DC is committed to providing students with a high-quality academic experience. All scheduled academic activities and services continue as planned during Ontario’s stay-at-home order, including on-campus learning through classes and labsFor a full list of what is open on campus or operating virtually, please visit our COVID-19  winter semester page.
Learn more about courses and services being offered remotely. COVID-19 Pre-entry Screening Questionnaire Report if you are unwell

Durham College once again named one of Canada’s Top 50 Research Colleges

Durham College (DC) is pleased to announce it has once again been named one of Canada’s Top 50 Research Colleges for 2020 by Research Infosource Inc., a Canadian research and development intelligence company. This is the seventh time the college has been included on the list, which is informed by data on research income, research intensity, research partnerships and projects at colleges across the country.

DC’s Office of Research Services, Innovation and Entrepreneurship (ORSIE), which is responsible for facilitating all applied research at the college, has been supporting small to medium-sized businesses and student experiential learning through innovation and collaboration since its inception in 2009.

“We are very proud to once again be recognized as one of Canada’s Top 50 research colleges,” said Debbie McKee Demczyk, dean, ORSIE. “Despite the unique circumstances of 2020, the college and ORSIE team have been able to continue driving our applied research agenda forward with great success.”

Highlights from 2020 include the launch of two new applied research centres – the Mixed Reality Capture Studio (MRC Studio) and Centre for Cybersecurity Innovation – which join the already well-established AI Hub and Centre for Craft Brewing Innovation, allowing the college to broaden its expertise and diversify its research portfolio.

Over the last decade, ORSIE has worked with 159 industry partners on 326 projects involving more than 590 students in its projects, allowing DC to make its mark as a leading research institution through cutting-edge innovation, growth and impactful work.

In recent years, ORSIE has supported five multi-year social innovation projects. From designing financial empowerment tools and resources to help the specific needs of low-income residents, to partnering with Big Brothers Big Sisters of North Durham to ensure mentor support for youth in rural areas is maintained despite the challenges presented by COVID-19, ORSIE researchers are using their skills to improve the lives of people in the community, as well as the organizations that serve them.

DC’s AI Hub and W. Galen Weston Centre win Business Excellence Award from Greater Oshawa Chamber of Commerce

Durham College (DC) is proud to announce that its Hub for Applied Research in Artificial Intelligence for Business Solutions (the AI Hub) and W. Galen Weston Centre for Food (Weston Centre) have each received a Business Excellence Award from the Greater Oshawa Chamber of Commerce in the categories of innovation and sustainability, respectively.

The AI Hub’s win in the innovation category highlights recent achievements and success in the local tech sector, including the planning and co-ordination of their Enable AI conference, the first of its kind in the Durham Region, and the completion of numerous unique applied research projects for small-and-medium sized businesses. 

Winning in the sustainability category, which was launched by Oshawa Power last year, the Weston Centre was recognized for its field-to-fork philosophy, as well as its diverse, environmentally friendly programs and practices. From exploring energy-efficient growing methods, while also addressing the issue of food scarcity, to planting and harvesting seasonal crops to be used in Bistro ’67, the college’s teaching-inspired restaurant, or in community shared agriculture boxes, sustainability underscores much of the Weston Centre’s operations.

“The work undertaken at the AI Hub and Weston Centre enhances all aspects of teaching and learning, while also driving growth and supporting the broader community,” said Don Lovisa, president, Durham College. “It is always incredibly gratifying when those efforts are recognized and we want to thank the chamber for its acknowledgement of our innovation and sustainability initiatives.”

Accepting the awards on behalf of the college were Kelly O’Brien, general manager, Operations, W. Galen Weston Centre for Food, and Debbie McKee Demczyk, dean, Office of Research Services, Innovation and Entrepreneurship. 

“On behalf of the Greater Oshawa Chamber of Commerce, it gives me pleasure to congratulate Durham College on receiving two awards this year at our 25th Annual Business Excellence Awards,” said Nancy Shaw, CEO, Greater Oshawa Chamber of Commerce. “Each clearly represent excellence in education through Durham College. Congratulations!”

The Greater Oshawa Chamber of Commerce Business Excellence Awards were established in 1995 and honour organizations that excel in all areas of business and leadership within the community.

The full awards presentation can be found online.

DC students grow skills through new business, The Leafy Green Machine

Durham College (DC) students in the Horticulture Technician and Horticulture – Food and Farming programs are continuing to expand their skill set with the recent launch of  commercial products fresh from their vertical hydroponic farm, The Leafy Green Machine. This vertical farm, from Freight Farms, is a welcomed addition to our campus thanks to the Weston Family Foundation farm expansion donation.

Operated by work-study students from both programs, the vertical farm provides DC students with the unique opportunity to integrate real-world experiences throughout their studies. From learning how to grow and produce crops, delving more into product development, and running a sustainable business, our students are truly becoming job ready.

Last week, the team officially launched their 150g sustainable lettuce mixes packaged in fully compostable plastic and recycled craft labels. This product is grown, harvested, washed, packaged and produced by DC students. During the first week of sales, the team sold 25 containers and sales have continued to grow each week. With this new experiential learning opportunity, students expand on course concepts and show how DC is leading the way.

To support this initiative, visit DC’s Pantry curbside menu or through the Kendal Hills Virtual Farmers Market.

DC’s Working Across Borders project continues to make a global impact during COVID-19

Four years ago, Durham College (DC) started an innovative Working Across Borders (WAB) course for business students, which allows them to engage with various international institutions around the world through virtual collaborative learning. The project provides participants with opportunities to experience multicultural perspectives while developing sustainable real-world business solutions for internationally oriented clients.

Despite the COVID-19 pandemic, this fall more than 500 students from all over the world joined more than 120 DC students, many of which are international, from the Project Management and International Business Management post-graduate programs. Using the Rotary Global Classroom, DC’s live-stream venue, partners from Germany, Belgium, Slovenia, Netherlands, Russia, Finland, Italy, Ecuador, Bangladesh and Indonesia came together on October 19 for a kickoff session to discuss project details and to meet their teammates and 2020 WAB project partner and client, Seventh Generation.

Seventh Generation is an American-based company that produces eco-friendly cleaning and personal care products, whose mission is to help reduce the negative impact on human health and the environment. The organization’s chief marketing officer, Hanneke Willenborg, participated in the WAB event and provided students with invaluable insight to help guide their efforts.

“Products and businesses need to do more in this world than just work,” says Willenborg. “Companies need to be able to serve more than just their shareholders. We are delighted to see young global minds develop and generate brilliant insights and ideas to help solve complex sustainability and inequity challenges by being a part of Working Across Borders.”

WAB encourages students to work effectively in intercultural teams and explore business opportunities to achieve the United Nations 17 Sustainable Development Goals in their work. The project focuses on online collaboration to prepare students for the real business world and raises awareness about today’s environmental issues to develop open-minded and responsible professionals.

“Working Across Borders encourages those involved to find effective ways to collaborate and overcome cultural barriers with people across the globe,” states Rogier Ten Kate, DC professor and one of the partners in the project. “Students have to solve a complex problem for a real client and build connections and friendships virtually and culturally. With this challenge, they will develop many valuable skills that will be helpful in their future endeavours.”

The WAB initiative continues to expand each year, which illustrates the importance of preparing students to build a sustainable future on a global scale.

Mayor Dan Carter visits DC’s Mixed Reality Capture Studio and EnactusDC projects

Last month, Durham College (DC) welcomed City of Oshawa Mayor Dan Carter in a visit to the new Mixed Reality Capture Studio (the MRC Studio) for an interactive demonstration of the innovative motion capture applications and business solutions being developed at DC.

Joined by DC President Don Lovisa and John Goodwin, the lead researcher for the MRC Studio and full-time professor and program coordinator for the Game Art program, Mayor Carter’s tour included an overview of some of the projects and applied research taking place in the studio, like a custom controller developed for Bad Jump Games that simulates harness racing for an immersive game play experience.

Afterwards, Mayor Carter and President Lovisa spoke with several EnactusDC and FastStartDC students to learn about the meaningful social entrepreneurship projects currently taking place virtually out of the 360Insights Entrepreneurship Centre.  Some of these projects can be found at FastStartDC’s virtual Holiday Market, including 3eehive, an apparel company using clothing tags made from plantable , bee-friendly wildflowers.

Learn more about the MRC Studio and Mayor Carter’s visit in the video below.

Durham College named one of Greater Toronto’s Top Employers for the tenth year

Durham College (DC) is proud to announce it has been named one of Greater Toronto’s Top Employers for 2021. Awarded to organizations for their progressive, forward-thinking employee programs, this is the tenth time the college has received the honour.

DC’s recognition comes during a particularly challenging year for many organizations, as the COVID-19 pandemic and subsequent response measures have impacted business operations and traditional work models across Canada.

Among the reasons for selection as a Top Employer, DC was recognized for its quick response to the pandemic, including the launch of a new internal Work@home site, which provided employees with the necessary resources and support to successfully transition to a remote work environment.

Other employee supports offered by DC were also acknowledged, including excellent maternity and parental leave policies, which include a full year of paid leave for mothers, 35 weeks of paid leave for fathers and adoptive parents, and 93 per cent salary top up benefits.

It was also noted support does not stop once a DC employee retires. From retirement planning assistance prior to their departure to maintaining the connection between retired employees and the college through the Retiree Association, DC encourages and helps its employees at every stage of their career, from those just starting out, to those ready to transition into the next chapter of their lives.

“We are thrilled to once again be named one of Greater Toronto’s top employers, now for the tenth year,” said Don Lovisa, president, Durham College. “Just as our employees are unwavering in their dedication to our students, each other and the community, we are consistently committed to enhancing the environment in which our people work and providing exceptional benefits that ensure their personal and professional well-being.” 

Greater Toronto’s Top Employers is an annual competition organized by the editors of Canada’s Top 100 Employers. This special designation recognizes Greater Toronto Area employers who lead their industries by offering exceptional places to work. Organizations are judged on several criteria including physical workplace; work and social atmosphere; health, financial and family benefits; vacation and time off; employee communications; performance management; training and skills development; and community involvement. Employers are compared to other organizations in their sector to determine which offer the most progressive and forward-thinking programs. 

More information can be found on DC’s Greater Toronto Top Employers profile.

Durham College gets into the holiday spirit with the 12 Days of DC!

This December, Durham College (DC) employees and students are invited to take part in 12 exciting virtual challenges during the #12DaysOfDC!

Running until Wednesday, December 16, each weekday students and employees will have the opportunity to participate in one of DC’s festive online challenges on Twitter and Instagram, helping them get into the holiday spirit while connecting with classmates and colleagues.

Each person who participates will be entered into a daily draw to win an amazing DC prize, just in time for the holidays.

Check out the schedule below, and be sure to follow DC on Twitter and Instagram to join in on the fun.

Tuesday, December 1 – Giving Tuesday
For our first digital challenge of the 12 Days of DC we want you to share how you’re supporting your community this holiday season through volunteering, donating or a random act of kindness.

Wednesday, December 2 – Spread the love
Sign up for our holiday e-greeting exchange! You’ll match with a participating student or employee and have the opportunity to share your holiday cheer by sending a themed e-card.

Thursday, December 3 – Favourite holiday movie
Do you have a movie that you watch every December? One that makes you feel nostalgic about the holiday season? We want to know about it! Share with us your favourite holiday movie.

Friday, December 4 – Shop Local
Shopping local this holiday season to support our economic recovery? That’s the spirit! Share where you’re shopping and you might be rewarded with some local goodies.

Monday, December 7 – Holiday ornament challenge
Get ready to put those creative skills to good use! Today’s challenge has you making your own holiday ornament.

Tuesday, December 8 – Greetings of DC holidays past
What’s your favourite DC holiday greeting? Share with us and the rest of your network to add some festive fun to your week.

Wednesday, December 9 – Holiday sweater
Show us your ugliest or best holiday sweater! Bonus points if you’re wearing it on a video call.

Thursday, December 10 – Holiday pet photo
Who doesn’t love a good pet photo? Spice it up with a little paw-liday cheer and share your photo.

Friday, December 11 – Holiday decorations
Are you like Buddy the Elf and love to spread cheer through your decorations? Show us how you decorate for the holiday season.

Monday, December 14 – Favourite holiday tradition
Is there something you do every year to make it feel like the holidays are finally here? Share your tradition or a special holiday memory to kick off the week.

Tuesday, December 15 – Holiday outdoor activity
Family walks through the forest or tobogganing down a hill, whatever your fun holiday activity might be, share a photo as we slide into the final days before the holidays.

Wednesday, December 16 – Holiday beverage or cocktail
Celebrate the final day of our 12 Days of DC by sharing your favourite holiday beverage or food recipe.

DC names Global Classroom in honour of local Rotary Clubs

Durham College (DC) is pleased to announce the re-naming of its Global Classroom. Inspired by Rotary’s international efforts to promote peace, fight disease, support education and combat poverty, and in honour of local Clubs’ financial support, the space will now be known as Rotary Global Classroom.

The newly named Rotary Global Classroom is used by faculty to expose students to international perspectives. The only one of its kind at an Ontario college, the facility connects students and thought leaders from around the world in real-time to discuss issues of importance and to collaborate on solutions by sharing knowledge and skills. In addition to hosting The Global Class, a course founded by DC professor Lon Appleby dedicated to expanding students’ understanding of world issues, the space is also used for student presentations and competitions, conferences, and collaborations with the community, such as the recent Rotary World Polio Day event.

The Rotary Global Classroom is a landmark feature of DC’s new Centre for Collaborative Education (CFCE). Located at the Oshawa campus, construction of the CFCE was funded in part through the Building Something Amazing Campaign and was supported by a collective fundraising campaign involving all 10 Rotary Clubs in Durham Region and the Rotary Club of Port Hope.

“Internationalization is a key focus at Durham College,” says DC President Don Lovisa, “and the Rotary Global Classroom plays an important role in bringing a variety of world views to our campus. Given Rotary’s strong focus on making lasting, positive change across the globe, the name is a perfect fit. The Rotary Global Classroom supports the college’s strategic goals and enhances the learning experience for our students through innovative and transformative education. We are very grateful for all the Clubs’ donations, and pleased to also recognize their financial support through this naming.”

DC is delighted that all Durham Region Rotary Clubs and the Rotary Club of Port Hope chose to participate and gratefully acknowledges the efforts of past Rotary Club presidents Dave Andrews (Oshawa-Parkwood), Ron Dick (Oshawa) and Ken Hurst (Ajax) who spearheaded the donation initiative to support the Building Something Amazing campaign.

“Durham College’s Global Classroom aligns so well with Rotary’s mission,” says Ron Dick, who is also Rotary District 7070’s Governor-elect. “The Classroom is a great asset to the community and we’re delighted to have been able to use it to host World Polio Day celebrations in Durham Region. It made perfect sense for us to support the Building Something Amazing campaign. I think I can speak on behalf of all the participating Clubs in this instance, to say we are honoured to have Rotary’s international work and our contributions recognized through the naming of the Rotary Global Classroom.”

DC Lords Esports Rocket League team win NECC championship

The Durham College (DC) Lords Varsity Esports team earned their first championship win after the Rocket League squad captured the New England Collegiate Conference (NECC) championship on November 22.

After winning their regular season finale, the Lords completed a perfect 6-0 regular season run in NECC competition, entering the post-season as the number two seed overall. From there, DC dominated their first-round match before knocking off another team in an exciting championship final.

“I believe this is the standard we have set for ourselves moving forward with the overall tone of our program,” said Lords esports general manager Bill Ai. “An amazing start to the inaugural season for the NECC and we will look to continue to produce results of this caliber into next year when we defend our championship in the spring.”

The Lords Rocket League squad is made up of Conner McGlennan, Dallas Smith, Drew Fairbrother and Jared Greenwood.

“I’m really proud of the work Jared, Conner, Dallas, and Drew put in this season to win the NECC championship,” noted Rocket League team coach and manager Ben Bramly. “Through countless hours of practice, scrimmages, and games they showed consistent improvement throughout the season. I can’t wait to see what more they can achieve as they continue to play together and build themselves as a team.”

The NECC match was only one of two championship matches the team competed in on November 22. The Rocket League team also made it to the Unified Collegiate Esports Association (UCEA) final. However, the Lords fell in the gold medal round.

PlayVS action also continued for the Rocket League team, adding wins over three teams to their record, before dropping their most recent match ahead of the post-season.

Finally, the team earned two more wins in CSL Esports competition heading into the winter break, resuming regular season matches in the new year.

Shop online this year with FastStart Holiday Shop!

Written by Lindsey Jeremiah, manager, Entrepreneurship Services
We may be giving up the crowded, frantic mall shopping experience this holiday season, but we think that’s actually not so bad! Staying home to stay safe has allowed the FastStartDC team to get creative with ways to share the holiday cheer this year!

So…  what did they do?

A team of student entrepreneurs collaborated to build a beautifully festive online marketplace to replace the in-person holiday market experience FastStart offers annually to support their student entrepreneurs during the holiday season. The new FastStart Holiday Store allows shoppers to browse products from more than 30 vendors anywhere, at anytime. The marketplace will be live until Monday, December 14 to allow for shipping time!

This online shopping opportunity allows our shoppers to purchase artisanal, handmade products online and have them shipped directly to their home, allowing for a safe and contact-free shopping experience this holiday season. The vendor roster includes products ranging from home décor, jewellery, woodworking, gourmet food, apparel, soy candles, beauty products, decorative mugs, art, and more. Perfect gift and stocking stuffer ideas!

The pandemic has had a double impact on small businesses and start-ups. Traditional storefront shops have been hit the hardest and have been forced to pivot to e-commerce, or close up shop. However, many of our student start-ups from Durham College are e-commerce based from the start. FastStart students build and launch businesses while they study and a key stage of the process includes the set-up of a Shopify platform to support the student so they can conduct business online.

FastStart students actually receive one year free on the Shopify platform, which gives them a chance to build an audience and customer base from their business and learn the ins and outs of digital marketing so that they can drive traffic and achieve conversions on their sites.

With a contactless option like the FastStart Holiday Store, you won’t miss the big box store shopping experience, with its mile-long lines at checkout, elbow throwing in aisles, and heavy winter attire making you sweat as you aimlessly drift with your list in hand.

Shopping online has never been hotter – and not just for its convenience. There has been a seismic shift in shopper mentality to support small business this year as a result of COVID-19. Entrepreneurs, side-hustlers, and modern makers are the new roster of go-to businesses we all love to support. They are local, they’ve been hurt by the impact of the pandemic, and they package their unique gifts with care and flair. We want to buy products that are made in Canada and we love to feel the glow of supporting our friends, family members, or neighbours with their small business. It’s a win-win.