Sunday, August 31, 2014

This week at Douglas College: Film screening, concert, Frosh and more!

Here’s what’s happening at Douglas Sept. 1-7

Monday, Sept. 1

College closed - Labour Day

Thursday, Sept. 4

Free concert
New Westminster campus, Laura C. Muir Performing Arts Theatre
Everyone is invited to this free concert titled Cascadia Reed Quintet as part of the Arts at One concert series.

Film screening
New Westminster Campus, Lecture Theatre 2201
View Las Analfabetas (Illiterate) as part of the Vancouver Latin American Film Festival. In Spanish with English subtitles. Free event, open to everyone. More info: VLAFF website.

New Westminster Campus
Meet other new Douglas students while taking part in games and other fun activites. More information: Douglife website.

Friday, Sept. 5

Artist’s talk
New Westminster Campus, Amelia Douglas Gallery
Attend an artist’s talk for the Gestures exhibit. More info: Douglas College website.

New Westminster Campus
Meet other new Douglas students while taking part in games and other fun activites. More information: Douglife website.

Closing reception
New Westminster Campus, Amelia Douglas Gallery
Attend the closing reception for the Gestures exhibit. More info: Douglas College website.

Saturday, Sept. 6

Coquitlam Campus
Meet other new Douglas students while taking part in games and other fun activites. More information: Douglife website.

Got an event you want listed? Submit it here.

See more upcoming Douglas College events on the events calendar.

And make sure to join Douglas College on Facebook and follow us on Twitter!


Thursday, August 28, 2014

Your green guide to Douglas College

Douglas College is taking many small steps—and some big ones—to reduce its carbon footprint and become a more sustainable institution. But if you were to wander around campus today, how many of these green initiatives could you identify? They aren’t always easy to spot, even though they’re all around us. Get yourself up to speed on what’s green at Douglas College with this guide.

Energy-efficient roof

                         David Denofreo Photo
Next time you’re in the concourse on the New Westminster Campus, take a look up. You’ll see the result of a major roof-replacement project the College undertook over the summer of 2013. The old single-pane roof was removed and a new roof system was put in place.

The new R-10 Kalwall roof system features specially designed translucent panels that limit the amount of natural daylight that filters in. It also has special double-pane glazing that prevents heat from escaping from the building. What’s so great about all that?

“The changes have reduced heat gain in summer and heat loss in winter, thereby reducing energy costs lost through the common concourse,” says Louie Girotto, Manger, Facilities Services at Douglas College. “The improvements to the lighting and heating in the concourse have also made it a more comfortable space for people to gather.”

Water stations

Stay hydrated and help the environment. Just take your reusable drink container to one of 12 water bottle-filling stations located on both campuses. Since installation, a potential of 304,500 in disposable plastic bottle purchases have been diverted. That’s nearly 193,000 at the New Westminster Campus and over 111,500 at the Coquitlam Campus. Each station displays a running tally of how many bottles have potentially been diverted. That means you can see the difference you’re making every time you fill up.

Hallway lighting

Here’s another bright idea. At the New Westminster Campus, electrical consumption has been reduced by replacing older fluorescent lamps in all corridors of the north and south buildings with more efficient lamps. As well, the College added Wattstopper occupancy sensors, which automatically shut off non-emergency corridor lights when no one is moving through the passageways.

Recycled paper

It’s also important to protect the lungs of the Earth—forests, that is. To that end, Douglas College is doing more than just recycling used paper. The College also has a purchasing policy where all office paper should contain a minimum of 30-percent recycled content. In 2013, the College achieved 76 percent compliance with this initiative and we’re on our way to reaching 100 percent.

And there’s more!

Check out these blog articles to learn about even more green initiatives at Douglas College:

Got any tips on how to live green? Share them in the comments section below.


Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Check out Douglas College on Instagram

Some images from the Douglas Instagram feed.
You’ve already followed us on Facebook and Twitter but Douglas College is also on Instagram and we’re active.

Check out our feed for shots of cool events around campus and anything else we can come up with – especially on Thursdays, when we go into the archives to unearth relics from the past.

In case you missed it, other parts of the College also have must-follow social accounts. Here are a few:
Make sure you connect with Douglas College on social media!

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Lockdown drills at both Douglas College campuses in mid-September

In mid-September, Douglas College will hold lockdown drills at the New Westminster and Coquitlam campuses to show you how to stay safe in the event of a violent intruder on campus.

What will the drills be like?

An announcement will come over the PA system letting you know the drill is about to begin.

About one minute later, a lockdown alert will be issued over the PA. Follow the instructions and immediately go to the nearest room and lock and barricade the door. Close and cover windows. Turn out all lights and audio equipment. Stay low and stay quiet. Turn cellphones to silent.

If you are in an open space, such as the cafeteria or concourse, follow the directions of College personnel. If you are outside when the drill starts, or is in progress, remain outside and move away from the building.

When the drill is over, you will receive an all-clear message. Once you receive the all-clear message, it is OK to return to your regular campus activities.

Why are we doing this?

At Douglas College we take your personal safety on our campuses seriously. Although an incident of serious violence on campus is unlikely, we must take steps to plan, practise and prepare.

When will the drills happen?

We’ll advise you of the specific date of the drills closer to the event.

How should I prepare?

Visit for details about the College's Lockdown Procedures.

Check out the Lockdown Procedures posted in all classrooms and meeting rooms.

Sign up for DC Alerts, an emergency communication system which sends alerts to your email and mobile phone in case of an emergency situation on campus.

Still have questions?

Contact Nancy Constable, Director, Safety, Security and Risk Management, at 604 527 5828.

You can also watch our lockdown preparation video here:


Monday, August 25, 2014

Video: Douglas College takes on the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge

If dumping ice cold water over yourself doesn't sound like a good idea, then you haven't heard about the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge.

People all over are soaking themselves and capturing it on video as part of a viral campaign to raise awareness and funds for ALS, or amyotrophic lateral sclerosis.

Also known as Lou Gehrig's disease, ALS is a fatal neurodegenerative disease that affects thousands of Canadians.

Check out this video to see what happened when the Douglas College community took on the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge. And show your support at


Friday, August 22, 2014

Learn the basics of science at Douglas College this Fall

By Jennifer Kirkey
Physics and Astronomy Instructor

Looking for a lab-science course aimed at liberal arts students that also transfers to Simon Fraser University? Well, here it is!

Co-taught by Brenda Addison-Jones from the Chemistry Department and Jennifer Kirkey from Physics, the Science 1106 course is a basic introduction to physical science, and is intended for students with little or no science background.

The emphasis will be on the environment and on the scientific knowledge that you need to become an informed citizen.

Want to understand the chemistry behind oil pipelines? Need more information to help choose between the many alternative energies being proposed? This course can help.

Specifically, it will present an integrated approach to topics in physics and chemistry, which will include the scientific method, laws of motion, energy, heat and temperature, electricity and magnetism, light, atoms, molecules, chemical reactions, and the atomic nucleus. Laboratory exercises will illustrate the practical applications of the course content.

Learn more about Science 1106 by visiting the Douglas College Program and Course Catalogue.


Thursday, August 21, 2014

Douglas College Geography class studies climate change in the field

                                                                David Denofreo Photo
You can study one of the hottest (no pun intended) topics of our times—climate change—while still an undergrad at Douglas College. Students in Geography 2210, pictured above collecting data in the field, get that opportunity. “Climate change is the most pressing environmental issue facing society today,” instructor Kathy Runnalls says. “Geography 2210 is a lab science course, and it gives students an introduction to the science of climate processes and climate change.”

But making sense of the abstract concepts can be challenging. That’s where the hands-on labs come in. Students use specialized tools to measure environmental conditions and then analyze their findings. “At many universities, students wouldn’t even see these instruments until upper level climate courses—if at all,” Runnalls says. “Our students get out in the field during weekly labs. By the end of the course they can design their own projects and use the equipment to make observations on any climate-related topic that interests them.”

Learn more about the Geography program at


Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Upgrade your Professional Communication skills this Fall at Douglas College

By Maureen Nicholson
Professional Communication Program Head

In the era of the caveman, long before the invention of central heating and microwave ovens, being able to start a fire was a highly prized skill. These days, not so much.

But today, in an age that finds us increasingly overwhelmed by vast amounts of information, there is perhaps a modern, equivalent talent. You might even call it a 21st-century survival skill: being able to communicate well.

If you want to learn how to package and deliver information like a pro, Douglas College can help. This Fall Semester, courses in document design, technical communication and public relations are available by permission through the College’s new Professional Communication program.

The post-degree diploma program is designed for degree holders, but senior College students can now request permission to take specific courses. The courses are good options for degree students seeking a third-year elective, for associate degree students seeking a university-transfer course, and for students intending to transfer to SFU Communication.

As a prerequisite, you’ll need 45 credits, including a course in Communication, Creative Writing, or English, with a grade of B or better.

“We’re pleased to offer these courses as options for students in other programs. They’re really hands-on and applied in nature,” says program coordinator Maureen Nicholson. “Increasingly, employers expect students to have strongly developed design skills. It’s a highly visual world out there. Plus the ability to write technical documents, like instructions and manuals, and PR materials, like media kits and press releases, is invaluable for students in marketing, corporate communications, non-profits, and throughout the high-tech industry.”

Contact Nicholson by email or by phone at 604 527 5292 for permission to register in:
  • CMNS 3400 Document Design (CRN 34939, Thursdays, 6:30 to 9:20pm)
  • CMNS 3500 Technical Communication (CRN 34937, Tuesdays, 6:30 to 9:20pm)
  • CMNS 3700 Public Relations (CRN 34936, Saturdays, 9 to 11:50am)
Learn more about the Post-Degree Diploma in Professional Communication at


Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Douglas College Criminology student wants to help victims of neglect

                                                                David Denofreo Photo
As a pre-teen, Katarina Hechter was fascinated by legal thrillers and abnormal behaviour. So when it came time for college, Criminology seemed like a natural fit. It was then that she discovered where her true interests lay. 

“After taking some Criminology courses, I became less interested in atypical crime and more interested in everyday issues related to social justice,” she says. Alternative justice measures such as circle sentencing spoke to her, as they recognize the needs of victims, involve the community and identify rehabilitation options for the offender. “I believe people are inherently good, and many of them are not having their needs met by institutions or their environment,” she says. 

Katarina sees a future for herself working in northern Canada with Aboriginal offenders— after she’s completed her Associate Degree at Douglas College and moved on to do her BA and MA, that is. In the meantime, she’s staying involved in her community and her field of interest. “The Women’s Memorial March I attended on Feb. 14 was one of the most powerful experiences I have had,” she says. “I was surrounded by people who had been victims of neglect. My heart broke because I wanted so much to help them.”

Learn more about the Criminology program at


Thursday, August 14, 2014

Douglas College helps student prepare for career in international relations

                                                                 David Denofreo Photo
With a love for languages and travel, it’s little surprise Simonetta Da Rios dreams of a career in foreign affairs. 

Originally from Mexico, Simonetta came to Canada for high school. Now she is studying Intercultural and International Studies at Douglas College.

Being part of the College’s diverse student population is a good fit for someone so globally minded. “I’ve been having a great time at Douglas College because it’s so multicultural,” she says. “I’m in the right place if I want to work in international relations.”

After completing an associate degree at Douglas, Simonetta wants to transfer to university and earn a bachelor’s degree in international relations. That’s how she’s bringing her dream into reality.

Learn more about the Intercultural and International Studies program on the Douglas College website.


Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Douglas College grad’s PhD research focuses on reconciliation in Rwanda

                                                                David Denofreo Photo
Masahiro Minami believes meaningful actions, not just words, can heal deep psychological wounds. A Douglas College graduate, Masahiro has completed a PhD in Counselling Psychology at UBC. His research is focused on a new approach to fostering reconciliation between survivors and perpetrators of the 1994 Rwandan genocide.

An alternative to traditional therapy, his Action-Based Psychosocial Rehabilitation Approach (ABPRA) has a perpetrator atone for wrongdoing by offering services such as manual labour to a survivor. “It is a more commonsense way to realize the perpetrator is feeling sorry,” he says.

Originally from Japan, Masahiro came to Douglas after high school to study English. While earning his Associate of Arts degree at Douglas, he took a variety of academic courses and developed an interest in Psychology. “I was fascinated with how the human mind works,” he says.

Masahiro went on to earn degrees from SFU and UBC and work as a family therapist. As a UBC scholar, he is continuing his work to prove ABPRA can be used to build peace in Rwanda and other post-conflict areas around the world. “I just want to make a difference,” he says.

Learn more about Masahiro's work at and about Associate degrees at


Friday, August 8, 2014

Looking for upper-level courses that don't have prerequisites? Begin here

Are you completing a degree and need upper-level electives to round it out?

Douglas offers a number of third- and fourth-year courses that don't have prerequisites, and other upper-level courses you may be able to take with the permission of the instructor.

We aren’t able to list them all here as they change semester to semester, but we can narrow it down for you.

To find upper-level courses that do not have prerequisites, visit the Program and Course Catalogue, search the courses you are interested in and click on the "Prerequisites" tab. If there are no prerequisites, you may try and register for the course.

Some courses without prerequisites may have program or other restrictions, so you'll need to review any section notes for the course and/or email the instructor to see if they will give you permission to register. You can find section notes and instructor information by clicking the "Schedule" tab.

Here are a few examples of upper-level courses that do not have prerequisites or may allow you to register with instructor permission:

BUSN 3401 Principles of International Business

Disability and Community Studies
DACS 5111 Disability in Context

HIST 3305 Europe Since 1945

PHIL 3310 Ancient Philosophy

MUSC 3180 Audio Recording Techniques

Sport Science
SPSC 3240 Leadership in Sport, Physical Education and Coaching


Thursday, August 7, 2014

Douglas College student confronts cultural differences in Africa

                                                                David Denofreo Photo
When Iloradanon Efimoff visited Zambia, the experience shook up her views on feminism—and taught her a valuable lesson.

Iloradanon, who’s studying psychology at Douglas, visited the African country through the College's Zambia Global Leadership Program. The yearly program gives students the opportunity to complete three-month practicums that support community development.

An experienced tutor, Iloradanon taught English to teens in a rural school. One day, after helping other women cook a meal for school officials, she was told to serve the headmaster—while kneeling before him.

The request did not sit well with the self-described feminist.

“I didn’t really know how to respond, because I didn’t want to insult another person’s culture. But at the same time, it was crossing my boundaries in so many ways.”

A local female teacher quickly stepped in and showed her how to deal with the situation.

“She throws the plate on the table, turns around and walks out,” Iloradanon recalls. “And the headmaster was laughing, like it wasn’t a big deal.”

Iloradanon says the experience helped her better understand people from different cultures.

“That’s the way women are coping with sexism in Zambia,” she says. “You could call it a different type of feminism.”

Learn more about the Zambia Global Leadership Program at


Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Douglas College Poem of the Month: August 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 "Cross Legged in the Philosophy Aisle" by Alaska Petrie.

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.


Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Life at Douglas College about more than academics for student from Brazil

                                                                  David Denofreo Photo
There’s no question that moving to a new country can be challenging. When Rodrigo Meirelles De Oliveira first came to Douglas, he missed his home in Brazil. But after taking part in a new student orientation, he realized what he needed to do—get involved.

A Commerce and Business student, Rodrigo volunteered as a student orientation leader and landed a job on campus helping new students. His message for new international students is simple: “Get out of your comfort zone and meet people.”

He says having a social circle is important. “If you’re facing problems or need help studying, those people are there to support you.” With plenty of fun events at Douglas, Rodrigo says there are many ways to make new friends. “What I really like about Douglas is that there is a focus on the importance of student life, not just academics.”

Learn more about the Commerce and Business Administration programs on the Douglas College website.


Friday, August 1, 2014

Got exams this Summer? The Learning Centre is here to help!

It’s that time again! Final exams are upon us, and Douglas College students are gearing up for some serious study time. Thankfully, the Learning Centre is hosting another Exam Jam to help students ace their finals. Since it’s the Summer, the Learning Centre has reduced their regular programming to focus on the essentials – one-on-one peer tutoring appointments and study group sessions.

How Exam Jam can help you

Peer Tutoring: Looking for test-taking strategies or help reviewing your course material? The New Westminster Learning Centre will be open for business during our regular summer hours on August 7, 8, 11, 12 and 13, and our Coquitlam location will be open on August 12 and 13. We encourage students to book free 25-minute tutoring appointments for study skills, writing, computer skills or course content. Students can reserve a session by booking online at

Study Groups: Often, two heads are better than one. And multiple brains are even better! The Learning Centre is holding study groups at the New Westminster campus for BIOL 1103, BIOL 1109, BIOL 1203, CSIS 1175, PSYC 2300, CHEM 1104, CHEM 1108, CHEM 1110 and FINC 1231. Study groups will be led by our experienced peer tutors, and students can book a spot online at

Learning Centre locations

New Westminster Campus
Room 2015

Coquitlam Campus
Room A1040

Want more info? Visit the Learning Centre webpage or pop by in person.

You can also check out these 10 study tips from the Learning Centre.