Celebrating 100 years with 100 honourees; architects, city planners, engineers and nurses recognized for making a difference

Deans Medal Group Applied Science Dean Marc Parlange, UBC Interim President Martha Piper and the Dean's Medal of Distinction recipients.

Like Oscar night, the stars came out to shine when 100 people received the Dean’s Medal of Distinction created to honour the University of British Columbia and the Faculty of Applied Science’s 100th anniversary. The medals were awarded during Applied Science’s Centennial Celebration, held at the Robert H. Lee Alumni Centre on Thursday April 14, 2016.

Throughout the Faculty’s 100 year history, thousands of individuals have contributed to creating a positive change in the world through the generation, professional embodiment and innovative application of new knowledge. UBC Architects and landscape architects, community and regional planners, engineers and nurses, along with Applied Science faculty and staff, have made a tremendous impact across British Columbia, Canada and the world.

“People — the professions they embody and the work they do — are what make UBC and Applied Science so special. The uniqueness of aligning multiple professions within one Faculty enables us to achieve great things together,” says UBC Applied Science Dean Marc Parlange. “It is my great pleasure to recognize these outstanding individuals representative of so many more who came before and will follow after in their footsteps.”

A few of those recognized with the UBC Applied Science Dean’s Medal of Distinction include:

Larry Beasley, (MA '76 ), alumnus of UBC’s School of Community and Regional Planning, is principal of Beasley and Associates and the “Distinguished Practice Professor of Planning” at UBC. The retired Co-Chief Planner for the City of Vancouver, he currently sits on the board of Translink. His latest book is Ecodesign for Cities and Suburbs. With two honorary doctorate degrees, he is a Fellow of the Canadian Institute of Planners and an Honorary Member of the Canadian Society of Landscape Architects. He has been recognized as an “Advocate for Architecture” by the Royal Architectural Institute of Canada, and holds the Kevin Lynch Prize from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology as well as the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal. He is a Member of the Order of Canada.

Madeleine Kétéskwew Dion Stout, a faculty member in UBC’s School of Nursing, a nurse and president of Dion Stout Reflections, has served on the Boards of the National Forum on Health, Mental Health Commission of Canada; Aboriginal Nurses Association of Canada; and First Nations Health Authority. She utilizes her Indigenous language Cree in her ongoing research, writing and lectures. Her most recent award is the Order of Canada.

Cornelia Oberlander (LLD ’91) emigrated to Canada from the U.S. in 1953 when her late husband, Peter, founded the School of Community and Regional Planning at UBC. He “brought me to Canada from the U.S. to a new and beautiful country with untouched open spaces, limitless potentials and challenges for my profession.” Over the past 50 years she been involved as Landscape Architect in a wide range of projects with noted internationally acclaimed architects and public agencies in Canada and the U.S. Some of her notable work includes the Vancouver Public Library, the National Gallery of Canada, the Museum of Anthropology, Robson Square and Law Courts, and the New York Times Building. She received the Margolese National Design for Living Prize (2015).

Andrea Palmer (BASc '15 MECH), alumna of UBC Mechanical Engineering, is an engineer, entrepreneur, autism health advocate, and a self-described “exponential tech-geek” based in Vancouver, BC. She is the Founder and CEO of Awake Labs, an autism health company committed to improving the lives of those living on the autism spectrum. She is also a World Economics Forum Global Shaper in the Vancouver hub. A young entrepreneur motivated by social impact, quantified health care, and democratizing technology, Andrea is dedicated to building and mentoring companies and to creating strong entrepreneurial communities. She currently mentors teams of entrepreneurship students. Previously, she led the Global Engineering Team at Engineers Without Borders UBC, and was the Technical Captain of the UBC Thunderbots, a team designing, building, and competing autonomous soccer-playing robots.

William (Bill) Rees is a human ecologist, ecological economist and former Director and Professor Emeritus of UBC’s School of Community and Regional Planning. His research focuses on the ecological requirements for sustainable development and on the behavioural and socio-cultural barriers to change. Best known as the originator of ‘ecological footprint analysis’, Professor Rees has authored over 150 peer-reviewed and numerous popular articles on sustainability policy (or lack thereof). The Vancouver Sun named Professor Rees as one of BC’s top public intellectuals in 2006. He is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada and was awarded both the Boulding Prize in Ecological Economics and a Blue Planet Prize (jointly with Dr Mathis Wackernagel) in 2012. Dr Rees was elected a full member of the Club of Rome in 2014 and received the 2015 Herman Daly Award from the US Society for Ecological Economics.

Bing Thom (BArch ’66, LLD ’08), alumnus of the UBC School of Architecture and Landscape Architecture, is principal at Bing Thom Architects and one of Canada’s most admired and accomplished architects. Born in Hong Kong, he immigrated to Canada as a child and received his Bachelor of Architecture from UBC and his Master of Architecture from the University of California at Berkeley. A student of the 60’s, Bing travelled Asia and helped pioneer one of the first academic programs in Ethnic Studies in North America during his time in Berkeley. He worked in the offices of Fumihiko Maki and Arthur Erickson before starting his own firm in 1982. With projects around the globe, including UBC’s Chan Centre for the Performing Arts, Bing’s commitment to using architecture to improve the urban context and social condition has been recognized by a range of honours including the Order of Canada and the Queen’s Golden Jubilee Medal for outstanding contributions to architecture and community. Bing is the recipient of the RAIC Gold Medal and Honorary Degree of Laws from UBC and SFU.

For a complete listing of the Dean’s Medal of Distinction recipients and photos from the Applied Science Centennial Celebration, visit: 100.apsc.ubc.ca/deans-medal-recipients.

View all the photos from the event on Flickr.