KAMLOOPS – Four exceptional graduate students at Thompson Rivers University will share in scholarships valued at $60,000. They are the first at TRU to receive support through the BC Graduate Scholarship Fund, a new program announced by the BC government last year with funds administered by universities.
The merit-based awards, valued at $15,000 each, are research focused with an emphasis on science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM). Three of the award recipients—Joseph Chisholm, Shannon Mendt and Claudine Pageau—are in the Master of Science in Environmental Science program while Robline Davey is in the Master of Education.
“These scholarships are an invaluable support to graduate students who are taking research and innovative thinking to higher levels. That opens the door to all kinds of potential in terms of discoveries and leadership,” said TRU President and Vice-Chancellor Brett Fairbairn.
These awards make a significant impact on the lives of students receiving them. They allow students to focus on their research and reduce the financial burden of graduate school.
“Breaking down barriers for graduate students in the Thompson region is a huge win for local communities,” said Melanie Mark, Minister of Advanced Education, Skills and Training. “The BC Graduate Scholarship fund is a $12 million investment in our most important asset, people. The fund supports TRU students who are advancing research in a wide range of subjects, including land reclamation, community health and invasive species management. Their insights and innovative solutions will have far-reaching social, environmental and economic benefits for the region and the province as a whole.”
“Provincial recognition and financial support for TRU’s growing graduate programming is both timely and highly appreciated,” added Associate Vice-President, Research and Graduate Studies Dr. Will Garrett-Petts.
“It is a great honour to have my hard work and dedication for my research recognized and I am very grateful to receive this prestigious award. The financial support this award provides will allow me to fully focus on my research in a way that would not otherwise be possible,” said Mendt.
Forsythe said the award has allowed her to zero in on her thesis research during the last two semesters.
“I am grateful for this freedom; it has afforded me the opportunity to meaningfully engage in other campus research projects, significantly contributing to a more immersive graduate student experience,” she said.
“Receiving the BC Graduate Scholarship is a huge honour. It shows that my research is important and matters. A scholarship like this one also has a big impact in my life since it helps me to pay for my tuition fees and relives me from financial stress so I can concentrate full time on my masters,” said Pageau.
TRU offers six graduate degree programs, with approximately 500 students enrolled.
The new scholarships are part of a $12-million investment announced last year by the provincial government to support 800 awards of $15,000 each through 2021. TRU is one of 10 post-secondary institutions benefiting from the scholarship fund, receiving a total allotment of $180,000 to support graduate students.
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