Thompson Rivers University

Top 15 TRU stories of 2017

  Posted on: December 20, 2017

2017 has been another transformative year at TRU and this time around in our annual wrap up, we’re highlighting 15 stories of TRU students, alum and faculty who gave back to their communities in 2017.

What’s your favourite story from this year? Share it on Twitter, Facebook or Instagram. And remember to drop us a line with your story ideas for 2018.



Apps are one way to create change.

Apps increase access to justice

In their course Designing Legal Expert Systems, TRU Law students created apps that enhance access to justice.

Dr. Jonathan Van Hamme

TRU genomics lab a first for the BC Interior

The BC Interior’s first high-throughput genomics lab is now open at TRU, under the direction of Biology faculty member Jonathan Van Hamme.

Twyla Hartnell

Young alum leading the way for women in business

Just three years after graduating, Twyla Hartnell has climbed the corporate ladder to a successful career path in a male-dominated field.

Dr. Mark Rakobowchuk

Prescribing exercise on a case-by-case basis

According to new research, short bouts of interval exercise have the most benefit for older women at risk of heart disease.

Jenni Karl

Dr. Jenni Karl

Researchers net nearly $950,000 in federal grants

Seven TRU researchers received nearly $950,000 over five years through the NSERC Discovery Grants program, which funds innovations in chemistry, physics, life sciences, mathematics, computer science, geoscience and the many branches of engineering.

Dr. Bruno Cinel

TRU, UBC team up to explore useful bioproducts found in cannabis

Dr. Bruno Cinel, a natural products chemist, has teamed up with other researchers to discover useful products that can be made from cannabis.

Students Shane Hickey (L) and Alejandra Henao (R) welcome pro bono advocate Karin Bagn.

Law students launch pro bono club

TRU Law officially launched a chapter of Pro Bono Students Canada, a club that will provide free legal services to local organizations.

Nursing grad Erin Wiltse with others.

Nursing grad honoured for bravery

Nursing grad Erin Wiltse recently recieved a silver medal for bravery for her heroic efforts during a float plane crash last year.

swabbing a bat

Bacteria samples are collected from a spotted bat. Photo: Jared Hobbs

Researchers developing probiotic cocktail to combat deadly bat disease

A new treatment to prevent White Nose Syndrome in North American bats will be developed in Dr. Naowarat Cheeptham’s microbiology lab at TRU.

Grace McDonell

Grace McDonell

Students to intervene at Supreme Court of Canada

Grace McDonell of TRU OutLaws, an LGBTQ club and advocacy group, supports an SCC appeal of Trinity Western University’s proposed law school.

TRU's 2017 BC MBA Games team

TRU’s 2017 BC MBA Games team.

Congrats on a successful MBA Games

More than 100 students from five universities competed in the BC MBA Games held at TRU. Through the event, $8,437 was donated to the Canadian Mental Health Association.

Law student Eli Zbar

Law student Eli Zbar at the TRU Community Legal Clinic.

Legal clinic continues to serve community

As of spring 2017, the TRU Community Legal Clinic assisted over 200 low-income clients on various issues. The clinic opened in April 2016.

Brayden Hearne (LL and Kolby Klassen

Students give bees a chance

Business students are addressing the bee crisis with a socially-responsible venture, aiming to make a profit while supporting the planet. To date they’ve contributed more than 200,000 bees to local, non-commercial farms.

Rhegan Williamson is pursuing her interest in art by studying in the ARET program.

Rhegan Williamson

Competitive skier fundraising for families fighting cancer


Meet Rhegan Williamson: Whistler secondary school graduate, big mountain freeride skier and tireless volunteer.

Dr. Rod McCormick

Indigenous health research gets $1 million boost

Led by Dr. Rod McCormick, TRU is now home to an international network of Indigenous health researchers, thanks to a $1 million federal grant.