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DC announces new business incubator for social entrepreneurs

Durham College (DC) is pleased to share that its FastStartDC program has launched SHIFT, a new business start-up accelerator service designed to support social enterprises and entrepreneurs, as they work towards making a positive social, environmental or economic impact on the world.

The unique service was announced in front of more than 100 DC students, employees, community partners and local business leaders at a launch party co-hosted by the Business Advisory Centre Durham as part of Do It in Durham’s Entrepreneurship Week, held on November 22 in DC’s Global Classroom.

During the event, attendees heard from the member of parliament for Whitby, Ryan Turnbull, , who spoke briefly about the benefits of social entrepreneurship, as well as a panel of social entrepreneurs, including Janet Nezon, founder, Rainbow Plate; Shaun Frankson, co-founder and chief technology officer, Plastic Bank; Elisa Birnbaum, journalist, author and editor, SEE Change Magazine; and Dan Kershaw, executive director, Furniture Bank. Hosted by DC professor Lon Appleby, the panel discussion focused on shifting entrepreneurial mindsets to create businesses that will make a positive impact.

“Great things happen when entrepreneurship and social thinking go hand-in-hand,” said Dr. Elaine Popp, vice president, Academic. “We have seen so many incredible student entrepreneurs working with the FastStartDC team to develop products, brands and businesses. Now the next generation of students will be able to take advantage of all that FastStartDC has to offer but can do so while building a culture of social change through entrepreneurial thinking and action all thanks to SHIFT.”

SHIFT is the first FastStartDC service to support both students and social entrepreneurs from across Durham Region. FastStartDC is an extra-curricular entrepreneurship program housed within DC’s 360insights Entrepreneurship Centre in the Centre for Collaborative Education that offers DC students access to entrepreneurial services and training programs.


DC students and professor take home People’s Choice Award at all-female culinary competition

Last month, Durham College (DC) professor Tanya Heck and second-year students Amira Elgindy and Arlinda Prenaj from DC’s Culinary Management program, won the Up and Coming Chef’s Challenge at the annual Eat to the Beat charity event.

Competing against teams from other colleges, DC placed first, winning the People’s Choice Award for their team’s roasted beet and panzanella salad made with feta cheese, heirloom tomato, red onion, basil, honey, garlic and micro-greens – all grown, harvested and produced at DC’s Whitby campus.

Throughout the competition, DC’s talented team of female chefs received great reviews and feedback from taste-testers, who were impressed that all ingredients used in the dish came directly from DC’s fields, greenhouses and apiary.

Entering its 24th year, Eat to the Beat is a charity event that raises funds for the Canadian Cancer Society by welcoming urban foodies to taste the culinary creations of 60 female chefs – women supporting women through the challenges that come with a breast cancer diagnosis.


DC student, alumnus and faculty member travel to Rome, Italy for health care technology conference

Durham College’s (DC) health care programs were well-represented on the world stage last month when a DC student, alumnus and faculty member traveled to Rome, Italy to speak at the Third International Clinical Engineering and Health Technology Management Congress, organized by the International Federation of Medical and Biological Engineering.

From the Bachelor of Health Care Technology Management (BHCTM) program, second-year student Jessica Metcalfe presented her poster “Student point-of-view: healthcare technology management, a layman’s definition” in the Education, Certification, and Training session, while faculty member Abdelbaset Khalaf spoke in two sessions on the development of health care management technology, one of which was featured as a conference highlight. In both sessions he spoke about the BHCTM program, including the success of its launch and future plans, which was well-received by the audience.

Oem Dave, a Biomedical Engineering Technology grad, also showcased his research from the electrocardiogram capstone project through a poster presentation at the conference.

The conference was attended by 800 delegates from 62 countries and of the eight speakers from Canada and three were from DC. This is the first time that the BHCTM program has been represented at a global event, and Abdelbaset is already preparing students and faculty to take part in the fourth congress in the U.S. in 2021.


A winning weekend for Durham Lords men’s soccer and rugby teams

The Durham Lords celebrated national and provincial championship wins on November 9 and 10, securing gold in both the 2019 Canadian Collegiate Athletic Association (CCAA) men’s soccer national championship and the Ontario Colleges Athletic Association (OCAA) men’s provincial rugby championship.

Kicking off the weekend, the Lords hosted the men’s soccer national championship and captured their first gold medal in program history, defeating the Vancouver Island University Mariners 3-2 in the championship final in front of a home crowd in Oshawa, Ont. Durham Lords first-year striker Joshua Lee was named championship MVP and a championship all-star, alongside teammates Nick Payne, Colin Reilly, Ryan Cullen, and Kevon Grant. The Lords previous men’s soccer national medal came exactly a decade ago when they previously served as host for the prestigious event, capturing the CCAA bronze in 1999.

“The win for the men’s soccer team is fantastic and the team and coaches are to be congratulated for a great season and for bringing the trophy to Durham College,” said Meri Kim Oliver, vice president, Student Affairs. “Moreover, as the coaches and teams worked hard to secure this win, so did the Athletics team who co-ordinated the banquet and awards, organized coaches meetings and field preparation and were committed to delivering an amazing championship event all while keeping the multiple athletic facilities and programs running.”

On November 10, the Lords men’s rugby team travelled to Barrie for the OCAA provincial championship. Following their first provincial banner in program history last fall, the Lords men’s rugby team made it back-to-back OCAA gold medals after defeating the Georgian Grizzlies 22-17. After returning to the OCAA conference last season and making their debut in league play, the Lords have accrued a record of 14-3 overall in their two seasons, laying their claim to be one of the best post-secondary rugby programs in the country with two provincial banners to their names in two years of competition.

Lords No. 10 Taylor Dallas was named the championship MVP making several spectacular tackles in the championship final, in addition to guiding the offence from his fly-half position. Also honoured following the match were Patrick Lynch and Austin Knox, who were both named championship all-stars.

Congratulations to the Durham Lords on their triumphant wins!


DC helps launch Canadian College Consortium for Cannabis

Durham College (DC), a recognized leader in cannabis education programming, has partnered with four Canadian colleges and a national advocacy body to form the Canadian College Consortium for Cannabis, an entity that will serve as a first-of-its-kind in the post-secondary sector. 

DC is joined by NorQuest, Niagara and Okanagan colleges and Collège communautaire du Nouveau-Brunswick (CCNB) as founding members. A sixth seat will go to Colleges and Institutes Canada (CiCan).

“When post-secondary institutions join forces everybody wins,” says Dr. Elaine Popp, vice president, Academic, DC. “This consortium clearly recognizes the inherent opportunities within Canada’s fast-growing cannabis industry. Members also understand the value of working together to uncover solutions, drive education and advance the industry’s economic impact to keep momentum going.”

An MOU has been signed by all partners.

“The MOU will see us advance and action four main areas of focus,” says Debbie Johnston, dean of DC’s School of Continuing Education. “Generating a cohesive picture of the cannabis market; developing workforce-relevant courses and programs; establishing a cluster of subject matter experts; and pursuing shared funding for applied research.”

The consortium is a natural extension of DC’s leadership in cannabis-related post-secondary programming. In 2017, the college launched the two-day, introductory-level Medical Cannabis Fundamentals for Business Professionals course, the first of its kind to be offered by an Ontario college. Most recently, DC announced its Cannabis Industry Specialization program – a series of five short courses, primarily designed to provide professionals who are interested in moving into the industry with solid insights into this complex and rapidly-evolving area.

Working together, the consortium member institutions will leverage their wealth of resources – including subject matter expertise and industry connections – to influence and advance both education and research across Canada’s cannabis industry.

It is expected that the consortium will grow in size as more colleges enter the world of cannabis programming.


Future students explore DC at Fall Open House

On November 2, Durham College (DC) opened its doors to prospective students and their families and friends at the Oshawa and Whitby campuses and Pickering Learning Site for the college’s annual Fall Open House.

The event gave 2,900 visitors the opportunity to explore DC’s facilities, take guided tours and learn more about student support services and the college’s more than 140 full-time programs as well as hundreds of continuing education offerings.

DC president Don Lovisa, current students, alumni, faculty and staff were all on hand to share first-hand knowledge and experience related to all things DC.

Fall Open House also gave guests the opportunity to learn about the newest programs being launched at DC, including its second degree program, the Honours Bachelor of Behavioural Science.

Other new programs coming to DC in fall 2020 include:

Anyone who missed Fall Open House is still in luck; campus tours and information sessions can be scheduled online or by calling 905.721.3000. DC will also hold its Spring Open House on Saturday, April 4, 2020.


DC president, CAO and professor have some frightful fun on Halloween

Durham College (DC) President Don Lovisa and Chief Administrative Officer Scott Blakey treated students and employees to some frightful fun on October 31 as they roamed the Oshawa campus to hand out candy after undergoing a Halloween-inspired make-over from DC’s Cosmetic Techniques and Management professor Rachael Authors. After the success of last year’s zombie look for Scott, Don decided to get in on the fun to spread a little Halloween spirit.

While Rachael is a faculty member and program co-ordinator in the School of Business, IT & Management, teaching the next cohort of cosmetic professionals, she’s also a professional make-up artist by trade and has been lending her talent to Canada’s Wonderland for the last 13 years to create zombies, evil clowns and ghouls for their annual Halloween Haunt event.

Although special FX makeup isn’t currently part of the course curriculum, Rachael incorporates a lot of those techniques into her classes. Her background is a great example of the depth and breadth of opportunities available within the cosmetics industry and she loves being able to help train the next generation of makeup artists.

Using a holistic approach, the Cosmetics Techniques and Management program offers hands-on training, covering both the fundamental and advanced aspects of the industry. Courses range from cosmetic application techniques to skincare analysis and creative styling, as well as retail management and marketing for makeup artists, business communications and entrepreneurial cosmetic event-planning skills. Students also have the opportunity to hone their skills by working onsite in the fully operational Durham College Spa.


DC recognizes student achievement at 2019 Fall Convocation

On October 30, more than 1,100 Durham College (DC) students received their credentials during Fall Convocation. Friends, families, college employees and special guests celebrated the post-secondary achievements of graduates, encouraging them to continue reaching for their goals and accomplishing great things. 

“Our students have worked incredibly hard to get to this day,” said Andre De Freitas, associate vice president and registrar, Student Affairs. “The exciting experience of walking across the stage in front of their family, friends and peers to receive their credential will be a moment they’ll remember forever.”

Held at the Tribute Communities Centre in downtown Oshawa, graduates from the Centre for Food and schools of Business, IT & Management; Continuing Education, Health & Community Services; Interdisciplinary Studies; Justice & Emergency Services; Media, Art & Design; Science & Engineering Technology and Skilled Trades, Apprenticeship & Renewable Technology received their diplomas and certificates.

“Our graduates may have received their credentials today, but the long hours they spent in labs, classrooms, field placements, and applied research have prepared them for the next step in their journey,” said Dr. Elaine Popp, vice-president, Academic. “We are confident that our graduates will succeed in anything they put their mind to and wish them all the best as they move towards their next accomplishment.”

Guest speakers at each ceremony were:

  • Adam Hare: Petley-Hare Insurance Brokers president, entrepreneur and business leader, member of the Insurance Brokers Association of Durham Region board of directors, executive advisor to Lakeridge Health’s Launchpad committee, Young Broker of the Year in 2016 named by Insurance Brokers Association of Ontario, former professor in the School of Media, Art & Design, and 2006 graduate of Multimedia and Design program (now known as Interactive Media Design) both at DC.
  • Melissa Farrow: program co-ordinator and child and youth counsellor at Hospital for Sick Children, field practicum advisor and professor at DC, member of a number of community child and youth agencies, 2009 graduate of Social Service Worker program and 2011 graduate of Child and Youth Worker program (now known as Child and Youth Care) both at DC.

For more information about Fall Convocation, including links to videos of each ceremony, visit www.durhamcollege.ca/convocation.


DC hosts 13 international teams on campus for Global Cyberlympics

On October 26, Durham College (DC), in partnership with The Regional Municipality of Durham, co-hosted the Global Cyberlympics at its Oshawa campus, welcoming 13 international teams from North and South America, Asia, Australia, Europe and Africa. Organized by EC-Council and SiberX, with assistance from DC’s Hub for Applied Research in Artificial Intelligence for Business Solutions (AI Hub), this is the first time that the highly competitive ethical hacking competition has been held in Canada.

“It was such a thrill welcoming talent from all over the globe and watching them compete in Durham College’s state-of-the-art Global Classroom,” said Don Lovisa, president, DC. “Our students and employees from the AI Hub worked hard alongside event partners to make this event a reality and I’m so proud of their involvement and effort.”

As teams battled it out for first place, two other events took place on campus. A CareerXpo was open to the public and an EsportsX Tournament was held at DC’s Esports Gaming Arena, which saw local teams compete for up to $2,000 in cash prizes. The day-long event and competition concluded with a gala at the Audley Recreation Centre in Ajax, where Team Jobless Hackers from the Netherlands was announced as the Global Cyberlympics winner.

“While the Global Cyberlympics finals were brought to Canada by EC-Council and SiberX, it was Durham College and the Regional Municipality of Durham’s effort as co-hosts that showcased the potential in business and tech that exists for cybersecurity professionals in the area,” said Mahdi Raza, co-founder of SiberX. “These games were just the first step in an exciting future for cybersecurity in Ontario.”

Since its inception in 2012, the Global Cyberlympics have seen more than 2,100 participants from 500 teams and 75 countries compete. Last year’s event included finalists from locations such as Brazil, Netherlands, India, Nigeria and Australia.


DC Lords men’s baseball team win national championship

Durham College is pleased to share that its Durham Lords men’s baseball team claimed the National College Baseball Championship gold medal on October 26 in Toronto, defeating the Thompson River Wolfpack in an exciting extra-inning contest, 2-1.The win marks the second national championship in program history, previously claiming the Canadian Intercollegiate Baseball Association national title in 2011.

A near storybook ending to the career of head coach Sam Dempster, who announced his retirement for the conclusion of the 2019 season earlier this fall, the bench boss has led the program since its inaugural season in 1992. Earlier this season Dempster recorded his 400th career win, he led the Lords to a winning conference record for the 24th time over 28 seasons, and to an Ontario Colleges Athletic Association (OCAA)  silver medal for the third time in seven years; in addition to the national gold.

First-year power-hitter and 2019 OCAA batting champion Fernando Suarez Muniz was named the championship MVP after driving in the Lords first run of the championship final with an RBI double off the left field fence, before crossing the plate himself in the eighth inning for the game-winning run.

A stellar season for the Lords, after a 2-6 start they would rebound to record 11 straight wins and eventually claim the provincial silver as host of the 2019 OCAA baseball championship, qualifying them for the National College Baseball Championship. Durham lost their first game of the national tournament, but would go on to pick up wins over the Lionel-Groulx Nordiques, John Abbott Islanders, and 2019 OCAA champion Humber Hawks, en route to the championship win over the Thompson River Wolfpack.