May 2018

Dear Colleagues,

As the month of May comes to an end and turns into June, I think about how this is my favourite time of year. Convocation season is now upon us, and there is nothing more gratifying than seeing our students graduate, their faces showing pride in their accomplishments and hope for their future.

It reminds me of why I’m in post-secondary education and the important role each of us plays, whether as educators, support service providers, parents, volunteers or donors. May (Williams Lake) and June will mark my last convocations as president of TRU, and this report, where I highlight all that makes TRU a special place, will also be my last update to you. I hope you have enjoyed these highlights of our people, their work and their accomplishments over the years. 

However, these reports will continue, with the next edition planned for September. Please continue to pass on your good news—your publications, presentations, external awards or other recognition—for sharing. The deadline for submissions to the next report (for the Sept. 24 Senate meeting) is Sept. 5. Please send the details to


Alan Shaver, President and Vice-Chancellor 


Old Main gets new life

Old Main gets new life

TRU is investing $5 million in students by creating new classrooms and improving others in the oldest building on campus, Old Main. Upgraded spaces will enhance the learning and teaching environment for students and faculty and incorporate the latest technology. The renovation project takes place over four phases, with completion expected in March 2019. Read more

Six visionaries recognized for Spring Convocation

Innovative leaders in science, tourism, social work, nursing, theatre and law will address the graduates at Convocation this June. TRU will award honorary degrees to cancer researcher Dr. Marianne Sadar (shown), LGBTQ rights advocate Dean Nelson, former John Howard Society of the Thompson Region CEO Dawn Hrycun, nurse educator and Elder-in-Residence Dr. Evelyn Voyageur, managing director of Indigenous Theatre at the National Arts Centre Lori Marchand, and Supreme Court of Canada judge Justice Rosalie Silberman Abella. Read more

TRU team receives $300K provincial grant for invasive species research

TRU team receives $300K provincial grant for invasive species research

Biological Sciences faculty member Lauchlan Fraser and a team of TRU faculty researchers and graduate students will run various research trials in the Laurie Guichon Memorial Grasslands near Merritt, BC, over the next three years, thanks to a $300,000 grant from the Ministry of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development to help manage invasive species such as spotted knapweed (shown). Read more

Breanne McAmmond

Sharing a passion for research peer-to-peer

Fourth-year microbiology student Breanne McAmmond (shown) is one of 13 students selected to receive an Undergraduate Research Ambassadorship for the 2018/19 school year. Ten Graduate Research Mentors have also been announced as part of TRU's peer-to-peer mentorship program for research. Read more

TRU Community Law Clinic Opening

TRU Community Legal Clinic opens new office

People with low incomes in need of legal help can turn to the TRU Community Legal Clinic in downtown Kamloops. Dean of Law Brad Morse (shown) was joined by other representatives from TRU for the official opening of the new space on May 10, noting the important need the clinic fills in the community. Read more

Aboriginal health and science camp promo 2017

Aboriginal youth camp receives gift from Telus

The Aboriginal Youth Summer Camp in Science and Health Science has received $10,000 from the Telus Community Foundation. The five-day camp, which celebrates its tenth year this July, provides 20 high school students from across BC with insights into various career paths in sciences and health sciences. Read more

Sa-Hali secondary student wins year of tuition at TRU

Sa-Hali secondary student wins year of tuition at TRU

Katelyn Norrie (shown) is the winner of the TRU Creative Non-Fiction Contest, and will receive free tuition for her first year. The aspiring business student, who wrote her winning essay about confronting her fear of public speaking, will be the first one in her immediate family to attend university. Read more

Skills Canada BC medals

Trades students win six medals at Skills Canada BC

TRU trades students brought home one gold, one silver and four bronze at the Skills Canada BC championships in Abbotsford on April 18. Carpentry student Drew Hegyi won gold, qualifying to attend the Skills Canada National Competition in Edmonton in June. The other medalists are: Kiara Felts, silver, culinary arts; Chris Lentz, bronze, electrical wiring; Jacob McEwen, bronze, heavy duty mechanics; Wyatt MacDonald, bronze, carpentry; and Darren Wittfoth, bronze, automotive service. Read more

MEd student Vera Wu

Vera Wu—social capital butterfly

Master of Education student Vera Ziwei Wu (shown) received the 2018 Nan Poliakoff Memorial Award from the BC Teachers of English as an Additional Language (TEAL) Charitable Foundation to support her professional development as an English language educator in BC. Read more

swabbing a bat

Bats, wine, wildfire—research boosted by collaboration grants

Four research teams led by TRU faculty have received the first $10,000 Tri-University Major Project Collaboration Grants. Naowarat Cheeptham, Microbiology; Robert Hanlon, Politics; John Hull, Tourism Management; and Xiaoping Shi, Mathematics and Statistics will engage in collaborative projects that enable mobility and academic opportunities for faculty and students in BC's Interior. Read more

TRU joins First Nation communities for trades program

TRU joins First Nation communities for trades program

Local faculty are taking trades training directly to Indigenous communities through a unique partnership program offered under the Ministry of Advanced Education, Skills and Training. TRU has received funding for an Indigenous carpentry program, partnering with Neskonlith Indian Band and Tk'emlups te SecwépemcRead more

Dean of the School of Nursing, Donna Murnaghan, is joined by NUS members Mackenzie Byers, Gabrielle Fisher, Ben Aubrey and Makenzie Vandertoolen.

Scholarship rises from scones and shimmies

After hundreds of hours of fundraising, the Nursing Undergraduate Society (NUS) donated $20,800 to the TRU Foundation to create an ongoing scholarship. Shown (from left to right) are Mackenzie Byers, Gabrielle Fisher, Dean of Nursing Donna MurnaghanBen Aubrey and Makenzie Vandertoolen. NUS is the first TRU student group to create a perpetual endowment. Read more

Williams Lake Commencement

TRU celebrated the successes of Williams Lake students at Commencement on May 25. Chief Ann Louie of T'exelc (Williams Lake Band) welcomed guests to the territory, and Practical Nursing Diploma graduate Jyssica Miller gave the valedictorian address.

Merit Awards 2018 Group Photo

Awards recognize service, teaching and scholarship

The President's Annual Merit and Long-Term Service Awards on April 19 celebrated nine outstanding award recipients and 185 employees who received long-term service pins.

The Merit Award winners are (from left to right, above):

Iain Stewart-Patterson, Teaching Excellence Award
Cliff Robinson, Distinguished Service Award
Joanne Brown, Distinguished Service Award
Chris Hunt, Excellence in Scholarship Award
Vera Merkusheva, Distinguished Service Award
Nancy Flood, Master Teacher Award
Patricia Neufeld, Teaching Excellence Award
Warveni Jap, Teaching Excellence Award
Glenn Read, Distinguished Service Award

Faculty and staff from many departments attended the awards ceremony to enthusiastically congratulate their colleagues. Read more

Celebrating retirement and long-term service

Faculty and staff who have recently retired or are about to retire were honoured by colleagues and guests at a dinner on May 9. The event was expanded to include employees with 25, 30, 35 or 40 years of service. 

In Williams Lake on May 25, long-term service awards were presented at a lunch with the president before the Commencement ceremony.

Economics chair recognized

Hasnat Dewan, who chaired the Economics department from 2014 to 2017, received the 2017/18 TRU Chair Leadership Award from Christine Bovis-Cnossen, Provost and Vice-President Academic (shown with Dewan at right) on May 14. The award includes up to $1,500 to attend a leadership workshop or conference. Read more

WolfPack baseball takes third

TRU hosted the 2018 Canadian College Baseball Conference championships May 10 to 13 at Norbrock Stadium in Kamloops. The WolfPack took third place in the semi-finals. Read more

Summerfest welcomes international students

The annual orientation for international students arriving for the summer was reimagined this year as Summerfest – Friends and Food. All current international students were invited to the outdoor event on the Campus Commons on May 4 to help welcome the new students to campus.

Open Learning Faculty Members connect

Open Learning Faculty Members gathered in Kamloops on May 25 and 26 for the annual OLFM Workshop, Connecting Across Distance. Friday featured an open house by each faculty and school, a campus tour by Student Recruitment, and a reception and dinner at Hotel 540. Saturday featured a variety of workshops, and new this year, OLFMs had an opportunity to film one-minute introductory videos for their courses.

CFA BC regional win 2018 group photo

Business students invest in ethics for national competition

Balancing skills, preparation and commitment has five MBA students going for gold in a national business ethics challenge. Shown from left to right are Kishlay Nikesh, Adewori Olugbenga, Florence Iyogun, Tyler Carson and Carlos Rodriquez JuleRead more


Splatsin First Nation Chief Wayne Christian, TRU honorary degree recipient in 2013, was acclaimed tribal chief of the Shuswap Nation Tribal Council (SNTC) for another three-year term in May. The tribal council supports First Nations communities on land-title issues, fisheries, health, child welfare, employment and training.


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!


Danielle Collins, Editing & Copyright, OL

Collins, Danielle. “Developing and Editing Online Distance Education Courses.” Editors Canada 2018: Bridging Communities—Bringing Together Communication-Related Professions, 25-27 May 2018, Radisson Hotel, Saskatoon.

Edward (Ted) Howe, Education

Howe, Edward R. "Action Research in Initial Teacher Education: DigiPen Project-Based Learning." Annual Meeting of the American Educational Research Association (AERA), 13-17 Apr. 2018, New York.

Howe, Edward R., and P. Heron. "Kamloops Clean Air Action Research Project." Western Canadian Association for Student Teaching (WestCAST) Annual Conference, 21-13 Feb. 2018, University of Manitoba, Winnipeg.


Irwin DeVries, adjunct faculty, Education

Weller, Martin, et al. Mapping the Open Education Landscape: Citation Network Analysis of Historical Open and Distance Education Research. Open Praxis, vol. 10, no. 2, 2018, pp. 109-126.

Héctor Martinez-Rodriguex, exchange student 2016/17, Kingsley Donkor and Sharon Brewer, Chemistry

Martínez-Rodríguez, Héctor, et al. “Metoprolol Induces Oxidative Damage in Common Carp (Cyprinus carpio).” Aquatic Toxicology, vol. 197, April 2018, pp. 122-135.


Horticulture Gardens tours

Every Wednesday through Aug. 15

Learn more about the plants within the TRU Horticulture Gardens and campus during a tour guided by a member of the TRU Friends of the Gardens.

WolfPack sport camps

Early registration ends May 31; camps run July & August

Eight weeks of summer camps offer something for kids of all ages and interests. Children of TRU employees receive a 20% discount, available in person at the TRU Gym. This year, select camps offer daily drop-in pricing for half or full days.

EUReKA! science camps

Registration on now; camps run July & August

EUReKA! offers eight weeks of science day camps featuring fun, challenging, hands-on, problem-solving activities for students ages 7 to 13, including Girls Only Week and Codemakers Technology Camp. See the Camp Dates page for availability.

Bike to Work Week

May 28–Jun. 1

Celebrate bicycle commuting by joining a team or riding solo. Have a chance at prizes and take in events.

Alumni Charter Breakfast

June 2, 10 a.m.–2 p.m.

Join other TRU alumni from the Cariboo College years for the third annual Charter Alumni Breakfast in the Horticulture Gardens. Staff and faculty members from the 1970s and 1980s are also welcome. RSVP here.

Indigenous Grad 2018

June 5

The TRU Aboriginal Education Office hosts a celebration of the accomplishments of 2017/18 Indigenous graduates from all schools and faculties, with a dinner and student presentations.

Spring Convocation 2018

Jun. 6–8

Celebrate the success of graduates in six ceremonies in the Fieldhouse at the TCC. TRU's third Chancellor, Nathan Matthew, will be installed at the 10 a.m. ceremony on June 6. Watch the ceremonies live online on TRU's Convocation Livestream.

Anti-bullying in the Workpace

June 14

The Deans Lecture Series presents a talk on anti-bullying intervention based in cognitive behavioural therapy that is being developed by nursing faculty members Michelle Seibel and Florriann Fehr.

Trades and Tech Thursdays 

June 21

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

Campus closed for Canada Day long weekend

July 2

Most of campus is closed on the Monday following the Canada Day holiday, July 1.