Announcing the recipients of the 50th Anniversary Legacy Fund and Students' 50th Fund

Dragon's Den Style presentations

Celebrating UTSC’s 50th Anniversary, two funds award grants to showcase the innovative, collaborative and unique spirit of UTSC, and raise the bar for the next 50 years. All 15 academic departments submitted or supported proposals, together with 13 administrative departments and 46 student groups. Eleven judges on two panels assisted in reviewing proposals.  

Congratulations to the successful grant recipients, and thank you to all who contributed to the success of this outstanding initiative.

UTSC 50th Anniversary Legacy Fund Awards

The 50th Anniversary Legacy Fund gave faculty, staff and students the chance to make UTSC even better and at the same time commemorate the 50th Anniversary. Fifty-two proposals were submitted representing 40 academic and administrative departments and student groups.

$20,000 award

Six submissions for the fund’s $20,000 award were presented in a Dragons’ Den-style event that was open to the UTSC community. A panel representing alumni, Campus Council, staff and students reviewed the submissions. Panel members included:

  • Chair: UTSC Campus Council Member, Preet Banerjee (HBSc, 2001)
  • UTSC Campus Council Member, Sue Graham-Nutter (BA, 1981)
  • Director of Equity and Diversity, Toni DeMello
  • Director of Campus Safety and Security, Gary Pitcher
  • Mahrukh Khan, fourth year student majoring in International Development Studies and Health Policy, minor in Economics
  • Camay Lee, third year student majoring in Management and Marketing

Given the outstanding proposals and presentations, two grants are awarded, increasing the amount of the fund to $70,000:

Rock Walk

The Rock Walk imports the geology of Ontario onto the campus, enhancing the quality of instruction and overall community experience at UTSC. This landscaped display of the principal rock types found across the province will become an innovative outside laboratory, inspiring students in environmental science courses and fine arts and media studies. The assembled boulders will be located near the main entrance to the Environmental Science and Chemistry Building. Each will be numbered and a brass plaque will describe the rock type, its age and the location it came from. A central plaque inside the main foyer of the building will show a highly simplified geologic map of Ontario, with the location of each rock type and a chart of geologic time. This will be linked to attractive mineral displays inside the building. The Rock Walk inspires the wider UTSC community to reflect on Ontario’s ancient past, creating an area to relax and learn.  A highly attractive and very visible public place, this creates a suitable entrance motif for the new building dedicated to the science of the environment from the ancient to modern and will be a key attraction for visitors. Sign-posted and clearly visible to passersby on Military Trail, the Rock Walk will encourage guests from our surrounding communities to venture onto campus.  

Proposed by: Prof. Nick Eyles, Department of Physical and Environmental Science

The Scarborough Oral History Project, Stories of UTSC: 1964-2014

Throughout time, storytelling has been at the heart of community—an ancient cultural transmission device. With this project, UTSC will explore and document the rich its rich and multi-faceted history both of the campus and the community in which we live. The Scarborough Oral History Project (SOHP) is a new, collaborative and interdisciplinary research, teaching and community engagement initiative showcasing UTSC-focused oral histories in a multi-media exhibition. Students participating in a summer 2015 course will produce the stories. The exhibition will be mounted in fall 2015, featuring stories about the UTSC campus as told by past and present students, alumni, staff, faculty and members of the wider community. The SOHP builds on and expands existing university-community collaborations across disciplines and community organizations, giving faculty researchers the opportunity to engage directly with community members in retelling the story of Scarborough from within. This project supports pedagogical innovation at UTSC in the field of oral history. A digital archive of the stories enhances community engagement and provides an important resource for teaching and learning, particularly as a rich repository of research interviews essential to the teaching of interview methods and qualitative analysis. Celebrating local knowledge, the SOHP also creates a space for students to tell their stories, to share their voices and life experiences.

Proposed by: Christine Berkowitz and Connie Guberman - Department of Historical and Cultural Studies; Ahmed Allahwalla - Department of Human Geography/City Studies; Adon Irani, Academic Communication and Technology Specialist in the Centre for Teaching and Learning

$3,000 - $5,000 awards

Urquhart Memorial Pollinator Initiative: This proposal advances the legacy of Prof. Fred Urquhart’s work at UTSC, and connects with the Fred and Nora Urquhart Memorial Garden which was dedicated in September as part of the 50th Anniversary events, and the development of engaging informational materials that further reveal the science and history behind Urquhart’s landmark discovery. The Pollinator Initiative further demonstrates UTSC’s dedication to the continued study and promotion of pollinators and pollinator habitats on our campus, converting seven UTSC green roofs into pollinator-friendly enclaves in a human-dominated landscape. The pollinator-friendly green roofs will provide new research and teaching opportunities, enhance our physical property by turning the existing green roofs into aesthetically attractive wildflower gardens, and will be linked to broader community engagement through programs already in place with several local elementary schools.

Proposed by: Prof. Marc Cadotte, Department of Biological Sciences

Interpretive Walk in the UTSC Ravine Lands: Sitting between Morningside Park and Colonel Danforth Park, the UTSC lands are traversed by members of the public while cycling, running, and walking. We have an opportunity to educate the public and our students about the plants, trees, rocks and wildlife found in the area as they pass through University property. This project will develop and install signage to educate the public about the natural features found in the campus’ Ravine Zone. Together with new wayfinding in the Ravine Zone—another 50th Anniversary initiative—UTSC is improving the popular pathways that connect the Ravine and South zones of the campus.

Proposed by: Prof. Roberta Fulthorpe, Department of Physical and Environmental Sciences and Prof. Ivana Stehlik, Department of Biological Sciences

Entrepreneur Expo: Today’s students may be from the most entrepreneurial generation yet: raised to value independence, personal aspirations and meaningful work. Rather than wait for the ideal job in a competitive market, many of our students want to chart their own path. This inaugural event is designed to showcase UTSC entrepreneurs and entrepreneurship, is designed to improve students’ odds for success, providing connections with funders and mentors.

Proposed by: Academic Advising & Career Centre, The Hub and the Department of Management

Reviving the UTSC Telescope: Bringing UTSC’s 13-inch telescope back into action will also bring the night sky to students in undergraduate courses and to the community in a series of public star gazing events. Each event will be preceded by a short talk given by a faculty member, post-doc or graduate student. A camera and screen will display and record observations.  

Proposed by: Prof. Hanno Rein, Department of Physical and Environmental Science

UTSC International Health Studies Film Festival and Expo: The first of its kind in Toronto, this inaugural event brings an interdisciplinary lens to explore health, illness and society through film and lecture. The program shines a spotlight on the contributions of the arts in shaping our individual and collective understanding of health, illness and care and the role of intersecting social and societal determinants of health. 

Proposed by: Professors Suzanne Sicchia, Andrea Charise, Laura Bisaillon, Len Tsuji of the Health Studies Program in the Department of Anthropology

UTSC50 Lab Coats: UTSC will become the first university in Canada to introduce a program to enhance laboratory safety and revitalize the faces of research and teaching by providing 250 appropriate, 100 per cent cotton anniversary-branded lab coats. Similar programs have been launched at US universities in response to a death in a UCLA lab, where lab coat use could have saved a research associate’s life. 

Proposed by Environmental Health & Safety Manager Holly Yuen

UTSC Students' 50th Fund

Created through a partnership of the University of Toronto and UTSC Executive, the Students’ 50th Fund gives UTSC students a chance to mark the campus’ semi-centennial, providing financial support for exceptional experiences of learning, discovery and citizenship. The fund offered $100,000 to student groups partnered with academic and administrative departments. Twenty-eight proposals represent 44 student associations (including two partnerships with student organizations on other U of T campuses), supported by 21 UTSC academic and administrative departments and two academic units on other U of T campuses.

$25,000 award

Finalists were invited to participate in a poster presentation, adjudicated by an expert panel chaired by UTSC’s Vice-Principal Research, Professor Malcolm Campbell. Panel members included:

  • University Professor John Kennedy
  • U of T Governing Council Member and UTSC Campus Council Member, Nancy Lee
  • Hart House Acting Warden, Rita O’Brien
  • Alex Fok Lau, fourth year student in Psychology with a double minor in Sociology and Environmental Science

Student presenters prepared for this event in a coaching session led by Scholarly Communication Librarian and Deputy Chief Librarian Sarah Forbes and Centre for Teaching & Learning Academic Communication & Technology Specialist Adon Irani.

Professional Lighting in the ARC Lecture Hall

AC223 is currently UTSC’s largest lecture hall. The venue for many classes broadcast through WebOption, the hall is also featured at high profile events, many of which showcase UTSC to the city, the community and the world through media coverage and LiveStreams.  Investing in improving the function of this space as an event venue and lecture hall by installing professional lighting will benefit the University, the UTSC community and our guests.

Proposed by TEDxUTSC, in partnership with the Centre for Teaching and Learning and the Department of Information & Instructional Technology Service 

Campus Revitalization Initiative

The Campus Revitalization Initiative will improve the physical property of UTSC with the installation of student-created murals on shared campus space. Each mural will convey themes from UTSC’s 50th anniversary; one will be designed to be interactive and updated annually. A contest to create the murals will engage greater numbers of students. Along with the murals, additional electrical outlets will be installed in AC223.

Proposed by the Biology Students’ Association in collaboration with the Department of Biological Sciences

$5,000 - $10,000 awards

International Development Conference at UTSC: One of the largest outreach events at UTSC, the International Development Conference engages a wide range of partners including the Department of Student Life, Scarborough Campus Students’ Union, UTSC Alumni Association, University of Toronto Environmental Resource Network, UTSC Sustainability Office, the Centre for Critical Development Studies, the International Development Studies Students’ Association and local chapters of WUSC, UNICEF and Oxfam. The 2015 conference will be “super-sized” with support from the Students’ 50th Fund.

Career Development for Graduate Students: Around the world, graduate enrolment has increased at a rate that cannot be supported by the current academic job market, and less than 20 per cent of students find academic positions. UTSC’s Graduate Association for Professional Skills (GAPS) will conduct market research to expand career development events connecting graduate students with potential employers for career advice, mentorship and possibly placements. Research results will be shared between GAPS and Co-op programs, supporting improved programming and maximizing the competitiveness of UTSC students.

CareerSpark Co-op Conference and National Co-op Week events: Arts and Science Co-op Students’ Association will bring together co-op students, alumni, employers, industry partners, community members and UTSC faculty and staff for the first time at a conference on Co-op education showcasing Arts & Science Co-op’s 25 programs and its 40-year history. Program elements include video and photo contests capturing the work term, and contributing to The Canadian Association for Co-operative Education’s national social media campaign, covering topics from resume review to research at UTSC.

UTSC Indigenous Education Week: With Canada’s large and growing Aboriginal population, Canadians—and in particular university students who are destined to become Canada’s next leaders—need the best opportunities to become aware of the issues that impact Aboriginal communities and the efforts of those communities to seek restitution, justice and empowerment. Given the Aboriginal population in the eastern GTA, augmenting UTSC’s commitment to aboriginal and indigenous programming is an important step toward fostering an affirming relationship over the longer term with an important component of our local community. Promoting awareness about Aboriginal issues will further engage UTSC students in a meaningful way to contribute to broader local, national and global efforts at “making good history” for the world’s Aboriginal people.   

Population Health and Policy Conference: The PHP Conference educates individuals about public health and policy, with a focus on alternative cares of medicine. The UTSC chapter of the tri-campus University of Toronto International Health Program, the largest interdisciplinary student group in the country, will offer its second annual conference in 2015. Support from the Students’ 50th Fund will supersize this forum for the discussion of health-based issues that affect the Scarborough community in particular. 

Bubble Soccer: The UTSC campus has always looked to engage the community through sport and recreation, and has often been on the forefront in introducing activities, like Frisbee, Quidditch and rock-climbing. UTSC’s Scarborough College Athletics Association in partnership with the Department of Athletics and Recreation, will purchase equipment to launch a bubble soccer program on campus, building on the variety of sporting opportunities offered to ensure programming includes all members of the community. This new, fun and unique sport is quickly gaining popularity around the world. A take on the traditional game, no previous experience is required to play and the sport therefore engages athletes and non-athletes alike.