Campus Life  

Music may help make high-intensity interval training viable option for average person

UBC professor Kathleen Martin Ginis (left) and PhD candidate Matthew Stork.

UBC professor Kathleen Martin Ginis (left) and PhD candidate Matthew Stork.

Listening to music may make it easier for people to adopt short duration exercise regimens that could help them stay in shape, according to researchers at UBC’s Okanagan campus.

In a recently published study, researchers Kathleen Martin Ginis and Matthew Stork studied the attitudes of moderate exercisers towards high-intensity interval training (HIIT), which they hadn’t been exposed to before. The pair found that the first-timers not only had positive attitudes toward HIIT, but that participants also reported feeling more positive about the exercise regimen if they listened to music while they exercised.

HIIT is a time-efficient exercise strategy that sees people engage in short periods of intense anaerobic exercise separated by less-intense recovery periods. The exercise is distinct from more traditional long-duration aerobic exercise, such as jogging continuously for 50 minutes.

“There has been a lot of discussion in the exercise and public policy worlds about how we can get people off the couch and meeting their minimum exercise requirements,” says Martin Ginis, professor of health and exercise sciences at UBC. “The use of HIIT may be a viable option to combat inactivity, but there is a concern that people may find HIIT unpleasant, deterring future participation.”

To their surprise, the researchers found that participants who engaged in multiple HIIT sessions not only enjoyed the exercise, but they maintained positive attitudes about engaging in HIIT again in the future.

“Newer research has established that as little as 10 minutes of intense HIIT, three times per week can elicit meaningful heath benefits,” says Stork, a PhD candidate at UBC’s Okanagan campus. “For busy people who may be reluctant to try HIIT for the first time, this research tells us that they can actually enjoy it, and they may be more likely to participate in HIIT again if they try it with music.”

“Our research aims to learn more about people’s perceptions towards HIIT and ultimately determine if people can adhere to these types of exercises in the long term,” says Stork. “With the introduction of HIIT exercise, people may not necessarily require the dreaded 150-minute weekly total.”

According to traditional exercise recommendations from the Canadian Society for Exercise Physiology, adults aged 18 to 64 should accumulate a minimum of 150 minutes of moderate-to-vigorous exercise per week.

Martin Ginis and Stork’s study was recently published in the Journal of Sport Sciences. To find out more, visit: www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/02640414.2016.1242764


UBC professors share insight about the brain during Mini-Med

Mini-Med 2016

The human being’s most critical organ, the brain, is the topic of this year’s Mini-Med series.

Each year, UBC professors bring their knowledge out of the classroom and into the community for a four-week health-based lecture series. Starting October 25, the UBC Clinical Academic Campus, located at Kelowna General Hospital, is the site for the educational medical lectures.

“Mini-Med is another way Okanagan communities are sharing in the expertise at UBC,” says Deborah Buszard, Deputy Vice-Chancellor and Principal. “This lecture series offers an extraordinary opportunity to learn about advances in health and medicine from leading researchers. As Mini-Med students, participants will get to know the brain and learn about pioneering discoveries which are improving diagnosis, treatment and care.”

Mini-Med 2016 curriculum: The Brain

October 25—Brain Basics: Facts, functions and anatomy Assoc. Prof. Bruce Mathieson,

Assoc. Prof. Bruce Mathieson, microbiologist and neuroscientist, will give a brief introduction on the brain and use an interactive tool he developed for his teaching program at UBC Okanagan. He will also discuss his own research program involving a new group of hormones—neurosteriods—thought to have potential implications for neurodegenerative disease.

November 1—Brain Afflictions: Why diseases like Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s take hold Prof. Philip Barker, molecular

Prof. Philip Barker, molecular biologist and biochemist, will discuss his basic science research program at UBC Okanagan involving Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease. Co-presenting with Barker is Dr. Daryl Wile MD, the newest neurologist to join the Parkinson’s community in Kelowna. The pair teams up for this bench to bedside lecture that looks at the earliest pre-clinical events in the brain and how they may eventually present clinically in diseases like Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s.

November 8—Understanding Stroke and Recovery

Dr. Harry Miller is a clinical neuropsychologist, clinical assistant professor of psychology and clinical instructor in the UBC department of psychiatry. Dr. Miller, who specializes in stroke recovery, will discuss his research into neglect; a very real after-effect of stroke that creates a perception of vision loss and at the same time severely hinders recovery. He’s joined by Jennifer Upshaw, a PhD student in UBC’s Clinical Psychology program, who will talk about hemi spatial neglect in stroke patients.

November 15—Addictions as a Brain Disease

Dr. Leslie Lappalainen, an addictions medicine specialist, will talk about how drug abuse and alcohol affect the brain and the science that underpins addiction. She’ll offer up some of the latest research for different treatments for alcohol and opioid addiction, and discuss reasons why they are currently underutilized. Dr. Lappalainen is the medical lead for Addiction Medicine, Mental Health and Substance Use at Interior Health, and a clinical instructor with the UBC Faculty of Medicine.

Registration is required and people can sign up for one session ($10) or all four. For the entire series, the fee is: adults $30; second adult $20; seniors (65+) $20; students: $15. Space is limited, so early registration is suggested: minimed.ok.ubc.ca


UBC research offers faster way to confirm safety of oil and gas pipelines

A simple vibration test can help oil and gas companies prevent pipeline spills in a way that is faster and cheaper than conventional methods, a UBC study shows.

Assistant Professor Hadi Mohammadi

Assistant Professor Hadi Mohammadi

The study, conducted at UBC’s Okanagan campus, found pipeline imperfections could be identified by “tapping” the side of a pipe and then measuring the resulting vibrations, known as modal analysis, against the vibrations predicted by computer models.

“After developing the mathematical platform and entering it into a computer, we can predict what the level of vibration should be if the pipeline that is being tapped is free of imperfections,” says Hadi Mohammadi, an assistant professor of engineering. “When I conducted the tap test on actual pipeline material and looked at the resulting patterns of vibrations, weak points could quickly be identified.

“This method of attaching small machines to pipelines that are above ground and having them tap and measure vibrations offer a faster and cheaper way to find cracks or patches of internal rust than the conventional method of using imaging techniques.”

Mohammadi, whose research area focuses on bio-engineering, began employing his “tap test” theory on pipeline material after testing its validity on human bones.

The “tap test” was equally useful in identifying areas of deficient bone density, which could be used to help identify conditions such as osteoporosis.

Mohammadi’s study was recently published in the Journal of Pipeline Engineering. To find out more, visit: j-pipe-eng.com/Abstract.cfm?cat_no=2385s



OC business team brings home Social EnterPrize

Okanagan College Media Release

Mission Possible_1 Oct 2016A team consisting of two Okanagan College professors and one student researcher are among only five teams across the country to be awarded prestigious research grants from the Trico Charitable Foundation.

Dr. Kyleen Myrah and Kerry Rempel of the Okanagan College School of Business, along with Cassandra McColman, a third-year business student, recently received a Trico Social EnterPrize award for case study research.

The biennial awards go to Canadian organizations demonstrating best practices, impact and innovation in social enterprise.

“In short, a social enterprise is an organization endeavouring to solve a social problem through a business approach,” explains Rempel, who has consulted for social enterprises and non-profit clients in B.C. and Alberta. She designed an innovative Non-profit Management course at Okanagan College, which pairs students with local non-profit staff and volunteers in the classroom.

The Okanagan College researchers partnered with Mission Possible, a Vancouver-based non-profit that helps people challenged by homeless and poverty find meaningful work. The hope is that the detailed case study of Mission Possible’s social enterprise model will aid other organizations looking to do the same.

“We are thrilled to be working with Mission Possible and really grateful for the support from the Trico Charitable Foundation,” says Myrah. “For Kerry and I, our teaching and passion lie in social enterprise, so the fit could not be better. It provides us with a real-world example to share with students.”Mission Possible_2 Oct 2016

The social entrepreneurship course Myrah teaches has led to over 200 community based student projects since 2007 and incorporates real cases, such as this one, into the curriculum.

“There aren’t a lot of role models out there for organizations looking to enact change,” notes Rempel. “This research is exciting in that hopefully it will provide a road map for others.”

Another benefit of the research lies in its capacity to inspire students, as Rempel explains.

“It has been one of the most uplifting experiences because it has re-affirmed that what we teach in the classroom is real. Hopefully what we learn will inspire students and show other organizations in Canada and around the world that social enterprises can be sustainable and effective in driving change.”

The case will be published and shared extensively by the Trico Charitable Foundation in the coming months.

For Myrah, the award marks the second time being recognized by the Foundation. In 2014, her case study was among four Social EnterPrize studies supported by the Foundation. Myrah was lead researcher on a project with local business consultant Elvia Picco; the pair wrote about the YWCA Metro Vancouver Social Enterprise Hotel. That case study can be found online here.

Both Myrah and Rempel are quick to point out the importance of having a student perspective on the Mission Possible project. That perspective comes from Cassandra McColman, a Bachelor of Business Administration (BBA) degree student and research assistant in the social enterprise arena. McColman recently joined Myrah and Rempel in touring Mission Possible’s Vancouver office.

“Having the opportunity to bring our research to life while visiting Mission Possible's staff and clients allowed me to experience firsthand how impactful this organization is in their community,” says McColman. “Working with them and getting to be a part of that impact has been incredibly rewarding.”

More information about the Trico Charitable Foundation’s Social EnterPrize can be found at tricofoundation.ca/social-enterprize/.


UBC and Kal Tire announce research partnership

Kal Tire’s Mining Tire Group and the University of British Columbia have formed a research partnership that will allow the two organizations to collaborate in developing technology and innovative solutions for the mining tire industry.

In the recently-signed memorandum of understanding (MOU), both parties agree to pursue research and innovation as part of a partnership that matches expertise from UBC Okanagan’s School of Engineering with the innovation goals of Kal Tire’s Mining Tire Group.

“We wanted to harness the knowledge and ideas of our team members to advance innovation, and through this partnership with UBC, we now have access to the skills, knowledge and facilities that we didn’t have prior,” says Dan Allan, senior vice-president, Kal Tire’s Mining Tire Group. “Research like this fuels the innovation that takes great ideas forward.”

The MOU lays out an initial three-year term of collaboration on mutually beneficial areas of research as well as Kal Tire’s significant investment in the partnership. Individual researchers will submit their project ideas for consideration to a small committee that represents both Kal Tire and UBC Okanagan's School of Engineering. The projects may include everything from robotics and metallurgical design to environmentally-responsible ways to use recycled tire crumb.

“As a campus committed to innovation, we look forward to bringing our research expertise to bare in this exciting new partnership,” says Deborah Buszard, deputy vice-chancellor and principal of UBC’s Okanagan campus. “We see this partnership as another key step in our goal of helping to advance economic development opportunities in our region.”

Kal Tire’s Mining Tire Group has been servicing mine sites for more than 40 years in Canada, and now provides service to more than 150 mine sites across five continents. The company, based in Vernon, BC, takes pride in its pioneering approach to providing mining tire solutions, and in its ability to bring new technology and processes to mine sites around the world. In fact, Allan says, customers demand it.

“Being in so many different countries and geographies has really brought the need to innovate to the surface, and we’re glad that at the same time, we can support local education and opportunities,” says Allan. “In 2015, we opened an Innovation Centre in Vernon to begin to develop some ideas brought forward by our team members—this partnership is the next evolution of that.”

The School of Engineering at UBC’s Okanagan campus was established in 2005 and currently has more than 50 faculty members and 230 graduate students. The school has considerable expertise in a number of areas, including materials and manufacturing, infrastructure planning, sensor technology and power systems, and automation.


Nutech supports new Trades Complex

Okanagan College Media Release


Nutech at OC Oct 2016A local fire protection and safety services company is showing its support for the recently opened Trades Complex at Okanagan College’s Kelowna campus, and the company’s gift carries an important message to students about health and safety.

Nutech Safety has pledged $30,000 toward the Okanagan College Foundation’s Bright Horizons, Building for Skills fundraising campaign. The support will help outfit the first aid room in the new building.

“As a company we feel strongly about supporting students,” says Bob Dieno, President of Nutech Safety. “We want to ensure the next wave of tradespeople knows business is behind them. And given our company’s focus, we obviously want them to know that safety while they are in school, and when they step out into the workforce, is very important.”

With offices in Kelowna and Kamloops, Nutech is one of the region’s key suppliers of fire protection, first aid and safety gear. The company also works with organizations of all size to create fire safety plans and other training resources.

The College’s new Trades Complex was officially opened on Sept. 22 by Premier Christy Clark, B.C. Advanced Education Minister Andrew Wilkinson, Kelowna-Mission MLA Steve Thomson and Okanagan College President Jim Hamilton. The new complex blends 10,000 sq. metres (over 100,000 sq. feet) of renovated facilities and new construction, including an all-new three-storey tower along KLO Road.

“Safety is critical in the trades,” says Steve Moores, the College’s Dean of Trades and Apprenticeship. “Having a local industry leader like Nutech step up and support our campus serves as a reminder to students about the importance of safety measures on every jobsite, and while they are training. We deeply appreciate Nutech’s support.”

More than two years in construction, the Kelowna Trades Complex is one of the College’s most ambitious capital projects to date. It was launched by a $28-million investment from the province and has been bolstered by community support. The Okanagan College Foundation kicked off the Bright Horizons campaign in October 2014 with the goal of raising $5 million for capital construction and $2 million for student and program support to complete the project.

More information about the new Trades Complex and opportunities to support the campaign can be found atwww.okanagan.bc.ca/campaign.  


Ready to write? 3-Hour short story contest returns

Okanagan College Media Release

A challenge has been issued to local writers: go big on creativity while short on time.

Okanagan College’s English department is once again inviting up-and-coming writers to step out of their comfort zones and into the frenzied creative world of the popular 3-Hour Short Story Contest, returning Saturday, Nov. 5 at all four campuses.

The contest is open to students in Grade 11 and 12, and those attending Okanagan College. As in previous years, writers will not only be tested by a time constraint, they’ll also have to find a way to incorporate a “secret phrase” that won’t be revealed until the moment the contest begins.

“It’s an atmosphere unlike any other I’ve encountered as a writer,” says last year’s overall winner Daniel Greene, an Arts student at the College’s Penticton campus. “It challenged me, focused me and spurred me to take an idea for a story I had been turning over in my head and bring it to life.”Daniel Greene Oct 2016

Greene’s winning story “Watercolours,” available online here, illustrates a moment of connection between grandmother and grandson. Despite the tight timeframe in which he had to craft the story, Greene was able to delve deeply, and explore in remarkable clarity, themes of love, loss and memory. He says the process helped him hone his craft.

“It definitely gave me confidence in myself and my abilities as a writer. I went from sharing stories with a few peers in class to having my work read by professors and other writers across the region. The feedback and affirmation I took away from that was helpful. It was the first time I thought to myself ‘Hey, I can do this. I can write.’ ”

Greene will graduate with an Associate of Arts Degree in December and plans to continue on to university to complete his Bachelor of Arts in English and Sociology. He is currently at work on a number of short stories for publication and future competitions.

The 3-Hour Short Story Contest takes place from 1 to 4 p.m. on Saturday, Nov. 5 at the College’s Salmon Arm, Vernon, Kelowna and Penticton campuses. Writers will work on College computers and will not be able to access any pre-written materials or outside sources – print or online.

Four prizes of a $250 tuition credit will be awarded, one for each campus winner. From the four campus winners, a grand prize winner will be chosen to receive an additional $250 tuition credit. The grand prize winner will also have their story published in a limited fine-print edition by the Kalamalka Press.

This contest is free but can only accommodate a limited number of entrants, so interested writers are encouraged to register online early. Deadline for entry is 12 p.m. on Friday, Nov. 4.

Visit www.okanagan.bc.ca/3hourwriting to sign up and to view works by previous years’ winners. 


UBC identifies bacteria linked to acid produced at mining sites

Deborah Roberts, professor of engineering .

Deborah Roberts, professor of engineering.

UBC researchers have isolated organisms that cause acid-rock drainage in mining operations.

“Mining waste is an environmental concern in many parts of the world and currently costs a great deal of time and money to the companies that deal with it responsibly,” says Deborah Roberts, a professor of engineering at UBC’s Okanagan campus. “Now that we have isolated the type of micro-organisms contributing to this issue, further research may help us manage them with antibiotics, like other bacterial infections.”

Acid-rock drainage is an issue that harms plants and aquatic life by changing pH levels and dissolved metal content in surface and groundwater.

The two-year UBC study isolated three types of sulphur oxidizing bacteria and two types of iron-oxidizing microbes that are active at low temperatures and contribute to the rapid production of acid in mining waste.

As part of her study, Roberts examined numerous samples of tailings from mining projects in Alberta, focusing on the types of organisms present and how they behaved at different temperatures.

According to Natural Resources Canada (NRCan), tailings are classified as byproducts that remain after the extraction and recovery of minerals from resource extraction operations. Currently, according to NRCan, there are two primary methods of long-term tailings management, which include wet or dry covers.

Wet covers require site-specific conditions that allow tailings to be continuously submerged in water, referred to as tailings ponds. Dry covers employ the use of a solid material, known as caps, such as soil to physically separate the tailings from the environment.

Roberts’ research aims to add a third treatment method to the mix, allowing mining waste to be returned to their natural state without ponds or caps.

Roberts’ study was recently published in the Canadian Journal of Microbiology. To read the full study, visit: nrcresearchpress.com/doi/abs/10.1139/cjm-2016-0137#.V__EQ_krKUl



Snow could reduce need for air conditioning

UBC's Rehan Sadiq (left) and Kasun Hewage.

UBC's Rehan Sadiq (left) and Kasun Hewage.

A recent UBC study shows that snow cleared from winter roads can help reduce summer air-conditioning bills.

The UBC study, a computer modelling exercise, found directing a building’s air handling units through a snow dump—snow collected and stored from winter road clearing operations—can reduce the need to use air conditioning during warmer parts of the year.

“What this study shows is that it is possible to use snow to reduce electricity consumption in structures such as apartment buildings,” says Kasun Hewage, an associate professor of engineering at UBC’s Okanagan campus. “We also now know that using material from snow dumps to cool buildings can also help to reduce the greenhouse gasses that air conditioning units emit.”

The study included simulations for large buildings and accounted for the different types of equipment needed in both conventional systems with industrial cooling units and snow-dump based systems, which insulate snow collected during winter months to use during the summer.

“While further research is needed, the potential of this type of system to be used for large buildings and institutions looks promising,” says Rehan Sadiq, a professor of engineering at UBC’s campus in Kelowna. “Aside from making good use of waste material, this type of system could eventually help large organizations such as municipalities recoup some of the considerable costs associated with snow removal.”

The study—done in collaboration with UBC graduate student Venkatesh Kumar—was recently published in the journal Clean Technologies and Environmental Policy. To read the full study, visit: link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s10098-016-1198-8


Tops in tomatoes – OC students hit trifecta in Florida recipe contest

Okanagan College Media Release


Annie Low Oct 2016Okanagan College’s culinary students are making a significant splash in the world of Florida tomatoes.

At least that’s the take of the judges involved in the annual Top Tomato Recipe contest sponsored by the Florida Tomato Council.

Would-be chefs at OC captured first, second and third place honours in the 27th annual edition of the contest.

Annie Low, an international student from Britain studying Advanced Culinary Management at Okanagan College’s Kelowna campus, earned first place with her recipe for a Tomato Chili Jam recipe that incorporates fresh tomatoes, roasted peppers and fresh and dried chilies.

Second place went to student Morris Hsu, who developed a recipe for tomato iced tea. Hsu slow roasted tomatoes before they were strained and then infused them with mint, fennel leaves and ginger.

Third place belonged to Elizabeth Devereaux, who stacked a panko-crusted eggplant slice with tomato jam, mozzarella, a tomato slice, tomato mayonnaise and a fresh basil leaf.

“I was surprised to learn that I had won,” says Low. “I was even more surprised to learn that Okanagan College students had earned second and third place too.”

Low is interested in moving to Canada after she completes her studies.

The OC students were encouraged to enter the contest by their instructor, Chef Mike Barillaro.

“I’m impressed with the results, but not entirely surprised,” says Jonathan Rouse, Okanagan College’s Director of Food, Wine and Tourism. “We have a top-notch group of chef instructors and passionate students who appreciate fresh ingredients – and love developing recipes that reflect different ways of thinking about them.”

This isn’t the first time that Okanagan College has reached across the continent to impress the tomato aficionados of Florida. In 2009, another Okanagan College culinary student, David Colombe (who originally hailed from Chicago) captured top spot in the contest. Colombe went on to write a couple of cookbooks, served as executive chef at a number of well-known area restaurants and, of late, hangs his hat in Sorrento where he is associated with Left Fields Farm and is a strong proponent of the farm-to-table movement.

According to the Florida Tomato Council’s press release on the contest, judges award prizes based on flavour, originality, use of fresh Florida tomatoes and ease of preparation.

“The contest was designed to help educate students about proper handling of fresh field-grown tomatoes, which are a staple in the foodservice industry,” says the release. “It also allows culinary instructors to reinforce recipe development and writing skills.”

According to the Council, the Florida tomato industry produces virtually all the fresh-market, field-grown tomatoes in the U.S. from October through June each year - currently amounting to nearly 900 million pounds - and accounts for about 50 per cent of all U.S.-grown fresh tomatoes.


Here’s Low’s award-winning recipe for the Florida Tomato Chili Jam:

3 pounds of fully-ripened fresh Florida tomatoes cored and chopped
2 red peppers, cooked in oven until blistered and starting to turn black, peeled, seeded and chopped
1 garlic clove, crushed
2 cups granulated sugar
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
2 teaspoons red pepper flakes
1 tablespoon fresh ginger
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon cumin
1 small red chili, seeded and chopped fine

  1. Combine all ingredients in a pan and cook over medium-high heat stirring constantly.
  2. Bring to a boil for two minutes. Reduce heat and simmer until mixture has a jam-like consistency, about 2.5 hours. (a half-recipe cooks in 1.5 hours)
  3. Serve with a soft cheese and crackers.

YIELD: Approximately 3 pints*

* Remainder can be stored in glass container.


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