Office of the President http://president.yorku.ca Thu, 10 May 2018 20:28:36 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.9.5 York University President and VPRI acknowledge research leaders http://president.yorku.ca/2018/05/york-university-president-and-vpri-acknowledge-research-leaders/ Thu, 10 May 2018 20:27:54 +0000 http://president.yorku.ca/?p=9809 The following is a joint statement from York University President and Vice-Chancellor Rhonda L. Lenton, and Vice-President Research and Innovation Robert Haché:

Research excellence and innovation at York University are flourishing. York University’s researchers − recognized leaders and pioneers in their fields − are deeply committed to advancing innovative research projects across the vast spectrum of disciplines for the social, economic, cultural, environmental and other well-being of society.

Cover of the Research Leaders book

 

Each spring, the President and the Vice-President Research & Innovation of York University take the opportunity to acknowledge York’s research leaders, and recognize the remarkable achievements of York’s community over the past year.

We are deeply committed to supporting our researchers and scholars, and wish to extend our warmest congratulations and best wishes to all our research leaders for their continued success.

We encourage everyone to read this year’s research leaders booklet on the VPRI website.

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York U space technology team to participate in new Canadian Space Agency initiative http://president.yorku.ca/2018/05/york-u-space-technology-team-to-participate-in-new-canadian-space-agency-initiative/ Fri, 04 May 2018 13:49:34 +0000 http://president.yorku.ca/?p=9806 TORONTO, ON Friday May 4, 2018— Today, at an event hosted by the University of Manitoba, Canadian Space Agency (CSA) astronaut Jennifer Sidey unveiled the research teams selected to take part in the CSA Canadian CubeSat Project. A total of 15 teams from across Canada have been selected to participate in the initiative, including a team of researchers from York University’s Lassonde School of Engineering, led by Professor George Z.H. Zhu, York’s Research Chair in Space Technology.

Research Chair in Space Technology at York University, George Z.H. Zhu and team

Professor Zhu has been awarded a $200,000 grant to support the project, which will be used to test a Canadian-developed wide-angle camera that observes snow and ice coverage in Northern Canada. The satellite will be sent to the International Space Station in 2020 and then ejected into orbit approximately 400km above earth.

Canadian space agency cubesat project

Photo Credit: The Canadian Space Agency

Data collected is expected to help map the thawing of Arctic ice and permafrost and give a better picture of the impacts of climate change.

Zhu’s team will operate the satellite from the ground station at York’s Lassonde School of Engineering.

“Our mission could provide a means to conduct earth observation at a much lower cost and higher frequency,” said Zhu, “It will also provide a real flight opportunity for students to design, build and operate a satellite, which has not been possible in the past.”

As part of the project, the York University engineering students will have the opportunity to experience operating satellites and to conduct science experiments in space

“York is a Canadian leader in space engineering and technology, and we continue to build this area of strength, including through the innovative research led by Professor Zhu,” said Rhonda L. Lenton, President and Vice-Chancellor, York University. “This grant from the CSA will further enhance our students’ experiential learning opportunities, while supporting Canada’s space mission aimed at better understanding the impacts of climate change.”

York University champions new ways of thinking that drive teaching and research excellence. Our students receive the education they need to create big ideas that make an impact on the world. Meaningful and sometimes unexpected careers result from cross-disciplinary programming, innovative course design and diverse experiential learning opportunities. York students and graduates push limits, achieve goals and find solutions to the world’s most pressing social challenges, empowered by a strong community that opens minds. York U is an internationally recognized research university – our 11 faculties and 25 research centres have partnerships with 200+ leading universities worldwide. Located in Toronto, York is the third largest university in Canada, with a strong community of 53,000 students, 7,000 faculty and administrative staff, and more than 300,000 alumni.

York U's fully bilingual Glendon Campus is home to Southern Ontario's Centre of Excellence for French Language and Bilingual Postsecondary Education.

Background: Link to CSA backgrounder

Media contact: Anjum Nayyar, York University Media Relations, 416 736 2100 ext. 44543 anayyar@yorku.ca

Canadian Space Agency, Media Relations Office, (450) 926-4370 ASC.Medias-Media.CSA@canada.ca

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York University gains four new Canada Research Chairs and two renewed appointments http://president.yorku.ca/2018/05/york-university-gains-four-new-canada-research-chairs-and-two-renewed-appointments/ Thu, 03 May 2018 13:46:00 +0000 http://president.yorku.ca/?p=9804 York University welcomes the appointment of four new Canada Research Chairs, who will study topics ranging from the impact of government policy on migrant workers to how to improve camera images used for scientific tasks.

The Government of Canada announced the CRC recipients today. Researchers at post-secondary institutions across Canada will receive $158.7 million in funding under the CRC program; for each Tier 1 appointment the university receives $200,000 annually for seven years, while for Tier 2 CRCs it will receive $100,000 annually for five years. The CRCs are also supported with $8.3 million in research infrastructure funding from the Canada Foundation for Innovation.

CRC appointments at York include professors Regina Rini, Michael Brown, Kate Tilleczek and Ethel Tungohan. Today’s announcement also included CRC renewals for Gordon Flett and John Tsotsos.

“The CRC program supports some of the most important and exciting research being done at York,” said Robert Haché, vice-president research & innovation. “We are particularly proud that the four CRCs announced today, and the successful renewals of two more, represent research across the university, from the Lassonde School of Engineering to the Faculty of Education, and the Faculty of Health to the Faculty of Liberal Arts & Professional Studies.”

The four CRCs announced today include:

Regina Rini, Canada Research Chair in Philosophy of Moral and Social Cognition (Tier 2) Assistant Professor, Department of Philosophy, Faculty of Liberal Arts & Professional Studies − Rini’s research focuses on how people in democratic societies justify their social beliefs to one another. Her work analyzes research from the social sciences, especially cognitive science and sociology, to draw conclusions about how public debate currently works. She also investigates philosophical questions about what it means to improve public debate. How can we take deep moral and political difference seriously while remaining respectful in a diverse society? Rini's central answer is a connection between public discourse and personal moral agency. She argues that we cannot understand our individual moral and political decisions without also understanding how we relate to those of others.

Michael Brown, Canada Research Chair in Computer Vision (Tier 1)
Professor, Department of Electrical Engineering & Computer Science, Lassonde School of Engineering –
Brown’s research aims to improve the understanding of the physical world through camera images by: investigating image formation models that describe how incoming light (i.e., physical scene irradiance) is converted to camera sensor responses under different imaging scenarios; and designing novel in-camera imaging pipelines that produce image outputs suitable for both photographic and scientific tasks. His program is strongly aligned with York University’s $33.3 million Canada First Research Excellence Fund program, Vision: Science to Applications (VISTA), which focuses on research in biological and computational computer vision.

Kate Tilleczek, Canada Research Chair in Young Lives, Education and Global Good (Tier 1)
Professor, Faculty of Education (commencing July 1) −
Tilleczek’s research examines how education can better assist more young people and provides unique national and international data on critical risk and protective situations encountered by contemporary youth. Her work documents how marginal youth are affected by shifting global and local contexts such as digital technology and mental health challenges. It unearths the positive and resilient aspects of young lives and provides longitudinal and cross-cultural comparisons in Canada and beyond. Her research is mobilized to the academy, communities, and decision makers who are in positions to better support youth. The Chair also builds new global youth partnerships, linking young people across countries and cultures to develop social innovations for the greatest challenges they face.

Ethel Tungohan, Canada Research Chair in Canadian Migration Policy, Impacts and Activism (Tier 2)
Assistant Professor, Department of Politics, Faculty of Liberal Arts & Professional Studies −
Tungohan will undertake an analysis of discourses that have underpinned the Canadian government’s policies towards temporary foreign workers from 1973 until 2017 and the nature of these policies and their effects on different groups of temporary foreign workers. She will also examine the range of migrant workers’ social movement activities that have emerged as a response, in particular, to anti-migrant discourses and policies.


CRC renewals announced today include:

John Tsotsos, Canada Research Chair in Computational Vision (Tier 1)
Professor, Department of Electrical Engineering &Computer Science, Lassonde School of Engineering −
Tsotsos’ research focuses on two main goals: to further understanding of how vision can be the primary sense that guides human behavior, and to use this understanding to build active agents that purposely behave in real environments. Using human experimental studies and the full spectrum of computational methods, Tsotsos will extend his model of visual attention to support visual reasoning and task execution in dynamic environments. These require interactions with memory, control, sensor sub-systems, and joint attention for interactions with other agents. The research is relevant for applications to autonomous driving, companion robots for the elderly and robots in manufacturing.anti-migrant discourses and policies.

Gordon Flett, Canada Research Chair in Personality and Health (Tier 1)
Professor, Department of Psychology, Faculty of Health –
Flett’s past research on perfectionism and its consequences has established that the perfectionism construct is complex and multi-faceted and associated with numerous costs and consequences. His research will now further increase understanding of the vulnerability inherent in dysfunctional perfectionism. A series of investigations will evaluate a failure orientation theory and test unique conceptualizations of the cognitive and motivational aspects of perfectionism. Research will also elaborate the developmental roots of perfectionism in children and adolescents. Finally, his research will assess conceptual models linking perfectionism with health problems.

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York University is one of Canada’s Greenest Employers for sixth consecutive time http://president.yorku.ca/2018/04/york-university-is-one-of-canadas-greenest-employers-for-sixth-consecutive-time/ Fri, 20 Apr 2018 14:17:59 +0000 http://president.yorku.ca/?p=9698 How does an institution like York University become one of Canada’s Greenest Employers for the sixth consecutive time? By reducing annual electrical consumption by 34,730,786 kWh, saving $5M in utilities every year, and recycling 3,705,780 kg of waste, for starters.

In the 11 years since the Canada’s Greenest Employers competition began, York has landed on the list of Canada’s Top 100 Employers for sustainability initiatives more than half the time. York is one of only eight out of close to 100 universities across Canada to win a spot at the top.

As a leader in sustainability, the University has embarked on several environmentally friendly initiatives that alter the footprint of campus buildings, such as five green roofs, the use of PV solar panels, the collection of rainwater, a solar powered electric vehicle charging station, and the LEED Gold certified Bergeron Centre for Engineering Excellence. Three more buildings are also LEED certified.

York’s sustainability highlights:

  • As a long-time member of Smart Commute, York has successfully reduced the use of single occupant vehicles to campus from 70 per cent to 20 per cent;
  • York’s ZeroWaste program diverts 68 per cent of waste from landfills;
  • York has the largest and first of its kind Faculty of Environmental Studies;
  • The new Eco Campus in Costa Rica next to the largest rainforest ecosystem in Centre America;
  • York offers more than 500 courses that relate to environmental and sustainability studies;
  • 22 kilometres of walking paths and more than 200 gardens, including the 2,000-sq-ft Maloca Community Garden; and
  • Water refill stations across the University replaced disposable water bottles.

For more, read the York University Sustainability Report.

York University champions new ways of thinking that drive teaching and research excellence. Our students receive the education they need to create big ideas that make an impact on the world. Meaningful and sometimes unexpected careers result from cross-disciplinary programming, innovative course design and diverse experiential learning opportunities. York students and graduates push limits, achieve goals and find solutions to the world’s most pressing social challenges, empowered by a strong community that opens minds. York U is an internationally recognized research university – our 11 faculties and 25 research centres have partnerships with 200+ leading universities worldwide. Located in Toronto, York is the third largest university in Canada, with a strong community of 53,000 students, 7,000 faculty and administrative staff, and more than 300,000 alumni. York U's fully bilingual Glendon Campus is home to Southern Ontario's Centre of Excellence for French Language and Bilingual Postsecondary Education.

Background:

Canada’s Greenest Employers is part of the Canada's Top 100 Employers project managed by Mediacorp Canada Inc. Learn more about the full list of winners.

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Winners of the 2017 President’s Staff Recognition Awards named http://president.yorku.ca/2018/03/winners-of-the-2017-presidents-staff-recognition-awards-named/ Thu, 22 Mar 2018 16:00:24 +0000 http://president.yorku.ca/?p=9660 As part of York University’s commitment to fostering employee engagement and recognizing excellence, the University celebrates the achievements of its dedicated staff each year through the President’s Staff Recognition Awards. This year, as in previous years, a number of nominations were put forward for these awards. After careful deliberation by selection committees, York University President and Vice-Chancellor Rhonda Lenton is pleased to acknowledge the recipients and nominees of the 2017 President’s Staff Recognition Awards.

“The recipients of the President’s Staff Recognition Awards represent the very best of York University: Their hard work and commitment facilitates the high-quality teaching and learning, research, scholarship and creative activities for which our community has become known,” said Lenton. “These awards are an opportunity to recognize and celebrate the excellence that our dedicated staff members demonstrate and the meaningful impact they are making at the University and beyond.”

The winners will be honoured, and their achievements celebrated, at an awards dinner on May 2.

The awards, recipients and nominees are as follows:

The Ronald Kent Medal

Suzette Aleung

Suzette Aleung

Suzette Aleung, senior academic advisor, Academic Advising, Faculty of LA&PS

This medal recognizes the contributions of employees who promote and strengthen the collegiality, values and goals of York University.

Also nominated for this award:

  • Ann-Marie Carless, administrative assistant, Department of Mathematics & Statistics, Faculty of Science;
  • Cheryl Dickie, technical learning specialist, Talent Acquisition & Development, Human Resources;
  • Patricia Gagliardi-Ursua, post-award administrator, Office of the Dean, Faculty of Health;
  • Shawn Kirkup, senior business systems analyst, OUR Systems, Office of the University Registrar;
  • Vita Lobo, administrative assistant, School of Administrative Studies, Faculty of Liberal Arts & Professional Studies;
  • Alda Lone, undergraduate programs coordinator, Department of Social Sciences, Faculty of Liberal Arts & Professional Studies;
  • Ruth Milton, administrative assistant, Department of Mechanical Engineering, Lassonde School of Engineering; and
  • Patricia Munoz, administrative assistant, Department of English.

The Deborah Hobson York Citizenship Award

Randy Pitawanakwat

Randy Pitawanakwat

Randy Pitawanakwat, coordinator, Aboriginal Student Services

This award recognizes employees who have demonstrated a high level of service to students and who promote York’s spirit in terms of creativity, innovation and redefining the possible in service to the university community.

Also nominated for this award:

  • Melissa Falotico, undergraduate program secretary, Department of Politics, Faculty of Liberal Arts & Professional Studies;
  • Raya Gal, simulation manager, School of Nursing, Faculty of Health;
  • Mavis Griffin, undergraduate program assistant, Department of Equity Studies, Faculty of Liberal Arts & Professional Studies;
  • Marc Powell, student program assistant/assessor, Undergraduate Student Services, BEd, Admissions and Registration; and
  • Karen Swartz, director, Physical, Sensory & Medical Disability Services.

The President’s Leadership Award

Sarah Howe

Sarah Howe

Sarah Howe, director, Innovation York

The President’s Leadership Award recognizes contributions that go beyond the published requirements of a position – performance levels that foster a high level of professionalism and usually extend beyond an individual department into the University community at large.

Also nominated for this award:

  • David Bell, executive director, Development & Alumni Relations, External Relations & Alumni Affairs, Schulich School of Business;
  • Robert Everett, assistant secretary of the University, University Secretariat;
  • Margaret Hough, director Research & Partnerships, Office of the Dean, Faculty of Science;
  • Helen McLellan, executive officer, Office of the Dean, Faculty of Science;
  • Zam Mohammed, human resources business parter, Advancement Services & Operations;
  • Salvatore Paneduro, accreditation strategist, Office of the Dean, Lassonde School of Engineering;
  • Cameron Rogers, assistant comptroller and budget manager, Office of Budgets & Planning, Finance; and
  • Brad Sheeller, manager, Health Safety & Compliance, Office of the Dean, Faculty of Science.

The President’s Voice of York Award

Shaila Khan

Shaila Khan

Shaila Khan, coordinator, Student Transition Programs, Student Engagement & First Year Experience

The Voice of York Award is given to an individual who is a first-line-of-contact person at York University. The most important voice of York is the one who makes the first contact with a visitor or a community member. Compassion and professionalism, particularly in handling difficult or sensitive situations, is essential to our work at York University.

Also nominated for this award:

  • Carolyn Cross, administrative secretary, Department of Politics, Faculty of Liberal Arts & Professional Studies;
  • Josiane Kwan-Tat, administrative assistant, Department of French Studies;
  • Libi Lancia, administrative assistant, Department of Science & Technology Studies, Faculty of Science;
  • Andrew Little, campus relations official, Security Services, Department of Community Safety;
  • Primrose Miranda, graduate program assistant, Department of Mathematics & Statistics, Faculty of Science;
  • Tara McMillen, student advisor/recruitment coordinator;
  • Dharti Patel, first year undergraduate program assistant, Department of Biology, Faculty of Science; and
  • Anne Ralph, undergraduate program assistant, Department of Geography, Faculty of Liberal Arts & Professional Studies.

The Phyllis Clark Campus Service Award

Tom Hammond

Tom Hammond

Tom Hammond, custodian, York Apartments, Housing Services

This award is presented annually to a non-academic employee of York University who has made exemplary contributions to the operations of either of York’s campuses in terms of efficiency, cleanliness, safety, security and/or other campus or plant services.

Also nominated for this award:

  • Penny O’Connor, custodian-team leader, Custodial Services, Campus Services & Business Operations;
  • Marisa Politi, custodian days, Custodial Services, Campus Services & Business; and
  • Jason Springer, senior security official, Investigations, Department of Community Services.

The Gary Brewer Emerging Leader Award

Lisa Rumiel

Lisa Rumiel

Lisa Rumiel, manager, Research Priorities & Strategic Partnerships, Office of the Associate Dean, Graduate Studies & Research

This award is presented annually to a non-academic employee of York University who has shown tremendous promise for assuming a leadership role at the University, is known for their innovative and meaningful contributions to the effectiveness of their unit and has significantly contributed to the University’s commitment to excellence. The award recognizes and encourages early-career professionals who have demonstrated significant promise of leadership in their career.

Also nominated for this award:

  • Anesa Albert, executive assistant to the Dean and AVP Graduate, Office of the Dean, Faculty of Graduate Studies;
  • Dimitra Markatas, executive assistant , Office of the Dean, Faculty of Science;
  • Adam Duncan, student academic advisor, Academic Advising, Faculty of Liberal Arts & Professional Studies;
  • Boris Remes, assistant director, Recruitment & Admissions, Student Services & International Relations, Schulich School of Business; and
  • Amanda Sartori, student life coordinator, Office of Student Affairs.

The Harriet Lewis Team Award for Service Excellence

Information Technology Services

Information Technology Services, Glendon Campus

  • Information Technology Services, Glendon Campus
  • Aladin Alaily, director, Information Technology Services, Glendon Campus
  • Duncan Appleton, media technologist, Information Technology Services, Glendon Campus
  • Kevin James Friedberg, operations and events technician, Information Technology Services, Glendon Campus
  • Mireille Kasembe Nyindu, administrative coordinator, Information Technology Services, Glendon Campus
  • Luc Mallet, systems administrator, Glendon Information Technology Services
  • Johanna Parrales, web programmer, Glendon Information Technology Services
  • Patrick Thibaudeau, manager, Information Systems & Technology Enhanced Learning, Information Technology Services, Glendon Campus

This award recognizes a team’s excellence in service and support to students, faculty, staff and/or other service users and its promotion of the York spirit in terms of imagination, creativity, innovation and redefining the possible in service to York’s community (internal or external).

Also nominated for this award:

1. Department of Psychology, Graduate Office

  • Lori-Anne Santos, administrative assistant Graduate Program
  • Freda Ann Soltau, graduate program secretary
  • Barbara Thurston, graduate program secretary

2. Administrative Team, School of Kinesiology and Health Science

  • Laura Austen, administrative assistant to the Chair
  • Marco Colavecchia, undergraduate lab technician
  • Monica Hamilton Elliot, administrative assistant
  • Frances Koulougliotis, undergraduate program assistant
  • Stephanie Marston, graduate program assistant
  • Megan O’Brien, undergraduate program secretary
  • Maria Pestrin, undergraduate program assistant
  • Mary Saad, undergraduate academic advisor

3. Office of Institutional Planning and Analysis

  • Iris An, senior financial analyst
  • Sarah Cantrell, assistant vice-president
  • Patrick Cernea, business intelligence strategist
  • Stephen Childs, senior institutional analyst, Surveys and Special Projects
  • Mark Conrad, director, Institutional Enrolment and Resource Planning
  • Sylvia Xieqing Lin, senior institutional analyst, Research and Special Projects
  • Mira Miller, senior institutional analyst
  • Sonia Pettinella, senior advisor, Policy and Process
  • Josephine Tang, SAS programmer
  • Melissa Schiralli, administrative coordinator
  • Richard Smith, director, Institutional Research, Reporting and Analysis
  • Syed Azizuddin Quadri, senior SAS technical advisor

4. Technical Service Department, Faculty of Science

  • Sherryl Deane, storekeeper
  • Jerry Grech, machine shop coordinator
  • Tyrone Lew, electronics engineering technical
  • Wilfred Stein, machine stop technician
  • Dirk Verdoold, glassblower
  • Amal Youssef, storekeeper

5. Premier Events Team

  • Aldo Altomare, director, Security Services, Department of Community Safety
  • Paul Benoit, assistant manager, Security Operations, Security Services, Department of Community Safety
  • Nicole Arsenault, manager, Transportation and Student Services, Campus Services and Business Operations
  • Pamela Boyce-Richard, manager, Parking Operations, Campus Services and Business Operations
  • Ron Carpentier, manager, Business Development, Athletics and Reaction
  • Jonathan Cevallos, coordinator, Building Production, Athletics and Recreation
  • Peter Colasante, interim manager, Corrective Maintenance, Campus Services and Business Operations
  • Christopher Collins, manager, Security Training and Standards Security Services, Department of Community Safety
  • Michael Daigle, manager, Network Operations, UIT
  • Kim Flear, Accommodation and Conference Services, Campus Services and Business Operations
  • Meagan Heath, manager, Facility Operations, Athletics and Recreation
  • Valerio Larivera, supervisor, Grounds Management, Grounds, Fleet and Waste Management, Campus Services and Business Operations
  • Andrew Little, campus relations official, Security Services, Department of Community Safety
  • Ted Malkos, manager, Parking Facilities, Parking Operations, Campus Services and Business Operations
  • Randy Pitawanakwat, coordinator, Aboriginal Student Services, Centre for Aboriginal Student Services
  • Gui Politano, operations supervisor, Evening Shift, Custodial Services, Campus Services and Business Operations
  • Eriks Rugelis, manager, Network Development, Network Development, UIT
  • Cassandra Russo, coordinator, Business Development, Athletics and Recreation
  • Joseph Sanguedolce, manager, Custodial Services, Campus Services and Business Operations
  • Dragan Spasojevic, manager, Community Relations and Crime Prevention, Security Services, Department of Community Safety
  • Ronald Tapley, manager, Investigations and Threat Assessment, Security Services, Department of Community Safety
  • Kim Tapp, operations supervisor, day shift, Custodial Services, Campus Services and Business Operations
  • Manny Troitino, coordinator, Facility Operations, Athletics and Recreations
  • Braeden Urbanek, manager, Accommodation and Conference Services, Campus Services and Business Operations
  • Pat Quinn, supervisor, Zone 1, Maintenance, Campus Services and Business Operations

6. Subway Safety Team

  • Aldo Altomare, director, Security Services, Department of Community Safety
  • Nicole Arsenault, manager, Transportation and Student Services, Transportation Services, Campus Services and Business Operations
  • Katherine Branton, manager, Emergency Preparedness Program, Office of Emergency Preparedness, Community Safety Department
  • Joanne Cary, associate director, Administration, HR Services – CSBO, Human Resources
  • Christopher Collins, manager, Security Training and Standards, Security Services, Department of Community Safety
  • Rob Finlayson, manager, Learning Technologies, Learning Technology Services, UIT
  • Sheila Forshaw, executive director, Resources, Vice-Provost Students
  • Jay Majithia, health and safety advisor, Health, Safety and Employee Well-Being, Human Resources
  • Paul Mayol, senior advisor, Institutional Initiatives, Vice-President Finance and Administration
  • Grant McNair, senior media operations technician, Learning Technology Services, UIT
  • April Nietzschmann, campus relations official, Security Services, Community Safety Department
  • Richard Ooi, SEO/executive director, Academic Administration, Vice-President Academic and Provost
  • Steve Pottle, director, Risk Management Services, Finance Department
  • Samina Sami, executive director, Community Safety, Department of Community Safety
  • Ronald Tapley, manager, Investigations and Threat Assessment, Security Services, Department of Community Safety
  • Rod Thornton, director, Strategic Communications
  • Andrew Little, campus relations official, Security Services, Department of Community Safety
  • Rose Loncar, emergency management coordinator, Emergency Preparedness, Department of Community Safety

For more information on each of the awards and past recipients, visit the President’s Staff Recognition Awards website.

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New building at York University will help to meet growing demand for Continuing Studies http://president.yorku.ca/2018/02/new-building-at-york-university-will-help-to-meet-growing-demand-for-continuing-studies/ Wed, 28 Feb 2018 20:29:37 +0000 http://president.yorku.ca/?p=9419 York University will add a new School of Continuing Studies building to its Keele campus to accommodate significant growth and support the creation of even more innovative programs for recent graduates, working professionals, international students and new Canadians in the future.

The University’s Board of Governors on Tuesday approved a total project budget of $50.5 million for the design and construction of a new building. The School of Continuing Studies plans to break ground on the project in 2019 so it can move classes currently being held across campus into the new building in 2021.

The School of Continuing Studies was established three years ago, bringing together continuing professional education programs and English language support at York to form one of the largest Schools in Canada.

image of the design concept for the school of Continuing Studies building

The design concept image of future building for the School of Continuing Studies, courtesy of Perkins+Will.

“The creation of a new, stand-alone home for our School of Continuing Studies is another important step forward in improving access to post-secondary education at York,” said President and Vice-Chancellor Rhonda Lenton. “This new building will enable us to create even more lifelong learning opportunities, build connections with local and international communities, and help students of all ages and backgrounds to achieve their fullest potential.”

An early design concept and budget estimate indicates a building sized at 9,000 square metres, with 39 classrooms, student lounges and social spaces, private work and breakout spaces, as well as space for 150 staff and instructors. It will be situated at the corner of The Pond Road and James Gillies Street, just south of the Bennett Centre for Student Services and close to the new York University TTC Station.

The School of Continuing Studies houses the largest English language institute of any university in Canada. Nearly one-third of all international students who began their studies at York last year started with English academic preparation through the School.

With significant growth in its certificate programs, classroom space is also a significant challenge for the School’s continuing professional education programs. Working with senior executives from Toronto’s leading employers, the School develops accelerated programs which efficiently prepare graduates to fill critical skills shortages in the technology and business sectors including data analytics, cyber security, risk management, machine learning and other emerging fields. It has ambitious plans to launch several new programs each year to address what the World Economic Forum has called the skills gaps crisis of the “4th Industrial Revolution.”

“This building is critical to expand access to the English-language university pathways that support international students and new Canadians, and innovative continuing education to support young professionals and employees to meet the rapidly evolving demands of the workplaces of tomorrow,” said Tracey Taylor-O’Reilly, assistant vice-president, Continuing Studies.

The School held a design competition, through which three architectural firms were shortlisted to present design concepts for the purpose of the competition, and to provide preliminary costing estimates. The three firms – HOK, Gow Hastings Architects with Henning Larsen, and Perkins+Will – were asked to consider how to integrate the building with the existing campus community, pedestrian and bicycle usage, as well as to consider sustainability strategies such as the use of  structural cross-laminated timbers, natural light, wind, solar or geothermal technologies, and a LEED gold minimum  standard. Recognizing that the building will occupy a gateway site to the University, the firms were requested to consider the aesthetic impact to the public. The design will further consider the possibility of achieving a net-zero standard, with the objective of minimizing energy consumption and greenhouse gas emisssions, a theme central to Ontario’s greenhouse gas reduction program. Finally, the building will reflect York University’s focus on accessibility, and will incorporate current and leading accessibility design practices.

York’s capital project management team has selected the architectural firm of Perkins+Will as the competition winner, for project design services. Construction tendering will follow final design.

For an image of the early design concept, please click HERE. Please credit image as follows: Design concept image courtesy of Perkins+Will.

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York University applauds Canada’s commitment to invest in research at post-secondary institutions http://president.yorku.ca/2018/02/york-university-applauds-canadas-commitment-to-invest-in-research-at-post-secondary-institutions/ Tue, 27 Feb 2018 20:34:25 +0000 http://president.yorku.ca/?p=9422 York University President & Vice-Chancellor Rhonda Lenton applauds the Government of Canada for its significant investment in research that will ensure Canada remains competitive and a leader in the global economy.

In presenting his 2018 federal budget, Minister of Finance Bill Morneau announced a nearly $4 billion boost over five years into Canada’s research system. The investments announced in the Budget will strengthen Canada’s capacity for ground-breaking discovery research, provide funding for equipment and tools to support research, help attract and retain talented people, and foster the culture of innovation that Canada needs to thrive in the globally competitive research environment.

“Today’s budget sends a strong message that the Canadian government recognizes the importance of investing in both applied and discovery-based research and strategic research infrastructure, enabling Canada’s universities to build on their strengths in advancing creativity, knowledge production and commercialization potential, and ensuring that Canadian expertise is at the global table, contributing solutions to the world’s most challenging problems and helping to drive the economy forward,” said Lenton.

The support for research delivered by the Government of Canada through the three federal granting councils (SSHRC, NSERC, CIHR) is vital to the success of Canada’s researchers. York is pleased to see the government commit to investing $925 million over five years and a commitment for ongoing funding for all three granting councils. In addition, the budget includes a commitment to create a new tri-council fund to support international, interdisciplinary, fast-breaking and higher-risk research.

York is pleased with the government’s commitment to increased and sustained funding to support state-of-the-art infrastructure through the CFI, funding projects that fuel research by investing in research-specific facilities and equipment. This investment of $763 million over five years will help to realize the development of strategic research facilities, enabling universities to leverage matching funds from provincial governments, private-sector partners and other supporting contributions from non-profit sector organizations and private donors in the development of world-class research facilities and centres.

The budget also makes commitments that will increase diversity in research and help develop Canada’s next generation of research leaders. This commitment is in complete alignment with York University’s values and strategic priorities and we are pleased to see this commitment by the Federal Government.

Lastly, the government’s commitment to increase the Research Support Fund by investing $231.3 million over five years will provide York University with additional resources to cover indirect costs of research.

Quick Facts

  • York University is Canada’s third-largest university with over 53,000 students.
  • York’s 11 faculties and 24 research centres have partnerships with more than 288 universities worldwide.
  • When measured by research impact, York’s programs in engineering, psychology, physics & astronomy, economics & finance, business management and accounting are ranked with the top 10 universities in Canada, and within the top 5 in Ontario.
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Sanofi Pasteur and NSERC invest in $2.6 million collaboration at York University to combat infectious diseases with Math http://president.yorku.ca/2018/01/sanofi-pasteur-and-nserc-invest-in-2-6-million-collaboration-at-york-university-to-combat-infectious-diseases-with-math/ Tue, 23 Jan 2018 16:43:00 +0000 http://president.yorku.ca/?p=8996 A major new research initiative based in the Faculty of Science at York University will develop mathematical techniques to identify populations most susceptible to infectious diseases and enable manufacturers to produce cost-effective vaccines that can be deployed quickly. The research is also expected to better position Canada to respond rapidly to emerging public health issues such as Zika outbreaks.

The $2.6-million NSERC/Sanofi Industrial Research Chair in Vaccine Mathematics, Modelling and Manufacturing, awarded to York University Distinguished Research Professor Jianhong Wu, was announced at York today.  A professor in the Department of Mathematics & Statistics, Faculty of Science, Wu will lead a large team of York professors, post-doctoral fellows and graduate students.

York University Distinguished Research Professor Jianhong Wu Faculty of Science

Sanofi Pasteur, which has previously collaborated with York on a number of major projects related to infectious disease modelling, will invest $1.5 million over five years. The Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC) will provide $1 million through its Industrial Research Chair program, established to help universities build on existing strengths in areas of interest to industry. The remainder will be contributed by York University through various supports.

Manufacturers of vaccines in Canada are facing a number of significant challenges: the increasing cost of developing vaccines, the need to move rapidly from development and production of vaccines to mass use in target populations; and the complexity of understanding how infectious disease is transmitted, in an increasingly interconnected world.

Canadian vaccine manufacturers and regulatory authorities need to be able to make evidence-based predictions and develop new technologies to analyze how diseases are transmitted. Wu and his team will develop fundamental mathematical theories, methodologies, techniques and tools to analyze infection risk in populations, map the spread of disease through mathematical modelling and conduct cost-benefit analyses of immunization programs based on vaccine efficiency and industrial production capacity.

The IRC program will include projects that will study: the use of vaccines to address hospital acquired infections such as Clostridium difficile (C.diff) and the need to combat colonization of hospital wards; transmission of influenza in three-generation households to determine if there are segments of the population where the high-dose flu vaccine should be targeted; and the impact of childhood immunization on transmission of disease, along with optimal programs of booster follow-ups.

Sanofi Pasteur will benefit from the mathematical methodologies and technologies developed as well as the datasets collected and analyzed. York students will benefit from Sanofi Pasteur’s research and development expertise, and gain valuable experiential education opportunities, as they train to become Canada’s next generation of experts in mathematical modelling, data analytics, economic evaluation and infectious disease dynamics.

Wu, who is also a Canada Research Chair in Industrial and Applied Mathematics, founded York’s Centre for Disease Modelling, which has developed many international partnerships: with China on communicable disease modelling and management; with India on vector-borne disease informatics; with Brazil on health informatics; and with many European and North American groups on a wide variety of major diseases. The Industrial Research Chair project will use his Laboratory for Industrial and Applied Mathematics and York’s Advanced Disaster, Emergency and Rapid Response Simulation facilities.


QUOTES:

“The NSERC/Sanofi Industrial Research Chair grant is a testimony to the leadership that both NSERC and Sanofi Pasteur provide in supporting impactful research excellence and innovation at York University. As an innovative scientist and a leader in his field, Dr. Wu is the well-deserving recipient of this Industrial Research Chair grant, which will leverage the world-class disease modelling expertise at York to meet significant challenges faced by Canadian vaccine manufacturers.”
Rhonda L. Lenton, President and Vice-Chancellor, York University

“NSERC’s Industrial Research Chairs provide a unique platform that combines the forces of academic and industry partners, turning great ideas into real-world solutions. Dr. Wu and his team’s new mathematical technologies could help cut development costs and the time to bring vaccines to market, accelerating the impact on patients’ health.”
B. Mario Pinto, President, Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada

“Sanofi in Canada is proud to support this collaborative effort. It is another great example of how industry, academia and government can come together to benefit Canadians and support the advancement of science in our country. As Canada’s leading investor in biopharmaceutical R&D, having consistently invested a minimum of approximately double the industry commitment of our revenues each year, we look forward to seeing the results of this partnership and how it will help to empower the lives of Canadians.”
Niven Al-Khoury, President, Sanofi Canada

“Establishing the NSERC/Sanofi Industrial Research Chair at York University will not only accelerate frontline research and support Canadian industry, but also help improve the wellbeing of people around the globe. It is yet another example of the exciting research initiatives in York’s Faculty of Science that engage our faculty members and students with partners in the public and private sectors to enhance value and maximize impact.”
Ray Jayawardhana, Dean, Faculty of Science, York University

“The dedicated resources this collaboration brings will enable us to focus on infectious diseases that are critically important to the health of Canadians. With access to clinical trial data and vaccine efficacy data from both public agencies and the private sector, we will use mathematical modelling to inform the most efficient and cost-effective ways to immunize the public against these diseases.”
Jianhong Wu, York University Distinguished Research Professor, Faculty of Science

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First-ever Canadian 'Dreamers' head to York University http://president.yorku.ca/2018/01/first-ever-canadian-dreamers-head-to-york-university/ Tue, 16 Jan 2018 14:54:32 +0000 http://president.yorku.ca/?p=8834 Rosa is part of a group of 10 students with precarious refugee status to enter York University. CBC Toronto is not showing her face and is withholding her last name because her case is still being processed.

Rosa is part of a group of 10 students with precarious refugee status to enter York University. CBC Toronto is not showing her face and is withholding her last name because her case is still being processed. (David Donnelly/CBC)

 

Like many so-called "Dreamers" in the U.S., Rosa grew up in constant fear of being deported from Texas back to El Salvador.

From the mid-to-late 2000s, before then-president Barack Obama introduced Deferred Action For Childhood Arrivals (DACA) for people who had arrived illegally in the US as children, immigration raids were common and Rosa worried she might never get a chance to go to university.

Obama announced DACA in 2012. But just months before the policy change, the raids became so frequent that Rosa and her family fled to Canada and ended up in Toronto.

DACA was rescinded last year by President Trump, throwing the future of 800,000 undocumented young people in the U.S. in doubt. Unlike their American counterparts, many Canadian "dreamers" are documented because they've claimed refugee status.

CBC Toronto is not using Rosa's last name, because her immigration status in Canada is still precarious. But her dream of going to university finally became reality last fall when she was selected for a pilot project at York University — the first such program in Canada — allowing 10 young people whose immigration status is uncertain to study for a degree.

"At the time I was freaking out! You can ask anybody," said Rosa. "I was like, 'What if I didn't pass the interview?' But I did and now I'm here. And hopefully next semester I make an actual video."

At 23, Rosa is in her first year of film studies at York. She was referred to the program by FCJ Refugee Centre, Toronto's oldest agency assisting refugees, which collaborated on the pilot project with York University.

'Thousands of 'dreamers' in Canada'

Francisco Ricco, co-founder of FCJ, says up to 30 young people come through the centre every week. At a weekly youth group, they form friendships and share fears about their uncertain future.

Two years ago, he approached York University to discuss the possibility of a pilot project for those young people.

"We hear a lot about dreamers in the States," Ricco told CBC Toronto. "But we have thousands of dreamers in Canada and we never hear about them."

York University's Rhonda Lentin

For York University president Rhonda Lentin, the pilot project is a chance to expand access to education for young people with precarious immigration status. (David Donnelly/CBC)

 

At the York's new subway station, Rosa was surprised recently to be greeted by Rhonda Lenton, president of the university.

Hearing that a CBC crew was speaking to a couple of students from the pilot project for young people with precarious immigration status, Lenton asked if she could come along to introduce herself. Lenton hadn't personally met any of the first cohort, even though she'd made the pilot project a priority in her first year as president.  

It was hard to tell that morning who was more excited — Lenton to meet a couple of the new students, or the students to meet the university president.

Across Canada, Lenton estimates there could be anywhere from 200,000 to half a million young people in Canada, whose immigration status is uncertain — the precise number is hard to know — who have little chance of entering Canadian universities.

"One of the most important things we can give them," Lenton said, "is access to higher education while they're waiting to learn about their status."

While many Canadian schools, including those in the Toronto District School Board, have a "don't ask, don't tell policy" when it comes to students of uncertain immigration status, there's no such policy governing the next chapter of their lives after they graduate from high school.

Dwayne precarious immigration student York

Dwayne, a first year student at York University, is heading to a class in Canadian public policy. (David Donnelly/CBC)

 

The year after Rosa's family crossed into Canada at the border near Buffalo, Dwayne arrived at Toronto's Pearson airport with his mother. (We're not using Dwayne's real name either, because his refugee application is also still being process).

In 2011, Dwayne and his mother had fled a shelter in Namibia, where they say they were hiding from Dwayne's violently abusive father, after his father tracked them down and attacked his mother. In Toronto, they lived in another shelter for three weeks before finally ending up in a motel on Kingston Road, where Dwayne says most of the other residents are also refugee claimants from Africa.  

Dwayne says he'll never forget his first class at York. There weren't many courses available late last summer, by the time York University and FCJ finally settled the details of the pilot project, so Dwayne was nervous and unsure of his goals when he walked into a vast lecture hall for a third-year course in the history of Canadian public policy.

'Better not only yourself, but everyone'

But he was intrigued as he began learning how public policy evolved in Canada and how it contrasts with the U.S. approach.

Rhonda Lentin, York University, student with precarious refugee status

York University's Rhonda Lenton asks Dwayne about his first year in a new pilot program, the only opportunity for young people with an uncertain immigration status to attend university in Canada. (David Donnelly/CBC)

 

"It's funny," said Dwayne, "because growing up, I never thought of being a public servant. But coming here and life whacking me left and right, I feel like public service is where I'm going."

Dwayne sees an opportunity in public service "to better not only yourself, but everyone" and he hopes that someday his own experiences will help him shape Canada's refugee process.

"You're in a state of limbo. That's the best word for it, because all you can do is wait."

Rhonda Lintern York University

York president Rhonda Lenton says the university is receiving more applications, not just from the U.S., but from around the world because of growing uncertainty about the future of immigration in the U.S. (David Donnelly/CBC)

 

One of Lenton's own goals as York's new president is to expand access to education at the university over the next five years. Until now, the only option for young people whose immigration status is uncertain was to apply as foreign students. The reality is that none of them can afford the tuition fees, which many times more expensive than for Canadian students.

"Thinking about that access agenda for York," says Lenton, "a couple of populations really emerged as important: Indigenous students and those students with precarious immigrant status."

In the U.S., so-called Dreamers have become a major political force, taking to the streets and the headlines to protest after Trump ended the DACA program.

Canadian dreamers, on the other hand, are all but invisible, with York University the only major institution to acknowledge their growing presence. 

Funding for the first year of the small pilot came from a Pan Am Games grant from the city of Toronto to improve equity, access and human rights. That funding runs out in March and there's no guarantee the pilot project will become permanent. 

For now, Lenton says the university hopes to land a new grant from the Laidlaw Foundation to support its first 10 students for another two years. 

Mary Wiens · Journalist/ Producer | Metro Morning · CBC News
January 15, 2018

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York University welcomes two new subway stops to Keele campus http://president.yorku.ca/2017/12/york-university-welcomes-two-new-subway-stops-to-keele-campus/ Fri, 15 Dec 2017 19:19:28 +0000 http://president.yorku.ca/?p=8513 With the official opening of the Toronto Transit Commission (TTC) Line 1 extension, York University welcomes two new subway stops: the York University stop in the heart of the Keele Campus, and the Pioneer Village stop which sits at the north side of campus, on Steeles Avenue. The subway extension is a transformative and long anticipated public transportation option for York’s more than 60,000 community members.

The new subway stops connect York’s Keele Campus to York Region and the City of Toronto, in an efficient and sustainable way.

“We are grateful for the tremendous efforts of all who helped to make the subway extension a reality, including our government and community partners,” said Rhonda L. Lenton, President and Vice-Chancellor. “Enhanced public transportation is essential to ensuring that our students, faculty, staff and alumni have ready access to our campuses. It increases our connectedness with communities and partners across the Greater Toronto Area, facilitates research collaboration, work-integrated learning, and enhances York University as a destination.”

Youtube time-lapse video of TTC subway construction at York University

Click on the above image to watch the time-lapse video "Six Years in 30 Seconds" of subway station construction at York University

 

The combined total investment of about $3.2 billion, thanks to the Government of Canada, the Government of Ontario, the City of Toronto, and York Region in this vital public transportation infrastructure, delivers on meaningful, sustainable and efficient changes that benefit the entire community.

Construction of the TTC’s University-Spadina subway line extension into York Region began in 2011, but some subway advocates have been urging governments toward this investment for more than three decades.

The York University and Pioneer Village Subway Stations are part of an 8.6 km–six station Line 1 extension. This extension stretches from Sheppard West Station (formerly Downsview Station) northwest through York University within the City of Toronto and north to the Vaughan Metropolitan Centre, in The Regional Municipality of York.

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