Friday, January 29, 2016

Marketing grad makes a great escape

Chris Ricard (left) and his business partner appear on Dragon's Den

Every day at work is an adventure for Chris Ricard.

After graduating from Douglas College’s Marketing program and embarking on a number of entrepreneurial endeavours, Ricard's newest project is SmartyPantz Escape Rooms.

The expanding business has locations in Vancouver, Edmonton and Calgary, and sees players escape from five themed rooms with varying degrees of difficulty and fear factor.

“I came across the escape room business while completing my MBA,” Ricard said. “I had never heard of the concept, so I read into it some more and thought it was pretty cool.

“I ended up pouring myself into the business. I did a viability study and organized a bunch of information for a pitch to my friend, who is now my business partner.”

At the time, Ricard owned a website hosting company. He sold the business, took a break from school and dove head-first into opening his first escape room in Vancouver’s Gastown last March.

To set SmartyPantz apart, the entrepreneur – whose official title is Chief Fun Officer - upped the quality of d├ęcor in the themed rooms and added a new layer to the thrills with live actors.

“It brings another element when we incorporate the actors into the fray. All our hosts are actors and everyone can put their own spin on a character,” Ricard said.

With the business expanding at a rapid rate, including leases signed in Calgary and Edmonton.

“It’s been an amazing experience being a pioneer in a new industry,” Ricard said.

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Give your feedback on the draft 2016/2017 budget

Want to find out more about Douglas College’s annual financial plan?

You are invited to join President Kathy Denton and Vice President of Administrative Services & Chief Financial Officer Tracey Szirth for an overview of the 2016-17 College budget.

Join us Feb. 5, 12:30-2pm at the New Westminster campus’ Boardroom (Room 4920). A live video feed will stream the forum to the Coquitlam campus’ boardroom (Room B3011).

The presentation will be followed by a question-and-answer session.

You are encouraged to share your thoughts on the budget and provide feedback.

No registration is required. Light refreshments will be served. Read more...

Monday, January 25, 2016

This Week at Douglas College: Arts at One presents sounds of the Bassoon on a Different Light

Here's what's happening at Douglas Jan. 24-31

Tuesday, Jan. 26

Alumni Marketplace 
New Westminster campus
The Douglas College Alumni Association, in partnership with local businesses, presents the Alumni Marketplace. Proceeds from sales go towards alumni bursaries for students/alumni in need.

Wednesday, Jan. 27

Alumni Marketplace
Coquitlam campus
The Douglas College Alumni Association, in partnership with local businesses, presents the Alumni Marketplace. Proceeds from sales go towards alumni bursaries for students/alumni in need.

Thursday, Jan. 28

Arts at One
New Westminster campus
Laura C. Muir Performing Arts Theatre
Enjoy the sounds of Bassoon on a Different Light: Trio for Bassoon, Flute and Harp.

SFU Engineering and Computing Science Info Session 
New Westminster campus
Room 1231
SFU advisors for both the Engineering and Computing Science programs will be speaking about the programs and the transfer options into these programs. Read more...

Friday, January 22, 2016

Seven things you need to know about CEIT services

By Glauce Fleury
Communications and Publications Specialist, CEIT

As a Douglas College student, you have available a variety of services to help you thrive. One of them is the IT services provided by the Centre for Educational and Information Technology. Take a look at what you need to know to start your classes with confidence.

  • Student ID card: You’ll need yours to pick up library materials and access our campuses outside regular hours. When taking transit, you must carry your student ID card with your U-Pass BC on Compass Card. If you don’t provide your student ID when asked, you might get a fine and your Compass Card could be confiscated. Check when and where to get your student ID.
  • Network access: To log in to computers in the labs and libraries, you’ll need to enter your username (nine-digit student number) and password (by default, your birthdate in the format DDMMYY). After your first login, change your password to protect your account.
  • Wireless access: To log in to the Wi-Fi, you’ll need the same username and password used to log in to the College computers. The network you should choose as a student is Douglas College Internal.
  • Students Helping Students: You’ll find one CEIT student assistant in each campus from Monday to Friday. They can respond to requests for help with ID cards, logins, computer functionality, printing, wireless and connectivity. You’ll recognize them by their red vests. The CEIT assistants are constantly moving around from 8am, mainly in the libraries and labs. If you don’t see them, call or text them: in New West, 604 396 4475; in Coquitlam, 604 306 4777.
  • CEIT Help Desk: Our skilled staff is available to help you when you have difficulty with College-owned technology. You can reach them at 604 527 5330 or
  • CEIT Service Counters: They provide student ID cards, password/PIN resets, and assistance with login issues and wireless connectivity. In New West, go to room 2100B (inside the library). In Coquitlam, go to room B1250.
  • Blackboard: If you take online or hybrid courses, you’ll use Blackboard, which is the Learning Management System used by Douglas. In Blackboard you’ll have access to course materials uploaded by your instructor and some communications tools. Take a look at the Student Resources section and watch the tutorials to become familiar as soon as possible.
You can find complete information about our IT services at GET IT – IT Services for Students. Download this guide and have it at hand. In case of doubts, look for one of our student assistants. Read more...

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Douglas College Counselling Services here to help

College can be a stressful and confusing time for many students. Often this has an impact on school performance. It may be helpful to talk to someone who can assist you with managing personal challenges and easing the pressure of college life.

If you are dealing with a problem that is affecting your school performance, it may be useful to talk to someone who can support you. Counsellors, located at both New Westminster and Coquitlam campuses, are trained to provide short term personal counselling, career counselling and student advocacy. You may want to visit Counselling Services for free support if you are having trouble in areas such as:
  • Managing personal stressors
  • Relationship problems
  • Grief
  • Family related concerns
  • Anxiety or depression
  • Adjustment to college
  • Setting career goals
  • Making career choices
  • Understanding your rights and responsibilities according to college policy

How do you make an appointment?

Simply phone or come in to make a 50-minute appointment. If you are in crisis, or or have an urgent concern, a drop-in appointment is available most afternoons.

Locations and hours

New Westminster Campus, room 4600 (South)
604 527 5486 TTY: 604 527 5450
Open Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday from 8:30am-4:30pm
and Wednesday from 8:30am-6:30pm

Coquitlam Campus, room A1050604 777 6185 TTY: 604 777 6179
Open Monday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday from 8:30am-4:30pm
and Tuesday from 8:30am-6:30pm

You aren’t alone – Counselling Services is here for you. More information is available on the Douglas College website.

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Douglas College Performing Arts students to launch interactive show

Students from Douglas College’s Bachelor of Performing Arts will present an interactive show set to unfold in Vancouver this month.

Entitled The Home Project, the piece blends reality and fiction to bring one woman’s story to life. The project, created by the BPA’s cohort – greyscale creative – is an interactive installation blending sound, visual art and performance within the walls of a home located at 320 Carrall St.

According to the group’s Facebook page, The Home Project “is an exploration of the connections between the lines on a page and the narratives we live.”

Through their involvement, the audience will be immersed within the story – circling around a message from a woman asking to meet to discuss an important subject. The layered performance piece investigates how a home reflects its owner and provides a glimpse inside the private world of an isolated individual.

Performances will take place Jan. 21-24 and Jan. 26-29, 5-10pm. Tickets can be purchased online. Read more...

Monday, January 18, 2016

This week at Douglas College: Put your two cents forward with Douglas College town hall Jan. 22

Here's what's happening at Douglas Jan. 18-23

Wednesday, Jan. 20

UBC Pharmaceutical Sciences Info Session 
New Westminster campus
Room 3343
Meet the Recruitment and Admissions Officer from UBC’s Pharmaceutical Sciences Faculty at a free information session.

UBC Wood Products Processsing Info Session 
New Westminster campus
Room 3820
Learn more about the Bachelor of Science degree in Wood Products Processing at UBC. If you're interested in science, engineering, business and wood, this interdisciplinary program may be for you.

Thursday, Jan. 21

UVIC Recruiter on Campus
New Westminster campus
Interested in transferring to the University of Victoria? A recruiter will be on-campus Jan. 21 to answer your questions. Look for their table in the New Westminster concourse.

Money Management for Students - Hosted by Young Guys Finance
New Westminster campus
Room 1630
Young Guys Finance teaches young Canadians the absolute essentials of personal finance.
The focus of the work shop will be on goal setting in the short and long term, budgeting, types of savings accounts, credit cards, and the basics of investing (if time permits). Sign up here!

Friday, Jan. 22

Strategic Plan Town Hall 
New Westminster campus - Concourse
Coquitlam campus - Room 3011
Douglas College students are invited to put their two cents forward about the College and its future direction while enjoying a slice of pizza at a town hall meeting. Register in advance. Read more...

Get Involved and have fun outside of class with Student Life

Discover the other half of the college experience!

Head to the new Student Life website to learn more about how you can get oriented, healthy, involved, and gain experience! You’ll find information about new student programs, academic success, wellness, student leadership programs, employment opportunities, and campus events.

Your tuition fees include a membership to the College’s fitness centers at both the New Westminster and Coquitlam campuses. Fitness classes such as yoga and pilates, zumba, core strength, and boot camp, are offered at both campuses. Hours of operation are listed online.

Some of the Douglas College Student Union clubs that exist on campus are the Business Association, the Photography Club, the International Association, several dance clubs and many more. Get the complete list on the DSU website.

Why get involved?

  • Believe it or not, students who invest their free time in getting involved on campus are more likely to do well academically. 
  • Get Oriented: There are a few key steps that all successful students take to get settled at the College. Visit the new Student Life blog, Life at DC, to learn about these steps from your fellow students who’ve been there, done that. 
  • Getting involved: There are lots of college events and programs that you can join, and if you do, you’ll meet new people. While you’re at Douglas College, we want you to make new friends and have fun doing it. 
  • Get Healthy: You need to be well to do well. Getting exercise, maintaining a healthy diet, and taking good care of your mental health will set you up for academic success. 
  • Get Experience: You want to graduate with a resume that grabs attention and gets you hired. We want to help you! Getting involved on campus, being a student leader, and working in Student Life are great ways to get experience that shows employers what you’re capable of. 

Don’t be the last to know what’s happening at Douglas College! Follow Student Life on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and the Life at DC blog.

Friday, January 15, 2016

Discover a wealth of resources at the Douglas College Library

The Douglas College Library has a wide variety of resources designed to assist you in finding high-quality, relevant content to help you make the grade. Best of all, many are available online for you to access from anywhere, any time and are absolutely free.

Not sure where to start? Check out our Subject Guides, which will point you to the best search tools for specific courses. Student tested. Instructor approved.

Still need help? Librarians are ready to answer your questions about using these resources, turning your research topic into a search strategy, finding the best information sources available and citing the sources you use in completing your assignments.

You can also borrow laptops and other equipment, or book a study room for your group work. Why not take a few minutes to explore the Library, either in person or online?

Keep in touch with us on Twitter and Facebook to get updates, alerts, reminders and more.

Twitter: @Douglas_Library

Thursday, January 14, 2016

Video: Meet Bachelor of Therapeutic Recreation Katryna Koenig

Katryna Koenig knows firsthand the positive impact that recreation can have.

The Bachelor of Therapeutic Recreation program graduate spent much of her teenage years working at wilderness camps for youth, where she saw how a welcoming and fun setting can open people up to personal growth.

Now, as a program co-ordinator for Strive Living Society, she is once again welcoming people into an inclusive space that spurs positive change.

Check out this video to learn Katryna's story:


Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Students helping students at Douglas College's Learning Centre

Is philosophy giving you fits? Is APA absolutely agonizing? Is Excel making you enraged? If so, you may want to check out the Douglas College Learning Centre for free help with your courses.

The Learning Centre (or the “LC”) uses a student-led approach to learning that helps you evaluate and improve your study skills to succeed in both current and future courses. The LC has branches at both the Coquitlam and New Westminster campuses, offering free help for writing and college courses.

LC tutors are peer tutors; they are students just like you, taking classes at Douglas or other post-secondary institutions. In addition to helping you with coursework, they can help you with essay writing, math skills and computer skills. Plus, they can coach you on how to study more effectively.

If you are having trouble with a course, don’t wait until it’s too late. From the LC homepage, you can register for an account, log into WCOnline and find a time that’s right for you for a 25-minute appointment. Bookings can be done 24 hours a day, so there’s no need to hesitate. You can also apply for a weekly, ongoing 50-minute session with a tutor. All Learning Centre tutoring is free to Douglas College students.

Another option is to send your written assignments to an online tutor. You can send in your written work any time, seven days a week. Getting help is as easy as going to our website and choosing the option that works best for you.

The LC also offers computer skills help at the New Westminster campus. If you’re having trouble with a program or need a hand with formatting, ask one of our computer skills tutors. You can find them at the computer skills desk, which is located in the library, just outside the library classroom (room 2100A).

The Learning Centre is open during the following hours for the Winter 2016 semester, starting on Jan. 4:

New Westminster
Room 2105, in the Library

Mon: 9:30am-5:30pm
Tues-Thurs: 9:30am-7:30
Fri: 9:30am-5:30pm
Sat: 10:30am-2:30pm

Room A1040, beside the Atrium

Mon-Tues: 10:30am-5:30pm
Weds-Thurs: 10:30am-6:30pm
Fri: 10:30am-1:30pm

Computer Skills Desk (at New Westminster only) Mon-Fri: 10:30am-3:30pm Read more...

Monday, January 11, 2016

Douglas College students asked for input at town hall meeting

Are you hungry for change, or just plain hungry?

Douglas College students are invited to put their two cents forward about the College and its future direction while enjoying a slice of pizza at a town hall meeting Jan. 22.

The Strategic Plan Town Hall will be held at both campuses and will include free pizza and drinks, as well as an opportunity to meet fellow students and a chance to win a $25 gift certificate for the Bookstore.

The meeting will feature an open format that encourages discussion and interaction. Students will also be placed into small groups to share their thoughts on these questions:
  • What is Douglas College doing well for new students?
  • What could the College improve upon? What initiatives can you suggest for improvement?
At the New Westminster campus, the town hall will be led by Manuela Costantino, Susan Oesterle, Mary Hodder and Elizabeth Barbeau. Duane Seibel, Erin Biddlecombe and Karla Gronsdahl will lead the Coquitlam meeting.

The event will take place at 2pm in the Concourse at the New Westminster campus and in the Boardroom (room 3011) at the Coquitlam campus.

Register in advance at

Friday, January 8, 2016

Travel the world and earn credits with Douglas College's field schools

What are you doing in 2016?

We’re planning field schools in Belize and Wales in Summer 2016, and you’re invited!

Field schools are amazing opportunities to study abroad for a few days to a few weeks, depending on the program. Courses are taught by Douglas College instructors and, depending on the program, an instructor from one of our partner institutions.

Virtually all field school courses are university transferable.

You’ll spend part of the program studying at Douglas before travelling overseas with your instructors and classmates to complete the program.

To be eligible, you must be: 

  • A Douglas College student eligible to take the courses offered in the field school. Qualified students from other institutions are welcome to apply, but must first gain admission to Douglas College. 
  • 18 years of age or older prior to departure. 
  • In good academic standing with a minimum cumulative GPA of 2.0 by application deadline. If you do not meet this requirement, you’ll need to get approval from the program’s lead faculty member. 
  • A passport holder or able to obtain a passport. 


$2,100-$4,000 per student, depending on the program. The fee includes airport transfers overseas, use of facilities at the partner institution, tuition for course taught by partner institution, program field trips, shared accommodations, and most meals (depending on the program).

Airfare, passport application, fees for Douglas College courses, airport transfers in Vancouver, textbooks and personal spending are extra.

Financial Awards

Eligible students can receive up to $1,500 to cover their field school costs.

Visit Fields Schools for details.

Thursday, January 7, 2016

Douglas College grad poised to push boundaries in tech industry

David Denofreo photo 

Moody Abdul is having his cake and eating it, too.

The Douglas College Commerce and Business Administration Diploma grad has always had a passion for technology, but he soon found that life behind the screen coding someone else’s program was not the career path he wanted to embark on.

“I want to be the person who is leading that program or who is in charge of the project,” Abdul said, noting he hopes to work at Tesla or Google in the future. “I need business acumen for that.”

Instead of choosing between computer science and business when he was transferring to UBC, the 21-year-old did both at the same time, as a double-major.

He faces a difficult journey to graduation with limited time for a social life, but Abdul wouldn’t have it any other way.

“I’m having to sacrifice a little bit of everything, but I love it. If something is not intense and it’s not challenging me, it’s not motivating. The ‘easier’ path would be harder for me,” he said.

What pushes him as he juggles two majors is his love of technology. Even when he was younger, Abdul knew that his future would include a job in the ever-growing industry.

“I’ve always had a closer relationship with technology than I did with anything else,” he said. “Some people were really into sports, and others were into music, but for me it was technology – the computer and video games.”

Once Abdul graduates from UBC, the next step is to participate in a co-op or internship, preferably at a Vancouver start-up, where he will be able to gain valuable experience from the ground up before pursuing a career with one of Silicon Valley’s tech giants until he branches out on his own.

“My main goal is to be at a place where we’re pushing the boundaries of technology – essentially creating the future – and then I want to take it into my own hands,” he said. Read more...

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Douglas College Poem of the Month: January 2016

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 "Colourant" by Owen Kato.

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.

Earn while you learn at Douglas College with SEC and Co-op

Whether you’re looking to find work while you’re going to school or searching for a job related to your studies after you graduate, Douglas College has the resources you need.

Both the Student Employment Centre and Co-operative Education help students earn while they learn by placing student with job opportunities that can lead to careers related to their studies, including Douglas alum Iain McHugh, who received a permanent position with the Vancouver Whitecaps following his Co-op with the organization.

Co-operative Education (Co-op) combines academic studies with related work experience. After completing the first half of a diploma, degree or university transfer program, eligible Co-op students alternate semesters of classroom studies with semesters of paid, full-time employment.

The Co-ops provide students with the opportunity to network and make connections with members in their field of interest, opening the doors for future work. For more information, attend one of Co-ops information sessions this month.

The Student Employment Centre provides a wealth of resources for current students and alumni who are searching for work experience or to volunteer.

The Centre, which was established two years ago, is the on-campus office for any job-search related needs for students, including those who have graduated and are looking to transition into a career focusing on their area of study, or those who need part-time work while they’re going through school.

With offices at both campus, as well as online resources, SEC provides assistance with resumes, cover letters, interview preparation and job-search techniques.

One of the SEC’s most-popular resources is the online job board, which allows employers to connect with students for free. Positions vary from paid full-time and part-time, to seasonal, volunteer and temporary.

SEC offers dedicated drop-in hours, weekly workshops and online services, including webinars. This year, as a collaborated effort with Co-op, SEC and Alumni and Student Relations Co-ordinator, Andrew Senjack, the College will also bring employer-related events to campus – including the much-anticipated Career Exploration Fair slated for March, Monthly Employer Panels, and a new-initiative that allows employers to set up a table on campus for recruitment purposes.

For more information about Co-op, contact Lianne Johnston at 604 527 5769 and for information on SEC, contact Barb Kojder at 604 527 5890.


Tuesday, January 5, 2016

Douglas College student sets sights on space

David Denofreo photo

Julian Jones has his career goals set high.

Sky high, in fact.

The 20-year-old Douglas College student - who plans to become an engineer - hopes to pursue a career in aeronautics with NASA or Space-X.

“It seems like a stretch, but it’s not,” Jones said, noting engineering grads from Canadian institutions are in demand throughout North America. “I don’t know if I would be able to be an astronaut, but to be able to contribute as an engineer to NASA would be a big thing in my life.”
Starting as a Philosophy major, Jones thought his abilities would be best suited for a career in law, so he later moved into the Legal Studies program, but realized it wasn't the path for him.

“I wanted to focus on helping people,” Jones said. “I have always been good at math and science, so I decided to make my focus on those subjects, so I switched to engineering.

“Philosophy really gave the foundation I needed for engineering. It gave me meaning and purpose for my life and it drew me towards thinking about the right things and thinking about things in a logical structure.”

Jones, who moonlights as a DJ in Maple Ridge and Coquitlam, notes that engineering satisfies both his artistic and creative side, as well as his analytical. And because of his interest in philosophy, Jones feels more prepared to work as an engineer because he can better understand the needs of the people he is working with.

“Those who study humanities learn what the problems of societies are, and then engineers find out how to solve the problems – but there is a huge disconnect there,” Jones said. “A lot of engineers can benefit from an arts education, like I did. It was a nice progression, and I wouldn't change it.”

The freedom to find his passion while taking courses was a huge benefit for Jones, who appreciates the flexibility Douglas offers.

“It was good I came here. It’s hands on and it’s not destroying my bank account,” Jones said. “If I went to SFU, I would have stayed in legal studies, but with Douglas I felt like I could make the switch.”

Once Jones completes his education at Douglas, he plans to transfer to either UBC or SFU to complete his engineering degree.

Douglas College offers an Engineering Essentials Diploma and Engineering Foundations Certificate.

To find out more, attend an info session.

Monday, January 4, 2016

Safer Walk program available at Douglas College New Westminster campus

Want some friendly company when walking at night from campus?

Douglas College offers a Safer Walk program for students and employees heading to the New Westminster SkyTrain station.

Safer Walk trips are available Monday to Friday and will depart every 30 minutes, from 7 to 11pm. These trips will depart from the New Westminster campus’ main concourse, level 2, near the West entrance of the campus. 

In addition to the Safer Walk program, both the Coquitlam and New Westminster campuses provide escorts to the parkade at any time during campus hours.

Escorted trips at the Coquitlam campus will depart from the Security Kiosk located in the main floor atrium and escorts at the New Westminster campus will depart at the same location as Safer Walk trips.

For more information, please contact the New Westminster Security Kiosk at 604 527 5405 (non-emergency), the Coquitlam Security Kiosk at 604 777 6254 or the Director of Safety, Security and Risk Management at 604 527 5828.