LOUISE COWIN
VICE-PRESIDENT, STUDENTS

Dr. Louise Cowin was reappointed to a second five year-term as UBC’s Vice-President, Students in 2016,  with continued leadership responsibility for shaping the student experience and broad learning environment. Her portfolio includes Student Development & Services, Student Housing & Hospitality Services, University Community Services, and Athletics and Recreation. 

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Prior to joining UBC, Louise worked at three other Universities in Canada – she was the Warden of Hart House at the University of Toronto, an Assistant Professor in the School of Health and Human Performance at Dalhousie University, and an Assistant Professor of Outdoor and Experiential Education at Queen’s University.  Louise came to Canada as an International M.Sc. student in 1986, and subsequently received her Ph.D. from McGill University in 1999.

Janet Teasdale
Managing Director, Student Development & Services

As Managing Director, Student Development & Services, Janet Teasdale provides leadership and direction to UBC Vancouver’s Student Development and Services, which is part of the Vice-President, Students portfolio. Student Development & Services includes Access & Diversity, Career Services, Counselling Services, Go Global, International Student Development, Student Development, Student Health Services and the UBC Community Learning Initiative. These services can make a significant impact on a student and assist in their ability to learn and help to prepare them for engagement at UBC, as well as in the community, industry and workplaces. Janet and her team work in partnership with faculties to support student learning and students’ academic aspirations that develop as they engage in the rich learning environment at UBC.

Andrew Parr
Managing Director, Student Housing and Hospitality Services

Andrew Parr is the Managing Director of Student Housing & Hospitality Services at UBC. While he has worked at UBC since 1988, he began his tenure as Director of UBC Food Services in 1996. Under his leadership, department revenues doubled, bringing financial stability to the unit. The development of seven new in-house operations, creation of 10 franchise operations and renovation of all existing operations brought in an additional $10 million while vastly improving the food services provided to the UBC Point Grey campus. Andrew also oversaw the development of many sustainability initiatives, making Food Services a leader in this area. In his current role, Andrew is responsible for the ancillary operations of Student Housing and Conferences at both the Point Grey and Okanagan campuses, and for Food Services and Child Care at the Point Grey campus. 

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Along with ongoing operational responsibilities for these businesses, which generate annual revenues of $98 million, he and his team are in the process of executing a growth plan, adding 1,600 new beds by 2016 and build a further 2,250 beds between 2017 and 2019.

During his time at UBC, Andrew has been an active member of the community. He has received many awards, most recently the President’s Service Award for Excellence from UBC.  

Andrew graduated from BCIT in Hotel and Restaurant Management in 1986 and worked with Sheraton and Pan Pacific Hotels before joining UBC. He is married with three children.

Brian Heathcote
Financial Director, Vice-President Students

As Financial Director for the Office of the Vice-President, Students, Brian Heathcote is responsible for providing strategic financial leadership to the operational units within the VPS portfolio. Directly reporting to the university comptroller, Brian works closely with other members of the VPS Leadership Team and oversees the delivery of finance support for all VPS units.  Brian has spent over 15 years at UBC, holding several financial positions. Prior to joining the university, Brian worked with BC Gas and PricewaterhouseCoopers. He is a UBC alumnus, holding a Bachelor of Commerce in Finance, as well as a Chartered Professional Accountant.  Outside of work, Brian enjoys travel, ice hockey, water sports, the outdoors, Thunderbird games, and watching his children’s sports endeavours. On occasion, Brian can be found with friends and family touring Okanagan vintners or Vancouver craft breweries. 

Ben Pollard
Director, Vice-President Students Initiatives

Ben provides leadership and support for key strategic initiatives that affect the student experience. He is also responsible for the Student Experience and Evaluation Unit. Ben has spent 15 years in public service, working in a diverse range of social policy areas from post-secondary to homelessness to aboriginal education to governance of international organizations to immigrant settlement programming, as well as time at BC Stats. His work across these policy areas has centred on evidence-informed decision-making, and how that applies at all stages from needs assessment through strategic planning, program/policy design, implementation and evaluation. Ben has a Master of Public Administration degree, and is currently a PhD candidate in the School of Public Administration at the University of Victoria. His research focuses on the factors influencing the development of partnerships in complex social policy areas. 

Debbie Harvie
Managing Director, University Community Services

Debbie Harvie joined UBC as Director of the UBC Bookstore in 1990 and became Managing Director, University Community Services, in 2009. Her areas of responsibility include the UBC Bookstores (Point Grey and Okanagan campuses), as well as Campus Security and Parking, and Access Control Services on the Point Grey campus. Each of these units is focused on providing customer experiences that support a caring, accessible and inclusive campus community.  Prior to joining UBC, Debbie worked in a variety of retail businesses. She managed the Simon Fraser Bookstore from 1985 to 1990, overseeing the store’s modernization and improved customer experience. Prior to joining SFU, she worked for Classic Bookshops as a regional manager, store manager and sales person. 

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Debbie has a Bachelor of Arts degree in English and History. An active participant in various campus committees and industry associations, she has served as president of both the National Association of College Stores and NACS Foundation. Debbie earned the Certified Collegiate Retailer designation and is a certified trainer for NACS. In 2014, she was awarded the NACS Eagle Award for exemplary service to the college store industry. 

Outside of work, Debbie is an avid golfer and tries to play as often as possible. She also enjoys cruising to interesting and historical ports of call. 

Keith Kawa
Director, Human Resources, Office of theVice-President Students

As the Senior Human Resources Manager for the Vice-President, Students portfolio, Keith provides strategic leadership and direction on a wide variety of human resource matters to the operational units within the VP Students portfolio, including Student Housing and Hospitality Services, Student Development and Services, Athletics and Recreation and University Community Services. His employment with the University began in 2005, and prior to joining the VP Students portfolio in 2014, he was the Director of Human Resources for the UBC Library, a role in which he was responsible for the creation, development and management of comprehensive and innovative human resources initiatives designed to create an exceptional workplace environment. Keith holds a Masters of Education degree in Counseling from the University of Ottawa.

Adrian Fischer
Managing Director, Campus Experience

Adrian Fischer comes to UBC with a diverse background in the development and operation of compelling experiences from a wide range of entertainment, leisure and hospitality organizations.  Having grown up in Canada and earning a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Alberta, he first went to the US to earn a Master of Fine Arts from UCLA.  He then built an international career there, as well as in Asia, Australia and Europe.

After holding a variety of leadership positions in non-profit arts, including with the vocal ensemble Chanticleer, the Sydney Opera House, the San Francisco Opera, Theatre Calgary, and the Pittsburgh Civic Light Opera, he joined the Walt Disney Company.  At Disney he lead a large multifaceted entertainment experience in Singapore and Taipei, and later held an executive position at Disneyland Resort in California.  His executive career continued with Blue Man Group, leading their ten shows around the world, and most recently with Carnival Cruise Lines and Princess Cruises, developing programming and operating their global fleets.

Gilles Lépine
Senior Athletics Director

Gilles has been the UBC Senior Athletics Director since July 2016. He responsible for the Thunderbirds, the best Varsity program in the country. The Thunderbirds program has 26 teams, 70 coaches, 700 students athletes, and thousands of fans.

With a focus on student success at school and on the field, his ambition is to use the T-Birds, in collaboration with other UBC services, as an extraordinary tool to develop community involvement and campus pride. Prior to UBC, Gilles was Director of Excellence for the Laval University Rouge et Or in Quebec City.

Involved in many committees at the national and international level, he is the volleyball Technical delegate for the FISU (International University Sports Federation) and was TV analyst for volleyball at the last six Olympic Games.

Kavie Toor
Senior Director, Facilities, Recreation and Sport Partnerships.

Kavie is responsible for providing strategic leadership to the recreation and facilities portfolios including capital planning, student and community programming, business operations, facility operations and large event management.

Kavie has over 15 years of leadership roles in progressive leadership positions in sport and business. He is a UBC grad with a Masters in Human Kinetics, Bachelor of Education and a Bachelor of Arts degrees. In his spare time Kavie enjoys playing hockey, running, tennis, reading and chasing around his three children.

Abby Yellen
Executive Assistant to the Vice-President, Students

Abby Yellen joined UBC in 2014 and is focused on supporting the Vice-President, Students and VPS portfolio teams to create an exceptional student experience. Prior to this, Abby was Executive Assistant, Board Secretary and Operations Manager at Ecotrust Canada, a Vancouver-based, non-profit, community economic development organization. Abby has also worked extensively in the arts, coordinating and organizing large music events.

Organizational Chart

If you would like to learn more about our organizational structure, please take a look at the PDF provided here.