VIU is pleased to announce the recipients of the inaugural President's Awards for Community Engagement for 2018.

Exemplary Community-Academic Partnership Award

This award is given to recognize a mutually beneficial partnership between an individual or group at Vancouver Island University and an external community (or organization, agency). The work of the partnership should align with the vision and mandate of both partners resulting in new, innovative and measurable impacts to community stakeholders and the VIU community.

Recipient: Dr. Pam Shaw, Faculty of Social Sciences -   Nominated by Sarah Holden 

Dr. Pam Shaw is a geography professor and 2018 3M Teaching Fellow who is known for creatively engaging students in applied, community-based research. Many projects have developed in partnership with Vancouver Island First Nations to address practical land use and community issues. She has also worked closely with the community of Parksville on a number of research projects with her students including supporting the development of the Official Community Plan. Shaw is Director of the Master of Community Planning Program, Research Director of the UNESCO Mount Arrowsmith Biosphere Research Institute, Senior Editor of the International Journal of UNESCO Biosphere Reserves, and a Fellow with the Royal Canadian Geographical Society. She was awarded the Planning Institute of BC’s 2017 Distinguished Planner of the Year Award. 

Community-Engaged Scholarship,  Research and Creative Activity Award

This award is given to recognize faculty members at VIU who have engaged in scholarship, research or creative activity with community partners. The activity resulted in the emergence of new knowledge and insights that benefited both the discipline of the researcher(s) and the needs of the community involved.

Recipient: Dr. Stephen Davies, Faculty of Arts and Humanities - Nominated by Dr. Tim Lewis

Dr. Stephen Davies is a 25-year member of the History Department. Davies created The Canadian Letters and Images Project (CLIP) in 2000 and has continued as its Director. The project has become the largest online archive of Canadian war-related personal materials in Canada, and is widely used nationally and internationally by students, scholars, and the general public. Prior to coming to VIU, he taught at Memorial University, Nipissing University, Concordia, and the University of Ottawa.



Recipient: Dr. Imogene Lim, Faculty of Social Sciences - Nominated by Dr. Pam Shaw

Dr. Imogene Lim is an ethno-archaeologist in VIU’s Department of Anthropology and Global Studies Program, and was Chair of the Anthropology Department from 2006-09 and 2012-15. Her research interests include: foraging societies, rock art, ethnicity, the Chinese diaspora in North America, and the anthropology of food. She has sat on the boards of the Laurier Institution, the Coal Creek Historic Park Advisory Committee (Cumberland, Vancouver Island), BC Legacy Initiatives Advisory Council (2014-18) and the Premier’s Chinese Canadian Community Advisory Committee (2018), and was a founding member of the Chinese Canadian Historical Society of BC.

Community Leadership Award

This award is given to recognize VIU employees, alumni or students who have demonstrated significant and valuable leadership in the community. Their leadership contributions have enhanced the reputation of VIU while furthering significant community priorities.

Recipient: Eiko Eby, Faculty of Education - Nominated by Dr. Louis Mattar

Eiko Eby has been a professor in the Sport, Health, and Physical Education Department for 31 years. Both of Eby’s parents were interned during the Second World War and her interest in their losses and treatment led to her community involvement and leadership. Her contributions began in 1987 as a Director of the Central Vancouver Island Japanese Canadian Cultural Society. She has been President since 2002. Eby is also a member of the National Association of Japanese Canadians Executive Board. Since 2014, Eby has been a member of the Community Council of a University of Victoria multi-year SSHRC project, Landscapes of Injustice.



Recipient: Ruby Barclay, Alumni - Nominated by  Chelsea Carne

Ruby Barclay, 23, moved to Nanaimo four years ago to study Child and Youth Care at VIU. She researched and developed the Peer Support Navigator role for the Post-Care Tuition Waiver Program at VIU. As an advocate for young people with lived experience in care, Barclay has worked on local, provincial and national levels to enhance access to education and improve services for young people in and from government care. Barclay is an active mentor for Nanaimo Aboriginal Centre’s Youth Advisory Council and is now employed as a Youth Advisor for the Ministry of Children and Family Development.

Community Outreach Award

This award is given to recognize VIU faculty or staff who have demonstrated excellence in outreach activity within the VIU region. Outreach may include the sharing of knowledge in any media (presentations, workshops, videos etc.) that transcends the walls of the university to benefit society. 

Recipient: Aubrey Robertson, Project AURORA - Nominated by Chelsea Carne

Aubrey Robertson became Project Co-ordinator for Project AURORA after graduating in 2017. Robertson served as a student representative on his Faculty Council, Audio-Visual Security Committee, Project AURORA Advisory Committee, Senate, Board of Governors, Alumni Association Board of Directors, and the Executive Board of the VIU Students’ Union. He serves on the Sexual Conduct Education and Response Steering Committee, Senate, and Alumni Association Board. Over the past decade, he has volunteered for a number of community organizations, and is now involved with the Fair Vote Canada BC Mid-Island Chapter.

Indigenous Engagement Award

This award is given to recognize VIU employees or students who have developed respectful and mutually beneficial relationships with indigenous community partners. The relationship has enabled VIU to deepen its commitment to truth and reconciliation and has resulted in transformative learning and growth for the recipient.

Recipient: Sylvia Scow  and VIU Elders' Council, Aboriginal Education - Nominated by Dr. Sharon Hobenshield

Sylvia Scow:

Scow suzhe
Liidlii Kue gots’eh a’ aht’e
Dehcho gots’eh Dene a’ aht’e
Semo Denise Hardisty
Set’a Jake Browning mahula’
Mushi Cho Snuneymuxw
Mushi Cho Vancouver Island University

Elders Council

Swus-tanulwut Delores Louie, Stz’uminus

C-tasi:a Geraldine Manson, Snuneymuxw

Stella Johnson, Métis

Xulsimalt Gary Manson, Snuneymuxw

Klith-wii-taa Barney Williams Jr., Tla-o-qui-aht

Florence James, Cowichan

Yut’xwam Harold Joe, Cowichan

Hwiem’ Marlene Rice, Stz’uminus

Eugene Louie, Tla’Amin

Sylvia Scow is the Aboriginal Projects Co-ordinator and Elder Support in the Office of Aboriginal Education and Engagement. She began working at Malaspina University-College in 1996 as the Internship Co-ordinator in the First Nations Studies Department and in 2007 started working in the Office of Aboriginal Education and Engagement. The work she is engaged in with ‘su’luqw’a’ Community Cousins and VIU’s Elders-in-Residence enabled her to connect with her own heritage, and she cherishes the time spent with VIU’s students to enhance their opportunities to share their voices through their stories.

VIU Elders Council is comprised of nine Elders-in-Residence working at the Cowichan, Nanaimo and Powell River Campuses. The Elders-in-Residence program is a multifaceted initiative supporting, but not limited to, the following:

• Support and use of Indigenous knowledge and Aboriginal languages within VIU;

• Support for all learners by offering traditional knowledge and spiritual guidance;

• Assist in the area of access and retention of Aboriginal learners in post-secondary education by having a presence within the institution;

• Assist employees to build capacity in areas of cultural knowledge and understanding.

At VIU the Elders are a valuable resource to students. They provide counselling, support and guidance to all students at VIU. Elders are active in a variety of areas encompassing student support, classroom instruction, teaching traditional protocols and cross-cultural sharing.

 International Engagement Award

This award is given to recognize VIU faculty or staff who have demonstrated excellence in engagement within the international context. Engagement may include the development of mutually beneficial partnerships that result in opportunities for student engagement, research projects that provide training opportunities for VIU students, or outreach such as the sharing of knowledge in any media (presentations, workshops, videos etc.).

Recipient: Dr. Brian Dick, Faculty of Science and Technology - Nominated by Dr. Graham Pike

Dr. Brian Dick chairs the Physics, Engineering, and Astronomy department at VIU, and co-ordinates its Fundamentals of Engineering Certificate. He is passionate about enriching program curriculum with intercultural experiences and has worked directly with universities on various projects in South Korea, Taiwan, Kenya, and Vietnam. He is particularly connected to Tra Vinh University (TVU) in rural Vietnam and recently, this partnership provided opportunity for first and second-year students at TVU and VIU to collaborate on a joint design project. Dick represents his faculty on the VIU Senate and sits on the BC Council on Admission and Transfer.


Darrell Harvey, Faculty of International Education - Nominated by Colleen Doyle

Darrell Harvey is Co-ordinator of International Projects and Internationalization. Since joining VIU in 2015, Harvey has supported and encouraged global engagement initiatives. He manages VIU’s international co-operation projects in the global south; supports visiting scholars and international mobility opportunities for employees, and facilitates on-campus global engagement activities. Harvey has also led institutional initiatives to empower and support refugee newcomers, establishing the VIU International Refugee Scholarship Fund and Newcomer Awards, chairing VIU’s Syrian Refugee Response Committee, and supporting VIU’s committee to the World University Service of Canada (WUSC) and its Student Refugee Program.

Selection committee: Ralph Nilson, Chair, President and Vice-Chancellor;  David Witty Provost and Vice-President Academic, Nicole Vaugeois, Scholarship, Research and Creative Activity; William Litchfield, Advancement; Sharon Hobenshield, Aboriginal Education

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