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CELEBRATING THE BEST OF THE UNIVERSITY OF THE FRASER VALLEY
LETâ€™S GO JO! Dr. Joanne MacLean is ready to lead UFV
25 15 20 On the cover: UFV President Joanne MacLean and her dog Ripley. Photo: Darren McDonald.
A PRESIDENT’S JOURNEY New President Joanne MacLean reflects on the path that brought her here and the road ahead.
15 UNTOLD TALES OF THE DIASPORA Alumnus Ishpreet Anand travels the province for our South Asian Studies Institute to discover and document stories of Punjabi Canadian pioneers.
20 COMING UP ROSES For retiree and widow Rose Morrison, pursuing her English major was a form of therapy and a way to reconnect.
25 THE EXER-FILES The Exergames project is providing insight into the potential of children with FASD and opportunities in applied research for UFV students.
28 POLITICALLY DIRECT When members of the media need perspective on the sometimes wacky world of BC politics, they call Dr. Hamish Telford.
42 A NEW WAY OF GIVING Why wait until you’re old to get all philanthropic? Nik and Marnie Venema have decided to give while they’re young so they can see their generosity in action.
DEPARTMENTS & SECTIONS 4 President’s message 5 UFV News
ALUMNI 32 Alumni notes 34 Distinguished Alumni 38 Keeping in Touch
GIVING 40 Catch the wave with the Ripplemakers
Skookum: good, best, ultimate, first-rate. The name of UFV's magazine is from the Chinook jargon, a trade dialect that brought different cultures together as it was used by groups of Indigenous peoples and multi-ethnic newcomers to British Columbia.
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Photo: Darren McDonald
A MESSAGE FROM UFV PRESIDENT JOANNE MacLEAN
HAPPY TO BE LEADING A THRIVING UNIVERSITY I am pleased to have the opportunity to speak to the audience of friends, alumni, and supporters of UFV through the channel of Skookum magazine, which does such a good job of capturing the spirit of excellence and community engagement at our university. I am brand new to the position, but the six years I’ve spent as UFV’s Dean of Health Sciences mean I am thoroughly immersed in the culture of our university. I knew from the first day I visited campus for my job interview for that first position in 2012 that UFV was a great match for me because of its commitment to our students and community. There was a perspective on education here that aligns with mine, one that recognizes the importance of teaching. People were focused on providing an excellent student experience and appreciated the important connections between applied research, the undergraduate focus, and the university’s role in the community. This is only the beginning of my term as president, but I am already thinking about how I will measure our success when I complete my appointment. Looking toward that future, I hope at the end of my term, I can say with confidence that UFV is a thriving university with a program mix that meets the needs of society, that we are well connected to our communities, that our faculty and staff and students are happy and engaged with their work, that we are on solid financial footing and fiscally responsible, and that we are well understood in BC and beyond. People should know who we are, what we do, and why we’re really good at it. Look through the pages of this magazine, and the stories celebrating student, faculty, alumni, community, and donor success, and you’ll agree with me that we are well on our way to achieving those goals. I can’t wait to find out what happens next! Sincerely,
Dr. Joanne MacLean was installed as UFV’s President in May, 2018
Joanne MacLean, PhD President & Vice-Chancellor, University of the Fraser Valley
UFV NEWS Photo: Darren McDonald
EW COAT OF ARMS FEATURES N FRASER VALLEY ELEMENTS, STÓ:LŌ SYMBOLS UFV unveiled its Coat of Arms in June, 2017. It features symbols of Stó:lō culture, local wildlife, and elements of the Fraser Valley landscape. It was officially granted by the Canadian Heraldic Authority under the authority of the Governor General of Canada. 1
HE WITNESS BLANKET BRINGS T 2 INDIGENOUS ISSUES TO FOREFRONT UFV’s commitment to Indigenization led to the Witness Blanket coming to the Abbotsford campus for a two-month exhibit in the fall. The large-scale art installation, inspired by a woven Aboriginal blanket and designed to tell the story of the painful legacy of Canada’s residential school system, was created by master carver and Kwagiulth artist Carey Newman (Ha-yalth-kingeme). He spoke at the closing ceremony of the exhibit. An accompanying lecture series included presentations by broadcaster Shelagh Rogers, an honorary witness for the Truth and Reconciliation Commission; Reconciliation Ambassador Robert Joseph, and reunited adoptee Cecelia Reekie.
CITYSTUDIO INVOLVES STUDENTS IN REAL-LIFE URBAN PROBLEM SOLVING UFV and the City of Abbotsford have partnered to launch CityStudio, an initiative tackling civic challenges by combining the creative energy of students with the knowhow of city staff. UFV students work directly with the city to solve an array of real-world problems including reducing litter in parks, beautifying utilities, and creating engaging public spaces. By launching experimental solutions, students gain valuable hands-on experience and marketable skills while the city gains a fresh perspective and unique solutions to challenges. SCIENTIFIC RESEARCH RECEIVES FEDERAL FUNDING Three UFV scientists received federal funding to continue their research. Dr. Lucy Lee, Dr. Derek Harnett, and Dr. Olav Lian received a combined total of $345,000 from the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council. Dr. Lin Long continued in the second year of an NSERC Collaborative Research and Development Grant. Her Automated Honey
Extraction System project, in cooperation with the Worker Bee Honey Company Ltd. of Chilliwack, received $95,143 over two years. And Dr. Noham Weinberg (Chemistry) continued to conduct research funded by an NSERC grant that runs through 2020. He received $100,000 over five years. HONOURING EXCELLENCE UFV will recognize four outstanding individuals with honorary degrees at its Convocation ceremonies on June 5 and 6. Kim Bolan, award-winning Vancouver Sun journalist; Dr. Malwinder Dhami, philanthropist and longtime UFV supporter; Elizabeth Phillips, advocate for the preservation of the Halq’eméylem language; and Sophie Schmidt, two-time Olympian and long-time member of the Canadian women’s national soccer team, will all grace the Convocation stage to be honoured. Other award winners at UFV this year are Cherie Enns for Teaching Excellence, Dr. Kathy Kiever for Research Excellence, Amber Johnston for Faculty Service Excellence, Karen Power for Staff Excellence, and the Sexualized Violence Prevention team for Teamwork Excellence.
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Photo: Darren McDonald
Photo: Darren McDonald
TWO NEW RESEARCH CHAIRS JOIN UFV
Two new research chair holders joined UFV in 2017. Dr. Cindy Jardine came to UFV as a Tier 1 Canada Research Chair in Health and Community. Dr. Jon Thomas was named BC Regional Innovation Chair in Canada-India Partnership Development. Jardine will be focusing on three main research projects as she begins her term at UFV, all funded by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research: • Work with Indigenous youth on a project focusing on risk communication through participatory media such as videos and photo books. • Work with five Indigenous communities in Alberta and the Northwest Territories on forum theatre projects on the topic of conditions that impede mental wellness. • Collaboration with members of the UFV Faculty of Health Sciences on a project examining ways of improving public health communications with immigrant populations, particularly on the topic of vaccine access and uptake. Thomas will focus on fostering innovation and economic development in the Fraser Valley through connections with partners in India.
“Success in this position would include research outcomes, getting UFV students involved in applied research projects while building partnerships with leading Indian institutions, and encouraging student exchanges,” he says. “India has a large entrepreneurial ecosystem and students visiting India will have an opportunity to observe the vibrant, rapid pace of change in one of the fastest growing economies in the world.” NEWMAN SERVES ON ALC/ALR REVIEW COMMITTEE Dr. Lenore Newman, UFV’s Canada Research Chair in food security and environment, has lengthy experience studying the Agricultural Land Commission and the Agricultural Land Reserve and the impact of their 43-year history in BC. Now she will weigh in on its future as a member of a government-appointed independent commission that will review and make recommendations about the ALC and the ALR. “I’m very honoured to be playing a role in this important work. We must ensure that our farmland is protected for the next generation and beyond,” says Newman.
QE STUDENT SCHOLARS FUNDING EXTENDED UFV students will gain valuable global experience through the most recent round of the Canadian Queen Elizabeth Scholars program. Approximately 30 UFV students will be funded for a three-month research internship in Kenya, Tanzania, or India. There will also be funding for eight scholars from the same countries to come to UFV. UFV involvement in the program is coordinated by Cherie Enns, an associate professor of geography, who has run similar internship programs, and the UFV South Asian Studies Institute. Several of the students from earlier internships have gone on to graduate schools and career success. UFV ONE OF BC’S TOP EMPLOYERS FOR FOURTH TIME For the fourth year running, the University of the Fraser Valley has been named one of BC’s Top Employers. UFV was selected because the university: • encourages lifelong learning with tuition subsidies for courses related to an employee’s current role, subsidies for professional accreditation and a variety
Photo: Darren McDonald
Photo: Darren McDonald
of in-house and online training programs • supports new mothers with maternity and parental leave top-up payments as well as providing new fathers, and adoptive parents, with generous parental leave top-ups • helps employees with retirement planning assistance, generous contributions to a defined benefit pension plan, and phased-in retirement work options. TWO AUTHORS WITH UFV CONNECTIONS BC BOOK PRIZE FINALISTS Two authors with UFV connections have been named a finalists for a BC Book Prize. English associate professor Andrea MacPherson’s novel What We Once Believed is in the running for the Ethel Wilson Fiction Prize, through the BC Book Prizes. MacPherson is a poet and novelist, and has written six books: three novels, What We Once Believed, Beyond the Blue, and When She Was Electric, and three poetry collections, Ellipses, Away, and Natural Disasters. When She Was Electric placed number 6 on CBC Canada Reads: People’s Choice, and Natural Disasters was longlisted for the ReLit Awards. Nicola Campbell most recently organized
the Indigenous Film Series at UFV. She also served as a docent for the Witness Blanket’s time at UFV, and taught a storytelling course for the Theatre department in 2017. She is nominated for her children’s book A Day with Yayah, which was illustrated by Julie Flett. Set in the Nicola Valley in BC, a First Nations family goes on an outing to gather edible plants and mushrooms. The grandmother, Yayah, passes down her knowledge of the natural world to her young grandchildren. 5
CICS BECOMES SASI
The UFV Centre for Indo-Canadian Studies rebranded as the South Asian Studies Institute at a special ceremony that also celebrated its 10th anniversary. SASI director Satwinder Bains took on a half-time role as principal of UFV India in September SUB EARNS LEED GOLD STATUS The University of the Fraser Valley’s Student Union Building (SUB) has officially been certified LEED Gold. The LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) designation recognizes that the SUB was designed
and built using strategies achieving high performance in key areas of human and environmental health. These areas include sustainable site development, water savings, energy efficiency, materials selection, location, transportation, and indoor environmental quality. UFV STUDENTS CONNECT HOSPITAL PATIENTS TO COMMUNITY RESOURCES 6
When you wind up in the hospital due to injury or disease, there’s more to your malady and chances for recovery than just genetics and lifestyle. There are also the social determinants of health, such as food security, housing, education, physical security, and social supports. A new service to be based at Abbotsford Regional Hospital will see UFV student volunteers helping to connect patients being discharged with community resources focused on those determinants. Students Mia Harries (Kinesiology) and Jena Kruckenberg worked in partnership with Fraser Health and the Abbotsford Division of Family Practice to plan the new community referral service at Abbotsford Regional Hospital.
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Meet the President GETTING TO KNOW DR. JOANNE MACLEAN BY ANNE RUSSELL
It can be a long path to the president’s office at a university. It takes a strong academic portfolio, a seasoned administrative resume, exemplary leadership skills, and an open approach and demeanor that connects easily with people.
Photo: Darren McDonald
Those tasked with the challenge of choosing UFV’s next president are confident they have checked all the key boxes on this list by selecting Dr. Joanne MacLean, who began her term as president on May 1, 2018, after serving as Dean of Health Sciences at UFV for six years. “Joanne is a wonderful choice for UFV at this point in our history,” says John Pankratz, Chair of the Board of Governors. “Her experience and credentials as an academic, researcher, coach, and administrator are impeccable and demonstrate her remarkable ability to build and maintain functional and highly effective teams. She understands UFV’s mission and the continued evolution of education in the Fraser Valley and globally. Her strong and lifelong commitment to education and to students will serve UFV and our communities incredibly well.” The role of university president wasn’t always a goal for MacLean, who has written two books and over 70 peer-reviewed publications and presentations, and whose research interests include human resources and performance management, sport governance, and the Canadian sport system. If 12-year-old MacLean had a goal at all when she looked toward her future while growing up in New Brunswick, it was to become a schoolteacher like her mother.
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The intervening decades, and a career that combined academics, athletics, and administration, led her to a place where she could consider applying for UFV’s top job. “Mom was a teacher, my dad was a chemist for Agriculture Canada, and I had a busy family life with three older brothers. We were always running around and playing sports or just being outdoors, and I was trying to keep up with them,” recalls MacLean. “By the time I was in high school I had narrowed my career choice down to being a physical education teacher. And then when I got to university I broadened my horizons when I realized that I might be able to teach at the university level. I was also very involved in sports, particularly basketball, and decided I wanted to coach at a university.” One thing MacLean did know from the age of 18 was that she loved the university environment. “From my very first year at the University of New Brunswick, I knew that university was the place to be for me, and that I wanted to build my career in the post-secondary sector. I loved the sense of community created by the students, faculty and staff, alumni, and the community at large. I had always wanted and expected to go to university, but didn’t really understand the community nature of a campus until I got there.” When it came time to focus on a career, she relied on the examples set by her parents. “My parents always supported me. I’d bring home my report card and my dad would say ‘that’s great’ no matter what the grade was. My mom would look at it and praise me, but also ask me: ‘what could you have done to get a higher grade?’ They compelled me to think about what I wanted to do, and encouraged me to do it well.” And they inspired her to dream big. “When I decided I wanted to be a university-level coach after getting my master’s degree there were only three jobs open in all of Canada. My folks told me: go for all of them and you’ll get one. I did get one of them, and
it propelled me into my career.” What was particularly appealing to MacLean about that first coaching job — with the women’s basketball team at the University of Windsor — was that it was a faculty position that also included some teaching and administrative work. This meant that she could coach while continuing to add
GET TO KNOW JO She and partner Maureen Murphy are from BIG families. Between the two of them, they have nine siblings and 25 nieces and nephews, and they love going back to Ontario and New Brunswick for family visits. They adore their two rescue dogs: Taz, a street dog adopted post-hurricane Katrina, and Ripley, from a shelter in Whistler. They are avid skiers, favouring Whistler and Baker for snow, and back home in New Brunswick at Maquapit Lake for water skiing. Their go-to ethnic meal out is Indian food, and they were delighted to find out that the family that runs their favourite Indian restaurant includes a UFV Bachelor of Kinesiology alumnus. Joanne’s favourite books to relax with are Armand Gamache mysteries by Louise Penny. Her most interesting travel experience was spending five weeks in Fukuoka, Japan, as assistant coach for the national student basketball team at the World University Games. When she’s not working, Joanne tries to stay active. “There’s hardly a sport I haven’t tried or watched. Being active is very challenging with the kind of job I have, but it’s very important to me.”
Bachelor of Physical Education from the University of New Brunswick (UNB) Master of Physical Education from UNB
Acting Director, Department of Athletics & Recreational Services, University of Windsor
Assistant Professor, Faculty of Human Kinetics, University of Windsor
Director, Fitness Assessment Centre, UNB
PhD from Ohio State University
Director of Intramural Sport, University of Windsor Assistant Director of Women’s Sport, University of Windsor Director, Department of Athletics & Recreational Services, University of Windsor
Coordinator of Women’s Interuniversity Athletics, University of Windsor Lecturer, Faculty of Human Kinetics, University of Windsor Technical Director of Basketball New Brunswick
experiences that would allow her to eventually move into an academic career. “They told me when I took the job that I would have to get my PhD, which was fine with me, and they also supported me in doing so over five spring/summer terms and one sabbatical year.” In her second year of working at Windsor, she was offered
the job of coordinator of women’s athletics, her first foray into administrative work. “A lot of people think about that type of work as paper pushing, but I quickly found it to be a welcome challenge of solving problems in order to enable students to accomplish goals. There was a real satisfaction for me in that.”
Photo: Darren McDonald
Joanne MacLean and partner Maureen Murphy with their dogs Taz and Ripley on the grounds of Friesen House, the President’s residence on the Abbotsford campus.
Chair, Department of Sport Management, Brock University
President & Vice Chancellor, UFV
Named a Research Fellow of the North American Society for Sport Management
Associate Professor with tenure, Department of Sport Management, Brock University Dean, Faculty of Health Sciences, UFV
Interim Dean, Faculty of Applied Health Sciences, Brock University
JOANNE MACLEAN’S ACADEMIC + CAREER JOURNEY 2000
Full Professor, Department of Sport Management, Brock University
She added to her administrative experience by serving on the board of Canada Basketball and as chef de mission for Canada at the World University Games. “The common denominator of all these experiences was the opportunity to lead. For me, that means collaboration.” After 11 years as head coach at Windsor, and six years as athletic director, MacLean found herself at a crossroads. Should she continue as a coach and athletic director or move further into the teaching side of academia? A position in the department of sport management at Brock University solved the problem for her. “It was a good match. I had lots of practical experience but I had also studied the theory of sports management for my doctorate, and I wanted to put it to use. I wanted to teach, supervise grad students, publish and seek research funding, and bring my applied perspective to all of this.” She spent 10 years at Brock, eventually becoming a full professor, department chair, and interim Dean of Applied Health Sciences. She wasn’t necessarily looking to move west when she was invited to apply for the Dean of Health Sciences position at UFV, but one exploratory visit for the job interview in 2012 had her intrigued. “I was on campus a matter of hours before deciding that this was the place for me,” she recalls. “The passion for this university and for supporting students’ learning that I felt from everyone I talked to was very inspiring. There was a perspective on education that aligned with mine, one that recognized the importance of teaching. There was energy and a real commitment to the place. It wasn’t trying to be something that it wasn’t. People were happy to focus on providing an excellent student experience and appreciated the connection between applied research, the undergraduate focus, and the university’s role in the community. They understood the important of access for non-traditional students. And there was the chance to lead a brand new Faculty of Health Sciences.” She took the job, moved west with her partner Maureen Murphy, and has had no regrets. “My enthusiasm has only been reinforced by being here,” she notes. “Of course a community as diverse as a university never agrees on everything — academics are naturally drawn to debate — and that’s a good thing. However, there is such a strong sense of collaboration and mission here, which is what I was initially drawn to. I love the flexibility and range of programming, from certificates to undergraduate degrees and in some cases master’s degrees. We have a real opportunity to work together to meet the needs of our community and we are doing it.” Once she’d completed her first term as dean in 2017, she felt comfortable applying for the president position.
JOANNE’S MESSAGE TO STUDENTS: YOU’VE CHOSEN THE PERFECT PLACE TO GET A HIGH-QUALITY EDUCATION, LIKELY CLOSE TO HOME, WHERE WE WILL SUPPORT YOU IN MANY WAYS. YOU’LL GET OPPORTUNITIES YOU MAY NOT HAVE AT A LARGER UNIVERSITY.
“Being a university president is an opportunity that comes around if you’re at the right place at the right time with the right preparation, and that’s what happened to me. I am very much looking forward to this experience over the coming years.” Members of the search committee that selected her share her excitement about her new role. “Joanne demonstrates a passionate and contagious enthusiasm for UFV and our continued mission to change lives and build community,” says Len Goerke, Presidential Search Committee Chair, and Vice-Chair of the UFV Board of Governors. “We knew we were looking
JOANNE’S MESSAGE TO ALUMNI: YOU ARE PART OF THE UFV FAMILY NOW AND WE WANT YOU TO STAY INVESTED. WE NEED YOU. YOU KNOW US. HELP TELL THE WORLD ABOUT US AND CONTRIBUTE TO YOUR UNIVERSITY.
for a dynamic combination of commitment, leadership capability, understanding of the UFV context, and a dedication to serving students. We have found all of these qualities in Joanne.” Joanne and Maureen will move into Friesen House on the Abbotsford campus. “I think it’s very important for the president to be visible on campus. We will use the residence as a place of celebration.” As for being the first non-interim woman president at UFV, she’s proud of the accomplishment.
JOANNE’S MESSAGE TO DONORS: THERE IS SO MUCH GOOD WORK AND EXCELLENCE TO BE FOUND AT UFV. BUT THERE ARE AREAS WHERE WE NEED HELP TAKING IT TO THE NEXT LEVEL. THERE ARE GREAT OPPORTUNITIES FOR DONORS TO HAVE AN IMPACT AND CONTRIBUTE TO UFV’S SUCCESS. I INVITE YOU TO BE A PART OF IT!
“I think it matters that UFV has chosen its first woman president because it removes the perception that leaders must look a certain way or come from a certain background. I think that having more women and other minorities in university leadership brings appropriate balance to the system. I hope to be a role model and potential mentor to a more diverse group of future leaders, both within the academy and beyond it. Perhaps my appointment will be an inspiration to others, a symbol of doors wide open.”
Photo: Louise Rousseau
A Presidential Year Jackie Hogan recently wrapped up 10 months serving as UFV’s interim president while the university completed the search for its sixth leader. It was an experience that gave her a detailed look at the breadth of duties involved in leading a university. Here are few highlights: Over her time, she helped to orient and introduce UFV and its educational priorities to the new provincial government, visiting several ministers in Victoria and hosting Melanie Mark, Minister of Advanced Education, Skills, and Training on our campuses. She welcomed and visited with speakers associated with UFV’s three-month exhibition of The Witness Blanket, a large-scale art installation inspired by a woven Aboriginal blanket and designed to tell the story of the painful legacy of Canada’s residential school system. The accompanying President’s Leadership Lecture series included presentations from Witness Blanket artist and creator Carey Newman, Reconciliation Canada ambassador Robert Joseph, Reconciliation Canada honorary witness Shelagh Rogers, and reunited Indigenous adoptee Cecelia Reekie. Hogan attended the annual UFV Chandigarh awards ceremony and engaged in a series of events and activities with the students, faculty, staff, alumni, and partners of UFV’s campus in India. She presided over a balanced, “good news” university budget, a task that was close to her heart as she came to the interim president post from her regular job as Chief Financial Officer and VP Administration.
But perhaps the biggest highlight of her academic year as president was a broad one: she got a “president’s eye” view of how multifaceted UFV is. From scholarship winner receptions to the Town and Gown fundraiser, from Cascade games to faculty and student research showcases, from guest lectures to retirement events and celebrations for long-term employees, Hogan got a real sense of a commitment to excellence from a multitude of people and partnerships that creates the unique atmosphere at UFV. “I attended many events and activities and met so many people from different departments and areas that it really broadened my perspective about UFV,” she notes. “It was a privilege to represent UFV and an honour to celebrate the many accomplishments and contributions of our students, faculty, staff, and alumni. It’s been a highlight to be involved in so many celebrations of achievement.” Hogan is an alumna of UFV who has worked at the university for 29 years, starting in the finance office and progressing to CFO and VP Administration, and interim president. She is a proud mother of two daughters, one a current UFV student, and will be returning to studies herself for the 2018/19 year as she takes an administrative leave.
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W ELCO M E TO
Chancellor Andy Sidhu Andy Sidhu is the University of the Fraser Valley’s third Chancellor. UFV formally installed and welcomed him into the role at a ceremony on April 19, 2018 at Evered Hall on the Abbotsford campus. A long-time proponent of community engagement and integration, Sidhu took over from Dr. Gwen Point, who served as UFV’s second Chancellor from 2015 to 2018, following two terms by Brian Minter. “I’m extremely honoured and proud to join the University of the Fraser Valley in this capacity,” Sidhu said. “UFV has a rich history of inclusivity and community leadership. I’m very excited to contribute as we move forward together.” An accountant by profession before emigrating from Malaysia in 1974, Sidhu worked first on a dairy farm, then as a bookkeeper with the Canada Farm Labour Pool, where he became an unofficial ambassador, bridging gaps in culture and language between local businesses and people emigrating from overseas. Sidhu is best known for founding B.C.’s first multilanguage newspaper, the Punjabi Patrika, in 1996. Sidhu received an honorary degree from UFV in 2017 in recognition of his community service. As Chancellor, Sidhu will act as ceremonial head of UFV while serving as a member of the Board of Governors and the Senate. He will also preside over convocation, conferring UFV degrees, diplomas, and certificates, while serving as an ambassador for UFV at events. The Chancellor is appointed by the UFV Board of Governors upon the recommendation of the Alumni
Photo: Darren McDonald
UFV has a rich history of inclusivity and community leadership. I’m very excited to contribute as we move forward together.”
Association and in consultation with the UFV Senate. UFV started the practice of appointing a Chancellor after receiving university status in 2008. “By recommending him as UFV’s next Chancellor, the Alumni Association sought to recognize Andy Sidhu as a hard-working and community driven business leader who will serve as an excellent role model for our students,” said UFV Alumni Association Chair Nav Bains. “Andy is a good friend and strong supporter of UFV and has been for many years. A long-time member of the South Asians Studies Institute board, Andy has deep connections and roots in the Fraser Valley and has the ability to advocate for UFV with the diverse community throughout the Valley. We’re very happy to have him joining us in this role.” UFV Board Chair John Pankratz couldn’t agree more. “In Andy Sidhu, the UFV Board of Governors welcomes an experienced community leader with deep international experience,” he said. In addition to making financial donations to local health care and recreational initiatives, Sidhu has volunteered with more than a dozen groups, including the UFV South Asian Studies Institute, the Abbotsford Foundation, the IndoCanadian Business Association, Abbotsford Community Services, and Abbotsford Hospice.
Photo: Darren McDonald
HIS TORY RE VISITED PUNJABI CANADIAN LEGACY PROJECT SEARCHES FOR UNTOLD STORIES THAT REVEAL A MORE INCLUSIVE HISTORICAL NARRATIVE By Darren McDonald
Ishpreet unfurls five metres of electric blue cotton across a Best Western comforter. The turban winds out like the stories he hears in living rooms across B.C. Another early morning, another chance to change history. Fueled by a grant secured by the South Asian Studies Institute in collaboration with the Royal B.C. Museum (RBCM), Ishpreet Anand’s role as regional coordinator for the Punjabi Canadian Legacy Project (PCLP) saw him interview more than 100 people with tales of emigrating from India’s northern region over the past century or so.
Photo: Darren McDonald
Each interview was filmed and then meticulously transcribed by Ishpreet and other research assistants with the goal of building a foundation that will transform textbooks across the country. “The stories are Canadian stories,” he says. “It’s the rich history of people from Punjab.” A 2016 UFV BBA graduate from Chandigarh, India, whose previous employment includes a stint at Abbotsford’s Dashmesh Punjabi School,
Ishpreet is exploring the back chapters of his own diaspora (dispersion of a people from an original homeland).
At the Royal B.C. Museum, curator Tzu-I Chung notes an inadvertent theme as she hustles past the blanched replica of Captain George Vancouver’s H.M.S. Discovery. “The institution in the past really
focused on the impact European settlers had on the area, but there’s a greater and more accurate story to be told,” she says, moving quickly for a photo in the museum’s logging exhibit that showcases an early BC industry that hired strong men from India willing to work for a better life. Having supported UFV to secure the PLCP grant, she works hand-inhand with UFV’s South Asian Studies Institute director Satwinder Bains.
Tzu-I points out that the impact of other immigrant and Indigenous peoples are featured with increased prominence in recent times at the museum. Most recently, the museum published Kwäday Dän Ts’ìnchi: Teachings from Long Ago Person Found. It also hosts symposiums, including Performance as Medicine: Indigenous Performance Art. And visitors can explore Indigenous artifacts while hearing different languages in the
First People’s Voices exhibit. A few floors above, tucked into stacks of slim, clinically beige drawers, are countless items from the humble homes of early Chinese immigrants: delicate paper lanterns; long, dark wooden pipes; padded baskets indented and insulated to keep teapots warm throughout the work day. The items aren’t on display as the museum evolves its focus away from simple artifacts and towards historical
Photo: Darren McDonald
After a quick lunch next door in the belly of British Columbia’s Parliament Buildings, Satwinder and Ishpreet head back the the Royal BC Museum with Leah Best, RBCM’s Head of Knowledge.
items with particular significance. Tzu-I hopes to bolster a limited Punjabi-Canadian collection through the legacy project partnership. “Because of our relationship with Satwinder and UFV we’re hoping to find what we need to help preserve and portray a wider scope of what carved British Columbia into the cultural shape it’s in today.” To accomplish that, Ishpreet spent weeks in places like Prince George,
Photo: Darren McDonald
Golden, Kelowna, Vancouver, Surrey, Victoria and Duncan, interviewing people from the Punjab. While visiting cities, he’d conduct workshops explaining the project on the first Monday of his stay, usually inside a Gurdwara, the traditional place of worship for Sikhs where people from all denominations are welcome to join for prayer or a meal. “It’s a place people already come and feel connected,” explains Ishpreet. It was there, on the first day in those cavernous halls, that Ishpreet would begin prospecting. “I wanted to know when they came to Canada, what their journey was like, what struggles they faced, how they adapted
to Canadian life, and what has changed, especially since the 1950s and earlier.” Unearthing those early experiences isn’t all positive. Crime, deception, even reconciliation with Canada’s Indigenous peoples are being addressed. As Satwinder says, “We’re also settlers, and complicit in Canada’s negative migrant history.” Still, there is a lot to be proud of, as Punjabi-Canadians played a key role in early logging and sawmill operations and other economic and cultural activities in the young province of British Columbia. On one jam-packed trip to Victoria, Ishpreet and Satwinder spent two hours in the living room of long-time residents Raj and Buncy Pagely.
DID YOU KNOW? UFV offers certificates in Indo-Canadian Studies and Diaspora Studies? ufv.ca/programs/india-canada-studies ufv.ca/programs/diaspora-studies
Unlike many families, the Pagelys meticulously documented their family’s arrival from India. Their collection is somewhat of a goldmine for the legacy project, and might find its way into a local or regional museum or archives. “We’re thankful to share our pioneer history of our families, but I think this should’ve been done a long time ago in British Columbia and I hope this project will be carried on,” says Buncy, bracelets chiming as her finger punctuates the thought. “We need to share our stories while people like us are still alive.” Raj, her partner of nearly 60 years, agrees.
“People forget that even getting to Canada was a struggle,” he says. “Quite often the last you would ever see of your relatives were their backs as they boarded that plane.” Early settlers faced incredibly arduous journeys. Ishpreet recounts meeting a man in Prince George who took four months to get to Canada, travelling through Iraq, then Germany. His route was unusual — most sailed from southern India with stops in Hong Kong, where a Gurdwara housed and fed countless emigrants over the decades. While the grant driving this project ended in February 2018, the partners hope the information gathered will
create a more accurate historical record in schools, museums, and websites across B.C., when more funding becomes available in the future. “We want there to be an ongoing process of recovering and recording our history,” says Satwinder. “It’s time for a more inclusive approach to British Columbia history and for it to be included in our school curriculum. It’s time this story was told. And the fact that UFV’s South Asian Studies Institute is playing such a key role in telling it is testament to the impact that we have in the Fraser Valley and beyond.”
To learn more, visit southasiancanadianheritage.ca
Photo: Darren McDonald
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VINTAGE ROSE A RETIRED PROFESSOR FINDS PERSONAL GROWTH IN LIFELONG LEARNING BY ANNE RUSSELL
When the UFV Bachelor of Arts grads of 2017 crossed the convocation stage in June, Rose Morrison, who had earned her degree, wasn’t among them.
20 SPRING 2018
“I left it to the younger ones to have their moment of glory,” says Rose, who was 72 at the time. The septuagenarian had achieved both her Bachelor of Arts and the right to be there, having just completed her final semester in the latest chapter of her winding academic journey.
Photo: Darren McDonald
Rose Morrison at the Local Harvest Market, one of the places she visited as part of her research into sustainable agriculture.
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Photo: Darren McDonald
Rose Morrison enjoys a cup of coffee at Chilliwack’s Curly Kale Eatery, one of the places she visited on her research journey.
Rose’s love of writing and literature brought her back to UFV as an English major after a long career as an instructor in the UFV Agriculture program. When it came time to work on her capstone project for English professor Trevor Carolan, she brought her interest in all things agricultural, and wrote a lengthy creative non-fiction project about food sovereignty in the Fraser Valley. There have been a lot of chapters in Rose’s life. Early school leaver in England. Brave immigrant adventurer with her first husband and two oldest children, moving
to Winnipeg on a whim in search of a better life. Accidental farmer. Mature student, starting university in her mid-30s. Single parent to four children. Soil expert. Agriculture instructor and department head. PhD candidate. Grandmother. Retiree. Caregiver to her second husband during his lengthy illness. Widow. And then, mature student again, starting over at the age of 68. “My parents passed away quite early and I had to leave school at 16,” Rose recalls. She got a job as a proofreader and editor for a pharmaceutical company and met one of her first mentors. “My boss used to say ‘Rosie, count every day as lost that you don’t learn something new.’ I took that advice to heart.” She hadn’t imagined herself as a farmer, much less an instructor in an agricultural program. When she and her first husband decided they’d like to buy a small farm outside of Winnipeg, the idea was that he would go school so that one of them knew about agriculture. “I couldn’t find a job that would support the family, so it ended up being me who enrolled in the agricultural courses. Once I started going, I caught the learning bug, and ended up earning my diploma, my bachelor’s degree, and eventually my master’s degree.” She had heard that there was demand for expertise in soil sciences, so decided to focus on that aspect of the field. Years later, she no longer had the farm or the husband, but she did have the credentials to teach at the college level, so she came to British Columbia in 1985 and took a job at the then-tiny Fraser Valley College. For the next 25 years she taught soil sciences, sustainable agriculture, and agriculture policy, serving as director of the department at various times. She helped the program grow from offering one-year certificates to having several diploma options. “We always dreamed of a bachelor’s degree in agriculture, but it didn’t happen during my time. I am glad to see that it is happening now.”
Life’s seasons change and I miss the days when my husband, who loved family dinners, was here, and family was geographically nearer. There were many big get togethers then with plenty of good food; it was often a pot-luck dinner with lively ‘pot-luck’ conversations circulating along with home-made dishes. It still makes me happy though, to share food with family or friends; and I am blessed to have enough that I can always set an extra bowl for the unexpected guest. — ROSE MORRISON
WINTER CABBAGE Little green wonder filigreed edge in the palm of my hand cut from cold soil for my winter delight — ROSE MORRISON
She wasn’t done with being a student either. “In the early 1990s I was a PhD candidate in agricultural geography at Simon Fraser. Like many students, I learned that I could not do well at work, in my family, and with my studies all at once; I dropped out after completing my comprehensive exams.” Teaching for several decades meant she watched with pride as her former students achieved success in many areas of the agriculture industry. “I see my former students working everywhere: on farms, in various agri-businesses, even in banks as agriculture specialists. My greatest satisfaction is to see alumni, whether recent grads or established ones, being so successful. It’s wonderful to see.” After Rose retired in 2010, her focus was on the home front, as her second husband was not well. When he passed away a few years later, her dance card was blank and her evenings bleak. “After John died I had time on my hands. I’m not used to that! As a young woman, I had always wanted to study English but life did not take me that way. I decided that now was as good a time as any to start,” she says. “I wanted to learn to write better through studying literature, which I had not done in my previous academic life.” To make matters worse, an adult daughter living across the country was seriously ill, causing additional stress for Rose. “Grief was a big part of the reason why I went back to school. My evenings were lonely and I found that I was not my own best company. Life has taught me that in troubled times it’s good to have something to focus on. So I guess in a way studying was my therapy in a difficult situation.” She found herself sitting in UFV English classes beside 18-year-olds who were still into Harry Potter and Minecraft, students the same age as her oldest grandchildren. “I had great classroom experiences. The young students
were nice people and welcomed me. Many of them were very smart and diligent and keen to be there. I enjoyed every course, every reading, and every assignment.” When it came time to do her major project in her final year, she decided to focus on creative non-fiction with Trevor Carolan, and together they decided she should choose a topic in agriculture, her area of expertise. So she went on a journey, one inspired by poet and philosopher Wendell Berry, who is also a farmer and ecologist. Her journey also reflected the idea of haibun poetry — a tradition popularized in the 17th century by a Japanese wandering bard named Matsuo Basho. Rose wandered, visited, observed, conversed, interviewed, photographed, and reflected upon the state of food production and security in the contemporary Fraser Valley. Along the way she found several UFV agriculture alumni and others who welcomed her with hugs and warm stories. “It was a joyous journey for the most part. I met enthusiastic and interesting people with good ideas. Some I just stumbled across. Others I sought out.” One alumnus she visited, Andrew Etsell, had a vision of growing grapes in the Fraser Valley when he was a student in the UFV program. He completed his practicum at Mission Hills winery in the Okanagan, and converted part of his parents’ farm into the Singletree winery. “What a joy, to see him established with his own winery based on the dream of growing grapes that he had when he was our student.” Another alumnus, vegetable farmer Bill Shoker, brought his tractor in to show the current agriculture students and Rose was there because, yes, she’s teaching part time again. Demand for agriculture courses is growing, so she has returned on a sessional basis. And she was pleased to hear that Bill is now farming 1,100 acres in the Fraser Valley.
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BEFORE THANKSGIVING Small purple plums are best they’ll keep their shape in a rosemary shortbread tart. My daughter cannot make it home. Don’t fret, she says. I’ll be all right come to see me afterward. She’s sent blueberry jam made from the low-bush berries that follow lupins up her hill. I have yams and apples and kale, plenty of cloves for the ham, and for the turkey, herbs and cranberries bright as my daughter’s blood when the surgeon cuts her open — ROSE MORRISON
Photo: Darren McDonald
During her haibun journey Rose spoke to many people, including market gardeners at the Local Harvest operation and the owners of the Curly Kale restaurant, people devoted to sharing local food with a local population. One of these people was Marina Gibson, a volunteer with a community garden in Abbotsford, who teaches people in recovery how to grow their own food. She shared her philosophy when Rose dropped in for a visit. “If you can make a garden come alive, people come alive; even helping a bit for someone to understand how strawberries form is wonderful.” Rose sought out the Indigenous perspective on local food from Shirley Hardman, UFV’s Senior Advisor on Indigenous Affairs and she analyzed her own family’s eating habits and how they used local fresh ingredients, particularly at holiday gatherings. The resulting report is part serious presentation of facts and analysis about the state of food sovereignty, part profile of 21st century Fraser Valley food folks, and part reflective journal and memoir. Interspersed throughout the 50-page document are several poems by Rose and other poets. Her professor was extremely impressed by Rose’s final project. “This was an amazing year-long project looking at many diverse aspects of food production, distribution, and new patterns of consumption in the region. At the Honours Colloquium in English, Rose blew everyone away with the originality, creativity, and timelines of her research. As part of the work, she wrote some short haiku-style poems while she roamed around the valley doing the more than 30 interviews/visits that she was required to do in order to compile her research.” Rose was heartened by Trevor’s support. “My writing interests are mainly poetry and creative nonfiction, so I was pleased to have Dr. Carolan as my mentor for the honours essay course. I drew on his non-fiction writing expertise and benefited from his good ideas. ‘Make it your own,’ he encouraged; ‘write something that you enjoy and that is important to you.’” Rose highly recommends studying at UFV for lifelong learners. “I received a very warm welcome as an older student. You just have to be brave, start slowly, and dip a toe in. All you need is a little bit of success to build your confidence and then, wow, you’re on your way. UFV does this very well, building student confidence. I saw it as an instructor, and then again as a student.”
“HURRY UP CHEETAH! GO! GO! GO!!” There’s high-energy action in a resource room at Chilliwack’s Central Elementary school. At first glance, it just looks like five children boisterously playing video games. But it’s more than that. It’s physical activity, because the children have to pedal exercise bikes vigorously in order to make their avatars work in the video game. It’s research, because professors and students from two universities are observing and collecting data. And it’s experiential education, because students from the University of the Fraser Valley are serving as “buddies” for the children, and two upper-level students are organizing and coordinating the program. It’s Exergames. And it is “awesome on so many levels” according to professor Alison Pritchard Orr,
who heads the research project along with fellow professor Kathy Keiver, both faculty members in Kinesiology at UFV. The enthusiastic shouts come from an 11-year-old who, like all the kids in the program, has a cognitive disability. Some of the children have a Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD). The symptoms can manifest in many ways, including delayed physical growth and poor impulse control. Sometimes this boy is the happiest guy in the room, letting everyone know he LOVES Exergames. Sometimes he’s swearing a blue streak because he’s frustrated at how things are going. He looks younger than his 11 years. His big buddy, UFV student Colin Maxwell, calms him down and refocuses him on the activity, offering encouraging words. SPRING 2018 25
Photo: Darren McDonald
Hovering in the background and observing are Dani Summers and Molly Rose (pictured right), the two senior UFV students who are coordinators of the Exergames program. They’ve been working since September on planning for the practical needs of this research project, and are responsible for its day-to-day operations. For Summers and Rose, this is a part-time job, funded by a grant received from the Kids Brain Health Network, a national network of researchers and health professionals helping children with neurodevelopmental disabilities. But it’s also a bridge from classroom studies to the world of applied research and career-related work, one that helps build a skill set that will benefit them professionally when they graduate. “It’s an amazing experience to be so involved working with children with exceptionalities,” says Summers, “I have learned a lot about project coordination too.” Rose agrees. “As one of the coordinators, it has been a great educational opportunity to be a part of the process from the beginning, taking it through UFV’s research ethics review, recruiting student volunteers, training them, and learning about how the video-game bikes work,” she added. Rose and two other upper-level Kinesiology students are also conducting their own research projects connected to the Exergames program as part of a directed studies course. She has used data collected in this study to investigate the relationship between balance and visuospatial processing in children with
FASD. Mia Harries carried out a comparative study on working memory and sleep quality in children with FASD. And Erin Hryhoriw researched motor skill deficits in children with FASD and the ways in which assessments are performed and analyzed. Other Kinesiology students are getting their first experience volunteering one-on-one with children with disabilities by serving as the buddies who sit with the Central students and guide them through the Exergames. UFV’s Kinesiology department has been involved in research on the impact of exercise on the brains of children with cognitive disabilities for over a decade. Previous incarnations of this applied research, called FAST club, had schoolchildren taking part in fun, exercise-based games in a gym setting. UFV researchers would measure whether physical activity resulted in significant cognitive improvement. CONTINUED ON PAGE 45
Photo: Darren McDonald
The more positive interventions we can arrange for students with extra challenges the better. CENTRAL COMMUNITY SCHOOL PRINCIPAL LESLIE WADDINGTON
BENEFITS FOR CENTRAL COMMUNITY SCHOOL AND THE STUDY PARTICIPANTS The children in the study benefit from oneon-one interaction with their UFV student buddies, and enhanced opportunities for physical activity and social involvement with their co-participants. The school welcomes the chance to work with UFV on the program. A project like this brings together so much of what our students are learning in class: it includes physical activity, psychology, research methods, fitness testing, and more.
BENEFITS FOR UFV STUDENTS UFV PROFESSOR K ATHY KEIVER
The students acting as buddies during the Exergames sessions gain valuable experience working one-on-one with children with cognitive disabilities. It also helps them apply what they’ve been learning in class to a real-life setting. The senior coordinator students also gain valuable organizational, data collecting, and research skills. This valuable volunteer experience makes them strong candidates for graduate studies, teacher training, or professional school.
BENEFITS FOR RESEARCHERS For professors Pritchard Orr and Keiver, it’s an opportunity to network with other partners as part of a large national study, enhancing UFV’s reputation in the area of applied community focused research. Doing applied research also enhances their teaching. They’re also contributing to the body of knowledge about children with cognitive disabilities such as FASD.
We are the principal investigators for the FASD portion of this study, and one of the things we bring to the table is community access based on years of building trusting relationships with our partner school.
I speak to this research all the time in my adaptive physical activity class, and working with our students in this setting allows us to get to know them better and enhances our ability to relate to them on a more personal level. UFV PROFESSOR ALISON PRITCHARD ORR
Photo: Darren McDonald
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SPEAKING OF POLITICS Hamish Telford elects to share expertise as extension of education | By Darren McDonald
The guy just seems born for the part. From his balanced approach delivered in even timbre and a tan tweed jacket, to sharing a name with the former premier’s son, there’s no denying Hamish Telford has woven himself into the fabric of B.C. politics … even if that fabric sometimes feels like a ship’s tattered sail seized in the eye of a west-coast squall.
Media outlets from around the world trust him to separate wheat from chaff in the wild west of Canadian democracy — and it all came to a head in May 2017, as a 16-year BC Liberal reign crumbled in one historic night. “There’s a dearth of expertise out there and so I’m always answering questions about Canadian politics,” offers Hamish, a 17-year University of the Fraser Valley political science professor. “I would say I’m an engaged citizen more than a political expert.” Major media outlets seem to respectfully disagree. Shane Woodford hosts the popular B.C. political radio program Inside Politics, on which Hamish is a cornerstone. Now news director of NL Radio in Kamloops, Woodford
previously kept Hamish’s phone buzzing while working at Vancouver’s CKNW 980. “He has an incredible way of breaking down complex issues while delivering contextual and historical information in a way people can understand,” says Woodford. “There’s huge value in that for our listeners — almost every time he’s on I get calls or emails from people who appreciate hearing his insight, which is almost unheard of. He’s a guy we really like to call on.” And Hamish’s phone never rang more than on and around the election night of May 9, 2017. “I think most people expected the Liberals to win again,” he recalls. “Observers felt Christy Clark would be back in her element and would lead the party to re-election — everything seemed to be working in her favour, but she’s not at her best unless she’s 20 points behind. “The Liberals ran an uninspired, lackluster campaign while John Horgan and the NDP fought for their lives, because if they lost it didn’t seem possible to sustain the party after so much time out of power. “They’d have to fold their tent and go home.” When the dust settled, the Liberals received 40.3% of the vote; the NDP had 40.28%, and the Green Party pulled in 16.84%. “The narrowness in margin was basically a tie,” Hamish says. “That makes it intriguing for foreign observers.”
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After a lot of hand-wringing and a little public theatre, the Greens supported the NDP, marking the first time since 1952 that B.C. was ruled by a minority government. The phone that used to ring a lot suddenly rang even more. He answered more than 100 interview requests between January and early July, 2017, with about 30 in June alone, sometimes six a day. Some of those were actually two interviews, as broadcast producers often pre-interview for 15 minutes to research ahead of a five-minute live on-air interview. And there was no shortage. Radio stations like News1130, television outlets like GlobalTV and CBC, and newspapers from the Abbotsford News to the Globe & Mail all came calling. A personal highlight was being interviewed by the New York Times — twice. “That made me feel I’d hit the big time,” he says with a smile. So why does he volunteer so much time and energy? “It’s an extension of my role as a public educator,” says Hamish. “I feel we have an obligation to answer the public when they ask it — and I enjoy being a part of the public discussion. Plus, it draws attention to UFV and the work people are doing here. That’s a benefit and a bonus; especially if we reach out beyond the Fraser Valley community. “It’s a sneaky way to get exposure.” To enable this, Hamish has his office phone programmed to forward directly to his cell. “Reporters use quotes from the first person they reach, so that’s in my favour.” And his expertise isn’t contained to just provincial politics. During the 2015 federal election Justin Trudeau’s celebrity status kept Hamish busy in Canada and beyond, garnering interviews with media from as far as Istanbul and Berlin. He has a high-definition web camera for Skype interviews in his home office — with strategically placed political science books lining the wall behind him — and he’s often found on both the hard news and op-ed pages of the Vancouver Sun or Province with topics ranging from professional opinions about Green Party Leader Andrew Weaver leveraging proportional representation, to personal ones, like the questionable implementation of Google’s education app into his son’s Abbotsford middle school. And it’s all juggled with his duties as an associate professor of political science.
Whether with his lively new seminar-style Political Science 410, Canadian Intergovernmental Relations, which he’s just taught twice, or his “bread and butter” Political Science 110, Introduction to Canadian Politics, which he’s taught 55 times, Hamish keeps students as his top priority. “It’s unbelievably rewarding when you have engaged students who immerse themselves,” he says. “They teach me as much as I teach them.” Since UFV’s major in Political Science was approved in June 2010, he says 40 per cent of grads from that option are working or learning in the fields of law or public policy. Some of his students have gone on to hold public office. Like the students he teaches and politicians he follows, Hamish’s career has gone through its own incarnations. His early academic years focused on third-world development, especially in India. His dissertation juxtaposed separation issues in Punjab and Quebec against solidarity in Switzerland. A former UFV Political Science department head, he holds a PhD from UBC, MA from McGill and BA from the University of Toronto, and worked for the Queen’s University Institute of Intergovernmental Relations from 1999 until arriving at UFV in 2001. But even with all this expertise, Hamish doesn’t hesitate when asked if he’s interested in throwing his hat in the ring as a political candidate.
“There’s a dearth of expertise out there and so I’m always answering questions about Canadian politics.”
“No, fortunately I’m not.” From ‘Wacky’ WAC Bennett, to ‘Fat L’il Dave’ Barrett (as he referred to himself ) and wily Bill Vander Zalm, and from factious pipelines to contentious dams, politics in B.C. is known for never being dull. Just ask Hamish.
Photo: Darren McDonald
SPRING 2018 31
ALUMNI NOTES MESSAGE FROM UFV ALUMNI ASSOCIATION CHAIR NAV BAINS
SHAPING THE FUTURE FOR UFV ALUMNI Collaboration and a commitment to diversity are key to the success of the UFV Alumni Association. 2018 saw the UFV Alumni Association cast a new vision moving forward. Building on the foundation of our previous strategic plans, the new plan allows the organization to assist future generations of alumni to achieve success and growth. This plan serves as a road map helping UFV students and alumni focus even more intently on core activities that aim to empower alumni present & future. By collaborating with UFV and our
diverse surrounding communities, we are working toward fostering strong and continuing connections between UFV alumni, students, and the university in general. We are in the midst of an extremely exciting time at UFV and we encourage you to reach out to the Association and take a vested interest in the continued growth and success of the UFV Alumni Association and UFV. 2018 promises to be a transformative year in the life of this Association. We look forward to working with new UFV President Joanne MacLean, and with all of our alumni.
2014–17 STRATEGIC PLAN
OUR KEY ACHIEVEMENTS As the UFV Alumni Association embarks on its 2018–2021 Strategic Plan, we thought we’d share some key achievements from the 2014–17 Strategic Plan:
Alumni Expert Speaker Panel Series
GOAL: To establish an event that facilitates a relationship among alumni, faculty, and students.
GOAL: to grow merchandise sales and royalties from affinity programs by 50%.
RESULT: The UFV Alumni Association hosted an Alumni Expert Speaker Panel Series, consisting of seven events featuring alumni expert panelists, facilitated by faculty, and attended by students and the public. Topics included: Breaking into the Financial Industry, How to Live a Passionate Life, Women in Policing, Climate Change and Eco-Advocacy in the Fraser Valley, and others.
RESULT: Success! We grew affinity program revenues by 50%.
Supporting Students From 2014–2017, the UFV Alumni Association donated more than $43,400 to student scholarships and bursaries at UFV.
2014–17 BY THE NUMBERS
On behalf of the UFV Alumni Association Board of Directors, it is an honour and a privilege to be serving a robust association at one of the finest undergraduate universities in Canada.
events hosted, sponsored, or participated in
176% increase in “likes’ on our Facebook posts
60% increase in our Twitter followers
alumni eNewsletters sent out
increase in alumni who have donated to UFV
honorary lifetime memberships to the UFV Alumni Association awarded Distinguished and Young Distinguished Alumni Awards conferred
ALUMNI OPEN GOLF TOURNAMENT Join us for our fourth annual UFV Alumni Open golf tournament on Fri, Sept 14. This is a signature event for UFV supporters, bringing together community leaders, businesses, UFV alumni, students, and friends. If you’re not a golfer, you’re welcome to join us for the après golf reception dinner. All funds raised go to support student scholarships and bursaries at UFV.
ORDER YOUR 2018 COMMEMORATIVE WINE TODAY AT ALUMNI.UFV.CA
FRASER VALLEY PEAKS INSPIRE 2018 WINE LABELS Our mountain views define the Fraser Valley. Mt. Baker looms on the horizon over much of Abbotsford and parts of Mission. On a clear day, the view is majestic. The mountain may be in America, but the view is Canadian. People in Chilliwack and Agassiz look to Mt. Cheam to the east, towering over farms and subdivisions. These iconic mountains are represented on the labels of the 2018 University of the Fraser Valley Alumni Commemorative Wine bottles. Colton Floris, a 2015 graduate of the UFV Graphic + Digital Design program, was inspired to portray the mountains because of their visual impact on the Valley.
REGISTRATION INCLUDES: • Gift for each golfer • Snacks & refreshments • On-course activities & contests • Après golf dinner • Team, contest, and door prizes
His version of them is a stylized, graphic representation. “A benefit of having gone through the Graphic + Digital Design program is that we learn a more stylized, uncluttered way of presenting an image. I gave them a simplified, clean look, using a limited colour palette.” He was inspired to draw mountains for the label using Photoshop after working on a few other projects with a natural setting. “My biggest inspiration is how the changing seasons or hour of the day affect how we perceive the landscape and our visual perceptions of them.” Colton lives in the rural neighbourhood of Arnold, nestled between Chilliwack and Abbotsford, and enjoys a variety of mountain views in his daily routine. He recently designed new animal signs for the Chilliwack Park Society, for placement in the Community Forest. And he illustrated the 2017 version of UFV’s viewbook, with a Smart Questions About Your Future theme. He works as a graphic designer for the Canadian Conference of Mennonite Brethren Churches, and also has several freelance clients. See his work at coltonfloris.com
REGISTRATION FEES: Early Bird Golf Registration until July 1, 2018 — Single $150 — Foursome $600 Dinner Only — $50 Registration is now open: alumni.ufv.ca/events BECOME A SPONSOR Explore our sponsorship opportunities for the golf tournament and other events by contacting us at 604-557-4086 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
WHERE ARE YOU? Reconnect with the UFV Alumni Association New neighbourhood? New city? New email? Update your info & let us know what you’re up to these days! Reconnect at alumni.ufv.ca/hello and be entered to win $500. Say hi on social with #HelloUFV.
2017 WINNER YOUNG DISTINGUISHED ALUMNI
ALEXIS WARMERDAM: AGRITOURISM BOOSTER
Like the windmills she once worked to improve, Alexis Warmerdam possesses potentially endless energy. And she needs every ounce.
with volunteers from various non-profit groups. In exchange, they received money for their organization. “It just seemed win-win-win,” Alexis says. Alexis’ career choice wasn’t immediately obvious, despite her family’s rich background in floriculture. Instead of studying agriculture, Alexis’ path began with UFV’s engineering transfer program. She transferred to SFU, where her co-op experience involved developing software for new windmills before graduating in 2013. Still, the farm was calling. An opportunity arose and she returned to her roots, starting her businesses and hiring Ashleigh — a graduate of UFV’s hospitality event planning program. “I enjoy a challenge and thought it was a great opportunity; it would be silly to pass up. I also enjoy sharing agriculture with the general public who are typically not exposed to farms,” Alexis explains. While her current career isn’t directly linked to her education, Alexis says her training at UFV still has enormous value. “I really enjoyed my UFV experience and always recommend UFV to other people, especially because of the smaller classrooms and one-on-one connection with instructors,” she says. “I know UFV definitely helped prepare me for what I’m doing now. It’s a great learning space for all disciplines.”
Photo: Post Photography – Tanya Goehring
UFV’s 2017 Young Distinguished Alumni Award winner is a driving force behind Abbotsford’s blossoming agriculture tourism industry. She created two events, both wildly popular straight out of the gate: Bloom the Abbotsford Tulip Festival, and Abby Roadside, a Harvest Social. If that wasn’t enough, she was recently voted chair of the B.C. Young Farmers Association, won the 2016 Young Entrepreneur of the Year from Abbotsford Chamber of Commerce, and became the B.C/Alberta/Yukon representative for the Canadian Young Farmers Forum. All while continuing to work on her family farm near No. 3 Road. Alexis quickly became a victim of her own success. “When Bloom opened we had three times more people than I expected in my wildest dreams,” she says. For Roadside, Alexis, 28, turned cornfields into mazes — with a twist. With other Fraser Valley corn mazes catering to families, she created three mazes, two for families and one specifically designed for the 19-plus crowd, featuring wine and beer tastings, a beer garden, and other festive fall fun. On leased land along Abbotsford’s North Parallel Road just east of Whatcom Road, Alexis kept the community in mind while resolving the labour challenge of running short-term seasonal businesses. She cleverly solved the issue by filling staff positions
2017 WINNER DISTINGUISHED ALUMNI
EMILY HENRY: COMPASSIONATE COUNSELLOR
Many people note the over-representation of Indigenous people in the federal corrections system. UFV alumna Emily Henry has built a career on designing programs to help them.
For her leadership role in introducing treatment programs influenced by Indigenous cultural beliefs and practices, UFV recognized Emily as its Distinguished Alumni award winner for 2017. “My career reflects and is an extension of my life purpose,” says Henry, who earned a Substance Abuse Counselling certificate at UFV in 2005. Henry took the certificate program at UFV to improve her counselling skills and knowledge in this field. Her post-secondary journey has also included courses at Simon Fraser University and the University of Saskatchewan, and many professional development activities. “I was thoroughly excited by what I learned in the UFV program,” she notes. “I saw value in every course and topic we explored, which led to me excelling and being named to the Dean’s List.” Henry works for the federal justice system, where she has created two different streams of intervention programs: the Aboriginal Integrated Correctional Program Model (AICPM) stream; and the AICPM Sex Offender stream. The 10 different programs that she authored within these streams are culturally based and are blended with cognitive behavioral therapy. They are designed to address both the factors likely to cause criminal behaviour, and the common but unique Indigenous intergenerational social history
factors that Indigenous offenders share. The program streams help offenders address the intergenerational impacts unique to them caused by factors such as attendance at residential school, involvement in foster care/adoption, and cultural and community fragmentation as a result of the legacy of colonization. These program streams are offered to every federally incarcerated male Indigenous offender across Canada. Henry has also written training manuals for staff and Elders. “One of the profound privileges of my job is that I get to work with Indigenous Elders all across Canada, which gives me exposure to the diversity of Canadian Indigenous cultural traditions,” notes Henry, who is from the Ochapowace Cree First Nation in Saskatchewan. “I am guided by the traditional ancestral teachings and ceremonial practices of Indigenous peoples.” Henry strongly believes that connecting Indigenous offenders with their traditional culture can put them on the road to healing, ultimately contributing to public safety. “When a person engages in a learning journey, they become knowledge keepers. The knowledge they have acquired can not only make a positive difference in their life, but it also gives them a sacred responsibility to make a positive difference in the lives of the next generations.”
SPRING 2018 35
A HISTORICAL YEAR FOR UFV ALUMNI IN LEADERSHIP POSITIONS AT UFV All four members of the UFV Board of Governors’ Executive Committee for the 2017/18 year were alumni. This is the first time that has been the case in UFV history. In 1979, Board Chair John Pankratz began his first year toward a university degree at what was then Fraser Valley College, earning enough credits to qualify as an alumni. John is a Certified Professional Accountant and also holds a Bachelor of Business Administration from Simon Fraser University. First Vice-Chair Len Goerke earned a Bachelor of Arts (Geography, History) from UFV, as well as a Master of Arts in Conflict Analysis and Management from Royal Roads University. Second Vice-Chair Justin P. Goodrich holds a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science and an Associate of Arts in Media & Communications Studies, both from UFV. He also earned his Master of Laws in Diplomacy & International Law from Lancaster University. Both Len and Justin previously served on the UFV Alumni Association board of directors. Jackie Hogan, who served as interim president of UFV in 2017/18, was an ex-officio member of the Board Executive Committee. She is also a UFV alumna. A Certified Professional Accountant and graduate of the University of Calgary Bachelor of Accounting Science program, Hogan also holds a diploma in Business Administration from UFV. “We measure the success of a university by the success of its alumni,” says Nav Bains, Chair of the UFV Alumni Association. “We are proud to have an alumni-led UFV Board of Governors executive team. This shows students, alumni, and the community of the Fraser Valley the strong impact alumni have within the university and our surrounding communities. On behalf of the UFV Alumni Association, I want to extend my sincerest gratitude and thanks for Jackie, John, Len, and Justin’s service not only to UFV, but also their commitment to the growing and diverse community of the Fraser Valley.”
HIGHLIGHTS OF THE 2017 ALUMNI SURVEY In the Fall of 2017, over 500 alumni answered a survey about their experiences at UFV.
of alumni were satisfied with their experience as a student at UFV
of alumni feel pride in their UFV credential
of alumni felt a lifelong relationship with UFV is worth maintaining
of alumni feel that they are still a part of the UFV community
of alumni feel a strong emotional connection to UFV
of alumni identify most closely with their former academic program at UFV
of alumni would recommend UFV to a prospective student
The most widely used alumni benefit is the UFV Library
Left to right: Justin P. Goodrich, former board of governors member Ann Marie Leijen, John Pankratz, Jackie Hogan, and Len Goerke. 36 SKOOKUM
UFV alumni are mostly using Facebook, followed by LinkedIn and Instagram, to connect with other alumni.
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2018-03-22 9:11 AM
SPEAKING OF BENEFITS... Being a UFV alumni has its perks! Here are just a few of the benefits you can take advantage of by virtue of your UFV alumni status: • Invitations to educational and social events at UFV • Alumni networking opportunities online and in person • Discounted insurance through TD Insurance Meloche Monnex (above) • Alumni Commemorative Wine by Chaberton Estate Winery • Discounted accommodation at Sandman Hotels in Abbotsford and Langley • Access to the UFV Library • Discounted alumni business cards • Discounts at the UFV Bookstore • BMO UFV affinity credit card (right) Check out our website ufvalumni.ca for more details and a full list of benefits. SPRING 2018 37
KEEPING IN TOUCH The following is a mix of stories from our UFV Today blog and submissions from alumni. Let us know what you’ve been up to. Send a photo too! Write to: email@example.com
Denise Tuchscherer (nee Rehman) (BA ’99) was just a 17-year old kid from Vancouver Island when she started what turned out to be a life-changing and lifelong relationship with UFV in 1992. Denise now works as a financial aid and awards advisor at UFV and is married to UFV women’s basketball coach Al Tuchscherer (also a UFV alumnus). She was inducted into the Cascades Hall of Fame in 2018 along with Dr. Peter Wauthy, a former basketball star for the Cascades who is now an emergency physician, the 1995 men’s soccer team, and soccer coaches Scott Fast and Ken Fernstrom. She knew nobody when she stepped onto campus. She played four years, forming strong bonds with her teammates along the way. A 6’2” centre, Denise starred for the Cascades women’s hoops program from 1992 to 1996. She helped the UFV program become a national powerhouse, and was part of three consecutive CCAA national silver medal-winning teams (1994, 1995, and 1996). Among her individual accolades were two CCAA All-Canadian nods, a BCCAA championship MVP award, a trio of CCAA national tourney all-star honours, and a Basketball BC college player of the year award. Her name is all over the Cascades’ record books — she’s the CCAA-era leader for playoff games played (15) and playoff points scored (163), and ranks fourth all-time in regular-season points (682). “Basketball was a great part of my life,” says Denise. “We won three silvers at the nationals, and I made a lot of friends, some of whom I am still in touch with today, and got a great education. Now we see each other when our kids are playing against each other in tournaments.”
Award-winning CBC journalist by day, and critically-acclaimed musician by night, UFV alumni Jeremy Allingham (Dip Lib Arts ’02) is making a name for himself in BC and across the country. Jeremy has won the last three BC Radio Sports Awards from the Radio Television Digital News Association and his latest work on the CBC Radio One series Major Misconduct — Why We Let Kids Fight On Ice has drawn an audience of millions on radio and online and stoked passionate debate about Canada’s favourite sport. And as the journalism accolades roll in, Jeremy continues to establish himself among the best original songwriters Vancouver has to offer. He’s a two-time nominee at the Fraser Valley Music Awards and his latest album Run Wild has been met with widespread critical acclaim. Along with ‘musician’ and ‘journalist’, Jeremy will soon be adding ‘author’ to his resume. He recently signed a book deal with Vancouver publisher Arsenal Pulp Press to write a book based on his Major Misconduct series for CBC Radio. That book is due out in 2019. Learn more at jeremyallingham.com. Jessica Hoffman (AA ’03) finished at UCFV in 2003 with an Associate degree in Media and Communications. She went on to SFU to complete her degree in Communications. For the last 13 years she has worked for the Vancouver Canucks managing community involvement activities for the players and coaches (public appearances with kids and families and at community fundraisers etc). She has also managed more than 20 gala fundraisers, 12 golf tournaments, and 12 telethons. “Overall I have helped raise $40 million for the Canucks for Kids Fund,” she reports.
Robert Osborne was a university transfer student back in the early days of Fraser Valley College in the 1970s. He has enjoyed a successful decades-long career as a producer and director of documentary and current affairs productions. He recently completed a documentary for the CBC, and is currently in production with another project — an investigation into the death of Sharkwater filmmaker Rob Stewart. The project is due for delivery in October 2018 for the CBC. Robert recently won an Academy of Canadian Film and Television Best Writing Award for Unstoppable: The Fentanyl Epidemic, a documentary produced by Dam Builder Productions. “Like everyone else these days, we work in multiple venues — conventional television or web-based platforms. But investigative story telling still one of my primary passions. Always digging around for another good story,” notes Robert. H. Deniz Petekkaya (Dip ’12), who studied Agriculture and Livestock Production at UFV, is currently living near İzmir City, on the west coast of Turkey, and working with his family business, the Farmavet International feed additives company. As the foreign trade coordinator, he takes care of international events, farm visits, agribusiness exhibitions, sales in international markets and marketing activities. “At Farmavet, we develop, manufacture and export natural feed additives for all kinds of animals. I joined my dad’s company because I loved the idea of developing natural growth promoters for the livestock industry in order to provide an alternative to the excessive use of antibiotic as a feed additive.”
Dr. Robert McKinnon, (Dip ’83, AA ’88), CD, PhD, achieved a Liberal Arts certificate in 1983. He also graduated with an Associate of Arts degree in 1988. He had graduated from SFU in 1985 and 1986 with a BA in History and Anthropology, a BC Studies Certificate, a Public History certificate, and the Professional Development Program. He went on to other degrees at SFU and UBC. He taught at SFU and UCFV’s Adult Education before joining the military. He aged out of the military at 60 having earned six medals and many more as a competitive runner. In his retirement, Rob became the Vice-President of the Calgary 55 Plus Games Association. This year he became the President. His parents are both buried in Chilliwack, so he likes to go “home” as often as possible to lay flowers for them. Emma Broadfoot, (BBA ’11) worked at Highstreet in Abbotsford after graduating from UFV, helping to open the shopping centre, including the development and implementation of marketing plans. She then moved to the United Kingdom to pursue her dreams of travelling, and living abroad, while advancing her career. Emma worked in London at a digital advertising agency, took 22 different trips across Europe, and then was offered a job at Snapchat, in London. The office was young and they could not sort out her visa in time so she moved to Toronto, where she opened the Canadian Snapchat offices. The office started out with three people, including Emma, but has since grown to about a hundred, including the Bitmoji team the company just acquired. Nana Akyaa Addo, (BSc ’12) who came to UFV as an international student from Ghana, graduated in 2012 with a Bachelor of Science, pre-med concentration. While at UFV, she worked at Residence Services and as an SLG leader, and was very involved with UFV International Education. She is currently in her fourth year of medical school and finishing up her clinical rotations in Oakland County, Michigan. “I miss all the friendships I made out there in Abbotsford and look forward to visiting UFV soon.”
Prashant Wadhwani, (BBA ’15) was an international student who graduated with a Bachelor of Business Administration degree (Finance major, Economics minor & Communications certificate). He sends along this tribute to his time at UFV. “As a student of UFV, I always enjoyed volunteering and being part of the UFV Student Leadership programs. University is not just about studying, there is a lot more to it. After I graduated, I was privileged to work for the UFV International department as an international student recruiter. I am currently a manager at Petro-Canada where I am able to learn, experience, and get a better understanding of the retail industry in terms of human resources and inventory management. It’s amazing to experience much of what we were taught in theory (during our business degree at UFV). “Lastly, the most exciting thing that happened in my life was that I got engaged to a beautiful woman. After we get married she will join me in Canada, and the first place I plan on showing her is UFV — the place that helped me become the man I am today — it’s also my home away from home! “Thank you for giving alumni the opportunity to stay connected to UFV and for continuing to make us feel part of the UFV family and community.” Ayla Salyn (BA Crim ’06) went on to law school at the University of Alberta, Faculty of Law. She graduated in 2010, and joined the law firm of Fulton & Company LLP, in Kamloops B.C., and now works as a personal injury lawyer. In 2011, Ayla received the chilling call advising her that her father had been seriously injured in a car accident on the other side of the world. He had suffered a brain injury that left him in a coma. By navigating a foreign medical system, Ayla was able to get her father the best possible care. Eventually he was transferred by to Canada by air ambulance. For months, Ayla advocated for her father’s care and treatment, including working with medical experts, social workers and care homes. On January 13, 2012, her father succumbed to his brain injury and passed away. “Why does my story matter?” asks Ayla. “Because since I have lived through this experience, I have been tirelessly advocating for others who have been injured. I have been working with people from the start of their injury and focus on their recovery
and their health and wellness. I argue novel issues, such as surrogacy rights and access to medical marijuana. As the co-chair of the Personal Injury Group at Fulton & Company, we have worked at redefining the way that lawyers handle personal claims. “I am involved in the Kamloops Brain Injury Association, and work to help the organization with fundraising efforts and bring general awareness about the organization and public understanding of these hidden injuries.” Ayla reports that through the practical focus of her UFV degree, she worked closely with many different people, which made her recognize her own empathy and aptitude for helping others. She was also placed in the Crown Counsel’s office for a practicum, where she was able to confirm her love of the law. Nina Olson (BBA ’12) started out in the sciences at UFV, with a love for biology and psychology, but after taking a marketing course, she changed her mind and graduated with a Bachelor of Business Administration, majoring in finance and accounting. She began working for a credit union while pursuing her studies. When she earned her Business Administration diploma she was promoted within the organization and worked full time while finishing the remaining two years of her degree. She even returned to UFV years later, contemplating doing a subsequent degree in psychology, but instead, opened up Luna Float, Chilliwack’s first float centre, with partner Wayne Zetchus. Luna Float opened its doors mid October 2017 in Garrison Crossing in Chilliwack. Nina found float therapy a few years ago when looking for alternative ways to help with her stress and general anxiety disorder. She would have to drive all the way into Vancouver to float, so she is so happy to bring floating to her own community! Nina is proud to be a part of the Stó:lō Business Association and enjoys working and learning alongside other indigenous businesses.
SPRING 2018 39
PROPELLING FUTURE GENERATIONS THROUGH MONTHLY GIVING There’s a new way to support UFV. The Ripple Makers club invites you to commit to giving by designating a recurring gift of a minimum of $44 a month (one dollar for every year of UFV’s existence) to support students at UFV today and for years to come. We are more powerful when we pull together. “We want to build our base of support from ongoing committed donors who care very much about UFV, who want to invest in a long-term relationship with UFV and support students for years
to come,” says UFV advancement director Sherri Magson. Proceeds will be designated into UFV’s three Changing Lives, Building Community Endowments: a Scholarship Endowment, the UFV Alumni Endowment Bursary, and the Alumni Leadership Award Endowment. THE BENEFITS OF EXCLUSIVE MEMBERSIP:
D R. GREG SCHLITT,
ASSOCIATE PROFESSOR OF MATHEMATICS, UF V, AND UF V ALUMNUS
• A special lapel pin • For those who join from outside BC’s Lower Mainland/Fraser Valley area, you will become part of a special network of UFV supporters. WITH A MONTHLY GIFT OF: • $44 per month for a single
• VIP invitations to a variety of events at UFV, including exclusive wine and cheese receptions prior to select university events.
I am reminded of the phrase ‘Talent is equally distributed, opportunity is not.’ Access to higher education for all is a value close to UFV’s heart, but many of our students, while they’re through the front door, still struggle to meet their commitments and pay their bills. Are those students able to fully use their talents to achieve what they’re capable of? I hope that in a small way my monthly donation can distribute opportunity a little more equally.
• A complimentary ticket with special recognition at each annual Town & Gown event
• Or secure 8 members (enough for a table at Town & Gown) with a gift of $352 per month.
I am excited to support the Ripple Maker campaign at UFV. From easy-to-join processes (it just took an email to make an adjustment to my current giving) and accessible giving amounts (a $44 donation per month gets you into the club) to maximized impact (each donation is divided between several worthy studentfocused funds) and the social aspect (see you at the great Ripple Maker events throughout the year) it just makes sense to me. MICHELLE VANDEPOL, UF V HOPE CENTRE COORDINATOR AND UF V ALUMNA
Want to join the Ripple Makers? Contact Deanna McIntyre at firstname.lastname@example.org or 604-851-6354. Find out more at giving.ufv.ca/ufv-ripple-makers
Save the date for Town & Gown 2018 Join us at the fourth annual UFV Town & Gown fundraising dinner on Wednesday, Nov 14, 2018. Become a UFV Ripple Maker (see previous page) by June, 2018 and receive a complimentary ticket for this year’s event!
P L AT I N U M S P O N S O R S
We gratefully acknowledge our 2017 sponsors, without whom we could not have put on such a wonderful event last year:
Shawna Vandeven Vandeven Financial Solutions Ltd. McCallum Road, Abbotsford
S I LV E R S P O N S O R S
Aldergrove Credit Union Emil Anderson Construction Esposito Group Impark Quantum Properties
GOLD PLUS SPONSOR
Justin Cathcart Cooperators Insurance Agencies Ltd., Yale Road, Chilliwack
Chernoff Thompson Architects Manulife Molson Coors RDM Lawyers LLP Taneane Twele Photography SPECIAL THANK S
Save-on-Foods | 2140 Sumas Way BRIDGING COMMUNITIES
Photo: Darren McDonald
Abbotsford South MLA Darryl Plecas and Mayor Henry Braun at UFV’s Town & Gown Event.
SPRING 2018 41
Photo: Blake Titus
The Venemas choose to give while theyâ€™re young so they can see the benefits their gifts provide. By Anne Russell
ik and Marnie Venema are living proof you don’t have to be middle-aged, established, and wealthy to be generous. These two millennials bracket either side of age 30 and still have student loan payments themselves, but they’ve already become significant donors to UFV, the place where they met, fell in love, and gained valuable educational and life experience. “Nik and Marnie are truly influential ripple makers,” says Sherri Magson, director of advancement at UFV. “They are a wonderful example of how you can start to help others while you’re young and still building your own career and financial portfolio.” The Venemas’ generosity is creating two new student awards, through a combination of a personal donation of $12,500, as well as $500 from the RBC Foundation in recognition of Nik’s volunteer service, which was matched by the university. The two endowed leadership awards will provide $750 annually for a student involved in social justice work and $750 annually for a student studying Finance. Previously, the Venemas partnered with Justin P. Goodrich, a fellow UFV Alumni Association Chair Emeritus, to establish their first student award endowment at UFV, providing a $750 leadership award to a student who contributes through service on a governing body (Board of Governors or Senate) at the university. Nik (BBA ’12) majored in finance at UFV, while Marnie (BA ’15) majored in psychology. “UFV certainly changed our lives and prepared us to serve our community, so we want to help current students undergo the same transformation,” says Nik. “We view postsecondary education as a privilege, and we are determined to stay local in the Fraser Valley and give back here.” “Giving is a lifestyle choice that for me comes back to what I think it is I am doing here on the planet,” says Marnie. “For me, life is not simply about personal happiness, comfort, or consumption, but about improving the world around me. Where I put my money is one of the ways I can engage in doing that. Giving is not something I wait for, but something I can live out and choose each day.” For Nik in particular, UFV was a life-changer. He had received a big entrance scholarship to UBC and was set to study engineering, but he lost focus and didn’t take advantage of that opportunity in his first year. When he contacted UFV about restarting his education, he received a warm welcome. “Someone took the time to advise me of a way to apply where I could leave the past behind and start fresh. I felt like
I was part of the family right from the beginning, like they were looking out for me. I explored all kinds of stuff — graphic design, linguistics, economics, kinesiology, and visual arts — before landing in finance, where I really found my fit.” Once Nik was settled in as a student, he truly engaged with UFV. He volunteered with the Business Administration Student Association, worked as an economics research assistant, was involved in Student Life, and became an elected student member of Senate and the UFV Board of Governors. Upon graduation, he became involved with the Alumni Association, chairing it from 2015 to 2017. He was also a Supported Learning Group leader, through which he met Marnie. He was leading a calculus group, and she led a history one. Supported Learning Groups (SLG) are learning facilitation sessions for difficult courses led by senior students who have done well in the course. Not only did they each find their future partner through the SLG program and related social events, the experience solidified Marnie’s career interest in counselling. “Being an SLG leader at UFV showed me how much I enjoyed accompanying people on their journey and creating an environment to help them connect the dots for themselves to develop skills that help them succeed in the future,” notes Marnie, who is completing her MA in counselling at Trinity Western. “I also connected with many great student leaders and staff members who invested in my personal growth.” All along the way, the Venemas valued the education they were receiving. “The education at UFV is on par with, if not better than, the undergraduate experience at major universities,” Nik says. “It’s such a big game changer in terms of new knowledge, skills, and experience gained, as well as valuable networking. You come in expecting to learn certain new things and you end up leaving knowing many multiples more and — more importantly — appreciating how little you truly know. Also, I left with a great appreciation for my role as a Canadian citizen and a community member of the Fraser Valley. Not to mention, I got to meet and build relationships with many great classmates, professors, and university administrators.” When Nik and Marnie got married they decided that philanthropy would be a priority at the core of their relationship. Nik’s background in finance led them to create a family foundation early on and they concentrated on accumulating capital within that foundation for several years, with a view to becoming donors early in life. “We save and invest within the foundation, and when we see a cool opportunity to give, that’s exactly what we do,”
SPRING 2018 43
says Nik. “We decided to make charitable giving part of the picture right from the beginning. I suppose it’s easier when you’re young to just get in that frame of mind. It’s harder to add it in later when it’s not part of the budget and you have to modify your lifestyle. We wanted philanthropic planning to be a conscious and intentional part of our budgeting process instead of an afterthought.” Nik and Marnie still have student debt and have taken on a mortgage. But like a mortgage, they see their student loans as something to be paid off over the long term, balancing those payments with other priorities like philanthropy. “We’re going to be reaping the benefits of our education for the rest of our lives. We see the time we spent in university as an investment in our careers, so we’re not concerned if we have to amortize this investment over a few decades. We might not spend that much time paying it back, but as a principle, we look at matching that liability against the useful life of our education, so we’re not in a rush. “People should consider philanthropy when they’re young because it’s so rewarding. Many don’t think seriously about it until they’ve made their millions or are approaching life expectancy. It’s a pleasure to see these awards given out and meeting the recipients year after year,” says Nik. “I am excited to be part of supporting students at UFV,” says Marnie. “I know that my time there was very influential in developing me as a person and directing my future career goals. I also received a lot of support through scholarships and awards that made it possible for me to get the most out of my education. I want to be able to support students who are using their education to impact their community in a positive way. Investing in education is one of the best places our money can go! It truly does have a ripple effect and then we get to be a part of all the good work that someone else’s life creates.” When Marnie was considering what discipline at UFV her award might support, she chose a broader category of social justice that is available for a variety of students focusing on human service work and who are invested in social justice work. “I think some of the most influential aspects of my degree at UFV were the sociology classes I took. Many of the things I learned in those courses have been built upon in my master’s degree in counselling psychology. As a counsellor, I am interested in working alongside individuals in their healing process, but am also very aware that many of the problems my clients come in with are contributed to, exacerbated by, and even created by, larger systemic problems in our society. “It is important to me to stand in solidarity with others who are doing important aspects of work in social justice that I cannot do. This award allows me to partner with students engaged in social justice work so together we can bring about change in our society.” 44 SKOOKUM
Nik’s journey 2012–13 — After graduation from UFV, he completed his MSc in Finance (Risk Management) at SFU’s Segal Graduate School of Business 2013–15 — Hired at Financial CAD Corporation (FINCAD) as an intern doing quantitative finance technical writing; joined the quantitative research team as a financial engineer the following year, and was then brought into the business side at FINCAD as a communications lead. Took over shortly thereafter as communications manager, leading corporate communications, public relations, graphic design, social media and technical communications 2014 — Hired by UFV in the School of Business as a sessional instructor, teaching Risk Management and Financial Engineering, Corporate Finance and Investments 2016 — Accepted an offer to join RBC Dominion Securities as an Investment Advisor 2016 — Became designated as a Chartered Investment Manager 2017 — Accepted an offer to join the Lonny Andrews Consulting Group of RBC Dominion Securities as an Associate Advisor, to learn under a great mentor and help educate and empower families here in the Fraser Valley to meet their financial and philanthropic goals.
y o u c a n b e a
Not everyone has the means to create an endowment, but here are some ways you can give back to UFV:
Right after graduation, Marnie worked in a full-time position as household manager at Mercy Canada and then began her MA in Counselling Psychology.
become a UFV Ripple Maker monthly donor
volunteer on the UFV Alumni Association, or a UFVAA committee
Set up a named award that you fund annually (min. $750/year)
Contribute any amount to a UFV Changing Lives, Building Community scholarship, bursary or leadership award fund
Contribute your expertise and industry knowledge by joining a program advisory committee or mentoring a student in your field
Donate to the UFV Student Emergency Fund
Share your story and inspire others.
She has worked in a variety of paid and internship positions over the past two years: •
Trinity Western University Wellness Centre (Individual and Group Counselling Internship)
Trinity Western University Career Centre (Career Counselling Internship)
Lindsay Faas Counselling Practice (Trauma Internship)
Fraser River Counselling (Counselling Internship)
Ishtar Transition Housing Society (Group Counselling Internship)
Counselling Psychology Bereavement Lab at Trinity Western University (Research Project)
Weekend Supervisor at Mercy Canada
Photo: Darren McDonald
Marnie and Nik at UFV’s annual Town & Gown fundraising dinner where their new scholarships were announced.
CONTINUED FROM PAGE 7
Photo: Darren McDonald
THLETES SUCCEED LOCALLY, A NATIONALLY, AND GLOBALLY
UFV athletes experienced success on several fronts during the 2017/18 academic year, with the golf and wrestling teams recording the biggest successes. The Cascades golf program completed an incredibly dominant run at the PING CCAA Golf National Championships in October, sweeping the men’s and women’s team competitions at Royal Ashburn Golf Club in Whitby, Ont. Both UFV teams won their respective titles by double-digit margins, and each produced an individual medalist. Daniel Campbell was the men’s individual champ, winning by eight strokes, and Maddie Kapchinsky took the women’s silver medal. In February, UFV’s wrestlers made a program-record medal haul at the U SPORTS championships in Sault Ste. Marie, Ont. Four Cascades climbed the podium, led by Parker McBride and Brad Hildenbrandt, who emerged as the winners in the lightest (54 kg, McBride) and heaviest (120 kg, Hildenbrandt) weight classes on the men’s side. McBride added another slice of Cascades history, as he was voted the men’s rookie of the year. He’s the first national rookie of the year award winner for UFV at the U SPORTS level.
The Godinez Gonzalez sisters, Karla and Ana, won matching silver medals to bring the Cascades’ national medal count to four — the first time they’ve won multiple medals at a U SPORTS wrestling championships. The sisters also won Canada West conference awards: Karla was the female wrestler of the year, and Ana was the female rookie of the year. UFV’s wrestlers and golfers capped a memorable campaign by cleaning up at the Cascades awards banquet in April. Karla Godinez Gonzalez was named the female athlete of the year, while wrestler Hildenbrandt and golfer Campbell were co-winners of the male athlete of the year award. Wrestlers McBride and Ana Godinez Gonzalez earned the male and female rookie of the year awards, respectively. Other winners included Taylor Claggett of the women’s basketball team (Shea Stewart-Hall Memorial Community Leadership Award) and Michelle Olive of the women’s rowing team (Jen Simpson Memorial Leadership Award). Cascades athletes have also excelled in the classroom, earning a combined 20 national academic awards announced during the 2017/18 season: nine U SPORTS Academic All-Canadians, two CCAA
Academic All-Canadians, and nine CCAA National Scholars. The award-winners were among 61 student-athletes (representing 31 per cent of the Cascades’ student body) who achieved at least a 3.0 GPA during the 2016-17 season. Even after leaving UFV, Cascades athletes are continuing to find athletic success as they move on to the professional ranks. The women’s soccer program has seen three athletes earn pro contracts in Sweden — defenders Tristan Corneil and Karlee Pedersen, and goalkeeper Kayla Klim. Additionally, women’s basketball alumna Kayli Sartori has made a successful pro debut, suiting up for teams in both Lebanon and Cyprus, and Cascades men’s volleyball product Adam Chaplin is playing for a pro club in Denmark. 8
LANNING FOR THE FUTURE IN P DIGITAL, AGRICULTURE, AND PEACE AND CONFLICT STUDIES
UFV remains committed to growing in strategic areas, and is working with partners to fund three initiatives. The Digital Innovation Hub project will help UFV prepare students for careers in the tech, ag-tech, and creative industries by fostering the development, retention, and attraction
EXERGAMES continued from page 24
of tech-ready, innovative, and creative talent for the Fraser Valley. The Hub will grow entrepreneurs, innovators, tech talent, and businesses across a variety of sectors that embrace technology, transforming the Fraser Valley into an innovation and creative hub for BC and Canada. UFV’s strategic plan for agriculture will bring together strengths of the UFV Agriculture Centre of Excellence and the Centre for Food and Farmland Innovation and will develop applied research capacity to supply the technology, knowledge, and skills to keep the regional agriculture economy globally competitive, oriented to a sustainable future, and striving for innovation. It will collaborate with government, industry, and other postsecondary institutions to advance BC’s agricultural economy. The Centre for Peace and Conflict Transformation aims to transform how conflict is approached in our families, our communities, our cultures, our nations, and our world. Addressing this need, UFV has developed a trans-disciplinary and applied Peace and Conflict Studies program. The program works toward human well-being for all by presenting students with the requisite knowledge and practical skills to
transform conflict, and foster sustainable peace. The program looks at analyzing conflict and peace strategies in the classroom, and application of practical skills and hands-on experience in conflict transformation and reconciliatory work in our community. Learn more about opportunities to support these and other initiatives at giving.ufv.ca. UFV PROVIDES NALOXONE KITS AND TRAINING TO STUDENTS A student-driven harm reduction initiative provided Naloxone training and access to free take-home Naloxone (THN) kits at sessions in Abbotsford and Chilliwack. The awareness initiative builds on Naloxone training and distribution practices already engaged through UFV’s Peer Resource and Leadership Centre, with guidance from UFV Nursing faculty member Bethany Jeal, who has a long history of engagement with harm reduction initiatives.
Now the UFV researchers have teamed up with Queen’s University researchers to see if having children play video games powered by exercise bikes enhances cognitive function. UFV students conducted pretesting on their young research subjects and a control group before the games portion of the program began, and they will do post-testing to measure any changes in May. “We’re particularly interested in seeing whether exercise and activity enhances the executive function of the brain, activities such as planning and problem-solving, and other higher-order skills,” notes Keiver. Meanwhile, their Queen’s University partners are investigating whether exergaming enhances social skills and the sense of connection to others. Neven Golubovich, a computer programmer from Queen’s, observes the students playing the games, consulting via phone with his colleague back in the Kingston, Ontario lab. They continually adjust the game so it’s neither too difficult nor too easy for the young players. They will be comparing the experience of this particular research population with children in other settings with other types of disabilities.
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Photo: Darren McDonald
EMBRACING THE UNCONVENTIONAL A recent grad, retired professor, and new alumna (all in one) who’s in her 70s. A married couple of young and generous donors who are on either side of the milestone age of 30. A poli-sci prof who takes reaching out to the community through media interviews as seriously as he does teaching his students. Kinesiology students who learn by doing, leading research-based exercises for children with Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder, and a research project that’s adding multi-ethnic diversity to BC history. A broad spectrum of stories, perhaps, but that’s the kind of university UFV is. Add to that list a new president who hopes to be a role model and mentor to a diverse group of future leaders, both within the academy, and beyond it. Look inside to find out more about Dr. MacLean, retiree turned student turned alumna Rose Morrison, young donors Marnie and Nik Venema, political science professor Hamish Telford, the students and professors behind the Exergames project, and the Punjabi Canadian Legacy project. Skookum is published for the University of the Fraser Valley by the University Relations team UNIVERSITY RELATIONS LEADERSHIP TEAM Craig Toews, Vice-President External Whitney Fordham, Manager, Alumni Relations Sherri Magson, Director, Advancement Maureen Berlin, Director, Major Campaigns Dave Pinton, Director, Communications Laura Authier, Director, Marketing SKOOKUM PRODUCTION TEAM Editor: Anne Russell Art Direction & Design: Camilla Coates Production: Camilla Coates, Marie Tary Writing: Anne Russell, Darren McDonald Photography: Darren McDonald, Danielle Henderson, Blake Titus, Tanya Goehring, Louise Rousseau Production Liaison: Auriel Niven Have comments or ideas about Skookum? Send them to: email@example.com See Skookum online at ufv.ca/skookum Want to communicate with your Alumni Association? Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org or call 604-557-4086 UFV Alumni Relations Office: 33844 King Road, Abbotsford, BC V2S 7M8
Return undeliverable Canadian addresses to: UFV Alumni Relations office 33844 King Road Abbotsford, BC V2S 7M8
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