Creating positive change for a healthier future

In a matter of months, COVID-19 went from being a distant news story to bringing the world to a standstill. At York University, this was a call to action. As a community of changemakers, we’re proud to be creating positive change in the battle against this pandemic in areas spanning our 11 Faculties, both at home and abroad. We are all in this together.

From the onset of the pandemic, York faculty has been engaged in the fight against COVID-19 and identifying ways to help with recovery that will benefit all members of society. Recently, Professor Steven Hoffman was appointed by the United Nations to lead the Research Roadmap for the COVID-19 Recovery and will identify research priorities that will support an equitable global socio-economic recovery and continued progress towards the Sustainable Development Goals. And, Jianhong Wu, professor of mathematics and statistics is leading a national COVID-19 math modelling team, advising health officials assessing the transmission risk, potential future outbreaks and has developed an AI app for drive through vaccine planning and distribution.  York faculty have also brought forward important issues that have been magnified during COVID including racial discrimination and the necessity to improve the long-term care model.   

York students will be part of this change. Students have the opportunity to learn from global leaders in research and take part in a community committed to positively reshaping the future. Our goal is to inspire the next generation to lead the fight against future diseases and outbreaks. York offers students the ability to put their learning into practice through diverse experiential education opportunities including internships, co-ops, placements, and more. Some notable courses include the award-winning Capstone Course where employers engage with student teams to help solve their challenges and the “Agents of Change” course. York currently offers multiple programs directly targeting this cause, including global health, health policy, disaster and emergency management.  

While the future is promising, it’s no secret that the pandemic has been especially difficult for students. School closures had the potential to upend academic aspirations. That’s why York was one of the first universities in Ontario to transition to remote learning immediately shifting gears to meet the needs of the York community, including providing hundreds of laptops to students in need. To alleviate the unexpected financial pressure brought on by the pandemic, a new bursary has been established to provide emergency assistance. Ultimately, our goal is to do everything within our power to keep our students’ academic goals on track so that they can continue creating positive change and overcome future challenges.

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