By Lauren Strapagiel
Intersections is Ryerson’s new annual research magazine and a wake-up call to the academic community, showing that Rye High has serious research chops.
“We’re trying to let the world know that Ryerson is not only a teaching institution, but also a research institution, and what a better way than having a magazine that profiles our key researchers” said Tas Venetsanopoulos, Ryerson’s vice president of research and innovation.
Intersections profiles 15 Ryerson researchers accompanied by glossy photos and introductions by Venetsanopoulos and president Sheldon Levy. With a run of 10,000 copies, the first issue will be distributed to heads of other universities, members of government, industry insiders and other researchers.
“This will actually surprise a lot of people who remember Ryerson as a polytechnic and not as a full university,” said Venetsanopoulos. “They will be surprised that there’s research taking place here.”
Two years ago, the magazine was conceived by Levy when Venetsanopoulos started his position. Other institutions release research publications and Levy wanted in on the action.
Venetsanopoulos hopes the magazine will attract new donations for research as well as entice new researchers to join Ryerson’s team. He also wanted to lend some prominence to the researchers featured in the magazine. The profiled researchers represent a range of expertise, including professor Alan Fung, who works on sustainable energy and building self-powered homes.
“I think it’s about time Ryerson had something concentrated on research activities,” said Fung. “I think it will give a positive image to the university and to potential students as well.”
Fung sees this as further evidence that Venetsanopoulos is doing “not only a good job, but an excellent job.” He adds that Ryerson’s research and innovation department is more accessible to him as a researcher than what he has experienced at other universities. He said research and innovation takes time to listen to the researchers and promote their work, “something you can’t find anywhere else in Canada,” said Fung.
“I think it’s great that Ryerson is putting out a research focused magazine,” said professor Trevor Hart, another researcher profiled in the magazine.
Hart conducts research through the Ryerson HIV Prevention Lab.
“Ryerson is growing by leaps and bounds in research, and it is fantastic to see all of the other amazing researchers out there,” he said. “I am honoured to be in Intersections.”
Venetsanopoulos hopes that Intersections will raise the profile of Ryerson. Though not traditionally known as a research university, Ryerson has been gaining ground. Infosource recently ranked Ryerson the third fastest growing research university in Canada for 2007. “We’re not so small as people might think,” said Venetsanopoulos.
The budget for the magazine came out of a $5 million fund given to Venetsanopoulos to “enhance and strengthen research” at Ryerson.