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VOL   55   I   NO   8   I   AUGUST   9,   2009
3      New University Centre
4     Fostering innovation
Rising Stars
8      Emperor of Japan
Imagine that:
UBC plans a big new orientation day
All first day classes for 35,000 undergraduates are being replaced by orientation activities. UBC's student development team is helping organize the expansion.
Get ready for a major change this fall on
UBC's Vancouver campus. Orientation
day, called Imagine UBC, has become
much bigger: all classes have been replaced
on the first day of school for more than
35,000 undergraduate students. In their
place, faculty and staff will turn their
attention to a wide range of new first-day
activities designed to connect students
with their professors and classmates to
find the support they need for starting
campus life, finding out more about their
major, or getting ready to graduate. It's a
format UBC Okanagan has modeled since
its inception in 2005.
Until this year, Imagine UBC, already
thought to be the largest one-day student
orientation in Canada, has replaced
100-level classes with orientation
Undoubtedly, this will be a model and an
inspiration to many universities
Janina Montero, Vice Chancellor,
Student Affairs, UCLA.
activities for about 5,000 first-year
students each fall.
"This is a large campus, with many
opportunities, but it can also be
overwhelming for new students," says
Margot Bell, Associate Director of Student
Development on the Vancouver campus.
"Our goals are for students to feel
welcomed and excited about their decision
to come to UBC."
Traditionally new students come to
campus on the first day and meet up in
small MUG groups (My Undergraduate
continued on back cover
International Service Learning programs grow
Students wishing to take their university
education around the world will have a
new opportunity when UBC's Go Global
International Service Learning (ISL) program
opens its registration again this fall.
Go Global will recruit students in
September for its ISL placement in
Lesotho, a small southern African country.
The project was first held this past summer
and is one of six ISL programs.
The ISL placements - also offered in
Costa Rica, Rwanda, Mexico, Swaziland
and Uganda - connect students and
their academic interests with grassroots
community organizations around the
world for volunteer programs that focus
on reciprocal learning.
"For each of the programs we've set
learning objectives with the community
partners based on their priorities," says
Associate Director Tamara Baldwin.
"Students then have the opportunity to
take a hands-on approach to projects that
genuinely interest them, both personally
and academically."
In Lesotho, engineering students
partnered with a community based
organization, Mohoma Temeng, to design
and build ventilated improved pit latrines in
a rural area of Lesotho called Qacha's Nek.
A 2004 study by UNICEF found that
about one-third of the country's rural
population lack access to acceptable
sanitation facilities, which often causes
contamination of nearby water sources.
The project took hold after Mathabo
Tsepa, born and raised in Lesotho,
completed doctoral studies in education
at UBC. She now teaches at the University
of Lesotho and is Go Global's primary
contact, and a liaison with individuals
from the academic, civil society and local
Baldwin, who recently returned from
Lesotho, says the results of this summer's
project are "amazing on so many fronts.
"The students were able to build a
number of latrines, but the focus they took
was on working with the community
organization to ensure the work would
continue after they left," she says.
"Together they've trained local youths
who have gained important work skills
and will be better able to contribute to their
For next summer's placement, a team will
be selected by November, with pre-departure
learning sessions held through May.
continued on p.6
UBC Engineering students learn from community partners in Lesotho. 2     |     UBC    REPORTS     |     AUGUST    9,    2009
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Prof. Karl Aquino's study on customer surveys earned international interest.
Highlights of UBC media coverage in June 2009.  compiled by sean sullivan
"If these were black Canadians
and Jewish Canadians being
excluded from the event, it would
be intolerable," said Young. "We
should raise questions about what
is going on at the Olympics."
Customer surveys show
race bias
A UBC study that examines
customer attitudes shows white
male employees are more likely
to receive higher customer
satisfaction scores than women or
people of colour.
Karl Aquino, a professor
at UBC's Sauder School of
Business, found that customers
anonymously reported lower
satisfaction with service from
women and minority employees
performing at the same level and
offering the same service as white
male employees.
"What's unsettling about our
study is that when women and
minorities perform better, they
actually get lower performance
ratings and are perceived more
negatively. And we don't yet really
know why," he said.
The Canadian Press, Canwest
News Service, Toronto Star,
Toronto Sun and the Boston
Globe were among the news
organizations that reported on
the study.
A boost for stroke victims
Wired reports that a "brain-
tingling technique" pioneered
by UBC physical therapist Lara
Boyd might eventually help stroke
victims recover their coordination.
In an experiment published last
month in BMC Neuroscience,
Boyd put 30 people into a
machine that sent electromagnetic
waves into their premotor
cortexes, a brain region associated
with learning motor skills.
Boyd says the stimulation may
help neurons in the premotor
cortex form connections, allowing
motor memories to form rapidly.
The Telegraph, Popular Science
and The Statesman also reported
on the experiment.
Atleo elected chief
Shawn Atleo, longtime friend
of the Faculty of Education and
a graduate of the UBC Adult
Learning and Global Change
program, has been elected
Assembly of First Nations
Grand Chief.
The 42-year-old businessman
was picked as chief after a
marathon election that saw eight
rounds of voting over 23 hours.
Atleo's connection to UBC was
mentioned in media reports by
The Canadian Press, Global and
Mail and Canwest News Service.
Education was an important
plank of his leadership platform.
Atleo's father, E. Richard Atleo,
was the first aboriginal to
graduate from UBC with a PhD.
Canada's moon rock
UBC Prof. Jaymie Matthews
was thrust into the limelight last
month as NASA celebrated the
40th anniversary of Apollo ll's
lunar landing
Matthews, a professor of
astronomy and astrophysics, was
the youth ambassador who received
Canada's moon rock - worth
upwards of $5 million - in 1972.
As a 13-year-old, Matthews
won an essay contest on the
subject of "The Importance of
Space Flight to Mankind," which
netted him a trip to Washington.
There he met President Richard
Nixon and roomed next to Neil
Armstrong, later watching the
Apollo 17 moon landing from
NASA's Mission Control Center.
In interviews with the Ottawa
Citizen, Vancouver Province
and Vancouver Sun, Matthews
said he's glad to know the sliver
of rock is soon to be on display
in Ottawa. "For people to see a
moon rock, a piece of another
world, it's the gateway for them
to learn more about our solar
system," he said.
Court rejects ski jump bid
The Globe and Mail and NPR
turned to UBC Law Prof. Margot
Young for expert analysis after
a B.C. Supreme Court judge
dismissed a high-profile bid by
women ski jumpers to compete
at next year's Winter Olympics.
Madam Justice Lauri Ann
Fenlon ruled that the women
ski jumpers were discriminated
against by the International
Olympic Committee's decision
to keep them off the 2010
Olympic calendar, but said that
the Switzerland-based IOC
was beyond the reach of the
Canadian Charter of Rights and
UBC law professor Margot
Young said the implication of the
judge's decision is worrisome.
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New University Centre a hub for student activity
Ian Cull, Associate Vice President of Students at UBC Okanagan, says the new University Centre has been designed as a central hub of activity and services for students.
Students have more places to relax, study
and get together with the addition of the
University Centre at UBC Okanagan.
Opened this summer, the $33-million
building is a hub for student activity
— offering everything from fresh food to
financial aid.
"We wanted to create a central place for
student activity and engagement," says Ian
Cull, Associate Vice President, Students, at
UBC Okanagan. "One of the main things
this new building will do is provide a focal
point where students can gather and have
immediate access to services and activity.
It also features some spaces - specifically,
three collegia - that provide a home away
from home for students who commute."
Collegia are spaces designed to serve
as a home away from home for students
who commute to campus. They serve as
places to hang out, eat lunch, spend time
with classmates, and do school work.
Each collegium has a relaxing lounge-
style atmosphere and is outfitted with
comfortable furniture, individual and
group work spaces, and kitchen facilities.
Included in the 79,000-sq.-ft. building
are learning centres, student services
provides a full-range of food options,
such as vegan or vegetarian," says Cull.
"There is a credit union, a state-of-the-
art movie cinema that seats about 100
people, a multi-faith space that students
can book for meditation or prayer, and a
"One ofthe main things this new building
will do is provide a focal point where
students can gather and have immediate
access to services and activity."
offices for several UBC Okanagan
departments, UBC Students' Union
Okanagan offices, a sushi bar, student club
space, a variety of social and gathering
spaces and a pub/restaurant.
"There is also a new cafeteria with a
unique food program that focuses on
organic foods and local produce and
Okanagan growing in
graduate studies
The very first doctoral degree to be
completed at UBC Okanagan - a PhD
in chemistry, awarded to Sarrah Vakili
in June - was an important milestone
for graduate studies at UBC's campus in
Kelowna, says Marvin Krank, Dean of the
College of Graduate Studies.
Another 59 students are pursuing
doctoral degrees right now, says Krank,
and 29 more candidates are expected to
be admitted to doctoral programs over the
next year.
"We have already graduated many
master's students and our doctoral
programs have grown dramatically over
the past few years," says Krank.
June's graduation ceremonies saw 55
master's degrees conferred in social work,
nursing science, education, applied science,
arts and fine arts. Last year, 218 students
entered master's degree programs. This
year another 158 master's students have
been accepted.
"Graduate programs span the breadth
of academic disciplines here, from science
and engineering to creative arts," says
Krank. El
medical clinic that will operate similar to
a walk-in clinic."
The University Centre has been more
than two and a half years in the making.
The UBC Students' Union Okanagan
contributed $3 million to the project, and
a private anonymous donor gave more
than $1 million to establish the J. Peter
Meekison Student Centre, located on the
ground floor. Meekison was the public
administrator appointed by the B.C.
government to oversee the transition from
the former Okanagan University College
into two new institutions: Okanagan
College and UBC Okanagan in 2005.
"The growth of our student population
is the main reason the University Centre
was built," says Cull. "We went from
3,000 students to about 6,000 students
and expect that number to increase
to 7,500 students by 2012. We know
the University Centre will contribute
greatly to the student experience at UBC
Okanagan." 13
Peter and Patti Meekison visited the University Centre at UBC Okanagan this summer. The
ground floor ofthe facility comprises the J. Peter Meekison Student Centre, home ofthe
students' union and a host of student amenities. 4     I     UBC    REPORTS     |     AUGUST    9,    2009
Fostering innovation in a tough economy
Clouburst Research co-founder Matthew Brown took this panorama of Serratus Mountain, B.C. using the company's new Autostitch iPhone application.
Three spin-off companies are achieving success
in a difficult economy thanks to innovations
that were established through UBC's University-
Industry Liaison Office (UILO).
Ever wanted to create eye-catching panoramas by
combining several photos to make one complete picture?
Dubbed the "first automatic image stitcher for the
iPhone," the Autostitch iPhone does exactly that. It was
developed by Cloudburst Research and sold thousands
of copies the first two weeks it was released this past
June. Cloudburst co-founder Matthew Brown invented
Autostitch as part of his PhD thesis research at UBC.
Formed in 2009, Cloudburst is one of 137 spin-offs
developed through UBC's UILO. UBC is a recognized
leader in commercialization activities, with technologies
created at UBC having generated more than $5 billion in
sales. The university currently holds approximately 250
license agreements with companies world-wide.
David Lowe, professor of computer science at UBC
and CEO of Cloudburst Research, developed the baseline
technology for Autostitch, called Scale-Invariant Feature
Transform or SIFT, which has since been licensed to a
number of companies. He attributes the company's success
to the help they received from UILO.
"UBC's Industry-Liaison Office has been very
supportive in helping the company to license our research
to other companies and in setting up our own company to
create a mobile phone product," he says.
Lowe says the development at UBC of their technology
has been instrumental in enabling Cloudburst to take
academic research from the lab and develop it into
consumer products.
Another UBC spin-off, Ostara Nutrient Recovery
Technologies, is showing a high degree of success in spite
of the economic shakedown.
Donald Mavinic, UBC civil engineering professor, knew
early on that he and his research team were developing a
technology that was ahead of its time.
The researchers underwent a five-year development
process at UBC to find a 'green' alternative to depleting
the world's dwindling supply of rock phosphate. The
result was equipment and expertise for recovering
phosphorus and other resources from municipal
wastewater treatment facilities and in doing so recycling
the nutrients into sustainable products such as fertilizers.
A major benefit of the technology to municipalities was to
solve the costly problem of blocked pipes and treatment
costs in the plants caused by a buildup of phosphorus and
other minerals.
"The world is running out of phosphorus and this
chemical element is required for everything that lives on
land and in our waters," says Mavinic. "We cannot survive
without it and there is no known substitute for it."
continued on page 5
Two new master's degrees for our times
Graduate students enrolled in the new Master of Pood and Resource Economics (MFRE) at the faculty of Land and Food
Systems will discuss world grain prices and other related issues.
New master's degree helps students tackle
global food issues
What caused two recent spikes in grain prices? Are we
facing a global food crisis? Graduate students enrolled in
the new Master of Food and Resource Economics (MFRE)
at the Faculty of Land and Food Systems will probe these
and other real world issues when the program launches
this fall.
"The world is faced with increasingly complex
economic issues dealing with food security, safety
and trade and the effects of the food sector on the
environment," says Shoren Jin, one of 15 graduate
students to enter the program this September. "The
marketplace needs people who can analyze, evaluate and
solve these public policy and business issues."
The MFRE is the first professional masters degree in
Canada to offer a combination of applied economics,
policy analysis and agribusiness management. The
30-credit program can be completed in one year and
should be of particular interest to graduates and
professionals such as policy analysts, market consultants
and researchers looking to sharpen their skill-sets with
more advanced economics and real world applications.
MFRE courses are taught by faculty members as well
as people in industry or government from the food and
resource sectors.
The Food and Resource Economics (FRE) group in the
Faculty of Land and Food Systems devised the program
to fulfill a demand of bachelor's degree graduates from
continued on page 5 UBC    REPORTS     |     AUGUST    9,    2009     |    5
FOSTERING INNOVATION continued from page ■
Ostara Nutrient Recovery Technologies was founded
in 2006 and its flagship product Crystal Green, a slow
release commercial fertilizer, is already in large demand
from golf courses, parks, nurseries, and the forest
industry, which can use the product to boost tree growth.
The B.C. Conservation Foundation that works closely
with the B.C. Ministry of Environment Fish and Wildlife
Branch, Fisheries and Oceans Canada and the Greater
Georgia Basin Steelhead Recovery Plan, is now using
Crystal Green pellets to replace the nutrient value of dead
salmon carcasses missing from rivers as a result of low
salmon stocks.
The Goldbar treatment plant in Edmonton was host
to the first full scale installation to produce Crystal
Green starting in 2007, followed by the Durham
plant operated by Clean Water Services near Portland,
Oregon in spring 2009. Ostara has plans to build three
to five more facilities in the next year in Canada, the
U.S. and parts of Europe to keep up with demand. Six
to eight metric tons of carbon dioxide credits will be
produced for every ton of Crystal Green as a result of
the technology, which represents a radical cut to C02
emissions from fertilizer production.
"Countries such as Germany, Sweden, China, Australia
and Holland also want to come on board because we've
invented a better mousetrap," says Mavinic.
Martin Gleave, professor of Urologic Sciences at UBC and
Chief Scientific Officer of OncoGenex Pharmaceuticals,
has a different target: cancer.
Gleave and his research team at OncoGenex, an eight-
year-old biopharmaceutical company that started at
UBC, are developing new therapies for cancer patients.
As director of the Prostate Centre at Vancouver General
Hospital, Gleave is also the chief inventor of OGX-011, a
drug that was shown in recent clinical trials to prolong the
life of men with advanced prostate cancer by seven months.
"The discovery and development of OGX-011
illustrates our capacity to retain and add value to
products spun out of the Prostate Centre which, in turn,
supports Canadian biotech and economic growth in
Canada," says Gleave.
OncoGenex currently has five products in development.
With this second phase of clinical trials showing
significant benefit in advanced prostate cancer, the
company is well positioned to partner OGX-011 into the
third phase of trials for commercial development.
UBC spin-offs Ostara Nutrient Recovery Technologies,
Cloudburst Research and OncoGenex Pharmaceuticals
are bringing considerable economic benefit to B.C.,
but also to the everyday lives of local and global
"During difficult economic times it is encouraging to
see not only the success of UBC spin-off companies, but
also that industry partners are looking increasingly to
UBC's innovation capacity," says Angus Livingstone, UILO
managing director.
For more information about UILO and UBC spin-offs,
www.uilo.ubc.ca. 13
MASTER'S DEGREES continued from
agricultural economics and related programs for a master's
degree adapted to their interests and education.
"The new program will prepare students to understand
changes in food markets, undertake agricultural and
resource policy analyses, and evaluate proposals to solve
environmental problems," says Rick Barichello, associate
professor in the Faculty of Land and Food Systems. "This
will enable graduates to contribute better in government
to enter a graduate degree program that was too sweeping
and theoretical. She first became interested in pursuing
graduate studies as a UBC undergraduate student.
Finding no specialized focus for economics majors at
the undergraduate level, Yuan took several Food and
Resource Economics courses in her third and fourth years.
She hopes the MFRE will deepen her knowledge of food
markets and give her a better understanding of
"I could work for government, futures markets, a trading
company, a resource company, or in the agricultural sector.
The possibilities for me once I graduate are many."
and industry as policy-makers and marketing managers."
Jin likes the practical focus of the program.
"I'm hoping to learn more about issues in the food
and resource sectors relating to natural resources and
sustainable growth that I can then apply in the workplace
when I graduate," she says.
Xuhui Yuan, a recent UBC graduate with a major
in economics, also likes the MFRE's straightforward
approach to tackling today's economic issues.
"I want to study something that can be used in the real
world," Yuan says. "The MFRE seems to fit what's going
on right now in the food and resource sectors."
Already working for a trading company that imports
food and owns a supermarket, Yuan says she didn't want
ways to cut down on waste and use scarce resources
more sustainably.
Both students like the fact that there seems to be an
increasing demand for jobs in those sectors and that,
through the MFRE program, they can learn more about
sustainable practices.
"With this degree I am more likely to be hired in a
management position in the food industry," says Yuan.
"I could work for government, futures markets, a trading
company, a resource company, or in the agricultural sector.
The possibilities for me once I graduate are many."
For more information about the MFRE program, www.
A New Masters of Engineering with a
Clean Energy Focus
The Faculty of Applied Science and the Clean Energy
Research Centre (CERC) at UBC are offering a new
master's degree in Clean Energy Engineering to help
conserve and meet the global need for energy while
minimizing the release of greenhouse gases and other
The first of its kind in Canada, the program is aimed
at engineering graduates looking for advanced training
in both reducing energy demand through energy-efficient
technologies and improving the supply of energy from
sustainable energy sources such as biomass, solar, wind
and small-scale hydro. The 12-16-month program will
also focus on energy conservation, social change concepts,
efficient use of electricity and acquiring the tools to
compare and evaluate alternative energy scenarios.
The program combines courses with a co-operative work
term where students will have the opportunity to begin
to develop their career goals in areas such as technology
development, management, business and leadership.
In partnership with the UBC Sustainability Office and
the Faculty of Applied Science, BC Hydro Power Smart
will support the program by providing expertise with a
focus on energy conservation, co-funding engineering co-op
work placements, and supporting a BC Hydro Power Smart
Instructional Fellow and program curriculum development.
For more information about the program,
www.cerc.ubc.ca. 13 6     |     UBC    REPORTS     |     AUGUST    9,    2009
UBC Child Care adds five new daycare centres
UBC Child Care Services serve about 500 children, making it Vancouver's largest daycare provider.
Daycares facilitate
meeting of minds
UBC's Child Care service
marks its 40th anniversary
this month and there's plenty
to celebrate: five new daycare
facilities have opened in 2009,
with others on the drawing
board for the near future.
"The need to expand has been
clear for a number of years,
but the demand was so great
we've had to open a number at
once," says Darcelle Cottons,
director of UBC Child Care
Services. "Even doing that hasn't
shortened our waiting list as
much as it should."
Staff turnover and a
demographic change on campus
are driving the demand. As well,
new housing on campus may
mean a rise in the number of
young families in the near future,
Cottons says.
The waiting list for one of the
child care spaces is now 15-18
months, down from a recent high
of three years. About 500 children,
North America, and the largest
provider of infant and toddler
childcare in Vancouver.
However, a steering committee
of students, faculty, staff,
community members and
members of the administration is
looking at how UBC can double
the number of childcare spaces
on campus, says Nancy Knight,
associate vice-president campus
during a recent open house.
Operating in tandem with a
large university often leads to
interesting research projects
pioneered by staff and students.
Four of the 12 centres is
experimenting with grouping
toddlers with preschool-aged
children, a first in Canada
and a move that could lead a
nationwide change.
UBC Child Care Services is already the largest
campus-based child care system in North America.
from the age of four months to 12
years, are enrolled in the centres.
UBC Child Care Services is
already the largest campus-
based child care system in
and community planning.
The administration will be
providing the board of governors
with a report this fall, in part
based on the feedback received
Rather than splitting the
youngest kids into two groups
- toddlers and three-to-five
year olds - researchers are
experimenting with grouping the
children into a bigger space with
a smaller child-to-staff ratio.
"For young children,
relationships are critical, and this
allows the child to be with the
same caregivers for up to four
years," Cottons says.
"Innovation is what we're
all about: finding better ways
to do what we do," she says.
"The community interest in this
project is huge."
UBC Child Care services
operate on one campus block,
giving parents and staff greater
access to each other.
"The community is made
up mostly of students, faculty
and staff, but they're all just
someone's parent," says Cottons.
The daycares often host potluck
dinners, where parents can get to
know each other socially.
It was at one such potluck
that Todd Handy, the director
of the neuroimaging lab in the
UBC Department of Psychology,
met Lara Boyd, a UBC physical
therapist and neuroscientist.
They got to talking, and found
they had common interests.
Her work involves studying
how people recover motor
function after having strokes. She
had a new study to contact, but
didn't have necessary equipment.
Handy did.
"It just so happened I had a
spare EEG recording system she
could borrow," he says.
That chance meeting last fall
has led to an ongoing research
collaboration that marries
cognitive neuroscience and
physical therapy.
"It's sometimes challenging
to make connections on this
campus for interdisciplinary
research," says ErinRose Handy,
communications manager for
the Faculty of Applied Science
and parent of two children in the
system. "The daycares provide
opportunity on this campus
to connect with people from
different faculties." 13
Peter Wall Institute for Advanced Studies
MARCH 1, 2009
Major Thematic Grant, Letter of Intent
The Major Thematic Grant provides funding of up to
$500,000 over a three to five-year period to a broad
interdisciplinary team of UBC and external scholars to
research a new area of basic research. It is expected
that UBC will become a centre for research on the topic.
Applicants for a Major Thematic Grant must first have
applied for and held a successful Peter Wall Exploratory
Workshop within the previous two years. There are at
present two projects being funded.
For more information, please visit our website at
www.pwias.ubc.ca or call us at (604) 822-4782.
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UBC GRAD continued from page 1
Participants will learn about the
country and its culture, and gain
team-building and intercultural
communication skills.
The recruiting for the summer
programs is in September and
October, with applications due
Oct. 18.
The ISL programs span
disciplines as broad as
engineering, psychology, social
work education and science.
In Swaziland, students work
with SOS Children's Villages
on community-strengthening
initiatives that include assisting
youth with job search strategies
and conducting training sessions
focused on strengthening families
impacted by HIV/AIDS.
In Uganda, one project is
focused on assisting with
community libraries that are
working to increase the reading
culture and computer literacy.
The environmental impacts of
tourism and the effects the
industry has on the habitat of
animals such as sea turtles is
studied in Costa Rica, while
students who venture to Mexico
continued on page 7 UBC    REPORTS     |    AUGUST    9,    2009     |     7
Students poised to become stars
Sometimes love at first sight can
be a simple matter of biology.
After Calgary native Leah Lim
attended last year's inaugural
Rising Stars of Research
National Undergraduate Science
and Engineering Research Poster
Competition at UBC as a fifth-
year undergraduate student,
she became convinced graduate
school was for her. She looked
at her options in November
2008 and remembered a brief
talk she had with Charles
Thompson, professor in UBC's
Department of Microbiology and
Immunology, during a tour of
science labs.
"He showed us an agar plate
with Mycobacteria growing on
it," says Lim. "Then he gave a
quick description of what his lab
studied, and I was captivated."
Lim is one of nine students
who attended Rising Stars of
Research in 2008 and decided
to come back to UBC to pursue
graduate studies this year. Now
in the first year of her master's,
Lim is studying and working at
the Thompson Lab in the Life
Sciences Centre.
"My research looks at the role
of a specific regulatory protein,
whiB7, that confers antibiotic
resistance in Mycobacterium
tuberculosis," says Lim.
"Learning about this protein
will help researchers develop
drugs to more successfully treat
tuberculosis with antibiotics."
Rising Stars of Research is
coordinated by the UBC Faculty
Pamela Lincez is a fifth year student in the Biotechnology Honors program at UBC who was chosen to participate in this year's Rising Stars of Research.
scientists and interest them to
pursue graduate studies. This
year, he is actively involved in the
co-ordination of the Rising Stars
of Research events with other
UBC faculty members.
A new component of this
year's event, August 19-22, is the
participation of international
UBC's Asia Pacific Regional
Office (APRO) is leveraging
Honours program at UBC who
was chosen to participate in this
year's event. She is attracted to
the field of virology because of
the significant impact infections
cause on a global scale, especially
with viruses like Influenza A
virus, Human Immunodeficiency
virus (HIV), and Hepatitis C
virus (HCV).
"This event is an opportunity
for me to network with students
sciences and technology,
physical and earth sciences, and
The poster session will be
held in the Life Sciences Centre
West Atrium on August 20,
llam-2pm, and is open to the
public. Awards in each category
are valued at $500 each. Co-
sponsors of the event include the
BC Innovation Council, Michael
Smith Foundation for Health
Research, UNBC, BC Mental
Health and Addictions Research
Network, UBC Facility for
Infectious Disease and Epidemic
Research (FINDER), and UBC
Life Sciences Institute. 13
"I hope to receive constructive advice about my work
and my plans for graduate research."
of Graduate Studies and brings
together dozens of professors
from several faculties to help
organize the event, review
applications and judge student
"As a professor I feel it is one
of my responsibilities to provide
support through teaching
and helping to guide students
who wish to pursue graduate
studies," says Francois Jean,
an associate professor at the
Department of Microbiology
and Immunology at UBC and
organizer of the competition.
In 2007, Jean first came up
with the idea of holding a
national undergraduate science
poster competition at UBC to
support and encourage students
in their ongoing development as
UBC GRAD continued from page 6
help small cooperatives establish a
dialog for greater leadership and
In Rwanda students most recently
taught business planning to a
weavers cooperative, and assisted in
English-language training to allow
the women to better interact with
their customers.
Students are drawn to UBC's
Go Global ISL program because
of its reputation and emphasis on
developing real-world skills that
can apply inside and outside of the
classroom, Baldwin says.
existing relationships to attract
top students from the region's
universities. This summer, the
University of Hong Kong and
Hong Kong University of Science
and Technology will cover the
costs for seven students to travel
to UBC to participate in the
Rising Stars of Research event.
They'll be joined by 100 students
from universities across Canada.
"The ultimate goal of
the event is to position UBC
worldwide as a place where we
develop, support and celebrate
outstanding young researchers,"
says Jenny Phelps, assistant
dean and director, Graduate
Enrollment Services at the
Faculty of Graduate Studies.
Pamela Lincez is a fifth-year
student in the Biotechnology
and learn about Canadian and
Hong Kong research groups that
may be of assistance with future
research," she says. "I hope
to receive constructive advice
about my work and my plans for
graduate research."
Rising Stars of Research
includes a workshop to help
students with scholarship
applications, opportunities for
small groups of students to tour
facilities, and interaction with
UBC faculty, graduate students
and peers from more than 30
Canadian and Hong Kong
universities. The highlight of the
event is a poster presentation by
students in the areas of health
sciences, biochemistry and
molecular biology, life sciences
and psychology, computational
"They've studied this or
that, but often say that it's all
theoretical," she says. "We also
hear a lot of students saying
they've wanted to volunteer, but
have been cautious about other
international programs."
In the case of Lesotho, a
successful first run means the
program will continue next summer.
"I think a lot of stereotypes
were broken on a lot of sides,"
Baldwin says.
"Our group went in thinking
about this being a technical
project, but came out seeing it
as so much more." One student
said that he can't wait to get
back and learn more about
politics and economics - topics
he says he wasn't interested in
before this project.
On the other hand, some
community members told
Baldwin they've never seen
young people work so hard.
"They said they thought this
may be another group of 'white'
people with their hands in the
pockets," she says. 13
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Emperor and Empress of Japan visit UBC
More than half a century after his first visit to UBC, His
Majesty Emperor Akihito of Japan returned to the now
fully mature Nitobe Memorial Garden July 13 as part of
a cross-Canada tour celebrating the 80th anniversary of
Japan-Canada diplomatic relations.
In 1953, then Crown Prince Akihito toured a smaller
predecessor of the Garden on his way to attend Queen
Elizabeth's coronation. It was the 19-year-old Crown
Prince's first trip abroad.
His Majesty - who is also referred to as the Heisei
Emperor to denote the era over which he reigns - was
accompanied by Empress Michiko and spent more than 20
minutes conversing with 20 UBC students in the Garden,
widely recognized as the most authentic traditional
Japanese tea garden in North America.
"Being afforded an audience with Their Majesties was
an extraordinary honour," says Ciaran Dudley, a fourth-
year Honours Asian Languages and Culture major. "I was
most impressed by Their Majesties' sincere interest in us
students. They spoke with us rather than at us, which was
very humbling."
The tour of the Garden followed a brief presentation
by Provost David Farrar at the Asian Centre, where Their
Majesties perused rare maps and utagaruta poem cards from
the UBC Library, including the Bankoku Sozu, a Japanese
map of the world created in the late 1600s. A short film of
His Majesty's 1953 to UBC visit was also shown.
Upon seeing the footage of His Majesty as a young
man, "Her Majesty's face just lit up," says Farrar, whose
presentation highlighted a long history of academic linkages
between UBC and Japan, including the UBC-Ritsumeikan
University Academic Exchange Program, the Centre for
Japanese Research, and the Dept. of Asian Studies.
The royal couple also toured the Museum of
Anthropology's Great Hall and viewed Bill Reid's iconic
Raven and The First Men sculpture before a luncheon
hosted by President Stephen Toope.
UBC has also hosted other members of the Japanese
royalty, including Prince and Princess Chichibu in 1937 and
Prince Takamado, who attended the Asian Centre's opening
in 1981 and the opening of the Nitobe Memorial Garden
in 1992. Princess Takamado returned in 2004 to mark the
donation of a book collection by the Japan Foundation to
the Asian Library.
The Bankoku Sozu map, created in the 1600s and usually
displayed vertically along with a glossary of world costumes,
was among the rare artifacts from the UBC Library perused
by Their Majesties.
This year, 328 Japanese students and hundreds more who
are Canadian citizens of Japanese heritage studied at UBC.
The university also attracts exchange students from and sends
exchange students to Waseda, Keio, Osaka, Ritsumeikan,
Sophia and Hitotsubashi universities and is world renowned
for its research and education in Asian Studies. 13
IMAGINE continued from
Group) organized by a shared common class, and led by
a senior student from their faculty. Throughout the day
they meet their deans, take a campus tour, attend a student
success workshop with a professor and visit the main event
carnival, with more than 200 booths that showcase student
life and services. A highlight for many is a high-energy
pep rally that has the entire incoming class assemble for
speeches and wild faculty cheers.
Cecilia Huang, a recent Science graduate who now
works for the Student Development team, recalls her first
day on the Vancouver campus. "Coming out of high school,
you have this vision of what it is going to be like. The first
day was so fun- it really fulfilled that vision."
Programming for first-year students will remain the
same, but the university now plans to build on it with the
expansion to include transfer and returning students.
"We started to see a couple of hiccups," says Bell. "We
rely on 750 student leaders to run the event. But their
classes were running as usual, so we were asking them
to miss class. We also recognized a real gap for transfer
students who weren't coming into 100 level courses."
And with the challenges was a growing campus
understanding that students would benefit from support for
the many other transitions they make in their four years.
"There was a lot of campus consultation leading up
to Senate approval this year," says Bell. "Frankly, it is an
institutional statement about the importance of orientation
and transition programs. We're hoping it is not business
as usual, where faculty members have to worry about the
first day of classes. Rather, they can now put their energies
to welcoming all returning students."
What will the day now hold for returning students?
Assoc. Prof. Fred Cutler is helping organize a research
session, a debate and a reception for Political Science
majors. "In the past, we've had no events to provide
orientation and inspiration for our new majors - about
250 per year. That's our main objective with Imagine day
this year."
Senior Instructor Mary Lou Bevier, Dept. of Earth and
Ocean Sciences, says her department is looking forward
to having more than 150 returning students participate
in a degree program advising session and a department
"This should be a fun event and an opportunity to get
to know new people, to say hi to familiar faces, and to get
student questions answered about advising, department
facilities, clubs, and other aspects of life around EOS,"
says Bevier.
Leanne Perry, Campus Life Coordinator at UBC
Okanagan believes the broader approach has paid off for
all levels of students at the Kelowna campus orientation
day, called Create. "The day allows upper-year students to
attend the afternoon activities and new transfer students
to experience the entire Create program. Students can
spend a full day on campus getting ready for class."
Nevertheless, making this move for a student
population of more than 35,000 students on the
Vancouver campus reflects a major shift that has other
North American institutions watching.
"This is a massive undertaking for UBC but it will pay
off immediately in the way students enter and re-enter the
institution," says Janina Montero, Vice Chancellor, Student
Affairs at University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA).
"Undoubtedly, this will be a model and an inspiration
to many universities and a clear sign that with courage,
teamwork, and imagination, large and complicated efforts
like this one can be brought to spectacular fruition."
The recently graduated Huang draws on her own
experiences to offer advice to students getting ready to
come to UBC this fall.
"As a new student, come in with an open mind. Don't
be afraid to connect with people, because there are so
many others who are also new. Make good use of all those
trying to reach out to you."
For listings of departmental orientation events this year,
visit www.events.ubc.ca. For information on Vancouver
orientation programs for international students, graduate
students, and parents, visit: http://www.students.ubc.ca/
newtoubc/orientations.cfm. For information on Kelowna
campus orientations, visit: http://web.ubc.ca/okanagan/
studentslnewtoubclorientations.html. 13


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