Meet our 2020-2021 Student Sustainability Council and learn more about how they’re improving sustainability efforts both on-and-off campus.
Evelyn is a third year BCom student studying marketing and business analytics. She's passionate about sustainability, ethics, and human rights as they relate to her community and the greater business world. Evelyn believes in a holistic approach to sustainability and looks forward to discussing intersectionality's place in environmental activism. She hopes to bring a solutions-driven perspective to the council and drive feasible recommendations through to execution.
Kiren is a fourth year Human Geography major, GRSJ minor and the VP of sustainability for the Geography Students Association. She was born and grew up as an un-invited guest on Musqueam lands in what is now called Richmond. She is interested and constantly learning more about living and embodying cooperative values, healthy communication, and compassion. Kiren brings with her to the role of VP sustainability and the USI a wide range of experiences. She has been the coordinator of the ethical purchasing policy and procedures at the Capilano Students Union, an environmental education team lead, a summer camp coordinator, and a facilitator for leadership and community building workshops with teens. Kiren also brings with her a desire to be a genuine ally to Indigenous peoples, a believer in climate justice, and a reliable friend and colleague.
Ravia is a recent Behavioural Neuroscience and Immunology graduate, currently taking classes as an unclassified student and applying to graduate school, alongside coordinating research projects surrounding post-secondary mental health care. She is the Chair of the UBC Mental Health Network and is passionate about the connection between mental wellness and a sustainable environment.
Hirdesh came to Canada from India when he was seven years old. He always had an attention to detail and a thoughtfulness to help others. Now, he is doing a bachelor’s degree in Environmental Engineering. He chose this field of study because he believes environment protection for land, sea, and air is about to become mankind's greatest challenge. He is most interested in garbage processing, making fuel from trash, and transportation. He hopes to utilize his knowledge and experience to push UBC's Vancouver campus to a more sustainable future. In his spare time, his interests include making over-complicated Excel spreadsheets about anything, card games, baking, biking, hiking, and brewing beer!
Kevin a second year Master of Science student in Population and Public Health. He is the Marketing and Stocking Coordinator for Agape Street Missions, and a Youth Delegate to the UN’s annual climate change conference, COP 26, in 2021.
Anna Brookes (she/her) is a second year undergrad and the student engagement lead for the Climate Hub. Her journey into sustainability and climate action started in elementary school with Styrofoam lunch trays, and has brought her through climate strikes, farm work, political organizing, and all the way to Canada and the UBC Global Resource Systems program. She's passionate about food justice, systemic change and climate education. She and Em work on a project to bring climate storytelling, hope, and agency to high school students.
Henry, a third-year Sauder student, is the current Co-President of World Vision UBC. As a representative on the Student Sustainability Council, he hopes to establish mutually beneficial collaborations with other AMS clubs to develop environmental protection initiatives and projects. In his personal life, Henry has embraced sustainable practices such as adopting a flexitarian diet to limit meat consumption and inspiring others to do the same. Outside of studying and work, Henry can be found enjoying the outdoors riding his motorcycle or flying an airplane, zipping down Grouse on a snowboard, and working out at the gym.
Joshua is a fourth year BSc Behavioural Neuroscience major and the president of the Psychology Students' Association (PSA). He has worked as a project coordinator for an environmental not-for-profit organization in Vancouver called Evergreen with responsibilities including promoting environmentally sustainability in communities through workshops and information booths. He tries to promote sustainable practices as much as possible, including by ordering merchandise from a North American company that uses 100% recycled materials. He is looking forward to meeting like-minded individuals and helping to further UBC Sustainability goals.
Samuel Dumesh is a second year in the International Economics program, with a focus on the intersection between business, politics, geography and environmental policy. He represents the Environmental Policy Association, a student organization dedicated to analyzing economic and political response to climate change. He is passionate about bringing together disparate fields and interests to achieve a greater force to combat climate change across communities. Some of his hobbies include karate, swimming, biking, history and trivia, and you can likely find him in his spare time reading a Wikipedia article or on the many beaches around Vancouver. A first generation immigrant from the USA, Sam is also focused on ensuring that all communities are included in climate conversations.
Lauren is a third year student in the Global Resource Systems program specializing in international development. She is interested in project management and food security. By representing Amnesty International UBC on the Council, Lauren hopes to bring a justice-centered approach to sustainability and to help create discussions and projects that are inclusive and human rights-oriented. Lauren is eager to learn more about sustainability initiatives at UBC and to meet other like-minded students.
Em (they/them) is a queer Chinese-Dutch settler and a third-year Honours Psychology and GRSJ student. After finding hope and joy within UBC’s climate community in first year, they became involved in the student climate organizing group Climate Justice UBC and started working for the UBC Climate Hub, where they are now the undergraduate student director. Em is passionate about workshop and curriculum development, and is interested in how justice-informed social psychology can be used to build youth momentum towards collective climate action. Outside of the Hub, Em sits on the UBC Gender Diversity Taskforce, is pursuing their Honors thesis in UBC’s Social Identity lab, volunteers in the Autism, Stress, and Anxiety Lab, and designs workshops focused on collective care and community wellbeing.
Sylvia Theresa Fernandez
As an Outreach & Advocacy Coordinator for the LFS|US council, she work under the AMS Representative to bridge the student body with the AMS committees for student welfare and other issues. Now entering her second year in UBC under the GRS program, she wishes to specialize her studies in the Environment and Climate Change, specifically in Asia-Pacific wherein she has cultivated her heritage by living in the Philippines. Similar to the Student Sustainability Council, she has applied to the LFS|US Sustainability Subcommittee in order to further promote the cause of sustainability and climate emergency in her own faculty.
Sean is in his last year of my MSc program at the School of Population and Public Health. He has always had a passion for health sciences, which is what led him to study epidemiology. His thesis is connected to sustainability and how it impacts health. It concerns how the built environment, specifically traffic-related air pollution, urban green space and walkability, impact breast cancer risk in post-menopausal women in BC. He is very excited to get the chance to be on the Student Sustainability Council and represent UBC ISPOR to offer a unique health-oriented approach.
Miro is a third year BA student majoring in Psychology and minoring in English Literature at the University of British Columbia. Her passion in arts and humanity have shaped her to become an enthusiastic environmentalist, which sparked her interests in work related to sustainability. Miro is currently working as the Arts Undergraduate Society Sustainability Director.
Anurag is a PhD student working the Civil Engineering Materials specialization and is involved with projects concerning low carbon footprint construction materials.
Mannkiran Kaur Pandher was born and raised in Metro Vancouver. She is an undergraduate Science student. Over the past several years, she has devoted her time to sustainability, community engagement, and social justice. With her work, she applies a focus on intersectionality, empathy, and inclusion. One of the groups she is a part of is the UBC SDG Alliance as one of the Core Directors. She will be representing them this year on the Student Sustainability Council.
Amara loves to help other people and get involved in the community. She is a big advocate for sustainability measures and can't wait to make UBC a better place. Amara is currently serving as an executive member of both UBC Undergraduate Research Opportunities and The Lower Mainland Wellness Proposal as well as the VP Internal for UBC Mental Health Awareness Club.
Alexandra Reinhardt represents the UBC Women in Science club as the Vice President of External Affairs. Alexandra is a second year student in the Faculty of Science who focuses on how society affects marine ecosystems in British Columbia. Alexandra also focuses on climate change and its effect on marine ecosystems. This summer she studied the correlation between kelp bleaching and increasing temperatures. As a part of this council Alexandra plans to discuss new ideas on how to extend the profile of women in sustainability sciences and plan new projects which help connect women in sustainability.
Lizzy is a third-year student from Toronto majoring in Global Perspectives in the Natural Resource Conservation program. She is one of the Co-Chairs of the Student Environment Centre and the Coordinator of the Free Store. The Student Environment Centre provides resources to support environmentally-friendly initiatives, and the Free Store promotes a more circular economy on campus. She is passionate about sustainability and how we can incorporate more sustainable practices into our everyday lives. In the future she aspires to work in the field of urban planning in hopes of embedding environmentally-friendly structures into our communities.
Laia is a third year of Biomedical Engineering majoring in Bioinformatics with a goal of increasing healthcare accessibility in rural communities as well as promoting sustainability within the field of Biomedical Engineering. She is the Co-Chair of the EUS Sustainability committee and the Co-President of the Biomedical Engineering Undergraduate Student Association (BMEUSA). Growing up in Winnipeg, Manitoba she was lucky enough to spend time conducting climate change research up north in Churchill, Manitoba by studying the effect of sea-ice break up on polar bear body condition, which showed her first-hand the devastating effects climate change is having on our planet. This inspired her to incorporate sustainability into everything she does, specifically the world of medicine, a place she finds is often lacking.
Anna is a fourth year Environmental Engineering student in a joint program with UNBC/UBC. During her time with the Environmental Engineering Student Association (EESA), she has co-chaired the inaugural Conference on Sustainability in Engineering (CSE) at UNBC. She is passionate about sustainability, enjoys rock climbing and capturing moments with her DSLR and analog camera, and feels the most free when she is in nature. Anna is in her last year at UBC and is hoping to learn from the other sustainability-focused student organizations and work with them to implement sustainable initiatives in and around UBC.
Allison is in her second year of Sustainable Agriculture and Environment and is a passionate animal rights, social justice, and environmental activist. She works on an organic vegetable farm in the summertime, and loves laying in the sunshine and eating fruit. She represents the club Vegans of UBC, whose goal is to connect vegans and veg-curious folks, and to promote veganism to the UBC community. One of the main reasons why Allison advocates for veganism is because of its environmental benefits. She hopes to share her knowledge about sustainable food while learning about other sustainability initiatives.
Christine is one of the co-chairs of the Environmental Law Group and grew up in Ottawa. Her concern for climate change sparked when she watched Al Gore’s An Inconvenient Truth and since then she has set out to continue learning about the nuances and different forces contributing to climate change, hoping to make small changes along the way. Through various recent experiences, including creating a non-profit to raise awareness on wildlife protection, as well as serving on EnviroWestern's executive team at Western University, Christine has become increasingly concerned about agriculture, the food system and Indigenous issues, and how they relate to climate change and many inequalities around the world. Christine hopes to combine her business and law degree to challenge the status quo on what industries and corporations prioritize.
Alyssa represents the Science Undergraduate Society where she currently serves as the Sustainability Chair. She is a third-year student pursuing a double major in Environmental Science and Political Science. She is excited to return to the Student Sustainability Council this year and learn from the diverse range of voices and opinions. When she isn’t in class or attending meetings, you can find her cooking or baking vegan treats, taking pictures of food for Instagram, or watching animal videos on the internet!
Alina Ziyun Zeng
Alina Zeng is a third year Urban Forestry student minoring in Landscape and Recreation Planning. She is interested in sustainable city planning and green infrastructure integration. Growing up in close proximity to nature, Alina developed her appreciation for all variations of geographical regions as she travels, which inspired her hobbies including landscape photography and acrylic painting. Climate change communication interests Alina as she is fully aware what impact the decisions people make collectively could have on our surrounding environment, and Alina would be grateful to explore ways in which she could be of help.
Rynn Zhang is a second year Materials Engineering student, striving to pursue a career in developing sustainable textiles for the fashion industry. She wants to minimize waste generated to protect both the people and the environment; her passion for sustainability stems around her love for the world around her. Rynn's personal values for sustainability in engineering design and principles of a circular economy strongly align with that of the group she's representing, UBC WasteNauts. Currently, her team is working on exciting projects such as using paper to make concrete and using plastic to make paddleboards. She hopes to learn more about other sustainable initiatives on campus and to make the voice of her small (yet mighty) design team's voice heard.