TRU Medal in Business Administration - Adam Toor. Adam Toor graduates from the Bachelor of Business Administration program with a major in Human Resource Management. Adam was an active student on campus and involved community member. He has been a tutor, peer academic coach and supplemental learning leader and mentor, and a passionate volunteer with Indo-Can society on campus. Off campus, he was involved in coaching youth hockey. One of his TRU highlights was presenting an original project with his peer group at the 50th International Supplemental Instruction Conference in Toronto. Adam’s awards include the TRU Medal in Business Administration, the Alvin and Lydia Grunert School of Business and Economics Scholarship, the TRU Alumni Association Scholarship, the Bruce and Theresa Gysel Bachelor of Business Bursary and the TRU Law Entrance Scholarship. Adam plans to make a career of his passion for social justice, Indigenous education and student success as he begins his first year in the TRU Law program this fall.
TRU Medal in Interdisciplinary Studies - Cameron (Cam) Dalinghaus. Cam Dalinghaus graduates with a Bachelor of Interdisciplinary Studies degree. During the program, he cherished being able to study the intersections of many subjects, including power dynamics, co-governance, Indigenous government and land management, which provide a different perspective on research than western science and traditional academics. Cam also studied in Haida Gwaii, participating in a field school run by the Bamfield Marine Sciences Centre. His dedication and academic achievements as a student were recognized when he received the Learie/Sprott Award. Cam currently serves as the stewardship coordinator and First Nations liaison for the BC Marine Trails, where he collaborates with more than 40 coastal First Nations communities on recreation sites in their territories. He actively leads stewardship activities, including organizing beach cleans, removing invasive species and advocating for public recreational activities.
Governor Gold Medal in Master of Science in Environmental Science - Joseph Chisholm. Joseph Chisholm is a graduate of TRU’s Master of Science in Environmental Science program. Coming from his hometown of Courtenay, Joseph completed an undergraduate honors thesis on moose migration while at UNBC, then came to TRU as a graduate student, where he received the Natural Resource Science Fellowship Award, the BC Graduate Scholarship, the Mitacs Accelerate Fellowship and the Dr. Sherman Jen Graduate Award. Looking back, Joseph enjoyed connecting with fellow TRU students and researchers, and broadening his knowledge of his field through learning from them. After graduation, Joseph plans to pursue a career as a wildlife biologist.
TRU Medal in Health Science - Hayley Laughlin. Hayley Laughlin graduates from the Bachelor of Health Science program. The program’s flexibility allowed her to begin her studies at TRU while working as a rehabilitation assistant in Edmonton, Alberta. She was able to create a healthy work and study balance, while still having the option to take some courses on campus. Hayley found the program broadened her understanding of health and challenged her to learn and grow as a health-care provider. In addition to the TRU Medal in Health Science, she also received the Thompson Rivers University Relocation Scholarship. She has been accepted to study occupational health therapy at the University of Alberta and plans to pursue her dream of serving rural and isolated communities.
TRU Medal in Natural Resource Science - Jared Frasca. Jared Frasca enjoyed the hands-on experiences in Natural Resource Science and the close relationships he formed with peers and faculty. As a research assistant, he conducted site restoration research with Dr. Lauchlan Fraser's grassland ecology lab for two years, with funding from TRU and the National Sciences and Engineering Research Council. His many other awards include the Pacific Forest Foundation Scholarship. In the fall of 2022, he volunteered at the McQueen Lake Environmental Education Centre, helping teach basic forest ecology, forestry techniques and forest fire-fighting knowledge to elementary and high school students. He is currently a firefighter with the BC Wildfire Service in the Cariboo.
TRU Medal in Nursing - Jennaya Motokado. Jennaya Motokado graduates from the Bachelor of Science in Nursing program and has been recognized for her academic success with the TRU President’s Entrance Scholarship, BC District Scholarship, BC Provincial Achievement Scholarship and the Mildred Lee Memorial Nursing Scholarship, in addition to the TRU Medal in Nursing. Jennaya was an undergraduate research assistant and member of the student teacher advisory group. Her involvement extends into the community through her volunteer work at the Marjorie Willoughby Snowden Memorial Hospice. Jennaya looks forward to working in the neuroscience and trauma unit at Royal Inland Hospital and plans to pursue further education in the health-care field.
TRU Medal in Journalism - Josh Dawson. Josh Dawson left his hometown of Prince George to pursue not one, but two degrees at TRU. Throughout his studies in both the Bachelor of Journalism and Bachelor of Arts programs, Josh enjoyed exploring many of his interests and building his skills in areas including literature, creative writing, photography and design principles. Over the course of his time at TRU, Josh received the Wiseman Family Scholarship, the Douglas Morelli Memorial Bursary and the Journalism Faculty Scholarship. In his final semester, Josh obtained a part-time position at Castanet Kamloops, which allowed him to learn the ins and outs of the industry while working in a local newsroom. Josh will continue to work as a full-time reporter with Castanet Kamloops after graduation.
TRU Medal in Tourism Management - Kyle Stephens. Kyle Stephens graduates with a Bachelor of Tourism Management degree. During the program, he enjoyed the camaraderie with fellow students and the continued mentorship from select instructors. Kyle spent three years as a work-study student, supporting the Adventure Studies Department’s equipment bay. In his final year, he transitioned to a staff role as equipment bay attendant where he hired and helped mentor another adventure studies student. Kyle’s awards include the Rescue Canada Adventure Award, the Peter Thompson Spirit of Adventure Award and the Learie/Sprott Adventure Tourism Award. He is currently working with Canadian River Expeditions, guiding multi-day river expeditions in northern Canada alongside other TRU alumni. Kyle looks forward to gaining valuable nature-based tourism work experience, both domestically and internationally, before committing to graduate school.
TRU Medal in Fine Arts - Larissa Beatty. Larissa Beatty enjoyed the welcoming community environment that the Bachelor of Fine Arts program provided. Both students and faculty were encouraging and friendly. In 2022, she was grateful to receive the Fred Billows Memorial Scholarship for visual arts students. A highlight of Larissa’s time at TRU was her graduating class exhibition at the TRU Art Gallery, in which she displayed her photography work from her final year of study. Next fall, she will begin the Bachelor of Education program at TRU in hopes of teaching lower elementary school in future.
TRU Medal in Education - Lauren Davis. Lauren Davis found her passion for teaching in 2021, entering the Bachelor of Education right after completing a Bachelor of Arts with a major in sociology and minor in English. Lauren revelled in the program’s discussion-based classes because they created an inclusive environment for learning and provided an opportunity to share ideas, hear others’ diverse perspectives and have in-depth conversations. That supportive space enabled her to approach her ten-week certification practicum with an open, inclusive mindset that allowed all her students to thrive. She has applied to work in School District 73 with high hopes that she can begin teaching this September.
TRU Medal in Social Work - Marie Kaluza. Marie Kaluza graduates with a Bachelor of Social Work degree. During the program, she enjoyed being surrounded by faculty and students who were passionate about this field of work and appreciated learning how to develop an anti-oppressive, more critical and self-reflective lens towards social justice issues. During her second year, Marie worked in social services, completing her co-op at a youth shelter. Her awards include the President's Entrance Scholarship, the BC Provincial Achievement Scholarship and the Shaver Scholarship. She is currently working with community members experiencing housing insecurity or who are unhoused – specifically youth and individuals leaving the corrections system to find and maintain housing. Marie also volunteers at a supportive housing building and women’s shelter, where she runs a crocheting and knitting club. She hopes to return to her studies and complete her Master of Social Work degree after gaining more job specific work experience.
TRU Medal in Technology - Matthew Fisher. Matthew Fisher graduates from Open Learning’s Bachelor of Technology, Trades and Technology Leadership program. While pursuing his degree, he enjoyed the camaraderie with fellow students and appreciated the program leaders and instructors who encouraged, inspired and mentored him. During the program, Matthew benefited from learning about the importance of leadership in a changing workplace environment. He also appreciated how each unique course provided him with valuable knowledge, skills and experience to draw from in the future. Currently working as a firefighter, Matthew looks forward to continuing his studies.
Governor General's Academic Collegiate Bronze Medal - Natasha Barrow. Natasha Barrow’s determination to work at a veterinary clinic while completing her Veterinary Technology Diploma allowed her to gain hands-on experience in her field. While studying through Open Learning, she was able to continue working as a veterinary assistant and technician at Queen’s Park Pet Hospital in New Westminster. Prior to working in the veterinary field, Natasha completed her Bachelor of Business Administration at Simon Fraser University. She received the Royal Canin Distance Education Award, which recognized her strong work ethic and excellent academic standing. After graduating, Natasha will continue to work with small animals in the veterinary field.
Law Society of British Columbia Gold Medal - Pardeep Birak. His passion for policy, debate and advocacy led Pardeep Birak to pursue an education in law. Pardeep approached each opportunity to research, write and moot about law with gusto. An involved student, he assisted a youth advocacy organization focused on eliminating youth homelessness through Pro Bono Students Canada and represented TRU Law as an oralist at the 2022 Philip C. Jessup moot competition. In his final year, Pardeep co-founded the Thompson Rivers University Law Review and served as its inaugural editor-in-chief. With the support of his family, Pardeep excelled academically achieving the Dean’s List in all three years of law school and received multiple course prizes. He was also awarded the Doug Eastwood K.C. MacLean Law Scholarship for demonstrating professionalism and community involvement. After articling at Fasken LLP in Vancouver, Pardeep will clerk at the British Columbia Supreme Court.
Lieutenant Governor's Medal - Priscila Rojas Fernandez. Priscila Rojas Fernandez’s journey through her Bachelor of Social Work was one of self-discovery and personal growth. During her studies, she participated in three undergraduate research projects looking into: the learning outcomes of the child welfare specialization program; a feasibility study for a local immigration partnership; and the effects of moral injury on child welfare professionals. When Priscila wasn’t devoting her time to research projects, she could be found meeting with student peers to discuss and explore narrative therapy or volunteering at Kamloops Immigration Services. With the support of great instructors who soon became mentors, Priscila excelled academically achieving Dean’s List status from 2021 to 2023. Her academic prowess also led to her receiving the Irving K. Barber Scholarship. While Priscila has already begun her career in Indigenous child welfare, she plans to return to school and work towards receiving her Master’s in Clinical Social Work.
TRU Medal in Commerce - Rabey Husini. Rabey Husini graduates with a Bachelor of Commerce degree. While developing the skills and confidence needed to become an effective leader, he appreciated the interdisciplinary and flexible nature of the program. During his studies, Rabey had the privilege of volunteering at an orphanage in Ulsan, South Korea, where he assisted students with disabilities and helped children overcome challenges and develop life skills. He was inspired by the resilience and determination of those facing adversity, gaining valuable insight into how they met challenges head-on. Rabey looks forward to furthering his studies as he works towards a Master of Business Administration and possibly a law degree.
TRU Medal in General Studies - Rebecca Grace Jaccard. Rebecca Grace Jaccard graduates from the Bachelor of General Studies program, where she gained a deep appreciation for the small cohorts and hands-on practicum experiences. She enjoyed the close-knit community of students and faculty fostered within the program, allowing her to forge lifelong friendships. Throughout her studies, Rebecca actively volunteered in elementary school classrooms, where she relished engaging with children. Her classroom experiences further developed her understanding of elementary education and solidified her passion for becoming an elementary school teacher. Rebecca looks forward to exploring her interests in administrative services and special education while pursuing her Master of Education this fall.
TRU Medal in Science - Ryan Ficocelli. Ryan Ficocelli graduates with a Bachelor of Science in Computing Science and Mathematics. Intellectually curious, he enjoyed learning how the theoretical aspects of the mathematics courses could be applied to solve practical issues in the computer science courses. Ryan appreciated the program’s flexibility while gaining a solid working knowledge in both disciplines. He completed two co-op placements during the program, working with a web scraping software company. The hands-on experience included collecting and processing social media data in order to generate a machine learning model that could identify misinformation. Ryan’s awards include the TRU Foundation Undergraduate Achievement Scholarship, the iCompass Innovation Excellence Scholarship and the Computing Science Upper Level Scholarship. He looks forward to bringing his skills, knowledge and experience to his new position with the British Columbia Lottery Corporation.
TRU Medal in Arts - Siobhan Toal. Siobhan Toal graduates with a Bachelor of Arts degree, with a major in English and minor in political science. A well-respected and well-recognized player on the women’s volleyball team, she was nominated for the prestigious Dr. Roger H. Barnsley Female Scholar Athlete of the Year award in 2022 and in 2023. Siobhan’s hard work, focus and commitment on the volleyball court were also seen in the classroom, achieving the U Sports Academic All-Canadian status every year since 2018. She was a Pack ACademic Edge leader and a supplemental learning leader for the psychology department from 2021 to 2023. Siobhan also achieved Dean’s List status from 2019 to 2023 and was awarded the Les Koritz Memorial Merit Reward in 2022. She looks forward to furthering her studies as a law student this fall at the University of British Columbia.
TRU Medal in Computing Science - Stephanie Petrone. Stephanie Petrone’s analytical mind and curiousity for complex systems led her to the field of computer science. After dabbling in different majors, she discovered that a Bachelor of Computing Science would provide her with the abstract theoretical knowledge and practical skills she desired. Stephanie enjoyed progressing from writing her first line of code to applying the theory she learned in the creation of software and analytical solutions. Stephanie is a recipient of the Irving K. Barber Women in Technology Scholarship and a member of Women in Cybersecurity. Currently working as an analyst in cybersecurity, Stephanie strives to help more women excel in STEM fields.
Governor General’s Academic Silver Medal - Talia Smith. Talia Smith credits faculty mentoring and real-world experience through the co-op program for much of her academic success in the Bachelor of Computing Science degree program. After completing five co-op work terms, she gained a variety of experience working as a full-stack developer, a junior software developer and a member of a technology innovation co-op team. Talia has received much recognition for her hard work including the TRU Leadership Entrance, Alumni Association and Fulton Scholarships, the BC Provincial Achievement Scholarship Voucher, the iCompass Innovation Excellence Scholarship and the Computing Science Upper Level Scholarship. Upon graduating, Talia will work in Vancouver as a technical analyst in the gaming and casino department at BCLC. She also plans to pursue a Master of Business Administration and fulfill her long-term career goal of becoming a project manager.
Governor General’s Gold Medal: Bhavithry Sen Puliparambil. Bhavithry Sen Puliparambil graduates with a Master of Science in Data Science, a degree she credits for broadening her academic and career prospects. Most of all, she loved learning about data in biology and life science and leveraging it with machine learning. She completed a series of multidisciplinary projects, such as using compartment epidemic modelling to compare COVID-19 cases in British Columbia and Manitoba and studying the economic equilibrium of oligopolistic competition. She was a founding member of the TRU Data Science Club and worked as a graduate research assistant and a teaching assistant. She also created the first open graduate thesis template coded in latex for TRU on Overleaf. She was a technology volunteer for the Special Olympics World Games in Abu Dhabi in 2019 and a volunteer for the Blue Cross of India. She received research funding from Dr Jabed Tomal and Dr Yan Yan with the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada grant and the TRU Internal Research Fund. She presented her research on single-cell RNA sequencing data at the RECOMB CG 2022 conference. Bhavithry currently works at TRU as a research associate and plans to complete a PhD in bioinformatics.
Governor General’s Silver Academic Medal: Seth Keenan. Seth Keenan graduates with a Bachelor of Science degree in Chemistry. Seth was extensively involved in research during his undergraduate degree, publishing two papers and working with Dr. Kingsley Donkor, Dr. Yana Nec and Dr. Nelaine MoraDiez. He also volunteered for the TRU Chemistry 11 Contest in 2019. Seth received the Shaver Scholarship in 2018, the TRU Foundation Undergraduate Academic Scholarship and the Moe Granger Chemistry Prize in 2020, the TRU Canadian Society for Chemistry Silver Medal in 2021 and the Ken Lepin Award for Academic Achievement in Science in 2021. He received an NSERC-CGSM award, which he will put towards his PhD studies in chemistry at the University of British Columbia in September.
Governor General’s Academic Medal (Collegiate Bronze): Shaine Marx Arandia. Shaine Marx Arandia graduates from the Veterinary Technology Open Learning Diploma program. By completing the program through distance and online courses, he was able to work while gaining his credential, and appreciated the opportunity to apply his new skills on the job. After graduation, Shaine intends to continue working as a veterinary technologist at an emergency veterinary hospital in Vancouver, BC.
Lieutenant-Governor's Medal: Keilin Russel Chad Gorman. Keilin Russel Chad Gorman graduates with a Bachelor of Science in Biology. Throughout his degree, Keilin engaged in interdisciplinary collaborations that enriched his studies and fostered meaningful connections with faculty and hands-on research experience. He now considers himself a “scientist in training,” and thanks his experiences at TRU for helping him build his skills and become a more conscientious and caring community member. He completed UREAP and honours projects in microbiology, an advanced research apprenticeship in psychology and was a research assistant. He was involved in the Next Generation Naturalist program through the Kamloops Naturalist Club, served on the Board of Directors and was Alumni Council Coordinator for BC Heritage Fairs, volunteered at the Royal Inland Hospital for five years and participated in TRU’s Research Ambassador program. He received the Ken Lepin Prize of Excellence in Science, Robert Frazier Memorial Award, Rotary Club of Kamloops Daybreak Scholarship and the TRU Foundation Undergraduate Achievement Scholarship. This fall, Keilin begins medical school in the Southern Medical Program at the University of British Columbia’s Okanagan campus. He plans to specialize in internal medicine with a subspecialty in infectious disease and addiction medicine.
TRU Medal in Business Administration: Emily Hogeveen. Emily Hogeveen graduates with a Bachelor of Business Administration degree. She enjoyed learning the diverse aspects of business, from accounting and finance to professional selling and marketing, and appreciated the wholistic approach and advice offered by TRU faculty. Emily appreciated the opportunities to gain an international perspective: she attended a field school in the Netherlands, completed a Co-op work term with TRU World in 2021 and participated in a trip to Spain in May 2022. She also worked as a research assistant in 2019. Throughout her program, she volunteered with Young Life, an international non-profit. Her awards include the TRU Leadership Entrance Scholarship, Kamloops Daybreak Rotary scholarship, Alvin & Lydia Grunert scholarship (2021), Fiscal Realities Economists Award (2022) and the Ken Lepin Outstanding Business Student of the Year award (2022). Emily plans to work for a year and is considering pursuing a master's degree in economics.
TRU Medal in Tourism Management: Amy Ulrich. Amy Ulrich graduates with a Bachelor of Tourism Management degree. She enjoyed meeting people from all over the world and learning how tourism can be a force for positive global change. In her graduating seminar project, she conducted secondary research on pro-poor tourism in Thailand, specifically looking at how tourism that directs profits back to the community has generated social and economic benefits for women over the past 20 years. Amy’s awards include the Alvin & Lydia Grunert in 2019-2020 and 2020-2021, the Peter R. B. Armstrong Award in 2022 and the Ken Lepin Prize of Excellence in Tourism Management in 2022. Amy is working with Tourism Kamloops this summer as a BOLD Street Team member. She plans to pursue a master’s degree in a tourism-related field.
TRU Medal in Arts: Jennie Bui. Jennie Bui graduates with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Communication. The flexibility and diverse course selection of the program helped Jennie discover a joint interest in corporate communication and digital media. She completed a Co-op work term with a local digital marketing firm and served as an undergraduate teaching assistant role in the Journalism, Communication and New Media Department. Jennie, who came to TRU from Haiphong City, Vietnam, volunteered for the TRU Vietnamese Club, which organized the annual Vietnamese New Year Gathering (Tet). She received the Glenn and Mary Martin Scholastic Achievement Scholarship in 2019 and the TRU Foundation Undergraduate Achievement Scholarship in 2020 and 2021. Jennie is currently working as a web and digital marketing coordinator in Kamloops and looks forward to growing her skills in the role before embarking on a master's degree.
TRU Medal in Fine Arts: Elisabeth Allchin. Elisabeth Allchin graduates with a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree. During her program, the supportive faculty and studio spaces at TRU enabled her to experiment with forms and structure, from sculpture to printmaking and video editing. She found a passion for art history, which led to presenting a research paper at the Philosophy, History and Politics Undergraduate Conference in 2020. She was a member of the TRUSU Pride Club and was an Arts Ambassador. She received the Undergraduate Research Coach Program Award in 2018 and 2019, the TRU Visual Arts Award in 2019 and an Undergraduate Research Experience Award Program Scholarship in 2022. She was on the Dean’s List in 2019 and 2020. Elisabeth received a UREAP scholarship and plans to prepare a research project on contemporary art forms. She intends to continue to pursue art in many forms, including as a tattoo artist, and to complete a master’s degree in art history.
TRU Medal in Interdisciplinary Studies: Erin Clarke. Erin Clarke loved the freedom allowed by the Bachelor of Interdisciplinary Studies degree, as the program allowed her to tailor her studies to her interests while exploring a breadth of disciplines– such as exploring the effects of climate change on ski hills in the Canadian Rockies as an undergraduate research project. She worked as a teaching assistant and appreciated the opportunity to learn teaching skills while helping other students with their studies. After graduation, Erin plans to return to Jasper, Alberta to work as a raft guide, and looks forward to applying her new skills to future career opportunities.
TRU Medal in Journalism: Brendan Coulter. Brendan Coulter graduates with a Bachelor of Journalism and a Bachelor of Arts in Communication. Brendan enjoyed the small class sizes and the varied education at TRU, which allowed him to learn a broad range of theory and skills that he feels will serve him in a career in journalism and beyond. Brendan worked as a research assistant, was a contributing writer for TRU’s student newspaper, The Omega, and served as internal promotions coordinator for the Philosophy, History and Politics Undergraduate Conference. After an internship with CBC Kamloops, Brendan was hired as a reporter for a CBC pop-up bureau in the Kootenays and covered the region’s news on all CBC platforms–online, radio and television. He received the McCreath Award for Excellence in Sports Journalism and the TRU Foundation Undergraduate Achievement Scholarship in 2019 and the Journalism Faculty Scholarship in 2021. Brendan is currently working as an associate producer for CBC Radio in Edmonton.
TRU Medal in General Studies: Jake Jensen.
TRU Medal in Education: Alexa Marie Preymak. Alexa Marie Preymak graduates with a Bachelor of Education (Secondary) STEM degree. One of the things she enjoyed most about the STEM Education program was the small class sizes and hands-on support. She also appreciated that the faculty’s lesson plans and activities focused on science; her favourite course was Diversity and Inclusive Education, which she credits for helping her build awareness of diversity in the secondary school classroom and create an inclusive learning environment. Alexa received the Gwenyth Wilson Rudstrom Bursary in2020. She is currently teaching at Westsyde Secondary School and hopes to continue working for School District 73 this September teaching Science and French. Within the next few years, she plans to pursue a master’s degree in counselling.
TRU Medal in Social Work: Trista Lynn Moan. Trista Lynn Moan graduates with a Bachelor of Social Work. Trista appreciated that the program offered critical teachings on contemporary social work practice with a curriculum that emphasized the importance of social justice–she learned to approach social work practice from a trauma-informed, anti-oppressive and decolonizing lens. Her awards include the Alvin & Lydia Grunert Undergraduate Scholarship, the Governor General Collegiate Bronze Academic Medal, the W.W. (Pat) and Helen Stevens Memorial Scholarship, Aramark Award, TRU Assurance Bursary, TRU Foundation–BC Provincial Gaming Fund Open Bursary, TRU Student Union Bursary and the TRU Foundation Open Bursary. Trista is currently working at The Bridge Youth and Family Services Society as a withdrawal management worker. She plans to work in the substance use and mental health field for two years before completing a master’s degree in social work and working as a clinical counsellor.
TRU Medal in Commerce: Austin Madaisky.
TRU Medal in Computing Science: Stefano Zarins Stamato. Stefano Zarins Stamato graduates with a Bachelor of Computing Science degree. Stefano credits TRU’s smaller class sizes for opening doors, as he was able to work with faculty on their research projects and make professional connections. In his own research, he developed models to analyze illegal fishing and other crimes and helped develop the Canadian Undergraduate Research Network (CURN) website. Throughout his degree he was an avid volunteer, assisting non-profits with website optimization, and is currently helping to develop a training program on social entrepreneurship for people with disabilities. His awards include the TRU Undergraduate Research Experience Award (2020), the Rob Horne Memorial Computing Science Scholarship (2020), the TRU Foundation Undergraduate Achievement Scholarship (2021) and an Undergraduate Research Ambassador Award in 2020 and 2021. Stefano is currently a Technical Product Manager at Vivacity Technologies and looks forward to contributing to the growth of a tech industry that will build stronger communities in the BC Interior.
TRU Medal in Natural Resource Science: Michelle Matson. Michelle Matson graduates with a degree in Natural Resource Science. She enjoyed the program’s practical course components and appreciated learning in a tight-knit community of students and faculty. Michelle completed three Co-op work terms and worked in TRU’s Wildlife Lab, which inspired her to apply for UREAP funding to complete her honours thesis on at-risk snakes in the Southern Okanagan. She participated in TRU Toastmasters and is a founding member of the TRU Chapter of the Wildlife Society. Off-campus, she volunteered with Ocean Wise, developing service projects with a focus on ocean literacy and environmental education. Her awards include the TRU Ambassador's Scholarship Entrance Scholarship in 2017, the Shuswap Naturalist Club Award in 2020 and the Hanna Family in Memory of Life Member and Conservationist Glen Hanna Award in 2022. After graduation, Michelle will work as a field technician conducting fisheries research. Looking ahead, she would like to pursue a master’s degree and designation as a registered professional biologist.
TRU Medal in Science: Marina Budden Stefanyk. Marina Budden Stefanyk graduates with a Bachelor of Science in Physics, a discipline she chose for its breadth and scope–she enjoyed tackling concepts that range from the tiniest particle to the entirety of our universe and appreciated TRU’s small class sizes and engaged faculty. During her program, Marina received an NSERC-USRA grant, which she used to study graph theory (specifically graph colourings). The following summer, funded by TRU UREAP, she studied the mathematics of signal decorrelators for an acoustics project. She received the Tom Walton & Roland Cobb Prize in Physics, the Ken Lepin Award for Academic Achievement in Science, the TRU Foundation Undergraduate Achievement Scholarship and the W.W. (Pat) and Helen Stevens Memorial Scholarship. Marina is currently studying particle physics and working toward her master’s degree at the University of Victoria.
TRU Medal in Software Engineering: Lorelei Guidos. Lorelei Guidos graduates with a Bachelor of Engineering in Software Engineering degree. As a graduate in TRU’s inaugural class of software engineers, Lorelei enjoyed engaging with the new curriculum and faculty who were truly dedicated to students’ learning and success. Lorelei worked with the EUReKA! Science Program and served as a teaching assistant in her final year. She completed five Co-op work terms with Raptor Integration Inc., an industrial automation company. She cofounded and served as vice-president of the TRUSU Engineering Club and regularly volunteered at open houses and technology fairs. Her awards include the Ken Lepin Prize of Excellence in Software Engineering, Dr. Sherman Jen Scholarship for Science, Alvin & Lydia Grunert Undergraduate Scholarship, Irving K Barber Women in Technology Scholarship and Rockwell Automation Canada Outstanding Achievement Award. She was on the Dean's List from 2018 to 2022. After graduation, she returns to work at Raptor Integration and will pursue professional engineer (P.Eng) designation.
TRU Medal in Health Science: Tim Milsom. Tim Milsom completed his Bachelor of Health Science degree through online and distance studies while working as a flight paramedic in Yukon Territory. In addition to the flexibility of the program, he enjoyed that the courses challenged the way he perceives the world, from both a social and a scientific perspective–he credits the program with helping him become a better version of himself. During his studies, he volunteered as a medic with Yukon’s Search and Rescue team and helped organize the inaugural 2022 Canadian Paramedicine Research Day Conference. As a resident and a healthcare worker in rural Canada, he has seen firsthand the critical shortage of healthcare and social services in northern communities. His goal is to improve access to healthcare and would like to continue to grow his education and become an anesthesiologist.
TRU Medal in Nursing: Marie-Claire Marshall (she/her). Marie-Claire Marshall graduates with a Bachelor of Science in Nursing and a Global Competency Certificate. Her studies helped her gain a broader perspective on structural inequities and how they interplay with health. Marie-Claire was a research assistant for a study examining breast cancer survivorship in immigrant women and the effectiveness of peer support. She also served as secretary and vice-president of the TRU Nursing Undergraduate Society, co-president of the TRSUSU Blood Club, a member of the TRUSU Pride Club and the Student Teacher Advisory Group and a mentor in the Peer Mentorship Network. She received the Deb Studer Nursing Scholarship, Tony Embleton Scholarship, BC Provincial Achievement Scholarship, BC District Scholarship, TRU Open Scholarship and Robert Frazier Memorial Award. Marie-Claire is currently working in the acute psychiatric unit at Royal Inland Hospital and plans to pursue further education.
TRU Medal in Technology: Kelly Lang.
TRU Medal in Tourism Management: Tia Davison. A gap year spent travelling sparked Tia Davison’s interest in pursuing a Bachelor of Tourism Management. At nine years old, she immigrated to Canada from the UK, and has gone on to visit many countries since. Tia has built plenty of tourism experience, having worked in the events, hospitality and food and beverage industries. Throughout her degree, Tia’s aspirations quickly shifted from a sole desire to travel to a great appreciation for this planet and the benefits of exploring local destinations. She discovered she was especially interested in building and shaping the future of tourism, specifically in regenerative ways. Tia intends to pursue a master’s degree and continue her current role with Eco Escape Travel in destination marketing, promoting responsible, sustainable travel within BC.
TRU Medal in Arts: Madison Burt. Madison Burt graduates with her Bachelor of Arts degree. Focusing on social inequality, Madison’s studies at TRU allowed her to hone her critical thinking skills and knowledge in the areas of sociology and politics. She was able to apply what she learned to her work study research on understanding non-profit capacity within the Thompson Nicola Cariboo region alongside partners Tapestry Evaluation and Strategy and United Way. Taking her commitment to community outside of university walls, Madison volunteered at the local food bank, the Special Olympics program and the Good Samaritan Society. She also served as Director of Events for the Pre-Law club. Her commitment and academic excellence were recognized by her receipt of the TRU Foundation Undergraduate Achievement Scholarship, the Vancouver Foundation Regional Bursary and the BC Provincial Achievement Scholarship. Madison was also included on the Dean's List on four occasions. Upon graduation, Madison plans to work within the community for a year while preparing to take her LSAT. She hopes to attend law school in the Fall of 2022.
TRU Medal in Fine Arts: Carol Schlosar. Carol Schlosar returned to post-secondary education after many years in a rewarding music education and publishing career. Fuelled by an interest in art she had never had time to pursue, Carol commuted three hours from Sicamous several times a week to attend TRU, the ideal setting to build her artistic skills, study art history and explore contemporary aesthetics. She completed a Visual Arts Studio Certificate in 2015 and Visual Arts Diploma in 2019 before receiving her Bachelor of Fine Arts in 2021. During her studies, she served as Chair of the 2020 Exhibition Catalogue Committee and exhibited work in group shows at the TRU Gallery, the Salmon Arm Art Gallery, the Kelowna Art Gallery, the Cube at the Kamloops Art Gallery and in a solo show at Gallery 150 in Sicamous. The mentorship of dedicated TRU faculty members and support of fellow BFA students was invaluable; the highlight of her time at TRU was a joint exhibition curated by Terryl Atkins, “No Time to Say Hello Goodbye.” Carol now plans to explore new ideas, further her art education and produce new work.
TRU Medal in General Studies: Anika Jungheim. Anika Lucy Jungheim pursued her passion to teach elementary students and specialize in special education as a result of the flexible programming offered through her General Studies degree. She was able to use her previously earned credits towards a General Studies degree through Open Learning at TRU, and strategically tackled the remainder of her degree by selecting credits and courses that would support her goal to complete a Bachelor of Elementary Education with TRU. Anika received the Stollery Charitable Foundation Bursary and the Helen MacDonald-Carlson Award for Excellence in Children’s Studies while completing her BEd. She is now a certified teacher working for Kamloops School District #73 and is currently studying to gain her Special Education Certificate through Queen’s University by the Fall 2021.
TRU Medal in Interdisciplinary Studies: Nora Hughes. Nora Hughes enjoyed the diversity of subjects she was able to cover during her TRU Bachelor of Interdisciplinary Studies degree, and the ability to work with different university departments to reach her goal. For her undergraduate thesis, she researched the influence of place and space on the formation of adventure identity using personal reflection, and a photo elicitation method that displayed various images to draw responses. After graduation, Nora plans to begin a career in the adventure tourism industry.
TRU Medal in Journalism: Elizabeth Nygren. A passion for getting to know people and hearing their stories, in their own words, inspired Elizabeth Nygren to pursue a Bachelor of Journalism. Elizabeth shared her unique student experience as a volunteer Future Students Ambassador and wrote for the Omega student newspaper. After a work study position in the Theatre department, Elizabeth discovered she was drawn to artform, and appreciated the creative challenge of promoting shows. This kickstarted her exploration into public relations and marketing. Elizabeth is especially proud to have received the Bradley Munro Memorial Award from the Actors’ Workshop Theatre for her strong work ethic as a stage manager. She plans to return to TRU for a Post-Baccalaureate Diploma in Marketing and is excited to pursue a career in marketing and to continue working with theatre companies.
TRU Medal in Business Administration: Rony Busviah. Rony Busviah graduates with a Bachelor of Business Administration in Finance. Throughout his studies, Rony enriched his learning by including courses on women’s rights, climate change, ethics and Spanish. He further enhanced his university experience by volunteering as a tutor at the Writing Centre and as a content manager at the TEDxTRU 2019 conference, as well as serving as a student representative for the Sustainability Grant Fund Committee and the SoBE Faculty Council. He was also the student speaker at the CFA 18th Annual Forecast Dinner. Hard work gained Rony much recognition including the receipt of the TRU Foundation Undergraduate Achievement Scholarship in 2018 and 2020, the Alvin and Lydia Grunert Undergraduate Scholarship in 2019 and the Micheline Pellerin Scholarship in 2019. Additionally, he was included on the SoBE Dean’s List five times from Fall 2018 to Fall 2020. Upon graduation, Rony hopes to work in the banking or financial industry and gain his Certified Financial Accountant designation.
TRU Medal in Commerce: Patricia Jamieson-Bell. Patty Jamieson-Bell completed her Bachelor of Commerce degree through TRU Open Learning because the program allowed her the flexibility to continue to develop her career as a professional accountant. Her commitment and focus paid off, as she has integrated everything she learned throughout her studies into her career and personal life. It was Patty’s dedication to lifelong learning that inspired her to complete the program while juggling her career as well as her volunteerism, which includes serving as president of her community association, participating as a volunteer board member with FMI Manitoba, and involvement with the Heart and Stroke Foundation. Her ability to work independently and fulfill her many responsibilities has not gone unnoticed: Patty was valedictorian of her CMA graduating class in 2005 and received the CMA TelPay Leadership award. Looking forward, Patty plans to continue her passion for learning by continuing to advance her education.
Governor General's Academic Medal Silver & TRU Medal in Education: Russ Walton. Russ Walton worked as an ecologist for over 30 years. After training many young technicians, a career move was in order: Russ decided to pursue teaching full-time. He first experienced teaching as a co-op student in the 1980s while obtaining a Bachelor of Arts from Carleton University and went on to earn a Master of Science in Biology from the University of Guelph. Pursuing a Bachelor of Education Secondary (STEM) at TRU was a natural next step in his path to teaching. Russ particularly enjoyed the small class sizes at TRU and the emphasis his instructors placed on bringing a diverse range of experiences to the classroom. Russ completed practicums at Chase Secondary School, NorKam Secondary School and Westsyde Secondary School. Since graduation, Russ has enjoyed teaching full-time in Kamloops.
TRU Medal in Social Work: Katie Kokotailo Waterer. Katie Kokotailo Waterer graduates with a Bachelor of Social Work. She credits TRU’s skilled and knowledgeable faculty for delivering high-quality instruction, and for inspiring her to pursue a career supporting people and the community. Since graduating, she has started working with people experiencing homelessness and substance use. When not working, Katie hopes to spend more time outdoors pursuing her hobbies: ski-touring, mountain biking and camping.
Law Society of British Columbia Gold Medal: Paige Mueller. Paige Mueller was inspired by the collegiality of TRU Law to dedicate her time to many student initiatives while completing her Juris Doctor of Laws degree. She was a co-chair of the Society of Law Students Legal Conference, an executive of the Pan-Asian Law Students Society and volunteered with Pro Bono Students Canada. Paige was both a teaching and research assistant, and along with her partner was awarded first place in the UBC Environmental Negotiation Competition. She was an editor of the Canadian Journal of Comparative and Contemporary Law and represented TRU Law at the Wilson Moot on constitutional law issues. Paige was the recipient of both the Douglas Eastwood Q.C. MacLean Scholarship and Baker Newby LLP Scholarship. She was a Dean’s List recipient and was awarded Dean’s Course Prizes in Civil Procedure and Insurance Law. After graduation, Paige will article at Fasken LLP in Vancouver before clerking at the BC Supreme Court.
TRU Medal in Nursing: Abby Swanson. A desire to provide care when people need it most inspired Abby Swanson to pursue a Bachelor of Science in Nursing. She took a keen interest in studying pathophysiology, learning how nurses work with pharmacologists on different diseases and conditions, and practicing how to provide appropriate nursing care for each patient. Abby was awarded the Alan Shaver Scholarship, and spent time in the TRU School of Nursing peer mentorship program. She currently works as a cardiac surgical nurse at St. Paul’s Hospital, with plans to become a cardiac surgery intensive care unit (CSICU) nurse, and eventually a CSICU nurse practitioner. Abby intends to attend graduate school and obtain a PhD. She hopes to teach the health-care workers of tomorrow at the TRU School of Nursing while continuing her nursing practice.
Governor General’s Gold Medal: Claudie Pageau. Claudie Pageau found fulfillment in assisting aspiring students in their scientific research while serving as a teaching assistant throughout her studies in the Master of Science in Environmental Science program at TRU. Throughout her studies, Claudie supervised several undergraduate research students and volunteered part of her summers to conduct scientific field work. Her accomplishments are recognized by the receipt of many awards and scholarships including the British Columbia Graduate Scholarship, the Le Fonds de recherche du Québec – Nature et technologies, as well as TRU’s Environmental Science Fellowship award, the Dr. Sherman Jen Graduate Entrance Award and many ornithological conference presentation awards. Claudie plans to complete her PhD at the Department of Zoology at UBC with funding from an Alexander Graham Bell Canada Graduate Scholarship-Doctoral from the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada. She aspires to become a professor, helming her own research lab and sharing her passion for science with the undergraduate students she mentors.
Governor General’s Collegiate Bronze Medal: Breanna Lansdell. Breanna Lansdell followed her passion for making a difference and advocating for the health and well-being of patients suffering with respiratory illness through the Respiratory Therapy Diploma program at TRU. Her confidence, knowledge and skills grew throughout her clinical placements in Kelowna and Vancouver as well as her involvement in TRU’s COPD clinic. Breanna volunteered weekly at the Pulmonary Rehabilitation Program educating and encouraging COPD patients about how they could improve their quality of life. She also participated in events such as Nicotine Cessation week and volunteered with the Canucks Autism Network in Kamloops. Breanna’s volunteerism and academic achievements were recognized by her receipt of the Alvin and Lydia Grunert Scholarship in 2020. Breanna leaves TRU to work full-time as a Respiratory Therapist at the Royal Columbian Hospital in New Westminster where she hopes to pursue lifelong learning and continue to advocate for patients.
Lieutenant Governor’s Medal: Jessica Beverly Brigitte Guthier. Jessica Beverly Brigitte Guthier pursued a multitude of experiences during her Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree, culminating in a research project focusing on Nursing Students’ Identification of Quality Indicators during a Third-year Summer Preceptorship. She volunteered for the Canadian Nursing Students' Association, serving as Associate Delegate and Treasurer, Community and Public Health Committee Chair and Director of Membership Development; the Nurses and Nurse Practitioners of BC's board, serving as student director; and has also been actively involved in several TRU clubs. Her scholarships and awards include the CEIU, Mildred Lee Memorial Nursing, Alvin and Lydia Grunert and Rotary Daybreak Scholarships as well as the TRUSU Award of Excellence in Student Advocacy, Undergraduate Research Experience Award Program, BCNU Education Bursary and CNF Eaton Foundation award, Global Nursing award and the Arar-Mazigh Award for Social Justice. Jessica is currently working at Royal Inland Hospital and sees her potential in nursing as limitless: she hopes to explore cardiac or critical care, international nursing and public health.
TRU Medal in Natural Resource Science: Erin Bette-Anne Thomsen. Erin Bette-Anne Thomsen enjoyed the diversity and detail her Bachelor of Natural Resource Science degree provided, covering a breadth of subjects that has enabled her to draw connections throughout the natural world. She received the W.H. Stewart Memorial Scholarship, Barbara and Jack Gregson Memorial Award, the TRU Foundation Undergraduate Achievement Scholarship and the Association of BC Forest Professionals Award. During her program, Erin conducted a study on deep ripping timber cut blocks before replanting in order to see how this method of mechanically loosening the soil during site preparation impacts the growth rate and harvest rotation time of lodgepole pine trees. After finishing her undergrad, she’s considering a master’s degree and hopes to continue working for the Ministry of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development to help sustainably manage our forests, and do her part to ensure healthy ecosystems thrive for future generations to enjoy.
TRU Medal in Computing Science: Clarence Malcolm Todd. Clarence Malcolm Todd graduates with a Bachelor of Computing Science degree. During his studies, he found his professors very supportive and appreciated the opportunity to collaborate with several of them on undergraduate research projects funded by the awards he received from the Undergraduate Research Apprenticeship Fund and the Undergraduate Research Experience Award Program. Additionally, Malcolm gained further experience as a Teaching Assistant that included a role with the Computer Science Help Centre, and through a co-op term with Kamloops-based Streamline Transportation Technologies. Finally, Malcolm was part of TRU teams competing in the International Collegiate Programming Challenge in 2018 and 2019. Malcolm is currently pursuing a Master of Science in Computer Science at the University of Saskatchewan, where he’s been awarded the Dean’s Scholarship to continue his education and research in bioinformatics, a subdiscipline of biology and computer science.
TRU Medal in Health Sciences: Sharon Pannu. Sharon Pannu graduates with a Bachelor of Health Science, a program she found flexible and inclusive for students coming from diverse educational backgrounds. During her degree Sharon volunteered with individuals with developmental disabilities, which reminded her of the importance of diversity, inclusion and autonomy in health care. She especially enjoyed learning from experienced faculty members who still brought forward passion and drive for their respective subjects. Sharon appreciated how courses emphasized a holistic approach to health that considers the person as a whole rather than individual concerns. Sharon has her sights set on teaching and is currently pursuing a Bachelor of Education.
TRU Medal in Science: Kyle Hutton. Kyle Hutton’s undergraduate research in human physiology at TRU affirmed his plans for a future career in physiotherapy. He focused his Bachelor of Science in this area and completed a research paper that looked at the effects of prolonged periods of sitting on blood vessel function, as well as a project which measured blood pressure and arterial stiffness in young adults using ultrasound. These academic accomplishments supported his receipt of multiple awards, including the Ken Lepin Award for Academic Achievement in Science, the TRU Chemical Biology Prize and ultimately, the TRU Medal in Science. Kyle plans to journey away from TRU and his hometown of Kamloops to complete a master’s degree in physical therapy in Ontario at either the University of Toronto or Queen’s University in the city of Kingston.
TRU Medal in Tourism Management: Alejandra (Ally) Lizondro Trujillo. For Alejandra (Ally) Lizondro Trujillo, the faculty and students in the Bachelor of Tourism Management program became family, and one of the highlights of her degree was working as a team with her fellow classmates to apply their knowledge to real-life situations. Outside the classroom, Lizondro volunteered at the TRU Bridal Fair and co-presented at the BC Tourism Conference about the advantages of networks between students, educators, and industry players alongside two faculty members and two classmates. She was on the Dean’s List five times and received the Fulton & Company scholarship in 2019. Going forward, Lizondro would like to explore the hospitality and gastronomy aspects of tourism, possibly by starting a catering business or pursuing further studies related to culinary tourism. She also plans to keep an eye on opportunities to leverage technology trends in tourism by embarking on future studies or career opportunities.
TRU Medal in Arts: Jordan Houle. Jordan Houle chose to study a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology at TRU because of the access to quality faculty, and the opportunity to complete undergraduate research in the Brain and Behaviour Laboratory under the mentorship of Dr. Jenni Karl through the Undergraduate Research Experience Award Program (UREAP). Participating in research as an undergraduate student had a significant impact on Houle: his volunteer experience and passion for mental health led him to volunteer as a TRU Wellness Ambassador. Houle received the 2018 Alvin & Lydia Grunert Scholarship, an award for the highest GPA of that academic year. Houle plans to complete a Master of Science of Occupational Therapy from the University of Alberta and go on to a PhD. He intends to work as a clinician and incorporate research into his practice.
TRU Medal in Fine Arts: Marilyn Richards. Lyn Richards pursued a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree after a career as a clinical psychologist. Richards appreciates the opportunity to build strong visual arts skills, the intellectual challenges of art history and theory, the support of faculty members and the camaraderie of fellow students. Most of all, she cherishes the strong friendships she’s made with fellow mature women taking visual art courses at TRU. Assisting with life drawing sessions, mounting a photography exhibition to honour relationships built in her photo classes and volunteering for BFA graduating exhibition openings also kept Richards busy. She was awarded a UREAP scholarship for an ambitious visual art project incorporating audio clips about forests with 10-foot tall trees covered in knitting and felted wool and illuminated using programmable LED strings and microprocessors. She intends to focus on developing her visual art practice and may apply to a Master of Fine Arts program in the future.
TRU Medal in General Studies: Carly DeFoe. Carly DeFoe used her background in outdoor adventure and indigenous studies as a bridge to a future career in teaching through the Bachelor of General Studies. The flexibility of the program meant DeFoe could apply credits from the Adventure Guide Certificate she completed in 2018 toward the degree, allowing her to also complete an Aboriginal Studies Certificate while simultaneously gaining the prerequisites for her Bachelor’s. Throughout her studies, DeFoe conducted research on the intersections of Indigenous and Western physical geography, as well as the history and progression of outdoor education in Canada. She also served as vice president and outdoor guide for the AdventureU Club. DeFoe plans to begin the West Kootenay Teacher's Education Program in Nelson, BC, in preparation for a position teaching social studies and outdoor education. She intends to pursue a Master of Arts in Environmental Education and Communication while teaching.
TRU Medal in Interdisciplinary Studies: Maris Fraser. The Bachelor of Interdisciplinary Studies degree at TRU allowed Maris Fraser to combine her interests in environmental sustainability and adventure tourism and pursue a career that fosters environmental consciousness. Fraser experienced the incredible potential of her passion for outdoor adventure and the environment first-hand through both the Global Competency and Leadership in Environmental Sustainability experiential learning certificates. These certificates offered Fraser formal recognition of both her intercultural and international experiences and her environmental competencies (knowledge, skills, awareness and attitudes of an environmental sustainability citizen). She was able to gain this formal recognition in part due to her interdisciplinary thesis, which involved research exploring the points of intersection and relationship between adventure tourism and environmentalism. Fraser studied how experiences in nature can be a catalyst for protecting it and concluded that participation in outdoor activities and adventure tourism can help evoke environmental stewardship. She plans to pursue a career in the outdoors related to environmental planning.
TRU Medal in Journalism: Farrah Johnson.
TRU Medal in Business Administration: Kennedy Aberdeen. Balancing both her creative and applied passions, Kennedy Aberdeen completed a dual honours degree in accounting and theatre from TRU. She broadened her horizons during second year by studying abroad at Chapman University in Orange County, California. She returned to TRU and became a Study Abroad Ambassador while working towards her Bachelor of Business Administration degree. Throughout her studies, Aberdeen served as a supplemental learning leader, teaching assistant and scribe for the accounting department, president and founder of the TRU Pre-Law Society as well as the designer and presenter of Speak Up and Projection and Performance for the Courtroom, public speaking workshops for undergraduate and law students. Aberdeen also built her dramatic presence by performing in TRU’s production of She Kills Monsters and A Midsummer Night’s Dream. Her hard work earned Aberdeen many accolades, including the Ken Lepin Business Student of the Year Award, Kamloops/Cariboo CPA Chapter Award, KPMG Student Scholars to Business Award, International Mobility Study Abroad Exchange Award and TRU Study Abroad Ambassador Award. She also received the Chartered Professional Accountants' Education Foundation of BC scholarship, TRU Foundation Undergraduate Achievement scholarship and the North Kamloops Rotary/Marvin Stone Memorial Scholarship. Aberdeen plans to pursue her Juris Doctorate.
TRU Medal in Commerce: Logan Williams. Logan Williams came to TRU believing he was headed for a career in medicine. However, his course choices broadened his horizons, and he is now considering becoming a lawyer, largely due to a business law course taught by School of Business faculty member John O’Fee. Logan says O’Fee’s passion for teaching and for learning made the subject matter more interesting. Williams also thanks his teachers Adina Grey, Amy Tucker and Mark Adam for having a similar effect on his thinking. He is now studying for the LSAT law entrance exam and the MCAT medicine entrance exam.
Governor General’s Collegiate Medal: Trista Moan.
Governor General's Gold Medal: Wei Mao. Wei Mao chose to complete her Master of Education at TRU in order to weave her experience in Chinese pedagogy into her approach to Canadian education. Mao is very passionate about teaching and helping others; over the course of her studies, she dedicated many hours as a teaching assistant at the TRU Education Success Centre where she helped students with assignments and writing. She also volunteered as a teaching assistant in various schools and daycares in Kamloops. In March 2020, she was awarded a TRUSU grant to attend and present at the 2020 CSSE [Canadian Society for the Study of Education] conference. Mao also participated in graduate research under the mentorship of Dr. Laura Doan’s peer-mentoring project for Early Childhood Educators in BC, which has been a critical steppingstone in preparing Mao to complete a PhD at Concordia University. Mao plans to devote her career to early childhood education and exploring children’s development and language learning.
TRU Medal in Social Work: Jillian Kathleen Coulter. A passion for social justice led Jillian Coulter to the Bachelor of Social Work program. It was the faculty and her classmates that kept that fire going throughout her studies, to graduation and beyond: she recently moved to Prince George to continue her social work career. While at TRU, she conducted research through TRU’s Undergraduate Research Experience Award Program, and presented at the 2019 Canadian Association for Social Work Education conference, where she received the Outstanding Student Proposal Award. She hopes to publish her findings in an academic journal in the future. Also as a student, she completed a practicum with TRU’s student services, which led to a work study position with them; as a committee member with the Social Work and Human Services Club, she helped plan and coordinate events. Jillian plans to pursue a master’s after acquiring more work experience.
TRU Medal in Education: Maria Niiro-Foster. An inspiring cultural experience working oversees through the Japan Exchange and Teaching (JET) Programme led Maria Niiro-Foster to pursue a Bachelor of Education at TRU. While the first-hand experience of Japan’s educational methodology influenced Niiro-Foster to continue her education, it was TRU’s small classes and hands-on experiences that provided her with all of the tools required to succeed as a teacher. She completed her practicums at the Kamloops School of the Arts, Juniper Ridge Elementary and St. Ann's Academy. Throughout her studies, Niiro-Foster volunteered with the Kamloops Japanese Canadian Association, assisting in numerous language courses, festivals and fundraising events. She was also a recipient of the Jim Totten Scholarship. With initial plans to work as a teacher, Niiro-Foster will continue her studies by completing a master’s degree in either education or public health.
Law Society of British Columbia Gold Medal: Heather Maki.
TRU Medal in Nursing: Victoria Dean. A desire to help people in times of uncertainty and make a positive impact on her community led Victoria Dean to the Bachelor of Science in Nursing program and into a career that is in demand. Just weeks out of school and she is already applying her degree at Cariboo Memorial Hospital in her hometown of Williams Lake. A recipient of the Williams Lake TRU Grit Entrance Award and the Ken and Maureen Lepin Prize of Excellence in Nursing, Victoria also served for two years as the student liaison for the School of Nursing at TRU’s Williams Lake campus. In July, she will start a line in the maternity unit, where she will complete her perinatal nursing specialty that she began while completing her degree. Future plans are to also obtain her speciality in neonatal intensive care. Outside of nursing, she intends to travel with her husband and three children, to read a lot, snowboard, bike and to practice yoga every day. Victoria wishes to extend gratitude and acknowledge all the staff at Cariboo Memorial Hospital and TRU, as well as her nursing cohort, who have contributed to her growth as a nurse.
TRU Medal in Natural Resource Science and Governor General's Academic Medal (Silver): Tara Salm. Tara Salm developed a passion for conservation and preservation of the natural world early on. Both her parents worked in the natural resource field and taught Salm the importance of understanding how things are connected. Salm knew she wanted to take her passion for understanding ecology into a career in natural resource management. She received several scholarships, including the TRU Foundation Undergraduate Achievement Scholarship, Dr. Sherman Jen Scholarship for Science, Shaver Scholarship and SISCO Scholarship. Salm has plans to continue in her current role working for the B.C. Ministry of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development (FLNRORD) in Kamloops for the summer and beyond. Salm hopes to have a career path that involves the stewardship and management of our lands, in a way that is sustainable for both the environment and economy.
TRU Medal in Computing Science: Kieran Haberstock. Thanks to study abroad, Kieran Haberstock was able to combine his interest in computing science with his passion for travelling. He spent the summer and fall semesters of 2016 completing a co-op in Vancouver, a study abroad semester in Barcelona in the winter of 2018 and another in South Korea in the fall of 2019. Kieran received two Irving K Barber One World International scholarships and a Rob Horne Memorial Computing Science Scholarship. As a member of the TRU Computer Science Club, he spent two semesters as a member of its board. Other highlights from his time at TRU include the committed and dedicated faculty and the friends he made, adding that it was the people he met who made his time at TRU amazing and memorable. After graduation, Haberstock plans to work as a software developer and resume travelling once COVID-19 restrictions are lifted.
TRU Medal in Health Sciences: Laura McIsaac. With a background in competitive skiing, Laura McIsaac has applied her passion for mountain sports to her career path. She built upon her experience as a rehabilitation assistant by completing her Bachelor of Health Science at TRU. The flexibility of the program allowed McIsaac to further advance her applied skills as she was able to work towards her degree while travelling throughout western Canada and the United States to provide race and training support for a semi-professional mountain bike athlete. She also gained valuable hands-on experience as a volunteer with Whistler Adaptive Sports where she assisted in both alpine ski and mountain bike lessons for athletes with various physical and cognitive disabilities. McIsaac has successfully bridged her passion for mountain sports with a future career in rehabilitation. Next, she plans to pursue a Master of Science in Physical Therapy at the University of Alberta beginning in July 2020.
TRU Medal in Science: Tyrell Desrochers. Tyrell Desrochers chose to complete his Bachelor of Science at TRU because small class sizes made it possible to build real friendships and cultivate a supportive community. Helping others is important to Desrochers. He spent time volunteering at Royal Inland Hospital in the Emergency Department and for the BC Special Olympics Floor Hockey team. He sought to expand his horizons and spent a semester studying at Ho Chi Minh International University in Vietnam where he focused on full immersion in local cultural traditions. Living as a local was important to Desrochers; he spent most of his time participating in non-tourist activities. Desrochers received a TRU Entrance Scholarship and a CN Rail Undergraduate Scholarship. After graduation, he plans to write the Dental Admission Test with the hopes of eventually being accepted into the University of British Columbia’s dental program.
Governor General’s Academic Medal (Gold): Stephanie Winton. Stephanie Winton chose TRU’s Master of Science in Environmental Science program because she could conduct her own research on the impact of road mortality on Western rattlesnake populations in the Okanagan Valley. She has presented the results of her research nationally and internationally, and has published one article, with two more under review. Winton volunteers with wildlife conservation organizations, including the BC Wildlife Park and the Burrowing Owl Conservation Society of BC. She is dedicated to building a career that focuses on conservation and research, specifically as it relates to at-risk species.
Governor General’s Academic Medal (Silver) and TRU Medal in Social Work: Robert Long. Robert Long is driven by a desire for social change. This led him to be a part of on-campus volunteer opportunities, such as working with the sexualized violence education initiative and the development of a men’s discussion group focused on masculinity and social justice. He assisted with two research projects, one on social work education in Latin America and another on older men’s masculinity. His dedication to learning and community earned him Dr. Sherman Jen and Shaver scholarships, and the Harrison English Prize. He is currently working in the wilderness therapy field and is interested in learning more about developing class consciousness in Canada.
Lieutenant-Governor's Medal: Crystal Becker. Crystal Becker brought an enthusiasm to the Education Assistant/Community Support Certificate program that came from her deep personal mission to promote acceptance and belonging. A mature student and mother of three, Becker knew returning to school would have its challenges. But, she also knew creating strong connections with classmates and instructors would be a powerful way to cope. Her passion for building people up extends to involvement in her children’s school and sports teams. An advocate for the concept of free play, she is connected with an international charity called Playground Builders, which creates play spaces in war-torn areas.
TRU Medal in Arts: Madelaine Morton. Madelaine Morton enjoyed a close working relationship with supportive and encouraging instructors during her Bachelor of Arts Psychology Honours program. She was part of the Undergraduate Research Experience Award Program and an undergraduate research assistant and ambassador, exploring how people regulate emotions in the face of regret and providing research information to students. She was a student wellness ambassador and a teaching assistant for numerous psychology courses. Morton received the Foundation Undergraduate Achievement Scholarship and the TRU Arts Merit Award. She plans to take a year off after graduation to work before pursuing a master’s in clinical psychology.
TRU Medal in Business Administration: Lucas Treadwell. Lucas Treadwell majored in finance because of the skills he learned during hands-on projects that analyzed corporate financial statements and valued corporate equities. He completed his first co-op with TD Canada Trust during his third year and recently landed a full-time position as a personal banking associate with TD. While at TRU, he received several scholarships and founded the TRU Trading Club with other classmates. The club hosted competitions where students traded bonds and equities against each other in simulated environments. Treadwell plans to continue in banking while writing his Chartered Financial Analyst exams.
TRU Medal in Commerce: Lauren Friess. Lauren Friess proved it’s never too late to continue your education, as she graduated with a Bachelor in Human Resources 20 years after graduating high school. The flexibility of taking classes online and on-campus gave her the time to look after her family while still participating in campus life. In completing her degree, Friess is grateful for the support she received from her husband, children and family, along with faculty and advisors. Once she handed in her final assignment, she landed a job with the New Afton Mine as a human resources assistant.
TRU Medal in Education: Magalie Levasseur. Magalie Levasseur brings a different approach to teaching thanks to her previous engineering career. While she enjoyed the problem-solving and creative aspects of engineering, she wanted a deeper connection with her community and saw teaching as a great opportunity. During her practicum, she built on students’ curiosity in technology by exploring subjects such as artificial intelligence, which they got to see in action on a tour of Highland Valley Copper. Her plans include working for Kamloops-Thompson School District No. 73, earning a master’s in education and getting in as much mountain biking and skiing as possible with her family.
TRU Medal in Fine Arts: Elizabeth Sigalet. Elizabeth Sigalet returned to school after being an engineer to pursue a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree at TRU. She became involved in co-ordinating the Life Drawing Sessions, where she engaged models to be active participants in choosing poses. Sigalet also organized an exhibition of Life Drawing works by students and community artists. Two of her works that were on display in the fine arts graduation exhibition were purchased and added to TRU’s permanent collection. This year, Sigalet represented TRU in the BMO 1st Art! Invitational Student Art Competition. After graduation, she plans to get involved with the Kamloops Printmakers Society.
TRU Medal in General Studies: Erin Noel. Erin Noel was grateful that her Open Learning General Studies program was flexible and that she could transfer many previously earned credits toward a degree. She worked on campus under the Library’s student employment program and volunteered as a wayfinder at Royal Inland Hospital. She was honoured to receive the Mary Crabbe Memorial Bursary, which recognizes student leader skills. She hopes to research how rural communities cope with the uncertainty of the future of their health-care services. This fall, she is starting a Certificate in Rural Nursing and has a long-term vision to get her master’s degree.
TRU Medal in Health Science: Joshua Pound. Joshua Pound is passionate about health sciences. Working on the front lines as a paramedic, he was motivated to pursue a career that supports community-based reach projects. In 2016, his research was published in the medical journal, Prehospital Emergency Care. This success drove him to further his education by completing the Bachelor of Health Science at TRU. Pound now has his sights set on a master’s degree in prehospital care.
TRU Medal in Interdisciplinary Studies: Samantha Horner. Interdisciplinary studies was a perfect fit for Samantha Horner, as it allowed her to take a wide range of courses while concentrating in architecture and its impact on the environment and human lives. She studied abroad in Tasmania for one winter term and volunteered with the SPCA and Kamloops Arts Council. Academically, she won the Fiscal Realities Economists Award, TRU Arts Merit Award, One World International Scholarship and the TRU Foundation Undergraduate Achievement Scholarship (twice). She was nominated three times for the Alvin & Lydia Grunert Undergraduate Scholarship. After taking a year off to work, Horner plans on pursuing her Master of Architecture degree.
TRU Medal in Journalism: Carlee Robbins. Carlee Robbins moved from the Lower Mainland to TRU to study journalism. She demonstrated her academic strengths by winning the BC District Scholarship and Interior Savings Life-Long Learning Bursary. She worked with faculty who met her project ideas with enthusiasm and discovered her strengths and creativity. Robbins spearheaded the Student Life Collective website and interned with Techtronic Industries Canada. She has returned home to look for work in digital marketing and public relations, with a plan to use her skills in organizations that help people understand others with neurological disabilities like ADHD and autism.
TRU Medal in Natural Resource Science: Aaron Mann. Aaron Mann believes in protecting our natural environment. His passion led him to excel in the Bachelor of Natural Resource Management, while being involved in teaching others the importance of caring for and protecting the environment. Mann volunteered at the McQueen Lake Environmental Education Centre and was a TRU sustainability ambassador. He received the W.H. Stewart Memorial and the 1993 World Fly Fishing Championship scholarships, and the Shuswap Naturalist Club Award. Mann continues to be a champion for environmental rights and has been accepted into the University of Alberta’s Faculty of Law, where he aims to obtain a Juris Doctor and pursue environmental law.
TRU Medal in Nursing: Hannah Groves. Hannah Groves enjoyed her Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree placements as they gave her a chance to explore various specializations and different health authorities. During her program, she worked as an undergraduate teaching assistant for the School of Nursing and as a student nurse for Fraser Health Authority. She handled communication as a student-dean liaison committee representative and worked on a Canada 150+ Grant community project with the Kamloops ASK Wellness Society. Groves has accepted a position with the Nanaimo Regional General Hospital’s Emergency department, where she plans to complete her emergency nursing specialty before pursuing international nursing experiences and potentially graduate studies.
TRU Medal in Science: Peter Termote. Peter Termote was born in Belgium in 1964. After graduate studies at Harvard University, he embarked on a remarkable business career that included time as executive vice-president in business development at a multinational company in Asia and CEO of a Thai power company with listing on the stock exchange. After retiring at 51, he felt it was time to find a hobby. His passion for mathematics and physics and his exceptional work played a role in earning this award and the Tom Walton and Roland Cobb Prize in Physics. On his horizon is graduate studies in physics, following a year-long break.
TRU Medal in Tourism Management: Fauve Garson. Fauve Garson is graduating with her Bachelor of Tourism Management degree. She was a research assistant and coach, and conducted independent research through the Undergraduate Research Experience Award Program. An avid volunteer on and off campus—and a member of the Professional Convention Management Association—she participated in her faculty’s dean search committee, thrice made the Dean’s List and won Best Student Research Paper at a tourism conference in South Africa. Garson received the Research-Informed Learning, Shaver, TOTA Tourism Excellence and Wells Gray Tours scholarships as well as the Ken Lepin Award of Excellence. She hopes to study sustainability in the tourism industry after pursuing graduate studies in environmental science.
Law Society of British Columbia Gold Medal: Oliver Verenca. Oliver Verenca was inspired by his law colleagues and instructors, but is an inspiration himself. He started a golf club, edited the Canadian Journal of Comparative and Contemporary Law, represented TRU at the Hockey Arbitration Competition of Canada and acted as a mentor. He researched for faculty, worked as a teaching assistant and was a student clinician at the Community Legal Clinic. He also received numerous awards: eight Dean’s Course Prizes, the Ken Lepin Prize of Excellence in Law, the Norma Quinn Memorial Prize in Real Estate Law, the Alvin and Lydia Grunert Undergraduate Scholarship, the Guild Yule LLP Advocacy Prize and First Year Moot Prize, the Law Foundation of BC Entrance Scholarship, the Fulton and Company Law Entrance Award and the Dean’s List.
Governor General’s Academic Medal (Gold): Hilary Hamilton. Hilary Hamilton is a graduate of TRU’s Master of Science in Environmental Science who enjoyed her program’s flexibility to study in different areas of the province, providing new opportunities for research projects. Currently a science educator with Halifax’s Discovery Centre, she hopes to continue expanding her experience in environmental education. She received both the Ken Lepin and the Western Canadian Universities Marine Sciences Society Graduate Student Awards. Volunteering throughout her master’s program, she built an educational resource database and increased ocean literacy for the Canadian Network for Ocean Education, and taught place-based environmental science for the World Fisheries Trust.
Governor General’s Academic Medal (Silver) and TRU Medal in Science: Tanna Lauriente. Tanna Lauriente worked closely with faculty and peers during her Bachelor of Science honours program to hone her critical thinking skills. She coached biology and chemistry students—and mentored new leaders—as a Supplemental Learning leader, and volunteered in faculty member Naowarat (Ann) Cheeptham’s microbiology lab. Her research for her honours thesis was supported by awards from the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada and the Undergraduate Research Experience Award Program. The Ken Lepin Award for Academic Achievements in Science and the TRU Foundation Undergraduate Achievement Scholarship are her latest accolades, and she has been accepted into UBC’s School of Medicine.
Governor General’s Academic Medal (Collegiate Bronze): Jonathan Naslund. Jonathan Naslund’s background in biological sciences made the Respiratory Therapy program an excellent next step. He enjoyed the practical aspect of his learning through volunteer and practicum opportunities, and was able to work in multiple locations in BC in his practicum placements and on campus at the Sleep Center Clinic. He has obtained a full-time position as a respiratory therapist in New Westminster, BC, and hopes to one day grow his career through graduate studies or management/educator positions. He was nominated for the Alvin and Lydia Grunert Scholarship, and received the TB Vets Charitable Foundation Award in 2016 and 2017, a TRU Foundation Undergraduate Scholarship and the Imogen’s Award.
Lieutenant-Governor’s Medal: Samantha Bauche-Ballan. Samantha Bauche-Ballan worked on her family’s Chub Lake Ranch during her Applied Sustainable Ranching certificate studies. The program strengthened her understanding of grassland ecosystems and taught her about multi-species grazing for pasture improvement and ecosystem protection. Her strong connection to the 100 Mile House and Williams Lake communities also played a big role in shaping her agricultural values and goals. In 2017, she served as a forest-fire evacuations volunteer. She won the Bill Freding Memorial Award, Federation of BC Woodlot Associations’ Scholarship and Credit Union Foundation of BC Bursary last year. She aspires to apply her new skills to diversify and build an environmentally, socially and financially sustainable farm.
TRU Medal in Arts: Alexis Wilson. Alexis Wilson is a graduate of the Bachelor of Arts in honours psychology program, whose undergraduate research is published in Experimental Brain Research, and under review for Motivation and Emotion. She was a Supplemental Learning leader and mentor, and student representative for the Undergraduate Research Experience Award Program committee. Working at the Wellness Centre for two years, she delivered campus-wide outreach programs and volunteered on various health initiatives. An Undergraduate Research Ambassador whose awards abound, her highlight reel includes the Ken Lepin Prize of Excellence in the Bachelor of Arts and an Undergraduate Student Research Award from the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council.
TRU Medal in Business Administration: Marcus Randt. Marcus Randt enjoyed continuing his education at TRU as he found it offered a unique and detailed look into business and management, and challenged him academically. He volunteered with the TRU Sustainability Club as an ambassador, organizing and administering a survey to continue to improve the sustainability efforts on campus, as well as with the Heart and Stroke Foundation. He is currently working for the City of Surrey in the Engineering Operations Department and looks forward to new opportunities for professional advancement, and to pursuing graduate studies. His academic achievements include Dean’s List recognition, a CIBC Bursary, the Ray Fuoco Memorial Scholarship and the IndoCanLinks School of Business Scholarship.
TRU Medal in Commerce: Matthew Hannay. Matthew Hannay is a graduate of Open Learning’s Bachelor of Commerce degree program and most enjoyed his program’s flexibility and accommodating nature. This, paired with excellent support from his instructors, enabled him to study and write exams while abroad as well as in various Canadian locations. He received the Canadian Millennium Excellence Award during his prerequisite studies at the British Columbia Institute of Technology and volunteers his time as treasurer for an indoor rock climbing cooperative in Squamish. Matthew plans to continue working towards his Chartered Professional Accountant designation after graduation, while pursuing a career in tax and public accounting.
TRU Medal in Computing Science: Russell Walton. Russell Walton was drawn to the Bachelor of Computing Science degree so he could join the computing revolution that is reshaping the world and creating opportunities in every industry. Before TRU he studied sound design at the Vancouver Film School. His TRU highlights include meeting a diverse group of people and learning new ways of thinking, working a co-op term as a junior developer with ideaLEVER Solutions, conducting undergraduate research that looked at virtual reality in the decision-making process and receiving the Computing Science Upper Level Scholarship. This past December he was hired by the City of Kamloops as a programmer analyst.
TRU Medal in Education: Kathleen (Kathy) Cruz. Kathleen (Kathy) Cruz was inspired to pursue a career in teaching and a Bachelor of Education in part by her father, Ken Johnson, who taught high school science for nearly 30 years. Time as a work study student for the Early Childhood Education department and volunteering off-campus teaching children’s Sunday school helped Cruz prepare for work in the classroom. With two small children at home, time management was difficult. But, support from her family and husband David eased the workload. Cruz was awarded the Kathryn McNaughton Scholarship in her second year of studies, was hired in a teaching position within a week of graduation and would like to someday obtain a Master of Education.
TRU Medal in Fine Arts: Rose Prevost. Rose Prevost enjoyed how flexibility and creativity were encouraged in the Bachelor of Fine Arts program at TRU. She also found the professors to include practical teaching on the professional aspects of being an artist. Her awards include the Ted Harris Foundation Award, the Fred Billows Memorial Award, the Mitchell Zawaduk Memorial Award and the Kamloops Blazers Education Society Faculty of Arts Scholarship. Rose has a background in health care, and will be using this experience and her education in fine arts to work with a brain injury group located on Vancouver Island, making art with their clients.
TRU Medal in General Studies: Britt Langereis. Britt Langereis exults in new learning opportunities. A graduate of Open Learning’s Bachelor of General Studies, what she enjoyed most about her program were its flexibility and the wide range of courses it offered. During her studies, she volunteered for the non-profit organization People in Motion and was also a kickboxing instructor at Kix 4 Chix. She was awarded the TRU President’s Entrance Scholarship, the Alvin and Lydia Grunert Entrance Scholarship, the TRU Foundation Undergraduate Achievement Scholarship and a TRU Foundation Open Bursary, for which she expresses gratitude for making her education possible. She has been accepted into the Master of Occupational Therapy program at UBC.
TRU Medal in Health Science: Megan Wyszynski. Megan Wyszynski, a graduate of Open Learning’s Bachelor of Health Science, most enjoyed her program’s flexibility. It allowed her to maintain her professional practice as a registered massage therapist and her athletic participation as a marathoner. She also enjoyed the multiculturalism and diversity she experienced and feels privileged to have had the chance to interact with classmates from differing cultures and healthcare professions, all working toward a common goal. She completed the program via distance from her hometown, Ottawa. Recently, she accepted a public service position with Health Canada and would like to pursue a master’s degree in public health.
TRU Medal in Interdisciplinary Studies: Jonathan Davis. Jonathan Davis chose Interdisciplinary Studies to pursue aviation-related research while building on his adventuring skills. Under a focus of expedition leadership, he took courses in arts and sciences, which led to numerous experiential opportunities. These include president of TRU Aerospace Club, advocating for First Nations initiatives and volunteering at Cplul’kw’ten (the Gathering Place), conducting research through TRU’s Undergraduate Research Experience Award Program, and being appointed to a research group with Transport Canada’s General Aviation Flight Safety Campaign. Now a working pilot in his home province of Newfoundland, his goals include graduate studies in medicinetoward serving Canada’s remote North, and furthering the safety and standards of non-professional pilots.
TRU Medal in Journalism: Martin McFarlane. Martin McFarlane has enjoyed the many opportunities for work experience on and off campus. He has been very involved in the TRU community as part of the campus radio station, The Omega student newspaper and the Writing Centre. He studied abroad and worked as a Study Abroad Ambassador, as it was one of the most impactful experiences in his education. Currently working for an education-focused marketing agency in Victoria, BC, he hopes to pursue graduate studies in the future. His awards include the Faculty of Arts Meritorious Ambassador Award, the Journalism Faculty Scholarship, the Reader’s Digest of Canada Scholarship, and Most Well-Spoken Delegate at the 2017 TRU Model United Nations.
TRU Medal in Natural Resource Science: Valerie Law. Valerie Law was drawn to the Natural Resource Science program out of a love for learning about the intricacies of ecosystems. She received a TRU Leadership Entrance Scholarship in 2012 and continued on to represent TRU at the 2013 International Forestry Student Symposium in Spain, publish research on squirrels in 2016, receive Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council funding to study threatened snake species in 2017, and win TRU’s inaugural In a Nutshell thesis competition in March. With the TRU Eco Club, she served as campaigns coordinator and as president. She will study French this summer in Quebec before looking for work in her field.
TRU Medal in Nursing: Hanna Elizabeth Hansen Lowing. Hanna Elizabeth Hansen Lowing was inspired to complete a Bachelor of Science in Nursing by several family members with careers in health care. Moving from Yellowknife, NWT to Kamloops put her outside her comfort zone, which gave her a deeper understanding and interest in the health care system. In third year, she experienced the developing world during an international placement in Samoa. Other accomplishments while at TRU include being recognized with the Jan E. Shand Memorial bursary and volunteering with Special Olympics as an assistant basketball coach. Her goal is to work as a registered nurse in her hometown of Yellowknife.
TRU Medal in Social Work: Danielle Choptian. Danielle Choptian knew she wanted to help people struggling with chronic pain and diseases, and that desire led her to social work. She sees this medal as an acknowledgement of the hard work she poured into her academic studies, and a nod to the support from TRU. She is grateful for the steady guidance from professors and to her parents for their ongoing support. She most enjoyed the program’s focus on critical thinking and emphasis on social justice. Currently supporting recovery efforts for 2017 BC wildfire victims as a safety and wellbeing advisor for the Canadian Red Cross, she plans to pursue a master’s in social work.
TRU Medal in Technology: Gaudenzio Volpe. Gaudenzio Volpe says that technology education often sets aside writing skills and business knowledge to make room for technical and industry-specific knowledge. However, as a graduate of Open Learning’s Bachelor of Technology program, he appreciates that his program provided him with the practical writing, critical thinking and decision-making skills he needed to become well-rounded. Already a technologist in a demanding job as a senior project manager, a father of two and having many interests beyond work, he enjoyed learning at his own pace. He has now expanded his project management practice and is contemplating a TRU Master of Business Administration.
TRU Medal in Tourism Management: Madelaine Macassa Jamieson. Madelaine Jamieson chose the Tourism Management program because of her love of travel and adventure. During her studies, she also learned of the global impacts of the tourism industry and strived to become a more critical thinker. In her final semester, she took part in a three-month field school in East Africa where she learned about the complexities of conservation and international development first-hand. She also volunteered in tourism development projects both locally and abroad in Uganda. Through her experiences, she has seen the potential that tourism offers for social change and hopes to use her studies as a means of contributing to a world where tourism teaches, motivates, and inspires people to be more active global citizens.
Law Society of British Columbia Gold Medal: Danielle Charmaine Ching. Danielle Charmaine Ching was inspired to pursue law after working as a legal assistant and paralegal in Toronto. After seeing an emotional exchange between a young woman and a prosecutor, she recognized the power law has over ordinary lives and wanted to pursue a career in such a dynamic and challenging field. After joining TRU Law, she continued to develop a love for the law by working as a teaching and research assistant and volunteering with the John Howard Society. She was awarded multiple Dean’s Course prizes and will start work as a judicial law clerk with the BC Supreme Court in New Westminster this fall.
Law Society of British Columbia Gold Medal: Brandon Harrison. Brandon Harrison’s undergraduate studies in criminology ignited an interest in law, and he continued on to pursue a Juris Doctor. He served as a teaching assistant for a course in Legislation, Administration and Policy, was a member of the Faculty of Law’s Oral Advocacy club from 2015 to 2016, and played on the Faculty of Law Soccer Club from 2016 to 2018. He was awarded the Shaver Scholarship in Fall 2016 and won Dean’s Course Prizes in Advanced Legal Research, Conflict of Laws, and Creditors’ Remedies. He says the young, engaging faculty helped his class develop practical and innovative solutions to legal issues.
Governor General’s Gold Medal: Polina Denisova. Polina Denisova was teaching at a university in her home town of Moscow two years ago, and decided to advance her career by pursuing a Master of Education. In her first year at TRU, she won a fellowship to serve as a Graduate Research Mentor for undergraduate research and scholarship, and helped coordinate the 2016 Graduate Research Symposium. She also assisted other graduate students as a tutor in the TRU Writing Centre. Outside her studies, she travelled with the Leisure Explore Activity Program, and organized events with the Russian-speaking club. In the fall, she will begin doctoral studies in educational leadership at the State University of New York.
Governor General’s Academic Medal (Silver) and TRU Medal in Arts: Brayden James Richard Wilson. Brayden Wilson is driven by curiosity, which led him to major in philosophy, gain a political perspective and explore economics and geography. It pushed him into forging strong and valued working relationships with TRU faculty, and toward winning numerous scholarships and awards, including the Alvin and Lydia Grunert Scholarship, the Ken Lepin Award of Excellence in the Arts and the Undergraduate Research Experience Award Program. After two co-op programs, undergraduate research projects and work-study positions, Wilson plans to take a year off from academic life before starting a graduate program in the fall of 2018.
TRU Medal in Business Administration: Christian Woolley. Christian Woolley has followed in the footsteps of his parents, both chartered accountants, completing his Bachelor of Business Administration in accounting. During his studies, he worked as a bartender and banquet server on campus, and later as a server at Match Pub. He received the Alvin and Lydia Grunert Scholarship in 2015, and the Outstanding Business Student of the Year Award, the KPMG Student to Business Scholarship and the Daley and Co. Accounting Scholarship in 2016. He began his accounting career at KPMG Kamloops in January and has started working towards obtaining his Chartered Professional Accountant designation.
TRU Medal in Computing Science: Mitchell Hentges. Mitchell Hentges was drawn to computing science by his fascination with technology. A desire to apply his learning outside the classroom led him to join the TRU Computer Science Club, where he created a campaign using internet memes to promote the club’s support lab services. He then spent the winter of 2016 on a study abroad semester in Sweden and enjoyed the experience so much, he would like to move there one day. His awards include the Computing Science Upper Level Scholarship, the Irving K. Barber One World International Scholarship and the ISACA – Vancouver Chapter Award.
TRU Medal in Education: Alli Patterson. Alli Patterson has had a longstanding desire to work with children and give back to the community, which made education a natural fit. Encouragement from her aunt, who teaches children with special needs, convinced Patterson that becoming a teacher was the right path. TRU recognized her academic success and leadership potential with an Alvin and Lydia Grunert Scholarship in 2016 and a Ken Lepin Award of Excellence in 2017. She has received several other bursaries while at TRU. Hired recently by School District 73 as a teacher on call, she is hopeful to be hired full time.
TRU Medal in Fine Arts: Garnet Dirksen. Garnet Dirksen has always been interested in visual art, and dedicated himself to the field after his second year of studies. He has since participated in many research opportunities, including the Undergraduate Research Experience Award Program, the Knowledge Makers Indigenous Research Award program and the Research Ambassador program. Additionally, he has contributed as a research assistant to several faculty members’ projects. He received TRU entrance scholarships, the Kamloops Blazers Scholarship and the Fred Billows Memorial Scholarship. After graduation, he will attend Concordia University's Master of Fine Arts program in photography. He plans to continue working as an artist while teaching at a post-secondary institution.
TRU Medal in Health Science: Kristy Hamada. Kristy Hamada started her career as a Respiratory Therapist and was drawn to the health sciences because of a desire to broaden her understanding of the Canadian health care system and effect change through health policy. Her passion for knowledge and career advancement is evident through her list of accomplishments, including winning the Vancouver Coastal Health award for Excellence in Leadership and Professional Practice. Hamada currently works at Vancouver General Hospital in the role of anesthesia clinical assistant, staff educator, with plans to possibly complete a master’s degree in the future.
Medal in Interdisciplinary Studies: Petermax Neumann. Petermax (Pate) Neumann chose the Bachelor of Interdisciplinary Studies program because it allowed him to focus his degree in adventure business and entrepreneurship, while earning credit for his work experience and personal initiatives. Neumann blazed a few trails of his own, founding the TRU AdventureU Outdoor Club and researching conflict resolution strategies for multi-use trail systems. His research is being presented at a mountain bike symposium this fall. His academic accomplishments include the Undergraduate Research Experience Award Program, the Mary Martin Scholastic Achievement Scholarship, the Raymond and Marigold Patterson Bursary and the Learie/Sprott Award.
TRU Medal in Journalism: Alison Karlene Hodgins. Alison Hodgins came to TRU to pursue journalism with dreams of becoming a travel writer. During her studies, she secured an internship working for My Passion Media, a Vancouver-based company that publishes several magazines including Canadian Traveller and Explore magazine. In her final year, she took the opportunity to study abroad in Seoul, South Korea and travelled to Japan and the Philippines where she continued to write. She has been accepted into the Master of Fine Arts in Creative Nonfiction at the University of King's College in Halifax, where she looks forward to exploring the east coast while continuing to publish articles about her travels.
Medal in Natural Resource Science: Jennifer Petersen. Jennifer Petersen’s love of the outdoors and a drive to create a more sustainable world inspired her to take the Natural Resource Science program. She has built on her education by applying her learning to her summer jobs, working in industries such as forestry. The program has also taken her down a unique road of research that involved judging the age of snakes by closely examining their vertebrae. She has received a number of awards, including the Shuswap Naturalist Club Award, the TRU Foundation Undergraduate Achievement Scholarship and the W.W. (Pat) and Helen Stevens Memorial Scholarship.
TRU Medal in Nursing: Kaitlyn Harding. Kaitlyn Harding was inspired to go into nursing to help people through tough times in their lives. During her four years at TRU she was dedicated to serving her community, participating in events such as the Coldest Night of the Year program and Bell Let’s Talk mental health campaign. An athlete on the WolfPack women’s soccer team, she received the 2017 Cliff Neufeld Leadership Award. For her academic excellence, she was awarded a TRU Ambassador’s Entrance Scholarship, the Dr. Stella Black Scholarship, an Alvin and Lydia Grunert Scholarship and a 2017 Ken and Maureen Lepin Prize of Excellence in Nursing.
TRU Medal in Science: Kurtis Manke. Kurtis Manke was drawn to physics because it consistently challenged his thinking and gave him a greater understanding of the world. His undergraduate research on optimization algorithms led to a published paper. He also spent a summer co-op term working on a dark matter detection experiment at SNOLAB, an underground clean lab in Sudbury, ON. He recently worked with faculty member Dr. Richard Taylor on an acoustics project using a new speaker array. Manke won the Tom Walton and Roland Cobb Prize in Physics, the Robert Frazier Memorial Award and an NSERC-USRA research grant. He plans to take time off before attending graduate school.
TTRU Medal in Social Work: Kaitlyn O’Toole. Kaitlyn O’Toole was drawn to social work for its potential to effect change, ask hard questions and inspire deep conversations. During her studies, she amassed a lengthy resumé. She has worked as a research assistant, apprenticed with the Critical Cross-Border Conversations Research Group, facilitated community workshops and co-presented at conferences at TRU and beyond. In her final practicum, she was accepted into a six-month professional development program for non-profit leaders with the United Way Public Policy Institute. O’Toole is currently working in a remote community coordinating a community justice program. Next year she plans to pursue a Master of Social Work in Indigenous social policy.
TRU Medal in Tourism: Jessica Politewicz. Jessica Politewicz is an outdoor adventure enthusiast with a passion for business and marketing, for whom the adventure studies major in the Bachelor of Tourism Management program was a natural fit. During her studies, she helped develop and facilitate the TRU AdventureU Outdoor Club, which enables students to demonstrate leadership through multi-activity adventures offered to the entire student body. In 2015, she received the Thompson Okanagan Tourism Association Tourism Excellence Scholarship. She is currently a manager and whitewater raft guide for an adventure tourism operator in the Kootenay region, and plans to pursue a Master of Tourism Management with hopes of becoming a leading entrepreneur in adventure tourism.
Law Society of British Columbia Gold Medal: Simon Meijers. Simon Meijers chose law because he wanted a career that would be interesting and continually present new challenges and opportunities. During his studies, he enjoyed the practical aspect of learning about the law, participating in the 2016 Wilson Moot and the 2017 MacIntyre Cup Moots. He was also an editor of the Canadian Journal of Comparative and Contemporary Law in 2016/17. His awards include the Shaver Scholarship, the TRU Law Second Year Scholarship and numerous course prizes. In September, he will begin clerking at the British Columbia Supreme Court in New Westminster, and following that, he will be articling with the Department of Justice in Vancouver.
Governor General’s Collegiate Bronze Medal: Chantelle Burton. Chantelle Burton is an animal rescuer from Victoria, BC, driven to make life better for all creatures. She chose TRU’s Animal Health Technology program because of its excellent reputation, online program and graduate employment rate. Entering the program as a mature student working in a veterinary clinic, her passion for pets spurred her to her goal. Burton’s accomplishments include the Bayer Parasite Solutions Award, the Wiley-Blackwell Laboratory Procedures Book Award and the VSPN Continued Learning Award. In the future, she plans on attending veterinary school or specializing in anaesthesia.
Governor General’s Academic Medal (Silver), TRU Medal in Arts and TRU Medal in Education: Tonia Lambert. Tonia Lambert began her career with the federal government, but guided by her passion to make a difference in the lives of others, she left her government position to return to university in TRU’s Bachelor of Education program. Her greatest highlight was being in classes with professors who openly shared their passions and ignited her interests. They encouraged her to think critically, participate in thoughtful conversations and create positive change. Her future plans are to help make this world a better place by working closely with people who have been traditionally excluded, and encouraging them to meet their desired human potential.
TRU Medal in Business Administration: Sydney Heichert. Sydney Heichert knew since high school that she wanted to become an accountant. She began the Bachelor of Business Administration program on a President’s Entrance Scholarship, and went on to receive more awards including the KPMG Student Scholars to Business Award, two Daley & Company accounting scholarships, two CPA Education Foundation scholarships and the KPMG Aboriginal Scholarship. Winning first place at the 2014/15 Western Canada Chartered Professional Accountant Case Competition with teammate Faline Lidstone was a highlight of her third year. She began her accounting career at KPMG in Kamloops in January 2016 and is working on her Chartered Professional Accountant designation.
TRU Medal in Commerce: Mitchell Smith. Mitch Smith went to Olds College in Alberta for two years, then transferred to TRU to complete the remaining two years of his Bachelor of Commerce degree. Currently working at Porter Hetu International in Drumheller, Alberta, he will be starting the Chartered Professional Accountant (CPA) certification program in September and hopes to one day run his own accountancy office. In his spare time, he enjoys snowboarding, wakeboarding and playing basketball.
TRU Medal in Computing Science: Christopher Foster. Christopher Foster started programming in grade six so entering the Computing Science program felt like a natural next step. He was president of the Computer Science Club, was actively involved in the Kamloops Innovation Centre, and was an organizer for Startup Weekend Kamloops. He participated in four research projects, some of which were presented at the TRU and UBCO Undergraduate Research Conferences. Currently working full-time at Memoryleaf Media Inc., a local software development company, he has received an NSERC award and will start his master's at the University of Victoria in the fall, studying artificial intelligence and machine learning. He is also training for Ironman 2017.
TRU Medal in Fine Arts: Maeghan Watkinson. Maeghan Watkinson began her Bachelor of Fine Arts after high school in Williams Lake. She received an Undergraduate Research Experience Award Program (UREAP) award during the summer of 2015, and participated in TRU's Undergraduate Research Conference in 2016, both relating to her graduation exhibition documenting the ranching lifestyle in BC. She travelled to the US to participate in SCGI printmaking conferences in 2014 and 2015, and also went to the 2014 Association of Writers and Writing Programs Conference. She intends to complete a Bachelor of Education to be a high school art teacher, and will continue working as an artist. She would also like to own her own ranch.
TRU Medal in Health Science: Emily McNeil-Smith. Emily McNeil-Smith graduated from the Westcoast College of Massage Therapy in 2013 and has been working as a registered massage therapist at a multidisciplinary sports medicine clinic for the past two years. Completing her Bachelor of Health Science will allow her to pursue a Master of Science in rehabilitation medicine, physiotherapy or possibly public health. She lives in Vancouver with her partner, and they enjoy kayaking, hiking and other outdoors activities. She is also a ballet teacher and is looking forward to teaching again now that her Health Science degree is completed.
TRU Medal in Interdisciplinary Studies: Breann Erickson. Breann (“Bre”) Erickson has focused her Interdisciplinary Studies program on leadership development, human resource management and psychology. A full-time gymnastics coach, a skier and a climber with a love for travel, she has lived by three words: balance, opportunity and effort. Balancing her time, she travelled, studied, spent time with friends, worked and made her time at university an opportunity, not a race. In spring 2015 she prepared a team of gymnasts to represent Canada on a world stage, and was recognized for her efforts as the Provincial Leader of the year by Gymnastics BC.
TRU Medal in Journalism: Jessica Messerer-Trosin. Jessica Messerer-Trosin graduated from Sa-Hali Secondary in Kamloops and entered the Bachelor of Journalism program in 2011. Throughout her studies, she enjoyed volunteering and working in the TRU Writing Centre. She is now working in her hometown and writing articles for The Connector. She plans to travel in the next few years and hopes to eventually become an academic advisor to help students on their education journey.
TRU Medal in Natural Resource Science: Aaren Ritchie-Bonar. Aaren Ritchie-Bonar began her studies with a Regional Entrance Scholarship, and went on to receive several awards including the Micheline Pellerine Scholarship, the Mutual Fire Insurance Scholarship and the Barbara and Jack Gregson Memorial Award. A Study Abroad Ambassador for the past two years, she spent winter 2014 at the University of Belize, joining its women’s soccer team to play in the Central American University Games. In April she presented a poster on her honours research at the International Association of Wildland Fires Conference in Portland, Oregon. She is working for the BC Ministry of Environment as an aquatic invasive species inspector for the summer.
TRU Medal in Nursing: Chelsea McShane. Chelsea McShane completed her Social Service Worker Certificate and worked as a community support worker until 2011, when her daughter was born. She then returned to school in the Bachelor of Science in Nursing program. In 2015 she received the Alvin and Lydia Grunert Scholarship for top undergraduate student in her faculty. Nursing has been a family affair—she graduates this June with her sister and study buddy Carly Roberts. Her grandmother and great aunt also attended nursing school and graduated together. She is now employed as a community and home health nurse and working on establishing her career.
TRU Medal in Science: Taiysa Worsfold. Taiysa Worsfold began her Bachelor of Science on a TRU Ambassador Scholarship and joined the WolfPack in 2011. She was the poster athlete for women’s basketball in her final season, named Canada West first team all-star and Canadian Interuniversity Sport (CIS) academic all-Canadian. She received the Alvin and Lydia Grunert Scholarship for top academic athlete in 2015. She was a TRU PACE program leader and a brand ambassador, and volunteered extensively. This summer she is working for the Regional District of North Okanagan on the invasive plant control crew, and in the fall plans to volunteer abroad in health care before applying for medical school.
TRU Medal in Social Work: Jenny Nielsen. Jenny Neilsen balanced academic excellence in her Bachelor of Social Work program with parenting her three children. During her social work studies, she had the opportunity to take part in an international field school in Cuba. She also completed field placements within Splatsin First Nation and Interior Health Authority. She is presently employed as a registered social worker within Interior Health, as well as a crisis intervention worker for the Salmon Arm women’s shelter. She has been accepted into a Master of Counselling Psychology and Art Therapy program at Adler University’s Vancouver campus in the fall.
TRU Medal in Technology: Christopher Sundquist. Christopher completed the Engineering Design and Drafting Technology program at UCC in 2004, and started the Bachelor of Technology Leadership program in 2012 in response to labour market needs for technical and project management positions. He did all of his recent schooling online while working in a variety of communities—Kamloops, Kelowna and Penticton—and recently found steady employment at Allnorth Consultants Ltd. in Prince George, where he works on major civil, mechanical and industrial projects. Most of his spare time is spent with his wife and kids while updating their recently purchased home, and he has begun working towards his Bachelor of Arts degree.
TRU Medal in Tourism Management: Justin Matulionis. Justin Matulionis has met many new friends while completing his Bachelor of Tourism Management, including during a semester of study abroad at Southern Cross University in Australia. He was nominated for the Alvin and Lydia Grunert Scholarship in second and third year, and received the Fulton and Company Scholarship in his fourth year. This summer he is enjoying working at Treetop Flyers, a local adventure operation. He is pursuing a career in the tourism industry with a focus on adventure activities, and eventually intends to start up a small business of his own.
Law Society of British Columbia Gold Medal: Cole Rodocker. Cole Rodocker received a Bachelor of Arts in English from UBC Okanagan before obtaining his Juris Doctor from TRU. Consistently among the top students throughout his years at TRU, he made the Dean’s List in his second and third year and received numerous Dean’s Course Prizes, awarded for achieving the highest mark in a course. In addition, he has received over $35,000 is scholarships and awards, including the Alvin and Lydia Grunert Scholarship in Law, ScotiaBank Course Prize in Business Associations, Norma Quinn Memorial Prize in Law for Real Estate, TRU Law Scholarship, and TRU Law Second Year Scholarship.
Governor General’s Academic Gold Medal: Aaron Coelho. Aaron Coelho completed his Bachelor of Science at TRU in 2008, and recently completed his Master of Science in Environmental Science. He also held a teaching assistant position in first- and second-year biology labs. His research included field work in the Lac du Bois grasslands, and presentations at the Society for Range Management conferences in 2013 and 2014 and at the Pacific Northwest Section Workshop in 2014. He finished second in TRU’s Three Minute Thesis Competition in 2014. He is currently working as an environmental consultant for Urban Systems Ltd., and is planning to obtain the designation of Professional Agrologist.
Governor General’s Academic Medal (Collegiate Bronze): Robert Long. Robert Long appreciated the opportunities to work closely with his instructors in the Human Service Diploma program. Highlights include hosting a radio show on campus station CFBX and presenting research on alcohol abuse at the Undergraduate Research Conference. He is currently working at an adventure-based wilderness treatment center near Rocky Mountain House, Alberta. In the future, he plans to attain a Bachelor of Social Work and Master of Social Work to learn more about social and solidarity economics as they relate to social services in underserved communities. His long-term goal is to improve the social service system in remote northern communities.
Lieutenant-Governor’s Medal: Sarah Gjaltema. Sarah Gjaltema began the Education Assistant and Community Support Certificate program in September 2015. She was the class representative and provided peer support. With a passion for helping others, she has been involved with the United Way, the MS Society and Literacy Kamloops, and this year coached softball for the Kamloops Special Olympics. She is an integral part of the parent advisory council for her son’s school, and a frequent volunteer. Through TRU World she also hosted students from around the globe. She looks forward to a position as an education assistant in Kamloops, and would like to eventually become a special education teacher.
Governor General’s Academic Medal (Gold): Julie Schooling. Julie Schooling graduated from the University of Toronto with both a Bachelor of Science and a Bachelor of Landscape Architecture. After working as a Landscape Architect and Scientific Publications Editor, Julie enrolled first in University of Victoria’s Restoration of Natural Systems program then in the Master of Science in Environmental Science program at TRU.
Julie and thesis supervisor Darryl Carlyle-Moses secured more than $60,000 in funding for their urban hydrology research, including a two-year NSERC Industrial Post-graduate Scholarship and more than $20,000 in grants. Nine student research assistants were hired with these funds, gaining field and lab experience and making substantial contributions to the project.
Interim and final results have been presented at conferences of the Canadian Water Resources Association, Canadian Geophysical Union, American Geophysical Union, and Association of American Geographers as well as to municipalities and members of the BC Society of Landscape Architects. Scientific articles have been published in Urban Ecosystems and Hydrological Processes, and Julie applies the study’s findings in her Kamloops-based role as a Landscape Architect with McElhanney Consulting Services Ltd.
Governor General’s Academic Medal (Silver): Nicole Vance. Nicole Vance graduated from Westsyde Secondary in 2010, when she received a Governor General’s Bronze Academic Medal.
Nicole completed the TRU Bachelor of Arts program, majoring in Psychology and minoring in English. Under the supervision of Dr. Sandra Vermeulen, Nicole completed an honours thesis project, where she examined public perceptions of criminal offenders. Nicole received the Alvin and Lydia Grunert Scholarship in 2013.
During her degree program, Nicole also worked as a Supplemental Learning Leader for developmental psychology for two years, attended the Association for Psychological Science Convention in San Francisco, and presented at the TRU Undergraduate Research and Innovation Conference. She has also received several book prizes from the English department.
Nicole currently works at Berwick on the Park and spends some of her free time playing trumpet in the Kamloops Big Band. She plans to travel and then pursue further education in the field of psychology.
Governor General’s Academic Medal (Collegiate Bronze): Janine Reid. Janine Reid was born and raised in South Africa. After high school, she completed a Bachelor of Science honours degree in Human Kinetics at Rhodes University in Grahamstown, South Africa.
She moved with her husband to Vancouver and enrolled in the Animal Health Technology distance education program at TRU which she completed in December 2014, then passed the Veterinary Technician National Exam in April of this year.
One of the highlights of Janine’s time at TRU was attending the week long “wet lab” in Kamloops last August. Because she had been in a distance program, she appreciated meeting classmates and instructors in person. It was also wonderful to actually see the TRU campus. During the week on campus she was honoured to receive two awards — the Royal Canin Award for Excellence in Nursing, and the British Columbian Veterinary Technician Association Award.
Janine is currently employed as a Registered Veterinary Technician at a busy small animal practice in North Vancouver, where she lives with her husband and two pets — a Golden Retriever and a Maine Coon cat.
Janine intends to further her education and become a credentialed Veterinary Technician Specialist in either Clinical Practice, Anesthesia or Emergency and Critical Care.
Lieutenant-Governor’s Medal: Alison McClean. Alison McClean is graduating with a Teaching English as a Second Language certificate. Before completing this post-baccalaureate certificate she obtained a TRU Bachelor of Science with honours degree, majoring in Cellular, Molecular, Microbial biology with a minor in Philosophy.
Alison has participated in a number of research projects, including a directed studies and an honours thesis with Dr. Naowarat (Ann) Cheeptham, as well as being a Research Assistant for Dr. Bruce Baugh and TRU’s Walking Lab.
She received a UREAP award and shared her research results at the TRU Undergraduate Research and Innovation Conference for two consecutive years. Her research has been included in a collaborative effort by students on the topic of C. difficile toxin detection and as a result she is pending publication as a co-author.
Alison visited Chang Mai University in Thailand last year where she assisted in research as an Ethnobotany and Agroforestry volunteer. This international experience peaked her interest in TRU’s Teaching English as a Second Language program and intercultural communication studies.
Alison is very grateful for the TESL faculty’s mentoring and for all the opportunities available at TRU. Alison has been accepted into the Doctor of Pharmacy program at UBC beginning this fall.
TRU Medal in Arts: Nicole Vance. Nicole Vance graduated from Westsyde Secondary in 2010, when she received a Governor General’s Bronze Academic Medal.
Nicole completed the TRU Bachelor of Arts program, majoring in Psychology and minoring in English. Under the supervision of Dr. Sandra Vermeulen, Nicole completed an honours thesis project, where she examined public perceptions of criminal offenders. Nicole received the Alvin and Lydia Grunert Scholarship in 2013.
During her degree program, Nicole also worked as a Supplemental Learning Leader for developmental psychology for two years, attended the Association for Psychological Science Convention in San Francisco, and presented at the TRU Undergraduate Research and Innovation Conference. She has also received several book prizes from the English department.
Nicole currently works at Berwick on the Park and spends some of her free time playing trumpet in the Kamloops Big Band. She plans to travel and then pursue further education in the field of psychology.
TRU Medal in Business Administration. Bianca Dewitt. Bianca Dewitt graduated high school from Salmon Arm Secondary. She was the recipient of the Alvin & Lydia Grunert Scholarship in 2012 and 2014 for highest undergraduate GPA in the School of Business and Economics.
Bianca worked three Co-op terms at BDO and the Co-op program at TRU helped her confirm her career choice. She is currently working as a CPA accounting student at BDO in Salmon Arm and is enrolled in the first module of the CPA program with the aim of obtaining her accounting designation in the next couple of years.
Bianca had the pleasure of being raised on a dairy farm in Sicamous, BC called D Dutchmen Dairy. In the summers she attends local cow shows and enjoys the many ice cream flavours her family’s business produces. Growing up on a dairy farm has taught Bianca the value of hard work and has showed her just how cushy a five-day work week is!
Bianca would like to thank her family and friends for their support during her time at TRU. In addition, she says her professors were exceptional and she appreciates all their effort in making accounting as exciting as possible.
TRU Medal in Computing Science. Gavin Keusch. Gavin Keusch first graduated from TRU with a diploma in Computer Systems Operations and Management in 2006 and won the Rob Horne Memorial Award upon graduating.
The biggest highlight of finishing his Bachelor of Computing Science was participating in the Facebook Open Academy program. Gavin was one of 300 students from all over the world who were accepted to participate in the program in the fall of 2014. He worked on a real world open source project along with an all expenses paid trip to Facebook for four days to meet and work with his team. Gavin’s team included students from MIT and a number of other big name schools. Gavin said it was amazing to see that he can measure up with students from big name schools. Besides, it was an amazing experience and looks great on his resume!
Gavin is currently working in town with a small software company called Datton. He has been there for a year and absolutely loves his job and the people he works with. He feels very fortunate to be recruited before he graduated and didn’t have to look for work upon graduation.
His future plans are to grow his skills as a software engineer at Datton in Kamloops and participate in the success of the company.
TRU Medal in Education. Emma Hall. Emma Hall graduated from Salmon Arm Senior Secondary in 2007. In the fall of 2007 she obtained a Global Teacher of English to Speakers of Other Languages Certificate in Edmonton.
Emma started TRU in the Arts program with a focus on history, geography and anthropology before entering the Education program in 2013.
She volunteered for the Teacher Education Roundtable Conference in May and has been a volunteering with Kamloops Hot Yoga for the past year.
Emma is currently a teacher-on-call with the Kamloops School District and is a sports coach for youth with the City of Kamloops in the summer.
In the next five years, Emma would like to obtain a full-time position as an elementary or high school home economics teacher so that she can buy a house and travel to Europe.
TRU Medal in General Studies: Ian McEwan.
TRU Medal in Health Science: Stacie Cleveland. Stacie Cleveland grew up in northern British Columbia and spent the majority of her time at her grandmother’s farm in Endako, BC. After high school graduation she entered the Dental Hygiene Diploma program at the College of New Caledonia and graduated as a registered dental hygienist in June 2013.
Stacie always knew she was driven to further her education and obtain a bachelor’s degree. Studying through TRU’s open learning allowed this to become a reality. Stacie chose TRU’s Health Science degree program because it allowed her to transfer her diploma and prerequisite credits and to design her timetable with the courses needed to further her education and career goals. She completed her degree in one year while working as a dental hygienist.
Currently Stacie is working in Prince George as a dental hygienist and enjoys volunteering through organizations such as the YMCA. Her dream goal is to become a doctor and she plans to take a year of courses to complete the credits required for application at the University of Northern BC. She hopes her roots in the North will allow her to be a competitive candidate for the Northern Medical Program. If it was not for the Health Sciences program at TRU, she would not be so close to her future goals.
TRU Medal in Journalism: Alexis Stockford. Alexis Stockford came to TRU after graduating from the University of Manitoba with a Bachelor of Arts.
During her time at TRU, she was an Alvin and Lydia Grunert scholarship winner, two- time recipient of the BC & Yukon Community Newspaper Association’s Community Journalism Scholarship and served as news editor for the Omega in her final year. Alexis also assisted with a weekly news program for the campus radio station CFBX as part of the Community News Collective.
Alexis is currently working as a reporter for The Winkler Times, close to her hometown of Altamont, Manitoba. She enjoys covering stories that deal with politics or social justice and hopes to pursue a career as a political reporter.
TRU Medal in Natural Resource Science: Colin Bailey. Colin Bailey graduated from Sahali Secondary in Kamloops and began the Natural Resource Sciences program in September 2010.
He received a TRU Ambassador’s Scholarship, a 1993 World Fly-Fishing Championships Scholarship and a Mutual Fire Insurance Scholarship.
During his degree program, Colin completed a directed studies course at Bamfield Marine Sciences Centre and was awarded a UREAP scholarship for his honours thesis studying the effect of substrate and trout on benthic invertebrates in small lakes near Kamloops. He presented his research poster at the TRU Undergraduate Research Conference.
Colin just returned from the TRU Belize field course and is working as a TRU research assistant for the summer. He will begin graduate studies in salmon ecology at SFU this fall.
TRU Medal in Nursing: Jessica Bauer. Jessica Bauer began TRU’s Bachelor of Science in Nursing program in September 2011 after graduating from North Peace Secondary School in Fort St. John.
She was the recipient of a TRU Leadership Entrance Scholarship and was nominated for the 2014 Alvin and Lydia Grunert Scholarship. She appeared on the Dean’s List for three years.
Jessie is currently working as a Registered Nurse with Interior Health at Royal Inland Hospital in Kamloops.
She has completed specialty education in oncology and aspires to obtain chemotherapy administration certification in the future.
Jessie enjoys reading, running, and sunny days in the shade.
TRU Medal in Science: Ariga Avanessian. Ariga Avanessian graduated from South Kamloops Secondary in 2011 when she received the Governor General’s Bronze Academic Medal.
Ariga also received a TRU Ambassador Scholarship and entered the Bachelor of Science program in Cellular Molecular Microbial Biology. She was also nominated for the Alvin & Lydia Grunert Scholarship in 2013 and 2014.
During her degree program, she undertook research with Dr. Naowarat (Ann) Cheeptham to screen cave bacteria for antimicrobial activity, and collaborated with her on two art shows aimed at bridging the fields of arts and science.
She has been a member of the TRUSU Eco Club throughout her degree program and has earned the certificate for Leadership in Environmental Sustainability.
Ariga has enjoyed learning at TRU as it gave her the opportunity to collaborate with professors who encouraged her growth as a scientist and helped her acquire critical thinking skills.
Ariga will be travelling this summer in her home country of Armenia and exploring the hiking trails in Vancouver. In the fall, she will be entering UBC dental school where she hopes to do research in oral microbiology.
TRU Medal in Social Work: Dennis Froese. Dennis Froese was raised in Abbotsford and Kamloops. He went to Alberta and worked construction before returning to school and attaining a Social Work Diploma from Red Deer College.
He received the President’s Transfer Scholarship from TRU and presented at the 9th Annual Research and Innovation Conference.
Dennis currently works with a Vancouver construction company training and mentoring young people to develop the skills necessary for a rewarding career. His future plans are to expand the business to Victoria, and also to travel Southeast Asia and Lebanon with his beautiful wife.
TRU Medal in Tourism Management: Sarbjit Gill. Sarbjit Gill graduated from Byrne Creek Secondary in Burnaby and has just completed his Bachelor in Tourism Management.
He was the recipient of the TRU Study Abroad Ambassador Scholarship and studied abroad for two semesters: at the University of Botswana and Curtin University in Perth, Australia.
Sarbjit was a student representative on TRU’s Strategic Priorities Advisory Committee.
He received a TRU UREAP award and conducted an original research study on employee retention at Sun Peaks Resort. He is in the process of submitting an article for publishing.
Sarbjit is currently wrapping up a short-term consulting contract with Solimar International — a tourism marketing and development consulting firm based in Washington, DC. He is now focussing on building a business venture which he co-founded with another TRU student — Matthew Paish. The business is called ‘Post Me A Pair’. He will be going on a business trip to Asia and Los Angeles this summer with his business partner.
His future plans are to build and scale a successful business globally, and pursue graduate studies in England or Scotland someday.
Law Society of British Columbia Gold Medal: Lou Hamill. Louise Hamill earned the The Law Society of British Columbia 2015 Gold Medal for attaining the highest academic standing in all three years of her law degree. She joins an illustrious group of students at every law school in Canada who have attained the gold medal.
Lou joined the first year class at TRU Law in September 2012 having graduated from Queen’s University with a Bachelor of Arts Honors Degree in Human Geography. Her commitment to her chosen career path in the legal profession is clearly evident in her academic studies, having been on the Dean’s list for all three years. She served as an elected representative on the Society of Law Students Executive, participated in many social activities, co-authored a research paper with Professor Chris Hunt, was selected as a student editor for the Canadian Journal of Comparative & Contemporary Law, and was selected to represent TRU Law in the National Wilson Moot in Toronto this year.
After graduation Lou will be clerking at the British Columbia Court of Appeal and articling at Bull, Housser & Tupper LLP in Vancouver.
Governor General’s Academic Medal (Silver): Alissa Foster. Alissa Foster graduated from Kamloops Senior Secondary before pursuing a degree in Natural Resource Science from TRU in 2004. Following her degree she worked as an environmental consultant and Registered Professional Biologist for a number of years. When her son started school she began volunteering and found a great sense of fulfillment in teaching. Alissa returned to TRU to complete her Bachelor of Education and in 2013 received the Anne and Henry Wyse Memorial Scholarship. She has recently been hired by School District 73 and is working as a teacher on call, with hopes to have her own classroom one day.
TRU Medal in Education: Alissa Foster. Alissa Foster graduated from Kamloops Senior Secondary before pursuing a degree in Natural Resource Science from TRU in 2004. Following her degree she worked as an environmental consultant and Registered Professional Biologist for a number of years. When her son started school she began volunteering and found a great sense of fulfillment in teaching. Alissa returned to TRU to complete her Bachelor of Education and in 2013 received the Anne and Henry Wyse Memorial Scholarship. She has recently been hired by School District 73 and is working as a teacher on call, with hopes to have her own classroom one day.
Governor General’s Academic Medal (Collegiate Bronze): Rachele Ricketts. Rachele Ricketts grew up in Calgary and completed a Bachelor of Science in Zoology at the University of Calgary in 2008. While at TRU she received an Alvin and Lydia Grunert Scholarship and the Wildlife Rehabilitator’s Network of BC Education Bursary in 2013, and the Douglas Morelli Memorial Scholarship in 2014. She worked as an animal care attendant at the Calgary Humane Society, and as a junior wildlife rehabilitator at the Wild Animal Rehabilitation Centre in Metchosin, BC. Rachele is now an animal health technologist at the Sidney Animal Hospital in Victoria and would love to work with wildlife again in the future.
TRU Lieutenant-Governor’s Medal: Robert Goss. Robert Goss grew up in Little Fort, BC, but completed high school in Okanogan, Washington. His Educational Assistant and Community Support Certificate adds to his 20-plus years of experience designing and delivering training as both an independent and corporate trainer. In 2013 he received the Lifelong Learner Award from Interior Savings and was a finalist for a Mayor’s Gala Award. He was nominated for the Alvin and Lydia Grunert Scholarship in 2014. Currently Robert is a contract instructor for TRU Williams Lake in the Community U division and hopes to continue on his path as an instructor by becoming a certified Project Management Professional.
TRU Medal in Tourism Management: Colin Loose. Colin Loose grew up in Leduc, AB and completed an Adventure Diploma from Algonquin College in 2009. During his time in the Tourism Management program, he won the Alvin and Lydia Grunert Scholarship twice, and has worked as a raft and horseback guide in Jasper, AB, and as a ski and snowboard instructor at Kinosoo Ridge Snow Resort in Cold Lake, AB. Recently Colin was involved in helping to launch his fiancé’s horse training business, and hopes to work in the development of Canada’s tourism industry. His future aspirations include further education in public policy or law.
TRU Medal in Social Work: Ryan Khungay. Ryan Khungay graduated from North Kamloops Secondary in 2009. His passion for helping others led him to enroll in the Social Work program. As a student, he did HIV/AIDS outreach in Swaziland, Africa, co-chaired the School’s Diversity and Equity Committee, and was a student representative at the 2013 Canadian Association for Social Work Education conference. For the past three years he worked for the Aids Society of Kamloops (ASK Wellness) and was recently hired as a social worker at Royal Inland Hospital. Ryan plans to complete a Master’s in Social Work with a mental health focus in the future.
TRU Medal in Business Administration: Katelin McNichol. Katelin McNichol grew up in Kamloops and graduated from Sahali Secondary School in 2010. As a Business Administration student she was the two-time winner of both the TRU Undergraduate Scholarship in Business and Economics and the TRU Undergraduate Achievement Scholarship. She was also nominated twice for the Alvin and Lydia Grunert Scholarship, in 2012 and 2014. In 2013, Katelin completed a summer co-op term with accounting firm KPMG and is now working there as a full-time staff accountant. In September she will begin the Chartered Professional Accountant program to obtain her designation as a CPA.
TRU Medal in Commerce (OL): Nicole McKinnon. Nicole McKinnon grew up in White Rock, BC and graduated from Semiahmoo High School in 2007. She completed the Events and Conventions Management Diploma program at TRU in 2010 before going on to complete her Bachelor of Commerce through Open Learning. After having the opportunity to work for a hospital foundation in Halifax and sit on the board for a non-profit organization, Nicole hopes to utilize her education and pursue a career in event planning in the not-for-profit sector.
TRU Medal in Nursing: Sophie Stanley. Sophie Stanley was raised in the Lower Mainland. After graduation, she traveled and worked a number of jobs before enrolling at TRU to pursue a career in health care. She was involved in a number of committees and clubs, received the Student Leadership Certificate, and won the Alvin and Lydia Grunert Scholarship in 2012. She also co-presented a successful bid to bring the 2014 Canadian Nursing Students’ Association Regional Conference to TRU. In her new position as a community access coordinator for Interior Health, Sophie will be able to put her interest in community nursing into practice.
TRU Medal in Computing Science: Geoffrey Wright. Geoffrey Wright grew up in Williams Lake, graduating from Columneetza Senior Secondary in 1996. He started his university career at the Williams Lake campus in 1997 and completed the Computer Systems Operation and Management (CSOM) Diploma in 2001. After working for 11 years in the IT industry, he returned to TRU in 2012 to complete his Bachelor of Computing Science with a minor in Management. Geoff is now working as a senior application support analyst for West Fraser Mills and is considering completing a master’s degree in the future.
TRU Medal in Health Sciences: Leane Sterling.
TRU Medal in Natural Resource Science: Lorena Tillotson.
TRU Medal in Science: Natascha Hedrich. Natascha Hedrich grew up in Pritchard, BC. She received the TRU Ambassador’s Scholarship, and is a three- time Alvin and Lydia Grunert Scholarship winner. Co-op Student of the Year in 2011, she spent one of her terms at TRIUMF, a world-class subatomic physics research laboratory in Vancouver. In 2013 she won a prestigious four-month Physics research internship at the European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN) in Geneva, Switzerland. This fall Natascha will begin her master’s in Physics at ETH Zurich in Switzerland, with an Excellence Scholarship and Opportunity Program Award from ETH as well as the Canadian Scholarship Trust Arthur Pigott Award.
TRU Medal in Arts: Christa van Zyl. Christa van Zyl grew up in Pretoria, South Africa. In 2013, she received an undergraduate research award to study the impact of cognitive processes on prejudices in health care. As a volunteer at South Hills Tertiary Rehabilitation Centre, she has helped clients reintegrate into the community. She has worked in a cognitive behavioral therapy program for inmates and is training to be a mental health screener at the Kamloops Regional Correctional Centre. She is also involved in a housing project with the John Howard Society. Christa is graduating with a BA Honours in Psychology and plans to pursue graduate studies.
TRU Medal in Fine Arts: Kristina Bradshaw. Kristina Bradshaw graduated from North Kamloops Secondary in 2008. She won the TRU Fred Billows Memorial Award two years in a row, and was nominated for Sculpture Magazine’s 2014 Outstanding Student Achievement in Sculpture Award. She received a CUEF research grant in 2012 to work with the Anthony Martin BC Penitentiary collection, and curated its exhibition. Kristina is a research assistant to Will Garrett- Petts, Associate Vice-President of Research and Graduate Studies. She is currently visiting Portugal and Spain to further her understanding of art history. In a few years she hopes to complete a Master’s in Museum, Curatorial or Cultural Studies.
TRU Medal in Interdisciplinary Studies: Kaixiang Liang. Kai Liang grew up in Singapore, and completed an Adventure Tourism Management Diploma from Queenstown Resort College, New Zealand, in 2010. His passion for travel and adventure lead him to Kamloops and a Bachelor of Interdisciplinary Studies. He has travelled to over 20 different countries, including a TRU Adventure Field School in Chile and backpacking through South America. He volunteered as a ski instructor at Sun Peaks with Adaptive Sports, and was an assistant scout leader with Kamloops Couteau Scouts group. Kai plans to start his own travel and education business in Singapore and pursue graduate school in the future.
TRU Medal in Journalism: Adam Williams. Adam Williams grew up in Hinton, AB and graduated from the University of Alberta with a Bachelor of Science before entering TRU’s Journalism program. He received the Journalism Faculty Scholarship and the McCreath Excellence in Sports Journalism Award, was a Alvin and Lydia Grunert Scholarship finalist and is on the Dean’s list. In 2013 he interned at the Kamloops Daily News, and was later given a full-time job as a sports reporter. An associate news editor when the Daily News closed in 2014, he was immediately hired by Kamloops This Week as a staff reporter. Adam is also the BC beat writer for HockeyNow Magazine.
Law Society of British Columbia Gold Medal: Taylor-Marie Young. Taylor-Marie Young was raised in Kamloops, and completed a Bachelor of Journalism and a TESL certificate at TRU. After teaching English in Japan, she obtained a Master of Arts in Linguistics from the University of Victoria. An active and engaged student and volunteer, she was the external representative of the TRU Society of Law Students (SLS). She co-edited the first TRU Law yearbook, participated in the BC Law Moot in Vancouver, worked with faculty on independent research projects and presented an academic paper at a student law conference. Taylor-Marie will begin her articles in August at Guild Yule in Vancouver.
Lieutenant Governor’s Silver Medal: Cassandra Hook. Cassandra Hook was born and raised in Kamloops, graduating from Sahali Secondary School in 2002. Five years ago, Cassandra was presented with an opportunity to work with at risk youth, at a therapeutic residential resource home. It was this job that prompted Cassandra to enrol in further education directly relevant to her work, through TRU's Community and School Support Program. She was awarded the Alvin and Lydia Grunert Scholarship upon graduation but declined the scholarship as she was committed to returning to her work - and, in her words, to the "unique, energetic, and responsive children who make every day new and rewarding".
Governor General’s Academic Medal (Silver); TRU Medal in Natural Resource Science: Richard Cane. Born in Kamloops, Richard graduated from John Peterson High School in 2002. After earning a Bachelor of Music, Richard shifted his focus, starting a Natural Resource Science degree at TRU in 2009. He has received the Southern Interior Silviculture Committee Scholarship in 2011, the Association of BC Forest Professionals Award in 2012 and, in 2013, has earned a trio of awards: the Neil Russell Student Leadership Award from the TRU Alumni Association, the TRU Medal in Natural Resource Science and the Governor General's Silver Medal. Richard looks forward to spending time with his wife and medium-2 young daughters and to exploring a career in forestry or the environment.
Governor General’s Academic Medal (Bronze): Blake St. Peter. Blake grew up in Kamloops, attending high school) at St. Ann's Academy. He joined TRU and enrolled in the Architectural & Engineering Technology Diploma program. He has received several scholarships, including the Glenn and Mary Martin Scholastic Achievement Scholarship in 2011, the TRU Foundation Undergraduate Achievement Scholarships in both 2011 and 2012 and, now, both the TRU Science Diploma Medal and the Governor General's Collegiate Bronze Medal for 2013. Following graduation, Blake plans to continue his studies at TRU towards a degree in technology management, after which he plans to pursue to a master of architecture program.
TRU Medal in Arts: Desirae Joanne Sinclair. Desirae Sinclair grew up in Nakusp, British Columbia and graduated from Nakusp Secondary School in 2008. She began her studies at Thompson Rivers University in Science then switched to the Bachelor of Arts program after the first year. Desirae received numerous scholarships, awards and bursaries in her community for academic achievement and community service and volunteer work. In 2008, she received the Governor General's Academic Medal (Bronze level) while attending Nakusp Secondary School and she received an entrance scholarship from TRU. Desirae will be attending the University of Alberta to complete her Master of Science in Physiotherapy (MScPT). After completing her schooling, she wants to become a licensed physiotherapist.
TRU Medal in Fine Arts: Elizabeth Theresa Warner. Elizabeth Warner grew up in Dawson Creek, BC, and graduated from South Peace Secondary School in 2009. She completed her first year of Fine Arts at the University of Calgary before transferring to TRU in 2010. After receiving a TRU President's Transfer Scholarship, she won a Kamloops Blazers Education Society Faculty of Arts Scholarship, and was nominated for the Alvin and Lydia Grunert Scholarship in 2011. More recently she received the TRU Foundation Undergraduate Achievement Scholarship. Elizabeth is currently a research assistant for Donald Lawrence through a Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC) grant. In a few years Elizabeth would like to begin a graduate degree in Fine Art, and eventually teach or work within the art community.
TRU Medal in General Studies: Brianna Jennifer Senner. Brianna Senner grew up in Revelstoke, British Columbia, and upon graduation from Revelstoke Secondary School in 2000, she moved to Calgary. Prior to enrolling in the Bachelor of General Studies program, she received a Business Administration diploma in Marketing from Southern Alberta Institute of Technology in 2003 and a New Media Production and Design diploma also from SAIT in 2005. Brianna moved back to Revelstoke in 2006, commencing her career in web marketing before moving to Kamloops to start at TRU Open Learning as a web designer. She enrolled in the Bachelor of General Studies when she took on the role of web strategist. Throughout her degree, Brianna worked full time in TRU's Office of Student Recruitment and Liaison.
TRU Medal in Interdisciplinary Studies: Renae Danielle Plett. Renae Plett grew up in Calgary, Alberta and graduated from Heritage Christian School in 1997. She received a Diploma in Kinesiology and Sport Studies from Red Deer College in 2003 and a Certificate in Massage Therapy from the Alberta Institute of Massage in 2004. She received an Academic Achievement Award from Red Deer College, Top Student Award from Alberta Institute of Massage and the Louise McKinney Scholarship. Renae then moved to Kamloops and received an Adventure Management Diploma in 2010, then continued her education with a Bachelor of Interdisciplinary Studies at TRU. Currently, Renae is co-managing a cafe/restaurant honing her business and management skills with the intent of owning an adventure therapy business with her partner. She would like to continue her education by completing a master’s degree in the counselling psychology field.
TRU Medal in Journalism: Sarah Anne MacMillan. Sarah MacMillan was born and raised in Pincher Creek, Alberta which, Sarah says, is known for ranching and windmills. She graduated from Matthew Halton High School with honours in 2007. She was the recipient of the Jason Lang Scholarship. Sarah completed medium-2 years of pre-requisites at Medicine Hat College before transferring to Thompson Rivers University. She has been inducted into Phi Theta Kappa, an international honour society. Recently, Sarah received a scholarship from the British Columbia and Yukon Community Newspaper Association. She is currently working for Jamac Publishing in Kindersley, Saskatchewan as the education and general assignment reporter for the area .
TRU Medal in Nursing: Tiana Louise Miller-Tait. Tiana Miller-Tait grew up in North Vancouver, British Columbia , and graduated from Sutherland Secondary School in North Vancouver in 2007. She completed medium-2 years of microbiology at the University of Victoria before transferring into Nursing at TRU. Tiana also spent a semester nursing abroad at the University of Stavanger in Norway in 2012. She received the Shaver Scholarship in 2012, was nominated for the Grunert Scholarship in 2012 and received the Dr. G. B. Gowd Inc. Bursary in 2011. Currently she is working on her Specialty Nursing in Critical Care certificate through British Columbia Institute ofTechnology. Tiana's future plans include working in the ICU and perhaps pursuing a master's degree in Clinical Education .
TRU Medal in Computing Science: Justin Micheal Smeaton. Justin Smeaton was born and raised in Kamloops, British Columbia, and graduated from Kamloops Christian School in 2009. In 2012, Justin graduated from TRU'S Computer Systems Operations and Management (CSOM) diploma, and then laddered into the Bachelor of Computing Science degree program. He has received numerous scholarships and awards including the TRU President's Entrance Scholarship, the Rob Horne Memorial CSOM Scholarship, the Sony of Canada Scholarship, the Alvin and Lydia Grunert Scholarship, the TRU Athletic Academic AII-Canadian Award and the Dr. Roger H. Barnsley Male Scholar Athlete Award. He is currently working at Truvian Labs, a start-up company located at the Kamloops Innovation Centre.
TRU Medal in Nursing: Katie Wigmore DeGroot. Katie DeGroot grew up in Qualicum Beach on Vancouver Island and at the age of medium-9 moved to Kamloops. She graduated from South Island Distance Education School in June, 2009, and began her Science degree at TRU that fall. Katie has received numerous awards and scholarships including the NSERC Undergraduate Student Research Award, an Undergraduate Student Research Experience Award Program (UREAP) grant, the Alexander Graham Bell Canada Graduate Scholarship, a Grunert Scholarship nomination, the Glenn and Mary Martin Scholastic Achievement Scholarship, and the Kamloops Regional Farmers' Market Society Award. This September Katie is attending the National College of Natural Medicine in Portland, Oregon to pursue a dual degree in Master of Science in Integrative Medicine and Naturopathic Doctor.
TRU Medal in Education: Kaelene Patricia Santos. Kaelene Santos was born in Calgary, Alberta and grew up in Kamloops. She graduated from St. Ann's Academy in 2007 as Crusader of the Year. Kaelene received her Bachelor of Arts degree with a Major in English and a Minor in History from TRU prior to receiving her Bachelor of Education degree. As well as being a regular on the Dean's List, Kaelene also was a Grunert Scholarship nominee, received the Bruce Roberts Bachelor of Education Award, the Ferguson Family Bursary, TRU Foundation - BC Provincial Gaming Fund Open Scholarship, and the TRU Board of Governors Regional Entrance Scholarship. She is currently a teacher on-call with the Catholic Independent Schools in Kamloops. Her future goals are to travel, teach overseas and do a mission.
TRU Medal in Social Work: Matthew David Osborne. Matt Osborne grew up in Salmon Arm, British Columbia and graduated from Salmon Arm Senior Secondary in 1998. He attended Okanagan University College in Salmon Arm and Langara College in Vancouver prior to enrolling in the Human Service Diploma program at Thompson Rivers University. Matt laddered into the Bachelor of Social Work program in 2011. Matt was the recipient ofthe TD Canada Trust Scholarship in 2010, the Grunert Scholarship in 2011 and the Governor General's Collegiate Bronze Medal in 2011 upon graduating from the Human Service Diploma program. Matt has recently accepted a position with Secwepemc Child and Family Services as a child protection caseworker .
TRU Medal in Business: Brittany Nicole Morrison. Brittany Morrison was born in Toronto, Ontario and raised in Kamloops, British Columbia. She graduated from South Kamloops Secondary School in 2008. She began her Business Administration degree at Thompson Rivers University and did a co-operative education term at BDO Canada LLP in Kamloops, where she is now working as a Junior Staff Accountant. Brittany received the TRU Foundation Undergraduate Achievement Scholarship, the Vantage Airport Group Scholarship, the Chartered Accountants Education Foundation Scholarship and the Alvin and Lydia Grunert Scholarship. She will be starting the Chartered Professional Accountant program in September and hopes to write the Certified Final Exam in the fall of 2015.
TRU Medal in Commerce: Erika Evans. Erika Evans grew up in Port Coquitlam, British Columbia and spent her grade 12 year in both Kamloops and Delta, graduating from North Delta Secondary School in 2003. Upon graduating, she enrolled at Douglas College in the Criminology Program. When her husband, who is in the military, was posted to Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan, Erika decided to attain a Bachelor of Commerce degree with Thompson Rivers University Open Learning. Erika is currently working for the City of Courtenay; however, she is hoping to one day use her Commerce degree to work in an information management position.
Governor General’s Academic Medal (Collegiate Bronze): Lyle Douglas Baker. Lyle grew up in Kamloops and graduated from NorKam Senior Secondary School. In 1977, he qualified as an Interprovincial (Red Seal) Journeyperson Electrician at Cariboo College and for more than a decade worked through IBEW Local Union 993. Lyle certified as a Computer Automated Systems Technician at UCC in 1987, prior to working for 20 years with the Newnes group of companies, where he developed several lumber industry patents in Canada and the US. He began his General Studies Diploma in 2009. As a TRU-Open Learning student, he enjoyed a mix of in-class courses taken at Okanagan College in Salmon Arm, and TRU-OL online and print-based courses. During his studies Lyle spent time coaching youth soccer and acting as President of the Shuswap Youth Soccer Association. Lyle is now completing a Bachelor of Technology in Trades and Technology Leadership.
TRU Medal in Computing Science: Kunal Chopra. Kunal was born and raised in Punjab, India, and earned a TRU Computer Systems Operations and Management diploma in India before laddering into the Bachelor of Computing Science program in Kamloops. A regular on the Dean's List, Kunal won an entrance scholarship and medium-2 Computing Science scholarships. He received a UREAP grant for research with Dr. Andrew Park, whose mentoring Kunal credits with helping him get the most out of his undergraduate research experience. In addition to several industrial projects, he completed four co-op semesters at Research In Motion Canada, one of the most rewarding experiences of his life. He was a peer tutor and a member of the India, South Asian Students, and Billiards clubs. When not writing code, he pursues his interests in nature, photography and travel. Kunal just joined SAP Canada in Vancouver as a software engineer, and plans to complete graduate studies in the future.
Governor General’s Academic Medal (Silver) & TRU Medal in Arts: Alexander Condon. Alexander was born in Victoria, BC and graduated from Oak Bay High School. He transferred from UBC to TRU in 2009 as an Arts student and athlete. The many friendships he developed with his WolfPack baseball teammates and coaches were a highlight of his three years at TRU. Alex was the first WolfPack player to receive the Rud Haar Memorial Scholarship from the BC Premier Baseball League. He also won Grunert Scholarships in 2010 and 2011, and the Dr. Roger H. Barnsley Male Scholar Athlete of the Year in 2011 and 2012. He volunteers instructing youth ballplayers in Kamloops, and with the Victoria Boys and Girls Club. An Economics major, Alex is currently working on a paper with Dr. Peter Tsigaris that develops “genuine wealth” as a new measure of economic well-being. He looks forward to attending the University of Toronto Law School this fall.
TRU Medal in General Studies (OL): Anne Louise Doucet. Anne Louise grew up in Gatineau, Québec, and graduated from École Saint-Joseph in 1970. She attempted to pursue a post-secondary education many times during her adult life, but other commitments repeatedly interfered. The Bachelor of General Studies program offered through TRU Open Learning’s distance education allowed Louise to complete her degree and finish a PDP in Education at Simon Fraser University concurrently. She has achieved her goal to become a teacher and now teaches grade 6 French Immersion. Passionate about creating community and the importance of inclusion for all people, she and her husband share their home on Salt Spring Island with their adult daughter who has complex needs. Louise is involved in several boards, most notably South Island Community Council for Community Living BC, and Gulf Islands Families Together Society. She plans to continue her lifelong learning with an online graduate program.
TRU Medal in Interdisciplinary Studies: Stefanie Megan Gale. Stefanie was born in Kamloops, and first attended TRU while still at NorKam Secondary, taking English through the TRU Start program. After graduation she enrolled in Arts, receiving an Associate of Arts degree in 2010, and continued her education with a Bachelor of Interdisciplinary Studies. Her three co-op work terms were a highlight, particularly helping new students transition to university life. Stefanie also completed nearly four months of undergraduate research for her thesis on how humour serves as a comfort tool for marginalized women. She volunteers annually for the Canadian Cancer Society and the Heart and Stroke Foundation, and sat as a student representative on TRU's Academic Plan Steering Committee. Her awards include the TRU Foundation Scholarship and the TRU Alumni Scholarship. Stefanie’s future plans include skydiving with friends this summer, international travel, and graduate school after she gains a year of work experience.
TRU Medal in Fine Arts: Emily Jean Hope. Emily was born in Newmarket, Ontario and attended Aurora High School in nearby Aurora. In 2008, she moved west to Kamloops and enrolled at TRU. As a Bachelor of Fine Arts student, Emily worked as a research assistant with the Community-University Research Alliance (CURA) Cultural Future of Small Cities research program. The mentorship she has received from the Visual Arts faculty, and the community involved in CURA, has been rewarding and inspiring. The research conference in Portugal was a highlight of her undergraduate experience. Emily’s own work is primarily engaged in research into the practice of creating public art, and the history of the Wild Man motif in Western culture. A solo show of her work is forthcoming this year at the Kamloops Art Gallery. Emily is the winner of the 2008 Talonbooks Canadian Studies 200 Best Essay Prize, a Comprehensive University Endowment Fund (CUEF) Research Scholarship in 2009, the 2011 Kamloops and District Woodlot Association Award, and was nominated for the Grunert Scholarship award in 2012. She served as a board member for the Arnica Artist Run Centre, and as Co-President of the Visual Arts Student Association. Emily and her husband are expecting their first child this fall. She plans to exhibit and make new work over the next year, and begin a Master of Fine Arts in the fall of 2013.
TRU Medal in Education: Shelley Marsh. Shelley grew up in Kamloops, and followed graduation from Kamloops Senior Secondary with a Bachelor of Natural Resource Science at UCC starting in 1992, for which she was also a medal recipient. The field trips to Manning Park and Wells Grey, and the overnight trips to McQueen Lake are her most memorable experiences at TRU. Shelley completed her Education degree while raising her medium-2 little girls. She volunteered as a children's soccer coach and with the Kamloops Junior Chamber. In her spare time she plays ice hockey. She plans to camp with her family this summer, and work as a teacher-on-call in Gold Trail School District in September. Shelley hopes to eventually have a classroom of her own in Kamloops, and would like to start her Master’s in the next five to seven years.
TRU Medal in Health Sciences (OL): Laura Lynn Jensen. Laura was born in Mont Nebo, Saskatchewan, and graduated from Shellbrook Composite High School. After graduation, she spent a year backpacking through Australia, New Zealand and Central America, and working in a chocolatier in Montreal. Laura studied Massage Therapy at colleges in Saskatchewan and BC, earning medium-2 diplomas, before she enrolled in Health Science at TRU through Open Learning in 2009. Highlights at TRU include Ken Lum's Psychology courses, Eileen Walsh's Health Science courses, and winning the TRU Health Science Medal. During her studies Laura started her massage therapy business and worked medium-2 jobs. In her free time she captained a beach volleyball team. She has also volunteered with the Saskatchewan Abilities Council, Saskatoon Health Region Parkinson's and Stroke rehab programs, Autism Services, and various arts and cultural events. Laura is currently co-building a log home and starting a career with the PA Parkland health region.
TRU Medal in Journalism: Larkin Schmiedl. Larkin grew up in southern Ontario and studied at the University of Windsor and the University of Victoria before coming to TRU in 2010 to enter Journalism. An apprentice of organic farming, he did a semester-long journalism project on the local food system in Kamloops. His biology elective, “Plants and People”, and a work study taking care of the biology greenhouse were highlights of his time at TRU. Larkin organized Kamloops' first Transgender Day of Remembrance at TRU in 2010, was president of the TRUSU Pride club, and has a radio show called “Gaydio” on CFBX. Speaking at Kamloops’ first Pride Parade was another memorable moment. He is the recipient of the Journalism Faculty Scholarship and a BC Yukon Community Newspaper Association Award. Larkin plans to develop a career in advocacy journalism, with a particular focus on sustainable food systems and queer and transgender issues.
TRU Medal in Natural Resource Science: Heather Mingo. A biography and photograph of Heather Mingo are unavailable
TRU Medal in Nursing: Anne Richardson. Anne grew up in Pemberton, BC, and graduated from Crofton House School. She previously obtained her Medical Office Assistant certificate at Cariboo College and upgraded through Open Learning before starting Nursing at TRU in 2008. The highlight of her studies was her Consolidated Practice Experience in third year nursing, when she went on an international practicum to Samoa. Anne regularly made the Dean’s list, was a medium-2-time Grunert Scholarship nominee, and received the Mildred Lee Nursing Scholarship, the Peter Young Scholarship, and the Sonja Wilford Zeeman Nursing Award. She credits the support and encouragement of family and friends, and the inspiration provided by Dr. Chris Stabler, for her pursuit of a career in nursing. Anne plans to continue her education with a Perianesthesia Nursing specialty for work in the Recovery Room and Day Care Surgery departments at Royal Inland Hospital.
TRU Medal in Science: Aaron Plahn. Aaron grew up in Kansas City, Missouri. He began his Science degree at TRU with a year at Williams Lake in 2008, majoring in Physics, minoring in Math. Aaron tutored in the Math Help Centre and was a Physics teaching assistant. He also helped re-establish the Physics Help Centre and Physics Club. With a UREAP grant he investigated the Three Body Problem in Celestial Mechanics under the supervision of Dr. Richard Taylor, and shadowed the “General Relativity” course at the University of Alberta in a directed studies course with Dr. Mark Paetkau. A regular on the Dean’s list, he won several awards including the Tom Walton and Roland Cobb Prize in Physics. This summer Aaron is working at G&T Metallurgical, and starts graduate studies in theoretical physics this fall at SFU, where he will hold multiple graduate scholarships. He intends to obtain a PhD and teach university.
TRU Medal in Science: Jody Lynn Marie Skinner. Jody was born in Edmonton, Alberta and graduated from Millwoods Christian School in 2004. She obtained a Biblical Studies degree from Peace River Bible Institute in 2007, and then attended Grant MacEwan University to complete a Social Work Diploma. Jody laddered into the Bachelor of Social Work program at TRU in 2009 with a President’s Open Transfer Scholarship. Highlights of her student life at TRU include courses taught by Jennifer Murphy, Grant Larson, and Alex Forbes, as well as volunteering with a young adults group at Summit Drive Church. She enjoys singing, skiing, cooking, writing, and painting in her spare time, and is anticipating becoming an aunt this fall. Jody currently works as a medical social worker at the Grey Nuns Hospital in Edmonton, and plans to pursue a Masters in Marriage and Family Therapy in the future.
TRU Medal in Tourism Management: Katelyn Scorer. Katelyn grew up in Whitby, Ontario, graduating from All Saints Catholic Secondary. A Transfer Scholarship brought her to TRU in 2010 from Algonquin College. As a Tourism Management student, Katelyn’s undergraduate research identified the responsibility of tourism operators to ensure accessibility to all people, regardless of physical and cognitive abilities, and examined how to implement this in tourism curricula. Her achievements include a Vancouver Airport Scholarship and a Grunert Scholarship. She is grateful for the passion, support, and progressiveness of the university community, and in particular the Tourism faculty. A highlight of her student life was co-organizing Kamloops’ first Pride Parade this year. An avid traveller, she has been to 12 African countries as well as England and Mexico. Katelyn is getting married in June, and will attend Windsor Law School in September to study human rights and social justice law.
TRU Medal in Business Administration: Breanna Wacheck. Breanna grew up in Castlegar, BC, and graduated from Stanley Humphries Secondary with a TRU President's Entrance Scholarship. She began her Business Administration at TRU in 2008, majoring in Human Resources and Finance. Breanna was one of four students who competed in the Excalibur Tournament in Human Resources in Montreal, making it to the finals. She enjoyed volunteering as a member of the TRU Residence Council and as a Career Education Student Ambassador. Another highlight was her co-op terms at the TRU HR department and Zellstoff Celgar mill, where she is now employed. She made the Dean's List every semester, and won the Fulton and Company Scholarship, the Vancouver Airport Services Scholarship, and a TRU Foundation Scholarship. Breanna plans to obtain her Certified Management Accountant designation while working at Zellstoff Celgar, and is considering travel in Europe and eventually completing a Master of Business Administration.
TRU Medal in Nursing: Brittany Willems. Brittany grew up in Abbotsford, BC, and graduated from Mennonite Educational Institute Secondary School. In 2008 she began her degree in Nursing at TRU, and did her third year clinical practice experience in Lesotho, Africa. It is a memorable part of her student life. Brittany helped with an international student club on campus, and served in the kitchen at the New Life Mission in Kamloops. She was nominated for a Grunert Scholarship in 2010 and 2011, and received the Mildred Lee Nursing Scholarship. This July, she will travel to Sydney, Australia to visit her fiancé, who is studying there. They are getting married in April next year. Brittany plans to work in a casual position on a surgical ward at Royal Inland Hospital, and eventually would like to go into public health nursing, focusing on addictions and homelessness.
Governor General’s Academic Medal (Silver): Darren Bishop. Darren is from Prince George, where he graduated from Prince George Secondary with a TRU entrance scholarship. As a Chemical Biology major at TRU, he was a Supplemental Learning Leader for first year chemistry, providing students with review sessions and exam preparation, and found time to participate in both intramural soccer and hockey. He also volunteered at the Chris Rose Therapy Centre for Autism, working with young autistic children. His awards include a SIDIT Scholarship, the CIC 2nd Year Award in Chemistry, medium-2 Grunert Scholarship nominations, the Chemical Biology Prize, and the TRU Foundation Undergraduate Scholarship in Science. He also received a CUEF grant for a research project under Dr. Kingsley Donkor, whose mentoring enabled Darren to get the most out of his undergraduate experience. Darren has just been accepted to the Masters in Physical Therapy program at the University of Alberta. He hopes to return to Kamloops to open his own physical therapy clinic.
Governor General’s Academic Medal (Collegiate Bronze): Matthew Osborne. Matthew grew up in Salmon Arm and graduated from Salmon Arm Senior Secondary. He completed a year of theatre at Langara College before entering the Human Service Diploma program at TRU. Since his first day on campus, when he set the Governor General Collegiate Bronze Medal as the bar for his achievement as a student, his family has kept him grounded and motivated. His awards include the TD Canada Trust Scholarship and the 2011 Grunert Scholarship. Matt volunteered on the Ending Youth at Risk team and organized the first “Camp Out On Campus” event, in which students and faculty slept under the stars in support of youth outreach programs. The event was the highlight of Matt’s time at TRU. He valued the connections made between being university students and members of the community, and the opportunity to aid youth at risk. He has been accepted into TRU’s Bachelor of Social Work program, and plans to continue serving youth in the community of Kamloops.
TRU Medal in Business Administration: Drew Beesley. Drew graduated from Brocklehurst Secondary in his hometown of Kamloops. He studied professional audio engineering for six months and worked as a studio recording engineer before coming to TRU, and has been writing and performing music for the past eight years. As a Business Administration student, Drew was President of Finance for the TRU Politics Club, did extensive volunteering and event hosting with TRU World, and was an ISEP Student Ambassador for international exchange students. His most memorable experiences as a TRU student were while in the Study Abroad program. He studied international law with students from across Europe in Tartu, Estonia, and travelled to Tianjin, China to study international business. He won the Kamloops Bar Association Award and the Rotary Club Daybreak Award, was on the Dean’s List, and received a Grunert Scholarship nomination. Drew would like to earn a law degree, and work in international law, business, or diplomacy.
TRU Medal in Business Administration: Adil Hosenbocus. Adil grew up in Kamloops and graduated from South Kamloops Secondary. As an Accounting major in the Bachelor of Business Administration program, he volunteered as a Supplemental Learning Leader, helping students succeed in their accounting courses. He also became a member of SIFE. Co-op then gave Adil an opportunity to learn on the job at BDO Canada for 16 months. Sharing the experience with fellow students afterward as a Campus Ambassador was a highlight of his time at TRU, and he credits his colleagues at BDO with helping him advance through the BBA program. Adil was awarded the Rotary of Kamloops Daybreak Scholarship, the Chartered Accountants Education Foundation Scholarship, and was a Grunert Scholarship nominee. He is currently working at BDO while in the Chartered Accounting School of Business Program, and hopes to obtain his CA designation while building a career at BDO.
TRU Medal in Tourism Management: Brittany Hansum. Brittany is from Kelowna. She graduated from Kelowna Christian School and obtained a Business Administration diploma before coming to TRU to complete her Events and Convention Management Diploma and ladder into the Bachelor of Tourism Management. Her many volunteer experiences include a mission trip to South Africa and Zambia. Brittany won several awards at TRU including the Alvin and Lydia Grunert Scholarship, and was on the Dean’s list from 2008 to 2010. In March 2010 she was the first Canadian student to receive the Future Leader Award from the International Association of Conference Centres (IACC) at the IACC-Americas Summit. As a member of the Professional Convention Management Association Club (PCMA-TRU), she helped organize the PCMA conference as well as a bridal fair. The hands-on aspect of her studies and involvement with the community were the highlights of her student experience. Brittany intends to become an events coordinator in Kelowna.
TRU Medal in Social Work: Michele Claudepierre. Michelle grew up in Kamloops and graduated from Kamloops Senior Secondary. She obtained a BA in Sociology prior to entering TRU’s Bachelor of Social Work program. Her most memorable experience at TRU was her 4th year Social Work practicum at the John Howard Society. Michele had the best practicum experience imaginable, working with people involved in the criminal justice system, helping a segment of society that is stigmatized and often treated unjustly. Since graduation she has been hired at the John Howard Society and finds the work very rewarding.
TRU Medal in Education: Jamélia Easton. Jamélia is from Kamloops and graduated from South Kamloops Secondary. She first obtained her BA at TRU, majoring in History. She studied abroad at Nagasaki Wesleyan University in Japan for a year, and at the Université du Québec à Chicoutimi for five weeks on the French Explore Program. Jamélia spent most summer throughout university working for Parks Canada in Waterton Lakes National Park in Southern Alberta. She volunteered at an elementary school, and lived and worked with foster care children at home. After her BA she entered the BEd program, winning the Bruce Roberts Bachelor of Education Award and the Alvin and Lydia Grunert Scholarship in 2010. She was inspired by Education faculty, particularly by her mentor, Dr. Diane Purvey. Jamélia will begin teaching in Kamloops starting in September, and will pursue graduate studies in the near future.
TRU Medal in Arts: Adam Fizer. Adam is from Red Deer, Alberta, where he attended Lindsay Thurber Comprehensive. Adam came to TRU as a mature student to study Economics. He volunteered as an Economic Student Association founder and President, as the Humanitarian Club’s Treasurer working with the Kamloops Food Bank and United Way, and as a SIFE TRU member helping to teach economic environmental principles to local grade 6 and 7 classes. Adam received many awards, including Best Overall Presentation at the TRU Undergraduate Research Conference, and the Joseph Bombardier Memorial Scholarship, which is the premier award in the country for an undergraduate student moving into graduate studies. Adam will use this award to pursue a Masters in Economics next fall at Wilfrid Laurier University. Highlights of his student life were the excellent support from faculty and the personal relationships he developed with many friends that he hopes to carry with him throughout his career.
TRU Medal in Journalism: Jenifer Norwell. Jenifer grew up in Kamloops. After graduating from Sa-Hali Secondary, she completed a Diploma of Broadcast and Media at BCIT in 2007. As a Bachelor of Journalism student at TRU, she won the Faculty of Journalism Award and the Yukon Newspaper Association Scholarship in 2010. A highlight of her studies was her CUEF research grant to interview the residents of three small northwestern BC towns, Granisle, Hazelton and New Hazelton, researching the physical locations of news and the effects of technology, She volunteered with ASK and The Omega, and wrote for Bridges, TRU’s alumni magazine, as well as other magazines and newspapers in the Kamloops region. Jenifer has worked in both private and public radio in Prince George, where she lives with her husband as a freelance journalist working in broadcast and print. She has been broadcast nationally on CBC Radio and hopes to one day work for the CBC.
TRU Medal in Fine Arts: Harmony Raine. Harmony was born in Montreal. She completed a Visual Arts Studio Certificate, Diploma, and BA before getting her Bachelor of Fine Arts in 2011. She was awarded the Harrison English Prize, the Valley First Credit Union Scholarship, and the TRU Undergraduate Conference 2nd Prize for Best Oral Presentation. A CUEF grant helped improve her writing and research skills and led to her work being published. She volunteered at the Arnica Artist-Run Centre and Little Photo Shop, and was a member of the Bachelor of Fine Arts Student Society. One of her favourite memories of TRU is a field trip to George Bures Miller and Janet Cardiff’s studio. Harmony looks forward to completing a graduate degree in interdisciplinary or integrated studies.
TRU Medal in Science: Sarah Berkey. Sarah grew up in Cache Creek and graduated from Ashcroft Secondary with a TRU entrance scholarship. Working at her family’s restaurant helped her develop the strong work ethic that carried her through her Bachelor of Science, and her parents and siblings were a great source of encouragement. In her second and third year she won the TRU Biological Science Prize, and her fourth year at TRU was enriched by a directed studies in molecular genetics with Dr. Don Nelson. She learned a great deal about lab work, and Dr. Nelson’s encouragement to experiment and discover things on her own improved Sarah’s problem-solving skills while increasing her interest in medicine and research. Sarah plans to travel and volunteer abroad for a year, and then continue on in medicine to become a surgeon. Having grown up in a small town with limited medical care, she is also considering becoming a family doctor in a rural area.
TRU Medal in Natural Resource Science: Siobhan Crawford. Siobhan grew up in Leaf Rapids, Manitoba, graduated from RD Parker Collegiate Secondary, and completed medium-2 years of sciences at the University of Manitoba before transferring to TRU. She won the Jake McDonald Scholarship for Reclamation and the award as the top Natural Resource Science student. At the 2011 TRU Undergraduate Research Conference, her poster won 1st place in the Biology, Behaviour, and Modeling category, and the Botany Poster Prize from the Canadian Botany Association. The amazing group of friends Siobhan made in the program and as a member of the NRS Club – and the adventures she had as a result – were the highlights of her time at TRU. Siobhan will enrol in the BC Institute of Agrologists and the BC College of Biologists, and plans to obtain her PAg and RP Bio designations while working in the field of environmental monitoring and remediation. She also plans to pursue a Master’s degree in Land Reclamation.
TRU Medal in Nursing: Erin MacNamara. Biographical details and photo are not available.
BACHELOR OF EDUCATION (ELEMENTARY) DEGREE: Jenny Lyn Cathleen Dahl. This medal is awarded to the eligible graduating student in this program who achieved the highest grade point average over the assessment period. Jenny graduated from Peter Skene Ogden in 100 Mile House and won a scholarship for English literature. At Thompson Rivers University, she has received many awards, including the Kamloops Women’s Association Bursary, Retired Teachers’ Bursary, and the English and Modern Languages English Award. Jenny is considering further studies in linguistics and special education. She enjoys the outdoors, and plays the piano and violin.
BACHELOR OF TOURISM MANAGEMENT DEGREE: Andreas Christofiloyiannis. This medal is awarded to the eligible graduating student in this program who achieved the highest grade point average over the assessment period. Andreas graduated from Ernest Manning High School in Calgary, and completed a diploma program in Alberta before moving to Kamloops to complete his Bachelor of Tourism Management. Andreas has received a number of awards, including the Tourism Sun Peaks Winter Prize, Delta Hotels Hospitality Scholarship, and the Louise McKinley Scholarship. Andreas is passionate about physical fitness and cooking, and enjoys exploring new places. Within the next five years, Andreas plans to complete a graduate degree at the University of Calgary, and hopes one day to become a post-secondary instructor.
BACHELOR OF SOCIAL WORK DEGREE: Ashley Jean Arnelien Halden. This medal is awarded to the eligible graduating student in this program who achieved the highest grade point average over the assessment period. Ashley graduated from Argyle Secondary School in North Vancouver where she was on the Honour Roll from grades 9 to 12, and received an award for more than 100 hours of community service. Ashley was awarded a TRU Entrance Scholarship and the North Shore News Scholarship (from a North Vancouver newspaper), along with other scholarships during her fi rst medium-2 years at TRU. She completed a diploma in Child and Youth Care, and laddered into the Bachelor of Social Work program. She was an active member of the Peer Support Team during her third and fourth years, and completed practicum placements at Cariboo Child Care, Interior Community Services, and the Ministry of Children and Family Development in Squamish. Ashley is currently working in a remote camp for a hydro-electric project in the Toba Valley, 250 kilometres north of Powell River. She intends to pursue further education and a position in the area of child welfare.
MEDAL IN GENERAL STUDIES: Joseph Isaac. This medal is awarded to the eligible graduating student in this program who achieved the highest grade point average over the assessment period. Joseph graduated from Victoria High School in Victoria, BC, in 2001, and his pastimes include political activism, cooking, organic gardening, reading, writing, squash, tennis and soccer. Joseph describes himself as an entrepreneur with a successful painting company. He has been accepted into the University of Liverpool’s MBA program in the Fall of 2010.
MEDAL IN JOURNALISM: Kendall Meghan Lyn Walters. This medal is awarded to the eligible graduating student in this program who achieved the highest grade point average over the assessment period. Kendall Walters graduated from Peter Skene Ogden Secondary, 100 Mile House, in 2006. Last fall she won the B.C. Yukon Community Newspaper Association scholarship, and this year she was nominated for the Alvin and Lydia Grunert Scholarship. An eloquent writer and avid photographer, she has had the opportunity to work at several different newspapers since she began attending TRU. She is excited to pursue a Master of Journalism degree at the University of British Columbia this fall.He is a passionate outdoor person, enjoying golfing, hiking, and biking.
MEDAL IN ARTS: Alysa Grace McCall (Honours) (Co-op). This medal is awarded to the eligible graduating student in this program who achieved the highest grade point average over the assessment period. Alysa graduated from South Kamloops Secondary School in 2005 with several scholarships, one of which was a TRU Entrance Scholarship. Alysa’s major is Animal Biology and she completed an Honours degree as well as Co-operative Education terms. Alysa credits the Co-op program with fi nding jobs in her field and peaking her interest in research. Alysa received a Canadian University Enhancement Fund award and medium-2 Undergraduate Student Research Awards from NSERC to research various aspects of grassland animal ecology over the past three years. Since then, Alysa received a graduate-level Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council award to complete an MSc in Ecology next year at the University of Alberta where she will study polar bears. In the future she plans to be engaged in the fi eld of wildlife biology with a focus on conservation. Alysa credits her success at TRU largely to the incredible support and guidance of the amazing faculty, as well as the endless opportunities for hands-on learning.
MEDAL IN NATURAL RESOURCE SCIENCE: Kimberly Theresa May Perreault (Honours). This medal is awarded to the eligible graduating student in this program who achieved the highest grade point average over the assessment period. Kim graduated from Kamloops Secondary School in 2001. After teaching English in Japan for one year, Kim decided to study at Thompson Rivers University. She tried a variety of courses and found her niche in Natural Resource Science where she has learned much about species and ecosystems. Kim has been a member of the Geology Club and Natural Resource Sciences Club, and was an NRS work study student for one year. Dr. Karl Larsen hired Kim as a research student, funded by the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council and she is grateful that he provided her with exciting research opportunities in the isopod lab for medium-2 summers. She has also undertaken some consulting projects, and she is considering graduate studies. Kim wishes to extend her appreciation to the amazing team in the NRS department, and admires the passion and dedication of her fellow students and professors.
MEDAL IN HEALTH SCIENCE: Brenda Matsen. This medal is awarded to the eligible graduating student in this program who achieved the highest grade point average over the assessment period. Brenda graduated from Correlieu Secondary School in Quesnel, and subsequently completed a diploma in Dental Hygiene. She has worked in private dental offices and community dental health programs, and was a program manager in the Northern Interior Health Service Delivery Area. After obtaining the TRU Bachelor of Health Science in 2009, Brenda became Northern Health’s Regional Manager for Dental Health Programs. She plays an active role in the lives of her four sons, and intends to pursue graduate studies.
GOVERNOR GENERAL’S ACADEMIC MEDAL (SILVER): Samantha Nicole Keller. Samantha graduated from St. Ann’s Academy in 2005, and won an entrance scholarship to attend TRU. She entered the Bachelor of Science program, and decided to major in chemistry after her fi rst year. During her Co-operative Education work terms, she has been a Eureka science camp instructor, and a chemistry research assistant for medium-2 terms. Samantha’s faculty supervisor, Dr. Nelaine Mora-Diez, presented an opportunity for Samantha to continue her research in Spain, and Samantha subsequently applied for a TRU Study Abroad program. Not only was she accepted to study abroad, but she was awarded a BC Premier’s One World Scholarship to study in Spain for one year. Before she travelled to Spain, Samantha took introductory Spanish at TRU, and during her research term at the Universidad Autonoma de Madrid she studied Spanish in the afternoons to become fluent. Samantha has enjoyed the entire experience of attending TRU, the research mentorship of Dr. Diez and Dr. Kingsley Donkor, and many good times with friends she has met. Samantha is working as a TRU chemistry research assistant this summer, and has received an Alexander Graham Bell Scholarship, awarded by the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council to support her graduate studies in physical organic chemistry at the University of Calgary beginning this fall.
TRU MEDAL IN NURSING: Jeanette Louise Hill. Jeanette has lived in Kamloops for 20 years, and worked as a Nurses Aid at Overlander Residential Care for ten years. She decided that she wanted to upgrade her skills and increase her knowledge of the nursing profession. Jeanette took upgrading courses for medium-2 years and entered the Bachelor of Science in Nursing program in 2006. Jeanette’s practicum experience was at Royal Inland Hospital in the operating room. She is now in the process of being certifi ed as a perioperative nurse, and would like to stay in Kamloops and work in the RIH operating room. Jeanette enjoyed being a part of a cohesive group in the School of Nursing, and she credits her success to the support of her family, and the students and faculty in Nursing. In her spare time, Jeanette likes to hike and cycle throughout the Kamloops trail system.
GOVERNOR-GENERAL'S ACADEMIC MEDAL (COLLEGIATE BRONZE): Auzeb Manzoor. Auzeb attended high school in the city of Srinagar in Kashmir, India. He completed the Computer Systems Operations and Management program last year, and is now enrolled in TRU’s Bachelor of Computing Science program. Auzeb is currently working in Fort McMurray for Syncrude Canada on a Co-operative Education work term. He is a member of the TRU Muslim Students Association, and enjoys listening to music, playing soccer and hanging out with friends.
MEDAL IN BUSINESS ADMINISTRATION: Brant Mann Nicholas Shapka. This medal is awarded to the eligible graduating student in this program who achieved the highest grade point average over the assessment period. Brant graduated from NorKam Secondary School in 2005. In high school Brant had focused on biology thinking he would like to be a physician. However, he decided that he would enter TRU’s business program, in which he has successfully achieved the highest GPA for the past medium-2 years. Brant really enjoys all music, particularly blues and jazz, along with fi tness and sports, and reading philosophy. Now that he has graduated, Brant is considering law school or a post-graduate degree in philosophy.
Governor General’s Academic Medal (Silver): Taya Walsh. Taya grew up in Kamloops and graduated from Westsyde Secondary School in 2000, achieving District Honours. She made the Dean’s List consistently throughout her Bachelor of Education (BEd) program and was the recipient of the University Women’s Club of Kamloops Endowment Scholarship and a TRU Foundation Scholarship. During her studies, Taya was a research assistant for Dr. Patrick Walton, in a study involving the use of songs and movement to teach reading to Aboriginal Students. She also worked as a childcare worker at a local foster home. Taya was an active volunteer at local elementary schools, with the Heritage Fair and a basketball coach at Westsyde Secondary. Prior to enrolling in the BEd program, she taught ESL in Taiwan, travelling extensively there as well as in Australia and Europe. She is looking forward to having a full-time teaching position and making a significant contribution to her community. The best thing about getting her degree from TRU was the quality of instruction and support from the remarkable individuals within the Education department.
Governor General’s Academic Medal (Collegiate Bronze): Christopher Williams. Chris Williams is from Kamloops and spent eight years in retail management before coming to TRU for an opportunity at a better career. His consistently high grades ensured his permanent place on the Dean’s List for all four semesters of his diploma. In addition, he won the Rob Horne Memorial CSOM Prize, CSOM Alumni Award and a TRU Foundation Scholarship. Chris had medium-2 co-op work terms with TRU and one with the Provincial Airtanker Center. Since completing his CSOM Diploma, he has started work with BC Lottery Corporation (BCLC) in their Corporate Systems Group. When not at work, Chris keeps busy with his sons Andrew and Maguire, playing hockey and golf, and camping. He plans to return to TRU and ladder his diploma into a Bachelor of Computing Science Degree, advance at BCLC, and perhaps start his own web-development company. For Chris, the best thing about getting his diploma at TRU was being able to return to school in the place where his sons reside, giving him a constant reminder of why he was working so hard.
TRU Medal in Journalism: Leah Miller. Leah graduated from Dr. E.P. Scarlett High School in her hometown of Calgary, Alberta. Besides being on the Dean’s List, she was awarded the 2009 British Columbia-Yukon Community Newspaper Association University Scholarship. As a student at TRU, she worked as layout editor and then copy editor for The Omega campus newspaper from 2008 to 2009. Later this month she will begin work at The Kamloops Daily News, where she will hone her skills and gain insight towards her aspirations of publishing her own newspaper. Among the highlights of Leah’s years at TRU was the ability to choose her classes around her interests and the fact that the instructors care about, and get to know their students. The lifelong friendships she has formed with her fellow students will be cherished long after she leaves TRU.
TRU Medal in Arts: Judith Zwickel. Judith is an Art History major who grew up in Clearwater, BC. At graduation from Clearwater Secondary in 2004 she received a University College of the Cariboo Entrance Scholarship. For the duration of her undergraduate degree, Judith was consistently on the Dean’s List, received the History Majors’ Award in 2007–08 and won first place for Oral Presentation at the 2009 TRU Undergraduate Conference. During the summers she works as a Wildland Firefi ghter with the BC Forest Service, Ministry of Forests Protection Branch. Her future goals include travelling and graduate school. For Judith, the best thing about receiving her degree from TRU was the opportunity to present at the Undergraduate Conferences and receiving instruction from, and building relationships, with the talented instructors in the Faculty of Arts.
TRU Medal in Nursing: Michelle Hopkins. Michelle grew up in Surrey BC, graduating from LA Matheson Secondary. Besides maintaining her standing on the Dean’s List, Michelle also earned a Certificate in Perinatal Nursing. In addition to her studies, she was involved in starting the first TRU WolfPack cheerleading team as assistant coach while also being a member of the squad. Michelle is currently working in the maternity ward of Abbotsford Regional Hospital and Cancer Centre. Her future goals include a Master of Nursing degree and to become a Board-Certified Lactation Consultant. Michelle says the best thing about getting her degree at TRU was the people: the friends she made and the faculty and staff in the Nursing Department.
TRU Medal in Science: Aaron Podorleszach. Aaron grew up in Kamloops, graduating from NorKam Secondary in 2005. While at TRU, he maintained his standing on the Dean’s List and earned several scholarships, including a Comprehensive University Enhancement Fund (CUEF) Research Scholarship, TRU Chemical Biology Prize and TRU Foundation Entrance Scholarship. At the Western Canadian Undergraduate Chemistry Conference (WCUCC), he won the Natural Sciences & Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC) Award for Best Overall Oral Presentation. As a student researcher examining Antimicrobial Peptides, he has also been active as a Science Camp instructor with EUReKA!, volunteered at the New Life Mission, and as a member of the TRU Chemistry and Biochemistry Club. Aaron’s future goal is to become a dentist. He noted that the lab experience and excellent research opportunities through his Honours supervisor, Dr. Heidi Huttunen-Hennelly are among the highlights during his studies at TRU.
TRU Medal in Natural Resource Science: Rhiannon McFarland. Aaron grew up in Rhiannon grew up in Nanaimo, but spent High School in Salmon Arm, graduating from Salmon Arm Senior Secondary School. She excelled academically for the duration of her degree, ensuring her a place on the Dean’s List each semester. For her top 4th Year Academic Standing she was awarded a 1993 World Fly Fishing Championships Scholarship. During the summers Rhiannon worked in silviculture for Adams Lake Lumber. She has volunteered locally with the Burrowing Owl Conservation Society, for both fall burrow digging and spring soft release. Rhiannon plans to pursue a degree in environmental law, specializing in the creation of natural resource policy. Among the highlights of her time at TRU are the amazing professors. She found the Natural Resource Science faculty to be enthusiastic and passionate about their fi elds, and even more importantly, they genuinely care about their students.
TRU Medal in Computing Science: Devon Beanish. Hailing from Ottawa, Ontario, Devon graduated from St. Matthew’s High School. While pursuing his degree, Devon had several achievements of note: consistent standing on the Dean’s List and successfully repairing a local bookkeeping firm’s server. He also worked as a Nemedium-2rk Specialist for TELUS while attending classes at TRU. His future goals include continuing in the information technology field and perhaps starting his own business. In the meantime, he’ll be trying out new things like fl ying Radio Control airplanes and continuing with recreational soccer. Among the highlights of Devon’s time spent at TRU, was the computer science professors’ application of artificial intelligence in their courses. The best thing about Kamloops was the scenery. He had never seen before in the same place: wild cacti, tumbleweed, and giant mountains for skiing.
TRU Medal in Business Administration: Sabrina Lloyd. Sabrina grew up in Kamloops and graduated from Valleyview Secondary in 2003. She received her Bachelor of Business Administration degree from TRU this past fall, with a GPA that kept her consistently on the Dean’s List. Since graduating, Sabrina has purchased the Cliffside Climbing Gym and has thoroughly enjoyed the challenge and lifestyle of operating her own business and using the range of the skills she obtained at TRU. Her future goals include getting married this summer and perhaps enrolling in the Digital Art and Design Diploma program at TRU. Sabrina is convinced the best thing about TRU is its small class sizes, which allowed her to develop valuable relationships with the teachers and fellow classmates.
TRU Medal in Social Work: Susanne Pytela. A graduate with honours from David Thompson Secondary School, Susanne grew up in Vancouver and Invermere. She earned a Social Services Certificate from TRU in 2005, laddering her credential to her degree. Throughout her university education she maintained a stellar academic standing and received several scholarships, including the Millenium Scholarship and the BC Health Care Bursary. She was very involved in the 12 Stones Chapel’s urban missionary work and served as a mentor to youth and to other students on the TRU campus. Through her Practica she has worked with the House of Ruth, the Society of St Vincent de Paul, the Youth Safehouse, and the Boys and Girls Club of Kamloops. In her spare time she took Irish dance lessons with the Tara School of Irish Dancing. Future goals include working with adolescent parents and their children as well as becoming a mother. For Susanne, the best thing about her TRU degree was gaining spiritual education at the same time as academic credentials, the small classes, interactive classrooms, supportive professors and librarians, having amazing friends, and being close to family.
TRU Medal in Education: Nadine Van Caeseele. Nadine grew up in Prince George, BC where she attended D.P. Todd Secondary School. She graduated on the Principal’s List in 2003, earning the Prince George Teacher’s Association Scholarship. In 2008 she earned the Dean and Mary Martin Academic Scholarship at TRU. When Nadine is not teacher-on-call at School District #57 she shares her passion for dance, teaching students ballet, jazz, tap, hip-hop, and Broadway at a private studio. Recently she has enjoyed trips to Honduras, Mexico and New York City. Nadine loved TRU’s small and personal class sizes as well as the inspiring teachers who showed genuine interest and appreciation for her artistic, kinesthetic educational style.
TRU Medal in Tourism Management: Gregory R. Simmonds. Greg grew up in Victoria, BC, where he developed a love for the outdoors, especially kayaking. While pursuing his Bachelor of Tourism Management majoring in Adventure Studies he maintained a constant place on the Dean’s list for his academic efforts and received the Learie Sprott Award in 2007. Between terms he was a sea kayak guide on Vancouver Island and was a research assistant within the School of Tourism. medium-2 major highlights of his studies at TRU were kayaking in Tibet and tourism development work in Chile. These experiences have inspired him to pursue a Master’s degree in Environmental Science, a melding of his passion for travel and the outdoors that he expects will take him on many international adventures for pleasure, but also in a professional context as a guide and as a tourism development consultant.
GOVERNOR GENERAL'S ACADEMIC MEDAL (SILVER): Timothy Graves. Timothy Graves spent his childhood in Campbell River, moving with his family to Hope BC. He graduated from Hope Secondary School in 2003, with the Governor Generals Award. During his undergraduate career at TRU Timothy has been the recipient of medium-2 NSERC research scholarships, his most recent for his postgraduate studies in Mathematics at the University of Alberta.It's not all math and computer science for Timothy. On Wednesday evenings he volunteers as a youth leader for his church and on the weekend he plays the piano and drums with the Sunday morning worship team.
GOVERNOR GENERAL'S ACADEMIC MEDAL (COLLEGIATE BRONZE):Cindy Sattelberger. Cindy, a graduate of Westsyde Secondary in 1977 has given up a long career in daycare for the order of numbers and accounting principles. During her program, Cindy won the CGA Award, the Technical Writing Award, and a scholarship from Fulton and Company. At a Meet the CGA's event hosted by the School of Business and Economics, Cindy met her current employer. Although she is considering laddering her diploma into a Bachelor of Business Administration degree, she is currently focusing on her Auditor Apprenticeship with Revenue Canada and her relocation to Penticton.
TRU MEDAL IN NATURAL RESOURCE SCIENCE: Jacqueline Dennett. Jacqueline Dennett was raised in Ottawa, Ontario and graduated from Hillcrest High School there in 2003. She enrolled in TRU's Natural Resource Science program on the advice of a friend and hasn't regretted earning her degree in the midst of the immense variety of ecosystems in the Kamloops region. A master's degree focusing on ecology and community may be in her future, but for now this avid outdoor person is spending the summer doing fieldwork for the BC Ministry of Forests and Range, and exploring some of the many career options available for NRS graduates.In January, she is heading to South Africa for an extended backpacking trip. Whatever the future holds, it's bound to include world travel, based from her new home in the province of BC.
TRU MEDAL IN SCIENCE: Trenton Kellock. Trenton Kellock is from Kamloops and graduated from NorKam in 2004. He has majored in Cellular, Molecular and Microbial Biology during his undergraduate studies at TRU, earning an undergraduate research scholarship to investigate viral infections affecting aqua culture.His stellar academic work ethic earned him a steady position on the Dean's List and he was involved in the Biology Student Undergraduate Society. His future plans include medical school at the University of Alberta or the University of British Columbia, but not before a summer of work, wake boarding and then a few months to travel to South East Asia and Australia before getting serious about his studies again.
TRU MEDAL IN NURSING: Tanya Watson Little. This graduate of St. Ann's Academy in 1988 was working at perfecting her caber toss and her family before she started university in 2004. Active in the heavy event competitions of the Highland Games until a knee injury sidelined her a few years ago, Tanya trained extensively with local track and field athletes preparing for the caber toss. During her undergraduate degree she was awarded a Canadian Institutes of Health Research grant for research focused on raising nurse's awareness of their role as global citizens, emphasizing how culture plays a part in health care.She is currently working on her Master of Science in Nursing at TRU (offered in partnership with the University of British Columbia). Despite great academic and athletic successes, Tanya is most proud of her medium-2 beautiful daughters and credits her success to the tremendous support she has received from them and her husband.
TRU MEDAL IN APPLIED COMPUTING SCIENCE: Xiang Guo. Xiang Guo was born in Fuan, in the FuJian Province of China and graduated from NingDe NO.1 Middle School in 2001. He earned a Computer Systems: Operations and Management (CSOM) diploma from TRU in Wuhan, China in 2003. He came to the Kamloops campus of TRU to gain in-depth knowledge in computing science and has excelled academically during his studies here, having been named to the Dean's List throughout his years in the program. Xiang volunteered with the United Way while working for HSBC Canada as a co-op student. In June he will begin work with Kronos Canadian System Inc. and is considering pursuing a masters degree in computer science in a few years. He is a passionate outdoor person, enjoying golfing, hiking, and biking.
TRU MEDAL IN BUSINESS ADMINISTRATION: Tiffany Gartner-Bouffard. Tiffany Gartner-Bouffard was born in Elliot Lake, Ontario but grew up in Kamloops, graduating from Kamloops Senior Secondary in 1996. She started her post-secondary studies in accounting at TRU in 2005. Tiffany has been an active volunteer in the community, involved with the Kamloops Film Society, Annual Senior Christmas Lights Tour, Ponderosa Lodge, and Arthur Stevenson Elementary. when not studying or volunteering, she reads voraciously, enjoys travel, and prior to returning to university, spent a fair amount of time abroad. Tiffany enjoys an active lifestyle and spends a great deal of her time outdoors. She has relocated to Victoria and plans to pursue her CA designation.
TRU MEDAL IN EDUCATION: Pam Cairns. Pam Cairns was raised in Vancouver, BC, graduating from Sir Winston Churchill Secondary School.Since enrolling in the Bachelor of Education program, Pam has worked diligently acquiring the History Excellence Award in 2005 and the University Women's Club Academic Scholarship in 2007. She presented at the 2006 TRU Undergraduate, 2007 Last Best West, and the 2008 TRU Undergraduate conferences.This fall she will be a teacher-on-call with the local school district, working towards a full-time position. Teaching children is more than her vocation though, it is how she spends most of her free time as well, either her own or volunteering in the community at children's activities.
TRU MEDAL IN SOCIAL WORK: Laura Carroll. Raised in Kamloops, Laura attended Kamloops Senior Secondary and started her post-secondary studies in psychology at the University of Victoria and Langara College before coming to TRU and transferring her courses towards a Bachelor of Social Work degree.Consistently making the Dean's List for her scholarship, Laura also volunteered with the White Buffalo Aboriginal Health Society & Resource Centre while she worked on her degree. She is passionate about her work as a mental health and addictions clinician for the Northern Health Authority in Queen Charlotte Citty, Haida Gwaii.Her future plans include working on either a masters degree in social work or health administration, either way, her focus will be to work in rural and marginalized communities.
TRU MEDAL IN TOURISM MANAGEMENT: Jamedium-9 Keith. Jamedium-9 Keith was raised in Armstrong, BC and graduated from Pleasant Valley Secondary School there in 2000. After medium-2 years at Okanagan University College (now UBC Okanagan) and a year at the University of Victoria working toward a degree in education, Jamedium-9 went traveling for medium-9 months to Australia, New Zealand and Southeast Asia.Her experience traveling determined the tourism industry was where she belonged, and she enrolled at TRU in the Events and Conventions Management Diploma (then the Bachelor of Tourism Management Degree). In 2007, she took part in TRU's study abroad program on the island of Crete, Greece.The recipient of several scholarships while at TRU, Jamedium-9's goal is to be a leading member of the British Columbia tourism industry.
TRU MEDAL IN ARTS: Kirby Booker. Kirby Booker was raised on a ranch near 100 Mile House, BC and graduated with honors from Peter Skene Ogden Secondary in 2003.During her undergraduate career at TRU, Kirby has been a research assistant for several research projects including the Community University Research Alliance, presented at medium-2 undergraduate research conferences, and was involved with the TRU Teaching Practices Colloquium. She won numerous book prizes for her exceptional grades.She has spent the last month in Turkey, taking a field study course, her second since receiving a Comprehensive University Enhancement Fund award for Hellenic Studies Field School in 2006. In 2007 she was awarded the Sikh Cultural Society scholarship for achievement in History.During the summer, Kirby works as a wildfire fighter. She is also an avid snowboarder, adventurer and is a member-in-training of the Kamloops Search and Rescue.
TRU MEDAL IN FINE ARTS: Nelina Magliocchi. Nelina Magliocchi came to TRU from St. Ann's Academy with an entrance scholarship in 2004. Each semester she has consistently made the Dean's List for her academic achievements. Although a skilled painter -- she has returned to St. Ann's at the end of each school year to paint the graduating class's mural, her mediums of choice are drawing and sculpture. She transforms her detailed mechanical pencil drawings into kinetic sculptures that she then creates charming covers for.Nelina will be working on producing her own art as she helps prepare for the annual Art in the Park festivity and her upcoming Curator's Choice Show in the Cube at the Kamloops Art Gallery, all on her way to becoming a high school art instructor, with another bachelor degree and masters degree in art.
TRU MEDAL IN JOURNALISM: Jamie Schaab. Jamie grew up in Merritt and started TRU in 2005 in the second year, transferring her first year of university courses from Northern Lights College in Fort St. John, to the journalism program at TRU. Jamie has made the most of every opportunity to become a journalist competent in all media. She currently hosts Radio NL's Saturday show in Merritt, has done freelance writing for magazines, and has completed a summer internship at the Merritt Herald. In 2007, she was a BC Yukon Community News Association essay award recipient, received the Douglas Morelli Memorial Scholarship and won the 2004 Dave Johnson Academic Studies Award at Northern Lights Community College. She is also this year's recipient of the TRU Medal in Journalism. With some real newsroom experience behind her, she has the confidence to plot a career that could include many options that range from public relations, the publishing industry to freelance. As a newly certified yoga instructor, whatever her future plans entail, they will certainly balance life and work.
GOVERNOR GENERAL'S ACADEMIC MEDAL (SILVER): Christy Earle. Christy Earle had many home towns and schools while growing up, and now, as new mom to medium-9-month-old daughter, Jovalyn, plans to take up the "gypsy life" herself and travel through her nursing vocation throughout Canada, the US, and internationally. Christy has volunteered in Kelowna General Hospital's emergency department, and with the CRNBC student rep program. She plans to pursue graduate studies in administration, and use that degree to become active in politics within the health care industry.
GOVERNOR GENERAL'S ACADEMIC MEDAL (COLLEGIATE BRONZE): Stuart Graham. Stuart was born in Vancouver in 1978, attending elementary and secondary school there. He completed his diploma in management studies through open learning while working. Recently married to another TRU graduate, Stuart plans to keep working in Vancouver.
TRU MEDAL IN JOURNALISM: Karl Hardt. Karl was born in Nairobi, Kenya, but grew up in Montreal. After graduating from Royal West Academy in 1987, Karl moved to Calgary, where he earned a journalism arts diploma at the Southern Alberta Institute of Technology in 1997. He then moved to Castlegar, earning a BC and Yukon Community Newspaper Association prize and a Hollinger Award of Distinction in newswriting and photography. In 2005 he moved to Kamloops to attend TRU, where he won the 2006 Jack Webster Student Journalism Award. He is considering graduate studies after spending some time in his chosen profession.
TRU MEDAL IN APPLIED COMPUTING SCIENCE: Michael Farough. Michael was born in Winnipeg, then, when he was in Grade 4, moved with his family to Kamloops, where he graduated from Brocklehurst Secondary School in 2000. After earning a diploma in TRU's Computer Systems: Operations and Management program in 2004, Michael, an avid reader, video gamer, and snowboarder, laddered into TRU's Bachelor of Technology in Applied Computing Science degree program. He will be working in his profession in Kamloops after graduation.
TRU MEDAL IN FINE ARTS: Linda Jules. Linda was born in Montreal, graduating from MacDonald High School in 1968. She completed a Bachelor of Arts degree at SFU in 1972, and then earned a diploma in cultural resources management at the University of Victoria in 1988, and a TRU fine arts diploma in 2006. Linda has volunteered with the Canadian Museums Association, the Heritage Advisory Council, the University of Victoria board of governors, the Kamloops Arts Gallery, where she was president of the board and chair of the public relations committee for the new gallery building campaign, and the Fine Arts School working group.
TRU MEDAL IN ARTS: Jonathan McQuarrie. Jonathan was born in Victoria, then moved with his family to 100 Mile House, where he graduated from Peter Skene Ogden Secondary in 2003. An active campus volunteer, Jonathan served on the electoral board for student union elections in 2005, was a High School Model UN moderator at TRU Model UN conference in 2006, and was a student representative on the European History hiring committee in 2007. He received TRU foundation awards in 2004, 2005, and 2006 and received the History Excellence Award this year. He plans to pursue graduate studies in English history.
TRU MEDAL IN EDUCATION: Co-winner: Jillian Marie Eyer. Jillian was born in Amherst, Nova Scotia, graduating from high school there in 1999. She earned a TRU Bachelor of Science degree in 2003, and has put her animal and environmental sciences knowledge to work in volunteer positions with Ducks Unlimited and the Burrowing Owl Conservancy Society. Jillian, who received the Margaret H. King Award for an education student who displays excellence in 2006, hopes to obtain a full-time teaching position.
TRU MEDAL IN EDUCATION Co-winner: Krista Pitman. Krista grew up in Silver Valley, Alberta, graduating from Savanna School in 1987. She finished medium-2 years of post-secondary study at Grande Prairie Regional College from 1987-1989, returning to university in 2003. Krista volunteers with the Girl Guides of Canada, where her daughter is a Spark, as well as at Pinantan Elementary and Heffley Creek Elementary. She enjoys horse back riding, cross-country skiing, canoeing, hiking and camping. She has been hired as a teacher-on-call with School District #73 and hopes to be hired as a full-time elementary school teacher.
TRU MEDAL IN BUSINESS ADMINISTRATION: Maggie Xie. Maggie was born in Changzhou, Jiangsu, China, the daughter of a corporate lawyer and a pediatrician. After graduating from high school in 2002, Maggie came to TRU, where she's been named to the dean's list each semester and received a TRU Foundation award each year. Maggie, who will graduate with an honours BBA with a major in accounting and a minor in finance, received the Chartered Accountant Education Award. Maggie has found time to attend various student union activities and to participate in the ACE and Focus clubs.
TRU MEDAL IN NATURAL RESOURCE SCIENCE: Amber Greenall. Amber, who completed co-operative education work terms while completing her degree, has a strong interest in range issues. She attended the Society of Range Management Conference in Reno, Nevada, this year, where she placed 5th out of 152 students in the Undergraduate Range Management Exam. Amber's future plans include a master degree, and she's considering TRU's new Master of Science in Environmental Science degree. Amber is also a 2007 valedictorian.
TRU MEDAL IN SCIENCE: Kristi McBurnie. Kristi was born in Langley, grew up in Abbotsford, and then moved to Kamloops while a high school student, graduating from Valleyview Secondary in 2002. Kristi, who majored in computing science and minored in biology while completing her Bachelor of Science degree with a co-operative education option, won a number of scholarships, including a Community-University Enhancement Fund research grant, a prestigious Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council undergraduate research grant, and a leadership scholarship from the Girl Guides of Canada. She plans to pursue graduate studies in computer science.
TRU MEDAL IN SOCIAL WORK: Lorry-Ann Austin. Lorry-Ann was born in Edmonton, and while still a baby moved with her family to Algeria and, throughout her childhood, to Norway, England, Scotland and Singapore before returning to live in Surrey, BC, where she graduated from high school in 1990. She then completed an honours diploma in radio and television at the Northern Alberta Institute of Technology in 1997. Lorry-Ann, whose accomplishments at TRU include a research scholarship and a social workers grant, plans to continue working as an acute care social worker at Royal Inland Hospital while attaining a master's degree in social work, which will enable her to become a clinical social worker.
TRU MEDAL IN NURSING: Kristen Plowe. Kristen was born and raised in Kamloops, graduating from Kamloops Senior Secondary in 1995. After some time traveling overseas, she returned to the classroom, earning a horticulture certificate from TRU in 2000. Kristen then worked and took a variety of courses before settling down to pursue a nursing degree in earnest. A dean's list scholar with a passion for physical activity, Kristen also found time to volunteer with the nursing undergrad society and as a tutor in patho-physiology. She is working full time at Royal Inland Hospital on a medical ward. She hopes to eventually earn a graduate degree in nursing, and then teach patho-physiology.
TRU MEDAL IN TOURISM MANAGEMENT: Christine Hawes. Christine was born and raised on Galiano Island, graduating from Stelly's Secondary there in 1999, then completed a wilderness leadership program at Capilano College in 2003 before coming to TRU. After travelling in South America for the summer, Christine hopes to return to Africa, where she worked in a Kenyan Children's Home as well as in small communities for famine relief. Upon her return to Canada, she plans to work as a sea kayak guide on the BC coast and the Queen Charlotte Islands. Future plans include continuing to work in tourism, primarily in Africa with a focus on tourism as a source of aid. She is currently in Chile doing community development work.
GOVERNOR GENERAL'S ACADEMIC MEDAL (SILVER): Barbara Campbell. Barbara Campbell was born in Squamish in 1979 and graduated from Howe Sound Secondary in 1997. Upon graduating from UBC with a Bachelor of Science degree in agroecology in 2002, she received the HM King Prize for the highest standing in animal science and the PA Boving award for the highest standing in any agriculture undergraduate degree program. After medium-2 years working as the program coordinator for BC 4-H in Kamloops, Barbara discovered a passion for working with children and education, so she enrolled in TRU's bachelor of education program, where she excelled, winning the Bruce Roberts scholarship and earning dean's list standing every year. She was recently hired by School District #73 as a teacher-on-call, and hopes to teach full-time in Clearwater. She and her husband Matt are expecting their first child this summer.
GOVERNOR GENERAL'S ACADEMIC MEDAL (COLLEGIATE BRONZE): Lyra Lemery. Lyra Lemery was born in Victoria in 1980, and graduated from Lambert Park Secondary School in 1998 with an entrance scholarship to the University of Victoria, where she graduated with distinction in 2003 with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Biology. An animal lover, Lyra then enrolled in the Animal Health Diploma program at TRU, with the career goal of working in wildlife rehabilitation, getting her start while at TRU, when she did volunteer work and practicums at the BC Wildlife Park, the Burrowing Owl Recovery Centre, and the Wild Ark animal rehabilitation centre in Victoria. Lyra has just moved to Victoria with her fiancee, Adam, who moved to Kamloops to support Lyra during her studies.They will be married this August.
TRU Medal in Social Work: Nicole Hagan. Nicole Hagan was born in Kamloops in 1973, and graduated from Kamloops Senior Secondary in 1991. She then enrolled in sciences at TRU, also playing soccer and volleyball, where she excelled and was named Scholar-Athlete of the Year three years in a row, as well as CCAA Academic All-Canadian in 1995, her BSc graduating year. After taking accounting through distance education for three years, Nicole returned to TRU, where she continued to distinguish herself. She is now working in adult mental health with the Interior Health Authority, and plans to continue that work in Kamloops, where she lives with her husband and five-year-old son.
TRU Medal in Education: Leanne Neighbour. Born in Edmonton in 1965, Leanne Neighbour moved with her family to Kamloops, where she graduated from Kamloops Senior Secondary school in 1983. She completed a bachelor’s degree in child and youth care at the University of Victoria in 1988, and then worked at the Variety treatment centre and for the Surrey school district in child and youth care, before deciding to focus on teaching. She then enrolled with TRU’s School of Education, where she distinguished herself, also finding time in her busy life as the single mother of medium-2 young children to volunteer at their school. She plans to teach in the school system, and is considering pursuing a master’s degree in a few years.
TRU Medal in Science: Daniel Graves. Daniel Graves was born in Chilliwack in 1983, and graduated from Hope Secondary school in 2001 with the Governor-General’s Bronze Medal. Daniel won the 2005 Canadian Acoustical Association’s Hetu prize for his co-invention with UBC professor Murray Hodgson of the acoustical software ClassTalk during a 2004 work term, and worked on satellite-to-earth mapping for synthetic aperture radar (SAR) during medium-2 work terms last year in Salem, Germany. He has been awarded a prestigious 2006 Canada Graduate Scholarship prize from the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council. Future plans include the long-term goal of becoming a professor.
TRU Medal in Tourism Management: Andrew Krenz. The youngest of eight children, Andrew Krenz was born in Red Deer, Alberta in 1978. After moving with his family to BC, he graduated from Peter Skene Ogden Secondary School in 100 Mile House in 1996 and then earned a ski resort management diploma at Selkirk College in 2000. After playing in bands for a couple of years, Andrew, an accomplished guitarist who also composes, came to TRU to pursue a tourism degree. An active volunteer with an avid interest in international tourism development, Andrew has volunteered with medium-2 church missions overseas, has taken a graduate course in the Gambia in West Africa, and just returned from a class trip to Chile, where he participated in an indigenous tourism project.
TRU Medal in Natural Resource Science: Tiera Machell. Tiera Machell was born in Ganges, Saltspring Island, in 1983, and graduated from Gulf Islands Secondary school in 2001. An avid outdoorsperson, Tiera, whose hobbies include horseback riding, target shooting, and guitar, also achieved her black belt in Tae Kwon Do. As an active volunteer and animal lover, Tiera has continued to volunteer at the Kamloops Wildlife Park, where she has been a docent and animal health care volunteer. After completing some science prerequisites at TRU this fall, Tiera will continue her studies at the Western College of Veterinary Medicine in Saskatoon.
TRU Medal in Business Administration: Samara Quinton. Samara Quinton grew up in Cranbrook, graduating from Mount Baker Secondary School there. She completed a Business Administration Diploma in Accounting at College of the Rockies and a Certificate of Religious Studies at Pacific Life Bible College before coming to TRU to continue her business education. In the past last three years, Samara was named to the Dean’s List throughout her years of schooling, and has won a number of awards, including the 2003 Governor General Bronze Medal, a TRU transfer award and entrance bursary in 2003, and the 2005 Chartered Accountant’s Education Foundation scholarship. Future plans include earning her Chartered Accountant designation and travel. Samara is also the valedictorian for this Convocation Ceremony.
TRU Medal in Arts: Devon Stonehocker. Devon Stonehocker was born in Surrey in 1983, then moved to Kamloops with her family in 1990, and graduating from Brocklehurst Senior Secondary school in 2000 with the Governor-General’s Bronze Medal. A dean’s list scholar with a passion for travel and theatre, Devon has volunteered with Western Canada Theatre and performed in the recent TRU Actors Workshop play, A Lie of the Mind. A highlight of her time at TRU was the anthropology field school in Eastern Europe. Devon’s future plans include travel and a master’s degree.
TRU Medal in Fine Arts: Wendy-Anne Skjerpen. Wendy-Anne Skjerpen was born in Kamloops in 1977, and graduated from Kamloops Senior Secondary School in 1995. She earned certificates as a florist and dog groomer before enrolling in TRU’s fine arts program, where she won the 2004/05 Mitchell Zawaduk memorial bursary and the 2006 ceramics award. She has volunteered as an art teacher’s assistant at South Kamloops Secondary School, and also helped to organize the TRU ceramics show, held this past January. Among other options, Wendy-Anne is thinking of pursuing a master’s degree in fine arts in the near future.
TRU Medal in Journalism: Marcel Tetrault. Marcel Tetrault was born in New Westminster in 1968, then after moving with his family to Surrey at age medium-2, graduated from Queen Elizabeth Senior Secondary school in 1986. He earned a bachelor’s degree in computing science at UBC in 1994. His belief in the importance of the media to society led him to pursue journalism studies at TRU, where he excelled, named to the dean’s list every year. While at TRU, he volunteered for the oMega student newspaper, and also played hockey and guitar. He is now working at the Comox Valley Echo, and plans to continue to work at Canadian newspapers.
TRU Medal in Nursing: Jenna Ziegler. Jenna Ziegler was born in Smithers in 1981, and graduated from Smithers Senior Secondary in 1999. After taking TRU Bachelor of Science courses for one year, Jenna switched to nursing. An active volunteer, Jenna helped out in Kamloops doing blood pressure clinics, and was the team captain for a 22-member TRU Nursing team in the CIBC Run for the Cure last September. She has also volunteered at Options for Sexual Health in Smithers, and was treasurer of the nursing undergraduate society for medium-2 years. She is now working in public health in Smithers, and is considering continuing her education with the long-term goal of teaching in a school of nursing.
GOVERNOR GENERAL'S ACADEMIC MEDAL (SILVER): Sachiko Takahashi. Sachiko Takahashi exemplifies the attributes of an outstanding all-around student. Born in Yokohama, she came to Canada at the age of 10, graduating from Westsyde Secondary School in 2001. While maintaining a high grade point average and winning many scholarly and research awards, including a prestigious Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council scholarship, both the Canadian Society for Chemistry Silver Medal and Creo Awards, and a Canada Millennium Scholarship, Sachiko found time to volunteer for People in Motion, the SPCA, Habitat for Humanity, North Kamloops Physiotherapy and the Multiple Sclerosis Society. She isn't firm about her future plans, but has applied to several medical schools.
GOVERNOR GENERAL'S ACADEMIC MEDAL (COLLEGIATE BRONZE): Sharron R. Westlund. Sharron Westlund graduated from McBride Secondary School in 1991 and earned a legal secretary certificate at the College of New Caledonia in 1993 before moving to Kamloops. In 2003, when her young daughter was four years old, she returned to university to pursue an Accounting Technician diploma. Sharron managed to balance family life and classes, taking time out from maintaining a 4.28 grade point average to run, camp and hike with her husband and daughter. She now plans to work in an intermediate accounting position in a small business or public practice, and is considering laddering into TRU's Bachelor of Business Administration degree program or pursuing an accounting designation.
TRU Medal in Social Work: Shawna N. Bava. Shawna Bava, also Valedictorian of this Convocation Ceremony, is an excellent academic student, highly involved in campus and community activities, and a leader of social work students. After graduating from St. Ann's Academy, Shawna attended Cariboo College for medium-2 years before completing a science degree with 'Great Distinction' from the University of Saskatchewan. She then volunteered for a year with high-risk youth in Vancouver; the experience caused her to change her career. She returned to her hometown to pursue a degree in social work, where she served on several committees, and was the first student in her program to complete a practicum in an international setting.
University of British Columbia Medal in Education: Fred Schaub . An outstanding lifelong student, Switzerland-born Fred Schaub is also trained in cabinet making and carpentry, and as a chemistry lab technician. Married with medium-2 sons, he works with youth in amateur hockey, where he won the 2000/01 BC Amateur Hockey Association Canadian Hockey Week Award, and as Salmon Arm's program and volunteer coordinator for the BC Special Olympics. He also helped out at Grindrod Elementary, near his hometown of White Lake, and has been hired as a teacher-on-call for his local school district while he pursues a master's degree in special education.
TRU Medal in Science: Paul Nguyen. The third son in his family to earn a degree at this university, Norkam Secondary grad Paul Nguyen is an all-around scholar with experience in teaching and research on top of academic excellence. He volunteered as a tutor in the university math lab for medium-2 years while maintaining a 4.23 grade point average, and holds a grant from Canada's most prestigious science granting agency, the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council (NSERC), for research he is currently working on with a Thompson Rivers University faculty member. Paul has also received an NSERC post-graduate scholarship to pursue a master's degree in statistics at the University of Western Ontario this fall.
TRU Medal in Tourism Management: Callandra Lea Ottmann. Callandra Ottmann was born and raised in Canmore, Alberta, graduating from Canmore Collegiate High in 1998. After completing an Events and Conventions Management diploma at TRU in 2003, Callandra spent three months backpacking through Europe, then laddered into TRU's Tourism Management degree program. A tourist as well as a tourism professional, Callandra has visited 13 countries, including a year in Australia in 2000. While maintaining Dean's List standing in her courses, she found time to volunteer for a number of campus and community organizations. Callandra is getting married in September, and then plans to live in Europe for a year, working in the tourism industry. Future plans include a master's degree in tourism studies.
TRU Medal in Natural Resource Science: Jodi L. Vander Hoek. Jodi Vander Hoek is the second student in her family to win a medal upon graduation; her sister Heather was awarded the Governor General's Collegiate Bronze medal in 2003. Jodi was born and raised in Salmon Arm, and was a 4-H member until she graduated from Salmon Arm Senior Secondary in 2000. She completed a year of arts studies before enrolling in TRU's natural resource program, where she excelled in her studies, winning many scholarships and awards. While maintaining high grades, she also volunteered as president of the TRU Range Club, and as Secretary of the Natural Resource Science Club. Future plans include her wedding in September and continued work with the Fraser Basin Council in Kamloops.
TRU Medal in Business Administration: Nathan L. Murray. After graduating from Logan Lake Secondary School in 1997, Nathan Murray completed the Professional Golf Management program at Camosun College in 2001 before transferring to TRU to pursue a degree in business. His older sister and brother, and his mother, who won the social work medal in 1996, are all TRU graduates. While maintaining high grades, Nathan, who plays hockey as well as golf, volunteered as general manager with the TRU hockey club and organized junior golf clinics and events. He has recently returned from a three-month backpacking tour of Europe, and will be attending law school this fall.
TRU Medal in Arts: Kendra Lee McKay. Kendra McKay graduated in 2001 from Williams Lake Secondary School, located near her hometown of Hanceville, earning an entrance scholarship to pursue arts studies at TRU. A math major and geography minor, Kendra maintained high academic standing and continued to win scholarships while volunteering as a math tutor for TRU students. She also found time to prepare and present a scholarly paper at the Western Division of the Canadian Association of Geographers Annual Meeting. An avid outdoorsperson and long-time 4-H'er, Kendra bikes, camps and kayaks, and volunteers at 4-H youth camps. She was married this past May and will be pursuing certification as a secondary school teacher this fall.
TRU Medal in Fine Arts: Kristina E. Fiedrich. Kristina Fiedrich graduated from Kamloops Secondary School in 1999, and then earned a professional photo-imaging diploma at Langara College in 2002. She then enrolled in TRU's fine arts program, and this year graduates with a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in Studio Art, as well as a fine arts diploma and a photography and printmaking certificate. A highlight in her graduating year was a group art exhibition she mounted in the TRU Art Gallery with medium-2 fellow students. She now plans to pursue a master's degree in fine arts.
TRU Medal in Journalism: Lailani Mendoza. Lailani Mendoza was born in the Philippines, and graduated from Mangatarem National High School in 1999. She then studied at the University of the Philippines for a year, where she was named to the Dean's List. She moved to Canada with her mother and sister at the age of 18, and enrolled at TRU, where she again achieved Dean's List standing. Lailani has volunteered for both World Vision and the Campus Crusade for Christ in the Philippines. Already a regular contributor to a youth-oriented on-line magazine, she plans to work at a magazine or newspaper in Canada.
TRU Medal in Nursing: Corrine Out. Corrine graduated from Salmon Arm Senior Secondary in 1999, then took medium-2 years of general science at Okanagan University College before coming to TRU to pursue studies in nursing, where she was awarded a number of scholarships and achieved Dean's List standing in recognition of her superior academic performance. A true nurse-advocate, Corrine worked on campus to raise student awareness about healthy nutrition, and advocated for healthy snack options in campus vending machines and food outlets. She has already secured an on-call position in Royal Inland Hospital's surgical unit, and plans for work as a nurse for a while and then pursue a career in acting or medicine.
GOVERNOR GENERAL'S ACADEMIC MEDAL (COLLEGIATE SILVER): Sarah van Heeswijk. Born and raised in Princeton, BC, where she graduated from Princeton Secondary School, Sarah was an active 4-Her, raising a lamb project each year. Since that time, she has continued to volunteer in 4-H activities and campus initiatives. While attaining the highest marks of any degree graduate this year, she also found time to volunteer as the student society representative for challenged students, and as President of the Biology Undergraduate Society. She is currently working in a summer position with the provincial government in 4-H and bioproducts support. She plans to apply for a Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council scholarship to pursue a Master's degree in Biology.
GOVERNOR GENERAL'S ACADEMIC MEDAL (COLLEGIATE BRONZE): Meredith LeNeveu. Meredith grew up in Fernie, and graduated from Fernie Secondary School. A true scholar, she earned medium-2 Bachelor of Science degrees, one in Biology and the other in Psychology, before entering UCC's Animal Health Technology program on the urging of her sister, a former graduate of the program. A lifelong lover of animals, Meredith has worked in vet hospitals and volunteered at a wildlife rehabilitation centre, and looks forward to hands-on work with animals in a vet hospital, research lab, aquarium or zoo, with the ultimate goal of working with marine mammals.
UCC MEDAL IN SCIENCE: David Cruickshank. David was born and raised in Kamloops, graduating from Westsyde secondary, earning his private pilot's license and traveling extensively before enrolling in physics at UCC. Active in and out of the classroom, David is an accomplished woodworker and has also volunteered with the Rotary Club and a car club in Kelowna, and last year built a fire-fighting water truck, as well as a cloud chamber for the UCC Physics department. Inspired by Stephen Lewis who inaugurated the UCC President's Lecture Series in January, David will spend the winter in Africa doing humanitarian work before applying to medical school.
UCC MEDAL IN EDUCATION: Sophia Sarrasin. Sophia was born in Kamloops, completed her secondary schooling and a couple of years of university-transfer in Victoria, then returned to Kamloops where she earned a UCC Bachelor of Arts degree in 2002, and received the Arts medal at convocation that year. Fully bilingual, she has already secured a position as school librarian and teacher of French immersion kindergarten in Merritt. She plans to complete a Bachelor of Science degree over the next couple of years, with the ultimate goal of becoming a high school math teacher.
UCC MEDAL IN BACHELOR OF TECHNOLOGY IN APPLIED COMPUTING SCIENCES: Shawn Anderson. Shawn was born and raised in Kamloops, graduating from Westsyde secondary. After completing a Computer Systems: Operations and Management diploma at UCC, he laddered into the BT/ACS program, also completing 32 months of co-operative education training. An active outdoorsperson, he likes golfing, skiing, mountain biking, rollerblading, camping and traveling, which he balances with a love for music, charcoal drawing, and all forms of computing. He currently holds a position with the Fire Centre in the Kootenays. He plans to work in the IT industry and possibly work toward a Master's degree in a couple of years.
UCC MEDAL IN NURSING: Suzanne Bruce. Suzanne was raised in Kamloops, graduating from Kamloops secondary before entering UCC, where she completed a year of general studies then went into nursing. During her studies, she received a grant from the Canadian Institutes of Health Research to work with an interdisciplinary research team, presenting the findings at a national conference this past February. She plans to work in the specialty area of mental health nursing.
UCC MEDAL IN ARTS: Liam Mitchell. Liam grew up in Kamloops, and graduated from Valleyview secondary before enrolling in the general arts program at UCC, where he pursued concentrations in political science and economics, making the Dean's List every semester. An active volunteer, he has a radio show on the campus-community radio station, was a writer for the Omega campus newspaper, and plays in the Kamloops community band. An accomplished musician, he plays piano, guitar and saxophone, and is currently teaching music lessons. He has been awarded a graduate assistantship and fellowship to pursue a Master's degree in Political Science at York University this September.
UCC MEDAL IN JOURNALISM: Sherry Bennett. Sherry earned many awards in Canadian Studies and English before entering the journalism degree program at UCC. She has maintained top marks and put her research talents and interest in investigative reporting to use with a Comprehensive University Enhancement Fund scholarship for research on the McLean Boys for the Community-University Research Alliance. She is freelancing for now, and plans to work for a newspaper after her teenaged son and daughter graduate from high school.
UCC MEDAL IN TOURISM: Alison Aspinall. Alison grew up in Princeton, graduating from Princeton secondary. After a year in engineering studies at UBC, she came to UCC to pursue a degree in tourism, where she maintained top marks and garnered awards as tourism's top student while volunteering extensively on campus. She has been offered medium-2 scholarships and a graduate research assistantship to pursue a master's degree in applied environmental studies at the University of Waterloo.
UCC MEDAL IN FINE ARTS: David Simcox. David was born in Grand Forks, and completed high school in Drayton Valley, Alberta and Dawson Creek before coming to UCC to pursue a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree. An accomplished painter, David has already had a solo show in the UCC gallery, and says one of the highlights of his education here was a trip to Wells Gray Park to paint with UCC Visual Arts instructor Lloyd Bennett. His future plans include teaching art, writing, painting and sculpting, while his more immediate goal is to complete a Bachelor of Arts degree at UCC, then apply for a master's program.
UCC MEDAL IN BUSINESS ADMINISTRATION: Helene Reichor. Helene was born and raised in Gallneukirchen, Austria, and after graduating from high school and completing a year at the Sports University in Vienna, emigrated to Canada on her own. An active snowboarder, she shares her expertise as a volunteer children's snowboarding coach, and also volunteers as a fitness instructor at the YM/YWCA. While completing her Bachelor of Business Administration with a major in Accounting, Helene garnered a number of scholarships, and has secured a position at KPMG. She plans to start work on her Chartered Accountant designation this fall.
UCC MEDAL IN NATURAL RESOURCE SCIENCE: Alissa Krawchuk. Born and raised in Kamloops, Alissa Krawchuk graduated from Kamloops secondary, then completed a year of general biology at the University of Victoria before enrolling in Natural Resource Sciences at UCC, where she made the Dean's List each semester. Her love of the outdoors is not only reflected in her choice of career, but also in her hobbies: downhill and cross-country skiing, kayaking and camping. She also has an active interest in wildlife research, begun as a UCC undergraduate when she worked on a red squirrel field study. She is currently working for Tolko Forest Products, and plans to work in forestry while pursuing her Registered Professional Forester designation.
UCC MEDAL IN BACHELOR OF SOCIAL WORK: Justin Walsh. After graduating from Brocklehurst secondary, Justin completed a year of Sociology at UBC before enrolling in the social work program at UCC. While maintaining a high grade-point average, he conducted a study with one of his professors on housing and mental illness, which he presented this week at the Canadian Association of Social Workers national conference in Saskatoon. He is currently looking for work in the area of social policy research and plans to pursue graduate studies in public policy.
GOVERNOR GENERAL'S ACADEMIC MEDAL (SILVER): Murray John Borthwick. Murray Borthwick received the Governor General's Medal when he graduated from Norkam Secondary in 1996. While at UCC he pursued a double major in General Biology and General Chemistry, and also worked on a Directed Studies project under the supervision of Assistant Professor Louis Gosselin-work that took him to the Bamfield Marine Research Station on Vancouver Island, where he was also able to pursue his interests in rowing, hiking and kayaking. His work in UCC Science programs earned him many awards, among them the UCC Biological Sciences Prize and the UCC Physical Sciences Prize. Right now, Murray is in Quebec, studying French under a federal summer language bursary program, and in the fall he'll be travelling in Thailand. He will be entering medical school the following year, and hopes to one day work in epidemiology.
GOVERNOR GENERAL'S ACADEMIC MEDAL (BRONZE): Cory H. Honeyman. Cory Honeyman is a graduate of the Engineering Design and Drafting Technology Diploma program. He came to UCC directly after graduating from Stanley Humphries Secondary School in Castlegar, and is now working at Keen Engineering in Vancouver.
UCC MEDAL IN SCIENCE: Tanja Ilic. Tanja Ilic, a 1997 Brocklehurst Secondary graduate, is the only woman this year to graduate with a Bachelor of Science degree in Mathematics. While maintaining a high Grade Point Average, she's held a part-time job throughout her secondary and post-secondary career, enjoys bike riding, rollerblading and volleyball, and tutors high school students in Math. She has been accepted into the SFU Professional Development Program where she will pursue a teaching certificate, and then hopes to teach high school Mathematics.
UCC MEDAL IN EDUCATION: Tannis Elizabeth Tate. Tannis Tate has been involved in education since she graduated from Sir Winston Churchill Secondary in Calgary in 1979. After taking three years of a Special Education degree at the University of Alberta, she spent six years in Yellowknife, where she founded a non-profit performing arts school for First Nations youth. While at UCC, this single mother juggled the responsibilities of caring for her three children, participation as a student representative on UCC Education Council, and volunteer work at Stuart Wood School while maintaining a high Grade Point Average. She is now involved in modern dance, and hopes to become a Fine Arts Facilitator in the public education system, developing programming and curriculum, and coordinating fine arts professional development opportunities for teachers.
UCC MEDAL IN BACHELOR OF TECHNOLOGY IN APPLIED COMPUTING SCIENCES: Paulo Domenico Lionello. Paulo Lionello took a few years off after graduating from Pentiction High in 1992, then came to UCC. He completed a Bachelor of Business Administration degree in 2000, and this year tops his class as he graduates with a Bachelor of Technology in Applied Computer Science, having done most of the course work for both degree programs simultaneously. He also plays a variety of sports, and musical instruments, including the saxophone and guitar. He's working at a local software company right now, and hopes to own his own company in the future.
UCC MEDAL IN NURSING: Shanti Maria Jose-Gidwani. Shanti Gidwani has had a passion to help people since she was three years old. She received an Honours Bachelor of Science degree at the University of Toronto in 1996 before coming to UCC in 1997 to pursue a degree in Nursing. During her time at UCC, she won a scholarship to complete her third-year final practicum in Nepal, where she also had the chance to pursue her love of rock climbing. She is now working for the Vancouver/Richmond Health Board in the area of community public health, and plans to complete a Master's degree, perhaps in Education, in the near future, and thinks her love of learning will eventually prompt her to complete a PhD.
UCC MEDAL IN ARTS: Daniel P. Connolly. Daniel Connolly grew up in Barriere, where he gained a love for fishing and the outdoors. He graduated from Barriere Secondary School in 1997, and came directly to UCC where he pursued his Bachelor of Arts degree with a major in History. His passion for History will be taking him to UBC, where he will study Latin and Greek for a year before beginning work on a Master's degree in Classical History. He hopes to eventually complete a PhD in Classical History, and then teach Ancient History at a university.
UCC MEDAL IN JOURNALISM: Neco A. Cockburn. Neco Cockburn graduated from Kamloops Secondary School in 1997, and then came to UCC where he pursued his academic goals and played basketball for the UCC Sun Demons. He is also very involved in men's soccer in the community. As a journalism student, he worked for the UCC Athletics Department for the past medium-2 years as a Public Relations intern. Neco will begin work on a broadcast major in the Carleton University Master's in Journalism program this fall. He hopes to one day work for the CBC.
UCC MEDAL IN TOURISM: Sharman R. Learie.
UCC MEDAL IN BUSINESS ADMINISTRATION: Kate Turley. Kate Turley spent a year in Denmark in 1995, just after she graduated from Kamloops High School. While pursuing a BBA with concentrations in Human Resources and Economics at UCC, Kate remained involved in technical theatre with the Western Canada Theatre Company and Kamloops Youth Theatre, and took time out of her busy schedule to read to the blind. Kate participated in a student exchange while at UCC, spending her second year of study at the University of Salford in England. She is currently working at an economic consulting company, and will be starting law school at UBC this fall.
UCC MEDAL IN NATURAL RESOURCE SCIENCE: Scott R. Mackinnon. Scott MacKinnon graduated from St. Ann's Academy in Kamloops in 1996, and partially supported his study in the Natural Resource Sciences program with scholarships every year. Scott is an outdoors person with an interest in mountain biking and skiing. He is currently working for a forestry consulting company in Kamloops, and is considering pursuit of a Registered Profession Forester designation in the future.
UCC MEDAL IN BACHELOR OF SOCIAL WORK: Rachel Elizabeth Coutts. Rachel Coutts graduated from Okanagan Mission Secondary School in Kelowna in 1993, then completed a Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology at Okanagan University College and UBC before coming to UCC to complete her Social Work degree. While here, she completed practicums at the Street Clinic and the Ministry for Children and Families, and is now working in the Vancouver-based Aboriginal Family Services Unit of the Ministry for Children and Families. She hopes to begin work on a Master's degree in Social Work in a few years, and to work with street-involved people in Vancouver's downtown east side.