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UBC Reports Aug 9, 2007

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VOLUME   53   I   NUMBER   8   I   AUGUST   9,   2007
History Profs
Boldly Re-make
First-year general
survey courses
replaced, undergrads to
do original research
They say history is written by the winners. At UBC, it's
also written by undergraduates.
Starting this September, all fourth-year history majors
will have a chance to conduct original research in small
group seminars.
These students will learn to design projects and then
bring them to fruition through empirical research, logical
reasoning and literary production. This departs from
past fourth-year experience where students would attend
lectures and produce papers based mainly on the writings
of modern historians.
"The idea is to bring the practice of leading-edge
scholarship into the classroom, and to engage students
to do history for themselves," says History Dept. Head
Daniel Vickers.
Previously, the Dept. of History could only provide
graduate and honours students - about 10 per cent of the
Profs' contact hours will increase by 20 per cent and grading by 10 per cent, but his colleagues were all game, says History
Dept. Head Daniel Vickers.
I have never encountered anything like it at any other university
at which I've taught. If I had suggested this at the California university
where I was head until last year, there would have been a riot.
annual enrolment of 200 history majors - the luxury of
this type of learning.
"That meant 90 per cent didn't get this kind of
attention," says Vickers, "and we felt that had to change.
"We want to reverse the trend seen during the past few
decades in most public universities toward large lectures,"
continued on page z
Teacher and course evaluations, UBC students' primary means of voicing kudos and kvetches, have received a major overhaul.
A Better Way
to Evaluate
UBC brings student
feedback system into
the 21st century
UBC students may not recognize their teacher and
course evaluation forms this year.
That's because a group of students, faculty and
administrators spent over a year giving these documents
- students' primary means of voicing kudos and
kvetches about their education - the largest overhaul in
continued on page 4
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At their core, J.K. Rowling's Harry Potter novels are about literacy, said
UBC Prof. Kevin McNeilly.
Highlights of UBC Media Coverage in July 2007. compiled by basil waugh & han nah kim
'Polar madness' Grips People
in Remote Areas
The Boston Globe, Reuters,
MSNBC, Scientific American
and Canada.com reported on a
study on "polar madness" by UBC
Psychology Prof. Emeritus Peter
Half of the people working in
the North and South poles may
experience depression, anger, sleep
disruption, weakened cognition
and irritability, according to
Suedfeld and a U.S. colleague.
Five per cent endure
psychological disturbances severe
enough to merit treatment with
medication or therapy.
"People on polar expeditions
generally undergo psychological
changes resulting from exposure
to the extreme environment," said
Suedfield. Other causes include
isolation and confinement, gossip
and the frequent absence of
New Drugs Improve Breast
Cancer Survival
A UBC study has found that
newer chemotherapy drugs
increase the survival of women
with metastatic breast cancer,
cancer that has spread from the
breast to other areas of the body.
Reuters, United Press
International, Scientific American,
MSNBC and The Denver Post
reported on the study, led by Dr.
Stephen Chia of UBC's Medical
Onctology Dept. Chia's research
will appear in the September
edition of the journal Cancer.
"To our knowledge, this is
the first study that demonstrates
a significant improvement in
survival over time," said Chia,
"[which] appears to be caused
by the availability and use of
newer, more effective systemic
agents for the treatment of
metastatic breast cancer."
Is Obesity Contagious?
Dr. Laird Birmingham, a UBC
medicine professor, featured
prominently in media coverage
of a U.S. study that suggests
obesity is "socially contagious."
According to the study
- published in the New England
Journal of Medicine - a person's
chances of gaining weight are
higher if they have overweight
friends and family.
Birmingham called the study's
conclusions oversimplified and
"incredibly dangerous," noting
that obesity is a disease with
many causes, from rare illnesses
to medications, and can be treated
Birmingham's comments
appeared in The National Post,
Montreal Gazette, Vancouver Sun
and Canada.com.
Potter-mania: Magic
for Readers
In a Globe and Mail preview of
the final Harry Potter novel, UBC
English Prof. Kevin McNeilly
comments on the publishing and
cinematic juggernaut.
McNeilly, who uses Harry
Potter in classes on pop culture,
believes that, at its core, the series
is about literacy.
"Students tend to discover it's
about reading, why people have to
have books," McNeilly says, citing
books as the characters' main
source of knowledge about magic.
"The kids in Harry Potter don't
have mass media, the telephone,
the Internet." 13
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Dear Editor:
I am writing in reference to your article [GMOs Next Global Lightning Rod Issue, July 5]. While I was delighted to
see the GM foods issue highlighted in your article, I was disappointed to see that, in my opinion, the article was
completely one-sided.
Only one person was quoted (a political scientist) and no counter-arguments were provided by GM experts. Many
of us, importantly right here at UBC, think that there is a very bright future for GM plants and food products, moving
from technologies that benefit producers to those that also benefit consumers - so-called 'functional foods.'
With all respect, I suggest that it would be great in the future if a more balanced article on GM agriculture and food
production could be provided for UBC Reports readers in order to represent the breadth of viewpoints on this issue at
UBC and elsewhere.
Steven T. Lund, Assistant Professor of Viticulture/Plant Omics
Executive Director  Si    tt Macrae scott.macrae@ubc.ca
Editor   Randy Schmidt randy.schmidt@ubc.ca
Designer Ann Goncalves ann.goncalves@ubc.ca
Principal Photography   Martin Dee martin.dee@ubc.ca
Web Designer  Michael Ko michael.ko@ubc.ca
Contributors   Lorraine Chan lorraine.chan@ubc.ca
Brian Lin brian.lin@ubc.ca
Bud Mortenson bud.mortenson@ubc.ca
Hilary Thomson hilary.thomson@ubc.ca
Sarah Walker public.affairs@ubc.ca
Basil Waugh basil.waugh@ubc.ca
Advertising  Sarah Walker public.affairs@ubc.ca
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the source and audit all the industrial processes used from tree to paper and then finally to brand the finished printed product with the appropriate FSC logo. UBC    REPORTS        AUGUST    9,    2007     |     3
Co-op Programs Grow In Popularity
Nearly 3,000 students participated last year
* f;
This summer, UBC co-op student Jessica Mclntyre reported on rockers The White Stripes and appeared on national newscasts for the Aboriginal
Peoples Television Network.
• • For students, co-ops provide important real world experiences outside
the classroom, a network of professional contacts, and an average salary of
around $35,000 over four four-month work terms.
Lights, camera, beaver meat!
Having taken a bite out of our
national rodent, you could say
Arts student Jessica Mclntyre's
summer UBC co-op placement
with the Aboriginal Peoples
Television Network (APTN) left
a unique taste in her mouth.
"I'm First Nations, but I had
never heard of anyone eating
beaver until recently on the food
channel," says Mclntyre, who
is just completing a four-month
stint with APTN's national
news bureau in Yellowknife,
NT. "I took part in a beaver
and bannock feast on my first
assignment. I actually really
liked it."
Mclntyre, a member of
the Northwest B.C. coast
Musgamaug Tsawataineuk First
Nation, is one of a growing
number of students at UBC
choosing to extend their studies
by a year for the chance to
gain valuable work experience
through co-op placements.
Last year, UBC led the province
for the first time in co-op
participation, with nearly 3,000
students taking part.
Mclntyre, 20, says the beaver
"incident" was just one of
many firsts she experienced this
summer. "My previous summer
jobs were 'typical boring student
jobs' - like eight hours of data
entry. So it was really exciting to
have a job that was challenging
and interesting every day."
The aspiring journalist began
her four-month placement by
archiving video footage and
researching stories. But within a
week her new employers began
sending her out on assignment.
Soon she was doing all aspects
of a broadcast news story:
conducting interviews, filming,
editing, writing, voicing - even
appearing regularly on the
APTN's national evening news.
Some of the stories Mclntyre
has covered include Aboriginal
National Day of Action, ocean
conservation issues, and local
reaction to a visit by American
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rockers The White Stripes.
"Not many big name acts
come this far North, so the town
was pretty excited when The
White Stripes were here," says
Mclntyre. "My crew got to play
paparazzi, chasing the band
around and interviewing their
crew and residents. It was really
Julie Walchli, Director of
UBC's Arts Co-op Program,
calls experiences like Mclntyre's
"win-win for both students
and employers." For students,
co-ops provide important real
world experiences outside
the classroom, a network of
professional contacts, and
an average salary of around
$35,000 over four four-month
work terms.
Co-ops are "extended job
interviews," where employers
can scout out fresh talent and
staff for special projects or
busy periods, says Walchli.
"Employers hire for attitude and
then train for specific skills. They
are looking for people who are
motivated, can learn quickly and
fit well with their team."
Last year, UBC put students
in dozens of international
placements in China, Singapore,
Mexico, the United States,
Germany and Switzerland.
Walchli says these are by far
the most popular jobs with
students. "Fifteen per cent of our
jobs in the Arts Co-op Program
are based outside Canada and
another large portion is also
international in scope," she
says. "These are always the first
positions to be snapped up."
Five UBC faculties currently
offer co-op programs: Arts,
Science, Engineering, Forestry,
and the Sauder School of
Business. Once accepted,
students perform three to five
work terms, starting after their
first or second year of study. In
addition to job placements, the
co-op programs provide students
with a variety of training
workshops and community
building activities.
Overall, UBC co-op
participation grew by more than
13 per cent last year, with the
largest growth in Engineering,
where co-op enrolment jumped
25 per cent.
As her first co-op work term
comes to an end, Mclntyre gives
her experience two thumbs up. "I
really encourage students to take
this opportunity. I'm much more
confident in my abilities thanks
to this experience, and met a lot
of students with similar interests
in the process. I can't wait until
my next work term. I'm going
to try for something in Asia or
Africa next."
For more information on the
APTN, visit www.aptn.ca. 13
Employers looking for
UBC co-op students
this year include:
Procter and Gamble
Shell Oil
The Dept. of Foreign Affairs and International Trade
Industry Canada
Vancouver Olympic Committee
California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection
Ministry of Forests/BC Timber Sales
Teck Cominco
Research In Motion
Vancouver Coast Health
Library and Archives Canada
Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation
Indian Residential School Resolutions Canada
For more information, visit: www.coop.ubc.ca 4     I     UBC    REPORTS     |     AUGUST    9,    2007
HISTORY continued from
says Vickers. "Yes, they can be valuable.
They're certainly more affordable, but
it has made student learning much too
The seminars are weekly, two-hour
sessions with no more than 15 students.
Leading these are full-time faculty, who
designed the seminars to intersect with
their areas of expertise.
"One of our historians specializes in
history of Judaism," says Vickers, "and
will teach a seminar on the comparative
history of genocide. So it's not a chore
for him. It's something he wants to do,
although it does represent more work
because students hand in multiple drafts
of a paper."
Students will be able to choose from
a slate of 13 themes, among them "The
Medieval Family," "First Contacts in the
Pacific World," and "Sages and Statecraft
in China."
Vickers says fourth-year students will
be able to delve into primary sources such
as public records, diaries and travelers'
accounts. "The seminar teaches them
how to read newspapers with the eye of
a historian, to be sensitive to biases in
memoirs and look at what is not said
- what the person isn't writing down."
These small groups will hone students'
methodology and also foster confidence
about putting their ideas on the line.
At the end of the year, students will
present and discuss their papers "much the
way professional historians present papers
at conferences," says Vickers.
These seminars follow on the heels of
other changes the department has made to
enhance student-centred learning. During
2006-07, the department introduced a new
first-year curriculum, replacing the general
survey courses focused on the history of
a single country. The new courses provide
global histories on topics such as the
environment, cultural exchange and the
relationship between the global and the
local in past times.
Re-jigging fourth-year curriculum to
promote independent inquiry looked
daunting at first. But his colleagues devised
a "reasonable and efficient" solution "that
blew me away," says Vickers.
"I have never encountered anything
like it at any other university at which
I've taught. If I had suggested this at the
California university where I was head
until last year, there would have been a
To keep preparation time manageable,
26 professors decided they would each
lead a seminar every two years, then
teach the material to two cohorts. With
each accommodating 15 students, the 13
seminars would provide 375 seats.
Professors' contact hours would go up
by 20 per cent and grading by another 10
per cent. However, "grading 30 papers in
a subject that's of interest to you is a lot
easier and less stressful than grading 70
papers that would be all over the map,"
says Vickers. 13
Historian Daniel Vickers in his office with diorama action figures.
EVALUATE continued from
nearly 40 years.
Not only do evaluations include a
new subset of university-wide questions.
For the first time, students' assessments
will be shared with other students, upon
the consent of faculty members. Greater
emphasis will be placed on mid-term
evaluations, and for up tol2,000 students,
the paper-intensive process will move
The initiative has resulted a new UBC
Senate policy on student evaluations of
teaching, and a modular structure that will
help faculties, departments and instructors
to ask questions to better assess and
improve teaching.
These changes come at a time when
universities are grappling with how
to make better use of student data
and continually improve their overall
educational experience, says Anna Kindler,
Vice Provost and Associate Vice President,
Academic Affairs.
"Student feedback is very important
especially for instructors who can use
it to inform and improve their teaching
practice, but also as a means for assessing
teaching quality at the institutional
level," says Kindler, who co-led the
modernization effort with Joy Johnson,
Chair of the Senate Teaching and Learning
Kindler says the university-wide
questions look at the instructors'
performance in four main areas: how
effective they are in communicating course
objectives and content, encouraging
student active learning, implementing
appropriate assessment strategies and
establishing a good rapport with the
"We worked with students to ensure
potential to significantly increase student
participation. This experience laid the
foundation for a larger rollout in the Fall.
"There are several advantages to a
web-based system," says Lamberson, who
led the project. "Students are already
comfortable online, plus they have more
time to construct thoughtful answers,
and a paperless system is better for the
environment and easier to administer.
Student comments about the system
reflected these strengths."
"One other concern expressed by a
few students was confidentiality. 'Will
• •   Not only do evaluations include a new subset of university-wide questions,
for the first time, students' assessments will be shared with other students.
New teacher and course evaluations give UBC students an alternative to
that the university-wide questions
cover the information they need most,"
says Kindler. "And by making student
evaluations of teaching consistent in
their general format and frequency of
administration we will now be in a better
position to systematically keep track of
our performance over time."
Giving students access to the
assessments of their peers is a huge
advantage, says Jeff Friedrich, President of
UBC's Alma Mater Society (AMS).
"It helps students choose courses and
instructors that fit their learning style
best," says Friedrich, who represented
students in the process. "It allows students
to become better informed as consumers
and gives them a trustworthy alternative
to websites like RateMyProfessors.com."
Last year, students in select psychology
and distance education courses tested
CoursEval, a web-based evaluation tool
designed for post-secondary institutions.
Questions and reminder messages were
sent via email and students had two weeks
to compose their anonymous responses.
According to Michelle Lamberson,
Director of UBC Office of Learning
Technology, the results reflected the
my prof know what I'm saying and
will it affect my mark?' The system is
designed so that personal information
and survey data are stored separately and
encrypted, protecting students' anonymity.
In addition, the results will not be
released until grades are submitted," says
While instructors never know the names
of students who respond, CoursEval
allows them to send an e-mail to
respondents. As a result, instructors can
"close the loop," outlining how they plan
on addressing students' comments.
UBC's Centre for Teaching Academic
Growth (TAG), which works to enhance
the teaching skills of faculty and graduate
students, will partner with student leaders
this September to promote the revamped
evaluations and importance of student
"We are working to create a culture
where students expect to be engaged
and feel comfortable giving instructors
constructive feedback," says Gary Poole,
TAG Director. "Not just at the end of
term, but throughout the term." 13 UBC    REPORTS        AUGUST    9,    2007     |    5
Entering university can be exciting and stressful, ubc reports
asked first-year student mlchael slngh to share his questions about
crossing the countryto enter ubc - and we asked current fourth-year
student Lisa Wagner to respond.
How Will I Adjust from a Small City to a Big Campus?
With so much independence it seems that becoming distracted...
would be quite easy. Another question...is how to make the jump from
being fed notes in high school to taking notes during lectures.
By first-year student, Michael Singh
Hometown: Charlottetown, PEI
Imagine a place where "downtown" and "the country"
are a mere 10-minute drive apart. A place where it's
nearly impossible to make a trip to the grocery store
without seeing at least one person you know. Welcome to
Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island.
You might be asking yourself why I chose to give up
this style of life to come to a campus with a population
the size of my home city; talk about getting tossed out of
your comfort zone.
Much of my inspiration to attend UBC comes from
the fact that my father also went there. Having firsthand descriptions of the calibre of programs, beauty
of the area and opportunities available was more than
enough to cement my decision. Being a snowboarder, and
B.C. being as renowned as it is for incredible skiing and
snowboarding, I also thought this would be a great chance
to get some serious riding done. The chance to truly test
and grow my independence while living in residence at
Place Vanier is also something that excites me.
Although a lot of high school students go into university
concerned about things being too hard compared to high
school, I'm happy to say that I don't share this view. In
fact, I'm incredibly excited to start new work and dive
into my courses. But university isn't just about academics.
Getting involved in clubs and sports teams, meeting new
people from around the world, and exploring the campus
and city are also things that make me thrilled to start the
new school year.
In spite of my confidence, there are several questions I
hope to find the answers to over the course of my studies.
Chief amongst these is finding a balance between work and
play. With so much independence it seems that becoming
distracted would be quite easy. Another question I am
pondering is how to make the jump from being fed notes
in high school to taking notes during lectures.
A final aspect of the university experience I am a little
hazy about is that of actually getting around campus.
Coming from such a small place, the idea of getting
around such a massive campus is rather daunting. I'm not
exactly sure how the transit system works in B.C. and
UBC in particular.
Moving to a new place is never easy. There are always
thoughts like, "I won't know anybody," or "what if I
don't like the location," but in the end the success you
experience is completely dependent upon how much effort
you put in.
Tap into Campus Resources to Make the Most of Your Education
On campus, there are tons of resources available: free tutoring,
academic advising, and some ofthe best libraries of any university.
By fourth-year political science student Lisa Wagner
Hometown: Calgary, Alberta
Coming to UBC was, in a way, one of the most impulsive
decisions I've ever made. Originally, I decided that I would
take a year off to work and travel before going back to
school. Then, UBC won my heart over after I attended a
college fair in support of a friend. I applied, was accepted,
and registered in the Arts One program. Next, I applied
to residence, and all of a sudden I was on my way to
Vancouver - my first time ever living away from my
hometown of Calgary, Alberta. Like Michael, I had no
idea what to expect upon my arrival - though I did at
least have the experience of already living in a big city.
Looking back, I can hardly recognize myself: then I was
a timid first-year student who felt like she had no idea
how to study, how to make friends, or even how to make
her own bed. I had similar apprehensions to many first-
year students coming to UBC. What if I didn't get along
with my roommate? How different was university from
high school, anyway? UBC is huge - would I be lost in a
sea of numbers never to emerge as a real person with a
university degree?
Well, UBC is large, and can be overwhelming at first,
but it also offers its students a wide variety of resources
and opportunities which make it less so. Moving into
residence at Totem Park definitely gave me a chance to test
my own boundaries and learn a few things about myself,
and I'm sure a similar experience awaits Michael at Place
While Totem provided me with an abundance of people
and activities that could distract me from my studies, it
also encouraged academic success by allowing residents to
network with people in similar classes through a program
called iStudy, and attend programs helping students
to adjust to university learning (such as note-taking
workshops), and by providing designated study areas.
On campus, there are tons of resources available: free
tutoring, academic advising, and some of the best libraries
of any university.
UBC also promotes academic excellence in other ways
- by encouraging students to take a break and have fun
every now and again! UBC Rec organizes events like Day
of the Longboat and Storm the Wall, which have become
classics around campus, and also manages the intramural
leagues for competitive and non-competitive sports lovers.
There are also student-run clubs for just about any interest
you could possibly imagine, from the Coin and Stamp
Club to the Organ Donation Club to the Ski and Board
Club (especially useful for those like Michael who are
unfamiliar with the local sites). These all help students
connect with others who have similar interests around
And of course, living in residence offers a mountain
of fun activities such as floor dinners, dances, trivia
nights, and mock casinos, all the while fostering strong
relationships between students. It is easy (and quick, once
you learn the shortcuts) to get anywhere you need to be
on campus by walking or biking, and there's good bus
service around the university and off campus. Vancouver
transit has exceptional service to UBC, and all UBC
students receive a bus pass, known as the U-Pass, with
their student fees.
Your biggest concern might be finding your way around
Vancouver once you've left the safety of campus, but
visiting the Translink website www.translink.bc.ca can
really help with your trip planning!
The university experience is most definitely what you
make of it, and keeping the fabulous resources UBC has
to offer in mind, I want to encourage Michael and all
other new students this year to take advantage of every
opportunity possible to not only get the most of their
education but also to have the time of their lives along the
way - I know I have. 13 I     UBC    REPORTS     |     AUGUST    9,    2007
First Nations Entrepreneurs:
Innovative program starts second year
Ernest Armann (left) and Vivian Bomberry are among the first graduates.
The program involves group work and a challenging team project.
• w We looked for other Aboriginal-focused programs and found
nothing close to this in terms of either the blend of Aboriginal
focus and business, or program length.
For aspiring entrepreneur Vivian Bomberry, the irony
of the term cohort - used in education circles to define
a group of students in the same class year - wasn't lost
when she began her studies in the Ch'nook Advanced
Management Program at UBC last November.
"When I heard the word, I didn't know what it meant,"
said Bomberry, speaking of the first gathering of students
in the program, which is geared to future First Nations
business leaders. "I looked it up and found the definition:
Band of warriors. Well, that was us!"
Seven months after her foray into coursework devoted
to marketing, finance, business strategy and operations,
Bomberry would be one of twelve students to complete
the Aboriginal business program in its inaugural year.
Originally from the Six Nations Band in Ontario, she now
resides in Surrey, B.C., where she is focused on starting her
/ Get Your Research and Teaching in the News
' Help Attract Students and Funding Grants
Build Public Awareness and Support
Contact UBC's Public Affairs Office about ways we can support your academic
endeavours, or to arrange for a presentation to your department or group.
phone 604.822.1266    !«*■«   www.publicaffairs.ubc.ca
own jewelry business.
The Ch'nook Advanced Management program,
launched last November, combines Aboriginal values with
business skills and entrepreneurship education in part-
time studies. Classes are led by a group of distinguished
First Nations leaders, senior faculty members from Sauder
School, as well as entrepreneurs who share their stories of
success and failure. The program comprises team projects,
assignments, and class discussions.
According to Ch'nook advisor Chief David Walkem of
Cook's Ferry Indian Band, expectations for the inaugural
2006-2007 program were high. "Our goal as we developed
the certificate program was to create the best Aboriginal
business education program ever offered," he said,
emphasizing the curriculum would need a vigorous mix of
top-flight Aboriginal leadership and coaching with relevant
content and the best instruction available. "We can now
say with confidence that the 'best ever' goal is being met."
Program leaders are hoping to make an impact on the
future of economic development for First Nations.
"It is very clear to the First Nations Leadership Council
that focusing on economic development by itself does
not pave the road to self-reliance," said Grand Chief Ed
John, who spoke at the Ch'nook program graduation
in June. "However, when economic development is
combined with strong business management education,
then we have the equation that equals Aboriginal success."
Unlike traditional business education programs, this one
integrates the insights of Aboriginal leaders in a setting
that its participants can easily relate to. Visitors to the
program include business and finance firms such as Odium
Brown, Tale'awtxw Aboriginal Capital Corporation,
VanCity and Kryton Group.
"We looked for other Aboriginal-focused programs and
found nothing close to this in terms of either the blend of
Aboriginal focus and business, or program length," says
program director and Sauder School of Business professor
emeritus John Claxton. "The program is intense. There are
a lot of new ideas, lots of group work and a challenging
team project. But it is absolutely worth the effort. The
classes were always a great mixture of enthusiasm, effort
and fun."
"This has been one of the real highlights of my UBC
career - and now we're all looking forward to November
and the next cohort."
The Ch'nook programs are a collaborative effort
between UBC First Nations House of Learning and the
Sauder School of Business at UBC, and include business
diploma and degree options and scholarships. The
Ch'nook name is a variation on the word Chinook, which
was the local jargon language used for trade between First
Nations, particularly up and down the West Coast. 13
Ch'nook student interns
at Canada's oldest investment management firm
In addition to its Advanced Management Executive Education Program, the Ch'nook initiative at UBC is home
to the Ch'nook Scholars Program - supporting full-time business diploma and degree studies for First Nations
students in British Columbia. The four major components of this program are financial support, Aboriginal-
focused coursework, career mentoring and internships.
This summer, Ch'nook student Jarnael Payer - a student of Langara College in Vancouver - is cutting his
teeth with one of Canada's oldest independent investment management firms - Phillips, Hager & North, which
manages over $65 billion in financial assets. Jarnael's internship with PHN involves conducting research devoted
to investments on the New York Stock Exchange. In addition, he'll have the chance to experience the workings
of a fast-paced investment firm.
For more information contact John Claxton, Ch'nook Program Director, at 604 822 8323 or visit:
www.chinook.ubc.ca UBC    REPORTS        AUGUST    9,    2007     |     7
Q & A with David Farrar
Incoming Provost and Vice President, Academic
As Vice-Provost, Students, at the University of Toronto, David Parrar focused on removing barriers between curricular and non-curricular
fcfc My desire to join UBC started
many initiatives aimed at improv
learning experience.
QL7BC and the University of Toronto share some
key attributes, including large size, commuter
campuses, and research intensity. What are the
challenges and the rewards ofthe student experience
at such universities?
First of all, there isn't one student experience; each student
has his or her own unique experience. The opportunities
for students at large, research-intensive universities
are many and varied. In addition to a broad array of
challenging programs in current fields, there is also the
opportunity to work with the world's best scholars on
interesting research areas, and access to outstanding
research facilities and libraries.
Both universities have large student bodies that reflect
Canada's diversity. Students at both universities encounter
the other students, staff and faculty from very different
backgrounds; that diversity strengthens the inside-the-
classroom experience and stretches their minds outside
of the classroom. This creates a rich environment where
students can push the limits of their abilities and learn to
deal with challenging and important questions.
The challenge is that many students do not find their
place in these large universities and never reap the benefits
of studying at an internationally ranked university. There
is a need to create pathways or roadmaps to help these
students connect with the university.
QWhat were you able to do during your tenure as
Deputy Provost and Vice-Provost, Students, to
improve the student learning experience?
During my time as Vice-Provost, Students, the University
of Toronto's first priority was to improve the student
experience. I focused on removing barriers between
curricular and co-curricular learning. While I initiated
important changes to the student life programs, many
members of the University community contributed to
these initiatives. The number of international exchange
opportunities for students increased significantly. We
started two new co-curricular programs, the Centre for
Community Partnerships and the Multifaith Centre,
providing students with community and inter-disciplinary
opportunities that support a stimulating learning
In the area of space improvements, I am very proud of
the Chemistry Courtyard Garden that I started working
on as the Chair of the Chemistry Department;  it was
completed during my term in the Provost's Office. We
opened two new daycare facilities, the Early Learning
Centre and the Charles Street daycare, while I was Vice-
Provost, Students. These centres greatly increased the
affordable and accessible childcare spaces for student
parents. I was active in supporting anti-racism, LGBTQ
initiatives, assessment initiatives, and U of T's student
portal project.
Some people think the reward structure for
research invariably disadvantages teaching. What
are your views on
I view research and teaching as mutually supportive.
The structures that reward outstanding teaching
and scholarship will grow naturally if the university
community equally values both. UBC's stated goal to
attain the same excellence in providing a world-class
education that it has attained in research is an important
step forward. My desire to join UBC started with the
University's many initiatives aimed at improving the
teaching and learning experience, and I look forward to
being actively involved in this area.
UBC Public Affairs is now able to offer
high-quality photography for our campus
This includes the work of award-winning
photographer Martin Dee. Formerly of UBC
Telestudios, Martin has recently taken the
position of University Photographer in UBC Public
Affairs. Martin's award-winning work has been
featured in UBC Reports, the UBC Annual Report
and other high-profile campus publications
Contact Martin:
822-4775 or martin.dee@ubc.ca
Check out the gallery:
with the University's
ing the teaching and
QWhat was the single-most effective teaching
improvement program/initiative with which you
were involved? Why was it successful?
I became very involved in improving the teaching and
learning environment in U of T's Chemistry Department
during my term as Undergraduate Associate Chair. The
three areas I focused on were curriculum reform, the
balance between teaching and research, and improving
the laboratory experience including major space
The combination of a renewed approach to the subject
material, our best research-active faculty working with
teaching faculty who focus on the scholarship of teaching
and learning, and great space, has resulted in first-year
chemistry receiving very high course evaluations by
students. The chemistry programs that build on the
first-year experience also have been renewed and these
programs now attract record numbers of students.
Outstanding departments start with exceptional
undergraduate programs that attract the very best students
and provide the foundation for internationally recognized
scholarship. 13 I     UBC    REPORTS     |     AUGUST    9,    2007
Who Will Take Care of our Boomers?
Therapists, priests and engineers are taking a UBC certificate course
Ruth Hughes (left) and Clarissa Green gave Wayne Cousins the confidence to bring up end-of-life issues with his parents.
Everyone ages. People just have different start dates.
And as the baby boom generation starts turning 65 in
2011, the greying of Canada's population will only speed
up. By 2026, the projected number of seniors will top 21
per cent - doubling their current share of the population
to eight million.
"When you think of these demographic changes, it's
clear we need people in every sector who understand
how aging is changing how our world is structured," says
Clarissa Green, an instructor for UBC's Certificate in
Working with an Aging Population Program.
"We need people who will make changes, such as
longer walk signals at intersections, buildings designed to
be 'senior-friendly,' communication styles that embrace
to learn how baby boomers can have conversations with
their parents about important issues like future living
arrangements and health matters.
"With life expectancies increasing," says Cousins, 46,
"the 'sandwich generation' will spend more years caring
for their aging parents than years spent raising their own
Midway through the program, Cousins broached his
parents about end-of-life care. The talk brought relief to
both sides. "Many older people are willing to discuss these
things," says Cousins. "It's their adult children who may
be nervous about discussing end-of-life planning. Maybe
some people are afraid they'll jinx their parent's good
health if they bring up the subject."
Cousins' parents assured him that after enjoying 80-plus
good years, they were ready to discuss matters that many
Dad, on the other hand, doesn't think it's such a pleasant
thing to talk about but he's open to planning for it."
The non-credit program typically accepts about 20
students each term and expects participants to function
at the third- or four-year university level. Also teaching
the program are JoAnn Perry, an associate professor of
Nursing who specializes in gerontological nursing and
family caregiving, and social worker Beryl Petty, an expert
on community gerontology programs.
To promote cross-generational discussions, the program
also invites seniors to provide their perspective. Ruth
Hughes, 94, has been a guest lecturer since 2006. She
brings wit, energy and a depth of experience that floors
younger students, says Green.
"There's a huge difference between the world view of
a 25-year-old and that of a 94-year-old who has been
• fc People in the program want to be more intelligent in how they understand
and communicate with older individuals.
changes in hearing and sight, policies that respect seniors'
needs," says Green.
Offered by the Life and Career Centre at UBC
Continuing Studies, the seven-month program equips
participants with knowledge and skills they can apply
to both professional and personal needs. The program
is aimed at professionals who work with older adults,
students in the health disciplines, community service
providers, caregivers and family members. Curriculum
addresses the physical, psychological, social, spiritual and
community aspects of aging.
Green says enrolment is "extraordinarily eclectic,"
with recent cohorts including engineers, massage
therapists, rabbis, priests, engineers, retired teachers,
financial advisors, accountants and a leader from the Sikh
"People in the program want to be more intelligent
in how they understand and communicate with older
individuals," says Green, a UBC associate professor
emerita of nursing and a therapist who works with
families in crisis and transition.
Green designed the program in 1999 as a community
resource for what was then the UBC Women's Resource
Centre. She made sure it would "engage both the heart
and mind."
"At the end of the course, students tell us, 'I'm a very
different person,'" notes Green. "Students leave the course
with more acceptance of others and themselves as they
Wayne Cousins, a retail accounts manager at BC Hydro,
says one of the reasons he signed up for the course was
families consider too delicate or taboo. "They said they'd
preferred talking about all of this while they're in good
health and not during a crisis when it would put a lot
more stress on me and my brother."
In fact, Cousins' mother asked him to help her plan her
funeral service. "It sounds strange, but my mother enjoyed
it because she gets to plan what her funeral will look like.
around for a very long time and knows a lot a younger
person can't know. We want students to value and respect
that difference."
The next certificate program begins January 2008 at
UBC's Life and Career Centre - Continuing Studies at
Robson Square. For information, call 604-822-0138, or
visit: www.lifeandcareer.ubc.ca/aging 13 UBC    REPORTS        AUGUST    9,    2007     |     9
Cultural Barriers for Diabetes Care:
Chinese-Canadians have new Internet tool
iCON will give Chinese-Canadians customized diabetes information to help them manage the disease or prevent it.
By Hilary Thomson
Chinese-Canadian diabetes patients will soon have
access to customized health information with the launch
of a Chinese language web site designed to reflect their
unique diet and culture.
Called Chinese Online Health Network (iCON), the
two-year project is co-led by UBC Faculty of Medicine
Associate Dean Dr. Kendall Ho, director of the Division
of Continuing Professional Development & Knowledge
Translation; and Dr. Francis Ho, a UBC professor emeritus
of Family Practice. The project is patient-driven and
aims to create and distribute accurate and quality health
information in Chinese for prevention or active self-
management of diabetes.
"It's vital to engage patients as partners in co-managing
reach out to and partner with these patients to help address
their unique needs and situations."
Reliable Internet health information is not necessarily
reaching middle-aged and older Chinese-Canadian adults
because of affordability of technology, low Internet skills,
English language dominance on the Internet and online
credibility of sources of Chinese health information, he
From September 2006 to May 2007, the two physicians
worked with Dr. Thomas Ho (none of the physicians
are related) and Dr. Raymond Mah, along with second-
year UBC medical students to create a pilot web site, in
partnership with Chinese diabetes patients.
Each of the four students, originally from Hong Kong
and Taiwan, visited three patients to ask them about their
health and diet and evaluate their knowledge sources and
to teach family members how they can help patients
manage their disease."
Third-year medical student Emily Pang says patients
were eager to be part of the project, but it was hard to
convince non-computer users to adopt the Internet.
"They did not yet realize its potential as an educational
and interactive tool," she says. "I hope this project can
change that."
An interest in the psychosocial aspects of chronic
disease is what motivated third-year med student Edmond
Chau to get involved.
"Being fluent in Chinese, I saw the project as an
opportunity for me to make a difference for these
patients," he says, adding that it was sometimes
challenging to translate medical terms into Chinese to
answer patient queries.
v w Reliable Internet health information is not necessarily reaching middle-
aged and older Chinese-Canadian adults.
their disease with their doctor, both to reduce suffering
and the significant health-care costs related to diabetes,"
says Kendall Ho.
Chinese web-based health information does exist,
but there are significant dietary and cultural differences
for Chinese-speaking individuals living in Canada, says
Ho. A more affluent life in Canada can mean larger
meal portions and more processed, high-carbohydrate
foods along with traveling via car rather than walking.
In addition, elderly Chinese-Canadians may be living
alone and experience significant barriers in shopping and
preparing their own meals, a situation less common in
China or Taiwan.
"Despite Vancouver's large Asian population, these
patients can be quite marginalized," he says. "We need to
understanding of the disease. They also asked about access
to the Internet, their opinion of the usefulness of Chinese-
language health information currently available online and
perceived barriers to using online information for their own
disease self-management.
The interviews were part of course work for the Doctor,
Patient and Society block of the medical school curriculum.
Patients also provided feedback on the mock web site
and their tips on diet and exercise have been incorporated
into site information. An interactive section posts Q&As
from patients and physicians and allows for peer-to-peer
"Many patients are unaware of early symptoms of
diabetes. They need to take care of themselves - their
destiny is in their hands," says Francis Ho. "We also want
"I interviewed patients whose Internet skill ranged
from almost non-existent to proficient," says Chau. "Both
groups were interested in using iCON."
The researchers will be holding a town hall meeting
next month to promote the web site and will communicate
with physicians via journals and presentations. After
further evaluation and development, they hope to
collaborate with University of Hong Kong and Fu Dan
University in Shanghai to make the web site appropriate
for Chinese patients.
"These are exciting opportunities and I'm very grateful
that UBC has given us a chance to explore them," says
Kendall Ho.
The web site can be found at www.iconproject.org. 13
UBC Okanagan Faculties and Programs Grow
Among the new programs at UBC Okanagan this year
are undergraduate degrees in Human Kinetics and Health
Studies, and several new graduate degrees.
In September, the Faculty of Health and Social
Development will launch a Bachelor of Human Kinetics
program and a Bachelor of Arts in Health Studies in
collaboration with UBC Okanagan's Irving K. Barber
School of Arts and Sciences.
The Faculty of Creative and Critical Studies will offer
interdisciplinary graduate studies (IGS) Master of Arts
programs in Studies in Cultures and Text as well as
Critical Studies in English, and an IGS Master of Fine Arts
program that interweaves visual arts, creative writing,
and performance studies. The faculty is also developing
Canada's first undergraduate degree program in devised
performance, drawing from a wide variety of world
performance traditions including theatre, dance, music,
visual arts, new media, circus, story-telling, folklore, and
Other new graduate programs include Master of
Applied Science and PhD degrees in the School of
Engineering, new interdisciplinary graduate programs
in optimization, and indigenous studies, MA and PhD
degrees in psychology, and MSc and PhD degrees in
biology. 13 io     I     UBC    REPORTS     |     AUGUST    9,    2007
Accommodations to match our spectacular setting!
Warm, welcoming suites. Kitchens, flat panel TV and
wireless internet. Natural wood and stone, king beds
with luxury linens, conveniently located on campus.
All new. Right here.
West Coast Suites
at The University of British Columbia
Reservations 604.822.1000 Toll Free 1.888.822.1030
Getting Around Made Easier at
UBC Okanagan
A reduced-cost public transit
program for students, a new
Bus Rapid Transit service,
a new road network on campus,
and a $14.5-million highway
"flyover" are changing the
look of transportation at UBC
Okanagan this fall.
The federal government
announced in July an $11-
million transfer of gas tax
revenue to the Regional District
of Central Okanagan and
Kelowna Regional Transit to
establish a new Bus Rapid
Transit system with buses
running from downtown
Kelowna to the UBC Okanagan
campus in north Kelowna, with
only two stops at other terminals
along the way.
In November 2006, UBC
Okanagan students approved
a mandatory U-Pass program,
similar to the UBC Vancouver
student U-Pass that has been in
place since 2003.
Starting in September, all
part-time and full-time students
will have unlimited access to
BC Transit services within the
Regional District of Central
Okanagan. The cost of the
program is $50 per term,
however, the Students' Union has
negotiated a sliding scale subsidy
with the University to keep U-
Pass costs as low as possible. The
U-Pass cost for students will be
$25 in September 2007, $37.50
in January 2008, and $45 in
all subsequent terms. It will
be assessed as part of tuition fees
at the beginning of each term.
"One of the goals of U-
Pass is to provide a low-cost
sustainable transportation option
for UBC Okanagan students as
part of a comprehensive, sustai
nable transportation strategy,"
says Carole Jolly, Director of
UBC's TREK Program Centre,
which oversees transportation
management for UBC. "The U-
Pass will help reduce unnecessary
traffic to and from campus,
while increasing access to public
transportation. This will help
ease traffic congestion and
automobile parking demands as
UBC Okanagan's enrolment
With major construction
underway on the UBC Okanagan
campus, several parking lots
have been downsized to make
way for new buildings. One new
500-space parking lot is being
added. However, Jolly says the
emphasis is really on improving
transportation options and
encouraging as many people
as possible to choose public or
alternative transportation such
as car pooling to and from
the campus.
Safety of those arriving
and leaving the campus each
day — whether by bus, in their
own vehicles, or on bicycles
— has been improved with
the construction of a new
overpass that will carry traffic
over busy Highway 97 onto
the campus. Options for a
new cycle path from the UBC
Okanagan campus to Kelowna's
municipal road network, without
routing cyclists onto Highway
97, are currently being explored
by UBC Okanagan and the City
of Kelowna.
More information about the
UBC Okanagan U-Pass program
can be found on the web at
www.ubcsuo.ca. 13
your kb>c creative resource
Creative Services
photography • medical illustration
video and media production • graphic design
• award-winning images captured in studio
or on location
• featured in UBC Reports, Focus, and more
Medical Illustration
• combining technology, art skills and
detailed knowledge for a variety of
medical disciplines
Video & Media Production
• complete digital video and multimedia
production from concept to completion
Graphic Design
• specializing in design & layout for the
academic, educational & healthcare
Situated on campus at:
The Media Group
Woodward IRC Building, Rm B32
2194 Health Sciences Mall
Vancouver, BC V6T 1Z3
Email: mediagrp@interchange.ubc.ca
T: (604) 822-5561
F: (604) 822-2004
New Vancouver Study Options
Health Science
Global Perspectives Major
By Brian Lin
Taking time to go abroad won't
be a problem for UBC Forestry
students who choose the new
Global Perspectives major in the
Natural Resources Conservation
(NRC) program - in fact, it's
The undergraduate major, to
be launched this fall, focuses
on the conservation and
management of renewable and
non-renewable resources, policy
formation and planning in the
global context. Students are
required to conduct international
field work, co-op or internship,
volunteer or study abroad at
one of the Faculty of Forestry's
25 partner universities in 18
International case studies are
incorporated into a new fourth-
year capstone course to give
students hands-on experience in
integrating various stakeholder
considerations when it comes to
resource sustainability.
"The Science and Management
major in the NRC, which focuses
a great deal on regional case
studies, is the largest and fastest
growing program in the faculty,
yet many NRC students were
telling us how much they wanted
more international experience"
says NRC program director Prof.
Scott Hinch.
"Resource management
programs around the continent
which incorporate international
studies are thriving while
those that don't are facing
low enrollments or worse.
There is a clear market for
students to work abroad or
for global interests in Canada.
We developed this new major
based on what students, and the
market work place, want."
Land and Food Systems:
Master of Food Science
By Han Nah Kim
The Faculty of Land and
Food Systems' new Master of
Food Science (MFS) program
will shine a new light on the
increasing demand for expertise
in the food industry.
The concern for quality
control over food imports has
been escalating due to recent
crises such as the reported
4,000 cases of pet deaths in
U.S. related to pet food imports
from China, as well as human
sickness and death linked to E.
coli-contaminated spinach from
California. With a new public
focus on regulatory compliance
and application of the latest
technologies, there is a growing
need for experts to help regulate
and support the food industry.
The MFS program, a
professional degree that can
be completed within a 12-
month period, aims to make
a contribution to secure
distribution of top-quality
products. "The foremost
objectives are to equip students
with first-hand scientific
knowledge of food safety as it is
practiced in Canada, to provide
experience in international food
systems, and a global perspective
on the food industry that will
be invaluable to individuals
wishing to pursue a career in
this increasingly international
industry," says program director,
UBC Prof. Tim Durance.
The MFS is a course-based,
non-thesis degree designed
for those wanting careers in
government or industry. It is also
appropriate for professionals
already working in government,
industry or private practices who
want to upgrade their skills and
In addition to food safety and
quality control, students will also
develop competencies related to
the regulatory requirements for
the production, processing and
distribution of food.
The program will launch this
September with 26 students,
half of whom are international
students from China and other
countries. 13 UBC    REPORTS        AUGUST    9,    2007     |     II
A High-Tech Place to Call Their Own:
Abdul Ladha Science Student Centre
Science students have a new home with 10-metre ceilings and state-of-the-art audio and video systems. (Artist's rendering ofthe Abdul Ladha Science Centre)
UBC science students have
become the envy of their peers
for their swank new digs,
complete with 10-metre ceilings,
state-of-the-art audio systems,
a four-metre wide video screen
and a high-definition projector
that would impress even the
most discriminating audio-visual
The $3.4-million, 661 square-
metre Abdul Ladha Science
Student Centre, to be officially
opened this fall, has been in
use since January 2007 and is
the first social space exclusively
dedicated to facilitating
interdisciplinary discussions and
collaborations among science
Funded in part by the
Faculty of Science and with
science undergraduate student
contributions, the centre was
made possible by a $1.3 million
donation from UBC alumnus
and entrepreneur Abdul Ladha,
who also provided the vision
and energy behind the creation
of this high-tech facility that
includes student computer access
and plasma screens in the lounge
and conference rooms.
"A common social and study
space is vital to the students
developing - and taking pride
in - their identity as aspiring
scientists," says Ladha, President
and CEO of Ableauctions.
com and founding director
of The Canadian Institute for
Technological Advancement,
an organization dedicated
to developing Canada's
technological entrepreneurs.
"It also fosters interactions
among science students from
different fields and stages of their
academic career."
A stone's throw from the
Student Union Building, the
centre is home to the Science
Undergraduate Society (SUS)
and student clubs. It has already
been used for academic planning
workshops, club events and
the Science Salon, informal
discussions with faculty during
this year's UBC Celebrate
Research Week.
"We're extremely proud
of our new home," says SUS
President Michael Duncan. "For
years science students have been
Faculty of Medicine
Through knowledge, creating health.
Head, Department of Physical Therapy
The Faculty of Medicine, University of British Columbia, invites applications for
the position of Head ofthe Department of Physical Therapy.
We seek an academic leader with proven leadership, interpersonal and
administrative skills who will be responsible for directing and developing the
teaching, research and service programs ofthe Department of Physical Therapy.
The newly formed UBC Department of Physical Therapy has evolved from
the former UBC Division of Physical Therapy, which is well known for its
high standards and excellent faculty. As well as providing an outstanding
educational environment, faculty members continue to be involved in diverse
research initiatives involving both qualitative and quantitative perspectives. The
Department provides education for physical therapists through rigorous scholarly
activity, high standards of instruction, creative opportunities for learning, and
a strong foundation that supports current and future practice ofthe profession.
Close collaboration with the clinical community and the professional bodies
ensures that students are able to access high quality clinical fieldwork as well as
being able to participate in professional association and licensing body activities.
The successful candidate should hold certification in the College of Family
Physicians of Canada or equivalent, and should have a proven record of scholarly
excellence. We expect this appointment will be at the rank of professor and
is subject to final budgetary approval.  Salary will be commensurate with
qualifications and experience. Anticipated start date is no later than July 1, 2008.
Department of Physical Therapy
www. rehab.ubc.ca/pt_pro.htm
Applications, accompanied
by a detailed curriculum vitae
and names of three references,
should be directed to:
Gavin Stuart, MD, FRCSC
Dean, Faculty of Medicine
c/o Darcie Prosser
Room 317, IRC, UBC
2194 Health Sciences Mall
Vancouver, BC V6T 1Z3.
(email: searches@medd.
med.ubc.ca with subject line:
Head, Physical Therapy)
Closing date: September 30,
The University of British Columbia has
consistently ranked among the top 50
universities in the world. A research-intensive
university with the province's only medical
school, UBC is home to more than 50,000
undergraduate, graduate and international
students and has an economic impact of $4
billion to the local economy.
Faculty members, students, staff and alumni in
the Faculty of Medicine are actively engaged
in innovative, leading edge research, education
and community service on university and
hospital campuses across the Province.
Together we aim to create knowledge and
advance learning that will make a vital
contribution to the health of individuals
and communities, locally, nationally, and
UBC hires on the basis of merit and is committed to employment equity. We
encourage all qualified applicants to apply; however, Canadians andpermanent
residents of Canada will be given priority.
www.ubc.ca & www.med.ubc.ca
spread throughout the campus in
different buildings and facilities
making any collaboration
"This facility is an amazing
step forward in unifying science
student life at UBC. We will be
building on the success we have
already had with the space in
the past months to make science
students' experience at UBC even
more positive." 13
UBC Faculty of Medicine
Through knowledge, creating health.
Senior Associate Dean | Community and External Relations
Applications/nominations are invited for the position of Senior
Associate Dean, Community & External Relations. The position is
expected to be internal to the University, part-time (.5 FTE), with
an anticipated start date of October 1st, 2007. Salary will be
commensurate with experience and qualifications.
The incumbent will report to the Dean of Medicine as the leader
of one of five key portfolios for the Faculty. He/She will be
responsible for providing strategic leadership and coordination
for the Faculty's relationships with its broad range of
stakeholders, locally, nationally and internationally.
Responsibilities include working with other Faculty leaders to
enhance and maintain positive and constructive relationships
with a) health authorities b) alumni ofthe Faculty c) special
populations d) our international communities and e) other
universities and public sector institutions, private sector and
community partners. Additionally the incumbent will have
responsibility for coordination of alumni activities and
communications for the Faculty.
Candidates must have a graduate degree preferably in a health-
related discipline and also professional experience working in a
complex environment. It is expected that the incumbent will have
at least 10 years of experience working in a health environment.
A more detailed position description is available at the Dean's Office
for those who wish to review it.
Faculty of Medicine I Dean's Office
Deadline for receipt of
applications is August 31, 2007.
Please direct your applications
along with the names of three
referees and nominations to:
Gavin C.E. Stuart, md, frcsc
c/o Darcie Prosser
UBC Faculty of Medicine
#317 - 2194 Health Sciences Mall
Vancouver, BC V6T 1Z3
Email: searches @medd.med.ubc.ca
With subject: SAD Community
The Faculty of Medicine at UBC,
together with its partners including
B.C. 's Health Authorities, provides
innovative programs in the areas of
health and life sciences through a
province-wide delivery model. The
Faculty teaches students at the
undergraduate, graduate and
postgraduate levels and generates
more than $200 million in research
funding each year. It is home to
Canada's first distributed MD
undergraduate program.
UBC hires on the basis of merit and is committed to employment equity.
We encourage all qualified applicants to apply; however, Canadians
and permanent residents of Canada will be given priority.
www.ubc.ca & www.med.ubc.ca 12     |     UBC    REPORTS     |     AUGUST    9,    2007
Scratching Beneath the Surface:
More courses adopt community service learning
UBC students worked with parents and students at Strathcona Elementary to encourage positive communication and deal with name-calling through posters,
video and fence art.
•• Students say this kind of real-life experience is what they've
been missing in education.
This coming year, up to 600 students will have the
opportunity to be part of new UBC-Community Learning
Initiative (UBC-CLI) courses. The Faculty of Land and
Food Systems, the Faculty of Arts and the Department
of Civil Engineering will each offer a course using
community service learning (CSL) as a central
pedagogical tool, thanks to newly allocated
funds available to support faculty. In
addition, a variety of other courses will
offer CSL projects during February's
Reading Week.
CSL is a model of experiential
learning that combines voluntary
community service with classroom
learning. UBC-CLI was recently
formed to help the University reach its
Trek 2010 goal of developing programs
that engage 10% of UBC students in CSL
each year. In the UBC-CLI approach to CSL,
students work in teams on short-
term projects that link to
course content and meet the
goals of the participating
What differentiates
CSL from volunteering
experience alone is
the embedded critical
reflection. Margo Fryer,
Director of the Learning
Exchange and the UBC-CLI
and Assistant Professor in
the School of Community and
Regional Planning, explains that reflection on the
community experience - for example, through
journal writing or small group dialogue - generates
more powerful and effective learning and allows
students to scratch beneath the surface. "Students
say this kind of real-life experience is what they've
been missing in their education," says Fryer.
"They're making a difference in these projects, and
learning about themselves and society."
The first wave of UBC-CLI projects, launched in
February 2007, saw almost 200 undergraduate students
work with 14 community organizations on 23 different
projects, including one at UBC
Okanagan. Sherina Kanani, a
third-year sociology student,
and her team worked with
YWCA's Munroe House,
a second-stage safe house
for battered women in
Vancouver. To ^
help smooth the
>      transition to
more independent
housing, the team
initiated a catalogue of housing
alternatives across the city. Over
three days, the team prepared a
template of pertinent questions
and researched about 20
properties, making notes on
the houses, neighbourhoods
and available amenities. Back in
the classroom, the participants wrote
reflective papers on the experience and
presented their project to the class.
"Those were the three longest days of
my life," says Kanani. "They challenged me
in more ways than just time. Doing something
that is actually going to be used is really
important and exciting." She hopes to find more CSL
opportunities this fall and says she is likely to volunteer in
the future. In fact, one student on her project team is now
a regular volunteer at Munroe House.
This is the reaction Fryer hopes CSL will evoke. "The
beauty of these kinds of projects is
there's something quite magical
about students working in
teams and the immersion
experience," says Fryer.
"People often think three
to four days is too short
to have an impact, but
our experience shows it is
To prove the point,
Fryer and Walter Sudmant,
Director of UBC's Planning
and Institutional Research (PAIR),
conducted a survey of students in courses offering a
CSL option. Those who participated in CSL options
reported significantly higher levels of active and
collaborative learning.
The broader UBC community is part of the
picture too. UBC-CLI and Human Resources
offer a program where staff, graduate students
and alumni act as Project Leaders in the UBC-
CLI. This will become part of a community
leadership certificate, a new professional development
opportunity. Brown bag lunches, open to the entire
UBC community, also start up this fall at UBC's
Department of Teaching and Academic Growth (TAG).
These aim to stimulate discussion around issues related to
the integration and evaluation of CSL in academic courses.
UBC-CLI's work is made possible by a
grant from the J.W. McConnell Family
To find out more, visit
or contact Margo Fryer at
Mural at Hastings Elementary depicting c
Wellness" theme.


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