Experience adds up for pioneers of education in the Okanagan
Between them, they have 150 years of academic, teaching and administrative experience in the Okanagan. UBC’s Okanagan campus honoured five of its own recently with long service awards to four professors and an administrative professional. They served in a variety of capacities at UBC’s Okanagan campus and its forerunners, Okanagan College and then Okanagan University College.
The individuals are:
- Joan Bassett-Smith, associate professor, School of Nursing, 35 years. A former director of the School of Nursing and respected mentor for many faculty, Bassett-Smith began her academic career with Okanagan University College. One of her many key contributions has been her lead role on two successive grants from the Canadian International Development Agency and the Association of Universities and Colleges of Canada, which have supported the School of Nursing’s continuing partnership with colleagues and communities in Ghana.
- Carol McFadyen, associate professor, School of Nursing, 35 years. A former associate director with the School of Nursing, McFadyen is also a former associate dean, Faculty of Health and Social Development at Okanagan University College. She was the first respiratory nurse in Canada, a position she piloted with the South Okanagan Health Unit, which continues today. McFadyen is a frequent speaker and respected community resource in the areas of health-care law and ethics.
- Barbara Brown-McKenzie, associate professor, School of Nursing, 30 years. McKenzie is well known and respected by her colleagues and students for expert clinical nursing knowledge and teaching. She also served on two occasions as a visiting lecturer to one of the School of Nursing’s international partners, the Royal Institute of Nursing, Batala, India.
- Robin Dods, associate professor, anthropology, Irving K. Barber School of Arts and Sciences, 25 years. Beginning as a sessional instructor then professor at Okanagan College’s Penticton campus, Dods resumed her own education before returning to the Okanagan to teach and research North American Archaeology, archaeological and human ecology theory and pyrotechnology, as well as traditional forestry management. She recently created a course on studying futurist anthropology through film, which has been well-received by students.
- Linda Falkingham, departmental secretary, Visual Arts, Faculty of Creative and Critical Studies, 25 years. Falkingham has worked as a permanent secretary, first with the Applied Arts, Business Enterprise and Visual Arts programs at Okanagan College, through the transition to Okanagan University College and UBC since its opening. She has been the heart of continuity, providing information, cohesion and a friendly smile and greeting to students and visitors. The creativity of the artistic environment has stimulated Falkingham to produce her own series of abstract paintings.
Doug Owram, deputy vice chancellor and principal of UBC’s Okanagan campus, thanked the five long-service award recipients for building a culture of excellence, during a recent luncheon in their honour.
“Serving with Okanagan College, then Okanagan University College and now with the University of British Columbia, you have had a tremendous impact within these institutions and on the lives of countless students over the years,” said Owram.
“Indeed, through your careers, you have brought with you the institutional knowledge that allowed the college and later this university to thrive and succeed,” Owram said. “Without your valuable experience, skills and passion for the work you do, our campus would not be the welcoming and empowering place that it is.”
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