Pictured: Kim Kiloh (right) with UBC President and Vice-Chancellor, Santa Ono (left); Kiloh received the President’s Staff Award for Excellence in 2019. Image credit: UBC Ceremonies & Events/Flickr.
Kim Kiloh joined the Stewart Blusson Quantum Matter Institute (Blusson QMI) as Managing Director on February 1, bringing the collaborative, strengths-based approach she has honed over 18 years in student affairs roles with the University of British Columbia. Kiloh has considerable experience running collaborative, interdisciplinary projects and working alongside faculty, having served as Director, Centre for Student Involvement & Careers in Brock Hall for the past eight years; she was recognized for her leadership on behalf of students and staff in 2019 with a President’s Service Award for Excellence.
For Kiloh, Blusson QMI is not a radical departure from her work with the Vice-President, Students’ portfolio, but an evolution in a career built on challenging established norms. As Managing Director, Kiloh recognizes that faculty, staff and student success are critical to the mission of Blusson QMI, and is eager to support administrative and operations teams in accomplishing their work, and in finding ways for individuals to bring their creativity and ideas to bear on the challenges and opportunities facing SBQMI as a world-leading research organization.
“Blusson QMI offered an alignment with my own values,” said Kiloh. “There’s a principled approach to staff infrastructure. Blusson QMI is—of course—home to leading-edge science, and what struck me was the creative approach to building an agile, supportive team to create the best possible research environment. I wanted to be a part of it.”
In addition to supporting faculty and staff, Kiloh looks forward to working with students. She has long supported efforts to increase student involvement in UBC activities and culture; in 2018, her unit led expansion of the Jump Start program, previously an introduction to academic life for new international students, to include all new students. That year, she and her team, along with 75 faculty members, hosted 3500 new domestic and international students, welcoming them to UBC academically and socially. Her work with new and established undergraduate students and graduate students, across disciplines, has given her a novel perspective on what students are really seeking in their academic experience. For example, in her role with the Centre for Student Involvement & Careers, she worked to increase opportunities for undergraduate students to participate in research
“UBC students are unique in that they are very eager to have research-intensive experiences as part of their undergraduate studies,” said Kiloh. “Working with faculty to provide access and opportunities for undergraduate students was a very satisfying aspect of my work, and I look forward to bringing that energy to Blusson QMI and being part of creating something valuable for students, at both the graduate and undergraduate level.”
Kiloh studied cell biology and genetics as a student, and though she had originally considered pursuing a career in medicine, science communication, or knowledge translation, it was an opportunity to work with students at UBC that set her on her current path. One key difference Kiloh has made for UBC students is in illuminating the ways in which career development happens across an individual’s education, and that career development goes beyond a person’s degree program or academic skills. In building these opportunities for reflection and skill development into the student experience, students gain a better perspective on their strengths and a better sense of how their education and skills might be valued by employers.
At Blusson QMI, Kiloh hopes to build on work already underway to promote equity and ensure students have the experiences and opportunities they need to succeed, regardless of their career path.
“The opportunities for students and alumni in quantum sciences in Canada are going to be plentiful, and I am excited to be part of shaping the culture of the industry by providing a strong foundation for future leaders,” said Kiloh.
“It goes without saying that students and postdoctoral fellows will find positive experiences with their home departments and with their supervisors and research, but what is exciting to me is imagining what else is possible along with those things, especially here at Blusson QMI,” said Kiloh. “The environment that we create for our learners will impact how they conduct their research now and in the future; the experiences they have will follow them throughout their careers, and further transform the field. So it’s important that we create meaningful opportunities for them to find their own success.”