Student Engagement Gala celebrates student and staff contributions to success

Image via Douglas College Student Services on Flickr
Image via Douglas College Student Services on Flickr

Douglas College recognizes achievement across community

By Jamal Al-Bayaa, Staff Writer

On April 20, students, faculty, and staff met to recognize and celebrate the hard work that goes into creating an engaging student experience at Douglas College.

Groups in attendance included the Zambia Leadership Program, Student Ambassadors, DSU Student Representatives, the Life at DC social media team, and peer tutors from the library’s Learning Centre.

The evening was hosted by Lucas Britton, a now graduated music student and student ambassador; and third year student Meredith Graham, who graced the audience with a mashup of “Hello” by Adele and “Let It Go” from the Frozen soundtrack.

After opening with a First Nation territory recognition, Alumni Renee Naidu gave the opening speech.
Now graduated and successful in her career, she spent the speech reminiscing over how student engagement brought her to the career that she has today, and explained why she felt so passionately about getting involved at school. She gave further recognition to the Student Ambassadors, crediting them with building her confidence as a leader.

According to Eric Glanville, head of the Office for New Students, Naidu did more than just learn how to speak and be confident during her time at the Ambassadors.

“She got hired as student staff at the ONS, and within a year she was running everything in the program,” said Glanville. “She had created the tightest student relationships that the program had seen in a long time. People respected her.”

Naidu utilized these skills when she went to Zambia a few years ago, creating educational programs for young children, and organizing and encouraging community engagement to help promote development in the region. As a result, she is currently working with children, exactly how she envisioned she would be when she began the Child, Family, and Community studies program at Douglas.

After some more speeches by faculty, 14 groups were recognized for leadership and student engagement on campus. These groups included the DSU Psychology Society, the Cultural Connections and International Volunteers, and the Douglas College Business Administration, which just recently organized the FortisBC Climate Change: Beyond the Headlines event that happened on April 1.

At the end of the night, the awards were given out to their deserving recipients.

The categories were “outstanding contribution to Student Engagement by a college unit or department,” “Outstanding contribution to student engagement by a faculty or staff member,” and the “Leader of the Year” award, which was given to two students this year.

The award for contribution by a department was awarded to the Bachelor of Science in Nursing Program (BNS) for significantly enhancing the number of students majoring in nursing. They did this by supporting programs such as the BNS peer mentorship program, and “constantly thinking of ways to improve the student experience,” as said by the recipients in their thank you speeches.

For contribution to student engagement by a faculty or staff member, Daniela Pacheva was awarded for her tremendous work in the supporting and mentorship of students. The Leader of the Year award saw Ruab Waraich and Marissa Martin as the two recipients of the recognition and $1,000 prize.
The full list of students mentioned as Student Leadership groups:
Douglas College Psychology Society
Cultural Connections and International Student Volunteers
DSU and the DSU Crew
DSU Athlete’s Student Council
Aboriginal Student Resource assistants
Zambia Global Leadership Program
Peer Health Educators
ONS Student Ambassadors
BSN Peer Mentorship Program
Sport Science Student Council
Learning Centre Peer Tutors
Sport Science Peer Mentorship Program
Life at DC Social Media Team