newsQuintana Roo University archaeology professor Guillerno Ramirez gives the UBC Spanish Summer Field School an insight into ancient Mayan culture at the ruins in Kohunlich. On April 14, this sun aligns this fork-shaped stone to another stone on the opposite end of the plaza.
Quintana Roo University archaeology professor Guillerno Ramirez gives the UBC Spanish Summer Field School an insight into ancient Mayan culture at the ruins in Kohunlich. On April 14, this sun aligns this fork-shaped stone to another stone on the opposite end of the plaza.

UBC students see the real Mexico

Trip provides many valuable lessons in the differences in lifestyle, education

A new Spanish Summer Field School has not only helped students build their capacity in Spanish, but showcased a side of Mexico not found in traditional tour guides.

The three-week excursion, in partnership with Quintana Roo University (QRU), provided an extraordinary experience as Canadian students toured historic ruins guided by an archaeology professor, visited a manatee enclosure closed to the general public and received a true taste of rural Mayan lifestyle.

UBC student Cory Cheyne says the group's hosts from QRU went beyond the call of duty in making sure their field school experience had a value-added component.

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New flushing program set to improve water quality but requires boil water notice for May long weekend

Water main flushing to require boil water notice
Aug. 25 to 27

Next week, Facilities Management will continue its unidirectional water main flushing program. The program helps improve the Okanagan campus' water quality, reduce bacterial growth, improve colour and turbidity, and control corrosion.

During the unidirectional flush there is potential for increased turbidity in the water lines, so as a precautionary measure the Okanagan campus will be on a self-imposed Boil Water Notice from August 25 to 27.

Health, Safety and Environment will conduct water quality tests during and after the flushing to confirm water quality has improved and the notice can be lifted.

All water intended for drinking, washing produce, making beverages or brushing teeth should be boiled for at least one minute before use. Drinking water is available from the filtered water kiosks in various buildings across campus.

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7th annual Faculty and Staff barbecue
Deputy Vice Chancellor's Town Hall meeting

Academics from UBC's Okanagan campus receive national research grants

Diverse projects examine customer attitudes and social services responses

Professors from UBC's Okanagan campus have received awards to pursue their research, in the latest round of grants announced by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC).

Nancy Holmes, Arjun Bhardwaj and Susan Wells have received a total of $295,640 in financial support from the SSHRC.

"UBC's Okanagan faculty members are among the top researchers in Canada," says Wesley Pue, Provost and Vice Principal of UBC's Okanagan campus. "These awards, granted through a highly competitive national adjudication, acknowledge the accomplishments, depth of inquiry and dedication of our faculty members. Just as important, it is recognition that all Canadians benefit from their research."

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Open portrait photo session organized for Sept. 1

Open portrait photo session organized for Sept. 1

Need a better portrait for a UBC website or brochure? Faculty and staff can look their professional best by taking advantage of University Relations' open photo session on September 1.

The photo session is organized in 15 minute blocks of time in the Aboriginal Centre. Each portrait will take no longer than 1 to 2 minutes.

Space is limited. RSVP online and have a quick portrait taken:

12 noon to
12:15 p.m.

12:15 to
12:30 p.m.

12:30 to
12:45 p.m.

12:45 to 1 p.m.

1 to 1:15 p.m.

1:15 to
1:30 p.m.

1:30 to
1:45 p.m.

1:45 to
2 p.m.

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Emma Talbott is embarking on a thesis that will identify the rate of student retention in the Valley.
Emma Talbott is embarking on a thesis that will identify the rate of student retention in the Valley.

Where are all the UBC graduates going?

Study underway to see how many remain in the Okanagan

While it is no secret that the Okanagan is a magnet for retirees, an unexplored issue is where the future lies for the younger generation, particularly university graduates. Do they stay after finishing their post-secondary schooling? Can they find work related to their studies? How many graduate and move on to seek employment?

These are a few of the questions Emma Talbott hopes to answer. The graduate student, who is pursuing a Master's degree in interdisciplinary graduate studies, is embarking on a thesis that will identify the rate of student retention in the Valley.

"‘When I graduate, I have to leave the city,' is what a lot of (my classmates) tell me," Talbott says. "I want to find out if they actually left. I suspect more people are sticking around, but not necessarily in their field of education."

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Campus Security issues fire safety reminder

With the onset of hot, dry summer weather, the fire danger rating for the Okanagan region has been elevated to high and Campus Security would like to remind the campus community to be extra vigilant with any flammable materials.

The Kelowna Fire Department has attended to several calls to campus this year after receiving reports of smouldering mulch and unattended campfires. A small brush fire also broke out at The Quail golf course on August 6, near the border to campus.

With the close-knit urban-wildland interface on this campus, fires often start as small accidental ignitions. Campus Security reminds everyone that there should be no campfires anywhere on campus.

Fire can quickly spread to surrounding grasslands, forests, and even buildings. Smoking should be confined to designated areas with appropriate disposal. The landscaped mulch beds near the student residence buildings and throughout campus are also extremely vulnerable to catching fire.

If you see smoke where it shouldn't be, call 911 and also report it to Campus Security at 250-807-8111 or local 78111.

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Community Day still has room to grow

With Community Day rapidly approaching, organizers are letting potential faculty, staff, and student participants know that there is still room for engaging hands-on activities and captivating demonstrations.

The reception to Community Day has been fantasic so far, with a variety of activities already organized.

This day is an opportunity to invite friends, families, neighbours and partners of the campus community to explore and learn about the wonderful initiatives taking place on campus. Everyone is invited. Lunch and refreshments are complimentary.

Community Day is on September 24 from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Those interested can find out more via Facebook or the web.

For any faculty, staff, and students who wish to coordinate an activity for the day, visit the Event Participation Form. The deadline for participation signup is Tuesday, Aug. 23.

To find out more, contact Rhys Mahannah, Community Engagement Assistant, or Suann Brown, Community Day event lead.

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peopleChief Librarian Melody Burton

Burton named UBC Deputy University Librarian

Melody Burton, Chief Librarian at UBC's Okanagan campus since 2005, has been appointed Deputy University Librarian for the UBC Library system. Burton will assume the new role starting September 1, for an initial term of one year. Burton will divide her time between the two campuses. When in Vancouver, she will oversee the collective work the UBC Library is doing to implement the Library Strategic Plan and measure the UBC Library's impact in the community.

"Melody brings a wealth of experience and knowledge to her new role," says University Librarian Ingrid Parent, who is responsible for UBC's overall library system.

"Additionally, Melody's appointment to this position provides a timely opportunity for UBC's Okanagan and Vancouver campuses to work together and strengthen our roles within the university and beyond."

In May, Burton received the Canadian Library Association's highest honour, the Miles Blackwell Outstanding Academic Librarian Award.

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Mathew Morazain, Culinary Director for ARAMARK’s Food Services at UBC’s Okanagan Campus
Mathew Morazain, Culinary Director

Mathew Morazain wins silver at 2011 American Culinary Federation competition

Mathew Morazain, Culinary Director for ARAMARK's Food Services at UBC's Okanagan Campus, was part of the team that brought home the silver medal in the 2011 ARAMARK Culinary Excellence competition held in Tampa, Florida, in July.

More than 150 chefs from colleges, universities and conference centers across North America competed in the competition, and the Canadian Region team won the Silver Medal from the American Culinary Federation (ACF), the largest professional chefs association in North America.

The Canadian Region team consisted of UBC's own Mathew Morazain, Daniel Poulin from McGill University and Jean-Francois Gnemmi from Kings College.

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research spotlight

Steve Mairs
Steve Mairs

UBC undergrad gets rare opportunity to log time on international telescope

Young astronomer researching the formation of new stars, connections to the universe

Steve Mairs will boldly go where few undergrads have gone before. The third-year physics and astronomy student leaves for Hawaii early next month for two weeks of study at the James Clerk Maxwell Telescope in Mauna Kea, Hawaii.

Mairs' research at the renowned telescope supports his honours thesis of how giant molecular clouds collapse to form stars.

"We're fairly sure we know the life cycle of a star -- how it lives and breathes," says Mairs, 20, who is from Kelowna. "But there are a lot of questions about the time between, such as when a star dies and when a new star will form."

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Fall Teaching Expo now underway

The Centre for Teaching and Learning's annual Fall Teaching Expo is underway and organizers are hard at work coordinating the Okanagan campus' biggest professional development series for faculty members.

The expo -- being held until September 3 -- will feature a mix of teaching with technology sessions and general interest sessions that focuses on teaching practices for post-secondary education. Sessions include:

Aug. 25
Simulations in the classroom: the nursing experience

Aug. 25
Open education resources

Aug. 26
PowerPoint pedagogy

Aug. 29
Centre for Teaching and Learning open house

Aug. 30
Inclusive classrooms

Aug. 30
Large class strategies

Aug. 31
WebCT Vista group manager and assignments

Aug. 31

Sept. 2
The common framework of reference for languages: a Western Canadian perspective

To find out more visit the Centre for Teaching and Learning website or contact Academic Development Manager Heather Hurren at 250-807-9288.

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SISC training session organized for Tuesday

A Student Information Service Centre (SISC) training session will be held next Tuesday for those who are new to the system or anyone needing a refresher.

SISC is an information system geared to faculty and staff who perform student-related administrative and advising roles on campus. This session will teach participants to use SISC to support registration and academic advising as well as provide an overview of registration screens, bulk section switching, sending emails, and searching the system. 

Date: Tuesday, Aug. 23
Time: 1:30 to 3 p.m.
Location: Fipke centre building, room FIP133

To register for one of these training sessions, or find out more, contact Diane Dyrdal. Seating is limited so register early. Participants will need to bring Novel and CWL username and passwords.

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DATE (discussions about teaching excellence) looks at living up to expectations

The Centre for Teaching and Learning's teaching excellence discussion series restarts for a new academic year on August 31 with guest Joyce Boon, associate professor of biology and co-recipient of this year's Teaching Excellence and Innovation Award.

The discussion will focus on teaching philosophy, practical ideas for success, how excellence in teaching promotes excellence in students and how sharing ideas is critical to success.

Date: Wednesday, Aug. 31
Time: 12 noon to 12:50 p.m.
Location: Library building, room LIB306

To register or find out more about this discussion visit the Centre for Teaching and Learning website.

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Upcoming copyright info sessions

Copyright compliance for professors

This information session will provide participants with practical solutions for delivering course materials in WebCT Vista while adhering to legal obligations. This overview of the current copyright landscape will include a discussion of Canadian Copyright Law, Access Copyright and library license agreements. This will be followed by step-by-step instructions for various options for delivering course materials.

Date: Thursday, Sept. 1
Time: 2 to 3 p.m.
Location: Library building, room LIB305

Learning Services Librarians Barbara Sobol and Robert Janke will be leading this session.


These supplemental sessions organized by the Centre for Teaching and Learning will feature Janine Hirtz, e-Learning Instructional Support Specialist, discussing the new UBC copyright and fair dealing guidelines.

Date: Friday, Aug. 19
Time: 11 a.m. to 12 noon
Location: Library building, room LIB111

Date: Wednesday, Aug. 24
Time: 2 to 3 p.m.
Location: Library building, room LIB111

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Continuing Studies expands daytime course offerings for faculty and staff

UBC employees have a good opportunity in the coming months to develop new skills or hone existing ones. Continuing Studies is increasing its daytime course offerings in the upcoming months and new courses such as Business Writing or Writing for the Web are on the calendar.

Continuing Studies also offers a huge selection of computer skills courses designed to help employees boost and fine-tune their skills with the Microsoft Office suite and Adobe Acrobat.

Most employee groups can apply tuition waiver benefits to reimburse or offset the cost of most Continuing Studies courses. Visit the UBC HR Benefits website for more detailed information on particular tuition benefits for your employee group.

To find out more about the upcoming courses being offered visit the Continuing Studies website.

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August 17, 2011


UBC students see the real Mexico
Water main flushing to require boil water notice Aug. 25 to 27
Annual DVC townhall and faculty and staff barbecue set for Sept. 1
Academics from UBC's Okanagan campus receive national research grants
Open portrait photo session organized for Sept. 1
Where are all the UBC graduates going?
Campus Security issues fire safety reminder
Community Day still has room to grow


Burton named UBC Deputy University Librarian
Mathew Morazain wins silver at 2011 American Culinary Federation competition

Research Spotlight

UBC undergrad gets rare opportunity to log time on international telescope


Don't stay in your office for coffee this Friday

Sponsored by the Finance department, all faculty and staff are invited for coffee on Friday, Aug. 19, for Pitstop.

Coffee, tea and a variety of pastries will be served for only $2 per person.

Date: Friday, Aug. 19
Time: 9:30 to 10:30 a.m.
Location: Arts building atrium

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Weighing in: current scientific evidence and community perspectives on obesity

This half-day UBC symposium will showcase current research initiatives to reduce adult obesity, advances and challenges related to improving healthy living with obesity and look at capacity building for collaborative community-based research on obesity.

The symposium gives the community, health professionals, educators, fitness trainers, recreational program leaders, students, and researchers an opportunity to learn more about these topics.

Date: Friday, Sept. 30
8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.
Location: Clinical Academic campus lecture theatre -- main floor, 2312 Pandosy St., Kelowna

There is no charge for this symposium, but registration is required by Tuesday, Sept. 27. To download the registration form, or find out more, visit the Institute for Healthy Living and Chronic Disease Prevention website.

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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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Exchange your information

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

Send submissions to University Relations c/o Chris Guenard.

Publication Date

Submission Deadline

September 7 September 2
September 21 September 16
October 5 September 30

View previous editions of The Exchange