Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Upgrade your Professional Communication skills this Fall at Douglas College

In the era of the caveman, long before the invention of central heating and microwave ovens, being able to start a fire was a highly prized skill. These days, not so much.

But today, in an age that finds us increasingly overwhelmed by vast amounts of information, there is perhaps a modern, equivalent talent. You might even call it a 21st-century survival skill: being able to communicate well.

If you want to learn how to package and deliver information like a pro, Douglas College can help. This Fall Semester, courses in document design, technical communication and public relations are available by permission through the College’s new Professional Communication program.

The post-degree diploma program is designed for degree holders, but senior College students can now request permission to take specific courses. The courses are good options for degree students seeking a third-year elective, for associate degree students seeking a university-transfer course, and for students intending to transfer to SFU Communication.

As a prerequisite, you’ll need 45 credits, including a course in Communication, Creative Writing, or English, with a grade of B or better.

“We’re pleased to offer these courses as options for students in other programs. They’re really hands-on and applied in nature,” says program coordinator Maureen Nicholson. “Increasingly, employers expect students to have strongly developed design skills. It’s a highly visual world out there. Plus the ability to write technical documents, like instructions and manuals, and PR materials, like media kits and press releases, is invaluable for students in marketing, corporate communications, non-profits, and throughout the high-tech industry.”

Contact Nicholson by email or by phone at 604 527 5292 for permission to register in:
  • CMNS 3400 Document Design (CRN 34939, Thursdays, 6:30 to 9:20pm)
  • CMNS 3500 Technical Communication (CRN 34937, Tuesdays, 6:30 to 9:20pm)
  • CMNS 3700 Public Relations (CRN 34936, Saturdays, 9 to 11:50am)
Learn more about the Post-Degree Diploma in Professional Communication at


Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Douglas College Criminology student wants to help victims of neglect

                                                                David Denofreo Photo
As a pre-teen, Katarina Hechter was fascinated by legal thrillers and abnormal behaviour. So when it came time for college, Criminology seemed like a natural fit. It was then that she discovered where her true interests lay. 

“After taking some Criminology courses, I became less interested in atypical crime and more interested in everyday issues related to social justice,” she says. Alternative justice measures such as circle sentencing spoke to her, as they recognize the needs of victims, involve the community and identify rehabilitation options for the offender. “I believe people are inherently good, and many of them are not having their needs met by institutions or their environment,” she says. 

Katarina sees a future for herself working in northern Canada with Aboriginal offenders— after she’s completed her Associate Degree at Douglas College and moved on to do her BA and MA, that is. In the meantime, she’s staying involved in her community and her field of interest. “The Women’s Memorial March I attended on Feb. 14 was one of the most powerful experiences I have had,” she says. “I was surrounded by people who had been victims of neglect. My heart broke because I wanted so much to help them.”

Learn more about the Criminology program at


Thursday, August 14, 2014

Douglas College helps student prepare for career in international relations

                                                                 David Denofreo Photo
With a love for languages and travel, it’s little surprise Simonetta Da Rios dreams of a career in foreign affairs. 

Originally from Mexico, Simonetta came to Canada for high school. Now she is studying Intercultural and International Studies at Douglas College.

Being part of the College’s diverse student population is a good fit for someone so globally minded. “I’ve been having a great time at Douglas College because it’s so multicultural,” she says. “I’m in the right place if I want to work in international relations.”

After completing an associate degree at Douglas, Simonetta wants to transfer to university and earn a bachelor’s degree in international relations. That’s how she’s bringing her dream into reality.

Learn more about the Intercultural and International Studies program on the Douglas College website.


Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Douglas College grad’s PhD research focuses on reconciliation in Rwanda

                                                                David Denofreo Photo
Masahiro Minami believes meaningful actions, not just words, can heal deep psychological wounds. A Douglas College graduate, Masahiro has completed a PhD in Counselling Psychology at UBC. His research is focused on a new approach to fostering reconciliation between survivors and perpetrators of the 1994 Rwandan genocide.

An alternative to traditional therapy, his Action-Based Psychosocial Rehabilitation Approach (ABPRA) has a perpetrator atone for wrongdoing by offering services such as manual labour to a survivor. “It is a more commonsense way to realize the perpetrator is feeling sorry,” he says.

Originally from Japan, Masahiro came to Douglas after high school to study English. While earning his Associate of Arts degree at Douglas, he took a variety of academic courses and developed an interest in Psychology. “I was fascinated with how the human mind works,” he says.

Masahiro went on to earn degrees from SFU and UBC and work as a family therapist. As a UBC scholar, he is continuing his work to prove ABPRA can be used to build peace in Rwanda and other post-conflict areas around the world. “I just want to make a difference,” he says.

Learn more about Masahiro's work at and about Associate degrees at


Friday, August 8, 2014

Looking for upper-level courses that don't have prerequisites? Begin here

Are you completing a degree and need upper-level electives to round it out?

Douglas offers a number of third- and fourth-year courses that don't have prerequisites, and other upper-level courses you may be able to take with the permission of the instructor.

We aren’t able to list them all here as they change semester to semester, but we can narrow it down for you.

To find upper-level courses that do not have prerequisites, visit the Program and Course Catalogue, search the courses you are interested in and click on the "Prerequisites" tab. If there are no prerequisites, you may try and register for the course.

Some courses without prerequisites may have program or other restrictions, so you'll need to review any section notes for the course and/or email the instructor to see if they will give you permission to register. You can find section notes and instructor information by clicking the "Schedule" tab.

Here are a few examples of upper-level courses that do not have prerequisites or may allow you to register with instructor permission:

BUSN 3401 Principles of International Business

Disability and Community Studies
DACS 5111 Disability in Context

HIST 3305 Europe Since 1945

PHIL 3310 Ancient Philosophy

MUSC 3180 Audio Recording Techniques

Sport Science
SPSC 3240 Leadership in Sport, Physical Education and Coaching


Thursday, August 7, 2014

Douglas College student confronts cultural differences in Africa

                                                                David Denofreo Photo
When Iloradanon Efimoff visited Zambia, the experience shook up her views on feminism—and taught her a valuable lesson.

Iloradanon, who’s studying psychology at Douglas, visited the African country through the College's Zambia Global Leadership Program. The yearly program gives students the opportunity to complete three-month practicums that support community development.

An experienced tutor, Iloradanon taught English to teens in a rural school. One day, after helping other women cook a meal for school officials, she was told to serve the headmaster—while kneeling before him.

The request did not sit well with the self-described feminist.

“I didn’t really know how to respond, because I didn’t want to insult another person’s culture. But at the same time, it was crossing my boundaries in so many ways.”

A local female teacher quickly stepped in and showed her how to deal with the situation.

“She throws the plate on the table, turns around and walks out,” Iloradanon recalls. “And the headmaster was laughing, like it wasn’t a big deal.”

Iloradanon says the experience helped her better understand people from different cultures.

“That’s the way women are coping with sexism in Zambia,” she says. “You could call it a different type of feminism.”

Learn more about the Zambia Global Leadership Program at


Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Douglas College Poem of the Month: August 2014

Poem of the Month showcases outstanding work written by Douglas College students.

Each month, the Creative Writing Department displays posters across both campuses featuring a new poem.

Click on the image to the right to see an enlarged version of this month’s poster, featuring "Cross Legged in the Philosophy Aisle" by Alaska Petrie.

All Douglas College students are eligible to enter the Poem of the Month competition. Featured poems are selected by a committee of instructors.

To learn more about submitting poems, contact the Faculty of Language, Literature and Performing Arts at 604 527 5465.

More information about the Creative Writing Department is available on the Douglas College website.


Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Life at Douglas College about more than academics for student from Brazil

                                                                  David Denofreo Photo
There’s no question that moving to a new country can be challenging. When Rodrigo Meirelles De Oliveira first came to Douglas, he missed his home in Brazil. But after taking part in a new student orientation, he realized what he needed to do—get involved.

A Commerce and Business student, Rodrigo volunteered as a student orientation leader and landed a job on campus helping new students. His message for new international students is simple: “Get out of your comfort zone and meet people.”

He says having a social circle is important. “If you’re facing problems or need help studying, those people are there to support you.” With plenty of fun events at Douglas, Rodrigo says there are many ways to make new friends. “What I really like about Douglas is that there is a focus on the importance of student life, not just academics.”

Learn more about the Commerce and Business Administration programs on the Douglas College website.


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.