newsDuring a ceremony on Wednesday, UBC's Okanagan campus presented 2010 Staff Awards of Excellence to, from left, Pat Braham, Karen Seddon, and Brenda Hamm.
During a ceremony on Wednesday, UBC's Okanagan campus presented 2010 Staff Awards of Excellence to, from left, Pat Braham, Karen Seddon, and Brenda Hamm.

UBC's Okanagan staff honoured for customer service excellence

Three staff members at UBC's Okanagan campus were honoured Wednesday with the university's Staff Awards of Excellence. All of this year's honourees were cited for excellence in customer service.

"These awards recognize the extraordinary contributions of those who have gone above and beyond their job description in helping the Okanagan campus achieve its goals," says Doug Owram, Deputy Vice Chancellor and Principal of the Okanagan campus. "The award recipients exemplify a commitment to excellence and the highest standards of service to our campus community."

The award recipients are Pat Braham, unit assistant for the Mathematics, Statistics and Physics Unit in the Irving K. Barber School of Arts and Sciences, Brenda Hamm, reference assistant in the UBC Library, and Karen Seddon, facilities and finance assistant in the School of Engineering.

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Rendering of Health Sciences Centre on UBC’s Okanagan campus
Rendering of Health Sciences Centre on UBC's Okanagan campus.

Admissions begin for Southern Medical Program

The doors to UBC's new Southern Medical Program (SMP) are opening. The 2011 MD Undergraduate Program admissions cycle opened June 1, and will admit the first class of SMP students in May 2011.

The Southern Medical Program is the fourth site in the UBC Faculty of Medicine's Undergraduate program, which has more than doubled the number of students and distributed their training throughout the province to produce the next generation of physicians for B.C.

"The program offers 32 seats to incoming students, who will complete their first four months of training in Vancouver before moving to their new home in the Interior," says Dr. Allan Jones, Regional Associate Dean, Southern Medical Program.

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Sixth year of Okanagan campus growth increases opportunities for UBC degree

UBC's Okanagan campus welcomes 7,000 students for September

Strong demand for a University of British Columbia degree has resulted in the sixth straight year of enrolment growth at UBC's Okanagan campus, which will welcome 1,832 first-year students, up by 22 per cent. UBC's Vancouver campus has met its enrolment target and will have 5,666 new first-year students, a slight decrease from 2009.

"UBC has an exceptional reputation as an institution of global excellence," said James Ridge, associate vice-president and registrar. "We continue to provide an education on par with the world's best to tens of thousands of B.C. students, while attracting bright minds from across Canada and around the world."

In addition to recruiting its largest-ever incoming class this year, UBC's Okanagan campus will have a total campus population of 7,000 students, roughly double from 3,516 six years ago when the campus was launched. Total graduate student enrolment is 531, up by 20 per cent from 2009.

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Kids in Mochudi
Children from Mochudi, Botswana. Photo by Michelle Lowton

Want to try something different next year?

Leave for Change registration now open

Staff members who are thinking about some 'voluntourism' for next year's vacation have a good opportunity to explore in September. UBC and Uniterra -- one of Canada's largest international development organizations -- are now accepting applications from staff members for the Leave for Change program.

UBC is committed to sending up to six staff volunteers per year. Last year two staff members from the Okanagan campus -- Michelle Lowton and Jamie Frezell -- were selected for projects in Botswana and Nepal.

Visit the Leave For Change website for more details about eligibility criteria, the application process, and some frequently asked questions. The deadline for applications this year is Thursday, Sept. 30.

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Henderson family creates award to recognize UBC students studying international health and community development

An annual award of $1,000 has being created for undergraduate or graduate students at UBC's Okanagan campus who are involved in international health or international community development initiatives.

The award is being established by the Henderson family of Salmon Arm through the Shuswap Community Foundation, and will go to UBC's Okanagan Senate for consideration this fall. It will be given each year to a student recommended by the Faculty of Health and Social Development, in consultation with UBC's Go Global program and the College of Graduate Studies. Preference will be given to an international student.

The new award will encourage more students to pursue international health and community development projects, gaining a wider scope of formal and informal learning from these experiences and developing their skills as global citizens.

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Dr. Samantha Nutt
2010 honorary degree recipient Dr. Samantha Nutt

2011 honorary degree nominations now open

The Okanagan Senate welcomes the nomination of worthy individuals for honorary degrees. Nominations submitted are considered for UBC honorary degrees that will be awarded at the Okanagan campus spring graduation ceremonies next year.

Last year's honorary degree recipient was War Child Canada founder Dr. Samantha Nutt. The Senate is looking for another accomplished nominee this year -- a recognized individual, or individuals, who have made substantial contributions to society at the provincial, national, and/or international levels. These include:

  • Leading academics in all disciplines and creative minds in arts and performance;
  • Public intellectuals and opinion makers;
  • Visionary leaders and exemplary public figures;
  • Community builders and philanthropists.

Interested applicants can submit an online nomination via Okanagan Senate website. To find out more contact Kelly Ross, Manager of the Okanagan Senate Secretariat, at 250-807-9259.

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Reminder: Community Day volunteers and performers needed

UBC's Got Talent!

On the Okanagan campus, talent is everywhere. Everybody knows somebody who does something special. Community Day offers a showcase for singers, dancers, musicians and performers.

Community Day volunteers

This is a place like no other, and no one can tell its story like the people who work and play here every day.

Faculty, staff and students are also needed to greet hundreds of guests, show them around and tell them the varied versions of the campus story. Morning and afternoon shifts are available. To learn more and sign up as a volunteer, visit the community day volunteer registration page.

Community Day -- volunteer for the fun of it

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United Way logoUBC kicks off 2010-2011 United Way Campaign

One of the best ways to give back to the community during the school year is by getting behind the campus United Way campaign.The United Way is UBC's designated charity, carefully chosen for its capacity to touch so many lives.

The first fundraiser of the 2010-2011 campaign kicks off with the annual Breakfast to Go event on September 30. Other events and initiatives to watch for this year:

  • Halloween barbecue
  • Arts & crafts fair
  • Used book cart (outside the Library)
  • Bake sale and silent auction
  • Poinsettia sale
  • Campaign wrap-up

A tremendous amount of work goes into these events and the United Way committee, chaired again this year by Sharon McCoubrey, relies on the campus community for their success. Together with vital faculty and staff pledges this year's annual target goal of $50,000 will be reached.

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Changes coming for Equity: staff, websites and name

The Human Rights and Equity Services office is making a few changes this summer and fall. Equity Advisor Kamilla Bahbahani went on maternity leave at the end of August, with Disability Resource Centre Coordinator Jess Roebuck moving over to the Equity Advisor's role.

Human Rights and Equity Services is also changing its name to a more streamlined Equity Office, and will soon launch a reorganized website with easier access and more resources. These include links to an anti-racism database developed by student Melissa Unruh under the guidance of David Jefferess, Assistant Professor of English and Cultural Studies. The new site will also feature a wiki-like page with human rights and equity information.

The web changes continue with the unveiling of a new website that parallels the new equity and diversity educational campaign, Equity Matters, which will be officially launched with a campus event on September 21. The Equity Matters campaign will include a research series starting in late September showcasing graduate work on equity and diversity.

To find out more visit the Equity Office website at http://web.ubc.ca/okanagan/equity

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English Language Centre website
The new English Language Centre offers a broad array of online and hands-on tools for students

New English Language Centre helps provide tools for success

A new Student Development and Advising project has just launched that aims to put even more tools for success in the hands of students on campus.

The new English Language Centre -- being headed by Coordinator Andrea Szilagyi -- is a welcome home for international and domestic students who are looking to improve their English language skills.

It will use web-based, conversational and written tasks -- as well as a variety of cultural events -- to help students get comfortable and have fun with the English language. The centre focuses on a variety of hands-on and virtual language improvement tools to help students build confidence and get the most out of their courses.

To find out more visit the English Language Centre website, or contact Andrea Szilagyi at 250-807-8822.

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Need a new game? Join the Run/Walk group

Students, staff and faculty are invited to get ready for a new running season with the campus community's ongoing Run/Walk Group. The Run/Walk Group is a great opportunity to get or stay fit while exploring the hiking trails around campus.

The group meets every Tuesday at 3:30 p.m. in the Kalamalka Residences Wellness Centre. All levels of runners and walkers are welcome to join the group.

For more information please visit either Health & Wellness Centre on campus -- located in the University Centre (room UNC337) and Kalamalka Residence (room City Home 123) -- or contact Health & Wellness Counsellors Tracey Sutton or Roger Wilson.

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peopleEarllene Roberts

New DRC Coordinator brings strong mix of local and university experience to the table

A warm welcome to Earllene Roberts, the campus community's new Disability Resource Centre (DRC) Coordinator. A Kelowna resident for the past 16 years, Earllene brings the perfect mix of academic and professional experience to the position.

She joined UBC from Community Living BC in Kelowna where she most recently worked as a case manager, analyst and senior contract coordinator, delivering and administering support programs and services to people with developmental disabilities.

Earllene's strong academic connections to UBC and this campus make her a natural fit as DRC Coordinator. She is an Okanagan University College graduate, earning her BSW in 1998. From there she went on to earn her MSW from UBC in 2006 and is now a PhD student with the Faculty of Health and Social Development, working on a doctorate in critical disability studies.

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Four full-time coaches hired as UBC's Okanagan campus prepares for CIS competition
The Heat's new full-time coaching staff (from left): Heather Semeniuk, Steve Manuel, Greg Poitras and Darren Semeniuk

Four full-time coaches hired as UBC's Okanagan campus prepares for CIS competition

The Heat now have four full-time coaches for the upcoming season as teams continue to prepare for the Canada West conference of Canadian Interuniversity Sports (CIS) in 2011.

Steve Manuel, the women's volleyball coach, will be joined as a full-time coach by Heather Semeniuk (women's basketball), Darren Semeniuk (men's basketball), and Greg Poitras (men's volleyball).

These four coaches have compiled a very impressive track record in the five seasons since UBC's Okanagan campus opened its doors. The volleyball and basketball teams have won medals -- including six gold -- in 16 of the 19 provincial championships attended. In that same five-year span, the teams also won more than three-quarters of their league games, boasting a robust .755 winning percentage with 253 wins and only 82 losses.

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workshopsLibrary RAP program restarts in September

Library RAP program restarts in September

The Research Assistance Program (RAP) is a regular series of workshops for students that offer practical ideas on finding, handling, and presenting research information. Everyone is encouraged to promote this free series of workshops to students on campus. Here are some of the upcoming sessions:

For more information or to register for these workshops visit the RAP website.

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RSVP by September 10 for Faculty Pension Plan seminar

A reminder: all faculty members who have questions, or want to find out more, about the UBC Faculty Pension Plan have an excellent opportunity to find out more on September 15. A series of info sessions is being offered that covers a wide variety of details -- from investment options and principles, to plan provisions and plans for what's next for retiring and new faculty members.

Date: Wednesday, Sept. 15
Time: sessions run from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Location: University Centre ballroom, room UNC200

RSVP by Friday, Sept. 10, to secure a spot in any of the sessions. To register, or find out more, contact Lynne McPherson.

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Reminder: wellness learning sessions
now being offered at no charge

Human Resources is offering a new series of no-charge wellness learning sessions this fall for departments and admin units across campus. These are hour-long sessions that provide participants with general knowledge about personal health and wellbeing strategies.

Sessions range from discussions on depression and the various stages of marriage, to communication in family life and navigating life transitions. To find out more view the full list of available sessions.

Departments interested in hosting one of these no-charge sessions just need 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.

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September 1, 2010


UBC's Okanagan staff honoured for customer service excellence
Admissions begin for Southern Medical Program
Sixth year of Okanagan campus growth
Want to try something different next year?
Henderson family creates award
2011 honorary degree nominations now open
2010-2011 United Way Campaign
Changes coming for Equity
New English Language Centre
Join the Run/Walk group


New DRC Coordinator
Four full-time coaches hired as UBC's Okanagan campus prepares for CIS competition

eventsUBC President Stephen Toope
UBC President Stephen Toope

UBC's 2010 President's Town Hall Meetings

Students, faculty, staff and alumni are invited to attend the 2010 President's Campus Town Hall, being held next Friday on campus. Join Prof. Stephen J. Toope for an update on Place and Promise: The UBC Plan and other important initiatives.

Okanagan campus
Friday, Sept. 10
Time: 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Location: University Centre Ballroom, room UNC200

Vancouver Campus
Monday, Sept. 20
Time: 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Location: TELUS Studio Theatre at The Chan Centre for the Performing Arts

The Town Halls are a forum for dialogue and a way for the campus community to learn about strategic initiatives at the University. Submit questions in advance at www.president.ubc.ca/townhall.

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Richard Florida

Distinguished Speaker Series: Richard Florida

Richard Florida is one of the world's leading public intellectuals on economic competitiveness, demographic trends, and cultural and technological innovation.

Taking up the themes of his two most recent books, Who's Your City and The Great Reset, in his Kelowna presentation Florida examines how the creative economy is making where to live the most important decision of your life, and how new ways of living and working will drive post-crash prosperity.

The one-hour presentation will be followed by a book-signing and refreshments.

Date: Friday, September 10, 2010
Time: 7 p.m.
Location: Ballroom, Delta Grand Okanagan Resort and Convention Centre, 1310 Water St., Kelowna

Seats are free, but online registration is required. To find out more visit the Distinguished Speaker Series website.

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Community Day

On September 18, UBC's doors swing wide open for Community Day, a day when everyone is welcomed to the Okanagan campus for fun, food and 5th birthday celebrations. The day's activities include:

  • compelling talks from four of Canada's top researchers
  • Free hot dogs and birthday cupcakes
  • Out-of-the-box art activities for the kids
  • Cooking demos featuring fresh, local food
  • Centre stage performances from talented students, faculty and staff
  • A scavenger hunt through campus nooks and crannies - exploring everything from ice age animals to human simulators; artistic inspiration to scientific discovery

For a full listing of the day's events visit the Community Day at a Glance page.

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Round peg in a square hole: challenging our thinking about program evaluation

This lunchtime presentation -- part of the Institute for Healthy Living and Chronic Disease Prevention's Partnerships in Research series -- is an opportunity to find out more about the current research and practice on health-based program evaluations.
Presenters for this talk include:

  • Carole Robinson, Associate Professor, School of Nursing
  • Tom Fulton, Chief of Professional Practice and Nursing, Interior Health Authority
  • Alice Mah Wren, Director of Seniors Health, Interior Health Authority

Date: Tuesday, Sept. 21
Time: 12 noon to 1 p.m.
Location: University Centre building, room UNC334

There is no charge for this talk and it is open to the public. To find out more contact Caron Currie at 250-807-8072.

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What's Happening on campus

The Okanagan campus 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 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

September 15 September 10
October 6 October 1 (Friday)
October 20 October 15 (Friday)

View previous editions of The Exchange

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