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Campus Life  

UBC’s Hargreaves wins prestigious Gabrielle Roy writing award

Jury calls book ‘sensitively argued, memorable and deeply insightful’

UBC Okanagan Associate Professor Allison Hargreaves is the winner of the 2017 Gabrielle Roy Prize writing award.

Hargreaves teaches English in the Faculty of Creative and Critical Studies (FCCS) and specializes in Indigenous literary and cultural education.

Her book, Violence Against Indigenous Women: Literature, Activism, Resistance, was published by Wilfrid Laurier University Press in August of 2017 and was named the winning entry two weeks ago.

UBC Associate Professor Allison Hargreaves, centre, receives her Gabrielle Roy Prize, pictured here with WLU Press senior editor Siobhan McMenemy (left) and director Lisa Quinn.

UBC Associate Professor Allison Hargreaves, centre, receives her Gabrielle Roy Prize, pictured here with WLU Press senior editor Siobhan McMenemy (left) and director Lisa Quinn.

“Although still on the early side of her career, Allison Hargreaves is already recognized as one of the leading voices in a Canadian literary and cultural studies practice that brings the voices of indigenous women into conversation with a decolonizing settler perspective,” says FCCS Dean Bryce Traister. “The Gabrielle Roy prize cements her already stellar reputation, and the Faculty of Creative and Critical Studies at UBC’s Okanagan campus couldn’t be more proud of her achievement.”

Violence Against Indigenous Women argues for the important role that literature and storytelling can play in response to gendered colonial violence. Indigenous communities have long been organizing against violence, but the cases of missing and murdered women have only recently garnered broad public attention. The book joins the conversation by analyzing the socially interventionist work of Indigenous women poets, playwrights, filmmakers and fiction-writers. Organized as a series of case studies that pair literary interventions with recent sites of activism and policy-critique, the book puts literature in dialogue with anti-violence debate to illuminate new pathways toward action.

“I am honoured by the recognition, and grateful for the attention this may bring to the issues discussed in the book,” says Hargreaves.

She also drew attention to local events, particularly the Annual Memorial Vigil for Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women, Two-Spirit, and Girls held annually in Kelowna every February 14. She is donating her prize money toward next year’s event, she adds.

“I want to acknowledge my fellow organizers, and especially Tina Miller, for their inspiring commitment to local commemoration and action.”

The Gabrielle Roy Prize is awarded annually for the best book-length study in Canadian and Quebec literary criticism.

“This is a compelling collection of timely essays and case studies on Indigenous women’s literature in Canada. Hargreaves’ introduction provides a detailed and insightful commentary on the issues surrounding the history and importance of resistance narratives,” stated the jury when announcing the award. “It is carefully researched, sensitively argued, memorable and deeply insightful.”

For more information on the award visit: wlu.ca/news/news-releases/2018/may/wlu-press-author-allison-hargreaves-wins-gabrielle-roy-prize

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. For more visit ok.ubc.ca.



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OC apprentice builds his way onto the podium at Skills Canada Nationals

Okanagan College Media Release

For his display of skill and precision under pressure, an Okanagan College-trained carpenter was recognized among the best in the country at Skills Canada National Competition (SCNC).

Lukas Pfob June 2018Lukas Pfob, a Level 4 Carpenter apprentice, brought home the Silver medal in the Carpentry competition at SCNC, which took place in Edmonton on June 4-5.

SCNC is the only national, multi-trade and technology competition for students and apprentices in the country. This year more than 500 competitors from across Canada made the trip to Edmonton to put their nerve and know-how to the test in more than 40 skilled trade and technology categories.

“The whole experience from start to finish is mind-blowing,” says Pfob, who is employed by Team Construction Management in Kelowna. “It’s very much like the Olympics but for trades. Until you’ve seen it, you really can’t appreciate how hard the competitors work. It challenges you in so many ways.”

It was Pfob’s second chance to seize the challenge at Nationals. Last year, he notched a strong showing but fell short of the podium in Winnipeg. He punched his ticket to Edmonton, and another shot at Nationals, with a gold medal-winning performance at the Provincial competition in Abbotsford back in April.

His nationals test this year? It was no child’s play.

After the fanfare of the opening ceremonies subsided, Pfob and his fellow competitors had just 12 hours over the course of two-days to construct an intricate play house from scratch. And while he says the time constraint was nerve-racking, Pfob also had to overcome the challenge of working almost elbow-to-elbow with the competition.

“Looking up and seeing the best apprentices from the other provinces and territories working a few feet away is tough,” he says, “but I knew from my experience last year – and from all the work I’ve put in with my instructors – that I had to ignore them and stay as focused as I could on the task at hand.”

That focus – and the years of preparation at the College and on the jobsite – paid off.

“When I found out I came in second, I was ecstatic,” says Pfob. “These truly are some of the best carpenters in Canada, so I take a lot of pride in this showing. I’m very grateful to all my instructors and everyone who has helped me along the way.”Pfob, Vanlerberg, Mclaren June 2018

The medal was Pfob’s first at nationals and fifth overall at Skills Canada competitions, including consecutive gold medals at Provincials the past two years.

“We’re immensely proud of Lukas for his achievements at Skills Canada competitions this year – and over the years – and equally so for the fine example he’s setting for his fellow students and apprentices at the College,” says Steve Moores, Okanagan College’s Dean of Trades and Apprenticeship.

Pfob recently completed his Level 4 apprenticeship at the College. Prior to jetting off to Edmonton, he delivered the student address at the Trades Commencement ceremony at the Kelowna campus last month.

“Every instructor I have had, from high school to 4th year at the College, has pushed me to greater levels of success,” explains Pfob. “I hope one day to be able to do the same. I’d love eventually to have the opportunity to teach, to inspire others to push themselves to always keep learning, to take pride in their field and generally just strive to be the best they can be.”

Pfob was joined by two other Okanagan College students at Nationals. Vernon’s Bradley Vanlerberg competed in the Aerospace Technology category and Kelowna’s Conner McLaren competed in the Automotive Service category. All three students won gold at the provincial Skills Canada competition on April 18.

 




Newly minted PhD graduate keeps her ties to UBC Okanagan

Julianne Barry graduated this week with her PhD from UBC Okanagan.

Julianne Barry graduated this week with her PhD from UBC Okanagan.

She’s done it all—from undergrad to masters to PhD and research fellow

Julianne Barry is one of those rare breeds of university students. She has spent her entire post-secondary academic career—from those first, nervous fresh-faced days to becoming an accomplished researcher and post-doctoral fellow—at UBC’s Okanagan campus.

Adding to that, each one of her UBC degrees is from a different program, giving her an extensive, yet connected, knowledge base.

“My grandfather had diabetes and many of my grandmother’s siblings died at an early age from heart disease,” says Barry. “Because of my indigenous background, I have always been interested in chronic health issues and how some can be prevented.”

Rewind 12 years and Barry is a brand-new biochemistry student, newly graduated from Keremeos’  Similkameen Secondary School. Four years later she graduates with an honours degree from the Irving K. Barber’s School of Arts and Sciences' biochemistry program. She then enters a master’s program in biology, studying heart disease with Associate Professor Sanjoy Ghosh’s laboratory. She recently wrapped up her PhD work with the School of Health and Exercise Sciences, while currently working as a post-doctoral research assistant in UBC Okanagan’s School of Nursing.

“I was chosen to be a research assistant and we are working with Indigenous communities and trying to find a way to blend traditional healthcare practices with western health care practices,” she says. “There are a lot of inequalities and gaps in health care when we’re working with the indigenous communities. We’d like to find a way to close those gaps.”

The four-year project, working with Associate Professor of Nursing Donna Kurtz, will look at issues such as diabetes and obesity in Indigenous populations with six communities in towns like Kelowna, Vernon, Kamloops, Lillooet and Williams Lake.

“The Canadian Institutes of Health Research has funded four areas for chronic disease with obesity and diabetes being one. Our focus has been on asking what are the needs and priorities of your community and can how we bring traditional practices and western programs and services together,” she says. “It’s a locally-driven project and we are hoping to implement their ideas.”

Barry has strong Aboriginal roots with Ontario’s Manitoulin Island and speaks fondly of her grandparents. Many of Barry’s family suffered from heart disease and died at an early age due to the illness. Unfortunately, as she worked on her PhD, both grandparents passed away within a short timespan.

“My grandmother was the core of my family and she passed away a week before my thesis defense. It was a pretty challenging time.”

Barry is well versed in diabetes research. Her PhD research was focused on the topic. “Julianne is a rare talent,” says Associate Professor Jonathan Little whose work focuses on health, exercise and diet in the context of Type 2 diabetes. “She continues to expand her repertoire as a postdoc and is truly an example of an accomplished interdisciplinary researcher.”

Little explains how her PhD research spanned from “molecule to human.” It included studies examining how immune cells function in people with Type 2 diabetes at one end of the spectrum to understanding how different types of exercise impact cardiovascular and metabolic function across a 12-month clinical trial at the other. “We looked at the impact of Type 2 diabetes, obesity and exercise on inflammation using the Small Steps for Big Changes program,” she says. “And we followed up with the people a year later and it was fantastic to see the changes these people made throughout the year. These people were overweight or obese and they made significant health changes through the program.”

There was also good with the bad, and Barry notes she was also able to take time away from academia when she and her husband welcomed a baby girl into their family. Now 18 months later and with a toddler who may one day be dependent on her research, she is more determined than ever to continue working to improve health opportunities for all Indigenous people in Canada.

“I feel like my diverse background will benefit my future research and push me to think outside the box.”

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. For more visit ok.ubc.ca.





Double degrees add up to top Pushor Mitchell recognition

Dana Klamut graduated this week with degrees in math and computer science (honours) from UBC Okanagan.

Dana Klamut graduated this week with degrees in math and computer science (honours) from UBC Okanagan.

Winner excels at both math and honours computer science

Things have been adding up for Dana Klamut since she began her academic career at UBC's Okanagan campus five years ago.

Graduating with degrees in math and computer science (honours), Klamut was recognized this week with the Pushor Mitchell LLP Gold Medal Leadership Prize—the highest award available for an Irving K. Barber School of Arts and Sciences graduating student.

Now in its ninth year, the $10,000 prize recognizes a top graduating student who has excelled academically and has shown leadership while earning their degree.

“Pushor Mitchell is proud to be a supporter of UBC Okanagan and the Gold Medal Leadership Prize, and continues to promote the outstanding efforts of students,” says Managing Partner James Paterson. “We think that the selection of Dana Klamut is an excellent choice as winner. Her achievements epitomize academic excellence and support gender diversity. Her accomplishments are many and we are proud to be able to add her to our distinguished list of Pushor Mitchell LLP Gold Medal Prize winners.”

With a grade point average of 96 per cent, a number of academic accomplishments and a long list of volunteer hours, Computer Science Professor Yves Lucet says Klamut was a shoe-in for the award.

“She is clearly a top academic performer who takes her passion about the promotion of women in science to heart,” says Lucet.

Originally from Penticton, Klamut changed her academic focus to include both mathematics and computer science in her second year. After attending a women in computer science conference, which she called an “enlightening experience” she then grew more passionate about a career in the computer science industry.

In 2015, she helped organize the first-ever Canadian Undergraduate Computer Science Conference, and Lucet says her participation in the event was more than impressive. Along with planning the event, she recruited sponsors, promoted female participation, organized a panel on women in science while also participating in the event.

“Organizing a conference is very challenging, creating a whole conference series is unheard of for undergraduate students,” adds Lucet. “I honestly did not think undergraduate students could pull this off. I attended the conference and I can attest that the speakers were world-class. It left me speechless and the impact on attendees was deep and long-lasting, leading to a highly active course union. This is Leadership with a capital L.”

Ramon Lawrence, associate professor of computer science, taught Klamut in three different courses and he says she is one of the highest performing female students in computer science in the last 10 years. In 2016, she received an undergraduate student research award to study embedded database systems with Lawrence’s research group.

“Despite being the most junior member in the research group, by the end of the summer she made significant contributions which led to a refereed publication,” Lawrence says. “She is both a great role model for women in computer science and a proponent of increased diversity and female participation in the field.”

Klamut has plans to stay in the Okanagan and begin a career in the computer science industry. But she hasn’t ruled out graduate studies, saying she has become passionate about research throughout her undergraduate career and the award will provide that opportunity when that time is right.

"I am truly honoured to be this year's recipient of the Pushor Mitchell LLP Gold Medal Leadership Prize and to be recognized in association with one of Kelowna's most prestigious law firms,” says Klamut. “I am also grateful for the personal and academic growth that I have experienced during my time at UBC Okanagan due to the support and encouragement of my amazing professors and peers.”

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. For more visit ok.ubc.ca.



DNA analysis of near-extinct tortoises leads to gold medal win

Biology student wins Governor General award for academic achievement

A UBC student’s research examining the DNA of endangered Galapagos tortoises has led to the highest accomplishment a university student can win.

Evelyn Jensen, who was conferred her PhD degree in biology from the Irving K. Barber School of Arts and Sciences on Thursday, is the Governor General Gold Medal winner for UBC’s Okanagan campus. The Governor General gold medal award is presented annually to the graduate student with the highest academic achievement.

While Jensen’s academic record speaks for itself—she has achieved A+ in all her coursework at UBC Okanagan—she’s done remarkable research in genomics and was able to compare and analyze the genetic makeup of different generations of Galapagos giant tortoises on Pinzón Island, says her PhD supervisor Prof. Michael Russello.

Evelyn Jensen studied a new generation of giant tortoises while earning her PhD at UBC Okanagan. Photo credit: Michael Russello

Evelyn Jensen studied a new generation of giant tortoises while earning her PhD at UBC Okanagan. Photo credit: Michael Russello

While working on her PhD, Jensen and Russello travelled to the Galapagos Islands to study a new generation of giant tortoises—once a species considered extinct in the wild. Russello explains that whalers, pirates and explorers had used the Pinzón Island tortoises as a fresh meat supply, decimating the population. To make matters worse, the sailors inadvertently introduced a species of black rats to the island—the invasive rats lived on the tortoise eggs, and the survival rate of the tortoise plummeted.

“At one time there were thousands of tortoises and they were easy to hunt,” says Russello. “The species was heavily harvested and black rats thrived by attacking the nests and eating the eggs. It got to the point where there were about a hundred or so of these tortoises left on the island and they weren’t repopulating. They were indeed a population of the living dead.”

More than 50 years ago, scientists introduced a headstart management plan; eggs were transported to a nearby island to hatch and grow in captivity before being repatriated to their home island. In 2012 the rats were eradicated from the island and by 2014, wild-hatched young tortoises were surviving on the island. Pinzón now has a growing population, says Russello, noting it’s a conservation success story that demonstrates how easily humans can decimate a species and how hard we have to work to revive one.

“Written in the genome of every individual are not just instructions for building the organism, but also the history of its ancestors. When populations of individuals are analyzed together, their DNA can tell an even larger story of how the population has changed through time,” Jensen explains.

Jensen and Russello spent two weeks on the Galapagos Islands, collecting DNA samples from the current generation of tortoises so they could be compared with DNA from several tortoises removed from Pinzón Island in 1906.

“The theory regarding the genetic effects of rapid population decline is well-developed, but few studies of natural populations exist where sampling was conducted before and after a known bottleneck event,” says Jensen, explaining ‘bottleneck’ is a term used when a species has gone into a rapid decline. “Such knowledge is of particular importance for species restoration, given the link between genetic diversity and the probability of long-term persistence.”

By pairing historical DNA analysis, and the DNA of Pinzón Galapagos giant tortoises sampled pre- and post-decline, she was able to show that the historical sample provided a valuable benchmark for evaluating the head-start program. The research was recently published in the Journal of Heredity.

“My work revealed that Pinzón tortoises have retained a remarkable amount of genetic variation despite their near extinction, and further demonstrates the effectiveness of the conservation intervention in this system,” she says.

Jensen currently holds an NSERC postdoctoral fellowship at Queen’s University in Kingston, Ontario. She is developing baseline population genomic information about polar bear populations in Canada and creating new biomarker toolkit that will be used to monitor polar bears from non-invasively collected scat samples.

Evelyn Jensen, who graduated this week with her PhD, is the Governor General Gold Medal winner for UBC’s Okanagan campus.

Evelyn Jensen, who graduated this week with her PhD, is the Governor General Gold Medal winner for UBC’s Okanagan campus.

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. For more visit ok.ubc.ca.



Car Dealers Rev Up Support for OC Automotive and Business Students

Okanagan College Media Release

New Car Dealers_1 June 2018The New Car Dealers Foundation of British Columbia is helping power success with $10,000 annually in new awards for Trades and Business students at Okanagan College.

The annual awards ranging from $1,000 to $2,000 each will support students in the Automotive Service Technician apprenticeship and foundation programs, plus the Business Administration program.

“The demand for skilled automotive service technicians and business professionals is increasing throughout the automotive sector,” says Blair Qualey,
President and CEO of the New Car Dealers Association of B.C.

“We see partnerships with training institutions like Okanagan College as integral to service delivery and the prosperity of our member dealerships.”

There are 29 new car dealer members in the Okanagan including six dealerships operated by Sentes Automotive.

Adam Rich, Sentes Automotive Group General Manager, says he hopes the awards will encourage more young people to enter the automotive industry and stay local after graduation.

“We’re always looking for more technicians. We know the value of the Okanagan College program, we’ve hired grads in the past, and we’re thrilled to support it,” says Rich.

“We are very grateful to the New Car Dealers Foundation for this investment in our students’ futures,” says Kathy Butler, Executive Director, Okanagan College Foundation. “The creation of these new awards will both help attract and retain students, ultimately connecting them to a vibrant and expanding industry, especially in the Okanagan.”

“These awards are unique in that they will open doors for trades students while also supporting the next generation of business professionals pursuing careers in the automotive sector.”

The New Car Dealers Foundation presented its first set of awards in Kelowna in April.

Among the recipients was Paul Whitlock, a student in the Automotive Service Technician program. Whitlock plans to complete his Red Seal Endorsement and then go on to business school.

“This award will make it easier for me to progress through my apprenticeship with less stress about being able to afford it all,” says Whitlock. “I can't thank the donors enough for this very generous gift. It will help me achieve my dream.”

The New Car Dealers Association of B.C. represents more than 390 New Car Dealers throughout the province, who generate more than $16 billion in economic activity, pump $2.9 billion net GDP directly into B.C.’s economy, and employ more than 30,000 high paying jobs in 54 communities they serve.
 

For more information on the new training hub visit okanagan.bc.ca/brighthorizons.
  

 




Enactus OC project transforms elementary students into authors in the South Okanagan

A class of Grade 4 students at Queen’s Park Elementary in Penticton are some of the region’s newest published authors thanks to a new initiative by Okanagan College’s Enactus team.enactus pen news

Carrie-Ann McAlpine and Christie Reid, both business students at the Penticton campus, recently spent three days in the classroom working with students to write and illustrate their own stories.

“We wanted to develop a fun, hands-on way for the students to think about reading and writing – and something that ultimately could help teachers make literacy more exciting and tangible,” says McAlpine. “Our aim was to transport them into the mindset of an author.”

The theme, fittingly, was transportation. Over the course of three days, students learned about transportation – past and present – and were tasked with working in groups to envision and write about future modes of transport.

And while the College students may have been used to group work, they quickly found out it was a new experience for their elementary school subjects.

“For many of the students, it was their first group project ever, or the first of this scale where they worked together over a few days,” explains McAlpine. “So it turned out to be a great learning experience on the literacy side of things, and it also challenged them to work together, listen to each other, and make decisions as a group.”

Before stepping into the classroom, McAlpine and Reid found a way to make the students feel more like the real-world authors they know and look up to.

“We approached the Kiwanis Club of Penticton which agreed to cover the cost of professionally printing the students’ stories,” explains McApline. “When we brought in the published works, the students eyes lit up. It was one of the most rewarding things I’ve ever been a part of, as a student or otherwise.”

Like the students they mentored, McAlpine and Reid have now turned their attention to imaging what the future could look like. They hope to grow the project and be able to replicate the writing and publishing experience for students in more classrooms and schools. They’re also looking into how the students’ published works could be sold to provide schools and community organizations such as Kiwanis with a new fundraising tool.

“This project really embodies what Enactus Okanagan College is all about,” notes Dr. Sheilagh Seaton, a professor with the College’s School of Business and a faculty advisor for Enactus OC.

“Carrie-Ann and Christie took a simple idea and found a way to bring it to life in the community to benefit others and foster new collaborations and opportunities. It’s been wonderful to watch how quickly they realized their vision and the positive impact it has had on students in the pilot project.”

 



From Australia, Asia (and a few spots in-between) to academia

Zoology grad Ashley Kerik has ambitions of study freshwater sharks.

Zoology grad Ashley Kerik has ambitions of study freshwater sharks.

Biology grad takes pause in her globetrotting to study at UBC Okanagan

Ashley Kerik has always had itchy feet. Since graduating from high school, she approached the world as one big laboratory, where new discoveries were just around the bend.

Kerik spent seven years touring much of the globe on both land and water. She concluded her travels with the realization that an academic background would enhance and give meaning to her wanderings.

Just when her peers were donning caps and gowns to celebrate their convocations, Kerik traded in her flippers for textbooks and entered her first year at UBC’s Okanagan campus. Despite temptations, she stayed in Kelowna long enough to complete her studies and this week will be awarded an Honours Bachelor of Science degree with a major in zoology from the Irving K. Barber School of Arts and Sciences.

“I am a bit of an adrenaline junky, but I always knew I would continue with my education,” admits Kerik. “I feel my travels really helped me narrow-in and decide on what topics I wanted to study.”

The Manitoba native discovered a love for everything marine during her time in Australia and Asia and had her eye set on spending time at the Bamfield Marine Sciences Centre. For her UBC experience, the Okanagan campus was the only choice.

“I knew exactly where I wanted to go,” she says. “UBC is world-renowned for its research and at the Okanagan campus I felt I could thrive in an intimate and supportive environment.”

Kerik embraced campus life and that of the community. She was one of the UBC Okanagan Wildlife Society Club founding members and found time to be on the board of directors of the Kelowna Ultimate Players Society. Although dedicated during the school year, her wanderlust took over in the summers and Kerik spent time in Haida Gwaii and studying at the Bamfield centre.

Through perseverance and dedication, she completed an honours thesis with Biology Professor Ian Walker. During this time, she could be found on the water looking for freshwater sponges. She identified five new species living in the Okanagan.

“It was relatively easy for me to do well, because I had the passion and drive to do so,” says Kerik.

She agrees that it wasn’t always easy being a full decade older than her classmates, but for her this provided a learning opportunity. She found it enriching to listen, provide guidance and compare life experiences with her classmates.

At the same time, fieldwork and environmental issues were always common ground with her peers.

“Ashley has a real zeal for exploring the natural world,” says Laura Hooker, Kerik’s mentor and biology professor. “This was clearly evident in my “Flora and Fauna of Inland Waters” course where she was like a ninja with a dip net. Her unbridled enthusiasm, and good eye for identification, made it a joy to grade the collections she prepared.”

Kerik strongly believes that to survive and prosper, the world needs healthy water.

“If oceans die, we die,” she says.

Through her initiatives, she’d like to promote global responsibility for these bodies of water. There is a sea of possibilities open to Kerik but as a next step, she plans to attend graduate school to study and identify the presence of river sharks, using environmental DNA as a marker.

Her dream job is to bring the mystery and awe of the undersea world to individuals who have never had the opportunity to visit them. In her view, the best way to save the oceans is to educate people about what might be lost if they are destroyed.

Zoology grad Ashely Kerik has a passion for all animals.

Zoology grad Ashely Kerik has a passion for all animals.

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. For more visit ok.ubc.ca.



UBC Okanagan confers three honorary degrees in 2018

From left: Astrophysicist Victoria Kaspi, Splatsin First Nation Elder Rosalind Williams and Entrepreneur Anthony von Mandl.

From left: Astrophysicist Victoria Kaspi, Splatsin First Nation Elder Rosalind Williams and Entrepreneur Anthony von Mandl.

Local First Nations Elder, business leader and astrophysicist honored

UBC’s Okanagan campus will not only be celebrating its students this week but will also be awarding three honorary degrees to business leader Anthony von Mandl, Splatsin First Nation Elder Rosalind Williams and astrophysicist Victoria Kaspi.

UBC Okanagan honorary degrees are conferred on deserving individuals for their long-standing achievement in an academic field or unparalleled commitment to community service. Recipients will receive their honorary degrees during campus convocation ceremonies on June 7 and 8.

“All three honorary degree recipients this year demonstrate, through their outstanding careers and achievements, the very principles that drive UBC’s Okanagan campus,” says Deputy Vice-Chancellor and Principal Deborah Buszard. “They have each devoted their lives to creating vibrant and healthy communities and to pushing the boundaries of human knowledge. It is our great pleasure to confer on them honorary degrees.”

Victoria Kaspi will receive an honorary Doctor of Science, Rosalind Williams will be presented with an honorary Doctor of Letters and Anthony von Mandl will receive an honorary Doctor of Laws.

Victoria Kaspi, CC, FRS, FRSC

Astrophysicist Victoria Kaspi is a renowned leader in the study of neutron stars. A professor of physics at McGill University, she is the director of the McGill Space Institute and a member of the McGill Pulsar Group. She holds a PhD from Princeton University, and has served as Associate Dean of Research and Graduate Education with McGill University’s Faculty of Science. Her current work includes the development of instrumentation for the new Canadian Hydrogen Intensity Mapping Experiment (CHIME) telescope in Penticton, British Columbia.

When: ceremony begins at 11 a.m. on Thursday, June 7

Rosalind Williams

Rosalind Williams is an Elder in the Splatsin First Nation and has long been a steadfast advocate for its people. She was the first woman to be elected Chief of the community in 1972 and was one of the first women chiefs in all of British Columbia. She has worked tirelessly to preserve and promote the Splatsin culture and language, becoming a leader in the documentation and conservation of the Secwepemctsín language. In 2000 she created the Splatsin Tsm7aksaltn (Splatsin Teaching Society)—a community childcare and teaching centre—where she works actively to research the Secwepemctsín language and ensure that it and the Secwepemc culture are passed on to future generations.

When: ceremony begins at 1:30 p.m. on Thursday, June 7

Anthony von Mandl, OC, OBC

Anthony von Mandl is an entrepreneur whose efforts have helped transform the Okanagan Valley into a world-class wine-producing region and a popular tourism destination. Born in Vancouver, von Mandl founded a wine importing firm in Vancouver at the age of 22. Despite difficult initial years, he successfully grew the business and in 1981 began to realize his dream of producing world-class wines in BC’s then unknown Okanagan Valley. His family’s Mission Hill Family Estate has since been transformed into an international landmark winery. In 2016, von Mandl was appointed as an Officer of the Order of Canada, and he is also a recipient of the Order of British Columbia.

When: ceremony begins at 11 a.m. on Friday, June 8

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. For more visit ok.ubc.ca.



Summertime activities and learning opportunities still available for Kelowna kids

Okanagan College Media Release

CampOC 2018From Minecraft to cooking camps to flight academy, Okanagan College’s Camp OC is back in July with a broad selection of educational day camps designed to keep kids busy while after camp care offers flexibility for parents at the end of the day.

Camp OC, coordinated by the College’s Continuing Studies department, offers week-long educational day camps full of interactive experiences, fun and adventure for youth.

Back for its 14th year in Kelowna, camps will once again be offered for students in Grades 2-12. Parents can choose from a range of camps including Minecraft programming, wood and metal fabrication camps, LEGO building, fashion and cooking camps, website design and flight academy camps, among others.

The sessions are a hit with Mia Salmon and her children, who have attended multiple camps. “The courses are packed full of fun things to do. Parents can be confident that their kids will come away with new friends, useful ideas and skills,” says Salmon.

After a successful launch last year, camp organizers are once again offering optional after camp care for students who will be entering Grades 2-6 this fall. With camps running 8:30 a.m. – 3:30 p.m., Monday to Friday, parents once again have the option of enrolling their child in weeklong after camp care where qualified staff will engage them in activities until 5 p.m. The cost ranges from $24-30 for the week.

Camp OC is also a chance for high school students to boost their resumes and chalk up volunteer hours required for graduation. And with more than 100 scheduled camps in Kelowna alone this year, youth volunteers are still needed to fill some key summer camp roles.

“Volunteering at Camp OC gives high schoolers some of the required credits they need toward graduation,” explains Helena Jordo, Camp OC Coordinator for Kelowna. “We track and report back all volunteer hours to the school districts and it’s a great way for students thinking about attending the College to spend time on campus and learn their way around.”

Last year more than 1,700 students took part in more than 140 different camps as part of Camp OC across the College’s campuses in Kelowna, Penticton, Vernon and Revelstoke. The program has seen incredible growth since it launched in the summer of 2004, then with only 70 kids enrolled in about 10 camps.

More information about Camp OC is available at www.campoc.ca
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