For 50 years, our commitment to community and to transforming lives has never wavered. We've persevered through wildfires and economic downturns, and each time we’ve held our promise. Now a global pandemic has challenged everyone to rethink how life is lived and how business is conducted.
Though the COVID-19 health crisis has changed how we operate, we are not cancelling our 50th anniversary celebrations—we’re just doing things a bit differently as we follow the necessary government recommendations and mandates.
We’re still here for you.
That was our commitment when our doors opened in 1970 as Cariboo College, as we transitioned to the University College of the Cariboo in the 1990s, and then when we became Thompson Rivers University in 2005.
We look forward to seeing you at any number of our celebration events, whether they're held online or, in the future, in small groups.
Our anniversary wordmark
You’ll see this wordmark often in 2020 including on campus banners, in institutional advertising and internal communications. To start with, the TRU logo will be accompanied by a special partner this year: a 50th anniversary wordmark incorporating our current and historical colour palettes.
In this blog post by President Brett Fairbairn, he looks at TRU's history and future: TRU’s 50th – What do anniversaries mean?
We are offering up a range of events with an educational component as one way to give back to everyone. Events will include performances and informal lectures from engaging researchers.
During this time of limited social interactions, events will be delivered online and in a format that will allow you to provide feedback and pose questions.
When we’re able to meet in small groups, you will have the opportunity to attend in person, while other events may be a combination of in person and online.
Check back soon for upcoming events.
Many people have been influential in TRU’s evolution, so for our 50th anniversary, we asked you–our students, staff, faculty and community–to tell us about those who have had the biggest impact for you. The community response to this callout was tremendous, and the individual experiences of each of your submissions enrich our collective story as Cariboo College, University College of the Cariboo and TRU.
Your nominations for TRU’s most instrumental characters:
|Airini||Builder||A strong advocate and leader for innovation in education, Airini is an influential and talented Indigenous leader. In her six years at TRU, Airini has been instrumental in the development and implementation of numerous new programs.|
|Alicia Ashcroft||Leadership||Alicia Ashcroft promotes personal, social and academic supports while also striving to destigmatize and demystify the need for help. Through her collaborative work efforts, she hopes to share insights, foster student success, enhance student well-being, redefine success and inspire others to engage on campus and in the community.|
|Amy Tucker||Leadership||Amy Tucker's strong passion for student success makes her not only an excellent professor, but also a mentor to her students. Her over-and-above support for her students, along with her intense leadership and innovation skills, has helped her students grow both personally and professionally.|
|Anthony Muzzillo||Leadership||Anthony Muzzillo was born and raised in Kamloops and recognizes that by supporting students and the TRU Foundation, he is making his hometown a better place to live and work. He was Co-Chair of Friends of UCC and worked tirelessly to ensure institution was successful in receiving full university status, working behind the scenes and in public to ensure the message got across to government and the Kamloops community.|
|Anthony Salituro||Volunteer||Anthony Salituro, a graduate of TRU’s Faculty of Adventure, Culinary Arts and Tourism Management, has been heavily involved in the TRU Foundation and supporting the annual fundraising Gala for many years. Salituro is a strong community advocate, philanthropist and successful local business owner.|
|Behlul Yavasgel||Builder||In 2005, at the age of 18, Behlul Yavasgel came to Kamloops from a small Turkish town to pursue a Canadian education and play volleyball for the WolfPack. He didn’t know anyone and didn’t speak English. Over the next five years, he went on to become captain of the men's volleyball team, earned a computer science diploma and solidified his place in history as the first WolfPack athlete to complete all FIVEyears of eligibility at TRU. As a TRU alum, Yavasgel has continued to give back to the sport of volleyball across BC as a coach and mentor to young athletes.|
|Brian Christianson||Builder||Brian Christianson's passion and commitment to TRU has always shone through, whether it was as a student-athlete, mentor, volunteer alum or in his professional role as an architect. He has a strong desire to contribute to the continued growth and progress of Kamloops, including TRU's growth as a progressive academic institution.|
|Brian Donald Ross||Leadership||Brian Donald Ross has been a part of TRU in many ways, including as a member of TRU’s Board of Governors and the REACH Trust, leading the charge of establishing a law school at TRU and securing a $150,000 endowment for an entrance scholarship from Fulton & Co. Upon leaving the TRU Board of Governors in 2015, he became a Director of the Thompson Rivers University Community Corporation, whose revenues are returned to the university and the TRU Foundation for endowments toward student assistance and research.|
|Charles Mossop||Builder, Innovation||Charles Mossop was an early champion of international education and cultural understanding, and worked tirelessly throughout his career to advance this notion. In 2014, Mossop was awarded a lifetime achievement award by the BC Council for International Education. And in 2019, he was awarded an Honorary Doctor of Letters from TRU, in recognition of his pioneering work in the field of international education.|
|Chelsea Corsi||Leadership||In 2004 Chelsea Corsi became TRU’s first Wellness Coordinator. where she was responsible for designing, developing and implementing a comprehensive and holistic wellness movement. Her innovation and leadership have been recognized locally, provincially, nationally and internationally. As a lead on the Canadian Association of College and University Student Services’ Campus Mental Health: Community of Practice initiative, she contributed to Canadian history by working with colleagues to implement the first national administration of the National College Health Assessment survey in 2013.|
|Chief Justice Robert Bauman & Sue Bauman||Builder||Both Chief Justice Robert Bauman and Sue Bauman have been instrumental establishing a Superior Courts endowment fund for a TRU Faculty of Law bursary, along with 39 Superior Court judges—some of whom have become major donors to TRU’s Limitless Campaign. Both are great champions for TRU in Vancouver and throughout BC, continuing to engage the community to create another endowment fund for TRU’s Faculty of Law.|
|Chinnama Baines||Academic Development, Leadership||Chinnama Baines is a local and provincial nursing influencer, whose tireless efforts have increased opportunities for nursing education outside of the Lower Mainland. Her knowledge of curriculum development allowed her to provide leadership in developing nursing curriculums and programs—not only at TRU but also at the University of Victoria and the University of British Columbia.|
|Dr. Christine Wihak||Innovation||Christine Wihak is a bold visionary who shaped international Prior Learning Assessment and Recognition (PLAR) research through her energy, grit, passion and foresight, to leave a legacy of scholarship and practice that is world renowned. One of the most important highlights of Wihak’s PLAR legacy left for TRU is the Prior Learning International Research Consortium, where she guided discussion on PLAR research around the globe and set the stage for subsequent collaboration on the design and implementation of a virtual network to stimulate innovative and provocative research.|
|Cyndi McLeod||Builder||Cyndi McLeod served as TRU World’s Associate Vice President and CEO from 1999 through 2009, where she grew TRU’s international enrolment, founded many of TRU’s successful international joint venture programs, participated in various missions and was the driving force behind the construction of TRU’s International Building. She created TRU's international-education brand within Canada and internationally.|
|Dave Maurer, RBC and RBC Foundation||Builder||Dave Maurer, RBC and RBC Foundation have been major donors and sponsors of TRU. They have given over $850,000 to support various TRU initiatives including Women in Trades, RBC Scholars to Business, Business Kickstart Speakers Series, the MBA Games team and the TRU Foundation Breakfast. They participate in the TRU Back-to-School BBQ every year and hire TRU finance students. Maurer, RBC and RBC Foundation’s supportive involvement in the TRU community have enriched many lives.|
|David Williams||Academic Development||“Super Dave” Williams’ talent at building his students’ confidence and knowledge made his teaching style legendary. His passion and dedication to TRU are evidenced by his continued involvement with the horticultural and botanical aspects of the campus.|
|Dr. Dennis Acerman||Leadership||Throughout his distinguished 30-year career, Dennis Acerman has been a trailblazer on many university projects, programs and growth initiatives. He took on many influential leadership positions throughout the university and was an advocate for students, faculty and his fellow administrators.|
|Donna Fleury||Academic Development||Donna Fleury’s natural warmth and friendliness, along with her calm, upbeat and positive attitude, infected the student body and the greater community as a whole. She worked at TRU for over 35 years as an Academic Advisor, focusing the latter part of her career on advising international students. In her retirement, she continues to work with TRU World to recruit students from around the world.|
|Dorys Crespin-Mueller||Leadership||Since finding her fit in institutional research at TRU in 1999, Dorys Crespin-Mueller has led TRU to a national leadership role in the field of integrated planning and institutional research. As Executive Director, she now supports policy decision making and leads a diverse team of 18. She is involved in many research initiatives, has won several awards and is always looking for ways to make institutional improvements.|
|Duncan Macrae||Academic Development||Duncan MacRae is a distinguished educator and champion of comprehensive training and education in BC, and a veteran who served for 22 years in Canada’s military. He and his wife, Marie, are long-time donors and friends to TRU. As a thank-you for their recent donation towards the new Industrial Training and Technology Centre, TRU named a classroom on the third floor in their honour in 2019.|
|Elizabeth Templeman||Academic Development, Builder||Elizabeth Templeman has had a quiet, yet profound impact on programming, students and colleagues during her 30-plus years with TRU. She is known for her open generosity of both her time and resources and has greatly influenced TRU's development as a teaching-focused institution that prioritizes student success. Templeman lives to shine a light on the accomplishments of her students and colleagues. She strives to make the unseen, seen.|
|Eric Youd||Other||Eric Youd has been involved in TRU in various capacities: as a student, an employee, and sitting on the Board of Governors and Senate. He genuinely cares about TRU’s institutional goals and takes the time to learn what TRU’s values are and how he can integrate them into his daily interactions. Youd is an authentic individual of the TRU community with a hunger to engage and stay up-to-date on the latest trends at TRU.|
|Fiona Chan||Volunteer||Fiona Chan has always been a strong supporter of TRU. Some of her involvement with TRU includes positions as a member and Chair of the TRU Foundation Board, Chair of the TRU Board of Governors, Co-Chair of the TRU Limitless Campaign and as a Director on the TRU Community Trust Board. Chan has been a loyal donor and an avid advocate and supporter of TRU for over 20 years.|
|Frank Quinn||Builder, Leadership||Frank Quinn was a fierce advocate in the charge to establish the law school at TRU. He also helped to establish Fulton & Co.’s $150,000 endowment for a TRU entrance scholarship, established a $250,000 endowment for two bursaries for single parents studying law at TRU and has donated over $50,000 in the past five years to TRU. He is an Honorary Chair for the Limitless Campaign, a past Director of the TRU Community Trust and a past member of the TRU Board of Governors.|
|Ginny Ratsoy||Innovation, Leadership||Ginny Ratsoy has been a remarkable educational leader throughout her 40-year career at TRU. As an educational leader she has modelled best practices for experiential learning, shared her gifts as a scholarly teacher and altered the landscape of Canadian literature and culture. She has been involved in the TRU community in various ways, including as the inaugural TRU Provost's Fellow, Chair of the CUEF Study Abroad Committee, organizer for the TRU Undergraduate Research and Innovation Conference and initiator of the English Peer Tutor Program. Ratsoy has won many awards, including the TRU Undergraduate Student Research Mentor Award in 2016, the Arts Faculty Award for Excellence in Mentoring in 2018, the EML Teaching Award, Faculty of Arts Scholarly Teaching Awards and the TRU Master Teacher Award.|
|Grace Simpson||Leadership||In her 36 years with TRU, Grace Simpson has had a monumental impact on the establishment and growth of the Williams Lake campus. She modelled lifelong learning and encouraged everyone to achieve their goals and dreams through education. Her unwavering kindness and compassion provided daily inspiration and motivation for all those around her. Simpson’s fingerprints as a TRU leader are everywhere, both on campus and in the wider Williams Lake community.|
|Heather Shannon||Academic Development||Heather Shannon can be found with a smile on her face in TRU’s Animal Health Technology program. She always makes herself available for her students, past and present. Shannon is an inspiration to her students, assisting and encouraging them towards achieving their goals.|
|Henry Hubert||Academic Development||Henry Hubert is one of the individuals at the foundation of so many initiatives, programs and courses at TRU. During his time as the Dean of Arts, he saw major growth in his faculty. He was close to, and mentored, many who went on to play major roles in the TRU community, and he was a positive influence on those around him.|
|James (Jim) Gudjonson||Leadership||With James (Jim) Gudjonson at the helm as Director of Sustainability, TRU was recognized as a global leader in sustainability, planning, innovation and corporate social responsibility. The energy conservation projects he oversaw resulted in 35 to 40 percent reductions in greenhouse gas emissions, exceeding provincial, national and international targets. Externally, he fostered key relationships with local, regional and provincial stakeholders to fund TRU programs and projects. He supported local government, community organizations and Indigenous communities in their efforts to become more sustainable, resilient and healthy. Gudjonson’s leadership and ingenuity earned him multiple awards, funding and recognition.|
|Joanne Brown||Innovation||First as a student and later as Supervisor of Indigenous Student Development, Joanne Brown has seen many changes in academia and society regarding Indigenous education. She says she quickly and effortlessly became immersed in the TRU community when she started as a student, and after graduation was happy to find a position that kept her on campus. Brown enjoyed getting to know the students she mentored, and working with them on cultural topics that facilitated learning more about their heritage. Over the next 50 years, she hopes to see TRU find more ways to allow everyone to access post-secondary education.|
|John Sparks||Builder||In his 15 years with TRU, John Sparks has worked with four Presidents and three Provosts. With his legal support, TRU has accomplished many things: transitioning to a full-fledged university, purchasing the Williams Lake campus, trading land with the City of Kamloops to facilitate the creation of the Tournament Capital Centre, the building of the North Tower residence and the Open Learning building, and creating the TRU Community Trust to enter into agreements for the development of TRU property (to date, Kelson properties and Creston House). Sparks was particularly instrumental in advocating for and supporting the development of a law school at TRU—the first new law school in Canada in over 30 years, and now the alma mater for many bright and successful lawyers in BC and beyond.|
|Dr. Jonathan Van Hamme||Builder||Over his years with TRU, Jonathan Van Hamme has elevated the status of TRU and his faculty. With mentorship recognition, funding received and state-of-the-art research, he is consistently and constantly building capacity. Van Hamme has won awards including the TRU Faculty Excellence Award and the Undergraduate Research Mentor Award.|
|Josh Keller||Builder||Josh Keller built the Campus Recruitment team at TRU from a team of two to the fully rounded and diverse team it is today. He is respected as the "grandfather of recruitment" by university professionals across Western Canada.|
|Julio Viskovich||Innovation, Leadership||Julio Viskovich is a Forbes Top Influencer who has single-handedly created digital marketing courses that have advanced TRU’s marketing program to one of the best in the country. Pearson Education identified his skillset and selected him to publish their upcoming digital marketing book. He is a TEDx speaker and appears on Global TV as a leader in his industry. Students come from around the world to take Viskovich’s classes.|
|Karen Gamracy||Builder||Karen Gamracy was an integral part of developing the Advancement team at TRU. She originally started with the UCC Foundation, a separate entity from the university. Gamracy worked in many roles over her 17-year career, and rose from Office Manager to lead the Advancement team through a period of strong growth and the start of TRU’s first $50 million campaign, Limitless.|
|Karie Ghering||Volunteer||Karie Ghering is a TRU grad and a strong supporter of the university. While building her own local business, Windsor Plywood, she studied part-time and earned her Bachelor of Business Administration. After graduation, she continued to give back to TRU by serving on the Alumni Association Board of Governors, assisting with TRU's fundraising activities, working to secure a major gift from the Windsor Plywood Foundation and supporting the TRU Foundation Gala with generous donations. Ghering is a strong advocate of TRU and the success of students.|
|Dr. Kathleen Scherf||Leadership||Kathleen Scherf was TRU's first (and only to-date) female President. Although her term in office was relatively short, she accomplished several important goals that have benefited the university in the long run. These accomplishments include the establishment of the TRU Faculty of Law, the creation of the TRU Dean of Students position and the launching of the Communications and New Media program. Scherf is profoundly knowledgeable and has given generously of her expertise.|
|Ken Jakes||Leadership||During his 28 years at TRU, Ken Jakes was instrumental in the redevelopment of TRU's Retail Meat Processing program, currently the only program of its kind in BC. He has been involved in many projects with the Industry Training Authority, raising TRU's profile and creating positive working relationships with the industry. He has been involved with the BC Cattle Industry Research Advisory Committee and instrumental in the development and promotion of student awards in his industry. In his retirement, Jakes continues to remain active in his industry by authoring and co-editing the Canadian Professional Meat Cutters Association (CPMCA) Retail Meat Training Manual—now used in all retail meat programs in BC and Alberta, and the only resource material endorsed by the CPMCA for programs in Western Canada.|
|Ken Lepin||Builder||Ken Lepin is a successful entrepreneur and a visionary philanthropist whose generosity will have a lasting impact on TRU and its students, as well as the Kamloops community. Since 1997, he has donated $3.7 million to TRU, has had the Ken Lepin Science Building named after him; and has supported student scholarships and bursaries, research, equipment, buildings and innovation in every faculty. His philanthropy at TRU has encouraged many other major gift donors. Lepin received an Honorary Doctorate from TRU in 2015.|
|Ken Olynyk||Leadership||Ken Olynyk was the Athletic Director when TRU became TRU. He led TRU to compete at the highest level of university sports in Canada and directed TRU as it transitioned volleyball, soccer, basketball, curling, rugby, cross-country running and swimming to this new level. He led TRU to multiple medal wins. Olynyk is still a very active member of TRU Athletics as a member of the WolfPack Leadership Council.|
|Les Matthews||Innovation||Les Matthews has been a passionate and innovative faculty member in the TRU Respiratory Therapy program since 1983. He began the sleep clinic many years ago as a means of providing hands-on experience for TRU Respiratory Therapy students—which has also helped doctors make diagnoses and treatment plans, and has been instrumental in field schools. Matthews has been a key player in making TRU’s Respiratory Therapy program one of the best in Canada.|
|Lian Dumouchel||Academic Development||Lian Dumouchel has been a part of the TRU community since 1994 and has been critical in building up the tourism department and its programming. She has also been actively involved in international education, sat on the TRU Board of Governors and Senate, been a member of multiple committees and received awards for her ingenuity and commitment—to name a few of her accomplishments. Dumouchel's leadership, innovation, influence and vision have contributed to TRU becoming what it is today.|
|Lyn Baldwin||Innovation||Lyn Baldwin is recognized for her stellar innovations in student-centered teaching and learning. Her reach of influence is broad. Her deep care for all things in the world and enthusiasm for teaching with innovative ways to engage her students is contagious. Baldwin inspires those around her with her gentle tenacity in teaching and quiet, yet effective, leadership style.|
|Nancy Van Wagoner||Builder||Nancy Van Wagoner joined TRU in 2006 as the first Associate Vice President of Research and Graduate Studies in a non-acting role that tasked her with building a research culture. She accomplished this with her visionary leadership, drive, and passion for developing the capacity and culture for research, innovation transfer and graduate studies. Her outstanding efforts have led to TRU being granted membership to the Canadian Association of Graduate Studies, establishing the Senate Research Committee and the Graduate Studies Committee of Senate, and obtaining funding for the Kamloops Innovation Centre. She is an influential leader and a compassionate and supportive mentor. Today, we continue to reap the benefits of her leadership, vision and innovation at TRU.|
|Naowarat (Ann) Cheeptham||Innovation||Naowarat (Ann) Cheeptham is one of this year's esteemed recipients of the Desire2Learn Innovation Award in Teaching and Learning. The award, handed out by the Society for Teaching and Learning in Higher Education, was awarded to the TRU professor in microbiology for her unique research on bats and probiotics, and collaboration with other institutions. Her work has broken ground in the battle to fight white-nose syndrome, a fungal disease that is decimating bat populations across parts of North America. Cheeptham’s research has been featured in numerous publications around the world, including The Nature of Things and Science Business.|
|Nathan Matthew||Leadership||Nathan Matthew was the first Executive Director of the Indigenous Education office. He shaped the office and started TRU on the path of Indigenization and a commitment to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada. After leaving his post in Indigenous Education, he became the first Indigenous Chancellor at TRU. He is committed to supporting and championing TRU throughout the region, provincially and nationally. Matthew is also a strong leader and advocate for his people, working on the process of land claims, Indigenous self-governance and capacity development.|
|Norm Daley||Builder||Norm Daley has been a supporter of TRU for many years. He has been a TRU Foundation Board Member, event sponsor and attends TRU events regularly. His company, Daley & Co., regularly hires TRU graduates and has given over $100,000 to the university. He is a personal Major Gift Donor and current TRU Limitless Campaign Cabinet Member. The TRU community is stronger because of Daley’s gracious and undying support.|
|Norm Reed||Academic Development||James Norman (Norm) Reed has taught organic chemistry at TRU for 30 years, starting in 1989. His teaching philosophy of accessible, hands-on learning has resulted in his students referring to him as respected, inspirational, caring, and a tough, but fair, grader. During his time at TRU, he contributed in many ways to the evolution of science programming, in particular at the upper level. Not only was he a mentor and administrator during his time, but he is also involved in charitable activities, like the creation of the 100 Men Who Care Kamloops Chapter. With the education of his students being his first priority, Reed contributed to the advancement of chemistry education by helping to put TRU on the map in this field.|
|Peter Tsigaris||Academic Development||Peter Tsigaris joined the TRU community in 1993. During this time, he has enhanced TRU by sitting as Chair of the economics department, sitting on both the TRU Board of Governors and Senate, supervised many graduates, created innovative courses and spearheaded the creation of two new innovative TRU master’s programs—Master of Environmental Economics and Management and Master of Science in Environmental Economics and Management. His research has often garnered media attention at the local, national and international levels, and his teaching, research and service at TRU have earned him many awards. Tsigaris's significant influence on his students will last lifetimes.|
|Philip Schetinni||Academic Development, Innovation, Leadership||In 1988, Philip Schettini became part of the TRU community. As the first person hired to develop and teach tourism at the university, he was influential in the creation of numerous tourism programs and courses. He was also instrumental in opening up international opportunities for TRU tourism students around the world. Considered by many to be the ‘‘father of tourism,” Schetinni truly was an influential person dedicated to student success at TRU.|
|Pina Russo||Builder||Pina Russo single-handedly took a small fledgling intramural program and built it into the TRU Recreation program it is today, for staff and students alike. The recreation empire she created saw the growth of pre-existing programming as well as the addition of programs such as badminton, ball hockey, dodge ball, outdoor basketball tournaments, cricket and drop-in fitness classes. She also engaged the Kamloops community and expanded into off-site programming, offering rock climbing, spin classes, yoga and kickboxing. Russo has done an amazing job in her time at TRU by expanding the opportunities and experiences available for the community.|
|Ralph Finch||Builder||Ralph Finch had a major impact in the TRU School of Trades and Technology over his 35-year career with the university. Not only did he hold the roles of welding instructor, department head and assistant dean, but he also concluded his career as dean. He was a dedicated faculty member who taught at both the Kamloops and Williams Lake campuses, sat on several provincial and national boards and lead TRU instructors on international training opportunities. Finch has left a lasting impact on staff, students, alumni and the school itself.|
|Reg McNamara (deceased)||Academic Development, Other||Reg McNamara was a force in the early days of Cariboo College, happily wearing many hats that ranged from Department Chair to rugby coach. He was warm and kind, concerned for the well-being of others and known for his great sense of fun. He made new colleagues feel welcome and part of the team; and was an early advocate for using the local environment for all kinds of experiential learning opportunities.|
|Dr. Robert Hood||Academic Development, Builder, Leadership||When Rob Hood arrived 20 years ago, he was the only person in the tourism management department to have earned a Ph.D. As the University College of the Cariboo transitioned to full university status, Rob was instrumental in the department in two ways: in helping colleagues’ transition to a university mindset from a vocational orientation, and in developing classes and curriculum equal to the new university status. Hood has been an important champion of research and scholarship within the department, a wonderful mentor for colleagues embarking upon research trajectories, a supervisor of students through theses, UREAP projects, master’s programs and more. During his ten years as either Department Chair or Interim Dean for the Faculty of Adventure, Culinary Arts and Tourism Management, he has led quietly while trusting and empowering his colleagues, enabling them to do their best work.|
|Dr. Roger Barnsley||Leadership||Roger Barnsley was President during the transition from UCC to TRU and returned as Interim President before the appointment of Dr. Alan Shaver. Through his leadership and commitment to the university through some challenging transition periods, he helped make TRU what it is today.|
|Roland Neave||Builder||Roland Neave is a TRU Charter Alumni, having started in 1970 at Cariboo College. He received a TRU Distinguished Alumni Award in the Professional Achievement Category in 2001. He is dedicated to the protection and promotion of the natural environment and to helping TRU students through scholarships and bursaries. In 2014, he donated 160 acres of wetlands near Clearwater, a donation valued at $384,000, to TRU for educational and research purposes. Over the years, Neave has donated another $340,000 to endowments to support TRU students.|
|Ron Miles (deceased)||Leadership||Ron Miles was a builder and an academic leader, and many would attest to the value of his leadership and mentorship throughout his years at TRU. As the first Dean of the Faculty of Arts, he was a key figure in establishing degree-granting programs. Miles was also creative and innovative, establishing and leading the 45-year-old campus performance series we now know as Live at TRU! This activity brings the Kamloops community to campus and high-quality Canadian performers to the doorstep of students, faculty and staff.|
|Ross Cloutier||Builder||In his 26 years with TRU, Ross Cloutier’s ingenuity took TRU’s tourism department from an intake of 22 students and only two full-time faculty members, to the current diploma enrolment of 85 students and eight full-time faculty members. He championed the development of the Adventure Major for the Bachelor of Tourism Management and fostered collaboration with the Association of Canadian Mountain Guides (ACMG)—which grew from an administrative partnership into a full-fledged program and the approval of a Mountain Guide diploma. Having training and certification provided by a university for the first time provided incredible credibility for ACMG within the adventure industry. Cloutier's efforts in the leadership of the department have been recognized both nationally and internationally, as indicated by the awards he has earned.|
|Dr. Russell Currie||Innovation||Russell Currie developed the content for TRU’s fourth-year Marketing Strategy course. This course not only educates students on the subject, but also improves their public speaking and self-evaluations through honest feedback. Currie is also the creator of the TRU School of Business and Economics Dean's Excellence in Research Award.|
|Starr Carson & KPMG||Builder||Starr Carson and KPMG have supported TRU in numerous ways over the years. KPMG has donated hundreds of thousands of dollars to scholarships, research, MBA Games teams, Business Kickstart Speakers Series and many other events. They visit TRU students on campus a couple of times a year and have hired over 60 TRU grads. Carson leads the efforts to connect KPMG with TRU, acts as a TRU Mentor, personally donates along with each partner at KPMG and regularly attends TRU events. Carson and KPMG have been significant donors and supporters of TRU for many years.|
|Dr. Stella Black||Volunteer||Stella Black was born and raised in Kamloops and has been a friend to TRU since it began. She has served TRU in many capacities, including as an Honorary Member of the UCC Board of Governors, TRU Foundation, Cariboo College Board and the Nursing Program Advisory Committee. As the former Director of Acute Care Services for the Thompson, Cariboo and Shuswap Health Service area, she is a strong supporter of the TRU School of Nursing. Black has been a long-time donor to the TRU Foundation, creating the Dr. Stella Black Scholarship in 2010 and giving over $28,000 to TRU and its students over the years.|
|Susie Safford||Other||Susie Safford has served in several capacities in her 46 years at TRU. She played a pivotal role in the development of many programs, including First Steps, Career Orientation and Personal Empowerment, Academic ESL, and University and Employment Preparation. She was a founding member of the Cariboo Childcare Centre and was involved in the establishment of the Wellness Centre, Student Orientation and the TRU Threat Assessment Team. She has worked as a well-respected teacher, chair, dean and served on more committees than can be counted because of her leadership abilities. She is also involved as a volunteer in the Kamloops community. Safford continues to work tirelessly on behalf of the students, staff and faculty at TRU.|
|Swagath Swamy||Builder, Innovation, Leadership, Volunteer||Swagath Swamy is an extremely energetic person with a positive outlook and excellent communication skills. She meets every challenge with extreme dedication and hard work: be it academics, volunteering, sports, journalism, extracurriculars or helping and acquaintances. Swamy has volunteered for numerous events both at TRU and the larger community.|
|TB Vets Charitable Foundation||Builder||TB Vets has been supporting TRU and the Respiratory Therapy program for over 30 years, giving over $470,000. Their donations have allowed TRU to outfit labs with essential simulation equipment and ventilators that prepare respiratory therapists to work in the field, and 173 students have received support from the TB Vets Charitable Foundation Awards. Recently, TB Vets gave $20,000 towards the new Baby Tory Mannequin at the TRU Foundation Gala.|
|Dr. Tom Dickenson||Academic Development, Builder, Leadership||Over his 30-year career at TRU, Tom Dickenson has provided leadership for the university in a wide variety of ways: as a lecturer, as Associate Vice President of Research and as Dean of Science for two full terms. As the Dean of the Faculty of Science, his guidance, love of teaching and passion for science built the faculty into a strong team that has seen both expansion and stability in the quality of instruction over the years. He was a key player in developing TRU's engineering program, creating a four-year Bachelor of Science degree and establishing the Wells Gray Research Centre. He is also a volunteer in the Kamloops community with groups such as the Naturalist Society, Kamloops Adult Learners Society, PIT Stop Kamloops and the Salvation Army Kettle Drive. Dickinson's influence upon colleagues and students on a day-to-day basis is incredibly positive, important and long-lasting.|
|Dr. Ulrich Scheck||Leadership||Ulrich Scheck has helped build TRU and expand it to what it is today. From increasing capacity to encouraging field school opportunities for students and revitalizing the university, TRU would not be where it is today without his leadership. During his time at TRU, he served as the Dean of Arts, Associate Vice Provost, Provost and Vice President Academic.|
|Vera Wojna||Innovation||Vera Wojna's visionary leadership laid the foundation for how TRU can serve and support international learners in the early stages of international education at TRU. Her model for supporting international students set TRU apart and set a high standard, which other institutions in Canada still strive to achieve. Her mentoring leadership-style allowed team members to flourish under her guidance. In 1993, she was the driving force behind creating TRU International Days. She has offered her expertise to professional organizations such as the British Columbia Council for International Education, Association for Universities and Colleges of Canada and the Canadian Bureau for International Education—either sitting on boards, sponsoring events or presenting workshops to inspire colleagues. Wojna left her mark at TRU, in International Education, across the province and country, and in the hearts of those who have had the pleasure of working with her.|
|Warveni Jap||Leadership||Warveni Jap's strength and passion lies in her leadership of international education and culture. She has made a very strong impact on enhancing the awareness of cultural opportunities and sensitivities, and increasing international learning experiences for students. This can be seen in the two major courses that she developed for delivery at TRU’s partners in China: Comparative Business Practices Between Canada and China and Integrated Marketing Communications Canada and China. Her dissertation research not only pulled together Chinese and Canadian researchers, but was also presented and well-accepted at the prestigious International Conference of the Academy of Marketing at the University of Cambridge. Her list of accomplishments and achievements is vast and far-reaching. Upon meeting Jap, it is evident that her passion is to push traditional education into the international arena.|
|Dr. Will Garrett-Petts||Builder||In the past 38 years with TRU, Will Garrett-Petts has chaired two departments, directed two research groups, served as Associate Dean of Arts and is the current Associate Vice President of Research and Graduate Studies. He has received 31 external research grants totaling over $5 million in funding, and has published 17 books and catalogues and over 150 articles, chapters and conference presentations. His greatest impact has been in his unwavering support of the establishment of TRU as a genuine open-access research university in the heart of the BC Interior, which has led to an astounding 285% increase in total external research funding. In the spirit of community-engaged research, he ensures community partners are fully involved in the research process; in doing so, he has helped make sure TRU is responsive to the communities it serves. His vision and guidance have been instrumental for TRU's emergence and growth as a research-informed university, which earned TRU an invitation to join the Research Universities Council of BC—situating TRU as one of the six research-intensive universities in the province. His collaborative and visionary influence has placed TRU on track to becoming one of the top 50 research universities in Canada within the next decade.|
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