Celebrating our Outstanding Alumni
In honour of the valued work and contributions of the UBC Faculty of Education Alumni, biographies and interviews with our illustrious alumni will be released between 2020 & 2021.
Barb Finley BEd’81, MEd’90
Barb Finley is the Executive Director and Founder of Project CHEF: Cook Healthy Edible Food, a non-profit society that runs elementary school and community programs in Vancouver, BC.
Since 2007, Project CHEF has taught more than 17,500 children and their families about wholesome food choices and how they can make them through experiential, curriculum-based programs.
Barb is an educator (UBC BEd’81, MEd’90) and chef. She has taught with the Langley and Vancouver School Districts; a faculty advisor and sessional instructor UBC Faculty of Education; and an instructor with Dubrulle Culinary Institute and Northwest Culinary Academy of Vancouver. A passionate advocate for teaching food education to children and families, she has developed culinary programs throughout Greater Vancouver.
Barb’s work with Project CHEF has been honoured by several awards, including being inducted into the BC Restaurant Hall of Fame (2019), receiving the Governor General of Canada’s Meritorious Service Medal (2018), Canadian Foodservice Professionals Community Leadership Award (2016), the Maple Leaf Foods Feed it Forward Award (2016), the BC School Superintendents Award of Recognition for contributions to public education (2013), and the Les Dames d’Escoffier, BC Chapter Debra Van Ginkel Award (2008). Barb is a member of Les Dames d’Escoffier, BC Chapter, and is a past Trustee with the Canada Post Foundation for Children.
Charlotte Diamond BEd’69
Celebrating 35 years of success in children’s music, BC’s own, Charlotte Diamond, is a multi award-winning musician, song writer and a respected educator. Her songs are known world-wide and she has toured internationally.
In 2016, Charlotte was appointed a Member of the Order of Canada by the Governor General of Canada for her contribution to children’s music and education in English, French and Spanish. Presentation in Ottawa, August, 2017.
Born and raised in Vancouver, she graduated from the University of BC with a Bachelor of Secondary Education in 1969, majoring in Zoology and French. She took further studies at Laval University, Quebec, and taught French, Music and Choral at New Westminster Secondary School for 10 years. She is a classically trained singer.
Her life-long interest in music became a focus while studying at UBC. She sang with local folk groups, including performing an intro set for Pete Seeger at the Queen Elizabeth Theatre in the early 1980’s. Singing and writing songs for her own children, she developed music programs in Richmond. This led to local performances and workshops which mushroomed into requests for conferences, educational and family concerts around Vancouver, throughout BC, across Canada and internationally.
Charlotte is the President of her company, Hug Bug Music. In 1985, she proceeded with the independent production and release of her debut album, “10 Carrot Diamond”, which won the Canadian Juno Award (1986).Charlotte presently has fourteen recordings, a string of awards, including five Parents’ Choice Awards and three American Library Association Awards, two nationally televised videos and two Award-winning Music / Resource Books.
The BC Music Educators Association presented Charlotte with a “Special Distinguished Service Award” in 2019.
Charlotte is trilingual and she was awarded the Queen’s Golden Jubilee Commemorative Medal “in recognition of her exemplary support of UNICEF”, as well as being named a “Paul Harris Fellow” by the Rotary Foundation of Rotary International, “in appreciation of significant assistance given to the furtherance of better understanding and friendly relations among peoples of the world.”
Charlotte continues to present workshops for conferences on the topic, “The Joy of Singing Inspires a Love of Language, Creativity and Self-expression”.
Marny Point BEd’02, MET’04
Marny Point is from the Musqueam band, of the Coast Salish people. Marny completed both her degrees: a Bachelor of Education (2002) & Masters of Educational Technology (2004) degrees at UBC, and is now an Language & Literacy Education (LLED) PhD student, researching the rewards and benefits of Intergenerational Learning. Marny is part of the Faculty of Education and an instructor for NITEP, Faculty of Education’s Indigenous Teacher Education program. She teaches the introductory Indigenous education courses and is passionate about supporting the NITEP teacher candidates, as they embark on their educational journey of Indigenous knowledge perspectives and pedagogies, while embracing a decolonizing teaching method and practice.
Since 2017, Marny has been a Lecturer in the First Nations and Endangered Languages program, teaching the intermediate level of the Coast Salish traditional Musqueam language course, hən̓q̓əmin̓əm̓. She understands how the connection to Indigenous languages; gives value, honor, and a sense of identity, which cements Native Indigenous, people in place and culture. Marny has also been a long time member of the Musqueam Language and Culture Committee.
Marny comes from a long line of fisher-people, and she too is an avid fisherwoman – owning and operating her own gill-netter. As her dad and grandfather always did, she harvests sockeye salmon from the Fraser River every summer, in this cultural activity, she is able to share those same teachings with her own children, connecting them to their traditional language & ways of her people.
Marny is actively involved in the education of the Aboriginal youth – she has taught in the elementary grades, been a liaison for her community and neighboring schools and sits on various committees towards the betterment of Indigenous education.
Marny would also like to acknowledge UBC resides on the traditional and unceded territory of the Musqueam people. Her surname is ‘Point’ because her people were referred to as the ‘people who lived here, on this point.’
Mark Edwards PhD’07
Of European descent, Mark is a 7th generation settler on Turtle Island. Born in the territory of the Blackfoot Confederacy, the Stoney-Nakoda, and the Tsuut’ina First Nations, he grew up in the Musqueam and Syilx territories. He has been honoured to live, raise his family, and work on these territories all of his life. Mark entered the academy seeking how to respond to the dark history of Indigenous Peoples in Canada, how to improve the educational experiences of Indigenous students in public schools, how to advance the future flourishing of First Nations, and how, recognizing his and his family’s benefit from the racist laws of Canada, to do something about it. His work in the Faculty of Education is, in part, a response. With gratitude and humility, Mark acknowledges his work on the traditional, ancestral, and unceded territory of the hən̓q̓əmin̓əm̓ speaking Musqueam People.
Mark’s formal position in the Faculty of Education is Assistant Dean of Professional Development and Community Engagement (PDCE), which he has held since 2012 and which he currently shares with Lynne Tomlinson. He is a lecturer in Educational Studies and co-ordinator of the Educational Administration and Leadership program.
Mark’s work stands at the nexus of faculty member’s research mobilization and the core purposes of educational communities. His job has been to connect the visions and dreams faculty members have for making a difference with their research, to the professional development needs of teachers and educators. Seriously, if a researcher wants to move their ideas from page to practice and from practice into the fabric of society, the most powerful way is to gather a group of motivated teachers into a learning community (cohort) for two years of deep learning in a graduate program. Such cohorts will touch the lives of tens of thousands of students, not to mention teaching colleagues. Extraordinary!
At the heart of this work, where vision becomes reality, is the collaboration of a diverse many. It begins with Dean Frank’s commitment from his first day as Dean to community engagement and professional development, supported by the senior leadership of Dr. Mary Bryson– collaborations of Faculty members, educational leaders in districts, schools, and Associations, Department administration, Faculty leadership, brought together and supported by PDCE staff. All of the 70 plus Master’s cohorts, the 140 plus institutes, the 100 plus online courses, that Mark has been a part of, are the result of the courageous and remarkable collaborations of many. To each person who has shared in this creative work, Mark raises his hands in honour and gratitude: ‘Together we have made a difference; together we have bent the arc of human possibility toward the socially just, the sustainable, the good.’
Mark completed his PhD in Educational Studies in 2007. Professionally he has been a camp director, a tree-planter (225,000 or so), high school teacher, counsellor, teacher librarian, school administrator, farmer, marine safety and quality manager for a tug-boat company, and at UBC, Director of the School Leadership Centre, Director of External Programs and Learning Technologies, and co-coordinator of the BCPVPA- UBC Short Course for 17 years.
Sandra Tee BSc’96, BEd’98, MEd’03
Sandra Tee is a UBC graduate many times over, having completed her Bachelor of Science (Nutritional Sciences) in 1996, her Bachelor of Education (Elementary ELL focus) in 1998, and her Master of Education (LLED) in 2003. Most recently, Sandra completed the Transformative Educational Leadership Program (TELP) with the Faculty of Education at UBC.
After graduating from UBC’s Teacher Education program, Sandra pursued and completed her preschool and elementary Montessori training and was hired to be the pilot teacher for the Montessori program with the New Westminster School District. As a teacher, Sandra was also involved with the BCTF as a Professional and Social Issues (PSI) and a School Unions Representative Training (SURT) facilitator
After many years teaching in New Westminster, Sandra accepted a Vice Principal position with the Delta School District, in 2017. She is currently the Vice Principal of École Devon Gardens Elementary in North Delta, a school that offers both Early French Immersion and Montessori programs. Sandra is an active participant in many District initiatives and is also a Google Certified Educator.
Sandra is driven to be a lifelong learner and believes firmly that we are all learners. She values the importance of listening to others and in developing relationships with all of our educational stakeholders.
Will Valley BSc’02, BEd’04, PhD’15
Will Valley is an associate professor of teaching in the Faculty of Land and Food Systems at the University of British Columbia, and the academic director of the core curriculum in the faculty, the Land, Food, and Community (LFC) series. The objective of the LFC series is to create learning opportunities that encourage students to become citizens, professionals, and leaders who understand the opportunities and obstacles to creating regional, national, and global food systems that are ecologically regenerative, socially just, and economically viable. His research focuses on sustainable food systems education, food justice pedagogy, food literacy development, urban agriculture, and community-engaged scholarship. He is a member of the Gesturing Towards Decolonial Futures Collective of researchers, artists, educators, activists and Indigenous knowledge keepers from the Global North and South that focus on how artistic and educational practices can gesture towards the possibility of decolonial futures. Will is the chair of the Sustainable Agriculture Education Association, an international non-profit organization that promotes and supports the development, application, research, and exchange of effective teaching and learning practices in sustainable agriculture and food systems in post-secondary education and curricula through communication, training, development, and collaborative activities for teachers and learners. He is also co-director of Inner City Farms, an urban farming non-profit in Vancouver, BC. Prior to teaching at UBC, Will taught elementary and high school sciences, math, and PE in Vancouver and the South Okanagan-Similkameen region of BC.
Birgit Freybe Bateman BEd’70
Birgit Freybe Bateman BEd’70 is a retired secondary school art teacher, artist, award-winning photographer, environmentalist, outdoor enthusiast, birdwatcher and lecturer. As a child she emigrated from Germany to Canada with her family in 1955 and began studying at UBC in 1965. Since she was a little girl, she has always done art. The teaching profession allowed her to team up with Robert Bateman in Ontario. Since both had the same interests of art and nature, they married. She was able to help him in every aspect of his career especially once they both retired from teaching early to do art full time. Eventually they moved to Salt Spring Island where both have their studios and their large family can all meet up. This is a huge and important part of her life. They have had classes of students to their studio and have been able to continue their teaching methods there. She is also helping The Bateman Gallery of Nature in Victoria by advising on funding, programs and especially with the Nature Sketch program. She feels that she has been very lucky to travel around the world photographing nature and other cultures. The Peninsula Gallery in Sidney represents her photographs.
Miranda A. Massie, BA’08, MEd’19
Miranda Massie, is a Workplace Wellbeing Practices & Learning Consultant with UBC Human Resources. Her work involves supporting learning practices & curriculum design related to individual and workplace wellbeing.
Miranda has a background in psychology, as well as sexual health and adult education. She is currently a Mental Health Commission of Canada certified instructor in Mental Health First Aid and The Working Mind and supports mental health literacy training and education within UBC’s workplaces. Miranda’s work is grounded in health promotion and adult education principles and she believes in empowering employees to make informed decisions that can positively impact their individual wellbeing, as well as the health and culture of the organization.
Outside of work, Miranda spends her time working as a community sexual health educator and teaching Polynesian dance at a local family-run studio. A born and raised Vancouverite (we are rare!) she loves to spend time walking the streets of local neighbourhoods, being near any body of water, and eating and drinking her way through the city’s newest hotspots.
Ragini Kapil, MEd’98
As a child, I dreamt of being an actor and writer. However, my desire to entertain did not fit well in a classroom setting. My parents, both teachers, sent me to boarding school for my last year of high school hoping that I would blossom into the dedicated student that they envisioned when they moved our family from Fiji to Canada. Luckily, by the time I completed my Master’s in Education at UBC (1998), I did flourish as a student and a teacher. The challenges I faced as a student created a passion for developing creative and inclusive learning practices for students.
As an elementary school administrator, I endeavoured to implement innovative programs and bring positive change. My focus was on staff development for inclusive learning, and student empowerment through community building and leadership. However, after working as a principal for ten years, I took a break to pursue my lifelong dream of becoming a screenwriter. My initial plan was to return to school, but due to a couple of life-changing injuries, I was unable to continue. It’s been a hard, and sometimes overwhelmingly difficult road. No one likes to feel like a failure, and I did.
Giving up was not an option, and through hard work, perseverance, and determination, I’ve learned that the goal in life is to simply celebrate each step forward. In the process, I have become a stand-up comedian, writer, director, and producer. I am excited about the upcoming opportunity to capitalize on both of my passions, teaching and the creative arts, while embracing my new role as Dept. Head, Education Programs and Instructor, at the Drama Class. (thedramaclass.com)
Christoph H. Clodius, MEd’08
Christoph is Vice President at The Discovery Group (http://www.thediscoverygroup.ca), a boutique consultancy that specializes in supporting charities and social profit organizations. In his role, Christoph leads the firm’s people services, doing executive and board recruiting, succession planning, and training/retention.
He joined TDG after nine years in executive search in one of Canada’s largest not-for-profit consulting firms. Prior to entering consulting, Christoph spent over a decade in leadership roles in the social profit sector with both post-secondary education and health/social service organizations. The majority of Christoph’s career was spent with the Development Office at UBC, where Christoph served as the Director of Development at UBC’s Faculty of Forestry, overseeing both alumni relations and development.
Christoph was also Director of Development at the BC Paraplegic Association (now Spinal Cord BC), and earlier he worked with the United Way of the Lower Mainland and with the Indian Affairs & Northern Development Department of the Government of Canada. He also served in a variety of fundraising roles for UBC’s Faculty of Arts and the Sauder School of Business.
In addition to Christoph’s MEd from UBC, he has a BA in Applied Sciences from SFU. As a volunteer, Christoph has been engaged in the community through Vancouver Adaptive Snow Sports, the Immigrant Services Society, and several roles at CJSF Radio, SFU’s campus-community radio station. He also served for many years on the Board of the AFP Vancouver Chapter and his building’s strata council.