After 35 years at UBC and eight years in the ISGP, I have decided to retire on September 1, 2017. I haven’t taken this decision lightly and there is much that I will miss as I move on to the next phase of my life. I will particularly miss the ISGP. It has been my honour and pleasure to serve as Chair of this great program. I remain in awe of the breadth, depth and genius of the ISGP students. Every single student that I have had the pleasure of working with has identified compelling interdisciplinary research issues and has designed creative ways of pushing the boundaries in their creation of new knowledge. Through the ISGP students, I have also benefitted by meeting and working with a wide range of faculty co-supervisors and members of the ISGP Faculty Advisory Committee. This has enlarged my tent of professional and academic colleagues from across virtually all departments and schools at UBC. For years, I have told everyone that I have the best job at UBC and I continue to believe that.
The ISGP has continued to grow and develop over the past eight years. We are offering more courses on the theory and practice of interdisciplinary research and I have been delighted with the initiatives by students in the program that have resulted in the annual Nexus conference of student research and the electronic publication of Cutting Edge, the ISGP student-edited research journal. We were able to move out of our cramped quarters at Green College and we now enjoy a wonderful space for student offices, committee meetings and community-building social events.
I want to single out our current Administrative Assistant, Enid Ho, for the excellent service she has delivered and from which we have all benefitted so greatly. It’s one thing to do one’s job at a level of excellence and it is quite another to do so with good humour, sensitivity, empathy and compassion. The program runs smoothly due to Enid’s attention to financial and academic detail and her multi-tasking time efficiency makes everyone in this program look good. I am also indebted to Noel Kreuz who has also provided much-needed administrative backup as a UBC Work Learn student assistant.
The ISGP is very lucky to have Dr. Barbara Weber becoming the next Chair of the ISGP. Dr. Weber is an accomplished interdisciplinary teacher and researcher and brings enthusiasm, skill, knowledge and excellent people skills to the job of Chair. I know that she will enjoy the same level of support I have been fortunate to receive over these past eight years. I ask you to join me in offering a warm welcome to Barbara.
With best wishes,