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Mural Project Connects UBC Arts Alumna and Downtown East Side

Learning is powerful, and a recent DTES Mural Project through the UBC Learning Exchange shows just how successful combining two of UBC’s core commitments – student learning and community engagement – can be.

The Learning Exchange was created more than 10 years ago to make connections between the University and people in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside. As Director Kathleen Leahy says, the Exchange is “located in and strongly connected to the local community while still being part of UBC and that relationship, those connections going both ways, allows us to build partnerships between people”.

Thanks to donor funding, staff at the Learning Exchange were able to conceive of a project that connected an alumna to both new creative experiences and the DTES community. The mural project had two distinct goals – to tackle the issue of social isolation identified among tenants living at the Oasis building on East Hastings Street and to address the graffiti in a “high-use”* alley behind the building.

UBC graduate Kim Villagante’s interest for murals, sparked by the street art she appreciated on her travels, made her a natural choice to be the community artist to coordinate and direct the project. Kim led tenants and other volunteers in designing and creating three murals in the alley behind the Oasis. She set up monthly art spaces in the housing unit so that tenants could drop in, participate in the mural design process, draw, or sometimes just sit and chat. It was this ongoing, longer-term investment that really helped this project succeed for all involved. As Kim says, “It was through the opportunity I had to do a prolonged work with the Oasis that I got to know the tenants on a deeper level through the stories about their lives that they generously shared with me. I thought I was coming in to do something great but I actually received a lot more from learning from these people.”

Over this sustained period, tenants became more connected, with housing staff reporting a much more engaged social atmosphere in the Oasis, triggered in large part by the creative process itself: “our creative processes are transformative”, Kim says. “When people are adding a paint stroke to a mural that they’re both working on, you have to work with each other’s differences. I remember a lot of encouragement happening between all the artists – tenants and volunteer artists – to get up and paint regardless of self doubts or ability.”

The murals are striking, proud, beautiful art in this high-use alley, a permanent reclamation of the space by the tenants, and a way of projecting their humanity out into the world. Everyone walking past the murals while they were being created stopped to show their appreciation, from police officers to other DTES residents. Neighbouring condominium owners even approached Kim to create similar murals on their garage doors, immediately seeing the long-term value in such public art.

“Art is a huge community builder”, Kim says, “I wish there were more opportunities for visual art students to share their skills and educate themselves about the issues of the community”. Donations to the UBC Learning Exchange support innovative programming like this; opportunities that bring together diverse people to achieve shared goals, offering transformative learning experiences for students, community members and volunteers.

* “high-use” refers here to high drug use in the alley.

Find out more about the Learning Exchange here!

Faculty Council Meetings 2012-13

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.  Secretarial support for Faculty Council Meetings is coordinated by the Senate and Curriculum Services division in Enrolment Services. The Faculty Meeting Schedule and access to Minutes are available through the Senate and Curriculum Services website at: http://www.students.ubc.ca/faculty/

2012/2013 schedule of Faculty of Arts Meetings

Term 1: October 16, 2012   |   Term 2: February 12 and May 7, 2013

The meeting on Tuesday October 16, 2012 was held in Buchanan B215, from 12:30pm to 2:00pm. 

The meeting on Tuesday February 12, 2013 was held in Buchanan D322, from 12:30pm to 2:00pm.

The meeting on Tuesday May 7, 2013 will be held in Buchanan A203, from 12:30pm to 2:00pm.


UPDATE [Nov 22/12]:   An extraordinary meeting of the Faculty of Arts will be held on Tuesday December 4, 2012, from 12:00 to 1:30pm, in Buchanan A202.

Sexuality Studies and New Social Media

Instructor I (tenure-track) – Sexuality Studies and New Social Media

The Institute for Gender, Race, Sexuality and Social Justice at UBC – Vancouver invites applications for a tenure-track Instructor I position in Critical Sexuality Studies. A PhD in Women’s & Gender Studies or a related humanities field, with an emphasis on cultural studies, new social media, literature, and feminist anti-racist pedagogy, is required. Major criteria in selection will be demonstration of prize-worthy excellence in teaching, an exceptional record of pedagogical innovation, and current and extensive undergraduate teaching in Women’s & Gender Studies and Critical Sexuality Studies.


The successful candidate will exhibit distinction in teaching service and educational leadership.  He or she will be expected to teach a range of undergraduate courses in the Institute, and to contribute to ongoing curriculum, program development, and other teaching and learning initiatives. The candidate’s demonstrated or potential ability to create and maintain effective links with Critical Studies in Sexuality (CSIS), as well as the Centre for Teaching, Learning, and Technology (CTLT), will be an important consideration.

The position is subject to final budgetary approval.  Salary will be commensurate with experience.  As this is a tenure-track position, an Instructor I who in later years is reviewed for tenure and promotion to Senior Instructor will be required to show evidence of excellence in teaching and service, demonstrated educational leadership, distinction in the field of teaching and learning, sustained and innovative contributions to curriculum development, course design and other initiatives that advance the University’s ability to excel in its teaching and learning mandate. It is expected that Senior Instructors will keep abreast of current developments in their respective disciplines and in the field of teaching and learning. A Senior Instructor in the fifth and subsequent years in that rank may be reviewed for promotion to the rank of Professor of Teaching.

Closing Date for applications: September 15, 2012

Anticipated position start date: either January 1 or July 1, 2013

A hard copy (no electronic applications) of a letter of application for the position, curriculum vitae, statement of teaching interests and philosophy, evidence of teaching ability and effectiveness (course outlines & student evaluations), together with the names of three references, should be forwarded to:

Dr. Sneja Gunew

Institute for Gender, Race, Sexuality and Social Justice

Lower Level, Jack Bell Building

2080 West Mall

University of British Columbia

Vancouver, BC V6T 1Z2

For information about the Institute, please visit: www.grsj.ubc.ca

UBC hires on the basis of merit and is committed to employment equity. All qualified persons are encouraged to apply. We especially welcome applications from members of visible minority groups, women, Aboriginal persons, persons with disabilities, persons of minority sexual orientations and gender identities, and others with the skills and knowledge to engage productively with diverse communities. Canadians and permanent residents of Canada will be given priority.

New LMS (Blackboard Learn)

UBC is transitioning from the WebCT learning management system to a new product, Blackboard Learn.  The Arts ISIT website will provide you with regular updates about the transition.  Click here for LMS (Blackboard Learn) News.

ServiceNow and Arts ISIT Contact Centre

In mid-February 2012 Arts ISIT (Instructional Support and Information Technology) announced the launch of a new streamlined incident management system called ServiceNow. The introduction of this tool aims to enhance support services for faculty and staff in the Faculty of Arts.  ServiceNow is a collaborative tool that facilitates the specialized learning & teaching and technology expertise at ISIT.  ServiceNow is designed to integrate with other UBC technical services to further access plus standardize the level of support offered across the Point Grey campus.  Arts ISIT in collaboration with UBC IT and the support from the Information Technology Service Management (ITSM) partners are piloting the new system.   We invite you to use this service for all your technical support needs.

Some benefits to the ServiceNow system include:

Better response. With a single point of contact for all your technical support needs, your concern will be forwarded to the right specialist in the right unit to ensure we can help you quickly and efficiently.

Better feedback. ServiceNow will automatically notify you via e-mail to let you know what stage your request is at, from Open (we have received your request) to Assigned/Escalated (a specialist has been assigned to your request) to Resolved (we believe your request has been met).

Better control. Your incident file will remain active until you determine there are no unresolved issues. Only then will its status move to Closed. This ensures you are satisfied with the service we have provided and that your concern has been met.

Better tracking. This system will maintain an ongoing log of troubleshooting with your profile, so if you are experiencing a persistent error, we will have more information to help us target the source of the problem.

Need support?   Contact Arts ISIT support by phone or email at: [(604) 827-ARTS] or arts.helpdesk@ubc.ca


 ARTS ISIT Contact Centre: (604) 827-ARTS

As part of the Arts ISIT’s continuous improvement process, we are proud to announce the launch of a new Contact Centre on March 1, 2012. The Arts ISIT Contact Centre will provide our faculty and staff with a single point of contact to access our skilled technicians. No busy signals, no lost calls, just tech support when you need it.

The Contact Centre can be reached by calling 827-ARTS. It is the only number you will need for any of these services:

* Desktop, Network and IT related support

* Classroom and Multimedia support

* To book equipment and computer labs

Contact Arts ISIT support by phone or email at 604-827-ARTS (2787), or arts.helpdesk@ubc.ca



Funding Opportunities Side Bar Links

UBC Internal Grants

National Funding Agencies

International Funding Agencies

Research Support Offices

Faculty Council Meetings 2011-12

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.  Secretarial support for Faculty Council Meetings is coordinated by the Senate and Curriculum Services division in Enrolment Services. The Faculty Meeting Schedule and access to Minutes are available through the Senate and Curriculum Services website at:http://www.students.ubc.ca/faculty/

2011/2012 schedule of Faculty of Arts Meetings

Term 1: October 11 and October 25, 2011   |   Term 2: February 14 and May 8, 2012

Meetings of the Faculty of Arts were held from 12:30pm to 2:00pm on October 11 and October 25, 2011 in Buchanan A203, on February 14, 2012 in Buchanan D322, and on Tuesday May 8, 2012 in Buchanan B215.

The Buchanan Courtyard serves to unite the diverse Arts community, creating a cultural hub for the largest faculty at UBC.

We are one humanity and each deeply different. Wholly embraced, our differences promise to be our greatest strength.