TeachingCity Oshawa celebrates Class of 2023

Published June 1, 2023 at 9:25 am

Oshawa graduates (Class of 2023) and TeachingCity Oshawa collaborators Austin Bonke (left), Izzy Cossarin, Ryan Lounds and Tyler Parsons. 

TeachingCity Oshawa is celebrating the achievements of some of its star students as convocation season in the city kicks into high gear.

Durham College, Ontario Tech University and Trent University Durham GTA all produced top talent this year and many worked on TeachingCity Oshawa projects to address urban issues through innovation, collaboration, applied research and shared experiential learning opportunities, with the aim of positioning Oshawa as a local, national and global community of urban research and learning.

With nearly 30,000 full-time students enrolled annually across Oshawa’s post-secondary institutions, there are plenty of opportunities for companies across many sectors to tap into local talent.

A few shining stars from the Class of 2023:

Izzy Cossarin – Mechatronics Engineering – Ontario Tech University, 2023

Izzy Cossarin had an opportunity of a lifetime working on Project Arrow at Ontario Tech’s Automotive Centre of Excellence (ACE). Project Arrow was home to a top-secret and visionary national engineering project to build Canada’s first zero-emission concept electric vehicle.

Canada’s Automotive Parts Manufacturers’ Association selected Ontario Tech as the lead academic institution for Phase 2 of Project Arrow, an all-Canadian engineered concept funded by the Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario.

Cossarin got involved in Project Arrow in her second year after reaching out to the Director of ACE looking for opportunities. He suggested this project as something that was the perfect fit for her. Her role in the project included writing copy for the vehicle’s interface, co-ordinating the logistics of many of the vehicle components, working with the machine shop to manufacture parts, as well as project management to ensure tasks were on track.

Like many young professionals starting out in their field, she knew the value of networking and building connections in her industry. “Within the university, I’ve gotten to work closely with a number of professors I wouldn’t have had the opportunity to work with otherwise. And then getting to work with people in the industry, different engineers and suppliers outside of the university—I just wouldn’t have had the opportunity to work with them at this stage in my career. It’s been a unique and once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for sure!” Looking to the future, Cossarin is excited to be graduating this spring and has already had some exciting come up, originating through a network bolstered by this experience.

Austin Bonke – Child and Youth Studies – Trent University Durham GTA 2023

During his time at Trent University Durham GTA, Austin Bonke completed his bachelor’s degree in Child and Youth Studies with a specialization in the Teaching Education Stream. Throughout his four years, Bonke took courses that taught him valuable lessons he intends to take with him into his teaching career. Courses covered topics such as children in arts, rights, legal issues and ethics amongst children and youth, child development as well as an independent research course where he worked on a 25 page research paper.

One of his most significant courses during his third year was Career Development Through Community Service. This class partnered with the City of Oshawa to determine the level of youth-friendliness within the city. Based on his performance in the class, Bonke was offered the opportunity to continue his work with a summer placement between third and fourth year where he continued to perfect the PlayWorks Application.

All of these opportunities have offered many lessons that will be beneficial as he enters his teaching career.

Ryan Lounds and Tina CaseyAdvertising and Marketing Communications – Durham College 2023

Ryan Lounds and Tina Casey will soon graduate from Durham College with Honours in the Advertising and Marketing Communications program. This journey equipped them with comprehensive skills essential for success in the world of advertising and marketing and gave them an understanding of strategic planning, market research, and brand management, enabling them to develop effective advertising campaigns that resonate with target audiences. They also honed their creative thinking and problem-solving abilities, allowing them to craft compelling messages and deliver impactful communication strategies.

Lounds had the opportunity to work for the City of Oshawa and the team at the Innovation and Transformation branch during his six-week placement, as well as professional mentors.

He helped the team create a full-year content calendar highlighting the days of significance with content and graphic designs for each notable day, ensuring Oshawa’s diverse community members feel supported and part of the city.

Lounds also helped bring awareness of Red Dress Day with impactful visuals that were able to help the community learn about the significance of this essential Indigenous day.

While working for the City’s Business and Economics department, Casey helped create content calendars for upcoming social media posts, using strategic planning to find target markets.

One of the things she loved about her program was giving back to the community through city-related work, citing her attendance at grand openings for businesses like Florida Fades, an upscale barber shop in the heart of downtown, and Tracy Home Comfort, which sells high-quality fireplaces and barbecues.

Tyler Parsons – Mechatronics and Manufacturing Engineering – Ontario Tech University 2023

Tyler Parsons graduated with a MASc in Mechanical Engineering with a concentration in Mechatronics and Manufacturing Engineering at Ontario Tech University. During his studies he was a part of the Autonomous Vehicle and Electro-Hydraulic Control (AVEC) lab directed by Dr. Jaho Seo. As a member of the AVEC lab, Tyler was able to apply his knowledge of optimization techniques to many real-world problems, one of which was a collaboration with The City of Oshawa through a TeachingCity project.

The collaborative project focused on optimizing service routes for the waste collection and street-sweeping operations in Oshawa. The TeachingCity project allowed Parsons to expand on existing route optimization techniques so the needs of the city were met. He worked closely with the City’s Operations team on the project to ensure that all aspects of the routing problems were properly incorporated into the mathematical model. Some important aspects include fuel capacity, debris capacity, and shift length constraints. Currently, Parsons is continuing research as a member of the AVEC lab specializing in path planning, route optimization, and applications of artificial intelligence.

Launched in June 2017, TeachingCity brings together the City of Oshawa and its education and research partners – Durham College, Ontario Tech University, Trent University Durham GTA, and the University of Toronto’s Faculty of Applied Science & Engineering.

indurham's Editorial Standards and Policies advertising