Thursday, July 31, 2014

Sales student from Russia gains business-world experience before graduating

                                                                 David Denofreo Photo
Viktoriia Maliavina has always loved travelling and challenging herself. That’s how she found her way to Vancouver from her home in Russia.

She says Douglas College was appealing because of the variety of programs and supportive international department. Once she became a student, she found a place where it was easy to get help with assignments and take part in fun on-campus activities.

Having already earned a degree in commerce, Viktoriia is now pursuing a Post-Degree Diploma in Sales at Douglas.

“I love my program because it is a combination of theory and practice,” she says. “Our instructors make the educational process very interesting and businesslike by allowing us to work with real clients and attend marketing events.”

After Douglas, Viktoriia plans on a career in international marketing.

“Every industry needs good marketers in order to lead and succeed in the international arena,” she says. “It’s a very appealing field because of my strong desire to travel the world, experience new things and collaborate with interesting people.”

Learn more about the Post-Degree Diploma in Sales program on the Douglas College website.


Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Q&A: Gallery show at Douglas College explores the human form

From the sculptors of Ancient Greece to the fresco painters of Renaissance Italy to the masters of the modern era, artists throughout Western history have been fascinated by a subject that is close to all of us—the human form.

That age-old obsession with the way our bodies look and move is also at the centre of an upcoming visual-art exhibit at Douglas College. Works created by members of the New Westminster Heritage Life Drawing Society—and inspired by their observation of live models—will be on display as part of the Gestures show.

To learn more about the exhibit and the group behind it, we interviewed Gillian Wright, president of the Heritage Life Drawing Society and a Douglas College alumnus:

What is the Heritage Life Drawing Society?

Heritage Life Drawing is a nonprofit society for artists of all ages and all skill levels, who simply wish to explore drawing the human form. It is an excellent way to develop and strengthen skills of observation and detail. All artists need to hone their skills; whether they draw and create for a living or do it for pleasure. Everyone who has an interest in drawing and expressing themselves through art is welcome. We share ideas and inspire each other no matter what your skill level.

What is "life drawing?"

Life drawing is “gesture drawing.” For our members, that means practicing our skills using professional models who visit our drawing sessions. Each session begins with quick poses that last one minute, two minutes, five minutes and up to 30 minutes. The shorter ones are repeated five or more times while the 20- and 30-minute ones are fewer, depending on time remaining in the session. Not all sessions are the same. The entire three-hour session can be nothing but one- and two-minute gestures, or it can be the same pose from start to finish.

What mediums or materials are used during the sessions?

You can use any medium you wish although pencil and charcoal are the most common. Many people experiment with the colours of pastels and watercolours. Acrylic and oils can be used but involve much more preparation and therefore are not as popular.

What do you enjoy most about life drawing?

Life drawing has been a journey for me; it has helped me focus as well as expanding my creative process. It has taught me to see the small differences that make us all unique individuals, while still having the same basic body form.

What's most challenging about life drawing?

It challenges your ability to draw what you see as opposed to what you think you see, because we are all familiar with the human shape.

What will be on display in the upcoming exhibit?

This exhibition will show you how differently we all observe form and how we interpret it through many different mediums. There are displays of short quick gesture drawings as well as large developed paintings from these sessions. Life drawing has been around since man put chalk on the walls of caves and will survive the age of computers; it will never be a dying art. We love doing it too much.

Gestures runs August 8 to September 5 in the Amelia Douglas Gallery on the Douglas College New Westminster campus, 700 Royal Ave., New Westminster. Gallery hours are Monday to Friday, 10am to 7:30pm, and Saturday, 11am to 4pm. The exhibit is free and open to the public. To learn more about the Heritage Life Drawing Society, visit


Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Student from Japan brings his love of baseball to Douglas College

                                                                 David Denofreo Photo
Getting recruited for Douglas College’s baseball team was like hitting a home run for Naoaki Ito.

Growing up in Japan, a country that loves the sport, Naoaki dreamed of playing in North America. After all, it’s the home of all his favourite Major League players.

“Getting to play here is great. Baseball’s always been my passion,” he says.

Off the field, Naoaki is taking Sport Science classes at Douglas.

“I really like the program. A lot of the instructors played sports in high school or college so they’re more understanding of student athletes like me.”

After Douglas, he plans to transfer to university, earn a kinesiology degree and launch his career.

Learn more about the Sport Science program on the Douglas College website.


Thursday, July 24, 2014

Douglas College Veterinary Technology grads help four-legged friends

Douglas grads Lauren Basford, left, and Amanda Brackett.
David Denofreo Photo

Amanda Brackett and Lauren Basford have something in common—they love helping animals, large or small.

As graduates of the Veterinary Technology program, they are both well on their way to turning that passion into fulfilling careers as veterinary nurses.

And they’ve got the practical experience to get it done. The Veterinary Technology program gives students many opportunities to work with animals, either at the in-school clinic or at shelters, farms, veterinary facilities and more.

The two-year diploma program provides both theoretical and practical training in medical and surgical nursing, anesthesia, radiography, dentistry and laboratory procedures. Amanda and Lauren learned how to provide medical care to cats, dogs, pigs, birds and even horses, such as Elcici (pictured above receiving a physical exam).

“I loved the hands-on aspects of the program,” says Lauren, whose dream job is working with horses.

For her part, Amanda is more of a dog lover, but she’s a friend to all types of animals.

“I love finding ways to make them feel happier and healthier so they can enjoy a full, happy life with their families,” she says.

Want to learn more about the Veterinary Technology program? Come to an info session!

You can also check out our video starring Amanda and Lauren for a look inside the program:


Wednesday, July 23, 2014

10 study tips for Summer 2014 at Douglas College

Exam time is fast approaching at Douglas College. To help students get ready, the Learning Centre has put together this top-10 list of study tips:

1. Do a practice exam. Try and predict the questions you will be asked, and answer them.

2. When you begin studying, highlight everything you already know. You'll be encouraged at seeing how much you've already accomplished.

3. Don’t stay up too late to study. It’s OK to pull an all-nighter for a paper, but with a test, you need the energy the next day to actually take the test.

4. Study the easy stuff first. That way you don’t waste all of your study time on one difficult concept and run out of time for the rest.

5. Make your study time fun, short and interactive. Use flashcards with pictures, colours and highlighters.

6. Turn off the Internet. Facebook will still be there when your study session's over.

7. Look over your in-class notes to see what information the instructor spent time on and what might be more important to study.

8. Snack smart: eating foods such as bananas and nuts while studying can actually help you retain information.

9. Drink water before your exam. Research has shown that downing the wet stuff before a test can improve your performance by up to a third.

10. Visit the Learning Centre to work with a one-on-one peer tutor. It's free. Look for details on the centre's website. Read more...

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Study buddies help Douglas College student from India settle in

                                                                   David Denofreo Photo
Anil Jasani left India and came to Canada to build a successful career in finance. To get there, Anil is studying toward an Accounting Management diploma at Douglas College.

He didn’t know many people when he arrived, but he made friends with some study partners that he now hangs out with in the evenings.

For Anil, the social connection made it that much easier to settle into life in Canada.

“Douglas College is really wonderful,” he says. “The people are nice and there are instructors I really like.”

Learn more about the Accounting Management diploma program on the Douglas College website.


Monday, July 21, 2014

Douglas College student recognized for history essay on unsolved Vancouver murder

An unsolved murder in a wealthy neighbourhood. A suspected cover-up by powerful figures. An atmosphere of racial and class tension.

That may sound like the makings of a Hollywood thriller, but it actually describes a notorious chapter of Vancouver historyone that captured the interest of student Sarah Hardy.

While an Associate of Arts student at Douglas College, Sarah researched the 1924 Janet Smith case as part of an assignment for her B.C. history class.

“I was originally interested in this topic because a while ago I heard about this case on a show about haunted places in Vancouver,” Sarah says.

“It sounded like a really interesting case, so I chose it to write about, and the more I looked into it, the more shocking facts emerged. There were so many theories on what happened.”

Sarah sifted through old newspaper articles, journals of the B.C. legislative assembly and other documents to piece together an account of the case.

The result of her efforts was an essay titled “Vancouver's Scottish Nightingale: How a Murder Investigation was Altered and Obstructed by Class and Race Issues.”

The essay recently won her the $750 W. Kaye Lamb Essay Scholarship from the British Columbia Historical Federation, an award that recognizes the work of first- or second-year postsecondary students.

At the centre of the case is Smith, a young nanny who worked in the home of a prominent Vancouver family. Smith was found dead on July 26, 1924.

While investigators failed to ever solve the case, and initially labelled it a suicide, suspicion fell on a Chinese houseboy, Wong Foon Sing, who was close to Smith.

It was a time of widespread anti-Asian sentiment and, at one point following the death, Wong was kidnapped by a group of white-robed men who attempted to force a confession.

Wong, who proclaimed his innocence, was eventually freed and later cleared by the courts.

Sarah says the sensational case, which grabbed people’s attention across the country, shows how popular opinion can influence criminal investigations.

“The large Scottish population was the reason Janet’s death was investigated further, and the intense discrimination against Asian people in Vancouver was the reason Wong Foon Sing was accused,” she says.

Sarah, now a student at UBC, says it’s hard to not be fascinated by the Janet Smith case.

“It is more than just an unsolved murder; there are scandals, police cover-ups, political corruption, racism, kidnapping, drug smuggling. Every new facet of the case was pretty surprising.”


Thursday, July 17, 2014

Business student makes friends from around the world at Douglas College

                                                                David Denofreo Photo
Growing up in a small town in Germany, Mathias Stoecker says he didn’t meet many people from other parts of the globe. But that changed when he started studying at Douglas. 

“When you come to Vancouver, you meet people from Asia, Latin America and all over,” he says. “That’s what I really like; making friends with people from around the world and getting to know their cultures.” 

And Mathias isn’t leaving Canada anytime soon. He originally came to Douglas as an international student but is now a permanent resident. After he earns his Bachelor of Business Administration degree at Douglas, he looks forward to a career in financial services.

Learn more about the Bachelor of Business Administration—Financial Services program on the Douglas College website.


Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Douglas College a perfect fit for Business Management student from Korea

                                                                 David Denofreo Photo
With mountain trails only a short drive away and a vibrant culinary scene, the Vancouver area is the perfect place for Chloe Youngeun Noh.

“I really like nature and mountains and hiking,” Chloe says. “I also like dining out with friends. Vancouver has so much wonderful international cuisine.”

Originally from Korea, Chloe is studying toward a Business Management diploma at Douglas College.

“The class sizes at Douglas are small so I can build good relationships with classmates and instructors,” she says.

It’s just further proof she’s in the right place.

Learn more about the Business Management diploma program on the Douglas College website.


Monday, July 14, 2014

Douglas College Poem of the Month: July 2014

Poem of the Month showcases outstanding work written by Douglas College students.

Each month, the Creative Writing Department displays posters across both campuses featuring a new poem.

Click on the image to the right to see an enlarged version of this month’s poster, featuring "Last Meeting at the Mount Pleasant Cemetery" by Sara Finn-English.

All Douglas College students are eligible to enter the Poem of the Month competition. Featured poems are selected by a committee of instructors.

To learn more about submitting poems, contact the Faculty of Language, Literature and Performing Arts at 604 527 5465.

More information about the Creative Writing Department is available on the Douglas College website.


Thursday, July 10, 2014

Douglas College Applied Psychology student finds a focus

                                                                 David Denofreo Photo

Having grown up around family members with mental illness, Hailea Williams wants to support others facing similar mental-health challenges. Hailea is getting a Bachelor of Arts in Applied Psychology degree from Douglas and plans to become a counsellor.

She had planned to transfer to university after completing her associate degree at Douglas, but then the new Applied Psychology program started. The degree allows students to focus on one of six specializations where Psychology is applied in the work world. That appeals to Hailea, who plans to take the pre-counselling specialization. 

“Getting that kind of applied experience will give me an edge when I start looking for work,” she says. As a tutor with the Douglas College Learning Centre and Psychology Society President, she’s staying right where she is. “When I started, Douglas was just this place that I would go to and take my classes,” she says. “Now I feel like this is my second home.”

Learn more about the Applied Psychology program at


Thursday, July 3, 2014

Teaching English as Second Language opens door to new cultures

Douglas grad Elke Galter enjoys
a snack at a night market.

Elke Galter feels lucky to have found a job that combines two of her passions: helping to educate people and learning about different cultures.

Elke is a graduate of Douglas College’s Teaching English as a Second Language Certificate program. As a language instructor for S.U.C.C.E.S.S., a local non-profit immigrant services organization, she teaches English to adults from countries such as Afghanistan, China, Iran, Iraq and Korea.

“It’s cool that I was able to stay in Canada and teach and experience different cultures, which is my favourite part of the job,” she says. “I get to help people and I also get to learn about different cultures.”

Elke has long been interested in teaching. Originally, she considered training to become a school teacher. But after graduating from SFU with a psychology degree, she was eager to put her education to work. She said the Douglas program was affordable and, being one semester in length, had a quick turnaround.

With around 20 hours of class time per week, the program gives students the theoretical and practical knowledge they need to teach English and manage a classroom. Elke described the program as “intense” but she said she received plenty of support as a Douglas student.

“The instructors were really personable,” she says. “You could go to them and talk to them and they were really there to listen.”

“I made lifelong friends in the program,” she adds. “I still hang out with some of my classmates. We make an effort to get together at least once a month and just touch base.”

Learn more about the Teaching English as a Second Language Certificate program on the Douglas College website.