Jennifer Kirkey

My Story

Jennifer Kirkey

I started at Ƶ in 1993. Prior to Douglas, I had contract physics jobs in various institutions. I was excited about joining Ƶ because it was about to start expanding to Coquitlam Campus and I was excited to be here to help plan the new campus.

My Career

I was initially hired to teach a single course at night on a contract and I became a full-time instructor. Since then I held many roles within the College. I am now serving as a Chair of the Physics and Astronomy department and Chair of the Provincial Articulation committee for Physics and Astronomy. I have also served on the Occupational Health and Safety Committee, which was my favourite committee. I have also worked with the Faculty Union as a Shop Steward, Vice President of Negotiations and currently serving on the Pension Advisory Council. I was a part of ƵDevelopment for many years where I worked to coordinate and run professional activities for all employees.

I love to work at Ƶbecause I get to do what is of interest to me - from making the College safer for everyone through the WCB mandated Occupational Health & Safety committee to open textbooks with . While with ƵDevelopment, we set up the first College-wide Professional Development day and brought on Stephen Lewis to speak. I also designed the physics labs at Coquitlam campus and then the engineering labs and the new physics labs at the New Westminster campus.

My Growth

Having the time and resources to spend on professional development meant that I had opportunities to attend fascinating conferences across Canada and the United States with the American Association of Physics Teachers. During the 2017 solar eclipse, I got to camp out with about 5,000 other astronomy fanatics in Oregon!

While being a part of the ƵDevelopment and during many other Professional Development days and events, I honed my teaching skills further. I was introduced to the World Wide Web at a workshop here at Ƶ and I also learned many other things - using technology to be a better instructor, learning how to teach via video-conference, face-to-face interactions, empathic listening and personal safety. Through my work with Math and Science Teaching for Elementary School Teachers (a post-graduate diploma program), I have learned a lot of about the elementary school curriculum.

I have learned so much in my 26 years here at Ƶ. I am a better teacher and a better person, thanks to the people I work with and the training opportunities that I have availed of while working here.  I am much better at technology, and I have learned how to operate many types of computers, laser cutters and 3D printers.

My Inspiration

I love my job.  I love sharing my passion for science and how it can make all of our lives better. I love to talk with my colleagues as we figure out better way to get important ideas across to our students and to the general public.