Tuesday, January 26, 2010

New TESL Program starts in May

by Lori Kittelberg, inside editor

ESL instructor Janice Penner clearly remembers her first experience teaching English abroad.

In the summer of 1979 she was a volunteer teacher in Japan. She was mystified about how to engage her students and the textbook she was given only had grammar drills.

Years later, she was in Taiwan, studying Mandarin while also teaching English as a Second Language (ESL).

“I had my degree and experience, and the difference was incredible in how much more effectively the students were learning. I was less stressed out and much more confident in my teaching ability.”

Combine zero teaching skills with living in a country where one may not know the language or the culture and it can be a recipe for disaster.

“It’s very stressful to teach English without the education to back you up. I have seen people crash and burn,” says Penner, who has also taught in China.

“People without training are often overwhelmed with the errors their students make – are they because of language barriers, cultural communication issues or because the student has learned something incorrectly?” Penner explains.

As the coordinator of the new Teaching English as a Second Language (TESL) Citation at Douglas, Penner hopes to prevent this type of scenario in Canada as well as abroad.

“I love my job, so to be able to foster the same type of excitement and facilitate someone else’s entrance into this career is very rewarding,” she says.

The new, one-semester TESL Program is being offered starting in May. It is open to those who want to teach ESL locally and internationally. Its unique attributes include a course specifically on tutoring, plus a 30-hour practicum (many similar programs offer the minimum requirement of 20 hours).

Canada, along with countries like Taiwan, Korea and China are now setting higher standards for foreign English-language teachers. Anyone planning to teach in Canada or abroad would be well-advised to get a credential. And with more people earning money on the side as ESL tutors, it never hurts to have a leg up on the competition.

The program is well-suited to anyone who is looking for a career shift, those who want to pay their way as they travel abroad, ESL tutors and anyone with an interest in other cultures. Penner, who has taught in a similar program at VCC, says TESL programs tend to attract people from a wide variety of backgrounds, including journalists, accountants and retired university professors. Applicants do not have to be native-English speakers.

For more information, contact Janice Penner via GroupWise or at local 5175.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Students fundraise for Haiti

Looking for College-community fundraisers for Haiti? Douglas students are on the ball, with a few upcoming events, on and off campus. Check out doug for details. Read more...

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Learn to blog

Has reading inside and Faculty Matters inspired you to blog, but you’re unsure of where to start? Join Tad McIlwraith (Humanities and Social Sciences), David Wright and Peter Wilkins (Language, Learning and Performing Arts) for a discussion on how to use WordPress, a free tool to create blogs, in a PD workshop offered by the Centre for Academic and Faculty Development. Blogs, Twitter and Simple Polls for Class: Using Wordpress takes place next Tuesday, January 26 from 2:30-4:30pm, room 2680, New West Campus.

They’ll talk about everything from designing and maintaining your blog, to creating polls on your blog (see last week’s Faculty Matters Friday Poll for an idea), to enhancing it with a Twitter feed. Register for Blogs, Twitter and Simple Polls for Class: Using WordPress online.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Haiti earthquake

By Michael Wilson, Ed Frey and Dave Waddington
Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences

The Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences has put up a large, detailed poster about the geology of the Haitian earthquake. The poster is in the hallway across from the Geology lab (3805) at the New Westminster Campus, and a copy will be posted at the David Lam Campus this week. Alongside the poster, we have indicated links for additional information.

The poster was prepared by the US Geological Survey only hours after the earthquake and was printed here on campus with the assistance of Chris McDowell in the Centre for Educational and Information Technology (CEIT).

We hope that people on campus will find this information interesting and useful and, of course, that everyone will contribute in their own way to the relief effort. Here is a link to Canada's Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade describing Canada's relief efforts.

For information on earthquakes, both local and international, go to the Earthquakes Canada website, which also has links concerning the Haitian earthquake.

For anyone wanting to contribute to the relief effort in Haiti, visit the Canadian Red Cross or Doctors Without Borders – inside editor

Sociology prof Wales-bound

by Lori Kittelberg, inside editor

Sociology instructor Marni Westerman is bringing her knowledge of the Downtown Eastside, religion and harassment to Wales this May during a three-week international fellowship at the University of Wales Trinity St. David’s.

Marni became acquainted with faculty at what was then Trinity University College (it has since merged with the University of Wales to become the University of Wales Trinity St. David’s) during the first Douglas College Wales field school last Spring.

“I’ll be working with colleagues I met last year and doing guest lectures in several courses – Religious Studies, Social Inclusion and Social History,” she says.

She’ll be sharing her expertise on the social services offered in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside, particularly the safe injection site, with History professor Conway Davies’ students.

“It’s a little grittier than what students there are used to. They do debate treatment methods in the UK, but Wales is generally a safer, more sheltered community. My purpose isn’t to shock, but to humanize the circumstances around the safe injection site,” Marni explains.

She is looking forward to working with Davies, who has studied the treatment of the mentally ill in Wales from 1900-1930. “I’m hoping this will turn into more because of the overlap in our research interests and possibly lead to us doing some research together.”

Marni is also eagerly anticipating working with Greg Barker, the head of Religious Studies at Trinity St. David’s, who hails from Vancouver originally. He pursued the idea of bringing Marni back to Wales after they discussed his women in religion course over breakfast during the Douglas Wales field school last year. Indeed, it was Greg who found out about the international fellowship Marni ended up getting.

“He’s a sociologist of religion, not a theologian. He’s trying to build their studies in a more sociological direction, so he’s quite excited to get a North American perspective,” says Marni.

Meanwhile, she’ll also present her dissertation on human rights policies in Canadian post-secondary institutions to the administration at Trinity St. David’s. Before coming to Douglas, Marni balanced teaching half-time with working as the sexual harassment officer at the University of Regina.

Marni received Scholarly Activity Funds to participate in the international fellowship. The next deadline to apply for funding is February 15. Find out more online.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

College gets access to federal research funds

by Douglas College President Scott McAlpine and Acting Vice President Education Jan Carrie

We are pleased to announce that Douglas College has been approved by the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC) as an institution eligible to authorize applications to NSERC and administer any funds awarded. As an institution that has successfully met all of NSERC’s eligibility requirements, Douglas College researchers will now be able to participate as applicants in the Idea to Innovation Program and as co-applicants in collaboration with university faculty on a number of research project grant programs, provided they meet certain eligibility requirements.

Achieving NSERC eligibility status is a very significant step for Douglas College and has involved the work of many people. It demonstrates the commitment the College has to research and scholarly activity (RSA) in support of students and their learning. Considerable growth has occurred in RSA over the last five years, in terms of policy and infrastructure development, College support, and RSA initiatives and outputs by College students and employees.

This year the College has submitted a grant proposal to NSERC in the College and Community Innovation Program for an Entry-Level two-year grant to support a research project in the Faculty of Science and Technology. It has also made an eligibility application to the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC) and we expect to learn the outcome of this application during this next semester.

The College is now poised to be involved in funding opportunities sponsored by the Tri-Council, comprising NSERC, the SSHRC and the Canadian Institutes of Health Research. We would like to acknowledge Joy Page, Director of the Centre for Faculty & Academic Development for facilitating this process.

For more information, please see the NSERC website or contact Dr. David Wright, Centre for Academic and Faculty Development via GroupWise.

Movers ΄n shakers

Yes, I CAN
The Centre for Campus Life's Scott Fraser-Dauphinee was presented with the AthletesCAN Social Responsibility Award at their recent AGM in Vancouver. Scott was given this award for his work setting up the Zambia Volunteer Involvement Program in three Zambian provinces. Scott has trained 85 youth volunteers to coordinate and initiate community sports, art, culture and health education programming.

The Social Responsibility Award is presented annually and recognizes that as role models, athlete leaders have a responsibility to society. AthletesCAN is a national organization dedicated to developing athlete leaders who influence sport policy and, as role models, inspire a strong sport culture.

Speech, speech, speech
Meanwhile, CCL Coordinator Michelle Leong has earned the status of Advanced Communicator - Silver from Toastmasters International. In order to achieve this, Michelle completed a series of challenging speech projects and presented several short seminars. This involved self-discipline, the desire for self-improvement and the ability to effectively communicate with people of diverse backgrounds and interests. CCL Director Dean Howie reports that Michelle’s colleagues are very proud of her.

Move it
In Administration, Anne Gapper is now Administrative Assistant to Vice President Education Jan Carrie, replacing Laureen Dailey who is Executive Assistant to the President.

In the Faculty of Developmental Education, Tom Whalley is now the Acting Dean. The new faculty and Tom’s position are the results of the realignment of Educational Services and Ted James taking on the role of Director of Student Enrolment Services/Registrar.

In I-CARE, Nevin Massing is now coordinator, replacing Nancy Walker who is now an Administrative Officer in the Faculty of Commerce and Business Administration, filling the gap left by Anne Gapper.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Biology research

Funding and coincidence bring research team together

by Lori Kittelberg, inside editor

Biology instructor Lois Schwarz (centre) is leading a multidisciplinary research team studying the impact plants native to BC, many of which are traditionally used by BC Aboriginal people for healing, could have on treating inflammation.

“Inflammation is the basis for some serious chronic diseases, such as metastatic cancer and cardiovascular disease. So far, our results are encouraging,” says Schwarz.

She credits the Scholarly Activity Fund at Douglas with giving her the money to support Environmental Sciences student Ashley-Anne Churchill (left in the above photo) and Psychiatric Nursing student Nicole Abbott (right), who have been working with Schwarz on the project, both in the field and at the David Lam Campus greenhouse.

“It couldn’t have happened without that seed money, literally,” says Schwarz. The next deadline to apply for Scholarly Activity Funds is February February 15. Find out more online.

She also gives kudos to Aboriginal Student Services Coordinator Dave Seaweed who put Churchill, a member of the North Thompson Band, in touch with her regarding the study. Churchill had already done personal research on the use of plants by Aboriginals for healing.

“I really wanted someone like Ashley-Anne to work with me on this. I’m so thankful that Dave brought us together.”

Churchill is grateful for the opportunity to work on a project that is close to her heart, something she says would not have been possible if she had gone to university as she had originally planned. “I never would have had the chance to do field research in my first two years of university,” says Churchill.

Initially, Schwarz asked Abbott, who had previously studied horticulture, if she would be interested in putting together a poster on the study for the upcoming Student Research Day. However, it didn’t take long for Abbott, who currently works as a care aide at Lion’s Gate Hospital, to want to become more involved.

“I work in extended care and see a lot of people with bed sores. I have worked with people who have had amputations due to diabetes too. So I want to know if there’s any possibility we can find a way to interrupt these types of wounds from becoming worse,” Abbott explains.

Read more about how Schwartz, Churchill and Abbott came together in Coincidence brings research team together on the College home page.

Monday, January 11, 2010

EVENT editor playing CD release gig

Rick Maddocks, Editor of EVENT and Creative Writing faculty member, is performing a CD release concert with his pop-jazz quintet The Beige on January 23rd, at 7:30pm sharp. It's taking place at St. Paul's Anglican Church in Vancouver's West End (1130 Jervis St., between Davie and Pendrell). Tickets $12 advance/$15 door, available through Red Cat Records, Zulu Records and Highlife Records, or you can contact Rick through info@thebeige.ca or maddocksr@douglas.bc.ca. Read more...

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Win Canucks tickets!

The Douglas College Foundation is still raffling off Olympic tickets – raffle ticket prices range from $15-$40. Buy yours tomorrow at the New West main cafeteria, email olympicraffle@douglas.bc.ca or contact Alexis Smith at 6172. Get all the details at Win Olympic Tickets.

Wait, what does this have to do with tickets for this Saturday’s Canucks game? Simple. Comment on this story telling us what Olympic sport you would most like to compete in if you could. Your name will be entered in a draw for tickets to see the Canucks play the Calgary Flames on Saturday, January 9. Tickets will be available for pick-up at the Communications and Marketing Office at the New West Campus. Draw open to Douglas College employees only. Read more...

New York production comes to Douglas

Want to see a New York production but don’t want to deal with the hassle of flying international these days? Good Lessons from Bad Women is being staged at Douglas on Saturday, January 16 – and inside is giving away two pairs of tickets!

All you need to do is comment on this story, telling us which bad woman in history you would most like to have dinner with and why. The draw takes place next Monday (that’s January 11) at 2pm. Tickets will be available for pick-up at the Communications and Marketing Office at New West Campus. Draw open to Douglas College employees only.

And if you don’t win, purchase tickets - $15, $10 for students and seniors - before the show through the Massey Theatre at 604-521-5050 or cash only at the door on January 16 (show starts at 7pm). The show is a fundraiser for the College Women’s Centre, which is sponsoring the show, with proceeds going to single parents studying at Douglas.

Monday, January 4, 2010

Win Olympic tickets!

If Santa didn’t bring any Olympic tickets, you still have a chance to attend one of four events at the Vancouver 2010 Winter Olympics. The Douglas College Foundation is selling a limited number of raffle tickets to raise money for student aid.

Tickets to each of the four separate raffles can be purchased Tuesdays and Thursdays from 9:30-10:30am and noon-1pm at the New West main cafeteria, by emailing olympicraffle@douglas.bc.ca or calling Alexis Smith at 6172. Tickets can only be purchased by the Douglas community - employees, students, volunteers, board and advisory group members, etc. - and only 400 for each draw are available.

Up for grabs are:
· 2 tickets to Gold Medal Men’s Hockey - $40 each
· 2 tickets to Vancouver 2010 Opening Ceremonies - $25 each
· 2 tickets to Vancouver 2010 Closing Ceremonies - $20 each
· 2 tickets to Men’s and Women’s Team Pursuit Speed Skating Finals - $15 each

Can’t make up your mind? Get all four for $100! Payment can be by cash, cheque or credit card.

President’s awards

Last month, the College celebrated its outstanding employees at the Employee Recognition Reception. Chemistry Lab Technician Maggie Li, left, was presented with the President’s Distinguished Service Award.

Distinguished Service Award
Maggie’s dedication, organizational skills and willingness to help students and other members of her department were lauded. The December President’s Report noted she is “the rock and foundation of the entire chemistry laboratory program.” The Distinguished Service Award recognizes outstanding contributions to the learning and working environment that are reflective of the College’s commitment to its goals for students and student learning, employees, physical resources and facilities and community outreach.

Team Excellence Awards
The English for Health Care Professionals team (from left), Kathy Bell, Patricia O’Hagan and Kate Yoshitomi, were given a tip of the hat for creating a course - Academic Health Care Foundations - for those who are planning to enter the healthcare field or currently work in it and need to improve their English skills for the workplace.

The Wales Field School Team (from left) Marni Westerman (Sociology), Angela Muir (Performing Arts and Events Liaison), Susan Smythe (Geography) and Christine Dewar (Performing and Fine Arts) was rewarded for planning and offering a unique, efficient field school experience at Trinity University College.