AlumniED Newsletter - June 2012 Convocation Issue

photo of Dr. Harry JanzenDean's Message from Dr. Harry Janzen

Greetings and welcome to the June 2012 Convocation issue of our AlumniED newsletter. The newsletter serves to keep our Alumni and teaching colleagues up to date with our Education programs and pour Education program graduates.

Convocation offers an opportunity to reflect on our students' successes over another academic year and to congratulate our deserved graduates.

Our June 4th Convocation celebrated the success of our Bachelor of Education program graduates. 59 enthusiastic grads are eager to begin their teaching careers after 3 years in our program.

This term, 11 school districts and 35 schools (including 2 First Nations schools)supported our student teachers on practical. Thanks to all our sponsor teachers, faculty supervisors and elementary and secondary students who collectively help our student teachers achieve their career and personal goals.

For those of you wishing to continue your education, please consider one of our Graduate diploma or degree programs; SETS diploma, Graduate Diploma in Global Education, Graduate Diploma in Online Learning and Teaching (OLTD), Masters of Special Education, Masters of Education (Leadership) and Masters of Education (International Focus). Our 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

June 2012 Convocation

graduating students in regalia

More photos here

June 4th was the date for our recent Convocation ceremony, 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.

As is custom, VIU's Chancellor, Chief Shawn A-in-chut Atleo offered the Convocation address to graduates. His words offered encouragement and congratulations to graduates and their deserved families.

This year the University was proud to acknowledge the contributions of three distinguished women by granting them Honourary Degrees-- Astronaut, Julie Payette, Pharmacist, Dr. Frances Olham Kelsey and Rights Activist, Roberta Louise Jamieson.

Our Featured Graduate: Ross Mackinnon Biking for a Great Cause!

Program graduate Ross Mackinnon (Grad 2011) and his three brothers are biking across Canada this summer to raise money and awareness for Parkinson's disease. Russ's grandfather sadly passed away about 10 years ago from the disease and their ride is in honour of him.

The four brothers, from Comox Valley, had the privilege of having a most inspirational grandfather. They idolized their grandfather Neville "BAHA" Munro. A basketball Olympian, successful lawyer, published author on Parkinson's disease, financial advisor and University of British Columbia Athletics Hall of Fame member. Neville Munro left a long list of accomplishments for his grandsons to marvel at. However that is not what truly inspired Ross. BAHA was diagnosed with Parkinson's disease in 1987 at age 60. Parkinson's is a relentless disease that affects motor skills, speech and many other aspects of life. For the next 16 years of his life we watched in awe as BAHA fought with every bit of his gigantic heart to not allow the disease to affect his relationship with his family. He passed away at age 76 without ever giving up his will to live, learn and fight. BAHA was more than a man, he was larger than life, he was a leader and a real life superhero.

In 1992, Ross's Uncle Dave ( BAHA's eldest son)  manufactured a bicycle for BAHA to ride with him across Canada. Because of BAHA's deteriorating body and health he was never able to do this. The bike has been sitting a garage for almost 20 years. The brothers started talking about riding the bike across Canada in honor of BAHA during the summer of 2010. Splitting duties between riding BAHA's bicycle and their own three bikes, they are hoping to make the journey across Canada raising awareness and funds for another amazing Canadian and Parkinson's warrior Michael J Fox and "THE MICHAEL J. FOX FOUNDATION for PARKINSON'S RESEARCH."Our goal is to raise $1 for every kilometer the four of us ride as well as $1 for every kilometer Baha would have ridden, the distance and funds raised adds up to $40,075! The journey began May19th, 2012 and will finish in July 2012. 

"BAHA led without words, he fought without a body, his spirit and heart were so contagious we know it will lead us from the Pacific to the Atlantic!" says Ross.

Check out the brother's' website Biking for Baha

Ross is excited to begin his teaching career in China next year, so hasn't become a professional cyclist quite yet.

Faculty of Education Announces New Graduate Diploma in Global Education (GEGD)

Since the inception of VIU’s Education programs, many of you have expressed a keen desire to further your understanding and practice of Global Education, in Canada and abroad.  We have been inspired by your enthusiasm and faculty members [Katherine Pepper, Carolyn Bowles, Nadine Cruickshanks, and Kelly Quinlan (UNICEF Canada)]are very excited to announce a new program for certified teachers entitled Global Education Graduate Diploma (GEGD), commencing Fall 2013.

The Global Education Graduate Diploma (GEGD) is designed to provide teachers with a broad field of study that explores the urgent need for global education in schools. Through a critical study of world events and circumstances, teachers will learn to weave diverse perspectives into their practice and foster a sense of citizenship and recognition of the world’s diversity among their students. Participants will examine a culturally rich and interconnected world, including the significant interrelatedness of the natural world. Students will create and implement best practices for incorporating global education into the K-12 curriculum. The content includes the cultivation of three strands: local and global awareness; transformational understanding; and responsible, active citizenship.
Contact us for more information.

More information on all our Graduate Program offerings

Masters of Education(Leadership) Program Grad Receives Governor General's Gold Medal.

Wendy Nixon Stothert, a Comox Valley music teacher and highly respected conductor of community choral groups, received a Governor General’s Gold Medal for achieving a perfect grade point average in a Masters program.

Nixon Stothert graduated this week from Vancouver Island University’s Master of Education in Educational Leadership program. She has taught music in the Comox Valley since 1997 at middle and high schools. She begins teaching at Aspen Park Elementary in September.

There are still seats left for this Fall's intake into our Masters of Education (Leadership)program.  The 2 year, part-time program provides a balance of research, policy and the context of the BC Education system. Join us to develop the knowledge,skills,and attitudes central to formal and informal school district leadership

For program information please contact Kristine Chyplyk, Assistant to the Dean.

Recent Hirings

Over one 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 Recent Hirings page and update your contact Information via VIU's Alumni Relations department.

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, photos or information you would like to share with fellow graduates please contact us.