Meet Michelle Lamberson
Role: Director, Flexible Learning Special Projects
Dr. Michelle N. Lamberson is the Director of Flexible Learning Special Projects in the Office of the Provost and Vice-President, Academic at UBC’s Okanagan Campus. She provides strategic support to innovative teaching, learning and curriculum initiatives; her current focus areas include supporting the transition to online learning, coordinating UBCO’s career and personal education efforts, and managing UBCO’s ALT-2040 fund. Prior to joining UBCO’s Provost Office team in 2015, Michelle served in a variety of roles in the UBC Vancouver Provost Portfolio since 2002.
PLEASE DESCRIBE WHAT YOU DO IN THE OFFICE OF THE PROVOST.
In many ways, the word “flexible” in my title says quite a bit about what I do, which has changed and transformed with new developments in teaching and learning in response to how the campus has evolved. As part of the Academic Operations and Services team led by Heather Berringer, my primary responsibilities are currently Continuing and Professional Education (CPE) and the Aspire-2040 Learning Transformations (ALT-2040) Fund. I’ve been with the Office of the Provost since 2015 and have had the opportunity to support strategic initiatives and projects at the intersection of teaching, learning and technology. Along the way, I’ve had the good fortune of working with many innovative faculty, students and staff. I have close ties with colleagues in the Centre for Teaching and Learning, the UBCO Library and UBCO IT. My work also involves collaborating with colleagues in similar portfolios on the Vancouver campus.
WHAT UPCOMING PROJECTS OR CURRENT INITIATIVES ARE YOU MOST EXCITED ABOUT?
I am excited about building UBC Okanagan’s capacity to offer continuing and professional education (non-credit) courses and programs, supported by the Excellence Fund. I am fortunate to work on this project with two fantastic professionals, Vania Chan (Educational Consultant) and Laura Mabee (Support and Programming Analyst). The key challenge (and what makes it most interesting to us) is that the policies, systems, processes and services associated with non-credit education are not as well developed as credit education. To tackle this, we are taking a two-prong approach of supporting a set of micro-credential courses/programs while engaging more broadly with colleagues across UBC Okanagan and Vancouver to assess the ongoing structural needs of CPE. It’s quite a fast-moving project and keeps us on our toes!
WHAT MADE YOU CHOOSE TO WORK AT UBC OKANAGAN?
I love working in a university – it’s such a dynamic environment, and the opportunity to support and contribute to peoples’ learning journeys is irresistible. I remember visiting the campus when it was first established in 2005. I was working at UBC Vancouver when I came to visit UBC Okanagan to consult with colleagues in the Centre for Teaching and Learning. I remember the remarkable energy in the Okanagan – with everyone contributing to make the goals and vision of the new campus a reality. When an opportunity arose to work here in 2015, I was excited. The people of UBC Okanagan are amazing. There is a small community feel, even though we are part of a larger organization. The community is close-knit and supportive. It is a young campus, constantly changing and growing, with opportunities to try new ideas and contribute to a positive learning environment.
WHAT’S YOUR FAVOURITE OKANAGAN ACTIVITY OR SPOT AND WHY?
The Okanagan is a world-class birding location, and I want to see every bird I can! I spend evenings and weekends in the summer (ok, year-round) wandering around backroads and hills throughout the valley. My favourite spots are Robert Lake, Beaver Lake Road and Rotary Marsh (Kelowna). When on campus, I’m often seen around the pond by EME with a camera in hand and binoculars around my neck.