By Carly Whetter, Foundation and Alumni Relations
Photos courtesy of Barber & Co.
When Jamie Stanton was earning his Chemistry diploma at Douglas College, he never thought he’d end up working in a lab at a barbershop.
“I thought I would be specializing in waste water management,” he says. “But then I realized I wanted to be in a lab and researching. I don’t think it matters if my lab is in a barber shop or if it’s in a university or if it’s in its own multi-million dollar facility. I’m still doing what I love to do,” he says.
Jamie has been working at Barber & Co., an environmentally conscious barbershop in Vancouver’s Yaletown, since early this year. As the barbershop’s only chemist, Jamie is in charge of research, product development and testing.
Ultimately, he focuses on producing high quality, environmentally sustainable products – like their matte pomade and forthcoming aftershave tonic – for barbers and clients alike. “A lot of products can have toxic chemicals in them and there’s not enough consumer education on why these ingredients can be harmful. Recently, I’ve been doing a lot of research into natural preservation systems. We don’t use any perfume or any artificial scents or fragrances, only essential oils because they have medicinal benefits,” he says.
Building blocks for success
Jamie applied to Douglas College on the recommendation of a family friend and began his studies in 2009. He applied his academics to a co-op work term at ALS Environmental as a lab assistant, where he also conducted an independent research project.
He says the education, skills and experience he received at Douglas continue to benefit him. But mostly, it was about the people. “My education at Douglas was so valuable because I was able to form relationships with my instructors. The whole chemistry department was just fantastic and was super beneficial in forming the chemist I am today,” says Jamie.
Doing what he loves
After two years at Douglas, Jamie transferred his credits to Thompson Rivers University to complete a Bachelor of Science in Chemistry. He plans to eventually pursue his PhD. Until then, he hopes to continue to grow as a chemist at Barber & Co. “This job has taught me a lot about doing what you love and what that looks like in your own life. I’ve realized that going into the lab every day isn’t work – I get to do what I want to do. Every single day is fun.”
By Safety, Security and Risk Management
You’re working at your desk when suddenly the room begins to sway and shake. It’s an earthquake. What do you do?
On Oct. 17, in an effort to prepare for a potential earthquake, Douglas College students, employees and visitors can take part in the Great British Columbia ShakeOut – a province-wide earthquake drill – at both campuses.
“Seismic experts tell us that we can expect a major destructive earthquake in B.C.,” says Nancy Constable, Director of Safety, Security and Risk Management. “We don’t know when it might hit. This drill is about practising how to protect ourselves when it does.”
Get ready to drop, cover and hold on
On Oct. 17 at 10:17am, an announcement will inform people on campus when the drill begins. When you hear the announcement, carefully drop to the ground, take cover under a desk or table, and hold on. If you are not near a desk or table, or are physically unable to drop, cover and hold on, cover your head and neck with your arms and crouch in a corner, away from any glass. The drill will last around 90 seconds. You will be advised when it is over.
This could save your life
Constable says it’s crucial people are prepared to take the correct action in an earthquake.
“This is about how to take that immediate life-saving, injury-reducing action. In a small or moderate quake you may hear objects rattling in your office or classroom, or feel a quiver under your feet. In a large quake, the ground or floor will move – possibly violently – and you may feel dizzy and unable to walk. You will probably feel shaking and rolling,” she says. “You need to drop, cover and hold on.”
Don’t miss out – here’s what’s happening around campus this week!
Monday, Oct. 7
- Imaginus poster sale – 9am-5pm in the New Westminster Campus concourse. The Imaginus Poster Sale is back! Shop thousands of cool posters with partial proceeds going toward supporting the Student Ambassador Awards.
- Vote and share your ideas – 1-3pm in the Coquitlam Campus atrium. Cast your vote for the 2019 federal election. Learn more about what ID you need, share your ideas and solutions to issues you are concerned about and vote on campus!
- Vote and share your ideas – 1-4pm outside the cafeteria at the New Westminster Campus. Learn more about what ID you need, grab a hot chocolate and find out where to vote on campus!
Tuesday, Oct. 8
- Imaginus poster sale – 9am-5pm at the New Westminster Campus concourse. The Imaginus Poster Sale is back! Shop thousands of cool posters with partial proceeds going toward supporting the Student Ambassador Awards.
- DSU dog therapy – 11am-1pm in the Coquitlam Campus atrium. Come and relieve your stressful student life by hanging out with some cute therapy dogs! Relax and get some dog cuddles!
- Vote and share your ideas– 11am-2pm in the Coquitlam Campus atrium. Learn more about what ID you need, share your ideas and solutions to issues you are concerned about and vote on campus!
- Vote and share your ideas– 11am-1pm in the Anvil Office Tower. Learn more about what ID you need, share your ideas and solutions to issues you are concerned about and find out where to vote on campus!
Wednesday, Oct. 9
- Imaginus poster sale – 9am-5pm at the New Westminster concourse. The Imaginus Poster Sale is back! Shop thousands of cool posters with partial proceeds going towards supporting the Student Ambassador Awards.
- World of dance – 4:30-5:30pm in the New Westminster Campus Movement Studio. Join us this Wednesday for an upbeat, dynamic and diverse dance session in Nigerian Pop. Come and have fun!
- Vote and share your ideas– 11am-4pm in the Coquitlam Campus atrium. Learn more about what ID you need, share your ideas and solutions to issues you are concerned about and vote on campus!
- Vote and share your ideas–noon-6pm outside the cafeteria at the New Westminster Campus. Learn more about what ID you need and find out where to vote on campus!
Thursday, Oct. 10
- Imaginus poster sale – 9am-5pm at the Coquitlam atrium. The Imaginus Poster Sale is back! Shop thousands of cool posters with partial proceeds going towards supporting the Student Ambassador Awards.
- DSU dog therapy– 11am-1pm in the New Westminster Campus concourse. Come and relieve your stressful student life by hanging out with some cute therapy dogs! Relax and get some dog cuddles!
- Intramurals: volleyball – 4:30–6pm in the Pinetree Community Centre near the Coquitlam Campus. Intramurals are a great way to stay active, meet new friends, build campus community and try a variety of new sports. All Coquitlam Campus intramurals are offered at the Pinetree Community Centre, next to the campus, in Gym 3. Be sure to bring your Student ID card, and proof of your current class registration.
- The Arts at One – 1pm at the Laura C. Muir Performing Arts Theatre, New Westminster Campus. Enjoy Southwood Barrington Duo with Louise Southwood, on guitar and Barrie Barrington, on piano. Free and open to the public.
- Women’s Rights in Health Care Workshop – 1–3pm at the New Westminster Campus in the Aboriginal Gathering Place. Presented by IMPACTS and the DSU Women’s Collective, uncover what “women’s health” means to you and how we can all effectively navigate the medical system as women. BONUS: Food and drinks available and free for students but register at Eventbrite to secure a spot.
Friday, Oct. 11
- Imaginus poster sale – 9am-5pm in the Coquitlam Campus atrium. The Imaginus Poster Sale is back! Shop thousands of cool posters with partial proceeds going toward supporting the Student Ambassador Awards.
- Volleyball – Royals vs Blues – 6pm at Capilano University. Cheer on the Royals as our women’s volleyball team plays against the Capilano Blues!
- Volleyball – Royals vs Blues– 8pm at Capilano University. Cheer on the Royals as our men’s volleyball team plays against the Capilano Blues!
- Ladies-Not-Waiting: Las Meninas and CenTauress art exhibit –Sept. 19–Oct. 26 at the Amelia Douglas Gallery. Explore artwork by Suzy Birstein, who examines women and their role in our society through sculptures and paintings. Free and open to the public.
- New Westminster Campus Fall fitness classes – Monday–Thursday from 8am–8pm and Fridays from 8am–6pm, at the Fitness Centre in the New Westminster Campus. View the scheduled classes, which range from Power Yoga to Zumba. Come get fit and healthy!
- Coquitlam Campus Fall fitness classes – Monday–Sunday from 8am–10pm, at the Pinetree Community Centre. View the scheduled classes, which range from Pilates to Belly Dancing. Come get fit and healthy!
By Shruti Ashok, Centre for Educational and Information Technology
With evolving technology comes evolving hackers. Did you know that weak passwords is the easiest way for hackers to gain access to your personal information? Did you know that 60 percent of consumers think using public Wi-Fi is riskier than using a public restroom?
Cybersecurity is a shared responsibility and it is important for us as a community, to be informed, aware and responsible, about the simple things we can do in our power to stay cyber safe and cyber smart.
Cybersecurity matters, not just on campuses, but also homes and while accessing websites and managing personal data on public networks.
4 ways you can be cyber smart
Cybersecurity starts with strong password protection. Update your passwords regularly and use unique, strong and complex passwords for every account that you maintain. Don’t reuse your passwords between sites and systems.
- Elements that make a strong password:
- 10-20 characters
- Combination of uppercase and lowercase letters
- Include numbers and symbols
- Don’t choose obvious passwords (e.g. Password, 123456 & replacements like ‘@’ instead of ‘a’)
- Don’t choose passwords that can be found easily in the dictionary (any language)
Everyone loves public Wi-Fi! Hackers do, too. Open networks leave your data at risk, so in order to stay safe, only use secure Wi-Fi networks.
You should only perform financial transactions and other sensitive transactions, i.e. those that requires sharing your passwords and personal information, when you have a secured internet connection.
Don’t plug and play. If you see a USB device lying around on campus, do NOT plug it into your computer to see what’s on it. Turn it in to Campus Security.
Don’t use the same USB devices for home and College computers as you could run the risk of contaminating computers. If the device is malicious, it can install malware such as backdoor Trojans (a type of malware that can enable access for a remote hacker), information stealers and more.
Think before you click – phishing emails are no longer just a message with bad grammar, they’re getting more and more sophisticated. Clicking on a link or opening an attachment in an email, even when it is from someone you know, can give an attacker full control of your device and passwords. Never hit “reply” if the email seems suspicious to you in any way. If you know the sender, you should check with them to make sure the link is safe.
Do not click on links embedded in emails directly. Instead, hover your mouse over it, and take a moment to check the URL address. Sometimes the link will take you to a different page with identical design and before you know it your device is already hacked.
Take the time this October to get informed about cybersecurity and be sure to follow us on Instagram, @douglascollege to participate in the upcoming password strength contest for a chance to win $500 tuition credit!
By Maia Odegaard, Marketing and Communications
Photo by David Denofreo
The path to success is not always a straight line. Just ask Searaj. When he missed being accepted to SFU by a mere one percent, he enrolled at Douglas, thinking it would be a means for a quick transfer to university. However, once at Douglas, he was shocked to discover that post-secondary was much harder than he imagined.
- Making an investment in a smart education: The right schooling and a money-smart mom helped this student launch a financial planning career.
“My first semester at Douglas was definitely the most challenging. I failed my first Chemistry course and barely passed English. I realized that post-secondary was a demanding, fast-paced environment that requires focus and dedication,” Searaj says.
If at first you don’t succeed
Rather than giving up, he took action, working with an academic advisor and instructors to get back on track. He even switched from Science to Engineering, an agonizing decision as it meant starting again almost from scratch.
- Taking inspiration from Apple and SpaceX: This Engineering student wants to change the future of technology.
Inspired by events put on by the Douglas College Business Association, Searaj had yet again, another change of heart. He realized he wanted to pursue business so, he made the switch. After completing his first- and second-year business courses, Searaj finally transferred his credits into the Business Technology Management program at UBC’s Sauder School of Business, a Bachelor of Commerce degree specialization.
Getting down to business
During his time at UBC, Searaj began doing marketing work for small, local companies, offering his services for free and growing his clients’ businesses through social media. Eventually, he became so overwhelmed with clients that he had to call on a few friends to help with the workload. Nowadays, he has a social media marketing business, Social Soar Canada, which is off the ground and charging rates that won’t break the bank.
“We were shocked to learn how incredibly high the average marketing rates are in Vancouver,” says Searaj. “We’re the first – and most affordable – student-driven marketing firm in the entire city.”
The Douglas difference
Looking back on his academic career, Searaj says he’s glad he wasn’t accepted to university right off the bat. “It would have cost me a lot more to learn from my mistakes there. Douglas allowed me to get my bearings, make mistakes and work to better myself,” Searaj says. “I’ve recommended to all my friends they start at Douglas.”
Find your own career path at Douglas. Book a free information session today.
By Darin Nesbitt, Instructor, Department of Political Science
Canada has one of the lowest voter turnout rates among the world’s electoral democracies. Canadians pride themselves on their devotion to democracy, diversity and choice, so it is surprising – and disappointing – that so many eligible voters do not exercise this most basic and essential democratic right.
Don’t forget to vote this October! Visit our website for more information on how you can vote on campus. The time to discuss why voting matters is particularly relevant in light of the upcoming federal election on Oct. 21. With advance voting opportunities readily available at the College starting Oct. 5, I asked students in some of my political science classes to come up with reasons why citizens should cast their ballot. There are many such reasons (too many to list in a short blog post!), but here are some to consider:
- Apathy leads to the kind of government that apathy deserves.
- Positive change requires effort by voters to make it happen.
- Citizens need to vote because governments provide essential public goods such as security, water and education.
- The outcomes of elections will affect our future, both in the short- and long-term.
- If people do not vote, government decision makers will not accurately represent the diverse interests and needs of the community.
- If citizens are content with things as they are, they should vote to ensure things remain that way.
- Citizens have a duty to vote similar to other civic duties such as obeying laws, paying taxes or performing jury duty.
- If you don’t exercise your right to vote, chances are you may forfeit it. Use it or lose it!
- Those who do not vote are not entitled to complain about how the country is governed.
- The right to vote is a fundamental right that women, Aboriginal peoples and other historically marginalized peoples bravely struggled to be recognized.
To vote is to participate in a vital public ritual that nourishes and sustains our democratic culture and institutions. The decision to vote is unlike deciding whether to order a pumpkin-spiced latte or a mocha cappuccino. The act of voting does not typically produce such immediate and palpable satisfaction. The broader societal effects of voting (or not voting) are somewhat opaque and seemingly remote, but the governments formed as a result of elections directly impact citizens and the community.
In the absence of regular and fair elections, the only recourse for citizens to register their dissatisfaction with governments is civil unrest, as millions in the Middle East demonstrated during the Arab Spring movement. Those who insist their votes mean little would do well to reflect on the words of former U.S. president John Quincy Adams, who wrote that citizens should “always vote for principle, though you may vote alone, and you may cherish the sweetest reflection that your vote is not lost.”
By Brian Storey, Director of Global Engagement and International Student Services
Global citizenship is considered an essential educational outcome by the United Nations and the Organizations of Economic and Cooperative Development (OECD). If we (in the planetary sense of the word) are going to achieve progress on our pressing human rights and environmental issues — namely, global warming, poverty, lack of clean water, sanitation and reliable food sources, and the lack of peace, justice and stable institutions across the world — it begins with us educating ourselves on what it means to be a global citizen.
What is a global citizen?
The OECD Program for International Student Assessment (PISA) identifies four areas they consider essential to global competence that people need to apply successfully in their everyday lives to be a global citizen:
- The capacity to examine issues and situations of local, global and cultural significance (e.g. poverty, economic interdependence, migration, inequality, environmental risks, conflicts, cultural differences and stereotypes);
- The capacity to understand and appreciate different perspectives and world views;
- The ability to establish positive interactions with people of different national, ethnic, religious, social or cultural backgrounds or gender; and
- The capacity and disposition to take constructive action toward sustainable development and collective well-being. (OECD, 2018)
Leverage your Douglas College education to become a global citizen
1. Take action by … taking action!
Act! Take advantage of the many opportunities Douglas College offers to interact with people from all over the world by: studying on exchange, going on a field school, joining a Douglas Students’ Union (DSU) club that is cause focused or culture focused, or taking part in Global Engagement Days. Thinking alone will not solve our global issues. Acting locally and for sustainability is what is needed! Start building your cred as a global citizen at Global Engagement Days, Oct. 1-3.
2. Embrace critical thinking by learning thinking models
Different courses offer different thinking models. For example, your courses may expose you to the scientific method, ethical thinking models, critical thinking models, and world-view theoretical frameworks, such as feminism. Try to learn them and understand how they frame problems. Learning thinking models enables you to examine issues from multiple perspectives.
3. Develop your emotional intelligence by going beyond your comfort zone
Emotional intelligence involves recognizing and managing your own emotions, while also managing relationships. Embrace opportunities to do this across cultures and with different peer groups in your classes. We are an intercultural community. By pushing yourself to work at the edge of your comfort zone and reflecting on what you learn, you are inadvertently learning to master your emotions and work with others doing the same. Are you sticking to your ethnically similar peers, or pushing yourself to connect across cultures?
Getting up to speed with technology can be a challenge, especially at the beginning of a new semester. Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered.
The Centre for Educational and Information Technology (CEIT) has two student assistants ready to help with any tech questions for the Fall 2019 Semester as part of the Students Helping Students (SHS) program.
Meet Manpreet Kaur and Nakul Garg. Both Manpreet and Nakul are enrolled in the Computing Science and Information Systems Diploma program at Douglas College.
Manpreet and Nakul will be on campus outfitted in red vests to assist you with logins, computer functionality, printing, wireless and connectivity.
You can reach out to Manpreet at the New West Campus. Manpreet says she has always been excited about meeting new people and learning new skills. “This is a great opportunity and I am looking forward to helping other students with their technology queries.”
You can reach out to Nakul at the Coquitlam Campus. Nakul says he enjoys helping and supporting people. His suggestion to students, “We always think that technology is challenging and are afraid to fix issues ourselves. I would like to encourage students to go ahead and explore the self-service technology options that are available to all of us at Douglas College. And for any immediate assistance I am always ready to help.”
Since its inception, the Students Helping Students service has helped hundreds of students each semester.
If you need technical assistance this semester, look for the red vests or contact our student assistants by phone or email.
Manpreet Kaur is available to help you in New Westminster.*
Location: S2665A inside Library Computer Lab (S2660)
Call or text: 604-396-4475
Nakul Garg is available to help you in Coquitlam.*
Location: CEIT Office, (adjacent to the Library), Coquitlam Campus
Call or text: 604-306-4777
Hours: Mon – Fri, 9am-5pm
*In November, Manpreet and Nakul will swap campuses.
The great philosopher Aristotle once said: “What is the essence of life? To serve others and to do good.”
Don’t believe Aristotle? Recent studies show that dedicating your time to serving others is good for your soul – and your career:
- You will be able to connect with others. Meeting new people will give you new perspectives, and it will help you get comfortable with networking, which will be useful when you are looking for a job.
- You will improve your mental health. A person that volunteers is usually giving back to the community and helping others. This brings joy, increases your self-confidence and helps relieve stress.
- You will develop workplace skills. Volunteering gives you the chance to practise important skills used in the workplace, such as problem-solving, communication, teamwork and organization.
- You will advance your career. Once you become a volunteer, you will be someone who gives back, has experience, is able to learn new things and communicate. Those skills look great on a resumé.
Aastha Joshi was a Marketing student at Douglas who graduated in September. Her first volunteering experience was teaching personality development and English to young offenders in rehab. But ever since she was a little girl, she has loved animals. So, when she discovered an organization called “Delhi the Street Dog Foundation,” Aastha began offering her time to help find homes for street dogs from India. She says she recommends volunteering as a great way to expand your horizons and prepare for employment.
“Volunteering gives you a lot of scope, the room to make mistakes, and opportunities to amend those mistakes at the same time – something you won’t usually get from a paid job!”
Want to start volunteering? Check out the Volunteer Fair Sept. 24 (Coquitlam) and 26 (New West).