Demitria Rounis

Taking advantage of every opportunity: Demitria Rae Rounis

May 24, 2022

Meet your 2022 valedictorians

Demitria Rae Rounis is graduating this June with a Bachelor of Tourism Management, Major in Recreation. She also has a diploma in Tourism Studies and a Certificate in Event Management. Aside from representing her peers in the Faculty of Management at convocation, she will also represent Canada at the Royal International Miss Pageant in Orlando this summer.

As part of our series highlighting VIU's 2022 valedictorians leading up to convocation on June 23 & 24, we caught up with Demitria to learn why she decided to attend VIU, and some highlights from her time here.

Why did you choose VIU?

What sold me on VIU was a recruiting agent who came to a “university day” at my high school. He graduated from my program and answered all my questions. He was so energetic and enthusiastic about the institution. He really did his job well because I’m pretty sure I applied that very night. It was also a smart decision because I could keep living at home and didn’t have to give up the Island life.

Can you share a highlight from your time at VIU?

Going on a semester abroad. I lived in Dijon, France, for five months, studying at the Burgundy School of Business, and it was amazing. There are so many opportunities at VIU, you just need to seek them out. Education Abroad was helpful every step of the way. My program also made it easy for me to take courses there for credits towards my degree. I travelled all through Europe on my weekends off. It was the best of both worlds – school and travel.

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

I am most proud of my work in Thailand and the Yukon. Both academic trips were through the VIU World Leisure Centre of Excellence. In Thailand, I was a student contributor to the Miklos Banhidi Young People’s Book on Leisure. My chapter was about risk perception in leisure. In the Yukon, I worked with the Yukon Recreation and Parks Association on their Active Living Survey. These are two tangible projects that I know are going to help individuals and organizations in their respective communities. Knowing I played a role in them is so rewarding.

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

They will remember what an active student I was in the classroom. I always got involved in classroom discussions, asked questions, etc. It was not because I felt obligated either. I genuinely enjoyed getting to hear other people’s perspectives and share my thoughts. It is why I loved having such small class sizes. You can get deep into thought-provoking topics.

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

Never say never! By the end of my time at VIU, I did so many things – from my semester abroad, to academic travel, to representing the undergraduates on the Faculty of Management council, to now being valedictorian. When you stay open-minded to unexpected opportunities, you might just end up on one of the greatest adventures of your life.

Can you give us three random facts about yourself?

  • I have bungee jumped eight times (so far).
  • I have a chocolate lab named Percy and I am absolutely obsessed with her.
  • I was once in a spring commercial campaign for Woodgrove Mall (I think I was nine).

What’s next for you?

I have always been a “planner” by nature. I think this is the first time in my entire life that I have no idea what is next and that is so exciting! This summer, I will represent Canada at the Royal International Miss Pageant in Orlando, Florida. I have been working towards that goal for approximately a year. Afterwards, I will start the *very* preliminary planning for a business idea I have. Other than that, I’m just ready to wind down after university, do some travelling and just live in the moment.

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