February 2019

Dear Colleagues,

I had the pleasure of attending my first TRU Foundation Gala fundraising event earlier this month, which showed how well TRU is viewed by our community. This annual event, put on by the amazing team in Advancement, sold out weeks in advance with more than 300 people turning out in support of our university and our students. It's evident that TRU has a special connection with its communities. Please read on to find out more about the Gala and the funds raised for students.

Researchers at TRU profiled well this month and were among many others across Canada in receiving grants through the federal Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC). The grants highlight research being done by our faculty in a variety of fields, from social work and nursing to computing science, business and law. Thanks to this funding, researchers are providing experiential learning and research opportunities for our students, and sharing their expertise with our communities.

I had the opportunity to attend more faculty council meetings this month, and hosted my first Lunch with the President with faculty and staff. It gave me a chance to listen and engage informally with a small group. I look forward to holding more of these throughout the year.

I'm pleased to share these stories and other news in this month's report, along with the TRU community's publications and accomplishments, and a reminder of upcoming campus events. 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 president@tru.ca. This report covers up to Feb. 13; the deadline for submissions to the next report is Mar. 6.


Brett Fairbairn
President and Vice-Chancellor


Adventure on the high seas in support of students

More than 300 friends of TRU gathered on Feb. 9 to support TRU students through scholarships, bursaries and awards at the annual TRU Foundation Gala. A glamorous night themed Adventure on the High Seas, the sold-out event featured 51 auction items and two raffle prizes, an impressive set design, a five-course meal, and multiple performers, including Lorena's School of Highland Dance, shown. Gala raises upwards of $70,000 annually for student support. Read more

TRU researchers awarded prestigious federal grants

Researchers awarded prestigious federal grants

TRU researchers Bonnie Fournier (Nursing), Matti Haverila (Marketing), Andrew Park (Computing Science) and Katie Sykes (Law, shown) received more than $365,000 in funding through the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC) Insight Development Grants program. Read more

Healing through everyday acts of kinship

Healing through everyday acts of kinship

Research projects by Natalie Clark (Social Work, shown) and Darlene Sanderson (Nursing) that support Indigenous research capacity and reconciliation have been boosted by SSHRC Indigenous Research Capacity and Reconciliation – Connection Grants. Read more

Lots to talk about—mental health and supports for students

Lots to talk about

Students, faculty and staff were invited to gather around a campfire, roast marshmallows and have an open discussion of mental health and its impact on wellness for Bell Let's Talk Day on Jan. 30. At right, Samantha Nielsen of the Wellness Centre chats with students about mental health resources on campus. Read more

From Anne Frank to Donald Trump: annual conference inspires thoughtful debate

From Anne Frank to Donald Trump: conference inspires thoughtful debate

This year's 12th annual, student-run Philosophy, History and Politics Conference welcomed undergraduate researchers from across Canada, presenting papers on a wide variety of topics, with a chance at publication. Read more

Co-op Hockey Night

The Career and Experiential Learning Department hosted a hockey event Jan. 30 at the Parkside Lounge, Sandman Centre, to celebrate the achievements of outstanding co-op students. Attendees received free admission to that night's Kamloops Blazers game against the Vancouver Giants.

Professional Development Day

TRU's annual Professional Development Day on Feb. 20 featured a keynote on happiness and success by Paul Krismer of the Happiness Experts. Six breakout sessions then offered staff and faculty an opportunity to explore the engagement themes of civility and respect, professional growth, and leadership. The keynote address was live-streamed for colleagues in Williams Lake and Open Learning to participate.

Lunch with the President

Faculty and staff joined President Fairbairn for a Lunch with the President on Feb. 1, an opportunity to engage with TRU community members in an informal setting. Shown are Navin JainBrett Fairbairn, Jabed Tomal, Yong Joo Kang, Warveni Jap, Syeda Mahbub, and Oleksandr (Sasha) Kondrashov.


Fauve Garson Stewart, Tourism Management student, was awarded best student research paper at the International Competence Network of Tourism Research and Education at North-West University in Potchefstroom, South Africa in November. Her UREAP-funded research analyzed whether natural events such as the Adams River salmon run serve as a catalyst for responsible behaviour. Read more

George Johnson, English and Modern Languages, was recognized for his social activism and contributions to the Kamloops community with a YMCA/YWCA Peace Medal on Jan. 29. Read more

The School of Trades and Technology's 2018 Training House project partnership with the Canadian Home Builders Association – Central Interior (CHBA CI) won gold for Excellence in Public or Private Partnership at the 2019 Okanagan Housing Awards of Excellent event on Jan. 19 in Kelowna (formerly the Tommie Awards). The 2018 Training House also won a 2019 CHBA CI Keystone Award for Best Public/Private Partnership on Feb. 2. Read more


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 president@tru.ca.

Amanda Ellison, Human Resources: Master of Arts in Conflict Analysis and Management, Royal Roads University


Note: 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!


Charis Kamphuis, Law

Kamphuis, Charis. “Canadian Economic Diplomacy: Legal Strategies and Problematizations.” Business and Human Rights Ideas Conference, 11 Oct. 2018, Canadian Network on Corporate Accountability, Montreal.

Kamphuis, Charis. “Global Resource Extraction by Force: Law and Advocacy Strategies for Human Rights Defenders.” Looking into Law and Development: Pedagogies and Politics of the Frame workshop, 21 Sept. 2018, Osgoode Hall Law School, York University, Toronto.

Kamphuis, Charis. “Transnational Lawyering for Land Defenders in Peru.” Protecting the Land: Communities, Law and the Mining Industry Conference, 26-27 Oct. 2018, Peter Allard School of Law, University of British Columbia, Vancouver.


Soumya Ghosh, Emma Persad, Ting-Yun Shiue, Cindy Lam and Afsana Islam, biology students/alumni, and Ann Cheeptham, Biological Sciences

Ghosh, Soumya, et al. “Explorative Study on Isolation and Characterization of a Microviridae G4 Bacteriophage, EMCL318, against Multi-Drug-resistant Escherichia coli 15-318.” Antibiotics, vol. 7, no. 4, 2018, p. 92.


Robert Hanlon, Philosophy, History and Politics

Christie, Kenneth and Robert J. Hanlon. “Human Rights and Corporate Social Responsibility in Southeast Asia.” Routledge Handbook on Human Rights in Asia, edited by Fernand de Varennes and Christie M. GardinerRoutledge, 2018.


Indigenous Awareness Week

Feb. 25 – Mar. 1

This year's week-long celebration of Indigenous ways of knowing and being includes the annual Elders Luncheon, a bannock bake-off and fry bread gathering, flint knapping with Ed Jensen, and drum and rattle painting.

The Environmental Fate of Arsenicals

Feb. 28

Hind A. Al-Abadleh, professor of chemistry and biochemistry at Wilfrid Laurier University, presents “The Environmental Fate of Arsenicals from the Surface Chemistry of Hematite Nanoparticles” as part of the Environmental Sciences Seminar Series.

Live theatre: Mourning Becomes Electra

Feb. 28, Mar. 1, 2, 7, 8, 9

High drama, fascinating characters, imagery and allusion characterize this re-imagining of a Greek tragedy set after the US Civil War. Directed by Heidi Verwey.

TRU Job Fair 2019

Mar. 7

Students are invited to attend the largest job fair held at a post-secondary institution in the BC Interior and one of the largest in the province.

IDays 2019: Celebrating Culture, Diversity & Innovation

Mar. 11–15

Share and explore cultures, international experiences, research and collaborations through speakers, workshops, displays and more. View the Schedule of Events for details.

Learning at Intercultural Intersections

Mar. 13–15

This year, TRU's annual intercultural conference explores educational approaches to equity, inclusion, and reconciliation.

Leave for Change info session

Mar. 14

Faculty and staff learn how to volunteer in developing countries while sharing their knowledge and skills through the Leave for Change Program.

Making the Case for Restoration

Mar. 14

John Wagner, professor of Community, Culture and Global Studies at UBC Okanagan, presents “Making the Case for the Restoration of the Kelowna Flood Plain” as part of the Environmental Sciences Seminar Series.

A Book, a Bowl, and a Bun

Mar. 21

Discuss the book Small Teaching with other TRU faculty over lunch—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

Mar. 21

From automotive to welding, learn more about foundation programs, Women in Trades and Red Seal apprenticeships.

Three Minute Thesis (3MT) finals

Mar. 26

Cheer on TRU graduate students in this fast-paced and fun research communications competition, and vote for People's Choice! The winner receives a cash prize and advances to the Western Canadian 3MT final.

In a Nutshell: Undergraduate Research Challenge

Mar. 26

Once again, undergraduate students go head-to-head in this research communication competition. Come show your support!

Homelessness at the Frontlines of Edmonton's Arena District

Mar. 28

Jordan Koch from the Department of Kinesiology and Physical Education at McGill University presents “Street Hockey? Dispatches from the Frontlines of Canada’s New Urban Sporting Environment” as part of the Environmental Sciences Seminar Series.

Undergraduate Research & Innovation Conference 2019

Mar. 29 & 30

TRU's 14th annual conference showcasing undergraduate research is an opportunity to hear students from a wide range of programs present their work, either as a poster or as a 15-minute lecture.