Friday, June 16, 2017

Last chance to help shape Douglas’s technology future June 20-23

Blogs, social media, cloud-based infrastructure, or collaborative online software; how should Douglas College use technology in the future?

Douglas wants to enhance the student and employee technology experience at the College, both inside and outside the classroom. But, we can't do this without your involvement.

Drop by one of the Technology Future open houses at either campus to share your thoughts. This is your last chance to shape the way technology will be used at Douglas in the future.

New Westminster

When: June 20-22 (Tues-Thurs)
Where: Fishbowl, in the concourse
Time: 10am-2pm


When: June 23 (Fri)
Where: Atrium, A/B Building
Time: 10am-2pm

All information provided will remain anonymous and be used to inform a comprehensive technology strategy that aligns with and supports the successful execution of the College's Strategic Plan 2015-2020 and beyond. Read more...

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

A change in perspective: Nursing grad chronicles her journey from caregiver to patient

You can make it through hell and back. And Meagan Doumont is living proof.

The Douglas College Nursing grad has survived two devastating incidents that hit her back-to-back in a few short weeks, but she’s not giving up on her dream to help others.

On Aug. 3, one day after passing the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX), the self-described go-getter was involved in a collision with a semi-truck that drove her off the road and landed her in the hospital. The accident forced the neonatal nurse to take a month off from her dream job at B.C. Women’s Hospital to recover, both physically and mentally.

“I was four days into working by myself in NICU and then I wasn’t able to work. I couldn’t even dress myself, I was in so much pain,” Doumont said.

During that time off, the 30-year-old received a call that a long-awaited MRI to investigate hearing loss in one ear was to be scheduled. The hearing loss had been persisting for one year, but Doumont was positive nothing would come of it. She was a nurse, after all. Being a patient, she said, felt foreign to her.

“When the MRI was complete, the lady working was white as a ghost. In that moment, I knew that she saw something. I got in my car and cried the whole way home,” Doumont recalled. “Then I received the call asking me to come in and see the doctor immediately, and I just started freaking out. I knew it wasn’t good.”

On Sept. 8, 2016, at 10:15am, Doumont was told that she had a non-malignant, slow-growing brain tumour that was the size of a golf ball.

“I was basically in shock for three weeks. But I ended up having to go back to work two days after being diagnosed and I was in a weird spot. It wasn’t safe for me to be there. So, for the first time in my life, I was forced to slow down and take medical leave,” she said.

After learning her tumour was just slightly too large for radiation by a mere two percent, Doumont again steeled herself for another hurdle: a sub-occipital craniotomy at Vancouver General Hospital. With only one set of doctors in the entire province available to do the surgery, Doumont was told it would take six weeks before she would see a specialist, and another two for the neurosurgeon.

“There is nothing worse than being told you have a brain tumor and having to wait to talk to the person who is going to fix it. I literally thought I was going insane,” Doumont recalled. “A single day did not go by without an outburst of tears.”

As a way to cope with all that was going on, Doumont turned to writing. She created a blog, where she chronicled each step of her road to surgery and recovery.

The blog was not only a way to help her navigate the changes that were unfolding her life, but a way to reach out to others going through similar experiences.

“I still had this need to help others. And since I couldn’t do that physically, this was the way I was going to do it,” she said.

Everything that Doumont thought of – whether it was the fear or losing her ability to smile due to facial paralysis after surgery to the anger of being knocked off the path that she had worked so hard to get to – is chronicled in the blog.

And then finally, the day came.

On Feb. 14, Doumont underwent her surgery. The 10-hour-long procedure removed the tumour from her brain, but left her with some new obstacles – hearing loss in one ear and balance issues.

“Let me tell you, you do not realize the importance of your vestibular system until you don’t have it any more,” Doumont writes in her blog.

And, if this experience has proven anything, it’s that nothing can keep Doumont down. In fact, she is already looking forward to a speaking engagement at Douglas College. Invited by one of her BSN instructors, Doumont will talk about her journey firsthand on Nov. 27.

“If you are going through hell, keep going. Even if all you do today is breathe, tomorrow is another day that will be closer to the end of your storm. Be gentle with yourself and accept the help that is offered,” Doumont said.


Thursday, June 1, 2017

A decade of leadership: Student Ambassadors celebrate 10-year milestone

This year, the Douglas College Student Ambassadors mark a milestone with their 10-year anniversary.
Though it may be the largest and longest-running student-leadership program at Douglas, the program had humble beginnings. What started with 12 students who volunteered to assist with graduation in 2007 turned into a thriving group that now boasts 500 alumni. To mark the anniversary, Douglas College is highlighting five notable alums, including Associate of Science Degree grad Divya Krishnan, who is currently studying to become a medical doctor.

1. What drew you to join the Student Ambassadors program?
I was first introduced to the Ambassadors Program by the Office for New Students (ONS) staff and the Student Ambassadors (SAs) themselves because I interviewed and was accepted for a position as Orientation Leader. During Orientation Week, I met volunteers who were Student Ambassadors and many of them mentioned that I should join. I haven't looked back since. I became very active, not only because I wanted to get volunteer hours, but more so because I wanted to have fun and learn lots from a diverse group of people from many different disciplines on campus.

2. What was your first experience with the ambassadors like? Do you have a story about your first experience with them?
To be completely honest, I cannot pinpoint my first experience. All I can recall is that everyone was so willing to introduce themselves and get to know me. When I wasn’t visiting the office on breaks, I would be running errands or making preparations for our upcoming events to ensure good turnout and good organization. I was very passionate about the program and dedicated every bit of my extra time towards it by attending every single event that did not clash with my classes.

3. What did you gain from being a Student Ambassador?
The Student Ambassadors Program allowed me explore and understand my own personality, including my strengths and weaknesses, as well as those of the people around me in order to best accommodate everyone. This is something that I believe should be a part of every workplace as it ensures the harmony of the team as they are all willing to adapt to the needs of their colleagues. Furthermore, the SA program helped me cultivate my communication, interpersonal, leadership and public speaking skills. These are skills that have helped me throughout my time after Douglas College, from transferring to the University of British Columbia (UBC) to moving to St. Kitts for my medical education. Read more...

Thursday, May 25, 2017

Need help? Find support with Douglas College Counselling Services.

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, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday from 8:30am-4:30pm

Coquitlam Campus, room A1050
604 777 6185 TTY: 604 777 6179
Open Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday from 8:30am-4:30pm

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


Seven things you need to know about CEIT services

As a Douglas College student, you have access to a variety of services to help you thrive. Some of them are the IT services provided by the Centre for Educational and Information Technology (CEIT). Take a look at what you need to know to start your semester with confidence.

1. Student ID card: You’ll need yours to pick up library materials and access our campuses outside regular hours. Also, when taking transit, you must carry your student ID card with your U-Pass BC on Compass Card. If you don’t provide both when asked, you might get a fine and your Compass Card could be confiscated. Check when and where to get your student ID.

2. College Network Access: To log in to the College computers, Wi-Fi and other network-related services, use your CNA username — your 9-digit student number — and password — by default, your 6-digit birthdate (DDMMYY). For the Wi-Fi, connect to the Douglas College Internal network.
NOTE: For security, change your default password on the first login.

3. Email registration for password reset: Register your personal email address (not your College email address) at If you ever forget your CNA password and use the Self-Service Password Reset, a code will be sent to this address to verify your identity and allow you to create a new password.

4. Office 365: This Canadian cloud service gives to all registered students free access to Word, Excel, PowerPoint, 1 Terabyte of OneDrive space and a new College email address. Use this email address and your CNA password to log in. The exact address is sent to the personal email you provided to Douglas. Check more information and the FAQs.

5. myAccount and Blackboard: myAccount provides useful information such as course registration, waitlists and tuition fees. Blackboard gives students taking online or hybrid courses access to materials uploaded by instructors — become familiar with the Student Resources section.
NOTE: For access from, hover over the Login drop-down menu at the top and click your option. Your myAccount credentials are your 9-digit student number and 6-digit birthdate. Blackboard requires the same credentials used for myAccount. Remember this after changing the default myAccount PIN.

6. CEIT Support: Our Service Counters provide student ID cards, and assistance with password/PIN resets, login issues and wireless connectivity. If you have difficulty with College-owned technology, you can also contact the Help Desk.

7. Printing: Every semester you may print up to 300 pages for free from any machine (libraries, computer labs or the New West glassed-in area in the concourse). For extra copies, use the PayPrint stations at both campus libraries, room N6212 (New West) and room A2270 (Coquitlam). Your quota is reset to 300 pages at the beginning of each semester. Considering the environment, print only what’s necessary.

For complete information about our IT services, check GET IT – IT Services for Students. Read more...

Get help from fellow students at the 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 at 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 Learning Centre.

The Learning Centre is open during the following hours for the Summer 2017 semester, starting May 8.

New Westminster Room 2105, in the Library
Mon-Fri: 9:30am-4:30pm

Coquitlam Room A1040, beside the Atrium
Mon-Thurs: 10:30am-4:30pm

Computer Skills Desk (at New Westminster only; hours are subject to change) Mon-Fri: 10:30am-3:30pm Read more...

Safer Walk program available at Douglas College campuses

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 and the Lafarge Lake-Douglas Station.

Safer Walk trips are available by request Monday to Friday, from 7 to 11pm. These trips will depart from the New Westminster Security Kiosks located in the Concourse. At the Coquitlam Campus, Safer Walk trips will also depart from the Security Kiosk located in the main floor atrium, building A/B.

In addition to the Safer Walk program, at both the Coquitlam and New Westminster campuses, security provides escorts to the parkades and surface parking lots at any time during campus hours.

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.


Get involved and have fun outside of class with Student Life

Discover the other half of the college experience!

Head to the 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.

Douglas College Student Leadership and Peer Programs, as well as Student Union Clubs are a great way to get involved and include 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.


A decade of leadership: Student Ambassadors celebrate 10-year milestone

This year, the Douglas College Student Ambassadors mark a milestone with their 10-year anniversary.
Though it may be the largest and longest-running student-leadership program at Douglas, the program had humble beginnings. What started with 12 students who volunteered to assist with graduation in 2007 turned into a thriving group that now boasts 500 alumni. To mark the anniversary, Douglas College is highlighting five notable alums, including Commerce and Business Administration Diploma grad Kim Banh, who is currently a senior financial planner with Scotiabank.

What drew you to the Student Ambassador program?
My experience with the Student Ambassador program started after my first semester. As a new student, I was bored just going to class and going home right after. I wanted to meet new people and make new friends. I also wanted to gain new skills and experiences that I could bring to the workplace when I graduated.

What was your first experience with the ambassadors like?
My first major experience with the program started with New Student Orientation. I volunteered as an orientation leader. I didn't attend New Student Orientation as a student but working as an orientation leader showed me how instrumental it was in getting integrated into college life.

What did you gain from being an Ambassador?
I started off as a volunteer and became a student assistant for the Office of New Students after a couple semesters. I learned a lot in that position, from how to run workshops to presenting in front of a crowd of 150 new students. I was able to really move outside my comfort zone. All of these experiences helped me in the classroom and now in the workplace.


Friday, May 19, 2017

A decade of leadership: Student Ambassadors celebrate 10-year milestone

This year, the Douglas College Student Ambassadors mark a milestone with their 10-year anniversary.
Though it may be the largest and longest-running student-leadership program at Douglas, the program had humble beginnings. What started with 12 students who volunteered to assist with graduation in 2007 turned into a thriving group that now boasts 500 alumni. To mark the anniversary, Douglas College is highlighting five notable alums, including Music Diploma grad Jay Schreiber, who is currently working as an account executive for Steel and Oak Brewing Company.

What drew you to the Student Ambassador program?

Being a Student Ambassador was an opportunity to get involved at the College beyond sitting in class and taking notes. It was a great chance for meeting and interacting with students of other disciplines and networking in the broader community at Douglas. Post-secondary is where you transition into being an adult, and the Ambassador program helps instill confidence and leadership in students.

What was your first experience with the ambassadors like?
The experience that really stands out is getting to know other people on a more personal level, rather than just as classmates. I learned how to create friendships and foster relationships, which have made me successful in my professional life after school. This skill was most helpful for when I transferred out of Douglas to university and needed to start over meeting new people. The best stories I have are from New Student Orientation, where we got to see students really connect and engage with the College.

What did you gain from being an Ambassador?
Being an ambassador helped me gain confidence and leadership skills that I have applied to every other aspect of my life. To know how to take control of situations and not be a passenger in adulthood is a key element to the post-secondary experience. I would encourage every student to leave their comfort zone at some time in their college career in order to truly discover who they are as people and the skills and talents they can contribute to their community.


Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Get where you need to go with Zipcar at Douglas College

Car-sharing service Zipcar is now another option to get around at Douglas College’s New Westminster Campus.

Zipcars can be conveniently picked up and dropped off at the College. Vehicles can be taken out by the hour or day, and gas and insurance is included. The service provides another transportation option to students, staff and faculty to travel around the campus or community with ease.

To get started, apply online. Once you’ve been approved, you will be sent a Zipcard to access vehicles at Douglas and worldwide. Cars can be booked online and unlocked with your Zipcard.

Find out what vehicles are available and pricing here. Read more...

Monday, May 15, 2017

Poem of the Month: May 2017

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

Click on the image to the right to see an enlarged version of this month’s poster, featuring "These Words" by Kelsey Reid.

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. Read more...

Thursday, May 11, 2017

A decade of leadership: Student Ambassadors celebrate 10-year milestone

David Denofreo photo
This year, the Douglas College Student Ambassadors mark a milestone with their 10-year anniversary.
Though it may be the largest and longest-running student-leadership program at Douglas, the program had humble beginnings. What started with 12 students who volunteered to assist with graduation in 2007 turned into a thriving group that now boasts 500 alumni.
To mark the anniversary, Douglas College is highlighting five notable alums. First up is Iloradanon Efimoff, Bachelor of Arts in Applied Psychology grad. Efimoff is currently attending the University of Saskatchewan where she is completing her Masters in Psychology.

What drew you to the Student Ambassador program?
I initially joined the student ambassadors to get some volunteer experience on my resumé.

What was your first experience with the ambassadors like?
My first experience was the pre-semester phone calling to prospective students. This definitely pushed me out of my comfort zone, as I used to be quite shy. After a couple hours of calling people, my conversations went from scripted and hedging to informational and humorous. I gained so much from so little time – it was my first session and I was already gaining skills! It felt like one of those bogus miracle cure commercials – results were immediate.

What did you gain from being an Ambassador?
As mentioned above, I started the program quite shy. I remember turning bright red in the face every time a professor would ask me a question, an unfortunate reaction carried over from high school. I was uncomfortable with public speaking; I stuttered, spoke too fast, went red and shook all over. After four years in the program, I was very comfortable in front of a crowd. I was even comfortable in my last year presenting to a room of more than 100 students, with only an hour or so to prepare.

Most importantly, I created several long-lasting relationships from the program, including several diverse friendships. I have used these connections and the network built through the Student Ambassador program to get me places. For example, staff at The Office for New Students have consistently provided me with references that have gotten me jobs, which gave me the experiences I needed to get into graduate school, in my program of choice, with full funding. I won't oversell and say the Student Ambassador program is what got me into graduate school directly, but it was definitely a big part of me building the skills I needed to get accepted and to thrive in my program.


Thursday, May 4, 2017

Want to work in the music biz? Here are five reasons Douglas should be your starting point.

1. Find your crew. Connections are important in any industry. Make friends, network or just jam out with fellow music-loving students. Who knows? You may find your future bandmates in one of your classes.

2. Get schooled. You have the passion, all you need is the training. From the fundamentals of music to professional training, explore your passion for music with help from the pros. It doesn’t hurt that many of our programs easily transfer to university.

3. Broaden your horizons. You’re trained in piano, but have always loved the look of a saxophone. Why limit yourself? Experiment and expand your skill set with music electives.

4. Get creative. Build a portfolio with original work you have produced, written or performed. With cutting-edge facilities at your fingertips, you’ll be making the next chart-topper in no time.

5. A star is born. You’ve got the skills. You have created original work. Now you have to share it with the world (how else are you going to become famous, after all?) Get on stage and share your talent with one of our amazing performing groups, at concerts or at shows hosted by our community partners. Read more...

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Elevator repairs to boost level of service at New Westminster Campus

Douglas College is raising the level of service for visitors, staff and students with upgrades to one of the New Westminster parkade elevator.

As of May 1, the parkade elevator located on the south side of the College will be out of service as it undergoes a major replacement, including an upgrade from hydraulic to a traction-cable lift system that will improve reliability and speed. The project is slated for completion on Sept. 18.

Noisy work will be completed during afterhours and some minor noises, such as drilling, might be heard during the day.

For elevator access from the parkade while repairs are underway, park on Level P1 and use the North Elevator (access from P1 to level 4) or the 0600 elevator (access from P1 to level 1). All stairs will be open for use during this project.

Additional accessible parking stalls will be added on P1.

Douglas College apologizes for any inconvenience and appreciates your patience during this project.

Project schedule

May 1-14: Removal of existing elevators

May 1-July 15: Hoarding installation and elevator shaft changes

July 16-Sept. 15:
New elevator installation

Sept. 18: Approximate completion date

Monday, April 24, 2017

Build your career: April 2017

Student success story 

“My health-care career in corrections started with the decision to return to classes at Douglas College as an older student. From the first class I enrolled in upon my return, every instructor I came across was supportive and encouraging. I graduated with a Certificate in Criminal Justice Studies and then a Diploma in Criminology in 2014.  Upon my graduation, I began working with the Student Employment Centre. They met with me and listened to what my career goals were. Each time I came across a position that interested me I was able to call or email them and ask questions about to expect when applying. They provided me with guidance that led to confidence and proper preparation at each stage. Finally, in December 2016, the perfect position came along that combined my passion for working in corrections with my love of working in health care.  I immediately contacted the Student Employment Centre and they helped me prep a cover letter and resumé that led to me getting an interview. After a very long and agonizing process of security clearances and safety training, I am now doing what I love.”

- Toby Stoeff, Criminology Diploma 2014

What’s new

The past three months have been exceptionally busy for the Student Employment Centre (SEC) and Co-operative Education. Here’s the overview:

• Seven on-campus employer-related events hosted on campus
• More than 1,200 paid and volunteer opportunities were added to the SEC job board
• 230 employers registered to use the job board
• 160 new students registered to access the job board and other SEC services
• 90 new co-op work-term opportunities were added to the Co-op job board

April’s hot job

Shaw Communications is hiring. There are many full-time and part-time positions available – perfect opportunities for Douglas students and grads!

Check here for details on the following available positions:

• Customer Service Rep, e-Care and Technical Support Rep, e-Care (Online Chat Department)
• Customer Solutions Expert, Outbound Call Centre
• Technical Support Rep, Inbound Call Centre

Questions? Contact Barb at

April events

Job Club – Every Tuesday - Exchange ideas and tips while crafting your resume and cover letter with fellow students at the Job Club from 12-2pm at the New Westminster Campus, room 2844.

Mentoring opportunities 

Access: Student Career Development Program (Burnaby Board of Trade)
This is a unique career development program that provides graduating students with the connections and tools they need to compete in the job market. The program is a year-long dynamic program that is flexible to meet the demands of a busy student schedule. To register for the program or for more information, click here.

Leaders of Tomorrow Mentorship Program (Vancouver Board of Trade)
The Leaders of Tomorrow (LOT) is a mentorship program that connects top post-secondary students with leading industry professionals. Launched in 1999, LOT is recognized as the premier mentorship program in British Columbia. Candidates go through a competitive and rigorous selection process to experience a year of accelerated professional and personal growth. To register for the program or for more information, click here.

Stay in the loop 

Register with the Student Employment Centre now [] and be the first to know when employers are coming to campus, or to receive job alerts for off-campus work opportunities posted on our job board.

Join us for a noon-hour workshop. Workshops are at both campuses and there’s a new topic each day:

Monday - Resumé writing
Tuesday - Cover letter preparation
Wednesday - Interviewing skills
Thursday – Job search strategies


Thursday, April 20, 2017

Douglas College to host hip-hop dance competition on May 5

David Denofreo photo 

Whether you love to pop, lock or break, Douglas College is the place to be May 5.

The New Westminster Campus’ gymnasium will be transformed into a hip-hop hot spot for the fifth-annual Redemption Hip-Hop Dance Competition.

Founded by Douglas College student Morgan Wilson, the annual competition will feature dancers of all genres battling it out for glory and prizes.

Looking back at how he first discovered his love for dance – and what spurred him into organizing the competition - Wilson notes it was all a matter of chance.

If he hadn’t been at his aunt’s house on the particular day that an episode of the television dance competition So You Think You Can Dance aired, she would never have showed him the routine of one contestant – Mr. Fantastic – and he may not have felt that initial spark that has led to a years-long passion.

“I think about that a lot,” Wilson said. “It was like a series of dominoes falling into place.”

Since that day, dancing has become a prevalent part of Wilson’s identity. After joining his high school’s dance team, he knew he wanted to take it to the next level with a competition. The end result was the Redemption Hip-Hop Competition.

This year, Wilson partnered with Douglas College to host the event and draw an even larger crowd.

“When I came to Douglas, I knew I should bring the event here. It perfectly vibes with Douglas’s fun and inclusive atmosphere,” Wilson said. “I think people will be surprised. They may think of it as a typical dance event or recital, but it’s more than that. Everyone is hype, everyone is socializing - which we really encourage.

“There is a competitive edge, but it’s all in fun.”

The one-day event will feature performances by Dj Firespin, Raw Robots and Wreckage Fam. Local high school teams will also perform a variety of dance styles, including hip hop, popping, locking, break dancing, waacking, new jack, as well as contemporary and experimental pieces.

Prizes will consist of trophies and medals.

Tickets at the door: $10 general, $5 Douglas College students

For more information, visit


Thursday, April 6, 2017

Poem of the Month: April 2017

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 "Antique Piano" by Vera Tsang.

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 Read more...

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Douglas College Poem of the Month: March 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

Click on the image to the right to see an enlarged version of this month’s poster, featuring "Fabricated Girl" by Marcelle Warren.

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. Read more...

Business plan propels Douglas students to final round of provincial competition

A team of Douglas College business students put their skills to the test, making it to the final round the Chartered Professional Accountants of BC’s (CPABC) annual Business Case Competition.

The province-wide competition sees more than 25 teams, made up of post-secondary students, create a business plan in a limited amount of time.

As part of the first round, the teams received a business case and, within 48 hours, submitted a video with their recommendations on how the business could re-open and make a profit. Eight teams were chosen to advance to the final round – including the Douglas College team, consisting of Thomas den Hartog (Bachelor of Business Administration – Accounting), Monica Tomas (Business Management Diploma) and Shirin Rashidi (Accounting Post-Baccalaureate Degree).

“It was interesting to see the different approaches to the same problem and how important it is to think out of the box,” Rashidi said. “The support and encouragement we received from our coaches (Douglas College instructors) Robin Sandhawalia and Shirley Mauger was amazing.”

Once they had advanced to the final round, the teams had just three hours to solve a case and 15 minutes to present their recommendations to the panel of CPA judges. While they did not win the competition, the experience allowed them to network with students from other post-secondary institutions and professionals in their field of interest.

“I loved the experience. It tested our analytical and critical thinking, as well as organizational skills and our ability to work as a team under pressure,” said den Hartog. Read more...

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

myDouglas to be deactivated at the end of April

Douglas College will be deactivating the myDouglas portal at the end of April, completing the switch to Office 365.

As part of this process, any emails remaining in your myDouglas account will be automatically deleted and will not be automatically transferred to your new Office 365 email account. If you would like to keep any of your myDouglas emails, you will need to transfer them to your Office 365 or another email account.

All Douglas College students will receive an email account to replace the myDouglas email services through the free Office 365 package, which allows you to use Office applications in the Canadian cloud (or in your devices, if you prefer to download them).

Access to your Office 365 account is available now. It’s in this account that you’ll receive all the College official communications and Blackboard messages.

For more information about Office 365, visit If you have questions about myDouglas email services, please contact the CEIT Help Desk at or 604 527 5330. Read more...

Thursday, March 9, 2017

Business Management student ready to put her (beauty) mark on the business world

David Denofreo photo

It took a lot of time for Falon Bottley to embrace her natural hair.

The Douglas College Business Management Diploma student, who is of African-American and Fijian descent, had spent most of her life using chemicals to colour and tame her natural curls for a sleeker look.

“That kind of curly hair wasn’t something I saw on other people when I was younger. It was poufy and difficult to deal with. I started chemically processing my hair so it would be straight like everyone else’s because, of course, we all want to fit in,” Bottley said.

Then, in Grade 12, Bottley had an epiphany of sorts. After a friend suggested she go back to her natural hue and texture, she did some soul searching.

“After all the colouring and the styling, my hair still wasn’t like everyone else’s. And I just reached that point where I stopped caring so much about other people’s opinions. So I started my transition to natural – and that’s when I fell in love with my hair again,” Bottley said.

Bottley’s experience as a woman of colour, and the pressure to conform to society’s perceptions of beauty, made her realize there was a huge gap in the market for products designed for natural hair. She applied at Douglas to help her turn that concept into reality.

“I’ve always loved hair and makeup,” Bottley said. “I wanted to find a way to use my strengths and personal experience to work with something I’m passionate about. So I thought it would be a good start to look at hair and makeup for women of colour from a business perspective.

“I would be able to combine business with creativity.”

Once she was at Douglas, Bottley received valuable advice from her accounting instructor, Robin Sandhawalia, who explained the importance of finding a career path that strikes a balance between making money and being happy.

“That cemented it for me. I want to do more than just earn a paycheque. I want to make a difference,” she said.

Once she graduates with her diploma, Bottley plans to delve right into the beauty business to gain work experience and lay the groundwork to build her own brand.

“I want to educate people on hair and beauty for women of colour and would love to start my own company that focuses on that niche market. That is a goal of mine. I can see there is a demand for it in the Lower Mainland, whether it’s access to products or access to knowledge,” she said. Read more...

Friday, March 3, 2017

Input requested for Douglas College sexual violence and misconduct policy

The province has tasked all B.C. post-secondary schools to develop policies that directly address sexual violence and sexual misconduct.

Douglas College continues to be committed to providing a learning and working environment free from disruptive and violent behaviours, including sexual violence and sexual misconduct. This includes the many support services and resources currently available to those directly, or indirectly, affected by sexual violence. Students can access these through Student Services and employees can access them through DC Connect.

The Sexual Violence and Misconduct Prevention and Response Policy working group - composed of representatives from the College’s unions, administration, faculty, staff and students - has been working hard over the last seven months to develop a policy for our College community.

The new policy addresses the prevention of sexual violence and sexual misconduct in the College environment, as well as responses of members of the College community to disclosures and reports of sexual violence and sexual misconduct.

A draft of the policy is now available and your input and feedback is requested and valued. All members of the Douglas College community are encouraged to review the draft policy by March 29, 2017.

Once input is reviewed and incorporated, the policy will go to the College’s leadership team for endorsement, then to the College Board for approval before May this year.

Read draft policy now.

Provide input now.

Thursday, March 2, 2017

Royals soccer star and Sport Science student charts dual career paths

David Denofreo photo

Race Williams can still recall the day his soccer career began.

The then-10-year-old had been playing with his classmates before coming home and telling his dad he wanted to join a team.

“It was a Tuesday. I told my dad, and he said ‘get in the truck,’ and we drove around the city and saw a team playing. My dad got out of the car and asked if I could join the team,” Williams said. “That’s how it all started.”

Flash-forward 11 years, and the Douglas College Sport Science Diploma student and has played as a striker for professional teams in Italy, Spain and England, and wants to go pro. He balances that out with a plan to become a physiotherapist once he’s done being the next Lionel Messi.

Williams – who received the Royals Men’s Soccer Athletic Award of Distinction in 2016 - says that even if he can’t play, he still wants to be part of the team - as a physiotherapist.

“Throughout my sports career, I’ve had a lot of injuries. So I know what it’s like to want to get back on the field and get back to doing what you love. And if I can do that for others, and get them where they need to be as soon as possible, that would be great.”

Academics haven’t always been as enjoyable as sports for Williams. In high school, his laser focus on the Beautiful Game resulted in poor grades. But with a push from his grandmother – and a little self-discipline – he said he’s able to balance the two out now.

“I think Douglas was the right step for me. The class sizes at SFU and UBC would have been too much for me straight out of high school,” he said.

After he completes his Sport Science Diploma, Williams aims to transfer to UBC and complete his bachelor’s degree in kinesiology, and then a master's degree in physical therapy. That is, unless his dream of playing for Barcelona don’t come true first. Read more...

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Get ready and get hired: tips and tricks for the Douglas College Career Fair

The upcoming Career Fair - running Feb. 28, March 2 and March 7 - is an incredible opportunity to meet and network with more than 30 regional and national employers - employers who specifically want to hire Douglas students and alumni.

The question is... Are you ready?

Put your best foot forward with tips and pointers from some of the employers attending the fair.

1. Have a great cover letter and resumé on hand. And follow up!

"Use a template for your cover letter that can be adapted depending on the requirements of the position. Take the chance to prove that you meet the requirements listed in the job posting. If the job requires a driver's license, mention in your cover letter that you have one. Also, follow up after sending in your resumé, but not to the point where you're annoying the hiring manager."

-Katelin Dueck, Employment Coordinator, Canadian Council on Rehabilitation and Work

2. Do your research and be open minded.

"Consider job searching in other sectors and industries. Most people assume that school districts only need teachers. School districts hire a wide variety of staff, such as education assistants, information technologists, engineers, administrative clerks, accountants, payroll officers, human resources staff and occupational therapists."

-Andrew Jang, Business Development and Marketing Consultant with Make a Future

"From our experience, the people who stand out at career fairs are the ones who dress professionally and ones who researched the companies ahead of time and ask meaningful questions."

-Jessica Brandreth, Talent Acquisition Advisor, Western Region with Yellow Pages.

3. Put your best foot forward.

"We love to meet individuals with a great attitude who enjoy speaking to new people. We're also looking for students who are competitive and goal oriented for our positions."

-Victoria Ross, Administration and Human Resources Manager with Canadian Property Stars  

"One big thing we look for from applicants is punctual and accurate information when we need it. The application process takes a longer amount of time than we would prefer as it is, but if we require addition references or clarified address history in order to process a security clearance, the entire process is put on hold waiting for this info to get to us.

-Sgt. Pat Madderom, Recruiter, 39 Canadian Brigade Group Headquarters

Need some help getting ready? Contact the Student Employment Centre at 604 527 5889 or email

The three-day Career Fair kicks off Feb. 28, 10am-3pm at the Coquitlam Campus and will run March 2 and March 7, 10am-3pm at the New Westminster Campus. 


Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Nominations sought for Douglas College Education Council and College Board.

Nominations are now being sought for candidates to fill student representative positions on the College Board and Education Council.

The positions - two on the board and four on the council - each have a one-year term, starting Sept. 1, 2017 and ending Aug. 31, 2018.

The nomination period closes Wednesday, Feb. 27, 2017 at 4pm.

The role of the Douglas College Board is to act on behalf of the public and oversee the affairs - including property, revenue and expenditures - of the College. The Board meets seven times annually, and holds a strategic/educational retreat each year.

The Education Council at Douglas College is responsible for developing policies that reflect the Educational Council mandate in the College and Institute Act.

Information about the elections, as well as nomination forms, can be found at the Registrar's office at both campuses, the Douglas Students’ Union Offices and at the Douglas College elections website here and here. Read more...

Two wrongs make a right for University Transfer Business student

David Denofreo photo

If anyone can attest to the difficulties in finding the right career path, it’s Searaj Alam.

The 23-year-old Douglas College University Transfer student – who is now studying Business Technology Management at UBC – started off his post-secondary education with a sudden change in course.

“I missed the SFU acceptance by one percent, and they wouldn’t round me up, so I enrolled at Douglas College, with plans to transfer as soon as I could,” he said.

Instead, Alam ended up spending three and a half years at Douglas, starting off studying science, then engineering, and finally, business.

“My first semester at Douglas was the most challenging. I failed my first Chemistry course, got a P in English Literature, and was in complete shock. I realized that post-secondary is not high school; it’s a demanding, fast-paced environment that requires focus and dedication,” Alam said.

So he took action. Alam worked with academic advisor and instructors to improve his grades and adjust to college. And his hard work paid off – by the end of his second semester, Alam’s grades had improved significantly.

“After that first semester, I was glad I wasn’t accepted to SFU. It would have cost me a lot more to learn from my mistakes there. Douglas allowed me to get my bearings, make my mistakes and work to better myself,” Alam said. “I’ve recommend to all my friends to start at Douglas.”

His experience also encouraged him to get more involved in the College – specifically the Douglas College Business Association.
“Most of my friends were in business, so I naturally ended up at the DCBA events, where I got to listen to so many inspiring speakers who shared their personal success stories,” he said.

The more events he attended, the more Alam realized he wanted to pursue business. But after already having switched from science to engineering, he was reluctant to make yet another change.

“It was a really difficult decision to walk away from engineering. I had spent thousands of dollars and, more importantly, valuable time and energy, on my studies. Not to mention, I had to explain to family and friends that my graduation time would be significantly delayed,” he said.

Nonetheless, Alam enrolled in his first business course. He loved it, and decided to make the switch. Originally, Alam was enrolled in the Associate of Science program. When he switched, he completed all the first- and second-year business courses at Douglas that would allow him to transfer into his third year at UBC. When he wasn’t studying, he researched career options, and hit on one that would allow him to mesh technology and business: business technology management.

His idea of bringing the tech and business worlds together was something Alam had been mulling over since his switch to business.

“I want to bring people together and make them more effective in their work. With all the advancements in technology and numerous startups opening up in Vancouver alone, I think there’s a need for someone to bridge the gap between tech-savvy individuals and business professionals,” he said.

Now, all that’s left is to graduate from UBC. Once that’s done, Alam will work on his immediate career goals: launching his business, and making the Forbes 30 Under 30.

“I have a lot of learning ahead of me, and I’m not exactly sure how I’m going to get there. But I know this is the right direction,” Alam said.


Meet Douglas College's valedictorians for Winter 2017

This week is a time for celebration for the many Douglas College students who will be walking across the stage as part of the Winter graduation ceremonies.

One small group of students made a lasting mark with their peers and instructors during their time at Douglas. They are the valedictorians. Read below to hear what they had to say about their time at Douglas.

Estera Tepes Billa
Diploma in Music

"I am delighted to say that all my teachers were well prepared, and their passion for teaching enhanced my enthusiasm for learning and helped me excel in everything I was doing. Also, I was surrounded by friendly colleagues who really helped minimize the stress of studying."

Diego Jônio Borba Lins
Post-Degree Diploma in Information and Communication Technology

"Studying at  Douglas College is a unique opportunity. Your time here passes fast and doesn't come back, so study hard and enjoy your time here."

Sandra Loewe

"Many times throughout my six years plus one semester at Douglas, I did not see that light at the end of the tunnel, not even a flicker. There were many times when I thought, "I have had enough! This is too much! It's too hard and time-consuming!" I started six years ago only wanting a certificate in Classroom and Community Support, but little did I know that I would end up not only with a diploma, but with a Bachelor of Arts in Child and Youth Care. Being valedictorian is just the cherry on top. I achieved all of this because I didn't give up." 

Jaryn McLean

"I honestly did not know much about Douglas College, but after discussing my educational goals with my health-care manager, I received some great advice. He told me that Douglas College had the best Psychiatric Nursing Program in B.C.. After doing some research, I agreed. Douglas offered a four-year degree program, an excellent range of psychiatric courses and small class sizes."

Julia Timoshenko
Bachelor of Business Administration – Financial Services

"One of the highlights during my time at Douglas was meeting a lot of people from different countries and backgrounds and learning something new and interesting from each one of them; forming what I’m sure are going to be life-long friendships; and  being a part of many exciting, challenging and educational school projects."

Yelyzaveta Yaremenko

"My most interesting memory was working on projects with real companies. That is not only essential learning, but it is an opportunity for students to prove themselves, as some external organizations could become potential employers for them in the future - or at least they might be able to give students a good reference."


Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Delving into death metal: University Transfer student researching extreme genre

For roughly a decade, Eric Smialek has been studying screams.

No, his work doesn’t involve anything ghoulish - or illegal.

Rather, the former Douglas College Basic Musicianship diploma student and death metal aficionado is applying linguistic techniques to reveal the intricacies behind the at-times controversial music genre.

“A lot of people who aren’t familiar with the music are surprised by its complexities. Extreme metal
music involves some aggressive thematic material that overshadows its complex aspects. When you’re dealing with subjects like death, violence and Satanism, the focus is drawn to those things,” Smialek said. “I think that’s why sociologists and people in child development were the first researchers to pay attention to this music. It took a while for scholars who worked in music departments to pay attention.”

Smialek’s interest in music first piqued during his time at the College as a general studies student searching for his niche. After taking a music elective, he decided to enroll in the Basic Musicianship program, before switching to the University Transfer program in preparation for a bachelor’s degree.

His focus on death metal vocals started after transferring to UBC in 2004 to enroll in the Bachelor of Arts program with a major in Music. There, he delved into the acoustics of extreme metal vocals for a research project in his Physics of Music class.

Since then, Smialek has obtained his PhD in Musicology at McGill University this past February. He has published on metal music and has given presentations around the world, including in Slovenia, Italy, and the U.K.

“I’m thinking about the kind of specialized screaming sounds you hear in death metal and black metal from the perspective of the musician. My goal is to find out what makes the sounds seem powerful and convincing to people who are invested in them – namely, those who write the music or listen to it as fans,” he said.

Part of Smialek’s research involved recording himself doing death metal vocals, and with the help of a spectrogram – a tool that creates a visualization of the sound being made – he discovered that the change in screams hinged on their vowels.

“That’s when I came up with an argument I haven’t heard anyone else in the world make – the acoustics of vowel formants play a huge role in making this style of voice,” he said. “Vocalists will often sacrifice the intelligibility of their lyrics for the musical expressive aspects of these vowel changes. You can’t understand what they’re saying but it sounds really heavy and really deep,” he said.

He noted physiology also plays a key role in extreme metal, as many of the singers are imitating large beasts through simple tricks, such as rounding their lips to make their vocal tract longer and larger.

“This is how those musicians imitate those sounds that reflect the music content – demons, monsters, gods – it’s a way of training your body to impersonate really impressive abstract ideas,” he said.

When he’s not speaking at conferences about the nuances of death metal, Smialek is teaching classes at McGill on a part-time basis, including an intro to Jazz class this winter. He has also taught classes on popular music, classical-music appreciation, and critical thinking about music.

Many of the classes Smialek teaches are designed for students with no prior training to music, which brings him back to his time at Douglas, when he first discovered he wanted to forge a career in music.

“I feel like I really learned to learn to read music at Douglas College. It was a fertile ground for creativity,” he said. “Douglas College is an especially supportive environment where students have many low-stakes opportunities to learn through mistakes. The sense of community among peers and mentors is remarkably strong. The result is a very motivating place where music making and a general feeling of exploration happens everyday.” Read more...

Monday, February 6, 2017

To close, or not to close, here are the answers

Many people have asked how Douglas College makes decisions on opening the campus versus closing.

Douglas College serves a diverse community from a wide geographic area where conditions can significantly differ. It is not possible to account for every personal circumstance, so information for as much of our community as possible is taken into consideration.

Closure decisions are made by a small group at the College concerned with safety and operations. The paramount concern is for the safety of our students and employees. When considering to close the campuses, factors that influence the decision are:

  • Student and employee safety
  • Campus accessibility
  • Transit availability
  • Road conditions (in the case of snow, or other weather)
  • Weather forecast
  • Day-of activities or special events for groups using the campus
  • Other post-secondary closure decisions

Decisions are made with the information available at the time and take into consideration what may happen in the coming hours. Following any decision, conditions continue to be monitored and updates are provided as soon as they are available.

Each person knows what is safe for them and we support individuals to make these personal decisions. Whatever choice is made, we encourage the entire Douglas community to be flexible and patient. Read more...

Thursday, February 2, 2017

A career in criminology or psychology? Douglas student chooses both

David Denofreo photo

All it took was one class for Brittany Fox to switch up her plan of being a criminal lawyer.

And, if she’s being completely honest, she didn’t even want to take Psychology 101 – a required course for her Criminology diploma – in the first place.

“I totally went into that class kicking and screaming. I didn’t want to take it. But once the class began, it was like a light went off,” Fox said.

When she applied to the Criminology diploma program, Fox wanted to become a criminal lawyer. But after the psychology class, she hit on a new direction that would pair both her interests – criminal psychology.

Fox is mulling over which career to pursue but is determined to help people who are struggling – either as a prison counsellor or by working with people with addictions.

“My interest comes from curiosity. I want to know what leads people to do what they do, how their experiences shape their actions and decision-making processes,” Fox said.

She credits the engaging classes and knowledgeable instructors at Douglas College for sparking her interest.

“I love how the teachers get to know you here, they know your name and you can have a one-on-one conversation with them,” Fox said. “My most memorable experiences at Douglas have been in the classroom – I get so energized and interested in the topics we go over.”

While her career goals are still up in the air, Fox said ultimately plans to get her bachelor’s degree in Criminology at Douglas, then hopes to get her master’s degree at SFU – and eventually become a professor who would inspire students like her.

“I’m really motivated, and I look forward to coming to school because I love what I’m learning,” Fox said. “Who knows where I’ll go from here?” Read more...

Psychology degree student plans to promote healthy living on First Nations reservations through sport

David Denofreo photo

For Garaline Tom, basketball is more than just a game. It’s a connection to her culture.

A member of the Lake Babine Nation – located on the banks of Babine Lake in central B.C. – Tom and her parents moved from the reserve to Nanaimo when she was young. Her parents, she said, were looking for better opportunities for their children.

“But the flipside was that I had to leave my culture and my family, which was extremely difficult,” Tom said.

After immersing herself in school sports, the Douglas College Bachelor of Applied Psychology student discovered a love of basketball. Through playing in exhibitions, such as the All Native Basketball Tournament, the game became the connection she was seeking to her heritage.

“It was so important to me because I was able to meet other First Nation youth and visit different reservations,” she explained. “It was something I hadn’t had before.”

Her love of basketball led her to Douglas College, where she made the varsity team. She initially was mulling over a career in athletics, but through her work as president of the Student-Athlete’s Council and Aboriginal Representative for the Douglas College Students’ Union, Tom discovered a passion for advocacy.

“I don’t know if I would have found out how interested I am about social issues and working with First Nation youth if it wasn’t for my involvement with extracurricular activities. Douglas helped me become more of an activist,” she said.

With a Sport Science Diploma already under her belt, Tom’s next step is to complete her Psychology degree – and maybe even a Master’s degree – before taking off across the country – and eventually the United States – to visit reservations and encourage healthy living to youth through sport.

“I have a very personal connection to mental illness. I have battled numerous mental illnesses, including depression, anxiety and post-traumatic stress disorder, for many years and continue to struggle,” Tom said. “I have lost a family member and close family friends to mental illness and suicide – which is a huge problem on reservations.”

Tom aims to promote healthy living on reservations as a mental-health worker while encouraging sports as a healthy outlet for youth.

“I want to spread hope among Aboriginal youth to help them see that they are capable of so much more than they think. There are so many possibilities beyond the borders of their reservation,” she said.