Thank you for nominating me for re-election to the 2015 APEGBC Council. As current councilor, I am pushing council to improve and enhance the general reputation of the Association and of its members, to promote diversity and gender balance, and to advocate for all aspects of fairness in our profession. As I learn more about our complex organization, key factors continue to warrant specific attention:
Government Relations: Fostering great relationships with government representatives remains a priority. These are the people who influence the reach of APEGBC in the public sphere and who support our initiatives in legislation to increase the effectiveness of APEGBC members. Council’s challenge is to truly collaborate with APEGBC members in developing the proposals that go forth to government.
Professional Governance Activities: Recent interdisciplinary studies have broadened my perspective on how we can and must work together to effect the change we wish to see. Of utmost importance are innovative fair practices that enhance all committees, reflective volunteer care and recognition, policy development that covers the full engineering profession, and the fair implementation of PD reporting.
About fair practices: My focus is on three general practices: meeting technology, committee best practices and mechanisms for members to build relationships with council.
Meeting Technology: Society is changing at a rapid pace, as always. New tools and techniques regularly become available to support committee work. Often members cannot attend meetings in person and we rely on teleconferencing as the technology to connect people. I look forward to incorporating video conferencing into our toolkit. Although Skype and FaceTime are not considered sufficiently secure for professional work, video conferencing software is available and incorporated by some of our membership.
Committee support: Committee work is the active part of belonging to a profession. Many of APEGBC’s committees are very well functioning groups who engage their members, share the duties amongst the group and actively involve new members in those responsibilities. Recently, however, I became aware that some committees need more assistance with succession planning and diversity. Our APEGBC Volunteer Opportunities announcements are often overlooked, so I wish to explore new ways to both recruit future volunteers and assist committees to better engage their members. Best practices can be developed to support all committees.
Mechanisms for Building Relationship between Councilors and Members: Council members make efforts to connect with members as often as possible, but it is difficult to do so. As a former active branch member, I knew very little about the working of APEGBC and, especially, its council. One of the reasons I first decided to run for council two years ago was to learn about the mechanisms we have in place to run this very large organization.
About PD: Our Code of Ethics requires that we continue to develop our professional knowledge and skills. Yet, all of us can name at least one person we believe may be shirking these duties in some way. What is the minimum requirement for a geoscientist to remain current in her knowledge? What is the minimum requirement for an engineer? I believe these requirements are different for each individual professional engineer and geoscientist, yet in order to protect our reputation, we must somehow ensure that every one of us maintains our relevant and current knowledge within our disciplines. Over 45% of our membership are voluntarily reporting that we are attending conferences, reading trade journals, giving presentations to share our new knowledge of the applications of science in our designs and creations, and participating in the activities of APEGBC. While I would like to trust that the remaining 55% of our membership are learning about new methods and regulations, I believe that number is slightly smaller and that the small group who are not remaining current put our reputation at risk and, more importantly, public safety at risk.
We are one of very few professions across Canada whose members are not required to report their professional development. I wish to understand what the resistance is, beyond a fear of being discovered as non-compliant.
Supporting Branch Initiatives: Our Branches are the lifeblood of APEGBC. Our ability as Branch Members is to reach deeply into each regional community where we have a great capacity to effect change in our society. The more involved I am in service to APEGBC, the more aware I have become about the dichotomy of the reputation our professions enjoy and suffer among British Columbians and the broader community, national and global. Overall, we are well respected and recognized for our integrity and fairness. Our employers are increasingly receptive to fostering diversity in their employee populations and our designs and creations are world-renown. Yet few truly understand what it is that we do and our youth are generally misinformed about what it means to be a professional in geoscience and engineering.
Over the last few years, the post-secondary institutions of BC have become increasingly active in delivering outreach programs to students in elementary, middle and high schools across the province. These programs, like Science Venture in the summer months, and Go Eng Girl or A Taste of Electronics during the school year, provide activities that expose participants to design and innovation, thereby creating knowledge about careers that apply science to make the world a better place. This is what we do as engineers and geoscientists in our places of work and communities. As Branch members, we play an even greater role in educating youth through our work in local outreach programs.
Diversity: Geoscience has maintained gender balance for many years (), however increasing the number of women in engineering continues to be a focus for engineering. Great headway has been made to date and APEGBC will continue to support organizations in developing policies that acknowledge and accommodate the needs of diverse populations: research has shown that financial and organizational success comes more swiftly to corporations that achieve full gender and racial diversity (with at least 30% of underrepresented minorities) by increasing employee satisfaction and retention, thereby stimulating creativity, loyalty and productivity. Our public school system has been tremendously successful in supporting the needs of boys and girls in all aspects of education (well, some work still needs to be done to improve boys’ literacy); my doctoral studies focus on the transition high school physics and engineering education. This participant action research will shift the paradigm to incorporate engineering principles in the teaching of physics labs. The diversity of our association was made apparent to me at the induction ceremonies I attended in Vancouver. It is so exciting to see the multi-coloured face of engineering and geoscience today, reflecting the general population so much better than ever before. Our challenge continues to be how APEGBC can best support all members – working in large companies or small, locally or globally, in one jurisdiction or in many.
- Doctor of Social Science (Interdisciplinary), Royal Roads University, 2018
- MBA (General), University of Phoenix , 2007
- BASc (Mechanical Engineering), University of British Columbia, 1987
- Instructor, Mechanical Engineering, Camosun College, 1994 – 1996, 2001 – present
- Principal, The Lokhorst Group Ventures, Inc, 2008 – present
- Mechanical Engineer, Boeing Canada, de Havilland Division, 1988 – 1991
- Member, Council, 2013 – present
- Member, Audit Committee, 2013 – present
- Member, Governance Committee, 2013 – present
- Member, Mentorship Committee, 2013 – present
- Outreach Coordinator, Victoria Branch, 2012 – 2013
- Outreach Activities Volunteer, Victoria Branch 2009 – 2013
- Secretary, Victoria Branch, 2008 – 2012
- Executive Member, Victoria Branch, 2007 – 2013
- Registered Professional Engineering, 1990 – present
- Division for the Advancement of Women in Engineering and Geoscience, periodic membership
Related Professional Activities
- Chair, Professional Development Committee, Camosun College Faculty Association, 2012-2013
- Councilor, Education Council, 2008 – 2013
- Chair, Education Council, Camosun College, 2009 – 2011
- Chair, Academic Governance Council of British Columbia, 2010
- Member, Camosun College Board of Governors, 2009-2011
- Member, American Society for Engineering Education, 2007 – present
- United Way Campaign Co-Chair, Camosun College, 2014-2015
- Loaned Representative, United Way Greater Victoria, 2013
- Bereavement Minister, St. Joseph the Worker Parish, 2008 – present
- Healthy Minds Ambassador, Camosun College, 2012 – present
- Peer Coach, Camosun College, 2011 – present
- Instructional Skills Workshop Faciltator, 2011 – present
- Field Hockey Coach, Victoria Junior Field Hockey Association, 1997 – 2004
For more information about me, please view my LinkedIn profile at:http://ca.linkedin.com/in/kathytarnailokhorst
For information about the vision, mission and values of APEGBC, visit:http://apeg.bc.ca/about/mission.html
Official Candidate Statement, 2015 Election