Monday, April 30, 2012

Three things we've learned about autism in the last decade

By Elizabeth Athens

April is autism awareness month. In honour of this, I am going to highlight the three most recent things we have learned about autism. But first, what exactly is autism?

Autism spectrum disorder is a complex neurological disorder that prevents individuals from understanding what they see, hear or sense. It affects reasoning, social interaction and communication as well as the functioning and development of the brain.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Douglas College student aims to bring metal back to mainstream

Chris Osterman performs live with Iron Kingdom.
Cassie Devaney photo
By Tamara Letkeman, doug Editor

For Chris Osterman, the ‘70s and ‘80s never really died – at least where heavy metal is concerned.

At 20 years old, the Douglas College Stagecraft student and frontman/lead guitarist of metal band Iron Kingdom was born long after the heyday of acts like Iron Maiden, Judas Priest and the Scorpions, the band’s major influences. But Chris and his mates feel there’s still a place for their brand of metal, and they want to bring it back to the mainstream.

Monday, April 23, 2012

Student Excellence Award-winner pushes the limits

By Tamara Letkeman, doug Editor

Rebecca Innis has one piece of advice for new students: get involved.

It’s anything but a pat reply from this recent graduate of the Bachelor of Physical Education and Coaching (BPEC) program - and the latest recipient of the Douglas College Student Excellence Award.

Besides maintaining top marks while at Douglas, Rebecca found the time to volunteer – and then some. She ran modules at a leadership retreat with the Centre for Campus Life and Athletics, organized Sun Run clinics for students and coached cross-country and wrestling teams at secondary schools around the Lower Mainland, where she also observed, assisted and taught in math, science and physical education classes.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Students honoured with Co-curricular Engagement Awards

By Toby Reeve

Two weeks ago, students, staff and faculty of Douglas College put on their best clothes, shined their shoes and entered the Executive Plaza Hotel in Coquitlam to attend the inaugural Student Co-curricular Engagement Awards.

The awards, presented by Doug Life, honours students who have made outstanding contributions through leadership, volunteerism and involvement with the college, its clubs and the greater community.

Award winners included Nicole Leyland, Student Leader of the Year; Lacy Morin-Desjarlais, Community Builder; and the Hip Hop Dance Club, Club of the Year. “I’m really honoured that I got picked out of the amazing nominees,” Leyland said.

The night featured speeches by President Scott McAlpine and Vice President of Educational Services, Blaine Jensen. The seemingly impromptu speech by Jensen was touching. He spoke about the growth in student leadership at the college over the last few years. “This is a dream come true,” he said.

The theme of the night was “the ripple effect.” Kyle Baillie, Director of the Center for Campus Life, spoke to the crowd about the single, simple acts that create ripples that spread outward and effect change.

“We are here to celebrate those who have thrown pebbles, and sometimes boulders, into what previously had been still waters,” he said.

Midway through the night, the audience was treated to a soulful performance by a crew from the Hip Hop Dance Club.

The event was organized largely by the Doug Life student marketing team. One student, Monique Paulino, spoke afterword about the impact the event had on her. “It really showed me how important it is to get involved outside of the classroom,” she said.

About 80 people attended the awards show and dinner.


Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Meet Therapeutic Recreation grad Jennifer Gilchrist

Photos by David Denofreo 

Jennifer Gilchrist
helps socially isolated seniors and individuals with chronic health conditions increase their wellness and helps older adults recover from knee replacements.

Diploma in Therapeutic Recreation (Douglas College), Bachelor in Therapeutic Recreation (Douglas College, in progress), Registered Personal Trainer

Congrats to newly certified peer tutors at Douglas College

From left: Bethany Hochstein, Aida Rahavi and (far right) Liam Britten get certified. Pictured with Master Tutor Gerard Rances.
By Holly Salmon, Coordinator, Learning Centre 

The faculty and staff of the Learning Centre would like to congratulate our peer tutors who earned new certification this term through the College Reading & Learning Association's (CRLA) International Tutor Training Program:

CRLA 1 – Certified Tutor
Cody Sterzer-Larin | Jonah Bennett | Colin Osmond | Liam Britten | Aida Rahavi | San Ramovic

CRLA 2 – Advanced Certified Tutor 
Bethany Hochstein | Iloradanon Efimoff | Jay Sheng | Negina Khalil | Sarah Khan | Tracy Thompson | Jonah Bennett | Ariana Abianeh | Janice Nienaber | Alana Yang

CRLA 3 – Master Certified Tutor
Samantha Berbeck | Brent Stoeckel

The International Tutor Training Program Certification program provides recognition and positive reinforcement for tutors' successful work from the international College Reading & Learning Association. The CRLA's tutor certification process sets an internationally accepted standard of skills and training for tutors.

Roughly 800 college and university programs in Canada and the U.S. are currently certified through the CRLA's International Tutor Training Program Certification.


Monday, April 16, 2012

CSSW student goes to NYC to speak at United Nations commission

By Samantha Grey

This year marked the United Nations’ 56th Annual Commission on the Status of Women - and I was going to New York City to speak as a panellist during this momentous event.

Now, you may be asking yourself...

How might a second-year Community Social Service Work student get invited to such an event?

Friday, April 13, 2012

Student Research Day has a green tint

Kara Foreman holding up her winning research project for Student Research Day flanked by Douglas College President Dr. Scott McAlpine (left) and Dr. David N. Wright (right), Coordinator of the Research and Innovation Office at the College.

For one day in March, students take over the New Westminster Campus concourse to present the findings of their research undertaken as part of a class project or for their own interest. Student Research Day is an opportunity for students to get out of their comfort zone and tackle challenging, controversial or difficult topics with a personal twist.

This year, one student stood out. Kara Foreman took home the President’s Award for Best in Show (worth $300) as voted on by the students, faculty and community members in attendance at Student Research Day for her project on salmon-bearing streams in her hometown of Maple Ridge.
She also won the TD Bank Financial Group Award of Distinction – and with it, a cool $500 - for her efforts.   

“I was very surprised and honored to receive the awards,” she said.  “I’m very excited and really didn’t expect to win.”

The top three President’s Prize for Best in Show all had an environmental focus, with the second and third place finishers examining hemp as a green alternative for industry and looking at the impacts of electronic waste, respectively.

“Student Research Day emphasizes student interest while encouraging them to apply and exchange their knowledge with others,” said Dr. David N. Wright, Coordinator of the Research and Innovation Office at the College. “The poster presentations give students something they can take away or display as an encapsulation of their work that isn’t a grade.”

Events like Student Research Day give us the opportunity to showcase the outstanding research work underway across all faculties at Douglas College. 

Student research is about merging classroom learning with student engagement,” said Douglas College President Dr. Scott McAlpine. “It is about our students discovering for themselves not only something about their subject matter, but something about the world we live in."

Nearly 200 students and 80 research projects were displayed this year and planning is already underway for next year’s event, which will take place March 25, 2013. We hope to see you there! 

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Douglas students speak out during dinner with the President

Douglas President Scott McAlpine was all ears for about 40 students who attended "Dinner with the President" events, held at Coquitlam and New West campuses recently.

Over lasagna and caesar salad, students told the President what they love about their college experience, and what they would change.

The President heard loud and clear that students expect:

  • to feel engaged in their learning and in creating their own learner pathway—they want to be part of a community
  • high quality teaching and a high quality classroom experience—they're getting that, for the most part, but when they don't, they notice
  • better communication from the College, so they're more aware of all the opportunities available to them
  • flexibility in delivery of programs and services to make it easier to go to school while dealing with other responsibilities, such as work and family
Students reinforced those ideas with plenty of specific suggestions.

They asked for more experiential learning, and more research opportunities, to help them transition into a job or to graduate studies.

And while they're focused on getting an education, they said campus life is important too. Students want to join in fun, social activities along the way, and get to know more of their fellow students. They'd like to feel more school spirit (how about a lip dub?) and feel more engaged academically, intellectually and politically.

And that's still only a sample of the students' feedback, which touched on social spaces, wi-fi access, clubs, and much more. 

For a complete summary, along with the President's personal reflections on what he heard, visit the President's blog.

And the President is still listening, so if you'd like to share your experience of Douglas College, you are encouraged to leave a comment on his blog. Read more...

Sunday, April 8, 2012

This week at Douglas: music, more music, Print Futures shows off its mad skills and more!

Here's what's happening at Douglas April 9-15

Thursday, April 12

Opening reception: Perplexity - sculpture and image by Xin Meng
New West Campus, Amelia Douglas Gallery
Light refreshments to be served. Admission is free, all are welcome. Show runs till May 25. More info: Arts Events

1st Annual Music Technology Concert
New West Campus, Laura C. Muir Performing Arts Theatre
The Douglas College Music Technology Certificate (MTC) Program is proud to present the 1st Annual Music Technology Concert featuring students from the MTC program and the Douglas College Midi Ensemble. Directed by Robert Caldwell. More info: Arts Events

Friday, April 13

Composition concert
New West Campus, Laura C. Muir Performing Arts Theatre
An exciting evening of new compositions written and performed by the Douglas College Music students. Director, Doug Smith. $10 general admission, $5 seniors, students free. More info: Arts Events

Saturday, April 14

Print Futures: Professional Writing portfolio show
New West Campus, Amelia Douglas Gallery
See Print Futures: Professional Writing students strut their stuff in the annual portfolio show. More info.

Got an event you want listed? See

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

Want more timely updates? Join Douglas College on

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Music Technology students cover Pink Floyd classic

Two extraordinarily-talented students from our Music Technology Program put their training to good use when they did a cover of the Pink Floyd classic "Time".

Omid Pakbin (guitar, bass guitar, mixing, mastering, A/V and editing) and Erika Fitzpatrick (vocals, drums/percussion) did an excellent job putting their own spin on one of progressive rock's best-known anthems. Read more...

Monday, April 2, 2012

Douglas College Grows with the Student Co-Curricular Engagement Awards

By Toby Reeve

Douglas College is growing. And it’s growing in a way that is about to be recognized. Tomorrow night, Douglife will present the inaugural Student Co-Curricular Engagement Awards.

To explain what this is, I want to introduce you to someone. Her name is Sanaah Dodhia. And she is very busy.

As well as being a high-achieving Sports Science student, the Douglife student staffer and volunteer has contributed countless hours to the college community and beyond: running student orientations, helping plan Clubs Day and International Day, and teaching children dance, among other things. 

Sunday, April 1, 2012

This week at Douglas: Shop till you drop, please your ears, launch a back row attack and more!

Here's what's happening at Douglas April 2-8


Monday, April  2

Alumni Marketplace

Coquitlam Campus, atrium
Our popular marketplace is back again, providing you with an opportunity to buy great gifts. Vendors will be selling pottery, African art, jewellery, clothing, native art and crafts and much more.

An Evening of Jazz
Laura C. Muir Performing Arts Theatre
Big band jazz from the Douglas College Night Band (Blair Fisher, Director) and Douglas College Dues Band (John Van Deursen, Director). More info: Arts Events

Tuesday, April 3

Student Volleyball Tournament - Can You Dig it?
New Westminster Campus, gym
Can You Dig It? is DougLife’s favourite way to serve up a new semester of activities. Teams are composed of 6 individuals with a minimum of 2 females on the court at all times. Register at

Student Co-curricular Engagement Awards
Executive Plaza Hotel – Coquitlam
The Centre for Campus Life and Athletics is proud to host the inaugural Student Co-curricular Engagement Awards on April 3, to celebrate and honour students who have made outstanding contributions to Douglas College or the greater community. Invitation only. More info:

Wednesday, April 4

Alumni Marketplace
New West Campus, concourse
Our popular marketplace is back again, providing you with an opportunity to buy great gifts. Vendors will be selling pottery, African art, jewellery, clothing, native art and crafts and much more.


Transmutations: Journeys Through Time and Space
New West Campus, Amelia Douglas Gallery
Paintings by Mary Bennet and Louise Bunn. Till April 6. More info: Arts Events.

Got an event you want listed? See

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

Want more timely updates? Join Douglas College on