2022 was a year of growth, student success and a return to normal operations for University Canada West. COVID-19 restrictions relaxed, students returned to the classroom and in-person convocation ceremonies resumed. Here’s a look back at some of the highlights from the last 12 months.

In-person learning resumes

UCW announced a full return to on-campus classes on February 7, 2022

Students had previously returned to in-person classes in October 2021, but all classes were moved back online for January 2022 due to a surge in COVID-19 cases. The return to on-campus learning followed the recommendations from BC Provincial Health Officer, Dr. Bonnie Henry.

UCW MBA program earns kudos

University Canada West’s Master of Business Administration degree program was named one of Canada’s Best Online MBA Programs of 2022 by CourseCompare.

CourseCompare’s annual rankings are determined using a comprehensive methodology centered around job placement rates, which account for 40% of the score. Job placement rates reflect the percentage of students who obtained a job in their field of study. As an added measure of quality, programs must maintain a job placement rate of at least 75% to be considered in CourseCompare’s rankings.

According to the latest survey data from UCW alumni, 96.9% of UCW MBA students are working or have a job lined up within one year of graduating.

UCW signs MOU with Shu-Te University

University Canada West signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Taiwan-based Shu-Te University.

The agreement includes collaboration areas in student exchange, articulations and pathways, and other custom training initiatives.

Dr. Wang Jau-shyong, Vice President and Dean of the School of Management of Shu-Te University, visited UCW’s Vancouver House Campus with his colleague Dr. Lee Yu-Chin on June 23 for a tour of the campus and a meeting with UCW President Sheldon Levy, where the MOU was signed.

UCW releases white paper on how to fuel BC’s tech talent pipeline

University Canada West released a report examining the state of BC’s tech industry and what universities can do to help fuel the province’s tech talent pipeline.

The white paper, Fuelling B.C.’s Tech Talent Pipeline: The role of universities, was the result of weeks of consultations and discussions with tech leaders, thinkers and founders, as well as UCW leadership and faculty. It explores what companies have to say about how universities can help address the talent crisis in the tech industry. The report concludes that what’s needed is a more coordinated approach by universities and industry to prepare the tech workforce of the future.

UCW graduates celebrated at first in-person convocation ceremony since 2019

University Canada West celebrated its first in-person convocation ceremony since 2019 on July 14, 2022 at BC Place stadium.

Students were joined by family and friends, UCW faculty and staff, and dignitaries for the Summer Convocation 2022 ceremonies to celebrate the nearly 1,200 graduates from 60 countries.

The Valedictorian for Summer 2022 was MBA graduate Rajmilan Poudel.

“It’s wonderful to stand here and relive the memories of the past two years,” Poudel told fellow graduates. “We set out on this journey on an utterly unchartered path, full of uncertainties. We graciously accepted and excelled with online learning when the world was traumatized by the COVID-19 pandemic. Kudos to all of us for fueling this journey with selfless love, unshakable dedication, immense resilience and enduring passion.”

The Medals for Academic Excellence went to Ingrid Ferreira Gomes, who earned an Associate of Arts degree, and Maryam Mahmoudi, who earned her MBA. Both also graduated with distinction.

Leaders in truth and reconciliation in Canada receive UCW honorary doctorates

Chief Phil Fontaine, former National Chief of the Assembly of First Nations, and Professor Kathleen Mahoney, Emeritus Professor of Law at the University of Calgary, who are widely regarded as champions in Canada’s movement to truth and reconciliation, justice and human rights, received Honorary Doctorates during the Summer Convocation ceremony.

Chief Fontaine has dedicated his life to furthering the rights and interests of his people and achieving truth and reconciliation for the massive human rights violations suffered for over 150 years by generations of First Nations peoples in Indian Residential Schools.

Professor Mahoney is an internationally recognized human rights expert, judicial educator and litigator who has spent her career seeking justice and equality for women and disadvantaged minorities through law.

They spent years working side-by-side on the Indian Residential School Settlement Agreement with Professor Mahoney acting as the Chief Negotiator for the Assembly of First Nations.

Earlier in the year, UCW also hosted a discussion with Chief Fontaine and Professor Mahoney on Truth and Reconciliation in Canada that was open to students, staff and faculty. The event was also broadcast.

UCW launches Alumni Portal

University Canada West launched the UCW Alumni Portal for its growing alumni community.

The UCW Alumni Portal is a platform exclusive for UCW alumni to connect with peers, explore new opportunities, engage in meaningful discussions, develop relevant skills and share new ideas. The platform offers several unique features that help the alumni community with professional development, networking and career advancement.

The UCW Alumni Portal is at alumni.myucwest.ca.

University Canada West announces its first Elder in Residence

University Canada West announced that Elder Rose Guerin of Musqueam First Nation will serve as the University’s first Elder in Residence.

Working with Elder Rose, UCW students, faculty, leadership and staff will and learn about Coast Salish culture, land, tradition and language.

Elder Rose will also work with Dr. Maureen Mancuso, UCW’s Vice President Academic, to create an Indigenous Advisory Council to guide and support academic initiatives.

UCW partners with CPHR BC & Yukon

University Canada West signed a partnership agreement with the Chartered Professionals in Human Resources of British Columbia and Yukon (CPHR BC & Yukon).

This collaboration with CPHR BC & Yukon allows students in UCW’s Master of Business Administration program taking the Human Resources elective area to join CPHR BC & Yukon as student members.

Sheldon Levy staying on as President into 2023

University Canada West’s Board of Governors announced that Sheldon Levy is continuing in his role as UCW’s President and Vice-Chancellor.

President Levy’s term was scheduled to end on November 30, 2022; however, he will remain in the role into 2023 as the search for a new President continues, leading the UCW community with his wealth of experience and knowledge as he has since joining the University in October 2021.

Earlier in the year, UCW announced that President Levy and Dr. Maureen Mancuso, Vice President Academic, had the “interim” designation removed from their titles.

More than 1,200 graduate at Fall Convocation

University Canada West celebrated more than 1,200 graduating students at its Fall 2022 Convocation Ceremony on October 28 at The Centre.

Students were joined by family and friends, UCW faculty and staff, and dignitaries for the ceremonies to celebrate graduates hailing from 57 different countries.

The Valedictorian for Fall 2022 was MBA graduate Cynthia Eapen.

“As we look forward, the path ahead is filled with endless possibilities which can be exciting and scary. Remember that life is, the way we think life is,” she told her fellow graduates. “For some of us it may mean finding our first job, for others finding a new role or changing course in our career paths to starting our own business or entrepreneurial venture.”

UCW had three Medal for Academic Excellence winners. Cecilia Brisson Egli from Argentina and Olakunle Omololu Mumuney from Nigeria, who both completed the MBA program with a CGPA of 4.06, and Associate of Arts graduate Matos Ramos Jussara from Brazil, who completed his degree with a 3.96 CGPA.

The Fall 2022 Convocation Ceremony marked the inaugural presentation of UCW’s Teaching & Learning Excellence Awards.

Dr. Eli Sopow received the Sustained Excellence in Teaching Award for his teaching contribution, which is manifested in practice by supporting students to learn through critical thinking and a questioning nature to apply course objectives and content to actual circumstances and events.

Dr. Mostafa Nazari also received the Sustained Excellence in Teaching Award for his meaningful contributions to student learning through inclusive teaching methods and assessment strategies and by maintaining a welcoming teaching and learning environment.

Dr. Bruce Heibert received the Sessional Excellence in Teaching Award for his long track record of teaching excellence in both undergraduate and graduate programs as attested through statements of support by colleagues and students.

And Harpreet Kaur Ahluwalia, who is now UCW’s Director of Curriculum and Quality Assurance, received the Leadership in Teaching and Learning Award for her dedication and commitment to student-centered education through a non-formal leadership role and as substantiated by peers.

Matt Vickers receives Honorary Doctorate

Matt Vickers (Gunaatsk), an accomplished businessperson who has been at the forefront of establishing links in a cross-cultural business environment in Canada for more than 40 years, received an Honorary Doctorate during the 2022 Fall Convocation Ceremony.

Mr. Vickers, who is widely recognized for his important contributions to Canada and Canada’s Indigenous people, received the Doctor of Laws degree.

Mr. Vickers, who is of Tsimshian, Heiltsuk, Haida and English heritage, is Director and Chief Executive Officer of NorthernNations Cooperative, Senior Associate with IMC and Managing Director of Indigenous Engagement with Hillcore Group, among other roles. Mr. Vickers, who is also known by his Tsimshian hereditary name, Gunaatsk, is responsible for developing strategy and advancing new business opportunities with First Nations communities.

In his address to the graduating class, Mr. Vickers told students, “I was taught at a very young age by my grandfather that the key to success is very simple. As you have done and are doing, work hard. But most importantly, be honest. I congratulate each and every one of you for the hard work that you have done, accomplished, are doing and will do.”

UCW, George Brown College establish dual admission MBA pathway

University Canada West and George Brown College announced a strategic partnership on October 25, 2022, that will enable students from the Toronto-based college’s programs to pursue a Master of Business Administration degree at UCW.

As one of the first inter-provincial dual admission MBA pathways of its kind in Canada, this partnership will provide increased access, multiple pathways for lifelong learning, and flexibility for students and alumni, while enabling professionals to upskill for a changing economy.

UCW wins second at BC MBA Games, qualifies for nationals

UCW placed second at the 2022 BC MBA Games held October 28 to 30 at the University of British Columbia and qualified for the national MBA Games to be held January 2023 at York University in Toronto.

The UCW team finished just five points behind the winning team from Simon Fraser University. Over the course of the three-day competition, teams from each participating university competed for the coveted BC MBA Games Cup by demonstrating excellence in multiple academic, athletic and team-building challenges in three categories – Case, Spirit and Sports.

Led by head coaches Urvish Subodh, UCW faculty, and Seth Li, Associate Director of Strategic Partnerships and Projects with Global University Systems Canada, the UCW team included Sumaiyah Nausheen, Kevin Stanley, Radhika, Enzo Ozawa, Orkhon Erdenebaatar, Oluchukwu Nancy E., Kannu Amarjeet Singh Maggu, Swati Garg, Renato Concepcion, Tariq Mohammad Safi, Cris Villanueva, Roshan Hegde, Helen Nguyen, Anuradha Dahiya, Vipul Sharma, Marcelle Silva, Raphael Mendes Guimaraes, Carlos Florez, Swadeep Palit, Esteban Pinal Gomez, Mario Alberto Martinez Hernandez, Dianne Garcia, Sevara Ravshanova and Alejandra Garcia Ramirez.

UCW Has Talent returns

University Canada West hosted UCW Has Talent, an annual talent show, on Wednesday, November 23 at the Italian Cultural Centre in Vancouver.

The event returned after a two-year hiatus with 23 exciting performances, shows and acts from students and faculty. The performances included singing, dancing, playing instruments and there was even a magic show.

The winner of this year’s competition was UCW student Jim Isaac who sang a rendition of “Wavin’ Flag” by K’naan. Angel Marie Polanco and Varun Muraleedharan Nair, both also UCW students, secured second and third place, respectively. Angel danced and Varun played the violin.

About 450 students, friends and family turned out to the event at the Italian Cultural Centre.

UCW presented the Greater Vancouver Food Bank with a cheque for $15,000 at the show. In addition to that donation, the UCW community came together and raised $4,321 in a virtual food drive, which the university will match dollar-for-dollar bringing that donation to $8,642.

Published on December 29, 2022.