Exchange header
Sydney White, middle, with fellow undergraduate researchers, clockwise from bottom, Whitney Rotzien, Zosia Kossowski, Natashia Bose-Roberts, Andrew Hughes and Rylie Moore.

UBC Okanagan undergrads pursue love of research
Bonded by their passion for research and the pursuit of new knowledge, a group of UBC Okanagan students have formed a Student Research Society. Their mission: to connect undergraduate researchers with UBC Okanagan faculty and research opportunities.

"We felt that many students, namely undergrads, were both unaware and intimidated by the available research opportunities," says Sydney White, a fourth-year biochemistry student. "The students who started the society felt we were uniquely positioned to be student ambassadors, and we wanted to share our appreciation of research with other students."

[to top]

UBC Okanagan students bring history into the present
YouTube videos, scale models and interviews help tomorrow's teachers learn
What started as a simple assignment has taken on a life of its own for UBC Okanagan student Michele Jackson.

This term Jackson and her Elementary Teacher Education Program (ETEP) classmates are exploring and preserving moments in history through a variety of innovative teaching tools as part of Professor Vicki Green 's Education 417 course. The students are partnering with heritage and cultural organizations across B.C. to produce archival films for YouTube, building models detailing a moment in time, and conducting interviews with seniors.

Jackson chose to create an archival film and model of the Fairbridge Farm School on Vancouver Island, and says the experience has been better than she ever imagined.

[to top]

Project GROW raising money for Ghana initiatives
Students at UBC Okanagan have raised $20,000 and hope to move even closer to their $40,000 fund-raising goal this holiday season for Ghana Rural Opportunities for Women -- Project GROW.

The initiative stemmed from research conducted by Vida Yakong, now a PhD student at UBC Okanagan, regarding women's barriers to seeking health care in rural Ghana. Through the sale of holiday greeting cards and donations since 2007 Project GROW has provided donkeys and carts, water barrels, dozens of goats, and family sized mosquito nets for every household in the villages of Nyobok and Nkenzesi in northern Ghana.

There are no administrative costs and tax receipts will be provided for donations of over $20. Starting this week at various locations on campus, staff and students can purchase greeting cards representing items that will be delivered to Ghana when the School of Nursing transcultural nursing team of fourth-year students visits the region in February.

For more information or to contribute to the project, contact Cindy Bourne, UBC Okanagan Learning Centre coordinator, at 78065, or Phil Bond, manager of the UBC Okanagan Learning Exchange, at 78095.

[to top]

Campus Security advises on theft prevention
Campus Security reminds everyone to safeguard both UBC and personal effects after several reported thefts from offices, study areas, and computer labs on campus during the past couple of weeks. Thefts of this type are crimes of opportunity. Complainants report leaving items or offices unattended for a period of a couple of minutes to several hours, and all end with the same result.

Never leave personal effects unattended for any period of time. Always secure office doors when leaving the area even for a short moment. Staff are encouraged to display UBC Okanagan Identification at all times when working. Campus Security enacts a proactive approach to off-hours use of the institution. Carrying proper identification aids both yourself and Campus Security when verifying individuals in locked buildings after regular business hours.

Report all suspicious activity to Campus Security at 250-807-9236 or local 79236. For crimes in progress notify RCMP by dialling 9-1-1. For other crime prevention initiatives, contact the Security Coordinator's office at 250-807-9173.

The Campus Security team wishes everyone a safe and secure holiday season. To find out more visit the Campus Security website.

[to top]

Engineering staff win funds for Aboriginal
student recruitment and retention program

Two members of the School of Engineering staff have received UBC Okanagan funding for a special student recruitment project.

Aboriginal Recruitment/Retention in Engineering, a proposal by Administrator Teija Wakeman and Student Development Officer Maria Graziano, was reviewed by the Deputy Vice Chancellor's Human Rights and Equity Committee, which was enthusiastic and recommended approval of $8,100 in funding over two years.

This competitively obtained award enables Wakeman and Graziano to intensify their efforts in Aboriginal education in the School of Engineering.

[to top]

Follow UBC HR's tweets
UBC Human Resources recently launched two new social media vehicles as a way to connect and engage directly with faculty, staff and prospective hires.

The UBC HR blog provides timely and relevant information about all aspects of working at UBC. Faculty and staff are now also able to follow the department's tweets at for daily headlines and HR-related updates. Recent tweets included updates on the H1N1 vaccination clinics, volunteering on campus for the upcoming 2010 Winter Games, and important changes for those enrolled in UBC's group Medical Services Plan.

[to top]

Reminder: nominate someone great by Dec. 31
UBC Okanagan has no shortage of faculty members who are able to impart their knowledge like no others. It's part of what makes UBC Okanagan an outstanding academic community.

Each year UBC Okanagan acknowledges a faculty member for their contributions with the Award for Teaching Excellence and Innovation. The award consists of a $5,000 cash prize and is presented annually during UBC Okanagan's Learning Conference. Faculty members, deans, unit heads, alumni and students are invited to submit nominations for any faculty member at UBC Okanagan.

This year's deadline for nominations is Thursday, Dec. 31.

For information on award terms and criteria, or to access the nomination form, visit the Office of the Provost website.

[to top]

Kickspike partners with Creative Studies to find their next logo
The Department of Creative Studies and a rising local business are teaming up for a design contest that is open to all UBC Okanagan students and will net the winning student $500. KickSpike Enterprises Ltd. -- developers of the world's first retractable metal spike golf shoe -- are looking for a brand logo and have invited UBC Okanagan students to create something edgy, modern, and simple.

This contest is free to enter and open to all UBC Okanagan students, with no limit on the number of entries any student can submit. The winner will be announced in January 2010.

UBC Okanagan students are invited to submit a design by Friday, Dec. 18. To enter the contest students can send a PDF or JPG of the design to Nancy Holmes, Creative Studies department head. To find out more, contact Darrell Bachman, president of KickSpike Enterprises Ltd., at 250-462-0940.

[to top]

Update: UBC's people strategy
2009 marked a year of milestones for UBC's Focus on People framework, with the achievement of more than 18 goals and a number of programs and initiatives established to support the workplace experiences of faculty and staff.

The latest release of Perspectives -- a bi-annual update to the University community on the progress of the Focus on People framework -- was recently presented to the Board of Governors. To view the full online version, visit the Focus on People website.

[to top]

Members of the UBC Varsity Outdoors Club Okanagan "earn their turns" in the high country near Revelstoke.

No-footprint ski trip for UBC Okanagan students
A group of UBC Okanagan students took a Nov. 21 back-country ski trip one step further -- erasing the ecological footprint they created, so their trip had virtually zero environmental impact.

The "Earn Your Turns" Zero-Footprint Ski Trip was conceived by students in the UBC Varsity Outdoor Club - Okanagan (VOCO) who are deeply involved in outdoor recreation and have seen first-hand the effects of climate change on winters in the region.

"I came from Alaska to UBC Okanagan because of UBC's reputation for sustainable initiatives," says Nick Therrien, VOCO president. "I'm excited to see these values applied to a broad range of activities at UBC Okanagan."

[to top]

Sharon McCoubrey named Canadian Art Educator of the Year
Sharon McCoubrey, Associate Dean of the Faculty of Education, is the 2009 Canadian Art Educator of the Year. She received the award from the Canadian Society for Education through Art (CSEA) at the society's annual national conference in Vancouver October 22 to 24. The award recognizes excellence in art education through long-term achievement as an art educator, contributions to the profession, leadership within the discipline of art education, and work to enhance the arts in the community context.

Beginning her career as a classroom-based teacher and a Fine Arts District Consultant, McCoubrey has spent the past 20 years working in teacher education. She specializes in art education and has many times been recognized for her accomplishments in the field, receiving awards from the CSEA in 1997 and the B.C. Art Teachers Association in 2002. In 2007, Premier Gordon Campbell and then-Lt. Governor Iona Campenola presented her with a B.C. Achievement Award of Merit for her work in art education and public art.

Beyond her involvement with the university, McCoubrey is a dedicated member of the Okanagan arts community, improving public access to and understanding of art through service on the Kelowna and District Art Council board, the Central Okanagan Foundation board, the Arts Council of the Central Okanagan, the Lake Country Public Art Commission and Lake Country ArtWalk.

[to top]

Sean Kelman, left, won a recent fund-raising chess tournament in Vernon, defeating Greg Bishop in a blitz playoff game.

UBC Okanagan student wins chess tournament
Sean Kelman, a first-year UBC Okanagan Engineering student, won a fundraiser chess tournament in Vernon on Nov. 21. Kelman, Greg Bishop and Kaelan Chartrand each scored 5 of 6 points in the regular section of the tourney, with Kelman prevailing in the blitz playoff.

Funds generated from the tournament went to the People Place and Food Bank in Vernon. The round-robin tournament attracted 13 players from the Okanagan region for a lively six rounds of 25-minute games with active time controls.

The UBC Students' Union Okanagan Chess Club hosts a six-round tournament with time controls on Saturday, January 23, 2010, at UBC Okanagan. Players interested in the one-day event can contact Greg Bishop. The tournament and club meetings are open to the public. They meet Tuesdays from 6 to 8 p.m. -- on Dec. 1, 8 and 15 in the UBC Okanagan Arts building ART 114. Beginning Jan. 5 the club meetings move to ART 102.

[to top]

Cycling from Sweden to Denmark are, from left, UBC Okanagan student Brody Granger, Dawit Hailu (Ethiopia), Nausherwan Ghaffar (Pakistan), Phillipe Rother (Germany), Christian Williams (New Zealand).

UBC Okanagan student cycles 800 km to
Copenhagen for climate change

Brody Granger, a 19-year-old UBC Okanagan student on an exchange program in Sweden, set out Tuesday morning on an 800-km bike trek from Uppsala, Sweden, to Copenhagen for COP 15, the United Nations Climate Change Conference. As part of the Peddling Against Climate Change Coalition, a culturally diverse group of passionate individuals will make the journey to communicate their vision of bottom-up pressure on leaders to recognize human impact on the planet.

"When approached with the idea of cycling to Copenhagen for COP15, I knew immediately it was something I wanted to be part of," says Granger. "I have a background in cycling and this trip will be a fun way to use it to make a statement."

Granger hopes bicycle-use for transportation grows worldwide. For information, visit

[to top]

UBC Okanagan professor helps wineries go greener
Plan in place for Okanagan wine industry to reuse bottles

Ian Stuart, professor of supply chain management with the Faculty of Management, is working with the Okanagan Valley's wine industry to design and implement a business plan that reduces wineries' carbon footprint and saves them money by reusing wine bottles in the Valley.

"Right now the wine bottles we as consumers take back and get a dime for - they actually get smashed up and broken into pieces," says Stuart. "Some of them get used as landfill, some of them get shipped down to glass manufacturers where they get crushed further and made into new bottles - meaning there's still a lot of energy being consumed throughout that recycling process."

[to top]

Relationships in the early, middle and later stages
This one-hour session focuses on three different stages of relationships. During this session, participants will explore ways to overcome various challenges that arise in these different stages. Tools and techniques to build and improve relationships will be provided.

Date: Thursday, Dec. 10
Time: 12 noon to 1 p.m.
Location: University Centre building, room UNC334

This workshop is open to all faculty and staff but online pre-registration is required. For more information contact Jeff Zeitz, Workplace Health and Sustainability advisor, at 78183.

[to top]

December 2, 2009

Memorial Vigil for the Montreal Massacre organized for today
Today in the courtyard, UBC Okanagan is taking the time to commemorate the 14 young women who were brutally murdered on Dec. 6, 1989, at L'Ecole Polytechnique in Montreal.

The memorial will be held in the courtyard from 2 to 3 p.m. and will feature discussions from the members of the campus community and the Elizabeth Fry Society about the meaning behind the vigil, what UBC Okanagan is doing to prevent violence against women on campus, and ways the campus community can help eliminate violence.

There will also be a candle-lighting ceremony and a laying of 14 flowers in tribute to each of the young women murdered.

For more information please contact Student Events Coordinator Chelsea Butchart at 79820.

[to top]

Time to Say Thank You
UBC Okanagan's United Way Campaign Wraps Up

Very soon, the campus drive to support the United Way and its many worthwhile causes will come to a close. Faculty and staff, who haven't done so already, are reminded to submit their pledge forms.

UBC Okanagan's United Way committee and its 2009 chair, Sharon McCoubrey, extend a sincere thank you to everyone who supported the campaign. Most recently, kudos are in order for all who participated in the bake sale and silent auction on Nov. 18. This year's event exceeded its target, bringing in over $3,000.

The campus community is invited to join in a celebration of shared effort at the official campaign wrap-up. UBC Okanagan Provost Alaa Abd-El-Aziz will announce the amount raised in this year's campaign. Cookies and mulled cider will be served along with a special performance from the Aberdeen Hall choir.

Date: Thursday, Dec. 3
Time: 12 noon to 1 p.m.
Location: Student Service Centre building foyer

[to top]

Light bulb exchange on Dec. 3 helping UBC Okanagan students lower carbon emissions
In the midst of changing climate and shorter ski seasons, students at UBC Okanagan have taken climate action into their own hands by providing compact fluorescent light bulbs to the campus community tomorrow.

The light bulb exchange is part of the Varsity Outdoor Club's zero-footprint ski trip that took place on the weekend of Nov. 21 and 22.

Date: Thursday, Dec. 3
Time: 12 noon to 1 p.m.
Location: University Centre building

For more information on the light bulb exchange contact Mallory Hewlko, goBeyond campus coordinator, at 78182.

[to top]

Olympic Winter Carnival organized for Friday
To get into the spirit of the 2010 Winter Games, the annual Winter Carnival will mimic an authentic Olympic village in the campus courtyard on Friday.

The campus courtyard will host broom ball, a biathlon race, an obstacle course, hockey accuracy challenges, as well as a tasty maple syrup sugar-shack, s'mores, hot apple cider and hot chocolate. Prize draws during the carnival will give particpants many opportunities to win.

An outdoor ball hockey tournament will also be located at the outdoor basketball courts near the Gymnasium from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Tournament entry is limited and online pre-registration is required -- go to the Campus Recreation website.

Date: Friday, Dec. 4
Time: 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Location: Campus Courtyard

For more information contact Student Events Coordinator Chelsea Butchart at 79820.

[to top]

What's Happening at UBC Okanagan
The UBC Okanagan events calendar is the central point for online information about university-related events, on and off campus. Visit this page often for information about interesting speakers, people doing things on campus, or groups recognizing a national day of celebration or social action.

Events at a Glance:

For a full listing visit the UBC Okanagan events calendar.

[to top]

EventsUBCO.TV spotlight
The campus community's people, achievements and events are constantly being showcased on UBCO.TV. Check out what's new:

[to top]

Exchange your information
The Exchange is your newsletter. Let everyone know what's going on in your corner of UBC Okanagan.

Send submissions to Alumni and University relations c/o Chris Guenard.

Publication Date

Submission Deadline

December 16 December 11 (Friday)
January 6 January 4 (Monday)
January 20 January 15 (Friday)

View previous editions of The Exchange

[to top]