School of Nursing partners with University of São Paulo at Ribeirão Preto College
Enhancements in research and student learning initiatives are at the core of the new memorandum of understanding signed by UBC’s School of Nursing in the Faculty of Health and Social Development, and the University of São Paulo at Ribeirão Preto College of Nursing (EERP-USP.)
“This agreement represents our commitment to build lasting and mutually beneficial partnerships that increase our academic offerings to our students and leverage our shared expertise in health–related research,” say UBC Okanagan’s Deputy Vice-Chancellor and Principal Deborah Buszard.
The accord builds on existing relationships between the two schools of nursing, which includes joint research publications and visits between faculty members. The formalized partnership will support efforts to increase the frequency of the collaborative efforts including research collaborations and faculty and student exchanges.
“The agreement allows the exchange of researchers, undergraduate and graduate students, as well as the institutional recognition of the ongoing activities among researchers from both institutions,” says Prof. Silvana Martins Mishima, Dean of EERP-USP School of Nursing.
“Certainly, there will be the strengthening of relations between the two institutions, opening up other possibilities in the future regarding the production of knowledge in areas of mutual interest, development of collaborative research, as well as opportunities for research and training in different health care settings,” says Martins Mishima.
“We believe this initiative will have a significant long-term impact on both of our nursing schools,” says Prof. Patricia Marck, director of UBC’s School of Nursing.
“In working with EERP-USP we have the opportunity for our faculty and students to research and learn with some of Brazils’ top nursing scholars in several areas of shared interest, including safety and quality, nursing leadership, and health equity,” says Marck.
The partnership represents a significant step in UBC Okanagan’s efforts to grow its network abroad and contributes directly the University’s strategic objective of creating rich opportunities for international engagement, including for students and researchers.
Texas-Mexico border wall has negative effects on the rights of Indigenous peoples
A UBC researcher’s presentation to a United Nations Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination (CERD) has made positive inroads.
Margo Tamez, an assistant professor of Indigenous studies at UBC’s Okanagan campus, is confident her voice, and concerns, were heard. Tamez was an official observer for the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights at the 85th CERD Session in Geneva, Switzerland last month.
“I am extremely pleased that the CERD members listened to my presentations when I was given the floor during their session, and they provided further opportunity to speak about my research findings,” says Tamez.
Tamez, who teaches in the Community, Cultural and Global Studies unit with the Irving K. Barber School of Arts and Sciences, has conducted community-based research about the long-term effects that the Texas-Mexico border wall has on the Indigenous peoples. In her ground-breaking research she refers to the wall, which divides the Nde' traditional territory for more than 70 miles, as gulag-style. Tamez has documented many negative effects the wall has on residents.
The UN CERD committee recently released its concluding observations on the periodic review of the United States and Tamez feels her presentation at the session has made a difference.
Tamez has extensively researched Aboriginal rights in the US. and contributed to a major brief to the Early Warning/Early Action procedure of the CERD body in 2012 which was reviewed at the 85th session. Her research focuses on Indigenous rights claims by the Lipan Apache from Texas. The claims include lack of consultation, obstruction to free prior and informed consent, mass dispossession, and non-recognition of treaty obligations.
“I am also pleased to read in the CERD’s concluding observations that the committee members view the border wall, militarization, racial profiling, surveillance, environmental injustices, religious rights violations, and other impediments to Lipan Apaches' rights as serious violations of the convention,” Tamez says.
Tamez notes that her research and advocacy, combined with her partnership with the Lipan Apache Band and law experts at the University of Texas, has brought broader awareness of the serious implications of violations for Indigenous peoples, most notably in the Texas-Mexico region.
“Furthermore, my lobbying efforts with CERD members from Ireland, Algeria and Russia proved effective in advancing the race-gender-age dimensions of violations against the convention by the US,” Tamez adds.
Tamez’s research is supported through a UBC Hampton Research Grant Award.
Okanagan College will be hosting IELTS (the International English Language Testing System) testing Nov. 1, and a course to prepare students for the exam will start Sept. 16.
There are two versions of the IELTS, academic and general. The academic version is used for entrance into post-secondary institutions and the general is used for work or immigration purposes. While both versions have the same listening and speaking sections, they have different reading and writing sections. The general version is one of the measures that Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) will accept as part of an immigrant’s application for citizenship.
Currently, CIC requires that people between 18 and 54 prove they have adequate knowledge of English or French in order to apply for citizenship. While there are a number of ways to demonstrate those language skills (including successful completion of a post-secondary credential program), one of the acceptable ways involves IELTS scores.
The test is offered at the College in conjunction with Global Village Vancouver, a 25-year-old English language school in Vancouver that administers IELTS in Canada. (To register for one of the exams or to learn more, go to www.ieltsvancouver.com).
The preparatory course being offered by the College is Intensive Academic English for IELTS, a 10-hour-a-week course focused on development of language skills assessed by IELTS. The program runs three evenings a week.
The course goes beyond simple exam practice. Rather, it develops the micro skills that IELTS assesses including topic-relevant vocabulary and academic and general reading and writing tasks typical to IELTS. To find out more about the course, email [email protected].
IELTS is not only used by CIC, it is also one of the standards used by many academic institutions (including Okanagan College) for admission to various programs. More than 20 years old, it is used by 8,000 organizations and last year, more than two million IELTS tests were administered. It is offered at 900 test centres in more than 130 countries.
Always a highlight of the fall season, the sixth annual Youth Exhibition Powwow at Okanagan College boasts some new features this year, making it the most culturally rich event to date.
In addition to the First Nation’s singing, drumming, dancing and colourful regalia that takes over the courtyard of Okanagan College’s Kelowna campus on Sept. 18, there will also be a traditional meal of bannock and deer stew offered to all guests and participants.
“The sharing of food is an integral part of our traditions,” says Okanagan College’s Aboriginal Access and Services Coordinator, Anthony Isaac. “The elders coming to campus and blessing the food really highlights how important it is to the whole celebration.”
The serving of the meal has been made possible thanks to generous donations from the community, including Urban Harvest, SunRype and the Ki-Low-Na Friendship Society, along with campus supporters, including Culinary Arts Manager Chef Bernard Casavant and Indigenous Studies professor Bill Cohen, among many others.
“It’s been a real community effort,” says Isaac.
A new initiative aimed at helping students is also launching at this year’s event. A 50/50 draw is being held in conjunction with the Okanagan College Foundation. All the proceeds from the draw are earmarked for a new scholarship for Aboriginal students taking Adult Academic and Career Preparation programs at the College.
Visitors will also get to enjoy craft vendors selling authentic Aboriginal artwork, carvings, and beadwork, including Dorothy Clough and Marsha King of First Nation Crafts, Barbara Patkiw of Native Bead Works, and Morning Dove Hall ixastcawt who makes jewelry from shells and antlers.
In addition, more than 200 youth from private band schools across the Okanagan, including s?nsísyust?n House of Learning, Studio 9 Independent School of the Arts, Outma Sqilx'W Cultural School and OKIB K-7 Sqilxw Cultural Immersion School, have been invited to attend this year’s festivities.
For the fifth time Richard Jackson brings his infectious energy as MC, Noel Ferguson reprises his role as ceremonial Whip Man – otherwise known as the arena director – and the invited drum troops are crowd-favourites Iron Mountain and Little Hawk.
“The powwow is a great chance to celebrate our youth, highlight the richness of who we are, and the strengths of our culture,” says Isaac.
“The more we do to increase people’s understanding of our ways of knowing and doing, the more we create a sense of belonging for all of our learners.”
The powwow festivities start at 10 a.m. and run to 2 p.m., but for those who can’t make it Okanagan College is streaming the event live at www.okanagan.bc.ca/powwow.
Three new members of Okanagan College’s Board of Governors will be bringing business and community perspectives to the table as they begin their yearlong appointments.
Christopher Derickson, Susan Johal and Joe Maciel will serve on the Board of Governors for a one-year term ending July 31, 2015. They were appointed by the Provincial Government through Order-in-Council this summer.
Derickson serves on the Westbank First Nation Council and works as a consultant focused on strategic and community planning for First Nation governments and organizations.
Johal is the Office Manager for Kimmitt Wrzesniewski, a Kelowna law firm. She is an active community volunteer and has previously worked with the Okanagan Sikh Temple, the Ovarian Cancer Walk and Rutland Citizens Patrol. She’s also a member of the Kelowna Chamber of Commerce and a past director of the Boys and Girls Club. Johal is also an Okanagan College alumna, with an Accounting diploma and certification from a legal secretary program from Okanagan College.
Maciel is a Chartered Accountant and Financial Planner with a public practice that focuses on corporate year-end services to privately held corporations and tax services to businesses and individuals. His experience includes work with the Canada Revenue Agency’s audit division, Bombardier Capital’s Wholesale Finance division, as well as teaching at Okanagan University College in the areas of tax, Canadian business, management and financial accounting.
“We’re looking forward to Christopher, Susan and Joe joining us this fall,” says Board of Governors Chair Tom Styffe. “I am confident they will bring perspectives and experience that will benefit our deliberations.”
“I taught for three years at OUC in the early ‘90s,” says Maciel. “I’ve watched the business program and the institution evolve over the years. I’m excited to be part of the governance of an organization that has such a rich history in the region and I look forward to participating in decisions that will shape its course for the coming years.”
“As an alumna and someone who has lived my whole life here, I’ve relished watching Okanagan College change and develop,” says Johal. “I think there are great things ahead for the College and am happy to be a part of it.”
“There are many opportunities for partnerships right now, between schools and other organizations,” notes Derickson, who is following his Bachelor of Arts in Political Science (2012, UBCO) with a Master’s of Business Administration at SFU. “This is a very exciting time to be involved in the governance of Okanagan College.”
Three other College Board members have had their appointments extended: Charity Gerbrandt, Douglas Manning and Robert McGowan will serve additional two-year terms until July 2016.
The following press release was issued by Justice Institute of British Colombia in conjunction with Okanagan College.
Memorandum of Understanding aims to expand opportunities to meet student, industry, business and community needs.
Justice Institute of British Columbia (JIBC) and Okanagan College have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to enhance educational and training opportunities for students at both institutions.
Under the MOU signed on September 5, 2014, JIBC and Okanagan College will explore opportunities to develop courses and programs that can be offered in partnership. Both institutions will also explore opportunities for students to transition effectively to programs at both institutions by developing transfer and prior learning assessment arrangements.
Opportunities under discussion include additional pathways for Okanagan College certificate and diploma graduates to enter into degree programs at JIBC, and joint activities to complement each institution’s programming to best meet the interests and needs of regional labour market demands.
Both institutions will also aim to share information and explore ways to work together to further each institution’s applied research endeavours.
Dr. Michel Tarko, JIBC President and CEO, said, “We have had a longstanding relationship with Okanagan College and this MOU aims to deepen and extend our partnership. We look forward to working together to expand the educational and training options for our students and support the employment needs in our province.”
“Formalizing our intention to work more collaboratively is an important step forward for both institutions,” said Jim Hamilton, President of Okanagan College. “There are natural pathways between our programming areas and a stronger partnership will result in greater access and opportunities for students in our region.”
About Justice Institute of British Columbia
Justice Institute of British Columbia (JIBC) is Canada’s leading public safety educator. Our specialized programs lead to certificates, diplomas, bachelor’s degrees and graduate certificates in Policing, Investigations, Emergency Management, Firefighting, Paramedicine, Sheriffs, Corrections, Counselling, Leadership, Mediation, Conflict Resolution, and Driver Training. JIBC also provides customized contract training to domestic and international governments, agencies and organizations. Our approach to education emphasizes applied learning and realistic simulations, delivered by instructors who are experienced practitioners. Our students’ work makes communities safer, and helps people in need, throughout B.C., across Canada and around the world.
About Okanagan College
Okanagan College is a public, post-secondary institution located in B.C.'s interior. With four campuses in Penticton, Kelowna, Vernon and Salmon Arm, as well as education centres in Oliver, Summerland, and Revelstoke, the College serves more than 20,000 learners annually throughout its region.
Okanagan College is a significant driving force in the regional economy. Partnerships with industry, community groups and other educational institutions enhance opportunities for citizens of the region served by the College and beyond, giving proof to the College's mission of transforming lives and communities.
A delegation of students from Okanagan College’s Enactus team traveled to Montreal recently to meet with top business executives, entrepreneurs and students from Quebec after making a lasting impression with one of the lead judges at Canada’s national Enactus competition.
Michel Kelly-Gagnon is the president and CEO of the Montreal Economic Institute (MEI) and also serves on the Board of the John Dobson Foundation. The well-known executive was selected as a judge for the national Enactus exposition, where he was first introduced to students from Okanagan College’s award-winning team.
“In April I had the distinct pleasure and honour of acting as a judge in the final round of the 2014 Enactus Canada National Exposition in Calgary,” said Kelly-Gagnon. “On that occasion, I heard great presentations from students from various universities about how they were making Canada and the world a better place, through entrepreneurial actions and a mentality of autonomy and self-reliance.
“In my view, one of the best initiatives presented, if not the best, was the InStill Life project from the Enactus Okanagan College team.”
Kelly-Gagnon was so impressed with the student-led project, he invited the team members and their faculty mentors to make a presentation to his Board and Montreal university students, in the hope of bringing a similar program to Quebec.
InStill Life is an Okanagan-born project that students from the College’s Enactus team have been building for the past six years. The project is led by Enactus team members who work with Grade 5 and 6 students through a series of 10 lesson plans, all with prescribed learning objectives. The elementary school students create micro-businesses that generate profits that are directed to people around the world through a micro-lending program.
Throughout the course of the program, the youth learn about financial literacy, entrepreneurship, personal selling and micro lending.
“I can tell you already that our objective is to facilitate the implementation this program, or a similar program, here in Quebec,” explained Kelly-Gagnon.
“Being identified as a leader in the Enactus network and having our InStill Life program showcased to the audience in Quebec is testament to the strength of our team and the incredible programs and community partners we work with on a daily basis,” said Dr. Kyleen Myrah, Enactus Okanagan College faculty advisor. “I am looking forward to the relationships we are creating to bring our impact to even greater levels across Canada.”
Enactus Okanagan College president Tom Arrowsmith was a part of the Okanagan College team that traveled to Montreal to present the project and said the experience has the potential to create a new partnership that could increase the project’s impact across the country.
“What a fantastic opportunity to present our InStill Life project to students, donors and business leaders in the Quebec region,” said Arrowsmith. “Our team is excited to see how this program can grow and expand both locally and across Canada.”
John Klironomos’ contributions to science leads to national recognition
It is the highest honour to be bestowed upon a Canadian academic.
UBC Okanagan’s John Klironomos, an expert in plant and soil ecology, has been named a fellow of the Royal Society of Canada (RSC).
The RSC made its announcement today, listing more than 90 university academics as the newest fellows admitted into one of Canada’s oldest scholarly organizations. The RSC was established in 1882 with the primary objective to promote learning and research in the arts, the humanities, and the natural and social sciences.
Klironomos, a biology professor and Associate Dean of research with the Irving K. Barber School of Arts and Sciences, says he is humbled by all the attention.
“It is a great privilege and I am extremely grateful to be in that kind of company,” says Klironomos.
UBC Okanagan’s Provost and Vice-Principal Academic Cynthia Mathieson says the university is proud of Klironomos and his research. She notes the recognition brings great honour to the campus.
“As a new fellow of the Royal Society of Canada, Prof. Klironomos’ remarkable contributions to his discipline and to the intellectual life of the academy are greatly honoured,” says Mathieson. “Our campus is enormously proud to count him among our faculty complement and to be part of the formal recognition of a world-renowned scientist.”
Klironomos was nominated by former UBC President Stephen Toope.
“His research is significant because ecologists have traditionally ignored the soil, or at best treated it as a black box,” says Toope. “Prof. Klironomos’ collection of studies, largely through his ability to manipulate and experiment with the diversity and composition of soil biota, has opened the black box and showed that interactions with soil biota are key to the maintenance of plant diversity, composition, and productivity.”
Klironomos’ research on mycorrhizal symbioses and plant-soil feedbacks has had major impact on several disciplines in ecology, says Toope, adding that the popular professor is well known for his creative experimental approaches and his research has made profound contributions to various problems in terrestrial ecology.
Royal Society of Canada President Graham Bell says election to the RSC is the highest honour a scholar can achieve.
“The RSC warmly welcomes this year’s newly elected fellows. These outstanding scholars, artists, and scientists will be joining the society due to their outstanding work in the arts, humanities, and sciences,” says Bell. “By promoting and recognizing these leading intellectuals and researchers, the Royal Society of Canada continues to be on the forefront of significant advances for the betterment of Canada and the world.”
This is second honour presented to Klironomos this year. He was recently named a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science for his contributions to the field of plant and soil ecology, particularly for empirical studies on plant-microbe interactions and the structuring of plant communities.
Klironomos will be officially inducted into the fellowship in November at the RSC’s annual general meeting in Quebec City. He is the second Royal Society of Canada fellow at UBC Okanagan. Prof. Doug Owram received the distinction in 1990.
Read more about Prof. John Klironomos: https://news.ok.ubc.ca/ikbarberschool/2014/09/09/john-klironomos-named-fellow-of-the-royal-canadian-society/
Research helps identify opportunities and challenges to watershed management
Three undergraduate students from UBC’s Okanagan campus have been visiting small West Kootenay communities, interviewing residents to better understand the challenges and issues of watershed management.
“Small watershed management is important,” says Ted Wannop, economics undergraduate in the Irving K. Barber School of Arts and Sciences. “It supplies humans with arguably their most fundamental need for survival: clean water.”
Some communities in BC are struggling to provide safe drinking water through their small distribution systems and there is little public funding available for most districts to deal with watershed issues, says Wannop.
“We want to find out what the common factors are restricting these small systems from achieving clean water. Is there a funding or social model that a trouble-ridden community can adopt to address a water quality or quantity issue?”
Under direction of John Janmaat, associate professor of economics and Regional Innovation Chair in Water Resources and Ecosystem Sustainability, Wannop and fellow undergraduate students Quinn Rochon and Maryssa Soroke set out to tackle the problem. The research team mailed about 700 letters to people in the West Kootenay regions of Glade, Salmo, Crescent Valley and Kootenay Lake, with the goal of doing about 100 in-person interviews.
Questions will draw out information about the community, how members work together on water management, and if their approach is successful. They are also researching the local environment, querying people’s knowledge of the local watershed, and examining activities that harm the watershed, and quality and quantity of drinking water.
“Small water system issues we’ve identified thus far tend to be around the age and quality of infrastructure, as well as boil-water advisories, or even do-not-consume advisories, “ says Janmaat. “The reasons are varied: sometimes communities just don’t have the funds to upgrade their system, or they can’t afford to hire the kind of expertise necessary to operate the system.”
The team also found that municipalities can be reluctant to work with government agencies. Janmaat notes that communities are growing, and expectations vary significantly about how water should be managed, delivered and used.
“Sometimes it’s simply that the communities are struggling to work together,” he says.
Water resource management is a fundamental component of health, industrial activity and recreation, says Rochon. “As populations grow and industry expands, I think it is becoming increasingly important for us to be aware of, and be involved in, the way that we handle our limited water resources.”
The UBC research team also conducted detailed interviews with about 30 experts from across BC with knowledge in the management or regulation of small watershed systems or activities related to water, to see if any common themes emerge.
Their interview findings, along with the results from a comprehensive literature review, will be analyzed and presented to the stakeholders and partners to help decide the feasibility of a long-term research project directed at building more effective, community-based watershed management.
Project partners include Interior Health, consulting firm Urban Systems, the Columbia Basin Trust, and the Okanagan Nation Alliance.
“This research is so important because water management has not been largely studied in BC,” says Soroke. “Understanding how we can sustainably manage it for the future will be of great importance to not only ensure we have enough for all, but also to keep it clean and keep our water sources healthy as well.”
They toil in the background of the university campus.
Working diligently behind the scenes, they make sure labs function, faculty programs run efficiently, information technology systems operate seamlessly and that UBC’s Okanagan campus delivers a top-tier education to its thousands of students. They are the support staff members of the university community, and with the 2014 staff awards of excellence, UBC has honoured four of its own for their determined efforts.
Tracey Hawthorn, Robin Whittall, Malcolm Petch and Sandra Mecklenburg were recently recognized for contributions that enrich the UBC experience for students, faculty and their co-workers.
“UBC staff are well known for going to exceptional lengths to provide students and faculty with the tools they need to succeed,” says UBC Deputy Vice-Chancellor and Principal of the Okanagan campus Deborah Buszard. “We appreciate the commitment our staff display every day and honour their efforts and achievements with these awards.”
Hawthorn was presented with the Deputy Vice-Chancellor and Principal’s Award of Excellence. Hawthorn, a member of the human resources department, was recruited in 2010 to re-imagine the approach to sick leave and return to work. The result is the Work Reintegration and Accommodation Program (WRAP). Hawthorn’s knowledge of physiotherapy and kinesiology and imaginative approach reduced the campus’ average number of sick days from 7.3 in 2009 to 2.5 days in 2013.
Hawthorn also increased health and wellness activities on campus, and her work with a local employers’ community of practice on mental health in the workplace has been recognized by the Mental Health Commission of Canada.
Mecklenburg, lab manager in the Irving K. Barber School of Arts and Sciences chemistry department, was recognized with a staff excellence award in leadership for her efforts to decrease the amount of lab waste produced. She was also lauded for her mentorship and guidance of teaching assistants.
Petch, audio and visual support analyst with the Information Technologies, Media and Classroom Services department, received the staff award of excellence for enhancing customer service experiences at the University. Petch routinely solves vexing IT issues and counsels staff in use of technology for such activities as teleconferencing and collaboration between the UBC campuses to enable virtual meetings and reduce staff travel time and costs.
Whittall, career advisor with the Advising and Involvement Centre, was recognized with the staff excellence award in sustainability. She has led development and continuation of several successful campus programs including the Senior Student Lifeline, a program to assist graduate students to successfully transition to post-graduate life. She has also been instrumental for the past seven years in establishing the Women in Science and Engineering program.
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