DC celebrates multicultural student population

On March 18, Durham College (DC) students were invited to learn more about DC’s diverse population in the Campus Recreation and Wellness Centre (CRWC). The Mother Language Festival is a collaborative event hosted by DC’s International and Diversity offices, as well as the University of Ontario Institute of Technology’s (UOIT) Student Experience Centre.

The third-annual event allowed multicultural students to share, raise awareness and learn about each other’s language and nationalities. This year, a wide variety of cultures were represented at the event, including Pakistan, Iran, Brazil, Eritrea, Afghanistan and India among others.

“All of the display tables brought something unique to the event.” said Allison Hector-Alexander, diversity officer at DC. “The Saudis had a very elaborate presentation, the Arab Nations won for best display and our Indian table was most hospitable.”

International Mother Language Day was proclaimed by the United Nations Education, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) in 1999 as a way to promote multilingualism and cultural diversity. This international event highlights the importance of inclusive education through and with language.

“This year’s Mother Language Festival was a wonderful opportunity for Durham College and UOIT students to share an important component of who they are with their peers,” said Sarah Edwards, international education officer. “The exhibitors and performers were amazing and did a terrific job engaging others in lively conversations about their languages and cultures.”

DC’s Centre for Food claims victory in School Cup Challenge

With an overall participation of 26.3 per cent, Durham College’s (DC) Alumni office is pleased to congratulate the Centre for Food as the victors of the second annual School Cup Challenge!

From March 2 to 19, nearly 600 spring and fall 2015 graduates shared their favourite memories and experiences from their time at DC. Along with the glory of victory, bragging rights and an inscription on the trophy, as winners of the School Cup Challenge, the Centre for Food receives a $1,000 bursary to award for the 2015-2016 school year.

The School of Science, Engineering & Technology took second with a student participation of 18.9 per cent. A $500 bursary donated in their name will be awarded to a DC student for the 2015-2016 academic year.

Additionally, Victoria Sykes, a student in the Hospitality Management program (Centre for Food) was the winner of $500 for sharing her favourite DC experience as part of the challenge.

Amy Branscombe, a student in the Animal Care program (School of Interdisciplinary Studies & Employment Services) was the lucky recipient of a pair of Toronto Maple Leafs tickets.

The final standings for school participation are as follows:

  • Centre for Food – 26.3 per cent
  • School of Business, IT & Management – 11 per cent
  • School of Health & Community Services – 4.1 per cent
  • School of Interdisciplinary Studies & Employment Services – 5.3 per cent
  • School of Justice & Emergency Services – 14.2 per cent
  • School of Media, Art & Design – 5.6 per cent
  • School of Science, Engineering & Technology – 18.9 per cent
  • School of Skilled Trades, Apprenticeship & Renewable Technology – 7.8 per cent

Congratulations to all the winners and thank you to all of the students who participated!

Spring and Fall 2015 Graduates Get Prepared at Countdown to Grad

Durham College’s (DC) spring and fall 2015 graduates-to-be had the chance to find out everything they need to know about their upcoming graduation during the college’s annual Countdown to Grad. Held at the Oshawa and Whitby campuses and Pickering Learning Site, these events were sponsored by the DC Alumni Association.

Students were invited to stop by for a free slice of pizza and, more importantly, for the opportunity to learn about all things graduation, from alumni benefits and employment services to convocation details. Students also had the chance to enter the School Cup Challenge.

“This is the fourth year we’ve hosted the Countdown to Grad,” said Lori Connor, alumni officer, Durham College. “It’s a great way to celebrate our students’ upcoming graduation and share relevant information to make sure they feel supported as they transition from a DC student to alumni.”

The events were held on Tuesday, March 10 (Oshawa campus), Thursday, March 12 (Whitby campus) and Tuesday, March 17 (Pickering Learning Site) and over 900 students attended.

“Now that it’s finally here graduation seems to be a daunting step,” said Heather Bulman, a second-year Public Relations student and member of DC’s Team Experience. “The opportunity to learn from the Alumni Association really put my mind at ease, and now I can’t wait to be a DC alumna. I’m excited to move beyond school and use all that I’ve learned in the workplace.”

For more information about the 2015 graduation please visit the Spring Convocation page.

Student Life office hosts first-ever Student Leadership Summit

More than 135 engaged campus leaders recently participated in the first-ever Student Leadership Summit, co-ordinated by the Student Life office. The summit featured a variety of conference-style sessions presented by talented Durham College staff members, and a keynote address by author, producer, and motivational speaker, Stuart Knight.

“I was fortunate to attend the Student Leadership summit not only for the informative sessions but to engage in an environment full of ideas, advice and most importantly, motivating factors for leaders of tomorrow’s society,” said Shameir Hosein, student life assistant. “The key note speaker, Stuart Knight,  inspired everyone to really think about the role that conversation plays in one’s life and how to make that conversation a positive impact.”

Diverse session topics included: Strengths based Leadership; Leading with Positivity; Leadership and Diversity; Agents of Change; Empowering the Future through Sustainability; Leading a Successful Event; What’s Your Leadership and Career Brand? Public Speaking; Navigation Leadership Styles for Success, and more.

“I would highly recommend the Student Leadership Summit to anyone, whether you’re an extrovert or introvert, the learning outcome of this summit will definitely make a positive impact on your life,” said Hosein.

Beat goes on during Black History Month at DC

Durham College (DC) showcased its multicultural heritage by offering students and employees a variety of ways to embrace Black History Month in February.

DC’s Diversity Office hosted the Professional and Mentorship event on February 18, in partnership with the Congress of Black Women. Two hundred college students, as well as 12 high school students, were able to meet and connect with a diverse group of Black professionals from the community. This annual event provides an opportunity for students to hear about education choices and career paths.

“Black History Month is about awareness,” said Allison Hector-Alexander, diversity officer at DC. “It gives an opportunity for people of all cultures to celebrate and learn about the Black community.”

This year, DC students were also invited to embrace the rhythm within at an interactive drumming circle hosted in The Pit by Babarinde Williams. Students were welcome to grab a drum and join Williams, originally from Nigeria, as he shared stories and explained the spirit of Ubunto, the essence of being human.

“Humanity connects us all,” said Williams. “Everybody has rhythm. The first rhythm we hear is our mother’s heartbeat inside the womb. This heartbeat is responsible for all music.”

In African communities, the drum is used for many purposes. Williams brought with him a collection of Djemba, traditional African drums made from a single piece of wood. He encouraged students to participate by starting with a simple rhythm. He asked them to mimic the rhythm of their heartbeat. He then began teaching them the words and rhythms to more complicated songs. In no time, The Pit was filled with the sound of DC students and staff celebrating together.

“They are not my band,” explained Williams as he gestured to everyone drumming in unison around him. “I’ve never met them before! Drumming brings people together.”

You’re Hired! Durham College Students Network at Job Fair

More than 1,600 Durham College (DC) and University of Ontario Institute of Technology (UOIT) students had the opportunity to meet with more than 60 companies who are actively hiring at the 2015 DC/UOIT Job Fair on February 4.

This year’s focus was on networking, which meant students could sit down and have meaningful conversations with recruiters by asking questions and learning more about the opportunities offered by the diverse range of businesses represented at the fair.

“In today’s competitive job market, face-to-face interaction when going through the job application process can be rare, but we know networking can give candidates a competitive edge,” said Tara Blackburn, director, Career Services. “Durham College has established some very strong relationships with businesses in a variety of sectors that recognize the talent our graduates possess and the Job Fair is a chance to bring both parties together.”

A mentoring lounge was new this year, giving attendees the opportunity to mingle with business leaders, local entrepreneurs, and alumni, to learn tried and true ways of succeeding in today’s labour market.

“As a first time student attendee at the Job Fair, I was excited to see how many recruiters were present and eager to discuss my future,” said Nicole Paris, a third-year Law Clerk – Advanced student. “I had the opportunity to discuss current opportunities with employers, all who were extremely genuinely interested in the potential I have to contribute to their team. I was also able to network, which will be a big help after graduation.”

For more information about career opportunities, employer profiles and job search tips students, employers, faculty and staff can visit DC’s Hired Portal.

Coca-Cola gives DC students a sweet surprise

On January 29, students passing through The Pit at Durham College’s (DC) Oshawa campus couldn’t help but notice the big red and white vending machine that said “Hug Me.” The Coke Hug Machine came to campus and rewarded those who showed it some huggable affection with a free can of Coca-Cola.

The machine, the only one in Ontario, operates as part of the Coca-Cola ‘Open Happiness’ campaign.

“It was interesting to watch how students reacted when they saw the machine,” said Jacob Moss, a first-year Advertising student and member of DC’s Team Experience, “It was a complete surprise for all the students and it definitely created buzz on campus. It didn’t matter what people felt like when they came to school today, everyone who hugged the machine left with a smile, not to mention a free can of Coke.”

Durham College was lucky enough to host the machine on both its Whitby and Oshawa campuses. More than 1,800 cans of Coke were dispensed in exchange for 1,800 hugs!

Watch students give hugs and receive a Coke.


New specialized workshops via CIJS

In partnership with Durham College’s School of Justice & Emergency Services (JES), the Centre for Integrated Justice Studies (CIJS) offers unique training, seminars and workshops for students, alumni and career professionals in justice- and emergency service-related fields.

With the addition of several new specialized courses and workshops the CIJS provides an opportunity to extend learning outside core curriculum of various DC programs, providing the chance to better individuals knowledge and employment appeal. Developed by the highest quality trainers and faculty who are experts in the legal, law enforcement and community service areas, participants will leave better-qualified to succeed in this continuously changing and challenging sector.

Space in CIJS courses and workshops is limited. To register call 905.721.3000 or visit the registration office located in the Students Services Building (SSB) and provide the CRN for the course or workshop you wish to enroll in.

For further information visit www.durhamcollege.ca/cijs.

Durham College committed to campus safety

The Durham College (DC) Office of Campus Safety (OCS) is committed to protecting the rights of everyone on campus while ensuring a professional, respectful and safe campus environment. Emphasis is placed on respect for others and safety and security is a responsibility of everyone on campus.

Please see below for a few initiatives that can help keep the campus environment a safe and secure place.

Reporting suspicious behaviour

If you have concerns regarding your personal safety or if you observe behaviour that is suspicious or that may have a negative impact on the campus, please report it immediately to OCS by calling Campus Security at 905.721.2000 ext. 2400 or 905.721.3211.

Verification of ID

Please keep in mind that college buildings each have their own business hours. Many staff, faculty and students require access to classrooms and labs throughout the week, including after hours and weekends. While patrolling the campus, and as part of the due-diligence process for keeping the campus safe, Campus Security may ask you to produce identification to verify and validate your presence on the property. Please have your institutional identification available at all times while on campus and surrender it to Campus Security upon request. This will expedite the process for you and the security guard.

Code Blue stations

Code Blue stations are nine-foot red poles with blue lights on top located in parking lots, footpaths and the Campus Library. Each pole has a button you can press to gain instant contact with the Campus Security desk. Once notified, Campus Security will send a guard to your location and, if required, emergency services will be dispatched.

OCS services include:

•   Preventing crime.

•   Solving problems that affect faculty, staff, students and the community.

•   Promoting safety and security as the responsibility of everyone on campus.

•   Ensuring students learn from their experiences and achieve success.

We encourage you to visit the Campus safety web page to familiarize yourself with the services and crime prevention initiatives offered by the OCS.

DC architecture students showcase new designs for Town of Cobourg

Students from Durham College’s (DC) Architectural Technician and Architectural Technology programs presented their heritage-inspired designs for the Town of Cobourg’s Downtown Vitalization Action Committee, on December 4.

“The partnership between the Town of Cobourg and Durham College’s Architectural Technician and Architectural Technology programs has been very successful,” said Alison Torrie Lapaire, heritage planner for the Town of Cobourg. “The final designs that the students have presented reflect an appreciation of the potential that heritage properties hold, and provide us with some new, creative ideas for these properties.”

Students began work on the project in September as they were tasked with creating design work that would showcase the character and heritage of Downtown Cobourg. Groups of five were assigned specific sites including:

  • Site A – 1 King St. E. (former Liquidation World, Oddballs Bar and residential units)
  • Site B – 62 King St. W. (Bank of Montreal) and 52 King St. W. (former Bargain Shop)
  • Site C – 90 King St. W. (Green Canoe Outfitters) and 92 King St. W. (92 King Restaurant and residential units)
  • Site D – 98 King St. W. (H & R Block) and 100 King St. W. (Pizza and Stanley’s Fish and Chips)
  • Site E – 97-99 King St. W. (Northumberland Today), 101 King St. W. (Tile Studio) and 103 King St. W. (PJ’s Custom Outfitters)

During a September visit to the various sites, groups gathered information, took pictures and began assessing design particulars such as zoning by-laws, heritage/urban guidelines and feasibility reports.

“Cobourg is a great location for learning in the field,” said Ali Taileb, professor, School of Science & Engineering Technology (SET), DC. “Its strong heritage and the character of the architecture have given our students a great opportunity to hone their planning and design skills.”