In honour of Nestor Korchinsky, the founder of UBC REC, the Nestor Korchinsky Award is intended to recognize one student who has demonstrated outstanding commitment to student leadership and service to his or her community. The recipient for the Nestor Korchinsky Award will be announced at the closing ceremony of the conference in January.
This year’s Nestor Korchinsky Award winner is Mohit Sodhi. Mohit completed his BSc in Behavioural Neuroscience at UBC in 2016, and is currently pursuing his MSc in Experimental Medicine, working to explore the safety and power of prescription medication across millions of patients. He has been published in some of the world’s most prestigious medical journals. Alongside his studies, he is the co-founder of Global Choking Prevention Week, works as an event paramedic, spends time volunteering in a private pediatric physiotherapy clinic for children with disabilities, and has held 5 different executive positions at 3 UBC clubs.
Passionate about making a lasting impact in the community, he co-founded a charity called YNOTFORTOTS which equips underprivileged children in the Greater Vancouver Area and Lower Mainland with the resources that they need to play, learn, and grow. In only two years they have donated over $52,000 of equipment to local elementary schools in need.
Mohit creates momentum through taking initiative to create change in his community and beyond.
Faces of Today
The Faces of Today Awards are intended to recognize outstanding student leaders for their sustained leadership achievements and their efforts to innovate, improve and shape the life on and off campus. Every year, 8 student leaders are selected as the Faces of Today and announced as the recipients before the conference.
Jeanie is a first year Graduate student in Applied Science - Biomedical Engineering, and currently sits on the UBC Board of Governors. In her previous role as the President of the UBC Engineering Undergraduate Society, Jeanie brought together the executive team to implement and sustain new changes to maintain an inclusive culture. With her optimism and dedication, she created a cohesive culture of volunteerism within the EUS, eventually winning them Constituency of the Year at UBC. She also ran Geering Up UBC Engineering & Science for Kids, UBC’s Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) camp for youth. Under her leadership, Jeanie expanded Geering Up’s after school programs and travelling camps, reaching hundreds more children and increasing diversity in STEM.
In addition to leadership within the UBC community, Jeanie worked with Actua, Canada’s largest STEM outreach organization, to inspire children into working in STEM. She has worked with children across the Lower Mainland and beyond, having travelled to Iqaluit and Frobisher Bay in Northern Canada. Jeanie creates momentum by being a team-oriented leader, and a role model for girls entering STEM in her own community and beyond.
Angela is a fifth year undergraduate student in Science and the Master of Management Dual Degree Program (B+MM). She co-founded and is the current President of the B+MM Student Association (BMMSA). Angela identified the need for community in the B+MM program where students come from all over campus and often take different courses. From this need, she co-founded the BMMSA and created the Peer Connections Program, a mentoring program for B+MM students that connects junior and senior students through studying, socializing, and networking nights. She also created the Passion to Profession (P2P) program, a discussion series of coffee-talk style presentations for students to hone their public speaking skills and share their passions and how to turn them into a profession.
Angela creates change and impacts others by inspiring and mentoring them. She has gone on several UBC recruitment trips to Calgary and her hometown Jakarta, to talk to students about the opportunities UBC has offered her, and to encourage them to pursue a global education. Angela celebrates the unique qualities of those around her, and inspires them to bring their talents to the table. With this approach, Angela creates momentum that is sustainable, mentoring and fostering others to find their own leadership styles.
Adam is a fourth-year Science undergraduate student. He is currently a Senior Advisor for the UBC Undergraduate Research Opportunities and was co-president for the two years prior. During his time as co-president, Adam expanded the team from 20 to 80 people, doubled the size of the Research Experience (REX) program, and helped URO win 7 awards, including the SLC’s own Showcase Award, and UBC’s Helen McCrae Award for Student Development. He also created the Life Sciences Research Night (LSRN), which taught students about applying for lab positions, grants, co-op, and grad school.
Adam also expanded URO internationally, becoming a founding member of both the Canadian Steering Committee on Undergraduate Research (CSCUR) and the Association for Undergraduate Research Advancement (AURA), led by the Harvard College Undergraduate Research Association. Through his work, a grant was created for students to travel to Harvard University for the National Collegiate Research Conference, allowing students to experience research across North America. Adam creates momentum by constantly advancing the field of research and creating a safe place for students to gain research experience.
Mia is a fifth-year undergraduate student in the School of Music. She served on the Music Undergraduate Student’s Association (MUSA) for two years, as VP Finance and then as President in the next year. She started initiatives to bring students in different areas of music together, and to get music students more involved with the MUSA. Ranging from fun social events such as sock wars, to workshops teaching the Alexander Technique to help students with performance anxiety, to raising mental health awareness through organizing workshops and compiling resources, Mia created activities that would help music students feel more at home in the School of Music.
Mia also shares her passion for music through her community outreach. She has partnered with the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra outreach programs to bring hands-on music to elementary schools, teaching music in a fun and educational environment to children for whom many have never seen an instrument in person before. She also serves as the assistant conductor for the Greater Vancouver Youth Music Association (GVYMA), an ensemble that provides high levels of musicality for high school musicians with an interest in music. Mia creates momentum through building a stronger sense of community within the School of Music, and by providing guidance and support as a superb musician and role model in the Greater Vancouver community.
Mohammad Asadi Lari
Mohammad is a fourth-year undergraduate student in the Honours Cellular, Anatomical and Physiological Sciences in the Faculty of Science. Shortly after moving to Canada, Mohammad got involved in his community by volunteering at an Iranian community school in North Vancouver, and at the Royal Columbia and Vancouver General Hospitals. He balances and prioritizes his services to other, while being involved in a diverse range of activities, committing to giving back to his community and investing his energy in working to improve the lives of others.
He is currently the Managing Director of STEM Fellowship, a Canada-wide network of students that creates experiential learning opportunities for their peers. Over his time with STEM Fellowship, he saw the organization grow from a handful of students to a recognized national brand with over 250 members across 20 university campuses across Canada. He was invited by the New York Academy of Sciences as a STEM mentor, and he had the chance to travel to New York, where he talked to Nobel laureates and big companies like PepsiCo. He believes in thinking globally and acting locally in order to see the bigger picture and collaborate with students all over the world. Mohammad creates momentum by being a thoughtful mentor and motivator to those around him in his community.
Lerly is a third-year Graduate student in the Faculty of Medicine. She co-founded the UBC Global Health Conference, an interdisciplinary conference on the changing perspectives of global health. The conference mobilized 150 leaders to tackle and discuss critical healthcare challenges, and allowed for students of different disciplines to get involved in global health. As the VP Global Health of the UBC Medical Undergraduate Society, Lerly represented UBC on a national level among 17 other Canadian Medical Schools. In 2015, she represented Canada at Singularity University’s Global Solutions Program based on NASA, where she worked with innovators from over 44 countries to create technological solutions to global challenges.
In 2016, Lerly was 1 of 5 medical students selected to represent 1.3 million medical students globally from over 100 countries at the World Health Organization Executive Board Meeting to share the voice of the healthcare leaders of tomorrow. That summer, she traveled to Nairobi to work with a social enterprise to provide healthcare to Nairobi’s low socio-economic schools and lowest access communities. She focused on expanding the scope of their services using digital health technologies. In 2017, she received the Stanford Medicine X Emerging Leader Scholarship and was invited to speak at Stanford about healthcare innovation and patient-centered care. Lerly creates momentum by consistently and persistently striving to push the bounds of healthcare forward, and by being a compassionate leader with the desire to elevate all those around her.
Danika is a fourth-year undergraduate student in the Faculty of Forestry. She is the Forestry student representative on the UBC Vancouver Senate, where she is the Chair of the Flexible Learning Ad-Hoc Committee. She proposed the idea of the enhanced transcript that would formally recognize student involvement and encourage more students to get involved and create change on their campus. In her first year, wanting to find a community on campus, she joined the UBC Student Ambassadors. Now, as a Senior Student Ambassador, she manages a team of 50 student ambassadors and works with different portfolios to improve the experience of prospective UBC students and encourage them to get further involved.
Danika strives to create a sense of belonging and connection for students at UBC. As an executive of the Calendar UBC, she makes students feel like they have a place at university by organizing fun events that leave students with amazing out of classroom experiences to share. From helping come up with the idea of a campus-wide snowball fight that was realized into an event with thousands of students, to organizing the Polar Bear Swim, Danika takes ideas and sets out to find ways to make them happen. Danika creates momentum across campus, through one-on-one interactions, proposing changes to high-level senate policy, and organizing campus wide events for students.
Established in 2011, the monthly Showcase Awards aim to recognize student-led initiatives across campus that have contributed positively to the UBC community and have the potential to impact the community with a pressing cause or issue.
Every year, millions of people worldwide lack adequate access to menstruation products, and Vancouver is no exception when it comes to contributing to this issue. In an effort to address the lack of resources available to marginalized people, and to confront the immense stigma surrounding speaking about menstruation, PERIOD UBC was formed.
PERIOD UBC strives to celebrate menstruation through advocacy, education, and service – which is achieved by means of distributing menstruation products and fostering youth leadership both on campus, and within the community. On a monthly basis, PERIOD UBC distributes over 1500 period products in the Downtown Eastside through providing free care packages comprised of pads, tampons, shampoos, conditioners, lotion, and a note of kindness to homeless shelters.
They simply believe that all people with periods should have access to proper menstruation products, period.
Geering Up UBC Engineering & Science for Kids
Geering Up UBC Engineering & Science for Kids is a non-profit organization that provides student-delivered programs dedicated to promoting science, engineering, and technology to the children and youth of British Columbia through fun, innovative, and hands-on experiments and projects. Geering Up strives to reach all children and youth, regardless of gender, ethnicity, culture, or socio-economic status, with special outreach for those groups traditionally underrepresented in the sciences. They also provide valuable work experience to its employees, and enriches the University and community. Since the creation of this program over 20 years ago, they have been able to reach over 125,000 youth thanks to the commitment and dedication of their supporters.
Enactus is a worldwide community of student, academic and business leaders committed to using the power of entrepreneurial action to transform lives and shape a more sustainable world. They believe investing in students who take entrepreneurial action for others creates a better world for us all.
The UBC chapter of Enactus currently operates 6 different projects, positively impacting the lives of our local community in areas ranging from financial literacy, entrepreneurial education, environmental sustainability, and even public speaking workshops to promote self-confidence.
Common Energy UBC
Common Energy's mission is to incorporate sustainability into all aspects of campus life. They seek to fulfill that mission through the work of their five teams, each with a unique sustainability focus. Their teams aim to find comprehensive solutions to a broad range of sustainability issues, including coffee cup waste, energy usage, and high carbon footprint lifestyles, while simultaneously creating an inclusive community for members to have their voices heard and ideas come to life.
Highlights of their work this year include: their annual Waste Audit of the Nest; Winterfest, an outdoor celebration of nature and sustainability; behind the scenes work on the UBC Strategic Plan, Mug Share, the Water Bottle Working Group, and campus waste, building and fleet operations; and numerous workshops, socials, and discussions on issues such as sustainable diets, international climate policy, and zero waste living.