Our story & team

On this page you learn about our history and why we do what we do.

Our story

Learn about the history of our eMentoring programs and how we got to where we are today.

High school program

Rural eMentoring BC (ReMBC) began in 2009 as Aboriginal eMentoring BC, an outreach project started by Dr. Sandra Jarvis-Selinger at the University of British Columbia and funded by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research. Aboriginal eMentoring BC aimed to support and encourage Indigenous youth to pursue healthcare careers by pairing them with health science mentors who helped them work through a curriculum rooted in Indigenous ways of relating.  

When Aboriginal eMentoring BC’s funding ended in 2014, Dr. Jarvis-Selinger and then project manager Katherine Wisener formed a new partnership with Dr. Blair Stanley and the Rural Education Action Plan (REAP) to create ReMBC. The program combined the many successful elements of Aboriginal eMentoring with rurally-relevant content. After initially receiving only 5 years of funding, the program’s success led to it being funded permanently as an ongoing REAP program.   

ReMBC was coordinated from UBC’s Faculty of Medicine when it welcomed its first cohort in 2016, it then moved to UBC’s Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences in 2018, where it has been housed ever since. We are now in our 7th year of operation and continue to grow and thrive!

Undergraduate rural pre-health program

This program, originally called Rural Medicine eMentoring BC, was started in 2018 by a UBC medical student who saw the need for a program like this for the students in Selkirk College’s Rural Pre-Medicine (RPM) Program. She rallied the RPM program faculty, students in UBC’s Rural Medicine Interest Group, and the Rural eMentoring BC team to come together and collaboratively create every aspect of the program. 

The program was initially run by Takaia Larsen and her team at RPM and was only offered to RPM students, with ReMBC providing support. In 2022 the program transitioned completely to ReMBC’s portfolio and, with rise of exciting new rural pre-health programs in BC, we now endeavour to bring the program to the whole province!

About the Rural Education Action Plan

REAP is an initiative of the Rural Coordination Centre of BC that was created to promote the education of rural healthcare practitioners. REAP and its programs, including ours, are funded by the Doctors of BC via the Joint Standing Committee on Rural Issues.  

Our team

Meet the eMentoring staff and principal investigators.

eMentoring staff:

Project Manager: Juliet Oshiro (she/her): Juliet oversees the program’s design and development, including mentor training, curriculum oversight, knowledge translation, evaluation and partnerships.

Bio: Juliet’s background is in science outreach; during and after completing her PhD in biology she created and worked on various science education initiatives. Along the way, she participated in several mentoring programs as both a mentor and mentee, and these positive experiences led her to join the eMentoring team in 2019.

Email: juliet.oshiro@ubc.ca

Indigenous Initiatives Manager: Angela Nash (she/her): Angela provides support for Indigenous students and mentors in the program. She ensures that our program is a safe and inclusive space for Indigenous participants and their communities.

Bio: Angela is Wəlastəkwewiyik (Maliseet) from Sitansisk (St. Mary’s First Nation) in Fredericton, New Brunswick. She has been involved with the program since 2019, bringing her vast knowledge of engagement, relationship building, and the “Two-Eyed Seeing” approach to research as well as intellectual property. She is an advocated for the underserved!

Email: angela.nash@ubc.ca

Senior Administrative Coordinator: Parvaneh Rahbar (she/her): Parvaneh is responsible for communicating with and coordinating all of the program’s participants. She makes sure the program runs smoothly!

Bio: Parvaneh has completed her Master’s degree in Business Administration. Her personal experience as a mentee during the job application process upon arrival in Canada has deeply shaped her appreciation for the transformative impact of mentorship. She eagerly joined the eMentoring team in 2017.

Email: parvaneh.r@ubc.ca

Principal investigators

Principal Investigator: Dr. Sandra Jarvis-Selinger (she/her), Program founder and Faculty advisor. Associate Dean Pharmaceutical Sciences, UBC.

Bio: In 2008 she received a Michael Smith Foundation for Health Research Career Investigator Award. Her research focuses on educational innovation and knowledge translation. She founded one of the first online mentoring programs, Aboriginal eMentoring, in 2009, which eventually became ReMBC.

Co-Investigator, REAP: Dr. Blair Stanley (he/him), Liaison to our funders (the Joint Standing Committee on Rural Issues) and rural liaison. Faculty of Medicine, Family Practice, UBC.

Bio: For over 25 years Blair has served as a family physician in his hometown of Trail, BC. As a rural kid who faced many challenges getting himself to and through post-secondary education, eMentoring speaks to his heart. The growth and success of eMentoring and its partnerships are a vital link in supporting healthcare in rural and remote communities in BC. There is no program like it anywhere!!

Co-Investigator: Katherine Wisener (She/her), Research and evaluation. PhD Candidate, Faculty of Medicine, Faculty Development, UBC.

Bio: Katherine has been involved in virtual youth mentoring programs since 2009. She also focused her graduate studies on fostering sustainable relationships between post-secondary institutions and communities. Her favourite part of this amazing program is the excitement of the mentors, who are volunteers and genuinely so passionate and dedicated to helping youth find their way!