Meet our 2019-2020 Student Sustainability Council and learn more about how they’re improving sustainability efforts both on-and-off campus.
Tolulope Afolabi - UBC Sustainability Ambassador
Tolulope Esther Afolabi is a Nigerian, an environmental enthusiast and a MasterCard Scholar in her second year of the Master of Science in Forestry at the faculty of Forestry. She is interested in sustainable development especially in relation to how it affects the environment. This has inspired her research which involves seeking possible solutions or strategies for environmental sustainability through the management of environmental resources such as the forests. When not buried in her research, you will find her writing, singing, catering or learning something new. She represents UBC Sustainability Ambassadors on the Student Sustainability Council.
Jasmine Arora - Branch President, Braeburn, Orchard Commons
Jasmine Arora is a first-year student in the faculty of arts planning to major in Economics and Political Science. She loves the ocean and leaves no opportunity for a swim or an adventure trip. When she first arrived on campus, she was fascinated by the various sustainability programs like mug share and the waste sorting system in residence. As the Branch President of Braeburn, Orchard Commons, she is representing all campus residences. With the help of her strong analytical and observational skills, she hopes to find innovative ways to make living in residence more sustainable.
Rachel Chan - LFSUS
This is Rachel’s second year in Food, Nutrition and Health, and she transferred from Hong Kong with a Biomedical Sciences background. As a Hong Kong citizen, she is worried about the extreme weather events that are hitting Hong Kong. She wants to do something to change the current situation in Hong Kong and beyond, and she felt that coming to UBC is a great way to learn how the world is combatting climate change. Being a part of LFS connected her with many others who are passionate about the environment, and she felt empowered to learn and do more. Rachel sees the SSC as a great platform to advocate for and understand more about sustainability-related policies. Rachel is excited to bring what she learns here back to her home. She strives to become an environmental and health advocate in the future.
Melanie Chanona - Mugshare
Melanie is a PhD student in physical oceanography that studies mixing in the Arctic Ocean and is also one of the co-founders of mugshare, a student-led initiative that provides an easy-to-use alternative to single-use coffee cups. She is passionate about trying to find solutions that integrate sustainability into all aspects of society and is inspired by the idea of small local movements evolving into the kind of social pressure that actually changes large-scale infrastructure. When she isn’t working or volunteering, you can usually find her exploring Vancouver’s beautiful backyard with her energetic, adventuring-seeking pup!
Elektra Dakogiannis - Student-at-large
Joshua Fender - Master of Landscape Architecture student
Josh Fender is undergoing his Master’s degree in Landscape Architecture at SALA. He spent the previous four years at the University of British Columbia in the Okanagan in his hometown of Kelowna. There he studied Visual Arts and was involved with the Student’s Union and Visual Arts Course Union. Josh has played a major role in various event planning committees and has used his knowledge in graphic and visual arts to aid in promoting such events. Josh hopes to bring a unique vision and design principles to the Sustainability council. He is interested in learning more about sustainability at UBC and hopes to carry over knowledge gained into his Landscape Architecture practice.
Abigail Fraser - G. M. Dawson Geoscience Club
Abigail Fraser is a fourth-year student majoring in Geology, representing the G. M. Dawson Club of UBC’s Undergraduate Geoscience program. In working towards her degree, Abigail is fortunate to spend a lot of time outside, and she believes being aware of her environmental impact is crucial to maintaining access privileges to these areas. Learning how geoscientists can be advocates for sustainability is a core pillar of her club, and an area she is excited to learn more about.
Islam Ibrahim -
Islam Ibrahim El Banna is an architect and urban designer. He is a graduate student at the School of Architecture and Landscape Architecture pursuing a Master of Urban Design, graduating in May 2020. He believes in the power of design in shaping the world into a more sustainable place. He enjoys outdoor activities and has cycled through three countries in one day. He was born and raised in Germany and Egypt. With his diverse background, he wishes to bring forward to the council a rich perspective from the other side of the world.
Ashton Kerr - Environmental Sciences Students' Asssociation
A fourth-year Environmental Sciences student specializing in Land, Air and Water, Ashton is representing the Environmental Sciences Students’ Association (ESSA) where she is the VP Sustainability. Growing up in Calgary, Ashton spent most of her summers in the Kootenay region of BC camping, fishing and exploring what nature has to offer. Interested in climate action and justice, hydrology, waste-reduction and community engagement, she aspires to influence those around her to consider their impact on the environment and act on reducing it. Having experience as a director of an environmental community engagement charity, working in event recycling and waste management, and assisting in the data linkage of hydrologic and climate data, Ashton hopes to bring her diverse knowledge and experiences to the council. In her second year on the council, she is excited to continue to integrate the voices of ESSA into sustainability issues around campus.
Camille Lyu - Global Resource Systems
Camille is a second year student in Global Resource Systems focusing on Sustainability and International Development. She is passionate about sustainability particularly related to environmentally conscious and healthy lifestyles. This year she will be working with the BC Council for International Cooperation Climate Initiative as a Public Relations Officer. She believes that every action towards sustainability counts and youths have the greatest power to bring change to our current situation. She hopes to be part of the movement and lead the action of the UBC community and beyond as a sustainability council member.
Hanna McDonnell - UBC Ski and Board
Moana Mudekereza - Engineers Without Borders Sustainability Venture
Moana is a fourth year Environmental Engineering student in UBC and UNBC’s joint program. Born and raised in Quebec, she developed a passion for the protection and conservation of the environment during her last year of high school. Driven to learn more on initiatives to solve current socioeconomic issues surrounding sustainability, she moved across the country to attend university. Throughout the years, she joined various student associations such as Engineers without Borders, the Environmental Engineering Student Association and, more recently, the Student Sustainability Council. By joining the SSC, she wishes to learn more on methods to initiate sustainable practices in communities. Additionally, she hopes to learn more about sustainable projects occurring across campus, other student clubs and the city of Vancouver. Finally, she desires to organize long-lasting collaborative projects with other student organizations.
Brendan O'Callahan - Environmental Science Student Association
Brendan O’Callahan is in his second year at UBC, where he is planning to major in Environmental Sciences and minor in Anthropology. Brendan has a passion for the outdoors and loves to spend time skiing, mountain biking, slacklining, surfing, hiking, and cliff jumping. Brendan will be co-representing both the UBC Ski and Board Club and the Environmental Science Student Association, and hopes to increase the scope and reach of conservation, advocacy, and activism in both groups.
Chloe Repka - Vegans of UBC
Chloe Repka is in her final year of Geography (Environment and Sustainability) and is UBC Campus and Community Planning’s Climate Planning Coordinator. She represents Vegans of UBC at the Council and is passionate about the connection between food and climate change, doing activism as much as she can to raise awareness on this issue. Before UBC, she studied law in the UK and interned with environmental consulting firms. Growing up across four continents and learning about the earth from different world views motivates her to do what she can to protect the planet!
Cecilia Ruigrok - Engineering Undergraduate Society
Cecilia Ruigrok is in her 5th year of Integrated Engineering and is the Sustainability Director for the Engineering Undergraduate Society (EUS). She is passionate about renewable energy, especially solar, and waste reduction at both personal and organization levels. She grew up in the small town of Roberts Creek on the Sunshine Coast. In her rare spare time, you can often find her in the kitchen trying new vegetarian meals or playing guitar. She hopes to lend her problem-solving skills and passion to other groups through the Sustainability Council and to use the connections to work on ongoing improvements to sustainability in the EUS.
Bella Shang - Sauder School of Business
Bella Shang is a first year student representing the Sauder School of Business, hoping to major in the area of supply chain management and complete a concentration in sustainability. She joined the SSC hoping to gain new insight about sustainability initiatives from different perspectives from science to agriculture. Originally from Taiwan, Bella is curious to learn about the work that has been done by UBC and the Greater Vancouver Area and further improve upon its goals. Some of her hobbies and interests include history, exercising and spending time outdoors, and any type of volunteer activities. She is passionate about low or zero waste campaigning as well as bringing greater collectivized efforts into the community, particularly with regards to establishing enduring business practices that are in line with sustainability.
Dani Stancer - AMS Sustainability
Dani is a representative from the AMS where she works as the Associate Vice President Sustainability. She is a 5th year Sociology and Human Geography double major who moved to Vancouver from Richmond Hill, Ontario. Her favourite part about going home is seeing her two dogs, Sadie and Indie. She has been interested in sustainability from a young age and enjoys the intersection between sustainability, development, and social issues. She joined the SSC because of how it brings together various voices and opinions from the student population to discuss various sustainability-related issues and projects on campus. Lastly, Dani hopes to gain more input from student groups on sustainability-focused initiatives within the AMS.
Laura Super - Sustainability Ambassador
Laura Super is representing the Sustainability Ambassadors along with Tolulope Afolabi. She is a PhD Candidate in the Department of Forest and Conservation Sciences anticipating to graduate by fall 2020. Laura's research looks at the impact of climate change and nitrogen deposition on plant-microbe-invertebrate interactions. Laura is passionate about sustainability because she thinks that in order to solve the world's many problems requires we educate, listen, unite, and take action to implement peaceful, thoughtful and inclusive ecological and social sustainability initiatives and practices. This year she hopes to take ideas from SA and the SSC to implement change on and off campus.
Max Therrien - Engineers Without Borders - Sustainability Team
Maxime (Max) Therrien is a third-year Civil Engineering major who is currently enjoying a Co-op term until December 2019. While on the UBC Sustainability Council he will be representing the Engineers Without Borders Sustainability Venture. Max grew up in Nanaimo on Vancouver Island and was lucky to be introduced to outdoor sports at a young age. He also enjoys singing and playing guitar. Now in Civil Engineering, he looks forward to problem-solving and engaging with ideas surrounding sustainability and sustainable design – starting with initiatives through the Student Sustainability Council. As a council member, Max will aim to contribute concrete ideas to discussions and effectively carry topics from the council to EWB, to be incorporated into campus initiatives. Max is looking forward to meeting all the other council members and hearing their stories along the way.
Mimi Wang - Student Environment Care
As a third-year student studying English Literature and Language, with a minor in International Relations, Mimi Wang is excited to represent the UBC Student Environment Centre (SEC) on the Student Sustainability Council. As a resource group for the AMS, the SEC aims to provide and promote environmental and sustainability resources for the UBC community. Mimi hopes that the SSC will allow for her to learn about new UBC initiatives, as well as connecting her with peers and collaborating in making campus more sustainable. A few fun facts about Mimi are that one of her favorite hikes is the Garibaldi Lake trail, and that she recently did a global seminar program in Italy this past June. As a sustainability council member, she hopes that she will be able to advocate for greener, more environmentally friendly, campus projects that will play a part in making UBC a more sustainable, and eco-conscious campus.
Wei Yan Yeong - Roots on the Roof
Wei Yan is the current secretary of Roots on the Roof, an AMS club that manages the rooftop garden at the Nest. As a Chinese Malaysian studying Plant and Soil Sciences in the Faculty of Land and Food Systems, she found her passion for community gardening after she came to Vancouver. She believes in the power of storytelling to inspire and build meaningful relationships with others. Through this program, she hopes to learn and share what sustainability is, and to eventually share the knowledge with the people in her community too.
Bonny Yu - nwPlus Hackathons
Based out of Surrey, BC, Bonny Yu is a second-year student in the Global Resource Systems program, with a desire to focus on sustainability in global supply chains and the implementation of technology to create more efficient systems. She is passionate about blogging about personal development, capturing candid moments through her DSLR, and hugging large trees on her farm. In her spare time, she likes to work on projects concerning the issues behind fast fashion supply chains, the mindset of needing more, and company transparency with waste management. This year, she will be representing nwPlus, the tech community behind the largest hackathon in Western Canada. As a Sustainability Council member, Bonny wants to enforce sustainability policies for clubs, learn to plan large conferences that minimize the impact on our natural resources, and potentially innovate sustainable solutions for hackathons that can utilized in universities and high schools in the Lower Mainland.
Crystal Yu - UBC Environmental Policy Association
Crystal Yu is a third-year undergraduate student in the Global Resource Systems program, with a focus on Food Security and Zero Waste. She represents Environmental Policy Association (UBC EPA), a student organization dedicated to analyzing economic and political response to climate change. Crystal desires to learn more about sustainability-related initiatives and is excited to be able to create a change for the future. She recognizes the complexity of food security, food systems, and the importance of interdisciplinary work and knowledge to tackle these issues. Crystal was born in Hong Kong but grew up in Vancouver. As a Student Sustainability Council Representative, she hopes that she can encourage different generations on campus to become more connected with the planet and food; as well as increase food sustainability and access for people on campus. Fun fact about Crystal: she enjoys hiking, singing, baking, and likes cool socks.
Alyssa Yu - Science Undergraduate Society
Alyssa Yu is a representative from the Science Undergraduate Society. She is currently a second year student in the Environmental Science program. She likes cooking and baking and is always willing to try all of the vegan food Vancouver has to offer! She has a huge soft spot for animals and is particularly fond of cats. She spent a couple of summers growing up volunteering at an animal shelter in the Philippines and hopes that she can continue doing that in Canada too. Her interest in joining the Student Sustainability Council comes from her passion for protecting wildlife and animals, as well as her desire to preserve the environment for generations to come. She hopes to be able to connect and learn from like-minded people, and hopefully start a dialogue on climate solutions on an individual, corporate, and government level. She also hopes to learn better, effective strategies to communicate climate science to a broader audience. She is eager to join a council full of determined individuals and hopes to create meaningful change in the UBC campus and beyond.