Melody Wang Receives 2021 LFS Undergraduate Student Leadership Award

Melody Wang Receives 2021 LFS Undergraduate Student Leadership Award

The LFS Undergraduate Society (LFS|US) is excited to present the 2021 LFS Undergraduate Student Leadership Award to Melody Wang, a member of the Class of 2021. The Selection Committee was inspired by her dedication to our community and the contributions she made in advancing the LFS|US Equity, Diversity & Inclusion and Sustainability Subcommittees. Along with her achievements in Feeding 9 Billion and the World’s Challenge Challenge case competitions, the passion she has demonstrated in advocating for today’s critical issues, is a value that is shared by the LFS community.

In 2016, LFS|US created the LFS Undergraduate Student Leadership Award to recognize students in the Faculty who have made contributions to student and faculty life by demonstrating outstanding leadership and leaving a legacy that benefits future LFS students.

Melody Wang (she/her/hers), BSc. in Food, Nutrition, and Health, Class of 2021

For Melody, being in LFS means becoming part of a small but close-knit community — one that sets the Faculty apart from others. What stood out to her were the connections that could be made, not just between students, but with the LFS staff and faculty members as well.

Although UBC has a large number of students, Melody noticed that it could be easy to feel lonely. This pushed her to get involved in external activities outside her schoolwork and developed her passion for community building.

Throughout her degree, Melody got involved with various groups across campus in hopes of fostering and creating meaningful connections with others: “I wanted to get involved not only to be part of a community, but to also build a community for others.” She was able to do so within LFS and across campus such as in her roles with UBC Residence Life, UBC Recreation Intramurals, and the UBC Student Alumni Council.

One of Melody’s proudest achievements in LFS is pushing for the LFS|US Donation Matching Initiative during her time as Senior Advisor. At a time when social movements were heightened globally, she co-organized this new initiative and encouraged her community to support groups fighting for social and racial justice.

After graduating in May 2021, Melody is excited to pursue her creative passions, such as dance, and further her interest in Global Health by attending graduate school in the future.

Tip for her LFS peers:

“Just go for it! Don’t be afraid to ask people about opportunities, even those you might not think you are close with. More often than not, these relationships are the ones that can help you open new doors! I’ve also recently learned to ‘not say no to myself’, meaning, don’t let self doubt and fear stop you from pursuing things before even trying. Like UBC’s motto says, it really is yours!”

Notable Mentions

Valerie Leung (she/her/hers), 4th Year, Dietetics

After an impactful first-year, Valerie was motivated to expand her leadership presence in LFS and UBC with the support of her peers.

“Mentorship is such a huge theme in my involvement. Being able to be mentored by individuals in similar paths but with various experiences allowed me to do the same for new students coming into the Faculty,” she shared.

Valerie supported students through her roles in UBC Orientations, LFS ACE Team, and most recently the Dietetics Student Community, to name a few. She also gained experience as a Teaching Assistant for LFS 150, and worked with the LFS Student Services and the Centre for Sustainable Food Systems at the UBC Farm.

Throughout her years in LFS, Valerie was inspired by the unique perspectives that students contributed from a wide range of backgrounds. As part of a smaller faculty, she realized how impactful a small group of students can be on a global scale.

With the Fall term fast approaching, Valerie is excited to see her Dietetics cohort and integrate what she has learned in her research position into her academics.

Franco Lopez (he/him/his), 4th Year, Applied Plant and Soil Sciences

Growing up in a family with a farming background, Franco’s deep-rooted passion for research in sustainable agriculture grew throughout his time in LFS. He was first drawn to the Faculty’s community-based research approach to finding solutions to our global food problems. After taking LFS 250, where Franco learned about the actionable steps he could take to address the flaws that exist in our food system, he was further inspired to pursue his passion. It was thus no surprise when he was featured in the 2020 AgriSuccess Magazine after a recommendation from a professor.

Franco also holds a special interest for teaching and helping his peers, which is well reflected in his past roles as a Teaching Assistant for APBI 200, PASS Program Coordinator, and Orientation Leader. After a challenging first-year, Franco wanted to support students who may encounter struggles in their academic journey.

As a message to students looking to get involved, Franco emphasized that no level of involvement is bad: “Even if it’s an hour a week or less, do something that lets you explore something you are passionate about. Academics are important, but so is building your network.”