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Lassonde School of Engineering receives silver 2024 CCAE Prix d’Excellence Award for podcast

The Lassonde School of Engineering at York University has been honoured with the Silver 2024 CCAE Prix d’Excellence award for Best Podcast. The Canadian Council for the Advancement of Education (CCAE) recognized the School’s ‘This is Lassonde’ podcast, Season 2, for its outstanding contribution to educational communication and engagement. 

Silver CCAE Prix d'Excellence medal
Silver CCAE Prix d’Excellence medal

With more than 12,000 downloads, the podcast is popular for its in-depth discussions on the compelling work that is unfolding in the fields of engineering and computer science. It highlights the pivotal roles that Lassonde community members play in driving innovation, advancing knowledge and creating solutions for a just and sustainable world. 

Hosted by two York University students, the second season’s 15 episodes offer insightful conversations with the School’s ‘creators,’ including students, faculty, alumni and partners. Their conversations explore everything from professional and personal discoveries to cutting-edge research in earth and space science and engineering, electrical engineering and computer science, civil and mechanical engineering. 

The podcast underscores Lassonde’s commitment to decolonization, equity, diversity and inclusion (DEDI) by amplifying different voices and perspectives, while ensuring that stories of leadership from underrepresented communities are front and center. 

Drawing insights from season one, the podcast’s second season introduced a video component to maximize engagement with target audiences through paid, earned, shared and owned media. For prospective students and partners, the videos help establish a warm, personal connection, driven through QR codes incorporated in promotional materials such as viewbooks and brochures.  

Below are highlights from recent episodes of the podcast, now in its third season:

Episode 8: Bridging Creativity and Concrete: A Conversation with Yusra Sani 

In this episode, Yusra Sani, a civil engineering student at the Lassonde School of Engineering, shares her journey into civil engineering, which began with a mentorship-based program in high school. Yusra discusses how she integrates her artistic passions with her engineering studies and offers insights into balancing academics and extracurricular activities for a well-rounded educational experience.

Episode 9: Revolutionizing Transport: Raghavendar Sahdev’s Venture from AI Researcher to CEO of NuPort Robotics 

Raghavendar Sahdev’s journey from AI researcher to CEO of NuPort Robotics showcases the impact of sustainable engineering solutions. His work in autonomous trucking not only advances transportation technology but also emphasizes the importance of sustainable practices in engineering. 

Episode 7: From Cells to Startups: Dr. Terry Sachlos on Stem Cell Engineering and Entrepreneurship 

Professor Terry Sachlos, Associate Director of the Bergeron Entrepreneurs of Science and Technology (BEST) program, dives into the worlds of stem cell engineering and regenerative medicine. His groundbreaking research on bone marrow transplants and autoimmune disorders bridges science and entrepreneurship, demonstrating how scientific advancements can lead to impactful startups. The BEST program is a beacon of innovation, supporting diverse entrepreneurial endeavors within the Lassonde community. 

Episode 5: Ripples of Impact: Ginelle Aziz on World Water Day and Sustainable Engineering 

Master’s candidate Ginelle Aziz celebrates World Water Day by discussing the importance of environmental engineering and her research on geothermal heat pumps and bioremediation. Ginelle’s involvement with Engineers Without Borders highlights her commitment to sustainability and water conservation. This episode serves as a call to action, reminding listeners that small efforts can lead to significant environmental impact.

Episode 4: Women Pioneering Change in Engineering: Peace Ikpotokin and Josephine Morgenroth 

In a special International Women’s Day episode, alumni Peace Ikpotokin and Josephine Morgenroth share their inspiring journeys in civil engineering. Their stories of overcoming challenges and challenging stereotypes emphasize the importance of diversity in engineering. By embracing diverse perspectives, innovation in engineering thrives, creating a more inclusive and equitable field. 

The Prix d’Excellence awards, recognized as an exceptional achievement in educational advancement in Canada, celebrate creativity, quality and innovation in various fields, including alumni engagement, communications and institutional advancement​​. Winning the Silver 2024 CCAE Prix d’Excellence award for Best Podcast is a testament to Lassonde’s dedication to excellence and its commitment to fostering an inclusive and innovative community. 

To experience these engaging conversations and inspiring stories, listen or watch ‘This is Lassonde’ on Spotify, Amazon Music, Google Podcasts, and Apple Podcasts.