In 1968 James Anderson, MA’71, left teaching in Calgary to enrol in UBC’s School of Community and Regional Planning. Helped by a Parks Canada scholarship, James shifted from a traditional career path in urban studies to instead specialize in natural resource planning and, particularly, outdoor recreation. Upon graduation, James spent a decade with parks branch at an exciting time when there was both funding for park development and support for new parks. He started as a park system planner, which meant that he and his colleagues served as paid public service tourists, exploring the natural wonders of Beautiful BC. They travelled by foot, boat, horse, canoe and float plane, identifying prospective new parks along the way. Then he served for five years as senior manager responsible for land administration, acquisition and natural resource management policy in parks. From there, he moved on to a 17-year career in both agriculture and commercial fisheries, and aquaculture. As 2011 marks the centennial of the establishment of the first provincial park in BC, Strathcona Park, James recently completed a major undertaking to document the history of our provincial park system. The resulting book, BC’s Magnificent Parks published by Harbour Publishing, is meant to remind British Columbians that their province leads Canada and indeed most of the world in preserving the special places of their province. Since retiring, Jim and his wife, Diane, have been world travellers, visiting the natural and cultural treasures of Egypt, Tanzania, Peru, Argentina, Ecuador, Cambodia and Vietnam.

Gary Poole
Gary Poole

In June 2011, Gary Poole, BA’72, presented a very well-received lecture at the University of Saskatchewan on the occasion of receiving the Christopher Knapper Lifetime Achievement Award from the national Society for Teaching and Learning in Higher Education (STLHE). Gary is one of the most well-known and respected figures in the inter-related fields of educational development and the scholarship of teaching and learning. In the 39 years since graduating from UBC with a double-major BA, this man – described variously as teacher, leader, coach, visionary, mentor, role model, scholar, superhero, friend, rock star, athlete and decent human being – has been engaged in many ventures, all aimed at helping to improve the student experience. He was the first director of Simon Fraser University’s campus-wide teaching support centre, a post he held for 12 years; he also contributed 10 years to STLHE (including four years as president). Gary returned to UBC in 2000 to serve for 10 years as director of the then-named Centre for Teaching and Academic Growth, and shortly thereafter, became the founding director of the Institute for the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning. Gary is currently president of the International Society for the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning. He taught large undergraduate psychology classes at SFU and is now an associate professor in the School of Population and Public Health in the UBC Faculty of Medicine.

At the end of May 2011, Roy Christensen, BA’75 (Hons), retired from the Delegation of the European Union to Canada – the EU’s diplomatic mission in Ottawa. Roy worked for the EU for nearly 35 years, the last 20 as a press officer. He is co-founder of the Ottawa Diplomatic Association and the Canadian Committee for World Press Freedom. In his retirement he plans to research and write as well as stay active in various community organizations. He and his wife, Vita, will stay in Ottawa but plan to visit Europe and BC often.

On May 25, 2011, Dalhousie University awarded Larry Beasley, MA’76, with a doctor of laws, honoris causa, at the convocation ceremony for the faculties of Architecture and Planning, Computer Science and Graduate Studies.

Suzanne M. Taylor, BEd’77, was named the winner of the 2011 Rosemary Brown Award for Women, which honours and recognizes a BC woman or BC-based organization that promotes the values and ideals that Rosemary Brown championed during her lifetime. Suzanne is being recognized for her extraordinary contributions in the area of International Development and for her admirable work with the Canadian Red Cross. As a primary health care specialist and community development expert, Suzanne has provided hope and empowerment to people by providing training, mentorship, and sustainable solutions during disaster recovery, and influencing systemic development to regions in crisis around the world.

After a long and rewarding career at the University of Calgary Library, Ada-Marie Atkins Nechka, MLS’78, retired from her position as associate university librarian for collections and technical services on June 30, 2010. While attending UBC from 1976 to 1978, Ada-Marie was employed by the Alumni Association as the editor of the Spotlight (now Class Acts) section of The Chronicle. At the University of Calgary, Ada-Marie served in many positions including English literature, linguistics and philosophy subject specialist; head of Reserve Services; assistant head of Access Services; and as acting associate director of Information Resources. In recognition of her many contributions to the University of Calgary during her 32-year career there, Ada-Marie was granted status as Librarian Emeritus, effective July 2011.

Hugh (Hughie) MacKinnon, BEd’78, MEd’84, has been a secondary school teacher for 32 years and a secondary school administrator for 27 years in Golden, Terrace, Courtenay and Comox. He is currently administrator in charge of alternate programs in SD#71 (Comox Valley). He has coached many high school teams and two of his four sons ended up captaining CIS Men’s basketball teams. He was also elected as a town councillor in Comox in January and is donating the councillor’s monthly salary to the children’s trust fund of the deceased councillor he replaced, becoming the only politician working for free in Canada. His wife, Kathie, BEd’78, taught elementary school and operated her own daycare business. She also sings in choirs and has volunteered significantly in her communities.

John S. Clark, BCom’79, president of Pacific Spirit Investment Management Inc., was named a 2011 Five Star Wealth Manager based on an independent survey of one in four high-net-worth households in Greater Vancouver. Wealth managers were evaluated based on nine criteria, including customer service, integrity, knowledge/expertise, value for fee charged, quality of recommendations, and overall client satisfaction. Peers were also surveyed to evaluate John’s integrity, knowledge/experience, and overall reputation. He was among only five per cent of wealth managers who were awarded this high honour. The recognition was announced in a special section of the June issues of Business in Vancouver and Vancouver Magazine.

Sheila Purves (née Currie) BSR’79, is to be awarded an honorary doctorate by the Hong Kong Institute of Education in recognition of her 25 years of work in China introducing modern physiotherapy and occupational therapy to the Chinese medical system. The ceremony will take place on December 2, 2011. Sheila is currently project director for the Hong Kong Society for Rehabilitation, a WHO Collaborating Centre for Rehabilitation. This involves directing training and disability-awareness programs for rehabilitation personnel in China, as well as responsibility for curriculum development, planning, recruiting and managing personnel, budget, fundraising, project proposals and reporting. The work also includes extensive teaching and consultation, as well as establishing and maintaining partnerships with Chinese organizations and individuals involved in the health, civil affairs, education and disability sectors. More than 20,000 Chinese doctors, therapists and community rehabilitation personnel have participated in these training programs over the years. Sheila was included in the Queen’s Honours List in 2000 (MBE for services to child welfare in China), and has been recognized by the People’s Republic of China in 1996 (award for contributions to Chinese rehabilitation medicine education), UBC in 1990 (selected as one of 75 outstanding alumni of UBC’s first 75 years), and by the Hong Kong Institute of Occupational Therapy in 2005 (award for promoting the development of rehabilitation medicine in mainland China).


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