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February 14, 2019

JIBC highlights graduates’ achievements at 2019 Winter Convocation

Ceremony celebrates graduation of approximately 380 future leaders in justice and public safety


The Justice Institute of British Columbia (JIBC) recognized the accomplishments of approximately 380 graduates and its honorary degree recipient, Don Jolley, at its Winter Convocation held February 14, 2019 at its New Westminster campus.

Now approaching the conclusion of its 40th anniversary year, JIBC has seen more than 295,000 individuals enrol in its courses educating and training justice and public safety professionals in British Columbia and beyond. The newest graduates join more than 40,000 alumni of the Institute’s programs, both non-credentialed ones and those resulting in certificates, diplomas, baccalaureate degrees and graduate certificates.

Michel Tarko - Winter Convocation 2019

“Each and every day, there are examples of our graduates supporting the health, safety and well-being of communities in BC, across Canada, and around the world,” said JIBC President and CEO Dr. Michel Tarko to the graduates.

“I want to encourage you to serve in your respective roles with conviction, knowing that what you do does make a difference – to the individuals you will help and the communities you will support.”

Don Jolley - Honorary Degree - Winter Convocation 2019

Retired Pitt Meadows fire chief Don Jolley was conferred an honorary degree in recognition of his three decades of multi-faceted leadership and service as a first responder. In addition to being a firefighter, he has served as a paramedic and in emergency management, and in numerous roles at JIBC including instructor, mentor and evaluator.

“The professions you have chosen are hard and come with high expectations, but that is why they are so rewarding. Those you serve expect you to be the best; live up to it,” said Jolley. “Never doubt that you will transform lives … And to the graduates, as I look in front of me today, I am reminded that JIBC is where difference-makers graduate.”

Kevin Skrepnek - Student Speaker - Winter Convocation 2019

Kevin Skrepnek, who was graduating from JIBC with a Certificate in Emergency Management, spoke at convocation on behalf of all the graduating students. Working for the BC Wildfire Service, he has served as one of the provincial government’s lead spokespersons through the last two devastating wildfire events. He recalled being in Williams Lake in July 2017 after the city had been evacuated due to the wildfire threat.

“Of those who remained to keep that city safe, with wildfires burning in literally every direction, almost every person left in Williams Lake at that point had likely been a student of the Justice Institute of British Columbia at some point in their careers. I think that speaks to the huge importance of the education we are leaving with today,” Skrepnek told the graduating class.


“The programs you have completed here, and they come in all shapes and forms, are fundamentally about helping others. So, while there is sacrifice ahead for all of us, there is also immense reward. We don’t need to sit on the sidelines,” he said. “We will lead, we will succeed, and will make the world a better place.”


About Justice Institute of British Columbia 

Justice Institute of British Columbia (JIBC) is Canada’s leading public safety educator with a mission to develop dynamic justice and public safety professionals through its exceptional applied education, training and research. JIBC offers internationally recognized education that leads to certificates, diplomas, bachelor’s degrees and graduate certificates; exceptional continuing education for work and career-related learning and development; and customized contract training to government agencies and private organizations worldwide. Our education provides professionals with the knowledge, skills, and abilities to excel at every stage of their career contributing to safer communities and a more just society.

Tags: convocation, Don Jolley, honorary degree

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Last updated June 6, 2019