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Classes without Quizzes: New learning series for alumni and community


by Eleni Kanavas

No tests, no quizzes, no marks – just fun. A new lecture series without exams or grades has been established for alumni and the campus community to promote life-long learning at the University of Toronto Scarborough.

Classes without Quizzes is designed to engage alumni and the university community with interesting and provocative topics through a variety of classes and guest speakers. The series features “internationalism” as the theme for the 2009-2010 academic year, with classes presented in October, February and April. The lectures are taught in a fun and open setting by experts in the field and faculty from the University of Toronto Scarborough. Internationalism is also one of the five strategic priorities for the campus.

“Many alumni events are social in nature, so we’re excited to offer something different that is both educational and topical,” said Kim Tull, alumni relations manager at UTSC. “Our hope is that Classes without Quizzes will provide an academic and accessible environment that is both intellectually stimulating and speaks also to important events of the day. This new series provides an opportunity for alumni to revisit their alma mater, spend time in a classroom and learn from UTSC faculty.”

The first installment of the series, titled "Health vs. Wealth: Making Health Systems Work," took place on October 28 in the Science Research Building. Professor Franco Vaccarino, vice-president and principal of UTSC, hosted the seminar that focused on the question of “How Does Canada Measure Up?” in the context of a discussion about health care systems and their impact on people, patterns and policies.

Among the panel of experts were Professor Rick Halpern, dean and vice-principal (academic), Toba Bryant, professor of politics of Canadian health policy and Michael Denny, professor of health economics. Together, the panelists highlighted the importance of understanding the historical and philosophical underpinnings of today’s health care disciplines and what governments can do to improve health care systems. The topics included key barriers to health care, quality, affordability, and access while examining the potential pitfalls and taking a critical look at the Canadian health care system.


FEBRUARY 18, 2010 - Globalization, Culture and Inequality: Culture of Fear

Time: 7 to 9 p.m. Location TBA.

Are you part of a culture of fear? Do the media play into these fears? Does it affect how you perceive others? This discussion will focus on the aspects of a wide range of cultural and social phenomena — including inequality, gender cultural boundaries between groups, economics, and the negotiation of cross-cultural interpersonal exchanges in everyday life, race, religion, organizations, media and popular culture.

APRIL 22, 2010 – Food for Thought

Time: 7  to 9 p.m. Location TBA.

Take the opportunity to be introduced to a world of tastes found right here in our own community. The session will feature faculty host Daniel Bender, a history professor at U of T Scarborough. Bender will share his experiences and culture of cuisine with a cooking demonstration. Learn how food influences our daily lives, culture and social evolution.

All classes are free. University of Toronto alumni and friends of the university are welcome to attend.

Classes fill on a first-come, first-serve basis. Registration is recommended. For more information on these sessions and to RSVP your seat in class, please visit:

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