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Media Release
Release Date: June 15, 2015

More than 3,000 graduates and hundreds of guests are expected to attend Camosun College's 2015 Graduation over four ceremonies this Thursday and Friday, June 18 and 19 at the Pacific Institute for Sport Excellence, Camosun College, Interurban Campus.

Students will graduate from certificate, diploma and bachelor degree programs in Indigenous Education, Arts and Science, Business, Health and Human Services, Trades, Technologies, Sport Education and Adult Upgrading (Access).

Six major awards will highlight the graduation ceremonies. (See Backgrounder below for details.)

  • Board of Governors Award for Innovation:  Nicole Kilburn, Camosun Anthropology instructor and her students
  • Governor General's Collegiate Bronze Academic Medal:  Maria Degethoff – Dental Hygiene; Nicholas Birch – Electronics & Computer Engineering Technology - Renewable Energy; Adam MacNeil – Electronics & Computer Engineering Technology - Renewable Energy; Oliver Terry – Mechanical Engineering Technology
  • British Columbia Lieutenant Governor's Silver Medal:  Robin Adams – Advanced Diploma, Human Resources Management
  • 2015 Camosun College Distinguished Alumni Award: Ellen Mahoney – Nursing Alumnus 1983 and Faculty Member
  • 2015 Promising Alumni Award: Heather Bray, Criminal Justice Grad 2005
  • 2015 Camosun College Foundation "Friends of Camosun" Award:  James Warr and Bob Noble, long-time board members and supporters

The Graduation Ceremonies are scheduled for:

  • 10:30am, Thursday, June 18  - School of Arts and Science, Centre for Sport and Exercise Education
  • 2:30pm, Thursday, June 18 - School of Business
  • 10:30am, Friday, June 19 - School of Health and Human Services
  • 2:30pm, Friday, June 19 - School of Access, Eyēʔ Sqȃ'lewen: Centre for Indigenous Education and Community Connections, School of Health and Human Services, School of Trades and Technology

Camosun College congratulates all of its outstanding 2015 graduates and award recipients this year.


Joan Yates
Vice-President ;
Communications, Advancement & Planning
Camosun College

Michelle Tinis
Marketing/Communications Strategist
Communications, Advancement & Planning
Camosun College

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The annual Camosun College Graduation Ceremonies are scheduled this week, June 18 and 19, 2015 in the Pacific Institute of Sport Excellence, Interurban campus, 4461 Interurban Road, Victoria, BC.

Highlight awards include (in chronological order by ceremony):

2015 Board of Governors Award for Innovation

Presented:  Thursday, June 18, 10:30am ceremony
Recipient:  Nicole Kilburn, Anthropology instructor and her students for their work on the west coast's first-ever "Pestival," a public event organized by Nicole and her students, as an opportunity to share with the community what they were learning in the classroom about the human consumption of insects and how insects are becoming a mainstream protein alternative in the midst of climate change and the instability of our food system. The public were invited to sample and learn about insect protein foods.


  • Raven Bleskie-Fetter
  • Rhonda Hemstreet
  • Anna Saunders
  • Amelia Gentilli-Hittos
  • Marianne Kintoff
  • Gillian Paterson
  • Hannah Sloan, and,
  • Meredith Wicklund

2015 Promising Alumni Award

Presented:  Thursday, June 18, 10:30am ceremony
Recipient:  Heather Bray – Criminal Justice Grad 2005

The first of her family to attend post-secondary school, Heather Bray graduated from the Criminal Justice program in 2005. Through an incredible educational journey that included a Bachelor of Justice Studies at Royal Roads University, a Bachelor of Laws at the University of New Brunswick, and a Master of Laws from Western University in Ontario, she now works as a Junior Researcher at the Max Planck Institute for Comparative Public Law and International Law in Heidelberg, Germany. Her goal is to become a law professor. She continues to use what she learned at Camosun, tackling problems from as many different angles and viewpoints as possible.

Summing up, Heather says, "becoming an effective problem-solver, a skill that was appreciably cultivated at Camosun, has been a pillar of my academic and professional success. Winning this award has provided me with the opportunity to reflect on the beginning of my academic journey. I come from a modest upbringing and Camosun acted as a springboard to a path that I never thought possible."

2015 British Columbia Lieutenant Governor's Silver Medal

Presented:  Thursday, June 18, 2:30pm ceremony
Recipient:  Robin Adams – Advanced Diploma, Human Resources Management

Robin Adams receives this year's BC Lt. Governor's Silver Medal for achieving an outstanding 8.6 Grade Point Average (GPA) in her business courses. Robin came to Camosun looking for a way to enhance her education and invest in her career. "The best part of my program has been "the hands-on, real-world focus and applied learning," she says. Robin has had to do many business presentations on collective bargaining, arbitration, hiring interview panels, and job interview simulations. She says one of her courses actually broke past the simulated environment and had her and her classmates develop a real human resources needs analysis and employee training plan for a local business. "This applied style of learning at Camosun has helped me develop a greater level of confidence in myself, as well as real skills that have helped me advance my career," she says.

Today, Robin is an Entitlement Officer with WorkSafe BC.  She also sits on the Public Policy Committee of the BC Schizophrenia Society, is the founding president a local non-profit called World Stage Society that raises funds and awareness for cultural bridging projects and humanitarian aid through multicultural performance arts, and she has worked on international community development projects delivering aid in orphanages throughout Africa and Central America. Robin is currently completing another diploma, certificate, and a Bachelor of Business Administration at Camosun.  Her plan is to one day complete her Master's degree and work in the non-profit sector, enhancing social justice and human rights internationally.

2015 Governor General's Collegiate Bronze Medal (4 recipients in total)

Presented:  Friday, June 19, 10:30am ceremony
Recipient:  Maria Degethoff – Dental Hygiene

Maria Degethoff is one of four Camosun students receiving this year's Governor General's Collegiate Bronze Medal for achieving a perfect 9.0 GPA or A+ in each of her required courses. Maria's most memorable experience at Camosun was the opportunity to travel to Mexico for a month to help local residents and children with dental hygiene and to see how much of a difference someone can make in another community. She says that's the moment she "fell in love with dental hygiene." Today, Maria has a full-time position in Medicine Hat, Alberta, where she grew up, and now plans to begin her university degree completion. In the future, she hopes to work part-time helping those with severe periodontal cases, and part-time in a public health setting to increase access for those who are struggling with dental issues.

2015 Distinguished Alumni Award

Presented:  Friday, June 19, 10:30am ceremony
Recipient:  Ellen Mahoney – Nursing Alumnus 1983 and Faculty Member

Ellen Mahoney began her educational journey in the 1980s after being accepted into Camosun's newly developed Registered Nurse Diploma Program. She graduated in 1983 and went on to receive her Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) from the University of Victoria. In 2002, Ellen graduated from the Master of Arts in Leadership program from Royal Roads University. For the first 10 years of her nursing career, Ellen worked in the surgical realm with a focus on ENT (ears, nose and throats) and plastic surgery. For many years Ellen held management positions with VIHA. Currently, Ellen is a Nurse Educator in the BSN Program.

Ellen continues to teach and learn, giving professional presentations on Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) and broadening people's perspective on health and illness. She goes above and beyond in her 28 years of service to the community of ALS clients and families on Vancouver Island. As the Client Services Coordinator, Ellen visits every family with a newly diagnosed family member with ALS. "I can't imagine a nicer person, full of the information these families need, to walk through the door," says Ellen's fellow Nursing instructor, Hazell Penn. She leads a monthly support group for ALS clients and their families and is a Director of the Vancouver Island Multiple Myeloma. "Volunteering is very rewarding in and of itself and I am humbled and grateful by this acknowledgement from my peers," says Ellen.

2015 Camosun College Foundation "Friends of Camosun" Award

Presented:  Friday, June 19, 2:30pm ceremony
Recipient:  James Warr, Bob Noble

Every two years, the Camosun College Foundation's "Friends of Camosun" Award honours exceptional generosity to the college and ongoing charitable actions and that, in turn, encourage others to take a leadership role at Camosun. This year's recipients are:  James Warr and Bob Noble.

James Warr has been a Camosun Foundation Board member for over 22 years. In that time he has contributed to our college community both financially and with his time for more than 14 years. He has volunteered on the United Way of Victoria Board and is a long-time Red Feather donor within the organization.

Bob Noble has served as a member of the Camosun Foundation Board for over 33 years now. In his time with the Board he has contributed for over 14 years to help students with awards, scholarships and bursaries and special college projects.

2015 Governor General's Collegiate Bronze Medals

Presented:  Friday, June 19, 2:30pm ceremony
Recipients:  Nicholas Birch – Electronics & Computer Engineering Technology - Renewable Energy, Adam MacNeil – Electronics & Computer Engineering Technology - Renewable Energy, Oliver Terry – Mechanical Eng. Technology

Nicholas Birch – Nicholas was selected for this year's Governor General's Award for achieving a 9.0 GPA or A+ in each of his required courses. He says he chose to enrol at Camosun because of the college's "small class sizes and teaching reputation." And, he liked the idea that Camosun's programs focused on "job-specific, real-world skills." Nicolas feels very honoured to receive this award and has now transferred to the University of Victoria to pursue his degree in Electrical Engineering after taking the Camosun Engineering Bridge program this past January. His current co-op work term at UVic involves a tree-planting robot!

Adam MacNeil – Adam was also selected for the Governor General's Award for his 9.0 GPA.  He says the best part of his program was the practical experience he gained that he considers "so valuable" as he begins his career. When Adam heard of his award, he says he was "extremely grateful" to the Governor General's office and to Camosun for recognizing the hard work that students put into their education. Adam has completed both the Electronics and Computer Engineering Technology - Renewable Energy program and the Electrical Engineering Bridge program and is now working towards his Bachelor of Engineering degree at UVic. After completing his degree he plans on working in the field of radio frequency electronics.

Oliver Terry – Oliver was also selected for the Governor General's Award for his perfect 9.0 GPA. Oliver says he chose to become a student at Camosun because of its "accessible path into higher education."  Oliver, a mature student, says the best part of his Mechanical Engineering program was learning about breadth of careers you can choose from with an engineering degree. He believes engineering is a field "uniquely poised to be able to make the world a better place for humanity." Oliver is enrolled in Camosun's Mechanical Engineering Bridge program to UBC, where he plans to complete his Bachelor of Science degree with a focus on thermofluids. In the future, he plans to pursue post-graduate work in renewable energy or industrial design.

Last updated: June 22, 2015 12:36 pm

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