On hand for UBC Okanagan's first Teaching Excellence and Innovation Award presentation were, from left, UBC Okanagan Deputy Vice Chancellor Doug Owram, Assoc. Vice President Learning Services Gwen Zilm, award-winner and Assoc. Prof. of Mathematics Blair Spearman, and Assoc. Vice President Academic and Research Alaa Abd-El-Aziz.

Math Professor Receives UBC Okanagan's First Teaching Excellence and Innovation Award
Blair Spearman, Assoc. Prof. of Mathematics, has been selected for the first-annual UBC Okanagan Award for Teaching Excellence and Innovation. Gwen Zilm, Associate Vice President Learning Services, spearheaded the creation of the award, which includes a $5,000 prize, to recognize outstanding teachers at UBC Okanagan, as nominated by students, alumni and faculty colleagues.

"This is the most important award we give out," says Doug Owram, Deputy Vice Chancellor, noting the importance of teaching in creating an outstanding experience for students at UBC Okanagan. "We see the undergraduate experience as a core part of what this campus is all about -- it is something more than earning credit for understanding a body of knowledge. We are fortunate in that we have such excellent teachers."


Hofmann Takes First Prize in Okanagan Short Fiction Contest
Karen Hofmann, an English instructor at Thompson Rivers University in Kamloops, has won first prize in the 2007 Okanagan Short Fiction Contest for her short story, "The Canoe."

Hofmann's story won in a field of 151 entries from throughout the Southern Interior. Second prize goes to Leah Todd of Kelowna for her story "Cedarwood Apartments," and third prize goes to UBC Okanagan student Hugh Anderson of Kelowna, for his story "Trick or Treat."

The annual contest, sponsored by UBC Okanagan, Okanagan College and the Central Okanagan Foundation, expanded beyond the Okanagan this year to include all areas west of the Alberta border, south of William's Lake, east of Hope and north of the U.S. border.


From left: UBC Okanagan Deputy Vice Chancellor Doug Owram joined Sun-Rype's CEO Eric Sorensen and Board Chair Merv Geen in announcing Sun-Rype's scholarship endowment.

Sun-Rype Creates $125,000 Endowment for UBC Okanagan Scholarships
Sun-Rype Products Ltd. has donated $125,000 to UBC Okanagan to establish the Sun-Rype Founders' Scholarship Endowment Fund.

"We are extremely pleased to establish this scholarship endowment at UBC Okanagan," says Eric Sorensen, Sun-Rype's President and CEO. "Sun-Rype has been a vital part of the Okanagan for 60 years. As we celebrate this milestone, we recognize the dedication and hard work of Sun-Rype's founders by investing in the future of our community. These scholarships will support the post-secondary ambitions of top students from throughout the Okanagan."

Every year, the Sun-Rype Founders' Scholarship Fund will provide three scholarships of $2,000 each. The awards will be made to students from the Okanagan region, selected on the basis of academic merit, who are entering their first year of study in the Irving K. Barber School of Arts and Sciences or the Faculty of Management at UBC Okanagan.


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Nursing Grad Brings First Nations Sensitivity to Her Role
"Growing up, my parents taught me the importance of learning the values and teachings of my people's traditional way of life," says nursing student Viola Rose Brown. "As a result, I am now very active in my First Nations culture and it is a part of my everyday life."

In June, Brown will graduate with a Bachelor of Science in Nursing.

"My involvement in my culture turned into a drive for me to go into the nursing profession. I want to be able to give back to my people and to assist them in improving their quality of living," she says.

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May 16, 2007

A rugged canyon in Australia is home to the world's last remaining wild Wollemi Pines.

"Living Fossil" to be Found at Annual Environmental Expo
The Irving K. Barber School of Arts and Sciences will be representing UBC Okanagan at the eighth-annual Mayor's Environmental Expo at Mission Creek Regional Park, May 24 to 26.

The interactive display organized by the Barber School will focus on the Wollemi Pine Research Project conducted by Assist. Prof. Susan Murch, Canada Research Chair in Natural Products Chemistry.

The Wollemi Pine grew throughout Australia during the Jurassic and Cretaceous Periods. It outlasted the dinosaurs, and endured 17 ice-ages as well as a variety of other climatic catastrophes. Murch and her team are investigating the chemistry of this unique species -- looking for clues to help understand why so few Wollemi Pines survived into modern times, and how this living fossil is adapting to its changing environment.

The Mayor's Environmental Expo is a showcase of business, corporate, government and non-profit environmental initiatives in the central Okanagan. Approximately 50 interactive displays and activities are expected. Every year over 2,500 people attend this free fun environmental event.

Date and Time: Thursday and Friday, May 24 and 25, 9 a.m. to 2 p.m., or Saturday, May 26, 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Location: Mission Creek Regional Park

Call for Graduation Volunteers
The Ceremonies Office is looking for volunteers to help make the UBC Okanagan Congregation Ceremonies a memorable occasion for our graduates and their families. Both faculty and staff members will be needed in various roles.

Graduation is on Friday, June 8. More details

Volunteers are needed in the following capacities:
Ushers -- hand out programs and direct guests to their seats. This is a very important role and we will need a lot of volunteers to help out.

- Marshals -- lead both the student and faculty processions. Traditionally marshals have come from the faculty members but staff are welcome to participate.

- Golf Cart Drivers -- drive VIP guests with special needs to and from the gym and Student Services Centre in a 6-seater golf cart.

Interested volunteers can e-mail Erin Podmorow or call 79258 by Friday, May 25. Depending on your schedule, you can volunteer for one or both ceremonies.

Volunteer Information Session
Tuesday, June 5
Time: 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Location: Library Room 305 (lunch provided)

Dress Rehearsal for Volunteers
Thursday, June 7
Time: 4 to 4:30 p.m.
Location: Gymnasium

Smart Forms Training
UBC Okanagan Finance is pleased to offer SMART FORMS training. Smart Forms are web-based requisition forms that replace paper-based requisition forms (Q-Requisitions and Travel Requisitions). This session is limited to 12 participants -- register early.

To Register: Gabriel Gock, Accounts Payable. Be sure to include your CWL login ID.
Date: Wednesday, May 23
Time: 9 a.m. to 12 noon
Location: FIN 142

WHMIS & Basic Chemical Safety Summer Worksafe Course
Participants will learn elements of the legislation to be compliant with the Workplace Hazardous Materials Information System. They will also be instructed on the symbols for the different classes of chemicals and how to access the material safety data sheets in order to be protected while working.

The workshop will also focus on proper application of techniques and good acceptable practices associating with handling and storing chemicals.

This course is open to all students, staff and faculty who are working with chemicals.

Date: Friday, June 1
Time: 8:15 to 11:45 a.m.
Location: TBA
Fees: none, but pre-registration is required
To Register: please contact Dave Cavezza, HSE Associate.