Durham College (DC) employees enjoyed their Professional Development (PD) Day with sunny skies and a positive tone.
The role of PD Day is to remind college employees how their roles are essential to igniting the passion and imagination of DC students to help them achieve their goals. It’s also a day for employees to reconnect with each other and recharge through exposure to new ideas and skills.
The day coincided with National Aboriginal Day which was celebrated with a smudging ceremony performed outside the Campus Recreation and Wellness Centre (CRWC) by representatives from the Aboriginal Student Centre. Employees then gathered in the CRWC gyms where Don Lovisa, DC’s president, welcomed participants to the event and introduced Elder Dr. Shirley Williams, a member of the college’s Aboriginal community. Lovisa acknowledged DC’s presence in the traditional territories of the Mississaugas of Scugog Island First Nations which was followed by Elder Shirley’s blessing for the event.
Lovisa touched on DC’s 50th anniversary theme, ‘The Start of Something Amazing’ and the PD Day theme of You Matter, emphasizing that DC employees are amazing and play a key role in providing excellent educational experiences for DC students.
Keynote speaker and ‘happiness expert,’ Neil Pasricha followed the president’s welcome, giving an inspirational and funny talk from his perspective on finding happiness at home and at work. Pasricha, who is the bestselling author of The Book of Awesome and The Happiness Equation, also reflected on his childhood in Oshawa throughout his presentation.
For the remainder of the day, employees took part in breakout sessions where they discussed current best practices in education with experts from DC, and also learned about using social media, incorporating helpful work practices, eating healthy and creating an appropriate work-life balance. An Aboriginal reconciliation workshop was also provided.
The event’s theme, the importance of playing your role, was present on social media with participants encouraged to tweet about their experiences with the hashtag #youmatter. Highlights, photos and videos of the day can be viewed on Twitter.
With more than 770 full-time employees and approximately 1,400 part-time employees, DC is one of the region’s largest employers and provides more than $800 million in positive economic impact annually. Events like PD Day are a great opportunity for DC employees to learn, network and appreciate their peers.