Douglas 360°

This week at Douglas College: Gallery opening, free concert and more!

Here’s what’s happening at Douglas Jan. 12-18

Thursday, Jan. 15

Free concert
New Westminster Campus, Laura C. Muir Performing Arts Theatre
Arts at One presents Song of the East, featuring celebrated sitarist Mohamed Assani and Sunny Matharu on tabla. Free and open to all. More info: Arts events website.

Gallery opening
New Westminster Campus, Amelia Douglas Gallery
Essence: A Collaboration features photographs by Kathryn Gibson O’Regan and ceramics by Robert Shiozaki. Exhibit runs January 15-February 14, 2015. Everyone invited. More info: Arts events website.

Friday, Jan. 16

Artist’s talk
New Westminster Campus, Amelia Douglas Gallery
Essence: A Collaboration features photographs by Kathryn Gibson O’Regan and ceramics by Robert Shiozaki. Exhibit runs January 15-February 14, 2015. Everyone invited. More info: Arts events website.

Got an event you want listed? Submit it here.

See more upcoming Douglas College events on the Events Calendar.

And make sure to join Douglas College on Facebook and follow us on Twitter!

Future Teachers grad prepares for career in the classroom

Imagine having a job where you’re surrounded every day by people who make you smile.

That’s what appeals to Terralynn Price about becoming an elementary school teacher. “I love working with kids,” she says. “They have such a positive outlook on the world and are so eager to learn.”

To prepare for a teaching career, Terralynn has completed the Associate of Arts – Future Teachers program. She picked the program because it provides a clear path to the teacher training program at SFU. That’s where she plans to head after graduating from Douglas.

But first she’s finishing up a Bachelor of Arts in Applied Psychology. As part of the Applied Psychology program, she’s doing a specialization in Disability and Applied Behaviour Analysis. The knowledge and practical experience she gains will help her support students with autism and other challenges.

“I think the training will help me turn my classroom into a better learning environment for every student,” she says.

Want to do what Terralynn’s doing? Come to an info session to find out more about our Associate of Arts – Future Teachers and BA Applied Psychology programs. 

Explore the world with Douglas College field schools

                                                          Andrew Ducholke Photo

What are you doing in summer 2015?

We’re planning field schools in Italy, the Philippines, Switzerland and Wales, and you’re invited!

Field schools are seven weeks with the last two to three weeks spent abroad. Programs usually take place from April to July. Courses are taught by Douglas instructors.

Virtually all field school courses are university transferable.

To be eligible, you must be:

  • a Douglas College student eligible to take the courses offered in the field school. Qualified students from other institutions are welcome to apply but must first gain admission to Douglas College. 
  • 18 years of age or older prior to departure 
  • in good academic standing with a minimum cumulative GPA of 2.0 by application deadline. If you do not meet this requirement, you can only attend a field school with the approval of the program’s lead faculty member. 
  • a passport holder or able to obtain a passport 


$2,400-$3,800 per student, depending on the program. Includes airport transfers overseas, use of facilities at the partner institution, tuition for any courses taught by partner institutions, program field trips, shared accommodations, and some meals (depending on the program).

Airfare, passport application costs, fees for Douglas College courses, travel medical insurance, airport transfers in Vancouver, textbooks and personal spending are extra.

For more information, visit the Douglas College website.

Win a $1500 tuition credit with the #IChoseDouglas campaign

                                                                    David Denofreo Photo

Have you ever wondered why someone chose Douglas?

We were curious, so we decided to find out.

Starting on January 6, we’ll be running a hashtag campaign encouraging people to tell us why they chose Douglas.

All they have to do is tell us why on Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram, and include the hashtag #IChoseDouglas.

At the end of March, we’ll do a random draw from all of the entrants. The lucky winner will receive a $1,500 tuition credit.

Spread the word! Full details, including rules and regulations, can be found at

Douglas College student helps people overcome barriers to employment

Pippin Brown understands how important meaningful, paid work can be in the lives of people who face significant personal challenges. At present, she works as a senior behaviour interventionist, helping young people with autism develop life and social skills. In that role, she has helped one of her teenage clients find a job and start planning a career.

Looking to improve her skills and knowledge, Pippin is studying towards an Advanced Certificate in Employment Supports Specialty at Douglas College. The part-time program is for people who work with youth and adults who face significant barriers to employment such as mental illness or a disability. Students gain an understanding of current theories and models related to helping clients achieve success in their work lives.

“I am passionate about helping others and ensuring their success in the future,” Pippin says. “Working with families to create goals and programs to enhance children’s learning and quality of life is an area I find great pleasure in.”

“In the future I want to become a behaviour consultant and I know many of the individuals I will support will want to transition into employment,” she says. “Although I have experience in supported employment, I know I also have limitations. I want to expand my knowledge and have certification in the area of supported employment.”

The first of its kind in Canada, the Employment Supports Specialty program is two terms long and administered entirely online.

“I like that the program is online,” Pippin says. “This program has created an online community where like-minded people can discuss and share ideas. With it being online, I can continue working in the evenings and on weekends as well as be home with my daughter during the day.”

“I recommend this program to anyone who is working with people that face barriers to paid employment.”

Learn more about the Employment Supports Specialty program on the Douglas College website.

Teaching English as Second Language opens door to new cultures

Elke Galter feels lucky to have found a job that combines two of her passions: helping to educate people and learning about different cultures.

Elke is a graduate of Douglas College’s Teaching English as a Second Language Certificate program. As a language instructor for S.U.C.C.E.S.S., a local non-profit immigrant services organization, she teaches English to adults from countries such as Afghanistan, China, Iran, Iraq and Korea.

“It’s cool that I was able to stay in Canada and teach and experience different cultures, which is my favourite part of the job,” she says. “I get to help people and I also get to learn about different cultures.”

Elke has long been interested in teaching. Originally, she considered training to become a school teacher. But after graduating from SFU with a psychology degree, she was eager to put her education to work. She said the Douglas program was affordable and, being one semester in length, had a quick turnaround.

With around 20 hours of class time per week, the program gives students the theoretical and practical knowledge they need to teach English and manage a classroom. Elke described the program as “intense” but she said she received plenty of support as a Douglas student.

“The instructors were really personable,” she says. “You could go to them and talk to them and they were really there to listen.”

“I made lifelong friends in the program,” she adds. “I still hang out with some of my classmates. We make an effort to get together at least once a month and just touch base.”

Learn more about the Teaching English as a Second Language Certificate program on the Douglas College website.

9/11 artist turns to Early Childhood Education

Kathleen Tonnesen is no stranger to starting over. The Douglas College alum, who turned 50 last month, graduated with a diploma in Early Childhood Education in June and is completing her certificate in Performing and Fine Arts this summer. Kathleen, an artist, hopes to one day teach ECE at a college or university.

Though the future is looking bright, it’s been an up-and-down journey for Kathleen, who went from high school dropout and housewife in South Africa to confident college graduate in Canada.

In 1998 Kathleen left her native South Africa to come to Canada with her husband and two children, escaping what she describes as a “dangerous” and “male-dominated” society. The family settled in Maple Ridge, where Kathleen’s husband found a job and the children started school. But Kathleen was at loose ends. She had a background in professional art and theatre but dropped out of high school and believed she was never “good enough” for college.

“I believed the lie that I was blonde and stupid and all I could do was create, which was not a valid credential in the society into which I was born,” she recalls.

Kathleen worked odd jobs, did private art tutoring, painted free murals and taught children’s art classes. Then, two events rocked her world. In 2000, her sister committed suicide. Kathleen didn’t have the money to fly to South Africa for the funeral and was stricken with grief. The following year, on Sept.11, New York’s Twin Towers were brought down by terrorists and 3,000 people were killed.

“All I could think was, every person who died had family and friends who loved them. And they were all going to be grief-stricken. Because it takes a long time to get yourself into a space where you can manage it. But it never goes away. You just live with it, and if you can express it, it helps.”

As an artist, Kathleen knew all about expressing herself, and she wanted to do something for the family and friends of the victims of 9/11 and honour the police, firefighters and paramedics who died at the scene.

She did two paintings depicting the release of souls and, with a volunteer architectural designer, engineer and metal fabricators, created Release of Souls, an aluminum sculpture 18 feet high, 23 feet wide and weighing 6,000 pounds, representing the last three standing pieces of World Trade Center Tower no. 1. The names of the police officers, firefighters, airline crew members and Pentagon personnel who died on 9/11 are engraved on the piece.

“I wanted to create a gathering place to which people could come in the hope that they would converse, because in conversing we begin to share and heal,’” Kathleen says.

Release of Souls made its debut at Maple’s Ridge’s Act Theatre Sept. 11, 2003, with Maple Ridge police officers, paramedics and firefighters in attendance. Next stop for Release of Souls was Seaforth Armoury, in Vancouver. Meanwhile, Kathleen had written to the White House and City of New York to offer the sculpture as a gift. Both refused. But it made it to America and was put on display in Pasadena and San Diego.

“We exhibited a number of times and then I really just wanted to come home,” Kathleen says. “I thought, ‘You know, nobody in America really wants to accept it.’ But people kept saying, ‘Keep trying, keep trying,’ and that it should go to in New York.”

But after getting the runaround or being met with outright hostility from the mayor’s office as well as from other groups trying to memorialize 9/11 – by now it was 2006 – Kathleen began to lose heart.

“I met an artist in New York, and he said to me, ‘Every time you unpack your sculpture, you step into a hornet’s nest. Because when you unpack your sculpture, you’re unpacking political questions, personal questions, foreign questions.’”

After managing to show the piece for a short time in New York, Kathleen called it quits. She came home, her marriage fell apart, and she was broke. “I found it incredibly difficult to get a job and because I had created the 9/11 piece, people ostracized me. Even in the art world, I wasn’t helped, I was ostracized.”

Searching for a way to move forward, Kathleen, who loved children, heard about an eight-week Early Childhood Education program at Douglas College whose costs were covered by a government program. Kathleen took the program, received her certificate, but then decided she wanted – and needed – more. On the advice of her son, she applied for a student loan and entered the Early Childhood Education Diploma program. She’s never looked back.

“My first instructor, Cathy Sales, was pivotal in encouraging me to persevere with my studies and not to be ashamed of my circumstances, but to realize there was opportunity to be of service in this area,” says Kathleen. “She changed my life.”

Release of Souls is currently stored in the Chicago area in a semi-trailer. Kathleen is still reaching out to Americans who are interested in it. See more of Kathleen’s art on My Art Channel.

Find out more about the Douglas College Early Childhood Education program on our website.

BBA grad one of top Chartered Accountant students in Canada

She passed her chartered accountancy UFE exam with flying colours, earning her a place among the top 50 CA students in Canada, and on B.C.’s UFE honour roll. What’s more, the Douglas College alum is the only student on the honour roll who did not graduate from a research university. But there’s more to Erin Reimer than just numbers.


Chartered Accounting designation, CA School of Business, 2013

Bachelor of Business Administration – Accounting, Douglas College, 2010


Senior Accountant, Assurance & Advisory, Deloitte

The secret to my success

“I worked my butt off! It actually wasn’t even on my radar to finish that well on the UFE. But I had a good study partner and we worked really hard. Also, my family has been really supportive. Last summer while I was studying it was really important for me to take weekends off so that I didn’t burn out. So my husband sat down and planned stuff for us to do pretty much every weekend so that I wouldn’t be tempted to study.”

My job is more than digits

“It’s not just sitting there and punching numbers. I deal with a wide range of clients and industries. I’m not in the office that often. I’m usually out at a client site working there for a couple of weeks at a time and then moving onto the next one. So I get to meet a lot of different people.”

Creative outlet

“I have a food blog. I enjoy cooking and baking, and it’s kind of been a stress relief thing for me. Going through as much school as I have, I needed an outlet. So that was something I found that I really enjoyed doing and seemed to have a knack for.”

Taking it on the road

“I wouldn’t mind doing a secondment in another country. I know that Deloitte offers that opportunity to their employees. That would involve transitioning to another office for a period of maybe six weeks to two years. A lot of people from Deloitte end up going to Australia. I have a co-worker who is actually in the Cayman Islands right now.”

The Douglas advantage

“The small class sizes were really beneficial because you could build one-on-one relationships with your instructors. The work experience component of the program – I had to work while I was in school – also really helped, because once you start the CA School Business you are working full time and taking really demanding courses. So having that experience of balancing work and school and life at Douglas really helped me successfully transition to working at Deloitte and studying to get my CA designation.”

Hospitality Management grad lands dream job

Anna Rowinska is sitting on top of the world. Or at least, a good thousand metres above sea level.

For the past five years, Anna’s been the Marketing and Events Coordinator at Mt Seymour. It’s a dream job for the avid snowboarder, who graduated from the Douglas College Hospitality Management program in 2005.

“I love it,” she says. “I’ve been growing every single year, every single season with this job. I’m able to explore more options, do more marketing, do more events. And the company has really allowed me to do my own thing.”

After graduating from Douglas she studied event marketing at BCIT and is now in her final semester at Capilano University, where she’s getting a degree in tourism management.

If Anna’s got one piece of advice for people considering a career in hospitality management, it’s this: work while you study.

“Working and going to school at the same time is a bonus. They have a positive effect on each other. What I learn in school I can implement in my work, and what I do at work helps me with school projects. You get that learning curve and you get that industry experience. That’s invaluable.”

Want a cool career like Anna’s? Learn more about the Douglas College Hospitality Management program on our website or come to an info session Feb. 19 or 21.

English instructor meets students where they’re at

Do you have bad memories of high school English class? So much that you’re dreading taking English at college? Have no fear, because Douglas English instructor Brenna Clarke Gray speaks your language. A lover of new technologies and different ways of learning, Brenna will help you find your way into the study of literature at a level you can appreciate.

A text is a text is a text

“I like to start the semester with TV shows or graphic novels or films,” she says. “I find the same student who is super nervous about discussing a theme when it’s in something scary like a poem or a novel can talk about it fluently when they’ve seen it in a TV show or read it in a graphic novel. If students can recognize something in one kind of text, they are totally capable of doing it in another.”

Email is so 2000

“For our students, email is how you get in touch with Mom and Dad, how you get info from your bank and stuff. I find Facebook and Twitter are about meeting students where they’re at. Rather than sitting here waiting for them to reach out by email, they might send me a quick tweet that says, ‘Hey, I’m confused about this reading.’”

Beyond the classroom

“I set up course groups on Facebook, which means students have a common place they can go to discuss course issues. The best is when they say, ‘I just saw a funny video on Youtube and it reminded me of this main character we’re talking about.’ Making those real life connections is what the study of literature is all about.”

Brenna assigns her students to post articles on Wikipedia. Find out how it makes them more conscious writers in a story we published last year.

Read more inspiring stories about our students and instructors in our new viewbook.