DC sets the tone for the year ahead at Academic Kickoff 2021

On August 31 Durham College (DC) more than 480 employees gathered virtually for Academic Kickoff 2021. Led by Executive Vice President, Academic, Dr. Elaine Popp, this annual event offers an opportunity for colleagues to come together for engaging discussions and presentations in anticipation of the coming school year.

The program included presentations from colleagues about successes and lessons learned during the past year, and how their efforts supported the goals of DC’s Academic Plan. Student shout outs to faculty were also shared. The event culminated with a keynote address from Ajay Agrawal, who is founder of the Creative Destruction Lab, as well as the Geoffrey Taber Chair in Entrepreneurship and Innovation, and professor of Entrepreneurship at the University of Toronto’s Rotman School of Management.

Discussing Artificial Intelligence (AI) from an economics perspective, Agrawal delved into its role in prediction and how it can be applied in a variety of settings, including the classroom. He also explored how AI is becoming more accessible and less costly, making it easier to solve today’s challenges with greater accuracy and success.

Following the keynote presentation, DC’s chief administrative officer, Dr. Scott Blakey, announced this year’s nominees for the Employee Awards of Excellence. Presented each year to one employee in the administrative, support staff and faculty groups, the awards recognize their outstanding contributions to the college and broader community. This year there is also the addition of a new category to recognize the contributions of teams or departments from throughout the college. All the winners will be announced in mid-September.

With the majority of classes starting on Wednesday, September 8, the entire DC community is well prepared and looking forward to another year of leading the way in teaching and learning.