The side effects of the decline of men

Become a Global Change Maker. Get the Policy Degree the World Demands.

UBC’s Master of Public Policy and Global Affairs Program has received formal approval from the BC Ministry of Advanced Education. The MPPGA is a two-year global public policy program at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, Canada.

A Desire to Give Back

Sheila Ashwell’s (BA’91, MEd’07) desire to help students stems from her undergraduate and graduate days at UBC. Through Psychology Tri-Mentoring, a program that connects students with industry professionals, Ashwell volunteers her time to help students transition from the classroom to the working world.

Inside Arts caught up with Ashwell, Associate Director of the UBC Arts Co-op Program, to chat about her volunteer role and what keeps her coming back, year after year.

Q: Why do you volunteer in the Psychology Tri-Mentoring program?

A: When I was a Psych student, I remember feeling like a number, unfortunately. It was the late 80s/early 90s and there was no co-op, no internship, no exchange, and I was not sure what to do with my BA.

When they started the mentorship program here, I thought, “I bet you there are lots of Psychology students who are not sure what they want to do with their major or degree.” It was a chance to give back to students. I would have loved to have had that opportunity.

Q: What kind of advice do you offer students?

A: Once they find out I’m in the Co-op program, they would like help with resumes and applications, which are great topics to start with. I often encourage students to do informational interviews. Given my connections with employers, I encourage students to talk to people and network. We also talk about volunteering. So depending on what their longer plans are, I encourage students to seek volunteer opportunities or internships to explore their area of interest.

Recently, I told my current mentee about Centre for Community Engaged LearningCareer Cruising and the new pages within Arts, “What can I do with my major?” She’ll explore those and come back with questions about things she’s excited about. From there I can try to connect her with people who she could learn more from. That might impact what classes she takes, especially in third and fourth year.

Q: How often do you meet with your mentees?

 A: We usually meet once a month during the academic year. On average, it takes 10-12 hours a year and the impact is amazing. It’s an easy way to give back.

Q: What was your most memorable experience? 

A: My most memorable experience was with a fourth-year student, who was interested in going onto counselling psychology after finishing undergrad.

It was really neat to share my insights about that program. It was exciting to coach her through the letter of intent and the application process. And to hear that she got accepted was really rewarding.

Q: So what keeps you coming back?

A: It’s energizing to meet with students. This year, I have a first-year student. She’s so keen; she’s like a little sponge. At our first meeting I suggested trying different things, such as a volunteer reading week placement, Arts Co-op and Go Global.  She was just so excited, her eyes lit up. I was excited because she was excited.

At the end of our conversation, she said, “I’m so relieved that I was able to talk to you and know that there are options for me with my BA.” She’s only in first year and thought she had to have everything mapped out.

I was really lost after I graduated because I didn’t have that kind of support or guidance. I didn’t know what the options were. If someone could have told me, it would have been so much better. That’s why I think the Tri-Mentoring program is so valuable.

Q: As a UBC alumna and Co-op staff member, what are the benefits of connecting with them?

A: It keeps me informed about the issues students face, their thoughts about the labour market, and what they can or cannot do with their degree. As a mentor, you’re building their confidence and awareness.

It’s an opportunity to help students break down some of those myths out there. I think a lot of students think that career paths are very linear. And they’re not, most of the time.

Helping the students in the Psychology Tri-Mentoring program has made me realize how much could be done at the university to help students explore all the career possibilities.

Q: Any advice for staff who are thinking of volunteering?

A: It’s quite easy to get involved and work with students. Most of the time they’re very keen and they make it easy for you.

It’s very rewarding and I think staff would get a lot out of it. I encourage colleagues to remember what it was like when they were high school, college or university and recall what might have been helpful when they were going through those phases.

To learn more about Tri-Mentoring and other ways to get involved, click here.

Interested in Development, Sustainability and Global Governance?

UBC’s Master of Public Policy and Global Affairs program offers three streams for you to tailor the program to your career goals. We are seeking future policy leaders to address complex global issues in development and social change; resources, energy, and sustainability; and global governance and security.

Faculty of Arts Council Meetings 2013-14

The Faculty of Arts Council is constituted by the Senate under the authority of the University Act.  Faculty of Arts Council Meetings (“Faculty of Arts Meetings”) are chaired by the Associate Dean responsible for faculty affairs.  All tenure-stream faculty are invited to attend Faculty of Arts meetings.  The meeting agenda and relevant documents will be made available in advance.  The meeting venue will be announced closer to each meeting date.

2013/2014 schedule of Faculty of Arts Meetings (12:30pm to 2:00pm):
Term 1: Tuesday October 15, 2013   |   Term 2: Thursday February 13, 2014 and Tuesday May 6, 2014

Are you ambitious, creative, and globally-minded?

UBC’s professional Master of Public Policy and Global Affairs program is seeking students like you to prepare for leadership positions, ready to navigate complex policy problems while driving positive global change.

CIHR New Investigator Salary Award

A new investigator is defined as a researcher who has held a full time research appointment (e.g. faculty appointment providing eligibility to apply for grants and/or supervise trainees), for a period of 0 to 60 months.

The total amount available for this funding opportunity is $12,000,000, enough to fund approximately 40 awards. The maximum amount per award is $60,000 per annum for up to 5 years.

Funds are available for this competition to support New Investigator Salary Award applications in specific research areas:New Investigator Salary Award: Fall 2013 Priority Announcement (Specific Research Areas)

Application Deadline: December 02, 2013

 For more information visit:

For questions on CIHR funding guidelines, how to apply, and the peer review process contact:

New Investigator Salary Award Program Delivery Coordinator
Canadian Institutes of Health Research
Telephone: 613-957-6123
Fax: 613-954-1800

CIHR Partnerships for Health System Improvement

The purpose of this funding opportunity is to support teams of researchers and decision makers interested in conducting applied health services and policy research that will be useful to health system managers and/or decision makersPHSI funds teams of decision makers and researchers to conduct applied health services and policy research. Because they participate throughout the research process, the research results are more likely to be relevant to and used by decision makers.

Funds Available:

  • The total amount available for this funding opportunity is $6.6M, enough to fund approximately 16 grants. The maximum amount per grant from CIHR is $400,000 for over a period of up to three years (partnership contributions are in addition to the CIHR amount).
  • This funding is renewable. Individuals currently holding PHSI grants that have not expired by the application deadline date are eligible to apply as a renewal.
  • Applicants must secure partnership contributions from Project Specific partners and/or Competition Partners equivalent to a minimum of 20% of the total grant amount requested from CIHR. The partnership contribution can be a combination of cash and/or in-kind contributions. Note: 20% is the minimum requirement and there is no upper limit on partner contributions to a project.

For more information visit:

Application Deadline: Nov 01, 2013

For questions on CIHR funding guidelines, how to apply, and the peer review process contact:

Anne-Marie Poulin, 
Program Delivery Coordinator
Canadian Institutes of Health Research
Telephone: 613-948-2899
Fax: 613-954-1800

UBC Internal Letter of Interest (LOI) for 2014 NIF/LEF Competition

The Institutional Programs Office provides UBC researchers with comprehensive support in applying for research infrastructure funding from the Canada Foundation for Innovation.

UBC requires that all faculty members interested in accessing infrastructure funding through this program complete a Letter of Interest. The LOI will not be used to vet proposals or to pre-select proposals.  It is for information gathering purposes only.

The LOI can be accessed at the Institutional Programs Office web page: under the heading “2014 LEF/NIF COMPETITION (CWL)” using your CWL to login.  If you have any difficulties please contact the IPO (see below).

LOI Deadline – September 30, 2013

Please complete the LOI and email a copy to the Institutional Programs Office ( with a cc: copy to Michael Blades, CFI Coordinator, ( no later than September 30, 2013.


Learn more about the Master of Public Policy and Global Affairs program, its history and aims, as well as location and contact information.