P. 604.822.8781 E. sjc.events[at]ubc.ca
I manage the day-to-day operations at the College and enjoy interacting with staff and residents.
I am very lucky to be working at SJC with a team of great people who consistently go above and beyond in their work, both in effort and heart, and in a community of residents from around the world doing amazing things. I have worked more than a decade at SJC coordinating events and bringing people together over special occasions and meals and have loved bringing special details and touches to each. Organized and tidy describes how I have strived to have events run at SJC, however my desk was another matter. I am looking forward to continuing to bringing people, skills, and solutions together in my current role as office administrator. My desk continues to be another matter. I grew up attended college in Northern BC and am an alumni of BCIT with a background in marketing and events.
As a project coordinator, I support the business plan process for the proposed Chinese Canadian Museum in Chinatown. I am privileged to participate in the vision of transforming Chinatown into a living, vibrant, and thriving neighbourhood.
After moving from Seoul, South Korea to Vancouver as a teenager, I graduated from UBC with a BA degree and worked in banking for nearly two decades before returning to UBC as staff in 2017.
When I am not working at SJC, I hold a staff position with the UBC Community Engagement, support the Asian Canadian Asian Migration (ACAM) program’s Mental Health Dialogue as an advisory board member, and am as a Registered Clinical Counsellor with my private practice.
Reception/Guest Room Coordinator
P. 604.822.6522 E. sjc.reception[at]ubc.ca
As the front desk receptionist, I am the first person people greet when they walk into the office. I like to address people with the title “Sir” or “Madam” as I am very professional. I sort of consider myself the “General” guarding the door. Besides greeting people, my duties include faxing, distributing mail, hanging out parcels, answering inquiries, directing students to the appropriate personnel, booking guest rooms and checking in guests.
Aside from all the seriousness, I do have a playful side. I like to joke with students and act very friendly toward them. Sometimes, I engage in a conversation with them about world issues or simple things that are happening in their lives. My ability to speak Cantonese enables me to better communicate with some students whose first language is not English.
I was born in Hong Kong and my family immigrated to Canada when I was ten years old. Growing up in Canada, I was fortunate to be able to keep my culture and my mother tongue that has remained with me throughout my life. One of my proudest achievements in life is landing a job at UBC. In 2006, I started working at St. John’s College and have worked here for over 12 years. I really enjoy working here, and consider St. John’s to be my second home.
Dr. Zoe Lam
International Summer Program Coordinator
I am responsible for designing and coordinating the UBC SJC Graduate Application Preparation Program. As a former international graduate student, I am excited to have the opportunity to share my tips for graduate school application with prospective students.
When I am not in SJC, I am a lecturer of Cantonese at the Department of Asian Studies. I am also the instructor of a Cantonese Saturday School in Vancouver Chinatown. Though I seem to have multiple hats, they all serve to connect people with new skills, and enable them to discover their potentials.
Since 2011, I have been Associate Principal at St. John’s College and served as Acting Principal from 2016-17. During this time, I have been involved in many areas of College life with a focus on community building and creating links off campus, including with our Johannean founders locally and abroad.
When I’m not at SJC, I am an associate professor in the Department of English as well as director of the Asian Canadian and Asian Migration Studies Program (ACAM). I grew up in Vancouver and returned to teach at UBC in 2006 after living in China and the United States, where I received my PhD from Brown University. My research focuses on Asian diaspora literature and culture and I received a Killam Research Prize in 2015. As director of ACAM, I work with a team of students, staff, and faculty to create opportunities for students to engage in diverse migrant communities in our city. It’s been a tremendous honor to be part of the SJC team as we work to create a home away from home for all our residents.
Community Engagement Manager
P. 604.822.1308 E. sarah.ling[at]ubc.ca
I oversee community engagement and relationships building with a wide range of community partners, organizations and collaborators. My responsibilities also include the development and promotion of educational materials and initiatives with a focus on public history.
I was born in Prince Rupert, B.C. on Tsimshian territory. My graduate research was centred on stories of Chinese-Indigenous relations, I was the lead Producer of the documentary All Our Father’s Relations. As an alumni of UBC in First Nations Studies, English, and Interdisciplinary Studies, I have had the opportunity to work and grow within multiple units on campus. I enjoy creating meaning experiences and multimedia materials that re-centre stories that have been left in the margins.
Dr. Ian Okabe
Ian was appointed Assistant Principal for Alumni Engagement in 2012. He is a familiar face to many of our alumni, having lived at the College several times over the years. Ian was born in Calgary, Alberta but grew up in the suburbs of Vancouver. He has lived across Canada, and attended universities in both Canada and the United States. Both his Honours Bachelor of Science and Ph.D. are in Geography from the University of British Columbia. His research specialty is climate diagnostics which he applied to discover the North American Monsoon. Ian taught at the University of the Fraser Valley for a decade and recently retired as Head of the Weather Centre for British Columbia and Yukon.
P. 604.822.5857 E. sjc.chef[at]ubc.ca
Chef Clarence is responsible for the provision of all food services at St. John’s College including both the resident meal plan as well as the provision of catering services for events.
Finance and Academic Manager
P. 604.827.1874 E. joanna.yang[at]ubc.ca
As a program, projects, and finance manager, my main responsibilities include managing the College’s financial health, nurturing development and alumni relationships, and working with a diverse range of students, staff, faculty, and community members to implement project ideas into reality.
Although I was born and raised in Vancouver as a first-generation Chinese Canadian, I moved back to my parent’s hometown in tropical Hainan, China, and lived there for several years before returning to Canada. I am a UBC Geography and Migration & Globalization Studies alumna, and before I had the privilege of serving the College’s international community, I worked for the UBC Equity and Inclusion Office, Asian Canadian and Asian Migration Studies Program, and the Faculty of Arts Vancouver Summer Program. In my spare time, I enjoy spending time with my friends and family, visual storytelling through film, cooking, and a good workout.
Since 2011, I have been the Principal of St. John’s College, and served as its Associate Principal from 2005-2009. After teaching at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) for a decade, I returned to UBC as an Associate Professor of History to help build programs focused on trans-Pacific Canada. As a UBC alumni, I received my BA in Honours History, and an MA and PhD in History from Princeton University.
I grew up in Vancouver and on Vancouver Island. I am both a second and fourth generation Canadian. My parents were first generation immigrants from China, joining a grandfather who had spent almost his entire life in Canada. My great-grandfather was also an early Chinese pioneer in British Columbia, part of a larger networks of migrants who left Zhongshan county in Guangdong province in South China and settled around the Pacific in places such as Australia, New Zealand, Hawai’i, the Caribbean, Southeast Asia, the United States, and Canada.
I am committed to expanding the engagement between academic research and the communities which the university serves, and have been involved in many committee and initiatives outlined that are outlined here.