February 2013

Deer photo by Cesar Mejia
Stopping gender-based violence at UTM
CampUS logo

A program to address gender-based violence on campus will be launched on Wednesday, March 6, at 12:10 p.m., in the atrium of the Communication, Culture & Technology Building, 3359 Mississauga Rd. N., U of T Mississauga. CampUS, an innovative two-year initiative, will promote education, awareness and prevention strategies to reduce gender-based violence. Plans will include updating a campus safety audit, researching female students’ experiences at U of T Mississauga and developing a community campus safety plan. The launch occurs as part of International Women’s Week Celebrations. 

Giving back and getting ahead
Matthew Spadafora


Anyone who was looking for Matthew Spadafora over Reading Week wouldn’t have found him relaxing on the couch or on a beach, but working in a charity office. The fourth-year UTM undergraduate student spent the last three days volunteering for United Way of Peel Region, assisting the organization with improving its outreach efforts to youths. He helped enhance the PowerPoint presentations the organization delivers to local elementary and high school students about its activities and volunteer opportunities. He also worked at the organization’s information table at the Youths Making a Difference Conference, which took place on Wednesday at UTM.

The mind of a mother
Professor Alison Fleming


What makes a mother? Alison Fleming, a behavioural neuroscientist and professor of psychology at the University of Toronto Mississauga, has spent three decades asking this question. She’s carried out dozens of experiments over 30 years, trying to understand what’s on mothers’ minds — literally. Fleming began her career investigating the psychological changes mother rats undergo as a result of pregnancy hormones. She later became interested in identifying which parts of the brain were involved in the psychological changes she observed.

MBiotech students excel
Winners of VCIC contest


Students from the Master of Biotechnology Program (MBiotech) have again excelled in the Venture Capital Investment Competition (VCIC), placing second against Rotman MBA teams. The Rotman Entrepreneurship and Venture Capital Association (REVCA) organizes the VCIC each year as part of an international competition among the top business schools in North America.

The MBiotech team competed against seven Rotman MBA teams, with each team playing the role of a venture capital fund.

Raise legal drop-out age, says study
Professor Philip Oreopoulos


Raising the age at which students can legally drop out of school could determine their future earning power and quality of life, according to a new paper by U of T Mississauga economics professor Philip Oreopoulos. An average dropout earns less money, is more likely to spend time in jail, and is less healthy, less happy and less likely to be married than a high school graduate, the paper reveals. “There appears to be a large expected return from being nudged to stay in school longer,” Oreopoulos said, in an interview. “This raises the question of why we have to nudge in the first place, if the returns are so high?”

UTM United Way campaign tops goal
United way logo

U of T Mississauga surpassed the target of $67,000 set for the 2012 UTM United Way campaign. Combining generous individual contributions by staff, students & faculty with events both on and off campus, $70,180 was raised towards the United Way Peel Region campaign. Professor Deep Saini, Vice-President of U of T and Principal of U of T Mississauga, extended a special thank you to the UTM United Way campaign staff chair, Tamara Breukelman, and UTM United Way campaign faculty chair, Professor Anthony Wensley, for their leadership.

stock image group meeting
Moving Into Management - Fri, 03/01/2013

For new managers, supervisors and those aspiring to those roles, this workshop will help you understand what means to “think like a manager”.  Explore how to create buy-in for changes and initiatives and help staff feel engaged through the use of communication skills.

DATE:   Friday, Mar. 1, 2013

TIME:   9:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m.

PLACE: Davis Building, room 3130


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happy children
Camp U of T registration deadline - Thu, 03/07/2013

Planning to register your child for Summer 2013 programming at Camp U of T? Don't miss the deadline registration on March 7! Programs include sports, leadership and forensics camps.

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Wealthy Barber event
Wealthy Barber coming to UTM - Fri, 03/22/2013

David Chilton, author of the Wealthy Barber books and the newest member of CBC's Dragons’ Den, will give tips and insights into personal finance at the Department of Management’s first annual Countdown to Success event.

DATE:  Friday, March 22, 2013

TIME:   2:30 p.m.-6 p.m.

PLACE: UTM Recreational, Athletics and Wellness Centre (RAWC)

  • Open to students, staff, alumni, professionals
  • Trade fair 2:30 p.m., keynote speech 3:30 p.m., networking reception 5 p.m.
  • Advance registration required
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Health in the City event
Health in the City - Sat, 03/23/2013

Learn how to help your family and your community create supportive environments for healthy living in Peel! Learn about accessing reliable health information, nutritious meals and fitness activities for the whole family. 

DATE:     Saturday March 23

TIME:      11 a.m. to 2 p.m. 

PLACE:    Recreation, Athletics and Wellness Centre (RAWC). Free parking in all Unreserved lots. 

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Adaptive Release

Rochelle MazarBy Rochelle Mazar

You may have noticed, in your travels through Blackboard, the phrase “adaptive release”. It sounds like something anthropological, biological or possibly mechanical. But in the context of Blackboard, adaptive release is a series of rules you can set to trigger the visibility of elements inside your course. It sounds a little complicated, and it involves a bit of logical puzzling, but it can be quite powerful.

One of the classic uses of adaptive release is to display different material depending on how students do on a test. The students who do exceptionally well might see more challenging items available for them to peruse, while students who failed might see remedial materials, links to help and the option to create an appointment with a TA. Adaptive release lets you set who sees what based on the score in a particular grade center column.

You can also limit materials in a course to particular groups of students. You could create a content area specific to, for instance, tutorial materials, keep all tutorial materials in the same area, but allow students to see only the materials posted by their TA. From your view as the instructor, you’ll see everything, but the student only sees what’s relevant to them.

You can also add materials and let only individual students see it; if you need to share materials with an individual for accessibility or other reasons, you can create a folder inside a regular content area and share it with only one student.

You can also use adaptive release to help guide students to the places they need to be. If you have many discussion forums, for instance, and you want students who signed up for certain topics to go straight through to a specific area, you can use adaptive release to ensure that they see only the right link.

The most creative use of adaptive release we’ve yet seen was dreamed up by a member of the Department of Economics. In an effort to encourage students to read and understand the entirety of the syllabus, the instructor constructed a syllabus quiz, and then allowed only students who got 100% on the quiz to see any other course content. Students could keep taking the quiz until they achieved a perfect score. (It was extremely effective!)

Not every course needs to release material so selectively; most courses don’t. But if you find yourself in a situation where you need it, adaptive release can be a lifesaver.

Questions? Want help implementing an adaptive release rule? Get in touch!

Faculty and Staff Announcements: 

Professor Ulli KrullProfessor Ulli Krull, Vice-Principal, Special Initiatives and Vice-Principal, Research, at U of T Mississauga, received a Community Services Award from Life Sciences Ontario at their gala on Wednesday, Feb. 27.  The award recognizes “an individual who has helped build the life sciences community and strengthen its local and global reputation, where he or she has gone above and beyond the call of duty.” More...




Nythalah BakerU of T Mississauga is strengthening its commitment to cultivating a safe and welcoming campus by introducing its first-ever equity and diversity officer. Appointed to the newly created role is Nythalah Baker, an experienced and accomplished human rights and accessibility expert who will work to enhance the learning, living and working environments at UTM. More...




Professor Salvatore BancheriU of T Mississauga community members representing faculty, staff and students are among those recognized with this year’s U of T Alumni Association Awards of Excellence. Professor Salvatore Bancheri, from the Department of Language Studies, will receive the Joan E. Foley Quality of Student Experience Award, recognizing an individual who has made a distinctive and lasting contribution to enhancing the quality of the undergraduate or graduate student experience at U of T.




Cesar MejiaCésar Mejía, associate registrar (enrolment, scheduling and systems management), will receive the Chancellor’s Award—Emerging Leader, recognizing a staff member who demonstrates significant potential to assume more senior leadership in the organization.




Professor Vinod VaikuntanathanVinod Vaikuntanathan, assistant professor of computer science at U of T Mississauga, has been named one of Canada's Sloan Research Fellows for 2013, and will receive a two-year, $50,000 award. More...





Professor Emeritus John PercyJohn Percy, professor emeritus in the Department of Chemical and Physical Sciences, has been honoured with the 2013 American Astronomical Society Education Prize, recognizing 40 years of advocacy for K-12 astronomy education in Canada and worldwide. Percy was also cited for his partnerships with amateur astronomers and informal educators, for his public outreach efforts and for inspiring the international Galileo Project combining astronomy, music and visual arts.



Jennifer McCarney has joined the Master of Biotechnology program as their new program assistant. Welcome to UTM!


Office of the University Ombudsperson

The University Ombudsperson offers confidential and impartial advice and assistance on university-related problems to students, faculty and staff on all three campuses. Visit the office’s website or add the Ombudsperson module to your Blackboard portal page.

Training & Development: 

Organizational Development and Learning Centre

Call UTM HR at (905) 828-3935 for additional information about:

  • Scholarship Information
  • Application for Reimbursement Educational Assistance / Professional Development
  • Tuition Waiver Information

General Information on Tuition Support:  TuitionSupport.pdf  pdf icon

Media Clippings: 

Professor Deep Saini, Vice-President of U of T and Principal of U of T Mississauga, was featured in the Mississauga News with local executives discussing their predictions for the 2013 business years.

Senior lecturer Dax Urbszat gave a lecture on lucid dreaming as part of the Philosopher's Cafe lecture series, and was featured in the National Post.   

Professor Pierre Desrochers of the Department of Geography was quoted about the growth of the local food movement in young farmers in the Chicago Tribune

Professor Anna Korteweg, of the Department of Sociology, was quoted in The Globe and Mail about national policies to address honour-based violence. 

Emerging technologies librarian Rochelle Mazar wrote an article in University Affairs about web resources for teaching. 

The new Forensic Sciences 3D Crime Scene Reconstruction course was featured in SparView, a newsletter about 3D imaging.

Student volunteers from the UTM Undergraduate Commerce Society hosted a Family Literacy Day event for schoolchildren at Dixie Public School, to celebrate a $50,000 gift by BMO Financial Group to provide 15,000 books for immigrant children. The Mississauga News covered an event.