Sustainability Committee Members

Mission and Vision

Mission – To develop resources and share knowledge mobilizing faculty, staff, and students in the Department of Asian Studies to act on climate change and related issues. The Sustainability Initiative Committee develops and supports action plans in our department to address climate change via operations, research, and teaching.

Vision  – Working to improve our relationship with nature and acting in alignment with Indigenous caretakers of the land, at UBC and beyond.


Committee Members

Vicky Baker

I am a Research Project Manager and also a Sustainability Coordinator, connecting with other staff across campus to help departmental operations be more sustainable. There are many things I do to reduce my own impact and work toward positive changes, and as a lover of plants and an avid gardener, I have a particular passion for good food and local sustainable food systems.


Pamela Francis

I am the Administrative Assistant for the Department of Asian Studies. I have a Masters Degree in Art History and have worked at UBC for 10 years. I am very keen to become more environmentally conscious and learn tips and tricks for how to reduce waste and my carbon footprint and assist the department in doing the same.


Dongchen Hou

I am a lecturer of Chinese language, literature, and film with the Department. My research and teaching interests lie in literacy and writing, media studies, anthropological research, writing technology, and embodiment and affect. I have begun to pay more attention to the issue of the post-Anthropocene in both research and practice and want to promote environment-related issues and advocate for social change that can be brought to Asian communities. In my teaching, I am also incorporating the discussion on post-Anthropocene, human and technologies, environmentalism and aesthetics into my teaching.


Anika Kuzyk

I am a Master’s student with the Department of Asian Studies working with contemporary Japanese media, film, and popular culture. I am currently working on gender in Japanese horror films. Although my research does not concern sustainability, my hippy parents raised me to keep the well-being of the Earth in mind and this is something I’ve always strived for. I believe it is time we all start doing more and encouraging big changes to the way we conduct our lives to benefit future generations.


Christina Laffin

I am an associate professor who researches and teaches about premodern Japanese literature and culture. I am learning how to better integrate climate action and justice into my pedagogy and working with colleagues to reduce travel-related carbon emissions through practices in our department, university, and professional organizations.


Haoyue Li

I am a second-year PhD student with the Department of Asian Studies. My study focuses on the intertwined relation between scent-connoisseurship culture and literary writing in late imperial (ca. 14th – 19th century) China. Even though my research does not specifically focus on sustainability, I believe we could all make our world more sustainable and environmentally friendly through our daily life. Planting floras is one of my habits. I also enjoy running or walking around the campus, especially our rose garden and the Nitobe Memorial Garden.


Xueshun Liu

I am a Chinese lecturer with the Department of Asian Studies. I teach later-classical Chinese poetry after the Tang Dynasty. Many poems express people’s happiness about beautiful scenery. It is so desirable to make our world as good as possible. I like to do my part to protect the environment.


Sophie Rock

I am the Undergraduate Advisor for the Department of Asian Studies and a recent graduate from UBC with a major in International Relations and a minor in Korean Language and Culture. I spend most of my free time exploring sustainability in all contexts and am committed to strengthening both my and my community’s connection to the environment.


Dagmar Schwerk

I am a postdoctoral research and teaching fellow in Tibetan and Himalayan Buddhism at our department. Buddhist ethics, the environment, and alternative sustainable economic models are not only crucial topics in my research and teaching but also for me personally. In particular, I am interested in and working on how our relationship to nature and the “Other-Than-Human” and meditative and mindfulness practices can support and amplify eco-conscious and sustainable behaviour.