Friday, December 31, 2010

40 after 40: Gert van Niekerk


Gert van Niekerk was on his way to do his PhD at Berkeley when he got a call from Douglas College asking if he was interested in a job. It was 1970 and Gert had applied for a PE instructor position at the brand-new college, but hadn’t heard back. Gert agreed to interviewed, and the recruiter flew out to Edmonton, where Gert was living.

“That was a Thursday,” Gert recalls, “and on Friday they made me a good offer. I’d asked my wife, ‘How much money must they offer me to take this job?’ And we came up with a dollar figure, and they exceeded it.”

After some hemming and hawing, Gert and his wife decided he should accept. Three days later, Gert found himself in New Westminster. At that point he didn’t realize the College didn’t even have a campus.

“I was staying with another faculty member, Henry Waack, and we drove by this big empty lot full of mud, and he said, ‘There it is.’ I said, ‘There’s what?’ ‘There’s the college.’ I said, ‘What are you talking about? There’s no campus, no pool, no gym.’ He said, ‘No, man, you’re it.’”


Undeterred by lack of a campus, facilities, curriculum guidelines and the like, Gert stayed on at Douglas and for the last 40 years has been an instructor in Sport Science. He founded the Douglas College rugby club and has travelled around the world as coach of the championship-winning golf and rugby teams.

He recently received a 2010 President’s Distinguished Service Award for his outstanding contributions to the betterment of the College and its community.

“I was very proud to get that. I don’t go looking for accolades, but it’s nice to be recognized. It makes all the effort you put in seem worthwhile.”

Gert became eligible to retire six years ago. But he says he had no desire to hang up his trainers.

“People often ask me how I can stay with one institution for 40 years,” he says. “It’s because I’ve had no stress, I’ve had no trouble coming to work in the mornings. I love the students, and my colleagues are terrific. That makes it easy to come to work every day.”

40 after 40 is a series showcasing our amazing grads and employees in celebration of our 40th anniversary. Check back every Wednesday and Friday for another inspiring story. See more about our 40th on our Anniversary page.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

40 after 40: Cathy Tremblay


As a child Cathy Tremblay wanted to be a teacher. But as she got older, low self-esteem convinced her that she would never amount to anything.

“My life became just about survival,” she says. “I was in a job for 15 years and I didn’t like it at all, but I had no hope to make any changes. I was stuck and dreamless.”

But Cathy still had a passion for helping people. Through a series of conversations with her daughter’s school counsellor, she found the courage and inspiration to apply to the Child and Youth Care Counsellor (CYCC) program at Douglas College.

But life continued to throw up barriers for Cathy. Shortly after she applied to the CYCC program she and her husband separated. She found herself on welfare, living in government housing and lining up for Christmas hampers. When she was assessed for entry into the CYCC program, she was told she wasn’t ready.

“I burst out crying on the spot. I had worked so hard to get to this point and I didn’t know what to do. After a second interview I was accepted into the program, but by then I had started to reevaluate my life. I felt that it was time for me to ‘go for the gold,’ and that to me meant going for my BA and into teaching.”


In 2009, after nine years at Douglas, Cathy received her BA in Psychology through the partnership program between Douglas College and the University of the Fraser Valley.

For the past two and a half years she has been Services Coordinator of the Douglas College Learning Centre at the New Westminster Campus, where she supervises up to 19 tutors each semester and spends time tutoring as well.

She marvels at the level of support she received from her instructors during her student days, and credits it for helping her get to where she is today.

“I was able to tell my instructors what was happening in my life. For example, my daughter was angry with me and our situation, so she scribbled all over my essay. I made her write a 'sorry' letter to the teacher and explain what had happened. My instructor actually wrote a letter back to my daughter accepting her apology and also telling her that her mom was doing well in class. Another time the same daughter deleted my essay from our computer. When I went to the instructor to explain my situation, he immediately gave me an extension.

“There are just so many fabulous stories to share.”

40 after 40 is a series showcasing our amazing grads and employees in celebration of our 40th anniversary. Check back every Wednesday and Friday for another inspiring story. See more about our 40th on our Anniversary page.  

Friday, December 24, 2010

40 after 40: Henry Waack


In 1970 Henry Waack was enjoying an established career as a music instructor, director, pianist and critic in Alberta. But when he was invited to be a founding faculty member of a fledgling college in BC, he and his wife talked it over and decided to uproot their family, say good-bye to security and head west.

“It took a lot of soul-searching to make the decision to accept the position at Douglas,” Henry says. “We had a family of six sons and we had to weigh the risk of leaving a very secure situation in Alberta against the lure of being a founding member of a new college.”

He arrived to find that the newly established college did not yet have a campus.

“It was an unusual first year to say the least. Classes were taught wherever we could find an old hall, old school or church,” Henry recalls. “The Music Department opened in North Surrey United Church. The church was also rented out as a daycare centre, so there were lots of little children around. They had to have a nap every afternoon, so we weren’t allowed to play instruments at that time. A year later we moved to portables at Eighth and McBride in New Westminster.”

Henry went on to teach piano concentrators and secondary piano students in the Music program for nearly three decades. Later he teamed up with Dorothy Jones, then the head of the Theatre Department, in producing 14 musicals at the College, and six more in the community.


In 1993 Henry retired from Douglas, but stayed on for another five years part time. He retired from all his teaching duties in 1998 and is currently on contract with the Community Music School.

He’s still going strong. At the age of 82 Henry teaches a large class of piano and theoretical students, performs at various functions and – as he has done for the last 38 years – directs the Mount Calvary Lutheran Church choir.

In the 40 years since he came to Douglas, Henry has had ample time to reflect on the College’s growth and success – not to mention his decision to leave all he knew in Alberta to help establish a brand-new post-secondary institution in what were then the boonies of BC’s Fraser Valley.

“What I learned was what a great impact a good college can have in the community. In music, for example, so many Douglas graduates have gone on to have distinguished careers. I can think of at least 15 Douglas graduates who are heads of music departments at various schools throughout the Lower Mainland.

“When I see the remarkable growth of Douglas College and the impact it has had in the community, I am so glad I made the right decision.”

40 after 40 is a series showcasing our amazing grads and employees in celebration of our 40th anniversary. Check back every Wednesday and Friday for another inspiring story. See more about our 40th on our Anniversary page.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Douglas College delivers Christmas cheer

Members of the Douglas College Business Association prepare
gifts for families in need.

If the holidays are indeed a time of giving, then Douglas College is getting it right.

This year different departments and individual sponsors at the College are providing 34 student families –  including 63 children –  with hampers of food, clothing, toys, books, grocery gift cards and more.
Students in the Bachelor of Science Nursing (BSN) Program alone raised $1,500 to sponsor three families. This is the third year BSN students have participated in the program, where they select unique gifts for each child on their list.

The Registrar's Office raised $500 for the Union Gospel Mission's Christmas Campaign, which provides hot meals to hungry people. Meanwhile, the Douglas College Business Association "adopted" a family through a Fraserside Community Services Society program. Thanks to their efforts, a nine-year-old boy and his mom will have a happy Christmas.

Finally, students from across the board donated blankets, clothing and food to be distributed by students in the Community Social Service Worker (CSSW) Program to needy individuals at homeless shelters, transition houses and other agencies.

Good deeds, everyone! Santa would be proud. 

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

40 after 40: Jerome Bouvier


At a young age Jerome Bouvier was introduced to the fast life of horseracing by his father. After Grade 11 Jerome left home and raced horses all around North America, a lifestyle that invited opportunity for choices that were “not the best.” In his early 20s he was in a drug-related waterskiing accident that left him paralyzed and confined to a wheelchair. But even after his injury he continued to race horses and play hard.

Over the next few years, however, he began to reassess things. The pivotal moment for Jerome came when he was talking to two teenagers in Delaware, who had seen him on TV and had come from New York to meet him.

“They willingly shared the struggles in their own lives," Jerome remembers. "And as they were leaving, one turned and said, ‘You need to be doing something else with your life.’ It was in the coming months that I chose to live a different way.”

Jerome became interested in working with at-risk youth, especially those affected with substance misuse. He was told about Douglas College and its Child and Youth Care Program, and his new journey began.


After receiving his Child and Youth Care Counsellor diploma in 1996, Jerome eventually earned his Masters in Leadership from the University of Royal Roads – the first member of his family to get a degree.

Jerome is now an instructor in the Faculty of Child, Family and Community Studies at Douglas. He is also executive director of PoCoMo Youth Services Society, an award-winning not-for-profit that provides outreach support and services to at-risk youth. At PoCoMo he created Project Reach Out, the first mobile drop-in centre and outreach program in Canada. He is also a motivational speaker and creator of the Hero’s Journey Programs, offering presentations, workshops, keynotes, and consulting.

“How I got here is still a blur,” he says. “It started out with a passion for helping and evolved into where I am today. I followed my passion, pursued my academics, worked and thought out of the box, and accessed the many mentors in my life.

“I am honoured to have been given the opportunity to contribute to the world in the way I have. I have learned so much from those I have met along my journey.”

40 after 40 is a series showcasing our amazing grads and employees in celebration of our 40th anniversary. Check back every Wednesday and Friday for another inspiring story. See more about our 40th on our Anniversary page.

Friday, December 17, 2010

Looking for a business mentor?

Are you a youth or student who would like to be connected with a local business mentor?

The Tri-Cities Chamber of Commerce is proud to announce the launch of the Business Mentorship Program in January 2011. This program is focused on developing the next generation of leaders in our local communities.

The program focuses on mentorship, business management & leadership skills, volunteerism and networking. Selected participants will enjoy access to business seminars, afforded the opportunity to meet community leaders and given important insight into the inner workings of successful enterprises.

Entrepreneurial youth wanting to start their own businesses will receive feedback on their business concept/plan.

Mentees will be challenged to think critically about real local issues affecting businesses operating in different sectors of the economy.

If you are interested in taking part in our three-month pilot program (January- April 2011) please fill out an application form.

There is no firm deadline, but don't wait to apply - the program begins January 20. Read more...

40 after 40: Keith Baldrey


For as far back as he can remember, Keith Baldrey wanted to be a journalist. He  can still recall being transfixed as he watched the events surrounding the JFK assassination unfold on television, trying to grasp what it was all about and what it meant.

“It was dramatic, it was happening right then. It was obviously a very big deal, and I thought  the people on television who were describing it had the most interesting job I could imagine,” Keith says.

In 1978 Keith came to Douglas College, drawn by the Other Press, the student newspaper started by journalist Terry Glavin, which was still in its infancy. Though Keith was taking general arts courses, the paper soon took over his life.

After leaving Douglas, Keith lived the life of the starving journalist while holding out for a job with the Vancouver Sun, which he eventually got.

“The Sun city editor phoned me to offer me a part-time job, and I got mad at him and demanded a full-time job. He was so surprised, he remembered me when full-time hiring resumed, and I got hired without even a job interview,” Keith says.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Co-op student shines at government agency

Tim Jensen, a Douglas Co-op student, developed an online room
booking system for Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada.
When Tim Jensen began his Co-op training at Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, the Douglas College Computer Science student had no idea he would change the way the office operated and make life easier for the staff.

As a second-year student learning the latest in computer technology, Tim was surprised to discover the government agency was still using a paper system for signing out resources and booking meeting rooms.

“It was kind of a bulky procedure,” Tim explains, “because they were making me run between departments to make sure that a room was free for this time, or whatever.”

Tim suggested to his supervisor, Jeff Lang, that he create an online system that would eliminate the problem of double-booking.

Jeff loved the idea.

“Tim’s a star,” Jeff says. “He took the initiative to create something to make our lives easier. Quite often with students they don’t have the experience or the wherewithal to take that initiative – they wait for direction – but Tim saw a need and created a solution.”

Tim is in his third month as a Co-op student with Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada. Co-ops integrate academic studies with work experience. After completing the first half of a diploma or university transfer program, co-op students alternate semesters of classroom studies with semesters of paid, full-time employment.

“I’m very happy with the Co-op program,” says Tim. “I’m getting paid to get education. There’s nothing better than that.”

Tim and Jeff agree that co-ops are a win-win situation for both students and employers.

“This is a real opportunity for me to practise my skills and practise a development routine, which is very important to my education,” Tim says. “The most valuable thing here has been the examples of workers in the same field as me and the ability to get some hands-on training.”

“The value is that students are able to get the experience employers are looking for,” says Jeff, “so that they have an extra leg up on the competition. Having that experience from the Co-op program will help differentiate you from other recent graduates.”

When asked if he would hire Tim – if a position came up –  once he graduates, Jeff doesn’t hesitate in his reply.

“Yes, absolutely. In a heartbeat.”

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

40 after 40: Arleigh Bell


According to Arleigh Bell, Douglas College is a place where you can “continue an education, start a profession or achieve a dream.” And she should know. Arleigh, who had always wanted to be a nurse, came to Douglas in 1990 and took Criminology, General Studies and, of course, Nursing.

She says she was never a great student, though her hands-on skills were excellent. With the encouragement and support of her instructors she was able to achieve her goal, and graduated as president of the 1992 Nursing class.

“Many times I thought I would not be successful, but I found some great classmates and instructors who assisted me with my way of learning, instead of trying to make me memorize a textbook,” Arleigh recalls. “Once I graduated, and passed the RN exams, I realized I could achieve anything I really wanted to achieve with hard work and determination.”


Since graduation, Arleigh has completed a Bachelor of Science in Nursing from the University of Victoria, a Master of Nursing from Athabasca University,  a Master of Education from the University of Phoenix (she completed her two masters degrees while working full-time at the BC Cancer Agency) and her Oncology Nursing Distance Education Certification from the University of Calgary. She has been a full-time faculty member in the BSN program at Kwantlen Polytechnic University for six years.

Shortly after graduating from Douglas she became active in both the BC Nurse’s Union and the College of Registered Nurses of British Columbia (CRNBC). She became an ambassador for nursing throughout BC and at the international level with the CRNBC.

Arleigh has also stayed involved with Douglas, as a member of the College’s Alumni Association.

“Douglas was my first stepping stone to building a nursing career,” she explains. “I continue to see my role as a mentor to others so that Douglas can continue to be a place to continue an education, start a profession, or achieve a dream.”

40 after 40 is a series showcasing our amazing grads and employees in celebration of our 40th anniversary. Check back every Wednesday and Friday for another inspiring story. See more about our 40th on our Anniversary page.


Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Podcasts open up new world for Douglas instructors

Peter Wilkins (l) and David Wright believe podcasts can help create
a more intellectual community for the College.

By Tamara Letkeman, doug Editor

When David Wright and Peter Wilkins discovered their mutual love of graphic narrative, the two Douglas English instructors didn’t just sit down and talk about it – they broadcast their conversations to an audience of potentially millions of listeners through a series of podcasts.

“We just sat down one day with the microphone and found a subject we were both interested in,” David says. “We liked the idea of every so often sitting down and having a conversation about it. It serves as a kind of basis for other projects we’re working on. We have a blog called Graphixia on the same subject.”

A few months ago David hit on the idea of creating a forum for faculty to talk about their interests outside the classroom through podcasts. After their first podcast on graphic narrative – the series is called The More Trivial, the Better – he and Peter discovered it was also a good way to have a focused conversation about a specific topic.

“It’s the presence of the microphone,” David says. “This is not how we normally talk, but because the microphone is there, it’s a welcoming presence in the room that’s telling you to stay on track.”

But more importantly, the platform of the podcast itself got them thinking.

“We began asking ourselves: How do new technologies change discourse? How does the medium change the message? How do different formats produce different kinds of discussion? Peter says.

They took the idea a step further: as both instructors teach classes in graphic narrative, it could be possible to use the podcasts as another teaching platform, a kind of supplement to classroom lectures. Or perhaps students could make a podcast as part of an oral presentation.

“That’s part of what Peter and I are doing,” David says. “The experimentation, the groundwork for what could come out of this. So we’re kind of less interested in the conversation we’re having than in what it can do.”

The pair also believes that this type of podcast – where faculty members showcase their different interests and passions – will create more of an intellectual community for the College.

“The idea is that faculty from different disciplines will sit down together and talk about certain subjects, and in that way you get different takes,” Peter says. “The result is that you get people to talk casually, you get to hear how intellectual practices are brought to bear on ordinary things.”

Listen to The More Trivial the Better – there are three podcasts so far – on iTunes. Check out David and Peter’s graphic narrative blog, Graphixia.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Speak up on the future of transportation in Coquitlam

The city of Coquitlam wants your two cents on the future of its transportation. Share your thoughts on how Coquitlam can enhance its streets for walking, cycling, vehicle traffic, public transit (Evergreen Line, anyone?) and transportation of goods, by taking this online survey.

Your answers will help identify and prioritize opportunities for Coquitlam's Strategic Transportation Plan Update. This survey will supplement comments received at a public workshop held last month.

Please share the survey with any others you feel would be able to contribute some ideas! The survey closes  Friday, December 17.

For more information on this project click here.


Douglas TV commercial premieres on Glee

Hey Gleeks: don't be surprised when you see a commercial for Douglas College during your favourite show tomorrow night.

The commercial will air during Glee and then again during the season finale of Survivor, Sunday Dec. 19. It will also play before every movie on the big screens at all Cineplex movie theatre locations in Burnaby, Coquitlam and Surrey from Dec. 17–Jan. 6.

The commercial tries to capture the spirit of the College – the energy – using real students and staff.

Did we succeed? You tell us.

Can’t wait to see it? OK, OK – you can watch the extended version right now. Just make sure you’ve got your headphones on or your speakers cranked. The feed is from YouTube so it should play on most machines.

After you've watched it, fill out this short survey and tell us what you think. Read more...

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Trees for basketball

If you're itching to buy a Christmas tree, look no further than your own backyard. The Douglas College Royals Men's Basketball team is raising money this year by selling high-quality noble firs from Spring Nursery in Mission.

Known as the Cadillac of Christmas trees - we hear the Obamas have one -  nobles have soft blue-green needles that are evenly spaced along strong branches perfect for heavy ornaments. Nobles have good needle retention and a mild, pleasant scent.

Trees from 5'-10' are available for $10 a foot. Choose to have it delivered or pick it up.

Monies raised will pay for travel expenses for non-conference tournaments, improved  equipment for the team, gym rentals for regular practice time of high school  facilities when our gym is booked and any potential physiotherapy costs that  fall outside the Douglas student benefits

For more information email or call 778 886 5580. Read more...

Friday, December 10, 2010

40 after 40: Diane Loomer


In the 1970s Diane Loomer tended her home, raised her son and taught part-time while her husband completed his orthopaedic residency at Vancouver General Hospital. Once he finished his training, he said to Diane, “Now it’s your turn. Go back to school and do what you’ve always wanted to do – study music.”

So Diane enrolled in the Music program at Douglas College, from 1978-1980, and went onto UBC to earn her BA and do graduate studies in Music. Once she finished her schooling, Diane, at the advice of a mentor from Douglas's Music Department, went into conducting “at a most opportune time.”

“Conducting had traditionally been a man’s world,” she explains. “But things were beginning to change in that professional field as they were in many other professions. There were still hurdles to jump and prejudices to overcome. But with very hard work and lots of support from my husband, family and friends, good things began to happen.”


Diane is one of the best-known choral conductors in Canada. She is Artistic Director and conductor of the internationally renowned Chor Leoni Men’s Choir, and EnChor (a mixed choir for singers over 55). Throughout her 25-year career, she’s founded five choirs, including the Douglas College Community Choir (now Amabilis Singers), the two mentioned above and the award-winning Elektra Women’s Choir, from which she recently retired. She has received a number of awards for her work in music including the Queen’s Jubilee Medal, an honorary doctorate from UBC and the Order of Canada – the highest award a civilian can receive in this country.

She has travelled around the world conducting, leading workshops and lecturing. Her choirs have taken multiple first prizes in national and international competitions, and her choral compositions have been published and recorded internationally.

Hard work, unflagging motivation and a strong belief that making and teaching music were “good, human causes” kept Diane on the path to realizing her dreams. A little help from her old alma mater hasn’t hurt either.

“The education I received from Douglas was of the highest order,” she says. “It was such crucial and valuable preparation for my transfer to and eventual graduate studies at UBC. The professors I had at Douglas were remarkable teachers and such generous human beings. Douglas College was also the first place where I was employed as a musician and teacher of music – my career was launched at Douglas.”

40 after 40 is a series showcasing our amazing grads and employees in celebration of our 40th anniversary. Check back every Wednesday and Friday for another inspiring story. See more about our 40th on our Anniversary page.  

Thursday, December 9, 2010

U-Pass passes muster at Douglas

Thousands of Douglas College students turned out last week to cast their votes for the U-Pass transit program - and the response was overwhelmingly in favour.
According to the Douglas Students' Union's tabulations, 94 percent of students said they wanted the subsidized public transit passes at Douglas.
At $120 per semester, the passes will save many students hundreds of dollars in transportation costs each year.
The U-Pass will become available as of May 2011.
To find out more about the breakdown of the vote, visit the Douglas Students' Union website.
Or find out more about the U-Pass program on

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

40 after 40: Suzette Amaya


Growing up near Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside and on the Tsulquate Reserve, Suzette Amaya was eye witness to gang violence, poverty and addiction. She also had her own share of sorrows: the sudden death of her father left her mother struggling to raise her singlehandedly; as well, Suzette was the victim of abuse, and was often discriminated against for being Aboriginal.

But the Kwakwak wakw-Cree-Nisga-Coast Salish youth never lost heart. She vowed to one day help single mothers fleeing abuse – and to work with young First Nations people to build their confidence and help them realize their dreams.

Inspired by the RCMP officers who had helped prosecute the abusers in her life, Suzette came to Douglas in 1995 to study Criminology. Five years later she graduated with a diploma in Criminology, an Associate of Arts Degree – and a desire to give back.


Suzette has been a support worker at Downtown Eastside women and children’s shelters for eight years. She is also the creator and producer/host for the award-winning ThinkNDN show, on Co-op Radio, and the hip hop host of the CBC Radio 3 show Ab-Originals. She is manager of the award-winning pop artist Joey Stylez, and a professional photographer, traditional dancer, events coordinator and stylist.

When not traveling with Joey Stylez, she crisscrosses the country with her business, Samaya Entertainment, facilitating workshops on motivation and confidence-building for youth and adults in Aboriginal communities. In 2007-2008 she was chosen as one of the National Aboriginal Role Models with the National Aboriginal Health Organization.

“I went from leaving the reserve as a skater punk faced with addictions and low self-esteem to becoming a confident, strong-willed, secure, and hardworking person,” Suzette says. “My time spent at Douglas College has helped me in so many ways. The personal growth in building confidence, esteem, and valuable knowledge gained has been very relevant to my career choice in working in the DTES.”

“I thank the instructors who believed in me and encouraged me to succeed.”

Learn more about Suzette on MySpace.

40 after 40 is a series showcasing our amazing grads and employees in celebration of our 40th anniversary. Check back every Wednesday and Friday for another inspiring story. See more about our 40th on our Anniversary page

Sunday, December 5, 2010

This week at Douglas: Montreal memorial, classes end, holiday fun in the concourse and more!

Here's what's happening on campus Dec 6-31:

Montreal Massacre Memorial
Mon, Dec 6

Join your Douglas Students' Union at 11:30am in the atrium at the David Lam Campus for a short memorial service in memory of the victims of the 1989 massacre at Montréal's École Polytechnique.

Holiday Fun 
Tues, Dec 7
Celebrate the last day of classes and the beginning of the holiday season in the concourse at New West, with candy cane hockey and a bake sale (to help support a family in need for Christmas). Hosted by your Student Ambassadors (Office for New Students).

Last Day of Classes
Tues, Dec 7

Exam period starts
Thurs, Dec 9 (until Dec 17)
Exam period runs Dec 9-17. Don't forget to check your schedule for dates, times and locations and good luck!

Community Music School Student Recitals
Fri, Dec 10 & Sat, Dec 11
Friday evening show (6pm) and Saturday matinee (2pm) at the Laura C. Muir Performing Arts Theatre (New Westminster Campus). For more info, see the Douglas College Arts Events page.

Lance Ryan in concert
Mon, Dec 13
See Lance Ryan, one of Europe's fastest-rising dramatic tenors and a Douglas College Alumnus, in concert Monday, Dec 13. Lance finished his Bachelor of Music degree in classical guitar at UBC, then moved to Italy where he furthered his voice studies with Carlo Bergonzi, and met his future wife, soprano Viviana Maria di Calro, who will also be joining him on this program. For tickets and more information, see Lance Ryan in Concert.

Lance Ryan Master Class
Tues, Dec 14
Opera star Lance Ryan will lead a Voice Master Class in the Laura C. Muir Performing Arts Theatre from 12:30- 2:30 pm, where he will share his experience and insights with students from the Douglas College Music Department. Admission is free and the event is open to the public. For more info, see Lance Ryan in Concert.

Note: this will be the final events listing post for the 2010 calendar year. Happy Holidays!

See more Douglas College upcoming events in the Douglas College Events Calendar.

Got an event you want listed? Email your info to events[at]douglascollege[dot]ca with 2 weeks' notice.

Want more timely updates? Join Douglas College on Facebook!

Friday, December 3, 2010

We remember the victims of the Montreal massacre

By Scott McAlpine, President, Douglas College

December 6 is the 21st anniversary of the massacre of 14 students, and the wounding of 13 more, at Montréal's École Polytechnique.

We remember those killed and mourn their loss. And we honour their dreams of completing their education and entering the engineering profession, where they would have contributed enormously to Canadian society. (Read more about this anniversary date on the President's blog.)
If you are at David Lam Campus on Monday, please drop by the atrium from 11:30-noon, when the Douglas Students' Union will hold a short memorial service. Read more...

40 after 40: Kylah Blair


Though she once dreamed of becoming a marine biologist, Kylah Blair eventually realized that her real passion lay with helping people rather than animals. She began looking into post-secondary programs, with little success. Then she came across the Therapeutic Recreation Program on the Douglas College website.

“After reading the four-line description, I was convinced this program was the right fit for me,” she says. “The TRP program is unique in that it allowed for the perfect marriage of my passion for recreation and desire to help those in my community.”

In 2003 Kylah began general studies at Douglas and entered the Therapeutic Recreation Program soon after, graduating in 2008. Upon completion of her two-year diploma, Douglas launched its degree program in Therapeutic Recreation.

“For me, the timing couldn’t have been better,” Kylah says “I entered directly into third year and was part of the first graduating class at Douglas.”


In the mere two years since she graduated, Kylah has completed a four-month internship in New York, has worked for an “adventure therapy” company in Vancouver, where she kayaked with people with disabilities, and has worked at GF Strong Rehabilitation Centre. For the past year and a half she’s been working full-time with the Strathcona Mental Health Team on Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside and “couldn’t be happier.” If that weren’t enough, she also volunteers with the BC Wheelchair Sports Association and the Provincial Wheelchair Rugby team.

Kylah credits Douglas as being the foundation for all the professional skills she uses in her daily practice.

“My teachers taught me to listen and think critically, whereas my classmates continue to remind me of the passion that made me choose this career. Not many people get the opportunity to attend a smaller educational institution with such a high quality program.”

40 after 40 is a series showcasing our amazing grads and employees in celebration of our 40th anniversary. Check back every Wednesday and Friday for another inspiring story. See more about our 40th on our Anniversary page.


Wednesday, December 1, 2010

40 after 40: Scott Richmond

Toronto Blue Jays photo

When Scott Richmond was 20 years old and working on the docks of North Vancouver scraping scum, barnacles and rust off of boats and barges, the lights of major league baseball must have seemed a long way away. Yet the North Vancouver native and talented right-hander never gave up.

After playing for the Vancouver Pharoahs senior men’s team, Richmond came to Douglas College where he studied and played for the Royals from 2000-2001. From there his path wound through an amateur team in Moose Jaw, then Missouri Valley College, then Bossier Parish College in Shreveport, La., then finally to Oklahoma State in the NCAA's first division, where he was an honorable mention All-Star in the Big 12 conference for the Cowboys in 2005, his final season, but went undrafted after college, since he was already age 25. He then joined the independent Northern League, where he played three seasons for the Edmonton Cracker-Cats.


At the age of 28, Richmond’s big break finally came. After impressing scouts at an open try out, he was signed by the Toronto Blue Jays and made his major league debut in 2008. After a 2009 campaign that saw him go 8-11 with a 5.52 ERA, Scott is now working to come back from a shoulder injury that caused him to miss the start of the 2010 season. But the physio room at Rogers Centre is still a long way from the North Vancouver docks.

40 after 40 is a series showcasing our amazing grads and employees in celebration of our 40th anniversary. Check back every Wednesday and Friday for another inspiring story. See more about our 40th on our Anniversary page.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Dispatches from Uganda

In October Douglas College sent 15 young Canadians to Uganda to do five-month internships in hospitals, aid centres, libraries and other agencies as part of a joint venture between the College, the Canadian International Development Agency and the country of Uganda.

Chelsea Peters (pictured), one of the participants, is working as a community education officer in the capital city of Kampala. She recently had a story on her experiences published in the North Shore News.
Nice work, Chelsea! Read her story and check out the pics here.

Interested in lending a hand? Chelsea's also set up a website detailing the projects in and around Kampala. Read more...

Monday, November 29, 2010

A sneak peek into Douglas classes: Introductory Marketing

I consider myself to be a hyper-conscious consumer. I pride myself on always reading labels and being savvy to the insidious tricks of companies to get me to buy their products and gather information about my demographic (I never give out my postal code when I shop at Winners, ha ha!). So when I signed up to sit in on David Moulton’s Marketing 1120 – Introductory Marketing class, I was determined not to enjoy it.

But, darn it, it turned out to be really fun and interesting.

First of all, Moulton doesn’t mess around. When he arrived he plunked a “late jar” down on the front table. When a student came in five minutes after class has started, he marched to the front and dutifully plugged a Toonie into the slot. (Fines collected will go to the Christmas Hamper Fund and the Douglas College Foundation.)

But onto the class itself: this first-year course introduces major marketing concepts, addresses the role of marketing in business and explores the tools and techniques used in developing a marketing strategy. Particular emphasis is placed on the importance of the elements of the marketing mix – product, price, place and promotion – as well as current marketing issues and analytical methods.

But, much to my pleasant surprise, ethics in marketing also came up, as in social responsibility of businesses, and standards of fairness and moral rights and wrongs as applied to marketing practices. (Moulton expressed his disdain for that old trick of chips taking up only half the bag they’re sold in, making the product look more substantial than it is.)

Even if you don’t intend to pursue a career in Marketing, much of what you will learn in this class is topical and relevant to your daily life as a consumer. You will learn fun facts:  Did you know that Best Buy and Future Shop were owned by the same company? Or that there’s a conspiracy theory that Coke changed its formula to purposely rile consumers so they’d demand the original back (Coke Classic, anyone?), prompting higher sales?

The class may even force you to ask yourself some enticing questions (Why is it I prefer Heinz Ketchup to all other kinds? Why do I always buy the toilet paper with the puppy on the package?).

As for me, just one class taught me that marketing is not all about tricking consumers into buying stuff. It can also be about values, and listening to your customers and responding to their wants and needs.  Just ask the good folks at the Coca-Cola Company.

Tamara Letkeman has not been in a classroom for a number of years. She is braving the waves to give readers a glimpse into some of the awesome classes that Douglas offers.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

This week at Douglas: U-Pass vote, vuvezelas, documentary screening and more

Here’s what’s happening on campus Nov 29 – Dec 3:

U-Pass Referendum
Mon, Nov 29 – Wed, Dec 1
Cast your vote to help decide whether Douglas College will join the U-Pass transit program. Voting takes place 10am – 7:30pm at both campuses. Don't forget your valid student ID! For more info on the proposed program, see U-Pass FAQs on the Douglas Students’ Union website.

Douglas Concert Band and Ensemble
Wed, Dec 1
Come see the Douglas College Concert Band and Ensemble perform at 7:30pm in the Laura C. Muir Performing Arts Theatre (4th floor, New Westminster Campus). For more info, call 604-527-5723.

Royals Vuvuzela Soccer Tournament
Wed, Dec 1
Teams of 5 face off in a college-wide soccer extravaganza in the New West gym from 4-7pm (vuvuzelas not mandatory!) For more info, see

Documentary screening: Race to Nowhere
Wed, Dec 1
A concerned mother-turned-filmmaker aims her camera at the high-stakes, high-pressure culture that has invaded our schools and our children's lives. Showing at 7pm at the New Westminster Campus. Tickets are free, but organizers ask that you register online. To see the trailer and get more info, see

Arts at One: Student Recital
Thurs, Dec 2
No plans for your afternoon break on Thursday? Check out your fellow students on stage in a free performance at 1pm, Laura C. Muir Performing Arts Theatre (4th floor, New West Campus).

See more Douglas College upcoming events in the Douglas College Events Calendar.

Got an event you want listed? Email your info to events[at]douglascollege[dot]ca with 2 weeks' notice.

Want more timely updates? Join Douglas College on Facebook

Friday, November 26, 2010

40 after 40: Yuka Chokyu

                                                     Kevin Bogetti-Smith photo

Born in Kashiwa-City, Japan, Yuka Chokyu came to Canada in April 1989. In 1990 she was involved in a car accident that left her paralyzed and wheelchair dependent. Yuka started at Douglas in a summer ESL immersion program in 1991 and she graduated in June 1994 with a diploma in General Business, with a CGPA of 3.73. It was after her accident and subsequent stay at G.F. Strong Rehab Centre in Vancouver that Yuka discovered wheelchair tennis. She began playing at the local public courts in Dunbar and, in 1997, made Canada’s national team.


Today, Yuka is the number two-ranked player in the country. Her career accomplishments to date also include winning 22 singles titles, 48 doubles titles and competing in the Beijing 2008, Athens 2004, and Sydney 2000 Paralympic Games. She has won numerous awards including Sport BC Disabled Athlete of the Year (1998) and the Premier’s Athletic Award (1996-1999). She was named Female Athlete of the Year by the BC Wheelchair Sports Association (1997 and 2001) and by the Canadian Wheelchair Sports Association (1997, 1999, and 2001). Tennis Canada named her Female Wheelchair Athlete of the Year in 2000 and 2001 and Wheelchair Athlete of the Year in 2005 and 2006.

40 after 40 is a series showcasing our amazing grads and employees in celebration of our 40th anniversary. Check back every Wednesday and Friday for another inspiring story.  See more about our 40th on our Anniversary page. Read more...

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Between classes: Nick Mobilio

My program and graduating class: Bachelor of Business AdministrationAccounting major. Graduating Winter 2011.

My current job: Owner/Chef – Domenico’s Italian Restaurant in Burnaby. Pricewaterhouse Coopers (PwC) starting in September 2011. 

My career goals: Attain my CA designation through PwC and move on to become a partner in the firm.

My personal goals: Travel before I start my career with PwC in September. I would like to visit family in Italy and Australia.

My role model: My father and [Italian footballer] Alessandro Del Piero. 

My personal motto: Work hard, play hard.

Why I took this program: I started at Douglas directly out of high school back in ’05. I had always planned to become an accountant, and started in the UT program. Then in the fall of ’07 the College introduced the degree program at Douglas and I found my calling. Immediately I switched to into the BBA program.

What surprised me about the program: It offered me flexibility and allowed me to balance my time between work and school.

How the program has helped me in my career: I entered the CA recruit this year, attending recruiting and networking events throughout the summer and into September. It was definitely a difficult time as all the students were competing, trying to impress the recruiters from the firms. At the end of September the resumes were due to the firms. I landed five interviews, which was quite overwhelming.

How my instructors have helped me: I approached several Douglas instructors for advice and help throughout the process. All were more than willing to take the time to help me prepare myself and give me tips to succeed in the interviews. 

The best thing about my experience at Douglas: It is very personable and practical. Small classes allow for good face time with teachers, and they are easily reachable.

Notable accomplishment: In winter 2010 I spearheaded the Douglas College Business Association (DCBA) Tax Service, a volunteer tax service in partnership with the Canada Revenue Agency. This service allowed students and lower income individuals to bring their information to us, and we would file their taxes for free.

Advice for anyone thinking of entering your faculty: In the fall of ’09 I joined the DCBA. This club was filled with fellow accounting, finance, and marketing students that worked together to plan events and provide services for students. Upon joining the club and participating in events, I felt more involved in Douglas. I had more interaction with Faculty and students, and it also gave me the opportunity to meet and talk with business professionals in the working world.


Wednesday, November 24, 2010

40 after 40: Elizabeth Bachinsky


By the age of 10, Elizabeth Bachinsky had already penned a novel called The Promise, about a Lipizzaner stallion and his girl champion. As a young adult, her love of words took her to University College of the Fraser Valley (now University of the Fraser Valley), where she took courses in Anthropology and Canadian and Russian literature. It was there that an academic advisor gave her a pamphlet for Douglas College detailing its creative writing courses.

“I couldn’t believe you could take classes in something that you were already doing because you loved it,” Elizabeth says. “It was wonderful for me.”

Elizabeth transferred to Douglas and took “pretty much every single creative writing class you could take at the College,” from 1998-1999. From there she went to UBC, where she received both her BFA and MFA in Creative Writing.


Elizabeth has published three books of poetry, Curio (2005), Home of Sudden Service (2006) and God of Missed Connections (2009). She’s been lauded in the Globe and Mail as a “versatile, skilled poet unafraid to shake things up” and in the University of Toronto Quarterly as “an accomplished poet who thinks and feels in the forms she employs.” Her work has been nominated for a plethora of awards including the Governor General’s Award for Poetry in 2006.

Moreover, she’s a Creative Writing Instructor at Douglas as well as Editor of Event Magazine, the Douglas College review of award-winning poetry, fiction and creative non-fiction.

The path to becoming a published writer – and a successful one at that – is not an easy one. Elizabeth credits her instructors at Douglas with helping her get there.

“My instructors were so influential at a time when I was just starting out – they really did change my life," she says. "David Zieroth in particular was a mentor to me. He was no-nonsense, he was just really a generous person and continues to be. He taught me a lot of techniques as a poet and an instructor. I’m just so grateful.”

Learn more about Elizabeth Bachinksy at

40 after 40 is a series showcasing our amazing grads and employees in celebration of our 40th anniversary. Check back every Wednesday and Friday for another inspiring story. See more about our 40th on our Anniversary page.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

U-Pass vote next week

Students: exercise your democratic muscle and vote on the U-Pass. The discounted, three-zone passes mean you would only have to pay $30 a month for public transportation, as opposed to the $81-$151 per month you pay now. If you vote to accept the U-Pass, passes will become available in Spring 2011.

When: November 29, 30; December 1, 10am-7:30pm
Where: New Westminster Campus (concourse); David Lam Campus (atrium)

*Valid student ID required

For more info, contact the Douglas College Students' Union. Read more...

Monday, November 22, 2010

A sneak peek into Douglas classes: English 1101 – Canadian Literature

By Tamara Letkeman

When I took first-year English at university the class was held in a theatre. There were well over 100 students and it was impossible to get the professor’s attention, let alone have any sort of discussion. If someone in the back raised a question, the students in the front would crane their necks to hear what he or she was saying and vice versa, to little effect. It was not until second year that classes got small enough to be called “seminars.”

But second year brought its own problems. In my Canadian Literature class, the professor would sometimes arrive wearing a forest-green velvet suit with matching bowtie. While he prattled on about Dorothy Livesay and Sinclair Ross, my classmates and I were biting the insides of our cheeks to keep from laughing.

The first-year English class I attended at Douglas, English 1101 – Canadian Literature, posed no such problems. For one thing, Diane Stiles, the instructor, did not wear anything remotely similar to a green velvet suit.

And although the classroom was full, it was small enough to be manageable. On the day I was there, two groups were presenting on two different poems, Al Purdy’s “The Cariboo Horses” and Earle Birney’s “Bushed.” After each presentation, Stiles split the class into several small groups to discuss the poems.

It makes a huge difference when a class can be divided into small groups to discuss a piece of writing. Even more so when the instructor is able to spend a few minutes with each group to answer questions and help them better understand what they’re reading. It just seems that the students get a lot more out of the experience.

In my own first year class a lot of the material sailed right over my head. But I was never comfortable raising my hand to ask a question, as too many people would witness my “ignorance.”

So if you’d really like to gain an appreciation (and comprehension) of Canadian lit, the small classes at Douglas are definitely for you.

As for comic relief, it can be got elsewhere than from a green velvet suit.

Tamara Letkeman has not been in a classroom for a number of years. She is braving the waves to give readers a glimpse into some of the awesome classes that Douglas offers.


Sunday, November 21, 2010

This week at Douglas: buzz cuts, bloodmobiles, ball dodging and more!

Here’s what’s going on around campus November 22-26:

DSU Cuts for Cancer
Mon, Nov 22
Come support Jerin Mece from the Douglas Students' Union and other students as they shave their heads for cancer! 12:30pm in the Concourse at New Westminster Campus.

Critical Thinking (Leadership Workshop)
Mon, Nov 22
Join Sport Science Chair Brian Storey in an exciting look at critical thinking. For more info, see DOUGlife - Leadership Workshops.

CBS Bloodmobile on campus
Tues, Nov 23
Want to donate blood? Now’s your chance! The Canadian Blood Services Bloodmobile will be on campus from 10am – 4pm. Get more info on doug: the community blog.

Career Exploration Workshop
Wed, Nov 24
Not sure which career path is right for you? Check out this free workshop at the New Westminster Campus from 11am – 1pm. You’ll do vocational testing, learn how to research career options and get a (optional) one- to-one follow up meeting with a Career Counsellor. Part 2 of 2.   

Dodgeball Intramurals
Wed, Nov 24
Everyone welcome! Teams of 6 will battle it out for dodgeball glory from 4-6pm in the Main Gym at the David Lam Campus. For more info, email

Arts at One: student recital
Thurs, Nov 25
Who doesn’t love a free concert? Check out the best of your fellow students at a student recital. 1pm, Laura C. Muir Performing Arts Theatre (4th floor north, New Westminster Campus). For more info on Arts at One, see the Arts Events page.

SFU Admissions on campus
Thurs, Nov 25
Thinking about transferring to Simon Fraser University after Douglas? SFU Admissions representatives will be at New West Campus in the morning and David Lam Campus in the afternoon to answer your questions about transfer.

DSU Pub Night
Thurs, Nov 25
Your Douglas Students’ Union presents a pub night in the DSU office at the New Westminster Campus – theme TBA! 8pm – 1am. 2 pieces of ID required. For more info, contact

The Leader Within You: Leadershop Workshop
Thurs, Nov 25
Effective leaders know themselves and are not afraid of spending time reflecting on their leadership journey. In this workshop you will send time reflecting on who you are as a leader and on areas for future development. For more info, see DOUGlife - Leadership Workshops

Basketball vs. Quest
Fri, Nov 26
Quest jump in their vehicles and down the Sea-to-Sky for set of games. Our guys and girls will try and drive right by them for 4 wins. Women at 6pm, Men at 8. Main Gym, New Westminster Campus.

See more upcoming events in the Douglas College Events Calendar. Got an event you want listed? Email your info to events[at]douglascollege[dot]ca with 2 weeks' notice.

Want more timely updates? Join Douglas College on Facebook

Saturday, November 20, 2010

International Day rocks Douglas's world

The first International Day at Douglas College was a hit of global proportions. Live performances of capoeira, salsa dancing, and singing transformed the concourse at the New Westminster Campus November 17 into a cultural mosaic complete with ethnic foods, products and stations where you could try your hand at Chinese calligraphy, get a henna tattoo or - our favourite - have your picture taken wearing a costume from Saudi Arabia.

The fun continued the following day at David Lam.

Check out the pics from the New West celebrations on Flickr.


Friday, November 19, 2010

40 after 40: Sumiko Nishizawa


An education fair at the Canadian Embassy in Tokyo inspired Sumiko Nishizawa to leave her native Japan to study in Canada. But when the former elementary school teacher arrived on this side of the pond, she found herself struggling with issues of language, culture and identity.

“I had to experience and learn norms, values and beliefs that were different from mine,” Sumiko explains, “which confused me sometimes, and challenged me to reexamine my perspectives.”

Undaunted, Sumiko stayed in Canada and studied at Douglas from 1992-94, taking courses in English as a second language, English literature and philosophy, among others. From there she went on to graduate school at UBC. Her goal was to get her Masters degree in Teaching English as an Additional Language and then take her credentials back to Japan so she could help develop curricula and train teachers there.


Sumiko earned her Masters degree in Language and Literacy Education in 1997, and has been teaching Japanese at Kwantlen Polytechnic University ever since. In 2005 she returned to UBC to earn her PhD in Language and Literacy Education. She’s also been the chair of Kwantlen’s Modern Languages Department since 2006.

The road to success has been riddled with a few potholes, but a strong work ethic coupled with a healthy dose of determination have kept Sumiko on track.

“Each perceived failure opened the door to new possibilities,” she says. “Within a very few years of being in Canada, I knew I wanted to make this country my home, which helped me redefine the failures I experienced.”

Sumiko says she has been able to “create a space” for herself in Canada, thanks to her friends, teachers and the education she received here.

“All the friends who have helped me build my life in Canada and my career are those whom I met at Douglas,” she says. “I have made great friends there, and I am grateful. I would not be here today if I hadn’t studied at Douglas.”

40 after 40 is a series showcasing our amazing grads and employees in celebration of our 40th anniversary. Check back every Wednesday and Friday for another inspiring story.  See more about our 40th on our Anniversary page.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Douglas Royals players kick major butt

Way to kick! Reynold Stewart, who plays forward for the Douglas College Royals, has been named both the Men’s Soccer Player of the Year and as well as a member of the 2010 All-Canadian team by the Canadian Colleges Athletic Association.

Sahil Sandhu
Jerald Walliser photo
Sahil Sandhu, who plays forward/attacking midfielder for the Royals, was also named Men's Soccer All-Canadian. Sahil is a former national U17 player who helped lead his team to an undefeated regular season.

This is the second year in a row that Reynold has been the league's leading scorer, scoring 15 goals in 12 games. In the past two years he’s twice been named the British Columbia Colleges Athletic Association Player of the Year, as well as BCCAA provincial championship MVP and First Team All-Star.

He has played for the Royals throughout his three years at Douglas College.

Read more about Reynold's 2010 award here.


Wednesday, November 17, 2010

40 after 40: Lance Ryan

Lance Ryan in his debut as Bacchus in Richard Strauss's Ariadne auf Naxos at the Metropolitan Opera, New York 2010. Photo by Marty Sohl,

White Rock native Lance Ryan’s transformation from guitar hero to heroic tenor sounds like a libretto from one of the Wagnerian operas he performs: a young student goes on a quest to please his mother, only to find hidden talents which will take him on a journey beyond his wildest dreams.

Ryan's journey to center stage in the great European opera houses started at the back of a lecture hall in Douglas College in fall 1989. He was 18, straight out of high school and enrolled as a guitar major in the Music program. But he was required to take choir - something that struck a sour note with him and his guitar classmates.

"All we guitar fret-board fiends sat in the last row of the choir group, begrudgingly fulfilling our required ensemble credits," says Ryan. "My enthusiasm was not at an all time high when it came to choir participation."

The lack of enthusiasm resulted in a poor grade, even though his instructor noted Ryan had some vocal talent. The low mark prompted Ryan's mother, Gloria Clinker, to suggest some private singing lessons.

The voice lessons started Ryan thinking seriously about a singing career. He started combing the College's recording collection, listening to other singers and using the practice rooms. After he earned his Bachelor of Music degree at UBC, his interest turned into a passion.


Today, Lance is one of the most in-demand Wagnerian heldentenors (heroic tenors) in Europe, praised for his extraordinary stamina and powerful stage presence. He has sung leading roles at major opera houses in Rome, Florence, Vienna, London, Frankfurt, Dresden, and Valencia, among others.

Early in his career, Marilyn Horne tagged him a Siegfried—the hero of Wagner’s The Ring of the Nibelungs cycle, a role in which he debuted in 2007. When Lance replaced Canadian heldentenor Ben Heppner at the 2009 Salzburg Festival, the London Telegraph hailed his Siegfried as a "triumph."

In February 2010 he made his New York Metropolitan Opera debut as Bacchus in a broadcast performance of Strauss's Ariadne auf Naxos. This past summer Lance became the first Canadian ever to sing the role of Siegfried at the prestigious Wagner Festival in Bayreuth. The audience response was exceptional. Lance was awarded a rare extended solo ovation.

In September Lance went on to sing Siegfried in the Cologne Opera production of the Ring in Shanghai as part of the World’s Fair, the first time that Wagner’s cycle has been presented there. In early November he appeared for the first time at the La Scala Opera House in Milan in Bizet’s Carmen under conductor Gustavo Dudamel. The great Russian conductor Valery Gergiev personally selected Lance to sing the central role of Aeneas in Berlioz’s Les Troyens, which is soon to be released on DVD.

Local opera enthusiasts can see Lance this December as he performs in a special benefit concert at Douglas College on Monday, December 13 as part of the College’s 40th Anniversary celebrations.

40 after 40 is a series showcasing our amazing grads and employees in celebration of our 40th anniversary. Check back every Wednesday and Friday for another inspiring story.  See more about our 40th on our Anniversary page.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

The Bloodmobile cometh

Ready to open your veins for a good cause? Beginning November 23, you will be able to donate blood right on campus.

In the past, up to 10 donors from the College were shuttled to a nearby temporary clinic to give blood. But now, the Canadian Blood Services Bloodmobile will be hosted at the New Westminster Campus, and they'll be processing upwards of 40 donors per Bloodmobile day.

A clinic on wheels, the Bloodmobile will pull up near the corner of 7th Avenue along Royal and collect pints of blood (or their metric equivalents) from 10am-4pm each Bloodmobile day. Clinics will run every eight weeks, schedule permitting.

The first on-campus Bloodmobile day is November 23. To donate blood, students can just show up, ID in hand. But donors are encouraged to make an appointment at 1-888-2DONATE to ensure they get a space.

Donors are also encouraged to register as a Douglas College member of the Partners for Life team:

1. Go to the Partners for Life webpage.

2. Click on the red "Member" puzzle piece, and fill in the blanks.

3. When asked for the Partner ID, enter DOUG002414.

Questions? Contact Meg Stainsby at 604 527 5284.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Who was Sir James Douglas?

By Gail Edwards, Chair of the History Department

Everyone is invited to my noon-hour talk on November 19, where I will give you a fascinating glimpse into the life and times of James Douglas and Amelia Connolly.

James Douglas was born in Demerara (now Guyana) to a Scottish sugar  plantation owner and a free-born Creole woman from Barbardos. Amelia  Connolly was was born in Rupertsland to a Scottish fur trader and a high  ranking Swampy Cree woman. As a young man starting out in a  transnational business, her father was his boss.

After their marriage, they traveled thousands of kilometres by canoe  and ship for his work. Of their 13 children, six lived to be adults.

Learn about the complex world of British North America in the first  half of the nineteenth century, the connections between Britain and its  colonies, the changing lives of Aboriginal peoples and the making of  modern British Columbia.

Where & When: November 19, noon-1pm, Room 2203, New Westminster Campus

Gail Edwards teaches Canadian history at Douglas. She is also the bibliographer for the scholarly journal BC Studies. In May 2010, Picturing Canada: A History of Canadian Children's Illustrated Books and Publishing,  which she co-authored with Judith Saltman, was published by the  University of Toronto Press. Her current research interests include the  history of print culture in British Columbia and the history of  children’s library services in Western Canada.

Win a paddlewheeler lunch cruise! Everyone who attends Gail’s talk on November 19 is eligible to win a pair of tickets for a “Douglas Day” Fraser River cruise to Fort Langley on Saturday, November 20.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

This week at Douglas: a provocative play, international exploration and more!

Here’s what’s going on around campus November 15-19:

Rimers of Eldritch
until Nov 19
The dark and haunting play, written by Lanford Wilson in 1966, is set in a decaying town in the American Midwest and deals with themes of sex, death, judgment and hypocrisy. Runs Nov 12-19. For more info and tickets, see the Arts Events page.

Career Exploration Workshop
Nov 17
Not sure which career path is right for you? Check out this free workshop at the David Lam Campus. You’ll do vocational testing, learn how to research career options and get a (optional) one- to-one follow up meeting with a Career Counsellor. More info and registration in the Events Calendar.  

International Day
Nov 17 (DLC) and 18 (NWC)
Douglas College has a new annual event - International Day! Come and eat food, see cultural performances and learn about another culture from various places around the world. Event runs from 12-2pm on both days.

Restorative Justice: Reflections of the Past, Present and Future
Nob 17
SFU School of Criminology, Correctional Service of Canada and the Douglas College Department of Criminology present the latest event in the Ting Forum on Justice Policy Lecture and Dialogue Series - Restorative Justice: Reflections of the Past, Present and Future. For keynote speaker info and registration info, see the Events Calendar.  

Douglas Day - Free public lecture
Nov 19
Who was Sir James Douglas? A free public talk. Hear the remarkable story of James and Amelia Douglas at this free public talk by Professor Gail Edwards, Chair of History at Douglas College. This event is open to the public. Refreshments will be served. November 19 is "Douglas Day" - the anniversary of the founding of the Crown Colony of British Columbia by Governor James Douglas at Fort Langley in 1858. Check out the Events Calendar for more info.

Basketball vs. Capilano
Nov 19
The Blues sing their way into New West, where the basketball teams will look to send them out singing a mellower tune. Women at 6pm, Men at 8pm.

See more upcoming events in the Douglas College Events Calendar. Got an event you want listed? Email your info to with 2 weeks' notice.

Want to get connected on campus? Check out the Douglas College page on Facebook