Executive Profiles 2016-2017

Laura Bulk, Occupational Science & Occupational Therapy, President CUPE 2278
Laura Bulk Photo

I am happy to be joining the CUPE 2278 exec team, with the goal of enhancing the experiences of TAs in the UBC community.

I studied anti-oppressive social work practice at UVic, obtaining my Bachelor of Social Work in 2012. In August 2014 I graduated with my Master of Occupational Therapy from UBC. Being passionate about promoting equal opportunities for persons with disabilities and evidence-based practice, I am now pursuing a PhD in Rehabilitation Sciences (specifically in the area of occupational science) with a focus on enhancing social and occupational justice. As an occupational therapist, a person with a disability, a scholar, and a social worker, I hope to use my skills to serve as an advocate for positive change at policy and societal levels.

In the department of Occupational Science & Occupational Therapy I am a TA, as well as Department Rep. I presently work as an occupational therapist in the Greater Vancouver community – I consider it a privilege to come alongside people on the recovery and rehabilitation journey. I am a dedicated volunteer with many organizations, including the Active Living Alliance for Canadians with a Disability and the Canadian National Institute for the Blind. Other things for which I create time include spending time with friends and family, going for power walks, baking for youth group, cooking for a crowd, and painting to peaceful music.

If you have questions or concerns, please contact me via president@cupe2278.ca.


Barb Taylor, English Language Institute- CUPE2278 Component II, Vice President


I have my B.Ed and M.A. in Applied Linguistics, and I have been an instructor at UBC’s English Language Institute (ELI) for 18 years. In that time, I have served as Head Instructor for Assessment and helped developed curriculum for the English for Academic Purposes (EAP) program at the ELI.

Currently I am teaching in the EAP program and serving with Trish Fodor as co-president on the executive of CUPE 2278’s Component II. Over the years, I have been an active CUPE 2278 member, working closely with others to help represent the interests of ELI instructors.


Adrian She, Computer Science, Secretary Treasurer

Adrian She LinkedInAdrian She is a fourth year BSc. computer science and mathematics student who has been an undergraduate teaching assistant in the computer science department for about two years. His academic interests lie in theory of computation, algorithm design, and probability theory. He has served on the CUPE executive for about two years, and is honoured to be re-elected again for a third term. He is especially concerned about the conditions of undergraduate teaching assistants who do significant teaching in the mathematics, computer science, and sociology departments, yet who often do not know their rights. More broadly, he is concerned about growing neoliberalism at the university, the increasing inaccessibility of a university education, and the resurgence of racist and anti-feminist politics on campus. He looks forward to working with the rest of the executive in advocating for better working conditions for teaching assistants in the upcoming year, all of whom do vital work. He is also open to speaking with any member who is concerned about or wants to be involved with the union’s work. Our working conditions are students’ learning conditions!


Jan-Philipp Wagner, Political Science, Recording Secretary

I am a master student and TA in the Department of Political Science at UBC. Before coming to Vancouver, I did my undergraduate degree at the University of Dundee in Scotland. In my work, I focus on the relationship between the media and politics, broadly speaking. I am a teaching assistant for an introductory course to methodology in political science and also the department’s union representative. I am happy to serve as a member of the CUPE executive because I believe many TAs in all departments at UBC are in need of the services and support the union can provide.


Harold Eyster; Institute for Resources, Environment, and Sustainability; Trustee



Harold Eyster, Trustee, is a graduate student in at UBC’s Institute for Resources, Environment, and Sustainability, where he studies biodiversity and ecosystem services. He is honored to to be given the opportunity to support TAs




Evan Cronmiller, Botany, Health and Safety Officer

12006531_10156075276440434_866847943707151385_oI am an MSc candidate in the Department of Botany, where I study stress responses in
unicellular algae. I hail originally from Vancouver Island where I started my
undergraduate degree, eventually transferring to UBC to complete a BSc in Biology.
Having been both taught by TAs and been a TA myself, I have a real appreciation for
the work they do. This appreciation, combined with my evolving interests in politics and social justice was my reasoning for joining the CUPE 2278 executive committee. I am enthusiastic about understanding the inner workings of unions and contributing to the discussions and actions that matter to the union. In my free time, I can often be found in the mountains or at the beach, or maybe in a bar listening to live music.


Molly Hutt; Classical, Near Eastern, and Religious Studies; Communications Officer

Molly is a MA student in Ancient Culture, Religion, and Ethnicity in the Department of Classical, Near Eastern, and Religious Studies. She studies food and identity in ancient Greece and Rome. She serves as CUPE 2278’s Communications Officer, Privacy Commissioner, and a member of the Maternity Hardship Fund Committee and sits on the University Health and Safety Committee. Molly joined the exec because a) she wants to increase awareness among TAs of their rights as employees of the University, b) she is interested in how CUPE 2278 can help make TAing a positive experience for our members and in turn improve the student experience, and c) former President, Dr. Trish, gave her wine at the yarn shop and told her to.


Alison James, Political Science, Member at Large

alison jamesI am a PhD student in the department of Political Science. I focus on international relations, and my doctoral research looks at the interplay of transitional justice and settler colonialism in Canada. Other academic interests include Southern Africa, and gender in politics. I am a TA for Political Science and also serve as one of the TA training coordinators for Political Science and as the CUPE department rep. Before coming to UBC I completed a BA and an MA in Political Science both from the University of Victoria, and lived in the UK for eight years, working in project management and volunteer training in the non-profit and government sectors. I grew up in the world of volunteering and leftie politics in Victoria, and am happy to be serving on the CUPE executive this year.


Drea Brake; Classical, Near Eastern, and Religious Studies; Member at Large

Screen Shot 2017-02-11 at 7.21.04 PM.pngI am a graduate student pursuing an MA in Classical and Near Eastern Archaeology. My journey to this point has taken me through many diverse experiences, including the completion of a Bachelor’s degree in Theology, five years living in Australia, four years working as a legal administrative assistant to a labour arbitrator, and finally a BA in Classics. Since I have had experience as an undergraduate TA, as well as exposure to how unions can positively serve employees in the grievance and arbitration processes, I am thrilled to be on the executive board of CUPE local 2278. In my ‘free time’ I can be found chilling at home with my cat and husband, or enjoying the sunshine and reading a book!


Gillian Glass; Classical, Near Eastern, and Religious Studies; Member at Large

Gillian is a PhD student in Religious Studies in the Classical, Near Eastern, and Religious Studies Department. Her interests are gender, cross-cultural exchange, literary motifs, and mythology generally. She’s a nerd. She joined CUPE 2278 in order to encourage TAs and promote access to legal support.


Nicole Molinari, Geography, Member at Large

screen-shot-2017-02-11-at-7-24-51-pmNicole is new to the CUPE 2278 Executive Committee. Nicole is undertaking an MA in Human Geography and is examining the restructuring of long-term residential care in BC. In her academic work and community activism, Nicole is committed to advancing workers’ struggles and labour justice, particularly for the most precarious workers. She has done research related to temporary migration, extreme labour exploitation, and human trafficking in Canada and is currently part of a coalition that aims to eliminate unjust labour recruitment practices and enhance migrant workers’ rights and labour protections in BC. As a TA herself, she is excited to be a part of the team and to be a representative for and voice of fellow TAs.