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Unveiling a plaque in UBC Okanagan's new Charles E. Fipke Centre for Innovative Research on Monday were, from left, Doug Owram, UBC Deputy Vice Chancellor, Charles Fipke, geologist and donor, Brad Bennett, Chair of UBC's Board of Governors, and Professor Stephen Toope, UBC President and Vice Chancellor.

UBC Okanagan opens $31.5M Fipke Centre for Innovative Research

British Columbia's advanced research capacity has been expanded with the official opening of the new $31.5-million Charles E. Fipke Centre for Innovative Research at UBC Okanagan on Monday, Nov. 24.

Named for Charles Fipke, the Kelowna geologist who discovered North America's first commercial diamond pipes in Canada's North, the Fipke Centre is the first new academic building to be completed as part of the UBC Okanagan campus master plan. The facility was made possible through a $5-million gift from Fipke's foundation (plus $2 million for equipment) and $26.5-million from the B.C. Ministry of Advanced Education and Labour Market Development

."I am very grateful for the education and the experiences I had at UBC as a student," said Charles Fipke, who received a Bachelor of Science (Honours) degree in geology from UBC in 1973.

"Throughout my career as a geologist I have applied what I learned and it has served me well. I welcomed the opportunity to give back to UBC in a way that will directly help today's students obtain a great education, and help a new generation of science exploration and research thrive right here in the Okanagan."


Olympians featured at 2009 Athletics Scholarship Breakfast fund-raiser

Three Olympic medalists will be flashing their Olympic "bling" and sharing their story at the 2009 Valley First UBC Okanagan Athletics Scholarship Breakfast in April.

Drawing on the excitement that's building in advance of the 2010 Olympic Games in Vancouver, the UBC Okanagan annual Athletics Scholarship Breakfast will feature interactive talks with gold-medalists Ben Rutledge and Jake Wetzel, who took top spot in men's eight rowing at the Beijing Olympics, and Kelowna native Scott Frandsen, who won a silver medal in men's pair rowing.

Now in its fourth year, the Athletics Scholarship Breakfast has raised more than $210,000 for the Athletics Scholarship Endowment Fund, which was created to help attract and retain the outstanding student athletes that are so important to high-level varsity athletic programs. Tickets to this event are available for purchase online.

For more information visit the Athletics Scholarship Breakfast website


New UBC Applied Science dean to emphasize serving society

Meaningful service to society through comprehensive education and research excellence is the vision of Prof. Tyseer Aboulnasr, the newly appointed dean of UBC's Faculty of Applied Science.Aboulnasr joins UBC from the University of Ottawa, where she was a professor and served as dean of the Faculty of Engineering from 1998 to 2004. Prior to that, she served as associate dean and became full professor in 1997."

Dr. Aboulnasr led Engineering at the University of Ottawa through impressive growth in student enrolment, research funding and faculty recruitment," says David Farrar, Provost and Vice President, Academic at UBC. "Her leadership will help propel UBC Applied Science on its current trajectory of excellence."


UBC Okanagan students hope to fulfill Christmas wish for homeless

Eight social work students at UBC Okanagan are striving to fulfill the Christmas wishes of homeless people in Kelowna this holiday season. Fourth-year social work student Ana Frias first discovered the Homeless Partners Christmas Wish List initiative while surfing the Internet. She thought it sounded like a great program, and with the support of her fellow classmates and instructors in the School of Social Work, has now launched the program in Kelowna.


Donkeys, carts and goats were delivered to families in rural Ghana last year -- all possible through Project GROW fundraising efforts.

Project GROW launches holiday sales

Make a difference this Christmas with community development projects provided by Project GROW.  Project GROW (Ghana Rural Opportunities for Women) is a unique partnership between UBC Okanagan and the Nanoore Women's group in rural Ghana -- providing support for people who have skills, but lack resources.

Last year two donkeys, two carts, 120 mosquito nets, and 34 goats -- nine of which were pregnant -- were delivered to families in Ghana. This year Project GROW seeks contributions that will go towards purchasing mosquito netting, goats, donkeys and carts as well as funding for school lunch programs. 

Watch for the Project GROW table setup daily in the Student Service Centre foyer from 11 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. until Friday, Dec. 12.  Cards can also be purchased online.Make a charitable donation on behalf of someone on your Christmas list and make a difference to families who need it. For more information, contact Cindy Bourne, Academic Resource Centre coordinator, at 78065.

National award for UBC Okanagan nursing professor

Joan Bottorff, director of UBC Okanagan's Research Centre for Healthy Living and Chronic Disease Prevention and professor in the School of Nursing, received the Canadian Nurses Association (CNA) 2008 Centennial Award at a formal ceremony in Ottawa on Nov. 26.

The Centennial Awards mark the CNA's 100th anniversary by honouring exceptional registered nurses whose work has had a positive impact on nursing and on the lives and health of Canadians.

One of only 100 nurses from across Canada to be recognized with the one-time-only award, Bottorff was nominated by her peers in recognition of her contributions to the profession, the workplace and the health system.


$15,000 from Interior Savings helps connect
isolated seniors with loved ones via Internet

Interior Savings has donated $15,000 to the UBC Okanagan Learning Exchange for a project that works with the community to end isolation for seniors by teaching them how to use the World Wide Web. Now in its second year, the initiative brings together students, seniors, community organizations and businesses with the common goal of enhancing the quality of life for seniors who may feel detached from their loved ones, or even the world.

"Learning Exchange initiatives, such as the seniors' isolation project, are truly dependant on community support," says Phil Bond, manager of UBC Okanagan's Learning Exchange. "The donation from Interior Savings will help to ensure our students can continue to work to enhance the lives of seniors in the Okanagan, which boasts one of Canada's oldest populations."


New Faculty and Staff website offers easier to access resources, improved layout

The Faculty and Staff website was re-launched on Friday, Nov. 28, featuring a new layout, improved navigation structure, and a ton of other features for current and prospective faculty and staff at UBC Okanagan. 

"We needed a new approach with the faculty and staff website that would improve access to all of the great information that's available to UBC Okanagan faculty and staff," says Jackie Podger, Executive Director, Administration and Finance. "We formed a working group to help guide this new approach.  We put in a great deal of research to help inform us what the best practices are, and how we can best convey this information."

New features on the Faculty & Staff site include:

  • Portals to key resources needed by current faculty or staff, as well as easy access to information for those who are considering joining UBC Okanagan.
  • One-stop shopping for all the information a department administrator needs, including recruiting checklists, performance management tools, benefits calculators and policy/procedure updates.
  • Quick links to key campus resources like myUBC, Travel at UBC, policies and procedures, and virtual tours.
  • One-click access to information on professional development funding and events.
  • Human Resource updates online.
  • Human Resource team profiles and contact information.

To view the new site visit: http://web.ubc.ca/okanagan/facultystaff/welcome.html

Get home safely with
new SafeWalk program

SafeWalk is a free, student-run foot patrol safety initiative that is provided to the campus community by the UBC Students' Union Okanagan (UBCSUO) during the hours of darkness. Anyone -- student, faculty or staff -- who wishes to have a safe escort when walking across the campus at night may request an escort from SafeWalk personnel.

This program operates out of the Health and Dental Office in the Student Service Centre (SSC012) seven days a week from 5:30 to 11:30 p.m. on most evenings -- or until 1:30 a.m. on nights when The Well student pub is open late. SafeWalk personnel can be easily identified by their bright yellow reflective jackets with signature flashlight logos.

To arrange a SafeWalk escort, or find out more about this program, email safewalk@ubcsuo.ca or call 78076.

Human Rights & Equity Services updates

Changes abound for the Human Rights & Equity Services (HES) office these days. The HES office has a new location -- FIP302 in the Fipke Centre -- with a new Equity Advisor for the UBC Okanagan campus.

Nythalah Baker, seconded as acting Equity Advisor  from September 2007 to August 2008, was formally appointed as Equity Advisor in November of this year when former advisor Marie Molloy retired  in August.

Baker has a Master's degree in Social Work from UBC and an undergraduate degree in Women's Studies and Sociology from the University of Alberta. Over the last 13 years she has worked in counseling services, adult education, and community development organizations.

Baker brings a strong professional background to the position and an equally strong commitment to advancing the goals of equity and human rights at UBC Okanagan. She can be reached via email or by calling 79291.



Lorne Antle, UBC Properties Trust, and Aidan Kiernan, AVP Operations, hold up their FortisBC PowerSense Conservation Excellence Award for their work in developing power-saving measures at UBC Okanagan.

UBC Okanagan receives PowerSense
Conservation Excellence Award from FortisBC

UBC Okanagan was among this year's winners of the FortisBC PowerSense Conservation Excellence Award for its development and installation of the geoexchange groundwater energy system for heating and cooling in the newly opened Fipke Centre building and its energy conservation measures in the new Cascades Residence.

The award is given to those organizations that achieve a minimum annual savings of 100,000 kilowatt hours. Aidan Kiernan accepted the award for the Fipke Centre on behalf of the University, while Lorne Antle accepted the award for the Cascades Residence project on behalf of UBC Properties Trust.

In November 2007, the Fipke Centre's design also earned an unprecedented five Green Globes from the Building Owners and Managers Association of Canada, an award reserved for designs serving as national or world leaders in energy and environmental performance.

Alumni and University Relations welcomes new designer

On Monday, Oct. 27, Alumni and University Relations welcomed Tyler Pentland to their department as interim Designer, replacing Margo Yacheshyn while she is on maternity leave. The Emily Carr Institute of Art and Design graduate brings with him a colourful range of graphic design experience.

Pentland has done graphic design work for Ginch Gonch Fashion Ltd., an underwear company based in Montreal, as well as the world's largest junk removal company, 1800GOTJUNK? at their head office in Vancouver, B.C.

Prior to attending the Emily Carr Institute, Tyler graduated from Okanagan University College's Fine Arts diploma program. He thoroughly enjoys being back on the campus that he once called home. Tyler can be reached via email or by calling 78551.


Teaching Portfolios

At this workshop, session leaders Peter Arthur and Heather Marshall will provide an opportunity for faculty members to learn more about the purpose and contents of a teaching portfolio. Participants will be given examples of portfolio design and contents to assist in the development of their own teaching portfolio.

Session One
Date: Wednesday, Jan.14
Time: 2 to 3 p.m.

Session Two
Date: Friday, Jan. 16
Time: 1:30 p.m. to 2:30 p.m.

To register for this workshop visit the Centre for Teaching and Learning website.

Teaching Squares opportunity

Beginning Jan. 19, an initiative coordinated by Peter Arthur and Heather Marshall in the Centre for Teaching and Learning aims to build and enhance teaching and learning at UBC Okanagan.  Participants in this program are placed into a square grouping with three other instructors from diverse content areas.  Faculty members are then given the opportunity to participate in a structured process of classroom observation, reflection, and discussion with peers from other faculties and departments. 

Each participant will visit one class per week and will be visited once a week by a participant in the group.  From there, after all participant visits have been completed at the end of three weeks, the entire group reconvenes to discuss what was discovered about their own teaching.

For more information about this initiative visit the Centre for Teaching and Learning 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

December 17 December 12 (Friday)
January 7 January 5 (Monday)
January 21 January 16 (Friday)

View previous editions of The Exchange

December 3, 2008


Women in Science workshop

Female students are invited to attend this year's Women in Science workshop, Putting the Pieces Together: Planning your career as a woman in science. This is a great opportunity to meet local women scientists, to discuss science career issues in general, and their careers in particular.

Lunch, snacks and door prizes are included -- reserve a place now by registering in Science Building SCI 200. Tickets for the day-long workshop are just $10.

Date: Saturday, Jan. 17
Time: 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.
Location: Fipke Centre, FIP121

For more information visit the Women in Science information page.

Saying Thank You
UBC Okanagan's United Way Campaign Wraps Up

The campus-wide drive to support the United Way and its many worthwhile charities is coming to a close on Dec. 5. Faculty and staff who haven't done so already are reminded to submit their pledge forms.

The campus community is also invited to join the official UBC Okanagan United Way campaign wrap-up on Friday, Dec. 5. Deputy Vice Chancellor Doug Owram will announce the amount of funds raised during this year's United Way campaign. Cookies and mulled cider will be served along with a special performance from the Aberdeen Hall Choir.

Date: Friday, Dec. 5
Time: 12 noon to 1 p.m.
Location: Student Service Centre Foyer

Sing for Africa this holiday season

Want to make a difference in the lives of women in Africa, and raise your voice in song? You'll have a chance to do both when the community gathers next month to "Sing for Africa."

A fund-raiser organized by UBC Okanagan nursing students Yvette Leeder, Brianne Axelson, Megan Patapoff, and Therese Hapke, Sing for Africa invites the entire community to attend and sing Christmas carols from 7 to 9 p.m., Monday, Dec. 8 at Trinity Baptist Church, 1905 Springfield Rd. in Kelowna.

"We expect this to be an extraordinarily large choir," says Leeder, explaining that the $5 admission fee goes directly toward community development initiatives identified by women in northern Ghana for their own villages.

For more information visit the Sing for Africa information page.

Don't stay in your office
for coffee on Dec. 12

Sponsored by the Irving K. Barber School of Arts and Sciences, all faculty and staff are invited for coffee on Friday, Dec. 12, in the Arts Atrium for Pitstop. Coffee or tea and a variety of pastries will be served for only $2 per person.

Date: Friday, Dec. 12
Time: 9:30 to 10:30 a.m.
Location: Arts Atrium

Celebration Singers perform on campus Dec. 15

The Celebration Singers will be making a festive appearance at UBC Okanagan on Monday, Dec. 15.

The Celebration Singers are an Okanagan-based all-female choir. This festive performance will feature three campus community members: Doris Wagner, Library Clerk, Kathy Arney, Acting Director of Development, and Laura Patterson, Communications Instructor in the School of Engineering.

This event is free and open to the public.

Date: Monday, Dec. 15
Time: 12 noon to 1 p.m.
Location: Student Services Centre Foyer

What's Happening at UBC Okanagan

The What's Happening events webpage is the central point for online information about university-related events, on and off campus.  Visit this page often for information about interesting speakers, people doing things on campus, or groups recognizing a national day of celebration or social action. 

Events at a Glance: Dec. 3 to Dec. 17

For a full list of UBC Okanagan events visit the What's Happening page.

UBCO.TV Spotlight

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

3rd annual Undergraduate Research Awards Symposium
Recipients of the Barber School Undergraduate Research Awards showcase their research findings at the 2008 Undergraduate Research Awards Symposium.

Student stay fit with hip hop
Residence Advisors find a unique way to bring students on campus together.