Message from CIRHR Director, Rafael Gomez

Dear CIRHR Community,

As yet another fruitful academic year comes to a close, I'm reminded of the many CIRHR initiatives, milestones, and student accomplishments worth celebrating and acknowledging from this past term. Before we officially kick off the summer, I would also like to express my gratitude to some specific members of our community for their longstanding contributions to the Centre.


Photo of Frank ReidFrank Reid, Professor Emeritus and former CIRHR Director, will be stepping away from his post as Associate Director and Graduate Coordinator after 10 years of dedicated service. As many of you know, it's an enormous privilege to work alongside him, and we're grateful that he will continue teaching at the Centre and sharing his knowledge and expertise with our students.

Frank recently spoke to us about his tenure, and these are just a few of the reflections (and words of thanks) that were top of mind for him while commemorating this milestone. On behalf of our CIRHR faculty, staff, and students, past and present, I offer him our deepest thanks for his friendship, guidance, and his tireless commitment to our community.

I'm very pleased to report that the role of Graduate Coordinator will be dutifully filled by CIRHR Assistant Professor, Hua Wang, who has been teaching at the University of Toronto since 2008. The graduate program will be in excellent hands, and I look forward to its continued success under her stewardship.

I would also like to extend a very warm and enthusiastic welcome (or, rather, more of a homecoming) to Brad Seward, Assistant Professor, teaching stream, starting officially in July 2024, and PhD alumnus, Kourtney Koebel, Assistant Professor, tenure stream, starting officially in July 2025. You can read the full announcement now, including a few words from Brad and Kourtney on their appointments!

On behalf of everyone at the Centre, I would also like to offer our well-wishes and congratulations as we celebrate the send-off of another cohort of MIRHR students who convocated on June 5th at 10am.

This year, we're very proud to announce that graduating student, Yathushan Uthayasegaran, is our Spring 2024 recipient of the Frank Reid Prize which is presented each convocation to the top MIRHR graduate or graduates. You can learn more about Yathushan's time at the Centre and his aspirations for the future on our website.

As our thirty-two newest MIRHR grads join our diverse community of alumni, I'm already looking forward to our continuing friendship, and the opportunity to reconnect, discuss, and celebrate all of your future endeavours.


This past April, we held our annual Morley Gunderson Lecture in Industrial Relations and Labour Economics where we presented the Morley Gunderson Prize to CIRHR alumnus, Margaret Yap, for her contributions to the field and to the Centre. We then heard a sobering talk by Dartmouth's David G. Blanchflower on the Declining Wellbeing of the Young. It was an illuminating and memorable evening spent with 120 of our colleagues, friends, and loved ones, both virtually and in-person — the recording is now available to watch online. We send our congratulations to Margaret, and offer our deepest thanks to David for a vitally important lecture and an engaging Q&A.

We also congratulate MIRHR students, Armita Zaferani and Mehreen Khan, who recently attended the University of Thessaly in Greece as part of the Phronesis Exchange Program, a competitive study abroad opportunity which brings together students to work collaboratively on company HR challenges in Europe. Check out this Soap Box piece to learn more about their experience abroad, including their collaborations with students from across Europe, visits to historic sites, and recreational activities and cultural exchanges.

Left to Right: Monastery atop Meteora, participants in the Exchange Program, and the Aegean Sea


As we begin the summer in earnest, I'd like to thank all members of our CIRHR community, including our tireless staff, illustrious faculty, and innumerable alumni and friends of the Centre who continue to support the work we do, and continue to nurture the growth and development of our students.

As always, I'm looking forward to the work that lies ahead, and more opportunities for us to come together in celebration and collaboration. Thank you, all — please stay safe, and have the most wonderful summer. 


Dr. Rafael Gomez, Professor
Director, Centre for Industrial Relations and Human Resources
University of Toronto