TRU Education and Social Work

May 2016 

Dear Colleagues,

I am pleased to share with you the May President’s Report that was presented to Senate on May. 16, 2016—now in an e-newsletter. I hope you enjoy this new format to read highlights of TRU community news, publications, accomplishments and upcoming campus events. Comments welcome.

This is the last report until the fall. I wish everyone a great summer and I look forward to hearing about all your achievements for the next report in September.

If you would like to share a recent (within the last 6 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 September Senate meeting) is Sept. 2, 2016. Keep the good news coming!


Alan Shaver, President and Vice-Chancellor



Dr Brenda Milner

Honorary degree recipients inspire at Convocation 2016

Three renowned individuals embodying the spirit and essence of Thompson Rivers University will inspire this year's graduates during TRU's 2016 Spring Convocation in June. Pioneering cognitive neuroscientist Dr. Brenda Milner (shown at right), icon of Canadian sport Bob Lenarduzzi, and acclaimed mediator/arbitrator Vince Ready will be recognized with honorary degrees and address the class of 2016.

Real Estate Foundation commits $150K towards environmental leadership

Real Estate Foundation commits $150K towards environmental leadership

The Real Estate Foundation of BC has granted $150,000 to support the creation of an NSERC Industrial Research Chair. This second grant is another step towards Canada's first Centre for Ecosystem Reclamation at TRU. Lachlan Fraser, NRS (at left) is the Research Chair candidate.

Pakhomenko makes TRU history

WolfPack volleyball player Iulia Pakhomenko (at right) received national attention when she was chosen as the Canada West nominee for the prestigious BLG Award. The first TRU player ever nominated, she impressed a lot of people at the 2016 ceremony on May 2.

New centre of excellence in nursing education launched

TRU is now home to two new research centres, including the Collaboratory for Educational Research and Development in Nursing, spearheaded by Noeman Mirza, Nursing (shown at left).

More seats available for millwrights

The Ministry of Advanced Education announced funding for an additional 16 seats to be offered in the Industrial Mechanic (Millwright) program as part of the provincial strategy to align training with in-demand occupations that support the provincial economy.

Campus Plan info session

The TRU Community Trust (TRUCT) held a public information session at TRU on May 9 to present and answer questions about its campus development applications: a zoning amendment, Official Community Plan amendment, and phased development agreement. TRUCT will also present at a public hearing at city council on May 17.

New education programs approved

The BC Teacher's Council at the Ministry of Advanced Education has approved both the BEd Trades and Technology and the BEd STEM (secondary) streams, for TRU graduates of these programs to receive professional teaching credentials. The BEd STEM must still go through the Degree Quality Assessment Board (DQAB) quality assurance process.

Teaming up for Trash Bash

The Office of Environment and Sustainability hosted the 19th annual Trash Bash on May 12. Participating teams competed for prizes as they cleaned up campus, and made pledges to learn more about sustainability.

Learning in our digital world

The annual Open Learning Faculty Member Workshop on May 13 and 14 welcomed faculty from around BC for a dinner and keynote by EdTech entrepreneur Donald Clark, followed by a brand session, roundtables and workshops.



Barbara Buckley, Nursing, is part of a team led by UBC-O that won a Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) Planning Grant of $20,000 for their study, "The Entrepreneurial Activities of Citizen-Led Coalitions in Supporting Rural Older Adults in Healthcare: Developing a Research Agenda”.

Cathy Hall-Patch, Animal Health Technology, was named 2016 Veterinary Technologist of the Year by the BC Veterinary Technologists Association for her outstanding contribution to the profession and association.

Brian Mackay, IT Services, was selected as a 2015-2016 top large business Chief Information Officer for Info-Tech Research Group's CIO Awards, for ranking in 20th place on Business Vision, in the 90th percentile among all participating CIOs.

Richard Frimpong Oppong, Law, was elected a Fellow of the Ghana Academy of Arts and Sciences, Ghana's premier academy. He shares the honour with former UN Secretary General Dr. Kofi Annan, and His Eminence Peter Kodwo Appiah Turkson, president of the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace at the Vatican.

Credentials Earned

Congratulations to faculty and staff who received their master’s or PhD 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

Tracy Christianson, Nursing: PhD in Health Education, A. T. Still University


Let’s Remember

Robert (Bob) Madden, warehouse supervisor in Purchasing, enjoyed serving student delivery needs at Open Learning in Burnaby for many years and was the first to sign up for the move to TRU in Kamloops. A well-known figure on his early morning deliveries around campus, he was a big man with a big heart. He always rolled up his sleeves to help, and shared his love of music, fishing and family with his colleagues.

Rajeev Ravulapalli was a former student in the Graduate Certificate in Business Administration program. A dedicated student with a passion for accounting, he was on a path to a Master of Business Administration. Outside of his academic life, he enjoyed reading, music and movies, and was a fan of field hockey, soccer and cricket. He was well-liked by his peers.




Krista Lussier, Nursing, Brenda Smith, Library and Shawn Read, Career Education

Lussier, Krista, Brenda Smith and Shawn Read. “Mentoring the Department Chair: Creating a Community of Support.” Academic Chairpersons Conference. Charleston, SC. Feb. 3-5, 2016.

Margaret Patten and Cindy Piwowar, Early Childhood Education

Patten, Margaret H., and Cindy Piwowar. “I Want To Take Risks and Challenge Myself!” Poster presentation. Association for Childhood Education International (ACEI) Global Summit on Childhood. San Jose, Costa Rica. Mar. 31-Apr. 3, 2016.


Tyler Turner (Post-Doc), Ivan Hartling (BSc student), Jessica Jensen and Jessica Pilfold (technicians), Dipesh Prima, Bruno Cinel and Kingsley Donkor, Physical Sciences; Jonathan Van Hamme and John Church, Biological Sciences

Turner, Tyler D., Ivan Hartling, Jessica Jensen, Jessica L. Pilfold, Dipesh Prema, Jonathan D. Van Hamme, Bruno Cinel, Kingsley K. Donkor, John S. Church. “Fatty acid profile of British Columbia suckler beef.” Canadian Journal of Animal Science. 96 (2016): 91-94.

Ginny Ratsoy, English and Modern Languages

Ratsoy, Ginny R. “The Roles of Canadian Universities in Heterogeneous Third-Age Learning: A Call for Transformation.” Canadian Journal of Higher Education. 46:1 (2016): 76-90.



May 11 through Aug. 17

Horticulture Garden Tours

Delight in a gentle walk among a beautiful array of annuals, perennials, shrubs and trees during free guided tours of TRU’s Horticulture Gardens every Wednesday through Aug. 17.

May 18

High School Chemistry Contest

School District 73 Grade 11 and 12 students are on campus for the annual BC Chemistry Contest.

May 19

Retirement Dinner

The annual reception and dinner honouring this year's retirees from TRU will begin at 6pm at the CAC.

May 20

Williams Lake Commencement

Candidates and graduates will be celebrated at the 2016 Williams Lake Commencement Ceremonies, with a reception afterward on Student Street.

May 20

Williams Lake Long-­term Service Awards

Long-­serving employees will be honoured at an awards ceremony and join the president for a recognition lunch.

May 23

Victoria Day  

Campus is closed for the Victoria Day statutory holiday. 

June 2 - 3

8th Annual Journal of Ethics in Law and Mental Health Conference

TRU hosts the 8th annual Journal of Ethics in Law and Mental Health Conference. This year's theme is Everyday Ethics in Mental Health and Substance Use.

Some staff and faculty from the early days of Cariboo College

June 4

Charter alumni breakfast

Reminisce about the good old days of Cariboo College in the 1970s and ’80s and network with fellow alumni.

June 8 - 10

Spring Convocation 2016

Celebrate convocation with our class of 2016 graduates in five ceremonies over three days. Watch the live broadcast on TRU's Livestream channel.

June 26 - 29

Tourism Conference

The Tourism Education Futures Initiative ninth annual conference is titled "Celebrating the Disruptive Power of Caring". Attendees are coming from at least 11 countries.

July 1

Canada Day

Most campus services are closed for the Canada Day holiday.


Keep the good news coming!

If you would like to share a recent (within the last 6 months) publication*, presentation, external award or other recognition I would like to hear from you. Please send the details to

For publications, please remember to include all authors, the volume, issue, year of publication, and page numbers. For all submissions, please provide your department name. Deadline for submissions for the next President's Report (for the Oct. ## Senate meeting) is Oct. #, 2016.