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Media Release
Release Date: June 19, 2018

Thousands of graduates and guests are expected to attend Camosun College's 2018 Graduation over four ceremonies this Thursday and Friday, June 21 and 22 at the Pacific Institute for Sport Excellence, Camosun College, Interurban Campus.

More than 3,770 students are graduating from Camosun this spring 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).

Three major awards will highlight the graduation ceremonies: (See Backgrounder for details.)

Camosun College Distinguished Alumni Award

Camosun's annual Distinguished Alumni Award honours alumni who have graduated more than 10 years ago and who have demonstrated outstanding service and achievement in their field and in their community: Grace Salez – 1994 Graduate of Camosun's two-year Visual Arts diploma program.

Promising Alumni Award

Camosun's annual Promising Alumni Award recognizes recent graduates (10 years or less) who have demonstrated outstanding service and achievement in their field and in their community: Don Kattler – 2014 Certificate in Mental Health and Addictions.

Governor General's Collegiate Bronze Academic Medal

This annual award recognizes the top academic graduates of a two-year or longer program. This year, eight Camosun students have achieved a perfect 9.0 A+ Grade Point Average (GPA) in their studies:

  • Miesha Kowak – Diploma in Business Administration – Accounting Option & Finance Option
  • Arianne O'Hara – Diploma in Arts and Science Studies
  • Robert Downs – Diploma in Civil Engineering Technology
  • Junmin Ahn – Diploma in Computer Systems Technology
  • Luke Mitchell – Diploma in Computer Systems Technology
  • Shaun McGuigan – Diploma in Electronics and Computer Engineering Technology – Renewable Energy
  • Tristan Tarnowski – Diploma in Mechanical Engineering Technology
  • Soleena Lewis – Diploma in Medical Radiography

Camosun College congratulates all of its outstanding 2018 graduates and award recipients this year.

For media enquiries, please contact:

Michelle Tinis
Marketing & Communications Strategist
Camosun College
250-370-4626 |

Camosun student celebrates at spring graduation

Graduation Ceremonies schedule

Thursday, June 21

  • 10:00am • Eye? Sqa'lewen – Centre for Indigenous Education; School of Access; Centre for Sport and Exercise Education
  • 2:30pm • School of Business

Friday, June 22

  • 10:00am • School of Health and Human Services
  • 2:30pm • School of Arts and Science; School of Trades and Technology


The Camosun College Graduation Ceremonies are scheduled this week, June 21 and 22 in the Pacific Institute of Sport Excellence, Interurban campus, 4461 Interurban Road, Victoria, BC.

Distinguished Alumni Award

Grace Salez – Diploma in Visual Arts, 1994

Multi-disciplinary artist, educator and community activist, Grace Salez is the 2018 recipient of Camosun College's Distinguished Alumni Award. Born in Europe, her parents survived the Nazi occupation of Poland before moving the family to Canada in 1949. She spent her formative years in Quebec and Toronto and later, as a mature student, began her formal art education in Victoria at the age of 45 with a strong desire to practice social justice through art.

In 1994, Grace graduated from Camosun's Introductory Arts Program (now Visual Arts) at Camosun before pursuing a BFA in film and multi-media at Emily Carr in 1997. She was a sessional instructor at UVic and In 2010, she joined OPEN ACTION, an art performance group, and was invited to participate at the LIVE 2011 International Art Biennale Festival in Vancouver with other well-known performance artists. In 2015, Grace formed the collective Rezka Czasu: River of Time, performed a one-woman show at Victoria's Uno Festival in 2016 and in 2017 she joined an immigration and refugee group at ICA (Intercultural Association of Victoria). Grace formed a group with fellow artists to sponsor a single Syrian woman refugee through the ICA and they made a commitment to support her during her transition in Canada. She was invited as an artist who is an immigrant, to join the photographic essay exhibition called Bridging Conversations – An Intercultural & Intergenerational Project at the Royal BC Museum.

Grace was a founding member and President of MediaNet, as well as the founding Member and Director of Dance for the Camera Program.She has worked with Antidote (network for racialized girls) using video art practices for engaging the girls to voice their experiences as young racilized girls. For Grace, her introduction to art at Camosun, lead her to realize she was part of a community of fellow life-long learners. "I'm honoured and humbled and wish my parents were alive to share this honour with me," she says.

Promising Alumni Award

Don Kattler – Certificate in Mental Health and Addictions, 2014

Mental health advocate and community leader Don Kattler is the recipient of the Camosun College Promising Alumni Award for 2018. Don graduated from the Mental Health and Addictions (MHA) program in 2014. He lives well with bipolar disorder and has lived experience with addiction. "I made a life decision to work in this field in order to use my personal life experiences to help others," says Don. He came to Camosun as a mature student with years of experience working with Victoria’s marginalized community.

After graduating in 2014, Don was hired by Island Health and enrolled in the BA in Health and Community Services program at the University of Victoria. Currently, Don works for the Ministry of Children and Family Development as a Family Consultant for BC's Poverty Reduction Initiative. He's also a Peer Researcher for CrestBD, at University of BC, a Collaborative Research Team to study psychosocial issues in Bipolar Disorder. He is active in the BC mental health community holding many volunteer positions including sitting on the board of the BC Schizophrenia Society, Victoria Branch and as a member of the Mount Waddington Health Network.

Don has some good advice to Camosun students. "Take advantage of everything the college offers," he says. "Do volunteer work and be active in the community you live in." For him, Camosun is more than a learning institution. "It's a community that supports and encourages students to succeed. It's a school that cares."

Last updated: June 29, 2018 10:01 am

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