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BPI EDII Committee Launch

On March 17th, the newly formed BPI's Equity, Diversity, Inclusion & Indigeneity (EDII) Committee held its first meeting with the members from all organization levels within BPI. Six professors, four graduate students, one undergrad student, and three staff joined as the inaugural members bringing their expertise from different backgrounds and diverse lived experiences with the common goal of advancing inclusion within BPI in all aspects of research and operations.

    During the meeting, the members shared their thoughts on the committee's vision and structure and how they can best address and implement real actions toward building a more diverse workforce. In line with UBC’s Inclusion Action Plan and the Indigenous Strategic Plan, Commitee's focus will be on cultivating a culture within BPI grounded in respect, wellness, equity, empowerment, inclusion and diversity; A working philosophy where everyone has an important role to play and can equally contribute to creating a better future for the faculty and university.

    Committee Member Daniela Figueroa shared "As our research efforts keep leading the path toward a more sustainable future, we cannot forget that communities are at the center and that it's our responsibility to foster a culture where everyone feels valued and heard. We strongly believe that when you bring in more diverse perspectives, you drive better results."

    Indeed, diversity in workplace makes significant impacts on the performance according to the report by Ted Rogers School of Management’s Diversity Institutes:

    • If Canada made workplaces more accessible, it would add $16.8 billion to our GDP, by 2030
    • Companies with racial and ethnic diversity are 35% more likely higher financial returns
    • Companies with gender diversity are 15% more likely to have higher financial returns
    • If women were enabled to fully participate in the economy, we would contribute $150 billion to our GDP by 2026

    Prof. Qingshi Tu expressed his excitement saying “I'm motivated by the opportunities to exchange ideas, to learn from peers and to collectively create an environment where equity, diversity, inclusion and indigenous awareness are naturally weaved into the activities of research and education. I'm inspired by the diverse perspectives brought by the committee members in our first meeting. I look forward to working with my peers to develop a variety of engaging activities to fulfill the mission of our committee.”

    BPI Operations Team welcomes and thanks the below members of the EDII Committee for stepping up to offer their voluntary service for the community. We are excited to work with the wonderful members and promise to provide continued support to bring their vision and goals to reality. It is crucial to listen to diverse opinions from the community to thrive in this initiative. The Committee will keep its door wide open and welcome any feedback and suggestions. Please visit the EDII page to find more information and ongoing updates at

    • Daniela Figueroa, ERMP Research Program Manager
    • Akash Gondaliya, PhD Candidate, CHBE
    • Yalan Liang, Undergrad Student, Forestry
    • Adriana Manso, Associate Professor, Dentistry
    • Marina Mehling, PhD Candidate, CHBE
    • Titichai Navessin, BPI Director of Operations
    • Kelley Oh, BPI Stakeholder Engagement & EDII Coordinator
    • Gregory Paradis, Assistant Professor, Forestry
    • Orlando Rojas, Professor, BPI Scientific Director
    • Sumi Siddiqua, Associate Professor, UBCO Engineering
    • Qingshi Tu, Assistant Professor, Forestry
    • Heather Trajano, Associate Professor, CHBE
    • Anderson Veiga, PhD Student, Wood Science
    • Shiva Zargar, PhD Candidate, Forestry