AlumniED Newsletter - Spring 2015 Convocation Issue

Dean's Message from Dr. Harry Janzen

Greetings and welcome to the latest Convocation issue of our AlumniED newsletter. The newsletter serves to keep our Alumni and teaching colleagues up to date with news from our Education programs and our program graduates. Convocation offers an opportunity to reflect on our students' successes and to congratulate our deserved graduates.

Our January 30th Convocation celebrated the success of our Bachelor of Education program graduates. 81 enthusiastic grads are eager to begin their teaching careers after 1.5 years in our Post-Baccalaureate Education program.

Last Fall, 115 schools in 23 districts supported 288 student teachers on practica. Thanks to all our sponsor teachers, along with our faculty supervisors and district colleagues who collectively help our student teachers achieve their career and personal goals.

Along with our undergraduate programs, 24 graduates from our Masters of Education in Educational Leadership (MEDL) degree program were formally recognized for their accomplishments along with 8 graduates from the MEDL Compressed Time program and 12 from OLTD/MEDL. These are the first graduating cohorts from the Compressed Time and the OLTD/MEDL options.

Our graduate degree and diploma programs offer AlumniED partners the opportunity to continue their pursuit of life-long learning opportunities.

Our Education Program grads continue to support student success in our schools locally, nationally and internationally. Congratulations to all our graduates-- past and present.

Dr. Harry Janzen, Dean, Faculty of Education


January 30th, 2015 -- Graduation Celebrations!

January 30th was the date for our most recent Convocation ceremony,recognizing our Faculty of Education program graduates. Convocation is held twice yearly at Nanaimo's Port Theatre. This semester's celebration was just that as administration, faculty, family and friends gathered to share in our students' successes.

During the ceremonies,their Excellencies the Right Honourable David Johnston, Governor General of Canada, and Mrs. Sharon Johnston each received an Honorary Doctor of Laws degree in recognition of their contributions to Canadian society.

One of Canada’s foremost Aboriginal rights lawyers and a tireless advocate for Canada’s First Nations, Louise Mandell, QC, was installed as Vancouver Island University’s Chancellor. She spoke eloquently and passionately to the graduating class and shared her vision for the futures they each look forward to.

VIU's Advancement and Alumni Relations department is delighted to welcome each VIU grad as an Alumni member. The Association (VIUAA) connects alumni and students in order to enhance the ability of the university to offer a world class educational experience. Visit their website for details on the many services and opportunities they offer to graduates.

The latest Convocation webcast is available from the archive here.

Photos are available on VIU's Facebook page.

SPARKS Ignite!- Program Grads Share the Sparks Message

Sparks Mural

Fellow program graduates Jean Kloppenburg (B.Ed Grad 2003, MEDL Grad 2014) and her recently-graduated student teacher Angela Jurgensen (Grad 2014) have been thinking big-really big! Their Grade __ classes at Woodlands Elementary have recently completed designing, painting and assembling a huge (24x7') mural which is destined to be mounted on an outside wall of the school.

The mural is truly a labour of love and was the brain-child of Jean and Angela as they considered meaningful ways to integrate their Art curriculum with the important Sparks message. Sparks is a curriculum designed to promote asset-building and increased self-esteem amongst youth. The concept was originally presented to Angela by Corporal Dave Cusson of the local Nanaimo RCMP and Angela was delighted to bring the Spark concept forward to integrate it in this most meaningful way.

Everyone has at least one talent, one interest, one thing that will make them feel alive.This is called a Spark.
Helping young people figure out what is their Spark is one of the best ways to help them direct their energy towards positive activities. Research shows that young people who know and embrace their Spark grow happier and make healthier life choices.

Through the Sparks Mural project, Woodlands Secondary students learned and reflected upon what makes them tick, they also came to realize that while finding out their individual Spark is important, their combined Sparks can create something much more meaningful than each individual Spark by itself.
This mural project emphasizes positivity, collaboration and energy.

For more information on the Sparks Mural Project please visit Sparks Mural or contact our colleagues directly:

Contact Mrs. K --  Jean Kloppenburg --
Contact Mrs. J --  Angela Jurgensen --
Contact Cpl. Dave Cusson --

VIU Graduate Programs- Moving Forward...

Graduate programs at 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 instructors and supervisors, our students are able to leverage a variety of rich learning opportunities toward successful completion of their Master of Education.

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.

More information on all Education's Graduate Program offerings.

Featured Graduate: Breanne Quist

Breanne Quist graduated from our B.Ed program in 2011—not so long ago—and recently graduated from VIU's Online Learning and Teaching graduate Diploma (OLTD) program. She then completed her VIU graduate studies as  one of the first OLTD students through the Masters of Education in Educational Leadership (MEDL) degree program. You think that might be enough achievement in a short time? Not for Breanne!

Some huge congratulations go out to Breanne as she has reached "qualified nominee" status for the Ernest C Manning Innovation Award for her Master's project work "The Privacy Compass" (see ). The Ernest C Manning Innovation Award is a national honour bestowed each year to 2 deserving nominees. You can read a bit more about the award here: Ernest C. Manning Innovation Awards. Breanne started the seeds of her project with Education Professor Julia Hengstler during OLTD 506: Social Media and continued with her work on “The Privacy Compass” with Julia as her Major Project Supervisor during the MEDL program.

The OLTD/MEDL program offers students the opportunity to pursuit an applied Major Project with an accompanying Process Paper/Thesis. Projects such a Breanne's Privacy Compass inform distance learning (DL) best practice here in BC and beyond.

Next, Breanne had to be nominated for the award by 2 people (Julia and fellow OLTD Professor Randy Labonte who nominated her as a member of the executive of CANeLearn, the Canadian e-Learning Network Her work was then was reviewed by the Manning Foundation award nomination panel with experts in the field. She is now designated as a national “qualified nominee” – much like a regional finalist. She will receive a certificate from the Manning Foundation to acknowledge reaching this significant level in the awards competition. The final winners will be announced later this Spring.

Breanne is now in the final running for a potential $10,000 award (2 are awarded for all of Canada). She’s in significant company-- the last Education-based Manning Innovation award winner was Murray Goldberg for WebCT development in 2004.

Way to go, Breanne! We're all so proud of you and your work! Best wishes for your nomination and continued success.

Employment Opportunities with BC First Nations Schools

First Nations Schools Association serves over 130 schools throughout British Columbia. There are dynamic teaching opportunities from primary to secondary. If you are seeking a teaching experience grounded in cultural traditions and ways of being, located in beautiful locations with ample opportunities for the outdoor enthusiast, and professional development opportunities that are beyond compare, one of our schools may be right for you.

We are a system on the move and are looking for teachers who have the will to join a collaborative team to grow their skills and make a difference for students. If you are interested or want to learn more, please send an email to Keri Blacker (Grad 2003) at

Maxwell Cameron Award Winners

Last December, Angela Jurgensen (Secondary) Michael Geselbracht (Elementary) from our Post-Bach Education program were each awarded the prestigious Maxwell Cameron Award for educational excellence. 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 Angela and Michael!

Recent Hirings

Over two thousand 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.

Please visit our current Recent Hirings page and be sure to share an update on your current teaching status. 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.

Read the latest issue of VIU's Alumni magazine celebrating over 75 years of excellence in Education.

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.