In honour of Thrive week, we are excited to highlight a very special ‘Thriving President’ feature, with Professor Santa Ono, UBC’s President and Vice-Chancellor.
Thriving Faculty is a monthly column that highlights UBC faculty who exemplify the integration of health and wellbeing into their classrooms, research, departments and communities.
What does thriving mean to you?
To me thriving means that on a daily basis I am growing and improving as an individual. Thriving requires that I have time to think about my daily, weekly and longer-term priorities and to assess how I am doing against those plans. Work/life balance is critical to thriving. I therefore make sure that I have time in my calendar for my family and for recreational pursuits such as playing the cello.
How do you think we can best work together to thrive as a community?
I think that it is important for an institution such as UBC to have a clear commitment to thriving for each member of our community. Newsletters such as Healthy UBC play a critical role in underscoring our commitment to the wellbeing of every member of the community. One of the most important things we can do as a community is to look out for the wellbeing of others in everything that we do. Supervisors should make sure that members of their teams have a good life balance. And professors should look after the wellbeing of students within the classroom.
Do you have advice or strategies to share with staff and faculty?
I would encourage all members of UBC staff and faculty to take advantage of the rich opportunities for wellbeing that exist on our campus. I am also a proponent of active dialogue as a means to promote wellbeing. Speaking about and sharing strategies to promote wellbeing will help us build a culture of wellness at UBC.
As a professor of medicine and biology, Prof. Santa Ono has worked at Harvard, Johns Hopkins, University College London, and Emory universities. Last year he was inducted by Johns Hopkins into its Society of Scholars, which honours former faculty who have gained distinction in their fields. An avid music lover whose tastes range from Rihanna to Rachmaninoff, Prof. Ono studied at the Peabody Conservatory of Music in Baltimore and remarkably still finds time to sing and play his cello – even taking to the concert stage to perform on occasion.