Tuesday, November 30, 2010

This week at Douglas: Recognition Reception, vuvezelas, documentary screening and more

Here’s what’s happening on campus Nov 29 – Dec 3:

Douglas Concert Band and Ensemble
Wed, Dec 1
Come see the Douglas College Concert Band and Ensemble perform at 7:30pm in the Laura C. Muir Performing Arts Theatre (4th floor, New Westminster Campus). For more info, call 604-527-5723.

Royals Vuvuzela Soccer Tournament
Wed, Dec 1
Teams of 5 face off in a college-wide soccer extravaganza in the New West gym from 4-7pm (vuvuzelas not mandatory!) For more info, see douglife.ca

Documentary screening: Race to Nowhere
Wed, Dec 1
A concerned mother-turned-filmmaker aims her camera at the high-stakes, high-pressure culture that has invaded our schools and our children's lives. Showing at 7pm at the New Westminster Campus. Tickets are free, but organizers ask that you register online. To see the trailer and get more info, see racetonowhere.com

13th Annual Recognition Reception
Thurs, Dec 2
Long-term employees will be honoured at this annual reception from 4-6pm in the upper cafeteria, New Westminster Campus. The President's Distinguished Service Awards and the 2010 Team Excellence Awards will also be presented.

Arts at One: Student Recital
Thurs, Dec 2
No plans for your afternoon break on Thursday? Check out your fellow students on stage in a free performance at 1pm, Laura C. Muir Performing Arts Theatre (4th floor, New West Campus).

See more Douglas College upcoming events in the Douglas College Events Calendar.

Got an event you want listed? Email your info to events[at]douglascollege[dot]ca with 2 weeks' notice.

Want more timely updates? Join Douglas College on Facebook

Saturday, November 27, 2010

'Hamper' students in need

Looking to bring some good cheer to students in need? The Financial Aid Office is coordinating hampers for students and their families again this year. So far 28 departments and individuals have stepped up as sponsors. You still have till the end of next week (December 3) to get involved.

The suggestion is one clothing gift and one toy/book etc. gift per child. The sponsor should include a gift card for groceries (minimum $100). This allows the student to purchase exactly what they need for their families. It would be up to the department sponsoring the family to raise the funds for the gift card and purchase it.

The hamper should be small enough to fit in a gift bag and to transport on public transit, as some students do not have a car. If the student requires assistance with transportation, it will be up to the sponsor to arrange it.

The Financial Aid Office identifies needy student families through bursary applications. The office staff then collects information on gift suggestions from the family and forwards this information to the sponsor.

If your department would like to sponsor a student family this year, contact Patty Lewis 604 527 5105 or Veronica Tinsley 604 777 6191. Read more...

Friday, November 26, 2010

Premiere screening Dec. 1: Race to Nowhere

Do you push your kids to always do their very best? Boy, have we got a documentary for you.

Consider: achievement-oriented young people prepare relentlessly to take part in a culture that demands nothing less than their personal best, all day, every day. From preschool through college, children are pressured, pushed, coached, sculpted, scheduled and reviewed.

But what happens when personal best is not good enough?

The consequence for young people is a strain on their mental health, which can lead to depression, anxiety and eating disorders, self-mutilation and suicide.

After a series of wake-up calls in her own family and the suicide of a young woman in her community, mother and filmmaker Vicki Abeles created the documentary Race To Nowhere, chronicling the daily struggle to balance academic commitments, cultural expectations and healthy personal needs in an environment rife with pressure: pressure for children to achieve high test scores, to schedule every aspect of their lives, while learning in classrooms where teachers are stretched to their limit.

See the Canadian premiere of Race to Nowhere Wednesday, December 1, 7-9:30pm, Room 1606, New Westminster Campus.

In the meantime, check out the trailer.


Monday, November 22, 2010

Training Group beefs up services

The Training Group at Douglas College is spreading its wings and transforming the way it does business. In response to shifts in the economy and the ever-changing demands of the labour market, the Training Group is focusing on five key demographic groups: adult learners, youth, workplace learners, immigrants and the Aboriginal community.

“Many immigrants have technical training, but they don’t really know how to get their equivalency for certifications, how to fill the gaps in their education, and how they connect to the Canadian workforce,” says Bob McConkey, Executive Director of the Training Group. “That’s one of the keys driving our programs.”

The Training Group also offers short-term vocational programs that meet both the needs of adult learners and, as Bob mentions, prepares people to meet the demands of the emerging skills shortages.

“They’re designed to be flexible,” Bob says. “They teach adult learners critical skills so they can either move on in their careers, get into the workforce for the first time or get back into the workforce.”

Tapping into the huge potential of the Aboriginal community, the Training Group is working with Aboriginal people to help them build their Essential Skill resources and get them engaged in the jobs of the future.

“The Aboriginal population is one of the only growing workforce groups in Canada, other than immigrants,” Bob explains.

The Training Group also helps build the skills and success of BC’s entrepreneurs. With more than 300 successful businesses started through its entrepreneurial programs each year, the Training Group is a leader in small business development and startup in British Columbia.

The Training Group at Douglas College is a dedicated community programming and contract services division that has served the community by delivering a wide range of employment programs and services since 1992.

“Training Group is an integral part of the College,” Bob says. “One of the things we try to build is connections in the community that bridge back to the College’s core institutional services and programs.”

The Training Group’s four business lines are:
  • Labour market and career transition services
  • Self employment and entrepreneurship
  • Short-term industry and vocational programs 
  • Industry and workforce development
Throughout its 18-year history, the Training Group has led the development and successful delivery of numerous large-scale provincial and federal employment services. It is recognized provincially and nationally for its leadership in the employment services sector and innovative approaches to supporting learners, businesses and the community.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

This week at Douglas: buzz cuts, bloodmobiles,a free concert and more!

Here’s what’s going on around campus November 22-26:

DSU Cuts for Cancer
Mon, Nov 22
Come support Jerin Mece from the Douglas Students' Union and other students as they shave their heads for cancer! 12:30pm in the Concourse at New Westminster Campus.

CBS Bloodmobile on campus
Tues, Nov 23
Want to donate blood? Now’s your chance! The Canadian Blood Services Bloodmobile will be on campus from 10am – 4pm. Get more info on doug: the community blog.

Arts at One: student recital
Thurs, Nov 25
Who doesn’t love a free concert? Check out the best of your fellow students at a student recital. 1pm, Laura C. Muir Performing Arts Theatre (4th floor north, New Westminster Campus). For more info on Arts at One, see the Arts Events page.

Basketball vs. Quest
Fri, Nov 26
Quest jump in their vehicles and down the Sea-to-Sky for set of games. Our guys and girls will try and drive right by them for 4 wins. Women at 6pm, Men at 8. Main Gym, New Westminster Campus.

Professional Development offerings
Click here to see the calendar.


Pictures of the Sept. 24 40th Anniversary Homecoming party are up on Flickr. Check 'em out!

See more upcoming events in the Douglas College Events Calendar. Got an event you want listed? Email your info to events[at]douglascollege[dot]ca with 2 weeks' notice.

Want more timely updates? Join Douglas College on Facebook

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Ugandan dignitaries visit Douglas

His Excellency George Abola, Uganda's High Commissioner to Canada, and John Halani, Uganda's Honorary Consul to British Columbia, met with Douglas College staff members involved with the Uganda Project, an initiative of the Community Social Service Worker Program, at the  New Westminster Campus yesterday.

Under the Uganda Project, students are sent to the African nation to work in hospitals, libraries and aid centres.

Last month Douglas College, in partnership with the Canadian International Development Agency and the country of Uganda, sent 15 young Canadians from across the country to Uganda for a five-month internship. Read that story here.

Photo: From left: John Halani, Uganda's Honorary Consul to British Columbia; Diana Stewart, Instructor, Early Childhood Education; Bob Shebib, Coordinator of the Community Social Service Worker Program;  His Excellency George Abola, Uganda's High Commissioner to Canada, Jan Carrie, Dean, Child, Family and Community Studies; Hazel Postma, Associate VP, External Relations; and Betty Mitchell, Manager, International Contracts and Projects, Centre for International Education. Read more...

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Douglas takes home marketing awards

By Dave Taylor, Director, Marketing and Communications

They "liked" us on Facebook. They dug us on doug. And they viewed our viewbook with favour!

Judges in a marketing awards competition recently gave Douglas College both the gold and the silver Medallion Awards in the social media category, acknowledging the lively action on our Facebook page and the quality of content on doug, our community blog. 

And Douglas received a silver Medallion in the viewbook category - the second year in a row that our viewbook has received a top award.

The annual Medallion Awards recognize outstanding achievement in marketing and PR at colleges in a region that includes BC, Alberta, Saskatchewan, Yukon as well as the American states of Washington, Oregon, Montana and Idaho. The competition is sponsored by the National Council for Marketing and Public Relations (NCMPR).

The judges also awarded bronze Medallions for the Doug's Got Talent video contest, in the promotional category, and for the "myPad" notepad, in the "nifty and thrifty" category.

Web Writer Leah Poulton has overseen the College's primary Facebook account since its launch in May 2009. Writer/Media Specialist Tamara Letkeman edits doug. Graphic Designer Monir Shahir was lead designer on the award-winning viewbooks.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

The Bloodmobile cometh

Ready to open your veins for a good cause? Beginning November 23, you will be able to donate blood right on campus.

In the past, up to 10 donors from the College were shuttled to a nearby temporary clinic to give blood. But now, the Canadian Blood Services Bloodmobile will be hosted at the New Westminster Campus, and they'll be processing upwards of 40 donors per Bloodmobile day.

A clinic on wheels, the Bloodmobile will pull up near the corner of 7th Avenue along Royal and collect pints of blood (or their metric equivalents) from 10am-4pm each Bloodmobile day. Clinics will run every eight weeks, schedule permitting.

The next Bloodmobile day is November 23. To donate blood, please call 1-888-2DONATE to make an appointment.

Donors are also encouraged to register as a Douglas College member of the Partners for Life team:

1. Go to the Partners for Life webpage.

2. Click on the red "Member" puzzle piece, and fill in the blanks.

3. When asked for the Partner ID, enter DOUG002414.

Questions? Contact Meg Stainsby at 604 527 5284.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Who was Sir James Douglas?

By Gail Edwards, Chair of the History Department

Everyone is invited to my noon-hour talk on November 19, where I will give you a fascinating glimpse into the life and times of James Douglas and Amelia Connolly.

James Douglas was born in Demerara (now Guyana) to a Scottish sugar plantation owner and a free-born Creole woman from Barbardos. Amelia Connolly was was born in Rupertsland to a Scottish fur trader and a high ranking Swampy Cree woman. As a young man starting out in a transnational business, her father was his boss.

After their marriage, they traveled thousands of kilometres by canoe and ship for his work. Of their 13 children, six lived to be adults.

Learn about the complex world of British North America in the first half of the nineteenth century, the connections between Britain and its colonies, the changing lives of Aboriginal peoples and the making of modern British Columbia.

Where & When: November 19, noon-1pm, Room 2203, New Westminster Campus

Gail Edwards teaches Canadian history at Douglas. She is also the bibliographer for the scholarly journal BC Studies. In May 2010, Picturing Canada: A History of Canadian Children's Illustrated Books and Publishing, which she co-authored with Judith Saltman, was published by the University of Toronto Press. Her current research interests include the history of print culture in British Columbia and the history of children’s library services in Western Canada.

Win a paddlewheeler lunch cruise! Everyone who attends Gail’s talk on November 19 is eligible to win a pair of tickets for a “Douglas Day” Fraser River cruise to Fort Langley on Saturday, November 20.

This week at Douglas: a provocative play, international exploration and more!

Here’s what’s going on around campus November 15-19:

Rimers of Eldritch
until Nov 19
The dark and haunting play, written by Lanford Wilson in 1966, is set in a decaying town in the American Midwest and deals with themes of sex, death, judgment and hypocrisy. Runs Nov 12-19. For more info and tickets, see the Arts Events page.

Career Exploration Workshop
Nov 17
Not sure which career path is right for you? Check out this free workshop at the David Lam Campus. You’ll do vocational testing, learn how to research career options and get a (optional) one- to-one follow up meeting with a Career Counsellor. More info and registration in the Events Calendar.

International Day
Nov 17 (DLC) and 18 (NWC)
Douglas College has a new annual event - International Day! Come and eat food, see cultural performances and learn about another culture from various places around the world. Event runs from 12-2pm on both days.

All About Investment Banking
Nov 17
Investment Advisor Peter Quitzau speaks on life as a corporate banker, investment analyst and investment advisor, and how his education at Douglas College helped him get to where he is today. NWC, Room 2203, 5:30-6:30pm, free.

Restorative Justice: Reflections of the Past, Present and Future
Nov 17
SFU School of Criminology, Correctional Service of Canada and the Douglas College Department of Criminology present the latest event in the Ting Forum on Justice Policy Lecture and Dialogue Series - Restorative Justice: Reflections of the Past, Present and Future. For keynote speaker info and registration info, see the Events Calendar.  

Douglas Day - Free public lecture
Nov 19

Who was Sir James Douglas? A free public talk. Hear the remarkable story of James and Amelia Douglas at this free public talk by Professor Gail Edwards, Chair of History at Douglas College. This event is open to the public. Refreshments will be served. November 19 is "Douglas Day" - the anniversary of the founding of the Crown Colony of British Columbia by Governor James Douglas at Fort Langley in 1858. Check out the Events Calendar for more info.

Basketball vs. Capilano
Nov 19
The Blues sing their way into New West, where the basketball teams will look to send them out singing a mellower tune. Women at 6pm, Men at 8pm.

See more upcoming events in the Douglas College Events Calendar. Got an event you want listed? Email your info to events@douglascollege.ca with 2 weeks' notice.

Want to get connected on campus? Check out the Douglas College page on Facebook

Friday, November 12, 2010

Therapeutic Recreation Department wins award

Big congrats to the Therapeutic Recreation Department, which has received the 2010 Agency Citation Award for outstanding therapeutic recreation services.

The TR Faculty at Douglas was nominated by graduate Kellie Duckworth for establishing a bachelor degree program. Duckworth graduated with a diploma in TR in the mid '80s and returned to complete her Bachelor of Therapeutic Recreation (BTR) as part of the first official graduating class in June 2010. 

"The recognition from the field that the BTR will change the face of Therapeutic Recreation in BC is rewarding," says Tricia Rachfall, Co-coordinator of the Therapeutic Recreation Program. "Many years went into the development of a degree in TR and to see it come to fruition, so successfully, is exciting."

The award was presented by the BC Therapeutic Recreation Association.

"We are all honoured to be recognized by our provincial association," Rachfall says, "and by our past graduates who have shown their belief in the level of excellence in our program by returning to complete the BTR."

The Agency Citation Award acknowledges agencies that are actively involved with university or college studies through practicum, work experience opportunities, presentations, etc.; promote research that has helped advance the profession of therapeutic recreation and are recognized for exemplary therapeutic recreation programs by clients, boards of directors and/or other disciplines. Read more...

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Douglas instructor quoted in National Geographic

National Geographic recently ran a story detailing a study on how men with a healthy glow are more attractive to women than men with typically masculine features.

But Laura Dane, an evolutionary psychologist here at Douglas, takes issue with the study, pointing out that "physical attractiveness is not the only thing that women use to choose" a partner.

Read Laura's argument - and the rest of the story - hereRead more...

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

U-Pass will come to a vote

Great news about U-Pass: Douglas students will soon be able to vote on whether or not they want to take part in the program. The discounted, three-zone passes means students would only have to pay $30 a month for public transportation, as opposed to the $81-$151 per month they pay now.

The student vote at Douglas College will be organized through the Douglas Students' Union within the next month. If students vote to accept the U-Pass, passes will become available in Spring 2011. Read more...

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Customer Service and Cashier Training Program honoured

Congratulations to the Customer Service and Cashier Training Program (CSCT), which received an award recognizing its outstanding contributions to the field.

On October 28 the Program  was presented with an award of excellence for its contribution to sustain mental wellness and vocational support in the community. The award was presented by the Fraser Health Authority and New View Society, the largest provider of mental health care services in the TriCities.

“It’s really good for our program,” says Joy Conran, an instructor in the CSCT Program, “but it’s not about us, it’s about the students. They are the ones who should get the pat on the back.” Read more...

Friday, November 5, 2010

Help decide the future of technology at Douglas

With more and more students having their own laptops and using mobile devices to communicate, it's time to consider the future of technology at the College in order to create the best possible experience for our students. 

Educational Technology invites you to come and help Douglas College develop a technology plan.

Where: David Lam Boardroom (B3011) and New Westminster Boardroom (4920)

When: November 10, 4-6pm

Coffee and cookies will be served.

Click here for more information.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Masque Royale a massive hit

Lords and ladies, devils and dames, princes and knights, not to mention many fair damsels, streamed into the NWC gymnasium Saturday for a Renaissance-themed party celebrating the 40th anniversary of Douglas College and 25 years of the Douglas College Foundation.

Masque Royale was a huge success thanks to the hard work of people from across the College including Facilities, Chartwells, Marketing and Communications, Finance, CEIT, Stagecraft and the BSWs.

With their help, Foundation staff were able to create an evening to remember, filled with laughter, dancing, circus acts, Renaissance music, dance demos and more. Costume-clad guests learned about Douglas through slide shows, a moving story of redemption by student Lisa Nielson and from the dozens of HORM students, led by Elisabeth Teichroed, who hosted, served food, decorated and cleared up.

A huge thank to all our volunteers and to Terry Leonard, Fernanda Santos, Erin Miller, Chris Munro, Erin Seedhouse, Kathy Denton (for suggesting her daughter and Circus Aerials) Mebs Lalani, Tim Paul, Blair Fisher, Mikki Herbold, Chris McDowell, Sandy Struthers and Rob Linschoten.

Many external people also contributed to the success of the event and without the months of hard work from Foundation/Alumni staff and board, the event would never have taken place. In particular I would like to acknowledge the work of Sarah Lock, Alexis Smith, Yvonne Mostert, Andrew Senjack and Jennifer Henderson - still smiling, although with very sore feet!

Saturday night brought hundreds of community leaders and politicians, as well as former presidents and college board members, into the campus, showcasing education and entertainment while raising money for student aid.

A huge thank you to everyone who made it possible.

-Hazel Postma, Associate VP, External Relations

See the slideshow of the Masque Royale on Flickr!


Monday, November 1, 2010

Bike to work

Lean, mean and ready to roll: bike commuter extraordinaire Ryan Cousineau.    Tobin Copley photo
Itching to ride your bike to work but not sure if your poor legs—or lungs—can take it? Get started by joining the Douglas College Bike to Work Week team, who’s cycling to the College every day this week, rain or shine (prizes are in the offing, too). Click here to register.

If that’s a bit more than you can chew right now, team member Ryan Cousineau, a Douglas employee who bikes to both the New Westminster and David Lam campuses, even if he's in a really bad mood, offers some tips to get you started as a bike commuter.

Cycling to Douglas: a beginner's guide

By Ryan Cousineau, Supervisor, Classroom Technology Services, CEIT

Go for it

The first and simplest rule is that cycling to Douglas College is as easy as riding a bicycle. Around the world, billions of ordinary people ride to work or school every day, with no special preparation or equipment. Young, old, weak or strong, it's just how they get around. You can do it, too. Dust off whatever bicycle you have, put some air in the tires and go for a ride. Congratulations, you are a cyclist!

Taking a short bike ride to work, or making your long ride short

Not all commutes are created equal, but there are a lot of ways to make a bicycle part of your commute. If you live within five kilometres of the College, your ride should be pretty simple: on flat ground, almost anyone can ride at a steady 10-20 km/h without breaking a sweat. The hills of New Westminster impose a special penalty on some routes, but note that for most they're downhill on the way in. That makes a difference for both psychological and practical reasons. Even those steep slopes will succumb to low gearing, though, and the bike you are most likely to own (any old mountain bike) is going to have some nice, low gears. For that matter, there's no shame in pushing a bike for a few steep blocks.

For these short commutes, I would not worry about special preparation or clothing. A backpack is the most convenient way to carry your lunch and personal effects on a short trip. You won't get sweaty if you take it easy. BC law requires a helmet, so you will want one of those: buy an inexpensive one that fits properly. Expensive helmets don't protect your head any better, they just get lighter, more adjustable for fit and have better ventilation. These are virtues, but not worth it for most riders. If you're riding a bike that doesn't have a chain guard (for example, most mountain bikes) and you are wearing long pants, tuck your right pant leg into your sock. You can buy special pants clips, but any calf-high sock will do the job just fine.

Farther away?

Once you get beyond five kilometres from the College, things change a little.

If you're not ready or willing to make a long ride from home, change your long ride into a short one. The fancy word for this is "multi-modal commuting," which makes traffic engineers and city planners feel all warm and fuzzy. You can use transit or your car to do this.

Almost all BC Transit buses have bike racks. All SkyTrain stations have bike racks as well, and many have rentable bike lockers, too. There are rush-hour restrictions on bringing your bike on SkyTrain, but if you're going to the New Westminster campus during rush-hour periods, you can bring your bike aboard as long as your home station is in Burnaby or Vancouver. (If you ride the Millennium Line, you have to take your bike off at Columbia Station, but it's a pleasant 10-minute ride to the College from there.) South of the river, you're not allowed aboard SkyTrain with a normal bicycle during rush hour, but you can park at the station. David Lam Campus won't be well-served by SkyTrain until the Evergreen Line gets built.

Driving part of the way to work and cycling the rest has its merits. In some cases, you can avoid a key congestion point by parking and riding. Carpooling part-way with a spouse or a neighbour makes for a flexible trip: they might not be going past the College, but if they travel within five kilometres of it, you have an easy ride. I won't suggest any particular spots, but if you can locate good parking within that magic five kilometres of the College, you can ride the rest of the way, saving yourself some time and gaining some exercise.

Cycling is safe

I know: it doesn't look safe, and cyclists wear all that safety gear, and the cars, and so on. But the best evidence is that cycling is as safe as crossing the street, arguably safer: in 2006, 87 cyclists in Canada died in accidents, while 375 pedestrians (and 2,135 people in motor vehicles) died in traffic crashes. It's tricky to compare activity rates and exposure risks, but the direct health benefits of cycling strongly suggest you'll live longer by riding to work rather than driving.

That said, some safety tips

Lights matter. I recommend bright, blinking LED lights front and rear. White at the front, red at the back. The best rear lights tend to have 3-5 LEDs and use two AA or AAA batteries. This gives a great combination of long life and power. Prices start around $6, and these are available at any bike shop. For almost all city riding, a similar AA or AAA-powered white LED light up front will work well. Good ones start at $10-15. This type of front light is for being seen, not seeing in the dark. If you ride on truly unlit streets (or like me, on trails), you will want brighter, more expensive front lighting. Lights are legally required after dark, and at this time of year, the rush hours will soon be before sunrise and after sunset.

Don't ride on the sidewalk: statistically, a very dangerous place to be. You arrive at every intersection traveling faster than any pedestrian, and from a place where no car driver expects a cyclist. It's also illegal, not to mention a danger to people on foot.

Plan your route: designated cycling routes surround both campuses and criss-cross Metro Vancouver. The improvement in the last decade has been remarkable. Bike routes and bike paths have their pros and cons (and some are better than others), but if you're new to cycling, they will be the nicest place to start riding.

As for the rest of cycling safety, you're subject to the rules of the road. Act accordingly. Use hand signals, keep your head up, and be aware that intersections are the most likely location for a car-bike crash (and car-car crashes, for that matter).

Cycling is not hard

If you can ride a bike at all, you can probably get here. The trick is to pace yourself. There is no "correct" speed to ride at, though some people can simply ride faster than others, and you will see your speed increase rapidly in your first several months of riding. You don't have to ride every day, and you don't even have to ride both ways: remember the multi-modal commute? A great trick is to bus with your bike to the College, and cycle back: no fuss, no muss, and shower when you get back home.

Equipment and clothing

Bike-specific clothing is nice, but not mandatory, especially for a short commute.

Locks and security go hand in hand. If you're lucky enough to have access to secure on-campus storage for your bike, you may not need a lock at all, at least not here. Otherwise, Douglas has ample bike parking at both campuses. The rack near the bookstore on the New Westminster campus is indoors and has lots of passing traffic, which is good for security. All of the racks at David Lam are well sheltered.

Coming soon: Ryan’s comprehensive guide on cycling to Douglas. Look for it here!