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The Terry Project is a cross-faculty program designed to educate undergraduate students on pressing global issues like climate change, poverty, conflict and disease. Recognizing that these problems demand a rich multi-dimensional understanding, our chief aim is to create forums that promote interdisciplinary dialogue between students of the humanities and students of the life sciences. By hosting a prominent speakers series, organizing a TEDx student conference, offering an interdisciplinary academic course, and fostering a vibrant online community, we inspire students across disciplines to come together to discuss issues of global import.
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By creating a synergistic forum that addresses topics such as climate change, sustainability, GMOs and AIDS, we hope to stress the importance of multi-disciplinary learning, thus inspiring students to actively pursue university educations that will assist them in developing and promoting just, civil, and sustainable societies throughout the world.
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Terry is affectionate for “terra” – as in the Earth, as in where you live. In 2006, former Dean of Arts Nancy Gallini brought two professors together- one from the sciences (Dave) and one from the arts (Allen). Over coffee at 99 Chairs the two immediately hit it off, and started to focus on creating a project that pushed undergraduate students from the arts and sciences to focus on interdisciplinary thought. The first thing they realized, of course, was that neither was at all comfortable talking about the sciences and the humanities. Allen, after all, specializes in international security, and David dabbles in molecular genetics, worthy disciplines on their own, but obviously nowhere near representative of the enormous breath behind the two largest faculties on campus. What to do? What to do? Well, they wrote a grant. To make a long story short, the grant reviewer people thought this was a great idea, and the Terry Project was born. Essentially, the Terry Project’s primary mission is to educate members of the UBC community (notably undergraduate students) on the pressing global issues of our time. This will encompass a website, provision of an interdisciplinary course addressing global issues, and delivery of a speaker’s series showcasing high profile (and engaging) academics, cognoscenti, and proactive members of our global community. By creating a synergistic forum that addresses topics such as climate change, sustainability, social inequity, GMOs and AIDS, we hope to stress the importance of multi-disciplinary learning, thus inspiring students to actively pursue university educations that will assist them in developing and promoting just, civil, and sustainable societies throughout the world. Terry has now grown, and includes a number of projects.
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Two or three times a year The Terry Project hosts a world-renown academic, artist, author, or activist for the Terry Global Speakers Series. To an audience of 1,110 students in the Chan Centre for the Performing Arts, our speakers give captivating lectures about pressing global issues like climate change, conflict, development, and disease. Equally important as the ideas these thinkers have to offer, the Global Speakers Series brings together this campus–giving us an opportunity to speak with world-renown thinkers, and to speak with each other. In the past, we’ve been fortunate enough to feature K’naan, Dambisa Moyo, Sir Ken Robinson, Richard Dawkins, Vanadana Shiva, Stephen Lewis, David Suzuki, and others. The Blog The Terry project has an online portal that showcases the written wit of a number of UBC bloggers, undergraduate, graduate and faculty – always something interesting to read. The posts focus on global issues with a twist- usually a unique student perspective from the arts or sciences.
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ASIC 200 – Which stands for “ARTS AND SCIENCE INTEGRATED COURSE” – GLOBAL ISSUES. What is ASIC200? Full course details can be found at terry.ubc.ca, but here’s a gander at the general course description:
“Human society confronts a range of challenges that are global in scope. These changes threaten planetary and local ecosystems, the stability and sustainability of human societies, and the health and well being of human individuals and communities. The natural and human worlds are now interacting at the global level to an unprecedented degree. Responding to these global issues will be the greatest challenge facing human society in the 21st century. In this course students will explore selected global issues from the perspective of both the physical and life sciences and the social sciences and humanities. The fundamental philosophy of the course is that global issues cannot be fully understood or addressed without a functional literacy in both the Sciences and the Arts. In this course, students will develop the knowledge and the practical skills required to become engaged citizens in the local, national, and international civil society dialogue on global issues.”
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On November 22nd, 2008, the Terry project rolled out its first “Terry Talks” conference. Under the guidance of the UBC student community and via feedback with the fine folks at TED, the aim was to present a student conference where our very own students had the platform to express their own passions – be they related to their roles as academic participants or as advocates for social change. The day occurred in the beautiful Life Science Institute with an audience that peaked at around 300. Here, those audience members were on hand to hear out 6 undergraduate, 2 graduate, and 1 “Young Alumni” present their stories, as well as listen to three great TED videos. In 2009 and now 2010, Terry talks have morphed into TEDx Terry talks. TEDx Terry talks continued to be the UBC student conference where our very own students had the platform to express their own passions – be they related to their roles as academic participants or as advocates for social change.
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The Terry Project on CiTR | UBC’s Documentary Series
The Terry Project on CiTR is a documentary radio show broadcast from CiTR 101.9FM at the University of British Columbia. It is available on iTunes. Hosted by Sam Fenn and Gordon Katic, the podcast uses documentary storytelling, reporting and investigative journalism to explore the relationship between big ideas and everyday life. Past episodes include a report from a Pentecostal youth rally, the story of a group of government of Canada scientists who have been kept from speaking about their research with the press, and a radio diary by Emilie, a girl living with Borderline Personality Disorder. The Terry Project on CiTR is funded by UBC’s Teaching and Learning Enhancement Fund and the Alma Mater Society. We also receive mentorship and support from CBC Radio’s Kathryn Gretsinger and UBC’s School of Journalism.
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UBCmix is a new interdisciplinary initiative on campus aiming to facilitate activities between all academic disciplines. Our goal is to show Arts and Science students of all fields of study not only that they already have a lot in common but that they can also benefit from meeting and interacting with one another. UBCmix started out as a Terry Wish Talk, but we liked it so much that we just had to run with it!
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The Terry Team:
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Senior Instructor, Political Science Department
Former Chair of the International Relations Program
Acting Assistant Dean, Student Services (Faculty of Arts)
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Instructor, Michael Smith Laboratories
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Instructor, Michael Smith Laboratories & Department of Microbiology and Immunology
Director, First Year Seminars, Faculty of Science
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Office of the Vice President, Students
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5th year student, Philosophy and Political Science
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Media Producer at the Michael Smith Labs, History MA Student
Writer at samfenn.com
Past Student Staff