Nominations for the 2024 Achievement Awards are now open.
UBC alumni are committed to an exceptional UBC and a better world. This November, at the annual alumni UBC Achievement Awards, presented by Boyden, we honoured eight inspiring members of the UBC community who, through their extraordinary endeavours, have demonstrated this vision.
It is our pleasure to announce this year’s outstanding recipients.
Parmjit Bains, BSc(Agr)’79
Alumni Award of Distinction
Parmjit Bains co-founded Westberry Farms in 1997 and grew the enterprise into a leading blueberry operation, widely recognized for its exceptional products and sustainable practices. His passion for farming, openness to innovation, strong community spirit, and knack for collaboration have enabled him to advance BC’s agri-food industry and help farmers develop resilience during a global pandemic and extreme climate-related weather events. Active in the non-profit sector, he has established educational links between Canada and India, as well as economic opportunities. His extensive record of involvement with UBC includes currently chairing the advisory board for the Faculty of Land and Food Systems.
Dr. David Brand, PhD’85
Combining his expertise in forest sciences and investing, Dr. David Brand launched the global investment company New Forests in 2005. This certified B Corporation has grown into one of the world’s largest forestry investment firms, initiating investment programs in forestry plantations, conservation areas, and timber processing; as well as carbon projects. After almost 18 years as CEO, Dr. Brand now serves as the company’s chair. With over 40 years of experience in investment management, operational forestry, science, and public policy, Brand has become an internationally influential trailblazer in forestry investing in support of a sustainable future.
Dr. Linda Warren, OBC, MD’68
Faculty Community Service Award
As a pioneer of mammography in BC, Dr. Linda Warren’s extensive efforts have helped reduce the province’s breast cancer mortality to the lowest rate in Canada. Dr. Warren is the principal clinical architect and founding executive director of the internationally renowned Screening Mammography Program of BC, which launched in 1988. She has been a clinical professor at the UBC Department of Radiology since 1991, has shared her expertise over four decades, has trained almost all radiologists in B.C. who practise mammography, and has become a globally renowned leader in breast imaging.
Judith Fairholm, BSN’72, MEd’96
Global Citizenship Award
Devoted to creating healthy communities, Judi Fairholm has championed violence prevention, child protection, and gender equality across Canada and internationally. She directed the Canadian Red Cross program RespectEd, which prevents child and youth abuse, neglect, bullying, harassment, and violence and develops safe environments. To address interpersonal violence magnified by disasters, she worked with the International Federation of the Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies Secretariat to develop a global strategy to integrate violence prevention into disaster response. As an internationally renowned expert, she has supported violence and abuse prevention efforts in more than 30 countries and continues her international work as a senior advisor with Proteknôn.
Dr. Chit Chan Gunn, CM, OBC, MD, FRCP
Honorary Alumni Award
After discovering a groundbreaking approach for chronic musculoskeletal and neuropathic pain in the 1970s, Dr. Chit Chan Gunn used years of observation and clinical practice to develop the Gunn Intramuscular Stimulation (IMS) treatment. This dry needling technique for pain management and recovery unites Western medicine and traditional Chinese acupuncture. He and his wife Peggy’s philanthropic generosity helped UBC create a home for Gunn IMS certification that also provides BC’s highest quality chronic disease and pain care. Driven by a desire to share his expertise in chronic pain, Dr. Gunn has travelled extensively to teach, train, and mentor.
Dr. Steven Narod, BSc’75, MD’79
Research and Innovation Award
As one of the most productive and highly cited breast cancer researchers in Canada, Dr. Steven Narod has transformed the world’s understanding of this disease. He co-discovered BRCA1 and BRCA2, the hereditary genes that lead to breast and ovarian cancer, and studied the genetics and pathophysiology of their mutations. His focus on early detection, diagnosis, and treatment has contributed to the current standard care for hereditary breast cancers. His innovation and research creativity have saved thousands of lives and provided clinical guidance for the treatment of hundreds of thousands of patients.
Lindsay Gordon, BA’73, MBA’76, LLD’23
Volunteer Leadership Award
A longtime volunteer, advisor, and philanthropist, Lindsay Gordon is one of UBC’s most valued supporters. As chancellor, he fostered the university’s growth by championing the Okanagan campus and helping lead major fundraising campaigns. His support for Indigenous people includes advocating UBC’s Indigenous Strategic Plan and co-establishing the Centennial Indigenous Scholars Award. While president and CEO of HSBC Bank Canada, he established a successful national philanthropy strategy focusing on education and the environment. In addition to serving on professional and civic boards, he co-founded the Children with Intestinal and Liver Disorders (CH.I.L.D.) Foundation, which has raised millions for research and public awareness. Beyond his alumni UBC recognition, UBC Okanagan awarded him an honorary degree for his tremendous contributions.
Dr. Laura Yvonne Bulk, MOT’14, PhD’21
Young Alumni Award
Dr. Laura Yvonne Bulk’s renowned work in occupational science and disability studies has advanced the inclusion of disabled healthcare professionals. She draws insight and academic prowess from her lived experiences as a blind scholar, educator, and advocate. Among her numerous accomplishments, she is the cofounder of the Occupational Therapy in Low Vision and Blindness Network within the Canadian Association of Occupational Therapists. She has also developed and taught classes related to working with people who are blind or partially blind; coordinated graduate-level courses; and delivered lectures, tutorials, and workshops. Through her research and teaching, Dr. Bulk is committed to creating space and belonging for disabled people in academic environments.
We acknowledge that UBC’s campuses are situated within the traditional territories of the xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam), Sḵwx̱wu7mesh (Squamish) and səl̓ilwətaɁɬ (Tsleil-Waututh), and in the traditional, ancestral, unceded territory of the Syilx Okanagan Nation and their peoples.