VIU Students at Beach

Student Stories

Finding the right balance: Alison Garnett

Submitted by Eric Zimmer on July 21, 2022 - 3:37pm

Pursuing a master’s degree while balancing a career and parenthood is no easy task.

It’s a situation VIU Master of Community Planning graduate Alison Garnett knows well, after finishing her degree this year.

Not only did she succeed, the mother of three young children is also the recipient of this year’s Governor General’s Academic Gold Medal award. The annual award recognizes the student who has achieved the highest academic standing upon graduation from a VIU master’s degree program.

Leaving her mark beyond the classroom: Emma Simard-Provençal

Submitted by Eric Zimmer on July 15, 2022 - 10:31am

A passion for the environment, local food sustainability and a desire to get involved in making the world a better place were the core drivers of Emma Simard-Provençal’s extra-curricular activities at VIU.

However, the time, energy and work that she simultaneously put into her studies also paid dividends, and now Emma is balancing a professional career with community building.

Emma graduated this year from VIU’s Bachelor of Science in Nursing program and now works as pediatric nurse at BC Children’s Hospital.

Excelling in her field: Robyn Doll

Submitted by Eric Zimmer on July 14, 2022 - 1:04pm

The future looks bright for Robyn Doll.

She graduated from VIU’s Dental Hygiene diploma program this year and has already secured a job as a dental hygienist in her hometown in northern BC. She is also this year’s recipient of VIU’s Governor General’s Academic Bronze Medal. The bronze medal is awarded annually to the student who receives the highest academic standing in a two-year diploma program.

Overcoming adversity and finding new passions

Submitted by Jenn McGarrigle on July 12, 2022 - 4:23pm

At age 15, Emma Salisbury’s life changed forever.

Diagnosed with lupus – a chronic disease with a variety of symptoms caused by inflammation in one or more parts of the body – Emma put her dance career on hold to undergo treatment. A week into treatment, she suffered a stroke that forced her to reconsider what she wanted to do with her life.

“Within 24 hours, I went from being a sick, but perfectly able-bodied person, to not being able to hold my head up or even speak,” she remembers.

Finding his fit with VIU’s Indigenous Peoples in Trades Training Program

Submitted by Eric Zimmer on July 8, 2022 - 10:40am

 A few months ago, Russell Modeste wasn’t sure what direction he wanted to take in his career. 

After completing Adult Basic Education upgrading courses at VIU, he decided to explore different options.

“I wanted to see what trade would interest me. At first, it was carpentry, and then it was heavy equipment operating,” he says.

Striving for athletic and academic excellence

Submitted by Rachel Stern on June 22, 2022 - 10:39am

Danielle Groenendijk is graduating from VIU this June with a Bachelor of Science, major in Biology and minor in Kinesiology – graduating with honours.

She is also a member of the VIU Mariners women’s volleyball team and the combination of both a strong volleyball program and the academic programs offered was a major factor in why she decided to attend VIU. 

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.