September 2012

Image of Jane Goodall and chimp
Dr. Jane Goodall visits U of T Mississauga
Image of Jane Goodall with chimp

When shy British secretary, Jane Goodall, entered a remote corner of the Tanzanian jungle to observe wild chimpanzees, she had no idea her work would span 50 years, or that her breakthrough discoveries would revolutionize the way we view chimps and other mammals.

The famous primatologist, and UN Messenger of Peace, spoke to more than 1,100 University of Toronto Mississauga students, staff, faculty, and community members on September 18, as part of the university’s Snider Lecture Series. Wearing her signature ponytail and carrying a plush toy monkey, the 78-year-old Goodall reflected on her life’s work at the Gombe Stream Game Reserve.

Instructional Centre wins silver LEED certification
image of Instructional Centre

The Instructional Centre has been awarded a Silver LEED Certification from the Canada Green Building Council. 

Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) is a third-party certification program and an internationally accepted benchmark for the design, construction and operation of high performance green buildings. LEED promotes a holistic approach to sustainability by recognizing performance in five key areas of human and environmental health, which include sustainable site development, water efficiency, energy efficiency, materials selection and indoor environmental quality.

The IC, which houses lecture theatres, computer labs, and classrooms, was built over the site of an existing parking lot, so no green space was eliminated to construct it. It incorporates green technologies including geothermal heating and cooling, energy-efficient lighting, computer, and AV equipment, and water-efficient fixtures.

Memorial service to be held for Josef Skvorecky
Image for Josef Skvorecky memorial Express

A memorial service for internationally renowned writer and former Erindale College professor Josef Skvorecky, who passed away earlier this year, will be held Thursday, Sept. 27, at 2:30 p.m., in the Great Hall of Hart House.

Skvorecky, who used a fictionalized Erindale College setting in one of his most famous novels, died Jan. 3.  The Engineer of Human Souls (Lester & Orpen Dennys, 1984) is set in the sheltered world of “Edenvale College” in Toronto and won the Governor General’s Award for English Language Fiction in 1984.

UTM lauded by Big Brothers Big Sisters of Peel
Image of Dale Mullings and John Smith accepting award

The University of Toronto Mississauga has been selected by the Big Brothers Big Sisters of Peel's Board of Directors and staff as the Community Partner of the Year for 2012. UTM has two partner programs with BBBS, a traditional volunteer match initiative from the Concurrent Education Program, and the new Group Mentoring Program, which is our partnership of: Student Life, Student Housing & Residence Life, Health & Counselling Centre and Recreation, Athletics, & Wellness.

"The excitement surrounding our Group Mentoring Program is a direct result of the efforts in planning, piloting, and launching this initiative," says Dale Mullings, director of Residence & Student Life.  "The division of Student Affairs & Services has made it a priority to engage in community programs with the Region of Peel, and this award is one accolade that only proves to strengthen that bond."

Key to these programs were the efforts of Kate Kinsella, Christopher Lengyell, Veronica Vasquez, Chad Jankowski, Rachel Tennant, Cat-Mark Criger and John Smith.

Image of flower
United Way Plant Sale - Wed, 09/26/2012

Encourage your green thumb! Support a great charity and get some greenery to brighten up your office or home! This year we’ll also be having a silent auction for the larger plants.

WHEN: Wednesday Sept. 26, 2012
WHERE: The Link (Located between CCT and the
Hazel McCallion Academic Learning Centre)
TIME: 10am-3pm

Willing to volunteer? Please e-mail Marianne Kalich.

More >
Image of CCT building with moon
Lunch & Learn: Discover the UTM campus - Fri, 09/28/2012

The Staff Experience Team invites you to an engaging Lunch & Learn that will provide an architectural overview of the UTM campus.

DATE: Friday, September 28
TIME: 12-1 p.m.
PLACE: Entrance to the William G. Davis Building (at the flagpole)

We will be accompanied by William Yasui, Senior Facilities Planner, who will lead us through a walking tour that will consider the historical architecture, as well as the new buildings, and those in the works. Please come dressed for the weather and the walk, and RSVP to Carla DeMarco if you would like to attend.

More >

Image of Rochelle MazarReach out and touch...PixelSense

If you drop into the Hazel McCallion Academic Learning Centre and see students huddled around a glowing table, don’t be alarmed! With the support of a grant from the Provost’s Instructional Technology Innovation Fund, we’re experimenting with a new device called PixelSense:it’s a touch-based computer that looks like a table. Like a giant iPad on legs, the PixelSense is a touch device that lets you interact directly with digital objects inside it.

Unlike an iPad, which can recognize only two fingers at once, the PixelSense has fifty points of touch (the equivalent of five pairs of hands), and recognizes the difference between your palm and your fingers. This means you can use all your digits to control and manipulate digital objects, and a group of people can sit around the screen and interact with software collaboratively.

This summer we built some basic applications for the PixelSense: you can draw, play music, or drop one of the many little objects sitting around it onto the screen and get answers to common questions asked in the library. We’ve also installed some software that lets you zoom around the universe!



We brought the PixelSense into the library in the hopes of inspiring ideas about using digital objects as part of teaching, research, and learning. Interested? Come check it out! Chat with us about how we might build something that would help students understand a tricky concept, work through an assignment, or explore data in a new and different way. As touch interfaces become more commonplace, we have more opportunities to integrate them into learning in creative ways!

You’ll find the PixelSense in the Learning Commons: drop by anytime!

Faculty and Staff Announcements: 
Image of Ian Whyte
Ian Whyte's term as Interim Chief Librarian extended

After review of the applicant pool and deliberation, the Consultative Committee for the University of Toronto Mississauga Chief Librarian recommended the continuation of Ian Whyte's appointment as Interim Chief Librarian, UTM, for the next year. Whyte has agreed to serve until Aug. 31, 2013. A new search for the position using the same consultative committee will begin in January 2013. Congratulations and thank you, Ian!


Image of Professor Mohan MatthenPhilosophy professor elected to Royal Society of Canada

Professor Mohan Matthen, of the Department of Philosophy, was one of 17 U of T faculty members elected as Fellows to the prestigious Royal Society of Canada (RSC). This is the largest number of new Fellows of any institution in Canada. Matthen, a senior Canada Research Chair in Philosophy, Perception, and Communication, has contributed importantly to three philosophical sub disciplines. He showed how Greek ontology was shaped by the syntax of the Greek verb “to be”, and how Greek cosmology treats the universe as a single substance. He pioneered the statistical interpretation of the neo-Darwinian Theory of Natural Selection and espoused a relational view of species. He has played a synthesizing role in perception by treating knowledge formation as a kind of action.

image of gavel

Nominations open for Erindale College Council

Nominations are open for the following positions on Erindale College Council:

Full-time undergraduate students – 50 positions available;
Part-time undergraduate students – 5 positions available;
Administrative Staff (non-academic staff other than department heads) –  7 positions available

Details on the nomination process are available on the ECC website

New faces at UTM

Department Name Title
AccessAbility Lisa Bermas AccessAbility services assistant
Athletics Shena Neermul Membership services assistant
Career Centre Sasha Thornhill Career services representative
Computing Services Daniel Rosenthal User support specialist
Computing Services David St. James Information technology specialist
Office of the Registrar Joyce Dong Statistician, Enrolment management


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 Janet Polivy of the Department of Psychology commented in the Toronto Star on research into attraction to certain body types.

Professor Joan Simalchik discussed feminism and the incarceration of the Russian punk band Pussy Riot in the Toronto Star.

Jane Goodall’s appearance at U of T Mississauga’s Snider Lecture was covered in the Mississauga News

Professor Pierre Desrochers of the Department of Geography, whose research focuses on the environmental and economic impact of the local food movement, co-wrote an article in The American

Political science professor Aurel Braun appeared on Canada Live with Krista Erickson to discuss the current political situation in the Middle East and north Africa. He also commented on the mobbing of the British embassy in Tehran on Global Montreal. 

Professor Robert Gerlai, from the Department of Psychology, spoke to CBC Radio in Regina about his research related to fetal alcohol spectrum disorder.

Professor Mohamad Tavakoli-Targhi, of the Department of Historical Studies, appeared on Al Jazeera to discuss the implications of Canada’s foreign affairs office’s statement of grievances with Iran.  His comments also appeared on Yahoo!’s Maktoob News. 

Professor Peter Loewen, of the Department of Political Science, wrote an article for the Victoria Times Colonist and the Ottawa Citizen about the errors regularly made by election pollsters.  

The mindset behind gated communities—and in a larger context, the moves towards a security perimeter around North America—are discussed in an op-ed in the Kingston Whig-Standard, including mention of Professor Stephen Bede Scharper, of the Department of Anthropology. 

Professor Philip Oreopoulos, of the Department of Economics, was quoted in the National Post about the trend towards an “artisanal economy”-- well-paying jobs of the future will be in the service sector and will reward people whose skills and personal touch set them apart.

Professor Glenn Schellenberg, of the Department of Psychology, was interviewed on NPR’s All Things Considered about how pop music makes people feel. The interview was rebroadcast on radio stations across the United States.

Professor Robert Johnson, of the Department of Historical Studies, spoke to the Toronto Star about a museum exhibit that pieces together the history of the Romanov family.