2000s

Paul Lescisin, BCom’01, celebrated his 10th Anniversary as the Fleet and Commercial manager at the Mertin Auto Group in Chilliwack, BC, on August 1. His duties were recently expanded and he now oversees all automotive fleet, commercial, and leasing activities for the General Motors, Nissan/Nissan Commercial, and Hyundai franchises in their group. Travelling to Toronto, Indianapolis, and Canton, MS, this year alone, Paul says his career is extremely dynamic and builds upon the management foundation forged from his years at UBC Commerce.

Nonie Lesaux, MA’01, PhD’03, was recently named a professor of education at the Harvard Graduate School of Education. Nonie is a developmental psychologist focused on cognitive and linguistic factors in children’s and adolescents’ reading. She is leading a research program that focuses on increasing learning opportunities for students from diverse linguistic, cultural, and economic backgrounds. In 2008, Nonie received the Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers – the highest honor bestowed by the US government on scholars in the early stages of their research careers.

Kari Shepherdson-Scott, MA’03, joined the Macalester College Art and Art History Department as a tenure-track assistant professor. She specializes in Japanese visual culture from the 19th and 20th centuries, focusing on the visual expression of national identity and empire. She is particularly interested in exposing the dynamic cultural dialogues between Japan, the rest of Asia, Europe and America. She will be teaching Introduction to Visual Art, Art of the East I: China, and Art of the East II: Japan.

Martin Berka

Currently a faculty member at the Victoria University of Wellington in New Zealand, Martin Berka, PhD’05, along with Andrew McCowan, James Blake and Nigel Cherrie, completed an unassisted crossing of the Tasman Sea in a row boat from Sydney to New Zealand in January. The more than 3,000 km row took 50-plus days, and was the fourth such crossing ever by a row boat and the fastest unsupported crossing. They were also the first people to row around New Zealand’s Cape Reinga and the North Cape. Other than pushing their mental and physical boundaries, Martin and his team were trying to raise awareness about the destruction of coral reefs around the globe. Martin’s article about the row appears in the UBC Varsity Outdoor Club Journal. A documentary film about the row is in the making.

Artistic producer Tim Carlson, MFA’05, and his Vancouver-based company Theatre Conspiracy won the 2013 Rio Tinto Alcan Performing Arts Award – the largest of its kind in Canada – with a $60,000 prize going toward the creation of a new work. Extraction, a documentary theatre work in Mandarin and English based on the biographies of Chinese workers in Fort McMurray and expats drawn to Beijing by the economic boom, will premiere at the Cultch in Vancouver in March 2013. Find out more at www.conspiracy.ca.

An Altered Peace by Andrew Salgado

Painter, Andrew Salgado’s, BFA’05, solo exhibition, The Misanthrope, was exhibited at Beers.Lambert Contemporary, London, UK, in October. Andrew has also exhibited in Germany, Scandinavia, Australia, Venezuela, Thailand, Korea, Canada, and the US. His bold, assertive, mostly large-scale figurative paintings have placed Andrew as one-to-watch in both the UK and North American painting scene. His next solo exhibition, The Acquaintance, will be exhibited at his home-town in The Art Gallery of Regina in (Dec 2012 – Jan 2013). A proud graduate of UBC, Andrew considers the five years he spent studying and living in the city as the starting point of his successful artistic career.

Harish Raisinghani, Richa Sharma, and Monty Raisinghani

In August, Harish Raisinghani, BASc’06, Richa Sharma, BSc’12, and Monty Raisinghani, BASc’07, made up part of a team of Canadians who dedicated their summer to building an education facility at an orphanage in Akute, Nigeria. The ELITE Leadership Facility at the Light of Hope Orphanage will be a safe and comfortable learning centre where kids will be helped to advance their education. For more information visit Facebook: Elite 4 Africa Project.

Cat Mills

After completing her degree, Cat Mills, BFA’07, was selected as one of 20 up-and-coming film-makers to participate in the Canadian Film and Television Producers Association’s National Producers Internship program. After winning a Leo Award for her student film in ’08 and a brief travelling stint in Europe, Cat moved to London, finding work with Summit Entertainment. Keen to get back to her film-making roots, Cat has relocated to Malta, where she is developing the series Wicked and Weird Around the World. The series explores strange celebrations ranging from The Sumo Wrestler/ Baby Crying Festival in Japan to the Wife Carrying Championships in Finland. Cat recently filmed the Toe Wrestling World Championships in the UK. For more information see: www.wickedandweirdaroundtheworld.com

Brent Sharpless, MBA’08, and several partners launched 1-888-WOW-1DAY! Painting in Toronto. The company features mobile offices in its vans, to allow real-time estimates and invoices. Brent says the company is eco-friendly, using less toxic paints and less paper, plastics and disposables than traditional painting companies, and completes projects in only one day.

Peace Out, the feature documentary by Charles Wilkinson, MFA’08, was awarded the Special Jury Prize at Toronto’s Hot Docs, where it secured world distribution; was honored at the 2011 Vancouver International film festival where it won the NFB Most Popular Canadian Documentary; won the Audience Choice Award at the 2012 Available Light film festival; and was the official opening film at the 2012 Global Visions film festival in Edmonton. It has been an official selection at a number of US festivals including the Kansas City festival. Peace Out, released internationally by FilmOption, and nationally by IndieCan Entertainment, is currently screening in theatres across the country and has recently been picked up by both Super Channel and Air Canada.

Justin Borsato, BEd’09, has been awarded UBC Faculty of Education’s first Alumni Teacher Award. He is a grade 7 teacher responsible for many pupils who have learning difficulties or come from underprivileged backgrounds. Borsato builds self-esteem in his charges by encouraging them in areas they do well in or enjoy, such as sport or art. Outside of school he also volunteers for the Hockey Education Reaching Out Society (HEROS) charity, which makes
the game accessible to kids from low-income families and aims to boost their confidence and leadership skills.

Duncan Bays, BSc’11, and Ozgur Nazilli, BCom’12, have been working on a mobile application business called Electric Courage. It’s a mobile application aimed at eliminating the hassle associated with going out at night with friends. It provides information on upcoming events and shows users the most popular venues, the drinks specials, the line wait times, and more. At an event, it lets users know which of their friends are there and makes it easy to connect with anyone else using the venue’s virtual wall and the private messaging. The app, which has been rolling out in Toronto first, is available on the iTunes app store.

On June 7, 2012, Citibank appointed Lisa Deloney as market president for Los Angeles – a new role within its US Consumer and Commercial Banking Business. Deloney has 36 years of experience in the financial services industry. In addition to her recent appointment as market president, Lisa is managing director and the Metro Southern California division manager, overseeing 143 branches throughout greater LA and Orange County.

Leigh-Anne Mathieson, BSc’12, was recently featured in the series Made on Haida Gwaii by April Dutheil. The series tells the stories of 50 talented young people who call Haida Gwaii home. Leigh-Anne has presented at numerous conferences, received research grants from the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada and contributes to academic publications. She was recently selected out of 350 applicants as one of 36 students who took part in a computational biology research project this past summer at Oxford University.

Lee Gass, UBC emeritus professor of zoology, will exhibit recent sculptures in stone and bronze at a special event for the UBC community on December 8 and 9 from 12–8 pm at 3440 Yukon Street in Vancouver. Dr. Gass is recognized as a hummingbird researcher, an award-winning teacher, and an innovator in interdisciplinary, highly interactive educational programs such as Science One and the Integrated and Coordinated Science Programs. Since retiring from UBC in 2004 Dr. Gass has sculpted full-time in his Quadra Island studio. His monumental basalt and bronze sculpture, Girlchild Reflected in Her Mother’s Eye, is installed permanently in front of the Wesbrook microbiology building on campus, across East Mall from the University Bookstore. For more information visit www.leegass.com.

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