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The York University Brief

June 2022
Lassonde receives $1M for summer STEM program

The Lassonde School of Engineering’s kindergarten to industry (k2i) academy at York University has received $1 million from Ontario’s Ministry of Education in support of a summer work-study program for high school students from racialized backgrounds.

The grant is providing funding for k2i’s summer STEM program
Bringing STEM to Life: Work-Integrated Learning, which launched in summer 2021 with $500,000 in ministry funding and has returned for a second summer session this month.

The program is free to participants and is designed to further k2i’s commitment to addressing systemic racism, discrimination and inequality in education by providing more equitable opportunities in STEM fields. Grade 11 and 12 students from three GTA school boards and one northern school board will engage in real-world engineering projects alongside Lassonde undergraduate mentors, staff and faculty.
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The City of Markham and York University sign MOU to advance shared goals

On June 17, Markham Mayor Frank Scarpitti was joined by York University President and Vice-Chancellor Rhonda Lenton at a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) signing at the Markham Civic Centre – celebrating the ongoing partnership and a shared vision for Markham’s future including reconciliation, sustainability, climate change and affordable housing.

The MOU is a five-year agreement that builds on other shared priorities such as the Markham Campus, setting out a wide range of initiatives and projects in strategic areas of engagement and co-operation including: experiential learning and employment opportunities, economic growth, continuing and professional development, and research and innovation.

The new MOU will see the City of Markham and York University explore potential opportunities to work together on a wide range of sustainable initiatives and projects that will see a greener Markham.
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York researchers receive more than $16M in SSHRC funding

More than 40 research projects at York University will receive a boost of $16 million in funding from the Social Sciences & Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC), including close to $10 million in Partnership Grants for long-term research projects in anti-homelessness, global health, 2SLGBTQ+ poverty and Indigenous rights and reconciliation.

The funding was announced on June 16 by François-Philippe Champagne, the federal minister of innovation, science and industry, and is part of more than $175 million in SSHRC funding to support important research across Canada.

In addition, six York researchers received just over $1 million in funding under the Partnership Development Grants Program to foster new research and related activities with new or existing partners, and to design and test new partnership approaches.
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Two new observatory domes installed at York University improve night sky viewing

This month,
two new observatory domes were successfully lifted into place at York University’s Allan I. Carswell Astronomical Observatory. They replace the original domes from the 1960s, opening the night sky for better viewing of planets, stars, nebulas and more.

As the old domes were more than 50 years old, the system that controls them had been a patchwork of various electronic fixes over the years.

The design of the new domes allow for a larger viewing area as the top part of the shutter opens up and the bottom part flips down, exposing more of the sky. It also now follows the telescope as it moves. One of the main advantages is the ability to expand research and public observing activities.
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York’s Convocation celebrates 2020 and 2021 graduates with special alumni ceremonies

Spring Convocation at York University began on June 3 with special alumni ceremonies to celebrate Class of 2020 and Class of 2021 graduates.

The addition of alumni ceremonies gave students who graduated virtually during the pandemic an opportunity celebrate their milestones in person, with family and friends.

With 26 ceremonies in total running from June 3 to 18, the 2022 Spring Convocation is the largest in the University’s history.
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York University endowed with $250,000 prestigious fellowship from Meta

Meta has endowed York University with a fellowship of $250,000 USD. This new endowment establishes the first-ever corporate-sponsored graduate fund for sustaining vision research at York. 

The Centre for Vision Research continues to play a leading role by undertaking groundbreaking studies in a variety of fields from 3D displays to computer vision to cognitive neuroscience to multisensory integration.

The fund will also contribute to the broader intellectual community at the University and provide leadership in the VISTA program, the interdisciplinary Canada First Research Excellence Fund (CFREF) funded Vision: Science to Applications program.
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Local high school grads return to Keele Campus for Walk with Excellence

The annual Walk with Excellence returned on June 8 as an in-person event. The event invites graduating high school students from the Jane and Finch neighbourhood to York University’s Keele Campus to celebrate the milestone.

The rite-of-passage event, which was last held in person in 2019, represents a public demonstration of the achievements of several hundred graduating students from high schools in the Jane Finch and Black Creek communities.

During the event, students paraded from C.W. Jeffreys Collegiate Institute to the York University Keele campus, together with faculty and community members, and participated in a showcase of the pride, talents, and accomplishments of the students as they move forward to the next chapter in their lives.
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The York University Brief is York University’s monthly newsletter that showcases some of our latest research and institutional news. Although anyone can subscribe, our readership primarily consists of our government and community partners and is meant to provide insight into the work done at the University and its potential links to work done in government and in the community. The York University Brief is typically published monthly from September to June.

If you would like more information on any of the stories in this edition, please find the contact information for the members of our Government and Community Relations team listed below.

Ijade Maxwell Rodrigues
Chief of Government and Community Relations & Protocol
Lucas Anderson
Government Relations Officer
Shawna Teper
Community and Government Relations Officer

Laksh Vig

Stakeholder Engagement Coordinator & Policy Analyst

York University, Government and Community Relations
1050 Kaneff Tower, York University, 4700 Keele St. Toronto, Ontario, M3J 1P3
t. 416.736.5200