Thompson Rivers University
Thompson Rivers University

Valedictorians

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2017

Mackenzie Cassels

Mackenzie Cassels for the Faculty of Arts. Mackenzie Cassels completed her Bachelor of Arts with a major in history and a minor in political science. Out of a passion for politics she helped spearhead the TRU Political Science Club, co-chaired the 2017 Model United Nations Conference and co-organized the 2017 PHP Conference. She spent five months in the Philippines as an intern with Save the Children, helping to implement a national reading program. Cassels was also a research assistant to faculty member Dr. Tina Block and was part of a student team that studied youth voting behavior. She intends to take a year off before pursuing a master’s in public policy.


Tatiana Fedotova

Tatiana Fedotova for the School of Business and Economics. Tatiana Fedotova completed her Bachelor of Business Administration with a major in human resources and a minor in marketing. She applied her learning in the TRU Enactus club as marketing coordinator, director of human resources and faculty advisor, and completed three co-op terms as web and events assistant. Fedotova received the Outstanding International Student of the Year award in 2016 and has also served as a Learning Innovation Fellow, student fundraiser for the TRU Alumni Foundation and communications director for the TRUSU Lean in – Leadership for Gender Equality Club. She plans to gain more work experience before pursuing a graduate degree or attending law school.


Eli Zbar

Eli Zbar for the Faculty of Law. Eli Zbar completed his Juris Doctor and holds a bachelor's degree in philosophy from the University of British Columbia. His passion for working with people led him to choose law school, as the practice of law is fundamentally about helping people. Zbar was the first TRU Law student to conduct a self-directed qualitative research project, which focused on improving student training in the Clinical Legal Education program. He received the Dean’s Course Prize for Clinical Practice in Winter 2016 and the 2017 Law Foundation of BC Public Interest Law scholarship. He looks forward to starting his career as a lawyer in downtown Vancouver and pursuing graduate-level legal studies.


Angel Phair

Angel Phair for the Faculty of Education and Social Work. Angel Phair is the first valedictorian to represent the Education and Skills Training Program (ESTR), which provides students with cognitive disabilities with knowledge about future employment opportunities and training in specific areas. After completing the Career Explorations credential last year, Phair went on to receive a Kitchen Assistant certificate. Her quiet manner and willingness to listen and observe translates to an effective leadership style, and her classmates regularly sought her advice and guidance. She received a BC Lions Society Advanced Education Award last year. This summer, she plans to work as a cook or camp counsellor before returning to TRU to complete ESTR’s Retail Worker certificate.


Dylan Ziegler

Dylan Ziegler for the Faculty of Science. Dylan Ziegler has immersed himself in research, reaped the rewards, and now wants to become a university professor. During his studies, he was a teaching assistant for second-year biology students, and served as president of the TRUSU Botany Club. As a paid student researcher for the past three summers, he published two peer-reviewed papers, one related to his honours project, and received an NSERC Undergraduate Student Research Award. Ziegler has also won awards for his presenting skills, honed at six conferences. The recipient of an NSERC Canada Graduate Scholarship – Master's Award, he plans to use the funds to study plant developmental genetics at the University of Manitoba.


Taryn Christian

Taryn Christian for the School of Nursing. Taryn Christian entered the nursing program not only because of the global opportunities in the field of nursing and health care, but also out of a desire to engage with people, learn their stories and provide quality care. She has a love for travelling and attended a field school in Apia, Samoa in her third year, where she completed her clinical practical experience. Christian loves to keep active and spent countless hours participating in recreational sports at TRU and in the community. She currently works for Interior Health, where she plans to hone her skills before pursuing a clinical specialty or a master’s degree.


Kristy Alphonse-Palmantier

Kristy Alphonse-Palmantier for the Williams Lake Campus. Kristy Alphonse-Palmantier is Northern Shuswap, born and raised on her traditional territory in Williams Lake. As an employee, advisor, entrepreneur and volunteer, she has been a tireless advocate for First Nation voices in her community and beyond. Her career achievements include business ventures in retail and cattle, positions with the provincial government, two terms on Chief and Council, and several roles with the Williams Lake Indian Band. Recently, with four children grown, Kristy completed a Certificate of Indigenous Studies and a Bachelor of General Studies through TRU. She now plans to merge and strengthen the tools she gained through her education with her traditional teachings.



 

2016

 

Afton Flynn for the School of Business and Economics. Afton Flynn was actively involved in Enactus Thompson Rivers during her Bachelor of Business Administration program, including teaching financial education skills to vulnerable youth and new immigrants to Canada. She also completed two co-op terms as web and events assistant for the School of Business and Economics and her third term as communications and research assistant in the Office of the President. Her interest in the outdoors combined with her degree has led her to a career as an e-commerce user experience specialist with FGL Sports in Calgary. Eventually she would like to take on more responsibility, and in future work directly with outdoor brands to expand and market their lines for female consumers.

 

Katelyn Lohr for the Faculty of Adventure Studies, Culinary Arts and Tourism Management and the Faculty of Education and Social Work. Katelyn Lohr began the Events and Conventions Management Diploma program in 2011 with a TRU Leadership Entrance Scholarship. She laddered into the Bachelor of Tourism Management to further her love of academics and tourism. She spent two years as a work-study student at the TRU Wellness Centre, and got involved in the TRU Students’ Union Professional Conventions Management Association. Through the PCMA she gained more hands-on experience as events chair, vice-president and then president, and attended the PCMA Convening Leaders Conference in Orlando, Boston and most recently in Chicago. She would love to work in a university setting where she can enhance the experiences of students.

 

Karli Rapinda for the School of Nursing and the Faculty of Arts. Karli Rapinda majored in psychology and minored in sociology. An Undergraduate Research Experience Award Program (UREAP) award funded her work on social interest, emotional well-being and motives for volunteering, which she presented at the Canadian Society for Brain, Behavior and Cognitive Science Conference in 2015. She completed her honours thesis under Dr. Reid Webster, worked as a research assistant and was an active member of the Psychology Club. For two years she has facilitated a cognitive behaviour treatment at the Kamloops Regional Correctional Facility. Now she plans to take a year off, publish her research, and then continue to a master’s and PhD in clinical psychology.

 

Carlee Poleschuk for the School of Trades and Technology and the Faculty of Science. Carlee Poleschuk completed her Bachelor of Science with honours in chemical biology. Her work as part of a collaborative nuclear medicine project at TRIUMF, Canada’s national physics lab, won her the BC and Yukon Association for Co-operative Education Co-op Student of the Year Award. For her active involvement on-campus and off, including as a supplemental learning leader and the student representative on the TRU Foundation, she was recognized with TRU’s 2016 Neil Russell Student Leadership Award. She just spent a month in Ecuador, shadowing doctors in hospitals and helping rebuild homes in areas devastated by recent earthquakes. Her goal is to become a medical doctor with a focus on nuclear medicine, radiology and cancer research.


 

2015

 

Jessy Dame, Bachelor of Science in Nursing. Jessy graduated from Abbotsford Senior Secondary and received his health and human services certificate through the University of the Fraser Valley while he was in grades 11 and 12. Jessy started the nursing program at TRU in 2011 and has also completed the global competency certificate, the leadership in environmental sustainability certificate, and the co-curricular peer leadership certificate while in his fourth year of the nursing program. He plans on continuing his education by getting a master's degree in nursing and one day teaching. His two major fields of focus in nursing are newborn intensive care and Aboriginal health. Working with high risk or premature newborns is Jessy’s true passion and the reason he went into nursing.

 

Eric Moore for School of Trades & Technology. Eric Moore graduated from Oak Bay High School in Victoria in 2007. He began his academic life with an entrance scholarship from the University of Victoria where he studied sciences. He then transferred to Thompson Rivers University, where he has completed the transportation and motive power technician diploma. Recently Eric competed at the provincial Skills Canada Competition in Abottsford for heavy equipment servicing and ended up winning. Eric is also graduating with a Bachelor of Commerce from Royal Roads University. Eric is working with transit company First Canada ULC to complete his Red Seal hours for commercial transport mechanic. His long-term goal is to achieve heavy duty mechanic Red Seal.

 

Stella Oosterhoff, Bachelor of Education. Stella graduated from Revelstoke Secondary School and completed the Bachelor of Tourism Management at Thompson Rivers University before beginning studies for her Bachelor of Education. She has had Study Abroad experiences in Greece and the Philippines, and would ‘secretly’ love to travel the world, attending yoga classes and blogging about them. Stella is a registered yoga teacher and once went 10 days without speaking in a silent mediation course. Stella was a member of the roundtable planning committee for the 2015 teacher education conference, volunteered with International Days, and fundraised with Operation Education. In the community Stella volunteered as a yoga instructor at Kamloops Immigrant Services, Kids Yoga at Let’s Move, and was a Science Fair Judge, as well as volunteering at the Big Little Science Centre, Pacific Way Elementary, Aberdeen Elementary, Stuart Wood, and at a First Nations Language Conference.

 

Larissa Pepper, Bachelor of Business Administration. Larissa Pepper graduated from South Kamloops Secondary School and started at TRU in 2010 with a four-year TRU Ambassador’s Scholarship. She has participated fully in university life and in addition to volunteer activities has received many awards: 2014 TRU Distinguished Alumni: Neil Russell Student Leadership Award Recipient, 2013 Association for Co-operative Education University Student of the Year for BC & Yukon, 2013 TD Meloche Monnex Student Scholarship for Career, 2013 BC Human Resources Management Association Central Interior Scholarship. Larissa is currently working at Arrow Transportation Systems Inc., in the human resources department, which started as a Co-op work term. She is also pursuing the certified human resources professional (CHRP) designation.


 

2014

Sara Corless



Sara Corless for the Faculty of Adventure, Culinary Arts, and Tourism.


Twyla Hartnell



Twyla Hartnell for the School of Business and Economics.


Sophie Stanley



Sophie Stanley for the School of Nursing.


Rolena deBruyn



Rolena deBruyn for the Faculty of Science.


Alexa Manuel



Alexa Manuel for the Faculty of Arts.


 

2013

 

Andrea Keim for the School of Nursing. Andrea was born in northern Italy and moved to 100 Mile House when she was seven years old, where she completed her schooling. She graduated from Peter Skene Ogden Secondary School in 2005. After a year of working and travelling, she enrolled in general studies at TRU and then began the Nursing program in 2009. Andrea was on the dean's list for three years and won the Alvin & Lydia Grunert Scholarship for the highest GPA in nursing in 2010, and was again nominated in 2011. In 2012 she received a Royal Inland Hospital Auxilliary award, as well as two awards from the Registered Nurses Foundation of British Columbia. Andrea participated in two conferences – the Canadian Nursing Students' Association Western Regional Conference in October 2012, and the International Research Institute Conference in July 2012, where she and two peers presented suggestions they developed for an Aboriginal focused mental health and wellness program. One of Andrea's most memorable moments at TRU was at her semester seven social after her cohort's last class. Seeing everyone happy after finishing the academic part of the program, thinking about the friendships which had developed, and noticing how everyone had grown to be confident over the four years they were together, was a very moving experience. Andrea is currently working at Lion's Gate Hospital in North Vancouver on a cardiac care ward. She plans to pursue Intensive Care or Emergency Room nursing with a goal of studying to be a Nurse Practitioner. Andrea has been active outdoors all her life, and loves to spend her free time hiking, fishing and pursuing her love of art or playing guitar.

 

Mark Ramsay for the Faculty of Arts. Born and raised in Kamloops, Mark graduated from Westsyde Secondary in 2005. He began his studies at TRU when a suggestion of trying out a few courses led to him enrolling in the Bachelor of Arts program. After trying out a variety of subjects, he found a connection with what he was learning in Sociology and eagerly embarked on making this field his major. This led him to developing research interests in areas such as classical and contemporary social theory, stay-at-home fathers, and the impact of technology on society. Mark's experience in social media has also been helpful to his current employer, Aberdeen Mall, where he helped to establish their Facebook page and aided staff on the use of their website and social media platforms. He was able to lend this expertise to TRU's Centre for Student Engagement and Learning Innovation as a work study student. Over the last year Mark played a role in the planning and implementation of the winter semester orientation, contributed to the development of the Centre's definition of student engagement, and represented TRU at the Canadian Conference on Student Leadership in Kelowna. Mark also helped to organize and plan an inclusive university-wide event that occurred at the end of the last semester. In addition to this, his involvement within the TRU community includes participation in the United Way Youth Club, the Sociology and Anthropology Club, and an overall eagerness to promote his peers' success and experience at TRU. Mark has been accepted into the Master of Arts program at Queen's University in Kingston, Ontario, where he will be continuing his study of sociology this Fall.

 

Tamara Bandet for the Faculty of Science. Tamara grew up in Barriere and came to TRU with an Open Entrance Scholarship, allowing her to complete her BSc in Cellular, Molecular and Microbial Biology. She was the recipient of a U-REAP scholarship and received a Students into Work Grant from the Society of Applied Microbiology, both of which allowed her to carry out her own research project on antibiotic resistance in bacteria with Drs. Naowarat Cheeptham and Ken Wagner. Tamara completed three Co-operative Education work terms - one during her research project at TRU, and two terms with Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada as a research assistant in an analytical chemistry lab. In addition to her academic accomplishments, Tamara has been an active member of the community and our university. She volunteers her time with the Kamloops Therapeutic Riding Association, and volunteered with Developing World Connections in Nepal. At TRU, Tamara has devoted time to the Science Recruitment and Retention Committee and many Science events. She also recently represented TRU, introducing Bob McDonald of CBC's Quirks and Quarks for the President's Lecture Series and was the student speaker at the TRU Foundation's 2013 Campaign Breakfast. Tamara has recently been awarded a Canadian Society of Microbiology Undergraduate Award for 2013. Also, Tamara was one of eight recipients across Canada to receive a full Japanese government research scholarship, which will allow her to begin an MSc in Applied Microbiology at Hokkaido University in Sapporo, Japan, this fall. She credits Dr. Cheeptham for her support and guidance in securing her Monbukagakusho (MEXT) graduate scholarship.

 

Brandice Mohr-Brett for the Faculty of Human, Social, and Educational Development. Brandice Mohr-Brett was raised in Vernon, BC, and has returned to the area to raise her family and work as a high school counsellor. She began her journey to becoming a counsellor by earning her Bachelor of Education degree at the University of Victoria in 2004. During her work as a classroom teacher and a learning Resource Teacher, she was drawn to the students whose emotional needs impeded their learning and so pursued a position as a Behaviour Support Teacher. Counselling was heavily embedded in this work and so it was a natural progression to pursue a Master of Education (Counselling) in order to develop her skills and focus on her passion, which is working with at-risk youth. Brandice wishes to thank the professors at TRU for continually challenging her thinking and supporting her in becoming a reflective and ethical counsellor. Their expertise, commitment and personable approach made for an extraordinary learning experience. Brandice's greatest achievement is raising her two young children, liviah and Rowan, with her husband Rob. She is very grateful for the unending support from her immediate and extended family during this educational journey. Her future plans include pursuing her Registered Clinical Counsellor credential and engaging in more in-depth studies in this fascinating field.

 

Reta Langlands for the School of Business and Economics. Reta was born and raised in Kamloops, and upon graduation from Valleyview Secondary in 2006, she was the recipient of the Governor General's Bronze Medal for outstanding scholastic achievement. Reta also received the TRU President's Entrance Scholarship, and commenced her studies at TRU that September. She soon realized her passion for marketing and transferred to the Bachelor of Business Administration. In 2012, Reta received a nomination for the Grunert Scholarship, ranking among the ten highest GPAs in the School of Business and Economics. In her second year at TRU, Reta became a Supplemental Learning Leader for both Financial Accounting and Mathematics for Business. She went on to successfully complete four Co-operative Education work terms; three with TRU Student Recruitment and Liaison and one with Thompson Nicola Cariboo United Way. During her work terms, her experience varied from recruiting high school students across Canada and coordinating the Community Carnival on Victoria Street. Over the last two years of her degree, Reta also worked as a Guest Service Representative at Aberdeen Mall, where she developed a new interest in Consumer Behaviour. Furthermore, Reta was a member of the TRUSU United Way Youth Club, as well as a selection committee member for the Telus Interior Savings Youth Initiative Grants. The last two summers, Reta organized the SoBE Undergrad Open House, and most recently she joined the newly formed United Way GenNext association of young Kamloops professionals. Reta discovered a new passion in student recruitment and supporting prospective university students in their transition to post-secondary, and has since returned to a position in the office of Student Recruitment and Liaison. She looks forward to traveling the world, and eventually pursuing an MBA with a Consumer Behaviour focus.


 

2012

Marilyn Patricia Adolph

Marilyn Patricia Adolph for the Faculty of Human, Social, and Educational Development. Marilyn Patricia Adolph is from Lillooet, BC. After attending secondary schools in Vancouver, she began a Basic Training Skills Development (BTSD) Level IV (Grade 12 equivalency) with Cariboo College in 1975. She has worked as an elementary school tutor for the Fountain Band, as Program Director with the Lillooet Friendship Centre, and as a First Nations Student Support Worker with School District No. 74 in Gold Trail, where she is currently a teacher-on-call. In 1988, Marilyn was honoured with a British Columbia for Mentally Handicapped People Partnership Award for advocating that people with disabilities be integrated into the public school system. Returning to TRU as a Bachelor of Education student, Marilyn was named to the Dean’s List three times, and received a UREAP grant to research the importance of place for Indigenous people. One of the highlights of her student life was creating a cultural education book for children that started out as an assignment for her Education Language and Literacy 4150 (EDLL) class. She sat on the TRU Academic Planning Steering Committee, and volunteers in the community with the Aboriginal Parents Club. Her greatest achievement is raising three children with her husband Art. Marilyn enjoys harvesting and preserving Indigenous foods, writing poetry, visiting waterfalls, and encouraging young people to stay in school. Her future plans include obtaining her Master’s in Education.

Monica Hall

Monica Hall for the Faculty of Science. Monica Hall grew up in Kamloops and attended NorKam Secondary and Kamloops Senior Secondary. After high school, she did a number of jobs, including working at her family’s restaurant and the YMCA-YWCA, while raising two children. When her father’s health deteriorated, she became his primary caregiver for seven years. Looking after her father gave Monica an insight into the nursing profession and the dedication it takes to be in the health care field. In September 2011, she started in the Health Care Assistant Program at TRU. Although, at age 44, she was a mature student, Monica was made to feel she belonged. She will always be grateful to her TRU instructors for their positive energy, support and encouragement. An opportunity she was given during practicum to advocate for a client, and then to see the difference that it all made, was one of the memorable moments of her studies. Family remains central in her life. She enjoys getting outdoors in her community, and running with the Distance Divas, the women’s running group she founded. Since her graduation in March 2012, she has been working in a casual position for the Interior Health Authority and Ridgeview Lodge. Monica enjoys going to work and looks forward to expanding her knowledge and experience in the health care field.

Steven Thompson Holm

Steven Thompson Holm for the School of Business and Economics. Steven Thompson Holm was born and raised in Kamloops, and graduated from the South Kamloops Secondary School French Immersion Program with an Ambassador’s Scholarship to TRU. A Business Administration student, majoring in Economics and Finance, he worked as a research assistant in the Department of Economics and was the co-president of the Economics Students’ Association on campus. Also a member of Students in Free Enterprise (SIFE), Steven was the program manager for Thompson Rivers Consulting, which helps small businesses and non-profits. He was also part of the SIFE presentation team for the Go Green and Entrepreneurship Categories at the national ACE competition. The semester he spent studying abroad, at the Université Paul Cézanne, in Aix-en-Provence, France is one of the highlights of his student life. With a UREAP research grant, Steven studied the effect of funding sources on undergraduate student outcomes, and presented “BC Student Loan Policy in the Global Context” at TRU’s Undergraduate Research Conference. He has been involved in federal politics at the local level, and twice won bursaries to attend Fraser Institute public policy seminars. A regular on the Dean’s List, he is an Institutional Candidate for the SSHRC Bombardier Masters Scholarship. Steven will start law school in September at Osgoode Hall in Toronto, and will pursue his Chartered Financial Analyst designation level one in December.

Emily Jean Hope

Emily Jean Hope for the Faculty of Arts. Emily Jean Hope 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.


 

2011

Amrita Patel

Amrita Patel for the School of Business and Economics. Amrita grew up in Kamloops, attending South Kamloops Secondary and volunteering with the Kamloops Youth Advisory Council and the Hindu Cultural Society. At TRU, Amrita chose a double major in accounting and finance for her Bachelor of Business Administration. A highlight of her time at TRU has been volunteering with SIFE, both as VP of Finance and Administration, and as a team member at the Regional and National competitions, where her team won 1st place in the Financial Literacy Challenge and runner up in Entrepreneurship. Amrita was chosen as one of eight students to represent TRU at the Annual Forecasting Budget in 2008, and won the Dixon Memorial Bursary that same year. Her most memorable experience was the Business Field School in India under the guidance of Heather Williams, one of the professors she credits most for her success. Amrita was one of 10 Canadian students at the KPMG Fast Forward Leadership Conference in Hollywood, California in 2008; after graduation she will complete her chartered accountant designation with KPMG and hopes to travel the world with KPMG Go.

Cynthia Schaap

Cynthia Schaap for the School of Tourism and the Faculty of Human, Social, and Educational Development. Cynthia attended Parkland Secondary in her home town of Victoria, BC. After graduation, she joined the University of Victoria for a year of general studies before coming to TRU to earn her Events and Conventions Management Diploma, after which she decided to go further and earn her Bachelor of Tourism Management. While at TRU, she spent time volunteering as President for the Professional Convention Management Association (PCMA), was a Transition Mentor for first-year students coming to university, acted as Assistant Orientation Coordinator for TRU, and was also a Student Task Force member for the PCMA. She received numerous awards, including the Roy B. Evans Scholarship, the Delta Hotel Scholarship, Nels Grane Wells Entrance Scholarship, and the Doug Menzies Award. The atmosphere and community of the university, the learning opportunities outside the classroom, and her professors and classes were what made TRU special to Cynthia. She has been hired as the catering and sales manager for Aramark at the University of Alberta.

Adam Fizer

Adam Fizer for the School of Trades and Technology and the Faculty of Arts. Adam is from Red Deer, Alberta, where he attended Lindsay Thurber Comprehensive High School. Adam came to TRU as a mature student to study Economics. He volunteered his time and energy 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 develop a program 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, where he has also been awarded the Laurier Centennial Scholarship for leadership and the Laurier Dean’s Scholarship for academic excellence. 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.

Brady Nelson

Brady Nelson for the School of Nursing and the Faculty of Science. Brady is from Campbell River, BC. After graduating from Carihi Secondary, he attended Camosun College in Victoria, and worked as an apprentice in electroplating with the Department of National Defense. Then in 2008 he made one of the best decisions of his life, returning to school to take Respiratory Therapy at TRU. Throughout the program he made the Dean’s list each semester, and his 2009 poster project on sleep apnea won a $2000 grant for Brady and fellow students to attend the BC Society of Respiratory Therapists’ Conference in Kelowna. One of his most memorable experiences was travelling across BC with students and faculty in the inaugural year of TRU’s Mobile Centre for Respiratory Health and Sleep Science, educating communities on respiratory health. He also volunteered with several nursing programs and 3rd year medical programs, demonstrating various techniques in respiratory therapy. Brady enjoyed his clinical year at Victoria General and Royal Jubilee hospitals, as well as Vancouver General, and returned to the two Victoria hospitals in May to begin work as a respiratory therapist. He plans to further his education at TRU in a health-related field such as a Bachelor of Health Science.

Sharon Lee

Sharon Lee was born in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, and immigrated to Kamloops when she was 11 years old. She graduated with honours from Kamloops Senior Secondary. After graduation Sharon attended Carleton University in Ottawa, earning a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science, also with high honours. Her history of helping people through many non-profi t agencies has culminated in pursuing a Bachelor of Social Work degree at Thompson Rivers University. Sharon volunteers with the Red Cross where she has been a human resources coordinator, case manager, recruiter, and trainer for disaster management in Kamloops. She also volunteers at South Hills Psychiatric Rehabilitation Centre. While at TRU she promoted the Red Cross during International Days. In her third year she was involved with the Social Work Club. She was honoured to be a member of a class that received eagle feathers from Elder Gerald Carter for their work to organize the first traditional powwow for preschoolers on campus. She plans to pursue graduate studies in clinical social work.


 

2010

Alixandra Jean Stupich

Alixandra Jean Stupich attended Cedar Secondary School in Nanaimo where she was awarded BC Female Athlete of the Year, and received a Governor General Medal for top academic achievement. After graduating, Alix came to Thompson Rivers University to play basketball, and for three years was an Academic All Canadian. In her second year of university, Alix was awarded the Fairfax Financial Holdings scholarship for academic standards and extracurricular activities. After completing two years of Arts courses, the premise of social work and helping people motivated Alix to complete a degree in Social Work. She has been an outstanding academic student, an excellent writer, researcher, critical thinker, and participatory learner. She is a member of the Social Work Student Club, and the school’s International Committee. In May 2009, Alix participated in a Developing World Connections student trip to build a school in Peru. Alix has two years’ eligibility as a varsity athlete, and is returning to Vancouver Island to play basketball while taking courses that will augment her degree and future career aspirations. She is interested in working internationally in the field of social work.

Kimberly Anne Campbell

Kimberly Anne Campbell is from Hope, BC, and attended Hope Secondary School where she received the Governor General’s Academic Bronze Medal for the highest GPA in her graduating class. Upon entering TRU she received the Ambassador’s Entrance Scholarship. For four years, Kimberly was a member of the Peer Support team, providing the confidential space for students to talk to trained student volunteers. In 2009–2010, she was the President of the TRUSU History Club, and was also the director of promotions for the 2010 TRU Northwestern Undergraduate Conference: Philosophy, History, and Politics. She has also been involved in the TRU Student Leadership program for four years, and this year she received the Neil Russell Award for Student Leadership. Kimberly is thankful for the opportunities to participate in campus life and interact with many students, faculty and administration at TRU. After graduating, Kimberly is furthering her studies by entering the secondary education program at either the University of British Columbia or University of Victoria.

Kate Allard

Kate Allard graduated from Haney Pitt Meadows Christian School in 2002. After graduating Kate went to Bible school for six months before becoming a nanny for a Kamloops couple who she accompanied as they travelled across North America. After caring for a child who was hospitalized at BC Children’s Hospital, Kate was inspired to pursue nursing as a career. Kate’s mother is also a nurse which also played a role in Kate’s decision. She was accepted into the Bachelor of Science in Nursing program in 2006, and has maintained excellent grades while participating in an international fi eld school with her cohort in Samoa, followed by a Study Abroad semester at the University of Stavanger in Norway. Kate believes her faculty at TRU have enriched her learning experience and prepared her well with the education necessary for her career in Nursing. She also feels honoured to have spent four years with the students in her cohort. Kate has begun her career at Shuswap Lake General Hospital in a medical-surgical position, which is providing her with a solid foundation for professional growth.

Megan Lepp

Megan Lepp graduated from Mount Boucherie Secondary School in West Kelowna in 2005. She came to TRU after listening to a presentation at her high school by a TRU Co-operative Education student recruiter. In her second year Megan also took a co-op work term to become a student recruiter. She would definitely recommend co-operative education as a form of experiential learning as it has opened her eyes to numerous future career choices. Megan participated in TRU’s Study Abroad program by spending five months in a global business program at Austria’s FH Joanneum University. Megan has an excellent academic record and has participated in campus life as Vice-President Marketing for Students in Free Enterprise (SIFE). Megan credits her student success to the guidance and support provided by the many wonderful people she met during her co-op work terms and SIFE experiences. Now that Megan has graduated with a Bachelor of Business Administration she is pursuing a career in marketing and communications as well as entrepreneurial ventures.

Brad French

Brad French was born and raised in Kamloops. After graduating from Kamloops Senior Secondary in 1997, he entered the Bachelor of Arts program at what was then the University College of the Cariboo. In 2002, Brad completed his BA with a major in English and minor in Sociology. While taking a four-year hiatus from academia, Brad stayed involved with Thompson Rivers University, contracting his services to a research project in the Sociology department studying access to post-secondary education in British Columbia. During the four years after receiving his BA, Brad’s wife entered the Bachelor of Science in Nursing program at TRU. Watching his wife’s progression through the nursing program, Brad also developed a passion for what nurses do and have the potential to achieve. Subsequently, Brad entered the BSN program at TRU, which he completed this August. During his studies, Brad completed two practicums in Lillooet District Hospital, working in the emergency department and the acute floor. He was also hired as an Employed Student Nurse, working in Lillooet and then in the emergency department at Royal Inland Hospital (RIH). Highlights of the BSN program for Brad were working with two of his classmates developing a framework for evaluating Acute Care Attendants at RIH, developing curriculum for the Ambulatory Psychiatric Services at RIH, and receiving the Canadian Institute of Health Research award, where he was able to work as a research assistant to Marion Healey-Ogden on her hermeneutic phenomenological research project looking at nurses’ experiences of well-being in the clinical setting. Brad was also involved in the Nursing Undergraduate Society, College of Registered Nurses of British Columbia student representative program, and two nursing dean selection committees. Since finishing his last class in August, Brad has been hired on the medical floor at RIH. Future plans for Brad include finishing his Acute Critical Care Nursing in Emergency certificate from Mount Royal University this winter, gaining employment in an emergency department, starting his Masters in Nursing in 2011, and eventually becoming a Nurse Practitioner. Brad would like to thank his wife, family and friends, and the TRU nursing faculty and classmates for all their support, guidance, and understanding.


 

2009

Ford Widrig

John Ford Widrig was raised in Lunenburg, NS, and graduated with Honours and Distinction from Lunenburg High School in 2003. Upon graduating, Ford traveled to Lethbridge, AB, for his first year of university and competition in collegiate track and field. The following year he found work in Grand Forks, BC, and in 2005 resumed his studies at Thompson Rivers University. While at TRU, Ford was a tutor for TRU’s Supplemental Learning program, studied abroad for one semester at the Turku School of Economics in Finland, and competed for the Kamloops Track and Field Club under Dr. Anatoly Bondarchuk. In August of this year Ford completed the Bachelor of Business Administration program at TRU, with a concentration and minor in finance and accounting, respectively, and a cumulative ‘A’ grade point average. He has returned to Grand Forks and works as the office administrator for Advance Nursery Co. Ltd.

Ashley Relling

Ashley Relling grew up in Vernon BC, graduating from WL Seaton Secondary in 2005 where she earned a President’s Entrance Scholarship to Thompson Rivers University. She excelled academically while pursuing her degree, making the list of top academic achievers on the Dean’s List each semester. As well, she spent three semesters as a Residence Advisor, a semester studying abroad at the University of Western Australia and has been involved in every aspect of theatre production with the TRU Actors Workshop while pursuing her Bachelor of Arts Degree, with a Major in Theatre. Ashley is returning to TRU this fall to pursue a Bachelor of Education Degree, working towards her career goal of becoming a high school principal.

Holly McLean

Holly McLean is the first graduate from the Early Childhood Education program to be named valedictorian at Thompson Rivers University. In 2001, this member of the Long Plains First Nation of Manitoba, graduated from Columneetza Secondary in Williams Lake. Her choice to pursue a career in early childhood education was an easy one as Holly has been inspired by her mother’s work with young children in childcare settings and as a foster parent. During Holly’s practicum experiences she worked closely with parents and children at First Steps Daycare. She marvels at the opportunity she had there to help young families. Holly is confi dent she made the right choice in her credential and looks forwards to seeing what doors will open and the places she can go in this new and rewarding career.

Nicole Link-Loeher

Nicole Link-Loeher has had a varied career path that included a stint as an electrical trades apprentice, ultimately leading to the Engineering Design and Drafting Technology program at Thompson Rivers University. In addition to her studies, Nicole served on the program advisory committee and spoke on behalf of the co-op program. Off-campus Nicole volunteered as a run club coach, at Overlander Extended Care Hospital and with her church. Within days of completing her program, Nicole had four job offers. She has chosen to launch her career as a Civil Technician with Urban Systems, the local firm where she completed two successful co-op terms.

Bob Stanley

Bob Stanley Bob Stanley, an Indonesian student, arrived at Thompson Rivers University in 2004. In addition to his academic studies, this Bachelor of Science Environmental Chemistry graduate has been active as the treasurer of the Bio-Chemistry Club and playing doubles badminton for the WolfPack. He credits his academic success to the friendly and helpful faculty with whose guidance has led to his having three papers being reviewed for publication. He was named co-op student of the year in 2007 for the three terms he spent at his dream co-op position with the Columbia Brewery. This summer, before heading to graduate school, Bob will be continuing his research with Dr. Kingsley Donkor on a new type of antibiotic that has shown some effectiveness against a viral superbug.


 

2008

Danissa Kraljevic

Danissa Kraljevic, a graduate of St. Ann's Academy in 2001, has been active at TRU and in the Kamloops community for seven years, including four summers as a firefighter dispatcher for the Ministry of Forests and Range and four years on the women's basketball varsity team playing the position of point guard and serving as team captain. In 2005, she received the Task Force Athlete of the Year and Women's Basketball Leadership Awards.  As a member of the student athlete committee she played a pivotal role in choosing the name WolfPack for TRU's varsity teams.  Whether as an athlete or during her third year international nursing practicum in Samoa, volunteering to speak for the School of Nursing at the annual toys-for-tots campaign or making sure colleagues from Williams Lake were welcomed, Danissa has taken great pride in representing Thompson Rivers University.  It's something she'll continue as she heads to Australia for a few years of work and travel.

Ryan Steele

Ryan Steele began his post-secondary education at TRU in 2000, the summer after his graduation from Valleyview Secondary and has gone on to accomplish a great deal.  He has completed four co-op education semesters, an experience he describes as the best way to test drive a career to find out what you like and don't like.  In 2004 he received his Computer System: Operations and Management Diploma, and was named to the Dean's List for Academic achievement.  He spent a year studying abroad at the Tianjin University of Technology in Tianjin, China. Ryan has been active in the Advancing Canadian Entrepreneurship (ACE) and the Eco-Committee groups on campus and is one of only a half dozen students to have taken advantage of the double degree in the Bachelor of Technology in Applied Computing Science and Bachelor of Business Administration in the ten years it has been offered.

Caitlin Johnson

Caitlin Johnson, a bilingual graduate from John Peterson Secondary School's French Immersion program, knew that tourism was her calling after travelling in Europe in 2003.  Since entering the Bachelor of Tourism Management program in 2004, she has spent her summers working in the industry with Rocky Mountaineer Vacations and the Kamloops Visitor Centre, where she is currently a lead counsellor. In her spare time, Caitlin can be seen supporting and pyhotographing local bands and musicians, playing guitar, and participating in community runs.  She is also a budding wine connoisseur.  After a trip later this summer to Denmark, she is considering pursuing graduate studies in tourism and sustainability.

Jamie Schaab

Jamie Schaab 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.

Valaree Kloska

Valaree Kloska, has been Miss Chase, graduated from Chase Secondary, had a baby boy and completed her Bachelor of Science in Nursing.  Valaree is already working on her Neonatal Care Certificate and plans to complete her Masters of Science in Nursing. Currently she is working in the neonatal intensive care unit at Royal Inland Hospital and with Community in Chase and Salmon Arm. Valaree finds time to play women's hockey, volunteer with her son's activities and with the Miss Chase Excellence Committee, acknowledging the incredible support and experience she gained while she was Miss Chase.  She accomplished a great deal since 2003 and credits her parents for helping her achieve her success.


 

2007

Claire Gall

Claire Gall came to TRU to study finance and marketing after graduating in 2001 from Mount Baker Secondary in her home town of Cranbrook. Claire was vice-president of the ACE (Advancing Canadian Entrepreneurship) team which competed in Toronto this year, and she has also volunteered with the TRU eco-committee, Ducks Unlimited, BC Summer Games, Rotary Youth Leadership Camp, Lions Club, where she was inducted as an honorary member at the age of 18, and SPCA. Claire has accepted a position with Paramount Energy Trust of Calgary starting next week. She also plans to pursue a professional designation in finance and she will write the Level 1 chartered financial analyst exam later this year.

Shelley Kreutz

Shelley Kreutz graduated from Kamloops Secondary School in 1998 then earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in theatre from UBC before coming to TRU to complete a degree in education. Shelley is looking forward to moving back to her house in Burnaby and getting a teaching job on the Lower Mainland, while continuing to work in film during the summer months. She’s also hoping to take some time off to travel around Europe.

Kristine Rasmussen

Kristine Rasmussen graduated from Merritt Secondary School in 2002 then came to TRU to further her knowledge and interest in photography and printmaking through a degree in Fine Arts. An excellent student throughout high school and university, Kristine has won numerous awards for academic merit, including the Governor General’s Award in 2002, the National Terry Fox Humanitarian Award, the National Garfield Weston Merit Scholarship for Colleges, a Millennium Excellence Award, an AUCC Mattinson Endowment award, and a TRU Visual Arts faculty scholarship. She also found time to volunteer with the MS Society of Canada, the Terry Fox Run, and at the Sagebrush and Pavilion Theatres.

Amber Greenall

Amber Greenall graduated from Peter Skene Ogden Secondary School in 100 Mile House in 2002 and left the family ranch to come to TRU. A Bachelor of Natural Resource Science degree student with an interest in range issues, Amber 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 the winner of the Thompson Rivers University Medal in Natural Resource Science.

Kirti Naslund

Kirti Naslund was born in India and moved to Canada when she was 10-years old.  In 2005, she earned her Bachelor of Business Administration degree, majoring in accounting, at The University College of the Fraser Valley in Abbotsford. Kirti maintained an impressive GPA throughout the intensive master's program and volunteered to chair the MBA Student Committee.  She worked with the committee to organize events to facilitate the student's networks - both socially with ethnic parties and for business by hosting luncheons and breakfasts with keynote speakers.  Her future plans include a career in finance or business consulting.


 

2006

MJ Paluk

MJ Paluck was born in Smithers, moving to Kamloops during her school years, where she graduated from Westsyde Secondary School. After earning her Community and School Support certificate at TRU, she laddered into the Child and Youth Care diploma program, where she excelled in her studies. She has already begun to use her education and skills as a co-facilitator at Skl’ep School, and her instructors describe her as a highly conscientious, ethical and skilled professional who has consistently demonstrated her commitment to the children, youth and families that she works with, to the university, and to the community of Kamloops. Future plans include volunteer work and working full-time in a school setting.

Nicole Berfurt

Nicole Berfurt grew up in Prince George, and graduated from Prince George Secondary School there. She returned to university as a mature student after the tragic death of her eldest son Jacob in 1999. After mathematics upgrading, Nicole enrolled in the Arts program, where she excelled, and was named to the Dean’s List in 2004 and 2005. An active community volunteer, Nicole is active with the Kamloops Heritage Railway Society and School District #73’s One to One reading program. On campus, she was instrumental in the formation of the Student Psychology club. Future plans include a master’s degree and PhD with the ultimate goal of becoming a clinical psychologist.

Laura Beyer

Laura Beyer was born in Punnichy, Saskatchewan, then moved with her family to Creston, BC, where she graduated from Prince Charles Secondary School.  A Dean's List scholar while pursuing her nursing degree, Laura, also co-owner of BodyWorks Fitness Centre, taught fitness classes and worked as a personal trainer.  She also found time to volunteer at various blood-pressure clinics, and even organized one of her own, as well as a "Stretch at Work" seminar. Future plans include an advanced practice course to obtain a neonatal nursing specialty certificate, and a master's degree in nursing within the next ten years, with the ultimate goal of becoming a neonatal nurse practitioner.

Samara Quinton

Samara Quinton grew up in Cranbrook, graduating from Mount Baker Secondary School.  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 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 winner of the University Medal in Business Administration.

Kevin Hewins

Kevin Hewins was born in Campbell River, and graduated from high school there in 1998.  After completing a Bachelor of Business Administration degree at TRU in 2005, he immediately enrolled in the new master degree program.  He maintained a 4+ GPA for the duration of his intensive, 16-month program, was named to the Dean's List, and received the Convergys Scholarship.  Kevin's future plans include earning a PhD in organizational behaviour and becoming a university professor.


 

2005

Christine Nickel

Christine Nickel well represents her program cluster, comprising the Faculty of Arts and the Division of Student Development. She came to Kamloops with her family after graduating from Fernie Secondary School, and enrolled at TRU. After upgrading some academic prerequisites in College Prep, a department in Student Development, she enrolled in the Geography program under the Faculty of Arts. While maintaining high grades in her courses, winning the Hugh Neave Memorial 4th-year Geography bursary this year, she also found time to volunteer with the CSS Campus Life Team, the CFBX Campus-Community Radio station, and the Geography Club, where she served two years as treasurer. She will be studying broadcast journalism at BCIT this fall, and her long-term goals include world travel and completing a master's degree. Her ultimate career goal is to combine her passion for geography with her interest in broadcasting, to become a television show host for a nature or science program.

Alison Assmus

Alison Assmus, who will represent the Sciences and Health Sciences, grew up in Logan Lake and completed high school with honours there, winning a number of academic and citizenship awards, and a UCC Entrance Award. When she came to TRU to study biology, she also excelled, making the Dean's List throughout her four years of study, and winning the 2004 Biological Science Book Prize. An active athlete, she is also a lifeguard and swimming instructor, possesses a Sports First Aid certificate and a Level 1 National Coaching Certification, works out in the gym, and plays volleyball and golf. She will be attending the Boucher Institute of Naturopathic Medicine in September, with the goal of becoming a naturopathic doctor.

Kristen Jordan

Kristen Jordan, representing the Schools of Business and Economics, Advanced Technologies and Mathematics, and Trades and Technology, grew up in Kamloops, graduating from Brocklehurst Secondary School. An active marketing major, she has continued to work in the advertising business while maintaining Dean's List standing throughout her years of study. On top of work and classes, she was vice-president, corporate development for the student business association ACE*TRU, and was a tele-fundraiser for the TRU Foundation. She has competed in national business student contests, and represented TRU at its sister universities in Tianjin and Shanghai, China. After graduation, she hopes to continue to work in advertising, and to travel to Africa.

Shawna Bava

Shawna Bava, also this year's winner of the University Medal in Social Work, will represent graduates in the Schools of Education, Social Work, and Tourism Management. She 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 two 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.


 

2004

Luke Bambauer

Luke Bambauer was born in Vanderhoof, later moving to Kamloops with his family where he attended Brocklehurst Secondary School. Here, he also pursued his many outdoor interests including mountain biking, hiking, snowboarding and camping. After high school, Luke traveled and worked as a volunteer, building churches in Japan and doing grounds and kitchen work at a Christian university in Hawaii. He returned to Kamloops after a few years and enrolled in UCC's Welding C program where he attained a 98 per cent average. He plans to work his way toward the required Welding C apprenticeship hours before returning to UCC to earn his Welding B and A certifications.