Builders of the Program

Ken (centre), Gord (left), Kathryn (right)

Ken Anderson

“We went from zero labs – now we have three.”

ken anderson

Chair Duties

Ken started at the College in 2004 as a full-time faculty member. He is currently the coordinator of the BPEC degree, as well as the overseeing chair of the SPSC Department.

As the current chair of the department, Ken looks after much of the department’s administrative and day-to-day functioning. Some of his responsibilities include determining the department’s schedule, such as deciding the time and days all the SPSC courses would run, as well as properly assigning faculty members to each course. Ken also supervises the hiring process for new faculty, ensuring postings are created when a faculty member retires or goes on leave. He runs monthly department meetings so that faculty members can forward agenda items, and manages the department’s financial affairs: overseeing the budget, purchases and expenses, accounts, invoices, and so on. Finally, he tends to any issues a student might experience during their time in the program, and communicates with each student accordingly to achieve a resolution.

“Yes. I drew the short straw [smiles].”

ken, humourously, on his position as chair

Launching the Lab

When Ken first came to the College in 2004, there were no lab spaces at either campus.*

The lack of labs was a point of concern, as Ken’s courses, amongst others, involved numerous lab-based activities. The stirring plans for a BPEC degree around this time, as well, increasingly necessitated the presence of labs to support the advanced curriculum the degree will offer.

In response to the need for a lab, Ken took on the project of renovating one of the empty rooms at the College into the first-ever lab space. He put forth many submissions, obtaining tens of thousands of dollars to purchase lab-based exercise equipment, and then equipping the room with the proper lighting, flooring, and projectors. The process took a few years to complete, and when the faculty’s workload steadily became busier over the years, additional staff dedicated to managing the lab were hired. The College now boasts a total of three labs, with two at the New Westminster campus and one at Coquitlam.

*In 1998, Kathryn had prepared documents to lobby administration for a lab, but Ken’s arrival at Douglas spurred the actual development.

“There was a lot of development with the actual space itself – getting the equipment, and then getting the approval to hire staff to work in that space. It all took a lot of time, and it was a lot of work involved along the way for sure.”

ken, on the effort put into lab development

The Scholarship Committee

The SPSC department is notable for the variety of awards and scholarships it offers, a list of which can be found here. The recipients of these SPSC awards and scholarships are reviewed and selected by the SPSC Scholarship Committee, a group which Ken has been part of for the last decade.

Over the decade, Ken has helped grow the committee and transform the process in which scholarship disbursements are given. Whereas twenty years ago a student might simply receive a scholarship cheque in the mail, there are now ceremonies for scholarship recipients to properly celebrate and acknowledge their achievements.

Ken continues to work as part of the SPSC faculty at Douglas College today.

“The [SPSC] program has grown considerably over the last 15 years…We’ve created some more electives, which means we also have students going [onto] a lot of different routes than what we had starting off as well.”

Ken, reflecting on the growth of the SPSC department