DC welcomes students back to campus

Durham College (DC) employees are welcoming students back to campus in a variety of ways as the fall semester resumes. On November 21, the Aboriginal Student Centre held ‘welcome back’ smudging ceremonies to help reconnect the campus community by bringing students and employees together to release negative energy and restart the fall semester in a good way.

On November 22, DC employees staffed locations at the Oshawa and Whitby campuses and Pickering Learning Site to help students fuel up for their return to class by providing them with healthy lunches on behalf of the college.

Grads-to-be learn about convocation and alumni benefits at Countdown to Grad

Durham College’s (DC) spring and fall 2017 graduates-to-be enjoyed more than just a free lunch during the college’s annual Countdown to Grad events held at the Oshawa and Whitby campuses and Pickering Learning Site.

The events provided students with a fun opportunity to find out everything they need to know about their upcoming graduation while also learning about alumni benefits, career development services and convocation details. They also enjoyed a free slice of pizza and received a gift from the Alumni Association.

The events, sponsored by the Durham College Alumni Association, were held on March 7 (Oshawa campus), March 9 (Whitby campus) and March 10 (Pickering Learning Site) and over 500 attended.

For more information about DC’s spring 2017 convocation ceremonies, please visit the Spring Convocation page.

A heartfelt thanks to Durham College students

Durham College (DC) employees shared their heartfelt thanks with students around campus as they handed out cookies on February 2 and 3. 

The heart-shaped sweet treats were to show appreciation to our students and thank them for choosing DC. Students also had the opportunity to share the love by capturing the moment in a life-size Instagram photo frame and posting it on social media.

 “My school loves me!” posted one student on Twitter, while another posted, “the cookies were great and helped with our test stress!”

DC appreciates all of our students and we work hard to ensure their experience comes first.

From our hearts to yours, thank you to all students and employee volunteers for participating in this great event!

First graders dance and learn at DC's annual Aboriginal Awareness Day

More than 300 Durham College (DC) students plus 60 first graders celebrated Aboriginal Awareness Day on Friday, January 20.

“The day says to our DC Aboriginal students that we want to celebrate you. We want to help them be proud of who they are if they aren’t already,” says Peggy Forbes, Aboriginal student advisor and coach with the DC Aboriginal Students Centre.

“All of the students were very involved. The first graders (of Kawartha Pine Ridge District School Board) had a great time with us. They were dancing and laughing,” says Forbes of the annual celebration at DC.

“The elementary students also wrote on our water raindrops (display) saying why water is important to them” reflecting the theme of the day, she said. The celebration was very inclusive, as the term Aboriginal includes First Nations, Métis and Inuit, she added.

Special guests of the day-long event, which opened with a Smudge ceremony, included: Métis Nation of Ontario Senator Cecile Wagar, of the Oshawa and Durham Region Métis Council, who also performed as a member of the All Our Relations Métis Drum Circle; Darrell LaFrance, a storyteller from the Algonquin Pikwanagan First Nations; Elder Shirley Williams, who provided the opening prayer; Métis musicians and siblings Alicia and Liam Blore playing fiddle and guitar, respectively; and Elder Gerard Sagassige, who was the master of ceremonies.

Cassie-Jean Dillon, culture and activities assistant at the Aboriginal Students Centre, said, “The day was important to celebrate and educate the broader community about the Aboriginal community.”

DC welcomes elementary students – and their LEGO robots – to campus

On January 14, Durham College (DC) was proud to host more than 400 of Ontario’s brightest young minds, along with their teachers, families and friends, as they competed in the annual FIRST® LEGO® League Ontario East Provincial Championship.

Known by its acronym that means For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology, FIRST is a U.S.-based, not-for-profit public charity that inspires young people to be science and technology leaders. Leadership and innovation was on full display at this year’s competition, held in DC’s Campus Recreation and Wellness Centre at the college’s Oshawa campus, as teams of students, ages nine to 14, showcased their hard work and skills.

Teams first presented research projects to multiple judging panels before unleashing their robots, which students designed, built and programmed using LEGO MINDSTORMS® technology, on to table-top playing fields.

This year’s competition theme, Animal AlliesSM, challenged teams to think of people and animals as partners in the quest to make life better for everyone. Each team was asked to identify a real-world problem that occurs when people and animals interact; design a solution that would make the interaction better for animals, people or both; then share their identified problem and solution with others. In keeping with the theme, the robot playing fields and their challenges also focused on interactions between people and animals.

At the end of a day filled with fierce and fun competition, team CTRL-Z from Bayview Glen School in Toronto was crowned the winner and awarded an opportunity to compete at the FIRST LEGO League World Festival in St. Louis, Missouri, in April.

As a sponsor and host of FIRST LEGO League, DC offers students what is often their first experience in a college environment and helps them to envision where their passion for robotics, technology and engineering can take them to pursue a post-secondary education. Just prior to the provincial championship, DC President Don Lovisa discussed just that when he joined the team from the First Nations School of Toronto, as well as FIRST representative Annika Pint, on City TV’s Breakfast Television.

For more information about FIRST LEGO League, including a complete list of award winners from the Ontario East Provincial Championship, please visit www.firstroboticscanada.org.

DC launches the new semester and 50th anniversary celebrations with a warm welcome back to campus

On January 4, Durham College (DC) kicked off the new academic semester and the college’s 50th anniversary celebrations with a warm welcome back to campus. Upon their arrival at both the Oshawa and Whitby campuses, students were greeted by DC employee volunteers offering free cups of hot chocolate and coffee to help ease everyone back into the swing of new schedules and classes.

“Our warm welcome back to campus has been a DC tradition for a while now and is always a big hit with our students,” said Kirsti McNabney, coordinator, Student Orientation and Transitions, Office of Student Diversity, Inclusion and Transitions, DC. “The start of a new semester can be equally exciting and nerve-wracking, so being greeted by friendly faces and a comforting drink has a really positive impact on our students’ experiences.”

DC also used the early morning meet and greet as the official on-campus launch of its 50th anniversary festivities that are taking place throughout 2017. As one of the first colleges established under the Ontario college system, DC is marking its founding in 1967 with ‘The Start of Something Amazing,’ a year-long celebration of the college’s past and future.

Volunteers sported DC 50th anniversary-themed t-shirts, cups donned commemorative sleeves and drink stations were flanked by banners sharing the college’s dedicated anniversary website and Homecoming Weekend that will be held on Friday, September 8 and Saturday, September 9.

“Events like this are what being part of the DC family is all about,” said Pamela Dunn, 50th anniversary special events manager, DC. “Students are so appreciative of the gesture held within a single cup, and many of them stopped to talk to our volunteers about the 50th anniversary and what’s ahead in our milestone year. There were also more than a few volunteers helping students with directions and even walking them to class to help alleviate any first-day-back jitters.”

Up next on the 50th anniversary events calendar is the public celebration launch at the annual DC Alumni and Employee Night at the Oshawa Generals hockey game on Friday, January 13.

Visit DC’s 50th anniversary website for details on all of the upcoming festivities and much more!

Campus community celebrates newest athletics facility

The impressive list of leading-edge athletics facilities at Durham College’s (DC) Oshawa campus grew this fall with the opening of the Campus Fieldhouse, a multi-sport turf centre that the college shares with the University of Ontario Institute of Technology (UOIT). Formerly the Campus Tennis Centre, the transformed facility features two playing fields that can accommodate a variety of intramural sports and activities including soccer, field lacrosse, ultimate frisbee, flag football and bubble soccer, among others.

An official opening for the Campus Fieldhouse was held on November 24, which included a ribbon-cutting by Don Lovisa, president, Durham College and Tim McTiernan, president and vice-chancellor, UOIT. The celebration also saw students participate in an exciting score-to-win contest and an intramural game of soccer.

“We are excited to celebrate the opening of the Campus Fieldhouse, a facility that opens up a new world of athletic and recreational opportunities for our students,” said Ken Babcock, director, Campus Athletics. “Transitioning the tennis centre into the fieldhouse has been a positive move for students on campus. This is a facility that will serve as a hub for community activities for years to come.” 

When not being used by the Department of Athletics, the Campus Fieldhouse is available to be rented by community recreational leagues and other sport organizations. It can even be rented for birthday party celebrations.

To learn more about Campus Fieldhouse availability, contact Marta Prado or call 905.721.3122. Facility updates are also posted at www.campusicecentre.com.

Campus Fieldhouse facts and benefits:

  • Creates new recreational space for students at the Oshawa campus that can be used year-round.
  • Provides new opportunities for students and the community to participate in a wide variety of sports and activities.
  • Available for varsity athletic teams to train and prepare for competition, including the DC Lords.
  • Approximate size of turf field: two adjacent fields, each measuring 30 metres wide by 45 metres long, separated by a vertical net.
  • Turf composition: artificial sand-based infill grass system (similar to the surface used by the Toronto Blue Jays at the Rogers Centre).
  • Change room onsite.
  • Hours: 9 a.m. to 11 p.m., seven days a week.
  • The Campus Fieldhouse sports bubble is located along Founders Drive, near the Campus Ice Centre and Vaso’s Field (north of Conlin Road and west of Simcoe Street).


Durham College Orientation Week now underway

With the 2016-2017 academic year about to kick off, Durham College (DC) is busy getting ready to welcome more than 5,600 first-year students to campus during its annual Orientation Week, which runs from September 1 to Friday, September 9.

Designed to help new students acclimatize to college life, meet college employees, explore student services (many of which are open extended hours) and most of all, enjoy the college’s Oshawa and Whitby campuses, Orientation Week also provides students with an opportunity to learn about program expectations as well as student clubs and societies, all while making new friendships.

“At Durham College, Orientation Week is a very important time of year for new and returning students,” says Kirsti McNabney, student orientation and transitions co-ordinator, Office of Student Diversity, Inclusion and Transitions. “Our programming helps students get comfortable around campus as it will be their new home away from home for the next couple of years. It’s also a fun way for everyone to gear-up for new and continuing studies while learning DC traditions, values and culture – before their first day of classes.” 

Activities include: International Student Orientation, Program Orientation, Fun Fair, Fieldhouse Yoga, Opening Prayer/Smudge, Cedar Tea and Bannock, Campus Cup Pep rally and game play, Whitby Campus Welcome BBQ, Drive-in Movie, #makeyourbedday, and mature learner workshops with more details available on the college’s orientation website.  

Pokemon Go adds to fun on DC campus

Are Pokemon pursuing post-secondary studies at one of Ontario’s top colleges? The answer seems to be yes based on the hum of activity around campus at Durham College (DC) since the launch of Pokemon Go earlier this month.

The augmented reality game’s virtual animated creatures are invading DC with players (or trainers as they are known) flooding the Oshawa and Whitby campuses and Pickering Learning Site in an effort to catch ‘em all.

Pokemon Go and its trainers are great additions to DC’s vibrant campus, where classes and programming, summer camps and more are still underway throughout the summer.

While searching far and wide at DC to be the very best, trainers should be mindful of campus grounds and activities and be sure to look up from their phones (cue necessary safety tip here about the importance of stopping when pursuing Pikachu to avoid running into an obstacle while distracted!) to check out their surroundings and see for themselves why DC is the post-secondary destination of choice for students in Durham Region and well beyond.

DC’s Office of Campus Safety is also offering tips to help trainers stay safe while playing. These include:

  • Put down mobile devices while crossing the street.
  • Never trespass, enter restricted areas or break laws in an attempt to catch a Pokemon.
  • Avoid potentially dangerous places and situations, such as current construction around campus.
  • Team up with other players and travel in groups when possible, especially at night.
  • Continue to respect the college’s campus and community and avoid behaviour that disrupts day-to-day operations at DC.
  • Remember Campus Security are monitoring the college grounds 24-7 and should be contacted immediately regarding any health or safety concerns.

So, Pokemon trainers, collect your stardust, Pokecoins and candy; battle (virtually) to your heart’s content; and if you’re interested in taking your gaming skills to the next level, be sure to check out DC’s gaming and app-related programs, including Animation, Game Development, and Interactive Media Design through the School of Media, Art & Design, and Computer Programmer through the School of Business, IT & Management – applications for these programs are still being accepted for a September start.

Young Athletes Serve an Ace at DC’s Summer Sport Camps

For 30 years, Durham College (DC) has proudly hosted the Summer Sports Camps for Kids program at their campus sports facilities. Catering to the next generation of star athletes, the program offers students the opportunity to hone their skills, make new friends and create memories that will last a lifetime.

Students between the ages of seven to 17 have the opportunity to join weekly camps in soccer, basketball, baseball and volleyball, as well as a multisport program for the true sports enthusiast. Teamwork is a big focus, with instructors placing a priority on getting everyone engaged and involved through games and tournaments. 

“We get to do different drills each day, and see all the different parts of the team,” says Noah, a camper talking about his favourite part of basketball week. “Someone is coming in to teach us trick shots today. They switch drills all the time, because every part of the team is important.”

Extended care for camp participants is available for early drop-off or late pick-up to accommodate every busy family schedule. New for this year, DC’s onsite restaurant, E.P. Taylor’s, is now the Sports Camp’s meal plan provider, and will host their lunch each day.

DC also offers a wide range of camps to lovers of learning through the School of Media, Art & Design’s Summer Shorts camps, and Continuing Education’s Summer Camps program. For specific information on all camp schedules and age ranges, visit the DC Summer Camps.