VIU Students at Beach


Creating connections through poetry

Submitted by Eric Zimmer on February 28, 2024 - 11:57am

Paige Pierce’s first exposure to poetry came about in her last few years of high school. But it wasn’t a smooth introduction.

“A lot of the poetry I was interacting with did not feel relatable or accessible to youth, so I started my writing career as a bit of a poetry hater,” she says.

Still, Paige persevered.

Pushing the boundaries of what is possible

Submitted by Jenn McGarrigle on August 4, 2023 - 1:39pm

Members of the Vancouver Island University community may remember Kayla Passmore for her role as team captain of the Mariner’s women’s volleyball team, helping to lead her team to four national championship victories. But she was an active member of the VIU community in many other ways, organizing major events, leading tours and helping new students in residences.

Ready to share her research

Submitted by Eric Zimmer on July 21, 2023 - 10:45am

When Heather Finlay decided to pursue her Master of Education in Special Education, she knew VIU was the place to do it.

“I had done my teaching program with VIU and they were so supportive throughout,” she says. “When I decided to go back to school to complete my masters, I knew that VIU would be a good fit for me.”

Now, having graduated this past June, Heather says she is excited to share her research with others.

Gaining confidence and finding her crew

Submitted by Jenn McGarrigle on June 2, 2023 - 8:32am

At the start of her university journey, Bachelor of Education student Sherry Wessel was very shy. So shy, she shook when she had to talk in front of the class. As her program progressed, she became more confident in herself and as a teacher. Fast forward to today and she’s representing the Class of 2023 as a valedictorian at convocation. Sherry shares more about her VIU journey and some advice for students following the same path. 

Encouraging the next generation of Indigenous leaders

Submitted by Jenn McGarrigle on January 27, 2023 - 7:20am

Growing up, Hayden Kenneth Taylor remembers hiding his identity as a member of the Haisla Nation because of how other people viewed Indigenous peoples. Fast forward to today and Hayden, who is in VIU’s Master of Education program, is researching ways to incorporate more Indigenous culture and knowledge into BC’s public-school curriculum. He has also taken a leading role in encouraging Indigenous youth to connect with culture.

Taking her education global with international internships

Submitted by Eric Zimmer on October 11, 2022 - 4:05pm

Gabrielle Hayashi Santos has been interested in the topic of internationalizing education ever since she was in high school.

It’s an interest that led the Brazilian graduate to apply for – and receive – a 12-week internship at Vancouver Island University in 2019, through the Mitacs Globalink Research Internship program.

Creating a literary connection for Indigenous kids

Submitted by Eric Zimmer on August 30, 2022 - 11:09am

What originally started as a “small summer project” for Samantha Beynon has now led to a published children’s book.

Samantha is a VIU Bachelor of Education student who is heading into her fifth year this fall. She says the book, Oolichan Moon, published by Harbour Publishing, will be widely available on shelves as of this October.

“I actually wrote it a couple of years ago, and self-published it,” she explains. 

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

Submitted by Eric Zimmer on June 10, 2022 - 3:44pm

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.

Creating an inclusive clothing line

Submitted by Eric Zimmer on March 15, 2022 - 10:19am

Growing up with a brother who has non-verbal autism, Brant Cartwright recalls “always feeling off” about the limited representation of people living with disabilities that he saw in both media and the fashion industry.

The fifth-year VIU Bachelor of Education student felt compelled to search out companies with inclusive employment and representation practices.

“It is shocking how little has been done,” Brant says.