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UBC Reports Oct 7, 2004

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VOLUME  50   I  NUMBER  9   I   OCTOBER  7,2004
2 UBC in the News      3 The Great Trekker       4 Motherhood after 35       5 Return to Afghanistan       8 The Pleasures of Silk
The Body Beautiful
Physical culture muscles its way into academia
The body is big in the academy.
Once the territory of doctors and
biologists, the body has emerged as
a hot topic for scholars in an
increasing number of disciplines
including anthropology, sociology,
literature and history. They argue
that the body can only be fully
understood in its social and cultural
context and they're challenging
long-held ideas about gender, sexuality, race and more.
"The ivory tower used to be all
about the mind," says Patricia
Vertinsky a professor in UBC's
School of Human Kinetics and a
2004 Peter Wall Distinguished
Scholar. "Now it's well accepted
that changing cultural conceptions
of the body affect experience, policy
and social theory and that we need
to understand better how body and
mind work together."
Vertinsky and Jennifer
Hargreaves, a feminist sociologist of
sport from London's Brunei
University will convene an international conference, Physical Culture,
Power and the Body, Oct. 15 and
16 at UBC's Peter Wall Institute of
Advanced Studies. Presenters are all
contributors to an upcoming book
on physical culture to be published
by Routiedge in 2005.
Participants include UBC sociologist Becki Ross, who researches
female striptease and the controls
that have been placed on the nature
of strippers' performances; Kate
O'Riordan from the University of
Sussex, who studies the way technology is transforming the body and
our understanding of what is "natural "; and John Hoberman, from the
University of Texas, whose controversial book Darwin's Athletes: How
Sport Has Damaged Black America
and Preserved the Myth of Race
focuses on society's fixation with
black athletic achievement and how
this obsession has come to play a
troubling role in African-American
life and the country's race relations.
"Our focus is physical culture,"
says Vertinsky, "cultural practices in
which the physical body - the way it
moves, is represented, has meanings
assigned to it, and is imbued with
power - is central. We want to focus
in a cohesive and broad way on how
power impacts the way we use our
Considered one of the most influential thinkers and producers in
sports studies and the body/society
paradigm, Vertinsky studies how
ideas about the female, male, youthful, aging, racial and disabled body
have been fashioned in modern society through exercise, sport and
"We have to look critically at the
way in which our society decides
what is normal in relation to the
body as well as the mind," she says.
Her work examines how culture
controls people, shaping our view of
the normal body, the beautiful body
the toned and fit body, the athletic
continued on page 7
A New Entrance for UBC
- by Design
International architectural competition will help
International architects and jurists
will help the UBC community create
a new social heart for the campus.
UBC will soon be inviting the
world's best architects to participate
in an architectural competition that
will redefine UBC's main entrance
on University Boulevard.
"UBC has always lacked a memorable entrance," said Dennis Pavlich,
UBC's Vice President of External
and Legal Affairs. "In the words of
Gertrude Stein, 'There is no there
"This competition will put the
'there' into the overall vision for a
memorable and complete University
Town community that is emerging
at the University of British
Columbia, and in doing so will create a vibrant academic village for
the campus."
The competition jury will consist
of internationally acclaimed architects including Arthur Erickson
(Canada), Moshe Safdie (USA),
Leon Krier (France) and Demitri
Porphyrios (England), as well as
UBC student, faculty and staff representatives who will have the respon
sibility of assessing the submissions
of the final three competitors and
ensuring the designs serve the broad
interests of the university community.
The design competition scope
encompasses University Boulevard
from Wesbrook Mall to Main Mall
and asks architects to envision five
building sites, which will include a
new University Square, a new
Greenway and all the associated
pedestrian connections between the
new and existing buildings in this
The new centrepiece of the
University Boulevard neighbourhood
will be University Square, located on
the old Bus Loop site at University
Boulevard. (The Timepiece on page 7
shows the architect's plan for the
Point Grey campus drawn up in
1914.) While the design of the transit
station is excluded from the competition, final submissions will be
required to make recommendations
regarding entrances and exits based
on pedestrian flow and new building
University Square will serve as a
continued on page 7
Artist concept of proposed University Square. I  UBC  REPORTS  |  OCTOBER  /,  2OO4
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EMAIL: public.affairs@ubc.ca
Highlights of UBC Media Coverage in September 2004. compiled bybrian lin
Is Stock Chat all Talk?
In a recentiy published paper enti-
ded "Is All That Talk Just Noise?"
UBC financial economists Werner
Antweiler and Murray Frank exam
ined the stock message board phenomenon and found that the characteristics of messages helped predict
volume and volatility, reports The
New York Times.
Published in the June 2004 issue
of The Journal of Finance, the paper
also shows the number of messages
on one day helped predict returns
the next day, even though the degree
of predictability was week and
reversed itself the next trading day.
Antweiler and Frank collected
more than 1.5 million messages
from two online boards, Yahoo
Finance and Raging Bull, and
analyzed them using methods
of computational linguistics and
Cherry-Picking Immigrants
Many researchers attending the
recent United States Federal Reserve
Bank of Kansas City annual
conference disagree with the popular
belief that rich countries could ease
the strains of ageing by accepting
younger immigrants.
"For the rich countries to
cherry-pick skilled international
migrants to finance their own retirement ... seems almost unbelievably
shortsighted and self-serving," UBC
economist John Helliwell told the
Australian Financial Review.
Helliwell said that outsourcing
may achieve the same economic
benefits of immigration but with far
more social harmony. It spreads
know-how and wealth in the poor
country and minimizes immigration-
related strains in the developed
Nobel Winner's Dream Lab
The Michael Smith
Laboratories opened at UBC's
Vancouver campus last
month. Smith, a Nobel Prize
winner, had recruited a collection of brilliant young scientists to UBC before his
death in 2000. Now his
dream of creating a cross-disciplinary biomedical
centre finally came true.
Brett Finlay, one of Smith's
recruits who has been doing
pioneering work on microbial
pathogens, told The Globe
and Mail he rejected a career
at the Massachusetts Institute
of Technology to join Smith's
" [The concept of creating
an interdisciplinary team]
was a brainchild of his . . .
that we would mix engineers
with biologists, with
botanists. This was long
before interdisciplinary
[research] was trendy," said
Terrance Snutch left the
California Institute of Technology
to join Smith at UBC. With the
new building, " our students and
postdocs can actually get together
and brainstorm, that's never been
there," said Snutch, who has
produced breakthrough work on
calcium channels in the brain.
Wilf Jefferies, who left a leading
research institute in Sweden, said it's
exciting that the new building is
finally ready. "The space is fantastic.
It's a marvelous building. Mike, I
think, would have been proud,"
said Jefferies, who studies how
pathogens are broken down and
heads a team that is testing the first
curative vaccine for cancer.
Breff Finlay is one of Michael Smith's recruits.
Psychopaths Good at Climbing
Corporate Ladder
"Corporate psychopaths" are
ruthless, manipulative, superficially
charming and impulsive, UBC
psychopathy expert Robert Hare
told CNN.com. And these traits
are landing them high-powered
managerial roles.
"Psychopaths are social predators
and like all predators they are
looking for feeding grounds," he
said. "Wherever you get power, prestige and money you will find them."
Hare estimates that as much as
one per cent of the British and North
American population are clinically
psychopathic. □
I was pleasantly surprised to open up the UBC homepage to find an article on AIDS in Africa on September
3rd 2004. As an ardent proponent ofthe HIV/AIDS
crisis in Africa, I was glad to finally see this topic placed
on the forefront at a Canadian institution of higher
learning. As an African student at UBC, I have learnt to
expect very little in terms of representation in the UBC
mainstream discourse. I was quite appalled to read further and watch stereotypes of my people replicated by
an ill-informed and ill-researched article.
Not in a single sentence did the article seek to tap
into the resource of Malawian students or indeed East
or Southern African students at UBC.
Indeed, as always, the African experience was glossed
over, ignored and unacknowledged by the writer whose
focus was on so called expert Western sources.
As a 'world class' institution of higher learning it is
indeed disappointing to watch UBC replicate the power
dynamics that have plagued the politics of the North
and the South. It is time that Westerners ceased to
speak for Africans, for we are capable of and interested
in speaking for ourselves. As the President of Students
Against Global AIDS, my goal is to teach about the
complexities and the multifaceted nature of the
HIV/AIDS pandemic in Africa. I derive my knowledge
from a lifetime of experience, not a six-week summer
project. It is out of the same frustration that has led me
to respond to this article, that I placed a proposal to
teach a student directed seminar on the politics of
HIV/AIDS in Africa. I could easily share a number of
pictures from the rural areas in my home country. But
without an understanding of the rich African culture
and the complexities of post- and neocolonialism it
would be too arrogant for me to purport to speak for
the continent through a handful of digital experiences.
As VP Academic within the AMS, I look forward to
recognizing the World AIDS Day on December 1st
2004, a world-wide celebrated event that has in the
past received little or no attention at UBC.
I have no problem with Canadian students including
a component of International Studies in their education-
continued on page 8
Scott Macrae scott.macrae@ubc.ca
Design Director
Chris Dahl chris.dahl@ubc.ca
Sharmini Thiagarajah sharmini@exchange.ubc.ca
Michelle Cook michelle.cook@ubc.ca
Brian Lin brian.lin@ubc.ca
Erica Smishek erica.smishek@ubc.ca
Hilary Thomson hilary.thomson@ubc.ca
Kim Fisher public.affairs@ubc.ca
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scott.macrae@ubc.ca or call UBC.NEWS (604.822.6397) UBC      REPORTS      |      OCTOBER     /,      2OO4      |      3
UBC's Learning Exchange Recognized for the
Great Trekker Award
UBC students have recognized a distin-
guished educator who is helping
change the face of learning at UBC and
in Vancouver's Downtown Eastside
with the 2004 Great Trekker Award.
Margo Fryer is the director of UBC's
Learning Exchange, an innovative
community outreach initiative that
provides educational opportunities to
people who live and work in
Vancouver's Downtown Eastside and
other inner-city communities. It also
provides opportunities for UBC
students to develop an understanding
of society through first-hand volunteer
"The Learning Exchange brings
learning alive for people," says Fryer,
who received her PhD in
Interdisciplinary Studies from UBC in
"It's really the Learning Exchange
- not just me - that's being recognized.
And it's especially fitting that the Great
Trekker Award is coming to an initiative that is so tied to community and
to the Trek vision (UBC's strategic
The Great Trekker Award - with its
2004 theme of Community Outreach
and Community Involvement in the
Greater Vancouver Regional District -
is presented by the student-run Alma
Mater Society (AMS) of UBC to an
alumni member who has achieved
recognition in their chosen field, made
a special contribution to the community and maintained a continued interest
in UBC. The Award commemorates
the spirit of the Great Trek of 1922,
where UBC students marched from
downtown Vancouver to the Point
Grey campus in an effort to pressure
the provincial government to provide
funding for the campus.
"That event was about students
making the statement that the conditions for learning weren't good
enough," says Fryer.
"The students coming into the
Learning Exchange Trek Program are
saying something similar, that they
need different learning conditions that
connect them with the challenges of
the 21st century. They want to be
learning within the context of the community. They want to cultivate the
qualities necessary to be responsible
global citizens.
"People in the Downtown Eastside
recognize that education is so important. The Learning Exchange is a setting where they can get access to
resources that weren't available to
them before and where they too can
reflect on their roles as global citizens."
Fryer has directed the formation and
growth of the Learning Exchange since
its inception. The project began in
1999 when Fryer and another student
were hired to consult with the
Downtown Eastside community about
how UBC could most effectively develop its presence in the area.
Since then, the Learning Exchange
has operated a number of community-
based educational programs and initiatives, including a storefront on Main
Street where patrons can use computer
resources to access the UBC Library,
prepare resumes and letters and connect to the Internet. Several " 101"
level courses have also been offered
free to low-income participants and
include a meal before and transportation to and from each class.
"Dr. Fryer's work has allowed many
people to access educational services
and programs in their own neighbourhoods, " says Holly Foxcroft, Vice-
President of External Affairs for the
AMS. "She is a pioneer in finding
ways to increase the capacity of learning in the Downtown Eastside and for
continuing to link the community back
to the university."
About 800 UBC students will participate in the Trek Program this year.
UBC's goal is to have 10 per cent of its
students engaged in community service-learning by 2010.
Fryer says future plans for the
Learning Exchange include a staff volunteer initiative, a pilot program for
alumni volunteers, a more integrated
approach to the education events and
programs offered at the Main Street
storefront, enhanced partnerships with
other Canadian universities, and, in
conjunction with the Vancouver
School Board, a more strategic
approach to the work students are
conducting in inner city schools.
"We hear time and time again that
this is a 'transformative' experience for
the people involved," says Fryer.
"We're being driven by the
power of what's being created.
We have to keep that momentum going."
Prior to completing her PhD,
Fryer was a researcher in the
health and social service fields.
She has collaborated with
community groups, non-profit
organizations and government
agencies on research projects on
a variety of issues, including
childhood sexual abuse, immigrant women's perinatal health,
child poverty, the needs of seniors, women's health care and
multicultural service delivery.
She has also evaluated pilot
projects related to community
development strategies for health promotion, community involvement in
health care decision-making, and
building collaborative partnerships
among health care agencies, and has
taught research and evaluation
principles and skills to community
Previous recipients of the Great
Trekker Award include former Prime
Minister John Turner, author Pierre
Berton, CBC journalist Eve Savory,
and diplomat and international
lawyer Maurice Copithorne. □
Learning Exchange director Margo Fryer has been
honoured for her commitment to community
outreach and community involvement.
United Way Campaign Well
Under Way
With a successful September kick off
event behind them, and more than
$35,000 already raised, organizers
have the 2004 UBC United Way
Campaign well underway.
"Pledge packages were delivered in
late September, and donors have
already been generous through their
donations and event participation,"
said Stan Auerbach, a sessional
instructor in the faculty of education
who is 2004 Campaign Chair. "One
of our goals this year is to raise
donor participation by five per cent
so we are on our way to achieving
"Volunteers have really been
working hard on campaigns
throughout departments on
campus," Auerbach said. "If you're
looking for a coffee and donut
morning, an international food fair
or a 50/50 draw, you can find one
in an area near you," Auerbach
said of the range of fundraising
activities available for campus participation.
Upcoming events this month
include the annual Land and
Building Services International Food
Festival and the UBC-Ritsumeikan
Open House. Visit the website at
www.unitedway.ubc.ca for campaign event details.
For more information on this
year's campaign, upcoming events,
or how to donate, please contact
Liz King, Campaign Coordinator, at
604-822-8929 or
united.way@ubc.ca. □
For the Record
The September 2 issue of UBC
Reports provided an incomplete
description of the new Institute for
Computing, Information and
Cognitive Systems/Computer
Science building nearing completion at 2366 Main Mall.  Half
of this complex, which is directly
linked to the existing Centre for
Integrated Computer Systems/
Computer Science building, pro
vides office and laboratory space
to accommodate the expansion of
the Computer Science Department
at both the undergraduate and
graduate levels. This component
together with the adjacent new
teaching pavilion at 6245
Agronomy Road was funded by
the provincial government's
"Double the Opportunity" (DTO)
initiative. □
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Becoming a Mum after 35
A UBC researcher wonders if we really know the risks of
delayed childbearing. BY HILARY THOMSON
As the mums and strollers roll by,
it's obvious that more women over
the age of 35 are having babies. In
fact, there has been a 83 per cent
increase from 1991 to 2000 for
babies born to Canadian mothers
over 35, according to the Canadian
Perinatal Health Report, 2003.
In addition, many women wait
until they are over 35 to have their
first baby and a UBC researcher
wonders if we know as much as we
need to about the risks of delayed
line for births, but risks do start to
accelerate in later years."
As reproductive organs age,
function appears to diminish, says
Lisonkova, and points to research
that wanted pregnancies occur less
frequently after the age of 35.
However, research findings vary
as to risks posed by increased
maternal age.
Some studies report greater risk
of pregnancy complications such as
premature delivery, stillbirth and
"Women aren't really told ofthe biological
disadvantages - particularly for the first baby."
PhD student Sarka Lisonkova has
launched a two-year study to look
at impacts of delayed childbearing
in B.C. It is the only population-
based study in North America to
examine trends in pregnancy outcomes as well as individual risk,
multiple births, and newborns' need
for health-care services, in both
rural and urban settings. She will
compare statistics for mothers over
35 with those for mothers aged 20-
35 years, and will also examine the
whole spectrum of age categories.
"Women aren't really told of the
biological disadvantages - particularly for the first baby," says
Lisonkova, who had her first child
at 28. "There's no arbitrary dead-
low birth weight. Some risks might
decrease, however, if mothers have
already had a first child before the
age of 35 years.
Other studies have reported no
association between age and outcome when factors such as obesity,
illness and prior reproductive
problems are taken into account.
Lisonkova will review the effect
of such risk factors as smoking and
fertility problems in her research.
In B.C., birth rates have dropped
over the last five years for all
age groups except mothers aged
35 years and older, who give birth
to approximately 8,000 babies
B.C. has the second highest proportion in Canada of live births to
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A UBC study on mothers over 35 may help planning for maternal and infant health services
mothers over 35 years and the
highest proportions for those
40-44 years.
Lisonkova is eager to find out at
what age reproductive risks
significantly increase and how risks
may change over the decade 35-45.
"Maybe as new generations are
getting healthier and living longer,
the reproductive system functions
quite well for longer," she says.
" Or maybe this is true only for
certain groups of women who
stick to a healthy lifestyle and are
free of illness or complicating
Lisonkova says B.C. offers the
opportunity to create a uniquely
comprehensive study, thanks to
resources offered by the B.C.
Linked Health Database and the
B.C Perinatal Database Registry.
These databases allow her to study
health services used by large population groups and link them to
complete obstetrical data for
approximately 200,000 births
during the period 1998-2002.
Using this and other B.C. vital
statistics data, she will plot and
compare a 10-year trend in health
service use for babies of both older
and young mothers.
Lisonkova believes that her study
will help guide planning for maternal/infant health services and that
differences between rural and
urban areas may reveal valuable
information to help allocate
resources in the province. Findings
on individual risk may assist
physicians and other health-care
professionals to recognize risks
during prenatal care and delivery
and will aid prenatal counseling
and planning.
The study is supported by the
Centre for Healthcare Innovation
and Improvement, located at
Children's & Women's Health
Centre of British Columbia, an
agency of the Provincial Health
Services Authority. Funding for this
research comes from a senior graduate studentship awarded by the
Michael Smith Foundation for
Health Research. □
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Expand Your Horizons with
UBC Continuing Studies
Mid-term courses start soon. Register today.
Art: The Fabric of Life as Represented in Art Oct 21
History:        Vancouver Neighborhoods Oct 16,
Ancient Persia Oct 14
Literature:    Poetry Deconstructed Oct 14,
Famous First Lines in Novels Oct 14
Music: Lift Every Voice and Sing Oct 14,
VSO Companion Oct 23
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The Personal Story as Myth Nov 10
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Annual General Meeting
Friday, October 29 12-1 p.m. at UBC Robson Square
Featuring guest speaker Jeffrey Simpson, National Affairs Columnist for The Globe and Mail.
The entire proceedings will be Webcast - all students, faculty and staff are invited to
view and participate in the event. There will be an opportunity to submit questions to the
speakers and university administration via the Webcast
Link to the Webcast from 12 noon onward on October 29 at www.ubc.ca REPORTS      |       OCTOBER     7,      2OO4      |      5
UBC Education Alum Helps Restore Afghanistan Agriculture
Proving that you can go home
again, UBC alumnus Tooryalai (Toor)
Wesa traveled to Afghanistan this
summer as part of an international
effort to revitalize his former country's agriculture system after two
decades of war.
At the invitation of the University
of California Davis, Wesa trained 40
Afghanistan-native agricultural specialists (or "extensionagents") on
issues related to grape growing,
including use of chemicals, irrigation,
picking, cleaning, storing and packag-
Suddenly there was international
interest in Afghanistan."
Following 9/11 and the subsequent
armed conflict, there was also international demand for someone with
Wesa's agricultural expertise, his
knowledge of the language, culture
and traditions of the country, and his
contacts. After teaching a course in
UBC's Dept. of Asian Studies in fall
2002, Wesa contacted various international organizations, educational
institutions and companies about
opportunities in Afghanistan. He
or political issues on the side, people
are skeptical and try not to get very
close to them. If it's purely a reconstruction issue, and if people are honest, hardworking and committed, the
Afghan people will have respect for
Agriculture is central to
Afghanistan's economy, with more
than 70 per cent of the population
associated with the sector. Prior to
years of conflict and drought,
Afghans were self-sufficient in wheat
production - the country's main crop.
Wheat must now be imported.
According to many in the international renewal effort, one of the challenges of reviving the agricultural sector and moving it quickly towards
self-sustainability is to give farmers an
alternative to poppy cultivation,
which provides the raw material for
opium and heroin. A recent report
released by the United Nations Office
of Drugs and Crime indicates that
opium production in Afghanistan is
estimated at 3,400 metric tons.
Poppies are estimated to earn approximately eight times more income per
hectare than wheat, with less water
and fewer inputs.
"Farmers are not interested in poppies," says Wesa. "It goes against religious and social norms. They want
alternatives. If other economic sources
are introduced to the farmer, the
marketing channels for surplus products, equal development and working
opportunities for Afghan women,
and protection of natural resources.
Wesa says capacity building is not
a priority for most international
organizations. But he believes educating extension agents and farmers on
issues such as orchard, farm and
family management, tree crops, and
post-harvest technology is key to a
renewal plan.
"You have to train people first,
then bring the technology," says
Wesa, who knows first-hand how
years of conflict have taken a toll on
education and the very composition
of Afghan society.
"The main problem is the lack of
professional people," he explains.
"We lost three or four generations.
"Any child born since the first day
of the Soviet-backed government
[April 27, 1978; the actual Soviet
occupation occurred December 27,
1979] has had almost no formal education. There is no infrastructure now.
There are no classrooms. There are no
libraries. There are no teachers. There
are no labs. Kabul University, as the
mother of all universities within the
country, is nothing more than a high
school, with limited qualified faculties,
a lack of research facilities and academic journals, and few teachers qualified to teach foreign languages."
Wesa intends to continue to participate in international renewal efforts in
Afghanistan. And he hopes his own
children - now 18, 21, and 22 and all
students at UBC (the oldest in medicine, the others at the Sauder School
of Business) - will travel there to
share their expertise one day. □
"Farmers are not interested in poppies," says Wesa. "It goes against
religious and social norms. They want alternatives. If other economic
sources are introduced to the farmer, the farmer will grow other crops.
Right now, the warlords are forcing them to grow poppies.
ing. These agents will then train the
country's grape growers.
"It's exciting to be there and to see
the impact these kinds of programs
are having," says Wesa, who received
his PhD in Educational Studies, with
a focus on adult education, from
UBC in 2002. "I'm more effective
there in Afghanistan than I am here."
Born in Kandahar in 1950, Wesa
received a bachelor of science degree
in agricultural economics and extension from Kabul University in the
early 1970s and a master of science
from the University of Nebraska-
Lincoln in 1977. He taught for many
years at Kabul University, advised the
Afghan government, the Food and
Agricultural Organization of the
United Nations and international
NGOs, and served as the first
President of Kandahar University for
10 months before leaving the country
with his physician wife and three
young daughters at the end of 1991.
After a period in Hungary and
Switzerland, the family came to
Canada and Wesa ended up at UBC.
His work this year in Afghanistan (he
had two other short-term assignments in the winter and spring) is a
logical extension of his UBC PhD
thesis, which focused on the Soviet
occupation's devastating impact on
the agricultural infrastructure and, in
particular, the educational component
of agricultural extension. To collect
data, he interviewed and surveyed
expatriate Afghanis who worked in
during the Soviet occupation.
"My UBC classmates were worried
about my country and wondered
why I wanted to pursue my PhD thesis on the agricultural extension system there. They didn't think it would
ever return to normal life and were
concerned I would never get the
opportunity to apply my experience
there," says Wesa.
"But I believe that without strong
extension programs, there is very lit
tie hope for renewal. I believe in my
people. I believe in my country. I
thought that hopefully when I finished my PhD, I could go back and
share my expertise.
"I was in the last stages of my thesis when September 11 happened.
eventually completed three short-
term assignments in the country for
Chemonics International, a global
consulting firm that performs its
work under contract to the U.S.
Agency for International
Development and other bilateral and
multilateral aid donors.
Wesa has been able to bridge the
gap between local Afghanis and the
non-Afghanis who are part of the
international effort to revitalize the
"Those who are really working in
agriculture or any other development
sector - they are welcome," he
explains. "But if they have religious
farmer will grow other crops. Right
now, the warlords are forcing them to
grow poppies. They are held hostage
by the warlords. Farmers want a normal life for themselves and for their
Grapes are just one of many horticultural crops that can provide a high-
income alternative to poppy cultivation. Such crops address the country's
own food and nutritional needs while
also producing something for the
international market.
In addition to crop alternatives,
most experts agree that restoring
Afghanistan agriculture will take
improved technology, capital, suitable
(Clockwise from top left) The international effort to revitalize agriculture took Wesa
to Laghmani, a village in Parwan Province north of Kabul; UC Davis' Ken Tourjee
leads a grape marketing pilot project that sends grapes to India from Afghanistan;
UBC alumnus Toor Wesa (far right) and agricultural extension agents meet with
Afghani grape growers. 6       |       UBC      REPORTS      |      OCTOBER     /,      2OO4
Margaret Visser on
The Meaning of Saints
October 20-21,2004
Wednesday, October 20,8:00 pm
Totem Park Residence Commonsblock, UBC
Thursday, October 21,12:00 pm
Totem Park Residence Commonsblock, UBC
Thursday, October 21,8:00 pm
The Chan Centre, UBC*
Tickets are free but must be obtained in advance
at vie Regent College reception, 5800 University
Bou/erant Vancouver, Phone; 604.224.3245
UBC Public Affairs has opened both a radio and TV studio on campus
where you can do live interviews with local, national and international
media outlets.
To learn more about being a UBC expert, call us at 604.822.2064 and
visit our web site at www.publicaffairs.ubc.ca/experts/signup
Growing Healthy at Work
Unique symposium will explore the connection between
workplace and personal health.
Workplace bullies, humour and
health, and the role of the manager
are among the topics to be explored
at UBC's second annual health
Called Cultivating Healthy
Change, the free symposium will
take place Wednesday, Oct. 27 from
7:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. at the Chan
Centre for the Performing Arts.
UBC is the only Canadian
university to offer such a day-long
symposium supported by the
organization and open to all
employees, according to Deb Jones,
a national consultant on healthy
organizations, who has interviewed
health promotion personnel at
University of Victoria, University of
Toronto and University of Calgary.
"There is a great interest in workplace health at all these universities,
however, none have developed
anything like UBC's annual
symposium," says Jones.
Gerry Latham, manager of UBC's
Health Promotion Program, says the
understanding of organizational
health and its relationship to personal health has risen tremendously on
campus since last year's symposium.
"We know the pace of change is
determined by employees themselves
so this year we're emphasizing not
only how individuals can make a
change for themselves but also how
they can lead a change toward a
healthy workplace," says Latham.
Open to all UBC faculty and staff,
the symposium includes two
featured speakers. Linda Duxbury,
of the Sprott School of Business at
Carleton University, will talk about
her study of 10,000 Canadian
employees and their views on
work-life balance and conflict,
including factors that make balance
difficult and suggestions for coping.
Canada's Man-in-Motion Rick
Hansen will talk about the power of
setting life goals, achieving balance
and dreaming big dreams.
"The focus continues to be on
both the individual as well as the
organization and this year we want
to address some deeper issues," says
event coordinator Dana Mahon, of
the Dept. of Health, Safety and the
Environment, which is presenting
the symposium.
The day will feature six breakout
sessions that cover topics ranging
from managerial skills needed for
a healthy workplace, to depression,
building personal resilience to
change, the value of laughter and
A health fair will take place
during the event in the concourse of
the Chan Centre and will feature
interactive exhibitions such as blood
pressure, blood glucose, bone
density and blood cholesterol testing,
as well as information booths on
health-care providers, fitness
professionals and health and
wellness resources.
"UBC senior administrators have
made it clear that they're serious
about creating a culture shift that
will enable and reinforce employees'
efforts to maintain a work-life
balance," says Latham. "We want
to give employees the right tools to
help build a healthy workplace and
to take responsibility for their own
health once they leave work."
For more information on the
symposium, visit
www.hse.ubc.ca/health-symposium. □
INTRODUCING ARGYLL HOUSE EAST - with wide-open views
of the Pacific Ocean, Coastal Islands and Coast Mountains, surrounded
by countless cultural, social and out-door opportunities. Literally steps
from the Chan Centre, the Museum of Anthropology, and Pacific Spirit
Regional Park, Argyll House East is a rare collection of apartment homes,
penthouses and cityhomes built to the highest standards. All this, and
it's in the established neighbourhood of West Point Grey on the grounds
of the University of British Columbia, This could be the site of your new
home. And with all that's best about living in Vancouver at your
doorstep, could you picture anything more perfect?
One Bedroom & One + Den Apartments priced from $264,900.
-Two Bedroom Corner Apartments priced from $479,900.
cltyitomes priced from $574,900.
Penthouses priced from $599,900.
Stop by our Discovery Centre
at 1716 Theology Mall
facing Chancellor Boulevard,
Open noon til 5pm daily
(except Fridays)
For more information call us at 604.228.8100
or visit our website at www.argyllhouse.ca
ARGYLL HOUSE   I A UBC      REPORTS      |       OCTOBER     /,     2OO4      |      7
Retiring Within 5 Years?
i ^ rjui w -
iiuili- ('ii M-Jj  ..:-»Ui
liHfc- .'».  \£^-—'"\\\
The original architect's plan for the Point Grey campus, drawn up
in June 1914, just before the beginning of the Great War, was broad
and ambitious. It would take 60 years for anything resembling it to
develop. □
New Computer Science
Degree Program
Students from diverse working world backgrounds can gain
computer expertise. BY GAYLE MAVOR
As classmates go, they couldn't be
more different.
Laura Asian is a 34-year-old
single mom with a Master of
Psychology who has spent most
of the past four years since she
arrived from Romania working in
group homes with teenagers at risk
and their parents.
Saylor Bale holds a Master of
Neuroscience from Washington
State University. Prior to coming
to UBC, she was doing research
related to cellular and molecular
biology at the Max Planck
Institute in Germany.
But these two new UBC students
are among the first to be accepted
into an unusual new bachelor of
computer science degree designed
for individuals who already hold
at least a bachelor's degree and
would like to add computer
expertise to their education and
work experience.
Offered through the department
of computer science, the Bachelor
of Computer Science (Integrated
Computer Science) is 20-month
second degree program that is the
first of its kind in Western Canada.
Asian says she gathered the
courage to apply to the program
in spite of "not being particularly
great at math, and with only
average computer skills", because
it was one of the few programs
she could find in her online search
that was not designed for
"computer geeks."
Her motivation was also ignited
by the lack of computer experience
she witnessed while working in
group homes. She was often the
person who ended up troubleshooting and, as a result, began to recognize a genuine interest in learning
more. Since applying to BCS (ICS),
she has also inspired her 15-year-
old daughter Ioana to enroll in a
technology immersion program
offered through King George
Secondary school in Vancouver's
West End.
"I can envision," she says, "the
future possibility that Ioana and I
might actually be capable of creating our own consulting firm
focused specifically on addressing
the computing needs of the social
services sector in Vancouver."
Smaller class sizes, a greater
emphasis on communication and
technical writing skills, and an
optional Co-op component are
some of the program's features.
Twenty-nine students with backgrounds ranging from linguistics to
medicine are currently enrolled,
and the diversity of their education
al backgrounds helps to enrich the
learning environment.
BCS (ICS) director Paul Carter,
an instructor in computer science,
emphasizes that this two-year
degree provides students with all
the core courses that are expected
of students taking the four year
Bachelor of Science degree. In addition to Computer Science courses,
the program offers 15 credits of
upper level electives that allow students to expand on their previous
education or branch out in a completely new direction and explore
the interdisciplinary nature of computer science in the world.
" Increasingly, computers are the
driving force in research as witnessed in the Human Genome
Project and other large research
projects. Computing professionals
are key partners in collaboration
with other experts to propel
advances in so many areas of society, " says Carter.
Having a well-rounded background and up-to-date computer
knowledge is definitely a plus by
industry standards.
Jon Stevens, a program/product
manager with Absolute Software, a
downtown Vancouver firm that
provides a guaranteed computer
theft recovery and secure asset
tracking service, says that when
he's recruiting for a software developer, he's more likely to choose
someone with real world experience, in addition to their degree.
"The ideal candidate is someone
who can understand the business
needs and financial constraints of
the project and can work in teams
or on their own. Strong written
and verbal communication is vitally important as is the ability to
adjust the communication dependent on the audience - from sales to
technical staff," Stevens says.
"A breadth of technical skills is
also a bonus - most software
involves a user interface and a
database so I look for a developer
with both these skill sets. Finally I
look for experience in the complete
software development lifecycle -
from analysis/design through coding, testing and implementation. A
candidate with all these skills will
be very marketable."
BCS (ICS) evolved from a previous diploma program known as
Alternate Routes to Computing
(ARC) designed in 1998 by computer science instructors Ian Cavers
and George Tsiknis.
The next intake to the BCS (ICS)
program is in September 2005 with
an application deadline of
February 28, 2005. For more
information, visit
www.arc.cs.ubc.ca. □
A New Entrance for
UbL continued from page 1
hub for the campus with a major
public space above a transit station
accommodating 53,000 transit trips
a day, and providing university-
related shops and services for
students, faculty, staff and campus
Campus participation will be an
important element of the competition, Pavlich said. UBC students,
faculty and staff will be invited to
take an active part in campus
community roundtables at the
shortlisting stage of the competition
in November 2004. Similarly,
finalists' proposals will be put on
display for public viewing, and a
campus community questionnaire
and poll in March 2005 will help
to inform the final juried selection
of the winning entry in April 2005.
For further information on the
competition visit www.university-
town.ca or call the University Town
hotline at 604-822-6400. □
Human Kinetics prof. Patricia Vertinsky
studies the social and cultural history of
the body, exercise and physical culture.
The Body Beautiful
continued from page 1
body, the tattooed body - and
bodies that deviate from these
accepted standards - and influencing how we view ourselves, how
we behave, how we interact with
others, how we look, even how we
are trained in physical education.
"Why do we teach the kinds of
sports that we do in schools? Why
do kids play basketball in gym class
instead of swimming, bicycling or
dancing?" says Vertinsky. "There
are historical reasons in modern
society for selecting the sports and
physical activities that we find most
appropriate for boys, girls, older
people and so on."
For additional information about
Physical Culture, Power and the
Body, visit
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"Frank and Don made me feel very comfortable with their advice and
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also a plus for UBC professors. "
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The Pleasures of Silk
Novel program will see Vancouver street youth raise silk. BY HILARY THOMSON
Joanna Staniszkis harvests mulberry leaves for her silk project.
Green College Writer-in-Residence
Green College at the University of British Columbia invites
applications from Canadian writers for the positron ofWriter-
in-Residence.The term of the residency will be for three months
between September 1,2005 and April 30,2006, subject to funding
The Writer-in-Rosidence will work with the Green College
community through individual consultations and through the
Colleges established reading series. She or he must live at the
College for the duration of the term, and will be provided with
room, partial board and a stipend of $1 6,000.
Writers with a minimum of one book in print who have made a
significant contribution to their area of specialty over a number
of years, are invited to send their applications to:
Writer-in-Residence Selection Committee
Green College
6201 Cecil Green Park Road
Vancouver, BC V6T 1Z1
Applications must include a curriculum vitae, 20-30 page writing
sample and two letters of reference,
Application deadline: Postmarked December 37,2004.
For further information, please go to: www.gfeencol1ege.ubc.C3
Raising silkworms for a new project
involving UBC landscape architecture
students and Lower Mainland street
youth is the next step in Joanna
Staniszkis' long and creative
association with UBC.
Staniszkis is a practicing textile
artist who joined UBC in 1969. An
associate professor in the Faculty of
Agricultural Sciences, she teaches textile design as well as design and creativity in the landscape architecture
program. She is one of 29 individuals
to be honoured for reaching 35 years
of service at UBC. In addition to this
group - known collectively as
Tempus Fugit, or Time Flies - the
Quarter Century Club will induct
47 faculty and librarians who have
reached 25 years of service at a
dinner to be held Oct. 19.
Staniszkis' project explores the
cycle of silk production. Six mulberry
trees have been planted at the rear of
the MacMillan Bldg. on campus to
serve as a leaves-to-go fast food outiet
for the hundreds of silk worms she is
"I have discovered there is a tradition in many countries of children
raising silk worms as a hobby," says
Staniszkis. "With these little creatures,
I hope to give street youth something
to care for and a low-tech pastime."
She has planted mulberry cuttings
on the roof of Vancouver's Covenant
House, a crisis intervention centre
and residence for homeless and
runaway youth. The trees will mature
in about two years when she plans to
engage the residents in raising worms,
producing silk and creating art
objects of silk cocoons and "reeled"
or roughly spun silk.
In her own art, Staniszkis is using
both cocoons and worms - which
look like caterpillars - to create
installations such as an antique pair
of silk slippers "decorated" with
cocooning silk worms.
Of her 35 years at UBC, Staniszkis
highlights a couple of changes: the
increase in international students in
her classes, and changes in the overall
look of the campus as construction
creates new and interesting spaces
between and around buildings.
Something that hasn't changed is
her love of teaching and joy working
with students, she says.
"I have a whole big group of students who continue to correspond
with me over the years about their
careers and exhibitions of creative
For a complete list of 2004 Quarter
Century Club inductees and Tempus
Fugit members, visit
www.ceremonies.ubc.ca/qcc. □
Letter tO the Editor continued from page 2
al experience. If anything, I believe
that this international perspective is
critical in shaping 'exceptional global
citizens'. However, I do have a problem with these experiences speaking
for and being held more highly in
regard than the lived experiences of
those in and from Developing
countries. We do not seek western
pity, instead we seek respect. For
without this respect, the west continues to violate the freedoms and rights
of those in developing countries.
The two dominant images of
Africa are wild animals and safaris
and poverty and strife. And while we
do not disagree that these two images
are present in Africa, there is a lot
more to the continent. What this
article should have and could have
acknowledged was the successes that
have been achieved in Uganda and
Senegal where the HIV/AIDS statistics
have actually reduced. In Uganda, the
prevalence rates have reduced from
14% to 8%. The article could have
acknowledged that part of the reason
why there is such limited access to
treatment is because the rich pharmaceutical companies of the west would
rather make astronomical profits than
save millions of lives. The article
could have presented a more balanced
picture of the AIDS crisis in Africa.
But the article was not interested in
doing so. The moral finger-pointing
on Africans for not accepting western
remedies such as condoms without
recognizing the sexual politics of
southern Africa and the fact that a
condom may be meaningless in a
situation where one sometimes has
little freedom to exercise the choice to
have sex or not presents a simplistic
and poor analysis of the HIV/AIDS
pandemic in Africa.
It is time that Africa was
represented for what it is. Moreover,
it is time that Africans were
empowered to speak for themselves.
In the 21st century, with technology
at its peak, we need not rely on others
to tell our story. We are capable of
telling it ourselves.
Brenda Adhiambo Ogembo
VP Academic and University Affairs,
Alma Mater Society
President, Students Against Global
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