Board of Governors


Vancouver Community College is a public post-secondary education institution. The Board of Governors administers the college, on behalf of the government of British Columbia and Ministry of Post Secondary Education and Future Skills and determines policy and reviews the college's performance as detailed in the College and Institute Act, Part 4, Section 19.

team photo

Joey Hartman


Appointed Member Term: July 31, 2018 to July 31, 2025

Joey Hartman retired as President of the Vancouver & District Labour Council in February 2018.  She is recognized as a community and social justice activist and serves on a number of boards including the Council of Canadians, BC Labour Heritage Centre and Pacific Blue Cross. She holds a Certificate in Early Childhood Education from Capilano College.

Ajay Patel

President & CEO, Ex-Officio

Ajay Patel was confirmed as president of Vancouver Community College on January 24, 2020. He first joined VCC in May 2019 as Vice-President, Enterprise and International Development.  Ajay has over 20 years of post-secondary experience, and has consistently distinguished himself for his strategic leadership and for his inspiration and support for students, employees, and the whole community.

Ajay’s ongoing commitment to International Education across the post-secondary sector was recognized in 2019 with the BC Council for International Education Distinguished Leadership Award.  Other awards include the City of Vancouver Parks and Recreation’s Volunteer of the Year, the Sport BC President’s Award, and the Top 25 Canadian Immigrant award in 2021. 

At VCC, one of Ajay’s priorities is to lead the college into a promising future by implementing the Strategic Innovation Plan, including a Campus Master Plan designed to guide VCC’s development over the next 10 years.

Mahin Rashid

Vice Chair, Appointed
Term: July 31, 2018 to July 31, 2024

Mahin Rashid is a strategic leader and change professional, dedicating her career to organizations that create a positive impact in community. As Director, Customer (Member) Readiness and Process Optimization at Vancity Credit Union, her role is to create and lead change within the organization, resulting in a better customer (member) and employee experience. Her previous roles include the Director of Business Planning and Performance at Vancity, Accessibility and Inclusion Consultant for the Presidents Group, a network of BC business leaders working to recruit and retain diverse talent, and a Director of Revenue Development at United Way, an organization focused on poverty alleviation and community development.

Mahin is a long-standing and active volunteer with a variety of organizations such as Vancouver Foundation and Rainbow Refugee. She has a passion for fostering change in the areas of social and economic inclusion.

Natasha Mandryk

Education Council Chair, Ex-Officio
Term: Jan 1 to December 31, 2024

Natasha Mandryk is the current Chair of Education Council (EdCo) at VCC. Natasha has worked at VCC as a mathematics instructor since 2013, and is the current Department Head of Mathematics. Natasha has been a member of EdCo since 2018, serving on the EdCo executive, Education Policy Committee, and Curriculum Committee. Natasha has a Master of Science in Mathematics and Statistics from Acadia University, and a Bachelor of Science from UBC.

Dr. Chi Lo

Term: July 31, 2023 to July 31, 2024

Dr. Chi Lo is Principal Lawyer, Barrister & Solicitor at CML Law Corporation. Previously, he was Census Enumerator at Statistics Canada. Active in his community, Dr. Lo is an Advising Lawyer with Access Pro Bono, and Honourary Legal Advisor for The Natives of Toi Shan Benevolent Society. Dr. Lo holds a Juris Doctor in English and Hong Kong Common Law, and a Doctor of Philosophy from Chinese University of Hong Kong; a Master of Applied Science from the University of British Columbia; a Bachelor of Engineering (Honours) from Imperial College, University of London; a Chartered Financial Analyst from CFA Institute; advanced (postgraduate) diploma courses from the British Columbia Institute of Technology; and, certificates from the Federation of Law Societies of Canada and Harvard University Online.

Christie Sparklingeyes
Term: Term: December 1, 2023 to July 31, 2025

Christie Sparklingeyes is an Indigenous Recruiter for Vancity. Previously, Ms. Sparklingeyes was a Talent Acquisition Specialist for Vancity. Active in her community, she is the Chair of the Indigenous
Employee Resource Group (ERG) for Vancity and the Co-Lead Financial Literacy Facilitator for Vancity. Ms. Sparklingeyes holds an MTI Community College Child & Youth Care Diploma.

Jeffrey Yu

Term: July 12, 2021 to July 31, 2025

Jeffrey Yu is the principal owner of REL Technology Inc, a company that empowers people to live an independent and healthy lifestyle. As a former Assistant Operations Manager for Five Star Building Maintenance, and as an Integrated Service Manager and numerous Management roles in the Long Term Care Industry, Mr. Yu has extensive management and leadership experience.  Mr. Yu is also experienced in real estate development and master site planning.

Active in his community, he is a member of Premier’s Chinese Canadian Community Advisory Committee, Trustee Chair for the New Vista Society and the Board Chair of Trustees for the Burnaby Library. He is a Nutrition Manager of the Canadian Society of Nutrition Managers and holds a Bachelor of Arts in Economics from Simon Fraser University.

Libby Davies

Term: July 31, 2018 to July 31, 2024

Libby Davies was a Member of Parliament for Vancouver East from 1997 – 2015. During that time she served as House Leader, Deputy Leader (2007-2015), and Official Opposition Spokesperson for Health. Ms. Davies is invited as a guest lecturer on a variety of topics related to government, situation related to drugs and HIV/AIDS and Tuberculosis.

sXalusat - Michele Guerin

Term: Term: December 1, 2023 to July 31, 2025

sXalusat is a proud Elder of the Musqueam Band. Michele Guerin is a Principal at Earnscliffe Strategies specializing in Indigenous Government Relations. 
Michele has worked with First Nations for over 30 years. Ms. Guerin holds a Bachelor of Law from the University of British Columbia and was called to the Bar of BC in 2007. She practiced Aboriginal law as an Associate with Ratcliffe and Company LLP. Ms. Guerin was the Director of Research at the National Centre for First Nations Governance until starting her own consulting firm, Guerin Tetreault & Associates specializing in Indigenous governance advisory and Nation-building work, along with community consultation and engagement. 
Ms. Guerin is a past Governor of the Nicola Valley Institute of Technology and served as a Director on the Board for Ecojustice and previously sat as a Musqueam Band Councillor. Ms Guerin’s educational journey began when she obtained her GED certificate as a single mother at VCC.

Nadia Belokopitov

Term: July 31, 2018 to July 31, 2024

Nadia Belokopitov is a status member of the Haida Nation, House of Yuuglaanas, Raven Clan. She is the owner of the Cedar Root Gallery, the only 100% owned and operated Indigenous retail store in Vancouver. Ms. Belokopitov was previously a Federal negotiator with Indian and Northern Affairs Canada and is an activist with the Murdered and Missing Indigenous Women’s Inquiry. She holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Toronto and a Bachelor of Laws from the University of British Columbia. Nadia was the proud recipient of the 2019 Arbor Award from University of Toronto recognizing her dedication to enhancing the experience of its students.

Seung Oh

Term: February 25, 2019 to July 31, 2025

Ms. Oh is an experienced advisor for local business owners and managers and is currently the sole proprietor of Seung Oh Ltd. chartered accounting firm in Burnaby. She is an experienced director and CFO for Canadian public companies and a seminar speaker for the Korean Canadian Business Community on business and tax related matters.

Shobha Rajagopalan

Term: July 31, 2018 to July 31, 2024

Shobha Rajagopalan is a passionate educator with many years of post secondary teaching experience and served in many leadership roles in private public sectors in British Columbia. Currently working as the Health Science Program manager at the Native Education College.

Very active in the local community, served as the chair for the Youth justice committee, City of Coquitlam. A passionate community organizer, previously served as the president of Kerala Cultural Organization and Society of Women Empowerment.

Dr. Paul Yeung

Support Staff Representative, Elected
Term: November 1, 2023 to October 31, 2026

Dr. Paul Yeung was elected to the Board as Support Staff Representative in 2020 and for a second term in October 2023.  Dr. Yeung has been working as a VCC support staff since 2011. He has held various positions in academia, government and the not for profit sector. In academia, he has taught both undergraduate and graduate courses at UBC, SFU, and Brock University and is currently treasurer of the BC Chapter of the Canadian Counselling and Psychotherapy Association (CCPA), as well as a board member for the Private Practitioner Chapter. In government, Dr. Yeung was a researcher to the Centre for Chronic Disease Prevention and Control (CCDPC) for the Public Health Agency of Canada.

Dr. Yeung has authored articles in refereed journals and presented at conferences in Canada and abroad.

Jennifer Cummins

Faculty Representative, Elected
Term: November 1, 2023 to October 31, 2026

Jennifer Cummins was elected by the faculty group in October 2023. Jennifer has been a VCC employee of since 2010. She is currently a faculty member in the English as an Additional Language Department and proud to work with immigrants, refugees and Canadian citizens on improving their English language skills. She holds a Masters of Education in Educational Psychology from Simon Fraser University. She has sat on two board of directors prior to joining the Board of Governors at VCC. She was the Board Secretary and Membership Chair of The Association of British Columbia Teachers of English as an Additional Language (BC TEAL) from 2021 - 2023. She is also a current board member for the Centre for Canadian Language Benchmarks (CCLB). From 2022, she has been the representative for the VCCFA on the Women and Gender Equity Committee of the Federation of Post-Secondary Educators. 

Daniela Ocana

Elected Student
Term: November 1, 2023 to November 1, 2024

Daniela Ocaña was elected to the Board by students in October 2023.  She is currently an international student in VCC's Culinary Arts Program.  Daniela is passionate about arts and culture, and she has a Diploma in "Museum" from the Universidad Autonoma del Estado de Mexico. She has been sharing this passion with her community by teaching art at school's and universities. Daniela's painting style provides a powerful insight into the history and traditions of the Mexican Culture, and highlights the value of Mexican women as a fundamental part of society. In 2020, Daniela received the prestigious PRESEA METEPEC award for her contributions to art and culture.  As a VCC student, and in her role on the Board, Daniela wishes to be a mentor and support to her peers.

Ridhi Bhatia

Elected Student
Term: November 1, 2023 to November 1, 2024

Ridhi Bhatia was elected to the Board by VCC students in October 2023.  Ridhi is a VCC international student currently pursuing a Post-Degree Diploma in Business Management.  She has Bachelor's Degree in Commerce from Guru Nanak Dev University in India, where she was an honors student.  In addition to her academic and professional pursuits, she is proud to serve on Student Union of Vancouver Community College Board of Directors, holding the position of Women Students' Representative.