UVic Torch -- Spring 2006
Spring 2006,
Volume 27, Number 1

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Seven Flames - Food for Thought

UVic people and the art of learning and discovery across a wild, conflicted, beautiful planet.

A UNIVERSITY MAGAZINE EDITOR WHO IS WAY MORE ADEPT at this business than I will ever be gave me a piece of advice a few years ago that has always stuck with me. If you want a way to organize the content of your magazine, she said, approach it the way a chef would design a menu. Don’t overwhelm a reader with all of the entrées all at once; lead into the heart of the meal with appetizers, round it out with tempting desserts and something to linger over.

I’ve since tried to look at magazine-building in that way. Thus the presentation you have before you. Consider yourself invited to graze on our Ringside news pieces from campus and our communities. Work your way up to our centrepieces—our main features. We hope you’ll find them compelling and meaty (only in the figurative sense, vegetarians and vegans). Round out your meal with the news and notes from the dozens of grads who took a moment to send us a note about what’s going on in their lives. We’ll send you on your way with something to think about in our back page Vox Alumni column.

A word about the ingredients: As the planning of the current issue of the magazine developed, it quickly became apparent that it was time to turn our focus beyond our borders to the incredibly diverse ways that UVic people are fully engaged internationally.

An amazingly varied and inspiring crop of stories soon rose to the surface. Before we knew it, writers and photographers in Sarajevo and São Paulo were onboard with stories of courage and compassion. We found young people anxious to tell their stories of grueling but rewarding adventures in far off places like Delhi. One student’s international study exchange took him right in the path of Hurricane Katrina.

Around campus we found mind-opening, horrifying, heartwarming stories about learning and discovery and artistic challenges.

The international flavour of this issue of the Torch, from cover to cover, reflects the many ways the people of this university—in grand gestures and small ones—are trying to think outside of themselves, their neighbourhoods, and their home country. Through each story there’s a common thread of coming to terms with being a citizen of this wild, conflicted, beautiful planet.  

You may notice a few changes from previous editions of this magazine. We’ve grown. We’ve added eight pages that give our features more room to breathe and enable us to bring you more news about fellow alumni. We’re also pleased to introduce “Best Light”—a regular, two-page photo feature that will capture faces, scenes, or moments that reflect the UVic spirit.

And, we are very honoured to welcome President David Turpin to these pages as a regular contributor. His “President’s Perspective” page will provide you with his personal thoughts on the direction of the university and how it’s taking on the many ambitious objectives for teaching and research.

One final note: our mailbox is empty. This is always troubling for any editor. You, as a reader, are of course by no means obligated to comment on what you see in these pages but we depend on your feedback. But a  healthy magazine relies on contributions from its readers. If we deserve criticism, let us know. If you have something to share based on what you read here, let us know. We want the Torch to be a lively meeting place of people and ideas. Please participate. Send an e-mail message to torch@uvic.ca. It’s important.

So here you have it, reader. The kitchen staff members have done their best to please the palate, to nourish the heart, soul and mind. Dig in.

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