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 UBC
^jM,
a place of mind
THE  UNIVERSITY OF BRITISH COLUMBIA
April 2012
Palliative care in
rural B.C.
Affordable housing
at UBC
Education researchers
tackle hot topics
Aiming high
Felix Oghenekohwo has
a love of numbers 10
ALSO INSIDE
Learning by app
A new tool to study Chinese,
Japanese and Korean  4 UBC Dentistry "adopts" Florence Nightingale
Lorraine Chan with files from Terry Wintonyk
In the news
UBC REPORTS
volume fifty eight: number four
www.publicaffairs.ubc.ca/ubc-reports
Director
lucie mcneill lucie.mcneill@ubc.ca
Associate Director
randy schmidt randy.schmidt@ubc.ca
Design Manager
arlene cotter arlene.cotter@ubc.ca
Public Affairs Studio
ping ki chan  ping.chan@ubcca
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Photographer
martin dee  martin.dee@ubcca
Web Designer
linakang  lina.kang@ubcca
Communications Coordinators
heather amos heather.amos@ubcca
chris bowerman chris.bowerman@ubcca
Lorraine chan  lorraine.chan@ubcca
jimi galvao jimi.galvao@ubcca
brian lin  brian.Iin@ubcca
paul marck paul.marck@ubc.ca
basil waugh basil.waugh@ubc.ca
terry wintonyk terrysw@dentistry.ubc.ca
Advertising
pearlie davison  pearlie.davison@ubc.ca
Circulation
lou bosshart lou.bosshart@ubc.ca
Printer
TELDON PRINT MEDIA
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Next issue: 3 May 2012
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Submit letters to:
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UBC NEWS ROOM
WWW.PUBLICAFFAIRS.UBC.CA/NEWS
Visit our online UBC News Room for the latest updates
on research and learning. On this site you'll find our
news releases, advisories, news extras, as well as a daily
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more than 500 faculty experts and information about
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V      a place of mind
THE  UNIVERSITVOF BRITISH COLUMBIA
Public Affairs
Highlights of UBC media coverage
in March 2012
Heather Amos
UBC ATHLETICS
T-Birds win national titles
The UBC Thunderbirds made headlines
in the Globe and Mail, Canadian Press,
the Vancouver Sun and the Province
this month after winning national
championships.
UBC women and men's swim teams
swept the Canadian Interuniversity
Sport (CIS) championships at the end of
February. Swimmers Savannah King and
Tommy Gossland won the most valuable
athlete awards. The Thunderbirds won
their fifth-straight CIS women's
volleyball title and player Lisa Barclay
was named the tournament's most
valuable player. Kyla Richey became the
third consecutive women's volleyball
player to win the CIS player ofthe year
award in the sport. The women's
basketball team took silver in the CIS
championships after winning the
Canada West conference title.
Men's hockey head coach Milan
Dragicevic was named the Canada West
Coach ofthe Year. Hash Kanjee, the head
coach ofthe women's field hockey,
announced he was retiring after 19
seasons.
UNIVERSITY NEWS
Jewellery by Bill Reid
donated to UBC
Sydney Friedman and his late wife
Constance Livingstone-Friedman,
founding members of UBC's Faculty of
Medicine, have donated an important
collection of early works by Canadian
Haida artist Bill Beid to UBC's Museum
of Anthropology.
The works have been installed in
MOA's Bill Beid Botunda, reported the
Globe and Mail, the Vancouver Sun, the
Province and the Georgia Straight.
James Cook relic at MOA
A rare ceremonial club, given to
Captain James Cook in 1778 from the
Nuu-chah-nulth people of Vancouver
Island's west coast, was donated to
UBC's Museum of Anthropology by the
Audain Foundation. The club is the last
remaining object from Captain Cook's
personal collection, reported the CBC,
Globe and Mail, Global, Vancouver Sun
and others.
Moving up
According to the 2012 Times Higher
Education Beputation Bankings,
UBC now ranks 25th among the
top 100 universities on the planet.
UBC jumped up six spots from last
year's 31st, reported Bloomberg
Businessweek, Global, the Huffington
Post, the Vancouver Sun, and Maclean's
OnCampus.
UBC RESEARCH
Youngest in class
misdiagnosed with ADHD
The youngest children in a class are more
likely to be diagnosed with attention
deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)
and treated with medication than their
older classmates, suggests a new UBC
study, reported Time, the Telegraph, CNN,
CBS News, the Globe and Mail, CBC's The
National, and many others.
Lead author Richard Morrow and his
colleagues found that children born in
December were 39 per cent more likely
to be diagnosed with ADHD and 48 per
cent more likely to be taking medication
to treat it than children in the same class
born in January.
Medically prescribed heroin more
effective, less costly than current
methadone treatment
The Daily Mail, CBS, Globe and Mail,
the Canadian Press, and many other
media outlets reported on a UBC
study, drawn from the North American
Opiate Medication Initiative (NAOMI),
that suggests it might be cheaper and
more effective to treat heroin addicts
with medically-prescribed heroin,
known as diacetylmorphine, instead of
methadone.
"Our model indicated that
diacetylmorphine would decrease
societal costs, largely by reducing costs
associated with crime, and would
increase both the duration and quality of
life of treatment recipients," said
Dr. Aslam Anis, professor at the UBC
School of Population and Public Health
who led the research.
"The question I get most about
heroin-assisted therapy is whether we
can afford the increased direct costs of
the treatment," said study co-author
Dr. Martin Schechter, a professor at
UBC's School of Population and Public
Health. "What this study shows is
that the more appropriate question is
whether we can afford not to."
Dr. Chris Zed says approximately 30 percent  of the children in the school experience pain from tooth decay and oral disease.
Rebecca, age nine, looks happy as
she exits the UBC-run dental clinic
at Florence Nightingale Elementary
School. Equally pleased is her mother,
Josefina Romero.
The fact that Bebecca can get free
dental care is a great weight off her
shoulders, says Bomero, who immigrated
to Vancouver from Puerto Vallarta,
Mexico with her husband and four
children in 2006. "The clinic is very good
for families who can't afford dentists.
Vancouver is very expensive for dentists,
especially when there are six of us."
This situation is not unique to the
Bomeros. Most ofthe 250 children at
Florence Nightingale don't usually see
a dentist. According to school principal
Jenny Chin Petersen, dental care has
been the missing element in the drive
to improve the overall wellness of
the students in this Mount Pleasant
neighbourhood.
The match was a natural. Last fall, the
Faculty of Dentistry opened a dental
clinic at Florence Nightingale as part
of its Adopt a School Program to serve
at-risk, inner city schools. Working with
the Vancouver School Board, Vancouver
Coastal Health Authority and Mount
Pleasant Community Centre, the clinic
is staffed by UBC general practice
residents—licensed dentists who are
doing advanced post-graduate training
with the Faculty of Dentistry.
Chin Petersen says, "That means
children from the most vulnerable
families who don't have insurance
coverage or a regular dentist can receive
the care they need."
About 30 per cent ofthe children at
Florence Nightingale experience pain
from tooth decay and oral disease, notes
Dr. Christopher Zed, associate dean of
strategic and external affairs with the
faculty.
"By providing oral health treatment
and education, we hope to reduce
absenteeism, sleep deprivation and
improve classroom attentiveness due
to lack of oral pain", says Zed whose
research looks at oral health disparities
in under-served communities in Canada
and internationally.
More than a "drill and fill relief
program," says Zed, the Adopt a School
Program aims to improve overall oral
health standards and knowledge among
children and their families. Family
members of children at Florence
Nightingale can also get free oral
health care from a UBC-led community
volunteer dental clinic at the nearby
Mount Pleasant Community Centre.
"The idea is to provide service to the
entire family so there's an integrated
approach and lasting change in both
the children and their parents' health
behaviour and attitudes," says Zed.
Open year-round, the one-chair clinic
'We hope to reduce absenteeism,
sleep deprivation and improve classroom
attentiveness due to lack of oral pain."
at Florence Nightingale operates every
second Thursday, between 1 p.m. and
8 p.m.
For the past two years, UBC's Doctor
of Dental Medicine students have been
coming to Florence Nightingale as part
of their Professionalism and Community
Service Program (PACS). Through games
and exercises, the PACS students teach
the children about oral health care, from
proper brushing and flossing to smart
food choices, for instance, crunchy
apples versus sticky cupcakes.
"So when the dental clinic appeared, it
wasn't a new or scary thing for the kids.
They were really familiar with the idea
of dentists and what they do," says Chin
Petersen. •
See video story at
www. publ icaf fairs, ubc.ca/ubc-reports
UBC Reports The University of British Columbia   April 2012 Want to learn Chinese characters?
UBC has an app for that
Basil Waugh
Language      Character    Court* hd»x       Starch        Daahboard
Made-at-UBC animation software enables learners
to practice characters with their fingers.
A new Asian language app by (left-right) faculty members Ross King, Duanduan Li and Rebecca Chau combines resources for Mandarin, Japanese and Korean.
The University of British Columbia has
entered the smartphone app market
with an innovative app targeting the
global demand for Mandarin, Japanese
and Korean language education.
The UBC Chinese Character Tool
is the first ever university East Asian
language mobile application. While most
language acquisition apps focus on a
single language, it is the only one on the
market to combine Chinese character
instruction resources for Mandarin,
Japanese and Korean. And with 10,000
Chinese characters that animate
digitally for users, it ranks among the
most comprehensive apps of its kind.
"As Asia becomes a global centre of
business and culture, more people than
ever want to learn these languages,"
says Prof. Boss King, head of UBC's
Dept. of Asian Studies, which developed
the app. "An app can't replace in-class
instruction, but it can help to improve
the educational experience for the 5,000
students studying these languages at
UBC and self-learners in Canada and
around the world."
The app includes thousands of words
and characters, along with meanings,
pronunciations, contextual phrases and
sentences, and stroke animations. To
help users practice and hone their skills,
the app comes with built-in support for
more than 30 different UBC language
courses and their textbooks.
The app was developed by
representatives of UBC's Chinese (Assoc.
Prof. Duanduan Li), Japanese (Senior
Instructor Bebecca Chau) and Korean
(Prof. King) language programs, along
with programmer Pan Luo of UBC's
Centre for Teaching, Learning and
Technology. King says the three-language
approach has many benefits for learners,
especially those who already speak one
East Asian language.
"These languages share many common
words, so bringing them together in
one app allows users to leverage any
complementary language skills they
have," says King, noting that 70 per cent
of students learning Asian languages at
UBC can already speak at least one other
Asian language. "It allows users to jump
between words they are familiar with and
the language they are studying."
According to King, the most
time-consuming aspect of East Asian
language study is learning the characters,
a task that requires years of practice since
basic literacy requires the memorization
of anywhere from 1800-3500 characters,
depending on the language. Thanks to
made-at-UBC animation software, which
sidesteps the iPhone's incompatibility
with Flash animation, the app shows
users exactly how characters are written,
letting them also practice with their
fingers at a variety of speeds.
"The app makes it much easier to
It's the only app on the market to combine
Chinese character instruction resources for
Mandarin. Japanese and Korean.
practice, which is crucial," says King,
whose department's waiting list for
Chinese, Japanese and Korean classes
is typically 1,000-people long. "Instead
of being at a desk with a textbook, paper
and a pen, you can practice characters
with just using your finger, wherever
you are," he says.
"We look forward to feedback so we
can make it better and better," Boss
adds, noting that future versions will
incorporate audio and improve the
search function, making it easier to
employ as a multi-language dictionary
and phrasebook. The department also
plans to add more than 3,000 advanced
words, characters and phrases, in
addition to updating course content
annually.
Although it's a non-profit venture,
King says the app's modest price
of $4.99 will support its creation
and continued development. With
single-language instruction apps ranging
in price from free to $9.99, King sees
UBC's three-language app as a bargain,
considering the quality of its content
and animation capabilities.
"Like the app market generally, the
quality of apps comparable to ours is
extremely uneven—there are so many
options that it can be difficult to know
who to trust," he says. "So I think our
pedigree, as a department with a 50-year
reputation for excellence in teaching
these languages, within one ofthe
world's top universities, will provide a
level of assurance to people."
King hopes the app will advance East
Asian language education in Canada.
"Despite the overwhelming demand for
Mandarin language education in Canada,
there has been a spectacular lack of
investment," he says. "This is especially
true in B.C., which is lagging behind
other provinces on this, despite our
significant Asian populations."
"We believe this app can improve how
our students learn, give self-learners
outside UBC an important new resource
—and ultimately, help to make Asian
language instruction a greater priority
in B.C. and Canada at all educational
levels," says King. •
Learn more about the
UBC Chinese Character Tool app at:
http://rn.ubccjk.com.
UBC offers
China
business
program
Basil Waugh
This spring, movers and shakers of
Canadian corporations, government and
NGOs will visit UBC and Shanghai to
learn best practices for doing business
in China.
Working with UBC experts,
participants of UBC's China Links will
get a crash course on fundamentals for
operating in China, including copyright
protection, negotiation styles, navigating
government, opening factories and
hiring staff.
"As organizations rush to do business
with China, it is crucial that they do
their homework," says Prof. Alison
Bailey, UBC Institute of Asian Besearch.
"This program, which brings together
the latest expertise on Chinese culture,
business, law and government, is
designed to help them do that."
The group will convene in Vancouver
from April 12-14 for an intense weekend
of case studies, role-playing, problem-
solving and simulations. After that,
participants will travel to Shanghai from
May 7-11 to meet with Chinese officials
and members of Canada's business and
diplomatic community. •
Learn more about the China Links
program at: www.chinalinks.ubc.ca.
UBC Reports The University of British Columbia   April 2012 Social capital and the great beyond
Canada Research Chair Barb Pesut
investigates palliative support in rural areas
Chris Bowerman
First the good news: Palliative-care
providers in rural and remote B.C.
have a wholehearted champion in
Barb Pesut, who's been immersed
in exploratory fieldwork since 2008.
Her approach to interdisciplinary
end-of-life care considers comfort,
dignity and individual aid for patients
and families—no matter where they
live.
Now the bad news: It's a sizeable
challenge. The rate of elderly Canadians
is growing exponentially, and almost
one-fifth of B.C.'s population lives in
rural areas. Geographically, culturally,
or socially isolated from comprehensive
healthcare services, more than 600,000
British Columbians reside beyond a
60-minute driving span to palliative-
care beds.
"What's required is a mosaic of
services that can adapt to different
needs of rural individuals," says Pesut,
Canada Besearch Chair in Health,
Ethics and Diversity, and assistant
professor with the School of Nursing at
UBC's Okanagan campus.
"Patients and families really
emphasize quality of life and how they
can live well together in the time they
have left. And for many rural people it's
strongly connected to place—they really
desire locations of death that work for
them and according to their specific
needs."
Pesut and colleagues recently
received more than $1.3 million in
research grants, largely from the BC
Nursing Besearch Initiative ofthe
Michael Smith Foundation for Health
Besearch, to investigate sustainable
palliative-care delivery in B.C.
Pesut and her cohorts have
interviewed more than 150 individuals
involved with palliative care in rural
areas of Interior and Northern B.C.
Preliminary findings are not all rosy.
In rural communities, especially
where hospitals have been closed
or downsized, family caregivers and
patients often have to go to great
lengths to get palliative services, such as
acute symptom and pain management.
These caregivers commute from
outlying areas with their terminally ill
child, or with their elderly and infirm
parent, over icy mountain passes or
mud-choked logging roads to reach
urban centres. Pesut has travelled
"What's required is a mosaic of services
that can adapt to different needs of
rural individuals."
similar routes, gaining a whole new
respect for rural citizens and their
barriers.
"Bural people really want 24/7
access to end-of-life care within their
own community," says Pesut. "These
communities want some stability.
They hope for more systematic types
of programs uniquely adapted to, and
owned by, their community—and which
are not necessarily subject to changing
models of healthcare.
"In the communities that do have
some level of palliative services,
healthcare providers go above and
beyond. In many cases, nurses and
physicians work off-the-clock," Pesut
says. "But what's difficult is they end up
putting together a sort of patchwork of
services often based on a strong spirit
of volunteerism, which works in the
moment.
"From a rural perspective,
volunteering is very often a way to
give back to their community. There's
a synergy that creates belonging that
is a huge amount of social capital
toward healthcare. I don't think in the
formalized system we can ever really
hope to replace this."
*
t
Pesut's ethnographic findings, for
example, show the import of certain
beliefs and values at end of life for
religious and ethnic sub-groups, and
this plays out in unique ways in rural
areas.
"There are lovely adaptations within
rural hospitals to meet the needs of
First Nations patients and families.
Within some rural communities there's
been a marvellous synergy between
the generosity ofthe Sikh community
to build facilities that meet their
end-of-life needs, and they donate them
back to the community to be used more
broadly."
"But what everybody really wants is a
rural hospice," she says, lauding major
innovations in Williams Lake and
pockets of developments being realized
in other rural B.C. areas such as Quesnel
Canada Research Chair Barb Pesut is a leader in rural palliative-care initiatives essential to an overall provincial health strategy.
and Nelson. "Unfortunately, there is no
one-size-fits-all model."
Pesut and her colleagues Carole
Bobinson, Joan Bottorff and Bichard
Sawatzky are research teammates
in Trail-Castlegar's TCABE program,
which stems from a Peter Wall Solutions
Initiative grant. The team is seeking
a rural solution that best integrates
all services to provide a coordinated,
accessible system of support and
education for palliative individuals and
their families.
Palliative-care expert Brenda Hooper
is part of TCABE's augmented response
program to enhance support services for
people affected by life-limiting chronic
illness. Hooper, a registered nurse and
vice chair ofthe Greater Trail Hospice
Society, says "having good end-of-life
care is really about having some choice
in the way things go, and having a little
bit of control at a time when you don't
have very much control."
The Greater Trail Hospice is, like
most hospices in the Kootenays, an
independent society backed by a small
contract with the Interior Health
Authority. "We rely on the community
to really fund the lion's share ofthe
services that we provide," Hooper
says. "But we have a strong base of
volunteers."
To build workable programs for
rural palliative care, Pesut's research
team aims to bridge amorphous gaps
between professionals and volunteers,
including: family caregivers, physicians
and nurses, social workers, healthcare
administrators, pharmacists, clergy,
and funeral directors.
Overall, Pesut says, "There is a
fine balance between an appropriate
expectation ofthe community and
what's provided by healthcare." •
Watch UBCO-TV's video feature about
Barb Pesut's palliative care research
in rural areas:
http://www.ubc.ca/okanagan/
vod/?f=http:/ubco.tv/movies/
P1106RWBarbMASTER.flv
Marked for life
Barb Pesut's formative experience in
palliative care was 30 years ago on
Christmas Day.
She was a student, working as a
nursing care assistant in a long-term
residential facility, keeping vigil at night
with an elderly patient in his final hours.
In a darkened room, she sat with him
over a few hours as he died. It was her
first experience with death.
"Something happened to me in that
moment," she says. "I remember
having this profound and mysterious
experience. I was deeply moved and
became very interested in end-of-life
issues from that moment on. I knew
then, this is what nursing is really about
forme." •
Recent Grants
Barb Pesut, an assistant professor with
the School of Nursing at UBC's
Okanagan campus, was appointed
Canada Research Chair in Health,
Ethics and Diversity in 2010.
She was recently awarded two
research grants:
• $250,000 over two years from the
Michael Smith Foundation for Health
Besearch (MSFHB) through the
BC Nursing Besearch Initiative as
research co-leader, along with partners
from Selkirk College, for Enhancing
Educational Capacity for a Palliative
Approach in Rural Nursing: A Research
Demonstration Project.
•$330,00 over three years from the
Peter Wall Solutions Initiative—which
includes partners MSFHB and Genome
British Columbia, and research
partners from the Communities of
Trail and Castlegar—for Trail-Castlegar
Augmented Response: Enhancing
Supportive Services for Persons and
Family Living with Life-Limiting
Chronic Illness (TCARE).
Announced in September 2011, Pesut
is a key researcher in a newly created
province-wide network called the
Initiative for a Palliative Approach
in Nursing: Evidence and Leadership
(iPANEL), a four-year initiative funded
through an $800,000 grant from
MSFHB. The partnership includes the
Interior Health Authority, universities
and the BC Ministry of Health. •
UBC Reports The University of British Columbia   April 2012 UBC Prof. Nassif Ghoussoub is leading UBC's Housing Action Plan.
UBC weighs affordable
housing options
Basil Waugh
With housing prices skyrocketing in
Vancouver, the University of British
Columbia has released potential
housing program options designed to
help create more affordable housing on
the Vancouver campus.
The options, which garnered
significant feedback during recent
community consultations, include
the possibility of discounted property
purchases and rentals to encourage
faculty, staff and students to live on the
Vancouver campus.
The effort will inform a UBC Housing
Action Plan, which seeks to improve
UBC's ability to compete with top
universities and employers for the
best and brightest minds, both globally
and locally, while helping to build a
more sustainable, vibrant residential
community.
"If we are going to be one ofthe world's
great universities, we must be able to
attract and retain the absolute best
people, and housing is a huge factor of
that," says Prof. Nassif Ghoussoub, chair
of UBC's Community Planning Task
Group and a member of UBC's Board
of Governors. "The lack of affordable
housing on or near campus makes it
harder to attract top researchers and is
forcing faculty, students and staff to live
and commute farther from campus."
The team visited North American
campuses such as New York University,
Columbia, Harvard and UCLA to learn
how other universities in expensive
cities are tackling housing affordability
They explored how other jurisdictions
and government bodies, such as the
Besort Municipality of Whistler and BC
Housing, offer affordable housing and
choices to their constituents, and they
consulted widely with campus groups.
"What we learned was that many
of these great universities are ahead
of us at integrating housing into
their overall academic mission," says
Ghoussoub, a professor in UBC's Dept.
of Mathematics and Distinguished
University Scholar. He has seen
competitor universities with large
departments dedicated to outbidding
other institutions for emerging
research stars, who can attract millions
in research funding. "Seeing how
others approach housing was truly
eye-opening and helped to create
consensus around the need to act," he
says.
Affordability options for discussion
Highlights ofthe discussion paper,
created by UBC Campus and
Community Planning staff, include
a capped appreciation program that
would allow tenured or tenure-track
faculty to buy (and sell) campus housing
at 33 per cent below market prices.
Another option sees faculty purchasing
campus housing as joint owners with
UBC for roughly 30 per cent of their
pre-tax income.
Bental options include a proposed
partnership with BC Housing that
would make UBC the first university
in North American to offer non-profit
rental housing to eligible employees or
faculty with an annual income of less
than $64,000. Other proposed rental
programs include non-market rental
cooperatives for faculty and staff.
While the housing proposals
more sizes and options, from one to four
bedrooms," he says.
One ofthe largest problems facing
planners was ensuring the benefits of
affordable housing remain available
to future generations, Ghoussoub
says. "Given our finite amount of space,
we had to restrict these programs to
full-time faculty, staff and students. As
people retire, graduate or find new jobs,
their units will become available for
others."
While faculty and staff would be
eligible for rentals, the proposed
ownership options target tenured
and tenure-track faculty. "Housing is
a much greater barrier for attracting
and retaining faculty, who are typically
recruited from outside the Lower
Mainland, than it is for staff, who
tend to live in Vancouver and whose
careers tend to span more employers,"
says Ghoussoub, adding that peer
institutions have similar restrictions on
their ownership programs.
Once feedback from the March
20-April 2 consultation phase has
been gathered, the team will conduct
additional feasibility studies before
"We must be able to attract and retain the absolute
best people, and housing is a huge factor."
for faculty and staff are still under
consideration, the university is already
moving forward on a major student
housing plan. With more than 9,000
student residents, UBC's Vancouver
campus already has more student
housing than any other Canadian
campus. The university has committed
to housing 2,500 more students by 2016,
including the 570 beds opened in Totem
Park residence last fall.
Ghoussoub says a greater range
of housing size will be created for
UBC's changing demographics also. "A
generation ago, graduate students and
new professors tended to be single, but
now they are often married with two
children. We heard a clear need for
preparing their recommendations for
UBC's Housing Action Plan, which
UBC's Board of Governors will consider
this summer.
"Investing in affordable housing
would mean significant trade-offs for
the university," says Ghoussoub. "But
I strongly believe that these programs
will offer far greater long-term net
benefits, both financially and in terms
of building a vibrant, sustainable
community with a strong academic
flavour," he says. •
Read the UBC Housing Action Plan
Discussion Paper at:
http://ubcvhousingactionplan.sites.olt.
ubc.ca
8
UBC Reports The University of British Columbia   April 2012
Protecting our freshwater
Does leaving a buffer between waterways
and logging still make sense?
Heather Amos
Bichardson is not necessarily against
using the strategy of emulation of
natural disturbance. But in a series of
studies published earlier this year with
colleagues across Canada, Bichardson
argues there should be specific studies
to test this new strategy before it is
widely implemented.
"Even after a decade, the stream
with the 30-metre buffer was still
showing impacts from the harvest.
Freshwater streams and lakes are an
important lifeline for the ecosystem
and urban communities—providing
drinking water, power, and habitats for
species of all kinds including
economically and culturally significant
fish like salmon.
Since the 1970s, foresters have left
about 30 metres of untouched forest
around freshwater streams and lakes
in an effort to protect waterways and
aquatic ecosystems. But in the past 40
years, few studies have looked at the
effectiveness of this practice.
Now the rules are changing; logging
companies are cutting closer to
waterways. UBC forestry professor
John Bichardson says the time has come
to figure out exactly how wide the buffer
should be, where it should be located in
the watershed, and whether we should
be trying a different strategy.
"Typically policies should be based on
research and science. If not, policies
should be evaluated after they are
implemented," says Bichardson, the
head ofthe Department of Forest
Sciences at UBC. "In the case ofthe
30-metre buffer, we implemented the
policy but never tested it."
The 30-metre buffer used in most of
North America, Australia and Europe,
was implemented to reduce erosion
ofthe stream-bank, shade the streams
to keep temperatures down, protect
fish habitats, prevent sediment from
accumulating and increase the overall
stability ofthe ecosystem.
In Ontario and Manitoba, foresters
are starting to use a strategy called
the 'emulation of natural disturbance,'
where forests maybe cut back to the
waterline instead of being protected
by the 30-metre buffer. Supporters
of this new system argue that when a
natural disturbance, like a fire, spreads
through the landscape, almost nothing
is left undisturbed. They believe
forest practices should mimic this and
this new standard could be adopted
elsewhere.
Concerned by the shift in practice,
Bichardson began in 1998 to study
the effectiveness ofthe 30-metre rule.
He compared how streams reacted
to various harvesting strategies: a
30-metre buffer, a 10-metre buffer,
no trees harvested, every other tree
harvested, or clear-cut to the waterline.
"Even after a decade, the stream
with the 30-metre buffer was still
showing impacts from the harvest
when compared to the control stream
where no trees were harvested," says
Bichardson. Water temperature is still
higher and the amount and kinds of
small aquatic organisms in the stream,
like algae and bacteria, are still different
today.
Bichardson says, "even with large
buffers there is a strong impact on
aquatic ecosystems."
UBC Forestry Prof. John Richardson is trying to find the best way to protect freshwater streams in logging areas.
He also suggests that other options
for protecting freshwater habitats and
quality should be considered.
Some ideas include protecting certain
essential river sections, such as areas
where a tributary flows in, while leaving
other segments less protected. Smaller
streams that are more susceptible
to landscape change and more easily
heated by the sun could also be better
protected, while rules for stable larger
bodies of water could be more flexible.
Some of Bichardson's colleagues and
co-authors on the studies published
earlier this year are supportive ofthe
emulation of natural disturbances
strategy. They suggest it could be
incorporated into forest practices with
appropriate guidelines. •
Changes to streams can have large
impacts on the ecosystem
Temperature increase
Even a two-degree increase in river
temperature can be extremely stressful
for salmon, causing some fish to die en
route to their spawning area.
Sediment increase
With more sediment in the streams, fine
particles travel long distances and can
interfere with water treatment, forcing
communities to add more chemicals to
their drinking water.
Fewer nutrients
In streams that are blocked from the
sun by big trees, up to 90 per cent ofthe
food used by the algae and bacteria—
the base ofthe foodweb—come from
decomposing leaves, branches and trees
in the river. By cutting down all the
trees, there is no future supply of energy
for those species. There is also no large
wood to provide fish a place to hide in
streams. SAGE
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Felix Oghenekohwo is researching dynamic nonlinear optimization.
Aiming high
How mathematics is building bridges
between Africa and UBC
Jill Lambert
VANCOUVER
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When Felix Oghenekohwo graduated
from the University of Ibadan in
Nigeria in 2007, he had an undergraduate degree in Physics and ambitious
plans to continue his academic pursuits
at a higher level. Figuring out his next
step in Africa was a challenge, until he
learned about a unique program, the
African Institute for Mathematical
Sciences, or AIMS.
AIMS also has an ambitious goal: to
develop mathematical and scientific
talent across Africa. The Institute,
founded in 2003, has centres in South
Africa and Senegal and plans to open
more in other African countries. AIMS
offers students from all over Africa
an extraordinary opportunity to
study with professors from leading
universities and earn credentials that
are recognized around the world. By
building knowledge, skills and capacity,
AIMS develops local talent to solve the
continent's problems.
Oghenekohwo began his studies at
the AIMS Centre in Cape Town, South
Africa in August 2007. The next ten
months were transformational.
"I built my math skills to the level
where I knew I could participate in an
international competitive research
group," he says. After receiving his
post-graduate diploma from AIMS,
Oghenekohwo went on to complete a
Masters in Geophysics at the University
of Cape Town. By the time he graduated,
he was already back at AIMS, working as
a tutor. That's when he met UBC Earth
and Ocean Sciences Professor Douw
Steyn.
Steyn had gone to AIMS South
Africa in October of 2010, with initial
plans to stay only a short while and
teach a course. He soon decided to
extend his stay. Meanwhile, one of his
UBC students wanted to follow in his
footsteps. James Ferguson arrived in
Cape Town in January 2011. Inspired by
the goal of AIMS, and his own belief in
the value of math, he signed up to be a
tutor for a five-month stretch. Ferguson
found that his time at AIMS more than
repaid his efforts.
"I got more out of it than I gave to it,
and I gave it my all," says Ferguson. He
notes the remarkable learning process:
"As the students go through the program,
they take more ownership of their
projects, learn to think critically and
independently, to solve problems. They
gain confidence."
Steyn, Ferguson and Oghenekohwo
are part of a global contingent of
professors, students and researchers
who have embraced the vision of AIMS
and made their own contributions to
the program. Their story does not end
in Africa.
Oghenekohwo is now at UBC doing
his PhD in Geophysics. Working under
the supervision of Professor Felix
Herrmann, he is a member of research
group investigating dynamic nonlinear
optimization for imaging in seismic
exploration. He is pursuing his goals
at a very great distance from his wife,
Zubeida, and their infant son, Bukevwe,
who remain in Cape Town. It's certainly
not easy to be apart, but the prospect of
a PhD from UBC drives him forward.
Steyn and Ferguson are back at
UBC, but Africa, and AIMS, continue
to beckon. Ferguson is considering
another trip, possibly to AIMS Senegal,
and Steyn has created a new link
between UBC and AIMS: a partnership
agreement, which provides scholarship
funding for African students to study at
AIMS Centres in Africa, and encourages
them to apply to UBC for graduate
studies. •
The plight of orphan diseases
Jimi Galvao and Christopher Cook
Pharmaceutical Science Prof. Larry Lynd is working to create cost-effective and sustainable policies to treat patients with rare diseases.
"Nobody has ever
tried to look at what
society's willingness
to pay is, but I think
we're willing to pay
a premium on rarity.'
They may be rare, but they affect
a large number of us. One in 12
Canadians suffer from one of 7,000
different rare diseases. "One rare
disease only affects a small portion of
the population, but as a category these
diseases affect a huge number," says
Larry Lynd, associate professor in the
Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences at
UBC.
Lynd is leading a team of researchers
that has just received a $1.5 million
grant from the Canadian Institutes of
Health Besearch (CIHB) to investigate
potential funding policies for treating
rare diseases.
For the past several years, he has
been part ofthe BC Ministry of Health
Expensive Drugs for Bare Diseases
Advisory Committee—the group that
approves funding for treatment on a
patient-by-patient basis.
"In determining treatment for rare
diseases, we can't use the same
decision-making structure that we use
for common diseases," Lynd says.
Treatment options for rare diseases
are limited and can cost more than
$850,000 per year for just one patient
—far above average drug costs for
common diseases. When reviewing
cases, the committee is often faced with
tough decisions, especially in cases
when the drugs offer little certainty of
patient benefit or improvement.
With their project, Lynd and his team
of bioethicists, health policy specialists
and other experts are asking the most
provocative question: How much public
funding should be spent on drugs for
rare diseases? "Nobody has ever tried
to look at what society's willingness to
pay is, but I think we're willing to pay a
premium on rarity," Lynd says.
In addition to examining the budget
that should be allocated to these
drugs, the research team is working on
sustainable drug payment policies and
incentives for pharmaceutical firms
to develop lower cost alternatives.
"Ultimately, we're doing this to create
a structure within Canada that will
allow us to support treatments for these
diseases," Lynd says.
Lynd is convinced ofthe relevance
of this research, not only for provincial
and national policy makers, but also at
the international level. "Everyone will
be watching to see how we can create
cost-effective and sustainable policies
to get these drugs to the people that
need them," Lynd says. •
10
UBC Reports The University of British Columbia   April 2012
11 but- l_f_____t i___ti_J
Rwandan mothers were consulted for their
preferred look and feel for the packaging
based on prototypes by Vancouver-based
designer Kara Pecknold. They voted for
the design at the top, with the tagline
"Fortify with vitamins" in the
Kinywarwanda language.
"The idea is to build capacity in those communities so the program carries on after we leave," says UBC researcher Judy McLean.
Missing nutrients
UBC partners with Rwanda
to fortify the children
Lorraine Chan with files
from Jennifer Honeybourn
Think big and persevere. That's the message UBC Food,
Nutrition and Health researcher Judy McLean wants to pass
on to her students.
Visiting rural Bwanda eight years ago, McLean saw first
hand the prevalence of childhood malnutrition and food
insecurity. She immediately thought of a vitamin and mineral
home fortification system Dr. Stan Zlotkin, a pediatrician at
the University of Toronto's Sick Kids Hospital, had created. It
sparked an idea to bring Zlotkin's micronutrient powders to the
children of Bwanda.
McLean presented her idea to the Bwandan Minister
of Health. As a result, starting in March 2012,150,000
Bwandan children aged six to 23 months will begin to receive
micronutrient powders. Each child will receive 10-12 free sachets
per month through support from UN agencies, non-government
organizations and the Bwandan government. At the cost of two
cents each, these small sachets contain necessary vitamins, from
A to E, and key minerals such as iron, zinc and iodine.
"Sixty per cent of Bwandan families live below the poverty line,"
says McLean, assistant professor in the Faculty of Land and Food
Systems.
She says the Bwandan diet mainly
consists of starchy foods such as
bananas, cassava, sweet potatoes and
maize. Consequently, there is a high
prevalence of iron deficiency anemia
among young growing children.
"It's almost impossible for these
kids to get the nutrients they need,"
says McLean. "Adding micronutrient
powders to their food will help give
Bwandan children a similar opportunity
for growth and health as kids in western
countries who consume fortified
cereals."
McLean and a group of UBC nutrition
students worked with the Ministry of
Health to pilot the program last fall with
60 Bwandan children, following several
months of ground-level research that
included focus groups and interviews
with Bwandan mothers.
UNICEF has asked McLean to help
implement the project in Zambia in 2012.
"It was important to get the
mothers involved. Their attitudes
and perceptions helped us create
appealing packaging and key messages,"
says McLean. "At the end ofthe day,
Bwandan mothers are like mothers
everywhere—they just want the best
for their kids."
McLean and her team of LFS
undergraduates worked with
Bwandan university students to train
community health workers, who then
trained the mothers. "The idea is to
build capacity in those communities so
the program carries on after we leave."
The community health workers led
nutrition education workshops and also
walked the mothers through the best
way to use the micronutrient powders.
"The iron is covered with a thin coating
of soy lipid to mask its strong metallic
taste so mothers are taught to mix it into
food that's warm but not hot enough to
melt the lipids," says McLean.
To demonstrate the project's
effectiveness, McLean and her team
will be gathering data over the next 12
months at six-month intervals. "We'll
be checking children hemoglobin
levels, measuring their growth, plus
interviewing the mothers about
changes they see in their child's health,
behaviour and food intake."
The project has received funding
from UNICEF, World Vision, Care,
Concern and the World Food Program.
Unicef has asked McLean to help
implement the project in Zambia in
2012, with other countries to follow. •
12
UBC Reports The University of British Columbia   April 2012
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Education Prof. Ryuko Kubota is one of 220 UBC students and researchers presenting at    the 2012 American Educational Research Asssociation conference.
Language, race
and social change
Hot button issues surface when 12,000
education researchers get together
Heather Amos
In 2011, Vancouver school-age students
began to enroll in a new bilingual
Mandarin English program. As the
details for this program were being
sorted out, debate and controversy
erupted over whether students who
already speak Mandarin should be
allowed to enroll.
For Ryuko Kubota, this debate
was the perfect case study of second
language education and issues of race in
multicultural Canada. Along with PhD
candidate Ai Mizuta, Kubota will be
presenting a paper on the controversy
at the upcoming 2012 American
Educational Research Association
(AERA) conference.
AERA is one ofthe largest professional
organizations for education researchers;
its annual education conference attracts
more than 12,000 participants from
around the world. Running from April 13
to 17, and for the first time in Vancouver,
the AERA annual conference has drawn
over 220 UBC scholars.
Kubota, a professor in the Department
of Language and Literacy Education
in UBC's Faculty of Education, has
organized a session on race and language
learning in multicultural Canada.
"Issues of race have long been part
ofthe discussion on education," says
Kubota. "But it hasn't been an issue in
second language education."
"We, as second language professionals,
assume that by trying to promote
diversity in teaching new languages, we
are inherently more aware of culture
differences and inequalities. This isn't
always the case."
Kubota began paying attention
to the issue in the late 1990s when
language researchers often discussed
the differences between native
English-speaking students and English
as a Second Language (ESL) students.
"Many ESL students were from Asia
so we ended up creating a conversation
that separated students into two
groups—Asians and North Americans,"
says Kubota. "I argued that creating
this type of division was a legacy
of colonialism and that we were
perpetuating racial stereotypes. I was
critiqued for regarding ESL teachers as
racist."
Kubota learned from this experience
that racism is a difficult idea for
people to understand-it can often be
embedded in social structures. Her goal
is to get educators to think about how
education works and be more critical
about issues of race, culture and diversity in our systems.
"The AERA meeting is an opportunity for me to have a
dialogue with my colleagues who study this topic. But it is
also an opportunity to disseminate these ideas to people who
aren't interested or not aware."
For Kubota's colleague Bonny Norton, the conference is
not just about research. She will be inducted as an AERA
Fellow— one ofthe highest awards bestowed on members of
the organization. In 2011, AERA presented Norton with the
inaugural Senior Researcher Award for the study of language
and learning across diverse sites.
At this year's conference, Norton, a professor in the
Department of Language and Literacy Education, will present
findings from a program that began in east Africa in 2003.
UBC researchers and graduate students and African scholars
have been investigating ways in which digital innovations and
hybrid technologies, such as digital libraries, digital recorders,
and digital cameras, might help to address educational
challenges in the region, particularly with learning English -
an official language in most sub-Sahara African countries.
Norton's interest in language and social change includes
Canadian communities. She has also organized an AERA
panel on literacy and language revitalization in an aboriginal
community in Canada's Northwest Territories. •
outtakes
Behind the scenes with a MOA curator
Karen Duffek
Recently, UBC's Museum of Anthropology received major donations of significant
Northwest Coast artworks: the Friedman collection of early works by renowned
contemporary Haida artist Bill Reid, and a ceremonial club received by Captain
James Cook from B.C.'s Nuu-chah-nulth people 234 years ago.
Karen Duffek, MOA Curator of Contemporary Visual Art/Pacific Northwest, gives
an insider's view of what it's like to handle and care for such precious objects.
How did it feel when you saw the gifts for the first time?
Both of these donations were surprises for us: out-of-the-blue offers by extremely
generous donors. In the collection of Bill Reid artworks donated by Dr. Sydney
Friedman, a gold bracelet in the shape of a raven (pictured above) really made our
jaws drop, since this piece was unknown to us, and had never before been exhibited
or published.
Bill Reid made that bracelet in the 1950s using his full bag of goldsmithing tricks,
and you can really see the joy he took in creating this gold raven in the round, with
individual feathers cut out and reinforced from behind, and a beautiful, almost
hidden hinge with which the bracelet can be opened and closed for wearing.
With regard to the carved club (pictured below) collected among the Nuu-chah-
nulth people by Captain James Cook in 1778, and recently donated by the Audain
Foundation for the Visual Arts, it's amazing to contemplate its journey. The image
that it presents, of a hand grasping a sphere, has connections to some other carved
clubs from the Northwest Coast, but it also carries many questions with it, and I
think people will continue to speculate about its meaning for years to come.
What is it like getting the opportunity to handle such pieces?
It's a privilege to be able to hold special pieces like these in your hands—gloved
hands, that is! It gives you a better understanding of a piece ifyou can feel the weight
of it in your hands and try out the hinge or examine the underside, since this is, of
course, how they were meant to be seen.
Both of these gifts were major ones for the university, and involved celebrations to
unveil the works and to publicly acknowledge the donors. Numerous staff members
worked hard to create the displays, write labels and press releases, design special
mounts, and involve community members and family. •
For more information about the Faculty of Education's
involvment in AERA, visit: http://aera.educ.ubc.ca
14
UBC Reports The University of British Columbia   April 2012
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