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newsUBC Okanagan School of Engineering graduates first cohort
Standing near the construction site of the future home of Engineering at UBC's Okanagan campus, Spiro Yannacopoulos, Associate Dean and Director of the School of Engineering, holds a small version of the "E" that has become an icon of this rapidly growing school.

UBC Okanagan School of Engineering graduates first cohort
UBC Okanagan's School of Engineering has undergone rapid growth and change since it opened just five years ago. This June, an important milestone will be reached with the graduation of the School's first cohort of students, who began their studies in 2005.

"The ultimate goal of the School of Engineering is to graduate people who will make a difference in the world," says Spiro Yannacopoulos, Associate Dean and Director of the School of Engineering. "As a school, we will measure our success by the success of our graduates."

And thanks in part to a very dedicated and diverse group of faculty, staff and industry professionals, Yannacopoulos is confident graduating students have the tools they need to contribute to the engineering profession and the world.

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Public invited to UBC education forum on genocide and the Holocaust
The Okanagan campus of UBC will host the second annual Holocaust and Genocide Education Forum on May 6. The forum brings together those who have witnessed genocide and those who study genocide with the goal of fostering public discussion and awareness.

Supported by the university's Human Rights and Equity Services office, the forum contemplates the past and present global issues of the Holocaust and of genocide, and takes a look at Canada's own history and some of the complicated questions surrounding Indigenous displacement.

Initially offered only to Grade 11 and 12 social studies and history students, this year's event will be open the public.
Holocaust survivor Rene Goldman will speak at the public education forum at UBC in Kelowna on May 6.
Holocaust survivor Rene Goldman will speak at the public education forum on campus May 6.

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UBC study: Kelowna's creative sector a $144M economic driver
Kelowna's creative sector generates $37.8 million in wages annually and has an annual economic impact of $143.8 million. Those are just two of the key findings in a new economic impact study led by Bernard Momer, associate professor of geography at UBC's Okanagan campus.

The Creative Sector in Kelowna, British Columbia: An Economic Impact Assessment follows up on a 1998 assessment of the contribution of arts and culture to the economy of the wider Central Okanagan region.

"As it was in 1998, Kelowna's creative sector is an important contributor to the local economy," says Momer. "This impact assessment demonstrates that the creative sector's economic contribution to our community is significant and, by extension, that it enriches our social and cultural capital."

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Okanagan campus welcomes Spirit of Sylix race
On Friday, April 23, UBC's Okanagan campus welcomed about 180 youth from across the Okanagan Nation for a luncheon as part of the Sprit of Sylix 2nd Okanagan Nation Youth Unity Run for suicide and violence awareness.

This year's run mobilized youth, leadership and community members to relay nearly 230 kilometers through the North Okanagan. Friday's events began in West Kelowna, with youth traveling north down Hwy 97, before stopping at the university for lunch, then continuing through Winfield to the Vernon Army base.

The four-day relay event, which took place from April 22-25, was a collaborative community undertaking sponsored by the Okanagan Nation Alliance and member Bands, the Aboriginal Education Program at UBC's Okanagan campus, the First Nations Health Council, and the RCMP Foundation.

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Working with hospice societies from throughout B.C.'s Southern Interior are, from left, Barb Pesut, associate professor of mursing, Joan Bottorff, director of the Institute for Healthy Living and Chronic Disease Prevention, and Rarole Robinson, acting director of the School of Nursing.
Working with hospice societies from throughout B.C.'s Southern Interior are, from left, Barb Pesut, associate professor of mursing, Joan Bottorff, director of the Institute for Healthy Living and Chronic Disease Prevention, and Carole Robinson, acting director of the School of Nursing.

UBC and hospice societies working on improving end-of-life care in rural and remote communities
A research team at UBC's Okanagan campus is working with hospice palliative care societies from throughout the B.C. Interior to help improve end-of-life care for people in rural and remote communities.

Researchers Barb Pesut, assistant professor of nursing, Joan Bottorff, director of the Institute for Healthy Living and Chronic Disease Prevention, and Carole Robinson, acting director of the School of Nursing, invited executive directors of the volunteer hospice societies to meet at UBC's Okanagan campus on April 22 to share their experiences and challenges, talk about the programs offered by the various societies, and generate innovative ideas and build stronger links with the university for a program of research.

Part of a larger project exploring ethics in rural palliative care supported by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research, this initiative -- focusing on family caregivers who provide extensive care for people who are palliative and how best to support them -- was made possible by a UBC internal grant of $15,000.

May 2 to 8 is National Hospice Palliative Care Week

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UBC and Vineyard Networks partner
on advanced networks research

A new research and development partnership between UBC and Kelowna-based Vineyard Networks will help advance the state of the art in network traffic management technology.

Project engineers at Vineyard Networks, which provides network monitoring and management solutions to small- and medium-sized companies around the world, and computer science researchers at UBC's Okanagan campus will be developing new methods of database storage and complex queries that enable flow and network data monitoring and reporting in large, high-performance network environments.

"This opportunity to work closely with the University of British Columbia is very exciting for us," says Vineyard Networks CEO Jason Richards. "The talent, expertise, and research facilities at UBC are some of the finest in North America and we're very pleased to be working with the university on such important research."

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In the News...

Teixeira tells world about housing and immigration issues
CBC's worldwide shortwave service Radio Canada International (RCI) has interviewed UBC geography professor Carlos Teixeira about his research on housing and immigrants in Canada.

Reporter Lorn Curry asked why the cost of housing in some small or medium-sized Canadian cities may be beyond the reach of most immigrants. Teixeira's research has looked at how housing availability impacts the opportunities for immigrants coming to Okanagan communities.

The interview aired April 26 around the world on RCI's The Link, a daily radio show aimed at connecting new immigrants to Canada and Canada to the world. A French-language story aired on RCI on April 28.

Listen to the English interview on The Link (2 hour podcast MP3).

Read Prof. Teixeira's new working research paper Housing Immigrants and Newcomers in Central Okanagan, BC.

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Management students offer free consulting to community
More than 100 Bachelor of Management students from UBC's Okanagan campus have provided free consultation services to 34 small businesses and non-profit organizations in the community over the past few months.

The Management Student Consulting Project (MSCP), a required fourth-year course, aims to strengthen ties between the business community and the university while providing students with the chance to apply their academic knowledge to real-life business situations.

"It's also a way for management students to give something back to the business community, whose support for our students comes in many different forms," says Ian Stuart, professor of supply chain management and MSCP course coordinator. "As well, it gives employers access to bright, enthusiastic, dedicated and energetic individuals who are nearing the end of their degree program."

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Campus Security issues fire safety reminder
This spring, the Kelowna Fire Department has attended several calls to UBC's Okanagan campus after reports of smouldering mulch and unattended campfires.

In some instances, the cause of smoke has been identified as carelessly discarded cigarettes, and in at least one case the location was a landscape mulch bed near a student residence building in the upper part of campus.

With the urban-wildland interface on this campus, it should be noted that interface fires often start as small accidental ignitions. Campus Security reminds everyone that there should be no campfires anywhere on campus. Fire can quickly spread to surrounding grasslands, forests, and even buildings. Smoking should be confined to designated areas with appropriate disposal.

If you see smoke where it shouldn't be, call 911 and also report it to Campus Security at 250-807-8111 or Local 78111.

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Okanagan Senate meeting highlights: April 28
The Okanagan Senate is regularly passing important items. To better inform the campus community, highlights of these items will be posted on the Senate website following each scheduled meeting. Highlights from the April 28 meeting include:
  • Revisions to the current policy for admission of Canadian Aboriginal applicants to Okanagan first-year degree programs.
  • Approval of Senate Policy O-4: Governance of the College of Graduate Studies
  • Approval of Senate Policy O-300: Academic Standing
  • Approval of the Deputy Vice-Chancellor Scholarship for Continuing Students: scholarships ranging in value from $500 to $1,500 to continuing domestic students entering second, third or fourth year

The Okanagan Senate invites interested individuals to attend meetings of the Okanagan Senate. The Rules and Procedures of the Okanagan Senate may be found on the Senate website. The next meeting of the Okanagan Senate is Wednesday, May 19.

For more information about these Senate highlights contact Nathalie Hager, manager of the Okanagan Senate Secretariat, at 250-807-9259.

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Summer Continuing Studies are starting to sizzleSummer Continuing Studies courses now available
This summer's catalogue of Continuing Studies programs aims to help Okanagan residents learn more about living well. With courses on yoga, tai chi, fly fishing, horticulture and creative writing, anyone can pick up a new skill or hobby -- one that can take you to new places, or refine existing passions. New to this year's course offerings is the Artists' Retreat in July. Continuing Studies has also brought back the popular Wine School program for the month of August.

Most employee groups can apply tuition waiver benefits to reimburse or offset the cost of this and most other Continuing Studies courses. Visit the UBC HR Benefits website for more detailed information on particular tuition benefits for your employee group (click on your employee group on the right-hand side).

To find out more about the available courses being offered visit the Continuing Studies website.

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At the Long Service Award recognition on April 22 were, from left, Deputy Vice-Chancellor and Principal Doug Owram, Bert Mueller, Barrie McCullough, James Tanner, Carolyn MacHardy, Kenneth Phillips, and Provost Alaa Abd-El-Aziz. Thirty-year award honouree Doris Callaghan was unable to attend the service award luncheon.

Six honoured for many years of service
Six members of UBC faculty and staff were honoured at a luncheon on April 22 for their years of service to UBC and post-secondary institutions in the Okanagan -- first at Okanagan College, then Okanagan University College, and most recently UBC's Okanagan campus.

The honourees were:
  • H. Barrie McCullough, Assoc. Professor, Political Science -- 35 years
  • Kenneth Phillips, Associate Dean, Faculty of Creative and Critical Studies -- 35 years
  • Doris Callaghan, Assoc. Professor, Nursing -- 30 years
  • Carolyn MacHardy, Assoc. Professor, Art History -- 30 years
  • Bert Mueller, Lab Manager, Barber School Unit 3 -- 25 years
  • James Tanner, Assoc. Professor, Visual Arts -- 25 years

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UBC staff members participating in the Curling for a Cure event in were (from left): Deanna Simmons, Terri Verigin, Sherry Petkau and Jamie Basran

UBC staffers found curling for a cure
In March a team of UBC staff members called the Sweeping Beauties participated in the second annual Curl for a Cure event in Winfield -- a one-day curling bonspiel that helped raise more than $17,000 for the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation. The event was organized by the Girlfriends Run for the Cure team, along with the Winfield Curling Club.

The UBC Sweeping Beauties team were comprised of: Jamie Basran, co-op education coordinator; Sherry Petkau, executive assistant to the AVP Students; Deanna Simmons, on-campus employment program coordinator; and Terri Verigin administrative support for Student Information Services.

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UBC students create fire mapping social network for Okanagan
The Okanagan fire mapping team at UBC includes, from left, Geography Professor Jon Corbett, and fourth-year students Aidan Whiteley and Samantha Brennan.

UBC students create fire mapping social network for Okanagan
If you live in the Okanagan Valley chances are good you have been affected by a forest fire in some way. Now people's personal accounts can be shared on a brand-new social media website that features documentation and mapping of every forest fire in the Okanagan Valley over the last 25 years.

Created by two fourth-year UBC students as part of a new course -- Cartography and Society -- the website uses a newly-developed interface tool called Geolive, which works with Google Maps to enable internet users to add their stories, newspaper clippings, photos and even have real-time discussions about fires that have impacted, or are currently impacting, their lives.

"When we started out on this project we noticed there only seemed to be one dominant theme of forest fires, which was the typical story of people fleeing their homes," says UBC student Samantha Brennan. "But there are all types of perspectives and experiences -- the little kids who watch the planes fill up with water, or the observers who sit out on the lake in their boat, or the people who open their homes to those who are displaced."

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UBC study measures endocrine disruptors
in Okanagan wastewater

UBC researchers conducting the ongoing Okanagan Endocrine Disruptor Study have determined that concentrations of endocrine disrupting compounds (EDCs, referred to collectively as estrogens) are low in Kelowna, Vernon and Penticton wastewater treatment effluents.

Jeff Curtis, associate professor of earth and environmental sciences at UBC's Okanagan campus, and graduate student Tricia Brett are sampling municipal wastewater and receiving waters to determine levels of four estrogenic compounds -- the EDCs -- and rates at which they break down in the environment.

Since 2008, sampling has been underway at the sewage treatment plants in Penticton, Kelowna and Vernon. Samples have been taken of the treated effluent, and the waters receiving the wastewater. In Penticton, the treated wastewater is discharged into the Okanagan River Channel. Kelowna's treated wastewater is discharged into Okanagan Lake, and in Vernon it is discharged into the MacKay Reservoir which supplies a spray irrigation system for nearby lands.

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Great ideas worth stealing: incorporating research into undergraduate student writing
In this workshop session leaders Cathi Shaw, Jordan Stouck and Laura Patterson will guide participants through several sessions that focus on incorporating research writing into classroom exercises, papers and evaluations.

Date: Friday, May 7
Time: 9 a.m. to 12 noon
Location: TBA

To find out more view the online session outline. To register for this workshop visit the Centre for Teaching and Learning website.

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Accounting 101 and Finance Overview
This course is intended for new employees and current employees who are assuming new finance responsibilities. It describes the structure of the UBC Finance Department, offers key contact information, and introduces employees to the basics of UBC accounting. Topics covered will include the roles of Payroll, Accounts Payable, Research and Trust Accounting, basic accounting practices, UBC account structure, and fund accounting.

Date: Tuesday, May 11
Time: 9 a.m. to 11:30 am
Location: Arts building, room ART208
To register: contact Frank Mueller, financial analyst, at 250-807-8726.

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Nutrition workshop focuses on active lifestyles
Whether you bike to work or enjoy other types of exercise come join Bike to Work Week organizers for this special workshop that focuses on the best types of foods to fuel an active body. The workshop will provide practical ideas and research-based details about healthy eating practices that support an active and busy lifestyle. Nutrition myths and misconceptions will also be addressed.

Date: Tuesday, May 11
Time: 12 noon to 1 p.m.
Location: University Centre building, room UNC334

To register for this workshop visit the Faculty and Staff website. To find out more contact Jeff Zeitz at 250-807-8183.

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Registration closes today for May 12 tenure
and promotion workshop

Tenure and promotion are two critical issues facing faculty members. To assist faculty members through this process, Human Resources is holding a tenure and promotion Workshop on May 12.

Registration closes today for this workshop. To register email name, department and rank to

Date: Wednesday, May 12
Time: 12 noon to 2 p.m.
Location: Science building, room SCI396

To find out more contact Connie Neid, Human Resources assistant, at 250-807-8624.

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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: Thursday, May 13
Time: 8:30 a.m. to 12 noon
Location: Fine Arts and Health building, room FINA142
To register: contact Audrey Kirby at 250-807-8806. Please include your CWL login ID, your local and e-mail address.

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Tenure and promotion mentorship session: Antony Hodgson
Faculty members interested in tenure and promotion advice are encouraged to sign up for a mentorship session featuring Antony Hodgson on May 17. Hodgson -- professor and NSERC Chair in Design Engineering and director of the Neuromotor Control Laboratory at UBC's Vancouver campus -- will be on campus offering tenure and promotion guidance.

The Tenure and Promotion Mentorship Program offers interested faculty members the opportunity to meet with a group of tenured Vancouver faculty volunteers one-on-one who can share their experience and provide helpful advice on how to navigate the timelines and documentation required for the tenure and promotion process.

Date: Monday, May 17
Time: all-day

To find out more visit the Tenure and Promotion Mentorship Program website or contact Lynne McPherson at 250-807-8536.

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Faculty instructional skills seminar
This workshop is designed to enhance new and veteran teacher's learning environment facilitation skills. The three-day experience will involve participants learning and applying instructional design by creating mini-lessons that will be taught to the group.

This workshop will help participants learn to write learning outcomes, use common instructional techniques and resources, evaluate learning and develop lesson plans as well as give and receive objective, constructive feedback.

Date: Monday, May 17 to Wednesday, May 19
Time: 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Location: TBA

To find out more view the online session outline. To register for this workshop visit the Centre for Teaching and Learning website.

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Navigating FMS nQuery
This course is intended for anyone on campus that has access to FMS nQuery. It provides participants with an overview of the FMS nQuery menu items and program features. An on-screen demonstration will highlight key options available and how to use them. The topics covered will include how to navigate this read-only system for various purposes: voucher inquiries, payments, vendor searches, purchase orders, ledger summaries and various payroll functions.

Participants are recommended to attend the Accounting 101 and Finance Overview workshop in advance of attending this session.

Date: Tuesday, May 18
Time: 9 a.m. to 12 noon
Location: Fipke Centre, room FIP129
To register: contact Frank Mueller, financial analyst, at 250-807-8726.

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Understanding the UBC staff pension plan
This information session -- presented by Senior Pension Administrator Margaret Leathley -- is for employees who wish to learn more about the Staff Pension Plan. The presentation will discuss eligibility requirements, compulsory enrolment, required contributions, pension formulas as well as retirement and termination benefits.

Date: Thursday, May 20
Time: 9 a.m. to 12 noon
Location: Arts building, room ART396

To RSVP for this workshop, email by Wednesday, May 12. To book a personal session with Margaret Leathley please contact Connie Neid, Human Resources assistant, at 250-807-8624.

To find out more about this workshop visit the Human Resources website.

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news | people | research | workshops | events | UBCO.TV | top

May 5, 2010



Research Spotlight

4th issue of LAKE: A Journal of Arts and Environment launches tonight
LAKE: A Journal of Arts and Environment launches its fourth issue at Summerhill Winery tonight. This special spring evening arts event is a great opportunity to get your new issue of LAKE, hot off the press.

The event will feature guest artists Joice M. Hall and Kevin Dunn and will kick off an online auction. Tickets are $25 at the door and include appetizers and live music from the Hugh Parsons Trio.

This locally produced, nationally acclaimed journal is published with the support of the Faculty of Creative and Critical Studies at UBC's Okanagan campus. Check out the website at

Date: Wednesday, May 5 (tonight)
Time: 7 to 9 p.m.
Location: Summerhill Pyramid Winery -- 4870 Chute Lake Road, Kelowna

For more information, contact Lally Grauer at 250-764-5351.

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16th Annual Aboriginal Career Fair
As many as 350 Aboriginal high school students from throughout the Okanagan will visit the Okanagan campus this Thursday for the 16th 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.

The day's festivities include drumming, singing, and dancing performances, career and employment booths and a barbecue.

Date: Thursday, May 6
Time: 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Location: University Centre building ballroom outside commons area

For more information about this event contact Dan Odenbach, Aboriginal Program Administrator, at 250-807-9376.

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Don't stay in your office for coffee this Friday
Sponsored by the Bookstore, all faculty and staff are invited for coffee on Friday, May 7, in the Bookstore foyer for Pitstop.

Coffee or tea and a variety of pastries will be served for only $2 per person.

Date: Friday, May 7
Time: 9:30 to 10:30 a.m.
Location: Bookstore foyer, Campus Administration building

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Bike to Work Week
Celebrate Bike to Work Week May 10 to 14
This year's Bike to Work Week (BTWW) team is called The Cycologists and members of the campus community interested in participating are encouraged to sign up as soon as possible.

This year's on-campus BTWW events include:
  • Monday, 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., Campus Courtyard
    Opening ceremonies, barbecue, and outdoor games
  • Tuesday, 12 noon to 1 p.m., University Centre, room UNC334
    Active lifestyle nutrition workshop: What's your fuel?
  • Wednesday, 12 noon to 1 p.m., University Centre, room UNC232
    Bike maintenance workshop
  • Thursday, 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m., University Centre food court
    Film screening: Klunkerz
  • Friday, 9 a.m., online
    Trivia match (team members only)

There is also a post-BTWW awards ceremony that will take place on Monday, May 17, from 12 noon to 1 p.m. in the campus courtyard.

To find out more about BTWW events organized by the City of Kelowna visit

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Greening Your Office
Greening Your Office luncheon scheduled for May 18
The campus community can enjoy a free luncheon focused on sustainability in the workplace on May 18. The event -- open to all UBC faculty and staff at no charge -- will provide green office products, resources, and tips for becoming a sustainability leader in the workplace. The first 30 registrants will receive sustainability kits containing a variety of eco-friendly products for the office.

A healthy and garbage-less lunch featuring products from local farmers will also be served at noon on a first-come first-served basis. All participants are asked to bring their own travel mugs or bottles for coffee and water.

Participants can also bring a business card to enter for a variety of door prizes, including a brunch for two at Summerhill Pyramid Winery.

Date: Tuesday, May 18
Time: 12 noon to 1 p.m.
Location: Fipke Centre atrium

To register, or find out more, contact Sarah Henderson, sustainability advisor, at 250-807-9232.

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National Walk/Run of Life for Cardiac Health
Raise money and awareness for Cardiac Health in Kelowna at UBC's Okanagan campus on May 29. The Central Okanagan Association for Cardiac Health (COACH) -- a non-profit organization that provides education and exercise programs to help prevent cardiovascular disease -- will be holding its annual Walk/Run of Life on campus.

As a host venue, all members of the UBC community are encouraged to participate in the 1 to 5 km family walk or 10 km run.

Date: Saturday, May 29
Time: 8:30 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Location: Campus Courtyard

To receive a registration package contact Jeff Zeitz at 250-807-8183.

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On-campus talks: Connect your research to tech markets
How can entrepreneurial university students and faculty take their research to market and access funding from the technology sector?

On June 10, students, faculty and staff are invited to Tech Talk Unplugged -- two free talks on campus by Ethan Anderson, Red Beacon 2009 TechCrunch 50 winner, and Tim Bajarin from Jeremy Geiger, a deal screener for the venture fund created by Google CEO Eric Schmidt, will also be on campus that day.

This event is free and goes from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., in the Admin Building Theatre (formerly SSC 026). Space is limited and pre-registration is required at

What's Happening at UBC Okanagan
The UBC Okanagan events calendar is the central point for online information about university-related events, on and off campus.

Events at a Glance:

For a full listing visit the UBC Okanagan events calendar.

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EventsUBCO.TV spotlight
This edition's special UBCO.TV feature is a series of extended research presentations from Celebrate Research and a highlight of the Celebrate Research Gala that finished the week's activities.

  • Celebrate Research Gala
    Colleagues, community partners, family and friends shared in an inspirational evening of special presentations, film vignettes and awards at the annual Celebrate Research Gala.
  • Deborah Roberts
    Celebrate Research Week presentation: A near real-time device for the detection of pathogens in water
  • David Jefferess
    Celebrate Research Week presentation: Thinking and acting globally: benevolence and the desire to make a difference
  • Adam Jones
    Celebrate Research Week presentation: New directions in genocide research
  • Jennifer Jakobi
    Celebrate Research Week presentation: Muscle activity: A new age method to old age questions
  • Paul Davies
    Celebrate Research Week presentation: Faces of crime, integrity and respect

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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 19 May 14 (Friday)
June 2 May 28 (Friday)
June 16 June 11 (Friday)

View previous editions of The Exchange

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