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UBC’s letter grade improves in 2011 College Sustainability Report Card

UBC’s ranking in this year’s College Sustainability Report Card improved from a B+ to an A-.

Data collection for the Report Card 2011 was from April through September 2010.  UBC and the University of Toronto share the highest grade (A-) amongst Canadian schools that reported in all areas of the survey. Nineteen Canadian schools participated in the survey this year.  

In recognition of the achievement, UBC receives the Overall College Sustainability Leaders award, which recognizes the notable achievements in sustainability by those earning an overall grade of A- or higher.  Across North America, 52 universities received a ranking of A- or better, with seven American institutions receiving an A overall. 

UBC received the top mark of A across eight of the survey’s nine categories: Administration, Climate Change and Energy, Endowment Transparency, Student Involvement, Food and Recycling, Green Buildings, Transportation, and Investment Priorities.  As in 2010, in the area of Shareholder Engagement, UBC received a D, the average score in that category for all survey respondents.

The administrator of the survey, the Sustainability Endowments Institute (SEI), canvassed over 300 universities and colleges in the U.S. and Canada on their sustainability activities. The SEI is a non-profit organization based in Cambridge, Massachusetts and funded by the Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors.

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Prof. John Robinson wins Power Smart Excellence award

BC Hydro has named UBC’s Prof. John Robinson as this year’s recipient of the Larry Bell award which recognizes an outstanding contribution to advancing energy conservation within B.C. over an extended period of time. BC Hydro announced this year’s winner at its Power Smart Excellence awards Oct. 25, where UBC also received a Leadership Excellence award as one of the province’s top organizations for energy conservation. 

Robinson is the executive director of the UBC Sustainability Initiative and a professor in UBC’s Institute of Resources, Environment and Sustainability and Department of Geography.  He has been an active member of BC Hydro’s Electricity Conservation and Efficiency Advisory Committee pursuing the development and promotion of new theories about behavioural change related to electricity consumption. 

He has been the driving force behind the creation of UBC’s Centre for Interactive Research on Sustainability. When it opens in 2011, it will be the greenest building in North America, demonstrating leading-edge research and partnerships on sustainable design practices, products, systems and policies. 

Robinson contributed to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, which was awarded the Nobel Prize in 2007 and continues to raise awareness on and off campus about the effects of climate change.

 “It is with the continued commitment and forward-thinking ideas of people like Dr. Robinson that we are making such great strides in achieving our conservation goals,” said Dave Cobb, BC Hydro president and CEO. “Increasingly, we see BC Hydro’s commercial and industrial customers recognizing the importance of saving energy and it’s encouraging to note they already account for more than half of our annual Power Smart program savings – thanks largely to leaders like Dr. Robinson.”

“UBC, already one of the greenest campuses in the world, has set aggressive targets for climate action which make it a global leader in sustainability,” said Pierre Ouillet, UBC vice president, Finance, Resources and Operations. “John Robinson is helping UBC achieve these targets by making it a living laboratory for sustainability and innovation. His efforts on this important global issue have been inspirational during his 18 years at UBC.”

For more information, visit www.sustain.ubc.ca

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Community Remembrance Day Ceremony at UBC

The annual Remembrance Day Ceremony at UBC, which often draws more than 1,000 people, will honour all those who have served in times of war, military conflict and peace. 

The ceremony will include music provided by the UBC School of Music, short readings and remarks. Members of the platform party include: Joyce Murray, MP, Vancouver Quadra; Reverend Roberta Fraser; Ian Robertson, Past Chair, UBC Alumni Association and Bijan Ahmadian, President, Alma Mater Society- UBC Vancouver.  

Free parking is available up to 1 p.m. in the General Services and Administration Building (GSAB) parking lot beside the War Memorial Gym and at the meters on Wesbrook Drive (from University Boulevard north to the Bus Loop).   Parking is also available in the North Parkade at $6.00 for the day (coins or credit cards).

Date:  Nov. 11
Time:  10:45 a.m.  – 11:35 a.m. (Doors open at 10 a.m.)
Place: UBC’s War Memorial Gym, 6081 University Boulevard
Info: http://www.ceremonies.ubc.ca/what-we-do/remembrance-day-ceremony/

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Beaty Museum director receives Canadian museum network award

UBC evolutionary biologist and Beaty Biodiversity Museum director Wayne Maddison has received the 2010 Bruce Naylor Award. The national award, presented by the Alliance of Natural History Museums of Canada (ANHMC), recognizes exceptional contributions to the museum-based study of natural history in Canada. 

In 2003, Maddison re-located to Vancouver as a professor at UBC and was awarded a Canada Research Chair in the departments of Zoology and Botany. He helped spearhead the development of the Beaty Biodiversity Museum, which houses two million specimens, including one of only two blue whale skeletons on display in Canada. 

He has developed fundamental computer programs and tools used by biologists for phylogenetics, the study of evolutionary relatedness among living things. He is one of the founders of the encyclopedic Tree of Life (tolweb.org), a 10,000 web page, award-winning project which provides information about biodiversity, the characteristics of different groups of organisms, and their evolutionary history. He has published over 20 scientific papers on the taxonomy, systematics and evolution of jumping spiders, which are known for their acute vision. In 2008, he discovered dozens of new species during field work in Papua New Guinea. 

For more information, visit http://www.science.ubc.ca/news/479

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Music professor receives Western Canadian Music Award

Stephen Chapman, professor and Head of Composition at UBC School of Music, was awarded the Western Canadian Music Award for Classical Composition of the Year for his work Earth SongsEarth Songs was recorded last year by the UBC Singers and the CBC Radio Orchestra under the direction of Alain Trudel

The awards were presented in Kelowna on Oct. 23 as part of the Breakout West Festival.  It is the third time since 2005 that Chatman has won the award for Classical Composition of the Year. 

For more information, visit www.drstephenchatman.com

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2010 Fellows announced into the Canadian Academy of Health Sciences

Five UBC faculty members were inducted as new Fellows at the 2010 induction ceremony of the Canadian Academy of Health Sciences.  

UBC inductees include Prof. Aslam H. Anis, School of Population and Health, Gavin C E Stuart, Dean of Medicine, Prof. Kishor M Wasan, Pharmaceutical Sciences, Prof. Brian A. MacVicar and Prof. Anthony G. Phillips, both from the Brain Research Centre and the Dept. of Psychiatry. 

Election to Fellowship in the Academy is considered one of the highest honours for individuals in the Canadian health sciences community.  Citations of the inductees can be found at http://www.cahs-acss.ca/e/fellowships/citation_list2010.php

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ICORD partners with King Saud University

International Collaboration On Repair Discoveries (ICORD) investigators Asst. Prof. Tania Lam of UBC Human Kinetics and Clinical Assoc. Prof. Andrei Krassioukov, ICORD, have received funding from King Saud University in Saudi Arabia for a collaborative research project with Saudi researcher Dr. Abdulaziz Al-Yahya. The title of the joint research project is “Pharmacological interventions and rehabilitation for spinal cord injury,” and it was funded through King Saud University’s Twinning Program, created to promote collaborations with other universities in order to raise their research capacity and reputation. 

This collaboration will involve both faculty exchanges and graduate student training. Lam expects that the collaborative research will start with Saudi students coming to ICORD labs to learn techniques or complete aspects of the projects, and eventually lead to UBC graduate students going to Riyadh to work in their facilities.

For more information, visit http://icord.org/news/

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UBC researchers write report on education in Canada

A report on education in Canada, written by UBC researchers, was released by the Canadian Index of Wellbeing.  In the report, Martin Guhn, a post-doctoral fellow at HELP, Anne Gadermann, a former Measurement, Evaluation, and Research Methodology (MERM) PhD student, and Bruno Zumbo, professor of Measurement and Statistics in the Faculty of Education at UBC, found that while Canadians are more educated than ever before, there are warning signs that performance is declining. 

The report shows that the developmental health of students in kindergarten has leveled off after a period of steady growth and that the social and emotional competencies of pupils age 12-13 are declining.  They also found that B.C. was the only province where student-educator ratio in public school did not improve.

For more information or to view the full report, visit: www.ciw.ca 

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Four UBC engineers recognized for excellence

Four engineering professors were recognized for excellence by the Association of Professional Engineers and Geoscientists of B.C. (APEGBC) at its annual awards ceremony.

Mechanical engineering professor Yusuf Altintas received APEGBC’s highest honour—the R.A. McLachlan Memorial Award—for his outstanding professional and community service.

Chemical and biological engineering professor John Grace and geological engineering professor Oldrich Hungr each received APEGBC’s Meritorious Achievement Award.

Mechanical engineering professor Anthony Hodgson received APEGBC’s Teaching Award of Excellence.

For more information, visit http://www.engineering.ubc.ca/news/2010/oct25v.html

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Nursing student exceeds fundraising goal for Canadian Cystic Fibrosis Foundation

Nicole Fortier (4th term nursing student and Shinerama Coordinator) has surpassed her campaign goal of $25,000 with $30,300 raised so far for the Canadian Cystic Fibrosis Foundation. She has been supported in a number of organized fundraisers by her fellow nursing students.

“I was so pleased to present the School of Nursing with the Shinerama Faculty Cup, recognizing nursing as the strongest fundraising faculty for UBC’s 2010 Shinerama campaign,” says Fortier. “Because of their time and efforts we are now one step closer to finding a cure for cystic fibrosis.”

Shinerama, Canada’s largest post-secondary fundraiser, involves students from nearly 60 university and college campuses across Canada and to date, has raised more than $17.5 million.

For more information, visit www.nursing.ubc.ca/News/NewsItem.aspx?id=137

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UBC researchers help develop X Prize in spinal cord Injury

The X Prize Foundation has developed a new process to award a prize in spinal cord injury. Prof. Janice Eng, Dept. of Physical Therapy and Prof. John Steeves, International Collaboration On Repair Discoveries, attended the first focus group to generate ideas on possible prize criteria.  The next step will be to detail the feasibility (timeline, prize value, impact, marketability of the topic, originality, award criteria) for the highly ranked topics and to continue to narrow the potential topics.

For more information, visit http://icord.org/news/

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UBC Thrive: Nov. 1-5

UBC Thrive is an annual week-long series of events that encourages UBC students, staff and faculty to invest in healthier living.   Starting Nov. 1, UBC Thrive will host events aimed at creating a healthier university and a culture that better understands mental health and wellbeing and its importance.  This year’s Thrive week will feature:

• Wellness Fair in the SUB from Nov. 1-2
• Suicide Awareness Day on Nov. 3
• Sex Information in Residence on Nov. 4
• The “I Am” display in Brock Hall, Nov 1, 2 and 4

For more information about these and more events, visit: http://thrive.ubc.ca/ .

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Celebrate Learning event Oct. 29: Talkin’ ‘bout my generation with Sean Aiken

UBC Celebrate Learning Week presents “Talking ‘bout my generation” featuring Sean Aiken.  Aiken takes his audience on his One Week Job project, his one year journey of working a different job every week (bungee instructor, dairy farmer, advertising executive, baker, stock trader, firefighter, and more).

Aiken’s story has been covered by The New York Times, Rachael Ray Show, Good Morning America, CNN, 20/20, CBC Newsworld, FOX News and others.  His book was published spring 2010 by Random House in the US, and Penguin Group in Canada.

Date: Oct. 29
Time: 9 –  9:45 a.m. Presentation
           9:45 – 10:15 am – Q & A 
          10:15 – 10:45  a.m. – Meet  and greet and book signing
Place:  Thea Koerner House  Ballroom (Grad Student Centre)
Info: Register  at https://www.surveyfeedback.ca/surveys/wsb.dll/s/1g964
Space is limited.

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Green College, UBC ticket offer: Global Civic Policy Society Public Salon

As part of a continuing collaboration between Green College, UBC, and The Global Civic Policy Society organization directed by former Mayor of Vancouver Sam Sullivan, the College is offering registered UBC students a limited number of complimentary tickets (reg. $15) to the second Public Salon to be hosted by Sullivan. 

Entitled “An Evening to Educate and Inspire,” the program includes Tsawwassen Chief Kim Baird, editorial cartoonist Graham Harrop of the Vancouver Sun, former head of the Canadian Medical Association Dr. Brian Day, founder of Muhammed Institute of Space Science Dr. Redouane Al Fakir, author and bookstore owner Barbara Jo McIntosh, expert on ethics Prof. Mark Wexler, the Borealis String Quartet, drug policy expert  Donald MacPherson, Rivers Institute founder Mark Angelo, and Vancouver actor Jay Brazeau.

Date:  Nov. 3
Time:  7:30 – 9 p.m.
Place:  Vancouver Playhouse Theatre, corner of Hamilton and Dunsmuir
Info:  Contact gc.events@ubc.ca. Purchase tickets ($15/$30): www.globalcivic.org

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Book launch: From Victoria to Vladivostok: Canada's Siberian Expedition, 1917-19

UBC Press will launch historian Benjamin Isitt’s new book, From Victoria to Vladivostok: Canada’s Siberian Expedition, 1917-19. Challenging how the First World War is remembered, the work illuminates a controversial and forgotten moment in the history of Canada, Russia, Asia, and the World — the journey of 4,200 soldiers from Canada’s West Coast to the Russian Far East in the wake of the Bolshevik Revolution. Engaging military history, labour history, and the social history of British Columbia, Quebec, and Russia, Isitt will share rare archival photographs from the new Siberian Expedition Virtual Exhibition and Digital Archive.

Date: Nov. 3
Time: 4 p.m.
Place: St. John’s College, Fairmont Social Lounge, 2111 Lower Mall
 Reception to follow.

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