December 2018

Dear TRU Community,

It is my pleasure to bring you the December edition of the President’s Report! Having just arrived as TRU’s new president, it is gratifying to see the level of activity and support for students at TRU which is captured in this report.

This includes the generous spirit of our donors, as we look at the record number of bursaries and scholarships handed out through the annual TRU Foundation Awards, or the generosity of our own faculty, staff and students through their involvement in the Kamloops Santa Claus Parade. I enjoyed reading the stories about TRU’s active involvement in supporting students in growing their research skills, including the item about the university’s new Research Coach program. The publications and achievements of individual faculty members are also to be noted.

I hope you enjoy this edition of the President’s Report, as it highlights what makes TRU a special university that I am proud to be a part of.

If you would like to share a publication, presentation, external award or other recognition from within the past six months, please send the details to The deadline for submissions to the next report is Jan. 4, 2019. 

All the best for the holidays and a happy new year!

Brett Fairbairn
President & Vice-Chancellor


In the spirit of giving

A total of 622 students shared in $716,552 in bursaries and scholarships this fall. At the annual TRU Foundation Awards Ceremony on Nov. 29, TRU celebrated the award winners and the donors who made these awards possible. In 2017, Dr. Sherman Jen (shown) made a transformational $5 million gift that went to creating six scholarships, which were awarded for the first time at the ceremony. The total amount dispersed by the Foundation since Apr. 1, 2018 is now $1,133,924! Read more

Over $100,000 awarded to law students

The fall TRU Law Student Awards Reception on Nov. 13 celebrated 78 outstanding students (shown above). 58 Dean’s course prizes and 34 scholarships and bursaries were handed out, with monetary awards totalling $100,000. Read more

$78,000 awarded to undergraduate research apprentices

Critical training opportunity for 26 research apprentices

Undergraduate students are accelerating faculty research and gaining meaningful mentorship and research training through the Undergraduate Research Apprentice program. Faculty members in multiple disciplines—such as Jenni Karl, Psychology (shown)—received $3,000 grants to hire second-, third- or fourth-year students, with a total of $78,000 disbursed this fall. Read more

MBA team takes Mann's Cup

TRU Master of Business Administration students excelled at this year's BC MBA Games, led by team captains Nasser Altariqi and Mika Nguyen (shown centre, right). The team took third overall at the Oct. 26 to 28 event, hosted by UBC. Key to their podium finish were their fundraising efforts for the Games' charitable partner, Ocean Wise, culminating in a second-place win in the Spirit competition and first place for fundraising and video. The team's video promoting ocean preservation won the Mann's Cup trophy, and Ocean Wise has asked for permission to use it. The team lands a spot in the National MBA Games in Toronto, Jan. 4 to 7, 2019. Read more

New Research Coach program a guaranteed winner

New Research Coach program a guaranteed winner

TRU’s new Research Coach program empowers first- and second-year students to discover research by pairing them with third- or fourth-year students with research experience. Tourism faculty member Robin Reid (shown) is one of four faculty participating in the pilot, mentoring fourth-year student Fauve Garson-Stewart as a research coach in her second-year tourism course. Read more

Treemendous turnout for Santa Claus parade

The Kamloops Santa Claus Parade on Nov. 24 was sponsored by TRU for the second year, and our students, faculty and staff embraced every aspect of the event, with six employee judges, entries by the WolfPack, the Cheer Team, TRU World, Respiratory Therapy and the Sculpture Club—and 100 marching trees. Student Development's Alicia Ashcroft was the MC, and President and Vice-Chancellor (Interim) Christine Bovis-Cnossen helped get the parade started.


Jonathan Van Hamme, Biological Sciences, served in 2017 and 2018 as one of three members of the Biological and Chemical Defence Review Committee (BCDRC), which provides an independent third-party review of the biological and chemical defence research, development and training activities undertaken by the Department of National Defence and the Canadian Armed Forces. He co-authored the 2017 BCDRC Annual Report to the federal government, published this year.


Congratulations to faculty and staff who received their master's or doctoral degrees in the past six months. If you know someone who has achieved theirs, please email the name of the recipient, title of degree and institution to

Richard King, Computing Science: Master of Education, Thompson Rivers University, Kamloops, BC.


These citations follow MLA Handbook (8th edition) format. We respectfully ask that you please format citations for your work in MLA prior to submitting them for inclusion in the President’s Report. Thank you!


Dayton Shaw (BSc student), Eric Bottos and Jonathan Van Hamme, Biological Sciences

Shaw, Dayton M.J., et al. Degradation and Defluorination of 6:2 Fluorotelomer Sulfonamidoalkyl Betaine and 6:2 Fluorotelomer Sulfonate by Gordonia sp. Strain NB4-1Y under Sulphur-limiting Conditions. Science of the Total Environment, vol. 647, 10 January 2019, pp. 690-698.

Peter Tsigaris, Economics

Teixeira da Silva, Jaime A., and Panagiotis Tsigaris. “Academics Must List All Publications on Their CV. KOME – An International Journal of Pure Communication Inquiry, vol. 6, no. 1, 2018, pp. 94-99.

Teixeira da Silva, Jaime A., and Panagiotis Tsigaris. “What Value Do Journal Whitelists and Blacklists Have in Academia?Journal of Academic Librarianship, vol. 44, no. 6, 2018, pp. 781-792.

Teixeira da Silva, Jaime A., et al. “Challenges Facing the DOAJ (Directory of Open Access Journals) as a Reliable Source of Open Access Publishing Venues.” Journal of Educational Media & Library Sciences, vol. 55, no. 3, 2018.

Let Us Remember

Awna DeHaan was a Class 1 driver training and Air Brakes instructor for TRU’s Columbia Transport commercial vehicle driving school and for the School of Trades and Technology. He joined TRU in 2008, after a 45-year career as a long haul commercial truck driver and owner/operator. A patient and thorough teacher, Awna loved his work and found great personal satisfaction in training students to become safe drivers. He will be remembered for his positive and happy demeanor and a unique sense of humour that brightened everyone’s day.


Town Hall

Dec. 11

All employees are invited to participate in an open dialogue and share ideas for possible opportunities in the year ahead at the fall Town Hall in the Grand Hall, CAC. For those who cannot attend in person, the session will be broadcast on TRU's secure Ustream channel.

President's Holiday Social

Dec. 13

Faculty and staff are invited to celebrate the festive season with new TRU President and Vice-Chancellor Brett Fairbairn at the annual afternoon social, 2:30 to 4:30 p.m. in the Grand Hall, CAC. Enjoy live music, mocktails, snacks and more.

Trades & Tech Thursdays

Dec. 20

Find out about trades and tech options at TRU. Learn more about foundation programs, Women in Trades, Red Seal apprenticeships and bachelor's degrees in technology.

Winter Break

Dec. 24 – Jan. 1

TRU campuses will be closed for winter break starting Monday, Dec. 24, and will re-open on Wednesday, Jan. 2, 2019.

New Faculty Orientation

Jan. 3

All new-to-TRU—or nearly new—faculty are invited to this important orientation to TRU, hosted by the Centre for Excellence in Learning and Teaching (CELT). Learn about campus life and culture, services, resources, policies and classroom supports.

First Day of Class Activity Boot Camp

Jan. 4

An engaging first day of class can set the stage for an active and learning-centred classroom and foster classroom community. This CELT workshop will inspire faculty to engage and excite students about course material from the moment they start class.

Winter Orientation Resource Fair

Jan. 11

On this fun-filled, jam-packed day to remember, new students will learn about the people, places, supports and resources available on campus, meet other students, staff and faculty as they explore TRU, and enjoy food and prizes.

A Book, a Bowl and a Bun

Jan. 17, Feb. 14, Mar. 21

Discuss the book Small Teaching with other faculty over lunch at ESTR's Market—a Faculty Book Club for Better Teaching and Learning, hosted by CELT. The book discusses small changes that can have big impacts on learning.

Trades & Tech Thursdays

Jan. 17

Find out about trades and tech options at TRU. Learn more about foundation programs, Women in Trades, Red Seal apprenticeships and bachelor's degrees in technology.

TRU Steps Toward Success Conference 2019

Jan. 19

Students will connect with peers, learn how to access resources on campus and engage in skill-building interactive sessions to foster empowerment, belonging and well-being.

Connect: Tourism Management

Jan. 23

Tourism students will gain confidence and career advice through short conversations with professionals in the tourism industry.

Privacy & Security Conference 2019

Jan. 31

How tight is your digital privacy and security? Learn and network during TRU's fifth annual conference, which is also open to students. Registration is free—RSVP required.