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Donors help celebrate student work virtually

Two students having a discussion as they sit on a sofa studying.

Every spring, Sheridan students’ work is celebrated during year-end Academic Awards ceremonies and Grad Shows. This year, with in-person gatherings on hold during the pandemic, Sheridan’s faculty and staff continue to work together with students to ensure their work is shared with the College community, as well as industry partners.

The shows and awards ceremonies are a long-standing tradition that applauds student excellence and their commitment to their work. Throughout the events, student work is showcased to industry partners and potential employers. Students are also presented with awards, generously supported by our donors.  This year, more than 600 awards will be distributed.

“We’re very grateful to our donor community for continuing to support our students,” says Dr. Janet Morrison, President and Vice Chancellor of Sheridan. “This year, in particular, our students have been forced to make sacrifices, and adapt to new ways of learning. Many of them have risen to the challenge. By supporting the awards, our donors show them that those efforts are noticed, and valued.”

While the ceremonies are traditionally held during in-person events, faculty and staff first pivoted to online events in the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020. This year, as the need for remote gatherings continues, online videos, virtual meetings or websites that showcase student work still ensure that excellence gets shared. In some cases, the events can lead directly to jobs for graduating students.

“I am in awe of what these students have accomplished. I have every belief that these students are going to go so far. I’ll probably end up working for them one day.” – Matthew Celestial

In many programs in the Faculty of Animation, Arts & Design, graduating students put forward their best work to be critiqued by professionals in the field, and receive awards during virtual ceremonies. This year’s shows included online showcases of work, and awards presentations held during virtual ceremonies. A list of shows announced to date can be viewed here.

Like last year, graduates from the animation programs also created an online forum to share their work, taking the traditional Industry Day events online over the course of a week in early May.

Matthew Celestial served as a judge during the Industry Day celebrations. Celestial is a member of the board of directors for the Toronto Animation Arts Film Festival, which also generously supports the animation awards.

“There were so many amazing films. I laughed, cried, and smiled,” he says of the experience. “As a film publicist who has seen a lot of movies and TV shows, I am in awe of what these students have accomplished. I have every belief that these students are going to go so far. I’ll probably end up working for them one day.”

In other Faculties, excellence is celebrated during Academic Awards ceremonies, which are a year-end celebration of students’ work and their contributions inside and outside of the classroom. Students in the Pilon School of Business, Faculty of Applied Health and Community Studies, Faculty of Applied Science and Technology and Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences will be recognized with video celebrations.

“As they have done throughout the pandemic, our faculty and staff continue to go above and beyond to provide students with an exemplary experience. Celebrating the end of the academic year in this way is a testament of that continued effort,” Dr. Morrison says.

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