Created in 2017 as part of the 100th year of alumni UBC, the Alumni Builder Awards recognize a cross-section of alumni representing both campuses who have significantly contributed to the university and enriched the lives of others, and in doing so, have supported alumni UBC’s vision of a global alumni community for an exceptional UBC and a better world. We are proud to honour this year’s Alumni Builder Award recipients whose generous contributions have been recognized by their UBC faculty.
Dr. Christopher (Chris) Bryant, DMD’91
Since 2012, Dr. Christopher (Chris) Bryant has volunteered as a UBC dental mentor and program ambassador for the Faculty of Dentistry. He has donated his time, expertise, and even housing to dental students in the Summer Student Practitioner Program (SSPP). Each summer, Dr. Bryant hosts one or more students in preparation for their fourth year while modelling strong advocacy for vulnerable community members. Going above and beyond, he stays in touch with every student he has mentored over the past 11 years and continues to support them throughout their careers.
Kathy Butler, BCom’92
UBC Sauder School of Business
Kathy Butler, managing director and head of CIBC Capital Markets in BC, dedicates herself to empowering women in finance, increasing access to education, and inspiring others to give back. She is a leader in the financial community who has remained committed to UBC Sauder as an alum, volunteer, and donor who is intent on making a long-lasting impact on the community. She shares her experiences of working in finance and capital markets by mentoring students and regularly appearing as a guest lecturer. Her efforts illustrate how she has become a guiding force for future leaders — and a changemaker fostering an equitable finance sector.
Graeme Dick, BSc(Wd Prod Proc)’06, MSc’08
With exceptional dedication to the UBC Faculty of Forestry, Graeme Dick has become a much-valued and highly dedicated volunteer who supports student development through the Tri-Mentoring Program. He provides help and advice throughout their studies and workforce transitions, from organizing practice job interviews to helping secure co-op positions. He has firsthand experience of the UBC Wood Products Processing Co-op program, which he completed as a student in 2007. Today, he leads the development and quality of engineered wood products for Tolko Industries, and has become an integral part of the forestry industry by helping students acquire relevant work experience.
Bree Fraser, BKin’18
After graduating with a Bachelor of Kinesiology degree, Bree Fraser capitalized on her interests and strengths by pivoting from clinical work to project management in high-performance sport. In 2021, she joined UBC’s Centre for Student Development and Leadership where she continues to provide support and inspires both students and alumni to explore leadership. In the School of Kinesiology Mentorship Program, she shares her wealth of experience to help students and alumni develop abilities and skills, connections, and networks for career success. A strong ambassador for the School, she has proven herself to be a passionate alumni builder.
Kristyna (Kris) Gustavson, BSN’86, MSN’01
Kris Gustavson epitomizes excellence in strategic management and healthcare quality. She has served as chair of Canuck Place Children’s Hospice Quality Committee; chair of the Surveyor Advisory Committee of Accreditation Canada; and president of UBC Nursing Alumni. Her current community and volunteer activities include her work on the Oversight and Advisory Committee of the Patient Voices Network and her membership in the National Health Engagement Network. With enthusiasm, she takes on various leadership roles, including mentoring and inspiring both students and alumni. Her behind-the-scenes work, including fundraising for student bursaries or supporting alumni engagement, reflects her commitment to making an impact.
Judy Halbert, MEd’90, and Linda Kaser, BA’65, MEd’75
As longtime co-directors of the Networks of Inquiry and Indigenous Education and co-facilitators of the UBC Transformative Educational Leadership Program, Judy Halbert and Linda Kaser are invested in shaping a globally just society. Having served as teachers, principals, district leaders, and seconded directors at the BC Ministry of Education, they are deeply committed to achieving equity and quality for all learners. They consult internationally and remain dedicated to networking for innovation and improvement across education systems. Under their stewardship, there are now 10 international networks connected to BC-initiated work. Their relentless efforts ensure every learner ascends with dignity, purpose, and opportunity.
Stephen Mussell, JD ’15
The ever-dedicated Stephen Mussell raises awareness about advancing the legal rights of Indigenous peoples through his legal practice and volunteering. As one of UBC’s first Aboriginal Law Specialization graduates, he joined Mandell Pinder LLP in 2015 and now practices in oskana kâ-asastêki (Regina, SK). At the Allard School of Law, he is a regular speaker at Indigenous Legal Studies and Indigenous Legal Students Association events. Having served for three years as an Allard Lawyer Wellbeing mentor and co-coached the Kawaskimhon Moot for six years, his passion and efforts have helped influence the future of legal practitioners.
Dr. David Ng, BSc’92, PhD’98
Professor, scientist, science educator, communicator, and alum, Dr. David Ng stands out for his significant contributions in bridging the arts and sciences. His enthusiasm and multidisciplinary style of education have had a lasting impact on UBC Science and the Michael Smith laboratories. His approach also integrates equity, diversity, and inclusion. In addition to collaborating with unrepresented communities, he raises awareness on pressing issues such as Indigenous engagement, gender equality in the field of STEM, climate change, and sustainability. By making the arts and sciences accessible and relevant to diverse audiences, his initiatives and leadership both educate and inspire change.
Erin Ryan, BScAB’14, MSc’21
Land and Food Systems
Erin Ryan has inspired UBC Land and Food Systems (LFS) students and alumni, local communities, and the general public through her work as a mentor, public educator, and animal welfare advocate. As an LFS mentor for eight years, she has nurtured developing animal welfare specialists and advocates. She also appears as a speaker at events, maintains connections with the Animal Welfare Program, and supports UBC varsity sports. She helped develop the BC SPCA’s AnimalKind accreditation program for humane wildlife and rodent control, and helped inform a wildlife welfare policy across BC. Her dedication and passion underscore her commitment to animal advocacy and public education.
Mona Shum, MSc’97
Mona Shum is a distinguished Master of Science in Occupational and Environmental Hygiene (MSc OEH) alum with almost 30 years of professional and community leadership. As a mentor, supervisor, and employer, she has played pivotal roles in the career development and success of many MSc OEH graduates. A dedicated curriculum developer and instructor, she has also played key leadership roles within the American Industrial Hygiene Association, cementing her status as a pivotal figure in her field. At UBC, in BC, and across North America, she has significantly contributed to the practice and growth of occupational hygiene.
Jason Tse, BA’92
Jason Tse is a successful aviation, technology, and economic development professional, and an ardent UBC supporter. Whether serving on alumni UBC’s Advisory Council, mentoring arts and economics students, championing hiring opportunities for interns and new grads, or volunteering for community work, he is an inspiring UBC alumni ambassador. Tse is manager of cargo development at the Vancouver Airport Authority, the executive director for MAPLE Business Council’s BC Chapter, and a principal at MAPLE Business Advisors. He also serves on the Advisory Board for the World Trade Centre Vancouver and is a vice-chair of the Richmond Chamber of Commerce’s board of directors.
Kenneth Woods, BSc’68
Kenneth Woods is a distinguished leader in philanthropy and education. As a former director of the Vancouver General Hospital and UBC Foundation, and past chair of the Children’s Arts Umbrella Foundation, his impact is widespread. In 2015, when he was a director of the Thunderbird Golf Society, he donated one million dollars to fund the Ken Woods Thunderbird Award. His generous appreciation for UBC’s varsity teams empowered dozens of student-athletes and future leaders in their pursuit of excellence. UBC’s Ken Woods Fields, named in his honour and home to the UBC Thunderbirds varsity soccer programs, recognizes his enduring legacy.
Dr. John Yagi, BSc(Pharm)’75
Dr. John Yagi, a proud UBC Pharmaceutical Sciences alum and donor, contributes to his field through both practice and teaching. As a community pharmacist, he lends his expertise to the UBC Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences by teaching internationally trained pharmacists seeking to practice in BC or Canada. Since 2003, he has been involved with the UBC Canadian Pharmacy Practice Program (CP3) as an instructor, lecturer, and pharmacist facilitator. He willingly participates in alumni initiatives, and his extensive volunteer work reflects an unwavering commitment to his profession and his community.
Terry-Lee Beaudry, BEd’81 (Elementary)
Okanagan School of Education
As an educator, Terry-Lee Beaudry has dedicated herself to cultivating trust and relationships to help education communities develop. For nearly 20 years, she has volunteered with the UBC BC Principals’ and Vice-Principals’ Association (BCPVPA) Foundations course to decolonize leadership. She also volunteers as a researcher and partner of UBC’s Co-Curricular Making SSHRC partnership grant. Her collaborations with local Indigenous communities and school teams have helped Central Okanagan Indigenous graduation rates soar from 31 to 86 per cent. Her career exemplifies a commitment to nurturing the next generation of learners.
Neetu Garcha, BMgt-O’12
Faculty of Management
Neetu Garcha, a multimedia journalist at Global National in Metro Vancouver, has repeatedly proven her steadfast commitment to helping others, both locally and internationally. During her time as a UBC Okanagan student, her campus and community involvement showcased her strong drive to provide humanitarian aid, which has continued to fuel her ongoing efforts after graduation. She has since participated in three volunteer humanitarian missions to Haiti and volunteered to support refugees from Syria, Afghanistan, and Iraq arriving in Lesvos, Greece, in 2016. While she raises awareness of human crises through her journalism, her frontline volunteer work demonstrates her deep devotion to those in need.
Ross Langford, BCom’89, LLB’89
Office of the Principal and Deputy Vice-Chancellor
Kelowna lawyer Ross Langford is engaged in his professional and local communities, and supports UBC’s Vancouver and Okanagan campuses through volunteering and philanthropy. He has served as chair of both the UBC Chancellor Reappointment Committee and Search Committee; director of the UBC Alumni Association; and chair of UBC Okanagan’s start an evolution Capital Campaign Cabinet; and he is also a Forward for UBC Campaign Circle member. He helped create the annual Petraroia Langford LLP Award in Legal Studies, which recognizes a UBC Okanagan Irving K. Barber School of Arts and Social Sciences graduate who shows exceptional promise in law. Langford’s involvement in countless community activities and charitable initiatives demonstrates his devotion to meaningful change.
Sheryl Sargent, MSW-O’10
School of Social Work
Sheryl Sargent’s retirement from her career at The Bridge Youth and Family Services Society in 2020 marked the start of her continued impact as a part-time contractor and a prolific volunteer. She has supervised 10 practicum students at the UBC Okanagan School of Social Work, served on the Field Education Committee, served on the Community Advisory Committee for Accreditation, and hosted three international students. She also volunteers as a research participant in a joint SFU/UBCO health project. Renowned for her expertise, she frequently enlightens future social workers as a guest speaker on clinical practice and leadership in social work.