artist Xiaojing Yan, is a time-based and site-specific installation located on the balcony adjacent to Glendon Manor’s ballroom. It will launch on Oct. 2 at 5 p.m., with a viewing event and reception to follow.

Oyster mushrooms in the mobile gallery
Oyster mushrooms growing in the mobile gallery.

“The installation consists of a mobile gallery (Emergent) containing a variety of mushrooms which grow, decay and renew, weaving their intricate forms through its interstitial space and responding to the surrounding natural environment,” explains Buiani.

Emergent – a Living Mobile Gallery is a mobile gallery featuring artworks at the intersection of science and the arts. The goal is to understand and address how life evolves and adapts due to climate change, global mobility, experiments and the shaping of the world. The mobile gallery itself is a porous object, and is designed to explore the role of exhibition spaces.

Yan’s installation combines the complex concept of identity with a perspective on nature that transcends conventional boundaries. Including three types of oyster mushrooms planted along the exterior walls of the mobile gallery, the living art project will showcase how these mushrooms grow through a time-lapse projection inside. This evolving living sculpture will change with varying temperature and humidity, inviting a range of symbiotic organisms that interact with the mushrooms.

Mycosymbiosis art installation
Mycosymbiosis art installation in full.

This installation of Mycosymbiosis represents the second phase of a long-term collaboration between Yan and the team behind Emergent: Buiani (Glendon/University of Toronto), Lorella di Cintio (Toronto Metropolitan University) and Ilze Briede [kavi] (York University, PhD student), with scientific advising from James Scott (University of Toronto).

Buiani’s course, which is a recipient of an Academic Innovation Fund grant, presents an examination of emerging trends in communication and media technologies, delving into web-based advancements and exploring novel modes of interpersonal and mobile communication.

Specifically, interacting with and documenting this installation is an important opportunity for students to not only achieve a better and more nuanced understanding of the complexities involved in interspecies communication in relation to our technological networks, but also to develop a better appreciation for responsible consumption and production, collaborative and collective work, communication with different forms of knowledge and ultimately, care, says Buiani.

The installation will be on view throughout the fall semester, and the Oct. 2 launch will kick off a series of public engagements on networks, care and land-based community building and artistic practice. More information will be available at

York leads research initiative to explore populism in Canada

Observatory of Populism in Canada

By Ashley Goodfellow Craig, editor, YFile

York University will lead a new initiative that aims to increase understanding of the impacts of populism on Canadian politics.

Launched Sept. 27 at York’s Glendon Campus, the Observatory of Populism in Canada is a first-of-its-kind research endeavour that will work to generate, support and highlight empirical and theoretical research on populism’s role in Canadian society.

Rémi Vivès
Rémi Vivès
photograph of York Professor Emily Laxer
Emily Laxer

The Observatory is led by Emily Laxer (associate professor of sociology at Glendon and York Research Chair in Populism, Rights and Legality) in collaboration with Rémi Vivès (assistant professor of economics at Glendon) and Efe Peker (assistant professor of sociology and political science at the University of Ottawa), and supports the University’s priority to advance research on compelling developments of our time.

“There is a great deal of confusion and debate about what populism means, how it manifests and what its impacts are,” says Laxer. “The Observatory’s overarching objective is to bring clarity and specificity to the conversation about populism in Canada through robust social scientific research, for the benefit of researchers, the media and the interested public.”

Populism, which researchers say is globally on the rise, is the notion that society can be divided into two conflicting groups: the pure “people”; and the corrupt “elite,” who are thought to undermine the general will. Data from Google Trends published in an Observatory brief shows that searches of “populism in Canada” have increased dramatically in number since 2016 – the year that saw Britain exit the European Union (“Brexit”) and the U.S. election of Donald Trump. The highest peaks in interest were recorded in 2018, the year the People’s Party of Canada was founded, and 2022, during the “Freedom Convoy.”

And, despite a growing interest, Laxer says there remains a lack of clarity about what populism means, and about the distinct, context-dependent ways that it manifests in Canada.

“The Observatory of Populism in Canada aims to address this by promoting and generating original research that elucidates the manifold dimensions of populism in Canadian political life,” she says.

The demand for research on the topic is urgent; until recently, a widespread narrative of Canadian “exceptionalism” held that Canada had not seen the rise in populist parties and movements witnessed elsewhere in the world. This, says Laxer, downplays the multiple, ideologically and regionally diverse expressions of populism in Canadian history and precludes a clear understanding of populism’s role in Canada today.

The Observatory grew out of, and is partially funded by, the York Research Chair in Populism, Rights and Legality, held by Laxer. One of its collaborators, Vivès, is working with the Observatory to develop a large-scale database that will enable the use of advanced quantitative analysis techniques to study manifestations of, and support for, populist framing on social media in Canada.

The Observatory team also includes a number of researchers – among them several York graduate and undergraduate students who are pursuing independent research related to the theme of populism, in both Canada and elsewhere.

The Observatory is a public-facing, collaborative endeavour. Further information, including research findings, can be found at Members of the York community are encouraged to send any inquiries to

Show your York U pride, join Spirit Day Oct. 4

SpiritDay YFile Banner

La version française suit la version anglaise.

President Rhonda Lenton invites all students, staff, faculty members and course instructors to a day of festivities and celebration of York community excellence at Spirit Day on Oct. 4, taking place at our Keele and Glendon campuses.

Get ready to show your York U pride by wearing York University colours (red, white or blue) and connect with us for a day of activities, treats, and giveaways to celebrate and recognize York community members who continue to make positive change.

For more information, visit:

Glendon Campus
Wednesday, Oct. 4
10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Key events:

Giant Flag Drone Photo
10 to 10:30 a.m.
West Quad, beside Centre of Excellence

Ceremonial Large Tree Planting
10:30 to 10:40 a.m.
Large area behind Hilliard Residence


Keele Campus
Wednesday, Oct. 4
10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Key events:

Community Tree Planting
Noon to 2 p.m.
Nelson Road, behind Osgoode Hall Law School

Giant Flag Drone Photo
2 to 2:30 p.m.
Harry W. Arthurs Common

Please note that in the event of inclement weather, an alternate location will be arranged indoors and you will be notified by email.

Joignez-vous à nous pour la Journée des couleurs de York le 4 octobre et affichez votre fierté

La présidente Rhonda Lenton invite tous les membres du corps étudiant, du personnel et des corps professoral et enseignant à une journée de festivités et de célébration de l’excellence de la communauté sur les campus Keele et Glendon à l’occasion de la Journée des couleurs de York (Spirit Day) le 4 octobre.

Venez afficher votre fierté d’appartenir à York en portant les couleurs de l’Université (rouge, blanc ou bleu) et joignez-vous à nous pour des petits cadeaux, des friandises et des activités sur les campus Keele et Glendon pour célébrer et reconnaître les membres de la communauté de York qui ne cessent de créer des changements positifs.

Pour plus d’informations, veuillez visiter :

Campus Glendon
Mercredi 4 octobre 2023
De 10 h à 15 h

Événements-clés :

Photo avec le drapeau géant prise par un drone
10 h à 10 h 30
Quadrilatère ouest, à côté du Centre d’excellence

Plantation cérémonielle d’un grand arbre
10 h 30 à 10 h 40
Grand espace derrière la résidence Hilliard


Campus Keele
Mercredi 4 octobre 2023
De 10 h à 15 h

Événements-clés :

Plantation communautaire d’arbres
12 h à 14 h
Nelson Road, derrière l’École de droit Osgoode Hall

Photo avec le drapeau géant prise par un drone
14 h à 14 h 30
Harry W. Arthurs Common

Veuillez noter qu’en cas de mauvais temps, les événements se tiendront à un autre emplacement. Vous recevrez un avis par courriel.

Initiative studying populism marks launch with film screening

The screening of a short film on the polarization of Canadian identity will mark the launch of a new initiative led by York University that aims to study the dimensions and impacts of populism in Canada.

Taking place Sept. 27 from 4 to 6 p.m. at the Glendon Campus, the event will screen the short film Canada Day, to be followed by a Q-and-A and reception. All members of the York community are invited to attend the launch.

Canada Day, directed by Efe Peker (assistant professor of sociology and political science at the University of Ottawa), was an official selection of the Weengushk International Film Festival. The film captures encounters among protesters, inviting audiences to reflect on the polarization of Canadian identity in the 21st century.

In the spring and summer of 2021, more than one thousand unmarked graves were discovered near residential school sites across Canada, considered to belong mostly to Indigenous children. Filmed on July 1 of the same year in Ottawa, Canada Day juxtaposes two diametrically opposed rallies that took place simultaneously soon after the uncovering of this dark history: the Indigenous-led #CancelCanadaDay march and the far-right Dominion Day rally (including the People’s Party of Canada) to protest Canada Day cancellations and pandemic restrictions.

Featuring a range of emotions among protestors as well as moments of altercation, the documentary invites the audience to reflect on the contrasting visions of Canadianness in the 21st century, with opposing views of the country’s past and its future.

The new York initiative, dedicated to robust research on populism, will be launched shortly, and will be led by Glendon College Professor Emily Laxer (who is also the York Research Chair in Populism, Rights and Legality) in collaboration with Rémi Vivès (assistant professor of economics at Glendon) and Peker. The event will include an introduction to the initiative by Laxer and Vivès.

Registration for the event is free of charge and can be accessed here. Those interested can use the Glendon-Keele shuttle to travel between campuses.

Teaching with an assist from technology 

man using tablet with graphic image of lightbulb

By Elaine Smith

After returning to in-person teaching following the COVID-19 pandemic, some faculty at York University have continued to embrace technology as a useful and interesting adjunct to their courses. Alejandro Zamora, Mojgan Jadidi and Damilola Adebayo teach disparate topics, but each has decided that technology-enhanced learning benefits their students. 

Zamora, an associate professor of Hispanic studies at Glendon College, first used digital technology in a Hispanic Geopoetics course in 2018. The class was studying the work of Luis Cernuda, a poet from Seville, Spain, and he led them on a field trip to explore the spatial memory of a place recreated in his poetry throughout a life of exile. Afterward, he had students collaborate on a web-based multimedia project about the poet and about their field experience.

Alejandro Zamora
Jadidi with VR
Mojgan Jadidi with virtual reality
Damilola Adebayo
Damilola Adebayo

“I liked how these projects made students collaborate and engage with the community,” Zamora said. “They learned to create, analyze, synthesize and collaborate. I loved the pedagogic power of digital humanities courses.” 

He now incorporates digital projects into all his courses that have field components, such as the summer courses he teaches at the University’s Las Nubes Campus in Costa Rica. Some of the courses have established projects to which students contribute, while in others, the class conceptualizes and creates a project from scratch. He is open to students who propose digital projects in his other courses, too, such as blogs or videos as assignments. 

“Literature is often text-based, so students limit their experience to textual analysis and discursive thinking,” Zamora said. “These projects make the students think visually, so they help me enhance their learning experience. The course immediately becomes experiential, because the students realize that they can put what they have learned to work in practical ways and that they can mobilize knowledge.” 

He has also turned to globally networked learning to bring together students from Glendon with their counterparts in Colombia, virtually, for joint sessions about Gabriel García Márquez’ novel One Hundred Years of Solitude

“This was the first time we had a globally networked learning component as part of the [Hispanic Geopoetics] course and it was fantastic,” Zamora said. 

Jadidi, an associate professor of civil engineering at the Lassonde School of Engineering, uses gaming and virtual reality tools to assist her students in learning engineering and surveying principles. Previously, she created an extended reality sandbox (XR Sandbox) teaching tool that builds on an augmented reality physical sandbox (AR Sandbox) devised by faculty at the University of California, Davis. It allows students to mimic climate conditions online, such as floods, to see their impact on roads and bridges, for example.   

“The XR Sandbox is an inclusive, diverse learning environment that helps students to retain information,” she said.  

Recently, Jadidi and 11 colleagues received an Academic Innovation Fund (AIF) grant to develop gaming and XR tools that will assist students in learning complex engineering concepts. To do so, they will employ XR and gaming technologies, as well as Visual Verbal Integrated (VIVID) storytelling technology.  

“We have observed that engineering students become more disengaged from their learning, particularly when learning contents that are complex, theory heavy, nuanced and unfamiliar,” said Jadidi. “Technology is advancing very quickly and students are comfortable using it, so we want to give them tools to see different dimensions of engineering problems and enjoy learning in a different way.” 

For example, one of the tools will allow the students to virtually fly drones over a 3D model of the York University campus so they can understand a drone’s movement and rotation. They’ll be learning about drone assembly, system co-ordination, testing and flight, all within a virtual space.  

“It’s all about providing students more opportunities for learning,” said Jadidi. “They’ll be able to learn independently, too; they won’t be limited by time.” 

Adebayo’s first opportunity to teach a course occurred in 2020, during the COVID-19 pandemic. As a PhD student at Cambridge, teaching wasn’t required, so he was forced to acclimate simultaneously to teaching and the virtual environment. 

“I was plunged into the deep end,” said Adebayo, an assistant professor and historian of anglophone West Africa.  

Luckily, having grown up with technology, Adebayo quickly found his feet.  

At York, he started off teaching HIST 2750 (African History from 1800 to the Present) in a HyFlex classroom that is designed to provide remote learners with the same classroom experience as those present in person, and is also recorded for reviewing. It required some tinkering with technology to provide an equivalent experience.  

For example, Adebayo is learning to use a tool that allows him to embed quizzes into lectures so that anyone watching virtually can’t continue unless they participate; the video simply stops.  

An AIF grant has allowed him to purchase a professional camera and a green screen so he can improve the video quality of lectures, no matter the platform a student is using to view it. He has also learned to add closed captioning that is synchronized with the lecture. 

“I believe in access, so the easier it is for my students, the better,” Adebayo said. “I want lectures for students to be mobile-friendly so students can participate on their computers or mobile devices.” 

Since the course will be delivered remotely this year, Adebayo has also sought out a means to prevent students from using chat bots to do their assignments. 

“I assign short presentations to the students, that they record and send to me; then we meet and discuss the substance of the presentation,” he said. “Even if they’re employing AI tools, they still need to know the content.”  

The pandemic opened many eyes to the possibilities of technology in the classroom and, as illustrated, the students benefit. 

Glendon welcomes faculty member focused on translation studies

More than 100 translation students representing universities in four provinces are heading to Toronto this week to test their skills during the 14th annual Translation Games, being held for the first time this year at York University’s Glendon Campus.

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

Valérie Florentin joins Glendon College this fall as a new, full-time faculty member.

“Valérie has been a Glendon colleague for many years, one who has dedicated much time, energy and creativity to the Translation Program, and to other courses as well. I must also stress the fact that Valérie was one of the colleagues who helped the Glendon community embrace technology-supported pedagogy during the pandemic. We are absolutely thrilled to welcome Valérie Florentin as our newest sssistant professor. Bienvenue à bord, Valérie,” says Marco Fiola, Glendon principal.

Valerie Florentin
Valerie Florentin

Valérie Florentin
Valérie Florentin (MA Laval, PhD Montreal) is an assistant professor in the School of Translation and the Department of Multidisciplinary Studies at Glendon College. A certified translator, Florentin is part of a number of research groups whose main interests converge around pedagogy as a means to promote social justice. Florentin’s expertise focuses on cultural aspects of translation in audiovisual settings and games. Prior to joining York University as course director in 2017, Florentin taught a wide range of courses in the Translation Program at the University of Hearst.

Desjardins Group funding helps expand entrepreneurial programs at York

diverse group of workers collaborating in meeting room

La version française suit la version anglaise. 

A new gift from Desjardins to York University’s Innovation York will expand two critical accelerator programs that provide training and support in entrepreneurship and help promote innovation.

The funding will continue both Desjardins and York’s commitment to fostering positive change for diverse local communities and uniquely global perspectives.

The gift supports two initiatives at York, with an infusion over five years to GENIAL (Glendon Entrepreneuriat et Innovation A L’International) and over two years to ELLA (Entrepreneurial Leadership & Learning Alliance).

“We are thrilled to partner with Desjardins to create greater access and opportunities for women-led businesses,” says Jennifer MacLean, assistant vice-president, innovation and research partnerships at York University. “This partnership will enable York University’s YSpace to expand our impact in the community and continue to foster the skills and talents of young entrepreneurs.” 

GENIAL is a bilingual initiative that offers training, extracurricular activities, and a research program in entrepreneurship and innovation. Desjardins’ gift will allow GENIAL to scale up its bilingual Entrepreneurial Skills Passport (ESP) program that is currently offered to Glendon students. Through the ESP program, GENIAL has trained a diverse population of students from liberal arts and business backgrounds, including domestic and international students enrolled in business, economics, communications, translation, international studies, sociology and psychology. GENIAL was launched in 2017 by Angelo Dossou-Yovo, associate professor of management and entrepreneurship.

Desjardins also supported York’s first accelerator focused on supporting women-led product- and service-based businesses. The donation to ELLA – a program created by women, for women – will support the program for the next two years. The funding will help with the sustainability of ELLA’s accelerator programming that provides women entrepreneurs with access to the community, knowledge and resources they need to scale their business. 

“With Desjardins’ support, YSpace’s ELLA program will be able to help more women entrepreneurs, particularly those in consumer packaged goods and professional services, take their businesses to greater heights and scale up into national and international markets,” said David Kwok, associate director, entrepreneurship. “This gift recognizes the value in supporting women-led product- and service-based businesses, providing them with resources as robust as those currently found in the tech sector.” 

To recognize their contribution and commitment, Desjardins is invited to take part in ELLA’s national advisory committee and act as subject-matter experts to help shape the program’s future. 

“Entrepreneurs play an important role in our society. They are creating innovative solutions to the needs of Canadians and the challenges they face,” said Guy Cormier, president and CEO of Desjardins Group. “We are proud to support York University and their young entrepreneurs. They will help shape the world of tomorrow and we’re incredibly happy to be part of something that will give them the resources and tools they need to pursue their goals in life.”

Students and other members of the York community are invited to attend a public talk by Cormier on Sept. 12 at the Schulich Executive Learning Centre on York’s Keele Campus. Hear Cormier’s professional journey, starting as a cashier, and how he worked his way up through Desjardins to become the youngest president in the history of the organization. He will also talk openly about the challenges he’s faced in his career and his vision of modern leadership, and answer audience questions.

Click here to register for the event on Sept. 12:

Le financement du Mouvement Desjardins permet d’élargir les programmes d’entrepreneuriat à York 

Un nouveau don de Desjardins à l’Université York permettra d’élargir deux programmes accélérateurs cruciaux qui offrent une formation et un soutien à l’entrepreneuriat et qui contribuent à promouvoir l’innovation. 

Le financement permettra à Desjardins et à York de poursuivre leur engagement envers la création de changements positifs pour les communautés locales diversifiées et d’offrir des perspectives mondiales uniques.

Le don appuie deux initiatives à York avec un apport sur cinq ans pour GENIAL (Glendon ENtrepreneuriat et Innovation À L’international) et un autre sur deux ans pour ELLA (Entrepreneurial Leadership & Learning Alliance).

« Nous sommes ravis de nous associer à Desjardins pour améliorer l’accès et les possibilités d’entreprises dirigées par des femmes, déclare Jennifer MacLean, vice-présidente adjointe des partenariats en matière d’innovation et de recherche à l’Université York. Ce partenariat permettra au YSpace de l’Université York d’accroître son effet sur la communauté et de continuer à encourager les compétences et les talents des jeunes entrepreneurs et entrepreneuses. » 

GENIAL est une initiative bilingue qui propose des formations, des activités extrascolaires et un programme de recherche sur l’entrepreneuriat et l’innovation. Le don de Desjardins permettra à GENIAL d’amplifier le programme de formation bilingue Passeport Compétences Entrepreneuriales (PCE) actuellement proposé à la population étudiante de Glendon. Grâce au programme PCE, GENIAL a formé une population étudiante diversifiée issue des arts libéraux et du monde des affaires, notamment des étudiantes et étudiants nationaux et internationaux inscrits à des programmes de commerce, économie, communication, traduction, études internationales, sociologie et psychologie. 

GENIAL a été lancé en 2017 par Angelo Dossou-Yovo, professeur agrégé de gestion et d’entrepreneuriat.

Desjardins soutient également le premier accélérateur de York axé sur le soutien aux entreprises de produits et de services dirigées par des femmes. Le don fait à ELLA — un programme créé par des femmes, pour des femmes — financera le programme pendant les deux prochaines années. Ce financement contribuera à la durabilité du programme d’accélération d’ELLA, qui permet aux entrepreneuses d’accéder à la communauté, aux connaissances et aux ressources nécessaires pour développer leur entreprise. 

« Grâce au soutien de Desjardins, le programme ELLA de YSpace sera en mesure d’aider davantage d’entrepreneuses, notamment dans les secteurs des biens de consommation et des services professionnels, à faire progresser leur entreprise et à s’implanter sur les marchés nationaux et internationaux, a déclaré David Kwok, directeur associé, Entrepreneuriat. Ce don reconnaît la valeur du soutien apporté aux entreprises de produits et de services dirigées par des femmes, en leur fournissant des ressources aussi solides que celles que l’on trouve actuellement dans le secteur de la technologie. » 

Pour reconnaître leur contribution et leur engagement, les Caisses Desjardins sont invitées à participer au comité consultatif d’ELLA et à agir en tant qu’expertes en la matière pour façonner l’avenir du programme. 

« Les chefs d’entreprise jouent un rôle important dans notre société en créant des solutions novatrices pour répondre aux besoins de la population canadienne et aux défis auxquels elle est confrontée, a déclaré Guy Cormier, président et chef de la direction du Mouvement Desjardins. Nous sommes fiers de soutenir l’Université York et ses jeunes chefs d’entreprise qui contribueront à façonner le monde de demain. Nous nous réjouissons de participer à un projet qui leur donnera les ressources et les outils nécessaires pour poursuivre leurs objectifs de vie. »

La population étudiante et les autres membres de la communauté de York sont invités à assister à une conférence publique de M. Cormier le 12 septembre de 16 h à 18 h au Schulich Executive Learning Centre sur le campus Keele de York. Découvrez le parcours professionnel de M. Cormier, qui a commencé comme caissier et a gravi les échelons au sein de Desjardins pour devenir le plus jeune président de l’histoire de l’organisation. Il parlera ouvertement des défis auxquels il a été confronté au cours de sa carrière ainsi que de sa vision du leadership moderne et répondra aux questions du public.

Cliquez ici pour vous inscrire à l’événement du 12 septembre :