September 14, 2022
We are pleased to announce two Faculty of Education staff members are the recipients of this year’s President’s Service Awards for Excellence and the President’s Staff awards.
The awards are presented by the university annually to recognize staff members who demonstrate outstanding achievement and excellence within the UBC community.
President’s Service Awards for Excellence
Karen Yan, Graduate Program Assistant
Educational and Counselling Psychology and Special Education, Faculty of Education
Karen Yan maintains a high quality of service and excellence in providing support to the students, faculty and staff within the Department of Educational and Counselling Psychology and Special Education. For over three decades, Karen has been a leader in building a community where new students and new faculty feel included and at home.
As the first point of contact during the admissions process, Karen’s interactions with students are welcoming and informative, and help students be successful both in their application and later in their transition to campus life. She goes above and beyond to assist international applicants and applicants from underrepresented communities, especially those who lack convenient access to technology or experience language barriers, so that all applicants feel that UBC is a place for them to be successful in their academic journey.
Karen guides graduate students as they navigate course planning, clinic placements, and graduate requirements. From orientation to graduation, Karen takes great care to assist and recognize students and promote a culture of respect.
In addition to student success, Karen is also vital in the success of faculty and staff across the department. She takes initiative to ensure administrators and faculty are aware of updates to graduate policies; she mentors colleagues on admissions processes and re-accreditation processes; she assists new faculty and helps them settle into their roles, and; she reaches out to alumni, providing information about professional certification requirements and opportunities to connect back with the department.
President’s Staff Award for Creativity and Innovation
Effiam Yung, Web Communications Specialist
Department of Language & Literacy Education, Faculty of Education
Effiam Yung couples his technical expertise with initiative to create innovative technologies and inclusive spaces for students, faculty and staff.
Notably, Effiam led the programming and technology in two innovative projects: Singling and PhoneMe. These open-access software platforms fill important technology gaps that advance research, teaching and learning in literacy studies across Canada and around the world.
Through his innovative programming and development of Singling, Effiam played a pivotal role in allowing researchers to convert any text into sound or musical information – the auditory equivalent of data visualization. Singling can assist scholars with visual impairment in their analysis of qualitative data via sonification, and has many diverse and exciting applications for research, teaching and the arts.
Over several years, Effiam also led the technological development of PhoneMe. This application connects Indigenous pedagogies of place-based awareness with poetry in a social media environment. The app was especially popular during the pandemic as teachers were seeking meaningful and engaging literacy-promoting opportunities. PhoneMe enabled UBC’s Digital Literacy Centre to make significant strides in teaching and enhancing digital and creative literacies in communities, schools, and higher education across the country.
Effiam also contributed to these projects by co-authoring journal articles and text book chapters, presenting at conferences, and offering demonstrations and musical performances.