Alumni Spotlight, People
Geography alum Francisca Karl credits UBC for her career success in land-use planning
February 9, 2016
Irving K. Barber School of Arts and Sciences
Okanagan (Kelowna, BC)
MA, Geography, UBC Okanagan (2013)
BA, Geography, UBC Okanagan (2011)
Lake Country, BC
“I use the skills I learned while completing my undergraduate and master’s degrees daily.”
FRANCISCA KARL always envisioned attending a university where she would be able to define herself and discover new interests. Growing up in Lake Country, BC, practically next door to UBC’s Okanagan campus, allowed her to do just that.
“I knew this was a place I wanted to become a part of. I chose UBC Okanagan for its wide selection of studies, smaller class sizes, skilled professors, and research innovation.”
Karl obtained both an undergraduate and graduate degree in Geography from UBC Okanagan and says they were rewarding experiences.
“During my master’s degree, I was also a research assistant, which really helped evolve my researching and presentation skills.”
A highlight of this time was when Karl presented her research methods and case study to the University Ethics Board. “It is one of my proudest accomplishments to date,” she says of presenting her master’s thesis, titled Sorry, already rented: A case study of the rental housing experiences of immigrant women in the mid-size city of Kelowna (2013).
Karl says she feels fortunate to have been mentored by the best professors and instructors in her field of study.
“The education I received at UBC Okanagan was world-class. Attending this university motivated me to become successful, work hard, and establish solid relationships along the way. I use the skills I learned while completing my undergraduate and master’s degrees daily.”
One professor in particular made a difference not only in Karl’s academic career, but also in helping her establish a professional career.
“Professor Carlos Teixeira noticed my motivation to become successful and encouraged me to take on opportunities I otherwise may not have. Along with supporting my master’s thesis work, he helped to promote it to professionals in the housing, immigration, and urban planning industries,” says Karl, who’s a long-range planner for the City of Camrose, Alta.
PUTTING PLANS INTO ACTION
In Camrose, Karl is fulfilling her passion of creating great spaces for people, and is implementing long-range policies that will help future generations with land-use planning.
“My UBC Okanagan degree gave me the recognition needed to apply for this job. My studies prepared me well me for this role and, gave me the confidence to pursue my career goals and aspirations. This probably wouldn’t have happened without the support and help of Professor Teixeira. I have a lifelong mentor.
“I would never trade in my UBC Okanagan experience. I would do it all over again. And I could not imagine working for a better organization than the City of Camrose. As a long-range municipal planner, I use my UBC-attained skills everyday.”
—by May Li