Student Awards

Neil Russell Student Leadership Award

The Neil Russell Student Leadership Award honours TRU students who have demonstrated leadership and have made outstanding contributions to TRU, their communities and/or the society -at-large. This award is given in recognition of Neil Russell, former TRU VP Student Affairs and VP Academic, for his dedication to student achievement and leadership.

More information about this award

The successful candidate will receive a monetary award of $1000 and will be honoured at the Distinguished Alumni Dinner.

Note: A student may not nominate himself/herself for this award. Nominators must be a faculty or staff member of Thompson Rivers University.


A complete application package must include the following completed documents and be sent to Umme Mansoory at no later than the first Wednesday in March by 4:00 pm.

  1. Nominator Form along with two, 300-500 word responses to the information requested on the nominator form

  2. Co-Nominator Form along with a 300-500 word response to the information requested on the co-nominator form

  3. Nominee form along with a 300-500 word response to information requested on the nominee form

TRU Peer Leader of the Month Recognition Award

The TRU Peer Leader of the Month Award recognizes one or two Peer Leader(s) per month from September to April of each academic year for contributions they have made to their mentees, peer leader group, the TRU community, and/or the broader Kamloops community. This award recognizes the diverse contributions made by peer leaders and rewards students who exemplify attributes such as passion, leadership, resilience, excellence, creativity, and empathy.

More information about this award


If you are a Peer Leader Coordinator and have questions regarding nominating a peer leader, please contact Umme Mansoory at

Nominate a Peer Leader

TRU Peer Leaders of the Month

October 2020
Kayla Sanford
Kayla Sanford

Orientation & Transistions Mentor

Kayla exemplifies many of the attributes that make a great peer mentor, especially her willingness to go above and beyond when giving back to her TRU community. Kayla is a great mentor to new-to-TRU students and a fantastic leader within the O&T team. Kayla is keen to assist with any opportunities that come her way, such as planning programs and training fellow team members. Kayla is a kind and compassionate leader, and the O&T team appreciates her positive outlook.

April 2020
Avery Pottle
Avery Pottle

Pack ACademic Edge (PACE)

Avery is described as an enthusiastic PACE Leader, a dedicated athlete, an exceptional student, and an engaged community volunteer. Avery tutors WolfPack athletes in biology, psychology, and writing since 2018 and has devoted countless hours during the week and on the road, supporting teammates with their academics. Avery has also written creative blogs for TRU Student Life about her student athlete experiences. Avery’s passion, empathy, and support for her fellow athletes is valued and we are grateful for her leadership!

March 2020
Narain Spolia
Narain Spolia

Peer Academic Coach (PAC)

Narain is described as a strong, enthusiastic, and empathetic mentor who exemplifies civility, even in the face of stress. He is always willing to assume new responsibilities and answer any call for help - not just assenting, but doing so with curiosity and eagerness. Most recently, Narain designed and delivered a new model "Steps Toward Success" workshop and was the first to agree to be part of the SL Leader panel for an upcoming Teaching Practices Colloquium presentation. We are appreciative of Narain’s ever-present graciousness and generosity towards the TRU Community.

February 2020
Ananna Mitra
Ananna Mitra

Career Ambassador

Ananna is a pillar of reliability for the Career and Experiential Learning Department, always offering her time eagerly and cheerfully. Despite her busy schedule, Ananna has helped out on CO-OP class visits, for food donation distributions, and with conducting informational interviews with CO-OP students. Ananna demonstrates great professionalism and leadership and her support for students has helped land them jobs! Ananna’s enthusiasm and positivity is genuinely appreciated in the TRU community.

January 2020
Elizabeth Spike
Elizabeth Spike

Indigenous Student Mentor

Elizabeth is known to go above and beyond to be available as a support to students both academically and personally. Elizabeth is always willing to step in when staff are busy or when her peers can't make a shift. She works tirelessly to make her peers feel like they belong at Cplul'kw'ten, ensuring that social events such as game night are planned and that students have nutritious food to eat. Elizabeth’s hard work does not go unnoticed at TRU and we appreciate her dedication!

December 2019
Julianna Bissonnette v2
Julianna Bissonnette

Supplemental Learning Leader

Julianna is an exceptional student leader who has demonstrated leadership and flexibility when supporting new Supplemental Learning Leaders and taking on additional responsibilities for SL program promotion. Julianna’s particular strengths include an ability to create comfortable learning environments, and creativity and resourcefulness in planning and facilitating SL sessions. Julianna has proven herself to be dependable, resourceful, determined, and always a positive influence on those around her. There seems to be nothing Julianna is unwilling to take on and her many years of service are deeply appreciated at TRU!

November 2019
Cassidy Jean
Cassidy Jean

Future Students Ambassadors

Cassidy is a peer leader who goes above and beyond to make herself available for the Future Students teams. A previous TRU Start Orientation student in grade 12, she now facilitates TRU Start Orientation presentations and tours with other high school students. Cassidy demonstrates creativity in her tasks and helps future TRU students get acquainted and comfortable with the campus culture and community. Cassidy is known for staying late and offering extra time to help out around the office and makes herself available for campus tours, office support, and extra opportunities. Cassidy is described as a ray of sunshine around campus and is an asset to the Future Student's team!

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