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.