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Loyalist College

November 06, 2008

Loyalist College’s work in Second Life was recognized with the Learning Award of Merit presented by the Ontario Research and Innovation Optical Network (ORION) in Toronto on November 4th.  Presented at the “Powering Innovation:  A National Summit” conference at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre, the ORION Awards recognize achievements in Ontario research, education and scientific discovery.

The College was the first Canadian college to build a campus in the virtual world of Second Life. It shares its expertise in designing virtual environments for clients throughout the world through its Virtual World Design Centre. Loyalist is leveraging the knowledge and best practices it has identified in creating its virtual campus to launch a design centre which contributes to the development of on-line and virtual environments for other educational institutions, government organizations and businesses around the world.

Loyalist President Maureen Piercy was present to accept the award, along with Mark Kirkpatrick, Director of Information Technology Services and Ken Hudson, Manager of Academic and New Media Services, to accept the award.  “The ORION Award is very exciting and well-deserved recognition for our team’s work in virtual worlds.  The innovation involved is outstanding not only in the design but also in the application of virtual worlds for education training.”


“This year’s winners represent the cutting edge of technology and innovation, much of it pioneered right here in Ontario,” said Phil Baker, President and CEO of the Ontario Research and Innovation Optical Network (ORION), which presents the awards. “It’s vital to celebrate these home-grown success stories and raise awareness of the phenomenal work that our scientists, researchers and educators are engaged in, and the impact it is having here at home and around the world,” he said.

The Ontario Research and Innovation Optical Network (ORION) is Ontario’s ultra high-speed research and education network which connects all of Ontario’s universities, most colleges, several medical and other public research facilities and a growing number of school boards to one another and to the global grid of research and education networks. Stretching 5,800 kilometres over 21 communities throughout Ontario, ORION connects over 1.3 million Ontario researchers, scientists, students, teachers and staff to critical infrastructure for research, education and innovation. Learn more at

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Media Contact:  Dianne Spencer, College Advancement & External Relations, Loyalist College, (613) 969-1913, ext. 2235 or e-mail: or Mark Kirkpatrick, Director of I.T. Services, ext. 2356 or e-mail: