VIU Alumni

Vancouver Island University Alumni Association

Mission Statement

VIU Alumni logo

The Vancouver Island University Alumni Association is dedicated to building lifelong relationships with current and future alumni that celebrate, engage and connect our alumni while advancing the mission and goals of Vancouver Island University.

Vision Statement

The Vancouver Island University Alumni Association (VIUAA) connects alumni and students in order to enhance the ability of the university to offer a world class educational experience.

The VIUAA will be characterized by the following:

  • a broad and global base of alumni participation and support
  • high quality programs and services for alumni
  • a vibrant alumni association led by a strong, diverse group of alumni leaders, working in partnership with a professional and customer-service-oriented alumni relations staff and working to promote the strategic goals of the University

Meet the Board of Directors


Michael Ribicic, BA Political Studies '19 & BEd '21 - Chair

Michael Ribicic is a teacher in School District 68. He holds a BA with majors in Political Studies and History (2019) from Vancouver Island University, along with a BEd (2021). Michael was born and raised in Nanaimo and is passionate about volunteering and giving back to his community. He has contributed to various boards and organizations in the area, having served as the Chair of the Nanaimo Youth Advisory Council, the Administrative Chair of the Lantzville Rotary Club, and now Vice President of Vancouver Island University’s Alumni Board Association. He has also contributed to over six boards at VIU over the years, including the university’s Senate.

Vanesssa Stratton, Vice Chair

Vanessa Stratton, MBA '19 - Vice Chair

Vanessa Stratton graduated from the MBA program in 2019 and currently works for Western University. She is an educational leader with over 10 years of experience working in the post-secondary industry providing leadership, management and coordination of programs and services to ensure optimal outcomes and alignment with institutional goals. She prides herself on assuming a hands-on style to operational leadership that emphasizes teamwork and collaboration with a strong emphasis on developing and promoting the talents and ambitions of staff and students. Vanessa is a strong believer in building interpersonal skills and an ability to communicate effectively with multiple stakeholders including students, staff, employers, mentors and partner organizations. 


Alexis Gardner, BA in Sociology  ‘19

Alexis Gardner is a recent graduate of the BA '19 program where she majored in Sociology and minored in Gender Studies. She was elected Student Representative for the Faculty of Social Sciences and was involved in several organizations on campus. Since graduating from VIU she has continued to grow, develop and seek experiences that reflect her commitment to social innovation and community member resilience. Alexis has completed an intensive Research Fellowship with the Samuel Centre for Social Connectedness working with multiple stakeholders and youth-serving organizations across the country. She has also worked for the Vancouver Board of Education creating after school programs, supporting high school students with their leadership development and working with schools and local organizations to identify community needs. Alexis is extremely passionate about youth empowerment and eliminating barriers towards participation. Currently, Alexis is working for Big Brothers Big Sisters Victoria as a Community Mentoring and Outreach Services Coordinator.


Chelsea Carne, BA in English '15

Chelsea is not only an alum of VIU, but she also worked in donor relations on campus for several years.


Josh Knight, Carpentry '01

Josh started Shining Knight Construction in 2009.


Britta Peterson, MASLM '19

Britta is currently a PhD student in the School of Human Kinetics at the University of Ottawa. Britta earned a Recreation and Sport Management Diploma (Malaspina University College), a Bachelor’s Degree in Therapeutic Recreation (Douglas College), a Master’s degree in Sustainable Leisure Management (Vancouver Island University), and a Graduate Certificate, Masters focus on Northern Tourism (University of the Arctic and the Thematic Research Network on Northern Tourism). She is a Certified Therapeutic Recreation Specialist (CTRS) designated by the National Council for Therapeutic Recreation Certification (NCTRC). Britta has lived and played across Canada, from St. John’s, Newfoundland to Nanaimo, and has a passion for exploring nature by canoe and bike, drinking lattes, and challenging social and systemic inequities.