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 mission of realizing the promise of a global community with shared ambition for a better world and an exceptional UBC. We are proud to honour this year’s Alumni Builder Award recipients whose generous contributions have been recognized by their UBC faculty.
Veronika Bylicki, BSc’17
Faculty of Land & Food Systems
Veronika’s passion for creating more sustainable cities embodies the vision of LFS. She builds pathways for young voices to be heard and for youth to engage in innovative civic programming. Challenging the status quo, Veronika has developed and implemented a dynamic curriculum on sustainability leadership for high school students, focusing both on personal development and addressing urban challenges.
John Cairns, MD’68
Faculty of Medicine
Dr. John Cairns was Dean of UBC’s Faculty of Medicine from 1996 to 2003. He led efforts, in conjunction with UBC and two provincial governments, to conceptualize, secure the funding for, and establish university partnerships to enable the doubling of medical student enrollment centered at UBC but distributed throughout the province. In 2020 a book co-written by Dr. Cairns was released outlining the first 70 years of the Faculty of Medicine. The book featured numerous alumni, the Medical Student & Alumni Centre, and has brought together alumni to celebrate the faculty’s history.
Greg Eidsness, BA’07 & Henry Han, BA’02
Faculty of Arts
Greg and Henry’s dedication to support students started with the Tri-Mentoring program between 2006 to 2018. Their desire to showcase the talented political science graduates inspired a policy careers bootcamp for students. The outcome led to Professor Richard Price creating a new course, Professional Skills in Political Science, which brings alumni into the classroom each week to facilitate key course content. They offered an innovative way to engage alumni to facilitate and work with students in the classroom that is a model others in Arts are considering.
Edward Frazer, BASc’58
Faculty of Applied Science
With a highly successful career in electrical engineering and a recent appointee to the Canadian Amateur Radio Hall of Fame, Ed Frazer has shown tireless dedication to his fellow alumni, the Class of 1958. Since the group’s 50th reunion, Ed has never failed to organize an annual get together. Even during the pandemic – a time of isolation and loneliness for many – Ed was not deterred. He pioneered the group’s first ever (and much welcomed) virtual reunion, remaining steadfast in his commitment to his community of fellow alumni.
Atila Ozkaplan, BHK’01, MSc’04
School of Kinesiology
Atila Ozkaplan is a highly successful professional as Vice President of Production Operations, Olympics for the NBC Sports Group Olympic and model alumni mentor. He understands the vital importance of a mentor in facilitating career connections and fostering professional development for students. He has served as an inspiring keynote speaker at several events, has donated to the university and is engaged in numerous ways including the sharing of professional networks with students, providing valuable survey input, alumni profiles, and newsletter articles. Atila is a strong ambassador in the world for the School and its values. He is a true alumni builder.
Alidad “Ali” Pejman, BCom’94
UBC Sauder School of Business
Alidad Pejman, Managing Partner at Fort Capital Partners, has over 20 years of experience as a managing partner and investment banker. Ali is a relentless supporter of UBC and UBC Sauder with an unending willingness to share his expertise with fellow alumni, students and the greater Vancouver community. Ali has contributed to the mission of UBC Sauder as a donor, community connector, reunion host and mentor, including actively mentoring startup companies at UBC Sauder’s Creative Destruction Lab and the Future Women Entrepreneurs programs. Passionate about volunteering and giving back, Ali also sits on many boards including the Metro Vancouver Transit Police and the VGH & UBC Hospital Foundation.
Greg Quan, BEd’98, MEd’04
Faculty of Education
Through volunteerism and philanthropy Greg’s support of the UBC Faculty of Education has helped lift one of the faculty’s key pillars – mental health literacy and well-being. Greg’s family have been strong supporters of the faculty for years. Greg has supported multiple event programs by speaking to the challenges facing high school students around mental health issues.
Dr. Anu Rehtlane, BSc’76, DMD’81, LLB’84
Faculty of Dentistry
Dr. Rehtlane is a triple alum and her volunteerism and generosity in the community speaks to her widespread interests, both outside of UBC and as part of the Faculty of Dentistry.
Even at the onset of the pandemic, when so much was unknown, Dr. Rehtlane did not waver from her dedication to serve as a part time faculty member in a volunteer teaching capacity, even increasing her hours as needed, ensuring our students were able to graduate without delay.
Harjit Sangra, LLB’84
Peter A. Allard School of Law
Harj is a leading Vancouver lawyer, widely recognized for his work in corporate finance and securities. He has shown a sustained commitment to UBC through generous giving; adjunct teaching; and serving on the Allard Law Dean’s Advisory Council and the Dean’s Advisory Committee for the Centre for Business Law. Harj’s varied contributions have enriched the law school community. He exemplifies meaningful alumni involvement at UBC.
Lana Sutherland, BSc’93 & Garret Chan, BSc’90, LLB’93
Faculty of Science
Honoring Lana Sutherland and Garret Chan for their commitment and passion for environmental stewardship and sustainability, and for contributions to the Faculty of Science and UBC Botanical Garden. Together, this team provides innovative and collaborative leadership towards research in biodiversity and the protection, conservation, and enhancement of healthy ecosystems around the world.
Arthur Tsai, BSc’95, MSc’12
Faculty of Forestry
Arthur Tsai is an experienced marketing and communications advisor with an extensive history of working in the paper & forest products industry. Arthur has supported the faculty as a tri-mentor, guest lecturer, co-op mentor/relationship builder and now he represents the faculty on the Alumni Advisory Council. Arthur’s affiliation to the faculty now includes a family connection as his daughter started with the faculty’s urban forestry program in September 2021.
Fred Wiley, BSc’53
Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences
Shortly after the University of British Columbia introduced its Faculty of Pharmacy in 1946 (now known as the Faculty of Pharmaceutical Science), Fred Wiley entered the pharmacy program, graduating in 1953 and began his career in Vancouver.
Over the course of his 40-year career in both independent and chain pharmacies in Greater Vancouver, Fred Wiley was an integral member of the B.C. pharmacy community as a practicing pharmacist, respected preceptor, and frequent committee member, including a term as president of the BC Pharmacy Association (then known as the British Columbia Professional Pharmacists’ Society) in 1977-78.
Lauren Airth, BSN’14, MSN’19
UBCO Faculty of Health and Social Development
As the campus health specialist with UBC Okanagan, Lauren has led the development of a drug-testing program in partnership with the local health authority and a community-based not-for-profit organization and is the first such program offered by a post-secondary institution in Canada.
Dr. Cheryl Holmes, MD’84
UBC Faculty of Medicine
Dr. Cheryl Holmes is the Associate Dean, Undergraduate Medical Education and Head of the Division of Critical Care Medicine in the Faculty of Medicine. Dr. Holmes has played an instrumental role in the development of the Southern Medical Program based at UBC Okanagan and serves as an exceptional preceptor and mentor for countless students and residents.
Michael Jacobs, BASc’85
UBCO Faculty of Applied Science
Mr. Jacobs is an active and successful developer and builder in Kelowna who continues to champion UBC through financial support and student mentoring. A leader in our community, Mike has embraced his alma mater, and we are truly thankful for his contributions to the School of Engineering.
Sharron Simpson, BA’60, BSW’61
UBCO Deputy Vice-Chancellor & Principal Award
Born and raised in Kelowna, Sharron attended UBC for BA and BSW before venturing off to explore the world. She received a Masters of Environmental Studies from York University and had an eclectic career as a social worker, stockbroker, municipal politician, teacher, and author. Returning to Kelowna with her two children in 1983, she has written four books about various aspects of Kelowna’s history in addition to innumerable articles, served on many for-profit and non-profit boards, has been an active fund raiser and volunteer, and is an outspoken advocate for her community’s history and heritage. As a practicing advocate of life-long learning, Sharron received an MFA in Creative Nonfiction from U. of King’s College, Dalhousie in May 2021.