Kayla Passmore and Victoria Ross

The power of getting involved in the campus community: Kayla Passmore and Victoria Ross

June 10, 2022

Meet your 2022 valedictorians

Kayla Passmore and Victoria Ross and are co-valedictorians for the Faculty of Education’s graduating class of 2022. From varsity athletics to student leadership roles, Kayla and Victoria are some of the most involved students on campus, so you’ve likely seen them around.

Kayla finishes her Bachelor of Education this June, but is jumping right back into the Inclusive Education Graduate Diploma next fall. The bonus is she gets to play another year on the Mariner’s women’s volleyball team, which has won gold at nationals for the past four years. She’s hoping to win a fifth gold medal.

Victoria is graduating this June with a Bachelor of Kinesiology. She plans on taking the next year to “learn as much as possible in as many different fields and opportunities” as she can.

As part of our series highlighting VIU's 2022 valedictorians leading up to convocation on June 23 and 24, we caught up with Victoria and Kayla, who told us more about their VIU experience and what’s next for them.

Kayla Passmore

Why did you choose VIU?

I chose VIU to play for the Mariners women’s volleyball team. I was also motivated by VIU’s location, small class sizes and school culture.

Can you share a highlight from your time at VIU?

Winning nationals four years in a row felt like our years of hard work all coming together and paying off in the most rewarding way. It truly solidified the dynasty of success that our program is in my eyes. We worked so hard all year and faced so much adversity and change compared to a regular year, so this win felt particularly special. I couldn’t be more proud of my team and can’t wait to strive for our fifth national championship next year on home court.

What are you most proud of achieving since you began your studies?

I am most proud of the learning and growth within myself in these last five years. My time at VIU has shaped who I am and has prepared me for my goals and journey ahead.

What is one thing your fellow students may remember about you after graduation?

That I was probably always running to volleyball or some other extracurricular activity.

What advice would you give students following a similar trajectory as yourself?

As educators and in life, take time to know yourself. When you know who you are, you can be wise about your goals, your dreams, your decisions and your standards. Knowing who you are allows you to live your life with purpose and meaning. Enjoy the journey, have fun and always come back to yourself.

Can you give us three random facts about yourself?

• I love plants and have many houseplants I try my best to keep alive.
• My favorite summer activity is wakesurfing.
• I have the cutest dog!

What’s next for you?

I am beginning post-graduate studies at VIU in Inclusive Education while playing my fifth year of eligibility on the volleyball team. I’ve also been hired by the Nanaimo Ladysmith School District as a substitute teacher.

Victoria Ross

Why did you choose VIU?

Being from Ontario, I chose VIU as an opportunity to explore the west coast of Canada while getting my education at the same time.

Can you share a highlight from your time at VIU?

I co-chaired the Fun@VIU student leadership group for five years and running! My favourite event is the VIU Games, a full-day competition where teams of students, employees and alumni complete a series of diverse events that require both brains and brawn. This opportunity has given me countless memories and friends that will last a lifetime.

What are you most proud of achieving since you began your studies?

Since beginning my studies at VIU, I am most proud of my determination to succeed and the number of opportunities I took advantage of. This ultimately led to the most fulfilling five years of my life.

What is one thing your fellow students may remember about you after graduation?

Although I can’t say for sure, after I graduate, I hope my fellow students remember me as a determined and outgoing helping hand.

What advice would you give students following a similar trajectory as yourself? 

Trust your gut and get involved as much as possible. Moving to a new location isn’t always easy but keep pushing through and I promise you, you will meet individuals and have experiences that will change your life for the better.

Can you give us three random facts about yourself?

• My favourite restaurant is Swiss Chalet.
• I am the youngest of five children.
• I have a huge passion for nature and plants.

What’s next for you?

I am dedicating a year to learning as much as possible in as many different fields and opportunities as I can. I look forward to exploring new places, travelling to a few bucket list destinations, learning new skills and developing new hobbies. My ideal goal for the year is to grow as an individual and allow my passions to guide me to my next adventure.

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