AlumniED Newsletter - Spring 2010 Convocation Issue

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

Happy New Year and welcome to the Spring 2010 Convocation issue of our Alumni ED Newsletter.

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

Our programs continue to grow. A second cohort of students have enrolled in our Masters of Education-Leadership program and cohort one are busy putting finishing touches on their thesis work for completion this Spring. Our special class of Post-Baccalaureate degree students continue their journey in our new part-time program based in the Saanich Peninsula. As well, program design continues for a new Masters in Special Education degree program which plans to launch in September 2010.

VIU's Faculty of Education continues to fill the need for qualified, passionate and enthusiastic educators, both here and abroad. Congratulations to all our graduates-- past and present.

Dr. Harry Janzen, Dean, Faculty of Education


Spring Convocation 2010

Convocation is always an exciting event here at VIU and our recent graduation celebration was no exception. On Monday, January 25th, 112 students graduated with their Bachelor of Education degrees from both our Concurrent and Post-Baccalaureate programs.

We wish our new graduates much success as they enter the teaching profession.

Our Feature Graduate:
Laura Tait Earns $10,000 Provincial Scholarship

Story and Photo by Marilyn Assaf, Media Relations and Communications, VIU

Nanaimo teacher and Vancouver Island University student Laura Tait has received a $10,000 provincial scholarship from the New Relationship Trust (NRT), an independent non-profit organization dedicated to supporting First Nations in BC.

Tait, currently enrolled in VIU’s Master of Education in Educational Leadership, also received $1,500 from the Chief Joe Mathias BC Aboriginal Scholarship Fund and $3,200 from the National Aboriginal Achievement Foundation.

“Laura Tait is an outstanding teacher and scholar,” said Dr. Harry Janzen, VIU’s Dean of Education. “She brings great intellectual curiosity and incisive thinking to her masters work. She is very deserving of this scholarship. We hope Laura will carry on with doctoral studies after completing her current studies.”

Tait wears many hats. She is a student, wife, mother and full-time district Aboriginal education teacher for the Nanaimo-Ladysmith School District.

Last year, she enrolled in VIU’s new Master of Education program aimed at working teachers on Vancouver Island who want to increase their leadership skills and upgrade their education. Classes are offered on weekends and during the summer at the Nanaimo campus.

Earlier this semester, Tait completed classes on Friday and Saturday, and gave birth to her second child Sunday. Two weeks later, she was back in the classroom.

“As a mother and working professional, I couldn’t do this any other way,” said Tait. “I could not leave my family and job to pursue my education in Vancouver or Victoria. I’m grateful to have this opportunity close to home.”

It’s her second stint at VIU. Tait graduated from the post-baccalaureate Education program in 1998 after earning an undergraduate degree at the University of Victoria.

Tait said VIU’s teacher training program prepared her professionally, intellectually and emotionally to tackle the huge challenge of teaching kids. She moved overseas to travel and teach in Taiwan. Four years later, she returned to her Vancouver Island roots, going from a city of five million in Asia to teaching in a village of 500 in Bella Coola.

“Education, whatever form it takes, has a profound effect on your adult life," she said. “I tell my students to get an education, take risks and do the unexpected. That’s how I try to live my life.”

We Hire Our Grads!

Our previous issue noted the dozens of graduates who are now teaching and sharing their knowledge here at VIU. We are pleased to add Natalie Chilenga (PB Secondary program grad, 2010) to their ranks. Natalie is delighted to begin working with the Adult Basic Education (ABE) program as a Chemistry instructor. Congratulations Natalie!

President's Graduation Address

Greetings Education graduates. Convocation is a big day, a chance to celebrate your hard work and success. You have all come from different places, with different backgrounds. You all have your own stories. Today you share a common purpose, and that is the celebration of achieving your educational goal. Well done.

Benjamin Franklin once said an investment in knowledge always pays the best interest. Graduates, your future is to impart knowledge to future generations, whether it is here in BC, elsewhere in Canada, or abroad.

Learning should never be static.  It should continue throughout your lives, opening new doors, evoking new insights, expanding your horizons, and continually creating new opportunities.

I hope that you will use your love of learning to spread the passion of knowledge to your students.  A commitment to life-long learning is a commitment to life-long opportunities.

From here on out the future is in your hands. You have the knowledge and the skills to achieve success, in whatever form that might take for you.

Congratulations to you all.

Ralph Nilson, Ph.D.
President and Vice-Chancellor
Vancouver Island University

Recent Hirings

Well over 1500 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.

Quotes from Our Graduates...

"The [VIU Education] program provided me with an excellent foundation for entering the 'real world' of teaching. The staff were supportive and personable and created an atmosphere for learning which modeled techniques that I now use with my own students; the skills in both planning and technology that I developed throughout the program prepared me to enter my classroom as a well-equipped, confident teacher."

Diane Gross (Cartier)
Grad Class of 2003


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