Distinguished Speaker Series

Since 2006, the Irving K. Barber School of Arts and Sciences has been bringing compelling speakers to the Okanagan to share their unique perspectives on issues that affect our region, our country and our world. Over the years, they’ve hosted am impressive line-up of speakers including Jay Ingram, Wab Kinew, and Colonel Chris Hadfield.

The Distinguished Speaker Series is open to all UBC staff, faculty, and students, as well as to the general public. And thanks to the Irving K. Barber Endowment, which helps to fund the series, it’s free to attend.

The next distinguished speaker is Nicholas Thompson, the editor-in-chief of Wired.

The story of how science and technology changes our lives is one of the most important in the world. And no one’s more equipped to tell it than Nicholas Thompson. As the editor-in-chief of Wired, he is the first person to know—and investigate—both the technological and ethical developments as they unfold in Silicon Valley.

From artificial intelligence to robotics, privacy to social media, ethics to war, and more, Thompson leads the news cycle. In this talk, The Wired Future, he champions the ways technology enhances our lives and makes our world a better place.

When: Monday, February 25th at 7:00pm
Where: Kelowna Community Theatre (1375 Water Street)

Tickets are available online.

Be sure to check it out!

New Staff Spotlight: Kyle Watson

Who: Kyle Watson
Unit: Student Recruitment and Advising
Position: Events and Projects Manager
Since: January 2019

If you were an animal, what would you be?

Setting aside the common flight or sea options, if I were an animal, I think being a Bighorn Sheep would be thrilling. Living at high-altitudes atop Canada’s Rockies, I’d have a pretty great view.

What is your favourite thing about Kelowna?

My favourite thing about Kelowna is the endless amount of outdoor activities and adventure, right at our doorstep! This attracted my wife and I, which is why we moved here 5 years ago, and continues to inspire our family. 

Do you have any pets? 

We do not have any pets, although, we do have a 6-month old son named Kalder. He’s the newest addition to our family and is our first child. We feed him, take him for walks, change his diaper and teach him cool tricks.

What is your favourite food?

This is a difficult question for me. I thoroughly enjoy food, along with the joy and community that comes with it. I can comfortably say I do not discriminate against any food.

What is something interesting you want to share with your ES colleagues?

I am new to UBC! While my personal and professional background have been devoted to the sports industry, I am excited to transition into higher education, and couldn’t be more excited for a future with UBC! In my free time, I enjoy exploring all activities the Okanagan Valley has to offer. I also dabble in wood-working. You will have to ask my better half if it has proven to be beneficial around the house, either way, it has evolved into my own form of meditation.

Staff Spotlight: Jennifer Kerr

Posted on behalf of Erin Shannon

Name: Jennifer Kerr
Position: Manager, Student Services, Okanagan campus
Years with UBC: 3 (ish)

If a theme song played when you entered the office, what would it be?
SuperFreak – by Rick James

What is your dream job (other than your current job of course)?
Backup Dancer for J-LO. Actually, FEATURE Backup Dancer for J-LO. And we would be best friends.

If you could give a shout out to a colleague on either campus who would it be and what would the shout out be?
MARIA MANNELLA! She is my Yoda.

What animal would be the most terrifying if it could speak and why?
My son’s goldfish. I bought it a huge super cool round tank and just learned that is the worst tank for fish. Apparently, every object is distorted and terrifying. I’m pretty sure the fish has about 2 years of worth of shade to throw.

Is there anything you get wrong almost every time you do it?
Putting my appointments into outlook. I. Never. Get. The. Right. Date…Ever.

Staff Spotlight: Diane MacBride

Posted on behalf of Erin Shannon

Name: Diane MacBride
Position: Assistant to Deputy Registrar, Okanagan campus
Years with UBC: 12 years

Any nicknames around the office?
Mama Bear or MacBB. “Don’t poke the Mama Bear!”

If a theme song played when you entered the office, what would it be?
Perfect by Ed Sheeran! Although I am perfectly imperfect this is my husband’s ring tone and my favorite song.  🙂

What is your dream job (other than your current job of course)?
Travel Blogger without having to blog. 🙂

Is there anything you get wrong almost every time you do it?
Have only ONE glass of wine. 🙂