Sheridan blog a finalist for national award


Sheridan Curiosities is a finalist for the Canadian Online Publishing Awards taking place on Nov. 19.

Sheridan Curiosities is a finalist for the Canadian Online Publishing Awards taking place on Nov. 19.

Curiosities, the official blog of Sheridan, has won three awards this year and is a finalist at the Canadian Online Publishing Awards (COPA).

Curiosities won gold in the Council for Advancement and Support of Education (CASE) District II awards, the Gold Quill award for the International Association of Business Communicators (IABC) and the Canada Silver Leaf award for the IABC.

“[To be nominated], it’s pretty amazing. It’s really humbling. It’s unexpected,” said Christine Szustaczek, director of corporate communications at Sheridan and one of the main authors of the blog. “This is like icing on the cake, because it’s already an amazing part of our jobs, so the fact that we get recognized for it is really amazing.”

Curiosities started in the fall of 2013 during the rebranding of Sheridan.

The communications department always had a place to post news releases but wanted a blog to write stories.

“Not everything fits nicely onto a news release and there were so many great things that were happening here, interesting people, interesting ideas and thoughts and perspectives that we wanted to share,” said Szustaczek.

The name itself was chosen to reflect the Sheridan brand pillars. There were six words that described the college, including gutsy, real, smart and curious. The name Curiosities was chosen to reflect the new Sheridan brand of Get Creative, said Szustaczek.

Szustaczek and colleagues Keiko Kataoka and Susan Atkinson, along with Carol Hill from the alumni department, are the four main authors of the blog. They also get stories from guest posts and the Sheridan Sun.


The main aim of the blog is to showcase what’s happening at Sheridan to let people know what makes it different and unique.

The blog features students, alumni, employees and faculty members who have an interesting story. Curiosities added a new subset of stories called “Everyday Heroes” that profiles staff around the college and how they support student success.

“I think [sharing these types of stories] gives our various audiences, both internal and external, a more fulsome picture of Sheridan in an interesting and engaging way,” said Atkinson.

Although the blog features stories from a variety of people at the college, it’s the stories about students that are the most popular.

“The student ones, there’s nothing more powerful because educational institutions are all about the students and how it sets up students for their future success,” said Szustaczek. “It’s natural that that’s what other people want to read about.”

The blog features a simple and clean design with a visual banner of artwork from current students and recent graduates.

Kataoka is responsible for choosing which artwork is featured on the blog. She tries “to look for images that evoke the feeling of being curious or having curiosity.”

The awards and nominations gave the staff behind Curiosities validation and recognition for the work they enjoy doing – highlighting interesting people and their stories.

“I hope some of the national and international recognitions get more people reading the blog and learning about the great things going on at Sheridan,” said Kataoka.

Sheridan Curiosities is competing in COPA in the business-to-consumer category under Best Blog or Column. It’s up against two blogs from University Affairs, a blog from Today’s Trucking magazine and Signals Blog from the Stem Cell Network and Centre for Commercialization of Regenerative Medicine.

The winner of the COPA will be announced on Nov. 19.

Visit Sheridan Curiosities at