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.
Miranda Huron, BA’02, MEd’12
For over 20 years, Miranda Huron, a member of the Mattawa North Bay Algonquins, has worked in Indigenous education with a specialization in language revitalization. Miranda is the Director of Indigenous Education and Affairs at Capilano University in North Vancouver. She came to this role fresh from her time as the Director of Indigenous Languages and Affairs at the Assembly of First Nations, where she led the team representing First Nations’ interests in the co-development and negotiation of the Indigenous Languages Act, which received Royal Assent under her tenure on June 21, 2019. Miranda received both her BA and her MEd at UBC, and is currently working on her UBC doctoral research exploring the concept of co-development and its relation to self-determination.
Miranda has sat on the Premier’s Advisory Committee on Aboriginal Training, the UBC Vice-President’s Strategic Implementation Committee for Equity and Diversity, the UBC Senate (past) and the Capilano University Senate (current). She is currently a board member of the UBC Alumni Board, and sits on committees with the City of New Westminster.
In her spare time, Miranda has been known to cycle across continents. To date, she has cycled across Canada and Russia solo, and from Cairo to Cape Town with a group.
Alice Jungclaus, BA‘94, BEd’95, MEd’06
At the heart of Alice’s life and work is a recognition of the complexity of individuals and communities. She strives to positively contribute to schools while consciously developing her relational understandings. She is currently an international educator in a Pre-K to Grade 12 International Baccalaureate School in Zürich, Switzerland. Alice has served as elementary and secondary teacher in both private and public education in four different cities on three continents: Vancouver public schools in Canada, Hong Kong public schools in China and private international schools in Fukuoka (Japan), Hong Kong (Special Administrative Region of the People’s Republic of China) and Zürich (Switzerland). Her formal and informal identities in varied socio-political contexts have provided Alice with a breadth and depth of cross-cultural lived experience beyond the limits of her own global identity as a Canadian national. Alice is of Indigenous and African ancestry. She was born in Plains Cree Territory to a Nêhiyaw mother and an Igbo father who continue to serve as her cultural protocol guides and educators for particular Nêhiyaw and Igbo ways of knowing and being in the world. As Alice’s father is an alumnus of UBC and a retired faculty member, she grew up primarily on Musqueam territory and attended both University Hill Elementary and Secondary schools on the UBC campus. She completed her Bachelor of Arts (French linguistics) in 1994, her Bachelor of Education (K-7 Elementary and French as a Second Language) in 1995, and her Master of Education (Educational Administration and Leadership) in 2006. It is one of Alice’s great hopes to one day return to Turtle Island and serve public education again for the dignity, wholeness and achievement of all children.
Hana Etsuko Dethlefsen has applied her degrees in Education from UBC to various roles in museums in both Vancouver and London, England. She is currently the Exhibitions Manager at the Francis Crick Institute, a biomedical research centre in London, England.
Whether working as a curator, exhibits manager, project manager, or educational programmer, her focus is always on the audience and making their experiences meaningful, accessible, and impactful. With a specialty in science museums and interactive science centres, she is passionate about creating exhibits and environments that reveal ways in which science matters to us all.
On the side, Hana explores her Japanese heritage through food and has taught Japanese Culinary Arts for UBC Continuing Studies. Her M.Ed. degree included writing a user-experience informed curriculum for her cooking class and resulted in her Japanese cookbook Let’s Cooking. This book was developed with input from her cooking students and ended up giving her a chance to present Japanese recipes on Canada’s Gusto TV.
Diego Marchese, BEd’92, MEd’00
Diego Marchese has over 25 years of not-for-profit experience. Diego’s current role is the Executive Vice President, Mission, Research and Social Enterprise at the Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada. He has held several senior positions at Heart & Stroke including interim CEO, national COO and national Vice President, Prevention. At Heart & Stroke in BC & Yukon, he served as CEO, COO, and Vice President, Research and Health Promotion, overseeing the foundation’s research, health promotion, patient education and advocacy areas.
Diego has been prominent in the development and delivery of many renowned health programs and initiatives at both a provincial and national level and has served on numerous multi-organization national and provincial working groups and committees. He served as executive sponsor of Heart & Stroke’s Indigenous Strategy and was instrumental in the development of many of Heart & Stroke’s most significant achievements in British Columbia, including: Provincial Trans Fat Regulations, the BC Stroke Strategy, anti-tobacco policies and programs and children’s health education programs.
Diego is a member of the Canadian College of Health Service Executives and serves on the board of the Canadian Partnership for Stroke Recovery where he serves as Vice Chair. In his free time, he enjoys going to the symphony and theatre and spending time in the mountains. He is a former varsity basketball player and an avid mountain biker and cyclist.
Valerie Jerome, BEd’79
I was born in Winnipeg in 1944, the third of 5 children of a railway porter and a homemaker. Our family moved to North Vancouver in 1951. My siblings and I were turned away by a heavy barrage of stones on the first day we attempted to set foot onto the school grounds at Ridgeway elementary school that September. We were demeaned and shamed through years of curricula that entrenched the notions that peoples of colour, whether here in North America or in Africa, were no more than half-naked savages. And through the songs of Stephen Foster, we learned that “the darkies” on the plantations were happily singing their way through slavery.
But we endured. My older brother and I found a place of relative peace and acceptance in the world of track and field where in 1959 we became National champions in the sprints and represented Canada Internationally in the Olympic, Commonwealth, and Pan American Games. Harry establishing world records that lasted from 1960 until 1974.
Aaron Powell, BEd’ 14
I was born in Haiti and came to Coquitlam in 1991. After completing high school, I enrolled in university without a clear career plan. Shortly after starting school, my situation changed and I was forced to withdraw from university to pursue a trade, working as a plumber for 6 years. During that time, I realized that I really enjoyed training new apprentices. When someone suggested that, since I enjoyed training and giving back, perhaps I would enjoy being an educator, I began to consider education as a career. The seed was planted and there was no going back. Not long after that conversation, I took the plunge and enrolled at Douglas College followed by a 2-year program with BCIT’s TechEd Department. After completing my Diploma at BCIT, I enrolled in the Teacher Education Program at UBC, receiving my Bachelor of Education and becoming a full-time teacher.
After completing my Physical Education diploma at Douglas College, I was hired by Langley School District to teach TechEd and P.E. As I slowly gained experience with TechEd, I became increasingly interested in curriculum design. This passion for technology education led to more work in Applied Design, Skills, and Technology (ADST) with the District. After that, I became the Department Head of ADST in Langley Secondary School. I worked with my department on lots of interesting projects, and also explored options for cross-curricular activities between departments with a special focus on STEM. We developed partnerships among our family of schools (elementary, middle, and secondary) to promote mentorship, improve literacy, and support interdisciplinary learning.
After several years of teaching, I returned to Yorkville University and completed a Master of Education in Educational Leadership. As part of my degree requirements, I conducted action research looking at how teachers can use community partnerships to engage students in ways that lead to self-advocacy. I’ve been excited to use the findings from this in my own school in my current role as Vice-Principal of D.W. Poppy Secondary.
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. The presentation was held 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.