IDRC among partners to receive Gates Foundation funding

Tuesday, September 30, 2014 - 4:00am

OCAD University’s Inclusive Design Research Centre (IDRC) has partnered with Lumen Learning in a project to develop the next generation of digital, personalized courseware that improves outcomes for low-income postsecondary students. Today, Lumen Learning was named among seven finalists to receive $20 million in funding from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

The Next Generation Courseware Challenge aims to leverage the best of what is known about the learning sciences, education research, and technology-enabled learning to create a next generation of digital courseware that can help postsecondary institutions and their faculty positively impact the trajectory of each student’s higher education experience.

Inspired in part by the ground-breaking work of Benjamin Bloom, Lumen’s courseware will apply educational strategies that show promise for improving learning outcomes: personal learning pathways for developing subject mastery; personalized teaching; and effective use of open educational resources. The result will be “next generation” courseware for four introductory-level college courses that enroll millions of students every year: Introduction to Business; Principles of Marketing; Microeconomics; and Macroeconomics. The IDRC will design the courseware’s universally accessible user experience through a highly iterative, inclusive and learner-centric process.

Among the IDRC, the other Lumen project partners are:

  • BBC Worldwide Learning: Lumen’s courseware will incorporate high quality educational videos that draw from BBC Worldwide Learning’s extensive library of engaging, informative and global subject matter.
     
  • Dr. Constance Steinkuehler: One of the world’s leading experts in game-based learning, Dr. Steinkuehler will guide the development of lightweight games and simulations for a hands-on, interactive learning experience.
     
  • Difference Engine: Difference Engine is tailoring its learner-centric platform to the unique requirements of mastery learning and open content, creating a personalized learning platform to adapt content to students’ needs as they master course competencies.
     
  • Norman Bier: Drawing on his work with Carnegie Mellon University’s Open Learning Initiative and forging connections with the Simon Datalab, Mr. Bier will establish a Learning Lab tasked with harnessing data to generate learning science insights and drive continuous courseware improvements.
     
  • The Online Learning Consortium (OLC), formerly Sloan Consortium: Faculty training and professional development for the courseware will be developed and delivered in conjunction with OLC, a leader in best practices for technology-assisted teaching and learning.
     
  • OpenStax College: Core content and subject matter expertise will come from OpenStax College’s high quality, peer-reviewed, open textbooks which allow tremendous flexibility to adapt, remix and repurpose content to fit the project’s progressive course design.

Collaborating with the Lumen courseware project as co-development partners are eight educational institutions including two-year colleges and four-year universities from across the U.S.: Broward College Online (FL), Cerritos College (CA), Pittsburg State University (KS), Salt Lake Community College (UT), Santa Ana College (CA), Tidewater Community College (VA), University of Maryland University College (UMUC), and the Washington State Board for Community and Technical Colleges (SBCTC). Together these institutions serve more than 300,000 students annually. On average among these institutions, nearly half of all students are considered low income and/or disadvantaged.

With project kick-off taking place later this year, Lumen Learning anticipates developing the new courseware through the first half of 2015. The first wave of participating faculty members will teach with the pilot courseware during the 2015-2016 academic year. Informed and improved by learning data from the pilot year, Lumen anticipates general availability for the new courseware in 2016. Targeting courseware affordability as a major requirement for winning the grant, the company plans to provide platform hosting, ongoing courseware support and updates for approximately a quarter of the average cost of traditional commercial textbooks.

RICHARD FUNG RECEIVES SSHRC FUNDING FOR RE:ORIENTATIONS

Still from Richard Fung's film Orientations. Image courtesy Richard Fung.
Still from Richard Fung's film Orientations. Image courtesy Richard Fung.

Richard Fung, a video artist and an Associate Professor in OCAD U’s Faculty of Art, is the recipient of a major Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC) Insight grant for RE:ORIENTATIONS, a project that revisits the interview subjects from his ground-breaking 30-year-old documentary filmOrientations: Lesbian and Gay Asians (1985). The grant is one of two awarded to OCAD U (the other project funded is David McIntosh’s QUIPUCAMAYOC).

Fung’s project will reposition the original film’s themes and examine important shifts both in the community and in the greater international context. The grant will help fund project development for four years and is valued at $149,023.

“In Canada LGBTQ people have come a long way in gaining rights and protections, but these advances, even though freshly won, are being used by conservative elements to justify Western domination of ‘backward nations.’ At that the same time governments in countries such as Uganda and Russia are defining national identity by attacking queer citizens,” says Fung. As a result of what he considers worrying developments and the role of rights in north-south politics, Fung decided to look at his original film again. “For me, as a Canadian of Chinese descent from the Caribbean, it’s important to examine transnational themes.”

Part of the project of the new film and research will also be to re-interview subjects. Fung plans to capture their reactions as they watch footage of themselves onscreen in the original film and ask them to describe who that person was and who they are today.

“Thirty years ago was a very different time. It was before any of the rights were granted in Canada and the community has changed,” Fung says. “In the first video there was a marked sense of optimism around coming out and making a difference. The original film was about sexual desire and representation, but the issues relevant to the LGBTQ community today and how they feel have shifted.”

After 30 years, the 14 original subjects of the film have moved on in their lives and work. Many of the subjects went on to highly successful political careers. Alan Lee became one of Toronto’s leading HIV doctors, works with refugees and undocumented immigrants and was also the first out national president of the Chinese Canadian National Council. Mary-Woo Sims became the head of the Canadian Human Rights Commission. Tony Souza was the first race relations advisor to the Board of Education. Sadly, three of the interview subjects died of AIDS-related causes.

Fung’s original film was financed with the support of a community grant. “I’m not sure this work would have been supported by the research council in 1985,” he says. “Now SSHRC is interested in how the research information we’re finding circulates as knowledge, so we’re going to travel with the work and produce collaborations. The purpose of the grant is also to look at how university research can inform what’s happening on the ground in communities, which is why dissemination is important.”

Fung is working with a research and creative team on the project including a creative editor and cinematographer together with academic collaborators from the University of Toronto and York University, and both undergraduate and graduate research assistants. The project will culminate in a national tour of the film, together with a website, scholarly articles and a book of interviews and essays, which are all intended to foster collaborations between academia and community.

About Richard Fung

Richard Fung is a Toronto-based video artist, writer, theorist and educator. His film work is intended to challenge and covers subjects ranging from the role of the Asian male in gay pornography to colonialism, immigration, racism, homophobia, AIDS and his own family history. He is an intellectual who pushes forward the debates about queer sexuality, Asian identity and the uneasy borderlands of culture and politics.

Orientations was his first film, created in 1985 as a pioneer project in response to dominant impressions and assumptions about homosexual identity. It featured interviews with 14 lesbians and gay men with diverse backgrounds, lifestyle experiences and outlooks.

Learn More

Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC) 

Original Orientations film 

Richard Fung website

Richard Fung faculty biography 

DAVID MCINTOSH RECEIVES SSHRC FUNDING FOR QUIPUCAMAYOC

A quipu. Photo by David Mcintosh.
Weavers in Peru. Photo by David McIntosh.

David McIntosh, an Associate Professor, Media Studies at OCAD U, is the recipient of a major Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC) Insight Grant for a major research and creation project he’s leading called QUIPUCAMAYOC. McIntosh's project is a transmedia, translocal digital game that will be played simultaneously within two Andean communities, one in Cusco, Peru and the other in Buenos Aires, Argentina. The grant will fund project development for three years and is valued at $278,690.

McIntosh and his team of researchers are beginning with historical and geographical research into pre-colombian texts and remote communities referenced in those texts. The game concept began with the historical, Andean notion of quipu, a form of record-keeping based on knots in strings that was used in Inca society until the Spanish Conquest in 1532. Like a decimal system, each knot position, colour and twist in the string has meaning. QUIPUCAMAYOC refers to the keeper of these string memories. These were the traditional storytellers of a community, and any quipu that survived the Spanish colonization are sophisticated narrative devices, rich with stories of the past.

The game prototype McIntosh’s team will develop centres around both historical storytelling and contemporary communication between communities in Cusco and a neighbourhood in Buenos Aires. “I spent a lot of time in Cusco and Buenos Aires over the past ten years, and became aware of a large expatriate Peruvian community of textile factory workers in an area in Buenos Aires,” says McIntosh, who describes this neighbourhood as similar to Spadina and Kensington Market in Toronto, insofar as the concentration of immigrants in it has shifted over the years. What interested McIntosh was the fact that the Peruvian expats developed their own communication system back and forth between Cusco and the neighbourhood in Buenos Aires to make it easier to send money back to their families in Peru.

“I thought about the movement back and forth of money and people, and developed the idea of a game structure — a publically performed mix of performance and gaming using wearable game controllers that are also musical instruments that reunites these two Andean communities based on their shared history,” says McIntosh.

In addition to sound, gameplay will also include dancers and performance artists, culminating in a public fiesta which the public will both observe and participate in. In development of gameplay, McIntosh and his team will be working with local Peruvian and Argentinian musicians, choreographers, performers and game specialists and anthropologists.

“A lot of commercial gaming centres around first-person shooting,” says McIntosh. “My goal is to deploy digital media research and creation to push the boundaries of technological innovation in specific contexts. Where we go in our research will be propelled by creative outcomes, historical documents, questions of post-colonial reinterpretation and provocative ways we can engage gaming as a contemporary idiom.”

About David McIntosh

In addition to teaching at OCAD U, McIntosh is a visual artist, film producer, scriptwriter and curator. His PhD from York University focused on the rise of decentralized media structures and distributed networks. His research regularly brings him to Argentina, Bolivia, Peru and Mexico and has multiple points of focus, including: globalization and the political economies of audiovisual spaces, network theories and practices, new media narrativity, mobile locative media, game theory, digital documents, Latin American media and queer media.

QUIPUCAMAYOC arose out of an earlier project McIntosh led, a new media documentary called Qosqo Llika, a mobile media documentary that invites participants to travel back in time to experience the cultural life Cusco, Peru in the 1930s.

McIntosh’s research team for QUIPUCAMAYOC includes:

Ricardo Dal Farra, Concordia University
Patricio Davila, OCAD U
Judith K. Doyle, OCAD U
Alan Durston, York University
Dot Tuer, OCAD U
Emma Westecott, OCAD U

The grant is one of two awarded to OCAD U (the other project funded is Richard Fung's RE:ORIENTATIONS).

Learn More

Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC) 

Original Quosqo Llika project

David McIntosh

JULIE NAGAM RECEIVES SSHRC FUNDING FOR THE KANATA INDIGENOUS PERFORMANCE, NEW AND DIGITAL MEDIA ART PROJECT

Installation by Dr. Julie Nagam. Photo courtesy Dr. Julie Nagam.
Dr. Julie Nagam. Photo courtesy Dr. Julie Nagam.

Dr. Julie Nagam is an emerging artist, curator and Assistant Professor in OCAD U’s Faculty of Liberal Arts and Sciences and the Indigenous Visual Culture program, and she is the recipient of a major Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC) Insight Development grant for The Kanata Indigenous Performance, New and Digital Media Art Project. It’s a landmark effort to map and identify Canadian Indigenous performance, digital and new media art that will culminate in an inclusive, interactive website archive for researchers and the Indigenous community. 

“I’m excited about the potential of the funding,” said Nagam. “This is a project that needed to happen. There’s a strong connection between Indigenous performance, digital and new media artwork, but until now there’s been a gap in both access and scholarship in these areas, especially in the Canadian context. The project will provide archive material for up-and-coming scholars, curators and artists with vital resources in the fields of performance, new and digital media.”

Nagam, together with her co-applicants, Dr. Carla Taunton, an Assistant Professor, Art History and Critical Studies at the NASCAD University, and Dr. Heather Igloliorte, Assistant Professor, Art History, Concordia University, are working together collaboratively and each bring regional specializations to the mapping process of the project. Nagam’s focus is on central Canada and the central north, while Igloliorte is covering the north and Taunton is working on emerging east coast aspects. 

The project team will research creative practices, aesthetics, performance and digital media, tracing Indigenous practices and methodologies throughout Canada. They’ll look at existing archives at V-tape, ImagineNATIVE, Obx Laboratory for Experimental Media, Isuma, Arnait Video and Unikaat, to name only a few. In addition to the website archive, the team will also work together on a special Indigenous performance and digital media themed edition of a peer-reviewed journal. The funding also creates opportunities to hire, support and mentor Indigenous graduate students here at OCAD U and other Canadian universities.

An important aspect of the website archive is the team will be developing interactive elements. Artists themselves will be invited to engage with it, add new content, help fill in gaps and get involved. “We want participation from the artists so they can add to the story and catch missing work,” said Nagam. “Web and new media work can so easily get lost, so the artists can help identify important pieces and add to their profiles.”

The grant will help fund project development for two years and is valued at $70,000, but as Nagam notes, this is only the beginning. “I would like to see a large-scale research project and a commitment to documenting this rich archive,” said Nagam. “It has so much potential. It will be great to expand the team, add to the website archive and build a large-scale exhibition and conference that would visualize and analyze this rich body of knowledge.”

About Julie Nagam

Dr. Julie Nagam’s research focus is on (re) mapping the colonial state through creative interventions within concepts of native space. She specializes in cultural geography, Indigenous critical theory, cultural and post-colonial theory, gender, activism and racial configurations within history, space and creative practices. Her site-specific research has taken her to Pangnirtung, Nunavut, rural and remote areas of Manitoba and Iceland, and she has conducted research on the Indigenous histories of Toronto for the Visible City Project + Archive.

Nagam is also an active mixed media artist working in drawing, photography, painting, sound, projections, digital media and curatorial projects. Some of her recent work includes “Where White Pines Lay Over the Water,” a sound and media installation shown here in Toronto and in Brazil, and “Singing Our Bones,” an interactive installation which was part of Landslide/Possible Futures in Markham ON, and Ecocentrix in London England.

Learn More

Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC)

Julie Nagam faculty biography

Arts, culture and heritage contribute $47.8 billion to the Canadian economy

Thursday, September 11, 2014 - 4:00am

Statistics Canada has released new data on the economic importance and activity of culture, arts, heritage and sport in Canada. Figures from the 2010 Culture Satellite Account (CSA) show arts, culture and heritage contribute $47.8 billion to the Canadian economy.  This represents 3.1% of Canada’s total GDP while contributing over 647,300 jobs across the country. Sport contributes close to $4.5 billion to the Canadian economy and approximately 93,500 jobs across the country.

The CSA is a new accounting framework that captures data detailing the economic importance of culture, arts, heritage and sport in Canada. It is the result of a partnership between Statistics Canada, the Department of Canadian Heritage, all of the provinces and territories, numerous municipalities and several non-governmental organizations including OCAD U.

OCAD U fuels the creative industries in Ontario, and these industries have grown by 40 per cent over the last decade, creating 80,000 new jobs. The arts, culture and heritage industry in Canada was larger than the accommodation and food services industry ($30.6 billion) and twice as big as the agriculture, forestry, fishing and hunting industry ($23.9 billion).

The CSA will provide new statistics every year on a range of culture indicators such as GDP, and jobs. The document can be downloaded from Statistics Canada.

OCAD U receives $225,000 towards online course development

Thursday, May 8, 2014 - 4:15pm

Three online course proposals put forth by OCAD University’s faculty in collaboration with the Faculty & Curriculum Development Centre (FCDC) will receive support from the Ministry of Training, Colleges & Universities (MTCU) Shared Online Course Fund. Of the 165 proposals submitted by 19 Ontario universities, 68 courses were chosen to receive such funding.

The $225,000 will support the development of the courses, to be ready to be delivered in the Fall semester. The course development initiative will be led by OCAD U’s Faculty & Curriculum Development Centre (FCFC), with the goal of expanding and advancing e-learning and creative course design at the university.

“These funds recognize the significant strides OCAD U has made in the realm of e-learning in the last two years,” said Dr. Carol Roderick, FCDC Manager. “They will enable us to not only produce high quality online courses, but also to enhance the student learning experience at the same time.”

The courses will be foundational e-learning courses, and include:

Colour & 2D Design (Faculty of Design)
Colour and light are integral components of design, and visual literacy in these areas helps designers gain stronger conceptual and critical understanding. This course initiates students in the core concepts of 2Dl design, colour and spatial organization. Through investigations of light, point, plane, volume and colour mixing, students are introduced to the physiology of vision and the elements of 2D forms and spaces. Knowledge acquired from this course enables students to use vocabulary appropriately and to apply learned visual and spatial sensibilities to studies in design.

Creative Practice: Preparing for a Changing World (Faculty of Design)
The course introduces students entering creative fields in art and design to the many ways they can apply what they are learning in their formal studies to a career path that is rewarding and successful, but not always predictable. The course offers students both a broad perspective, exploring how changes in technology and economics have created the need for innovative thinkers, while also providing practical information that will help them make wise decisions and plan ahead. Students explore creative practice, professional conduct, time and financial management, entrepreneurship, skills for navigating fluctuating economies, as well as ethics, etiquette and privacy in an online world.

History and Evolution of Typography (Faculty of Liberal Arts & Sciences and School of Interdisciplinary Studies)
This course addresses the historic development of the typographic form from the calligraphic forms that pre-date Gutenberg’s invention of movable type and letterpress to current digital typography. The cultural, technological, and historical contexts critical to the understanding of typography and its uses are considered. In this course, students learn to analyze typography and its effectiveness in the shaping of “word pictures," and develop their understanding of the complexity of typographic communication with an appreciation for the history of typography and its many and varied expressions through the ages.

These courses will be introduced to students for the Fall 2014 semester.

Evan Tapper receives OAC grant to create animated bio of John Hirsch

Friday, August 22, 2014 - 2:45pm

Continuing Studies Manager Evan Tapper has received an Ontario Arts Council grant to create My Dybbuk, an experimental animated documentary. The project will tell the incredible life story of the late Canadian theatre legend John Hirsch through hand-drawn rotoscope animation. In 1973, Hirsch directed The Dybbuk at the Manitoba Theatre Centre, a play based on Jewish folklore. The animation echoes the supernatural narrative structure of the play where the ghost of John Hirsch suddenly appears to Evan, 41 years later to inspire a new generation of artists.

Evan Tapper receives OAC grant to create animated bio of John Hirsch

Friday, August 22, 2014 - 4:00am

Continuing Studies Manager Evan Tapper has received an Ontario Arts Council grant to create My Dybbuk, an experimental animated documentary. The project will tell the incredible life story of the late Canadian theatre legend John Hirsch through hand-drawn rotoscope animation. In 1973, Hirsch directed The Dybbuk at the Manitoba Theatre Centre, a play based on Jewish folklore. The animation echoes the supernatural narrative structure of the play where the ghost of John Hirsch suddenly appears to Evan, 41 years later to inspire a new generation of artists.

OCAD University receives $359,800 for research commercialization

Friday, January 14, 2011 - 5:00am

(Toronto — January 14, 2011) OCAD University has been granted $359,800 in funding from the Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario (FedDev Ontario) through the Applied Research and Commercialization Initiative. The funds support the commercialization of research projects with 12 distinct OCADU research partners and their private sector partners.

The announcement was made today by MP Paul Calandra (Oak Ridges—Markham), on behalf of the Honourable Gary Goodyear, Minister of State for FedDev Ontario.

“This investment will create jobs and sustain economic growth by helping small businesses get new ideas into the marketplace faster,” said MP Calandra. “Our government is committed to supporting families, businesses and communities of southern Ontario.”

“The projects funded through the FedDev Ontario program are game changers in their respective fields and reflect OCAD University's diverse design and digital learning and research environment,” said Dr. Sara Diamond, President of OCAD University. “OCADU is a proud incubator of student innovation and commercially viable faculty research. We have demonstrable links to the SME sector. By bringing this talent together with the help of FedDev Ontario, we are fostering the creation of innovative products and services in the fields of mobile, health, environmental and digital technologies. We thank the Government of Canada for their support.”

The projects are wide-ranging, involving the development of haptic holography technologies; gesture control technology to leverage interactivity between children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) and their peers; toys that teach children the fundamentals of digital technology; swimming devices that aid those who are physically challenged; social, mobile games encouraging pro-environmental behaviour; and more.

The projects are:

  • The Haptic Holography Project, joining OCADU’s 30+ years of experience in innovation in holography with private sector partner Entact Robotics, will develop haptic holography technology, allowing users to interface with 3D displays that provide sensory feedback; this technology is foreseen to have many interesting future applications such as superior medical training technology (OCADU Faculty Lead: Assistant Professor Michael Page, Faculty of Art);
  • The Extend Project partners OCADU with marblemedia, a content creation company that specializes in broadcast television and interactive content, to leverage OCADU’s expertise in design thinking and independent game development with the aim to develop original IP, market opportunities and business models (OCADU Faculty Lead: Assistant Professor Emma Westecott, Faculty of Design);
  • With You, designed by OCADU alumni Haniyeh Khosravi Fard, is a social interactive experience product that has the potential to become a passive diagnostic tool and a significant contributor to therapy for children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD); With You partners Khosravi Ford with GestureTek, a world leader in interactive gesture control technology (OCADU Faculty Leads: Professor Job Rutgers and Associate Professor Suzanne Stein, Faculty of Design);
  • Logic Blocks, designed by OCADU alumni Greg Crossley, is partnered with Nytric, an innovation consulting firm focused on turning innovative ideas into successful products; Logic Blocks are designed to teach children about the most fundamental concept in digital technology: boolean logic (OCADU Faculty Lead: Professor Job Rutgers, Faculty of Design);
  • OCADU has partnered with moulded and fabricated foam product supplier kristoFOAM to further develop swimming device prototype Mantiro, designed by OCADU alumni Farhad Shabani, with the goal of creating a device that will assist physically challenged people and the elderly to enable them to have a safe water experience (OCADU Faculty Lead: Associate Professor Diane Croteau, Faculty of Design);
  • A partnership with DuROCK, called Visible Campus, will create pavement elements, street furniture and way finding that express the vibrancy and innovation going on at OCADU, as a means of linking the corridor of the 12-building campus (OCADU Faculty Lead: Professor Job Rutgers, Faculty of Design);
  • Albedo Informatics, a social games start-up company, will collaborate with OCADU to create My Green City, a cross-platform game/application for the iPhone and Facebook that will encourage players to engage in pro-environmental behaviour through a green rewards system (OCADU Faculty Lead: Assistant Professor Emma Westecott, Faculty of Design);
  • Info Viz pairs OCADU researchers with Echo Mobile to map contributions and conversations on social networks, using information visualization (OCADU Faculty Lead: Associate Professor Judith Doyle, Faculty of Art);
  • OCADU will engage in research towards further commercialization of Media Lab Toronto's TXTris tangible social messaging platform (OCADU Faculty Lead: Associate Professor Judith Doyle, Faculty of Art);
  • The Neutral Carbon Product project pairs Zerofootprint with OCADU to develop a visualization aesthetic that communicates the carbon foot print of a product, for all its components, including the distance travelled, to give consumers information leading to greener choices and purchasing behaviours (OCADU Faculty Leads: Associate Professor Suzanne Stein, Faculty of Design, and Assistant Professor Barbara Rauch, Faculty of Art);
  • OCADU’s Mobile Experience Innovation Centre (MEIC) is partnered with Guardly, a mobile personal/home alarm and monitoring security service, to broaden the number of supported devices that can run its mobile application, such as BlackBerry® Smartphones and/or Google Android Smartphones;
  • The Sousveiller Project, an initiative of OCADU MEIC partner and interaction design/research firm Normative Inc., is a web and mobile application focused on creating a publicly accessible data set of urban locations that contain visual surveillance technology; the resulting data set would be public as a research, design and technology resource for both private and public sector organizations and is expected to impact the field dedicated to “designing for data shade.”

For more information about these and OCADU’s other research initiatives, visit http://www.ocad.ca/research.htm.

Today's release from Federal Economic Development Agency of Southwestern Ontario (FedDev Ontario):
Government of Canada Supports Innovation at Small- and Medium-Sized Businesses in Greater Toronto Area
Economic Action Plan invests in jobs and growth through research and development

About OCAD University (OCADU)
OCAD University (www.ocad.ca) is Canada’s “University of the Imagination.” The University, founded in 1876, is dedicated to art and design education, practice and research and to knowledge and invention across a wide range of disciplines. OCAD University is building on its traditional, studio-based strengths, adding new approaches to learning that champion cross-disciplinary practice, collaboration and the integration of emerging technologies. In the Age of Imagination, OCAD University community members will be uniquely qualified to act as catalysts for the next advances in culture, technology and quality of life for all Canadians.

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For more information contact:

Sarah Mulholland, Media & Communications Officer
416.977.6000 Ext. 327 (mobile Ext. 1327)

OCAD University partners with Mitacs to offer funded Internships

Monday, October 15, 2012 - 4:00am

(Toronto—October 15, 2012) OCAD University and Mitacs, a not-for-profit research organization, have signed an agreement that will give OCAD University's graduates and current graduate students access to a federally funded internship program.

Mitacs Enterprise is funded through the Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario (FedDev Ontario) and provides substantial subsidies to companies for six-month internships in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) related fields.

"We're thrilled to be working with Mitacs to provide access for our student to these career-boosting opportunities," said Deanne Fisher, Associate Vice-President, Students at OCAD U. "The Enterprise Internship Program is just one of the latest additions to our Career Development offerings at OCAD U. We'll be working toward developing even more opportunities in industries and companies related to our programs as part of our commitment to building Ontario's economic and cultural prosperity."

"In order to build a strong, knowledge-based economy, we must provide opportunities for recent university and college graduates to work with companies and gain on-the-ground experience right here in southern Ontario," said Dr. Arvind Gupta, Chief Executive Officer and Scientific Director of Mitacs. "OCAD U's agreement with Mitacs Enterprise will enable future innovators to gain new skills and connect with potential employers."

Graduates and students are eligible to apply for existing opportunities through Mitacs, or can encourage potential employers to apply for the FedDev subsidy through Mitacs.

The program is expected to benefit primarily students and graduates of OCAD U's Digital Futures, Inclusive Design, Industrial Design and Environmental Design programs, though other students may be eligible if they meet the requirements.

Through the Mitacs agreement, up to 15 graduates (undergraduate or graduate alumni within five years of graduating) and 11 current graduate students will be placed in the funded internships between now and March 31, 2014.

Eligible companies receive up to $15,000 in funding for each internship, to be matched by the company. "We encourage potential employers to get in touch with us about the program," said Fisher. "We will work with them to develop a partnership that benefits both our alumni and students that will also contribute valuable talent to their enterprises."

The program is a competitive six-month internship and business mentorship program that gives graduates of STEM disciplines an opportunity to work with small to medium-sized companies (SME) operating in a STEM sector throughout Southern Ontario. In addition to the valuable employment opportunity, interns also receive three days of business and management training, a peer support network, and progress monitoring to encourage skill and knowledge transfer to the SME.

Companies interested in offering an internship opportunity, and recent undergraduate alumni or graduate students who wish to submit an application should contact Zev Farber, Career Development Coordinator, Student Success Programs at OCAD U at 416-977-6000 x3843. Visit www.ocadu.ca/careerdevelopment for more information.

About OCAD University (OCAD U)
OCAD University is Canada's "university of imagination." The University, founded in 1876, is dedicated to art and design education, practice and research and to knowledge and invention across a wide range of disciplines. OCAD University is building on its traditional, studio-based strengths, adding new approaches to learning that champion cross-disciplinary practice, collaboration and the integration of emerging technologies. In the Age of Imagination, OCAD University community members will be uniquely qualified to act as catalysts for the next advances in culture, technology and quality of life for all Canadians.

Mitacs:
Through unique research and training programs, Mitacs is developing the next generation of innovators with vital scientific and business skills. In partnership with companies, government and academia, Mitacs is supporting a new economy using Canada's most valuable resource — its people. For more information visit http://www.mitacs.ca/.

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Download this release as a PDF document.

Sarah Mulholland, Media & Communications Officer
416-977-6000 x327 (mobile x1327)

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