Patty Wellborn

Email: patty-wellborn@news.ok.ubc.ca


 

UBC’s Wine Research Centre, located on the Okanagan campus, is dedicated to fostering cooperation between academic institutions, the wine industry sector and communities around the world.

UBC’s Wine Research Centre, located on the Okanagan campus, is dedicated to fostering cooperation between academic institutions, the wine industry sector and communities around the world.

Wine Research Centre will expand its presence across both UBC campuses

The renowned wine region of BC’s Okanagan Valley now boasts a new research hub, as UBC shifts the headquarters of its acclaimed Wine Research Centre (WRC) from its Vancouver campus to its Kelowna-based campus.

The move provides the WRC with a dual-campus presence in Vancouver and the Okanagan, where researchers have developed strong collaborations with the BC wine community. The WRC, one of only two such research centres in Canada, will be led by its newly-appointed director Jacques-Olivier Pesme. A founding member of the Board of the Institute of Vine and Wine Science in Bordeaux, France, Pesme has been working with UBC since 2012 as special advisor to the dean of the Faculty of Management.

“The Okanagan is an ideal environment for the next chapter of the WRC,” Pesme says. “All the major research and education wine institutes in the world are situated in close proximity to vineyards, wineries and wine visitors. The WRC will combine operations between the Okanagan—home to more than 80 per cent of BC vineyard acreage, and Vancouver—a gateway to the world.”

First established in 1999 on the Vancouver campus, the WRC is dedicated to interdisciplinary research, education and development, with a core mission to support a sustainable Canadian grape and wine industry. It brings together researchers, faculty and staff from across UBC as well as Canadian and international partner institutions to undertake cutting-edge research in oenology, viticulture, management and social sciences. The WRC also provides academic and extended education, and engages closely with industry and wider communities.

“We are thrilled by this development of the Wine Research Centre,” says UBCO’s Provost and Vice-President Academic Ananya Mukherjee Reed. “This is an important step towards the university’s mandate as a partner in regional socio-economic development. Wine research in the Okanagan provides experiential learning opportunities for students, accelerates innovation and creates an opportunity for strengthening connections with our industry partners.”

The changes at the WRC will enhance UBC’s wine research and education, while supporting and stimulating the provincial economy. BC’s wine industry has an annual impact of $2.8 billion and employs about 12,000 people.

“The WRC will bring together researchers from both UBC campuses, and build upon contributions to cutting-edge wine research conducted in facilities like the Michael Smith Laboratories on the Vancouver campus over the past two decades,” says Roger Sugden, dean of the Faculty of Management and a core contributor to the WRC. “BC’s wine industry has a major influence on the economy and society of regions across the province. The WRC will help the industry, and communities across the territory, to shape that influence by sharing knowledge and offering opportunities to explore different possibilities.”

Among the WRC’s new initiatives are plans for a sensory analysis lab in Kelowna. It will feature research facilities and offer programs for the public to learn about wine tasting, oenology and the local industry.

Ongoing WRC initiatives include the annual Wine Leaders Forum—now in its seventh year—where wine owners and principals come together with researchers for strategic planning. The WRC also conducts industry seminars and workshops across the province, and maintains UBC’s Wine Library in Vancouver which currently houses more than 4,500 bottles of wine from all over the world.

“Because the WRC is now headquartered in the heart of BC’s wine country, it is well-positioned to engage even more deeply with growers, wineries, tourists and residents,” says Pesme. “I am excited to be guiding the centre in its role as a contributor to the continued growth and the success of this rapidly changing wine territory, and especially to reinforce its international reputation.”

Background

The Wine Research Centre is a unique research and education centre that supports the development of a sustainable Canadian grape and wine industry through world-class research, excellence in wine education, applied solutions and knowledge exchange.

The Wine Research Centre operates across UBC campuses in Vancouver and the Okanagan, where it is headquartered. It conducts cutting-edge research in oenology, viticulture, management, and social sciences; provides academic and extended education; and engages with industry and communities on the challenges of wine territory development.

The centre is dedicated to fostering cooperation between academic institutions, the wine industry sector, and communities around the world in a way that encourages growth with integrity and inclusivity. Its ethos is one of rigorous curiosity and open-minded collaboration while pursuing excellence.

BC's wine industry by the numbers

  • 929 vineyards, including more than 350 licensed wineries
  • More than 60 grape varietals produced
  • $2.8 billion annual economic impact on the province
  • About 12,000 people employed
  • Top international markets include China (54 per cent); Taiwan (23 per cent) and the United States (11 per cent)
  • 14.5 million litres of BC wine sold in the province annually
  • 84 per cent of BC vineyards are in the Okanagan

Sources: Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada; WineBC 

Rick Mercer will deliver the 2020 keynote address. Mercer was a 2010 UBC honorary degree recipient.

Rick Mercer will deliver the 2020 keynote address. Mercer was a 2010 UBC honorary degree recipient.

Virtual ceremony takes place Wednesday as more than 1,900 students graduate

UBC Okanagan’s Convocation of 2020 will go down in history as a unique event. Instead of students, parents and faculty joining together on campus, the celebrations will be held virtually.

“The context of 2020 has made necessary a very different approach to our graduation ceremony this year,” says Deborah Buszard, Deputy Vice-Chancellor and Principal of UBC’s Okanagan campus. “While the ceremony will be virtual, the remarkable achievements of our students are very real and worthy of recognition. I invite everyone to join me in celebrating the Class of 2020.”

This year, 1,925 students have qualified for convocation from UBC Okanagan—that includes 1,600 undergraduates, more than 270 students who have earned a master’s degree and 45 newly-conferred doctorate degrees.

While convocation is a time of celebration, it’s also a time of long-kept traditions. The program will begin with Chancellor Lindsay Gordon presiding over the virtual ceremony. UBC President and Vice-Chancellor Santa J. Ono and Buszard will both address the Class of 2020 live, dressed in full academic regalia. And graduates will have an opportunity to take a virtual selfie with President Ono.

UBC has arranged for Canadian icon and comedian Rick Mercer to deliver the 2020 keynote address. Mercer was a 2010 UBC honorary degree recipient.

Students have had the opportunity to purchase graduation regalia, special graduation gifts, create a personalized commemorative graduation video clip, download congratulatory signs and sign a guest book with congratulatory messages.

The virtual ceremony will last 45 minutes and it will be livestreamed on June 17, with a pre-show beginning at 2:30 p.m. The ceremony begins at 3 p.m. and a 20-minute virtual alumni reception takes place at 3:55 p.m. The ceremony can also be watched on YouTube, Facebook or Panopto, a platform that is accessible from many countries. To find out more, visit: virtualgraduation.ok.ubc.ca

“These are, indeed, unusual times, and UBC students have shown once again their resilience and ability to cope and thrive in the face of change,” says Buszard. “With everything they have accomplished over these past months and over the course of their studies, I couldn’t be more proud of the extraordinary UBC Okanagan Class of 2020. Congratulations.”

This year’s medal recipients

  • Governor General's Gold Medal: Mike Tymko
  • Lieutenant Governor's Medal Program for Inclusion, Democracy and Reconciliation: Dominica Patterson
  • UBC Medal in Fine Arts: Aiden de Vin
  • UBC Medal in Arts: Ellie Jane Fedec
  • UBC Medal in Science: Nicholas Kayban
  • UBC Medal in Education: Alyssa Pembleton
  • UBC Medal in Nursing: Christopher Popel
  • UBC Medal in Management: Amanda Campbell
  • UBC Medal in Human Kinetics: Madison Powls
  • UBC Medal in Engineering: Tyler Ho

About UBC's Okanagan campus

UBC’s Okanagan campus is an innovative hub for research and learning founded in 2005 in partnership with local Indigenous peoples, the Syilx Okanagan Nation, in whose territory the campus resides. As part of UBC—ranked among the world’s top 20 public universities—the Okanagan campus combines a globally recognized UBC education with a tight-knit and entrepreneurial community that welcomes students and faculty from around the world in British Columbia’s stunning Okanagan Valley.

To find out more, visit: ok.ubc.ca

Getting a good night’s sleep is sound advice for most people, but a new UBC study says sleep is vital for those who are recovering from a stroke.

Jennifer Davis is an assistant professor in the Faculty of Management at UBC’s Okanagan campus. Her goal is to improve the health of Canadians and her research area includes exploring the value of patient-reported measures in the fields of healthy aging—including cognition, mobility and various surgical outcomes.

Davis, along with a team of UBC researchers, recently published a study in the Journal of Stroke and Cerebrovascular Diseases examining the relationship between depression and sleep among stroke survivors.

Jennifer Davis, an assistant professor in the Faculty of Management, explores the value of patient reported measures in the fields of healthy aging.

Jennifer Davis, an assistant professor in the Faculty of Management, explores the value of patient-reported measures in the fields of healthy aging.

“Sleep disturbances are common in older adults who have had a stroke and there is mounting evidence that stroke and sleep are interconnected,” she says. “Because a stroke can damage the central nervous system, it often leads to changes in brain activity, brain function and sleep.”

Davis says one in six older adults, worldwide, will suffer a stroke and data suggests that 20 to 40 per cent of those stroke survivors have a sleep disorder, while a further 50 to 70 per cent will have a sleep-related breathing disorder.

Poor sleep, she says, may significantly interfere with post-stroke recovery and may also lead to depression if a stroke survivor suffers from daytime confusion and inability to cope due to being overtired.

“There is an emerging area of research examining the benefit of sleep in regulating emotional brain reactivity,” she says. “In this study, we found that depression was significantly associated with sleep quality, how long it takes a person to fall asleep, how well they sleep and their daytime dysfunction due to a lack of sleep.”

Davis notes it is common for stroke survivors to experience depression—while they recover, they are also dealing with lower levels of health-related quality of life, physical function and general cognition. Add on a poor night’s sleep and it’s easy to assume that stroke-associated effects on sleep quality can also impact a person’s general, physical and mental wellbeing.

“The specific associations that depression, health-related quality of life, physical function, and cognition have with sleep quality among stroke survivors remains unknown,” Davis says. “Fortunately, sleep quality is modifiable—it’s something we can recognize and work to improve. Thus, sleep should be considered in the management of those who have suffered a stroke to optimize post-stroke rehabilitation outcomes.”

About UBC's Okanagan campus

UBC’s Okanagan campus is an innovative hub for research and learning in the heart of British Columbia’s stunning Okanagan Valley. Ranked among the top 20 public universities in the world, UBC is home to bold thinking and discoveries that make a difference. Established in 2005, the Okanagan campus combines a globally recognized UBC education with a tight-knit and entrepreneurial community that welcomes students and faculty from around the world.

To find out more, visit: ok.ubc.ca

Each year, UBCO organizes a number of activities during Jump Start as the first step in making international students feel at home.

Each year, UBCO organizes a number of activities during Jump Start as the first step in making international students feel at home.

Study encourages all-encompassing learning environments

It’s back to school time, and more than 580 of this year’s newest UBC Okanagan students are from various countries around the world.

In fact, UBCO is home to students who represent 106 various countries. Romi Jain, a postdoctoral fellow with UBC Okanagan’s Faculty of Management, has recently published research that outlines specific recommendations to ensure all students feel welcome and comfortable in a classroom

It’s not uncommon for international students to experience dissonance while at school, she explains, especially if they are faced with learning materials which might contradict their perceptions and beliefs.

“Dissonance can be described as the state of having inconsistent thoughts, beliefs or attitudes, relating to behavioural decisions or attitude change,” she explains. “If not harnessed, such dissonance can be at the heart of their unresolved dilemmas, unspoken feelings, and unshared stories, facts and experiences.”

Published recently in Writing and Pedagogy, her paper encourages all-encompassing learning environments. She notes, there has long been an international emphasis on intercultural education, but it does not guarantee inclusivity in the classroom.

Jain’s research is based partially on her own first-hand experiences, but also from interviews with instructors at a university in a Midwest American city and existing literature relevant to her study.

Some unintentional examples that might create dissonance for an international student include instructors believing a student is quiet because they don’t want to participate in class discussions, or a basic struggle to understand a foreign accent. And she notes, in some cultures it’s wrong to argue with people, so some students won’t engage in any debate regardless of how they feel.

Jain also explains that a teacher’s facial expressions while engaging with international students might reflect doubt, perhaps because the student is speaking a second language. On the same hand, the instructor’s facial expressions speaking with a domestic student may reflect validation or appreciation.

“In response, teaching needs to be designed to be inclusive and intercultural with a view to encouraging, unearthing and illuminating multiple perspectives to enrich and equalize the learning environment for both international and domestic students,” she says.

On the flipside, Jain says there is an opportunity for everyone in the classroom to benefit and learn from each other. Professors should use the cultural beliefs and backgrounds of international students to enrich the learning environments for all students.

Motivated faculty, she says, will find in dissonance an opportunity to stimulate the learning environment through constructive participation of culturally-diverse students in dialogue and discourse.

“Students may be carrying rich and interesting information and knowledge from their own cultures and can really contribute to class discussions,” she says. “However, sometimes for different reasons, they do not share. If they are encouraged to share, it will lead to richer conversations.”

Her paper provides strategies for instructors to enhance the classroom environment and encourage the sharing of new knowledge:

  • Establish trust with international students, being aware how instructors interact with international students.
  • Correctly pronouncing their names to show their presence, address them by name.
  • Transition to an interactive classroom. After class, ask quieter students what they think about a topic to make them feel comfortable.
  • Reading aid questions. Provide questions in advance to help international students prepare, especially with those struggling with language issues.
  • Prepare syllabus depending on student backgrounds, to create a balanced course.
  • Allow international students to submit multiple drafts of assignment.
  • Discourage other students who laugh at mispronunciation of words.
  • Allow all students to express personal feelings or academic concerns.
  • Be conscious of body language, both the professors and students.
  • Give feedback and encourage respectful dialogue between international and domestic students and form cross-cultural teams on assignments.
  • Don’t spotlight international students as if they’re a representative of their community.
  • Assign reflection papers on class discussion using a comparative perspective.

Each September, UBC Okanagan hosts Jump Start. The multi-day enhanced orientation is designed to introduce both international and domestic students to university life, connect with faculty and to find new friends. For more details on resources available to UBC’s international students visit: students.ok.ubc.ca/international-students

Romi Jain, a postdoctoral fellow with UBC Okanagan’s Faculty of Management.

Romi Jain, a postdoctoral fellow with UBC Okanagan’s Faculty of Management.

About UBC's Okanagan campus

UBC’s Okanagan campus is an innovative hub for research and learning in the heart of British Columbia’s stunning Okanagan Valley. Ranked among the top 20 public universities in the world, UBC is home to bold thinking and discoveries that make a difference. Established in 2005, the Okanagan campus combines a globally recognized UBC education with a tight-knit and entrepreneurial community that welcomes students and faculty from around the world.

To find out more, visit: ok.ubc.ca.

Pinot noir grapes

Free, educational talks held in conjunction with BC’s Pinot Noir Celebration

What: Science of wine explained by UBC researchers
Who: UBC Chemistry Professors Wesley Zandberg, Susan Murch and Biology Professor Daniel Durall
When: Saturday, August 17 at 9 a.m.
Where: Room COM 201, The Commons, 3297 University Way, UBC’s Okanagan campus

UBC researchers are taking the opportunity to explain what’s going on in their research labs, in a series of talks hosted in conjunction with this year’s BC Pinot Noir Celebration.

Coordinated by the Faculty of Management and the Irving K. Barber School of Arts and Sciences, the scientists will share their knowledge in a free session, open to the public, held in conjunction with this year’s Pinot Noir Celebration, taking place for the first time at the Okanagan campus.

Chemistry Professors Susan Murch and Wesley Zandberg along with Biology Professor Daniel Durall will provide an overview of their current research projects including the yeast associated with pinot noir grapes, the chemistry and terroir of Okanagan wines, and ways to predict smoke taint on grapes and prevent it before fermentation.

After UBC’s science of wine talks, the BC Pinot Noir Celebration will host educational sessions focusing on the pinot noir varietal.

“UBC’s Okanagan campus is committed to research and education that supports development of the BC wine territory. We are delighted the organizers have chosen to host the BC Pinot Noir Celebration at our campus,” says Gino DiLabio, dean pro tem with the Irving K. Barber School of Arts and Sciences. “To complement the celebration, we are also very pleased to offer the public session explaining how science research at the university is benefiting the wine industry’s development.”

The celebration, hosted by the BC Pinot Noir Committee, also offers a salon-style wine tasting, dinner, dance and address from keynote speaker Madeline Puckette, author of Wine Folly: The Essential Guide to Wine.

The free UBC educational session and the educational sessions provided by the BC Pinot Noir Committee at a small fee, provide an opportunity for participants to learn more about pinot noir and other types of wine in a unique format, says Jak Meyer, BC Pinot Noir Committee co-chair.

“We just feel it is something more to offer than the usual tasting and it gives us an opportunity to let people know why we are so passionate about this particular varietal,” says Meyer.

To register for the free UBC-sponsored session, or to find out more about the BC Pinot Noir Celebration, visit: www.bcpinotnoir.ca

About UBC's Okanagan campus

UBC’s Okanagan campus is an innovative hub for research and learning in the heart of British Columbia’s stunning Okanagan Valley. Ranked among the top 20 public universities in the world, UBC is home to bold thinking and discoveries that make a difference. Established in 2005, the Okanagan campus combines a globally recognized UBC education with a tight-knit and entrepreneurial community that welcomes students and faculty from around the world.

To find out more, visit: ok.ubc.ca.

New graduates celebrate their success after their convocation ceremony at UBCO last June.

New graduates celebrate their success after their convocation ceremony at UBCO last June.

Students presented degrees, top awards during two days of ceremonies

It’s the culmination of years of hard work, and the realization of hundreds of dreams.

This week UBC Okanagan celebrates its students as it hosts six separate graduation ceremonies over two days. More than 1,725 students will cross the stage, earning their undergraduate degrees while 215 students will receive their master's degree and 40 their doctorates.

“This year’s UBC Okanagan graduating class goes out into a world where sweeping changes are happening,” says Deborah Buszard, Deputy Vice-Chancellor and Principal. “From geopolitics and the environment to the nature of work itself, rapid and radical change is all around us. As UBC graduates, we know our students have the intellectual tools to thrive in the face of change.”

The formal procedures begin Thursday morning with students in the Irving K. Barber School of Arts And Sciences crossing the stage in three different convocation ceremonies. Students in the Faculty of Creative and Critical Studies will also cross the stage that day.

On Friday, celebrations kick-off early as Faculty of Health and Social Development students celebrate their achievements starting at 8:30 a.m. School of Education, Faculty of Management and School of Engineering students will be conferred their degrees in two following ceremonies.

“Congratulations to the class of 2019 for all they have accomplished,” Buszard adds. “I have every confidence their education and experiences at UBC Okanagan have positioned them for the brightest future.”

While student accomplishment is the heart of convocation, innovation, excellence and making a difference in this world are themes to be recognized. UBCO will present three honorary degrees this week.

Lewis Kay will receive a Doctor of Science at the 11 a.m. ceremony on June 6. Kay is a biophysicist known for his research in biochemistry and nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy. He is a professor of molecular genetics, biochemistry and chemistry at the University of Toronto and a senior scientist in the molecular medicine research program at Toronto’s Hospital for Sick Children.

Later that day, Dr. William Carpentier will be honoured with a Doctor of Science. Carpentier is an alumnus of the UBC Faculty of Medicine and was flight surgeon for NASA’s Apollo 11 crew. He is renowned for his contributions to the field of space life science. Carpentier will be honoured at the 1:30 p.m. ceremony on Thursday.

Friday morning, Olympic gold medalist Beckie Scott will be presented with a Doctor of Laws at the 8:30 a.m. ceremony. Scott was an 11-year member of Canada’s national cross-country ski team, retiring in 2006 as Canada’s most decorated cross-country skiing athlete. The three-time Olympian is widely recognized for advocacy for drug-free sport. She currently serves as chair of the World Anti-Doping Agency Athlete Committee.

Other accolades of note during convocation include the Provost Award for Teaching Excellence that will be presented to Biology Professor Andis Klegeris and Sally Willis-Stewart, a nutrition and physical activity instructor. The Killam Teaching Prize will be presented to Engineering Professor Jonathan Holzman.

The heads of class (top academic student) for this year include:

  • Governor General's Gold Medal: Ryan Hoiland
  • Lieutenant Governor’s Medal: Gabriel Dix
  • University of BC Medal in Arts: Victoria Scotney
  • University of BC Medal in Education: Tyler Tronnes
  • University of BC Medal in Engineering: Ethan McKoen
  • University of BC Medal in Fine Arts: Evan Berg
  • University of BC Medal in Human Kinetics: Janelle Smuin
  • University of BC Medal in Management: Zachary Bingley
  • University of BC Medal in Nursing: Elyse Acheson
  • University of BC Medal in Science: Alexander Garner

About UBC's Okanagan campus

UBC’s Okanagan campus is an innovative hub for research and learning in the heart of British Columbia’s stunning Okanagan Valley. Ranked among the top 20 public universities in the world, UBC is home to bold thinking and discoveries that make a difference. Established in 2005, the Okanagan campus combines a globally recognized UBC education with a tight-knit and entrepreneurial community that welcomes students and faculty from around the world.

To find out more, visit: ok.ubc.ca.