As COVID-19 challenged communities across the country, it threatened to shut down important scientific research in campus labs. The Advanced Light and Electron Microscopy Facility (ALEM) in the Faculty of Science would not be deterred and set up COVID-specific safety protocols to ensure the safe use of labs by researchers. Researchers also worked together to convert the ALEM facility into a Virtual Microscopy Lab that could be used remotely by researchers off campus through cameras installed in the lab and services such as Zoom and Teams.
Beyond the Faculty of Science, other teams are also using innovative virtual solutions to continue pursuing their passions. York's School of the Arts, Media, Performance & Design has taken an innovative approach to theatre production during the pandemic by delivering a Theatre @ York virtual theatre season. Through The Ashley Plays, third and fourth-year playwriting students have delivered a series of site-specific plays presented remotely. In the fall, York produced two plays commissioned for online presentation featuring a cast and crew of students from the BA/BFA program in Performance Creation, with support from MFA designers and others. During the winter semester, more virtual performances, festivals, and exhibitions will be presented by arts, media, performance, and design students.
Joining these efforts is York's Schulich School of Business, which has created remote internships for students in the MBA in India program, who couldn’t travel to Toronto for their internships because of COVID-19. MBA in India students taking the Schulich Graduate Diploma in Culture, Communication and Leadership in Canadian Business (CCLCB) participate in remote internships through 21 breakthrough firms, connected by Schulich Startups. Students work on key projects 40 hours per week, all remotely due to COVID-19. The internship is a 12-week work placement that provides students with an opportunity to apply what they’ve learned and reflect about the experience through the Graduate Placement course. Created by Schulich professor Theo Peridis, the CCLCB provides MBA in India program students with an in-depth appreciation of cultural differences, business practices, conventions and vocabulary to succeed in the Canadian business environment.
Beyond the classroom, York has still more to offer online. One of the biggest challenges facing Canada’s small-business community during the pandemic has been the rapid switch to online retail sales. Students from Schulich are helping these businesses to quickly gear up for online commerce. Students continue to participate in the City of Toronto’s Digital Main Street ShopHERE program, a major new initiative that is supported by a team of leading global technology companies committed to helping Toronto's main street retailers survive the COVID-19 crisis.
The Virtual Microscopy Lab
Virtual Theatre Production
Schulich Virtual Internship