VISTA is governed by a Board of Directors made up of key administrative leaders at York University. Accountable to the CFREF Secretariat, the Board has a mandate to provide strategic direction to the Scientific Director and Leadership Committee, financial oversight of the initiative and institutional approval of committee decisions.
Board of Directors
Vice-President Academic and Provost
Dr. Rhonda Lenton is the Vice-President Academic & Provost of York University. Prior to her current position, she served as Vice-Provost Academic from 2009-2012 and as Dean of the Atkinson Faculty of Liberal & Professional Studies from 2002 to 2009. As Vice-President Academic & Provost, she provides leadership to the senior academic administrative team in the areas of academic planning, institutional change management, the alignment of academic priorities and resources, and strategic enrolment and complement planning. Current initiatives focus on institutional priorities around academic quality, the student experience and student success, community engagement, financial sustainability and the engagement of the York community.
Dr. Lenton’s areas of teaching and research expertise include research methods and data analysis, gender, and familial violence. She has published peer reviewed book chapters and articles in an array of academic journals and she is currently writing up the results of a survey on marital conflict in Canada. She has also written and presented on various initiatives undertaken in higher education. Dr. Lenton is currently on the Executive of the Ontario Council of Academic Vice-Presidents and represents that Council on the eCampus Ontario Board as well as the Ontario Council on Articulation and Transfer Board.
Vice-President Finance and Administration
Gary Brewer is the Vice-President, Finance and Administration at York University, where he has held a number of roles since 1995. Prior to joining York, he held a number of senior financial positions at Ontario Hydro.
In his current role, Gary’s portfolio covers a wide range of responsibilities including finance, human resources and labour relations, facilities planning and construction, campus services, business operations, information technology and internal audit. His responsibilities also include administration of York’s pension plan and endowment assets, which total over $1.7 billion.
Gary holds a bachelor of applied science, industrial engineering and a master of business administration from the University of Toronto. He served as President of CAUBO and sat on the CAUBO Board of Directors.
Since October 2011, Jeff O’Hagan has served as Vice-President, Advancement at York University, responsible for the University’s alumni engagement, alumni and donor communications, community relations and fundraising efforts. Mr. O’Hagan leads Impact – The Campaign for York University, a multi-year, comprehensive $500 million fundraising and alumni engagement campaign, the largest and most ambitious in York’s history. Mr. O’Hagan is a leading advancement professional and executive with 25 years of experience in the advancement and wealth management sectors. He is the former chief executive officer of the Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre Foundation, where he led all aspects of the organization and the $470-million Campaign for Sunnybrook. Prior to Sunnybrook, Mr. O’Hagan held senior management and fundraising roles at Western University (UWO), including Western’s Schulich School of Medicine & Dentistry, as part of Western's $270-million Campaign. Prior to Western, Mr. O'Hagan led the gift planning efforts at the St. Mary’s General Hospital Foundation in Waterloo. He also spent a number of years in the wealth management and estate services sector and held several senior positions with leading financial institutions, including the Royal Bank of Canada. Mr. O’Hagan earned a bachelor of arts in Political Science from Western University.
Dean, Faculty of Health
Dr. McDonald is the Dean of the Faculty of Health. Professor McDonald joins York University from Massey University in New Zealand, where he has held the position of Professor and Founding Pro Vice-Chancellor of the College of Health since 2013. In his capacity as Pro Vice-Chancellor, he initiated developments to enhance teaching and learning, the student experience and internationalization. As a member of Massey’s senior leadership team, Professor McDonald contributed to the development of the university’s strategic plan, as well as its budget, enrolment, capital plans and the creation of a global entity facilitating international connections.
Professor McDonald holds a BA in Psychology from the University of Waterloo, an MA in Clinical Psychology from the University of Western Ontario and a PhD in Health Studies with a specialization in Population Health from the University of Waterloo. His research interests are wide-ranging and interdisciplinary, including planning, implementing and evaluating population-level interventions for public health, tobacco control, and primary prevention of chronic disease.
Dean, Lassonde School of Engineering
Dean, Faculty of Science
Ray Jayawardhana is the Dean of Science and a Professor of Physics & Astronomy at York University. A graduate of Yale and Harvard, he uses many of the world’s largest telescopes to explore planetary origins and diversity.
He is the co-author of more than 120 papers in scientific journals, and his findings have made headlines worldwide. He is also an award-winning writer whose articles have appeared in The Economist, New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Boston Globe, Muse, Scientific American, and more. His research and writing have led to numerous accolades, including the Guggenheim Fellowship, the Rutherford Medal, the Steacie Prize, and the McLean Award. His book Strange New Worlds was the basis of “The Planet Hunters” television documentary on the CBC, while Neutrino Hunters won the CSWA Science in Society Book Award. Ray is also a popular speaker and a frequent commentator for the media.
An avid traveler, he has visited more than 55 countries, all seven continents, and the Arctic.
Dean, School of the Arts, Media, Performance & Design
Shawn Brixey is a creative artist, researcher and inventor working at the interface of art, science and technology. He is known for pioneering complex experimental media artworks that synthesize physics, astronomy, cosmology, biology and advanced computing.
Projects include Alchymeia, a nanotechnology and bioengineering public artwork for the Winter Olympics in Nagano, Japan, featuring laboratory-engineered ‘snowflakes’ whose atomic architecture physically embodied human biological material; Chimera Obscura, a massive multi-user, data-driven organism mapping hybrid virtual and real spaces via a telerobot that leaves an electronic trail of virtual information genes, commissioned for the world premiere of the touring exhibition Genesis | Contemporary Art Explores Human Genomics; and the Rockefeller Foundation-funded telepresence project Eon, which uses text-to-speech synthesis to create voice-encoded sonoluminescence – “a star in a jar” – radiating voice as light, creating material poetry art from the interactions of matter and energy.
Upcoming is Radiant Arc, an interactive environmental art installation focusing on global climate change. Created in collaboration with researchers from the University of Alaska in Fairbanks, USA, Laboratoire de Glaciologie et Géophysique de l’Environnement in Grenoble, France, and the University of Helsinki, Finland, the project will clone ice crystals from ancient ice-core samples taken from rapidly receding North American glaciers. When completed, the artwork will form a brilliantly coloured, constantly shifting, three-dimensional luminous arc – a poetic ‘time machine’ constructed of fragile moments from the earth’s prehistoric past, dynamically re/created in the present.
Professor Brixey has exhibited his art, design, performance and media technology internationally. He also publishes in these areas and lectures widely on emerging issues relating to contemporary arts, culture, media technology and higher education.
Shawn Brixey joined the School of the Arts, Media, Performance & Design as dean in July 2013. He is cross-appointed to the Digital Media Program, Department of Cinema & Media Arts, and Department of Visual Art & Art History in AMPD.
Dean, Faculty of Liberal Arts & Professional Studies
Ananya Mukherjee-Reed is Dean of the Faculty of Liberal Arts and Professional Studies and a Professor of Political Science at York University. This is the largest liberal arts Faculty in Canada with a vibrant community of 23,000 students, including 3,000 international students from 123 countries.
Dean Mukherjee-Reed's teaching and research focus primarily on the theme of human development, broadly defined. The theme that dominates her work is justice, particularly gender justice. Her current research explores the development of democratic, sustainable forms of enterprise amongst marginalized women in India. She has authored several books, edited collections, journal articles and her work has appeared and in popular media and in multiple languages. Please visit here to find out more about her work.
Scientific Director, Vision: Science to Applications (VISTA)
Distinguished Research Professor in Neuroscience
Canada Research Chair in Visuomotor Neuroscience
York Centre for Vision Research,
Brain in Action CREATE/IRTG Program,
Canadian Action and Perception Network (CAPnet),
Neuroscience Graduate Diploma Program and Departments of
Psychology, Biology, and Kinesiology & Health Sciences
Doug Crawford completed his PhD in Physiology at Western University in 1993 and then spent two years as an MRC Fellow at the Montreal Neurological Institute, before joining the York Department of Psychology in 1995. For the past 22 years his work at the York Centre for Vision Research has focused on the control of visual gaze in 3D space, eye-hand coordination, and spatial memory during eye movements. This has resulted in over 140 papers in publications such as Nature, Science and Annual Review of Neuroscience, and has garnered numerous awards, including the 2004 Steacie Prize. He has trained over 50 graduate students and post-doctoral fellows, so far guiding more than 25 of these into long-term research, clinical and teaching positions. He founded the York Neurophysiology Labs, the York Graduate Diploma Program in Neuroscience, and the Canadian Action and Perception Network (CAPnet), and co-founded the 'Brain in Action' International Research Training Program, with partners in Germany.
Associate Director, Vision: Science to Applications (VISTA)
Associate Professor and Chair, Department of Electrical Engineering & Computer Science, Lassonde School of Engineering
Richard Wildes received a Ph.D. degree from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1989. Subsequently, he joined SRI (then Sarnoff Corporation) as a Member of the Technical Staff in the Vision Technologies Group. In 2001, he joined the Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science (then Computer Science) at York University, where he is an Associate Professor, Department Chair, Associate Director of the Canada First Research Excellence Fund (CFREF) funded project Vision Science to Applications (VISTA) and a member of the Centre for Vision Research, where he previously was Associate Director. His research focuses on pure and applied aspects of computational vision, with an emphasis on motion and stereo analyses as well as their applications. He also is widely recognized as a pioneer in iris recognition for human identification. He has received extensive research funding from both government (e.g., CFI, CFREF, DARPA, DRDC, NSERC, OCE) and private (e.g., GM Canada, MDA, nVIDIA, Viewgle) agencies. Honors include receiving a Sarnoff Corporation Technical Achievement Award, the IEEE D.G. Fink Prize Paper Award and twice giving invited presentations to the US National Academy of Sciences. He holds multiple US patents and has over 6000 citations.
Lead, Research Coordinating Committee
Professor, School of Kinesiology and Health Science, Faculty of Health
Centre for Vision Research
Coordinator, Neuroscience Graduate Diploma Program
York Lions Sport Medicine team
Lauren Sergio is a Professor in the School of Kinesiology and Health Science, and a member of the Centre for Vision Research at York University. She has studied the neural control of movement since 1988. After completing a bachelor's degree at McGill University in physiology, she did her Ph.D. there in psychology with David Ostry. She then pursued post-doctoral studies in neurophysiology at the Université de Montréal with John Kalaska. Her research examines the effects of age, sex, neurological disease, head injury, and experience (elite versus non-elite athletes) on the brain's control of complex visually-guided movement. Dr. Sergio works with a wide range of adult populations, including NHL draft prospects and dementia patients, using behavioural and brain imaging techniques. She is also a Research Affiliate at Southlake Regional Health Centre, part of the York University Sport Medicine team, and is the director of York University's Neuroscience Graduate program.
Lead, Training Committee
Professor, School of Kinesiology & Health Science, Faculty of Health
Centre for Vision Research
Director, CREATE Brain in Action
Denise Henriques completed her PhD in Psychology at York University in 2002, and did her postdoctoral training at the University of Minnesota and Western before joining the School of Kinesiology and Health Science as a faculty member in 2004. Her research interests centre on how the brain uses sensory information in motor control, and specifically on sensorimotor integration, spatial processing, and motor learning. Her work has successfully challenged several key assumptions underlying previous sensorimotor models resulting in 67 peer-reviewed papers, which have been very well-received and has significantly contributed and in some cases, transformed our understanding of sensorimotor learning and spatial coding. The recognized, impact of her research has led to several awards including the Polanyi Prize in Physiology and Medicine (2005), an Early Researcher Award (2007), and Alfred P Sloan Fellowship (2009), as well as many international seminar invitations and funding from several granting agencies and foundations (NSERC, DAAD, Sloan). She has successful trained 17 graduate students and postdoctoral fellows, and has active research collaborations both in Europe and the USA (resulting in 14 publications). She is the director of an NSERC CREATE international training grant, the Brain in Action, with partners in Germany.
Lead, Partnership Committee
Associate Professor, Department of Psychology, Faculty of Health
Shayna Rosenbaum received her Ph.D. in Cognitive Neuropsychology from the University of Toronto in 2004. She then completed a postdoctoral fellowship in Clinical Neuropsychology and Cognitive Neuroscience at the Rotman Research Institute at Baycrest in Toronto and became registered as a Clinical Psychologist with the College of Psychologists of Ontario. She has been an Assistant Professor in the Department of Psychology and Neuroscience Graduate Diploma Program at York University and Associate Scientist at the Rotman Research Institute in Toronto since 2005. She combines patient and fMRI studies to investigate the organization of spatial, episodic, and semantic memory, and the relationship between remote memory and non-mnemonic abilities. Her work is supported by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research and the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council. She is a recipient of a Canadian Institutes of Health Research New Investigator Award and early career awards from the Ontario Ministry of Research and Innovation, Canadian Association for Neuroscience (CAN), and the Canadian Society for Brain, Behaviour, and Cognitive Science (CSBBCS). Recently, she was elected as a member of the inaugural cohort of the College of Scholars, Artists, and Scientists of the Royal Society of Canada and received the inaugural President's Emerging Research Leadership Award.
Director, Innovation York
Sarah is a business development professional with extensive experience fostering innovation and developing strategic business operations. She is a leader and a strategist who successfully created a vision for an innovation office in Canada`s third largest University, obtained buy-in from the Executive, and executed on that vision to develop Innovation York, an office that delivers five service streams within a complex multi-stakeholder environment: research agreements, industry partnerships, knowledge mobilization, commercialization, and entrepreneurship. In her present role as Director, Innovation York, Sarah is responsible for the day-to-day operations and the strategic direction of the office.
Sarah joined York University in 2010 as the Associate Director, Intellectual Property & Research Agreements and became the Director, Innovation York in September 2012. Prior to joining York, Sarah worked as a contracts coordinator and then as a business development officer at The Hospital for Sick Children. She has an MBA in technology and innovation management from the Ted Rogers School of Management, Ryerson University.
Lead, Performance Monitoring Group
Professor, Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, Lassonde School of Engineering
Dr. Michael S. Brown received his undergraduate and PhD degrees in Computer Science from the University of Kentucky in 1995 and 2001 respectively.He has over 13 years of academic experience working in Asia, holding prior faculty positions at the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, the Nanyang Technological University (Singapore) and the National University of Singapore.His research interests are in the area of computer vision, image processing and computer graphics with an emphasis on physics-based models for image enhancement and restoration. Dr. Brown regularly serves on the senior program committees of the major computer vision conferences (CVPR, ICCV, ECCV) and is currently an associate editor for the IEEE Transactions on Pattern Analysis and Machine Intelligence (TPAMI) and the International Journal on Computer Vision (IJCV).
Co-Lead, Facilities and Infrastructure Development Committee
Associate Dean of Research and Innovation, Faculty of Health
Dr. Mazyar Fallah is the Associate Dean of Research and Innovation in the Faculty of Health and an Associate Professor in the School of Kinesiology and Health Science. He received his PhD in Psychology and Neuroscience from Princeton University in 2001 and completed a fellowship at the Salk Institute for Biological Sciences in 2005. His research interests include understanding the neural circuitry that mediates attention and neural binding. Dr. Fallah uses systems and cognitive neuroscience approaches to understand how attention works, how features are integrated across multiple brain areas to form object representations, and how attention and object representations drive eye movements. This research is performed through a combination of techniques including, behaviour and psychophysics, eye tracking, EEG, and electrophysiology.
Dr. Fallah has held various university administrative positions including, Undergraduate Program Director in the School of Kinesiology and Health Science at York University, and continues to serve on various committees on campus. His work helps to foster the success of university-wide research centers and multi-investigator research grants and programs.
Co-Lead, Facilities and Infrastructure Development Committee
Director, York Centre for Vision Research
Professor, Department of Psychology, Faculty of Health
Link to http://www.yorku.ca/harris/
Laurence Harris received his PhD from Cambridge University in 1979. After post-docs in Durham (UK) and Dalhousie (Canada) he became a lecturer in Physiology at Cardiff University. He moved to York University in Canada in 1990 where is presently the director of the Centre for Vision Research. His research interest concerns how the different senses are combined to generate our perceptions. Examples include the visual and vestibular system's role in orientation and self motion perception; vision and hearing's role in localizing events in space and time; and how knowledge of our body affects our perception of stimuli. He is particularly interested in the way these combinations can adapt to changing demands brought about by unusual environments which he creates using various means including virtual reality, the microgravity of space, human centrifuges, and moving rooms. Additional information can be found at:
Director, York Centre for Field Robotics
Michael Jenkin is a Professor of Computer Science and Engineering, and a member of the Centre for Vision Research at York University, Canada. Working in the fields of visually guided autonomous robots and virtual reality, he has published over 150 research papers including co-authoring Computational Principles of Mobile Robotics with Gregory Dudek and a series of co-edited books on human and machine vision with Laurence Harris.
Michael Jenkin's current research intrests include work on sensing strategies for AQUA, an amphibious autonomous robot being developed as a collaboration between Dalhousie University, McGill University and York University; the development of tools and techniques to support crime scene investigation; and the understanding of the perception of self-motion and orientation in unusual environments including microgravity.
Associate Vice-President, Research & Innovation
Kaneff Professor in Micro & Nanotechnology for Social Innovation
Sushanta Mitra is the Associate Vice-President Research and Kaneff Professor in Micro & Nanotechnology for Social Innovation at the York University. His research interests are in the fundamental understanding of fluid transport in micro and nano-scale confinements with applications in energy, water, and bio-systems. He is equally passionate about teaching and has implemented experiential learning for first year undergraduate engineering curriculum through public-private partnership. Currently, he is implementing "Mobile First" learning platform to improve preparedness for post-secondary STEM programs in partnership with K-12 school and industry. He was the Associate Scientific Director for the Canada-India Research Centre of Excellence, IC-IMPACTS, the first bi-national Network Centres of Excellence created by the federal government of Canada. Among many other responsibilities, he is currently the President of the Canadian Society for Mechanical Engineering and is a member of the Committee on International Scientific Affairs, American Physical Society. For his contributions in engineering and sciences, he has been elected as the Fellow of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME), the Canadian Society for Mechanical Engineering (CSME), the Engineering Institute of Canada (EIC), the Canadian Academy for Engineering (CAE), the Royal Society of Chemistry (RSC, UK), and the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS). He is also a Fellow of the National Institute for Nanotechnology (NINT) and the recipient of 2015 Engineering Excellence Medal from the Ontario Society of Professional Engineers.