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This is the Year of the Entrepreneur

As reported by the National Post, the federal government has declared 2011 the "Year of the Entrepreneur". The announcement, made at the Digital Media Zone at Ryerson University, was the result of a combined effort from the Canadian Youth Business Foundation and the Canadian Federation of Independent Business to make entrepreneurship in the coming year a top federal priority.

"In a joint statement, CYBF and CFIB said "Year of the Entrepreneur initiatives will bring together like-minded organizations from across the country to exchange ideas, establish networks and collaborate on partnerships that will help drive sustainable economic growth." Vivian Prokop, chief executive of CYBF, said the designation will help build momentum "to show the world Canada is propelling economic recovery and growth through entrepreneurship." As part of the celebration of entrepreneurs, CYBF plans to launch the entrepreneurial Educator of the Year Award, continue to build on Canada's presence at the G20 Young Entrepreneur Summit, and start new programs for innovation, socialpreneurs and newcomers."

"Rob Moore, Minister of State (Small Business and Tourism) and Ted Menzies, Minister of State (Finance) were on hand to make the announcement but the message was clear the Harper Government was passing on the baton of Canada's economic action plan to the private sector."

"As we move into the next phase Canada's outstanding entrepreneurs and the small and medium-sized business community will play even greater roles in securing our fragile economic recovery. Designating 2011 as the Year of the Entrepreneur marks the symbolic beginning of the new phase of that recovery," Mr. Moore said."

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original source National Post

Low-profile mentoring program gets results

The Toronto Star writes on Toronto's Centre for Youth Development and Mentoring Services, a non-profit mentoring program that works with youth vulnerable to gangs and drugs. Started by four friends -- Alihashi, Abdifatah Warsame, Ali Sheikh and Abdi Qami -- in 2006, the program has had tremendous success. None of the 300 teens who participated have dropped out of school and many have gone on to higher education.

"The program has carried on quietly for five years, keeping a low profile; but its results have been miraculous. None of the 300-odd teens who participated in the program have dropped out of school. Their grades have gone from low C's and D's to high B's and, in some cases, A's. And many have gone on to college and university."

"But most of all, the teens have stayed out of trouble away from the street crime that has plagued the community."

It's a well-documented fact that children from Somali, Arab, Iranian, Portuguese and Vietnamese communities have a dropout rate two to three times greater than the national average.The four Somali-Canadian friends, in their 30s, could never wrap their heads around those numbers. Back in 2006, they chatted about how they could help teens in their community."

"They (teens) faced the same problems as we did," says Alihashi. "Poor neighbourhoods, low-income families. We made it through school and based on our experiences, we wanted to help other kids."

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original source Toronto Star

Business school research: the pros and cons of sweaty palms

The Globe & Mail looks into the innovative research of Julie McCarthy, a professor at the University of Toronto's Rotman School of Management. McCarthy has spent years studying the negative effects of putting employees and potential employees under intense pressure, suggesting that companies looking for the best candidates should seek to minimize anxiety levels at the workplace.

"Some people might argue that we want to hire someone who can handle anxiety and if you can't handle it in a job interview, how can you handle it on the job," she says. And in some cases, that may be true. But, for the most part, the intense pressure that candidates face in job interviews isn't characteristic of the day-to-day performance that's required of them, argues Dr. McCarthy. "Just because someone is anxious in a job interview doesn't mean they aren't going to be a phenomenal employee," she says. "They might actually be superb."

"The research has important implications for companies that want to ensure they use fair and objective hiring and advancement practices and select the best qualified people. "You want to get as accurate a picture as possible of the individual," she says."

"Dr. McCarthy has been studying workplace anxiety since she was a PhD student, when she developed work selection tests for various companies. Friends and colleagues used to turn to her for advice on how to curb their nervousness during job interviews. Her research work now focuses on analyzing the impact of employee anxiety on test and interview performance. She collaborates with numerous employers to gauge the impact of anxiety on an employee's performance in job interviews, annual reviews and promotional exams, and to identify strategies to reduce the negative effects of anxiety. She has worked with police services, retailers, the armed forces, government agencies, and other organizations in Canada and the U.S."

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original source Globe & Mail

U of T researcher discovers way to zip away chronic pain

New research released by a group of University of Toronto scientists suggests that a peptide inhibitor called ZIP could help alleviate certain kinds of chronic pain. As reported by HealthCanal.com the study could prove groundbreaking as chronic pain treatments to date remain insufficient or ineffective for many patients.

"The new research, led by Professor Min Zhuo of the University of Toronto's Department of Physiology and published in the current edition of the journal Science, explores the role that the protein kinase M zeta plays in storing "memories" of pain and therefore enhancing the sensation of pain. Blocking the effect of [the protein] through the use of a selective inhibitor called pseudosubstrate inhibitory peptide - or ZIP -- blocked behavioral sensitization and nerve injury related to chronic pain."

"Normal pain or physiological pain is an important warning signal to avoid potentially dangerous situations or environments. It is brief, and short-lasting. Chronic pain is different, as it persists for weeks, month or years due to spontaneous firing or overexcited pain-related neurons."

"What makes chronic pain difficult to treat is that these painful signals trigger long-term plastic changes in different cortical areas and form permanent bad 'memory'. It explains why the treatment ofchronic pain in areas like the spinal cord is often insufficient or ineffective," said Zhuo, the Canada Research Chair in Pain and Cognition."

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original source HealthCanal.com

UofT scientists build-up brittle bones

University of Toronto scientists have discovered a new and potentially ground-breaking method for preventing the bone-wasting disease osteoporosis. As reported by the Daily Mail, the UofT researchers found that patients who used an ointment made of nitroglycerine (the same chemical used to make dynamite) saw significant increases in their bone density over a two-year period.

"Researchers at the University of Toronto tested the dynamite ointment on 126 women aged 50 or older with osteopenia, a condition where the bone density is lower than normal, but not bad enough to be classed as osteoporosis. Without treatment, most people with osteopenia end up with osteoporosis."

"Each woman rubbed 15mg of ointment - costing less than £1 a day - into their chest or arms at bedtime (the cream can be applied on any area of hairless skin). A separate group was given a dummy ointment. After two years, women using the nitroglycerine ointment had higher bone density in all the major fracture risk sites - such as the spine, femur (thigh bone) and hip".

"Research leader Dr Sophie Jamal said: "I'm pretty excited. The group with nitroglycerine had huge improvements in bone density and strength." Dr Claire Bowring, of the national Osteoporosis Society, says: "The results are very interesting, especially as the treatment is an ointment, rather than injection or tablets. However, a larger trial is needed, looking at improvements in bone density for people with osteoporosis and, ultimately, whether broken bones can be avoided. If the results show the same benefits, it could be exciting news."

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original source Daily Mail

Toronto's Citizen Lab win press freedom award

Toronto's Citizen Lab, the UofT-based digital media research centre, is being recognized by the Canadian Journalists for Free Expression (CGFE) for its commitment to fee speech and human rights. As reported by CBC News, the Citizen Lab will be presented with the prestigious 2010 Vox Libera Award for "an outstanding commitment to the principles of free expression" at the CGEF annual gala on November the 25th.

"The Citizen Lab's fight for open communication and free expression is making a significant difference for those living in repressed regions of the world," CBC broadcaster Carol Off, who chairs the CJFE gala steering committee, said in a statement Monday announcing the win."

"Their work enables people to share crucial information and exposes those who would try to do them harm."

"Citizen Lab, which runs out of the University of Toronto's Munk Centre for International Studies, gained prominence in 2008 after it uncovered an alleged internet spy network based mostly in China."

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original source CBC News

UofT, India join hands to tackle malaria

As reported by the Business Standard, researchers from the University of Toronto have teamed-up with scientists from across India to work on new approaches to fighting malaria. The research, funded by the International Science and Technology Partnerships Canada and the Indian government's Department of Biotechnology, will focus on "slow-release therapies and drug and delivery combination approaches that specifically target a form of malaria that can lay dormant in the liver."

"In addition to developing new therapeutics, we are also bringing together existing technologies developed by the partners and combining them in new ways such that one will have the potential to boost the effectiveness of another," said Lakshmi P Kotra, director at the Centre for Molecular Design and Preformulations at the University Health Network and University of Toronto."

"It was a fascinating process to see different organisations with deep knowledge in their individual fields coming together and combining this knowledge to create innovative and new approaches to the treatment of this disease," said Virander Chauhan, Director, International Centre for Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology in New Delhi."

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original source Business Standard

Radio Canada International interviews new principal of University of Toronto Mississauga

Radio Canada International interviews Hargurdeep Saini, principal of the University of Toronto Mississauga campus (UTM). The interview, in which Sani discusses his views on education and the future of UTM, can be streamed from the Radio Canada website.

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original source Radio Canada

Toronto startup cracks the electronic textbook

The Globe & Mail features Toronto startup Symtext Corp. developers of the Liquid Textbook, a software program that allows educators to build customized electronic course readers. Since its release in July 2008, Liquid Textbook has been adopted by professors at Queen's, McGill, Ryerson, Concordia, Brock "and a handful of other universities and colleges across Canada". 

"Because there was no single textbook he could use for the class at Ryerson University in Toronto, Mr. Monkhouse gathered materials from various sources and had the university's bookstore obtain the necessary permissions and make copies. The process was cumbersome, not environmentally friendly and not especially convenient for the students. "

"Mr. Monkhouse wanted to replace the course package with something electronic. He had heard of electronic textbooks, but he needed a way to package materials from multiple sources. He found it in the Liquid Textbook, a product of Toronto startup Symtext Corp."

"Symtext's creation can include content drawn from multiple sources chapters of textbooks, research papers, articles, even video clips. The company's service includes arranging permissions with publishers for whatever material an instructor wants to include. It's also easy to modify the text, a plus for Mr. Monkhouse since sustainability is a rapidly changing topic."

"The professor and the students can also add their own annotations, which are available for everyone in the course to see. That creates a sort of discussion forum within the electronic text itself."

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original source Globe & Mail


Toronto researchers say finding our inner voice helps us exercise self-control

The Times of India reports on an innovative behavioural study conducted by University of Toronto Scarborough (UTSC) researchers. The Toronto scientists have collected evidence that suggests when we talk to ourselves before making a decision we exhibit greater self control and greater restrain from impulsive behaviour.  The study advances science's understanding of the workings of our inner voice.

"The research, carried out by the University of Toronto Scarborough, shows that inner voice plays an important role in controlling impulsive behaviour."

"We give ourselves messages all the time with the intent of controlling ourselves whether that's telling ourselves to keep running when we're tired, to stop eating even though we want one more slice of cake, or to refrain from blowing up on someone in an argument," says Alexa Tullett, lead author on the study."

"We wanted to find out whether talking to ourselves in this ''inner voice'' actually helps," Tullett added."

"Through a series of tests, we found that people acted more impulsively when they couldn't use their inner voice or talk themselves through the tasks," Inzlicht said. "

"Without being able to verbalize messages to themselves, they were not able to exercise the same amount of self control as when they could talk themselves through the process."

"Tullett said: "It's always been known that people have internal dialogues with themselves, but until now, we've never known what an important function they serve."

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original source Times of India

University of Toronto student flies world's first ornithopter

University of Toronto student Todd Reichert has been making international headlines for creating the first ornithopter--an engineless, wing-flapping aircraft--capable of sustained flight. As reported by the BBC, Reichert's plane flew nonstop for 19.3 seconds on the 2nd of August  2010. The record breaking feat, performed at The Great Lakes Gliding Club in Tottenham, Ontario, is expected to be confirmed by the Federation Aeronautique Internationale at its October meeting. 

"Mr Reichert, a PhD student at the University of Toronto, said the Snowbird "represents the completion of an age-old aeronautical dream."

"Throughout history, countless men and women have dreamt of flying like a bird under their own power, and hundreds, if not thousands have attempted to achieve it," he said in a statement. "This represents one of the last of the aviation firsts."
 
"Other craft with flapping wings have taken off, but the team claim theirs is the first to actually power itself in flight...To keep it light, lift-off mechanisms were not built in.Instead, a tow car helped lift it clear of the ground. But then Mr Reichert took over, using his feet to pump a bar that flaps the wings."

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original source BBC News


UofT's Dr. Diane Doran awarded $1 million research grant

Dr. Diane Doran, a professor at UofT's Lawrence S. Bloomberg Faculty of Nursing, was awarded a research grant worth more than $1 million from The Canadian Patient Safety Institute. As reported by The Medical News, Dr. Doran and her team received the prestigeous grant in order to study patient safety and home care services across Canada.

"The existing literature on the safety of home care in Canada is still vague," says Doran. "This study, which will be the largest pan-Canadian home care safety study of its kind, will attempt to fill in those gaps."

"The Canadian Patient Safety Institute, along with the Canadian Institutes of Health Research, Institutes of Health Services and Policy Research, Aging, Musculoskeletal Health and Arthritis, and Circulatory and Respiratory Health; The Change Foundation; and the Canadian Health Services Research Foundation, awarded the funding to help generate new knowledge to help improve the safety of home care clients."

"We know that adverse events affect thousands of patients every year in Canada," says Hugh MacLeod, CEO, Canadian Patient Safety Institute. "That is why this research in home care is important to assist with better patient safety outcomes in the continuum of care."

"Results of this research will be released over the next two years. The final report will be released in January of 2013 with the aim of informing change in policy, practice and behaviour in the home care service setting."

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original source The Medical News



York Schulich School of Business ranked 10th in the world

The Economist has named York University's Schulich School of Business one of the world's top ten MBA programs. Schulich moved up two spots after coming 12th in 2009 and is the only Canadian University to crack the top ten.

"Buisness schools do not much like being ranked by outsiders. In recent years several have boycotted the lists drawn up by pesky media organisations, such as The Economist. But prospective students love these lists. Before plonking down $100,000 for a two-year MBA, they like to have some idea of what they are getting. Insiders at Bloomberg Businessweek joke that the magazine's ranking of MBA courses is its "swimsuit edition": like the issues of Sports Illustrated with scantily-clad women on the cover, it sells well."

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original source Economist


UofT ranked among the top 20 universities in the world

The 2010-11 Times Higher Education rankings, a global universities ranking system, has included nine Canadian universities on this year's list. The University of Toronto is the highest ranking Canadian institution to make the cut, placing 17 out of 200.

"Although 2010-11 is the seventh year that Times Higher Education has published its annual rankings, these tables represent a new level of sophistication. In light of this, the top 200 list and the six subject tables we are publishing should be considered the first of a new annual series, for we have completely overhauled the methodology to deliver our most rigorous, transparent and reliable rankings tables ever. The Times Higher Education World University Rankings 2010-11 were developed in concert with our new rankings data provider, Thomson Reuters, with input from more than 50 leading figures in the sector from 15 countries across every continent, and through 10 months of extensive consultation. We believe we have created the gold standard in international university performance comparisons."

"We are confident that the 2010-2011 world university rankings represent the most accurate picture of global higher education we have ever produced."

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original source Times Higher Education

Growing ideas in a high-tech hothouse

Ryerson University, already a hotbed of high-tech innovation, has launched a new pilot project that nurtures emerging entrepreneurs and connects them with perspective companies. Called the Digital Media Zone, the program provides free office space and guidance to Ryerson students and alumni with high-tech business ideas. As reported by the Globe & Mail, Digital Media Zone has already helped launch 10 businesses since it opened eight months ago.

"A campus breeding ground for high-tech entrepreneurs is turning for inspiration to Canada's original digital renaissance woman.

Gerri Sinclair was a Shakespeare scholar who became a Web pioneer, sold a company to Microsoft  and went on to advise governments and businesses on tech strategy. Now the 63-year-old Vancouver entrepreneur wants to unlock the innovation power on Canadian campuses and ultimately shake up the way they do research. One of her first stops is Ryerson University."

"To help build the school's digital strategy, Ms. Sinclair will work with the new Digital Media Zone, an experiment that nurtures students' high-tech business ideas and matches them with companies looking for technology development. At a time when innovation is on the tip of every politician's tongue, Ryerson is nurturing student ideas to see if it can kick-start new companies and keep talent in Canada. As well as working on their own projects, the Digital Media Zone plans to become a kind of test lab for businesses with technology challenges."


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original source Globe & Mail
69 Higher Education Articles | Page: | Show All
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