Quest student Aaron Slobodin has been recognized for his perseverance with a Crohn’s and Colitis Canada AbbVie IBD Scholarship worth $5,000. He was awarded this scholarship along with 15 other Canadian students who manage colitis and Crohn’s while attending post-secondary school. Despite the challenges, Aaron plans to study abroad in Hungary this year, complete his degree, and pursue master’s studies after graduation.

Aaron recorded a Facebook video post talking about colitis and his life at Quest, and the Squamish Chief published an article.

Fellow student Arlette Akingeneye had an opportunity to chat with Aaron.

Arlette Akingeneye: Maybe we could start by you telling us a little bit about yourself.

Aaron Slobodin: I have been here for five years now at Quest. I grew up on Denman Island which is a small Island off Vancouver Island. At Quest, I am specializing in math, more of pure math than applied. And I am currently working on graduate applications to do a master’s.

AA: What is your Question?

AS: My Question is “How Do Revolutionary Ideas Change Mathematics?” For my Keystone, I did work with Sarah Mayes-Tang, and it was really due to her area of research.

AA: Why did you choose to come to Quest?

AS: It sounds really funny, but I did not apply anywhere else. I decided that I wanted to come to Quest. At my high school, we had people who came around showcasing universities, and I think Spencer, who was working with Admissions at the time, came by, and I fell in love with it [Quest] and how personal it was. Having access to professors was really appealing to me and being able to form relationships with them. So, I decided that I wanted to come.

AA: Tell us about receiving the Crohn’s and Colitis scholarship. How was the application process? And what does this mean to you?

AS: This is my second year applying. The application process is not too intensive. You have to get a formal diagnostic filled out by your specialist. I got reference letters from Sarah Mayes-Tang and Richard Hoshino. And they also ask you to write a 500-word essay. They give you guidelines of things they are looking for. If you answered everything in the guidelines, it would really be difficult to fit in within 500 words. So, I took it as an opportunity to tell them about my background with colitis and managing it while at university. I think it’s officially given to achieving academic excellence in spite of the conditions. So, I tried to highlight how I am trying to do that.

AA: What does it mean to you receiving this scholarship?

AS: I was really excited to get it. It was a really big relief. I feel pretty fortunate that there is this body of people which is Crohn’s and Colitis Canada. I haven’t met anyone in Crohn’s and Colitis Canada, but they have this foundation that gives scholarship to students across Canada. So, I am really lucky that they saw my application and they were willing to support me without knowing me. That was really huge for me.

AA: Is the scholarship meant to only help you with your studies or you can use in other areas?

AS: It is supposed to go directly to your studies, so tuition, but they make it pretty easy that you can apply it to either fall, summer, or spring semester. You can apply it to blocks or other related materials.

AA: How many people were recipients of this scholarship?

AS: They gave it to 15 people across Canada. Usually, they give 10 scholarships, but this year, they gave 15 in celebration of Canada 150.

AA: If we go back in the story, when were you actually diagnosed with Crohn’s and colitis?

AS: Crohn’s and colitis are actually different conditions. I was diagnosed with colitis end of first year, just over three years ago. And I guess symptoms started to develop when I was here, and then it got worse and I had to take some time off school.

AA: How has your experience at school been like, studying and having to go to the doctor most of the times?

AS: The block program is really good. I do not think I would have finished a semester anywhere else. I have taken either eight or nine blocks off during the four years. I was fortunate I was in the block program. I guess it has not been easy, but everyone has got their own things that make it difficult in university. Treating my colitis has not been straightforward, so I see my specialist once or twice every two or three weeks. I think the faculty at Quest has been really supportive. Often, I would go to a classroom and say “hey …just so you know, I am currently having some medical issues.” I kind of give them a little bit of rundown, and I always receive support. Without that, it would have been harder, you know!

AA: What is one thing that people do not know about you?

AS: I think most people do not know that I have colitis. So, that would be something that people do not know. Friends know, but it does not come across a lot in conversations. I am also hoping to do this international math program in Hungry as an exchange in the spring.

AA: What are your plans after graduation?

AS: I am hoping to go straight into grad school. The exchange I am hoping to do this spring, it will finish off my credits at Quest, and I hope in the fall of 2018 to be at one of the universities I am applying to, to continue my education in math.

I think the funny part I would add is …having colitis, and I think this will fall for Crohn’s as well, there are things you appreciate that other people do not appreciate. It kind of gives you a new appreciation of washrooms – the accessibility to washrooms – which is kind of funny.

Wildfires Aren’t Just a Land Thing

Marine ecologist Dr. Tse-Lynn Loh, a Quest visiting tutor in the Life Sciences, contributed to an article on the impact of wildfires on marine life. The article, published on the Oceana blog, discussed how smoke and ash that billow from a blaze can change water quality in streams, rivers, and oceans, and could have major effects on marine ecosystems.

2015 Quest graduate Julian Grant’s Keystone project has been published in the International Journal of Agricultural Sustainability. Julian surveyed and interviewed small-scale farmers to assess the perceived impacts of a Canadian permaculture non-governmental organization’s (NGO) project in Butula, Western Kenya. This study emphasizes the importance of direct, reciprocal communication between NGOs and project participants for fostering feelings of autonomy and competence, thereby strengthening resilient agroecological systems. Read the article abstract.

While at Quest, Julian received Distinction for his Keystone project. According to Dr. Maï Yasué, Social Sciences Tutor (Geography), who served as his mentor, “This was by far the most challenging and ambitious field-project she had ever supervised.”

Julian is currently pursuing an MSc in Anthropology, Environment, and Development at the University College of London, where he is researching the historical and political contexts motivating the establishment of Tribal Parks in partnership with the Tla-o-qui-aht First Nation in Clayoquot Sound.

In the Kitchen with Dr. Maï Yasué

This week the Bowen Island Undercurrent published an article on Dr. Maï Yasué’s kitchen, cooking, and recipes. Dr. Yasué is a Social Sciences Tutor in environmental studies at Quest University Canada.

Read More…

 

Quest Admissions Open House

Are you interested in visiting the Quest campus? We are pleased to invite you and your family to our Admissions Open House on Saturday, October 14th. Attend a class, ask questions, and get to know Quest for yourself. Be a part of this vibrant community and see what we have to offer!

 


 

Quest is unlike any other university in Canada. Visiting the campus is the best way to experience the academics, the environment, and the unique culture.

OPEN HOUSE PREVIEW EVENTS

Open Houses present a comprehensive overview of Quest’s academic program and admissions procedures, as well as provide an introduction to our vibrant community. Families take sample classes, attend Q & A sessions with administrators and faculty members, tour campus, and experience Quest’s dining facilities.

2017-2018 Open House Dates:

• Saturday October 14, 2017 (Click Here to Register)
• Saturday February 17, 2018 (Click Here to Register)

If you would like to visit campus, please submit a campus visit request form above! We look forward to welcoming you for a campus visit to experience Quest for yourself. Please email any questions to campus.visits@questu.ca.

Alumnus Andrew Luba on EcoMeat

Quest University Canada alumnus Andrew Luba was a finalist in the Environmental Stewardship category of the Lieutenant Governor’s Visionaries Prize. He presented his talk on EcoMeat: Innovative Food for a Sustainable Future on September 26 in Waterloo. His presentation can be found here.

Quest LEAP / The Katherines

This is The Katherines, a band of talented musicians and students who are part of the LEAP Program at Quest University Canada. LEAP isn’t just for athletes; it’s a perfect fit for performers too. Quest’s Liberal Arts education provides them with a well-rounded set of skills that allows them to pursue their studies while they reach new musical heights.


Quest’s New Chancellor Named

Mr. Peter Webster, Chairman of the R. Howard Webster Foundation, was invested as Quest University Canada’s next Chancellor during the Convocation ceremony on September 2. As Chair of one of Canada’s pre-eminent family foundations, Peter Webster has cultivated a deep understanding of philanthropy with a keen eye toward social innovation. The stated mission of the R. Howard Webster Foundation is to make grants to outstanding Canadian charitable organizations offering unique and inspiring programs or projects for the benefit, improvement, and development of Canadian society. In that capacity, the Foundation made an inspirational grant during Quest’s founding era toward the establishment of the University’s library collection. According to Quest’s Board Chair Mary Jo Larson, Mr. Webster “has been a friend and supporter of the University since its inception and has followed us with keen interest throughout our first decade.”

In his younger years, Mr. Webster was involved in athletics, managing Canada’s National Alpine Ski Team, directing the BC Sports Hall of Fame and Museum, and serving as Deputy Team General Manager for the Canadian Olympic Association. More recently, he was a member of the successful Vancouver 2010 Olympic Bid Corporation. Throughout his career in philanthropic work, Mr. Webster has made a sustained impact in the areas of education, health sciences, athletics, arts, and culture. “Most of my work is dedicated to helping youth,” he says. “My hope is that I can help to provide young people today with opportunities that they might not otherwise have.”

Chancellor Webster’s first act of office was to install Dr. George Iwama as President of Quest University Canada. The primary duty of the Chancellor is to confer the interdisciplinary B.A. & Sc. degree upon Quest’s graduates. The University proudly welcomes Peter Webster as a friend of our innovative educational mission and our next Chancellor.

Quest University Canada student Miguel Orlando Chiau, a Mastercard Foundation Scholar, is among the speakers who will present at The Walrus Talks Africa’s Next Generation (Ottawa) on September 26. Miguel is a second-year student from Mozambique studying computer science. He is passionate about Africa and social inclusion, and envisions himself bringing change to his continent and believes that higher education is a prerequisite for achieving this goal.

Read More…

Herieth Ringo: Mastercard Foundation Scholar

Quest University Canada student Herieth Ringo, a Mastercard Foundation Scholar in the Program at African Leadership Academy, authored the essay To Build Confidence, Young Africa Must Focus on What it Does Well. In the essay, Herieth discusses creating the right conditions for young Africans to flourish as confident leaders.

Read More…

On September 1, 2017, the Canadian Mathematical Society announced that Dr. Richard Hoshino is the recipient of the 2017 Adrien Pouliot Award for significant and sustained contributions to mathematics education in Canada. Founded in 1945, the Canadian Mathematical Society (CMS) promotes the advancement, discovery, learning and application of mathematics. Richard is the youngest mathematician to have received this prestigious award in recognition of individuals “who have made significant and sustained contributions to mathematics education in Canada.” Adrien Pouliot was the second President of the CMS and was described as a world-class ambassador for science and mathematics and a great educator.

Richard’s colleague Dr. Glen van Brummelen, himself a 2017 National Teaching Fellow, noted that the award is essentially a national lifetime achievement award and that Richard has been “one of the most valued people in the Canadian mathematics education community” even before coming to Quest. Prior to his arrival at Quest in 2013, Richard was a postdoctoral fellow at the National Institute of Informatics in Tokyo (2010-2012), and was a mathematician with the Government of Canada (2006-2010), leading the mathematics and data exploration section at the Canada Border Services Agency. He has published 28 research papers across numerous fields, including graph theory, marine container risk-scoring, biometric identification, and sports scheduling.

Richard is a former Mathematics Olympian and has coached the students representing Canada at the International Mathematical Olympiad (IMO). He recently penned a novel The Math Olympian aimed at young people as a way to reach and inspire even more students. He frequently visits high schools to give public talks, and has reached thousands of students in British Columbia over the past four years. He has also led numerous professional development workshops for high school math teachers, and has organized or keynoted math education workshops and conferences throughout Canada. Hoshino is an active member of the Canadian Mathematics Education Study Group (CMESG), and will be the local organizer for the next CMESG meeting, to be held at Quest in June 2018.

For more information about Richard’s award, please see the press release from the Canadian Mathematical Society.

80th Birthday Retrospective Dr. Daniel Birch

It is with great fondness and admiration that Quest must bid farewell to Dr. Dan Birch, who will be stepping down from his position on the Board at the end of August after seven years of service to the University as both Chancellor and a Board member. In his own words, “I will celebrate my 80th birthday on September 1st and this seems like a good time to focus on my family. Doing so will entail no diminution in my aspirations for the future of Quest.”

When Dr. Birch became Chancellor of Quest University Canada, he brought a tremendous background in higher education with him. He received his Ph.D. in Education from the University of California- Berkeley. At Simon Fraser University he was appointed Dean of Education, Associate Vice President Academic, Acting Vice President Academic, and briefly as Acting President of the University. At the University of British Columbia, Dan again served as Dean of Education and for twelve years as Provost and Academic Vice President. He received the Cree name Mitehe (Heart) in recognition of twenty years of support for the development of First Nations programs at universities, including the establishment of the first Aboriginal graduate programs at UBC.

When asked about what attracted him to Quest when he first became Chancellor, Dan notes, “Members of the Quest community frequently say that their goal is to institutionalize revolution and the University is truly revolutionary – from cornerstone to keystone.” In regard to Cornerstone, he emphasizes the interdisciplinary teaching by two tutors from different disciplines, which “like much of the academic program has more to do with learning to ask good questions than with memorizing answers to be reproduced on exams.” As for Keystone, Dan finds it impressive how many lead into interesting employment or personally relevant studies for Quest alumni, either graduate or professional, and often in the most distinguished of institutions in Canada or abroad.

As an educator, Dr. Birch feels that Quest exemplifies the unique possibilities of a discovery-based pedagogy. “Most members of the public expect a university education to entail mastery of a body of knowledge. Quest’s expectation is that students will learn how scholars in a variety of disciplines formulate questions to advance their insight into the world around them and into themselves and others who live in it. Many Quest tutors achieve true distinction as scholar teachers and, in doing so, inspire their students to do likewise.”

Looking back on his service as Chancellor and as a Board member, Dan shared the following thoughts. “I am grateful to have served under two outstanding Chairs, Ian Worland and Mary Jo Larson, who have given themselves unstintingly for Quest’s wellbeing.” When asked about his hopes for the future of Quest University Canada, Dan enthusiastically responded, “I will look for the achievement of fiscal sustainability, continued orderly growth to a planned enrolment total of perhaps 1200 students, for an increase in the international experience of both students and faculty members, for continued relevance in the co-curricular program, and for an increase in peer tutoring. I expect vibrant and strategic leadership from the next President and from a coherent administrative team. It has been a great privilege to have been a member of Quest’s governing board.”

Quest is an inspired community of diverse, unique individuals who share a passion for discovery. Dan Birch exemplifies the spirit of Quest and we are truly privileged to have enjoyed his guidance and support for so many years. Board Chair Mary Jo Larson offered the following reflection on Dan’s contributions to Quest, “Dan has been an invaluable member of the Board. His knowledge of and connections in Canadian higher education have helped not only the Board, but all Quest students. When few graduate and professional programs understood the value of a Quest education, Dan opened doors for many Quest graduates, who continue to pave the way for the students coming after them. All of us are indebted to Dan for his many contributions to Quest.”

With the warmest wishes upon the occasion of his 80th birthday, thank you Dan from all of us at Quest!

 

Quest’s New President Dr. George Iwama

August 25, 2017

The Board of Governors of Quest University Canada is proud to announce that Dr. George Iwama has been appointed the University’s next President.

Quest is the national and global leader of a distinct philosophy of inquiry-based education, and is committed to continuing to innovate and share its work.

When we started our search for a new President, we set out to find someone who would:

  • Champion Quest’s mission, vision, and values;
  • Continue to strengthen, defend, and renew Quest’s pedagogical approach;
  • Recruit and support a truly distinctive student body;
  • Recruit and support world-class teacher-scholars;
  • Ensure a sustainable business model; and
  • Serve as a compelling and effective advocate for Quest as its leading external ambassador.

We strongly believe Dr. Iwama is an outstanding candidate, and we are excited about adding his experience and leadership to Quest University Canada.

Dr. Iwama will be a critical part of helping our University tackle the challenges and seize the opportunities that lie ahead by continuing to develop and champion the vision of Quest as a place for innovation in teaching and learning.

We look forward to hosting a social welcome event where students, staff, and community members can meet and get to know our new President this fall – stay tuned for details. For more information on Dr. Iwama, please visit the Incoming President webpage.

With appreciation,
Mary Jo Larson
Chair, Board of Governors
Quest University Canada

 

Quest student Alicia Saunders is asking visitors to Alice Lake Provincial Park to be on alert for the Western toad, which is native to the Sea to Sky Corridor. Saunders’ Keystone is on the migration of the toads, and plans to become a biologist with a focus on wetlands. She hopes her work will help protect the important species.

Read more via Jennifer Thuncher / Squamish Chief

Candidate Evaluation Committee: August 7 Update

 

Candidate Evaluation Committee Update

Dear Quest Communities,

As you know, the Candidate Evaluation Committee has been working very hard. It reviewed the skills and experiences sought in our next president, solicited community input, and then drafted a Presidential Profile. The CEC has completed its initial evaluation of the candidate in light of the articulated attributes desired and strategic objectives outlined in the profile. The evaluation included reviewing the candidate’s letter of interest and vita, speaking with several references, exploring information available on the internet, and interviewing the candidate in depth.

I am delighted to announce that the CEC has unanimously concluded that the candidate has the experience and attributes needed to lead Quest into the future and has invited him to campus for the next step in the evaluation process. At this time, we are able to share that the candidate is Dr. George Iwama. As many of you may know, Dr. Iwama has previously served as Vice President Academic and Provost at Acadia University and as President and Vice-Chancellor of the University of Northern British Columbia. He is also currently the Chancellor of Quest. You can find more information about Dr. Iwama on the Presidential Search webpage.

On behalf of the Candidate Evaluation Committee, thank you for your confidence and support, as well as the patience you have displayed as we work through this important process. We are making good progress and look forward to this final phase.

With appreciation,
Mary Jo Larson
Chair, Board of Governors
Quest University Canada