May 2016

purple lilacs
How earthworms harm ecosystems

There’s a wriggling invader beneath your feet and it’s steadily, silently nibbling away at forest diversity. New field research from evolutionary biologist Peter Kotanen shows for the first time that invasive earthworms are eating forest seed species, suggesting that earthworms may have a greater impact on the success of forest seedlings than previously suspected.

Exploring the landscape of cell receptors
Scott Prosser in his laboratory

Ever wonder how caffeine works so marvelously to give you that extra boost you need the night before your final exam? The caffeine molecule—much loved by students the world over—binds to a receptor, preventing the action of the sleep-inducing molecule adenosine, giving you those extra few hours to prep for your exam in the morning. The class of receptors responsible for regulating neuronal function are part of the focus of a recent study by professor Scott Prosser in the Department of Chemical & Physical Sciences at U of T Mississauga.

New book by UTM prof examines forces that shape environmental policy in Canada
Andrea Olive

The environmental is political and you can’t have one without the other. Understanding that crucial relationship is the theme of a new book by U of T Mississauga assistant professor of political science and geography Andrea Olive.

UTM hosts young scholars at annual ‘Bring Our Children to Work Day’
children in a classroom

Future scholars visited the U of T Mississauga campus on April 28 for “Bring Our Children to Work Day.” The popular annual event hosted children of staff and faculty for a fun-filled day of educational activities. Participants aged 9 to 12 accompanied their parents to work and participated in a variety of scheduled activities throughout the day, getting a kids-eye view of research and other activities happening across the campus.

Kung Fu Panda face
Spring Reunion: Flicks on the Field - Fri, 05/27/2016

A warm spring evening under the stars with family, friends and a terrific (free!) flick. Enjoy our beautiful campus under the night sky where the front lawn of the Davis Building will be transformed into an outdoor movie experience featuring the family-friendly movie Kung Fu Panda 3. You bring the lawn chairs and blankets and Alumni Relations will bring the popcorn and bug repellent. Complimentary parking in lots P4 and P8.

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Peter Mahaffy
Spring Reunion: Science Education Lecture by Professor Peter Mahaffy, The King’s University - Fri, 05/27/2016

Date: Friday, May 27, 2016

Time: 2:30 to 3:30 p.m.

Location: Instructional Centre, Room 150

Join us for the inaugural E. A. Robinson Science Education Lectureship, "Guiding Human Development on a Changing Planet: A Role for Science Education?" featuring Professor Peter Mahaffy of The King's University, Edmonton. Arrive early to enjoy a tour of the newly renovated Chemical & Physical Sciences labs, beginning at 1:00 p.m.

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Faculty and Staff Announcements: 

Mary ShawMary Shaw has been appointed Staff Sergeant with UTM Campus Police. Shaw previously served 30 years with Toronto Police Services in locations across the city, most recently as Detective Sergeant with High Park’s 11 Division. The middle of eight children including three sisters who also work for TPS), Shaw grew up in Parkdale where the idea of community involvement was instilled by her mother, who was a dedicated volunteer with local organizations. Throughout her career, Shaw remained committed to community police work and hopes to bring that experience to her new role at UTM.

Shaw is among a number of new hires to the campus security team as part of a planned expansion announced in September 2015. Assistant Manager, Physical Security Steven Riviera joined the team group last fall. He was previously Security Systems Specialist with George Brown College. Administrative assistant Megan Nesland was previously with the Canadian Mental Health Association in York Region.

illustration of a pen and paper inside of a green circleNominations for Interim Chief Librarian, UTM campus

Nominations are sought to fill the role of Interim Chief Librarian at UTM. Ian Whyte will complete his term in the position on December 31, 2016.  The interim candidate will be appointed to to serve until a new Vice- President & Principal takes office at UTM. Nominations should be sent to Colleen McColeman.


compass needle pointing to the word "Excellence"Nominations for UTM Excellence Awards

Nominate an outstanding faculty member, researcher, teaching assistant or staff member for exceptional contributions at UTM. 

Nominations from groups and/or individuals are invited for four award categories, including the new category that recognizes staff for their work:

  • 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 visit the awards website or contact Rong Wu or 905-569-5768. Deadline for submissions is Friday, May 27, 2016.

microphoneUTM Town Hall responses now online

Responses to questions posed at the UTM Principal’s Town Hall have been posted. This year, the annual event featured a “listening” forum to better understand the context around questions and issues of importance to UTM community members, to consider and consult with the appropriate individuals after the meeting, and then to respond in a thoughtful manner. Community members were invited to email questions and statements or to raise them at the event itself. Issues ranged from academics and financial assistance to campus facilities and refugee support. Please visit the UTM Principal’s Town Hall page to view questions and responses. 

Training & Development: 

logo for Ombudsman OfficeOffice 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.


illustration of a jumble of letters feeding into a pencilWorkshop: Grammar Tune-Up

Date: Monday, May 30, 2016

Time: Noon to 1:30 p.m.

Location: Davis Building, Room 3040

Diana Kawarsky leads a high-impact workshop designed to review correct grammar usage and put it into action in the documents you write. In this interactive and intensive writing workshop, participants learn by using their own work samples as the basis for improvement. 

Click to register >

excel logoUTM Excel Computer Courses for Appointed Staff

The HR & Equity department is offering computer training courses to UTM appointed adminstrative staff who would like to learn more about using Excel. Course fees, charged to participants' departments, are $45 for a three-hour course and $90 for a six-hour course. Please see the list of UTM Computer Sessions for course descriptions and to register.


excel program logoExcel 2010 Basics

Date: Friday June 10, 2016

Time: 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

Location: CCIT Building, Room 2140

excel program logo

Excel 2010 Functions and Formulas

Date: Friday June 10, 2016

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

Location: CCIT Building, Room 2140

excel program logo

Excel 2010 Advanced

Date: Friday June 17, 2016

Time: 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

Location: CCIT Building, Room 2140

Media Clippings: 

Biology professor Robert Reisz’s research into whether or not dinosaurs had lips was reported by more than two hundred media outlets. His findings, which were presented at the recent annual meeting of the Canadian Society of Vertebrate Palaeontolgists, were reported by the Globe and Mail, CBC News, Huffington Post, MotherboardThe Guardian and CNN.

The Ottawa Citizen, Yahoo Finance and The Mississauga News covered the visit of federal Minister of Science Kirsty Duncan to the UTM campus and the lab of assistant professor of biology Adriano Senatore.

Associate professor Nicola Lacetera, of the Department of Management, was interviewed about the perils of social media fundraising for stories in Metro UK, Consumer Affairs, Huffington Post and Yahoo.

Researcher Amy Muise’s findings on sex and relationships appeared in a number of publications, including Bustle, Metro UK, Women’s Day and Good Housekeeping.

Assistant professor of sociology David Pettinicchio wrote about Hillary Clinton’s position on disability and the labour market in the Huffington Post.

Geography professor Ron Buliung’s findings on how children get to school were reported by the Toronto Star, Toronto Sun and York Region News.

Associate professor of anthropology Stephen Bede-Scharper covered the 25th anniversary of Romero House, a west Toronto haven for refugees, for the Toronto Star.

Political science professor Peter Loewen wrote about electoral reform and the tough road ahead for the official opposition on Parliament Hill in the Ottawa Citizen.

Yahoo, The Mississauga News and India Times covered research by psychology fellow Cristina Rabaglia on the symbolism of word sounds.
Associate professor Peter Kotanen’s findings on what earthworms really eat and their effect on our ecosystem was covered by Marshalltown News, New Scientist and CBC Radio’s Quirks and Quarks.

CBC News interviewed political science lecturer Katherine Bullock about her findings on how Islamophobia affects the identity of young Canadian Muslims.

Assistant professor of sociology Jennifer Carlson was interviewed by National Public Radio about how widespread permits to carry concealed weapons affect perceptions if personal safety.

Social Media Highlight

CSVP volunteer team

Thanks to their team jerseys, organizers were easy to spot at the recent meeting of the Canadian Society of Vertebrate Palaeontologists. The conference, hosted this year by UTM, brings together 60 Canadian researchers working in Canada and around the globe to discuss the latest findings about creatures that lived millions of years ago.

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