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UBC Reports May 31, 2011

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a place of mind
In ceremonies in Vancouver
and the Okanagan, more than
7,500 students celebrate
and receive UBC degrees UBC REPORTS
Executive Director
scott macrae  scott.macrae@ubc.ca
randy schmidt randy.schmidt@ubc.ca
Design Manager
arlene cotter arlene.cotter@ubcca
Public Affairs Studio
ping ki chan  ping.chan@ubcca
amanda fetterly amanda.fetterly@ubc.ca
martin dee martin.dee@ubcca
Web Designer
tony chu tony.chu@ubcca
Communications Coordinators
heather amos heather.amos@ubcca
Lorraine chan  lorraine.chan@ubcca
jody jacob jody.jacob@ubcca
brian lin  brian.Iin@ubcca
loren plottel loren.plottel@ubcca
simi puri  puri@law.ubcca
basil waugh basil.waugh@ubc.ca
pearlie davison  pearlie.davison@ubcca
UBC Reports is published monthly by:
The University of British Columbia
Public Affairs Office
310-6251 Cecil Green Park Road
Vancouver BC Canada V6T1Z1
Next issue: 2 June 2011
UBC Reports welcomes submissions.
For upcoming UBC Reports submission guidelines:
Opinions and advertising published in UBC Reports
do not necessarily reflect official university policy.
Material may be reprinted in whole or in part with
appropriate credit to UBC Reports. Letters (300 words
or less) must be signed and include an address and
phone number for verification.
Submit letters to:
The Editor, UBC Reports
E-mail to publicaffairs@ubcca or
Mail to UBC Public Affairs Office (address above)
Visit our online UBC News Room for the latest
updates on research and learning. On this site you'll
find our news releases, advisories, news extras, as
well as a daily media summary and a real-time
UBCNEWS twitter feed. You can also find resources
including access to more than 500 faculty experts
and information about UBC's radio and TV studios.
Website: www.ubcca/news
Tel: 604.822.NEWS (6397)
E-mail: public.affairs@ubcca
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Return adian addresses to circulation department.
310-6251 Cecil Green Park Road, Vancouver, BC Canada V6T1Z1
Email: public.affairs@ubc.ca
Highlights of UBC media coverage
in April 2011
Compiled by Heather Amos
UBC takes LipDub to
the next level
Maclean's, the Chronicle of Higher
Education, the Vancouver Sun and The
Province featured UBC's LipDub video,
a video created by UBC students and
featuring more than one thousand
students lip-synching and performing
to pop songs.
The video was posted on YouTube
and went viral with almost 500,000
views in the first four days. The video
was produced and directed by UBC
fine arts student Andrew Cohen and
co-produced by Bijan Ahmadian who
said he expects the video to be the most
watched LipDub ever.
UBC Vote Mob
Hundreds of students at UBC gathered
to form a vote mob, a popular new
strategy on university campuses to
mobilize youth to vote on May 2. CTV
News, the National Post and The Province
covered the UBC Vote Mob.
These students are non-partisan,
making sure students know it doesn't
matter who they vote for, as long as
they vote. Students are also concerned
that most politicians don't care about
the issues that affect them.
"Things like tuition, student loans,
the economy, whether they'll get a job
when they graduate, high cost of living,
the environment," said Mary Leong,
who organized the vote mob at UBC.
$15 million donated to
brain research facility
The Vancouver Sun, Global, CBC, City
TV, CBC and others reported that
philanthropist Djavad Mowafaghian
donated $15 million toward a new brain
research and patient care facility at
UBC. The 135,000-square-foot building,
to be completed by 2013, will be called
the Djavad Mowafaghian Centre for
Brain Health.
"[Mr.] Mowafaghian's generous
gift will unite research in neuroscience, mental health and addiction
medicine while bringing research and
patient care under one roof," said UBC
president Stephen Toope.
"Superfish" with bigger hearts
better equipped for climate
According to new research from UBC,
sockeye salmon with the most arduous
spawningjourneys have the strongest
hearts. This adaptation may better their
odds of surviving projected rises in
water temperature because of climate
change, reported National Geographic,
United Press International, the Globe and
Mail, CBC, Postmedia News and others.
British Columbia's Fraser River
is home to 100 distinct populations
of sockeye salmon. The new study
shows the ones that go the farthest
and highest have evolved extremely
efficient hearts.
"They have not only the largest
hearts, but also special adaptations in
their hearts provide them with more
oxygen," said Erika Eliason, a PhD
candidate in zoology at UBC.
Canadians will not pay for
online news
An online survey by UBC researchers
found that 81 per cent of adults would
not pay for an online news subscription,
reported The Guardian, the Toronto Star,
the Canadian Press and the Globe and
Mail. The study also revealed that 90
per cent ofthe respondents indicated
they would find free alternatives if
their preferred news websites started
charging for content.
"These results should give pause to
any news corporations in Canada or
abroad that are considering erecting
paywalls around their content," says
Donna Logan, a professor emerita of
UBC's Graduate School of Journalism.
The environmental
payoff will be big,
reducing UBC's
carbon emissions
by 450 tonnes.
fa place of mind
Public Affairs Office
UBC Reports The University of British Columbia   May 2011 UBC adopts grad's
energy makeover project
By Basil Waugh
A class project by staff member Jeff Giffen will significantly reduce UBC's carbon footprint
The UBC Aquatic Centre is getting a
major clean energy makeover thanks
to a class project by a graduating green
engineer and UBC staff member
Jeff Giffin.
The $500,000 project, designed
by Giffin in UBC's new Masters of
Engineering in Clean Energy program,
will harvest waste steam condensate
from neighboring buildings to heat the
popular recreation centre's indoor and
outdoor swimming pools.
The environmental payoff will be
big, reducing UBC's carbon emissions
by 450 tonnes (the equivalent of
taking 100 cars off the road), saving
three swimming pools worth of water
annually and improving the centre's
energy efficiency by more than 60 per
"Projects like this are what engineers
live for, to work on something that
actually makes the world a better
place," says Giffin, 33, who moved from
Boulder, Colorado to Vancouver three
years ago when his wife began a PhD on
neglected diseases at UBC. "I learned so
much on this project, but knowing the
university values it enough to make it
real is a special feeling."
That feeling won't stop when he
graduates on May 31, because Giffin will
help oversee the project when construction begins as early as June. He has
resumed a full time position at UBC's
Building Operations, after working
part-time during the program.
As Alternative Energy Projects
Manager, Giffin is responsible for
helping UBC to achieve its ambitious
carbon reduction targets, including the
elimination of institutional GHGs by
2050. Despite working on more than
$110-million in clean energy projects,
Giffin admits he was a little nervous
about sharing this project.
"One day I mentioned the project to
my supervisor, kind of in passing, that
I was looking at using waste energy to
heat the Aquatic Centre," says Giffin,
who previously did a Bachelor of
Inventions at the University of Colorado
and has three patents to his name,
including ski and snowboard bindings
and a self-powered bike light.
"My boss asked me if there was a
business case where the project would
pays for itself in savings over two
years—and there was," says Giffin.
"After that we confirmed the technical
assumptions with our internal experts.
Since then, the project has received
tremendous support within UBC. It's
been pretty amazing." •
Learn how UBC is transforming into
a living laboratory for research and
action on global sustainability issues at
To discover more UBC Faculty
of Applied Science rising stars,
visit: www.apsc.ubc.ca/stars/
congregation 11 Weighing forest conservation and need
Forests of his youth drive a passion for trees
By Heather Amos
Cornelius Motsa hopes to return to Africa to work as a manager of forest and logging operations
When Cornelius Motsa got the call to his home in Swaziland
that he was accepted into UBC's Forestry program and was
the winner of an International Leader of Tomorrow (ILOT)
Award, the first thing out of his mouth was: "What trees
grow in British Columbia?"
Having grown up on a farm and with grandparents who were
involved in community forestry projects, Motsa's passion
for trees started at a young age. In rural Swaziland, Motsa's
grandparents grew trees for fuel and construction.
"I grew up in an environment where forests are an
immensely important resource, where we use wood to make
charcoal for cooking," he says.
But as he grew up, Motsa noticed the forest resources were
being depleted. "Areas that had been forested when I was a
child became completely bare."
After high school, Motsa moved to CapeTown in South
"I grew up in an environment
where forests are an immensely
important resource, where we
use wood to make charcoal for
Africa to attend the Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University
and become a forester. Driven by a passion to learn even more
about sustainable forest management, Motsa applied to UBC
and ended up in UBC's forest engineering program.
During his time at UBC, the 29-year-old has joined a
number of clubs and organizations. He is part ofthe Forestry
Undergraduate Society, the African Awareness Society, he
volunteers with Go Global, plays soccer and is a member ofthe
Logger Sports Team.
Now that he is finished his degree, Motsa is hoping to secure
a job that will take him back to southern Africa to work as a
manager of forest and logging operations.
"My goal has always been to go to where this knowledge is
needed and it makes sense to go back to the community I came
from," he says. "Success comes with responsibility."
Motsa will work with communities to prevent further
depletion of forest resources and will look for solutions
that balance economic interests and sustainable forest
management. • Future vet champions
animal welfare
Grad helped research how animals perceive their environment
By Lorraine Chan
Carly Moody calms tuciano, one of her rescue cats
"Just knowing that an
animal is happier
because of
something you've
done is an incredible
Carly Moody wouldn't go so far as to
call herself a cat whisperer. But over the
years, she has learned a thing or two
about fretful felines.
"Be very calm, very gentle. Let the cat
know they can trust you," says Moody,
who graduates this month with a BSc in
applied animal biology from the Faculty
of Land and Food Systems (LFS).
Moody has two rescue cats, both
elderly females. When the one named
Luciano began shredding her black
leather couch, Moody says she didn't
bother using negative reinforcement.
"You're better off to place a
scratching post next to the furniture
and train her to use that, especially
ifyou spray it with a cat pheromone
product like Feliway."
Moody will know by June whether
she's been accepted into the Western
College of Veterinary Medicine at the
University of Saskatchewan, the only
Canadian veterinary school open to B.C.
"I have this huge passion for wanting
to help animals," says Burnaby native
Moody. "They freely give love back. And;
Just knowing that an animal is happier
because of something you've done is an
incredible feeling."
Moody credits the LFS Animal
Welfare Program (AWP) for opening
her eyes to the treatment and use of
animals. "The undergraduate AWP
courses have taught me so much, and
have definitely been a highlight of my
time here at UBC."
Moody assisted Animal Welfare
Prof. Dan Weary in his research that
explores how animals such as dairy
cows or pigs interact and perceive
their environment, and how to use that
knowledge to create improvements.
" I have a great interest in research
and see myself pursuing this as a
For the past five years, Moody
has worked part-time at two animal
hospitals. In addition to reception
duties, Moody also has prepped
animals for surgery and administered
"We've dealt with hamsters, chickens,
rabbits, reptiles, raccoons, ferrets, a
seagull someone found on the road
with a broken wing, and some really big
snakes." • Research a dental
hygiene degree highlight
Program graduates first class of 15
By Lorraine Chan
Eugene Chien was thrilled to assist Dr. Charles Schuler with research on causes of cleft palate.
"We can work not
only as clinicians,
but also as
administrators or
health advocates."
If Eugene Chien had one wish,
it would be to give everyone a bright,
healthy smile.
"Often we think we need to go abroad
to help those less fortunate, "says
Chien, whose family moved from Taipei
to Vancouver when he was a child. "But
ifyou really look around the city, there
are a lot of people who aren't on dental
plans and can't afford to get their teeth
looked at."
Chien is one of 15 students in the
first graduating class ofthe Bachelor
of Dental Science in Dental Hygiene
"entry-to-practice" degree program.
Established in 2007, this program offers
an alternative to the Bachelor of Dental
Science in Dental Hygiene degree
that UBC launched in 1992 for dental
hygienists who already hold a college
At the Faculty of Dentistry, Chien
distinguished himself as an enthusiastic
leader representing student issues.
He also organized numerous free
community clinics in New Westminster.
Aimed at diverse communities, these
oral health initiatives involved UBC
faculty and student volunteers from
both dental hygiene and dentistry
"Overall, I've matured a lot. I know
how to conduct myself in front of
clients, how to be professional," says
Midway through his degree, Chien
was thrilled to land a work-study
position as a research assistant to
Dentistry Dean Dr. Charles Schuler,
looking at the causes of cleft palate.
"When I started at UBC, I never
dreamed I would be doing actual
biomedical research."
Chien was able to hone interpersonal
skills in settings including Vancouver's
Downtown Eastside and a long-term
care facility for seniors. Some ofthe care
home residents faced cognitive difficulties such as dementia or Alzheimer's
and would forget to brush their teeth or
improperly store their dentures. Others
with arthritis would struggle to hold a
"In these cases, we'd work closely
with the care providers," says Chien.
"For example, we'd suggest posting a
reminder on the bathroom mirror or
having them help clients with brushing."
Chien says he values the BDSc
degree for opening up numerous career
possibilities. "We can work not only
as clinicians, but also as researchers,
administrators or health advocates." •
UBC Reports The University of British Columbia   May 2011 Social
meets high
By Lorraine Chan
Fashion designer and MBA graduate Maryanne Mathias
Ghana's vibrant culture, colours and textiles contrast sharply
with the exacting demands of high-end fashion.
Yet, Sauder School of Business graduate Maryanne Mathias
has been able to merge these worlds.
She co-owns Osei-Duro, a Ghana-based social enterprise
that emphasizes hand-dyed fabrics and offers employment
opportunities and job training for women in West Africa.
Osei-Duro, which in Ghana's Fante language means
"honour" and "medicine," produces distinctive women's
clothing and accessories. The collection has been featured
in high-end shopping outlets such as Barneys New York and
Selfridges through collaborations with a design company
called complex geometries. This March, Mathias was in Paris
showing pieces for the fall and winter season to international
Mathias started the company with high school friend and
fashion designer Molly Keogh in early 2009—around the same
time she began the 16-month MBA program at Sauder.
Linking fashion to social, economic and political change is
an exciting challenge, says Mathias, a Vancouver native who
had for many years called Montreal home. "I decided to attend
Sauder because of its strength in sustainability."
As well, Mathias thought it necessary to get a handle on
strategic management. Early on in the program, she took an
entrepreneur course that stressed extensive preparation,
product and market analyses as well as careful cost and
revenue forecasting.
Linking fashion to social,
economic and political change
is an exciting challenge,
says Mathias.
"We were told that it's certainly not a good idea to start
a business with your friend from high school," laughs
Mathias, who holds a bachelor's degree in fashion design and
technology from Kwantlen Polytechnic University.
Jumping in feet first meant having to learn from
her mistakes, says Mathias, who was named the
2010 Entrepreneur British Columbia champion by
national charitable organization Advancing Canadian
"But over analyzing can also deter people from taking risks
and getting started."
Mathias says Osei-Duro's next steps will be to incorporate
fabrics such as silks and wool knits along with the famous
cottons produced in West Africa such as bogolan or "mud
cloth," which is grown, woven and printed in Mali.
"In the future, we hope to work with printers to apply
Ghana's ancient tradition batik printing techniques in new
ways." • A role for gardens
in health care
Graduate believes nature can heal
By Lorraine Chan
Are you
Digital signs are an effective
new way to communicate with
students, faculty and staff.
UBC now has a digital signage
solution available for units
on the Vancouver campus.
Discover how your unit can
use the new system and find
guidelines, templates and
advice for creating quality
digital content.
Landscape architecture grad Jingjing Sun would like to work with clients in Canada and China
Nature offers a potent healing force for those who need it,
says Jingjing Sun, who graduates this month with a master of
landscape architecture degree.
For her thesis project, Sun produced a therapeutic garden
design for BC Children's and Women's Hospital.
To fully understand the garden site and context, Sun
interviewed hospital staff and visited with the patients. She
was struck by the quiet, dignified acceptance of children who
in many cases are in intensive pediatric care. The patients
range in age from newborn to late teens.
"If they're not in any pain, they love to play. Any worry they
feel isn't for themselves, but for how sad their mom and dad
are feeling," says Sun. "That's why I want to serve them in
creating this garden."
The proposed design would transform a 1,200 square
metre (12,916 square feet) area near the hospital's Oak Street
entrance—currently lawn and shrubs—into a tranquil haven
using low-maintenance plants and local materials. In one
corner a birdbath will attract robins and sparrows. The soft
rustle of wind through bamboo will soothe as scent and colour
come from plants such as climbing wisteria.
To foster a sense of entry "from the profane or ordinary to
The soft rustle of
wind through
bamboo will soothe
as scent and colour
comes from plants
such as climbing
a sacred space," says Sun, the design
employs unifying elements such as a
series of wooden trellises that wind
through the L-shaped space. These
create a sense of intimacy while
providing cover from rain or bright sun.
The foliage has to be suitable
UBC Reports The University of British Columbia   May 2011 Friends celebrate
law degrees
By Simmi Puri
Law grads Laura McPheeters and Andrea Petersen (L-R) became friends while juggling families and careers at UBC.
for children who may only access
the garden while being pushed in a
wheelchair or their beds, notes Sun, who
also gained experience as a volunteer
gardener at Canuck Place Children's
"The height ofthe shrubs and trees is ;
quite important as is the surface since
uneven paving stones would clearly be a
Sun says she hopes to one day share
her vision and skills with clients in
Canada as well as China. Growing up in
Nanjing, Sun says the pace of modernization has stripped many cities of green
spaces and residential gardens—a trend
that she wants to help reverse.
"Nature is miraculous. It's sacred." • -
Discover more UBC Faculty of Applied
Science rising stars at: www.apsc.ubc.
Attending law school part time can be a tough road to
travel, but for Andrea Petersen and Laura McPheeters,
their friendship and the support they received from friends,
family and the Faculty helped make that journey a little
Petersen, 48, and McPheeters, 42, met in their first year
and soon developed a close bond after realizing they shared
a common story. Both are mothers, both started law school
after establishing careers in other fields and both understood
the struggles of balancing competing priorities of school and
"I remember one experience I had, it was the day ofthe
mock trial competition and I was nervous," said McPheeters,
mother of three. "I was hoping to get to the courthouse early,
but for some reason it seemed to be imperative that I fold my
children's laundry right then. I was probably the only one in
my class folding laundry at that moment."
Juggling family priorities with career responsibilities isn't
new to the duo. Prior to entering law school, McPheeters was
a freelance professional cellist who performed across North
America. With two young children and another on the way,
she wanted a profession that would keep her in town, and law
school seemed to be a good option.
For Petersen, after teaching biology and chemistry for 13
years at Vancouver Community College, she was on the hunt
for something more challenging.
"I love the fact that there are so many different avenues
in law that I can pursue," explained Petersen who hopes to
pursue a career in health law to complement her background
in science.
On average, only about three students enter UBC's Faculty of
Law as part-time students each year. Petersen and McPheeters
took nearly five years to complete their degree, which they
The ability to do this degree
part-time is a great privilege.
I never for a second took that
for granted. It's the degree
that I'm most proud of."
will celebrate with nearly 180 other graduating law students at
congregation this May.
"The ability to do this degree part-time is a great privilege,"
explained Petersen. "I never for a second took that for granted.
It's the degree that I'm most proud of."
As for McPheeter's mock trial debate—she ended up winning
the competition and the subsequent national competition. •
Learn more about the UBC Faculty of Law at law.ubc.ca V)    Senior Advisor to the Provost on Women Faculty
A key academic leadership role at UBC, Vancouver
The Senior Advisor to the Provost on Women Faculty will lead institutional transformation to enhance the
environment and to develop leadership and advancement opportunities for women faculty at UBC.
The position will report directly to the Provost and Vice President Academic. The successful candidate will
work closely with the Deans, Human Resources (in particular Faculty Relations), the Equity Office, and other
units, and have responsibilities in the following areas:
Policy Development:
Revise current policies and develop new policies and mechanisms to advance women faculty and to promote
equitable work environments. The Senior Advisor will also have a role to liaise with other University leaders
with responsibility to ensure that initial and continuing working conditions are free of gender bias.
Advancement and Leadership:
Build understanding and ownership for advancement of women faculty at UBC among current and emerging
University leaders; propose and implement strategies to increase the numbers of women faculty in leadership
positions; ensure diversity among such women; develop and implement a leadership training program; share
examples of exemplary practice; develop accountability networks to ensure advancement of women and
inclusion of a diverse range of women in all of these initiatives.
Conduct research on issues of importance to the status of women faculty; barriers to women related to
existing policy and university success in the advancement of women faculty; ensure regular and full collection
of data on women faculty; develop and implement regular assessment of indicators to measure participation
and advancement of women faculty.
Work with department heads/directors, deans and faculty leaders to ensure relevant equity training.
Annual Evaluation and Assessment of Gender Equity:
Provide baseline information for measuring immediate and long-term changes in the recruitment, retention
and advancement of women faculty. Ensure collection of such information by appropriate institutional entity
and public availability of benchmark measures. Effectively communicate university progress in the
advancement of women faculty.
The successful candidate will be a female faculty member with outstanding academic credentials, and proven
leadership and administrative abilities, including creative problem-solving abilities. She will have a strong
commitment to excellence in research, learning and service. A strategic, innovative and participatory
leadership style and excellent communication and interpersonal skills are essential. The successful candidate
should have a commitment to and understanding of substantive equity issues and the goals of inclusivity as
they relate to women faculty in a university committed to effective and equitable support of all faculty
members. The initial appointment is for a term of three years and is renewable.
The position is internal to the University.
UBC hires on the basis of merit and is committed to employment equity. All qualified persons are encouraged
to apply. We especially welcome applications from visible minority group members, Aboriginal persons,
persons with disabilities, persons of minority sexual orientations and gender identities, and others with the
skills and knowledge to productively engage with diverse communities.
Applications and nominations should be submitted by May 26,2011,
to Dr. David Farrar, Provost and Vice President Academic, and Chair of the search committee,
c/o Mary Hayden, Director in the Provost's office, mary.hayden@ubc.ca, fax 604-822-3134.
Applicants should submit a current CV, statement of interest, and the names of three referees.
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A passion for health
care policy
Miranda Kelly doesn't shy away from talking
about her Aboriginal heritage—and modern day
issues affecting the health of Aboriginal people.
By Brian Lin
Medicine graduate Miranda Kelly helped keep a homeless shelter open du
But the graduate from the School of
Population and Public Health's Master
of Public Health program says it would
be a mistake to assume all Aboriginal
people are the same and face the same
"There's great diversity in Aboriginal
peoples and today's generation is more
interested in making connections
amongst different cultures," says
Kelly, a member ofthe Stodo Nation's
Soowahlie Band in Chilliwack.
"Whether it's simple misunderstanding over terminology—what's the
difference between native, Aboriginal
and First Nations?—or more complex
issues such as addiction and health care
governance, we're more willing to say T
don't know, but I'm willing to learn.'"
Kelly says the highlight of her UBC
education was a practicum in the
Northwest Territories, where she was
instrumental in keeping a homeless
shelter open.
"Nobody wants to see people sleeping
on the street, especially in such an
"There's great
diversity in Aboriginal
peoples and today's
generation is more
interested in making
extreme climate. But within the
confines of individual agencies, there
was only so much they could do alone,"
says Kelly, who worked with the Inuvik
Interagency Committee to identify
potential long-term funding models
while keeping the shelter in operation.
The experience cemented her passion
for a career in health care policy and
governance at a time when multiple
levels of government are discussing the
transfer of health care to First Nations.
"It comes down to equity—Aboriginal
people have the right to the same level
of health care that other populations in
Canada receive—while respecting their
diversity and culture," says Kelly, who
adds that symbolic "consultations" must
give way to decision-making authority
by First Nations communities.
If Kelly sounds like a natural-born
leader, she takes after her father,
Grand Chief Doug Kelly, Chair ofthe
First Nations Health Council and an
executive ofthe First Nations Summit.
"I've learned a lot from him about
striking a balance between the
traditional First Nations lifestyle and
modern society," she says. "He has
inspired me to draw strengths from my
ancestry while making the most out of
my education to build a fulfilling career
that will also benefit my community." •
UBC Reports The University of British Columbia   May 2011 From the classroom
to Afghanistan
By Mary Leong and Loren Plottel
ring her practicum in the NWT
After a whirlwind undergraduate
experience including an eye-opening
trip to Afghanistan and the presidency
ofthe Arts Undergraduate Society
(AUS), graduating History student
Brian Piatt is now ready for some real
One of Piatt's first initiatives
on campus was to start a
Canada-Afghanistan club, which raises
awareness about issues surrounding
education and development in
Afghanistan through articles on its
website and speaker sessions.
"Canada's involvement in Afghanistan
is such a major foreign policy
commitment," says Piatt, 25. "I'm
especially interested when countries are
going through a struggle from dictatorship to democracy, and I want to do
what I can do to help that process."
In 2010, after raising money from
organizations that published his
articles, Piatt spent two weeks travelling
around Afghanistan, visiting schools
and meeting people. His blog during
his trip garnered over 2,000 page views
each day, and he continues to write
about his experiences for the Ubyssey.
"My articles have received quite a bit
of feedback from people on campus,"
says Piatt, a native of Neepawa,
Manitoba. "University's a place where
you can debate global issues, and
it's great to be able to play a role in
advancing that discussion here at UBC."
Piatt joined the History Students'
"University's a place
where you can
debate global issues,
and it's great to be
able to play a role in
advancing that
discussion here at
Association (HSA) in 2009 and became
VP Finance, which ultimately led to his
successful run for AUS President.
The AUS represents nearly 12,000
students in Arts, the largest faculty
on campus. Under Piatt's leadership,
the group pioneered the AUS Arts
Conference and organized concerts and
educational and social events.
Piatt calls his journey at UBC "a bit of
a fluke."
"I'm grateful to have run into my
friends as they were going to an HSA
election that day, or I may never have
gotten as involved. It's weird to think
about how different things might have
been," he says.
Looking back on his time here, Piatt
recalls his fondest memories.
"The best thing is when everyone
gets together in one place, like at Block
Party," says Piatt. "All the different
groups, the different constituencies,
the AMS, clubs, UBC REC, students in
residences, the Greek system—finding
a community and getting involved
somehow. You never know where it may
Piatt is considering a myriad of
options for the future; however, if it's
anything like his past, he will certainly
be one to watch. •
Learn more about the Faculty of Arts
at: arts.ubc.ca
Read more about Piatt's trip to
Afghanistan at: ubyssey.ca/afghanistan
11 Your Conference
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Building a career
to help youth
By Heather Amos
A graduate of the Teacher Education Program, tiam Hogan hopes to work with students with disabilities
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Before Liam Hogan came to UBC to get his teacher education
degree, he worked in elementary and secondary school life
skills classes for youth with physical and cognitive disabilities.
He felt that the school system needed far more teachers who
were passionate about helping students with disabilities.
On top of working in schools as a Special Education
Assistant, Hogan also worked at a mental health treatment
centre and for the Coast Guard, studied youth criminal
justice and almost pursued a career in social work. At the last
minute, he changed his mind and ended up in the Faculty of
Education's Teacher Education program, specializing in social
justice and diversity.
Hogan always wanted a career that involved helping youth
and he had been working with 14-18 year-olds with autism at a
mental health treatment centre for the past five years.
"It's the small successes, like when they learn to brush
their teeth or change the television channel, that make me
appreciate this work," says Hogan.
Hogan, who is from Tsawwassen, isn't surprised where he's
ended up. Many members of his family have found careers in
teaching or working with people with disabilities. He says his
grandmother was a nurse and her caring personality has been
passed down. Hogan himself says he's always had a special
connection with children.
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their environment
and I try to
understand their
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One of Hogan's best memories from
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his practicum at Mount Pleasant
Elementary School in Vancouver. He
had to get the class involved in a social
justice project and chose playground
After teaching about forests, Hogan
got the students to paint cedar cutouts
of trees shaped like maples and pines. He
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UBC Reports The University of British Columbia   May 2011 Bumping it up a level
Grad pursues excellence in athletics, academics and service
By Heather Amos
Volleyball star Jen Hinze plans to apply to medical school, travel, volunteer and compete in the Olympics qualifiers this year.
"The idea is to get students involved
in building their school community.
By taking ownership of their play
area, incidences of school vandalism
decrease," says Hogan, who regularly
walks by the school and still sees the
evidence of his work hanging on the
fence. •
It must be hard to imagine topping your undergraduate
experience when you've won four national volleyball
championships, received top awards in academics and
athletics and competed in the World Championships.
But for Jen Hinze, a graduate of the Faculty of Science and
a member ofthe UBC women's volleyball team, there is still
lots to look forward to. Over the next year, she plans to return
to Canada's national volleyball team, write medical school
I never expected ... to get to
play volleyball on a successful
team but also to pursue my
interest in the life sciences."
entrance exams, volunteer and travel.
"I've learned a lot about myself and how much I can really
handle at once," says Hinze, who is from Vancouver. "It's a
great feeling of accomplishment."
Hinze is one of UBC's top athletes. During her five years at
the university, Hinze and her teammates won four Canadian
Interuniversity Sport (CIS) championships, making the
T-birds the most decorated team in the league.
"Being part ofthe volleyball team has been a really unique
and incredible way to experience university," she says. "It
makes you feel like you are part of something bigger."
But it isn't the big wins that Hinze will remember from her
undergraduate days—it's her teammates.
"We're very close and I've made some lifelong friends," says
UBC volleyball might be over for Hinze but she's not done
with the sport. The graduate will spend the summer playing
with Team Canada and in December will compete in the
Olympic qualifiers.
Hinze is also deciding when to pursue the next part of her
education. She wants to be a doctor but first plans to travel and
volunteer. Hinze would like to get involved with the organization Right to Play, which aims to improve the lives of children
through sport and play.
Despite the big part sports have played in Hinze's life, she
stresses how important school has been too.
"Volleyball has been a big part of my life but academics is a
really important part of my life."
Hinze says winning an academic scholarship, the Wesbrook
Scholar Award, is one ofthe accomplishments she is most proud
of. She also enjoyed studying nerve cells for a research project.
"I never expected my time at UBC to turn out this way—to
get to play volleyball on a successful team but also to pursue
my interest in the life sciences." •
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Human Kinetics
at UBC's Okanagan campus
graduates first cohort
By Jody Jacob
Fourth-year Human Kinetics student Shaun Crowell is expected to graduate at the top of the first graduating class.
The Human Kinetics program at UBC's Okanagan campus
has undergone rapid growth and change since its inception in
2007. This June, its first students will graduate.
Fifty students will be presented with undergraduate degrees
in human kinetics at this year's graduation ceremonies.
Mary Courtney, Dean ofthe Faculty of Health and Social
Development, says she is confident the 2011 Human Kinetics
graduating class is armed with the skills and tools needed to
make an immediate impact in the health sciences profession.
"Whether graduates are transitioning to the workplace
or furthering their educational aspirations, our program
Student numbers in Human
Kinetics have exploded. More
than 160 students were admitted
last September into the first year
of the program .
ensures they have the ability, experience and knowledge to
build healthy communities and attitudes, to explore health
and human movement in today's society, and to team up with
others to create positive change in health," says Courtney.
Student numbers in Human Kinetics have exploded. More
than 160 students were admitted last September into the
first year ofthe program—more than triple the number of
graduating students this year. Human Kinetics is also home
to seven MSc students and eight PhD students. That number
is expected to grow to more than 25 graduate students by
September. The program has two main areas of specialization:
exercise physiology and community
health promotion.
Gord Binsted, head ofthe Human
Kinetics department, says the
undergraduate program was developed
from the very start with the goal of
creating a program firmly entrenched in
health sciences.
"Over the last four years we have
brought together a qualified, diverse
faculty with a wide range of expertise
and research interests that provide
students with the opportunity to
explore, in depth, all areas ofthe
discipline," he says, adding that faculty
members were also chosen for their
ability to increase the Human Kinetics
research portfolio and compete for
Research grants this fiscal year
reached more than $972,000 up from
$103,000 in 2008. •
UBC Reports The University of British Columbia   May 2011 Max Jones makes
PhD history at UBC
:By Jody Jacob
Max Jones' research took him to Samoa, Hawaii and Florida
Max Jones is on track to make UBC history this June as the
first student to complete an entire PhD at UBC's Okanagan
Although students have completed PhDs in past years at the
---Okanagan campus after transferring from other universities,
this will be the first time a doctoral degree will be presented to
a student who began and ended their studies at the Okanagan
"I was pretty excited when I found this out," says Jones, who
-^grew up in Elora, Ontario and will receive his PhD in biology.
"I am honoured to be the first graduate and hope to represent
"I am honoured to be the first
graduate and hope to represent
UBC's Okanagan campus well in
my future professional
to the wet tropics."
Jones says he enjoyed the intimate academic experience
offered at UBC's Okanagan campus, and believes it helped
enhance his educational pursuits and foster inter-lab
collaboration. He notes he was offered ample research and
travel opportunities, including field work in Hawaii and
field courses in both Florida and Samoa. Jones also had the
opportunity to conduct some chemical analysis at a United
States Department of Agriculture lab in Oxford, Mississippi,
and attended a number of academic conferences throughout
North America.
Jones' future plans include the completion of a
post-doctoral fellowship at the University of Guelph, where
he will work to develop disease-resistant American elm trees.
Although his sights are firmly set on what lies ahead, Jones
says he will always look back fondly at time spent at UBC's
Okanagan campus. •
-UBC's Okanagan campus well in my future professional
Jones' main area of research focused on evaluating the
immense diversity found among different types of breadfruit—
;a high-yielding staple food crop that grows in the wet tropics.
"As food prices and world hunger continue to rise, there
-is an increasing global need for increased production of
-nutritious staple foods such as breadfruit," says Jones. "These
-studies provide the framework to deliver high-yielding
elite cultivars of breadfruit with superior nutritional value,
^improved fruit qualities, and complementary fruiting seasons
15 Behind the scenes at graduation
The wearing of academic costume is a tradition from the Middle Ages.
At UBC the undergraduate's and Master's gown are black. The PhD regalia
consist of a maroon silk gown and sleeves with blue and gold piping.
The year of UBC's first
graduation, held in the
Hotel Vancouver ballroom
for 41 graduates
The number of spring
ceremonies held this year
to confer degrees to all of
UBC's graduating students in
Vancouver and the Okanagan
The number of graduates, The average duration in
and handshakes UBC Chancellor   minutes for each ceremony
Sarah Morgan-Sylvester gives
when handing out degrees
during spring ceremonies
The number of staff,
in addition to the dozens
of volunteers who plan and
organize the ceremonies
Katherine Beaumont
Carol E. Mayer
Dr. Patricia Mirwaldt
Michele Ne
Tangerine Twiss
President's Service Award for Excellence
by Heather Amos
Recognizing contributions to the UBC
community, five Vancouver staff will
receive the 2011 President's Service
Award for Excellence.
As the Director of Go Global,
Katherine Beaumont has helped
ensure that UBC students have the
opportunity to engage in global
citizenship. Beaumont is recognized for
her expertise in defining international
learning opportunities and has helped
build a broad range of successful
programs for students on both the
Vancouver and Okanagan campuses.
Carol E. Mayer, curator (Oceania
& Africa) at the UBC's Museum of
Anthroplogy and Associate to the
Department of Anthropology, is known
locally and internationally as an
outstanding mentor, colleague, teacher
and curator. Mayer has helped propel
MOA's reputation as a world-class
museum through her exhibitions,
publications and community-based
Recognizing the direct relationship
between well-being and student success
and learning, Dr. Patricia Mirwaldt,
the Director of Student Health Services,
has been committed to providing
students with some ofthe best
university health services in Canada.
Mirwaldt has worked to ensure that
students have access to a wide variety of
health services.
Michele Ng, project coordinator in
the Department of Computer Science,
has been the driving force behind
building industry liaisons, student
engagement and alumni relations for
her Department. Ng helped create the
biggest tri-mentoring program in UBC
and has spent countless hours offering
support and advice for students and
prospective students.
Tangerine Twiss has been with
the central international office at
UBC for the past 25 years, helping to
move forward UBC's commitment to
developing global relationships. Twiss
ensures that international visitors feel
welcome. Recognized for regularly
going above and beyond the parameters
of her duties, many students, faculty and
staff have experienced first-hand Twiss'
deep sense of caring for others. •


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