January 2016

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From Japan to Samoa: UTM prof traces origins of sexual behaviour
woman applying eye makeup

How does evolution affect human behaviour? U of T Mississauga assistant professor Doug VanderLaan has chased the answer to that question from Japan to Samoa and across Canada, searching for clues about why humans behave as we do.

UTM graduate students warm up to the Canadian Arctic
Two young men smile at the camera

The charm of the Canadian Arctic has stolen the hearts of two U of T Mississauga graduate students who are now planning careers north of 60. They are the first North American students chosen to present papers at the prestigious Arctic Frontiers conference in Tromsø, Norway, from Jan. 25 to 29. Kevin Jakiela, 24, and Andrew Orawiec, 26, will board a Jan. 22 flight that will take them to this conference taking place more than 300 kilometres north of the Arctic Circle.

Defending your digital data
headshot of Ryan Duquette

Companies have tremendous motivation to protect their digital data, but what about the average person? As the Internet becomes more pervasive, we all become more vulnerable to hacks and viruses—but the good news is we have many ways to safeguard our personal information

English prof co-leads $1-million digital scholarship initiative
photo of Alexandra Gillespie with library shelves in the background

A digital scholarship initiative, co-lead by English and drama associate professor Alexandra Gillespie, has won a $1-million grant from the Andrew. W. Mellon Foundation to develop digital tools to support manuscript study. 

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Research Excellence Lecture: What is vagueness and why should we care about it? - Wed, 01/27/2016

Date: Wednesday, Jan. 27, 2016

Time: 2:30 p.m. to 3:45 p.m.

Location: Faculty Club

The annual Research Excellence Lecture features Philosophy professor Diana Raffman on the subject of vagueness. Many, perhaps most, words in ordinary language are vague; in other words, there is no clear boundary between the things to which they apply and the things to which they don't. For example, the words 'tall' and 'blue' are vague: there is no clear boundary between people who are tall and people who are above average, or between things that are blue and things that are green. Although the vagueness of language is familiar to us all, it causes some serious logical and semantic problems. Professor Raffman will discuss one of these problems—a famous puzzle called the sorites paradox—and propose a way to solve it. A reception will follow the lecture. Please RSVP to Rong Wu >

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photo of Salina Abji
Feminist Lunch Hour: Out of our shelters! Out of our lives! - Thu, 01/28/2016

Date: Thursdya, Jan. 28, 2016

Time: Noon to 1:30

Location: Spigel Hall

Salina Abji is a doctoral candidate in sociology at U of T and an organizing member of the Rights of Non-Status Women's Network. Her current research focuses on efforts to address violence against women with precarious immigration status in Canada, and how these efforts are re-shaping the meanings of citizenship in the contemporary immigration context. A light lunch will be provided.

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Training & Development: 

logo for U of T's Organizational Development & Learning CentreODLC networking event: Lunch with 16 Colleagues

Date: Wednesday, Feb. 3, 2016

Time: Noon to 1:00 p.m.

Location: North Side Bistro, Deerfield Hall

Join 16 colleagues from across the campus for an informal lunchtime networking session that will bring insights into various careers at U of T. Attendees can bring their own lunch or purchase food at the North Side Bistro. Click to register > 

Click for a full listing of informal mentoring and networking sessions offered by ODLC >


logo for U of T's Organizational Development & Learning CentreWorkshops: Practicing Diversity, Equity and Inclusion in the Workplace: A Workshop  for Unionized Staff and Confidentials

As members of our community, U of T staff have an essential role in helping to support and promote a work environment that is diverse, respectful, equitable and inclusive. The Organizational Development & Learning Centre presents two workshops to help members of the U of T community take steps to identify, eliminate, reduce and mitigate barriers that may or do manifest in the workplace is crucial to achieving the University’s commitment to becoming an equitable and inclusive community.

ODLC workshop for unionized staff and confidentials

Date: Tuesday, Feb. 3, 2016

Time: 1:00 p.m.  – 4:00 p.m.

Location: UTM Council Chambers, Davis Building Room 3130

Click to register for ODLC workshop for unionized and confidentials >


ODLC Workshop for Professionals and Managers

Date: Wed., February 24, 2016

Time: 1:00 p.m.  – 4:00 p.m.

Location: UTM Council Chambers, Davis Building Room 3130

Click to register for ODLC workshop for professionals and managers > 


illustration of a lighbulb on a chalkboard

UTM Emerging Leader award committee: Volunteers needed

Student Life is looking for two administrative staff to join the selection committee for the new UTM Emerging Leader award. Selection Committee members will be required to meet in March to review successful candidates and determine award winners. Please contact Jessica Silver (x3957 or email) by Thursday, Jan. 28, 2016 at noon.


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Nominate a student for engagement in the arts

Nominations are open to recognize the tremendous contributions made by University of Toronto students to the creative and performing arts communities on all three campuses. The U of T Student Engagement in the Arts Awards recognize outstanding leadership by  students involved in co-curricular arts and creative endeavours, such as developing a community arts program; curating an art show, film festival or open mic night; someone who’s edited a magazine or book of poetry; produced a musical, play, speakers series and more. Nominations are open until Monday, Feb. 22, 2016. For more information and to download the nomination form, please visit > 


logo reads family care officeWorkshop: Developing your career while raising a family

Date: Thursday, Feb. 25, 2016

Time: 12:00 p.m. to 1:30 p.m.

Location: DV 3129

Teresa Scannell leads this workshop that explores the challenges of balancing a career and family live. Learn from a panel of colleagues about their pathway and the lessons learned; discover simple strategies to manage your career, make progress on your career goals, while still spending time and energy on family; and create a simple action plan to manage your priorities. Click to register >


Media Clippings: 

Dozens of international media outlets picked up a story featuring sociology professor Josée Johnston about how the next wave of food stars will come from Hollywood, not the kitchen. The original article by the Associated Press was syndicated by ABC News10, The Post and Courier newspapers and British newspaper The Telegraph. Johnston also appeared on BBC World Service program The Food Chain on an episode about food and social class.

A new book by professor emeritus Graham White on Nunuavut’s decentralized government was covered by CBC News.

MBiotech professor Jayson Parker’s study of the success rate of multiple sclerosis clinical trials was covered by MedPage Today and Neurology Advisor.

Peter Loewen’s comments about Senate reform and Justin Trudeau appeared in the Ottawa Citizen, La Presse and Yahoo! News.

Assistant professor of anthropology Tracey Galloway was interviewed by CTV News, CBC News and Yorkton News about the cost of food prices in Canada’s north.

Criminology professor Kelly Hannah-Moffat was interviewed by CP24 News about the impact of a jail guard strike on prisoners’ rights.