Sheila Embleton, Distinguished Research Professor in the Faculty of Liberal Arts & Professional Studies, is this year's recipient of the 2010-11 York International Award.
Embleton was nominated by York Vice-President Academic & Provost Patrick Monahan for her leadership in being “a strong proponent for internationalization” and for providing a “broad and deep foundation on which we can build.”
Right: Sheila Embleton
“I'm thrilled at the award, and thrilled to be part of the team that has really moved York, in the last decade, from being ‘in the pack’ as far as international is concerned, to being an undoubted leader in Canada,” said a delighted Embleton.
“It was during her term [as vice-president academic from 2000 to 2009] that her greatest impact was felt,” Monahan noted in his nomination document. “She created the position of associate vice-president international and appointed its first incumbent [Adrian Shubert]. She also created an annual competition for funds, in order to stimulate and promote innovative international projects in support of research, teaching and the student experience. Under [her] leadership in partnership with the AVPI, York’s position as a leader in Canada in internationalization was enhanced and solidified.”
Some of Embleton’s accomplishments in this area include: expansion of York’s language curriculum, supporting the establishment of the Canadian Bureau for International Education (CBIE) award-winning York International Internship Program (YIIP); establishment of the York International Mobility Award to help support students with exchange and study abroad expenses; establishment of numerous exchange agreements with universities abroad; helping to introduce the Letter of Recognition program as a complement to a student’s academic record; helping expand the CBIE award-winning Emerging Global Leadership Program into the Caribbean; and contributing to the development of a number of programs incorporating international dimensions and opportunities including the international bachelor of science and bachelor of arts programs.
She has also played an important role as an adviser to numerous government agencies and has helped develop and strengthen York's global academic ties, in India in particular. She spent a year as president of the Shastri Indo-Canadian Institute and is now president of the Canada India Education Council. She had a long and distinguished international career before she became the vice-president academic. In 1999 she was named a Knight First Class of the Order of the White Rose by the government of Finland for contributions to Canadian-Finnish relations; and in 2005 received the CBIE International Leadership Award.
“I truly believe internationalization enhances the University’s reputation. York is actually quite well known and well respected in Germany and in India, for example,” said Embleton. “But the real reason is for our students – all that is said about needing to educate students to be the global citizens of tomorrow – I think it's absolutely true, and absolutely essential to our students' futures, to get some solid exposure to things international now and to develop those competencies – wherever they will end up working.”
Award Ceremony to be held March 25
Embleton will receive her award at York International’s annual Cultural Gala on March 25, along other members of the York community recognized by York International. Tickets are still available at their office at 200 York Lanes. Cost for each ticket is $5 and a donation of three non-perishable canned food items, or $10 without a donation. All canned food collected will be donated to the York University food bank.
"We are very pleased to present these awards to outstanding members from our University’s community,” said Lorna Wright, York University’s associate vice-president international. “Once again we have outstanding faculty, staff and students doing fabulous work to promote internationalization at York and beyond our borders, too.
"Internationalization is pervasive and integral to all teaching and learning at York. These awards recognized people and groups that continue to raise the international profile of York University,” said Wright, who was a York International faculty recipient in 2006-2007 when she was a professor at Schulich School of Business.
More information is available on the York International website.
Submitted by Edward Fenner, York International