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UBC Reports Sep 4, 2008

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VOL   54   I   NO   9   I   SEPTEMBER   4,   2008
3      Goodnight Vancouver 5      Probability
6      Robot labour
8     The Google factor
12   iTunes University
Geneticist David Ng splices science
literacy with creativity
David Ng(above) and Poll Sci Prof. Allen Sens co-teach an interdisciplinary arts and science course.
Did David Ng's dad beat
up Bruce Dee? This teaser,
which Ng tells to demonstrate
how information needs to be
understood within its context,
is just one example of how the
researcher-writer and Director
of UBC's Advanced Molecular
Biology Laboratory (AMBL)
engages learners with humour
and carefully chosen anecdotes.
Here's how the story unfolds:
Ng's dad was about 10 and
Bruce merely eight when the
combat occurred. Once the story
is in an accurate framework, its
meaning shifts dramatically.
The context for Ng himself is
unique. He's a science teacher
who wants to produce science-
literate creative thinkers,
from professional scientists to
elementary school kids.
AMBL is the teaching arm of
the interdisciplinary Michael
Smith Laboratories, and the goal
for Ng's position is to cross-
fertilize ideas among academic
subjects. Ng does not have
an official home department
or faculty, so he has had "an
enormous amount of flexibility
just to try things" during the
nine years he's been there.
Ng teaches two upper-level
courses in molecular biology, and
leads workshops on molecular
biology for researchers. A 2003
workshop for scientists in Lagos,
Nigeria, opened new horizons
for him.
"When I went to Nigeria, it
opened my eyes in a huge way
and really got me interested
in development generally
and other issues related to
global sustenance and social
responsibility," Ng says. "As well,
I took lots of notes to gather
my thoughts and that led to
the first article I wrote for the
general public. It got published
[in Maisonneuve magazine], so it
paved the way for an interest in
writing generally."
Articles in several general-
interest publications
(McSweeney's, The Walrus)
followed. All are connected to
the central concept of "talking
science" though usually in
unexpected ways. (Imagine a
fictional yet scientifically sound
conversation between the Von
Trapp children and a geneticist,
for example.) Ng now also heads
an online science magazine called
The Science Creative Quarterly
(SCQ).The site bridges a
publishing gap between technical
and literary content for science
in the way Wired magazine fills
a similar gap between geek-talk
and social conversations around
"I think a lot of that interest
in writing segued to this Terry
web site, which has been a major
part of what I've been doing
for the last three years," Ng
says. He's referring to terry.ubc.
ca, a website for the UBC Terry
continued on page 3
Celebrate Learning: A new week-long focus on
teaching and learning, September 27 to October 5
Delve into the obvious and
not-so obvious truths about how
we learn, manage your on-line
identity, or "Get Learn'd" at the
first student-led initiative of its
kind at UBC.
These along with more
than 40 other events are part
of Celebrate Learning, a new
week-long initiative taking place
at UBC Vancouver between
September 27 and October
5. Celebrate Learning Week
celebrates teaching and learning
experiences across campus, while
highlighting opportunities for
student learning.
"One of the hallmarks of a
great university is the creative
spark and dynamic interaction
between students and faculty,"
says David Farrar, UBC Provost
and Vice President, Academic.
"This initiative allows us to
appreciate and further enhance
those exchanges of ideas and
The many events include:
• How People Learn
presented by Prof. Carl Wieman
(Friday, Oct. 3, 12:30, Room
101/102, Curtis Building)
The truths - both obvious and
surprising - about how we learn
are the focus for Nobel laureate
Carl Wieman, a UBC professor
of physics and head of the Carl
Wieman Science Education
Initiative. Wieman will explore
how current research provides
detailed insight as to how the
brain learns and how it changes
during learning. These insights
allow one to accurately predict
which teaching and learning
experiences will be effective
and to more accurately measure
meaningful learning.
• Get Learn'd Conference,
Saturday, Oct. 4, 10 a.m.- 4:30
p.m., Irving K. Barber Learning
The student-led Get Learn'd
event aims to equip first-year
students with the necessary
knowledge, skills and attitudes
that will enhance their academic
success. Coordinated by the
SCI Team (in the Faculty of
Science), the E-Team (in the
Faculty of Applied Science) and
the Faculty of Arts, the day will
also emphasize the importance
of achieving a sense of balance
among academic, extracurricular
and social activities.
• Digital Tatoo, an online
tutorial throughout the week
Like a tattoo, one's digital
reputation is an expression
that is highly visible and hard
to remove. Sponsored by the
Koerner Library, the online
Digital Tattoo tutorial will
provide users with information
for proactively managing their
on-line identities. Users will
be presented with resources
including videos, news articles,
case studies, and polls and
quizzes. Students will also be
invited to submit their own
content. To access the tutorial:
For information on the more
than 40 events, visit: http://
celebratelearning.ubc.ca/. 13 2     |     UBC    REPORTS     |     SEPTEMBER    4,
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Highlights of UBC media coverage in August 2008.  compiled by basil waugh
Ci© -„- "
UBC rowers Ben Rutledge (back row far left), Kyle Hamilton (back row third from left) and Jake Wetzel (back
row far right) celebrate Olympic gold.
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UBC ranks 35th among global
UBC placed 35th - up one
spot from last year - in the 2008
edition of Shanghai Jiao Tong
University's annual list of top
100 universities.
Its researchers say the list's
methodology is imperfect, but
the ratings are taken seriously
around the world as a measure
of academic and research merit.
The Australian described UBC
and U of T as "Canada's best
universities," and noted that they
placed higher than Australia's
top-ranked universities. The
Montreal Gazette also took a
local angle, reporting McGill's
60th rank.
UBC rowers win gold
UBC graduate student Jake
Wetzel and alumni Ben Rutledge
and Kyle Hamilton made
Olympic headlines by winning
gold for Canada in men's eight
After their gold-medal
performance, Rutledge showed
off his UBC Thunderbirds' belt
during a nationally televised
interview with the CBCs Ron
More than 40 UBC athletes,
coaches, sports doctors and
staff are participating in the
2008 Olympic and Paralympic
Games, including swimmers
Brent Hayden, Brian Johns and
Annamay Pierce, who shattered
Canadian records and personal
Globe and Mail, Toronto Star,
Vancouver Sun and Vancouver
Province have all profiled UBC
athletes before and during the
games. UBC's Olympic and
Paralympic legacy began in 1928
and includes 109 medals and
240 participants.
Olympians' victory dance is
innate, scientists say
The exuberant victory dance
of high-performance athletes
turns out to be an instinctive
trait of all primates, humans
included, a UBC psychology
study has found.
Compairing the celebrations of
blind and sighted athletes at the
2004 Games in Athens, Jessica
Tracy of UBC found universal
expressions of pride, including
clenched fists, thrown-back
heads, puffed-up chests and
outstretched arms.
Since the blind athletes could
not have learned their victory
dances from watching others,
Tracy and her San Francisco
colleagues concluded that the
behavior was innate.
Tracy's study was published in
the Proceedings of the National
Academy of Sciences and
covered by the Economist, BBC,
Telegraph (U.K.), Boston Globe,
TOX News, Scientific American
and Wired.
UBC experts comment on air
quality and doping
UBC experts featured
prominently in international
news articles on air quality and
gene doping around the Beijing
Jim Rupert, an anti-doping
expert at UBC, was interviewed
by the Economist in an article
on the possibility of genetically
modified Olympians. "I would
be surprised, but I have been
surprised before," he said.
United Press International
cited research by UBC sports
doctor Donald McKenzie, who
said Beijing's poor air quality
and humidity will especially be
a challenge for athletes with
UBC environmental policy
researcher Milind Kandlikar also
commented in Globe and Mail
and Toronto Star articles on
Beijing's air quality.
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I     3
Workshop inspires Vancouver children's book
David Adams is going to be a
published children's author on
his first time out - thanks to the
workshop he took through UBC
Continuing Studies.
Adams has just signed
a contract for Goodnight
Vancouver, a picture book he
conceived, refined and sold over
the course of the eight-session
Children's Book Workshop.
His debut effort will join
more than 35 other titles in the
series called Goodnight Our
World, which presents North
American cities and regions
through the eyes of a child. To
date, the books have showcased
such places as New York, Los
Angeles, Montreal, Chicago, San
Francisco and now Vancouver.
" Goodnight Vancouver will
come out next September, just
normally the series publisher,
Adam Gamble, writes the books
in-house, but in this case made
an exception.
"Gamble stated that he
appreciated the thought and
hard work that went into the
manuscript," says Adams, who
has written for theatre, film and
In turn, Adams attributes his
success to the solid grounding
he received from workshop
instructor Michael Katz,
publisher of Tradewind Books
- a company that specializes in
children's picture books.
"The course covered all
the industry and writing
fundamentals," says Adams. "I
couldn't have done it without
Michael's encouragement and
At the start of the workshop,
students researched the industry,
"For me the challenge was how to
convey the enchantment and delight
of Vancouver in 250 words..."
in time for the 2010 Olympics,"
says Adams, a research
coordinator in UBC's Faculty
of Medicine's Dept. of Family
The Goodnight Our World
series is inspired by Goodnight
Moon - a bedtime classic that
has lulled children to sleep since
the late 1940s.
What made his success all the
more sweet, says Adams, is that
focusing on titles they admired.
Adams selected Good Night San
Francisco, a book he purchased
for his two-year old niece while
traveling in that city. "I thought,
'why not Vancouver?'"
Students explored the
conventions and specific
structures of children's books.
For example, a picture book for
ages 3-6 would often comprise a
total of 14 spreads (double-page
layouts) with illustration and
Once they determined the
parameters of their story,
students tried their hand at
writing a book they would like
to see available for children.
"For me the challenge was
how to convey the enchantment
and delight of Vancouver in
250 words in language kids can
understand," says Adams.
He also wrote with an eye
to the Goodnight Our World
series conventions - 10 spreads,
no more than 250 words, a
progression through the city's
four seasons and four periods
of the day: morning, afternoon,
evening and night.
Adams says it was hard to
narrow down the stunning
choices of Vancouver sites. His
book will highlight renowned
scenic spots such as Stanley
Park, Granville Island and Lynn
Canyon. To evoke the wonders
of this city, Adams says he
"looked at what a child would
see, the bugs in the forest, the
height of the trees."
Once students finished
polishing their text, they then
had the option of sending out
query letters to publishers.
Adams was euphoric when
he received the publisher's
acceptance letter, and then a bit
nervous about negotiating his
first contract.
"But Michael walked with
me through the process so I felt
quite reassured."
Adams is now working on
a children's book series with
David Adams has signed a contract for Goodnight Vancouver.
his wife. "We want to capture
the wonder of a child's world,
but also address social issues,
such as vegetarianism. Nothing
didactic, but definitely an
underlying message of respect
and compassion."
UBC Continuing Studies'
next Children's Book Workshop
will be offered September
30 to December 5. For more
information, visit:
ca/personal/grouping3.html 13
continued from page 1
project which highlights the set
of related projects and events
that connect undergraduates in
the sciences and the humanities
- the two largest faculties at
UBC - in order to promote
discussions of global issues and
social responsibility. "Terry"
stands for terra, or earth.
"Dave is very creative and
he's involved in the literary
aspect of science, which is a very
important part of this project,"
says Allen Sens, a political
science professor, chair of the
International Relations Program
and the other brain that Dean of
Arts Nancy Gallini approached
to discuss collaboration in 2004.
"When we were talking about
connections between Arts and
Sciences, we didn't just mean the
social sciences and biology, but
also the fine arts," says Sens.
Through Terry, Ng and Sens
now co-teach a second-year
interdisciplinary science and
arts course (ASIC 200) based on
the belief that global problems
can only be solved by educated
people who understand how both
science and society work - at
least well enough to know that
there are links between the two.
The teachers also developed
a UBC Vancouver speaker series
which this year included scientist
and atheist Richard Dawkins
and conservationist Sheila Watt-
Ng credits the flexibility
of AMBL to allow space for
projects like Terry to happen.
"Over the last nine years or
so the lab has been more than
just flexible, it's developed into
a hub of connections because
we've worked with so many
different types of people from
all sorts of disciplines," Ng says.
"So if there's some eccentric
or unconventional project that
seems like it might have legs,
it's that much easier to initiate
it because we have those friends
who we can invite in to maybe
have a go at it."
The most current example
of this is The Science Creative
Literacy Symposium, which ran
as a two-week pilot project in
May and will continue in a fuller
form this fall.
Calling himself "a big fan of
McSweeney's" Ng decided to
visit magazine founder Dave
Eggers San Francisco literacy
outreach initiative called 826
Valencia. A tutoring centre that
literally lives in a pirate-themed
toy store and draws kids in
through storytelling exercises,
the Valencia project inspired Ng.
"I thought - wouldn't it be
great if something creative
could be done with a science
angle," Ng recalls. He had been
interested in trying to reach out
to elementary schools, primarily
to expand beyond the lab's
high-school program. But there
were concerns that AMBL's fully
functioning genetics lab was
simply too technical for children
under 12. Maybe writing was the
angle that could draw younger
children in, Ng thought.
Ng approached Creative
Writing's Rhea Tregebov and
asked if masters' students in her
program might be interested.
The plan was to hire an equal
number of graduate students in
creative writing and in science
(through the UBC Let's Talk
Science Partnership Program),
making pairs from one student
in each discipline. Each pair
created a workshop that would
and the National Research
Council Institute for Fuel Cell
Innovation. "But I was writing
articles for the SCQ and Terry, so
when Dave contacted me about
this, I was interested."
Rose and playwright Mike
Christie set up a class where
25 children first watched a
hydrogen fuel cell charge up
- "you can watch it converting
water into hydrogen and oxygen
in the space of a few minutes,"
Rose explains - and then
Ng moved to Canada from
England at age 12 with an interest
in science already sparked by
many visits to London's
Natural History Museum.
introduce a scientific concept,
and then have the children
use that knowledge to make a
creative work.
In the end, eight pairs of
students designed their own
templates to use during May's
two-week pilot. Topic choices
were left open, so the results
ranged from environmental
themes to genetics to a focus on
"I had never heard of
anything like this before," says
sustainability and alternative
energy researcher Lars Rose, a
PhD candidate at the Materials
Engineering Department
experimented with two small
cars powered by the cells. From
this hands-on experience, they
wrote, acted, and filmed short
plays about sustainability.
With MFA poetry student
Shannon Woronn and David
Kent, a PhD candidate studying
blood stem cells, another class
looked at slides about five body
organs (the brain, lungs, heart,
liver and blood) and wrote down
comparisons to the images, to
introduce both scientific facts
and the concept of similes. Then
the children wrote love letters to
different body parts, shaped after
Elizabeth Barrett Browning's
poem "How Do I Love Thee? Let
me count the ways."
"Dave Ng did a phenomenal
job and he was very encouraging
of our teaching and our ideas,"
Woron says. "He was available
to the kids, too. In the morning
he would give a talk about the
DNA lab to the kids, and he
came in the afternoons to watch
when the creative works were
Ng moved to Canada from
England at age 12 with an
interest in science already
sparked by many visits to
London's Natural History
Museum lingering over life-
size models of a blue whale,
dinosaurs and more.
Ng has lived in Vancouver
since then, studying his way
up through undergraduate and
graduate degrees at UBC, earning
his PhD in microbiology and
immunology. He met his future
wife Kate in residence and they
now have two children.
James Kronstad, Director of
the Michael Smith Laboratories,
says he thoroughly supports the
many levels of outreach that Ng
does. "I think most scientists
should strive to make their work
accessible to the public because
of the public money that goes
in the research," says Kronstad.
"David's got the personality and
the interest to do this. He brings
this level of credibility because
he did a very nice PhD at UBC
in molecular biology, and from
there he knows how to engage
an audience." 13 4     I     UBC    REPORTS     |     SEPTEMBER    4,
New dual degree prepares science teachers
The Faculties of Science and Education are joining forces to
encouraging science students to consider teaching as a rewarding
The dual BSc-BEd program, to be launched this fall, allows
science majors to begin taking Faculty of Education courses
towards a secondary teaching specialization as early as their
second year.
Better equipped science teachers in elementary and secondary
schools will in turn increase the cohort of qualified and engaged
science undergraduates - and later on, graduate students in B.C.
universities, says Science dean Simon Peacock.
"Students who are inspired at a young age to think about
science as an exciting way of understanding the world around
them are more likely to choose science - or science education - as
a career," says Peacock.
Faculty and advisors in both Science and Education faculties
have found that a significant number of UBC students apply to
the Bachelor of Education program on completing their science
degrees. Historically, up to 40 per cent of the students admitted
to the faculty's Teacher Education Program for secondary schools
hold a Bachelor of Science or equivalent degree.
Through the dual degree program, students can maintain
core studies as a science major in physics or math and gradually
increase their education courses and in-school experiences.
Students are also required to complete a fifth-year, which includes
both science courses and an extended teaching practicum. The
BEd aspect of the dual degree designation qualifies graduates for
recommendation to the B.C. College of Teachers for a Professional
Teaching Certificate.
"By introducing education theory and practice to undergraduate
science students earlier on in their academic career, we hope to
catalyze their thinking around complex scientific concepts in the
context of presenting them to children and youth," says Gary
Rupert, Program Coordinator in the Faculty of Education.
A 2000 Survey of Recent Graduates conducted by the B.C.
College of Teachers - the most recent such study done in the
province - shows that only 5.6 per cent of respondents indicated
they had a major, minor or concentration in math. Of the same
respondents, 17.7 per cent suggested they taught math regularly.
Prof. Stephen Toope leads the Advisory Group for LEAD.
LEADing a new campus
focus on learning
UBC Okanagan teaming up to get kids
buzzed about math and science
Will enough of today's children grow up to be engineers and
scientists to keep Canada's economy booming when the nation's
Baby Boomers - now approaching their senior years — have
retired from their math- and science-intensive careers?
To take on the challenge of a looming skills shortage in
science and engineering, Okanagan education and industry
partners are holding the first-ever Fuelling the Economy of the
Future symposium, October 24 and 25 in the south Okanagan
city of Penticton.
Organizing the symposium are UBC Okanagan's School of
Engineering, Okanagan College, Central Okanagan School
District 23, the Okanagan Science and Technology Council, the
Okanagan Research and Innovation Centre, and the Central
Okanagan Economic Development Commission.
"It is unusual for such a diverse group of educators,
administrators, and industry representatives to gather to discuss
how to attract and retain students in these vital fields," says
Spiro Yannacopoulos, Associate Dean and Director of UBC
Okanagan's School of Engineering. "We know it is crucial
for the health of our local and national economies to keep
our students enrolled in science, engineering, and technology
The two-day symposium - part of Canada's National Science
and Technology Week - has been scheduled to include the
Okanagan region's professional development day for teachers. It
will feature several prominent keynote speakers including UBC's
Nobel laureate physicist Carl Wieman (by video), and Bruce
Aikenhead, retired director-general of the Canadian Astronaut
Complete details about the Fuelling the Economy of the
Future symposium and registration information can be found
online at http://www.ubc.ca/okanagan/engineering/fef.
In the same way that it has
excelled in research over the
past decades, UBC is poised to
improve teaching and learning
through a campus-wide initiative
that has already begun with the
Carl Wieman Science Education
Initiative (CWSEI), President
Stephen Toope told a gathering
of faculty members this summer.
"I am deeply committed to
the fundamental mission of
education at UBC and what's
so exciting for me is that
there clearly is a widespread
commitment, and it's deeply
rooted in our tradition," Prof.
Toope told faculty members who
attended a summary meeting for
the Lasting Education, Achieved,
and Demonstrated (LEAD)
initiative in early June.
The meeting was a report
back on nine small group
discussions in the Vancouver
and Okanagan campuses - aptly
named "LEAD Meetings"
- earlier this spring and part of
an ongoing brainstorming and
consultation process for LEAD.
More than 250 faculty members
exchanged ideas about teaching
and learning and their vision for
providing a transformative post-
secondary education, says Lome
Whitehead, University Leader
of Education Innovation and a
member of the LEAD Advisory
"We had a lot of truly
thoughtful and inspiring
discussions at the LEAD
Meetings," says Whitehead.
"More activities are planned
for the fall to help bring
faculty together to envision
- and implement - the future
of education and communicate
these ideas here and beyond."
"The LEAD meetings have
confirmed that many faculty
at UBC are passionate about
educating students and yearn
for greater effectiveness and
efficiency," says Electrical and
Computer Engineering Assoc.
Prof. John Madden, who
attended a LEAD Meeting.
"We recognize there are
limitations to our current
teaching approaches and the
stage is now set for a university-
wide drive to evaluate and
improve learning."
Toope adds that major
fundraising efforts are already
under way to support changes
deemed necessary at the
department level in faculties in
addition to Science. More than
$1.5 million has already been
invested in four departments
in the Faculty of Science
through the CWSEI, headed by
Nobel Laureate Carl Wieman.
Another four departments have
also received seed funding to
incorporate the latest proven
advances in teaching and
Since January 2007, faculty
and CWSEI-funded Science
Teaching and Learning Fellows
have been working on 16 major
courses, affecting more than
10,000 undergraduate students
both in and outside of the
Faculty of Science.
"We've made great strides,"
says Wieman. "But we've also
identified many opportunities
where we can improve."
"LEAD aims to take the
CWSEI vision and implement
it across the university - and
ultimately to other universities
around the world," says David
Farrar, Provost and Vice-
President Academic.
"UBC has done tremendously
well in increasing its research
capacity by drawing from its
brilliant faculty and we'd like to
do the same in propelling UBC
to the forefront of teaching and
learning excellence," adds Farrar,
who is also a member of the
LEAD Advisory Group.
Toope says that just as we see
a variety of measures being taken
by science departments working
with the CWSEI, LEAD isn't
seeking one formulaic approach
to education, nor a template
of what a university graduate
should be. "That would be
fundamentally wrong for what
we stand for as a university.
"We do want our students to
feel satisfied, and by that I mean
deriving from their educational
experience something they feel
is profoundly encouraging, and
potentially life-changing," says
"That I think is something
we do well, but can always do
better." 13 UBC    REPORTS     |     SEPTEMBER    4,
I    S
Statistics instructor Bruce Dunham is re-thinking how he teaches - and liking his odds.
Prof improves probability of learning stats
After teaching statistics for
over 15 years, UBC instructor
Bruce Dunham is working
harder than ever to reach
students, but he's liking his
odds with some help from the
Carl Wieman Science Education
Initiative (CWSEI).
"Students are a very dynamic
entity and students in 2008
are not the same as those 20
years ago," says Dunham. "As a
result, our educational goals are
essentially moving targets - and
we must move with them."
Dunham co-teaches a second-
year introductory course of more
impacted by the availability
of modern computers," says
"Many calculation techniques
we used to teach students to do
by hand are no longer required
and more emphasis has been
put on statistical concepts.
But it's increasingly clear that
most students simply aren't
grasping - and retaining - these
fundamental concepts."
Working with the CWSEI,
Dunham assessed what students
remember six months after
taking his course. "The results
were a little depressing," says
Dunham. "The students appear
to be retaining certain ideas
"It's difficult as an instructor to
see students get on the wrong
track, but ultimately they learn
more by examining a problem from
all sides."
than 800 science majors each
year. Two other introductory
statistics courses, tailored for arts
and engineering students, are
also offered by the department.
"The Dept. of Statistics graduates
30-40 majors a year," says Dunham.
"For the other hundreds of students
coming through our classrooms,
these courses are likely the first and
only statistics course they'll ever
The field of statistics has
undergone tremendous changes
over the past 40 years, and so
has the way it is taught. "It's
probably the discipline most
but simply aren't getting some
fundamentally important
Students may remember how
to go about solving certain
problems, but when probed
about the steps taken, he found
they couldn't articulate their
"It's made me reappraise how
effective I've been as a teacher,"
says Dunham. "I always thought
I was pretty good for the top
students but that's not really a
respectable position to take.
"Look at it this way: if you've
developed a treatment for a
medical condition and it's only
effective for 10 per cent of the
patients, you'd never get it to
Seed funding from the CWSEI
made it possible for Dunham
and his co-instructors Nancy
Heckman and Eugenia Yu to
begin instituting some changes
and documenting their progress.
For the first time in the
department's history, Personal
Response Systems - or "clickers"
- were used in the course. "The
clickers told us what everybody
is thinking, not just the top
students or those who readily
volunteer their answers in a
large class," says Dunham, who
adds that further exploration of
certain concepts prompted by
clicker responses have yielded
some surprising revelations.
"I thought I had clear ideas
before about what areas students
could get confused in the
course," says Dunham. "But boy,
students get confused in ways I
never knew before."
The team of instructors has
conducted an overhaul of lab
activities to target concepts
that students routinely have
difficulty with. Some labs expose
students to difficult concepts
and encourage them to ponder
them through hands-on exercises
before showing up for a lecture.
Dunham also experimented by
offering part of his office hours
as a drop-in workshop for
small teams of students to work
on problems with minimum
guidance from him.
"It's difficult as an instructor
to see students get on the wrong
track, but ultimately they learn
more by examining a problem
from all sides, talking about
different approaches, and
working through it together,"
says Dunham.
Starting this fall, a graduate
student will begin analyzing pre-
and post-course surveys taken
last year to decipher students'
attitudes towards statistics.
Exam answers will also be
analyzed to document and build
data on student understanding of
statistical concepts.
"There are misconceptions
hard-wired into students minds,
from whatever source they
may have obtained them," says
Dunham, who is helping set
up a campus-wide forum for
instructors teaching a dozen
statistics courses in other
"By understanding the ways in
which students go wrong and the
underlying reasons, we increase
the odds of not only leading
students down the right track,
but showing them how to follow
sound logic and solve problems
in the future." 13
Celebrate Learning is a week-long initiative that will be held between
September 27 and October 5, 2008. The event seeks to honour and celebrate
teaching and learning experiences at UBC Vancouver and to highlight and
promote student learning and development opportunities.
Celebrate Learning will be a showcase of learning in its many forms. Some
of the major events during the week include: a special lecture by Dr. Carl
Wieman, Nobel Laureate; 2008 UBC Learning Conference; Climate Change
Symposium; and Speaker Series. The week kicks off on September 27th with
Day ofthe Long Boat at Jericho Beach and ends with Get Learn'dand Opera
Teasat the UBC Botanical Gardens on the October 4-5 weekend.
o    DES    <a    For a full listing and description of all events, visit:
jr   www.celebratelearning.ubc.ca
Flikr photo courtesy of UBC Library Graphics
*e Be<s>* 6     |     UBC    REPORTS     |     SEPTEMBER    4,    200!
Going into robot labour
Yarrow Fox, a second-year midwifery student at UBC, demonstrates a simulated birth using Noelle and baby - a new teaching innovation at UBC.
Baby Sophie has been born
more than once and her mother,
Noelle, can give birth in as little
as four minutes. Noelle and
baby are an interactive birthing
simulator team and the newest
teaching addition to UBC's
Division of Midwifery.
A life-sized interactive
computerized female mannequin,
Noelle comes with a birthing
baby and a larger simulation
newborn for neonatal
resuscitation. Together they
The Church in Joyous Obedience:
Biblical Expositions
Walter Brueggemann
host: John G.Stackhouse, Jr.   October 8 & 9, 2008
604.224.3245 or 1.800.663.8664
provide students from midwifery,
nursing and medicine with
an almost life-like labour
experience. Students get to
practice caring for the mother
and newborn before, during and
after the birth.
"One of the main concerns
of students working in the
area of maternity care is their
ability to provide safe care,"
says midwifery instructor Kim
Campbell. "The health care
provider is working with two
patients [the mother and the
baby] and the process may
take unpredictable turns. The
simulator allows students to
engage in normal and life-and-
death situations over and over
without consequence."
Campbell, who spearheaded
efforts to purchase the $24 000
Noelle, believes UBC is one of
the first Canadian universities to
adopt a birthing simulator. "We
have seen an increased interest
in using high-fidelity birthing
simulators and interprofessional
education over the past year,"
says Campbell.
One click on a menu screen
allows an instructor to program
for cervix dilation, a normal
birth or alternatively, a variety
of complications from a breech
birth to vacuum delivery or
C-Section. Instructors can
also change delivery speed,
blood pressure and heart and
breathing rate of both Noelle
and Sophie. Students can listen
for multiple maternal, fetal
and neonatal heart sounds,
administer medication through
the umbilicus, arm, or leg and
even converse with Noelle - an
assistant in another room speaks
into a microphone and responds
and reacts to a situation.
Both simulators can also have
increase their confidence in
working with obstetrical care
issues and have an enhanced
appreciation for both simulation
and interprofessional learning."
The Midwifery Education
Program at UBC is a four year
program designed to educate
these primary maternity care
providers for BC's health care
The simulator allows students to
engage in normal and life-and-
death situations over and over
without consequence.
IV started. Breathing tubes can
be inserted into their mouths.
Fake blood can be used to
mimic a postpartum hemorhage
and retained placenta can be
Noelle gives birth to a plastic
articulating baby, but after the
birth the team can switch to a
sophisticated larger newborn
that can change colours, from
normal pink to the concerning
blue of oxygen deficiency.
Sophie's vital signs will also
flash when she is hooked up to
"Feedback from students is
quite positive," says Campbell.
"The interprofessional
simulation workshops
demonstrate that students
system. Sixty per cent of the
program involves education
in the direct realm of practice.
Over the course of their clinical
exposure, midwifery students
will spend 58 weeks with
midwife instructors and 12
weeks with physician and other
health professional instructors.
The program received $100
000 in funding from the BC
Academic Health Council's
Practice Education Innovation
Fund to develop a maternity
care simulation laboratory.
The purpose of the laboratory
is to provide maternity care
scenarios and skill development
so students begin their clinical
placements better prepared to
engage in clinical practice. 13 UBC    REPORTS     |     SEPTEMBER    4,    2008     |     7
Blogging at UBC - first
step towards a global
standard in dental care
Dare to compare how other
universities teach dentistry? As
the demand for more trained
professionals increases and as
more students train abroad to
receive their dentistry degrees
and return home to practice,
UBC's Faculty of Dentistry
recognizes the need to establish
a global standard of dental care
to bridge international training
"We want to increase the
understanding of various
approaches to dental treatment
in different parts of the world
and why this impacts on
professional recognition between
countries," says Karen Gardner,
assistant clinical professor in
UBC's Faculty of Dentistry.
In an initial effort to establish
this global standard, UBC's
Faculty of Dentistry is first in
the world to offer its students
a global learning experience
with the launch of the
International Peer Review (IPR)
teaching initiative - a teaching
collaboration with four other
universities from around the
world by using a blog format.
UBC's newly launched
IPR in blog format invites
dentistry students from UBC,
the University of Birmingham,
UK, University of California
San Francisco, US, University
of Melbourne, AU and the
University of Saskatchewan,
CA, to share notes on common
dentistry practices.
"It is a first step in a dialogue
to address differences in
international professional dental
education - with significant
potential," says Gardner. "It is a
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UBC's Faculty of Dentistry's International Peer Review in blog format
connects dentistry students from across the globe and allows them to
learn from each other by sharing different approaches to the similar
great teaching tool to train our
future dentists."
Gardner, who leads the
initiative, pairs interested
dentistry students from the
different universities. The paired
students write an introductory
letter describing their work and
invite each other to view pictures
and post comments about the
techniques used and then provide
feedback based on skills taught
at their institution.
IPR in blog format allows
dental students to recognize
differences in dental treatment
and defend their conclusions
in an evidence-based format.
Students gain confidence in their
education and become aware of
different approaches to the same
problems as well as the rationale
behind these approaches.
Students also learn to appreciate
why a procedure may be done
differently in another country.
"Requirements for a successful
dentist in one area will differ
from the requirements for
a successful dentist in other
areas," says Gardner. "What
we recognize is that dentists
are localized specialists. For
example, a common practice
for a dentist in one region of
the world may be to extract a
tooth because of a potentially
higher risk for infection. In other
regions however, a dentist may
practice preserving the tooth by
filling cavities, performing a root
canal or re-mineralizing because
the risk for infection can be
better managed."
Gardiner adds that IPR will
also help Canadian dental
students who train abroad
understand where differences
in their training may occur and
why gap training of up to two
years may be required to fulfill
the practice standards of another
"As dental professionals work
more globally an international
standard in dental education
needs to be established as
a baseline to understand
and measure education and
qualifications," says Gardner.
"This model shares practices.
The hope is that as it continues
to grow, eventually there will
be convergence which will lead
toward a standards of care
across the globe." 13
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Apply online @ www.food.ubc.ca or
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* Save 5% with the Dining a la UBCcard Campus Dining Plan and Residence Meal
Plans at ali UBC Food Services retail locations except Sage Bistro and Catering
Campus Retail Locations
Arts 200 - Buchanan Lounge
Bam Coffee Shop - Main Mall
Caffe Perugia - Lift Sciences Centre
Edibles - Lower Level Scarfe Building
IRC - IRC Student Lounge
Ike's CafiS - Irving K. Barber Learning Centre
Padfic Spirit Place-SUB
-A&.W, Koya Japan, ManchuWok& Subway
Pond CafiS - Ponderosa Centre
Reboot-ICICS, Main Mall
Starbucks Coffee - Fred Kaiser & SU B
Steamies - UBC Bookstore
Tim Hortons - Trek & Forest Sciences
Trek Express - David Lam Centre
-TrekDeli, Pizza Pizza&Tim Hortons
99 Chairs-Main Mall
Sage Bistro -
University Centre
For hours and locations, visit www.food.ubc.ca
Totem & Place Vanier Dining Rooms
What can you expect when you come for a meal in the dining rooms?
You'll find delectable items like grilled chicken foccacia sandwiches, tarragon chicken
pizza, mandarin mu shu pork wraps, Asian rice bowls, and traditional fare-
just like eating at home!
Both Totem Park and Place Vanier offer freshly-prepared soups, well-stocked salad
bars, made-to-order sandwiches and full service grills to satisfy your cravings!
We look forward to seeing you!
The residence dining rooms are open to the public from September to April:
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7:15am - 7:30pm M-Th 5:30pm - 11:30pm, 7 days/week
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8:00am - y.oopm
Serving locally roasted Fair Trade
Organic Shade Grown Coffee at
all UBC Food Services Locations
J Math Centre
Non-credit courses designed to help UBC students
meet the challenge of first-year math. Classes are
user-friendly and offer individual attention.
MATH 001: Algebra
- starts Sep 2 or 8
STAT 001: Statistics Part 1
- starts Sep 23
MATH 003: Differential Calculus Part 1
-starts Oct 7
Register now!
or 604-822-9564
IS Continuing Studies
yj   Math Centre UBC    REPORTS     |     SEPTEMBER    4,
W\ Faculty of Medicine
wj Through knowledge, creating health
The Faculty of Medicine, Dean's Office, invites applications /
nominations for the position of Assistant Dean, MD Undergraduate
Education, Vancouver Fraser Medical Program.  The position is
part-time and is available immediately.
The incumbent will report to the Associate Dean, MD Undergraduate
Education, Curriculum & VFMP, and through the Associate Dean to the
Senior Associate Dean Education, and is accountable to the Dean of
Medicine.  Under the direction of the Associate Dean, the Assistant
Dean will provide operational leadership for MD undergraduate
education in the Vancouver-Fraser Medical Program (VFMP).
Responsibilities include: ensure  delivery of a quality educational
experience that meets accreditation standards; contribute to the
planning and implementation of expansion at the VFMP site, especially
to build further capacity in clinical education; develop and monitor the
budget for the VFMP; create an environment where support and
recognition is provided for faculty and staff in the VFMP; foster good
working relationships with the student body; plan and implement
innovations to foster efficiency and sustainability ofthe program.  He /
she will also participate in strategic planning for the overall MD
Undergraduate program.
A more detailed position description is available in the Associate Dean's
Office for those who wish to review it.  Please enquire at email address
Faculty of Medicine | Dean's Office
Applications, accompanied by a
detailed curriculum vitae and names |
of three references, should be
directed to:
Dr. Angela Towle
Associate Dean, MD
Undergraduate Education
c/o Joan Gray
Faculty of Medicine
317- 2194 Health Sciences Mall
Vancouver, BC V6T 1Z3
Email :
searches@medd.med.ubc.ca with
Assistant Dean VFMP in the
subject line.
Applications will be reviewed
commencing October l, 2008 until
the position is filled.
The University of British Columbia is
Canada's third largest university and
consistently ranks among the 40 best
universities in the world. Primarily
situated in Vancouver, UBC is a
research-intensive university and has
an economic impact of $4 billion to the
provincial economy.
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
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
Les Fiducies
CAD $46,000 per year to a maximum of two years plus a
$6000 allowance for research-related expenses such as
Applicants must complete a PhD at a recognized
university prior to commencing the fellowship and have
no current affiliation with The University of British
Submit applications directly to UBC departments.
Each department sets its own submission deadline.
A maximum of two nominees from each department are
submitted to the Faculty of Graduate Studies in November.
Guidelines & Applications: www.grad.ubc.ca/awards
Peter Wall Institute for Advanced Studies
MARCH 1, 2009
Major Thematic Grant, Letter of Intent
The Major Thematic Grant provides funding of up to
$500,000 over a three to five-year period to a broad
interdisciplinary team of UBC and external scholars to
research a new area of basic research. It is expected
that UBC will become a centre for research on the topic.
Applicants for a Major Thematic Grant must first have
applied for and held a successful Peter Wall Exploratory
Workshop within the previous two years. There is at
present one project being funded.
For more information, please visit our website at
www.pwias.ubc.ca or call us at (604) 822-4782.
The Google factor:
Does it help or harm
academic research?
Call it the Google gaggle.
"In my workshops, I usually
start by asking how many
people are using Google for their
research. Almost always I get at
least 70 per cent," says Eugene
Barsky, a reference librarian
with UBC Library's Science and
Engineering division.
Barsky's experience is echoed
by a recent study in The Journal
of Academic Librarianship.
It involved observing eight
post-doctoral researchers at
three universities in Stockholm,
Lhe results may strike fear
- or at least concern - in the
hearts of academic librarians.
Findings indicated that "most
of the researchers used Google
for everything" and "they
were confident that they could
manage on their own." Perhaps
most ominously, the researchers
"had very little contact with
the library, and little knowledge
about the value librarian
competence could add."
"Google offers the most well-
known one-stop shopping venue
that most people are accustomed
to using," says Jo Anne Newyear-
Ramirez, Associate University
Librarian for Collections and
Scholarly Communication at
UBC Library.
However, Google may
just highlight the tip of the
information iceberg. "Even
the best search engines can
access only about 25 per cent
of the available information on
the Internet," adds Newyear-
Ramirez. "Lherefore 75 per
cent of the information is
excluded. Lhat 'invisible Web'
includes licensed, subject-specific
resources the Library subscribes
"Lhe value the Library has is,
in part, providing access to these
special resources and helping
students and faculty develop
Web-searching skills."
Dean Giustini, a reference
librarian at UBC's Biomedical
Branch Library, acknowledges
the search tool's impact. "Google
has captured the attention of a
generation of university students,
from undergraduates to post-
docs who appreciate the range
of services the search giant
offers, its speed and seemingly
intuitive way of providing what
users want." (Giustini also runs
a blog about Google Scholar,
Google's scholarly search engine,
at http://weblogs.elearning.ubc.
Chats with UBC Library
users add credence to these
views. Rachel Lseng, a UBC
forestry undergraduate, says
she uses Google to research
information online due to its
ease of use. Patrick Conner, an
undergraduate physics student,
also lauds the ubiquitous search
engine. "It gives you a lot of
information quickly."
Not everyone is wedded to
Google. Matthew Mellamphy,
a UBC undergraduate history
student, notes that he uses
research databases available
via the Library website (www.
library.ubc.ca) for his studies.
He'll use Google, for example,
if he has to find an answer to
a nagging question, such as
a specific historical date. He
sometimes uses Google Scholar
as well.
Lhe students all agree that
they would like additional
training in using Library
resources. "I would say most
students are confused by what
post-secondary level research
entails," says Newyear-Ramirez,
noting that there's no single
search engine that can find
everything at UBC Library.
"How do you narrow down
a topic or select one or two
databases out of the 200 UBC
Lhe good news is that there's
plenty of help. Barsky, for
example, helps run a workshop
entitled "Mastering Google
for Science and Engineering,"
which has waiting lists due
to its popularity. Lhe session
showcases Google, but also
compares it with other databases
offered by UBC Library, "which
makes a huge difference in
how [the students] view their
Giustini, meanwhile, is also
busy working with students.
"Every single day I work at
it. I blog. I write. I present at
conferences. I try to speak to
small groups. I also maintain
a wiki to help other health
librarians in their efforts
at teaching better research
methods Courses, workshops
and teaching sessions are
going on all the time [at UBC
Library]," he says.
PULL: "Even the best search
engines can access only about
25 per cent of the available
information on the Internet." 13
B.C. residents get U BC Library cards
As part of UBC's Centenary celebrations, UBC Library is offering B.C. residents a free community
borrower card (a $40 value) through December 2008.
Lhis special offer is UBC Library's way of thanking the community for its support of the University
throughout its 100-year journey. It's also a gesture to celebrate the opening of the Irving K. Barber
Learning Centre (www.ikebarberlearningcentre.ubc.ca), a world-class facility at the heart of UBC
Vancouver's campus supporting students, researchers and programs for lifelong learning.
Lhe community borrower card allows you to borrow books in person from any UBC Library
branch. Some limits on types of materials and number of borrowed items apply. Due to licensing
restrictions, the community card does not provide access to UBC's online databases and journals.
Lo obtain the free community card, apply in person at the Irving K. Barber Learning Centre or
Walter C. Koerner Library on the UBC Vancouver campus; at UBC Okanagan Library in Kelowna; or
at the UBC Library at Robson Square. You can also use the online application form, found at www.
When applying, you will need to present one piece of government-issued photo ID and proof of
your current B.C. address.
Lhe free cards expire on December 31, 2008. UBC    REPORTS     |     SEPTEMBER    4,
Monies Plus
Civil Engineering student Manuel Jacinto helped build non-profit townhouses for Habitat for Humanity during
2008 Reading Week.
Aspiring planners and
engineers bridge divide
Aspiring civil engineers and
community planners at UBC are
getting a head start in the art of
cross-disciplinary collaboration
thanks to a unique arrangement
that brings together graduate,
undergraduate and real-world
"Civil engineers and
planners typically work
together as professionals
and often face challenges in
communicating ideas from
different perspectives," says
Susan Nesbit, instructor of
Civil 202, a required course for
approximately 100 second-year
undergraduate students. "But
there's virtually been no linkage
between the two professions at
the educational level."
Last year, Nesbit and Margo
Fryer, an assistant professor in
the School of Community and
Regional Planning (SCARP),
synchronized activities in their
respective courses and created
a one-of-a-kind learning
experience. Graduate students
in Fryer's course served as
mentors to Nesbit's teams of
undergraduate civil engineering
students. Each team chose a nonprofit organization in the Metro
Vancouver Area and carried
out projects during Reading
Week designed to further their
understanding of social and
environmental sustainability.
"Lhe activities are intended
to show our students how
to work with organizations
and individuals from diverse
cultures," says Fryer, who is also
founding director of the UBC
Community Learning Initiative,
a university-wide effort to help
faculty and students incorporate
community service-learning in
learning activities.
Civil engineering student
Jeffrey Wong helped build
cold frames for the YWCA
rooftop garden, which provides
vegetables to low-income
families living in Vancouver's
Downtown Eastside. Cold
frames serve as miniature
greenhouses that allow seedlings
to germinate in late winter for
transplanting in early spring.
Wong's team opted for boiled
linseed oil instead of synthetic
chemicals for wood treatment,
and recycled windows and
shower doors for glass panels.
"I witnessed the contribution
of each team member and
learned the complexity of
social issues," says Wong.
"Lhis experience has been an
invaluable asset in understanding
my role as an engineer, and what
I can contribute as a citizen to
my community."
"We all have stereotypical
ideas of particular professions,"
says Fryer. "By bringing students
from these two professions
together, we hope they'd get past
those superficial impressions and
learn to bridge different cultures
and perspectives."
SCARP graduate student
Asuka Yoshioka led a group of
eight engineering students and
helped build non-profit housing
in Burnaby, B.C. for Habitat
for Humanity. "Lhe experience
reinforced the ideas I have
of a career in planning," says
"As professional planners,
we'll be working with people
who have different expertise
and perspectives, and it's our
job to ensure that we are all
communicating and working
together to achieve the common
goal. Lhis course gave me firsthand experience of what it's like
to work with people with very
different approaches."
Fryer and Nesbit will be
offering their courses jointly
again this fall but not limiting
community service-learning
projects only to Reading Week.
"We've heard from engineering
students that they'd like to be
involved in the assessment and
design of the projects," says
Fryer. "We also heard from
our community partners - all
of whom have signed on to
participate again this year - that
they'd like more flexibility in
the length of time students are
Lhe key to a meaningful
community service-learning
experience, say Nesbit and
Fryer, lies in the reflection.
"Lhat's where students make
the connection between what
they're learning in class with
what they're doing in the field,"
says Nesbit, who places a high
emphasis - 15 per cent, to be
exact - on students' journals for
their final grades.
For the graduate students,
who are charged with providing
feedback to their undergraduate
teammates and receive
feedback from Fryer on their
own journals, the process also
develops mentoring skills and
provides undergraduate students
with a level of personal attention
atypical in a large introductory
"Being a mentor was also
incredibly rewarding," says
Yoshioka. " When I did my
undergraduate degree, I often felt
like just a student number in the
masses. I think the engineering
students appreciated the time
and effort we put into replying
to each student, and reading
and replying to the engineering
students' journals was a real
pleasure for us as well." 13
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iTi^ruirk	 io     I     UBC    REPORTS     |     SEPTEMBER    4,
Faculty of
Graduate Studies
Congratulations to our
Killam Postdoctoral Fellows
The University of British Columbia's Killam Postdoctoral Research Fellowships attract the
brightest scholars from around the world who have recently completed their doctoral degrees at a
university other than UBC. Established by Dorothy Killam in memory of her husband, candidates
are nominated by UBC departments for the competition in the fall. The Faculty of Graduate
Studies is proud to honour this year's recipients and their UBC supervisors.
New Killam Postdoctoral
Research Fellows
James Day, Physics & Astronomy
with Dr. Doug Bonn
GinaGalli, Land & Food Systems
with Dr. Anthony Farrell
Karen Lai, Geography
with Dr. Jamie Peck
Peter Loewen, Political Science
with Dr. Paul Quirk
Benjamin Marlin, Computer Science
with Dr. Kevin Murphy
Itay Mayrose, Zoology
with Dr. Sarah Otto
Evan Risko, Psychology
with Dr. Alan Kingstone
Michael Botros Shenouda,
Electrical & Computer Engineering
Continuing Killam Postdoctoral
Research Fellows
Rose Lorien Andrew, Botany
with Dr. Loren H. Rieseberg
Timothy Clark, Land & Food Systems
with Dr. Anthony Farrell
Stephanie Lynn Hazlitt, Forestry
with Dr. Peter Arcese
Jelena Obradovic,
Human Early Learning Partnership
with Dr. W. Thomas Boyce
Owen Summerscales, Chemistry
with Dr. Michael Fryzuk
David Walsh, Microbiology & Immunology
with Dr. Steven Hallam
Les Fiducies
September 21 - 28th, 2008
Saturday, September 27, 2008
Wesbrook Place Neighbourhood
Join us for a Parks Dedication Ceremony at 2:00 pm
to honour Nobel Laureates Professor Emeritus
Har Gobind Khorana & the late Professor Michael Smith
Participate in a Community Bike Ride at 1:00 pm
Begins at Flag Pole Plaza and explores
the UBC Campus en route to Michael Smith Park
Festivities include Live Music, BBQ and Games at 2:30 pm
Everyone is welcome. This is a free event celebrating UBC's
commitment to sustainability and building community.
For further information, please call 604.822.6400 or
info.universitytown@ubcca or www.maps.ubc.ca
planning.ubc.ca      universitytown.ubc.ca
.espanol      •••|=itl^
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Non-credit conversational courses in 17 languages
are held at the main Point Grey and UBC Robson
Square campuses.
Courses start September 20.
languages.ubc.ca/ubcr or 604-822-0800
jl| Continuing Studies
1%)   Languages, Cultures & Travel
Canada's first pharmacy for women opens next month thanks to a UBC community service learning project.
A friendly neighborhood
drugstore: UBC students design
a pharmacy for women in
Canada's toughest neighborhood
Call it a paradox of the
Downtown Eastside.
The eight-block area has more
pharmacies per capita than any
other Vancouver neighborhood,
but many female residents still
leave to get their prescriptions
According to Magali Bailey, a
UBC School of Architecture and
Landscape Architecture (SALA)
graduate student, it boils down
to a problem of design. The
prescription, says Bailey and
others from the neighborhood,
is Canada's first social enterprise
pharmacy for women, which
opens its doors next month
thanks to the design and
fundraising efforts of 13 UBC
"Most area pharmacies are
better at dispensing methadone
than health information, because
that is how they have been
designed," says Bailey, noting
that the jump in pharmacies
coincided with the city's heroin-
replacement program launched
in 1997.
With barred windows and
pharmacists behind plexiglass,
Downtown Eastside (DTES)
pharmacies are worlds away
from London Drugs or Shoppers.
Most are small and provide little
privacy to discuss health issues, a
major drawback as pharmacists
are many residents' primary
- and sometimes only - link to
the health care system.
"Many residents, especially
women, looking for health
information say they find
existing pharmacies to be
increasingly inhospitable," says
Bailey, who has been studying
DTES pharmacies since 2007,
when her professor Inge Roecker
was approached by the City of
Vancouver and the Vancouver
Women's Health Collective
(VWHC) to design a centre for
women's health and wellness.
The result is Lu's Pharmacy
for Women, a culmination of
SALA's first community service
learning (CSL) initiative. CSL
is a teaching model that offers
students opportunities for civic
engagement through volunteer
service and academic work.
UBC's goal is to engage 10 per
cent of the university's students
in CSL each year.
Named after 80-year-old
VWHC volunteer Lucette
Hanson, Lu's is scheduled to
open in October at 29 Hastings
St. at Carroll in the 100-year-
old storefront of a single room
occupancy (SRO) hotel owned
by Vancouver's Central City
Foundation. Renovated largely
with sustainable and recycled
materials, the 3,000-square-foot
facility will be operated by the
VWHC as a social enterprise,
meaning the profits from the
pharmacy will fund the nonprofit organization's social
"Lu's will provide a safe,
respectful environment for
women residing in the
Downtown Eastside and other
women in the Vancouver," says
Sonya Parmar of VWHC. "UBC
Architecture's contribution to the
project has been immense, from
their beautiful design to
fundraising and building support
for its construction."
Women will be able to have
their prescriptions filled and
get advice from a pharmacist,
access primary care from a
nurse practitioner, buy over-the-
counter products, access health
information and workshops,
and use the space to meet. Later
this year, a second phase will
open, which will house other
health care services, including a
"The biggest challenge was
designing a space that was secure
but welcoming," says Bailey,
noting many women living on
the DTES are at risk of violence
from men, and pharmaceuticals
are often targeted for theft due
to street value.
To achieve this balance, a
theme of cherry blossoms runs
through Lu's, from its security
gate to its interior of reclaimed
wood (donated by UBC's Wood
Sciences Centre), which has
been dyed pink with beet juice.
"Cherry blossoms bloom every
spring in Vancouver and are a
Japanese symbol of renewal,"
says Bailey. "They are also
feminine, which help to make it
a 'gendered space.'"
Roecker says the project has
been an invaluable learning
experience for her students.
"They now have hands-on,
practical experience working
with multiple stakeholders,
contractors, city building
permits, granting agencies
and donors," she says, noting
the students raised $115,000
to make the project a reality,
including a $50,000 Vancity
green building grant and
$25,000 from the City of
Vancouver. "These are things
architecture firms are going to
really notice when they begin
their professional careers."
"It has been really satisfying,
first to have our ideas embraced,
and now to have what we
dreamed up actually built," says
Bailey. "Design really shouldn't
be seen as an elite thing. Good
design should be for everyone."
To see a short video clip of
Bailey discussing Lu's, visit www.
To learn more about DTES Rx,
UBC students' research on DTES
pharmacies, visit www.lulu.com.
To donate to the project, visit:
project/pharmacy. 13 UBC    REPORTS     |     SEPTEMBER    4,
Undergrad study explores the evolution of "girl power" and its messages for young girls.
The rise of girl power
The question of girl power
for a sociology study earned
UBC student Katherine Lyon
newfound confidence as a
scholar and a spot in a leading
graduate program.
Lyon credits her
undergraduate honours thesis
on the Spice Girls and Pussycat
Dolls for her academic readiness.
Slated to receive her BA Honours
from UBC in November, Lyon
has already moved to the
University of Toronto to begin
her MA in sociology and women
and gender studies.
What got her there, she
says, was her fourth-year
independent research project, a
37-page thesis titled Empowering
Representations of Femininity?:
Girl Power, Sexuality and
Physical Appearance in Popular
Western Music.
Lyon compared two recording
successes, the Spice Girls and the
Pussycat Dolls, a burlesque act
turned music and performance
group. She analyzed lyrics,
music videos, photos and media
coverage, and in the case of
the Spice Girls, read through
numerous academic studies.
Lyon traced the arc of
commercialized "girl power"
from the mid 1990s when the
Spice Girls first appeared to the
2005 rise of the Pussycat Dolls.
She found a stark difference
in how the two groups depict
female strength. While the Spice
Girls sing about harmony and
working together, the Pussycat
Dolls emphasize hierarchy and
The in-your-face sexuality
of the Pussycat Dolls provokes
reactions from "they're
disgusting to they're cool and in
control," says Lyon, who prefers
not to dismiss or demonize the
"In my study, I don't judge
who's good or who's bad. For
example, the Pussycat Dolls have
some positive messages about
taking control," she says, adding,
"I don't want to contribute to
the sentencing and policing of
what girls can do."
Her paper points out that
corporate interests - mostly
male-dominated - continue to
present limited and stereotypical
ideals of beauty. "These images
serve to create insecurities in
young women, which has been
a fundamental part of our
society and consumption-based
Lyon had the opportunity to
discuss her findings with 100
professors, peers and community
members at a panel on
undergraduate research during
the 35th anniversary celebrations
for the UBC Centre for Women's
and Gender Studies in the spring.
As well, Lyon presented
her research at the UBC
Multidisciplinary Undergraduate
Research Conference earlier this
year. She was selected as one
of seven winners for her oral
At the U of T, Lyon will build
on this UBC foundation. She
plans to investigate other facets
within girl studies, particularly
among "tweens," female
preadolescents roughly between
the ages of 8 and 12 years.
"This is an under-researched
area since many previous
studies have treated youth as
a gender-neutral experience "
says Lyon, who will explore
how girls navigate the onslaught
of contradictory images and
messages from media and society.
"It's a very confusing time
for young women with all
the different pressures and
roles they're expected to fill as
students, daughters and friends,
among other things," observes
Lyon. "It's also a challenging
time when girls begin to develop
more mature and complicated
conceptions of themselves."
Her own childhood experience
as a Spice Girls fan was one
of the reasons Lyon wanted to
peel back some of the layers
informing popular culture.
"I thought the whole idea of
girl power was kind of neat,"
says Lyon. "I felt empowered
and didn't think to question the
concept at the time. Looking
back, I am now interested in
analyzing the notion of girl
power and considering its
underlying ideologies."
What helped Lyon arrive at
these insights were the one-on-
one discussions with her thesis
supervisor, Amy Hanser, an
assistant professor in the Dept.
of Sociology.
"Doing numerous thesis drafts
with her feedback was really
valuable since it forced me to
revisit and think through my
ideas," says Lyon.
Through the thesis process,
students must conceive of
a research question, decide
how to approach it, do some
independent research - which
can involve interviews or other
original data gathering - and put
it all together in a final analysis.
The Sociology Dept. typically
enrolls about 80 students in
fourth-year with eight to ten
opting for the honours program.
Hanser has supervised
four senior honours research
projects since her arrival at
UBC in 2005. Students' topics
range from young men's views
on metrosexuality to how
newspapers report on disease
and illness.
Hanser says the benefits are
enormous for those students
willing to stretch themselves
"and take on what mature
scholars do on a regular basis."
"I have seen some very
impressive work," says Hanser,
"that moves well beyond the
kind of synthesis work that
courses often require to some
very original and critical
analysis." 13
UBC Vancouver's Consideration
to Apply for Membership in the
NCAA Division II
The University of British Columbia is undertaking
a consultation with the campus community
and other key stakeholders regarding UBC
Vancouver's consideration of membership in
the NCAA Division II, a division ofthe National
Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA).
Date: September 29,4-7 pm Multi-Purpose Room,
Liu Institute, 6476 NW Marine Drive, UBC Campus
Date: October 14,6-9 pm Arbutus Room, Ponderosa
Centre, 2071 West Mall, UBC Campus
Date: October 15,4- 7 pm Arbutus Room, Ponderosa
Centre, 2071 West Mall, UBC Campus
UBC Co-Chairs, NCAA Division II Review Group:
Marie Earl, AVP Alumni &
Executive Director, UBC
Alumni Association
Dan Muzyka, Dean,
Sauder School of Business
Correspondence and Enquiries:
Don Wells, c/o NCAA Division II Review Group
6251 Cecil Green Park Road
Vancouver, BCV6T1Z1
Tel: 604.822.6979
Fax: 604.822.8928
Email: ncaainfo@interchange.ubc.ca
Web: www.students.ubc.ca/ncaa
Writing Centre
Academic Development
• preparation for university writing and the LPI
• grammar and writing with style
• writing for graduate students
Professional Development
• report and business writing
• copywriting and copy editing
Personal and Creative Writing
• short fiction, poetry and novel workshops
• journal writing and autobiography
Customized business and technical writing workshops
also available.
Register now! Courses start in September.
writingcentre.ubc.ca/ur or 604-822-9564
S§£] Continuing Studies
V  Writing Centre
at Irving K. Barber Learning Centre
www.food.ubc.ca 12     |     UBC    REPORTS     |     SEPTEMBER    4,    200!
Coming to your iPod this fall: UBC joins iTunes U
UBC-generated audio and
video are now just an iTunes
download away, thanks to a new
partnership between UBC and
Apple Inc.
UBC is one of three Canadian
universities to join iTunes U,
which puts the power of Apple's
popular iTunes platform to
work for top global universities.
iTunes U enables users to easily
search, download, and play its
more than 50,000 educational
materials, just as they would
iTunes' music, movies, and TV
Lectures by UBC's Nobel
Prize-winning educator Carl
Wieman and microfinance
guru Muhammed Yunis, a UBC
honorary degree recipient, and
video messages by UBC student
Olympians and Paralympics, are
examples of initial offerings at
UBC iTunes U (www.itunes.ubc.
In addition to centralizing
and improving access to UBC
web content, Alfred Hermida of
the UBC School of Journalism
says UBC iTunes U is part of an
ongoing campus-wide strategy
to enhance teaching and learning
at UBC.
"If you are a student, you
probably don't know how to
find UBC web content because
it's spread across university
websites," says Hermida, whose
unit contributed initial materials
along with the Faculty of Land
and Food Systems, Public Affairs
and the Office of Learning
"We know students use
iTunes, so this collects what
UBC has and takes it to their
environment," says Hermida,
who helped to pioneer the British
Broadcasting Corporation's
(BBC) news website as a
journalist before joining UBC in
According to Mike Ko,
manager of UBC Public Affairs'
web team, UBC iTunes U
responds to changing learning
trends. "Whether you are
a student, an alumnus or a
lifelong learner, people want
to download information and
consume it when convenient on
their computers, portable mp3
players and cell phones," he says.
For example, Hermida says,
a student can listen to course
materials on an iPod at the gym.
An alumnus can watch a sold-
out campus event on an iPhone
during their morning commute.
"You could be learning as you
walk down the street," he says.
Hermida says iTunes U has the
potential to enhance teaching.
"Studies show that online
content can help to improve
the educational experience, but
it depends on how you use it.
Joining this initiative puts UBC
professors at the forefront of
new teaching methods," he says,
noting that resources, including
best practices, will be available
to instructors.
To see two short video clips of
Hermida discussing UBC iTunes
U, visit: visit: www.publicaffairs.
An introduction to iTunes U
UBC iTunes U, which centralizes and improves access to UBC web content, is part of a strategy to enhance teaching and learning.
Digital Life: Here is a quick look at new teaching and learning technologies at UBC this fall.
Digital Storytelling
Last year, Land and Food Systems (LFS) Prof. Cathleen Nichols asked students to create short digital stories of their class experiences.
The results were compelling tales of triumphs and challenges. "Students said it enhanced their education and overall experience just to
take that time to reflect on what they learned and how they've grown," says Duncan McHugh of the LFS Learning Centre. "It is also a
crash course in multimedia literacy, with students learning such software as iMovie and Audacity."
To see a digital story, visit: http://blogs.landfood.ubc.ca/learningcentre/2008/05/02/digital-stories/.
Citizen journalism
LFS students are partnering with UBC School of Journalism and the Now Public citizen journalism organization to tackle hot
button issues through podcasts and blogs. "Our students want to engage with the public on issues; this program helps to give them
the communications skills," says McHugh. "Many of our students tend go on to work with the public through NGOs and other
organizations, so it's important for them to have experience in these public forums."
Class Blogging
UBC's most ambitious blog project this year will see an entire cohort of 100 students in the LFS Global Resources System (GRS)
Program create their own blogs. Many will be studying food security through international placements and exchanges, and this project
is designed to help them stay in touch. "The goal is to connect GRS students, alumni and staff from all over the world," says recent LFS
graduate Mary Ann Keeting, who is helping to lead the project. "It is a way to keep a professional record of your experiences, and connect
with family, friends and the public."
To see Keeting's blog, which details her experiences in Zambia and Kenya, visit: http://blogs.landfood.ubc.ca/maryann/
If you are looking for healthy food options in Vancouver neighborhoods, visit a Google Map created by LFS students. "Students are
using geo-location - digitally tagging locations in Google Maps or with global positioning systems (GPS) - to enhance their research,"
says McHugh. "It really helps people to visualize what you are doing."
To see a Google Map tagged by UBC students, visit: http://tinyurl.com/agsc250foodmap.
Want people to come to your party?
Then get your event into the new online UBCevents Calendar.
Academic events. Cultural Events. Recreational events.
Club events. UBCevents is the place to share and discover
everything great that's happening at UBC.
Your events not yet in UBCevents? You can sign up by
contacting: info.events@ubc.ca to sign up.
'"l *l<*
Join us September 21st to 28th for the first annual UBC Culture Fest!
A legacy ofthe 2008 Centenary, UBC Culture Fest 100 invites the community to
share in the diverse cultural activities that UBC has to offer.
Drop by Culture Fest for BBQ's, Wine Tours, Theatre, Opera, Family bike rides and
much more. With live music and lots of free events, there's something for everyone.
Culture Fest also includes:
Wesbrook Place Nobel Laureate Parks Dedication Ceremony
to honour Nobel Laureates
Professor Emeritus Har Gobind Khorana
and UBC Professor Michael Smith
Saturday, September 27 @ 2:00 pm
Michael Smith Park, Wesbrook Place
(access is from Birney Ave- southeast of 16th Ave and Wesbrook)
For more information on all these events and more visit:


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