Douglas 360°

Douglas instructor advocates for free menstrual products in public washrooms

By Marie Del Cid-Luque & Melissa Nilan, Marketing and Communications

This year, all public schools in B.C. will be required to have free dispensers for menstrual products in their washrooms. This change is a direct result of the efforts of Geology Instructor Selina Tribe and other advocates who are helping lead a push for free pads and tampons in washrooms.

Read more: Meet the Douglas instructor who is starting conversations surrounding gender equity and gender neutral washrooms

But Selina isn’t stopping there: Her ultimate goal is to get amendments made to the provincial and national building codes and occupational health and safety codes so menstrual products are required by law to be available in all public washrooms.

“I want to change the law. Current regulations require public washrooms to provide free soap, toilet paper, paper towels, washing water and even urinals for men, but there is no mention of menstrual supplies,” says Selina.

Urinals, as Selina points out, are a convenience, not a medical necessity, and they are paid for with tax dollars. Gender equality would indicate menstrual products, which are medically necessary, should be equally available.

Selina’s concern around availability of menstrual products began when she discovered her daughter’s elementary school did not have dispensers in their washrooms. On top of that, School Board standard practice required students to go to the office and ask an adult for a tampon or a pad.

“The principal said that this is how the school board does things,” says Selina. “So I purchased a coin-free dispenser and got permission to install it in the girls’ washroom.”

Selina says young women face difficulties if they have to go and ask a stranger, let alone a male, for a tampon or pad. Some cultural and religious groups are very reserved about the topic of menstruation, which can make an already embarrassing request doubly so. Some students may choose to go home or send a friend on their behalf instead of approaching an unfamiliar adult with such a personal matter, which means they are either missing class or interrupting their classmates to ask for help.

“Boys never have to do this. We don’t ask them to go to the office to ask for toilet paper, we don’t make them carry their own toilet paper or pay for toilet paper or pay to use the urinal that’s conveniently installed for their speedy use,” says Selina. “It’s unnecessarily infantilizing; you’re treating a young woman like a child, making her go ask an adult for menstrual products.”

With free period products now (or soon to be) available for all students up to Grade 12, Selina wants post-secondary institutions to follow suit, starting with Douglas College. She says there is a lack in menstrual supplies available in the College’s washrooms. And of the few coin-operated dispensers that do exist, about a quarter of them don’t work.

Read more: Inclusivity in cities: yay or nay?

Selina says that with costs ranging from 25 to 50 cents (and up to $2 outside of the College) for a single tampon or pad from a dispenser, female students face an extra financial burden when they are caught unprepared – an added expense to their “already expensive” education.

“What if you need multiple supplies because you have a heavy flow, or a long day on campus? You could be spending several dollars. The alternative is to take time out of your day to go to bargain hunt and buy supplies at a store, which may result in missing classes or exams if you have a tight schedule.”

Selina teamed up with Douglas College Sociology Instructor Lisa Smith to study how the cost of and access to menstrual products can affect students. Together, they founded the Menstrual Research Institute.

“We’re trying to understand how college students are dealing with their period on campus.”

Selina has organized a public event that will feature a group of specialists for a discussion on menstrual equity. It will also include a menstrual product drive, encouraging the public to bring in menstrual products to donate to Period Promise, a campaign by United Way. Periods, Politics & Beyond! takes place on March 10, 5:30-8:30pm, in the concourse at New Westminster Campus.

Campus events March 2–6

Looking for something to do this week? We’ve got you covered! Here are the events taking place on campus. Have an on-campus event you want listed? Submit it here.

Monday, March 2

Career Fair prep workshop

  • What: Attend the Career Fair prep workshop to get ready for this week’s Career Fair.
  • Where: Career Centre
  • When: 3:30-4pm
  • Why: There will be employers ready to accept applications at the Career Fair this week. Find out what to expect before you meet your future employer.

University of Victoria UT info

  • What: Representatives from UVic will be in the concourse ready to answer your questions about transferring to their University.
  • Where: New Westminster Campus concourse
  • When: 12-3pm
  • Why: If you’re curious about transferring to a research university, but don’t want to travel too far from home, find out more about transferring to the University of Victoria.

Tuesday, March 3

30th annual Career Fair

  • What: Meet employers, expand your professional network, and connect with recruiters and hiring managers. The Career Fair is a great place to learn about careers that interest you and explore employment opportunities. This event is open to both current students and alumni.
  • Where: Coquitlam Campus atrium
  • When: 10am-3pm
  • Why: Dress to impress and bring your resumé – we’ve invited over 30 employers looking to hire Douglas students!

Listening to Different Voices in the Process

  • What: Part two in a three-part series titled Changing the Conversation: Reflective Empathy and Public Discourse on Social Housing.
  • Where: The New West Public Library, 716 6th Ave.
  • When: 6:30-8pm
  • Why: This event will feature the perspectives of individuals who have experienced poverty and homelessness, centering the importance of representing marginalized voices in public engagement processes.

Wednesday, March 4

30th annual Career Fair

  • What: Meet employers, expand your professional network, and connect with recruiters and hiring managers. The Career Fair is a great place to learn about careers that interest you and explore employment opportunities. This event is open to both current students and alumni.
  • Where: New Westminster Campus concourse
  • When: 10am-3pm
  • Why: Dress to impress and bring your resumé – we’ve invited over 30 employers looking to hire Douglas students!

Thursday, March 5

An angry joint, by Otto Kamensek

Shards, Bone Deep art exhibit opening reception

  • What: An opening reception for the new sculpture exhibit. Refreshments will be served and a cash bar will be available.
  • Where: The Amelia Douglas Gallery, New West Campus
  • When: 4:30-7:30pm
  • Why: Explore the sculptures of a local artist while snacking on free cheese. The exhibit runs until April 18.

Douglas Commerce and Business Association CFA info session

  • What: The CFA (Chartered Financial Analyst) is a branch of finance responsible for stocks, portfolio management and business to business relationships. A rep from the CFA will be speaking about upcoming job opportunities and designations! Register here.
  • Where: Anvil Office Tower 9th floor, room 910
  • When: 5-6:30pm
  • Why: If you’re interested in pursuing a career in this field, now is a great time to ask questions and learn more from a professional.
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30th annual Career Fair

  • What: Meet employers, expand your professional network, and connect with recruiters and hiring managers. The Career Fair is a great place to learn about careers that interest you and explore employment opportunities. This event is open to both current students and alumni.
  • Where: New Westminster Campus concourse
  • When: 10am-3pm
  • Why: Dress to impress and bring your resumé – we’ve invited over 30 employers looking to hire Douglas students!

Friday, March 6

Goodnight Desdemona (Good Morning Juliet) opening night

  • What: The latest production from the departments of Theatre and Stagecraft & Event Technology, this play combines twisted humour with Shakespearean style into a delightful, modern piece.
  • Where: Laura C. Muir Performing Arts Theatre, New West Campus
  • When: March 6-13, various times
  • Why: It’s cheaper than going to the movies (discounted tickets available for students!) and a great way to expose yourself to a bit of culture while supporting your fellow students.

Ongoing Campus Events

Fitness classes

  • What: Free weekly fitness classes for staff and students ranging from power yoga to Zumba
  • Where: Movement Studio, room N1313 (NW) and the Pinetree Community Centre (COQ)
  • When: Various times
  • Why: Get fit, have fun, meet people or try something new!

Check back often for more fun and entertaining campus events!

Get your taxes done for free

By Melissa Nilan, Marketing and Communications

The Douglas College Business Association (DCBA) provides Business students with opportunities to put their classroom-taught skills into practice.

One such opportunity is the DCBA Tax Clinic, which provides free tax filing help to Douglas College students and lower income families and individuals in the community.

This year’s tax clinic takes place March 2-April 30, Monday-Friday, 10am-5pm in the DSU Building (first floor, 88 Seventh St., New Westminster) and are drop-in only. To be eligible:

  • Your income must be under $35,000 if single, or under $45,000 combined, if married.
  • You cannot be self-employed, bankrupt or have capital gains.

For more information, including what documents to bring, visit the Tax Clinic 2020 page on the DCBA website.

The students filing the taxes are Accounting students who are CRA certified and trained by professional accountants. In 2019, the DCBA processed over 1,700 tax returns.

“Preparing and organizing a tax clinic that continuously grows each year, and outperforms the previous year, is an experience that can best be described as a rollercoaster,” says Nicholas Carroll, president of the DCBA. “But it’s worth it: In 2019 we nearly doubled the number of tax returns filed the year before.

“Being able to give back to the community by providing a free service for lower income families and individuals is full of rewards in itself,” he adds.

Are you an Accounting student interested in joining the DCBA tax team? In addition to the invaluable experience, you’ll receive a volunteer certificate from the Canada Revenue Agency. Learn more about joining the team on the DCBA website.

The DCBA meets regularly throughout the semester. If you’re a Business student looking to make connections, build your transferable skillset and have fun, stop by one of their upcoming meetings: Feb. 28, March 13, March 27 or April 10, 3:45pm-4:45pm, New Westminster Campus, room S1802.

Crossing the academic finish line

By Marketing & Communications

Our Winter 2020 grads crossed the stage last week to receive their credentials.  One small group made a lasting mark with their peers and instructors during their time at Douglas. They are the valedictorians. Read below to see what they say about the challenges they faced, the wisdom they acquired, their growth as individuals, and their pride and excitement at successfully completing their program.


Anessa dela Cruz

“There was an instructor who gave us a sage advice: Go to a place where you will be constantly challenged and mentally stimulated, as it will be the place that will test you to step outside your comfort zone. Go where you can grow. Education is not confined within these walls – it goes far beyond classrooms and lecture halls.” – Anessa dela Cruz, Bachelor of Business Administration – Major in Accounting

Bharti Kapur

“I consider myself lucky to be part of a cohort that was like a close-knit community. Our class consisted of several great individuals from diverse backgrounds and walks of life. We grew together, laughed together and often cried together. I formed some great friendships that I will cherish for the rest of my life.” – Bharti Kapur, Bachelor of Science in Psychiatric Nursing

Read more: Grief helped on Psychiatric Nursing grad find his true calling

Danielle Gostkowska

“These are the takeaways from my time at Douglas:

  • Inject some play and creativity into your life – whether it’s at work or outside of it. It allows for new ways of thinking, expression and an increased connection to others because we are showing another authentic side to ourselves.
  • If there’s something you don’t agree with, and can see a need for improvement, speak up. We are told to be advocates, so someone might just listen.
  • Finally, whatever you’re passionate about, pursue it in your career – because if you’re passionate about what you’re doing, you’ll see the most success for yourself.” – Danielle Gostkowska, Bachelor in Child and Youth Care

Read more: How one Child and Youth Care alum is changing the face of education

Gabriel Trinidad

“When I first started at Douglas, I was completely unmotivated and apathetic. Frankly, I was just waiting for school to be over. However, I soon learned that Douglas College is more than just a school, it is a family. I made friends, got involved with school club activities and volunteered for the school’s athletic teams. This institution made me feel like I belonged and gave me the hunger for self-improvement necessary to excel in my studies and my career.” – Gabriel Trinidad, Bachelor of Physical Education and Coaching

Miamin Alcantara

“I have this insatiable appetite for knowledge and discovery. When people ask me how I managed to attend all my classes, participate in school events, volunteer as a Student Ambassador and work as a Campus Tour Leader, I only have one answer – when you put your heart into it, you’ll have the energy to do it.” – Miamin Alcantara Pederoso, Post-Baccalaureate Diploma in International Supply Chain Management

Read more: Music grad fine-tunes his passion into a profession

Guilherme Lima Facanha

“When I decided to move from Brazil to Canada, I knew that I would face many changes. There would be no more family dinners and my time playing outdoor tennis would become very limited. Even knowing that a lot would be left behind, I decided to come to Canada. And I don’t regret it.” – Guilherme Lima Facanha, Post-Baccalaureate Diploma in Computer and Information Systems

Preeyanuch Chaoviriapong

“Douglas provides us a great chance to get to make new friends from several different countries. We learned about cultural differences and even how to greet others in their languages. We went out together and we relaxed together. As an international student who travelled far from my home country, this warm atmosphere helped me adjust to living in Canada.” – Preeyanuch Chaoviriapong, Diploma in Commerce and Business Administration

Daniela Isabel Becerril Rodriguez

“Embrace failure. Soon, most of us will be looking to enter the workforce full time and we are probably going to face rejection or even failure during job interviews. But don’t get discouraged if you’re turned down a couple of times or if things don’t go your way. Most of the time, we forget that failure is part of life and that success usually comes as a result of past failures.” – Daniela Isabel Becerril Rodriguez, Post-Degree Diploma in Marketing

Grounds for change: Chemistry instructor turns coffee waste into biofuel

By Nicole Chiu, Research and Innovation Office

When Brenda Addison-Jones, was approached by a Business student with an idea to turn coffee grounds into something profitable, she was intrigued. The Chemistry instructor knew that used grounds could be used as a fuel source – and one that could potentially produce more energy than burning wood.

Chemistry Instructor Brenda Addison-Jones

Along with the Business student, she formed a research team, which included an Engineering instructor, a Business instructor and student research assistants. They partnered with a local coffee shop, JJ Bean Coffee Roasters, on Main Street, who agreed to donate their spent coffee grounds for the research.  

Within a month Brenda and her team had built a manual press and a calorimeter, an apparatus which measures the amount of heat or energy produced in a chemical reaction. The manual press compacted a mixture of coffee ground and wax into small pucks. These pucks were then burned in the calorimeter.

“Our results suggested that coffee grounds produce at least 20 percent more heat per gram than wood,” says Brenda.  

Fueling efficiency

The team also researched the environmental impacts of coffee grounds. What they discovered motivated them to think beyond monetary profit.

Manual press used to compact coffee grounds

“When coffee grounds are dumped into landfills, they create methane, a greenhouse gas 30 times more harmful than carbon dioxide in terms of causing global warming,” says Brenda. Keeping coffee grounds out of landfills is a way to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.”

With that, the team’s new goal was to create a source of energy that would be both profitable and environmentally sustainable.

The team has since created a “bomb” calorimeter to run additional trials. The bomb calorimeter also measures the amount of heat given off by the pucks, but with more accurate results. They are also testing different natural ingredients to mix with the coffee grounds to hold them together, in the hope of creating a superior product to commercial fuel logs, which are made from compressed sawdust and paraffin.  

What the puck

“The most effective pucks will be further tested against wood fire logs. We will also test the gases produced by burning the products to see if it will be safe for consumers.”

Coffee ground puck

If the pucks are deemed safe, the team hopes to sell the product as briquettes and pucks to heat homes and to use for recreational purposes like camping.

Campus events: Feb. 24 – 28

Looking for something to do this week? We’ve got you covered! Here are the events taking place on campus. Have an on-campus event you want listed? Submit it here.

Monday, Feb. 24

Tuesday, Feb. 25

  • Global Engagement photo contest – 10am–2pm in the New Westminster Concourse. Douglas College International has rounded up student travel photos and it’s time to cast your vote! The winner will receive a $100 Bookstore gift card.

Wednesday, Feb. 26

  • Global Engagement photo contest – 10am–2pm in the Coquitlam atrium. Douglas College International has rounded up student travel photos and it’s time to cast your vote! The winner will receive a $100 Bookstore gift card.

Thursday, Feb. 27

Friday, Feb. 28

Ongoing Campus Events

Check back often for more fun and entertaining campus events!

Make the most of the Career Fair March 3-5

Young professional on business city street, view from behind

By Lucia Green, Business Development

Career fairs are a great opportunity to meet potential employers and expand your professional network, or connect with recruiters and hiring managers who specifically want to employ Douglas College students and alumni.

You can also learn about the required skills and qualifications for positions you might be interested in, find out about opportunities for skill development, and clarify application requirements and deadlines. In other words, don’t miss out the 30th Annual Career Fair happening on March 3 in Coquitlam, and March 4 and 5 at the New Westminster Campus.  

Tips and tricks

If you want your Career Fair experience to be successful, prepare ahead and have a plan! Here are Douglas College Career Coach Katelin Wood’s top three tips:

  1. Create and practise an introduction that clearly shows not only who you are, but also why you’re speaking to the employer – are you looking for a job, or just more information about the company? Why are you interested in this particular organization?
  2. Send “good vibes” through your non-verbal communication – keep your body language open, don’t fidget, maintain good eye contact, put the phone away and remember to smile!
  3. Dress for success – sure, it might seem awkward to wear business clothes to class, but it just might be worth it to impress employers; plus, you will come across as more confident when you step up your game with your appearance.

Come out to our Career Fair Prep workshop to get more tips, time to practise and answers to your questions about how to make a career fair successful for you and your career goals!

Read more: What do employers really want?

Career Fair Prep workshops  

Feb. 24

3:30–4:30pm
New Westminster – room S0650
Coquitlam – Career Centre (room A1430)

March 2

3:30–4:30pm
New Westminster – room S0650
Coquitlam – Career Centre (room A1430)

Register now for prep workshop on CareerHUB (mycareer.douglascollege.ca)

Read more: Taking his education to the bank with help from the Career Centre

Participating employers

Sport Science instructor creates video game for stroke rehabilitation

By Nicole Chiu, Communications Officer, Research & Innovation

While studying stroke patients’ neural control for walking, Douglas College Sport Science instructor Karine Hamm was surprised to discover there were few options for patients to continue working on their rehabilitation at home. This realization sparked her creativity and a recovery video game was invented.  

Changing the recovery process

Karine and her research team created a video game specifically to help with the recovery of “drop-foot,” a common impairment after a stroke that makes it difficult for individuals to lift their toes up during the swing phase of walking, which can cause tripping.

Karine explains that traditional rehabilitation involves lifting the toes up repeatedly against a rubber band; these strategies have been reported as repetitive, monotonous and ineffective.

“We developed a pedal that moves an object on the screen when the players lift their toes up. This encourages the motion recommended in traditional rehabilitation but has the potential to be fun, thus increasing motivation and promoting adherence to rehabilitation.”

The video game mimics the popular Brick Breaker game. She worked collaboratively with engineering instructor, Nakul Verma, as well as sport scientists, student research assistants and a neuro-rehabilitation clinic to make the video-game a reality.

This game is projected to be finished by the end of this year. Availability to the public is still to be determined.

The next phase

After intensive testing, the feedback from the rehabilitation community was that more and varied games and exercises were needed to sustain motivation in patients.

Karine and her team are partnering with the North Shore Stroke Recovery Center and Douglas College English instructor and cartoonist, Peter Wilkins, to develop a graphic novel that would address the challenges and success stories of stroke patients. Patients will navigate through panels of the graphic novel by controlling the foot pedal.

This new project along with a few others in the works will expand therapy options for patients and ensure they adhere to rehabilitation plans.

Campus events: Feb. 10 – 14

Don’t miss out – here’s what’s happening around campus this week!

Let’s kick off your Winter Semester with some fun, interesting and entertaining campus events taking place in and around Douglas.

Campus Events this Week:

Monday, Feb. 10

  • DSU elections: Voting week – 12-7pm in the New Westminster Campus concourse. Cast your vote for your 2020-2021 DSU Elected Student Representatives. To vote, please bring your Douglas College student ID or Government-Issued ID.
  • DSU elections: Voting week – 12-7pm in the Coquitlam Campus atrium. Cast your vote for your 2020-2021 DSU Elected Student Representatives. To vote, please bring your Douglas College student ID or Government-Issued ID.

Tuesday, Feb. 11

  • DSU elections: Voting week – 9am-4pm in the New Westminster Campus concourse. Cast your vote for your 2020-2021 DSU Elected Student Representatives. To vote, please bring your Douglas College student ID or Government-Issued ID.
  • DSU elections: Voting week – 9am-4pm in the Coquitlam Campus atrium. Cast your vote for your 2020-2021 DSU Elected Student Representatives. To vote, please bring your Douglas College student ID or Government-Issued ID.
  • DSU elections: Voting week – 2-4pm in the Anvil Office Tower. Cast your vote for your 2020-2021 DSU Elected Student Representatives. To vote, please bring your Douglas College student ID or Government-Issued ID.

Wednesday, Feb. 12

  • Black history month screening: Black experiences – 2:00 – 2:20pm in both the New Westminster (quiet study space) and Coquitlam Campus (library classroom). Watch a movie screening in honour of Black History Month. Both campus libraries will be streaming the documentary film Black Experiences, directed and produced by Aaron Floresco. Refreshments will be provided.
  • Urban challenges forum – Urban wild: Animals in the city – 6:30 – 8pm in room N2201 at the New Westminster Campus. This forum will discuss how modern urban spaces are often perceived as only for humans, and how the city was and is where many wild animals make their home. Begging the question: how can we do more to support positive human-wildlife cohabitation? Featuring SFU Assistant Prof Dr. Rosemary-Clair Collard and Wildlife Rescue Association of BC Support Centre Manager, Andrea Morgan. Free and open to the public.
  • DSU elections: Voting week – 12-7pm in the New Westminster Campus concourse. Cast your vote for your 2020-2021 DSU Elected Student Representatives. To vote, please bring your Douglas College student ID or Government-Issued ID.
  • DSU elections: Voting week – 12-7pm in the Coquitlam Campus atrium. Cast your vote for your 2020-2021 DSU Elected Student Representatives. To vote, please bring your Douglas College student ID or Government-Issued ID.
  • DSU elections: Voting week – 11am-1pm in the Anvil Office Tower. Cast your vote for your 2020-2021 DSU Elected Student Representatives. To vote, please bring your Douglas College student ID or Government-Issued ID.
  • World of dance: Hip hop/R&B – 5-6pm in the New Westminster Movement Studio. This is an upbeat, dynamic, and diverse dance session offered throughout the year. Join this dance session for rhythmic movement and cultural tastings!

Thursday, Feb. 13

  • DSU elections: Voting week – 9am-4pm in the New Westminster Campus concourse. Cast your vote for your 2020-2021 DSU Elected Student Representatives. To vote, please bring your Douglas College student ID or Government-Issued ID.
  • DSU elections: Voting week – 9am-4pm in the Coquitlam Campus atrium. Cast your vote for your 2020-2021 DSU Elected Student Representatives. To vote, please bring your Douglas College student ID or Government-Issued ID.
  • Consent and sexual health awareness booth – 10am – 2pm in the New Westminster Campus concourse. Join the Student Wellness Awareness Team (SWAT) to talk about consent on campus and to learn about safe sex.
  • Intramurals: Open gym – 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. Bring your Student ID card and proof of your current class registration.
  • Arts at One – 1pm at the Laura C. Muir Performing Arts Theatre, New Westminster Campus. Listen and enjoy the musical experiment that is Rick Maddocks & Sun Belt. Free and open to the public.

Friday, Feb. 14 ~ Happy Valentine’s Day ❤︎

  • DSU elections: Voting week – 9am-12pm in the New Westminster Campus concourse. Cast your vote for your 2020-2021 DSU Elected Student Representatives. To vote, please bring your Douglas College student ID or Government-Issued ID.
  • DSU elections: Voting week – 9am-12pm in the Coquitlam Campus atrium. Cast your vote for your 2020-2021 DSU Elected Student Representatives. To vote, please bring your Douglas College student ID or Government-Issued ID.
  • First year Fridays: First year fit – 3:30 – 5pm in the New Westminster Campus concourse. Show yourself some love this Valentine’s Day by learning about your physical fitness. There will be plenty of games and healthy snacks.
  • Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls March – 10am in the New Westminster Campus, upper cafeteria. Join Indigenous Student Services, the Douglas Students’ Union and students on the march for the annual memorial march for Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls (MMIWG).  

Ongoing Campus Events

  • Three Echoes: Hope and Transformation – From Jan. 16 – Feb. 29 at Amelia Douglas Gallery, New Westminster Campus. Enjoy the mixed-media artwork by three immigrant artists, Sidi Schaffer, Sorour Abdollahi and Devora, who take you on a journey bridging their immigrant experiences with art. Admission is always free.
  • New Westminster Campus Winter 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 Winter 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!

Check back often for more fun and entertaining campus events perfect for the Winter season!

Start small, dream big: Harvard grad kicked off career at Douglas

By Carly Whetter, Foundation and Alumni Relations

When Douglas alumna Yu-Ru Liu immigrated to Canada from Taiwan in 1993, she discovered her high school transcript was not recognized by many Canadian universities. Fortunately, she found a way to bridge the gap.

“I entered Douglas College to get some college credits to help me get into university,” says Yu-Ru. “I took classes mostly in mathematics, physics and chemistry.”  

She got much more than that. Thanks to the inspiration of her instructors at Douglas, Yu-Ru discovered her passion for the subject she’d eventually teach.

Step by step

“Aubie Anisef inspired me the most,” Yu-Ru says of the long-standing Douglas College mathematics professor. “He showed me Principles of Mathematical Analysis by Walter Rudin, and I started to become interested in pure mathematics.”

In 1995 Yu-Ru transferred her credits from Douglas College to McGill University, where she completed her undergraduate degree in mathematics. From there, she went on to earn her Master’s degree from Queen’s University and then her PhD in Mathematics from Harvard University in 2003.  

Sum of its parts

Today, Yu-Ru is a professor of Pure Mathematics at the University of Waterloo, where she also researches number theory, among other topics. Her experience with her professors at Douglas inspires her to put her students first.

“I hope that I can convey the warmth and enthusiasm that I received from my teachers there to my students at Waterloo,” she says.

And she’s succeeding. Yu-Ru is working to improve the first-year curriculum in the Faculty of Mathematics. She also received the University of Waterloo Mathematics Society’s Instructor of the Year Award in 2011 and the faculty’s Award for Distinction in Teaching in 2013.

Visit the Mathematics page for more information regarding the program.