May 2012

Image of apple blossoms
Boundless campaign launches
Image of speakers at Boundless launch event

The University of Toronto Mississauga has launched its Boundless campaign, announcing a fundraising goal of $60 million that will transform U of T Mississauga and prepare the campus for its next leap forward as a global innovation leader.

Professor Deep Saini, Vice-President of the University of Toronto and Principal of U of T Mississauga, outlined the campaign’s broad vision at a ceremony in the Instructional Centre at U of T Mississauga. Saini was joined by dignitaries, students, faculty, staff, alumni and community leaders to launch the campaign, which will continue over the next five years.

Awards recognize UTM research
Image of Marc Johnson

“Absolutely transformative,” is how Marc Johnson describes $140,000 in funding from the government of Ontario’s Early Researcher Awards (ERA).

Johnson, an assistant professor of biology at the University of Toronto Mississauga, is one of three UTM researchers who received ERA funding. The funding allows recently appointed Ontario researchers to build their teams—and for Johnson, it means he can get his lab working quickly on cutting-edge research. “We’ll have researchers at all levels, undergraduates to graduate students and post-doctoral fellows, integrating ideas from genetics to ecology to develop a comprehensive understanding of our research questions,” he says.

Governor General’s Medal for building
Image of Terrence Donnelly Health Sciences Complex

The silvery facade of the U of T Mississauga campus’ new Terrence Donnelly Health Sciences Complex has a golden sheen these days.

The distinctive four-storey building, designed by Kongats Architects of Toronto, was announced recently as one of the winners of a 2012 Governor General’s Gold Medal for Architecture. This awards program, administered jointly by the Canada Council for the Arts and the Royal Architectural Institute of Canada, recognizes outstanding achievement in recently built projects by Canadian architects.

Convocation for campus’ first CTEP class
Image of Emily Johnston, John Smith and Shereen Abdou

Call them pioneers, call them guinea pigs, but definitely call the first graduands from U of T Mississauga’s new concurrent teacher education program (CTEP) passionate about their learning experience.

“It has everything all in one,” said graduating student Emily Johnston, who specialized in French and intermediate and secondary school education. “It’s done in partnership with OISE (the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education), so we get the downtown experience and the Mississauga experience, plus small classes. It worked out wonderfully.”

Professor wins human rights prize
image of Professor Joan Simalchik

When historian Joan Simalchik arrived at the University of Toronto in 1976, she expected to focus on her Masters studies and to get to know her way around the city. Instead, she met Chilean refugees fleeing Pinochet’s brutal dictatorship and heard horrific stories of torture and oppression.

Simalchik could not turn away. She headed the Canadian Committee for Solidarity with Democratic Chile and campaigned to denounce human rights violations in that country. Then she learned that a colleague had been tortured and held in solitary confinement for five years. “He was taken from his wife, his children, his art, his work, his life,” Simalchik says. “His personality was destroyed: his hair turned completely white.” Galvanized by his story, Simalchik devoted years to human rights work and supporting refugees who had escaped to Canada.

Image of Transit of Venus
Watch this once-in-a-lifetime event! - Tue, 06/05/2012

On June 5th, 2012, the planet Venus will pass in front of the Sun as seen from Earth in what for many will be a once-in-a-lifetime event: a transit of Venus. Watch the event with other astronomy fans from the Royal Astronomical Society of Canada on the Davis Field (front lawn) from 6 p.m. to sunset. There is no charge for this event. Don't miss it--the next transit of Venus won't happen until 2117!

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Book launch: 'The Locavore’s Dilemma' - Wed, 06/06/2012

Professor Pierre Desrochers of the Department of Geography, will soon be launching his book, The Locavore’s Dilemma: In Praise of the 10,000-Mile Diet. To mark the occasion, the Department of Geography is hosting an “author meets critics” session on June 6 at 1 p.m. in the Council Chambers, Davis Building. In addition to Desrochers, the panel includes Tenley Conway (Professor, Department of Geography, Debbie Fields (Executive Director, Food Share Toronto) and Joseph Leydon (Professor, Department of Geography).  Following the panel discussion, moderated by Department of Management professor Hugh Gunz, Desrochers will be addressing questions from the floor.

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Graduation reception Spring 2012 - Wed, 06/06/2012

Faculty and staff are invited to our Graduation Reception on Wednesday, June 6 at 7 p. m. in the Instructional Centre, room 110. This is an opportunity for our graduating students to attend with their family members. The Grad Reception has grown into a cherished tradition at U of T Mississauga. It is an opportunity for graduating students to mingle with faculty and staff and to celebrate their transition to our alumni family--now more than 40,000 strong! Please note that you are to come in academic regalia. Please direct any questions to Melissa Heide (

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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  


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Video and Audio as Assignments

Image of Rochelle Mazar

By Rochelle Mazar

This is the first year I’ve had so many questions from faculty about how to get students to record and submit audio or video for assignments: it’s exciting! Lots of disciplines rely on oral presentations, but with a larger class (and a twelve-week term) it may seem as though there’s no time for them.

Still want students to do an oral presentation? You can have students record a presentation and respond to the presentations of others online! How?

There’s no simple institutionally-blessed way to accomplish this, but there are two easy, free solutions on the web that require no special software and no downloads: for video, the ubiquitous YouTube (, and for audio, SoundCloud (

We know YouTube as that place with a zillion videos of cats, but it has some excellent applications in the classroom. You can shoot video with your phone of with a camera, edit it, and upload it, or you can use YouTube’s direct record functionality and record from your laptop’s webcam straight into YouTube. Students only need to record, review, publish. The biggest advantage of youtube is that is preserves privacy in a way many other applications do not. A student can set a youtube video to be invisible to anyone without the link to it, which effectively keeps their school work out of random searches or even their channel views. Have the students post their videos as web addresses or embeds into Blackboard, and you don’t even need to cope with large video files or video formats and players, or downloading masses of video onto your computer. Just watch from inside the course website!

If all you need is audio from students, you can direct them to SoundCloud. Like YouTube, you can press record and record audio directly from a browser. SoundCloud also has Android and iPhone apps, so students can record to the web directly from their phones. SoundCloud doesn’t have the privacy functionality that YouTube does; students can only make their audio private only to them, or public to the world, no in-between. Still: it’s a simple, well-designed option for recording up to 3 hours of audio and sharing it for free. No files, no downloads: just audio.

Interested in having students using video or audio as part of an assignment? Want to know more? Drop me a line, let’s talk!

Faculty and Staff Announcements: 

Image of Professor Andrew PetersenAndrew Petersen of the Department of Mathematical and Computational Sciences has agreed to serve as the next Director of Teaching and Learning Support and Innovation for a five-year term, effective July 1, 2012.  

Since joining UTM in 2007, Petersen has established himself as both a sensational classroom teacher and a highly innovative pedagogical force.   He is respected by both students and other faculty for his ability to promote student engagement and community building.  In his computer science courses, Petersen created an anonymous email feedback mechanism so students could share their ongoing experience of the course in ways that helped to inform his teaching.  This innovation has since been adopted by 30 faculty across U of T.   He has developed computer science cohort communities, peer learning programs, and has served as the Computer Science Faculty Advisor.  In addition, Petersen has established himself as an educational leader through presentations at national and international learning conferences and publications, including an award-winning paper on social learning strategies.  Most recently he has been the co-chair of UTM’s Instructional Technology Task Force and a member of the Course Evaluation Committee. 


New Faces at UTM

Department Name Title
Biology Brenda Pitton Horticulturist assistant
Biology Maria Wowk Administrative and financial assistant
Career Centre Alana James Employment advisor
Facilities Management & Planning Saba AlSaady Project coordinator
Facilities Management & Planning Maria Gabby Custodio Service worker caretaking
Facilities Management & Planning John Turberfield Service worker caretaking
Office of the Registrar Neil Neebar Assistant registrar, Student Records, Registration and Graduation
Student Housing Sarah Memme Community development officer



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: 

Image of apple and book The U of T Organizational Development and Learning Centre (ODLC) invites you to attend  staff workshops at UTM. We currently have two workshops scheduled in June, plus an opportunity for individual career coaching:

Do it Now! – Get Organized
Wednesday June 13, 2012, 1:00 – 4:00 pm
UTM Council Chambers, Davis Building Room 3130

Maximize Your Career Savvy
Tuesday June 19th 12:00 – 1:00 pm
UTM Ante Chamber, Davis Building Room 3129

Personal Career Coaching
Beverly Kahn, Coordinator, U of T Career Services will be available on the UTM campus to provide administrative staff with one-on-one career coaching discussions designed to support your career development.To schedule an individual appointment, please contact Beverly directly at or 416-978-0995 or contact Chris Berriault at 416-978-2066 or at

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: 

The Terrence Donnelly Health Sciences Complex's Governor General's award for architecture was noted in the Mississauga News

An op-ed by Professor Diana Raffman in the Department of Philosophy appeared in the New York Times

Professor Shyon Baumann and PhD candidate Kim de Laat's research, which found that the majority of moms in TV ads are family focused, was covered in the National Post

Professor Graham White in the Department of Political Science was quoted in the Whitehorse Star about how Toronto's reputation is increasingly undermined by the antics of Rob Ford. 

Professor Kent Moore of the Department of Chemical and Physical Sciences, discussed the death of a Canadian climber on Mount Everest on CBC TV's The National, CBC Radio's Ontario Today. He also worked closely with National Geographic on a special feature on climbing Mount Everest, which will appear in the June 2012 issue of the magazine. An op-ed co-written by Moore and U of T surgery professor Dr. John Semple,  and a graphic based on his research also highlighted the death toll on Everest. 

Professor Len Brooks of the Department of Management, was quoted in the Corner Brook Western Star about Conrad Black's legacy on the world of corporate law.

The Saturday Morning Program at the Mississauga Academy of Medicine was covered in the Mississauga News

Professor Daniel Wigdor's research involving a wearable computing system for smartphones that uses a shoe sensor and gesture control was written up in PSFK.