Patty Wellborn



A spread of healthy foods

UBC experts will discuss the importance of good nutrition and exercise when it comes to chronic disease prevention.

What: The Southern Medical Program presents MEDTalks: Building muscle, building health
Who: UBC Assistant Professor Dr. Sarah Purcell and UBC Clinical Assistant Professor and gastroenterologist Dr. Sarah Robbins
When: Wednesday, June 7 from 7 to 8 pm
Venue: UBC Clinical Academic Campus in Kelowna General Hospital, 2312 Pandosy St.
How: In-person with virtual option available

Up to roughly one-third of Canadians have low muscle mass, even in those with higher body weight.

As people age, low muscle mass can lead to poor quality of life, complications during surgery or longer hospital stays. It can also significantly impact how long a person might live.

The public is invited to hear from health experts about how the intersection of nutrition, exercise and chronic disease prevention can improve overall health.

Dr. Sarah Purcell is an Assistant Professor with the UBC Faculty of Medicine’s Division of Endocrinology and Metabolism and UBC Okanagan’s Faculty of Science. She is also a researcher with the Centre for Chronic Disease Prevention and Management based at UBC Okanagan. Dr. Purcell completed a Bachelor of Science in Dietetics and a Master of Science in Clinical Nutrition at Florida State University followed by a PhD in Nutrition and Metabolism at the University of Alberta.

Dr. Purcell’s research aims to improve the understanding of the unique dietary requirements of people with chronic diseases and reduce obesity in people with chronic diseases by implementing nutrition and exercise interventions.

Dr. Sarah Robbins is a gastroenterologist, a nutrition specialist and the founder of Well Sunday Health Corporation, an online education platform that offers cutting-edge nutrition information to improve people’s health and quality of life. She is also a Clinical Assistant Professor with the UBC Faculty of Medicine’s Division of Gastroenterology. With expertise in gut health, nutrition and lifestyle medicine, Dr. Robbins provides easy-to-digest, science-backed courses about a wide range of gastrointestinal illnesses to help people achieve vibrant health.

MEDTalks is a health education lecture series exploring current and emerging trends in medicine. Hosted by the Southern Medical Program at UBC Okanagan, researchers and health professionals share their insights and expertise.

The event is free and open to the public with in-person and virtual options available but registration is required. To register or find out more, visit:

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A UBCO researcher cautions poor eating habits established while at univeristy can lead to health challenges later in life.

A UBC Okanagan researcher is cautioning that a person’s poor eating habits established during post-secondary studies can contribute to future health issues including obesity, respiratory illnesses and depression.

Dr. Joan Bottorff, a Professor with UBCO’s School of Nursing, is one of several international researchers who published a multi-site study looking at the eating habits of university students. Almost 12,000 medical students from 31 universities in China participated in the study that aimed to determine the association between eating behaviours, obesity and various diseases.

The point, says Dr. Bottorff, is that many poor eating habits begin at university and can continue for decades.

“We know many students consume high-calorie meals along with sugary foods and drinks and there is lots of evidence to show those kinds of eating behaviours can lead to obesity,” says Dr. Bottorff. “These are not the only habits that lead to obesity, but they are important and can’t be ruled out.”

The study, published recently in Preventive Medicine Reports, was led by Dr. Shihui Peng with the School of Medicine at China’s Jinan University. While there is well-established research that links unhealthy diets to many chronic diseases, this study aimed to show a relationship between poor eating habits and infectious diseases including colds and diarrhea.

Dr. Bottorff notes, due to the nature of the study, it was not possible to show cause and effect but the relationship between poor eating habits, obesity and respiratory illnesses were well supported.

“There has been biomedical research that also supports this link between obesity and infectious diseases, and most recently this has been related to COVID-19,” she adds. “We know from some of the recent publications related to COVID-19, obese people were more likely to have severe conditions and outcomes. Reasons that have been offered for this increased vulnerability include impaired breathing from the pressure of extra weight and poorer inflammatory and immune responses.”

A typical student diet of high-sugar or high-calorie foods can become a long-term issue as these habits can lead to obesity. Dr. Bottorff says there is evidence to show that stress and anxiety can cause overeating, but overeating can also lead to stress and depression.

“The bottom line here is that we shouldn’t be ignoring this risk pattern among young people at university. It is well documented that a significant portion of students have unhealthy diets,” she adds. “The types of foods they are eating are linked to obesity. And this can lead to other health problems that are not just about chronic disease but also infectious diseases.”

While Dr. Bottorff says students should be taught about healthy eating while at university the onus should be on the school to provide healthy, and affordable, food options for all students.

“We need to think about the food environment that we provide students. We need to ensure that in our cafeterias and vending machines, there are healthy food options so that they can eat on the go but also make healthy food choices.”

It’s not an issue going unnoticed. UBC Student Wellness and Food Services work together to address food security and food literacy and recognize that a lack of affordable food options, coupled with the stress of university life, can negatively impact students’ food choices.

Food insecure students have access to a low-barrier food bank and a meal share program. Meanwhile, UBCO Food Services’ culinary team prioritizes local, organic and sustainably-sourced ingredients, and works with a registered dietitian to ensure a wide variety of food options are available to all diners.

Dr. Bottorff agrees there have been improvements to food options in cafeterias and notes the drinks in many vending machines have been rearranging so healthier items are at eye-level and sugary choices are lower down.

“I know many post-secondary schools are trying to figure out how we can do better and are trying to address these problems,” she adds. “It’s great, because four or five years ago, we weren’t. So, I think we’re on the right road, but I think we’re a long way from finished.”

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A UBCO researcher is looking into whether intermittent fasting can help people living with Crohn’s or colitis.

Intermittent fasting, where a person restricts the intake of any calories for a select time period, has become a trendy and popular method of controlling weight and improving overall health.

And while it may not be for everyone, a UBC Okanagan researcher wants to know if intermittent fasting could help people who live with Crohn’s disease.

Dr. Natasha Haskey is a registered dietitian and a researcher with UBC Okanagan’s Centre for Microbiome and Inflammation Research. She wants to recruit study participants who live with Crohn’s and would be willing to try intermittent fasting for a select time period.

Can you explain the benefits of intermittent fasting?
Intermittent fasting has become a very popular weight loss method; however, its benefits have been shown to extend beyond weight loss. For example, recent research has found that intermittent fasting can improve metabolism, lower blood sugar levels and lessen inflammation.

Although there are many different types of fasting, we plan to study a 16:8 plan, which means you consume your food in an eight-hour window and avoid eating for the remaining 16 hours of the day. Much of the 16-hour fast is when we are sleeping so it is a feasible plan for everyone.

What do you hope to accomplish with your study?
Crohn’s disease is an inflammatory bowel disease that causes chronic inflammation of the gastrointestinal tract. While symptoms can vary among patients, common symptoms—which are very debilitating—include persistent diarrhea, rectal bleeding, abdominal cramps and pain. In addition to medication, diet is recognized as a way to help manage symptoms.

There is no research that exists at this time on how intermittent fasting will impact Crohn’s disease making this study novel and exciting. If we can demonstrate the ability to help people with Crohn’s, it could provide another option for Crohn’s patients who are overweight to help manage their disease, reduce the likelihood of a disease flareup, and prevent other complications.

And you’re specifically looking for study participants with Crohn’s?

  • We are looking for participants in the Okanagan and Calgary area
  • Between the ages of 18 to 75 years
  • With a body mass index of above 25, so someone who is overweight

What can participants expect from the study?

  • This is a 12-week study
  • We require two in-person study visits, and the remainder of the study requirements can be completed from home. Participants will have personalized access to a registered dietitian for 12 weeks
  • The opportunity for a dual x-ray absorptiometry test, known as a DEXA scan which examines body composition including overall body fat, visceral fat, lean tissue, bone weight

To find out more:

Okanagan area:
Natasha Haskey

Munazza YousefCalgary area:
Calgary: 403-592-5231

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A photo of person with an ambulatory spinal cord injury working out

Research from UBCO demonstrates a mobile app can help motive people living with a spinal cord injury who can walk keep active.

A UBC Okanagan researcher has been testing the effectiveness of a mobile app that encourages people living with a spinal cord injury—but can walk—to get active.

Dr. Sarah Lawrason, a researcher in the School of Health and Exercise Sciences, has focused her career on working with people who live with a spinal cord injury (SCI) but are ambulatory. She describes this population as an isolated, often misunderstood group of people because while they live with an SCI, they may not rely on a wheelchair all of the time for mobility.

“When people think of someone with an SCI, they picture a person who might be a paraplegic or quadriplegic—and that’s a person who has had a complete spinal cord injury,” she explains. “But a person who has had an incomplete spinal cord injury—who might be able to walk some of the time or with a device—can be ambulatory with an SCI. And this group is often marginalized.”

Dr. Lawrason, who conducts research with Centre for Chronic Disease Prevention and Management based at UBCO, says about half of spinal cord injuries are incomplete. The ambulatory SCI population is often seen as different from others and not a lot of research has been conducted with this cohort.

Her latest study, completed while working on her doctorate, investigates the potential of a mobile health intervention app called SCI Step Together. Some participants were provided with the app to help set goals, track activity, connect or chat with fellow participants, as well as access an online coach and weekly educational components. The other participants did not use the app.

None were prescribed specific exercises, but they were encouraged to do activities that bring them joy. Participants were also provided The Physical Activity Guidelines for Adults with Spinal Cord Injuries, established by UBCO’s Dr. Kathleen Martin Ginis, Dr. Lawrason’s faculty supervisor.

To achieve essential cardiorespiratory fitness and muscle strength benefits, the guidelines recommend adults with an SCI engage in at least 20 minutes of moderate to vigorous aerobic exercise and strength training on functioning muscle groups twice per week.

During the eight-week study, Dr. Lawrason checked weekly with participants to determine if they were accomplishing goals or facing barriers. Those with the app said they had greater fulfillment of basic psychological needs—including a sense of independence, competence and belonging—and knowledge than those without the app. And general results suggest the program is feasible, well-accepted and engages participants. The program significantly improved the satisfaction of basic psychological needs, knowledge and self-monitoring for leisure-time physical activity.

“This study is important because it’s the first exercise intervention for people with an SCI who walk, and one of the first mobile health programs for people with SCI in general,” Dr. Lawrason adds. “It is also indicative of a great partnership. SCI Step Together was developed in collaboration with Curatio Inc. to provide the mobile health platform. We also worked with several ambulators with SCI to make sure the content, delivery and format of the program met their needs.”

The study, published recently in the Journal of Sport and Exercise Psychology, was supported by a doctoral fellowship with the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada and a WorkSafe BC Doctoral Research Training Award.

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A photo of Heather Gainforth, Greg Gerard and Isaac Li

Drs. Heather Gainforth, Greg Gerard and Isaac Li are UBCO’s 2023 researchers of the year.

UBC Okanagan is celebrating six outstanding researchers with one of its most prestigious research awards—Researcher of the Year.

The award recognizes the ways in which UBCO researchers—three faculty and three graduate student or postdoctoral fellows—are making the world a better place through excellence in research and scholarly activity.

The 2023 Researcher of the Year awards ceremony honoured faculty winners Dr. Heather Gainforth for health research, Dr. Greg Garrard for social sciences and humanities and Dr. Isaac Li for the natural sciences and engineering category.

Alongside her teaching in the School of Health and Exercise Sciences, Dr. Gainforth’s research in the area of spinal cord injury (SCI) is focused on helping people with SCI live better lives. She engages directly with people living with SCI and invites the SCI community to help direct her work, in order to focus on the community’s high-priority needs that have historically received little research attention. Dr. Gainforth is dedicated to getting her results to those who need it most.

Dr. Garrard researches how humans’ activities and their perceptions of their environments shape the physical landscapes they inhabit. As a Professor of Environmental Humanities in the Faculty of Creative and Critical Studies, he’s a globally respected voice in sustainability who is focusing on the Okanagan region. His work asks people to interrogate their own perspectives on issues such as climate change or wildfires and helps individuals understand other perspectives to combat cultural polarization.

Immersed in the study of the physical interactions between cells, Dr. Li, Assistant Professor in the Irving K. Barber Faculty of Science, is an emerging leader in his field. His interdisciplinary lab builds specialized, DNA-based molecular tools to visualize these interactions at the scale of single molecules and opens opportunities for controlling these interactions, which can lead to a variety of future impacts, including disease treatments.

“UBC Okanagan’s vibrant research community continues to foster top-notch talent, which is clearly evident from this year’s Researcher of the Year recipients,” says Dr. Phil Barker, Vice-Principal and Associate Vice-President, Research and Innovation. “I’m so pleased to share and recognize the success of our incredible researchers and their important work.”

Three graduate or postdoctoral researchers were also recognized for their excellence in scholarly activity and highlighted as researchers to watch in the coming years:

  • Postdoctoral Fellow Researcher of the Year
    Dr. Femke Hoekstra, Faculty of Health and Social Development
  • Doctoral Student Researcher of the Year
    Melanie Dickie, Irving K. Barber Faculty of Science
  • Master’s Student Researcher of the Year
    Hanna Paul, Irving K. Barber Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences

“It’s inspiring to see the breadth of subject matter and the quality of research conducted by our students and postdocs,” says Dr. Peter Simpson, Dean of the College of Graduate Studies. “These researchers are changemakers—conducting research to investigate some of the world’s most challenging problems and producing creative work that addresses the human condition.”

The distinguished award honours leaders at UBCO who have reached across disciplines to have major impacts in their fields, says Dr. Barker.

“Here at UBC Okanagan, we know that working together across traditional boundaries is key to helping advance discovery,” he adds. “These researchers epitomize that call to action and I look forward to seeing where it will lead their fields in the years to come.”

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A photo of rotting apples.

UBCO researchers are looking at ways to convert rotting fruit into energy. Photo by Joshua Hoehne on Unsplash

When Doc Brown fed his DeLorean food scraps in Back to the Future as fuel, it seemed like crazy science fiction.

Now science is taking over that fiction as UBC Okanagan researchers are looking at the potential of using fruit waste—both solid and leachate—to power fuel cells.

While the energy extracted from food scraps still pales in comparison to solar or wind power, researchers are working towards purifying and improving the energy output of discarded food, particularly fruit waste—an item that is in abundance in the agricultural belt of the Okanagan Valley.

According to the BC Government, organic waste represents 40 per cent of material in provincial landfills. In particular, food waste is an increasing problem for urban areas around the world. This is partly the impetus behind a push to harness this waste and turn it into energy, explains UBCO researcher Dr. Hirra Zafar.

“Today food waste is a sustainability challenge with detrimental environmental, economic and social implications,” says Dr. Zafar. “Current waste treatment methods, such as landfills and incineration, are associated with a wide range of adverse environmental impacts, including acidic waste leachate, air pollution, methane production and the release of harmful pollutants that result in environmental degradation and health risks.”

Dr. Zafar, who conducts research in the School of Engineering, says microbial fuel cells convert fruit waste into electrical energy using an anaerobic anode compartment. In this compartment, anaerobic microbes—those that can survive without oxygen—utilize organic matter to convert it into energy.

The electroactive microbes consume organic matter in the anode compartment and release electrons and protons. The electrons combine with protons and oxygen at the cathode to produce water, generating bioelectricity in the process.

Dr. Zafar, says different types of fruits provide different results when processed through a microbial fuel cell—mostly because of their individual biochemical characteristics.

“Carbohydrates are first degraded into soluble sugars and smaller molecules such as acetate, which is then consumed by electroactive bacteria to produce electricity in the process of electrogenesis,” she explains.

Dr. Zafar and her supervisors Drs. Nicolas Peleato and Deborah Roberts, a researcher at the University of Northern British Columbia, are working towards increasing the bioconversion efficiency of fruit which they hope will result in higher voltage outputs.

Unlike in the fictitious approach in Back to the Future where Doc Brown tosses in peels at random, the researchers found that the process worked more efficiently with better output when the food waste was separated, and ground into small particles before processing.

Though challenges remain in converting food waste into bioenergy on a commercial scale, Dr. Zafar says this study reinforces the great possibilities of microbial fuel cells. And turning waste into green and renewable energy serves a dual environmental purpose.

“Microbial fuel cells are really at their developmental stage and they have so much potential,” she adds. “At this point, the voltage remains low, but I am excited to investigate how to improve their power output and apply these practices on a commercial scale.”

The research was a collaboration between UBC Okanagan and the University of Northern British Columbia. It was published in the latest edition of Bioresource Technology.

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A photo of a person interacting with an smartphone AI assistant.

UBCO Professor Wendy Wong is one of two professors who will discuss the government’s role in the ever-changing digital era at a public talk Friday.

As artificial intelligence starts acting more human, could it change the way governments understand their relationships with citizens?

This is one of many questions up for discussion on Friday night, says Dr. Wendy H. Wong, a Professor of Political Science in UBC Okanagan’s Irving K. Barber Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences.

Dr. Wong is a world-renowned author and researcher who has organized a public talk called Virtual Realities: States and Territory in the Digital Era. On Friday, she and fellow AI researcher Dr. Louise Amoore will discuss government’s role in the digital era.

Why are you hosting this event?

I’m the founder of the Governance of Emerging Technologies group, which is primarily a collection of scholars who’ve been brought together through a shared interest in the political and social impacts of technology, and how those impacts might be managed.

We understand that the public has an important stake in these issues as well as scholars, so this event is about creating a space where we can all have honest conversations about the impacts of technology.

What is the goal of this event?

Our goal is to educate the public on how the logics created by deep learning technologies—like ChatGPT and other forms of artificial intelligence—impact the way governments are able to understand themselves and their relationships to citizens. For example, what are the social benefits and costs of either “leading” or “falling behind” on AI?

Can you tell us about the evening’s guest speaker Dr. Louise Amoore?

Dr. Louise Amoore is a widely celebrated scholar of political geography from Durham University in the United Kingdom. Dr. Amoore has published several books on technology and algorithms, most recently one called Cloud Ethics. Her work is wide-ranging and showcases how changing technological landscapes can impact our political futures.

What can people expect?

Guests can expect a brief, publicly oriented lecture by Dr. Amoore, followed by a conversation between myself and Dr. Amoore. I will ask exploratory questions that follow up on her lecture. I expect Dr. Amoore to explain how AI changes the way that governments think about themselves in relation to their citizens.

This shift in the “logic” of sovereignty means that there is potential for states to change the way they govern. How do existing rules apply when the logic of AI, which runs on extensive data collection and high levels of computing power that run sophisticated algorithms, becomes part of what government does?

Are states more or less powerful as a result?

As this talk is designed to be open-ended and broad, guests can also expect discussions on AI-related topics like data and data collection. Following the presentation, there will be a Q&A session.

Who is welcome to attend this event?

Thanks to sponsors, this event is free and open to everyone. Due to space restrictions, pre-registration is required.

The event takes place, Friday, May 5 at 5 pm at the Kelowna Innovation Centre, at 460 Doyle Ave. To register or find out more, visit:

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A photo of packed boxes getting ready to be moved

New UBCO research can help decision-makers in the real estate industry forecast future regional house prices and better explain pricing.

A group of UBC Okanagan researchers is trying to take the mathematical mystery out of what could be a person’s biggest investment—buying a home.

While the real estate market changes rapidly and is connected to the fluctuations of the economy, there are many other considerations to make when purchasing a property, says UBCO School of Engineering Professor Zheng Liu.

Dr. Liu and his doctoral student Junchi Bin, along with Faculty of Management Associate Professor Eric Li, have created a regional house price mining and forecasting framework (RHPMF) and recently published research that tests the tool they created.

“Real estate is always one of the largest expenses throughout a person’s life,” says Dr. Liu. “Before making decisions on house transactions, people consult real estate agents to obtain knowledge of the market. And these days, people are more cautious than ever about costly failures such as a real estate investment.”

The idea behind the RHPMF is to help people understand the population, growth and historical background of a specific community or even a neighbourhood based on real-world housing data including history, social dynamics and housing costs.

“The real estate market has a significant impact on people’s daily life,” adds Bin, who notes there is not a lot of empirical research about the real estate industry. “Therefore, it is crucial to understand real estate from both the spatial and historical perspectives. What’s going on in the neighbourhood where you want to buy?”

To fully understand a local market, Bin says people must “mine” the area for data—learn about supply, the location of expensive or affordable houses, the history and current dynamics of an area including crime rates—before they can assess and forecast the house prices and then finally determine if the area is right for them.

Specifically, the RHPMF framework introduces a series of filtering algorithms to extract spatial and historical factors about a particular neighbourhood. For example, the users can input a street address into the web-based or mobile matrix tool. The algorithm can analyze the data and release a comprehensive report to users with all the corresponding information. The result, explains Bin, is to assist estate brokers in visualizing, analyzing and forecasting the spatial and progressive evolution of estate prices from multi-source information.

The researchers tested their matrix using exploratory trials and experiments in Virginia Beach, Philadelphia and Los Angeles. Dr. Li says the forecasting accuracy of the matrix worked well and their series of tests demonstrate the RHPMF’s considerable capability and robustness.

“These case studies indicate that the RHPMF framework can accurately capture the market’s spatial distribution and evolution and then forecast future regional house prices compared with recent baselines,” says Dr. Li. “The results suggest the great potential of the proposed RHPMF in real estate industries.”

Dr. Liu says the proposed framework can help decision-makers in the real estate industry as it can forecast future regional house prices and also provide explainable price factors for in-depth analysis.

“The RHPMF successfully integrates exploratory analysis and price forecasting as a framework,” he adds. “With accurate and explainable analysis, the clients can make smart and reliable decisions related to the estate market.”

The research was published recently in Information Fusion.

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A photo of a young man using a smartphone at night.

UBCO researchers are testing reconfigurable intelligent surfaces—smart surfaces—that can serve as reflectors to improve cell service with existing wireless networks.

It’s happened to anyone with a cell phone—dropped calls or dead air because suddenly there is no service available. Or worse, the location pin drops on the navigation app.

Researchers at UBC Okanagan are looking at ways to improve cell phone connectivity and localization abilities by examining “smart” surfaces that can bounce signals from a tower to customers to improve the link. A smart surface involves installing reflective elements on windows or panels on buildings in dense urban environments.

The goal, says Dr. Anas Chaaban, is to improve wireless services for millions of Canadians. Currently, he says, there are more than 12,000 wireless antenna towers. And yet, a lack of cell service is a common problem.

“The increasing use of mobile technologies across the world is necessitating research that unlocks potential new approaches within our existing infrastructure,” says Dr. Chaaban, an Assistant Professor at UBC Okanagan’s School of Engineering. “Even though cellphone towers line the rooftops of major cities, and handle the data and phone traffic of millions of Canadians each day, there are still gaps in service.”

Dr. Chaaban and his team at UBCO’s Communication Theory Lab have developed transmission schemes that would incorporate reconfigurable intelligent surfaces—smart surfaces—throughout urban centres to serve as reflectors within existing wireless networks.

A reconfigurable intelligent surface (RIS) is a panel of many individual reflective elements, each of which can modify an incoming signal and reflect it. This modification can be controlled with an electrical signal, which enables the RIS to improve the connection or generate signals that are useful for locating users in the network.

The researchers developed a new localization system where an RIS can work as a satellite to improve accuracy. By making a surface smart, it can bounce signals to cell phones which in turn can use these signals to generate an accurate estimate of location, he says. An accurate location estimate is not only useful for location services but also to improve transmission from the tower to the phone using optimized location-aware transmission schemes that also leverage the RIS.

“Users never expect to have a call drop, and they also expect lightning-fast data speeds,” he says. “But to accomplish this, the networks require constant updating.”

The researchers tested their theory using multiple modulated RISs that allow for the simultaneous localization of multiple users with low complexity for each RIS. They also developed and tested RIS-enabled transmission schemes that outperform existing schemes.

“We simulated the proposed localization protocol and demonstrated its effectiveness in an urban micro-cell street canyon scenario as an example,” he explains. “And the protocol works for multiple users simultaneously. Even in areas with intermittent service, data can be shared and users can be located and enjoy a reliable connection.”

Dr. Chaaban and his team have published several papers on this work, which appear in the IEEE Communications Letters, IEEE Open Journal of the Communications Society, and IEEE Transactions on Wireless Communications.

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A photo of a speaker in front of an audience

UBCO’s History and Sociology Department is hosting a four-part speaker series, bringing in experts to discuss issues facing the globe today. Friday’s event examines international borders, migration, transnational feminism and their combined impact on international asylum law.

UBC Okanagan’s History and Sociology Speaker Series will return to the Okanagan Regional Library this week following a hiatus due to COVID-19.

The speaker series is known for bringing leading thinkers from around the world to Kelowna to discuss some of the big issues of today, tomorrow and the past, explains Dr. Jessica Stites-Mor, a Professor of History in the Department of History and Sociology.

As organizer of the upcoming events, Dr. Stites-Mor explains the history behind the public lectures and what people might learn from the four highly respected speakers coming to Kelowna.

What is the History and Sociology Speaker Series?

I’m glad to say it’s back as an annual event put on by the Irving K. Barber Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences. We aim to present a series of public lectures by leading historians and sociologists in their respective fields.

What is the goal of the series?

These public lectures explore new and important issues within the field. They also introduce research approaches and theories to our partners in the community, and give an inside look at how academics move through the investigative process.

What can a participant expect?

Each event will open with a presentation from our guest speaker and lead into a welcoming and inclusive Q&A session.

This series is comprised of four lectures—does the content of each talk stand on its own or do they build off each other in some way?

Each talk has a unique theme, so people can attend whatever sessions they’re able to. The series is a showcase of the broad research and teaching interests of faculty members in the department and provides an opportunity for community members to interact with the academic community. I encourage anyone with a keen interest in policy and social change to attend this series.

All events take place at Okanagan Regional Library’s downtown location, at 1380 Ellis Street, open to the public and free to attend. No pre-registration is required.

The first lecture takes place this Friday, February 17 with the following events taking place on March 9, March 23 and April 9.

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