Dotimas proud to spread the U of L message

Once upon a time, a young man left the warmth of the Philippines in search of a better life. He travelled to Canada, where he met a beautiful young girl, who had also emigrated from the Philippines. Eventually, the young man and young woman fell in love, married and lived happily ever after.

But, don't you wonder what happens after "happily ever after"? In this case, a new story emerges; a story filled with hard work, success and continued happiness. A story of their daughter, Jeanette Dotimas (BMgt '01), president of the University of Lethbridge Alumni Association's Edmonton chapter (ULAA), and communications advisor for Public Works and Government Services Canada.

Jeanette Dotimas
Alumna Jeanette Dotimas, the new president of the Edmonton chapter of the University of Lethbridge Alumni Association.
"As the oldest in my family, I was always taught to strive to be the best and to be a good role model for my sister and brother," explains Dotimas. "I am a first generation Canadian. My parents did what they could, they worked very hard, but they did not have a lot to give me and my siblings; motivating me to do well in school and supporting me in obtaining my degree was their gift."

Dotimas earned a business administration diploma, specializing in marketing, from Northern Alberta Institute of Technology (NAIT), before enrolling in the post-diploma bachelor of management program offered at the University of Lethbridge's Edmonton campus. For the next two years, she worked full days at General Electric and attended full-time classes in the evenings and on weekends to complete her degree.

"It was such an intense, focused program," says Dotimas. "For the most part, we were all in the same boat, working during the day then coming to school at night and on the weekends. It was like an 80-hour work week, but it was great preparation for the professional world."

The personal nature of her educational experience helped establish long-lasting bonds with the U of L.

"The University felt like a family. I met some of my best friends there; our experiences studying and graduating together were life changing," she says. "Now that I am serving the University in an alumni capacity, I hope that the U of L remains a big part of my life."

Since her graduation, Dotimas has been an active alumna and was thrilled to participate in the organization of a brand new ULAA Edmonton chapter. She served for one year on the board, becoming president of the chapter this fall.

"I had such a positive experience with the Edmonton campus, and I went to alumni events because I wanted to somehow stay connected," she says. "I strongly believe that being a part of the ULAA is a wonderful opportunity to meet new people, to expand your horizons and your networks and to give back."

With close to 2000 alumni residing in the Edmonton area, the chapter looks to offer support, whether it's in the form of providing work opportunities through networking or connecting alumni with other professional organizations.

"Personally, I am a huge advocate for the University," says Dotimas. "Whenever I have the chance, I promote the U of L to whoever will listen. Through word-of-mouth advertising from former students, my hope is that the University gets the recognition it deserves both in the community and in industry. The U of L is such a unique and wonderful institution and we want to ensure that we are on people's minds."

Dotimas brings a host of professional expertise to the ULAA. As a communications advisor for the federal government, she has experience in everything from event planning to product development and media relations. In addition, she organizes workplace diversity events and facilitates workshops on anti-discrimination.

"When we come to work, we each bring our personal experiences and our beliefs through the door. When I facilitate a session on anti-discrimination, the focus is on understanding one another and learning about what makes us unique – respecting the differences between us," Dotimas explains. "There is a great commonality between the federal public service and the University of Lethbridge. The University prides itself on reaching out to different cultures (e.g. through its international studies programs) and providing a positive and inclusive environment for students, staff and their families. I see my employer in a similar vein; both institutions strive to provide a challenging workplace that is diverse, multi-cultural and multi-disciplinary."


· Married and a mother of two, Dotimas strives to be a positive role model for her children. "When they see me volunteering my time and being involved with things like the ULAA, what I really hope to teach them is the importance of giving back to the community and how to be good global citizens."

· Among the boards and committees she is a part of are: Edmonton Centre for Race and Culture; Alberta Federal Council Visible Minority Employees Network; Alberta Federal Communicators Community; Edmonton Public Library Multicultural Advisory Group.

· Dotimas is a writer/contributor to the Philippine Hiyas Community Newspaper.

· Dotimas is an accredited language interpreter for the Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada.

For a look at the full issue of the December Legend in a flipbook format, follow this link.