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UBC Reports | Vol. 55 | No. 6 | June 4, 2009

In the News

Highlights of UBC Media Coverage in May 2009

Compiled by Sean Sullivan

Ch’nook program looks to engag aboriginal students

The Economist reported on the Ch’nook Aboriginal Business Education Program. The initiative from the Sauder School of Business at UBC aims to boost aboriginal participation in post-secondary business studies.

John Claxton, director of the program, says although many of the skills needed for business are universal across cultures, Ch’nooks can develop their own unique, successful approach.

“We start by working to dispel the stereotype that all businesses are identical in terms of the motivators behind business activities,” he says. “This makes it easy for students to see how their values can impact their business practices.”

Let your mind wander while you work

A UBC study has found daydreaming can be good for you. MSNBC, AFP, The Mirror and Le Figaro were among the international media outlets that seized upon psychology Prof. Kalina Christoff’s findings.

The study, published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, finds that activity in numerous brain regions increases when our minds wander.

“Mind wandering is typically associated with negative things like laziness or inattentiveness,” says Christoff, of the UBC Dept. of Psychology. “But this study shows our brains are very active when we daydream - much more active than when we focus on routine tasks.”

Employers discriminate based on names

Job applicants with English names have a greater chance of getting interviews than those with Chinese, Indian or Pakistani names, says a new study from UBC.

CTV, United Press International, the Globe and Mail, CBC, The Canadian Press and the Georgia Straight reported on the study by Economics Prof. Philip Oreopoulos.

The findings suggest that Canadians and immigrants with non-English names face discrimination by employers and help to explain why skilled immigrants arriving under Canada’s point system - with university degrees and significant work experience - fare poorly in today’s labour market, Oreopoulos says.

Teens smoke pot to deal with health issues

UBC researchers say many teens who smoke marijuana are trying to find a way to cope with mental and physical problems, not aiming to just get high. Dr. Joan L. Bottorff of UBC and her team found that adolescents who use marijuana to deal with depression, grief, stress or anxiety say they were ignored by doctors or found that prescribed treatments didn’t work.

The findings, reported in Reuters, Los Angeles Times and Fox News, show that young people need help from adults to find other ways, such as counseling, stress management or social skills training, to cope with difficulties in their lives.

Pierse named CIS athlete of the year

UBC swimmer Annamay Pierse was named the CIS Canadian female athlete of the year.

Pierse earned top female honours at the 17th annual BLG Awards ceremony and received a $10,000 scholarship to attend a Canadian graduate school. “I just came into this year trying to better myself and better my swimming and gave it pretty much my all,” Pierse told The Canadian Press.

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Last reviewed 02-Jun-2009

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