Candidate 2015

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.

Education

  • Doctor of Social Science (Interdisciplinary), Royal Roads University, 2018
  • MBA (General), University of Phoenix , 2007
  • BASc (Mechanical Engineering), University of British Columbia, 1987

Professional History

  • 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

APEGBC Activities

  • 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

Community Involvement

  • 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

5 thoughts on “Candidate 2015”

  1. Kathy, please read the arguments against mandatory CPD that have been made to you directly and in my letter to council.

    More are at http://www.ourengineeringgeoscienceprofessionbc.ca/cpd001.htm.

    I point to questions of fairness, privacy, and security as well as effectiveness – you shouldn’t want to give the public a false impression that CPD solves problems which are actually caused by sloppiness or ethical lapses.

    So if you want to “….understand what the resistance is, beyond a fear of being discovered as non-compliant.” study what has been written. (And you could call Niall who you’ve communicated with in the past via your blogs, or others including me.)

    • Hello, Keith. Thank you for your comments here and through your letter to council.

      I agree with you that as members of APEGBC we must uphold fairness, privacy and security. These are three of the many values that you and I share as professionals; the others include maintaining our qualifications to do the work we agree to do, which requires remaining current in our areas of practice by conducting ongoing professional development, and public safety, which must be paramount in all we do as engineers and geoscientists and can only be met by maintaining current knowledge.

      Fairness: each member has the freedom to conduct continuing professional development (CPD) in their own way, by selecting the PD activities they feel will best inform their practice. If nothing else, reporting PD reminds us of our ongoing obligation to learn about innovations occurring in our fields and any changes to guidelines and/or standards.

      Privacy: each member retains their information about PD. They simply report whether they have met the minimum requirements that our members feel reflects adequate professional development.

      Security: the APEGBC site is very secure and we have hired excellent staff to ensure it remains so. For this reason, the hours you report are confidential.

      Effectiveness: the effectiveness of PD is directly related to the willingness of the participant to engage in the activity. We all know this, so we simply have to trust that each of us is professional enough to learn and incorporate that learning into his or her practice.

      The CPD microsite (https://cpd.apeg.bc.ca) was developed to answer questions raised through your feedback, Niall’s and that of over 4000 members who have engaged in this conversation. Several of those questions are directly answered (make sure you refresh your screen as there are too many to present on one page).

      Again, thank you for your interest in making our association relevant to members and the public we serve.

  2. Kathy, please read he documents which solidly rebut your claims, and think.

    Briefly, privacy and security are violated by auditing.
    Fairness is violated by requiring someone who is doing on the leading edge or learning by working beside that person to prove CPD to auditors, who can’t do their job without violating industrial security.
    And by omitting some valid ways to learn.
    Etc.

    PS: I remember Mr. Porsche saying that he did not have favourite automotive books because they are out of date when published.
    I was taught leading edge communications technology several years before it showed up in a project, by working beside a pioneer.

    • Hello, Keith. It is nice to have this e-conversation with you.

      Confidentiality is maintained in an audit, as is “industrial security”. When each of us claims the various modes of continuing professional developmental learning in which we participated — reading journals, attending conferences, mentoring others, taking courses, professional practice, and more — we should definitely make sure we do not violate any confidentiality agreements in place with our employers. Fortunately, that kind of information is not required.

      How exciting that you had such an innovative pioneer as a mentor and colleague! I’m sure you learned much from that relationship in your engineering practice. I would love to hear more about your experiences some day…

  3. Ms. Tarnai-Lokhorst:

    While your method of knowledge is flawed, thus your conclusions and attitude toward Members is wrong, you deserve much credit for having a blog.

    Only three other candidates for council, and one candidate for vice-president, provided links to web sites, though which they could be contacted.

    One longtime strong proponent of mandatory CPD did not include the subject in his candidate statement, whereas the three candidates I support are clear on subjects essential to the future of APEGBC.

    Given APEGBC’s incompetence in taking two years to fix basic errors in the UI of the un-necessary “Flash” version of Innovation (APEGBC already had an e-version that worked for years) – and only grudgingly restored the simple cost-effective version, and was unethical in going behind members’ backs on fees, I have no confidence that audits will be done properly. And note that APEGBC has unlicensed persons dictating to Professional Engineers.

    Over and out.

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