InTouch Summer 2008

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A Semi-Annual Newsletter 	                                                                                         Issue No 1 - Summer 2008

                                                 programming, our credentials look better and impressed and touched when you read their

Kwantlen                                         better to potential employers and clients.

                                                 I am also pleased to announce that we will be
                                                                                                 stories   on      the     following
                                                                                                 Congratulations to you all.

                                                 incorporating an official Kwantlen University I hope you enjoy this long-overdue issue of

Polytechnic                                      Alumni Association this summer. Over the InTouch. We’ll be looking for more alumni
                                                 next few months, we will be putting out a call stories for future issues, so call the Alumni
                                                 for nominations to join our inaugural Board of office today and tell us what you’re up to.

University                                       Directors. We’re looking for alumni who are
                                                 keen on giving back to the institution that
                                                 gave them their start. Contact the alumni
                                                 office if you or someone you know is
What an exciting time to be a part of the interested in joining us.
Kwantlen family! When the provincial
government announced in April that Over the last few months, our Alumni
Kwantlen would be renamed Kwantlen department has hosted several networking
Polytechnic University and be granted full events and reunions, with more planned for
university status, I was thrilled. In actuality, the near future. This issue of InTouch features
we’ve been a university in every way but photos and stories about some of these hugely
name for years – offering full baccalaureate successful inaugural events.
degrees since 1995. As alumni, this
announcement means more to us than meets I’m also pleased to announce the five
the eye. The face value of our education is recipients of this year’s Distinguished Alumni
only as good as the current reputation of our Awards. Sendip, Jaswinder, Monty, Mark and
alma mater. As Kwantlen Polytechnic Denise have accomplished a lot since
University expands and improves its graduation and I’m sure you’ll be both

Kwantlen Establishes Official Alumni Association
                                                    As part of Kwantlen’s transition into a full university, an official Alumni Association is
                                                    currently being established as a separate registered society with the BC Registry of
                                                    Societies. Shane King (Dip Accnt 1992), Chair of the Alumni Advisory Council (a sub-
                                                    committee of the Kwantlen University College Foundation), is heading up the Association
                                                    with the help of Kristan Ash (BBA 2003) and Glenn Pace (Dip Int Design 1992). Over the
                                                    next several months, the committee will be drafting a constitution and by-laws and will
                                                    begin recruiting members for the inaugural Board of Directors. The Kwantlen University
                                                    Alumni Association will be responsible for all alumni events and activities, including
                                                    reunions, the Distinguished Alumni awards, affinity partnerships and alumni
                                                    communications. The Association will also provide two representatives to the Kwantlen
                                                    Board of Governors. If you are a Kwantlen graduate and are interested in joining the
                                                    Association at this very exciting time in its development, please contact the Alumni Office
                                                    today for more information.

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Congratulations Distinguished Alumni
When the call for nominations went out, we had no idea just how successful and
accomplished the nominees would be. It was a difficult choice, but five individuals
were chosen as our 2008 Distinguished Alumni. Here are their stories.

Sendip Gill                    Jaswinder Singh Sandhu            Denise Thomas                    Monty Sikka and Mark Catroppa

                               A counselor, an author, an        In 2001, as a Nursing            Since 2001, Mark Catroppa and Monty Sikka have
Ambitious, charming and
                               academic and a                    student at Kwantlen,             grown their small mail-order pharmacy into a multi-
successful, Sendip Gill is
                               community volunteer.              Denise travelled with her        million dollar, multi-faceted corporation. With strong
the CEO of SRS Packaging
                               Since graduating from             class to Nepal on a five-         roots in Surrey, they have kept their headquarters here,
Services, a company she
                               Kwantlen in 1996 with a           week nursing practice that       and currently employ over 150 people. They are
purchased while
                               Diploma in Criminology,           would change her life            currently the largest mail-order pharmacy in Canada
completing the BBA
                               Jas Sandhu has been busy.         forever.                         with over a million customers world-wide. Their
Leadership Co-op                                                                                  success in the pharmaceutical industry has allowed
                               As a youth addictions             During the trip, she sought      them to pursue real estate ventures throughout the
program at Kwantlen in
                               counselor at Peace Arch           an independent placement         lower mainland. Current projects in Comox, Victoria,
                               Community Services, Jas           at Mother Teresa’s Home          Osoyoos and Edmonton include the construction of a
                               works one-on-one with             for the Destitute and            Jack-Nicklaus Golf Course and Sheraton Hotel. They
At 24 years old, her list of
                               youth that have found             Dying – a placement that         are entrepreneurs in every sense of the word. From
awards and recognition is
                               themselves using drugs to         made working with                humble beginnings, they have used hard work and
extraordinary. When she
                               escape from the realities         marginalized populations         determination to achieve success.
received Business in
                               and pressures of being a          her life and career goal.
Vancouver’s Top 40 Under
40 Business Award, she         teen. He’s fantastic in the                                        Their company, Pivotal Partners, is known for its
                                                                 After graduating, she was        philosophies on healthy living. Employees enjoy a
was both the first East         local high schools, where
                                                                 hired by St. Paul’s              state-of-the-art gym facility, complimentary personal
Indian woman as well as        he is often asked to speak.
                                                                 Hospital in the HIV/AIDS         training and subsidized weight-loss programming, as
the youngest female to         He can engage students
                                                                 Acute Care ward and was          well as access to health and fitness experts. Known by
ever achieve this              effortlessly with his
                                                                 shortly made the head            staff for their generosity, Monty and Mark provide
prestigious honour. She’s      remarkable sense of
                                                                 nurse of the                     many other perks, including free lunches, tickets to
also been recognized by        humour, his wit and
                                                                 Immunodeficiency Clinic.          sporting events, complimentary flights, funding for
the Surrey Board of Trade,     candid honesty.
                                                                 She was the 2003 recipient       educational and career development, generous
the Surrey/Delta
                               With his wife, Kwantlen           of the Nursing Newcomer          bonuses, and they are currently establishing a
Immigrant Services
                               instructor, Kamala Nayar,         of the Year Award and has        subsidized daycare for staff members with young
Society, and was
                               Jas co-authored “The              sat on a number of               children.
nominated for the
                               Socially Involved                 committees and boards.

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Sendip, continued                 Jaswinder, continued               Denise, continued                 Monty and Mark, continued

YMCA Women of                     Renunciate: Guru Nānak’s           When given an                     Their generosity also extends outside the company.
Distinction Award.                Discourse to the Nāth              opportunity to volunteer          Mark and his wife, Kristin, have made significant
                                  Yogis,” in 2007. The book          with the Clinton                  personal donations in support of Prostate Cancer
Her company, based in             is described as “an                Foundation to work with           research, Multiple Sclerosis and other health-related
Port Kells in Surrey, BC,         important work in this             HIV/AIDS patients in              causes.
has an impressive client          emerging field [of Sikh             Lesotho, Africa, Denise
list. Companies like Air          study in the English               jumped at the chance. She         Monty, having moved to Canada from India at the age
Canada, BC Lottery                language],” by Pashaura            was subsequently hired by         of 18, supports several international projects. He has
Corporation, Murphy Wall          Singh of the University of         the Foundation to                 recently set up a family foundation with his wife, Renee,
Beds and BC Hydro, have           California at Riverside.           coordinate two initiatives        in support of medical aid and education for under-
put their trust in her                                               in Lesotho. The                   privileged children in India.
business expertise. Within        Jas was nominated for this         mentorship program
a year of purchasing the          award by Dean of Learner                                             Having met at Kwantlen in an Accounting class, their
                                                                     involves the training of
company, sales had                Resources, Cathy                                                     friendship has developed into a business partnership
                                                                     international medical
doubled under her                 MacDonald. As co-founder                                             second-to-none.
                                                                     professionals to mentor
leadership.                       of the BC Foundation for           local doctors and nurses in
                                  the Study of Sikhism, Jas          the efficient functioning of
“Sendip is a young woman          was instrumental in the            clinics, patient care and
that will continue to             recent donation of $10,000         drug administration. The
inspire us for many years         to the library for the             expert patient program
to come,” remarked Bevin          establishment of a                 trains local HIV-positive
Heath Ansley, Associate           collection dedicated to the        people to work with the
Dean at Kwantlen. “I              study of Sikhism and the           local medical professionals
nominated her for this            Punjab. “I was honoured            in a country with a severe
award without hesitation.         to nominate Jas for this           shortage of qualified
She is truly a great role         award. He has done so              personnel. The enormous
model for the younger             much for Kwantlen,”                success of both programs
generation and has proven         remarked Cathy.                    has drawn considerable
that nothing is impossible
                                                                     interest from other African
when you are following            After graduating from
                                                                     Nations coping with the
your dream.”                      Kwantlen, Jas went on to
                                                                     devastating effects of
                                  receive his BA from Simon
Sendip is honoured to be                                             HIV/AIDS.
                                  Fraser University and his
recognized by Kwantlen.           Masters in Education from          Denise was nominated for
“I am grateful to Kwantlen        UBC. He is an instructor at        this award by three
for this award and for my         the Justice Institute of BC,       Kwantlen instructors, who
wonderful experience as a         has presented at numerous          describe her as ‘an angel.’
student. It was my                conferences and seminars           “She is an incredible
instructors who gave me           and has published several          human being. She is so
the knowledge and                 articles.                          kind and genuine, people
motivation I needed to
                                                                     are drawn to her. I am
purchase and successfully
                                                                     proud and honoured to
run SRS Packaging.”
                                                                     know her,” said Connie
                                                                     Ordish, the Nursing
                                                                     instructor that travelled to
                                                                     Nepal with Denise in 2001.

                                                                     Denise plans to continue
                                                                     her Nursing career, caring
                                                                     for marginalized
                                                                     populations in Canada
                                                                     and abroad.

Do you know a graduate that has done something remarkable and would like to nominate them for the 2009 Distinguished Alumni Award? Nomination forms will be available
online in November 2008 at

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                                                           provided Fashion students with an annual                      dedication to the students and the program,”
Fashion Alumni                                             award since 2004. “We are pleased to be able                  remarked Sharon Greeno, Fashion Instructor.

Reunite                                                    to support our future designers with an award
                                                           and in sponsoring this event,” said Richard
                                                                                                                         “I thought that the creation of a scholarship
                                                                                                                         for a Fashion student would be ideal.” In total,
On Wednesday, April 2, immediately                         Wong on behalf of Sandra. “We also have                       $10,000 was raised for the award and will be
following the 2008 Graduation Fashion Show,                mentorship opportunities for our young                        matched by the Kwantlen University College
over 50 alumni from Kwantlen’s Fashion                     graduates. We’re eager to assist Kwantlen                     Foundation. The Julie Hobart S.O.S Award
program, gathered at the River Rock Casino                 grads in their fashion careers.”                              will be given to a graduating student who best
for an evening of reminiscing.                                                                                           exemplifies Julie’s zest for learning and life.
                                             Faculty members were also invited to spend
Carlie Wong, a finalist on Project Runway the evening catching up with familiar faces.                                    The event was a first for the Fashion program
Canada and 2006 graduate, hosted the event.  One faculty member, in particular, was                                      with tentative plans to continue in the future.
                                             honoured at the event by her fellow                                         “Many alumni have been attending the
The event was proudly sponsored by Sandra instructors and former students. Julie Hobart                                  Fashion Show for years. This is a way for them
Sung Bridal, a great friend and supporter of retired last year after 32 years of teaching in                             to meet up with old friends and stay
Kwantlen. A loyal donor, Sandra Sung has the Fashion Program. “I wanted to do                                            connected with Kwantlen,” remarked Mary
                                             something special that would honour her                                     Boni, Fashion Instructor.

Sharon Greeno is selling custom designed butterfly necklaces as a fundraiser in support of the Julie Hobart S.O.S. Award. Contact her at for more info.

                                                                                                            remarked Shane King, Chair of the Alumni Advisory
                                                                                                            Council and Kwantlen Business graduate. “When it
                                                                                                            comes to the importance of networking, making
                                                                                                            connections and sharing information, these grads
                                                                                                            knew exactly what they were doing.”

                                                                                                            Indeed, many business cards and handshakes were
                                                                                                            exchanged as grads put into practice what they
                                                                                                            learned in business school as students.

                                                                                                            “It was wonderful to see so many of my former
                                                                                                            students in action. They’re doing really, really well out
                                                                                                            there and they aren’t afraid to tell you about it,”
                                                                                                            boasts Chamkaur Cheema, instructor in the
                                                                                                            Entrepreneurial Leadership program. “They’re
                                                                                                            fabulous salespeople and Kwantlen ambassadors. I

 Business as Usual for                                                                                      think all the Business instructors in attendance that
                                                                                                            evening were extremely proud.”

                                                                                                            This inaugural event will surely be an annual event
 Business Grads                                                                                             from now on. “We’ll have to find a bigger venue next
                                                                                                            year because once the word gets out about how
                                                                                                            enjoyable and valuable the evening was, business
                                                                                                            grads will be lined up to get in,” states Shane.
On May 14, more than 60 School of                      was ‘business as usual’ for the alumni in
Business grads enjoyed an evening of                   attendance, most of whom are graduates More photos and information on future events can be
good food and great networking. Held                   of the Entrepreneurial Leadership found on the Kwantlen Entr Alumni and Kwantlen
at Ravi Bar & Grill in Surrey and                      program. “The room was buzzing from BBA Alumni Facebook groups.
sponsored by Investors Group, the event                the minute people started to arrive,”

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                                                       that, President and Vice-Chancellor of Brock       fund capital projects, research initiatives and
Kwantlen Polytechnic                                   University in St. Catharines, Ontario.             create new awards and bursaries.”

University                                                                           Dr. Atkinson
                                                                                     says he was
                                                                                                          In fact, over 100 new awards were set up this
At last, university status for Kwantlen                                              attracted to
                                                                                                          year. “There is nothing more powerful than
                                                                                                          seeing deserving students receive the financial
On April 22, Premier Gordon Campbell was at                                          Kwantlen for
                                                                                                          support they need. When donors attend our
the Surrey Campus to announce that                                                   several
                                                                                                          awards ceremonies and meet the student that
Kwantlen will be re-designated as a university                                       reasons: “It is a
                                                                                                          received their award, they’re moved,”
and be re-named Kwantlen Polytechnic                                                 very exciting
                                                                                                          explains Christine Brodie, Chair of the
University.                                                                          time to join an
                                                                                                          Foundation Board of Directors. In 2007, the
                                                                                     institution that
This decision is the outcome of years of work                                                             Foundation disbursed one million dollars to
                                                                                     places the needs
by Kwantlen’s many internal and external                                                                  students in scholarships and bursaries.
                                                                                     of its students
community members.
                                                                                     at the forefront
“As a university, our degrees will be more                                                                The Foundation also received a major
                                                                                     of its
credible, and we’ll be able to recruit more                                                               donation to the Institute for Sustainable
                                                                                     activities. With
students locally, nationally, and                                                                         Horticulture. Jimmy Gaskin of Gaskin Farms,
internationally. As a university, we will be able                                                         based in Richmond, BC, pledged $50,000 to
                                                                                     programs in
to attract more charitable gifts and a larger                                                             the project. When completed, the ISH will
                                                       trades and technology, sought-after career-
share of research funding. Our new status will                                                            serve as a network hub for the diverse
                                                       focused diplomas, and a broad range of
also help with faculty recruitment and it will                                                            horticulture industry. The Foundation is
                                                       undergraduate degree programs, Kwantlen
improve our graduates' access to advanced                                                                 grateful for the generosity and foresight of
                                                       defines a new kind of comprehensiveness that
degree studies,” remarked Kwantlen                                                                        Gaskin Farms and all of our ISH supporters.
                                                       responds to the needs of students, the
President, Skip Triplett. “Our community               demands of the marketplace for skilled and
members helped us achieve university status            educated graduates, and the interests of the
and we will not disappoint them.”                      communities which it serves. I feel
                                                       enormously privileged to continue the
                                                       momentum initiated by Skip Triplett.”
                                                       The extensive national search took over eight
                                                       months and included a Presidential Search
                                                       Advisory Committee (PSAC) that assisted
                                                                                                          The Family Campaign, which is held annually
                                                       Kwantlen’s Board of Governors in identifying
                                                                                                          in the Fall, saw an enormous increase in
                                                       and selecting Kwantlen’s next president. The
                                                                                                          money raised from faculty, staff and board
                                                       PSAC represented the various constituencies
                                                                                                          members. Nearly $100,000 was raised – an
                                                       found within the institution including
                                                                                                          increase of 54% from 2006. The majority of
                                                       students, faculty, staff, alumni, administrators
                                                                                                          employees give bi-weekly via payroll
                                                       and community members.
                                                                                                          deduction. Since the Foundation matches all
The adjective ‘polytechnic’ speaks to the              Dr. Atkinson has been actively involved in         staff gifts, a $20 per-pay-period contribution is
integration of theoretical and applied learning        various community organizations and looks          a $1000 annual award for a student in need.
that is a distinguishing feature of many               forward to becoming an active member of the
existing Kwantlen programs. The noun                   many diverse communities that Kwantlen             At a recognition event for SPARK donors,
‘university’ orients enhanced program                  serves. He is married to Terry, who was            Bruce Kehler, was inspired. As a guest of a
possibilities yet to come. Together they signify       Nursing Manager for Para-Med Niagara. They         guest, he came to the event with little
what we now do and what will continue to be            have twin sons - Jonathan is an engineer           knowledge of the program or Kwantlen. By
important in our new university. It will help          working in Niagara Falls and Zachary is an         the end of the evening, he had pledged
define our focus and differentiate us from              industrial designer working in Edmonton.           $25,000 - $5,000 each year for the next five
other post secondary institutions in British                                                              years. A community partnership between
Columbia.                                                                                                 Kwantlen, the Surrey school district and the
                                                                                                          SPARK Foundation, the program assists at-
                                                       Kwantlen Foundation                                risk high-school students with cultural,
New President for                                      Enjoys Most Successful                             economic or social boundaries by enrolling
                                                                                                          them in post-secondary studies.
Kwantlen University                                    Year                                               The Kwantlen University College is the
College                                                In their most successful year to-date, the         principal fundraising arm of the university.
Effective July 1, 2008, Kwantlen Polytechnic           Kwantlen University College Foundation             With a mission to raise funds to create quality,
University will have a new President. Dr.              tributes their fundraising success to many         life-long learning opportunities for Kwantlen
David W. Atkinson will replace Skip Triplett           loyal and generous friends of the institution.     students to achieve personal, social and career
who has served as President since 1999.                “The generosity of our donors allowed us to        success, it is comprised of a 17-member Board
                                                       nearly double funds raised last year,”             of Directors and five staff.
Dr. Atkinson’s university experience includes
that of President and Vice-Chancellor at               remarked Jeff Norris, Executive Director of the
Carleton University in Ottawa and prior to             Foundation. “This money is being used to

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                                                                                                                          critical to this industry because of their
                                                                                                                          passion for their work and I feel it is
                                                                                                                          important that we all support this next

                                                                                                                          In April, Wayne presented his award for
                                                                                                                          the second time to Landscaping student,
                                                                                                                          Jason Kenney. Jason was very familiar
                                                                                                                          with Wayne and his company - he was
                                                                                                                          working for Saliken at the time.

                                                                                                                          Wayne got started in the industry in 1988
                                                                                                                          as an employee for the City. From 1990 to
                                                                                                                          1997, he successfully ran Luscious Lawns,
                                                                                                                          a lawn maintenance and cutting
                                                                                                                          company, slowly moving towards more
                                                                                                                          lawn care services.

     Horticulture Alumnus                                                                                                 In 2002, he ran into a well-respected
                                                                                                                          professional landscaper that inspired him
                                                                                                                          to go back to school. “I enrolled in the
     Establishes Student Award                                                                                            Landscaping program at Kwantlen
                                                                                                                          immediately and I never looked back,”
                                                                                                                          states Wayne.
Wayne Saliken, a 2006 graduate of the Diploma                 “I appreciated my time at Kwantlen and felt
in Horticulture Technology program, and                       the need to give back to future industry                    Saliken Landscaping is a proud member
owner of Saliken Landscaping and Luscious                     leaders, especially since I personally benefited             of the BCLNA and can be reached by
Lawns, established an award for a Landscape                   from similar scholarship help when I needed                 email at or
Design and Installation student in 2007.                      it most,” remarked Wayne. “Good people are                  by phone at (604) 538-9403.

Are you interested in setting up your own award for a Kwantlen student? Do you want to make a donation in honour of a classmate or instructor? Contact the Foundation Office
at (604) 599-2010 or visit

Staying ‘In Touch’ with
There has never been a better time to get involved at Kwantlen. With the creation of a
formal Alumni Association, we are looking for volunteers to fill a variety of roles.
From joining the Board of Directors to volunteering at reunions and events, we have
something for everyone with a desire to ‘give back.’

You can also expect to see more information on alumni activities and events with the                                     Alumni Association
semi-annual publication of InTouch and regular e-newsletters. To ensure we have your                                     For more information, contact:
correct contact information, go to the Alumni website and follow the link to update                                      Christiane Hodson
your address.
                                                                                                                         Kwantlen University Alumni Association
We are eager to hear from our grads and will be featuring many of you in future issues
                                                                                                                         12666 72nd Avenue
of InTouch. Please get in touch with the Alumni office and share your story today!                                        Surrey, BC V3W 2M8
                                                                                                                         P: 604-599-3137
Interested in starting a class reunion or hosting an alumni networking event? The                                        F: 604-599-3138
Alumni office is happy to help get you started. We’re currently planning reunions for                                     E:
Interior Design (20 years) and Trades, so stay tuned for more information.