6 The Chronicle March 6 - 12, 2018 chronicle.durhamcollege.ca Campus Stories of strength, courage and vision Tracy Wright The Chronicle Black Canadian women and their stories of strength, courage and vision were celebrated during Black History Month at Durham College. These stories were shared on Feb. 21 in the Student Services Building at Durham College by Whitby MP Celina Caesar-Chavannes, Esther Forde owner of Cultural Expressions Gallery in Ajax and Uchechi Ezurike-Bosse, author, speaker and TV host. Caesar- Chavannes, shared her vision. A vision to build bridges between communities. In the end we are building bridges between Canadians and discussing the inclusion we need to work towards, says Caesar-Chavannes. True inclusion appreciates expression and brings value to the table, she says. Esther Forde, shared her courage, her love for the arts and her decision to open an art gallery 11 years ago in Ajax. Her courage was shown as she had no business experience and was not part of the established art community. But she wanted to engage the community with a diverse background in the arts. She brought the arts with a distinct colour from Africa to Canada. Her gallery features art from 20 to 30 different countries. Ezurike- Bosse, talked about strength. The first woman she saw to show great strength was her mom. Seeing her work hard, as a single mom raising three daughters instilled hard work in her. Her mom did what she had to do working three jobs to put food on the table and make sure her children got an education. With this knowledge she names five key things to help Black history is Canadian history not about separating groups. towards having no labels or limitation in life. Among her keys: take time, show belief, act and expand outside the comfort zone, surrender your vision to a higher power and last know you are not alone when you rise. In wrapping up Caesar-Chavannes said “Black history is Canadian history it is isn’t about separating groups. This is about recognition that we have a painful past in this country. And that truth supersedes anything else, we have to pay attention to that truth.” Allison Hector-Alexander, Durham College’s director of diversity, inclusion and transitions says, “Black History really is Canadian History.” “When we act as a community and we act as allies for each other we get the recognition. Where other people are acknowledging, it’s authentic and it helps the community to know that they do have allies.” The event ended with poems from local artist Greg Frankson, who says “Black History Month is the month to be really cool, black and artistic.” Photograph by Tracy Wright (Left) Allison Hector-Alexander, Durham College's director of diversity, inclusion and transition and Whitby MP Celina Caesar-Chavannes at Durham College's Black History Month celebration. The universal educational experience International experience helps stand out to potential employers I would definitely recommend it to anyone and everyone. Shana Fillatrau The Chronicle When Kyle Stiliadis first got to Ireland he didn’t have a cellphone. When he got to his residence at IT Carlow, there wasn’t anyone in the office. He later ran into someone who he knew from Durham College, and was able to stay with him for the night. He was nervous to be studying abroad at first, but once he got acclimated, he loved it. Stiliadis went on to receive a student of the year award from his partner school in Carlow, Ireland. Stiliadis attended Durham College for Music Business Management. After graduating, he attended Brock University before going to IT Carlow in Ireland. At IT Carlow, he finished his final year and graduated with Bachelor of Business degree, all through the help of Durham College’s International office. Stiliadis said he made lifelong friends, volunteered, travelled Europe, played basketball and much more while studying abroad. The experience has also helped him career wise. “I’ve gone through a couple of different interviews since I got back, and having that Photograph by Shana Fillatrau Eoin O'Brien (left), international coordinator from IT Carlow, presents Kyle Stiliadis with student of the year award. abroad experience has been great for my resume,” he says. “It’s an easy conversation starter and seems like a more knowledgeable about more than just Canada” It was difficult for Stiliadis at first since he was away from his family, but technology was helpful to stay in touch with them. “They’re proud of you,” he said. “They want you to succeed too, so all in all, it was a great experience. No regrets.” Stiliadis enjoyed his time abroad and felt it helped to make him who he is today. “I would definitely recommend it to anyone and everyone,” he said. “You’re nervous at first. The first couple bit is always tough to do, but once you get your foot in the door, don’t be shy.” Mike Lafleur, Durham College’s international education abroad assistant, agrees. He says it’s important for Durham College students to consider the bridge and pathway programs that DC offers because gaining international experience makes them stand out to employers. “I think for students, having the opportunity to go abroad is a platform for people to grow personally and professionally – to broaden their perspectives and to gain intercultural effectiveness and the ability to adapt and work well with people from different cultures is pretty important in the globalized world,” said Lafleur. Lafleur came to see Stiliadis receive the award from IT Carlow’s international coordinator Eoin O’Brien. Stiliadis won student of the year for Level Seven. In Ireland, schooling goes by the framework of qualifications. In this framework, level one is compared to kindergarten and Level Ten is a PhD. In Stiliadis’ case, Level Seven is a degree. “I’m delighted to be on site in Durham to award Kyle from last year, who was our Level Seven student of the year,” said O’Brien. “So, it’s a great achievement and a big achievement. He should be proud of it.” With a smile on his face, Stiliadis received his medallion and award certificate. “It was a great honour to get that award, and I couldn’t be happier that I received it. Well earned, I believe.”
Campus chronicle.durhamcollege.ca March 6 - 12, 2018 The Chronicle 7 A friendly face at DC Constantinou feels at home on campus Heather Snowdon The Chronicle Day in and day out he’s at Durham College (DC). A friendly face, beaming at students as they enter the school. He normally sits in The Pit, surrounded by students, who wave as they walk by. He is ambitious and ready to take on the day with a positive attitude. Micheal Constantinou, 28, started working for DC as a special events assistant in Sept. 2017, when he realized DC was the right place for him. “I love my job,” he said with a smile. He works part-time at the college and even when he’s not working he’s still at the college. “I just come and visit the school to see how everyone is doing,” he said. Constantinou was born and raised in Pickering. He has fond memories of hanging out with friends and meeting new people in the area. After studying culinary arts in the Community Integration through Co-operative Education program at DC for two years, he was compelled to stay on campus and was determined to work at Durham. “The people at the school have given me so much that I wanted to give back,” he said. He recalls the good times in school and all the friends he has made. The people at DC won him over and this was the main reason Constantinou was compelled to stay. “The school is like my second home,” said Constantinou. After graduating from DC in 2012, he wanted to further his passion and took another culinary arts program in Whitby at Liaison College. He graduated from there in 2013. Photograph by Heather Snowdon Micheal Constantinou, 28, has been working at Durham College since 2017 after graduating from the school. He works as a special events assistant at DC and comes to visit even when he's not working. “I loved culinary so much,” he said. Constantinou, worked part-time at Sunset Grill in 2015 for one year. Then accepted a seasonal job at Cosco, during the winter months in 2016.During the summer of 2017, he considered taking a job in the cafeteria at DC to practise what he had been studying, but found solace working in the sports sector of the school. Helping students be the best they could be. “I love motivating students, it makes me feel better as a person,” he said. Constantinou attends sporting events with students and does whatever he can to show support and rallies for his team by giving away free T-shirts. “I’d get them going…make some noise I’d say,” said Constantinou. “I give them motivation, which is the most important thing. They get my company and motivation and I’m there as a friend if they need it.” Taylor Reddings, a part-time DC student in 2016, met Constantinou in The Pit. “He walked over and introduced himself to me, we talked for a short while…after that every time we saw each other we would stop and talk,” said Reddings. Students frequently stop to chat with Constantinou. “As soon as they mention Mikey (Constantinou), they say they know him,”said Reddings about how Constantinou is well-liked and known throughout the school. “Mikey (Constantinou) has made such a positive impact on me and I always love to see him around campus,” said Reddings. Constantinou travels frequently, visiting Cyprus, where his family his from. He enjoys his time there. “I visit my family most of the time when I’m down there,” he said. Constantinou plans to stay at DC and further his career here, or as he calls it, his “second home." “It’s the people at Durham that make the school what it is.” No more street smart kids after safety village closure Safety village is closed for repair William McGinn The Chroncile As children leave the safety of their homes and guardians a few hours a day to go to school, they are at an age where learning the ways of safety in the streets is a must. The Kids’ Safety Village of Durham Region was built to do just that. The Kids’ Safety Village is located in Whitby, sharing grounds with Sir William Stephenson Public School and is operated by the Durham Region Police Service. Activities include how to cross the street and dialing 911, with working traffic lights, yield signs and park benches, but that is not what the Village is limited to. The village also includes battery-powered miniature cars, bicycles, and small buildings, one with a working road barrier. However, business is currently at a standstill. At the moment, the village is under construction in order to renovate its current main facility, because it “is very outdated and small,” said Corey Walsh, a Durham Regional Police community service officer. Expansion will have an additional classroom. “The expansion will have an additional classroom that will be utilized to teach a fire safety program.” The village has been closed since November and its reopening date is currently unknown. When in operation, the village is visited by about 15,000 students annually. According to Jim Olson, retired Durham District School Board principal, all students from all over Durham Region are welcome, including as far away as Beaverton, Port Perry and Uxbridge. The village is, according to Olson, funded by Durham Region, the school board and the police, and the only cost is students have to pay three dollars each for bus fare. Other than that, visits are free. “Classes currently include bike, road safety, pedestrian safety, Internet and anti –bullying programs as well,” says Walsh, adding it is for kids from Grades 1-6. The village used to teach vandalism laws and legal graffiti but the lesson was removed after Walsh took over. Commentary from children and adults alike on the teachings and experiences of the village have been positive, according to Walsh. “Kids always enjoy being able to explore the village and get to practice what they have learned in class out in the village. We receive a lot of positive feedback from both parents, teachers and students.” The village was built in 1995 through donations of $25,000 from local businesses and citizens.