Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Should students pay more for 'useless' majors?

By Elizabeth McCausland

There has been a lot of discussion in U.S. higher education blogs about Florida Governor Rick Scott's proposal to freeze tuition at the state's colleges and universities for majors with high job-market demand—mainly in STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) and health fields—while increasing it in others. The Florida proposal aims to address both the shortage of skilled workers in some of these fields and the desire that students, their families and taxpayers have to see a return on their increasingly expensive investment in post-secondary education. There are a number of objections to Scott's approach, however.

Friday, December 14, 2012

Co-occurring Disorders program opens student's eyes

By Tamara Letkeman, doug Editor

Photos by David Denofreo

Ask Ernie Cardinal how he is, and the Douglas College student will likely tell you, “It’s a good day to be indigenous.”

Ernie isn’t kidding. As a member of the Sucker Creek First Nation (which makes him Cree), from northern Alberta, Ernie is proud of his heritage and culture. He teaches as many people as possible about it through his job as a Family Strengthening Worker at Kla-how-eya Aboriginal Centre, a Surrey organization that promotes the health and wellness of Aboriginal people and the resurgence of their culture, language and teachings.

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Royals score high: a look at last semester

Kate Weir was crowned PACWEST Female Golfer of the Year for the second season in a row.           Jerald Walliser photo

By Eliot James Dix

If you missed any Royals athletics action this semester, now’s the time to catch up. The soccer cleats and golf clubs have been put away for the season. But after the break, our badminton, volleyball and basketball players will be back swinging, spiking and dunking.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

BSN grad wants to take nurses to the boardroom

David Denofreo photo

By Tamara Letkeman, doug Editor

Raji Nibber wants to give nurses a stronger voice.

A goal of the Douglas College grad, an oncology nurse at the BC Cancer Agency, is to one day sit on the board of a hospital where she can represent nurses and make their views and opinions heard.

Raji points out that hospital boards are populated by doctors, accountants and lawyers – but almost never by nurses.

“Nurses make up most of the staff at hospitals,” she says. “We spend the most time with the patients, so we know what’s going on with them and we hear what they have to say. Giving a voice to nurses would also be giving a voice to patients.”

But before she can be an effective leader, Raji says she needs to learn more about how the healthcare system works, how the government funds it, policy-making in healthcare, etc. To that end, she is beginning the Master of Science in Nursing program at UBC in January and plans to get her PhD after that. She’s also looking at possibly combining her master’s degree with a degree in law.

“I want to become more informed so that if I am given the opportunity to represent nurses at the boardroom level, I’ll have a better idea of what I am talking about,” she says.

“I want to take nursing viewpoints to places they’re rarely heard.”

Find out more about the Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree at Douglas on our website. 


Monday, December 10, 2012

Ezra Kwizera: Finding forgiveness in song

Ezra Kwizera performs at the Music Technology program's final concert of the year. Photo: David Denofreo.


His childhood was full of instability, war and poverty. As a Rwandan refugee in Uganda, Ezra Kwizera has seen and survived hardships most of us can’t imagine.

“There was a time when I could see no hope for my life,” he says. “It was like there was a wall in front of me. I didn’t think I would see myself grow to be a man.”

 There was one constant in his life, however: music.

“My first memory of having music in my life was being five years old and singing at Sunday school,” he recalls. Since then he’s added dancer, guitar player, pianist, hand drummer and music producer to his list of talents.

Now an accomplished performer and producer, Ezra has performed in venues in North America, Africa and the United Kingdom. He recently graduated from the Music Technology program at Douglas College, which he credits with helping him become a better music producer.

His music is a combination of pop, reggae, soca and African dance hall, and he can be heard singing and rapping in English, Kinyarwanda, Luganda, Zulu and Swahili.

“When I sing, I want to make you dance and celebrate life at the same time!” he says.

Currently on a four-country tour of Africa - Uganda, Kenya, Burundi and Rwanda - Ezra’s message is all about love and forgiveness.

“I’m grateful for my past,” he says. “It has helped me in all aspects of life.” Read more...

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Health Fair burns more than 31,000 calories

By Naomi Ambrose, Douglife Student Marketing and Promotions Team

Standing in the concourse among the large crowd of Douglas College students and staff at the 2012 Douglas College Health Fair Nov. 21, I met Omar, an ESL student, as he proudly looked at his name on the board as a platinum donor. One of the primary objectives of the event, put on by Douglife, was to engage the college community to come together and burn 30,000 calories through a series of exercises on different equipment.

Friday, December 7, 2012

Women’s basketball and the uncommon kid

Patti Olsen, co-captain of the Royals women's basketball team, helped bring new players up to speed this season.

By Eliot Dix James

What does it take to turn around a basketball team that hasn’t ranked nationally in over 15 years? You might say a coach who cracks the whip. Or a roster of the hottest players.

For coach Curtis Nelson of the Royals women’s team, though, the answer is more refined: the uncommon kid. Who is this rarified student athlete? Nelson explains, it’s someone who doesn’t say “Why do we have to this?” but instead, “Hey, why not?”

Thursday, December 6, 2012

A tale of two McIlwraiths: Anthropology instructor follows in grandfather's footsteps

Anthropology instructor Tad McIlwraith's new book, We Are Still Didene, was published last month.

By Tamara Letkeman, doug Editor

Tad McIlwraith never knew his grandfather, but the noted anthropologist – who died five years before Tad was born – left an indelible mark on his grandson. In some ways, they’ve led parallel lives.

For starters, they share the same name: Thomas F. McIlwraith (fifth and seventh respectively. Tad’s father, a cultural geographer, is the sixth). Both are anthropologists who spent time studying and working with indigenous peoples in B.C., the elder McIlwraith with the Nuxalk people in Bella Coola in the 1920s, and Tad - who is an Anthropology instructor at Douglas College - more recently with the Tahltan people of Iskut, in northern B.C.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Co-op work experience gives BBA Accounting students a boost

When you graduate from college, you want to stand out from the pack. One way to do this is by showing employers you’ve got work experience.

When you take the Bachelor of Business Administration program at Douglas, you need to show you have work experience in order to graduate. Many students choose to get that experience by doing a four-month co-op placement through the Douglas College Co-operative Education program. 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.

Meet three Douglas BBA Accounting students who are doing just that: Bethany, who begins her co-op placement in January, and Curtis and Nasim, whose placement employers liked them so much, they hired them.

Bethany Hochstein
Placement date: January-April 2013
Employer: KNV Chartered Accountants
“I’m looking forward to everything about my co-op placement because accounting is my chosen career. It’s what I’ve been working so hard to do. I’m looking to get a CPA designation, and the recruiting process is pretty competitive. So I think co-op will give me an edge on other applicants. I just feel so lucky to be able to do this and can’t wait to begin working as an accountant and seeing what it’s like.”

Curtis McAndrew
Placement date: September-December 2012 (will be hired)
Employer: The Kemp Harvey Group
“My background is in customer service, so I figured doing a co-op would be a great way to get experience in accounting. And then I’ll have that experience on my resume as well, which I think will definitely help me find work. I recommend the co-op program for anyone doing their BBA, because it gives you a leg up on graduates who don’t have that experience.”

Nasim Sarafraz-Shekair
Placement date: Began in January 2011, since hired
Employer: BC Hydro
“Doing a co-op placement was the best decision I’ve made in my career. Before BC Hydro I was working as a hotel manager, but wasn’t getting enough exposure to the accounting side of the business. Through my co-op at BC Hydro Construction Services, I learned the procurement process, the invoice payment system, how to create a contract, how to process a time sheet, how to process credit card expenses and more. That opened up a door, because when Hydro needed to actually hire someone, they decided to go with someone who already knew the processes – me. I am 32 years old, immigrated to Canada nine years ago and have a very active five-year-old. If I can do it, so can you!”

Find out more about the Douglas College Co-operative Education program on our website.


Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Remembering the victims of the Montreal Massacre Thursday

In commemoration of National Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence Against Women, this Thursday the Douglas College Women's Centre is putting on a series of events that are open to the public.

Thursday, Dec. 6
New West Campus, lecture theatre 2203

First up, the Women's Centre and Co-op Radio's The F Word present a screening of the award-winning The Invisible War, a groundbreaking investigative documentary about one of America's most shameful and best-kept secrets: the epidemic of rape within the U.S. military.

The film will be followed by an open discussion with WAVAW Rape Crisis Centre about the film and violence against women. It's an opportunity to talk about these issues with members and leaders of the community and with organizations involved in women's rights and violence against women.

There will also be speakers at the event:

  • Blaine Jensen, Vice President of Douglas College
  • Dawn Black, MLA of New Westminster (the MLA who proposed in parliament to make Dec. 6 a national day of remembrance)
  • Judy Darcy, NDP Candidate for MLA of New Westminster 

And finally, a moment of silence to remember victims of the Montreal Massacre and victims of violence against women.

This event will have ASL interpreters. It is open to the public and admission is by donation. For more info visit the Facebook event page.


Monday, December 3, 2012

Richard Petrus: Future sales star

Richard Petrus, Marketing Management student, is keeping his eye on the ball. Photo: David Denofreo

By Tracey Denofreo, Marketing and Communications Office

First-year Marketing Management student Richard Petrus has big dreams.

“I’ve always wanted to be a sales representative. I like the challenge,” he says. “I just have entry-level experience right now, but I want to do big business, selling to big corporations or even countries.”

Originally from Namibia, South Africa, Richard moved to Canada in 2011 when his mother, who was already here, told him about the opportunities he could take advantage of to complete his education.

“Marketing and communications are the two things that interest me the most,” he says. “My favourite class at Douglas is Personal Selling. We get to be creative and give lots of presentations.”

Moving to British Columbia presented some challenges for Richard. “I wasn’t used to the weather, I got lost a lot – my country is very small – and I didn’t know anyone,” he says. He managed to fix the last two with one smart move.

“I joined the Vancouver United soccer club,” he says. “I love soccer. It helped me make friends and get to know this place because we travel all around.”

One of his biggest dreams is to somehow combine soccer and sales.

"It would be great to work for the Vancouver Whitecaps in some way!” Read more...

Sunday, December 2, 2012

This week at Douglas: Learn about our Audio Engineering program and more!

Here's what's happening at Douglas Dec. 3-9:

Wednesday, Dec. 5

Audio Engineering info session
New West Campus, room 32205:30-6pm
Join Dan Cardona, audio engineer and instructor, for a FREE information session about the Audio Engineering program at the Douglas College Community Music School. Sign up by email.

Needle Doodle 
New West Campus, Amelia Douglas Gallery
Till Jan. 4
Works by Elizabeth Carefoot. Free. More info on the gallery's web page.
Got an event you want listed? See douglascollege.ca/events.

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

Want more timely updates? Join Douglas College on Facebook!