Convocation 2014 grads to watch: education leaders making an impact at home and around the world

Groundbreaking research, entrepreneurship, giving back to communities
Terry Lavender

“My dream job in my dream city”: That’s how Sandra Campeanu describes her new position as a lecturer at the City University of New York’s Lehman College.

Teaching, she says, is her passion; a passion she developed while completing her PhD in cognitive psychology at U of T.

“I always enjoyed teaching and being a teaching assistant,” she says. “Toward the end of my graduate studies, I realized that I wanted to pursue a career as a lecturer, and that I wanted teaching to be my primary focus.”

Where the grads go: UTSC's international development studies program

Alumni celebrate 30 years of IDS, share stories from Africa, Iraq
Berton Woodward

One is currently working in war-torn Iraq. Another brought together feuding political groups in Lebanon. A third helps empower communities in southern Africa and India.

As they celebrated the 30th anniversary of UTSC’s groundbreaking International Development Studies (IDS) program at a reception in the Instructional Centre on November 7, alumni of the program had fascinating stories to tell about their lives since graduation. Here are three:

Convocation 2014: celebrating success, looking to the future

More than 4,000 students graduate this week
Hailey Parliament

They spent years studying and researching, put in countless hours volunteering in disadvantaged communities and interning with companies in Canada and around the world – and now they’re celebrating.

This week, more than 4,000 students graduate from the University of Toronto and most will return to make their final trek across front campus to storied Convocation Hall: the journey from students to alumni.

Former Prime Minister Paul Martin visits U of T's School of Continuing Studies

Alison Terpenning

Aboriginal education is “the largest, single moral issue we face as a country,” the Right Honourable Paul Martin told an audience of more than 200 people at the University of Toronto November 4. 

“We cannot turn our back on this issue,” said the former prime minister and U of T alumnus. 

Getting girls to do the math at UTSC

Don Campbell

A quick glance around the lecture hall of many university-level math and science classes confirms the cliché: most of the faces staring back are male.

That’s why women from the academic and corporate world created Math in Motion … Girls in Gear! The hands-on math conference hosted by UTSC is geared toward inspiring girls in Grade 9 to pursue mathematics at the university level. 

University of Toronto is Canada's top university: U.S. News & World Report Rankings

U of T continues to be recognized as global leader for academic research excellence
Michael Kennedy

The University of Toronto took 14th spot – and ranked best in Canada – in the U.S. News & World Report’s Best Global Universities Ranking, released October 28.  

The survey examined 500 global institutions and focused on academic research and overall reputation.

Icewire Makerspace: helping teens and adults create their own electronic inventions

Liz Do

Electrical and computer engineering professor David Johns is taking a one-year leave of absence from teaching, but that doesn’t mean he’s taking a break from inspiring young people to become future engineers or scientists.

Johns will be focusing on Icewire Makerspace, a midtown Toronto facility that provides workshops and six-week courses for youth ages 12 and up interested in electronics, robotics, 3D printing and microcontrollers.

University of Toronto’s Teaching & Learning Symposium

Planning for change, responding to change
Kathleen Olmstead

The 9th Annual Teaching & Learning Symposiumon November 3 is an opportunity to share experience, insight and research with colleagues on the changing roles and contexts of teaching at the University of Toronto, organizers say.

“The role that teaching plays in the quality of our students’ learning experiences at the University of Toronto has never been more critical,” says Carol Rolheiser, director of the Centre for Teaching Support & Innovation (CTSI).  

Improving special needs education in Canada and abroad

OISE hosts Norwegian delegation
Liz Do

Canada needs more large-scale research on special needs education, says Julia O’Sullivan, dean of the University of Toronto's Ontario Institute for Studies in Education (OISE).

O'Sullivan made the comment during a meeting with delegates from Norway’s educational authority, Statped. The state agency is dedicated to helping Norwegian children, youth and adults with special educational needs participate actively in education, working life and society.

Prime Minister’s award for teaching excellence goes to PhD student

Faculty of Music's Susan Raponi teaches elementary school students in Scarborough
Peter Herriman with files from Kelly Rankin

Music education helps students to excel in all aspects of school life, says Susan Raponi, a doctoral candidate in music education at the University of Toronto and elementary school music teacher for grades 4-8 at George Peck Public School in Scarborough. 

“Music education has been proven in research to really support literacy and numeracy because it teaches a student to focus with others,” she says. “That development of attention really develops [students] in all areas of the curriculum.” 

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