On August 27, Durham College (DC) held its annual Academic Kickoff, an energizing event aimed at engaging and inspiring college employees for the new school year ahead.
Led by Dr. Elaine Popp, DC’s vice president, Academic, the event also gave colleagues an opportunity to reconnect while collaborating on new ideas to further enhance the student experience inside the classroom and beyond.
DC president Don Lovisa started the morning’s program with an overview of work done on campus over the summer months. This included a number of construction projects, including renovations of existing learning spaces and completion of the first student residence at the Whitby campus. President Lovisa also shared early feedback gathered during the college’s strategic planning process.
Tom Wujec, a global authority on innovation, disruptive technology and the art of visual thinking, delivered this year’s keynote address. The author of six books on technology, design, business and creative collaboration, and a six-time TED speaker, Wujec addressed the toolset and mindset needed for innovation in the world of exponential growth.
The morning also included a panel presentation featuring team members from DC’s unique AI Hub. The discussion highlighted recent AI project work to which DC employees and students had contributed, as well as projects underway for the coming year.
The AI Hub panel shared examples of how DC is helping local businesses adopt AI technology to improve operations while providing students with meaningful opportunities to engage in hands-on, real-work experiences through applied research.
To conclude the event, DC’s chief administrative officer, Dr. Scott Blakey, announced the nominations for the 2019 Employee Awards of Excellence. The honours are presented annually to one DC employee in each of the administrative staff, faculty and support staff groups in recognition of outstanding contributions to the college and greater community.