The York Research Leaders’ Gala, a star-studded annual event in the research community, showcases York’s talent by acknowledging researchers and academics who have won major awards, received large grants, made scholarly contributions in the form of published books or achieved research breakthroughs in the previous calendar year – 2016, in this case. This year, the event took place on April 4 from 4 to 6:30pm at The Underground in York Lanes.
“At York University, research and innovation are flourishing. York is undertaking work that has local, national and international significance and impact. We are fulfilling the University’s vision to leverage our research excellence and establish York among the country’s leading research-intensive universities,” said Mamdouh Shoukri, York University’s president and vice-chancellor.
The event opened with a new graphic animated video: the York Research Impact Story, featuring Robert Haché, vice-president research & innovation.
“This annual event is, more than anything, a demonstration of York’s commitment to excellence in research, innovation and scholarship. Our researchers − internationally recognized leaders and pioneers in their fields − are deeply committed to advancing innovative research projects across the vast spectrum of disciplines,” said Haché.
Ilse Treurnicht, CEO of MaRS Discovery District, provided the opening remarks and offered some vital insights on research and innovation.
Joy Kirchner, University librarian, announced the winners from York’s Undergraduate Research Fair.
Barbara Crow, dean and associate vice-president graduate, spoke about the significance of graduate student research, citing the Banting Fellowship, Trudeau Scholars and Vanier Canada Graduate Scholars (2016).
Recognizing York University Research Leaders and Book Prize Winners for 2016 was centre stage at this special event. The highlight of this event was the president’s acknowledgment of the 2017 York University President’s Research Excellence Award and the 2017 York University President’s Emerging Research Leadership Award.
President’s Research Excellence Award: Anne Russon
The 2017 recipient of the York University President’s Research Excellence Award was Anne Russon, Department of Psychology, Glendon College. Russon is a first-rate scholar with a record of research, publication, outreach and leadership sustained over many years. She is internationally recognized for her accomplishments as a behavioural primatologist and leading expert on orangutans. For 30 years, her research has broken new ground on great ape intelligence. Her pioneering work focuses on the way in which great apes use their cognitive abilities to solve problems in their natural habitat, the evolutionary origins of these abilities and their implications for human intelligence, and how they may relate to conservation efforts.
President’s Emerging Research Leadership Award: Amro Zayed
The 2017 recipient of the York University President’s Emerging Research Leadership Award was Amro Zayed, Department of Biology, Faculty of Science. Zayed has already made a major impact and developed an international reputation in his field. He is a productive scholar whose genomic research on honey bees has important applications in the beekeeping industry. He attracts large amounts of funding and talented graduate students and postdoctoral fellows to York. Zayed is very active in translating and mobilizing his knowledge to improve the health of Canadian honey bees that support a large sector of our Canadian agro-economy.
Complete listing of all award winners
Winners from York’s Undergraduate Research Fair: Nataly Beribisky, Kunali Gohil, Danika Goshulak, Josette Halpert, Aria Kamal, Marina Kudrow, Recheta Lieu, Marissa Magneson, Sinthi Mahendiran, Kay Angliss McDowell, Nishila Mehta, Khalida Nasiri, Kajanth Palachchandran and Elizabeth Wanstall.
Banting Fellowship: Alana Gerecke.
Trudeau Scholars: Aytak Akbari-Dibavar, Gerard Kennedy and Jesse Thistle.
Vanier Canada Graduate Scholars: Alison Humphrey, Zachary Lomo, Jesse Thistle and Syrus Marcus Ware.
York University Research Leaders and Book Prize Winners 2016 (by Faculty)
Faculties of Education and Environmental Studies: Deborah Britzman, Connie Mayer and Catriona Sandilands.
Faculty of Health: Ellen Bialystok, David A. Hood, Michaela Hynie, Jolynn Pek, Shayna Rosenbaum, Harvey Skinner and Jonathan Weiss.
Faculty of Liberal Arts & Professional Studies: Naomi Adelson, Lorraine Code, Julia Creet, Craig Heron, Sara R. Horowitz, Jimmy Huang, Rachel Koopmans, David A. B. Murray, Natasha Myers, Valerie Preston, Gabrielle A. Slowey, Leah F. Vosko and Sandra Whitworth.
Faculty of Science: Nantel Bergeron, Carol Bucking, Ray Jayawardhana, Sergey Krylov, Jean-Paul Paluzzi, Chun Peng, Derek J. Wilson and Amro Zayed.
Lassonde School of Engineering, Osgoode Hall Law School and Schulich School of Business: Douglas Hay, Murat Kristal, Sushanta Mitra, John E. Moores, Poonam Puri, Ela Veresiu and Stepan Wood.
School of the Arts, Media, Performance & Design: Alana Gerecke, Philip Hoffman and Janine Marchessault.
Vision Science to Applications (VISTA) Program: Doug Crawford and Richard Wildes accepted this award on behalf of the VISTA team whose members also include Robert Allison, Michael Brown, Marcus Brubaker, James Elder, Mazyar Fallah, Laurence Harris, Denise Henriques, Kari Hoffman, Michael Jenkin, Matthew Kyan, Shayna Rosenbaum, Lauren Sergio, Jennifer Steeves, Dale Stevens, John Tsotsos, Graham Wakefield, Laurie Wilcox, Thilo Womensdorf and Jianhong Wu.