March 17, 2021
Your Good News Bulletin
Centennial receives $400,000 grant to address diversity barriers
Centennial College is among 12 post-secondary institutions across Canada receiving a two-year federal grant to help identify and overcome systemic barriers that impede the career advancement, recruitment and retention of underrepresented and disadvantaged groups. The Equity, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI) Institutional Capacity-Building Grant was launched as a pilot program in 2019 to support institutions as they adapt and implement organizational and systemic change. Centennial is part of the second wave of recipient institutions sharing $4.8 million announced last Friday.
Centennial will utilize the grant to establish sustainable EDI strategies through intensive senior leadership training, bring together stakeholders to guide strategic planning and collaboratively author an EDI Strategic Action Plan, and collect benchmarking data to measure the success of our initiatives. “The EDI grant will augment the work already underway by many College stakeholders to embed evidenced-based best practices of EDI within the institution,” notes Dr. Purnima Tyagi, Centennial’s Director, WIMTACH and Social Innovation Research. “It’s in recognition of that work, the commitment of the College as a whole, and our ambitious workplan, that we received the NSERC grant.”
SHN vaccine clinic at Progress Campus well received
As you know, the Scarborough Health Network has engaged with Centennial and the Centennial College Student Association as vaccine clinic partners to enhance access to COVID-19 vaccinations in Scarborough over the next several months. Our fully accessible Athletic and Wellness Centre at Progress Campus is ideal with its modular design, which can adapt to accommodate multiple configurations to meet various levels of client demand. The large waiting area allows for safe indoor queues away from inclement weather. Stations are well-stocked with a ready supply of vaccines, thanks to an innovative two-bin replenishment system that minimizes waste. After a soft launch on March 8, the Progress Campus clinic is geared up to administer 2,000 vaccinations a day, seven days a week. Our SHN clinic is working very well, as noted in this Toronto Star story. The AWC photo (shown) graced the front page of Canada’s largest newspaper on March 12.
SIER contributes to a climate-change cookbook project
Centennial’s Office of Strategic Initiatives and External Relations (SIER) has been submitting project ideas in response to the call for proposals by the City of Toronto’s Climate Action Fund to foster local climate action, develop knowledge and skills, and build community resiliency. One of the project ideas that SIER helped design was Recipe for Climate Change, which was implemented by the Agincourt Community Services Association. Through Zoom sessions, Scarborough seniors shared their insights on food literacy, sustainable and affordable growing, and the cooking and preserving of culturally diverse foods. SIER’s Industry Liaison, Zainab Chunawala, volunteered with other youth to make videos of these recipes and created a cookbook while learning about ways to grow food and reduce food waste and composting, all in an effort to mitigate climate change. SIER will continue to represent Centennial College at these clusters and support various local community initiatives. You can access the online cookbook, entitled The Recipe for Climate Change, here.
Documenting our 15-year journey to inclusive internationalization
Preparing Active Global Citizens for a New Era is a case study documenting Centennial’s 15-year transformation into an international, inclusive institution preparing all of its learners to become global professionals, global entrepreneurs and global citizens. Back in 2003 there was an urgent need to figure out how to increase enrolment and improve the College’s reputation while respecting the community and students that it served. The executive team, led by incoming President Ann Buller, chose to make diversity an asset in a global economy, and give all learners the skills, confidence and opportunities to make a difference in the world.
Numerous academics have questioned whether internationalization efforts in higher education are still only benefitting an “elite” of well-off students who have the means to study abroad. Centennial elected to take on the challenges of leading transformational change by ensuring greater access to quality education for all students, shaping a culture where student learning can be enriched because of diversity while addressing faculty concerns about how to manage such diverse classrooms, and strengthening the College’s institutional values while building partnerships in countries that hold different values. You can read all about Centennial’s remarkable transformation in our case study authored by Paul Brennan and Suzanne Taschereau.
Centennial hotel management program earns SMART+ designation
The global-oriented Hotel, Resort and Restaurant Management graduate certificate program offered by the School of Hospitality, Tourism and Culinary Arts has been awarded SMART + Premium accreditation from Tourism HR Canada. SMART is a flexible and inclusive accreditation program that responds to the identified needs of program providers, learners and industry alike. It is a direct outcome of Tourism HR Canada’s goal to improve the quality and mobility of the tourism workforce. The program gives students the tools to answer the call of the dynamic and truly international hospitality industry. The Hotel, Resort and Restaurant Management program includes a 14-week work integrated learning component that immerses students in real-world work situations where they can accumulate relevant experience. “This accreditation reinforces the uniqueness and premium academic quality within the Hotel, Resort and Restaurant Management program,” says Cyrus K. Cooper, professor and academic coordinator of the program. “The program not only helps hospitality professionals build their skills, but also prepares them to advance their careers and make the move into senior leadership positions.” This is the school’s third program accredited by Tourism HR Canada.
Fine Arts Studio students put on an exhibition
Despite the pandemic, the Fine Arts Studio program at the Story Arts Centre is hosting a group art exhibition, entitled See Saw, to highlight the students’ work as the academic year comes to a close. See Saw is a two-part celebration; first up is a digital exhibition curated by the Leslie Grove Gallery in Toronto. Students’ work will be on display through the Gallery’s store from March 16 to 21. Feel free to join the students online on Thursday, March 18 from 7 to 8 pm for the exciting opening via Zoom and a chance to meet the artists. For details, please check out Leslie Grove Gallery's Current Exhibitions. Part 2 will be the launch of See Saw as a digital book on Thursday, April 16, which will feature even more art and excitement. To find out more about both events, visit the See Saw event website. Questions? Please email email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org.
GCEI launches Ignite Changes Magazine
For more than 10 years, the Global Citizen Digest has been a hub for sharing ideas on global citizenship education across Centennial College. Much has changed over these years and our global community is now in the midst of profound social shifts. In alignment with these significant changes, the Global Citizen Digest has been relaunched as Ignite Changes Magazine. Focusing on Universal Design for Learning, the first issue features the perspectives of our very own staff, students and faculty as well as a guest piece by Melissa Simas of the Scarborough Women’s Centre. You can read the inaugural issue here.