Undergraduate Student Resources
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Research opportunity for undergraduate students is a fundamental part of the learning experience within the Irving K. Barber Faculty of Science.
UNDERGRADUATE Course Unions
Course unions are networks of enthusiastic students. The purpose of a course union is to enhance the ability of students to discover, pursue, and share their passions in a particular academic field. Though each course union is unique, they are all committed to fostering a great academic experience through member engagement, events, advocacy, and increasing access to resources.
The Biochemistry Course Union is a student organization on UBC’s Okanagan campus for those interested and/or majoring in biochemistry.
Olivia Ireland, President
Olivia is a third-year student, majoring in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology. She is excited to be on the BCCU team this year as President.
Some of Olivia’s responsibilities include decision making, facilitating team communication, and connecting with the SUO. She strives to ensure that students are being supported through our programming – accessibility is at the forefront of our decision making as a team, tutoring hours are made available for peer support, and events are led smoothly for networking, professional growth, and career opportunities.
Outside of academics, she enjoys Irish dancing, painting, gardening, reading, and exploring the great outdoors. Olivia looks forward to welcoming new members to the BCCU. She is happy to help students and welcomes the opportunity to talk about anything UBCO.
Suhel Paudel, Vice President
Suhel Paudel is a third year student majoring in medical and molecular biology. He was born in Nepal but has lived in Calgary, Canada for the past 8 years of his life. He is vastly interested in gene editing and synthetic biology. He is ambitious about becoming a genetic engineer in the future. Outside of school, he enjoys watching anime and youtube, cooking, and playing video games.
As the Vice President of the BCCU, he will assist with all of BCCU’s external meetings and will help sign all the required forms. He will also be in charge of leading the internal BCCU meetings and will help facilitate the needs of the other executives.
Alissa Taki, VP Internal
Alissa is a fourth student in the Medical and Molecular Biology program. She will be VP Internal of the BCCU for this year. This is her first year being an executive for the BCCU and she is excited to see what’s in store. You can find her as VP for a couple other clubs on campus as well. Alissa enjoys being an active member of our community through club involvement, volunteering, and research.
As VP Internal, Alissa’s role is to ensure proper communication amongst the BCCU team. This includes organizing meetings, communicating to all executives, and assisting the president whenever needed. Although her tasks are within the executive team, she looks forward to meeting all our members and would love to connect with other biochem majors!
Seamus McRae, VP Academic
Seamus is a fourth-year student in the Medical and Molecular Biology Honours program, planning to graduate this spring. Outside of school he jogs leisurely, reads voraciously, and picks up other hobbies as quickly as he drops them.
This will be his second year as a VP Academic, and just like last year Seamus’ goal will be to improve the student experience for undergraduates in the Biochemistry and Molecular Biology program. If you ever have questions about choosing your major, getting into research, or anything along those lines, don’t hesitate to reach out! He would love to talk with you about it.
Zainab Mohammad, VP External
Zainab Mohammad is a third year BSc student at UBCO, who is specializing in Medical Biochemistry and Molecular Biology. She was born in Pakistan but has spent most of her life here in Canada. She has dreamt of becoming a doctor since she was a little girl, hence she is pursuing a career in medicine. In her free time, some of the activities Zainab enjoys are cooking, going on hikes, nature photography, and logic puzzles like sudoku.
This year, Zainab will be joining BCCU as the VP External. Her role will consist of establishing an online presence for the course union by running various social media and email accounts, and reaching out to students and potential members by regularly updating everyone about upcoming events and activities. She is excited for this year, and looks forward to spending it with you!
Clara Letef, VP Academics
Hello everyone! My name is Clara and I am a fourth-year Biochemistry and Medical Molecular Biology major. I will be VP Academics this year for the BCCU, and am pursuing a career in medicine. Outside of school and other extracurriculars, you can find me spending time with friends and family, skiing, biking, hiking, and playing the piano.
As the Vice President of Academics, I will work to plan and execute study sessions for various biochemistry courses. In addition to study sessions, my goal is to help bridge the gap between lecture and learning. If you see me on campus, come say hi!
Mrinaal Tomar, VP Finance
Mrinaal is serving as the VP Finance of the BCCU, and it is his second consecutive year in the role. He loves the Leafs, as well as late night hikes. He is a third year Medical and Molecular Biology major, and he intends to apply to medical school. He is great with numbers, and has loved accounting and financing since the 6th grade, which is what makes him love his role as VP Finance. When he is not preparing for the MCAT, he is constantly finding ways to bring the best deals to all BCCU members for things like the BCCU merch, Pub Crawl and other events the BCCU has planned. He looks forward to meeting all the BCCU members in person, and hopes to make this year a memorable one for all of them. P.S. The mink in his photo was named Blaire by him and BCCU’s VP External Zainab, and they’ll forever cherish their memories with Blaire.
Karah Hopgood, VP of Events
Karah (she/her) is a fifth-year student majoring in Honours Biochemistry and minoring in Psychology. She is very excited to serve again on the BCCU’s executive team as the VP of Events! Outside of academics, Karah is passionate about connecting with the campus community in her roles as a Peer Mentor, a UBC Student Ambassador, a volunteer research assistant for the CORE lab, and various other campus committees. She also loves exploring the Okanagan by hiking in the mountains or paddleboarding on the lake, and spending time with Beasley, her 17-week old shih tzu puppy.
This year Karah is looking forward to helping plan, organize, and administer events for all members of the BCCU, and all science students at UBC Okanagan. In addition to events that cater towards academic support, she strives to facilitate events that will help students in all avenues of networking, professional growth, engagement opportunities with the university and broader alumni community, as well as events that explore and connect students to diverse career opportunities. She is looking forward to connecting with you all this year and welcomes the opportunity to connect with students and answer any questions around the BCCU or UBCO!
Parker Thibert, Vice President of Academics
Parker is returning for his fifth and final year at UBCO completing his dual major in Medical Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, along with Psychology, Hoping to pursue a career in the field of medicine. Parker likes to spend his free time at Big White skiing and snowboarding, when he isn’t on the mountain you can find him at the hockey rink or in the gym. When the weather is more favourable he will be hiking and exploring BC.
This year Parker will be returning to his role as Vice President of Academics, Where he will work in conjunction with other members. He will provide resources to undergrads through study sessions, exam prep, and informal office hours where you can stop by to say hi and introduce yourself and get help on any questions you have related to course material or just chat. He looks forward to meeting all the new faces and making the workload of being an undergrad a little more manageable.
The Chemistry Course Union strives to bridge the gap between new undergraduate chemistry students, upper-level undergraduates, graduate students, and faculty.
Visit the Chemistry Course Union website.
The CSCU’s goal is to enrich the UBC Okanagan experience as a computer science student and improve your employment prospects. They do this by organizing professional workshops, career events, and UBCO’s own hackathon, BCHacks.
Visit the CSCU website.
Shreyasi Chauhan, President Computer Science Course Union and President BC Hacks
Shreyasi finished the third year of her computer science major in April 2021 and is currently working as a Software Engineer Intern at Cisco. She comes from Lucknow, a city in North India which has lots of love and good food to offer. She is passionate about learning new things, be it a new recipe or programming language. In the past, she has done web design and development, app development, UI/UX and some digital art. In her free time she likes to dance, cook, journal and go on walks. This is her third year as a CSCU executive and second year as the Lead Organizer of BC Hacks. She has had the wonderful opportunity to work in the CSCU as the Vice President in 2021 and the Secretary in 2020.
Shreyasi’s main role as the President of the Computer Science Course Union is managing strategies, operations, collaborations and finances. She provides leadership to the union and helps other execs with their responsibilities. Reaching out to tech companies, other course unions, UBCO professors, industry professionals and collaborating with them to create events and partnerships that UBCO students can benefit from is a major part of what she does. Besides that, she works with CSCU exes to create events, career fairs, marketing strategies, budgets, sponsorship packages etc. One of the biggest events at UBCO that Shreyasi and her team organize is BC Hacks – a 24-hour hackathon attended by over 150 students.
Harman Sahota, Vice President
Harman is a fourth-year computer science major from India and his biggest interest in the field of computer science is in web development and UI/UX design. He believes that design is everywhere and it affects the experience of a product/app/website and wants to make sure that people have a smooth experience with a product/app/website that he has designed and brought to life with coding.
Aside from academic work, Harmon likes to play my guitar and sing, he has been doing both for a long time, he also likes to just talk or hang out with his friends when he is free.
His job is to oversee and assist all executive members with their respective position and collaborate extremely closely with the President to guide the CSCU’s direction and supervise everything including all the events. Another thing he does is maintain contact with the Computer Science Department to circulate relevant information and upcoming events.
Abhinav Thota, Vice-President BC Hacks
Abhinav is a third-year Computer Science student from India. He loves how programming and technology can help turn ideas into real products that can benefit others. He is currently learning how to build websites in his spare time. He also loves going on hikes, cycling with friends and cooking.
As vice-president, one of his priorities involves organizing CSCU’s annual hackathon, BCHacks. He will also be working closely with board members so that they can secure funding, sponsorships and arrange events throughout the year. He will also be in contact with the Computer Science department in order to promote future events to students.
Lakshay Karnwal, Sponsorship Coordinator
Lakshay Karnwal is in the third year of his Computer Science degree. He is from the city of Navi Mumbai in India. As an avid gamer since a young age, his love for computers and technology is intrinsic. From trying to troubleshoot a piece of code to practising a new note on his guitar, you will find him exploring and learning new things all the time. He is enthralled to be a part of the new CSCU team as the Sponsorship Coordinator. Not only will he be responsible for bringing the big sponsors for the annual hackathon but he also wishes to help the course union expand and helping out a larger mass of tech enthusiasts.
Onwuvuche Jordan Chukwuka, Finance Co-ordinator
Jordan is a third-year Computer Science major from Nigerian and from Uganda. He took this major because he believes everyone has a different way of making an impact in the world given the tools one learns in this discipline. Beyond academics, he spends a lot of time wondering why the world is the way it is and how a difference can be made economically, physically and culturally.
Jordan’s work at the CSCU involves collaborating with the president to make annual budgets for the year, ensuring the conformity of the club’s activities to these budgets, following the accounted flow of funds from the sponsors to the club account and completing the monthly requisition forms that would have to be emailed to the SUO.
Kirti Mahato (she/her), Events Coordinator
Kirti is a third-year psychology major and the events coordinator of the Computer Science Course Union. Born in India, she has travelled to different countries and enjoys interacting with people from different cultures and learning about them. She loves programming and has delved into many programming languages such as java, python and c++. She is really passionate about computer science and is looking forward to learning new things in this field.
As an events coordinator, she hopes to organize more workshops and events for the members and help organize BC hacks. She will be planning to organize events monthly to help develop skills and help members interact with one another. Her vision for the CSCU is to foster a welcoming environment for students by organizing interactive events and help more people from different ethnicities and backgrounds to be interested in the field of computer science.
The Environmental and Earth Sciences Course Union Course Union is an active group that keeps members informed about upcoming events, job opportunities, volunteer opportunities, as well as important academic updates. It is also a great way to connect with fellow Environmental and Earth Sciences students.
Pyper Legge, President
Pyper is a fourth year Earth and Environmental Science student, from Yellowknife NWT. She is very passionate about the environment, climate change, and northern issues. Aside from her academic work she enjoys cooking, watching movies, listening to music, and gardening.
The president’s job involves making sure that all events, meetings, and interactions run smoothly. As well as keeping up communication with the faculty and the UBCSUO. They are also responsible for ensuring that students have access to the course union and to the resources that the course union provides.
The Environmental Chemistry Course Union aims to provide students pursuing environmental chemistry with access to a supportive peer group, homework help, and career opportunities.
Visit the Environmental Chemistry Course Union website.
Logan Pay, President
Logan is a fourth year in the environmental chemistry program. He hopes to work in the field of agriculture once after graduating. Currently, he works at BC Tree Fruits as a field technician, collecting data samples and conducting analysis with varying lab instruments. When not in school or working, he enjoys mountain biking, photography, and homebrewing.
While at the ECCU, Logan is trying to encourage first and second years to declare environmental chemistry as their major. As the president, he represents and speaks on behalf of the course union, communicates with the faculty and university, and promotes the interests of students in the major.
Christianne Seifert, Vice President
Christianne is in her fourth year of Environmental Chemistry. Originally from Calgary, she is enjoying the sunny Kelowna weather while in school. When Christianne graduates, she would like to work in the field of land remediation and reclamation. When not in school, she enjoys skiing, hiking, and swimming.
As vice president, her goal is to increase outreach to students and get the word out about the environmental chemistry program major. She is also involved in planning ECCU events to keep students engaged and informed about our projects. Christianne highly recommends this major if you have a passion for nature and how it behaves with the chemicals around it.
Kara Robinson, Treasurer
Kara is a fourth year environmental Chemistry student originally from Calgary, AB. She loves skiing, hiking, and wineries!
She is super excited for what is to come this year, including more social events that will help foster new relationships between like-minded people within this unique field.
Alexander Barrett, Secretary
Alex is currently in his fifth year of studies. In that time, he has switched his degree multiple times. Starting in management, switching to economics, then earth science, until finally finding his true home in environmental chemistry.
To Alex, his degree is both extremely interesting and increasingly applicable in today’s world. He hopes to guide other students towards this interesting program.
As secretary, his aim is to facilitate organization and communication among executives to help them achieve their goals. This semester, he will focus on promoting the course union through merchandise and event collaborations with other course unions.
Emily Knudson-Goerner, Director
Emily is a fourth year environmental chemistry major hailing from Kelowna. When she isn’t studying, she likes to explore hiking trails, paddle board, take photos and binge Netflix.
If you’re looking for recommendations for a course to take, or a show to watch feel free to get in touch!
We provide a space for Geography majors, minors, or enthusiasts to gather and get involved with their peers and the geography community.
Luz-Marina Roberts, President
Luz-Marina is from Trinidad and Tobago and the biggest interest in her degree is studying the critical human geographies of the Caribbean. She often discusses topics that include things like colonialism and imperialism and how they affect the Caribbean. Aside from her academic work, she enjoys drawing and dancing as she has done both from a young age.
The president’s job entails making major decisions within the course union and ensuring smooth and effective communication within the team, with the faculty members and with the SUO. An important component of this job also includes ensuring students can access course union events and major/faculty information if they need help. Lastly, the president is responsible for delegating responsibilities to other executive members.
Mackenzie Clark, VP Secretary
Mackenzie is a fourth-year geography student with a minor in Spanish. Growing up on the West Coast of British Columbia, she is passionate about environmental education, community engagement, and learning languages. Mackenzie loves studying geography because it equips her to be able to examine and create solutions for human and nature relationships from a holistic perspective.
Her role as the VP Secretary involves event advertisements across social media platforms, minute taking at meetings, notifying members of upcoming meetings, and planning social events. She is looking forward to welcoming new GCU members this year.
Will Burkett, VP Marketing
Will Burkett is a fourth-year geography major from Berkeley, California. His biggest interests in Geography are urban social issues such as gentrification and the affordable housing crisis within his home of the East Bay. Outside of school, he enjoys playing and coaching soccer, skateboarding, cooking and eating.
As VP Marketing, he will be in charge of managing all of the Geography course union’s social media accounts, emails, filling out Eventbrite requests, and submitting off-campus event requests.
Andi Egan, VP Finance
Andi is from Victoria BC and is in her fourth year of the Bachelor of Arts in Geography at UBCO. She is the VP Finance for the Geography course union. Her job is to manage finances and budgeting for the union and organize funding for events, as well as participate in event planning. This is her first year as a part of the course union and she is excited to be involved. In her free time, she likes skiing, biking, camping, gardening and swimming in the lake. Her main area of study is human geography, including topics like urban and housing issues and population geography.
The Microbiology Course Union (MCU) is a student-built organization aiming to offer a wide range of services to students at UBCO, including those interested in Microbiology – events, midterm study sessions, office hours, and more!
Visit the Microbiology Course Union website.
Unjalee Parmar (She/her/hers), President
Unjalee is a fourth-year biology student interested in pursuing a career in Dentistry after her undergrad. She was born in Calgary, Alberta and has spent many of her summers in the Okanagan region. She is excited to be on the MCU team this year as President. Outside of academics, Unjalee is involved with the campus community in her roles as Peer Mentor, VP of the Pre-dental club, a volunteer research assistant for the Barker Lab, and various other campus clubs. She also enjoys spending her time outdoors hiking, rock climbing, and skiing. Unjalee looks forward to meeting new members of the MCU and is open to answering any questions about MCU or UBCO!
Latina Penkova (She/her/hers), Vice President
Latina is a fifth-year student completing her honours project this year. She is doing her research on mushrooms and would be extremely excited to talk about them, so if you have any questions, ask away! In her free time, she enjoys tree-hugging and reading fantasy books.
Katrina Tang (She/her/hers), Vice President Communications
Katrina is in her 4th year majoring in Microbiology. She was born and raised in Calgary but spends most of her time in the Okanagan. She plans to return to Calgary after completing her education and pursue a career in a clinical setting. Katrina is usually found looking after her barred tiger salamander or knitting. Her role in the microbiology course union involves managing all social media and distributing information to members. She is so grateful to be a part of the MCU and looks forward to an amazing year!
Katrina Billinton (She/her/hers), Vice President Finance
Katrina is a fourth-year student majoring in biology from West Kelowna, BC. She is interested in pursuing a career in optometry after completing her bachelor’s degree at UBCO. Katrina is excited to be the VP of Finance and is looking forward to meeting more microbiology students. As the VP of Finance, her role in the MCU is to manage the finances and budgeting involved in running the union’s events and campaigns. She is also involved on campus as a physics TA, and her hobbies outside of school include drawing, dancing, reading, and writing.
Kylie Hildebrandt (She/her/hers), Vice President Internal
Kylie is from Kelowna and is a 3rd-year student majoring in microbiology. After her undergrad, she hopes to attend medical school and pursue a career as a physician. Kylie is excited to be on the MCU executive team as Vice President of Internal. She is also involved on campus as a volunteer with Let’s Talk Science and was an orientation leader this year. Outside of school, Kylie is a dance teacher, and her hobbies include skiing, hiking, and playing piano.
Azaria Richards (She/her/hers), Vice President External
Azaria is a fourth-year Biology major from Fort St. John, BC. She is passionate about anything biology or microbiology related and can’t wait to be involved in the MCU this year! In addition to being VP external of the Microbiology Course Union, she is also the president of the UBCO Yoga Club, a Career Peer Mentor and a member of the Society of Scholars Advisory Committee. She loves to draw, do yoga, and be out in nature when she’s not studying during the school year. She also loves to travel and will hopefully be able to explore the world again soon!
Brandon Nguyen (He/him/his), Vice President Academics
Brandon is in his 4th year majoring in biology. He was born in Saskatchewan and has lived in Kelowna ever since he was 6. Their plan after university is to pursue optometry at waterloo university. As the VP of academics, he’s very pleased about this opportunity and helps people to the fullest. Whenever there’s free time, he always tries to exercise, hang out with friends, go on road trips, and like to bike.
Mona Huang (She/her/hers), Vice President Events
Mona is a fourth-year undergrad student majoring in Microbiology. She is excited to be a part of the MCU executive team this year as VP Events and looks forward to linking like-minded biol students together in the MCU. Within the campus, Mona is also on the Events team of UBCO’s very own Sex Positivity Center. Mona can be found binge-watching sitcoms in her free time.
The UBC Okanagan Psychology Course Union is a team of dedicated psychology students who offer resources and organize events to help others succeed within the field of psychology. The psychology course union is committed to helping further learning opportunities for students that share the same passion for psychology.
- The QSCU at UBC Okanagan brings computer science, math, physics and statistics students and professors together. Get involved in both fun and educational events and programs with the QSCU.
Visit the QSCU website.
Livia Jonnatan, President
This is Livia Jonnatan and she’s a fourth-year data science honours student and economics minor. She is originally from Indonesia. You may see her around campus organizing events, TA-ing, researching, studying or eating. Whenever you see her on campus, feel free to say hi and ask questions! Outside of school, she enjoys photography, cooking, and travelling. She is excited to be the QSCU’s president so she can create a more welcoming environment for all in the QSCU and be resourceful and helpful to students!
Chinmay Arvind, Internal Coordinator
This is Chinmay, a second-year student majoring in computer science and minoring in statistics. He was born in India but moved to the United States at the beginning of high school. He is very excited to be a part of the QSCU and meet the team!
Yuvraj Upadhyay (he/him), Events Coordinator
This is Yuvraj Upadhyay, and he is a second-year computer science major. He is from India, and he is fairly new to Kelowna since he did the majority of his first year online. He looks forward to working with the team and getting to know everyone.
Puneet Kaur Aulakh, Review Session Coordinator
This is Puneet, and she’s going into her third year as an economics major and math minor. She’s from India, and she loves sunflowers and museums. She’s very thrilled to be part of the QSCU team.
Ribhav Sharma, Social Media Coordinator
This is Ribhav. He’s a second-year computer science major and data science minor from India. Alongside doodling and designing graphics, he loves playing the piano! He is excited about working with the QSCU team this year.
Jesse Ghashti, Graduate Student Representative
This is Jesse, he’s a master of mathematics and statistics student here at UBCO. His research entails a combination of machine learning, statistics and mathematics. He’s originally from Winnipeg, Manitoba but has resided in Kelowna for the last 6 years. You may see him as a TA or working through the SLH as a math/stats tutor. He loves the outdoors (hiking, snowboarding, skiing, swimming), art and architecture, and his wonderful doberman puppy Bailey. He’s looking forward to his first endeavours with the QSCU as a graduate student representative and looks forward to meeting you all in person!
Haniya, Computer Science Representitive
This is Haniya, and she’s in the third year of her BSc. She is majoring in computer science and pursuing a minor in mathematics. She is from Dubai but is originally from India. She loves baking, watching sitcoms, and playing board games with family and friends. She is excited to serve as your computer science rep and meet you all in person during our awesome events.
Maddy Smyth, Mathematics Representative
This is Maddy, and she is a second-year applied mathematics student! She grew up in Ontario and began teaching ski racing in high school, which developed my love for teaching. When she’s not studying, she loves to spend time outside with her friends and family. She’s so excited to be this year’s math representative and meet some more fellow UBCO students.
Contact the Dean’s Office
All requests from students to the Irving K. Barber Faculty of Science Dean’s Office should be made in writing.
Office: ASC 413