Tourism grad wins provincial award

December 2, 2011 - 8:21am

Vancouver Island University graduate Lori Ann Shibish is the winner of a provincial tourism award.

Shibish, who graduated last June with a Bachelor of Tourism management degree, received the Tourism Industry Association of BC's (TIABC) Pat Corbett Leadership undergraduate award recognizing her academic excellence and exceptional leadership qualities. The award was presented at TIABC’s 12th annual tourism conference in Victoria.

Conference delegate Nancy Arsenault, the Managing Partner & Chief Experience Officer of The Tourism Café, wrote to VIU Faculty of Management Dean Dave Tywman complimenting Shibish on her achievement.

“What was absolutely incredible was her speech, her presentation, her energy, her acknowledgement of VIU, and her professionalism,” wrote Arsenault.“You have a real ambassador as she heads out of country for her master’s. Keep up the great work producing excellent students for our tourism industry.”

Twynam said Shibish is an outstanding student and leader and enhanced the learning experience of her peers and the faculty and staff while at VIU. “We are very proud of her accomplishments and wish her the very best with her ongoing pursuits in Tourism,” he said.

Chair Joanne Schroeder added, “It’s a wonderful privilege for us when we get to learn together and co-create with our students. It is that type of teaching and learning at VIU that fosters personal, professional and industry ready individuals to not only impact the field but influence it, such as L-A Shibish, will no doubt do.”

At her graduation ceremony last June, Shibish served as class valedictorian and received the Governor General Academic Silver Medal for obtaining the highest marks in a four-year degree program. During her time at VIU, she took advantage of study abroad opportunities, completing an internship in Ghana where she studied community-based ecotourism.

She also helped reduce poverty and improve living conditions in Ghana during a one-month field school as part of VIU’s Canada-Ghana project. She was also one of 80 students selected world wide to participate in an international scientific expedition to the Antarctic celebrating International Polar Year.

Shibish, who hopes to start a Masters in Tourism by Research program at Edith Cowan University in Western Australia, said her goal is to make a significant contribution to the tourism industry.

“I feel fortunate that the tourism faculty at VIU had the foresight to place a high regard on the development of leadership skills in their tourism students,” said Shibish. “I have benefitted greatly from my studies in Leadership in Tourism under professor Jim Brown, Strategic Leadership and Innovation under Dr. Ken Hammer, and my Cooperative Education placements under VIU employee Micki McCartney. It is easy to rise to great heights when one is standing on the shoulders of giants, and I thank them for this.”

VIU has been providing education in tourism studies, with both a two-year diploma and a Bachelor program, for over 20 years, and recently introduced a Masters of Arts in Sustainable Leisure Management. For more information visit

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