Indian mathematics student Pulkit Bansal is finishing up a 10-week internship at UBC's Okanagan campus, where he has been working with professors Heinz Bauschke and Shawn Wang to solve some difficult mathematics problems.

Math whiz from India completes research internship at UBC

Undergraduate student Pulkit Bansal from the Indian Institute of Technology in Kanpur is concluding a 10-week research internship at UBC's Okanagan campus, working with mathematicians Heinz Bauschke and Shawn Wang to develop a computer program that can solve popular logic game puzzles, such as Tetravex.

Bansal is the first student to come to UBC's Okanagan campus through Globalink, a unique internship program connecting talented international students with world-class researchers in Canadian universities.

"My role here was to take this fairly mysterious algorithm that solves a large number of varying problems and design a computer program that uses it to solve the game puzzle of Tetravex and the K-queens problem," says Bansal.

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Share the good news about UBC's Okanagan campus

This year's summer edition of the Update newsletter is packed with interesting features about research, achievements and milestones as the Okanagan campus celebrates its fifth anniversary.

This special Update illustrates a few of the many ways UBC’s Okanagan campus is making a difference and preparing for an exciting future teaching, discovering, contributing, and creating opportunity. Originally published in print, the online edition and a PDF version are now available. Check out the stories, and share them with colleagues and friends.

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UBC undergrad wins international award in Australia

Andrew Hughes, a psychology (honours) student, has returned to Kelowna from the Universitas 21 (U21) Undergraduate Research Conference in Melbourne, Australia, having earned the "Best Presentation" award for his innovative undergraduate research.

Hughes and 36 other students from 15 countries -- representing 23 of the world's top research universities -- gave oral presentations at the annual conference, which brings together students from around the globe to showcase their research for an international audience of fellow students and academics.

"I feel that I have really contributed something valuable to the scientific community," says Hughes, whose research investigates the relative competencies of the brain's left and right hemispheres in processing emotion. "Having my presentation recognized in this way signifies that I have been able to successfully communicate my passion for research to others. I feel more encouraged than ever to continue my education."

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Trio of KSS Owls join Heat volleyball team

Clarice MacGillivray, Kailin Jones and Chandler Proch make up a solid trio of locally-schooled rookies joining the UBC Okanagan Heat women's volleyball team this year. All three attended Kelowna Secondary and played for the Kelowna Volleyball Club and as such are quite familiar with playing together.

Chandler Proch, a 5’10” setter, joins the Heat with some impressive credentials including: starting Setter for the Gold Medal winning BC team at the 2009 National Team Challenge Cup, a sixth overall ranking among B.C. high school prospects, and a reputation as the top Setter in the entire province under the age of 18.
Power hitter Clarice MacGillivray earned a spot on the B.C. 17-under team in 2009. She’s also been known to take her game to the beach, where she played for Team B.C. in 2008 and at the BC Summer Games. 
Kailin Jones will add depth to an already strong libero position alongside returning starter Lenai Schmidt. Jones was part of the B.C. 18-under team where she received notoriety for being one of the top defenders in the province. She also served as captain for her high school team where she was named a Provincial All-Star. 

In the news...

Recent BFA graduate Cory Dixon on the cover of the Kelowna Capital News July 7.

Artists appear eager to
spark downtown growth

Kelowna Capital News -- July 7, 2010
It's a cultural phenomenon evident in virtually every major North American city: The artists move in, real estate values go up and neighbourhoods gentrify, developing into more vibrant -- and costly -- communities.

Now a group of young artists in Kelowna has decided to harness those theories, skip the waiting period and go straight to the source by actually joining forces with the real estate community to encourage growth in the downtown core.

“We wanted to do this sort of rejuvenating project for the community,” explained Cory Dixon, who graduated from UBC in fine arts this spring.

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peopleJohanna Sam

New Aboriginal Student Advisor has strong Northern B.C. roots

A warm campus community welcome to Johanna Sam, UBC's newest Aboriginal Student Advisor. Born and raised in Tsilhqot'in territory in Northern B.C., Johanna holds a BSc in psychology from the University of Northern British Columbia where she had the opportunity to focus her education on a number of projects related to adverse childhood trauma on human development.

Johanna has also worked in rural communities throughout Northern BC for Human Resource and Skills Development Canada -- delivering and promoting a Youth Employment Strategy contribution programs throughout the region, a program which assists youth at risk, Aboriginal youth, and persons with disabilities gain life and employability skills they need to make a successful transition into the workplace.

To find out more about Johanna feel free to contact her directly at 250-807-8787.

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research spotlight

In the news...

Thesis looks at employment for the disabled

Vernon Morning Star -- July 6, 2010
Looking for work can be difficult at any time. Laura Hockman, executive director of the Vernon Disability Resource Centre, knows it is even more challenging for people with disabilities and she decided to use her master's degree thesis research to find out just what issues there are.

She presented her findings at a recent workshop in Vernon.

"Everything I found out was fascinating. For example, in 1982, a federal government report made 120 recommendations around employment and disabilities. In 1996, a similar report said three areas needed improvement and didn't even mention the other areas," said Hockman, who earned her Master of Arts degree from UBC's Okanagan campus this spring.

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Engineering research adds expertise to oil spill coverage

Research by Rehan Sadiq, Associate Professor in the School of Engineering, was cited on CNN.com as citizen journalists added their voices to early coverage of the Gulf of Mexico oil spill.

In late May, CNN's iReport site featured an opinion-editorial article by Alden Cleanthes which explores the risks associated with the "top kill" approach to closing down the seabed oil leak by pumping heavy drilling mud into the well bore. A research paper by Sadiq and colleagues -- originally a semi-finalist in a 2001 competition by the Society of Risk Analysis and published in 2003 in the journal Risk Analysis -- was referenced, explaining  how barite is used in drilling muds and what type of potential environmental impacts it can cause.

The CNN iReport article identifies drilling mud as potentially more toxic than the oil that was escaping from the well.

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Fall Teaching Expo ready to go

The Centre for Teaching and Learning's annual Fall Teaching Expo is fast approaching and organizers are hard at work prepping for this season's biggest on-campus professional development series for faculty members.

The expo -- being held from August 16 to September 3 -- will feature a mix of teaching with technology sessions and general interest sessions that focus on teaching practices for post-secondary education. The Expo will also feature a golf and dinner social event and a Centre for Teaching and Learning open house.

To find out more visit the Centre for Teaching and Learning website or contact Academic Development Manager Heather Hurren at 250-807-9288.

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Conference: recent advances in the prevention and treatment of childhood and adolescent obesity

Organized by UBC Interprofessional Continuing Education, the annual Conference on Recent Advances in the Prevention and Treatment of Childhood and Adolescent Obesity brings together an interdisciplinary group of professionals looking to share the latest findings in the field of childhood and adolescent obesity.

The 3rd conference focuses on the family's relationship to childhood obesity -- examining important intergenerational influences, family-based determinants and interventions at the policy level, in school based, public health and primary care prevention strategies and in the treatment of children with obesity and their families. A focus on childhood obesity and type two diabetes in aboriginal communities will also be highlighted at the conference.

Dates: October 27 to 29
Location: Hamilton Convention Centre -- Hamilton, Ontario

To find out more visit the Interprofessional Continuing Education website or call 604-822-7524.

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July 21, 2010


Indian student on math internship
Share the good news
Undergrad wins international award
Trio of Owls join Heat volleyball
Artists eager to spark growth
No-charge wellness sessions


New Aboriginal Student Advisor

Research Spotlight

Thesis: employment for the disabled
Engineer cited in Gulf oil coverage


Save the Date:
September 1

Kick off the new academic year with a day of annual activities for all faculty and staff.

Deputy Vice-Chancellor’s Town Hall and Presentation of the Staff Awards of Excellence
Time: 9 – 10:30 a.m.
Location: Administration Building lecture theatre, ADM 026

Orientation Fair
Time: 11 a.m. – 1 p.m.
Location: (NEW) University Commons (behind the University Centre)

Faculty and Staff BBQ
Time: 11:30 a.m. – 1 p.m.
Location: (NEW) University Commons (behind the University Centre)

Email invitations to these events will be distributed to all faculty and staff members later in July. Please contact the Ceremonies Office at okanagan.ceremonies@ubc.ca for further information.

Employee wellness learning sessions now offered at no charge

Human Resources is offering a new series of no-charge wellness learning sessions for departments and admin units across campus. These are hour-long sessions that provide participants with general knowledge about personal health and well-being strategies, as well as provide tools and additional resources that are available to UBC employees. Wellness sessions include:

  • Depression
  • Marriage in the early, middle and later stages
  • An introduction to smoking cessation
  • Making shift work easier and safer
  • The emotional effects of retirement
  • Navigating life transitions
  • Communication in family life
  • Foundations of effective parenting

View the full list of available sessions to find out more.

Departments interested in hosting one of these no-charge sessions just needs to choose a session and fill out the Healthy UBC Program Request Form. Completed forms can be emailed to Return to Work and Health Promotion Advisor Jeff Zeitz.

Events at a Glance:

The Okanagan campus events calendar is the central point for online information about university-related events, on and off campus.

Wednesday, July 21 (7 p.m.)
Law and Order: UBC Sociology professor Christopher Schneider speaks at Okanagan College's Kalamalka campus

Thursday, July 22 (4:30 p.m.)
Altarab: a fusion and traditional Arabic music performance

For a full listing visit the Okanagan campus events calendar.

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Exchange your information

The Exchange is your newsletter. Let everyone know what's going on in your corner of campus.

Send submissions to Alumni and University Relations c/o Chris Guenard.

Publication Date

Submission Deadline

Aug. 4 July 30 (Friday)
Aug. 18 Aug. 13 (Friday)
Sept. 1 Aug. 27 (Friday)

View previous editions
of The Exchange

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