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The Cypher: Black Male Empowerment Conference inspires students to succeed

On May 23, Durham College (DC) welcomed 300 students in grades eight to 11, from across Durham Region, to its Oshawa campus for The Cypher: Black Male Empowerment Conference.

This is the third year DC has sponsored the conference, an initiative of the Durham District School Board that explores the need for more Black role models, emphasizing the goals of promoting positive transitions and various academic pathways, while eliminating barriers to success.

The morning consisted of workshops, networking sessions, guest speakers and a panel discussion for teachers to explore the value of identity. Students also participated in workshops facilitated by community leaders and organizations focused on technology, design and digital literacy.

Capping off the conference was a keynote by Randell Adjei, founder of Reaching Intelligent Souls Everywhere, one of Toronto’s largest youth-led initiatives, and an inspirational speaker who uses the spoken word to empower, create community and transform youth through edutainment.


DC gives another historic showing at Enactus National Exposition

The Durham College (DC) Enactus team, Enactus DC, achieved another team milestone at the 2019 Enactus National Exposition, held in Vancouver, BC.

Going up against a competitive field of 69 college and university teams from across Canada, the social innovation team advanced through the preliminary round of competition, earning a team-first berth in the semi-final round.

As part of the competition, Enactus DC members presented highlights of their six social innovation projects from 2018 to 2019. These included Girls EnPower, Grassroots, Money Makes Cents, True Grit, Project MO3, and the Side Hustle Summit. Each project has already proven to make positive impacts in greater college community across categories that include youth empowerment, entrepreneurship, environmental, mental wellness and financial education.

Enactus is an international non-profit organization dedicated to creating social change through entrepreneurship. DC’s chapter launched in 2016 through FastStartDC, the college’s entrepreneurship centre, and focuses on making positive economic and social impacts in Durham Region.

For more information on the projects or how to get involved with Enactus DC, visit www.enactusdc.com.


Durham College announces four 2019 inductees for DC Sports Hall of Fame

Durham College (DC) is proud to announce the induction of four new individuals into the Durham College Sports Hall of Fame this fall. Entering the prestigious ranks will be Sandy Abram, Durham Lords volleyball alumna; Stacey Fertile, softball alumna; Gail Reid, Lords women’s soccer head coach; and Jim Anderson, women’s softball assistant coach.

The DC Sports Hall of Fame officially opened in the spring of 1997 to recognize significant achievements and accomplishments of student-athletes, coaches and builders during their time at the college.

Sandy Abram – women’s volleyball (1992-1994)
Graduated from DC in 1994, Sandy Abram was an all-star member of the Lords women’s volleyball program, helping lead the team to two provincial medals.

Abram helped the Lords jumping up from fourth to second place in Division I. At the 1993-1994 provincial championship the Lords won silver, their second provincial medal in years, and was also the first year for recorded statistics in women’s volleyball.

During her collegiate career at DC, she was recognized as an Ontario Colleges Athletic Association (OCAA) Championship All-Stars and a Canadian Collegiate Athletic Association (CCAA) All-Canadians. Abram was named the team’s Most Valuable Player (MVP) and one of the top female volleyball players in the country.

Stacey Fertile – women’s softball (1994-1996)
Stacey Fertile had an outstanding two-year career with the DC women’s softball team, helping the Lords complete back-to-back perfect regular seasons.

During her rookie campaign, she set two new OCAA records with the most hits in a season and in a single game and helped the Lords claim gold at the 1994-1995 championship, and silver the following year. Fertile was named an OCAA All-Stars in two consecutive years and the OCAA Championship MVP, as well.

Her outstanding hitting and exceptional defence eventually led to an invite to be part of Team Canada with the women’s national fastball program. She was named to the OCAA women’s fastball all-millennium team and was inducted into the OCAA Hall of Fame in 2009.

Gail Reid – women’s soccer head coach (1990-1996)
The first-ever coach of DC women’s soccer, Gail Reid, joined the program for its inaugural season in 1990-1991. She helped lead the Lords to three consecutive OCAA division championships.

Durham would go on to win the OCAA silver medal in 1992-1993 and OCAA bronze in 1993-1994, while outscoring opponents by an overall margin of 77-22 over three seasons. Reid was twice named the central division coach of the year and was named OCAA coach of the year. She was also selected as coach for the OCAA All-Stars game.

Throughout six seasons with the Lords, Reid amassed a conference record and overall record, achieving a .746 winning percentage. Reid established a foundation for both the Lords’ soccer program and women’s sports at DC.

Jim Anderson – women’s softball assistant coach (1981-1988)
Jim Anderson began as an assistant coach with the Lords women’s softball team as part of the programs inaugural staff, alongside head coach and fellow DC Sports Hall of Fame inductee Richard Snowden.

Assisting the program through its first eight years, the team amassed an impressive 55-19 conference record and 82-29 overall record, winning three provincial banners – one silver and three bronze –. During his time as an assistant, the DC women’s fastball team never saw a losing record.

In addition to his service as an assistant coach, Anderson was also a long time faculty member at DC, helping mentor student-athletes and support their success both inside and outside the classroom.

The quartet of inductees will be honoured at this year’s DC Sports Hall of Fame induction ceremony scheduled for Friday, November 15 at the Campus Recreation & Wellness Centre.


DC welcomes families to campus for Science Rendezvous 2019

On May 11, Durham College (DC), along with Ontario Tech University, welcomed inquiring minds of all ages to “STEAM Big” and experience science and the science behind art at Science Rendezvous 2019.

The free, fun, family-friendly annual event allowed participants to meet the scientists who turn innovative research ideas into real solutions for society. They also had the opportunity to take part in interactive science activities including mini-workshops, a family escape room, folding a giant origami DNA molecule and much more.

With more than 300 events hosted simultaneously across the country by universities and colleges in 30 cities, Science Rendezvous aims to inspire young people to start thinking about how science, engineering, technology, arts and math can be part of their educational journey.

Whether it’s looking into a microscope, checking out fossils or learning about forensics, the festival offers unique opportunities for kids to visit a post-secondary campus at a young age and get a behind-the-scenes look at the leading edge of science.

Photo credit: Kira Koop


Durham College hosts first Canadian offering of Camp Invention

Durham College (DC) is pleased to announce it has been chosen to host the first-ever Canadian offering of Camp Invention™. A program of the non-profit National Inventors Hall of Fame™ (NIHF), in partnership with the United States Patent and Trademark Office, Camp Invention provides a unique experience for children to learn about science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM), and the importance of intellectual property, while exploring, creating and designing.

To bring Camp Invention to Canada, DC is working with non-profit organization the National Inventors Hall of Fame (Canada). Both parties are excited to introduce children to world-changing inventors in a relatable and enjoyable way by engaging them with a superhero storyline.

Running from Monday, July 8 to Friday, July 12, the college will welcome up to 60 young innovators, ages nine to 11, to learn about STEM disciplines while building resourcefulness and problem-solving skills, and encouraging entrepreneurship as they learn in an engaging, hands-on summer camp environment.

Overseen by four teachers from both the Durham District School Board and Durham District Catholic School Board, and eight counsellors, the newly announced 2019 Supercharged™ program will have campers learning about ocean navigation and survival skills on a remote island, conducting mock DNA tests on farm animals, and learning to protect their own ideas. As an added bonus, at the end of the program, each camper will bring home a robot!

Each year the new curriculum is inspired by the NIHF Inductees. For Supercharged, the hands-on modules include:

  • Innovation Force™: Campers team up with the Innovation Force™ (NIHF Inductees who have been transformed into superheroes) to battle the evil Plagiarizer, a supervillain who is out to steal the world’s greatest ideas. As children create a device to retrieve the stolen ideas, they learn about the importance of intellectual property and the patent system.
  • Deep Sea Mystery™: The children embark on a research adventure at sea to dig up fossils, but they soon find themselves stranded on an island. Using lessons and advice from NIHF Inductees, they invent island-survival tools and underwater equipment.
  • Farm Tech™: Campers are put in charge of managing their own farm as they learn the basics of running a business. With the assistance of the Bot-ANN-E robot, they learn fundamental coding techniques to maximize their time and profits. Children also are introduced to DNA syntheses, where they perform their own mock experiment to check the health of their newly purchased livestock.
  • DIY Orbot™: The children will explore frequency, circuit boards, motors and gears as they use real tools to reverse engineer a remote-control robot. Throughout the week, campers will adapt their DIY Orbot to perform increasingly challenging tasks.

For more information about Camp Invention and to register for the Supercharged program at DC, please visit www.durhamcollege.ca/summercamps.


Durham College students win gold and silver at 2019 Skills Ontario Competition

Durham College (DC) is proud to share that students David Paisley and Brett Harrison have won the gold and silver medals, respectively, in the Heating Systems Technician contest at the 30th annual Skills Ontario Competition held in Toronto from May 6 to 8. Both competitors are studying in the Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning Techniques program at DC.

Paisley and Harrison earned their medals by demonstrating practical and theoretical skills in heating system fundamentals with special attention given to health and safety regulations. They also demonstrated knowledge of controls, tools, and testers used in industry, and completed a job interview related to their technical career path.

Over the three-day event, DC students competed against more than 2,300 participants from across Ontario in over 68 unique contest areas.

“We’re incredibly proud of our students’ achievements at this year’s Skills Ontario Competition,” said Dr. Rebecca Milburn, executive dean, School of Skilled Trades, Apprenticeship & Renewable Technology, and principal of the Whitby campus. “Competing at this level provides students with an opportunity to actualize all of the career-ready skills and knowledge they have developed in their classes. Their success is a testament to the impact of DC’s focus on experiential learning and the dedication of our students and faculty.”

As the gold-medal winner, Paisley will represent DC and Ontario in the 25th Skills Canada National Competition that will be held in Halifax, Nova Scotia, on Tuesday, May 28 and Wednesday, May 29.

Skills Ontario is a non-profit organization dedicated to the promotion of the skilled trades and technologies as viable, first-choice career options to Ontario youth through programs and initiatives such as provincial skills competitions.


DC employee receives 2019 CICan leadership award

Durham College (DC) is proud to share that Kelly O’Brien, general manager of the W. Galen Weston Centre for Food (CFF), was presented with a Colleges and Institutes Canada (CICan) Leadership Excellence Award for Managerial Staff at the association’s annual conference on May 6. Presented in Niagara Falls, this award is in recognition of Kelly’s tremendous leadership and track record of success.

An inspiration to not only her team but also to the students studying in the CFF, Kelly works diligently each day to seamlessly integrate business operations of the CFF into all culinary, hospitality and horticulture curriculum, resulting in a powerful example of serving both students and the community at the highest possible level. Under her leadership, business operations at the CFF have also enjoyed three ‘best-ever’ years in a row, growing significantly in the number of customers and guests to the centre, and also the amount of students who work and volunteer annually.

In addition, Kelly is very active in the community, committing her team and students to improving the lives of others through skills and confidence-building activities, such as cooking sessions with patients at the regional mental health hospital. As well, she continues to establish partnerships with local businesses that benefit not only the college broadly, but the students and the partners. When not overseeing CFF operations, Kelly teaches marketing and leadership to students as a part-time instructor in the CFF, and contributes to the centre’s broader academic planning and operations.

Congratulations Kelly on your well-deserved award. The CICan Awards of Excellence recognize best practices from institutions across the country, as well as individual leadership and achievements, for more information on this year’s awards, please visit the CICan website.


Durham College celebrates Earth Month

Durham College (DC) is proud to be a sustainable campus and works hard to encourage and empower the DC community to live sustainably every day. These efforts have also earned DC the greenest employer designation for the third year in a row.

As part of the college’s commitment to sustainability, DC hosted numerous green events throughout the month of April in celebration of Earth Month, emphasizing the small and big actions that students, employees and the greater community can take to contribute to sustainability. These events included:

  • RecycleMania. On April 1, DC challenged students and employees to test their waste-sorting skills in The Pit. Faced with a collection of items that are commonly placed in the wrong bins, participants gave their best guess on whether each item could be recycled or was destined for the landfill.
  • #MugLife Week. From April 8 to 12, as part of DC’s efforts to reduce the use of single-use disposable coffee cups and water bottles, the college invited all members of the DC community to share photos of them using reusable mugs on social media.
  • Guided Nature Walk and Campus Clean-up. On April 17, DC and Ontario Tech University joined forces with a team of 25 students and employees to clean up litter along the west border of the Oshawa campus next to the Oshawa Creek. Joined by Traditional Knowledge Keeper Rick Bourque, the event began with a Smudging Ceremony and Rick shared the traditional history and importance of the Oshawa Creek, as well as information about traditional medicines that could be found nearby.
  • Nature-Based Meditation. On April 22, which is also Earth Day, DC students and employees were treated to a guided meditation in Polonsky Commons led by health promotions co-ordinator, Heather Bickle. The meditation facilitated personal reflection on our connection to nature and the earth beneath our feet.
  • Glow in the Dark Yoga. Hosted at the Campus Recreation and Wellness Centre on April 29, 20 employees participated in a yoga practice that encouraged intention setting for sustainable living. Held in the dark, with only glow sticks and glow paint as a light source, participants practiced mindfulness while reducing electricity consumption in the process.

On Earth Day, DC also announced that it has finished construction on its Simcoe Geothermal Field, and will begin harnessing 550 tons (1.9 megawatts) of clean, sustainable geothermal power through the Energy Innovation Centre (EIC) to fuel the energy needs of the Gordon Willey block beginning this summer.

Above ground, the finishing touches on the EIC are under way, which will soon provide an exhibit-like atmosphere where students and the public can learn more about how the geothermal system works and view system diagrams and performance metrics.

The official opening for the Simcoe Geothermal Field and EIC is set for Fall 2019, but you can learn more at www.durhamcollege.ca/geothermal. The Simcoe Geothermal Field and EIC are being completed in partnership with Siemens Canada, who has provided not only valuable industry knowledge but has contributed as the primary contractor for the project.


DC student pop-up art catch attention across campus

Unique pop-up art installations appearing across Durham College’s (DC) Oshawa campus over the last few months have caught the eye of students, employees and visitors. From underwater scenes and fire-breathing dragons to dresses made of sheet music, these displays were created by students in DC’s Foundations in Art and Design program and interact in different ways with formerly empty wall space.

In the fall, students were tasked with staging a Guerilla Art Installation event, appropriating the campus as their temporary gallery to present impromptu performances and install non-defacing and non-destructive displays of art and sculpture. The spirit of the event was then carried over to project work in their second semester, resulting in the work that has been appearing around campus. These projects have allowed students to explore their art form deeper, preparing them for their Grad Exhibition Thesis Show and the Annual All-Student Juried Art Exhibition in April and May.

You can catch the final art projects at the Robert McLaughlin Gallery until Sunday, May 5 and Station Gallery until Monday, May 27. For more information on current student art across campus or what DC’s artists are up to, visit the Foundations in Art and Design Facebook page.


DC, OPG and the International Brotherhood of Boilermakers partner together on pre-apprenticeship program

Durham College (DC), Ontario Power Generation (OPG), and the International Brotherhood of Boilermakers (IBB) are pleased to announce they have joined together to offer a three-week pre-apprenticeship program, providing essential boilermaker industry training.

Managed and delivered through DC’s Corporate Training Services (CTS), the pre-apprenticeship serves as an introduction to the boilermaker trade and provincial apprenticeship program. Its inaugural session begins on Monday, April 29, with four additional intakes scheduled throughout the summer which will train 100 new pre-apprentices.

The training program was created to help address the projected skilled trades’ shortage of boilermakers in Ontario. OPG, Bruce Power, and the Electrical Power Systems Construction Association (EPSCA) have been working on a province wide plan to mitigate the resourcing risks for contractors and owners, ensuring sufficient capacity exists to execute the volume and complexity of work at all the utilities, safely and on budget. Successful applicants will be referred for work at OPG sites, training with senior staff and learning their craft in the nuclear industry. The program is also being supported by the Organization of Canadian Nuclear Industries (OCNI).

Within the energy industry boilermakers build and maintain nuclear, hydroelectric and coal-fired generating stations, as well as oil-sands extraction plants, oil refineries, liquefied natural gas processing plants and other facilities. They also work in the mining, chemical, pulp and paper, cement and potash industries. The scope of a boilermaker’s work can include everything from specialty welding to hoisting, positioning and installing huge components of massive industrial plants, to project management and co-ordination of workers in other trades.

Those interested in a future boilermaker apprenticeship opportunity can visit www.boilermaker.ca/apply.