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UBC Publications

Trek [2007-06]

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lications Mail Agre  TABLE OF CONTENTS
EDITOR Christopher Petty, mfa'86
CHAIR Martin Erd, bsc'93, llb
VICE-CHAIR Doug Robinson, BCOM'71, llb'jz
TREASURER Ian Robertson, BSC'86, ba'88, mba, ma
Gayle Stewart, BA'yfi
Don Dalik, bcom, LLB'76
Ron Walsh, BA^o
Mark Mawhinney, BA'94
Louise Tagulao, ba'oz
on, ba, mba'o6
BA, MSC'87
Dennis Pavlich, ba, llb, llm
Sally Thorne, BSN*79, MSN'83, phd
n Keystone
Louman-Gardiner, BA'04, LLB'07
iTiarie Earl, AB, MLA(Sranford)
Michelle Aucoin C
Elisa Cachero A
Vanessa Clarke P
Gavin Dew F
Marie Earl C
IKatz *
" Macrae
Herbert Rosengart
Robbin Simao
Gayle Stewart
Magazine (fc
shed three times a year by the UBC Alumni
Association and distributed free of charge to UBC alumni
and friends. Opinions expressed in the magazine do not
spondence to:
6251 Cecil Green Park Road,
couver, BC, Canada v6t 1Z1
e-mail to chris.petty@ubc.ca
alumni. association@ubc. ca
k Editor
UBC Info Line
Belkin Gallery
Chan Centre
5   Take Note
15  The Big Chair Awaits
It's election time for UBC's senior volunteer administrator. By Chris Petty
17  Furniture with a Future
When the Chancellor presides over Congregation at UBCO, he or she
will be sitting pretty. By Bud Mortenson
19  Sing, Sing a Song
Writing a song is one thing. Singing it in public is another. By Carla Elm Clement
22   Manorexia
We tend to think of anorexia as a women's disease. Not so. By Vanessa Clarke
25  An Okanagan Gerentopia
For Canada's seniors, the Okanagan has become one of the healthiest
places to live. By Mary Ann Murphy
28  Grad Profiles
Two examples of the UBC talent pool. By Bud Mortenson and Lorraine Chan
30 What it Takes to Win
Collaborative research brings people together and solves big problems. By John Corry
40  Cortona and the Tasty Treats of Tuscany
Travelling with alumni in the land of Under the Tuscan Sun. By Chris Petty
34  Books
37  Alumni News
42  Class Acts
44  T-Bird News
48  In Memoriam
^y    "On your marks, get set.
Cover: Waiting by the pool.
Cover, opposite: Getty Images
Summer 2007    Trek    3 SPRING WEDDINGS,
Working at a place like ubc can be quite absorbing. Being around
brilliant minds doing world-class work draws one's attention. And the
place itself is pretty spectacular. It's a little city with great theatre, music
and art, a couple of good restaurants and taverns, and enough services to
get you through a week or two without ever having to leave campus. But
I don't live here and I have a life outside the university (I like to think)
that is interesting and creative in its own right.
UBC, however, doesn't stop at the gates. It's hard to pick up a newspaper without reading about the accomplishments of our researchers,
the community activism or athletic achievements of our students or the
successes of our alumni. Some years ago, the New York Times had a two-
page expose on one of our grads who had operated a huge scam fleecing
thousands of people out of millions of dollars. UBC grads, it seems, excel
at whatever they put their minds to, even on the dark side.
That UBC is everywhere came at me from three different directions
lately, each one a bit unexpected, and each welcome. The first was at a
wedding reception I attended in May. Blissful couple, glorious day, wonderful view from a deck high up in West Van. I started up a conversation
with a fellow leaning up against a rail, watching the city far below, and
eventually reeled off my shorthand summary of what I do for a living.
"Trek Magazine," he said. "I get it. Great magazine. I get two other
university mags, but Trek's the only one I read. Loved the story about
the rabbit (Spring, 2007). Cover was a bit creepy, though." I laughed and
thanked him, and agreed about the cover. And chuckled to myself about
how small the world is and how we never really know the impact we
have on other people.
The next incident came in Cortona, Italy, in June. I was prepared to
talk about UBC a bit, since I was on a tour with a group of alumni (see
page 40) as the official host, though I wasn't prepared for the intensity.
Maybe it was because they were all of an age (over 50), and were
reflecting kindly upon those things that shaped their lives, but I found
myself more than once sitting out on the patio overlooking the majestic
valley that sweeps down the hill from Cortona, sipping cocktails and
listening to stories about old professors; tut-tutting over favourite haunts
now forever gone; or, in one case, reliving the wistful reminiscence of
a long-lost love. One grad was particularly excited about a fundraising
project meant to honour his father, who had served as a professor and
dean for many years. I was struck by their fondness for UBC and by the
sense of pride they felt for their old school.
The most recent UBC intrusion on my life came just a few weeks ago.
I was driving in my car, minding my own business, when I noticed from
the corner of my eye what seemed like a shadow pass over my shoulder.
I immediately thought of Twilight Zone terrors, and looked quickly
around, but nothing was there. The shadow turned out to be inside my
eye, and by the evening I was certain I had a detached retina.
Freak out. I called an eye doctor and described my problem (flashes of
light, a shadow in my peripheral vision), and she said, "Go to the UBC
Eye Centre at VGH. Now."
It turns out that the Eye Centre is the place to go for eye problems,
and one of the best on the continent. UBC resident Dr. Peter Zakrzewski
put me through an extremely stressful series of exams, splashing my
eyeballs with stinging dyes and liquids, flashing sun-bright lights on my
retinas and generally making me realize how much I take things like my
sight for granted.
"Vitreous detachment," he said, "fairly normal. The eye's vitreous
shrinks over time (read: as you get older!) and pulls away from the
retina. Sometimes the fibres that attach the two break away and become
big floaters and cause light flashes." Then, without a hint of irony, he
said, "Keep an eye on it. If it happens again, come see us." Sure will, Doc.
Ubiquitous. Maybe that's what "UBC" should stand for. I
Chris Petty, mfa'86, editor
4    Trek    Summer 2007 Pierre Berube is looking for clean, affordable drinking water.
Water, Water, Everywhere
□  Fresh, clean water is becoming an increasingly valued commodity, especially when its
supply is threatened. When severe weather
affected the watersheds and precipitated an
advisory to boil water this winter, Vancouverites were reminded that potable tap water
can't be taken for granted. Trust in treatment
facilities have been shaken by incidents like
Walkerton, when E.coli found its way into the
water supply with tragic results.
Drinking bottled water or using domestic
filters are solutions resorted to by many. But
these measures don't address the maintenance
of a reliable and safe tap water supply, which is
dependent on source, treatment and method of
distribution. Pierre Berube, a UBC professor of
Civil Engineering, is making a difference to the
treatment side of the equation. He is developing a new component for membrane-based
water filtration systems to help them work
more economically.
Available for the past decade, these membrane-based systems are an improvement on
their much larger sand-based predecessors and
are typically used in municipalities where the
supply of water comes from rivers rather than
rainfall or snowmelt. Miles of river mean that
there are more opportunities for impurities to
affect the supply. The membrane system is able
to filter out 99.999 per cent of these, but can be
prohibitively expensive.
"We're very lucky here in the Lower
Mainland because our water comes from small,
well protected watersheds," says Berube, who
took his research further afield, embarking
on a project with the City of Kamloops and
the company that developed the leading
membrane-filtration technology, Zenon (since
acquired by ge).
He and his team have produced a micro-
probe to help optimize membrane filter
performance which could translate to hundreds
of thousands of dollars in savings for communities like Kamloops. Membrane-based filtration systems are comprised of thousands of
polymer-coated fibres forming two-metre long
hollow tubes about the size of spaghetti. These
are placed vertically in tanks through which
the source water passes. Suction is applied at
one end to force water through tiny apertures
in the tube walls, leaving impurities on the
outside. Air is applied at the other end, causing
bubbles to move up through the tubes, attach
to the outside of the tubes and remove the
deposits. But it's difficult to ascertain exactly
how the process works. "Since we could only
measure how pure the water was coming out
of the other end, we had no idea which part of
the process - the bubble size, flow path or fibre
denseness, for example - was contributing to
better filtration," says Berube. The microbes his
team devised are Teflon-coated platinum. They
collect data on water flow, bubbles and other
components of the filtration process to allow
for an optimized performance and reduction of
operating costs.
So far, the research suggests that fibres
simply bumping into one another may have
more bearing on cleaning than the air bubbles.
Since aeration accounts for a large chunk of
filtration costs, its replacement by this com-
Photograph: Martin Dee
Summer 2007    Trek    5 take note
Professor Berube's water filtration system
paratively simple mechanical alternative could
bode substantial savings and make membrane
filtration a viable financial option for smaller
Turning the Peptide
□  Once our front-line defense against
infection, antibiotics are becoming increasingly impotent as resistant strains of bacteria
continue to surface. With infections responsible
for a third of all fatalities worldwide, another
therapy is desperately needed. A collaboration
between UBC researchers and university spinoff company Inimex Pharmaceuticals may have
already discovered one in the form of a peptide
that boosts the body's immune system.
"The beauty of this peptide is that it acts on
the host to trigger a protective response and
doesn't act on bacteria directly. That means it's
unlikely bacteria will become resistant to it,"
says Robert Hancock, principal investigator
and Canada Research Chair in Pathogenomics
and Antimicrobials. The team refers to its discovery as the innate defense regulator peptide
(idr-i), and have researched its effectiveness in
combating the superbug vancomycin-resistant
Enterococcus (vre), Staphylococcus aureus and
Salmonella. With Salmonella, idr-i provided
increased protection against infection if administered before it occurred. Infections involving
the first two bacteria were compromised by the
peptide, whether administered one or two days
before or four hours after infection occurs. The
research divulged lower bacteria counts and
decreased mortality.
The researchers discovered that the peptide
stimulates chemokines, chemicals that are active in an immune response. The peptide's other
advantage is that it doesn't produce the inflammation or toxicity that is often associated
with an immune response. The team thinks the
therapy could be used in addition to antibiotics
in fighting infections that commonly arise in
hospital settings, such as those associated with
surgery, or insertion of medical devices. "We
now have a powerful new tool that will allow
us to stop infection before it starts. It's a new
concept in treating infection," says Hancock.
The new therapy is timely. Every year in
North America 70,000 people die from antibiotic-resistant infections in hospitals. Salmonella
infects 1.3 million people every year in the us,
claiming up to 100 lives. "We're looking at a
crisis in 10 years as most bugs will be resistant
to most antibiotics. There's an urgent need
to develop new tools," says microbiologist
Brett Finlay, one of the paper's authors who
co-founded Inimex with Hancock in 2001.
Cool Catalyst
□  It has long been known that the tropics
have more bird and animal species than areas
with temperate climates. And it has long been
assumed that this discrepancy is due to a higher
rate of speciation (one species splitting into
two) in warmer environments. But research
completed by Zoology phd candidate Jason
Weir and his mentor, professor Dolph Schluter,
director of UBC's Biodiversity Research Centre,
is turning this assumption on its head.
The team researched the genetic history of
more than 600 species present in the Americas
over the past several million years. They
concluded that speciation was slower in the
tropics. "Our analysis shows that new species
actually evolve faster as we move towards the
poles. It would take one species in the tropics
three to four million years to evolve into two
distinct species, whereas at 60 degrees latitude,
it could take as little as one million years," says
So what accounts for the tropics having
more species? Weir says that accompanying the
greater speciation rate at higher latitudes, is a
greater extinction rate, probably caused by bigger fluctuations in climate. "Even though there
is a lower speciation rate in the tropics, the
stable environment contributes to an equally
low extinction rate," he says. "As a result, more
species survive. This could help explain why
6    Trek    Summer 2007
Photographs: Martin Dee generally there are more species in warmer
Competitive Politics Attracts Voters
□ The 2004 general election in Canada saw a
voter turnout of just 60.5 per cent, the lowest
participation in a national election since
Confederation in 1867. Although this decline
(since 1988 when voter turnout was 75 per
cent) has been across all age groups, it is most
pronounced in the younger age brackets. A
study by political scientists examining voter
patterns in Canadian federal ridings between
1988 and 2004 argues that the decrease in
turnout relates to the competitiveness of the
political arena.
Between 1993, when Kim Campbell's progressive Conservative government was soundly
beaten by the Liberals, and 2003 when the
Conservative party regained its strength, the
Liberals hold on the reins remained relatively
unchallenged. "For a long time there was never
any real sense that the Liberals would lose an
election," says Amanda Bittner, a phd candidate at UBC. "Voters who began coming of age
in the 1990s were exposed to a political world
in which competition was weak, in which the
local result was commonly a foregone conclusion. Only in 2004 was some of that damage
Turnout increased to 65 per cent for the
2006 federal election. But damage in terms
of poor turnout among the young electorate
lingered. "The first couple of elections are crucial for shaping the habits of new voters," says
Bittner. "The evidence suggests that people who
start out in a non-competitive political environment don't ever become regular voters. Our
models predict that even once things become
more competitive, a lag occurs because those
who have already been socialized as non-voters
don't suddenly start voting. Basically, the cause
is structural, and the cure is also structural, but
it may never fix the damage that was done for
the '90s generation of non-voters."
Called Alienation, Indifference, Competitiveness and Turnout: Evidence from Canada,
1988-2004, the research paper challenges the
common assumption that low turnout among
Canada's young electorate is down to differ
ences in generational culture. "The massive
decline is so large a shift and it just happens to
coincide with a shift in the party system," says
Bittner. The research may encourage a rethink
on how best to engage young Canadians in
national politics.
The paper's co-authors are Scott Matthews,
who graduated from UBC with his phd before
becoming a Political Science professor at
Queen's University, and Richard Johnston,
former department head at UBC now based at
the University of Pennsylvania.
Even the Cockroaches are Goners
□  DEET-laden insect repellent, pesticides with
toxic run-off: is it really worth it just to avoid
a few holes in a cabbage leaf or some pesky
insects? Anyone who has encountered black fly
in the wilds of Ontario, or cases of mosquito-
borne West Nile Virus in their local vicinity,
would likely argue that it is. But wouldn't it be
nice if someone could invent an organic insect
repellent that does what it's supposed to but is
harmless to humans?
This goal, elusive for decades, has been met
by a project involving professor of Entomology
and Toxicology Murray Isman and Nashville-
based botanicals company, Ecosmart.
When it approached Isman, the company
had already developed an effective and safe
insect repellent using common essential oils
but did not fully understand how or why it
worked. Isman was asked to fill in the blanks
and help the company develop its promising
new product.
He reached the conclusion that the essential
oils (including peppermint, rosemary and
thyme) block a receptor for a neurotransmitter,
octopamine which is present in invertebrates
but not in mammals. Octopamine affects
metabolism, heart rate and movement in
insects. "Basically it has a calming effect on the
insect, like its own supply of Valium. Blocking
octopamine causes hyperactivity and quickly
leads to death," explains Isman.
The product is effective against many insects
commonly found in households, including
cockroaches and pet fleas, and agricultural
applications are also possible. The ingredients
are non-toxic to fish and break down naturally
within 24 hours in water.
The new product, also called Ecosmart, is
now available in the us. The demand for such
products there is growing, to the extent that
Walmart has announced plans to phase out 20
toxic chemical ingredients from its shelves. In
Professor Murray Isman helped develop an effective insect repell
ellent.      ^
Summer 2007    Trek    7 take note
Canada, all new pest-control products, even
those with apparently benign and familiar ingredients, must first have approval from Health
Canada, but Isman is hoping the product will
eventually become registered here for use on
greenhouse vegetables.
Promising Research for New Cancer
□ A discovery by stem cell and cancer
researchers at UBC has presented a new
approach for research into the treatment and
prevention of metastatic breast and ovarian
cancers. Metastatic cancers are those that
spread from an original disease site to invade
other areas of the body.
The researchers have learned that a protein
called podocalyxin, already noted as a predictor of metastatic breast cancer, plays a previously unknown role in the spread of cancer by
changing the characteristics of tumour cells to
facilitate their growth and movement from the
original site.
"We believe we've found a new, important
culprit in metastatic breast cancer, which
opens up an entirely new avenue of cancer
research," says associate professor of Cellular
and Physiological Science Calvin Roskelley,
co-principal investigator. "The culprit is hiding
in plain sight on the surface of tumour cells,
so we are now developing 'smart' molecules
to block its function. The ultimate goal is to
generate new targeted, non-toxic treatments.
Very different from the standard 'slash and
burn' chemotherapy."
The tumorous cells in a cancerous growth
are bound at the site by adhesion molecules.
The podocalyxin protein expands the non-
adhesive surface area of tumour cells, making
it easier for them to break away and cause
damage elsewhere. It also causes them to
develop structures called Microvilli that enable
movement. And it is implicated in the presence
of another protein, nherf-i, also believed to
play a role in cancer growth and spread.
The research team (whose other principal in-
Anthropology professor Zhichun Jing studies old civilizations to solve today's problems.
vestigator is Kelly McNagny, associate professor
of Medical Genetics) plans to use animal models
to advance the research and will collaborate with
the Drug Research and Development Centre
on campus to translate it into new therapies,
hopefully available within the next decade.
Collapse of Civilizations
□  Human civilizations have risen, then fallen,
for millennia. Causes behind their collapse have
included war, drought, natural disaster, disease,
overpopulation, and economic disruption. What
clues can we find from the ancient past to inform
the sustainability of our modern societies?
Assistant professor of Anthroplolgy Zhichun
Jing is a specialist in how humans and ecological
systems in early China have interacted and is
exploring the outcomes of these relationships in
terms of a civilization's longevity. He is seeking
answers in the Yellow River Valley at the sites
of cities that were thriving during the late Shang
Dynasty, between 1200 and 1050 BC. "We'll be
studying the people's responses and strategies
to environmental changes, either climatic or human-induced," says Jing, who holds the Canada
Research Chair in Asia-Pacific Archeology. "We'll
also be investigating the changing biodiversity."
The data he collects will represent 6000 years-
worth of Chinese history, from the establishment
of urban centres to their eventual decline during
China's Bronze Age (2000-771 bc). Gathering
information that spans thousands of years will
provide a bigger picture than modern data alone.
"The archaeological record encodes hundreds
of situations in which societies were able to
develop sustainable relationships with their
environments, and thousands of situations in
which the relationships with their environments
were mutually destructive," says Jing, who hopes
the research will provide useful insights for those
trying to create models of sustainability for
today's societies. "The long-term perspective may
help us better understand and evaluate current
environmental debates, interpretations and
even policies," he says. China is a case in point,
with potentially huge environmental problems
looming. Jing hopes research like his will help
policy-makers choose far-sighted courses of
action and discourage kneejerk responses to the
immediate demands of rapid growth.
Trek    Summer 2007
Photograph: Martin Dee The approach will be a multidisciplinary
one, encompassing Archaeology, Geology,
Isotope Chemistry and Palynology (the study
of pollen and spores). Plant remains, lake
sediment and prehistoric settlements will all
come under scrutiny.
To Buy, or Not to Buy?
□ A recent Sauder School of Business study
has concluded that, on average, homeowners
in Canada's metropolitan areas acquire more
wealth in the long-term than do renters,
although the latter group may be able to
amass as much wealth if alternative investment is conducted with insight and discipline.
Variables like housing and rental markets,
type and amount of investment, investment
fees, and type of mortgage determine the size
of the wealth gap between the two groups.
"For renters to accumulate the same
amount of wealth as owners, they must be
extremely diligent savers, invest in a high
yield instrument, do so with minimal fees, and
have the good fortune to live in one of the cities where the right combination of low rents
and/or low house price growth allows them
to invest more in a relatively higher return asset," says the study's lead author and specialist
in real estate finance Tsur Somerville.
Called Are Renters Being Left Behind?
Homeownership and Wealth Accumulation
in Canadian Cities, the study focuses on nine
cities over the period 1979 to 2006 and compares the wealth accumulated by people who
paid a monthly mortgage, with that of people
who chose to invest the equivalent of a home
down payment, plus the monthly difference
between rental and mortgage costs.
In the case of cities like Toronto and
Calgary, with fast-rising house prices and high
rents, renters did not have enough income
left over for investments that would lead to
greater wealth than that of homeowners. Yet
in Vancouver, which has the most expensive
properties in the country, renters could do at
least as well as homeowners if they invested
the whole difference in cost between rent
and a mortgage payment into the Toronto
Stock Exchange and avoided high fees. In
Edmonton, Halifax, Montreal and Regina,
A Look Back
and a Look Ahead
Martin Ertl, BSc'93, LLB
Chair, UBC Alumni Association
With my term as Chair of the Association's Board of Directors coming to an end, I would like to
reflect on the past six years and look ahead to the opportunities and challenges the Board faces.
When I first joined the Board, our organization was involved in a process of talks that would
culminate in the signing of an agreement between the Association and the UBC administration.
Former president Martha Piper was dedicated to improved alumni relationships, and VP Students
Brian Sullivan stayed with the process through all its permutations, and the Board ensured that
the interests of the Association, and of UBC's alumni, were carefully guarded. The resulting
agreement and current growth in alumni programs and services are strong testaments to the
vision and hard work of everyone involved. Promisingly, UBC President Stephen Toope is committed to developing an even stronger alumni voice at UBC.
How a university relates to its alumni is an indication of its maturity as an institution. A
young university often has little time for its graduates, focussed as it is on the problems of creation and growth. Later, it awakens to the fact that many alumni want to "give something back"
to their alma mater, and begin the process of cultivation for fundraising purposes. Later still, a
university realizes that its graduates want to give more than just cash because they have expertise, time and a desire to help the institution - and its current students - in a competitive world.
Universities then enlist these experts to help in the machinery of higher education.
Only with the wisdom of age, then, does a university understand the real value of its alumni
and begin to treat them not as customers but as members of a common community. At UBC, we
have reached this stage. It's no longer enough to just solicit our grads' time, talent and treasure.
We are now offering value back to our alumni, making sure they know that the benefits of a
UBC education did not end when they walked across the stage at convocation.
This subtle change in focus hasn't happened at once, but has accrued slowly. It continues to
develop with the hard work of both alumni and university personnel.
We're now experiencing the happy confluence of an exceptional UBC administration, an
energized professional Alumni Affairs staff, and a talented group of alumni committed to establishing strong links between UBC and its graduates. This combination gives us the tools to create
the most active alumni community in Canada, and the chance to be as successful in that regard
as the best universities in North America. Professor Toope has created a new Vice President
Development and Alumni Engagement portfolio, signalling his belief that engaged alumni are
essential to the university's success.
As engaged alumni, we have a responsibility to be active ambassadors by spreading the university's message and helping build public and government support, which is critical to advancing
UBC's educational and research mission.
I wish the Board of Directors every success in working with UBC's senior leadership team to
build UBC's reputation and to enhance the value of our UBC degrees.
I would like to thank Marie Earl and the professional staff at Alumni Affairs for their incredible work over the past six years, and for their tireless dedication to the cause.
I would also like to send a special thanks to the members who have volunteered their time
and talents to the Alumni Association's Board of Directors. Our Board members have provided
inspired strategic guidance to both the Association and the Alumni Affairs office, and have
worked to build a stronger relationship between UBC and its almost 250,000 alumni.
I am grateful to have had the opportunity to serve as Chair during this exciting time in the
history of the university and the Alumni Association. Tuum Est.
Summer 2007    Trek    9 take note
conditions are even more favourable for renters
who invest wisely.
But the report concludes that in every
city, taking into account all the variables,
homeowners acquire more wealth on average
than renters. Other factors contributing to
these findings include favourable tax policies
for homeowners. "It's not that renters cannot
build wealth similar to that of owners," says
Somerville, "but it requires a level of discipline
and sophistication in investing that most North
American households have shown themselves
unable to achieve. The significant benefit of
home-ownership for individuals is that a
mortgage effectively forces them to save and
build equity through mortgage payments."
Ancient Plants
□ The origin and evolution of flowering
plants poses a puzzle that Charles Darwin
once referred to as an "abominable mystery."
But some of the missing pieces can now be put
in place thanks to an international research
project led by associate professor Sean Graham
of UBC's Botanical Garden and Centre for
Plant Research.
The researchers discovered that an ancient
aquatic flowering plant, hydatellaceae, has been
incorrectly classified as a relative of grasses and
rushes. A close study of its molecular structure
and dna sequence evidence, however, revealed
that the aquatic plant is closely related to the
water lily, indicating it has a more ancient
lineage than once thought.
"For more than a century, scientists have
been piecing together the details of the rapid
rise and early diversification of flowering
plants," says Graham. "Discovering this living
plant's ancient heritage makes us re-evaluate
our understanding of early flowering-plant
evolution. For botanists, this is like finding
something you thought was a lizard is actually
a living dinosaur."
Hydatellaceae range in size but the smallest
grow to only one or two centimetres in height.
They're typically found in freshwater swamps
or pools. The narrow, pointed shape of the
leaves had led botanists to classify them as
monocots, a group that includes flowering
grasses and palms. The work of Graham and
Tania Lam is developing rehab strategies for for patients with spinal cord injuries
his phd students Hardeep Rai and Jeffery
Saarela (the latter now based at the Canadian
Museum of Nature) places hydatellaceae in an
older botanical line that put down roots more
than 135 million years ago.
Hydatellaceae are native to New Zealand,
Australia and India. As well as receiving
support from UBC's department of Botany and
its Biodiversity Research Centre, Graham collaborated with botanists from Sydney's Royal
Botanic Garden, and researchers based at the
universities of Zurich, Harvard, and California,
□  "The partial or complete loss of the ability
to walk is probably one of the most debilitating
consequences of neurological damage," says
Assistant Professor Tania Lam of the School
of Human Kinetics, who is hoping to develop
some new rehabilitation strategies for patients
with stroke or spinal chord injury. She is
exploring body weight-supported treadmill
training (bwstt) using a robotic gait device
called the Lokomat®, one of only two in
Canada and worth $300,000. (Lam earned
her post doctorate in Zurich under Professor
Volker Dietz, one of the device's original
The Locomat is suspended from a frame
over a treadmill and consists of two robotic
arms that fit over a patient's legs and feet. The
patient is suspended from a harness over the
treadmill. The robotic arms use computer-controlled motors to produce a walking motion.
The Lokomat has many advantages over
manual BWSTT, which requires a number of
therapists to stabilize and move a patient. It is
also able to measure the position of and force
produced by a patient's legs. Lam will supplement this data using software for measuring
muscle and joint activity, treadmill speed and
amount of patient weight supported.
The ability to walk is based on the interaction of neural signals, muscle responses and
sensory input. Neurological damage can block
10    Trek    Summer 2007
Photographs: Martin Dee neural signals and impinge upon, or destroy,
an individual's ability to walk. Although
recovery is possible, it's not clear what
happens in the nervous system during this
process. "My approach is to help augment the
activity of the neural circuits through sensory
input from the legs," says Lam, who is based
in UBC's School of Human Kinetics.
The legs' flexor muscles are key to a
patient's ability to lift and swing the feet
forward during walking. When the muscles
aren't functioning properly, stumbling or
foot-dragging will typically occur. Lam plans
to vary the amount of resistive force applied
by the Lokomat during this swing phase. "It
would mimic the feeling of walking under
water to give sensory input to flexor muscles,"
she says. She will gather data to see if this
method produces any improvement in muscle
During her research, Lam will take
advantage of links with the International
Collaboration on Repair Discoveries (icord).
New Directions in
Teaching and Learning
Stephen Toope, President, University of British Columbia
The university is one of our society's oldest institutions. Outside of organized religions, no other
institution has shaped our world as significantly or as thoroughly. At their best, universities create
and propagate knowledge, challenge norms, provide for the free flow of new ideas and serve as
bastions of academic freedom and intellectual integrity. They also act as storehouses for the accumulated knowledge of humanity.
UBC is one of Canada's best examples of such an institution: it creates economic opportunity
through both pure and applied research; it provides an analytical context for social and cultural
development; and it trains new generations of professionals to protect and advance society.
Using the available tools of measurement, we can say that UBC has become one of the world's
leading research universities.
Recent literature suggests that the teaching methodology employed by most postsecondary
institutions has not kept pace with the high level of excellence we expect from our research
endeavours. As educators, we have a profound responsibility to our students and to society. In
addition to providing the opportunity for our students to become competent in their disciplines,
we must help them develop skills in problem solving, critical analysis and effective communications, and make sure they understand the interconnected, interdisciplinary nature of the issues
facing our world.
At UBC, we have introduced initiatives aimed at making our undergraduate teaching and
learning experience as exceptional as our research. Dr. Lome Whitehead, chair holder in the
department of Physics and Astronomy and former Vice President Academic and Provost, has
been appointed University Leader of Education Innovation. In this new position, Dr. Whitehead
is expected to achieve a significant improvement in how a large university delivers undergraduate education. I am optimistic that the result will be a much enhanced teaching and learning
Some of our recent initiatives, collectively known as Student Horizons in Education (shine),
focus on training faculty in best-practices teaching techniques and put greater emphasis on
teaching in hiring and advancement considerations, shine initiatives also include the integration of community service into the regular curriculum through the Learning Exchange; a Senate
approved, online teaching evaluation system; and faculty based strategies to disseminate research
related to increasing student-teacher connections at the course level. Other strategies involve
post-doctoral fellows in the research, design and delivery of undergraduate courses, under the
supervision of selected professors, focusing on methods and ideas for teaching excellence.
These and other initiatives were key in attracting Nobel laureate Carl Wieman to UBC. As
director of the Carl Wieman Science Education Initiative, he is attempting to revolutionize science
education at UBC, and will create new standards for measuring teaching effectiveness. In the
past two decades, research into the cognitive processes of learning - from how and why people
learn to the impact of technology on learning - has created a new impetus to develop teaching
methodologies based on that research. Dr. Wieman is dedicated to creating these methodologies
for the science classroom and refining them for science educators at all levels.
What better time or place to make major advances in the quality and effectiveness of higher
education? With our immensely talented faculty and motivated student body, we have an opportunity - and a responsibility - to maintain the essential role of the university in today's society:
the creation of thinking, enlightened and active citizens who can make our world a better place.
Summer 2007    Trek    11 take note
T. Todd Jones reared two leatherback turtles for conservation research.
Energizer Turtle
□  Scratching their heads over which animal
could best represent the longevity of a make of
battery, advertising execs eventually plumped
for an energetic (and some might say annoying)
bunny. Did they even for one minute consider
the leatherback turtle, the obvious animal
analogy for their product? In open water, this
animal is hard-wired to keep on swimming,
and swimming, sometimes as far as 13,000 km
to reach a nesting location. That's an impressive enough feat not to require any drum-beating. But ironically, the very characteristic that
singles the animals out and supports their
procreation may also be contributing to their
"Unlike the other six species of sea turtles,
which forage along the coast or in the reefs,
leatherbacks, named after their rubber-
textured, 'soft' shells, have no concept of
barriers or boundaries," says T. Todd Jones,
phd candidate in UBC's Zoology department.
"If you keep them in a tank, they would keep
swimming into the walls or diving to the bottom." This makes the turtle notoriously difficult
to rear in captivity, and so comparatively little
is known about them from research to apply
to much-needed conservation efforts.
Leatherbacks, which have existed on this
planet for more than 100 million years, now
number only 40,000 specimens, and in less
than 10 years could become extinct in the
Pacific Ocean. The main reason for the demise
is human fisheries activity. Dead turtles are
often the collateral damage of these practices.
Jones has come up with an ingenious method
of keeping turtles that has allowed him to
rear two healthy specimens for two years
(and counting). This is the first time more
than one turtle has been raised to this stage of
life in captivity.
The idea is a very simple one in concept.
He has fashioned a turtle harness from
rubber hosing and fishing line that attaches
to another line across the top of the turtle
pool. Wearing the harness means, effectively,
that the turtles swim on the spot. "As far as
they're concerned, they're swimming freely in
the ocean," says Jones, who may need to buy
a bigger tank if his success continues. Adult
leatherbacks can grow to the size of a small
car and weigh up to 550 kg. At the moment,
the specimens weigh about 30 kg.
Another contributing factor to the turtles'
survival is a diet Jones devised for them. "They
eat jellyfish almost exclusively, which is quite
different from all other sea turtles," says Jones.
"We blend human grade squid and vitamins
with gelatin to create jelly-strips that are
similar in consistency to jelly-fish." Rearing the
leatherbacks is labour-intensive and relies on a
number of undergraduate volunteers. But the
rewards are worth it. Jones has already managed to establish some facts about maximum
growth rate and has concluded that the species
can reach sexual maturity at as young as
seven years so long as food is plentiful. "We
now know the amount of energy it takes for a
leatherback to reach adulthood," says Jones. "If
we continue to over-use, over-fish and contribute to global warming, there simply won't
be enough resources in the ocean for them to
sustain themselves and survive the population
decimation due to fisheries practices."
□  In Canada, four times more men than
women commit suicide, yet far fewer men seek
help from health professionals when struggling
with depression. UBC professors John Oliffe
(Nursing) and John Ogrodniczuk (Psychiatry)
want to find out why. "We want to learn about
young men's experiences of depression and
identify what works and doesn't work for
them in terms of getting help," says Oliffe.
"The answers will help create more effective,
gender-relevant interventions."
The researchers suspect that some of the
discrepancy in reporting depression among
males may be down to common societal
notions of masculinity. "Society says men are
supposed to be robust - to risk rather than
promote their health to demonstrate physical
and sexual prowess. They tend to operate on
a performance-based model of health," says
Ogrodniczuk. Another (related) reason might
be avoidance of the mental health label. "There
is also a stigma associated with having depression, with implications for attracting a partner
and for success in work and study. So some
men might not want the diagnosis," he says.
The highest incidence of suicide in males
12    Trek    Summer 2007 occurs in the under 30 age group. Unacknowledged or untreated depression means
symptoms might become more severe and
may lead to negative coping tactics, such as
violent behaviour, drinking alcohol to excess,
or suicide attempts.
Initially, the researchers plan to study
a group of 15 male college or university
students diagnosed with (or complaining of)
depression, with other subjects joining as the
work progresses. They want to find out how
depression is manifested in young men, what
the subjects' experiences have been in terms of
available mental health services, and how they
cope with depression. They hope the results of
this pilot will start to inform new approaches
for helping males who suffer from depression.
The two professors plan to seek funding for a
larger project to examine the same age group
in the general population. The pilot study is
being funded by the BC Mental Health and
Addictions Network.
Secrets of the Scablands
□  If you use Google Earth to zoom in on
eastern Washington State, you'll see that thousands of square kilometers are accounted for
by the Channeled Scablands, a huge area of
terrain characterized by deep canyons called
coulees. Geologists have established that this
phenomenon was formed about 15,000 years
ago in a matter of days by an Ice-Age flood of
catastrophic proportions, when the force and
volume of water was such that it eroded solid
bedrock and permanently fissured the landscape. Less agreement exists as to the source
of the water, but UBC Okanagan professor
Robert Young is examining new evidence that
suggests southern Okanagan, then covered by
a lobe of the massive Cordilleran Ice Sheet,
played no small part in the drama.
Scars left on Washington's eastern landscape and other evidence tell scientists that
a huge wall of water moved across the state
from the northeast at a speed of about 120
km/hr, leaving 40-metre gravel bars in its
wake and the 25,000 km-square scablands.
Although existing theories suggest that glacial
Lake Missoula in Montana burst its ice dam
and caused the flood, Young is skeptical.
Not Just A Number
Marie Earl, Associate Vice President, Alumni Affairs;
Executive Director, UBC Alumni Association
Tim Louman-Gardiner, BA'04, LLB'07, lopes across the stage at the Chan Centre, sporting
his trademark ear-to-ear grin, having just earned his second UBC degree. Before shaking
Chancellor McEachern's hand, he pauses to receive congratulations from me and Vice
President Students Brian Sullivan. We're proud as punch.
I first met Tim at a UBC Board of Governors meeting. He was serving as a student
representative on the Board and I had just clapped him on the back and called him "low
hanging fruit." I was making a case for treating students as lifelong community members
during their time on campus, rather than trying to win them back years after they have
Tim not only didn't take offense, he came to work for us the following summer.
He brought the passion he has for most things in life to the task of redesigning our
graduation activities to be more "welcome to the family" than a "goodbye and good
luck" ceremony. His enthusiasm enlivened our work place and we benefited from his
two cents on our programs and learned how he expected to progress from beer (young
man's beverage of choice) to wine (for middle aged sophisticates) to whiskey (grey hairs'
delight) as he aged.
Tim remains involved as a non-voting member of the Alumni Association's Board of
Directors, joining Kevin Keystone (past President of the AMS) and AMS VP Administration
Sarah Naiman. This trio is helping us think through how the new alumni centre's design
and programming can best complement the SUB, and how to strengthen our connections
with existing students. They don't hesitate to debate the merits of new categories for
alumni (such as "associate" status for those who didn't quite graduate), or the myriad of
other issues that come before the Board of Directors.
Attracting UBC students to join our ranks as workers and in governance roles has
been of immense value to Alumni Affairs. Geography student Alex Burkholder writes
for this magazine and kept a blog on our website, organized the storage room, manned
reception, and researched notable figures in UBC history for our staff retreat. He and
then-student Gavin Dew, BA'06 (now our Alumni Relations Officer for Students &
Young Alumni) came into our orbit as members of our alumni affinity business process
re-engineering project team last summer. Mari Takeda, a fourth-year chemistry student,
organizes gatherings worldwide for incoming UBC students, which she has branded UBC
Bound! Marlisse Silver-Sweeney, a fourth-year Creative Writing student, is helping to plan
Alumni Weekend activities for this September. These three students are all fearless at the
microphone during karaoke sessions as well.
Having had the opportunity to work with and learn from these students, it breaks my
heart when I hear (all too often) in alumni focus groups, "I was just a number at UBC."
If we allow this to happen, we're the ones losing out. So if you have a chance, check
out the website blogs Alex and Kevin will write while on exchange (in Australia and
Paris, respectively); hire a UBC student during the summer or through one of the co-op
programs; or serve as a mentor to a student in your discipline. I can pretty much guarantee that you'll be the richer for it.
Summer 2007    Trek    13 take note
"Models of dynamic hydrology suggest that
floodwaters from the Missoula Basin alone
were insufficient to fill the Scabland Coulees,
much less do all the work required to produce
the incredible landscape in the region," he
points out.
Young thinks that huge volumes of
Okanagan meltwater flooding south is a
likelier scenario, perhaps precipitated by
a volcanic explosion. "The Okanagan and
surrounding uplands are part of dramatic
landscapes, including landforms carved into
bedrock like the Channeled Scablands," he
says. "Features such as water-eroded channels
that can go uphill, and streamlined landforms
caused by fluids flowing turbulently at high
velocities, all suggest huge flows came out of
the Okanagan Valley and drained south into
the Columbia drainage."
Young thinks the water probably had more
than one exit point, and as well as draining
south, made its way into Lake Missoula and
under the Purcell ice dam to the north of the
lake, helping account for the massive volume
of water that rampaged across terrain that
already would have received a battering from
the north.
The idea of sub-glacial reservoirs being
implicated in massive flooding is one that
is often refuted, but newer evidence lends
credence to the hypothesis. "Movement of
large water volumes of meltwater beneath the
Antarctic ice sheets have been reported by
several researchers in the last few years," says
Young, "and in Greenland, gigatons of water
on top of ice sheets have been observed draining through the ice very quickly - in as little
as 48 hours." In Iceland, meltwater flooding
from ice sheets is a common phenomenon.
Add to that a sub-glacial volcanic explosion,
and the flooding is greatly intensified. To back
his theory up, Young points to evidence of
volcanic activity just north of the Okanagan.
"Many of the deposits and volcanoes there
bear tell-tale marks of sub-glacial eruption,
including pillow basalts on mountainsides
and flat-topped volcanoes. Volcanologists
studying the region indicate that three
volcanoes erupted sub-glacially during the last
Taking Stock
□ Gambling, alcohol, and tobacco. Associated
with a tendency for unhealthy excess, all three
are more or less frowned upon by today's
society. But if you suffer no qualms about sharing in the profits from the associated industries,
then you may stand to do quite well on the
stock market. Conversely, investors who decide
to avoid these industries and their "sin stocks"
stand to lose out.
These are the findings of a joint analysis
conducted by professor Marcin Kacperczyk of
UBC's Sauder School of Business and Professor
Harrison Hong of Princeton University, who
were exploring the impact of social morals,
traditions and laws on the stock market.
"While sinful stocks aren't necessarily good
for the soul, they do deliver higher returns,"
says Kacperczyk. "Our analysis associates
social norms with significant price effects. Sin
stocks are under-priced and outperform comparable stocks." The study also shows that public
institutions such as universities, pension funds,
religious organizations, and banks are often
more subject to public scrutiny and criticism,
and hence more likely to avoid such stocks.
Individual investors, mutual funds and hedge
funds can take advantage of this reluctance and
enjoy the higher performance of sin stocks.
Kacperczyk and Hong explored the history
of tobacco stocks to see if their theory held
up. They found a correspondence between the
sliding value of tobacco stocks and the tobacco
industry's fall from grace after serious health
concerns were linked with smoking.
Although defense industry stocks were not
included in the study, Kacperczyk thinks it
merits some attention. "It's interesting to note
that defense isn't necessarily a sin in the United
States," he says. "So the next step would be
to see how defense stocks listed in the United
States differ from those in Europe, where the
industry is more likely to be frowned upon by
the general public." The full study can be read
on Sauder's website at www.sauder.ubc.ca.
Street Youth
□ The results from a survey of 760 street
youth aged 12 to 18 from across BC suggest
most have a strong will to succeed in society,
despite overwhelming disadvantages. A third
of the youth attend school and a third reported
holding down legal jobs.
"Many of the findings may be surprising
to communities," says principal investigator
Professor Elizabeth Saewyc from UBC's School
of Nursing. "These youth have faced shocking
levels of rejection and violence, both within
their families and on the street. But despite
having the odds stacked against them, most of
them are amazingly strong and resilient, working hard, attending school, and looking for
opportunities to improve their lives." Saewyc
worked on the survey with Vancouver's McCreary Centre between October and December
of last year. The centre conducted a similar
one in 2000 and has been able to compare the
Aboriginal youth account for a growing
proportion of street youth. In Vancouver, for
example, this proportion rose from 37 per cent
in 2000 to 65 per cent. Also over represented
are gay, bisexual and lesbian youth (one third
of females and one tenth of males). More than
a quarter of the subjects had been exposed
to alcohol or marijuana before they were 11,
often before they became street youth. Many
had experienced or witnessed sexual abuse and
violence both in their families and on the street.
Detailed findings can be found at www.mcs.
When asked what they needed, youth from
all areas of the province pointed to affordable
housing, safe shelters, job training, work
experience and education. The researchers
also recommend more resources for struggling
families and Aboriginal organizations, and
easier access to treatment for substance abuse
and mental illness. "Youth have the same rights
as anyone else to live in an environment that is
healthy, safe and nurturing," says Saewyc.
A follow-up study on marginalized and
street-involved Aboriginal youth, in consultation with Aboriginal communities, began in
May. ■
Take Note is edited from material that appears
in other publications, including UBC Reports.
We thank those reporters and Public Affairs for
allowing us to use their material.
14    Trek    Summer 2007 The Big Chair Awaits
Allan McEachern completes his term as UBC's Chancellor this year. As the
university's senior volunteer administrator, the person in the big chair wields
considerable influence. But for now, it's alumni who have the power. We
nominate - and elect - the man or woman who takes the seat.
When you walked across the stage on your
graduation day, the man (or, if you graduated
between 1961 and 1966, the woman) who
tapped you on the head (or shook your hand)
and said, "I admit you," was the Chancellor of
UBC. For most of us, that was likely the first
time we entered the orbit of UBC's only elected
senior administrator.
The Chancellor might not be a visible part
of the university's day-to-day machinery, but
he or she plays a big role behind the scenes.
The Chancellor is a senior ambassador, a wise
and trusted advisor to the president, the Board
of Governors and the Senate, serves as the
liaison to various UBC constituencies and is a
tireless worker for the good of the university.
As current Chancellor Allan McEachern says,
it's the best bad paying job he's ever had. He
gets $1 a year.
But the most compelling thing about the
Chancellor is that UBC's alumni get to decide
who gets the job. As spelled out in the BC
University Act, any group of seven alumni
can nominate an appropriate person for the
position. Each of UBC's 250,000 alumni then
have the right to vote. By exercising this right,
alumni provide an important service to the
university, and have a significant voice in how
it is governed.
The Chancellor is an integral part of the
university's administrative structure. He or she
is a member of the Board of Governors and
of the university's two Senates. The Board of
Photograph courtesy UBC archives
Summer 2007    Trek    15 UBC Alumni Association
Chancellor Nomination
The Alumni Association's Board of Directors appoints a committee to select a nominee for the
position of Chancellor. Members of this committee
are selected from a cross-section of UBCs constituent groups - alumni, faculty, staff, students and
community members - and are challenged to select
a candidate who reflects the values, aspirations and
goals of the university, and who can represent the
university to the broader community. The current
members of the committee are:
Doug Robinson, BCom'71, LLB'72. Committee Chair.
Professional mediator. Vice Chair, Alumni Association
Board of Directors; member of the Wesbrook Society and
Big Block Club.
Gayle Stewart, BA'76. Committee Vice Chair. Member,
UBC Alumni Association Executive Committee and chair
of the Governance Committee. Political Science master's
degree candidate (2008).
Bonnie Bates Gibbs, BA, MBA. Staff/UBC Okanagan
Representative; Associate Director of Public Affairs, UBC
Okanagan; member, UBC Board of Governors.
May Brown, BSc, MPE'61, LLD'87, OCB, CM. Community Leader. Athletics Hall of Fame, Builder, 2007; Alumni
Lifetime Achievement award recipient 2000; faculty,
School of Physical Education, UBC 1947-55.
Marie Earl, AB, MLA. Ex-Officio. Executive Director, UBC
Alumni Association/Associate Vice President, Alumni.
Brendon Goodmurphy. Undergraduate student representative. 4th year faculty of Arts. VP Academic and
University Affairs, Alma Mater Society.
Kelly Heed, BA'62. Community Leader. Vice Chair, Colliers International Vancouver; advisor to Alumni Centre
Planning Committee.
Lauren Hunter, BA'OO, MA'02. Graduate student representative. Past student rep., UBC Board of Governors;
past VP Academic and External, UBC Graduate Student
Society, 2006.
Miranda Lam, LLB'02. Community Leader. Lawyer, McCarthy Tetrault. Past Chair, Volunteer Vancouver; member, UBC Alumni Association Governance committee;
Outstanding Young Alumna award recipient, Faculty of
Law, 2007; Outstanding Future Alumna award recipient,
UBC Alumni Association, 2002.
Kyle Mitchell, BCom'65, LLB'66. Past President, UBC
Alumni Association.  Partner, Ray & Berndtson; member,
Sauder School of Business Faculty Advisory Board.
Dennis Pavlich, BA, LLB, LLM. President's Representative. Professor of Law, UBC; Chairman, Great Northern
Way Campus Ltd., 2007; member of the Board, UBC
Properties Investments Ltd.
Sally Thorne, BSN'79, MSN'83, PhD. Faculty representative. Professor and Director, UBC Faculty of Nursing.
Governors manages all UBC's properties,
finances and business affairs, appoints the
president, deans, head librarian, professors and other faculty, sets their salaries
and defines their duties. The two Senates
(the Vancouver and Kelowna campuses
have separate Senates) are responsible
for all matters academic, from admission
requirements and course examinations
to curriculum, degree-granting and the
awarding of scholarships and bursaries on
their respective campuses.
The Board and the Senates work closely
together, and, as is the case in any large
governance structure, most of the hard
work and decision making is done in the
various committees they create to deal with
specific areas of concern. The Chancellor is
an ex-officio member of all these committees.
The following represent some of the
more common questions we get from
alumni about the function of the Chancellor and how he or she is elected.
What is the role of the Chancellor at UBC?
The Chancellor's role is not spelled-out in
the University Act, which says only that
"The Chancellor is to confer all degrees."
In practice, however, the Chancellor takes
on considerable responsibility. He or she
is a full voting member of the Board of
Governors, which means reading and
absorbing inches-thick documents concerning issues that come before the bi-monthly
meetings of the Board. The Chancellor is
an ex-officio member of every Board committee, and is expected to become more
deeply involved in those where his or her
particular expertise can be of benefit. The
Chancellor is also an ex-officio member of
both Senates, sits on most vice-presidential
search committees and represents the
university at town hall meetings in the
Okanagan and Vancouver. He or she
also attends all graduation ceremonies,
shaking the hand of every graduate who
crosses the stage. At the spring convocation ceremonies this year, the Chancellor
attended (and spoke at) 23 ceremonies, and
shook the hands of nearly 6,000 graduates.
The Chancellor's term is three years, with a
limit of two terms.
How are nominees for the position of
Chancellor selected?
Any group of seven members of UBC's
convocation (President, Chancellor, alumni,
faculty members and all persons whose names
have been added to the roll of convocation by
the Senate) can put forward a nominee for the
position. If more than one person is nominated, the registrar holds an election, notifying
all members of the convocation and supplying
them with candidate information and ballots.
Why does the Alumni Association select a
nominee, and why does it recommend that
nominee to the voters?
The Alumni Association's Board of Directors
has traditionally put forward a candidate for
the position of Chancellor. This nominee is
selected by a special committee appointed
by the Board (see sidebar). The committee
is charged with finding a candidate who can
best serve the university's goals and aspirations, and who typifies the high calibre of
the university's graduates. Once selected,
the candidate is endorsed by the Association
and recommended to voters as the candidate
most likely to provide the greatest value to
the university. As a service to alumni, the
Association publishes positive information
on all candidates, and supplies space in Trek
Magazine for election ballots.
How does the election take place, and how
can I vote?
The Office of the Registrar will declare nominations open from 8:30 am, Friday, October
12, 2007, until 4:30 pm, Friday, December 7,
2007. Candidate information and ballots (if
necessary) will be printed in the Spring 2008
issue of Trek Magazine and will be available
online. The deadline for receiving completed
ballots will be 40 days after the spring issue
is mailed (actual dates will be announced in
the Fall 2007 Trek Magazine). Results will be
announced as soon as they are tallied. I
Our Fall 2007 issue will contain an
interview with outgoing Chancellor Allan
For more information, call our offices at
604.822.3313. To view the University Act,
visit www.qp.gov.bc.calstatreglstat/U 196468_
When the Chancellor presides over
Congregation at UBCO, he or she will
be sitting pretty.
Long before he planed away a single wisp
of wood, notched the first tenon or sanded
clouds of ruddy dust from the cherry grain,
Dennis Weidman could see the finished object
in his mind.
He knew the chair he was creating would
need lasting strength to withstand the passing
of time, and stately elegance to warrant a
place in memory. Functionally, it's just a chair.
But, oh, what a chair: this is the chair from
which the Chancellor of UBC will preside over
Congregation ceremonies at UBC Okanagan.
"I thoroughly enjoyed it and consider myself
fortunate to have had the opportunity to do
this," he says, standing with pride beside the
completed chair in his well-appointed workshop. "I'll never again build one like it."
Papa's Shop - the name applied by grandkids
and proclaimed on a small wooden sign over
the entry - is tucked into a grove of Ponderosa
pines in Okanagan Centre, BC. Overlooking
Okanagan Lake, the property is in orchard
and vineyard country just a few minutes' drive
north from UBC Okanagan. It's an idyllic place
to think through an important project, and a
fitting origin for a chair destined to take its
place in Okanagan history.
The chair's requirements were complex. It
needed significant presence and appeal, strength
and style. "I don't know how many hours I sat
just pondering and doing mental planning,"
says Weidman. "I wanted the lines to give it
flow, but without it being either too spindly or
too bulky."
The just-right result is a combination of
subtly curved rails connecting functional panels
and arms and legs, some forms softened by the
hint of a swale, others flared more overtly.
"A lot of it is design as you go," says Weidman. "When you're doing a one-off like this,
you use your mind - visualizing, trying options
- to make sure you get the structural strength
you need, and the visual lines as well."
Early in 2007, Weidman was engaged by
Alanna Vernon, manager of UBC Okanagan's
Ceremonies and Events office, to craft the chair
in time for the June 8, 2007, Congregation
ceremonies. He began with a set of general
specifications - approximate height, dimensions
of the seat - and a sketch of a framework.
"It needed to be about five feet high, with a
regal kind of look, substantial and with good
lines," he says. From there, Weidman's experience and imagination took over.
Almost every piece of wood is painstakingly fastened with strong but entirely hidden
mortise-and-tenon joinery. "I have a tendency
to over-design for the sake of structure," he
says, pointing to the absence of struts or braces
between the chair's legs as evidence of a design
that works without buttressing. "As I was
putting it together, I had it dry-fitted - no glue
- and it was solid," he says. "It wasn't going
to move. That assured me it didn't need any
reinforcing. It was a challenge and I know I've
accomplished that. There are really only a few
screws. The rest is all wood joinery."
The selection of cherry wood has great
significance to the Okanagan, where cherry
orchards are found in abundance. "It's all
cherry," Weidman says, "except for a few
dowels, and they're maple." After assembly, the
finely grained surfaces were sanded, stained
lightly with Danish oil, and finished with five
coats of tung oil.
He estimates he spent at least 200 hours in
the shop, from rough cuts to smoothing on the
final coat of finish. "Someone building chairs
from a pattern might wonder about that, but
a lot of testing went into this," he says. "The
backrest was mocked up with mdf (medium
density fiberboard), the legs were rough-cut
and tested. This evolved, versus just coming
from a pattern."
Evolution indeed. In a way, that's how Weidman found himself crafting beauty from wood
in the first place. "I worked in the corporate
world for many years and I had a plan that I
was going to be self-employed when I reached
55," he says. That plan accelerated suddenly
one day 16 years ago. "When I reached the
age of 50,1 lost the job I'd had for 29 years. It
came as a bit of a blow, but not being one to
look back I said, 'let's see what I can do with
Over the years he had gathered tools and experience. Now, he realized, he had been granted
that most happy convergence of vocation and
avocation as a gainful future emerged from
the woodwork. He began making furniture,
cabinets, and anything a client might want him
to create.
Photograph: IStockPhoto
Summer 2007    Trek    17 And he really does mean create, not build.
"I got to the point where I knew I could do
this, enjoy myself, and give people what they
wanted. I really like being able to work with
people, develop ideas and then put them into
a piece of furniture or cabinetry. To create
something that started from nothing gives me
great satisfaction."
Weidman looks forward to the day when,
perhaps, one of his grandchildren might attend a UBC Okanagan congregation, crossing
the stage in front of the Chancellor's chair to
accept a UBC degree.
And who knows? He might still be creating fine furniture then.
"As long as I have the physical and mental
wellbeing to do this," he says, "I don't see
myself retiring because I really enjoy what
I'm doing." I
Bud Mortenson is Communications Coordinator for UBCO's Public Affairs department.
UBC Chancellors
UBC's Chancellors represent an interesting variety
of BC movers and shakers over the years.
From newspapermen and industrialists to politicians and judges, these community leaders have
all had a strong connection to the university and a
commitment to its growth and success.
Francis Carter-Cotton (1912-1918). Vancouver newspaper publisher and politician, part of the Royal Institution that created the McGill University College of BC
Robert E. McKechnie (1918-1944). VGH physician,
politician and administrator, active in the creation of
Eric W. Hamber (1944-1951). Timber entrepreneur,
BC Lieutenant Governor, member of UBC Board of
Sherwood Lett (1951-1957). Distinguished service
both world wars, corporate lawyer, first AMS president
Albert E. Grauer (1957-1961). Rhodes scholar, president BC Electric, chair, VGH Board of Trustees.
Phyllis Ross (1961-1966). Top-level civil servant (economics), key economic advisor during WWII, member
Board of Governors.
John M. Buchanan (1966-1969). CEO BC Packers,
past president, Alumni Association
Allan M. McGavin (1969-1972). President McGavin
Bakery, Olympic rower, senior volunteer in athletic
Nathan T. Nemetz (1971-1975). BC Supreme Court
Justice, Ubyssey editor, many judicial commissions, past
president, Alumni Association
Donovan F. Miller (1975-1978). Director, Canada
Permanent Mortgage Corp., VP Canada-Japan Society
(hon), past president, Alumni Association
John V. Clyne (1978-1984). Lawyer, chair, Maritime
Commission, Board of Governors, CEO MacMillan
Bloedel, Great Trekker.
W. Robert Wyman (1984-1987). Chair, BC Hydro,
chair, Finning, chair, World of Opportunity Campaign
Leslie R. Peterson (1987-1993). Lawyer, BC Minister
of Education, chair, Board of Governors, senior volunteer many charities.
Robert H. Lee (1993-1996). President, Wall and
Redekop, chair, UBC Properties, member, Board of
Governors, many volunteer chairs.
William Sauder (1996-2002). Chair, Sauder Industries, many board memberships, chair, Board of
Allan McEachern (2002-). Lawyer, Chief Justice BC
Supreme Court, many judicial councils, legal scholar.
For more information on the beginnings of UBC,
visit www.library.ubc.ca/archives.
18    Trek    Summer 2007
Photograph: Bud Mortenson Sing, Sing a Song
Flaying on the interface between writing a song and
singing it in public is a daring, nerve-wracking game.
What makes a song lyric sing? What is
"libretto"? How do words and music string
together? These three questions were in my
head last summer as I made my way to meet
Meryn Cadell, Juno-nominated songwriter and
instructor of the UBC Creative Writing course,
Lyric & Libretto.
I love listening to music and secretly sing
along, but only when I'm all alone. I thought,
Photograph: IStockPhoto
Summer 2007    Trek    19 why not try my hand at creating a few of my
own songs? How hard could it be? Cadell's
course follows the workshop structure, just
like other Creative Writing courses: creative
criticism from instructor and students alike.
But would I have to sing?
I wanted Cadell to calm my fears about
taking his course and having to be musical
without any training, about having my voice
break in front of a classroom of peers. Maybe
I wanted him to confirm that the course wasn't
for me. How could it be? I'd only ever studied
clarinet in grade school. Hardly sufficient.
Cadell was quick to point out that my fear
of performance is common. "There doesn't
have to be a performative element," he said.
And although performance is encouraged - by
the song writer or by someone else singing the
songs - it's not required. I felt relieved.
Cadell explained that lyric and libretto are
two points on a continuum, different degrees
of "the words that go with the music." While a
song lyric may be a few minutes long, a libretto
may be made up of a number of songs for a
number of distinct characters. Libretto literally
means "little book," and includes spoken
dialogue, sung lyrics, even stage directions for
the performance. It isn't exactly synonymous
with musical theatre or opera, though most
operas include the "little book" and the musical score, working together. In terms of genre,
lyric and libretto are more akin to screenplay
than poetry or fiction "because it's about real
time," Cadell told me. "It's about creating
something that unfolds and you make decisions
about what listeners hear and when they hear
it. It's the unspooling of a story." Now I was
intrigued. No pressure to perform and a new
genre to explore. I signed up.
For the first half of the year, Canadian folk
icon Shari Ulrich sat in for Cadell. In her
first class we discussed performance, and I
quickly ended up in a panic. Although I knew
performance was only encouraged, I shared my
concerns with the class: how I'm not comfortable with it, how I have no musical training,
how I'm afraid. My classmates were great, and
a few of them even admitted they felt the same.
It's fine, they said. Fine, I repeated to myself.
I wasn't sure how to begin writing my
first song. What would it be about and how
would it start? As with other kinds of writing,
a headline in a local newspaper triggered
my imagination. The headline read: "What's
On Your Mind?" I imagined a conversation
between a woman and man. I imagined a cafe
where they were sitting. And then I started to
hum a tune. Words came and I sang them out
loud - alone in my room - and jotted them
down. It sounded fine, catchy, even. But would
it hold up in class?
On the day that my first song was set to be
workshopped, I was acutely anxious. I found
a seat in class and didn't feel like chatting
with anyone. When my turn came, I put the
cassette in the stereo and pressed play. There
was my voice on the tape, tentatively singing
With the success of such
movies as Music and
Lyrics, and the mega TV-
hit American Idol, which
this past season included
an online song-writing
contest, generations of
kids are growing up
exposed to the close
scrutiny of performance.
That same scrutiny
seems to be turning
towards the mechanics
of the song itself.
my newly written song in my living room with
my husband on guitar. As the class listened,
I kept my face towards the window, away
from them. My tinny voice warbled and the
guitar hummed. The song came to an end
and the class applauded. As I walked back to
my seat my hands were shaking, and I joked
about it. Everyone was supportive and we
quickly turned to the text. To familiar ground.
I relaxed.
By November, I'd set up Garage Band
- a low-end recording studio software - and
discovered how to overlay tracks and build
harmonies. I felt something change in me. I
began to hear melodies in my head. I began
to dream songs that I frantically scribbled
down once awake. The more I sang and wrote
the more sense the melodies made. This was
where the chorus should go, and there the
bridge. At two in the morning, as my husband
slept, I clicked "Record" in Garage Band and
quietly hummed my song over and over into
the built-in mic on our Mac. I was hooked.
The power of Garage Band - or the power
of performance - is nothing new to Carla
Gillis. She took four years of Lyric & Libretto
with Cadell, and has performed many of her
own songs. Originally from Halifax, she had
considerable success with her all-girl rock
band, Plumtree, now defunct, and currently
performs with two local bands, Bontempi and
Bells Clanging. Her master's thesis is a book
about touring as part of Plumtree.
"You discover your strengths when you
take these classes. Now I realize I'm pretty
good at harmony. And part of that is simply
having Garage Band to play with." She also
values the power of collaboration, something
she experienced in one of Cadell's discontinued courses, Libretto Laboratory. She and
three other students collaborated on a libretto
called The Slowly Building. "It was like an
apartment building and it featured different
tenants and each tenant had his or her own
story," she says. "And there was a caretaker who fixed things and linked everybody
together." To come up with the melodies, the
four would form a circle around a mic and
one classmate, Russell Wallace, would lead
them all in song. "We would just have to
improvise and start singing off the top of our
heads and, you know, I was terrified at first.
But it ended up being really fun," Gillis says.
Russell Wallace, a member of the Lil'wat
First Nation, recently released a solo CD
called Through the Cracks, a collection of
songs generated out of Cadell's Lyric &
Libretto class. He began performing as a child
with his mother, Flora Wallace, in the missions
in downtown Vancouver where she would
volunteer and sing. "When I was five or six I
wanted to get up on that stage and sing with
her," he says. "My mom would sing anything
and everything." Through a program at Banff
let by Sadie Buck, a traditional singer from
20    Trek    Summer 2007 Six Nations, mother and son were inspired to
form a singing group, Tzo'kam.
In 2000, Flora Wallace was awarded the
Keeper of Traditions Award at the Aboriginal
Music Awards. Although she died in 2005,
Tzo'kam still performs regularly in schools
and within the community. Russell Wallace
often recalls Tzo'kam's very first performance:
opening for Buffy St. Marie at the Vancouver
Folk Music Festival in 1997. "It was kind
of scary singing on the stage with Buffy St.
Marie. It was a big audience," he says. "But
we survived. No eggs were thrown that day."
Cadell returned to class in January, and we
learned the word "scansion," or the rhythm
of the words when sung. We learned that in
many songs the chorus often states the song's
thesis. And that although the mechanics of the
song are important, so is the performance of
it. Cadell insisted the song needs to be heard
in the air. Sung by the writer or by someone
else and listened to, as a way to help edit the
Cadell also co-teaches Interdisciplinary
Projects (an exploration of improvisational
performance under the direction of Bob
Pritchard) and Lyric Forms in Creative Writing, a lecture course exploring songwriting
from Leonard Cohen to Stephen Sondheim.
Cadell's courses have come along at the right
time, considering the success of such movies
as Drew Barrymore's Music and Lyrics, and
TV's American Idol, with franchises around
the world. This past season, Idol introduced
an online song-writing contest for fans: write
a song, have it win the contest and the newly
crowned Idol will sing it during the finale.
Generations of kids are growing up exposed
to the close scrutiny of performance, and that
same scrutiny seems to be turning towards the
mechanics of the song itself.
At the end of the year Cadell organized
a final performance showcase at Havana
Restaurant on Commercial Drive. I built up
my courage and signed up to perform. It was
a risk I wasn't happy about. But, with Cadell's
support, I felt safe enough to take it. Gillis appreciates Cadell's philosophy of performance.
"You can sit in your room and write but that
next step is getting it out to the public," she
says. "That's what he's all about."
During sound check at Havana I had a moment of intense doubt. My mouth was dry, my
heart was racing and my voice was all over the
place. I simply needed to trust it would be fine.
In the surreal moment in the darkened audience
before it was my turn on stage, I knew there
was no turning back. I got up. I stood in front
of the mic. I started my song. A classmate,
Martin, played along on his guitar in the front
row. I hit most of the notes I'd worried about,
and it sounded solid. The crowd applauded and
then it was over. All that unnecessary worry.
Everyone performed well. Little mistakes
happened here and there - forgotten chords
and words - but it didn't matter. We did our
best, my classmates and I. We love music, and
we sing. I
Carla Elm Clement is a writer based in New
Westminster. Her favourite seventies game
show was Name That Tune.
As Canada's Global university, the University of British
Columbia has a diverse, exciting and rewarding selection
of ways to connect to your UBC world.
For more information, please call (604) 822-9629,
1-S00-SS3-30SS or visit us at www.alumni.ubc.ca/world
Join TrekConnect
Travel and learn -with Alumni Affairs and Continuing Studies Language and Arts courses
Voluntour -with Youlead and make a difference
Visit a UBC International net-work including the Asia Pacific office
Support a Co-op or Learning Service Project -with Go Global
Find volunteer opportunities with International students and Opportunity Watch
Fly -with American Airlines® and British Airways®, and help UBC students study, -work,
and lead projects overseas
Summer 2007    Trek    21  MOREXIA
"The bottom line is I am 5' 9" and feel fat, despite
weighing only 75 pounds. Just for the record, I am white,
American Jewish, and 25 years old. What sets me aside
from most other anorexics is that I am male."
Paul Gallant and
St. Paul's Hospital
resources to help
males suffering from
eating disorders.
So writes Michael Krasnow in the introduction to his 1996 book, My Life as a Male Anorexic. It describes in frank terms the friendless
years he spent consulting specialists, suffering
depression, being hospitalized, running away
in a bid to starve himself to death, devising
intricate tricks to sidestep intervention and
feeling guilty about the massive toll wreaked
on his family by all this. Despite diagnosis and
treatment, Michael Krasnow died the year after
his book was published.
Depending on their age, people thinking
of eating disorders might recall singer Karen
Carpenter, whose death from heart failure
associated with anorexia nervosa in the
early '80s brought that disease to mainstream
consciousness in the West, or Princess Dianna,
whose famous 1993 speech on the subject was
made "on very good authority." (Her own,
we guessed.) Or to the fashion industry, with
its seeming predilection for size zero female
models and heroin chic.
Although the majority of individuals with
eating disorders are female, research suggests
that males account for an increasing proportion of cases. The idea that disorders like
anorexia are female illnesses, however, persists.
Another common misperception is that eating
disorders are just a product of modern society
and its ubiquitous images of unrepresentative
beauty and unattainable body-types. But eating
disorders aren't new and neither are eating
disorders in males a recent phenomenon.
English physician, Richard Morton is generally
credited with the first medical description of
anorexia nervosa in the late 1600s (although
the term itself was not coined until the 1800s).
One of Dr. Morton's first documented cases
was that of a 16 year old boy.
Despite these centuries of recorded history,
it was only a little over a decade ago that
Michael Krasnow wrote: "Although concern
about anorexia is growing, there is still a large
unawareness, especially about male anorexia,
and this is the major purpose of my story: so
that other men with this problem will realize
they are not alone. My parents and I could not
pick up a book and read about male anorexics.
For all we knew, I was the only man in the
world with anorexia. My parents did not know
how to deal with me or even what to think. We
had no one to whom we could turn."
Today, the level of awareness about eating
disorders in men has increased, somewhat, with
celebrities like Elton John and Dennis Quaid
going public with their private battles. But
some experts, such as Paul Gallant, Mfflc'95,
feel that current stats on the number of men
with eating disorders are probably conservative - in part due to a reluctance in males to
come forward - and that current methods
for diagnosis and treatment tend be skewed
towards women.
Gallant is operations leader for Mental
Health Provincial Programs at St. Paul's
Hospital in Vancouver, where he has been
based (originally as a recreation therapist) for
more than 15 years. Latterly, his attention has
been focused on the Eating Disorders program,
which he now co-leads. He noticed a gender-
based discrepancy in reporting patterns. "I
didn't know why we didn't see more males at
the clinic," he says. "I expected to see at least
one in ten going by the stats. So I decided to
look into it further."
Gallant is now a Human Kinetics phd candidate at UBC, exploring coping mechanisms
and access to treatment in men with eating
ograph: Dreamstime
Summer 2007    Trek    23 disorders. His dual role as researcher and leader
means he is able to put theory into practice and
is conducting a series of focus groups with male
subjects who have reported or been diagnosed
with an eating disorder. He hopes this will help
inform new approaches for identifying males
with eating disorders and provide them with
the most appropriate treatments. So far, his
project has been small scale because so few men
have come forward. He is now looking for 20
more men with eating disorders to help him
continue his research.
He suspects that common misperceptions
play a large part in discouraging men from
seeking help. Straight men with an eating
disorder might be put off seeking treatment not
only because eating disorders are commonly
associated with women, but also because there
is a perception that if males are susceptible to
eating disorders it is because they are gay.
"If you did a study across the country, most
people would guess more gay men had eating
disorders per capita than straight men," says
Gallant. "But it's important to stress that the
majority of men with eating disorders - about
two thirds - are straight. It's important to
explain the statistics and their implications. We
want to encourage as many men as possible to
disclose and come for treatment and not feel
Left without diagnosis and treatment, eating
disorders can have alarming consequences.
Many people who develop them can also
develop very serious physical repercussions,
such as osteoporosis, types of arthritis, or
internal system failures. At 10-20 per cent,
eating disorders have the highest mortality
rate of mental illnesses, and although there are
no figures on comparative mortality based on
gender, men face specific risk factors based on
their body types.
"More attention is paid to eating disorders
now because of the deaths related to them,"
says Gallant. "We don't know if the mortality
rate is higher for men or women, but we do
know that men with anorexia, for example,
have a tighter timeline in terms of getting treatment. If you're a male with an eating disorder
at a severe level, there's a finer line between
changes in Body Mass Index and when there
could be consequences to your health, because
men are already leaner." And because they
are naturally leaner, weight loss may be less
noticeable in males.
Eating disorders are complex conditions with
a variety of causes, and are often accompanied
by other conditions such as depression or
schizophrenia. "That can make them a lot more
complex to treat and difficult to recognize," says
Gallant. Compounding this problem for male
sufferers are some of the diagnostic criteria used
by physicians. Gallant says these are sometimes
geared towards the treatment of females, which
could explain why men tend to be overrepre-
sented in the ednos diagnostic category (Eating
Disorders Not Otherwise Specified). This is a
sub-clinical diagnosis meaning that a patient
meets most of the criteria for a diagnosis,
for example bulimia, but don't meet the full
criteria as laid out in the American Psychiatric Association's Diagnostic and Statistical
Manual of Mental Disorders (which includes
a category about menstruation). It depends
which criteria a doctor chooses to use. Gallant
prefers the slightly different set offered by The
World Health Organization. These include a
category on endocrine function, for example,
which covers erectile dysfunction - a potential
consequence of eating disorders in males.
Eating disorders can be the product of
many factors, including physiological. "Most
people would agree there's a certain biological
predisposition to developing an eating disorder,"
says Gallant. There is also a large psychological
component. Common childhood experiences of
sufferers including bullying at school, a critical
adult, or worse forms of abuse. Feelings of guilt
often go hand-in-hand with a disorder: "Eating
disorders never only affect one person. They
affect everyone around that individual," he
says. The traditional stiff-upper-lip stereotype
of masculinity might mean men are less open
about their emotions. "They are more prone to
mask them with alcohol or drugs. Substance
abuse probably is higher in men with eating
disorders than women," says Gallant.
Men may also have an easier time covering
up their problem behaviour. "There's some
consensus that men may compensate with
over-exercising, and may purge less. Men may
be able to mask their disorder a little better
through sports and athleticism," says Gallant,
who points to the world of professional sport
as having a concentration of cases. "Ironically,
you'd be surprised at how many people from
elite sports suffer from eating disorders. Not a
well publicized fact, especially if the athletes
are stars. They may actually perform quite
well for some time and then crash." Gallant
will be presenting a talk on eating disorders in
males to Human Kinetics and Coaching Science
faculty at UBC to sensitize them to the danger
signs. He feels that an essential part of his
team's job is to raise awareness.
The Eating Disorder Program at St.Paul's
is the provincial leader for treatment and
standards, and it has links to other agencies
across the province such as Jessie's Hope
and the Eating Disorders Resources Centre.
"We broadcast video- and tele-conferences to
rural and remote communities where we have
representatives. Our partners are interested in
developing the expertise to treat men. We may
be the provincial centre for excellence, but we
also want to offer expertise in other communities helping to identify both males and females
with eating disorders and offer help on how to
work with them."
Any man or any women can apply to the
treatment program if they've first been seen
in their own regional or community program.
The demand for treatment services outweighs
resources and there is a detailed case by case
review process based on strict criteria. The inpatient program has a wait list of six months.
There are also a number of day programs and a
follow-up clinic for medical monitoring.
"We want to build from the ground up,"
says Gallant. "We're sending out a message
that we're open to men and want to learn more
about how we can help them. According to the
literature, needs and treatment modalities may
be quite similar, but we're trying to find out
what it's like from the male's perspective and
what sort of treatment they might want to access. They will realize they're not the lone man
in a treatment program full of women, as is
often the case. As word gets out, we're hoping
enough men will come forward."
If you are interested in participating in a
research focus group, please contact Jane Har-
bottle, Research Coordinator, 604.682.2344
ext: 62524. If you'd like to receive more
information about treatment through the Eating Disorders Program at St. Paul's Hospital, go
to www.stpaulseatingdisorders.ca. I
Vanessa Clarke is assistant editor of
Trek Magazine.
24    Trek    Summer 2007 ,/
The Okanagan attracts seniors for its weather, ambience
and lifestyle. New research shows that it may also be the
healthiest place to live in Canada.
BC's Okanagan valley is spectacular in
every sense: the landscape is stunning, the
weather is benign and it offers a range of
recreational opportunities found in few other
places in the country. Is it any surprise that the
region boasts one of the highest life expectancy
rates in Canada? A 65-year-old living in the
Okanagan has an average age-adjusted life
expectancy of 85. And with 18-25 Per cent 0jf
its population considered seniors - a percentage
the rest of the province won't see until 2031
- the Okanagan is ideally situated as a natural
research setting for ageing and related issues.
A combination of good genes and an active
lifestyle is likely the key to a long and healthy
life. International teams of researchers are
currently attempting to identify the genetic base
of ageing, but with mounting research evidence
pointing to lifestyle as the key contributor,
where and how you live may be more important than we thought.
Conditions in the Okanagan are comparable
to those in other areas of the world where
longevity, good health and well-being are common. Data from some of the major longitudinal
centenarian studies conducted between 1994
and 2007 with multi-generational founder
populations in New England, Nova Scotia,
Lorna Linda California, Sardinia, Okinawa
and Costa Rica show considerable variation
in factors such as education, socio-economic
status, religion and ethnicity. But other factors
are common to all these areas including
proximity to a fresh body of water and a
veritable fountain of youth located in their own
More than 100 studies demonstrate that red
wine in moderate quantities may be extremely
beneficial for health. It is associated with
reduced prostate cancer and longevity for men,
and reduced heart disease and stroke recovery
for both men and women. And it appears that
white wine has some of the same anti-cancer,
anti-viral, anti-ageing and neuro-protective
effects. With more than 130 wineries and
vineyards in the Okanagan, residents have
ample opportunity to consume either the wines
or the approximately 15 fresh grape varietals
of the region.
Lifestyle may have an even greater impact.
Mounting evidence suggests physical activity
can improve memory and cognitive abilities,
prevent cognitive decline and potentially help
to restore brain function. As well, emerging
brain research is blasting pre-conceived myths
about the ageing brain, demonstrating that it
can rewire and perhaps even restore itself in
ways previously unknown.
The way many of the Okanagan's retirees
live represents the ideal combination of physical activity, learning and creativity. A 2004
survey by the Canadian Fitness and Lifestyle
Research Center shows that seniors living in
Photograph: Getty Images
Summer 2007    Trek    25 British Columbia have the highest activity
levels in the country, and that seniors in the
Okanagan region are io per cent more active
than those living in the rest of the province.
A healthy diet is also an issue. Many
Okanagan families have, traditionally, either
farmed or maintained gardens, while many of
the senior transplants come from the Prairies
where they were raised to be self-reliant in
a traditional, active, communitarian and
low-stress environment. Sowers and growers
clubs, community gardens, and greenhouses are
extremely popular in the Okanagan.
Few seniors are obese, and you have only
to visit the Okanagan to witness the array
of four-season recreational activities open to
them. Reid Oddleifson, director of the new
Kickstart Program which aims to increase
seniors' activity levels by 20 per cent, observes
that "compared to even five years ago, I see a
more active older adult population here. We
see a substantial increase in sports like volleyball, Softball and drop-in hockey. The older
adult of today wants more out of their lives.
The Boomer's demand for public recreation
facilities will only increase as they are clearly
stating that they want more time in our pools,
on our trails and in our gyms."
One indicator of the escalating demand for
seniors' activity is that many regional ski hills
have cancelled their free seniors' ski passes in
favour of more modest discounts.
As the seniors population grows rapidly in
the next decade, the Okanagan will provide us
with great research opportunities to learn how
we can respond to their shifting needs for recreation and leisure. Two target groups present the
highest priority: the currently inactive pocket
of Boomers ages 45-64 who, statistically, are
far more sedentary than previous generations
The seniors population will
grow rapidly in the next
decade. The Okanagan will
provide us with great research
opportunities to learn how we
can respond to their shifting
needs for recreation and leisure.
at that age; and the growing over-80 group,
who will need resistance and aerobic activity
to maintain their health, strength, mobility and
Some Okanagan municipalities have responded by increasing the supply of accessible
paved trails, expanding community gardens
and creating more spaces for cultural activities.
Other communities are planning affordable,
accessible housing, transportation, recreation
and cultural activities for low-income seniors.
Innovative ideas and partnerships are needed
to access socially isolated seniors, and we
need to rethink our approach to outreach
and volunteerism. We must be sure to locate
services in walkable neighborhoods and
construct housing close to those services. We
also need to investigate how creative activities
may slow the ageing process by working with
creative arts groups throughout the valley
in music, acting, painting, writing and other
Policy makers say that pressures on the regional health care system are mounting, with
increasing rates of certain diseases, excessive
waits for joint replacement, long ER queues,
chronic shortages of seniors' residential care
(which tend to tie up hospital beds), shortages
of home care and home supports and an ageing health-care workforce. These issues need
fair funding and a new emphasis on cost-effective, early intervention and prevention.
However, the reality of engaged, active
older persons in the Okanagan contests the
notion that our ageing population will be
a costly and burdensome silver tsunami.
Instead, there is a great opportunity for the
communities of the Okanagan, with their
wealth of retired social capital, to refute these
notions. In fact, new research indicates that
technology, not ageing, has contributed most
to rising health costs. Ninety five percent of
seniors never go into formal care. One-third
Wally Giebelhaus, now 81, won the Men's 1X (ages 65 to 74) Canadian National Water Ski Championship in 1998, setting a new nationa
record. Today, he's on golf spikes more often than water skis, and gets around by bike. His secret to a long life is "Do what you love."
26    Trek    Summer 2007 to one-half of health costs occurs at the
very end of life.
The older adults of the Okanagan have
helped create and sustain a robust housing
market, have used their sophisticated skill
sets to increase the demand and supply
of more innovative philanthropy, and can
potentially offset regional labour shortages
if they choose to keep working. They have
become an expanding market for leisure
services, creating demands for new business solutions to serve their needs. And,
in many instances, they are building those
businesses themselves.
This generation of seniors is far from
being a cohort out of economic control.
We should support their generation with
research to demonstrate their potential
as a demographic windfall. New community-university partnerships can support
a long-term research agenda on ageing in
the Okanagan with developing programs
in Gerontology, Health Studies, Critical
and Creative Studies, Human Kinetics and
UBC is taking the lead in this research,
with the Okanagan at its centre. I
Mary Ann Murphy, PhD, is an associate
professor with a cross-appointment on
Ageing and Sociology. She teaches and
conducts research at UBC Okanagan.
Better diets, more physical activity, less stress and an attractive,
liveable environment seem to combine in the Okanagan to make life
not only qualitatively better, but quantitatively as well.
John Nixon is one of the younger 50-ish players
in the large, co-ed Okanagan over-50 slow
pitch league that stretches from Osoyoos to
Vernon. The league boasts competitive and
recreational leagues for teams in their 50s, 60s
and 70s. A retired air traffic controller, John
says "We all realize that activity keeps you
going, and that it's better than Advil for taking
away your ailments. This league is over-subscribed with older players from age 50-85. On
most days out, we have to turn people away."
Allistair MacLachlan, 78, is president of the
Kelowna Badminton Club, where one-third
of the members are over 65. In 1994, Mr.
MacLachlan left chilly Ottawa winters behind
to "retire to the warmest spot in the country,
where housing prices were still reasonable."
In the summer months, he plays golf three
mornings a week, badminton the other two
and "takes the weekends off to rest." Along
with a number of other club members, he
plays at the Master's level in both Canadian
and International Tournaments. Currently, the
oldest badminton doubles team in his club is
on hiatus, while one of the women recovers
from a hip replacement.
Dave Cullen, 76, is this year's president of
the 20th Annual BC Seniors' Games, the most
highly subscribed games in the country with
5,000 members involved in an event that
emphasizes participation over competition. He
comes from a family line that lives to a healthy
old age. In fact, his eternally healthy 105 year-
old mother only entered a care home this year,
and has willed her body to the major Canadian
Centenarian study in Nova Scotia. Dave says
that he was a physical wreck when he retired.
"My doctor said my blood pressure was so
high, I should get on a treadmill. I said I'd die
of boredom if I did that!" Now, he is busy every weekday in the winter playing badminton
or volley ball, while in summer he spends three
days a week playing ball, one on the yard and
two helping organize the Senior's games.
On the weekend, he takes it easy reading
the paper and doing the crossword puzzles.
"The aches and pains I had before I retired
are gone." He says, "most of the active seniors
I know do at least two sports. Sport is also
about getting out, communicating and making
new friends. What other generation got to ask
at age 75, 'what am I going to do with the next
20 years of my life? ' And the good thing about
retirement is that you're just there to have fun.
No one cares anymore about your status or what
you did for a living."
Cullen sees a gap in current research knowledge in that "everyone can tell you how healthy,
or unhealthy we seniors are. They also like tell
you what a drain we are on the medical system.
However, what they really don't understand is
how active many of us really are!"
Lyn Watson and her husband Merv exhibit
many of the characteristics of an active ageing
population. She is a part-time Bachelor of Fine
Arts student enrolled at UBCO, but is also an
occupational therapist currently working as a
research assistant on a hospital-based UBC study
on stroke recovery. She says that when it came
to retirement, "I could either walk the dog and
watch TV, or think about what I really wanted to
do and might have missed out on!"
Her husband remains a busy Master's level
tennis competitor, travelling away from home
about eight weeks a year to compete. In
retirement, he developed a newfound passion
for genealogy which ultimately led him to self-
publish four books on his family history. He also,
by happenstance, had an interesting decade-
long second career as a Justice of the Peace. He
believes that the key to successful, active ageing
in the Okanagan is the slower pace of life, the
good climate, and the many opportunities to
remain active. But despite his sports success, he
does not train. He believes his diet and active
lifestyle - learning, gardening, daily stretching
and brisk walking - are the keys to his vitality.
The couple enjoy the occasional bottle of red
wine and are active learners and volunteers.
They belong to the 600-plus member Society
for Learning in Retirement. It was here where
Lyn first thought about going back to do her
BFA after an instructor at a sketching course
complimented her artistic talent. Lyn helps her
husband deliver an annual course on South
African history, geography, flora, people and
modernity. As an offshoot to that course, they
now lead annual tours to South Africa.
Compiled by Mary Ann Murphy
Summer 2007    Trek    27 Grandma Rose was thrilled when granddaughter Viola chose to pursue a nursing
degree after her first year of university.
"My grandmother's health had been
declining for a few years at the time, and when
I visited her she kept saying 'I want you to be
my nurse,'" says nursing student Viola Rose
"Grandma Rose was always a cheerleader
through my years at school. She wanted all her
grandchildren to go to school and encouraged
us to be focused and dedicated to our studies.
When I got into nursing she was so happy."
A member of the Okanagan Indian Band
in Vernon, 22-year-old Brown graduated this
spring with a Bachelor of Science in Nursing
(bsn) degree from UBC Okanagan's School of
One of the highlights of her education was a
six-week volunteer mission to Western Africa
last February and March, learning about
nursing in the rural hospitals and clinics of
northern Ghana.
Grandma Rose passed away just two weeks
before Brown left for Ghana, but the support
and encouragement over the years from her
grandmother and her entire family have given
Brown a clear sense of direction in her life: she
wants to be a great nurse, and particularly a
comfort to Aboriginal patients.
"Growing up, my parents taught me the
importance of learning the values and teachings
of my people's traditional way of life," says
Brown. "As a result, I am now very active in
my First Nations culture and it is a part of my
everyday life.
"My involvement in my culture turned into a
drive for me to go into the nursing profession.
I want to be able to give back to my people
and to assist them in improving their quality of
"I think it's very
important for
youth to see that
it is possible to
great things."
living. Often that quality of living is low, and
significantly compromised," she says.
The Okanagan Indian Band helped her financially through her post-secondary schooling.
The entire First Nations community in Vernon
also offered tremendous encouragement, she
says, adding that she received support for her
trip to Ghana from family, friends and com
munity members.
"I realize who I am today has a lot to do
with my community," she acknowledges. "I
really appreciate all the support my Band
provided. They're the reason I am here."
Her immediate plans are to enjoy being a
nurse, gaining experience and applying her
cultural awareness and nursing skills for positive impact in the health-care system.
"I've always found myself to be a nurturer,
able to jump in and help when someone is sick
or injured," she says. "As a nurse, I'd like to
emphasize the importance of being culturally
sensitive, and being an advocate for people
who need that support."
Last year, Brown attended a conference in
Prince George aimed at developing a plan to
get more First Nations youth into health-related fields. As a new nursing degree recipient,
Brown sees an opportunity to share with
Aboriginal youth the kind of encouragement
she has received.
"I think it's very important for youth to see
that it is possible to achieve great things," she
says. "Now that I've done the work and look
back, it's not as hard as you might think, but
only as long as you apply yourself. I would like
it to be an example for youth that no door is
closed to them." I
By Bud Mortenson. Originally published in
UBC Reports.
Trek    Summer 2007
Friends and family were somewhat puzzled
by Camyar Chai's decision to return to school.
After all, hasn't he already made it?
Chai, 39, is the founder and one of the artistic producers of Vancouver's neworldtheatre,
known for original and ambitious plays. Works
such as Adrift on the Nile and The Adventures
of Ali and Ali and the Axes of Evil plumb the
political and social divide between East and
West, mixing the forms of theatre and cabaret.
His recent film and television acting credits
include Douglas Coupland's film Everything's
Gone Green, Stargate sgi and the new Chris
Haddock series, Intelligence.
However, when Chai crossed the stage at
UBC's Chan Centre during graduation, it was
to receive his Master of Fine Arts degree.
"Coming back to UBC gave me the luxury
of honing my directing skills and clarifying the
kind of theatre I want to make," says Chai.
"When you're working and face daily pressures
of deadlines, bills, and performances, you just
don't have time to ruminate on these issues."
Since graduating from UBC in 1993 with a
BFA, Chai has performed in 25 theatre productions, produced 14 and directed seven.
For his MFA thesis project, Chai directed
Bertold Brecht's Mother Courage and Her
Children. Compared to the open-ended creative
process with his own and other new plays,
he found a marked difference in directing
an established work. "Before I put my own
ingenuity on the script, I had to understand
what the writer intended."
His MFA studies also included technical proficiency in lighting and other design elements
"I was using those tools before, but I can do so
"My dream for
Vancouver is a
city that moves
toward tolerance
and resolving
some of the
problems we're
facing because
of it."
now with greater subtlety and depth."
Chai plans to continue working in Vancouver, concentrating on socially relevant and
intimate plays that challenge audiences to think
and live beyond their established borders.
Chai grew up in London, New York and
Tehran, and left Iran at age 11 with his family.
They eventually settled in North Vancouver
in 19 81. He says he's strongly influenced by
Persian poetry and history that emphasizes
respect and deference toward others, "looking
toward the greater good - which for some is
God, the universe or society as a whole.
My dream for Vancouver is a city that moves
toward tolerance and resolving some of the
problems we're facing because of it."
This month, Chai will be mounting the first
us run of The Adventures of Ali and Ali and
the Axes of Evil in Seattle. He'll also be bringing the play for the first time to the Persian
community in North Vancouver.
The neworldtheatre company is working to
gain the rights for a production of My Name
is Rachel Corrie, the Royal Court Theatre play
about a us activist who was crushed by an
Israeli bulldozer. It is also collaborating with
Touchstone Theatre on a production of Quebec
playwright Wajdi Mouawad's Tideline, set in
the chaos of Lebanon.
Chai is also working at the Carnegie Centre
teaching a writing course on political satire.
Participants will create a piece slated for 2010
production called The Downtown Eastside
Olympics. I
By Lorraine Chan. Originally published in
UBC Reports.
Illustration/self portrait: Camyar Cha
Summer 2007    Trek    29 What it Takes to Win
The complexities of climate change, cancer and other
overwhelming issues can only be understood and, ultimately,
resolved with the help of every academic discipline.
Lifewriting. Cancer treatment. Sustainability. These three seemingly disparate
themes are now intertwined in the life of my
mother-in-law, Adelle Castelo. In 2006, at
the age of 72, she published her first novel
[Tango on a Tightrope), was diagnosed with
breast cancer and watched the world begin to
embrace, again, the kind of sustainable living
she grew up with during the Depression.
Following a lumpectomy, aggressive
chemotherapy, and radiation, Adelle is slowly
recovering and is almost ready to start writing
again. Lifewriting has allowed her to reflect
on the past and come to understand the story
of her life, her generation and the choices she
has made. With climate change and an increase
30    Trek    Summer 2007
llustration: IStockPhoto in cancer clearly linked to the lifestyle and
choices of the baby boomer generation that
followed her, I wonder how the story of our
generation will play out. Will we be seen as
pioneers who led the change that saved the
planet? Or will we be seen as its ultimate
In January 2007, UBC created the College
for Interdisciplinary Studies (cfis). It provides
the research infrastructure to look at precisely
these kinds of multi-faceted, multi-disciplinary
societal issues, and to examine how these
issues can be resolved through collaborative
research. One of cfis's faculty members,
professor John Robinson, has spent 30
years addressing sustainability. Based on his
experience, he believes that sustainability (and
similar kinds of complex problems) requires
two different but complementary types of
research. Discipline-based, curiosity-driven
research, he says, will always be needed as
the core of any university research effort to
focus on the "long term project of culture and
civilization." But this type of research needs to
be complemented by an "outer ring of people
who want to engage in the community and
address specific social issues."
Robinson works at cfis' Institute for
Environment, Resources and Sustainability
(ires), is a lead author on the Fourth Intergovernmental Report on Climate Change,
and is spearheading the Centre for Interactive
Research on Sustainability, part research lab,
part working office and possibly the world's
greenest building. "The centre," he says, "is a
great example of issues-driven interdisciplinarity at work. We draw on basic research in
building science, materials science, physics,
thermodynamics of energy use, all in the
service of accelerating sustainability."
Cancer is growing worldwide and is another
pressing issue that is better examined under
collaborative lenses. The World Health Organization estimates that malignant tumours
were responsible for 12 per cent of the nearly
5 6 million deaths worldwide from all causes,
and reckons that cancer rates could increase
by 50 per cent to 15 million new cases in the
year 2020.
I spoke with Ralph Durand, director of
cfis' Interdisciplinary Oncology Program
recently in his office at the BC Cancer
Research Centre. The program brings together
15 graduate students from a variety of fields to
study cancer and the combination of treatments
needed to tackle the kind of aggressive cancer
that Adelle faces.
"Cancer," says Durand, "is a disease of
the aged, caused by a mutation in the genes."
Understanding why these mutations occur, and
their triggers - lifestyle, pollution, stress, and
toxins - is key to prevention. Durand uses an
interdisciplinary approach in his research, mixing and matching different treatment regimes.
"Oncology and radiation were competing
disciplines 3 5 years ago," he explains. "Today
the disciplines work much more collaboratively.
In our program, if a lab result doesn't make it
in a clinical trial, the students and a principal
investigator go back to the lab and try again."
But, Durand adds, "one of the most difficult
The earth contains about
6.5 billion humans. We
continue to grow and
destroy our host species
with all the qualities of
tumourous growth.
UBC's School for Community and Regional Planning
things is to ensure students report the unexpected results they might consider as negative."
The principal investigator might conclude the
"negative result" is in fact a new direction,
a possible discovery. "It is these unexpected
findings that are often most interesting."
"Medicine is not a science, it is an art,"
Durand says, and most successful "when
the researchers work collaboratively and are
provided a space for serendipity to happen. I'll
be eating my lunch and someone will say one
sentence and I'll go 'Aha!' and that will spark
an idea. Some of the best science is done in the
Durand describes the traditional methods of
killing cancer cells and the nasty side-effects
that survivors like Adelle are facing, and sees
new, less harmful genetic therapies emerging
that can slow cancer growth. "My vision for
the future," he says, "is to relegate cancer to a
manageable disease."
This is a vision Adelle supports. In the past
11 months, she has been seen by her GP, a chemotherapy oncologist, a radiation oncologist,
a surgeon, a host of generous volunteers and a
number of specially trained nurses, therapists
and technicians - a community of support.
"It has certainly been a long, unpredictable
journey," she says, "As most oncologists put it,
chemotherapy is a process of 'slash, poison, and
burn.'" The day I interviewed Adelle, her hair
was just starting to grow in again.
"I began lifewriting about ten years ago,"
she says, "and I now realize that this was my
attempt to put together the jigsaw puzzle pieces
of my life. I could not write creatively during
the cancer treatment, suffering from so-called
chemo brain, which affects both short-term
memory and the ability to concentrate."
Dr. Carla Paterson met me at UBC's Centre
for Studies in Autobiography, Gender and
Aging, a unit in cfis' Centre for Women's
and Gender Studies. She showed me the space
where graduate students, scholars and community members interact and conduct research
on autobiography and lifewriting, focusing on
issues raised by gender and age such as those
faced by Adelle. The Centre is one of the first
humanities projects funded by the Canada
Foundation for Innovation and has leveraged
an interdisciplinary network of arts, humanities
and science scholars into a diverse range of
publications. "For example," says Peterson,
"a recent conference, Narratives of Disease,
Disability, and Aging, led to the book Unfitting
Stories: Narrative Approaches to Disease,
D isability, and Trauma," which provides
compelling and innovative approaches from
different disciplines to understanding Adelle's
recent experiences. It is a book that needed an
interdisciplinary infrastructure for the collaborative effort to work."
Professor Sneja Gunew, outgoing director of
the Centre for Women's and Gender Studies, is
a firm believer in the value of interdisciplinary
research and teaching because "you can see the
results when you bring these people together.
Ordinarily, you're bouncing up against disciplinary walls. But here you feel liberated and
Summer 2007    Trek    31 have a sense of legitimization. It makes a huge
difference." It takes time to develop a common
language, she says, and the process is risky.
"But the result is the freedom to collaborate
with others and pursue creative and innovative
Gunew adds that the Food Project is another
good example of interdisciplinary work. "We
worked with nutritionists and a group of
First Nations and looked at how traditional
knowledge about food and plants and healing
can apply to contemporary health issues like
Thinking about Adelle, I realize that her
life has bridged the Depression, the consumer
generation and now a generation facing what
might be the biggest issue yet.
Professor Hadi Dowlatabadi, jointly
appointed in two cfis units, ires and the Liu
Institute for Global Issues, has been analyzing
climate change for 19 years. "Climate change
is a great example of a problem that requires
an interdisciplinary effort. It affects health,
economies, water availability, ecosystems, trade
and most other areas of human endeavour."
Dowlatabadi focuses on asking the question:
What technological choices do we have for
meeting energy demand without compromising the Earth's environmental systems? His
integrated assessment of various sustainable
technologies helps governments make well-
informed policy choices.
Dowlatabadi asserts that typical Canadian
homes could reduce their greenhouse gas emissions by 60 per cent for hot water and space
heating, have it pay for itself in less than ten
years, and save 40 megatonnes of greenhouse
gases - one-fifth of our obligation under Kyoto
- at no net cost to the economy, simply by using current technologies such as ground source
heat pumps.
Providing this kind of real-world, public
benefit is why Dowlatabadi is at cfis. "The
College is one of the few such institutions in
the world that has brought together scholars
bridging the gap between the academic and the
real world, and that makes cfis a really special
Adelle was born in one of Canada's toughest
economic times. "The world is becoming more
and more complex," she says. "We learned
the hard way about sustainability, perhaps
without knowing that word. 'Waste not, want
not' prevailed in my family and permanently
affected me," she says.
Professor William (Bill) Rees arrives at
our interview on his bike wearing shorts. It's
the same way he has traveled to work for
the past 30 years. He is a professor in UBC's
School of Community and Regional Planning
and developer of the ecological footprint
analysis concept. He was recently awarded
the Trudeau Fellowship Prize for the global
impact of his research.
Rees goes further than Adelle. He thinks
our world is becoming "more complex than
we can even think," with global issues posing
increasing levels of risk as we become less
and less able to understand, let alone address,
Humans are now the leading cause of cli-
A tumour the size of a
large marble contains
about 6.5 billion cancer
UBC Interdisciplinary Oncology Program
mate change according to the recently released
fourth ipcc Report. But, says Rees, "climate
change is just one of many symptoms of our
dysfunctional relationship between the human
enterprise and nature. And to understand why
that is the case requires the kind of interdisciplinary, even transdisciplinary, orientation
of cfis. We may think that we know a great
deal in our own discipline, but we may not be
able to interpret our disciplinary insights in a
meaningful way because we're ignorant of the
various insights that it might connect with in
other disciplines."
"So we need both: deep technical knowledge within each of the disciplines, and people
who then withdraw from the discipline and
embed themselves in environments such as
cfis so that we can make the connections that
enable us to confront the problem."
The 2003 World Cancer Report explicitly
links the global increase in cancer to our
The main reasons for the greater cancer
burden of affluent societies are the earlier
onset of the tobacco epidemic, the earlier
exposure to occupational carcinogens, and
Western nutrition and lifestyle.
Rees draws an analogy: "A well-adjusted
parasite is unnoticed by its host. Humans
are like maladaptive parasites on the planet,
because we continue to grow and we're
destroying our host species. In fact, we have
all the qualities of a tumourous growth."
Cancer and climate change are both
complex, global and require the wide (and
deep) lens of interdisciplinary research to be
understood and addressed.
"We have two grand challenges: one to our
intellect and our capacity to plan forward to
avoid the worst, and the other to recognize
that current development is creating a moral
dilemma of unprecedented proportions. If we
can rise to those two challenges, then, I think,
the next 60 years will be perhaps the most
exciting times and we'll have a future."
"When I listen to my grandchildren speak,
I am amazed by how much they know about
these issues. It makes me most hopeful that
their generation will be one that cares about
and will take responsibility for the world."
Leaving the interview, I wonder, "Sixty
years from now, what life story will Adelle's
grandchildren - my children - write?
Much depends, of course, on how much
my generation pays attention to the interconnections between diverse areas of discovery,
so that we can in fact come to understand
the very complex and historically compelling
problems we are facing, and then make the
right personal and policy choices, providing a
future for the next generation. I
For more about interdisciplinary studies at
UBC, see www.cfis.ubc.ca.
Grant Ingram, principal of CIS, passed
away suddenly on June 13, 2007. To make
a donation to the Grant Ingram Memorial
Scholarship, please contact Maryn Ellis at
John Corry is communications manager at
UBC's College for Interdisciplinary Studies.
iby Brian Fernandes The World of Kebabs
Anand Prakash, MA'58, phd'6o
Whitecap Books, $29.95
Learn how to make Skewered
Meat Balls from Japan, Veal
Skewers in Marsala Wine from
Italy, Meat and Eggplant Kebabs
from Iraq, Spicy Mutton Kebabs
from Nigeria and Jerk Pork and
Pineapple Kebabs from Jamaica.
A marine biologist-turned
cookbook author, Prakash
provides 150 mouth-watering and
exotic kebab recipes as well as
the cultural history of the kebab.
For 20 years, Prakash has traveled
the globe, collecting recipes from
street vendors, restaurateurs,
chefs and food historians. Along
with information on grilling,
marinating, and meat preparation,
each recipe has been tested and
retested and is presented in an
easy-to-follow format. In this
comprehensive guide, Prakash
shares simple recipes, anecdotes
and insight into the evolution of
this global cuisine.
Clam Gardens: Aboriginal
Mariculture on Canada's
West Coast
Judith Williams
New Star Books, $19.00
Coastal First-Nations are well-
known as hunters and gatherers.
But now Judith Williams, UBC
assistant professor emerita, has
uncovered convincing evidence
that in addition to fishing and collecting vegetation, native peoples
have, since pre-Contact time,
harvested clams in special retaining beds built for this purpose.
For many years, archaeologists
were unaware of the ancient clam
terraces at Waiatt Bay on Quadra
Island and Williams knew no
differently until she was advised
of their existence by a Klahoose
By talking with other observers
of clam gardens in the Broughton
Archipelago and conducting her
own survey of Waiatt Bay and
Gorge Harbour on Cortes Island,
Williams has amassed evidence
that the rock structures seen only
at the lowest tides were used by
native peoples for the purpose of
cultivating butter clams. The clams
were then smoked, dried and
threaded onto long strings which
could then be traded.
According to Williams, the
existence of clam gardens might be
unique in the world; her research
does much to challenge the
notion of pre-contact West Coast
indigenous peoples and hunters-
gatherers alone.
The Big Fall
Ivan Narayan, ba'o6
Author House, $13.99
Private Detective Gabriel Dixon's
world has always revolved around
three things: booze, broads and
bullets. However, when the door
opened one sleepy afternoon, he
knew his life would never be the
same again.
What follows is a fistful of beatings, car chases, dizzy dames that
won't quit and Nazi thugs bent on
34    Trek    Summer 2007 destroying everything that World
War II New York is all about.
What Gabriel Dixon doesn't
know is that a powerful secret
ties everyone he meets together in
a dangerous game of twister that
leaves a string of dead bodies and
broken hearts.
The Big Fall is laced with 1940's
jargon and is reminiscent of the
film-noir detective style movies
and novels that defined much of
the era where guns were called
"heaters" and women were called
True Confessions
Renee Norman, BEDE'72, MA'95,
Inanna Publications and Education
Inc., $17.95
In this award-winning collection,
acclaimed poet and writer Renee
Norman captures the sensuous
and surreal, the serious and the
serene and the simple truths about
life, love, self and family.
True Confessions traces
Norman's early beginnings growing up Jewish in Alberta, marrying
and raising her daughters, delving
into academia, and her journey
to becoming an autobiographical
writer and poet.
The collection is a depiction of
women's roles as daughter, mother
and grandmother.
Affecting Eternity: Origins
of the University of British
Columbia's Faculty of
John Calam, BA'48, MED'62
Pacific Educational Press, $24.95
Affecting Eternity is an insider's
account of the personalities and
debate that shaped the evolution
of teacher education at UBC.
It is a detailed rundown of the
struggle to define education and
educators. Spanning 84 years, Affecting Eternity balances upon the
deanship of Neville Scarfe who,
with his colleagues, established a
major university faculty broad in
its array of specialization, complex
in its divisional and departmental
structure, and recognized internationally for its professional
This book is for teacher educators, education faculty members
and all readers interested in
educational and institutional history and the impact that teacher
education's conception continues
to have on teaching in Canada.
Horse: How the Horse has
Shaped Civilization
J. Edward Chamberlin, BA'64
Knopf Canada, $32.95
Drawing on archeology, biology,
art, literature and ethnography,
Horse highlights the relationship between humans and
horses throughout history - from
Alexander the Great to Genghis
Kahn, from the Moors in Spain
and the knights in France, to the
great horse cultures of Native
America. From the Ice Age to
the Industrial Age, horses have
provided sustenance, transporta
tion, status, companionship
and the ability to establish and
expand empires.
Included in Horse are stories of
horses at work and at play, both
wild horses and famous horses in
books, paintings and movies. The
grandson of Alberta pioneer John
Cowdry, Chamberlin has horses
in his genes.
This Crisis, These Blessings
Deirdre Maultsaid, med'oi
Trafford Publishing, $19.95
This Crisis, These Blessings is
a collection of richly detailed
essays on women's experiences of
crisis, illness, rape, motherhood,
housework and family travel.
The essays demonstrate women
turning suffering into understanding, grief into poetry and tragedy
into renewal. Drawn from her life
as teacher, mother, sexual assault
survivor or traveler, Maultsaid's
fragments and reflections are
disturbing, cumulative and
unexpected. I
Summer 2007    Trek    35 New look, new benefits!
The Alumni Card (Acard) is your passport to exclusive benefits and
identifies you as a proud member of UBC's global alumni community.
UBC community borrower library card, valued at $100 per year
Regular room rental discount of 25% at UBC Robson Square
Special rates at the University Golf Club
Two-for-one admission to the Museum of Anthropology, the
UBC Botanical Garden and the Nitobe Memorial Garden
Jubilee Travel vacation package discounts
UBC Bookstore discount of 10% on selected merchandise
Discounts on regular adult tickets for Theatre at UBC
Deals with UBC Athletics and the Aquatic Centre
Business In Vancouver subscription savings
Savings of 30% on Premium Paints and 20% on related supplies
at Mills Paint
UBC Alumni Affairs
John Doe www.alumni.ubc.ca
issue Date: 05/23/2007
Visit www.alumni.ubc.ca/rewards for more information.
The perks of membership!
Alumni Affairs has established relationships with carefully selected companies to provide you
with special deals on quality products and services. Help support student and alumni activities
at UBC by participating in the following great programs:
Wellington West Clearsight
offers full service
retirement planning
including lower fees,
professional advice and a
wide selection of products.
Home & Auto Insurance
TD Meloche Monnex home and
auto insurance plans extend
preferred group rates and
specially designed features for
our grads. Small-business and
travel insurance is also available.
Manulife Financial has
served the alumni
community for over twenty
years, providing extended
health and dental, term life
and critical illness plans.
Credit car
More than 12,000 alumni and
students use their UBC MBNA
Alumni Mastercard which has
low introductory rates,
24-hour customer support
and no annual fees.
Visit www.alumni.ubc.ca/rewards for more information. ALUMNI NEWS
Wanted: Arts Letterman
Inter-faculty rivalry is as prevalent as ever
among UBC students, and the Faculty of Arts
needs some help! Engineering and Science
students have letterman jackets that they can
wear to inter-faculty events, but Arts students
do not. If you have an old Arts UBC jacket
lying around that you don't happen to wear
anymore, the Arts Undergraduate Society (aus)
would love to have it. Jackets will be showcased on the first day of classes at the imagine
ceremonies and worn at inter-faculty events.
Please contact Stephanie Ryan, AUS President,
at 778.855.8574 or auspresident@gmail.com.
During the 2007 May long weekend, more
than 100 former residence advisors gathered
at UBC Vancouver for a chance to rekindle
old football rivalries, tour new - and newly
renovated - residence buildings, and enjoy
another formal dinner at Vanier's Dining
Room. Reports suggest there was also enough
time to try the new pub on campus, as well as
visiting the old one.
Alumni who worked as residence advisors
in all residence areas, from all years, were
invited to this first advisor reunion. A number
of alumni from Ontario and Alberta made the
trip and organizers were particularly delighted
to welcome an alumna who was a staff member
in 1972.
For more information about future advisor
alumni events, please contact advisor.reunion®
Planning Your Milestone Reunion
Did you graduate in 1997, 1998, 1982, 1983,
1957 or 1958? We want to help you celebrate
these milestone anniversaries. Contact Marguerite Collins at 604.827.3294 or marguerite.
collins@ubc.ca to plan your 10, 25 or 50 year
Class Reunions
We're booking reunions for Alumni Weekend
and for other times throughout the year. Many
of the details are still being pinned down, but
here's the line-up so far. Please keep an eye
on our website for updates www.alumni.ubc.
ca/events/reunions or get in touch with the
reunion contact person listed.
60th Anniversary Reunion
Class of '47: Thursday, November 22: Brunch
at Cecil Green Park House and special convocation ceremony at the Chan Centre. Please
keep an eye out for your detailed invitation
package late in the summer.
Classes of '48 and '49: Date TBC. If you are
interested in being part of the reunion planning
committee, please contact Marguerite Collins
at 604.827.3294 or marguerite.collins@ubc.ca.
Applied Science
Mechanical Engineering Class of '97: Details
TBC. Please contact David Iwabu for more
information at 604.574.2860 or iwabu@yahoo.
The Mechanical Engineering Class of '87: July
14 to 15. Saturday evening boat cruise for
grads and guests leaving from Coal Harbour
with drinks, dinner, dancing and a live band
made up of some "almost famous" alumni. On
Sunday there will be a family bbq at a park or
beach in greater Vancouver. For more details
contact Cathy Strickland at cstrickland@shaw.
Civil Engineering Class of '49: Tuesday,
September 11. Lunch at Dunsmuir Lodge and
a guided tour of the BC Aviation Museum in
Victoria. For more details contact Hub Baker
at hubbaker@shaw.ca or 250.592.1461.
Chemical Engineering Class of '87: August
Totem Football, a favourite residence tradition, was relived by advisor alumni during the first residence advisor reunion in May 2007.
Summer 2007    Trek    37 +           r"
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UBC Convert
Last year, UBC's Senate approved the plan to
award UBC degrees to eligible graduates of
Okanagan University College. More than 2,300
OUC grads are eligible to convert their degrees,
and so far more than 400 have applied.
Edmonton teacher Stuart Hurd, pictured here,
joined other converters at a ceremony on the
UBCO campus in June. He earned his BSc at OUC
in 1999, and his BEd in 2004. Said Hurd who,
with his wife, drove from Edmonton for the
ceremony, "The UBC name is far more recognizable, and my institution doesn't exist anymore.
So I thought it would be a good thing."
OUC grads who convert their degrees receive
all services available to other UBC grads, including access to the UBC Library system and connections to UBC's worldwide alumni community.
4 to 5. The class will convene in Vancouver for
a reunion weekend. For more details contact
Engineering '58: 50th Anniversary, May 2008.
Contact Gerry Hildebrand at dgh@shaw.ca or
604.731.1288 or visit the reunion website at
Arts One: 40th Anniversary Reunion, Saturday,
September 15. Open House, luncheon and a
special presentation by Dr. Edward Hundert on
Arts One: Surviving the Bonfire of the Humanities. For more information, please contact arts.
cap@ubc.ca for more information at christine.
lee@ubc.ca or 604.822.9259.
Arts and Science
Arts and Science '57: Saturday, September 15
- details TBC.
Arts and Science '58: If you are interested
in being part of the reunion planning committee, please contact Marguerite Collins at
604.827.3294 or marguerite.collins@ubc.ca to
plan your 10, 25 or 50 year reunion.
Law'82, '83, and '97: Details TBC.
Law'57: Saturday, September 29 at the
Vancouver Lawn and Tennis Club.
Land and Food Systems (formerly Agriculture)
Aggies'57 and '82: Details TBC.
Aggies'77- 81: Five-year reunion - details TBC.
Med'57: September 7-9. Contact Dr. Hardwick
at david.f.hardwick@ubc.ca or 604.822.8584.
Med'58: Details TBC.
Med'67: Contact Dr. Patrick MacLeod at
patrick.macleod@viha.ca or 250.370.2961.
Med'82,'87 and '92: Details TBC.
Med'97: September 14 to 16, 2007. Please
contact Angela Rivers at squamishrivers®
Nursing All Years: September 15. Reunion
Luncheon at Cecil Green Park House.
Nursing'57: Contact Ethel Warbinek for more
info at warbinek@telus.net or 604.538.5066.
Nursing'67: Contact Alison Rice for more info
at jalisonrice@shaw.ca
Pharmacy'57: September 14 to 15. Friday
dinner and reception at Cecil Green Park
House; Saturday tour of the faculty and Alumni
Weekend activities. Contact Gordon Wrightman
at 604.936.6184 or gorel@telus.net.
Pharmacy'62: Contact Lawrence (Larry) Thorne
at Ithorne@shaw.ca or 250.385.3196.
Sauder School of Business
BCOM'97, BCOM'87, MBA'97, MBA'82: Contact
alumni@sauder.ubc.ca or 604.822.6027 for
more info.
BCOM'57: Tuesday, June 19. Walking tour of
campus and luncheon. Please contact alumni®
sauder.ubc.ca or 604.822.6027.
Forestry'67: Contact Russ Clinton at russ.
clinton@telus.net or 604.541.3655.
Forestry All Years: Saturday, September 15.
Reunion luncheon during Alumni Weekend.
Please contact the faculty at 604.822.8787.
Regional Network News
Your global UBC alumni network just keeps on
growing. There are now nearly 60 contacts and
networks around the globe. Fellow alumni are
having fun planning events, networking with
one another, meeting UBC faculty and staff, and
sharing experiences with new UBC students.
What have your networks been up to recently?
They've joined alumni from other universities
at All Canadian Universities events, attended
the 1st annual Toronto Great Trekker Alumni
Luncheon, shared experiences at the us information sessions for new UBC students, gone ice
skating, learned to windsurf, and met UBC's new
You can be part of the excitement no matter
how far away you are from the UBC campus.
Get out to an upcoming event or get involved
as a volunteer. Do you have a flair for event
planning? Writing web content? Organizing
book clubs? Fielding questions from and sharing
experiences with new students or relocating
alumni? If so, why not contact the alumni rep
for your region and share your talent. Regional
networks are always looking for volunteers.
If you don't see a network for your area,
contact your alumni relations managers, Brenda
(UBC Okanagan) at brenda.tournier@ubc.ca,
Tanya (UBC Vancouver) at tanya.walker@ubc.
ca, or Mei Mei (Asia Pacific Regional Office in
Hong Kong) at info@apro.ubc.ca.
38    Trek    Summer 2007
Photo: Chris Petty Alumni Network Reps
Richard Liu, BA'93
Tammy McDonald, BED'96
United Arab Emirates
Sajida Shroff, BA'90, BED'93
Kim Christiane Larsen, BA'07
London, England
Lee-Ann Rowan, BA'03
Upcoming Events
Where is the best source for upcoming events?
Check out the Alumni Affairs website at www.
alumni.ubc.ca. Your reps are all using email to
spread the word about events so make sure that
we have your email address. It's easy to update
at www.alumni.ubc.ca/contact/address.php.
8th Annual Canada Gala & UBC Alumni
Friday, October 5 at the Westin Hotel
This will be the 8th Annual Canada Gala celebrating Canadian Thanksgiving and the Canada
- us relationship. UBC alumni are invited to
attend a special, private reception prior to the
gala. Mark your calendars for an evening of
celebration, reminiscing, and networking. Feel
free to join us for the reception, gala or both!
More details at www.alumni.ubc.calevents.
Focus UBC Receptions
Professor Stephen Toope became UBC's 12th
president in July 2006. He is traveling to differ
ent locations around the globe in the coming
year to meet alumni and friends of UBC, like
you. Join us to welcome Professor Toope on
his first visit to your city.
Focus UBC: Calgary
Monday, September 10, 2007
Fairmont Hotel Palliser
6:30 - 9:00 pm
Focus UBC: Seoul
Monday, October 15, 2007
Focus UBC: Taipei
Wednesday, October 17, 2007
Focus UBC: Tokyo
Thursday, October 18, 2007
Focus UBC: London
February 2008
More dates, locations and details will be added.
Check www.alumni.ubc.ca/events/focus for
updates.  I
'*  ?'' ,
Mary Southerst thinks SO. A deep concern for animals has prompted her to establish
a planned gift to benefit UBC's Animal Welfare Program. Through a bequest in her
will, the program will receive funds to help them carry out their mission of improving
the welfare of animals internationally through research, teaching and public education.
Dr. David Fraser, Senior Professor in the program, appreciates the personal interest
Mary shows in animals, and in the program's work to improve their lives. "Mary's gift
will help ensure that UBC continues to be a world leader in animal welfare long into
the future."
To establish a planned gift that will support important programs like Animal Welfare,
please contact UBC Gift & Estate Planning at 604.822.5373 or heritage.circle@ubc.ca.
Summer 2007    Trek    39 ABOVE: View from the hotel, Cortona; BELOW: Florence from above; LEFT: author and gelati
Footsteps worn by history. A medieval walkway in Cortona, Italy.
Cortona and the Tasty Treats of Tuscany
I've always heard that the light is one of
Tuscany's most compelling attractions. A trick
of the atmosphere creates a perpetual haze that
softens the landscape and diffuses the colours
like a lens smeared with Vaseline. A philistine
might suggest that it looks more like smog but
no, we're assured, it's always been like that.
And sure enough, vistas around Cortona,
the town we will live in for eight days, look
like the backgrounds of Renaissance paintings
with rocky outcrops, cylindrical cedars, Roman
ruins and misty distances, soft and angelic.
My wife Elizabeth and I are in the land
of "Under the Tuscan Sun" with a group of
alumni from Canadian universities, UBC
included, all part of the Alumni Holiday International program, Alumni College in Tuscany.
Talking to other tour members on the first
day (sitting overlooking the amazing view from
our hotel, sipping a welcoming glass of Tuscan
wine), I realize that many of them have the
same misgivings we do about travelling in a
tour group. Will be we herded like school children or old folks on a day pass? Will we have
to walk through endless museums listening to
English-as-a-third-language guides speaking
about Caravaggio's amazing pentimenti until
we scream? Like us, many of them are used to
travelling on their own and taking what comes.
So we wait and see.
Cortona is an ancient city, first built by
the Etruscans, added on to by the Romans,
beautified by the Medicis, and polished, buffed
and upgraded by generations of Italians
ever since. They've managed to maintain its
historical appeal and, at the same time, ensure
that mod cons like electricity, running water
and sewers keep it liveable. It stretches up the
side of a small mountain giving it an imposing
view of any approaching enemy, and of the
lush agricultural valley below. The view from
our hotel, the San Lucas, is without doubt the
40    Trek    Summer 2007 best in town. We take our meals at the hotel,
distracted by it.
The tour works like this: we get up each
morning to a great breakfast of eggs, fresh
pastries, fruit, cold meats and all the other
things that make up a deluxe continental
breakfast. Then, we load up on the bus and
head out for the day's adventure. One day we
walk the streets of Siena and learn about the
Palio, a traditional horse race between the
town's competing neighbourhoods. It's run
annually around the Piazza del Campo before
large crowds and a TV audience. Another
day, we visit Perugia with its world famous
chocolate, Etruscan gate and Roman aqueduct.
Still another day, we visit Assisi, home of the
Basilica of St. Francis, one of the most opulent
and expansive cathedrals in Italy, and filled
with frescos by Giotto. In Assisi, we also visit
the church of St. Clare, which contains her
undecomposed body (though we couldn't see
it that day). And what trip to Tuscany would
be complete without a day in Florence, with
some of the world's best museums? In spite
of the crowds and traffic, it remains one of
Europe's treasures.
We also spend time at a winery in Montep-
ulciano (the wine is superb and the cheese is
spectacular), learn how to cook some sublime
Tuscan dishes from our hotel's master chef,
and wander the streets of Cortona, feeling the
pace of Italian life.
Our tour director, Jeannette Wong, is
a Chinese American from San Francisco,
married to an Italian. She's lived in Cortona
for 20 years, and her knowledge of the area
(and the Italians) is formidable. During our
bus rides, she maintains a flow of anecdotes
and information that keeps us laughing and
interested. She has also arranged professional
tour guides for all our outings, and each of
them is first rate.
At the end of every day, we return to the
Hotel San Lucas for another Tuscan eating adventure, a long stroll in the streets of Cortona
and a cocktail overlooking a misty moonrise.
In the end, we all agree that our trepidations
about being in a group tour were unfounded.
The days were just packed on this amazing
trip, and we got to see things no casual tourists would ever discover on their own. Not
only that, we met people from across Canada:
like-minded souls, eager for adventure.
And we learned lots, too. I
For more information on alumni trips, visit
Photos: Chris Petty, Elizabeth Minish
Summer 2007    Trek    41 CLASS ACTS
In the last issue we included a Class Act about
alumni G.F. Hartman, D. D. MacDonald,
and T.G. North cote contributing a chapter to
the book Salmon 2100: The Future of Wild
Pacific Salmon. In fact there are two chapters
involving these writers: "Human Numbers
- The Alpha Factor Affecting the Future of
Wild Salmon" by G.F. Hartman, T.G.
Northcote, and C.J. Cederholm; and "Salmon
in the 21st Century: Managing Human
Activities to Achieve Long-Term Sustainability
of Pacific Salmon and Steelhead Populations"
by D.D. MacDonald, E.E. Knudsen, and CR.
Steward. A third chapter, "Wild Salmon in the
21st Century: Energy, Triage, and Choices,"
is written by Dr. K. Ashley, BSc'76, msc'8i,
MASC'89, PHD'02.
On February 22 at Canada House in Trafalgar
Square, London, England, Deputy High Commissioner Guy Saint-Jacques hosted a lunch-
time reception in honour of Professor Gordon
Munro BA'56. Professor Munro is an emeritus
member of the Department of Economics at
UBC. He is a world renowned expert in the
economics of fisheries and fisheries management. The event celebrated the launching of
a book Advances in Fisheries Economics,
a Festschrift in recognition of his contributions to the advancement of the economics
of the fishery. Professor Munro, through his
academic research, his teaching of a generation
of fisheries economists and his policy advisory
work has been instrumental in identifying,
promoting and introducing improved fisheries
management internationally and, in particular,
in Canada ... Constance Isherwood LLB'51 is
the recipient of the 2006 Distinguished Alumna
Award for Lifetime Achievement from the UVic
Alumni Association. She was honoured at the
Legacy Awards dinner this past November at
the Victoria Conference Centre. Isherwood
attended Victoria College in 1947-48. After
earning her Law degree she returned to Victoria
to practice Law, eventually opening an office
with her husband. Isherwood has been chancellor of the Anglican Diocese of BC for the past
20 years.
Robert Amedee Cantin ba'6i (Physics/Math)
has retired after 45 years in the Southern
California Aerospace industry. During his time
there, Rob worked as an engineer and scientist
for aerospace giants Honeywell, Hughes
Aircraft Company, Sikorsky Aerospace, Allied-
Signal and Lockheed Martin. He immigrated to
the USA in 1962, and despite only having a BA
from what is considered (in the usa) as a lesser
Canadian University, managed to hold down
technical posts at major aerospace companies.
During his 20 years with Hughes Aircraft Co.
Rob also worked as a contract Scientist at jpl,
TRW and McDonald-Douglas. Rob completed
post grad work in Canada at the University of
Manitoba, the University ofToronto, McGill
University and McMaster University. In the
USA he also attended UCLA, use, Cal Tech
and University of California at Long Beach.
From 1957 - 1962, while working towards
his degree, Rob taught high school science and
math. He and wife Judi live in the Los Angeles
area, five miles from the Pacific Ocean, Los
Angeles International Airport (lax), Marina
Del Rey, Hollywood and Beverly Hills. Rob
teaches on a volunteer basis at local private
schools. He is writing a book of his experiences
since 1962 called SO Years in LA ... Although
Marilyn (Hobson) Sharp bsc(Agr)'64 is past
the traditional retirement age, she is still very
involved in the agricultural industry. In 2006,
she was elected for her second term as chair
of the Agriculture and Food council, and was
honoured to receive an Alberta Centennial
Medal for her volunteer work. "Life is good!"
she says.
Alan Artibise PHD'72 has been named executive
dean of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences
at Arizona State University. "The heart of any
university is liberal arts and sciences - English,
mathematics, humanities, science and social
sciences," he says. "Our college's contribution
to a student's education is often providing the
foundation for future success, which can be
measured in retention and in graduation rates.
Alan Artibise, PhD'72
Our focus will be serving our students and their
educational needs." Artibise joined asu in 2004
from the University of News Orleans, where
he had been dean of the College of Urban and
Public Affairs. Trained as a political scientist
and urban historian, Artibise also is a certified
planner and recognized expert in North American urban development. His UBC phd was in
Urban History ... Anita Fuoco Boscariol BA'78,
LLB'82 is the new Executive Director of The
Federal Treaty Negotiation Office (ftno) in
BC. FTNO represents all Canadians and federal
departments and agencies in the negotiations
of comprehensive claims by first Nations in BC.
The goal of the BC treaty process is to build
new relationships with First Nations, achieve
certainty over ownership and use of land and
resources, and enhance economic opportunities
for First Nations. Anita's husband, Celso Boscariol (BA'77 & llb'8i) continues to practice
law as a partner at Watson Goepel Maledy
LLP inVancouver ... Jim Thorsell PHD'71
received the Distinguished Alumni Award
from the University of Alberta in September
2006 at a ceremony in Edmonton. The citation
for the award noted his career as the World
Conservation Union's advisor to UNESCO's
World Heritage Committee, and his efforts to
bring almost one million square kilometers
42    Trek    Summer 2007 of land and sea under the protection of this
prestigious convention. After field experience
in 700 national parks in 90 countries Jim now
serves on four conservation boards in Canada,
Mexico and Ecuador ... Marc Rizzardo BPE'77,
mpe'8i, BSCPT'87 has been selected by the
Canadian Olympic Association to be the Chief
Therapist for the Canadian medical team at the
2007 Pan American Games in Rio de Janeiro,
Rod Chow BCOM'83, mba'86 has had many
achievements in magic over recent years.
Previously the Canadian National Close-Up
Magic Champion, he is now the Society of
American Magicians International Champion of Magic. Last summer, in Louisville,
Kentucky, he competed against magicians
from throughout the world with his signature
"Show me the Money" magic act, and won
first place. He was featured on the cover of
the Society of American Magicians magazine's
April issue, which is distributed to magicians
world-wide in more than 50 countries. Rod's
children are also champion magicians. His
son, Nicholas (now seven) was, at age five,
the youngest ever winner in the over 70-year
history of the Pacific Coast Associations of
Magicians. He is now the reigning two-time
Pacific Coast and two-time Vancouver Magic
Circle junior champion. Rod's other son, Jack,
age 10, is a four-time Pacific Coast and reigning
two-time Vancouver junior champion. Not to
be left out, Rod's wife Sylvia is the reigning
two-time Society of American Magicians #95
Best Assistant of the Year. They all perform
together in a stellar stage show, The Champion
Magic of Rod Chow and Company. In total,
the Chow family has won more than 40 magic
awards and has been featured on TV and radio
and in newspapers and magazines. For further
bios, photos and show information, please
visit www.rodchow.com. You can find Rod
either practicing magic or selling insurance
in the narrowest building in the world (as
recognized by Guinness) located in Vancouver's
Chinatown, where he is a certified financial and
insurance advisor/broker and president of Jack
Rod Chow, BCom'83, MBA'86
Chow Insurance ... Norman S.W. Williams
PHD'83 is principal of nsww & Associates,
a high-technology advisory & management
consulting firm located in Toronto. He has
recently published a book, Take Steps to Realize Your Dream available at www.pdbookstore.
Willem Maas BA'95, PHD(Yale) returned from
the us last fall to teach political science at
York University. He lives in Toronto with his
wife, Deborah, son Isaac (one), and daughter
Naomi (born April 20). Also new is Maas's
book, Creating European Citizens ... Cynthia
Yeh BMUs'99 will take on the post of principal
percussion with the Chicago Symphony
Orchestra in June. She has been a percussionist
with the San Diego Symphony since 2004.
Andrea MacPherson mfa'oi has two new
books out this year: a novel, Beyond the
Blue (Random House, Canada) and a poetry
collection, Natural Disasters (Palimpsest Press).
She taught Creative Writing and English with
University College of the Fraser Valley and
Douglas College. Visit the author's site at www.
andreamacpherson.com ... Jeffrey Vallance
bhk'oo recently completed his phd at the
University of Alberta and is now working as
a research scientist with the Alberta Cancer
Board's Prevention Unit in Calgary, Alberta ...
Lara Wilson mas'oi has been appointed university archivist at the University of Victoria.
During her studies at UBC, Lara was also
a graduate research assistant on the sshrc
funded InterPAREs 1 Project (International
Research on Permanent Authentic Records in
Electronic Systems). I
Join us for wine, cheese and the
latest news about your Alumni
Special guests
Stephen Owen Former mp,
UBC VP External and Community Relations
David Farrar
UBC Provost and VP, Academic
Saturday, September 15, 2007
4:30-6:30 pm
Graduate Student Society Ballroom
6371 Crescent Road
UBC Campus
Vancouver, BC
Free Parking is available at the Rose
Garden Parkade.
Please RSVP at 604.822.3313 or alumni.
Summer 2007    Trek    43 World Travelers
There will be no shortage of Thunderbird student-athletes travelling the globe this summer
as a record number are representing Canada in
international competition. UBC swimmers and
field hockey players will be in Rio de Janeiro
in July for the Pan American Games, while 14
swimmers, including two-time Olympian Brian
Johns, will head to Bangkok, Thailand, for the
World University Games in early August. Also
bound for Bangkok are soccer players Paul Seymour, Michael Elliot, Steve Frazao, Amy Bobb
and Anja Sigloch, while several more T-Birds in
basketball, volleyball, golf, and track and field
are expected to be named to World University
Games rosters in the coming weeks.
Women's basketball and women's volleyball
are currently more intertwined with the
national program than ever before, as seven
basketball players and six volleyball players
have a chance to play for Canada this summer
in junior, development or senior competitions.
Included in that crop are up-and-coming hoop
stars Leanne Evans, Megan Pinske and Devan
Lisson, who were recently selected to compete at
the fiba U21 World Championships for Women
in Moscow, Russia, at the end of June.
On the coaching front, women's hockey
assistant Nancy Wilson has been named to
Hockey Canada's senior women's team staff for
2007-08; Deb Huband is an assistant with the
U21 world championship women's basketball
team; and Mike Mosher and Derrick Schoof will
be assistants at the World University Games in
men's soccer and swimming, respectively.
Tee 'Birds Take Fifth Straight
The UBC women's golf team out-dueled UVic
on the final day to win its fifth straight Royal
Canadian Golf Association University/College
Championship on June 1 in Fredericton. Sophomore Kaitlin Troop, who transferred to UBC from
Illinois State, finished fourth overall to lead the
T-Bird charge. Two weeks prior, Troop earned
Ail-American honours by placing 15th overall
as UBC claimed third spot at the naia national
championship in California. On the men's side
UBC placed sixth at the naia championship, their
best ever finish, with sophomore Cory Renfrew
earning Ail-American honours by tying for 12th.
The T-Birds then finished third at the rcga event.
Watson Returns to the Point
Canadian senior national team member Carrie
Watson, who led UBC to the 2004 CIS women's
basketball championship, has been named the
new fulltime assistant coach of the Thunderbird
44    Trek    Summer 2007 CLOCKWISE FROM TOP: Steve Frazao, Carrie Watson, Liz Gleadle, Kyla Richey,
Max Gordichuck, UBC Women's Golf Team
women's basketball program. A graduate of UBC's
Faculty of Education, Watson has coached with
the Nike Centre for Performance and Basketball
bc's regional programs. This summer, she will
compete at the Pan Am Games in Rio as well as
the fiba Americas Olympic Qualifier in Chile.
UBC is the only school in Canada to employ
fulltime assistant coaches in a sport other than
football, with men's and women's basketball,
men's and women's hockey, men's and women's
volleyball, baseball and swimming all employing
a second fulltime coach to further enhance the
development of student-athletes.
All In The Family
Several UBC teams have announced their recruiting class in recent weeks and many T-Birds To Be
have ties to the Point Grey campus. Defenceman
Max Gordichuk, one of four Western Hockey
League Scholarship players announced by head
coach Milan Dragicevic in June, has a famous
grandfather in Stu "Gunner" Bailey, a star
member of the 1949-50 UBC squad that is enshrined in the UBC Sports Hall of Fame. Men's
volleyball coach Richard Schick welcomes Joe
Cordonier as part of an impressive incoming
group this fall. Sister Emily was an All-Canadian women's volleyball player at UBC and
now plays for Canada's senior national team,
while sister Liz is a current standout for the
Thunderbirds who is expected to have a shot at
the World University Games team this summer.
Dad, John, was an Olympic rower during his
time at UBC. Among Doug Reimer's women's
volleyball recruits is junior national team
middle blocker Kyla Richey, whose mom, Jan,
played for the last UBC women's volleyball
championship team in 1978, while men's
basketball recruit Nathan Yu is following in
the footsteps of brother Jordan, and women's
basketball forward Robyn Fashler returns to
War Memorial Gym where she was a ball girl
for UBC games throughout elementary school.
All three of her sisters have academic ties to
UBC. In men's rugby, a third Jones brother is
entering the mix, as Under-19 world cup team
member Harry joins brothers Ben and Charlie
as Rockridge Secondary products who have
landed at UBC.
Field Athletes in a Golden State
Mike Mason made every jump count while
teammate Liz Gleadle saved her best for last
as both Thunderbird student-athletes came
away winners from the 2007 naia National
Track and Field Championships in Fresno,
California, in late May. Mason, a former world
Photos: Richard Lam
Summer 2007    Trek    45 LU
FROM L-R: Thunderbirds Football, David Mc
junior champion, fought through a knee injury
to win his second consecutive naia high jump
title with a leap of 2.13 metres. Gleadle, a UBC
freshman who recently rewrote the Canadian
junior women's javelin record with a 52.36-
metre toss, won the event with a 49.29-metre
effort on her sixth and final throw.
'Bird Broadcasts
The Canada West Conference has reached a
three-year agreement with Shaw Communications to broadcast a Canada West Football
Game of the Week across Western Canada.
UBC will be on TV three times during the
regular season: Sat, September 9 vs. Manitoba;
Sat, September 29 vs. Saskatchewan; and Sat,
October 13 at Manitoba.
Thunderbird teams will also be on the radio
more than ever, with campus radio station
101.9 CITR FM set to broadcast around 40
events during the regular season. For the
first time ever, the entire men's and women's
basketball schedules will be available through
CITR or webcast at www.gothunderbirds.ca.
Rowers hang in at Henley
For the first time since 1994, a Thunderbird
men's crew travelled to the prestigious Henley
Royal Regatta in early July and UBC's coxed
fours of Kevin Devlin, Tim Love, Graham Harris,
Mitch Wilson and coxswain Kristen Kit did not
disappoint in the historic Oxfordshire market
town of Henley-on-Thames. UBC upset top-
seeded Durham University and the University of
Exeter to advance to the semifinal round of the
Prince Albert Challenge before bowing out to local power the University of London, partly due to
an injury to Love. In other events, Thunderbird
alums Kyle Hamilton and Ben Rutledge claimed
their third Grand Challenge with the Canadian
national team eights, while Brentwood College
School, featuring incoming UBC recruits Simon
Woods and Sebastian Kallos, made it all the way
to the final of the Princess Elizabeth Challenge
where they were inched out by Shrewsbury
School. First held in 1839, the Henley Royal
Regatta is one of the oldest sporting events in the
world and more than 250,000 spectators line the
banks of the Thames for the five-day event.
Alumni Weekend Football
In conjunction with the UBC Alumni Association,
UBC Athletics is hosting the Big Block Alumni &
Friends bbq on Saturday, September 15, an event
that culminates in watching the Thunderbirds
football team tackle the Alberta Golden Bears. The
bbq runs from 12:00 - 1:30 pm near the flag pole
on the Main Mall plaza and attendees can then
be part of the parade to Thunderbird Stadium in
time for kickoff at 2:00 pm For rsvp and payment
details, please contact Jennifer Wong at jenwong®
inter change.ubc.ca or by phone at 604.822.6183.
Endowment hits $1 million
UBC Men's Basketball recently became the first
individual university sport program in Canada to
hit the $i million mark in its athletic scholarship
endowment thanks in large part to the efforts of
David McLean, Chairman and ceo of the McLean
Group and a former Chairman of the Board of
Governors at UBC. Mr. McLean and wife Brenda
host an annual golf tournament in Whistler that
benefits Thunderbird men's basketball, an event
that sold out again in June of 2007. I
Flight of the Thunderbirds
By Don Wells
Flight of the Thunderbirds traces the 100-year history of Canada's best varsity
sports program and the storied athletes who have brought pride - and
championships - to the university.
The book is to be published in September 2007. For more information, email
us at varsityOinterchange.ubc.ca.
46    Trek    Summer 2007 UBC
The MBNA® MasterCard® credit card
Credit you don't have to cram for
Apply now for your University of British Columbia Alumni Association
MasterCard and join more than 10,000 UBC alumni and students in
supporting your Association.
Call 1-866-434-5393 for an Instant Decision and quote Priority Code BPFY Monday - Thursday 8 am - 9 pm,
Friday 8 am - 7 pm (Eastern Time). Visit www.alumni.ubc.ca/rewards/mastercard.php for more information.
ERRATA The last issue contained an obituary for John Masuhara, BSc'87, Msc'93, that was erroneously submitted to In Memoriam. John called to
assure us he is alive and well.
We regret and apologize for mistakes and misspellings in the obituary of Rudolf Vrba, which appeared in the Summer 2006 issue of Trek Magazine. Dr. Vrba's was not the only successful escape from Auschwitz, as stated. And Ruth Linn's book Escaping Auschwitz: A Culture of Forgetting
was not primarily about Vrba's escape from Auschwitz but about how his exploits and memoirs were suppressed by the Israeli academic establishment until this denial of his unique contribution to Holocaust history was raised by Linn in the late i<)8os. A group of UBC academics and other
interested individuals are working to establish a Rudolf Vrba Lectureship. It will be a shared one, alternating annually between the department of
Pharmacology and Therapeutics in the faculty of Medicine and The Holocaust Education Committee in the faculty of Arts. For more information,
please contact Cecily Frost (Medicine) at cecily.frost@ubc.ca / 604.822.80yt), or Victoria Auston (Arts) at victoria.auston@ubc.ca / 604.822.5)5514.
Ken died peacefully at home in Victoria on
March 6, 2007, at the age of 57. He leaves
Leslie, his loving wife; his children, Jason,
Kirsten, Cole, Tara (Mark) and Shawna (Bob);
grandchildren Brittany, Caleb, Ayla, Robson
and Bryn; his mother, Ruth; six brothers and
sisters and their families; and many good
friends. Ken's family wishes to thank Dr. M.
Barnett and his team for their exceptional care
and concern during his Leukemia treatment.
Memorial donations may be made to the
Hematology/BMT Program, Gordon and Leslie
Diamond Centre, 2775 Laurel Street, Vancouver, BC V5Z 1M9. Condolences may be offered
to the family at www.mccallbros.com.
JOHN EDWARD "TED" COE ba(agr)'54
Ted was born December 26, 1932, in Penticton,
BC. A husband, father, brother, uncle and
friend, he passed away November 15, 2006,
after a brief illness. He is lovingly remembered
by his wife, June Bulych, sons Kenny (Pat) and
David, daughter Dr. Cathryn Coe ba'oo, and
brother Jim of Penticton. Ted was a member
of the Alpha Tau Omega Fraternity at UBC,
and graduated with a degree in Agriculture.
He went on to build a successful career in the
lumber business, where he made many friends
and was respected by all of his colleagues.
Throughout his life, Ted enjoyed fishing,
hunting and the outdoors, and more recently
his ranch in the Cariboo. He liked nothing
better than pruning his forest, and riding his
tractor - preferably with a dog or two by his
side. Ted will be greatly missed at the bridge
table as well as in the business community. He
was a strong supporter of higher education
John Edward "Ted" Coe, BA(Agr)'54
and made learning a life-long task. The family
would like to extend their sincere thanks to
Dr. A. MacCall and the nursing staff at lgh.
Donations in his memory may be made to the
Lions Gate Emergency Renovation Fund.
Dsc'92, oc
One of the earliest graduates of UBC's Nursing
program and one of its most accomplished,
Lyle Creelman died peacefully on February 27,
aged 98. During her career, she demonstrated
levels of expertise, intelligence, diplomacy and
influence that would create an enormous and
lasting legacy for the delivery of health care in
this country and beyond.
During Lyle's early childhood the Creelman
family lived in Nova Scotia. Later they moved
to Steveston, BC, and Lyle attended Bridgeport
High School in Richmond. At first, she
ventured into teaching - one of the few career
options for women back then. Another was
nursing. Interested in pursuing a challenging
career that might offer her greater satisfaction,
Lyle managed to amass enough money to
study for her nursing degree. On graduating
she worked in the area of public health for a
while before earning a scholarship to take her
masters at Columbia University in New York
City. Afterwards, she returned to Vancouver to
join UBC's School of Nursing, soon becoming
director of Nursing.
This early career move coincided with the
start of wwn, and Lyle was keen to serve
abroad. But as an expert in nurse training and
public health, she was required to stay at home
as essential personnel should the war ever
extend to Canadian turf. She was released from
this obligation towards the end of the war and
joined the United Nations Relief and Rehabilitation Administration. She went to Germany as
Chief Nurse of the British Occupied Zone and
faced what was possibly the most challenging
experience of her career, providing care to
prisoners in the Bergen-Belsen concentration
camp after their liberation by British troops.
For many of the incarcerated, it was too late.
Ten thousand were already dead and of those
still alive when the British arrived, close to two
thirds died soon after. A natural leader and
talented communicator, Lyle was able to cross
language, cultural and professional barriers
and organize nurse training for young women
displaced by the war. She stayed in Europe for
two years.
Back in Vancouver, she once again became
involved in public health nursing and was
invited to play a leading role in a major study
48    Trek    Summer 2007 Dr. Lyle Morrison Creelman, BASc'36, DSc'92, OC
into national public health services. The final
document that effort produced, which she
co-authored with Dr. J. H. Baillie, was highly
respected and became a major influence on
health policy and practice.
In 1949, Lyle was approached to join the
World Health Organization (who), then in its
infancy, as a nursing consultant in maternal
and child health. She became the organization's
Chief Nursing Officer in 1954 and stayed on
for 14 years. Much of her time was spent in
developing countries helping to improve health
practices. The concept of helping people to help
themselves, and being sensitive to the culture
and context of healthcare, were elementary
tenets of her approach long before they became
common notions. She travelled widely, applying
these philosophies on numerous healthcare
missions abroad. She retired from the post aged
60, but stayed with who to study maternal and
child health services in South-East Asia.
Later in life she lived on Bowen Island, then
moved to a senior's residence on the Vancouver
Mainland. She remained engaged and active
until old age. The contributions Dr. Creelman
made to nursing can not be overestimated. One
of only eight UBC Nursing graduates in 1936,
she became a pioneer in the areas of specialized
nurses' training, primary nursing care and
public health. Among her many degrees and
awards, Dr. Creelman received an honorary
doctorate from UBC in 1992, the Order of
Canada in 1971, and the Commemorative
Medal for the 125th Anniversary of the
Confederation of Canada.
Ann Herstein, who died in Richmond on
December 9, 2006, at the age of 94, was a
teacher, a mother, a gifted cook, a convivial
hostess, and an astute art collector. She
enjoyed an active and eventful life that, during World War II, took her from the Canadian
prairie to London, Jamaica, and Washington,
Ann's mother, Cissie Brounstein, went to
Calgary in December of 1912 to give birth.
Ann's father, Isaac Brounstein, was a horse
and cattle dealer working in all three prairie
provinces. Ann grew up in various towns
in Saskatchewan and then attended the
University of Saskatchewan for two years. She
went to secretarial school, where she learned
rapid and accurate typing, a skill that would
prove useful throughout her life. She became
a secretary in Regina to M.J. Coldwell, one
of the founders of the Cooperative Commonwealth Federation.
In 193 8, Ann married Archie Herstein,
a general practitioner who had a practice
in Pelly, Saskatchewan. Shortly after their
marriage, they left for England where Archie
would study to become a gynaecologist.
However, in England at that time, hospital
residents were not allowed to be married, so
they could not live together.
While Archie studied and worked in Sheffield, England, and Belfast, Northern Ireland,
Ann worked in London as secretary for a
company that imported agricultural products
grown by Jewish settlers in Palestine. Archie
graduated in obstetrics and gynaecology in
1940. Ann's contacts in the shipping industry
allowed them to get passage on a ship sailing
for New York, just before the German bombing of Britain began.
Back in Canada, they motored across the
country trying to decide where they wanted
to live. They chose to settle at the end of the
road - in Victoria. Archie set up a general
practice and Ann helped in the office. One
of Archie's patients was an eccentric artist
named Emily Carr who paid her medical bills
in art since she did not have cash. Ann and
Archie treasured their Carr painting of Victoria
harbour. The artist urged them to come to her
studio to choose two or three more but, much
to their later regret, they did not.
Archie joined the Canadian Army as a
medical officer attached to a regiment based in
Jamaica whose job was to patrol the waters of
the Caribbean. Meanwhile, Ann's secretarial
skills won her a job working for a British
Brigadier-General based in Jamaica. Her duties
included acting as a courier on several missions
to Cuba and other Caribbean countries.
She also worked as a model for a Jamaican
couture house. When Archie's regiment was
sent back to Canada and Archie was stationed
in Ontario, Ann moved to Washington, DC, to
take a job at the British Embassy as secretary to
the military attache.
After the war, they moved to Vancouver
where Archie built his medical practice. Ann
was busy raising their two children, Ruth and
Marc, and being active in the Jewish community. As a member of the National Council of
Jewish Women's Vancouver Chapter, Ann was
instrumental in producing the famed Council
cookbooks in her role as recipe chairwoman.
She was celebrated for her skills in the kitchen
and as a hostess. The Hersteins' art collection
grew to include works by A.Y. Jackson, Lawren
Harris and Victor Vasarely.
At the age of 49, Ann resumed her university
education at UBC obtaining a BA with majors
in English and Psychology. After that, she
worked in the field of remedial reading for
eight years. Among her other projects was serving as the assistant to Sandra Djwa, a professor
at Simon Fraser University, in the preparation
of a book on the poet F.R. Scott.
"She was enormously helpful to me over
a period of almost a decade, keeping me on
track and helping with the typing of letters and
articles," said Sandra. "My favourite memories
of Ann are centred around her house on Cartier
or the apartment on Fir Street, looking smashing, greeting all her friends, running from the
kitchen to the living room, somehow keeping
everything going. Ann was so kind and so
generous and so genuinely courteous: a lady."
Summer 2007    Trek    49 IN MEMORIAM
After Archie's retirement, the couple
travelled widely in Europe. Throughout their
lives Ann and Archie along with their large
group of friends were avid fans of the opera,
symphony, and theatre. In her later years,
Ann lived in Richmond where she taught ESL.
In addition to Ruth and Marc, Ann leaves
her grandson, Quinton, of whose musical
accomplishments she was especially proud,
and her sister, Rita Buckshon.
Marjorie Levirs, who has died aged 101,
helped guide her university basketball team
to the finals of the Canadian championship
in 1928. Fifty-two years later, she cheered a
granddaughter whose university team won the
national title that had eluded her.
Marjorie Gwen Lanning was born on May
17, 1905, to the owner of a hardware store
in Ladner (now Delta), BC. She attended
Columbia College in New Westminster before
entering UBC, graduating with a degree in
home economics in 1929.
Miss Lanning played guard on a varsity
squad known as the Blue and Gold and, in
1928, the UBC women travelled to Edmonton
to face the Commercial Grads for the Dominion title. The visitors held a one-point lead
going into the final quarter of the opening
game before falling, 40-24. UBC took an early
lead in the second game only to lose the game,
24-21, and with it the national championship. The season after her graduation, Miss
Lanning's old teammates won the world
championship in Europe, and would later be
inducted into the BC Sports Hall of Fame.
After marrying a school teacher, Mrs. Levirs
formed basketball teams for girls at Creston
and other interior communities. After retirement, she was a regular at home games of
the University of Victoria women's basketball
team, which won three national titles from
1980-82. Her granddaughter, Cindy Smith,
was a Vikettes captain known for the accuracy
of her shot.
Mrs. Levirs died in Victoria on January
24. She leaves daughters Ruth Boston and
Mary Jean Smith; five grandchildren; and six
great-grandchildren. She was predeceased by
Marjorie Levirs (Lanning), BA'29
her husband, Frank Levirs, and by four siblings.
Obituary by Tom Hawthorn. 2007 CTVGlobe-
media Publishing Inc. All Rights Reserved.
The only son of Samuel Alexander and Susan
Lechtzier was born on November 12, 1925
in Minneapolis, the home city of his mother.
He lived there briefly, and also in his father's
home city of Winnipeg, before the family finally
settled inVancouver in 1927. Merton's father,
Sam, was one of 11 children born to Abraham
Chaim and Doba Lechtzier, who immigrated to
Winnipeg in May of 1882 from Kamenets-Po-
dolsk north of Odessa (then part of the Russian
Ukraine). Rhoda, Abraham's eldest daughter
(and Merton's aunt) was the first surviving
Jewish child to be born west of Toronto in
Canada. Merton died at home on December 7,
2006. He was 81.
Merton's family was a resident for many
years at the Devonshire Hotel in downtown
Vancouver. Merton attended Point Grey (Junior
High) and Magee before gaining a Commerce
degree from UBC. Persuaded vigorously by his
father to join the family business (and abandon
plans of undertaking post graduate studies in
Cambridge, Massachusetts), Merton joined his
father at La Salle Recreations in the Wilson
Building on Granville Street (still standing
across from the Vogue Theatre and back then
neighbour to the Dominion Theatre) where he
remained until his father's death in 1972.
During the 30s, 40s and 50s, La Salle
was in the business of outfitting theatres in
Western Canada with chairs and carpet. It
was also a popular social spot and housed
two floors of 10-pin bowling (the largest set
up of its kind in North America at the time,
managed for a period by Merton's uncle Saul).
It also had the only indoor golf course in the
country, and was the home of The Young Italian Men's Club, which operated among the
pool tables and the soda counter on the third
floor. During prohibition, it was also known
as a place to get refreshed when things were
dry. Mert's father had been in partnership
with Sam Brofman in a similar enterprise in
the twenties. After the bowling and billiards
lost popularity, Merton converted the business
into a successful contract carpeting and
decorating business. He had adept sales skills
and developed an eye for design and decoration. He was the leader in his field in the city
for many years.
As well as home design, Mert had lifelong
sartorial interests. He loved fashion and, like
many of his peers, was an original devotee of
Playboy and GQ. He thought himself an authority on good taste and grooming, and the
only thing better than the latest fashion was
the same thing at half price. Many Boxing
Days were spent in line in trendy emporiums
for the sales at Murray Goldman and later at
Mark James.
Away from the office, Mert (or Sporting
Life as he was nicknamed by friends) was
a consummate competitor and athlete. He
played lacrosse and later basketball for UBC.
In his teens, Mert and old friend Garde
Gardom would peer through the fence of the
Vancouver Lawn Tennis Club across the street
from Mert's family's apartment. Later on,
they both joined the club and tennis would
become a lifelong passion for Mert until late
in his life. The club became the centre of
his social life and he developed many good
friendships through that association. He
50    Trek    Summer 2007 was also a competitor in other pursuits. He
loved playing cards and blackjack and was
a frequent visitor to Caesar's Palace in Las
Vegas in its heyday in the 60s and 70s. Long
before poker gained wide appeal, Mert and
his friends would escape the lower mainland
for a retreat, often on Vancouver Island, and
play poker in their underwear until the dawn
(sustaining themselves on beer and pretzels
for the weekend). Mert was also a keen crib
player, pursuing the game until he could no
longer get to the club. The Western world
has lost one of its best crib players with his
passing. He was also known on occasion to
take a wager or two on a football game.
Mert also had a lifelong affair with the
market and was a talented and successful
speculator. He was one of Howe Street's
earliest followers and rode the waves though
many cycles. Although he could do little else
with a computer, Mert developed the basic
computing skills in his latter years to continue
to be involved in the market and watch with
anticipation his portfolio on a PC.
While his talent was somewhat less in the
garden, that didn't dampen his enthusiasm
for horticulture. He was as much or more
attracted to the gardening gadgetry that went
with it, although many gadgets never left the
packaging, or their operation was foiled by
the instructions.
Beyond everything else however, Mert was
a family man. He was very private and happiest at home among the familiar, a creature
of routine and tradition, and absolutely and
unequivocally devoted to his family, particularly his dear wife of 53 years, Bette. Merton
married Dorothy Beatrice Heard (Bette) BA'50
on August 12, 1953, at Beth Israel in Vancouver. After a brief stint in South Granville, they
moved to Hudson Street in Shaughnessy in
1955 and remained there for 40 years. Mert
and Beebz enjoyed travelling and were among
the first wave to discover the pleasures of
then exotic Mexico, visiting Puerto Vallarta
and Guadalajara in the early Sixties often in
the company of their lifelong friends. Due
to the omnipresence of his parent's faithful
maid Emily, who nursed him from birth to his
wedding day, Mert was permanently impaired
Harry James Marshall, BCom'44
from reaching even modest levels proficiency in
the kitchen, and couldn't poach an egg to save
his life. But he couldn't be happier than when
he was with his family on the patio in the sun,
a Myers Rum and coke in one hand and in the
other hand in a bag of corn chips.
Merton was intelligent, compassionate,
an authority on everything, opinionated,
argumentative, generous, eccentric, a lousy
driver (but the world's best parker), incredibly
stubborn, had a wonderful sense of humour
and was forever impatient. But he was, above
all, these things: a loving husband, father and
grandfather. In 2000, when his dear Bette
was afflicted with dementia, and although he
was ill-equipped to deal with the scale of the
problem or care needed, Merton devoted his
entire existence to Bette's welfare, forsaking
everything to that cause.
While it is always a tragedy to lose a father
or friend, it was particularly tragic to lose
Merton at Christmas as he loved the occasion
and the tradition more than any other time
of the year and kept the spirit of the season
throughout the year. He will be very sadly
missed and like all good things in life, he was
unique and irreplaceable. Merton is survived by
beloved wife Bette; son Matthew BA'78, llb'8i
(Victoria), MA'02 (Kingston, uk) of London,
England; son Paul bcom'8o, MBA'85 (LBS> UK)
and wife Jennifer Dolman of Toronto; daughter
Sally BA'85 and husband Jeffrey Rutledge of
Vancouver; his six grandchildren, Sam, Adam
and Emma Rutledge and Harris, Sasha and
Abby Lechtzier; and his sister Donna Korens
of McLean, Virginia.
June Lythgoe (Reimer) was born in Lowe
Farm, Manitoba, on January 14, 1936, and
died of cancer in Vancouver on March 31,
2006. As a child, she moved with her family
to the Fraser Valley and received her early
education there. Her undergraduate studies in
sociology began a life-long association with
UBC as student, counsellor, and administrator. While a graduate student she served as
part-time secretary of the Student Christian
Movement at UBC, a source of many lasting
In 1956 she married Len Lythgoe, BA,57,
a teacher, and high school and church music
director. They had two children: Shannon of
Nelson, BC, and Garnet in New Westminster.
After securing a professional teaching certificate from SFU, June worked successively as a
counsellor and admissions advisor at uvic,
SFU, and Langara Community College. In
1978 she became a counsellor and assistant to
the director of the Office for Women Students
at UBC and was director of that office from
1981-1990. Thereafter she served as director
of Professional Programs in the Faculty of
Education at UBC until her retirement in
2000. Through her work in these positions
June had an impact on the lives of hundreds
of students, especially women, including
many from overseas. While working within
bureaucratic structures, June never lost sight
of the needs and problems of individuals, a
fact often appreciated by lonely or distraught
Outside the university June was active
in the student affairs division of the Canadian Association of Counsellors. She was a
volunteer on committees attached to various
charitable, musical, educational, and religious
organizations and was often in demand as
a consultant on conference planning. She
chaired the committee on public programs
Summer 2007    Trek    51 IN MEMORIAM
for the Sixth Assembly of the World Council
of Churches held on the UBC campus in 1983.
From 1985 to 1989 she headed the Division of
Communication of the BC Conference of the
United Church of Canada and was a member
of the steering committee of the Religious
Communicators' Congress, an international
ecumenical gathering held in Nashville, Tennessee, in 1990.
In retirement in Nelson, BC, (2000-2004)
June and Len founded the Amy Ferguson
Institute, named for a pioneering music teacher
in Nelson, and organized the Nelson Summer
Songfest to bring choral concerts and education
to the area. To everything she did, June brought
a fine intelligence, enormous imagination,
energy and generosity, nowhere more evident
than in her hospitality to the many relatives
and friends who mourn her loss.
Harry passed away peacefully in hospital. He
will be sadly missed by his loving wife, Sylvia,
daughter Roxi, son Craig (Cheryl), sister
Anne, brother Ed (Lois) and many nieces and
nephews. Harry was born in Winnipeg, grew
up in Calgary and came to Vancouver to go
to UBC. He met Sylvia at the graduation tea
in 1944 and they married a year later. Harry
William Henry Lawrence Nobbs, BCom'44
became a very successful and astute businessman. He was a longtime member of the Royal
Vancouver Yacht Club and an avid boater for
many years. He was also a past member of the
Pennask Lake Fishing Club, where he caught a
trout or two. Until a couple of years ago, Harry
and Sylvia spent their winters in Maui, which
Harry loved. His family thanks the vgh staff
who cared for Harry in the last few weeks of
his life.
Bill died peacefully on December 12, 2006, in
West Vancouver, after having suffered a brain
injury in 1996. He is lovingly remembered
by Nettie, his wife of 5 2 years; daughter
Leslie (BPE'79, MPE'82), husband Vic Grundy
(BCOM'82) and their sons, Ross and Kyle;
Son Randy (sfu bbusadmin'8i), wife Leanne
(ba'88) and their sons, Brandon, Ryan and Tyler; daughter Sandra (BA'84, llb'88), husband
Scott McLean (MBA'89, BASC '84) and their
children, Logan and Brett; his sister, Muriel
Wallace and extended family and friends.
Bill was born in Vancouver on November 4,
1922, and grew up there. He attended Prince
of Wales High School, where he first played
football. Much later, his enthusiasm for the
game saw him cheering on the BC Lions, season
after season. In 1944 he earned a degree in
Commerce from UBC. While there, he received
his Big Block Athletic Award in badminton.
After graduating near the end of wwn, he
served with the Canadian Army's tank division.
Upon return from service, he was employed by
Revenue Canada as an auditor until retiring.
He had a great appreciation for music in
general. In particular, he played the accordion
and enjoyed attending the vso concerts. After
retirement, he continued to enjoy playing
badminton, as well as tennis, learned to sail
and went for long walks with his dog, Bailey,
also know as "Mr. Muttly." Most of all, he
loved spending time with his cherished family.
Bill's quiet and unassuming manner, gentle
humour, kindness and (during his last years of
care) stoicism were hallmarks of his character.
Memorial donations may be made to the
Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, 150
- 6450 Roberts Street, Burnaby, BC V5G 4E1.
John Warren Pearson, BCom'40
John Warren Pearson of Camlachie, Ontario,
formerly ofVancouver, passed away peacefully surrounded by his family on March 21,
2007, in his ninetieth year. John was born
on December 29, 1917, in Victoria, BC, the
eldest child of Oscar and Louella Pearson.
He grew up in Vancouver, graduating from
UBC in 1940. After service as a captain in the
Canadian Army he followed in the footsteps
of his father by joining Swift & Co., where
he worked for 3 6 years in various cities in the
United States and lastly in Wyoming, Ontario.
He was a past chairman of the Canadian Feed
Industry Association.
John will be forever loved and remembered
by Shirley, his wife of 63 years; by his son and
daughter-in-law, John and Marianne Pearson,
and their children Emily and Madeline of
Vancouver; by his daughter and son-in-law, Dr.
Lee Ford-Jones and Dr. Anthony Ford-Jones,
and their children Carrie (Jeff) and Polly of
Burlington, Ontario; and by his son and daughter-in-law, Brian and Lesley Pearson, and their
children Jennifer and Michael of Newmarket,
Ontario. John was predeceased by his brother,
Larry, and is survived by his brother, Bill, and
sister-in-law Maxine of Charleston, South
Carolina, and by his sister-in-law Anne Pearson
ofVancouver. A memorial reception was held
52    Trek    Summer 2007 in Sarnia, Ontario, on Sunday, March 25, 2007.
Memories and condolences may be sent online
at www.smithfuneralhome.ca. The family is
sincerely grateful to the doctors, nurses and
staff of Charlotte Eleanor Englehart Hospital
in Petrolia, Ontario, for their compassion
and dedication. Sympathy may be expressed
through donations to the Charlotte Eleanor
Englehart Hospital Foundation (519.882.4325
ext. 2404).
Stan (Buck) died peacefully on September 22,
2005, at Vancouver General Hospital surrounded by his family. He was born in Prince
George, BC, on February 5, 1927, the sixth
child of Harry and Marion (Muirhead) Taylor.
He is survived by his wife of 4 8 years, Lilliana
(Marcuzzi) BA'53, BED'57; three children Peter
(Denise), Margaret (Bob) Caswell and Donald
(Andrea); seven grandchildren Michelle (Jar-
ron) Veach, Christopher, Charlotte, Gabriella,
Francesca, Taylor and Duncan; sister Joan
(Everard) Cooper, brother Greg (Marina) and
many friends and extended family.
Stan had his early schooling in Williams
Lake and Kamloops. After graduating from
UBC, he had a successful career in chemistry
prior to joining BC Tel, eventually becoming
Stanley Keith Taylor, BASc(Chem)'50
the Director of Corporate Planning and
Economics. Stan enjoyed various outdoor
activities; his love and enthusiasm for nature
and the mountains has influenced many and
has been passed down to future generations.
He was an active member of his church,
playing the organ for many years. After
retiring from BC Tel in 1984, Stan continued
to enjoy many outdoor activities and was able
to devote more time and generosity to the St.
Vincent de Paul Society, Serra Club, Epilepsy
Society and his church. Memorial donations
may be made to the Harry E. Taylor Canadian
Indigenous Graduate Prize in Education Fund,
Faculty of Ed. UBC 2616 - 2125 Main Mall,
Vancouver BC v6T 1Z4 Tel: 604.822.0566.
Born April 11, 1934, in Prince George, BC,
Fred Walchli - adored husband, father,
brother, uncle and friend - died on November
7, 2006, at Lion's Gate Hospital in North
Vancouver of complications from myelofibrosis. He is survived by wife June (Breault),
daughter Julie, son Stewart and daughter-in-
law Ela, sisters Kay Hayes (Williams Lake)
and Agnes Holeczi (Prince George), and many
brothers and sisters-in-law, nieces, nephews,
cousins, grandnieces and nephews who loved
him dearly. His parents, Fritz and Marie
(Dyck), and sister Rose Walchli predeceased
Fred graduated from UBC with a Bachelor
of Arts degree and went on to a distinguished
career as a civil servant, working for the City
of Kelowna, City of Prince George, BC Land
Department, and for 29 years the Department
of Indian Affairs, of which he was director
general in Alberta and later in BC. Highlights
of his career include being made an honorary
chief of the Keheewin Indian Band in Alberta
in 1976, receiving the Queen's Jubilee Medal
in 1977, and serving as chief federal negotiator for the Nishga'a land claim for several
years before his retirement in 1990.
He derived great pleasure coaching the
Forest Hills Little League baseball champions,
Stongs; walking his much-loved dogs Nikki,
Smokey and Misha in the Capilano Canyon;
and being involved in the Federal Liberal
Frederick John Walchli, BA'60, DULE'64
Party, serving as president of the West Vancouver-Sunshine Coast riding association for
several years. A life-long student of Canadian
history and avid follower of provincial,
national and world politics, Fred loved his
beautiful province and country.
Fred's family wishes to thank Drs. Richard
Horner, Stephen Nantel, and Isnet Tejpar,
and the many skilled and caring nurses of the
Bone Marrow Transplant Day Care Unit at
vgh whom he came to know over his last few
months. Memorial donations may be made
to the vgh & UBC Hospital Foundation for
the Leukemia/BMT Day Care program (855
Wi2th Avenue, Vancouver, BC V5Z 1M9 /
www.worldclasshealthcare.ca I
Kenneth passed away on March 22, 2007, in
Sunnyvale, California, at 46 years of age after
a two and a half year struggle with cancer.
He leaves his wife Amy, son Mark (14), and
daughter Claire (11). Ken received a Bachelor
of Applied Science (electrical engineering)
in 1983 and a master of applied science
(electrical engineering) in 1984 from UBC. He
also received a masters degree from Stanford
University in 1985. Ken was working for
Apple Computer as a software engineer at the
time of his death. I
Summer 2007    Trek    53 M3TH ANNUAL ALUMNI
Join us on November 15th, 2007 for an evening of illumination. Celebrate the
achievements of outstanding alumni in our community. This year's recipients are:
Dr. David F. Hardwick, MD'57
John Turner, BA Hons.,'49; LLD'94
Richard Alexander Van Camp, MFA'03
Brad Bennett
Dr. David & Mrs. Brenda McLean
Ravina Bains
Marjorie Ratel, BSN'95
Joanna M. Bates
Beverly Field, BA'42
Sopron School of Forestry
,oin in tne tun witn tne am things Sailing group
inside TrekConnect, UBC's networking tool for
connecting students and alumni.
Visit www.alumni.ubc.ca and click on
TrekConnect to sign up!
onnect Save the Date for
Alumni Weekend
From September 14 to 16, hundreds of alumni will be flocking back
to campus. Alumni Weekend is now more than just reunions -
there's truly something for everyone! Bring your guests, friends and
family back to campus and discover all that UBC has to offer.
Good...to Great
Clearsight and Wellington West join forces
We're Canada's #1 ranked brokerage
For the fourth year in a row. Wellington West has been ranked
•I in Investment Executive's Annual Brokerage Report Card and
»1 in Report on Business Magazine's annual list of The 50 Best
Employers in Canada.
i    ! tol'ili"!:,1,1.
Free Investment Guide Offer
Sign up for our free investment
e-newsletter, The VlewPoint. and you
will receive a free copy of the 2007
Canadian Investment Guide, t
www.clearsighi ca/ubt/offer
Promo code: 09A0707CIG
We're one of the fastest growing
With more than 40,000 client accounts and $8.5 billion in assets
under management, Wellington West is one of Canada's fastest
growing investment f inns.
We're NOW accessible across Canada
With more than 100 experienced advisors located in 30 branches
across Canada, we're now able to accommodate the investment
needs and account sizes of all alumni.
We're the market leader in affinity
benefit programs
With a growing list of affinity partners, we're now endorsed by
more than 20 leading institutions representing more than 1.75
million alumni.
Contact us today to learn more about the Clearsight Investment Program from
Wellington West. Find out how the strength of two can make your financial picture
look great in 2007.
Visit clearsight.ca/ubc/offer
1 (877)464-6104
■ IROH   ■
•Ofi-*.—Ut«t'jf.-j w—r-itvi i <n i£r*'.neXtmaom Offc*u«4*fiiacMr>g>


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