Author Archives: Wanda Chow

International students gain valuable skills and experience at JIBC

Emily Bird, left, and Rachele Cabboi saw their international exchange experience at JIBC as a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity that enhanced their studies through a hands-on learning approach and instructors still actively working in law enforcement. 


When the opportunity to study at the Justice Institute of British Columbia (JIBC) came up for two students from the University of Portsmouth in the UK, they jumped at the chance.

Emily Bird of Salisbury, England is working on a Bachelor of Science in Criminology and Forensic Studies, while Rachele Cabboi of northern Italy is enrolled in the Bachelor of Science in Criminology with Psychology program at the university in southern England.

Rachel liked the idea of studying abroad for a year to make the most of her studies before starting a career. She considered studying in Vancouver as a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to see a part of the world that interested her. She appreciated JIBC’s hands-on approach to teaching, and the fact JIBC offered subjects she could not have studied otherwise.

Similarly, Emily saw the exchange program as a way to explore all her career options.

“I saw that JIBC has instructors still actively working in the law enforcement field; it can only be beneficial to learn from such experienced individuals,” Emily said. “Practical policing modules were also offered at Portsmouth, however due to taking other units it was not possible to study these. I believed coming onto the exchange program would offer something different to study whilst also learning about another country and exploring Canada.”

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JIBC degree grad takes lessons to UK law school

Pavan Dhaliwal’s passion for the law translated into completion of a Bachelor of Law Enforcement degree at JIBC and now to law school in the UK.


Coming from a family that includes several lawyers, it is perhaps not surprising that Pavan Dhaliwal has always held a passion for the law. He believes in the powerful role the law plays in holding society accountable and ensuring fairness. That interest translated into completion of a Bachelor of Law Enforcement (BLES) degree at the Justice Institute of British Columbia (JIBC) and his current legal studies in the UK.

He first heard about JIBC’s BLES program while he was studying criminology at another university and volunteering with the Surrey Crime Prevention Society.

“I visited the JIBC campus in New Westminster and spoke to the admissions staff and realized that JIBC had instructors with immense experience in the criminal justice system. Whether that be lawyers, police officers, or correctional officers. I was ecstatic at the fact that I would be receiving education from experienced professionals whom have achieved great success in the community and are leaders in our society.”

Pavan says the BLES program was crucial in his growth academically and personally, and helped him develop skills in conflict resolution, research, and time-management, which are benefiting him now as he pursues a law degree. He added his legal courses in the BLES program gave valuable insight into what to expect in law school. 
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LESD grad makes a difference drawing on refugee experience

Two years after graduating from JIBC, Mansoor Sahak was hired as an RCMP officer, a role he hopes will help him to give back to Canada for taking in his family as refugees.


Mansoor Sahak hasn’t wasted any time in pursuing his goal of giving back to Canada as a police officer.

Two years after graduating with a Law Enforcement Studies Diploma (LESD) at the Justice Institute of British Columbia (JIBC), he was hired by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) in early 2017. Then in his first year as a general duty officer with North Vancouver RCMP, he took 42 impaired drivers off the road, and was recognized as a member of “Alexa’s Team.”

The honour is named after four-year-old Alexa Middelaer who was killed by a drunk driver in 2008. It is awarded to police officers in BC who make an extraordinary contribution to reducing the number of impaired drivers on the province’s roads.

Mansoor believes the lessons and skills he gained from the LESD program at JIBC was a great foundation in his pursuit for a law enforcement career, along with his experience as an RCMP auxiliary and a bylaw officer, volunteering with the Vancouver Police Department, and being part of police judo at JIBC.

He also had a deeper purpose in his career choice. It all comes back to his family’s experience as refugees, and his desire to give back to the country that took them in. read more »

JIBC education helps grad pursue a career in emergency management

Kevin Skrepnek, the chief fire information officer for the BC Wildfire Service, recently completed a Certificate in Emergency Management at JIBC to get a better understanding of the industry for which he’s now a spokesperson. 


For several years now, Kevin Skrepnek has been the face of the BC Wildfire Service during the summer wildfire season. As chief fire information officer, he serves as the spokesperson for the service ensuring the public receives critical safety information when they need it most, when forest fires start bearing down on homes and people are forced to evacuate.

Armed with a diploma in public relations from Kwantlen Polytechnic University, Kevin had the background for his particular line of work. But being new to the world of emergency management, he wanted to get a better understanding of the industry he was now a visible part of.

When Kevin decided to go back to school for a Certificate in Emergency Management, he chose the program at the Justice Institute of British Columbia (JIBC).

“I found the courses refreshingly practical, and very hands on. Instructors came with significant real-world experience, which was a huge asset as a learner,” he said. “The program is very flexible, which is great for working professionals looking to expand their skillset.”

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JIBC firefighting grads gain a global perspective studying in the UK

JIBC Fire Fighting Technologies Certificate (FFTC) graduates Nick Cirillo and Rorie Moir recently arrived at The Fire Service College in the UK to participate in a special opportunity to study abroad for two weeks and gain invaluable international firefighter training experience.

This new opportunity for JIBC FFTC students is part of the Fire Protection in the Global Community course and is made possible through funding from the Irving K. Barber One World Scholarship administered by the Victoria Foundation, and with additional support from The Justice Institute of British Columbia Foundation.

Check back often to see their latest updates below about their learning experience at one of the largest firefighter training schools in the world:

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Part-time JIBC firefighter training program helps grad pursue her dream career

Chantal MacLeod didn’t hesitate to enroll in the part-time offering of JIBC’s Fire Fighting Technologies Certificate program which allowed her to continue working full-time while pursuing her dream of a firefighting career. (Photo by Jesse Erlich)


Chantal MacLeod has always been interested in pursuing a career in firefighting but found it difficult to take time off work to do so.

For several years, Chantal has worked full time as a lifeguard and swim instructor at a local community centre. The job has given her the opportunity to use her first aid skills and to work in an environment that fosters teamwork.

She conducted extensive research on firefighting schools, which included attending one of the Justice Institute of British Columbia’s (JIBC) Fire Fighting Workshops for Women supported by The JIBC Foundation and donor Jessica Roberts. Participants got to put on full turnout gear and try their hand at activities including raising ladders, hose handling, a dummy drag and climbing stairs while wearing self-contained breathing apparatus.

“I was so glad that I spent that rainy Saturday up at JIBC, it sparked a new, more intense interest and reaffirmed my passion to be part of the fire service,” Chantal said. “As a woman, I felt it was extremely helpful to have an info session for women with amazing female training officers.”

Following the info session she decided JIBC’s Fire Fighting Technologies Certificate (FFTC) program was the right fit for her. When she learned it was being offered as a part-time program, she jumped at the chance and enrolled in the first cohort.
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Community Care Licensing grad finds career direction through JIBC program

JIBC’s Community Care Licensing program helped direct Helen Wale to a career where she can make a difference through her passion for quality care for adults with developmental disabilities.


After completing a university degree, Helen Wale found entry-level government jobs hard to come by.

Thanks to the Advanced Specialty Certificate in Community Care Licensing program at the Justice Institute of British Columbia (JIBC), she was able to focus her career direction and find a role as a quality service analyst with Community Living BC (CLBC).

A provincial Crown agency, CLBC funds day programs, individualized supports, and residential supports, including licensed group homes, for adults with developmental disabilities. In her role as quality service analyst, Helen monitors the government-funded services and conducts site visits similar to the community care facility inspections carried out by licensing officers. She also negotiates and reviews contracts with the service providers.

Helen’s interest in the work stemmed from her experience during and after her bachelor degree studies at the University of Victoria when she worked as a registered care aide in group homes for adults with developmental disabilities.

“While I worked through my degree I saw a lot of examples in group homes of wonderful care and some examples of care that weren’t wonderful. I developed passion for quality assurance and quality care.”

When she researched career options, Helen discovered and enrolled in JIBC’s Advanced Specialty Certificate in Community Care Licensing program, the only program of its kind in Canada. read more »

JIBC law enforcement studies helps grad keep communities safe

Courtney Lee has always wanted to work with dogs. After graduating from JIBC’s Law Enforcement Studies Diploma program, she was hired by Securiguard as a dog handler for Diesel, who specializes in explosives detection, at YVR. 


Courtney Lee has always loved animals, and dogs in particular. So when she became interested in pursuing a career in law enforcement, her goal of becoming a dog handler seemed a natural fit.

Courtney currently works for Securiguard at Vancouver International Airport as a handler for her canine partner, Diesel, who specializes in explosives detection.

She’s well on her way to achieving the career path of her dreams and she says it’s all thanks to the Justice Institute of British Columbia (JIBC), where she graduated from the Law Enforcement Studies Diploma (LESD) program.

“I decided to take JIBC’s LESD program because it was the only program I could find that offered more of a hands-on approach, and I thought that it would be valuable life experience,” Courtney said.

“I liked the program because it was a different approach to learning. The instructors were mostly ex-law enforcement officers and were able to offer hands-on experience. The courses were truly unique and offered information that students would not normally get, as well as experiences that no other schools offered, like the defensive driving course, applied law, and many others.”

It was at a career fair at JIBC where she learned about the career opportunities available at Securiguard. She had no prior experience working in the security industry but spent time volunteering with the company’s K-9 unit on its training days. The company hired her and eventually she was assigned to the K-9 unit and teamed up with Diesel.


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