VIU Students at Beach

Student Stories

International student finds dream job in Nanaimo

Submitted by Eric Zimmer on May 31, 2023 - 10:13am

Jiayi Li can still vividly recall the step-by-step process of securing his dream job in Nanaimo.

All VIU Master of Business Administration students are required to do an internship to complete the program. After some research, Jiayi.  successfully pitched his skill-set to IWC Excavation.

“Although the primary goal of the internship was to learn and adapt to the Canadian work environment, I felt compelled to do more,” said Jiayi, who came to study at VIU as an international student.

Creating accessible computer science courses

Submitted by Rachel Stern on May 24, 2023 - 12:49pm

Everyone deserves equal access to education, yet barriers remain for some learners.

Amber Thomas ran into challenges when she wanted to take a computer science course at her university in Alberta. The accessibility tools available there would not work for her computer science course because it needed specialized tools. Amber is blind and uses a screen reader to complete her courses. 

Taking classroom learning to community

Submitted by Eric Zimmer on May 17, 2023 - 12:45pm

Jane Dean has been passionate about working with children and youth for as long as she can remember. When she started the Child and Youth Care program at VIU, her goal was to create a positive impact in the lives of others.

She is now seeing her goal come to fruition. She’s been helping to organize a large outdoor event at Georgia Avenue Community School  school in Nanaimo’s Harewood community.

VIU’s Inclusive Theatre Collective presents The Fear of Missing Out

Submitted by Rachel Stern on April 11, 2023 - 2:16pm

The Inclusive Theatre Collective is presenting The Fear of Missing Out by Canadian playwright Michaela di Cesare this April.

The play tells the story of Olive, a high school student who wants to research and write about a string of assaults and disappearances at bus stops in her neighbourhood for the school paper. She spends most of her time working in her parents’ deli under their supervision. Her friend Vincent, an aspiring forensic scientist on the autism spectrum, helps Olive with her research. Meanwhile, her best friend T-Star starts to pull away from the friendship.

How does music affect the mind?

Submitted by Eric Zimmer on March 24, 2023 - 1:27pm

When Mikaila Tombe began her post-secondary career, she was initially unsure what to do with her degree. Now, she’s combining her interests and talents into a new study for her undergraduate thesis.

A fourth-year VIU Psychology honours student and a musician, Mikaila has always been interested in the reasons behind why people respond the way they do to certain types of music.

How honeybees are harmed by climate change

Submitted by Eric Zimmer on March 21, 2023 - 2:30pm

Fourth-year VIU Geography honours student Sierra De Buysscher-Nailor has taken a special interest in understanding climate change.

An aspiring beekeeper, Sierra wants to develop a better understanding of the risks she will be facing in upcoming years as she starts her beekeeping journey. She is researching the impacts of climate change on the health and habitat of the western honeybee.

Using climate modelling data, Sierra is looking at how increasing temperatures will impact honeybees.

Solving real-world problems with computational chemistry

Submitted by Jenn McGarrigle on March 15, 2023 - 6:23pm

Doing research as an undergraduate student has helped Savannah Mercer make the connection between what she is learning in class and how it can be applied in the real world.

The fourth-year Bachelor of Science student is part of Dr. Heather Wiebe’s Molecular Modelling Research Group, which specializes in computational chemistry. The group uses computer simulations to answer scientific questions.

Savannah, whose hometown is Parksville, decided to attend VIU because it was close to home and offered small class sizes.

Investigating parasite genetics

Submitted by Rachel Stern on March 13, 2023 - 1:17pm

VIU alum Mac Barrera’s undergraduate research was not only published in an international journal, it has also led to new insights about the endangered Vancouver Island marmot.  

“It’s exciting. I feel very proud,” says Mac, who now works as a lab technician in VIU’s Biology department. “Getting an undergrad research paper published in a legitimate, peer-reviewed journal is rare.”

Students share reflections on gender in book

Submitted by Rachel Stern on March 9, 2023 - 10:38am

For the first time at VIU, a sociology class has written and published a book together. 

The students examined gender in their book Gender: Reflections and Intersections – a collaborative project for their Sociology 322 class. The 31 students each contributed two pieces: an academic article and one free-choice contribution that could be creative, such as: