Current Students Info

Congrats to our new Graduate Student Representative on Academic Council


On behalf of the Chief Electoral Officer (the Registrar), I am pleased to announce that Deborah Nicols has been elected as the Graduate Student Representative on Academic Council until October 31, 2013.


Please join me in congratulating Deborah!



Deborah’s biography:

Deb Nicols is Director, Human Resources & Volunteer Engagement for the Canadian Cancer Society (CCS), BC & Yukon Division. Deb joined CCS in 2009 after 20 years in the fast-paced, highly competitive high-tech industry. She has worked at the senior level in HR since 1998 and was an independent consultant for seven years operating 'Nicols & Dymes Consulting, HR solutions that make sense.' Deb has been a Certified Human Resources Professional since 1997.


While in the high tech industry, Deb worked for a variety of organizations including a telecommunications R&D subsidiary of TELUS, Hughes Aircraft of Canada (Raytheon Systems), SAP Business Solutions and QLT Inc. (co-founded by Dr. Julia Levy, a microbiologist and immunologist who brought a treatment for age-related macular degeneration to life in a small office above a bakery in Vancouver, BC).


Deb tentatively decided to leave the high-tech industry in 2009 to work in what some may consider a diametrically opposed field – non-profit. In reality, leaders in non-profit organizations (NPOs) must be skilled strategic planners, creative marketers and flawless executors if they wish to compete in today's global economic environment. Non-government funded NPOs heavily rely on the ability of their sales forces to generate the revenue that enables them to achieve their missions.


In 2000, Deb began her journey in the non-profit sector as a volunteer. As a Big Sister mentor, she was matched to her Little Sister Maryam. Ten years later, in September 2010, they graduated from the program when Maryam turned 19. Profoundly impacted by the Big Brothers Big Sisters movement, Deb joined the Board of Big Sisters of BC Lower Mainland in 2002, and governed in the positions of Vice Chair and Chair over an eight year period. In these roles, Deb led the organization in building its mentorship capacity through sound strategic planning and financial practices. As Vice Chair, she was the Chair of the Governance Committee and guided the Board in its evolution from operations to policy governance.


In 2003, Deb launched a foundation for childhood cancer research. Over 7 years as its Chair, she was responsible for developing its strategic plan, setting the foundation's objects, acquiring its charitable status, engaging its Board of Directors, managing its finances and leading a small but motivated group of volunteers in raising $350,000 for childhood cancer researchers in BC.


Through volunteering, Deb discovered her passion for the non-profit sector resulting in her decision to join CCS where she blends her professional and volunteer experience in leading its HR portfolio with responsibility for over 200 staff and 17,000 volunteers. Deb sits on the senior management team, is the staff partner to three Directors of the Board, and contributes to the nationwide HR strategic plan and initiatives. CCS operates in a shared governance model, has ten Divisions and raises over $230 million annually.


Deb is pursuing an Executive MBA and is a learner in the 2012-1 Intake that began in January 2012. She is researching the relationship between organization structure, decision-making and profitability in the non-profit sector.