COVID-19

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 culinary students compete in Student Chef Challenge 2020

On Thursday, February 27, three Durham College (DC) Culinary Management students competed in the Student Chef Challenge 2020 against five teams from post-secondary institutions across Ontario at the W. Galen Weston Centre for Food in Whitby.

Organized and sponsored by Ontario Sheep Farmers, Mushrooms Canada and DC, the annual competition aimed to showcase the complementary flavours of Ontario mushrooms and lamb while testing students on their skills and knowledge in butchering, recipe development, cooking and food presentation.  

DC’s team included second-year students Amira Cunha and Soo Hea Woo and first-year student Ethan Tate, alongside faculty mentors Dave Hawey and Josh Heuvelmans, professors in the School of Hospitality and Horticultural Science. In the morning, the team was tasked with butchering a lamb into specific retail cuts. They then used the protein to develop a recipe and cook three separate, original dishes that incorporated Canadian mushrooms and Ontario lamb. A reception took place later in the day, and key members of the culinary and DC community attended to taste samples of the final recipe in the competition.

Student dishes were judged by a team of industry professionals from organizations, including Foodland Ontario, Ontario Sheep Farmers, Gordon Food Service, Restaurants Canada, and Windmill Farms. The butchery portion of the event was judged by Nicholas Matusiak from Halenda’s Meats.

Although DC’s team did not place, it was a close race and the experience for students went above and beyond regular classroom learning, giving them the opportunity to receive valuable feedback from judges and begin building a name for themselves in the industry.

After the event, more than 200 lbs of raw lamb, provided by Ontario Lamb Company and Ontario Sheep Farmers, was frozen and donated to Feed the Need Durham.


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 win silver at national marketing competition

Students from the Durham College’s (DC) Marketing – Business Administration program successfully competed at the 2020 Scotiabank Vanier College National Marketing Case Competition, placing second and taking home silver.

Facing off against 25 teams from across Canada, the DC students emerged victorious following several intense three-hour rounds of competition, where real-world marketing challenges were presented and competitors were required to develop and present their creative solutions. Teams were assessed on the value and practically of those solutions and the quality of their presentations.

Using skills developed and honed in the classroom, the DC students responded to the challenges by identifying new markets to support business expansion for a health supplement company and helping a capital management firm appeal to a younger demographic.

Congratulations goes to second-year students Ryan Ashton and Brendan Scott and third-year students Kaitlyn Brasier and Chin-Ting Sherwin for their stellar performance at the national competition.


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 grads give advice on life after college at DC Talks: Alumni Series event

Two Durham College (DC) graduates returned to campus on February 6, meeting with students to discuss their careers and life after graduation during the annual DC Talks: Alumni Series event.

This year’s event featured Gabby De Sousa, who graduated from the college’s women-only Elevating Devices Mechanic (EDM) pre-apprenticeship training program in 2016 and EDM apprenticeship program in 2017. Joining her was Nicholas Coleman, a 2016 graduate of DC’s Architectural Technology program.

Gabby De Sousa:

During her time at DC, Gabby proudly shared her experiences, not only as a student but also as a female studying a skilled trade. Representing the college, she attended the Clarington Energy Seminar in 2015, presented to the Whitby Town Council about the women-only EDM pre-apprenticeship program and spoke with Elevator World Magazine in February, 2017 about DC’s female-focused elevating devices recruitment efforts. Gabby now works as an apprentice for Delta Elevator Co. and will be writing her certification exam in January, 2021, as she builds on her DC training through the varied, hands-on problem solving she does each day on the job.

In addition to launching her career, Gabby is giving back to her alma mater by volunteering her time as a member of the DC Alumni Association’s Board of Directors. She also served as an alumni representative at the college’s Taste of the Trades event in November 2019.

During the event, Gabby encouraged young women to explore career paths they may had never considered before, and to not be afraid of saying yes to new opportunities.

Nicholas Coleman:

Nicholas began his career right after graduating in 2016, working for a number of integrated design firms. In his current role as architectural technologist for the Toronto studio of Lemay, he is able to combine his passion for science, technology and sustainable design with creative thinking, analytical sensibility and technological savvy on a broad variety of large-scale projects including towers for financial institutions, medical labs and luxury residential. He is also a licensed technologist with the Ontario Association for Applied Architectural Sciences and a member of the national innovation team at Lemay.

As he answered student questions, Nicholas emphasized the importance of seeking out mentorship from those in the industry and following what motivates you, instead of the path that seems the most natural after graduation.

DC Talks: Alumni Series is part of DC’s backpack2Briefcase program, a series of events designed to help students and recent alumni make a smooth transition from college to the workplace. Events and workshops are held throughout the year to offer opportunities for both personal and professional development that will enhance the skills and training students learn in the classroom.


Alumni show their DC pride cheering on the Oshawa Generals

On January 31, more than 162 Durham College (DC) alumni, employees and students spent the evening at the Tribute Communities Centre, watching the Oshawa Generals take on the Peterborough Petes during the college’s annual Alumni Night – the best turn-out for this event since its inception.

Held annually, Alumni Night at the Oshawa Generals is a chance for the DC community to come together to reconnect over great hockey and a private reception.

Kicking off the evening and representing the college in a ceremonial puck drop was DC President Don Lovisa. He was joined on the ice by three Sports Business Management alumni who all currently work for the Oshawa Generals, as well as Cameron Ackerblade, president of the DC Alumni Association. Never one to miss out on a sporting event, DC mascot Lord Durham also got into the action by giving away t-shirts and hats to the crowd.

DC also sponsored the intermission entertainment, testing the knowledge of game goers with college-related trivia.

The evening was capped off with a win by the Generals.


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.


DC becomes first college in Canada to deliver course through Walls to Bridges program

Durham College (DC) is proud to announce that it is the first college in Canada to provide college courses in prison through the Walls to Bridges (W2B) education program, which facilitates for-credit post-secondary courses taught within correctional settings. Each W2B classroom sees equal numbers of incarcerated and non-incarcerated students learning together as peers.

This semester, DC Professor Dale Burt is teaching Resiliency in Society: the Bridges and Barriers at a federal correctional institution in Ontario. Each week she travels to the prison with eight DC students who are taking the class alongside eight currently incarcerated students.

“The Walls to Bridges classroom offers a unique transformational learning experience that encourages diverse learners to build bridges with one another, recognizing that there are many ways of ‘knowing,’ including from each other and our experiences,” said Professor Burt. “I structure and lead the lessons and facilitate the learning activities, but we are really all students and teachers in the W2B classroom. Together we are able to break down barriers as we examine – and unlearn – assumptions and ‘othering.’”

The participating DC students are enrolled in either Mediation – Alternative Dispute Resolution or Victimology, two of the college’s post-graduate certificate programs. Each student had to apply and be interviewed in order to be accepted into the W2B course.

“Taking part in the Walls to Bridges program is important to Durham College for many reasons,” said Stephanie Ball, executive dean of the college’s schools of Justice & Emergency Services and Interdisciplinary Studies. “The environment and dynamics of the class make for a more impactful learning experience for all students while also providing access to post-secondary education for learners who may not have had access to it otherwise.”

The final class will be held at the prison on Wednesday, April 15. Students will present a collaborative project on what they have learned through the course followed by a graduation ceremony.