Alumni Highlight of the Month

Name: Hayley WoodinHayley Woodin

KPU Program: Bachelor of Journalism

Grad Year: 2014

Employed as: Media Specialist, KPU

Employer website:

This May, Hayley Woodin received the KPUAA Board of Directors’ Graduation Award, which recognizes exemplary volunteer and community service. During her time at KPU, she served on the President’s Ambassadorial Team, where she represented the university, fundraised for community organizations and worked to establish a $20,000 endowed scholarship. She was also a member of several KPU strategic planning and search committees. In the community, Hayley was involved in Rotary as President-Elect and Social Director of her club. She also held the title of British Columbia Ambassador when the Olympics came to Vancouver – speaking to, volunteering with and fundraising for youth throughout the province during her one-year term. She remains involved with the White Rock Youth Ambassador Program as a mentor, an organization to which she has given over 700 hours of service. Hayley is currently a member of the Vancouver Board of Trade’s Leaders of Tomorrow Program.


What are your primary responsibilities at your job:

I oversee the university’s relationship with the media. That means I take calls from reporters, but more frequently I’m sourcing, writing and sharing stories about KPU’s students, staff, faculty and alumni.


What is your favourite part of your work?

I’ve graduated but I’m still very much “going to school” so-to-speak, and I enjoy how much I get to continuously learn about media, communications and a whole range of subjects while on the job. Working at a university gives me the opportunity to meet and work with incredible people who are innovating and launching new projects in their respective fields. I get to see some of the best of the best in action, and I have a professional excuse to get to know them, understand what they do and share that with others. It’s a lot like being a journalist in that regard.


How do you like to unwind/handle stress?

To unwind: yoga, pilates, reading. The clichéd “long walks along the beach” also applies. As for handling stress, I take a step back and try to look at situations as objectively as possible, before breaking them down into small, manageable and less intimidating steps. Stress comes from perceiving something to be far greater than the sum of its parts – breaking down and tackling a project or problem piece by piece eliminates that.


Who is the most famous person you've ever met?

Richard Branson, the business magnate behind Virgin. He spoke at the Surrey Economic Forum in 2012 which I attended on behalf of KPU. It was a great talk (but no ties were cut).


If you had a time machine and could have lunch with anyone living or dead, who would it be?

Hunter S. Thompson – father of Gonzo journalism and author of some of my favourite books. He’s an icon, a rebel and a fantastic writer. Christopher Hitchens is on my list, too.


Where does your inspiration come from?

I’m inspired by people who dedicate their lives to pursuing what they’re passionate about. I turn to people who have accomplished incredible things and look at who inspired them, what motivated them, how they did what they did. I find it invigorating knowing that achieving greatness, however you define it, doesn’t have to be a great mystery or a matter of pure luck. I also frequently turn to books, stories, quotes and photos to spark my imagination.


Where do you see yourself in one, five or 10 years?

Journalism is my passion, and I’m excited to figure out what that’s going to look like for me. I have some bigger documentary and writing projects I want to start and finish within the next five years. Ten years from now I would like to have traveled more, learned a third language, crossed off many goals on my bucket list and have carved out a sustainable career in journalism.


What are you most proud of?

I am proud to be a first-generation university graduate, and to be leaving behind a $20,000 endowed scholarship raised by a group of students through volunteer efforts. Outside of KPU, I’m both proud and honoured to have received the Jack Webster Student Journalism Award – a recognition that bears the name of one of B.C.’s most prominent journalists.


Greatest advice for life?

To paraphrase Conan O’Brien, of all people: if you work really hard and are nice to people, you can go a long way. That, combined with saying “yes” to opportunities and avoiding self-restriction, have guided a lot of my choices.


What's the last book you read?

I just finished Graeme Smith’s The Dogs are Eating them Now about the years he spent as a reporter in Afghanistan. Currently reading Trust me, I’m Lying: Confessions of a Media Manipulator by Ryan Holiday.


What's currently on your iPod?

The three latest additions to my iPhone playlist are: Stolen Dance by Milky Chance, Giants by Bear Hands and My Sweet Summer by Dirty Heads.