Celebrating BCIT Graduates: Spring 2022 Convocation Ceremonies

The annual BCIT Spring Convocation Ceremonies returned in-person for the first time in two years. BCIT celebrated more than 3,500 students who graduated to join the 200,000 BCIT alumni who are making vital contributions right here in our local communities and across the globe. Throughout the week, our graduates heard from leaders across BCIT, special guests, Honorary Doctorate recipient Dr. Indira V. Samarasekera, O.C., and their class valedictorian.

Elder Carleen Thomas and M’Girl

At the beginning of each ceremony, Elder Carleen Thomas from the Tsleil Waututh Nation brought a welcome from the Coast Salish people, and Indigenous Women’s Ensemble M’Girl performed a traditional welcome and celebration song.

Welcoming remarks from BCIT congratulated graduates for persevering through the unprecedented challenges brought on by the pandemic. Their determination and resilience serve as an inspiration to all of us.

“To all the graduating students — well done. Your dedication and commitment to your education, despite facing prevailing levels of change and uncertainty due to the global pandemic, have been extraordinary,” celebrated Dan Reader, Chair, BCIT Board of Governors. “The time and hardwork you have invested here will open many doors.”

After graduates crossed the stage, BCIT Alumni Association President Emil Bosnjak welcomed graduates who are now a part of BCIT Alumni Association.

“The Alumni Association is committed to helping you succeed in your career journey. So we invite you stay connected with us to grow your personal and professional networks at our events, including the BCIT Alumni Perks app.”

Congratulations to all graduates, their family, friends, and instructors!

Share your convocation moments with us by using #BCITGrad2022 

Tuesday, June 21, 2022, 9 am ceremony [video]

The first ceremony celebrated graduates from the School of Business + Media. Graduates included those from the Broadcast and Media Communications, Digital Arts, Media and Design, and Operations Management – Business Information Technology Management, Business Operations Management, Global Trade and Transportation Management.

BCIT School of Business + Media is one of the largest business and media schools in Western Canada with over 100 programs and 300 courses, available part-time and full-time.

Valedictorian Camille Paterno
Valedictorian Camille Paterno, Diploma, Radio Arts and Entertainment.

Valedictorian Camille Paterno shared her journey from working at a global parking payment tech company three years ago to graduating from the BCIT Radio Arts and Entertainment program. She reminded the graduating class to never give up. “Success is a continuous journey,” shared Camille. “It’s what you define it to be.”

She added, “Let’s cheer each other on as we shake trees, disrupt, and improve the business and media world.”

As the outgoing BCIT Student Association (BCITSA) President, Kevin Adlparvar presented the BCITSA President’s Award to Lisa Collins.

“We wanted a recipient that we felt contributed to the SA’s mission: To be an advocate for students and provide student-centered, responsive, and proactive services that support and enhance the quality of student life,” shared Kevin. “Second, we wanted a recipient that we felt supported us in contributing to this mission. From there, our decision was an easy one. With unwavering clarity, Lisa Collins, BCIT Vice President, Students, stood out as our most deserving candidate.”

Congratulations Lisa!

Tuesday, June 21, 2022, 1:30 pm ceremony [video]

Valedictorian Chandni Sharma, Diploma, Marketing Management, Marketing Communications.

Graduates from the Marketing Management program in the School of Business + Media were celebrated as they crossed the stage to become a part of BCIT Alumni, a powerful community of successful innovators, creators, and leaders.

Valedictorian Chandni Sharma celebrated the value of a BCIT education with her graduating class. “BCIT’s competitive advantages are its industry connections, hands-on learning, and internship opportunities. However, for many of us, it was finding the people who support us,” said Chandni. “We are constantly challenging ourselves to do more and be better. By living a particular lifestyle and having similar interests, we have formed a community, a bond, and a friendship that will carry on long after graduation.”

She also shared her experience transitioning from SFU to the BCIT Marketing Management – Marketing Communications program. In wrapping up her speech, Chandni said, “Life beyond BCIT is full of endless moments, and with more time on our hands, I encourage you to take every opportunity that comes your way. Look at everything we’ve accomplished amid a pandemic; graduating from BCIT is just a start. I can’t wait to see you all level up in your life and career; go out there and continue to step out of your comfort zone because that is where growth happens most.”

Wednesday, June 22, 2022, 9:00 am ceremony [video]

Valedictorian Alex Nguyen, Diploma, Human Resources Management.

Graduates from the School of Transportation and the School of Business + Media’s Business Administration, Business Management and Human Resource Management programs were celebrated for successfully completing their journey at BCIT.

BCIT is the only post-secondary in North America to deliver globally-recognized accreditation in all modes of transportation – air, sea, road, and rail.

As class valedictorian, Alex Nguyen offered words of wisdom to the graduating class.

“If I could impart one piece of advice, it’s to be confident in who you are and be proud of who you’re becoming. I’ve learned that people will make false assumptions about your identity because they have a limited perception of who you are, but if you hold space in every room you walk into, that eliminates any voice in your head that tells you to be someone you’re not.”

He also added, “I’ve also learned that failure is inevitable. But instead of being upset that you’ve made a mistake, use all your failures as learning opportunities to grow and become better versions of yourself.”

Wednesday, June 22, 2022, 1:30 pm ceremony [video]

Valedictorian Nicholas Tran, Diploma, Accounting.

Proud families, friends, and instructors celebrated the accomplishments of graduates from Accounting, Finance, and Insurance programs in the School of Business + Media.

Valedictorian Nicholas Tran reflected on many of the amazing experiences that the graduating class accumulated during their time at BCIT.

“Reflecting made me proud of all that this class was able to accomplish, including the constant changes we’ve had to adapt to,” said Nicholas. “It also made me appreciate all the support we received from BCIT faculty, our friends, and our family.”

In his final remark to the graduation class, Nicholas reminded graduates, “Let’s live a life we will remember. Something we’ve already started doing. I’m sure we will all remember the good times at BCIT few as they may be, and even if we tried to force the hard times out of our head we are here today because we’ve overcome them. So long as we keep persevering, success will be inevitable.”

Thursday, June 23, 2022, 9:00 am ceremony [video]

More than 200 graduates from the School of Construction and the Environment were celebrated during the morning ceremony.

The School of Construction and the Environment is a leading contributor of trades, engineering, applied science, and natural science professionals in the province, offering certificates, microcredentials, diplomas, bachelor’s, and master’s degrees.

Valedictorian Maggie Stewart, Bachelor of Science, Ecological Restoration.

Valedictorian Maggie Stewart delivered an adventurous and inspirational speech to her graduating class. She shared her many childhood dreams of wanting to study tigers in the forests of India to studying whales on the open ocean. Her BCIT journey was also filled with dreams, like many graduates’.

“You are here today because of big dreams, and because in the face of adversity – you persisted. You found ways to keep your dreams alive, and ways to translate your dreams into everyday life,” shared Maggie. “Turns out, we are cut out for school. It turns out we are more than smart enough and it turns out, our big dreams – were just big enough.”

She added, “To my friends, fellow graduates, and community, we did it. I congratulate you all overcoming challenges, on learning, and I could not be prouder to be alongside you as we celebrate our resilience and this achievement.

Thursday, June 23, 2022, 1:30 pm ceremony [video]

Keynote speaker Dr. Indira V. Samarasekera, O.C., was recognized with a BCIT Honorary Doctorate of Technology.

Graduates from the School of Energy were celebrated and applauded for their incredible accomplishments. The School of Energy produces graduates that are well equipped to design and integrate sustainable energy-efficient solutions as they fill a variety of jobs in a broad spectrum of industries.

Keynote speaker Dr. Indira V. Samarasekera, O.C., was recognized with a BCIT Honorary Doctorate of Technology. Highly respected and internationally lauded for her leadership, Dr. Samarasekera not only has contributed profoundly to the academic and industrial sectors, but also given generously of her time to serve in numerous leadership roles.

Dr. Samarasekera is internationally recognized as one of Canada’s leading metallurgical engineers for her groundbreaking work on process engineering of materials, especially steel processing. She held the Dofasco Chair in Advanced Steel Processing at the University of British Columbia. She has consulted widely for industry worldwide leading to the implementation of her research discoveries. She is the co-author of a book entitled Nerve – Leadership Lessons from Two Women who Went First.

BCIT presented Sarah Boisvert with the Recognition of Commendation.

“Taking risks is fundamental in achieving excellence. Without it, we cannot push boundaries,” shared Dr. Samarasekera. “As you leave today, reflect on these high principles: risk more, care more, dream more, and expect more, and your reward will be extraordinary.”

Watch Dr. Samarasekera’s full keynote here.

BCIT Fish, Wildlife and Recreation alumna Sarah Boisvert was presented the BCIT Recognition of Commendation for her bravery and commitment toward a fellow citizen in need. Earlier this year, Sarah selflessly assisted a woman in distress on the Lions Gate Bridge. Her courage and bravery to help a fellow citizen is an inspiration to us all. Sarah will be starting the Bachelor of Science program in Ecological Restoration in the Fall.

Valedictorian Amanzhan Duisek congratulated the graduating class for successfully overcame all obstacles towards their pursuit of educational enrichment.

Valedictorian Amazhan Duisek, Diploma,  Telecommunications Systems Technician.

“You got through these hard times with encouragement and support from amazing people, including family, friends, partners, mentors, instructors, staff, and of course, dogs, cats, coffee, fellow classmates,” said Amanzhan.

He added, “Each of us takes a different journey to get to this point, and each one is unique. My journey started two years ago when my brother and I came to Canada from Kazakhstan. Adapting to a new life was incredibly challenging, especially during a global pandemic. Like everyone else, I felt isolated. I wanted to feel I was part of this new place like I did back in Kazakhstan. To cultivate this sense of belonging, I started proactively engaging with the community.”

Amanzhan thanked the BCIT Student Association, BCIT International, Student Life, and Learning Commons for developing exceptional services and events that helped students thrive in all eight dimensions of well-being.

Friday, June 24, 2022 – 9:00 am ceremony [video]

BCIT is a major producer of nurses and other health professionals who are the cornerstone of the BC health system. Students from the School of Health Sciences crossed the stage to become graduates who will provide critical care to patients across the Province.

Valedictorian Natalie Tsui, Diploma, Occupational Health and Safety.

Graduation is always worth celebrating but as Valedictorian Natalie Tsui said, “Graduating from BCIT is its own achievement, kind of like a special rite of passage.”

She added, “Big things are coming for us, each and every one of us that graduated from any of BCIT’s Health Sciences programs. We chose these programs because we care about those around us. We care about improving quality of life and providing care for those who are most vulnerable. We care about getting people home safe and sound to their loved ones.

Friday, June 24, 2022 – 1:30 pm ceremony [video]

Valedictorian Maria Davis, Diploma, Computer Systems Technology.

The final Convocation Ceremony for Spring 2022 celebrated more than 180 graduates from the School of Computing and Academic Studies.

Valedictorian Maria Davis successfully completed her Diploma in Computer Systems Technology. She chose BCIT Computing because she wanted a challenge.

“Before BCIT, I was working at a nightclub in Montreal. I chose to go into computing quite spontaneously and with little knowledge about computers,” shared Maria. “I had no idea that this decision would change my life the way it has and that in the process, I would meet so many incredible people.”

She added, “The main reason we have been so successful is because we have been such a strong team.”

Congratulations to the graduating class!


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