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December 21, 2009

Camosun College continuing education student, Patrick O’Keeffe, produced award-winning videos two years in a row.

O’Keeffe graduated from Camosun’s Web Design certificate program last year. His vision and skills earned him third place in the 2008 inaugural MyCamosun video contest. Late this fall, O’Keeffe was named third prize winner ($250 cash prize) for MyCamosun 2009.

In the 2008 video, O’Keeffe focused on his personal experience as a 40-year-old returning to school, and what that felt like. This year, he trained his camera on others, to create a video that reflects a myriad of Camosun experiences.

"Filming is one of the coolest things I’ve ever done," says O’Keeffe.

"My inspiration for the video this year was to talk to students and staff and make it about them," says O’Keeffe. "I know how personal it was to me, and I wanted to hear what Camosun means to others. As well, I got a lot of inspiration and help from my friends Darryl Lecraw and Nicolas Watkins Lenis who are both into filmmaking."

Patrick O'KeefeSince earning his Camosun certificate in Web Design and graduating last year, O’Keeffe has started a web design business which also provides photography services. "I see Victoria Web Solutions growing with clients and adapting as their business needs change,” says O’Keeffe.

O’Keeffe started the part-time Web Development certificate program in 2007, while employed full-time, raising children and being in a relationship."After consulting with some friends, I chose Camosun based on what the program had to offer and knowing that people would recognize the school," says O’Keeffe. "I had some web experience, but not enough to be successful. Camosun’s program put the pieces together, gave me hands-on practice, and someone to go to for help."

O’Keeffe singles out the support he received from both instructors and students as one of the things he appreciated and enjoyed the most about the program. "Our primary instructor was Charles Sherman and he was fantastic!" says O’Keeffe."He has a very calm and specific approach to looking at things both technically and from a business perspective. I learned from that."

When pressed for advice for others thinking about coming back to school, O’Keeffe says, "I was very lucky to have the opportunity to go back to school after 20 years. It was a bit intimidating for me as someone with just high school education, but it was one of the best decisions I have made."

 "If you choose to go back and upgrade skills, do it, "encourages O’Keeffe."Nothing beats hands-on learning in an environment where you can ask someone who knows what they’re doing and get real-time feedback and support from a classroom setting. The people I met were awesome and friends to this day."

One of O’Keeffe’s friends is now taking Camosun’s new 5-month Web Foundations certificate program through Continuing Education. Elaine Paterson is the Continuing Education Program Coordinator for computer training."We changed the program in 2009 in response to the rapid pace of change in the web design field. In Web Foundations, students learn to create basic yet functional and well designed sites in just five months, " says Paterson. "Like Patrick, the students have the opportunity to become a learning community that can carry on long after certificates have been issued. Camosun will offer follow-up courses to grads for both existing and emerging web design tools. For example, a PHP/MySQL course is scheduled for March, and then we may offer Joomla in the spring. We listen to graduates such as Patrick to hear what training they need to successfully continue in the fascinating field of web design."

O’Keeffe’s winning MyCamosun 2009 video captures many voices in under a minute, but the last word is his. "We just have to believe in ourselves and the rest will follow."

Contact

Elaine Paterson, Continuing Education Program Coordinator
School of Business
250–370–4115 or 250–370–4565
Paterson@camosun.bc.ca    

Last updated: December 21, 2009 2:41 pm

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