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Kailey Buller and her teammates will don the uniform of the new UBC Okanagan Heat when the varsity volleyball season begins this fall - photo by Tim Swanky
Kailey Buller and her teammates will don the uniform of the new UBC Okanagan Heat when the varsity volleyball season begins this fall - photo by Tim Swanky

UBC Reports | Vol. 54 | No. 8 | Aug. 7, 2008

Even More in Year Four at UBC Okanagan

By Bud Mortenson

September marks the beginning of UBC Okanagan’s fourth year in operation. As it has in each of the previous three years, the campus has expanded physical space, programs and course offerings in a big way to accommodate its growing student numbers.

Fipke Centre a First for UBC Okanagan

Opening this fall, the new Fipke Centre for Innovative Research adds 70,000 square feet of space for teaching and research. The $32-million facility includes a computer lab, a 300-seat theatre, classrooms and lecture theatres, wet and dry labs and 65 faculty offices.

The Fipke Centre is the first brand-new building to be completed as part of UBC Okanagan’s campus master plan. It is also the first building to use the campus geoexchange groundwater energy system for heating and cooling -- an emissions-reducing and cost-saving system that will eventually provide heating and cooling to every academic building on the campus.

Charles Fipke, the Kelowna geologist who donated $5 million to make the centre possible, has also given $2 million to equip a new mass spectroscopy lab that will expand the university’s research capacity in geology, chemistry and other fields.

Devised Performance a Canadian First

Theatre / Performance at UBC Okanagan is launching Canada’s first university degree program specifically in devised performance -- an interdisciplinary and intercultural approach to artistic creativity that draws from a wide variety of world performance traditions including theatre, dance, music, visual arts, new media, circus, story-telling, folklore, and ritual.

The new Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA) in Interdisciplinary Performance provides training in movement and voice, improvisation, mask, ensemble work, as well as solo and collaborative performance creation. Students select courses from a wide range of artistic media including video art, film, photography, painting, sculpture, installation, as well as various genres in creative writing.

“This program allows students to work across the conventional boundaries that still separate the arts in most university and conservatory programs,” says Neil Cadger, Assistant Professor of Performance / Theatre.

New Minor in Creative Writing

A new Bachelor of Arts minor in creative writing offers UBC Okanagan students the opportunity to study creative writing in combination with another discipline.

Students will acquire proficiency in a variety of the genres -- from fiction, poetry, drama and non-fiction -- and will be able to specialize in at least two of these genres, says Nancy Holmes, Associate Professor of Creative Writing and Poetry.

“A minor in creative writing gives students several post-graduate options,” says Holmes. “This program provides emerging writers with enough training to become professional and, in UBC Okanagan’s interdisciplinary spirit, allows students to combine their skills and passion for other disciplines with their writing talents.”

Post-degree Inclusive Education Program Launched

A new certificate and diploma program in inclusive education has been established by UBC Okanagan’s Faculty of Education. With courses such as Assessment of Learning Difficulties and Literacy for Diverse Learners, the program prepares teachers to work with children and adolescents with diverse needs, establishing inclusive practices in classrooms and schools so that all students have equitable access to learning and achievement.

The Inclusive (Special) Education Certificate / Diploma program will appeal to B.C.-certified Bachelor of Education graduates who are currently employed as, or who wish to become, learning assistance teachers or resource teachers -- and to classroom teachers who wish to create inclusive environments in their instructional practice.

UBC Okanagan’s Varsity Athletics Seeks CIS Berth

UBC Okanagan wants to move into the big leagues of Canadian varsity sports. This summer, UBC Okanagan will submit its formal application for membership in the Canada West Universities Athletic Association, the Western conference of Canadian Interuniversity Sport (CIS).

“We’re eager to make the move to Canada West, and are looking forward to the benefits that such a high level of interuniversity competition will bring to our programs and our student-athletes,” says Rob Johnson, Director of Athletics and Recreation at UBC Okanagan.

Johnson notes that offering a varsity athletics program competing at the highest level in Canada is important if the university hopes to retain top athletic talent from the Okanagan region, and attract outstanding athletes from other parts of Canada.

While the Canada West membership process could take a year or more, Johnson says there’s big excitement on campus right now as the UBC Okanagan Heat -- the new name for varsity teams -- play their first games.

Online TV Station Tells UBC Okanagan News

A new web-based TV service -- www.ubco.tv -- has been launched to keep the community up to date on a wide variety of news from UBC Okanagan. Current video features include a recent update on the Fipke Centre project and other innovative new construction on campus.

Entering her second year of science studies at UBC Okanagan, student-athlete Kailey Buller and her teammates will don the uniform of the new UBC Okanagan Heat when the varsity volleyball season begins this fall.

Virginie Magnat, Assistant Professor of Performance at UBC Okanagan, will be teaching courses in the brand-new Bachelor of Fine Arts in Interdisciplinary Performance program this year.

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Last reviewed 07-Aug-2008

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