AlumniED Newsletter -Summer 2018 Convocation Issue

Dean's Message from Dr. David Paterson

Dean David Paterson

Welcome to the latest edition of our Convocation newsletter.

Let me begin by sharing the warmest congratulations to our newest cohort of Bachelor of Education program graduates. We are so happy for your success, and as Alumni, want to welcome you as a full member to the AlumniED community.

Graduation is an exciting part of each student's life on campus. The Convocation ceremony offers a mixture of academic traditions and modern celebration. In addition to distributing parchments to graduates, the University also grants honourary credentials and recognizes the efforts and achievements of graduates and faculty members.

Spring 2018 marked the last semester of Bachelor of Education studies for 54 Education students, who are now equipped with the knowledge and practical experience to start their own teaching careers.

A remarkable 65 sponsor teachers from 40 schools in 12 districts hosted our students, for which they and we are so grateful – thank you so much. We had students placed in 9 out-of-area school districts as well. These numbers paint a picture of just how many people are involved, and how far our students are willing to venture to complete their educational training.

Along with our Bachelor of Education undergraduates, graduate diploma and Masters degree program students have also achieved their educational goals. Our graduate programs offer our AlumniED partners the opportunity for continuous, lifelong learning – something that is so important to model in today’s classrooms.

I am delighted to congratulate this graduation class on reaching this major accomplishment and to thank all those who helped them along the way.

Best wishes as you pursue your next set of educational dreams as life-long learners..


A Fond Farewell

While we wish her all the best , the Education Faculty and VIU colleagues are sorry to see Sharon Wahl, our Associate Dean leave us for new opportunities. Sharon has accepted the position of Dean of the Faculty of Education with the esteemed University of New Brunswick in Fredericton. 

Here's a short recap of her many accomplishments to date...
Sharon WahlDr. Sharon Wahl, BA, M.Ed, PhD, ACTRA, UBCP, CAEA

Sharon graduated from her home town of Saskatoon with a theatre major and worked across Canada as an actor.  She landed in Vancouver just when the film and television industry was beginning to boom, and spent several years working as an actor in film and TV.  She completed her teacher education certification from UBC and began teaching high school Drama.  She migrated to SFU where she taught in the teacher education program, and in the Drama methods courses as she was completing her Masters and PhD.  Nine years ago, she crossed the water and began teaching the Performing Arts here at VIU.  She also coordinated and taught in the Masters of Educational Leadership Program prior to accepting the position of Associate Dean with the faculty.

Sharon loves to teach and she especially loves to teach Drama/Theatre. She brings a little drama into all her activities  She has been writing about the correlation between exposure to the Arts and efficacy in teaching practice.  Sharon is also interested in the ways in which we can use the Arts to encourage language acquisition and leadership skills.  She has sat on several arts/theatre boards and has worked with Theatre One here in Nanaimo.

Sharon has a fondness for many things Italian, chocolate, reading mysteries on rainy days and exploring new places.  Her husband Don and she share a passion for cooking which they are trying to moderate.

We wish Sharon all the best with her new adventures and send our best wishes from one coast to another.


June 6, 2018 -- Convocation Celebrations


Convocation is a time of celebration. Convocation Day is a chance for our students to get together with their classmates, family, friends, and faculty to celebrate their accomplishments. In addition to celebrating the achievements of our graduates at the ceremony, Vancouver Island University often grants honorary degrees and awards. A reception celebrating the achievement of our graduates is held after each convocation ceremony

During the ceremony an Honorary Doctorate of Laws was awarded to Dr. Michael K. Hawes. Among his many accomplishments, Dr. Hawes is a professor of political science, a tireless advocate of international education, and an alumnus of the Fulbright program. He is Chief Executive Officer of the Foundation for Educational Exchange between Canada and the USA and Executive Director of Fulbright Canada. Under his direction Fulbright Canada witnessed dramatic growth in its programming and in the number of students and scholars that the program supports.

Since 1985, he has been a professor of international relations in the Department of Political Studies at Queen's University. He chairs the International Advisory Board of the Institute for Studies in International Development at McGill University, is a member of the executive committee of the board at Canada World Youth, and a member of the Canadian Foreign Policy Journal Editorial Advisory Board.

The iconic mace was carried by recently retired Dean of the Faculty of Education and faculty member Dr. Harry Janzen.

A passionate Valedictory speech was delivered by graduating Bachelor of Education student Samantha Stremecki. Supportive, funny, loving and passionate teachers were the highlight of Samantha's own educational journey at VIU. She starts work as a teacher-on- call in Fernie, BC next fall, and her goal is to teach in as many countries as possible.

  • The latest Convocation photos are available from the archive here on our Alumni Facebook page.


Chancellor Mandell Speaks to Recent Graduates

mandellOnce again, VIU's Chancellor, Louise Mandell, spoke eloquently to program gradates in her Convocation address. The Chancellor is the titular head of the University, presiding over Convocation ceremonies, conferring degrees and providing advice to the President.

She reminded graduates to "Consider the law of the coppers. From a long time ago, amongst Pacific West Coast Peoples, coppers are precious – they were currency.When a Chief receives a copper, the copper is named and painted.

This increases the power of the copper and the wealth of the Chief.
The copper further increases in value by the deeds the Chiefs do.

Your credential is like a copper. It already has your name on it.
Now, listen to your deepest values and find your own unique way to
stand for them. You increase the value of your name/credential by the
deeds you do. A final gentle reminder to keep the sacredness kindled,
through love, through gratitude, through hope, and through noticing your raw and radical fearlessness to be the best of who you are.

(Excepted from the June 6, 2018 Convocation Address)


Graduate Programs- The Journey Continues...

Graduate programs with VIU's Faculty of Education are well known for providing personalized learning through a cohort model. The cohort model is an important factor in building community and offering a support network for you as you work through a graduate degree program.VIU's Faculty of Education is also well known for supporting rich connections between our students and the communities in which they work and live. With responsive, knowledgeable faculty and supervisors, our students are able to leverage a variety of rich learning opportunities toward successful completion of their Master of Education (Leadership).

The Faculty of Education is proud to offer these exciting graduate programs-- both diploma and degree offerings-- to meet the needs of educators wishing to pursue further education at a graduate level.


Find Us on Facebook

Education Facebook Page

Visit VIU's Faculty of Education Facebook page to keep updated on all the latest news and infomation form the Education Program.

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 Welcome to the VIU Alumni Family!

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As a member of VIU's Alumni Association you are entitled to receive a free Alumni benefit card and you can access special group rates and exclusive products and services that assist you in your personal and professional life.

Alumni benefit cards are FREE and printed weekly. Please fill out the Get Connected form and request your Alumni card.

(If your last name has changed due to marriage or a legal name change, you
will need to provide proof of the name change. Please email for further information.)


Maxwell Cameron Award Winner

The Maxwell Cameron Awards for educational excellence were awarded this semester to Kasie Lough graduating from our B.Ed Year 5 cohort.

The B.C. Teachers’ Federation grants this award to students completing the final year of a Bachelor of Education degree in Secondary and Elementary teaching who, in the opinion of instructors in the Education faculty, are outstanding students in the graduating class. Congratulations Kasie!


Recent Hirings

Well over two thousand five hundred students have graduated from the Faculty of Education since our inception in 1989. If you are one of them please contact us to update your employment status and be added to our growing list of graduates teaching in schools locally, nationally and internationally.

Teaching overseas? We would love to share your story too!

Be sure to update your contact Information via VIU's Alumni Relations department to stay ConnectED.


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AlumniED is published twice a year by the Faculty of Education. If you have stories, job updates, photos or information you would like to share with fellow graduates please contact us.


Faculty of Education
Vancouver Island University, 900 Fifth Street, Nanaimo, BC, Canada V9R 5S5
Phone: 250-740-6221