Category Archives: School of Health, Community & Social Justice

Centre for Conflict Resolution Justice Institute of British Columbia School of Health, Community & Social Justice

Be the one building relationships

There was a time when Anna Richards had a tendency to avoid conflict. Thanks to JIBC’s Conflict Resolution training, she now faces it head on and incorporates those lessons into her work as a counsellor. (Story by Wanda Chow /  Photo by Jimmy Jeong)

 

Anna Richards was working as a wildland firefighter when she got promoted to leader of a fire crew. But while she knew how to dig a fire line and use a chainsaw, negotiating interpersonal matters was all new to her.

“My strategy was to be ‘easy going.’ I thought that if I treated everyone like they already knew what to do, that they would feel comfortable and motivated and would just ask questions along the way,” she recalls. “When conflict arose, I just hoped it would take care of itself.”  

Ultimately, she learned that in that kind of leadership vacuum, people get confused about their roles and responsibilities. That experience helped her recognize that conflict intimidated her and that by avoiding it, she had not been as effective a leader as she wanted to be.

Anna left her firefighting career and went on to earn her master’s degree in counselling.

“When I decided to become a counsellor, I promised myself that I’d do whatever it took to gain the skills I needed to face conflict head on.”

Anna learned about the Justice Institute of British Columbia (JIBC) from a JIBC instructor who gave a workshop at her workplace and impressed her with his skills and ability to hold a room.

She was inspired to pursue a certificate in conflict resolution, specializing in third-party mediation. The Centre for Conflict Resolution emphasizes experiential learning, where students role-play difficult conversations with each other under the guidance of a coach. read more »

Centre for Counselling & Community Safety Justice Institute of British Columbia School of Health, Community & Social Justice

Be the one rebuilding lives


Lana Fox’s peers and colleagues were suffering from the trauma of losing clients from the Downtown Eastside to the opioid overdose crisis. Thanks to JIBC’s Critical Incident Stress Management program, she learned how to help. (Story by Wanda Chow / Photo by Jimmy Jeong)

 

Lana Fox was working at the Portland Hotel Society in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside when she noticed her peers and colleagues were suffering.

Her role involved supporting clients with mental health and addictions issues through housing, safe injection and other programs. But before the opioid overdose epidemic made national news headlines and was declared a public health emergency, there was already an obvious change.

“I saw a definitive increase in the trauma being suffered by my peers,” Lana said. “They were attending significantly more overdoses and having increased negative outcomes. Our tenants and program participants were dying at an alarming rate.”

Wanting to help support her colleagues and community, she enrolled in the Critical Incident Stress Management Certificate (CISM) program at the Justice Institute of British Columbia (JIBC). read more »

Health Sciences Division Justice Institute of British Columbia Paramedic Academy School of Health, Community & Social Justice

Be the one saving lives


Justin Woodroff thrives on the type of calls that give him an opportunity to use the education and problem-solving abilities he gained while a student at the JIBC Paramedic Academy. Beyond technical skills, his JIBC instructors taught students numerous lessons based on their lengthy experience in the field. (Story by Wanda Chow / Photo by Jimmy Jeong)

 

The call came in as a biking injury in northern Chilliwack, recalled Justin Woodroff, a 24-year-old paramedic with the BC Ambulance Service. The patient had crashed on one of the jumps at the bike park.

When he and his partner arrived, Justin could see this was no routine injury.

“He was under a blanket but we could tell as soon as we got there that his femur was obviously fractured and angulated up towards his torso.”

Thanks to his education in the primary care paramedic program at Justice Institute of British Columbia (JIBC), and his work experience since graduating, Justin was able to make the right decisions to care for the patient. They called for an advanced life support unit and a helicopter staffed with critical care paramedics to fly the patient to hospital.

It’s the sort of case he thrives on, the type that gives him the opportunity to use a lot of his education, tools, skills and problem-solving abilities to help someone in need. Paramedicine is a career path Justin started on at age 19 when he began volunteering with the Cultus Lake Fire Department.

“After responding to various emergencies with the fire department I was hooked on emergency medicine,” he said, adding since high school he had always envisioned working in a science or medical-related field so it was a natural fit.

read more »

Health Sciences Division Justice Institute of British Columbia Paramedic Academy School of Health, Community & Social Justice

Be the one saving lives

August 10, 2016 - Vancouver, BC - Photos for JIBC. Photos by Jimmy Jeong
Matt Anderson is keen to take his JIBC paramedic training home to serve his remote Central BC community. He also hopes to eventually train others to help provide a basic level of medical care for the town’s 800 residents. (Story by Wanda Chow / Photo by Jimmy Jeong)

 

It’s just a week after Matt Anderson successfully completed his paramedic licensing exam and he’s practically bursting to talk about the possibilities that come with his training at the Justice Institute of British Columbia (JIBC).

After all, as the lone certified paramedic in Moricetown, a Wet’suwet’en village in Central BC halfway between Smithers and Hazelton, he and a licenced Emergency Medical Responder (EMR) will be the main regular providers of health care to the approximately 800 residents.

It’ll be yet another role in the community for Matt, who is also a high school teacher for at-risk youth, the town’s driving instructor, one of 12 members of its volunteer fire department, and one of only two certified EMRs.

As a first responder, he said, “It’s 24/7. I have a radio on me and I just go when I’m called.”

The town’s fire chief asked him to become the fire department’s “medical guy” because no one else wanted to do it. In a First Nations community, the close knit nature and location can often result in Aboriginal firefighters and first responders attending to emergencies involving their own families. This can lead to some uncomfortable situations, unique to a small community.  Matt, however, is one of the few non-Aboriginal residents, from a family that’s called Moricetown home for the past 36 years. 

He agreed to the role, was trained in Occupational First Aid Level 1 and enjoyed it so much he started thinking about becoming a paramedic. He attended JIBC to get his EMR certification and then started asking community leaders whether they’d like him to get his paramedic training.

The community leaders agreed and his school supervisor and the fire chief both gave him leaves of absence so he could go through the eight-month process of training for the Primary Care Paramedic Certificate at JIBC’s Chilliwack campus and completing the licensing requirements; the Moricetown Volunteer Fire Department and the Kyah Wiget Education Society he works for helped cover some of the costs; and the Moricetown Band is also behind him.

The JIBC training was everything he’d hoped.

“I just loved it. I ate that program up. I loved the instructors. The instructors in Chilliwack are phenomenal and I hear that from everyone. Really great course.” read more »

Centre for Leadership Justice Institute of British Columbia School of Health, Community & Social Justice

Be the one inspiring your team

August 10, 2016 - Vancouver, BC - Photos for JIBC. Photos by Jimmy Jeong

Christine Dunsworth, manager of sales for Whitecaps FC 2, says the leadership training she received at JIBC will help get her team to the next level. (Story by Wanda Chow / Photo by Jimmy Jeong)

 

Fan. Avid soccer player. Sales professional.

For Christine Dunsworth, it was a natural fit when she was first hired as a group sales representative for Vancouver Whitecaps FC during its inaugural Major League Soccer season. Three-and-a-half years into her tenure, she was promoted to manager of ticketing for a new property, Whitecaps FC 2 of the United Soccer League, which was gearing up for its first season.

That’s when she had her first moment of self-doubt.

“I felt honoured that my directors believed in me enough to give me the responsibility of overseeing all sales for a brand new property, but was terrified because I had never supervised a team and we had so little time to pull it off,” Christine said.

She needn’t have worried. In her first year in the role, she was pleasantly surprised to find she had enough experience and know-how to implement and execute successful programs, resulting in her team creating a solid foundation to build upon.

But Christine still wanted some formal training to support her managerial efforts. That’s where the Justice Institute of British Columbia (JIBC) came in.

“As our JIBC instructor says, most people get promoted because they were good in their previous role, not because of their leadership abilities,” she said. “I know my job and what my team has to do to be successful, but I knew that I could use some training to help get our team to the next level.”

read more »

Centre for Counselling & Community Safety Justice Institute of British Columbia

Be the one rebuilding lives

Jana Jesson manages a child sexual abuse intervention program. She credits her education at JIBC with giving her effective tools to help empower her clients as they rebuild their lives. (Story by Wanda Chow / Photo by Jimmy Jeong)

 

Clinical counsellor Jana Jesson helps trauma survivors rebuild their lives one step at a time.

It was while studying at the Justice Institute of British Columbia (JIBC), learning how to use guided imagery exercises with survivors of trauma, that Jana recognized the technique could be useful for one of her clients.

“With my instructor’s guidance, I created an exercise that made such a difference for my client in terms of her being able to ground herself when she was becoming triggered or anxious. Eventually she was able to take that exercise and translate it into her own daily routine.”

She discovered earlier a passion for working with trauma survivors while completing a master’s degree in counselling psychology. It’s that sort of reward – seeing clients emerge better able to deal with past trauma with less anxiety and distress – that led Jana to her current role managing the Sexual Abuse Intervention Program based out of the North Delta office of the Boys and Girls Clubs of South Coast BC.

It was her managers there that suggested she take the two-year Graduate Certificate in Complex Trauma and Child Sexual Abuse Intervention at JIBC.

“The JIBC program is very well known in my field and given that my job title is working with children and youth specifically, they thought the child sexual abuse prevention part of the JIBC program would be important for me to have in addition to my training.“

read more »

Centre for Aboriginal Programs & Services Justice Institute of British Columbia Office of Indigenization

JIBC staff and faculty gain lifelong learning opportunities working with Aboriginal students

2016 NAD CollageAn Aboriginal hoop dancer performs at National Aboriginal Day celebrations held at the Justice Institute of British Columbia recently. JIBC staff and faculty marked the occasion by recounting personal and professional lessons they learned from working with Aboriginal students and communities. (Photos by Richard Chu / Story by Wanda Chow)

 

When it comes to working with Aboriginal students and communities, staff and faculty at Justice Institute of British Columbia (JIBC) find the lessons go both ways.

That was the common theme among speakers at this year’s National Aboriginal Day event held June 21 in JIBC’s recently-opened Aboriginal Gathering Place at the New Westminster Campus.

“National Aboriginal Day is always a special occasion at JIBC,” said Dr. Jeffrey Schiffer, Director of the Office of Indigenization. “This year, we decided it was a great opportunity to share some of the ways the education we’re providing is helping to build capacity within Aboriginal communities, and strengthen relationships in the spirit of truth and reconciliation.”

Bridget Malcom, JIBC’s Aboriginal Student Recruiter & Advisor, shared her story of how her work at the Institute has put her in touch with her own Aboriginal heritage. Growing up, she lived with her father in New Westminster, with little awareness of her mother’s Aboriginal culture. After working at JIBC planning events and ceremonies with local First Nations and their Elders as part of her role, Malcom said there’s been no shortage of opportunities to learn more about her Aboriginal roots. She notes that exposure to her cultural heritage has only enhanced her work and commitment to assist JIBC Aboriginal learners. read more »

Centre for Leadership School of Health, Community & Social Justice

JIBC leadership course takes leadership training to the next level

 

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Ever since Paul Ferguson decided to take his first course at JIBC in 2014, he hasn’t stopped learning. In June 2015, he graduated with JIBC’s Associate Certificate in Leadership and Conflict Resolution, and he is furthering his education to complete the Certificate in Applied Leadership.

“I enjoyed the courses so much, I just want to continue,” he said. “I didn’t stop and I fully intend to continue and come back to learn more.”

An important component of the Certificate in Applied Leadership is a new Leadership Simulation Capstone course, which Paul completed in the spring. This immersive learning experience is unique for leadership training programs. Offered only at JIBC, the capstone courses gives students the opportunity to apply, in real-time, the leadership theory and skills they’ve gained.

“This is a high energy, fun, engaging and deep-learning experience,” said Georganne Oldham, one of JIBC’s respected leadership instructors and a co-developer of the capstone course. read more »