Recent KPU journalism alumni recognized for doing it all

Mon, Nov 21, 2016

Metro Vancouver, B.C. – A new breed of journalist has hit the streets and her name is Hayley Woodin.

“Never in my life have I encountered a Hayley Woodin,” said Corry Anderson-Fennell, Kwantlen Polytechnic University’s (KPU) media and communications manager. “At just 25, Hayley has established herself both professionally and personally as a stellar writer, researcher, photographer and videographer.”

The KPU Alumni Association recognized Hayley Woodin, Bachelor of Journalism ’14, on Tuesday with the Outstanding Young Alumni Award 2016 for her already impressive career and community service.

Woodin is part of a new breed of journalists—those that can do it all from researching, reporting and investigating to taking or finding relevant photos, video and audio. Woodin has proven capable of producing her own content for publication and broadcast and then distributing it to finally joining in and moderating the conversation.

A multimedia reporter with Business in Vancouver (BIV), Woodin co-hosts BIV's daily business program on Roundhouse Radio, and appears weekly on Global BC. An active member of the community, she also sits on the advisory committee for the Greater Vancouver Board of Trade's Company of Young Professionals, and is a board member of the White Rock Youth Ambassador Society.

Previously, Woodin oversaw media relations for KPU for three years. In that time, she also freelanced, and travelled to Central America to report on Canadian mining company operations in both Honduras and Guatemala. Months of research, planning and writing—plus two weeks touring mines and indigenous communities—resulted in a published series.

When getting her start in journalism, Woodin covered the major issues facing Surrey in the lead-up to the 2014 municipal election, and has profiled multiple B.C. business leaders, including Boston Pizza Chairman and owner George Melville and retired B.C. Federation of Labour President Jim Sinclair. She now covers business news regularly for BIV on print, broadcast, video and podcast platforms.

Woodin has undergone conflict-zone reporting training and was hired on a short-term contract with the Department of National Defence to assist Canadian soldiers with media relations training. As a KPU student, she spent a semester abroad studying international journalism, war and terrorism, and political Islam and Islamic movements at the University of Central Lancashire in the UK.

“I’m fortunate to be where am I because of the opportunities I had at KPU,” said Woodin. “From internships, to hands-on classes, to my first full-time job, all of my experiences at KPU really did serve to launch my career.”

Woodin is not the only journalism graduate to recently be recognized by KPU. In October, the Alumni Association presented the Distinguished Alumni Award to Joel McKay, CEO of the Northern Development Initiative Trust.

Prior to taking the helm at Northern Development, McKay was director of communications for the past four years; he provided public relations to small local governments and First Nations throughout rural British Columbia. Today, the Trust’s capital base totals $260 million and is managed sustainably to ensure that its resources and expertise can continually be used to strengthen communities throughout northern B.C. In only a decade, it has attracted more than $1.2 billion in new investment in the region’s economy and created more than 6,000 jobs.

Previously, McKay was the natural resources reporter and then assignment editor at Business in Vancouver, covering forestry, mining, oil and gas, fisheries and First Nations issues across the province.

Like Woodin, McKay credits KPU and its journalism faculty for providing him with the knowledge and skills for his future success.

“The education, mentorship and experience I received at Kwantlen was absolutely essential to my success,” said McKay. “Metro Vancouver is a difficult media market to launch a career in, but the skills, support and network I gained through Kwantlen allowed me to accelerate my career and capitalize on opportunities I wouldn’t have had elsewhere.”

Since 2007, KPU has recognized many deserving alumni through the Alumni Awards Program. The awards recognize alumni who have enhanced the reputation of the university through their outstanding career, public service, community service, athletic, arts and culture, or academic achievements.

“We are very excited to be able to honor both Hayley and Joel,” said Nancy Armitage, executive director of the KPU Alumni Association. “Their achievements are a wonderful example to current students and our community of how KPU alumni are having a real impact in the world.”

High resolution images of Hayley Woodin and Joel McKay are available for download on KPU’s Flickr page.

About Kwantlen Polytechnic University
Kwantlen Polytechnic University has served the Metro Vancouver region since 1981, and has opened doors to success for more than 200,000 learners. Four campuses—Richmond, Surrey, Cloverdale and Langley—offer a comprehensive range of sought-after programs in business, liberal arts, design, health, science and horticulture, trades and technology, and academic and career advancement. Over 19,000 students annually have a choice from over 120 programs, including bachelor’s degrees, associate degrees, diplomas, certificates, citations and apprenticeships. Learn more at

About Kwantlen Polytechnic University Alumni Association
The KPUAA represents over 50,000 highly skilled and diversely educated alumni. KPUAA is dedicated to supporting the continued success of KPU alumni by providing them with valuable programs and initiatives, and aims to raise awareness about the value of higher education and make a positive impact on society locally and beyond.

Media contacts:
Tatiana Tomljanovic
Media Specialist
t: 604.599.2883
c: 604.364.1288

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