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New Diploma in Social Responsibility & Sustainability Recognizes Importance of Social Impact in Era of COVID-19

Applications open - only 35 spaces

Published 05-04-20

Submitted by University of St. Michael's College

President David Sylvester recognizes Capstone Award Winners and Runners Up (L-R: Andrea McLeod, Alexandra Biron, Sarah Thirnbeck, Nikki Byrne)

A name change, a new award and an enhanced academic designation mark a season of transformation for the Corporate Social Responsibility and Sustainability program at the University of St. Michael’s College in the University of Toronto.

Graduates of the highly regarded program, now called the “Graduate Diploma in Social Responsibility and Sustainability” receive a Diploma and a designation marked by the post-nominal letters G.Dipl. SR&S (Social Responsibility & Sustainability).

“These changes reflect how the program has evolved since its beginnings almost 20 years ago,” says Program Manager Kathryn Cooper. “Meaningful, long-term social impact of business and not-for-profit partners has never been as important as it is in this time of COVID-19.”

“This program has evolved in response to the global trend toward embedding environmental, social and governance issues in business,” Cooper says. “To survive and thrive, organizations must focus beyond their bottom line, and create positive, long-term social impact.”

President’s Capstone Project Winners Announced 

Graduates at the November, 2019 convocation were the first awarded the new diplomas. This convocation also marked the introduction of the new President’s Capstone Project Award, recognizing exceptional work in summative assignments. The inaugural winners were:

  • Indigenous Impact Report” by Alexandra Biron, recently promoted to Manager, Indigenous, Deloitte Canada.

  • “A CSR Strategy for the Canadian Real Estate Association” by Sarah Thirnbeck, recently promoted to Associate Director, Strategic Impact, The Canadian Real Estate Association.

“The calibre of work produced by our CSR students is truly outstanding,” says University President Dr. David Sylvester. “The ethical concerns being discussed in this program reflect the long-standing values of St. Michael’s.  CSR and Sustainability is a great example of how universities can have a transformational impact on society.”

Learning to Make a Difference in a Rapidly Changing World

Participants in the Graduate Diploma in Corporate Social Responsibility and Sustainability work full time while earning this university credential through a blended learning approach.   Participants:

The Diploma is now taking applications for 2020/2021.  Only 35 applicants are accepted.  Join participants from Deloitte, Secure Energy, Tata Group Retail, SMART CENTRES, Dundurn Press, Chevron, Genuine Health, Civic Works Consulting, Candela Strategies, Children’s Hospital Foundations and more in the upcoming 2020/2021 Cohort. To apply, go to the Diploma in Corporate Social Responsibility and Sustainability Website.  Second Intake Deadline is June 30th. 

Participants start their learning in July, 2020 through an online Learning Management System and monthly live learning seminars.  Module 1 in class will be held in Toronto, Canada, October 14 -16, 2020.  Module 2 and 3 in class will be held May, 2021 and November, 2021 respectively. To apply, go to the Diploma in Corporate Social Responsibility and Sustainability Website.  See the program schedule, testimonials, past graduates and news about the program. 

About the University of St. Michael’s College in the University of Toronto

The University of St. Michael’s College (USMC), federated with the University of Toronto, is a Catholic institution of higher learning founded by the Congregation of St. Basil, whose motto, “Teach me goodness, discipline and knowledge,” sets the tone for campus life. 

A Business Advisory Committee ensures the CSR & Sustainability program is relevant and experiential.  CSR and Sustainability Leaders from a broad range of industries from insurance to mining,  including: The Co-operators, BMO Financial,  Scotia Bank (ret.),  Vermillion Energy, Centerra Gold , Aurora Cannabis, Kin&Co  and Rotman School of Management (University of Toronto) provide advice and input.

For More Information Contact

Kathryn A. Cooper, Program Manager, Diploma in Corporate Social Responsibility & Sustainability

Phone: (519) 855-9491


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University of St. Michael's College

University of St. Michael's College

St. Michael’s is a recognized leader in undergraduate, graduate and lifelong education. Its highly acclaimed Certificate in Corporate Social Responsibility is a unique executive education program developed in collaboration with the Conference Board of Canada. Founded over 150 years ago, the University of St. Michael's College is federated with the University of Toronto. Its faculty bring to current CSR issues the understandings that they have gained not only from the perspective of business but also from a tradition that includes the study of literature, philosophy and ethics. The goal of the program is to engage participants in a process of weaving together the major strands of CSR in a way that provides a time out from customary corporate activity. Alumni have called the result "transformational". Since 2003 St. Michael's has collaborated with an innovative technology company, ExperiencePoint to produce and distribute ExperienceCSR, a web based business simulation . In the simulation, which is offered as part of the Certificate program, participants advise a multinational technology firm on revising its corporate strategy to meet a myriad of critical environmental, community, employee relations, human rights and financial objectives. Through the application of sound CSR principles, participants help the corporation align its operations to its articulated values and, consequently, satisfy stakeholder interests and ensure long-term profitability. (

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