Brent Harris, UBC M.A. ’09, Profiled in Canadian Jewish News

Brent’s profile, which nicely summarizes his research process and his involvement with the Vancouver Israeli community, can be read here.

AGSA Minutes: October 21, 2009

Anthropology Graduate Student Association

Meeting 21st October 2009



1. Update from Undergraduate Society (Dianna)
2. Space Committee Update (Natalie)
3. GSS Update (Meredith)
4. Treasurer Updates (Marlee)
5. Fast-track procedure motion:
1. Update from Solen
2. Discussion

1. Update from Undergraduate Society: Three items were brought up by representative, Dianna

a) Grad information Night: On Nov. 19th 6-8pm the undergraduate society will be hosting this event. They need 2 Grad students to volunteer to talk about their experiences.

b) Anthropology Week: This will be held the week of March 27th- April 3rd. The main event will be a showcase of undergraduate research. The undergrad society will choose the date for this and let us know to make sure it does not conflict with AGSA. It was also brought up that they were considering having a beer garden. Last year this was co-hosted with the grad association.

c) Anthropology Online Journal: The undergraduate society is planning on starting a journal. They would like a graduate representative and/or co-editor for this journal, which will also have an undergraduate editor and a faculty supervisor. It was suggested that a selection of papers from the grad conference be published in each edition. Marlee will take this idea to Anth 506 in their planning for the conference. It was suggested that this be taken on by the conference committee.

2. Space Committee Update: The committee met with John Barker. We will always have a space for TA’s meeting with students. However, other student space related requests will require more careful consideration in how they are presented, as there are issues surrounding the lack of allocation of student space in other departments. Specifically, there was a discussion of re-claiming the reading room now that MOA is moving out. The other issue brought up was putting the MA and PhD offices next to each other (or having grad spaces closer) to foster more of a community. Concerns such as this will have to be taken to a procedural level and John will keep them in mind.

3. GSS Update: Meredith updated us on the GSS meeting. The main issue discussed (that was not resolved) was the use of the ballroom space at the GSS building as either a childcare space or for a liquor license.

4. Treasurer Updates: Marlee updated us on her meeting with previous treasurer, Joanne, and brought up a number of issues:

a) Switching the name on the bankcard- apparently not necessary and nobody knows how

b) We need to create a list of allowable expenses (ex. Food, etc)

c) What will we do with the money that we have? This should be discussed at next meeting. Also, once this is decided, are their suggestions for fundraisers to replenish the account.

d) Using AGSA budget for conference: it was suggested that conference planners could take money from the AGSA for conference needs and reimburse AGSA instead of using their personal accounts. This will be discussed with Anth 506.

5. Fast Track procedure Motion

a) Update: Solen updated us on the new motion for fast tracking of students with exceptional qualifications. The previous motion included four criteria for fast tracking including 1) extensive peer reviewed publications 2) professional experience 3) successful graduate coursework 4) extensive presentation at conferences. It was decided that the last two criteria were two broad. The 2nd criteria was also eliminated. The procedure for fast tracking will have to include the support of the student’s committee

b) Discussion: the issue of the 2nd criteria being eliminated was discussed and it was decided that this should be a consideration that Solen will bring up at the next meeting. Another issue includes the timing for fast tracking. Is there a way of deciding if a student should be fast-tracked upon admission? Or should there be a period of a month, term, or year for assessing this.?The last concern discussed was the possibility of having guidelines for fast-tracked students’ course requirements. Solen will bring this up at the next meeting.

Next Meeting will be November 18th (3rd Wednesday of November)

AGSA Minutes: September 16, 2009

Anthropology Graduate Student Association

Meeting 16th September 2009



1. Introductions
2. AGSA Positions
3. Learning Community
4. Department Liaison Update (Solen)


Co-Presidents Alison Torrie and Adam Solomonian welcomed AGSA members to the first meeting of the year. All members introduced themselves.


A motion was passed to re-vote Alison Torrie and Adam Solomonian in to their 2009-10 positions as co-presidents of AGSA. The following AGSA positions were filled:

CO-PRESIDENTS: Adam Solomonian and Alison Torrie
SOCIAL COORDINATORS: Lina Gomez-Isaza and Meredith Mantooth
TREASURER: Marlee McGuire
DEPARTMENT LIAISON: Solen Roth (1st semester – this position can be revisited in January)
AGSC REPS: Kenzie Jessome (MA) and Natalie Baloy (PhD)
TA UNION REP: ——–TBD——–***
SPACE COMMITTEE REPS: Natalie Baloy and Denise Green
GSS REPS: Meredith Mantooth (MA) and Sara Komarnisky (PhD) – Please note that anyone is welcome to attend these meetings.
60th ANNIVERSARY REP: Adam Solomonian

*** A TA Union representative is still needed. This position is particularly important as the union is entering into a bargaining year. Duties may include attending meetings and liaising between Teaching Assistants and the Union regarding issues of importance. The student who fills this position would preferably be themselves a TA, or someone who has had experience TA’ing at UBC.

Other positions have been filled, but please know that there are still many opportunities to be involved with the AGSA. Remember that all graduate students are by default members of AGSA (even if you don’t hold a position) – and you can still volunteer to help out with events like the Learning Community, or help to coordinate a social event, for example!


This year is the 60th anniversary at UBC and for the occasion, the department has invited former students who are now spread across the world, to return and speak about their research. In celebration of the anniversary, a Newsletter is underway, as is a possible E-magazine. These endeavors are being headed by a journalism student hired by the department. Students may be contacted by her for interviews in the near future.

Next AGSA Meeting: OCTOBER 14th, 2009 – 12:00pm in the ANSO Graduate Lounge