Our Alumni

Kholoud sits behind the sandbox in her preschool

Alum of the Month: Kholoud Madi

May 21, 2022

A desire to contribute to the community in a meaningful way and make a difference in the lives of local children motivated Kholoud Madi, a VIU Early Childhood Education and Care program graduate, to open her own preschool in Nanaimo. Elm Preschool is a full-day preschool program for children aged two and a half to five. We caught up with Madi to learn more about her new... Read more


Portrait photo of Keanu Ienco

Alum of the Month: Keanu Ienco

April 30, 2022

Ever since he picked up a guitar at age eight, music has been a passion for Keanu Ienco, who graduated from VIU in 2019 with a Bachelor of Music in Jazz Studies. Earlier this year, Ienco, who is Métis and part Havasupai Native American, released his debut album, Celestial Desire, which he describes as an instrumental rock record. He shares more about his inspiration for the album and how VIU... Read more


Katelyn Horsley

Alum of the Month: Katelyn Horsley

January 26, 2022

VIU Psychology alum Katelyn Horsley is pursuing a graduate science degree with an undergraduate degree in the arts. After graduating from Vancouver Island University in 2020 with a Bachelor of Arts, Honours in Psychology, she began a Master of Science degree at the University of Calgary. Horsley credits her undergraduate experiences at VIU with setting her on her current journey.Why did you... Read more


Kevin Gourlay hikes through the backcountry.

Alum of the Month: Kevin Gourlay

December 20, 2021

On the last day of a week-long survey this summer in Strathcona Provincial Park, Vancouver Island University (VIU) alum Kevin Gourlay made a remarkable discovery – a new Vancouver Island marmot colony.The Vancouver Island marmot is Canada’s most endangered mammal. According to the Marmot Recovery Foundation, in 2004 there were fewer than 30 marmots remaining in the wild. Recovery... Read more


Portrait of J'net, VIU

Alum of the Month: J’net Ayayqwayaksheelth

November 24, 2021

VIU alum J’net Ayayqwayaksheelth (One who gives away and still stands tall) recently took on a new, key role with the National Film Board of Canada – as the organization’s Director of Indigenous Relations and Community Engagement. In this role, she will provide leadership and cultural awareness within the NFB to implement organizational change and transformation at all levels of the institution,... Read more


portrait of Sandipan Debnath on a city street

Alum of the Month: Sandipan Debnath

October 25, 2021

Completing school and job hunting during a global pandemic didn’t slow Sandipan Debnath (Master of Business Administration ’21) down one bit. He’s now a Business Development Representative at Wrapbook, a US-based tech startup that is digitizing the entertainment payroll industry. Originally from Bangladesh, Debnath is now based out of Toronto at his current position. He shares more about his... Read more


Sara Guzman stands in front of a building, wearing an orange sweater.

Alum of the Month: Sara Guzman

September 15, 2021

Sara Guzman has always been fascinated by tiny things you can’t see with the naked eye, from microbes to chemical reactions in cells. It’s the reason Guzman knew she wanted a science career.Her parents encouraged her to pursue higher education. Guzman, originally from Bogota, Colombia, decided to attend university abroad and selected Vancouver Island University (VIU). She graduated from VIU in... Read more


Profile portrait of Dom Dawson

Alum of the Month: Dom Dawson

August 12, 2021

Improving his English, getting a dual master’s degree and gaining valuable work experiences in North America attracted Dom Dawson, originally from Germany, to Vancouver Island University’s Master of Business Administration program. Right after graduation in 2013, Dawson, who played water polo professionally for several years before seeking more education, landed a job with Nike Canada, combining... Read more


Eliot posing in front of the mural over the fireplace

Alum of the Month: Eliot White-Hill, Kwulasultun

July 15, 2021

Eliot White-Hill, Kwulasultun, graduated with a degree in Liberal Studies and Philosophy from VIU in 2018 with dreams of following his father and other family members into a career in Indigenous law. Right after graduation, he started a full-time job as Project Coordinator with Petroglyph Development Group, the economic development arm of Snuneymuxw First Nation, and soon started pursuing a... Read more


Portrait shot of Charlton Mapayi, VIU alum, in his scrubs

Starting Over and Making a Difference in Canada

July 3, 2021

Alumnus Charlton Mapayi's storyComing to Canada in his mid-40s from Harare, Zimbabwe, where he worked in sales and marketing, Charlton Mapayi found himself looking for a new career after failing to find work in this field. Applying for position after position to no avail, he decided to take temporary work as a janitor, in retail sales and as a package handler. Mapayi found out about Vancouver... Read more