From hosting events like Global Engagement Days and Tech Week, to getting out the vote for the 2019 federal election and our men’s soccer team winning the PACWEST Conference Championship, Fall was a busy time. As we head into the holiday season, we reflect on this semester – in photos.
With winter weather on the horizon, it’s time to start preparing for more treacherous road and sidewalk conditions, and using extra caution when commuting to and from campuses.
Douglas College continuously monitors the weather and makes decisions about operations of its campuses with the safety of students and employees as our primary consideration.
If weather takes a turn for the worse and a campus closure seems likely, Douglas will inform the College community prior to 6:30am for morning closures and 2:30pm for afternoon closures.
The College website homepage is the best source for up-to-date information. Information is also available from the College information line (toll-free 1 877 679 0823) and DC Alerts. DC Alerts subscribers get rapid campus closure updates sent via text, email and/or phone messages. Sign up for DC Alerts now.
What happens if the College is open but I’m unable to travel due to severe weather conditions in my area?
Douglas College serves a large and diverse geographic area. We make decisions based on the impacts to the largest portion of our population, but we understand this will never include every student or employee. It is the responsibility of each individual to make decisions about what is safe for them. If this means you are unable to travel to class, please notify your instructor as soon as possible.
Instructors have been requested to consider weather conditions when making decisions about attendance during winter weather. Ultimately, these decisions are the sole discretion of individual instructors.
The College takes all precautions to ensure our campuses are safe. We understand sidewalks can be treacherous when icy, so this year we’ve taken the step of meeting with our business neighbours to request they follow city bylaws (New West Bylaw and Coquitlam Bylaw) and clear the sidewalks outside their businesses in a timely fashion. If you feel sidewalk conditions are unsafe, please contact the appropriate city:
- City of New Westminster: 604 519 2010 or firstname.lastname@example.org
- City of Coquitlam: Snow Response Request
Winter weather preparedness tips
- Allow extra time to get to campus in consideration of travel conditions (vehicle, bus, SkyTrain, etc.)
- Translink posts service outages and updates on their website.
- Wear appropriate footwear and winter clothing, especially if regularly moving between the New Westminster Campus and the Anvil Office Tower.
- If driving, use caution and ensure you have winter tires that are in good condition.
- If walking, use caution and consider driving conditions, while watching for vehicles (even at crosswalks).
By Marie Del Cid-Luque, Marketing and Communications
Jaime Yard is on a mission to spread gender awareness across Douglas College. For starters, the Cultural Anthropology professor wants to get people to think more openly about inclusive spaces and how the world around us can play a part in promoting gender equity.
“All around us we see gendered work places, gendered family roles, gendered fields of study, and, as an anthropologist, there’s this talk about trying to pay attention to not only what people say, but also what people do,” says Jaime. “Being a person in the world you can’t help but notice the differences between what we say about gender and what we’re actually doing and making possible on an everyday basis in everyday spaces.”
Jaime explains that as a society, we talk a big game about being inclusive and accepting of non- conventional gendered roles, however, we don’t always practise what we preach.
“We know if you’re a female going into a STEM field, for example, you’re going to find fewer people who look like you in mentorship roles and in your classes. You might face more hesitance to your ideas in group work, or more questions about your knowledge and performance because of longstanding cultural biases that encouraged more men than women to pursue STEM careers,” says Jaime. “So, thinking about gender, we confront a difference between how the world actually is and the hopeful messages saying you can be whatever you want to be. If we don’t think critically about the challenges and constraints people actually face, we aren’t setting people up to succeed.”
Building inclusive spaces
Jaime says we need to start thinking more critically by asking ourselves, “what are some of the more insidious ways in which things are gendered?” This kind of thinking is what gave way for Jaime and her Anthropology of Gender and Sexuality class to begin the conversation about converting single-stall washrooms at Douglas to gender-neutral washrooms. Her class conducted a social and spatial audit of College facilities a few years ago to determine how accessible and inclusive the Campus was for non-binary and transgender students.
“One of the most basic equity issues in any work place is ensuring that people’s basic biological needs are met, and students overwhelmingly noted that the washroom facilities were inadequate,” says Jaime.
Jaime notes that gender-neutral single-stall washrooms meet a wide range of on-campus needs: for a parent with a small child who is potty training or for a diabetic student who needs a private space to administer their insulin.
“There are many different reasons why a person might need a closed space on campus. We might not have the same reasons, but it’s the same need for a space to attend to private matters” says Jaime.
Visit the Anthropology page for more information regarding our program.
By Carly Whetter, Foundation and Alumni Relations
On Sept. 10, 2001, Jena Sharma – known to her students as Miss Jena – started a job as an Urgent Interventionist at the Vancouver School Board, a role in which she supports schools in addressing disruptive student situations. The next day, two planes crashed into the World Trade Centre towers in New York City. It changed the way she viewed the world.
“Overnight, everything shifted,” says Jena, a graduate of the Douglas College Child and Youth Care program. “In that moment it really landed that I was responsible for the delivery of education. I couldn’t help but think about how these terrorists were once children and that there must have been something missing in schools to cause something like that to happen. But at the same time, the kids in my own school had questions, and how do you explain something you yourself don’t understand?”
A changed perspective
Jena’s changed perspective on education eventually led her to create calmversation, a compassion- and communication-driven education program for students in K-12. She felt so strongly about the program that she cashed out her pension to create it.
“calmversation was designed to help children learn how to communicate their questions, understand how they create and think, and inform their teachers of what supports and what interferes with their learning,” she says. “The lower case ‘c’ is intentional. Each letter in calmversation stands for something, and I didn’t want to give the impression that any letter or meaning is greater than another.”
Taking a leap for education
The seeds for calmversation sprouted from Jena’s own childhood. Although she was a “smart kid,” there were many things about school that didn’t make sense to her.
“A child that experiences school without understanding why they have to do certain things will not be as engaged – and I wasn’t,” she says.
Despite being unsure about what to do after high school, Jena knew she wanted to work with kids.
“I wanted to help them learn how to express themselves and make a difference for them. Stepping into the Child and Youth Care program at Douglas became the access point for everything that has happened in my life since then,” she says. “One of the assignments we had consisted of circles that outlined how one child is connected to all these different things. It was exercises like these that really made me want to understand what we can do to support children in those formative years so they can make decisions that help them become proactive members of society, global citizens and difference makers.”
Taking the world by storm
Since the inception of calmversation, Jena’s been taking the education world by storm. She spoke at TEDxSFU, won several Toastmasters awards and most recently, became a published author. She contributed to Voices of the 21st Century: Bold, brave and brilliant women who make a difference*[WCE3] , whichlaunched exactly 18 years after her first day at the Vancouver School Board andbecame a triple bestseller overnight.
While her list of accomplishments is impressive, she isn’t even close to being done.
“In 2015, when I put it all on the line to create this program, I told myself I was going to focus my sights on one really big goal, and that was to make a difference in one billion children’s lives. No matter how many times I get knocked down, I will get up. I’ve got my eyes set on the Nobel Peace Prize.”
Are you an alum looking to share your story? Contact us at email@example.com
* Jena’s book will be available soon at both Coquitlam and New Westminster campus bookstores
Discover all the awesome technology available to you at Douglas College. Plus, get a chance to win a laptop, Apple AirPods and more.
At Douglas College, there are multiple technologies and services available to you. Find out all about them at Tech Week Oct. 28-30 at both campuses.
A lot of things are taking place during Tech Week 2019. Check out the event schedule to learn more!
Here are four reasons why you should not miss this event:
- Explore all the basic and cutting-edge educational technologies available to you at Douglas: There are 14 technology booths – Virtual Reality, 3D printing, IT support services including myAccount, password resets, and booths that will help you explore online educational resource portals like Blackboard and LinkedIn Learning. These resources provide you with a simpler, faster and more personalized educational experience.
- Prizes, prizes and more prizes: Register at Eventbrite for the Cybersecurity talk by Gary Perkins on Oct. 28, for a chance to win Apple AirPods! At the technology booths Oct. 29 and 30, you’ll also have a chance to win a laptop, Bookstore credit and more!
- Share your questions and suggestions: Tech Week is an opportunity for you to meet with IT support services team and representatives from other College departments, such as the Registrar’s Office and Accessibility Services. This is your chance to get close to these departments and have your usual questions and concerns answered. You can also share suggestions on tools and technologies you would like to see at Douglas to enhance your learning experience.
- Interactive and engaging: Find out how cybersmart you are with the Cybersecurity quiz, and try your hand at 3D printing and Blackboard technologies. Every booth will have something interesting and interactive in store for you. Have we mentioned prizes?
Tech week is open for all students, employees and faculty. Participate and you will have a chance to win exciting prizes. Don’t miss out!
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.”
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!