On October 25, the Disability Resource Centre (DRC) honoured faculty and staff at its annual I am Accessible Award Reception.
Cynthia Mathieson, provost and vice-principal academic, and Ian Cull, associate vice-president students, were on hand to celebrate the accomplishments of staff and faculty that ensure UBC Okanagan is an inclusive, safe community for students with disabilities.
The annual I am Accessible Awards provide an opportunity to come together to highlight and celebrate the positive contributions of the incredible community members whose work ensures that all students feel that they belong on our campus.
To recognize all who make a difference for our students, the awards fall into three categories: Faculty, Staff and the DRC Staff Pick.
“Each year we ask students registered with the Disability Resource Centre to nominate a professor who they felt really epitomized inclusive education in the classroom or in their teaching practice,” says Earlene Roberts, manager of the DRC. “This year’s response was extraordinary and indicates a growing awareness of how important it is that our campus community be inclusive.”
This year students were asked to nominate a staff member who they felt was exceptional in some way and made them feel welcomed and included at UBC Okanagan.
Many nominations were received for this category, indicating that staff members play an essential role in the post-secondary experience of students. The winner of the staff award was Librarian Lori Walter.
The DRC Staff Pick this year was Brendan D’Souza, lecturer in the Irving K. Barber School of Arts and Sciences, who was nominated for his exceptional consideration of the needs of the students he supports.
“There are many wonderful faculty members that we work with throughout the school terms but in the past year this faculty member stood out for us,” says Roberts.
In recognition of all their outstanding efforts, nominated staff and faculty were presented with small gifts of appreciation, while the winners of each category were presented with an original painting from members of Kelowna’s Cool Arts Society.
I Am Accessible award winners for 2015/16
Faculty Award Winner: Charlene Strumpel, School of Nursing (2 nominations)
Faculty Award Nominees
- Heidi Bickis, sociology, Irving K. Barber School of Arts and Sciences (2 nominations)
- Richard Federley, chemistry, Irving K. Barber School of Arts and Sciences
- Rachelle Hole, School of Social Work
- Bowen Hui, computer science, Irving K. Barber School of Arts and Sciences
- Noriko Ozawa, economics, Irving K. Barber School of Arts and Sciences
- Blair Spearman, mathematics, Irving K. Barber School of Arts and Sciences
- Ray Taheri, School of Engineering
- Patricia Tomic, sociology, Irving K. Barber School of Arts and Sciences
- Al Vaisius, chemistry, Irving K. Barber School of Arts and Sciences
Staff Award Winner: Lori Walter, UBC Library
Staff Award Nominees
- Sam Carroll, AccessAbility trainer, UBCSUO
- Dan Duncan, ADHD coach
- Joshua Holt, supplemental learning leader