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DC Journalism students put learning to work, gain real-work experience creating COVID-cation podcast

Faced with COVID-19-related cancellations and postponements of their field placements, six Durham College Journalism – Mass Media students decided to create their own real-work experience.

The result is COVID-cation, a weekly podcast created by students for students. Each episode focuses on a specific theme – from education to emotional wellbeing to finances – while exploring the impact of the COVID-19 outbreak on students of all ages. Working under the supervision of their professor, Danielle Harder, the team oversees all aspects of development, production and deployment of the podcast and supporting materials, allowing them to put their classroom learning to the ultimate test.

In addition to honing their story development and audio and video skills, the students are gaining valuable real-work experience and content for their portfolios in the areas of on-air hosting, social media management, website development, online publishing and much more by doing journalism work on multiple platforms.

Watch the Global News Durham story profiling the students behind COVID-cation.


DC Advertising students create buzz with wins in national creative competition

Several students in the Durham College (DC) Advertising and Marketing Communications program walked away from a national creative competition with more than bragging rights; they also secured prestigious paid apprenticeships with award-winning agency, Grip Limited (Grip). 

Teams of DC students competed in Grip’s annual Orange Juicer competition, which challenges students from across North America to put their creative chops to the test solving a real creative brief from a real client. Teams must create an innovative advertising pitch, all in less than two weeks, before presenting their fully integrated plans to a panel of senior industry professionals.

Grip’s participating client for the 2020 competition was a cannabis company and the brief required teams to create awareness for new forms of cannabis while promoting responsible consumption in a highly regulated market.

DC’s students rose to the challenge, vying against 19 other teams. Two DC teams made the Top Seven, advancing to the Big Pitch, and eventually taking second and third place honours.

In their decision, the panel noted that this was “the closest race in the competition’s eight-year history.” The students praised the competition for being “an amazing opportunity to apply classroom learning in a professional setting,” and allowing them to experience the intense realities of agency life. 

Congratulations goes to all of DC’s competitors, including winners Christian Buraga, Brad Cea, Madelyn Clarke, Alecia Forgeard, Jackie Hartman, Eyuel Markos, Lauryn Mills, Abigail Reynolds, Cassidy Rochford-Seager, Pietro Sales and Claire Smith.

For anyone who thinks they’ve got what it takes to create award-winning ideas worthy of attention, DC’s Advertising and Marketing Communications program can certainly start them on the path to becoming an advertising professional!

For more information, contact Dawn Salter, professor and program coordinator, for more details or DC’s Recruitment team.


DC puts 3D printers into action making PPE for donation to workers on frontline of COVID-19

Working out of their garages and basements, Durham College (DC) students, employees, alumni and community members are using 3D printers to create the frames for face shields used by the healthcare workers on the frontlines of the COVID-19 pandemic. The initiative launched on March 26 and within 48 hours the first donation of personal protective equipment (PPE) built with the college’s 3D-printed parts were delivered to Northumberland Hills Hospital in Cobourg, Ontario.

“Ontario PPE manufacturer InkSmith put out a call for support to the 3D printing community and Durham College immediately answered that call,” said Chris Daniel, a professor with the college’s School of Science & Engineering Technology. “Six of DC’s 3D printers are now relocated to my garage and a group of our Mechanical Engineering Technology students and alumni who have their own 3D printers are on board with this initiative and printing furiously too.”

There are currently 20 DC community members using 30 rapid prototyping machines across Durham Region to create the face shield frames. With community outreach being led by DC’s Office of Research Services, Innovation and Entrepreneurship, the college is currently working with two partners to see the parts put to use:

  • DC is shipping frames to InkSmith, where the parts are used to create the company’s community shield, a sanitized single-use shield which InkSmith is donating quantities of to underfunded hospitals and healthcare providers.
  • The college is also collaborating with a team from Ontario Tech University that is also creating one-time-use face shields for donation to local healthcare teams.

“I am always proud to count myself among DC’s more than 90,000 alumni but it’s in moments like this that I’m grateful to be part of a community that is so committed to supporting our greater community, especially the brave men and women who are working tirelessly on the healthcare frontline,” said alumnus Brent Lessard, who is currently using his 3D printer at home to contribute to the college’s face shield frame production. Lessard also sits on the DC Alumni Association board of directors.

On March 28, Chris Daniel launched a GoFundMe page with a goal of raising $1,000 to purchase more polylactic acid, or PLA, the printing material used to 3D print the face shield frames. In less than a day, more than $8,000 was donated, 100-per-cent of which will be used to purchase more PLA for the DC project and to purchase more face shields from InkSmith that will also be donated to healthcare providers.

Chris Daniel is a professor in the Mechanical Engineering Technology program at DC as well as a faculty advisor with the college’s FastStart entrepreneurship team. Two of the 3D printers he is currently using to create PPE parts are on loan from DC's 360insights Entrepreneurship Centre, located at the Oshawa campus. He is joined by the following team members who are also working from home to print the parts:

Students
Marlon Alleyne
Paul Burgess
Jonathan Cusack Striepe
Rumedh Cyril
Shane DeSilva
Andrew Kay
Kyle Laughton
Adeshpal Singh

Alumni
Donald and Sarah Bark
Ankit Bhat
Brent Lessard
Harshit Patel
Mitchell Russell
Blake Smith

Employees
Chris Daniel 

Community members
Jane and Todd Ferguson
James and Debbie Fraser
Nora and Jeff Stevens
Jaydev Chauhan


DC journalism student Tara Sottile earns double work-integrated learning awards

Tara Sottile, a second-year student in the Durham College (DC) Journalism – Mass Media program, has been named a Work-integrated Learning (WIL) Student of the Year at both the provincial and national level.

On March 11, Education at Work Ontario (EWO) announced Sottile as their 2019 WIL Student of the Year. EWO awards the honour to students “who have showcased exceptional job accomplishment, extra-curricular involvement, academic achievement and a strong contribution to work-integrated learning.”

On March 16, Co-operative Education and Work-Integrated Learning Canada (CEWIL Canada) announced Sottile as the WIL Student of the Year in the category of Other Forms of WIL – College. She was one of only four students to be honoured by CEWIL Canada out of more than 40 competitive nominations.

Sottile was put forward by DC’s Experiential Learning team with the support of partner organization Students Offering Support (SOS). Among the highlights flagged by the college were her leadership skills, professional expertise, initiative and creativity, which she demonstrated in particular while participating in an education abroad opportunity in Guatemala, where she worked on a digital storytelling project with local youth.

“Tara has demonstrated the transformative influence that work-integrated learning can have on students,” said Amanda Brown, manager, Experiential Learning, with the college’s Office of Research Services, Innovation and Entrepreneurship. “Through service learning experience, she has transformed from a passive-observer to an engaged learner and confident student journalist. She now takes advantage of every opportunity to try new experiences and expand her skills.”

Sottile was also commended for being a champion of WIL at DC, especially international service learning, through her advocacy for expanded WIL opportunities and mentorship of first-year students.

“Tara’s support of work-integrated learning is now contributing to the expansion of similar experiential-learning opportunities between SOS and DC in other areas of study,” said Jamie Arron, executive director of SOS.

In each of their announcements, EWO and CEWIL Canada highlighted Sottile’s passion for writing, broadcast and video production. In addition to her regular studies, she is a radio tech at the student-run campus radio station, Riot Radio, as well as a regular contributor to DC’s campus newspaper, The Chronicle.

Inspired by her WIL experiences gained through her academic program, Sottile is focused on pursuing a career in radio broadcasting after graduating.

 


EnactusDC embarks on first international project

EnactusDC is celebrating the launch of its first international project, Project G.R.O.W.(Generating Real Opportunities Worldwide), and a fantastic first trip to South Africa!

EnactusDC is the Durham College (DC) chapter of Enactus, an international organization of student entrepreneurs who develop businesses that make positive social, economic or environmental impacts in their local communities or internationally. The EnactusDC team is a part of the FastStart SHIFT program at the college, a business start-up accelerator designed for social enterprises.

Project G.R.O.W. is one of the team’s six active projects for 2020 and the first to introduce impactful international work into the mix. It is a welcome addition to EnactusDC’s 2020 competitive project roster, which also includes Girls EnPower, True Grit, Money Makes Cents, M03 Solutions and 3eehive.

During the college’s winter break, EnactusDC team leaders traveled to rural community schools in South Africa’s central region, known as Midrand, where they performed a formal needs assessment for a new food literacy and education-based garden project. Project G.R.O.W. is working with Canadian partner Rainbow Plate to design custom curricula around an experiential learning-based garden project for South African students, ages 0 to 5. The team will work with teachers at participating disadvantaged schools to implement curricula, build gardens and provide an entrepreneurial training opportunity to generate income through sales of the surplus garden yield.

The project is led by three students from DC’s Marketing – Business program: Chin-Ting Sherwin, Jonathan Bayne and Christian Lopers. These students forged a fantastic connection with their in-country host, celebrated DC alumna Cailey Hart. Since graduating from DC’s Early Childhood Education program in 2010, Cailey has become the principal of Botshabelo Urban Kids Educentre in South Africa.

The students were joined by EnactusDC faculty advisor Chris Daniel, a professor with DC’s school of Science & Engineering Technology.

“It was amazing to watch the impact that Durham College’s ECE teaching methodologies have had on increasing the skills of the local urban and rural preschool teachers around Midrand, South Africa,” says Chris.  “It’s a true credit to Cailey’s leadership and since she has clearly shown great success at helping her colleague replicate her skill set, I’m confident that her ability to manage the creation and duplication of a garden and the Rainbow Plate nutrition methodology throughout the region will be successful as well.”

Team member Chin-Ting Sherwin adds, “Being able to visit communities in South Africa has been a life-changing experience. The warm welcome from the people within the schools and the overall lifestyle have opened my eyes to how happiness comes in many forms. This opportunity has changed my perspective and was unforgettable.”

Cailey Hart hosted the EnactusDC team onsite at her school and introduced members to several rural schools in disadvantaged areas, which are to become the focus of the project work. In addition to their gratitude to Cailey, EnactusDC is thankful to the college for its ongoing support, the DC Alumni Association, DC Students Inc. and DC’s International Office for helping make this new initiative possible.


DC students test their skills and collaborate in emergency simulation

On February 29, 195 Durham College (DC) students, faculty and industry partners collaborated on an intense, large-scale emergency simulation exercise at the Oshawa campus that let students put their classroom and lab training into action.

Bringing together participants from the schools of Justice & Emergency Services, Health & Community Services and Media, Art & Design, as well as peers from Ontario Tech University’s nursing program, the exercise followed a detailed script that saw volunteers simulate a mass-casualty emergency stemming from a sports-racing situation.

Unfolding in real-time, the exercise provided students with valuable experiential learning as well as a better understanding of how members of emergency services, health and social services, legal services and the media work together during an emergency. A second simulation exercise focused on mock legal proceedings in connection with the emergency will be held Saturday, March 7.

Students from the following DC programs participated:


REDress Campus Campaign urges move from awareness to action

Awareness has been achieved; now it is time for action.

This was the dominant message of the REDress Campus Campaign at Durham College (DC), a week-long series of events focused on the crisis of Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women, Girls and Two-Spirited People (MMIWG2S).

Led by the First Peoples Indigenous Centre (FPIC) at DC and Indigenous Education and Cultural Services at Ontario Tech University, the campaign also brought together community partners including the Mississaugas of Scugog Island First Nation, Carea Community Health Centre, The Nourish and Develop Foundation and DC Students Inc.

The week began with the reveal of an installation of red dresses across the college and university’s shared Oshawa campus, each dress symbolizing someone taken by the MMIWG2S crisis. In addition to the dress installation, events were held each day from February 10 to 14, culminating with a memorial march and closing ceremony feast on Friday afternoon.

The campaign was inspired by Métis artist Jaime Black’s The REDress Project, an aesthetic response to the MMIWG2S crisis, which is now a permanent exhibit in the Canadian Museum for Human Rights. Much like Black’s project, the red dresses installed across DC and Ontario Tech’s shared campus, Ontario Tech’s downtown Oshawa location, and DC’s Whitby campus and Pickering Learning Site, served as a visual reminder of the staggering number of MMIWG2S.

The REDress Campus Campaign included an opening ceremony featuring guest speaker Suzanne Smoke of Alderville First Nation, who is a Women’s Traditional Dancer, speaker, and facilitator, as well as an Anishinaabe Water Walker. On February 11, Kim Wheatley, an Anishinaabe Ojibway Grandmother from Shawanaga First Nation spoke about the connection between violence against women and violence against the land that is causing climate change.

On February 12, the First Peoples Indigenous Centre hosted an arts open house where participants could make a tile necklace to both commemorate MMIWG2S and celebrate the strength and future of Indigenous women, and take part in a traditional beading workshop.

One of the many highlights of the week included the special Global Class conversation held on February 13 between Jaime Black and Cree scholar Karyn Recollet. An associate professor with the University of Toronto’s Women & Gender Studies Institute, Professor Recollet brought the original REDress Project to her university’s downtown campus in 2017. The conversation between the women focused on their work in connection with the crisis of MMIWG2S. A group from the Mississaugas of Scugog Island First Nation also provided a big drum performance to open and close the event.


Durham College launches Centre for Cybersecurity Innovation

Durham College (DC) is responding to the ever-changing and complex threat landscape of cyberattacks, including data breaches and service disruptions and misdirections, with the launch of the Centre for Cybersecurity Innovation. The launch of the college’s fourth applied research centre was announced at an event this morning.

“Cybersecurity is an increasingly significant risk to business, no matter what size or scale, and very few are prepared to respond or equipped with the proactive knowledge of how to protect themselves,” said Don Lovisa, president, DC. “The Centre for Cybersecurity Innovation is our solution for business and industry to help build capacity and the systems they need to protect their interests.”

The centre is designed to be a collaborative enterprise between DC’s Office of Research Services, Innovation and Entrepreneurship (ORSIE), Centre for Professional and Part-time Learning and School of Business, IT & Management.

Services will include:

  • Applied research in cybersecurity with acute focus on technologies for cyber range deployments, threat intelligence, anomaly detection and incident management.
  • Micro-credentials that provide training in industry-accredited programs at various levels. These flexible part-time programs and courses will appeal to individuals seeking development opportunities to advance or change their careers.
  • A Cybersecurity graduate certificate program that prepares aspiring cybersecurity professionals to work in the industry.
  • Conferences and seminars held in collaboration with corporate partners and high-profile industry experts to increase public awareness.

A number of industry leaders attended the launch event and participated in a panel discussion, speaking to the need for the Centre for Cybersecurity Innovation and the positive impact it will have on their industry. Speakers included:

  • Farooq Naiyer, chief information security officer, ORION
  • Ishwinder Cheema, manager, Technical Account Management, Zscaler
  • Jeff Dawley, founder, Cybersecurity Compliance Corp
  • Ted de Vos, president, SIMNET
  • Heather Ricciuto, Academic Outreach Leader, IBM Security

“With ORSIE celebrating its tenth anniversary in 2020, I can think of no better way to kick off this milestone year than with the launch of DC’s fourth applied research centre,” said Debbie McKee Demczyk, dean, ORSIE. “DC is an established leader in innovative applied research and the Centre for Cybersecurity Innovation is a natural complement to our AI Hub, Centre for Craft Brewing Innovation and Mixed Reality Capture Studio.”

“The college’s applied research centres embody the vision of our extraordinary employees,” said Lovisa. “It is through their expertise and dedication that DC is leading the way in supporting, transforming and advancing economic prosperity in Durham Region and beyond.”

For more information visit www.durhamcollege.ca/CentreForCybersecurityInnovation.


DC and Ontario Tech University raised $21,000 for students in need over the holiday season

Last month, employees from Durham College (DC) and Ontario Tech University opened their hearts to students in need through the annual Holiday Food Drive. A longstanding campus tradition, the drive provides hampers of food and financial assistance to student families from both institutions during the holiday season. This year, the drive raised more than $21,000 and helped 332 students and their families.

After a full season of fundraising, the co-chairs of the drive are extending their sincere thanks to everyone who helped make the 2019 initiative a resounding success.

“I would like to thank everyone for another successful Holiday Food Drive,” says Kevin Griffin, professor in the School of Justice and Emergency Services at DC. “There is an amazing culture of giving at both Durham College and Ontario Tech University which is evident on this campus every day. That is what makes this event so successful.”

“We are grateful for the continued generosity of our students, faculty and staff at both institutions,” says Kevin’s co-chair, Sarah Rasile, director, Student Success at Ontario Tech University. “Thank you to everyone who gave their time, donated food, and hosted or supported the many fundraisers that make this drive possible each and every year. We received many notes of appreciation from students and we want everyone involved to know that your efforts made the holiday season brighter for many students and their families”.

The campus holiday food drive is organized annually by DC, the university, the Kinsmen Club of Oshawa, Durham College Students Inc. and Ontario Tech Student Union.


Durham College opens Mixed Reality Capture Studio

On January 23, Durham College’s (DC) Office of Research Services, Innovation and Entrepreneurship (ORSIE) once again found itself on the leading edge of technology with the opening of the Mixed Reality Capture Studio (the MRC Studio).

What is mixed reality? It’s the result of blending the physical and digital worlds and refers to the merging or combination of virtual environments and real environments where both worlds can exist together.

Designed to offer organizations access to technical expertise, student talent and a state-of-the-art motion capture stage, and featuring one of only three Captury Live systems in Canada, the MRC Studio allows businesses to develop experiential applications that integrate motion capture, virtual reality, augmented reality and virtual production. 

Here are just a few things clients can do at the MRC Studio:

  • Build or import virtual spaces.
  • Develop immersive and interactive simulation scenarios for multiple applications:
    • Use simulations for training.
    • Use simulation environments for performance optimization, safety engineering, testing education and within the entertainment industry.

The third applied research centre at DC, the MRC Studio has been established in collaboration with the School of Media, Art & Design (MAD). It joins the AI Hub and Centre for Craft Brewing Innovation in offering organizations opportunities to increase productivity, growth and market potential while also supporting student experiential learning. 

MAD also offers academic programs that will utilize MRC technologies to train students, augmenting classroom learning and making them job-ready.

For more information visit www.durhamcollege.ca/mrcstudio.