April 27-May 1
April 27-May 1
Update: April 28, 2020, 3:19 PM
Your Good News Bulletin
Fashion Business faculty uses her connections to secure PPEs
Fashion Business and Management professor Ana Caracaleanu teaches supply-chain logistics, an indispensable part of the fashion industry that relies on worldwide textile suppliers and clothing manufacturers to fill Canada’s retail stores and fashion centres. Given her expertise in procurement, it didn’t take long for Ana to figure out how she could harness her international supply-chain contacts to locate much-needed personal protection equipment for frontline workers in Scarborough’s local hospitals. Ana managed to get some face shields and masks expedited to Toronto, then loaded up the boxes in her car to deliver to the Scarborough Health Network, which consists of the Scarborough General, Centenary and Birchmount hospitals. “I want to thank Dr. Vela and Dr. Shu for facilitating my donation to the SHN Foundation. You and the rest of the staff are our heroes,” she wrote recently on her Twitter account. It’s a great example of college expertise rising to the occasion!
Centennial signs partnership MOU with Diamond Aircraft
Centennial College and Diamond Aircraft Industries have signed a memorandum of understanding to collaborate on activities of mutual benefit, including program development, student work placements and research and innovation projects. Activities may include program and curriculum development; technical training; staff, faculty and student placements; research and innovation opportunities; donations of equipment or services in kind; and international engagement.
“As a start, work is underway in creating work co-op, placement and capstone opportunities with Diamond Aircraft for students in select Centennial programs,” says Dr. Rahim Karim, Centennial’s Associate Vice President, Partnerships, Pathways and Internationalization. “As well, we are reviewing programming and graduate needs for Diamond to build their talent pipeline.” Headquartered in Austria, Diamond operates a primary aircraft production and support facility in London, Ontario. Diamond builds a range of piston-engine aircraft, featuring carbon composite airframes, primarily for general aviation and flight training.
SETAS/AMAT using 3D printers to create PPE for healthcare workers
Utilizing the six 3D printers at Progress and Downsview campuses, the School of Engineering Technology and Applied Science has developed a three-phase plan to assist in the short-term supply of personal protective equipment (PPE) to local healthcare workers. Phase 1 involves supplying Michael Garron Hospital in East York with headbands and Scarborough Health Network (SHN) with ear protectors. Phase 2 involves partnering with Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Canada to supply Scarborough hospitals with complete face shields. Phase 3 is to collaborate with Mitsubishi to manufacture N95 plastic face masks.
The first delivery to hospitals is planned for Monday, May 11. The SETAS/AMAT team consists of Chair Donald Wang; Program Coordinator Tim Repetski; faculty members Iulian Radu and Pouria Tavakkoli Avval; support technicians Ken Barr, Ed Lada, Wei Wang, Ray Tjandra, Mark Ma, Samir Mustafa; administrators Devon Khan and Timothy Chen, along with 12 co-op students. Many thanks for the support and input from the Centennial College Senior Team, Shannon Brooks (Corporate Services), SETAS Dean Patrick Kelly, Andrew Petrou (SIER) and Jane Burpee (Libraries and Learning Centres). Together, we are stronger as we strive to meet the needs of our frontline workers and support their efforts in the long battle against COVID-19.
Broadcasting technologist offers five movie picks
Broadcasting technologist Ray Josef is a fixture at the Story Arts Centre, well known among our School of Communications, Media, Arts and Design students for his advice and guidance when it comes to all things related to television and film. With everyone consuming massive quantities of digital streaming at home right now, Ray’s recommended Five Films to Stream highlights lesser-known movies that are particularly instructive when it comes to great story-telling on a relatively low budget. Check out Ray Recommends Five Films to Stream.
Update: April 27, 2020, 10:28 AM
Monday Message from Craig Stephenson, President and CEO
Dear Centennial College Community Members,
I do hope you had a pleasant weekend and were able to pursue interests outside of work. Our family watched the Stronger Together broadcast last night, which celebrated the efforts of front-line staff and raised funds for food banks across Canada. There was some great music and very personal and moving stories of hope, gratitude, innovative thinking and expressions of support for one another. The performance of “Lean on Me” was quite something, and as Justin Trudeau shared just after it was aired, by leaning on each other we will get through this situation together!
While the notion of weekends can become lost in the present work-at-home environment, I heartily encourage all of you to unplug and embrace your personal time. As we try to cope with this challenging and anxiety-provoking situation, it is more important than ever to find a balance between our work and home lives.
Creative Expression and Personal Reflection
It is heartening to learn that many are finding solace in leisure activities and new hobbies. Market researchers recently did a Google scan of searched topics and discovered a growing interest in such themes as home gyms, sewing, board games and “tinkering,” to name but a few examples.
Also, if the creative work I have recently received from Centennial staff and students is anything to go by, I am seeing a number of you taking a reflective and observant stance on this unprecedented situation, and channelling your thoughts and feelings into various art forms. I have received, for example, a poignant poem entitled “As the World Changes,” a solo singer/guitar performance of a take on the song “From a Distance,” and several atmospheric photos of Centennial College taken at the point of lockdown.
If you have created something that captures this historic moment and/or mood of our nation, or a piece that is artistic, reflective, or simply fun, and you would like to share it with the Centennial family, please email Jennifer Hann at email@example.com.
Student Relief Appeal
In parallel with this creative streak, I have also witnessed a strong focus on community and “caremongering,” both within and external to Centennial. With regard to the former, I have been incredibly touched to see how deeply our extended Centennial family cares about the health, safety and personal wellbeing of our students; the uptake to support the Centennial COVID-19 Student Relief Bursary amongst alumni and donors is most humbling.
Recognizing that many alumni and current donors have also been detrimentally impacted by COVID-19, the Office of Development and Alumni Engagement (ODAE) called upon those who felt able to support our students, to do so either in kind or materially. The call was put out to alumni and donors to help critique student resumes, deliver a one-time mentoring session or offer an online presentation for those entering a particular career field, noting that sharing personal experiences of resilience through adversity could be very meaningful to our students at this time.
For those able to assist materially, we explained that the need is grave, particularity for our marginalized and international students (many of whom do not qualify for Employment Insurance, the Canada Emergency Response Benefit or even the $9-billion Canada Emergency Student Benefit announced last week). If you are currently a donor or alumni, you will have already received this request from the Office of Development and Alumni Engagement (ODAE). If you have not received this email and you are able and interested in supporting our students in some form, please do not hesitate to reach out to Linda Barlow, a senior lead within ODAE, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
As the year unfolds, the range and depth of student supports and services required and how we deliver them will be an ongoing consideration. Summer registration is a case in point. It will require an entirely new set of processes to match the new reality of virtual service delivery. The one thing that will not change is the team’s focus on excellent customer service. We know that “if the quality of the initial encounter is good, and the ongoing relationship is strong, satisfaction and loyalty remain high” (Bejou, 2005). With this mindset and oodles of creative thinking, Enrolment Services (ES) has developed a plan to offer students a concierge-type experience, ensuring summer registration processes are streamlined, seamless and personalized to meet their needs.
The plan focuses on triage, workflow and communications and, amongst many other features, includes a virtual service where students will easily be able to monitor their progression through the process and consult at any given moment with team members. There will also be a portlet within myCentennial that will offer online assistance to those with common requests, such as add/drop, readmit, transfer, or requests for general service. This feature will also enable the team to collect and track data to improve and enhance the service experience for future intakes – a wonderful example of student-centric problem solving.
Expediting student refunds by Electronic Fund Transfers (EFTs)
In another demonstration of how we are responding to students’ needs, we are processing a significant number of student refund payments that normally could not be done on such a timely basis, given the fact so many staff are working from home. To address the situation, the team launched the Direct Deposit banking information entry webpage. Normally, this would have been a six-month project, but team members were able to create the page within a week, thanks to the combined and herculean efforts of the Finance, IT, Student Success, Human Resources, IENL (International Educational Next Level project team) and Marketing departments. This is yet another outstanding example of the power of collaboration and teamwork here at the College.
Within 30 minutes of the page going live, 130 students had entered their banking information to begin the process of receiving their refunded college fees. In addition, a team finalized the bank setup in Banner Finance to enable them to send out the first electronic fund transfers (EFTs) to students, all within their first week of applying.
We are, as you can see, adapting and adopting, but there is also light at the end of the tunnel as the government looks towards a gradual reopening of the economy. The emphasis is, of course, on “gradual”. Consequently, we are launching a group here at Centennial to start planning for a safe, phased and effective resumption of campus operations – more details will follow as those plans unfold.
The collective approach we are taking to resume operations and, indeed, to solve many of the COVID-19 related issues, reminds me of a line in a poem written by Centennial staff member Darlene Meecham: “In a world that’s been torn apart, united together is where we must start.” We have, as I hope you have gathered from my weekly Monday Messages, united in highly compelling, compassionate and creative ways – ways that have undoubtedly made us all the more resilient and prepared for the recovery ahead, and for that I am both deeply humbled and incredibly proud.
Yours in gratitude,
Dr. Craig Stephenson
President and CEO, Centennial College
Update: April 27, 2020, 8:24 AM
$9 Billion Aid Package Announced for Students
On April 22, the federal government announced a $9 billion aid package for qualifying post-secondary students who do not qualify for the Canada Emergency Response Benefit.
This is wonderful news for our students, offering support at a critical time in their higher-learning journey. Eligible students will receive a minimum of $1250 per month from May to August.
In addition, students who are currently volunteering in critical service sectors, as well as students who are working and earning up to $1000 per month, may also be eligible to receive this benefit.
The government has also announced it will invest $75 million in the post-secondary Student Support Program, Métis Education Strategy, and Inuit Education Strategy, as well as a further $291 million through the Canada Granting Agency for student researcher extensions.
While the complete application details have not yet been released, we will be sure to share that with the community once confirmed.
For details on this new aid package, please visit Support for Students and Recent Graduates Impacted by COVID-19.
To see what other Financial Aid you may be eligible for, please visit Financial Aid.