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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 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.


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.


Durham College’s Working Across Borders tiles the way for a sustainable future

November 4 marked the official launch of Working Across Borders (WAB), Durham College’s (DC) new course focused on international collaboration and sustainability through student-run consultancy projects. Approximately 550 people from around the world joined DC students and faculty members for the launch, using the global classroom, DC’s internationally live-streamed approach to global learning. More than 128 students across the International Business Management and Project Management post-grad programs, alongside a group of students in the Finance program, enrolled in WAB this fall.

Participants from Canada, Germany, Russia, Italy, Finland, Belgium, and the United States participated in the kickoff event, with Geanne van Arkel of Interface Inc. in attendance. Arkel is the head of sustainable development for Interface, WAB’s client, and the world’s largest producer of carpet tiles, resilient flooring and luxury vinyl tiles. In 2016, Interface launched Climate Take Back, their commitment to running their business in a way that is environmentally sustainable, and environmentally restorative.

During the opening, Pranshu Pinakinbhai Bhatt, a first-year International Business Management student, expressed excitement for WAB, saying “It will be interesting to see how we can work as a team. Each person brings a different culture and working styleso we have to learn to co-operate.” He went on to say “I recently learned that verbal commitments are very important in Finland, so now I adjust my style to fit with Finnish colleagues. Now, if I make a verbal commitment, I make sure to follow through.”

As the launch ended, Arkel challenged the students by saying “If we want to work on sustainable solutions, we need to work together, and that’s where Durham College comes in. We need a new story for our climate’s future. A story that benefits all life. We need you.”

Through the WAB, students will meet Arkel’s challenge as the program teaches students how to achieve success in a global marketplace, while meeting the environmental needs of today’s world. Students work in multi-national teams to develop and pitch sustainable solutions to combat issues that impact the world socially and environmentally. These solutions, based on three of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals outlined by the United Nations, include: gender equality, clean water and sanitation, climate action and responsible consumption and production.

“This cross-cultural co-operation is exactly what WAB and the global classroom was designed to do,” says DC professor, Rogier Ten Kate.

Along with TenKate, Dustin Weihs, professor and Joanne Spicer, global learning facilitator, WAB will continue to grow and evolve with the world at large.


DC marketing students place multiple times at the Ontario College’s Marketing Competition

For nearly four decades, students from across the province have brought their ideas and competitive spirit to Ontario College’s Marketing Competition (OCMC) to demonstrate their practical skills and employability while networking with industry professionals.

In November, 15 students from Durham College’s (DC) Marketing – Business and Marketing – Business Administration programs travelled to Niagara Falls, Ont. to compete against more than 250 other students. There, they were coached by six faculty volunteers from the School of Business, IT & Management and challenged in an array of marketing categories, including retail marketing and entrepreneurship.

Seven DC students placed in their respective categories, including:

  • Brendan Scott – first place, Quiz Bowl Competition and third place, Entrepreneurship Competition
  • Kaitlyn Braisier – third place, Job Interview Competition
  • Youssef Zaki – third place, Entrepreneurship Competition
  • Malcolm Hooper – fourth place, Quiz Bowl Competition
  • Chin-Ting Sherwin – fifth place, Direct Marketing Competition
  • Nicholas Bowman – fifth place, Direct Marketing Competition

Kaitlyn Braisier also received the prestigious Lydiatt Award, which is presented to a student who demonstrates commitment to the OCMC, supports others while working hard and has shown outstanding character and leadership in their college and community. A two-time OCMC participant, Kaitlyn doubled the number of DC students who tried out for the competition this year by organizing new recruitment efforts, like a mentor event where previous OCMC competitors shared their experience to inspire students and foster a sense of community within the team.

Congrats to Kaitlyn and all of our DC students on their achievement!


DC’s recent Tech Talk hosted high-profile industry experts to explore the future of artificial intelligence and gaming

Durham College’s Hub for Applied Research in Artificial Intelligence for Business Solutions (AI Hub) hosted another sold out Tech Talk on December 2 – this time, focusing on the potential of artificial intelligence (AI) in the gaming sector, an industry comprised of over 2.3 billion gamers and worth more than $100 billion globally.

Simon Gill, director of Economic Development and Tourism at the Regional Municipality of Durham, and Shaun Collier, mayor of the Town of Ajax, joined more than 120 other attendees to hear the keynote presentation from Menashe Kestenbaum, founder and president of Enthusiast Gaming. A panel discussion followed, featuring Tanmay Bakshi, the world’s youngest IBM Watson programmer and an AI expert; Mahdi Raza, founder and CEO of SiberX; Michael Ball, information security advisor and vCISO at TeamCISO; and Sarah Wagg, manager of DC’s Esports Gaming Arena.

During the panel the speakers explored potential growth opportunities for AI and gaming, touching on how students can find success in these sectors and how the Durham Region may benefit from the rise of esports.

At the end of the session, the AI Hub team announced its second annual Enable AI Summit. Taking place on Friday, June 5 at DC, the summit will focus on developing and supporting Smart Communities. To help potential attendees prepare, Tech Talks over the next six months will address community related topics such as AI and transportation, agriculture, mental health and more.

Further details about the Enable AI Summit will be released as they become available.


DC sports business students win third place in industry case study competition

A team of dedicated students from Durham College’s (DC) sports administration and business management programs kicked off the 12th annual PrimeTime Sports and Entertainment Sport Management Conference and Tradeshow earlier this month as they competed against local universities in a business case study competition in Toronto.

An annual conference tradition that aims to create a positive hands-on learning experience for emerging sports business professionals, this year’s case centered around the challenge of growing and enhancing fan engagement for the Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment Raptors Uprising GC esports team, which competes in the NBA 2K League.

The only college team to participate, DC’s Jacqueline Tieu, Trevor Anniss, Colin Shuringa, Megan Longpre, and Bobby Pelleschi were given 24 hours to conduct their case analysis and put together a 15 minute pitch presentation and recommendation. After passing the first round of judging, the team went on to the final round, where they received praise from a tough panel of judges, who commended them for their adaptability, creativity and analytical thinking in both rounds. In the end, DC’s team tied for third place with University of Toronto – Mississauga.

Congrats to our students on their achievement!