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The York University Brief

September 2022
Markham Campus to offer three programs at IBM Learning Space in Fall 2023 

York University’s Markham Campus will welcome its first cohort of students in Fall 2023, including 3 programs which will be located in The IBM Learning Space, a high-profile and dynamic environment populated by academic researchers, entrepreneurs, startups and developers. 

The Markham Campus will include four new research clusters designed to offer exceptional research, training, experiential learning and collaboration opportunities. The research clusters include AI & Society, FinTech, Digital Cultures and Public Policy and will provide students and faculty with close proximity to innovative companies within these fields to spur new collaborations and partnerships.

The new campus will open in Spring 2024 and will include programs that offer flexible learning formats, small class sizes and the opportunity to round out classroom learning with workplace experiential education, which will help students be workforce ready upon completion of their studies. Read More

York University, Town of Newmarket sign five-year MOU to advance shared goals and demonstrate commitment to positive change

On September 14, York University President Rhonda Lenton and Newmarket Mayor John Taylor signed a new five-year Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) – a clear commitment to advance shared goals and create positive change in Newmarket.

The MOU is a five-year agreement that highlights three main areas of focus:

•Exploring new opportunities for Newmarket to host York University programs, and/or to develop programmin
•Experiential learning opportunities at the Town of Newmarket for York University students in areas of importance like Public Policy
•Administration and Law, Urban Planning, Environmental Studies, Law, Glendon Interpretation Program, Engineering and Technology and more.
•Collaboration on research, capstone projects, professional development and/or community education opportunities between the Town of •Newmarket and York University faculty including but not limited to:
•Executive Education opportunities for Town StaffAdvancing the Town’s Smart City goals
•Supporting the Town’s needs related to transportation and traffic
•Supporting the Town’s goals related to equity, diversity, and inclusion
•Advancing the Town’s environmental and sustainability goals
Toronto greenspaces create structural, systemic barriers for racialized residents 

The report, “Park Perceptions and Racialized Realities: Exploring the experiences of racialized residents in two Toronto neighbourhoods,” led by York University, offers several recommendations toward making the city’s public greenspaces more welcoming to racialized and Black, Indigenous and people of colour.

The report launched in August at an exhibit of photographs by 18 racialized residents and photographers from either the Jane and Finch or St. James Town areas who participated in the project. 

Some of the other key themes include: belonging and social connection; exclusion; right to play and children’s recreation; maintenance inequities; and, gentrification and complex use of space.

Key recommendations include:
•prioritizing equitable access to high-quality greenspaces in racialized neighbourhoods;
•ensuring the inclusion and maintenance of amenities that racialized residents are asking for;
•winterizing outdoor public greenspaces and creating more free indoor community spaces that can be accessed during the cold season. 
York opens YSpace location in northern York Region 

In partnership with the Towns of Georgina and East Gwillimbury, York University has opened a new YSpace location in northern York Region supporting local start-ups and existing businesses during the recovery phase of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The new YSpace Georgina Business Incubator/Accelerator Hub located at 1 Market St. in Sutton, Ont., offers computer access, internet, video conferencing solutions, photography tools for e-commerce and online content creation, collaboration spaces, programming support and business community resources.

It offers both in-person and virtual learning opportunities to allow for collaboration with other business owners and create connections with mentors. Read More
Schulich School of Business at York University has kicked off its second annual Business Excellence Academy

On 4 July 2022, the Schulich School of Business at York University has kicked off its second annual Business Excellence Academy, a business education and mentorship program designed to help Ontario high school students from low-income and underprivileged communities pursue business education careers. 

This month-long academy launched with 60 Grade 10 and Grade 11 students enrolled. The program meets online three times a week for two hours in the evening with sessions delivered by Schulich faculty and guest speakers from industry.

Upon completion, participants received a Certificate of Completion at an in-person closing ceremony at the Schulich School of Business on July 26. Read More
MES Planning Alumni Committee explores Toronto’s net zero climate strategy at Regent Park

York University’s Faculty of Environmental and Urban Change (EUC) students and alumni participated in an experiential education opportunity by touring Toronto’s Regent Park to learn about the innovative energy evolution taking place.

On Aug. 18, the MES York Planning Alumni Committee (MYPAC) held its first in-person event in more than two years. Hosted by David MacMillan, students, alumni, faculty and community members were led on a walking tour through Regent Park to highlight the revitalization project currently underway, focusing on the energy initiatives taking place.  

The group learned how the revitalization is meant to help improve resiliency within the community and is catered to the growing demands of increasing population density in the area.

This fall, MYPAC is gearing up to host its annual Alumni Social taking place on Oct. 6 at Propellor Coffee Co., which provides students, alumni and professionals an opportunity to socialize and network in a vibrant Toronto space. Read More
Plans for School of Medicine moving forward with a collaborative approach

York University continues to work closely with community, government and health sector partners to seek input that will inform the vision and concept for a new School of Medicine.

York University has gathered input on its conceptual proposal for the School of Medicine and the broader potential for the University at the Vaughan Healthcare Centre Precinct. To date, hundreds of residents from York Region, as well as Muskoka, North Toronto, Simcoe and other GTA communities, provided input into how a School of Medicine at York University could help solve current challenges in the health care system.

The University’s conceptual proposal envisions an educational model centred on improving health equity for diverse communities in the proposed catchment area and underserved communities across Canada. The University envisions a school committed to community-based primary care that will keep more people healthy longer and living in their communities. 

The overarching goals of the program are to have curriculum and research support an integrated and preventive model for health care, which aims to promote care beyond the walls of hospital facilities. Read more

How dynamic scheduling can provide more efficient delivery of home care services

On June 17, Adam Diamant, associate professor of operations management and information systems at Schulich, together with Andre A. Cire, associate professor of operations management at the Rotman School of Management and the Department of Management at the University of Toronto Scarborough have co-authored a research paper with real world implications for home care patients.
Their model of “dynamic scheduling” can be applied to more effectively assign patients requiring home care services to medical providers such as registered nurses, physical therapists, or personal support workers. The model, adds Diamant, captures key real-world factors such as the uncertainty associated with the number of daily referrals, a patient’s varying health requirements and their expected duration of care, continuity-of-care constraints, shift-length regulations, and the spatial distribution of both patients and home care providers. Read More

Lakes in hot water, climate change creating a cauldron of issues

York University Faculty of Science Professor, Sapna Sharma, in collaboration with professors from other universities reviewed and synthesized available studies on freshwater lakes from across the globe. 

The research team found that the effects of climate change on lakes are often cumulative and can affect any of the more than 100 million lakes in the world. Warmer water temperatures lead to changes in stratification regimes, declines in dissolved oxygen, a higher risk of cyanobacterial algal blooms, as well as a loss of habitat for native cold-water fish. It can affect not only water quality and quantity, but also cultural and recreational activities, and local economies.

“In Ontario, reports of algal blooms have not only increased, but have been reported as late as November, something that was typically not the case in previous years,” says Sharma. “These blooms could also affect tourism and lakeside property values. Read more

York receives $7.25M to use AI, big data in fight against infectious diseases

At a time when the risk of emerging or re-emerging infectious diseases (ERIDs) is increasing, an international team led by York University successfully competed to receive a $7.25-million grant from the International Development Research Centre (IDRC) to help tackle the issue. This grant will enable the research team to work alongside countries in the Global South to develop equitable and responsible artificial intelligence (AI) solutions and big data approaches to improve public health outcomes.

The five-year project, Global South Artificial Intelligence for Pandemic and Epidemic Preparedness and Response Network, is borne out of the promise of AI solutions across the Global South to improve the health system response to infectious disease outbreaks, and the commensurate need to examine important ethical, legal and social implications of these solutions on populations most susceptible to disease and compromised overall well-being.

The goal is to ensure vulnerable and at-risk populations are included in disease outbreak management and policies, including racialized visible minorities, women, geographically isolated individuals, Indigenous communities, migrants and refugees, unhoused people and the socio-economically underserved. COVID-19 has underlined the need for timely, accurate, and reliable data to inform evidence-based public health decision-making. Read More

York’s first Provostial Fellows lead on sustainability 

In 2021, the inaugural cohort of Provostial Fellows began a series of year-long projects that would take meaningful action on the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The SDGs play a central role in the University Academic Plan, which includes a call for the community to create positive change through the goals. Four professors from York University now report on the impact of their work.

Some highlights include:
  • Burkard Eberlein’s project, “Advancing Carbon Neutrality at York: Reimagining Mobility,” which targets York’s carbon emissions from commuting and travel, with a special focus on air travel related to studying, research or University business activities. 
  • Sapna Sharma’s project, focused on raising awareness and building networks of scholars whose work examines freshwater access and managing climate change risks.
  • Cheryl van Daalen-Smith’s project “More than Bees and Trees” which sought to inspire and amplify curricular SDG initiatives and advance York University’s commitment to interdisciplinarity. 
  • Qiang Zha’s project which focused on how a liberal arts education could be reimagined and reinvented for the 21st century. Read More

Study finds rate of immune/autoimmune adverse events after COVID-19 vaccine low

Research conducted by Dr. Nicola Bragazzi, a physician and postdoctoral Fellow at York’s Faculty of Science alongside researchers from other Universities take aim at tackling the issue of vaccine hesitancy. 

The authors of the new research paper state that fear of vaccine related adverse events is one of the main reasons for vaccine hesitancy. Their paper focused on three specific COVID-19 Vaccines: Pfizer, Moderna and AstraZeneca; and found that the chance of adverse events following immunization (AEFI) are very low.  

The researchers looked at various AEFIs, such as Guillain-Barre syndrome (GBS), transverse myelitis, Bell’s palsy and myocarditis and found that those who did contract these diseases due to the COVID-19 vaccines were very likely to recover completely. Read More

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
Assistant Director, Government Relations
Angus Ho
Government and Community Relations Coordinator

Shawna Teper
Assistant Director, Community and Government Relations

Laksh Vig

Stakeholder Engagement Coordinator & Policy Analyst

York University, Government and Community Relations
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t. 416.736.5200