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Events and speakers enhance student life

by Mary Ann Gratton and Eleni Kanavas

An exciting roster of events will kick off the new school year this fall, and all students at U of T Scarborough are encouraged to attend and participate.

There are several different initiatives being organized through the department of student life’s Leadership Development Program, including the Perspectives on Leadership Series, the Inside the Leaders’ Circle Series, and other events and lectures based on issues faced by or experiences endured by a given speaker, some of which will be followed by discussion groups among students. (For a complete list of speakers and events, scroll down.) All events are free and open to all members of the public and the campus community (though some will require reserving seats in advance). Full details can be found online at or to view the brochure, click here.

EVENTS: 2009-2010

TUESDAY, OCTOBER 6 - Jan Wong, 5:30 p.m., Ralph Campbell Lounge, BV-380. Writer Jan Wong was the much-acclaimed Beijing correspondent for The Globe and Mail from 1988 to 1994. Her first book, Red China Blues: My Long March from Mao to Now, was named one of Time magazine’s top ten books in 1996 and remains banned in China. It has been translated into Swedish, Finnish, Dutch and Japanese and optioned for a feature a film. She returned to China in 1999 to make a documentary and to research her second book, Jan Wong’s China: Reports from a Not-So-Foreign Correspondent. It is a story about China’s headlong rush to capitalism and offers fresh insight into a country that is forever changing. Her most recent book, Beijing Confidential, was released in 2009. (Inside the Leaders' Circle)

TUESDAY, OCTOBER 13 - Denise Chong, 5:00 p.m., Ralph Campbell Lounge, BV-380. Denise Chong is a Chinese-Canadian economist and writer. She has published two novels, including The Concubine’s Children, for which she was acclaimed as a “renowned writer and commentator on Canadian history and on the family.” Her upcoming book, Egg on Mao, will be released in September. Chong will be discussing the role of China in today’s world, as well as the developments in the world’s newest superpower during and since the Tiananmen Square protest in 1989. (Global and Community Leadership Series)

THURSDAY, OCTOBER 15 - Monia Mazigh, 6:00 p.m., Rex’s Den (formerly Bluff’s Restaurant.) Monia Mazigh is married to Maher Arar, a Canadian who was detained by immigration officials in 2002 at a New York airport on suspicions of links to terrorism, after which he was deported to Syria, unjustly imprisoned and tortured for more than a year. When her husband’s confinement began, she embarked on a tireless campaign to bring public attention and government action to his plight. After gaining his release and return to Canada, she recounted her experiences in a memoir, Hope and Despair: My Struggle to Free My Husband, Maher Arar. Mazigh was born and raised in Tunisia and immigrated to Canada in 1991. Mazigh will share her remarkable story of personal courage and discuss the ease with which supposedly “developed” countries can and will deny and discard human rights. (Dialogues)

TUESDAY, NOVEMBER 3 - Thomas Homer-Dixon, 6:00 p.m., Rex’s Den (formerly Bluff’s Restaurant.) Political scientist and international relations expert Thomas Homer-Dixon holds the Centre for International Government Innovation Chair of Global Systems at the Balsillie School of International Affairs in Waterloo, Canada, and is Professor in the Centre for Environment and Business in the Faculty of Environment, University of Waterloo. He will discuss the issues raised in his more recent book, Carbon Shift: How the Twin Crises of Oil Depletion and Climate Change Will Define the Future. Homer-Dixon argues that the twin crises of climate change and peaking oil production are really one: a carbon problem. (Dialogues)

THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 5 - Kay Redfield Jamison, 11:00 a.m., Rex’s Den (formerly Bluff’s Restaurant.) Presented in partnership with Health & Wellness and AccessAbility Services. Kay Redfield Jamison is a professor of psychiatry at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine as well as an honorary professor of English at the University of St. Andrews in Scotland. During her UCLA years, Jamison’s manic depression took serious hold of her life and helped determine her career path. She is the author of the national bestsellers An Unquiet Mind: A Memoir of Mood and Madness, Night Falls Fast: Understanding Suicide, and Touched with Fire: Manic Depressive Illness and the Artistic Temperament. She has been named one of the “Best Doctors in the United States” and was chosen by Time magazine as a “Hero of Medicine”. (Inside the Leaders’ Circle)

TUESDAY, NOVEMBER 24 - Peter Mansbridge, 11:00 a.m., Rex’s Den (formerly Bluff’s Restaurant.) Veteran Canadian broadcaster Peter Mansbridge is the face of CBC’s flagship nightly news show, The National, for which he has served as anchor since 1988. Mansbridge delivers some of the country’s most vital and potent news stories, national and global events, to a national audience. He has interviewed some of the world’s most notable leaders, along with top Canadian officials. His career in radio and television began while he was working as a luggage boy and airport announcer in Churchill, Manitoba in 1968. (Inside the Leaders’ Circle)

TUESDAY, DECEMBER 1 - Lisa Gabriele, 5:30 p.m., Location TBA. Lisa Gabriele is a writer and broadcaster. She is the author of the critically-acclaimed Canadian bestseller Tempting Faith DiNapoli. Her essays and fiction have appeared in several anthologies, as well as in major U.S. newspapers and magazines. She served as a writer for the CBC radio show The Current for several years, and is currently the senior producer of Dragon’s Den, the CBC television program. (Inside the Leaders' Circle)

THURSDAY, JANUARY 14, 2010 - Catherine Gildiner, 5:00 p.m., Room AA160. Catherine Gildiner is a psychologist and journalist. She was born in 1948 in Lewiston, New York, and came to Canada in 1970. After completing an M.A. and a PhD in psychology, she established her private practice, and has worked as a clinical psychologist for more than 25 years. She also writes journalistic pieces for various newspapers and a monthly column for Chatelaine magazine. In 1999, Gildiner published her first book, a humorous memoir of her childhood called Too Close to the Falls. In her upcoming release, titled After the Falls, Gildiner recounts her remarkable coming-of-age in the 1960s. Her extraordinary personal story will provide the backdrop for the event focusing on youth and activism (particularly in the 1960s) and the role both play today. (Global and Community Leadership Series)

LATE JANUARY 2010 – Michael “Pinball” Clemons. Date, time and location to be announced. Toronto Argonauts football CEO Michael “Pinball” Clemons is renowned as one of pro football’s most electrifying personalities. The former running back was the Canadian Football League’s all-time, all-purpose yardage leader. His exceptional character, tireless community involvement and outstanding athletic ability have made him a fan favourite throughout Canada. He was inducted into the Canadian Football Hall of Fame in 2008. (Perspectives on Leadership Lecture)

TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 9, 2010 - Gabor Maté, 11:00 a.m., Rex’s Den (formerly Bluff’s Restaurant.) Presented in partnership with Health & Wellness and AccessAbility Services. Physician Gabor Maté is the former medical columnist for The Globe and Mail, where his byline continues to be seen on articles related to health and parenting. He has had a family practice, worked as a palliative care physician and most recently with the addicted men and women in the downtown eastside of Vancouver. In his books, Maté looks at his own history of compulsive behaviour, and weaves the stories of real people who have struggled with addiction with the latest research on addiction and the brain. (Inside the Leaders’ Circle)

EARLY FEBRUARY 2010 - Elizabeth May. Date, time and location to be announced. Elizabeth May is an environmentalist, writer, activist and lawyer. She is the national leader of the Green Party of Canada since 2006 and has led the party to an unprecedented level of support among Canadians. May has written seven books and is the recipient of numerous awards, including being named an Officer of the Order of Canada. Her newest book, Losing Confidence: Power, Politics and the Crisis in Canadian Democracy, offers an insider’s view of the ills that beset the current federal political system. (Inside the Leaders’ Circle)

THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 11, 2010 - John Ibbitson, 6:00 p.m., Rex’s Den (formerly Bluff’s Restaurant.) Journalist John Ibbitson is the Washington columnist and correspondent for The Globe and Mail, and the author of three earlier works of political analysis, including The Polite Revolution: Perfecting the Canadian Dream. His writing has been shortlisted for the Donner Prize, the Governor General’s Award, the National Newspaper Award, the Trillium Award and the City of Toronto Book Award. He will engage the UTSC community in a discussion about our national leadership. (Dialogues)

THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 25, 2010 - Wayson Choy, 5:00 p.m., AA160. A former “Perspectives on Leadership” lecturer in March 2009, Wayson Choy is an award-winning novelist, memorist, short-story writer and social activist. One of his short stories, The Jade Peony, was later expanded into a full-length book, and was published as a novel in 1995. The Jade Peony is an intimate portrait of an immigrant family living in Vancouver during WWII. Choy’s fifth novel, Not Yet: A Memoir of Living and Almost Dying was released in Canada in March 2009. He will be returning to UTSC to discuss systemic racism and the role that today’s youth can play in the battle for equality. (Global and Community Leadership Series)

TUESDAY, MARCH 9, 2010 - Alanna Mitchell, 5:30 p.m., Location TBA. Alanna Mitchell was the science and environment reporter at The Globe and Mail for 14 years until she left daily journalism to devote herself to science writing. Her most recent book, Sea Sick: The Global Ocean in Crisis, examines the current state of the world’s oceans—the great unexamined ecological crisis of the planet— and the fact that we are altering everything about them. Mitchell will explain the science behind the story in what is sure to be an engaging, accessible yet authoritative account. (Inside the Leaders’ Circle)

TUESDAY, MARCH 23, 2010 - Adria Vasil, 5:30 p.m., Location TBA. Environmental advocate and writer Adria Vasil has been writing the “Ecoholic" column for Now magazine since spring 2004 and has covered environmental issues for Now’s news section for four years. Vasil’s book Ecoholic, has become a surprising national bestseller for thousands of people who are making the conscious effort to live greener, smarter and healthier lives. She helps people to decipher legitimately green products and choices from the marketing “greenwash” now flooding store shelves. (Inside the Leaders’ Circle)

MID-March 2010 - Arne Kislenko. Date, time and location to be announced. Historian and international relations expert Arne Kislenko appears regularly in the media commenting on current affairs, including U.S foreign policy, national security, terrorism, immigration, and modern diplomatic history. Chosen Ontario's Best Lecturer by TVO in 2005, he is an associate professor of history at Ryerson University and an adjunct professor of international relations at the Munk Centre for International Studies at the University of Toronto. Kislenko will discuss national security in a changing world, drawing on his decade of experience with Immigration Canada. (Dialogues)

LATE MARCH 2010 – Jeff Rubin. Date, time and location to be announced. Economist Jeff Rubin served for many years at CIBC World Markets and as the bank’s chief economist and chief strategist. Renowned as well as a business commentator, he is now one of the world’s most sought-after energy experts. His newest book, Why Your World is about to Get a Whole Lost Smaller, was the Number One best-selling book on in spring 2009. Rubin claims that if you eliminate cheap oil, the global economy is going to get the shock of its life. Through his presentation at UTSC, he will demonstrate why the world is about to get a whole lot smaller. (Dialogues)

For more details on these and other events, visit

or the main web site at

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