AlumniED Newsletter - Spring 2016 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 28th Convocation celebrated the success of our Bachelor of Education program graduates. 86 enthusiastic grads are eager to begin their teaching careers after 18 months in our Post-Baccalaureate Bachelor of Education program.


Last Fall, 55 schools in 27 districts (16 were out-of-area SDs) supported our student teachers on practica, program-wide. Thanks to our 135 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, 20 graduates from our Masters of Education in Educational Leadership (MEDL) degree program were formally recognized for their accomplishments along with 8 students from our OLTD/MEDL degree program. Our Post-Degree Diploma in Special Education Teacher Specialty also welcomes 8 new graduates.


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


VIU 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

New Administrative Positions in the Faculty of Education

Meet our New Associate Dean, Sharon Wahl-- "The role of the Associate Dean is evolving as the year continues and we work together as a leadership team in the Faculty of Education. Typically, my work supports curriculum and program development, faculty and student support, liaison with the university and with the wider educational community, sitting on numerous committees and developing marketing strategies for student enrolment. In addition, I teach the Foundations of Educational Leadership course within the Masters in Educational Leadership Program, and I teach one cohort of the Introduction to the Performing Arts. It seems you can’t keep a Drama teacher far from a Drama classroom!"

Meet Rachel Moll, Chair of Graduate Programs--"Due to the rapid expansion of graduate programs in the Faculty of Education, we have created a new role – Chair of Graduate Programs. In this role, I coordinate the Master’s of Educational Leadership (full-time, part-time, and distance options) and the Master’s of Special Education (full-time and part-time options). I also work closely with the coordinators of our diploma programs--the Online Learning and Teaching Diploma (OLTD) program and the Special Education Teacher Specialty (SETS) program to facilitate laddering from diploma to Master’s programs and ensure that our students have a wide range of post-graduate options in the Faculty of Education.  I act as a graduate student advisor and support students with every stage of the program from application to thesis completion and graduation.  I coordinate a large team of thesis and project supervisors who work with students in the final stage of their program.  The Master’s of Education Research Conference, organized by the Chair, is a highlight in our graduate program calendar. Please consider attending here on campus Saturday, March 5. For details please contact me"

January 28 , 2016 -- Convocation Celeb


January 28th 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 join in our students' successes.


VIU Chancellor, Louise Mandell, offered words of congratulations and encouragement and Education graduate Dean Heald, (Master of Education in Special Education), eloquently delivered the Valadictory speech.

An Honorary Doctorate of Letters was awarded to Canadian poet and author Patrick Lane and the Distinguished Alumni Award went to Katelin Albert.

The latest Convocation web cast is available from the archive here.

Photos are available on VIU's Facebook page.

VIU Graduate Programs- The Journey Continues...

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 of our Graduate Program offerings.

Featured Graduate: Angela Jurgensen - SPARKS Continue to Ignite!

You may remember fellow Faculty of Education program graduate Angela Jurgensen from a previous AlumniED issue. Angela graduated from our Post-Baccalaureate Secondary program in 2014 and soon secured a teaching position at York House School in Vancouver. She is able to engage her creative energies as their Fine Arts instructor. Prior to graduation, Angela spent her final practicum at Woodlands Secondary in Nanaimo where she and sponsor teacher, Jean Kloppenburg (also a VIU Education grad), seized the opportunity to share the SPARKS curriculum with their Grade 9-11 art students.


SPARKS is an asset-building curriculum to encourage students K-12 to discover their own talents and assets and apply these to increasing their self-esteem and building their confidence. Together, Angela and Jean had over 80 students each create a 12"x12" painted tile to illustrate their own, personal SPARK- the thing that inspires them and that they are most passionate about. They then assembled the tiles as a huge 22x8' mural to depict a soaring eagle. The mural has now been mounted on the side of the Woodland's Secondary building.



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 their own SPARK is one of the best ways to help them direct their energy towards positive activities.This project emphasized positivity, collaboration and energy. It also helps young people recognize the developmental assets they may currently have, and which ones they need to work on. 


Angela now continues to spread the SPARKS message and her current graduate studies in VIU's Online Teaching & Learning program (OLTD) will enable her to continue to formally share the SPARKS philosophy by designing and developing a custom web-based resource to share with fellow educators. Her research will be informed by a comprehensive literature review in support of her critical question based on the SPARKS theme.


The OLTD diploma program ladders directly into VIU’s Masters of Education (Leadership) degree where Angela will continue to share her vision, creativity and passion for learning and leading. Her contribution to the education field will be shared internationally via the website which will also contain a lesson plan archive for use by fellow educators wishing to share the SPARKS philosophy. Her site is currently under development here Sparks Mural where she is also archiving her latest project "Identity Sculptures."


This exhibit was inspired by the amazing works of Vancouver-based artist Geoffrey Farmer. Angela's students from grades 9 through 12 at York House School, in Vancouver, B.C., had the opportunity to create an individual sculpture that represents their identity. Their sculptures are a snapshot of their passions, likes and dislikes at this point in their lives. Having been offered the same materials and the same opportunities, they allowed their creativity and personal flair to come forward, and a wonderful array of images rose to the surface.

To accompany these sculptures, the students had to deliver a written paragraph of a minimum of 300 words, but most students wrote far beyond these expectations.


All the best Angela as you continue to make SPARKS Ignite!

Visit the New VIU Magazine!

The new VIU Magazine! has Alumni success stories, campus news, and "where are they now" features. The twice-yearly produced magazine is mailed free of charge to registered alumni. Not getting yours? Update your mailing address and contact information. In the meantime you can check out our archives below. We would also love to hear about what alumni are up to! Please submit items (2-5 sentences; photos optional) on work successes, travels, marriages, family additions, or other accomplishments with the subject "Class Notes" to the Advancement & Alumni Relations Office.

Maxwell Cameron Award Winners

The Maxwell Cameron Award for educational excellence was awarded this semester to Amanda Reimer graduating from our PB Elementary cohort and Graham Arkell, graduating from our Secondary cohort. The B.C. Teachers’ Federation grants this award to students completing the final year of a Bachelor of Education degree in Secondary or Elementary teaching who, in the opinion of instructors in the Education faculty, are outstanding students in the graduating class. Congratulations and Amanda and Graham!

Recent Hirings

Well 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.

Teach Abroad


Last October, six overseas recruiters visited the Faculty of Education for our first International Recruitment Expo. The event was a great success with over 70 interviews conducted with VIU Education students and past graduates. Recruiters are busy hiring for teaching positions in England, Scotland, China, Egypt, and Japan.


If you are interested in teaching overseas please contact Mary O'Neill to connect with these reputable employers.

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
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