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 douglife.ca

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 racetonowhere.com

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 elizabethbachinsky.blogspot.com.

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 schachnera@douglas.bc.ca

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 nwcoordinator@dsu18.ca

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, martysohlphoto.com

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 events@douglascollege.ca with 2 weeks' notice.

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

Friday, November 12, 2010

40 after 40: Hiruth Mwandemere


Ever since Hiruth Mwandemere was a little girl, she wanted to be a nurse. Growing up in Ethiopia, she witnessed many people – especially children – dying of preventable or curable illnesses, and wanted to help.

“Realizing that a healthy person is a happy person, I promised myself to contribute to wellness and happiness by becoming a nurse,” Hiruth says.

But after completing secondary school, due to family and financial needs, Hiruth wound up working in the hotel industry. Then in 1991 she left Ethiopia for Rome to join her husband, who was working for the United Nations Food and Agricultural Organization. Like Ethiopia, Italy did not provide a conducive environment for Hiruth to study nursing.

In 2005 Hiruth and her family immigrated to Canada and she was finally able to realize her dream. The following year she enrolled in the Douglas College Health Care Support Worker program, and graduated in 2007.


Since graduating, Hiruth has worked for the Providence Health Care/Holy Family Hospital as a resident care aide, with St. James Society/Victory House as an assisted living worker, and with Vancouver Coastal Health/Magnolia House as a mental health worker.

Now Hiruth is back at Douglas College to pursue studies in Psychiatric Nursing. She says the program offers an opportunity to get involved in a career that extends comfort and hope to people.

“What impresses me most about Douglas College is the support that facilitated my transition from the Health Care Support Worker program to that of PNUR,” she says. “The supportive environment of the College has enabled me to overcome the challenges of upgrading academic courses while juggling work, school and family.”

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 11, 2010

Think global, party local

Want to see the world but can't afford to miss your classes (not to mention the airfare)? We have a solution for you.

International Day is a new event at Douglas College that aims to promote multiculturalism, cultural awareness, diversity and, of course, having an excellent time while taking in the food, drink, art and performances of different cultures from around the world.

The first International Day takes place November 17 (New Westminster) and November 18 (David Lam). One of the brains behind the event is Hiroshi Yasuoka, International Education Advisor, Centre for International Education. Hiroshi gives us some insight into the vision behind International Day.

Why International Day?

I was talking with Scott Fraser-Dauphinee, the Coordinator from the Centre for Campus Life, about there being not enough events for domestic and international students at the College. He showed me the new Douglife site for students to start clubs and advertise events, and then we got talking about having an International Day.

What you hope to achieve

We hope to get students connected with the College - show them that in addition to great academic programs there is another side to college life, and that's social interaction and getting involved. 

Why it's important for students to learn about different cultures

It's important for students to become global citizens as the College, city, province, country and the world have become international.  This affects how people need to communicate and interact at school, work and in our daily lives.

The highlights

The performances, the food and hopefully the atmosphere. 

Why people should come out

There will be some great performances, we are selling the food at cost and not seeking to gain a profit, and it will be a great chance to find out about opportunities to study abroad or find out about a different culture.

Where & When: 

New Westminster Campus, Wednesday, November 17, 11:30 am-2pm, Concourse

David Lam Campus, Thursday, November 18, 12-2:30pm, Atrium

See our earlier blog post for more information.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

40 after 40: Steven Bittle


Once upon a time Steven Bittle wanted to be a police officer. But after completing a two-year diploma in Law and Security Administration at an Ontario college, he realized that he was more drawn to issues of social justice.

“There was something fundamentally wrong with a system that was, for the most part, focused on policing some of the most marginalized individuals and groups in society,” he says.

From there he moved to BC and enrolled at Douglas, where he studied Criminology from 1990-1991 before transferring to SFU where he earned his BA and MA in Criminology. He went on to get his PhD in Sociology at Queen’s University.

“It was my experience at Douglas that led me to continue along this path,” says Steven. “Learning about issues of crime and social justice in a multidisciplinary setting and in small, seminar-type classes piqued my interest and gave me the confidence to continue my studies in criminology at SFU.”


Since July, Steven has been an Assistant Professor in the Department of Criminology at the University of Ottawa. He previously enjoyed a career in the federal public service. From 2007-2010 he was the senior advisor and research manager at the Security Intelligence Review Committee, an independent federal agency that reviews the work of the Security Intelligence Review Committee. Before that he was a senior researcher at the Law Commission of Canada, an independent federal agency that provided advice to Parliament on issues of law reform.

“Looking back, there’s no doubt that my experience at Douglas gave me the basis and confidence to pursue my studies in criminology and sociology,” Steven says. “What I really appreciate to this day is that I had an opportunity to study criminology in small, seminar-style classes, where you actually got to know the professor and other students, and where there was an opportunity to discuss and debate ideas.”

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 9, 2010

U-Pass vote is coming!

Great news about U-Pass: Douglas students will soon be able to vote on whether or not they want to take part in the program. The discounted, three-zone passes means students would only have to pay $30 a month for public transportation, as opposed to the $81-$151 per month they pay now.

The student vote at Douglas College will be organized through the Douglas Students' Union within the next month. If students vote to accept the U-Pass, passes will become available in Spring 2011.

Join the discussion on Facebook.

November 12 update: the U-Pass referendum will be held November 29, 30 and December 1. Details to come. Read more...

Latin pop star Manuel Cuevas sounds off

By day, Manuel Cuevas is a student in the Douglas College Music Program. By night, he’s MANN, “one of the most promising new Mexican indie artists,” as described by Radio Mexiquense. A Latin pop sensation with two albums (his third, Ecstacy, will be released next year) and a number one single under his belt. Manuel managed to take time out of his hectic schedule to riff on life at Douglas.

Program and graduating class

Basic Musicianship, 2010

Current job 

Recording artist

Career goals

Performing for big audiences and touring around the world

Personal goals

Continue developing my creativity

Role model

Juanes, a great Latin American artist

Favourite musicians 

Jamie Cullum, Café Tacvba, Saul Williams, Incubus, etc.

Instrument of choice 


Pre-performance rituals or superstitions

None, really. I’m usually trying to design a last-minute funny thing to do for each show, such as wear an “I’m Big in Japan” shirt, or do a robot dance. To me the main thing is to have fun on stage. That’s why I do it.

Why I chose the Douglas Music Program

After I got signed back in 2007, I realized that I needed more musical preparation. I believe that if you want to be taken seriously as an artist you need to study. That’s why I came to Douglas.

The hardest thing about going to college

For me it was a big change. I started not too long after releasing my second album, so it was hard to balance work with school. Also it is completely different to sit in a classroom and learn about music than to actually perform on stage.

The best thing about college

I learned not only to read and appreciate music on a different level, but also to enjoy it even more. Also, I love having all kinds of musicians in a classroom; it definitely broadens your horizons.

The craziest moment I’ve had in class

I believe it was when Doug Smith, our Theory teacher, played “Happy Birthday” in a minor scale for my birthday.

My best instructor

They’re all great, and it’s extremely hard to pick! But I believe the two best teachers I had were Doug Smith and Eric Hannan. Doug is an extraordinary teacher; he has the ability to make you forget you’re in a classroom. On the other hand, it was a privilege to be taught by Eric. He’s talented, honest and knows how to work with your voice to take the best out of you.

The most important thing I learned in college

Discipline. My great teacher John Glofcheskie always said that the secret to be a good musician is practice.

The most important thing I learned on the job

There’s no reason to be afraid. This is the life you have and you can’t let fear stop you from doing what you love. That’s very important when you finish school. Follow your instincts and pick a job that will make you happy. The rest will come after.

Follow Manuel on Facebook, MySpace, Twitter and on his website.


Sunday, November 7, 2010

This week at Douglas: Hamlet with a twist, Christmas shopping, video game tourney and more!

Here’s what’s going on around campus November 8-12:

ongoing (until Nov 15)
This modern take on Hamlet is showing in the Studio Theatre at 7:30pm nightly. For more info and tickets, see the Arts Events page.

Wheelchair Basketball Family & Friends Night
Tues, Nov 9
Ever wanted to try wheelchair basketball? Here's your chance! Come out to the main gym at New West Campus from 7:30-9:30pm to take part in Wheelchair Basketball Family and Friends Night. Prizes to be won! Presented by Wheelchair Basketball BC and the Centre for Campus Life.

Christmas Marketplace
Tues, Nov 9 - Wed, Nov 10
Not trying to scare you, but – Christmas is now just over 6 weeks away! Get started on that shopping list and help support students in need at the Christmas Marketplace. More info in the Events Calendar.  

Call of Duty Modern Warfare: Black Ops Tournament
Wed, Nov 10
Come out and pwn some n00bs in the Concourse at New West on Wednesday.  For more info, check out douglife.ca or see the event on Facebook.

CGA Information Session
Wed, Nov 10
Interested in becoming a Certified General Accountant, but not sure where to start? The Douglas College Business Association is holding an information session on Wednesday. For more info and to register, go to the DCBA website.

Educational Technology Forum
Wed, Nov 10
What kind of technology do you need? Have your say in the development of Douglas’ technology plan at this College-wide forum on Wednesday. Get more information on the Educational Technology blog.

Remembrance Day
Thurs, Nov 11
Reminder that the College is closed for Remembrance Day. Don’t forget your moment of silence at 11 am!

The Rimers of Eldritch
Fri, Nov 12 (opening night) and ongoing
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.

Volleyball (vs. VIU)
Fri, Nov 12
Perennial powerhouse Vancouver Island University makes a visit to the Lions Den where the Royals will look to sink the Mariners. Women at 6pm, men at 8pm. Free for all staff and students!

See more upcoming events in the Douglas College Events Calendar. Want to get connected on campus? Check out the Douglas College page on Facebook!

Friday, November 5, 2010

Students: What kind of technology do YOU need?

Do you wish it was easier to use your laptop, mobile and other portable devices on-campus? Hoping to register for classes on your iPhone?

We want to know what kind of technology YOU need at the College.

Come to a College-wide forum and make your voice heard!

Where: David Lam Boardroom (B3011) and New Westminster Boardroom (4920)

When: November 10, 4-6pm

Coffee and cookies will be served.

Click here for more information. 

40 after 40: Heather Anderson


Douglas College has played a much bigger role in Heather Anderson’s life than that of post-secondary institution: Besides helping her discover what she wanted to do with herself, the College also introduced her to jobs―and love.

Heather came to Douglas College in 1984 to study Marketing Management. But by the end of her first year, she realized that what she really wanted was to be a teacher. To that end, she switched to the University Transfer program and began working on the requirements for an education degree.

After that first year Heather also landed a summer student position in the Personnel Department of the College, and continued to work part-time while she completed her studies. During her second year at Douglas, she also met a nice young man named Mark.

“We were married two years later and this year we will be celebrating our 23rd anniversary,” she says.

After two years at Douglas she transferred to SFU and completed her bachelor’s degree in teachable subjects. From there she came back to Douglas as a part-time Academic Advisor. Within a couple of months she had gone full-time, and kept the job till 1996. That year she entered UBC’s Bachelor of Education program.


Heather teaches Social Studies at Dr. Charles Best Secondary School, in Coquitlam, and is also completing an MA in Counselling Psychology at UBC. Her life has taken a political turn as well: She’s been mayor of the Village of Anmore since May of this year, and was a Councillor from 1993-2008.

Heather says she is proud of her connection to Douglas College and all the positive ways it has influenced her.

“Whenever I get a chance to tell my students about how Douglas College changed my life, I am proud to retell my story. And I often think that it would be wonderful to come back to Douglas College at some point and work again for the institution that gave me such a wonderful start.”

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 4, 2010

CGA info session Nov. 10

Are you interested in pursuing a career as a Certified General Accountant (CGA) but are unsure what you need to do or what opportunities will be available to you? Do you like free food?

Come to the Douglas College Business Association’s CGA Information Session November 10. Representatives from CGA and their Partners in Employment program will tell you exactly what you need to do to become a CGA, and what doors the designation will open for you. The representatives from CGA will stick around afterwards to answer any more questions you may have.

When: November 10, 5:30-6:30pm (doors at 5:15pm)
Where: rooms 1812/1814, New Westminster Campus
Dress code: casual

Free pizza and pop will be available.

Click here to sign up.

For more information please email.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

40 after 40: Jerald Walliser


Like many young boys, Jerald Walliser wanted to be a professional athlete when he grew up. But as he got older, “reality” set in―in the form of eight knee operations over a span of 15 years―and many of his teachers persuaded him to pursue a career in teaching instead.

After graduating from high school, Jerald decided to attend Douglas College because it was “brand-spanking new” and promised a new style of post-secondary education. Jerald was one of the first students enrolled in the University Transfer Program, from 1970-1972. During the 1970/71 school year he was honoured as the College’s first Male Athlete of the Year.

After graduating with a BEd (Secondary) from UBC in 1975, Jerald spent the next 38 years working as a teacher, reporter/photographer and audio visual technician around BC. But Jerald also had another love: photography. In 1976 he had began turning his hobby into a money-making venture.
Jerald is presented with the Male Athlete of the Year Award by George Wootten, the first Principal of Douglas College


In 2008 Jerald retired from his day job in order to pursue photography full-time. These days he is sole proprietor of Jerald Walliser Photography, based in Coquitlam, where he specializes in weddings, sports, health care and portraits.

The road to success hasn’t always been easy. In 2000 Jerald suffered a stroke, which left him with a permanent blind spot. But he tackled the problem head on.

“I educated myself regarding the type of stroke I had and then went about developing a work around,” he says. “One of the problems I had to deal with was not being able to see the entire viewfinder image at once, and I had to learn to scan the entire viewfinder in order to see it all before pressing the shutter button.”

Jerald credits Douglas College for helping him get to where he is today.

“Planning, preparation and, ultimately, flexibility, are ‘tasks’ I learned while at Douglas, which helped me to become successful,” he says.

Successful indeed, if the testimonials on his website are any indication.

Jerald―these are spectacular. I’m speechless, enthuses one of his clients. Please know that I appreciate you on so many levels. Thank you for capturing the day for all to witness through your imagery.

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 2, 2010

Dooms Day 2010

A frighteningly good time was had by all October 28 during Dooms Day on both the David Lam and New Westminster campuses, courtesy of the Student Ambassadors and the Centre for Campus Life. Halloween-lovers enjoyed colouring and costume contests, scavenger hunts, jack-o-lantern making and live performances.

At the New Westminster Campus the Douglas College Psychology Society put together a truly wicked bake sale.

Check out the pics of the New Westminster festivities on Facebook and Flickr:


Monday, November 1, 2010

International Day November 17-18

In the spirit of promoting cultural diversity, multiculturalism, cultural awareness and internationalization of the College, Douglas College International is proud to present a new annual event called International Day. Come on out November 17-18 for a glorious melange of performances, food samplings, information about different cultures, opportunities to study abroad―and prizes to boot.

Dance, sing, perform a martial art or put on a cultural performance to win six, count 'em, six tickets to see the Canucks. You can perform alone or in a group, with a maximum of six people. The length of each performance is eight minutes max.

Where & When:

New Westminster Campus, Wednesday, November 17, 11:30 am-2pm, Concourse
David Lam Campus, Thursday, November 18, 12-2:30pm, Atrium

To register your performance contact Scott Fraser-Dauphinee at  604 527 5072.

There will also be tables in the concourse/atrium where you can showcase your culture or a culture that you want to share with the rest of the College.

Perhaps you'd like to help out as a volunteer, start your own club or promote your Douglas College student club? This is your chance.

The deadline to get involved is Wednesday, November 10. Volunteer meetings begin Wednesday, November 3.

For more information please contact Hiroshi Yasuoka at Douglas College International, Room 2800, New Westminster Campus, 604 527 5845.