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newsUBC graduate Shani Bishop

Historic firsts celebrated during Convocation

Among the historic events at last week's Convocation ceremonies were the conferral of Bachelor of Human Kinetics degrees for the first time, and the conferral of a PhD upon microbiologist Max Jones, whose doctoral degree is the first to be started and completed entirely at UBC's Okanagan campus.

During a record five Convocation ceremonies Thursday and Friday, 1,174 degrees were conferred. At Thursday's ceremonies, Kelowna businessman and community volunteer Brad Bennett accepted an honorary Doctor of Laws degree.

This is the first time Convocation ceremonies took place over two days at UBC's Okanagan campus, testament to the record number of graduates and growing enrolment.

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Wesley Pue
Wesley Pue

Wesley Pue appointed Provost of UBC's Okanagan campus

Renowned academic served in broad range of leadership roles

Wesley Pue, a distinguished scholar with a diverse background and a broad range of international academic and administrative experience, has been selected for the position of Provost and Vice Principal of the Okanagan campus following an extensive global search.

The UBC Board of Governors approved Pue's appointment for a five-year term effective July 1.

"We are pleased to welcome someone of Dr. Pue's caliber to this key position at our Okanagan campus," says Doug Owram, Deputy Vice-Chancellor and Principal. "Dr. Pue brings with him a wealth of knowledge, experience, international teaching and administrative skills, all of which will be of great benefit as we continue to guide our UBC campus into the future."

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Graduate student Ruth Brown won the prestigious Governor General‘s Gold Academic Medal with a 92-per-cent average
Graduate student Ruth Brown won the prestigious Governor General's Gold Academic Medal with a 92-per-cent average

Human Kinetics graduate wins prestigious award

Not only did Ruth Brown complete the Human Kinetics program for her master's degree ahead of schedule, she did it with an astounding 92 per cent average.

Brown finished the program in February and is the 2011 recipient of the prestigious Governor General's Gold Academic Medal. The medal is awarded each year to the student at UBC's Okanagan campus who achieves the highest academic standing at the graduate level. Since it was first awarded in 1873, this medal has become one of the most prestigious awards a student in a Canadian educational institution can receive.

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Barber School Psychology (Honours) undergraduate student Shirley Hutchinson is the winner of this year's Pushor Mitchell Gold Medal Leadership prize.
Barber School Psychology (Honours) undergraduate student Shirley Hutchinson is the winner of this year's Pushor Mitchell Gold Medal Leadership prize.

UBC student will use $10,000 prize to promote justice and compassion

UBC student Shirley Hutchinson is the winner of this year's Gold Medal Leadership prize. Pushor Mitchell LLP created the $10,000 award which is given annually to a top graduating student in the Irving K. Barber School of Arts and Sciences.

Hutchinson, who was born in Watson Lake, Yukon but calls Kelowna home, graduated last week with a BSc in Psychology (Honours) with a Forensic Specialization. She already has big plans for the award.

"I am starting my Master of Arts in the fall, and this prize will really help to cover the cost of my degree," says Hutchinson. "Over the next couple of years, I will investigate issues associated with the criminal justice system, and some of the prejudicial biases toward offenders I have seen as a result of some of my work in the community. I believe all people, including offenders, need to be treated with justice and compassion."

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Do the right thing and don't be afraid of risks

Honorary degree recipient Brad Bennett tells his story to UBC's Okanagan grads

Brad Bennett's passion for his province and his university drove him to achieve success as a business leader and community builder. Upon being conferred with an honorary Doctor of Laws degree on Thursday, Bennett said he accepts the recognition with a profound sense of humility.

"I know the passion of trying to do the right thing for the right reason," Bennett told graduates. "I want to leave you with an idea of how I set my own moral compass and what drives me to what I do in life."

Brad Bennett addresses graduates, officials and members of the audience after he received an honorary Doctor of Laws degree at the University of British Columbia Okanagan Campus convocation ceremony Thursday.
Brad Bennett addresses graduates, officials and members of the audience after he received an honorary Doctor of Laws degree
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Grad Class 2011 gift

With a legacy gift symbolic of lifelong ties, the Class of 2011 has added the newest in a series of commemorative stone tablets for the Okanagan campus.

Each year, a new tablet listing all of that year's graduating students is placed as a lasting tribute to each and every proud alumnus who once worked and played here.

The 2010 graduating class began the tradition with the dedication of a tablet bearing the names of the Class of 2009.

The Class of 2010 tablet's dedication took place June 9. Plaques for the Classes of 2010, 2009, 2008, 2007 and 2006 were on display, and will be permanently installed along a new walkway that will be constructed this year.

UBC graduate Shawna Hodgkinson looks at the 2010 plaque listing the names of all the graduates for that year. Plaques commemorating every grad class will be placed in walkways on campus.
UBC graduate Shawna Hodgkinson looks at the 2010 plaque listing all the graduates for that year. Plaques commemorating every grad class will be placed in walkways on campus.

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International flavour at UBC's Okanagan campus

This year, close to 500 international students are receiving their education in the Okanagan, and more than 50 graduate last week.

Teresa Flanagan, manager of International Programs and Services, said the number of graduates is close to last year's total and she anticipates that the number of graduating international students will increase each year.

"They are from 75 countries," said Flannigan. "They are really fascinating."

Karen Robles hails from Mexico and the honours student graduated from the Bachelor of Applied Science in Mechanical Engineering Class 1. Robles is also the first recipient of the International Leaders of Tomorrow Scholarship and plans to stay on campus to complete her graduate studies here.

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Education's unsung heroes help prepare tomorrow's teachers

More than 180 Central Okanagan teachers sponsor student teachers in the classroom

Over the past several months, more than 350 teachers in elementary and secondary schools throughout BC's Southern Interior -- including more than 180 Central Okanagan teachers -- have shared their classrooms with student teachers from the Faculty of Education.

Student teachers are required to have nine to 13 weeks of practical, in-class experience to obtain teaching certification. Sponsors have opened their classrooms to more than 250 student teachers in the Central Okanagan, North Okanagan-Shuswap, Vernon and Okanagan-Skaha districts, as well as schools in Rossland, 100 Mile House, Princeton, Kamloops, and as far afield as Sooke on Vancouver Island.

"It is in the schools, working with real students and experienced sponsor teachers, that our teacher candidates begin to bring to life education theory," notes Education professor and Undergraduate Programs Coordinator Carol Scarff. "It is in the classroom that they begin to develop that sense of practical wisdom and ethical know-how."

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Administration and Finance website

New Administration and Finance website looks at the human side of on-campus services

The Administration and Finance website has just been relaunched with a new focus on the faces behind this portfolio at UBC's Okanagan campus. A human face to a very service-based group, the new site features access to information about all key contacts in the AVP Administration and Finance portfolio.

The new site also serves as a showcase for the campus community's new buildings, facilities and ever-evolving presence.

The Campus and Space Management section shows a colourful and picturesque view of campus, with an increased focus on access to information about space planning and administration and a variety of other campus planning services.

To find out more visit: www.ubc.ca/okanagan/admin-finance

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Student presents True Blood paper at major conference

English honours undergraduate student Taylor Scanlon recently presented her conference paper at a joint session between ACCUTE (the Association of Canadian College and University Teachers of English) and the IGA (International Gothic Association).

Scanlon's paper, entitled Indefinite Monsters: Reading Lycanthropy as Grotesque in the HBO Television Series True Blood, examined how the figure of the werewolf in the series signifies the trope of the grotesque within a Critical Animal Studies context and signifies a breakdown between human and non-human.

As all ACCUTE papers are rigorously peer-reviewed, this is an impressive achievement for an undergraduate. Congratulations to Taylor.

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In the news...

Surely yes

In a recent letter to the editor, Adam Jones, associate professor of political science, writes to the Globe and Mail about genocide and whether Mao Zedong intended to destroy a national group.

"Most genocide scholars -- including myself -- consider Mao's actions (like Stalin's and Pol Pot's) to constitute the intentional, albeit partial, destruction of the national group or groups in question," he writes.

Read more on the Globe and Mail.

Are you the First Member of a New Species?

In Mindblogging, a series of essays in Psychology Today about cultural evolution and the creative processes that power it, psychology professor Liane Gabora posed a radical 'what if?' scenario on May 31 -- looking what it means to be the first member of a new species.

Gabora discusses the impact of mutations and what this means to the new species involved. She says, "people who are 'merely different' pale in comparison with the hardships encountered by someone who is the first member of a new species."

Read more on Psychology Today.

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peopleColin Richardson

New Geothermal Engineer looks to help build efficiencies throughout UBC's Okanagan campus

A warm welcome to Colin Richardson, UBC's newest Geothermal Engineer for the Okanagan campus. With a background in electrical and electronic engineering, Richardson joined UBC to help coordinate the development of the geo-exchange system as it is retrofitted to the original campus buildings, as well as help build efficiencies in the system as it continues to evolve.

Richardson will also help provide guidance and build efficiencies in a variety of energy-related systems on the Okanagan campus -- from new construction projects, to gathering data on energy use and emission trends and water-use on campus.

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Introducing the media team at UBC's Okanagan campus

Over the past few weeks, University Relations has welcomed Paul Marck, UBC's newest Media Relations Coordinator, and Darren Handschuh, who will work with the campus community until May 2012 while assistant communications coordinator Jody Jacob is away on maternity leave.

Paul Marck

Marck is an award-winning journalist who has worked as an editor and reporter at The Edmonton Journal, Vancouver Sun and Province, New Westminster Columbian and Kitchener-Waterloo Record. He comes to UBC from Alberta Venture magazine, Alberta's premier business periodical, where he was editor.

Contact Paul Marck at 250-807-9278 (paul.marck@ubc.ca)

Paul Marck

Darren Handschuh

Handschuh has a long and distinguished career as a journalist here in the Okanagan. With more than 20 years of experience with daily newspapers, his outstanding writing and photography will help tell the stories of UBC people, events and achievements.

Contact Darren Handschuh at 250-807-8463 (darren.handschuh@ubc.ca)

Darren Handschuh

After serving as the primary media contact on the Okanagan campus for the past six years, Bud Mortenson is now focusing on communications and marketing projects for various UBC departments and faculties. Joining him in this new service is Chris Bowerman, who recently joined University Relations as a communications and marketing strategist.


Chris Kraft was sporting a new look after Katie Cavanagh from Marvel College shaved his head during the Shave for the Cure event on June 7.

Hair surrendered for cancer fundraiser

Chris Kraft was sporting a new look on June 7, after Katie Cavanagh from Marvel College shaved his head during the Shave for the Cure event. Several employees lined up to have their heads buzzed in the name of cancer research.

The project was organized by HR Advisor Tena McKenzie and Bookstore Manager Ryan Hirowatari, and the unofficial total for the event topped $1,100.

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research spotlightProf. Hugo De Burgos was interested in how people talk about their illness.
Prof. Hugo De Burgos was interested in how people talk about their illness.

Prof. documents lead poisoning in El Salvador

A woman looks at the camera and says, "Only death awaits us here." She is a resident of Sitio del Niño, El Salvador, where thousands of tons of lead from a decade of industrial operations found their way into the community's water, food, soil and air.

The disastrous result of this poisoning is the subject of The Site of Lead, a new ethnographic documentary film by Dr. Hugo De Burgos at UBC's Okanagan campus.

De Burgos, who has a PhD in medical anthropology, created the 40-minute film to document Sitio del Niño's experience of lead contamination from a car battery factory operating in the community since 1997. Although the factory closed in 2007, residents are still struggling to remove more than 32,000 tons of lead slag and to decontaminate their natural environment and people.

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OKANAGAN CAMPUS
June 15, 2011

News

Historic firsts celebrated during Convocation
Wesley Pue appointed Provost of UBC's Okanagan campus
Human Kinetics graduate wins prestigious award
UBC student will use $10,000 prize to promote justice and compassion
Do the right thing and don't be afraid of risks
Grad Class 2011 gift
International flavour at UBC's Okanagan campus
Education's unsung heroes help prepare tomorrow's teachers
New Administration and Finance website looks at the human side of on-campus services
Student presents True Blood paper at major conference

People

New Geothermal Engineer looks to help build efficiencies
Introducing the media team
Hair surrendered for cancer fundraiser

Research Spotlight

Prof. documents lead poisoning in El Salvador

events

Biochemistry and Molecular Biology Seminar Series events in June

Two Biochemistry and Molecular Biology Seminar Series events are lined up on Thursday, June 23, as UBC graduate students present the latest findings of their research.

Zerihun Demissie, a UBC PhD candidate in biology, will be giving the presentation: From large scale transcriptome profiling to biological network discovery: current techniques used in model and non-model organisms.

After that, Brie Matier, master's student in biology, will be giving the presentation: Cloning and expression of insect organic cation transporters (orct and orct2) from the fruit fly.

Date: Thursday, June 23
Time: 12 noon to 1 p.m.
Location: Arts and Sciences building, room ASC140

These talks are free and open to the public.

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Investigating antibiotic resistance in isolated cave strains

Kirandeep Bhullar will be on campus on July 8 to present the latest findings of her research on microbe populations in the isolated Lechuguilla cave in Carlsbad Caverns National Park, New Mexico.

Bhullar is a master's student in biology at McMaster University's Michael G. DeGroote Institute for Infectious Disease Research.

Her talk, entitled Investigating Antibiotic Resistance in Isolated Cave Strains, will take place on July 8.

Date: Friday, July 8
Time: 10 a.m.
Location: Fipke centre building, room FIP124

This talk is free and open to everyone. Refreshments will be served.

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What's Happening on campus

The Okanagan campus events calendar is the central point for online information about university-related events, on and off campus.

Events at a Glance:

For a full listing visit the Okanagan campus events calendar.

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events

Finance lunch and learn session: Research and Trust Accounting

This is the fourth in a series of brown bag lunch sessions held by Finance for discussion and information exchange.

This month's session will provide an overview of Research and Trust Accounting's role in relation to Research Services, the University-Industry Liaison Office, the online PI Dashboard application, eligible and ineligible tri-council expenses and the applicable UBC policies.

This session is aimed at administrators, financial officers, unit heads and managers.

Date: Thursday, June 16
Time: 12 noon to 1 p.m.
Location: University Centre building, room UNC334

This is an open session and registration is not required. To find out more email finance.ubco@ubc.ca.

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