24 HOURS DC/UOIT: Many paths lead to DC, UOIT

Second-year nursing students in class. Photo credit: Meagan Secord

Our group of second-year Journalism – Mass Media students from Durham College have tackled a special project – one we are calling ’24 Hours DC/UOIT’.
On Feb. 5, 2019, the students visited particular areas of the Durham College and UOIT campuses, including north Oshawa, downtown Oshawa and Whitby.
They talked to people, snapped pictures and gathered stories from students, faculty and staff about their campus experiences. This is one in a series of 16 stories from that day.

There are two roads serving the main campus of Durham College (DC) and UOIT – Simcoe and Conlin – but there are hundreds of paths people have taken to come here.

Consider Vinicius Albanas Marcis, a 29-year-old graduate student earning his master’s in electric transportation at UOIT.

“The first thing that comes to my mind is that I cannot see stuff, I have to understand what’s going on.

Marcis completed his undergraduate degree in his native Brazil at the Federal University of Technology – Parana.

During his studies, he went to Montreal’s Concordia University on a scholarship and met a professor who now works at UOIT.

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Electrical Engineering graduate student Vinicius Albanas-Marcis is working towards a master’s degree at UOIT. Photo credit: Meagan Secord

Professor Sheldon Williamson began teaching at UOIT in 2014 after eight years at Concordia.

The reason Williamson switched to UOIT? The school offered more research opportunities in the electric transportation field.

Marcis tagged along with his professor, who is mentoring the master’s student.

“Right now the program is growing in leaps and bounds but the intake quality has become better. The quality of students we’re getting is getting better every day as well as growing,” says Williamson. “So we are now competing with some of the top universities in Ontario as well as Canada in engineering.”

UOIT Electrical Engineering professor Sheldon Williamson. Photo credit: Meagan Secord

Engineering is one of 90 undergraduate and graduate programs at UOIT. Meantime, DC offers 123 programs.

According to Deborah Schuh, a professor in the practical nursing program at Durham College, the yearly intake for nursing has gone from one in September to four throughout the year due to rising application numbers.

Her road to Durham has come full-circle.

Schuh graduated from the RN program at DC in 2000 and began teaching part-time in 2003. She pursued a full-time teaching position with the nursing program in 2006. Schuh continues to coordinate the personal support worker program and maintained her nursing career outside of the college for 18 years.

“What more can I say, to be a grad and to come back has probably been a bestseller,” she says. “I always tell students, once you graduate you can do anything.”

She says she gave up nursing to focus on teaching last year but her students love hearing the stories from her time in the hospital.

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Practical Nursing professor Deborah Schuh. Photo credit: Meagan Secord

Second-year practical nursing student Parastoo Sadeghein, 30, has also done a full loop and returned to Durham, having previously graduated from DC’s paramedic and pre-health programs.

Sadeghein has also completed her certificate in sign language through the School of Continuing Education.

“I know that their nursing program is a great program,” Sadeghein says. “It’s very collaborative as well with UOIT and they have a lot of great placement opportunities as they have built a lot of community bases.”

She chose nursing because she says there is a large opportunity to advocate and care for people, something she has always done.

“I knew Durham was the place I wanted to go,” says Sadeghein.

Second-year Practical Nursing student Parastoo Sadeghein. Photo credit: Meagan Secord