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UBC Reports Aug 3, 2006

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VOLUME   52   I   NUMBER   8   I   AUGUST   3,   200
2   UBC In the News
3   Age Quake
3   New Coordinated Arts
First Nations Research
8   Trek Connect
Teaching and learning at UBC are undergoing something of a Renaissance.
At this rate, where will we be in io years?
Carl Wieman on reforms in science
Margo Fryer on Community
Service Learning
Michelle Lamberson on learning
Allison Dunnet on student
Gary Poole on students
researching their own learning
Carl Wieman's research gained him the Nobel Prize for Physics in
2001. But he's joining UBC's Faculty of Science not to delve into the
mysteries of atoms but into the minds of students and teachers in a
quest to reform the teaching of science. Below are excerpts from an
interview with UBC Reports.
The most important issue that has brought me to UBC is the
tremendous interest here in improving education, particularly science
education for undergraduates. There are faculty and administrators
very interested in this, and they are willing to invest the time and
money to do it. I thought UBC was an institution where I could
develop a lot of my ideas about ways to use a scientific approach to
make a better education for students.
Looking around for opportunities to make big impact has worked
through my whole physics career; I've been pretty good at picking
the right places to work. Even before I won the Nobel Prize, I was
very interested in the teaching of science; afterward I gradually
became even more interested. I had done a lot in physics, but it was
clear that, although there were still interesting things still to be done,
they weren't going to have the impact of what I'd already done;
whereas I saw in education these tremendous opportunities.
How to reform the teaching of sciences, and why to do it, has
come about because of research in cognitive science — how people
continued on page 6
School of Rock
Student designs her own course about music and pop culture
Ashley Bayles found designing and leading a 13-week seminar increased her appreciation for the work profs
put into their courses.
One student reminisces about
his three-year love affair with
the music of the Grateful Dead.
Another plays a song that
reminds her of the time her
family's motor home went up
in smoke and her possessions
burned to ash.
The focus of the assignment is
to compile a collection of music
that makes up the soundtrack
of your life. These 18 UBC
students are being asked to
think about how they attach
personal meaning to popular
music, not by a professor, but
by one of their own.
The class — "Sex, Drugs and
Rock 'n' Roll: Popular Culture,
1970s to Today" — was created
by Ashley Bayles, one of 19
students who have each recently
facilitated a seminar course at
"Basically, this is the type of
course I definitely would have
enrolled in, if the school offered
it," says Bayles, who graduated
this spring with a B.A. in
English Literature.
Other popular student-
directed seminars offered at
UBC during the 2005 to 2006
academic year include subjects
ranging from "Politics of HIV/
AIDS in Africa" and "Gender,
Sex, and Sexuality in Japanese
Culture" to "Factors Modeling
the Spread of Diseases" and
"Topics in Stem Cell Research."
continued on page 5 I     UBC    REPORTS     |     AUGUST   3,    2006
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Highlights of UBC Media Coverage in July 2006. compiled by basil waugh
Mindless Reading: The
Dangers of Zoning Out
Scores of U.S. dailies,
including USA Today and
the Seattle Post-Intelligencer,
carried an Associated Press
story on the ill effects
of mindless reading, a
phenomenon in which people
take in sentence after sentence
without really paying attention.
In a new study of college
students, researchers from UBC
and the University of Pittsburgh
established a way to study
mindless reading in a lab.
Their findings show that
daydreaming has its costs. The
readers who zoned out most
tended to do the worst on tests
of reading comprehension. The
study also suggests that zoning
out caused the poor test results,
as opposed to other possible
factors, such as the complexity
of the text or the task.
Camouflaging Personality
Robert Hare, UBC Prof,
emeritus of Psychology,
comments in a New York Times
story on U.S. soldiers who
attacked an Iraqi family last
March, raping and killing a
young woman after executing
her parents and her younger
sister in their home.
The accused ringleader, who
was discharged in May, pleaded
not guilty after his arrest
June 30. The U.S. Army has
said it discharged Green for a
"personality disorder."
Hare said he had not
reviewed the Iraq case and
could not comment on it
specifically. "But I can say that
when you have a psychopathic
offender, quite often he will
manipulate others, he can be a
puppet-master type," he said.
"Others are attracted to his
sense of certainty, his sense of
power, to the fact that he can
do things others have trouble
Choosing the Right Dog for
Your Family
Stanley Coren, UBC Prof, of
Psychology, comments in an
Associated Press story in the
Chicago Tribune and Alabama's
Birmingham News on choosing
the right dog for your family.
"Common complaints when a
dog doesn't seem to be working
out are that it's too big and
strong, or too active. If you're
choosing between two breeds,
go for the smaller and less
active — unless your family's
idea of a quiet Sunday is jogging
26 miles," says Coren, author of
Why Do Dogs Have Wet Noses.
Scientists link global warming
to natural disasters
UBC professors Greg Dipple
and Phil Austin comment in
a Global TV story that links
global warming to increases
in the number of forest fires in
"Quite clearly there is
warming and quite clearly
human activity is increasing
the greenhouse gas content of
the atmosphere," says Dipple
of UBC's Dept. of Earth
and Ocean Sciences. "The
predictions are, I believe, one
to four degrees in the next 50
years or so."
Austin, of UBC's Dept. of
Atmospheric Sciences, adds:
"Year after year, the summers
are going to get dryer and
they're going to get hotter. The
hotter soils lead to increased
dryness through evaporation
and more stress on the trees, so
they burn more easily."
From the bush, a harsh
The Globe and Mail reports
on Uganda's child soldiers and
the difficulties they face reentering society after life in the
Lord's Resistance Army or the
Ugandan army.
Erin Baines, who heads
the conflict-and-development
program at the UBC's Liu
Institute for Global Issues has
been working for a year to
find ways of smoothing these
homecomings and beginning the
process of repairing community
"No one is looking at this.
People are just expected to
be able to live together," says
Baines. "Amnesty has been
seized on like a mantra, but
saying you're forgiven and
being accepted back are
different things."
The Liu Institute's Erin Baines is working on helping child soldiers
come home.
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U BC Okanagan Ready for the Age Quake
Aging specialization responds
to the Okanagan's high senior
population and the greying of
North American society.
Tomorrow's aging population
is here today in the Okanagan
— and Kathryn Plancke is ready
for it, thanks to a new Aging
Specialization available to
Bachelor of Social Work (BSW)
students at UBC Okanagan's
Faculty of Health and Social
Plancke graduated in June
serving the elderly in downtown
Kelowna. There, she gained
practical experience as one of
three social workers working
alongside respiratory therapists,
long-term care nurses, palliative
care teams and other health-care
professionals. It had a powerful
impact on her, she says.
"I got a varied education,"
says Plancke. "The
multidisciplinary and
interdisciplinary focus of the
program really came alive
and it was hard to leave. The
experience of taking what we
learned in the classroom and
'We have set out to forge the best of international standards
in gerontological and geriatrics training."
2006, and she is already
putting her BSW degree and
specialization in aging to work
as a research assistant exploring
seniors' housing needs for the
District of Peachland in the
Central Okanagan.
"I took an aging policy
course and it really catapulted
me into pursuing this area," she
recalls. "It has blossomed into a
whole career where the focus is
on seniors and aging."
In her final year of study,
Plancke spent four days a week
over nearly four months with
the Interior Health Authority's
Community Care program,
being out in the community was
wonderful. I fell in love with it."
Only one other university
in Canada (University of
Sherbrooke) offers an aging
specialization in social work at
the undergraduate level, and the
Okanagan program is all the
more unique given the advanced
age of the region's population:
depending on the community,
between 18 and 25 per cent of
the people are 65 or older.
The Okanagan has been
called a "gerontopia," where
a spectacular landscape,
temperate climate, abundant
recreational opportunities and
Recent UBC Okanagan Social Work graduate Kathryn Plancke, left,
is working with Assoc. Prof. Mary Ann Murphy, on a formal study of
seniors' housing needs.
high number of existing retirees
may draw more people just
like them. In fact, the Central
Okanagan is expected to be
one of the fastest-growing
regions in B.C. over the next 10
years, and the senior's segment
— especially the 85-plus group
— is projected to grow most
significantly, says Mary Ann
Murphy, associate professor of
social work and sociology at
UBC Okanagan.
"The sight of grandparents
on every corner is a very normal
experience for anyone in the
Central Okanagan, but the rest
of Canada will probably not
see this for another 25 years,"
Murphy points out.
"The university recognized
that the age quake was
happening in the Central
Okanagan much sooner than
in the rest of Canada, so our
program responds to our unique
social geography," Murphy says.
Murphy designed the
specialization in aging with
an advisory committee that
drew expertise from disciplines
including fine arts, psychology,
anthropology, philosophy,
sociology and nursing. She is
currently developing a Minor
in Aging for the Irving K.
Barber School of Arts and
Sciences, derived from a unique
formal association between the
university and the community
— a gerontology consortium
that includes 30 Okanagan
agencies and organizations
working on research, education,
training and improved quality
of life for older persons.
This close affiliation with
community and service agencies
creates natural opportunities
for students to gain real-world
experience — the kind of
intensive, rewarding learning
experiences that Plancke
enjoyed in her final year in the
"You're developing
new practical placement
opportunities as you go," says
Murphy. "It takes a lot of
energy to get it off the ground,
but I'm totally sold on this
Leaving the confines of high
school for university can make
for a daunting transition.
This is especially true in
the Faculty of Arts at UBC,
where roughly 1,800 first-
year students will take their
first steps into academia this
Take Alex Thureau, 18, who
comes to UBC after graduating
from Collingwood School.
"I haven't had to make
friends in a long time," says
Thureau, who is considering a
career in law. "It'll be interesting
to see where I'll fit in."
Thureau is one of 400
students who will start UBC this
fall in the new Coordinated Arts
Program, or CAP. The program
started as a pilot last year and
is now being launched as a full
first-year option.
Partly designed to help ease
the transition to university,
each CAP stream links together
three or more courses in a
standardized timetable of 100
first-year students, creating
small learning communities.
Divided into four thematic
streams, the program offers
instruction in writing and
communication. The Faculty
of Arts continues to offer
Arts One, the flagship first-
year program focusing on the
Humanities through the study
of classic works of literature.
"Very often students come
to UBC thinking this is just
a massive high school," says
Prof. John Xiros Cooper, Arts
Associate Dean, Students.
"But in fact, it's a whole
Arts Faculty Launches
Coordinated Program Streams
other way of learning and the
whole paradigm has shifted.
This is a way of giving students
some instruction in the fact
that they're now learning in a
new way."
These options, with the
exception of PPE, include
six credits of an Arts Studies
Seminar, or ASTU 100, which
is limited to 25 students
per seminar and provides
Dean of Arts Nancy Gallini (second from left) talks to graduating
students at UBC's Rose Garden.
This year, CAP is being
offered with four stream
• "Global Citizens," which
includes courses in English,
geography, political science
and sociology;
• "PPE: Political science,
philosophy, economics;"
• "Individual in Society," which
brings together economics,
English, and psychology;
• "Foundations in Ecology
and Sustainability," which
integrates credits for
geography, history, philosophy,
and sociology, as well as first-
year English credits.
instruction in writing. It is
hoped ASTU 100 will offer
incoming students an intimacy
not normally experienced until
third year as well as a taste of
the research culture in Arts.
For Thureau, who registered
in "Global Citizens," it was
CAP's integration of subject
matter that appealed the most.
"It's nice to have a block
timetable where the professors
are all working together and
communicating," says Thureau.
The cooperation between
disciplines is one of the
reasons Dean of Arts Nancy
Gallini has championed CAP
from its inception.
"With CAP, students are
fulfilling their requirements;
they are getting depths in the
disciplines, and they are also
getting the interaction between
those disciplines," Prof.
Gallini says. "CAP provides
a disciplinary foundation for
The program builds on preexisting courses that satisfy
requirements for higher-level
options. For September's
launch, CAP has bolstered
its seminar component and
increased the cooperation
between courses.
"I think we've enhanced what
we did in those early pilots,"
says Prof. Neil Guppy, Director
of CAP and an instructor in
"Global Citizens."
"I have always looked for
innovation in undergraduate
education that can increase
the value-added learning for
our students," he adds. "This
looked to me like an innovative
way to move forward."
Prof. Guppy hopes that CAP
will expand to 600 students
next year and perhaps integrate
with other initiatives occurring
beyond first year.
The program is one of several
initiatives in Arts to support
Last year saw the inaugural
One Last Lecture, a special
event to celebrate fourth-year
students. CBC journalist Peter
Mansbridge spoke at the Chan
Centre for the occasion and each
student received an Arts scarf.
Proposed future initiatives
include a Majors Day for
third-year students and "Global
Imaginations," a special
course for students in second
year that will include large
lectures combined with one-
on-one seminars with teaching
"I think the moves that
we've made, and the various
initiatives we've taken have
helped," says Cooper. "Each
year-level ought to have some
signature event that draws
students together as a group,
because they're going through
their Arts degree together and I
think it's good to remind them
of that."
Arts Advising has also
been revamped and merged
with career planning, Co-op
Education, and student events
planning in the new Centre for
Academic Services in Arts. It
is all part of an effort to give
Arts undergraduates a dynamic
education, says Prof. Gallini.
"Over the past couple of
years, the  focus of this Faculty
has been enhancing the learning
environment, particularly for
undergraduates," she says.
"What we're really trying
to do is create some cohesion
among the four or five years,
and to inspire students to
continue to learn after they
leave UBC."
Duncan M. McHugh is
Programming Director at
CiTR's 101.9fM, UBC's campus
radio station. 4     I     UBC    REPORTS     |     AUGUST   3 ,    2006
Health Research With, By and For Aboriginal People
Aboriginal professors at UBC
are closing the distance between
healers and those who need
A case in point is Rod
McCormick, who is the lead or
co-lead of almost $16 million
in nationally and internationally
funded grants for Aboriginal
health research. His projects
range from suicide prevention
to genetic counselling.
"Research used to be done on
us," says Education Assoc. Prof.
McCormick, who is Mohawk
and teaches counseling
psychology. "But we're making
sure that research is now done
by us, for us and with us."
McCormick sees an urgent
need for change. "There's a
huge disparity in health status
between Aboriginal people and
othere Canadians."
He says Aboriginal people
have a life expectancy 7.5
years less than that of the
general population and are
diagnosed with diabetes at two
to five times the rate of most
British Columbians. As well,
unintentional injuries, suicides,
HIV/AIDS and alcohol-related
deaths show a worsening trend.
McCormick's research
partners at UBC are Jo-Ann
Archibald, associate dean of
Indigenous Education; Eduardo
federal health funding agency
and has a mandate to create
new knowledge and translate
it into more effective health
BC ACADRE, like its
seven provincial counterparts
across the country, fosters
collaborative research with
post-secondary institutions,
Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal
organizations and communities.
Linked electronically,
ACADRE investigators
share their expertise and
data on assessment, ethical
research practices, traditional
knowledge, mental health and
addictions research.
"BC ACADRE is about
building the capacity within
Aboriginal communities to
design, fund and implement
their own health studies," says
Between 2003 and 2005,
McCormick and other
ACADRE members travelled to
First Nations communities to
build consensus and buy-in.
"We had to convince
Aboriginal people that the
research environment has
changed and that they now have
a big say in how research will
be done."
BC ACADRE only funds
projects that are done in
partnership with Aboriginal
communities. "Effective
The real experts are those who have recovered from suicide,
those who've managed to overcome sexual abuse
Jovel, director of the Institute
for Aboriginal Health; and
Richard Vedan, director of
the First Nations House of
The four professors steer
the B.C. component of the
Aboriginal Capacity and
Developmental Research
Environment (ACADRE)
Network, which was created
by the Canadian Institutes of
Health Research (CIHR) in
2002. CIHR is Canada's major
research listens to the real
experts. The real experts are
those who have recovered from
suicide, those who've managed
to overcome sexual abuse," says
McCormick. "We're interested
in looking at what went right.
What are the connections that
lead to powerful and positive
McCormick says BC
ACADRE is working to
transform the scepticism and
mistrust Aboriginal people feel
Visiting Aboriginal communities, Rod McCormick heard people joke about "random acts of research" and
"drive-by researchers."
toward health researchers.
"Aboriginal people often say
that they have been researched
to death, but it hasn't been
relevant research. You hear
a lot of jokes about 'drive-by
researchers — the guys with the
white van who came to take
samples — or random acts of
To increase the numbers and
capacity of Aboriginal health
professionals, BC ACADRE has
distributed $500,000 in student
awards and fellowships since its
inception in 2003.
Between 2004 and 2006,
Trica McDiarmid, a member
of the Tr'ondek Hwech'in
Nation from Dawson City,
Yukon, won two BC ACADRE
undergraduate student awards,
each worth about $4,000, to
study Indigenous methods and
ethics of conducting research
with Aboriginal communities.
"I just wouldn't be here today
if it wasn't for the help I got
through BC ACADRE," says
McDiarmid, a single mother of
three children.
This April, McDiarmid
graduated with a B.A. in
Psychology from University
College of the Fraser Valley.
She's currently earning a
diploma in guidance studies at
UBC's Faculty of Education
and has been applying to
graduate school. She hopes to
complete her M.A. in clinical or
counselling psychology.
"But it's incredibly
competitive. For example,
the clinical program at UBC
only accepts 15 out of 300
What she values about
BC ACADRE goes beyond
the financial awards, says
McDiarmid. "They really
believe in helping Aboriginal
students succeed."
BC ACADRE matched her
up with mentor Kim van der
Woerd, who, according to
McDiarmid, is more angel
than mere role model. "Kim is
Namgis First Nation and a PhD
candidate in Psychology at SFU.
She has helped me find research
work and meet researchers. Kim
even bought me Microsoft Office
when I couldn't afford it."
McDiarmid says meeting
other students at ACADRE
conferences confirms that she
— and in turn her children
— can dream big. "When I was
growing up in Dawson City,
there were about six posters
hanging on the wall at our band
office and I thought those were
the only successful Aboriginal
people out there. Now I am
amazed to learn how many
people are working on their
doctoral thesis."
New Program Brings Engineering
Know-how to Health Care
An interdisciplinary approach
to solving real-world problems
is central to a new graduate
program starting this fall at
The Biomedical Engineering
Program will be the only
graduate program of its kind in
the province. Students will focus
on research and development
of biomedical technology such
as implantable medical devices,
diagnostic tools, and injury
prevention and rehabilitation
equipment. Another major
component of this new program
will be clinical practice to
provide a better understanding
of patient care.
"Our goal is to create better
engineering-based solutions
for health care," says program
director Assoc. Prof. Ezra
Kwok, who knows the benefits
of the clinical environment firsthand. An engineering professor
at UBC since 1995, Kwok took
a leave of absence in 2001 to
pursue an MD at McMaster
University. He returned to
UBC this year to help create
the program after completing
medical training in family
There are many challenges
in modern medicine that
may benefit from input from
engineering professionals,
says Kwok, including the
development of advanced
technology for early detection
of diseases, improving quality
of care and delivering new
"Engineers are excellent at
processing and analyzing data
to extract useful information.
This could lead to better
detection and ultimately, better
treatment," says Kwok. "We are
also trained to systematically
break up complex problems
into manageable pieces and
develop practical solutions.
These are areas that engineers
can make great contributions in
improving health care.
"What became clear to me
during medical school is the
very different approaches
physicians and engineers
take towards solving similar
problems. That's why we've
designed the curriculum
to include working with
physicians and experts from
chemical, electrical, mechanical
and material engineering, so
graduates would be equipped
to tackle a problem from
various angles and encourage
collaborations with other areas."
Graduates of the program
will find themselves in high
demand, says Kwok, who
points to B.C.'s vibrant medical
device, biotechnology and
pharmaceutical sectors and
increasing emphasis on patient
quality of life.
For more information, visit
www.bme.ubc.ca UBC    REPORTS     |     AUGUST    3,    2006     I    5
Can Aboriginal Health Issues
be Taught in a Classroom?
Not according to students,
instructors and organizers
of a new four-week,
interprofessional "immersion"
program that takes place in B.C.
Aboriginal communities.
Called the Aboriginal
Health Elective Program, the
undergraduate course is the
first of its kind in Canada, with
virtually all course content
designed by Aboriginal people.
It is offered through UBC's
College of Health Disciplines
and recognizes Aboriginal
health-care workers and
community members as experts
in Aboriginal health.
"The program is an
important step towards
developing a concrete, proven
Aboriginal health curriculum,
which has been much needed
here and in most Canadian
universities," says Dr. Evan
Adams, director of the division
of Aboriginal People's Health,
within the Department of
Andrew, Faculty of Medicine
Aboriginal programs coordinator and course instructor
at Mount Currie. "For a student
to truly understand the health of
Aboriginal people they must also
understand their culture, history
and community first-hand."
The program is part of a
national strategy to address
social accountability of medical
schools, an initiative of the
Association of Faculties of
Medicine of Canada.
"I think it's important for
people to become aware of
the positive things that we're
doing, such as daycare and a
healthy children's program,"
says Myrna Wallace, a longtime Mount Currie resident
who serves as community
co-ordinator at the reserve's
health centre. "One month
isn't long enough, though,
because the students are just
getting comfortable in a new
community and then it's almost
time for them to leave."
In June, three students took
Students also got involved in
cultural activities such as drum
making and Aboriginal Day,
a cultural festival in Duncan,
hosted by the Cowichan Band.
"The course was an awesome
experience — a wonderful
way to learn," says 42-year-
old Baker. Her experience has
inspired her to do a master's
degree in First Nations health.
Lin was motivated to take
the course because of her
experience interacting with First
Nations patients while doing
Pharmacy internships.
"I realized that many First
Nations people feel uneasy
when questioned directly.
I've learned to talk a bit
about myself and to open up
communication gradually."
The 22-year-old says she was
anxious at the outset and afraid
she might say or do something
culturally inappropriate.
"But we were welcomed.
You just need to be honest and
sensitive and look for ways to
Grace Lin (left) and Sarah Baker participated in Duncan's Aboriginal Day, hosted by the Cowichan Band.
Family Practice at UBC. "I
dare say, without a proper
curriculum, the typical health
sciences student may be unable
to intelligently discuss — let
alone act upon — Aboriginal
health issues. I hope we are
taking giant steps forward in
changing this."
The six-credit, intensive
hands-on learning is offered in
partnership with the Cowichan
Band and the Ts'ewulhtun
Health Centre, near Duncan
on Vancouver Island; and
the Mount Currie Band
and Mount Currie Health
Centre, near Pemberton. The
program's objective is to help
all health sciences students
better understand Aboriginal
perspective on health and well-
being, cultural and other factors
that influence health in their
communities and to encourage
interprofessional teamwork.
"I believe these students
are very fortunate to have
this opportunity that no other
student will get. That's why
these kinds of courses are
needed at UBC," says James
the course in Cowichan.
"I've seen that many
Aboriginal people either don't
have access to health care or
are not treated with respect by
practitioners," says Bachelor of
Science in Nursing student Sarah
Baker, who has been a nurse
for 18 years and has staffed
the BC Nurseline that takes
calls from patients around the
province. "I've been waiting for
an Aboriginal health course so
I could learn how best to treat
these patients in a culturally
sensitive and effective way."
Baker and third-year students
Grace Lin, from the Faculty of
Pharmaceutical Sciences, and
Dante Wan, from the Faculty
of Medicine, worked with
Aboriginal health-care providers
and community members.
Learning sites included a local
walk-in clinic, a pharmacy and
a health centre on the reserve.
The team also accompanied
a community health nurse on
home visits and traveled to the
reserve on nearby Kuper Island,
former site of a residential
Lin hopes to work in a small
community after graduation in
Cathy Dewaal, a third-
year Pharmaceutical Sciences
student, is taking the course in
Mount Currie.
"The highlight of this course
for me so far, has been picking
traditional plant medicines
— such as wild raspberry
leaves for stomach complaints
— with one of the community
members," she says, adding that
she now has a better idea of the
challenges and problems that
are unique to Aboriginal people.
Co-organized with UBC
Division of Continuing
Professional Development
and Knowledge Translation,
the program was funded by
the B.C. Academic Health
Council and Health Canada's
Primary Care Transition Fund
and has received UBC Senate
approval as a temporary
course. Organizers will apply
for permanent status following
additional sessions and an
continued from page 1
Modeled after a similar
initiative at the University of
California at Berkeley, the
program offers any upper-level
student the opportunity to
coordinate a seminar course.
An advisory committee reviews
submissions, while faculty
sponsors help turn student
proposals into classes with
course outlines, reading lists,
and assignments.
With Prof. Gisele Baxter, an
expert in pop culture, assisting
as faculty mentor, Bayles
created a 13-week seminar
looking at the impact of rock
music on society and popular
culture. Seminar topics ranged
from punk rock as it relates
to 20th century avant-garde
art movements to how "Do-It-
Yourself" culture is re-defining
the music industry.
As seminar co-ordinator,
Bayles was responsible for
organizing guest speakers,
reading materials, as well as
reviewing music and films for
the seminar. Bayles and Baxter
collaborated on class content,
structure, and evaluation
procedures. Baxter, like all
faculty sponsors of student-led
seminars, was responsible for
grading assignments.
The seminar's required media
list included written works such
as the quasi-autobiography by
shock rocker Marilyn Manson,
The Long Hard Road Out of
Hell; documentaries and films
(The Filth and the Fury and
Hard Core Logo), and albums
by The Clash (London
and Nine Inch Nails (The
Downward Spiral).
Former MuchMusic host
Terry David Mulligan was
invited to speak at a couple
of classes. In one, he led a
lively discussion on how
Canadian roots music defines
the nation's sound, as well as
how technology is changing the
recording industry.
To meet academic
requirements, students
conducted presentations and
wrote term papers on the work
of acclaimed rock critic Lester
Bangs, as well as on Hunter S.
Thompson's influential Fear and
Loathing in Las Vegas, a work
many students identified more
from its film version than the
book itself.
Students who took Bayles'
seminar say they enjoyed the
in-class discussions.
"Everyone had something to
say about sex, drugs and rock
n' roll," says Mike Hurwitz, a
Geography major who took the
"The course is a really
good opportunity to take on a
leadership role on topics we're
interested in," he adds. "I've
been studying a lot on nation
building in my other courses,
and I found this really applied
to the topic of what makes
Canadian music Canadian."
Bayles says she found
facilitating the class and being
in a position of authority the
most challenging aspects of
running a seminar.
"I definitely had no idea how
to run a proper course until
now," says Bayles, adding the
experience not only made her
feel more confident, but it has
prompted her to consider a
degree in Education.
"You think you have a really
exciting topic, but it just totally
depends on how your class is
feeling that day," she adds. "I
realize how much professors put
into their courses."
Robert P. Willis is a graduate
student in the UBC School of
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WIEMAN continued from page 1
think and learn — that's
developed over the last 10 to 20
years. From that information
we've come to realize that what
most students were learning
was not at all what we hoped
they were learning; they weren't
learning to think about it and
use science like scientists.
And at the same time that
this research told us there
was a problem, it also told us
better ways to help students
to gain that understanding.
Our understanding of how
people learn, and approaches
in education such as the use
of technology, offers the
hope of some revolutionary
improvements in education for
all students, whether they're
going into science or anything
When I try to look ahead 10
years from now, I hope these
efforts in science education
that we accomplish at UBC
will become a model for all
universities across the world,
and then ultimately down into
the high schools as a new form
for educating students.
Action + Service = Learning
What universities and
community settings have in
common is that they are both
places where students learn
to care about and respond
effectively to the critical social,
ecological, and economic issues
facing the world.
Would you agree with this
statement? At this point in
time, many people would not.
Some people see universities as
too isolated from real-world
problems. Some people view
communities as the site of issues
that must be addressed and tend
to ignore the expertise that is
available to be shared. But over
the next five to ten years, this is
going to change.
The problems facing
society today — such as the
over-consumption of limited
natural resources or the social
marginalization of people
who are perceived as different
— require big-picture, creative
thinking that is grounded in
practical realities, not just
But thinking is not enough.
We also need people to take
action. Community Service-
Learning — the integration
of volunteer service in the
community with classroom
learning — can engage students,
as well as faculty, staff, alumni
and community members, in the
kinds of thinking, action, and
reflection that will be the key to
developing effective responses
to the critical issues we face.
Since 1999, more than
3,000 UBC students have
demonstrated their enthusiasm
for real-life learning by
participating in programs such
as the Learning Exchange Trek
Program and UBC's Reading
Week community service
projects. The university's Trek
2010 strategic plan has reflected
this enthusiasm by making the
advancement of Community
Service Learning a priority.
Over the next five to ten
years, UBC will be developing
new Community Service
Learning initiatives that will
integrate students' volunteer
work with traditional,
discipline-specific courses
as well as with new, trans-
disciplinary courses that focus
on themes such as sustainability
and global citizenship.
Students will be engaging in
The students who will come
out of that, regardless of
what they choose for careers
— whether they're scientists or
doctors or lawyers or farmers
— will have a much better
understanding of science and
how it can be useful in their life.
They'll understand the world
around them better, be able to
make better decisions on these
issues about choosing what
energy sources to use, to how
to insulate their house and
they'll just be more scientifically
literate citizens. And that will
improve their lives.
a diverse range of projects,
from enriching the learning
environment in inner city
schools in Vancouver's eastside
to working with villages in
developing countries to advance
indigenous economic strategies.
Students will be able to work as
part of a team doing short-term
projects or independently on
long-term, in-depth projects
that integrate research, service,
and reflection.
UBC's increasing emphasis
on this kind of course-based
experiential learning will mean
that more and more students
will become powerful agents
of change in our communities.
Forget the image of students
being tucked away reading in
an "ivory tower." UBC students
are going to be applying their
knowledge, talent, and skills in
settings where they can make
a difference and where they
can learn from others who are
living and working in the thick
of society's most pressing issues.
Students will be learning in the
messy, confusing, and troubled
— but exciting — "real world."
Margo Fryer is Director of
the UBC Learning Exchange,
an Assistant Professor in
the School of Community
and Regional Planning and
President of the Canadian
Association for Community
Problems to explore, not to ignore
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Over the next five years,
innovations in teaching will be
based less on educated guesses
and more on research-based
evidence. An instructor may
introduce these new ideas to
students with phrases like,
"Over the last two years in
this course, we have collected
data that has convinced us of
the benefits of having you sit in
teams and spend part of every
class solving a problem related
to that day's topic."
The instructor will then
explain the study and present
the data in a form that students
can grasp and discuss. This
will become common enough
that students in this class might
expect the research on learning
to continue in their class. They
will complete consent forms
as a matter of course and may
well be interested in becoming
partners in research that
investigates their learning.
This research has already
become an integral part of the
teaching and learning landscape
in higher education. At UBC,
multidisciplinary teams from
Engineering, Biology, Political
Science, Education, and
elsewhere have launched these
investigations into their own
teaching and their students'
learning. In the future, the
move toward more evidence-
based innovation will draw
more faculty members to new
More of us will discuss
research problems in teaching
and learning the way we discuss
problems we are tackling in
our discipline-based research.
As Georgetown English
professor Randy Bass envisions,
a "problem in teaching" will
be something compelling
to explore, not something
troublesome to ignore.
Gary Poole is Director of
UBC's Centre for Teaching and
Academic Growth, President
of the Society for Teaching and
Learning in Higher Education,
and a member of the council of
the International Consortium
for Educational Development. UBC    REPORTS     |     AUGUST    3,    2006     |     7
Growth of Online
Personal Learning
The one thing constant about technology is change, so predicting
the learning technology environment at UBC in five-10 years time is
daunting. What makes UBC unique is not the technology itself, but
how we, in the words of Trek 2010, "support innovative teaching
and create new learning experiences through the application of
leading-edge technology."
Over the past 10 years we've seen the Internet expand from a
network of silo-ed content sources to nurturing personal spaces
(weblogs, electronic portfolios) where we maintain a social presence,
and personalized content and communications are brought to us.
The network is a part of daily life for students, faculty, and staff;
expectations are higher than ever.
Students expect to find their course notes online, to interact with
faculty and peers via course websites, e-mail, blogs and instant
messaging. Faculty and staff expect the same of their interaction with
the University and their colleagues worldwide. The web browser is
increasingly the most used computer program as our work, collegial
and social connections, finances and data sources are based online.
From the learning and teaching perspective, what this foreshadows
is a shift in focus from course-specific websites and resources to
the development of online personal learning environments and
community spaces for students, faculty and staff. Network-based
data and information sources and tools will integrate seamlessly into
these environments, creating rich research and collaboration spaces.
This online environment will continue to extend UBC's presence,
connecting formal and informal learning experiences and present
new opportunities for students to actively engage in knowledge
creation as authors and peer reviewers.
We see the seeds of this learning-centred environment in the
innovative work that is happening now at UBC. Through the
podcasts of The Thunderbird (the School of Journalism's online
magazine), the next generation of journalists provides insightful
commentary and demonstrates their professional expertise.
Students in the Faculty of Land and Food Systems begin collecting
and reflecting on their learning experiences in their first year by
developing an e-portfolio that will remain with them throughout
their UBC experience.
Team-based learning, characterized by peer review and
collaborative decision-making and supported by technology, is
preparing engineers for the high-tech workplace. With the Ancient
Spaces project, students in the Faculty of Arts are re-creating the
physical spaces and exploring historical cultures via an immersive
gaming environment. Pharmacy students are accessing and running
scientific instruments located outside Canada through the web.
Students of the SCI TEAM organize workshops and provide
support to peers in the Faculty of Science. Through LEAP, the AMS is
expanding tutoring online and helping increasingly time-challenged
colleagues as they balance school and work experiences. The Faculty
of Medicine is taking the online campus to the next level, creating a
network of three universities and multiple clinical sites.
These projects are the tip of the iceberg of the learning technology
environment at UBC. Over the next five to 10 years, we expect to
see more as the talented students, faculty and staff of UBC take
advantage of an increasing connected world to create a vibrant and
dynamic scholarly community.
Some suggested links:
• e-Learning at UBC: http://www.elearning.ubc.ca
• The Thunderbird — UBC Online Journalism Review:
• Ancient Spaces: http://www.ancientspaces.com
• The Learning Centre (Land and Food Systems):
• Team Based Learning (APSC):
• Integrated Laboratory Network (Pharmacy):
• SCI Team: http://www.sciteam.ubc.ca
• LEAP: http://www.leap.ubc.ca
• Medical School:
Michelle Lamberson is Director ofthe UBC Office of Learning
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A decade ago at UBC, we didn't
believe that a talk by Stephen
Lewis could pack the Chan
Centre or that 600 students
would participate in a Student
Leadership Conference on a
Saturday. Few faculty or staff at
UBC thought that our students
were interested in volunteering,
leadership development or
community issues.
How wrong we were.
The Student Leadership
Conference, Imagine UBC (first-
year orientation program), and
Community Service Learning
and other campus programs
draw hundreds of volunteer
students on an annual basis.
We told students they could be
more than a number at UBC
and now they arrive expecting
to be engaged in the community.
Today's students don't
ask if they will get involved,
but rather how. The number
of opportunities on offer to
students is staggering. Do you
go to Sweden for an exchange
year or go work on community
water project in Ecuador?
Maybe you get more deeply
involved in your student
residence, International House,
or run for a position in the
AMS. In the decade ahead, this
buffet of opportunities will
continue to expand — perhaps
with international or Canadian
service learning opportunities.
Increasingly the quality of
the student leadership and
international experiences is a
major consideration in choice
of university. That students
can engage in discussion with
the likes of AI Gore and David
Suzuki, or design and teach
their own upper year seminar,
makes UBC a destination of
Chad Hyson, the head of the
Leadership and Involvement
Program on campus believes
that "as we attract more
students and faculty who are
passionate about leadership and
global citizenship, we will gain
student leaders with incredible
prior experience and they will
have higher expectations of our
Even more important than
continuing to expand our
opportunities for students
will be enhancing the quality
of these experiences. Higher
level leadership and citizenship
Hundreds of UBC students work and learn in the community.
learning will be risky. New
student-driven projects will not
have tidy endings; the learning
will be intense and profound.
While we expect in the
decade ahead that students
will focus their leadership and
global citizenship education on
issues such as HIV AIDS and
global warming, they will also
focus their uncompromising
eyes on the UBC community.
Our student leaders will ask
tougher questions of us, and
will demand higher ethics and
a larger role in campus decision
making. We see this already
with student-driven ethical
purchasing policies and better
sustainability practices in our
student programs.
If the Class of 2020 is to
graduate innovative young
entrepreneurs, effective
community leaders, and
perhaps a couple of ethical
whistleblowers, student
leadership and global
citizenship will need to work its
way into all corners of the UBC
Allison Dunnet is a UBC
Student Development Officer
and founder of Humanities 101.
Director - Prostate Centra at
Vancouver General Hospital
The UBC Faculty of Medicine (wtfw.mMf.ubc.ca) and
Vancouver Coastal Health Authority jointly invite applications
for the position of Director of the Prostate Centre at
Vancouver General Hospital.  This is a five year term
appointment and is renewable. This posit on is expected to be
filled by an internal candidate.
The Director will establish and implement short and long
range organizational goals, objectives, strategic plans, policies
and operating procedures; monitors and evaluates
programmatic and operational effectiveness, and effects
changes required for improvement; assumes accountability
for the attainment of strategic objectives and operational
plans of the Centre. The Director is responsible and
accountable for the development and application of strategic
directions in basic, translational and clinical research for the
Centre. The Director provides vision, leadership and direction
to maintain research excellence wlthm the Centre and fosters
the developrnentof new research directions consistent with
overall mission ot the Prostate Centre at VGH.
The Director will report to the Deans of Medicine, the
Executive Director, Vancouver Coastal Health Research
Institute (VCHRI) and the Head ofthe Department of Urologic
Sciences at UBC. The Director will be an outstanding
academic leader with proven administrative experience,
•iiirKtarrial academic and rlmiral experience, a proven rerorri
of schoarly activity, and a commitment to undergraduate,
graduate, postgraduate education.
The successful applicant should be eligible for appointment as
a tenured professor within an appropriate department if
liy/ilitd ii nut cunenUy a UBC faculty irieiTib**r and muLiL be
eligible for registration with the College of Physicians and
Surgeons of B.C. Salary will be commensurate with
qualifications and experience.  The anticipated start date is
September 1, 2006.
The deadline for applications is August 31, 2006.
UBC Faculty of Medicine
Qualified applicants are invited bo submit a
curriculum vitae, the names of three
references, and a summary of their current
research program to:
Dr. Alison Buchari
Senior Associate Dean, Research
Room 317, Instructional Resources Centre
University of British Columbia
2194 Health Sciences Mall
Vancouver, B.C.  Canada      V6T 1Z3
(email:   searcrtes@rrtedd.med.ubc.ca
subject line:   Director-Prostate Centre
at VGH)
UBC hire on the basis af merit and is committed to
employment equity.   We enzourage all qualified applicants So
apply. I     UBC    REPORTS     |     AUGUST   3,    2006
Where Everybody Knows Your Name
UBC students, alumni take
advantage of online social
The anarchic world of online
teen culture has inspired a new
social networking website for
UBC students and alumni.
Similar to popular sites
like MySpace and Facebook,
TrekConnect is an online forum
where UBC alumni and students
can share expertise, network
for jobs, catch up with long-lost
classmates — and maybe even
spark a romance.
With the launch of
TrekConnect in June, UBC
became the first Canadian
university to offer networking
technology of this kind to
alumni, joining more than 50
U.S. universities and colleges.
And when classes resume in
September, UBC will become
one of the first universities in
North America to open this
resource to current students.
Mane Earl, UBC Assoc.
Vice-President, Alumni, and
Executive Director of UBC's
Alumni Association, has
worked with TrekConnect's
software on both sides of the
49th parallel. She came to
UBC in 2005 from a similar
position at California's Stanford
University, where students
created the software (known as
UBC is the first Canadian university to offer this kind of networking techology to alumni and students.
inCircle), and first offered this
innovation to alumni.
"Our 225,000 alumni living
and working around the globe
represent an absolute wealth
of knowledge and opportunity,
and with TrekConnect,
alumni and students can
finally begin making the most
of that network," says Earl.
"Universities have wanted to
provide this service for a long
time, so I think you will see
others following our footsteps
in Canada now that the
technology is available."
UBC's decision to extend
the system beyond alumni to
students will make it a richer,
more essential service to both
groups, says Earl. "By giving
students access to alumni in
industry, academia and the
arts, we are providing them
with an exciting new world
of professional and academic
mentoring opportunities. And
for alumni, it gives them a
link to each other without us
in the middle."
Looking back at
TrekConnect's first two
months online, Earl says
alumni response has been
overwhelmingly positive.
Initially launched to 120
alumni, close to 4,000 alumni
have already created personal
and business profiles by mid-
July. There have been over
50,000 private messages sent
between members and more
than 60 blogs uploaded.
In contrast to public social-
networking sites, which have
been plagued with allegations of
identity fraud, TrekConnect is
known as a closed — or trusted
— system, meaning that new
registrants must be verified by
staff as UBC alumni or students
before gaining entry to the site.
Once registered, users can
search for contacts by name,
class year, geography, or
interests. There are also forums
to buy and sell goods and
exchange everything from job
and housing opportunities to
concert tickets.
"Most first-time users are
blown away with the site's
ability to connect them not
only you're your friends, but
also your friends' friends, and
their friends too," says Earl.
"Suddenly people see they have
contacts in countries and in
professions they never knew
Alex Burkholder, a third-
year human geography student
working in the Alumni Office
for the summer, is excited about
the networking possibilities that
TrekConnect will offer students.
"Students need to make a
lot of decisions on their way
through university and beyond,
and what better resource to
have than a community filled
with people who have already
gone through it all," says
Burkholder, who belongs to
several of the site's interests-
based groups, including
All things Sailing, Amnesty
International and the Indie
Rock club.
For more information visit,
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