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UBC Reports Sep 8, 2009

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VOL   55   I   NO   9   I   SEPTEMBER   8,   2009
4      Lab Learning
5      Computer Science no
2    Aboriginal Access
13     Commuter Hostel
15    Tedx Talks
UBC, this is your first-year class
"The moment I attended the tour of the UBC campus I was
hooked. I love the libraries, the Nitobe Memorial Garden and
obviously the warmth ofthe environment and people."
- Anita Balakumar, first-year student from Winnipeg.
This year UBC welcomes more than 7,400 incoming
first-year students to its campuses in Vancouver and
Kelowna. Our incoming class is academically strong and
more geographically diverse than ever before.
Here is a snapshot of these students, where they come
from, and a perspective on the defining Canadian and
international events that have shaped the outlook of the
Class of 2013.
Vancouver campus
• Incoming class has grown by eight per cent to 5,931
• 68 per cent are from B.C., 11 per cent from the rest of
Canada, 21 per cent from outside Canada
• 48 per cent are male; 52 per cent are female
• Mean entrance average is 89 per cent
Kelowna campus
• Incoming class has grown by 14 per cent to 1,502
• 68 per cent are from B.C., 20 per cent from the rest of
Canada, 12 per cent from outside Canada
• 45 per cent are male; 55 per cent are female
• Mean entrance average is 82 per cent
What has shaped the Class of 2013?
Canadians born in 1991 were shaped by documentaries,
Avril Lavigne and arguments over health care. They were
less influenced than previous generations by Saturday
Night Live and debates about national unity. See story by
Gisele Baxter.
Most students starting post-secondary studies at UBC
this September were likely born in 1991.
They postdate the collapse of the Berlin Wall, the
end of apartheid in South Africa, the dismantling of the
Soviet Union. They grew up with the Internet, compact
discs, and mobile phones. They have come of age in a
culture of activism unparalleled since the 1960s. They
do not remember the Gulf War but have spent their
adolescence in the post-September 11 world and the fuss
over the pending millennium is a memory from childhood.
Documentaries became cool in their youth, and the vivid
personalities of AI Gore, Morgan Spurlock, and Michael
continued on p.14
I UBC I      a place of mind
What is UBC's story?
A brand for us . . .
see page 7
Students help design UBC learning
From designing a student learning space at the Faculty of Land and
Food Systems to engineering an undergraduate curriculum at the
Department of Civil Engineering, three UBC students are reaching
a new high as active participants in their own higher learning.
Stephen Ford played a
role in helping design the new Learning Commons at the Faculty of Land and Food Systems.
A new Learning Commons at the Faculty of Land
and Food Systems
As a child growing up with Attention Deficit Disorder
(ADD), Stephen Ford, a recent graduate at the Faculty of
Land and Food Systems (LFS), understands better than
most the importance of creating unique physical learning
spaces for individual student needs.
"It's hard to overestimate the significance of a space
to students," says Ford. "I strongly believe a study space
should be designed to suit the diverse needs of individual
students." He adds that he tends to learn better in a semi-
private space with some background noise.
Since 2007, Ford has worked with a team to design the
new Learning Commons at LFS, which will open its doors
to students this fall.
The Learning Commons will serve primarily as a space
for problem-based learning classes during the day, while
the area becomes an informal study space after hours.
Located on the third floor of the H.R. Macmillan Building,
the space includes 12 study rooms called pods that have
internet access, frosted glass walls and whiteboards.
An interesting design feature is the western wall, which
is coated with a special paint to make it a whiteboard.
Sliding doors in another area allow the space to be opened
up to accommodate larger groups and the entire space is
open above the walls.
"I spent a lot of time listening to fellow students and
discussing their visions for the new space," Ford says. He
visited classrooms to gather input from students, set up
a WebCT group within his classes, and presented ideas
at planning committee meetings with faculty and staff.
He even brought students to the space for some product
testing of chairs to solicit their opinions.
"Students will identify with this space," says Ford. "It is
encouraging when you feel supported in this way."
The Learning Centre also at the Faculty of Land
and Food Systems has played a significant role in the
project's development by creating a study space that
fosters innovation through education. The centre provides
continued on p.15 2 |  UBC REPORTS  | SEPTEMBER 8, 2009
2009     I    3
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Zoology graduate student Graham Scott is learning how bar-headed geese
thrive in high altitudes.
Highlights of UBC media coverage in July 2009.   compiled by sean sullivan
joined the Globe and Mail, The
Canadian Press, CBC and the
Calgary Herald in reporting on
her accomplishments
Geese use their pecs
A higher density of blood vessels
and other unique physiological
features in the flight muscles of
bar-headed geese allow them to do
what even the most elite of human
athletes struggle to accomplish -
exert energy at high altitudes, says
a new UBC study.
The New York Times reported
that researchers led by UBC
doctoral student Graham R. Scott
found that the bar-headed goose
has more capillaries around the
muscle cells than related species
like barnacle geese and more of
the mitochondria - which use
oxygen to supply energy to the
cell - within cells.
Often bred in captivity as
domestic garden birds, bar-headed
geese migrate annually in the
wild between India and the high
altitude plateaus in China and
Mongolia, flying over the world's
highest mountains on their way.
Hybrid programs don't work
A UBC study finds that
government programs that
provide rebates to hybrid
vehicle buyers are not worth the
investment, the CBC reported this
"If the intention of rebate
programs is to replace gas
guzzlers with hybrids, they are
failing," said Ambarish Chandra,
a professor in the Sauder School
of Business and study co-author.
Chandra says people are
choosing hybrids over similarly
priced small- and medium-sized
conventional cars, which are
not far behind hybrids for fuel
efficiency and emissions.
The multi-million-dollar rebate
program becomes more
inefficient as the rebate amount
climbs, reported news outlets
including Xinhua, The Canadian
Press, the Toronto Star and the
Vancouver Sun.
Fido has brains
Your dog may be as smart as
a toddler, says Stanley Coren,
a UBC professor emeritus
of psychology and leading
researcher on dog behavior.
Coren garnered international
attention this month for research
presented at the American
Psychological Association's
annual convention.
Coren told the audience that
the newest research strategy for
understanding dogs is to use tests
meant for very young children.
Using such tests, psychologists
have learned that average dogs
can count, reason and recognize
words and gestures on par with a
human two-year-old.
Coren said the average dog
can understand about 165
words, including signs, signals
and gestures; they can count
to about five; and they can
intentionally deceive other dogs
and people to get treats they
CNN, China Daily, the
Atlanta Journal Constitution,
the Toronto Sun, USA Today and
the Daily Telegraph were among
those that covered Coren's
UBC unveils DNA cleaner
A new technique developed
by UBC researchers could
prove revolutionary for forensic
investigators and molecular
The device uses electricity
to extract DNA from heavily
contaminated samples that would
otherwise not produce enough
clean DNA for analysis, says
lead researcher Andre Marziali,
director of UBC's engineering
physics department and spin-off
company Boreal Genomics.
The Vancouver Sun, CBC,
Canwest News Service, CTV, The
Canadian Press and Business in
Vancouver reported the findings.
Early prototypes of the
instrument, called Aurora, have
been sold to a U.S. defence
company, the U.S. navy and
Canadian universities.
Pierse nabs another world
UBC swimmer Annamay Pierse
set a world short-course record
last month in the 200-metre
breaststroke at the British Grand
Prix swimming competition in
Leeds, England.
It was Pierse's second world
record in eight days, having
just set the world long-course
record at the FINA world aquatic
championship in Rome.
"It feels pretty awesome to
get the record again," Pierse
told the Vancouver Sun, which
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Second-year MD student Julia lsofina provided birthing support for women in the Downtown Eastside as part of a self-directed project.
Innovative course option:
Med students take on tough health issues
UBC Reports is printed by Teldon Print Media which is FSC (Forest Stewardship Council) Certified. FSC Certification is a code of practices developed by the
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Many students dream of the day when they can close
their books and trade the classroom for the streets,
gaining insights only gleaned from experience.
Luckily, for Julia lsofina, a third-year MD student, such
experience and knowledge isn't delayed until graduation.
lsofina is one of many students participating in the
Doctor, Patient and Society (DPAS) course's innovative
self-directed project option. Second-year MD students
can forego the traditional DPAS class in favor of a project
of their own design, where they explore public health
issues by working with fellow students, community aid
organizations, and government to effect change in local
communities, and beyond.
Working with a multi-disciplinary team of nursing
and midwifery students, lsofina and her colleagues in the
Fir Square Doula Project provide birthing support for
pregnant women from Vancouver's Downtown Eastside,
many of whom are homeless or suffer from addictions
and have few support resources during their pregnancy.
"I learn more when I work hands-on and pursue my
own interest," says lsofina. "I immerse myself more in
a project that I'm interested in rather than sitting in a
discussion group discussing proscribed topics. I like that
my work actually impacts someone."
The shape, scope and outcomes of the projects differ
greatly, from those dealing directly with the healthcare
community, such as the documentary film Strange
Bedfellows which explores the relationships between
pharmaceutical sales reps and family doctors, to
implementing programs in local schools, such as Do Bugs
Need Drugs, which teaches children the health benefits of
clean hands.
No matter the outcomes, Dr. Gary Poole, Associate
Course Director of the DPAS self-directed project option,
thinks that all projects are ultimately a success.
"A project that sets out to change the world, but doesn't
change the world, can still be very successful because
the student in question learned a great deal. So if you
use the amount that students say they have learned, and
the amount that you can infer they learned based on the
work they submit, then these projects are tremendously
Self-directed projects increase a student's cultural
sensitivity and ability to assess the health needs of a
subpopulation, while also teaching the fundamental
skills and ethics of healthcare research, and how to work
collaboratively to effect change—lessons that they may not
otherwise get in the regular curriculum.
"One of the most important things they learn is that
nothing is ever straight forward," says Debby Altow, a
DPAS Project Tutor. "It's a bit of a cold shower to realize
that the passion you have is not necessarily shared to the
same degree by those who are in place to implement or
move it forward."
The self-directed option is in its seventh year, and has
grown from the initial 7 students doing self-directed
projects to 82.
"The thing that I am most excited about is that it is
truly self directed," says Dr. Poole. "It is what happens as
an educator when you look at how to get out of the way,
not in the way." 13
"A project that sets out to change
the world, but doesn't change the
world, can still be very successful
because the student in question
learned a great deal."
Major new funding for PhDs
The message is simple - UBC wants top
graduate students and will support those students
by ensuring stable scholarship funding of at least
$16,000 plus tuition per year for the first four
years of their PhD studies. Introduced by the
Faculty of Graduate Studies this fall, the new Four-
Year Fellowship (4YF) program greatly enhances
the ability of UBC's graduate programs to attract
and retain the best doctoral students from across
Canada and around the globe.
Every year, the 4YF package will be available to
nearly 200 new PhD students, with approximately
800 PhD students at any given time receiving this
valuable fellowship.
Open to both Canadian and international
students, all students offered admission to a UBC
PhD program will automatically be considered
for 4YF funding. Awardees will be selected
on the basis of academic excellence, upon the
recommendation of their graduate program.
In addition, all PhD students who are awarded
scholarship funding from the Canadian Institutes
of Health Research, the Natural Sciences and
Engineering Research Council, or the Social
Sciences and Humanities Research Council
automatically become 4YF holders.
Four Year Fellowship holders with external
scholarship support will receive 4YF support once
their external scholarship funding ends.
Additional information about the 4YF program
is provided at: www.grad.ubc.ca/forms/awards/
students!4YT_Guidelines.pdf. 13 4 I  UBC REPORTS  |  SEPTEMBER
UBC REPORTS  |  SEPTEMBER 8, 2009  | 5
Lab learning goes under the microscope
When delegates to the Canadian
Association of Physicists' annual
conference gathered recently to hear a
presentation by UBC Prof. Doug Bonn,
they didn't come to hear about his latest
techniques in developing high-temperature
superconductors. They wanted his insights
into a rarely studied field: undergraduate
physics lab education.
For the past two years, Bonn, one of the
world's foremost experts in material science
and newly appointed head of UBC's Dept.
of Physics and Astronomy, has devoted
considerable time and energy to overhauling
undergraduate physics lab curricula with
an aim to delivering quantifiable results in
Lab experiments can be designed to teach
students how to operate equipment, collect
and interpret data, perfect technical skills
and establish scientific concepts, among
other things. But too often, Bonn says, these
goals go unexplained and unevaluated.
"When we get students to do these lab
exercises, we don't always tell them why
they're doing them or what they're expected
to learn from them," says Bonn. "There are
so many unspoken goals in Physics Lab that,
when articulated, would make you go 'Good
grief! How are they supposed to learn all
"And how do we know they've actually
learned these skills at the end of the day?"
That question appealed to Bonn's
research instincts so much that he decided
to undertake something that has been little
studied - scientifically measuring what
students are gaining from labs.
Working with UBC's Carl Wieman Science
Education Initiative (CWSEI), Bonn's first
task was to identify the unspoken learning
goals - and assess how realistic these
expectations are.
"Using lab exercises as a way to learn scientific
concepts, for example, is really hard to do," says Bonn.
"Because there are so many distracters that come part
and parcel to the laboratory environment and that could
obscure the concept."
What makes a lab imperfect for learning concepts,
however, provides the ideal training ground for some of
the core skills of becoming a scientist or a science-minded
citizen, according to Bonn.
"One of the key roles the laboratory plays is bridging
a theory or an idea to the real world, where there are
distractions and complications," says Bonn. "To that end,
Prof. Doug Bonn is working to shed some light on undergrad physics lab education.
The CWSEI is a $i2-million
initiative that funds and advises
UBC science departments
to scientifically measure
and systematically improve
undergraduate education.
lab exercises should be designed to teach
what can't be taught anywhere else: to help
students get comfortable with uncertainty, to
derive trends from numbers and ultimately,
to interpret real world phenomena.
"These are the skills that help aspiring
scientists - or engaged citizens, for that
matter - decide how to interpret data
presented to them, such as those reported in
the media," says Bonn.
Last year, Bonn began developing a
"laboratory diagnostic" to see what students
are currently learning and retaining from
lab sessions with the help of James Day,
a CWSEI-funded Science Teaching and
Learning Fellow (STLF).
STLFs are termed scholars with expertise
in how people learn and their respective
scientific disciplines who assist faculty
members to adopt proven best practices in
teaching and assessment.
Bonn and Day asked a large group of first-
year students to write down their thought
processes for solving common lab problems
and then conducted interviews to further
identify common misconceptions. Multiple-
choice questions were then designed
specifically to test these common roadblocks
and given to hundreds of physics students at
UBC and the University of Edinburgh.
Bonn found that regardless of the year of
study, students at both universities "tripped
over" the same key concepts. "Even some
of my brightest students didn't do so well
when evaluated this way, and that was quite
discouraging," says Bonn.
The diagnostics are now being used
before and after lab courses and results are
being analyzed to fine tune the curriculum,
including how students are tested after a
lab session. New teaching labs, designed
with these focused learning goals and team-
learning in mind, are also being unveiled this
"It's all about ensuring students are actively
thinking, rather than passively absorbing - or in many
cases, failing to absorb - the information," says Bonn, who
sees no conflict between teaching and research.
"Contrary to what some believe, I see research on
effective teaching techniques as a means of freeing up more
time for other research," says Bonn.
"It is a way to build up a body of knowledge and
resources for teaching, both through work here at UBC
and through the connections that we make to other
colleagues involved in science education. This set of
resources makes us more efficient with our time while
significantly improving learning." 13
Computer Science no:
Breaking stereotypes and new ground
Stars are aligned for "magnificent" change in education
Two ofthe world's foremost experts in institutional change and education
improvement came together in Vancouver recently in support of UBC's Lasting
Education, Achieved and Demonstrated (LEAD) Initiative.
John Kotter, Harvard business professor emeritus and best-selling author, and
Carl Wieman, Nobel Laureate and director of the Carl Wieman Science Education
Initiative (CWSEI), spoke to faculty, students and friends of UBC on June 25 about the
urgency and why now is the time to make a transformative change in undergraduate
"Evidence shows that the university lecture hall model isn't very effective in helping
students acquire a full range of skills they need to really thrive in the 21st century, and
in turn provide all the benefits to society that comes from having a populace of well-
educated citizens," said Wieman.
"The vision for CWSEI and LEAD is to bring about teaching that's not only
effective for the students but is more meaningful and efficient use of the time for the
Kotter, a member of LEAD's International Leaders Alliance of advisors, explained
why he chose to get involved with the initiative.
"I'm here because I think this could be one of those rare times in life when the stars
come together to produce something that flashes in an improbable but magnificent
way," said Kotter.
"The stars start with this unusual, dedicated, superb teacher who also
happens to be a Nobel Laureate, colliding with a university president who
is showing clear signs through his actions that he wants to do something
important on university education. At the same time our knowledge about
institutional change has significantly increased and our knowledge about what
constitutes a better model for education comes along."
President Stephen Toope, who hosted the event with Lome Whitehead, UBC's
University Leader of Education Innovation, says in countries like India and
China, where resources in university education are far less concentrated, there is
a palpable sense of urgency and excitement about improving the way we learn.
It's time for Canada and the rest of the Western world to step up to the plate.
"We're not currently doing what we could do to help our students succeed as
they should and the implication is that our society can't succeed as it should,"
said Toope.
"I think LEAD is extremely ambitious but together we have an opportunity
to do something that would have an impact not just here, but far beyond the
borders of British Columbia and Canada."
For the complete video of LEADing change in education: A conversation
with John Kotter and Carl Wieman, visit http://www.lead.ubc.ca/
Prof. Gregor Kiczales uncovers the new Computer Science 110 course starting this fall.
What do computers, program design, and social
interaction have in common?
They're part of a new course offered this fall at the
UBC Computer Science Department that challenges the
way Computer Science 110 is taught to first-year students.
A specific goal of the course is to be more welcoming
to female students and others who might not typically
choose computer science.
"Computer science is not about people who work in
windowless offices and eat bags of chips all day," says
Gregor Kizcales, UBC computer science professor and
instructor for the new course. "It's part of everything we
do nowadays, and it is increasingly being recognized as a
field that crosscuts intellectual and practical disciplines."
The course is designed to be accessible to students with
other majors such as physics, math, engineering, or music.
Kiczales says CPSC 110 downplays details and focuses
instead on the structure of design problems, which is
good, he adds, because often students are turned off by the
"nerds and details image of computer science."
"The new course focuses on learning a simple
programming language more quickly and better than
a course that uses a more complex language such as
Java," says Kiczales. "Students of different academic
backgrounds can more easily work with what they learned
instead of shelving it and hoping to use it one day."
CPSC 110 will use DrScheme, a simple programming
environment that enables students to quickly master the
mechanics of the programming language, so they can
instead focus on the more important skills of program
design. This approach means students can design
interactive programs as early as the first lecture as it
reduces the time students spend struggling with details of
the language. It also helps students learn to distinguish
the core concepts of all programming systems from the
details of any one particular approach, and in that way
prepares them for a lifetime of continuous learning of new
computer languages and tools.
"We believe students who take the new course will
be better prepared for a career in computer science or
another discipline that relies on computation because the
course will have a languages core to build on that lets
them learn new languages such as Python, Perl, Ruby or
JavaScript," says Kiczales. The first lab will teach students
how to execute a simple graphical animation. By the end
of the semester, students will develop a distributed system
much like the virtual worlds of The Sims or Second Life.
Breaking the stereotype of the lone programmer, CPSC
110 will incorporate pair programming, where two
programmers work together at one computer station, one
typing in code while the other checks the code, as it is
entered. In addition to helping students learn better, pair
programming fosters socialization and team problem-
Today women make up 22
per cent of undergraduate
students enrolled in computer
science at UBC. This is double
the amount found at other
Canadian universities.
Anne Condon, UBC computer science professor,
agrees that diversity of academic and other
backgrounds should be reflected in computer science.
"Computer science is a field that is having a huge
impact in our world," says Condon. "To ensure that
computer technologies are well designed and can have
a broad positive impact on our society, students coming
to computer science must manifest a greater diversity of
backgrounds and skill sets."
How will CPSC 110 draw more women to study
computer science?
"Many women go through first-year computer
science and don't continue on," says Condon. "With
a new focus on design and understanding problems
instead of getting caught in details, CPSC 110 will give
them some computer science skills and concepts they
can use for life long learning."
Today women make up 22 per cent of
undergraduate students enrolled in computer science
at UBC. This is double the amount found at other
Canadian universities. Condon says she thinks one
of the reasons UBC's figures are higher is because the
department welcomes combined majors. At UBC, one
third of students enrolled in the double or combined
major are women.
Another reason could be an internal initiative such
as Focus on Women in Computer Science, a UBC
computer science departmental committee that helps to
increase the participation of women in the field at all
academic levels and create an academic environment
where women can thrive.
"If a woman has an incredible experience taking a
computer science course at the start of her academic
career, then there's a great chance she will continue on
in computer science," she says. 13 UBC    REPORTS     |     SEPTEMBER
UBC's Sports and Society series will foster dialogue and debate around the upcoming 2010 Games.
I'd like to speak
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Non-credit conversational courses in 18
languages are held at the UBC Point Grey
and UBC Robson Square campuses.
Courses start September 21.
Register today!
or 604-822-0800
BjS: Continuing Studies
y)   Languages, Cultures & Travel
Writing Centre
Academic Development
• preparation for university writing and the LPI
• grammar and writing with style
• writing for graduate students
Professional Development
• report and business writing
• freelance article writing
Personal and Creative Writing
• short fiction, novel and screenwriting
• journal writing and autobiography
Courses start in September and October.
Register today!
or 604-822-9564
§H Continuing Studies
V  Writing Centre
Learning from the Games
As the 2010 Winter Games approach, UBC is encouraging people to ask provocative questions this fall
about what Olympics and Paralympics mean to our society.
In three speaker series - UBC's Sport and Society and Winter Games Seminar Series and VANOC's
UBC-led Intellectual Muscle - a diverse mix of scholars and athletes and will explore the upcoming mega-
event through a variety of lens, such as gender, diversity, ethics, science and sustainability.
"There are many globally relevant questions and opinions being raised around 2010," says Sid Katz,
Executive Director of UBC Community Engagement and Sports and Society creator. "Our goal is to create
the broadest forum possible for dialogue and debate around the Games, as part of UBC's commitment to
advancing knowledge and civil society."
To increase access, Sports and Society and Intellectual Muscle have partnered with the Globe and Mail,
which will create an online portal with polls, discussion forums and other interactive features.
UBC Sports and Society series
The centerpiece of a multi-faceted UBC 2010 education program will be UBC's Sports and Society speaker
series, which kicks off Feb. 8, 2010 and runs through the Games.
Moderated by prominent Canadian television personalities at UBC's Chan Centre for the Performing Arts,
Katz says these five events will feature Olympians and Paralympians who have made a positive impact on
society in lively, respectful debate with academics and others.
• What new ethical challenges have recent scientific advances created? Richard Pound, former Olympic
swimmer, McGill Chancellor and World Anti-Doping Agency chairman. Feb. 8
• Can sport and play serve as a development tool for the world's most disadvantaged children? Johann Koss,
former Olympic speed-skater and president of international humanitarian organization Right To Play. Feb. 12
• Are major sporting events inclusive of First Nations and other groups? Waneek Horn Miller, former water
polo Olympian and member of the Mohawk First Nation. March 5
• Rick Hansen, a former wheelchair basketball Paralympian, will discuss sports, disability and diversity.
March 10
• What are Olympic legacies and are they worth the effort? Bruce Kidd, former track and field athlete and
University of Toronto professor. March 13
Intellectual Muscle: University dialogues for Vancouver 2010
Intellectual Muscle is an eclectic series of thought-provoking podcasts by prominent and up-and-coming
Canadian scholars on topics related to the 2010 Winter Games.
Developed by VANOC and UBC Continuing Studies in collaboration with universities across Canada, the
series more than 20 public lectures will run from October 2009 through March 2010.
Hosted at UBC, University of Toronto, McGill and other Canadian institutions, speakers such as Judy Illes,
UBC Canada Research Chair in Neuroethics, and Margaret Sommerville of McGill's Centre for Medicine,
Ethics and Law will examine topics ranging from gender identity in men's figure skating to the politics of sport.
The program is being led by Don Black, UBC Continuing Studies' Director of Community Programs, who
has been seconded to VANOC's as Director of Education Programs for the 2010 Winter Games.
"The Games may be in Vancouver, but they are Canada's Games and this is an opportunity to participate in
a truly national conversation," says Black, calling Intellectual Muscle part of the first-ever online, interactive,
bilingual Games education program.
Another component of VANOC's education program is an online teachers' forum moderated by UBC's
Faculty of Education. Led by UBC Education Prof. David Vogt, this website helps K-12 teachers share
resources and innovative ideas for Games-themed classroom lessons.
For more information about Intellectual Muscle and VANOC's education programs, visit vancouver2010.
UBC Winter Games Seminar Series
Beginning this fall, UBC lectures and symposia such as Arts Wednesdays, the Ziegler Visiting Speaker Series and the
Student Olympic Conference will focus on Games-related themes as part of UBC's Winter Games Seminar Series.
"We will be showcasing the diverse mix of Games-related research and critical scholarship that is taking
place at UBC," says Bob Sparks, Director of UBCs School of Human Kinetics and Chair of UBC's 2010
Education Committee.
Confirmed topics include the relationship between sport, art and politics, technology and the body,
symbolism in sport and the historical context of the Olympic Games. "We encourage students and faculty who
want to be involved or organize an event to contact us," Sparks says.
Visit ubc.ca/2010 and events.ubc.ca for information on these and other UBC 2010 learning opportunities. 13
Why UBC is a place of mind
How does a decent provincial university of 20 years ago now find itself
positioned among the elite of the world's 35 greatest universities?
Why does a Nobel Laureate choose UBC to change the teaching of
science on a global scale?
Why do UBC's medical researchers rank in the North American top 10
for bringing their work to patients in the marketplace?
Why has UBC taken the national lead in Community Service Learning
and sustainability? Interesting questions,
but not exactly what a group of UBC communications and marketing
professionals set out to answer two years ago this month.
Their question was a simpler one: If the university were to achieve
consistency in telling its story in a crowded university marketplace,
what would that story be? What, in short, is UBC's brand?
While, even unwittingly, most people can tell you what Nike's brand
is, or that of Mercedes-Benz or Apple, how do you arrive at the brand
of a wildly diverse institution like a university?
And with so many universities, how does one differentiate amongst
them? The challenge is not much different for, say, Apple Inc. Just like
others in their business, Apple chooses a mix of integrated circuits,
stuffs them into metal and plastic boxes, and loads in software to
make the machine do the same kind of work as their competitors'
machines. Apple's brand, whatever else it is, is a Big Idea - cool,
hip, innovative are typically conjured - that leans on emotional, not
functional, attributes to differentiate itself.
In higher education, many universities can rightly claim great
teaching, research and service. This hardly leads to differentiation.
Many universities can go further and claim global distinction in a few
areas. However, claiming greatness on the part of a few automatically
excludes everyone else. Inevitably, it is the emotional thread that
binds individuals together in an organization and provides their
collective story.
Many people equate brand with logo, and organizations frequently
change their logos in an attempt to "rebrand" themselves. Unlike
many university crests that hide identification behind ancient filigree,
our logo is immediately recognizable as UBC and widely respected.
The logo isn't the compelling story, however; at best it's only a symbol
of the story. It can't answer the key question: what is UBC's story.
Two years later, and with the help of hundreds of UBC faculty,
students, staff and alumni along the way, we are much closer to
answering that question, and the ones at the beginning of this article.
The group understood that it's not easy - an understatement as
things turned out - to boil down an institution the scale and scope of
UBC into a single idea. Many people openly doubted that a university
on two distinct campuses, let alone one with so many staunchly
independent Faculties, could ever arrive at an idea of itself that would
span such potential divides. Yet once it became clear that UBC needed
to reveal the big emotional idea within itself, the task became more
Surveys of communications and marketing efforts in 2007 revealed a
hydra-headed organization. In the absence of a simple, compelling and true
story - the absence of a brand - UBC showed a bewildering array of faces to
the world.
And yet focus groups with prospective students and alumni in
Halifax, Toronto, Calgary, Kelowna and Vancouver showed that many
people already had a sense of UBC as a special place that transcended
the mixed messages of unbranded communication. They relayed a
positive image of UBC as occupying a highly desired part of the world
that offers unique opportunity for personal growth and opportunity.
Working with a social marketing firm, the group began to distil this
research into some key insights:
• UBC's high-performing and self-actualized students - in 1922, they
marched to pressure government to build the Vancouver campus - are
a core strength of the university
• UBC's research excellence is globally influential
• UBC's location, beyond the global most-liveable lists, appeals on a
deep level that speaks to the idea of the West as a new place where
people come to create, and recreate, themselves and their world.
These elements, individually, are not unique to UBC; combined,
however, they create an idea that no other university in the world can
claim. These insights were combined into a positioning statement:
To prospective undergraduate and graduate students, UBC is the Tier
One international research-intensive university that, better than any
other, offers a fresh, open environment that provides the freedom to
learn, discover and contribute in one's own way.
The positioning statement links, in "learn, discover and contribute,"
to the university's traditional mission of teaching, research and
service. In itself, however, the positioning statement is not a brand,
but by the winter of 2008 it began to pave the way for one. The
group put the statement to focus groups and scores of meetings with
students, deans, faculty members, staff and senior administrators.
People agreed: the statement was true for, and reflective of, UBC.
This agreement then led to the next question: if the positioning
statement is true for UBC, how could we best communicate what it
means to our many audiences, and what would that communication
look like?
Using rough sketches of billboard ads - a medium that must quickly
convey its messages with minimal words and powerful imagery- three
ideas were explored in combinations of headlines, taglines and visuals.
Although different in execution, they shared an attempt to convey
the benefit promised by the positioning statement's fresh, open
environment - the freedom to learn, discover and contribute in one's
own way.
The ideas were presented in 25 meetings and a dozen formal focus
groups in early summer. The dominant idea used the tagline A Place
of Mind. While execution with headlines and visuals at this early stage
was weak, the tagline resonated with people.
By late summer three executions were tested using the tagline
A Place of Mind - this time professionally rendered in newspaper and
billboard formats.
In a country where typical university advertising has been dubbed
"three students and a tree," UBC is making an audacious and creative
claim for attention in a crowded marketplace, and every advertisement
is backed up with proof points, stories and profiles. The ads tell
why Nobel Laureate Carl Wieman came to UBC to improve the
teaching of science, how UBC students are participating in innovative
learning experiences, how UBC medical research is a leader in
commercialization, and so on.
At a higher level, the stories told in the ads reflect success derived
from UBC's openness to new ideas, perspectives and ways of
exploration - which is very much what the new brand is all about.
This recipe took a full year to cook. The subsequent year has been
devoted to refining the idea in a variety of formats to carry a unified
UBC story to the audiences that matter most: current and prospective
students, faculty and staff, our quarter-million alumni worldwide,
government and private supporters of the university, the people of
BC and Canada who stand behind our governments, and a growing
international audience that benefits from UBC student and research
What does UBC have after this two-year process to define its
essence? Firstly, some very important internal gains have already
been made even before the brand's launch this month. There is wide
acceptance of the need for a true and compelling self-definition in an
organization that only a few years ago was squeamish about words
like "brand" and "marketing."
There have been significant organizational development benefits
as a result of this exercise, and the discussion it has evoked
has had tangential positive impact on at least two other broad
institutional initiatives, a renewed strategic plan and an upcoming
development campaign, the university's first such engagement with
our communities in more than a decade. People on both campuses
responsible for marketing and communicating the university's values
have rallied around the effort; even as they pursue specific business
objectives, they appreciate the support of a strong brand.
At a more detailed level, UBC now has some tools to communicate
a more cohesive story.
A planned three-year advertising campaign involving print, outdoor
and online advertising begins this month with a focus on highlighting
UBC's value to British Columbians. The campaign has been designed
to move to national and international markets in the following two
years. The advertisements are a refinement of the combination of the
bold idea that emanates From Here, wide-open "heroic" imagery, and
the tagline, a place of mind.
The tagline is now rendered in lower-case in the Whitney font, and
going forward it will be associated with the UBC logo as the most
elementary expression of UBC's new brand.
continued on back of section
Elements of
the brand
Overwhelmingly, internal and external audiences, gravitated to one particular execution:
• the tagline a place of mind
• a big, bold idea to show how open thought can change the world, crafted in a headline that ends
in the phrase From Here
• equally bold "heroic" imagery that invites viewers to see themselves as part of wide open photographic vistas that
characterize the West and UBC's place in that geography
Fall 2007
■ UBC Strategic Marketing
Council: identifies need for
consistent UBC-wide story.
Winter 2007
■ Marketing communications
review: University-wide
inventory of marketing
communications and
■ Positioning statements
Spring 2008
Prospective student focus
groups: What does UBC
mean to you? (Calgary,
Toronto, Halifax). First
taglines drafted.
Summer 2008
Focus groups: Tagline
testing in Vancouver,
Kelowna, Toronto. Internal
consultation with faculty,
staff, students, alumni,
prospective students.
Chosen: a place of mind
Fall 2008
■ Advertising launch
campaign: ideas presented
through full internal
■ Chosen: From Here
Winter 2008
■ Budget approval and
■ Brand Council and Web
Advisory Council formed
resulting in first university-
wide communications
effort with central budget
Spring 2009
Website redesign
consultation: Web survey
results in 3,500 responses.
Web RFP awarded.
'a place of mind' and 'From
Here' registered and
Summer 2009
Web development: full navigation and redesign of UBC main
and Okanagan websites. Common Look and Feel (CLF)
templates designed through internal consultation.
Baseline poll: Ipsos Reid awareness survey.
Brand Fund: 45 applications result in $71,000 supporting
brand rollout at the unit level.
Web 2.0 community site aplaceofmind.ca.
Fall 2009
Launch with back-to-school initiatives, including Imagine and
Create rallies.
■ Advertising launch: first integrated reputational campaign
utilizing print, outdoor, online, search and social media.
■ New signage, flags, banners.
■ Newly redesigned websites and community site launched.
■ Baseline poll: Ipsos Reid awareness survey.
■ Brand Fund: 45 applications result in $71,000 supporting
brand rollout at the unit level.
■ Web 2.0 community site aplaceofmind.ca. UBC    REPORTS     |       SEPTEMBER    8,    2009     |     II
a place of mind
What can you do From Here?
Find out at a new web site powered by the UBC community
- www.aplaceoftnind.ca
This robust Web 2.0 platform uses social media to
emphasize the university commitment to big ideas
developed through open dialogue.
UBC web sites adopting a new look will use blogs and RSS
feeds to provide From Here stories, profiles, video, events
and photos to the community site. This will show up as a
constantly changing Lifestream on the site's main page.
But the web site relies most of all on contributions from all
members of the community. Comment on what you see on
the Lifestream, and watch topic areas grow and ebb in a tag
cloud that graphically shows which ideas are getting the
most traction.
Start your own dialogue on your big ideas by using the Add
Your Voice section of the main page, and ask the help of the
community to realize them. Your big idea may just win you
an iPod Touch.
For more information, please contact
public.affairs@ubc.ca or visit aplaceofmind.ca
WEB 2.0
The ubc.ca website, an amalgamation of hundreds of sub-sites that
collectively receive many million visits a year from all over the world,
has been redesigned to reflect the brand. Thanks to more than 3,500
people surveyed, it sports dramatically improved architecture with
new navigation and search tools. As UBC units adopt the brand visual
standards there will be a modern and cohesive appearance throughout
what is arguably the most powerful communications medium for the
university. Visual standards are also being developed for print and
other applications.
Allied to the redesign is an ambitious new community web site
- aplaceofmind.ca - that invites members of the UBC community,
official and otherwise, to tell their own From Here stories in words,
pictures or video about what makes UBC a place of mind. Visitors can
comment on and extend what others have said.
The last focus group in the two-year process happened a couple of
months ago when a group of domestic and international UBC students
met for a sneak preview of the advertising campaign. Some of what
they said:
• Makes me feel that learning takes place outside of the classroom
• Echoes the excitement I have in learning at UBC
• Provides a sense that anything is possible from here
• I can put myself right in the image
• The ads challenge you to think about the issues and show UBC is
thinking about these issues
When asked for the single word to describe how they felt about the
ads, the response was virtually unanimous:
Surrounded by beauty, it is no wonder innovative thinkers and doers at UBC are taking on towering environmental challenges. In 1997, UBC was
the first university in Canada to make a commitment to sustainability. The community has extensively reduced campus emissions to below 1990
levels. And UBC professors and students came up with the concept of "our ecological footprint," launched the carbon offset company used by the
Vancouver 2010 Olympic Games, and are developing what may be the greenest building on Earth. It's part of our nature.
UBC       a place of mind 12 |  UBC REPORTS  |  SEPTEMBER 8, 2009
2009  I  13
Medicine wheel shapes Aboriginal Access Studies
Two years ago, Chris Alexander didn't
have the prerequisites to begin his UBC
education. That all changed after he
enrolled in the Aboriginal Access Studies
initiative at UBC Okanagan. Today, the
23-year-old has completed a variety of
university-level courses and plans to
pursue a degree in management.
Aboriginal Access Studies is in its second
year of a three-year pilot that allows
Aboriginal students to take university-
level courses without the need to initially
register in a degree program or undergo
the standard admissions process. After
starting their university studies through
this alternative entry, students are better
equipped — and qualified - to apply to
degree programs.
"The access program gives you the
requirements to get in," says Alexander. "I
would have had to go to college for two
years, then come here. But this got me here
right away."
Aboriginal Access advisor Adrienne Vedan says key
elements of the program are the extensive academic and
personal support students receive from advisors and peer
mentors, and the degree to which Aboriginal culture is
incorporated into the entire approach.
"Students receive an Aboriginal perspective in English
and math courses," Vedan says, "and most of them take
Indigenous Studies, so they receive a good foundation of
courses that provide an Aboriginal perspective. We base
the whole initiative on the medicine wheel's teachings
and the aspect of balance, stressing that the academic
side is really important, but so are all the other aspects of
yourself - your physical and social wellbeing."
In addition to courses at UBC Okanagan, students
also have an opportunity to take an Okanagan
language course offered through the En'owkin Centre,
an indigenous cultural, educational and creative arts
institution in Penticton.
Adrienne Vedan, left, and Dan Odenbach, right, are helping
Aboriginal students like Chris Alexander through the first
part of their university experience at UBC Okanagan.
The goal this year is to enroll 30 students through
Access Studies. Last year, 17 students participated - some
just out of high school, others returning to school as
mature students.
"This program is for a variety of students," says Vedan.
"A range of barriers might not have allowed them to
attend post-secondary education - high school grades,
not having their Grade 11 and 12 prerequisites, or even
mature students who haven't been in school for a long
time and whose high school records don't meet admission
requirements. This opens up a number of doorways.
Jordan Coble was out of high school for five years
before he decided to go back to school.
"I graduated in 2001, and didn't really have any long-
term goals," Coble says, describing how when he was
ready for post-secondary education he
enrolled in regional college courses intent
on completing prerequisites for university.
A week into those classes, he learned
about the new pilot at UBC Okanagan
and made the move.
"The best part of the program was
having a place to go, having someone to
talk to, and learning how to study," he
says. "That made it a lot easier. Now I'm
more focused on my career path."
Taking first-year courses at UBC
Okanagan, Coble has considered a future
as a teacher or an editor. But lately his
career thoughts are closer to home:
filmmaking and video production.
"My dad has been in the movie business
for years," says Coble. "That's where I
want to go." And so Coble is enrolling in
media studies and English courses on the
path to a Bachelor of Arts in English.
"The access program gave me a nice
transition to the Arts program, and the
courses I've chosen so far have opened
doors for me," says Coble.
Most of the 17 students in the program last year are
applying to degree programs this year, but success isn't
entirely about students choosing this path.
"Maybe they come for a year and say it's not for them,
so they pursue education in a different manner," says
Dan Odenbach, Aboriginal program administrator. "We
would consider that a success because these are students
who may have never thought post-secondary was an
"We send the message that, no matter what, there are
always options and the more education you have the
more options you have. If this isn't for them, we'll work
with them to find what is."
"Let's face it, whether you are Aboriginal or non-
Aboriginal, starting at university can be a pretty scary
experience - it's almost an overload, you're inundated
with a flood of information," says Odenbach. "We want
to assist students in getting over their initial fears so they
can get on with their education." 13
New MBA House inspired by Harvard
For the Robert H. Lee Graduate School at UBC's
Sauder School of Business, the new MBA House represents
a key part of the school's rebuilding effort, and the
culmination of a major effort to provide graduate business
students with an exceptional learning environment.
The residence, located at Wesbrook Place in
UBC's South Campus, will give Master of Business
Administration and Master of Management students an
uncommon ability to interface with each other, with the
school's faculty and alumni, and with visiting business
leaders and entrepreneurs.
For inspiration, Sauder needed look no further than
alumnus John McArthur, for whom a residence at
Harvard Business School was named.
McArthur, who graduated from UBC with a bachelor of
commerce degree in forestry in 1957, served as dean of the
Harvard Business School (HBS) from 1980 through 1995.
Since then, he has been the George F. Baker Professor of
Business Administration Emeritus and Dean Emeritus at
McArthur Hall was dedicated at HBS in 1999 in
recognition of his contributions to the university. The
residence for MBA students is widely recognized - along
with Schwab Residential Center at Stanford University's
business school - for delivering an exceptional MBA
experience for students.
Both residences provided ideas for for Kevin Mahon,
the president of Adera Development Corp, and a 1982
UBC BCom graduate, who helped lead the MBA House
development effort.
Pre-construction, Mahon met with McArthur who
underscored the benefit of an student residence to
graduate students at his institution.
"It's a total experience they're going through - and
where they live is part of that whole experience," said
McArthur. "The students do learn from each other." 13
ook Mall
UBC's new MBA House gives graduate business students a space to learn and connect.
UBC launches one-of-a-kind
commuter hostel
Life can be tough for commuter students.
Hours can be lost during cramped cross-city bus rides and sitting in traffic jams, and getting to campus for
an early-morning class means some students leave home before 6 a.m.
Recognizing the challenges faced by commuter students, UBC has launched a bevy of new programs aimed
at helping alleviate the stress of commuting to and from campus.
At UBC's Vancouver campus, students who want to stay on campus into the wee hours of the night - or
get a fresh start in the morning — can get a room on the cheap at the new commuter student hostel at Walter
Gage Residence.
Beginning Sept. 21, commuter students can book a private room between Sunday and Thursday for $30
per night. Each single-gender unit is made up of eight private rooms that share a lounge, kitchenette and two
"Students may have a late-night study group, an early morning test, or want to participate in club
activities organized in the evening," says Janice Robinson, director of residence life in Vancouver. "With this
hostel they're able to get up refreshed and start their day on campus."
The hostel opened last fall to little fanfare, and Robinson says the pilot was a great success.
More than half of the students stay at the hostel because of early-morning academic commitments,
Robinson says, with the rest involved in evening events or courses. Students who stay the night are welcome
to attend residence events.
During exam season the hostel is available on Friday nights to accommodate Saturday morning exams.
Students must book before 5 pm., and can stay a maximum of two nights per week.
At UBC Okanagan, the new University Centre was built with commuter students in mind. Three collegia
are meant to provide a home away from home for students who commute.
Each collegium has a relaxing lounge-style atmosphere and is outfitted with comfortable furniture,
individual and group workspaces, and kitchen facilities. They serve as places to hang out, eat lunch, spend
time with classmates, and do school work.
While the transition to university can be tough on students, they're not the only ones who need help
On Sept. 19, UBC's Vancouver campus will host Commuter Student Parent Orientation, for parents and
guardians of new students to learn more about resources, programs, and student life.
The three-hour orientation session, presented in both Mandarin and English, will suggest strategies for
parents to support their child's transition from high school to university.
Parents of a commuter student face different issues than those of a residence student, says Chad Hyson,
associate director of student development.
"In most cases students are still living at home, and there are added tensions around family
responsibilities," Hyson says. "They're a student, but they still have a role within the family and it can be
difficult to negotiate the two."
The university has also launched a commuter magazine, Connections, which touches on student life,
wellness and campus culture from the perspective of a commuter student. 13
Women were first to earn UBC grad
degrees: First 100 theses project
Have a hankering to peruse UBC's first-ever thesis in Arts and Science, A study of the estimation of iron
and the separation of manganese from iron by phenyl-nitroso-hydroxylamine ammonium (cupferron),
by Ruth Vivian Fulton, 19197 What about the first Applied Science thesis, Preparation of manganates and
permanganates of metals of alkali and alkaline earth groups, by Charles A.H. Wright, 1920? What about the
first Applied Science thesis, Preparation of manganates and permanganates of metals of alkali and alkaline
earth groups, by Charles A.H. Wright, 1920?
If so, then you're in luck - because University Archives has digitized UBC's first 100 theses. Although
the University opened its doors in 1915, it wasn't until four years later that the first graduate degrees were
awarded, both of them to women. Indeed, women earned six out of the first 10 masters degrees granted by
UBC (the first PhDs were awarded in 1950).
This fascinating collection, organized to celebrate UBC's centenary in 2008, includes theses from some
prominent UBC figures, such as future UBC President Walter Henry Gage and Alma Mater Society founding
member Evelyn Sykes Story (who became Evelyn Lett upon marrying).
This initiative is part of a much larger effort entitled the UBC Retrospective Theses Digitization Project,
which involves the digitization of all theses from the 1920s on -33,500 theses and nearly five million pages.
Currently, Archives is digitizing theses published between 1992 and 2007; about 9,000 titles are available in
cIRcle, UBC Library's online repository, and more are being added daily.
You can view the first 100 theses at www.library.ubc.ca/archives/firstl00.13
Uncommon learning opportunities
As a new school year gets underway, the Chapman Learning Commons (CLC) is introducing a raft of
initiatives to serve its users better.
The CLC, located on level three of the Irving K. Barber Learning Centre, brings together technology and
learning support for students, faculty, staff and community members.
New offerings this year include:
- Student assistants based at the CLC help desk offer specialized help with learning technology and
multimedia software, including support with blogs, wikis, iClickers and new iMac multimedia workstations
(which include scanners).
-A new "academic coaching corner" that features well-established peer coaching programs on campus.
Help will be offered by upper-level students for issues ranging from study techniques to academic resources.
- The Student to Scholar program, a student-led initiative, pulls together a suite of workshops on academic
learning, library research, technology and lifestyle balance to help students develop well-rounded skills.
For more information, please visit www.library.ubc.ca/clc. 13
Institute for Computing, Information and Cognitive Systems
The University of British Columbia seeks outstanding internal UBC candidates for the
position of Director of the Institute for Computing, Information and Cognitive Systems
(ICICS). The successful candidate must hold an appointment at the rank of Professor
or Associate Professor, and must be a current active member of ICICS. The new Director will be expected to serve for a five year term. He/she is a dynamic, visionary and
collaborative leader, who will bring people together and build on ICICS' strengths in
education, research and professional practice as it manages its growth trajectory. The
successful candidate must have proven leadership and administrative experience or
have demonstrated the potential for such skills in other ways. Nominations and applications are now invited.
General information about ICICS is available at www.icics.ubc.ca. ICICS was
originally established in 1986 as the Centre for Integrated Computer Systems Research
(CICSR), with a mandate to advance collaborative research in computer systems that
have industrial and manufacturing applications. In 2000, CICSR was transformed to
ICICS. While the primary mandate of ICICS is to be at the forefront of research in information and communication technology, it has moved decisively towards inter-disciplinary research that extends well beyond traditional boundaries. ICICS is a world-class,
multi-disciplinary organization that is unique in Canada in its breadth of expertise. ICICS
underwent an external review in April 2006. The review report is available at www.icics.
ICICS has three affiliated departments, Computer Science, Electrical and Computer Engineering, and Mechanical Engineering; it has 154 faculty members from across
the UBC campus as members of ICICS; and has over 800 graduate students. ICICS is
supported through the University's base operating budget. The Director acts as primary
academic and administrative officer of the Institute, coordinating and leading the
Institute's various programs, activities and initiatives. The Director reports to a Steering
Committee chaired by the Dean of Applied Science and comprised ofthe Deans of Applied Science and Science and the Principal of the College for Interdisciplinary Studies.
The position will be available on January 1,2010 or soon after depending on the
completion of the selection process. Please visit www.apsc.ubc.ca/prospective_faculty/
for updates on the status of the position. Interested candidates are invited to submit an
application package that consists of a brief statement expressing what interests them
in the leadership of ICICS, their experience relevant to this responsibility and their perspective on where ICICS should be going and how to get there. The package must also
include a current curriculum vita, a portfolio of professional/academic accomplishment
including research and teaching as well as the names and addresses of two referees
external to ICICS/UBC from academia or industry who are able to provide an objective
assessment of the candidate's suitability for this leadership position.
Nominations and applications should be submitted in confidence to:
DeanTyseerAboulnasr, Chair
ICICS Director Search Committee
Faculty of Applied Science
5000-2332 Main Mall
UBC Campus
The package must be sent by e-mail only to syee@apsc.ubc.ca, and any attachments
should only be Word or pdf files, set for printing on letter-size paper.
Nominators must include a one page description of why they consider the nominee
to be a highly desirable candidate. After consulting with the committee, the Chair will
invite some nominees to apply as deemed appropriate.
The deadline for nominations is September 11,2009, and the deadline for applications
is October 2,2009.
The University of British Columbia hires on the basis of merit and is committed to
employment equity. All qualified candidates are encouraged to apply. 14     I     UBC    REPORTS     |    SEPTEMBER    8,    2009
UBC    REPORTS     |       SEPTEMBER    8,    2009     |     15
FIRST-YEAR CLASS continued from page 1
West Coast Suites
at The University of British Columbia
Your Home
Away from Home
Whether your next visit to the UBC campus
in Vancouver is for business or pleasure, we invite you
to experience our warm and welcoming suites with all
the conveniences at home. All new. Right here.
book online www.ubcconferences.com
Peter Wall Institute for Advanced Studies
MARCH 1, 2009
Major Thematic Grant, Letter of Intent
The Major Thematic Grant provides funding of up to
$500,000 over a three to five-year period to a broad
interdisciplinary team of UBC and external scholars to
research a new area of basic research. It is expected
that UBC will become a centre for research on the topic.
Applicants for a Major Thematic Grant must first have
applied for and held a successful Peter Wall Exploratory
Workshop within the previous two years. There are at
present two projects being funded.
For more information, please visit our website at
www.pwias.ubc.ca or call us at (604) 822-4782.
David Yesaya, first-year student from Toronto, enjoys soccer and poetry.
Moore have introduced them
to some inconvenient truths
and unsettling perspectives.
Peter Jackson introduced them
to Tolkien's Middle Earth, and
Christopher Nolan to Batman.
The Canada of the 1991
generation is not so much
concerned with old arguments
over national unity as with new
ones over education, health care,
privacy, copyright, and Canada's
role on the world stage. Jon
Stewart and Steve Colbert, South
Park and The Simpsons are
more likely to be their satirical
filters of American culture than
Saturday Night Live, and George
Stromboulopolous and Douglas
Coupland have provided a gentler,
but still cool glimpse into the
post-Web 2.0 world through a
Canadian filter. Canadian teen
pop music in their childhood
and early adolescence spawned
not a Lizzie McGuire or Hannah
Montana analog, but bouncy,
heavily eyelinered, punk-pop
princess Avril Lavigne. While
they were in middle school and
high school, social networking
exploded into being, and YouTube
became the place to make, and
catch, rising viral videos.
It is impossible to generalize
about this generation. They have
not necessarily contributed to the
development of such pop culture
juggernauts as the Harry Potter
and Twilight phenomena, social
networking, and reality TV, nor on
the other hand are they necessarily
enthusiastic about acoustic emo
music, independent films, and
skateboarding culture.
One of the most interesting
phenomena I have observed is the
way many approach retro culture:
Discover some of the cool cultural attractions that UBC has to offer. Pick up a
Culture Fest voucher and receive a free 12oz coffee at select UBC Food Services outlets.
I GET NERVOUS A wall drawing exhibition by artist Tonel. FREE.
A showcase about one of B.C.'s most famous resident-writers. FREE.
The show features 40+ photographs by distinguished New Zealand artist Mark Adams.
SEP. 17 TOUCH THE SOUND Take a remarkable sound journey with
Dame Evelyn Glennie, a Grammy-winning classical percussionist. FREE.
SEP. 17 THE LIVE SESSIONS-HEY OCEAN!  Hey Ocean! is a young band with
a talent for blending musical styles into their own brand of infectious pop.
SEP. 17 MOA MASHUP An afternoon of spontaneous outbreaks of music, dance
and interactive video & light. FREE. Cash bar.
Hosted by Friends of the Garden, tropicals, cacti and more at great prices!
Enjoy sounds of opera high above in beautiful forest canopy at UBC Botanical Garden.
SEP. 19 UBC FARM MARKET Come visit every Saturday 9am to 1pm every from
June to October to get your hands on local organic produce. FREE.
SEP. 19 FestEV^mi OPEN HOUSE Bring the whole family to learn about
evolution and celebrate biodiversity. FREE. Hosted by the Beaty Biodiversity Museum.
SEP. 19 MANITOBA CHAMBER ORCHESTRA Extraordinary solo percussionist
Dame Evelyn Glennie joins the Manitoba Chamber Orchestra.
from the UBC School of Music in concert performing opera arias and art song.
THE CHUNG COLLECTION: ONGOING One of the most exceptional and extensive
collections of its kind in Canada offers insights into what it means to be Canadian.
Enjoy a 50 minute guided tour of one of N. America's premier performing arts venues.
Visit WWW.CH
T.UBC.CA for full event details.
retro for them often means the
1970s or '80s; too young to be
nostalgic, they mine the artifacts of
an age they never knew, and stare
with fresh eyes at its TV shows,
music videos and arcade games,
refunctioning them as a rejection
of the mass culture currently mass-
produced for them.
While many embrace and
quickly master a broad range
of current communications
technologies, many are deeply
suspicious of over-reliance on
technology and mass media.
Indeed, they are often more apt
to be an amalgamation of various
passions, and after all, they have
more ways of finding out about
the larger world and participating
in it than virtually all preceding
generations of young adults.
Gisele Baxter is a lecturer in the
Dept. of English who has met
many first-year students in her
25-year teaching career. She
comments regularly on popular
culture and maintains her own
online cultural commentary at
From Winnipeg: Anita
Q Why did you choose UBC?
The moment I attended the tour
of the UBC campus I was hooked.
I love the libraries, the Nitobe
Memorial Garden and obviously
the warmth of the environment
and people. Since I was interested
in science, the Coordinated Science
Program also looked like a very
rewarding option for me.
Q What extracurricular activity do
you enjoy?
I have always had a love for
gymnastics and dance. I have
participated in heavily competitive
gymnastics and have found the
sport invigorating. Dance, all kinds
from salsa to jazz, has also been a
simple pleasure of mine.
Q What is your favourite book
and music?
The entire Harry Potter collection
is undoubtedly my favourite. My
favourite band is Our Lady Peace.
Q Do you have a favourite
technology device?
I think my cellphone has been
my savior most often in my life.
While I adore my iPod and laptop,
I would be lost without my
cellphone (as cliche as that may
sound for an 18-year-old girl).
Q What social networking site do
use the most, if
Very simple: Facebook. I have
tried exploring other networking
sites like Twitter and MySpace but
neither appeal to me.
Where do you get your news?
My debate teacher has always
recommended BBC News so
that is usually my number one
resource. I will also look through
the Winnipeg Free Press and Globe
and Mail on occasion.
Q How many text messages do
you send/receive each day?
Since my cellphone makes text
messaging painfully difficult, I
would say from 20-100 a day.
From Toronto: David Yesaya
Q Why did you choose UBC?
First of all, it's one of the best
universities in Canada, as well as
in the world. Second, UBC has a
strong varsity soccer team. The last
reason is because the university is
located just by the Pacific Ocean.
Q What extracurricular activity do
continued on back cover
Tedx Talks
Give UBC students a challenge, and they'll more than exceed your expectations.That's what happened
at Terry talks 2008, a day-long event where students took centre stage to share their academic knowledge,
personal experience and passion to bring about positive change both locally and globally. Due to the campus
response, organizers have scheduled the next event for October 3.
Terry talks is an outgrowth of the Terry Project, an initiative to engage the UBC community on global
issues (www.terry.ubc.ca). Modeled on the popular global TED conferences—held each year in California
and Oxford and devoted to discussing big ideas for our world - speakers are given 18 minutes to give the talk
of their young lives. Terry talks 2008 showcased eight student speakers and one alumnus discussing topics
that ranged from community outreach to the importance of access to essential medicines.
With participants describing Terry talks 2008 as an inspiring day that had "speakers of a phenomenal
TED-like quality" who "stimulated not only great conversation but hopefully actions too" the project has
joined forces with the non-profit TED as part of the TEDx independently organized TED event initiative to
call this year's event the TEDx Terry talks 2009.
Speaker applications are open till September 15. For more information, contact The Terry Project at
terrytalks@gmail.com. All talks can be viewed at: www.terry.ubc.ca/terrytalks. 13
Mix it up
Excerpted from Tapestry, the newsletter for
the office of Teaching and Academic Growth
As part of the selection process for Terry talks
2008, each speaker was asked to make a wish, of
which one was chosen for the campus to develop.
The 2008 wish was from Integrated Science
and Political Science student Geoff Costeloe
and called UBC MIX to create interdisciplinary
classroom partnerships, exposing students to new
ideas and experiences.
UBC MIX develops cross-discipline and cross-
faculty partnerships between courses already
taught at UBC. It helps two faculty members
make small adjustments to their class curricula
that can bring together students from two
courses. The partnership could involve one or two
joint lectures, electronic 'pen-pal' communication
between the classes, a mixed-group project,
or anything else the faculty members think
would be valuable to the students. The idea is
to compliment the curricula of both classes by
exploring the links between them, exposing the
students to new ideas.
Celeste Leander, who teaches Science One
Biology, and Carla Paterson from HIST 104 will
be giving UBC MIX a shot in September. They
will be using a variety of classroom activities
that will draw on major themes from both
classes. One activity is a project looking at trees
around campus. Students from each class will
be partnered together. They will have to find
and identify trees in the UBC community, take
a photo of themselves in front of it, then give a
short presentation on the tree and it historical
uses in B.C. aboriginal communities. It is a chance
for students to learn from each other and put the
skills and knowledge they take from class and put
them into practice.
UBC MIX is currently looking for interested
faculty members to form partnerships for
For more information visit: www.terrry.ubc.
ca/mix. 13
STUDENTS HELP DESIGN continued from page 1
the faculty with cutting edge
teaching and learning tools
such as WebCT, problem-based
learning, ePortfolios, along
with video, graphics and new-
technology support.
"Traditional classrooms
often impede face-to-face
contact," says Brent Skura,
associate professor at LFS
and program director, Global
Resource Systems. "The Learning
Commons will facilitate
problem-based learning and
students teaching each other as
it encompasses areas for small
and large groups." He says the
space is part of a longstanding
initiative at the faculty to create
an active community of learners,
faculty, teaching assistants and
Engineering curriculum
In December 2008 as
Chris Bazett finished up his
undergraduate coursework
in civil engineering, he heard
his department would be
redeveloping its curriculum the
following month. "I told them
this was a subject that fascinated
me and I was soon hired to
administer the revamp," he says.
But not just any revamp.
Bazett's task was to engage
the entire department in the
redevelopment, while also
seeking collaboration from
the student body. He describes
his full-time role as "bridging
the gap" between students
and faculty. "This level of
activity, and support at the
faculty level, has not been seen
before," he says. He adds past
redevelopment activities were
driven from the sides of people's
desks with no sustained focus.
"Students are really happy
we are doing this," says Barb
Lence, Bazett's supervisor,
civil engineering professor and
associate head of undergraduate
programs who has been given a
temporary release from teaching
to oversee the revamp. Lence
was instrumental, along with
Reza Vaziri, department head,
in recognizing the importance
of the curriculum reform and
in creating an opportunity for
Bazett to help out. "We are so
fortunate to have him as the
middleman between faculty
and students because he can
see outside the box and bring a
deeper level to our discussions,"
adds Lence.
Other duties Bazett is
engaged in include making
recommendations about the
curriculum redevelopment
process, and facilitating
coordination and communication
among committee members.
Part of the restructuring is
focused on filling in the gaps
by offering more electives for
students and more integrative
design courses at second, third
and fourth years. These courses
will allow students to draw on
what they learned from other
courses, see interrelationships
between courses, and understand
their relevance to real-world
engineering problems.
This focus was echoed by
students at the end of last term,
when they filled out a detailed
survey developed by Bazett.
The survey sought to capture
their experience and generate
ideas about ways to make the
program's curriculum more
student-centred, so there is a
shift from a traditional emphasis
on the subject matter itself to
what is being learned.
"Students like coming to me
because although I am no longer
a student, the student experience
is still fresh in my mind," he
says. "The students can relate
to me and feel comfortable
relaying their views, anecdotes,
and sometimes they express
a concern about things that
worked or didn't."
In May, the department
conducted its annual two-day
retreat. This year the focus was
on curriculum redevelopment.
"I had at hand ready examples
to share with faculty during the
retreat," says Bazett. "These real-
life experiences help professors
to better understand the student
perspective." 13
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We offer full management and registration services and have experienced
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Math Centre
Non-credit courses designed to help UBC
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MATH 001: Algebra
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Visit Your neighbourhood
White Spot in September!
Located at the David Lam Research Centre
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For hours of operation visit www.food.ubc.ca
o 16     |     UBC    REPORTS     |       SEPTEMBER
Pharmacy residency puts
students in community
FIRST-YEAR CLASS continued from
Ifyou thought the role of pharmacists was solely to prepare
prescriptions, and dispense drugs to patients, well, think again.
In 2006, Karen Trotter was approaching the end of her
pharmacy degree at the UBC Faculty of Pharmaceutical
Sciences and wasn't sure what career focus to pursue. She
knew she wanted to work in a community setting, but
only knew about the residency programs available in
hospitals. Then a pharmacy colleague suggested she look
into the UBC Community Pharmacy Residency Program.
The first of its kind in Canada and initiated at UBC, the
Community Pharmacy Residency Program allows students
to learn about healthcare issues such as palliative care,
diabetes, smoking cessation and chronic disease management
in a community pharmacy. The community focus is unique
as most pharmacy residency programs only offer training
opportunities in hospitals. Past residents are working in pain
clinics as medication management pharmacists, as pharmacy
instructors at colleges and universities, and as geriatric
pharmacists with B.C. health authorities. A number have
gone on to deepen their learning through further study in a
Doctor of Pharmacy program.
"Entering this one-year program was a great first step to
deciding what direction I should take," says Trotter.
During her 2006-2007 community residency, she worked
with pharmacist mentors called preceptors at a handful of
the 12 B.C. community practice sites available to program
One of her favourite rotations included home visits
with seniors who were recently discharged from Peace
Arch Hospital. "It was an amazing opportunity to connect
with a patient group that often benefits from more time,
and personal contact than a busy dispensary allows,"
says Trotter. "At a different site, I also discovered how
much I love doing long-term care, partly because the
interdisciplinary teams and patient information are more
readily accessible." She adds working as part of a group of
healthcare professionals taught her that a pharmacist is a
valued member of any team.
"We have the educational background and expertise
that allows us to pick up the additional skills and
knowledge to support a varied population with diverse
needs," she says. During her residency, the BC Pharmacy
Association recognized her with a New Horizons
award, given to recent graduates that make a significant
contribution to the pharmacy profession.
Trotter used her contacts with pharmacy mentors
to land her first appointment at St. Anthony's Clinic
Pharmacy in Victoria, working closely with other
healthcare professionals at long-term care facilities.
"Overall, the UBC Community Pharmacy Residency
Program broadened my vision of the practice of
community pharmacy and helped me to see building
lasting and trusting relationships with patients as an
integral part of patient care," she says.
"Health care delivery patterns are changing rapidly,"
says Penny Miller, program director, Faculty of
Pharmaceutical Sciences. "The community pharmacy
residency provides new pharmacists with the advanced
training required to deliver clinical pharmacy services to
communities in these fluctuating times." She adds mentors
are a big part of the program's continued success.
"Preceptors have incredible knowledge and skills that
students are able to draw on during their two-to-four
week rotations," she says. In turn, the students help
preceptors keep up to date on clinical issues and share
their accumulated knowledge and passion.
Miller developed the Community Pharmacy Residency
Program in 1981 with fellow colleagues Mark Levine and
Lynn Pollock to respond to a need for more advanced
training in clinical services and pharmacotherapy for
community pharmacy practitioners. To this day there are
only a handful of similar programs, mostly in the U.S. The
program is sponsored by the College of Pharmacists of
British Columbia and the BC Pharmacy Association. 13
you enjoy most?
I love playing soccer; it's a good way to release my energy
and to socialize with people. The other extracurricular
activity that I love after soccer is poetry—all kinds of poetry,
but especially spoken word because it permits me to free
my mind and to reach others.
Q What is your favourite book, and favourite music?
It's the Bible, and not just because of my personal beliefs
but because everybody agrees that it's one of the most
well-written books, with many literary devices and figures
of speech. I have learned to appreciate all kinds of music.
Right now I listen to lots of reggae.
Q Do you have a favourite technology device?
My favourite technology device is definitely my laptop. I
can't go anywhere without it.
Q What social networking site do you use the most, if any?
I like using Facebook. It's an economical way to stay in
touch. However, I am strongly conscious that it doesn't
replace physical contact.
Q Where do you get your news?
If it's not on the Internet, it's on my way to school by
picking up the Metro newspaper on the bus.
Q How many text messages do you send/receive each day?
From Scotts Valley, California: Josh Nicholson
Q Why did you choose UBC?
I chose to come to UBC because of the academic excellence
and the opportunity to play baseball.
Q What extracurricular activity do you enjoy?
baseball, basketball, football, and snowboarding.
Q What is your favourite book and music?
My favorite book is Eragon by Christopher Paolini. I enjoy
listening to hip hop/rap music from the 1980s and 90s.
Q Do you have a favourite technology device?
I like my iPod the most but also have a laptop and
cellphone that I use frequently.
Q What social networking activity do you use the most?
Q Where do you get your news?
On the Internet and I read the sports section of the
Q How many text messages do you send/receive each day?
I probably send around 30 a day and receive about 30 a
day. 13
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