We are thrilled to congratulate Tamara Baldwin, Director of the Office of Regional and International Community Engagement (ORICE) and acting Assistant Director of the School of Public Policy and Global Affairs (SPPGA) at the University of British Columbia on receiving the 2021 President’s Service Award for Excellence!
The President’s Service Award for Excellence is the top award presented to UBC staff in recognition of excellence in personal achievements and contributions to UBC and to the vision and goals of the University.
Tamara is an outstanding and compassionate leader who, in her roles as a director, educator, peer, and mentor, fosters ethical, equitable and community-centred engagement. She has helped lead the SPPGA staff team through the pandemic and assisted our new director in establishing policies and practices for our school.
As Director of ORICE, Tamara has worked with her team to build ORICE from the ground up over the last 10+ years to bridge the gap between academia, civil society and the world around us. Through its interdisciplinary, community-based and experiential approach, ORICE offers a wide range of programs and courses that focus on what it truly means to build collaborative, trust-based relationships and to address complex community challenges. She has displayed an unwavering commitment to bridge higher education and community as well as the inclusion of diverse perspectives to her work at ORICE.
Tamara is committed to building an inclusive, respectful workplace environment and has taken a leadership role in ensuring that both ORICE and SPPGA interrogate their current practices and embed anti-racist principles and action into their work. Her work at both ORICE and SPPGA also contributes significantly to advancing UBC’s strategic priorities around research excellence – particularly with co-founding the Collective for Gender+ in Research. She has also advanced transformative learning and local / global community engagement with her focus on interdisciplinary experiential education, in which students contend with “wicked problems” of global community development. She also nurtures critical relationships between students, research collectives, and organizations across disciplines and geographies to advance their work.
Tamara’s expertise and attitude are deeply appreciated across the university as well as beyond. Here are several examples of the deep gratitude expressed by colleagues and partners:
“Tamara stands out in her ability to lead with a profound sense of empathy that she leverages to positively influence and inspire students, staff and colleagues alike. She stands out for her enduring commitment to persist through ambiguity, to believe that alternate perspectives and approaches exist and for her tenacity in testing assumptions and quickly reframing systemic challenges.”
– Raghav Rmadya Aggarwal, Former Research Assistant, Office of Regional and International Community Engagement
“In all of my interactions with Tamara, I have found her to be an exceptional person and ambassador for UBC; she models and practices excellence, integrity, meaningful engagement, insightful analyses and critique, and humanity in her work and approach. At every occasion, I could count on Tamara to be sensitive to and an advocate for an equitable and inclusive process, proposing opportunities to engage those not traditionally represented or engaged at the design stage of any collaboration or initiative. As a member of the IDW planning committee she immediately advocated that the organizers create space for underrepresented communities and individuals at the table, beyond just consulting with them, or engaging them as speakers. She offered up her own space on the organizing committee to model this herself.”
– Sara Michel, Senior Programme Officer at Global Affairs Canada
“Tamara has been and still is the strong intellectual and energetic force behind this concept to create a pathway of transdisciplinary UBC courses to engage students in the potentialities of their home disciplines as instruments of social change within the context of community development—locally, regionally and globally.”
– Moura Quayle, Professor and founding Director, School of Public Policy and Global Affairs; Former Director of the Liu Institute for Global Issues Vice-Provost and Associate Vice-President, Academic Affairs