Monthly Archives: February 2009

Success with TLEF!

I’ve recently received word that the two TLEF grants that I submitted were both funded!  The Teaching and Learning Enhancement Fund (TLEF) was created in 1991 at UBC to enrich student learning by supporting innovative and effective educational enhancements.

Project #1: University of British Columbia International Genetically Engineered Machines (iGEM) team, submitted with Dr. Eric Lagally & Dr. David Ng

We seek to initiate a team of undergraduate students to compete in the current year’s International Genetically Engineered Machines competition.  The iGEM competition draws teams of undergraduates from the top universities all over the world to try to answer the question:  “Can simple biological systems be built from interchangeable parts and operated in living cells, or is biology simply too complex to be engineered in this way?”

The team will work for a summer on the assigned project and submit their findings to an international conference, the iGEM Jamboree, held annually in mid-November at MIT. This funding request covers part of the costs of entering and running a UBC team, as well as travel costs to the conference to present their findings. Other required funds will be provided by in-kind and cash donations from UBC academic units and industrial partners.

Project #2: TERRY TALKS – INTERDISCIPLINARY STUDENT JAM` – Ideas that Inspire Action, submitted with Dr. David Ng, Dr. Allens Sens, Chad Hyson, Jamil Rhajiak, Nabila Pirani

“Terry talks” is an annual event where students are given a high profile platform to communicate their passions and desires. It essentially borrows a template from a well-established conference known as the TED conference, and modifies it for delivery within the UBC community.

Here, the general intent is to bring together the University’s “most fascinating (student) thinkers and doers, who are challenged to give the talk of their lives.” Under this context, a single day conference can accommodate 9 student speakers from a wide range of interests and backgrounds. The talks will be held at a large venue, where one can engage a significant number of audience members. The talks will also be video archived for online viewing after the event.

This would provide stimulating content, relevant to a variety of globally relevant issues, and would ultimately foster collaborative efforts and idea sharing amongst the conference attendees. In all, this will strengthen the existing networks responsible for student led initiatives, and in doing so act as a significant catalyst in creating a stronger socially responsible student community.

Woo hoo!