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Year in review: Celebrating achievements across the Seneca community

April 1, 2013 to March 31, 2014
The 2013-14 academic year was filled with noteworthy accomplishments for Seneca College. The following are some of our highlights:

Building a stronger Seneca

Peterborough Campus officially opens to Aviation students and faculty
The Peterborough Campus officially opened in January for senior students in the Bachelor of Aviation Technology program. The new facility holds approximately 140 students and houses 19 airplanes and 10 flight simulators. The program moved from the Buttonville Airport in Markham which is slated for closure in 2014. As part of celebrations inspired by the move to Peterborough, an event was held in September to mark the 45 years the College has operated the flight program at Buttonville. Several Aviation alumni returned to meet with faculty and students, share memories and tour the campus. The first year of classroom instruction and all other aviation programs are offered at Newnham Campus.

closing ceremony Buttonville
Seneca held a closing ceremony for its Buttonville Campus in September.

Spring and Fall convocation ceremonies feature 9,000
Seneca was proud to host a total of 12 convocation ceremonies in the Spring and Fall, held at Newnham Campus. Featuring 9,000 graduates, the convocation ceremonies included 12 valedictorians and two Seneca Cup winners. The Spring Ceremony, with more than 6,400 graduates, represented one of the largest graduating classes in College history.

Seneca Convocation collage
Seneca hosted a total of 12 convocation ceremonies in spring and fall.

Minister Duguid lands at Seneca
The Honourable Brad Duguid, Minister of Training, Colleges and Universities, visited Newnham Campus in August to chat with Seneca students, tour the campus and meet with President David Agnew. During his visit, Minister Duguid piloted the new flight simulator installed at Newnham and engaged students and faculty on ways to enhance postsecondary education in the province.

Brad Duguid
Honourable Brad Duguid, Minister of Training, Colleges and Universities visited Seneca in August.

i3 project launches
The official launch of Seneca’s i3 project, short for Information, Integration and Innovation, was held in April. The major College-wide initiative will improve service delivery, reduce risk, improve access to information, and integrate business processes across departments. In 2014-15, the i3 project will begin to go-live across the College community. In Fall 2013, the i3 project also unveiled its i3 Change Champions. The Change Champions provide key points of contact between the i3 project and the rest of the College community. The 44 College-wide Change Champions serve as resources for questions, concerns, feedback, suggestions or ideas, pertaining to the i3 project.

Seneca named top GTA employer
In November, Seneca was named one of Greater Toronto's Top Employers for 2014. Greater Toronto's Top Employers is an annual competition that recognizes employers in the GTA that lead their industries in offering exceptional places to work. Employers are compared to other organizations in their field to determine which offers the most progressive and forward-thinking programs. This marks the fifth time the College has received this honour.

Greater Toronto’s Top Employers

College earns Passport to Prosperity designation
For the second year in a row, Seneca’s ongoing commitment to provide high school students in Ontario with school-work opportunities has earned the College the Passport to Prosperity Ontario Employer designation. Created in 2010, the designation recognizes exceptional employers that are providing meaningful experiential learning opportunities to secondary school students across the province. Passport to Prosperity is a province-wide initiative sponsored by the Provincial Partnership Council, the Ontario Ministry of Education and the Ontario Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities.

Seneca lands in Top 10 of Canada’s research colleges
In an inaugural ranking of Canada's Top 50 Research Colleges, Seneca ranked second among Ontario colleges and eighth overall. Fifteen Ontario colleges are on the nation-wide list compiled by Research Infosource Inc.

New Board Chair and Members announced
In September, Colleen Fleming was named the new Chair of Seneca’s Board of Governors. Ms. Fleming replaced Bill Hogarth, whose term as Chair ended in August. Ms. Fleming has been a Board member since 2010 and is the President of C. Fleming & Associates Ltd. New external members of the Board include: Doug Brooks, who is the Chief Executive Officer of the Certified General Accountants of Ontario; John Honderich, the Chair of the Board of Torstar and Chair of the Torstar Voting Trust and Alice Keung is the Chief Operating Officer of eHealth Ontario.

The new internal Board members include: Ibrahima Sow, who joined the Board as the new student representative. Ibrahima is a third-year student in the Business Administration - Management program and Stan White, who joined the Board as the new support staff representative. Stan is a 29-year employee of Seneca and works in International Student Services. Seneca’s Board of Governors consists of 21 members: 16 representing the community, four members elected by administration, faculty, support staff and students, as well as Seneca's President.

The Board of Governors will be welcoming two new elected members in Fall 2014. Fatima Somji, Business Administration — Entrepreneurship and Small Business, will begin her term as the student representative on the Board of Governors on September 1. Kevin Reinhardt, Counselling, was acclaimed and will begin his term as the faculty staff representative on the Board of Governors on the same date.

Markham Campus Kickback Lounge Remodelled
The Kickback at Markham Campus, a student-focused multipurpose space owned and operated by the Seneca Student Federation (SSF) had its grand re-opening in April. The newly renovated student lounge area, located on the Garden Level, was re-designed with new furniture, a kitchenette, arcade games and access to a private patio area. The Kickback is available for use by all students and staff based at the Markham Campus.

New digital display system goes live
Seneca’s new digital display system rolled-out across the College in mid-August. The system consists of television monitors located in high-traffic areas at King, Markham, Newnham and Seneca@York campuses. The system provides students, employees, employers, and partners with information on College events, services and news in a dynamic format and showcases student projects and events.

New Seneca website launched
The College website had a new look starting in April. The re-design was developed in consultation with College stakeholders and included several improvements such as top-level navigation, social media integration, greater accessibility and a mobile-friendly design. The new design and navigation are the first steps in the continuing evolution of the College's web presence which will include improved search engine optimization in future.

Modernizing and streamlining services across Seneca
In May, the College expanded the use of OneCard, the official Seneca College identification card, to enable students to pay for parking plans, meals, photocopying and printing services. The College also launched a new parking system at its Newnham, King and Markham campuses that month. The new system streamlined access to the College’s lots by enabling the use of Seneca OneCards for quick entry and exit for student, staff, faculty and visitor vehicles. Additionally, the College in collaboration with the Seneca Student Federation began offering WIFI on the free campus shuttle bus service.

Seneca expanded the use of its OneCards in May.

Improvements made to campus dining services
In August, a number of construction projects wrapped-up throughout the College in order to improve dining services for students and staff. At Newnham Campus, Timothy's was converted to a Starbucks offering new products and increased variety. The Tim Hortons at the bookstore and the Pita Pit space were renovated to improve customer experience and a new Subway location was constructed in Building A (completed in Winter 2014). At Markham Campus, the cafeteria was renovated to increase food service options, including a new Tim Hortons. The dining service improvements were based on feedback and consultations from across the Seneca community.

Strengthening our community

Seneca raises $171,338 for United Way
The College set a new fundraising record in its support of the United Way in November. Seneca’s 2013 United Way campaign helped to raise $171,338 — surpassing last year’s record-breaking total. Students, faculty and staff at the College hosted various fundraising events during United Way Days. In October, more than 70 Seneca students and employees led by President David Agnew stepped up to the challenge, climbing the CN Tower for United Way. The money raised by all events will benefit the United Way in Toronto and York Region, which supports a network of more than 300 agencies providing vital social services to strengthen individuals, families and communities.

United Way campaign raised more than $171,000 in 2013
Seneca’s United Way campaign raised more than $171,000 in 2013.

Supporting Special Olympic athletes
Seneca was a proud participant in the 2013 Ontario Special Olympic Games, hosted by the York Regional Police in July. Seneca’s participation included adopting athletes, housing athletes’ villages at our King and Newnham residences and hosting an Athletes Dinner at our King Campus to kick off the games.

Celebrating new Canadians
In celebration of Canadian Citizenship Week in October, Seneca hosted a special ceremony for new citizens at Markham Campus. Seneca President David Agnew and the Right Honourable Adrienne Clarkson, Co-Founder and Co-Chair of the Institute for Canadian Citizenship (ICC), welcomed and congratulated 46 new Canadians from 20 countries. Prior to the ceremony, the ICC held a series of roundtable discussions led by Seneca representatives, where new citizens and their families shared stories and reflected on Canadian citizenship.

President David Agnew and Rt. Honourable Adrienne Clarkson congratulating new Canadians
Seneca President David Agnew along with the Rt. Honourable Adrienne Clarkson congratulated 46 new Canadians in October.

Arts Exposed event hosted by Seneca
Students from Seneca’s Event Marketing - Sports, Entertainment, Arts program and Event Management - Exhibit and Design program welcomed attendees and assisted with the management of the third annual Arts Exposed Conference, which was held at Markham Campus in October. More than 250 people attended this education and networking event to hear from top U.S. and Canadian arts leaders and learn how to succeed in the visual arts, literary, film and performing arts fields. Among this year’s keynote speakers was Cameron Bailey, artistic director of the Toronto International Film Festival and Terry O’Reilly of co-founder of Toronto’s Pirate Radio & Television.

First-ever Innovation and Entrepreneurship Day held at Seneca
Seneca’s first Innovation and Entrepreneurship Day was held at Newnham Campus in November. This cross-disciplinary learning event targeted all students and included a pitch competition, speed networking and keynote speakers. The event was hosted and supported by the Seneca Student Federation, Seneca Business, Seneca Libraries, Seneca Alumni, Fellowes Canada and the Direct Selling Association in celebration of Global Entrepreneurship Week.

Media conference provides unique opportunities for faculty, students
Building on the success of hosting the first national conference in 2009, Seneca was selected to host the National Ethnic Press and Media Council of Canada (NEPMCC) second national conference in December at Markham Campus. Faculty from the schools of English & Liberal Studies, Creative Arts & Animation, Media & Marketing and International Business delivered educational breakout sessions to the attendees. Journalism students interviewed attendees including Andrea Horwath, Leader of the Ontario New Democratic Party, Chris Alexander, Minister of Citizenship and Immigration and Olivia Chow, MP. The primary focus of the conference was to strengthen the competence and business currency of Canadian ethnic publications and the Canadian periodical industry.

Seneca continues its partnership with Young Professionals Committee
Seneca renewed its lead sponsorship of The Markham Board of Trade’s Young Professionals Committee (YPC) — a group the College sponsors to bring together young professionals, entrepreneurs and thought-leaders under 40 from all corners of Markham to network, build connections and learn from each other through unique social events and opportunities. The College supported the YPC’s Achieving Social & Professional Ideals, Reaching Excellence (ASPIRE) Awards as well as several networking and professional development events.

A pledge to support improved transit
In May, Seneca students and staff talked about transit issues and opportunities with members of CivicAction — a non-profit organization that brings together senior executives and rising leaders from all sectors to tackle some of this region's toughest social, economic and environmental challenges including public transit. Representatives from the organization were on campus, gathering support for their What Would You Do For 32? campaign, designed to get people thinking about the need to improve transportation in the GTA and potentially save people an average of 32 minutes on their daily commute. In support of the campaign, the College and the Seneca Student Federation co-produced a video about transit issues faced by Seneca students and encouraged students, faculty and staff to sign a pledge for action on transit issues in the region.

Seneca and the SSF co-produced a video about transit issues.

Confucius Institute co-presents Chinese cinema series
The Confucius Institute at Seneca, in partnership with the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) co-presented two films in the ‘A Century of Chinese Cinema’ series which played at the TIFF Bell Lightbox in June. The screenings of two archival films, Yellow Earth and The Banquet, showcased the unique qualities, perspectives and elements of Chinese filmmaking and storytelling.

Students and staff create float for Caribbean Carnival
Students, professors and technicians from the Visual Merchandising Arts (VMA) program lent their talents once again to help design and construct the Toronto Children’s Breakfast Club parade float for the annual Scotiabank Caribbean Carnival held in Toronto. This year’s float was designed by VMA student Morgan Chapman and featured oversized butterflies, glittery flowers and palm leaves. The design and construction of the float was made possible by several community sponsors and participating organizations, including Local 113 Transit Workers, Carpenters Union Local 27, Community Unity Alliance, Spin Master and the Toronto Don Valley Hotel & Suites. Each year, the VMA program works with Rick Gosling, the Toronto Children’s Breakfast Club founder, and the Toronto Police Service to create a parade float that celebrates the police and community working together.

Seneca students take a stand against abuse
Seneca and Yellow Brick House (YBH) launched the joint “Students Supporting Students” anti-abuse campaign in November to inform students about the problems of abuse. In recognition of the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women, Yellow Brick House held drop-in sessions at Seneca. These sessions offered students the chance to voice their thoughts on campus safety. The campaign is one of a number of initiatives YBH has undertaken with Seneca, as part of a grant from the Status of Women Canada project focused on engaging young people to prevent violence against women on post–secondary campuses.

Football legend speaks at Seneca
Michael "Pinball" Clemons spoke about the need for dedication, perseverance, hard work and a positive attitude to an audience in the Newnham Campus Great Hall in January. The talk by the sports legend and Canadian Football League Hall-of-Famer, motivator and philanthropist was presented by the Seneca Sting, the Seneca Leadership Program and Seneca First Generation.

Michael Clemons
CFL legend Michael “Pinball” Clemons visited Seneca in January.

The York Region Start-up Weekend held at Seneca’s Markham Campus
Seneca Business co-hosted a York Region Start-up Weekend for aspiring entrepreneurs at Markham Campus in January. For 54 hours, developers, designers, marketers, product managers and start-up enthusiasts came together to share ideas, form teams, build products, and launch new businesses. More than 60 participants attended the keynote speaking session and seven teams worked on developing new products and services as part of the initiative.

York Region Start-up Weekend at Markham
Seneca Business co-hosted a York Region Start-up Weekend at Markham Campus in January.

High-quality program offerings

New programs:

In 2013-14, Seneca’s Board of Governors approved the launch of the following programs:

Full-time programs:

  • Behavioural Science Diploma
  • Government Relations Graduate Certificate
  • Nonprofit Leadership Graduate Certificate*
  • Social Media Graduate Certificate*

    *program includes part-time stream

Prof. Bhupesh Shah ead instructor in the SoMe program.
Seneca Professor Bhupesh Shah is the lead instructor in the SoMe program.

New Continuing Education credentials:

  • Biotechnology
  • Business Analysis
  • Food Manufacturing – Advanced
  • Manufacturing Leadership
  • Medical Device Reprocessing
  • Nail Technician
  • Palliative Care
  • Records and Information Management
  • Retirement Communities Management

Strengthening our partnerships

New partnership agreement between Seneca and UOIT
A new partnership between Seneca and the University of Ontario Institute of Technology (UOIT) was established in August allowing qualified Seneca students to seamlessly pursue a range of degree programs at UOIT without having to repeat courses. Students from select diploma programs can apply the credits they earned at Seneca towards 14 different UOIT programs including honours undergraduate degrees in Arts, Commerce, Information Technology, Health Sciences and Science. Career options include adult education, criminology, legal studies, networking, information technology security, game development, nuclear power, biological science and nursing.

University of Sussex new articulation agreement
Stephen Shute, Dean of the University of Sussex Law School in Brighton, England, visited the College in October to sign an articulation agreement with Seneca’s School of Legal and Public Administration. Under the agreement, graduates of the Paralegal (Accelerated), Law Clerk (Accelerated), and Court and Tribunal Administration (Articulated) programs, who meet the necessary academic requirements, will be guaranteed admission into the University of Sussex’s graduate entry Bachelor of Laws program.

New international partnership agreement signed
During his trip to China in November, President David Agnew visited many schools where there was strong interest in developing new partnerships and expanding existing ones in areas such as teacher training, student exchanges, program pathways and joint applied research projects. One of those schools was Tianjin Sino-German Vocational Technical College (TSVTC). Zhang Xinghui, President of TSVTC, met with President Agnew and signed a memorandum of understanding to explore future co-operation in the fields of teaching and research.

Seneca hosts dialogue event to discuss pathways
One hundred guidance counsellors from York Region gathered at Newnham Campus in November to participate in the York Region Dialogue — a panel discussion led by recruitment representatives from colleges and universities across the province. The focus of the event was to discuss the unique ways that each institution is supporting secondary school students who are in Specialist High Skills Major (SHSM) programs, which let them focus on a career path that matches their skills and interests, while meeting the requirements of the Ontario Secondary School diploma. Seneca supports SHSM programs in Aviation and Aerospace, Hospitality and Tourism, Business and Information Technology.

RCAF train at Seneca
Aspiring Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF) pilots are now training on the College’s flight simulators as part of a partnership that allows them to earn a Bachelor of Aviation Technology degree and their military wings certification in just four calendar years. This partnership blends the academic requirements for Seneca’s aviation degree with the training mandate for RCAF pilots. Graduates will immediately gain job experience flying helicopters, fixed-wing aircraft or fighter jets as part of the RCAF.

Subconscious Password picks up accolades and awards
Oscar-winning director and Seneca guest lecturer Chris Landreth’s latest film Subconscious Password is an animated short that uses a common social gaffe—forgetting someone’s name—as the starting point for a mind-bending romp through the unconscious. The film won the Annecy Cristal Award for best short film at the 2013 Annecy International Animation Film Festival in June in France. The film had its Canadian premiere in September at the Toronto International Film Festival and was also screened at the Sundance Film Festival. Subconscious Password also won for Best Animated Short at the Canadian Screen Awards in March. The 3D film was a National Film Board of Canada production and included the work of Seneca Animation students, graduates and faculty. In 2005, Chris directed Ryan, which won the Academy Award for Best Animated Short Film. Ryan was also made in association with Seneca’s Animation Arts Centre.

Subconscious Password scene
Oscar-winner and Seneca guest lecturer Chris Landreth’s latest film Subconscious Password won for Best Animated Short at the Canadian Screen Awards in March.

Annual Open Source Symposium held at Seneca
Seneca’s Centre for Development of Open Technology hosted its annual Free Software and Open Source Symposium (FSOSS) at Seneca@York in October. FSOSS is the premier North American event for the open source developer and user communities. It brings together key leaders to discuss open source, open web and academic/industry partnerships. This year's event showcased a variety of presentations and demonstrations on how open source can be utilized in various sectors of industry, including education. Seneca’s Centre for Development of Open Technology is a Canadian hub for the development and research of open source software through collaboration with the open source community, business and other institutions.

CDOT project welcomed to the White House
A Seneca-led project made an appearance at the White House in May. Mozilla Webmaker — a new online platform that features tools to encourage people to produce web content — was demonstrated to U.S. President Barack Obama at the annual White House Science Fair. Seneca’s Centre for Development of Open Technology (CDOT), under the leadership of Professor David Humphrey, worked with Mozilla on Webmaker. Students from the School of Information and Communications Technology also got the opportunity to work on the project. One of featured tools on Webmaker is Popcorn Maker, which makes it easy for users to enhance, remix and share video.

CDOT helps develop 3D creation tool
Seneca’s Centre for Development of Open Technology (CDOT), in partnership with Exocortex Technologies, helped to develop a prototype for — a cloud based tool that allows users to create 3D scenes and animations. The new software was presented at SIGGRAPH, an annual computer graphics conference held in Anaheim, California in July. Exocortex, a global innovator in the 3D computer graphics software solutions industry, approached the College to work on this project after learning about CDOT’s extensive work with WebGL, which is used to render 3D graphics in web browsers without the need for plugins. allows users to create high quality 3D graphic content in a web browser and share it on the fly. Exocortex has received funding from the Ontario Centres of Excellence to commercialize the product.

Celebrating student achievements

Seneca student wins Parks and Recreation Ontario award
Recreation and Leisure Services student Hailey Pacitto won the Hugh Clydesdale Bursary in April. Parks and Recreation Ontario (PRO) presents this annual award to the most promising female parks and recreation student studying at a college or university in Ontario. Nominees must be members of PRO and have achieved academic excellence. Hailey is the first Seneca student to receive this award. For winning, she received a year's PRO membership and a bursary.

Hailey Pacitto
Seneca student Hailey Pacitto won the annual Parks and Recreation Ontario award for academic excellence.

Students sweep Digital Media Industry of Ontario awards
Seneca students fared well at the first-ever Digital Market Meet Up, held by The Digital Media Industry of Ontario (DMIO) and hosted by the City of Toronto in June. The event included more than 32 representatives from various animation and special effects studios, software vendors, colleges, government representatives and other organizations. Sweeping all three awards offered by DMIO, Seneca 3D Animation students Rachit Raval, Mark Hammond and Mariana Gomez were all named winners. They were awarded three-month paid internships by Switch VFX, Spinpro, and Keyframe Digital. Students, freelancers and artists were given opportunities to meet representatives in person, distribute their resumes and receive feedback crucial to seeking and retaining jobs in the industry today.

Seneca student wins communication award
Emily Getz, a student in the Corporate Communications program, won the IABC/Toronto Student of the Year Award in May. The annual award recognizes a student from an accredited institution who demonstrates excellence in communications. As part of her co-op, Emily served as the project manager of Voices — a city-wide speech contest that featured contestants from various GTA colleges. Emily planned, promoted and executed the successful event, which garnered media coverage across the province. For winning, Emily received $500 and a profile in the IABC Toronto newsletter and website. IABC/Toronto is the local chapter of the International Association of Business Communicators, a worldwide network of business communication professionals.

Seneca students win business scholarships
Three students from the Bachelor of Commerce – International Business Management program were among the recipients of Export Development Canada's (EDC) 2013 International Business Scholarships in May. Leyla Alizada, Saliya de Zoysa and Asha Rajak each received a cheque for $4,000. Through its scholarship program, EDC awards 30 scholarships annually to exceptional Canadian students in the field of business.

Students recognized with arts awards
Martin Bazyl (Independent Digital Photography), Darrel Knight (Creative Advertising), Ryan Nicol (Independent Illustration) and Shaolei Zhang (Independent Illustration) were recognized in July with 2013 Applied Arts Student awards — one of the industry's most prestigious recognitions of creative excellence. The students' work appeared in the November/December 2013 issue of Applied Arts, Canada's visual communications magazine. This special awards issue is often used by employers to scout new talent. The winners' work was also featured on the Applied Arts website and at an exhibit held in Toronto in the fall.

Top Seneca Sting student-athletes recognized
Seneca held its annual Athletics and Recreation Awards Banquet at the Hilton Suites Toronto-Markham Conference Centre in April to honour the outstanding accomplishments of our student-athletes. Seneca Sting Athlete of the Year honours went to Felix Adjei (basketball), Carol De La Cerna (badminton) and Mitchel Kennedy (golf).

Seneca Sting student-athletes
The Seneca Sting honoured their top student-athletes in April.

Varsity baseball returns to Seneca
With the return of varsity men’s baseball to the Ontario Colleges Athletic Association (OCAA), Seneca was proud to field a team starting in September. Competing in the fall semester against other schools from the OCAA, the Sting earned their first victory, 10-5, over the George Brown Huskies on October 5. The men’s baseball team is the 16th varsity sport in which Seneca participates. The team is managed by long-time Ontario baseball veteran Brian Bates.

Seneca women’s doubles badminton team brings home bronze from Nationals
In March, the Seneca women's doubles badminton pair of Carol Dela Cerna and Katie Liu brought home bronze from the 2014 Canadian Collegiate Athletic Association (CCAA) National Badminton Championships. Dela Cerna and Liu needed straight sets to defeat their Kwantlen Polytechnic University opponents (21-11, 21-16).

Sting win women’s indoor provincial soccer gold
In March, Seneca’s women’s indoor soccer team travelled to Ancaster and captured the Ontario Colleges Athletic Association (OCAA) Indoor Soccer Provincial Championship. The Sting beat Humber — the three-time defending champions — in penalty kicks by a score of 2-1 to win gold. Seneca’s Hilda Chmait was named MVP of the Championship, while Nicole Zikovitz was named a Championship All-Star.

Student-led electronics recycling initiative a success
Students from the Green Business Management program and the Centre for the Built Environment, working in partnership with Seneca Facilities and Hewlett-Packard, collected more than five skids of electronic waste as part of the "recycle your electronics" initiative at Newnham Campus in October. Over the course of three days, staff and students were encouraged to bring in their used electronics devices. The collected materials were reclaimed and recycled into other products.

Students protect Raspberry Pi from water, heat and fall
In May, Polytechnics Canada challenged student applied research teams from each of its member institutions to design and produce a custom Polytechnics Canada-inspired case/enclosure for the Raspberry Pi computer. Seven students from the Centre for Advanced Technologies, under the guidance of Professor Malcolm Archer, worked together to design and build a case for the credit-card sized computer that plugs into your TV and a keyboard. Each team was given a series of physical and aesthetic requirements to follow, which included making the case waterproof (up to three metres submerged) and strong enough to withstand a two-metre drop on to a concrete floor. All of the student teams had their cases tested at the Polytechnics Canada conference in Toronto. The Seneca case was the only one that allowed the Raspberry Pi to operate at 100 per cent of its full capacity in 30°C water for one hour. It also performed well in the two-metre drop.

Seneca stages “Nightmare” as part of arts night
Seneca Professor and Program Co-ordinator, JoAnn Purcell, of the Independent Illustration program, along with her students, took part in Nuit Blanche — Toronto’s free all-night contemporary art event in October. More than 14,000 art enthusiasts dropped by the Gladstone Hotel, where JoAnn and a number of her current and former students from the Faculty of Communication, Art & Design re-created 40 frames from the short film Un Chien Andalou. Titled “A Collective Nightmare,” the students worked from dusk till dawn redrawing a popular scene from the movie in black and white and projected it onto large format paper. The public were then invited to use colour markers to draw and write their own reactions to the sequence.

Event Marketing students ‘IGNITE’ Pan Am Games
Event Marketing – Sports, Entertainment and Arts students were 'ignited' by the Toronto 2015 Pan Am/Parapan Am Games. The goal of the IGNITE program is to inspire communities throughout Toronto, the Greater Golden Horseshoe, Ontario and Canada to come together and build excitement around the Games and bolster community spirit. Nine student teams successfully applied for and executed IGNITE events on behalf of the Pan Am organizers. Seneca is the first college to participate in the program and the Event Marketing program is officially recognized as a partner on the Pan Am website. Students implemented their IGNITE event concepts during the winter semester.

Celebrating achievements of faculty and staff

Seneca professors’ documentary featured on TVO
The documentary Echoes had its world broadcast premiere in April on TVO. The film is written, directed and produced by Professors Sun-Kyung (Sunny) Yi and John Haslett Cuff. The film looks at the international adoption of Chinese "orphans" through the experiences of the Chinese mothers who felt forced to give up their babies and the North American mothers who adopted them. Echoes is the latest film produced by Aysha Productions, the documentary film company Sunny and John started more than 15 years ago. Since then, the pair have written, produced and directed 14 documentaries. Their films have been met with critical acclaim and garnered national and international awards, having been broadcast worldwide.

Seneca staff member receives Eagle Feather
Mark Solomon, Director of Student Conduct, was presented with an Eagle Feather by the First Peoples@Seneca staff and Aboriginal students for his years of valued guidance and continued leadership. The presentation was made to Mark during the First Peoples@Seneca and Seneca Indigenous Council year-end banquet in April. Receiving an Eagle Feather is considered the highest honour of the Anishinabek Nation.

Mark Solomon presented with an Eagle Feather
Director of Student Conduct, Mark Solomon, was presented with an Eagle Feather by First People@Seneca.

Seneca Professor invited to be keynote speaker at education innovation conference
Dr. Valerie Lopes, Professor in the Centre for Academic Excellence, was a keynote speaker at the Canadian Network for Innovation in Education Conference, which took place at Carlton University in May. Valerie spoke about "Re-imagining the Construct of Postsecondary Education." Her research, grounded in the scholarship of teaching and learning, has focused on the use of digital, social and mobile technologies to enhance learning and education. The conference brought together educators, administrators and practitioners to promote dialogue aimed at breaking new ground in research and advancing practices in education and the use of educational technologies.

Seneca Professor restores classic Hollywood ‘time machine’
In May, Malcolm Archer, Professor from Seneca’s Centre for Advanced Technologies, built some parts for one of the DeLoreans used in the Back to the Future films, which told the popular story of a fictional automobile that could travel through time. Ken Kapalowski from the Time Machine Restoration team, a group that has been dedicated to restoring the vehicles, approached Malcolm to work on the project. The restored DeLorean has been put on permanent display in the "Universal Experience" at Universal Studios in California. To thank the Centre for its assistance, Bob Gale, co-creator of the Back to the Future trilogy, sent a thank you letter to Malcolm and the team at the Centre.

Seneca Professor Malcolm Archer restored a classic prop from a Hollywood blockbuster.

Jack Walters receives award of excellence
Jack Walters, a Counsellor with the Counselling and Disability Services department, was presented with the Award of Excellence for Counselling Practice by the Ontario College Counsellors in June. The award is designed to honour counsellors who demonstrate excellence and innovation in the provision of counselling services, and who have significantly contributed to student success at their colleges. Jack has helped countless students during his 25-year career at Seneca.

Canadian retailer puts professor’s art on display
A popular clothing retailer showcased Professor John MacBride’s artistic talents in September. Le Château at the Eaton Centre approached the School of Fashion professor to exhibit his sculptures in its storefront windows. The result was “Coalesce: An Exhibition in Wood and Steel,” which was on display at the popular Toronto shopping destination in the fall.

OACETT honours Seneca employees
The Ontario Association of Certified Engineering Technicians and Technologists (OACETT) recognized two Seneca employees in October at its Provincial Honours and Awards Gala. Laurel Schollen, Associate Vice-President, Academic-Educational Excellence, received OACETT’s Honorary Membership Award, while Cylma Foxton, a Professor with the Centre for the Built Environment, was presented with the Women in Engineering Technology Award. In her role as Dean of the Faculty of Applied Sciences and Engineering Technology, Laurel strongly supported and facilitated national accreditation of the School’s Electronics Engineering Technology programs. Cylma earned her degree in environmental site remediation at Seneca and has worked as an environmental advocate at the Toronto Economic Development Corporation, Watters Environmental Group, and Build Toronto — an arm’s-length organization of the City of Toronto. At Build Toronto, Cylma worked on the City’s Port Lands project to revitalize the waterfront. She also volunteers with OACETT, mentoring students and trying to encourage more young women to pursue careers in engineering and technology.

Seneca staff
Two Seneca staff were honoured in October by the Ontario Association of Certified Engineering Technicians and Technologists.

Seneca professor honoured for her advocacy
Dr. Soheila Pashang, Professor and Co-ordinator of the Social Service Worker-Immigrant and Refugee program, received the Canadian Association for Refugees Lawyers award for her outstanding advocacy on behalf of refugees in October. The award was presented to her at the Munk School of Global Affairs at the University of Toronto. Dr. Pashang has worked for more than 20 years as a social worker and therapist with immigrants, refugees and non-status persons at various organizations. Over the years, she has initiated many networks, implemented programs, served on numerous boards and committees and d has engaged in advocacy work to eliminate barriers against access to services for refugees and immigrants.

Senecan selected as city-building fellow
Kelly Jackson, Director, Strategic Planning and Public Affairs, was selected into CivicAction’s DiverseCity Fellows program in November. As part of this one-year leadership experience for city builders, Kelly joined a diverse cross-section of 27 leaders from business, government and community organizations. The DiverseCity Fellows meet with the region’s leading influencers and visionaries and participate in interactive sessions, connect with mentors and work in teams to design and put into action a city-building project related to the theme of jobs and economic opportunities. The program, part of DiverseCity: The Greater Toronto Leadership Project, aims to develop leadership skills of promising city builders while addressing challenges facing the Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area. It is a joint initiative of the Greater Toronto CivicAction Alliance and Maytree, funded in part by the Government of Ontario.

FCET receives LERN award
The Faculty of Continuing Education and Training (FCET) was presented with a 2014 Learning Resources Network (LERN) award for marketing in November. In 2013, the College reached its highest continuing education enrolment in its 46-year history with more than 70,000 part-time student registrations. LERN is an international association of lifelong learning programming, offering information and resources to providers of lifelong learning programs.

Bill Humber's ecological initiatives recognized
Bill Humber was awarded the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation's Excellence in Education Award for Recognizing the Promotion of Sustainable Planning Practices in December. His sustainability initiatives at Seneca range from developing the Green Citizen Campaign, which provides the Seneca community with an appreciation for how the environment impacts their lives, to creating the award-winning Centre for the Built Environment, which incorporates the theme of urban sustainability in all its programs. Bill is currently the Director of the Office of Eco Seneca initiatives.

Celebrating achievements of alumni

Seneca launches new alumni council
The College’s new alumni council held its official launch at Newnham Campus in November. The 21-member council is composed of Seneca alumni and students representing a broad range of interests and backgrounds. The council’s inaugural president is Armand La Barge, a Seneca graduate and the former Chief of Police for York Region. The complete list of council members and their biographies are available on the Alumni website.

Seneca Alumni
In November, Seneca launched a 21-member alumni council headed by former York Region Chief of Police, Armand La Barge.

Outstanding graduates nominated for Ontario Premier’s Awards
The Premier's Awards honour the important social and economic contribution college graduates make in Ontario and throughout the world. Presented annually in six categories, the recipients are chosen from nominations submitted by Ontario's 24 colleges. Nominees must demonstrate outstanding career success related to their college experience and have made a significant contribution to their community. The outstanding nominees for the 2013 Premier's Award were: Gordon Scheel, a graduate of the International Business Management program; Colin D’Mello, a graduate of the Journalism program; Geraldine Heaney, a graduate of the Recreation program; Henry Zhang, a graduate of the Computer Networking and Technical Support program; David Johnson, a graduate of the Fire Protection Engineering Technology program and Michelle Dakin, a graduate of the Advanced Investigations and Enforcement program.

Premier Awards nominees
Seneca’s Premier Awards nominees have made important social and economic contributions in Ontario.

Senecans of Distinction Awards handed-out to alumni and partners
The annual Senecans of Distinction Award ceremony was held in December at Markham Campus. Senecans of Distinction are alumni, who have excelled in their careers and have maintained a strong connection to the College, and volunteers, donors and community partners, who have made significant social and economic contributions to the Seneca community.

Senecans of Distinction Award
This year Senecans of Distinction Award recipients included donors, volunteers and community partners.

2013 recipients included:

  • Campus Living Centres, donor
  • Certified General Accountants of Ontario, donor
  • Rowenta, donor
  • Jim Gamas, volunteer
  • Melissa Grelo, alumna
  • Aizick Grimman, alumnus and faculty
  • Bill Hogarth, volunteer and donor
  • The Métis Nation of Ontario, donor
  • Ryan Nurse, alumnus
  • The Seneca Student Federation, donor
  • Social Service Worker Jamaica Project, alumni
  • Tina Tehranchian, volunteer and donor
  • Dominic Totino, donor and faculty
  • The University Women's Club of North York, donor
  • Anthony Van Odyk, donor and faculty
  • Linda Wren, alumna and faculty
  • Yellow Brick House, community partner

IMP grad performs at Walk of Fame event; wins emerging artist honour
Taylor Kurta, a 2013 Independent Music Production (IMP) graduate, performed on the red carpet during Canada’s Walk of Fame induction ceremony, held in September at Toronto's Elgin Theatre. Taylor was the grand prize winner of the RBC Emerging Artist Music Mentorship Prize. As the Grand Prize winner, Taylor received $25,000 along with recording time and performance opportunities, including the chance to sing at Canada’s Walk of Fame events.

Taylor Kurta
In September, IMP grad Taylor Kurta received $25,000 as the grand prize winner of the RBC Emerging Artist Music Mentorship Prize.

Seneca alumna becomes third female inducted into Hockey Hall of Fame
Hockey legend Geraldine Heaney, a graduate of the Recreation Facilities Management program, was officially inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in November. Geraldine is often referred to as the “Bobby Orr of women’s hockey” and helped put the sport on the map. She joins former teammate and fellow Seneca alumna Angela James and Cammi Granato as only the third female to be given the highest honour in the sport.

Alumni named one of Canada’s 100 most powerful women
Seneca Business Administration – Marketing grad Caroline Charter was named one of Canada's 100 most powerful women by the Financial Post in December. The vice-president at Oracle Canada is responsible for systems and processes within the estimated $37-billion IT company's worldwide alliance. Caroline led the integration of Sun Microsystems Inc. into Oracle's existing business in 2011, by designing and launching a partner store that supports $3 billion in annual revenue. She speaks to diverse groups of women around the world and mentors individuals across Canada and the United States through the Oracle Women's Leadership effort.

Seneca grad wins poster award
A poster developed and designed by a graduate of Seneca’s Independent Illustration program was named best poster at the 2013 Festivals & Events Ontario awards. Marina Siu-Chong received the honour for her Word On the Street Festival poster that she created in 2012. Her colourful painting of two pigeons surrounded by stacks of books was featured on posters, in ads and online to promote the annual event celebrating literacy and the written word across Canada.

Seneca grad's doc to premieres at ReelWorld Film Festival
Mom, a short documentary developed at Seneca's Documentary Filmmaking Institute in summer 2012, had its world premiere at Toronto’s ReelWorld Film Festival in April. The film was made by graduate Ryan Singh during his four months of study at the Institute. In the nine-minute piece, Ryan reflects on the tradition of absent fathers in his family and how he wants to break that trend now that his wife is pregnant with twins.

Sting legends enter the OCAA Hall of Fame
The Ontario Colleges Athletic Association (OCAA) honoured 13 former Seneca Sting at its annual Hall of Fame induction ceremony, held in London, Ontario in May. Lee Trempe, a former Seneca women’s hockey coach, entered the Hall for leading the Sting to several titles during her years behind the bench in the 1980s. Joining her was a number of former Sting men’s and women’s hockey players who were named to the OCAA’s All-Millennium Hockey teams. Included among them were Steve Guyatt, Colin March, Jim McDonald, D.J. Meloff, Drake Turcotte, Debbie Northover (Coxworth), Geraldine Heaney, Jan Hoover, Angela James, Lee Ann Quinn, Christine Pellerin and Marina Zenk. Every player named to the All-Millennium team that is not already in the Hall also earned an induction. Seneca now has the most members of any Ontario college in the OCAA Hall of Fame at 40.

Seneca grad fashions displayed at the ROM
School of Fashion graduates showcased their work at the Royal Ontario Museum's Friday Night Live (FNL) series in June. Featuring displays throughout the museum, the event was highlighted by a fashion show in which models wore the designs of Seneca grads. FNL is a cultural social party for young adults held at the ROM in the spring and summer months.

Seneca grad gets Emmy nomination
Adrian Sutherland, a 2010 graduate of Seneca’s Visual Effects for Film and Television program, was nominated for an Emmy Award in July. Adrian, who works for SPINVFX in Toronto, was nominated in the "Special Visual Effects in a Supporting Role" category for his work as a lead compositor on the critically-acclaimed TV series The Borgias. In a few short years, Adrian has become a rising star in the visual effects industry having worked on several high profile movies and TV shows, including Game of Thrones and the Twilight movie franchise. Adrian was also nominated for a Canadian Screen Award.

Creative Advertising grad makes 30 under 30 list
Marketing Magazine released its 30 under 30 list in September and once again a graduate of Seneca’s Creative Advertising program was among those considered to be the best and brightest young stars in the industry. Jasmin Cheng, who graduated from the program in 2006, was the latest alum to receive this prestigious honour. In fact, the associate director of strategy at Twist Image became the fifth graduate in recent years to make the list. Each year, Marketing Magazine — a publication that is considered to be the voice of Canada’s marketing industry — releases its 30 under 30 list to celebrate the smartest young minds in marketing and advertising communication. In 2013, they received more than 300 nominations from across Canada.

Strengthening student supports

Koehler family continues its long-standing support of Seneca students
Twenty-three Seneca students received $1,000 each thanks to Rita and Rudy Koehler in May. The steadfast Seneca donors assist students annually through the Koehler Grandchildren Bursary. It is one of the original bursaries distributed by the College to recognize students studying in the faculties of Business and Applied Arts & Health Sciences for their high academic standing, compassion, character and citizenship. This year, Rita and Rudy made a significant contribution to their endowment fund that will assist even more Seneca students in years to come. The Koehlers’ connection to Seneca comes through their granddaughters, both of whom are graduates, but their generosity extends past the College, as the couple supports charities across Canada.

Rita and Rudy Koehler
Rita and Rudy Koehler, whose granddaughters graduated from Seneca annually assist students through their bursary.

Dual Credit bursaries awarded to secondary school students
In October, Seneca presented 16 Dual Credit bursaries worth $1,000 each to secondary school students who successfully completed a dual credit course and then enrolled in a full-time program at the College. As part of the School of Liberal Arts and Academic Partnerships' School-College-Work Initiative, the program allows secondary students to earn a credit toward their secondary school diploma and a College subject in order to support successful transitions to postsecondary education and to encourage college pathways.

Hyatt Family Foundation establishes annual bursary and award programs to help students
The Hyatt Family Foundation chose to support Seneca students through the establishment of annual bursary and award programs in 2013-14. Seneca is the first post-secondary institution to receive a gift from the Foundation. The Hyatt Family Foundation Award will assist a number of students with tuition and living expenses while the Foundation’s Bursary will provide a tuition assistance grant to 10 students each year. The Foundation is one of many successful Hyatt family collaborations. For 20 years, the family has been a driving force in the technology sector, building two of the fastest growing companies in Canada. The Hyatts co-founded Dyadem, a successful risk assessment software company and BlueCat, a leading global provider of IP address management platforms.

Seneca’s Board of Governors contribute to student support
In 2013-14, each member of Seneca’s Board of Governors made a donation to the Board’s Entrance Scholarship Fund. The Scholarship rewards academically-promising high school graduates who have made Seneca their destination for postsecondary education. Governors generously surpassed their fundraising goal in 2013, clearly demonstrating their commitment to student success.

Soaring to new heights

The School of Aviation and Flight Technology’s move to a custom facility in Peterborough was the start of a new chapter in the School’s celebrated history.

In January 2014, Seneca completed the relocation of its School of Aviation and Flight Technology from Buttonville Airport in Markham to the Peterborough Municipal Airport.

The move was prompted when the owners of the Buttonville Airport—where the School had been based for more than 40 years—announced their intent to close the airport in October 2010. To ensure the delivery of the Bachelor of Aviation Technology program would not be affected, Seneca set out to relocate to a new location.

A comprehensive analysis was done of airports across southern Ontario to determine the best location for the program. In April 2012, Seneca’s Board of Governors approved the relocation of all flight training activities to the Peterborough Municipal Airport. The first Seneca student flights took off from the new facility in late January 2014.

“The Peterborough Municipal Airport is an excellent site for the Bachelor of Aviation Technology’s senior students,” says Lynne McMullen, Chair, School of Aviation. “At this new location, Seneca students will continue to receive high quality aviation education in a modern, purpose-built facility.”

Flight training and classroom instruction, for students in years two-to-four of the program, will take place at the new state-of-the-art Peterborough Campus. The first year of classroom instruction will remain at the Newnham Campus.

Seneca has also partnered with Fleming College to support the students based in Peterborough through select course offerings and access to student services and athletic facilities. Fleming’s Peterborough Campus is just five kilometres from the new site.

Seneca and the City of Peterborough jointly oversaw the construction of the new building, with the municipality coordinating all of the associated airside infrastructure improvements. The construction of the new facility followed the airport’s $28 million expansion, which was completed in 2011. The airport has the longest runway between Toronto and Ottawa and completed the paving of a cross-wind runway to ensure student safety.

“The Bachelor of Aviation Technology program is the only one of its kind in Canada,” says Lynne. “It prepares students to operate a complex aircraft in a multi-crew environment, and they also learn about business management, airport operation and air carrier administration.”

An official opening ceremony for the Peterborough Aviation Campus was held on June 3, 2014.

Learn more at

Peterborough Aviation Campus
The Peterborough Aviation Campus is a leading edge facility for a renowned program.

Fast Facts


25,000 full-time students annually

70,000 continuing education registrations annually

More than 8,000 students graduate from Seneca every year and 95% of employers are satisfied with those graduates


More than 4,000 international students from 130 countries


With more than 500 career options and an abundance of program offerings, Seneca features over 150 full-time programs and 140 part-time programs, including:

  • 12 Degrees
  • 64 Diplomas
  • 23 Advanced Diplomas
  • 22 Certificates
  • 29 Post-graduate certificates


Seneca is #1 among Ontario colleges to send graduates on to university through postsecondary partnerships

Over 50 partner institutions in Ontario and worldwide

Through Ontario’s School-College-Work Initiative, more than 900 dual credit students from seven local school boards are enrolled at Seneca each year