World Water Day

Bring Water to Share at World Water Day Opening Ceremony at UBC Okanagan
A few drops will do. A First Nations Gathering-of-Waters ceremony is planned for World Water Day opening ceremonies Mar. 25 at UBC Okanagan, and the public is invited to get involved by bringing small samples of water.
"We are asking everyone to bring a vial of water to contribute," says Dr. John Wagner, Assistant Professor of Anthropology and faculty chair for a week of World Water Day activities at UBC Okanagan. "A few drops of water is all they need -- from whatever source is meaningful to them. It could be from their house, a creek, or the lake, or any source they have a personal connection with."
The Gathering-of-Waters ceremony will be under the direction of Syilx (Okanagan) Knowledge Keepers who will speak on their perspectives of water and the significance of this public ceremonial "gathering" of water.  Once the gathered water has been pooled in a single container, the Knowledge Keepers will be taking the water away to complete the blessing of the gathered water with elders.    
The Gathering-of-Waters ceremony is just one featured part of opening ceremonies from 12:30 to 2 p.m. on Mar. 25 in the UBC Okanagan campus courtyard.

For more information about all World Water Day events visit the website.


FEF logo

Okanagan's Education and Industry Sectors Taking Action on Fuelling Tomorrow's Economy

The workforce of tomorrow will need a lot more people trained in engineering and sciences, and the Okanagan's K-PhD educational institutions and industry are taking on the challenge. To avert a looming skills shortage, they're encouraging more students to pursue their interests in science and technology.

The first-ever Engineering, Science and Technology Education Symposium is planned for Penticton this October, bringing together educators, employers, and students from B.C., Canada, and around the world. The Symposium is organized by UBC Okanagan, Okanagan College, School District 23 (Central Okanagan), the Okanagan Science and Technology Council (OSTEC), the Okanagan Research and Innovation Centre (ORIC), and the Central Okanagan Economic Development Commission.

"The future of our community, province, and nation depends on innovation-led economic growth fuelled by a strong science and engineering workforce," says Dick Fletcher, Chair of the symposium steering committee, a professional engineer, and partner with Urban Systems Ltd.


IsaacsonDean Isaacson to Step Down After 11 Years
Dr. Michael Isaacson, Dean of the Faculty of Applied Science at UBC since 1997, announced his intention to end his term effective June 30, 2008. He will step down after 16 years of continuous administrative service -- 11 as Dean of Applied Science and five as Head of the Department of Civil Engineering. Isaacson plans an administrative leave following his term and will continue as Professor of Civil Engineering at UBC. The university has initiated a search for his successor.

"Michael Isaacson has made enormous contributions to the University of British Columbia, both through his service as Dean and throughout his 30-year career at UBC," says UBC President Stephen Toope. "In particular, the growth of Applied Science -- its increased stature, program expansion, quality of education and strength in research -- as well as Dean Isaacson's ability to lead an ambitious building program to support these developments, have been truly remarkable. He has been a visionary leader and a tireless champion for Applied Science and UBC. We are most grateful for his service."


Chancelllor vote

Don't Forget to Vote for UBC's Next Chancellor
All faculty and alumni are invited to vote to decide who will serve as UBC's next Chancellor. The Chancellor is the ceremonial head of the university and chair of the convocation. He or she confers all degrees, and serves as a member of UBC's Board of Governors, Council, and Senate.

Traditionally, the UBC Alumni Association nominates a candidate for the position of Chancellor. This time, the Alumni Association has chosen Ms. Sarah Morgan-Silvester, BCom'82. Also standing for Chancellor is Dr. Bikkar S. Lalli, PhD'66, who has been a convocation senator since 1999.

Learn more about the candidates:

Faculty and alumni are eligible to vote online until Friday, April 11.

Volunteers Needed for Grad Gala on March 29
As has been the case for the last 13 years, the Grad Gala Dinner & Dance (aka the Grad Extravaganza) is planned for end-of-term 2008. 

The Grad Gala is a tribute to each graduating class -- a tremendously popular annual event that gives students a safe place to mark their time at UBC Okanagan with a celebration they will remember for years to come. Like last year, this is a semi-formal event open to everyone at UBC Okanagan, featuring live entertainment from the amazing performance artists, Ache Brasil.  

Faculty and staff volunteers are needed. To keep ticket prices affordable for students, event organizers are looking for volunteers to help decorate, sell liquor tickets, check coats, bus tables, clean up or be a designated driver. It is a definite highlight for students to be waited on by UBC Okanagan executive, faculty and staff. Better yet, it's a lot of fun. 

Date: Saturday, March 29
Time: Cocktails -- 6:30 to 7:30 p.m.; Dinner -- 7:30 to 8:30 p.m.; Dancing -- 8:30 p.m. to 1 a.m.
Location: Sun Room, Student Service Centre
Tickets: $20

To volunteer for this event contact Brenda Tournier, Manager of Alumni & Community Relations, at 78167.

health symposium
Smart food choices for lunch, engaging speakers and lots of information drew healthy crowds for the Feb. 19 Health Symposium. A variety of video highlights can now be viewed on UBCO.TV Channel 8.

February Health Symposium Videos and Materials Now Online

The Feb. 19 UBC Okanagan Health Symposium drew big crowds, but even if you didn't get a chance to hear the keynote speakers or attend one of the many workshops and breakout sessions, you can still learn and discover by visiting the Symposium website.

The Health Symposium website now features:

Want to watch video from the Symposium? Event highlights now online at UBCO.TV (Channel 8, Events and Seminars) include:

  • Opening remarks with Doug Owram, Jackie Podger and Leanne Bilodeau -- with special guest Kelowna Mayor Sharon Shepherd and emcee Mike Roberts
  • Opening keynote by Dr. Martin Collis -- Healing, Humor and High Level Wellness: The M.E.L.L.O.W. Approach
  • A breakout session by Rhonda Victoor  -- From overwhelmed to empowered: leading my career, leading my community

As DVC Doug Owram acknowledged at the Health Symposium, the one-day event was "just one step in a much larger initiative for UBC Okanagan. Creating a healthy workplace is a matter of high priority for us."

March Okanagan Senate Highlights
Important items are regularly being passed by the Okanagan Senate. To better inform the campus community, highlights of these items will be posted on the Okanagan Senate website following each scheduled meeting.

Okanagan Senate Meeting Highlights: March 12

From the Faculty of Arts and Sciences

  • A 60 per cent Graduating Grade Average (GGA) for the BA in the Faculty of Arts and Sciences was approved.
  • Program revisions to the Major in Freshwater Science, and BSc Major in Psychology were approved.
  • New courses were approved -- EESC 101: Environmental Science; EESC 309: Global Biogeochemistry; ANTH 354: Ethnography of the Metis

From the Faculty of Creative and Critical Studies

  • A 60 per cent Graduating Grade Average (GGA) for the BA in the Faculty of Creative and Critical Studies was approved
  • Master of Arts in English, and associated new courses were approved.
  • 11 new Theatre courses were approved.
  • Program revisions to the Art History Major were approved.

From the Faculty of Health and Social Development

  • A 60 per cent Graduating Grade Average (GGA) for the BA in Health Studies in the Faculty of Health and Social Development was approved.
  • A Minor in Aging, Health and Society was approved -- HEAL 496: Topics in Aging and Health


  • Awards totalling $2,000 approved (first award available for the 2007/08 winter session)
  • Extension of the TREK Scholarship for International Student Initiative (ISI) Students was approved.

British Columbia Provincial Examinations as Admissions Requirements
The Okanagan Senate voted to approve the proposal to remove provincial examinations as admissions requirements, effective September 2009.

Student Engagement at UBC Okanagan
Information and results about the National Survey on Student Engagement (NSSE) related to UBC Okanagan are now available on the Centre for Teaching and Learning website. These results are an extension of the ongoing Student Engagement discussion at UBC Okanagan, along with the Centre for Teaching and Learning's annual Student Engagement Workshop which took place on Feb. 18 this year. 

For additional information, resources and practical suggestions visit the Centre for Teaching and Learning's website on student engagement.

Exchange Your Information
The Exchange is your newsletter. Let everyone know what's going on in your corner of UBC Okanagan. Send submissions to Public Affairs c/o Chris Guenard.

Publication Date Submission Deadline
April 2 March 28 (Friday)
April 16 April 11 (Friday)
May 7 May 2 (Friday)

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March 19, 2008

(photo by Jay Thompson)

Rebecca Belmore to Visit UBC Okanagan as Distinguished Indigenous Artist in Residence

Rebecca Belmore, one of Canada's leading performance and installation artists, is visiting UBC Okanagan from March 17 to 21 to share her expertise and experiences with art students.

An Indigenous performance and multimedia artist currently based in Vancouver, Belmore has been selected for the first-ever UBC Okanagan Distinguished Indigenous Artist in Residence Program, which saw her spend a week at UBC in Vancouver, followed by a one-week residency at UBC Okanagan.


Week of Events at UBC Okanagan Seeks to Expose Racism and Privilege

Students and faculty at UBC Okanagan are throwing open the shutters on racism with a week of events on the university campus to expose racism and privilege on campus and in the Kelowna community.

Activities are taking place in the campus courtyard from March 17 to 20, leading up to Friday, March 21 -- International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination.



The Lake: A Reading Series
Features Three Okanagan Writers Mar. 26

Three Okanagan writers are the next featured readers in The Lake: A Reading Series, presented by UBC Okanagan. Valerie Stenson, Jake Kennedy and Jason Dewintez will team up for the final literary evening of the academic year on Wednesday, March 26, 7 p.m. at the downtown Kelowna branch of the Okanagan Regional Library, 1380 Ellis St.
"We're pleased to showcase these exciting young writers, and we think this event is a great way to end a stellar season of readings," says Nancy Holmes, Associate Professor in Creative Writing. "The Faculty of Creative and Critical Studies has brought so many important and fascinating writers to Kelowna this year, we wanted a night of home-grown talent to top it off."
Sponsored by UBC Okanagan's Faculty of Creative and Critical Studies, The Lake: A Reading Series brings Canadian authors to Kelowna and presents their readings free of charge to the public. The Okanagan Regional Library supports the series.


Margaret MacMillan
Professor of History, University of Toronto
Uses and Abuses of History

This is a presentation of the Economics, History, Philosophy, Political Science, and Sociology Unit of the Irving K. Barber School of Arts and Sciences.

Date: Friday, March 28
Time: 3 to 5 p.m.
Location: ART214

Pitstop Restarts on April 4
The campus community is invited for coffee on Friday, April 4, in the Arts Atrium to join the Human Resources department for Pitstop.

Former OUC employees will remember Pitstop as a chance to meet and visit with faculty and staff from other areas of the university over coffee or tea and pastries for only $2 per person.

Date: Friday, April 4
Time: 9:30 to 10:30 a.m.
Location: Arts Atrium

Aboriginal Student Graduation and Continuing Student Celebration
The Aboriginal Student Resource Centre and Aboriginal Programs & Services are pleased to announce the Third Annual UBC Okanagan Aboriginal Student Graduation and Continuing Student Celebration.

Date: Friday, April 11
Time: 5 p.m.
Location: Sun Room, Student Service Centre

For more information please contact, Bernie Marchand-Brown or call 78012.

Cut Up a Rug, Build Your Art Collection and Help Raise Money for the Doug Biden Scholarship Fund
Come out for a fun evening and support fine arts students. Dance to the sounds of The Best of 3 and bid on your favourite artwork. Your attendance will help build the Doug Biden Scholarship Fund. Silent Auction of works by UBC Okanagan Faculty. Preview artwork prior to dance from 1 to 5 p.m.

Doug Biden was a fine arts instructor at the former Okanagan University College and UBC Okanagan. He died in March 2007 after a courageous battle with pancreatic cancer. To ensure the memory of this passionate teacher and artist lives on, Doug's family has established a Scholarship Fund to benefit fine arts students within the Faculty of Creative and Critical Studies at UBC Okanagan.

Date: Saturday, April 12, 2008
Time: 7 p.m.
Location: Mission Community Hall, Kelowna
Tickets $20 each, available at the UBC Okanagan Creative Studies Department. Contact
or phone (250) 807-9761

Critical Thinking Community of Practice
Discuss strategies for implementing Critical Thinking into the classroom and review current literature pertaining to Critical Thinking.

Date: Friday, April 11
Time: 1 to 2:30 p.m.
Location: SSC044

Register for this workshop

Problem Based Learning Communiy of Practice
All participants will experience a Problem Based Learning activity and then debrief to allow for a rich discussion of how it may be adapted for classroom use. Faculty will be able to share their experiences as they experiment with and implement Problem Based Learning in their classrooms.

Date: Tuesday, April 15 
Time: 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Location: SSC044

Register for this workshop