Tuesday, June 25, 2024


It feels like I'm still catching my breath, but on Thursday afternoon around 5:00pm, I finally crossed the finish line. I'm officially a doc!

Below is the pre-ceremony group portrait of all the PhD graduands from the School of the Arts, Media, Performance and Design, hoods draped over arms, and already sweltering in our robes. Respect to my lovely and talented cohort-mate Caroline Klimek (front and centre) – I'm not sure I could have made it to the other side of the stage in those heels.


My inspiring doctoral supervisor Caitlin Fisher generously shared the hooding ritual with my aunt Patricia Stamp, a retired professor of African and Development Studies at York, and a lifelong guiding light for me:


Managed to keep that extremely wide-brimmed puffy hat on my head throughout. Harder than it looks!


It was an honour to receive the Governor General’s Gold Medal from Chancellor Kathleen Taylor – one I share with all the colleagues and participants across the world who joined a strange, wonderful adventure in research-creation and artful intelligence.


I love the symbolism of the heraldic elements of Governor General Mary Simon's coat of arms:

My beloved brother, mother and uncle were in the audience, and along with my official and shadow supervisors above, and family and friends beyond, they all deserve medals for the guidance, support, and love they poured into my tank throughout this epic road trip. I only wish my dad had lived long enough for me to hug him that day. 

Finally, who better to have receiving an honorary Doctor of Letters degree at our convocation than Kardinal Offishall himself? Dr. Jason Harrow gave what has got to be among the best honoris causa speeches ever, and as soon as York University posts it, I'm adding it here.










Dr. Offishall's love letter to Toronto, The Anthem, played us down the aisle at the end of the ceremony. And yes, some of us might have been bopping as we went: