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Posted July 20, 2017

Digital Humanities Courses at Woodsworth!

New courses in this brand new field starting in Fall 2017

Getting in the excitement of our upcoming fall/winter semesters, Woodsworth now has two new courses! These courses are in Arts and Science calendar, within the new field of Digital Humanities and are taught by Professor Alexandra Bolintineanu. Alexandra is a medieval digital studies specialist cross appointed to the Centre for Medieval Studies and the College.  Her current project, Technologies of Unknowing, is a study of medieval wonders in digital environments.


 Introduction to Digital Humanities (WDW235) and Virtual Worlds: Introduction to Spatial Digital Humanities (WDW236) are the two courses. Introduction to Digital Humanities will deal with the study of human culture using computational tools and methodologies while at the same time studies digital technologies and communities through a humanist lens. Virtual Worlds: Introduction to Spatial Digital Humanities gives a digital humanities perspective on the virtual worlds in which we are immersed, from scholarly digital archives to video games. The theory and methods of geospatial humanities research are emphasized. Students will also explore the technical and cultural implications of computer vision, augmented reality and 3D printing.


 Woodsworth is proud to have these new courses that represent this modern time, where the digital world is important to both analyze and to understand.

More information about these courses is available here.

Posted July 19, 2017

Honourary Degree Recipient: Peter Mansbridge

A Canadian icon honoured at Woodsworth Convocation

The 2016-17 academic year closed out on a very high note at our Spring Convocation at which Peter Mansbridge was the honorary degree recipient. Peter was a Canadian news icon, working as chief correspondent for CBS News and anchor of The National. His career spanned three decades, collecting many awards and accolades throughout the years. One of the accolades now, being a Woodsworth honourary grad!

 It was a great privilege to have our convocation chosen for this special honour for a very special Canadian. Dr. Mansbridge gave an inspirational address to the graduating class in which he urged the graduands to “change the world," and create a better future. He also discussed the route in which journalistic practices are going, that now is more important then ever for our grads to make a change, especially in this political climate.  

The 834 strong Woodsworth Spring 2017 graduating class included 256 students who graduated with High Distinction or Distinction, and a student that graduated with a Governor General Silver Medal Award. We are very proud of their achievements, and of the entire class!

Posted July 18, 2017

Governor General’s Silver Medal Award

Canada's most prestigious academic award presented to Woodsworth student

Re-posted with permission from the Faculty of Arts & Science.

Among the more than 18,000 students graduating from U of T in 2017, Arts & Science student Valeriya Mordvinova stands out as one of three undergraduate students with the highest grade point average (GPA) across U of T. For this monumental achievement, the specialist in financial economics has been awarded the Governor General’s Silver Academic Medal, one of the most prestigious awards that can be received by a student at a Canadian educational institution.

Graduating with fellow Woodsworth College students today, Mordvinova is no stranger to this type of honour. Four years ago, she won a Bronze Medal, for having the second-highest high school average in the city of Ottawa. Still, the 22-year-old claims she was surprised by her latest achievement.

“I knew my marks were high but didn’t think they were high enough to win a medal at U of T,” she said. She finished with a GPA of 4.0, the highest that can be achieved at U of T.

One hundred and forty four years ago, His Excellency Lord Dufferin established the Academic Medals in order to encourage academic excellence across Canada. The medals are awarded at four distinct levels: Bronze at the secondary school level; Collegiate Bronze at the post-secondary, diploma level; Silver at the undergraduate level; and Gold at the graduate level.

Because of its size, U of T is permitted to award three Silver medals. Mordvinova’s fellow recipients this year include Victoria College’s Zoe Sebastien and the Faculty of Applied Science & Engineering’s Sandro Young. The trio joins an impressive array of the medals’ illustrious recipients, which include Pierre Trudeau, Tommy Douglas, Kim Campbell and Gabrielle Roy.

Mordvinova credits her success to a supportive home atmosphere where her parents, both recipients of academic awards back in Russia, encouraged academics as well as extra-curricular activities. “Winning an award gives one a temporary dose of dopamine,” she modestly asserts. “It will pass quickly. It is not where the rewards in life are.”

Alongside her exceptional academic performance, Mordvinova has found time to be a competitive ballroom dancer, and vice president of finance for the U of T Aviation Club, as well as acting as a peer mentor at the Economics Study Centre.

Following graduation from Woodsworth College at U of T, Mordvinova will return for a second consecutive year to an internship in London, England, and will commence a master’s degree program in economics at U of T in the fall of 2017. 

With files from Woodsworth College and the Department of Economics.

Posted July 18, 2017

Woodsworth is ranked one of Toronto’s contemporary architecture gems

Globe and Mail architecture critic, Alex Bozikovic, gives Woodsworth a shout out in 'Toronto Architecture: A City Guide'

In the latest issue of Toronto Architecture: A City Guide, Woodsworth college gets a feature! Alex Bozikovic took to Twitter to say it was one of his favourite hidden gems of contemporary architecture. Alex is the architecture critic for the Globe and Mail, not only covering architecture locally but throughout Canada, even globablly.

 It is an honour that Woodsworth was feautured amongst other iconic Toronto buildings, buildings such as University College and City Hall. Woodsworth was originally a series of Victorian houses on St. George, but Barton Myers' associates and KPMB created the contemporary sleek look it has today, with renovations and the addition of our L shaped building. This shape creates our serene Peter F. Brofman courtyard, with the row of large doors opening up in the warmer months for the college to have an indoor-outdoor effect. The college boasts palettes of natural woods and stones to further connect with the nature of the university.

 We have always admired Woodsworths beauty and are glad that it is getting this prestigious recognition!

Posted June 21, 2017

Spring 2017 Convocation

Moving Forward: A Sampling of Woodsworth’s 2017 Grads

Zak Jones is continuing his studies at U of T and entering a master’s program in creative writing. A poet, he is excited about the workshop possibilities this two-year program offers and is already planning a “full-length novel in verse” for his thesis. His long-term plan is to become a professor, which is not surprising since Zak considers himself to have been the beneficiary of good teaching.  He entered Woodsworth at age 25 through the Academic Bridging Program, and feels indebted to the faculty, saying, “I couldn’t have figured it out on my own.”  Zak was one of the 2017 winners of the Bronfman Leadership award –he calls it the “vote of confidence” that gave him the boost he needed to finish his degree.


Abdullah Khan is graduating with two options in his pocket. He will first spend a year at Oxford getting a master of science in Global Governance and Diplomacy, working on a thesis about the India-Pakistan dispute over the Kashmir region. Then he will return to U of T to study law. For Abdullah, an important support while at Woodsworth was the Academic Writing Centre; he had studied engineering in Pakistan and admits he “had no idea how to write papers.” Another key support was the Alumni–Students Mentorship Program, which matched him with an attorney. Their interactions helped him realize that he “could make the biggest impact on the world by becoming a lawyer.”

Vithu Ranjan leaves Woodsworth with a degree in criminology and has applied for a job at the Ministry of Community Safety and Correctional Services working with young offenders. In the future he might pursue a master of social work and a career in law enforcement, but right now feels he “will get the most enjoyment by helping youth.” What helped to shape Vithu’s career choice was his experience at Woodsworth where he served as a student liaison, and a don in the residence. Through those roles, “I realized how much I enjoyed working with young people.” Also important to his experience was being matched with a former police officer through the college’s mentorship program. 

Jacquelyn Laurenda came to Woodsworth in her mid-thirties through The Millie Rotman Shime Academic Bridging Program (ABP). Jacquelyn defines the ABP not as a ‘second’ but a ‘first chance’. With her father in the navy, she had a peripatetic childhood and was homeschooled. Though she had “written hundreds of poems and stories”, she had never written an essay. Entry into degree studies in English changed all that, and Jacquelyn’s academic development is set to continue as she commences a graduate program in English at U of T this fall. According to Jacquelyn, the support she received along the way was “immeasurable, I feel everyone at Woodsworth is like family”. The icing on the cake was her selection in 2017 as one of the winners of the Bronfman Leadership Scholarship. 

Jingru (Jenny) Zhang came to Canada from Shanghai at the age of 4, settling in Windsor, Ontario, when her father was appointed as professor of neuroscience at the university there. After high school Jenny opted to move to Toronto, seeking “the opportunity to grow as a person.” The University of Toronto appealed because of its academic program, and Woodsworth College appealed because of its residence, which is reputed to be “the best on the campus.” Having earned anhonours bachelor of arts, Jenny has now landed a job in the field of her choice as marketing coordinator for an international financial services company based in Toronto.   Along with her studies at Woodsworth, Jenny was a porter in the residence and coordinated the mentorship program for the alumni office. Those two experiences, she says, “prepared me to enter the workforce.” 

Posted June 06, 2017

Woodsworth Spring 2017 Convocation

Over 800 students are set to graduate

Woodsworth College will once again be celebrating another big class of graduating students on June 21st.  Over 800 students were eligible to graduate and many of them have elected to participate in the convocation ceremony in Convocation Hall.  As there is such a big graduating class this year there were only a minimal amount of extra tickets available for extra guests.  However, provisions have been made to live stream the ceremony in the Convocation Plaza (the tent just outside Convocation Hall), as well as in Kruger Hall Commons at Woodsworth College.

Prior to the ceremony there will be a reception and luncheon for graduating students, their families and friends in the Peter F. Bronfman Courtyard at Woodsworth College.  

More details are available here.

Posted May 30, 2017

Alumni Association AGM & Spring Reunion

The alumni association is hosting this annual event

Please join fellow alumni, students and staff of Woodsworth College for the Annual General Meeting of the AAWC followed by:

  • Volunteer Recognition
  • Cocktail Reception (cash bar)
  • Live jazz trio
  • and magician! 

FREE! All Woodsworth alumni are welcome

For more information: call 416-978-5301, or email.

Posted April 28, 2017

2017 Gordon Cressy Student Leadership Awards

Nine Woodsworth students were presented with Cressy Awards at this year's ceremony

Convocation Hall was packed with friends, family and U of T staff and faculty as over 200 students were presented with this year's Cressy Awards.  The Gordon Cressy Student Leadership Awards were established in 1994 by the University of Toronto Alumni Association (UTAA) and the Division of University Advancement in order to recognize students who have made outstanding extra-curricular contributions to their college, faculty or school, or to the university as a whole.

Woodsworth is very proud that nine of its students qualified to receive the award this year. These students were active on campus and at the College in a myriad of volunteer roles that benefited students both here at U of T and more broadly accross the city of Toronto and in the wider world. Recipients were: Amanda Cheung, Ritika Kompella, Aakanksha John, Sandleen Azam, Novera Khan, Radha Lamba, Kristine Medrero, Aadil Nathani and Rebecca Zhao.

Congratulations to all!

Posted April 11, 2017

Alumni-Students Mentorship Program

The program celebrated another successful year

The Alumni-Students Mentorship program celebrated another successful year of mentoring partnerships with a lively closing reception, attended by student mentees and alumni mentors.  Forty-eight pairs participated in the program which has just concluded its 4th year. 

The program offers one to one mentoring as an avenue for professional development for third and fourth year Woodsworth College students, as well as to students in the College affiliated programs: Criminology & Sociolegal Studies and Employment Relations.  

For alumni it’s a great way to stay connected with Woodsworth and give back to the student community.  Mentors gain the satisfaction of knowing they are helping students understand the unfamiliar and often daunting world they will face after graduation.

Ideal mentors are professionals both young and seasoned who are willing to impart knowledge of their field and experiences they have had in entering their careers

Our mentors come from a variety of fields and sectors, and include lawyers practicing in a variety of fields; HR professionals;  civil servants in all levels of government;  banking, accounting, and finance professionals;  as well as those practicing in public relations and marketing.  For more information please visit the program web page

Posted March 22, 2017

Woodsworth Supports Pow Wow and Indigenous Students

First pow wow held at UofT in decades

The College was proud to be one of the supporters of the UofT pow wow held on March 12th at the Athletic Centre. 

The event, Honouring Our Students Pow Wow and Indigenous Festival, was organized by U of T students and was open to the public. Carolyn Bennett, Minister of Indigenous and Northern Affairs and an alumna of U of T’s Faculty of Medicine was in attendance.

Not only did the College support this event, but the Woodsworth community provides many opportunities for Indigenous students to achieve academic success. In addition to choosing Woodsworth College directly from high school, many come through the Millie Rotman Shime Academic Bridging Program and the Diploma to Degree transfer programs.  The curriculum in our Academic Bridging Program and Woodsworth One Foundation Program highlights the history, contributions and continuing struggles of Indigenous people in Canadian society today.  It is a learning experience for all who choose these courses.  Additionally, the Centre for Criminology and Sociolegal Studies, affiliated with the College, has recently introduced senior level courses in the area of study: Indigenous Law and Indigenous Peoples & Criminal Justice.

Donors of the College have recognized the need to suport Indigenous students such as recent awards endowed by Tom Mitchinson & David Connolly and Sandra Laughren & Steven Dwyer.

Most recently, one of our students, Julie Blair, Anishinaabe (Objibwa), WDW'17, was awarded the Brookfield Bronfman Gold Scholarship recognizing her strong academic performance and community leadership. 

Woodsworth College has always been proud of its diversity and is stronger for the contributions of its students, including those who identify and Indigenous.

View a video about the pow wow here.

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