A CENTENNIAL COLLEGE SUCCESS STORY
CENTENNIAL STUDENTS AND
STAFF MOUNT THE PODIUM
By MARK TOLJAGIC
With 2018 drawing to a close, it’s an opportune time to take stock of recent successes and accolades Centennial College students and staff have garnered both at home and abroad, being a Canadian college with brand recognition in many international markets.
Locally, the Scarborough-based college continues to enjoy a worthy reputation. Centennial scored the highest student satisfaction rating (73.6 per cent) among the six public colleges in the Toronto region in 2018 – and that was after coping with a challenging school year that was modified following the province-wide work stoppage.
Being a multifaceted and diverse institution offering 260 programs of study, success at Centennial can be found in a broad array of fields, including aircraft maintenance, international business and food science technology. Here are a few of the honours Centennial students and employees were called to the podium to collect this fall.
Lasagna helps explain cybersecurity. The CyberCents student team representing Centennial’s unique Bachelor of Information Technology (Computer and Communications Networks) four-year degree program earned a solid second-place finish at the People in Cyber student competition sponsored by the Royal Bank (RBC) on October 20 in Toronto.
The competition required the student teams to develop a business-oriented online security solution and present it to a panel of industry judges.
Cybersecurity is the protection of internet-connected computer systems, software and data from unauthorized intrusions and privacy breaches.
The Centennial students called their proposed solution Cyber Lasagna.
“Our students picked the name Cyber Lasagna since layering is one of the fundamental principles of defense against cyber attacks,” explains professor Marjan Zandi. “The layering approach uses multiple overlapping protection techniques.”
For their efforts the CyberCents team of Asma Anika, Adrian Castillo, Jacob Hoang and Yashkumar Mashruwala took home a trophy, a cash prize of $1,500 and an EC-Council Certified Ethical Hacker Training Voucher valued at more than $1,000.
Centennial professors Dr Marjan Zandi and Dr. Mizan Rahman were instrumental in preparing them for competition.
Winning first place was Team X from York University, while the BotSavvy team from Lambton College took third-place honours. Centennial’s School of Engineering Technology and Applied Science is the only one in Ontario to offer a four-year undergraduate degree in computer and communications networks.
A little piece of Canada in China. Suzhou Centennial College, the college’s pioneering learning site in China, earned the Education Excellence Bronze Award from the Canada China Business Council on October 3.
It’s an unexpected honour for an institution only in its second year of operation, but it speaks to the energy and creativity found at the first Sino-foreign cooperative college providing Canadian credentials in China.
The product of Centennial’s 22-year history of collaboration with Chinese post-secondary institutions, industry and government, the Suzhou learning site was established in association with Suzhou University of Science and Technology in 2016 and is approved by China’s Ministry of Education.
Situated in the canal city of Suz-hou, located 100 km northwest of Shanghai, Suzhou Centennial College offers 22 career-oriented programs, many of which provide articulated pathways to programs at Centennial’s Toronto campuses.
In addition, there are 28 institutions with active academic credit transfer agreements for its programs in Canada, including York University, Athabasca University in Alberta, and Royal Roads University in British Columbia.
The groundbreaking partnership is reciprocal, offering a unique opportunity for Canadian students to take a semester of their program in China. It provides Canadian college students the option to internationalize their education and complete an internship abroad. While all Centennial programs are delivered in English, students can take optional Mandarin courses in China.
Winning gold in Australia. Centennial College President Ann Buller was on hand in Melbourne, Australia, on October 9 to collect the gold award in the Leadership Development category of the World Federation of Colleges and Polytechnics (WFCP) Awards of Excellence, which highlight groundbreaking work in the field of professional and technical education.
Recipients were recognized in seven categories, based on the international value of the award-winning institutions, individuals and programs, as well as their achievements, benefits to students and innovation. Centennial was one of several colleges in Canada, Australia, China and the U.S. to earn awards for their progressive work.
Centennial has been leading the conversation on leadership development and global citizenship education with a pledge to “become an internationally recognized leader in education that places a strong emphasis on global citizenship, social justice and equity”. The strategic goal has become the hallmark of President Buller’s college leadership over the past 15 years.
Social justice, equity and pluralism are embedded in Centennial’s Leadership Passport, a student leadership program encompassing volunteerism, international educational experiences, service learning and more. And the college’s Global Citizenship and Equity Learning Experiences furnish students with opportunities to participate in life-changing service learning projects and make a difference in communities around the world.
President earns a community honour, Speaking of Ann Buller, the President and CEO of Centennial College was named one of seven inductees to the Scarborough Walk of Fame for 2018. She was honoured for her many years of leadership at the college, which ushered in an era of comprehensive change for Ontario’s oldest public college. Ann had moulded Centennial into a dynamic postsecondary institution that transforms lives – much as the college system architect, Bill Davis, had envisioned. In her remarks at the induction ceremony on October 18, she thanked everyone for their help shaping Centennial into a true learning institution, one that can lift the most vulnerable out of poverty.
Ann Buller was not the only recipient representing the education sector. Bruce Kidd, the recently retired Principal of the University of Toronto Scarborough campus, was also on hand to accept his star.
Other inductees included recording artist Kardinal Offishall; longtime Toronto Sun editorial cartoonist Andy Donato; Domenic Primucci, founder and president of Pizza Nova restaurants; Jean Kennedy Campbell, community advocate and Centennial’s first woman chair of the Board of Governors; and Rosa Chan, fund-raiser and chair of numerous community organizations.
The 2018 ceremony also marked the inaugural year of the Scarborough Walk of Fame Rising Star Awards.
Four young people were honoured for their noteworthy early accomplishments: Ravicha Ravinthiran, Yasmin Rajabi, Ashley Rose Murphy and Delicia Raveenthrarajan.
Among the special guests handing out the awards were Toronto Mayor John Tory and David Onley, Scarborough Walk of Fame Honourary Chair and former Lieutenant Governor of Ontario.
• For more information, visit www.centennialcollege.ca