Advancement office confident scholarship money will be matched

April 12, 2011 by · Leave a Comment 

The administration at Kwantlen Polytechnic University looks like it will be coming through with the necessary funding to contribute to the Family Campaign at Kwantlen.

According to advancement officer Katie Kinch, the administration hasn’t confirmed its intentions to match donations made by faculty and staff for the campaign, which raises money for student scholarships, but she said that she hasn’t received any indications that the donations won’t be matched by the university.

The Family Campaign is a program that allows faculty and staff to donate money for student scholarships and bursaries. The Family Campaign this year will fund 74 scholarships and awards.

“We raised $111,000 for 2010/2011,” Kinch said.

Kinch believes that with the administration continuing its involvement in the program that will encourage more staff and faculty to become involved, and that it will provide a strong incentive for members to continue to make contributions to the program.

This year, the program achieved a 12.3 per cent response from its faculty and staff, which accounts for 210 of the 1,670 total Kwantlen staff and volunteers.

“I would be very optimistic that we can reach a target of potentially $125,000 with matching staying in place as a really strong incentive for staff, faculty and administration, as well as our volunteer board, to continue to make regular contributions,” Kinch said.

Faculty are able to make contributions to awards in their own field of work and study, as well as create their own award if they prefer, which can be awarded to a student in the faculty of the volunteer. Kinch says that she has received numerous calls inquiring about that.

Even though the percentage of staff involved may seem small, Kinch said that she takes pride in the culture of giving at the school. Last year, the campaign was able to fund 50 awards and scholarships. That has risen to 74 this year, and Kinch said that is a direct result of an institution that is committed to student success.

“It really is a strong statement about the culture here at Kwantlen,” Kinch said. “Talking about really being accessible and supportive and having an institution that is really committed to student success, the fact that there are significant dollars and awards behind that backs it up even further.”

The donation period for this year’s Family Campaign wrapped up on March 31.

Family scholarship campaign risks losing half it financing

March 10, 2011 by · Leave a Comment 

Students at Kwantlen Polytechnic University face a future where some funding for scholarships and awards is cut in half.

The Family Campaign, a program designed to allow faculty, employees and administrators at Kwantlen to donate money to scholarships and awards, faces the prospect of losing matching money from the university. In the past, Kwantlen has matched donations from faculty and staff.

“Right off the top, it cuts in half the amount of finances we can contribute to students,” Katie Kinch, an advancement officer at Kwantlen, said.

According to Kinch, there are approximately 800 scholarships and awards across Kwantlen that students can receive, with many of those funded by donations made to them by staff and faculty.

“We have about 800 scholarships and awards across Kwantlen. Of those 50 are exclusively funded by staff, faculty and administration at Kwantlen,” Kinch said.

Last year, through the program, staff and faculty raised over $100,000 for student awards and scholarships. At the time, the university had allotted money in its budget for the program and matched all employee donations, raising the total amount to more $200,000.

This practice is common at other institutions, Kinch points out.

Faculty and staff who choose to donate determine where the money they donate goes. This usually means that the faculty member who is donating will give money to the faculty or program they are a part of, or the field they are currently in.

Kinch not only believes that not receiving additional money from the institution will hurt the program right away, but that it will continue to hurt the program, which also raises money for library resources, further down the road.

“In the past, we have received messages that it is very disappointing for the staff who choose to donate and see it as a real benefit to their employment with Kwantlen and an added value that the institution recognizes their financial commitment back to the institution and matches their giving, so I think it will have a significant impact on the overall performance of the campaign,” Kinch said.

Kinch thinks that the Family Campaign sends a strong message to the community at and around Kwantlen about the staff and faculty who work at the school. “It reinforces a really strong message that we are doing good work here,” Kinch said.

Anyone wanting to learn more about the Family Campaign at Kwantlen can visit its website

Corriveau prepares Kwantlen for emergencies

March 10, 2011 by · Leave a Comment 

Guy Corriveau is Kwantlen's new manager for emergency planning. He has held that position since June 2010. (Photo courtesy of

Guy Corriveau has only been on the job for seven months, but Kwantlen Polytechnic University’s new manager of emergency planning is already bring the university up to speed on emergency planning.

Corriveau is Kwantlen’s first manager of emergency planning, a job he began in June 2010. In the seven months since, Corriveau has been steadily bringing all the Kwantlen campuses into emergency planning by instituting programs, plans and exercises, such as January’s Exercise Shake Out BC.

This is the first time Kwantlen has had an office of emergency planning, and Corriveau says that the university is committed to doing the job right.

The university has set aside money to help Corriveau upgrade communication systems at Kwantlen, to equip Kwantlen with the tools it needs in case of an emergency, as well as giving him flexibility to propose and test different programs, such as volunteer emergency response teams like the ones at BCIT.

Corriveau sets up programs and systems on what he calls his three-by-three-plus-one matrix. This matrix includes reviewing, establishing and implementing evacuation protocols, lockdown protocols and communication issues, along with developing a management structure so those systems can be implemented.

These systems will take time to be put in place, Corriveau said.

“We can’t go into it hastily, we can’t go into it quickly, we have to go into it deliberately, because if you go into in quickly you are likely to make mistakes,” Corriveau said.

Corriveau said that a plan has to be put in place as soon as possible, with as many people involved with the plan as possible to ensure that when an emergency strikes students and faculty will be ready.

One of Corriveau’s goals is to create emergency response teams on every campus at Kwantlen. He says that this approach would put the onus on both students and faculty to get involved in emergency planning. The emergency response teams could be made up of students and staff volunteers. The teams would be trained in light-urban search and rescue, first aid and basic emergency response and recovery.

The purpose of emergency planning at Kwantlen is to create an environment where students and staff can feel safe while they study and work.

“My personal goal is to help Kwantlen achieve a safe and ready learning environment. We need to get to a place where people feel safe being here,” Corriveau said.

Corriveau has the backing of the leadership at Kwantlen and support to invest in emergency planning. The engagement of the leaders at Kwantlen allowed Corriveau to commit Kwantlen to participating in Exercise Shake Out BC, an exercise the organizers estimate 470,000 people participated in.

“I asked senior management if I could commit Kwantlen to participating, and they said yes, and that is the basis of good emergency planning support from leadership,” Corriveau said.

Eagles soccer teams begins title defense

October 30, 2010 by · Leave a Comment 

The Kwantlen women’s soccer team is out to defend their provincial gold as they took on the Quest Kermodes in the provincial quarterfinals Friday.

The team won the BCCAA provincials last year and, led by first-year head coach Gordon Smith and first team all-stars Melina Gomez, Brittany McNeil and Shanay Sangha, finished second in league play this year.

Kwantlen is hosting the provincial tournament this year at the new turf fields at Newton Athletic Park in Surrey.

“League play has been really challenging this year. Apart from maybe one or two games, it has been hard fought and close all year,” Smith said.

Kwantlen finished the season with eight wins, three losses and one draw to finish seven points behind first-place UBC Okanagan in their division.

Kwantlen, however, has the advantage of having players on the team that have won a provincial championship before, and the team gets to play its provincial games on the home field at Newton Athletic Park.

“Having home field is huge. We don’t have to travel and we can stick to our normal routine and be well rested,” Smith said. “We’ve been successful all year at home. The field is bigger and wider, so it gives us more room to attack out wide.”

Kwantlen took on the Quest Kermodes in the quarterfinals on Friday. Kwantlen played Quest once this year coming away with a 1-0 victory in Squamish in October.

Quest finished third in the division, winning only three times all year, but Smith has warned his team about the dangers of taking a team lightly.

“They are a very good team. We’ve played them and they’re a disciplined, well defending team. They counter attack well and are good on set pieces. We are going to have to limit the number of free kicks we give them,” Smith said.

Kwantlen is led by three first-team all-stars: goalkeeper Melina Gomez, defender Brittany McNeil and midfielder Shanay Sangha. Sangha tied for fifth in the league for goals during league play this year with six, and Gomez and McNeil led a solid defense core for Kwantlen, which gave up only nine goals in 12 league games.

“It is very important that they continue to play at the highest level. They’ve been our most consistent players, but that being said we’ve gotten contributions from others (two rookies) that have been big,” Smith said.

The women’s semi-finals will take place this Saturday, Oct. 30 at noon, at Newton Athletic Park, and the bronze and gold medal games will take place at 11 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. on Sunday, Oct. 31 at Newton Athletic Park in Surrey.

Kwantlen men’s hoop team loses two close ones

October 26, 2010 by · Leave a Comment 

The Northwest Indian College Eagles received a huge effort from Josh Nelson and Randy Evans as they beat the Kwantlen Eagles Men’s basketball team 92-86 Friday night at the Surrey campus of Kwantlen Polytechnic University.

The Northwest Eagles took the lead midway through the first quarter and established a 10-point lead at halftime, a lead they would never surrender. Nelson led the way for the Eagles with 22 points and 14 rebounds.

The Northwest Eagles, from Washington State, came out and played hard and fast in the games’ first quarter and established their presence on defence, a suffocating Eagles defence that led to Kwantlen committing 24 turnovers in the game.

“This is the first time I’ve seen them,” Kwantlen head coach Bernie Love said at half time. “They’re coming out hard and aggressive and I think they are dictating the pace of the game. They’re hitting more shots in our gym then we are.”

Kwantlen came out in the second half and dominated early going on an 8-0 run in the middle of the third quarter to tie the game up at 54.

Kwantlen was led by a monster performance by Mark Dabrowski, who finished the game with 29 points and 12 rebounds in just under 32 minutes of action. Kwantlen, which was missing four starters for this game, leaned heavily on Dabrowski even though he was nursing a knee injury for most of the game.

“He really shouldn’t be playing right now, he is nursing a bit of a bum knee,” Coach Love said. “He’s a big difference maker, though, and he stepped in there and was a big presence for us.”

Though Kwantlen was down four starters, the team stepped up and competed in a game where many of their players were first-year players.

“You’re going to take your lumps when you have nine first-year players, but we battled today and we competed which we need to do on a more consistent basis,” Love said.

Kwantlen continued its exhibition season on Saturday against Portland Bible College and lost another close game, 79-75.

Didar Grewal pushing hard for basketball success

September 18, 2010 by · Leave a Comment 

(Photo by: Lucas Meneses-Skoda)

(Photo by: Lucas Meneses-Skoda)

If you want to find Didar Grewal, look no further then the gym at Kwantlen Polytechnic University’s Surrey campus.

This gym is home to the Kwantlen Eagles, who open their regular season campaign on Nov. 3 and Grewal is the newest shooting guard on the men’s basketball team. The 18-year-old Tamanawis graduate is entering his first season with the team and has great ambitions for this season.

“I work out six days a week,” Grewal said, “everyday except for Monday’s because I have three classes that day.”

Pushing himself physically is nothing new to Grewal. He has been playing basketball competitively since he was in Grade 6 and was never pushed by anyone to practice.

“Shooting around is for my own benefit, so I shoot all the time,” Grewal said.

“My high school coach Aman Heran has been a big influence on me. I go to him for advice and he has always pushed me hard.”

The hard work is paying off: Grewal is tall and athletic, the muscle in his arms, shoulders, chest and legs are well defined, and he barely breaks a sweat even after 20 minutes of shooting around.

The transition from high school basketball to college hoops is never easy for anyone, even a two-time winner of the male athlete of the year award at Tamanawis Secondary in Surrey.

“At a higher level the players are all good. It is the best players from every team in high school playing together,” Grewal said, “The tempo and speed are higher and players are stronger as well.”

The speed, strength and conditioning of the players was evident when Grewal played with the Kwantlen team against the Division 1 NCAA school Idaho State.

“It was a good experience for me and the team,” Grewal said. “They were faster and stronger then us.”

Grewal hopes that Kwantlen can become a stepping stone to a higher level of basketball. He is aiming to play in the CIS next year as a 19-year-old after only one season of playing college basketball.

(Photo by: Lucas Meneses-Skoda)

(Photo by: Lucas Meneses-Skoda)

(Photo by: Lucas Meneses-Skoda)

(Photo by: Lucas Meneses-Skoda)

Golden memories of the Olympic Games

March 3, 2010 by · Leave a Comment 

The Vancouver 2010 Winter Olympic games were two weeks of fun and excitement, as well as memories to last a lifetime.

The defining moment of the Vancouver Winter Olympic happened Sunday just after 3 p.m. Pacific time. The immense pressure and expectations were fulfilled as the next great Canadian hero, Sidney Crosby, scored a goal 7:40 into overtime to win the gold medal game in men’s hockey.

To put it bluntly, if Team Canada had lost to the United States, many people across the country would have considered the games an epic failure.

Would the games have been a failure, though?

As I was watching the events on television, I couldn’t help feeling inspired by our Canadian athletes.

So yes, I would have been incredibly disappointed if Canada had lost Sunday, but I wouldn’t have remain inspired by the performances of the rest of our athletes.

There was Joanne Rochette skating in the women’s short program and winning a bronze medal two days after her mom died of a heart attack; Alex Bilodeau winning the first gold medal for a Canadian on Canadian soil while his older brother Fredric, who suffers from cerebral palsy, cheered him on; and Kevin Martin and the men’s curling team banishing the demons of eight years ago in Salt Lake by finally winning gold in men’s curling.

Sure, I’ll remember where I was when Sidney Crosby scored “the goal,” because for my generation that is our Paul Henderson moment. And I am a hockey fan after all.

But I will also be able to recall where I was when Bilodeau was presented his gold medal and O Canada was played for the first time on Canadian soil at the Olympics.

Or what I was doing when I found out that Clara Hughes won a bronze medal in her final Olympic race ever.

The Olympic Games gave me the opportunity to witness great acts of patriotism as well as a newfound respect for what our amateur athletes go through to win for our great country.