Humans of Human Resources

Humans of Human Resources: Terri Jones

This month, we profile Terri Jones, Human Resources Advisor at the Okanagan campus.

Tell us about yourself.

I was born in Alberta and raised in the lower mainland of BC, where I lived until recently. With close family in the Okanagan, I’ve visited Kelowna and Lake Country many times over the years. I was offered the opportunity to move to Kelowna to accept the position of Human Resources Advisor at the Okanagan campus.

I began my post-secondary career working in finance for payroll services at the college level. I was drawn to the human resources profession [and pursued my HR education] at BCIT, along with some speciality HR offerings at UBC and the Justice Institute of BC. I have 13 years of progressive human resource experience specific to the post- secondary sector, from college to university-college to university environments.

What do you do in HR?

As a Human Resources Advisor, I support all levels of the organization in my portfolio by providing advice and guidance on a wide range of issues related to the workplace, such as recruitment and selection support and strategies, faculty and staff collective agreement interpretation, conflict resolution, unit reorganizations, attendance and performance management, job design and classification.

I strive for a curious approach to understand subject context and to ensure timely communications for those involved.

I look forward to supporting my UBC Okanagan clients with their HR queries and workplace needs.

What do you like to do in your spare time?

When not at work, I like to get away from the hustle and bustle and spend my time outdoors, either hiking, gardening or exploring new areas. My dog, Lola, joins me in most of my outdoor activities.

I have a deep interest in all genres of music and attend concerts and music events when possible. I like to read and socialize with friends and family, and I’m an avid Scrabble player. With my move to the Okanagan, I am looking forward to kayaking this summer.

Photo: Carleigh Benoit


Humans of Human Resources: Crystal Hutchinson

Humans of Human Resources: Crystal Hutchinson

This month, we profile Crystal Hutchinson, Workplace Wellbeing Strategist for Health, Wellbeing & Benefits at the Vancouver campus.

Tell us about yourself

I was born and raised – and still reside – in East Vancouver. I have completed three degrees (two undergraduate, one graduate) at Simon Fraser University. I have always been extremely passionate about health and wellbeing. I spent the first few years of my professional life as a high school teacher in Vancouver and my teaching experiences really demonstrated to me the critical importance of health and wellbeing in terms of one’s ability to reach their full potential in learning and in life. As a result, I started to pursue other opportunities that combined my interests in education and health promotion.

After obtaining my Masters in Education focused on comprehensive approaches to Health Education, I took on a new role at Simon Fraser University as a Health Promotion Specialist. During my four years at SFU, I was fortunate to be involved in a number of innovative projects. I was part of research team that investigated how teaching practices contribute to psychosocial wellbeing and learning. I developed and led the “Wellbeing through Physical Spaces” project at SFU which focused on enhancing health through the built environment. One of my most memorable experiences was being part of the team that co-hosted the 2015 International Conference for Health Promoting Universities and Colleges and being involved in the development of the Okanagan Charter: An International Charter for Health Promoting Universities and Colleges.

What do you do in HR?

I joined the HR team in July 2017 in the newly created role of Workplace Wellbeing Strategist. In my role, I meet and partner with different faculties, departments and units to provide support in taking strategic, evidence-based action to foster healthy and supportive work environments. Together, we identify strengths, challenges and opportunities for action within the unique context of the faculty, department or unit to support wellbeing within the workplace.

Part of my role also entails increasing awareness of all the fantastic resources provided through HR that are available to support workplace wellbeing by addressing issues such as career transition, change management, and enhancing leadership skills and competencies. One of my favourite things about my role is getting to meet with diverse and wonderful people from across UBC. It is truly inspiring to connect with staff, faculty and those in leadership positions who care deeply about fostering wellbeing within their working and learning environments.

What do you like to do in your spare time?

Most of my free time is spent with my husband, dogs, family and friends. I love travelling, running and winter sports. I am also a bit of a thrill seeker. I’ve done zip lining, paragliding, bungee jumping and skydiving, and I would do them all again!

Photo: Cliff Mah Photography

Humans of Human Resources: Carleigh Benoit

This month, we profile Carleigh Benoit, Manager of the Work Reintegration and Accommodation Program at the Okanagan campus.

Tell us about yourself.

I was born in Winnipeg, Manitoba on a very cold prairie winter night, raised in Kelowna and returned to the prairies to study Art History and French at the University of Winnipeg, followed by a degree in Education. I taught at an international school in Thailand and travelled all over the world. When I returned to Canada, I pursued a graduate degree in Disability Management at the University of Northern British Columbia (UNBC). I spent time as a Case Manager for Sun Life Financial in disability insurance. Most recently I spent three and a half years at UNBC as the Manager of Health and Wellbeing, overseeing benefits, pension, return to work and accommodation. It was the city, family and the great opportunity at UBC that called me back to my hometown of Kelowna.

What do you do in Human Resources?

I have been the Manager of the Work Reintegration and Accommodation Program for four months. My focus is to assist faculty and staff to stay at work, return to work and build healthy, sustainable habits. I love this work because people are amazingly resilient. They are compassionate, challenging and intriguing. I never leave the office knowing quite what tomorrow will bring and for me, this is fueling.

What do you like to do in your spare time?

With the mayhem that comes with relocating, I have kept my free time very simple:  wine touring, checking out fruit stands, and visiting with friends and family. Typically, I spend my free time in the middle of nowhere: camping, hiking, fishing, snowshoeing or cross-country skiing. My partner Brad and I are looking forward to the cooler (and less smoky) fall temperatures to take advantage of our regular hobbies. I am always on the hunt for great coffee shops that not only serve delicious coffee/tea and treats, but also have cozy corners to read a book or write.

Photo: Carleigh Benoit

Humans of Human Resources:  Stephanie Thorpe

Humans of Human Resources: Stephanie Thorpe

This month we profile Stephanie Thorpe, Workplace Learning Facilitator, HR Workplace Learning and Engagement at the Vancouver Campus.

Please tell us about yourself.

I grew up near Vancouver, which meant that my family and I were often able to take advantage of all the exciting events and attractions that make this one of the world’s favourite cities. The draw to this beautiful area grew stronger over the years, and once I completed my bachelor’s degree in business, I decided to take the plunge and move to the “big city.” Shortly after moving to Vancouver, I joined UBC Human Resources in early 2013 as a PD Funding Programs Coordinator.

My career aspirations have always included various aspects of business management. A clear transition to human resources – in particular, learning and development – emerged when I observed how much can be accomplished in this area to influence the meaningfulness and enrichment of our workplaces and how our experiences at work can have positive impacts on other areas of our lives.

What do you do in HR?

In my current role, I support various learning and engagement programs for UBC staff through facilitation, learning design and program development. A large part of my role is co-facilitating the experiential and unique UBC Community Leadership Program. Did you know that the program connected emerging leaders with over 2,100 UBC students and local community members to complete significant community projects and initiatives in 2017? The accomplishments of the program’s leaders and the student volunteers were amazing!

I am inspired when I see people who are thriving in their work and are enthusiastic about their interests and accomplishments. Creating engaging and meaningful learning that directly supports staff and faculty at UBC to reach their individual goals is something that drives my enthusiasm about my role in UBC HR.

What do you like to do in your free time?

I try to fill my free time with as much variety, fun and adventure as possible! Exploring new places, both near and far, is a highlight of each year. Last year I managed to travel around the Gulf Islands by sailboat with a fantastic crew, and explored England and Wales with my family. This year’s travel plans include a road trip around Iceland, a couple of hiking excursions and a cycling adventure to Salt Spring Island.

Another passion of mine is supporting the Vancouver Whitecaps football club. I’ve been a member of the Vancouver Southsiders supporter group for a number of years and greatly enjoy the general camaraderie of attending games, both here in Vancouver and on our fantastic away trips to our Cascadian rivals in Portland and Seattle.

I also volunteer at the Vancouver Folk Music Festival each year as part of the security team. This role, fortunately, mainly consists of pleasant greetings, smiles and listening to beautiful music! It’s a wonderful thing to see all of the joviality and merriment as people leave the festival each evening. If you happen to spot me at this year’s festival, please say hello!

Humans of Human Resources: Robert Boudreau

Humans of Human Resources: Robert Boudreau

boudreauThis month we profile Robert Boudreau, Human Resources Director, HR Management Systems at the Vancouver Campus.

Robert, please tell us about yourself

I am a member of a seemingly shrinking group that was born in the Lower Mainland and has also spent their entire life in the Lower Mainland – in my case, half in Vancouver and half in Richmond (where I currently live). Growing up in Kitsilano, I went to Bayview Elementary and Kits High School.

I took a liking to the computer classes offered in high school and asked one of my teachers where I should go for post-secondary education.  His words of wisdom were, “if you want an education go to university – if you want a job, go to BCIT”.  Money sounded pretty good, so I chose to get a diploma in computer programming from BCIT.  Two years later, as I neared graduation, companies came to BCIT to recruit.  My second interview was with UBC.  I’m sure the person that interviewed me asked all sorts of great questions, but the two I distinctly remember were “do you play tennis?” and “do you ski?” I answered yes to both (which was true) and I was hired.  Two others from the same BCIT graduating class were also hired by UBC and the three of us worked at UBC for about 35 years until the other two retired.

I have six children – three boys and three girls.  Three have gone to UBC and two to BCIT.  My oldest daughter, Stephanie, has worked at UBC for almost nine years.

What do you do in HR?

I was initially hired at UBC in 1977 into a UBC unit called Data Processing on the 3rd floor of GSAB (a building that no longer exists). This group supported admin systems (HR/Payroll and Finance).  How we did all this with punched cards and magnetic tapes, I’ll never understand (I have samples of both on the wall in my office). Around 1980, this unit was merged into central IT. In 1992 I was part of the team that implemented HRMS.  In 1996, the programming team that supported admin systems was moved from central IT to Finance and I moved with them as manager.  In 1997, we implemented FMS.

I was in Finance until 2001 when a position became available in Human Resources.  Since then I’ve been the Director – HR Management Systems, and have four business analysts reporting to me.

This spring, I’ll have worked at UBC for 40 years – the last 16 with Human Resources.  The Human Resources Information Systems team does HRMS training, security and workflow administration, reporting, mass salary increases, participates in system upgrades, and supports the HRMS community of users in whatever problems or questions they may have.  We work very closely with the user community, Payroll, and the technical support staff, and act as liaisons between these groups.

What do you like to do in your free time?

I’m a huge Montreal Canadiens fan and watch all their games.  My favorite birthday gift of all time was my wife taking me to a game in Montreal where Montreal beat Boston.  My office is decorated with Canadiens paraphernalia.

My wife and I like travelling to tropical vacation spots and have been to Jamaica, Mexico, Bahamas, Cuba, Dominican Republic, US Virgin Islands and Hawaii.

I work out in my home gym regularly, and can be found doing the Wreck Beach stairs several lunchtimes per week.  I still like to ski, but don’t get out as often as I’d like.  I also like doing household renovations and fixing things including vehicles.  I spend a lot of time on YouTube.  I’d like to think that there’s nothing I can’t fix, but occasionally I admit defeat.

Humans of Human Resource: Kristin Cacchioni

Humans of Human Resource: Kristin Cacchioni

hohr-kristen-articleThis month we profile Kristin Cacchioni, Human Resources Advisor at the Okanagan Campus.

Kristin, please tell us about yourself: 

I was born and raised in Kelowna and did the first year of my degree at OUC on UBCO Campus. I moved to Victoria to complete my degree and returned to Kelowna each summer to tree plant. Tree planting taught me the value of hard work. After travelling through Thailand with my now husband we settled in Vancouver. I started out my career at UBC in 2003 working as a Research Assistant at BC Children and Women’s hospital working with premature infants. I decided that I wanted to pursue Human Resources because I was interested in working with people in a practical way. I have been so fortunate to grow my Human Resources career at UBC. We have two young children and made the decision to return home to Kelowna in January 2016.

What is your current role at UBC Okanagan?  How long have you worked at UBC?

I am currently a Human Resources Advisor, replacing Janna Fisk in her maternity leave.  I have worked at UBC for thirteen years.

What do you like the most about your work?    

I find the most satisfaction in my work when I have been a support to our clients working through difficult cases. I view our role as a partnership with the rest of the community and want our clients to feel that they can rely on us to help them through all of the various situations that arise.

What do you like to do outside of work?

I spend all of my time outside of work with my family. We have fun rediscovering Kelowna and appreciate the Okanagan more than ever since returning!