Thompson Rivers University

TRU to confer Honorary Degrees upon four Canadian achievers

  Posted on: May 13, 2008

One of the nation’s preeminent art gallery directors/curator and a world renowned researcher known affectionately as the ‘Rat Whisperer’ are among four individuals to be recognized with honorary degrees from Thompson Rivers University this year.

Jann L.M Bailey, executive director of the Kamloops Art Gallery, and Dr. Ian Whislaw, co-founder of the Canadian Centre for Behavioural Neurosciences at the University of Lethbridge will be honored by TRU at Convocation ceremonies in June. They will be joined by Dr. Bryan Kolb, the other co-founder of the Centre for Behavioural Sciences, and concrete sound poet bill bissett.

“Again this year Thompson Rivers University will recognize and honor four outstanding Canadians who have demonstrated that world class Art and Science can be achieved in the heartlands of Canada,” said Dr. Roger Barnsley, TRU President and Vice Chancellor.

Jann L.M. Bailey, well known and respected both locally and nationally as the executive director of the Kamloops Art Gallery, has led the efforts to raise the gallery’s stature from a small regional gallery tucked in the basement of the museum, into one of BC’s principal art galleries.

Dr. Bryan Kolb is recognized as one of the world’s leading neuroscientists and often called a founding father of behavioural neuroscience. Among his many discoveries and achievements, Dr. Kolb was the first to show how the growth of new brain cells can restore psychological and behavioural functions. He and his team have discovered humans have the power to grow new brain cells. His research has spurred new treatments to help victims of stroke, those living with Alzheimer’s disease, or afflicted by drug abuse or head injuries.

Dr. Ian Whishaw a co-founder of the Centre for Behavioural Studies with Dr. Kolb. Whishaw’s research is directed toward helping the approximately 60,000 Canadians suffering some form of brain damage each year. A major effect of brain damage often is the complete or partial loss of the skilled use of a limb. In developing an animal model of skilled limb use, Dr. Whishaw has gained a reputation as a Rat Whisperer.

bill bissett is a pioneer of sound poetry in Canada. In the face of controversy, poverty and severe injury, he has never veered from his course to use anti-conventional prose style to raise awareness about the human condition or social and environmental issues. His works often incorporates humour, a sense of wonder, lyrical and ample political commentary.

TRU will award these honorary degrees at four separate convocation ceremonies scheduled for the mornings and afternoons of June 5 and 6 on the university campus in Kamloops.