Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Get inside the head of a millionaire

Forget playing the lottery. Get tips from a millionaire who got his start at Douglas. Frank Giustra (right), founder of Lions Gate Entertainment and president and CEO of Fiore Financial is taking part in a panel discussion hosted by the Douglas College Business Association (DCBA) at the New West Campus next Tuesday, October 6. Giustra rubs shoulders with none other than former US president Bill Clinton. Together, they launched the Clinton Giustra Sustainable Growth Initiative two years ago.

Where: Room 2201, New Westminster Campus (700 Royal Ave.)
When: Tuesday, October 6th, 2009
Number of Tickets Available: 130
Cost: Students $5, Alumni and other $10
Dress Code: Business
Purchase Deadline: Sunday, October 4th, 2009

6:30pm Doors open, drinks served *Please arrive by 6:45pm at the latest!*
7:00-7:30pm Nosh and network
7:30pm Guests take their seats, opening remarks
7:45pm Panel discussion with Frank Giustra begins.
7:45-8:30/8:45pm Discussion wraps up
8:30/8:45pm Closing remarks and prize giveaways
8:45/9:00pm Finish

Parking: New West Campus underground parkade (L1): Open until 11pm. No student passes available, hourly parking in effect.

How to purchase a ticket:
Visit the DCBA website or booth in the New West Concourse.

Monday, September 28, 2009

DSU Pride Centre open all week

By Alessandro Iachelli, College Relations Coordinator, Douglas Students' Union

Come and hang out, eat your lunch, make some friends, learn about the Queer community and take part in exciting events!

DSU Pride Centre Hours:
Mondays: 10am-7pm
Tuesdays: 10am-4pm
Wednesdays: 12pm-7pm
Thursdays: 10am-4pm
Fridays: 10am-4pm

Join us Mondays at 4:30pm for weekly social events - movies, board games, pool, etc.

Every second Wednesday at 4:30pm are DSU Pride Collective weekly meetings where you can bring your creativity, see what kind of Collective you want and help out with events and campaigns for the year.

So come join the fun in Room 328 of the DSU building (to the left of the student lounge)! Contact us at or 604-527-5474.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Seven more sleeps ′til India

By Laurie Wong
Bachelor of Physical Education and Coaching graduate

With a week to go before my departure for India, I feel both anxious and nervous. No matter how much I read about India and Dharamsala, there seems to be an unknown factor. I guess that’s the interesting part of traveling.

Missing my family
My son Chris has drawn sad faces on my departure date on the family calendar and he is counting down for me. It is beginning to hit me that I will be away from my children and my husband for 11 weeks. I sure am going to miss them! So, in preparation for this void I borrowed a web cam, bought a headset and learned how to use Skype. However, due to limited access to cybercaf├ęs, I might be communicating with them only once a week.

The malaria dilemma
One huge dilemma for me in the last month has been whether to take malaria pills or not. Many travel doctors are recommending them according to the malaria risk map. But reading about the possible side effects and talking to some people who have taken them made my decision difficult. Some possible side effects are stomach pain, depression, psychosis, difficulty with night vision – and these appear to affect many people. With the passing of the monsoon season in India and Dharamsala being at high altitude, the risk of malaria is greatly reduced.

After discussing this further with another doctor and my faculty associate, I have decided not to take malaria pills. To further reduce the risk, I am bringing lots of natural insect repellant with citronella (extract from lemon grass roots) for application directly on my skin and insect repellant with DEET (quite a harmful chemical) on my clothes. I am also bringing a mosquito net for my sleeping quarters – hopefully all of these things will keep the mosquitoes away from me.

Beat the heat
The temperature in Delhi this week averaged about 37°C, but to avoid being inappropriately touched by strangers it is advised to wear clothes that do not show too much skin. Dressing with good coverage is also a way to respect the Tibetan and Indian cultures. While working in schools, long pants, long-sleeved tops and knee-length exercise shorts are required. My problem is that I will not be comfortable wearing my long-sleeved tops and pants from Canada in such heat. One way to solve this problem is to wear local attire. So, my strategy is to not bring too many clothes from home and instead buy local outfits as soon as I get there. Apparently I can get a custom-made outfit with cool fabric for about $5 CAD!

Everything in moderation
Indian cuisine varies from region to region, which means the variety and the amount of spices may be quite different. Although I enjoy Indian cuisine in Vancouver, I plan to ease my stomach into India’s spicy cooking. I will be packing some bottled water and comfort foods (peanut butter, granola bars and some dried fruits and nuts) in my luggage. I have also begun to take probiotic supplements to increase the healthy bacteria load in my stomach. In addition, I will bring some electrolytes in case I do get diarrhea, but I really hope that I will not get sick!

My next entry will be from India! Seven more sleeps…

Laurie Wong is headed to India for the Professional Development Program (PDP) at SFU as part of the International Teacher Education Module. She will be filing stories for doug during her adventures in India – stay tuned.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Work with the mouse

Attention all Marketing, Business and Hotel & Restaurant Management students:

Looking for a great opportunity for work experience? Come to an information session on Thursday, Sept 24 at 4pm in Room 2201 (New West Campus) to find out about the Disney Internship Program. You could work, learn and earn with Disney World in Florida! Read more...

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Transit matters

Here's a little ditty the OnePassNow campaign put together. You may recognize Douglas Students' Union External Relations Coordinator Priscilla Bartleman in front of New West Campus. Don't forget to text "ONEPASSNOW" to 212121 to support a $25 U-Pass and be entered in a draw for a one-month transit pass. Anything you text will be posted on the OnePassNow Twitter page.

In other transit news, the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure is having some public consultations on the Evergreen Line. If you take classes at the David Lam Campus and wish you could access the campus via rapid transit, make your voice heard! Public meetings are scheduled on October 5, 8, 15 and 19 from 6:30-8:30pm at the Evergreen Line Project Office at 2900 Barnet Highway, Coquitlam. If you plan to go, make sure you email or call 604-927-4450 by September 29, 2009 - there's limited space, so you have to let them know you're coming!

Monday, September 21, 2009

Break it down

What’s in an essay? Sport Science student Edd Tiojanco breaks it down in the above video using dance.

This impromptu performance came at the end of a presentation in a Student Success class about how dance has impacted his life. Edd’s older brother started dancing to channel his energy in a positive way – Edd followed his lead. The brothers now travel to dance competitions and have gone as far away as the Philippines. Edd says his hobby made Sport Science at Douglas an obvious choice.

Catch more of Edd at a competition in Marysville, Washington (he’s in yellow) and locally at Harbour Dance Centre (on the right, in grey).

Friday, September 18, 2009

Hey, sporto

By Kyle Strauts, Bachelor of Physical Education and Coaching

I have gone through an entire lacrosse career of coaches and leaders. From September 21-25, the Week of the Coach takes place at the New West Campus. Whether you’re a coach, an athlete or just interested in sports, come and get some new ideas from other students and experienced coaches alike.

The week’s events will showcase some of the amazing up-and-coming students and faculty who are learning or practising their coaching talents. As a fourth-year Bachelor of Physical Education and Coaching student, I’m excited to see what the week’s events have to offer, and I invite you to come take a gander at what the hype is about.

Guest speakers, like former NHL goalie Bill Ranford (left) and former Olympian and rowing coach Jason Dorland, will be sharing their knowledge and experience in seminars. They’ll discuss their past, present and future plans towards coaching.

All around, it is an exciting time for people looking to advance their ideas about the coaching field and get some insight into others' plans and processes. An added bonus is on the final day, the Investors Group Community Sport Coach Administrator Award will be given to a deserving member of the community.

In my own experience as a coach for soccer and lacrosse, I feel there is never an end to the wealth of teaching and learning in coaching. Even if you take only one piece of knowledge or advice from an event like this, I consider that a success in its own right. See you all there!

Say what?

What are you most curious about?
What does success mean to you?
What's your passion?

During the Week of Welcome events (Sept 8-11), you told us exactly that.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Social work grad makes it personal

Community Social Service Worker (CSSW) grad Carli Travers and her husband Robert are hosting a silent auction fundraiser for the children's home they run in Uganda, Africa on Friday, September, 18 from 7-9pm at the Coquitlam Christian Centre, 2665 Runnel Drive. The auction will include paintings by Robert. Admission is free. For more information on the event or details on how you can help Abetavu Children’s Home, contact CSSW instructor John Fox at 604-527-5745. Read on to learn more about Carli and Robert, who gave a presentation at Douglas on Wednesday, and their family of 13.

When Carli Travers went to Uganda in 2006, she was a 21-year-old student in the CSSW Progam. “As soon as we landed, I knew ‘This is where I want to be,’” she told Douglas students and instructors during a presentation at the New West Campus on September 16. Today, Carli and her husband Robert, a native Ugandan, run the Abetavu Children’s Home which they founded and are mom and dad to 11 children. And they recently started a school for children whose parents can’t afford private school.

The Abetavu Children’s Home is unique in that Carli and Robert have taken in and informally adopted nine children who previously either lived on the street or in abusive homes. Their philosophy is that children need a positive family setting where their language and culture will be nurtured, rather than temporary shelter. “We’re committed to these children until they die,” Carli told Wednesday’s audience. She and Robert, who are visiting Canada with two of their sons, took a moment to talk to doug about everything from culture shock to parenting after their presentation.

On culture shock
Robert (who is visiting Canada for the first time): Where I’m from, people on the streets will talk to you and if they don’t know you, they’ll try to know you, say ‘hi’ when you get on the bus or taxi. It’s different here. You get on the bus and everyone puts on their iPods – switch on and keep quiet.
Carli: In Uganda there’s no sense of time, which is a good thing and a bad thing. Here, there’s so much pressure – pressure to be on time, to say the right things, to make sure you do everything properly. We have a stressful life in Uganda, but it’s a different kind of stress here.

Finding the right outlet
Carli: I always wanted to help people but didn’t know what to do. I’d get into jobs where I thought I was helping people but didn’t feel fulfilled, so it was really just more emotionally draining.

A dynamic duo
Carli: We definitely need the teamwork, because we balance each other off that way. With any family, you go through stress at times. We have a lot of stresses that most (Canadian) families don’t face with regards to rent, people coming to turn off your power even though you’ve paid, people deciding your school is not where it’s supposed to be because it’s not zoned for that area. Things just come up out of nowhere. We always want that quiet day but it’s never come and I don’t think it ever will.
The learning process
Robert: We don’t need computers [in our school] because it’s just another process to teach people how to use them. All they need is to have us teach them the basic things – how to write, how to spell, how to say certain words in English, how to behave at home and school. They pick up quick. What I’ve noticed here is children are forced to play. But our children play with anything and create their own games. Sometimes they’re given toys but they don’t know what to do with them. They like playing in the dirt and the mud.

Not everyone understands
Carli: People in Uganda think we’re crazy for what we’re doing. They think we have given our whole lives away. Even when we had an article in the Vancouver Sun a couple years ago, I got emails from Canadians saying, ‘What are you doing? You’re so young. Live your life. This is ridiculous.’ And I couldn’t believe that because for us, that isn’t even in our mind-frame.
Robert: I’ve also had people tell me, ‘Are you crazy? You’re only 24 years old. Instead of taking care of your own children, you’re taking in other children.’ I just ignore it. People think with their mouths…They don’t imagine how I’m living in Uganda. They don’t think I’m supposed to be living there because every person who marries a white person gets to go to America.
Carli: Leaving (Uganda), Ugandans said, ‘Just don’t come back.’ They don’t have any care for the fact that our children are still in Uganda. They think they’re just strangers.

Those who have the least share the most
Robert: The poorest people are the happiest people.
Carli: They’ll give you the shirt of their back. Even when our kids share clothes with kids in our community who don’t have things – because our kids have chosen to do it which is wonderful – the neighbours who have nothing, they still feel the pride of giving us the mangoes off their tree. It’s a neat sense of community that way.

Their family-oriented approach
Carli: I don’t like to use the word ‘fostered’ there because we haven’t legally adopted our children. But it’s permanent. In Canada it’s not permanent. So for our kids, they’ve gone through a lot of trauma. But they know they have stability with us forever. It’s not like a kid who’s in the foster system here who’ll go, ‘Okay, I’m going to be here for a couple months, then for another year I’ll be in another home.’ That’s where we’ve gone wrong in Canada, for sure.

Tips for next year’s Douglas students heading to Uganda
Robert: My advice would be they keep an open mind. Once they get there, they’ll discover changes in their lives. Take that opportunity, whatever changes come into their lives, and keep it real.
Carli: It’s them who are going to be changed, not them who are going to make the change.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

A Wales of a time

By Liz Hammond, Associate of Arts – English

It is not in my nature to act spontaneously. I am the queen of to-do lists and rely heavily on my day timer. However, when I received an email regarding last Summer’s field school in Wales, I felt the immediate urge to take advantage of this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.

My interest grew after attending meetings and information sessions. Each of the teachers involved; Christine Dewar (Performing and Fine Arts), Susan Smythe (Geography) and Marni Westerman (Sociology) are the kind of instructors you want to have. All of these professors are kind, understanding and passionate about what they teach. They were yet another reason why I felt I had to take part in this study-abroad semester.

Once the paperwork was done and my fees were paid I was still not entirely convinced that I had made the right decision. I was nervous about living in a dorm and unsure about the idea of studying in a foreign location. I am a text-book type-A personality who sometimes finds it difficult to adapt to new surroundings and situations. Luckily, all the students and staff at Trinity University College in Wales possessed a welcoming nature that made the adjustment process much easier.

The most rewarding aspect of the learning abroad experience was the chance to witness real-life examples of course material.
I have never been particularly interested in Geography but land forms became far more intriguing to me as I explored them in various Welsh settings. One of my personal favourite memories from the program was our visit to Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre. This excursion brought to life many of the things we learned about and discussed in Performing Arts. Principles of Sociology were present throughout my entire trip as I became more familiar with Welsh culture and traditions.

The Welsh culture course provided by Trinity University College added to my amazing study abroad experience. This course was led by Conway Davies, a fascinating Welsh man who delivered historical information on Wales that related to all three Douglas courses in different respects. Through organized excursions, exploration of my surroundings and Welsh culture classes, I received a learning experience that could only be gained abroad. What stood out for me upon returning home was the overwhelming warmth of Welsh people. I felt this warmth at the college, in the pubs, and all the small towns we visited.

For me, studying abroad led to as much personal growth as it did educational. While adjusting to dorm-life I feel I not only had many great times and made new friends, I also became much more patient and understanding. As school work did not occupy all of our time in Wales, other students and I planned self-guided excursions and weekend trips. We took a day trip to the town of Hay-on-Wye, and many of us spent a weekend to Dublin. Being able to plan these outings and successfully navigate myself through new destinations left me with an increased sense of independence.

The Wales semester abroad program gave me the opportunity to become more academically and personally well rounded. If you are considering a study abroad program I would highly recommend it. For me, it brought to light that learning extends far beyond the classroom.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Get connected and caffeinated

By Lori Kittelberg, doug editor

Looking for a spot to showcase your art, begin a foray into spoken word or just hang out with friends off campus? Former Douglas student Bryan Schwartz is inviting students to check out Urth Coffee House on 8th St. across from the New West Campus.

Poetry readings and live music are booked for every second Wednesday of the month starting in October (November’s will take place on November 4 due to Remembrance Day). Book readings begin on October 6 with Catherine Owen. He is also planning to host an acoustic night for musicians. Artists showing their work at Urth get 100% of any sales.

“I want to help artists get out there and help people find opportunity,” says Bryan.

As a former Douglas student and a New West resident, he is aiming to build community spirit through coffee. “This area of New West is underserviced. I want Urth to be a gathering place and somewhere to have an inexpensive night out.”

Bryan spent the last two semesters picking up Science classes at Douglas to complete a Kinesiology Degree he started at SFU. A two-hour break between Physics and Biology classes changed his path, for now anyway.

“I was taking a walk one day and saw a ‘For Lease’ sign. I had worked for years in the restaurant industry and I was good at what I did. For three days, I considered it. And then I decided, ‘Why not a coffee shop?’”

His degree is currently on hold, but Bryan says with two young stepchildren, he’s committed to finishing it in the next couple of years. “I want to set an example and show them that it’s good to exercise your mind and empower yourself.”

Friday, September 11, 2009

Anticipating India

By Laurie Wong
Bachelor of Physical Education and Coaching graduate

The first day of school for my Professional Development Program (PDP) at SFU has finally arrived! On October 3, I will be leaving for Dharamsala (pronounced Da-ram-sa-la), India with 15 other students and one faculty associate as part of the International Teacher Education Module. We’ll be there for a little over two months.

Dharamsala is in a district called Kangra and is located in a northern state of India called Himachal Pradesh which borders Pakistan to the west and Tibet to the east. It is about a 12-hour drive north from Delhi and is perched across the lower ridges of the Dhauladar Range, which is the part of the southern spur of the Himalayas.

Dharamsala is the home of His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama and approximately 9,000 Tibetan refugees. We will be working in a Tibetan refugee settlement and will be teaching in one of three schools. Two schools are K-12 with most children boarding because they are orphans either due to the death of their parents or because their parents are still stuck in Tibet.

We will be mainly teaching English and doing extracurricular activities with the students. Some of us will also be working in an adult school of mostly women, many of them still suffering from the psychological shock of a dangerous five-month escape from Tibet to India over the Himalayas on foot.

Over the summer, our faculty associate Mati Bernabei gave us reading and writing assignments to prepare our minds for this extraordinary experience. I read several novels about the lives and the cultures of people in India (by Rohinton Mistry) as well as several books written/translated by His Holiness the Dalai Lama. I also watched many documentaries on India and about the Dalai Lama.

We have already started bonding with one another with an overnight retreat. I think we will have lots of fun learning and experiencing challenges together in India. Mati has traveled to Dharamsala, Nepal and other places in India over the last 20 years. She has a wealth of knowledge and has many close friends in the region. I feel very safe traveling with her! Just 22 more days to go.

Laurie Wong will be filing stories for doug during her adventures in India – stay tuned.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Calling all CSIS students!

ATOS Origin, the sole provider of IT support for the 2010 Olympic Games, is looking for Computing Science and Information Systems students for a paid co-op placement during the Olympics in Vancouver in February.

To find out more about this fantastic opportunity, come to an information session on Monday, Sept. 14. No need to register in advance, just show up:

Room #4360 - New West Campus
Monday, Sept. 14th

Questions? Contact the Co-op office at:
(604) 527-5100 or

Thursday, September 3, 2009

doug is here

by Lori Kittelberg, doug editor

Who’s doug, you ask? In a nutshell, doug’s more a ‘what’ than a ‘who.’ doug is a place where you can come to get a peek at the fun side of Douglas College. It’s the place where you can have your say and hear about what other students - and sometimes grads and your teachers - are doing. Find out about events where you can get involved and meet people outside class.

In today’s stories: find out how Ashley-Anne Churchill went from a retail rut to studying Environmental Science; join the Douglas Student Union AIDS Walk team; look at pics from the Late Summer Orientation.

doug is a casual community where you get the news as it is, without embellishments or academic speak. doug is a place for you to tell your stories in your voice. Send articles, photos, video and ideas to

If you’re on Google, Bloglines, netvibes, newsgator or My Yahoo, subscribe to posts on doug – scroll down and to the left to do this. For more detail, have a look at How to follow blogs for an easy-to-follow video. Or bookmark and check back every couple days.

Thanks for paying doug a visit. See you again soon!

Trapped no more

By Ashley-Anne Churchill, Environmental Science

I was stuck in a rut. At 19, I was managing a custom picture-framing store. I loved the work and enjoyed keeping busy, but I just felt like I wasn’t doing what I was meant to do.

On a quiet night during the Christmas holidays, a young man came in to the store and we got to talking. He was in the Criminology Program at Douglas College, which happened to be the program I wanted to go into if I were to do any post secondary education.

As we continued talking, him about college and me about work, I got this horrible feeling in my gut: I suddenly despised my job. I told him of my dreams of going to college, all of the well-thought out plans that I had made, and how I came to manage a custom picture-framing store.

He sensed my melancholy and asked why I wasn’t in college. At the time I was working 12-hour days, six days a week, so I had no time to even consider going to college. I told him that I felt obligated to work so much because I was the only one available.

He got up to leave and said: “Never let anyone make you feel trapped.” As he left, he added, “Maybe I’ll see you at Douglas one day.”

I sat there and contemplated his words. It wasn’t just what he said; it was how he said it. I immediately understood what he meant – people can’t make you do things unless you let them.

I continued working, putting his words into my subconscious, though I sure wasn’t going to forget them. Then on December 21, I was the passenger in a car accident that left me with whiplash, a soft muscle injury to my back, a badly broken finger and an injured wrist. Phoning work after I got out of the hospital, I was told there was no one to cover my shifts. If I didn’t work, they would shut my store down.

Feeling responsible, I went to work the next day, during the busiest time of year, framing pictures and selling art with my arm splinted up to my elbow and barely able to turn my neck. Working twice as hard as I normally did, half the time in a haze from pain medication, I was too busy to even recall the young man’s words.

Two weeks later, as I was putting the key in the lock to open the store, two men in suits came up and asked, “Are you Ashley Churchill?” Gulping, thinking they were from ICBC, I nodded. They told me they were from a bankruptcy company and the store I worked for had gone into receivership.

The first very first thought that went through my mind was, “I can go to college now.” And I was reminded of that young man’s words. It took a car accident and losing my job for me to really hear what he said.

I applied for funding for college. While waiting for the Fall semester, I went through five months of physiotherapy and unemployment. With a splint covering half my arm, no one would even think of hiring me.

I made it and have just finished my first year of my Associate Degree in Environmental Science at, you guessed it, Douglas College. It’s not Criminology, but all that time off while I was unemployed gave me plenty of time to think about what I truly wanted to do.

I never caught that young man’s name, and I don’t remember what he looks like, but I still remember what he told me that day I was in despair: “Never let anyone make you feel trapped.”

I’m still struggling to make it financially, just like any other starving student, but I don’t feel trapped anymore. I’m following my heart and doing what it is that makes me feel alive.

Win an iPod Touch

Have your say at the Douglas College Week of Welcome events and you could win an iPod Touch! How, you ask? Simple. Click here for details. Read more...

Welcome to the Douglas community

By Scott McAlpine, Douglas College President

Welcome students to Douglas College and, in many cases, welcome back! It always feels like I should be saying “Happy New Year” in September because for us, and you, it really is. The year ahead is full of potential, promise, excitement and, of course, hard work. We know that and Douglas College faculty and staff are committed to doing everything we can to help you along your educational journey. You will come to know our fine community of instructors who are engaged with teaching as well as scholarship.

We also recognize that many students have made great sacrifices to get here and have made the difficult decision to pursue post-secondary education. We’re here to help, and while it is hard to imagine sometimes, all of our faculty and staff were once students too. Please remember that as we continue to develop our educational partnerships with you.

At Douglas College you will attend classes, whether face-to-face or online, and learn a great amount. But there is more to college than just classes. Watch for some wonderful activities and events in Campus Life; participate in the events from the Douglas College Students’ Union. Attend a play, see a guest speaker, cheer on the Royals! Be active, engage with our community. If you see me or any of our administration out and about, please say hello! At Douglas College, students are our first priority. They have been for 40 years.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Digital Douglas

By Leah Poulton, Web Content Developer, CMO

You’re on Facebook. You’ve been on YouTube and you’ve probably checked out Twitter. If you don’t have a Flickr account, you know what it’s about. You’re checking these sites daily – why not use them to find out what’s going on at your school?

Connect with your Douglas community online at Digital Douglas. Here, you’ll find links to the Douglas College Facebook page, Twitter account, Flickr galleries, blogs and YouTube channel. You’ll find out about news, events and important deadlines faster than anywhere else. Plus, you’ll find photos and videos of campus events, contests and giveaways and more. It’s a great way to connect with the people you go to school with.

Check out the Digital Douglas site for more information on the Douglas online community. See you online!