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Camosun’s June convocation celebrates its community of graduates

7pm Friday June 13, 2008
Pearkes Recreation Center, 3100 Tillicum Rd

Camosun honours the accomplishments of its extended community at its Spring convocation Friday, June 13, 7pm at the Pearkes Recreation Centre. In addition to presenting this season’s graduates, the ceremony features the 2008 Governor General’s Collegiate Bronze Academic Medal recipient Beth Bowerman, Camosun’s 2008 Distinguished Alumni Award recipient Rob Fleming, and keynote speaker Dr. Paul Mohapel, an international authority on emotional intelligence.

Close to 300 graduates and 1,100 guests will attend the ceremony.

The college is pleased to present two major awards each June:

Governor General’s Collegiate Bronze Academic Medal

Beth Bowerman, a graduate of Camosun’s Associate of Arts degree in Anthropology, is this year’s recipient of the Governor General collegiate Bronze Academic Medal for being the top academic graduate from a two-year or longer program. While Beth’s grade point average of 8.82 (out of a possible 9.0) quantifies her impressive academic accomplishment, it’s her contribution to her fellow students and her engagement with her studies that embody her overall success as a Camosun citizen.

When Beth’s life circumstances changed in 2004 she chose to pursue post secondary studies as a mature student. She found Camosun’s welcoming and encouraging learning environment provided the sense of community and assortment of activities that appealed to her natural inclination to help others. As a member of the Japanese conversation club, Beth so appreciated the international students who coached her that she joined Peer Connections, a program that helps new international students feel comfortable with life at Camosun College and in Victoria. In this group Beth shone as a natural leader.

Beth holds all her instructors in high regard, and it was an introductory Anthropology course that inspired her to continue in that specialty. Karoline Herbison said, “Beth was an engaged student who stood out because she was well able to ‘connect the dots’ and see the relevance of anthropological issues.” Brenda Clark added “Beth considered being a student to be her full-time job. She really cares about learning, wanting to come out of class not with the ‘A’, but with knowledge.”

Although making the transition to post secondary is hard, Beth credits Camosun’s Learning Skills program with being instrumental in her success. She concludes that, “anyone can go back to school. It’s such a rewarding process.”

Holding a summer job at a wilderness fire station in Alberta, Beth has plenty of time to consider her future. “I know I have a facility for learning and I want to continue with my studies, if not for more money, then at least for doing something with my mind.” Beth will return to Victoria in September to complete her Bachelor of Arts degree in Anthropology at the University of Victoria.

2008 Distinguished Alumni Award

Camosun’s annual Distinguished Alumni Award honours alumni who graduated more than 10 years ago and who have demonstrated outstanding service and achievement in their field and community. This year’s recipient is Mr. Rob Fleming, who pursued University Transfer, Arts—1993-95. Although Rob originally intended on becoming a teacher, his time at Camosun inspired him to transfer to UVic and attain his Bachelor of Arts degree in History. Rob says a turning point for him was his involvement with the Camosun College Student Society, where he served as communications coordinator.

Rob continued to be involved in student life at the University of Victoria, where he helped implement a universal bus pass for all post secondary students. At the age of 28 years, Rob served two terms on Victoria city council where he was the Chair of the City’s Finance and Personnel Committee and the Council liaison to the advisory Transportation Committee. Rob held the City’s youth portfolio, was Chair of the CRD Health Facilities Planning Committee, and Commissioner for the CRD Water Commission. As Vice-Chair of the Capital District Housing Corporation, Rob helped establish the region’s first affordable housing trust fund and created a similar fund at the City of Victoria.

Now a full-time elected MLA, Rob chairs the select Standing Committee on Public Accounts and serves on the Select Standing Committee for Education and the Select Standing Committee on Parliamentary Reform, Ethical Conduct and Private bills.

Instructor Thom Bland recalls Rob as “an engaged, interested student who loved grappling with ideas. He impressed me as a man deeply interested in the world around him.”

Rob’s affinity to Camosun extends beyond his personal experiences: his mother studied nursing here and, in the late ‘50s, his uncle attended Victoria College, Camosun’s predecessor. When asked how Camosun might have contributed to his current success and career, Rob said, “The thing about education is, it expands the mind to different world perspectives. Camosun was completely formative. The best thing to credit Camosun with, though,” said Rob, “is meeting my wife.” Rob and his wife Maura attended many classes together and he adds, “I’m getting the award, but she was the better student.” Rob feels proud to be sharing the stage with the graduating class of 2008.

More than 1,400 students graduate this Spring from Camosun in Arts, Sciences, Business, Health and Human Services, Trades, Technologies, Adult Basic Academic Studies and First Nations Education.

Last updated: June 10, 2008 3:55 pm

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