January Showcase | Amazing YU Faculty, Alumni & Student Accomplishments

Faculty News

January 3, 2023

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 publishing books, earning their professional credentials, or representing Yorkville at prestigious global conferences and summits.

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

MACP Prof Dr. Stacia Alexander Publishes Mental Health Book for College Students

Master of Arts in Counselling Psychology professor Dr. Stacia Alexander recently published a new book tackling the underlying causes of mental health issues in college students.

Released on Dec. 10, 10+ Things I Wish I Knew About Mental Health in College is a comprehensive text that aims to mentally prepare prospective and current students for the unexpected stressors of college by presenting constructs that benefit not only students, but also their parents, teachers, counselors, and any community leader looking to guide college students.

“Far beyond a book, this publication is a practical tool that breaks down the factors contributing to a diminished mental state in college students,” said Alexander, a Licensed Professional Counselor-Supervisor boasting more than 20 years of expertise in her field.

“College-aged students currently face a rapid increase in suicide coupled with isolation, depression, and a barrage of classes. This book seeks to highlight and provide easy-to-implement skills and tools that create mental fortitude for college.”

Dr. Alexander currently serves as the mental health director of Paul Quinn College in Dallas, Texas, where she’s pioneered programming to support students understand the importance of mental health in their lives for the last four years. She also owns and operates a notable private group mental health practice, where she has helped college students navigate the journey to the next stage of their lives.

10+ Things I Wish I Knew About Mental Health in College is available to order here.

BID Chair Reem Habib Earns NCIDQ Certification

Reem Habib, Chair of the Bachelor of Interior Design program at Yorkville University, recently earned her NCIDQ Certification – long recognized as the global standard for interior design professionals. 

“Reem truly embodies the spirit of lifelong learning. The NCIDQ credential is a major professional milestone, as well as a sought-after requirement for educators,” said Angela Antohi-Kominek, Vice President Academic for Yorkville University Ontario. “She should be very proud of this accomplishment and for being a role model for our BID faculty.”  

The three-part NCIDQ examination – which is considered an industry indicator of proficiency in interior design principles and a designer’s commitment to the profession – covers seven areas that capture the core competencies of interior design, including: building systems, codes, construction standards, contract administration, design application, professional practice and project coordination.  

According to the National Council for Interior Design Qualification, the value of NCIDQ accreditation is threefold:  

  • It demonstrates that NCIDQ Certificate holders have proven their expertise in understanding and applying current codes established to protect public health, safety, and welfare 
  • As only examination recognized by state and provincial regulators in Canada and the U.S. (with the exception of California), it grants NCIDQ certified designers with wide industry visibility and recognition  
  • The strenuous requirements of the NCIDQ Exam give clients and employers added confidence in the calibre of work from NCIDQ Certified interior designers 

Habib characterized earning her NCIDQ credential as an accomplishment on both a personal, and on a program level.

“As we emphasise the importance of the NCIDQ examination in our curriculum, and guide students towards taking the exams, it was important for me, as a program chair, to prove that education is a continuous process. Holding the NCIDQ certificate, while being a professional and an educator, is a contribution to the recognition of Interior Design as a profession and as a degree,” she said.

“Yorkville University supports faculty in their professional and scholarly growth with the Professional Development Fund and it encourages faculty by providing them with opportunities and resources to achieve their credentials and professional aspirations. I am lucky to be working with inspiring leaders and an institution with futuristic goals.”

YU’s Dasha Belskaya Attends PMI’s 2022 Global Summit in Las Vegas

Yorkville University’s Associate Director of Regulatory Projects & Accountability, Dasha Belskaya, recently attended the Project Management Institute’s 2022 Global Summit in Las Vegas.

Hosted by the world’s leading project management organization, the four-day event boasted an attendance of nearly 3,500 professionals from all over the world – all of whom convened to take part in innovative talks and to learn what’s new in the world of project management. 

Belskaya called the Nov. 30 – Dec. 3 event, which brought together “the largest community of changemakers, leaders, and project professionals committed to making ideas reality,” an incredible experience filled with inspiring keynote speakers, jam-packed educational sessions, and entertaining evenings.

“At the beginning of the Summit I set a goal to connect with project managers from every continent that has PMI members. Some did not think it would be possible, but I am happy to report, I did it! I connected with PMs from Asia, Africa, North America, South America, Europe and Australia! What a truly global event!” Belskaya said of the networking opportunities she seized as a representative of Yorkville.

“It’s said ‘What happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas’ – that will not be the case with the key takeaways and learning from the many educational sessions and presentations. Jessica O. Matthews was an inspirational closing keynote speaker that left me with an impactful quote that deeply resonated with me: ‘When you are doing the right thing, you do not need to make a lot of noise to get notice.'”

BCA Student Steve Diouf Lands Roles on CBC, Crave Series

Bachelor of Creative Arts student Steve Diouf recently appeared as a series regular on the CBC French language drama, Larry.

Produced by Avenue Productions and released this past summer, Larry follows the story of a disgraced former undercover cop, whose wife is left disabled after the couple get caught in a shootout between two rival street gangs. Diouf plays Anthony Coulibaly, a member of one of the gangs.

“One of my biggest takeaways from acting on this show is that being an actor in the film industry requires a lot of passion and dedication,” Diouf said of the experience.

“I worked 12-hour days at times and had to keep my energy up throughout. It was my passion for the craft of acting that kept me engaged and positive throughout.”

A recent graduate of the Acting for Film, TV & the Theatre program at Yorkville affiliate, Toronto Film School, Diouf credits his instructors at both schools for helping to set him up for success in the industry.

“My teachers offered me the knowledge and tools that have helped me gain confidence when acting,” he said. “From acting warm-ups, to diction exercises, to conducting a script analysis, the practical skills that I’ve acquired are easily applicable and greatly beneficial to my time on set.”

Diouf has been juggling his BCA studies with the filming his next project – a lead role in the French language series Après Le Déluge, which was just released on Crave this month.

BBA Prof Dr. Adnan ul Haque Represents YU at Numerous International Conferences

Bachelor of Business Administration Professor Dr. Adnan ul Haque has had the opportunity to present keynote address at numerous international conferences this year – most recently at the Education for Innovation Foundation’s 2022 International Conference of Digital and Green Transition in Turkey last month.

The online conference, which took place Dec. 16 and 17, aimed to gather scholars from different fields of social sciences to discuss recent developments in the fields of innovation, technology, sustainability, and societal developments to these highly important matters from a multi-disciplinary point of view.

Dr. ul Haque also delivered keynotes at the 7th International Conference on Embracing Transformation: Innovation & Creation in Hungary in May, the CT Group of Institutions’ Igniting Young Researcher’s Mind Workshop in India in September, INFRAMET 2022 in London, UK in October, and the International Conference on Business, Management and Technology in Malaysia in November.

“You do not only rely on wings to fly, but you also need support and courage to fly. Yorkville has always given me support and encouragement to reach new heights,” he said.

“It is an honour to represent YU across the globe. Yorkville management has always given me a freedom to demonstrate my creativity and continue with my scholarly activities. Provided me the opportunities to engage and develop in personal and professional sphere.”