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Campus Life - Kamloops

Royal Society Names Ross Friedman To Inaugural Group

Dwarf Mistletoe research

Dr. Cynthia Ross Friedman (back row, middle) with some of her student researchers in the field near Lac le Jeune.
Front row: Baylee Out.
Back row, left to right: Cameron Boyda, Cynthia, Rolena Debruyn.

Dr. Cynthia Ross Friedman of Thompson Rivers University has been named to the College of New Scholars, Artist and Scientists by the Royal Society of Canada (RSC).

The RSC named the inaugural 91 members of The College of New Scholars, Artists and Scientists Sept. 16. Nominated by 51 Canadian universities and the National Research Council, the new members represent the emerging generation of scholarly, scientific and artistic leadership in Canada.

“The naming of Dr. Ross Friedman to the Royal Society’s College of New Scholars, Artists and Scientists marks an outstanding achievement and recognizes her research as being at the forefront of her field,” said Dr. Will Garrett Petts, AVP TRU Research and Graduate Studies. “We are very proud of her, and TRU is proud to celebrate its first member of the Royal Society.”

Dwarf Mistletoe research

Dr. Cynthia Ross Friedman

“I am honoured and excited to part of the College and in a position to provide guidance on issues of importance to Canadians, and to promote Canadian achievements in the arts, humanities and sciences around the world,” said Professor Ross Friedman.

A professor in the Department of Biological Sciences, Ross Friedman investigates the reproductive capacity of dwarf mistletoes (Arceuthobium spp.), parasitic flowering plants found in Canada’s forests.

“Cindy has consistently demonstrated an ability to combine research excellence with excellence in student training and teaching,” said Dr. Tom Dickinson, TRU Dean Faculty of Science. She was awarded a TRU Teaching Excellence Award in 2010, and was recognized in 2011 for a TRU Excellence in Research award when it was noted that each of the 20 papers she had recently published were co-authored by an undergraduate student.

She draws upon her expertise in the fields of forest and urban ecology, microscopy, mathematical biology, and physics to conduct pioneering work that explores the mechanism of explosive seed discharge in these parasites and has contributed greatly to the understanding of plant development as well as forest ecology and conservation.

The College’s membership is a mix of backgrounds, walks of life and beliefs. Among the membership is those of Aboriginal heritage, from immigrant communities, and from visible minorities. This broad spectrum of members has Dr. Ross Friedman excited to begin discussions and see what comes from them.

“I am a firm believer in the power of diversity and have no doubt that new advances in understanding will emerge from the interaction of diverse intellectual, cultural and social perspectives embodied in this group. The members of the College experiment with new theoretical perspectives and methodological tools,” says Dr. Ross Friedman.

“Regarding my own research, I am certain the discussion and debate with members will inspire me to think about my research with fresh perspectives.”

According to RSC President Graham Bell, the College is Canada’s first national system of multidisciplinary recognition for the emerging generation of leaders. The members of the College will be in a position to provide guidance on issues of importance to Canadians, and to promote Canadian achievements in the arts, humanities and sciences around the world.

The Presentation for this first cohort will take place on Friday, Nov. 21 at Fairmont Le Château Frontenac in Quebec City, with a banquet to follow. A complete list of the inaugural cohort of the College and their nomination citations is available here.

Click here to view the embedded video.



ARET Students Team Up for Design Challenge


ARET student Michael Bontron takes aim during construction of his team’s Rube Goldberg machine.

On the first Friday of every fall semester, Architectural and Engineering Technology (ARET) faculty galvanize their students’ ingenuity with a team-building tradition. Second and third-year students share their expertise with first-years, just arrived on campus, to complete the ARET Design Challenge.

For 2014, students were asked to complete a simple task in a complicated fashion: construct a Rube Goldberg machine. Named for American cartoonist and inventor Rube Goldberg (1883–1970), the machine is defined as a contraption, invention, device or apparatus that is deliberately, unnecessarily over-engineered to perform a task, usually including a chain reaction.

“It’s a kinetic, dynamic sculpture,” said ARET faculty member Dale Parkes. The entire ARET student body was split into 15 teams, each required to produce one, interconnected piece of the machine. “They’re using pulleys, levers, maybe some gears. Judging is based on creativity, and it can’t stop or the team is disqualified.”


A toy car on a jump provides the momentum. Watch the video to see the whole machine in motion.

Faculty chose the paved circle between Old Main and the library as the bounds of the machine, keeping it to a tight ring where each team had approximately one square metre in which to work, and a 5 to 10 second time limit, so the complete, circular machine would run for about 2 minutes from start to finish.

“This is the first time we’re doing the Rube Goldberg as the challenge,” said third-year student Alice Hackman. The fact that the Design Challenge changes every year ensures senior students come with enthusiasm and stories from previous years, but no more prior experience than those who’ve been in the program for a week. Mixing first, second and third year students in each team makes for a great start-of-term icebreaker. “We had to confer with the other teams before and after,” she explained, noting the volleyball at their starting point and plastic crossbow bolt at the finish. Each team’s machine had to be triggered by the motion of the prior team, and wasn’t complete unless they successfully set the next team’s sequence in motion.

Her first-year teammate Michael Bontron tested the crossbow, intended to hit a racket at the next team’s starting line. ”It’s a little bit of math and a lot of luck,” he said.

Materials were only limited to being recyclable or compostable, safe and portable—and as creative as possible. Students made use of conventional construction materials like pipe and plywood, as well as boxes, bottles, furniture, balls, and unique items like a children’s lunchbox, a deck of cards, a cat’s scratching post, a toy car and track, and a helium balloon.

“We learn to design on the fly,” said third-year student Luc Thibault, whose team utilized the lunch box and balloon.

Whether or not the balloon flies or the crossbow hits its mark, the students get a chance to improvise and work together in a way that sets the tone for the entire program.

Watch the end result of the ARET Design Challenge:

ARET students drew inspiration from OK Go’s Rube Goldberg machine in the video for “This Too Shall Pass”.

The ARET Rube Goldberg machine was also featured in CFJC TV’s coverage of the Back to School BBQ later that day.

View more videos on TRU’s YouTube channel.

Related Stories:
ARET Research—Q & A with Brandon Samoyloff


Experiential Learning Series 2014-15

Experiential Learning Series

Learn more about experiential learning and how it is being incorporated around campus from presenters who are members of the TRU community.

All presentations are in room 210B in the Brown Family House of Learning, 11:30am to 12:20pm, free, and open to all members of the TRU community and general public.

Friday Sept 19—The Library as Lab: Partnership for Practice
Kathy Gaynor and Elizabeth Rennie (Library)

Friday Oct 3—Efficient and Effective Student Research Supervision
Gary Hunt and Ginny Ratsoy (CSELI)

Friday Oct 10—A Toolkit for Team Learning
Lian Dumouchel (TRU World)

Friday Oct 17—Collective Creation Activist Theatre: Home/Less/Mess is Not a Typical Production
Heidi Verwey and Robin Nichol Visual and Performing Arts) and Robin Arundel, and Taran Waterous (Arts students)

Friday Oct. 24—‘Re-imagining’ Criminology: An Exploration of Public Criminology, Pedagogical Practice, and Using Digital Media in the Classroom
Camilla Sears (Sociology)

Friday Oct. 31—The Student Ethnographer: Engaging Students in Participant Observation and Fieldwork: Home/Less/Mess
Dawn Farough (Sociology), Shalyn Pigeon and Justin Potestio (Arts students) and Tammy Caza (Home/Less/Mess actor)

Friday Nov 7—Enhancing Intercultural Group Work
Kyra Garson (TRU World) and Robin Reid (Tourism Management)

Friday Nov 21—Bridging the Gap between Curricular and Co-Curricular Learning: Engaging Learners with ePortfolios
Tracy Penny Light (CSELI) and Sukh Matonovich (Student and Community Engagement)

Friday Nov. 28—Electrical Practicum in Mexico: Collaboration, Creativity, and Challenges
Bruce Campbell and Dana McIntyre (Electrical Trades)

Friday Dec 5—Engaging Students with Critical Community Issues: Home/Less/Mess
Ginny Ratsoy (English and Modern Languages) and Pamela Erikson (Arts student)

Friday Dec 12—The Meeting of Two Disciplines: Students Exploring the Business of Cultural Awareness through Relational Practice
Florriann Fehr and Michelle Funk (Nursing) and Paul Clark (Business)

More information
Ginny Ratsoy
Associate Professor of English
Provost’s Fellow, Teaching and Learning
Tel: 250-828-5238
Email: [email protected]


Fund Your Studies: Apply Now for Awards

CIBC award recipients

Apply now for awards, scholarships and bursaries. Fall deadline Sept. 19.

More than 500 scholarships, bursaries, awards and prizes—over a million dollars handed out each year—are available to undergraduate TRU students. Some are based on your GPA or your program of study, while others look at activities and financial need. Most of these funds are generously provided by individuals, businesses and community organizations who believe in helping TRU students, and through the ongoing work of staff and volunteers at the TRU Foundation.

If you’ve thought about applying before, but assumed you’d have too much competition, think again. Not every award is based on top marks, and some sit unclaimed in a given year because students don’t take the time to apply. Visit the Student Awards and Financial Support ongoing awards page to view the TRU Awards Guide now and find out what funds you can apply for.

View the TRU Awards Guide

The Awards Guide details criteria for each award, bursary, scholarship, grant or prize (see Definitions for the types of awards available). Some reward academic accomplishment, while others assist with financial need, and some recognize affiliation. You can narrow your search by type of award, program, when it’s available, award categories, or by keyword search.

After you use the Awards Guide to find all the awards you are eligible to apply for, the Online Awards Application found in your myTRU account will allow you to apply for multiple awards at one time. Make sure you check the Description column for any conditional awards that may require you to provide additional information on why you qualify. Some may require an essay, so don’t delay.

The majority of awards handed out each year require application by the third Friday in September. This year’s deadline is Friday, Sept. 19.

How to apply

Unless the award description indicates otherwise, TRU undergraduate awards are for full-time students (enrolled in 9 or more credits for most awards and bursaries, or in 12 or more credits for most scholarships) who have already successfully completed at least one semester at TRU. Click on individual award names in the guide for complete award information and eligibility criteria.

Staff at the Student Awards and Financial Support office are available to answer your questions about awards, student loans, and finances. Visit them in Old Main room 1631, across from the Campus Cashier on Student Street.

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