Community Builder Roxana Quinde Wins President’s Staff Award
Sept 3 – Roxana Quinde has won a UBC President’s Staff Award for Community Engagement. For the last 20 years, she has fostered global links to universities and organizations for student exchanges, and has been a strong community builder on campus.
Quinde became a full-time staff member in the Faculty of Land and Food Systems in January 2000 when she was hired as Coordinator, Global Partnerships, a role that she continues today. In addition, she plays a pivotal role in the undergraduate Global Resource Systems (GRS) program as its Coordinator.
The GRS program launched in 2003 and uses a unique academic model that is student-centred – students design their own academic program based on their passions and interests. They gain an understanding of natural and agricultural resources from an international and interdisciplinary perspective.
This creates the need for someone to guide students adeptly through international partnership agreements, UBC-wide academic electives, and who has cultural sensitivities in spades – that person is Quinde!
“Roxana’s support has been a defining factor in my academic and professional success,” says Iva Jankovic, GRS alumni and founder, Buddy Systems Consulting. “She has written me countless reference letters and helped me access scholarships, learning exchanges, and job opportunities that have shaped me as an academic and professional.”
Students hold Quinde in such high regard that they elected her Honorary Grad Class President in the 2006-07, 2008-09 and 2009-10 academic years.
Quinde has also been innovative in developing a community of learners within the GRS program. She’s been a catalyst in a 3-credit, two-term course that lays a foundation for all GRS students. This course provides an opportunity for students to address global issues by meeting guest speakers and alumni, and holding student-led workshops. It is very common for students to keep coming back after they have met the course requirements. The result is an appreciation for diversity, culture, religions and global citizenship.
She’s also introduced activities to integrate students into UBC student life. These events enable students to work closely with each other outside of the classroom, which in turn has led to increased interaction among students within the classroom and around the UBC campus and the wider community.
“As the program coordinator of Global Resource Systems, Roxana does an amazing job of building a sense of community and engagement among students in the program,” says Jankovic. “From organizing potlucks, to connecting students to one another, to fostering an alumni community, Roxana is known widely as the heart and soul of the Global Resource Systems program.”