Social Work Faculty

Lawrence Becker

Lawrence has been teaching at Douglas College for approximately 26 years. Prior to that he worked at Red Deer College, a counselling clinic in Calgary, and lived/worked in Old Massett on Haida Gwaii.  His interests at that time involved learning about indigenous perspectives to education and working with families from the child welfare system.  During this period he looked at trying to reduce cross-cultural barriers and helping families with parenting and other issues.

At Douglas College he is involved primarily in teaching the counselling, gerontology, and substance misuse classes. Input from colleagues, students and clients have been invaluable in the design and delivery of these courses.  

At present Lawrence is the coordinator of Social Work and has been involved in the Uganda Project and other International endeavors. He has also assumed other roles at the college such as Ombudsperson and the Union Steward.

He worked part-time as the clinical supervisor at a substance misuse clinic in the Lower Mainland for almost 12 years.  Forming connections with other service providers, counselling people, and advocating for clients was a central component of this work.

Cathy Lipke

Cathy is a seasoned social worker with a variety of experiences and expertise. She has worked front line, support services, practice analysis, policy development, and as a manager. She has served in hospitals, health care settings, mental health, Indigenous communities, and child protection locally, rurally, and internationally. 

In her current role in, Cathy teaches courses in the undergraduate Bachelor of Social Work program and oversees practicum students. Courses include social welfare policy, metropolitan social work, and globalization. Research interests include health care social work, history of social work, social and public policy, social exclusion.

Liz Hagerty

BA - Psychology (University of British Columbia), BSW (University of Victoria), MSW (University of British Columbia).

Liz is a Registered Social Worker with over 10 years experience in the field. As a social worker, Liz has worked in a variety of settings including child protection, post-secondary advising and student support, individual and family counselling, and the mental health system. In her roles at UBC Liz participated in the development and review of various policies aimed at positively impacting and improving the overall wellness of students. Liz acted as a field instructor, supporting social work practicum students from various institutions in the Lower Mainland. Liz continues to work in the field in mental health/hospital settings as well as a counselor in private practice.

As an instructor in the Social Work program at Douglas College, Liz has taught courses in the areas of mental health, child welfare, theory, risk and practicum. Liz is interested in issues surrounding mental health, counselling, working with children and families and integrating theory and practice.



Cal Oliver (Ph.D. in Social Work (University of British Columbia), M.S.W. (London University, England), B.A. (Oxford University, England).  

Cal began their career as a social worker 25 years ago. They have worked as a frontline practitioner, supervisor, consultant, researcher and policy developer, in Australia, England and Canada. They have taught at the University of British Columbia School of Social Work and many professional training sites, and have trained as a family mediator and suicide intervention educator. Immediately prior to joining Douglas College, Cal led research, policy and development work at one of Canada’s largest urban Indigenous child welfare agencies, and ran their own social work consulting business.  

Cal is the author of Strengths-Based Child Protection: Firm, Fair and Friendly (2018) and multiple academic and practice publications relating to child welfare, inter-disciplinary practice, research, and the scholarship of teaching and learning. Passionate about child welfare, social justice and Reconciliation, Cal seeks to build individual and organizational capacity in sustainable, strengths-based ways.