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October 11, 2013

October 11, 2013

Building Partnerships

I met with Rob Henderson, President of BioTalent Canada to discuss skills gaps in biotechnology and a potential biotechnology certification program.

We had the pleasure of hosting two representatives from the Féderation des cégeps last week. Brigitte Giroux, Assistant Director to the President and CEO and Céline Desjardins, Research and Development Advisor joined us to discuss efforts to promote the college research agenda. For a part of the visit, we were also joined by Marie Thibault and Patrick St Pierre from the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council, along with Heidi Bandulet and Sandra Zahar from the Canadian Foundation for Innovation.

ACCC has been increasing its engagement with the Fédération des cégeps in recent months, including in Communications, to highlight innovations across the province and collaborate on information-sharing with our respective memberships. The Féderation des cégeps is the voluntary umbrella organization of the 48 public cégeps in Quebec and ACCC looks forward to working with them more closely in the future.

Applied Research

The ACCC National Research Advisory Committee (NRAC) met this week at the ACCC offices.  NRAC is comprised mainly of college and institute directors of research. It provides feedback to ACCC on the implementation of college-specific research programs, identifies barriers in the system and supports the work of the ACCC Presidents’ Committee on Science, Technology and Innovation. The Committee was joined by Bert Van den Berg, Director, Colleges, Commercialization and Portfolio Planning and Jack Deyirmendjian, Deputy Director, College and Community Innovation Program, Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada, and by Cindy Carter, Unit Head, Capital Investments, Investment Science and Technology Division and Marina Prokopenko, Analyst, Capital Investments, Statistics Canada.

CEO on the Move

I was pleased to be invited to deliver the keynote address at the World Congress on Access to Post-secondary Education on October 7 in Montreal. This four-day event brought together academics, policy makers and students to debate different ways to improve access of diverse social groups to higher education.”

While visiting Cégep de Matane last week, I was quite impressed by their Digital Imagery Research and Development Centre (Centre de développement et de recherche en imagerie numérique), equipped with the largest motion capture studio dedicated to research in North America.  The facility is used for research and technology transfer, including 11 NSERC-funded research projects, and for six training programs: 3D Animation and Image Synthesis; Multimedia Integration; Photography; Computers and Programming for Interactive Media; Industrial Electronics; and Urban Planning.

During my meetings with Director General Claude Harvey and his executive team at Cégep de La Pocatière, I was intrigued by the Animal-Assisted Therapy program they offer (Programme en zoothérapie), as well as by the anechoic chamber, which is a room designed to completely absorb reflections of either sound or electromagnetic waves (anechoic means non-echoing or echo-free).

Canadian Chamber of Commerce Report

The Canadian Chamber of Commerce recently released Upskilling the Workforce: Employer-sponsored Training and Resolving the Skills Gap (October 2013).The report reinforces ACCC’s advocacy position on advanced skills shortages and speaks to the close ties members have with business and industry. ACCC President and CEO Denise Amyot is quoted.

IMPACT! Team Seeks College Student Involvement

The 2014 IMPACT! Youth Conference for Sustainability Leadership will bring together 175 student sustainability leaders from across Canada in Guelph, Ontario May 23-26, 2014—all expenses paid.

Applications are open until October 20th, 2013, at Students at the conference will work alongside over 40 sustainability leaders from various sectors across Canada, as well as renowned astronaut Chris Hadfield

IMPACT! is an initiative of The Co-operators, University of Guelph, The Natural Step, David Suzuki Foundation, Wilfrid Laurier University, University of Saskatchewan’s Centre for the Study of Co-operatives, Lambton College, Conseil de la co-opération de l’Ontario, and AIESEC.


Congratulations to Tom Weegar on being named President and CEO of Cumberland College, effective November 4.  Tom brings over 16 years of PSE leadership experience to the role, having most recently served as the Regional Director – Port Alberni & Alberni-Clayoquot Region, North Island College.  He holds a Doctorate in Educational Leadership and Policy, a Masters degree in Environmental Studies specializing in Native Studies, and a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology. Tom will replace Valerie Mushinski, who announced her retirement.

Congratulations to Dr. Dennis Silvestrone on being named Okanagan College’s new Director of Continuing Studies and Corporate Development, effective March 2014. Dennis has extensive experience in the post-secondary sector, including positions at Vancouver Island University, North Island College and the University of Manitoba.

Congratulations to Red River College on its 75th anniversary.  The College has come a long way from its beginnings as the Industrial Vocational Training School in one Winnipeg building in 1938 to today’s nine campuses across southern Manitoba. Happy Anniversary!

Coup de Coeur

Niagara College President Dan Patterson is digging in his heels for a good cause. Dan stepped forward, with other community leaders, to act as an ambassador for the Walk A Mile in Her Shoes event, run by Gillian’s Place, which provides assistance and shelter for abused women and children in the Niagara region. Click here to see the photo of Dan in heels, which has appeared in advertisements promoting the event, and for additional information or sponsorship opportunities.

Did You Know?

An increasing number of colleges are working to address the needs of Indigenous students through various initiatives, including Aboriginal Student Centres, gathering spaces and Elders-in-Residence programs. These initiatives offer support to students who may be struggling with college life; provide guidance on incorporating the traditional life with the life of being a student; share traditional knowledge and practices with faculty; and provide teachings about Indigenous culture and spirituality.

ACCC is developing an Indigenous Education Protocol to support capacity building and to profile college and institute approaches for serving Indigenous learners and communities. The Serving Indigenous Learners and Communities Symposium is being held in Vancouver December 2-3 and is being co-hosted by Nicola Valley Institute of Technology, Native Education College, Justice Institute of British Columbia and Vancouver Community College. Register today!

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