Thesis on how faculty help students persist receives OCASA-CMU Research Award.

An administrative staff member at Durham College in Oshawa has been named recipient of the third annual CMU-OCASA Outstanding Research Award.

Michelle Cole, Executive Assistant to the Vice-President, Student Affairs at Durham, will receive the award for her capstone paper entitled Student Perceptions of Faculty Classroom Practices that Influence Student Persistence. She is completing her studies at Central Michigan University for her Master of Arts degree in Education this spring as part of a group of post-grad scholars who studied at Durham and Loyalist colleges in Oshawa and Belleville respectively.

Michelle began her career at Durham five years ago in the office of the college president following an administrative career in both public and private sectors. This included two years as administrative assistant to a local Member of Parliament. She lives in Whitby with her husband Mike and two her children, TÈa and Harrison.

The award will be presented at the OCASA PD Conference June 21 at Blue Mountain, Collingwood. Michelle will be a presenter at a workshop seminar at the conference, and has been invited as guest columnist in the Fall 2011 edition of College Administrator, a magazine for administrators published by OCASA.
The award is sponsored jointly by Central Michigan University (CMU) and Ontario College Administrative Staff Association (OCASA) to recognize the high quality of research being conducted in Ontario by CMU graduate students that impact the development of the colleges. This Outstanding Research Award is presented annually to Ontario students in CMUís Master of Arts degree in Education, with a Community College concentration, for conducting outstanding research related to Community Colleges in Ontario. Nominees are first selected by CMU faculty with the OCASA review panel selecting the final recipients.

Also nominated for the award was JosÈe Bertrand,  of Ottawa, for her thesis on strategies to increase recruitment of dietician preceptors for internship programs. JosÈe was Dietetic Internship Coordinator at The Ottawa Hospital between 2007 and 2010 and recently joined the Bariatric Surgery Team at The Ottawa Hospital as an educator.

Previous recipients of the CMU-OCASA Outstanding Research Award include 2009 winner Martha MacEachern of Georgian College, and 2010 winner Linda Croall of George Brown College.