49 Langarans

49Langaran

VOLT Volunteer Program Founders

Langara Alumni & Current Employee | Volunteer Advocates

VOLT volunteer program electrifies campus culture at former ‘commuter school

As a young international student from France, Jade Arignon was not allowed to work in Canada. Instead, she volunteered to gain experience, and when she was recruited to play basketball at Langara College, she hoped to continue her community involvement.

Arignon arrived on the West 49th Avenue campus in fall 2008 and sensed many of her fellow students were also willing volunteers. However, there seemed to be no place to go to find information and get involved at the time.

Working with Kinesiology student Warren Springer and Clayton Munro, the Dean of Student Services, she founded the VOLT Volunteer Program in 2010. VOLT’s mandate was to create community engagement, social awareness and student development through volunteerism.

Today, VOLT has grown to include over 3,000 student volunteers. VOLT volunteers are a fixture at Langara events, they welcome students onto campus, lead neighbourhood clean-ups, and support community organizations.

Arignon said the program has played a significant role in creating a stronger campus culture.

“When I was a student, Langara was a commuter school,” she said. “Students would come for classes and then leave. We asked ourselves — how can we get students engaged and encourage them to stay on campus?”

By enlisting student volunteers to lead school tours and help with orientations, for example, Arignon and her VOLT co-founders started seeing students stay on campus longer than two hours or so for each class.

“That’s also part of the reason why it turned into such a transformative program,” she added. “People started seeing volunteers on campus, so they got interested in volunteering, too. It created a community and a group for students to belong to.”

Arignon ultimately graduated with a Bachelor of Business Administration degree and now works as the administrative and operations lead at Urban Matters CCC, a social innovation company that helps communities deliver tangible solutions so that people can live happier and healthier lives.

She said she feels fortunate to be doing something directly related to her degree early in her career. In part, she credits her success to her experience co-founding VOLT.

“I work in a world where we’re trying to solve problems like the opioid overdose crisis and affordable housing,” she said. “At first, you may not see a solution, but I learned very early through VOLT that the power of an idea goes a long way.

“One idea matched with a passionate team can truly create positive change.”

Courtesy of Black Press Media

49 Facts —NO. 14

Langara Fine Arts students have been creating and displaying massive pieces of public art at the Langara/49th Ave. Canada Line station since 2012, through a partnership between Langara and InTransit BC.

Meet more 49 Langarans.

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    Lynn Carter

    Retired Employee | Faculty Leader & Social Advocate

    Lynn was a Social Services instructor at Langara for 35 years. While at Langara, Lynn served as Department Chair, was Langara’s first Education Council Chair, and the President of the Langara Faculty Association from 2007 until her retirement in 2018. Her influence on the College can still be felt in the policies and processes she helped to guide and develop, including her work to bring the University of Northern British Columbia Bachelor of Social Work program to the Langara campus. An advocate for children and families she was a leader within the social services community through her work with various government organizations and commissions, including the Ministry of Children and Families, the Gove of Inquiry into Child Protection Commission, the Board of Registration for Social Workers, Open Learning Agency, and Family Services of Vancouver. A passionate volunteer, Lynn has chaired BC Benefit Tribunals; as a Chairperson for Vocation, Rehabilitation, and Disabled Persons Appeals; and as a member of the Panel Roster of the Complaints Division, of the Children’s Commission. In addition, she served as Chair of the Board of the Greater Vancouver Community Services Society. She currently serves on the Board as Vice Chair of the RainCity Housing and Support Society.

  • Dave Lidstone

    Dave Lidstone

    Retired Employee | Maths & Stats Advocate

    Dave was an Instructor for the Mathematics and Statistics department at Langara for 34 years. He served many roles in the department, including Assistant Department Chair from 1988–1989, Coordinator from 1994-1997, and Department Chair from 1997–2001. He pioneered the use of computers to enhance calculus instruction and developed Calculus I and II with computer explorations to aid students in using computers for studying and practicing mathematics. He also developed the Math for Elementary Teachers course, introducing a capstone project, the Math Fair, making the strategies for teaching mathematics come alive for students. He expanded the services of the Math and Stat Activity Centre by integrating peer tutors with the existing practice of faculty tutors. Dave is a long-standing member of the Canadian Mathematics Education Study Group (CMESG), a national organization for the promotion of mathematics education. He sat on the executive committee between 1995-96 and 2012-2014 and co-led study groups in 2005, 2011, and 2014.

  • Glen Coulthard

    Glen Coulthard

    Langara Alum | Academic Writer

    Glen is an Associate Professor in the First Nations and Indigenous Studies and Political Science departments at the University of British Columbia. He has a PhD in Political Science from the University of Victoria and is an accomplished writer in Indigenous and contemporary political theory. His book Red Skin, White Masks: Rejecting the Colonial Politics of Recognition has won multiple awards, including the Caribbean Philosophical Association’s Frantz Fanon Award for Outstanding Book, the Canadian Political Science Association’s CB Macpherson Award for Best Book in Political Theory, and the Rik Davidson Studies in Political Economy Award for Best Book. Glen is also a co-founder of Dechinta Centre for Research and Learning, a decolonial, Indigenous land-based post-secondary program operating on his traditional territories in Denendeh (Northwest Territories).

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