Friday, April 30, 2010

Leadership Retreat group vows to "transform student life at Douglas" next year!

By Jeremy Franchuk, Communications & Marketing Office













Twenty-seven student leaders, along with 30 student ambassadors and the staff from the Office of New Students, have pledged to make this year the most exciting year ever at Douglas College.

The group, representing most departments on campus, made their pledge after taking part in the first annual Campus Life Student Leadership Retreat at Zajac Ranch this past weekend.


Students arrived at the ranch on Friday afternoon not knowing what to expect, or who their fellow participants were. For 48 hours, the Centre for Campus Life staff, along with two guest speakers, took students on a series of experiential learning activities and workshops that as one student put it 'has given me skills and confidence that I will use for the rest of my life.'

Friday and Saturday sessions focused on teamwork, self-assessments and values, trust, communication, reflective leadership, conflict resolution and problem solving, among others.

On Sunday, the Campus Life Leaders teamed up with the Student Ambassador group to change the face of campus life at Douglas. The ideas and plans....amazing!

Want to get involved in this exciting and dynamic group? Contact Scott at the Centre for Campus life at dauphinees@douglas.bc.ca. To see more photos and find out more, check out the Douglas College Leadership Retreat 2010 Facebook Group.
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Saturday, April 24, 2010

Education key in making people care

By Leah Poulton, Communications & Marketing Office

Coquitlam residents may not be as sympathetic as you’d think – at least when it comes to the issue of starvation in other countries.

This was the discovery that English as a Second Language students Roja Gholipour and Julie Ko made while researching for their Student Research Days project.

They asked 33 Coquitlam residents aged 20-40 with a variety of backgrounds several questions about starvation as a global issue, including “how do you feel when you see photos of children with distended bellies on TV and online?”


The pair was somewhat surprised by the answers they received: 50% of people interviewed said that after seeing images of children with distended bellies, they would “be sad but soon forget about it”. 2.5% of people interviewed said they “don’t care at all”.

So what to do to make people start caring? The pair says that like with most important global issues, education is key. More education will mean more awareness, and hopefully more action.

Student Research Days is an annual event that showcases the research of Douglas College students. This year's event, held on March 30-31, 2010, featured nearly 200 students from across all College Faculties presenting over 100 research project posters on a diverse range of topics. The event continues to raise the profile and enthusiasm for student research at the College.

Next year's student research days will be held on March 28, 2011 at David Lam Campus and March 29, 2011 at New Westminster Campus. Look for registration forms and a call for exhibitors in the Fall, check the Student Research Days page for more information.

With photos and contributions from Trista Orchard
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Thursday, April 22, 2010

Horses help heal with hippotherapy

By Leah Poulton, Communications & Marketing Office

Christina Murdocco knows that most people don’t know what hippotherapy is. And she hopes to help change that.

Less about hippos and more about horses, hippotherapy is a rehabilitation therapy most often used for people with disabilities like Autism, Cerebral Palsy and Down syndrome. It works as speech, occupational and physical therapy. The client sits passively on a horse with someone walking beside him or her, offering support, and someone else leading the horse.


Murdocco, a Bachelor of Arts in Child and Youth Care student, says the therapy provides both physical benefits (balance, movement in the joints and strengthening of the limbs) and psychological benefits (confidence, patience, self-esteem).

During the research for her project for Student Research Days, she noticed that although there was a lot of literature about the benefits of hippotherapy, there wasn’t much written about the drawbacks. She decided to go straight to the source and ask people who had participated in hippotherapy what they thought the advantages and disadvantages were.

While some respondents mentioned cost and the dangers of horseback riding, the result overall was that the positives far outweigh the negatives. In fact, she actually discovered a new benefit that she hadn’t previously read about in her research.

“I was surprised that 90 per cent of people said there was a sensory benefit to the therapy, which was huge because that wasn’t in any of the literature,” she says.

“Things like touching the horse and smelling things around the barn, and the sounds. I think it might be a new category to the research.”

Murdocco, a former competitive horseback rider, plans to explore this topic more extensively in the future as part of her Master’s Degree.

Student Research Days is an annual event that showcases the research of Douglas College students. This year's event, held on March 30-31, 2010, featured nearly 200 students from across all College Faculties presenting over 100 research project posters on a diverse range of topics. The event continues to raise the profile and enthusiasm for student research at the College.

Next year's student research days will be held on March 28, 2011 at David Lam Campus and March 29, 2011 at New Westminster Campus. Look for registration forms and a call for exhibitors in the Fall, check the Student Research Days page for more information.

With photos and contributions from Trista Orchard
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China calling Douglas College business students

By Jeremy Franchuk, Communications & Marketing Office

Are you a Business or Hotel & Restaurant Management student with the travel bug? This summer’s Business Challenge for Youth (BCY) program could be your ticket to a world of travel and valuable business experience.


This July, participants in the 2010 BCY program are heading to China where they will have the opportunity to visit various manufacturing companies in the Pearl River Delta, the world’s largest manufacturing base, and meet with senior executives to learn about will learn about business strategy, the global economy, international trade and much more.

There are two excusions to choose from: an 17-day trip (departing July 10) that will take students to to Beijing, Hong Kong and Guangzhou, and an 11-day trip (departing July 16) to Hong Kong and Guangzhou only.

Selection is on a first-come, first-serve basis and space is limited - so register today! Registration ends Tuesday, April 27.

For more information and to register, visit the Business Challenge for Youth website or contact Betty Mitchell in the Centre for International Education at mitchelle@douglas.bc.ca.
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Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Suicidal tendencies go unnoticed in the elderly

By Leah Poulton, Communications & Marketing Office

Seventy percent of elderly people who commit suicide will visit their doctor one month prior to ending their lives, says a group of fourth-year Bachelor of Science in Psychiatric Nursing students.

Ivana Culina, Tina Kaur, Serina Lai, Kirsten Postnikoff and Cynthia Then came across this shocking statistic while researching their project on elderly suicide for Student Research Days.


During their examination of 11 peer-reviewed articles for the project, they found that almost two-thirds of the elderly population will visit their primary General Practitioner just one month prior to committing suicide, most often with somatic complaints like insomnia, migraines, and abdominal pain.

This indicates that the screening process for suicidal people in this age group is inadequate, the group says.

So, how can it be improved?

Based on their findings, the group had several recommendations: earlier and more thorough screenings by General Practitioners that take into account not just physical symptoms, but psychological as well. Also, public awareness of the issue should be increased, so that families would know what to look for. They emphasized the importance of early detection and recognition of symptoms in preventing suicide.

Student Research Days is an annual event that showcases the research of Douglas College students. This year's event, held on March 30-31, 2010, featured nearly 200 students from across all College Faculties presenting over 100 research project posters on a diverse range of topics. The event continues to raise the profile and enthusiasm for student research at the College.

Next year's student research days will be held on March 28, 2011 at David Lam Campus and March 29, 2011 at New Westminster Campus. Look for registration forms and a call for exhibitors in the Fall, check the Student Research Days page for more information.

With photos and contributions from Trista Orchard
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Monday, April 19, 2010

Looking to improve your fitness? Try using your eyes.

By Leah Poulton, Communications & Marketing Office

Watching a visual simulation while training makes you work harder, say two Bachelor of Physical Education and Coaching students.

For their project for Student Research Days, Ryan Liang and Andrew Bustamante tested a number of their active peers to find out whether watching anticipatory visuals would have an effect on heart rate and overall performance while riding a stationary bike. Each test subject completed the same course twice – once while watching a visual simulation of the course, including hills, and once without.


They discovered that with the visual simulation, the subjects not only perceived the course as harder, but actually worked harder as well. Their overall power output and heart rates were significantly higher than when they rode the same course without the visuals.

This suggests that when athletes can anticipate the challenge ahead (such as a steep hill), they may start working harder sooner – much as they would in real life. This means they could be better prepared for the actual course or event.

However, their finding doesn’t just benefit real athletes. Everyone can use this technology to work harder and burn more calories, says the pair.

“If you have access to something like a simulated course or even a stationary bike that shows you digitally where hills are, it will benefit you if you want to work harder,” says Bustamante.

Student Research Days is an annual event that showcases the research of Douglas College students. This year's event, held on March 30-31, 2010, featured nearly 200 students from across all College Faculties presenting over 100 research project posters on a diverse range of topics. The event continues to raise the profile and enthusiasm for student research at the College.

Next year's student research days will be held on March 28, 2011 at David Lam Campus and March 29, 2011 at New Westminster Campus. Look for registration forms and a call for exhibitors in the Fall, check the Student Research Days page for more information.

With photos and contributions from Trista Orchard
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Sunday, April 18, 2010

Young people are wired in - but are they socially wireless?

By Leah Poulton, Communications & Marketing Office

Children and young adults are more connected than ever – at least in terms of technology. But is being so wired in causing them to miss out on real-life connections? That’s the question Bachelor of Arts in Child and Youth Care student Donna McAdams set out to answer for her 2010 Student Research Days project.

The idea came about after she noticed that her son was constantly connecting with his friends via text messaging and the internet, but seemed to be spending less time with them face-to-face.

“I thought to myself, is this just my son and his group of friends, or is this having an impact on a broader spectrum?” says McAdams.

After examining the social networks of several small groups of friends, she discovered that despite her first impression, young people are actually spending more time together. Not only are they still connecting with friends at school and at lunch time, but now are also connecting in the evenings and on weekends through text messaging and the internet.

“They always seem to be in some sort of social situation with someone,” McAdams explains.

She says that wireless communication has also increased connections between students who live far apart and would normally only be able to socialize at school.

“I discovered that wireless communication affects all aspects of their lives.”

Student Research Days is an annual event that showcases the research of Douglas College students. This year's event, held on March 30-31, 2010, featured nearly 200 students from across all College Faculties presenting over 100 research project posters on a diverse range of topics. The event continues to raise the profile and enthusiasm for student research at the College.

Next year's student research days will be held on March 28, 2011 at David Lam Campus and March 29, 2011 at New Westminster Campus. Look for registration forms and a call for exhibitors in the Fall, check the Student Research Days page for more information.

With photos and contributions from Trista Orchard
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Thursday, April 15, 2010

Furry friends can pass on less-than-friendly parasite

By Leah Poulton, Communications & Marketing Office

First-year Bachelor of Science in Nursing student Dawn Cardinal wants you to wash your hands. Especially after you play with Fido.

As part of her project for Student Research Days, Cardinal discovered that Giardia, a fatal parasite, is being passed from canines to humans.

“People are petting their dogs, not washing their hands and then touching their faces,” she says.

Giardia is the third most-common cause of parasitic death in the world. It’s most often found in contaminated water in wells or ponds. Cardinal examined Giardia in both its local and world-wide environments, and discovered that human-canine contact was most often to blame in cases of infection.

She points out that luckily, it's almost always treatable. But the best way to prevent getting infected in the first place is to wash your hands.

Cardinal hopes that her project will help raise public awareness about Giardia.

Student Research Days is an annual event that showcases the research of Douglas College students. This year's event, held on March 30-31, 2010, featured nearly 200 students from across all College Faculties presenting over 100 research project posters on a diverse range of topics. The event continues to raise the profile and enthusiasm for student research at the College.

Next year's student research days will be held on March 28, 2011 at David Lam Campus and March 29, 2011 at New Westminster Campus. Look for registration forms and a call for exhibitors in the Fall, check the Student Research Days page for more information.

With photos and contributions from Trista Orchard.
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Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Cyber bullying grows up

By Leah Poulton, Communications & Marketing Office

With young people spending more and more time online, cyber bullying has become a hot topic in the media in recent years. However, most reports tend to focus on it in regards to elementary or high school students. But what happens after high school? Does the bullying stop?

Apparently not, says Elaine-Kaitlyn Wong, a fourth-year Bachelor of Child and Youth Care student. She presented her research project on this topic at Student Research Days at Douglas on March 30. As part of her project, she asked 29 people aged 19-25 about their experiences with online bullying.

The answers she got were surprising.

76% of those asked said they have engaged in or have been a victim of cyber bullying. 72% said they know someone else who has been involved in it.

They were then asked, if they were in fact being bullied, who would they go to for help? 100% said they would go to a friend rather than seeking help from a professional, like a school counselor or instructor.

So why the hesitation to get professional help?

The answer is two-fold, says Wong. The five professionals she interviewed all said they were unaware that cyber bullying was an issue in this demographic, despite her evidence that proves otherwise. However, this may be in part because those involved in the bullying are not talking about it.

So what’s the solution? Get the professionals online, says Wong.

“My thoughts are that in future studies I would like to look more into cyber counselling, which is an emerging profession.”

For now, the goal is awareness. Wong plans to present her findings at a conference next month in Winnipeg. She also plans to address the issue further as part of her Master’s Degree.

Student Research Days is an annual event that showcases the research of Douglas College students. This year's event, held on March 30-31, 2010, featured nearly 200 students from across all College Faculties presenting over 100 research project posters on a diverse range of topics. The event continues to raise the profile and enthusiasm for student research at the College.

Next year's student research days will be held on March 28, 2011 at David Lam Campus and March 29, 2011 at New Westminster Campus. Look for registration forms and a call for exhibitors in the Fall, check the Student Research Days page for more information.

With photos and contributions from Trista Orchard
Read more...

Monday, April 12, 2010

Spreading the word on mental illness

By Lori Kittelberg

Something I love about writing is the opportunity it gives me to learn more about things I feel strongly about and raise awareness of them. It's something I particularly enjoyed as a freelancer. Working in communications, these types of opportunities don't always present themselves in traditional ways, but they still happen now and then.

Before I left Douglas College, I volunteered to be an extra playing a patient in the Women's Chronic Unit at Riverview Hospital circa 1940-something for a reenactment scene being shot for a documentary called Bedlam. Above is a shot of me on set, shot by Mikki Herbold.

The film is a project by Heidi Currie, a criminology prof I met while working at Douglas, and filmmaker Lisa G (Lisa's the one with the camera). It's a continuation of their project Asylum. Heidi teaches a course on working with offenders with mental disorders.

I knew about Asylum as it had been part of a larger series of events at the college I had publicized last spring. Last fall, I posted a story on the employee blog that Heidi needed extras for her new project and figured, "Why not?"

The new documentary focuses on Kay, who took a job at Riverview during WWII at age 16 – she tells the story of her first day at work as Bedlam’s narrator.

The treatment of people with mental illness has improved markedly since then, when the patients at the Women's Chronic Unit were unmedicated and wards were understaffed. We wore drab tunics and grey wool socks and were essentially stripped of any identity we had outside of our characters' respective illnesses.

At one point, a nurse on set who had worked at Riverview years ago said we looked the part but were much too quiet. For a relatively short period of time, we were told to pump up the volume. For me, playing a depressive, this meant sobbing. Hard. I only had to do it for 10 minutes or so. I experienced postpartum depression a few years back and I simply thought of how alone I felt in order to pull what I needed to from my guts and do a good job. It made me sad to think that if I had been born in the wrong era, I could have been in a ward at Riverview, rather than feeling a heck of a lot better within a few months with the right medication and counselling. And it made me angry.

Provincial dollars for healthcare, including support and services for people with mental illness, have been decimated in BC. Well, redirected, says Heidi - there is limited access to mental health services until someone with ends up in the prison system. Then the province deems it important. Talk about too little, too late. Heidi also told me that there is very little documented history of Riverview so Bedlam will be an important educational piece on BC's mental health system.

Sadly, underfunding and poor access to mental health services isn't limited to BC or adults. Through a remarkable Twitter campaign sparked by TheNextMartha, I discovered No Points for Style, a blog by Adrienne Jones, whose son has bipolar disorder. Her story gave me the much-needed kick in the ass to put this entry together as the film shoot was in January. Not helping kids is just plain wrong and makes me much angrier than I think I can possibly express.

My thinking is the more people understand the history, they more they will see the danger in backtracking to having little government support for people with mental illness. I know it's a cliche, but hey, knowledge is power. And if I can play a small part in getting that knowledge out there by spending a Saturday playing a Riverview patient from back in the day, I'll gladly do it.
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Sunday, April 11, 2010

Interested in forensic science?

From Raymond Yu, Computing Science and Information Systems

Then you should check out the forensic science information session at Douglas on Tuesday, April 13.

Dr. Dean Hildebrand, Program Head for BCIT's Centre for Forensic and Security Technology Studies, coordinates the forensic science option within the Centre and will be discussing the various educational paths and career options within this fascinating field. He will discuss how your studies at Douglas College may allow you to ladder into a Bachelor of Technology (B. Tech.) degree in a specialized option at BCIT.

As a forensic DNA expert, Dr. Hildebrand is also responsible for the research and casework activities of the Centre's Forensic DNA Laboratory, and he will be discussing the recent achievements of their students and faculty in these areas. If you are interested in the B. Tech. degree program or simply want to hear an interesting lecture on Forensic Science, please come and join us!

Forensic Science Info Session
Tuesday, April 13, 2010
4:30pm-6:00pm
Room 4306, New Westminster Campus


For more information, please call Raymond Yu at 604-777-6279.
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Friday, April 9, 2010

Want to get involved on campus?

By Leah Poulton, Communications & Marketing Office


Join the Centre for Campus Life on April 23-25 at Camp Zajac for the first annual Student Engagement and Leadership Retreat. This free, weekend-long event will bring together students who are interested in making a difference on campus at Douglas College. You'll have the opportunity to participate in team building, leadership and outdoor activities as well as discuss and plan student engagement activities for the 2010 –2011 year.

All transportation, lodging, activities and meals are covered - but space is limited to 24 students, so apply now! The application deadline is Tuesday, April 13.

Application form(pdf) Read more...

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Take a break from exams - it's time to laugh!


Vancouver's Sketch Comedy group, Baby Jessica's, performs this weekend at Second Storey Theatre in downtown Port Coquitlam, Friday & Saturday at 8pm. The first 5 Douglas College students to say the word "Artichoke" at the door get free access to the show! After that, Douglas College students get 2-for-1 tickets (regular price $10).

Second Storey Theatre is a new 45 seat venue for stand-up, comedy, drama, improv and other forms of performance art. It's located at 201-2550 Shaughnessy Street in Port Coquitlam (above the Dairy Queen).

The Baby Jessica's is a Vancouver based sketch group that features rapid-fire skits, spot-on parodies, and outrageous characters.

This weekend, the fun begins with table23's presentation of S&Mprov, a hilarious show featuring the more obscure, embarrassing and slightly painful improv games. It's satirical seduction at its best!

If you would like further information on Second Storey Theatre or to inquire about group rates or other discounts, please contact Russ at russ.brummer@gmail.com or 604-764-6157.
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Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Doug's Got Talent - winners announced!

By Leah Poulton, Communications & Marketing Office

After nearly 4,000 people voted during the online public voting period last month, the winners of the Doug's Got Talent contest were announced at an awards ceremony yesterday at the New Westminster Campus.

The grand prize winners took home $4,000 in tuition credit each! Congratulations to:

Grand prize winners

Mathias Stoecker
Marina Kolar
Leah Jordan

Runners-up

Angela Castro
Laura Cuthbert
Jon Johnson
Jun-Bin Koh
Trevor Leyenhorst
Logan Rudrum
Julia Simonetta

Check out photos from the event:


To see all ten videos, visit douglascollege.ca/talent Read more...