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UBC Reports Aug 7, 2008

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VOL   54   I   NO   8   I   AUGUST   7,   2008
3      Commuter life
4     New ecohealth course        4     Year four UBCO
5      Innocence Project
6      Public Health degree
Film production:
Take 2
When a restructured
Bachelor of Fine Arts degree
in Film Production starts up
this September, UBC student
Kathleen Jayme will be ready.
This month she begins an
animation-editing internship
with the National Film Board, a
position she will continue part-
time during the fall semester.
For outsiders, one of the
most noticeable additions to the
program might be the new artist-
in-residence position. Actor,
writer and director Peter Howitt
- Hollywood directing credits
include Sliding Doors (1998,
starring Gwyneth Paltrow) and
Antitrust (2001, filmed partly at
UBC) - will fill the position this
But the most profound change
is the BFA Film Production's
expansion from a two-year
to a three-year program. The
expanded lineup now offers
students a foundation year that
has a focus on writing short
screenplays (developed with the
support of UBC Creative Writing
Program), and an orientation
to business practices and
production planning.
The industry-related course
brings members of Vancouver's
influential film industry - the
third largest in North America
- into the classroom so students
can start making connections
early in their careers.
"That way students can learn
who the film organizations are
in their first year," says Program
Chair Sharon McGowan, "and
they can use their summers more
effectively to work or volunteer
with players in the industry."
Jayme was hoping to enter
the program earlier, but in
August 2006, admissions were
suspended due to UBC-wide
budget constraints.
There was a strong public
response to the program
suspension. Amy Belling (BA
2003) and other alumni set
up a press conference that
presented a show of support for
the program from filmmakers
across North America. Directors
Sturla Gunnarsson, Mina
Shum and Lynne Stopkewich,
plus cinematographer Greg
Middleton - all UBC alumni
- spoke at the event.
In early 2007, Belling, Jessica
Cheung (BFA 2006), and Sidney
Chiu (BA 2002) formally created
the UBC Film Production Alumni
Association (FPAA) and met
with Dean of Arts Nancy Gallini
to see what it would take to get
the program reopened.
"The meeting came at an
important point in the program's
restructuring," says Gallini. By
this time, she had compiled a
list of goals or changes that
would strengthen the program
- from an expanded curriculum
to deeper collaborations with
other academic institutions
such as SFU and the Emily Carr
University (then-Institute of Art
and Design) to a mentorship
program and internship
continued on page 6
Chair Sharon McGowan has seen the re-birth of UBC's Film Production program after a wave of support.
Canada's rising stars of research
For some undergraduate
students, summer means patios
and beaches, but not for Shaina
Lee and Carlen Fung. These two
UBC students will participate
in UBC's first annual national
Rising Star of Research event
from August 21-23.
They are among the 63
undergraduates from 27
institutions across Canada who
will present findings from their
recent research projects in the
form of a poster competition.
Lee, a fourth-year student
in UBC's Department of
Microbiology and Immunology
is a co-op student who is
currently working at the James
Hogg iCapture Centre at St.
Paul's Hospital - a UBC research
centre aimed toward solving
the problems of heart, lung, and
blood vessel diseases.
"My research will give a better
understanding of how our body
controls the amount of immune
response released when fighting
pathogens and this could lead
to new therapeutics to treat
autoimmune diseases," says Lee.
"Talking about my research is
exciting and this competition
is a great way to meet other
researchers and to learn more
about my own work by listening
and sharing with others."
Fung, a third-year student
in UBC's Department of
Biochemistry, is presenting
a poster on the role of iron
acquisition on the virulence of
Cryptococcus neoformans. This
pathogen can cause a form of
meningitis. She is working in
the Michael Smith Laboratories
at UBC as an NSERC summer
student. Her work is based
on the 1999 outbreak of the
cryptococcal pathogen that
affected both immuno-competent
and immuno-compromised
"My career goal is to work
in cancer research and this
event is an important learning
process for me," says Fung.
"It is a great opportunity to
present my findings and to think
in a different way by having
professors and students inquire
about my work."
"Rising Stars of Research
is an opportunity for the
next generation of scientists
to showcase their research
accomplishments and explore
their passion for innovation,"
says John Hepburn, UBC
Vice-President, Research. "This
competition demonstrates UBC's
commitment to undergraduate
continued on page 3 2     |     UBC    REPORTS     |     AUGUST    7,    200!
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Highlights of UBC media coverage in July 2008.  compiled by randy schmidt
2010 Olympic hockey arena opens
ahead of schedule
UBC's new hockey arena,
a venue for the 2010 Winter
Olympic and Paralympic games,
opened on July 7. Premier
Gordon Campbell joined
President Stephen Toope and
federal, provincial and First
Nations leaders, along with
Canadian Olympian Hayley
Wickenheiser and Paralympian
Todd Nicholson, to celebrate
the completion of the first new
indoor venue in Vancouver.
The news story was carried on
Canadian Press and Reuters and
covered by The Guardian, The
Globe and Mail, The Vancouver
Sun and Global TV and CBC
Mining template not ideal for
Mongolia, investors
In a story carried on Reuters
and covered by Torbes, The
Guardian and The International
Herald Tribune, the Institute
for Asian Research's Julian
Dierkes commented on mining
approaches for Mongolia.
The new government in
Mongolia could finally pass
deals to tap the coal, copper and
uranium the country sits on.
The idea of ownership stakes
has symbolic importance among
Mongolians wary of foreign
investors on the make and
mindful that Mongolia's mineral
wealth was used to feed Russian
industry when the country was a
Soviet satellite.
"I don't think ownership
stakes are a good idea," said
Julian Dierkes, a specialist in
resources and public policy at
"There is a deficit in terms
of communication. Ignorance
makes the discussion difficult
and it prepares the ground for
some of the populist claims,"
said Dierkes.
Mapping the spinal cord
Scientists who study spinal
cords often come across cells
they can't identify, so when UBC
scientist Jane Roskams heard
that a Seattle neuroscience lab
was casting around for its next
project, she suggested: Create a
detailed map of the spinal cord.
Last month the Allen Institute
for Brain Science released the
first data from what will become
a spinal-cord atlas, expected to
be finished by early next year.
In a story reported in the
Seattle Times, Global National
TV and the Toronto Star,
Roskams, who works at UBC's
Brain Research Centre, said the
atlas will boost research on Lou
Gehrig's disease (ALS), multiple
sclerosis and other disorders that
attack the nervous system. It also
will help efforts to treat spinal-
cord injuries.
"I don't think there will be
a lab in the world working on
spinal-cord injuries that does
not access this as soon as it goes
online," Roskams said.
Magic Tricks Reveal Inner
Workings ofthe Brain
As told in Wired, The Daily
Telegraph, and on CTV's
Canada AM, magic tricks
may look simple, but they
exploit cognitive patterns that
psychologists say may advance
our understanding of the brain.
In a paper published in Trends
in Cognitive Sciences, UBC and
Durham University researchers
argue many of the techniques
used in advertising and political
propaganda resemble the
methods of the magician.
"Although a few attempts
have been made in the past to
draw links between magic and
human cognition, the knowledge
obtained by magicians has
been largely ignored by modern
psychology," said UBC Professor
Ronald Rensink.
Study co-authors are Gustav
Kuhn from Durham University's
Psychology Department and
Alym Amlani, a recent BSc
graduate of UBC's Cognitive
Systems Program, which
integrates computer science,
psychology, philosophy and
linguistics. Both Kuhn and
Amlani are practising magicians
who argue that conjurers are
"miles ahead" of scientists.
Executive Director S<    tt Macrae scott.macrae@ubc.ca
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Advertising Sarah Walker public.affairs@ubc.ca
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I     3
Student leader Meena Sharma will support the academic transition of first-year students through weekly small-group meetings.
A FAACT of commuter life: New support for Arts students
The reality for most first-year
students at UBC Vancouver is the
twice-daily mad dash for a bus
followed by long commutes that
eat up precious time and energy.
Currently, about two-thirds
of first-year students live
off campus. To offset these
challenges, the Faculty of Arts
has launched a new year-round
program that will support
first-year commuter students in
their academic transition, while
providing a way for them to
plug into the rich and diverse
offerings of campus life.
Next month, up to 200 first-
year students will be welcomed
into the Faculty of Arts
Academic Commuter Transition
Program (FAACT).
"We recognize that commuter
students face unique challenges
in adjusting to university life,"
says Norma Wieland, Arts
Assistant Dean, Student Services.
"Compared to students who
live in residence, they have more
difficulty accessing resources,
building relationships, and
establishing connections."
FAACT is built on the cohort
model, which has proven to
help students build a stronger
academic community. Already
deployed in Arts One and the
Coordinated Arts Program, the
cohort model allows students
to commence their degrees
within a designated group and
fosters a more intimate learning
"Data tells us that students
really value this sense of
community," says Wieland, "and
are more academically successful
when they have a strong peer
support network."
FAACT will encourage
students to participate in small
peer communities, with groups
divided into cohorts of 20.
FAACT groups will meet
weekly in a scheduled seminar
with two senior student
leaders who are responsible
for mentoring, advising and
coaching the cohort. These
seminars are designed to help
students enhance their academic
performance and sense of
The FAACT student leaders
will coordinate and facilitate
workshops, discussions, events
or activities. These will explore
key themes including: selecting a
major; exploring career options;
getting involved in scholarly
leadership such as editing a
student journal; learning about
study abroad and undergraduate
research opportunities; and
discovering campus resources.
An additional level of support
will come from Arts faculty
members who will meet with
FAACT groups on a monthly
Along with the FAACT
program, UBC is supporting
commuter students through
other measures. These include
a commuter magazine that will
be distributed to all first-year
students before classes begin and
the option to rent a room from
the newly opened student hostel
at one of the campus residences
so they can take part in campus
activities without needing late
night travel.
UBC is also launching a
new online events calendar
in September. The UBCevents
website will make it easier for
students to navigate campus life
and find the right opportunities
for engagement at: www.events.
Meena Sharma says she
decided to work as a FAACT
student leader because of her
own transition when she started
at UBC in 2006.
"Although my commute
continued from page 1
Students from a wide-range
of disciplines will experience
presenting and answering
questions about their research in
front of a large audience. Awards
will be given to the top posters
in health sciences, computational
sciences and technology, life
sciences and psychology,
biochemistry and cellular
biology, physical and earth
sciences and natural resources
and environment.
"We received an outstanding
response from more than
420 Canadian undergraduate
students," says Francois Jean,
UBC associate professor in the
Department of Microbiology
and Immunology. "There is a
huge appetite for undergrads
to get involved and share their
Part of the three-day event
includes keynote addresses from
researchers including Dr. Bob
Hancock, UBC professor of
Microbiology and Immunology;
Glewn Flowers, assistant
professor and Canada Research
Chair in Glaciology at Simon
Fraser University and Tom
Paderson, Dean of Science and
professor of Earth & Ocean
Sciences at the University of
Victoria. Students will also
participate in workshops
on writing graduate school
applications and scholarships
and have an opportunity to tour
research labs at UBC, SFU and
UVic - two co-sponsors of the
event. The other sponsors are
the British Columbia Innovation
Council and Natural Sciences
and Engineering Research
Council of Canada (NSERC)
- Pacific Region. 13
wasn't that long since I lived
in the Vancouver area," says
Sharma, "it was still really hard
to get to know people and feel a
sense of community."
Prior to UBC, Sharma had
bounced back and forth between
York University and Langara
College. Without peer or faculty
networks, it was difficult to put
down academic and social roots
at UBC, says Sharma, a fourth-
year sociology and political
science student.
Life blossomed, however,
when Sharma experienced the
support of a small academic
community. Between 2007
and 2008, she headed up the
Sociology Students Association
(SSA) as co-president. Through
that experience, Sharma gained
greater confidence and new skills
along with generous faculty
mentors, among them Sociology
Dept. Head Neil Guppy.
Sharma also met Katherine
Lyon, SSA Co-President,
whom she now counts as a
friend for life. "We just had
this phenomenal way of
working together and sharing
our philosophies, which we
discovered were really similar."
Sharma says she's eager to
share with FAACT participants
what she has learned through
her own process of academic and
personal growth.
"My message will be take the
risk, don't by shy, get involved,"
says Sharma. "Do it without
expectations, find something you
genuinely enjoy and great things
will evolve."
To read more about the
FAACT program, visit: www.
arts.ubc.ca/students/faact 13
Pension concerns?
Investment worries?
Wondering what to do?
"Second Opinion" Financial Forums
Clients and friends employed at UBC frequently ask us
for advice regarding their quarterly pension decisions.
A few suggested we hold a series of forums on topical
financial planning issues.
Join us for the first in a series of one hour informal
discussions entitled "Second Opinion" to be held on
campus about pension and investment management
choices you need to make.
We will hold the first in the series on:
July 9 2008 with a choice of times
11:30 am -12:30 pm & 1:30 pm -2:30 pm
at the Peter Wall Centre in the small conference room
The forums are complimentary, and carry no obligation.
Presented by
Doug Schwann B.Admin
Investment Advisor
Jack Fournier CFP
Investment Advisor
Dundee Securities Corporation.
3> 4     I     UBC    REPORTS     |     AUGUST    7,    2006
Ecohealth: a new course, a new approach
UBC is taking a more holistic
approach to solving complex
health and environmental issues
with a first-of-its kind course in
The course examines the
interconnected nature of
ecosystems to better understand
issues that affect the health of
individuals and the sustainability
of their environment. It is
designed to foster collaborative
learning about the reciprocal
impact an ecosystem has on the
health, sustainability and the
environment of individuals and
their communities.
Together professors, students,
professionals, practitioners and
researchers of various disciplines
from seven provinces will
explore ecosystem approaches
to health in Vancouver through
the lenses of food security,
transportation and housing.This
will include interactions with
multiple community, academic,
public and private sector
stakeholders, as well as group
presentations back to those
The UBC farm will be used as
a point of reference for learning
throughout the course. "The
farm is a microcosm at the
rural and urban interface," says
Margot Parkes, a lead researcher
for the pan-Canadian team
based in the UBC Department
of Family Practice and the
College of Health Disciplines.
"It is a great example of the
interconnection between food,
transportation and housing as
important determinants of health
in Vancouver."
The course will also include a
team project focused on the BC
outbreak of cryptococcus gattii,
"the killer fungus" as a learning
Keltie Craig and Margot Parkes are launching a new collaborative pan-Canadian designed course in ecohealth at UBC.
"A central theme for ecohealth
is that health is determined at
multiple levels with the whole
being more than the sum of its
parts," says Parkes. "For any
individual, health and well-
being is embedded with the
community, region, country and
global ecosystems they live in
however, we tend to examine
these different components in
isolation. Understanding the
connections between these scales
encourages integrated responses
to health and sustainability
According to Parkes, the
emphasis of an ecosystem
approach is to design preventive
solutions based on ecosystem
management and other non-
health sector interventions,
rather than independent health
sector responses. "An important
feature of the work will be
understanding and cultivating
community strengths to promote
health and sustainability rather
than focusing only on problems,"
says Parkes.
"The goal is healthy people in
healthy communities in healthy
ecosystems within a healthy
planet," says Parkes. "This is
complex but is not necessarily
complicated. It requires capacity
to learn, research and work
together to identify common
ground and solutions that would
not be achieved in isolation. Our
course provides an opportunity
for students - and our own team
- to do exactly this."
The inaugural Ecohealth
course also marks the launch
of the Canadian Community
of Practice in Ecosystem
Approaches to Health (www.
copeh-canada.org). This pan-
Canadian project has nodes at
UBC, the University of Guelph
and Universite du Quebec a
Montreal, and has received
initial support from Canada's
International Development
Research Centre. Followingthe
UBC-hosted course in 2008, the
collaboratively designed course
will be hosted by University of
Guelph in 2009 and Universite
du Quebec a Montreal in 2010.
Even more in year four at UBC Okanagan
September marks the
beginning of UBC Okanagan's
fourth year in operation. As it
has in each of the previous three
years, the campus has expanded
physical space, programs and
course offerings in a big way
to accommodate its growing
student numbers.
Opening this fall, the new
Fipke Centre for Innovative
Research adds 70,000 square
feet of space for teaching and
research. The $32-million facility
includes a computer lab, a 300-
seat theatre, classrooms and
lecture theatres, wet and dry labs
and 65 faculty offices.
The Fipke Centre is the
first brand-new building to
be completed as part of UBC
Okanagan's campus master
plan. It is also the first building
to use the campus geoexchange
groundwater energy system
for heating and cooling - an
emissions-reducing and cost-
saving system that will eventually
provide heating and cooling to
every academic building on the
Charles Fipke, the Kelowna
geologist who donated $5
million to make the centre
possible, has also given $2
million to equip a new mass
spectroscopy lab that will
expand the university's research
capacity in geology, chemistry
and other fields.
Theatre/Performance at
UBC Okanagan is launching
Canada's first university
degree program specifically
in devised performance
- an interdisciplinary and
intercultural approach to artistic
creativity that draws from a wide
variety of world performance
traditions including theatre,
dance, music, visual arts, new
media, circus, story-telling,
folklore, and ritual.
The new Bachelor of Fine
Entering her second year of science studies at UBC Okanagan, student-
athlete Kailey Buller and her teammates will don the uniform ofthe new
UBC Okanagan Heat when the varsity volleyball season begins this fall.
Arts (BFA) in Interdisciplinary
Performance provides training
in movement and voice,
improvisation, mask, ensemble
work, as well as solo and
collaborative performance
creation. Students select courses
from a wide range of artistic
media including video art, film,
photography, painting, sculpture,
installation, as well as various
genres in creative writing.
"This program allows students
to work across the conventional
boundaries that still separate
the arts in most university and
conservatory programs," says
Neil Cadger, Assistant Professor
of Performance/Theatre.
A new Bachelor of Arts
minor in creative writing offers
UBC Okanagan students the
opportunity to study creative
writing in combination with
another discipline.
Students will acquire
proficiency in a variety of the
genres — from fiction, poetry,
drama and non-fiction — and will
be able to specialize in at least
two of these genres, says Nancy
Holmes, Associate Professor of
Creative Writing and Poetry.
"A minor in creative writing
gives students several postgraduate options," says Holmes.
"This program provides
emerging writers with enough
training to become professional
and, in UBC Okanagan's
interdisciplinary spirit, allows
students to combine their skills
and passion for other disciplines
with their writing talents."
A new certificate and
diploma program in inclusive
education has been established
by UBC Okanagan's Faculty UBC    REPORTS     |     AUGUST   7,    200!
I    S
Students advocate for wrongfully convicted
UBC Law Innocence Project Director Tamara Levy.
The UBC Law Innocence
Project is offering students a
chance to dive into the deep end
of criminal law by working on
claims of wrongful conviction.
Launched in 2007, the
Innocence Project investigates
potential miscarriages of justice
and aims to secure the release
of people who have been
wrongfully convicted.
Worldwide, Innocence Projects
number about 70 and are mostly
based in law schools. The only
one in Western Canada, the
UBC Law Innocence Project
has been reviewing the cases of
20 applicants, 16 of whom are
serving sentences for murder.
Open to second- and third-
year Faculty of Law students,
the Innocence Project provides
nine course credits for the year
long commitment. The program
comprises academic seminar
and clinical work that involves
reviewing a case from the
original investigation to the final
appeal. Students are responsible
for case reviews, investigations,
staffing the Innocence Project
office and liaising with a criminal
lawyer who serves as a mentor.
Working under the direction
of lawyers, the students each
handle two cases. In its inaugural
year, the Innocence Project
started by reviewing applications
and support materials - which in
some cases exceeded 20 boxes.
"The demand for our service
is so great that we've had to give
priority to those applicants who
are still in prison," says Director
Tamara Levy, a criminal lawyer,
who along with Law Asst.
Prof. Nikos Harris initiated the
Innocence Project after teaching
seminars on areas of problematic
The program currently accepts
10 students, preferably people
who are ready to roll up their
sleeves and gain the experience
they wouldn't ordinarily get by
sitting in class, says Levy. She
looks for maturity, common
sense and the ability to jump in
and do what needs doing.
"It's the equivalent of working
in a small law firm," says Levy.
"I believe students learn a great
deal more being involved in a
real case."
Third-year law student
Andrea Hayes made the cut for
this year's Innocence Project.
Since spring, she and two other
students have been working part-
time in the Innocence Project
office, reviewing and managing
files and looking after other
general administrative tasks.
If it were possible, says
Hayes, she would spend all her
class time on the Innocence
Project. "I find criminal law
both fascinating and exciting
largely due to its complexity and
The students manage large
files with duties that encompass
interviews with prisoners
and lawyers, drafting legal
memoranda and conducting legal
Rather than be deterred by
the pressures and big stakes of
criminal law, Hayes says she's
challenged by it. Prior to law
school, Hayes worked as a
paralegal for four years focusing
on human rights law with the
Community Legal Assistance
Society, a non-profit legal
organization in Vancouver. She
assisted the four human rights
staff lawyers in all aspects of a
"My desire is to be in court,"
says Hayes. "I decided to study
law because of my desire is to
help people. With the work
in the Innocence Project and
criminal law in general, I can
advocate for people who are
unable to speak on their own
Levy says that students get
to see up close what skews or
resets the scales of justice. "The
criminal justice system is a
system run by people and people
can make mistakes."
Key to any Innocence Project
is the prospect of convincing new
evidence. For example, recent
advances in DNA technology
mean blood or semen tests can
be more exact. Alternatively,
a new witness or new witness
statement may come to light.
Levy explains that students get
to learn about some of the main
causes of wrongful convictions.
These include mistaken identity,
false confessions, flawed expert
or unsavoury witness testimony
and "bad science."
"For example, hair and fibre
evidence have been found to be
quite unreliable," says Levy.
Since the Innocence Project is
student-run project, cases that
merit attention usually require
a number of years to prepare.
If and when lawyers find new
evidence, they can then submit
an application to the Federal
Minister of Justice under Section
696.1 of the Criminal Code
requesting a review to assess
whether a miscarriage of justice
has occurred.
After that, the process may
still take a number of years. The
Minister of Justice could dismiss
the request, direct the applicant's
case to the Court of Appeal or
order a new trial.
During the coming
academic year, students - in
consultation with their criminal
lawyer mentors - will devise
investigation plans for their
cases. If required, the program
will hire private investigators to
interview witnesses and gather
evidence. 13
continued from previous page
of Education. With courses
such as Assessment of Learning
Difficulties and Literacy for
Diverse Learners, the program
prepares teachers to work with
children and adolescents with
diverse needs, establishing
inclusive practices in classrooms
and schools so that all students
have equitable access to learning
and achievement.
The Inclusive (Special)
Education Certificate/Diploma
program will appeal to B.C.-
certified Bachelor of Education
graduates who are currently
employed as, or who wish to
become, learning assistance
teachers or resource teachers
— and to classroom teachers
who wish to create inclusive
environments in their
instructional practice.
Virginie Magnat, Assistant Professor of Performance at UBC Okanagan,
will be teaching courses in the brand-new Bachelor of Fine Arts in Interdisciplinary Performance program this year.
UBC Okanagan wants to
move into the big leagues of
Canadian varsity sports. This
summer, UBC Okanagan will
submit its formal application for
membership in the Canada West
Universities Athletic Association,
the Western conference of
Canadian Interuniversity Sport
"We're eager to make the
move to Canada West, and
are looking forward to the
benefits that such a high level
of interuniversity competition
will bring to our programs
and our student-athletes,"
says Rob Johnson, Director of
Athletics and Recreation at UBC
Johnson notes that offering
a varsity athletics program
competing at the highest level
in Canada is important if the
university hopes to retain
top athletic talent from the
Okanagan region, and attract
outstanding athletes from other
parts of Canada.
While the Canada West
membership process could take
a year or more, Johnson says
there's big excitement on campus
right now as the UBC Okanagan
Heat - the new name for varsity
teams - play their first games.
A new web-based TV service
- www.ubco.tv - has been
launched to keep the community
up to date on a wide variety
of news from UBC Okanagan.
Current video features include
a recent update on the Fipke
Centre project and other
innovative new construction on
campus. 13 I     UBC    REPORTS     |     AUGUST    7,    200!
New degree anticipates healthcare needs
A unified interdisciplinary
approach to solving population
and public health issues is central
to the new Master of Public
Health (MPH) program offered
this fall at UBC.
UBC is offering the MPH
degree through the newly
launched School of Population
and Public Health.
"The MPH degree is a
globally recognized professional
credential for leadership in
population and public health,"
says Martin Schechter, a UBC
professor in the Faculty of
Medicine and director of the
School of Population and Public
Health. "By bringing together
our outstanding UBC and Health
Authority-based community
health science professionals,
academic researchers and
learners, we will create one
of the most advanced and
integrated Schools of Population
and Public Health in the world."
The new school will
develop public health leaders
who are trained to work
in local, regional, national
and international settings.
The MPH program fosters
creative and critical thinking
by incorporating analyses
of complex systems, ethical
debates and interdisciplinary
perspectives. Students will
have an opportunity to
apply their learning through
a comprehensive practicum
experience in a community,
laboratory or clinical setting.
"Career opportunities in this
emerging field are numerous
and rewarding," says Schechter,
who is also a Canada Research
Chair in HIV/AIDS and Urban
Population Health. "With an
MPH degree, a graduate could
pursue a career with the World
Health Organization to eradicate
polio, help design an HIV
prevention program in Tanzania,
help prepare Canadian cities
for a potential pandemic or
work with First Nations to help
improve the overall health of
their communities."
Program studies include
epidemiology, biostatistics,
social, biological and
environmental determinants of
heath, population health, disease
prevention, and health systems
management. The program will
Dr. Martin Schechter is director ofthe newly launched School of Population and Public Health.
also be accessible through a two-
year distributed learning format,
which will provide several
on-campus days per semester
supplemented by an on-line
"The B.C.-wide collaboration
will also enable students and
researchers in the School to
engage with communities
throughout the province," says
Schechter. "We envision the
ability of students to undertake
work experiences in all six
Health Authorities, across
the country and abroad, thus
providing exposure to the
complex health challenges facing
our society and the world."
Kathryn Berry, a prospective
public health professional is
considering pursing the UBC
MPH. "The UBC MPH program
offers a variety of elective
courses that cover a range of
subjects that I am interested in,
namely health promotion, social
determinants of health, and
Aboriginal health," says Berry. "I
love the fact that students have
the opportunity to essentially
create their own degree from the
wide variety of electives."
"The program structure and
course selection are relevant
to the current issues in public
health," says Berry. "I like the
fact that the School has designed
a program that anticipates the
future need of health care in
The School of Population and
Public Health, housed within
the Faculty of Medicine, draws
participation from seven faculties
and two colleges at UBC. 13
continued from page 1
opportunities for students to new
space on campus for faculty, staff
and students.
One of these changes was well
underway. A committee chaired
by McGowan had consulted
with program alumni, industry
players and faculty from other
film programs across Canada
including York, SFU and Emily
Carr to develop a comprehensive
plan for changes.
In particular, a partnership
was developed with Emily
Carr in key areas where each
institution wants to enhance
its program. UBC students
will benefit from Emily Carr's
expertise in sound design and
animation, and Emily Carr
students will be able to join
courses in business practices and
producing for film and television,
as UBC develops those.
So when the FPAA came to
ask how they could help, the
timing was ripe for them to
tackle two items on Gallini's list.
First, working with UBC's
Tri-mentorship Program, they
organized a mentorship program
for students with alumni who are
now established professionals
in the industry - pairing student
writers with professional
writers, student producers with
professional producers and so
Secondly the FPAA is creating
an internship program for
students from UBC, SFU and
Emily Carr. The goal: "an
internship program that is rich in
the long term - one that extends
beyond just UBC to the rest of
the film-makers' community that
we belong to," as Belling puts it.
The months of hard work and
collaboration led to a surprise
announcement at a FPAA
event during the Vancouver
International Film Festival in
early October 2007. Gallini
had been invited to provide an
update on the status of the Film
Production Program, and she did
- stating that the program would
reopen in 2008.
"The best part is that this
was truly a collaborative effort
with other academic institutions
like Emily Carr, our supportive
industry partners and, of course,
the new and energetic UBC Film
Production Alumni Association,"
Gallini said at the FPAA event.
"I believe that together we will
be able to sustain and build upon
the tremendous strengths of our
film industry in B.C."
Back to Jayme's story. Last
year, she took a course in Film
Directing with McGowan.
"Sharon would encourage us by
saying that meetings were going
on [to reinstate the program] so
keep thinking about applying,
and make sure you do a movie
that means something to you,"
Jayme says.
Jayme made a documentary
film about the basketball team
of a close friend who has been
diagnosed with brain cancer.
The result, a short film called
True Player, was shown on Shaw
Television earlier this year. 13 UBC    REPORTS     |     AUGUST    7,    2008     |     7
Teaching Creative Writing student John Mavin couldn't resist an opportunity to continue volunteering in the
Downtown Eastside.
Writing it downtown:
a word and heart primer
Before he taught a creative
writing workshop in the
Downtown Eastside, John Mavin
admits he was a little scared of
the neighbourhood.
"My experience with the
Downtown Eastside before this
was driving through that part of
town and never getting out of
my car," he says. "But spending
time and meeting people there, I
got way more comfortable with
the area."
As a first-year Masters of
Fine Arts student last fall,
Mavin decided to take the pilot
Teaching Creative Writing course
so that he will have an additional
income-earning skill besides
writing stage plays. The yearlong course offers a theory-based
semester and an experience-
based one that incorporates
a community service learning
(CSL) component. The CSL
aspect of the course was
organized in collaboration
with the Community Learning
Initiative, a unit within the
Learning Exchange. It aims
to equip MFA students with
the ability to teach creative
writing and build community
The impulse for the Teaching
Creative Writing course, now
CRWR 522, came about through
a chance meeting of minds.
"I had been interested in the
inherent learning opportunities
of the Learning Exchange for
a while," says then-Creative
Writing Program Chair Linda
Svendsen, noting that Margo
Fryer, Director of the Learning
Exchange had studied non-
fiction in the Creative Writing
"Margo and I met back in
spring 2007 to discuss the idea
of a pilot course in Creative
Writing pedagogy and the
Learning Exchange," Svendsen
continues. "I had Alison
Acheson in mind for the course
as she had studied pedagogical
techniques at Antioch College
and was a highly rated and
popular Creative Writing faculty
For their CSL projects, the
UBC students taught workshops
in fiction, poetry, life-writing
(also known as creative non-
fiction), and even blogging.
They worked with small groups
of new writers in several
community settings including the
Learning Exchange storefront,
the Dr Peter Centre, the Kettle
Friendship Centre, the Canadian
Mental Heath Association
the YWCA Crabtree Corner's
single moms group, and some
East Vancouver schools - all
placements chosen to nurture the
community-minded component
of the course.
Mavin says the community-
building aspect of the course
reaffirmed his basic belief that
"no matter where you are,
people are people and should
be treated with respect." He met
surprises, too: "The people I'm
teaching are the most open I've
ever taught," he says, he Where
many creative writing students,
including himself, usually start
by being nervous and hold back
their work, the writers at the
Learning Exchange were eager to
jump in and share openly.
In terms of learning to teach,
Mavin and fellow MFA student
Grant Barr learned to develop
a syllabus as well as how to
teach it. Their course focused on
how to revise a piece of fiction.
Students edited their own work
and also got to see the revising
process of some published
"The six-hour workshop
experience with UBC was
fantastic," Mavin says, "but
all of those taking it thought
- this isn't enough, we want
more. And I thought the same
thing." When Learning Exchange
Storefront Coordinator Dionne
Pelan asked if any of the MFA
students wanted to continue the
workshops, Mavin said a big yes.
As Mavin volunteer-teaches
for 12 weeks this summer, he's
excited for several reasons. For
one, Acheson had asked her
students to create a "dream
syllabus" - in Mavin's case,
a workshop that moves in
stages from the blank page to a
polished, potentially publishable
draft - and he has already had a
chance to use it.
But the relationship part of
the Teaching Creative Writing
course drew Mavin back, too. By
returning to teach fiction writing
again, he's responding to the new
community he is now part of -
a group of enthused writers who
don't want to let him go, not just
yet. 13
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iTi^ruirk	 I     UBC    REPORTS     |     AUGUST    7,    2006
pathways to sustai
With UBC recognized
as a leader in sustainability, UBC Reports charts
how two hypothetical new students. Jack and Jill, might learn about
the topic in their academic journey that begins this fall
f                                     >
Jack (commuter) and Jill
Jack takes the Nature
Jack volunteers at
Jack and Jill meet for
Jack and Jill prep
(in residence) meet at UBC
and Society course
Sprouts. This student-
fish and chips. Having
for 2nd year
Vancouver's Orientation week.
(Coordinated Arts
run cafe in the SUB
read Prof. Daniel
and beyond by
IMAGINE. They learn about
Program) on how
(also home to the
Pauly's research about
choosing from
campus sustainability programs:
sustainable societies
UBC Natural Foods
decline in global fish
UBC's 400+ eco-
recycling, the reusable food
have been imagined
co-op) serves local and
stocks (www.fisheries.
conscious courses
container program and more.
over time. It starts with
organic foods (www.
All students receive a travel mug
a 100 Mile Diet lunch.
dpauly) they're
that gives 15 cents off at all
Food Services outlets.
New UBC Okanagan students
relieved that UBC Food
Services's Sustainable
Seafood Project works
*                                             >
Jill takes Earth and
Jill joins the Student
at the CREATE orientation hear
Ocean Sciences 110 and
Environment Centre,
to procure appropriate
about recycling, composting and
learns about climate
an Alma Mater Society
fish such as snapper
other eco-options.
change by studying
resource group where
Students at both campuses
natural processes that
people can learn about
a bout/in itiatives.html).
are eligible for the U-Pass, the
shape the earth.
environmental and
universal transit access pass.
sustainability topics.
r                                               1
Jack does a Community Service
Jack and Jill evaluate
Jack writes for a UBC blog called
Jack does Arts Co-Op with a
Learning project at UBC Farm during
a stormwater
Terry (www.terry.ubc.ca), a site
company that has an eco-focus.
Reading Week. He learns about the
management system as
that cross-fertilizes science and
Examples of summer 2008
UBC Food System project, which aims
to give students a solid understanding
ofthe ecological, social and economic
sustainability of food systems.
part of SEEDS, Western
Canada's only program
that allows students
to earn academic
arts students' understanding of
each others' fields in relation to
global issues.
placements: research for City of
Vancouver water conservation
project; and promoting B.C.
Hydro's PowerSmart program.
credit by working with
faculty to solve real-life
>>                                                              ^
^                                                              '
r                                        i
Jill's microbiology course is in the
sustainability issues on
Jill becomes a Resident
Jill takes a term in Mexico
Life Sciences Building, which is LEED
campus (sustain.ubc.
Sustainability Advisor. She sets
through the UBC-wide Go
(Leadership in Energy and Design)
up info nights and coordinates
Global program (www.students.
Gold certified. Curious about green
with the Sustainability Office to
ubc.ca/goglobal). Eco-focused
buildings, she reads www.sustain.
create fun projects like a contest
placements in many disciplines
ubc.ca/greenbuilding.html and tracks
to see which residence can
are available.
energy use of select buildings at
compost the most.
Jack and Jill meet for fair trade coffee (available at every Food Services
Since Jill flew to her Go Global placement, she uses Offsetters, a project
location at UBC Vancouver and UBC Okanagan).
for carbon offset investments created by UBC profs James Tansey and Hadi
Jack has heard Prof. Bill Rees (School of Regional and Community
Dowlatabadi (www.offsetters.ca)
Planning) talk about the ecological footprint concept. He tells Jill how
this framework describes the amount of productive land needed to
support a given population.
At the Trek Program Centre, which promotes sustainable transportation. Jack
reserves a community co-op Zip Car for a date (www.trek.ubc.ca).
Jack and Jill carpool to UBC Okanagan in late March for the
Jack tours the Faculty of Education's Learning Garden, which promotes the principles of
annual Urban Forum conference organized by Prof. Bernard
sustainable environmental practice, stewardship of nature and eco-literacy.
Momer (2009 theme: cities and creativity).
UBC Okanagan is the second location in B.C. to use
'                                                                                                                                                                   >
"warm-mix" asphalt, a paving method that uses lower
Jill visits the Fipke Centre for Innovative Research - a building fitted with a geoexchange
temperatures, takes less energy to apply and makes less
groundwater energy system for heating and cooling. In time, every academic building at
UBC Okanagan will use geothermic exchange.
r^ ]
Jack and Jill hear John Robinson
After, Jack and Jill
In the First Nations Studies Program 320 Seminar, Jack learns
Jack and Jill
(Institute for Resources,
Environment and Sustainability
discuss "green" graduate
degree options like
about cultural sustainability - understanding how cultural
groups create their social history.
and take the
professor and co-winner ofthe
Nobel Peace prize with AI Gore
the IRES Resource
Management studies
Pledge (www.
in 2007) speak about "Issue-
and the Sauder School of
Jill's chemistry lab uses the Chemical Exchange. This free
driven Interdisciplinarity in the
Business' Sustainability
service identifies unopened, unneeded chemicals on campus
Service of Sustainability."
and Business MBA.
and markets them to other potential users on campus. In
2005, more than 400 kg of chemicals were exchanged.
In 1997, UBC became Canada's first university to develop a sustainability policy. UBC's Sustainability Office
has helped guide efforts that have made UBC a leader. See www.sustain.ubc.ca


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