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UBC Okanagan dean elected to Canadian Academy of Health Sciences Fellowship

Dr. Joan Bottorff, Dean of Health and Social Development at UBC Okanagan, has been elected as a Fellow of the Canadian Academy of Health Sciences (CAHS).

The Academy, which represents all Canadian medical and allied health sciences -- from fundamental science to social science and population health -- was established to provide advice on and assessments of key issues relevant to the health of Canadians.

“l think it’s exciting that CAHS includes the full range of academic health scientists,” says Dr. Bottorff. “The collaboration the Academy will foster among health scientists is just what is needed to tackle Canada’s most important health issues.”

Of the 175 Fellows inducted at the Academy’s recent inaugural meeting in Vancouver, 12 are nurses. Dr. Bottorff is one of three nurses from UBC to receive this recognition, along with Dr. Sally Thorne and Dr. Joy Johnson.

Election to fellowship in the Academy is considered one of the highest honours for individuals in the Canadian health sciences community and carries with it a covenant to serve the Academy and the future well-being of the health sciences.

Dr. Bottorff was a faculty member in the School of Nursing at UBC's Vancouver campus from 1992 until her appointment as Dean of Health and Social Development at UBC Okanagan, effective September 1 of this year. In addition, she has served as an Affiliate Scientist with the B.C. Cancer Agency since 2001.

More information about the Canadian Academy of Health Sciences is available online at

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UBC teams with Fine Vintage Ltd. to offer world-renowned WSET® wine courses in Kelowna

The University of British Columbia and James Cluer of Fine Vintage Ltd. are partnering to bring world-renowned Wine and Spirit Education Trust (WSET®) Courses to the Okanagan Valley, starting November 15 in Kelowna.

"UBC is delighted to be offering a program of wine courses with such international recognition that will provide wine lovers and industry professionals the tools to further explore the fascinating world of wine," says Gwen Zilm, UBC Okanagan Associate Vice President, Learning Services.

The new WSET program in the Okanagan is further evidence of UBC's commitment to the wine industry through its Wine Research Centre, headed by Prof. Hennie van Vuuren. The UBC Continuing Studies Understanding Wine Program, under the direction of Dr. Judith Plessis, has been offering beginner to advanced courses in the Lower Mainland since 2002. Plessis and Van Vuuren are very happy to add the WSET certification courses to the program curriculum.

"The partnership between UBC and WSET is a perfect fit," says James Cluer, owner of Fine Vintage Ltd and a UBC Understanding Wine Program Instructor. "Both organizations have outstanding international reputations as education providers. It is a great partnership to have UBC and WSET operating together in the heart of B.C. wine country."

Cluer describes the United Kingdom-based Wine and Spirit Education Trust as "the gold standard in wine education. It offers outstanding courses with a certification that is highly respected in the wine trade." The courses have been offered by UBC in Vancouver since September and are very well received. He adds that the courses are open to the public and are sought after by wine enthusiasts.

Three WSET courses will be offered: the Foundation (4 weeks), Intermediate (9 weeks) and Advanced (15 weeks). The courses are held one evening per week for 2.5 hours, with each class including a high-end tasting of eight wines, averaging $40 per bottle. The Kelowna courses will be instructed by local wine educator Rhys Pender, who has spent over 11 years teaching and working in different facets of the wine industry. He is currently in year two of the prestigious Master of Wine study program and is a regular contributor to publications Wine Access and CityFood.

“As a wine educator, Rhys has taught courses in wine marketing, wine sales, viticulture as well as various consumer interest wine courses," Cluer says. "We are excited to bring the WSET courses to the Okanagan and to have access to Rhys's extensive knowledge and enthusiasm on the subject."

Exams are held at the end of each course. Upon successful completion, a certificate is awarded by the WSET representing a formal qualification in the wine trade.


Note: Course descriptions, dates and fees are included below.

About The Courses:

PRICE: $485 (Including books and WSET exam)
DURATION: 4 weeks - 1 evening per week from 6.30 - 9 p.m.

This qualification is an introduction to wine. You will learn about the main styles of wine, how to taste, evaluate and describe wines, the characteristics of the major grape varieties and the matching of wine and food. To receive the certificate from the WSET there is a multiple choice paper of 30 questions, a food and wine matching exercise, and a portfolio of tasting notes.

Course 1: Tuesdays 6:30 - 9 p.m., November 15 until December 6, 2005
Course 2: Tuesdays 6:30 - 9 p.m., February 21 until March 14, 2006

PRICE: $795 (Including books and WSET exam)
DURATION: 9 weeks - 1 evening per week from 6.30 - 9 p.m.

This qualification is intended for those employed in the drinks industry and passionate wine enthusiasts. The course is excellent for those who already have a reasonable base of knowledge but wish to learn more. The focus is on wine tasting, grape growing, winemaking, and the classic wine regions of the world. Beers, ciders, spirits and liqueurs are also included in the course. To receive the certificate from the WSET there is a multiple choice paper of 50 questions.

Course 1: Wednesdays 6:30 - 9 p.m., February 8 until April 5, 2006

PRICE: $1,495 (Including books and WSET exam)
DURATION: 15 weeks - 1 evening per week from 6.30 - 9 p.m.

This qualification is intended to provide in-depth knowledge of the wide range of wines and spirits around the world. The qualification is designed for people in the wine trade, hospitality industry or retail sector but it is also ideal for the real wine enthusiast. The course covers the major wine regions, viticulture, vinification, and extensive tastings of eight high-quality wines in each class. To gain the Level 3 qualification candidates will be required to successfully complete a multiple choice paper of 60 questions, a question paper requiring short written answers, and an internally set and assessed blind tasting of one wine.

Course 1: Wednesdays 6:30 - 9 p.m., April 26 until August 2, 2006

Register for these courses through Fine Vintage online:
Methods of Payment: Cash, Visa, Mastercard or Amex accepted.

Teixeira to receive Portugal's highest civilian honour

Dr. Jose Carlos Teixeira, Assistant Professor of Geography at UBC Okanagan, will receive Portugal's highest civilian award during a ceremony at the university campus in Kelowna on Saturday, October 15.

A social geographer passionate about studying the migration of ethnic groups and how they shape their communities, Teixeira will be vested in the Ordem do Infante D. Henrique -- Portugal’s equivalent to the Order of Canada -- for his contributions to the Portuguese community abroad.

Teixeira was born and raised in the Portuguese archipelago of the Azores before moving to Canada in the late 1970s. He turns 46 three days after receiving the medal. Although most people invested into this prestigious order are much older, Teixeira sees the honour as a call to do even more with the rest of his life’s work.

"I am relatively young to receive it – and I see it as an incentive to work harder and harder," he says. "I will continue working to promote my group and research the rich tapestry of this country, Canada."

The award ceremony is part of an afternoon of celebration that begins at 1 p.m. in the Student Services Centre. The afternoon will also feature a conference on the role and impact of the Portuguese in the Okanagan Valley since 1955, with UBC Okanagan faculty and members of the Portuguese communities of Penticton, Oliver and Osoyoos.

The medal of the order will be presented to Dr. Teixeira at 5 p.m. by Joao Laranjeira De Abreu, Portuguese Consul in Vancouver. Also present will be Gonçalo Nuno, Portugal's member of parliament elected by Portuguese living outside Europe.

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Random acts of poetry in Kelowna's streets, buses, gas stations...

Nancy Holmes, associate professor of creative writing at UBC Okanagan, is taking her class of second-year poetry students into the field next week. They could show up anywhere reading their poems.

"We will be committing random acts of poetry throughout Kelowna -- randomly reading poetry in classrooms, fire halls, police stations, doughnut shops, gas stations, laundromats and even on buses," she says.

Holmes, one of 27 established poets reading in 23 communities across Canada during the week-long event from October 3 to 9, says poets in the United Kingdom and Ireland are also taking part. It¹s the second year Random Acts of Poetry has brought readings to the streets of Kelowna, and the first time her students have joined the fun.

"The students, all studying poetry in a creative writing class, are going to practice their reading and performance skills and participate in this great international event," says Holmes. Students will join her from 4 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. on Tuesday, October 4, in downtown Kelowna.

"Last year, I was the Okanagan rep. for Random Acts of Poetry and it was a wonderful experience. The student poets and I will be reading our own work and I will get to give away free copies of my new book to our spontaneous audiences."

Free copies of Holmes' book are sponsored by online bookseller, which underwrites the cost of the free books for all published participants.

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For 50th year, Rotary provides Okanagan experience for UBC international students

Every September since 1955, the Rotary Clubs of Vancouver South and Penticton have partnered with UBC’s International House to sponsor a trip to Penticton for 25 international students attending UBC.

This month, to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the annual Rotary Penticton trip, the clubs are doubling the number of UBC international students to experience the Okanagan – which means 50 students will visit Penticton from September 23 to 25. Five of this year’s participants attend UBC Okanagan.

“This trip is an opportunity for Canadian families to welcome international students to B.C., and a chance for the students to spend the weekend with their Rotarian host families and visit local attractions in the Okanagan Valley,” says Enzula Tavormina, Community Programmer with UBC’s International House. “The students are curious about Canada and eager to share their culture with Canadians.”

Many of the participants are scholarship students who have recently arrived in Canada to study at the undergraduate level, while others are on exchange, or in master's and doctoral programs.

“I hope to learn about Canadian culture, to get to see another area besides Vancouver. I am excited about being in Penticton,” says Nuria Plantalech, a student from Olot, Spain, pursuing a master’s degree in animal science at UBC.

Plantalech is looking forward to sharing Spanish and Catalan culture with her host family in Penticton. She also has a keen interest in a planned visit to a Kokanee spawning site, having recently participated in a salmon migration research project in the fjords of Norway as part of a bachelor’s degree in ocean sciences. “My master’s thesis is going to be about salmon,” says Plantalech.

UBC student Lily Liang observes that Canada is a very diverse country. “Its openness to ideas and respect for different cultures really amazed me,” says the first-year science student from Wuhan, China.

“I'd love to learn and understand Canadian culture by exchanging my own culture with the host family, and also learn from my peers from all over the world. I'd also love to build a life-long friendship with my host family and all the friends who are going on the trip with me,” she says.

“The insights provided about our world by the students can be quite remarkable,” Penticton Rotarian Rory McIvor observes.

Visiting students will see much of the South Okanagan during their weekend stay. McIvor says the itinerary for Saturday includes visits to the Dominion Radio Astrophysical Observatory at White Lake, one of the Okanagan’s popular wineries, an Okanagan fruit stand, and a salmon spawning site at Antler’s Beach on Okanagan Lake.

The day will be capped off by a round-table discussion with UBC alumni about global citizenship, and a gala celebration hosted by the Penticton and South Vancouver Rotary Clubs.

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New head librarian for UBC Okanagan library

Melody Burton has been appointed head of the UBC Okanagan library, effective September 19. She comes to UBC Okanagan from Queen’s University where she served as head of access services for the Stauffer Library and as acting associate university librarian.

“A great library is essential in developing the kind of research-intensive learning community we are creating at UBC Okanagan,” says Deputy Vice Chancellor Barry McBride. “Melody Burton will lead library services of the highest quality for students and faculty in support of the educational mission of this new institution.”

Burton holds a master’s degree in library science from the University of Alberta and a Bachelor of Arts degree (honours) from the University of King’s College, Dalhousie University.

Gwen Zilm, UBC Okanagan Associate Vice President, Learning Services, notes that Burton has extensive experience in providing reference, collection development and informational services, in managing and developing frontline library services, and in collaborating on the development of new and innovative services such as the Ontario Scholars Portal and the Learning Commons for the Stauffer Library at Queen’s University.

About UBC Library

The UBC Okanagan Library is part of the UBC Library system. UBC Okanagan students, faculty and staff will now have access to a collection that includes 4.7 million books and journals, 5 million microforms, over 800,000 maps, videos and other multimedia materials and over 46,700 subscriptions. UBC Library has the largest biomedical collection in Western Canada and the largest collection of Asian language materials in the country.

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