DC Advertising students support DRPS human trafficking awareness campaign

As part of its effort to provide the best student experience, Durham College (DC) fosters strong connections with a variety of local partners, offering students the opportunity to put theory into practice while completing their programs. In the School of Media, Art & Design (MAD), students learn to establish and maintain client relationships by collaborating with community partners, quite often on real-life challenges and opportunities.

One such partnership led to a creative solution that helped address a serious issue – human trafficking. Through a collaboration with the Durham Regional Police Services (DRPS) Human Trafficking Unit (HTU), Advertising and Marketing Communications students worked to raise awareness in the community with the design and creation of an informative hotel card.

“The Advertising and Marketing Communications Program prides itself in providing promotional support to local business, not-for-profit and public service sectors. For this reason, a key component of the curriculum has students working alongside community partners to develop and implement effective communication strategies and programs,” says Dawn Salter, professor and program coordinator, School of Media, Art & Design.

Human trafficking involves the use of force, coercion or fraud to influence the movements of a person, typically through sexual exploitation or forced labour. Unfortunately, a number of human trafficking cases occur in our very own community, with aggressors often operating in local hotels throughout Durham Region.

Victims of human trafficking often have no possessions and are left to spend time alone in hotel rooms. As part of a DRPS initiative, DC students Lauren Crummey and Raphael Maturine leveraged input from over 50 of their peers to develop an ingenious solution that provides vital information to victims but can go undetected by traffickers. Disguised to look like a spa brochure, the students created a hotel card for victims that contains important information for various support services, in a subtle, yet impactful way.

“It was amazing to see how addressing a real-life, close-to-home matter sparked such interest and enthusiasm among the students,” says Dawn. “The opportunity to be part of an important initiative and make a valuable contribution to their community made such an impact. Involvement meant so much more than just getting a good grade.” 

MAD has been fortunate to work with the DRPS human trafficking unit since 2019, and has hosted HTU members and survivors as guest speakers on a number of occasions to raise awareness.

Students Lauren and Raphael shared their experience working on this important initiative in a special interview on our blog.

DC’s Enactus team wins 2021 Central Canada Regional Championship

The Durham College (DC) Enactus team, EnactusDC, recently won its first-ever regional championship at the 2021 Enactus Canada Regional Exposition in the Scotiabank Climate Action Challenge, for Project 3eeHive.

A branded apparel social enterprise, Project 3eeHive is focused on education, empowering consumers, and collectively restoring bee habitats.

“I’m extremely proud of our team’s commitment this year despite the obstacles we faced,” said Heather Brown, student president of EnactusDC, who just finished her third year with the team. “Because of COVID we had to shift to virtual operations in March 2020 and were one of the few student Enactus teams to continue operating during the pandemic. However, the culture we’ve built has kept us going. This win reinforces our commitment to the competition, as well as social enterprise, and demonstrates our drive to make sustainable change.”

The team now moves on to the Enactus National Exposition, where 66 teams from colleges and universities across Canada will compete.

“Being a member of the DC Enactus team has been an incredible opportunity for me to put everything I’ve learned from my program to the test,” said Cameron Billingham, a second-year Photography student. “It’s been a fantastic way for me to meet and work with a great group of people and I’m excited for the next stage of the competition.”

Enactus is an international non-profit dedicated to creating social change through entrepreneurship. DC’s chapter launched in 2016 through FastStart DC and is comprised of student leaders looking to make positive social impacts in the community.

For more information on how to get involved with EnactusDC, visit www.enactusdc.com.

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 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.


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:

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 students go from touring to building the new Whitby campus residence

What began as an opportunity to see a building site up close, quickly evolved into summer employment for four students in Durham College’s Building Construction Technician program.

One moment they were touring the site of DC’s new residence with 31 of their fellow classmates and now they are helping to build it – doubling down on the already enriching experiential learning opportunity the site visit offered.

Many of the first and second-year students in the program had never been on a job site, let alone a multi-level build like the Whitby campus residence. From seeing the foundations and framing that form the structure of the residence, to identifying the related components and how they interact to prevent moisture and air infiltration and provide structural integrity and fire-resistance properties, the students were able to see the pages of their text books come to life in a real, concrete way.

It was during the tour that Pannonia Construction, the contractor building the residence, approached DC professor Al Martin about hiring summer students to work onsite. Information about the job opportunity was shared amongst the first and second-year students. Four were successful and are taking their skills from the classroom to the jobsite, honing their knowledge and building their resumes.

The Whitby residence will be open to students in September 2019.