Celebrating some of the university’s top 2016 headlines
December 15, 2016
It was another year of milestones and achievements for the University of Ontario Institute of Technology (UOIT). As we wish everyone the best for the upcoming holiday break and look ahead to the 15th anniversary of the university’s founding (June 27, 2002), Communications and Marketing presents a brief summary of some of the university’s memorable moments of 2016:
Canada and Ontario announce investment in the university’s new Software and Informatics Research Centre (SIRC)
- In the summer, the university broke ground on SIRC, its newest building, which will act as a hub for research in health and business analytics, information technology (IT) security, networking, gaming and software engineering. SIRC will promote interdisciplinary and experiential learning for students in computer science, IT and engineering. It will also enable e-learning and more e-guest lectures and interactions with industries through innovative digital and conferencing technology. New government funding for SIRC was unveiled in October. The building will open in Fall 2017.
Noreen Taylor installed as university’s third Chancellor
- In May, Noreen Taylor, OC, succeeded Perrin Beatty as Chancellor of the university. The artist, teacher and philanthropist is renowned for her leadership in Canada’s health-care, cultural, educational and horse racing communities.
Adele Imrie named Chair of the Board of Governors
- On September 1, financial and commercial real estate development professional Adele Imrie succeeded Glenna Raymond as Chair of the Board of Governors.
Expanding philanthropy in the university
- Among many exciting announcements from the Advancement department throughout 2016, there were major new investments in the university by The Joyce Foundation ($1 million) and the estate of longtime campus benefactor Ann Sabat ($900,000, to be shared with Durham College).
Researchers receive nearly $2 million in new federal funding
- In June, the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada announced new funding for 16 researchers and four graduate students.
University and college announce joint Innovative Initiatives Fund
- Long-standing campus partners the University of Ontario Institute of Technology and Durham College announced in July the creation of the new Innovative Initiatives Fund, which will support collaborative initiatives proposed by staff and faculty at both institutions.
University announces two new Canada Research Chairs
- The university’s research portfolio expanded again with the awarding of two new Canada Research Chairs to Dr. Janette Hughes (Technology and Pedagogy) and Dr. Sheldon Williamson (Electric Energy Storage Systems for Transportation Electrification).
Margaret Trudeau speaks about mental-health awareness at distinguished lecture
- In March, Margaret Trudeau accepted an invitation to come to the university as the inaugural speaker of the Dean’s Public Lecture Series, hosted by the Faculty of Social Science and Humanities.
University holds Futures Forum on Smart Communities
- A stellar panel of experts from academia, government and leading corporations gathered on May 5 for the university’s annual Futures Forum to discuss strategies for developing smarter communities that are socially inclusive, innovative, digitally enabled, and economically and culturally robust.
More evidence of the university’s leadership and excellence in sustainability
- Throughout 2016, the university received recognition from the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education’s (AASHE) Sustainability Tracking, Assessment and Rating System (STARS) program for its achievements on energy efficiency, water management and overall sustainability performance. The assessments earned the university a prestigious Gold Rating under the STARS reporting system. In November, the Council of Ontario Universities (COU) highlighted the university’s We Grow Trees campaign in the COU’s Going Greener report.
New international opportunities and student exchanges
- The university’s global connections expanded with the signing of new memorandums of understanding with institutions in India, China and Ireland. Faculty of Science Associate Professor Jean-Paul Desaulniers also began exploring potential new ties for UOIT with universities in China and Japan. The university’s largest-ever group also embarked on summer international exchanges.
Faculty of Education pilots online learning project with Ukraine university
- The Faculty of Education is supporting Ukraine’s transformation to democratized education through a research partnership with the Kyiv National Economic University (KNEU). The initiative involves an online pilot course offered to KNEU students that originates from Canada via the Faculty of Education’s Educational Informatics Laboratory.
University’s first refugee student receives degree
- Among the more than 2,000 students crossing the stage at Convocation 2016 was Jean Nsanzeryaka, the university’s first refugee student to complete a degree (Bachelor of Science (Biological Sciences, specializing in Life Sciences)).
University panel highlights how education can help heal Canada’s relationship with Indigenous peoples
- In March, the university hosted a thoughtful and engaging panel discussion aimed at fostering awareness, understanding and action in response to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s (TRC) appeal for educational institutions to engage with Indigenous communities and to become leaders in reconciliation.
Campus community teams up to co-host Special Olympics event
- Excitement was in the air in early June as the University of Ontario Institute of Technology (UOIT) and Durham College hosted the Special Olympics Ontario Provincial School Championships basketball competitions at their shared campus location.
Nuclear Engineering student represents Canada at the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games in Brazil
- First-year student Mitchell Chase (Pickering, Ontario) may have missed out on Orientation activities, but he had a good reason. Chase was on a different kind of starting line in early September: a starting line in South America.
New opportunities for international high school students emerge through school board DCDSB partnership
- In July, the university signed an agreement with the Durham Catholic District School Board to make it easier for international high school students to complete their post-secondary studies in Canada.
University recognized by Region of Durham with a Healthy Workplace Award
- For the second consecutive year, the Regional Municipality of Durham’s Health Department presented the university with a Healthy Workplace Award (Gold category) for its efforts to support the health of employees (categories: Healthy Eating, Physical Activity, and Mental Health).
Ridgebacks varsity program celebrates a memorable year
- In November, the Ridgebacks women’s soccer team took the province by storm, blazing its way to an Ontario University Athletics (OUA) title. The provincial crown followed a regular-season division first-place finish. The team went on to capture a bronze medal at the national championship in Nova Scotia. Head coach Peyvand Mossavat was named national coach of the year, while players Kylie Bordeleau and Katherine Koehler-Grassau were named All-Canadians.
- In February, the Ridgebacks men’s hockey program won its first-ever playoff series in a dramatic showdown against Queen’s. The team’s on-ice success continues early in the 2016-2017 season, solidly in position to challenge for a division title. The program also broke into the top 10 in the national rankings for the first time, reaching as high as No. 4 in Canada.
- Ridgebacks golf star Mackenzie Dasti earned a top ten finish in the OUA championship for the second time in his Ridgebacks career.
- The campus community’s impressive list of leading-edge athletics facilities expanded with the opening of the Campus Fieldhouse (formerly the Campus Tennis Centre), a multi-sport turf centre.