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UBC Reports May 31, 2012

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a place of mind
May 2012
An alumna
70 years later
UBC honours
staff excelled
Veteran mace-bearer
shares memories Chill out: graduating engineer
helps invent therapeutic blanket
lucie mcneill lucie.mcneill@ubc.ca
Associate Director
randy schmidt randy.schmidt@ubc.ca
Design Manager
arlene cotter arlene.cotter@ubc.ca
Public Affairs Studio
ping ki chan  ping.chan@ubc.ca
amanda fetterly amanda.fetterly@ubc.ca
martin dee  martin.dee@ubc.ca
Web Designer
linakang  lina.kang@ubc.ca
Communications Coordinators
heather amos heather.amos@ubcca
Lorraine chan  lorraine.chan@ubcca
brian lin  brian.Iin@ubcca
paul marck paul.marck@ubc.ca
basil waugh  basil.waugh@ubcca
simmi puri  puri@law.ubcca
pearlie davison  pearlie.davison@ubc.ca
lou bosshart lou.bosshart@ubc.ca
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: 5 June 2012
UBC Reports welcomes submissions.
For upcoming UBC Reports submission guidelines:
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do not necessarily reflect official university policy.
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Submit letters to:
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V      a place of mind
Public Affairs
Lorraine Chan
Highlights of UBC media coverage
in April 2012
Heather Amos
Jellyfish on the rise
Jellyfish populations are exploding
in the majority ofthe world's coastal
ecosystems, according to a new UBC
study. The jellyfish interfere with
human activities by choking seawater
intake valves and drainpipes, clogging
fishermen's nets, and stinging
"There has been anecdotal evidence
that jellyfish were on the rise in recent
decades but there hasn't been a global
study that gathered together all the
existing data, until now," Lucas Brotz,
a PhD student with the Sea Around
Us Project at UBC and lead author of
the study, told the Vancouver Sun. The
Atantic Wire, the National Post and
several other Postmedia News outlets
also reported on the story.
New perfume product
from trees
Secreted by sperm whales to protect
their digestive systems, ambergris,
often referred to as whale vomit, is used
as a fixative agent in high-end perfumes
to make fragrances last longer.
A team of UBC scientists, led by
Joerg Bohlmann, identified a gene that
encodes for cis-abienol, a component
of fir trees that can serve the same
purpose as ambergris in perfumes,
reported the New York Times, the
Telegraph, ABC, the Globe and Mail and
"We've now discovered that a gene
from balsam fir is much more efficient
at producing such natural compounds,
which could make production of this
bio-product less expensive and more
sustainable," Bohlmann said.
World happiness
The first World Happiness Beport was
recently completed by UBC's John
Helliwell, Jeffrey Sachs of Columbia
University's Earth Institute, and
Richard Layard ofthe London School
of Economics, reported The Economist,
the New York Times, the Guardian, the
National Post and others.
The report is based on five important
economic predictors of happiness-
family, good health, income, sense
of freedom and lack of corruption.
Helliwell said the goal ofthe study is
to compel governments to consider
the happiness of their citizens when
making policy decisions.
Detecting liars
The Telegraph, Daily Mail, Sydney
Morning Herald, MSNBC, and others
reported on a new UBC study that
reveals that four different facial muscles
may divulge when people are lying.
"Our research suggests that muscles of
the face are not under complete conscious
control and certain muscles are likely to
betray the liar, particularly in high-stakes
and highly emotional situations," said
study author Leanne ten Brinke of
the Centre for the Advancement of
Psychological Science and Law at UBC's
Okanagan campus.
Breast cancer genes
Using genetics, a group of researchers
has identified 10 distinct subtypes of
breast cancer-a discovery that could
change the way the disease is diagnosed
and treated, reported The Independent,
the Los Angeles Times, the Globe and
Mail, and others.
Scientists at the BC Cancer Agency
and UBC, in collaboration with Cancer
Besearch UK's Cambridge Besearch
Institute and the Manitoba Institute
of Cell Biology at the University of
Manitoba, analyzed 2,000 samples
of breast-tumour tissue. The study,
published in the journal Nature, is the
largest global study of breast cancer
tissue ever performed.
Irving K. Barber
Prominent Canadian and British
Columbian Irving K. Barber passed away
on April 13 at the age of 89.
Dr. Barber, the founder of Slocan
Forest Products Limited, graduated
from UBC's Faculty of Forestry in 1950
and received an honorary degree from
UBC in 2002.
Dr. Barber was closely involved
with UBC both in Vancouver and in
the Okanagan. The Irving K. Barber
Learning Centre, to which he donated
$20 million in 2006, remains a
world-leading facility and a hub of the
Vancouver campus. In 2004, he donated
$10 million to establish the Irving K.
Barber School of Arts and Sciences and
the Irving K. Barber Learning Centre
Interface Program at UBC's campus in
the Okanagan.
Found on the soccer pitch at least twice a week, Anneliese Tjebbes says the game is a great way to recharge.
Annelies Tjebbes' engineering student
days are coming to a close—and with a
storybook ending.
Tjebbes has already received a
full-time job offer from a B.C. medical
device company where she earned rave
reviews during her co-op work term
this winter.
Earlier this year, Tjebbes was
recognized with the Faculty of Applied
Science's Outstanding Future Alumnus
Award for her stellar academic career,
leadership, compassion and community
Tjebbes has founded Kaizen
Biomedical with fellow UBC
engineering and Sauder School of
Business students for their medical
device called MobiChill. The team
met in the APSC 486-New Venture
Design course, which connects senior
engineering and business students.
By inducing therapeutic hypothermia
in cardiac arrest patients, MobiChill can
reduce the risk of devastating side effects
such as long term neurological damage,
explains Tjebbes, who is graduating
with a degree in electrical engineering—
biomedical option.
"The device looks like a small blanket
and can be used to quickly bring down
the patient's body temperature," says
Over the next months, Tjebbes and
two team mates will be working to
incorporate Kaizen Biomedical and
getting MobiChill ready for market.
"Though I'm apprehensive whether my
current experience and skillset are
enough to be able to bring this all the
way to market, I'm certainly excited
about taking our device as far as I can
before passing it on to a team with more
expertise. I'm really ready to be an
entrepreneur and an engineer."
One of Tjebbes' motivating passions
is to develop practical solutions for
"I'm really ready to
be an entrepreneur
and an engineer."
pressing world problems—especially
in developing countries. For the past
five years, she has volunteered with
Engineers Without Borders (EWB). In
2009, Tjebbes received a 16-month
EWB junior fellowship for international
development, with a summer work term
in Burkina Faso in West Africa where
Tjebbes drew on her fluent French.
"It was a life changing experience,"
says Tjebbes, who assisted a local
women's association to improve the
waste reduction methods used by the
For recreation, Tjebbes plays with
a division one team in the Vancouver
Metro Women's Soccer League at least
twice a week. Described as a skilled and
formidable player, Tjebbes says. "It's a
great way to work off frustrations." •
For other outstanding Applied Science
grads, please visit:
UBC Reports The University of British Columbia   May 2012 Brewing ideas to transform campus
Heather Amos
Volleyball players Rayel Quiring (left) and Kyla Richey have won five consecutive Canadian Interuniversity Sport Championships.
Five for five
A volleyball championship for every year of study
Heather Amos
AMS Vice President Finance Elin Tayyar has paved the way for change on the Vancouver campus.
When Elin Tayyar graduates from
UBC in May, it will have taken him six
years to complete a Bachelor of Arts in
International Relations and Economics.
That's understandable, when you
consider he's also been hard at work
transforming the university.
For the past three years, Tayyar has
been involved in the Alma Mater Society
(AMS), UBC's student government-the
last two years as Vice President Finance.
Under his leadership, the AMS has
eliminated a $287,000 yearly deficit and
made changes that will ensure financial
stability in the future.
"I saw the financial situation as
a challenge," says Tayyar. "I have a
passion for long-term planning and
In turning things around, he's
pioneered a number of popular campus
initiatives. Among his achievements: the
student-run brewpub that will go into the
new Student Union Building.
The idea came from a friend who
noticed the growing beer culture on
campus—the UBC Brewing Club has
hundreds of members and meets once a
week to brew. Tayyar and AMS colleagues
conducted a feasibility study that came
back positive.
"The new SUB offered us the
opportunity," he says. "It's a bit of a risk
for a student union to take this on but it's
Of all he's done, Tayyar is most proud of
setting up the AMS Sustainability Fund,
where students can apply for funding for
campus sustainability initiatives.
"I think it is important to value the
community and collective achievements,"
he says.
But that's not all. Tayyar has been
involved in bringing the water filling
stations to campus. He also saved the
AMS $1 million by renegotiating and
restructuring the Student Health and
Tayyar is most proud
of setting up the
AMS Sustainability
Dental Plan, a plan that has previously
seen several years of deficits. As a final
project, Tayyar paved the way for the
establishment of an arts endowment fund,
which will support student art projects.
After graduation, Tayyar, who has
also been a member ofthe Beta Theta
Pi fraternity since coming to UBC,
plans to develop a web portal to
simplify and compare information
about a range of developments on
energy issues. Currently named Blue
Terminal, the site is to focus on public
policy, technological, and business
developments in the energy sector.
But the graduate isn't done with UBC
yet. Next year, he's hoping to take on a
very different role, as a host of his own
music show on CiTR. •
They first met when they played on rival
volleyball teams in high school. They
bonded at a volleyball summer camp at
UBC. Now, after five years, Kyla Richey
and Rayel Quiring are graduating from
UBC as teammates, close friends and
For each ofthe five years that
Richey and Quiring have played on
the UBC Thunderbirds women's
volleyball team, they have won the
Canadian Interuniversity Sport (CIS)
Richey, who grew up in Roberts Creek,
B.C. and who will be graduating from
the Faculty of Education's Kinesiology
program, joked that after the first year
championship she thought, "that felt
pretty good—let's do that again four more
By the time Richey and Quiring made it
to the playoffs in 2012, they'd decided they
weren't coming home without the gold.
"There was a lot of pressure, but we
put it on ourselves," said Quiring, who
is from Langley, B.C. and who will be
graduating with a major in human
resources from
Sauder School of Business.
The pair did more than win the
national championships. In their last
year as TBirds, both players received
major awards in the sport. Quiring was
named the Student-Athlete ofthe Year
for the western division ofthe CIS.
Richey, a left side hitter for the team,
was named the CIS player ofthe year, the
third consecutive UBC player to win the
"I've learned that
I have the ability to
make change."
award. She is also a member of Canada's
National Team and will be in the qualifier
for the 2012 Summer Olympic Games in
Next year, the two athletes are planning
to move to Europe where they'll play
pro-volleyball. But first, Quiring, is
heading to El Salvador.
Quiring is leading a group of 10 UBC
athletes who are volunteering with
Habitat for Humanity. A partnership
developed by UBC basketball alumnus
Bill Humphries, this is the second
contingent of UBC student-athletes
that will travel to El Salvador to help
build homes.
"I've learned that I have the ability
to make change," said Quiring, who is
also heavily involved in the community
through organizations like the Canadian
Cancer Society and the Vancouver Board
of Trade's Leader of Tomorrow program. •
UBC Reports The University of British Columbia   May 2012 -m-C^J^^-   _m. _^JL______    *~
A special ceremony will be held on May
30th during UBC's spring congregation,
to recognize and honour the Japanese
Canadian students whose university
experience was disrupted in 1942 when
they were uprooted and exiled from the B.C.
coast—a violation of their citizenship rights.
For more information visit:
The Next Great Challenge:
Thinking Together about Aging
Conference on Aging
MAY 18-19
Margaret Somerville, Maxine Hancock,
James M. Houston, and J.I. Packer
Registration ends May 16
Emily MacKinnon, a graduating law student and opera singer, will be mentored by Canada's top judge.
From opera to the
Supreme Court
Simmi Puri
After graduating this May with her law
degree, Emily MacKinnon will begin
a prestigious clerkship with Beverley
McLachlin, Chief Justice of the Supreme
Court of Canada.
"One of my most memorable moments
at UBC Law was the visits by various
Supreme Court of Canada Justices," said
MacKinnon, who is also an accomplished
opera singer. "It was from them that I
learned about this clerkship opportunity."
"They were unbelievably inspiring,
and I was absolutely captivated by the
behind-the-scenes process of coming to
a decision on a case and then writing a
judgment," MacKinnon said. "From the
moment I discovered it was possible, I
wanted nothing more than to clerk at the
Supreme Court of Canada."
From performing arias to preparing
court memorandums, MacKinnon's path
from opera to law might not be the most
traditional, but for her it was a natural fit.
"I was craving a connection with the
community and opera is a small part of
the world" explained MacKinnon who
obtained her masters in Ethnomusicology
at UBC after completing her Bachelor's
in music at the University of Ottawa.
"Ethnomusicology was a way for me to
reach out and be involved with something
that is making a difference. But even that
has its restrictions. With law, you are
actually out there in the community
making change happen."
MacKinnon's thesis for her
Ethnomusicology MA looks at the
way music is used around the world to
educate people about HIV and AIDS.
She carried those interests into law
school, receiving a fellowship from
the law firm Borden Ladner Gervais
to research the criminalization of HIV
"It has been exciting to use legal
research to advocate for better criminal
laws around non-disclosure of HIV
status," said MacKinnon who is also a
long-time volunteer with the Positive
Living Society of B.C., a group dedicated
to empowering persons living with
After the clerkship, she returns to
Vancouver to practice with the firm
McCarthy Tetrault. She hopes to pursue
a career in litigation. •
An alumna, 70 years later
Mary Nagata is one of 76 Japanese Canadian UBC students
from 1942 who will be honoured this May
Heather Amos
Learn more about UBC Law at:
Mary Nagata remembers how she felt,
attending UBC in the 1940s as a young
woman, the oldest of seven children
and from a minority community.
"For me to be the first person in the
family to go to university was a real
privilege," said Nagata, now 90.
Nagata's parents were adamant
that she and her siblings get a good
education. But as a Japanese Canadian
student on Canada's West Coast
during the Second World War, Nagata's
education plans were curtailed.
In 1942, 21,000 Japanese Canadians
living on the Pacific coast were forced
to leave their homes under the federal
government's internment policy. Nagata
was one of 76 Japanese Canadian
students at UBC at the time.
Now, 70 years later, UBC is
recognizing what was lost. This May, the
university is awarding honorary degrees
to the students who were unable to
complete their UBC education and
re-conferring degrees on students who
completed their studies but were unable
to attend their graduation because of
In 1940, Nagata and her family lived
on Vancouver's east side. At the age
of 18, she began working towards a
Bachelor of Arts degree with a major in
English at UBC.
"University life was very, very nice
for me," she said. "I liked to study. And
sharing ideas with other students was
On December 7,1941, Japan attacked
Pearl Harbour. That night, two police
officers showed up at Nagata's door and
asked to see her father. Although he had
done nothing wrong, Nagata said the
police took him away "like a criminal."
Before the spring of 1942 when
internment forced Japanese Canadians
in Vancouver out of their homes,
Nagata's family decided to leave the
city for Edmonton. They thought that
prisoners, like Nagata's father, might be
interned nearby.
Nagata, her mother, and siblings
stayed in Edmonton for about a
year before deciding to continue
east to Toronto where they settled
permanently. Nagata's father joined
the family towards the end of 1943
but never spoke of his experience in a
prisoner of war camp.
As her parents had hoped, Nagata
continued her education. She studied
at the University of Toronto and
completed her English degree in 1946.
Nagata will not be in Vancouver for
the congregation ceremony where
the Japanese Canadian students of
1942 are to be honoured. But she is
deeply gratified that finally, she will
be formally welcomed into the UBC
alumni family. •
To read the full story and hear
a clip from Mary Nagata, visit:
"For me to be
the first person
in the family to
go to university
was a real privilege.
Mary Nagata (left) and her sister Ruth Nagata in the A Degree of Justice documentary.
p * -
i   a   •   i
A photograph of Mary Nagata from the 1942 AMS Totem.
UBC Reports The University of British Columbia   May 2012 Best not lie to this
Psychology PhD graduate
Leanne ten Brinke can spot a lie in your facial expression
Paul Marck
Leanne ten Brinke graduates with the first PhD in Psychology at UBC's Okanagan campus.
Microbiology's gain would have been
psychology's loss if Leanne ten Brinke
had followed her original academic path.
"I came to UBC because my supervisor
at Dalhousie, Dr. Steve Porter, had
the fantastic opportunity to develop a
world-class forensic psychology program
at the Okanagan campus," says ten
Brinke, a native of Antigonish, NS. She
also switched her area of study from
microbiology to psychology.
Ten Brinke will be the Okanagan
campus's first Psychology PhD graduate
at convocation this June in Kelowna.
Ten Brinke's thesis is about the
behavioural consequences of high-stake
emotional lies. "In particular, I examined
the facial expressions of genuine and
deceptive 'pleaders'—individuals who have
gone on television pleading for assistance
in finding their missing relatives.
"In the case ofthe deceptive pleaders,
they actually were responsible for their
missing relative's death. We found these
deceptive murderers failed in replicating
the sadness commonly expressed by
genuinely distressed pleaders."
Her research has attracted considerable attention in Canada, the U.S. and
U.K., with CBC, MSNBC, and the London
Daily Telegraph among the media
reporting on ten Brinke's study.
"Lying is difficult, and controlling
all aspects of your behaviour is nearly
impossible," says ten Brinke. "In
particular, muscles in your face are likely
to 'give away' your true emotions. In daily
life, being able to spot these signs may
save us from being conned by a shady
salesman, or duped by a cheating spouse."
Ten Brinke has been supported by the
Social Sciences and Health Research
Council for her PhD studies. She also
held a Canada Graduate Scholarship
and received a Michael Smith Foreign
Study Supplement to travel to London
and conduct research at the London
Business School.
Porter calls ten Brinke a consummate
and brilliant scholar.
"Leanne is an inquisitive,
open-minded, intelligent scientist with
a love of evolutionary psychology and
a genuine desire to make a difference,"
says Porter. "Her interests are diverse,
but at her base is a passion for unveiling
the secrets of human nature through
Ten Brinke has received an SSHRC
Postdoctoral Fellowship to study at
the Haas School of Business at the
University of California Berkeley
campus in September. •
Erica Kiemele is bound for Harvard Medical School and destined to help inner city communities.
Life story fosters vision
to serve disadvantaged
Brian Lin
Erica Kiemele may be a poster child for
cultural diversity, but the Harvard
Medical School-bound grad most wants
to be recognized for one thing: her talent.
Kiemele has an Aboriginal mother and
a Taiwanese father, but was adopted at six
months by a German-English father and
a Taiwanese mother. Her adoptive older
brother is ethnically Chinese.
"Visually I don't have an identifiable
look' People see me and have no idea what
I am—in addition to Aboriginal and 'some
kind of Chinese, I've been called Hispanic,
Filipino, and even Egyptian once," recalls
Kiemele, who will receive her Master of
Science degree from the Department of
Chemistry before starting medical school
in Boston this fall.
"I had plenty of access to my Taiwanese
heritage through my family, but growing
up in Calgary, attending French immersion
school, I've felt a strong need to find my
Aboriginal roots and assert my identity,"
Kiemele says.
She has attempted to obtain official
Aboriginal status—"to become a
card-carrying Aboriginal"—but with
limited information on her biological
mother, the task has proven challenging.
"As far as I know from adoption papers,
my biological mother is Aboriginal and
French and most likely part ofthe Blackfoot Nation," she says.
"She ran away from home when she was 14 and somehow ended
up in Los Angeles, where she met my biological father, and that's
where I was born."
Kiemele originally thought she'd become an accountant like
many other family members. "It seemed kind of practical," she
says. "But to get into the University of Calgary's business school
you needed two science credits, so I took Chemistry and Physics."
She did so well in Chemistry that her high school teacher
encouraged her to pursue it as a major. By the time she was
pursuing a PhD in Chemistry at UBC, she found her true calling
after volunteering with various projects with the First Nations
House of Learning at UBC, Canucks Place Hospice, Vancouver
Coastal Health, the Urban Native Youth Association and BC
Children's Hospital.
"I love working with children, and issues concerning Aboriginal
and inner-city health really resonate with me," she says. "My
time volunteering at hospitals helped me realize that I can
combine my passions into a life-long career helping people."
"Despite their cultural and ethnic differences, underserved
populations have a lot in common—especially in inner city
communities—in terms of their health needs, ranging from
addiction to diabetes to mental health," says Kiemele, whose
multicultural background will be an invaluable asset in serving
these communities.
The opportunity to study—and later practice—in the U.S.
appeals to Kiemele's desire to spread her wings, and having been
born in the U.S. makes her eligible to do both.
"In a way, my biological mother running away from home to LA.
as a teenager paved the way to my destiny—long before I knew
what it was." •
Deathbed promises
launched master's
Paul Marck
Lorriane Topf had already spent
19 years as a nurse when a profound
experience about a broken promise
convinced her she needed to go back
to school.
Working as an oncology nurse in her
hometown of Vernon, she encountered
an elderly married couple in a hospital
room. The husband was very close to
death. His wife was in tears, desperate
because she was unable to keep her
promise of allowing him to die at home.
"I realized there was something wrong
with the expectations that people put
upon themselves," said Topf. "Couples
promise that they will take care of each
other until death, but they are unable to
keep that promise."
"This couple really didn't know what
supports are available. That conversation had not occurred. And that put me
on the path of researching how are we
supporting people who really want to
stay at home to die."
Topf enrolled in the Master's of
Nursing program at UBC's Okanagan
campus. Her thesis is called When a
desired home death does not occur: Family
caregiver experiences. It was considered
ground-breaking research, and received
funding support from the Canadian
Association of Nurses in Oncology,
the Canadian Nurse Foundation and
Psychosocial Oncology Research
Topf's academic supervisor, Associate
Nursing Professor Carole Robinson, says
it takes a special person to conduct this
type of research. Topf's background and
experience prepared her in many ways to
interview family caregivers.
"Lorriane's research has the potential to
significantly change the way we support
family caregivers," says Robinson. "It is
particularly timely, given the trend to
frame home deaths as the gold standard."
Topf says her research reveals an issue
people face in every culture. Health-care
providers have a strong role to play
in counselling and advising family
caregivers. "It maybe that Plan A is to be
at home until death, and Plan B is to be
home as long as possible. The question
is understanding how to help caregivers
work that through, and accept it."
Topf continues her nursing career in
palliative care and is currently Palliative
Care Coordinator, North Okanagan
Community Integration Health Services,
Interior Health, in Vernon. Aside from
a year when she was supported through
the Bryce Carnine Memorial Prize
scholarship, Topf has actively worked as a
nurse during her return to school. •
Career nurse Lorriane Topf returned to school at UBC's Okanagan campus for her
Master's degree in Nursing upon discovering gaps in palliative and oncology care that
often left family caregivers without adequate support.
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Road to degree a personal journey
Lorraine Chan
UBC psychology student Ashley Whillans is trading movie sets for happiness research.
'Juno' actress finding
happiness in research
Basil Waugh
Ashley Whillans, the graduating UBC
student and actress who cracked-up
audiences in the hit movie Juno, has
landed the perfect role.
She is set to play an award-winning
research scientist working to advance
global happiness. However, this time
there will be no scripts or cameras.
After 15 years acting, she is playing
"Ifyou follow your
interests and work
hard to create
opportunities, life
has a funny way of
putting you on the
right path."
The 23-year-old will be doing her
Master's degree with UBC Dept. of
Psychology happiness researcher
Elizabeth Dunn to explore the benefits
of volunteering.
"What excites me about psychology
is how it can improve people's lives,"
says Whillans, a native of Coquitlam,
B.C. "With acting you can bring people
happiness for the length of a movie or a
TV show, but as a happiness researcher,
I feel like I have the chance to help
make the world a fundamentally better
Whillans' best-known role was in the
2007 comedy Juno. During auditions,
she was asked to show her best "stink
eye," to be directed at co-star Ellen
Page, whose character was competing
for the affection of indie it-boy Michael
Cera. She left the room in stitches.
"It was a small part, so I actually
thought it might get cut," says Whillans.
"But then a friend posted the trailer
on Facebook with me in it. I still get
recognized for it and have even had
professors play the YouTube clip in
meetings. I'm sure my gravestone will
UBC Reports The University of British Columbia   May 2012
include something about the 'stink-eye
girl,'" she says laughing.
Accepted by several international
acting schools, Whillans spent 2008 at
London's prestigious Royal Academy of
Dramatic Arts. She returned and devoted
her time to auditioning and acting in
Vancouver's "Hollywood North."
After enrolling in UBC's acting
program, she says "something finally
clicked" in a psychology course. She
switched to honours psychology and
has flourished, recently being named a
Wesbrook Scholar as one of UBC's top 20
senior students, and earning more than
$15,000 in awards and scholarships in
the past two years.
"Ifyou follow your interests and work
hard to create opportunities, life has a
funny way of putting you on the right
path," says Whillans. "If a class excites
you, ask the professor for advice, maybe
you can work in their lab. There are so
many opportunities once you. •
Learn more about
UBC's Dept. of Psychology at:
Phillip Chen is proud of having launched Sauder's first LGBT business mentorship program for youth.
Scan to watch Ashley Whillans'
"stink-eye" scene in the 2007
movie Juno.
Bachelor of commerce graduate Phillip
Chen has found an apartment in San
Francisco and is keen to start exploring
life beyond school.
Chen says he's leaving UBC with
a lot more confidence and peace of
mind than when he first arrived. This
past winter, Chen came out to friends
and family—a process that was both
terrifying and liberating.
"It took me 21 years to stop hating
myself and to learn to love myself. UBC
has been really, really good for me
because of that," says Chen, who was
born and raised in Johannesburg, South
Chen credits the counselors at UBC
Student Services for helping him
navigate his way to self acceptance.
Also crucial was a tight circle of friends
"who sat up for hours talking with me,
cooking for me, allowing me to vent, but
also calling me on my b.s."
Chen says he sees the truth in UBC's
motto of "tuum est—that it's up to you."
In third year, Chen joined the UBC
Marketing Association (UBCMA), one
of Sauder's largest student organizations aimed at networking and career
opportunities. He served as UBCMA
president during fourth year, where he
was known for his hard work and clear,
strategic thinking.
Chen is equally proud of successfully
launching the first business mentorship
program for lesbian, gay, bisexual and
transgender (LGBT) youth at Sauder.
Through contacts and cold calls, Chen
recruited mentors from businesses
that include the Certified General
Accountants Association of B.C., Gay
Whistler, Men's Health Initiative
and the Gay and Lesbian Business
"Everyone was very responsive
when I approached them because they
understand about leveraging networks
to help people who are just starting out."
Chen is ready for his next adventure.
"My plan is to get a job with a startup
company or some other kind of business
where I can observe and learn," says
Chen, who majored in marketing at the
Sauder School of Business.
Eventually, Chen would like to open a
"small, niche" business either in retail or
the food services industry. "I would love
to brand it myself." •
11 New dentist parks his longboard,
but not for good
Lorraine Chan
Only a few years ago, Scott Martyna
came to class on skateboard, sporting
high top sneakers and a pink baseball
cap worn backwards over his shaggy
"Looking back on it now, I'm sure my
profs were thinking, oh, man, who is
this kid!" says Martyna, who graduates
this month with a doctor of dental
medicine (DMD) degree.
To celebrate, Dr. Martyna is heading
off to Hawaii for a week with fellow
grads. Martyna is also celebrating his
acceptance into the prestigious oral
and maxillofacial surgery program
at the Washington Hospital Center, a
"I saw how rewarding it could
be to help children function,
feel and look normal."
renowned health care, research and
teaching institution in Washington, D.C.
Martyna was introduced to this field
six years ago when he volunteered for
a summer at the Children's Surgical
Centre of Cambodia in Phnom Penh.
Martyna was invited to scrub up and
assist the oral surgery team treating
patients including children with cleft lip
and cleft palate.
Prior to their operations, the children
with these deformities had difficulty
eating and speaking, Martyna recalls.
"And because of cultural superstition,
these kids and even their families were
shunned. I saw how rewarding it could be
to help children function, feel and look
Martyna says the years ahead will
build upon the discipline, critical
thinking and decision-making skills he
acquired at UBC. "The UBC program has
been great for teaching us how to be very
methodical and also open minded."
Martyna says he'll greatly miss the
Faculty's annual "Battle ofthe Bands."
Over beers and much competitive spirit,
instructors and students jammed on
their instruments and forged close
"I thought everyone would be
bookworms, but I've never met a more
interesting and diverse group of people.
Everyone is so talented," says Martyna,
who enjoys playing guitar and banjo.
Growing up in a tight-knit family,
Martyna says his heart is set on eventually
returning to B.C. "Both my wife and I are
from Kelowna. I grew up working in the
cherry orchards. And there's nothing
like summer in the Okanagan, kayaking,
biking, wakeboarding and swimming in
the lake." •
Lizzy Foulkes aims to earn a master's degree in international public health and also see more of the world.
Grad sprouts vision
of wholesome food
Lorraine Chan
Scott Martyna will miss the faculty's "Battle of the Bands," a fierce but friendly competition over beers.
Anyone who's a regular at Sprouts
would recognize Lizzy Foulkes.
Located in the basement ofthe
Student Union Building, Sprouts
is a student-run cafe and store that
promotes food security along with
local, sustainable and healthy food
options. Foulkes got involved right away
when she came to UBC in 2008, and
for the past three years has served on
the Sprouts executive board, working
closely with 70-plus volunteers.
Every Friday, Sprouts puts on
"Community Eats." The by-donation
lunch attracts close to 400 diners, eager
for the wholesome soups, stews and
other welcomed alternatives to the
student mainstays of pizza and subway
Graduating with a bachelor's degree
in nutritional sciences from the Faculty
of Land and Food Systems (LFS),
Foulkes explains her commitment to
Sprouts and similar projects. "Food is
one ofthe universal things that has the
capacity to bring people together."
This was especially true at a
Downtown Eastside Neighbourhood
House, a non-profit society on East
Hastings Street, where Foulkes
completed a fourth-year LFS internship.
She liked the approach of serving
visitors high quality foods packed with
nutrition. To eliminate long line ups,
the meals were self serve, which also
allowed guests to make their own food
Foulkes observes, "Often, there's an
attitude that we can feed vulnerable
populations the stuff that no one else
"Food is one of the
universal things that
has the capacity to
bring people together.
wants, like day-old bread or pasta past its
expiry date, mixed with cheap, bottled
sauce. But vulnerable populations need
foods of higher nutrient density than you
or I, not less."
With new horizons beckoning, Foulkes
says she would like to live abroad. During
2006, the Chilliwack native spent a year
in Saraburi, Thailand while attending
first-year university at a small college.
"That experience opened my eyes to how
life and humanity are so much bigger
than one culture, and how important it is
to keep exploring and expanding."
To challenge herself, Foulkes has
also trained and volunteers as a "doula,"
whose role is provide physical, emotional
and informational support for women
through pregnancy and birthing.
"It's been a huge growth experience and
as a result of working with single mums,
I'm interested in seeing more accessible
and woman-centred healthcare," says
Foulkes. Next phase of the journey: she
plans to pursue a master's degree in
international public health. •
UBC Reports The University of British Columbia   May 2012
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Rose Harper
As the senior program assistant for Arts
One and the Coordinated Arts Program,
Rose Harper is known for dedication
and creativity in service to faculty and
students. She is recognized for her
innovative efforts to promote programs,
her initiatives to improve the student
experience, and her success in helping
students thrive in a myriad of ways in
the humanities. •
Jarnail Mehroke
Motivating students, improving
techniques and modeling safe lab
practices, Jarnail Mehroke is a teaching
lab technician in the Department of
Botany, Biology Program. He is known
for always having time for students.
Mehroke has been co-author of more
than fifty conference presentations, He
has also participated in UBC Reading
Week projects that involved training
high school students in science fair
projects. •
Maureen Lisle
Maureen Lisle is the visual arts
technician in the Department of
Creative Studies at UBC's Okanagan
campus. The woodshop is her primary
domain, where she assists faculty and
students with wood-related art projects.
She is known as a model staff member,
mentor, colleague and volunteer - she
volunteers for various charitable causes
and has raised money for a memorial
fund scholarship.
Peter Milroy
As director of UBC Press, Peter
Milroy's leadership and technological
innovation have been a driving force.
UBC Press has seen a significant
expansion of book production and sales,
and an increase in book awards. Milroy
has strengthened UBC Press' ties to
a range of associations and networks
that support scholarly publishing.
He is recognized as a generous and
consistent mentor, encouraging staff
members to pursue new areas of
expertise, and supporting creative
thinking and innovative ideas. •
Shouldering ceremonial tasks
Afton Cayford
Prof. Emeritus Afton Cayford will carry the mace again this year.
Afton Cayford, associate professor emeritus in Mathematics, is the 2011 recipient
ofthe Slonecker Award for Outstanding Volunteer Contribution. Cayford has
volunteered for graduation ceremonies on the Vancouver campus for more than 45
years. He will be carrying the mace again this year.
In the mid-1960s I was asked to help with graduation ceremonies, then supervised
with great flair by Professor Malcolm McGregor. At that time, Professor Ben Moyles
carried the mace and I led student processions, caught students who tripped coming
down the steps, and performed various other tasks. When Ben gave up carrying the
mace, Prof. John Denison and I began to share the job.
Graduation ceremonies were then held in the War Memorial Gymnasium. The
move to the Chan Centre for Performing Arts increased the number of ceremonies
to 23, with four ceremonies often being held each day. We soon decided to encourage
other faculty members to help carry the mace.
The mace was designed by Haida carvers Bill Reid and George Norris. It was carved
from a solid block of wood from a yew tree that was donated by alumni. Carrying the
mace could appear daunting because it weighs about 20 pounds, but it can easily be
cradled in the crook ofthe arm and the shoulder. Professor Moura Quayle was the
first woman to carry the mace and now Professor Elizabeth Edinger often does so for
Law School graduations.
"By now, I will have been one of the most
photographed people at UBC."
One ofthe most pleasurable duties comes at the end of each graduation ceremony
when the chancellor and the mace bearer oblige proud families by posing for pictures
with graduating students. By now, I will have been one ofthe most photographed
people at UBC.
The most memorable occasion for me was in April 2004, when UBC, along with
SFU, granted in the same ceremony honorary degrees to three Nobel Laureates: His
Holiness the Dalai Lama, Archbishop Desmond Tutu and Professor Shirin Ebadi.
On that occasion I carried the mace for the ceremony and had the great pleasure of
meeting the three illustrious degree recipients. •
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