Social Work Faculty

Lawrence Becker

Lawrence has been teaching at Douglas College for approximately 20 years. Prior to that he worked in a family therapy clinic in Calgary and lived/worked in Old Massett on Haida Gwaii for two years. His research interests at that time involved the delivery of services to Haida families from an indigenous perspective and the engagement of families from the child welfare system in Alberta. Much of his work in this period involved a recognition of cross-cultural barriers to service and how those might be overcome.

At Douglas College, the courses he teaches range from gerontology, to counselling, to addictions, to various policy courses. Input from his colleagues, students and the people receiving services has been invaluable in the design and delivery of these courses.  

Lawrence is the coordinator of the Community Social Service Work program and has been involved in the Uganda Project for a number of years, including coordinating the group of students going in 2017. His primary areas of interest are in counselling and clinical practice, and the response and perceptions of the community to people who are marginalized. He has also been involved in other roles at Douglas, including as Ombudsperson and Union Steward for the faculty. 

He also works part time as the clinical coordinator at an outpatient addictions clinic in the Lower Mainland. A large research project he is involved with will lead to the formation of better housing and more immediate services for people with mental health and addiction challenges.


Jonathon Davies

Jonathon is an experienced social worker, academic and instructor in the Community Social Service Work program. Prior to joining Douglas College, he taught child welfare courses at UBC to students in the Bachelor of Social Work program as well as offering instruction to advanced Master of Social Work students. Before emigrating to Canada in 2013, he was a Senior Lecturer in the Department of Family Care and Mental Health at the University of Greenwich, London, where he led the MA program for Safeguarding Children and Young People, and supervised PhD students. 

Jonathon has more than 10 years of direct practice experience working with children and families both in the UK and internationally (Australia and New Zealand). Holding a Masters and PhD in social work, he has been involved in a number of research projects seeking to improve practice and interventions for professionals working with children and young people. Two recent projects include Maritime City – a computer game that allows social workers and other health-care professionals to experience in-depth child protection scenarios based on practice and an evaluation of Multi Agency Safeguarding Hubs (MASH) in London, England. Jonathon is a co-investigator in a SSHRC funded project investigating the acquisition of professional child welfare expertise across different jurisdictional contexts (UK and Canada).


Cathy Lipke

BSW (University of British Columbia: Okanagan), MSW (University of Northern British Columbia).

Cathy is a social worker with over 14 years experience in the field. She is an instructor in the Social Work program at Douglas College. Prior to joining Douglas College, she worked in the field of child protection in Canada and in Australia on the front line, in management and in practice analysis. She has spent several years in social work hospital and health care settings.


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.