Summer Construction Update
A wide-variety of major construction projects are underway this summer at UBC Okanagan. Here is a brief update of the projects currently happening:

  • Opening this fall, the new Fipke Centre for Innovative Research adds 70,000 square feet of space and opens up new possibilities for teaching and research. The $32-million facility includes a computer lab, a 300-seat theatre, classrooms and lecture theatres, wet and dry labs and 65 faculty offices. The Fipke Centre is the first building to be completed as part of UBC Okanagan's campus master plan. It is also the first building to use the campus geoexchange groundwater energy system for heating and cooling -- a system that will eventually provide heating and cooling to every academic building on the campus.

  • Charles Fipke, the Kelowna geologist who donated $5 million to make the centre possible, has given an additional $2 million to equip a new mass spectroscopy lab that will expand the university's research capacity in geology, chemistry and other fields.

  • Currently under construction across University Way from the Library, the new University Centre will open next year. Among the new amenities in the University Centre are the Peter J. Meekison Student Centre and a wide variety of student services and social spaces.

  • Construction has started on new dorm-style student spaces next to the Kalamalka residences on The Mews area. Townhouse-style housing is also now being constructed across from the Monashee residence on University Way. These two new residence buildings will increase total student housing capacity on campus to approximately 1,400. 

Capilano Review dedicates entire issue to Sharon Thesen

Sharon Thesen, Assoc. Prof of Creative Writing, will have her work honoured in the next issue of the prestigious literary and visual arts magazine The Capilano Review. Aptly titled "The Sharon Thesen Issue," Thesen will have the entire issue dedicated to her poems, essays, memoirs and other work.

Thesen, who was based in Vancouver, B.C., before coming to UBC Okanagan in 2005, was editor of The Capilano Review from 2001 to 2005. This is not the first time her work has been paid tribute to — Thesen's work has been shortlisted for the Governor General's Literary Award three times. Her previous book of poetry, A Pair of Scissors (Anansi Press), won the Pat Lowther Memorial Award, and in 2002 she was a member of the jury for the prestigious Griffin Prize for Excellence in Poetry.

Sharon Thesen


Commerce Class

Members of UBC's Commerce Class of '58 held their 50th reunion at UBC's Okanagan campus in Kelowna from June 18 to 20. A total of 58 alumni and spouses, including recently retired Canadian Senator (and Okanagan resident) The Hon. Ross Fitzpatrick and wife Linda, toured the UBC Okanagan campus and enjoyed a luncheon hosted by UBC Okanagan and Deputy Vice Chancellor Doug Owram on June 19.

Mike Russello

The Irving K. Barber School of Arts and Sciences is pleased to announce that Assistant Professor Michael Russello is the new Acting Director of the Centre for Species at Risk and Habitat Studies (SARAHS). Russello joined the faculty at UBC Okanagan in 2006 from Yale University, where he served as a Postdoctoral Associate in the Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology. He has a PhD in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology and an Advanced Certificate in Environmental Policy from Columbia University.

Russello's research on the nature and genetic basis of adaptation has been a valuable addition to the multidisciplinary group of researchers at SARAHS and their efforts to predict how species at risk will respond to environmental change. His on-going research programs feature species of both local (Okanagan Lake kokanee and Great Basin spadefoots) and international conservation concern (Amazon parrots, Galápagos tortoises, Amur tigers, Lowland tapirs and Monk parakeets).  Russello's research also utilizes population genetic information to assess status, define conservation units, and guide management programs for species in the wild and captivity. 

Over the next year, Dr. Russello will lead an effort to raise the profile of SARAHS within the local and national community, increase financial support, develop graduate training opportunities, and expand the market for the fragment analysis and DNA sequencing services provided to researchers from around the world. Russello is stepping in for Associate Professor Daniel Durall, who is on a one-year study leave and will resume his position as Director of SARAHS when he returns.


Community and Continuing Studies welcomes new Program Leader
A warm campus community welcome to Elaine Crebo, new Program Leader for Community and Continuing Studies.  Her extensive international experience in writing, publishing and teaching, along with her commitment to life-long learning, make Elaine an ideal candidate to help explore and develop continuing studies programs at UBC Okanagan. 

Elaine CreboElaine's credentials include a Master's Degree in Applied Linguistics from the University of Hong Kong, a Master's Degree in International Labor Studies from the University of Sussex, with undergraduate studies from University of Regina and TESL qualifications from Okanagan University College.  Having recently returned to the Okanagan with her two children after eight years in Hong Kong, Elaine's Okanagan roots will help her successfully integrate into the campus community.

Elaine's office is located in the Community and Continuing Studies section of the Library building.  To recommend ideas for course offerings, please contact Elaine by e-mail or by calling 79981. 


July 16, 2008


Student art collection on display in Penticton Art Gallery until Sept. 7
Last Friday the Penticton Art Gallery had an opening reception for its latest exhibition — Students Collect: University of British Columbia Alma Mater Society Student Art Collection — featuring 32 works by artists from across Canada created between 1948 and 1968.

Student Art

This is the first time this collection has been seen as a collection outside of the UBC Vancouver Campus, and presents a rare opportunity to see these works displayed together. What makes this collection unique is that the works were chosen by UBC students for future students, and document the interests and concerns of the student body during a pivotal period of radical, social and societal change.

Some of the artists whose work is included in this exhibit are: Lawren Harris, E. J. Hughes, Molly Lamb Bobak, Jean-Paul Lemieux, Joe Plaskett, Jack Shadbolt, Gordon Smith, Takao Tanabe, Harold Town, A.Y. Jackson, Art McKay, Greg Curnoe, Roy Kiyooka, William Ronald, Iain Baxter, Yves Gaucher and Claude Breeze.

Date: Friday, July 11 to Saturday, September 7
Location:  Penticton Art Gallery — 199 Marina Way, Penticton

For more information contact the Penticton Art Gallery at (250) 493-2928.


UBCO.TV Spotlight

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

Continuing to Build Your Future
Aidan Kiernan
, AVP Operations, gives an overview of all major construction projects in progress at UBC Okanagan.

Celebrate Research Week Profile: Dan Durall
Dan Durall, Assoc. Professor of Biology, engages in research that provides important and valuable information for the forest industry.


Research Orientation Day for new faculty to be held Aug. 25
Research Orientation Day is a workshop held for incoming faculty members to assist them in starting their research and scholarly activities at UBC Okanagan. Targeted at both recent PhDs and experienced senior faculty joining UBC Okanagan from elsewhere, this workshop is intended to introduce opportunities, policies and procedures for carrying out research at UBC Okanagan.

This interactive workshop has two sections.  The morning section provides an overview of the resources offered by the Research Services Office, a discussion on how to perform research effectively at UBC Okanagan, and how the campus functions with respect to research and scholarly activity. 

The afternoon section will feature a review of internal grants available to faculty members, a presentation by UBC's CFI Coordinator, Michael Blades, and breakout information sessions for the Tri-Council granting agencies.

Date: Monday, August 25
Time: 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Location: LIB312, followed by a reception in the Sunroom

To register, or to find out more info, visit the Research Orientation Day website.

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

August 6

August 1 (Friday)

August 20

August 15 (Friday)

September 3

August 29 (Friday)

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