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Lakers men's volleyball named Kelowna's Team of the Year
The Okanagan Lakers 2008 Canadian silver medalist men's volleyball team was recognized as "Team of the Year" last Thursday evening at the 34th annual Kelowna Civic Awards. Officially known as the Bryan Couling Memorial Athletic Team of the Year Award, the award is presented to the amateur or professional team bringing the greatest amount of recognition to Kelowna.

The 2007-2008 season brought to a close the Okanagan Lakers name but not the outstanding tradition of competitive excellence, and the men's volleyball team finished their season with an inspirational run. First, they achieved an historic upset as the first Laker men's volleyball team in 22 years to win gold at the provincial championships. Then the men, who hadn't even been ranked nationally earlier in the season, ended their memorable streak as the silver-medalists in the '08 national championships, the first team of any Laker incarnation to do so.

Congratulations to Head Coach Greg Poitras and his team, and to the entire UBC Okanagan Athletics program.

Speakers at the April 30 Holocaust and Genocide Education Forum included, from left, Rose Caldwell, fourth-year indigenous studies and anthropology student, Rene Goldman, retired professor of Chinese studies and child holocaust survivor, Claude Desmarais, Reichwald professor in Germanic studies, and Adam Jones, professor of political science.

UBC Okanagan hosts holocaust and genocide forum for secondary school students
Students from Central Okanagan secondary schools gathered at UBC Okanagan on April 30 for a forum exploring the realities of genocide and the possibilities of genocide prevention.

The Holocaust and Genocide Education Forum, an initiative driven by the Office of the Provost at UBC Okanagan, brought together those who have witnessed genocide and those who study genocide and teach about it, to foster understanding and end genocide.


UBC Okanagan Staff Awards of Excellence: nominate someone great
Is there someone who has shown exceptional leadership, customer service or has engaged the campus community like no other? Now is the time to give recognition -- nominations for this year's UBC Okanagan Staff Awards of Excellence are now open.

The deadline for input is Monday, June 1, and all members of the campus community are eligible and encouraged to nominate a deserving staff member for one of four categories: leadership, sustainability, community engagement and customer service. 

Any permanent ongoing UBC Okanagan staff member with a minimum of one year continuous service is eligible for nomination.  Up to four awards will be presented at the DVC Town Hall meeting in the first week of September.

For nomination packages, or to find out more, visit the Staff Awards of Excellence website.

GeoExchange Conference at UBC Okanagan offers open house for residential homeowners
Want to know more about using energy from soil or groundwater for heating and cooling your house? Here's your chance to learn from the experts.

The Third Biennial International GeoExchange Conference and Trade Show will be hosted at UBC Okanagan from May 13 to 15. "We're looking forward to our best and most inclusive conference yet," says Rachel Bolongaro, Conference Chair for GeoExchange BC.

Among the many activities is a free public open house for residential homeowners on Tuesday, May 12, from 7 to 8:30 p.m. in the Student Service Centre lecture theatre, room SSC026. Other pre-conference technical workshops are also planned from May 11 to 13.


UBC Okanagan to host BDC's 2009 E-Spirit National Gathering
More than 150 Aboriginal youths from across Canada will visit UBC Okanagan from May 12 to 14 for the Business Development Bank of Canada's (BDC) ninth annual national E-Spirit Aboriginal Youth Business Plan Competition gathering and awards gala.

Aimed at Aboriginal youth in Grades 10 to 12, E-Spirit is a 16-week Internet-based competition that provides interactive business planning resources, online access to mentoring and extensive student networking opportunities, via the web and in person. This business plan competition is designed to increase students' awareness of entrepreneurial and business opportunities, management and business skills, e-commerce and technological capacities.


English-speaking Canadians talk a foreign language -- to each other
If you can't tell a bunkie from a bangbelly don't worry: it's all part of being a Canuck.

When you live in a country the size of Canada, different regions are going to develop unique ways of speaking about things relevant to their area, says Christine Schreyer, assistant professor of anthropology at UBC Okanagan. She and her students have just completed a survey to find out how Canada's regional dialects are represented on the UBC Okanagan campus in Kelowna.


Summer Continuing Studies courses now available
Continuing Studies has launched their Summer Course Calendar, offering an extensive group of workshops and courses designed to inspire curiosity, ingenuity, and dialogue among lifelong-learners in the Okanagan.  Course topics range from celebrating arts to writing to the brand-new UBC Okanagan Wine School, being held August 10 to 14.

To find out more about the available courses being offered by Continuing Studies visit the Continuing Studies website. You can also request paper copies of the calendar by contacting Tia-Maria Hoeller at 78177. 

Call for volunteers: international diversity and sustainability conference June 16 to 19
The International Association for Citizenship, Social and Economics Education (IACSEE) is calling UBC Okanagan home for its eighth International Conference, being held June 16 to 19 on campus. 

Conference Secretary and Associate Professor of Education Vicki Green, is inviting the campus community to participate.  She says, "this conference is truly international in scope and brings some of the most important minds in diversity and sustainability education to UBC Okanagan."

This year's conference is themed Diversity and Sustainability through Citizenship: Issues for Social and Economics Educators. The conference is $450 to register for the full conference, or $150 per day, and is open to the campus community and general public.  The last day to register for this conference is Sunday, May 31.

For full details download the registration form or the full conference schedule.

To get involved or find out more, visit the Faculty of Education Podcast website or contact Vicki Green, associate professor of Education, at 78107.

Celebrate Bike to Work Week May 10 to 17
Do you ride a bike to work? May 10 to 17 is Bike to Work Week (BTWW), and the Kelowna and Area Cycling Coalition has arranged "celebration stations" around Kelowna during the week. Cyclists are welcome to stop in at any of these special sites for refreshments and consults with bike shop mechanics from several local stores. 

Campus Life and Campus Rec. are also organizing a team, aptly named The Cycologists, to help support BTWW on campus. UBC Okanagan-related events this year include a BTWW launch and info session, a free bike bath, a trivia contest and a group ride to campus from the Tim Horton's on Kane Road in Glenmore on Wednesday, May 13, beginning at 8 a.m.

To register for UBC Okanagan's BTWW team visit the Campus Rec. website. For more information contact Leanne Perry, Campus Life coordinator, at 79012.

Visit www.i-go.ca for more information about the celebration stations and related events organized by the City of Kelowna.

Photo: Martin Dee

UBC Okanagan PhD student Tamil Kendall

UBC Okanagan student earns award to help combat HIV and AIDS in Mexico
UBC Okanagan PhD student Tamil Kendall has been awarded the prestigious Vanier Canada Graduate Scholarships (Vanier CGS) -- a newly established award given to doctoral students who demonstrate leadership skills and academic excellence in graduate studies in the areas of social sciences and humanities, natural sciences and engineering, and health.

Valued at $50,000 per year for up to three years, the award will support Kendall's current research in Mexico, which focuses on HIV, human rights and gender equity -- all areas that are priorities in Canada's framework for international cooperation.

More specifically, Kendall aims to propose policy and program options to improve prevention of mother-to-child transmission of HIV and to promote the reproductive rights of women with HIV living in the country.


The herbal remedy: Teens use cannabis for relief, not recreation
When legal therapies let them down, some teens turn to cannabis. A new study, funded by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research and published today in BioMed Central's open access journal Substance Abuse, Treatment, Prevention and Policy, suggests that around a third of teens who smoke cannabis on a regular basis use it as a medication, rather than as a means of getting high.

Professor Joan Bottorff, Chair in Health Promotion and Cancer Prevention and Director of the Institute for Healthy Living and Chronic Disease Prevention, worked with a team of researchers from UBC to conduct in-depth interviews with 63 cannabis-using adolescents. Of these, 20 claimed that they used cannabis to relieve or manage health problems.

"Marijuana is perceived by some teens to be the only available alternative for those experiencing difficult health problems when legitimate medical treatments have failed or when they lack access to appropriate health care," said Bottorff.

An abstract of the research is available here. A complete PDF version of the article is also available on the Substance Abuse, Treatment, Prevention and Policy website.


At UBC Okanagan's Long Service Award recognition on April 23 were, from left, Deputy Vice Chancellor Doug Owram, Joyce Boon, Maurice Williams, Rose Creswell, Judy McAulay, Bryan Ryley, Carrol Pidhaichuk, Lorraine Engelsmeier, Michael Berger, and Provost Alaa Abd-El-Aziz.

Eight honoured at UBC Okanagan for 30 years of service
Eight UBC Okanagan faculty and staff were honoured at a luncheon on April 23 for their 30 years of service to post-secondary institutions in the Okanagan -- first at Okanagan College, then Okanagan University College, and most recently UBC Okanagan.

The honourees were:

  • Michael Berger, Technician Creative Studies
  • Joyce Boon, Assoc. Professor Barber School, Unit 2 (Biology)
  • Rose Cresswell, Library Clerk
  • Lorraine Engelsmeier, Assistant (Scheduling) Enrolment Services
  • Judy McAulay, Assoc. Professor Nursing
  • Carrol Pidhaichuk, Executive Assistant to the AVP Admin & Finance
  • Bryan Ryley, Assoc. Professor Creative Studies
  • Maurice Williams, Assoc. Professor Barber School, Unit 6 (History)

Third-year students Laura Banting and Gustaaf van der Lely became filmmakers for their History 453 course with Jessica Stites Mor this term.

UBC Okanagan history students become filmmakers
History may repeat itself, but sometimes the history lesson itself is brand new.

Going beyond the traditional textbooks, pop quizzes and final exams, students taking Jessica Stites Mor's History 453 course at UBC Okanagan this term used the process of video production to learn about the cultural and social diversity of Brazil. The result: overwhelming success and enthusiasm, says Stites Mor, assistant professor of Latin American history.

"The final project for the class was to produce a 30-minute documentary that would be appropriate as a teaching tool for the high school classroom or the general public," she says. "The film had a chief editor, editor's assistants, a director, montage developers, writers, narrators, a music editor, sound and image editors, website designers, and a film archivist, who developed a website for the film and managed 'press releases' on the project.


Engineering students recognized by APEGBC and BC Hydro
The Association of Professional Engineers and Geoscientists of B.C. (APEGBC) and BC Hydro have enabled the APEGBC Foundation Trustees to award 11 $1,000 APEG-MAPS scholarships and 15 $1,500 BC Hydro/APEGBC fourth-year scholarships to 26 university engineering and geoscience students.

Second-year UBC Okanagan electrical engineering student Christopher Michael Collier received an APEG-MAPS Scholarship for exemplary achievements and contributions to the advancement of the engineering and geoscience professions.

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

May 20 May 15 (Friday)
June 3 May 29 (Friday)
June 17 June 12 (Friday)

View previous editions of The Exchange

May 6, 2009


UBC Okanagan Learning Conference
Join faculty and staff from various institutions as they share best practices that promote learning success at the UBC Okanagan Learning Conference, being held today and tomorrow. The theme for this fifth annual Learning Conference is Looking for Success in Learning.  Keynote addresses include Deputy Vice Chancellor Doug Owram, who will open the conference, as well as Connie Varnhagen, professor from the University of Alberta.

Date: Wednesday, May 6 and Thursday, May 7
Time: all-day
Location: Arts building, 3rd floor

For information about the conference, contact Peter Arthur, director of the Centre for Teaching and Learning, at 79207.

May Wine Club meeting
The wines of Spain will be tested and tasted at the next Wine Club meeting, being held today in the DVC boardroom at 5 p.m. The tasting will be presented by David Jack, associate professor of chemistry.

The tasting costs $10 to participate. Participants also have the option to purchase a set of six tasting glasses at a cost of $23, or are welcome to bring their own tasting glasses.

Date: Wednesday, May 6 (today)
Time: 5 to 6:30 p.m.
Location: Student Service Centre building, DVC boardroom

For more information contact David Scott, associate professor of Earth and environmental sciences, at 78755.

15th Annual Aboriginal Career Fair
As many as 350 Aboriginal high school students from throughout the Okanagan will visit UBC Okanagan this Thursday for the 15th annual Aboriginal Career Fair. The Aboriginal Career Fair provides high school and upgrading students with career information, connects students with Aboriginal role models, and celebrates Okanagan and Aboriginal cultures. It was developed in partnership with the Ki-Low-Na Friendship Society, Okanagan College, and UBC Okanagan.

Dozens of employers will present information to the Grade 9 to 12 students. Speakers at the 10 a.m. opening ceremonies will include British Columbia's Lt. Governor Steven Point, Westbank First Nation Councillor Brian Eli, and student representatives.

The day's festivities include drumming, singing, and dancing performances, career and employment booths, a Barbeque, and more. A draw will be held at 1 p.m. for two grand prizes -- two lucky student winners will take home new computers.

Date: Thursday, May 7
Time: 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Location: Campus Courtyard

For more information about this event contact Bernie Marchand-Brown, aboriginal program administrator, at 78012.

105th annual meeting of the Cordilleran Section of the Geological Society of America
The Cordilleran Section of the Geological Society of America will hold its 2009 annual meeting at UBC Okanagan starting tomorrow. The meeting will feature a number of prominent geologists from across North America, a mentoring program for geology students, and a number of excursions that highlight the unique geology and environment of the Okanagan.

Date: Thursday, May 7 to Saturday, May 9
Time: all day
Location: Arts building

To get involved or find out more contact Robert Young, meeting chair and associate professor of geology, at 79523.

UBCO.TV Spotlight

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

  • World Water Day
    Coming together as a community to celebrate water is one of the ways to support the work being done towards improved stewardship of water in British Columbia.
  • Continuing Education 
    UBC Okanagan Continuing Studies opens its doors to the general public to take part in the adventure of life-long learning.
  • Speak Up! What Famous person do you admire?
    Students give a glimpse of the kinds of famous people they look up to.

Dive safety program now available
Interested in using diving as a tool for research? For the first time at UBC Okanagan a Dive Safety Program is available to campus community members engaged in research projects that require scientific diving.

Operated and supported through Health, Safety and Environment, the program runs Saturday from May 30 to June 6.  It provides opportunities to extend research possibilities by allowing first-hand study of previously inaccessible areas and organisms. The Dive Safety Program manages diving certification at UBC Okanagan and ensures that all campus community members conduct their diving-related research in accordance with the Canadian Association for Underwater Science's Standard of Practice for Scientific Diving.

Anyone planning to use SCUBA diving as a tool for research or study at UBC Okanagan must first be registered as a certified Scientific Diver with Health, Safety and Environment.

Date: Saturday, May 30 to Saturday, June 6
Cost: equipment rentals and medical exam
To register: contact Shelley Kayfish, Manager of Health, Safety and Environment, at 78621.

For more information visit the Health, Safety and Environment website.

Understanding Financial Risks and Internal Controls
This workshop will be of interest to all unit heads and financial officers as it provides the tools necessary to manage financial risks of the unit and also support the 2008-2009 Financial Statement Certification Program. The training is designed in a case study format and is very interactive.

Date: Thursday, May 21
Time: 9 a.m. to 12 noon
Location: Library building, room LIB302
To register: contact Gabriel Gock, accounts payable

Brain-boosting secrets
All UBC Okanagan BCGEU employees are invited to this special workshop on brain-boosting secrets. The workshop -- being offered in two separate sessions on May 21 -- offers participants private insights on keeping a healthy and effective brain. The workshops are led by renowned learning skills specialist Terry Small.

Date: Thursday, May 21
Time: 9:30 to 11 a.m. or 1 to 2:30 p.m.
Location: Arts building, room ART114
Complimentary Lunch: 11:30 to 12:30 p.m., in the Student Service Centre's sunroom (lunch is available to all BCGEU members, workshop attendance not required)

To register for this workshop, or find out more, visit the BCGEU workshops website.