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Fall 2010 | Vol 01 | Issue 01

From UFV to Harvard Trudeau Scholar and alumna Lisa Kelly

Skookum: good, best, ultimate, first rate. That’s what UFV aims to be: the best undergraduate university in Canada, which is why we’ve named our university magazine with this strong word from the Chinook jargon, a trade dialect that was used as a cultural bridge among groups of aboriginal peoples and multi-ethnic newcomers to British Columbia.


Why Skookum?

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kookum is a word that has entered BC regional English through the Chinook dialect. We can all probably think of an instance where ‘skookum’ was just the right word to describe something good, cool, sound, or strong. The Fraser Valley, which is the heart of traditional Sto:lo territory, has always been a hub of interaction between the Sto:lo people and others. It has been the setting for cultures coming together, whether it was aboriginal groups coming from other areas to trade or fish, gold miners rushing north along When the Elders look at the river and trails, or farmers coming to settle. a baby, they’ll say ‘that’s While Halq’emeylem was a skookum baby,’ meanthe language of the Sto:lo, ing that it’s healthy, big, people from all cultural bright, and strong. These groups used Chinook to are all attributes that we communicate with one aim for at UFV as well. another. — Linnea Battel, These days, Chinook UFV Board of Governors member words like skookum (good or tough), muckatymuck (big boss), tyee (chief or leader), potlatch (gathering), and saltchuck (ocean) have entered the English vernacular. And people from all over the world continue to gather together in the Fraser Valley for the exchange of knowledge and ideas, particularly at UFV. 

A Skookum lady Susan Allison (1845–1937) was the first European woman to settle in the Similkameen Valley. She befriended many aboriginal women, communicating to them in the Chinook trade dialect. She was also a poet, who wrote partly in Chinook, which was in wide use in British Columbia at that time. ‘Skookum’ would have been part of her daily vocabulary.

Skookum Jim Skookum Jim (or ‘strong’ Jim) was the nickname of Keish, aka James Mason, a Tagish man of the Dak l’a Weidi Clan who discovered gold on Bonanza Creek in 1897 leading to the great Klondike Gold Rush.

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Skookum Features

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From UFV to Harvard

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A passion for law from an early age spurred Lisa Kelly on a journey that has led to Harvard Law School

Striving for perfection Tom Baumann is working with local farmers and government on a berry important quest

Executive decision Dennis Clark was a VP of a large company, but the grade school dropout still yearned for a degree

Secure perspective Ten UFV researchers got a behind-the-scenes look at the security machine at the 2010 Winter Games

Finishing start A show-and-shine–worthy 1953 Mercury pickup truck was the class project for UFV’s new Auto Collision Repair and Refinish program

Departments & sections 0 4 A message from Mark | President Mark Evered on our new strategic goals

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Small world | Chancellor Brian Minter on how to be competitive in a global economy

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Soundoff: Pop culture | Darren Blakeborough says The Simpsons and Tyra Banks are worthy of vigorous intellectual scrutiny

Aluminations 20 Nurse, educator, coach, mom, wife | Distinguished Alumna Tracey Vanderaegen Jones wears many hats well

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Alumni Association Chair’s letter

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Alumni News

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Keeping in Touch

UFV Giving 26 Honour thy father | Seikhons support UFV

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Is UFV a charity?

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Support your local student | Plant a seed for the next generation of leaders

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Who gives? You do!

Skookum | Fall 2010 | Volume 1 |  Issue 1   3


Changing Lives, Building Community Photo: Auriel Heron

A message from UFV president Mark Evered

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ith more than 16,000 students studying at UFV this year, we have grown larger than half the universities in Canada. If you have not visited us recently, we encourage you to do so. You may be surprised. We hope you will be pleased. We invite you to share the excitement of a campus that has developed new programs to better meet the needs of our students and communities. Come meet the faculty and staff who lead and support these programs, and witness their passion and creativity in classrooms, shops, laboratories, galleries, theatres, clinics, and the many other places where they engage with students, colleagues, and members of our communities. Share the delight of new discoveries by students, faculty, and staff working together, and the satisfaction of finding new applications of what has been learned. And take the opportunity to meet our students. They are a remarkably diverse group drawn not only from the Fraser Valley or the Lower Mainland, but from over 50 countries. Come see the ongoing development of our campuses. For example, the Trades and Technology Centre in Chilliwack is now fully functioning and its former home in Abbotsford has been redeveloped as a centre for business programs and the visual arts. Planning is underway for a new student centre in Abbotsford. Our recently built student residence there is full, and the gyms in our expanded athletic centre are busy day and night. 4  Skookum | Fall 2010 | Volume 1 |  Issue 1

We will soon begin construction of our new campus in Chilliwack, on 85 acres at the Canada Education Park. And we continue to work with the District of Mission to develop ideas for expansion of our programs and facilities there. Although much is new, we hope that you will also see that some important things have not changed. We remain strongly committed to our students and their success. UFV continues to earn toptier status in the Globe & Mail Canadian University Report, ranking at the top of universities our size for quality of education, student–faculty interaction and student satisfaction. Students still describe how their experience at UFV changed their lives fundamentally. We continue to measure our success by the success of our students and alumni. Some universities take pride in how difficult it is to get into their programs and celebrate their high admission average. We remain committed to access, and take pride not in the grades of the students entering but in their abilities when they complete their studies. We measure our success by the achievements of our alumni and the impact they have on their communities. These values and commitments have been captured in the goals recently set by UFV to guide us over the coming years. This spring, UFV’s Senate and the Board of Governors approved two goals. They are: • to provide the best undergraduate education in Canada, and • to be leader of the social, cultural, economic and environmentally

responsible development of the Fraser Valley. These goals reflect our commitments to our students and our region. The first inspires us to build on our reputation for quality education and to continue to pursue the very best ways to serve our students. The second recognizes that a responsible public university plays a major role in the advancement of its community. Both these goals commit us to excellence: serving our students and our region in ways that would be recognized as excellent internationally. We face many challenges. The demands for our programs, our research, our service, and our leadership continue to rise. These are already stressing our limited financial, physical, and human resources. In establishing our goals, we recognized that we must also commit to being innovative, entrepreneurial, and accountable. We have been and we will be. We are building on a strong foundation. We have the talent and drive to take us forward. I have no doubt about our success. Within the pages of this magazine you will find much evidence of the kinds of successes I have been describing. Read about them and celebrate them with us. There are stories about successful students, professors, alumni, donors, and programs that exemplify what is best about UFV. And within this redesigned magazine, you will still find important alumni news, information, and updates within the Aluminations subsection. Come see for yourself. Alumni: stay connected with us through your Alumni Association. We hope you will also consider supporting the fine work being done at UFV with a donation.  Sincerely,

Mark Evered, PhD President & Vice-Chancellor University of the Fraser Valley


Photo: JD Howell

Get ready to think local, sustainable, and adaptable By Anne Russell

Horticulturalist Brian Minter is UFV’s first chancellor, and thus is the ceremonial head of the university. The chancellor acts as an ambassador for UFV and is called upon to represent the institution at major events both on and off campus.

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t UFV’s Convocation ceremonies in June, Dr. Minter reminded the graduates that the focus of regional universities such as UFV is to develop leaders within local communities. He also told them that they will have to constantly adapt to an ever-changing world, one where emerging economic powerhouses like India and China are producing more English-speaking university graduates every year than there are in North America. He noted that many of the most in-demand job categories today didn’t even exist five or ten years ago. In some ways, it was a sobering address to graduates, but the news isn’t all bad. We sat down with the chancellor at Minter Country Garden store in Chilliwack recently to find out what the grads of 2010 can look forward to. Globalization has had a huge impact on our economy, according to Minter. Roses that used to be purchased locally now come from South America because local producers can’t compete with the less expensive labour and heating costs in the south. Food, manufactured goods, clothing: it’s all obtained from the least expensive source. But what if far away

is no longer least expensive? In Why Your World Is About to Get a Whole Lot Smaller: Oil and the End of Globalization, Canadian economist Jeff Rubin contends that if oil prices soar, and he predicts they will, we will be forced to return to local production on many levels. “I can see that happening with food and ornamental horticulture production,” Minter says. “The rising cost of transportation will trump the advantages of cheap labour far away, and we’ll shift again. But it won’t be the same old farming. It’s going to be highly intensive farming on less land, with more indoor and hydroponic growing, and increased use of robotics for repetitive labour tasks. The consumer will still demand that it be inexpensive, but also that it be done in a sustainable manner. As Generations X and Y form the main consumer base, they’ll want organically grown food.” As the economy shifts, Minter sees a need for a technically savvy, well educated and creative workforce that can adapt quickly to change and solve problems on the fly. “The very thing that the Globe and Mail’s Canadian University Report rates us so highly for — a focus on

student engagement — is what is gives our graduates an edge,” he says. “And the current ‘millennial’ generation is perfectly suited to adapting to changing circumstances — they’re great multitaskers, adapting new technology is second nature to them, and they’re very open and willing to share ideas.” Minter’s advice to the upcoming generation of post-secondary students isn’t that far off from what a good general university education can provide them: learn another language; become scientifically and technically literate; and make sure you can speak, write, and present with clarity. “For our economy to thrive, we need to embrace technical innovation, invest in research and development, and have an educated workforce,” Minter says. “We’ll need critical and creative thinkers to help us keep a competitive edge. When all else is said and done the creative people will come out on top.” 

Davis now VP & Provost Dr. Eric Davis has been named as the new Provost & Vice-President Academic. As VP Academic, he will serve as the senior UFV officer responsible for academic leadership. As Provost, he assumes responsibility for institutional planning and operational coordination. Originally from Montreal, Dr. Davis holds BA and MA degrees from Concordia University, and a PhD from the University of Sussex (England). Dr. Davis joined UFV (then UCFV) in 1992, when it was undergoing rapid expansion, and his administrative contributions since that time include terms as head of the History department and Dean of Arts. His research and teaching interests lie in European intellectual history in the late 19th and early 20th century, particularly the development of modernism.

Skookum | Fall 2010 | Volume 1 |  Issue 1   5


Pop goes the culture —

and it’s worthy of serious study Photo: Rick Collins

Darren Blakeborough is a UFV sociology, media studies, and theatre sessional instructor and UFV alumnus who has built an academic career on the study and teaching of pop culture. His areas of focus include The Simpsons television show (he teaches a media and communications course about what we can learn from The Simpsons as social commentary), and professional wrestling, and he also has a special interest in the sociology of aging. He often has to defend his academic focus on popular culture, so we thought we’d invite him to ‘sound off’ here.

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“H

ow can you study something like the Simpsons?” “You’re researching pro wrestling?” I get that a lot. A lot! I had a student the other day say to me: “my dad thinks he would do well in this class because he knows a lot of Simpsons trivia. He thinks all we do is watch TV and... ” I missed the last part over the loud rolling of my eyes. Don’t get me wrong, I completely understand that people can (and do) feel this way. We have a federal government that is pulling research grants from arts and humanities programs in favour of business-oriented programs, which seemingly demonstrates an institutionalized bias against the social sciences. The suggestion implied is that economics is the root of our social system and as such is the only element worth researching, worth finding out more about, worth spending money on. Perhaps this in and of itself is exactly why cultural studies in general, and popular culture studies in particular, are so important in today’s increasingly politically polarized climate. We live in an era and culture often referred to as the information or network society, where our social being is essentially defined by networks. The predominant network is still the media network. It is completely pervasive to our lives. It is everywhere and it is everything. It is the prime component in how most individuals create an identity, whether through music or fashion or things that they’ve seen on TV or in film or maybe had specifically directed at them by Tyra Banks. I mean, who doesn’t want to be fierce? So the media network is the primary way that we communicate messages in our society. By virtue of that alone I think it is crucially important that we don’t then just sit on our couches with our brains turned halfway off and allow everything to overtake us without questioning it, without engaging it

The media is the prime component in how most of us create an identity, through music or fashion or film or TV. — Darren Blakeborough

in some manner. Now, this is not to suggest that everything that we see hear or read is necessarily evil or that we need to start making picket signs and protesting, but I also don’t mean to suggest that we might not need to do that sometimes; at the very least we need to engage media in such a way as to understand or question the power that it does have (or can have) over us, as well as who has the power over it. It is an important part of our world and should be scrutinized. Who are we as individuals? Who are we as communities? What are our values, beliefs and ideals? How do we represent ourselves? Perhaps even more poignantly, how do we represent others? It is in this eclectic media milieu that we can interrogate our media for, at the very least, some insight into questions like these. I am in a relatively unique position to do just that. Rather than affecting some “critical distance” and studying these phenomena from afar like an anthropologist trying to understand a tribal culture, I am personally immersed within the popular culture that I research. My PVR has over 50 shows on auto record. I have close to 2,000 CDs and over 22,000 song files on my computer. I go to movies and rent DVDs. I play guitar and hockey. I can sit and watch old Monty Python on TV before taking in the day’s news and then watching professional wrestling or mixed martial arts. I can follow that up with a new episode of

Mad Men or Dexter or Glee or Sons of Anarchy or.... The point here is that I make no excuses and recognize where I stand with regards to all of these cultural forms. I can report as an insider or an outsider and not spend my time denying or distorting or even trying to justify. I can talk about the pleasure that can come from watching a great movie in the same way I can talk about how a great work of art or a great TV commercial encapsulate a particular moment in time and can make us feel. Bottom line: popular culture is just that, culture. It is our culture, it is our world, and we use it to see and to be seen. But what exactly is culture? Cultural theorist Raymond Williams said that culture is one of the most difficult words to define. It has been construed of as “a particular way of life” or as “works and practices of intellectual and especially artistic activity” but can certainly be imagined more broadly as well. Culture is the “complex web of meanings, beliefs, and ways of living that characterize any society.” This is an important point when discussing ideas of identity, be it personal, regional, or national, as this distinction in the definition of culture recognizes the link between culture and social identity. It also posits the constructed nature of this relationship is not natural or unchanging as it is continually shaped and reshaped during social action. Please see page 31.


Photo: Rick Collins

Lisa Kelly completed two years and an Associate of Arts at UFV before embarking on an academic journey that took her to UBC, the University of Toronto, and Harvard Law School.

Legal matters Trudeau scholar had an early fascination with law and justice By Anne Russell

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our first clue that Lisa Kelly (AA ’01) had a future in law? As a 10-year-old, she’d rush home from her Fort Langley elementary school so as not to miss a minute of Matlock, the TV law drama starring Andy Griffith as a crusty public defender. Your second? As a 13-year-old she’d have her father drop her off at the Supreme Court of BC in New Westminster so she could watch legal dramas unfold in person. Your third? Her youthful penchant for reading the works of American legal icon Clarence Darrow and others. “I knew I wanted to be a lawyer before I had ever met one in person,” Lisa 8  Skookum | Fall 2010 | Volume 1 |  Issue 1

recounts. “The performative elements of law, particularly the narratives of trials, stood out for me from an early age.” The still youthful Lisa hasn’t hit 30 yet, but she already has a string of credentials after her name: a Bachelor of Arts with a major in history from the University of British Columbia, a law degree from the University of Toronto, and a Master of Law from Harvard, as well as the one that set the foundation for her future success: an Associate of Arts from UFV, earned after spending her first two years of post-secondary studies at her local university. She articled with the federal Department of

Justice in Ottawa, and was called to the Law Society of Upper Canada in 2007. In 2009/10, Lisa served as a law clerk to Justice Marshall Rothstein of the Supreme Court of Canada. “That was a truly amazing experience,” Lisa says. “I worked closely with an extremely talented group of clerks and a very articulate and thorough justice. The experience gave me a greater appreciation of law as a craft, as a mode of reasoning and argumentation. After seeing the judicial decision-making process firsthand, I read judgments differently now, and I hope, in a more nuanced way.” For the summer of 2010, Lisa interned at Pivot Legal Society, a non-profit legal advocacy organization located in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside. Pivot’s mandate is to advocate for social change through political, legal, and media advocacy. It seeks to raise public awareness about the concerns of marginalized people, specifically in the areas of child welfare, addiction and health, housing, policing, and sex work.


“I worked pretty exclusively on the sex work campaign this summer,” Lisa says, “and I was truly inspired by the people I met and worked alongside. This is an area of pressing importance. I think it’s incumbent on all of us to take stock of how our current laws and policies contribute to sex workers’ marginalization and vulnerability.” Now Lisa is back at Harvard Law School where she is an SJD (doctor of law) candidate working under the supervision of Professor Janet Halley. Lisa was recently awarded a prestigious doctoral scholarship by the Pierre Elliott Trudeau Foundation. The scholarship, worth up to $180 000 over a three-year period for living, research, and travel expenses, supports research of “compelling presentday concern” to Canadians. As she moves through the highest levels of academia, Lisa is conscious of the strong foundation she developed during her first two years in the humanities at UFV. “It’s difficult, if not impossible, to analyze the tensions and ambivalences in law without a sense of the cultural and historical strands that inform it,” she notes. “My early studies in the humanities were essential groundwork for my legal career.” Key to any interdisciplinary insights is engagement with peers and faculty who introduce new ideas and push the boundaries of current thought. Lisa recalls how important such engagement was for her. “A university is about the people who inhabit it, and at UFV, I regularly had instructors who read over my drafts, provided thoughtful feedback on my writing, and introduced me to new thinkers and ideas.” She recalls English professor John Carroll reviewing student writing and teaching students to read texts closely. She also acknowledges the dedication of the UFV writing centre staff and librarians in this regard. Lisa credits history professor Chris Leach with encouraging her to use literature as a way to understand the complexities of the human condition.

There’s nothing intrinsically natural about how law develops. It is shaped by choices. — Lisa Kelly

“We read Erich Maria Remarque’s The Road Back, which recounts the tortuous journey of soldiers’ return from war, as a lens on the Inter-War period in Germany. The brutality of trench warfare recounted in Remarque’s All Quiet on the Western Front is followed in The Road Back by a prolonged and, in some ways, more wholly enveloping sense of displacement. And, of course, we face these same questions today when soldiers return from conflict.” In addition to her studies in modern European history, Lisa fondly recalls the passion and nuance that history professors Sylvie Murray and David Milobar brought to U.S. history. “Their courses really brought to the fore the role that law played in slavery and in the denial (and subsequent recognition) of civil rights for African-Americans and other persons. These courses were important in giving me a more nuanced view of law — law not just as narrative, but also as deeply regulatory and constitutive of persons’ status.” Most of her family has a connection to UFV. One brother launched his science studies here before proceeding to medical school, while the other took his BBA in aviation at UFV and Coastal Pacific Aviation. And her mother recently completed a Literacy Tutor certificate. Education has been an important part of her family’s life. Lisa’s parents, immigrants from Ireland, moved from the interior of British Columbia when she was young so that her father could commute to college and later to medical

school at UBC, having decided to become a doctor in his late thirties. Lisa’s current research at Harvard builds on her work at UFV, UBC, and the University of Toronto. “Throughout my undergraduate and law school studies, I became increasingly interested in the legal regulation of the family.” In law school, where she was a Fellow of the International Programme on Sexual and Reproductive Health Law, Lisa coauthored a report for the Department of Justice with Professor Rebecca Cook on Canada’s international obligations concerning polygamy. Later, while working toward her Master of Law, she examined the legal regulation of intercountry adoption, specifically the ways that state interests manifest themselves in international laws governing international adoption. “My thesis argued that the isolated child — the child that has been separated, practically or legally, from his or her biological family — becomes a child of the nation,” she says. “The child can be used as symbolic capital by both sending and receiving states. Refusals by sending (or potentially sending) states to permit international adoption can serve to reinforce national identity in opposition to receiving states, which are generally affluent, Western nations. ‘Hands off our children’ can help to define the ‘we’ in contrast to the Other. On the receiving side, international law requires that legal ties to the child’s birth family be completely severed. Adoption Please see page 30.

Skookum | Fall 2010 | Volume 1 |  Issue 1   9


Photo: Rick Collins

UFV agriculture professor Tom Baumann checks out some strawberries in a local greenhouse. His work with growers, industry, and government berry specialists is focused on creating better berries in the Fraser Valley and beyond.

Berry compelling UFV horticulturalist Tom Baumann is on a quest for the perfect berry By Patty Wellborn

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om Baumann’s got a pretty sweet job. He teaches agriculture at the University of the Fraser Valley, but he also works with BC Ministry of Agriculture berry specialist Mark Sweeney to study and create new varieties of berries. In short, he is on a mission to invent the sweetest, healthiest, tastiest berries for farmers, and berry lovers, around the world. Berries are big business, especially in B.C. Whether you’re talking strawberries, raspberries, blueberries, blackberries, or even cranberries, it’s a multi-million dollar enterprise. And because berries have recently been linked to health

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benefits, and environmentally conscious consumers are looking for local produce, Tom says the Fraser Valley berry industry has blossomed. “We know berries, especially those that are darker in colour than others, are really good for us to eat. We can show very clearly the health benefits of eating berries on a regular basis,” he says. “Now, we’d like to improve these berries so they become more pest- and diseaseresistant. We want to generate berries that have a longer growing season, so people can enjoy these healthy foods for longer periods each year.”

In the past, Fraser Valley berries were grown mostly for processing, but Tom says there is now a huge demand for large, ripe, picture perfect, fresh berries — almost year round. And, he notes, provincial grocery chains and small markets are requesting B.C.-grown instead of those shipped from California and other states. While Tom’s personal pet project is to invent the perfect strawberry, he works with the provincial agriculture ministry and Agriculture Canada to improve all seasonal berries native to the Fraser Valley. Trying to create a stronger, hardier, sweeter berry is a lot trickier than it sounds. It takes years of testing; generally the berry breeder starts with one or two varieties, then breeds or cross breeds the berry under ideal conditions, propagates it, and then allows it to grow for two to three years so it can be taste tested. Tom then takes the most promising selections to fields where they can grow. A team of experts from the BC Ministry of Agriculture, Agriculture


Canada, the Pacific Northwest Berry Association, and private consultants, monitors the berries during this growth period, which again, can last a few years. “There is a whole crew of people involved in this project including breeders, the ministry, farmers, and researchers — it’s a wagonload,” Tom explains. “We will discuss the merits of a particular berry, go through the growing and propagating stage and then wait for the berries to grow in farmers’ fields. Then the next year, we come back to see how the berries are doing. Sometimes it can take years before we can recommend a new variety of berry.” But still, he admits, it can be fun inventing berries. Take the Nisga’a, a new strawberry variety that Baumann helped generate. It is now being tested in isolated fields in Washington State, and so far has passed all the tests with brilliant colours. B.C., Washington, and Oregon have a reciprocal agreement when it comes to berry research. Once a berry goes through years of testing, it is then marketed in these three regions. Eventually, many of the berries developed in B.C. end up in farmers’ fields around the world. For example, strawberry farmers in New Zealand are currently growing and marketing B.C. varieties with names such as Chilliwack, Stó:lo, Tulameen, Chemainus, and Saanich. And still, Tom won’t rest until he has the perfect berry. He is really happy with a new all-season strawberry called the

I want a berry that just falls off the vine, ripe into your mouth, and you say ‘that’s perfect.’ — Tom Baumann

San Andreas — it is being tested locally, but hails from California. He is working to make it a better berry. “I’m never really 100 percent happy with the berry and I work to do away with as many impurities as possible. I want a berry that doesn’t need sprays, or fertilizer, or to be covered in a greenhouse. I want a berry that has a long growing season and one that isn’t ruined by a wet spring, or a dry summer. I want a berry that just falls off the vine, ripe into your mouth, and you say ‘that’s perfect.’” Research is essential, Tom notes. Berry crops continue to be threatened by blights and diseases and new pests, such as the vinegar fly, which is particularly harmful to fruit crops. Climate change also affects the health of a plant and Tom says crops can actually get sunburned. He has documented physical damage on soft fruits believed to be from increased ozone.

Because berries are big businesses, the federal government recently kicked in $1.2 million to fund a new Berry Resource Centre that will be affiliated with UFV’s Agriculture Technology department. With the Fraser Valley already producing the highest yields of raspberries, cranberries and blueberries in the world, as well as the highest quality strawberries, Tom says that a BC Berry Resource Centre can centralize the work done by local growers and berry fanatics like himself. “To tackle the problems associated with these fruits, such as variety development, plant husbandry, postharvest management, and marketing, UFV will lead the efforts through the Berry Resource Centre,” he explains. “This centre of excellence will act as a hub for research, extension services, and other industry efforts.” Together, based upon acres and total dollars produced, strawberries, raspberries, blueberries, and cranberries, represent a $130 million industry— more than all the tree fruit and grapes in British Columbia, says Tom. And, he says, the berry industry is proactive. It has produced many ways of sustainable growing of their respective crops. Berry research programs have long incorporated sustainable industry goals. As such the industries have developed integrated pest management options, spinning off private companies that not only deliver the services needed but also spearhead new developments. Please see page 31.

Skookum | Fall 2010 | Volume 1 |  Issue 1   11


Mover and shaker Lumber industry executive Dennis Clark was missing one thing: a formal education By Patty Wellborn

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f you had met Dennis Clark (BA Ad Ed ’10) five years ago, you would have been convinced that he had everything a person could need. The Mission resident was at the top of his career, earned a good living, had a loving family and a nice house, and enjoyed international travel. However, something was missing from his life. And it bothered him so much that at the age of 44 he retired from his 33-year-career in the lumber industry and embarked on a new adventure. The one thing missing? A high school diploma. As a young teen and at a tumultuous time in Dennis’ family’s life, he left 12  Skookum | Fall 2010 | Volume 1 |  Issue 1

school to work at the Whonnock Shake and Shingle mill. He was young and knew that leaving school was a not good decision, but he also knew the value of hard work and a dollar. He didn’t think twice about the dangers involved in work at a sawmill, and he appreciated the union pay. He was motivated and a fast learner. His short-term goal was to pay for his own brand new Corvette. While he quickly rose through the production ranks, the limits of a structured union environment and little education became apparent. A move was in order. Dennis got a job at Waldun Forest Products and was told by the

Photo: Rick Collins

Dennis Clark was a successful executive for a large forest products company when he decided to come back to school and finish his high school equivalency, and then his BA in Adult Education degree. UFV was able to help him meet all these educational goals.

president that if he stuck around and worked hard, he would someday run the place. Dennis worked harder than ever — he became a millwright’s apprentice, then a millwright. Several promotions followed, and before long, he switched his coveralls for business clothes. The company continued to thrive, and Dennis rose to the top of the corporate ranks. As his boss predicted he did end up running the company and he remained with Waldun for 21 years. He left when he was offered the vicepresident role of a large international forest product company that employed a thousand people. But while he wrote reports, attended meetings, set policy and procedure, and made formal presentations to executives, his ‘school of hard knocks’ education continually troubled him. “It was always there,” he sighs. “I was functioning in a role that required credentials and skills I did not have. Whether speaking in public, or by


written communication, I frequently questioned my ability. My lack of formal education made me uncomfortable.” For many years, Dennis had thought of returning to school. But he would dismiss the idea knowing that it would be tough — as years passed, the idea seemed more and more remote. “There is rarely a good time to make life-altering decisions. The need to take direct action frequently requires some level of discomfort.” However, Dennis finally decided that a Grade 8 education was simply not going to cut it. With trepidation, he visited UFV and met with Sue Brigden, UFV’s Upgrading and University Preparation program head. “Sue immediately made an impression on me. She truly cares about the people in her program and has a great passion to help others. We spoke about many things, and I became convinced that it was the right time to return to school. Sue convinced me that I could accomplish my educational objectives.” UUP offers a 10-month program designed to help adult learners earn their high school diploma. While Dennis was nervous, and progress was initially difficult, he quickly proved that hard work — the same approach he had used to thrive in a mill — also helped in the classroom. He excelled at his studies. “Dennis was a dedicated upgrading student who was absolutely committed to learning,” she says. “He was diligent about completing all his assignments and

I was functioning in a role that required credentials and skills I did not have. My lack of formal education made me uncomfortable. —Dennis Clark

would go above and beyond to ensure he had mastered the course work.” In one school year, Dennis completed the necessary upgrading to finish Grades 9 through 12 and he graduated on the Dean’s List. “It wasn’t easy,” he admits, “and there were always questions and self-doubts. I may have completed my courses quickly, but I don’t want to trivialize the commitment I made to succeed in the program.” There were also sacrifices. Dennis’s family was quite young when he returned to school and there many evenings when he would have rather been hanging out with them. Inspired to do his best by many of the younger people in his classes, he was determined to accomplish his goals.

“UFV’s instructors are dedicated to their students. I received a great deal of personalized instruction and encouragement — right from the first class. I don’t think the staff could have done anything more to help me. They were with me every step of the way.” Dennis got more than his Dogwood at UFV. He became a “hungry learner”. Passionate about education, he couldn’t get enough and his success gave him the confidence to continue with his education. He immediately enrolled in UFV’s Bachelor of Arts in Adult Education. It’s a flexible degree program with a part-time schedule. Through UFV’s Prior Learning Assessment and Recognition program, Dennis was able to transfer credits from his Millwright certification and his provincial instructor’s diploma. He graduated this spring with his BA in Adult Education, made the Dean’s List (GPA 4.21), and received the Outstanding Achievement award. He gives UFV a great deal of credit for his academic success. “I had come to a point in my life where I truly wanted to make significant changes. I returned to school as a nontraditional student with a very limited amount of formal education. I came from an industrial background that rewarded toughness. Looking back now, I was pretty rough around the edges. Please see page 31.

Skookum | Fall 2010 | Volume 1 |  Issue 1   13


The first-ever class of Auto Collision Repair and Refinish students at UFV got a fun project to work on: restoring instructor Nick Penner’s 1953 Mercury pickup.

A finishing start UFV’s first auto collision class restores 1953 Mercury pickup By Patty Wellborn

N

ick Penner is one of those glasshalf-full-type of guys. He can look at a rusty old truck, visualize it as a shiny new piece of machinery, and make it happen. More to the point, Nick also has the ability to teach others how to take that rust bucket and transform it into a thing of beauty. Nick is the instructor for the Automotive Collision Repair & Refinishing certificate program offered at the UFV Trades and Technology Centre in Chilliwack. The first cohort of the program graduated this summer. Because it was a brand-new program, Nick wanted the class to have

14  Skookum | Fall 2010 | Volume 1 |  Issue 1

a special vehicle to work on while learning the trade. The curriculum for the 10-month program includes sheet metal application, welding, applying body fillers, priming, masking, painting, and airbrushing. Students learn about the paints, compounds, and mechanical aspects of working on a vehicle. The idea is that once they graduate, they have the skills to work in any ICBC-rated autobody repair shop, or a specialized hot-rod or restoration facility. Nick, who admits a passion for collecting trucks, found a 1953 Mercury pickup and decided to add a bit of fun to the general body shop lessons.

“I purchased the truck so the students would have a refinishing project that they could really work with,” he says. “They were learning all the skills, but I thought it would be fun if they had a special project vehicle they could take from start to finish.” The students started on the truck in January — after four months of lessons — and were ready to apply some of the new skills they had learned during the fall session. Nick found a parts truck (a 1994 Chevy) and the students learned all about harvesting healthy parts off one vehicle and restoring them to fit another. The parts truck became a source for the the engine, transmission, suspension, and some interior pieces like door sections and other incidental parts. Like most projects involving automobiles, there was more work than Nick initially estimated and it became a team effort to get the truck not only drivable, but looking pretty by year’s end. “One important part of the lesson was to teach the students how to keep costs


down while utilizing as much as we could from the parts truck,” says Nick. The students volunteered plenty of afterclass time to get the project done. “There were a lot of extra hours, partly because they wanted to have it ready in time for the Tradex show in April.” The truck, now a satin-finish burntorange colour, has been to several car shows. Nick is hoping to use it as a marketing and promotional vehicle for the automotive programs at UFV. It is his personal vehicle, but he’s happy to drive it around and let people know it was a project truck for the first class of the UFV’s Automotive Collision Repair and Refinishing program. “It actually took a lot of work to coordinate,” he says. “This was a special year because it was the first class, and I wanted to do it because I thought it would be a good showpiece for the program. It actually allowed the students to have plenty of growth; it was great to see them take on this project and watch them learn along the way.” UFV Dean of Trades and Technology Harv McCullough says the university is

It was great to see them take on this project and learn along the way — Nick Penner

on the cutting edge of a growing trend when it comes to automobile restoration. Classic car shows, hot rod events, and automobile restoration are big business. McCullough says UFV has a unique program that will help students launch careers, or fuel their hobbies, with the skills they learn. “It’s great to start a new program at a time when the interest is booming,” says McCullough. “There is no other program like it that I know of in Canada. While they learn all the basic skills for auto collision repair, our students are also taught the skills and trends of

customization, restoration, and hotrodding a vehicle.” Student Jose Sanchez says the program had the right balance between theory and hands-on lessons. He has always wanted to work in the automotive industry and signed on thinking the program would help open doors. Now, while he currently has a new employer in the trade, he has dreams of setting up his own custom work shop in the near future. “I feel very fortunate to have been part of the first intake of students,” he says. “This program provided an excellent opportunity for me to develop and demonstrate my abilities.” The truck isn’t quite showroom ready. Nick is working on the interior upholstery and a few other finishing touches. And he also says it will remain a project vehicle with UFV’s Automotive Collision Repair program and perhaps in a few years time, another class can repaint it a different colour. “Because it was our first year, I wanted a show-piece vehicle that the students could say ‘look at that, I helped restore that truck,’” says Nick. “The truck can continue to be a part of the program and while there won’t be much restoration work needed, if future classes wanted to paint it again, then that’s what it’s here for.” To find out more about UFV’s Automotive Collision Repair & Refinishing program call the Trades and Technology centre directly at 604-847-5448 or visit www.ufv.ca/ autobody. 

Skookum | Fall 2010 | Volume 1 |  Issue 1   15


Behind the barricades Crim researchers got an up-closeand-personal look at Olympic security By Anne Russell

T

he Vancouver 2010 Olympics were a massive megaproject that involved years of planning, and were generally viewed as an organizational success. From a security point of view, they were successful because not much of significance with regards to security threats happened. One protest on the first weekend and a breach of security where an unstable man tried to get close to the U.S. vice president comprised the major security challenges. However, that doesn’t mean that Canada wasn’t ready for any emergency. Years of planning helped ensure that it

16  Skookum | Fall 2010 | Volume 1 |  Issue 1

was. Thousands of police officers from RCMP detachments and municipal forces across the country, along with armed forces personnel, gathered to serve their country as part of a special Integrated Security Unit at this important international event. For much of the time, they found themselves providing a service that was, as many of them described it, both monotonous and essential. Monotonous because not much happened, but essential because they were extremely prepared to jump into action if it did. Because of the close working relationship between the University of

Photo: Rick Collins

UFV’s School of Criminology of Criminal Justice is known for taking on research projects that give students the opportunity to participate. Undergraduate Jennifer Armstrong (left) and other students were part of a team that worked with Dr. Darryl Plecas and Dr. Martha Dow (left and right in centre), crim professor John Martin (not pictured) and graduate student and researcher Jordan Diplock (right) on the Olympic Security report.

the Fraser Valley’s School of Criminology and Criminal Justice and the RCMP, several UFV students, faculty members, and associated researchers got a special opportunity to take a behind-the-scenes peek at the security infrastructure in place for the 2010 games. “This was a great chance to do an asit-unfolds case study of security during a major global event staged in Canada,” notes Dr. Darryl Plecas, holder of the UFV/ RCMP Research Chair. “And the report that resulted from our research will be used as a reference for those planning future large-scale events involving a significant security presence.” Entitled The Planning and Execution of Security for the 2010 Winter Games: 38 lessons learned, the report that resulted from the UFV research team’s analysis of the security component of the Olympics reviews the planning and execution of many aspects of the operation, including finances, logistics, staffing, intelligence, community relations, public affairs, informatics, and practice exercises.


The research methods used by the team included in-person interviews of key stakeholders, a survey of security personnel, a content analysis of media coverage, statistical analysis of crime and security data, and a clipboard survey of visitors to the Games. “This was a great example of the RCMP cooperating to make things happen in a way that was very supportive of our students,” Plecas notes. “The students were involved from the study design stage, including a methodology planning retreat attended by RCMP representatives, all the way through to final report completion. “They were able to get an in-depth, behind-the-scenes look at the security process and protocol for a large event, and to get a real sense of the level of sophistication involved in an operation like this. They were conducting interviews right in the inner sanctums and control rooms, and witnessing how prepared the Integrated Security Unit was for things such as terrorist threats. They quickly got the sense that a lot of things would have to go wrong before something serious impacted the Games. It was a very Canadian approach to security — reserved, friendly, but backed up with a huge machine that was ready to pounce in a minute if the need arose.” The project itself was adrenalin-fueled in the sense that the students were conducting their research in an ‘as-ithappens’ manner, interviewing Games visitors and participating police officers during the event itself.

This was a great chance to do an asit-unfolds case study of security during a major global event staged in Canada. — Darryl Plecas

“It’s not the kind of research that could wait until the Games were over,” Plecas noted. “We had to talk to people while they were converging on Whistler and Vancouver either as visitors or security forces, while the experience was fresh in their minds.” Jennifer Armstrong, who graduated this spring, was a fourth-year BA in Criminal Justice student and researcher when she participated in the study. She was involved in every aspect of the research project. This included planning, research instrument design, interviewing, report writing, and results presentation. Considering the multi-faceted nature of this research, it presented an opportunity to develop a broad range of research skills. “My tasks and roles were to interview specific officers/employees at the Integrated Security Unit in Richmond,” she recalls. “This included members from

gold-, silver- and bronze-level command, the head members of accreditation for the Games, heads of the logistics team, and project managers of the Olympic security. I interviewed over 25 people in 25 different roles.” She also prepared a Powerpoint presentation for the Office of the Prime Minister that was delivered shortly after the report was completed. “The behind-the-scenes look at the 2010 Winter Games security was an incredible experience,” Jennifer says. “I believe that I was witness to true leadership in many instances. I had the rare opportunity to get an intimate view of the single largest security event in Canadian history. It would be understated to call my experience a privilege. “What was pulled off by those that were a part of this piece of history was nothing short of the highest level of dedication and performance. This was an incredibly sophisticated operation.” The media had a slight tendency to narrow the focus of what is reported to the public, according to Jennifer. “While there was a lot of negative attention focused on the financial aspects of the Games, there was actually a level of constant responsibility, so much so that the numerous audits and financial authorities actually created a hindrance at the planning level. There was a serious accountability factor that was a priority — and at times was also seen Please see next page .

Skookum | Fall 2010 | Volume 1 |  Issue 1   17


Cont’d from previous page.

18  Skookum | Fall 2010 | Volume 1 |  Issue 1

Photo: Rick Collins

as detrimental to the execution of security for the Games.” UFV alumnus Jordan Diplock (MA ’09) now a sessional instructor and researcher at UFV, was also part of the 10-member team. The Olympic Security report was the product of a lot of hard work, he recalls. “Our team of 10 researchers and research assistants completed the project on a very short timeline.” Jordan was involved in editing and improving surveys, conducting more than a dozen interviews, compiling information from interviews, analyzing survey responses, and writing several chapters. “It was a great experience to get a behind the scenes look at the Integrated Security Unit for the 2010 Olympic Games. It was great to see how complex the project really was and how much planning and hard work went into making the Olympics a success. It was also really motivating to work within the ISU headquarters where everyone seemed to be very excited about experiencing the Olympic Games so closely and seeing all of the work they had done start to pay off. “I gained a lot of great experience interviewing during this research project, and I learned a lot of what it takes to manage such a large project. I think the general public would be surprised to learn just how large the Olympic Security Project was and how many very important decisions go into making the Olympics secure. It would also surprise the general public to see how the ISU organization grew and gained expertise in such a variety of areas related to major event planning.” The Olympic Security report team consisted of UFV faculty members Darryl Plecas, Martha Dow, and John Martin, UFV crim master’s graduate Jordan Diplock, and undergraduate students Jennifer Armstrong, Tara Haarhoff, Jason Levine, Rebecca Richardson, Kristen Chaisson, and Jeff Houlihan. 

Science Rocks! Breaking stereotypes one test-tube at a time with free science camp for Aboriginal girls

W

e’ve all done it. You hear the word ‘scientist’ and automatically picture a geeky-looking guy in a lab coat. It’s a typical stereotype, but not one that’s helpful when trying to foster an interest in science by nontraditional groups. The University of the Fraser Valley aims to break down those stereotypes, especially in the sciences, by proactively encouraging women to study or pursue research in disciplines like science, computing, and engineering. This summer, UFV hosted its first-ever Science Rocks summer camp specifically for Aboriginal girls. Science Rocks is a highly popular series of daycamps for school-aged children that UFV organizes each summer. “It was always part of our long-term plan for Science Rocks to reach out to community groups that are historically under-represented in the science areas,” explains UFV Dean of Science Ora Steyn. “And it was very evident that we needed to encourage more Aboriginal girls to explore the sciences, so it seemed logical to tailor a Science Rocks camp just for them.” Three years ago, UFV introduced the Cuter Computer contest for teenage girls, with the goal of encouraging young women to study computer sciences. Cuter Computer was funded by the Jade Project, a federal program that is also partially funding the Science Rocks camp for Aboriginal girls. “While Cuter Computer was extremely successful in attracting girls into our computer science programs, we still need to encourage women into all the other sciences,” Ora says. The Science Rocks camp for Aboriginal girls ran from 9 am to 2 pm daily, and participants explored math, computers, biology, chemistry, and environmental sustainability in a fun, educational manner. There were physical activities, lab time, and lots of opportunity to explore the wonders of science. Lunch was included each day. “We selected some camp leaders who were great role models for the girls,” Ora adds. Check out www.ufv.ca/sciencerocks for more information. 


Tracey Vanderaegen Jones has put her nursing education to good use. It allowed her to travel as a nurse on cruise ships, got her entry-level nursing jobs, and eventually opened the door to her current work as a nurse educator. Tracey is this year’s Distinguished Alumni award winner.

A healthy outlook Nurse educator is UFV’s Distinguished Alumni for 2010 By Patty Wellborn

A

dmitting failure is never easy. But nurse and educator Tracey Vanderaegen Jones (Dip Nursing ’94) says an unsuccessful year at UBC’s nursing school is the best thing that could have happened to her. Tracey is this year’s winner of the UFV Distinguished Alumni award, which is conferred by the UFV Alumni Association at the annual award ceremony. It is presented to an alumnus of UFV who has achieved outstanding distinction in career, educational achievement, and community service. Tracey knew from a young age that she wanted to be a nurse or work in the

health care sector. She was a lifeguard and swim instructor in her teens and taught CPR classes to children and adults. After high school, she went directly to UBC and now laughs about how much fun she had. “It was my first year away from home and my first year at university. To say I didn’t do well would be an understatement,” she grins. “My parents call it my expensive party year. But it shook my foundation and brought me back to reality.” After UBC, Tracey seriously considered what she wanted to do with her life. Her goals hadn’t changed, so she got her act together, upgraded her biology, and

pleaded with UFV to accept her into its nursing diploma program. “I learned more in my first four months at UFV than I learned in my eight months at UBC,” she says. “At UFV they focus on everybody being successful. If you work hard, you’ll do well.” Tracey flourished in UFV’s intimate class settings — studying was once again fun. Her classmates were a small, personable, and lively group. After graduation in 1994, she worked as an on-call, casual nurse at a local hospital. She didn’t have a permanent position, so she jumped at the opportunity when she was called by a fellow UFV nursing alumna who told her that a cruise ship was looking for a nurse. Tracey spent three years as a registered nurse with the cruise line — handling everything from sunburn, heat stroke, motion sickness, and broken bones to sudden death. But more importantly, she met her husband Jack and ended up moving with him to his hometown in Alabama.

Skookum | Fall 2010 | Volume 1 |  Issue 1   19


Through a nursing licensure reciprocity agreement, Tracey was eligible to work as an operating room nurse in a hospital in Alabama. After their first son was born, the couple moved to Seattle, partly to be closer to Tracey’s family in Langley, but also to open up new doors and start life afresh. Tracey wrote her U.S. Nursing board exams so she would work in Washington State. “It was brutal. Those exams are written for textbook study, not nurses who have been working on the floor for a while.” Tracey was hired by Virginia Mason Hospital in Seattle in 2002 as an operating room nurse. She also continually trained fellow nurses in CPR and it was during this time she was approached to take on the interim educational position in the operating rooms. When that door opened, it led her on a new path to become the perioperative educator (the nurse who trains RNs to work within the surgical suites). When she took on her role in 2004, it was suggested by her director that she get her bachelor`s degree in nursing. And because she truly believes in lifetime learning, she was eager and happy to get back into the classroom. While organizing the perioperative program and working on sterile procedures, residency programs for OR nurses, and setting hospital and OR policy, she took some courses in computing and management. “Tracey demonstrated from early in her tenure that she understood what nursing is all about,” says Valley Medical Centre perioperative educator Diana Frawley. “Almost without exception, she puts the students first. I suppose doing well in nursing is easy if you are, as she is, driven in equal measure by both quality and safety.” Tracey earned her bachelor’s degree from the University of Washington this March (with a 3.9 GPA), and has been accepted to begin her master’s degree this fall. She continues to work educating and orientating new RNs and ensuring that operating room nurses are fully trained and their qualifications are up-

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UFV gave me my career and sent me travelling around the continent, where I met my husband. There was a reason why I ended up at UFV. — Tracey Vanderaegen Jones

to-date. Her role of orientating new OR nurses is the perfect combination of her teenage dreams of a career in health care and education. “I was a lifeguard as a teen and had always taught CPR. I always wanted to be in education in some way or another. And while I loved working in the operating room, I missed the teaching aspect, so when this opportunity came up, it seemed the best of both worlds.” With her job and her education, you’d think she’d be busy enough. But family is also extremely important to Tracey and she finds time to volunteer and to coach both of her sons’ ice hockey teams. Again, it was a role that just landed at her feet. She loved figure skating as a child, and she had her boys on skates as toddlers. When they signed up for hockey, they needed coaches to help the kids learn to skate. She also volunteers with her sons’ Cub Scout groups, at their schools, with their ball teams, and in the community as a volunteer first aid attendant. She also organized a Teddy Bear clinic where school-aged children could bring a stuffed toy to a mock medical clinic where they could learn about hospitals and operating room procedures. “Tracey sets the bar high for herself and others — she always puts the needs of patients first and works to ensure that excellent care will be provided,” says Constance Hirnle, clinical nurse educator at the University of Washington’s School of Nursing.

“She is an outstanding nurse, educator, and manager with excellent organizational, motivational, communication, and clinical skills. She goes the extra mile and is a true team leader.” Due to her volunteer spirit, natural teaching ability, and continual education of the nursing staff at Virginia Mason Hospital, Tracey has received a number of awards and community recognition, including two nominations for a community salute from KIRO TV, and acceptance into the Sigma Theta Tau Honour Society for nurses and the Golden Key International Honour Society. She has also been invited to conduct a professional development workshop for senior hospital executives at a national conference next year. Regardless of all the accolades and awards Tracey has received, she is certain of one fact. UFV ended up being more than place to earn a nursing diploma. “Sometimes I wonder where my career might have taken me if I hadn’t attended UFV. None of this would have happened,” she says. “UFV gave me my career and sent me travelling around the continent where I met my husband. I believe things happen for a reason, and there was a reason why I ended up at UFV.” 


Fall 2010: Alumni Association Chair’s Letter Hello UFV alumni, As your board of directors, we have a lot to do this year in regards to fundraising, an annual general meeting, and putting the finishing touches on a new strategic plan, so we are anxious to get at it. Once again Convocation was a great success thanks to all those involved in the process. With Convocation this year we saw the addition of 1,800 more graduates added to our ever growing community of alumni. Welcome aboard all of you who graduated this year. We look forward to having you as part of the Alumni Association family. We will make every effort to stay in touch with you in the years ahead; and if you ever need any information on events or activities please do not hesitate to contact us by visiting our website at www.ufv. ca/alumni. All the best and good luck in your future endeavors. This past year marked the end of the association’s first three-year strategic plan that has steered the Alumni Association

through a period of positive governance and policy development. In July your board held a one-day retreat to map the course for the next three years. With solid facilitation we were able to generate a number of sound ideas to move the association to a new plateau in its growth, development, and engagement while attempting to dove-tail with the university’s new strategic plan. We were excited to have UFV president Mark Evered participate in his new role as an ex-officio member of the Alumni Association board. We look forward to completing and approving the plan this fall. As part of the new strategic plan, your board plans to not only engage you in the events of the university but also engage the new students coming on to campus. We will accomplish this by attending a number of important events including new student orientation and student move-in days at Baker House among many others you’ll read about in the Aluminations section of this expanded UFV magazine. As a board, we are always looking to have new people join us and as we look forward to our AGM this fall on Mon, Oct 18 we would love to see you there. I truly appreciate everyone for their support and in particular the UFV

Alumni Association Board of Directors and Alumni Relations office staff. They are a great group of individuals that work hard with your interests in mind to build a strong and vibrant association. I wish you continued success in your career and life choices and we hope to see you soon at one of our many events.

Tony Luck, BBA ’96, BA ’07 Chair, UFV Alumni Association

www.ufv.ca/alumni

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Alumni News Activities

Alumni Association welcomes President Evered to Alumni board

A lumni M entorship

Alumni artist competition — 2011 alumni commemorative wine

UFV president Mark Evered was welcomed as a new ex-officio director on the Alumni Association board this past spring. As part of his new role he participated in the Alumni Association’s three-year strategic planning retreat this summer. The association is pleased to have the support of the UFV president.

Ask the Expert — alumni panel at the 2010 UFV Career Fair

Seeking nominations for the 2011 Distinguished Alumni Award

Alumni Accountants mentorship program

The 2011 alumni commemorative wine artist competition is underway this fall. UFV graduates are invited to submit their artwork. The winner will have their selected art rendered onto the 2011 wine labels. Don’t miss this opportunity to round out your art portfolio and gain some excellent exposure for your work. Be part of this growing annual tradition. Pick up an application at www.ufv.ca/alumni. Deadline to apply is January 1, 2011. Roadside Attractions: UFV alumni artist exhibition “Roadside Attractions” featured a mix of contemporary paintings, print, and photography by UFV Visual Arts alumni at the Junction Café in Armstrong, BC. An opening reception was held in April, and the popular exhibition ran through April and May. Artists included: Devon Allen (BA ’06), Shawna Burns (BFA ’07), Janet Comer (BFA ’09), Eduardo Dioses (BA ’09), Stephanie Frame (Dip ’07), Paula Funk (BFA ’08), Fiona Howarth (BA ’06), Lorena Krause (Dip ’10), Kaitlin McWhinney (BA ’07), and Helen Yannacopoulos (BFA ’07). New office space for Alumni Relations The Alumni Relations office, home of the UFV Alumni Association, has moved to room B317 on the Abbotsford campus. Come and check out our new space and learn more about alumni programs, benefits, and privileges!

Do you know of an outstanding graduate? If so, the Alumni Association encourages you to nominate them for this prestigious award, presented annually to a graduate of UFV who has achieved outstanding distinction in career, educational achievement, or community service. This non-monetary award recognizes and celebrates the accomplishments of exceptional alumni offering excellent media exposure through UFV’s magazine, media releases, and website exposure, as well as a permanent place on the prominently displayed Distinguished Alumni Award plaque. Past recipients of the award include TV and film producer Mary Anne Waterhouse (Dip ’86), editor Terry-Lynn Stone (BA ’98), and Abbotsford Police sergeant Amar Kingra (Cert ’94). The deadline for application is April 1. Each year the Alumni Association confers this award at UFV’s Awards night held in September. This year’s winner was nurse educator Tracey Vanderaegen Jones (Dip ’94 — see feature on her in this issue). For more details contact us at alumni@ufv.ca

Left to right — Janet Comer, Helen Yannacopoulos, Paula Funk and Roadside Attractions show curator Kelly Macintosh (BFA). 22  Skookum | Fall 2010 | Volume 1 |  Issue 1

Alumni with expertise in human resources will participate at the Ask the Experts table at this year’s Career Fair. Alumni will connect with UFV students to provide answers to all their job-related questions.

Our fourth annual Fast Forward Fraser Valley Accounting Night was held in September. UFV accounting alumni were on hand to help accounting students prepare for the CA recruiting season! If you have human resource expertise or are a UFV accounting alumni who would like to help at future student mentorship events, contact us at alumni@ufv.ca.

S ponsorships Afterhours @ The Reach — Abbotsford’s new connection for 20-somethings The Alumni Association was pleased to sponsor the Afterhours at the Reach event at the Reach Gallery Museum, one of the most exciting and culturally stimulating annual events in Abbotsford. Tickets were free to UFV alumni. This successful annual event was coordinated by UFV alumna Tricia Taylor (AA ’08). Baker House residence move-in barbeque Alumni Association board members were on hand greeting new students during move-in time at Baker House residence, helping them with luggage and mingling with parents to help ease their transition. The barbeque sponsored by the association was enjoyed by all.

Nancy Armitage & Helen Hughes outside the new Alumni Relations office.


E vents Alumni Association annual general meeting and reception As a graduate of UFV you are considered a member of the UFV Alumni Association, and you are cordially invited to the annual general meeting and reception on Mon, Oct 18. Join us as we recognize and honour alumni who have served UFV and the Alumni Association, mingle with board members and other alumni, and enjoy a wine-and-cheese reception.

students to share your knowledge and experiences. This event is designed to be a fun introduction to the art of networking to help prepare students to break into the career market after graduation. Speak one-on-one with students about: • how you broke into your chosen career • networking strategies • etiquette when introducing yourself and others • how to keep a conversation going

Mon, Oct 18 | AGM at 6 pm Abbotsford campus board room A225 Wine and hors d’oeuvres reception 6:45 pm

• what you might say to set yourself apart

Alumni appreciation soccer event — Sun, Oct 24

Join us for an evening of speed networking, wine and appetizers. Meet and hear from UFV president Mark Evered , and hear from inspirational speaker, consummate networker, and UFV alumnus Laird Munro, vice president of Contac Services Inc., and former director of operations of West Jet Vacations.

Join us for a special alumni soccer event on Sun, Oct 24. Games take place at Bateman Park. The women kick off at noon against Regina and the men kick off at 2:15 pm against UBC. After the games then join us at Cheers Bar and Grill for an after-game reception, hosted and sponsored by the UFV Alumni Association. All UFV alumni are invited to attend. Please register at alumni@ufv.ca Women’s Alumni vs Cascades basketball game — Fri, Oct 8 Come watch the Cascades battle it out against UFV alumni at 7 pm. Join us for the after-game reception hosted by the Alumni Association. This event is free of charge. Mark your calendar — Student/Alumni Speed Networking event on Thurs, Nov 18 Are you a business-minded UFV graduate? Join us for the second annual speed networking event. Meet and mingle with UFV business

• how to meet key people for the first time and break the ice.

UFV Alumni real estate benefit program The next time you decide to sell and/or acquire real estate be sure to contact Surinder Sarowa at Oasis Realty. Surinder will give you a $500 rebate from the commissions earned as well as contribute $250 to leadership awards for UFV students. Valley Toyota in Chilliwack offers discounts to UFV alumni for first-time purchases. Take advantage of a $500–$1,000 discount when you purchase a new or unregistered Yaris, Corolla, Matrix, Tacoma, or RAV4 model. Leader Frames Significant Impact Leader Frames invites you to showcase your accomplishment right with a Leader Frame. They offer the highest quality frames for your diplomas and degrees. Choose from the beautiful gold metal, or the mahogany-colored hardwood frames, which are 100% reforested Canadian products.

Thurs, Nov 18 | 5:30–7:30 pm Abbotsford campus conference room B121 Alumni Appreciation basketball game — Sat, Jan 15 The Alumni Association and Athletic department is hosting the third annual Alumni Appreciation event on Sat, Jan 15, when the UFV Cascade basketball teams host the University of Alberta Golden Bears at the Envision Athletic Centre in Abbotsford (5 pm women’s game/ 7 pm men’s game). Come out and enjoy a funfilled night of basketball action, and free pizza and beer. Meet up with your former teammates, and get a chance to win some exciting prizes! Contact us at alumni@ufv.ca to register. Seating is limited so register early. Annual Alumni evenings of theatre — Thurs, March 17 and Fri, March 18. Hold these dates and mark your calendars for the Annual Alumni Evening of Theatre, featuring The Tempest, Shakespeare’s final work of genius. Combining romance, comedy, and spectacle, The Tempest is truly “the stuff that dreams are made on.”

The Tempest will be featured at the Alumni evening of theatre.

B E N E FI TS

This complimentary evening of wine, hors d’oeuvres, and theatre is brought to UFV Alumni and a guest free of charge by the UFV Alumni Association. Seating is limited so be sure to register early by calling 604-557-4008.

Campus privileges • Alumni business cards • UFV Bookstore — discounts of up to 15% on selected items • Athletics — discounted tickets at games • Student Activity Centre — a discount on a fitness membership • UFV Theatre — discounted tickets • UFV Library access • Alumni Board directorship • Alumni Association events Be sure to get your Alumni Association membership card in order to take advantage of these and other perks. For details on these and other great benefits visit us at www.ufv.ca/alumni Skookum | Fall 2010 | Volume 1 |  Issue 1   23


Keeping in touch Sandy Bishop, Office Careers Cert ’94 — has been working at UFV since graduation. She started part time in 1993, working in various departments. In 1998 she obtained a full-time position in the Financial Aid and Awards office. She says she would not have achieved this without taking the Office Careers (now Applied Business Technology) program at UFV. Anne-Marie Paquette, Dip ’08 — has been working for Khangura Engineering Ltd. in Abbotsford as a civil engineering technician. She has been instrumental in assisting her company in the development of some of the premier subdivisions in the Lower Mainland including Eagle Mountain and Britannia Beach. Recently Anne-Marie returned to UFV to complete her degree in global development. She is also the mother of two current/former UFV students: Ashley Fromin, currently pursuing a Bachelor of Business degree with a minor in Visual Arts, and Christopher Fromin (Culinary Arts Cert ’04), who is now a sous chef in Vancouver. Her success at UFV inspired her children to attend. Martin Blumenfeld, BA CIS ’02 — completed his degree along with two co-op work terms, which led to six great years with Intrawest and other tech companies. Martin has always done freelance web design and development work on the side and has now made it a full-time gig over the past year with a growing client base. Martin said that UFV and its co-op program definitely helped him get to where he is today. He and his wife welcomed baby Emma Kinley Blumenfeld on August 21, 2010. Rhoda Chaput, BSW ’00 — graduated with a degree in social work and immediately started working for the Ministry of Children and Family Development. She has been in a variety of positions while working for the ministry, including working with the aboriginal team for two years. For the last three years, she has been in family service work in Mission.

Reina Inoue, BA ’06

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Shane Finch, BA ’97 — After obtaining a degree in Criminal Justice, Shane was hired by ICBC in October 1998. He is currently a litigation adjuster at the Chilliwack ICBC Claim Centre. He says if he had not completed a practicum at the Abbotsford ICBC Claim Centre in in fourth year he would not have discovered the interesting and challenging job opportunities available at ICBC. Donna Morgan, BA ’00 — Her BA in Adult Education enabled Donna to assume responsibility for a back-to-work program run by Continuing Education at at Okanagan University College. Donna then moved on to become project administrator at the National Research Council’s Dominion Radio Astrophysical Observatory. A highlight of her work is chairing the observatory’s annual open house every September, which draws a crowd of over 1,500 people. Dawn Wilson, Cert ’94 — worked at the RW Large Memorial Hospital for ten years, first as an executive assistant, then as a site manager and finally as chief operating officer. The skills she learned through the UFV program helped her get started. She now works for the Hailika’as Heiltsuk Health Centre as team leader for the Sasum (children) programs aged zero to six. She is currently taking courses/upgrading to enroll in a Bachelor of Nursing program. Lisa Morry, Dip Lib/Info Tech ’07 — never left UFV after graduating from the Library and Information Technology program. She has been working in the UFV library, most recently covering a leave in the Chilliwack library. Lisa is also working on a Bachelor of General Studies degree at UFV. Andrew Irwin BSc ’09 — graduated with a BSc in biology, and is currently in first-year dentistry at the University of Manitoba.

Andrew Irwin, BSc ’09

Angela Veters, BA ’08 — completed her degree in history and has gone on to finish her Master of Theology at Newman College in Edmonton. The move has been an exciting change for her husband and their daughter. Once finished, Angela hopes to obtain a position as a chaplain with Correctional Services Canada. Ken Herar, BA ’01 — received the Arts & Culture award from the District of Mission at its annual 2010 community service awards. He is a columnist with the Abbotsford/Mission Times and was also the named Champion of Diversity in 2007 for the Fraser Valley. Rachel Terpstra, RN, BSN ’05 — went right into a full-time RN position on the surgical ward in the former MSA Hospital, then moved to Brisbane, Australia. In Australia she completed a year-long peri-operative certification course to work in the operating room. She is also well travelled, participating in medical missions while in Nigeria. Back in Canada Rachel completed the critical care program at BCIT and now works at a major trauma centre. She attributes her success, and that of other UFV nursing alumni, to UFV’s hands-on clinical focus . Erin Menelaws, BA ’08 — completed her BA in psychology and went on to complete teacher training through UBC’s West Kootenay Teacher Education program. In 2009 she travelled with UFV’s Anita van Wyk to South Africa to complete courses at Nelson Mandela University as part of a sociology studies program. In the future, Erin would love to travel back to South Africa to teach. For now, she looks forward to her position on the West Kootenay School District teacher-on-call list and is very excited to announce her recent engagement! Cynthia Sugar, Cert ’01 — received her UFV certificate in substance abuse counselling. Her UFV training has enabled her to help many individuals with awareness, abuse prevention and

Lisa Morry, Dip Lib/Info Tech ’07


recovery from street drugs, prescribed psychopharmaceuticals, and environmental chemicals which affect the central nervous system. She now owns and operates The Clean Air Coach, a consulting company promoting healthier living. David Robinson, BBA ’07 — was hired by Meyers Norris Penny LLP (MNP) in Abbotsford, a chartered accounting firm specializing in assurance, taxation and consulting services. With MNP, he recently completed his chartered accountant designation (CA) and will now be working out of MNP’s Vancouver office, focusing on public company audits. He says that the business, accounting, and finance classes at UFV gave him a great knowledge base for his career. Matt Hanson, Dip ’09 — completed his Computer Information Systems diploma, and after great experiences in the Co-operative Education program, went on to happily start his career working for the Abbotsford Police Department as a network support analyst. Matt continues to work towards his CIS degree in his spare time, and strongly encourages all students to take advantage of the benefits provided by the co-op program. Adi Desai, BBA Aviation ’06 — taught flying at Abbotsford Airport while running his restaurant in Chilliwack. In February of 2010, he opened his second authentic Thai food restaurant in Abbotsford, called The Thai D’or. Laura Polomark, Cert ’93 — completed a substance abuse counselling certificate from UFV in 1993, a bachelor’s degree from SFU in 1994, and a master’s degree in counselling psychology in 2008. She has enjoyed a variety of positions, such as teaching at Sylvan Learning Centre, and working as an educational advisor at Kwantlen University, an eating disorder counsellor, and an online counsellor. She met her husband, Mike, in June of 1986 and they married in July, 1992, in Maui. Reina Inoue, BA ’06 — After completing a BA (major in Sociology/Anthropology) and gaining

Matt Hanson, Dip ’09

work experience as a student leader and event coordinator with the International Education department, Reina now works in the Tokyo office of prestigious international law firm Skadden Arps. Reina trains and supervises a group of secretaries. Her promotion to a supervisory role for a group of multicultural staff members is a result of the working experience gained at the university and the IE department’s excellent support in making the experiences of international students a success. Brandon Kelley, BBA ’06 — obtained the CA (Chartered Accountant) designation in May 2010, while working at KPMG’s Abbotsford office. Brandon is currently on a two-year secondment at KPMG’s Perth, Western Australia office, where he is working on financial statement audits in the mining industry. Kristin Ory, Dip ’09 — completed her Criminal Justice diploma and went on to pursue a career in policing as a dispatcher while focusing on her art, which included starting up a graphic and tattoo design business while learning the art of tattooing. Pursuing two opposite career paths has allowed Kristin to embrace her creativity while maintaining her passion for front-line response work. Sheryl Appleby, BA ’09 — Sheryl spent a summer traveling in Europe before returning to enter a PDP program for prospective secondary school teachers. She recently completed her short practicum at a high school in China, and will be graduating from the PDP program in January of 2011. Roberta O’Brien, BA ’05 — completed her diploma in CIS and a BA with a major in geography, and currently is contracted as a community developer in the social sector. She specializes in spatial/statistical analysis and GIS. Her business, computer networking and communication skills

Kristin Ory, Dip ’09

acquired as part of her academic career at UFV, have been an invaluable asset! David Green, BA ’07 — completed his BA (History) in 2007 and moved to South Korea to teach ESL in a private school. He then moved to a school just outside Kyoto, Japan, teaching for another two years before returning to Canada. Carolyn Kristensen, Dip ’06 — completed her Aviation diploma at UFV and partnered with Coast Pacific Aviation in 2006. After taking some time off to travel Central America, she is now working in northern Alberta for Airborne Energy Solutions Ltd., flying groceries into remote aboriginal communities and providing them with access to health care. Jaimy Hutton, BBA ’09 — After graduation, Jaimy was recruited by Dealer Tire as part of the launch team for the company’s expansion into Canada. Her official title is field training specialist for the BC region, focusing on training clients how to think like retailers and become more profitable selling tires. Jaimy’s UFV experience provided her with the knowledge, skills, and confidence to make her a fierce and hirable competitor in the job market. Depak Parmar, BBA ’02 — after obtaining his Bachelor of Business Administration degree, Depak earned his Chartered Accountant designation in 2004 while articling at KPMG LLP in Abbotsford. Depak is now a senior manager at KPMG serving clients in a variety of industries including agriculture, manufacturing/processing, real estate development, and construction. Alumni: submit a brief writeup telling us what you’ve been up to since graduation. Send it to alumni@ufv.ca. We’ll print it in the next issue and enter you to win a prize.

Depak Parmar, BBA ’02

Skookum | Fall 2010 | Volume 1 |  Issue 1   25


UFVGiving Honour thy father a Seikhon family legacy By Brian J. Martin

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n April 27, 2010, Sukhi Seikhon presented UFV with a cheque for $21,000. With that donation, the Seikhon family completed their $35,000 pledge to UFV, started in 2005 in support of the university’s commitment towards funding for the provincial Regional Innovation Chair in Canada–India Business and Economic Development. By paying out their pledge, the Seikhons demonstrated their determination and commitment to fulfill an obligation and honour the memory of family patriarch Master Ajit Singh Seikhon. But this is not merely the story of someone cutting a cheque; it is the story of the success of a family and their belief in the values handed down by one man. Honour, commitment, integrity: these are the values Ajit Singh Seikhon instilled in his family. When Seikhon came to Canada in 1971, he had little more than the shoes on his feet, his best suit, and the determination to succeed and make a better life for himself and his

family. Landing in Winnipeg and eventually arriving in the Fraser Valley, Seikhon chose not to follow his calling as a qualified teacher, but rather to strive to become self-reliant. He realized that he could benefit from the Valley’s major industry, agriculture, and he became a berry farmer. Years later, with wife Mohinder minding the home and four sons — Baldev, Harnek, Sukhdev (Sukhi), and Ajmer (Jerry) — doing whatever they could to help, Seikhon and his family moved from the basement of a friend’s home to their own farm. He had realized his dream. He was his own boss working hard to provide for his family. His family in turn worked just as hard wherever they could in support — tending crops by day and driving a taxi at night. There was hardship along the way. At one point in the late 1980s they lost nearly everything to bankruptcy. Through it all, they stayed together, supported one another, and ultimately triumphed. Much of their success now can be attributed to those universal values brought from India to a new land.

Photo: Rick Collins

The Seikhon family (above and top) support the BC Regional Innovation Chair in Canada–India Business and Economic Development at UFV as a tribute to their late patriarch, Ajit Singh Seikhon.

26  Skookum | Fall 2010 | Volume 1 |  Issue 1

Ajit Seikhon’s inspiration and influence cannot be measured lightly. Two of his granddaughters recall the strength of the man. “He was an educated man, so I turned to him for help with my homework,” says Kiren Seikhon, a law graduate who begins articling this fall. “He always told me you can only be held back by the limits you put on yourself,” says her sister Jessy Seikhon, a loans officer at a local credit union. Both women remember their grandfather as a kind, charismatic man: a leader both at home and in the Fraser Valley Indo-Canadian community. “People would come to him, seek his advice, counsel, and respect,” recalls Jessy. “Who he was has shaped in many ways who we all are as a family, and we strive to live up to his memory.” Ajit passed away in 2000 at only 63, but he left behind a lasting legacy — a successful enterprise and a strong, loving family who bear witness to his hard work. He may have transformed himself from an educator to a farmer, but he never stopped teaching those around him. Ajit Seikhon saw the fruits of his labour in the generations that have followed. It would be five years before a chance to commemorate his father presented itself to Sukhi Seikhon. Establishing a BC Regional Innovation Chair in Canada–India Business and Economic Development at UFV was a coup for the institution, and support from the community was essential to securing the provincial government’s commitment,


as the grant for the Chair was contingent upon matching community funding. Sukhi appreciated the benefits to the region, the Indo-Canadian community, and business in BC that the Chair would bring. He also saw the perfect opportunity for himself and his brothers to honour the man who had given them so much — their father. Thus they pledged $35,000 towards the Chair. Today, a plaque bearing the names of Ajit and Mohinder Seikhon sits prominently displayed outside of the office of DJ Sandhu, who holds the Innovation Chair position at UFV. Farming the Fraser Valley is not easy. Ask anyone who has had the experience. When they committed to their gift, the Seikhon brothers had no way of knowing whether the vagaries of Mother Nature would provide enough for them to maintain the pledged annual payments. After two payments, their support waned, but not their desire. They may have been unable to pay for several years, but they were never unwilling. This final contribution is a testament to their determination. When reflecting on his father’s life, Sukhi cannot help but think of the challenges endured. But he also thinks of the pride he still feels for his father’s accomplishments, sentiments echoed by his brothers, and even acknowledged by their children. “Everything we have today is because of him,” says Sukhi. “He gave us the strength to succeed. We could not pass up the opportunity to honour him in the way he appreciated most — through education.” Ajit Seikhon, with Mohinder by his side, carved a new life for himself and his family, built a business, and nurtured a community. Respected by those who knew him, loved by family and friends, and now honoured at UFV by his sons, he leaves a legacy that carries on today. One which shows others that hard work has its rewards and that perseverance will prevail. By instilling such core values as faith, commitment, and generosity, others may now benefit and share in the Seikhon success. 

Is UFV a charity? By Brian J. Martin

U

FV has a registered charitable number, operates as a notfor-profit institution, and can issue tax receipts, no differently than your local church or hospital foundation. In many ways these three institutions play a significant role in major aspects of our lives — health, knowledge, and spiritual well-being. Like hospitals, it can be tempting to think of your local university as wholly government-funded. That is not the case. The provincial government only provides 56% of UFV’s operating budget — and that number is

is what makes it possible for students to fulfill their dreams, learn their craft, and progress to become better contributors to our society. Funding financial aid is only one way that our donors make a difference. There are many opportunities to support students at UFV beyond establishing or contributing to student awards, such as: • Course and program development such as the upcoming Mennonite Studies certificate • Training tools and equipment for Trades & Technology and other hands-on programs • Capital expenditures: the real “bricks and mortar” projects (many such opportunities to help exist on the new Canada Education Park in Chilliwack). These three examples show

Percentage of funding from various sources for UFV 56% Provincial Government 23% Tuition 21% Other (including donations) While the provincial allotment is still the greatest amount, it is shrinking year over year relative to the total funding needed.

shrinking each year. The rest of the dollars needed to “keep the lights on” come from tuition (23 percent), research grants, and international education tuition fees. The extras — such as student awards, certain program equipment, and student-led initiatives — come to us courtesy of the generosity of our donors. But really, how extra are scholarships and bursaries? For many students such financial aid is the difference between getting an education or not — or having to defer their plans until they can afford it. The support of our donors

that support for students can take many forms. Gifts to UFV create opportunities for students where none existed before. When you invest in education, you invest in your community, and you always get an excellent return. Look for your annual giving solicitation in the mail in the coming weeks or contact the UFV Development office at 604-854-4595 or email giving@ ufv.ca for more information. Is UFV a charity? Yes it is. And in order to continue doing good work we need your help.  Skookum | Fall 2010 | Volume 1 |  Issue 1   27


UFVGiving Student awards Why they matter By Brian J. Martin

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e know the value of education and its importance in our society today. We see the benefits of a better educated workforce — increased productivity in our local economy, and the chance for those who educate themselves to earn a better living. The requirements for many jobs have changed and students — many with an eye to employment — are adapting to those changes by demanding more opportunities for learning. In the ideal world money would never be a barrier to getting an education. Sadly, in the real world that is not always the case.. Universities have responded to the need for financial aid by teaming

with individuals, corporations, and foundations to create as many awards for students as possible. As more awards are created, more students gain opportunities for an education. UFV is no different in its desire for student support. It is for this reason that we turn to our community — you — to help us provide for students. You are their community. It is through your support that students succeed and transform into contributing citizens. If we are to continue changing lives and building communities we need your help. Awards make a real difference in the lives and education of many students, rewarding excellence, easing need, and giving hope. Twin sisters Jennifer & Sarah Gowdridge of Abbotsford may not do everything together — it just seems that way. So when they decided on postsecondary education they wanted to find something that appealed to their curiosity, and had good job prospects. They chose the welding program at UFV. With money tight, they were unable to take classes together. So Sarah worked

Photo: Rick Collins

Twin sisters Sarah and Jennifer Gowdridge both benefitted from the Procor (BC) Inc. Award of Excellence as students, and are both now gainfully employed as welders.

28  Skookum | Fall 2010 | Volume 1 |  Issue 1

and paid the bills while Jennifer went to school. Fortunately, the Procor (BC) Inc. Award of Excellence was available to students beginning their welding training. Jennifer applied, won the award, and completed her Level 1 certification in 2007. One year later Sarah applied, also won the Procor award, and followed the same path as her sister. Today, both are employed doing what they are good at — working with their hands. “The award really came in handy,” recalls Jennifer. “It took so much pressure off of us. We could focus on learning.” Through generous donations from the community, UFV can offer three types of financial aid and assistance to students: scholarships, leadership awards, and bursaries. Scholarships and leadership awards reward hard work, academic achievement, and community involvement. Bursaries fund financial need. They bridge the gap between desire for education and the economic realities some students face. And they matter — to our society, and to the lives and education of generations of students, our future citizens. “In my four years at UFV we have seen a steady increase in awards funding,” says director of development Lindsay Follett. “We told the stories of students to the community, and the community responded with dedicated investment. Donations have created many more awards, but there is always a growing need — to increase award amounts and provide scholarships in as many UFV programs as possible. Our focus on providing the best undergraduate education in Western Canada will require additional scholarships so more students will have opportunities to obtain their education. The needs are greater than ever before.” To learn more about the fundraising needs of the university contact the UFV Development office at 604-854-4595, email giving@ufv.ca, or you can also visit www.ufv.ca/giving. 


Who gives? You do! Change a life By Brian J. Martin

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Awards Night at UFV is where philanthropy gets all warm and fuzzy, as donors get to meet recipients, and the university and recipients get to say thank you to our many generous donors.

Photos: Jhim Burwell

ho changes lives? Well, you do. When you say “Yes” to the cashier at your local grocer, you change a life. By donating a spare dollar you send a kid to camp. Setting aside your old clothes for the second-hand store or giving them directly to a charity? That’s changing a life, because the money generated by selling your unwanted goods will benefit others in need. Anytime you make a conscious effort to allot your time, energy, or money to a cause you are changing lives and giving back to your community. You understand that it is not always enough to simply have. Sometimes it is better to have and share with others. You know that we all benefit by our giving. What’s comforting about giving to a charity is that you know your gift is helping to fulfill a need. In that way, UFV is no different than other charities. A gift to the university fulfills a need — your donation helps us educate the Fraser Valley, and our graduates in turn can give back through their work, productivity, and community engagement. Our graduates go on to make a meaningful difference in the health, wealth, and growth of the Fraser Valley. When we ask for donations to UFV, it is because the needs of the community have been made known to us and thus to you. As a university responsive to the development of the Fraser Valley, you can be sure that any request for gifts will tie back to where we all live and work. Giving is in our nature. The next time you think about how your giving can benefit those around you, take a moment to consider your local university. A gift to UFV will change a life. 

Images from Awards Night

From top: Library and Info Tech instructor Jan Lashbrook Green, with LIBIT students Diana Nelson (winner of the BCLA and Risa Deverell-Beaton awards) and Susan Gibbs (winner of the Pat Sifton Endowment Award), along with LIBIT program head Christina Neigel; donor Walt Sussel with recipient David Reid; Theatre faculty member Ian Fenwick with award recipients Rebecca Mackenzie, Evan Hutchinson, and Caroline Davies; Ruth and Don Simpson, the parents of the late Jen Simpson, with award recipient Lianne Graham; and Alumni Association chair Tony Luck, with Joddy Alden, winner of the Alumni Association Endowment Leadership Award in the Faculty of Arts, and her mother Diane Luu.

Skookum | Fall 2010 | Volume 1 |  Issue 1   29


Lisa Kelly, continued from page 9.

must imitate what nature produces. This forecloses the potential for subsequent family reunification claims by the adoptee and his or her birth family, something that would strike at receiving states’ border control interests. The child must cross boundaries as a discrete individual. While states deploy myriad rhetorical images of the child, the interests of actual, material children are often oddly out of sight.” A consistent theme in Lisa’s work is her focus on the ways that law regulates our everyday lives. “I think it’s really important to remember how many banal laws and regulations shape much of our daily existence from our family life to our workplaces to the roads we use to get to and from those places. Too often we see things as fixed, as how it has to be. But I like to think much more of it is up for grabs than we might first think.” This vantage point has led her to draw on critical approaches to law, which are well supported at Harvard. “My work has a critical focus in that I’m very interested in analyzing how different laws and policies are a reflection of choices, motivated by ideational or material concerns. There’s nothing intrinsically natural about how law develops. It is shaped by choices about how to distribute different rights and obligations. Costs are imposed on some people, and benefits on others, depending on the context.” Lisa’s doctoral work focuses on the legal regulation of children and adolescents. “I was drawn to the subject of the child because so much has been written on gender and adult relations in the family, but far less work has been done on the ways that young people are constructed through law. I see it as very important because if we consider how minority and dominant belief systems, modes of thought, and economic norms are transmitted, the child is the key.” Lisa is especially interested in the deep ambivalence the law exhibits toward the child — viewing young people as 30  Skookum | Fall 2010 | Volume 1 |  Issue 1

innocent and in need of protection in some contexts, and as deviant and deserving stricter punishment in others. “We see this duality where minors must be shielded from the lure of online and offline predators, but are also understood as predators themselves when they commit offences. There is this constant ramping up, particularly in criminal law, of protectionist and punitive rhetoric toward youth.” Her project is a comparative one and will look at Canada, the United States, and international law where relevant. History and culture remain an integral part of Lisa’s work. She notes how important the history of Western childhood is for law. “The gradual transformation of the 19th and early-20th century child from worker and material producer to affective and innocent dependant underpins our legal understanding of the child today. Much of what we might think of as natural or innate is actually very historically and materially contingent. The child was understood very differently across historical periods.” Lisa also notes that much of our social and legal construction of childish innocence has been class- and racecontingent. At the same time that white children were increasingly being viewed as innocents who should be shielded from market labour, Aboriginal children in Canada were being constructed as deviant. “The residential school system was predicated on a policy of ‘taking the Indian out of the child’. In other words, the Aboriginal child was viewed as inherently tainted. The Aboriginal child was cast in opposition to the white child, whose innocence and purity became so central.” Lisa’s work has real stakes. She is interested in how these ideas shape the governance of minors at home, at school, and in detention. “I hope my work can make visible some of the underlying commitments we hold about the child. And, in turn, hopefully it will raise questions about

the distributive consequences of these ways of governing for differently situated young people.” Lisa is continuing her doctoral research this fall and hopes to eventually teach at a Canadian law school. Her childhood influences, the fictional Matlock and the eminent lawyer Clarence Darrow, would be proud, as will her former professors at UFV. 


Darren Blakeborough, continued from page 7.

We often hear it lamented that Canada has no unique or inherent identity or that we are constantly under cultural attack from our American neighbours. In fact, Canada has a long and storied history in which we constantly question our identity. Historically, policy initiatives have focused on attempting to address this question. Canadian culture in this respect is approached by scholars in two distinct manners. One approach looks to cultural policy as indicative of how government has attempted to foster ideas of nation and identity through policy related to culture and/or media. We can label the other the popular culture approach. This approach investigates varieties of popular culture in Canada. We watch it, read it, listen to it, and talk with each other about it in meaningfully engaging ways in an effort to continually negotiate our way through a constantly changing and demanding landscape. How we, as Canadians, make meaning through our interaction with media allows an interrogation of how we construct our sense of Canada — our sense of ourselves. The centre of most all approaches to envisioning Canada as a nation is through the articulation of “space”. Whether as a geographic space that is represented on a map, as a political space to be governed, a space conceived of as an “other” space, or as a space comprised of a culturally produced audience, space remains at the fore of differing Canadian interrogations into nation throughout Canada’s history. It is a space to be linked, a space that is not American, a space containing often invisible media producers, and a space of diverse media consuming agents that we study, deconstruct, and investigate. While certain Canadian nationalists decry American popular culture as something that Canadians need to be protected from, Stuart Hall has demonstrated how a subversive or oppositional reading of the dominant ideology imbued within these artefacts is possible. As users of popular culture we make our own meanings according to our cultural contexts and as Canadians, we can utilize objects ranging from The

Simpsons, baseball, indie music, or even wrestling as an opportunity to express our unique vision of our identity, taking an American product and transforming it into a vehicle for Canadian expression. There is no reason to suggest that these are the only vehicles through which Canadians are able to articulate their own understandings of what it means to be a Canadian in the face of the American cultural behemoth. Rather than being ignorant masses that are duped by American commodities, we actively negotiate with these artefacts as a means to mould our own identities, as individuals and as Canadians. Popular culture is culture and created through an active process of generating and circulating meanings and pleasures. As we produce little “Canadian popular culture” of our own (it has been suggested in fact that is a bit of an oxymoron) appropriating American texts such as professional wrestling for a uniquely Canadian reading allows an assertion of identity in the face of the American other and through a lens that is uniquely diverse and uniquely Canadian. Thus it is because of ideas like this that I watch, critique, and teach about topics like The Simpsons and wrestling, and appropriately so. 

Tom Baumann, continued from page 11.

While housed on the new UFV campus at the Canada Education Park in Chilliwack, the Berry Research Centre will be comprised of representatives from the growers, the processing industry, the Sustainable Horticulture Institute in Langley, B.C.’s berry specialist and others from the Ministry of Agriculture and Lands, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, private consultants, and the Pacific Northwest berry groups. “We’re trying to deliver a berry to consumers that is not only delicious, but totally safe to eat, while at the same time provide the growers with a berry that is easy and profitable to grow,” explains Baumann. “At the end of the day, that is the perfect berry and we haven’t quite got there yet.” 

Dennis Clark, continued from page 13.

My instructors and other students made many allowances for me as I adapted to university life. I am truly grateful for the unselfish attitudes and inclusive policies I found at UFV.” Now Dennis has plans to begin his Master of Education. During the time he was studying he continued to volunteer to improve safety conditions for people working in the forest industry. Having been injured as a young man, Dennis had a personal commitment to safety issues for young workers. He earned a diploma in occupational health and safety in the mid ’90s while serving on the WCB forest products advisory committee. He also participated in focus groups, and helped develop the Young Worker Training Initiative. It is now a legislated requirement in the workplace. Dennis’ work has been published many times, and he now consults with multiple industry organizations, the insurance industry, and legislative bodies. His book on workplace safety for the shake and shingle industry was the first ever for that sector and the result was a 40 percent reduction in serious injuries for shake and shingle worker. The comprehensive safety system developed by Dennis is now available for distribution through the BC Forest Safety Council and WorkSafe BC. He also served on the advisory committee for manufacturing, and has been recognized by WorkSafe and several governments. His latest work, the Shake and Shingle Safety Program 2010, is now the standard operating safety system in that industry, and serves as a template for other sectors. Dennis credits his recent contributions in workplace safety to the skills and confidence he obtained while at UFV. “Returning to school has forever changed my life. I would never have considered taking my volunteer work to this level without the experience and credentials I obtained from UFV. I am proud of the education I received at UFV, and will never again be limited by a lack of confidence in my ability to produce professional results.”  Skookum | Fall 2010 | Volume 1 |  Issue 1   31


A Skookum name for a magazine At UFV we’re all about doing our best. One of our new strategic goals is to provide the best undergraduate education in Canada. We encourage and enable our students to achieve their best: both while studying with us, and after they graduate and become alumni. We strive to provide the best learning environment and best faculty and staff. And our standings in the last Globe and Mail University Report, in which UFV earned the most A’s and A+’s of any public university in the province, prove that we’re already one of the best universities around. So when we decided to reposition our award-winning magazine Aluminations to reflect the best of the whole university, instead of focusing solely on our outstanding alumni, we looked for a name that reflected that dedication to being the best. Skookum means good, best, ultimate, first-rate, mighty, excellent, and strong. It’s a true west coast word with its roots in Chinook, a trade dialect that allowed different aboriginal groups to communicate with each other and with multi-ethnic newcomers in what is now British Columbia. We hope you’ll agree that we’re featuring some truly skookum people in this issue. Read on to find out more about UFV berry expert Tom Baumann, Trudeau Scholar and Harvard doctoral student Lisa Kelly, ‘school of hard knocks’ veteran turned enthusiastic student and alumnus Dennis Clark, nurse-educator and Distinguished Alumni winner Tracey Vanderaegen Jones, the generous Seikhon family, and pop culture theorist Darren Blakeborough, among others. skookum production team Publisher: Karola Stinson Editor: Anne Russell Design & Production: Camilla Coates Writing: Patty Wellborn, Anne Russell, Brian J. Martin, Nancy Armitage Photography: Rick Collins, Jhim Burwell, Auriel Heron Alumni Relations Manager: Nancy Armitage Director of Development (acting): Christiane Hodson Skookum is published twice a year for the University of the Fraser Valley by the Vice President External team Have comments or ideas about Skookum? Send them to: skookum@ufv.ca See Skookum on line at www.ufv.ca/skookum Want to communicate with your Alumni Association? Contact: alumni@ufv. ca or call 604-557-4008 UFV Alumni Relations Office: 33844 King Road, Abotsford, BC V2S 7M8

Return undeliverable Canadian addresses to: UFV Alumni Relations office 33844 King Road Abbotsford, BC V2S 7M8

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Skookum Fall 2010  

UFV Student Leaders Magazine, Skookum

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