‘Renaissance man’ earns VIU honour

Marshall Soules is known as a professor who inspires students to stretch their imaginations and expand their thinking skills.

Soules spent more than two decades sharing his gifts as an educator with generations of students at Vancouver Island University. His contribution was formally recognized with an Outstanding Service Award at the convocation ceremony Tuesday.

Whether hiking the Carmannah Valley with colleagues, inspiring students or creating VIU’s digital media studies program, Soules has many happy memories from 22 years working at VIU.

One of his proudest achievements was creating the media studies department in the mid-1990s and the subsequent approval of a bachelor of arts, major in digital media studies in 2008.

In addition to his academic publications and public presentations, his art and photography have appeared on display and in publications across Canada and the U.S. In addition to chairing the media studies department for 10 years, Soules served as director of the media research lab.

Chef presented VIU alumni award

Bernard Casavant was surprised in 1976 when he was singled out as the most promising graduate in the culinary arts program at Vancouver Island University (then Malaspina College). He recalls that not many people had given him much of a chance in succeeding as a professional chef.

After 35 years creating distinctive cuisine for fortunate diners, including British royalty and Hollywood celebrities, Casavant is returning to VIU where he will receive another honour in his impressive career – the Distinguished Alumni Award.

The executive chef at Manteo Resort Waterfront Hotel and Villas in the Okanagan received the award Tuesday.

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Over the years, he has cooked for royalty including Prince Charles and Diana, Princess of Wales, and the King of Dubai and entertainers including John Travolta and Kenny Rogers.

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