What’s planned for York’s 2024 Winter Orientation

lassonde winter students

Winter term classes begin on Jan. 8, 2024, and with the official start of the new academic term at York University, there’s plenty for new and returning students to do, think about and remember.

York’s official Winter Orientation kicks off on Friday, Jan. 5, 2024. The official website lists a wealth of information for new and incoming students, with programming to welcome community members through a mix of fun and informative events.

Academic Orientation: Jan. 5, 2024

College/Faculty Orientation will take place on Jan. 5, 2024 and includes a variety of college-/Faculty-specific events, during which time students will get a chance to meet other first-year students as well as upper-year students in their respective colleges and Faculties. Students who are uncertain of which college or Faculty they belong to can use the College Finder tool for help. The sessions are Faculty-specific and free to attend, but registration is required.

International Student Orientation: Jan 6, 2024

As the designated support office for international students, York International offers crucial services and programs tailored to the unique needs of international students. The York International team will host a dedicated orientation day, designed specifically for new international students, on Jan. 6, 2024 from 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. For students who arrive late, an alternate orientation day will be offered on Jan. 20, 2024. More information can be found on the York International website.

Other events hosted during the week of Jan. 8 to 12, 2024 include:

  • Frost Week, Jan. 8 to 12, 2024 – Organized by the nine college councils with support from Student Community & Leadership Development, Frost Week will be a week of social programming open to students based on their college affiliation. Early activities will focus on integrating new students into their respective communities.
  • Winterlicious, Jan. 5 to 12, 2024 – Student will be able to visit specific food vendors on the Keele Campus to get a meal for $10 or less.
  • Winter Orientation 2024: Transitioning to York, Jan. 9, 2024 – This virtual event gives an insider’s look at the diverse and accessible student experience at York University. Crafted for incoming students to York University who would like to learn more about campus life, the event includes a panel of speakers sharing first-hand experiences of campus life. Register here.
  • Campus Services Fair, Jan. 10, 2024 – New and current students can meet campus partners from across the Division of Students, Ancillary Services and York Libraries to learn about available resources. Register here.
  • York U Winter Keele Campus Tours, Jan. 5 to 11, 2024 – Register for a tour and get to know the ins and outs of campus such as where to eat, how to find classes, how to get to the gym, where all the important student services and supports are, and more. Register here.

For more information, including dates, times and registration links, visit the website.

Next generation of York librarians and archivists work to address critical gap in Black content

Lightbulb on chalkboard

An ongoing Black History Edit-a-thon event aims to improve the digital coverage of Black histories and experiences on Wikipedia and Wikidata. The edit-a-thon features a kickoff event in the form of a panel discussion on Black archives on Monday, Feb.  7, from 1 to 2:30 p.m. EST.

While researching for a display case for Caribana’s 50th anniversary at York University Libraries (YUL) almost five years ago, Katrina Cohen-Palacios, an archivist at YUL’s Clara Thomas Archives and Special Collections at Scott Library, found that articles from major news outlets did not report on the historical-cultural significance of the annual celebration. Knowing that Wikipedia is one of the most visited websites worldwide, she decided to use all the citations she found to expand the Caribana article on the Wikipedia page on this subject. The result? Today, the article receives an average of 123 page views per day. 

“This type of contribution provides long-lasting impact that improves representation of a significant cultural event. This is because most people including media, often use Wikipedia as the starting point of their research process,” said Cohen-Palacios. 

Mobilizing research is part of what drives her passion to make a difference at York’s libraries, where she’s been an archivist since 2017. It’s also one of the reasons she’s sharing her knowledge about wiki-editing with students during this year’s Black History Edit-a-thon 2022 Event, which continues until Feb. 28, with synchronous editing sessions every Friday of the month.

The edit-a-thon is a joint effort by library and archives staff and students at York University, University of Toronto (U of T), X University (formerly Ryerson), and Toronto Public Library (TPL) as part of Black History Month events. Drawing upon expertise, the York University Libraries will be hosting and leading editing sessions on Wikidata as part of this collaboration. The event is sponsored by the Office of the Vice-President Research & Innovation at York University. 

“Often the history of Black Canadians is told in a way that it focuses on adversity and the token firsts who overcame the barriers of racism and discrimination,” said Cohen-Palacios. “This unidimensional, flat narrative obscures the multifaceted, plurality of experiences – notably, a celebration of inspirational figures and events that have the power to uplift and spark joy – within these communities. With Wikipedia mirroring these gaps, these edit-a-thons are a great opportunity to build awareness about the gaps in our national narratives and engage individuals to collectively use our power and privilege to contribute towards sharing inclusive Black history, especially those that are written by Black scholars.”  

Co-organizer of the event, and data visualization and analytics librarian in the Open Scholarship Department, Alexandra Wong, says a Wikidata session was added this year, due to the platform’s growing popularity, Wikidata’s impact, and the opportunity to teach and improve participants’ data skills. With the event collaboratively hosted by York University Libraries, U of T Libraries, X University Library, and TPL, the libraries are in a unique position to provide robust, shared support and resources on source selection and metadata structuring, adds Wong. 

“This edit-a-thon aims to consciously, and with care, improve the digital coverage of Black histories and experiences,” said Wong. “We hope to engage with students and our wider community, and to empower them to contribute and become editors: we want students to be inspired and properly equipped to write their own histories.”

Wikidata is an open-linked data repository that centralizes information across all Wikimedia projects, including Wikipedia and Wikimedia Commons. Where Wikipedia’s goal is to compile the sum of human knowledge, Wikidata aims to structure the sum of human knowledge and make it machine readable to assist artificial intelligence. 

Wong says Wikidata has enormous potential for information access because all languages can pull information from Wikidata’s linked data, which is primarily language-agnostic. One goal of YUL’s Wikidata portion of the Black History Edit-a-thon is while most participants will be editing in English, they are also contributing more equitably to all languages and communities of knowledge through the platform.   

Wikidata can also inherit biases, from who edits Wikidata and what knowledge is created in it. The Wikimedia Foundation has found that only 1.6 per cent of contributors are based in Africa, although people in Africa comprise 17 per cent of the world’s population. Their U.S. data for Wikipedia finds that fewer than one per cent of Wikipedia editors identify as Black or African-American. This can create gaps in the public’s sum of knowledge, said Wong. 

Beginners with no experience in Wikipedia and Wikidata will be provided with training and instructions in every Friday working session. As well, more experienced editors in Wikipedia or Wikidata will be guided to leverage their skills to improve the visibility of Black scholars and their works and will be supported by other experienced editors throughout the working sessions. 

Collette Murray, a PhD student in dance studies at York University, will be part of a panel presentation on Black archives for the kick-off event on Feb. 7.  She’s been an advocate in the arts sector for several years and says online content has some work to do in highlighting changemakers in the Black community.  

“I felt it was important to contribute a new perspective to decolonize ideas around digital archives,” said Murray. “There are many more categories of Black content missing on not-for-profit organizations who mobilized for diverse Black communities. It raises questions on why now. Who decides who can document and who gets archived? As an emerging scholar, I would like to find and reference digital spaces that speak to me, represents us so that everyone can learn content about generations of Black communities across Canada.” 

Through this kind of event, organizers hope to diversify the Wikipedia and Wikidata editor base and given Toronto and York University’s diverse populations, Wong and her team hope they can contribute to decreasing the gaps in information. Wong says by bringing in these perspectives, the goal is also to bring a Canadian perspective into a platform like Wikipedia and Wikidata where much of the knowledge is America-focused. 

“York University specifically has students that come from over 155 countries and so we have this great population of students that we think could be bringing their own histories and contributing their own unique perspectives,” said Wong. “We hope to engage with students and our wider community and to empower them to contribute and become editors: we want students to be inspired and properly equipped to write their own histories. Within the Wikidata component, we suggest our editors focus on helping to create items for Black scholars and their works. Our goal is to promote and raise the visibility of these academics and their important academic outputs.” 

The Black History Edit-a-thon’s organizing team said the York University libraries will continue to play an important role in providing the space to teach and educate in this area. With many groups traditionally excluded from these types of environments, the libraries have the potential to create a safe space and teach individuals how not only to critically review resources but also to overcome the daunting experience of learning new technologies. Events such as edit-a-thons have the potential to create an inclusive and welcoming atmosphere for newcomers and foster a community of users to collectively mentor and inspire one another. With the collaborative nature of Wikipedia and its platforms, everyone from a variety of backgrounds and disciplines – not just coders and hackers – can contribute, download and analyze data sets to mobilize knowledge and new discoveries.  

“York University Libraries was an early international leader in exploring the emerging field of linked open data and its potential to provide pathways for researchers and research libraries to address and deconstruct systemic injustice present in traditional methods of surfacing and accessing research collections by exploring the use of Wikidata to create a model process of community-librarian/archivist/curator-scholar collaboration,” said the Dean of Libraries at York, Joy Kirchner. “I’m thrilled our next generation of librarians and archivists has taken up this work to address a critical gap in Black content with an empowering and inclusive approach.”

For more information, visit the Black History Edit-A-Thon Wikipedia webpage. To register click here.

Lassonde researcher aims to make VR a reality


Gene Cheung, an associate professor in the Lassonde School of Engineering, is working to advance augmented reality and virtual reality through signal processing tools for point clouds that are relevant to rendering everyday objects in 3D spaces.

By Krista Davidson

Gene Cheung

Augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) have the potential to help us see the world in a whole new way; it could revolutionize health care, education, urban planning and even tourism. An associate professor in the Lassonde School of Engineering, Gene Cheung, is advancing our understanding of AR and VR through 3D image processing.

Working with industry partners such as InterDigital and Google, Cheung is building signal processing tools for point clouds, which are datasets comprised of discrete points in 3D space that represent geometric shapes of everyday physical objects like chairs, tables and human beings. The work is critical in advancing the field of VR because truly immersive 3D imaging remains unrealized.

“We haven’t seen high-quality 3D imaging yet,” says Cheung. “But advances in point cloud processing is one of the main missing pieces, and if we can solve that challenge it will bring us much closer.”

He explains that TVs and movie screens are often marketed as 3D, but they are actually rendered in 2.5D. The way 2.5D works is by providing a stereoscopic view, where the left and right eyes observe slightly different viewpoints, giving an impression of 3D. However, the technology behind 2.5D imaging lacks motion parallax, a depth-perceptual cue where objects close to the observer move more in the observation view than the background as one shifts his or her head.

Graph signal processing, one of Cheung’s areas of expertise, offers a solution for processing 3D images. Modern cameras collect a large amount of rich data, including information about scene depth and the distance between the camera and observed objects. This data provides information that can be used to render an object from various viewpoints. However, data acquired from a camera also tends to be noisy and incomplete due to sparse and unreliable point sampling. Leveraging graph spectral theory, Cheung and his team are designing fast graph filtering algorithms to reduce noise, super-resolve and inpaint (a graphics software for retouching photos and removing unwanted objects) point clouds.

The research, which began in 2010, is already demonstrating significant improvement over competing algorithms for restoring point clouds. While there are still ways to go in advancing AR and VR technology, Cheung envisions it will have a positive impact on society.

“The potential for 3D in AR and VR is significant,” explains Cheung. “You can imagine so many applications from remote education to health care. How different would remote education be for students during the pandemic if they were able to put on AR headsets and experience learning as if they were physically in a real classroom with their instructors and friends?”

The potential for health care is also important and Cheung’s research could be a game changer for remote communities with little to no access to services.

“I have friends in Australia who are doctors and have to travel for hours to rural areas to treat patients because some communities don’t have access to specialists,” he says. “VR could provide more equitable access to services, and enable doctors to diagnose, and even perform surgery.”

He says his collaborations with industrial partners are important to bridge the gap between theory and practice.

“Quite often I work with people who are domain experts in a particular area and would never think of using graph signal processing theory. You need people with different areas of expertise to make good research happen,” he says.

Cheung, who considers himself an applied mathematician, finds inspiration in the beauty behind math and the mathematical derivation of theorems.

“In my experience, the best solution tends to be the simplest, most elegant one. The beauty in math is that you cannot really invent it – you uncover it as if it has always been there all along, waiting to be discovered,” he says.

Cheung joined York University in August 2018 and is a core member of Vision: Science to Applications (VISTA), York’s revolutionary vision science program. He became a Fellow of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers in January 2021. Prior to joining York, Cheung was a senior researcher in Hewlett-Packard Laboratories Japan and an associate professor at the National Institute for Informatics in Japan. He obtained his PhD from UC Berkeley in 2000.

Schulich launches Krembil Centre and hosts health-care leadership summit

An image depicting the logo for Schulich School of Business

The newly established Krembil Centre for Health Management and Leadership at York University’s Schulich School of Business will host a leadership summit on Sept. 23 that explores the future of health care in a post-pandemic world. The event also marks the centre’s official launch.

Robert Krembil
Robert Krembil

The summit is hosted by the Krembil Centre, in collaboration with Deloitte, and aims to celebrate leadership and help reshape the best practices in the industry. Schulich alumni Robert Krembil (MBA ’71, Hon. LLD ’00) and the Krembil Foundation, Schulich Interim Dean Detlev Zwick and Centre Director Joseph Mapa, along with health sector colleagues and the Schulich community, will explore the what health care might look like in a post-pandemic world. Schulich Dean Emeritus Dezsö J. Horváth will provide introductory remarks to kick off the event.

COVID-19 has had an extraordinary and profound impact on all sectors, especially health care. The leadership summit will take stock of and reflect on the ideas of renowned thought leaders in four vital and timely areas:

  • long-term care and the impact of COVID;
  • the digital future of health care;
  • the role of artificial intelligence and data analytics; and
  • reimagining the health-care workforce.

Discussions will be shaped around questions such as: how do we make these key areas better in the post-pandemic era; and what have we learned and what needs to change?

The event runs from 6 to 8:30 p.m., and more information is available here.

The Krembil Centre for Health Management and Leadership will combine academic excellence in degree programs and executive training with substantial scholarship support and collaborative research on leadership opportunities in the health sector.

Made possible by a $5-million donation from the Krembil Foundation and Robert Krembil, the Krembil Centre will become a leading global hub of health industry outreach, education and research at Schulich.

“The Krembil Centre for Health Management and Leadership has been created to cultivate high-performance leaders who bring integrity, innovation and a strong change agenda to the health sector,” said Mapa. “We are grateful to the Krembil family for enabling such a seminal and consequential initiative for our students, faculty and the health-care community.”

A key feature of the Krembil Centre’s work will be the development of a new, one-year professional degree, the master of health industry administration. Other core elements are the establishment of the Krembil Chair for Health Management and Leadership, the Krembil Public Healthcare Internship Program, which allows students to gain real-world experience working under the mentorship of senior health-care leaders, and new student scholarships.

For more details and to register for the event, go here.

Meet the inaugural recipients of the Provost’s Postdoctoral Fellowships for Black and Indigenous Scholars

ork University has announced the four inaugural recipients of its new Provost’s Postdoctoral Fellowships for Black and Indigenous Scholars: Godwin Dzah, Don Davies, De-Lawrence Lamptey and Ruth Murambadoro

York University has announced the four inaugural recipients of its new Provost’s Postdoctoral Fellowships for Black and Indigenous Scholars: Godwin Dzah, Don Davies, De-Lawrence Lamptey and Ruth Murambadoro. This two-year award, valued at $70,000 per year, seeks to address underrepresentation in many disciplines and fields by providing Black and Indigenous scholars with the ability to dedicate their time to pursuing new research, while accessing the collegial resources, faculty supervision and mentorship for which York University is well known.

York has a strong commitment to the pursuit of justice. Integral to this pursuit is an understanding of knowledge as multifaceted and plurally constituted. For the sake of knowledge, diversity is fundamental. While the Provost’s Postdoctoral Fellowship Program provides new opportunities for Black and Indigenous scholars, most importantly it seeks to attract superb scholars who will help to push the boundaries of knowledge in necessary ways.

Professor Lisa Philipps, York’s provost and vice-president academic, believes that “building new paths and welcoming spaces for diverse voices to thrive in the academy and beyond is vitally important.” She continues by saying that the Provost’s Postdoctoral Fellowships for Black and Indigenous Scholars are “a reflection of the inclusive higher education environment that we are committed to creating at York.”

Professor Thomas Loebel, associate vice-president graduate and dean of the Faculty of Graduate Studies, adds: “As a program, these fellowships manifest a challenge that York has put to itself, which is to work with emerging scholars in individualized ways and to understand their needs as these emerge through the research process. Our goal is to help connect postdoctoral scholars to the incredible community that is York University, so that with this program we can create something truly career developmental.”

Godwin Dzah (Osgoode Hall Law School)

Godwin Dzah

Dzah comes to York having recently completed a doctorate in law at the University of British Columbia. His research proposes a fundamental re-evaluation of how international environmental law deploys concepts of crisis in ways that limit the potential for more sustained and complete forms of transformation. “The historical significance of this award is an ever-present reminder of the unfinished task of addressing systemic challenges,” says Dzah. “I am looking forward to advancing this cause by expanding my teaching and research interests, which sit at the intersection of international law and the environment, by demonstrating the common interests and connections between the peoples of the Global South and their counterparts – the Indigenous Peoples in the Global North – in the context of the law and politics of international environmental law. I am grateful to the leadership at Osgoode Hall Law School; my supervisor, Professor Obiora Okafor; and especially to York University for this exciting opportunity.”

Don Davies (Faculty of Science)

Don Davies
Don Davies

Davies is currently a postdoctoral researcher at St. Boniface Hospital in Winnipeg. His research investigates a novel approach to the causes of Alzheimer’s disease, arguing that processes of forgetting are naturally amplified in major neurodegenerative diseases. “The Canadian Indigenous population has an increased prevalence and earlier onset of Alzheimer’s disease than the Canadian non-Indigenous population,” he says. “This opportunity will allow me to establish a research program to study Alzheimer’s disease within the Indigenous community and accelerate growth in scholarly diversity through development of an academic pipeline for Indigenous scientists. I am very grateful for the advice from Dr. Steven Connor, who will be mentoring me during my postdoctoral fellowship.”

De-Lawrence Lamptey (Faculty of Health)

DeLawrence Lamptey
DeLawrence Lamptey

Lamptey is currently a postdoctoral Fellow at Mount Saint Vincent University in Nova Scotia. His research introduces an intersectional approach to the study of the material, social, and financial barriers Black children and their families are faced with in Canada. “York’s commitment to support Black and Indigenous scholars is very remarkable,” says Lamptey,” and I am proud to be an inaugural recipient. This fellowship is a recognition of the unique and complex challenges that Black and Indigenous scholars often confront as we pursue our career ambitions. My research will be exploring the intersectionality of race/ethnicity and disability among children and youth in Canada. I look forward to making a positive difference in society through this fellowship.”

Ruth Murambadoro (Faculty of Liberal Arts & Professional Studies)

Ruth Murambadoro
Ruth Murambadoro

Murambadoro is currently a lecturer at the Wits Schools of Governance at the University of Witswatersrand in South Africa. Her research explores how women who have experienced state-sanctioned violence in Zimbabwe deploy narratives to advance the goal of gender justice. “My project, ‘Gender justice and narratives of violence by women in post-colonial Zimbabwe,’ involves working with women’s social movements and the diaspora to produce new insights on how networks of women provide avenues for healing, justice and peace, outside the auspices of the state,” she says. “This work focuses on women’s encounters of state-sanctioned violence and living under dictatorial rule for the past 40-plus years. I am delighted to join the Centre for Feminist Research at York University to work closely with Dr. Alison Crosby as a Fellow under the Provost’s Postdoctoral Fellowships for Black and Indigenous Scholars.”

Schulich program inspires teaching focus at Humber River Hospital

Featured image for Mackenzie Health and York U MOU signing shows a medical worker with a chart

A program developed by the Schulich Executive Education Centre (SEEC) is the inspiration behind a project to turn Humber River Hospital into a teaching institution.

Dr. Patrick Safieh, a member of the hospital’s medical staff, is spearheading the project after his own experience in the Healthcare Leadership Development Program (HLDP) developed by SEEC in the Schulich School of Business at York University. HLDP is an example of a SEEC custom program for organizations.

Patrick Safieh
Dr. Patrick Safieh

An instructor with SEEC and a lecturer at the University of Toronto, Safieh was inspired to launch a training program for medical students in the hospital’s new Family Medicine Teaching Unit to help them better understand the non-medical aspects of delivering services in a time of budget restraints and disruptive change.

“As part of my own Healthcare Leadership Development Program course work [in 2019], I designed a Family Medicine Teaching Unit at Humber River Hospital, which provides full-time core teaching of University of Toronto medical school students,” said Safieh, a facilitator in SEEC’s new Schulich Mini-MBA: Physician Business Leadership Program. “HLDP helped with areas that I needed to accomplish goals, such as networking, presenting, negotiating and other essential skills.”

Safieh’s success in creating a teaching unit at Humber River Hospital also comes from a partnership he fostered between Humber River Hospital, the University of Toronto and various hospital departments that worked together to achieve a successful result.

“I was privileged to be involved in the genesis of this Humber River project and am proud to say that the HLDP provided the tools to get this project started. The program was instrumental in getting this project off the ground, and will benefit the hospital, physicians, and ultimately patients through improved family and emergency medicine for the community. I was able to immediately apply my HLDP learning in helping to create Humber River Hospital’s Family Medicine Teaching Unit,” said Safieh.

Safieh’s project also aims to position Humber River Hospital as a major health-care centre for the 850,000 people living in a relatively under-serviced section of northwest Toronto.

SEEC has worked successfully for more than 10 years with various health-care organizations across Canada by delivering custom versions of the Healthcare Leadership Development Program. It also offers several open enrolment leadership programs for physicians, dentists and clinicians under the Schulich Mini-MBA brand.

Participants in the HLDP receive a master’s certificate upon completion of 90 hours of study that includes:

  • leadership assessment exercises;
  • executive one-on-one and group coaching;
  • knowledgeable faculty members that teach topics such as design thinking, complexity theory, negotiation, collaboration, and leadership and conflict resolution; and
  • independent learning tailored to each participant’s personal leadership development needs.

For more on what SEEC has to offer, visit the website.

York University launches new YU Screen tool

The new website will provide visitors with a mobile-first, content-driven and social media-enabled experience
The new website will provide visitors with a mobile-first, content-driven and social media-enabled experience

The following is a message to the York community from Parissa Safai, special advisor to the president for academic continuity planning and COVID-19 response:

La version française suit la version anglaise. 

Dear York community,  

As part of our plan to support a safe return to York’s campuses this fall, we are launching YU Screen, an automated COVID-19 self-assessment screening tool. All faculty, staff, instructors, students, researchers, contractors, visitors and vendors must use this tool daily to self-screen and confirm that they have not been exposed to COVID-19 before coming to York’s campuses.   

To use YU Screen, you must have a Passport York account. Visitors or other third parties working on York’s campuses will be able to sign in as a guest. The tool walks users through a range of questions, including symptoms to possible exposure, recent travel and testing history. It will also be used to support case management and limited contact tracing, in consultation with Toronto Public Health, for any cases that are confirmed at York University.  

All information related to screening will be treated as confidential. York is committed to the protection of privacy, as required under the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act (FIPPA)Below is some further guidance on how to use this new tool: 

Tips for using YU Screen:

  • YU Screen is accessible from the home page of the Better Together website and can be accessed via the web on smart phones, computers and tablets. 
  • Have your Passport York login information handy to access the tool. 
  • As soon as you click on the YU Screen link, you will see a landing page where you can log in with your Passport York account or as a guest. 
  • Once you have logged in, select “start screening” and you can then choose your group, indicating whether you are a student, staff, faculty member or guest.
  • Once you have identified your group, you will be directed to the appropriate screening survey. 
  • When survey questions are completed, an automated prompt will appear to identify whether or not you have been cleared to come on campus.  
  • In the event that you do not pass the screening questions, you will be provided with instructions on what to do next. In this case, you are not to come to York’s campuses; you will be instructed to self-isolate and will be directed to educational resources.  
  • This process must be repeated before you attend campus, each time. We encourage everyone to select the option to receive daily email reminders to complete their screening. 
  • When on York’s campuses, you may be asked to show that you have cleared the screening.

Thank you for your co-operation and commitment to protecting the health and safety of the York community. Please bear with us as French content in the YU Screen tool is being updated and will be live very soon. For regular updates on York’s safe return to campus, please continue to visit the Better Together website. 


Parissa Safai  
Special Advisor to the President for Academic Continuity Planning & COVID-19 Response

Lancement du nouvel outil YU Dépistage/YU Screen de l’Université York

Chers membres de la communauté de York,  

Dans le cadre de notre plan pour appuyer un retour sécuritaire sur les campus de York cet automne, nous lançons cette semaine un nouvel outil bilingue automatisé d’autoévaluation et de dépistage de la COVID-19 appelé « YU Dépistage/YU Screen ». Tous les membres du corps professoral, du personnel, du corps enseignant et de la communauté étudiante ainsi que les fournisseurs, entrepreneurs et visiteurs devront utiliser cet outil quotidiennement avant de venir sur les campus de York pour s’autoévaluer et confirmer qu’ils n’ont pas été exposés à la COVID-19.

Pour utiliser l’outil YU Dépistage, il faut avoir un compte Passport York. Les visiteurs et autres tierces parties travaillant sur les campus de York l’utiliseront en tant qu’invités. L’outil pose aux utilisateurs une série de questions allant des symptômes aux risques d’exposition, en passant par les voyages récents et l’historique de dépistage. Il servira aussi à la gestion des cas et à la recherche des contacts (dans une certaine mesure) en collaboration avec le Bureau de santé publique de Toronto pour tous les cas confirmés à l’Université York.

Tous les renseignements liés au dépistage seront traités de manière confidentielle. York garantit la protection de la vie privée conformément à la Loi sur l’accès à l’information et la protection de la vie privée 

Conseils pour utiliser l’outil YU Dépistage  

  • L’outil YU Dépistage se trouve sur la page d’accueil du site Better Together. Vous pouvez y accéder avec un téléphone intelligent, un ordinateur ou une tablette.  
  • Ayez vos identifiants Passport York à portée de la main.  
  • Dès que vous cliquez sur le lien YU Dépistage, vous voyez :  
    • Une page d’accueil sur laquelle vous pouvez vous connecter avec Passport York ou « continuer en tant qu’invité ». 
    • Une fois la session ouverte, cliquez sur « Commencer le dépistage » et choisissez votre « groupe » : communauté étudiante, personnel, corps professoral ou invité. 
    • Une fois cela fait, vous serez dirigés vers le questionnaire de dépistage approprié.  
    • Quand vous aurez fini de répondre aux questions de dépistage, une fenêtre s’affichera pour indiquer si vous êtes « autorisé(e) » ou non à venir sur le campus.  
    • Si vous « échouez » au dépistage, on vous fournira des instructions sur les prochaines étapes. Vous ne pourrez pas fréquenter les campus de York et on vous demandera de vous auto-isoler. Des informations additionnelles vous seront également fournies.   
  • Vous devez vous répéter ce processus avant chaque visite sur les campus. Nous encourageons tout le monde à sélectionner l’option de rappels journaliers sur la page d’accueil afin de pouvoir remplir le questionnaire par courriel après l’ouverture de session. 
  • Quand vous êtes sur les campus de York, on peut vous demander de montrer que le dépistage vous autorise à venir ce jour-là. 
Nous vous remercions pour votre coopération et votre engagement envers la santé et la sécurité de la communauté de York durant cette période. Nous vous remercions pour votre patience durant la mise à jour de la version française de l’outil YU dépistage qui sera disponible prochainement. Pour les dernières nouvelles au sujet du retour sécuritaire sur les campus de York, veuillez visiter le site Better Together.
Sincères salutations,  Parissa Safai  
Conseillère spéciale de la présidente pour la planification de la continuité académique et la réponse à la COVID-19

Interim update on provincial announcement, vaccine requirement and screening

Vari Hall from the exterior
Vari Hall

The following is a message to the York University community from Provost and Vice-President Academic Lisa Philipps and Vice-President of Research and Innovation Amir Asif:

La version française suit la version anglaise.

Dear York community,

On Aug. 17, the Ontario government, in consultation with the chief medical officer of health, announced that the province will be pausing its Roadmap to Reopen and will remain in Step 3 at this time. The province also announced that it will be supporting vaccine policies in post-secondary institutions to enable a safe return to campuses this fall.

The University is pleased to see this support for a vaccination mandate across the sector and we have been told that further guidance is forthcoming from the Ministry of Colleges and Universities (MCU) by early next week. Given these latest updates, we wanted to reassure the community that we remain on track for our plans to gradually reopen in-person activities on York’s campuses this fall and our plans have not altered. When we receive further guidance from the MCU, we will update you again on any impacts to our planning.

As well, we continue to advance our plans for implementing the recently announced requirement for all community members and visitors to our campuses to be vaccinated against COVID-19. For those still seeking to schedule appointments, we encourage you to use the provincial booking system or consult local pharmacies or walk-in vaccination clinics across the province. Individuals can prove they are fully vaccinated by showing the physical or emailed receipt that was provided to them at the time of vaccination. Vaccination receipts can be downloaded or printed through the provincial portal or by calling the Provincial Vaccine Booking Line at 1-833-943-3900.

At this time, researchers are still required to be approved in advance to access research facilities on campus. Existing approvals remain in place, and new requests for approval are being accepted, including those for in-person research involving human participants. All researchers must use the Campus Access System to request access from their Faculties and complete daily screening before coming to campus. Research activities must continue to follow necessary health and safety planning and precautions. Associate deans of research will be available to answer any questions posed by the research community.

We also recognize that the public health situation continues to shift and that this can cause confusion and anxiety. We want to reassure you that the health and safety of our community members continues to be our top priority, and we are advancing multiple strategies and initiatives to protect health and safety.

This week, we launched YU Screen, a new automated COVID-19 self-assessment screening tool that all faculty, staff, instructors, students, researchers, and visitors must use before coming to campus to self-screen and confirm that they have not been exposed to COVID-19. For clarity, completing YU Screen before every trip to campus will be additional to complying with the University’s vaccination requirement. More details on this new tool will be shared with you shortly.

We want to thank all of our community members for continuing to do their part to protect themselves and others throughout this pandemic. We look forward to sharing more details with you very shortly about our plans to safely welcome you back to campuses this September.


Lisa Philipps
Provost & Vice-President Academic

Amir Asif
Vice-President, Research & Innovation

Mise à jour provisoire sur l’annonce provinciale relative à l’obligation de vaccination et de dépistage

Chers membres de la communauté de York,

Le 17 août, le gouvernement de l’Ontario, en concertation avec le médecin hygiéniste en chef, a annoncé que la province suspend l’étape postérieure au Plan d’action pour le déconfinement et reste à la troisième étape pour le moment. Il a également annoncé qu’il appuie les politiques de vaccination des établissements postsecondaires afin de favoriser un retour sécuritaire sur les campus cet automne.

L’Université se réjouit de ce soutien envers un mandat de vaccination dans l’ensemble du secteur; d’autres directives du ministère des Collèges et Universités (MCU) sont attendues au début de la semaine prochaine. Étant donné ces derniers développements, nous tenons à rassurer la communauté : nous sommes sur la bonne voie en ce qui concerne les plans de réouverture progressive des activités en personne sur les campus de York cet automne et nos plans n’ont pas changé. Lorsque nous recevrons d’autres directives du MCU, nous vous communiquerons les répercussions éventuelles sur notre planification.

De plus, nous continuons à faire progresser nos plans de mise en œuvre de l’exigence récemment annoncée selon laquelle tous les membres de la communauté et les visiteurs de nos campus doivent être vaccinés contre la COVID-19. Nous encourageons les personnes qui cherchent encore à prendre rendez-vous à utiliser le système provincial de réservation et à consulter les pharmacies locales ou les cliniques de vaccination sans rendez-vous de la province. Les personnes pleinement vaccinées peuvent prouver leur statut vaccinal en montrant le reçu papier ou électronique qui leur a été remis au moment de leur vaccination. Les reçus de vaccination peuvent être téléchargés ou imprimés sur le portail Web provincial ou en appelant la ligne provinciale de réservation des vaccins au 1-833-943-3900.

À l’heure actuelle, les membres de la communauté de recherche doivent être approuvés à l’avance pour accéder aux installations de recherche sur le campus. Les approbations existantes demeurent en vigueur et de nouvelles demandes d’approbation sont acceptées, y compris celles concernant les recherches en personne avec des êtres humains. Tous les membres de la communauté de recherche doivent utiliser le système Campus Access pour demander l’autorisation auprès de leurs facultés et ils doivent effectuer un dépistage quotidien avant de venir sur les campus. Les activités de recherche doivent continuer à respecter les plans et les précautions nécessaires en matière de santé et de sécurité. Les doyens et doyennes associés de la recherche seront également disponibles pour répondre aux questions de la communauté de recherche.

Nous comprenons que la situation sanitaire ne cesse d’évoluer et que cela peut entraîner de la confusion et de l’anxiété. Nous tenons à vous assurer que la santé et la sécurité des membres de notre communauté demeurent notre priorité absolue et que nous mettons en œuvre de multiples stratégies et initiatives pour protéger la santé et la sécurité.

Cette semaine, nous avons lancé YU Dépistage/YU Screen, un nouvel outil automatisé d’autoévaluation de la COVID-19; tous les professeurs, employés, enseignants, étudiants, chercheurs et visiteurs doivent l’utiliser avant de venir sur le campus pour s’autoévaluer et confirmer qu’ils n’ont pas été exposés à la COVID-19. À titre de précision, le fait d’utiliser l’outil YU Dépistage/YU Screen avant chaque visite sur le campus s’ajoute à l’obligation de vaccination de l’Université. Nous vous communiquerons bientôt plus de détails sur ce nouvel outil.

Nous remercions tous les membres de notre communauté qui continuent à faire leur possible pour se protéger et protéger les autres tout au long de cette pandémie. Nous avons hâte de vous fournir prochainement plus d’information sur nos projets pour vous accueillir en toute sécurité sur les campus en septembre.

Sincères salutations,

Lisa Philipps
Rectrice et vice-présidente aux affaires académiques

Amir Asif
Vice-président de la recherche et de l’innovation

Faculty of Education’s UnLeading Project aims to reclaim and redefine leadership


Academics from York University’s Faculty of Education have joined forces to redefine conventional notions of leadership through the UnLeading Project, a newly launched website and podcast series that asks its audience to question the assumptions they have about leadership and the ways they have been socialized into thinking about and enacting it. It promotes the centring of silenced knowledges and knowledge systems, so that transformative possibilities for leading and schooling can be imagined. It explores questions such as: what is leadership; who can be a leader; and what informs how leadership is enacted?The UnLeading Project banner

“Seemingly neutral and apolitical approaches to leadership have inadequately met the longstanding inequities and challenges in Ontario’s public education system,” says project lead Vidya Shah, assistant professor in York’s Faculty of Education. “The undeniable evidence from academic literature, policy, reports, and public outcry speaks to the need for urgent work in transforming systems that can respond to the diverse identities and needs of students and families in Ontario.”

Vidya Shah
Vidya Shah

The UnLeading team – made up of Shah; York Faculty of Education course directors Jocelyn Shih and Sayema Chowdhury; and York master of education student Amanda Lima – was intentional about honouring and affirming the ways in which leadership operates in multiple spaces, within individuals, among collectives and organizations, through ideas and in all of the spaces in between. The intention of UnLeading is to turn leadership on its head and imagine the possibilities that emerge.

The UnLeading website contains the guiding questions that have helped the team to really frame what it is they are attempting to do with this project. The Systems of Oppression tab identifies some of the key logics in each of these systems that are often normalized and naturalized as the status quo. The website also contains teasers for the first set of podcast episodes.

The podcast series – launching on Aug. 31, with one new episode to be released each week thereafter – is designed for aspiring leaders and people currently in formal leadership positions, but it is also for those who don’t see themselves as leaders and those who are actively resisting formal leadership roles because they are worried about how these roles might change them. Listeners will notice that the podcast’s guests come from the community, classrooms, schools, school districts and the academy, providing a range of perspectives and approaches to leadership. Podcast topics include: decolonizing and uncolonizing leadership, community-centred leadership, culturally relevant and anti-racist leadership, queering leadership and critical spirituality in leadership.

For more information about the project and the podcast, visit the UnLeading website at yorku.ca/edu/unleading.

Pandemic news consumption affects work engagement, study shows

Photo by rawpixel on Unsplash

News consumption has increased significantly during the COVID-19 pandemic as people try to make sense of the constantly evolving situation. However, there is evidence that consuming a significant amount of negative news can be anxiety-provoking and negatively affect mental health. How does this affect workers’ ability to be engaged at work during the pandemic?

Winny Shen
Winny Shen

Schulich School of Business organization studies Professor Winny Shen and her collaborators, Stephanie Andel from Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis and Maryana Arvan from the University of North Carolina at Charlotte, set out to answer this question.

“Early on during the pandemic, the World Health Organization came out with recommendations that people should limit their consumption of news related to COVID-19 to just one to two times per day and from trusted news sources, and this really caught our attention,” says Shen.

Consider a worker who cannot stop watching the news because the number of cases in their community is rising. This worker is likely to feel significant anxiety due to their continued consumption of news, as the media tends to use attention-grabbing headlines to get us to keep tuning in or clicking on online articles. This anxiety may then interfere with workers’ ability to get absorbed in and mentally devote themselves to their work, as worrying may leave them with little energy or serve as an intrusive distraction when working. Workers may also differ in the extent to which their anxiety detracts from their work engagement.

In their new study published in the Journal of Applied Psychology, Shen and her collaborators examine relationships between COVID-19 news consumption, anxiety, work engagement and occupational calling by following a sample of 281 Canadian workers over a period of eight weeks during the first wave of the pandemic. They found that on weeks where workers watched more news than usual, they experienced greater anxiety, and consequently lower work engagement; however, workers who felt called to their job because it provides them a sense of purpose and fulfillment were able to maintain high levels of work engagement even when they felt highly anxious. Moreover, workers who were more engaged with their job in a given week generally experienced lower anxiety the following week.

“We’ve all heard a lot about the many difficulties of working during the pandemic,” says Shen. “Our study points to the fact that being engaged in their work can be beneficial for many workers, perhaps by helping them replenish or gain important resources, which can then help them manage their stress and anxiety.” Shen also acknowledges that this benefit does not seem to occur for everyone. The study finds that for workers who are drawn to their work because it allows them to help others, high levels of work engagement does not seem to pay off by reducing subsequent feelings of anxiety. This suggests that these workers may be particularly vulnerable during the pandemic, as their anxiety or investment in their work may tend to make them feel like they are not doing enough.

“With everything going on, many companies are worried about engagement during the pandemic,” says Shen. “Our work suggests that in order to promote an engaged workforce, companies should try to help their workers find personal fulfillment, joy and purpose in the work that they are doing.”