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Media Release
Release Date: June 13, 2017

More than 3,500 graduates and guests are expected to attend Camosun College’s 2017 Graduation over four ceremonies on June 15 and 16 at the Pacific Institute for Sport Excellence at Camosun’s 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).

Camosun's Graduation Ceremonies are scheduled for:

  • 10am Thursday, June 15  - Eyēʔ Sqȃ'lewen: Centre for Indigenous Education & Community Connections; School of Access; Centre for Sport and Exercise Education
  • 2:30pm Thursday, June 15 - School of Business
  • 10am Friday, June 16 - School of Health and Human Services
  • 2:30pm Friday, June 16 - School of Arts & Science; School of Trades and Technology; SFU/Camosun Master of Education – Partnership Program

Special guests include Her Honour, the Honourable Judith Guichon, Lieutenant Governor of British Columbia, who will address the graduates at the Friday, June 16, 2:30pm ceremony.

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

  • Board of Governors Award for Innovation, awarded to Ben Costin, Mechanical Engineering Technology
  • Lt. Governor's Silver Medal, awarded to Marcelle Lima, Advanced Diploma in Human Resources Management
  • Governor General's Collegiate Bronze Academic Medal, awarded to Mathew Mosveen, Diploma in Business Administration – Marketing; Jim Mercer, Diploma in Electronics and Computer Engineering Technology – Renewable Energy, Co-operative Education Designation; Chris Cocker, Diploma in Computer Systems Technology; Graeme Galloway, Diploma in Civil Engineering Technology
  • Camosun College Distinguished Alumni Award, awarded to Phil Venoit, Trades Alum 1985
  • Promising Alumni Award, awarded to Matt Vaillant, School of Business Alum 2014
  • Camosun College Foundation Friend of Camosun Award, awarded to Lynda and Murray Farmer

Over 3,500 students are receiving credentials from the college this year. Camosun College congratulates all of its outstanding 2017 graduates and award recipients.


Joan Yates
Vice President
Student Experience

Michelle Tinis
Marketing/Communications Strategist

Grad 2014

Grad 2014

Grad 2014


The Camosun College Graduation Ceremonies are scheduled for June 15 and 16, 2017 in the Pacific Institute of Sport Excellence, Interurban campus, 4461 Interurban Road, Victoria, BC.

Highlight awards include:

Camosun College Board of Governors' Award for Innovation 2017

The Board of Governors' Award for Innovation is an annual award to an individual or group, within the college or in the community, who has demonstrated outstanding creative problem-solving, ingenuity and innovation skills. This year, the award recipient is Ben Costin, graduate in the Mechanical Engineering Technology program.

Ben Costin worked part-time with Camosun Innovates this year to help solve an important technology challenge for local kite board company Ocean Rodeo. The Victoria-based business was facing a technical hurdle, preventing it from launching its newest invention to the world-wide kite-boarding industry. The company approached the Camosun Innovates team for assistance and Ben was hired to conduct a series of tests using Camosun's advanced technologies. Having discovered the problem, Ben then worked with a local expert to come up with the solution As a result, Ocean Rodeo is successfully launching this exciting innovation to the global kite-boarding industry, resulting in increased sales and expansion for the company. The company is pursing funding to continue designing and fabricating new products with the college, allowing Camosun Innovates to hire Ben on a three-year contract when he graduates from Mechanical Engineering Technology this year.

Friday, June 16, 2:30pm
Ben Costin
Mechanical Engineering Technology

British Columbia Lieutenant Governor's Silver Medal

This annual award recognizes the academic achievement and community contributions of a Camosun College graduate from a one-year or shorter program.

Originally from Salvador de Bahia, Brazil, Marcelle Lima had completed her Bachelor Degree in Psychology and was interested in complementing her knowledge of Organizational Psychology with the study of Human Resource Management (HRM). Having studied English in Victoria, she was already familiar with Camosun's reputation for academic excellence which motivated her to look into what Camosun had to offer in the field. "I noticed that the Advanced Diploma in HRM was exactly what I was looking for," says Marcelle.

"I had great experiences at Camosun," says Marcelle. "The fact that the instructors are very approachable helped me immensely. They became my mentors who were willing to help me succeed inside and outside the boundaries of the classroom." Because of these relationships and the knowledge she gained from the program, Marcelle worked in HR for almost two years in Victoria.

Marcelle is in the process of applying to a Master's Degree in Human Resources Management in the Netherlands. With her South and North American experience, she believes that studying HR practices/policies in Europe will provide her with a global understanding of the field. "My ultimate career goal is to achieve an HR position where I could act strategically," says Marcelle. "I would like to be able to develop practices/policies that not only maximize profit, but also prioritize the personal and professional growth of a company's workforce."

"Living abroad can be challenging at times, but I have always felt embraced by the city of Victoria and by Camosun College," says Marcelle on winning the Lt. Governor's Silver Medal. "It's gratifying to realize that I was able to contribute positively to the community that welcomed me so warmly." 

Thursday, June 15, 2:30pm
Marcelle Lima
Advanced Diploma in Human Resource Management

2017 Promising Alumni Award

Camosun College's Promising Alumni Award is presented each year to honour alumni who have graduated less than 10 years ago and who have demonstrated outstanding service and achievement in their field and in their community.  This year, Matt Vaillant, a 2014 from the Bachelor of Business Administration program-Marketing.

Like most of his fellow classmates graduating in 2014 from the Bachelor of Business Administration program-Marketing, Matt Vaillant applied to many jobs. He received his first interview soon after with Latitude Geographics and thoroughly impressed them. Unfortunately, because of circumstances beyond his control, he wasn't hired. But that didn't last long because weeks later Latitude Geographics created a new position specifically for him and his skill set.

Initially hired as a Marketing Specialist, Matt quickly began to be integral to the sales team for his support. His understanding of both the technical and sales side of the business has led to Matt becoming a vital part of Latitude's RFP response team that brings in a substantial amount of business every year. At the beginning of 2017, Matt was promoted to Digital Marketing Lead at Latitude, where he's responsible for developing and executing Latitude's digital strategy.

Matt is committed to his community and donates his time to Big Brothers Big Sisters Victoria as a Community Mentor. Matt also runs the Salesforce user group for Victoria where he runs monthly meetings to keep Salesforce users and him up to date on the technology. In what little downtime Matt has, he furthers his learning by reading business and personal development books, articles and blogs while continuing to learn from the successful individuals around him.

"It may sound cheesy, but it's the relationships I built," says Matt, recalling his time at Camosun. "I met my future wife in a 2nd year class, made friends that I'm still very close with, and built relationships with awesome professors that I keep in touch with to this day." He cites the applied curriculum and the structure of his classes as being a big part of his success. "Business and marketing was what I was passionate about, and being able to hone practical skills starting in my first semester helped build out a strong skill set," says Matt.

On being awarded the Promising Alumni Award Matt says, "I'm honoured and humbled. I went to school with a lot of brilliant people that could easily be in my place."

Thursday, June 15, 2:30pm
Matthew Vaillant
School of Business Alum 2014

2017 Governor General's Collegiate Bronze Medal

Mathew was selected by Camosun's Registrar's Office after achieving a perfect 9.0 GPA or A+ in each of his required courses for his program.

Mathew Mosveen chose Business Administration - Marketing program because of his early interest in the field, seeing it as an incredibly diverse field of study with a high number of applications in a wide variety of industries. "I found that marketing's intersection of scientific method and creativity provided me with a unique blend of ways to challenge myself and improve my skills," says Mathew.

Mathew enjoyed his many experiences at Camosun, especially making big decisions and testing out ideas of his own design in a critical but constructive environment.

Recently, Mathew began working with a team to start BetterWay Realty — a company dedicated to improving the real estate industry. "I am fortunate to be able to say that I currently own a business, and I'm pursuing my childhood passion of aviation as a part-time glider flight instructor on weekends with the Royal Canadian Air Cadets," says Mathew. "I want to build on both of these foundations and take them as far as I can!"

Thursday, June 15, 2:30pm
Mathew Mosveen
Diploma in Business Administration - Marketing

2017 Governor General's Collegiate Bronze Medal

Jim was selected by Camosun's Registrar's Office after achieving a perfect 9.0 GPA or A+ in each of his required courses for his program.

Jim Mercer came to Camosun by way of a career in the Navy. He worked for six years as a technician and attended Camosun as part of his training. "Through that I was able to meet a handful of the instructors and see the type of education that Camosun offered," says Jim. "I was thoroughly impressed; making the choice to go to Camosun after my Naval career was easy."

Studying to be an engineer had been a long time coming for Jim. He decided on the diploma program because it offered him the opportunity to get a good job or go to UVic to continue his education. After his experience at Camosun, continuing with his education was the best choice. He recently completed the Electronics and Computer Engineering Bridge program and is hoping to complete his Bachelor of Engineering in Electrical Engineering in the near future, his ultimate goal being to land a job where he can be creative and contribute to an industry that is developing renewable energies.

Being awarded this honour still hasn't sunk in for Jim. "If you told 20 year old me that I would be receiving this award I probably would have laughed at you (politely) thinking you were joking," says Jim. "I'm very thankful to those involved in making this decision. You never count on receiving things like this but it's very nice to get recognized for your hard work and success." 

Friday, June 16, 2:30pm
Jim Mercer
Diploma in Electronics and Computer Engineering Technology – Renewable Energy, Co-operative Education Designation

2017 Governor General's Collegiate Bronze Medal

Chris was selected by Camosun's Registrar's Office after achieving a perfect 9.0 GPA or A+ in each of his required courses for his program.

Chris Cocker chose Camosun's Computer Systems Tech program because of the excellent reputation for producing the calibre of graduates that are sought out by employers in Victoria's growing technology sector. Moreover, Camosun's attention to student life helped with the decision. "The campus was also a great fit for my family," says Chris. "Camosun offered childcare for our son and was easily accessible via public transportation."

For Chris, the Computer Systems Technology program was a bit daunting in the beginning but that soon changed. "I quickly went from being slightly intimidated and overwhelmed by the subject matter to being very intrigued and passionate about it," says Chris. "I learn best by doing, and Camosun's "hands-on" approach was truly what helped immerse me in programming and learning about software development and the instructors were very passionate and supportive."

As for the future, Chris is planning to earn on-the-job certifications as well as possibly pursuing a Computer Science degree. He also wants to continue honing the skills and knowledge he gained through his time at Camosun. "Technology is great because it is forever changing; you have the opportunity to apply a creative thinking process in all aspects of it and continually learn new skills," says Chris. "Also, never stop learning or enjoying what I do." 

Friday, June 16, 2:30pm
Chris Cocker
Diploma in Computer Systems Technology

2017 Governor General's Collegiate Bronze Medal

Graeme was selected by Camosun's Registrar's Office after achieving a perfect 9.0 GPA or A+ in each of his required courses for his program.

Having studied Psychology at the University of Victoria and graduating with a Bachelor of Science, Graeme Galloway found his career opportunities limited. So, he decided to pursue further education. Having a father, uncle and several close friends who are engineers made the Civil Engineering Technology program at Camosun a clear choice, as was his natural abilities. "I've always had a knack for problem solving, especially in mathematics, so it was a clear choice for me to pursue engineering," says Graeme. Camosun's emphasis on hands-on, relevant skills that apply directly to the current engineering job market played a large part in his decision. "My education goal was to have classes with real-world application that would prepare me for the job market," says Graeme. "And the program did just that."

Part of that applied learning and a standout experience for Graeme was collaborating with two of his classmates on a storm water management project. "We worked hard throughout our final term at Camosun to produce a Capstone project that we were all very proud of," says Graeme. Currently Graeme is pursuing work as a technologist in a municipal or transportation engineering setting with an eye on returning to school the Bachelor of Engineering program.

As for the future, Graeme is looking to improve lives locally. "I'd like to be involved in the ongoing development of sustainable transportation initiatives for communities in the lower Vancouver Island region," says Graeme. 

Friday, June 16, 2:30pm
Graeme Galloway
Diploma in Civil Engineering Technology

2017 Distinguished Alumni Award

Phil Venoit graduated from Camosun's Construction Electrician Apprenticeship (now the Electrical Trades apprenticeship) in 1985. "Camosun helped with my career by providing me with stellar instructors that cared. They were hard, fair and empathetic," says Phil.  His fondest memory of Camosun is the relationships he made. "I still talk to many of the apprentices I went to school with today, 35 years later," says Phil. He's quick to add another aspect near and dear to many students. "The cafeteria would be another fond memory, the quality and variety was unbeatable, at starving student prices."

Phil worked in the construction, shipbuilding and repair industries for 15 years and apprenticed at Yarrows Shipyard in Esquimalt. In 1996 Phil was asked to work in the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 230 office and, since 2002, he has served as Business Manager and Financial Secretary, representing almost 1400 members working at approximately 50 employers on Vancouver Island. He's also the Chair of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Provincial Council representing 12,000 electrical workers in BC and President of the Vancouver Island Building Construction Trades Council. In 2016 Phil was elected President of the Vancouver Island Metal Trades Council, after serving as Vice-President for many years. Phil has also been elected twice, in 2011 and 2016, to sit as a key delegate to the North American Metal Trades Department of the American Federation of Labour, only the second Canadian in the 110 year history of the organization to hold this elected position.

Within the community, Phil is tireless. He has served on the Program Advisory Committee as the co-chair at Camosun College, on the Board of Directors, and past President of the Western Joint Electrical Training Society. He has served as a Labour Designee in Victoria on the Board of Referees for Employment Insurance Canada, and he's a charter member of, and sits on Victoria's United Way Labour Committee. After the passing of his mother, Phil co-chaired the charter of Victoria's Ovarian Cancer Walk, and has raised funds for many charitable organizations, most notably Diabetes and Multiple Sclerosis.

Currently, Phil co-chairs the Industry Training Authority's Maritime Sector Advisory Group, and is also the designated Canadian putting together a group known as Electrical Workers without Borders, a spin-off of the Doctors without Borders group. Working with several other countries, the organization will provide needed power and communications to countries that experience natural disasters.

Reflecting on being named Camosun's Distinguished Alumni for 2017, Phil says, "The news about winning this Award was incredibly gratifying. Some days, it seems like just yesterday I was that 18 year old electrical apprentice trying to figure life out, and you slow down just long enough to take in a sunrise, and realize you have devoted almost four decades to an industry and trade you truly love and respect. I see the Award as a testament to that."

Friday, June 16, 2:30pm
Phil Venoit
Construction Electrician Apprentice Trades Alum, 1985

Camosun College Foundation Friend of Camosun Award

Every two years, the Camosun College Foundation presents the "Friend of Camosun College Award" to an individual or individuals who have a proven record of exceptional generosity through direct or indirect and ongoing financial support, and who also demonstrate outstanding civic and charitable responsibility to our community.

Lynda was born and raised in BC, has a deep sense of pride in our province and country, and a personal commitment to giving back. Her work in the not-for-profit sector with the Canadian Red Cross and the Arthritis Society laid a foundation for a 35-year commitment to community volunteer work. Over the years, Lynda has served as the Chair of the Camosun College Board of Governors and has offered service to the BC Cancer Foundation, United Way of Canada, the Shaw Ocean Discovery Centre, Mary Winspear Community Cultural Centre Foundation and the Pacific Opera Society. Lynda is a recipient of the Queen's Diamond Jubilee Medal, and an Honorary Alumnus of UVic.

Murray, a UVic alumnus, has held various senior positions with the Farmer Industries Group, a family partnership established more than 65 years ago. Throughout his life, Murray has been active in numerous industry and community associations, serving as Chair of both the Vancouver Island Construction Association and the BC Construction Association. Murray also served as Chair of the Canadian Construction Association and given generously of his time in volunteer leadership positions with the Victoria Foundation, Shaw Ocean Discovery Centre, Royal BC Museum, and the BC Government House Foundation. Murray has also been awarded the Queen's Diamond Jubilee Medal, the Generosity of Spirit Award and the UVic Distinguished Alumni Award for Lifetime Achievement. Murray also served at UVic as the Chair of the Board as well as serving two terms as Chancellor.

Most recently, however, Lynda and Murray Farmer, Co-Chaired the Camosun College Foundation Trademark of Excellence Fundraising Campaign which was set to raise $5 million from local industry and individuals to support our Trades students and programs.  Through all their tremendous efforts and abilities, Lynda and Murray helped springboard that campaign to raise over $7.5 million for Camosun College – making it the largest and most successful fundraising campaign in the college's history!

Friday, June 16, 2:30pm
Lynda and Murray Farmer

Last updated: June 13, 2017 2:13 pm

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