Meet the leadership team for Student Housing and Community Services (SHCS). These individuals bring a wealth of education and experience to their roles leading our unit and departments at both UBC Vancouver and UBC Okanagan.
Student Housing and Community Services
First job: Paperboy for The Province
Learn more about Andrew
Improving people’s lives through service has been a theme in Andrew’s career since those first days as a paperboy. Straight out of high school he worked in hotels, loving both the energy and the work. That experience led him to pursue hospitality as a career path and complete a diploma in Hotel and Hospitality Management at BCIT. In 1988, he joined UBC as a catering coordinator, a CUPE 116 position. Since then he has held seven management roles within UBC’s ancillary business/student service division, including his current role as Associate Vice-President of Student Housing and Community Services. Andrew also enjoyed an eight month secondment to the position of Interim Vice President of Students in 2019.
Married and a father of three, Andrew enjoys watching his children grow into the bright, happy, and healthy young adults they are becoming. He has spent most of his life on the North Shore and enjoys the outdoors, including motorcycle touring, camping, hiking, kayaking, snowshoeing, and skiing, along with his hobby of crafting reclaimed wood art. In keeping with his love of the outdoors, Andrew and his wife Robin own a recreational property in the BC interior, which provides a welcome retreat from the city, but also plenty of renovation projects! Beyond his outdoor pursuits and home repair projects, Andrew reads avidly, with a particular favourite being history books about the lands we now call Canada.
“Working in an environment dedicated to the development of the next generation is so meaningful and rewarding.” – Andrew Parr
Shannon Dunn, MA
Student Housing and Community Services, UBC Okanagan
First job: Grafting fruit trees
Learn more about Shannon
Shannon began her career in the hotel industry and joined the Okanagan campus when it was still part of Okanagan University College. She has stayed throughout all the growth and change that followed, including a six-fold expansion of residence beds. Her work for the university includes six years on the UBC Board of Governors, nine as Chair of the President’s Committee on Non-Academic Misconduct, and she currently sits on the Staff Pension Plan Board. Her many contributions were recognized with the Deputy Vice-Chancellor and Principal Award at UBC Okanagan. Shannon earned her BCom at Ryerson University and holds a MA in Interdisciplinary Studies from UBC.
It is said that like salmon returning to spawn, people who grow up in the Okanagan return to raise their own children. That adage applies to Shannon, who was raised in Kelowna, and returned after stints in Toronto and the Canadian Rockies. She loves being active outdoors, kayaking, and playing golf. Recently, Shannon took up learning to play ice hockey – a humbling experience despite her background as a figure skater. She also loves to travel, having visited South East Asia, Europe, Australia, and the Caribbean, with a future trip to Central America on her wish list.
“I am proud of being part of the growth of UBC Okanagan. We have built something very special here.” – Shannon Dunn
Lisa Fisher, MSc
Communications and Marketing
First job: Baskin Robbins crew member
Learn more about Lisa
Joining SHCS in the fall of 2021 was a bit like coming full circle for Lisa in many ways. As a young adult, she worked in the food service industry, putting herself through her undergrad at UBC. It was also a professional homecoming, having previously worked for the university in the International Student Initiative (ISI) and on the central Brand and Marketing team.
Most recently, she served as Director, Communications and Marketing with Langara College. While there, she had the privilege of collaborating with Musqueam on the ceremony in which they gifted the college a name in the hən̓q̓əmin̓əm̓ language – snəw̓eyəɬ leləm̓ – and the subsequent work to integrate the name in to Langara’s brand identity. In addition to her BA from UBC, she holds a Diploma in Marketing Management from BCIT and a Master of Science in Global Marketing from the University of Liverpool.
Lisa grew up in Richmond, where she lives with her husband, teen son and daughter, and two very spoiled cats. She enjoys hiking, skiing, yoga, reading, and knitting (badly). Through her work with the ISI and Langara she had the opportunity to travel to many different parts of the world; her favourite cities (so far!) include Rome, Singapore, San Francisco, Dublin, Delhi, Paris, and New Orleans.
“I was one of the first in my family to go to university, and I loved my UBC student experience. It opened my eyes to new ideas and new people. It’s a big part of why I have chosen to spend most of my career in higher education.” – Lisa Fisher
“Working in an environment dedicated to the development of the next generation is so meaningful and rewarding.” – Andrew Parr, Associate Vice-President, SHCS
Student Housing and Community Services
Childhood career ambition: Veterinarian
Learn more about Erin
Joining UBC in 2003, Erin has worked in multiple units within SHCS since, giving her a breadth of understanding of our operations. Her roles have included Food Service Administration, Clerical Liaison, Resident Attendant, and Housekeeper. She holds a Diploma in Hospitality Management from Vancouver Community College and a Certificate in Professional Project Management from the Sauder School of Business, UBC.
Erin grew up in Vancouver with her two brothers and two sisters. Although she didn’t become a vet, she still loves animals, volunteering for two non-profit organizations that help street dogs in Mexico and India, and caring for her own rescue dog, Negrita. She also enjoys running, hiking, spinning, yoga, and climbing the wreck beach stairs.
Brian Heathcote, CPA, CA
Financial Director, VP Students
CFO, Student Housing and Community Services
Childhood career ambition: Professional athlete
Learn more about Brian
Brian’s connections to UBC run deep. Studying here, he earned a Bachelor of Commerce degree in Finance, and after 10 years in the corporate world returned to UBC, serving in several progressive financial positions over the past 20 plus years. In his current role, he provides strategic financial leadership to operational units within the VP, Students portfolio, including serving as the CFO for SHCS. In addition to his BCom degree, he holds a Chartered Professional Accountant, Chartered Accountant designation.
Living in Vancouver with his family and a black cat named Jackie, Brian enjoys travel, soccer, hockey, skiing, hiking, and water sports. He is also an avid reader of thriller, crime, and mystery novels. On occasion, you can find Brian with friends and family at one of Vancouver’s craft breweries or touring wineries in the Okanagan valley.
Keith Kawa, MEd
Human Resources, VPS
Childhood career ambition: Farmer or cowboy
Learn more about Keith
While this prairie boy did not become a cowboy, he did start his career with a bit of adventure – working as a schoolteacher in the Cayman Islands for three years. After that experience, he returned to Canada and joined UBC in 2005, and has served in his role as Director, HR in the VP Students portfolio since 2014. He holds a Bachelor of Education from the University of Manitoba and a Master of Education in Counselling Psychology from the University of Ottawa.
Keith grew up in Winnipeg – although some may say he never really grew up! – and now lives on the North Shore with his family, where they enjoy exploring the outdoors. Missing the beautiful beaches of the Cayman Islands, he still loves to travel to tropical destinations. He also enjoys playing guitar and golf, even though he admits that he doesn’t do either particularly well.
“Not a day goes by without me feeling thankful for and proud of the VPS HR team; they are fantastic colleagues who are great at what they do!” – Keith Kawa
“I am proud of being part of the growth of UBC Okanagan. We have built something very special here.” – Shannon Dunn, Director, SHCS, UBC Okanagan
Chris Yong, MIS
Childhood career ambition: Fighter pilot
Learn more about Chris
Chris came to UBC as an international student – and he never left. Growing up in Singapore, a country with compulsory service in the uniformed services, Chris’ first real job was as a Battery Commander in the Singapore Armed Forces. After his service, he came to Canada, where he earned a Bachelor of Applied Science in Computer Engineering at UBC.
Having worked at UBC for over 25 years, Chris has held roles in UBC Financial Services, Student Housing, and now SHCS. Some of the projects he has worked on during those years include the pay for print program, the introduction of electronic mailboxes, the transition from paper-based payments and records to online systems, and supporting the transition from Okanagan University College to UBC Okanagan, among many others.
In his spare time Chris loves to scuba dive, and is a Professional Association of Diving Instructors (PADI) certified scuba instructor. In 2010, he received a Governor General’s Commendation for rescuing a missing diver at Whytecliff Park in West Vancouver, a popular local diving spot. In addition to diving locally, Chris also enjoys travelling to diving destinations in South East Asia.
Steve Alb, MBA
Bookstore and Campus Mail
Childhood career ambition: Pilot
Learn more about Steve
Steve has built a successful career in retail management in and outside of higher education. He has held management roles at Chapters, Provigo, National Sports, and SportMart. He then worked for 18 years at Western University in London, Ontario as the Director of Retail Operations. While working at Western and raising his family he earned his Certificate in Management (CIM) and undertook the challenge of completing the MBA program at Royal Roads University, completing it in 2013. He joined UBC in February of 2020 and loves the beauty of our campuses.
Raised in Windsor, Ontario with his two brothers and a sister, Steve played every sport he could as a child, but excelled at soccer in particular. He has continued to play, coach, and referee soccer, and cheer for his favourite team, Stuttgart, throughout his life. He and his wife Vicky love to ski and play golf – a sport that has become a bit of an obsession for Steve. They also have two amazing boys now in their twenties.
Karen Vaughan, MEd
Child Care Services
Childhood career ambition: Tugboat captain
Learn more about Karen
Karen first experienced UBC Child Care Services as an Early Childhood Education teacher for local colleges, when visiting her practicum students on-site. The beauty of the programs, the outdoor environments, and their incredible Early Childhood Educators amazed her. She was also connected to the programs while serving as a Licensing Officer with Vancouver Coastal Health, having UBCCCS in her portfolio.
It is no surprise then, that when the opportunity arose in 2019, she joined the program as Director. Karen is also a UBC alumna, having earned her Masters of Education degree here in 2018. She is proudest of her two sons, Danny and Jason, who taught her everything she needed to know about children and parenting, and who were the inspiration for her to pursue her field of work.
Karen and her family are long-time North Shore residents, with multiple generations all born in Lions Gate Hospital. Growing up in such a beautiful place led to a love of the outdoors, and Karen enjoys hiking, ocean swimming, kayaking and paddle boarding in the summer, plus skiing the local mountains in the winter. Every fall her family visits Tofino, hiking the Tonquin trail and feasting on TacoFino in the pouring rain.
“It is such an honour to be part of a greater purpose at UBC and have such an important impact on students’ experiences and future.” – Colin Moore, Director, Food Services
Allan de Jong
Conferences and Accommodation
First job: Feeding cows
Learn more about Allan
Allan considers himself a UBC “lifer”. His first role with the university was as a Residence Advisor while a student. He began his 27+ years with Conferences and Accommodation the summer of Expo 86, and began full time as an Accommodation Manager in 1989. A UBC alumnus, Allan earned a Bachelor of Commerce degree in Finance.
Outside of UBC, Allan is a father and has been a soccer coach, hockey dad, and swim parent to his kids. His favourite places to travel include Tofino, Mexico, and Maui. A self-described perpetual renovator, apprentice cook, meat eater, and avid consumer of golf balls, he also mentions that his skiing skills – like his skis – are going downhill.
Facilities and Building Services
First job: Residence Advisor, Nootka House at Totem Park
Learn more about David
From the forts he built as a kid to the first class facilities projects he oversees for UBC today, David has always enjoyed building things with his hands and converting a big vision into something physical. He first came to UBC as a student, completing a degree in Canadian Studies, and living and dining in Totem Park throughout while also working as a Residence Advisor (RA). That first job as a RA led to roles as a Residence Life Manager, Facilities Manager, and eventually his current role as Director, Facilities and Building Services, a position he has held since 2009.
David grew up on a farm in Langley, and he now lives in Vancouver with his wife – who also works at UBC, and who he met when they were both students here – and their young family. Even though he calls Vancouver home, there is still some farm boy left in David, given his family’s choice of pets – five chickens. Outside of BC, his favourite places are Cambridge, UK, where he lived and studied for a year, and Kerala, India, where he and his wife spent their honeymoon.
“Like many SHCS employees, I have enjoyed working in a number of different roles within the unit over the years. I have truly enjoyed each one and cherish the many great colleagues I’ve had the chance to work with and learn from.” – David Kiloh
Childhood career ambition: Professional golfer
Learn more about Colin
Colin has been blessed with amazing jobs in the food and retail sector throughout his career, starting with his first job ever as a dishwasher at Glenn Lawrence Golf and Country Club (free golf!). The foundation for his role as Director, Food Services was built over 18 years in the restaurant business at Pepsico Foodservice (now YUM! Restaurants) and 10 years in corporate retail operations at Starbucks.
While grateful for the opportunities he had with those organizations, he says that UBC has been his most rewarding job. Colin holds a Bachelor of Commerce (Honours) degree from the University of Guelph. While earning that degree he took a year sabbatical to work at Walt Disney World in Florida and graduated from Disney University, which he confirms is actually a real thing.
Born in Brampton Ontario, Colin grew up in Kingston, and then moved to beautiful BC in 1996. He is married and a father of two awesome young men. With his family, he enjoys spending time at their second home in Costa Rica, where he plans to retire in the future.
“It is such an honour to be part of a greater purpose at UBC and have such an important impact on students’ experiences and future.” – Colin Moore
“Of all the things I’ve learned, you cannot ignore the importance of the people around you. Very few goals (especially the meaningful ones) are achieved on your own.” – Brian Jones, Director, Parking
Brian Jones, MBA
First job: Delivering mail at Christmas
Learn more about Brian
A career marked by innovation and change, Brian started out as a trainee manager for Tesco, the large UK grocery chain. He held numerous roles with Tesco, including one at the head office in London where he managed a $1.3 billion budget. Desiring greater balance between work and life, 20 years ago Brian decided to leave the UK and move to Canada. Since then he has managed distribution for A&W, e-commerce fulfillment for Best Buy Canada, and led modernization projects at LifeLabs.
Joining UBC in 2012, Brian has worked on many unique campus infrastructure and sustainability projects, including gateless parkades, a network of electric vehicle charging stations, and a forthcoming hydrogen fuel cell project. He holds an honours degree in Biology from Sussex University and completed his MBA in 2000.
Brian grew up Wales – in a family of seven children. According to an anonymous source, he is officially the Coolest. Uncle. Ever. He has been fortunate to travel all over the world and is also a huge fan of non-fiction books. Having already accomplished two major items on his bucket list (live in another country and own a rural property), he is currently working on a third – learning to fly.
“Of all the things I’ve learned, you cannot ignore the importance of the people around you. Very few goals (and especially the meaningful ones) are achieved on your own.” – Brian Jones
Lakshmi Sangaranarayanan, MSc, MBA
First job: Working in a cyber café
Learn more about Lakshmi
Lakshmi comes to UBC via the University of Calgary (UCalgary), where she was most recently the Associate Director of Residence Services. Prior to UCalgary, she worked in student housing and residence life at several American universities, including Illinois State University, where she got her start in 2001 as an Assistant Residence Hall Coordinator. In August 2022, she joined UBC as the Director, Student Residence.
During her career, she has spearheaded numerous strategic initiatives, including the opening of several new residence halls, implementing a wellness-in-residence program, and developing a graduate residential college. However, she is most proud of coaching and mentoring her staff over the years and seeing them reach new professional heights at institutions across North America.
The youngest sibling of four, Lakshmi grew up in Madurai, a small temple city in southern India. After acquiring her BSc and MSc in horticulture from Tamil Nadu Agricultural University, she took her first flight ever to Chicago to begin her MBA at Illinois State University. As you might expect of someone with two degrees in horticulture, Lakshmi loves to garden (and cook tasty meals from the harvest). She also enjoys reading fiction – with favourite authors including Alka Joshi and Elif Shafaq – walking, cycling and swimming.