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Campus Life  

UBC and Okanagan College create green construction centre

 

A formal partnership between UBC Okanagan and Okanagan College has established a Green Construction Research and Training Centre (GCRTC) that will provide new research options and create hands-on practical training opportunities for students.

GCRTC July 2019Professor
Shahria Alam, with UBCOs School of Engineering, has been appointed the first director of UBCs newest research and training centre. Ashley Lubyk from Okanagan Colleges Sustainable Construction Management Technology program has been appointed as the co-director for the centre.

Our goal is to create a hub where innovation in green construction is fostered,” explains Alam. “We are already starting to develop shared capstone projects for our students and establishing a speaker series that focuses on green construction and smart energy use.”

The
GCRTC will generate and expand knowledge in the areas of green (environment-friendly) constructionincluding materials, structural components and systems, and construction management. The objectives are to create civil infrastructure that is safe, durable, energy-efficient and affordable through innovative technologies, he explains. Industry collaborations are already underway with anticipated spin-off companies creating a community that supports self-sustainability and local economic development.

This centre ties in extremely well with our institutional focus on sustainability,” notes Andrew Hay, Okanagan Colleges vice-president, education. “We are looking forward to furthering our collaboration with professor Alam, his colleagues and UBC Okanagan to advance the green building agenda.”

Alam
s research focuses on smart materials and their structural applications in infrastructure including seismic rehabilitation of structures and performance-based design. He is the chair of the Engineering Mechanics and Materials Division of Canadian Society of Civil Engineering and an associate editor of the Journal Bridge Engineering.

With
more than 200 peer-reviewed articles, Alam stresses the importance of continuing to grow this sector in the Okanagan and its potential for a national and global impact.

This joint initiative with Okanagan College will equip our students and researchers with the tools necessary to continue to innovate in the areas of green construction with a focus on sustainability,” he adds.

In
collaboration with various municipalities, provincial bodies, Infrastructure Canada, construction associations and a large team of faculty members (from a range of disciplines including structural engineering, materials science, robotics, mechanical and electrical engineering, management, environmental science, economics and sociology), the centre will seek to develop transformative, paradigm-changing research that will be strategically vital to the construction industry.

School
of Engineering Executive Associate Dean Rehan Sadiq says the centre is well-positioned to address the needs of the construction industry.

Bringing together the expertise of our research faculty along with our colleagues from Okanagan College, we are confident that the centre will have a long-lasting positive impact into the future,” he adds.

Both
UBC and Okanagan College have existing trades and technology programs and projects related to design and construction of future buildings. According to Alam, the Green Construction Research & Training Centre will find synergies between the two institutions wherever possible.

Sharing ideas and expertise will be at the forefront of our success moving forward,” says Alam.

The
centre has already launched a speaker series. More information can be found atok-gcrtc.sites.olt.ubc.ca

 

 





UBC and Okanagan College create green construction centre

Okanagan College President Jim Hamilton, left, with UBC engineers Rehan Sadiq, Kasun Hewage and Shahria Alam discusses green technology educational opportunities during a tour of the college’s Jim Pattison Centre of Excellence.

Okanagan College President Jim Hamilton, left, with UBC engineers Rehan Sadiq, Kasun Hewage and Shahria Alam discusses green technology educational opportunities during a tour of the college’s Jim Pattison Centre of Excellence.

Partnership will create hands-on learning opportunities

A formal partnership between UBC Okanagan and Okanagan College has established a Green Construction Research and Training Centre (GCRTC) that will provide new research options and create hands-on practical training opportunities for students.

Professor Shahria Alam, with UBCO’s School of Engineering, has been appointed the first director of UBC’s newest research and training centre. Ashley Lubyk from Okanagan College’s Sustainable Construction Management Technology program has been appointed as the co-director for the centre.

“Our goal is to create a hub where innovation in green construction is fostered,” explains Alam. “We are already starting to develop shared capstone projects for our students and establishing a speaker series that focuses on green construction and smart energy use.”

The GCRTC will generate and expand knowledge in the areas of green (environment-friendly) construction—including materials, structural components and systems, and construction management. The objectives are to create civil infrastructure that is safe, durable, energy-efficient and affordable through innovative technologies, he explains. Industry collaborations are already underway with anticipated spin-off companies creating a community that supports self-sustainability and local economic development.

“This centre ties in extremely well with our institutional focus on sustainability,” notes Andrew Hay, Okanagan College’s vice-president, education. “We are looking forward to furthering our collaboration with professor Alam, his colleagues and UBC Okanagan to advance the green building agenda.”

Alam’s research focuses on smart materials and their structural applications in infrastructure including seismic rehabilitation of structures and performance-based design. He is the chair of the Engineering Mechanics and Materials Division of Canadian Society of Civil Engineering and an associate editor of the Journal Bridge Engineering.

With more than 200 peer-reviewed articles, Alam stresses the importance of continuing to grow this sector in the Okanagan and its potential for a national and global impact.

“This joint initiative with Okanagan College will equip our students and researchers with the tools necessary to continue to innovate in the areas of green construction with a focus on sustainability,” he adds.

In collaboration with various municipalities, provincial bodies, Infrastructure Canada, construction associations and a large team of faculty members (from a range of disciplines including structural engineering, materials science, robotics, mechanical and electrical engineering, management, environmental science, economics and sociology), the centre will seek to develop transformative, paradigm-changing research that will be strategically vital to the construction industry.

School of Engineering Executive Associate Dean Rehan Sadiq says the centre is well-positioned to address the needs of the construction industry.

“Bringing together the expertise of our research faculty along with our colleagues from Okanagan College, we are confident that the centre will have a long-lasting positive impact into the future,” he adds.

Both UBC and Okanagan College have existing trades and technology programs and projects related to design and construction of future buildings. According to Alam, the Green Construction Research & Training Centre will find synergies between the two institutions wherever possible.

“Sharing ideas and expertise will be at the forefront of our success moving forward,” says Alam.

The centre has already launched a speaker series. More information can be found at: ok-gcrtc.sites.olt.ubc.ca

About UBC's Okanagan campus

UBC’s Okanagan campus is an innovative hub for research and learning in the heart of British Columbia’s stunning Okanagan Valley. Ranked among the top 20 public universities in the world, UBC is home to bold thinking and discoveries that make a difference. Established in 2005, the Okanagan campus combines a globally recognized UBC education with a tight-knit and entrepreneurial community that welcomes students and faculty from around the world.

To find out more, visit: ok.ubc.ca.



Gladys Fraser named new Chair of Okanagan College Foundation

Okanagan College Media Release

Thirty years of experience working with Okanagan College will serve Gladys Fraser well as she takes on the role of Chair with the Okanagan College Foundation Board of Directors.Gladys Fraser July 2019

Fraser began hiring Okanagan College graduates in the 1990s in her role as branch manager of Scotiabank in Kelowna. Impressed by the quality of the graduates, she began collaborating with the College further, including helping write the curriculum for banking and customer service and teaching a Continuing Studies course on exam preparation.

She joined the Okanagan College Foundation Board four years ago, to support its fundraising efforts for student scholarships, bursaries and capital projects.

“I’m delighted to be named Chair of the Foundation Board as I believe in the work the College is doing for students and our economy,” says Fraser.

“The College creates great opportunities for people to get a world-class education and not have to travel outside of the valley.”

Fraser’s passion for education also has her serving as the President of the District Parent Advisory Committee in School District 22. Her community involvement spans a variety of sectors, including previously serving as President of the North Okanagan Hospice Society, Leadership Chair with the United Way Southern Interior B.C., and the Vice-President of the Kelowna Chamber of Commerce.

“Gladys brings a passion for the transformative power of education and a depth of governance experience which will guide the Foundation during this time of renewal and growth,” says Helen Jackman, Okanagan College Foundation Executive Director.

“This is an exciting time for the Foundation, as we work with the community to enhance Okanagan College’s campuses and our students. I’m looking forward to working with Gladys as we lead the Foundation together.”

Fraser takes over the leadership position during the early stages of a new fundraising campaign for a Health Sciences Centre on the Kelowna campus. According to Fraser, the College fills an important gap in providing skills training, including health-care practitioners to serve the region.

“A new Health Sciences Centre is part of the renewal at the College that is so critical as our current health building is more than 50 years old,” she says.

“In the Centre, students will learn in labs and simulation spaces that mimic today’s health-care settings. Our entire region will benefit from having a modern training centre.”

Fraser succeeds Sharron Simpson, who served as President since 2017, and as a Board Director since 2013. Fraser says she is following great leadership, as Simpson oversaw the Foundation during four capital projects and a time of extensive growth at the College.

Current Board Directors Kimberly Gilhooly (Vernon) and Alan Sanderson (Kelowna) were elected Vice-Chairs of the Okanagan College Foundation.

Gilhooly has leadership experience in community development and facility management, having helped oversee the operations of three new facilities. She also has extensive background in leading non-profit sport organizations, having started a national women’s coaching program for Coaching Association of Canada and founding Pacificsport Okanagan, which helps lead athlete, coach, and community sport services in the valley.

Sanderson is currently a partner with BDO Canada and previously a partner of Sanderson & Company Chartered Accountants. Sanderson is actively engaged in the community and philanthropy in the Okanagan, having supported numerous charities and philanthropic projects.

More information about the Foundation’s current Board, mission, and projects is available at www.okanagancollegefoundation.ca
.

 



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OC’s Vernon campus flies Syilx flag permanently

Okanagan College Media Release

Vernon ONA Flag Raising July 2019A Syilx Okanagan Nation flag has found a permanent home at Okanagan College’s Vernon campus, after a historic ceremony today.

Representatives of the Okanagan Nation Alliance (ONA), Okanagan Indian Band and Okanagan College gathered today for a flag raising ceremony recognizing the traditional unceded territories of the Syilx (Okanagan) people.

“We are very pleased that Okanagan College has chosen to recognize our people and our legacy through this important and permanent symbol,” says Okanagan Indian Band Councillor Allan Louis. “For centuries our people have thrived in the area. And for many decades we have weathered injustices that have taken a huge toll on our nation. It is gestures like this event today that help move us all toward a more equitable and mutually beneficial relationship.”

“Okanagan College values and respects Indigenous culture and ways of knowing. Today’s flag raising is a symbolic gesture, as well as an incremental step toward Indigenization and authentic partnership that can enrich the education of learners,” says Chris Derickson, Okanagan College Board of Governors Chair.

Today’s flag raising is the second ceremony recognizing Indigenous peoples in whose lands the College resides; last month, the College raised a permanent ONA flag at the Kelowna campus.

“Indigenization is about learning more about Indigenous knowledge, people and place, and it starts by acknowledging the Syilx Okanagan people on whose traditional territory we live, learn, work and play,” said Okanagan College President Jim Hamilton. “Every day moving forward, our students, staff and community will see this flag and feel inspired by this symbol of respect and reconciliation.”Grand Chief Dr. Stewart Phillip July 2019

Dignitaries spoke about the relationship between the College and the ONA. Elder Pauline Archachan opened the ceremony with a blessing. Amber Cardenas sang The Okanagan Song as the flag was raised by Okanagan Indian Band students Michael Ochoa and Tallin Gregoire.

The Okanagan Nation Alliance flag features animals, water and the landscape significant to the area, as a representation of Syilx Okanagan people’s understanding of living in reciprocity and harmony with the natural world.

The flag builds on the Indigenous physical presence at the Vernon campus, which includes the Kalamalka Garden – green space containing indigenous food plants from the Okanagan territory, as well as other native species that are significant to Indigenous people of the region.

 



Global research expedition begins release of 15 major studies

During the international expedition to Peru, Ben Stacey a doctoral student from Cardiff, United Kingdom conducts a blood vessel function test on a local Andean resident. Researchers are trying to understand how some Andeans, who live at high altitude, develop altitude sickness.

During the international expedition to Peru, Ben Stacey a doctoral student from Cardiff, United Kingdom conducts a blood vessel function test on a local Andean resident. Researchers are trying to understand how some Andeans, who live at high altitude, develop altitude sickness.

International team conducts high-altitude research experiments

A group of international researchers went to great heights to better understand how high altitude affects both newcomers and Indigenous populations.

The 45-person international research team completed more than 15 major scientific studies in Peru’s Cerro de Pasco—a mining town at 4,330 metres. During the 30-day expedition, the team conducted more than 750 study sessions accounting for over 3,000 hours of experimental testing.

Roughly the size of an NFL team, the 2018 expedition included undergraduate and graduate students, as well as researchers and physicians from six countries and 11 universities. No easy feat to organize or execute, says UBCO’s Mike Tymko, expedition co-leader.

“Despite encountering serious logistical challenges, each of the proposed studies was completed at both sea level and high altitude,” says Tymko, who has just completed his PhD in the School of Health and Exercise Sciences.

It was not without challenges, he notes. The first being the logistical nightmare when more than 15 per cent of the expedition’s research equipment was delayed in customs at Lima airport.

The group, however, had a happy conclusion. The team’s perseverance, he says, ensured that all four metric tons of equipment and consumable research items, valued at $1.5 million, arrived at the high-altitude site. This allowed the team to set up six temporary laboratories that worked almost around the clock.

This achievement was part of the Global Research Expedition on Altitude-related Chronic Health—or Global REACH, the acronym the researchers devised for the far-reaching connectivity of the team and the study results.

“The results of the collective research will progress our understanding of how changes in blood flow to different stimuli, at low and high altitudes, alters the human body,” says Tymko. “The findings directly affect our understanding of high-altitude exposure on health. This research is relevant for people who suffer from conditions that are characterized by low oxygen including those with lung or heart disease.”

Along with several high-altitude studies, the team also wanted to help a group of local Andeans—a portion of the population who have developed a genetic mutation from their habitat. These are people who have developed an advanced form of altitude illness where their blood becomes extremely thick.

“In particular, our work explored important mechanisms that underpin both adaptation and maladaptation to high altitude in Indigenous populations to South America,” Tymko says, explaining they have an excess of red blood cells in their body. “It’s like their heart is pushing sludge through their blood vessels.”

Tymko says the findings of the 15 studies will result in a comparable amount of peer-reviewed publications over the next few years.

“These studies have the potential to improve quality of life and treatment strategies for those suffering from low oxygen levels in their body,” says UBCO Professor Phil Ainslie, Canada Research Chair in Cerebrovascular Physiology in Health and Disease.

“Understanding maladaptation to such stress helps inform unique avenues for new treatment strategies,”

As Tymko’s doctoral supervisor and Global REACH co-lead, Ainslie has organized several high-altitude research expeditions, including trips to Everest, that aimed to investigate how low oxygen affects the human body in both healthy and diseased populations.

The findings of the expedition will be released throughout 2019, the first of which is now live in the journal Hypertension.

About UBC's Okanagan campus

UBC’s Okanagan campus is an innovative hub for research and learning in the heart of British Columbia’s stunning Okanagan Valley. Ranked among the top 20 public universities in the world, UBC is home to bold thinking and discoveries that make a difference. Established in 2005, the Okanagan campus combines a globally recognized UBC education with a tight-knit and entrepreneurial community that welcomes students and faculty from around the world.

To find out more, visit: ok.ubc.ca.



New technology training program at OC set to expand

Okanagan College Media Release

A new program at Okanagan College is helping high school students understand how current technology will shape their careers.

Funded by the Ministry of Advanced Education, Skills and Training, the Gateway to Technology program provided 13 School District 67 students in Grades 10 – 12 with an enhanced understanding of how various technologies function.

The pilot program, which included students from Penticton Secondary School and Princess Margaret Secondary School, wrapped up at Okanagan College’s Penticton campus on Thursday, June 20.Wilcox and Moore July 2019

“Code seemed like magic,” says Tealya Wilcox, who graduated from Penticton Secondary School last month. “But our instructors explained how things work during lectures and we have the chance to apply what we learn in hands-on sessions. While this may not be key to the heavy mechanic training I hope to pursue, having the skills to understand technology and its many applications is important.”

The diversity of the program is what piqued Erik Moore’s interest. “I think an understanding of how technology works, from hardware to programming, will be useful to me and my classmates as we’re looking for jobs,” says Moore, who also recently graduated from Penticton Secondary School. “In the future, I may pursue specific technical training to supplement my chosen area of study in economics.”

“We have had a wide range of students in the program and the common theme throughout is their enthusiasm for technology,” says Trevor Knowlton, Career and Apprentice Coordinator for SD67. “It has been great to partner with Okanagan College to provide this Tech Gateway program for our students. Showing them the many different career opportunities that are available to them with these skills has been a huge success.”

With the initial success, Okanagan College has been working with other school districts to set up similar training. The next cohort is scheduled to begin in Vernon this September, with plans for School Districts 23, 53 and 83 in the works for February 2020.

Gateway to Technology programming will be one of the electives offered within each school district and students will receive credits towards graduation.

“The opportunity to teach the students in the Gateway to Technology program has been truly rewarding,” says Troy Berg, Professor of Network and Telecommunications Engineering Technology at Okanagan College. “The students have been exposed to a fascinating variety of technologies and concepts, and it has been exhilarating to see them find excitement and passion in areas they can use to create a vast range of dynamic and fulfilling career opportunities for themselves in the years to come.”

The program covers two main components – information technology essentials and an introduction to coding and web development. It is led by Berg and Sarah Foss, computer science instructor, both of Okanagan College, and combines lectures with hands-on lab learning opportunities.
 

“We know technology plays a significant role in our lives and that will only continue to grow in the future,” explains Dr. Dennis Silvestrone, Director of Continuing Studies and Corporate Training at Okanagan College. “With the completion of the pilot program, we’re exploring opportunities to continue opening doors for more students to become aware of the possibilities for careers and education in the world of technology. If the project builds or heightens a passion for this type of work, it will have been successful.”

 



Historic home creates unique opportunity for fine art students

Two UBCO fine arts students have been awarded summer art residencies at The Caetani Cultural Centre, which is located in a historic house in Vernon.

Two UBCO fine arts students have been awarded summer art residencies at The Caetani Cultural Centre, which is located in a historic house in Vernon.

Two UBCO students awarded residency at Vernon’s Caetani House

A new partnership between UBC Okanagan and Vernon’s Caetani Cultural Centre will help make artistic dreams come true for two student-artists.

“The Caetani Cultural Centre is a long-established community arts organization with a stellar reputation for hosting prominent artists and creative writers,” says Bryce Traister, dean of UBCO’s Faculty of Creative and Critical Studies (FCCS).

Operating in a historic home in Vernon, the centre offers residencies as part of its mandate. It was the vision of Sveva Caetani, who lived in the home most of her life, when she bequeathed her house and grounds to the City of Vernon for use as an arts and cultural facility. Artists are welcome to apply for a residency, which can be for two weeks to three months at a time, and pay a fee that covers their living expenses.

Being able to do a residency is a dream and a goal for most artists, says Janelle Hardy, artist in residence program coordinator at the Caetani Cultural Centre. Having uninterrupted time and space to live and create is an uncommon experience that can foster and accelerate artistic process and creation.

To have a residency funded by the new UBCO-Caetani partnership, is a dream come true as it removes financial challenges that a number of artists face working full-time on their art career, explains Traister.

“FCCS is delighted to partner with the Caetani Cultural Centre to provide our best student-artists an opportunity to have professional studio experience early in their young careers,” says Traister. “We are thrilled to be getting into the community and extending UBC’s engagement with the North Okanagan arts community.”

Carmen Winther and Mirjana Borovickic, both Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA) students, were nominated by the FCCS visual arts faculty for the residency.

“These two students have demonstrated potential and developed professional quality work over the years working towards their degree, and show commitment to their art practice,” says Myron Campbell, coordinator of BFA fourth-year programming. “Community outreach is part of the work they do, so it is fitting to have them be part of this program.”

During the residency, the students will also be required to offer presentations about their work and art practice for the local Okanagan community as well as participate in the studio and show their final projects.

"We just love hosting artists for their residencies and art shows,” says Hardy. “They bring such creative energy to the Caetani House and they get the chance to focus exclusively on their art. All of us at the house and in the Vernon community benefit from their enthusiasm, skills and joy."

Borovickic will be the first artist this summer in residence for the month of July, and Winther will follow for the month of August. Borovickic’s work will be on display at the house in a solo pop-up art exhibit on Monday, July 29 with a public reception that evening from 7 to 9 p.m. Her work will also be on display Tuesday, July 30 from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Meanwhile, a reception to celebrate Winther’s work takes place on August 28 from 7 to 9 p.m. Visitors will be able to view her work on August 29 from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.

“FCCS is pleased to be able to work with Caetani House to offer this opportunity, which is a launch vehicle for the next stages in our students’ professional careers,” says Traister. “We are looking forward to continuing this partnership in the coming years.”

Mirjana Borovickic’s piece Provider, uses children's clothing and acrylic on textile.

Mirjana Borovickic’s piece Provider, uses children's clothing and acrylic on textile.

Carmen Winther’s installation of her untitled artwork uses room dividers and food storage containers.

Carmen Winther’s installation of her untitled artwork uses room dividers and food storage containers.

About UBC's Okanagan campus

UBC’s Okanagan campus is an innovative hub for research and learning in the heart of British Columbia’s stunning Okanagan Valley. Ranked among the top 20 public universities in the world, UBC is home to bold thinking and discoveries that make a difference. Established in 2005, the Okanagan campus combines a globally recognized UBC education with a tight-knit and entrepreneurial community that welcomes students and faculty from around the world.

To find out more, visit: ok.ubc.ca.

About the Caetani Centre’s artist-in-residence programs

Caetani Centre’s artist-in-residence programs are available to artists working on creative projects anywhere from two weeks to three months in length. The programs are intended to serve as a conduit between regional and national artistic cultures by welcoming artists of any genre to the North Okanagan to live, create and commune. The artist stays and creates at the Caetani Cultural Centre's historic heritage house and is invited to share workshops, readings and exhibitions with the North Okanagan community.

For more information visit caetani.org or call the Caetani Centre at 250 275 1525.



Partnership key to fitness success for people with spinal cord injury

UBC research shows personal input and collaboration provide positive results

New co-created research at UBC’s Okanagan campus has resulted in ground-breaking increases in physical activity and fitness for those living with spinal cord injury (SCI).

Jasmin Ma is a recent doctoral graduate in the School of Health and Exercise Sciences. Along with her supervisor Professor Kathleen Martin Ginis, she recently published a study examining a time-efficient physical activity-coaching program created through community collaboration.

The key ingredient, says Ma, is partnership.

“The foundation of the project’s success is the networked approach. Health professionals, peers, researchers, and especially people living with SCI are all part of the development story,” Ma says of the intervention development process.

During the past three years, Ma worked with more than 300 people to explore the physical activity experiences of those living with SCI. The randomized controlled trial of the resulting intervention showed a five-fold increase in physical activity for its participants.

What’s impressive, says Ma, is six months after the trial ended, these levels of activity were maintained by the participants. Additionally, it’s also the first study to demonstrate improvements in fitness following a behavioural coaching intervention in this population.

While the physical activity progress for those living with SCI is in the study’s convincing numbers, the true success for Ma is how the community is thriving.

“Some of our participants have gone on to act as physical activity champions within their own networks,” she says. “Two of these outstanding individuals started the South Fraser Active Living Group and are working with Spinal Cord Injury BC to push the boundaries for accessible physical activity opportunities outside of Vancouver.”

With more than seven years of experience training clients with physical disability, Ma was no stranger to the barriers her clients face when it comes to exercise. Working individually with study participants, she found specific solutions to meet those challenges.

“The first step is asking the right questions, such as current physical activity levels and function, goals, barriers, preferences and available resources to collaboratively develop solutions,” says Ma. “After we get a good picture of our client’s situation, then it’s a matter of figuring out what strategies are needed to overcome their barriers. These strategies fall under the categories of education, referral to the right professionals, peers, or community resources, and physical activity prescription.”

Martin Ginis says the study will provide strong evidence for continued community-engaged research.

“The partnership with the SCI community and physiotherapists has resulted in a study that will improve the lives of people with spinal cord injury,” says Martin Ginis, director of the SCI Action Canada lab, which focuses on community-engaged research to advance physical activity participation in people living with spinal cord injury.”

“This study is a great step forward to collaborative community-engaged research,” adds Martin Ginis.

For Ma, who is now a postdoctoral fellow at UBC’s Vancouver campus, this is just the beginning. Her passion for bridging health care and recreation will continue as she works with Martin Ginis, the Rick Hansen Institute, Spinal Cord Injury BC, and GF Strong Rehabilitation Centre in Vancouver to implement this intervention in a hospital setting.

The research, which received funding from an Ontario Neurotrauma Foundation grant and a Rick Hansen Institute grant, was published recently in Sports Medicine.

Jasmin Ma is a recent doctoral graduate from the School of Health and Exercise Sciences.

Jasmin Ma is a recent doctoral graduate from the School of Health and Exercise Sciences.

About UBC's Okanagan campus

UBC’s Okanagan campus is an innovative hub for research and learning in the heart of British Columbia’s stunning Okanagan Valley. Ranked among the top 20 public universities in the world, UBC is home to bold thinking and discoveries that make a difference. Established in 2005, the Okanagan campus combines a globally recognized UBC education with a tight-knit and entrepreneurial community that welcomes students and faculty from around the world.

To find out more, visit: ok.ubc.ca.



An extraordinary life: remembering Greg Younging

Gregory Younging was posthumously recognized on June 19 with the Association of Canadian Publishers President’s Award for his contributions to the Canadian publishing industry and the association.

Gregory Younging was posthumously recognized on June 19 with the Association of Canadian Publishers President’s Award for his contributions to the Canadian publishing industry and the association.

UBC professor and Indigenous scholar receives prestigious posthumous award

It’s the Association of Canadian Publishers’ highest honour—and on June 19, UBC’s Gregory Younging was posthumously recognized with the President’s Award for his contributions to the Canadian publishing industry and the association.

“This award means a lot to my family, and I know it would have meant a lot to him,” says his daughter, Nimkish O’sullivan-Younging. “Everything he did in life he did well and with pride—that was extremely important to him. It feels good to know that his hard work and efforts are getting the recognition they deserve.”

Born in Halifax, Nova Scotia to a Cree mother (Rosalyn) and Chinese father (George), Younging was always proud of his heritage, she explains. As a member of the Opaskwayak Cree Nation, he publically solidified this pride by taking on his mother’s name of Young and linking it with his father’s name of Ing—as Young-Ing for a time, before making the legal change to Younging.

Holding a master of arts degree in northern and native studies from Carleton University, a master’s degree in publishing from Simon Fraser University, and a PhD in educational studies from UBC, Younging devoted his career to righting history and elevating cultural contributions of First Nations in Canada through his writings and teachings.

Younging served as managing editor of Theytus Books—the first Indigenous-owned publishing house in Canada from 1990 to 2004, before taking on the role of publisher in 2015.

In 2007, he joined UBC Okanagan’s department of community, culture and global studies (CCGS) as an assistant professor, where he was key in the development of the Indigenous Studies program.

Sue Frohlick, head of CCGS, says Younging’s contributions to the department were many, noting that his book, Elements of Indigenous Style: A Guide for Writing By and About Indigenous Peoples, is widely used in the department.

“It’s become an invaluable resource for our faculty in teaching and research,” she says.

Generous with his time, Younging held numerous positions over his career, including serving as chair of the Indigenous Peoples Caucus of the Creator Rights Alliance, as a United Nations delegate and as a delegate to the Assembly of First Nations.

In 2010, Younging accepted a part-time secondment to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada, serving as the assistant director of research until 2012.

During his appointment, he took the lead planning, commissioning and managing the editing of research projects, and was a member of the writing team for three national reports. Younging passed away in May 2019.

President of the Association of Canadian Publishers Glenn Rollans says Younging more than earned this recognition through his volunteer work with the association and his accomplishments as a book publisher. Younging was particularly persistent and successful, he says, in focussing attention on the important role publishers can play in pursuing the calls to action from the Truth and Reconciliation Commission.

“The President’s Award is not presented every year, but when we do award it, it goes to recipients within the ACP membership who have distinguished themselves in book publishing in Canada and through service to the association,” says Rollans. “We present this award to mark our gratitude to and respect for Greg.”

At home, Younging was a single father to two daughters who say he never let work commitments get in the way of what mattered most.

“He raised me well. He taught me about integrity and he always nurtured my talents,” says O’sullivan-Younging. “My dad did a lot of amazing things—but to me he was just my dad.”

About UBC's Okanagan campus

UBC’s Okanagan campus is an innovative hub for research and learning in the heart of British Columbia’s stunning Okanagan Valley. Ranked among the top 20 public universities in the world, UBC is home to bold thinking and discoveries that make a difference. Established in 2005, the Okanagan campus combines a globally recognized UBC education with a tight-knit and entrepreneurial community that welcomes students and faculty from around the world.

To find out more, visit: ok.ubc.ca.



Go-kart camp lets girls test-drive a career in the trades

Okanagan College Media Release

Okanagan College’s go-kart camp for girls is revving its engines again this year during the College’s popular CampOC summer camps.

Girls Can Go-Kart Too! is a camp that not only offers girls in Grades 4-6 a chance to sit in the driver’s seat, but also gives them hands-on training that could steer them towards a career in trades.Skyla Golbey GoKart July 2019

The camp was created in 2018 by the College and the Industry Training Authority (ITA), who provided funding both last year and this year to help bring the project to life.

“This camp is a great opportunity for young women to learn and directly apply useful skills in a fun environment,” says Shelley Gray, CEO of ITA. “It’s a hugely enjoyable program for the young women, who we hope will become the skilled trades people of the future.”

This week 14 girls stepped into the automotive shop at the Kelowna campus, tackling everything from designing their go-karts to working on small engines, changing the oil, patching and replacing tires, testing and fixing brakes, and installing ignition kill switches – all under the watchful eye of OC Red Seal endorsed trades instructors.

“Last year I saw the girls racing the go-karts in the parking lot and it looked like a lot of fun, so I decided to try it this year,” says Skyla Golbey, a Grade 6 student. “I haven’t built one before but my uncle builds cars so I’ve been around them a lot. We’ve been learning about all the tools and how an engine works.”

Golbey agreed that knowing how to change a tire will be useful and that the highlight of the week will be “racing the karts, making sure they actually work, and getting dirty.”

While the camp was designed to help girls build their skills in the shop, connecting them with mentors is another priority.

“There was incredible interest in the pilot project,” explains Nancy Darling, Program Administrator for the College’s Women in Trades Training program (WITT). “The girls gain automotive knowledge and build confidence; they learn new skills that they will carry with them after the week is finished and they also made a few new friends.”

The camp wraps up today where the girls will take part in a friendly race around a race track that they built, followed by a BBQ with their parents, instructors and officials from the College. The race starts at 12:30 p.m. at Okanagan College Kelowna campus.

“This camp is a great opportunity for young girls to experience what the skilled trades are all about,” says Jim Hamilton, President of Okanagan College. “It’s great to see how excited they are to get into the shop. We hope their experience at the College sparks an interest that leads them to think about the many career possibilities open to them.”

CampOC is in its 15th year in Kelowna and offers a variety of camps each summer for students in Grades 2-12.

For more information on CampOC visit campoc.ca
.

More information about the College’s Women in Trades Training program is available at okanagan.bc.ca/witt
.

 



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