UBC Reports | Vol. 47 | No. 08 | April
Winners improve student life
From ensuring a safe walk at night to Christmas trees, the common theme is
making a difference
by Bruce Mason staff writer
By day and night Roger Miller is one of 6,500 hard-working graduate
students who play major roles in every department at UBC.
While conducting research on superconductors at the Tri-University
(TRIUMF) he has also served for three years as president of
Student Society (GSS).
The PhD student in Physics and Astronomy is among those who will be honoured
April 26 by the Campus Advisory Board on Student Development
CABSD awards recognize exceptional contributions or significant
improvements to student experience and learning.
Established in 1998, the awards are named for former members of the university
community who made major contributions to student life.
Miller shares this year's Margaret Fulton Award with Education graduate Rick
Joe of the Native Indian Teacher Education Program (NITEP) and Forestry
Assoc. Prof. John Worrall. The Fulton award is given to individuals.
"I was in a photocopy room when I was told I was needed at a meeting," Miller
says, recalling his first GSS experience.
"I liked what I heard about supporting grad students and got involved as a
representative. Then, after my first term as president, when the steep learning
curve was behind me, there were still issues and problems facing the
Miller considers himself part of a group of some 300 people, mostly volunteers,
who have revitalized UBC graduate student life.
They have turned around a nearly bankrupt graduate student society, established
a health and dental plan and run a successful commercial operation including a
pub and room bookings.
They've also provided services ranging from cheap lunches to the social and
networking activities that are so important to graduate students, 20 per cent
of whom are from outside Canada.
"The most important GSS function is to represent graduate students,
particularly to UBC's administration," says Miller.
"We have different lifestyles and expectations than undergraduates.
We have closer relationships with supervisors, more individual responsibility."
For more than three decades John Worrall's contributions to student life have
included painting murals, providing an enormous Christmas tree and plants for
the Forest Sciences building and numerous other initiatives.
Rick Joe, who is graduating with a Bachelor of Education, was instrumental in
First Nations Education Awareness Day and other projects.
The Alma Mater Society (AMS) Safewalk program and International House
ESL programs earns the Helen McCrae Award for an AMS, GSS,
or UBC service to students.
Safewalk is a free service dedicated to making the campus a safe place for
everyone at night. International House's flagship ESL program helps 250
students annually to polish their social and academic language skills.
The Faculty of Education's Centre for the Study of Curriculum and Instruction
will receive the Peter Larkin Award for a graduate program or
It supports Education graduate students through a wide range of programs
including a unique master's program for inner city full-time teachers, brown
bag gatherings, research cafés, study groups and community outreach.
Nominations for the awards were made by students, faculty and
Winners were selected by the CABSD which includes representatives from
For information on CABSD awards, call Linda Yuen at 604-822-3955.