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It was another successful year for the Regional Chair’s Classic in memory of Roger Anderson

Although participants didn’t come together on the golf course this year due to COVID-19 restrictions, Roger Anderson’s legacy continued with the 2021 Virtual Regional Chair’s Classic silent auction.

Thanks to the generous donations from our sponsors, donors and proceeds from the auction, over $150,000 was raised in support of students in financial need at Durham College and Ontario Tech University, as well as programs at Ontario Shores Centre for Mental Health Sciences.

In total more than $6.9 million has been raised since the tournament’s inception.

“I want to thank the local community for their support of the students and youth in Durham Region,” said John Henry, Regional Chair and Chief Executive Officer for The Regional Municipality of Durham. “Although this year’s Regional Chair’s Classic was different than in the past, the results and impact will continue to make a difference in the lives of many.”

Don Lovisa, president, Durham College; Karim Mamdani, president and CEO, Ontario Shores Centre for Mental Health Sciences; Dr. Steven Murphy, president, Ontario Tech University were on hand for the cheque presentation, also offering their gratitude on behalf of their respective institutions.


DC’s new Social Impact Hub receives more than $300,000 grant from the College and Community Social Innovation Fund

Durham College’s (DC) Office of Research Services, Innovation and Entrepreneurship (ORSIE) is pleased to announce it has received a SSHRC College and Community Social Innovation Fund (CCSIF) Grant for over $300,000.

Awarded by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada, the funds will support DC’s recently launched social innovation applied research centre, the Social Impact Hub, in developing a model of support that is proactive and addresses the social issues that impact parents with intellectual and/or developmental disabilities (ID/DD).

Designed in response to their needs, the project will identify and remove barriers for children, youth, and families impacted by ID/DD by seeking their feedback, along with input from key partners to create a model that addresses the obstacles they face, while building the capacity of the service providers supporting these families.

The project is being led by DC professors Kay Corbier and Amanda Cappon, who both teach in the School of Health & Community Services.  “Parents play a critical role in child development, especially in the early years,” said Amanda Cappon, project co-director. “As individuals with ID/DD and cognitive challenges become parents, they may require individualized supports to learn skills such as diapering, feeding and bedtime routines, to foster a safe and healthy environment. This in turn helps avoid removal of the child from the family home. Unfortunately, research has shown skills-building supports are not always appropriate or available to these members of our community.”

This research project also directly supports the redesign of the Child Welfare System in Ontario. By incorporating the voices of parents with ID/DD challenges, and then creating a model that service providers can use to address those barriers and deliver assistance, trauma can be avoided by preserving the family unit.

“We are very grateful for the support of Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada and the CCSIF Fund,” said Debbie McKee Demczyk, dean, ORSIE. “This project is a prime example of why we launched the Social Impact Hub – so Durham College can leverage faculty expertise, student talent and strong community partnerships to identify creative solutions to complex social challenges through leading-edge social innovation projects and initiatives.”

To learn more about the Social Impact Hub visit www.durhamcollege.ca/socialimpacthub.


DC students win big at Microsoft Office Specialist Canadian National Championship 2021

Last month, seven Durham College (DC) School of Business, IT & Management students competed against their peers at the Microsoft Office Specialist (MOS) Canadian National Championship 2021. Hosted by CCI Learning, an education technology company, the MOS competition tests the skills of students aged 13 to 22 years old in Microsoft Office applications.

Students were tasked with taking certification exams for Microsoft Office Word, PowerPoint and Excel, with the highest scores determining who placed at the top of each category.

At the end of the competition, four DC students placed across all categories, with Maggie McCrimmon taking first place and Hayden Ellis placing third in the Microsoft PowerPoint (Microsoft 365 Apps & Office 2019) category. Brandon Linde also placed first in the Microsoft Word (Microsoft 365 Apps & Office 2019) category, while Garret Duncan took third place in the Microsoft Excel (Microsoft 365 Apps & Office 2019) category.

All winners received a medal of achievement and certificate, while the first-place students received a $1,500 scholarship, and have been invited to represent Canada at the MOS World Championship 2021 competition.

Due to COVID-19, the dates for the World Championship have not yet been released. When it takes place, DC’s first place students will have the opportunity to compete for a chance at a $7,000, $3,500 and $1,500 monetary prize.

Congratulations to DC’s winning students and good luck at the World Championship!


DC hosts virtual engineering sessions for Durham District School Board

Durham College (DC) was pleased to partner with the Durham District School Board to support an interactive and collaborative learning experience for students at R.S. McLaughlin Collegiate & Vocational Institute (CVI) in Oshawa.

On March 31, DC’s School of Science, Engineering & Technology (SET) professors Beau James, Dimitri Stathopoulos and David Duncan hosted “Engineering: Electromagnetism” – a live-streamed event for members of the Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) Club at R.S. McLaughlin CVI. Students were given the opportunity to create their own electromagnet, using personalized DC-branded kits delivered to them prior to the event. The session concluded with a discussion around electromagnetism applications by innovative autonomous vehicle companies, such as Tesla – a newsworthy topic that captured the interest of many participants.

“Given the impact COVID-19 has had on schools throughout our community, this initiative provided an opportunity to foster important relationships with students interested in STEM-related programs, and promote the benefits of collaborative education,” says Dr. Rebecca Milburn, executive dean. “The college is thrilled to play a role in inspiring the next generation of learners and offer a glimpse into the exciting field of electromagnetism at a time when students are planning their academic futures.”

This is not the first time DC has supported the Science department at R.S McLaughlin CVI. In November 2020, David and Dimitri filmed labs for two of teacher Nadia Baby’s classes when students switched to virtual learning and were unable to access the high school’s labs. For Grade 11 Chemistry, David and Dimitri demonstrated the method of Titration to calculate the concentration of antacid in a TUMS tablet. In Nadia’s Biology class, the professors led a lab on the “Spread of a Virus,” using the indicator phenolphthalein, and asked the students to create a plan to trace the person originating the virus – a timely topic the students enjoyed relating to their own studies.

“Partnering with Durham College has allowed me to provide an enriching experience for my students after a year of change and uncertainty,” says Nadia Baby, Grade 11 and 12 science teacher, R.S. McLaughlin CVI. “I’m grateful for the impact this has had on my classes and look forward to working with Durham College again in the future.”


DC grad nominated for Daytime Emmy® Award and James Beard Foundation Award

Kristin Atwood, an alumna of the Durham College (DC) Culinary Management program, has been combining her passion for food and filmmaking since graduating in 2017. What began as a freelance gig creating media content for local restaurants, has since evolved into an award-winning independent production company called Chef Studio, where she produces cooking tutorials and web series that bring the joy and magic of cooking to digital streaming and video-on-demand platforms.

With more than 5 million views on her channel, Kristin has been able to turn Chef Studio into a thriving full-time job, allowing her to showcase her creativity and skill in cinematography, as well as her culinary prowess as she helps others learn to cook. It’s also landed her two incredible nominations.

This week, her At Home Pasta series was nominated for an Emmy® Award – which recognizes outstanding achievement in daytime television – in the Outstanding Single Camera Editing category. The seven-part series was inspired by the lack of kitchen staples available in grocery stores during the early part of the COVID-19 pandemic, when “panic buying” was at it’s worst. Using a few simple ingredients, Kristin was able to develop unique recipes, like beet pasta or egg yolk and ricotta ravioli, and created short films that explain how viewers could easily replicate these meals at home.

Chef Studio is up against five other programs in this category from Netflix, Hulu, and the Food Network, with the winner set to be announced at the 48th Annual Daytime Emmy Awards Lifestyle Programming ceremony on Sunday, July 18 at 8 p.m. ET. The series was also recently nominated for two Webby Awards in the Best Food and Drink and Best How-To, Explainer and DIY categories.

Prior to her Emmy nomination, Kristin was also recognized in 2020 with a prestigious nomination for a James Beard Foundation Award – America’s most coveted and comprehensive honour for chefs, restaurants, journalists, authors and other leaders in the food and beverage industry – for her series The Crumby Bits. With a focus on creating something beautiful and delicious out of ingredients that would have normally been considered scrap, waste, wilted or worthless, Chef Studio’s Cricket Macaron episode received its nomination in the Online Video, Fixed Location and/or Instructional category for its innovative take on culinary sustainability.

Kristin was also recently the recipient of an Alpha Female+ Grant. For her grant project, she intends to create a five-part series called Flight of the Bumblebees which will celebrate the beauty of spring and summer, and highlight the important work honeybees do during those seasons.

Congratulations to Kristin for her incredible culinary and filmmaking successes – your DC family is cheering you on from home!

Watch one of Kristin’s Chef Studio videos below – Making an Edible Forest Floor, as part of her Best Laid Schemes cooking series inspired by the lands and lochs of Scotland, where she currently resides.


Durham College’s Centre for Cybersecurity Innovation receives over $2.788 million in grants

Durham College’s (DC) Office of Research Services, Innovation and Entrepreneurship (ORSIE) is pleased to announce that small – and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) throughout Durham Region and the Greater Toronto Area will have enhanced access to support from its Centre for Cybersecurity Innovation, thanks to two separate grants, totalling more than $2.788 million.

Grant one: College and Community Innovation Grant

The first is a $2-million College and Community Innovation Grant from the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC). Provided over the course of five years, the funds will play an integral role in the Centre’s ability to scale up its applied research activities to meet and address the demand for its services from SMEs.

“We are incredibly grateful to be receiving this grant,” said Debbie McKee Demczyk, dean, ORSIE. “Given the growth SMEs are experiencing within the economic heart of Ontario, we know there is an urgent need to improve these businesses’ cybersecurity capabilities. However, the current capacity of the Centre for Cybersecurity Innovation could not meet this demand. Thanks to the additional funding we will now be able to provide dedicated faculty research time and resources to address the cybersecurity skills gap by training students and transferring knowledge to our immediate partners and the broader community.”

With the help of expert researchers, student talent and technology partnerships, the Centre will help SMEs develop and integrate cyber defense technologies and increase their cybersecurity awareness by undertaking applied research that falls under two themes –developing cybersecurity products and services with cybersecurity companies, and reducing the risks of cyberthreats to companies with critical infrastructure and operations. This will ultimately increase consumer confidence in the digital economy, promote international standardization, and better position Canada’s SMEs to compete globally.

Grant two: College Industry Innovation Fund Grant

The second is a College Industry Innovation Fund (CIIF) grant for a total of $788,509. Awarded by the Canada Foundation for Innovation, these funds will be used to enhance the research capacity of DC’s Centre for Cybersecurity Innovation by bolstering its infrastructure.

“Given increasing cybersecurity demands from small- to medium-sized business (SMEs), combined with an accelerated digital transformation, and the number of people now working remotely, it’s more important than ever for SMEs to protect their information systems,” said Debbie McKee Demczyk, dean, ORSIE. “This generous CIIF grant will play an integral role in helping the Centre for Cybersecurity Innovation meet our clients’ needs.”

Thanks to the Centre’s enhancements, including purchasing new technology and software, adding technical personnel and building capacity for more equipment to effectively manage the increased power and security firewall demands, faculty and student researchers will be able to develop cybersecurity products and services and reduce the risks of cyberthreats to companies with critical infrastructure and operations.

Established in 2020, the Centre for Cybersecurity Innovation was launched as part of a plan to increase cybersecurity applied research capacity at DC. To learn more visit www.durhamcollege.ca/CentreforCybersecurityInnovation.


Three DC students earn podium finishes with a gold and two bronze at the Skills Canada Virtual National Competition

Three Durham College (DC) students are celebrating after successfully finishing on the podium at the Skills Canada Virtual National Competition (SCVNC).

Held on June 15, Mark Steele won gold for IT Network Systems Administration, while Cameron Billingham and Glesy Panaga, claimed bronze for Photography and Baking.

Designed to engage Canadian youth by promoting careers in skilled trades and technologies, the SCVNC is the largest trade and technology competition event of its kind in the country for apprentices and young students.

Steele, Billingham and Panaga earned their place at the event after winning gold in their respective categories at the Skills Ontario competition in May.

“Once again these three students rose to the occasion,” said Dr. Elaine Popp, executive vice president, Academic, Durham College. “They’ve continued to demonstrate their talent, this time on a national stage, taking the technical, hands-on skills they have been honing during their studies at Durham College and applying them with innovation, creativity and passion to their respective competition challenges. We are extremely proud of their success.”

Skills Canada is a national, not-for-profit organization which partners with Skills Canada organizations in each of the provinces and territories, and works with employers, educators, labour groups and governments to promote skilled trade and technology careers among Canadian youth.


Senior experienced leaders assume chair and vice-chair of Durham College Board of Governors

The Durham College (DC) Board of Governors (BOG) is pleased to announce Kristi Honey as the new board chair and Gary Rose as vice-chair, respectively, effective Thursday, July 1, 2021.  The appointments are for a one-year term.

As chair of the BOG, Kristi brings over 20 years of private and public executive leadership experience to the role, including starting a global consultancy that grew to a multi-million-dollar enterprise, and was recognized by Microsoft as a top 5 per cent global partner. Currently the chief administrative officer for the Township of Uxbridge, she is also a DC graduate and Alumni of Distinction recipient for her success as an entrepreneur. In addition to her diploma, Kristi also holds a Bachelor of Management and Masters of Business Administration degree.  An active community volunteer, Kristi is a champion of human rights and environmental causes having been recognized for her efforts by Women of Influence’s Global Series as one of Canada’s leading women driving equality, diversity, and inclusion nationally and internationally.

As vice-chair of the BOG, Gary brings more than 30 years of progressive experience at Ontario Power Generation (OPG) in corporate finance and project planning and execution.  Gary is currently a vice-president within OPG’s Enterprise Projects Organization on the Darlington Refurbishment project and is supporting planning of OPG’s new nuclear Small Modular Reactor at Darlington.   For eight years, Gary served as a trustee on the Whitby Public Library Board and during this tenure, served on all committees and held the position of Vice-Chair and Chair of the Board.  Gary is a Chartered Professional Accountant, and holds a Bachelor of Commerce degree and holds a Project Management Professional certification.

The BOG is responsible for the governance of DC. It is accountable to the students, employees and communities the college serves, ensuring the college is effectively and appropriately managed to achieve its established mandate and to provide needed services.

As chair, Kristi will be responsible for ensuring the board meets its responsibilities and established mandate through collaborative leadership, openness and transparency. To learn more about the roles of chair and vice-chair of the board, read the Board policy.


Durham College launches fifth applied research centre, the Social Impact Hub

It’s been estimated that Canadians are paying more to ignore Canada’s housing problem than they would to fix it, inflating costs related to health care, justice and other taxpayer-funded services. So, how do we fix an issue that is costing both those experiencing homelessness, and those that are not? The simple answer is through social innovation.

Over the last several years, through funded collaborations with community partners, Durham College (DC) has developed a distinct cluster of 14 valuable applied research projects focused on social innovation, receiving $1,324,544 in overall funding. These projects tackle everything from homelessness and mental health, to equity and accessibility, training and more.

Last week, following the successful launch of DC’s four previous applied research centres, the Office of Research Services, Innovation and Entrepreneurship (ORSIE) announced the opening of its new Social Impact Hub at a virtual event alongside numerous DC researchers, President Don Lovisa and John Henry, chair and CEO of The Regional Municipality of Durham and project partners.

“As a leading post-secondary institution and applied research centre, we are committed to exploring and developing solutions to the barriers our communities face,” said Don Lovisa, president, DC. “The applied research being completed at Durham College underscores the importance of innovation and ingenuity, and I am incredibly excited to see how the Social Impact Hub will help address the gaps and inequalities that exist within our society through this lens.”

Social innovation refers to a process, initiative or product that seeks to address a societal challenge by improving upon or redesigning the systems that make up our society. This type of work involves collective action through community partnerships, leading to valuable outcomes that benefit groups of people, not just the individual.

“Our researchers are passionate and committed in their drive to impact the lives of people in our community,” said Debbie McKee Demczyk, dean, ORSIE. “I’m very proud to be launching the Social Impact Hub, to recognize their work and create a forum for ongoing dialogue and meaningful partnerships that lead to change.”

By leveraging faculty expertise, student talent and strong community partnerships, researchers at the Social Impact Hub will continue their work to identify creative solutions to complex social challenges through leading-edge social innovation projects and initiatives.

Ongoing projects at DC in this area of research include:

  • Building Bridges Together: Co-production of Financial Empowerment Strategies with People Experiencing Low Income
  • Innovation Through Co-production: A Holistic Approach to Supporting Social Competency in Pre-school Children
  • Enriching Firefighter Training Through the Development of a Novel Virtual Reality Training Simulation for Personalized Precision, Skill and Resilience Training
  • Enhancing Virtual Mentorship to Reduce Social Isolation of Youth
  • Support for Parents with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities

DC researchers have also completed a number of projects, including the unique Co-design of a Youth-led Housing Hub: Developing a Unique and Scalable Housing Model for Youth Living on Their Own in Durham.

For more information on the Social Impact Hub, please visit www.durhamcollege.ca/socialimpacthub or to collaborate or connect with the hub, please email socialimpacthub@durhamcollege.ca

ORSIE provides support for applied research through access to funding opportunities, faculty expertise, state-of-the-art research facilities, and student learning experiences. In partnership with industry and community agencies, projects are carried out by DC faculty experts and students and administered by ORSIE. Since its inception in 2009, ORSIE has undertaken 360 research projects and initiatives. To connect with ORSIE, please reach out online.


Durham College recognizes the class of 2021

Durham College (DC) pride is at an all-time high as it celebrates the class of 2021. While a physical convocation ceremony wasn’t possible, graduation festivities are in full swing as friends, families and the entire college community have come together to celebrate the hard work of its more than 3,800 graduates.

They will be invited to attend an in-person ceremony when it is safe to do so, however it was important to mark the completion of the students’ credentials once the semester ended, so the college has created a dedicated Convocation Recognition Website.

Filled with elements typically seen at convocation, the site features:

  • Messages of congratulations from DC’s chair of the Board of Governors, president, and executive vice president, Academic, as well as the deans from each academic school.
  • The names and programs of all graduating students.
  • The names of student award winners.
  • Virtual shout-outs and recognition for grads submitted by family, friends, faculty and more.
  • A list of frequently asked questions related to graduation.
  • Links to order DC merchandise, from grad rings to flowers.
  • Information about life as a college alumni, including details about special benefits for DC grads.
  • Digital DC swag so #DCGrad2021 pride can be shared online.

In addition, the site acknowledges this year’s Alumni of Distinction winners. The Alumni of Distinction award honours the extraordinary contributions DC graduates make to society while achieving career success. Congratulations to Tamara Dus (Registered Nursing, 1996), Caroline Wright (Sport Management, 1996), Thomas Coughlan (Business Administration – Accounting, 2005) and Stuart Petrie (Mechanical Engineering Technology, 2014).

The DC Alumni Association (DCAA) is also helping celebrate the graduates by providing free, DC-branded lawn signs for display at their homes so they can proudly mark their achievement.

“Given the circumstances of the past year, this class of students has displayed an incredible amount of perseverance,” said Don Lovisa, president, Durham College. “Amidst a lot of challenges and change they have completed their post-secondary education, which is anchored in transformative, hands-on learning, innovation and courses that responded to current trends. As a result they have developed flexibility, resilience and a sense of purpose, which will certainly serve them well throughout their careers. On behalf of the entire college community, I want to congratulate each and every one of them.”