June 2012

Convocation 2012
Forensic field trip
Middle school students learn about forensics

With the heat wave over, students from David Leeder Middle School in Mississauga enjoyed beautiful weather during a “Discovery Day” visit to the U of T Mississauga campus on June 22.

The students spent the morning working in the forensic science crime laboratories with Tracy Rogers, director of the Forensic Science Program and associate professor in the Department of Anthropology. In the afternoon, they investigated a mock crime scene at the Forensic Crime Scene House on campus -- dusting for fingerprints, collecting evidence and uncovering signs of a “burial site”. 

Locavore letdown?
Pierre Desrochers

Pierre Desrochers knows how to serve up controversy. When an acquaintance mentions she follows a 100-mile diet to help the environment, Desrochers calmly asks how much energy it takes to heat an Ontario greenhouse.

When a colleague lauds local food as more nutritious than products shipped thousands of miles, Desrochers politely points out that the diet of a 19th-century German peasant consisted of lentils and peas.

Cancer sleuth
Image of Miriam Avadasian

When Miriam Avadisian picked up her cell phone and learned that she had won a prestigious Canadian graduate award, her research group surrounded her and cheered so loudly that she could barely hear the details of her prize.

Avadisian is the 2012 recipient of the 1989 École Polytechnique Commemorative Award. The award, presented by the Canadian Federation of University Women (CFUW), commemorates the 14 women murdered at Montréal’s École Polytechnique and bestows $7,000 to recognize important doctoral-level studies relevant to women.

'Blooms' and climate change
Coast guard ship

Phytoplankton blooms unexpectedly occurring under Arctic sea ice are an indication of how climate change is affecting the Arctic ecosystem, says a study published in the June 8 issue of Science.

Phytoplankton, a microscopic organism that anchors the marine food chain, generally blooms in the Arctic’s open waters after the winter ice has melted back, says Kent Moore, a professor in the department of chemical and physical sciences at the University of Toronto Mississauga and a co-author on the study. “However, we’ve found evidence that the blooms are now occurring under the Arctic ice itself, and earlier than expected.”

Parking sign
2012-2013 Staff/Faculty Parking Permits - Tue, 07/03/2012

As of Tuesday July 3, 2012, staff and faculty may begin applying for their 2012-2013 Staff/Faculty Annual parking permits in person and online.  Please note, permits are sold on a first come, first served basis. Should you have any questions, please contact the Parking & Transportation Services Office at 905-828-5254 or parking.utm@utoronto.ca.  

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gnomio and juliet
Flicks on the Field: Gnomeo and Juliet - Fri, 07/13/2012

You and your family are invited to Flicks on the Field at U of T Mississauga! Bring your lawn chairs, blankets and snacks, and get ready for a FREE outdoor movie on the lawn in front of the William G. Davis Building (South Building). We'll be screening Gnomeo and Juliet, a 2011 animated film based on William Shakespeare's play Romeo and Juliet , featuring the voices of James McAvoy (X-Men: First Class) and Emily Blunt (The Devil Wears Prada).

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image of Rochelle mazarIs this pen mightier than a pencil?

Sometimes the simplest things to do on paper are the hardest to do with a computer. Diagrams, equations, even just simple handwritten notes can be needlessly complicated on a screen. But there’s a relatively cheap device that bridges these two solitudes: the Livescribe pen. 

A Livescribe pen (http://www.livescribe.com/en-ca/) uses special paper (you can buy a notebook, or print out your own) in conjunction with a recording device and an infrared sensor to not only track everything you write, but also to record everything you hear. Once you’ve finished recording your meeting or tutorial, you can play it back using the pen and the paper to navigate it. Tap the part of the diagram or a bit of your notes on the paper, and the pen will replay what was said as you wrote it. It lets you track time and content with your handwriting, and turns pen-and-paper into a digital interface.

Designed primarily with academia in mind, the Livescribe pen lets a student to sit in a lecture and take notes as usual, and meanwhile creates a digital recording of the experience. The recordings, complete with all the handwritten notes, transfer onto to a computer and output as a playable (and sharable) PDF files.

There are some obvious applications for Livescribe pens for academics: taking minutes in meetings, attending conferences, or making notes during tutorials to share with students leap to mind first. But some instructors are taking it a step further; they are using the pens to create course materials. Writing a complicated equation or drawing a diagram on a chalkboard in class is useful, but it gets erased at the end of the class, and all students are left with is a static drawing. With a livescribe pen, you can easily annotate each step along the way with your notes and with your voice.

Interested? Want to know more? Let me know! We are lucky enough at UTM to have resident experts (Lee Bailey and Fiona Rawle, and soon Barb Murck) using Livescribe pens as part of their teaching. Watch this space for more!

Faculty and Staff Announcements: 

Bidding Farewell to Familiar Campus Faces

2012 retirees at U of T Mississauga

This year's retirees were feted at a June 20 reception at the Faculty Club. Professor Deep Saini, Vice-President , U of T and Principal, U of T Mississauga and colleagues celebrated their achievements and wished them well in the next stage of their lives. The retirees attending this year’s reception were:  Nancy Allison (Student Affairs); Professor Scott Graham (Mathematical & Computational Sciences);  Marie Hudson (Registrar’s Office); Professor Robert Johnson (Historical Studies); Joan McCurdy-Myers (Career Centre); Professor Scott Munro (Geography); Professor Danton O’Day (Biology); Professor Guido Pugliese (Language Studies); and Professor Catherine Rubincam (Historical Studies).

The retirees who were NOT able to attend were:  Samia Awadallah (Chemical & Physical Sciences); Doug Leeies (Registrar’s Office); Professor John Campana (Language Studies); Professor Randall McLeod (English & Drama); Professor Alexander Murray (Historical Studies); Professor Frank Reid (Economics); Gillian Koper (Biology); Professor Barry Green (Sociology); and Xavier D’Souza (Office of the Vice-Principal, Research).

...And New Faces at UTM

Department Name Title
Career Centre Malou Twynam Career counsellor
Office of the Registrar Scott Sleeth Admissions and recruitment assistant
Office of the Vice-Principal, Academic & Dean Lisa Devereaux Academic integrity assistant

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 Kent Moore's research on Arctic phytoplankton blooms was covered by CBC Radio 1 Quirks & Quarks, the Montreal Gazette, the Lethbridge Herald, the Calgary Herald, the National Post, the Halifax Chronicle-Herald and the Nanaimo Daily News and more than 180 other news outlets worldwide.

Geography professor Pierre Desrochers' new book, The Locavore's Dilemma, drew attention from the Mississauga NewsCBC Radio Q
the Toronto Star, CTV Newsnet, Sun News Network, Nature, GlobalTV, the Winnipeg Free Press, the Wall Street Journal and Salon.com, 

Professor Aurel Braun, in the Department of Political Science, had a busy month with media. He commented in the Toronto Star on a ruling allowing a hit-and-run suspect to travel to Egypt. On CTV Newsnet, he discussed the global political implications of Syria shooting down a Turkish military plane, as well as the protests against President Vladimir Putin in Russia. Finally, he offered commentary on the role of the United Nations human rights commission on the the Sun News Network.

Professor David Wolfe of the Department of Political Science, was quoted in The Globe and Mail about federal and Ontario contributions to the bailout of Chrysler Group LLC and General Motors Co.

Professor Glenn Schellenberg's research suggesting that pop music recordings have become progressively more "sad-sounding" over the last 50 years, was covered by the Edmonton Journal and the Regina Sunday Post.

Anthropology professor Stephen Scharper's column in the Toronto Star tackled the topic of the future of environmentalism.

And associate professor Andreas Park, of the Department of Economics, discussed Europe's growing financial crisis on CTV Newsnet.


Four loonsExpress is taking a summer hiatus for July and August, and heading north to do some kayaking, listen to the loons and eat s'mores. Have a safe and happy summer and we'll see you in September!