September 2017 

Welcome back, everyone!

I am pleased to share with you the September President’s Report. I hope you enjoy these highlights of TRU community news, publications, accomplishments and upcoming campus events.

If you would like to share a recent (within the last six months) publication, presentation, external award or other recognition, please send the details to The deadline for submissions for the next President’s Report (for the Oct. 23 Senate meeting) is Oct. 5, 2017. Keep the good news coming!


Alan Shaver, President and Vice-Chancellor


Indigenous health research gets $1 million boost

Indigenous health research gets $1 million boost 

Thanks to a Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) grant in June, TRU is now home to an international network of Indigenous health researchers, led by Rod McCormick, BC Regional Innovation Chair in Aboriginal Health. Read more

Researchers net nearly $950,000 in federal grants

Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council (NSERC) Discovery Grants were awarded to Kingsley Donkor, Chemistry; Lauchlan Fraser, Natural Resource Science; Jenni Karl, Psychology (shown at right); Ning Lu, Computing Science; Nelaine Mora-Diez, Chemistry; Yana Nec, CRC in Applied Mathematics and Optimization; and Heather Price, CRC in Culture and Communities: Children and the Law. Read more

Entrance scholarships awarded to exceptional grad students

Master of Science in Environmental Science students Jackson Baron, Dominique Hazel and Kelsey Boule are TRU's first recipients of the Canadian Graduate Scholarship–Masters. This was the first time TRU was eligible to offer the federal entrance scholarships, valued at $35,000 each over two yearsRead more

Welcome back!

Thousands of students, faculty and staff kicked off a new academic year with the 30th annual Back to School BBQ on Friday, Sept. 8. Attendees enjoyed free food, live music, giveaways and more. 

TRU law faculty joins Royal Society's College of New Scholars, Artists and Scientists

Oppong joins Royal Society

Law faculty member Richard Frimpong Oppong, considered the world's leading expert on Commonwealth African private international law, has been selected as a member of the Royal Society of Canada’s College of New Scholars, Artists and Scientists. Read more

Nursing receives top honours

The College of Registered Nurses of British Columbia (CRNBC) granted seven years’ recognition for the registered nurse qualifying theory and practice courses in psychiatric/mental health and perinatal nursing offered by the TRU School of Nursing through Open Learning. Read more

Fall Orientation 2017

Hundreds attend Orientation

More than 900 new domestic and international students spent a day getting familiar with campus, faculty members, fellow classmates and senior students at Orientation on Sept. 5. Read more

Master of Nursing welcome inaugural class

Master of Nursing welcomes inaugural class

The Master of Nursing (MN) program welcomed its highly-anticipated first class of students with a reception on Sept. 7, and some exciting new award announcements. Read more

Chief Judge welcomes law class of 2020

Chief Judge welcomes law class of 2020

The Honourable Judge Thomas Crabtree, the Chief Judge of British Columbia, was among several distinguished speakers welcoming students at the Faculty of Law's opening assembly on Sept. 5. Read more

Faculty celebrate research

Research and Graduate Studies hosted Research Day on Sept. 13. Keynote speaker Dr. Bojan Furst of Memorial University discussed creative methods for mobilizing knowledge, and faculty had an opportunity to connect with colleagues and learn about their research.

Indigenous wellness research binds communities together

Indigenous wellness research binds communities together

Lisa Bourque Bearskin, Nursing, received a $150,000 CIHR Catalyst Grant for a project that aims to identify how traditional knowledge practices have been sustained and how this knowledge is incorporated into ongoing community activities. Read more

Domenic Cundari TRU Law

Law student wins national essay contest

Domenic Cundari took top prize in the Canadian Bar Association's real property law essay competition for his paper on the conflict between Aboriginal title and private property owners in Secwepemc territory. Read more

Nurses as bullies? Research aims to end workplace harassment

Nursing research aims to end workplace harassment

A WorkSafe BC-funded research project by nursing faculty members Michelle Seibel and Florriann Fehr aims to arm nursing students with the skills they need to navigate a complex workplace. Read more

Third volume of law journal published

TRU Law students and faculty editors-in-chief produced the third volume of the Canadian Journal of Comparative and Contemporary Law in August, featuring interdisciplinary legal scholarship in public international law. Read more

Trades training house 2018 kickoff

Training House enters 28th year

The 2018 Training House project kicked off on Aug. 9, in partnership with the Canadian Home Builders’ Association Central Interior. The project gives first-year residential construction students hands-on experience. Read more

Pro Bono Students Club launch

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. Read more

Dr. Ahmed receives Chair Leadership Award

Computing Science chair recognized 

Faheem Ahmed, Computing Science, received the 2016/17 TRU Chair Leadership Award in June for his collegial and collaborative leadership style. The award includes up to $1,500 to attend a leadership workshop or conference. Read more

China convocations and anniversary ceremony

Bachelor of Business Administration students in TRU double-degree programs in China celebrated convocation in two ceremonies this summer: 255 students graduated at Tianjin University of Technology (TUT) on June 25, and 42 students graduated at Shanghai Institute of Technology on June 27. A TRU delegation attended a ceremony at TUT on June 24 for the 15th anniversary of the TUT-TRU program.

National Day of Remembrance

National Day of Remembrance

In memory of the victims of terrorism throughout the world, the TRU community was invited to a wreath-laying and moment of silence as campus flags were flown at half-mast on June 23, the National Day of Remembrance for Victims of Terrorism. Read more

Interim dean announced

Doug Ellis, Tourism Management, was appointed as Interim Dean of the Faculty of Adventure, Culinary Arts and Tourism (ACT) starting July 1. A full national search for a new dean for the faculty will begin later this year. Read more

A remarkable response to the wildfires

Thank you to the TRU community for your strength and dedication to our students, the evacuees and each other. The outpouring of compassion has been remarkable to witness. Read more

Weyt-kp! Learn Secwepemctsin

TRU offered several free Introduction to Secwepemctsin classes to all faculty and staff during June, August and September 2017, as an opportunity for employees to learn the basics of Secwepemc language and cultureRead more


Chris Albinati is the first TRU Law graduate to earn an LLM (York University) and also the first alum to appear at the Supreme Court of Canada. A PhD candidate at Osgoode, he appeared (was a lawyer on record) on behalf of the Indigenous Bar Association in a hearing at the end of April on a case dealing with the Williams Lake Indian Band specific claims decision. Read more

Tyson Bodor, fourth-year chemistry student, was Runner-Up for Best Poster Presentation in the Analytical Chemistry division of the Western Canadian Undergraduate Chemistry Conference held at the University of Alberta in May. Read more

Ben Chenuz, a third-year welding Level B student, won the bronze medal at the 2017 Skills Canada competition in Winnipeg in June. The podium finish puts him among the country’s best in his age group. Read more

Natalie Clark, Social Work and Human Service, participated as a scientific reviewer for the Ontario Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care.

Kyra Garson was awarded the International Education Distinguished Leadership Award by Assistant Deputy Minister Claire Avison of the Ministry of Advanced Education. Kyra has been a mentor, leader and inspiration to hundreds in the field of education and was instrumental in TRU's Learning at Intercultural Intersections Conference.

Isra Jaffar, fourth-year chemistry student, was awarded Best Poster Presentation in the Analytical Chemistry division of the Western Canadian Undergraduate Chemistry Conference held at the University of Alberta in May. Read more

George M. Johnson, English and Modern Languages, won the Wildsound Film Festival Screenplay competition in Toronto in August for his film script, Peace Pledge. The prize included a staged reading of the script, which can be used to attract the interest of industry professionals. Read more

Kelsey Jules, a BFA alumna ('17) and Secwepemc artist, had a solo show at the Arnica Artist-Run Centre from June 11 to July 29. The exhibit, called Speak Your Truth, focused on analog photographs of vacant rooms at the Kamloops Residential School and testimonials from local Secwepemc youth.

Breanne McAmmond, biology student and Undergraduate Research Mentor, received a Canadian Society of Microbiologists Undergraduate Award at a ceremony in Waterloo in June. The $500 award recognizes her early career achievements in microbiology.

Kile McKenna, Master of Science student, won a Graduate Student Poster Award in the chemical education division at the 100th Canadian Chemistry Conference in Toronto in June for his poster, “An Introduction to the Hazard Reflection Framework.”

Karen Moberg, Workskills Training Program, Williams Lake, received the 2017 Disability Resource Network of British Columbia Celebration of Excellence Award in the programs category, in recognition and celebration of her 27-year commitment to excellence and support of students with disabilities. Read more

Jonathan Moses, a Bachelor of Tourism Management alumnus, has been awarded the 2017 Vail Resorts EpicService Award for Whistler Blackcomb. This award represents the highest level of recognition for guest service and is given to only one employee per year at each of the Vail Resorts properties. Read more

Erik Prytula, Master of Science student and Haida artist, had his artwork recognized by the Consulate General of Canada in Hong Kong. A reception at the BC Trade and Investment Office in Hong Kong in August unveiled Erik’s carved cedar coffee table and painting, commissioned by managing director Brian Brown.

Leana Scordo, TRU World International Training Centre program co-ordinator, completed her global designation as a Project Management Professional (PMP) through the Project Management Institute.

Crystal Solberg, a Bachelor of Tourism Management alumnus ('09) and manager of digital and content marketing at Tourism Richmond, was selected by Destinations International as one of its seventh annual “30 Under 30” class. Read more

Mitchell Wihlidal, fourth-year chemistry student, received second place for his poster presentation in the analytical chemistry division at the 100th Canadian Chemistry Conference in Toronto in June. 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

Jolanta Belliveau, Finance: Master of Arts in Leadership, Royal Roads University

Karen Densky, ESL and TESL: PhD in Education (Curriculum Theory and Implementation), Simon Fraser University

Michelle Funk Coltman, Nursing: Master in Health Research (Palliative Care), Lancaster University

Mahtab Nazemi, Education: PhD in Eduation, University of Washington

John Prpic, Business (OL): PhD in Crowdsourcing in Business, Lulea University of Technology

Nan Stevens, Education: Doctor of Education, Werklund School of Education

Let's Remember

May Auger served in several departments during her 12-year career at TRU, most recently in Enrolment Services. A strong and caring woman, she was always willing to help others, and ready to take on new challenges and responsibilities with commitment and dedication. Her quick wit and humour provided an unexpected laugh, even when she was challenged with illness. She will be deeply missed by the many colleagues and friends she made across campus.

Jason Callaghan was an Adventure Studies student who had just completed his first year while living in TRU Residence. He loved nature and adventure sports and always had boundless energy and curiosity. A strong member of the TRU Rez community, he was an enthusiastic volunteer. His willingness to learn from his mistakes and to create learning opportunities for others made him a reliable helping hand whenever other students were in need. 


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. 


Salvador Barragan and Murat Erogul, Human Enterprise & Innovation

Barragan, Salvador, Elizabeth Salamanca, and Murat Erogul. “HR Executives As Agents of Change: Glocalizing a Family Business Culture.” Administrative Science Association of Canada 45th Conference, Montreal.

Naowarat (Ann) Cheeptham, Biological Sciences

Cheeptham, Naowarat. “Student and Public Engagement through Cave Microbiology Research at Thompson Rivers University, Canada.” Conference proceedings, International Congress of Speleology, 23-29 Jul. 2017, Sydney.

Laura Doan, Education

Doan, Laura.  “An Alternative to the Sink or Swim Experience: An Exploration of an Induction Program in British Columbia, Canada.” European Early Childhood Education Research Association Conference, 31 Aug. 2017, University of Bologna.

Laura Doan, Education and Aksa Mughal, Master of Education student

Doan, Laura, and Aksa Mughal. “Mutual Benefits: Can an Induction Support Program Benefit Both New and Experienced Early Childhood Educators?” Canadian Association for Research in Early Childhood Post-Conference, 1 Jun. 2017, Ryerson University, Toronto.

Kyra Garson, Centre for Excellence in Learning and Teaching

Garson, Kyra. “Internationalization and Intercultural Learning: What Are Students Learning?” Keynote address. Teaching and Learning | Voices of Diversity and Inclusion: Vulnerabilities, Tensions, and Opportunities 16th Annual Symposium, Simon Fraser University, 18 May 2017, Burnaby.

Garson, Kyra. “Interculturalizing the Campus and the Classroom.”  Invited speaker. Senior Academic Administrators Forum, 11 May 2017, Vancouver.

Soumya Ghosh, post doctoral fellow, and Naowarat (Ann) Cheeptham, Biological Sciences

Ghosh, Soumya, et al. “Bacteria Isolated from Bush Lake and Timber Lake, British Columbia, Canada Exhibit Antagonistic Activities against Pseudogymnoascus destructans the Causative Agent of White-nose Syndrome.” Conference proceedings, International Congress of Speleology, 23-29 Jul. 2017, Sydney. 

Ghosh, Soumya, et al. “Cultivable Bacterial Diversity from Iron Curtain Cave in Canada.” Conference proceedings, International Congress of Speleology, 23-29 Jul. 2017, Sydney.

Soumya Ghosh, post doctoral fellow, Cori Lausen, adjunct professor and Naowarat (Ann) Cheeptham, Biological Sciences

Ghosh, Soumya, et al. “Anti-Pd Activity: Can Environmental Microorganisms Be Used against Pseudogymnoascus destructans, the Causative Agent of White Nose Syndrome?" Invasive Species Research Conference, 20-22 June 2017, Thompson Rivers University, Kamloops. 

Ghosh, Soumya, et al. “Anti-Pd Activity: Can Biological Control Agents (Bee Propolis, Viral Proteins, Microorganisms from Caves, Environments, Dwarf Mistletoe and Bat Wings) be used to fight Pseudogymnoascus destructans, the Causative Agent of White-nose Syndrome in Bats.” Poster presentation, White-nose Syndrome (WNS) Symposium, 22-25 May 2017, Tennessee.

Belayet Hossain and Laura Lamb, Economics

Hossain, Belayet, and Laura Lamb. “Does Cultural Attachment Promote Well-being for Canada’s Indigenous People?” Canadian Economic Association Conference, 2–4 Jun 2017, St. Francis Xavier University, Antigonish, NS.

Hossain, Belayet, and Laura Lamb. “Importance of Health and Social Capital to Employment Status of Indigenous Peoples in Canada.” Proceedings of the WASET Conference on Economics and Human Resources Management, 11–12 May 2017, Montreal. 

Ehsan Latif, Economics

Latif, Ehsan. “Trends in Intergenerational Educational Mobility in Canada.” Asia-Pacific Conference on Global Business, Economics, Finance and Social Sciences, 18–20 May 2017, Jakarta.

Che-Hui (Eric) Lien, Marketing & International Business

Lien, Che-Hui, and Yang Cao. “The App-Based Ride Service: An Exploratory Study in China, Hong Kong.” Business, Economics, Social Science and Humanities International Conference, 22–23 May 2017, Hong Kong.

Stan Miles and Ehsan Latif, Economics

Miles, Stan, and Ehsan Latif. “The Impact of Aplia on Grades: Does Group Work Matter?” Administrative Sciences Association of Canada (ASAC) Conference, 29 May–4 Jun. 2017, Montreal.

Stan Miles and Derek Pyne, Economics

Miles, Stan, and Derek Pyne. “The Allocation of Prosecutorial Resources When Defendant Incomes Differ.” Economics and Business Conference, Athens University, 30 Mar. 2017, Athens.

Scott RankinHuman Enterprise & Innovation

Rankin, Scott, Loren Falkenberg, and Xiaoyu Liu. “Internal Adaptation or Institutional Legitimacy? The Evolution of CSR Reporting.” Academy of Management Annual Meeting, 8 Aug. 2017, Atlanta.

Kathie Ross, Accounting & Finance (OL)

Ross, Kathie. “Poetry and Reflexivity: An Autoethnography of a Career in Accounting.” Critical Perspectives on Accounting Conference, 3–5 Jul. 2017, Laval University, Quebec City.

Maureen Smith, English & Modern Languages (OL) and Naowarat (Ann) Cheeptham, Biological Sciences

Smith, Maureen, et al. “A Tale from Community and Public Engagement: ‘Under the Microscope’ Breastfeeding Art Expo Community Art Project.” Poster presentation, Learning at Intercultural Intersections Conference, 7-9 Mar. 2017, Thompson Rivers University, Kamloops.


Salvador BarraganHuman Enterprise & Innovation

Barragan, Salvador, Mariana I. Paludi, and Albert Mills. “Top Women Managers as Change Agents in the Machista Context of Mexico.” Equality, Diversity and Inclusion: An International Journal, vol. 36, no. 4, 2017, pp. 321–339.

Hasnat Dewan, Economics

Khan, Anichul Hoque, and Hasnat Dewan. “Can the Availability of Informal Loans Be Detrimental to Microloan Repayment: Some Empirical Evidence from Bangladesh.” The Journal of Developing Areas, vol. 51, no. 4, 2017, pp. 347–359.

Khan, Anichul Hoque, and Hasnat Dewan. “Impact of Seasonal Temperature Rise on Labour and Capital Productivity in Manufacturing Sector: A Study with Canadian Panel Data.” International Journal of Environment and Sustainable Development, vol. 16, no. 2, 2017, pp. 146–155. 

Soumya Ghosh, post doctoral fellow, and Naowarat (Ann) Cheeptham, Biological Sciences

Ghosh, Soumya, et al. "Cave Microbiomes for Drug Discovery: Reality or Pipe Dream?" Biochemical Pharmacology, vol. 134, 2017, pp. 18-34

Ghosh, Soumya, et al. “In Situ Cultured Bacterial Diversity from the Iron Curtain Cave, Chilliwack, British Columbia, Canada.” Diversity, vol. 9, issue 3, 2017, pp. 36-51.

Salman Kimiagari, Marketing & International Business

Kimiagari, Salman, and Benoit Montreuil. “Hybrid Modeling Approach to Market Deployment Planning: An Application to a Natural Disaster Relief Supply Business Venture.” International Journal of Production Research, 11 Aug. 2017, pp. 1–33.

Robyn McArthur, BSc alumna ('17), Soumya Ghosh, post doctoral fellow, and Naowarat (Ann) Cheeptham, Biological Sciences

McArthur, R., Soumya Ghosh, and Naowarat Cheeptham. “Improvement of Protocols for the Screening of Biological Control Agents against White-nose Syndrome.” The Journal of Experimental Microbiology & Immunology + (JEMI+), vol. 2, May 2017, pp. 1–7.

Muhammad MohiuddinMarketing & International Business

Halilem, Norrin, et al. “To Own or Not to Own? A Multilevel Analysis of Intellectual Property Right Policies on Academic Entrepreneurship.” Research Policy, vol. 46, no. 8, 2017, pp. 1479-1489.

Masud, Muhammad Mehedi, et al. “Adaptation Barriers and Strategies Towards Climate Change: Challenges in the Agricultural Sector.” Journal of Cleaner Production, vol. 156, 2017, pp. 698–706.

Heather Wisla, Law; Wendy Krauza and Jim Hu, ESL

Wisla, Heather, Wendy Krauza, and Jim Hu. “Service-Learning: Boldly Going Where EAL Students Have Not Gone Before.” BC TEAL Journal, vol. 2, no. 1, 2017, pp. 1–13.


Kyra Garson, Centre for Excellence in Learning and Teaching

Garson, Kyra Dawne. Internationalization and Intercultural Learning: A Mixed Methods Inquiry.” Promoting Intercultural Communication Competencies in Higher Education, edited by Grisel Pérez and Constanza Rojas-Primus, IGI Global, 2017, pp. 54–88.


Victoria (Tory) Handford, Education

Sibbald, Timothy, and Victoria Handford, editors. The Academic Gateway: Understanding the Journey to Tenure. University of Ottawa Press, 2017.


TRU governance fall elections

Sept. 25–29 Nomination Period

The nomination period to fill positions on TRU's institutional governing bodies closes at 4 p.m. on Sept. 29. Elections are held each fall and winter in accordance with the Thompson Rivers University Act. Read more

Town Hall

Sept. 26 Postponed to Nov. 7

Faculty, staff and students are invited to participate in an open dialogue and share ideas of possible opportunities for the year ahead. Lunch will be served at noon, followed by the discussion from 12:30 to 2 p.m. in the Grand Hall.

Arts Colloquium Series: PHP Book Panel

Sept. 26

Join a panel discussion featuring faculty members in Philosophy, History and Politics who have written books. Read more

Intro to Secwepemctsin

Sept. 26 & 28

The Faculty of Education and Social Work is offering Introduction to Secwepemctsin classes that are free and open to all TRU faculty and staff. Learn basic Secwepemctsin and First Nations culture. Read more

Pride Parade

Sept. 28

Celebrate diversity by participating in the 6th Annual TRUSU Pride Parade, hosted by the TRUSU Equity Committee to celebrate the LGBTQ+ community and publicly claim TRU as a safe space to study, work, and live no matter what your sexual orientation or gender identity is. Read more

Environmental Sciences Seminar Series: Using biosolids to rejuvenate grasslands

Sept. 28

Dr. Karen Hodges from UBC Okanagan presents “Biosolids for birds? Grassland insects and birds seem to like treated pastures.” Read more

Orange Shirt Day on campus

Sept. 29

Orange Shirt Day on Saturday, Sept. 30 brings awareness to Aboriginal youth and residential school survivors. On Friday, join the campus celebration, including an honour song, guest speaker and round dance. Read more

CELT Talks Lunch & Learn 

Oct. 4, 19, 30 and Nov. 17

The Centre for Excellence in Learning and Teaching presents this series of informal talks, each consisting of two 20-minute presentations on topics relevant to teaching practices. Details to be announced.

Environmental Sciences Seminar Series: Wildfires 2017

Oct. 5

Dr. Lori Daniels, UBC, examines the 2017 wildfires and their causes, consequences and solutions through the lens of learning to better live with wildfire. Read more

Live Theatre: Fresh Horses

Oct. 5–7, 12–14

Actors Workshop Theatre (AWT) kicks off its 2017/2018 season with Fresh Horses, a coming-of-age tale written by Larry Ketron and directed by theatre faculty member Wesley Eccleston. Read more 

Thanksgiving holiday

Oct. 9

Most of TRU is closed for the national Thanksgiving holiday Monday. If you need assistance, phone campus security at 250-828-5033.

Arts Colloquium Series: Understanding the Irrational

Oct. 10

Politics faculty member Derek Cook presents a talk called Understanding the Irrational. Read more

NWCCU accreditation evaluation

Oct. 10–12

A team of seven evaluators from the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities (NWCCU) will visit TRU for an accreditation evaluation. Read more

Environmental Sciences Seminar Series: Managing agricultural soil

Oct. 12

Dr. Sean Smuckler from UBC presents "The ecosystem services right under our feet: managing agricultural soil from the farm to the landscape." Read more

Fall Convocation

Oct. 13

Celebrate the accomplishments of class of 2017 graduates from across campus. All convocation ceremonies are broadcast live online for those unable to attend. Read more

2017 BC MBA Games

Oct. 20–22

Master of Business Administration students from across the province are at TRU competing for the BC MBA Games Cup. The Canadian Mental Health Association (CMHA) is this year's charity partner. Read more

Fall Open House 2017

Oct. 21

Prospective students and their families are invited to learn more about what TRU has to offer and how the people, supports and services will help them discover all they can be. Read more

Arts Colloquium Series: the graphic novelization of Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas

Oct. 24

Journalism, communication and new media faculty member Jason Bermiller presents "Adaptation theory and transmedia adaptations: the graphic novelization of Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas.Read more