Applied Science 2024 Dean's Awards highlights exceptional faculty and staff

Picture of (from left to right) Laura Thomsen, Marlene Chow, Trudy Chimko, Emily Chan, Carmen Jensen, Dr. Bernie Garrett, Ken Wong, and Dr. James Olsen
(From left to right) Laura Thomsen, Marlene Chow, Trudy Chimko, Emily Chan, Carmen Jensen, Dr. Bernie Garrett, and Ken Wong were among those who received the 2024 Dean's Awards. (Credit: Devan Power/UBC Applied Science)

Nine outstanding members of the UBC Faculty of Applied Science were recognized with the 2024 Dean's Awards, which they received today.

Three faculty and six staff members received awards highlighting their significant contributions to Applied Science, as innovators in research and teaching, agents of positive change, and steadfast supporters who enable students to thrive academically and personally.


2024 Dean's Award Recipients

Dean's Faculty Awards for Service

  • Dean’s Faculty Award for Service:
    Bernie Garrett, School of Nursing, UBC Vancouver
  • Dean’s Faculty Award for Service:
    Loïc Markley, School of Engineering, UBC Okanagan
  • Dean’s Faculty Award for Service – Equity, Diversity, Inclusion and Indigeneity:
    Heather Trajano, Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering, UBC Vancouver

Dean's Staff Awards for Excellence

  • Dean’s Staff Award for Excellence – Dedication to Service Excellence:
    Ken Wong, Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering, UBC Vancouver
  • Dean’s Staff Award for Excellence – Early Career Excellence:
    Trudy Chimko, School of Engineering, UBC Okanagan
  • Dean’s Staff Award for Excellence – Equity, Diversity, Inclusion and Indigeneity:
    Emily Chan, School of Nursing, UBC Vancouver
  • Dean’s Staff Award for Excellence – Impact:
    Laura Thomsen, Dean's Office, UBC Vancouver
  • Dean’s Staff Award for Excellence – Inclusive Leadership:
    Marlene Chow, Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering, UBC Vancouver
  • Dean’s Staff Award for Excellence – Student Engagement and Experience:
    Carmen Jensen, Norman B. Keevil Institute of Mining Engineering, UBC Vancouver


Dean's Faculty Award for Service

Headshot of Dr. Bernie Garrett

Dr. Bernie Garrett

Associate Professor and Associate Director of Infrastructure and Technology, School of Nursing

"Dr. Garrett's efforts have significantly advanced the School’s educational and clinical practice facilities, benefiting students, faculty, and staff."

Dr. Bernie Garrett has made significant contributions to the School of Nursing in over 20 years of service, including his role as Associate Director of Undergraduate Programs, and the development of a custom practice education portfolio software in 2009. Recently, he has taken on two major roles: leading the development of a new Nurse Anesthetist graduate degree program, which was requested by the provincial government, and serving on the Gateway Health building working committee.

In the latter role, he has meticulously overseen design and development stages, engaged the School community in consultations, and provided detailed progress reports. His technological and pedagogical expertise has been instrumental in ensuring the new building meets the School of Nursing’s needs, and his organizational and leadership skills have been invaluable on the executive team. 


Dean's Faculty Award for Service

Headshot of Dr. LoÏc Markley

Dr. Loïc Markley

Associate Professor, School of Engineering

"His efforts have significantly enriched the university community."

Dr. Loïc Markley has made exceptional service contributions through his extensive committee work, including roles as Co-chair of the President's Advisory Committee on Student Discipline and member of the Academic Integrity Advisory Group. His involvement extends to serving as the Faculty Representative on the Okanagan Senate, Acting Vice-Chair of the Senate Appeals Committee on Standing and Discipline and the Graduate Council, among other positions. 

Dr. Markley also supports student experiences from recruitment to alumni engagement, contributing to initiatives like the Jumpstart Laboratory Showcase, STEM Fair, and the GoEng Girl workshops aimed at encouraging women students to enter engineering fields.


Dean's Faculty Award for Service - Equity, Diversity, Inclusion and Indigeneity

Headshot of Dr. Heather Trajano

Dr. Heather Trajano

Associate Professor, Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering

As founder and co-chair of the Equity, Diversity, Inclusion and Indigeneity (EDII) Committee in the Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering (CHBE), Dr. Heather Trajano has demonstrated exceptional leadership and facilitated transformative change. 

Her efforts have significantly improved the well-being and success of students, faculty, and staff, particularly those from underserved and minority groups, and have integrated critical equity and humanitarian knowledge into academic programs. Dr. Trajano's dedication to diversity and inclusion serves as a powerful role model, expanding opportunities and support for women, minorities, and LGBTQ+ individuals in engineering. She has fostered positive relations and mutual respect through innovative programs and events, making a lasting impact on the department and community.

"Her strategic initiatives and advocacy have united individuals from diverse backgrounds and advanced EDII principles within the department and the broader community."


Dean’s Staff Award for Excellence – Dedication to Service Excellence

Headshot of Ken Wong

Ken Wong

Lab Manager, Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering

Ken Wong has dedicated over 14 years to managing the undergraduate labs for the Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering. These labs are an essential component for students, as they provide hands-on opportunities to put their understanding of theory into practice. Wong plays a pivotal role in ensuring this learning experience is possible. He plans the meticulous scheduling of multiple lab courses per term, with some materials being used in multiple experiments per day. 

Even more important than his consistent technical proficiency is Wong’s genuine passion for supporting the educational experience of CHBE students. Wong cares deeply about ensuring that students are learning and thinking, not just following instructions. His tendency to go above and beyond to provide guidance and insights to instructors has greatly improved the teaching experience. This dedication has made him an invaluable resource for students and the entire CHBE teaching team for well over a decade. 

“Despite the logistical challenges involved, he approaches his work with efficiency and professionalism, ensuring that each lab session runs seamlessly and that our students receive the highest quality of hands-on instruction.”


Dean’s Staff Award for Excellence – Early Career Excellence

Headshot of Trudy Chimko

Trudy Chimko

Manager of Administration, School of Engineering

Trudy Chimko has been with UBC Okanagan’s School of Engineering (SOE) for less than two years, but that hasn’t stopped her from having a significant impact. She wasted no time by rebuilding SOE’s administrative environment from the ground up, transforming it from a place of conflict to one of high performance. Although the administrative team is smaller than it was upon Chimko’s arrival, its overall capacity has increased, which is a testament to her effective leadership. 

Chimko’s colleagues outline her approach as one rooted in compassion, grace and optimism. She meets with each administrative team member to better understand their tasks, practices inclusive leadership, and has created a commitment to organizational development. In a short period of time, Chimko has performed far beyond expectations, with a high potential for future excellence.

She is not the first to stand up and seek the spotlight, but she is the first to put up her hand to help.”


Dean’s Staff Award for Excellence – Equity, Diversity, Inclusion and Indigeneity

Headshot of Emily Chan

Emily Chan

Graduate Programs Officer, School of Nursing

Emily Chan has shown her dedication to facilitating student success and well-being through her proactive and responsive approach to student inquiries. Her outstanding support for students is rooted in her respective and attentive treatment of each individual. 

Chan has taken a step beyond these efforts, playing a pivotal role in facilitating recruitment of Indigenous students into graduate nursing programs. In a partnership with the School’s Indigenous Cultural Safety Committee, Chan’s hard work has helped to highlight the School of Nursing’s decolonization efforts and integration of Indigenous perspectives in their curricula to achieve the TRC calls to action for nursing education. Chan has made incredible contributions to creating an admission process that explicitly aims to remove the structural barriers that applicants who are Indigenous often experience, highlighting her dedication to supporting Equity, Diversity, Inclusion and Indigeneity in the Faculty.

“Her compassionate demeanor shows in her work, reflecting her profound regard for students' welfare. She is the glue that holds our School together.”


Dean’s Staff Award for Excellence – Impact

Headshot of Laura Thomsen

Laura Thomsen

Operations and Project Coordinator, Dean’s Office, Administration

“It is no exaggeration to say that Laura’s impact is felt across the Faculty.”

Laura Thomsen joined the Dean’s Office in 2019 and quickly showed her capabilities. A key example of this is when she transformed their staff life-cycle request process. What began as a slow system that resulted in late hires and salary increases became a modernized digital alternative. Thomsen has frequently displayed her ability to take an inefficient process and change it into one that flourishes. She used this expertise when improving Geering Up’s high-volume hiring system, advancing Applied Science’s mission to improve STEM representation for tens of thousands of BC youth. 

No task is too big or small for Thomsen. Beyond these major accomplishments, you can find her fixing a blown breaker, coordinating the removal of furniture, or patiently answering questions from new hires. Thomsen's dedication to solving problems ensures these organizations can reach their goals. Her colleagues will tell you that no matter the task, Thomsen will deliver exceptional results, all with glowing optimism and a smile on her face.


Dean’s Staff Award for Excellence – Inclusive Leadership

Headshot of Marlene Chow

Marlene Chow

Director of Academic Programs, Administration and Resources, Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering

Marlene Chow’s dedication to the Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering student and staff experience is exemplified by her countless efforts to develop and enhance a vibrant community. Through sports tournaments, chats with industry leaders, project competitions, networking events and more, she truly exemplifies going above and beyond for her students and her department. Chow does all of this while still managing 11 graduate and undergraduate degree programs.

“From sun up to sun down each and every day, her office door is open and she is there—helping, comforting, encouraging and inspiring every student in our many programs. Actually listening to them, addressing their needs and concerns professionally, and always striving to find paths for them to realize their full potential.”

Chow has over 20 years of leadership experience as a professional chemical engineer, in a field where women and minorities are historically underrepresented. She utilizes this experience in her efforts towards making CHBE a more inclusive and welcoming place for all, such as in her instrumental role in creating the CHBE Equity, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI) committee. Chow goes beyond this, from regularly meeting with women and minority students to helping them secure terrific job opportunities. With this immense list of accomplishments, it is no surprise that her colleagues do not believe CHBE would be the same without her.


Dean’s Staff Award for Excellence – Student Engagement and Experience

Headshot of Carmen Jensen

Carmen Jensen

Director, Professional Programs, Norman B. Keevil Institute of Mining Engineering

“Shortly after joining UBC mining in summer 2016, I learned that Carmen is one the most approachable, kind and helpful colleagues in our department. I could, and still can, go to her office and ask her for help and advice on departmental and personal matters.”

Carmen Jensen’s devotion to supporting students is best portrayed through the two field trips she coordinates for students every year to various mines across the country. She plans the itinerary, books air tickets, hotels, land transport, restaurants and meals, mine visits and more for 20-30 students while attending herself. This commitment to enriching the student experience is a perfect example of what Jensen means to the Mining Engineering program.

Jensen not only supports students by providing experiences like this, but by enhancing the education opportunities they have. Her work as an ambassador for mining education is vast, including her involvement with the Mining Industry Human Resources Council, which led to a $100,000 donation to the Norman B. Keevil Institute of Mining Engineering to support student retention. Another example is when she developed a proposal and budget for the Certificate in Global Mine Waste Management program, which was approved and successfully launched in January 2020. Jensen’s tireless support while creating new opportunities to learn speaks to her dedication to enhancing the student experience.

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