Professor Santa Ono
By Marlene Dong on October 3, 2018
Congratulations to Derick Chan, Liz Hudson, Harmony Johnson, and Alexa Love (UBC Press) and Kathy Manson (School of Kinesiology) on being the inaugural recipients of the 2018 President’s Staff Award for Wellbeing. On October 18, they received their awards at a special reception held at Norman McKenzie House.
Recognizing the important role faculty and staff play in promoting workplace health, a new wellbeing category was added to the President’s Staff Awards for 2018. The award recognizes individuals and teams that create opportunities for others to thrive at UBC: from leading activities and initiatives that promote social, physical and/or mental health and wellbeing, to inspiring community members to care for themselves and each other.
“A great inspiration”
At UBC Press, Derick Chan (Finance Assistant), Liz Hudson (Inventory Manager), Harmony Johnson (Academic Sales Manager), and Alexa Love (Advertising and Promotions Manager) go above and beyond to promote social, physical and mental health and wellbeing for staff – from leading their local health and safety committee to encouraging colleagues to participate in the 30-Day Mindfulness Challenge and Sports Day.
Derick, Liz, Harmony and Alexa are also community builders and champions, organizing presentations to increase awareness of health and wellbeing resources at UBC, such as the Employee and Family Assistance Program, Ergonomics program, and Risk Management Services. They organize healthy potluck lunches – not only to encourage others to recognize that healthy options are achievable, but also to build community and connections across the three units within UBC Press. Recently, the group secured a grant for an office bike to encourage on-campus active transportation and exercise. To ensure the initiative was inclusive for riders of all skill levels, the group provided a workshop on road safety and basic bike mechanics.
“They are a great inspiration to the staff at UBC Press,” says Kerry Kilmartin, Publicist and Events Manager at UBC Press. “They have worked together to provide interesting opportunities to learn about health and they have promoted the existing UBC wellness activities already available to their colleagues. Above all though, they have worked to make the UBC Press a great and healthy place to work.”
“She enriches the UBC experience for all”
In the School of Kinesiology (KIN), Kathy Manson is the Executive Coordinator & Program Administrator, but to the students, faculty and staff she interacts with every day, Kathy is a role model, a “coach”, the “head and heart” for many in the department.
As the ‘go-to’ person in KIN, Kathy helps others overcome obstacles with empathy and compassion. Whether advocating for diverse faculty voices to be heard or providing encouragement to students, Kathy’s collaborative approach inspires others to care for themselves and each other in the workplace.
“Navigating through graduate school and postdoctoral fellowships can be like a modern pentathlon,” notes Sarah Koch, Erica Bennett and Anne Lasinsky, members of the team that nominated Kathy for the Wellbeing Award. “In Kinesiology research, we often examine the ways in which coaches guide athletes to their maximal athletic capacities. Just like a coach, Kathy assists all of us to achieve our best performances when it counts the most… Kathy not only embodies the mission and vision of KIN, but also exemplifies many of the qualities that UBC aims to impart on its university family.”
Kathy is seen as a role model for how she integrates physical activity throughout her work day, her participation in the School’s outreach programs (BodyWorks Fitness Centre), and her involvement in community-based activities. Kathy invites all students, faculty and staff to participate with her, regardless of their skill or fitness level.
“On a daily basis, Kathy embodies the head and the heart of the School of Kinesiology,” says Patricia Vertinsky, Distinguished University Scholar & Professor in KIN. “From the moment she arrives on her bicycle after riding across town through rain, snow or sun, to the end of the day…she lends an intelligent and supportive hand with a smile and constant encouragement. That’s the kind of dynamic and gracious leadership that enhances the UBC experience, all the time, and for all of us in the School of Kinesiology.”
Tell us how you thrive
Photos: Paul Joseph
“One of the most important things we can do is look out for the wellbeing of others”: Thriving Faculty
By Miranda Massie on October 25, 2016
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.
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