The inaugural UBC Reports Most Likely to Change the World contest received 45 nominations from students, faculty and staff across both campuses. The five finalists garnered more than 1,100 votes.
The finalists were:
Nursing grad Sara Eftekhar (Faculty of Applied Science) is a volunteer and activist who has made a difference in nine countries. Between advocating for global health on Parliament Hill and empowering Iranian-Canadian youth, Eftekhar finds time to volunteer locally in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside and an Aboriginal community in B.C. Her accomplishments have been recognized with a Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal, a YWCA Vancouver Young Woman of Distinction award, and a prestigious fellowship from former British Prime Minister Tony Blair.
Shannon Greenwood (Faculty of Medicine) made the sacrifice of uprooting her family from Haida Gwaii to pursue an education in midwifery so that women wouldn’t have to leave their traditional territory to give birth. An advocate for “well-women” care that addresses all stages between conception to birth, Greenwood is excited to bring birthing back to Haida Gwaii and to help improve health care in this primarily First Nations region.
From a refugee camp in Malawi to the DJ booth at CiTR, Yasin Kiraga (Faculty of Arts) has shared his experience to inspire others. The Burundi student was selected from more than 300 World University Service of Canada Student Refugee Program applicants to study at UBC. Kiraga has immersed himself in the local community, contributing to STAND UBC, UBC Africa Awareness Initiative, and the Canadian Red Cross Society. He hopes to pursue a career in International Law to address human rights issues and continue to serve the communities around him.
While conducting research in Cambodia, PhD graduate Sarah Youngblutt (Faculty of Arts) advocated for better understanding of regional poverty issues, and integration of the landmine history in the country’s archaeological excavation process. She established a non-profit organization (searcheologies.org) with four UBC professors to support the Royal University of Fine Arts in Phnom Penh. Their first 20-foot freight container of donated laboratory equipment and books was delivered last fall. She is at the forefront of opening up a chapter of human history that has been locked behind the doors of war and poverty.