May 2015

a purple field of muscari flowers
UTM to co-host ‘town-gown’ symposium
white and black logo with the letters T G A O

Delegates from across the province and around the world will gather in Mississauga next month for the annual Town and Gown Association of Ontario (TGAO) Symposium, to explore the unique relationship between universities and colleges, and the communities in which they are located.

UTM’s latest Canada Research Chair Recipient flies to new heights
fruit fly on green background

Whether playing in a jazz quartet on stage or working with fruit flies in his U of T Mississauga lab, rhythm and timing are important considerations for biology professor Joel Levine, who was just awarded a 2015 Tier-I Canada Research Chair (CRC) in Mechanisms and Features of Social Behaviour.

New research from UTM finds link between music and memory
black silhouette of head with swirling musical notes on white background

A new study by UTM psychology graduate student Michael Weiss provides the first evidence that humans remember vocal and instrumental melodies differently in early childhood than they do in adulthood. Musical timbre—the sound quality that distinguishes different instruments and voices from one another—may play an important role in how our early musical memories are formed.

New rules for E-Cigarettes and Vaping
red circle with cigarette and ecigarette icons indicating no smoking is permitted

UTM has extended its smoking prohibitions to now include the use of e-cigarettes (vapourizors). Use of e-cigarettes is now prohibited inside all campus buildings and shelters and also within 9 metres of building entrances or exits, on patios with food or beverage service, and on and around outdoor playing surfaces and sports fields.

gender neutral washroom sign
Volunteers needed: UTM Washroom Inclusivity Project - Wed, 05/06/2015

Date: Wednesday, May 6

Time: 12:00 pm  - 4:30 pm

Place: University of Toronto Mississauga

We need your help! The Office for Equity and Diversity is looking for 50 volunteers to help create an inventory of campus washrooms. The inventory will highlight single-user facilities, accessibility features, ablution facilities for those who wash before prayer, and baby change stations, to update the online campus map. Join the event through our Facebook page, fill out an online application, or contact us via email at

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logo with the letters TGAO
Town & Gown Symposium: Connecting for Success - Mon, 05/11/2015 - Wed, 05/13/2015

Delegates from across the province and around the world will gather for the annual Town and Gown Association of Ontario (TGAO) Symposium to explore the unique relationship between universities and colleges, and the communities in which they are located. The association aims to improve the quality of life in municipalities that host post-secondary institutions by promoting and supporting activities that ensure safe, healthy and enjoyable communities. TGAO works across all levels of government, identifies common challenges and works collaboratively to find solutions.  

Mississauga is this year’s host city, with U of T Mississauga and Sheridan College acting as host post-secondary institutions and providing host facilities. University of Toronto president Meric Gertler will give the two-day symposium’s keynote address. Professor Deep Saini, principal of U of T Mississauga and vice-president of U of T, will sit on a May 12 leadership panel with Mississauga mayor Bonnie Crombie and Sheridan College CEO & president Jeff Zabudsky.

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logo with words creative destruction lab
DemoCampToronto 2015 - Tue, 05/12/2015

Date: Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Time: 1:30 p.m. to 5:00 pm

Place: Desautels Hall, 2nd Floor, South Building, Rotman School of Management

If you have an interest in technology trends or are wondering how to go about commercializing groundbreaking research, please join us at Creative Destruction Lab’s landmark event, DemoCampToronto. You will have the unique opportunity to experience leading-edge demos, hear engaging speakers, and network with creative entrepreneurs and industry leaders. Admission is free, but spots are limited, so secure your ticket early. Register here >

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Faculty and Staff Announcements: 

UTM Weightlifting coach Darren Turner led his club to success at the Ontario Scholastic Weightlifting Challenge at Canadore College in North Bay in early April. Second-year life sciences student Jurai Proner won gold in the Men’s 105-kg weight class. This was Proner’s first Olympic weightlifting competition. Team member and Humber College student Sang Jun Ka won silver in the Men’s 105+ kg class.

Training & Development: 

Call for Nominations: 2015 Excellence Awards

If you are inspired by an outstanding teaching assistant, faculty and/or staff member at UTM, please consider putting them forward for a 2015 UTM Excellence Award. The winner in each category will be recognized for their exemplary efforts at a reception and will receive a special award plaque. The deadline for submissions is Friday, May 29, 2015

Nominations from groups and individuals are invited in four award categories:

•    Teaching Excellence Award for Faculty

•    Teaching Excellence Award for Teaching Assistants

•    Research Excellence Award

•    Staff Service Excellence Award

For information on the awards, including eligibility and award criteria, as well as how to assemble a nomination dossier, please review the attached documents or visit the Excellence Awards website.

Workshop: Managing Me

Date: Thursday May 7, 2015

Time: 1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m.

Place: UTM Council Chambers, Davis Building, Room 3130

Time management expert Doug Heidebrecht will lead a workshop to help you explore how to organize tasks, make smart choices to stay in control and prevent things from slipping through the cracks. Discover how to manage paperwork, e-mail, and other details to find what’s needed when it’s needed. Register here >

Family Care Advisor at U of T Mississauga

Date: Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Time: By appointment, between 10:00 a.m. and 3:00 p.m.

Place: TBD

If you are seeking support and advice on any personal family matters, a family care advisor will be available on the UTM campus to meet with students, staff and faculty for individual confidential consultations. To book an appointment, please email with the following information: your student or staff number, UofT employee group and/or your union affiliation if applicable, and a brief explanation of your enquiry. More >

Need a Babysitter?

We can help! The Family Care Office created an online Babysitter Listing to assist staff, faculty, and student parents in finding casual child care. The babysitters, who are University of Toronto students or partners of, have a wide array of training and experience with children and child care, and are available to babysit in Mississauga and Toronto. To access a directory of available babysitters please email us with your student or employee number at:

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.

Media Clippings: 

Research by anthropology professor David Smith provides new evidence of early plant cultivation by indigenous Caribbean populations. As part of a Canadian-Cuban research team, Smith extracted starch grains from dental plaque found in remains excavated in Cuba’s Matanzas province. His analysis contributed to findings that the people who lived in the region in 1000 B.C. consumed cultivated beans, sweet potatoes and zamia about 1,500 years earlier than previously thought. The findings were published in the Journal of Archaeological Science and Archaeology.

Several publications profiled, including the Hamilton Spectator and CHCH TV, profiled  IEC global mobility coordinator Andrew Sedmihradsky about Max’s Big Ride. Sedmihradsky’s four-year-old son, Max, has Duchenne muscular dystrophy, a degenerative disease with no known cure. In mid-June, the pair will embark on a 600 km journey, riding a Dutch cargo bike from Hamilton to Ottawa. The journey will raise research funding and awareness of the disease. The duo is currently competing to win high-profile placement of their ride on a billboard in an online contest with radio station Indie88.

Sociology professor Melissa Milkie’s parenting study continues to receive widespread media attention, including coverage by the Washington Post, the New York Times and many parenting publications. Milkie studied whether the amount of time mothers spend with their children is related to children’s and adolescents’ well-being. She found that the quantity of time mothers spend with children – either engaged in activities with them or just present – doesn’t have a link to the emotional or behavioral health, or math and reading scores, of kids aged 3 to 11. For teens, the study found more quantity time engaged with mothers in activities related to less delinquent behavior among teens and engaged time with mothers and fathers together linked to better behavioral health, math scores and less risky behavior.

Psychology professor Ulrich Schimmack was interviewed by Metro News about the relationship between personal happiness and city life.

The Huffington Post covered new research by marketing professor Matthew Osborne into the financial effects of cell phone usage alerts. Under U.S. industry policy, cell phone companies send alerts to customers to let them know they are approaching their monthly usage limits. The alerts are meant to help customers avoid overage charges, however Osborne found that the alerts do not help customers avoid extra fees. His research discovered users underestimate their usage needs when signing up for plans, and fail to adjust their behaviour after receiving the alerts.

The Globe and Mail interviewed political science professor Peter Loewen about Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign strategy.

New Scientist covered research by Marc Laflamme, assistant professor of earth science, that suggests the first complex life on Earth was eaten to extinction. Laflamme’s team studied the disappearance of fleshy tube-like organisms that lived on the ocean floor during the Ediacara period in what is now Namibia. The researchers found no evidence of an environmentally driven mass extinction, suggesting that a new predator species may have eaten the organisms at the beginning of the Cambrian period.