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Faculty congratulate the graduating class prior to one of two ceremonies last June. This year, the graduating class will receive degrees in three convocation ceremonies.

Class of 2009 graduation this Friday
This Friday, UBC Okanagan celebrates the Class of 2009 as more than 750 degrees are conferred at three Convocation ceremonies in the Gymnasium.

Ceremonies start at 10 a.m. (Irving K. Barber School of Arts and Sciences and Faculty of Creative and Critical Studies), 1 p.m. (Barber School of Arts and Sciences and Faculty of Health and Social Development), and 3:30 p.m. (Faculty of Education, School of Engineering, and Faculty of Management).

This year, honorary degrees will be conferred upon Canada's foremost video artists Lisa Steele and Kim Tomczak at the 10 a.m. ceremony, and former Okanagan University College public administrator J. Peter Meekison at the 3:30 p.m. ceremony. For the first time, UBC Okanagan is displaying its own University Mace, created by First Nations artist Sheldon Louis of the Okanagan Indian Band.


Vida Yakong, PhD student

UBC Okanagan student Vida Yakong receives McNamara Memorial grant
Vida Yakong, a UBC Okanagan graduate student from Ghana, has just returned from Washington DC where she spent four days as a guest of the World Bank. It was an important trip for Yakong -- and one that could lead to improved health care for women and children in sub-Saharan Africa.

Yakong is pursuing a PhD in medical anthropology, nursing, and anthropology of gender and is one of 10 women from around the world selected this year to receive a $12,000 grant from the Margaret McNamara Memorial Fund (MMMF).


UBC Okanagan's Tamil Kendall one of three UBC students receiving Trudeau scholarships
Three UBC graduate students, including Tamil Kendall, a Interdisciplinary Graduate Studies PhD student at UBC Okanagan, have received 2009 Trudeau scholarships, Canada's largest social sciences and humanities doctoral award.

Winners receive awards worth up to $180,000 each from the Pierre Elliott Trudeau Foundation. Recipients are also mentored by prominent national and international leaders in their respective fields.


Canadian author Gail Anderson-Dargatz

Anderson-Dargatz to read at Fiction Contest prize announcement
Bestselling Canadian author Gail Anderson-Dargatz, this year's judge for the Okanagan Short Fiction Contest, will announce the three winning stories at an afternoon fete at the Kelowna Art Gallery, Saturday June 13, at 2 p.m.

The Shuswap-based author will accompany the announcement with a reading of her own work and a short talk about writing. The three winners will each read from their work.

Anderson-Dargatz is the author of the recent critically-acclaimed novel, Turtle Valley, as well as the Giller Prize-nominated novels, The Cure for Death by Lightning and A Recipe for Bees.


Distinguished Speakers Series organizers looking to kick off 2009-2010 season with a bang
The UBC Okanagan Distinguished Speakers Series, presented by the Irving K. Barber School of Arts and Sciences, is preparing for its fourth season. Series organizers would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone who has attended these thought-provoking presentations, and invite members of the campus community to recommend speakers for the next season.

"We're looking for speakers who are able to capture the attention of Okanagan audiences, but who also represent the theme of the series: A Civil and Sustainable Society," says series chair Robert Young.

"Our past speakers such as Nobel Laureate Carl Wieman, historian Gwynne Dyer, humanitarian Dr. James Orbinski, Supreme Court Chief Justice Beverley McLachlin and Globe and Mail columnist Jeffrey Simpson have all embodied this theme, and are one of the reasons why the series has been such a success."

To suggest a distinguished speaker, or provide suggestions that might help us improve the series, send your ideas - and any speaker contact information you might have - to Robert Young, Distinguished Speaker Series chair.

Health and Sustainability Symposium attendee Kelowna Mayor Sharon Shepherd, with organizers Leanne Bilodeau, and Bayshore Home Health area director Sharon Hughes-Geekie.

Health and Sustainability Symposium organizers thankful for all the help
Welcoming the public to attend for the first time, with over 200 faculty, staff, students and community members in attendance at the Health and Sustainability Symposium on May 5, this year's symposium was by far the most successful to date. 

"We owe a debt of gratitude to so many people from the campus community, Bayshore Home Health, our partner in the event, and our many sponsors including the BCGEU, AAPS and Living Source Media Group," says Leanne Bilodeau, manager of the Office of Workplace Health & Sustainability. "The event was opened by Deputy Vice Chancellor Doug Owram who highlighted the importance of workplace health, especially in the face of turbulent economic times, and also featured notable community members including Kelowna Mayor Sharon Shepherd."

Ecology, teaching and transformation:
UBC Okanagan's Learning Garden featured in new book

Veronica Gaylie, assistant professor of education, recently published a new book with Peter Lang Publishing (New York), looking at the role of environment and community in teacher education.  The focus of the book: UBC Okanagan's very own Learning Garden. 

Gaylie explains "this book tells the story of how the campus garden evolved since its creation in 2005 through a series of student teachers and environmental education students. It looks at how their work in the Learning Garden changed their attitudes towards nature, the greater community and towards the learning process itself."

To order a copy or find out more about The Learning Garden: Ecology, Teaching and Transformation, visit the Peter Lang Publishing Group website.

UBC Okanagan Professor John Greenough, editor of the Canadian Journal of Earth Sciences, presents the journal's Best Paper award to Christelle Not of the Universite du Quebec a Montreal.

Greenough presents journal's Best Paper Award
John Greenough, Professor of Earth and Environmental Sciences, was in Toronto May 25 to present an important new national award he helped create.

As editor of the Canadian Journal of Earth Sciences, Greenough presented the journal's Best Paper Award to Christelle Not, lead author on a paper about an important advance in dating sediments in the Arctic.



photo by Tim Swanky

UBC Okanagan geography professor Carlos Teixeira studies how Portuguese immigrants have contributed to and shaped Canadian communities. Last weekend, in Toronto for Day of the Azores, he was honoured with the Medal for Professional Merit by the government of the Azores, where he was born.

Carlos Teixeira honoured by Azores government
Carlos Teixeira
, associate professor of geography, traveled to Toronto for Day of the Azores over the past weekend. On Sunday, he received the Insignias do Governo Regional dos Açores -- Medal for Professional Merit, one of the most distinguished honours given by the government of the autonomous region of Azores. Presenting the medal was Carlos Manuel Martins do Vale Cesar, President of the Azores.
Teixeira left the Azores for Canada in 1978 to study geography at Universite du Quebec a Montreal and later York University in Toronto, where he completed his PhD in urban social geography. He came to the Okanagan in early 2004, and he has been researching the Portuguese in the southern reaches of the valley -- Penticton, Oliver and Osoyoos. This spring, he and co-editor Victor M.P. Da Rosa from the University of Ottawa, published The Portuguese in Canada: Diasporic Challenges and Adjustment (University of Toronto Press).
At a ceremony held at UBC Okanagan in October 2005, Teixeira received Portugal's highest civilian honour -- the Ordem do Infante D. Henrique, the Portuguese government's equivalent to the Order of Canada.  

Open doors await UBC Okanagan graduate
Whether Daniel McMann ends up at the helm of a big league hockey club or one day leading the entire country, this ambitious 22-year-old is looking forward to a future of limitless possibilities.

All set to graduate in June with a Bachelor of Arts degree in economics with a minor in political science, McMann is part of the first class of students to complete all four years of their programs at UBC Okanagan, which opened in 2005.

"I guess I would describe myself as a dreamer," he says. "But I'm motivated, too, which is probably a good combination. I've been lucky to have people in my life that have been very successful, so I've always believed [success] is something I can accomplish, too."


Peruvian adventure awaits UBC Okanagan social work grad
Krystal Summers knows what it's like to pick up and move away from everything that is familiar to pursue an opportunity.

As she prepares to graduate from UBC Okanagan with a social work degree in June, Summers is also preparing for an entirely new adventure this summer in Peru. She looks back on her experience at UBC Okanagan as a stepping stone on the path to her next challenge: adjusting to life in the Andes Mountains.

In July, Summers embarks on a three-month research project where she will immerse herself in an Indigenous Peruvian community and learn the art of textile weaving, which is a local specialty.


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

June 17 June 12 (Friday)
June 30 June 26 (Friday)
July 10 July 15 (Friday)

View previous editions of The Exchange

June 3, 2009


Focus on People Town Hall set for June 8
Faculty and staff have the opportunity to take a reflective look back at the significant milestones that occurred during the past year at the 2008-2009 Focus on People Town Hall, being held June 8.

The town hall will provide faculty and staff with a review of the Workplace Experiences Survey results, as well as give attendees interactive breakout sessions on volunteering abroad, building a better workplace at the unit level and an update on the Healthy Workplace Culture Strategy. 

Date: Monday, June 8
Time: 1 to 4 p.m. (doors open at 12:30 p.m.)
Location: Fipke Centre building, room FIP206

This event is free to all faculty and staff. To register for this event visit the Focus on People Town Hall website by the end of day today.

UBC Okanagan hosts eighth international conference on citizenship, social and economics education
The International Association for Citizenship, Social and Economics Education is calling UBC Okanagan home for its eighth International Conference, being held June 16 to 19 on campus.  This year's conference is themed Diversity and Sustainability through Citizenship: Issues for Social and Economics Educators.

Date: Tuesday, June 16 to Friday, June 19
Time: all-day
Location: Arts Building

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

UBCO.TV Spotlight

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

  • 2009 Grad Gala
    UBC Okanagan celebrates its graduates at this annual celebration with food, great music, lots of fun and no homework.
  • Speak Up...Who's your favorite teacher?
    Students are asked who their favourite teachers are at UBC Okanagan.
  • Degree in a Day
    Throughout the spring prospective students were given an opportunity to be a UBC student for a day and see all the amenities that UBC Okanagan has 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.

Date: Tuesday, June 23
Time: 8:30 a.m. to 12 noon
Location: FIN142
To register: contact Karen Davis or Gabriel Gock, Accounts Payable. Please include CWL login ID, as well as phone and email contact information.