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August Showcase | Amazing YU Faculty, Alumni & Student Accomplishments

At Yorkville University, we’re proud of the accomplishments of all our faculty, students and alumni, both inside and outside of the classroom – be it winning awards, publishing books and papers, or being profiled in prestigious registries.

Here are some of the good news stories about Yorkville University’s talented community that we’d like to showcase this month:

Dr. Natalie Davey

MED Prof Dr. Natalie Davey Publishes New Book on Finding Joy in Education

Master of Education professor Dr. Natalie Davey recently published her first book, Finding Joy: Radical Collegiality and Pedagogies of Care in Education

Published in March by Brill, Finding Joy seeks to answer the question: How we can manifest more relational care in education by harnessing joy in the school setting? 

Guided by philosophical conversations with educational thinkers such as Gert BiestaMichael FieldingMaxine Greene, and the late Nel Noddings, the book ultimately suggests that the answer is found in care-based pedagogies, radical collegiality and relational reading practices.

At the end of each chapter in the book, readers are given additional provocations for reflection through a series of questions – a feature Davey hopes Yorkville readers (both student and faculty, alike), will take advantage of.

“I hope that the diverse educational and professional experiences of the Yorkville University community will be added to with Finding Joy. I wrote this book with such readers in mind,” she said. 

“I am excited for students and colleagues to use my findings, and the accompanying chapter questions, to grow their own relational reading practices from the inside out, perhaps finding educational hope – and even joy – on the journey.” 

YU’s Dilash Krishnapillai Inducted into Marquis Who’s Who

Dilash Krishnapillai, Director of YU’s Project Management Office, was recently inducted into the prestigious Marquis Who’s Who – a 125-year-old biographical registry that profiles the lives of today’s leaders and achievers from around the world, and from every significant field of endeavour. 

“I am deeply humbled and immensely proud to be acknowledged for my contributions to my profession. From a scared teenager with the scars of war, to arriving in Canada, education has illuminated a radiant future, brimming with boundless possibilities,” said Krishnapillai. 

“It is a true privilege and blessing to be a part of Yorkville, an institution dedicated to the noble cause of serving society through the transformative power of education.”

All of the individuals profiled on the Marquis Who’s Who are selected on the basis of current reference value, with factors such as position, noteworthy accomplishments, visibility, and prominence in a field taken into account during the selection process.

In his current role as the Director of the Project Management office at Yorkville, Krishnapillai has undertaken a complete digital transformation to modernize all technology platforms utilizing his strong background in information technology, project management, business strategy and higher education. He is also a valued member of the Project Management InstituteProfessional Engineers Ontario, and Certified Management Consultants. He is currently pursuing his Doctorate in Business Administration with a focus on organizational agility at Royal Roads University. 

BID Student Dhvani Savaliya Wins ARIDO’s CTI Working Environments Scholarship

Bachelor of Interior Design student Dhvani Savaliya recently won one of the Association of Registered Interior Designers of Ontario (ARIDO)’s three 2023 CTI Working Environments Scholarships.

The $500 scholarship awards students who go beyond the written curriculum; the students who best exemplify dedication and enthusiasm in giving back to their community and volunteering for ARIDO. 

Savaliya, who works as an Interior Design Intern at Ray Inc., said she feels “deeply privileged” to have received this recognition from both ARIDO and Yorkville University. 

“During the pandemic, I started my volunteering journey with ARIDO, contributing to their Art by Designers silent auction,” she said. “This experience opened doors for me, leading to further volunteer opportunities and invaluable networking experiences.”

As Savaliya approaches the completion of her BID degree and graduation from Yorkville, her next goal is to complete the NCIDQ exam to become a registered interior designer. After that, she aspires to pursue a master’s degree in a sustainable design-related field. 

“Throughout my three years at Yorkville University, I’ve had the privilege of being mentored by some exceptional professors, who played a crucial role in shaping my journey,” she said. 

“I am incredibly grateful for this esteemed recognition and extend my heartfelt appreciation to both ARIDO and Yorkville University.”

Published Paper Marks Completion of Dr. Çağdaş Dedeoğlu’s SSAF-Funded Posthumanism for Sustainability Project 

General Studies professor Dr. Çağdaş Dedeoğlu published his latest paper, Posthumanism for Sustainability: A Scoping Review, in the Journal of Posthumanism’s February issue. 

Dedeoğlu said the piece stands as one of the “notable achievements” arising from the Posthumanism for Sustainability project, which received funding from Yorkville University’s SSAF. In the article, Dedeoğlu, a founding editor of the Journal of Posthumanism, and Nikoleta Zampaki, who worked as a research assistant on the article, examine the burgeoning relationship between posthumanism and sustainability. The overall objective of the article, he said, was to contribute to the ongoing interdisciplinary endeavors aimed at addressing pressing ecological concerns on a global scale.

“I have been advocating for the synergy between teaching and research as indispensable for achieving equitable and inclusive sustainable development goals in and beyond higher education. Bearing that in mind, I would like to express my sincere gratitude to YU for its ongoing support of scholarly endeavours, with particular attention to sustainable development,” Dedeoğlu said. 

“It is my aspiration that this article, alongside the meticulously assembled Digital Repository of peer-reviewed articles forged as a constituent element of this project, will serve as a valuable resource for fellow researchers seeking to explore the realm of sustainability through a post-humanist lens.”

Dedeoğlu further disseminated the findings presented in his paper, which can be downloaded HERE, by delivering a talk hosted by the Posthumanism Research Institute at Brock University, which can be viewed HERE

He has also been invited to deliver a keynote address at the upcoming 2nd National Environmental Humanities Conference, hosted by Cappadocia University.

Dr. Christine Duquette Published in British Journal of Counselling & Psychotherapy Research

Master of Arts in Counselling Psychology professor Dr. Christine Duquette recently had her research published in the British Journal,  Counselling & Psychotherapy Research.

Experiences of psychotherapists transitioning to private practice during COVID-19 is an article that explores the lived experiences of therapists and counsellors who transitioned to private practice during the COVID-19 pandemic. In total, 18 licensed clinicians were interviewed and their responses highlighted meaningful professional and clinical implications.

The results, Duquette said, suggested that psychotherapists had various personal and professional stressors exacerbated by the pandemic, along with a desire to balance work and life, manage the changes brought on by the pandemic, and gain or retain autonomy in their professional careers. 

“The pandemic presented the rare opportunity to shift the way we did therapy and many therapists jumped at the chance to change their professional paths. COVID created a seismic shift and I think we will be experiencing the aftershocks of it for decades to come,” she said, noting that her research explored a myriad of issues – from clinician burnout and the response of employers in the early days of the pandemic, to fear and patient access to services.

During the pandemic, Duquette herself returned to school as a mom of three – an experience she characterized as both challenging and ultimately very good for her and her family. 

“I love that my license and degree allow me to function in so many roles now: researcher, clinician, and educator,” she said. 

“Publishing my research and contributing to the field’s body of knowledge is incredibly meaningful to me. Helping to educate the next generation of helping professionals and contributing to my global community is something I am very proud of. I love being a part of Yorkville and appreciate the calibre of the students and colleagues I share space with.”

MACP Grad Justin Heenan Now Pursuing PhD in Educational Studies

Class of 2020 Master of Arts in Counselling Psychology grad Justin Heenan began working towards his PhD in Educational Studies through Brock University this month – a step in his academic journey he credits Yorkville University with preparing him for.  

“I feel as though Yorkville University has really prepared me well to take on doctoral study. While I studied at Yorkville, I really gained a deep understanding of mental health, counselling and psychotherapy,” he said. 

Since graduating from the MACP program three years ago, Heenan has gone on to receive an Educator of the Year Award from Special Olympics Ontario and to publish numerous pieces of writing, including his two children’s booksWhat is Down Syndrome? For Kids! and What is World Down Syndrome Day? For Kids! 

Currently a Course Instructor at Trent University, Heenan is an Ontario-certified teacher and registered psychotherapist. Through his doctorate studies, he hopes to continue learning and developing as an academic researching special education, mental health in schools and teacher self-efficacy. 

“Obtaining my PhD will help me gain tenure at a university where I can continue to support our future teachers and psychotherapists in creating equitable and inclusive environments for their students and clients,” he said. 

BID Student Alexandra Murphy Places Third in ARIDO Norma Ruth Ridley Scholarship

Bachelor of Interior Design student Alexandra Murphy recently placed third in the Association of Registered Interior Designers of Ontario (ARIDO)’s Norma Ruth Ridley Scholarship

Murphy said she was “extremely honoured” to be chosen to represent Yorkville University in the annual competition – and “thrilled” to be awarded third place for her entry. 

“It was a very enriching experience and I am especially grateful for the support and mentorship I received from YU mentors Dr. Maryam Karimi and BID Chair Reem Habib,” she said. “Having the opportunity to work directly with Maryam and Reem allowed me to discuss ideas, receive valuable critique and inspiration and really push me to do my best.

The annual Norma Ruth Ridley scholarship awards $2,000 to one BID student from an ARIDO-recognized design school each year. Participating students, who are selected by their school’s program chairs, are tasked with create a submission to a technical design scenario set by the ARIDO Scholarship Committee. Applicants were judged by the quality of their submission, in addition to their academic achievement, professionalism, community involvement, character, and communication.

This year’s design scenario involved transforming a former 20-storey office building into a multi-use residential complex to accommodate the changing work landscape and address the need for more affordable housing in the city Toronto, Murphy said. 

“The project represented a compelling opportunity to reimagine how the building could serve and house people in this diverse urban community, while fostering a sense of community amongst tenants, demonstrating how design can be used as a framework to reshape our experiences, empower citizens to reclaim their place within the city and connect with others in new ways,” she explained. 

“A series of affordable suites were added along the building perimeter and emphasis was placed on communal spaces, which are positioned around the building core to become the heart of the facility, a place that unites all residents.”

A recent YU graduate, Murphy said that completing the BID program online through Yorkville allowed her the flexibility to pursue my studies while raising a young family and also gaining valuable industry experience working at FRANK Architecture and Interiors.  

Her final thesis project (pictured here) featured the design of a community arts facility that “provides opportunities for viewing and making art as a way to connect and strengthen community, facilitate placemaking, and promote individual mental health and wellbeing.”

Moving forward, Murphy looks forward to gaining more professional experience and starting her own practice.

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