Get to know: Steven Lee, Facilities Planner with Infrastructure Development

What do you do for the university?

In a nutshell I work with campus constituents to make improvements to physical learning spaces. Regardless of discipline, every student who comes to UBC will find themselves in a classroom, teaching lab, or study space at one point or another. My job is to ensure that those spaces are supporting the kind of teaching and learning that students and instructors come to expect.

What makes you laugh?

I have a toddler who is just discovering everything around him — he provides me with endless laughter and entertainment.

Who inspires you, and why?

I know this is cliché but the students, faculty and staff of UBC inspire me on a daily basis. This campus is such a vibrant space with all sorts of excitement in the air.

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

Take the time and listen to what others have to say. You just never know what you will discover or learn about someone or something. Each of us are unique individuals and bring upon a different set of perspective, experiences, and knowledge.

What is your favourite song or book?

♫ Baby shark, doo doo doo doo doo doo
♫ Mommy shark, doo doo doo doo doo doo
♫ Daddy shark, doo doo doo doo doo doo…

(This is what happens when you have a toddler)

What’s your favourite or ideal vacation spot?

There is this tiny sand bar about 15 km off the coast of Malaysia called Kapalai which is the home to a scuba diving resort (sitting in the middle of the ocean, no less) that a good friend of mine operates. There is something serene about being in the middle of nature (ocean in this case).

How do you like to recharge?

Travelling and photography — or preferably both at the same time. A good scotch helps too.

What is your vision (personal or for your department)?

Simply put: to provide good learning spaces for students and instructors. Students in particular are already dealing with so much — course load, exams, group work, personal and professional life outside of academia, etc. the last thing we need is a poorly functioning space to stress them more.

What quality do you most admire in a leader?

I definitely admire leaders who are visionaries, but visionaries don’t always make good worker bees. I really admire those who can provide for a clear vision but also have the ability to lead it through completion.

For you, what makes UBC different?

I really feel that UBC is leading the way in terms of innovation. People here are just so dedicated to improving the overall UBC experience and everything it has to offer — initiatives like Campus as a Living Lab, Flexible Learning & Enrolment Services Professionals to name a few.

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

Definitely teleportation. Ideally group teleportation so I can bring others along for the ride. This sort of goes hand in hand with how I like to recharge. I love travelling but I loathe flying. This also complements my OCD for being on-time for everything.

What would you like to be remembered for?

I never actually thought about this before — but I guess just being remembered as a good team member who is passionate about his work would be nice!

What is the question we should have asked you?

When will my classroom be upgraded?