Get to know: Elizabeth Kukely, Communications and Learning Administrator, Financial Operations

Elizabeth on a hike with her best pal Geoff (who is actually her friend’s dog who loves to hike with her).

Elizabeth Kukely is the Communications and Learning Administrator with the VPFO’s Financial Operations unit. Happy on a ski slope, on a beach, or on a mountain hike, Elizabeth brings that versatility to her 13-year journey at UBC, where she’s known as a consistent advocate for doing better.

What do you do for the university?

On the communications side I manage the finance.ubc.ca website and work with content owners to update their materials and attend to any other requests related to the website. I also maintain the Financial Operations SharePoint intranet. On the learning side I administer our training programs in the HRMS and MOST systems and serve as the first point of contact for inquiries.

What makes you laugh?

Animals. Dogs, cats or any other creature (including humans) doing silly things or at least what looks to me silly.

Who inspires you, and why?

Over my years there were many people who inspired me. Too many to list. But always those people inspire me from whom I can learn something; people who have good values, opinions, beliefs and integrity. People who work to make this world a better place for now and for the future.

What’s the most important lesson you’ve learned?

I believe that learning is a life-long journey. Each lesson one gets in life is an important one.

What is your favourite song or book?

I don’t really have a favourite book or song. I like a variety of topics and music styles (except heavy metal) and I read or listen to music based on interest or mood. So the most favourite book or song is always the one I am currently reading or listening.

What’s your favourite or ideal vacation spot?

I don’t have a favourite or ideal vacation spot. I feel equally happy on a ski slope, on a beach, or on a mountain hike depending on my mood or interest. There is so much life can offer to us for recreation so I like to keep my options open and experience a variety of activities.

How do you like to recharge?

It depends … I like to escape to nature and to quietness, away from busy city noise. BC offers endless options to stay connected to nature and to fresh air. Going for a good hike or skiing down the slopes gives me one option to recharge from everyday stress. I also recently discovered the float house in Kitsilano that I like to visit. It is a great experience to destress the mind and body.

What is your vision for (your department)?

To keep growing and working together efficiently. We have come a long way since I started here in 2013 and I think working on our communication skills will never hurt. Successful teams always have good communication among each other. I hope we can grow in this direction as well.

What quality do you most admire in a leader?

Being mentally tough and resilient under difficult circumstances is I think one admirable quality of a leader.

For you, what makes UBC different?

The location of our university is very unique and the fact that it is one of the best in Canada should make us proud to work here. UBC is a global player in innovation and research. It’s impressive.

If you could have a super power, what would it be?

If I could have a superpower then I would like to be a shape-shifter, with a photographic memory, who has the ability to travel through time. Now, that would be cool!

What would you like to be remembered for?

That I have always done my best I could under the given circumstances.

What is the question we should have asked you?

My best friend disappeared in the Swiss Alps during a ski trip. To deal with her loss I signed up with the Canadian Ski Patrol, became a ski patroller and learned to help people. Competed in first aid competitions and became the Rookie of the Year in my 1st year. I never thought I could achieve all this as I wasn’t a strong skier at that time. What I learned as a patroller about camaraderie, and turning a tragic event into something positive will follow me throughout life.