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Year in review: Celebrating achievements across the Seneca community

April 1, 2016 to March 31, 2017

The 2016-17 academic year was filled with noteworthy accomplishments for Seneca. The following are some of our highlights:

Funding announced to create new Centre for Innovation, Technology and Entrepreneurship
In late August 2016, Seneca received news of a $27.3 million investment by the federal and provincial governments to build the Centre for Innovation, Technology and Entrepreneurship (CITE) at Newnham Campus. The announcement was made by Greg Fergus, Parliamentary Secretary to the federal Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development and the Hon. Deb Matthews, Ontario Minister of Advanced Education and Skills Development. The federal government contribution from the Strategic Infrastructure Fund is $24 million and the provincial contribution is $3.3 million.

CITE will be a hub for Seneca’s innovation and entrepreneurial activities and an expanded location for our mechatronics program and mechanical engineering technology programs currently at Jane Campus. It will include classrooms, labs, innovation and entrepreneurial supports and a presentation gallery that incorporates Indigenous design. It will also include new space for HELIX, Seneca’s business incubator.

King Campus expansion receives $3 million philanthropic gift from Magna
Seneca's Campaign for King Campus received a $3 million contribution from Magna International for the King Campus expansion. This is the largest gift in Seneca’s history and was announced by Magna's Executive Vice-President, Chief Human Resources Officer and Seneca graduate, Marc Neeb, at the official launch of the expansion.

The celebration, hosted by Seneca’s President David Agnew, included remarks from the Hon. Deb Matthews, Minister of Advanced Education and Skills Development, the Hon. Dr. Helena Jaczek, Minister of Community and Social Services and MPP for Oak Ridges - Markham and Steve Pellegrini, Mayor of King Township. Aida Bakhtyieva, former President, Seneca Student Federation and Hamid Najibullah, President, King Recreation Council, spoke on behalf of students, who are contributing nearly $20 million to the building.

Seneca again named one of Greater Toronto’s top employers
Seneca was named one of Greater Toronto’s Top Employers (2017). This year’s list was included in a special editorial supplement in the Globe and Mail. The competition has become remarkably strong and recognizes employers that lead their industries in offering exceptional places to work. Seneca has been recognized eight times with the top employer award.

Celebrating student achievements

Students shine at innovation and entrepreneurship competition
Two students and HELIX participants placed first in the Colleges and Institutes Canada’s (CICan) first-ever Student Showcase and Pitch Competition.

Kim Ng and Paulo Henrique Meneghel tied for first place, presenting their business ideas to a panel of judges and nearly 200 innovation and entrepreneurship leaders from across Canada. Kim won for her mobile application, BEAUT, which connects customers to local hairdressers, make-up artists and nail technicians. Paulo impressed the judges with EMERGE Network Solutions, which aims to make hospitals, urgent care centres and clinics more efficient by providing them with the health information of incoming patients before their arrival.

Kim and Paulo competed against more than 20 students from Canadian colleges and institutes who showcased their applied research and entrepreneurship projects. The contest was held during CICan’s Applied Research, Entrepreneurship and Innovation Forum, hosted at Newnham Campus in November 2016.

Animation students top Canadians in 24-hour contest
Animation students April Tan, Kerry Briggs, Pavel Kiruchenko, Leo Hurtado and Kody Nankissoor took fifth place with their short film Inbetwieners - Mistaken Break In as part of the annual 24 Hours Student Animation Contest held by California State University, Long Beach in October 2016.

The contest challenged teams of five to complete an original, 30-second animated short in 24 hours. Seneca had 11 teams competing against animators from universities and colleges in the United States, Mexico, Australia and Canada.

Seneca produced the only Canadian team to place in the top five.

School of Fashion students win annual runway competition
School of Fashion students Sepideh Ghahremani, Rhonique Ballantyne and Andree Nicole Warner took home first place in the Project Creativ Catwalk Challenge at the 2016 Creativ Festival in Toronto. Six teams from three postsecondary institutions participated in the event that challenged the designers to create a runway-ready garment inspired by a song written and performed by either Prince or David Bowie. The winning team was inspired by the song Purple Rain by Prince.

Animated movie produced in association with Seneca
DAM! The Story of Kit the Beaver is the latest project from Seneca’s Animation Summer Institute. It is a collaboration between Seneca’s School of Creative Arts and Animation and the Toronto Symphony Orchestra (TSO), in partnership with the Toronto International Film Festival.

This 10-minute animated film, written and directed by Kjell Boersma, had screenings throughout spring 2017, with Erica Procunier’s original music score performed live by the TSO.

The project is part of the Canada 150 celebrations and premiered in February 2017 at Roy Thompson Hall.

Students win design challenge
A team of Environmental Landscape Management students won the Come Alive Outside Design Challenge held in October 2016. The competition called for students to work with landscape professionals to design and build engaging outdoor learning environments at schools and childcare facilities.

The winning team entered a design for a sensory garden to engage children’s curiosity, allowing them to see, hear, feel, smell and taste plants. The entry was created by primary team members Nicole Greshuk, Jacob Pacitto and Marco Parisi, with secondary team members Evan Salmon, Andrew Balasa, Daniel Antoniel, John Aloisio, Kevin Kitamura, Edward DeBoer, Brie Rurak, Yusef Lokhat, Rouben Bulosan, William Xian and Stanley Deng.

The garden will be built at the Massassage-Rednersville Elementary School over the next two years.

Students and donors celebrated
The second annual Seneca Awards celebration was held in April 2016, recognizing the outstanding accomplishments of students who received scholarships and bursaries. The evening also recognized corporations, businesses, associations and individuals whose donations make the awards possible. The event provided the students an opportunity to meet and network with their award donors.

Faculty of Communication, Art and Design students publish two books
Seneca celebrated the launch of two books showcasing the work of students from the Faculty of Communication, Art and Design:

  • The Seneca Fashion Resource Centre provides a look at some of the rare and interesting garments that are featured in the Centre. Opened in 1989, it now houses more than 15,000 garments that date as far back as the late 1800s
  • The Art Collection Seneca@York includes works from Seneca’s collection of contemporary Canadian art featured at Seneca@York.

Both publications were produced by students in the Public Relations - Corporate Communications, Independent Digital Photography and Graphic Design programs and were published by Seneca Press.

Creative advertising students win provincial competition
Students from the Creative Advertising program once again won first place in advertising agency Grip Limited’s annual Orange Juicer Competition. Sixteen teams from Ontario colleges and universities competed for the opportunity to pitch an advertising campaign to an agency client. Winners received a paid three-month position in the ad agency’s apprenticeship program.

Graduate with wings lifts SMILE ceremony
The SMILE Mentoring Program held its 15th annual Mentor Recognition Ceremony at Newnham Campus, celebrating the contributions of 150 student mentors who joined the program in 2016.

Erin Grant, Aviation Technology graduate and former SMILE Mentor, returned to Seneca to honour the student mentors. The 2013 Seneca Cup recipient had recently moved from a first officer position at Jazz Aviation to Air Canada. Grant congratulated the award recipients for their commitment to SMILE and enhancing the personal, academic and professional growth of first-year students.

Celebrating achievements of staff and faculty

Linda Stapleton recognized with a pair of honours
Linda Stapleton, Director of Athletics and Recreation, was named the 2016 Canadian Collegiate Athletic Association (CCAA) Athletic Director of the Year. Under Linda’s leadership, the Sting has captured a number of CCAA and Ontario Collegiate Athletic Association championships and her commitment to student-athletes, campus recreation and wellness has spanned more than 30 years. Linda also received the 2016 Art King Award for outstanding contribution and leadership to student services.

CICan awards Seneca excellence
Seneca was honoured to be among the recipients when Colleges and Institutes Canada (CICan) announced its 2016 Awards of Excellence, recognizing best practices and leadership at colleges and institutes across Canada.

Hadi Majzoub was named the silver recipient of the 2016 CICan Staff Excellence Award. Hadi, Manager, Academic Programs, School of Electronics and Mechanical Engineering Technology, was recognized for the instrumental role he played in preparing for the launch of the new Mechatronics Simulation and Demonstration Centre. Hadi had twice visited Siemens headquarters in Germany to train on the new software used in the Centre. In addition to overseeing operations for the Centre, Hadi coached faculty and staff on the new equipment.

The Social Service Worker – Immigrants and Refugees program was selected as the silver recipient of the Program Excellence Award. It was highlighted for its specialized knowledge of the newcomer experience and preparing graduates to help clients with the challenges faced throughout their integration into Canadian society. Program Coordinator Soheila Pashang accepted the award on Seneca’s behalf.

Rose Caruso recognized for dedication to veterans
Rose Caruso, Professor, School of English and Liberal Studies, received the 2016 Minister of Veterans Affairs Commendation for her dedication to raising awareness and appreciation of Canadian soldiers and veterans.

For more than 15 years, Rose has been inviting veterans to speak in her classes and share their stories about serving Canada at war. Rose has also been instrumental in organizing Remembrance Day activities at Seneca, including erecting a cenotaph at the Newnham Campus, which was recognized by Veterans Affairs Canada as an official military memorial.

Angela James included in 100 Accomplished Black Women
Angela James, Senior Sports Coordinator, was selected to be in the book 100 Accomplished Black Women – 2016, recognizing her accomplishments as an athlete, including being the first woman inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame.

This publication documents the accomplishments of black Canadian women for their social, educational, political and professional accomplishments.

Dr. Elliott Coleshill awarded Sovereign’s Medal for Volunteers
Dr. Elliott Coleshill, Professor, School of Information and Communications Technology, was awarded the Sovereign’s Medal for Volunteers for his work promoting the importance of young women in the fields of science, technology, engineering and math. The Sovereign’s Medal for Volunteers recognizes the exceptional volunteer achievements of Canadians and is presented by the Governor General of Canada David Johnston.

Seneca writers
Several faculty members wrote or contributed to various textbooks in 2016-17. Laura Cavanagh, Professor and Program Coordinator, Behavioural Sciences, contributed to the new edition of Robert Feldman’s Essentials of Understanding Psychology. She is credited for the significant overhaul of the popular textbook.

Dr. Odilia Osakwe, Professor, Industrial Pharmaceutical Technology, co-authored Social Aspects of Drug Discovery, Development and Commercialization, which discusses the various social factors that affect and influence the drug development process.

Brett Wills, Professor, School of Business Management, published Purposely Profitable: Embedding Sustainability into the DNA of Food Processing and Other Businesses. It covers how businesses can integrate sustainability into their practices to drive organizational performance.

Cliff Aguiar awarded for support of equity
Cliff Aguiar, former York Regional Police (YRP) Central Intelligence Analyst and Professor, Police Foundations, received the 2016 Leo McArthur Civilian Recognition Award. Cliff was recognized for his dedication to the YRP and for his work in supporting equity and fair treatment for members of the LGBTQ community. He created the YRP’s LGBTQ internal support network and is credited for advancing police participation in Pride events.

Angie Arora recognized for contributions to gender parity
Angie Arora, Professor, Social Service Worker - Immigrants and Refugees, was honoured for her extraordinary contributions to issues of gender parity and equity. Markham Mayor Frank Scarpitti presented Angie with a Pledge for Parity Award at the City of Markham’s International Women’s Day.

Christina Sgro recognized for success in planning
Christina Sgro, Program Coordinator, Faculty of Continuing Education and Training, was selected as the 2016 recipient of the Canadian Institute of Planners’ President’s Award for Young Planners. The award recognizes the outstanding professional successes and achievements of a Canadian planner under the age of 35.

Christina, a certified urban planner and lawyer with a passion for community building, law health promotion and technology, was instrumental in the development of Seneca’s part-time Sustainable Planning and Development certificate program.

Kelly Mathews completes record-breaking Moraine hike
Kelly Mathews, Manager, Community Recreation, Seneca Day Camp Programs & Outdoor Centre, completed a 300-kilometre hike across the entire Oak Ridges Moraine over seven straight days, raising funds for both the Campaign for King Campus and the Oak Ridges Trail Association. She walked the distance of a marathon a day, emerging at the Warkworth terminus of the trail, on the final day of her hike, in September 2016.

Bringing wildlife to students
Dr. Sue Carstairs, Professor for the Exotics and Wildlife course, helped hatch more than 1,000 turtles at the Ontario Turtle Conservation Centre in 2016. Often referred to as the “turtle doctor,” Sue has helped many Veterinary Technician students complete field placements at the Centre. This provides a rare opportunity to work with a species students otherwise would not have encountered.

In 2015, Rick Greenlaw, Facilities Manager, alerted Sue of a turtle who had laid her eggs on a King Campus bridge, which was scheduled to be rebuilt. Sue collected, incubated and hatched the eggs so that they could be safely released into their natural habitat.

In June 2016, President Agnew welcomed David Miller, CEO, World Wildlife Fund, and Steve Pellegrini, Mayor, King Township, to King Campus to celebrate the release of the 15 at-risk snapping turtle hatchlings into Lake Seneca.

Professor recognized in photography competition
David Turnbull, Professor, School of Media, received an honourable mention in the 2016 International Mobile Photography Awards competition in the photo journalism category.

Approximately 5,000 artists from 70 countries entered the sixth annual competition that required submissions be taken on a mobile device. Using his 12-year-old flip-phone, David captured a moment during a New Year’s Eve dinner celebration in Toronto.

The Mobile Photography Awards recognize and celebrate the talent and imagery of the mobile photo and art communities.

Celebrating achievements of alumni

Seneca collaborates with AGO to showcase art in virtual reality
The School of Creative Arts and Animation teamed up with the Art Gallery of Ontario (AGO) and the Canadian Film Centre Media Labs to showcase Small Wonders: The VR Experience at the AGO – the first virtual reality art exhibit of its kind. The exhibit featured miniature, globe-shaped prayer beads made in Northern Europe during the early 1500s. The tiny masterpieces contain intricate details and layering, barely visible to the naked eye.

Under Professor Priam Givord’s direction, Animation program graduates created scans and processed images of the miniatures to develop the virtual reality experience, offering insight into the cultural significance of the art work. In May 2016, the exhibit moved from the AGO to The Met in New York City.

Amber Bowman wins national FireFit title
Amber Bowman became the record-breaking 2016 national champion in the annual FireFit competition, where she completed a series of tasks commonly performed in emergency situations. Amber is a full-time firefighter for Central York Fire Services, a graduate of the Firefighter Pre-Service Education and Training program and now works part-time for the program as a fitness instructor. Amber established a new best time for women competitors – finishing the grueling course in less than two minutes.

Alumni Pay-It-Forward Challenge surpasses goal
In spring 2016, Seneca Alumni launched a new giving campaign called the Pay-It-Forward Challenge, inviting alumni to make a gift of any amount toward the Student Financial Aid Fund. The Challenge closed with 285 donors, surpassing the goal by 35, and raising more than $10,000 to support Seneca students. Because the goal was reached, an anonymous donor gave an additional $25,000 that will provide 50 students in need with bursaries of $500 each.

Six graduates nominated for Premier’s Award
The Premier’s Award for College Graduates recognizes the tremendous contributions the alumni of Ontario’s colleges make to the province. Six experienced and accomplished Seneca alumni were nominated for the 2016 Premier’s Award:

  • Jolene Huber: A graduate of the Broadcast Journalism Summer Institute, Dr. Huber is one of Canada’s leading media health experts, providing knowledge translation of health information to the public through television, web and print media. She also founded, to promote healthy living for children, and is part of the St. Michael’s Hospital Inner City Health Program and the Paediatric Outreach Team
  • Mia Spiegelman: Mia is the National Director, Regulatory Affairs and Quality Assurance for Cardinal Health Canada. A graduate of the Pharmaceutical Regulatory Affairs and Quality Operations program, Mia is also a faculty member with the Academy of Applied Pharmaceutical Sciences where she teaches Medical Device Regulatory Affairs and Medical Device Quality and Regulatory Requirements for Importer/Distributor and Manufacturers
  • Kevin Junor: Kevin is the Deputy Superintendent, Compliance, Ministry of Community Safety and Correctional Services. As an army reservist, Kevin has reached the rank of Chief Warrant Officer and Regimental Sergeant Major with the Toronto Scottish Regiment – the first black Canadian to achieve this distinction. A graduate of the Civil Engineering Technician program, Kevin was awarded the Order of Military Merit and was deployed as a senior military adviser to war-torn Sierra Leone in 2007
  • Vivienne Poy: The Hon. Dr. Vivienne is a designer, scholar and former Chancellor of the University of Toronto. A Fashion Arts program graduate, she founded Vivienne Poy Mode, designing unique knitwear for clients in North America and Asia. Vivienne was the first Canadian of Asian descent appointed to the Senate of Canada, where she put forth the Motion to have May recognized as Asian Heritage Month
  • Andrew Bowins: A graduate of the Corporate Communications program and former Vice President, Corporate Relations at Samsung, Andrew is now Executive Director, Corporate Reputation and Digital Engagement at KPMG. Andrew is a sought after industry expert on modern communications and content pollution. In 2013, he was inducted to the PR News Hall of Fame
  • Chris Tyler: Chris is a founder of the Centre for Development of Open Technology at Seneca and was named one of the first Natural Science and Engineering Research Council Industrial Research Chairs for colleges. His collaboration with Red Hat on the Fedora Project contributed to the ground-breaking success of Raspberry Pi. Chris also helped launch the Free Software and Open Source Symposium at Seneca.

Strengthening our community

Patrick Brown tours Newnham, meets future farmers at HELIX
Patrick Brown, leader of the Progressive Conservative Party of Ontario and Leader of the Official Opposition, visited Newnham Campus in March 2017. President Agnew provided a tour of the campus including stops at the Mechatronics Simulation and Demonstration Centre, the flight simulator and HELIX. At HELIX, Mr. Brown met with Green Business Management program graduates Brandon Hebor and Steven Bourne who have used their Seneca education and HELIX participation to launch Ripple Farms. Their sustainable farming initiative uses aquaculture (raising fish) and hydroponics (soil-less plant cultivation) to produce organic food in urban settings.

Ontario government invests in Seneca project to help newcomers find employment
The Hon. Laura Albanese, Ontario’s Minister of Citizenship and Immigration, came to Newnham Campus in August 2016 to announce several new projects to help highly skilled newcomers find careers in Ontario. One of those projects was Seneca’s Alternative Career Pathways project, funded with a $285,000 grant from the province. The project, formally named “Bridging Newcomers to Related and Alternative Careers in Engineering and Natural Sciences,” is a collaboration of public and private stakeholders to research and explore a range of alternative career options available to newcomers in the natural and applied sciences.

Inaugural RBC Mental Health Symposium held at King Campus
Seneca and Royal Bank of Canada brought together community and social agencies, mental health practitioners, researchers, scholars and students at the inaugural RBC Mental Health Symposium at King Campus in May 2016.

The all-day event, which opened with a keynote address by former federal Finance Minister Michael Wilson, was the first of its kind in York Region. With 250 people in attendance, the symposium provided a forum for the mental health community to discuss best practices and research on emerging trends in mental health care and the emotional well-being of children and adults.

The theme of the symposium was “trauma and practice across the life span” and included panel discussions, art displays and networking opportunities that focused on the issues of trauma resistance and resilience, trauma informed practices and compassion fatigue.

This bi-annual symposium is the result of a $150,000 commitment from RBC over the next five years. RBC has also donated $150,000 for mental health community outreach and research projects for students in the new Mental Health Intervention graduate certificate program.

Transportation Minister joins the conversation about mental health
The Hon. Steven Del Duca, Transportation Minister and Member of Provincial Parliament for Vaughan, took part in the important conversation about mental health at Markham Campus during Bell Let’s Talk Day in January 2017. He joined President Agnew, faculty, staff, students and alumni from Seneca’s Mental Health Intervention program for a roundtable discussion, focused on topics related to how to support students with mental illness effectively. MPP Del Duca also toured the campus, including a stop at the Friendship Bench – one of four installed across Seneca as a visual reminder to talk openly about mental health issues.

Sixth annual Immigrants and Refugees Forum
The sixth annual Social Services – Immigrants and Refugees Forum took place at Seneca@York in spring 2016, attracting more than 350 attendees. The forum focused on Canada’s response to the Syrian Refugee Crisis and also featured an art exhibition and various student performances.

Numerous community and government leaders were honoured for their outstanding contributions in response to the ongoing crisis in Syria, including the Hon. Michael Chan, Ontario’s Minister of Citizenship, Immigration and International Trade, and the Hon. John McCallum, then Federal Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship. Ahmed Hussen, Member of Parliament for York South – Weston, accepted the award on behalf of Minister McCallum.

Campaign surpasses goal
The 2016 Campaign for Students raised $109,569 in support of Seneca students in financial need. The funds were raised through individual donations and more than 75 fundraising events and initiatives. Because the goal was surpassed, the Seneca Student Federation made a donation of $100,000 to the Campaign.

An additional $21,557 was raised through the generosity of an anonymous donor who matched all donations made by first-time donors and gifts to the King Campus expansion, for a grand total of more than $221,000.

Master class with a legend
Broadway, television and film legend Ben Vereen worked with students from both Acting for Camera and Voice and Independent Songwriting and Performance in a special master class held in April 2016. The Tony-winning actor shared performance lessons learned during a lifetime of appearing on stage in Pippin, Chicago, Wicked and on television in such shows as the original production of Roots and, more recently, Grey's Anatomy.

Elected officials visit Newnham Campus
Seneca hosted visits from Brampton West Member of Provincial Parliament Vic Dhillon and Willowdale Member of Parliament Ali Ehsassi.

This was MPP Dhillon’s first visit to Seneca, during which he met with HELIX participants, toured the Mechatronics lab, tested the aviation simulator and met with a group of international students, who shared their experiences of coming to Canada and studying at Seneca. MP Ehsassi also toured the Mechatronics lab, piloted our aviation simulator and met with HELIX participants.

Seneca scores Shanahan
Brendan Shanahan, NHL hall-of-famer and President of the Toronto Maple Leafs, visited Newnham Campus in February 2017 to share his experiences in business management. Mr. Shanahan spoke with the future entrepreneurs of HELIX about the importance that leadership and team building play in creating a successful organization.

Minister Chagger, HELIX welcome youth entrepreneurs
The Hon. Bardish Chagger, Leader of the Government in the House of Commons and Minister of Small Business and Tourism, joined President Agnew and the HELIX team in welcoming 96 high school students to Markham Campus in March 2017 for the Y2 Entrepreneurship Conference.

MP Chagger provided the keynote address for the conference, expressing the importance of having access to meaningful learning experiences that help young entrepreneurs explore their passions.

Strengthening our partnerships

Indo-Canadian competition between Seneca and the College of Engineering Pune
Seneca, the College of Engineering Pune (CoEP) in India and the City of Markham held an innovative health care project competition to support youth entrepreneurship, promote a global view of entrepreneurship and provide exposure to entrepreneurial ideas to venture capital and angel investors.

Three Seneca HELIX companies competed against two ventures from the CoEP at Markham Campus in May 2016. The HELIX company, NextGEN, presented a winning idea that will allow food allergy sufferers to test their food quickly using a handheld device, and CoEP's Dreaming Life Co. was noted for its goal of providing affordable solutions to access drinking water.

HELIX signs first-of-its-kind agreement
HELIX, Seneca’s on-campus entrepreneurship incubator, signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Futurpreneur Canada that will provide young entrepreneurs immediate funding for their business ventures. This is the first agreement of its kind with a postsecondary institution.

The partnership with Futurpreneur, a non-profit organization that provides financing, mentoring and support tools to young aspiring business owners, will allow HELIX participants in the Acceleration Strand to bypass Futurpreneur’s usual approval and training processes, granting them automatic approval for $15,000 in startup financing.

Seneca first college in Canada to receive CPA Accreditation
Seneca became the first college in Canada to receive accreditation by the Chartered Professional Accountants of Ontario (CPA).

The CPA Accreditation allows graduates of the Professional Accountancy certificate and who have also completed the Accounting Stream of Seneca’s Bachelor of Commerce – International Accounting and Finance degree program to complete the core and elective modules of the CPA Professional Education program in four months.

Seneca hosts GTA IT Accelerator program
In partnership with ACCES Employment, LinkedIn and CivicAction, Seneca piloted a short-term skills-based training program in Web Programming and Development for priority youth in the GTA from November 2016 to January 2017 at Markham Campus. The program is the first to implement real-time LinkedIn Economic Graph data to assess in-demand tech skills in the GTA, while addressing youth unemployment and under-employment in the region.

Seneca and ACFCS forge strategic education partnership
The Association of Certified Financial Crime Specialists (ACFCS) announced a strategic collaboration to deliver financial crime training and certification to Seneca’s students and alumni. Through the partnership, ACFCS and Seneca will offer students the opportunity to become certified in financial crime expertise. The financial crime specialist credential was added into Seneca’s Honours Bachelor of Commercial - Financial Services Management degree program and is the only certification to verify knowledge and skills across all areas of financial crime.

Seneca’s largest individual donor named to Order of Canada
Rudy Koehler, Seneca’s most generous individual donor, was named to the Order of Canada for his philanthropic work, notably directed at helping youth overcome adversity. The Order of Canada, one of Canada’s highest civilian honours, recognizes outstanding achievement, dedication to the community and service to the nation.

For more than 12 years, Rudy and his wife, Rita, have shown tremendous dedication to student success. Bursaries from the Koehler Grandchildren Endowment (named after the couple’s two granddaughters who graduated from Seneca), the Koehler Award for Academic Upgrading Graduates and the Koehler Family Student Success Scholarship have made education possible for hundreds of students, providing vital financial support and recognition for academic success.

HELIX welcomes co-founder of Boston Scientific
John Abele, co-founder of Boston Scientific and owner of the Kingsbridge Institute and Conference Centre, visited Newnham Campus in April 2016 to address more than 120 students and community partners. His hour-long lecture covered various issues associated with developing and sustaining authentic leadership across all sectors. Mr. Abele, one of the world’s most successful and community-minded business leaders, also met with HELIX companies and mentors prior to his talk to hear their business pitches and offer advice on their ventures.

Seneca and Cambrian College forge partnership
Seneca signed a first-of-its-kind agreement with Cambrian College in August 2016 to expand degree and diploma pathways between the two institutions. The collaboration will facilitate student mobility, allowing current students to pursue more credentials and recent graduates to enhance theirs.

The agreement also calls for Seneca and Cambrian to work together for academic planning purposes, creating more opportunities for students beyond the walls of both institutions.

Partnership between Seneca and University of Central Asia put into practice
The University of Central Asia (UCA) welcomed its first class of undergraduates thanks in large part to an innovative, ongoing partnership with Seneca.

Professor Valerie Lopes, Director of Teaching and Learning, has spearheaded the curriculum development efforts for UCA’s first-year students.

Courses are designed within a framework of “constructive alignment” – an approach that encourages students to construct meaning from learning activities relevant to their own lives in Central Asia, while also developing a global awareness and perspective.

A key component of UCA’s co-operation with Seneca is the professional development of UCA staff. Two UCA faculty members travelled to Toronto for nearly a month of training with the Seneca team. They also audited math and English courses that mirror those developed for the UCA Preparatory Program.

TRIEC celebrates Seneca’s contribution to mentoring newcomers
The Toronto Region Immigrant Employment Council (TRIEC) recognized Seneca for connecting staff volunteers with newcomers to Canada. Through Seneca’s participation in TRIEC’s The Mentoring Program, staff volunteers successfully mentored 100 professionally skilled immigrants and assisted with their job searches in Canada.

School of Fashion launches research on textile waste diversion
Seneca's School of Fashion partnered with leading textile reclamation company, Textile Waste Diversion (TWD), on a research project to reduce the 85% of unwanted clothing that ends up in municipal landfills. TWD and Seneca aim to address this problem and take advantage of opportunities to shift consumer behavior.

Financial planning advanced diplomas now official pathways to designation
Seneca became the first Ontario college to have two financial planning advanced diplomas approved by the Canadian Securities Institute. The three-year Business Administration – Financial Planning and Business Administration – Accounting & Financial Planning advanced diploma programs, offered through Seneca’s School of Accounting and Financial Services, have been approved as educational paths leading to The Canadian Securities Institute’s Personal Financial Planner designation.

Seneca at a glance

  • 10 campuses in Toronto, York Region and Peterborough, each with academic specialities and unique appeal
  • 91 per cent employer satisfaction rate
  • Named among the most entrepreneurial postsecondary institutions in Ontario by Startup Canada


  • More than 63,000 applications received in fall 2016
  • 30,000 full-time students annually
  • 5,376 international students from over 130 countries
  • 70,000 continuing education registrants annually


With more than 500 career options and an abundance of program offerings, Seneca offers more than 191 full-time programs and 187 part-time programs, including: 

  • 16 Degrees
  • 72 Diplomas
  • 28 Advanced Diplomas
  • 23 Certificates
  • 48 Graduate Certificates


  • Seneca announced pathways with two Northern colleges – Cambrian in Sudbury and Canadore in North Bay – for their students to do degree and diploma completions at Seneca
  • Seneca is first among Ontario colleges to send graduates on to university through postsecondary partnerships
  • Seneca has achieved innovative pathways in four program areas in partnership with York University; since 2002, these pathways have allowed more than 20,000 students to transfer between York University and Seneca
  • Seneca and University of Toronto Scarborough (UTSC) created the first Bachelor of Science pathway in Ontario. Graduates of Seneca’s Arts and Science program who meet admission requirements will be able to enrol in courses at UTSC, leading them to receive both a Seneca diploma and UTSC Honours Bachelor of Science degree in four years
  • Seneca students can have their credits recognized at over 60 partner institutions in Ontario and worldwide
  • Through Ontario’s School-College-Work Initiative, more than 1,000 dual credit students from nine local school boards enrol at Seneca each year

New program offerings

New programs this year

Board of Governors Listing

  • David Agnew, President
  • Fariba Anderson
  • Janet Beed (Vice-Chair)
  • Doug Brooks
  • Marc Caira
  • Ahmed Chakera (Support Staff Representative)
  • Lois Cormack
  • Donna Duncan (Chair)
  • Shafiq Ebrahim
  • John Honderich
  • Warren Jestin (Vice-Chair)
  • Alice Keung
  • Mina Mawani
  • Naki Osutei
  • Mark Solomon (Administrative Staff Representative)
  • Belinda Tang
  • Vince Timpano
  • Rashpal Uppal-Assi (Faculty Representative)
  • Jeff Vandenberg (Student Representative)
  • Karen Webb

Summary of Advertising and Marketing Complaints

Nature of Complaint Date received How resolved/addressed Date resolution communicated to student Number of working days to resolve

Total number of complaints: Nil

Average number of working days to resolution: N/A