Friday, August 1, 2014

Got exams this Summer? The Learning Centre is here to help!

It’s that time again! Final exams are upon us, and Douglas College students are gearing up for some serious study time. Thankfully, the Learning Centre is hosting another Exam Jam to help students ace their finals. Since it’s the Summer, the Learning Centre has reduced their regular programming to focus on the essentials – one-on-one peer tutoring appointments and study group sessions.

How Exam Jam can help you

Peer Tutoring:
Looking for test-taking strategies or help reviewing your course material? The New Westminster Learning Centre will be open for business during our regular summer hours on August 7, 8, 11, 12 and 13, and our Coquitlam location will be open on August 12 and 13. We encourage students to book free 25-minute tutoring appointments for study skills, writing, computer skills or course content. Students can reserve a session by booking online at

Study Groups: Often, two heads are better than one. And multiple brains are even better! The Learning Centre is holding study groups at the New Westminster campus for BIOL 1103, BIOL 1109, BIOL 1203, CSIS 1175, PSYC 2300, CHEM 1104, CHEM 1108, CHEM 1110 and FINC 1231. Study groups will be led by our experienced peer tutors, and students can book a spot online at

Learning Centre locations

New Westminster Campus
Room 2015

Coquitlam Campus
Room A1040

Want more info? Visit the Learning Centre webpage or pop by in person.

You can also check out these 10 study tips from the Learning Centre.


Thursday, July 31, 2014

Sales student from Russia gains business-world experience before graduating

                                                                 David Denofreo Photo
Viktoriia Maliavina has always loved travelling and challenging herself. That’s how she found her way to Vancouver from her home in Russia.

She says Douglas College was appealing because of the variety of programs and supportive international department. Once she became a student, she found a place where it was easy to get help with assignments and take part in fun on-campus activities.

Having already earned a degree in commerce, Viktoriia is now pursuing a Post-Degree Diploma in Sales at Douglas.

“I love my program because it is a combination of theory and practice,” she says. “Our instructors make the educational process very interesting and businesslike by allowing us to work with real clients and attend marketing events.”

After Douglas, Viktoriia plans on a career in international marketing.

“Every industry needs good marketers in order to lead and succeed in the international arena,” she says. “It’s a very appealing field because of my strong desire to travel the world, experience new things and collaborate with interesting people.”

Learn more about the Post-Degree Diploma in Sales program on the Douglas College website.


Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Q&A: Gallery show at Douglas College explores the human form

From the sculptors of Ancient Greece to the fresco painters of Renaissance Italy to the masters of the modern era, artists throughout Western history have been fascinated by a subject that is close to all of us—the human form.

That age-old obsession with the way our bodies look and move is also at the centre of an upcoming visual-art exhibit at Douglas College. Works created by members of the New Westminster Heritage Life Drawing Society—and inspired by their observation of live models—will be on display as part of the Gestures show.

To learn more about the exhibit and the group behind it, we interviewed Gillian Wright, president of the Heritage Life Drawing Society and a Douglas College alumnus:

What is the Heritage Life Drawing Society?

Heritage Life Drawing is a nonprofit society for artists of all ages and all skill levels, who simply wish to explore drawing the human form. It is an excellent way to develop and strengthen skills of observation and detail. All artists need to hone their skills; whether they draw and create for a living or do it for pleasure. Everyone who has an interest in drawing and expressing themselves through art is welcome. We share ideas and inspire each other no matter what your skill level.

What is "life drawing?"

Life drawing is “gesture drawing.” For our members, that means practicing our skills using professional models who visit our drawing sessions. Each session begins with quick poses that last one minute, two minutes, five minutes and up to 30 minutes. The shorter ones are repeated five or more times while the 20- and 30-minute ones are fewer, depending on time remaining in the session. Not all sessions are the same. The entire three-hour session can be nothing but one- and two-minute gestures, or it can be the same pose from start to finish.

What mediums or materials are used during the sessions?

You can use any medium you wish although pencil and charcoal are the most common. Many people experiment with the colours of pastels and watercolours. Acrylic and oils can be used but involve much more preparation and therefore are not as popular.

What do you enjoy most about life drawing?

Life drawing has been a journey for me; it has helped me focus as well as expanding my creative process. It has taught me to see the small differences that make us all unique individuals, while still having the same basic body form.

What's most challenging about life drawing?

It challenges your ability to draw what you see as opposed to what you think you see, because we are all familiar with the human shape.

What will be on display in the upcoming exhibit?

This exhibition will show you how differently we all observe form and how we interpret it through many different mediums. There are displays of short quick gesture drawings as well as large developed paintings from these sessions. Life drawing has been around since man put chalk on the walls of caves and will survive the age of computers; it will never be a dying art. We love doing it too much.

Gestures runs August 8 to September 5 in the Amelia Douglas Gallery on the Douglas College New Westminster campus, 700 Royal Ave., New Westminster. Gallery hours are Monday to Friday, 10am to 7:30pm, and Saturday, 11am to 4pm. The exhibit is free and open to the public. To learn more about the Heritage Life Drawing Society, visit


Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Student from Japan brings his love of baseball to Douglas College

                                                                 David Denofreo Photo
Getting recruited for Douglas College’s baseball team was like hitting a home run for Naoaki Ito.

Growing up in Japan, a country that loves the sport, Naoaki dreamed of playing in North America. After all, it’s the home of all his favourite Major League players.

“Getting to play here is great. Baseball’s always been my passion,” he says.

Off the field, Naoaki is taking Sport Science classes at Douglas.

“I really like the program. A lot of the instructors played sports in high school or college so they’re more understanding of student athletes like me.”

After Douglas, he plans to transfer to university, earn a kinesiology degree and launch his career.

Learn more about the Sport Science program on the Douglas College website.


Thursday, July 24, 2014

Douglas College Veterinary Technology grads help four-legged friends

Douglas grads Lauren Basford, left, and Amanda Brackett.
David Denofreo Photo

Amanda Brackett and Lauren Basford have something in common—they love helping animals, large or small.

As graduates of the diploma in Veterinary Technology program, they are both well on their way to turning that passion into fulfilling careers.

And they’ve got the practical experience to get it done. The Veterinary Technology program gives students many opportunities to work with animals, either at the in-school clinic or out at shelters and farms.

Amanda and Lauren learned how to provide medical care to cats, dogs, pigs, birds and even horses, such as Elcici (pictured above receiving a physical exam).

“I loved the hands-on aspects of the program,” says Lauren, whose dream job is working with horses.

For her part, Amanda is more of a dog lover, but she’s a friend to all types of animals.

“I love finding ways to make them feel happier and healthier so they can enjoy a full, happy life with their families,” she says.

Learn more about the Veterinary Technology program on the Douglas College website.

You can also check out the video below for a look inside theVeterinary Technology program:


Wednesday, July 23, 2014

10 study tips for Summer 2014 at Douglas College

Exam time is fast approaching at Douglas College. To help students get ready, the Learning Centre has put together this top-10 list of study tips:

1. Do a practice exam. Try and predict the questions you will be asked, and answer them.

2. When you begin studying, highlight everything you already know. You'll be encouraged at seeing how much you've already accomplished.

3. Don’t stay up too late to study. It’s OK to pull an all-nighter for a paper, but with a test, you need the energy the next day to actually take the test.

4. Study the easy stuff first. That way you don’t waste all of your study time on one difficult concept and run out of time for the rest.

5. Make your study time fun, short and interactive. Use flashcards with pictures, colours and highlighters.

6. Turn off the Internet. Facebook will still be there when your study session's over.

7. Look over your in-class notes to see what information the instructor spent time on and what might be more important to study.

8. Snack smart: eating foods such as bananas and nuts while studying can actually help you retain information.

9. Drink water before your exam. Research has shown that downing the wet stuff before a test can improve your performance by up to a third.

10. Visit the Learning Centre to work with a one-on-one peer tutor. It's free. Look for details on the centre's website. Read more...

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Study buddies help Douglas College student from India settle in

                                                                   David Denofreo Photo
Anil Jasani left India and came to Canada to build a successful career in finance. To get there, Anil is studying toward an Accounting Management diploma at Douglas College.

He didn’t know many people when he arrived, but he made friends with some study partners that he now hangs out with in the evenings.

For Anil, the social connection made it that much easier to settle into life in Canada.

“Douglas College is really wonderful,” he says. “The people are nice and there are instructors I really like.”

Learn more about the Accounting Management diploma program on the Douglas College website.


Monday, July 21, 2014

Douglas College student recognized for history essay on unsolved Vancouver murder

An unsolved murder in a wealthy neighbourhood. A suspected cover-up by powerful figures. An atmosphere of racial and class tension.

That may sound like the makings of a Hollywood thriller, but it actually describes a notorious chapter of Vancouver historyone that captured the interest of student Sarah Hardy.

While an Associate of Arts student at Douglas College, Sarah researched the 1924 Janet Smith case as part of an assignment for her B.C. history class.

“I was originally interested in this topic because a while ago I heard about this case on a show about haunted places in Vancouver,” Sarah says.

“It sounded like a really interesting case, so I chose it to write about, and the more I looked into it, the more shocking facts emerged. There were so many theories on what happened.”

Sarah sifted through old newspaper articles, journals of the B.C. legislative assembly and other documents to piece together an account of the case.

The result of her efforts was an essay titled “Vancouver's Scottish Nightingale: How a Murder Investigation was Altered and Obstructed by Class and Race Issues.”

The essay recently won her the $750 W. Kaye Lamb Essay Scholarship from the British Columbia Historical Federation, an award that recognizes the work of first- or second-year postsecondary students.

At the centre of the case is Smith, a young nanny who worked in the home of a prominent Vancouver family. Smith was found dead on July 26, 1924.

While investigators failed to ever solve the case, and initially labelled it a suicide, suspicion fell on a Chinese houseboy, Wong Foon Sing, who was close to Smith.

It was a time of widespread anti-Asian sentiment and, at one point following the death, Wong was kidnapped by a group of white-robed men who attempted to force a confession.

Wong, who proclaimed his innocence, was eventually freed and later cleared by the courts.

Sarah says the sensational case, which grabbed people’s attention across the country, shows how popular opinion can influence criminal investigations.

“The large Scottish population was the reason Janet’s death was investigated further, and the intense discrimination against Asian people in Vancouver was the reason Wong Foon Sing was accused,” she says.

Sarah, now a student at UBC, says it’s hard to not be fascinated by the Janet Smith case.

“It is more than just an unsolved murder; there are scandals, police cover-ups, political corruption, racism, kidnapping, drug smuggling. Every new facet of the case was pretty surprising.”


Thursday, July 17, 2014

Business student makes friends from around the world at Douglas College

                                                                David Denofreo Photo
Growing up in a small town in Germany, Mathias Stoecker says he didn’t meet many people from other parts of the globe. But that changed when he started studying at Douglas. 

“When you come to Vancouver, you meet people from Asia, Latin America and all over,” he says. “That’s what I really like; making friends with people from around the world and getting to know their cultures.” 

And Mathias isn’t leaving Canada anytime soon. He originally came to Douglas as an international student but is now a permanent resident. After he earns his Bachelor of Business Administration degree at Douglas, he looks forward to a career in financial services.

Learn more about the Bachelor of Business Administration—Financial Services program on the Douglas College website.


Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Douglas College a perfect fit for Business Management student from Korea

                                                                 David Denofreo Photo
With mountain trails only a short drive away and a vibrant culinary scene, the Vancouver area is the perfect place for Chloe Youngeun Noh.

“I really like nature and mountains and hiking,” Chloe says. “I also like dining out with friends. Vancouver has so much wonderful international cuisine.”

Originally from Korea, Chloe is studying toward a Business Management diploma at Douglas College.

“The class sizes at Douglas are small so I can build good relationships with classmates and instructors,” she says.

It’s just further proof she’s in the right place.

Learn more about the Business Management diploma program on the Douglas College website.