COVID-19

Durham College continues to train Personal Support Workers through accelerated program

Following the success of Durham College’s (DC) Personal Support Worker (PSW) Accelerated program in 2021, the college will launch a new intake beginning Monday, June 27 to continue to educate future healthcare workers. Similar to the 2021 intakes, tuition and ancillary fees for accepted students in the June 2022 intake will be covered by the Ontario government, with students having the ability to graduate within six months with full PSW credentials.

The accelerated program is delivered in a hybrid model that combines remote learning with in-person laboratory classes and hands-on activities in care settings, providing important experiential learning opportunities to students. After three months, students will also participate in a paid work placement.

“Now more than ever, our health-care system is relying on Durham College to quickly and efficiently deliver on the exceptional education DC is known for to prepare well-trained and compassionate graduates for work in the PSW field,” said Dr. Elaine Popp, executive vice president, Academic, DC. “By offering additional intakes of this highly successful program, our students have the opportunity to explore a dynamic and in-demand field while making a difference and leading the way in their community.”

PSWs are front-line care providers whose responsibilities focus on the personal care and support that include activities of daily living with client populations across institutional, community care and service settings. They provide client-centred care to enhance and maintain the quality of everyday life. Through dedicated faculty, enhanced curriculum, skills and certifications obtained in the course of study, and implementation of several interprofessional education and simulation opportunities, and access to valuable community partners, students will graduate well-prepared and career-ready.

Students who are currently enrolled in the winter 2022 intake of the traditional PSW program, as well as those planning to enroll for fall 2022 are eligible to receive a $2,000 bursary to support their studies.

More information about the PSW Accelerated program, including admission requirements, answers to FAQs, and details to apply can be found online.


Durham College sets record for STOP THE BLEED® training

On May 12 and 13, Durham College (DC) partnered with Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre’s Centre for Injury Prevention to set the record for the number of individuals trained on how to STOP THE BLEED® in Canada. Hosted in advance of National STOP THE BLEED® Day, held annually on May 19, over 200 members of the DC community were taught life-saving skills that can help stop quick bleeding injuries.

“The number one cause of death in trauma incidents is blood loss, which can sometimes be treated before medical help arrives, if you have the proper training,” says Thomas Bezruki, manager, Emergency Management, Office of Campus Safety. “By bringing STOP THE BLEED® to DC, the college is leading the way in campus safety and empowering members of our community with the skills they need to take action in the event of a trauma crisis.”

With multiple sessions held at the Whitby and Oshawa campuses, DC has become the first post-secondary school in Ontario and the second in Canada to offer the STOP THE BLEED® to employees and students. Further to educating the campus community on how to respond to fast-bleeding wounds, the college has recently installed 30 STOP THE BLEED® cabinets around the Oshawa and Whitby campuses. These easily-identifiable cabinets are equipped with the medical supplies needed in a blood-loss emergency and also emit an alarm when opened, alerting Campus Security immediately.

Those who missed the in-person training are welcome to visit the program website, which offers valuable information and online resources.

DC thanks participants for coming out to attend these highly informational sessions and for continuing to help make the college a safe place to be.


DC journalism students lead the way at Better Newspaper Competition Awards

Durham College (DC) students and alumni from the Journalism – Mass Media program triumphed at this year’s Ontario Community Newspaper Association’s (OCNA) Better Newspapers Competition.

Every year, the member newspapers of OCNA compete for a chance to have their journalism work recognized as exemplary.

For the third consecutive year, DC’s student-produced newspaper, The Chronicle, has taken home first place in the General Excellence – College/University category. In recent years, the Chronicle has been praised for its fine photography and layout, as well as its ongoing professionalism, gripping storytelling skills and superb editorial work. The Chronicle also scored honourable mentions in the Best College/University Newspaper Website category.

DC students also enjoyed individual success at this year’s competition. Allaya Sue and Shaun McLeod, graduates of the Journalism – Mass Media program, took home first and third respectively in the Student Feature Writing category. The awards also recognized DC alumnus Chad Ingram, who placed second in the Premier Awards – Best Editorial, circulation under 9,999 category, writing for the Minden Times.

Congratulations to DC’s Journalism – Mass Media students, alumni and faculty for this well-earned celebration of their dedication and hard work.


Durham College Game Art students “level up” at Ubisoft Toronto NEXT competition

Ryan Honey and William Marques, students of Durham College’s (DC) Game-Art program, were recently announced as finalists of Ubisoft Toronto NEXT, an annual competition designed to showcase the talents and help kickstart the careers of Ontario video game development students.

On May 12, Ryan and William took first place in 3D Art and second place in Technical Art, respectively. As the winner of the 3D Art category, Ryan has secured an internship with Ubisoft’s team in Toronto, where he’ll further develop his professional skill set at one of the most recognizable names in the gaming industry.

“We are so proud of Ryan and William for the work they’ve done and all they accomplished in the Ubisoft Toronto Next competition,” says Greg Murphy, dean, School of Media, Art & Design. “When we see DC students enjoying this level of success, it only goes to show that our program and our faculty are providing students the knowledge they need to thrive and lead the way in the world of game art and design.”

During a virtual ceremony to announce the winners, Ubisoft lauded Ryan’s piece, which demonstrated his eye for composition and strong attention to detail. Judges also complimented William’s work, praising the variety of techniques he applied and referring to his work as a good show of innovation.

“It was months of hard work for Ryan and William to put these pieces together, and it shows,” says Ryan Miller, project manager, Mixed Reality Capture (MRC) Studio. “Students can adapt school projects to accommodate the competition requirements, but they still have to manage the workload in their other classes. Luckily, they have a lot of support from DC’s professors, who provide feedback and critiques before the submission goes to Ubisoft.”

Now recently graduated, Ryan and William were able to further hone their skills through the work-integrated learning (WIL) experiences offered through MRC Studio. During their time as students, they gained valuable hands-on learning from working with clients like game studios, animation companies and technology partners, as they produced 3D art, technical art, and prototypes at a professional level.

DC congratulates Ryan and William on their achievements at Ubisoft Toronto NEXT and thanks the DC faculty who offered additional guidance to help them along the way.


DC’s Social Impact Hub leads the way with collaborative Collective Impact event

Durham College’s (DC) Social Impact Hub was pleased to host community partners, researchers, faculty and students at the Collective Impact: Shared Vision for Social Innovation event on Thursday, May 12. Held virtually, the event welcomed 127 attendees from across Durham Region and beyond, offering the chance to share social innovation research and partnerships at DC, identify challenges and opportunities for further collaboration and learn how to become involved in future initiatives.

Funded by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada and carried out in partnership with the Regional Municipality of Durham and the City of Oshawa, the event featured a presentation from Kiersten Allore-Engel, manager of community safety and well-being, the Regional Municipality of Durham, and a panel discussion involving community partners. Moderated by DC professor and researcher Crystal Garvey, who also acted as the event’s Emcee, the panel addressed a variety of important social innovation topics, including:

  • Indigenous perspectives: Chief Emily Whetung, Curve Lake First Nation
  • Black Mental Health and Anti-racism: Allison Hector-Alexander, The Regional Municipality of Durham
  • Human Trafficking: Krista MacNeil, Victim Services of Durham Region
  • Access to Justice Hub: Laurie Marshall, Durham College
  • Inclusivity and self-advocacy in the workplace: Jesse Dick, DC Alumni
  • Housing and mental health: Doreen Hume McKenna, Lakeridge Health

“As a leading post-secondary institution and applied research centre, we are dedicated to fostering new relationships with our partners in order to develop actionable solutions to barriers faced right here in our community,” says Don Lovisa, president, Durham College. “Durham College is proud to play a role in social innovation, and together with our community partners, we’re leading the way to a better world for all.”

Following the presentations, attendees joined break-out sessions to further discuss the challenges and explore socially innovative potential solutions that could be leveraged in areas such as mental health and homelessness, supporting people with disabilities and victims of crime, experiences of racism, truth and reconciliation and more.

Social innovation refers to a process, initiative or product that seeks to address a societal challenge by improving upon or redesigning the systems that make up our society. This type of work involves collective action through community partnerships, leading to valuable outcomes that benefit groups of people, not just the individual.

As DC’s fifth applied research centre, the Social Impact Hub launched in June 2021, and aims to leverage faculty expertise, student talent and strong community partnerships, to identify creative solutions to complex social challenges through leading-edge social innovation projects and initiatives.

Events like Collective Impact provide an inspiring and collaborative space for our researchers to create meaningful partnerships and synergistic ways to engage with service providers, community agencies and students to develop ideas that can lead to a better world for all members of society,” says Debbie McKee Demczyk, dean, Office of Research Services, Innovation and Entrepreneurship.

Ongoing projects at DC in this area of research include:

  • Social Innovation in Applied Research: Mobilizing Knowledge and Co-designing a Path Forward
  • Raising Resilient Families: Empowering Parents with Cognitive Challenges
  • Building Bridges Together: Co-production of Financial Empowerment Strategies with People Experiencing Low Income
  • Innovation Through Co-production: A Holistic Approach to Supporting Social Competency in Pre-school Children
  • Enriching Firefighter Training Through the Development of a Novel Virtual Reality Training Simulation for Personalized, Precision Skill and Resilience Training

For more information on the Social Impact Hub, please visit www.durhamcollege.ca/socialimpacthub or to collaborate or contact the hub, please email socialimpacthub@durhamcollege.ca.

ORSIE provides support for applied research through access to funding opportunities, faculty expertise, state-of-the-art research facilities, and student learning experiences. In partnership with industry and community agencies, projects are carried out by DC faculty experts and students and administered by ORSIE. Since its inception in 2009, ORSIE has undertaken 438 research projects and initiatives. To connect with ORSIE, please reach out online.


Durham College student entrepreneur ‘brews up’ a third-place finish at Ontario-wide pitch competition

Durham College Journalism – Mass Media student Andrew Neary took third place at the inaugural Ontario Colleges Incubator Network (OCIN) PitchIt Competition on May 3.

Andrew’s first-ever pitch for his growing business, Kettleboy Coffee, landed him a $1,000 award to help grow his operation, plus a Shopify package valued at $4,500 to expand his online services. OCIN PitchIt included eight high-achieving entrepreneur finalists from colleges across Ontario who presented their startups online to a panel of judges and a live audience.

Andrew credits the team at FastStart for his success, helping him with everything from developing a business model canvas to graphic design and videography.

“In the week leading up to the finals, the FastStart team helped me craft a better presentation than I could have imagined on my own,” Andrew said. “I am grateful for this team and hopeful that every student interested in business ownership at DC takes the time to meet the team and sign up.”

Durham College and FastStart congratulate Andrew on his success. To read about his experience, visit his DC blog post.

To learn more about DC’s entrepreneurial resources for students, visit the FastStart site.


Durham College Photography and Video Production program partners with Robert McLaughlin Gallery for student exhibition

Durham College’s (DC) Photography and Video Production programs have partnered with the Robert McLaughlin Gallery (RMG) to produce a student-led exhibition of visual images captured throughout Durham Region. Currently on display at the RMG in the Thomas Bouckley Corridor, the collection is the cumulative work of 32 first-year students who were carefully selected from a pool of 79 submissions.

Spearheaded by K. Jennifer Bedford, professor, School of Media, Art and Design, planning for this partnership and resulting exhibition first began three years ago, well before the pandemic started.

“Images are such powerful communication tools that can help challenge our way of thinking and engage in emotional, meaningful conversations,” says Bedford. “I am so proud of what the students accomplished and how they applied their technical knowledge to create photographs that explore a personal connection to the community.”

In this work-integrated learning (WIL) opportunity, students were asked to explore photovoice, a process in which participants capture their lived experience to share perspectives with others. The results displayed similar shared themes, such as dealing with the effects of COVID, empty streets and paths, and the perspectives of newcomers to Durham Region.

“Our school went into the partnership with the Robert McLaughlin Gallery hoping the experience would teach our students new skills that would help them tell their stories,” says Greg Murphy, dean, School of Media, Art and Design. “When you look at the collection, it’s clear that this exercise has developed the students’ personal photography styles and helped them become leaders as future Canadian artists.”

Congratulations to the following DC student photographers whose work was included in the curated exhibition on display.

Jayde Duhn Michael Mlynarczyk
Stuart Foster Erik Smith
Jacqueline Woods Emilie Maltais
Kayleigh Algar Brooke Warner
Jaden Howson-Visser Natasha Miles
Bryanna Fudge Aaron McInnes
Jacey Boyer Norbert Turoczi
Kyle Mercieca Jay Kruetzmann
Rebecca Otto Ekansh Yakhmi
Taylor Will Montana Budd-Haynes
Jacobin Mathews Sartaj Singh
Logan James Patrick Chayer
Robyn McGrenere Aaron Lagler
Jonathan Miller David Dixon
Cameron McNeely Eva Modica
Liam McManus Dejah Wocker

 

DC would like to thank the RMG for its ongoing support of our aspiring artists, with special thanks to Sonya Jones, curator of collections, RMG, who helped bring the partnership to fruition. With community partners like the RMG, DC students are afforded every opportunity to flourish and grow into the leaders of tomorrow.

Please visit the onsite student display at the RMG, available for viewing until June 12. You are also welcome to view the exhibition online. It features photographs from all 79 students who participated in the project.


Durham College students win big at 2022 Virtual Skills Ontario Competition

Durham College (DC) is proud to share that eight students achieved victory at the 2022 Virtual Skills Ontario Competition on May 4, bringing home seven medals, including five gold, one silver and one bronze. Virtual for the second year in a row, the competition and Career Exploration Showcase welcomed thousands of elementary, secondary and post-secondary attendees to discover new skilled trade and technology careers, while students competed against one another in categories from numerous fields.

The winning students include:

  • Holly White – Silver – Aesthetics
  • Yasmin Parhizi – Gold – Aesthetics
  • Abigayle Hamilton and Emma Pace – Gold – Horticulture & Landscape
  • Daniel Hinbest – Gold – Coding Programming
  • Jared Toomey – Gold – IT Network Systems Administrations
  • Christopher Santoli – Gold – Photography
  • Owen Jackson – Bronze – Photography

“Our students continuously impress us with their talent, determination and commitment to their crafts, and this competition is no different,” said Dr. Elaine Popp, executive vice president, Academic. “From capturing moments in time as art, to writing complicated code for programming, these students are leading the way in their own right. We are proud of them for using the skills they’ve learned at Durham College to fuel their passion and find success.”

Good luck to the students who will represent DC and Ontario in the 27th Annual Skills Canada National Competition to be held in Vancouver from Thursday, May 26 to Friday, May 27.

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


Durham College shares in $4.2 million in research funding dedicated to COVID recovery

Durham College (DC)’s Office of Research Services, Innovation and Entrepreneurship (ORSIE) is proud to announce that it will share in $4.2 million of funding from the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC). These Applied Research and Technology Partnership grants (ARTP) will allow DC to act on three diverse projects that bolster the economy in a post-pandemic world, while working in collaboration with a number of esteemed industry partners and academic institutions.

“With the help of this funding, our research team at Durham College is leading the way with work that will have meaningful, significant impacts on our community,” says Don Lovisa, president, Durham College. “By investing in applied research colleges like ours, the government is helping us bring innovative and immersive digital technologies to local businesses in Durham Region, which is important now more than ever, as Canadians are still recovering from the economic effects of COVID.”

Accelerating post-pandemic economic recovery in Durham Region, Greater Toronto Area

During the pandemic, the virus impacted all areas of business, challenging small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) to stay afloat. As the federal government has recognized, recovering from the pandemic will require the rapid adoption of digital technologies for SMEs.

With NSERC’s grant of $440,000 over two years, DC’s plan utilizes the research capacity and resources of one of its applied research centres, the Mixed Reality Capture Studio (MRC Studio), to help lead SMEs to success following the hardship of the pandemic.

“By applying the college’s extensive knowledge and expertise in immersive technologies, our aim with this funding is to help businesses thrive in a post-pandemic economy,” says Debbie McKee Demczyk, dean, ORSIE. “In the past six years alone, we’ve facilitated digital technology adoption for over seventy companies. Now we can share our expertise with even more businesses and leverage tech trends such as digital marketing and edugaming to support their post-pandemic success.”

Over the next two years, DC will leverage existing technologies to benefit our industry partners. The team of researchers, experienced in sectors including video gaming, animation, film and television, as well as academia, will work together to develop solutions using mixed reality, virtual production, video gaming, and training simulation. This will achieve a series of objectives which also support Durham Region’s Strategic Plan and Regional Recovery Framework and Action Plan, as well as the federal government’s Canadian Digital Adoption Program. These objectives include helping businesses reduce costs, anticipate customer needs, generate revenue streams, and more. SMEs who partner with DC can expect a number of benefits, ranging from expansion into new markets, developing new or improved products, processes, and services, and creating and maintaining jobs.

The MRC Studio consists of experts engaged in the application of real-time graphics technology. Featuring a state-of-the-art markerless motion capture stage, virtual reality headsets, and virtual production capabilities, the MRC Studio also focuses extensively on the development of video games and the application of gaming technology in training and simulation settings. The MRC Studio collaborates with industry partners to solve challenges related to game development, digital art production, and software performance.

Making virtual humans accessible in Canada

In addition to DC’s MRC Studio project, NSERC has approved funding of $2 million for a collaborative project led by Sheridan College’s Screen Industries Research and Training Centre (SIRT) with the support of DC’s AI Hub and Mixed Reality Capture Studio, Cégep de Matane’s Centre de développement et de recherche en intelligence numérique (CDRIN) and the Cégep de Rivière-du-Loup’s Le Living Lab en innovation ouverte (LLio).

Virtual humans are a digital representation of a person, with the ability to listen, respond and engage in dialogue. The applications of this technology are vast, as virtual humans grow increasingly prevalent in training, simulation and healthcare practices. With this funding, NSERC is helping the partner institutions create increasingly efficient and elaborate control through movement to the virtual humans’ existing systems, processes and products. The research will use a human-centered design approach in collaboration with leading companies such as Ubisoft, 9 Story Media Group, ReImagine AI, CloudConstable Inc., and Advanced Micro Devices, who are at the forefront of innovation and leadership in this industry. This new research will enable the expansion, growth and development of their virtual human pipelines.

“We’re very excited to have our students and researchers working on this project,” says Dr. Vibha Tyagi, manager, Applied Research Partnerships, ORSIE. “Not only will they have the chance to collaborate with companies who are leaders in tech innovation, but they will be applying their skills to advanced projects that will ultimately help allow automation and procedural generation of complex and intricate virtual human movements.”

Partnering with Niagara College to improve craft beer competitiveness

Led by Niagara College (NC), an ARTP grant of $1,789,330 has been allocated to fund a project dedicated to improving the quality assurance and control measures of Canadian small- and medium-sized breweries. With the support of DC, this partnership strives to boost the craft brewing industry and ultimately result in the launch of a Canada-wide Craft Brewer Quality program, designed to support brewers and train students countrywide.

“This project is a significant step that will elevate the Canadian craft brewing industry,” says Chris Gillis, manager, Applied Research Business Development. “Craft breweries produce a sizeable share of beer in Canada already, and this funding enables the establishment of a framework of industry standards. We’re helping Canadian companies raise the bar while supporting the continued success of our national craft breweries.”

The program will take students through a comprehensive training process, to work alongside industry experts as the custom quality programs are developed and put into practice at 16 locations in New Brunswick, Ontario and Alberta.

As one of Canada’s Top 50 Research Colleges, not only will this funding help provide DC students with ongoing opportunities to participate in experiential training, but DC can continue to lead even more small- and medium-sized enterprises to success through innovative and immersive digital technology strategies.

To read more about ORSIE’s research work, please visit www.durhamcollege.ca/orsie.


Durham College Project Management students win Ontario Project Management Competition

Durham College’s (DC) Project Management students took home first place in the Ontario Project Management Competition (OPMC). Held in collaboration with the Project Management Institute, this annual event is an opportunity to develop and advance project management (PM) practices. Students must have an above-average understanding of best PM practices and methods, and the ability to apply their learnings in an innovative setting in order to compete.

“We are very proud of the work achieved by Durham College’s Project Management faculty and students,” says Reza Mofid, professor, School of Business, IT & Management. “We’ve competed twice in this event, and our students have won both times. This kind of success reaffirms the fact that our school is preparing exceptional leaders for the future of this industry.”

This year’s DC team consisted of PM students Lauren Breen, Diana Pena Orjuela, Andrea Zuluaga, Jaisleen Kaur and Roshan Kottary. The team created Project MEPHY Health, a combined mental and physical health application with a built-in algorithm to check measurement and placement of a person’s body while correcting posture issues. As part of the OPMC requirements, the application was evaluated on how well PM principles were used to plan and deliver the project. It also had to satisfy the Health UN Sustainability factor, which encourages students to consider protection of the environment and our planet.

“With the help of Durham College’s Project Management faculty serving as our mentors, our team started our application concept, which we had to submit in January for approval to compete,” says Jaisleen Kaur, Project Management student. “From there, we had to meet identified requirements and submit the complete application to a judges’ review panel. On the day of the competition, our team had twenty minutes to present our project and ten minutes to answer questions from the judges. It was an exciting experience to have as our first competition!”

In recognition of their win, the OPMC awarded the team a cash prize, which the students have generously donated to the Canadian Cancer Society.

DC congratulates the winning students on their success and thanks the PM faculty for leading our students to meet their fullest potential.