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UBC Reports May 6, 2010

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THE    UNIVERSITY   OF    BRITISH    COLUMBIA    |    VOLUME    57    NO    05    |    MAY    6,    2010    |    WWW.UBC.CA
a place of mind
Congregation Issue
in ceremonies from May 26-June 2 in Vancouver, and June 11 in Kelowna, more than
6,500 students will receive their hard-earned undergraduate and graduate degrees
from UBC. For information about graduation ceremonies, visit www.graduation.ubc.ca.
Ane Launy is ready to trade the pop charts for Wall Street. PAGE 3
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Highlights of UBC media coverage in April 2010. compiled by heather amos
Architectural rendering of the Beaty Biodiversity Museum atrium.
Controversy over Arctic conference
Michael Byers, professor
of international law and politics at
UBC, discussed important issues
that emerged about the Arctic from
a meeting between Canada, Russia,
Denmark, Norway and the United
States, with AI Jazeera English,
Agence France Presse, United Press
International, CBC and many others
"We hope to see ever greater
co-operation in the north, and
co-operation involves building
partnerships not closing doors," said
Byers' book Who Owns the Arctic?:
Understanding Sovereignty Disputes
in the North was named one of four
finalists for this year's Donner Prize—
an award that recognizes excellence in
writing about Canadian public policy,
as was reported in the Globe and Mail,
the Canadian Press, the Toronto Star,
The Vancouver Sun and others
UBC gets whale of a skeleton
The Globe and Mail, CTV, CBC, Global,
the Canadian Press and others reported
that the blue whale that washed up on
a PEI shore 23 years ago arrived at its
permanent home as the centerpiece of
UBC's Beaty Biodiversity Museum
It took a lot of work to get the
skeleton ready for display; every
single one of the whale's vertebra
was broken and needed repairs
"It doesn't look like the skeleton
was ever broken," said project
manager Mike de Roos. "To make it
ook really good was a challenge."
Looking at Sick People Can Keep
You Healthy
CBS News, Discovery News,
Psychology Today, Discover Magazine,
the Cleveland Leader and others
reported on a new study by UBC
scientists that suggests looking at
people who look sick helps your
immune system prevent you from
getting sick.
"It seems that there is something
specific about seeing people who
ook diseased that triggers the
immune system to kick it into a
higher gear," says social psychologist
Mark Schaller
UBC researcher in running for
$100,000 prize
The Los Angeles Times and the
Indianapolis Star report that UBC
seahorse expert Amanda Vincent
is among the six finalists for the
$100,000 Indianapolis Prize for
animal conservation
Vincent is the co-founder of
Project Seahorse, and is responsible
for putting seahorses on the globa
conservation agenda. She holds the
Canada Research Chair in Marine
Conservation at UBC's Fisheries
Centre and is considered the leading
authority on seahorse biology and
Potentially deadly fungus spreading
in B.C., northern U.S.
Science News, the Los Angeles Times,
Science Now, Toronto Star and others
reported on a potentially lethal
fungus that is showing up in British
Columbia and the northwestern
United States in a rare but highly
virulent form
Cryptococcus gattii has caused
more than 200 severe brain and lung
infections and killed 24 people since
1999, and researchers have reported
that a newly described strain is
especially concerning
"We don't want to overly alarm
people, because it's still actually
a very rare infection," says UBC's
Karen Bartlett, an environmenta
hygienist who is considered one of
the world's leading experts on C.
gattii. ■
Executive Director      SCOTT MACRAE scott.macrae@ubc.ca
Editor RANDY SCHMIDT randy.schmidt@ubc.ca
Designers PING Kl CHAN ping.chan@ubc.ca
ANN GONCALVES ann.goncalves@ubc.ca
Photographer MARTIN DEE martin.dee@ubc.ca
Web Designer MICHAEL KO michael.ko@ubc.ca
Contributors HEATHER AMOS heather.amos@ubc.ca
CHRIS BALMA chris.balma@ubc.ca
LORRAINE CHAN lorraine.chan@ubc.ca
ERINROSE HANDY erinrose.handy@ubc.ca
jody jacob jody.jacob@ubc.ca
BRIAN KLADKO brian.kladko@ubc.ca
BRIAN LIN brian.Iin@ubc.ca
basil waugh basil.waugh@ubc.ca
PEARLIE DAVISON pearlie.davison@ubc.ca
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A big heart powers his moving muscles ride
like clark Kent, upon first encounter
Keith Martin doesn't appear to be a
super hero. It is only upon reflecting
on his accomplishments that you
realize how special he is
The 24-year old from Montreal,
Quebec graduates this month from
the Engineering Physics program
During his time at UBC, he's acquired
an impressive resume working on coop terms for Bombardier Aerospace,
General Hydrogen, Tri-Y Technologies
and Ballard Power Systems. He even
has U.S. and international patents
pending for his work on a fuel cell sea
design with Ballard Power Systems
Martin is a founding member of
the Emerging Leaders of UBC club
and has held five executive positions
within Sigma Chi Fraternity. He's
earned numerous industry awards
including the British Columbia
Technology Industry Association's
Technology Scholarship, the
Association of Professional Engineers
and Geoscientists of British
Columbia's (APEGBC) BC Hydro
Scholarship and the APEGBC MAPS
Scholarship three consecutive years
He is also a member of the Golden
Key Honour Society.
But what sets Martin apart is
not his ability to run faster than a
speeding bullet while carrying a
flame—although he was an Olympic
torchbearer this winter—or Storm the
Wall in a single bound, or his resume
What sets him apart as a super man
is the effect he has on others
"It's a pretty special feeling to
inspire people, to make a difference in
their lives, to feel we made an impact
through our actions," says Martin
During the summer of 2008
Martin rode his bike across Canada
to increase awareness and fundraise
for muscular dystrophy, a condition
he has
Along with his Sigma Chi fraternity
brothers Michael McDonald and
Patrick Cuthbert (BASc '08) and
two other friends, Jonathan Taves
and Brian Sprague, the "Flying Five"
raised $200,000 for Muscular
Dystrophy Canada
As part of the fundraising effort,
Martin wrote The Flying Five: The
Odyssey of the Moving Muscles Ride
(Flying Five Press) detailing the
7,800 km journey. It chronicles the
85-day journey beginning with a
Engineering Physics graduate Keith Martin rode his bike across Canada in 2008 to increase awareness for muscular dystrophy.
ceremonial dip in the Pacific and
ending with a shot of screech in the
Atlantic, sublimely and elegantly
describing the geography and culture
of the nation
deteriorating genetic condition
The condition presents itself by
progressive weakness of facial,
shoulder and upper-arm muscles, and
affects balance
The group faced many highs and
lows along the journey, the worst
being two weeks of headwinds on
the Prairies; one day was so bad, they
rode only 60 kilometers, averaging 12
'The knowledge that confronting my ailment could inspire
not only others with the disorder, but anyone who would
learn about the ride, was a huge motivator for me."
The story is dedicated to the
thousands of Canadians who live
with muscular dystrophy and other
neuromuscular disorders
"My hope is that this story will help
them and their families to better
cope and encourage them to strive
towards goals that might otherwise
seem out of reach," says Martin
During Martin's second year
at UBC, he was diagnosed with
facioscapulohumeral muscular
dystrophy (FSHD), a muscle-
"There have been many times
when I struggled to cope with the
realization that my body was not
going to function how I wanted it
to," says Martin. "Not only did I see
this trip as a way for me to deal with
my affliction but I wanted to be able
to turn it into something positive
and help others. The knowledge that
confronting my ailment could inspire
not only others with the disorder, but
anyone who would learn about the
ride, was a huge motivator for me."
kilometers per hour.
A highpoint of the journey for
Martin was a homecoming in summer
community Metis Beach, Quebec-
complete with fire engine escorts,
ringing church bells and about 300
people cheering them on
"I'm proud that we set a goal and
we accomplished it—exceeded it,"
says Martin
He refers to both the bike ride
and the fundraising goal. In addition
to the grueling physical endeavor,
Martin engineered a significant
fundraising campaign—sending
etters to friends, family and
corporate sponsors, creating a
website, purchasing equipment and
inspiring people to give money.
After the successful effort, Martin
was named a Muscular Dystrophy
Canada National Ambassador, has
been a keynote speaker at two
conferences, and received the Miche
Louvain award as Client of the Year.
One young fan wrote to him, "I
truly think meeting you was way
better than meeting a celebrity. It
makes me realize that normal people
can make a difference."
Martin shares the secret of his
success: "I focus on what I can do
instead of what I cannot," he says
Visit the moving muscles website
at: www.movingmusclesride.ca
To discover more Faculty of
Applied Science rising stars,
visit: www.apsc.ubc.ca/stars/
congregationlO. ■
Olympic organizer, TV ranter, Gen X author,
astronaut to receive UBC honorary degrees
the architect of Canada's
Golden 2010 Games, a much-
oved Canadian comedian, an
acclaimed B.C. writer and artist,
and an accomplished astronaut
and engineer are among the
12 individuals who will receive
honorary degrees during Spring and
Fall ceremonies this year from the
University of British Columbia
JOHN furlong is the CEO of
VANOC, the Vancouver Organizing
Committee for the 2010 Olympic and
Paralympic Winter Games. Furlong,
who came to Canada from Ireland
more than three decades ago, was
also the President and COO for the
Vancouver 2010 Bid Corporation
rick mercer is the co-creator
of the popular This Hour has 22
Minutes and host of The Rick Mercer
Report. Mercer has received more
than 20 Gemini awards. He is co-
chair of the Spread the Net campaign,
which provides bed nets to protect
children in Africa from malaria
douglas coupland is a Vancouver-
based writer and artist who is
perhaps best known for his first novel,
Generation X, which became a major
cultural phenomenon after being
published in 1990. Since then, he has
published nearly 20 more works of
fiction and non-fiction, and he has
been involved in television, film and
theatrical work.
julie payette, who will receive
her degree in the Fall, was Chief
Astronaut with the Canadian Space
Agency from 2000 to 2007. In 1992,
the agency chose Payette from
thousands of candidates to serve as
one of four astronauts. Payette flew
aboard the Space Shuttle Discovery
in 1999, and aboard the Space Shuttle
Endeavour in 2009
Other Vancouver campus
recipients, in alphabetical order
• dr. james c. hogg, founder of
the Pulmonary Research Laboratory
at St. Paul's Hospital (renamed in
2003) and a member of the Canadian
Medical Hall of Fame
• maria klawe, a former Dean of
Science at UBC and the President of
Harvey Mudd College in California
distinguished documentary filmmaker
and advocate for Aborigina
• louis nirenberg (Fall recipient),
an exceptional mathematician and
committed educator
• dal Richards, the leader of the
Dal Richards Orchestra, which has
performed at the Pacific Nationa
Exhibition for 70 consecutive years
• ian Wallace, an artist, theorist
and scholar who has taught and
mentored some of Vancouver's most
noteworthy artists
• ibrahim gedeon, Chief Technology
Officer at TELUS Communications Inc.
internationally recognized leader in
addiction medicine and Director of
the National Institute on Drug Abuse
UBC's Okanagan campus holds
its Convocation ceremony on June
11, and will award an honorary degree
Ride Mercer
to Dr. Samantha Nutt, founder of the
humanitarian organization War Child
For ceremony schedules visit
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Pharmacy grad ready for adventure
Taylor cheered himself hoarse
during the 2010 Winter Olympic
and Paralympic Games. But as a
Paralympic medalist and a volunteer
at Whistler, Taylor enjoyed a ringside
"I could enter the field of play
and it was like old times with my
teammates," says Taylor, who worked
on the crew that painted the blue
ines bordering the ski course. "A
highlight was watching Lauren
Woolstencroft win her fifth gold
medal during her fifth race."
Being so close to the action was
a poignant flashback to his own
competitive ski racing days, says
Taylor, who graduates from the
Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences
this month
Between 2004 and 2006, Taylor
was a member of Canada's para-
alpine ski team as guide to his legally
blind partner, Chris Williamson. They
won Paralympic bronze and silver.
With six per cent vision, Williamson
would navigate by looking for Taylor
as the shape that preceded him
down the slope. The two would
communicate via radio microphone
and an earpiece
Taylor had to make sure he was
centimetres apart from Williamson
during a slalom, a distance that would
increase up to 30 metres for events
ike downhill
"Depending on the race, we'd
sometimes be reaching speeds of 110
kilometres an hour," recalls Taylor.
Ski racing came easily to Taylor, a
West Vancouver native who took his
first lessons on Cypress Mountain
His agility and prowess won him
a ski-racing scholarship at the
University of Alaska where he earned
Paralympian medalist Bobby Taylor has worked as a commercial fisherman, taught English in Japan and is now tackling the healthcare field.
a BSc in biology in 1999
While volunteering at the
Paralympics this March, Taylor
glimpsed possible career options that
combine sports and pharmaceutica
sciences. He was able to visit the
"polyclinic" at Whistler's Olympic
Village. These mini hospitals are
equipped with emergency care, denta
clinic, labs and pharmacy to provide
athletes with top-notch medica
"It was great to see what happens
behind the scenes and especially how
a pharmacist works in that setting."
And now Taylor will gain further
insights into his new profession as
he has won a coveted spot with the
Vancouver Coastal Health Authority
for a year-long residency at a hospita
"A lot of people think the job is
about counting pills or mixing potions,
but it's really more about using
our knowledge of therapeutics and
pharmacology to ensure patients are
getting appropriate medication"
Taylor zeroed in on UBC when it
came to pursuing a pharmaceutica
sciences degree. "There are other
faculties across Canada offering
similar programs, but this is where
want to be."
UBC has always been part of his
life, explains Taylor. As a child, he
frequently visited his father, Steve
Taylor, who taught in the Schoo
of Architecture and Landscape
Architecture before his retirement
Taylor says he will no doubt
find great adventures and rich life
experiences in the healthcare field
"My nature is that whatever I do, I like
to give it all I have."
Apart from the ski racing, Taylor
has also travelled the world,
taught English in Japan, worked
on a commercial fishing boat
and has self-published a book of
his photography featuring B.C.'s
remarkable coastline. ■
Engineering a first
in the Okanagan
Erin Johnston is in the first class to graduate with a Bachelor of Applied Science in
electrical engineering from the School of Engineering at UBC's Okanagan campus.
when erin Johnston steps across the
stage this June to accept her degree
in electrical engineering, she will be
part of the first graduating cohort of
the School of Engineering at UBC's
Okanagan campus in Kelowna
"It's been a really amazing,
somewhat unexpected journey," says
Johnston. "I'm really glad I chose
to come through this program. The
small class sizes were a huge benefit
to me, and I built some really great
relationships with both classmates and
A lot of changes have taken place
since the School of Engineering was
established in 2005, and Johnston
has witnessed many of them. The
Kelowna native arrived for her first
year of studies with a UBC Major
Entrance Scholarship of $20,000,
and as a student added other awards
including the Stantec Scholarship in
Engineering, a Natural Sciences and
Engineering Research Council (NSERC)
Undergraduate Research Award,
Canadian Tire A.J. Bilies Scholarship,
and, most recently, Co-op Student of
the Year.
"Definitely I would have to say that
co-op education has played a big role
in my development," says Johnston
"When I came to university I wasn't
even sure what stream of engineering
was interested in. I dove in and
discovered through co-op education
that electrical engineering is where my
passion lies."
Johnston participated in five work
terms as an engineering student
They ranged from working with an
IT department at an oil mine in Fort
McMurray to research-intensive work
opportunities in a lab at UBC
"To be honest, I wasn't expecting
research to be my thing," says
Johnston. "But once I became involved
with it, I found I really liked it."
Johnston had such a great
experience working as an
undergraduate researcher that she
has decided to return this September
to the Okanagan campus to pursue
a master's degree in electrica
engineering. Her interest lies in digital
design and micro-computers
"The co-op opportunity was so
valuable. You get the experience and
really understand what you want to
do," says Johnston, who has acted as
an ambassador for the co-op program
over the last few years, mentoring
her fellow engineering students. "The
School of Engineering is able to
connect students with engineering
professionals in so many disciplines."
Over the past five years, some of
Johnson's best memories come from
the close-knit bonds with faculty and
In March, Johnston was part of a
group of graduates who traveled to
Vancouver to receive their Iron Rings.
"In Canada, when you graduate from
engineering you get an Iron Ring," said
Johnston, adding that it is a tradition
unique to Canada that serves as a
reminder for engineers to live by a high
standard of professional conduct
"I know everyone in the graduating
class, which is really nice, and it
was a very memorable experience
to travel down to Vancouver to get
our rings—everyone was so excited
Some engineers from companies in
Kelowna came down with us to do the
Johnston hopes that after her
master's degree she can use the loca
connections built through the School
of Engineering to find work in the
Okanagan, and find a way to give back
to the community her heart has always
called home. ■
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Teklemichael Sahlemarian relishes the opportunities he has to help fellow Ethiopians.
Law grad had to flee homeland
teklemichael sahlemariam never
takes justice for granted
The UBC law graduate knows too well
the costs of injustice
In 2001, Sahlemariam was in his
fourth year and president of the
student government at Addis Ababa
University Law School when he
earned that the government was
arresting students. Sahlemariam and
other activists were speaking out
for greater academic freedom and
human rights
With the help of a friend,
Sahlemariam fled the country.
"In a dictatorship, there is no other
opinion except for the government's,"
he says. "That is why I love Canada
Here, you can leave your home in the
morning and know that you'll be able
to return safely that night."
Sahlemariam escaped the fate of 40
youths who were gunned down in the
streets of Addis Ababa in April 2001
He made his way to Kenya where he
stayed "in limbo" at a refugee camp
for four years
In 2005, his story took a happier turn
Sahlemariam was sponsored by the
ties I have to my Canadian family," he
says, adding that Vancouver's mild
weather and stunning views also
sweetened the deal
Throughout his studies, Sahlemariam
in Negelle Borena, and raised in
Arsi Negelle, small towns that are
600 kilometres and 225 kilometres
respectively from Addis Ababa,
Ethiopia's capital
"In a dictatorship, there is no other opinion except for
the government's," he says. "That is why I love Canada.
Here, you can leave your home in the morning and know
that you'll be able to return safely that night."
Dunbar Heights United Church for
permanent residency in Canada.  In
Vancouver, he was "adopted" by a
Canadian family that he continues to
ive with
Sahlemariam initially attended
Langara College and Royal Roads
University, and in 2007 was accepted
into law at UBC
"I really wanted to study here because
of the reputation of UBC and the close
has worked nights and weekends to
earn money to support himself and
to send funds to his family as well
as friends living in refugee camps
in Kenya, Eritrea, and Uganda.  He
currently works as an attendant at
a residence for people living with
mental illness and addiction
"Two hundred dollars a month can
support a large group of people,"
says Sahlemariam, who was born
With a Juris Doctor in hand,
Sahlemariam says he hopes to find
an articling job in possible areas that
include criminal law, immigration,
administrative or human rights law.
What fuels his hopes and dreams
is to help free his country, says
Sahlemariam. But at this point, he
has no plans to return to Ethiopia
"since I would be required to renounce
everything I believe in and tell the
government that I totally agree with
nstead, Sahlemariam is plugged
into a network of Ethiopian activists
across Canada and abroad. This
month, he is organizing a fundraiser
to sponsor a candidate for Ethiopia's
upcoming federal election although
"no one expects the election to be free
and fair by any standard."
With a couple of friends, he co-
hosts two Co-op Radio programs,
Meleket Radio and Radio Ethiopia
Sahlemariam is also a member of the
Ethiopian Canadian Citizens League
The organization is working with
Burnaby-New Westminster MP Peter
Julian to sponsor a private member's
bill for supporting human rights in
Ethiopia and freeing political prisoner
Birtukan Mideksa, a 36-year-old
woman who is the president of the
main opposition party in Ethiopia
"This is what gives me happiness
These are the ways I try to make
School of Engineering
graduates first Okanagan cohort
undergraduate student numbers have exploded since
the School of Engineering at UBC's Okanagan campus
opened in 2005, going from 76 students in the first
year to 482 students currently studying toward their
Bachelor of Applied Science degrees in Civil, Electrical or
Mechanical Engineering.
This June, an important milestone will be reached with
the graduation of the School's first cohort of students,
who began their studies in 2005.
"The ultimate goal of the School of Engineering is to
graduate people who will make a difference in the world,"
says Spiro Yannacopoulos, Associate Dean and Director of
the School of Engineering. "As a school, we will measure
our success by the success of our graduates."
Today, the School has 36 master's students and 34
PhD students, and the graduate program has received
hundreds of applications from all over the world this year
To accommodate the ever-expanding group of students,
faculty and staff, a new $68-million dollar building will
soon become home to the School of Engineering, the
Faculty of Management and the Faculty of Education.
"We have evolved into a program that is garnering
a reputation for excellence across the globe," says
Yannacopoulos. "We have worked very hard to create a
first-rate program with an international scope that focuses
on things like team work, research opportunities, design,
technology, and industry experience." ■
Spiro Yannacopoulos, Associate Dean and Director of the School of
Engineering, has seen tremendous growth in the Engineering program.
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UBC    REPORTS    |    MAY   6,    2010
Determination to start over
of lectures and lots of stressfu
exams, most students can't wait to
escape school at the end of the day.
For Nantha Rajkumar its different-
she can't stay away.
Last year, Rajkumar was forced to
take a year off of school for medica
reasons. But every day, she would
walk to the Nobel Biocare Oral Health
Centre, on UBC's Vancouver campus,
to visit with the faculty and staff from
her dentistry program
"They took the time every day. They
felt like friends and family," says
Rajkumar. "I appreciated all they did
to help me get through a difficult year,
they were very supportive."
Finding a network has meant a lot
to the UBC Dentistry graduate. Seven
years ago, Rajkumar had two well
established dentistry practices in Sri
Lanka and was surrounded by family
and friends
But social unrest and violence
were escalating. Rajkumar and her
husband decided to leave the country
with their children, then aged two
and four.
Scarborough, Ontario was a big
change from Sri Lanka's capital of
Colombo. In Sri Lanka, Rajkumar
had been so busy with her practices
that her children had to spend a lot
of time with their grandparents and
extended family. Now in Canada, the
children found the separation hard
and worried about their relatives
back home. Plus, the parents
realized they'd have to upgrade their
credentials in Canada
For two years, Rajkumar stayed
home with their children as they
adjusted to Canadian life. Her
husband, previously an electronic
engineer, worked as a technician to
support the family.
By 2005, Rajkumar was ready to
start work again. She took eligibility
exams and asked around about
dentistry programs. Canadian
dentist friends suggested UBC. She
researched and found out it had
a good reputation as a learning
institution, and decided it was the
Nantha Rajkumar practiced dentistry in Sri Lanka for 10 years before moving her family to Canada because of social unrest and violence.
best place for her to continue her
"When I came for the interview,
they knew how I felt as a dentist from
another country," she says. "They
respected that I was a dentist and
made me feel very comfortable."
The family packed up again and
moved to Vancouver in 2007 so
Rajkumar could do a two-year
nternational Dental Degree
Completion Program leading to a
Doctor of Dental Medicine (DMD)
She wasn't upset about having to
come back to school despite having
practiced dentistry for 10 years in her
home country. She's learned about
new technologies, new approaches
to dentistry skills, how the insurance
process works and how to manage a
practice here in Canada
The smiling grad says the
process of establishing yourself as
a professional in a new country was
more challenging than she expected
including the illness that forced
her to take a year of medical leave
Luckily, her children and her husband
have been there to cheer her on
"They knew how important this was
to me," says Rajkumar, who returned
to her studies this September, and
will be walking across the stage on
June 1
After a few years of working for
someone else, Rajkumar would like
to open her own practice again. This
would make her 10-year-old daughter
happy. Having always looked up to
mom, she hopes to become a dentist
and inherit a family practice some day.
Rajkumar would also like to come
back to UBC and teach part-time in
the school's clinics. "I'd like to keep
these friendships," she says. ■
An appetite for service
would be a bit of an understatement
Dharamsi, a fourth-year Integrated
Sciences Program (ISP) student, has
turned her passion for all things
nutrition-related—the, social, cultural,
physiological and developmenta
impact of food—into a guiding
"We can't have civil society, we can't
have children learning well in school,
we can't have families functioning
together, if people don't have food,"
says Dharamsi, who graduates this
month. "Food is the basis of our
society—we gather together to share
meals, to learn about each other. And
it's at that basic level that I want to
have an impact."
That passion has guided the
Wesbrook and Premier Undergraduate
Scholar throughout her studies,
community service and travels. In
2007 she took on the presidency of
the UBC Meal Exchange Chapter,
eading the student-driven chapter of
the national non-profit to raise more
than $54,000 worth of food for local
families—placing the UBC Chapter
amongst the most successful in Mea
Exchange history. The experience-
along with volunteering with the
Alma Mater Society Food Bank—
our ability to fight disease, to learn,
and to function as living, breathing
units. And the great thing about
the ISP is that you build your own
program, and then rationalize why."
Dharamsi has also made food a key
ingredient in her work as a mentor
and tutor in Vancouver's inner city
schools. Through the UBC Learning
nutrition to think, and they need to
know the importance of this directly.
You can't learn if you're hungry and
can't be expected to participate in
class if your stomach is empty."
Most ofthe students Dharamsi
mentors are girls, many of whom
have all too common mental blocks
associated with math. "It's one of
In 2007 she took on the presidency of the
UBC Meal Exchange, leading the student-driven
chapter of the national non-profit to raise
more than $54,000 worth of food for local families.
connected her studies in nutrition
and physiology to the day-to-day
impact that food security and hunger
has on individuals and families
"I got involved in ISP shortly after
joining Meal Exchange. I'm fascinated
by the impact that food and nutrition
have—not only on society—but on
Exchange's Trek Program and the
Let's Talk Science program, she not
only shares her expertise in science
and math with high-school and junior
high school students, but also makes
sure she conveys the importance that
nutrition plays in learning.
"Children need food and proper
those things that I struggled with
immensely early on and had to
conquer. And what frustrated me
was hearing girls say: 'Oh girls aren't
supposed to be good at math.' Math
can open so many doors, though
young students might not see that
immediately. It's vital to let them
know, and see, that university is cool,
being smart is cool, and that post-
secondary education in science is
entirely within their grasp."
Dharamsi capped off her four
years as a UBC undergrad with a
service trip to a small village just
outside La Antigua, Guatemala—an
experience that tied together her
passion for helping people acquire
the food, water and shelter they
need, along with building knowledge
and capabilities. Mornings were
spent painting the learning centre,
updating school electrical systems,
and completing cement work at loca
schools. Afternoons were spent
teaching literacy to local students
To someone already well versed
in the impact that food scarcity
and poverty have on Vancouver
communities, the trip was an uneasy
analog. "The parallels between the
inner city and developing world
are striking. Kids who don't see
their parents. Children who can't
UBCR5605_6MAY10.indd   6
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MAY   6,    2010    |    UBC    REPORTS    |    7
Music, TV entertainer has talent for business
YOU don't have to read tabloids to
know that child entertainers don't have
the best track record for adjusting to life
after show business
Just don't tell that to Ane Launy, a
former TV and pop star from Norway,
who will trade the pop charts for Wai
Street after she graduates from UBC
in May.
The 23-year-old Oslo native
is moving to New York City after
being headhunted by financial giant
Goldman Sachs on the strength of her
performance steering a $4-million
stock portfolio through the recent
global financial meltdown as an
undergraduate student in UBC's
Sauder School of Business
The move to the Big Apple completes
a transition out of a music career that
started before she entered her teens
After singing and playing in a band and
orchestras, Launy was handpicked at
age 13 from auditions across Norway
for the teenage pop duo, Lollipops
"We were definitely unlike today's
child stars," she says, laughing. "We
were just singing disco and pop music
versions of traditional Norwegian
children songs, but being able to record
albums and tour around for concerts at
such a young age was a lot of fun and a
pretty maturing experience."
After releasing three albums for Sony
BMG and performing to audiences of
more than 18,000, TV was next. In
her final year of high school, camera
crews followed Launy and friends
through to graduation in a 12-episode
documentary-style TV show on
Norway's equivalent ofthe CBC
"By the age of 16, I had already
experienced what many artists work
years to get," says Launy. "Because of
that, it was easier for me to walk away
when I grew older and wanted to try
new things."
That's when Launy started looking
at universities abroad. She says UBC
was recommended by friends who
had just graduated from Sauder. "At
Sauder I could get a comprehensive
business degree that I couldn't get
at many American universities as an
undergraduate," she says. "Being in a
Ane Launy will trade the pop charts for Wall Street after steering a $4-million stock portfolio through extreme market conditions.
beautiful city so close to mountains for
skiing was just an added bonus."
Launy's path to Wall Street began
in her first year at UBC, thanks to a
chance encounter. On a whim, she
and a friend attended an information
session for the UBC Portfolio
Management Foundation, a two-year
nvestment Management. "I was in awe
of how these students got to manage
real money, work and intern in cities
around the world and be mentored by
such experienced alumni and business
Accepted into the program with six
other students a year later, Launy and
strategies in new social spaces created
by Sauder's $85-million expansion
and renewal. "Experiencing such
unprecedented market conditions was
an unbelievable learning opportunity,
and definitely taught us to be humble."
Launy credits her team's success
to a network of faculty, alumni, fund
'At Sauder I could get a comprehensive business
degree that I couldn't get at many
American universities as an undergraduate."
extracurricular program where business
students gain hands-on experience
managing a real portfolio of stocks and
bonds, currently valued at $4.1-million
"I was just blown away by the
responsibilities these students had,"
says Launy, who has since interned
with Norwegian oil giant Statoil in
China, the Ontario Teachers' Pension
Plan and Phillips, Hager and North
her classmates steered the 24-year-old
fund through some of the most extreme
market conditions in recent history.
Over the past year, the fund is up nearly
50 per cent, better than the market,
which has grown less than 30 per cent
"Over the past two years, we were
fortunate to experience both a boom
and a bust," says Launy, whose team
met regularly to discuss investment
managers, and mentors that guide
the students through their investment
research and decisions. Her chief
mentor was Justin Roach of Bank of
America and Merrill Lynch, who she
met with often for personal guidance
and career advice
"Whenever I had an investment idea
or was struggling with something,
had these amazing business leaders
who were so generous with their time,
experience and expertise," says Launy.
"I just feel really privileged to have had
this opportunity."
nspired by mentors, Launy and
her peers have started donating their
own time to causes, most recently
organizing a fundraiser for Room
To Read, an international charity
that builds schools and libraries in
developing countries. They have also
volunteered with the Down Syndrome
Research Foundation and the annua
Ride To Conquer Cancer.
"The amount of giving back that I've
seen over the past few years at UBC
was very new to me—you just don't
see the same widespread involvement
in Norway," says Launy. "Seeing firsthand how such busy people make
time to give back, and the impact it
can have, I hope one day to be able to
do the same."
Learn more about the UBC Portfolio
Management Foundation program at
ubcpmf.com. ■
read. Children who don't have three
meals a day. Children and families
not meeting their protein or calorie
requirements. It was an amazing,
humbling experience."
t's also an experience that might
have helped cement Dharamsi's long-
term plans
Dharamsi will be moving on to
medical school to focus on paediatrics.
But her eventual goal is to secure
a position with an organization like
the World Health Organization or
Medecins Sans Frontieres, with an
eye to help bring a clinical balance to
public health policy planning
"I live and breathe food all the time,
and UBC and ISP have enabled me to
combine my passions. So I can talk
about the science—why our bodies
actually need nutrition and the
impact it has developmentally— but
can also talk about food from the
social sciences perspective, from
the humanities and developmenta
angle." ■
Alia Dharamsi wants to make a positive impact on food—the basis upon which civil society is built.
UBCR5605_6MAY10.indd   7
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I    UBC    REPORTS    |    MAY    6,    2010
Inspired by the memory of her grandmother, Stephanie Charlie plans to run for office in Cowichan First Nation's next election.
Pursuing education to serve
first-ever treaty, Stephanie Charlie
wants to be there
"I want to help my community,"
says Charlie, a graduating UBC arts
student and member of Cowichan
Tribes, one of Canada's largest First
Nation communities, located in
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Duncan on Vancouver Island. "That is
why I plan to run for councilor in our
next election."
Although just in her 30s, Charlie is
no stranger to the campaign trail. Last
year, she ran to be a band councilor
- up against more than 70 candidates -
while juggling classes at UBC
"That was such a busy time for me,"
says Charlie, one of 120 Aborigina
students graduating from UBC this
academic year. "I was commuting
from the Island to UBC, working
evenings, doing my school, and raising
my daughter," she says, referring to
Kaitlyn, her four-year-old
Charlie likes her chances better next
that true communities help each
other and never look down on anyone
ess fortunate. She really inspired me
to do what I am doing."
Before coming to UBC, Charlie
studied at Malaspina College and
Vancouver's Institute of Indigenous
Governance, and is now considering
graduate programs in First Nations
governance. "I am kind of addicted
to education," she says. "Part of it is
wanting to better myself, but I also
want to be able to look my daughter
in the eye when I tell her she's got to
go to university."
Charlie says the UBC Museum of
Anthropology attracted her to UBC,
support for Aboriginal students and
the recruitment of First Nations
students and faculty.
Outside school, Charlie consults
for Stantec, a company that performs
environmental assessments
for businesses in resource
industries, including mining and
oil. The experience, which involves
minimizing environmental and
community impacts, will serve her
well in politics
"My job is to facilitate the
consultation process," Charlie says. "I
communicate potential impacts of a
project on communities, and bring
concerns and wishes back to the
Charlie credits her grandmother, Lillian,
a well-known community health representative
who worked closely with residential school survivors,
for inspiring her to serve her community.
time around. After graduation in May,
she will return to Cowichan where she,
her partner Gerald and Kaitlyn have a
house. But more importantly, she says
there is a generational shift occurring
in many Aboriginal communities
across Canada
"There is a movement to have more
young people taking on leadership
roles," says Charlie, noting her band
and the province have begun treaty
negotiations. "As leaders get older,
there are more opportunities for young
people with higher education and
skills to make a positive impact. Elders
are encouraging youth to take on more
eadership roles."
Charlie credits her grandmother,
Lillian, a well-known community
health representative who worked
closely with residential schoo
survivors, for inspiring her to serve
her community. "I was raised by my
grandparents and loved watching
them helping people," says Charlie,
whose grandparents recently passed
away. "My grandmother taught me
along with the Faculty of Arts' First
Nations Studies Program, which
explores aboriginality through a
variety of disciplines, including law,
history, education, and fine arts. She
credits a special teacher for igniting a
special passion for history.
"Professor Coll Thrush made history
come alive for me," says Charlie, who
stayed with Musqueum relatives
while attending UBC. "He is just so
passionate about what he teaches
and opens up so many ideas. In our
first history class, he welcomed us in
Hunquminum, a Musqueum dialect,
and Lushootseed, the indigenous
anguage of Puget Sound. That really
had an impact on me."
At UBC, Charlie did a
practicum with a First Nations
health organization, researching
documentation of traditiona
medicine practices and uses. Her
thesis advisor was Line Kessler, a
professor of Oglala Lakota ancestry
who is leading UBC's Aborigina
Strategic Plan to increase financia
planners. My main concern is always
that First Nations people are being
heard and that they understand the
project and the process."
Political aspirations aside, Charlie
also plans to put her passion for
history to good use. One day, she
hopes to write the history of
"Do you know Coast Salish chiefs
travelled to England by steam ship
to protest their treatment by B.C
settlers to then King Edward VII
back in 1902?" Charlie says. "Or
that Sir James Douglas began selling
Cowichan land to settlers without any
"These are things you don't read in
most history books and it would help
if everybody did," she says. "I want
to foster pride, especially among
our youth, by telling the story of our
people and our achievements."
Learn more about the First Nations
Studies Program at arts.ubc.ca
and UBC's Aboriginal Strategy at
aboriginal.ubc.ca. ■
UBCR5605_6MAY10.indd   8
30/04/10   10:23 AM *
A passion for the Arctic
MAY   6,    2010    |    UBC    REPORTS    |    9
heats up, Ashley Tufts is all the more
eager to return home to Iqaluit
Her passion is protecting the
delicate ecosystems and uniqueness
of Arctic life, says Tufts who grew
up in Iqaluit, the capital of Nunavut,
ocated on the south coast of Baffin
While outsiders may shudder
at the minus 40 Celsius cold and
barren vistas, Tufts says she loves
the endless horizon of newly fallen
snow, pristine stillness and strong
community ties
"Some of my best memories are of
getting up at 4 a.m. and jumping on
the back of the snowmobile with my
Dad to go caribou hunting."
A Canadian Merit Loran Scholar,
Tufts is graduating from the Globa
Resource Systems program in the
Faculty of Land and Food Systems
where she focused on environmenta
studies within the Circumpolar North
"I would like more than anything
to work towards ensuring we
maintain the integrity, serenity
and pure beauty the Arctic has to
offer," says Tufts, who aims to find a
position with the federal government,
either Environment Canada or Indian
and Northern Affairs
"A changing climate will inevitably
alter the balance that has been in
place for centuries."
This past December, Tufts'
firsthand knowledge of Canada's
north stood her in good stead when
she traveled to Copenhagen. Selected
from applicants across Canada, Tufts
co-led the Arctic team as one of 30
Canadian youth delegates at the
15th United Nations Conference on
Climate Change
"I would really like to see our
federal government enforce stricter
environmental regulations within the
Northwest Passage, while making
it internationally known that the
Ashley Tufts found UBC intimidating at first, especially since there are more people on campus than in all of Nunavut.
Northern arctic archipelago and al
waterways in between are interna
waters," says Tufts
"This would allow us to regulate
Tufts' present poise and confidence
would have surprised her younger
self. She admits coming to UBC was
a bit intimidating at first, especially
However, Tufts quickly found her
feet and began to thrive especially
after getting involved as a resident
advisor for UBC Student Housing and
Selected from applicants across Canada, Tufts co-led the
Arctic team as one of 30 Canadian youth delegates at
the 15th United Nations Conference on Climate Change.
the number of ships entering and
determine whether or not they pose
a significant threat to the marine
given the size of the Vancouver
"There are more people at UBC
then there are in all of Nunavut."
Hospitality Services
"It is not only the academics here at
UBC that have prepared me for what
want to do following graduation,
but it was the learning experiences
and opportunities that have really
enabled me to grow as a person."
Tufts' advice for other UBC
students is never to settle for
anything less than what they truly
want to do
"It makes a world of difference
if your heart is into everything you
are working towards, and whether it
takes you four, five, or six years to
graduate, you will be that much more
passionate at the end when you know
you have spent your time working
towards something you love!" ■
Helping others move beyond trauma
cemeteries are what made Mok
Escueta realize he was onto
Every member of his group of
trauma patients shared a similar
desire to seek solitude and peace in
cemeteries. This kind of unexpected
commonality helped Escueta
understand how important it is to
bring together people grappling
with similar problems and get them
"It's more powerful than I originally
thought it would be," says the PhD
graduate ofthe Department of
Educational Studies
For his PhD research, Escueta
brought together a group of trauma
patients, most of whom had
experienced neglect, physical or
sexual abuse as children and had
difficulty coping with the affects
Having developed mental health
concerns, this group of patients
met Escueta once a week at the
Centre for Concurrent Disorders, a
community mental health clinic that
is part of Vancouver Coastal Health
A trained psychotherapist, Escueta
wanted to see if techniques used in
popular education, a field that brings
together politics and teaching, could
contribute to his patients' trauma
Popular education is a way of
teaching that involves participation,
dialogue, and united action. The idea
is to translate learning into action
nstead of being told what issues or
problems exist, group members work
together to identify these problems
and do something about them
Popular education often involves
using the arts. As part of his project,
Escueta researched the use of visua
"The use of visuals is quite powerfu
in trauma work," says Escueta,
who had his patients draw visua
representations of their emotions
and experiences. In one exercise,
the participants drew images that
were saw-toothed with jagged lines
bouncing all over the page. "For many
it describes their entire lives," he
Growing up in the Philippines,
continued on page 11
From activist in the Philippines to trauma psychotherapist, Mok Escueta is now working with veterans and their families.
UBCR5605_6MAY10.indd   9
30/04/10   10:23 AM 10    I    UBC    REPORTS    |    MAY   6,    2010
Image detail: Jess, Untitled (ErosXc. 1956. Collection of the Belkin Art Gallery.
3ift of Robin Blaser and David Farewell. Photo: Howard Ursuliak. © Jess Collins Trust.
An exhibition of paintings, photography, and collages
by artists interested in poetry, jazz, queer culture,
existentialism, and new movements in film.
APRIL 16 - JDNE 2,2010
12-1 pm, Wednesday, May 12
Jazz & Poetry, David Metzer (UBC School
of Music) & Fred Wah (poet, scholar)
Canada Council
for the Arts
Conseil des Arts
du Canada
The University of British Columbia I 1825 Main Mall I Vancouver I BC V6T 1Z2
Phone: 604 822 2759 I Fax: 604 822 6689 I Web address: www.belkin.ubc.ca
Open Tuesday to FridaylO to 5 Saturday and Sunday 12 to 5   I   Closed holidays
Brunch hits the Spot!
Saturday & Sunday | nam - 4pm
8:00am - 9:00pm (M-Th) | 8:00am - 10:00pm (F)
11:00am - 8:30pm (Sat) | 11:00am - 8:00pm (Sun)
A fully licensed restaurant with an
upscale casual dining atmosphere is
on the south side of campus.
9:30am - 11:00pm (Mon-Thur) | 9:30am - 11:30pm (Fri / Sat)
10:00am - io:oopm (Sun) io:ooam - 2:00pm (Sunday Brunch)
Kelsey Wheelhouse and husband Kevin Robertson have attended classes at UBC's Okanagan campus since it opened in 2005. Son Quinn has
attended the campus daycare.
Critical and Creative
Studies: a family affair
growing up in Vernon, B.C., husband
and wife Kevin Robertson and Kelsey
Wheelhouse never expected to
become students on UBC's Okanagan
They also didn't anticipate that a
campus could become a community.
Robertson never imagined himself
developing into an artist, and the
couple certainly didn't predict
emerging as two of the most involved
students within the Faculty of Critica
and Creative Studies (FCCS), while
teacher's assistant tutoring her
peers in English. She also received
an Undergraduate Research Award
last summer, and developed her
honours thesis researching a series of
heritage murals located in downtown
Vernon, B.C., and their relation to
multiculturalism, colonization and
Robertson, a cultural studies
major, has helped produce the
FCCS's online promotional videos
over the past two years, combining
his love for technology with his
recently developed interest in artistic
he will take from his undergraduate
studies is that learning goes far
beyond the classroom walls
"Although the professors teach
a specific course, it is amazing
how multi-faceted they are," says
Robertson. "My advice to new
students is that you need to become
involved -- make connections, apply
for awards and campus jobs; put
yourself out there and network.
"You just never know where it will
take you. There are so many unique
opportunities available to students
here, and I can't stress enough how
Wheelhouse developed her honours thesis
researching a series of heritage murals located
in downtown Vernon, B.C., and their relation to
multiculturalism, colonization and "whiteness."
Located at 2205 Lower Mall, Marine Drive Residence, Building #4       {_}
For hours of operation visit www.food.ubc.ca services
also becoming new parents
But life is unpredictable. And when
Robertson and Wheelhouse accept
their UBC degrees this June, they will
have both accomplished a long list of
things they had never expected to do
"Our experience has shaped
our lives in so many ways," says
Wheelhouse, who will receive her
Bachelor of Arts in English (honours)
"We really made a connection,
consider a number of my profs to
be friends. And we've been able
to experience so many things here
that likely we wouldn't have had the
opportunity to experience at other
Robertson and Wheelhouse have
attended UBC's Okanagan campus
since it opened its doors in 2005
Since 2007, Wheelhouse has
worked as an undergraduate
"I never thought art was an option
for me," says Robertson. "I didn't
draw or paint or anything along those
ines. I just made connections with
my professors, opened up my options,
and took an unexpected path."
Being able to work and study on
campus has been a big bonus for the
couple, who's two-year-old son Quinn
attends the campus day care
"We're taking away so many good
memories with us," says Wheelhouse
"The birth of our son, the friendships
we made, the opportunities I've had
to become involved, and even running
on the trails behind campus. That's
one of my best memories: getting
away between classes for some 'me
time' on the trails."
Robertson shares these sentiments,
but adds one ofthe biggest lessons
much support and insight the faculty
is willing to give, whenever you ask."
Robertson, Wheelhouse and Quinn
will be moving to Edmonton this fall
so Wheelhouse can pursue a law
degree at the University of Alberta
Robertson expects to eventually
obtain a master's degree, but first
plans to focus on getting his family
settled, immersing himself in the
Edmonton art scene, and exploring
work options
"We're a little nervous to move
on, of course, and we'll miss this
campus and the people so much,"
says Wheelhouse. "It really has been
our home for the last five years. And
although we are moving on, I fee
ike we have a connection with this
campus that won't just go away after
we leave." ■
UBCR5605_6MAY10.indd   10
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MAY   6,    2010    |    UBC    REPORTS    |    11
Marie Westby pursued a PhD while working as a physical therapist and caring for her autistic son.
Hard work and reward in doctoral challenge
two months after Marie Westby
embarked on the long journey toward
a doctorate in Rehabilitation Sciences,
she and her husband received
confirmation of something they had
suspected for months: Their son,
Mattias, was diagnosed with autism
spectrum disorder.
"I said to myself, 'What have
done? I need to drop out. This is
obviously not going to work,'" Westby
recalls thinking in 2004. "I thought
was being selfish by going back to
school—I knew how much time it
was going to take to do everything for
him. But then I thought, 'This is going
to be my saving grace.' I thrive on
challenges, and I thrive on learning
had to drop the guilt that I wasn't
going to be able to do enough for him,
or be there for my daughter, Delaney,
and my husband."
Westby, who earned a bachelor's
degree in Physical Therapy from UBC
in 1988, was able to forego a master's
degree through a special "fast
track" option and continue straight
toward her doctorate while working
part-time as a physical therapist
at Vancouver's Mary Pack Arthritis
But her accomplishment goes
beyond earning a new credential—
Westby's dissertation might also
improve outcomes for the hundreds
of thousands of North Americans
who receive knee or hip replacements
each year.
At Mary Pack, which is operated by
Vancouver Coastal Health, Westby
routinely received calls from B.C
therapists wanting to know the
best practices for helping people
recuperate from these surgeries—the
mean the surgeon they were working
with would like that. We did a survey
of the Lower Mainland to find out
what every site was doing, and
there were more differences than
similarities. It was all over the place."
Westby organized focus groups
of patients, therapists, orthopaedic
surgeons and other physicians in
Canada and the U.S. to find out
what was working and what wasn't
Westby also conducted a systematic
review of research, though the most
issues as possible
"There aren't enough high-quality
research trials, so you have to base
the guidelines on expert opinion, and
you want to make that process as
transparent and rigorous as possible,"
she says. "It's better than what is out
there now, which is nothing."
Each panel reached consensus on
about two-thirds of the questions
presented to them. The panels didn't
reach consensus on how much
rehabilitation should be given, but
'Marie's innovative work is crucially important
to physiotherapists, surgeons and patients
since it will give them clear
guidelines for successful physiotherapy."
number of visits, the duration of postoperative monitoring, what exercises
to prescribe, whether there should be
aquatic therapy, and whether there
should be home care
"There were no best practices," says
Westby, a clinical associate professor
in the Department of Physica
Therapy. "We could say what surgeon
X, Y and Z preferred, but that didn't
reliable data—randomized, controlled
studies—were sorely lacking
She then assembled two North
American panels of experts and
patients, one for knee replacements
and one for hip replacements, each
with about 40 members. Through an
elaborate back-and-forth process that
asted several months, she sought
to establish consensus on as many
they were clear that three visits—the
current standard used in some B.C
hospitals following hip replacement
surgery—is not sufficient
One of Westby's panel members
was Pat Carney, the retired Senator
from B.C., who learned of Marie's
research after undergoing hip
replacement surgery.
"Marie's innovative work is crucially
important to physiotherapists,
surgeons and patients since it
will give them clear guidelines for
successful physiotherapy," Carney
says. "I have known of patients
who were improperly advised on
their exercise program and suffered
poor outcomes. How she did it,
given her workload and domestic
responsibilities, is an amazing story."
Westby was fortunate to get a
two-year leave from the arthritis
centre during her studies. She also
had to adjust her timetable after
realizing how much of a "juggling act"
her pursuit of a PhD would be, and
that it would have to accommodate
such things as children's colds and
sleepless nights
She also learned something else on
her way to the degree: To ask for help
With no relatives in Vancouver, she
asked friends for assistance in picking
up and looking after her children, or
even cooking the occasional dinner.
"I literally put out the call to friends
via e-mail, saying, 'I need help,' and
that was not easy," she says. "It's
harder for people to take both kids,
but there are a few friends who know
Mattias well and feel comfortable
with him, allowing me to stay a bit
onger and work." ■
HELPING TRAUMA  continued from page 9
Escueta planned on becoming a
awyer. Instead, partially in response
to the violent oppression of the
Marcos regime, he became dedicated
to community development work and
initiating change
Starting in university, he became
part of activist organizations. At one
point, he was beaten and brought
to a hospital for trying to prevent
the government from demolishing
the neighbourhoods of poor and
marginalized citizens
"We couldn't respond just with what
we knew then," says Escueta. "I felt
there was something else I could learn
that would help."
Escueta left the Philippines and
moved to San Francisco in 1999 to get
a Master's degree in social work. After
graduation, he started working as a
trauma psychotherapist, but five years
in, Escueta felt he wanted to do more
Escueta had always wanted to
formally conduct research in the use
of popular education in a trauma
psychoeducation setting. At UBC, he
found a program and an examining
committee that valued and supported
this innovative exploration
"The program is concerned with
education in various contexts, where
education happens and how that
affects people and communities."
Escueta wanted to complete his
PhD in four years and was able to
finish earlier despite starting to work
at the new BC Operational Stress
njury Clinic on campus. He's now
working full-time with veterans,
RCMP, Canadian forces, members of
the Reserves, and their families who
are caught in cycles of trauma
Escueta wants to stay in
Vancouver—he has a loving spouse,
he has a great job, he loves the city
and the mountains, he hikes, he's
joined a men's choir, he's made some
amazing friends and has fabulous
ocal in-laws. ■
UBCR5605_6MAY10.indd   11
30/04/10   10:23 AM #
12    |    UBC    REPORTS    |    MAY   6,    2010
Five who have made a difference
Vancouver campus are receiving
the 2010 President's Service Award
for Excellence for outstanding
contributions and persona
achievement. Each recipient
receives a gold medal, and $5,000,
in a presentation during Spring
Congregation ceremonies
Maura da Cruz, an organizationa
and learning consultant in the Dept
of Human Resources, has worked
at UBC since 1989. Widely credited
for her generosity of spirit, she
has helped launch Most, UBC's
first training program for staff;
BEST, an English language skill staff
program; the student volunteer UBC
Equity Ambassadors program and
the Community Learning Initiative
Leadership program
Paul Lawson has worked as
manager of the Malcolm Knapp
Research Forest since 1999. Held
in high regard by the B.C. forest
community, he is recognized for
his insights into sustainable forest
management including building
strong relationships with loca
communities and First Nations,
championing a partnership with the
Canadian Cancer Society to locate
Camp Goodtimes at Loon Lake, and
hosting many field schools for UBC
and other organizations
Director of Classroom Services
Justin Marples began working at
UBC in 1981. He is recognized for
contributions across the campus,
including volunteer work in the
Association of Administration and
Professional Staff (AAPS), and as a
founding member of the Coaches
Services Program. Colleagues
credit him for strong leadership
of Classroom Services to greatly
enhance campus learning spaces
Serving UBC for more than 21
years, Andrew Parr, Managing
Director, Student Housing and
Hospitality Services, has built
innovative campus services. He is
honoured for leading the growth
of UBC Food Services and its
sustainability initiatives, chairing
two United Way campaigns, and for
volunteer service to the Canadian
College and University Food Service
Gerald Vanderwoude was
first employed at UBC as a box
office clerk in the Frederic Wood
Theatre in 1996. Today he works as
administrator and business manager
of the Department of Theatre
and Film. He is recognized for his
hard work, care for others, and
professionalism and exceptiona
skill at making improvements
to the department's program
administration. ■
Andrew Parr, Maura da Cruz, Gerald Vanderwaude and Justin Marples (Paul Lawson missing from photo).
Returning from illness, grad savours degree
calgary is known as a work-hard,
play-hard city and Peter Doelman is
ready to "give'er."
Doelman starts articling this
month for Burnet, Duckworth and
Palmer LLP, one of Calgary's largest
law firms
"I've got a different perspective
on stress," says Doelman. After all,
he has survived brain surgery that
many doctors termed too risky or
In 2006, between his first and
second year of UBC law, Doelman
was diagnosed with a golf ball-sized
tumour in his brain stem. Attached
to the spine, the brain stem relays
sensory and neural information
between the brain and the body.
Although Doelman's tumour was
treated with drugs and radiation, he
still felt pain and nausea
In December 2007 Doelman
returned home to St. Thomas, a smal
town near London, Ontario, where his
father runs a farm. "I was in palliative
care and the nurses basically told me
that I would most likely die within a
Unable to sleep much during this
period, Doelman would fire up the
computer and "frantically search the
nternet for a miracle cure, some way
to suck the tumour out of my head."
One December morning Doelman
stumbled across his medica
doppelganger, a New Yorker who had
blogged: "At age 25, I was diagnosed
with a brain tumour in my brainstem
was supposed to be dead by 27.
am still alive. This is my story."
"It was surreal," says Doelman. "I
posted on his blog and he called me
that afternoon about his miracle
neurosurgeon in Phoenix, Arizona
Less than two months later, I was on
the operating table having my tumour
After the operation, Doelman
experienced numbness on the
eft side of his face and had little
movement in his right hand and arm
It took time, healing and intensive
physiotherapy to regain his balance
and strength. "Although I'm right
handed, I had to retrain myself to
become a leftie."
In January 2009, Doelman
returned to his law studies, thrilled
to learn that UBC had changed
the designation of Bachelor of
Laws (LLB) to Juris Doctor (JD) in
2008. Doelman had initiated the
campaign to do so upon arriving at
UBC. He argued that the LLB degree
worldwide generally requires a high
school diploma whereas UBC's
first law degree requires previous
undergraduate studies
"Given UBC's stature as a globa
university, it makes sense for our law
school to adopt the more globally-
recognized moniker for law degrees
requiring previous university studies,"
says Doelman, who holds a BA from
McGill University in philosophy and
political science
Now embarking on his career,
Doelman is eager to cut his teeth
on a mix of general business,
commercial real estate and
infrastructure financing law. He
recently won a Canadian Tax
Foundation Award for best student
tax policy paper on "improving the
urban environment through the tax
"It was pretty sweet getting the
award because it meant that my brain
function wasn't compromised by the
surgery and radiation."
Doelman says coming through his
own life and death story reinforces
a sense of compassion for others,
an attitude he will take into his law
"Most people are touched by cancer
in some ways, either themselves
or a loved one. I'm not that unique
or particularly outstanding - just
grateful. " ■
Off to Cowtown, Peter Doelman aims to take into his first year of articling a sense of compassion and perspective.
UBCR5605_6MAY10.indd   12
30/04/10   10:23 AM


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