Posted on: November 24, 2014
On Nov. 21, Dr. Cynthia Ross Friedman of Thompson Rivers University was inducted to the newly formed College of New Scholars, Artists and Scientists by the prestigious Royal Society of Canada (RSC). She joined an elite collection of 91 of the nation’s most notable academics.
At the banquet following Friday’s induction ceremony at Fairmont Le Château Frontenac in Quebec City, Ross Friedman was selected to speak (along with noted aboriginal scholar Dr. Carrie Bourassa of the First Nations University of Canada) on the importance of small universities in Canada for mentoring young scholars and researchers.
Nominated by 51 Canadian universities and the National Research Council, the inaugural members represent the emerging generation of scholarly, scientific and artistic leadership in Canada.
“The naming of Dr. Ross Friedman to the Royal Society’s College of New Scholars, Artists and Scientists marks an outstanding achievement and recognizes her research as being at the forefront of her field,” says Dr. Will Garrett Petts, AVP TRU Research and Graduate Studies. “We are very proud of her, and TRU is proud to celebrate its first member of the Royal Society.”
“I am honoured and excited to part of the College and in a position to provide guidance on issues of importance to Canadians, and to promote Canadian achievements in the arts, humanities and sciences around the world,” says Ross Friedman.
“I am a firm believer in the power of diversity and have no doubt that new advances in understanding will emerge from the interaction of diverse intellectual, cultural and social perspectives embodied in this group.”—Cindy Ross Friedman
A professor in the Department of Biological Sciences, Ross Friedman investigates the reproductive capacity of dwarf mistletoes (Arceuthobium spp.), parasitic flowering plants found in Canada’s forests.
“Cindy has consistently demonstrated an ability to combine research excellence with excellence in student training and teaching,” says Dr. Tom Dickinson, TRU Dean Faculty of Science. She was awarded a TRU Teaching Excellence Award in 2010, and was recognized in 2011 for a TRU Excellence in Research award when it was noted that each of the 20 papers she had recently published were co-authored by an undergraduate student.
She draws upon her expertise in the fields of forest and urban ecology, microscopy, mathematical biology, and physics to conduct pioneering work that explores the mechanism of explosive seed discharge in these parasites. Her research has contributed greatly to the understanding of plant development as well as forest ecology and conservation.
The College’s membership is a mix of backgrounds, walks of life and beliefs. Among the membership is those of Aboriginal heritage, from immigrant communities, and from visible minorities. This broad spectrum of members has Ross Friedman excited to begin discussions and see what comes from them.
“I am a firm believer in the power of diversity and have no doubt that new advances in understanding will emerge from the interaction of diverse intellectual, cultural and social perspectives embodied in this group,” she says. “The members of the College experiment with new theoretical perspectives and methodological tools. Regarding my own research, I am certain the discussion and debate with members will inspire me to think about my research with fresh perspectives.”
According to RSC President Graham Bell, the College is Canada’s first national system of multidisciplinary recognition for the emerging generation of leaders. The members of the College will be in a position to provide guidance on issues of importance to Canadians, and to promote Canadian achievements in the arts, humanities and sciences around the world.
Dr. Cynthia Ross Friedman
Thompson Rivers University
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*Note: this article is an update of the Sept. 18 news release.