Thompson Rivers University

Lussier receives TRU Chair Leadership Award

  Posted on: June 23, 2016

TRU Chair Leadership Award Krista Lussier

Krista Lussier, right, received the TRU Chair Leadership Award for 2015-16 from Christine Bovis-Cnossen, TRU's Provost and Vice-President Academic.

For her excellence in leading the Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BScN) program, Krista Lussier is the TRU Chair Leadership Award winner for 2015-16.

Nominated by 3 members of the department where the nominee is Chair, Lussier had to have met at least one of the following criteria:

  • Has demonstrated innovative leadership in developing and implementing initiatives related to their role as chair
  • Has enriched the life of their department, faculty/school either directly or indirectly for students, faculty, staff or the TRU community through their outstanding leadership
  • Has enhanced the reputation of their department, faculty or school and TRU through their leadership
  • Is highly regarded for integrity and professional conduct as a leader in their role as chair.

As the recipient, she received an engraved plaque and up to $1,500 to attend a leadership workshop or conference approved by the Provost’s office.

Chair since October 2012, Lussier has also been recognized with a TRU Teaching Excellence Award for 2012 and an Association of Registered Nurses of BC Award for Excellence in Nursing Education for 2015.

Having served out her time as chair, she has returned to the classroom and with that, the TRU Newsroom asked her to reflect on her time as chair of BScN.

What does receiving this recognition mean to you?

The chair role is incredibly complex and multifaceted and the learning curve is steep and the expectations are immediate. Chairs are often in a position where they are straddling the world of administration while remaining a faculty member. Being that the role of chair is so vast, being recognized is an honour and one that has encouraged me to reflect on the successes the BScN program had while I was chair.

What are two or three personal highlights among the many reasons why you are received this award?

One of my areas of interest is mentorship and faculty orientation. I have had the opportunity to host a mentorship speed dating event, which was an event organically matching faculty with each other in hopes of developing a mentoring relationship. A follow up from that event was a newlywed game, which was an event to celebrate all mentorship relationships. Along with these interactive group events, I supported the one-to-one mentoring relationships and hosted weekly sessions based on specific topics of interest and needs. These sessions were very well attended and supported by both novice and experienced faculty.

Another personal highlight was working with Brenda Smith (Library) and Shawn Read (Career Education) as one of the co-chairs of the TRU Chairs Committee, which was formed a number of years ago based on a grassroots movement to bring chairs together and provide support and the professional development needed. Brenda, Shawn and I were able to further develop this group and host the first chairs/deans orientation and development session. The Chairs Committee has been able to identify, from the literature and from our own experiences, the needed supports necessary for chairs to transition into the role and to be successful. From this, we have had the opportunity to present at the 2016 Academic Chairpersons Conference in Charleston, South Carolina.

How do you describe your leadership style?

I consider my leadership role to be transformational in that I am able to adapt my style to my audience and am able to work with people and be democratic. The most important skill to posses as a leader is strong communication skills and I know my communication skills have helped me facilitate successes in the BScN program.

You served as chair since October 2012. What did you enjoy about the role?

I was afforded the opportunity to know my colleagues in a different way and hear about and celebrate the depth of their successes, their aspirations and their work ethics as they balanced many areas of interest along with their service, teaching and for some, research.

What I liked best was getting to know the wider TRU community. I gained a greater understanding and an incredible appreciation of the work other departments do on campus. I met, fully appreciated, and worked closely with many in the Registrar’s office, Student Services, Finance, Human Resources, Information Technology Services (ITS), Centre for Student Engagement and Learning Innovation and other faculties and schools across campus.

What are you looking forward to with your return to teaching?

Though my leadership abilities have grown and I have learned more than I can imagine, it is exciting to return to my area of expertise and my passion. One of the things I have recognized since returning full-time to teaching is that as faculty members, we are so fortunate to interact with students and share our passions. We are fortunate to witness students’ flames igniting and watching them succeed as the concepts come together for them.

Chair Leadership Award winners since first awarded for 2010-11
  • 2015-16—Krista Lussier—School of Nursing
  • 2014-15—Rob Hood, Faculty of Adventure, Culinary Arts and Tourism
  • 2013-14—Peter Tsigaris, School of Business and Economics
    and Wendy Kipnis, Faculty of Education and Social Work
  • 2012-13—Rob Anderson, School of Business and Economics
  • 2011-12—David Sheets, Faculty of Science
  • 2010-11—Jeanette Murray, School of Nursing