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Two strokes and a sprawling campus couldn’t keep Gary Tam from getting his UBC degree. – photo by Martin Dee
Two strokes and a sprawling campus couldn’t keep Gary Tam from getting his UBC degree – photo by Martin Dee

UBC Reports | Vol. 55 | No. 5 | May 7, 2009

Degree of determination

It’s 14 years in the making, but when Gary Tam walks across the Chan Centre stage this May to pick up his Bachelor’s degree, he’ll know that not even two strokes and a sprawling campus could keep him from realizing his dream.

Katie Jeanes, co-organizer of Storm the Wall, is a top intramural player and won the first-ever Outstanding Student Award.Student’s legacy is over the wall

Ask Katie Jeanes about her greatest accomplishment during her time at UBC, and she’s quick to answer, “Storm the Wall.”

For the love of chemistry

“I love chemistry” is hand-written down the front of Jessica Pilfold’s lab coat.

Bob Kucheran and Brenda Osmond were looking for a fresh start. “Law was our common ground,” Kucheran says.Couple drops everything to pursue law degrees

At an age when many successful professionals are settling in to a comfortable lifestyle, Bob Kucheran and Brenda Osmond made an unusual choice.

Kristin DeGirolamo spent a summer in Uganda working with The AIDS Support Organization (TASO)Africa feeds Pharmacy grad's compassion

Kristin DeGirolamo’s family has shaped her passions in life. Her interests have taken her from Victoria, B.C., to Uganda, and from competitive golf to pharmacy studies.

Matthew Tunnicliffe’s Olympic snowboard dreams almost crashed to earth this year.Engineering an Olympic performance

Matthew Tunnicliffe, a hopeful for Canada’s 2010 Olympic snowboard team, spent his UBC studies learning how materials are made. This year, he learned what he was made of.

Marisol Valerio – and her alter ego Violet Sin – is driven by passion in her pursuit of higher education and musical inspirations.Exploring nature, music with passion

Passion underscores everything Marisol Valerio does, be it collecting soil samples by helicopter in the Northwest Territories or playing the violin dressed as her alter ego.

Dan Haves produced hard-hitting news stories for PBS Frontline, HDNet’s Dan Rather Reports and CBC.A brave new media world

You might think Dan Haves would be worried about his future. Think again.

Grad studies loss of traditional identity

Kyle Bateson’s Master’s thesis paints an artful portrait of a landless First Nations people and the strong spiritual connection its younger generation – including himself – has to a land they have yet to call home.

Nailyn Rasool helped start a refugee outreach program while an undergraduateMedicine grad helps others start over

Nailyn Rasool recalls something her father, a family doctor, told her one night after they helped a recently landed immigrant family with their sick child.

Michelle Lauwers hopes to team with family members to create a dental mission to Mexico.Dentistry grad committed to service

For Michelle Lauwers dentistry is more than a science: it’s a charitable calling and an art.

Crystal Hung and Alex Zolpys are turning class projects into new consumer products in an innovative UBC course.Graduating with a patent

UBC graduating student Crystal Hung hopes a reality television show will help turn a class project into a successful new consumer product.

Jocelyn Harris has helped devise a set of exercises for the arm and hand that patients can do without therapists.Homework is the best medicine

Jocelyn Harris is the first to admit that the research she undertook for her doctorate is a “no brainer.”

Studying the past to build a better future

Aaron Derickson’s heritage has influenced his passion for historical knowledge, particularly regarding Canadian and Aboriginal history.

UBC is bestowing its top award for staff contributions to: (from left to right) Bernice Urbaniak, John Sacre, Laura-Lynn Lowry, Alan Steeves and Kersti Krug.aff Awards.Staff receive top UBC honour

Five members of the university community are being recognized for outstanding contributions to campus life and for personal achievements.


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Last reviewed 28-May-2009

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