To alumni and friends,
Thousands of students virtually return to UBC this month. It’s not an ideal situation, but we know our beautiful campus is not the only reason why UBC is so special. Beyond the physical, the university’s back to school vision reminds us UBC is its people, who are connected by academic excellence, the courage to delve deeper, and the passion to become the person you want to be – no matter what.
This month’s newsletter features stories of our alumni, faculty, and students, that demonstrate these very qualities of academic excellence, courage, and passion. We have faculty spearheading valuable research on COVID-19, and two of our professor emeriti, Nancy Gallini and Craig Riddell, were recently named fellows to the Canadian Economics Association, one of our field’s highest honours.
Our students have also been recognized for their academic prowess, like incoming MA student Jamie Emery, a prize-winning young scholar. Economics students have also shown a commitment to community and compassion that inspires us all, whether it’s helping to feed frontline workers and support local restaurants, like 2020 graduate Patrisse Chan (BIE’20), or fundraising for Indigenous, Black, and queer causes, like students Felipe Grosso and Amedeus D’Souza.
The alumni you’ll hear from in this month’s newsletter are Aaron Chin (BA’12) and Namomba Shaputu (BA’20), who are both making their mark here in Vancouver. In their Q&A’s, I am struck by Aaron’s advice to “dream big” and Namomba’s advice to “be curious” and “take time every now and then to reflect on your identity and core values.” The past several months has shown us that we need to do exactly that; because our changing world needs big thinkers, and even bigger ideas.
As VSE and UBC alumni, I know you have the ability to channel your own academic or work excellence, courage, and passion into something truly special, into positive change, whether that's in your personal life, community, or career. No matter what.
Until next time,
Prof. Patrick Francois, VSE Director