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UBC Reports May 3, 2007

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VOLUME   53   I   NUMBER   5   I   MAY   3,   2007
Aspiring doctor Brad Ashman, who graduates this May, has thrown himself into varsity athletics, academics and community volunteering while at UBC.
Science grad helped take UBC to World Series
By Basil Waugh
Some athletes are known for outlandish
contracts and even worse behaviour, but
graduating UBC baseball pitcher Brad
Ashman is an athlete on whom the mantle
of role model actually fits.
In addition to helping UBC clinch its
first World Series appearance in the U.S.-
based NAIA, the 23-year-old aspiring
doctor has thrown himself into UBC's
Learning Exchange community service
learning programs, co-ordinating after-
school programs for inner city schools and
volunteering at a local hospice for people
living with HIV/AIDS.
"I've tried to make a positive impact
on the people I've volunteered with, but
they've had just as positive an impact on
me," says the six-foot-seven, Trail, B.C.
product. "Coming from a small town,
volunteering opened my eyes to different
people and cultures and made me a more
well-rounded person."
Ashman has been a regular volunteer
with I'm Going To UBC, a program
that pairs varsity athletes with inner city
kids for campus tours, sports clinics and
Thunderbirds games, with the ultimate
goal of increasing the accessibility of post-
secondary education to children who may
think it is beyond their grasp.
Breaking the stereotype of varsity
athletes who play sports at the expense
of their education, Ashman has also been
a heavy-hitter in the Faculty of Science,
where he has specialized in biology. He
received several scholarships and for four
consecutive years was recognized as an
Academic All-Canadian for maintaining
an average grade of 80 per cent or higher.
Ashman, who throws left-handed, has
applied to medical schools in B.C. and
Alberta, says his UBC experience will help
him make the transition from bullpen to
operating room.
"Working with patients with serious
physical and mental conditions at the
hospice, explaining concepts that kids
might not understand in the reading
programs, and playing a key role on a high-
performance team was great preparation
for medical school," says Ashman.
Aside from the World Series, Ashman's
varsity baseball highlights include
representing Canada in the 2004 World
University Games in Taiwan, traveling
throughout the U.S. with his teammates and
coaches and four seasons of incremental
improvements, culminating with a
program-best fourth place in 2006. Ashman
broke T-Bird pitching records for most
starts, appearances and innings in a season.
Ashman's advice to incoming students?
As far as experiences go, the more the
"My advice is to get involved, manage
your time and have fun," he says. "A
complete education is about more than
just good grades and going to class. I
love learning, but I also love the thrill
of competition and contact with the
community - it's been great to satisfy all
those interests and grow as a person." 13
• » My best UBC memories:
"What I'll remember most about my time
at UBC is all the relationships I've made
through varsity sports, volunteering and
classes," says Ashman. "I didn't know
many people when I arrived at UBC, but
I'll be keeping in touch with some of these
people my whole life."
For complete comments from this graduate, check
out the audio clip at: www.publicaffairs.ubc.ca/
Special Congregation Issue
This UBC Reports profiles just a handful of the more than 6,500 undergraduate and graduate students who will receive their degrees
at Congregation ceremonies from May 23-30 in Vancouver, and June 8 in Kelowna. They join almost 250,000 UBC alumni worldwide.
Complementing each story, we are pleased to offer, for the first time in our online edition, the chance to hear these graduates - via
audio clips - share what they'll remember most about their university. To listen to the clips, visit www.publicaffairs.ubc.ca/ubcreports.
For more information about graduation, visit: www.graduation.ubc.ca www.graduation.ubc.ca. 2     |     UBC    REPORTS     |     MAY   3,    2007
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UBC Reports Earns GOLD for Best Newspaper
The Canadian Council for the Advancement of
Education (CCAE), which comprises members
from 140 institutions across Canada, has awarded
UBC Reports the Gold in the best newspaper
category in its 2007 awards program. The judges
cited "great story ideas," "excellent writing," and
"very engaging and fun" photography. At least 28
UBC Reports stories were also picked up by external media outlets in the past year.
The annual awards program also recognized the
International Student Initiaive (Gold for best student recruitment viewbook); Alumni Affairs (Gold
for the re-design of its web site), and; Telestudios
photographer Martin Dee (Silver for best photograph for the picture of former T-Bird basketball
star Pasha Bains on the cover of the March 2006
UBC Reports).
Highlights of UBC Media Coverage in April 2007. compiled by basil waugh
Moral Judgment on 'Sin Stocks'
Means Higher Returns for Vice-
Friendly Investors
Several North American media
outlets, including Reuters, CBC
NewsWorld and the Vancouver
Sun, reported on a UBC study
that looked at the profitability of
so-called "sin stocks."
UBC Sauder School
of Business Prof. Marcin
Kacperczyk, co-author of the
study The Price of Sin: The
Effects of Social Norms on
Markets, said investing in
alcohol, tobacco and gambling
stocks yields returns two to
four per cent higher per year on
average than comparable stocks.
"Our analysis associates social
norms with significant price
effects," said Kacperczyk. "While
sinful stocks aren't necessarily
good for the soul, they are
under-priced and outperform
comparable stocks."
More Women Surviving
Heart Surgery
CNN, Reuters and Scientific
American reported on a UBC
study that found a significant
decline in the number of women
dying after coronary artery
bypass surgery (CABG).
Despite the drop, UBC
cardiologist Dr. Karin
Humphries found that women
still remain at higher risk of early
Robot Barista: taking the direct
delivery approach.
death after CABG than men,
due in part to the smaller size of
their coronary arteries.
Humphries and her colleagues
evaluated gender differences
and trends in 30-day mortality
after CABG in all adults who
had the procedure between 1991
and 2004 in B.C. The team's
findings were published in the
April edition of the Journal
of the American College of
Discovery Enables Scientists To
Convert Blood Types
UBC blood expert Dr.
Stephen Withers appeared in
international coverage of a
Danish discovery that potentially
enables blood from groups A,
B and AB to be converted into
group O.
In a companion piece to the
study in the journal Nature
Biotechnology, Withers wrote:
"The method may enable
manufacture of universal red
cells, which would substantially
reduce pressure on the blood
The BBC and a number of U.S.
papers, including the L.A. Times,
cited Withers' analysis.
Student-designed Robotic
Baristas Squirt Coffee into
Waiting Mouths
Robots created by UBC
Engineering students
served coffee samples in an
unconventional manner outside a
campus Starbucks in April.
Instead of serving drinks
in sample-sized paper cups,
the robots sprayed iced coffee
directly into people's mouths.
The event, covered by television
crews from CBC, Channel M
and Fairchild TV, showcased the
final projects of UBC's second-
year Integrated Engineering class.
"We challenged students
to create an environmentally
friendly, paperless way of serving
coffee samples," said Leo Stocco,
Professor of Electrical and
Computer Engineering. "If you
like cream in your coffee, the
robots will do that too." 13
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Darin Dueck darin@dueckphoto.com
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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Degrees of Kindness
Education and service go hand-in-hand for grad
By Lorraine Chan
True learning that transforms the world
must connect the head, heart and hands.
That's what Arti Khanderia witnessed
at UBC's Learning Exchange, which
integrates students' volunteer service with
academic course work, and in Thailand
while researching her master's project on
community service learning.
"There has to be the potential for
academic theory to touch the heart's
compassion, which then leads to on-the-
ground action for social change," says
Khanderia. She graduates this month
with an MA degree from UBC's School of
Community and Regional Planning.
In 2004, Khanderia enjoyed "a truly
amazing" experience when her friend and
fellow UBC student Marisol Peterson
invited her to work on a student-led
initiative with the residents of Vancouver's
Downtown Eastside. Peterson and
Khanderia, through UBC's Learning
Exchange in the neighbourhood, helped
the residents provide ESL classes to
immigrants and refugees. That pilot
project has since evolved into a full-time
"I learned more about planning than I
would have if I only sat within the walls
of a classroom," says Khanderia. "And it
was incredible how the project boosted
people's self confidence and gave everyone
a chance to form caring relationships."
She was further inspired in 2005 during
four months of research throughout
Thailand. Khanderia studied the spectrum
of Thai educational models in a country
where there's a movement among
academics to merge the sacred and the
Khanderia explains that in past
centuries, Thai students learned in temples
from Buddhist monks, "who not only
taught the alphabet, but promoted human
ideals of loving kindness and service to
Arti Khanderia spent four months in Thailand studying how different universities are
merging the secular and the sacred.
Over the past 50 years, however, factors
such as globalization have moved Thai
universities closer to the Western model
and its values.
"For my project, I was looking at
how there's a resurgence among Thai
universities to make the culture's implicit
spiritual values more explicit in the
way students learn through community
engagement, learning-by-doing and inner-
Khanderia studied how one university
got engineering students to work with a
community to build schools and install
toilets in villages. Or in another case,
science professors provided villagers with
practical skills so they could transform
recycled beer bottles into jewelry and start
up small businesses.
Khanderia says she was struck by a
saying that was written on the walls of a
Thai Buddhist monastery: "If you don't
raise students to give to the world, you
raise a society that does not give back to
the world."
She plans to apply this maxim when she
returns to her native Toronto. Khanderia
hopes to land a job at the housing project
Regent Park where she spent four years
working with inner-city youth while
earning a BA at the University of Toronto.
"I want those kids to know they can
make changes and to provide them the
tools and resources to do that." 13
B» My best UBC memories:
"The time I've been able to spend with
my professors and colleagues . . . the
opportunity to engage with community
in action-oriented projects...through
compassion and citizenship ofthe heart...
to create a holistic learning experience."
For complete comments from this graduate, check
out the audio clip at: www.publicaffairs.ubc. ca/
Nursing Grad Brings First Nations Sensitivity to Her Role
By Bud Mortenson
Grandma Rose was thrilled when
granddaughter Viola chose to pursue
a nursing degree after her first year of
"My grandmother's health had been
declining for a few years at the time, and
when I visited her she kept saying 'I want
you to be my nurse'," says nursing student
Viola Rose Brown. "Grandma Rose was
always a cheerleader through my years at
school. She wanted all her grandchildren
to go to school and encouraged us to be
focused and dedicated to our studies. When
I got into nursing she was so happy."
A member of the Okanagan Indian
Band in Vernon, B.C., 22-year-old Brown
graduates this month with a Bachelor of
Science in Nursing (BSN) degree from UBC
Okanagan's School of Nursing.
One of the highlights of her education
was a six-week volunteer mission to
Western Africa last February and March,
learning about nursing in the rural
hospitals and clinics of northern Ghana.
Grandma Rose passed away just two
weeks before Brown left for Ghana, but
Viola Rose Brown is one of 14 Aboriginal students graduating from UBC Okanagan this
year. She has just completed her Bachelor of Science in Nursing t
the support and encouragement over the
years from her grandmother and her entire
family have given Brown a clear sense
of direction in her life: she wants to be a
great nurse, and particularly a comfort to
Aboriginal patients.
"Growing up, my parents taught me
the importance of learning the values and
teachings of my people's traditional way
of life," says Brown. "As a result, I am now
very active in my First Nations culture and
it is a part of my everyday life.
"My involvement in my culture turned
into a drive for me to go into the nursing
profession. I want to be able to give
back to my people and to assist them
in improving their quality of living.
Often that quality of living is low - and
significantly compromised," she says.
The Okanagan Indian Band helped her
financially through her post-secondary
schooling. The entire First Nations
community in Vernon also offered
tremendous encouragement, she says,
adding that she received support for her
trip to Ghana from family, friends and
community members.
"I realize who I am today has a lot to
continued on page 11 4     I     UBC    REPORTS     |     MAY    3,    2007
US Grad
by Global
By Brian Lin
An American student has learned the
most important lesson of his Canadian
university career from a Costa Rican
Mentors around the world have
contributed to his education, says Luke
Pritchard, who's receiving a Bachelor of
Science degree from the Faculty of Land
and Food Systems' Global Resource
Systems program, where students study
science in the context of a region of the
During an exchange semester at Escuela
Agricultura en la Region Tropico Humido
(EARTH) University in Costa Rica last
year, Pritchard met a farmer who had
spent his life savings on a five-acre piece
of land 10 years earlier.
"He then found out that the land's
run-off of pesticides and fertilizers was
polluting watersheds downstream,"
says the 21-year-old Denver, Colorado,
"He contacted EARTH University,
which helped him regenerate native
old growth forest on the property and
establish an eco-tourism business. But in
the meantime, he lost his only source of
income and had to raise his son by doing
odd jobs and turning his home phone into
a pay phone for the community for the
past decade."
Tuke Pritchard credits his mentors at UBC and from around the world for a well-rounded education and a global perspective on sustainability.
The experience was "super inspiring,"
says Pritchard, who spent two months
building a bunkhouse and a kitchen and
put up signage for hiking trails on the
"He had so little to begin with and
yet was willing to give up what he had
for altruistic reasons - to help people
downstream and ensure the integrity of
the watershed and ecosystem."
Add to that a six-week stint in Thailand
and China doing biodiversity fieldwork
with a University of California, Santa
Barbara study, a trek in Tibet, and
presenting a paper at the International
Student Summit on Agriculture in
Japan, and Pritchard can truly say he
accomplished what he came to UBC to do.
"I wanted to study environmental
issues on a global scale, and I learned
that everything is interconnected," says
Pritchard. "What you do here can affect
people halfway around the world.
"What I've noticed from the
continued on page 5
This BCom comes
with a Rolls Royce
31    g       J
Tesley So credits the thorough briefing of her Sauder professors in helping her land her
dream job.
By Sarah Walker
Lesley So loves to travel. She also loves
numbers, logistics and the creativity
involved in problem-solving.
This September, So will combine these
passions as a management trainee in Rolls
Royce's leadership development program
in the company's offices in England. With
a new placement within the organization
every six months over the next two years,
her skills will be put to work.
This opportunity presented itself
while So was on a five-month student
exchange in Manchester this winter.
Following the advice of her professors
and career counselors at the Sauder
School of Business, So did what she has
been drilled to do: network, look out for
opportunities, and then prepare until you
can prepare no more. This put her above
the field of 4,000 applicants, and landed
her the job.
However, So does not see herself
as out of the ordinary. "I think I was
more prepared than anyone else. That's
because of Sauder and how they tell you
to prepare. I just listened to what I'm
supposed to do and it really paid off."
So followed her heart to UBC, too.
Growing up in Vancouver, her home since
leaving Hong Kong at the age of eight,
she thought she would study medicine.
However, her first-year economics elective
opened her eyes to the possibility of
business as a better fit. In her second
year of commerce, a problem-solving
class introduced her to the challenges of
logistics. To her delight, UBC offers a rare
commerce option in transportation and
logistics (TLog), focusing on the flow of
goods, information and money throughout
an organization.
With this new focus, So chose to enter
the commerce co-operative program,
which offers four four-month work terms.
She speaks enthusiastically about her
time with companies such as LuluLemon
and General Motors (Ontario), gaining
direct experience in areas like logistics
management and forecasting product
demand. This Spring, with her resume
filled to the brim, she will receive her
Bachelor of Commerce degree with a
double focus in marketing and TLog.
Although excited about the future,
So says she is sorry to leave. Her
Manchester exchange was an intense
learning experience, academically and
culturally. Living with seven roommates,
she quickly learned cultural cues. "Unlike
UBC, no one wears sweat pants to class,"
she laughs. "The culture is very fashion-
continued on page 5 UBC    REPORTS     |     MAY   3,    2007     |    5
US GRAD continued from
communities I've visited is that they're
actually more ecologically minded than
we are - it's deeply embedded in their
culture - they just don't have the resources
to implement programs where they can
both protect the environment and make
a living," says Pritchard. "If you can offer
them sustainable solutions, everybody
This summer, Pritchard and seven
other UBC Global Outreach Students'
Association volunteers are heading to
Ecuador to help local communities in
water treatment, health education and
sustainable agriculture.
Personally, the globetrotting has made
him give up bananas ("I've seen the
terrible working conditions in Central
American banana plantations"), buy
apples locally ("I'm trying to live with a
smaller ecological footprint"), and rethink
the connection between money and
"You hear so much about people living
under the poverty level, but when I met
these people who are supposedly so poor,
they were actually some of the happiest
people I've ever met in terms of spirit and
culture. You can't take everything at face
value." 13
^C" My best UBC memories:
"The one person I'll always remember is
the farmer I met in rural Costa Rica who
had turned a piece of farm land into a
native old-growth forest. He had lost
all his income by doing this and it was
really inspiring that someone who had so
little would give up the only thing he had
to protect the environment and people
For complete comments from this graduate, check
out the audio clip at: www.publicaffairs.ubc.ca/
THIS BCOM continued from
Being away
also taught her to see UBC with new
eyes. She appreciates the beauty of the
campus and the wide variety of activities,
and she tells new students to look around
and take advantage of their time here.
"Things are so accessible here," she
notes, "even study space. I wouldn't have
been able to appreciate UBC as much as
I do now if I hadn't been on exchange.
What you make of your time at UBC is
up to you." 13
B~ My best UBC memories:
"Walking to class and seeing the cherry
blossoms fall, squirrels running around...
sometimes I really feel like this could be the
most beautiful place in the world."
For complete comments from this graduate, check
out the audio clip at: www.publicaffairs. ubc. ca/
Sacrificing a promising Olympic ski career in favour of post-secondary education and varsity sports yeilded personal and career inspirations
for Trevor Bruce.
Ski Racer Finds New World View
By Brian Lin
Five years at UBC has taught Trevor Bruce
that no man, not even an Alpine skier, is an
The 26-year-old North Vancouver native
has been hitting the slopes since age six and
has represented both British Columbia and
Canada in competitions in more than 20
"My upbringing and ski racing career
has been one of intense individualism
- everything from school work to physical
training, I did on my own," says Bruce,
who is graduating this spring with a
Bachelor of Applied Science in Geological
Engineering. "I was a one-man show and
the team was my competition."
But giving up his Olympic dreams in
favour of post-secondary education and
varsity athletics in 2002 has brought
profound changes in both his personality
and career path.
"In collegiate races, the three best times
of the five-person team determine your
overall ranking," says Bruce. "I quickly
learned that excelling on my own wasn't
going to cut it."
As the unofficial technical coach, Bruce
has led the UBC ski team - the only varsity
ski team in Canada - to place consistently
in the top five out of 200 schools in the
United States Collegiate Ski Association
national championships, including three
podium results in the last four years.
"We receive $10,000-$20,000 a year in
funding for ten athletes and consistently
beat out American skiers with budgets ten
times as much - sometimes up to half a
million dollars," says Bruce, who adds that
the UBC team is now attracting prospects
from as far as Ontario.
Meanwhile, Bruce was excelling
academically by calling upon the drive and
motivation developed from ski racing, and
finding UBC courses that transformed his
"I chose engineering because it came
naturally," says Bruce, whose late
grandfather Ernest Watson was a UBC
engineering professor. "But the emphasis at
UBC engineering on the environmental and
societal impacts of engineering - from dams
to roads to even home electrical systems
- was a complete eye-opener for me.
"Engineers take pride in being builders
and creators - people who put things into
action," says Bruce. "What I learned here
at UBC is that our decisions have long-
term consequences. I was a little guy who
tried to find my place and this knowledge
empowered me to believe that I can make
huge differences in the world."
With a game plan to "start small and
take baby steps," Bruce wants to create
a non-profit organization that provides
sustainable housing options to low-income
"Low-income families typically live
in older buildings that consume a lot of
energy - and rack up utility bills - in
winter months due to bad insulation, for
example. I'd like to assemble a team of
sustainability-minded volunteers to assess
the situation and offer solutions that are
both good for the environment and save
money for home-owners - from a $5 can
of silicone to seal the windows to donated
energy-efficient refrigerators.
"There's a better way and I'm setting my
goals to find it." 13
H» My best UBC memories:
"The atmosphere and state of mind that
this is a growing environment- that you're
with people who are constantly being
inspired. This is where I find people who
motivate me by being dedicated to what
they're doing."
For complete comments from this graduate, check
out the audio clip at: www.publicaffairs.ubc.ca/
ubcreports/200//o/mayos/ I     UBC    REPORTS     |     MAY   3,    2007
A Banjo on Her Knee
Pharm Sci Grad Loves to Strum, and Help Patients
Songs with a sci-fi theme are among the passions of song-writer, musician and pharmacist Brooke Tunderville.
By Hilary Thomson
Ifyou pick up your prescription
from Brooke Lunderville, you
may get some impromptu
musical medicine.
"I sometimes sing a few bars
for some of the patients - it's a
bit of an ice-breaker, if they're
feeling anxious or sick," says the
Pharmaceutical Sciences grad,
who is also a songwriter and
The Vancouver native began a
career as a licensed stockbroker,
specializing in ethical investing,
but after about five years started
looking for something new. She
happened to get some expert
assistance from a community
pharmacist and was sufficiently
impressed to pursue pharmacy
as a career. She spent two years
completing pre-requisites for
admission by working 6:30 a.m.
to 2:30 p.m. at a brokerage and
taking classes in the afternoon
and evening.
"When I finished my courses,
working full-time just seemed
like a vacation."
In 2003, she married into a
musical family. Her husband
Joseph's parents play guitar and
enjoy folk music. Lunderville
had played some guitar and
discovered a lonely banjo at her
in-laws' house that she taught
herself to play. It's now her
passion - she plays regularly,
including performances at her
Her instrument of choice is a
banjola, a hybrid with the neck
of a banjo and the body of a
large mandolin, or mandola.
Also included in her collection,
"a serious case of banjoitis,"
are three more banjos and three
A science fiction aficionado
since childhood, she has
managed to integrate her two
passions by getting involved in a
musical genre called Filk music,
which references science fiction
plots and personas in the lyrics.
With a guitar-playing friend, she
has created a "dorky filk duo,"
and recently performed at a
major sci-fi convention in Seattle.
She has also transformed
Pharm Sci course content into
music with songs about peptides,
ribosomes and flaccid amino
acids. She says her compositions
"mug her in the middle of
the night," so that she has to
get up and write them down
Although her broker days are
pretty much behind her - "If I
had money to invest in stocks,
I wouldn't have any student
loans!"- she has given fellow
students presentations on finance
and has ghostwritten a tax
advice column.
Lunderville speaks of
two mentors in the faculty
- Marguerite Yee, with whom
she shared tea and conversation
every month for four years,
and James McCormack, who
changed the way she looks at
pharmacy, encouraging a critical
view of the marketing hype
surrounding many medications.
After graduation, the 26-year-
old will vacation in France and
then start work at community
pharmacy in New Westminster.
"I love community pharmacy,"
she says." I like getting to know
patients over a period of time,
and helping them find a better
place with their health." 13
B» My best UBC memories:
"What I'll remember most about
UBC is getting dressed up in
my pressed pharmacy lab coat,
strapping on my banjo and
going to play outside the SUB for
Pharmacy Awareness Week."
For complete comments from this
graduate, check out the audio clip at:
www.publicaffairs. ubc. ca/
2007 Wall Summer Institute^ Research
Why Civil Society Matters to Global Health
James Orbinksi
St. Michael's Hospital, University ofToronto, and Medecins Sans Frontieres
Moderated by Janice Stein, Director, Munk Centre, University ofToronto and
commented on by Brett Finlay, Peter Wall Distinguished Professor, UBC.
Tuesday, June 26,2007
Chan Centre for the Performing Arts
University of British Columbia
6265 Crescent Road
Peter Wall Institute for Advanced Studies
Take as Needed: The Pills
The four members of Pharm Sci's own rock band, The Pills, will be graduating this month, after more than
three years of playing everything from covers of the Ramones and Tom Jones, to original songs. Glen Austen
handles vocals and guitar; Dan Buschert plays bass; Vince Lin is on keyboard and piano and Eugenia Yeh is
the drummer.
The group claims, "What we lack in technical prowess musically, we deliver in passion and volume."
Featured entertainers at various pharmacy events and galas, the group was a finalist in 2005 in UBC's annual
Battle of the Bands.
The Pills have recorded an EP called "Rock A.T.C." which is now a collectors' item since the band breaks
up after their final gig at the Pharmacy Grad 2007 Banquet. 13
Not sugar-coated but they go down easy, the Pills are four Pharm Sci grads who will give their farewell
performance this spring. UBC    REPORTS     |     MAY   3,    2007     |     7
Rugby Champ Hangs up Cleats for Medicine
After taking a year off med school to play rugby for Canada, Jim Douglas has left the field for a career in orthopedic surgery.
By Hilary Thomson
As a world-class rugby player,
Jim Douglas knows how to
perform under pressure, handle
the unexpected and keep focused
until the job is done. With that
kind of experience, he probably
won't even break a sweat as he
trains to become an orthopedic
Douglas, who graduates with
an MD this month, has played
competitive rugby as a flanker
(forward) since he was 12 years
old in his hometown of Kelowna,
B.C., and he played for UBC's
varsity team while completing
a Bachelor of Human Kinetics
"I've always been interested in
biomechanics and how the body
performs," says the 30-year-old.
"Medicine, and orthopedics in
particular, is a logical connection
to my love of sport."
Douglas had played seven-
a-side rugby at a national
level since 2001, representing
Canada around the world. In
Beijing, where rugby is not well
known, the team played in front
of 200-300 soldiers "drafted"
as spectators, and to a packed
45,000-seat stadium in Hong
Kong. In Dubai, United Arab
Emirates, they played on a
grass field in the middle of the
desert, to the cheers of the sultan
A year after entering med
school in 2002, Douglas had
to make a critical decision. He
had the chance to compete for
Canada in the Rugby World Cup
- a full-time commitment during
the academic year. After some
soul-searching and discussions
with Faculty of Medicine
advisors, he took a year out
for the opportunity to wear the
Rugby Canada jersey.
"The faculty was very gracious
in allowing me the time off,"
says Douglas. "I got great
support, and now I've doubled
my network of friends and
classmates over two graduating
The team spent six weeks in
Australia, and although they
didn't bring home gold, Douglas
has no regrets. The remainder
of the year off allowed him to
complete a research project at
Vancouver General Hospital
that examined the amount of
time residents were exposed to
surgical training.
"That was a great experience.
I got to know the residents,
saw the positive results for
patients and observed all kinds
of orthopedic surgeries. It really
confirmed where I wanted to be."
Back at school in September
2004, Douglas hung up his
cleats to focus on his studies. He
admits one of the hardest parts
of med school was walking away
from national and international
competition. Apart from the
time commitment, he didn't
want to risk an injury that
could jeopardize his mobility or
In reflecting on his four years,
Douglas talks about the high
quality of teaching and guidance
he received and singles out
ethicist Alistair Browne, pediatric
orthopedic surgeon Dr. Chris
Reilly and anatomy instructor
Majid Doroudi as significant
positive influences.
After graduation, he'll take a
brief time-out to marry Hope, a
UBC research co-ordinator, and
then it's back onto the field for a
five-year orthopedic residency in
Lower Mainland hospitals. 13
B» My best UBC memories:
"What I'll always remember most about UBC is the cherry blossoms in
the springtime which used to always signify to me entering the home
stretch ofthe year."
For complete comments from this graduate, check out the audio clip at:
Timepiece 1957
1957: Sopron Students Found a Home at UBC
When the Soviet Union invaded Hungary in
1956, almost 250 faculty, students and their
families from the forestry school at the university
in Sopron fled to Austria. They set about looking
for a more permanent home where students could
continue their studies in their native language.
Twenty letters were sent around the world asking
for help. The University of British Columbia
offered to "adopt" the Sopron University of
Forestry, one of the oldest and best known
forestry universities in Europe, and guaranteed
its maintenance for five years until the current
students were able to graduate. On Jan. 1, 1957,
14 faculty members and 200 students left for
Canada and in September 1957 they began their
studies at UBC.
The faculty and students of Sopron have had
a lasting impact on Canada, British Columbia
and UBC. To celebrate the 50th anniversary of
their arrival and their special part in the history
of UBC, the UBC Faculty of Forestry is planning
a celebration and special events for the university
community and general public June 14-16. To
learn more, visit: www.forestry.ubc.ca/sopron.
UBC Forestry Dean George Allen and Dean of the Sopron School of Forestry, Kalman Roller
with Sopron graduate forestry students examining tree seedlings March 14, 1961. I     UBC    REPORTS     |     MAY    3,    2007
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Dimitar Bakalov, originally from Bulgaria, has spent seven long years pursuing his goal of working in Canada.
Dentist perseveres to earn
Canadian credentials
He delivered pizza before being accepted to his "dream university'
By Hilary Thomson
When Dimitar Bakalov crosses
the Chan Centre stage to pick up
his Doctor of Dental Medicine
degree this month, he'll be taking
the last few steps of a long and
arduous academic journey.
Trained as a dentist in Bulgaria,
Bakalov has completed UBC's
two-year International Dental
Degree Completion Program
that offers a degree as well as
qualification to work in Canada.
He practiced dentistry in his
hometown of Sofia for seven
years following his graduation
from dental school there in 1993.
"But at 28,1 felt like I had
done everything I could do
there," says Bakalov, who says his
homeland is like Greece but with
a Slavic language. "Bulgaria was
changing from a communist to
a democratic country and things
were very rough. There was no
money for research or advanced
academic programs."
In 2000, he left his fiancee
behind to complete her degree in
chemistry and moved to Toronto.
He knew he had a long road
ahead - he had to improve his
English and take preparatory
courses before being eligible to
even apply to a Canadian dental
school. And of course, he had to
find work.
After being turned down
for many jobs because he was
overqualified, he worked at jobs
that included truck and limousine
driving, catering work and pizza
delivery. He took English courses
and completed an expensive, full-
time six-month course in Toronto
to prepare for theory exams and
a course at University of Western
Ontario in London to prepare
him for the practical aspect of his
eligibility exam.
His fiancee joined him in
2003 and both newcomers were
frustrated by the many challenges
they faced, including financial
pressures and intense competition
for the few seats in Canadian
dental schools available for
foreign-trained dentists.
Bakalov was accepted to UBC
in 2005 and calls it his "dream
university" because of its new
clinic and superior reputation
among Canadian dental schools.
As well, Vancouver's climate and
mountainous terrain reminded
him of home.
After his first summer off in
a long time, Bakalov joined the
third-year class in Fall 2005 and
was delighted to feel so welcome.
Since then it has been an intense
two years, he says. However,
his knowledge and skills have
improved greatly and now he can
consider specialty areas, such as
periodontics, orthodontics and
dental implants, that would not
have been available to him in
Although he and his wife
would like to settle in Vancouver
and start a family, the city's
housing prices are out of reach
continued on page 9 UBC    REPORTS     |     MAY    3,    2007     |     9
Director adds MFA to his credits
By Lorraine Chan
Friends and family were
somewhat puzzled by Camyar
Chai's decision to return to
school. After all, hasn't he
already made it?
Chai, 39, is the founder and
one of the artistic producers
of Vancouver's neworld
theatre, known for original
and ambitious plays. Works
such as Adrift on the Nile and
The Adventures ofAli and Ali
and the Axes of Evil plumb
the political and social divide
between East and West, mixing
the forms of theatre and cabaret.
His recent film and television
acting credits include Douglas
Coupland's film Everything's
Gone Green, Stargate SGI and
the new Chris Haddock series,
However, when Chai crosses
the stage at UBC's Chan Centre
during graduation, it will be to
receive his Master of Fine Arts
"Coming back to UBC gave
me the luxury of honing my
directing skills and clarifying
the kind of theatre I want
to make," says Chai. "When
you're working and face daily
pressures of deadlines, bills, and
performances, you just don't
have time to ruminate on these
Since graduating from UBC
in 1993 with a Bachelor of Fine
Arts, Chai has performed in 25
theatre productions, produced 14
and directed seven.
For his MFA thesis project,
Chai directed Bertold Brecht's
Mother Courage and Her
Children. Compared to the
open-ended creative process with
his own and other new plays,
he found a marked difference in
directing an established work.
"Before I put my own
ingenuity on the script, I had
to understand what the writer
Actor, writer and director Camyar Chai wants to put Vancouver on the map with plays that spur people to think
beyond their borders.
Technical proficiency in
lighting and other design
elements also comprised his
MFA studies. "I was using those
tools before, but I can do so now
with greater subtlety and depth."
Chai plans to continue
working in Vancouver,
concentrating on socially relevant
and intimate plays that challenge
audiences to think and live
beyond their established borders.
Chai, having grown up in
London, New York and Tehran,
left Iran at age 11 with his
family. They eventually settled
in North Vancouver in 1981. He
says he's strongly influenced by
Persian poetry and history that
emphasizes respect and deference
toward others, "looking toward
the greater good - which for
some is God, the universe or
society as a whole.
My dream for Vancouver
would be a city that moves
toward tolerance and toward
resolving some of the problems
we're facing because of
This month, Chai will be
mounting the first U.S. run of
The Adventures of Ali and Ali
and the Axes of Evil in Seattle.
He'll also be bringing the play
for the first time to the Persian
community in North Vancouver.
The neworld company is
currently working to gain
the rights for a Vancouver
production of My Name is
Rachel Corrie, the Royal Court
Theatre play about a U.S. activist
who was crushed by an Israeli
bulldozer. It is also collaborating
with Touchstone Theatre on a
production of Quebec playwright
Wajdi Mouawad's Tideline, set in
the chaos of Lebanon. El
B» My best UBC memories:
"Interacting with the cast
of students who acted and
designed and worked on the
technical crew ofthe show which
I directed .... I'll never forget
sitting down in the Green Room
. . . one ofthe actors said to me
it looks like you've achieved what
you wanted to with your play,
'Listen up, everyone's discussing
global politics.'"
For complete comments from this
graduate, check out the audio clip at:
DENTIST continued from page 8
- "it would be like swimming
against a fast-moving river,"
says the 39-year-old. The
couple is considering Kelowna
or Kamloops as possible new
hometowns, among others.
For the next stage of his
journey, Bakalov looks forward
to reviving pastimes such as
hiking - the couple has made
a few treks on the Squamish
Chieftain - biking and simply
savouring some free time. El
B» My best UBC memories:
"What I'll always remember
most about UBC is a warm
welcome, how well-organized
the interviews were, the respect
and dignity they showed to every
single candidate and how my
classmates made us feel we were
in the right place."
For complete comments from this
graduate, check out the audio clip at:
www.publicaffairs.ubc. ca/
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604-822-9564   www.writingcentre.ubc.ca io     I     UBC    REPORTS     |     MAY   3,    2007
Staff Members Receive President's
Service Award for Excellence Bx^iw^gh
PSAE winners are (T-R): Ian Burgess, Teeta Sokalski, Samson Cheung,
Bridget Hamilton and Glen Peterson (not shown).
Five members of the university
community are being recognized
for outstanding contributions to
campus life as recipients of the
2007 President's Service Award
for Excellence (PSAE).
This year's winners are Ian
Burgess, Director of the CFI/
BCKDF Resource Office; Samson
Cheung, Land and Building
Services Head Service Worker;
Bridget Hamilton, a receptionist
in the Dept. of Astronomy and
Physics; Glen Peterson, Professor
of History, and Leeta Sokalski,
Library Circulation and Office
Each recipient will receive
a gold medal and $5,000 in
a presentation during Spring
Congregation. This year's awards
are the first to be presented by
new UBC President Stephen J.
For the past seven years, Ian
Burgess has played a crucial role
in helping UBC scientists secure
$216 million in research funding
from the Canada Foundation
for Innovation (CFI) and the
British Columbia Knowledge
Development Fund (BCKDF),
more than any other Canadian
UBC researchers say the
skill, leadership and dedication
that Burgess brings to each
application has been essential
to the university's success in
attracting national and provincial
funding. Burgess is a 23-year
employee of UBC.
Samson Cheung is responsible
for the cleanliness of some of
UBC's busiest buildings, including
the Life Sciences Centre and
Woodward IRC.
A 26-year employee, Cheung
has a knack for customer service
and addressing building issues
and special requests. He assists
in physical preparations for high
profile university events, including
graduation and exams. Cheung is
also known for selling the most
tickets each year to Land and
Building Services' annual United
Way Barbecue.
Each week in the Astronomy
and Physics department, Bridget
Hamilton fields calls and visits
related to everything from UFOs
to the origin of the universe - and
she is renowned among colleagues
for her ability to deal with these
often eccentric inquires.
Hamilton, a UBC employee for
18 years, has a close relationship
with faculty, staff and students
and is a fixture at research
seminars, graduate receptions and
departmental social events.
During his 14 years at UBC,
History Prof. Glen Peterson has
inspired scores of Canadian and
international student leaders as
a volunteer faculty advisor to
the UBC chapter of the World
University Service of Canada
Peterson, an expert on modern
China and the Chinese diaspora,
has build a support system
for students who come from
war-torn countries to attend
WUSC-UBC's summer internship
program. Since 1994, he has
helped these students through the
often difficult adjustment to life
in a new country and nurtured
their personal, academic and
professional success.
Leeta Sokalski, Circulation and
Office Manager of UBC's Irving
K. Barber Learning Centre, has
developed a reputation for being
able to handle big jobs during her
31 years at UBC.
Most recently, Sokalski lead the
transfer of 800,000 library items
into the Irving K. Barber Learning
Centre's Automatic Storage and
Retrieval System (ASRS), the
first of robotic retrieval system
of its kind in Canada. Previously,
she led the addition of anti-theft
tapes to the library's collection
and the conversion of the library's
catalogue system from manual to
For lists of previous recipients,
visit www.ceremonies.ubc.
past.html. El
The homes may be very large,
but the care and attention
is microscopic.
The Robert Ledingham Collection is a limited edition of 10 exquisitely styled
homes at Stirling House on the grounds of UBC in the coveted Chancellor
Place community. Not only are they generously proportioned, but also they
have been meticulously styled by Robert Ledingham - perhaps the most highly
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itracorp Westridge Development Limited Partnership UBC    REPORTS     |     MAY   3,    2007     |     II
Revitalized Social Space Links
Campus to its Grad Roots
By Basil Waugh
A small outdoor plaza, rich
with social and ceremonial
significance, has been revitalized
for the enjoyment of future
generations at UBC.
First Graduation Tree Plaza is
located behind the Geography
Building, the Old Auditorium
and the Mathematics Bldg. on
UBC's Vancouver campus.
"In the 60s and 70s this area
was the place to think, meet
and visit with fellow students
and to enjoy the natural beauty
of the campus," says UBC Prof.
Emeritus Peter Oberlander,
former head of UBC's School
of Community and Regional
Oberlander is Chair of the
President's Advisory Committee
on Campus Enhancement
(PACCE), which worked with
UBC Campus and Community
Planning to landscape the area
and remove the dumpsters that
had taken over the once popular
hangout in recent years.
In addition to its new benches,
plants and commemorative
plaque, the plaza features trees
significant to the university's
history and traditions. For
nearly 90 years, UBC students
A new campus social space celebrates the UBC tradition of grad class trees.
have celebrated congregation by
planting a tree on campus, and
the first of these - two large leaf
Linden trees planted by the classes
of 1919 and 1920 - are planted on
the site.
Class trees from 1921 to 1930
extend from the plaza south along
Mathematics Rd. to Agricultural
Rd.The 13 heritage trees, initially
planted on the university's original
Fairview Slopes site (now the
Vancouver General Hospital),
were moved to their current
location following UBC's move
to Point Grey in 1925.
"It's a fantastic location to
enjoy the sun," says Oberlander,
"in the presence of these
reminders of the previous
generations of alumni who have
enriched our campus."
For more information on
graduation class trees, visit www.
GE) Math Centre
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Environmental Engineering
graduates first class
By Brian Lin
Seven students will share the
distinction this spring of being
Canadian firsts: they're receiving
a UBC-UNBC joint Bachelor
of Applied Science degree in
Environmental Engineering.
Established in September
2002, the program combines
UNBC's strength in
environmental science and
UBC's engineering expertise to
offer students a unique blend
of training in environmentally
friendly technologies that is
growing in demand.
The graduates spent their
first two years at the College
of Science and Management at
UNBC, followed by two years at
UBC's Dept. of Civil Engineering
and Dept. of Chemical and
Biological Engineering, before
completing a final term at UNBC.
"Each student graduating this
spring is already employed, and
most received job offers before
graduating," says program
co-director Prof. Sheldon Duff.
"This demand for graduates is
very gratifying as we designed
the program to provide a
comprehensive set of skills to
For more information on the
UBC-UNBC Environmental
Engineering Program, visit www.
enve.ubc.ca. El
NURSING GRAD continued from
do with my community," she
acknowledges. "I really appreciate
all the support my Band provided
- they're the reason I am here."
Her immediate plans are to
enjoy being a nurse, gaining
experience and applying her
cultural awareness and nursing
skills for positive impact in the
health-care system.
"I've always found myself to
be a nurturer, able to jump in
and help when someone is sick or
injured," she says. "As a nurse, I'd
like to emphasize the importance
of being culturally sensitive
- and being an advocate for
people who need that support."
Last year, Brown attended
a conference in Prince George
aimed at developing a plan to get
more First Nations youth into
health-related fields. As a new
nursing degree recipient, Brown
sees an opportunity to share with
Aboriginal youth the kind of
encouragement she has received.
"I think it's very important for
youth to see that it is possible to
achieve great things," she says.
"Now that I've done the work
and look back, it's not as hard
as you might think, but only
as long as you apply yourself. I
would like it to be an example
for youth that no door is closed
to them." El
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We are experts at helping you plan your individual strategy—integrating pensions and
investments to ensure a safe and secure retirement. You've worked hard for your pension.
Now it's time for your pension to work
hard for you.
To learn more about how we take the
guesswork out of pension planning, contact
us for a free initial consultation.
Clay Gillespie, bba, cim, cfp
Vice President & Portfolio Manager
Jim Rogers, ba, mba, clu, cfp
Ensuring Financial Peace of Mind


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