Community Stories

Learn more about your colleagues — both at UBC and outside of their working lives.

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30-Second Bio: Bud Mortenson

Help your colleagues learn more about you and your work at UBC. Submit your own 30-Second Bio.

Name: Bud Mortenson

Title: Director

Department/Unit: University Relations

Location: Okanagan

Year I started working at UBC: 2005

10 words or less to describe what I do at UBC: Oversee communications, public affairs, ceremonies and community engagement offices.

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Taryn Cigagna goes global

Taryn helps connect students to opportunities and programs in international partner schools.

If there were ever a job custom-fit for an individual, it’s Taryn Cigagna’s role at UBC’s Go Global. While hopping on long-distance flights and hitting the ground running might not be everyone’s idea of an ideal work week, it’s a dream come true for the Associate Director of UBC’s Go Global international learning program.

“I work with outbound exchange, and my regional portfolio includes the UK, Ireland, North America, Australia, New Zealand and South Africa,” Taryn explains in a lively chat at International House on West Mall, which houses her office. “I work primarily on helping students find interesting experiences in partner schools that will fit with their degree. I do about two big trips a year, whether it be to conferences or partner visits.”

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The value of engagement: An interview with Darren Dahl

Darren believes student engagement should be the number one priority in every classroom.

Darren Dahl, Senior Associate Dean of Faculties and Director of the Graduate School at the Sauder School of Business, works with faculty in the hiring, development, and tenure process for research faculty and also supervises 36 staff. Here, he shares his perspective on why workplace engagement matters.

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Fighting the good fight

Aftab’s role is to increase capacity for productive conflict engagement on the Vancouver and Okanagan campuses.

When it comes to conflict, most people try to avoid it. But Aftab Erfan, UBC’s first Director of Dialogue and Conflict Engagement in the Equity & Inclusion Office, views it as an opportunity for growth and change.

“I define conflict as a difference that matters enough to mobilize our emotional resources,” she explains. “As our community becomes more diverse and we increasingly recognize our differences, you might actually expect conflict to become more prevalent—and the creation of my position at UBC is an acknowledgement that this is not a problem. In fact, if we can engage with it, conflict can be kind of a doorway to learning and transformation.” (more…)

Perfect synchronization – at work and on the water

John Metras is responsible for the planning and development of institutional facilities at UBC Vancouver

You may have noticed in your workspace, a small black garbage container that hangs off the side of your blue recycling bin.

This desk-side recycling program was one of the first initiatives John Metras worked on at the Vancouver campus in the early 90s. As the Managing Director of Infrastructure Development in the VP Finance and Operations Portfolio, John has always been interested in sustainability. (more…)

30-Second Bio: Joseph Ferguson

Help your colleagues learn more about you and your work at UBC. Submit your own 30-Second Bio.

Name: Joseph Ferguson

Title: Financial Analyst

Department/Unit: Finance

Location: Okanagan

Year I started working at UBC: 2009

10 words or less to describe what I do at UBC: I provide information and evidence to support informed decision-making.

The best thing about my work/role at UBC: My role affords me the opportunity to work with individuals from across the entire organization and UBC system. I provide information and analysis about our students, faculty, staff, and other institutional measures to support informed decision-making. These relationships are, without question, the best thing about my role. I also get to work with my alma mater (BMgt, Hons. 2009)!

My favourite place to spend my lunch hour: If I'm not shredding at spin and sculpt class, chances are you'll find me outside basking in the heat (if it's summer).

My top UBC tip for my colleagues, or for someone beginning their UBC journey: Take advantage of opportunities to connect with your colleagues. It can be easy to stick to what you know and the people you always work with, but the best connections are the ones that you might make with people you wouldn't necessarily work with!

Read a selection of other community stories and learn more about what your colleagues are up to.

30-Second Bio: Andrea Bundon

Help your colleagues learn more about you and your work at UBC. Submit your own 30-Second Bio.

Name: Andrea Bundon

Title: Assistant Professor

Department/Unit: School of Kinesiology

Location: Vancouver

Year I started working at UBC: 2016

10 words or less to describe what I do at UBC: I research and teach social inclusion in and through sport.

The best thing about my work/role at UBC: Being surrounded by smart, creative people and having the ability to pursue projects and ideas that I’m passionate about.

My favourite place to spend my lunch hour: I usually eat lunch on the go but I love just walking around campus – even just taking the longer route back to my office after teaching.

My top UBC tip for my colleagues, or for someone beginning their UBC journey: Take an interest in what others are doing – there are so many fascinating projects and people at UBC but it’s easy to miss them if you’re only focused on your work and what is immediately relevant to your teaching or research.

Read a selection of other community stories and learn more about what your colleagues are up to.

30-Second Bio: Ted Sandstra

Help your colleagues learn more about you and your work at UBC! Submit your own 30-Second Bio.

Name: Ted Sandstra

Title: Project Manager

Department/Unit: Project Services

Location: Okanagan

Year I started working at UBC: 2015

10 words or less to describe what I do at UBC: I support teaching and research through building renovations.

The best thing about my work/role at UBC: I appreciate the leadership within my department. It is also my pleasure to assist the UBCO community to transform campus buildings according to our clients’ needs. (more…)

30-Second Bio: Richard Prince

Help your colleagues learn more about you and your work at UBC. Submit your own 30-Second Bio.

Name: Richard Prince

Title: Professor

Department/Unit: Art History and Visual Art

Location: Vancouver

Year I started working at UBC: 1975

10 words or less to describe what I do at UBC: Teach sculpture and make it in the Old Fire Hall

The best thing about my work/role at UBC: Connecting with students who have the same excitement I felt as an undergraduate at UBC many decades ago and helping them to find their way to the future in art and the world in a time of anxiety and insecurity about that future. Not much different than that I felt when I graduated in 1971.

My favourite place to spend my lunch hour: Generally a walk around the campus is the best way to spend my lunch time but a real treat is to go to the top of the staircase in the old Chemistry building south end and curl up in the window structure that is derived from buildings in Cambridge and read a British murder mystery set in an classical academic setting. Best to go in disguise.

My top UBC tip for my colleagues, or for someone beginning their UBC journey: Focus on your students and on the broader picture of UBC’s vision. Work with your peers who are your colleagues, not just the teaching and library ones but the grounds crews, the building workers and the vast and skilled crews of plant operations. We must be a coordinated group working for a single goal which is the young scholars who will make our future.

Read a selection of other community stories and learn more about what your colleagues are up to.